Cleaning up the corners, outdoors and within.

Pressure washing the grape vine covered rustic garden shed for spring |

I am rather proud of me.

I use to work all day, then all evening. Or even late into the night to compensate for day appointments. Workworkwork.

These days, my regular routine is much different. Much.

After dinner, I get outdoors and walk or bike or both. Then I come into the house, shower, then basically collapse while watching Ellen or a little Netflix (currently on 17 Reasons Why), then hit the hay early.

Basically put, I’ve needed to become kinder to myself. As part of my better-me plan, I’ve even started going to counselling, which has been completely enlightening. I’m generally working on behalf of other’s issues, which left no time for me. I’ve gained weight, become more unhealthy, and neglected so many things that I personally need.

As a result of the changes, I’m starting to feel human again. Stronger. Encouraged.

And booking all kinds of overdue appointments. Such as teeth implants (yikes$$$) and a possible upcoming foot surgery (oh goodness…)

While I love to travel, this may be the year to stay home or perhaps travel my own region instead. We shall see where things go…

One key point that I’m trying to hold onto this past week is, “Accept another’s choices.”

Being reminded that others do have the choice to live their life their way… good or bad… was, well, rather enlightening.

“I accept your choices” isn’t easy, but it has helped enormously. Sometimes you just have to walk alongside someone as they journey through their own process. (vs in front of or behind)

So anyway, if you are interested in hearing little snippets of what I’ll be learning each week, let me know.

Pressure washing the rustic garden shed for spring |
Being that I’m attempting to stay more active (MOVE MOVE MOVE), I recently tackled the great outdoors.

I’m looking to downsize the things that just seem to drain time away that give no joy back. So I’ll be losing a few flowerbeds and turning them back into lawn. The yard as is has become a little too much to care for with my time and health. (and dare I say age…)

Anyway, first up was to clean up the corners.

Indoors, I like to refer to this step as ‘picking up nests’. You know how piles of stuff seem to just appear everywhere? Nests!

rubber tipped garden gloves
The outdoor corners can get just as cluttered.

And there is nothing quite like throwing on your garden gloves, getting on your knees and reaching every square inch.

Pulling out weeds among freshly trimmed evergreen hedges
I don’t like my current weed eater, so it’s hands and knees pulling until I pick a new one up that I do want again.

I’ve also been struggling with the amount of moss in the lawn the past few years. I know what it needed, but it was too much for me to manage on my own, and every time I attempted to hire another, they didn’t show up. So I gave up.

power raking the lawn to get rid of the moss

Until now. My amazing neighbour Hank has a connecting front yard to mine, and after he removed the moss on his lawn, asked me if I wanted mine done too!

Oh goodness… I need to buy this man a pizza!

power raking the lawn to get rid of the moss
So grateful! This will be huge. There was so much moss, it felt like I was pushing my lawnmower over it without wheels.

clay pots and dead plants and a shed that needs pressure washing
Then I was REALLY encouraged to spiff up the outdoors.

Can you guess what came next?

clay pots and dead plants and a potting shed that needs pressure washing
Pressure washing
is imperative in my yard. I have lots of north facing stuff, hence the lovely shade of green on everything.

freshly pressure washed potting bench attached to a rustic shed
It’s a lot of work, but always worthwhile. I use to do it ALL in one day, but these days I break it up. The back yard is first, then the front yard another day.

I like doing the back first because then I feel good about sitting on my patio sooner than later!

And it encourages new patio projects too! Which it indeed started… can’t wait to show you next week!

Freshly pressure washed potting shed in the spring

The shed among other areas, is now squeaky clean, ready for new inspiring ideas!

Pressure washing the grape vine covered rustic garden shed for spring |
Pressure washing the grape vine covered rustic garden shed for spring |
Here’s to new happy beginnings, outdoors AND within…


Wow, you guys! This post was only going to be about cleaning outside. I nearly removed all the personal references several times over. Now I’m really glad I didn’t.

I will indeed share what I learn as I walk through this season of change. Thank you for your thumbs up and interest!

