around the house

Soundtracking my Saturday

Soundtracking my Saturday.
It was a struggle to choose music that inspired me to tackle getting the house back together after the chaos of construction.
(In addition to the tree falling on the house which finally finished construction the last week of August, our main waterline from the meter to the house was leaking. Homeownership is NOT for the weak of heart…or stomach.) Moving the shelves of tools to make access for them to jackhammer out a place in the floor where the water comes into the house and now completely reorganizing the utility room.
We also moved Thing G into his brother’s old room. (the one damaged by the tree and rain in the house) Now we must disassemble Thing G’s old room.
Purging. So much purging.
Decorating for Autumn because I must honor the beginning of meteorological fall!
This is my life today and I’m cool with that.
But, I was slow moving and couldn’t land on a playlist that worked for me. Turns out, the wonderful thing about my madly eclectic music collection is how quickly it can surprise and delight me!
A song from Thing 2’s Cool Boy, Real Cool mix came on and fired me right up!
I’m inspired to accomplish great things. Let’s see how long I can keep up the momentum.

This is Brick + Mortar with Terrible Things.
Please listen responsibly.

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Y’all want to know a secret?

Y’all want to know a secret?
About certain things, I’m lazy as f**k.

When YBW said to me, “You need to capitalize on some sort of ‘floor based’ dressing system.” after I finished laughing, I knew it was time to do something.
Interestingly enough that something was rat myself out to y’all, not put away the laundry.
I love that he was remarking in such a way as to not shame me. He kind of just called it like he saw it and we both laughed. LOTS! I appreciate that he didn’t shame me. I appreciate that he accepts this particular quirk, even though it’s ridiculous.

It would be easy for me to make excuses.
Busy busy.
YBW’s mom died, I’m planning, etc.
YBW’s birthday.
My birthday.
But y’all, it’s not those things. Truthfully, I have no excuse.

I love to wash, dry, and especially fold laundry.
But the putting away?

Meh. I simply cannot be bothered.
Makes no sense, especially with my mad organizational skills.

Mostly I’ll hang up dresses, skirts, sweaters. But everything else just kind of sits there until I get around to putting it away. And sometimes, that takes longer than one might imagine.

But now that YBW called me out, I have two choices.
1) Put away the laundry like a proper human
2) Be stubborn as f**k and let that shit sit there
Y’all check back in to see which I chose.

Who knows?
Perhaps I’ll actually come up with some new ‘floor based’ system that works for me. (Even I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one.)

I’m curious.
What’s your guilty secret when it comes to the way you keep your home?
Let me know in the comments.
And if you’re not as lazy as I am, please make up something. Help a girl out, so I’m not over here feeling like a complete and total loser. K? Thanks!

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don’t make me use my teacher voice

As you may recall, a tree fell on our house during the mad windstorms on March 2.
That was seven weeks ago.
Seven. Weeks.

State Farm completely underestimated the extent of the damage as well as what it will cost to repair it. I mean, of course they did.
The roofer sent an updated proposal for the repairs to State Farm…the week of Spring Break.
Meanwhile, there’s still a big ass hole in our house!
And it’s finally starting to let water into the livable parts of the house.

To State Farm I say a vehement:

There’s absolutely no excuse that the work isn’t finished…even less that it hasn’t started. YBW’s at his wit’s end with these jokers. Seeing the toll it’s taking on him, I offered to handle the situation from here on out. The relief on his face made me sad I hadn’t offered sooner.
When you call and are forced to leave messages day after day, your messages tend to become less and less polite.
I’ve gone quickly from “butter wouldn’t melt in my mouth” to:

Five weeks until graduation.
Five weeks until a house full of people needs places to lay their heads.
Oh, State Farm, I’m just shaking my head. Oh, roofer dude, you’re getting off any better.
I’m going to need for y’all to get it together. This little red haired girl is over the run around.
You should be afraid…I’m just sayin’.

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never a dull moment

So this happened yesterday.

Yeah. It was awesome.

