There's little more satisfying than sitting outside on a beautiful Sunday evening with a glass of sauvignon blanc and a feeling of accomplishment.
At long last, the weather has turned into the beautiful spring days expected of early June. The humidity is gone, the breeze is cool and the temperature is reading 78 degrees.
I can't argue with that. This is the weather I've been craving and now it's here, I took full advantage of it.
We did have a hot and humid day yesterday. I decided to forge ahead and lay down the vinyl tiles on the floor. It was hot work but with the help of some upbeat music such as Guns n' Roses, Bon Jovi and, of course, Green Day, coupled with some Frank Sinatra, it wasn't too bad. Of course, Sookie and Rory were of no help at all. For some reason, they decided their job was to lie and doze in the exact spot that I was intending to tile. Also, they decided it was their job to show me that they loved me by trying to climb in my lap. This was appreciated except my fingers were always a little gluey from the sticky tiles and dachshund hair is not fun to have to scrub off with the glue.
Still, I got the job done. The only minor mishap was that during a particularly enthusiastic moment with my Fat Max knife (it's real name!) in which I was cutting a tile to size, I accidentally sliced off the top of my finger. Fortunately, my nail was long and that prevented too much damage but as it stands, I now have a bit of a flat finger and rather a deep cut which went several layers deep. There was quite a lot of blood too. I'm not particularly squeamish but it was not the prettiest thing. Since I originally thought I'd actually sliced my finger off, I was, however, relieved it wasn't that dire.
By the time the room was done, so was Saturday, for the most part. I was pleased with my handiwork. Even though it's not perfect and completely flawless, I love the way the new tile looks and, even better, I did it myself.
Today, I bought some rugs for the room. I bought a 5' x 8' rug and two 2' x 3' rugs for $50. I have a great store nearby for stuff like that called Old Tyme Pottery. It's also fantastic for dinnerware. If ever I'm cooking something fancy and don't have the right plates, that's where I go.
So, with the addition of the rugs, at long last, I can say my Tuscan room is complete. The last touches will be two pieces of unfinished furniture that I want to get and stain myself in a rustic green colour. I need a chest of drawers to hide some of the 'contempory' stuff that I want to store in the room and not display such as my Playstation 2 and I'd like a free standing cupboard for all of my kitchen applicances that don't quite fit in my kitchen cupboards.
Still, even without the furniture, it's a pleasure to sit in that room now. Before I redid it, the room had 1970's dark panelled walls, orange-green shag carpet and rather frumpy flowered curtains that were lovingly made by the former owner of the house but just not my taste. Now, the panellng is a sunny yellow, the floor is mock-teracotta vinyl tiles and the curtains are simple white muslin tied backed with red raffia. I like the final effect. On each wall is a variation on a picture of Tuscany with poppies in the forefront. I love poppies. Poppies are one of those flowers that just make me smile when I see them.
Even though I woke up today stiff and sore from my tiling, I still had an odd need to be productive. Some weekends are like that- I just want to get things done. Thus, I spent the day doing the following:
1) Buying rugs
2) Exchanging the propane tank for my grill. I've become a huge fan of grilling lately. It's quick, easy and the result is pretty darn yummy.
3) Grocery shopping at Jungle Jim's/shopping for my dad's Father's Day present. I'm making him lunch as part of his gift but it isn't as complex as the five-course meal I made for Mother's Day so I got him a bottle of Santa Margherita Chianti to try. He loves the Pinot Grigio and he's a fan of Chianti so it seemed like a smart choice.
4) Mowing the lawn.
5) Weeding the front garden.
6) Making a yummy Fourme d'Ambert baguette sandwich for lunch. Fourme d'Ambert is my current favourite cheese- it's a blue, creamy cheese from France and it's heavenly. I've decided my next culinary challenge is to learn about cheeses. (side note: I need a good book about cheese- any recommendations?)
7) Planting my vegetable garden- I planted peppers, heirloom tomatoes, squash and cucumbers.
8) Cleaning my patio, finally putting my outdoor rug down and setting out the furniture.
9) Cleaning my house- mopping, vacuuming, dusting and bathroom scrubbing.
10) Walking the pups.
11) Sitting outside with a glass of wine and being happy that I've had a productive weekend.
Obviously, the last one is where I am now. I'm smelling both the scent of fresh-cut grass coupled with Pine Sol. It's a good smell. I find that some weekends are best for relaxing but others, like this one, are best spent getting things done. I have to say, I like being productive. It's a wonderful feeling.
Even though it's back to work tomorrow, I can live with that because even though the weekend is waning away, it's waning away as I continue to sit outside, with my laptop, a glass of wine and a dachshund on my lap. It's another one of those moments that's as close to perfect as life gets.
And you just can't beat that, even when a Monday is looming.