Now I’d better get to work… 🙂

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Categories: Gardening, Junk Drawer, Outdoors, Seasonal, Spring
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50 thoughts on “Cleaning up the corners, outdoors and within.

  1. Wow Donna, you sure have been busy! That’s a lot of things to tick off your To Do list, well done 🙂

    Self-care is so important, but a big part of it is realising the things that just aren’t good for you any more, even if they once were. Like your flower beds, I’m sure you once loved them, but now they just don’t serve you in the same way. It’s not worth keeping something if it detracts from your life.

    Hank sounds great, can I borrow him? Haha! So very nice of him to help you out like that, I say get him an extra-large pizza.

    I’d love to hear what more you are learning each week! Also, I hope the foot op isn’t anything too drastic.
    Take care!

  2. In the Midwest, we really don’t have moss problems. Do you still have to mow moss? If not, I might embrace having a moss lawn and get rid of the grass!
    Also, after raising 3 kids, I can just say this. Letting them learn from their mistakes is healthy. Have I always done that? Well, no. But I am learning from my mistakes, too. Lol kudos for counseling. Life isn’t easy but is certainly isn’t boring.

  3. Yes Donna please continue to post your insights. We can all relate! This is why I think people get more interesting as they get older. Especially if we are willing to open ourselves to new learning and spiritual and emotional growth. ❤️

  4. I truly get so happy when one of your posts is in my inbox—I love every single one. This is one of the best. I would love a weekly update of your insights. It actually helps me on my path of cleaning up my life inside and out. Any help and insight would be greatly appreciated.

  5. Yes please continue! We all have “issues” to deal with, They just may not be obvious to other people. It really helps sometimes just knowing thatt you’re not alone.
    I’m glad you are taking care of YOU. You will be so much better in everything else!

  6. Paring down on the yard work is kind of like “downsizing” your yard commitment. I have found myself doing the same. One technique I am employing is trading plants/flowers with flowering bushes. The bushes do flower once a year, can be acquired in greens and and burgundy colors, and require little more than a trim… or not. It cuts down on the weeding, tremendously. Also, got a huge load of free wood chips that I generously spread, helping take some yard areas back to a more natural feel…… and lots of ground cover, both myrtle and ivy. As I get older, I don’t want my yard to determine if I am “handling” living independently. I am sure you will come up with creative ways to make your yard more carefree and I’d love to hear them. Best wishes on this journey.

  7. Good morning! Just read your post– I’m 66 years old and I have not done enough for myself!! Please take ME TIME—I have always taken care of everyone but me. Not good!! So I’m glad you decided to change your lifestyle— I’m working on my life now. It’s never too late!! Love your website and you do a outstanding job!! Take care!??

  8. This sounds like my life. Thanks for sharing. Good. luck on you’re journey. I may start my own.

  9. So happy to hear you are on a good path now. I hope it leads where you need it to go. We ALL have the same (give or take) struggles so yes, I like to hear about them. Maybe you might have a tip for progress that I have not thought of myself. I wish all the best for you!

  10. I, too, am interested in your insights so I hope you will continue to share them. I am still learning from my adult children to accept their choices. It’s not easy. I’m also happy to hear you are being better to yourself. Great post! Thank you.

  11. Staying on your path & not walking on others path is a reminder I really needed. Thanks precious girl. I can say that because I am 73 and you are still young. Yes, I am interested in your progress and hoping we can keep reaching for what gives us joy- makes us happy. This is also the juice of life and the secret to health. It’s a challenge my girl! Are you surprised you have a grandma age reader? Enjoy your blog very much. Hugs, Ruth ( from Oregon)

  12. I love your shed! So very cute outside. But why is it full of fire wood? Any plans to empty it out and make useable space inside? We recently moved an old wooden 6 sided grain bin to our backyard. Added a door and windows and now it is our party barn. Hosting my Bunko group next week! Would live to send you a picture but don’t know how to attach here.

    • Hi Liz! It’s the only dry place I have to store firewood. Currently. Things could change! Maybe. But this does work. 🙂 I have another shed with garden things but it isn’t nearly as pretty. Might have to change that!