That wind was no joke. Schools were closed the night before. Seems silly to think high winds closed schools, until you realize how many kids ride the bus and actual school buses blew over in this storm.
The wind began to howl in the middle of the night and got even more howl-y in the morning.
Thing G and I were home, we ate breakfast and started watching a little Beat Bobby Flay when the power went out.
That’s cool, we had sweatshirts and blankies. I had a stack of magazines I’ve been trying to get through and Thing G had a full charge on his Switch. We got this.
About an hour later, Southern Living in my hands, we hear the damnedest noise and I found myself watching the tree coming straight at the house

My God that was so scary!


We’re lucky in the fact that the hole in our house is only in the attic. The corner of the ceiling is buckled in what used to be Thing C’s room but not damaged enough that you can see the sky.

Power came back around 4:00 pm yesterday.
Small victories, y’all.


Tree guys came yesterday and again this morning. Need a crane to remove the tree from the house, so the first company recommended the second company.
State Farm still hasn’t returned a call or even emailed the name of an adjuster. So I’m feeling a pretty big “f**k you” to them.
We gotta get this tree out of the house and get it tarped up before rain rolls in on Tuesday.

This super sucks.
There is a big ass hole in our house.
Other random house and porch damage.
It’s a hefty chunk of change for the homeowners insurance deductible we weren’t budgeting for.
But…
We’re all safe.
There’s only minimal damage in the livable part of the house.
Thing C no longer lives in the room where the damage is.
We were planning on replacing the roof this spring or fall anyway, and now at least part of it will be covered by State Farm.
If they ever freaking call us back…

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when porch life is work

Saturday was one of those rare gorgeous summer days. Sunny and breezy temperatures in the 80’s no humidity to speak of. Of course I took advantage of the beautiful weather by spending the day on the porch but not in the way you might think.
There was no lounging about. No day drinking. No journaling.
It was work work work!
Wanna see?

This reclaimed red oak needed a little love in the form of stain before it becomes our outdoor dining table.

Fence posts are the perfect choice for this bar height table’s legs. A coat of Sikkens is about to protect them even though they’re pressure treated.

Remember I said it was breezy? The plastic blew right over that last post…once I put down the camera, I was able to sort it and got quickly to work.

These “flaws” are what drew me to this piece of wood in the first place. I believe it makes them even more lovely.


Once I got everything finished and lined up to dry, I took a much needed break.


With a little “House Wine of the South” and my special birthday birthday Queen straws from Sundance.
But wait!
There’s something even more exciting!!
I realized that I could “have my cake and eat it too”!
I wanted to be outside in the breezy weather. But I also wanted to be in front of the TV watching the Nats game.
Oh my goodness!

To my surprise and delight, I realized I could sorta-kinda see the game and have porch life at the same time!

The table top wood was still drying Sunday afternoon, so we moved it into the house and set a fan on it. Everything else was already dry so it went back into the garage. It’s raining today, and supposedly tomorrow also, so there will be no actual construction for a few days.
I’ll keep y’all posted on the progress…right after I go shopping for chairs, and perhaps a sail cloth for shade over that part of the porch. Might need some pillows too…guess we’ll just have to see.

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kitchen in progress

What day is it?

GRANITE DAY!!

(as Thing 1 would say) Wootness!!

It’s very exciting!!
Here’s what the kitchen looked like before.


and

The cabinet doors are still off because I’m in the process of waxing them. I’ll paint the base cabinets as quickly as I can. See how much better the island looks painted?
The guys are still here working nearly finished…so these are just “in the process” pics. But stay tuned, y’all.


and

I’m SO freaking excited!!

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coming soon to a kitchen near me

One afternoon not too long ago, YBW suggested to me that since we had a bit of extra money it might be time to consider what to do in the kitchen. Let me assure you, he didn’t have to say it twice!
Thus began my search for the perfect countertops.
For a while I was convinced I wanted concrete. I moved past that and re-embraced my love of granite.

We wandered three granite yards to end up here.

It’s called Black Fusion and is quarried from Brazil. And soon coming to a kitchen near me!

So that granite really isn’t going to sit beautifully on the cabinets the way they are now.

So…I decided to paint them!

