1/19/15

Why I can't read Apartment Therapy much anymore....

This quote is from here 

 "Your home a space where you can retreat from the outside world and focus on what is healthful and centering for you. Tonight, why not make that make that retreat just a bit more intentional - a little quieter and deeper than usual - and see how it feels? This evening, take a break from what is for many of us the default way we relax at home; turn off the tv, put down the smart phone and and give a media fast a try." 


I am not bound to my technology. I do not need this hippy dippy bullshit to tell me to get off my computer, or phone, or tv. If I didn't want to have them on, I wouldn't. Sitting in my living room with the tv turned off isn't going to make me look "deeper" into myself, or my house, or anything.  

In this house, in this family, we are in charge of our lives. That includes what we bring into it- like technology. It's a tool. One we use,  and one that we are in control of, not one we have to run away from. 

So, yesterday we started cleaning up the basement, so we can start using that room. ARG, I almost typed space.   Anyway, we re-set the furniture, cleaned off the pool table, and we PURGED! 3 Boxes of garage sale merchandise, a bag of dress clothing to be donated to the first lady's attic at the University, and an entire truck load of stuff to take to the Goodwill...




There's two chairs, a few boxes of assorted stuff, baskets that my Mr. hates, and other things back there. I just hope Goodwill is open today so this stuff can get out of our lives. 

I'm working on another bag of clothing to donated myself today. I have reached my "goal" of items purged from this house, and we haven't even touched the garage yet. 


which is an utter disgrace. But, it's too cold out right now to do anything about this- and that's not an excuse. It's just too cold. But soon, this is fair game too..... 

1/15/15

The kitchen cure 2015

I'm actually not a huge fan of Apartment Therapy.  I'm not going to go into the myriad of reasons why. Sometimes though, I do the Cure that they promote.  I do it on my own time though ,and rarely get involved in the "community" over there...... I started work in the kitchen this week. Late. But as I said, I am not actually following their cure.   Here is a link to their post.  

They put the cleaning and organizing of the kitchen into two different days/posts.  I have a VERY tiny kitchen, so I wasn't worried about the time frame.

I did clean and organize the entire kitchen and pantry. I scrubbed the floors and cabinets. I cleaned my fridge. I organized the pantry and moved some stuff around. I made a list of things that I need to do, but can't until Spring.  

Now, I'm not done yet. Mainly, because I can't figure out what I really want to put in my open shelves. I feel like I want a change, but I also have to think of ease of use.  So....thinking is putting me behind schedule. I can actually live with that.

Before- Pantry....





Yes, not pretty. This is the size of a decedent walk in closet.  The floor space is approx. 4x4 ft and there are 6 built in drawers and then the shelves that you see. The one wall is pegboard for my pans. I actually like this pantry. It works, and has storage. 

After. 



Not only did I clean and organize, I put some of the food in storage jars and cleaned the drawers. 




Then, I went to work in the kitchen itself.. I cleaned out the drawers and threw away a few icky wooden spoons. 

No before pics...sorry. 




I just need to figure out if there is a better way to put these dishes in these cabinets. I also oiled the butcher blocks.... 


And I made pizza. 


Half with onions. 


I will have more kitchen pictures later....this weekend we have work in the basement scheduled. Fingers crossed we actually do it. 

1/14/15

Words I hate.

Here are some words that I hate. I hate to hear them being used. I try to never use them. I wish they would just go away. 




1. Curate. If you don't work for a museum. don't use this word.  You don't curate what you have on your coffee table.  You can collect items, you can remove things.  It is an editorial process, but don't tell me you curated your music list. You didn't.  You can put things together. Most people who use the word  "curate" are just regurgitating something they heard. Don't be that person. 

2. Spaces.  You have a room. You have a house, or a garden, or a yard. I hear spaces, and I think of industrial complexes or office buildings, not someones beloved home. 

3. I hate it when people use the word "literally" incorrectly. You do not literally  work your ass off.  He is not literally driving you crazy.  Don't add superlative words you don't need, or don't understand. 

4. Viral. If you send your cousin a video, and she sends it to three friends, and that's where it stops....it did not go viral. Viral is ....psy gangnam style, or grumpy cat. Actually, just stop talking about things "going viral" if you are over 12. 

5. Hack.  " I hacked that Ikea cart into a rolling beverage tray" No, you used the Ikea cart for a bar.  Or," how to hack your breakfast " instead of  "here's some tips on how to make breakfast/easier/faster/better for you "  What's worse than "hack"? LIFE HACK. PLEASE. stop it now. You mean tips. Here are some TIPS. 

