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Tell us: What projects have you taken on? What advice can you share?
What projects have you taken on? How have you accomplished tasks by being resourceful with what you have on hand? What advice do you have to help others through similar projects? Share your ideas here and earn 50 AARP Rewards points for participating in this weekly discussion. We also will choose one post as our weekly winning post for an additional prize: a $50 HelloFresh gift card. Click here to see our Rules for participating.
Me myself & I
Use a wall calender to post projects each week ahead of time
Helps me to stay motivated and excited to start project
** Clear & declutter all closets
*** Organize pantry with labeling of containers
**** Plant a rosemary garden in the backyard
***** Wallpaper an accent wall
******Paint & redecorate a guest bathroom
************The Key for me is to plan it & just do it ***************************
Before the COVID shut down, I had been buying puzzles of my favorite Disney characters. But having no extra table to work on (couldn't use the dining room table because you have to leave the pieces all out until it's finished), the puzzles sat unopened. I had bought a small table/4 chairs before also, thinking that sometime I would clear the living room so I could assemble it. With this shut down/stay at home orders, I finally had the time to clear out a space in the living room, and put up the table. Yay! A space to do puzzles - and I had oodles of them. So that's how I'm spending my time. Maybe I'll eventually get to do some re-potting of plants too.
Nothing big, mostly all the little things I never get around to.
Sorted a bunch of paperwork like recipes, interesting tips on plants, gardens, selling online etc. I started a couple of folders to sort them into. Some I'm scanning to computer for long term storage. Same with a box of photos.
About to tackle moving some shelving around to organize my craft bench a bit more. I make jewelry... so tons of containers with little beads etc. I'm always buying more! I have at least a shoebox sized load of semiprecious beads that I got at auction that really needs sorted. I multitask with a favorite video on.
My advice is to pick one, any one and get it done and see where it leads you. The paper sorting triggered the craft bench reorganization because I found a number of papers relating to sources and techniques I'd cut out of a magazine that never made it the work bench.
Since I live in the South, the sun bleached the table, resin chairs, and decorations. I ordered resin renew, and various spray paint and renewed finish on resin furniture. I, then painted firepit and table top ( to match) . Lastly, I spray painted my decorative items in pool area ( most made of cement or metal) and everything looks brand new. I am feeling very accomplished!
Normally I spend most of my spare time making pillowcases for Ryans's Case for Smiles. With the Coronavirus pandemic I have changed that to pleated facemasks for local nursing homes and health care offices. I even got creative and started using my bread ties to put a piece of metal at the top of each mask so you can pinch it around your nose and keep it from sliding down.
We also managed to get the dining room and kitchen painted. That meant I HAD to clean out the china cabinet. Boy did it need to be cleaned. Sometimes it takes making one mess to get me to clean up another!
If you've got projects you want/need to do - now is the perfect time to priotitize your list and get started.
We downsized and moved into a condo about 7 months ago. We're using this time to paint all the trim in the place and brighten things up. But it's not all work. We just finished a 1000 piece puzzle that was a gift from our daughter. It was a picture of our home of 42 years that we had to leave. It was fun working together on both and not just sitting and watching the TV.
For online security reasons, I opened an additional email account that I will use specifically for online ordering. I then changed the email address to this new address, for all my online ordering accounts. This, hopefully, will limit access to all my personal information, should someone try to hack into the account.
I recently opened a LastPass password management account. I have now completed changing all my passwords on all my accounts to LastPass generated passwords. Another step towards more security online.
I have brought out the sewing machine that hasn't been used since my children were younger, and I am sewing masks for family and friends. The most difficult part of this has been finding supplies online, especially 1/4 inch elastic. While waiting for my online order to arrive, I have taken the elastic out of an unused twin fitted bottom bed sheet, and this works perfectly!
And the most somber activity during these difficult days, has been the grieving process for the passing of my 96-year old father on Easter Sunday. He was living in an assisted living facility in a different state and was struggling with being locked down and separated from visitors. Every phone call ended with him saying, "Is this ever going to change?" Dad loved being around people, loved telling stories of his difficult childhood, loved telling jokes. All of that halted when the coronavirus struck, and none of his family and friends could visit with him. As such, I would encourage all AARP members to support AARP's effort to require some sort of video conferencing capabilities in all senior care homes and nursing centers. My Dad was still mentally sharp, but did not have a smartphone so we 6 children could FaceTime with him. If AARP's effort to require video conferencing had been in effect, Dad could have talked and watched us "live". And I honestly believe he would be with us still, if this had been available to him. If you feel inclined, please go to this link and speak up - https://action.aarp.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=8443
I have been completeing my family tree which goes all the way back to the Mayflower. In doing so have realized my great grandmother was a member of two social groups The D.A.R. and Mayflower Decedants. I am looking into the history and membership of both now.
I write daily and share my writing with a friend. When it's not raining, we work in our garden. I also walk 3+ miles each day. When it's rainy, we do a lot of cooking. I also stay in touch with several elders who live alone. We video phone, or email. All in all, social distancing and staying home is working out well.
