Fix-It Fixations

Any homeowner or even mildly obsessed apartment-dweller who likes customizing his or her nest, office, cubicle, or living space knows that there are numerous ‘projects’ that are never officially finished. Most DIY projects of any sort, in fact, are only satisfying right about the time they’re in their last stages of preparation and very, very newly finished. Then we’re on to the next change or update we’ve been itching to see transform our spaces. For me, the Next Big Thing is perpetual: I never quite settle down and stop having new ideas and fantasies. My now-spousal partner knew even before my dad jokingly warned him when we sprang the (not especially surprising) news of our intent to marry that it was not merely in jest Dad told him to expect to come home virtually any day of the week and find the furniture moved all over the place, half the house painted, or the chairs reupholstered. Thank goodness he’s a very flexible, tolerant guy…of course, he wouldn’t be with me in the first place if that weren’t true.Photo: The '70s Called...

Nowadays I’m lazier and less willing to spend much money on concrete Stuff if I can save it instead for our various retirement plots and plans or spend on current doings. But the urge never dies; there’s always some little tweak or To Do lurking in the back corners of my brain’s attic. The one thing I’ve learned to appreciate better about the process is the slowness of it all that used to irk me immensely. Over the intervening time between idea and execution, the possibility of improving both process and product grows, and in many instances, the availability of a better set of materials and solutions arrives as well. Though I had in mind a nifty reboot of the existing dining room fixture that was, sadly, thwarted by the outdated wiring’s channels being too narrow for me to fit the necessary updated wiring through them, my time pulling apart and cleaning and fiddling with  the entire fixture in an unsuccessful attempt to bypass the problem was long enough for a more suitable modern fixture to at last appear on the market at a price I was willing to pay.Photo: Let There be Better Light!

Likewise, the wildflower and sapling “nursery” meadow I made out of half our backyard a couple of years ago has taken that long to begin coming to recognizable fruition as such a space instead of merely a raggedy weed patch. The time spent waiting for the (semi-dead, weak little one-dollar end of season) plants I picked up here and there to take root enough to survive longer term, let alone bloom, was well worth it, since those were not seasons of rich encouragement. This year’s mild winter and spring and its extraordinarily generous rainfall are providing a much friendlier environment for the plants now old and established enough for bloom to make their first appearances. So, though you can’t see it behind the blast of rose blooms in the last photo, there have been much more encouraging bursts of growth on a number of patches of chrysanthemums, Echinacea leaves, and myriad wild cousins, with some Salvia and Cynoglossom amabile (Chinese forget-me-not) throwing bright blue sparkles into the mix of pink primroses and green leafy things even before others come into bud.Photo: A Long Winter's Nap

Kind of the way that one new idea breaks in upon the muddle of all the old ones stirring in the brain while they wait to be put in order for becoming DIY projects and household fixes.Photo: Spring has Sprung

14 thoughts on “Fix-It Fixations

  1. I love the new light fixture! It looks so pretty. The carving over the window is just lovely and how wonderful you get to be the owner of such a treasure! 🙂

      • Lucky too! 😉 There was this art piece my mom carted around for many, many years…I’ve loved it from day one. I even asked for it when she tired of it. But since i’m not the favored child; she gave it to my brother! Oh well. So now I make my own art! Hah! 🙂 I am happy you get the treasures!

        • Me, I wouldn’t hesitate to take a good digital photo of the artwork at your brother’s, clean and square it up if needed digitally, and make myself a small print of it to hang somewhere private that *I* wanted, since it’s not for sale or anything more nefarious than love. If I knew someone wanted *my* original work that much, I’d be happy to know it was being “shared” that way. 😉 It’s actually how I was able to part with a ton of sentimental stuff (I’ve posted about that before): photograph it thoroughly so I can revisit the memory if/when I want, and then let it be in a new home where it’s used more, loved equally, etc. And of course, it’s how and why I document my own art digitally nowadays, or I’d be buried in a pile of my previous work and suffocate there. 😀