6. Bae. This is just stupid if you are over 12. Don't use it. 

Listen, I know that language is fluid and changes with the times. But words have power, and you have to use them correctly. 

1/13/15

working concept for my walk in closet........

walk in closet ideas.... 1

The door is ALMOST done. It's in, it closes, but the trim isn't in yet, and I still need to paint. BUT, I can start working soon! 

1/8/15

I don't normally make new years resolutions.

In 2015 I am going to..... 
1. Sleep earlier, rise earlier - get off my phone, get off my tablet, stop watching Adult Swim at 11 pm. Just go to sleep.  I will not hit the snooze button 11 times. I will just wake up. 
2. Read more -not  just blogs and magazines... well I'll read them too. But I am going to read. Fiction, non fiction. For adults, with adult themes, not just YA, although there's nothing wrong with that.....Newspapers (what are those? ) More reading. 
3.. Eat well - and I don’t mean diet. I mean, eat well. Eat healthy, eat differently. Go to cafes. Eat farm to table if you want, but eat well. Try new things. Work on portion sizes. Don't eat crap just to eat.
4. Give myself one hour of me time weekly to take care of myself.... use leave in conditioner, use a face mask....shave my legs higher than the knee..put on nice smelling lotion and comfy pajamas. Don't just hide out in the bathroom behind a locked door to read my email..... 
5. Put in an effort in how I look -do my hair, put on clothes that aren't just a t shirt and jeans (or worse- yoga pants and t shirt, a simple coat of mascara and lip gloss.... I know it'll make me feel better.
6. Learn new VOCAB - because why the fuck not? Write down your new words that you learn while reading, use them in conversations- I'm not too old.  Learn ALL the new things! 
7. Plan an outing once a month - have something to look forward to, to be excited for. Experience

8. Set small goals - 3 small things to do every day, and don’t sleep till you have them done. 
9. Meet new people - don’t be so quick to judge. Not everyone is an asshole. Even if some days it feels like it. 
10. My art - practice makes perfect. Just do it!  and when you can’t do it,  learn. Discover artists and their pieces, their inspirations, their style.  Try new things, new styles. Do something every single day- even if it's just a sketch of something I want to do later.....

2015. It's a new year, why be content with the old things! Keep the good, change the bad. 

1/5/15

Winter is here with a vengeance.....

Thursday it was like this....
Yes, I know, it's not a great picture, but it was just supposed to be a photo of the new roof, not a "look at how little snow we have in January" photo..... 

Yesterday we had a "snow event" 10 inches or so in a day. Then some ice. Then some blowing, and drifting. Now.... we have no school and this... 





these are the trees you can see in the upper right corner of the roof picture. 

Do I have to tell you how much this sucks?

1/3/15

Smaller houses and simplified lives.....

I have a pretty small house.  A bit over 1000 sqft on the main floor, and another 800 sqft or so in the basement (that legally doesn't count, but that's another story). So, for a family of 3, we have enough space, but just enough. It's a 3 (very small) bedroom, 1 1/2 bathroom home, with a full dining room and living room. It does though, have the very smallest kitchen I have ever seen. EVER. We call it the one person kitchen, and that's no joke.

Anyway, what I am getting to, is that I have a small house, with some storage, but we have a TON of STUFF.  As my Grandfather used to say, 10 pounds of shit in a 5 pound bag.  We have a ton of technology- tablets, smart tv's, smart phones, gaming systems and on and on. Now, these are sort of necessary, as it's horrible here in the winter, and we all need something to get us through. As I type this, we're in the middle of a blizzard.

Why am I going on and on? We just had the roof re done this past week. The Amish came and in the worst weather possible, stripped off the shingles, and put up a new metal roof.  It got me thinking. Do we need all this stuff? Do we? Can we have SOME stuff, but not this much? I mean, does my 10 year old son really need 17 pair of jeans?  11 sweatshirts? Do I need over 100 pr of shoes- especially since I only wear 6  or so?  I'm thinking that there are people out there who really NEED the items that I have stored in my tiny closets.


It's time for new years resolution's, and although I rarely go in for those kind of things, I think this year I might make a point of simplifying my life, and my possessions.  I just need to make a plan.

More soon.

Happy New Years!


12/31/14

I am in awe of the Amish....

