My blog is now five years old. I have posted 212 posts over the past 260 weeks. I kept a one post a week pace up for the first 3 years, a three post a month pace up for the 4th year, and this year a miserly 1.5 post a month pace. Last year I decided to lower my goal to meet my output, this year I’m going to go goal-less! I still enjoy blogging and I plan to continue adding to this blog.
I’m not looking for excuses, I’ve just sat down to write less, but I like to do a little reflection on the blog’s birthday. This has been a full year, a little lighter on the adventure and major challenges, and a lot heavier on the friends and family. Not a bad trade-off, but less to write about.
My home projects have been less “post worthy”, but not less work, or less important. I actually checked quite a few things off my list this year.
We had our main public living areas painted not long after we moved in. The hardest part of that effort was picking the colors. It took weeks. Writing the check to the painters was an effort too, so I committed to painting the bedrooms and upstairs rooms myself. I painted the master bedroom, master bathroom, the shared bathroom on the second floor and the laundry room this year. Although these efforts fit the “Weekend Project” category, writing about painting is about as exciting as watching paint dry – not to put down any of those painting blogs out there. The biggest lesson learned is one I already learned during my garage floor coating experience, and apparently forgot already. Paint needs to be stirred… even if the store just mixed it… even if you just stirred it not long ago… just stir it again! Although no one else seems to notice it, I notice the areas that aren’t quite the same color and hopefully that will help me to remember to stir the paint more often next time.
This year I also attempted to do a repair of our couch to tighten the springs. We would just buy a new one, but we prefer to keep the old one and to keep letting the dog share it with us. It’s not a bad couch, it was just a little saggy and soft. I did research online, found some good info on how to use rope to tighten couch springs. I took pictures of the process… just in case it turned out amazing and I wanted to write a post.
It did turn out pretty good, but definitely short of amazing. Although I didn’t do a post I will share a couple of lessons learned here. First pick rope that doesn’t stretch. The rope I used was cheaper, and easy to work with, but stretched. I pulled it tight while attaching it to the springs, but it still continued to stretch after I finished. Second, evaluate the condition of the foam in your cushions. If the foam is too soft, no matter how good a foundation the cushions sit on, the couch will still feel saggy. We still plan to keep the couch, and it is better than it was, but it was not an amazing transformation or blog-post-worthy project.
Another, un-post-worthy project this year was installing shelves in the dining room for a picture wall. We love the wall, and it made putting up family pictures a snap, but I failed to get any pictures during the installation, and even the pictures I got after the installation really don’t do the project justice. It just looks better in person.
Laying out the placement of the shelves and making sure they were level was not easy, but I don’t have any great tips to share about that… just take your time. However, the hardware that came with the shelves included spring-loaded wings for inside the drywall when the holes didn’t match up with a stud (almost none of them did). The instructions looked easy, but in practice when we got ready to slide the shelves onto the screws, the springs would pull the screw heads flush with the wall. It was very frustrating. My wife came up with a brilliant idea to use tape to hold them away from the wall. I simply wrapped scotch tape around the screw between the wall and the screw head and it kept the springs from pulling the head against the wall. It worked like a charm! To describe all that for a real post, I would have had to take at least one shelf down and taken pictures. If I could have gotten a good representative picture of the finished project I might have made that effort. Obviously that didn’t happen, but we are enjoying having the pictures up!
As far as some of my planned blog improvements I put in my post a year ago…I have done some work to make it easier to find some of my favorite older posts, but I could do more. I’m not completely happy how some of the things I’ve done so far look on a smart phone, so I’ve been putting off doing more until I solve those issues. There is only so much you can do with HTML tables. I need to brush up on some more modern HTML techniques. I’ll try to take the time to do that this year.
The last year has been my worst year in the last 9 years for staying in shape. I started out the year with some injuries from chronic over training, so I decided to take a break. The injuries cleared up… but the break has lingered. With a trip to Hawaii fast approaching, it’s time to get back to running and working out! I’m also hoping to do at least one half marathon next year. That won’t happen if I don’t start a consistent routine now.
It’s hard to believe that I’ve been writing this blog for 5 years. A lot has changed, but it doesn’t seem like 5 years has gone by. Life is definitely not slowing down. Although I’m busy and can’t always sit down to write, I will definitely keep at this blog. I enjoy writing and the blog still helps motivate me to live a full life. I have no shortage of things I want to write about, I just need to plan my time better so I have time to sit down and let the ideas turn into posts.
Now it’s time to blow out the candles and eat the cake (ok maybe I better skip that this year)… Happy Birthday Blog!