Category Archives: appearance

New To Do List 8/14/17

to do list 1


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


  • Replace the north/south doors. (They’ve been ordered, will be delivered tomorrow.)
  • Work on the websites.
  • Prime & paint the removed clapboards from the laundry wall where the new door will be installed. (Priming has been in process since last Friday.)
  • Get the nailers up so the guys can finish up the trim. Monday
  • Get the clapboards painted? Started Monday
  • Paint the rest of the exterior of the house next to the porch.
  • Get the clapboards reinstalled.
  • Finish filling in the holes caused by the construction. Wednesday
  • Finish edging the “rain garden”.
  • Fill the bagster
  • Order gravel.
  • Order wood.

MEDIUM TERM: (in the next 2-3 weeks)

  • Empty the old coffee table full o’ stuff in the hallway.
  • Resolve the “too many” coffee tables dilemma.
  • Remove the “island” of boxes of stuff from the attic. Sell, donate, or trash enough that the floor can stay cleared.
  • Put food away for winter.
  • The fridge freezer needs to be organized and purged. Started Monday
  • Clean the fridge’s shelves.
  • Paint the laundry room, inside and out.
  • Paint the bathroom.
  • Get the new shower curtain liner painted and installed.
  • Get through more of the accounting backlog.
  • Get last year’s unfinished clean up done in the entry/living room/hall.
  • Get the marble table out of the kitchen and to the antique booth. [Called the person who had indicated he’d help me get it to the shop.]


  • Get a job.
  • Pay off the equity line.
  • Continue to use up the stored foods: grains, beans, pasta, etc. (The canned goods purge the end of last year beginning of this year worked.)
  • Rebuild the winter pantry.
  • Writing Projects: Memoir, 1st 3rd of retype complete 8/30
  • Writing Projects: Article
  • Writing Projects: Kitchen Book
  • Writing Projects: Novel

Paint, Paint, Paint. . .

Yesterday I finished the first coat of primer on the living room’s log walls. Still to primer are the wallboard walls. These also need to be prepped, that is, cleaned and caulked.

Also, I figured out, with some help from pinterest and the paint manufacturer, exactly which paint we’ll use. At $100+ a gallon, this isn’t a trivial decision! The pic isn’t our house of course, but the walls are the color we’ll use.

One of our long-term fix up projects is to redo the stair trim on the room side. When I mentioned to DH that painting the wall meant that this might be a great time to do this, he responded that we’re doing the window move and that needs to happen and be finished first — and we may be running out of spring/summer/fall time to do projects. True enough. So, the revised plan is that we keep what we’ve got and it gets sanded primered and painted. It’s wood, so it will need knot sealer — so one more piece of wood to knot seal!

fb wevet sample

What I Did Today

I put the crafting supplies in the car, the priced books in the car and 3 boxes of books, which aren’t priced. but marked “outs” to go to the storage are also in the car.

Not sure what I’ll do if the new shop space (for craft supplies)  doesn’t work out, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. Maybe rent a 2nd space at the antique shop?

So, the second room has been almost completely cleaned. I need to vac the rug, get the ceiling and clean the light, but that’s it. The largest pieces of the cleaning and culling have been done: the china cabinet, the bookcase, the box room divider, under the counter. All have been culled, cleaned and straightened out. The only things placed in them are things which will STAY there.

I started going through the boxes of books stored behind the china cabinet today too. That’s where the 3 boxes of books came from.

DH and I had a discussion about figuring out the going-to-be bookcase’s size, so I know how many boxes of books I get to keep.

I also cleaned one of my favorite fans, it’s a hassock fan. I guess they aren’t currently made, but it works really well. It would however, be hard to keep tiny fingers out of the fan itself, so I guess I understand why they aren’t used any more. The fan pulls cold air from the floor up and then pushes it into the room. No refrigeration required.

Mine looks like this, but it’s brown.

emerson hassock fan via pinterest

Need to go finish up and make dinner (salad and watermelon sorbet, I think).

Happy summer!


Culling Down, Cleaning Up & Kitsch

I’ve had more stuff going out the past few days, things I’ve sold or donated mostly, which is good. I’ve got more staged to go to the antique store today as well.

But here’s what prompted this post. I belong to a site that had an article about “How to Decorate Seasonally.” Okay, I opened the link. The text said something about decorating for fall can quickly become kitschy, and that’s unacceptable.


If that’s your taste, it is. Why does anyone have to bow down to the Style Police and do what another thinks is not tacky? I see more posts & articles on how to decorate that I think are ridiculous or just dumb, and so? I’ve found decorating books that advocate looks I wouldn’t pay to live in, both minimalist and country clutter. So?

I just don’t get it. My style is pretty much the same it was when I was a kid, except now I’m buying the furniture. I like word art (well, that’s a stretch for a former bookseller, a writer and an editor, ‘eh?) and visual jokes. If I add a pumpkin or two and put a roller skate under one, why should anyone get to tell me that’s wrong because it’s playful? WHY do I have to decorate my house, who next to no one ever sees, to conform to others’ taste or to confirm I’m an adult?

I think this is more of the paradoxes that the internet has created. We’re all “connected” but don’t actually talk to each other or see each other except in passing. We’re all more “creative” but are supposed to have basically the same taste.