The roof on the house is on, tomorrow they do the garage and the final bits and pieces. It's amazing. There are two workman, and two helpers (who get the shingles and things to the dumpster) It was 9 degrees today. 9. Fahrenheit. , snowing and with the wind , it "felt like" -1 outside. They work SO hard. It's amazing. They come inside, take a break and we dry their coats and shirts in the dryer for them, then they are right back at it. Their work ethic is amazing.

Here are some updates.  (I had to wait until they were done for the day and gone, you don't take photos of the Amish)


This needs to be emptied. 

The back of the house...... 

and the front. 
The bar across the front you see is to keep the ice from falling down and beaning your head in the winter.....


12/29/14

We're getting a new roof tomorrow!

Yep. In the winter. The local Amish do the work, and make the metal roof. It's a brown/slate color. They'll come tomorrow and start, they say it takes about 3 days. We'll see. I won't though, I can't be here when they rip the roof off of my house. I can't bear it.


Pictures to come.


Before.


In ;the summer of course. And this was taken a few years ago, before we re did the porch.... so. just look at the roof.

Good night.

12/28/14

Not a creature was stirring....

Did everyone have a Merry Christmas? Ours went surprisingly well- and that is pretty amazing because of how the day started. 

We told our son to stay in his room until 8am on Christmas morning. (unless he had to go to the bathroom, we wanted our sleep, but we're not monsters). He's good about stuff like this, so we had no worries.... at 6.15 AM the boy started banging on our bedroom door, yellling that there was "an EMERGENCY". I sat up all sorts of horrid thoughts in my head, my Mr. jumped out of bed and as we opened up the door, the boy was screaming and crying that the cat had brought a dead mouse into his room. 

A dead mouse. And, the cat was throwing it up in the air and catching it..... he was having the time of his life, the cat, not so much the mouse. 

I got the boy into bed, and tried to explain how the cat saw everyone give him presents on Christmas Eve, and how the cat LOVED him so much, he wanted to get the boy something too. Since he's a cat, he brought him a mouse, the ultimate sign of love. Plus, where else was the cat going to get him a present? Amazon? The boy wasn't impressed. 

My Mr. got the poor mousy remains removed from his room, and we got the boy to go back to sleep in our bed until almost 9am -no way was he going back to his room, that room has "mouse Cooties". When he got up, he was better, Christmas morning went on without another hitch, and he loves his presents. 

I had a lot of laundry to do (the mouse had been....well played with and on his blanket and robe before being removed)but there was no blood, so that wasn't such a chore....... The boy forgave the cat, and has invited him back into his room. We have one less mouse, and a heck of a Christmas story......... 

The killer..... 


The tree 


The boy 


No mouse picture. I have one, but why would I subject ya'll to a picture of a dead mouse in a garbage can?   

Happy Holidays! 

12/23/14

It's Christmas Eve, eve.... and I have no gifts wrapped.

Not one. I have bought them though, so there's that.  Nor is the house clean. Even remotely. I haven't left the house in 4 days and I feel stir crazy.....but, it's icy outside and so I'm stuck. Plus, the boy is getting over a cold/flu/something.  I am going to cook....something for Christmas dinner tomorrow. What? Whatever is in the pantry. And a ham. I have a ham.  Why? because everyone is coming over here. Yippee.

We're going to have some sort of holiday storm come in tonight or tomorrow.....so there's that. We might have a white Christmas....which would be miles better than the wet/muddy/icy muck we have out there right now..... .In addition, the septic is having some sort of issue (minor I hope) so we have people coming over Friday to check that out, and then Monday, if the weather holds, I get a new roof put on this hell hole. Metal. Slate colored. Installed by the Amish.  I think the next 7 to 10 days might be a bit rough, so don't expect me to be chitter chatting away here. I might just stay in bed with my head under a pillow.

Merry freakin Christmas.



Now that that's out of my system, maybe I can get back to normal and get things pulled together here.  Here's hoping. 

12/20/14

My baby boy is a wrestler......



He's too young to be on the actual team, but the coach starts them young so they can learn how to do the proper holds and how to be a member of a team. It's pretty amazing actually.  He's just a little guy, and quite a pacifist in real life, but apparently, he's an "animal" on the mat.

12/19/14

A picture so great, I couldn't leave it on my other blog without sharing......

My Mom found this today. That's my Uncle John, me in the middle, and my little brother. According to the back of this picture, we're in my Aunts dorm room at campus. All I know, is that is one hell of a bedspread.  I have to be around..... 6 or so in this picture I'm guessing. And, I remember that pink vest I'm wearing. It was crocheted by my Grandmother. It was my favorite thing to wear for a while.  I don't remember this picture being taken, but I do have memories of that time, so for that, I'm thankful.

