Friday, September 30, 2011

The Flu Strikes

I plan on taking the weekend to rest and recover.  I hope everyone has a great time this weekend with whatever you choose to do!

                                                        This photo is from North Carolina, taken in 2009.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Issue of Storage

Houses built in the early- to mid-1900s have something missing in them that today's houses have.  Storage. Unlike us "modern" Americans who feel the need to surround ourselves with stuff, previous generations made do with the necessities.  They didn't need houses that had equal living/storage square footage.  Blair and I take pride in the fact that we are not "stuff" people.  However, as I've been rearranging and remodeling the house, I've noticed that for people who don't have much stuff, we have ALOT of stuff!  And very little storage.  We have no attic and no basement.  As for closets, we have two "double door" clothing closets, two "single door" closets (one of which is a coat closet in the hall), and two small bathroom closets.

                                                           Look at all of that wasted space!

 Here is my solution to the problem:

                     Super-sexy plastic storage tubs.  Just like any college student married person with a child, right?

Not very attractive, right?  We plan on putting a larger storage building out back one day, which will help some, but in the meantime, I'm stuck looking at all of my "stuff".  So, I have begun going through it, one box/one closet at a time, and getting rid some of the mountains piles.  To further add to our dilemma, we live in a three-bedroom house.  The room pictured above will one day need to be used as another bedroom.  Where in the world am I going to put all of that?

I am an organization junkie.  If it can be organized, I'm there.  I like neatness (despite what my parents may tell you).  Now, I'm not as OCD about it as my brother, but I do like a neatly-ordered shelving unit. So, I have put myself to the task of finding the best way to organize the shelves I currently have.  Which, sadly for Blair, means he will once again never know where anything is.  Ahem...

I have also set myself to the massive task of working through my incredible yarn and fabric junkpile stash.  I have a good start on this as I am making twelve hats for my mother's Operation Christmas Child boxes.  But, come on people, there's a great deal more there.  I have yet to decide what to do with the rest of yarn and fabric.  Which is probably why I have so much sitting around to begin with.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

So, so busy!

The last couple of months around have been really hopping with activity.  I did a terrible job of keeping track of how much produce I put up this summer, but suffice it to say...There was alot!  I have jars in the kitchen cabinets, on the kitchen counters, the utility room cabinets, and the floor of our closet.  And there's still more to do.  Hopefully all of this hard work will equal a slightly lower grocery bill this winter.  We shall see if all of Blair's hard work tearing up the backyard to create a garden is a monetary success.

Our little house was built in 1963.  There have been only four or five owners from then until now, and the last ones did a great job on remodels.  When we bought the house, it was not just live-able, but nice.  So for eight months, we did nothing to the inside except for rearrange furniture in an attempt to find it's best possible location.  (The landscaping was an entirely different matter.  A matter for another post to be exact.)  Blair has actually quit trying to remember where things are.  Then one day, a lady stopped by.  Said lady informed my dear, darling husband that her husband built the house.  In 1963.  And it has hardwood floors.  That are gorgeous.  We had assumed all long that it did indeed have hardwood floors (it was, after all,  built in 1963), but we had no idea as to what condition they might be in.  Blair had no intention of doing this when he told me of his conversation, but he planted a seed.  And that seed began to germinate in my mind.  Two weeks later, Blair takes Little Man out for a quick shopping trip while I'm cleaning up the dishes from supper.  I get about half of the dishes done, and I decide it's settled.  I simply must know what is under that carpet.  But where to begin?  There are six carpeted rooms in the house, one of which is a "great room" (meaning a ridiculously long room in a 1963 ranch house).  I decide the best option is to go to the back corner of the house and lift up a section of carpet that resides under a piece of furniture.  That way, if this all turns out to be a terrible mistake, no one is the wiser. does one go about tearing out only a small section of carpet?  Hmmm....Blair will be home soon, so I must decide quickly....Ah Ha!  Grab an Exacto knife!  Where is the Exacto knife??  I know where we kept it in North Carolina, however we have moved twice since then.  Fortunately, it was still residing in the same basket.  Alright, here we go.  I picked the corner farthest away from the door, slide the piece of furniture over, cut carefully, carefully....AHHHH!!  This house that was built in 1963 has gorgeous hardwood floors!  That are, indeed, currently covered with ugly carpet!  Out with the carpet!

                         If you look carefully in the bottom right corner of the photo, you can see my camera strap.

 By the time Blair got home I had pulled up most of the carpet in the corner, lost my nerve, and recovered the corner with the carpet and the furniture.  Then I took a shower and finished the dishes.  Cue Blair.

The next conversation went a little like this:

Me:  Hey, Blairrrrrr????
Blair:  Yesssss??? (With an eyebrow raised).
Me:  Ummm.....
Blair:  What did do?
Me:  Remember when that lady stopped by a couple of weeks ago and said her husband built the house?
Blair:  No.
Me:  Well, the house really does have hardwood floors.
Blair:  Ok.
Me:  Wanna see?

After getting his "I don't really care what you do" approval, I then spent the rest of the night pulling out carpet, and staples, and tacks.

The next morning we decided that we really didn't like the wall color with the tones in the floor, so that meant we had to repaint (which I wanted to do anyway).  The floor was in great condition except for right up at the wall, so we installed some quarter round up against the baseboard which I then painted.  Since the wall was a different color, I had to repaint my chest of drawers.  

And then I decided to recover the headboard for our bed while I was at it.  

                                                        And, yes, I do make the bed every day.

It's amazing how one thing leads to another and another and another.  The only thing left to do in our bedroom is new window treatments, and we'll have a whole new room.  

While I was putting everything back together in our room, I noticed the color scheme from my watch box (the Fossil watch I got in NYC):

                                                                   Cute little birds!

Somehow I unintentionally stole the colors from this to plaster all over our room.  I love it!

The carpet is now also out of the hall and Little Man's room.

                                                                                    The hall with carpet.

                                                                    Half-way there!

                                                                The carpet is no more!

                                         Little Man's room had the same carpet as the other two spaces.

                                                       His room has REALLY great lighting.

 We're planning on doing the office in a couple of weeks, and then right after that, the Great Room (aka the Dining Room and Living Room).  I'd really like to have the whole thing done by Thanksgiving since everyone is coming to our centrally-located 1963 house this year, and who wants to eat a large meal in a partially-carpeted house?  Actually, I'm pretty sure no one will care (as in 100% sure), but it would still be nice to have it done.  

Perhaps, perhaps

Perhaps I will do better about keeping up with this blog.  The other one kind of got left in the dust, but I did start a new job, have a baby, move across two states, and buy a house.  Dust is forgivable, I believe.  I'm hoping to find this a space to chronicle daily life, our adventures in gardening, remodeling, cooking, you name it.  I've noticed that the days and weeks are running together lately, and I have trouble remembering what happened when.  So here's to a fresh start in a new home with new adventures!

                           The day after we bought the house.  The front landscaping looks very different now.