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Saturday, May 29
Thursday, May 27
After doing that, I kept going back to the idea of inspiration. What am I inspired by? What do I usually get inspired to do?
For example, last Sunday I did a little cleaning. And once I pulled the bed linens from their Clorox-soaked wash I was inspired to get the whole house a little cleaner. All week it has been soothing for me to still smell the traces of Clorox clean on our sheets, and I've been doing better about maintaining the clean and knocking out daily chores. I'm still not back to where I should be, but the dishes and laundry aren't piled up like they were.
Blogs are a huge source of inspiration for me. I'm an avid blog reader and can even sometimes get overwhelmed by the amount of great ideas in the"blogosphere."They not only inspire my decorating choices, but also how to live frugally and generally make my live and home better in every way.
But I also have to recognize the line between inspiration and execution. I would love to be able to buy groceries and only pay $2, or eat organic veggies from the farmer's market, or even more easily see the potential in a goodwill find. However, I have to work on realizing what is within reach and what changes will be beneficial to our home and family. Finding the balance between the lovely things that inspire and what we actually pursue is key.
"get more accomplished"
And then the Man asks me if I want another Popsicle, turns on another Deadliest Catch, and I'm piled up on the couch, a defeated so-very-un-Martha human again.
Where was I? Oh, right. Blogs inspire me, my friends inspire me, sales papers from Lowe's and Home Depot inspire me, for me inspiration on life and home and how to make it better is practically everywhere! But inspiration is just that, it's meant to inspire. The blog world is just amish-mash of women (and men) sharing bits of their daily life just like I am, we're all pathetic at dusting orgardening or something. But we are also pretty damn good at quite a few other things.
So, since I can't think of a better way to close this out without rambling on, and since I love the fact that people actually read this and occasionally comment on here:
What is something that inspires you?
Thursday, May 20
I'm not afraid of color. I can do color. I love bright, colorful fabrics and spaces. I think painted furniture can be really pretty in the right shade. I am always drawn to images of homes with bold, fresh colors on the walls. As I sputtered to defend myself, I realized that it's the commitment to color that scares me.
Let me clarify. I'm not scared of commitment either. Okay, well maybe a little. (I've been burned before.. but we all have.) But when I commit-- I'm totally, completely, whole-heartedly committed. I'm as loyal as a hound-dog. The idea of massive commitment doesn't scare me either. Take, for example the fact that suprises many folks: the Man and I are not married. Nor are we engaged. We seemed to have defied many people's idea of logic by committing to each other in the form of a 30 year mortgage.
We know we're not going anywhere, and as I lovingly joke- at least I've got him locked in for a good 30 years (just like our awesome interest rate.)
So if I'm not scared of color and I'm not scared of commitment-- what is the big hold up when it comes to deciding what color to paint our kitchen?
Wednesday, May 19
After we got all the cabinets out, it was time to call in Uncle Contractor. He made quick work of our walls and within a few hours I came home to this beauty. Granted, he had to call in an electrician for some surprise wiring that we hadn't planned on (cords were crisscrossed all over the area we were planning on placing a giant hole). The electrician was there and gone before I had finished calculating the extra cost into our budget. And then we were one step closer to our goal: an open kitchen. In the meantime, Uncle Contractor was working on opening up a doorway and adding his custom touch that he incorporates into all of his houses, lovingly called "Vinson Arches" by the Man and I. I was a little concerned about how the curved arches would look against the angles of our vaulted ceiling. But I loved it, and that was just the bare frame.
Keep in mind that it is during this time that our central heat and air died. So not only were there folks knocking holes in our walls, but we also had a fleet of HVAC crews bidding to sell us our replacement A/C (and take away our precious earmarked reno money).
I took a quick break from meeting with the work crews to run an errand or two. When I returned, I found that Uncle Contractor wasn't kidding when he talked about making quick work of our project. Not only had they finished tearing out the wall, but Uncle Contractor included a surprise for us. We had not planned on having an arch on the opening between the kitchen and great room. But after seeing the finished (up to this point) product, I couldn't have imagined it looking any better. I was actually on the phone with the Man when I walked in and saw our surprise and I think I almost hurt his ears with my shrill squeals of joy.