12/15/14

37th Street Christmas Lights







This is one of the things I miss most about Austin......

we'd walk the street, wander in peoples yards (totally cool to do, most of these houses have decorated front and back yards) talk to folks and have a generally great night. Then, we'd go off to either have adult beverages or Amy's ice cream. Either, not both. Gross.


12/10/14

Christmas in an elementary school

I teach some art to 4th graders. I'm not a teacher though. Our school doesn't have any money for an art program, so a few of us got together and started "facilitating" art classes. I've been doing it for a couple years now, even though my child is no longer at the school. It's fun. The kids love it, and it's something for me to do.  This year, another mother and I got together and decided to make a "holiday village' scene using 4th grade art pieces.  One class did elves and snowmen, another did buildings, and the third did trees (the trees are fantastic and took a long time). She and I put it together and installed it in the entryway..... here it is in all it's glory.....



There is about 16 feet of holiday board here total, 12 of the village, and 4 of the North Pole. 



Mrs. Clause saying goodbye 

There's a cardinal on the tree top because we're the Cardinals! 

The North Pole board 


Mrs. Shrek is in the woods.... 



67 kids did the pieces for this. It was a lot of fun to help them with this.....

 One student said, "It really speaks Christmas spirit". Another student said, "We all made something to have for Christmas that we can look at and think that we worked together to make this awesome Christmas picture".


11/28/14

Real life. Real rooms.

Two months ago I re did my bedroom.  New fabrics, new paint. New accessories, well some of them at least.  I showed the pictures (even though I am NO photographer) and then moved on. So, sometimes I wonder when I see other peoples spaces- so exactly how long did the room look like the "new" pictures? Did it stay that way? Did they junk it up again?  So, I took some pictures of my bedroom today... and the bathroom I just re-did. All I did to the bedroom was make the bed. Honest.

Now, I have changed out the curtains in the bedroom- it's WINTER here. COLD, snowy. Icky. I put up some velvets, and put the white cotton ones in storage until spring. Plus, there are now two duvets on the bed and a velvet throw because, it's WINTER here. So without further  adieu... ....


The bedroom, almost two months later....


I did put up new art.....

before....



and now..... 



New art......

with the winter curtains and extra duvets... 


So, not too different. We both like it, and that's a huge incentive to keep it nice. 


The attached bathroom... 




yes, it's super tiny.  4 ft by 5 ft. With two doors, and a cheap sink. But, it works, it's clean (er) and it now goes with the rooms around it. Win win in my book. 

11/26/14

The half bathroom -

We have a rambly ranch house with tiny rooms.  The master bedroom has a 1/2 bath attached, that is also accessible via the pantry in the kitchen.  Yep. A Jack and Jill bathroom between the master and the kitchen  

It's TINY barely 4 ft wide and 5 ft long. Also, the walls are stucco. Yep. You read that right. I kept it because it reminds me of my Great Grandparents house- their walls were stucco.... very very expensive stucco- which this is not...but I digress.....

When we first moved in, there was a cabinet over the toilet that honest to God looked like a casket. It was HUGE, solid, and appeared very heavy. I was terrified to use the bathroom, thinking the thing would fall off the wall and kill me on the toilet. When we took it down, we found out how right I was, this giant wood box was held into the crappy walls by 4 screws. I am not even sure they were in studs. I think the layers of paint held it up. Also, the room had no trim and a gold sink cabinet. Pretty? No.

It's been many, many colors over the years. Turquoise, white,  according to my Mr. "fleshy" pink, green, and a horrid tan color.  I bought a new blind for the bathroom last week, and when I went to install it, the color-an ecru- made the walls look like vomit. HORRID. So, what did I do? Not return the shade and buy another color- oh no- that would have been too predictable..... I redid the bathroom. Painted, cleaned, new art, even a new toilet seat.  The Mr. went to deer camp, and I painted all night long..... and I'm pretty happy with it....


This is the only picture I could find of the bathroom before this weekend. I find this very hard to believe, as I have taken many, many pictures of  this house in the past 10 years, and good, bad and ugly, I have posted them.  Maybe, this bathroom is so small I just didn't feel like it was worth it.... but again, I find that hard to believe.  This is the "fleshy" pink the Mr. didn't like. You can hardly tell in this light, but it was pink. Technically, it was called "march ice" but whatever.... this is the before....

This is the bedroom it comes off of..... 


and this is my new bathroom ..... 





More pictures tomorrow!!