  13. I always appreciate learning through other’s experiences with personal growth. It helps me! Thanks for being honest and transparent….so needed in our world. Good for you in taking care of YOU.

  14. Donna, I’d love to hear what you learn each week. We are so much more than just our minds and bodies and we have so much interior strength and courage, we just need sometimes someone to help us discover the wonderful bits of us!!

    PS pressure washing the physical stuff outside is almost as exciting as discovering our inner true self, brings much joy!!

  15. Good for you…… Keep up the good work and let us know now and then what you are learning. I think most of us could use some corner cleaning.

  16. Hi Donna, I can only echo what has been said previously. You are brave to open yourself up but it is also part of the healing process. “Walking beside, instead of in front or behind” is something that can be a lifetime lesson, many of your followers can relate to. I certainly do! I am a few decades older and life issues always present themselves. I have to stop and ask myself what is important at this moment, to spend time and energy on. You sound like you are on the right track to me. Keep up the good work and know that you are getting hugs from afar.

  17. I can relate with the yard work getting out of control. This is the first year I hired a lawn service. All I can say is it’s worth every single penny! Now I can focus on my flower beds (yikes they need help). I looked for a woman owned business and found the most adorable business – “The Dirty Hoe” (that name just cracks me up). The owner not only offers landscaping service, but she also does a little bit of hardscaping and she has the most adorable garden shop with mostly handmade garden art and birdhouses. I know it’s hard to admit that we can’t do what we used to, but when some things are hired out it allows you to focus more on the things that make you happy, not the things that have to be done. I’d love to hear about more of your insights, I’m always looking for ways to improve my inner self.

  18. Yes, please keep posting your insights! We are all just human and trying to do the best we can and often doing the best involves help from others, just as we help others when we can. BTW, I have a mossy lower yard (lots of shade) and find it makes a fine ground cover beneath the large trees, so I embrace it!

  19. I would love to hear your little snippets of your journey into “self-care”. I am so on this journey with you!

  20. I so relate to the accepting others’ choices thing….. several months ago I took a minute and sought counseling, too. Since those highly successful few hours I’ve been able to make better choices regarding my involvement in what other people say to me or about me. I don’t have to participate in the lives of my family just because they’re family if by doing so creates chaos in my life. It’s a choice. All this time I’ve been feeling so guilty for not having a good relationship with my sister but she is not an honest person… so… if I am not involved in her life I don’t have to know what lies she tells or who she tells them to and if she’s telling someone who avoids me as a result of her lies without discussing with me… then that’s their choice as well. I’m not really in it unless I want to be. And those that are in it have the same choice. It is advice that has carried over well in all aspects of my life… home, work, friends, family, etc. I feel so much lighter….

  21. I would love to hear more snippets Donna. You have always been a huge inspiration for me. Please look after yourself. My mom always said if your jug is running to empty, there’s just no way you can help someone else fill theirs.

  22. Donna
    Love everything about this post! Congrats on counseling! It’s the best investment in one’s self! I forget where do you live? It’s so pretty. I love the shed. I am prepping for an annual community garage sale and thoughts of “less is more” is creeping into my mind more and more. xo laura

  23. Donna,
    I would love to follow along in your journey. I recently found out I had a silent heart attack.
    I need to be kinder to me! I would love for you to share your insights!

    Smiles, alice

  24. Can’t wait to hear more about these great changes you are making in your life! It has taken me 70 years to come to some of the conclusions you have made about being kinder to yourself, eliminating projects and responsibilities that don’t bring you joy anymore and learning to ‘let go and let God’ with our loved ones. Thank you for always generously sharing your life with us all, it is always so encouraging and uplifting to know we are not alone in our struggles. It’s exciting to see what this new season of life will bring to your life, sweet Donna. ps I have found that being kinder to myself has brought more creativity into my life and more compassion for friends and family. Who knew 🙂

  25. Wow, you guys! This post was only going to be about cleaning outside. I nearly removed all the personal references several times over. Now I’m really glad I didn’t.

    I will indeed share what I learn as I walk through this season of change. Thank you for your thumbs up and interest!