My granddaughter and I do her homeschool together while her mother works (kindergarten so it's still doable for me). During our breaks, we go to the back yard and check on our garden and with the help of a plant identifier app on my phone, we make sure what is coming up is edible or if we don't remember what we planted, we check it out before we sit in the swing and eat from the garden. It is enjoyable for both of us and we can relax while watering and being in our little piece of paradise.
I feel a little guilty for enjoying the slow-down/stay-home time! I have spent about an hour each morning after my daily walk working in my back yard. It has never looked better. Weeds gone; flowers in!
Another project that I'm proud of is finally sewing together many of the quilt blocks I have had cut for literally years. I have made three soft, flannel baby quilts to donate to a local ecumenical group that helps the homeless who are getting back on their feet.
Finally, I have spent many hours sewing pleated, lined face masks. I have also coordinated the efforts of many others at our church and quilting group who are also sewing like crazy to bless the lives of people they don't even know. Together we have made and shared nearly 1000 masks with hospitals, service groups, youth detention center, first responders, and a care center. People are so giving and kind! It has been my privilege to see their selfless efforts meet a great need.
I have spent hours cleaning every closet and dresser drawers in our house. I mended clothes, washed (and ironed) everything and folded each piece of clothing as neatly as possible. I attached notes to articles noting any special care needed, etc. I took five huge boxes of clothes, shoes, handbags, ties and scarves to Goodwill. My hope is that people will enjoy some great bargains in these hard times.
In the mornings, when my brain is fresh, I correct work and teach my online classes. I try to connect with my students, but when I can't sit at my desk anymore, I turn to projects. First I stay in shape and do cardio at least 3 times a week and strengthening exercises 2 or more times per week. I've done lots of gardening, like trimming back limbs. Then I cleaned up one section of the garden under a Japanese maple, and then mulched the area with pine bark mulch.
I would advise to keep yourself fit, do your thinking work in the morning, and then take on small, manageable projects. And wear clothes that make you feel happy.
Yard work, thinning/moving iris/monkey grass plus taking advantage of the weather. Got plants moved just in time for the series of rain bursts (saved $ from using city water in yard and better for the earth).
Going through boxes of 5 different deceased relatives is just at a starting point. Basement is full of misc history, I'd lost my job in the course of parent care and we completed finalizing the two separate estates. Time to move on.
For enjoyment am baking, listening to music, grateful for family/friend Zooms and Facebook with grandchild. Even writing more personal notes for mail.
Take care, be safe, we can change and adapt as generations before.
Our back lot line is enclosed by a long row of flowering bushes, planted in front of a wooden 5 foot high privacy fence. This season, I have been topping the bushes so they are just a few inches taller than the fence. Next year, after they have had time to recover from that stress, I plan to thin their branches so they have better access to sunlight, and also trim out six inches of foliage from ground level so it will be easier to keep the brick-red rubber mulch weeded.
I have been re-learning to play the piano. I was so busy with work and life that I haven't played in at least 20 years. I pulled out my old training books and sheet music and started to play. It has been a slow struggle at first, but it's coming back to me and becoming more and more enjoyable each day.
Clean, clean, clean and reorganize my work space, drink more water and come up some super wonderful recipes that I now share with family and friends. (A blog) Amazing how wonderful soy sauce used as dressing mixed with a bag of cabbage coleslaw, two cut up mandarian oranges, ruby tomatoes, a few black olives, tastes as a salad with white onions. (Couldn't find the bunches of onions.) I believe guacamole chips crushed on top would have made everything good. Stay healthy and go through your closets, drawers, amazing what you may find, "I didn't know I bought that." In good health....
We had actually started to clean out our storage room and our garage. I added shelves in the garage, and we are donating a lot of things to charity. In fact, since charities are limited in what they accept right now (Goodwill in my area is fully closed.), that is a potential bottleneck. But we are soldiering on.
My first bit of advice is to be thankful, practice gratitude for what we have and what is good as you start each day. It has been a life saver for me. I even belong to a daily gratitude group through my meditation app. Just reading the posts helps me through the day as well as remembering what I have to be grateful for.
I have been doing a lot of online things. My online yoga membership is now offering live classes. I do yoga at least 3 days a week. The other days I walk outside if it is nice enough to get outside. When it is cold and rainy I go to YouTube and watch a in home walking video with Leslie Sansome or Lucy Windom Reid. (So I stay active and start my day in a positive way.) I have also been able to get outside and walk with my bestie. We wear masks and practice social distancing. I connect with 3 different groups of friends every morning by texting them, sharing imogies and YouTube videos, etc. We also have HH via zoom which is a lot of fun. I also volunteer online, attend church service online and have a coffee and conversation with church folks. The senior center also offers plenty of online things to do. That should be enough to get you started. Oh today I did a virtual tour of a Frank Lloyd Wright house. Interesting. Also Facebook is a great way to connect with friends all over the world. Cheers