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I have yet to come up with a satisfactory light-excluding strategy for that humongous sliding door in my bedroom.  The dark window film wasn’t dark enough.  Two layers of blackout curtain didn’t cut it (the light shone out the top through the space between the curtain rod and the wall.  I tried covering the glass with aluminum foil, but every time I opened the sliding door to take the garbage out to the alley, the far edge of the door scraped the foil off the other window.  Grumble.  Grumble.  So, this past week I ordered some blackout material — five yards of the stuff —  heavy black polyester that, according to the reviews, blocks the light thoroughly.

2016_11_02-02Wednesday afternoon, I got my folding table out from under the bed and set up my sewing machine and spent the rest of the day sewing it into curtains. The polyester ravels badly so I had to French seam where I joined the 54-inch widths of fabric in the center, and did a rolled hem on the sides.  I made a pocket for a curtain rod across the top, and hemmed it hanging on the rod long enough to firmly touch the floor.  I did all the hemming on the machine — there will be two layers of drapes in front of it, so you won’t see that the hems are not hand sewn.  I hung the narrow diameter curtain rod on cup hooks positioned so that the rod sits right atop the molding around the door.  That should stop the leakage out the top.  The proof of the pudding will happen at sunup. (BTW, on the wall to the left of the folding screen in the large oval frame is the preacher’s wife which picture and frame came from the old manse at Round Top.)

As long as I have my sewing machine set up, I have two twin-size microfleece blankets bought in 2014 with the intention of turning them into lap robes.  I’ll do a post on how I do that — you can always pick up twin blankets on sale in the spring.  These came from Walmart.  I also have several pairs of polyester slacks that need their elastic replaced.

It’s been thundering off and on, with scattered showers.  We’re supposed to be rainy the rest of the week with lows in the middle 50’s F (12+ C) and highs in the middle 60’s F (18+ C).  My HVAC is still set on air conditioning and is still coming on occasionally!  In November!  They say we’re in for a warmer than average winter.  That’s OK by me.

One of my little solar lights conked out — at $5 apiece, no biggie.  I tried a little percussive maintenance, but couldn’t get it to work.  The others are still working though.  Now that the yard lights are fixed, I really don’t need them.  It’s also easier to spot my house when I’m coming home at night.   My landlady is going to let me take the cost of the new porch light off December’s rent.

I’m going to start allocating discretionary funds for the yard now.  I need gardening tools — a leaf rake, a spade, a pair of small pruning shears, a trowel and scratcher, and a couple of 18 x 18 pavers to put by the outside water spigots to have a place to stand that isn’t muddy when I turn the sprinklers on and off.  I also need to put up the other hose holder in the back.

That front flower bed needs to be leveled, and the edging bricks need resetting.  I know what kind of plants I want in the front bed — perennials that bloom repeatedly all summer — something tallish and bushy in the back against the house, something lower in the middle and something ground-covery in front along the walkway.  I’m thinking English lavender and some dwarf, multicolored viburnum, or a perennial cultivar of verbena  I also need to get a couple of bags of mulch to keep the weeds down while the flowers are growing in to fill the spaces.   I’m going to have to prune the roses when they die back this winter — would you believe they’re still blooming!? I want them to grow tall, but not wide.  They are really planted too far back against the house. They’ve got black spot, which tells me they’re not getting enough sun and they’re too damp.  I may get some dwarf heirloom varieties that bloom all year and plant them about a foot from the walkway where they can get more sun.

I’m not going to bother with doing anything to the back yard except trim some of the dead wood and one low-hanging branch off the tree, and water the lawn.  I might put some stepping stones to the alley, but then I might not. We’ll see.