Poor thing, I was still dancing and jumping around when he got home. Imagine the most excited 4 year old you can grabbing your hand and dragging you all over a construction zone while insisting on doing happy dances and talking non-stop in near gibberish out of excitement. Yup, that's what the Man came home to that day. As he calmly pointed out while patiently enduring my explosion of effervescence, even the entryway was finished! Who would have thought everything would have come together so fast after all the chaos of the previous days?
I couldn't help feeling relieved when I realized that we weren't crazy for having a giant hole torn in our wall and all of those times doubting myself (so far) were finally being proven wrong. It felt great and completely changed the look of our house. Uncle Contractor still had some work to do, a few "finishing touches" as he said, and we still had the drywall crew coming in but I am still amazed by how quickly it all went.
If only the rest of the remodel could be done in a flash...
Tuesday, May 18
Meet her new dining room:
As for the wall of bins:
It's now bin-free and much better:
Overall, her home feels much tidier and cozy with the things she loves and uses within reach.
That's what I love about an organized home... fewer frantic moments spent searching for that one thing in a pile of many.
Now I just need to get back to work reigning in the chaos that is festering in our nerdy nest. It's gotten a little out of control.
Anyone feel up for a workday?
Oh well, you can't say I didn't try.
Friday, May 14
In recent years, I've grown more and more in the opposite direction. I found that a tidy home makes me happy and a messy home makes me, well honestly, a little crazy. Granted, I'm no Martha and I don't fuss too much over a spotless house. In my opinion, I don't have the time or the energy to stress over whether or not I've washed the windowsills or the last time I cloroxed the inside of the fridge.
I do try to keep clutter at bay and give the nest a deep cleaning as time permits. I've been able to find balance through purging regularly, but there is a constant battle between my clutter bug self and my longing for a tidy home.
All this is to show that I get my trials with being a pack rat "honest." The Dad is known for his pack rat stance and recently upon bringing Dear Mother home from the hospital we encountered her clutter head first:
I wasn't quite so agreeable when I realized that I would be spending the weekend weeding and wading through her conglomeration of containers.
I can get a little fussy when I'm feeling trapped in a messy house.
And we kept going.. her in the recliner, and me pulling things out of the deathtrap, ahem, closet under the stairs and her pantry/storage closet. And we purged and it was amazing. We ended up with a couch full of things to donate. But I was tired, and didn't really feel like hauling things through the house, into the car, driving to Goodwill and unloading again. So my lazy butt posted an ad on Craigslist.
Within the first thirty minutes, we had three phone calls, four e-mails and a text asking about our free stuff. If you ever need to get rid of anything, call me first. If I don't want it, then post it as free on CL.. it works wonders!
It only took an hour and everything was gone. And then we got back to work, or rather Dear Mother went back to doing her knee exercises and drinking ice tea and I dove back into categorizing, packing, shuffling, hauling, and organizing the mess out of her... well, mess.
Wednesday, May 5
Well, dear friend/follower/fellowblogger/random person from google, the kitchen table is now home to our temporary kitchen of chaos in the corner of our living room.I had hoped to be an inventive chick and create some marvelous meals in this chaotic nook but life, dust, and general laziness got in the way. Instead this table has become the catchall for mail, motorcycle gear, reciepts, paint samples, and the occassional location of reheating leftovers and preparing gourmet bowls of cereal (Fruity Pebbles and Smores with organic milk to be exact.)
And yes, those are two identical baskets in the picture above. I heart them. They are a great size, pretty color and can hold just about anything and make it look pulled together-- even leftover Valentine's candy. They also make perfect Easter baskets (the one on the table is part of my Easter goodies from the Man's folks.)
And just like pulling a rabbit from a hat, we have one wall of cabinets out and are ready for Uncle Contractor and his buddies to work their magic.
