Septober #30projectsin30days Challenge Update

Hey guys! So, in the last blog post, I announced my plans to join the #30projectsin30days challenge, hosted by a blogger I follow, Stacy of Blake Hill House.

Well, I failed, but it wasn’t for lack of trying! Hurricane Irma hit, so we had friends evacuate and come to stay with us for a while, and we spent the time playing and catching up instead of working (worth it). Hurricane Irma also threw off my hearing for a few days (I have a weird ear condition where low pressure systems can make me hear things really strangely), which threw off my balance and tossed me into a bit of a depression (HURRICANE PUN!!!). September hasn’t been my month.

That said, I/Peter DID accomplish some things, so here’s a roundup of my #challengefail. Maybe we’ll just call it a half fail. Sounds better and reflects the fact that some stuff DID get done around the house, and we worked through last weekend to give us a couple of extra days. I’m calling it Septober; September plus a weekend.


One of the biggest accomplishments (and I have to give literally ALL the credit to Pete) is that we finally got a screen door on the back of the house. We live in an old house and no two doors have the same measurements, so it’s been a challenge to find one that fit the very short, wide frame of our back door. We finally found one that was the correct width at the Jonesborough salvage warehouse.

Pete thinks it was mass-produced in about 1920 (he has magical powers for figuring this stuff out using clues like the joinery, the shellac, and I’m assuming some kind of sorcery involving a glass ball). It needed cut down, painted on the outside (I love the wood, but it’ll be an outside door), and the screen replaced, but I’m counting this as multiple tasks for the challenge.

Here are crappy phone pics; the installation is mostly done, but Pete has to rig up a solution for a knob issue, and that might mean switching the direction the door swings.



That’s no filter; it’s just how gorgeous the light is in the mornings behind the house.


Next, the duck yard. This whole summer, I’ve just let the ducks roam the neighborhood. In the morning, I let them out, and they come home in the evening, having had adventures throughout the day. The neighbors we know have been fine with it, and there are already wild chickens, cats, and dogs in our area, so I figured it was no problem. the ducks kept the bugs down and we had to feed them far less.


Well, last Saturday we had a neighbor we’ve never met stop by, and she told me the ducks have been making a muddy mess near her front door. Apparently, they have a favorite spot, and while I’m sad we can’t have the ducks just roam free as they like to do, I understand and don’t want them to be a nuisance. It’s a shame, because the other neighbors really enjoy them, but I get it.

So, we had to make the side yard into a big duck pen. I didn’t want them having to stay in their little pen all the time. This surprise project counts for the challenge!


Next up, the curtains for the laundry room. Pete uses the laundry room as a (tiny) workshop, and asked for curtains for the windows. Apparently he doesn’t love the idea of an audience in the evenings? So, on a day off, I whipped some up and matched them to the ones hanging in the bathroom. I just need to get them hung, but Lowe’s discontinued the rods we’ve used throughout the whole house, so we’re working on a way to fashion our own matching rods.



The bathroom closet was a mess; we added shelves and bead board to it at least a year ago, but I never got around to painting it. I chose a day I was off work, started up the Wizard of Oz on my iPad, and painted that thing a nice bright white. A little organizational time and the closet looks great (well, as great as a plunger closet can look). Priming and then painting counts as two tasks.

Fire Pit Installation

Pete has been hard at work digging out a low spot in our yard and building a retaining wall for a fire pit. We have gravel coming this Thursday, plans to build up the fire ring, and we have some ideas for hanging outdoor lights. With The Boy approaching a more self-reliant age, we’re excited for evenings around a fire while he plays with glow sticks in the yard!


SO, the final tally, including things Peter has accomplished (he was participating in the challenge, he just didn’t know it…)…

  • strip old screen door
  • cut screen door to size
  • paint screen door
  • attach new screen
  • mount new screen door
  • fix the paint on the shower frame
  • deadhead the garden
  • pull out finished vegetable plants
  • pull out dead annuals and potted plants
  • pull out and fill nail holes (hallway and kitchen)
  • hang bookshelves in The Boy’s room
  • make laundry room curtains
  • prime bathroom closet
  • paint bathroom closet
  • buy paint for master bedroom 
  • add chicken wire to fence to keep ducks in
  • build gate for duck yard
  • clean stove window with Windex wipes and coat hanger (this is the WORST, and I spilled milk down it 3 weeks ago)
  • clean all ceiling fan blades
  • hang sash weight on new duck gate
  • new weather stripping on backdoor (this was attempted, but unsuccessfully)
  • dig out space for fire pit
  • build retaining wall for fire pit
  • harvest jack’o’lantern pumpkins and mow pumpkin patch
  • clean and spray paint lawn furniture

So there you have it. We accomplished 22 tasks this month. I wish we had made it all the way to 30, but 22 is nothing to sneeze at, and with the challenges the month brought, I’m pleased. Thank you to Stacy for hosting!

This will probably be a rare 2-post week. I’ve gotten up the gumption to join the One Room Challenge, and will post about the room and my plans this coming Thursday!

To end on a pretty note, here’s the last of the giant zinnias.