Odds and Ends of House Upkeep

Usually winter is my relaxing season because, despite an increase in paperwork and often-hectic holiday preparations, the pace of life slows. There is little yard maintenance, the local roads have less traffic, and there are no mosquitoes.

Early snowfall, however, created its own problems. I had to get the birdfeeders squirrel-feeders set up early, so I grabbed two bags of the very limited selection at a soon-to-close retailer. The wildlife do not like it. It has too much corn, judging by the slowly-growing pile of kernels beneath the feeder. At least the suet is a hit, as well as easy to stock up; a local grocer carries it in the seasonal aisle.

BabyBro asked for the old shed doors, which meant I lifted them onto the deck and tarped them. (A good reminder to work out while carrying heavier weights.) I shoveled them off and uncovered them this past weekend, but then he discovered they are too tall (for both his purposes and his vehicle).  Because a tarp leaked, absorbed water made them much heavier. He helped me carry them to the curb, where they are languishing. BabyBro was apologetic, but he took me to lunch at The Little Bar in Marine City,* so I consider myself not at all inconvenienced.

To hold the tarps down, I used six big porcelain tiles left over from the bathroom renovation. Where will I store them? After cleaning off the accumulated leaf-muck, I decided to MacGuyver them by placing them on the powder room floor. Three side-by-side fill the space perfectly, with a trim piece between them and the threshold. They don’t cover the entire floor, but from the doorway it looks complete… unless one notices the gap between the trim piece and the doorframe. (NOTE TO GUESTS: Don’t look!)

It certainly feels better underfoot than the powder room’s cracking, curling linoleum!

BabyBro offered to help me renovate the powder room this coming year, since he knows a thing or twelve about cutting and laying tile, plumbing, etcétera. I will hold him to it – in better weather.  Not during hibernation season.


*The Little Bar is a historic establishment that serves good food and has great ambiance, including a polished wooden bar. It was one of the “up north” restaurants that automotive executives frequented when they were having a weekend outside Detroit.