        • Great advice. I am over it now. Part of it was the knowing I am the child that did everything right yet never was praised or appreciated. And this sealed that. But I am okay. I fill my life with what makes me happy and constantly strive for betterment. But photographing is a great way to preserve your work so you don’t end up with a house full of stuff that it starts to look like a hoarders home…gorgeous hoarder stuff but a hoarder home nonetheless! Keep being awesome Kathryn. 🙂

  2. I love to tweak my rooms as well, but I’ve never gone as far as painting, I’m absolutely positive I would mess that up somehow. I have visions of paint absolutely everywhere but the walls:) Your garden looks just so luscious and rich this year! xx

    • You must be kidding, Smidge! I can’t feature *anything* design/decor-related you couldn’t do fabulously and gorgeously! Painting walls or rooms would be easy-peasy for a pro like you. After all, it’s not so different from icing a beautiful cake or cookie, though on the inside! But it is admittedly a hassle, so I wouldn’t fault you if you opted out of it for *that* reason. 😉

      The unbelievably rainy season here is as much to credit for our lush greenery as that we’ve now been in this house for enough years that some of the stuff I’ve been tucking into the yard is finally getting established. It also doesn’t hurt that we back on a little city-owned runoff ravine, so we’re surrounded by more trees and underbrush than most places here in north Texas—one of the real reasons we chose this house. 🙂

      Hope all’s well with you and yours, and that the weather is treating *you* kindly. Richard just got an invitation to adjudicate (I think maybe some CBC choral regionals or finals, which he did before when he was still conducting in Edmonton) in Calgary this coming year, but it’s at the same time in March that he’s already booked to conduct at Carnegie Hall, so he had to turn it down. I was so sorry not to have a chance to revisit…it’s got to have been about a decade since I was last up your way! Well, enjoy your beautiful town and region *for* me. 🙂


  3. Your dining room is gorgeous, K, and so is your new light fixture. And your garden is beautiful, too! I just love all the greenery and our yard is looking more alive, as well, even though we need more rain. We’re not affected too badly by the drought like central and southern Cal. are but we still need to ration our watering time…hope you are well, my friend. xo

    • Yes, hope you’re well, too, dearest! My head’s spinning a little at trying to imagine a drought-stricken west coast and soaked Texas. But it’s true that the heavy rains, while they’ve flooded plenty of the area, have also made this the greenest, most floriferous spring I’ve seen yet since moving down here, and the forecast is for more rain to come. Happy to live on a sloping property, and not at the foot of it, these days. I always wish that weather, along with human body fat, could just be shared around for bette distribution. Sigh. Maybe that’s what goes on in heaven?

      Glad you approve of the new dining fixture. Turns out it gives off better dispersed light than the old one, too, a big plus.

      Hope you and your loved ones stay well-watered, safe, and happy.
      Lots of love,

      • I know, it’s crazy with our drought and then the flooding in Texas. Luckily though, we’re not hit as hard and we’re still green. Your line about weather and body fat is hilarious. 🙂 One can only hope! 🙂 Have a blessed Sunday and lots of love again! ♥

        • Lauren, just thinking of all of you in CA and hoping things are getting a little less dry and brittle! I’d love to think you’re not going to have any prolonged water shortages in such a beautiful part of the country.

          Hope you’re having a gorgeous summer, too, my sweet!!

        • Well, even in our area many are letting their grasses go. We don’t have grass in the front but we do have a small yard in the back and we haven’t bid farewell to it yet. We’re still complying with the water restrictions as everyone should be doing. So we shall see. We have heard though that this winter is going to be very wet and might make a big dent in the drought problem. So now we’re prepping for that! 🙂 If it’s not one thing, it’s another! Love and hugs to ya, K

    • It’s been especially interesting this summer to visit other parts of the continent where the weather’s been equally unusual but in different ways (extra-dry in the Pacific Northwest, intensely snowy and long winters in the northeastern states and the Canadian Maritimes) and hear locals talk about how this has affected them and their landscape—and then to see how surprisingly green it still is around DFW when we fly into Texas again!

      I think the heat’s on for good for the rest of summer/fall in north Texas, but I wouldn’t bet on anything entirely, this year. 😉


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