Monthly Archives: March 2017

To Do List 3/14 (Short Term Goals)

to do list 1

Keep using pantry goods. Empty the freezer before June 1. Should be as empty as is practical to make it!

Finish the doormat.

Box up the rest of the stuff for the flea market in April

Finish getting the tax info to the tax person before the appt.

Get at least one piece of one item off of the long-term list!

Long Term Goals Accomplished

Living Room:

  • Coffee table that is there is too big. See if one of the tables in the attic will work as a replacement. Table removed from attic (3/1).
  • Move the black strap shelves currently behind the chairs to the hall.

Hall: Move the dresser into office 1.

Of course this means the old coffee table is full o’ stuff in the hallway. The things which were stored near the black strap table now are adrift, etc. MORE to do!!!

 

 

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Why You’ll (Maybe) Hear G & S at My House

I have an itunes recording of “When the Foeman Bares His Steel” from Gilbert & Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance on my computer. I will set the controls to repeat it as a loop. When I’m alone (and only then) I will turn the volume up and

—-GO!—–

I clean house to it. I love that piece because, musically, it is the internal dialog that all of us go through when we face something difficult.

There are three main groups singing: the policemen and their sergeant (who’ve been tasked with going after pirates), the girls (daughters of the major general) and the major general.

The Police: “When the foeman bares his steel, we uncomfortable feel. . .”

When facing anything scary, we’re uncomfortable.

“…we find the wisest thing is to slap our chests and sing tar-an-tara!”

We do what we we have to, to get ourselves psyched to do whatever it is.

“…when your heart is in your boots, there’s nothing brings it ’round like the trumpet’s martial sound, like the trumpet’s marital sound. . . tarantara, tarantara, tarantara.”

We play inspirational music, read things, go to places, whatever works, to goad ourselves forward, right?

The girls: “Go, ye heroes, go to glory,though you die in combat gory, ye shall live in song and story. Go to immortality!”

Don’t we all tell ourselves we’re doomed to fail? But if nothing else, someone might just notice how hard we tried?

The sergeant: “Though to us it’s evident, these intentions are well meant, such expressions don’t appear, calculated men to cheer. But it’s very evident these intentions are well meant.”

Our internal reasoning.

The girls: “Go to glory and the grave! For your foes are fierce and ruthless, false, unmerciful, and truthless; young and tender, old and toothless,all in vain their mercy crave.”

You’re going to fail. You can’t do this. How many times have we told ourselves that? (Too many to count, if you’re me.)

policeman pirates of penzance

Lastly, there is the internal dialog steeling yourself to actually DO the thing:

General: “Away, away!

Police: “Yes, yes, we go!”

General: These pirates slay!”

Police: “Tarantara!”

The General: “Then do not stay.”

Police: “Tarantara!”

General: “Then why this delay?”

Police: “All right we go.”

Girls: “Yes, forward on the foe.”

Police: “Yes, forward on the foe. ”

General: “Yes, but you don’t go!”

Police: “Yes, forward on the foe.”

Girls: “At last they go.”

Police: “We go, we go.”

Girls: “At last they go, at last they go!”

Police: “We go. We go.”

Girls: “At last they really, really go!

Police: “We go, we go, we go!”

Always Unplanned

I picked up a load of stuff from my car last night and brought it in. Remembered, just now, that my phone’s battery needed charging. Phone wasn’t in any of the places where it gets put away, no ringy-dingy when we called it. Thought I’d left it in the car?

Nope. It had fallen out of my hands onto the ground last night. And it poured last night and poured. My phone is almost certainly dead. DH said, “Well, maybe those $60 waterproof cases are worth it?” because my case cost $20 and as far as I was concerned it should have been $10. We’ll see. The phone currently sits in a bowl of rice. My bet is that it’s fried.

sick cell phone from images.google.com

I guess I need to do a spot check, every night: phone, wallet, and keys. I usually do that as I’m walking out the door. Too late then if I’ve left it somewhere or dropped it, like this.

Blast!

J

Phone was in its case. We removed it and put it in a bag of rice. Last time we tried this, it didn’t work. But this time, it did! My phone is working.

What To Do?

I got the runners I’d intended to use for the stairs, yesterday. The pieces visible thru the clear plastic they were shipped in didn’t resemble what I thought I’d ordered. Looked like stripes instead of checks. I opened one.

The jute in at least one place was dark and unattractive, but the piece was sound, and striped. DH and I talked about it. It was cheap. What to do? We decided to return it. If the image had resembled what’s here, I never would have ordered it. I cannot imagine using striped anything on a staircase, good way to set yourself up to fall. I do NOT want an optical illusion on my staircase or anything which might confuse us about where the edges are.

