4.26.2010

Outdoor Improvements Act

I'm not so into politics even though, ironically, my real job is managing a legislation-tracking publication. I pay close attention, but I just can't get passionate about any one issue since I have a tendency to get overly involved; I have to save that passion for the Hive. But putting that aside, how cool would it be for all this economic stimulus hoopla to include an Outdoor Improvements Act? I'd love some of that "free" cash being thrown around to put toward a new fence, or shed, or even that pergola/deck/porch thingy I've been dreaming about. Maybe I'll write my senator to see if we can tack it on to some obscure bill that's sure to be pushed through without any opposition....

All dreaming aside, we are working on our own outdoor improvements around here slowly but surely. Last week I picked up a set of three terracotta pots that have a metallic pewter glaze from Home Goods. I put the two smaller pots on the front steps to be planted with some ever-blooming annuals, and placed the third between the two patio loungers we had shipped from Maine.
As soon as I have a free moment to get to our local nursery, I plan to buy a couple of tomato plants and some materials to build a climbing structure for the vines. S hates tomatoes, which is fine by me and my fresh tomato-loving taste buds.

While I was at Home Goods I also bought a blue glazed pot to liven up our small picnic table and placed the boxwood bush inside it that my mom bought and left behind when she was here a few weeks ago.
Yesterday I asked the paint experts at our local Benjamin Moore store what they recommend we use to restore the cedar table's finish. When I first bought the table seven or eight years ago (from an old-time wood worker in Rangeley, Maine who is legally blind), I used a Sikkens Marine finish on it, but found that whenever it was humid out the finish would come off on my clothes. Not cool. The paint guys said that Sikkens now makes semi-solid outdoor furniture finishes, and not surprisingly, I found a shade of gray that I really liked. I've added "refinish the table set" to our to-do list.

I've also added "sew outdoor cushions" to the to-do list after buying a few yards of some outdoor fabric.
The blue is for a square accent pillow for each of the two adirondack chairs that we have next to each of our entry doors and the teal is for a couple of rectangular pillows for the lounge chairs. If I have any leftover teal fabric, I'll reupholster the round seat cushions on our black metal bistro set (which also needs a good coat of spray paint while we're at this whole outdoor improvements gig).

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