When the sun came up Thursday morning, I had light leakage out the sides, and some out the bottom of the sliding glass door curtains, but none out the top. That was a BIG improvement. I tacked down the left side of the blackout drapes to the edge of the door frame molding, which solved the problem on that side, but on the right side, I have to be able to go in and out when I want to access the back yard, or when I need to take out the garbage. Then the little idea light bulb lit up. I remembered I have a sheet of that magnetic plastic stuff like refrigerator magnets are made out of. I cut six narrow strips about two inches long and glued three of them to the side of the door frame down the right side, and then glued the other three to the corresponding points along the side hem of the blackout drape on that side, and Bob’s your uncle. Easy open, easy close. This morning NO light got in through the glass door. I are so happy!
I do have to push the bottom of the drape back against the frame in places with my foot each time I use the door because I get little points of light here and there along the bottom where folds form little sneak peeks. However, I deliberately made the hem about half an inch too long so it would puddle a little on the floor to prevent that and I’m thinking I’ll measure the exact width of the drape as it hangs, and buy that much chain and run it through the hem to weight the drape firmly against the floor.
Now if I can just find a guy who’ll replace my bedroom door with an el cheapo door I can put a cat flap in, because now that I’ve solved the sliding glass door problem, I’ve noticed the bedroom door curtain isn’t thick enough to completely obscure the light through the bedroom door, which I have to wedge ajar so the fat(cat)boy can get in and out . . . . sigh!
Finally, the seasons are beginning to change (It’s November already!). I got so cold last night that I got one of the blankets I’m going to make a throw out of and put it on top of the bedspread. Looked at the thermostat just now and it was 72 F (22.2 C) inside. We’ve had a spate of cooler weather with daytime temperatures in the mid 60’s F (18.3-ish C) with lows around 55 F (12.7 C). I go barefoot in the house*, but if this cooling trend continues, I may have to start wearing socks. At the rate we’re going, I reckon that by December I may need to switch my HVAC over from cool to heat.
I’ve decided the first garden tool I need to get is a leaf rake. The tree in the back yard is a thornless honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos form inermis) and the back yard is all over stupid honey locust beans. There is about a 10 x 10 concrete “patio” in front of the sliding glass door and I may break down and sweep it off (my mom will laugh when she reads this. She sweeps both her porches off pretty nearly every day, and sometimes twice!). The tree in B’s yard next door is a pecan (Carya illinoinensis) tree, and there are pecans — and beans! — on the patio, which makes taking out the trash a somewhat crunchy experience.
Did I mention I also need to put up the hose hanger I got to go by the back spigot? I hung the one in the front (at right) in September to remedy the “unsightliness” of having my hose coiled up on the porch. It’s not as fancy as the one I’ve got in the front, but it will do the job. I’ll do it as soon as I can find my “roundtoit.” I know I’ve got one here somewhere . . . I’ve budgeted the rake for next month, and maybe also the pavers. Better to get out and de-bean the back yard when it’s cooler. The back yard is only about 30 x 30, but even so, 90F-degree (32+ C) weather is not the time to be doing that kind of yard work. I may also spring for some pruning shears while I’m at it. There’s great wads of those cotton-picking beans still hanging on the tree . . . not to mention a low-hanging limb I have to argue with to get out the back gate.
Here’s the flower bed in the front with nothing in it but grass, weeds and two pretty seedy looking rose bushes. I’d like to put some evergreen flowering shrubs — about 6 of them — back along the wall that would grow 4-5 feet high and flower all summer. Then English lavender (also evergreen) in front of them and then some kind of flowering perennial ground cover closest to the walkway.
You’ll notice the roses are still blooming — in November yet! I’ll probably end up digging up that red rose bush on the left. It’s pretty puny and has a lot of dead wood. Both of them have black spot badly, too. If you look at the bricks edging the flower bed right up there by the door you can see where they dip down where the soil has been eroded away by runoff from the eaves. I need to level out the ground there and reset the whole line of bricks. There’s a bunch of those little white rocks all along in between the house and the neighbor’s fence. I might rake some of those up and use them to underlay the pavers and break the force of the water falling off the roof to prevent that. I’ll have to study on it.
Here’s what the new yard lights look like. I may get a little can of black Krylon and paint the poles so they won’t look so unsightly! That’s a 100-watt equivalent LED “bub”** in it. The one furthest from the house lights the driveway nicely. My BFF’s night vision is deteriorating, and when I walked her to her car the other night, she had no trouble seeing to get to her car. My mom brings some of her friends by at night, too, and most of them have vision problems and are pretty frail, to boot. (My mom has had a problem keeping friends these past few years — she keeps outliving them!) The light closest to the house (left) keeps the area between my house and the neighbor’s fence (above) nicely lit. I’ve heard from several people, including the electrician who fixed the lights, that lighting is one of the most cost-effective ways of preventing break-ins. (Touch wood!)
Either my allergies are flaring badly, or I’ve got a lousy head cold. My sinuses are packed and my whole face aches. I spent most of the day lying in the bed reading, drinking hot tea, and popping pseudoephedrine (decongestant) and guaifenesin (expectorant) trying to loosen things up and get my sinuses to drain. I’m not quite to the point of putting a washrag and a heating pad on my face yet, but the thought has crossed my mind.