So here's where we started:
Our little closed-in kitchen of days gone by
Then with our cordless drill, box cutter, and a few choice curse words we got to work. First the Man turned off the power to the stove and vents. After that, while he wrangled the stove away from the wall and worked with the Dad to safely remove the light and vent over the stove, I took to the caulking along the countertops with a boxcutter. It seemed as if the previous owners decided to caulk everything in place.. or maybe we can blame the intial contractor for that.
Nonetheless, after uncaulking, the Man crawled in the cabinets and got to unscrewing every last stripped screw to be found. From there, we just had to peel up some of our awesome flooring and give the cabinets a good tug.
Forgive me for not taking better step by step pictures. The Man and I just dove into tearing everything out and I didn't think about it until afterwards.
The upper cabinets came out pretty much in the same manner: the Man with a drill/screwdriver and me attempting to support the cabinets with the Dad supervising and stepping in when cabinets were too high for my 4'11" self to reach.
Do you see what I see? Is that a shred of the 1990's peeking through? Let's look closer...
Once the cabinets were out, we had some lovely leftovers staring back at us. I'm not sure who chose this, when, why, or even how it ended up behind the countertops (where the previous owners had not painted.)All I really knew or could think at that moment was wallpaper. We have wallpaper.
There she is, in all her ivy and mauve glory....
It's not so bad, and really it could work in some of the cute cottage style homes I've seen. But I've heard the horror stories about wallpaper, though it does seem to be making a comeback.
I think for now I'll be doing good if I can just pick a wall color.
Sunday, May 2
Dear Mother had surgery today. It was elective and she's in her hospital room and doing fine, so no worries there. However, Dear Mother doesn't do well with pain/discomfort/etc. With this in mind, she's regularly requested whatever pain medicine the doctors will give her. Currently she has an epidural, and has recently recieved morphine, toradol and a dose of benadryl.
She is out like a light-- except for the flickers of randomness that she'll interject into the clinical quiet of the room. I've spent the past hour logging some of my favorites and trying to stifle giggle after giggle..some of the best so far:
- "Eva Elizabeth..lisbeth Lastname.. in my purse.. shot heard round the world, no, shot heard round the neighborhood! That's it!"
- -reaching out and grasping at air- "This is the kind of tray someone had.. at the IT exhibit..where you do this -guesturing- and in 5 days, you have to wait 5 days"
- "What's your name and initials? Initials.."
- -fidgeting with hands- "Take this off, take it.. oh, you did it" -waking up, alarmed- "There's nothing there!"
- "I'm trying to put the packet of gum in the basket... tisket tasket.. it's there"
- "Prom, earrings.. you need to wear earrings to prom."
- "a smaller inhibition means.. smaller inhibits.."
*EDIT: The latest and greatest so far-- after abruptly waking up and putting her hand out to me "Can you give me your F? Give me your F. So when you like to use that word, you can't spell it. You can only spell _UCK... That's not medicine, that's real intelligence."*
All of this makes me think of Sleep Talkin' Man, a hilarious blog that chronicles the nightly ramblings of a kind hearted sleeptalker with a bit of a potty mouth. It's totally worth adding to your reader/feed/blogroll; it will crack you up on a daily basis. I can't wait to share these with Dear Mother when she's coherent again.
In the meantime, I'm going to try and take advantage of my down time between being at Dear Mother's and Clella's (my fiesty grandma) beck and call over the next few days. I hope to update you on the changes in our nerdy nest, finish writing my final paper for the semester, and try to catch up on some of the things I haven't really had time for recently between work, school and the reno --like taking a closer look at our budget, organizing photos on my computer, uploading a few videos from my awesome iPod (an Easter gift from the Man, he even got it in pink-- he spoils me!), and generally being productive.
Who am I kidding? That should really read: "try to catch up on some of the things I haven't really had time for recently between work, school and the reno--" like a little nerdtastic online gaming, reading cheesy chick lit, and stalking my friends on facebook.
Don't lie, you facebook-stalk too.. you're probably doing it now and that's where you found the link to this post. I'm just sayin'.