The kick-off project was overhauling the back yard. I spent three days pulling, digging up and all together obliterating the weeds from the gardens, and gave them a satisfying kick to the curb with what used to be a patch of overgrown hedges. Once the back yard was complete, I turned inwards, to the house, that is. I put away all the flip flops and Chacos that littered the floors and then corralled all the army men, cowboys and action figures back to their baskets. As the house returned to it's organized state, a sense of calm settled over everything. (Or maybe that was just the breeze coming in the open window, wafting a candle's frangrence my way).
We even had a couple of dinner parties on the deck, putting the proverbial icing on the cake for me. I filled the yard with candles and our bellies with hot food ... we grilled Burgundy pepper steaks from our favorite local deli and a basket of lemon butter asparagus. For dessert, we had the best chocolate cake ever, a rich, dense layer cake topped with semi-sweet ganache that I baked earlier that day and a couple sips of red wine to rinse it down. Some of my favorite moments are spent sitting 'round that table with friends. The most amazing tales seem to be shared after the sun sets, once dinner is finished and the only light that remains is from the candles in the center of the table. Our voices and laughter trail off into the darkness as we enjoy the comfort of each others company.
Now that the house was in order, and we were all feeling jovial and content, I deemed myself ready to work on a few fun projects. Out came the sawhorses, jig saw and clamps. On went the new, cute safety goggles, ball cap and shorts. And away I went. I cut curves and straight lines, zigged and zagged, cursed a few times and changed a saw blade. By the time I arrived at the sixth plank, the sun was slipping behind the maple trees and sweat was dripping down my back. Saw dust covered my black shorts and, conveniently, the puddle from the power steering fluid leak in one of our trucks.
In a few minutes, I'l get back to my wood working, sanding and staining, but not until I finish the cup of coffee that's patiently waiting for me. Hopefully, tomorrow, I'll be able to start on my next project ... a bicycle themed lino-print using my 1967 Schwinn Collegiate as inspiration. It feels so great to have the creative juices flowing again. With any luck, they'll be allowed to flow freely for a while.