Category Archives: Uncategorized

My Rose by Any Other Name is a Cacti

Came up with a name for my personal style, not that it will help me find things!

I guess it’s not supposed to? Newer decorating books talk about people’s decorating styles as “raspberry coolatta meets Bullwinkle,” well, no not that, but you get the idea!

If the name doesn’t actually have to be *useful* in telling others what you’re looking for? Well, mine could be:

Funky industrial/retail meets modern, or functional & simple lines are best!

( If you put that into google? You get a bunch of pinterest hits for industrial decorating, which is nice, but . . . .)

An example could be our hearth: the wood box is an old crate we bought at auction: on one side it has a label which reads “American Consulate.” On another it says “Mrs. (somebody) and “silverware.” Who the woman was, what kind of silverware, which consulate? There’s history and an untold story in that crate.

We use it for firewood, 2 wine crates for kindling, an old leaky pressure cooker holds fire starters, and a counter display for carborundum blades holds matches. Oh — and two steel US Quartermaster’s bins hold paper.

The club chairs were bought used at an antique store, the table between is a small library catalog, with a step stool behind it with a plastic cube on that we got as a wedding present, lo those many years ago. The end tables are picnic baskets, also from an antique store.

That’s my style — whatever it is!

Maybe?

repurposed/interesting/useful/retail/military/frugal/industrial — or functional & simple lines are best

Almost none of the stuff in the room was new when we got it. Exceptions: the plastic cube, the ash bucket, the hearth materials and the stove.

So, another revision:

repurposed/interesting/useful/retail/military/industrial/frugal —

or used & functional: simple lines are best

The last bit is the reality, really, I don’t go looking for the industrial or military or retail things. When I find one? It’s a plus, but not a requirement. That makes it:

Used & functional: simple lines are best

Put that into google? You get info about linear regression. NOT helpful!

Sigh.

(You can find the first description of this problem here.)

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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

Stuff & Minimalism

If you can have a “capsule” wardrobe, stripped down to only the most basic items, can  you do the same for your home?

Why not?

The first answer which popped into my head was that you do more in your home than you do in a given piece of clothing, functionally anyway. Clothes you wear — that’s it. A home you sleep, read, eat, prepare food, garden, play, etc. If you take only 10 pieces of clothing (excluding underwear and outerwear) as your “limit” or 20 if you have winter like we do, then why not 10 items per verb in the list I just made?

So what do you need, minimum to sleep? (static: bed)  changing pieces: sheets (2) pillow, pillow case and blanket. Absolute minimum = 5 for one person, 1 pillow, for 2 people and two pillows, add 2 or 7. With real seasons, double it = 14

What do you need, minimum to read? A book or tablet, ideally, you don’t have to own any of these you can rent them or take them out of the library.

What do you need, minimum to eat? Food and utensils, as needed. If you think about it, you don’t need anything to eat a banana, but eating stew without utensils would be difficult! So, the answer for this one is that “it varies.” Not very successful in terms of trying to be minimalist.

I’m going to mull this notion over a bit.

I’m helping someone learn English. In doing so, I’ve been trying to find the language “short cuts” first. There aren’t many things in English which are always true, but some are. This is a working adult person, not a kid.

The living and stuff thing needs a similar approach. What are the things which are always true, that you always need? Do that FIRST.

We’ll see how it works out with stuff, here.

It seems to me that a beginning can be made by using Maslow’s heirarchy of needs, again. This:

maslow-pyramid

The bottom layer is what your home is about.

Food/eating, water/drinking, warmth and rest are at least some of those basics, so is security and safety. When you add the psychological needs things get more complex.

So, I’m going to make some assumptions:

  1. I’m only talking about STUFF here.
  2. That emotional reactions to STUFF aren’t part of the equation.
  3. The security here is physical security only.

Given those parameters, I’m off to write some notes and thoughts.

 

 

 

Why It’s So Hard

Nov 21, 2016: I wrote this about a year ago. I don’t remember what prompted it. I don’t remember what it was about at all. But I’ve had conversations lately about PTSD. And I keep running into the idea from others with it, that because I cope pretty well I don’t have complex PTSD, or I have a mild case. In both instances my response is: NOT! But I don’t show this stuff or talk about it much, or haven’t in the past. So, the post below is about my PTSD and what I do you may or may not know. This isn’t the more obvious bits like avoiding the news or even the struggle with the house. This is the part that made me scared I was crazy for many,many years.