(don’t mind the messy cabinets, I was too busy painting to tidy them up for a photo)

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is my new BFFL!
One quart of paint covers 150 square feet.
I’m gonna Rock the Casbah out of these cabinets!
My goal was to have the uppers done before the countertops are installed…but there was a mishap at the fabricators…they only got in one of our two slabs. (Full on ‘Ice Queen Bitch’ mode phone call in which I will negotiate a sink for my trouble about to take place.) But…the bit of delay means I may be able to also finish the lower cabinets before installation!


One more coat of paint and a bit of wax and they’ll be ready for new hardware!
I’m so freaking excited!!

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pretending the bed is a raft

I once had this book called Pretending the Bed is a Raft. It’s a collection of short stories written by Nanci Kincaid. I remember the stories were beautifully written but devastatingly sad. I’m not sure what happened to that book. A quick scan of my shelves and I don’t see it. It may have gone to the used bookstore during one of my annual book purges.
What I have to say isn’t really about the book anyway. It’s about the title.

Pretending the bed is a raft.
I love this concept! Let’s pretend the bed is a raft.
I feel like it’s a game of make believe we might have played when Thing 1 and Thing 2 were little. They would have wanted to be pirates on that bed raft. They would have had us all dressed up with scarves and eye patches and Thing 1 would have wanted to be the captain, but Thing 2 probably would have been calling the shots. I would have been the dutiful first mate, responsible for the safety of the crew while the captain(s) lead us into death or glory. I can hear Thing 2 in her ‘little old man’ voice saying, “Storms a-brewin!”

Pretending the bed is a raft.
I feel like I’ve done this my entire life, only I never used that phrase until I’d seen this book. It stated simply the concept I’ve always understood.
With absolute certainty, my most fundamental belief is: When the going gets tough, get in your bed.

I’m a big fan of getting in my bed when I’m feeling…well, anything actually. I mean, obviously when I’m tired. But, I’m thinking about all the other things I feel. Emotional exhaustion, frustration, or illness. These could all be considered fancy words for depression. Some people use ice cream. I use my pillows. Because nothing comforts me like my bed.
Loneliness and heartache send me straight to my bed.
When I’m craving peace and quiet. If I’m overwhelmed or overjoyed, I take to the comfort of my bed.
That bed is my raft in the seas of all feeling.

My perfect bed is a dark wood farmhouse canopy, made with the most crisp white cotton known to man. This bed is my cocoon. I bought it to keep me safe the first time I ever lived alone. Newly separated, children part time at my home, part time at their father’s, I knew I would need a haven that made me feel safe and sound.
This bed carried me safely through the feeling seas for many years.
Sweet Izzie kitty, so grouchy with everyone but me. She would curl up next to me in that bed and her soft purring would match my breathing and we’d sleep happily together.
My girls snuggling in that cocoon with me. Thing 2 coming in every night for months with her pillow and sleeping with me. Thing 1 didn’t sleep with me that often, she’s an active sleeper, making full use of her bed. But when she came for a snuggle it would be an event.

YBW was invited into my cocoon.
He invited me into his bed, he named it serenity.
The first time I came here, we went to bed and he told me to close my eyes…when I opened them there were stars all over the ceiling. He told me on the phone that when I came to his home, I would sleep in serenity in a sea of stars. He made that happen for me. We could be together in the cocoon or in serenity and it was lovely.

When I moved here, the cocoon moved to the guest room.
We bought new mattress and foundation and I began to sleep full time in his bed. I’d lived here for almost a year when we had a little mishap and broke the bed. I fell in love with a bed and took him to see it. He agreed and the new bed came home to our room. The bed we share is a beautiful dark wood, with a very high headboard and drawers in the footboard. It is made with crisp white bedding.

When I’m in need of pretending the bed is a raft, I don’t often take to the bed I share with YBW. I’ll go to the cocoon. It’s not that that I don’t feel comfortable or safe in serenity. It’s just different. I think it’s tricky when you share a bed with someone. That bed is our shared space. Where we have conversations. Where we make love. Where we occasionally keep the other awake. The bed is lovely, especially when properly made, but it’s not a bed I’m inclined to pretend is a raft. I think it’s because it doesn’t fully belong to me.

