Each time I come here the house feels more homey. I'm not sure if this is because it's gradually accruing furniture and other conveniences, or whether it's just becoming familiar. Little details are getting done. A ceiling fan, already destroyed by ants, is replaced. The patio is cleared again of leaves and weeds, some crushed limestone is spread around and new plants are heeled in. Even the unrenovated old addition at the back of the house looks more charming with a new fringe of spiky snake plants along its footings. One night I stood out there, admiring the changes and the glow of the patio lights. For the first time it felt like a pleasant place to hang out, not just a fairly unattractive space with "potential". I shared the early evening stillness with with a small bat that swooped about the patio, hunting insects.
It has been busy, getting jobs finished, furnishing, arranging, overseeing. Cleaning. Lots of cleaning. I learned that white vinegar, undiluted, really does do a good job of removing the mineral deposits, or sarro, that build up everywhere that the hard tap water collects - there was a lot on the kitchen sink and the ceramic floors. I think some harsh chemicals, like muriatic acid, had been used on it in the past without complete success in removing it. But I soaked a dry cloth in straight vinegar and left it on any particularly nasty spot for an hour or so, and the sarro dissolved and wiped away easily. No scrubbing!
Sarro bugs me a lot. I've whined before about what it does to hair - mine is already coarse, and within a few days of exposure to tap water it's stiff with buildup. Now that I have large garafons of water in the house, I'm indulging in washing and rinsing hair with bottled water. It seems like a guilty indulgence, but it seems to work.
Just because I love before-and-after pictures, here are a few. It's still a work in progress, so maybe they are really before-and-during pictures. Still, it's encouraging to see the difference.