    Now I’d better get to work… 🙂

  26. Yes, I definitely want to hear about ur counseling and what you think! Thank you got sharing. I’ve used counseling myself. U r so right about it being enlightening. Nothing like talking with a friendly, objective person. Sorta like a power washing for the mind! Lol. And I’ve always said “counseling is the best money I’ve ever spent”

  27. Am looking forward to reading about your journey. Due to the unexpected death of my beloved brother I’m questioning life, myself, and it seems everything. I believe we’re on our way to a better place. Best wishes.

  28. Great for you even telling people that you are in counselling. So many of us and I think more woman than men actually realize there comes a time in their life that this needs to be done. But most people do not talk about it. I would love to hear how your health and wellness issues go. Along with the cleaning of space this should make you feel things are a bit lighter, than when things are just all messed up.

    I am cheering for you Donna!!!

    Also an other Crafter from Vancouver BC.

  29. I so enjoy your blog and have read it for years. We recently became empty nesters which is such an adjustment. I believe 99.8 percent of women always put themselves last. It is our nature to nurture everyone around us. I need some form of counseling as you are doing. Life sent us many hard curve balls the last three years and it is very hard to remain positive. Thanks for sharing and motivationg me.

  30. OH BOY can I relate to scaling down the yard work. When we built our house 14 yrs. ago, my passion was to have lots of flowers; all perennials but still work. Now, ageing has come into the picture and as a matter of fact, today, I hired a crew to clean up all the flower beds and add mulch. My husband is not a gardener; he moves the heavier stuff for me and keeps the grass trimmed and cut but not inclined to help pull weeds!!! My daughter and grand kids all have homes and yards of their own soooo, need to hire someone to help.

    Women in general do not make themselves a priority. I have experience in making others first. It does not pay well in the end.

    Interested in any words of wisdom you can share through your counseling results. I mostly use my sister-in-law and daughter as my sounding boards!!!
    Sometimes that is good and sometimes it is not.
    So glad you are continuing to enjoy the outdoors…that is good for us all.

  31. Donna – I would love to hear what you are learning each week, because I need to start work on my health and well being also. My youngest got married last weekend and now hubby and I have an empty nest…but it is in need of de-cluttering and fixing up a bit, just like my life needs some de-cluttering!

    Accepting another’s choices is not easy, especially if it’s someone you love dearly! Yep, I’m working on that one too!

  32. Glad to hear that you’re taking some me time, it’s important to take a slower pace and enjoy your work. Thanks for sharing your journey with us. God’s blessings

  33. I can so identify with you about needing change. As for the yard and flower beds each year it gets harder to manage. I am 76 yrs. old and I miss my old stamina. I wish you well on your journey to be in a better place. Love your blog, read it every day.

  34. Hi Donna. I’m a little behind in writing you about this post. To tell the truth I may have already written, but don’t remember. Sorry, life is a little busy. I loved this post. A gift has been bestowed upon you from God and I sure appreciate it and have benefitted from it over the years. Please keep us updated on how you’re doing. I too went to counseling and it could you say ‘saved my sanity’. The knowledge and understanding I gained made it possible to actually process things and it took the overwhelming scary aspects of the difficult time and made it better. Thank you so much for sharing and being there. You have helped me more than you know in learning how to make do and even like it with what I have and to keep on trying. Have a good day and keep on ‘trucking’!

  35. I’m guilty as the next woman for not taking time for herself, always making sure every one else is happy. Now approaching 50 with 2 teenagers looking in the mirror,I don’t know how I let myself go but never imagined I’d look like I do. There’s an old saying about there are 1,440 minutes in each day, take 15 for yourself, trying to start with small steps like that in my journey!

  36. you have a gift to be able to share from the heart. would love to hear about what you are learning or how you are taking better care of yourself…enjoy those walks/bike rides!

  37. Donna, you have been and continue to be an inspiration to me! It amazes me how your personal stories can sometimes mirror mine and in turn you help me figure things out. You are a strong and fascinating woman who I admire – travelling to Hawaii by yourself, bike riding on a train bed, coping with a teenager (oh how I know about that) and everything else life throws your way. I raise my glass of wine to you. Here’s to self care all the way from eastern Ontario. Hugs.