In the old days, my bed was a place where everyone just kind of piled in and we hung out. Small children all in it together with story books or soft toys. Grown up girls doing each other’s make up. Sometimes, if they were very lucky, little girls having their make up done. It was a place for snuggles and giggles and opening birthday gifts first thing in the morning. It was a place to simply be. And to feel loved.

My sister in law’s bed is like that too. We all just go in there and pile up on the bed. Sometimes the TV is on. Sometimes there are books or computers or tablets or smartphones. Sometimes we just all get in and talk and talk. Kids, grown ups, boys, girls. It doesn’t matter. We get in her bed and without even knowing it, pretend it’s a raft. It is one of those rare places I feel nurtured without having to do the nurturing.

When my heart was freshly broken, I came to be with Sundance. Her sweet husband went to sleep elsewhere in the house so I could sleep in bed with Sundance. She helped me heal as we talked quietly in her bed. We poured each other into that bed after we’d had way too much to drink. Her bed was a raft that I didn’t have to be in alone at the lowest point in my life.

I have a friend who has the unbreakable rule that no one is allowed in his home. He never shares his bed. I sometimes wonder if he feels like his bed is a raft in a safe way, of if it’s a raft in which he drifts, lost at sea. I respect the desire for privacy. For boundaries. No one in your sacred space ensures safety, but it seems to me a lonely life.

Pretending the bed is a raft means something different to each of us. Our bed means something different to each of us.
Your bed can be a haven. Or your bed can be the place where you live your life. Your bed can be a playground for children. Or a sexual playground for adults. Your bed is a place to rest your weary head.
You can share your bed or choose not to share it.
The bed I share with YBW is the place for us to be together.
But, my bed is a sacred place. The place I feel safe and sound. It is the raft on the feeling sea.
And even though it’s now the beautiful and comfortable place for our guests to lay their heads, it will always be my cocoon. My space.
If you’ve been invited into that bed, know how much you are loved.

Categories: around the house, love, me, on being a mom, peace and wellbeing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Samsung stainless up in here!

New appliances arrived yesterday! They’re resting beautifully now in the kitchen. The refrigerator hums quietly and occasionally drops ice into the tray.
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The marks on the fridge are from me hugging it.
This just might be the new love of my life!

The gas range still wrapped in cardboard and plastic slid perfectly into place.
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I can hardly wait to cook with this!!

The dishwasher stands next to it’s new home waiting to be installed.
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Meh, I hate to do dishes…but a new dishwasher means clean dishes the first time around AND (hopefully) no more of my plates get broken.

An old family friend comes tomorrow to install the two smaller appliances.
So it’s kind of like two appliance days in the same week! I get to oodgey-goodgey them for a couple days before I even use them! Wonder what I’ll cook first!?!

Categories: around the house, me | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

feather your nest

You know when an idea takes hold of you and you can’t see anything else? I’m experiencing that right now.
My sister in law suggested I somehow parlay my mad organizational skills into a business. She called it “feather your nest” as a play on The Robynbird’s Nest.
She suggested that I provide organizational services for people’s closets, pantries, etc., as well as packing for trips.
I should have taken photos of my bag packed coming home from Charleston as an example…but I unpacked it too quickly this morning to remember.

I haven’t the marketing skills to help it go from idea to income. But I have the organizational skills to make it work…
You know, the more this idea sits with me, the more I fall in love with it.

It reminds me of this children’s book by Kobi Yamata, beautifully illustrated by Mae Besom.
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Pretty much the gist is the child has an idea but doesn’t know what to do with it at first, but it continues to follow him around.
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But sometimes asking what other’s think about an idea isn’t the simplest thing.
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The last page of the book says,
“And then, I realized what you do with an idea…
You change the world.”

Now, I don’t expect to change the world with this “feather your nest” idea. But I will say this. I changed my friend and mentor’s home. I changed my own home…several of my own homes. My sister in law is adamant I come change her home.
So maybe, just maybe, this idea has room to grow.

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