Just so you know, my “whining” about how hard dealing with all and sundry includes things you probably don’t know about or see.

I’m not going to talk about the pain that goes with PTSD, because that at least I mostly have under control, but it lurks around the corner all the time. It may not be front and center any more, but it’s there.

Almost always when I look off a bridge, cliff, or such, I think about jumping, for an instant. At least once a day, EVERY day, something about suicide floats through my mind. I’d love dearly for it not to be so, but it is.

Also, at least once daily, for an instant I think about something like screaming, smashing my car into a wall, pounding my head into a bloody pulp somewhere, like concrete.

None of this do I do, or hardly ever since I was in my 20s. But this occurs, day in and day out. When folks tell me to get over it, give it to God, or just think about something else, they’re thinking about the big stuff, the PTSD the abuse, etc. because that makes sense to them. But these things flit in and out of my head. Every. Single. Day. If you know a way to make it stop, I’d love to hear it! Especially if  it isn’t an addiction to a set of beliefs, drugs or behaviors. I’ve never found anything that works.

I ignore it, every day. Maybe Shrink-1 was right and I am borderline schizophrenic. I don’t know. I just know this takes effort and energy and you almost certainly never see this.

But it’s there. Do you know what it’s like to be really scared of yourself? Probably not. Aren’t you lucky?

Don’t give me your pat answers. Don’t tell me how “easy” it is with the right attitude. I fight battles and monsters every day you probably don’t know, don’t see, and can’t comprehend. I repeat: Aren’t you lucky?

The Week. . .

I’ve had weeks from hell before. I had a week where I was hosting 7 authors and 20 attendees for a writer’s “workshop” at the store. Had a car crash about 4 days before this event I’d spent 3 weeks frantically planning. My car was totalled and my ankle sprained. I got the last of the chores done with my desk chair zooming around the store.

Had the event. It was a success. Great. Three days (two?) later, a challenged person, with a minder comes in my store and wants books like Robert Jordan’s, but not his. Took quite some time, finally found him some books — then the guy has an epiletic seizure and collapses. His minder dealt with most of it, but not the vomit soaked paper towels. The bag of those I put in the dumpster, to be yelled at by the guy who owned the dumpster and threatened to have my shop removed from the center.

That was pretty bad.

I had a few times when I caught my current guy with someone else — always in April. Why was it always in April? That happened like 3 years in a row, 3 different men — all before DH.

This week hasn’t been that bad, but it hasn’t been easy.

Osteo arthitis.

Dead Fridge.

Scratched Cornea.

I have a dentist appointment tomorrow. I’m afraid. I’m very afraid! But I guess I have to go anyway.

J

 

Weird Day

  • We bought some necessary (and expensive) things, about 1/2 off, thru promo gift cards and a sale today.
  • We were invited to a party I wanted to go to, in the not-quite local big city today — but the invite was emailed yesterday — and we had made plans to do this and that necessary chore, so we didn’t go.
  • A good friend of mine is in a lot of pain. I didn’t find out about it until late tonight, because we were gone most of the day.
  • One of my favorite people associated with the gallery we’re involved with died today.
  • A pic of my friend/previous employer (who I haven’t seen in about 4 years) was on FB today.
  • The feral cat who was climbing in our laps two days ago today decided we are evil and to be run away from (although our food is mostly still okay).
  • Someone posted a list of passive aggressive phrases, like, “No worries,” which I use all the time, trying to be polite.

The world is just weird today.Weird in that things are not what it seems they should be. We did better than I’d expected on the items we bought. I’d concluded the party wasn’t going to happpen (or we hadn’t been invited) when I didn’t hear anything a week or two ago, etc.

Just weird.

 

There’s a line

“…my life is changing so fast now. . . .”

There will be a 2nd book. I think I’ve finished the emotional work so the memoir can be done. The new cleaning thing works, but isn’t fool proof (or at least not yet). Our cat (our kid) is probably dying. My family supported me in a completely unexpected way. I found out the abuser’s daughter had died.

Almost all of that has happened in the past month. I am reeling.

I feel as if I had gone through/am going through the aftermath of a major bomb attack — where the dust just hangs in the air for a long time.

Numb, disbelieving, with a wait and see attitude — that’s where I am right now. Which makes sense, at least to me. The pain thing that stopped what two weeks ago? has been a part of my life for over 50 years. Its removal isn’t just BIG but shakes the very foundations.

As I said, it will take a while for the dust to settle.

J