During the talk with their customer service person I said it wasn’t defective, it isn’t, it’s whole and sound. Looks like hell, but it’s sound. They wanted $33+ (on a $60 order) to return the 3 pieces. I arranged, finally, to pay to ship the things back to them, without them charging me 1/2 of the cost in a shipping charge. (Shipping had been free.)

So, after all of this, I am feeling rather like I’ve just been ripped off. The image, although it’s the right colors and materials and says it’s the right line, only vaguely looks like what arrived. Because of the conversation about the  insane shipping return fee, I went looking for reviews.

What has happened to me has happened to others. Apparently, they are a thinly veiled bait & switch company. They buy up goods from other companies, sell the best stuff, and the worst they don’t change the image, and make it difficult/impossible to return.

When I got up this  morning, I had all but resolved not to return the stuff, as I can probably get about 1/3- 1/2 of my $ back selling them thru the booth. But I have since decided against that too. Even if they charge me for the package I opened with the dark jute (arrived that way, as I said, I had the package open < 1 hour before I asked for a return authorization), it’s $20. If they try to charge me for the 2 packages I never opened? The easy answer for that is to take pictures, lots of pictures, before I ship the return, today.

Is it worth it? At this point, the way I feel is that either:1) they’re a legit company and they’ll do it right or 2)they’re creeps and even if I only get $20 back, I do, and it will cost them more to process it and deal with me and 3)Whether I get all my $ back or none of it, I will tell my friends, however it works out. I know how retail and mail order work and are supposed to work. I ran a mail order business for 10 years. I will make noise, a lot of it, file a complaint with the BBB, etc.

They sent me a customer service survey right after I talked to whoever to get the authorization. I won’t fill it out until I find out what they’re going to do.

First time I’ve really regretted closing my FB account. Having 500 “friends” online to post about this might just have guaranteed my getting all the $ back.

We’ll see. Continue reading

Revised To Do List 3/6

to do list 1

Keep using pantry goods. Empty the freezer before June 1. Should be as empty as is practical to make it!

Finish the doormat.

Box up the rest of the stuff for the flea market in April

Finish getting the tax info to the tax person before the appt.

Get ahold of my student and tell her when I’m available this week.

Get at least one piece of one item off of the long-term list!

To Do List, Long-Term Goals

Most of my list had become these long-running goals. Seems like it clutters up the reality, that is, that I need to do x, y, an z this week, so I’ve broken it into two lists!

to do list 1

Living Room, Hall, Entry: caulk & trim paint, and/or touch up, as needed.

Living Room: Coffee table that is there is too big. See if one of the tables in the attic will work as a replacement. Table removed from attic (3/1).

Black & white rug: Finish up fabric strips. Scheduled for the spring/summer, most of this!] Long Term: Trim against kitchen wall, window trim, stair rail. Replace interior trim on double window. Mod baseboards. Caulk/paint floor/baseboards. Move kitchen door? Replacement ladders for blinds.

Stairs: Get them stripped, painted and install the new runners. New runners are being returned.

Hall: Replace smoke detector and add corner detail on doors (future). Sell the records, replace the cubes with the black table. Move the dresser into office 1.

Kitchen: Make new plan without the Hoosiers and dismantle too-large counter? Install shelves where window used to be. Sell Hoosiers. (First one up for sale 12/10) Finish new window/shelf. Final paint on sidelight, new shelf. Find new homes for pieces stored in the crates  — sell/donate or discard.

Dining: Remove crib rail? Candlebra? Paint drawer units? Paint china cabinet.

Sunroom: Finish putting wallboard on the kitchen wall.

Laundry: Renew paint. Long term: finish trim, Get switch thing set up. Storage bins.

Attic: Get bookcases upstairs and bays built.

Office 1: Clear/clean counter. Remove everything from bookcases; move them.  Get sewing machine legs detached from base. Recycle, reuse, or dump. Put dresser in office. Stack on top of it (same size, and small) 2nd dresser, currently in the storage. Red rug?

Pantry: Add trim and final paint.

Cull/Clean (general): Take stuff for sale to antique store or to storage so that it isn’t cluttering up the living room!

Bathroom: Clean corners, window. Caulk as needed. Repaint room. Match trim to the rest of the house. If new gallon is enamel paint and not the flat, paint bathroom? Replace floor and sink and required wall upgrade.

Bedroom: (Cull/Clean) Get tapestry on stretchers. Quilt rehab. New: Start making pattern to reupholster chair. Blue plaid project.

Attic:  Move the bookcases. Build bays.

Storage: Move to smaller unit. Will be completed 5/16/17. Get the 2nd dresser home and bookcase donated/sold.  5/15/17

Sunroom: Get the windows done. SR door panel 27.5 x 64,

Get the online and computer files cleaned out. (Drafts here = 40 11/30 43 10/11, “Tally” page information (tab, this blog) moved to history 9/17.) Unsubscribed from 1 mailing list 2/17.