  38. Oh my word. I needed this! I just wrote a post this week about a big pity party I threw for myself. (It was horrible.) This week I realized I have let lots of things go on a personal level and have even started resenting people that take the time for themselves. I was JUST complaining yesterday about the 15lbs I’ve gained, the chipped tooth that I haven’t taken the time to schedule, and I followed up those complaints with the statement, “And, I need a therapist because I feel I am losing my mind.” UGH. ? I just found your blog today so please keep us posted on how much better you feel. I know what I need to do starting NOW.

  39. Congratulations on seeking to clean out your life! I was stunned at how remarkably similar our stories are! Like you, I have had too much on my plate for years, missing opportunities to do the things I truly enjoy- crafting, garden traveling! Suddenly, after years of counseling I realized that the only person who will cheer for me ultimately, is ME! I have since made some very hard decisions marriage-wise, career-wise and health-care. Just knowing that I have the strength now, the will power to “clean out my corners” keeps me going. I will not give up my power to others anymore! Good luck with your continued “spring cleaning”, and I wish you ALL in the best.

  40. You’ll probably have to start a separate blog for your counseling insights! I enjoyed ten free counseling sessions through our local Senior Center and then have been meeting and/or having phone sessions with a peer counselor for over a year. It has been very helpful and, yet, frustrating. Sometimes, at 73, you just feel as if “this is what I am and I can’t see how to change.” Co-dependency is a real struggle.

  41. Kudos to you Donna! Change is good for us as we journey through our lives. You are not alone, no one is. When reading my favorite few blogs and following them over the past few years most have made the same changes. Coming to terms with overload and too much put on ourselves by ourselves. As well as blogging, something I thought about doing long ago. But now when reading my favorite blog ladies, most just want to streamline the blogging too because all takes precious time away from other things we want to do for ourselves. So having said all that, Kudos to you for taking the steps for yourself to enjoy this precious gift of Life. I too garden and work outside, much work to do this time of year….and then comes the house. Something usually has to give, so I am all about streamlining the “To Do List”!!

  42. HI Donna, so proud of you for working on yourself and sharing it with us! I have been following your blog for awhile and I’m always inspired by you. I have a question and hope it’s not too off topic for this post. I’ve never used power tools and I want to start, what would you suggest starting with? I’d love to build a small table, but thought only guys do this, lol. Thanks for any advice!

    • Hi Eileen!

      Thank you so very much for the kind words!

      The most basic tools would be a cordless drill (not too heavy, I love a smaller Makita), a complete bit kit (Makita sells the kits so you have everything you need in a case) a table top miter saw (makes for safer cutting), and a palm sander (I like the Bosch variable speed). A jig saw is handy so you can hand cut some things the miter saw can’t do.

      You can read my full DIY Tool suggestion post at:

      Hope that helps! And yes… get stocked up! Go into a tool store (that offers good customer service) and pick things up so you can test out comfort.

  43. There’s so much I love about this post! First off – that shed is so adorable!!! Second – yes, please keep sharing your journey. You know we all need therapy, so until we get our own, we can learn from you 🙂

  44. What a perfect post arriving at the PERFECT time. I did some cleaning out at home before I headed out-of-town for a 6 week mental health retreat. Tomorrow I return to life with a new outlook and new priorities, me. 60 was definitely a new beginning of less for me. Glad you are sharing your journey with us.

  45. I was “thumbing through my cell phone, finding nothing. Decided to check my Email and opened “Home, something or other… and I found you. My husband passed away only a week ago and I can’t seem to focus on anything.
    I love your Craft projects, but your Mental projects are so good for me. My friends and my family are wonderful and so supportive. But reading your words of insight and change has made a better sense to me than what my family is saying. I’m 71 and I thought I’d be Wise and Able by this age…. You have opened my heart and my ability to think clearly. Thank You!! I’m so grateful for your insight and openess. I’m trying to figure out how to find your Post again, so Please don’t go away… Perhaps “We” shall change together ?. ?

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