I’ll keep my taste and decorate my home to suit myself. I don’t care if the great internet herd likes it or not. For us, things have to be practical first. DH just got into a discussion in one of his groups about whether you should get a stainless steel sink or composite? Someone said, “Stainless steel scratches.” Well, yeah, it does, but so does Corian and everything else. Get one with a brushed finish, then forget about it. It’s a TOOL, in this house, it has to be practical, has to function correctly FIRST, then we’ll worry about how it “looks.”

When I went to LA recently for a funeral, I was reminded, again, how very focused many people I’ve known are on how things look: themselves, their homes, their clothes, etc. What I’m after is practical, functional, frugal, and not ugly. That’s true of my clothes, my cars, my makeup, and my home. My makeup takes me < 5 minutes to put on, when I put it on. (I use 4 products: foundation, old lady skin goo, lip stain, powder.) What I’m trying to do with my home, the cleaning plan, etc. is essentially the same thing: pare the stuff down so that the required work is fast and easy. What it looks like comes AFTER that.

I’m not trying to keep up with the Joneses or be the Joneses, and if they don’t like it? Well, that’s their problem, not mine!

Making the Bed

Part of the routine I’m doing these days is making the bed. It’s to the point where I can say it’s a habit, so I can check it off the “get this to be automatic” list.

I find myself making the bed in certain ways:

  • Flannel bottom/top sheets because it’s fall and starting to get colder and they’re cozy.
  • The older hand-made coverlet we use,  this covers the entire bed, it’s soft and not scratchy and is what’s closest to our faces.
  • Then the secondhand wool blankets: the smaller one on DH’s side of the bed as he likes to “cocoon” himself in the night and the larger one on my side so I can still snuggle up to him without a tug of war.
  • The polartech light blanket, covers the entire bed and is the cat’s favorite.
  • The two hand-made, smaller (single bed size) Swedish blankets we bought to replace the one my Dad had bought me, and the one I’d bought to go with it. (They were destroyed in a fire at the drycleaner, long ago.) These blankets have fringe on the edges that needs to be tucked in to keep the cat from going mad AND to keep her from unweaving the blankets. At the moment, these are folded up at the end of the bed; it’s too warm for them!

When it’s really cold and we have the down comforter on, I alternate the small wool blankets (both sets) between the full size ones, like layers in a sandwich.

There: when I make our bed, I consider all of us (2 people and pets) who’ll sleep on it, our comfort, etc. It makes the “chore” into an act of love, not just being tidy because it’s expected or whatever. Every time I put things just so, it makes me smile. Self-care and loving sometimes are the smallest acts.

New Me?

I’ve been working on my appearance.  I’d worked far too long for myself and gotten sloppy. If I’m going to take the new sales/writing gigs I have seriously, then I needed to treat them like “work” and dress appropriately.

I know folks who fuss over their looks for themselves. I gave up on that years ago. I will never satisfy myself with my looks, it’s a slippery slope I never conquer. Most of the time, I settled for being “neat” and “not offensive.” That’s fine, when the person I’m working for is me, but not when someone else is paying money for my time/efforts.

This is further complicated by:

  • It’s winter still which means big jackets, and my winter coat is inadequate.  I was borrowing DH’s old down coat. Toasty warm, but literally tattered and of course it’s too big.

There’s a foot or more of snow here, don’t tell me about calendars and equinoxes! It’s winter until mud season at least, that means almost no snow. And yes, I  keep trying to make weeks start on Monday too — I’m contrary.

  • Many of the work clothes I had were bought for working in the Mojave desert, a beach town or Florida.I’ve “outgrown” many of my old work clothes, the few I still have. They’re too small or I’m too big, whatever — they don’t fit any more.

The “French Dressing” purge deleted most of the maybe clothes as “not good enough.”

I was wearing 1 pair of jeans or 1 green pair of green pants that could be worn with leggings/stretch pants/longjohns underneath. The green pants were the only “good” pants I owned.

  • I’m “cheap” or “frugal” or whatever you want to call it. I don’t like spending money on clothes.

However, this past week or two, I’ve bought quite a few pieces of clothing etc.

  1. a pair of pants,
  2. a lightweight jacket,
  3. a “winter” jacket,
  4. a pair of earrings,
  5. 2 cardigans,
  6. new make up,
  7. 2 shirts
  8. a pair of shoes
  9. I got my hair trimmed,

The hair cut, shoes and the earrings are the only pieces that cost > $20. The pants/jackets were used, the 2 cardigans & 2 shirts were < $10 each at Penny’s and I had a 25% off coupon. I think I’ve spent right around $65 for everything, except the hair cut (40), shoes (50) and the earrings (22).

I felt like I’d been completely irresponsible, but looking at that list? No I don’t think I have. I did all of that for < $200.

The downside is that this means I need to purge at least 7 pieces of clothing. That will be pretty hard. After the French Dressing purge, I’ve kept tossing things that don’t work. Around 2-4 pieces every month. Finding clothes to purge to offset the purchases  isn’t going to be that easy! DH did another small purge on his closet, which helps, but the new clothes aren’t his, so I’ve got to get rid of more stuff, sigh.

Don’t I always?