Writing: Memoir retype effort: 62.5% complete (I’m amused that I seem to do this in 3% chunks. I’m not counting or anything, it’s just that the sections are short, and it’s difficult emotionally, especially the first 3rd, so I’ve been doing it until I felt like quitting, then I let myself stop.) 3 stories into novel:  Worked a little on one of the stories, call it 07% 9/20?Kitchen book: nothing new. Possible future editing jobs: sold the next one, stories are being submitted.

All-In-One Organizer: Need to hire a pro for this I’ve decided. After the taxes are done.

Paper cull and counting: updated tally 3/1, will move 1-2/2017 to archive next time I update the page.

Canister Labels: Avery doesn’t let you do a merge for their online template designer, etc. I need to order the correct magnets. Make tutorial.

Revisions and Edits, for Reality and to Fight Depression

I rewrote my “to do” list, it was so cumbersome it was just overwhelming, so I revised it.

I brought one of the narrow, long tables from the attic last night. Except for displacing the books (currently on the coffee table’s shelf) it looks as if the narrower table might work.

It appears the skinny table is TOO long, but I  measured it. It’s actually not as long as the couch. It certainly IS longer than the other one, but it’s also not as wide. The width of the current table is the issue.

So, part of what I’m scheduled to do today is set up the “new” table and take down the one we’ve been using and see? I have a possible plan for the current table too. If it works, it will eliminate a “to do” item for DH –always good.

It’s nice to be using my creative juices for the house again. After months of being rather depressed and overwhelmed by a variety of things, it’s nice to have ideas churning away again. That’s my particular power source. It doesn’t matter if things work or not so much, it only matters that I have another idea, another option. For months, it seemed as if my mind was saying “Dull-dull-dull. Too much! Dull-dull-dull.” And although the rest of the world would likely not see me as being depressed, I sure wasn’t doing the zinging that is my normal. My usual internal dialog is something like, “Oh! Look, maybe it could. Look! It could be “this” or “this.” Wow! Look. . . .”

Learning to use those endless options and the idea of the endless options has kept me out of massive depression most of my life. As I said, it doesn’t matter if the ideas work, it is the process of continually looking at almost everything with the idea, “How was this done?” or something I’ve done with the idea, “How can I improve it?” or using odd pieces or, or, or . . .

possiblities

I learned the idea churning from two places: my Dad and science fiction.

My Dad had a PhD, in physics. His apparatus for his thesis didn’t work and it didn’t work, and it didn’t work — for three years! When he told the story about this what he said was  “I learned to plan for failure, not success.” and although that sounds really defeatist, it isn’t. It’s continually planning another option, if necessary. (His apparatus finally worked for one day and he wrote his thesis on that data.)

Science fiction is the “what if” genre. Writers start with “what if…?” and go from there. If you don’t limit yourself to what you know you can do, know can be done, has been done before in  your thinking, then many more options are available to you. Some options are nonsense or impossible. Flying without a plane is out. Spending millions is out, etc. but all ideas which might include those pieces are still  possiblities, although gravity and your bank might eliminate those.

To solve the couch table problem, I could:

  • Eliminate the couch  – not going to happen.
  • Get a different couch – not going to happen.
  • Move the couch, table, bookcases, and chairs in front of the hearth – not going to happen.
  • Hang the couch or table on the wall  -see flying above
  • Float the table over the congested area – see flying
  • Eliminate the current coffee table – considered. The current end tables aren’t big enough to be used without another table. It will cost $ to store, we might not be able to sell it, then what?
  • Get bigger end tables/eliminate the coffee table – considered, requires spending $
  • Cut the current table in 1/2 lengthwise, creates a “honey do” item, to be avoided if possible
  • Bring down the table not being used in the attic that’s long and skinny and see if it will work?
  • Maybe move the current end tables (3 small tables, which nest) into one long row with a piece of glass atop them and use that as a coffee table – requires $ for the glass,  but this is a possiblity.

My criteria are these, if possible, not a given!

  • Little or no cost.
  • Uses what we already have.
  • Requires DH or myself to do little or nothing (no new projects!)
  • If we eliminate pieces, they are sold.

Life is full of endless options, possibilities. If you approach it that way, it’s rarely depressing or overwhelming, because there’s always another option. More, the turning problems this way and that, standing them on their head or whatever it takes to “see” more possiblities helps keep things from being overwhelming.

My bugaboos are: overwhelming and no hope that change is possible. Creativity, the approach that there’s always another way to solve a problem, keeps those wolves from my door.

 

J