Tag Archives: stuff

The Unhibernated Dining Table

The dining room table had been “hibernating,” or something. It had a length of fabric over it and the cherry coffee table, which currently has no home, upside down on top of it.

That means of course, we couldn’t eat at the table. During the winter, since this is the north side of the house, in a room that’s cool by nature, that wasn’t a problem.

But I bought new rugs yesterday for the dining room. In order to get them in the room and convert it to the two or three separate functional spaces it needs to be to USE those rugs? The table had to be cleared. It is.

Unfortunately, it had also developed a rather bad check (crack) while storing the coffee table! DH looked at it and said something like, “Hm. You really want a round table, right?” and indeed I do. One of the pieces of research I did on decorating talked extensively about the effect of square or rectangular tables in a room, that is that emotionally, it’s says, “Stop!”

I bought the table and chairs to decorate our Tampa house, in 1985 or so. It’s oak, modern, and rectangular, which fit the open-concept, new/modern house we had. It was our kitchen table. There was a tiger oak dining table, which I sold a few years back, an English antique, it was one of our first pieces of “real” furniture. A relative of DH’s contributed tiger oak chairs. We still have the chairs, they’re heirlooms.

So, DH may make me a new table top — we’ll see! But in the meantime, the dining table has emerged from where it was hibernating — progress!


Other things I bought yesterday were a desk organizer and a sign, also for the kitchen/dining area. While at the company’s website, I decided wtf, I’d take their decorating “quiz,” because it could hardly be worse than all the others I’d tried.

Much to my surprise, the description of what I like was pretty accurate:

“You love the fresh, stylish-yet-simple look found in today’s updated Farmhouse Décor! Your style is graceful and uncluttered but retains a welcoming and warmhearted feel. Clean, soothing whites, taupe and grey tones, mixed with weathered wood and the occasional splash of color create a simple backdrop that’s easy to live with and even easier to accessorize! If you love the look of painted bead-board, or ship lapped walls paired with wooden floors…you’re all in girlfriend!”

Well, okay. I like whites, (and matte black) but I hate most greys and taupes and “greige,” ug. Lots of splashes of color. Yes, I like painted bead-board. Shiplapped walls? Nope, but this is a log home, it looks like we shiplapped the entire building! Wooden floors? Well, I like my wooden floor, I just wish it had been finished before we moved in!

“Farmhouse style reflects a way of life that is intimately connected to the land. It represents a lifestyle where necessity and a do-it-yourself attitude demand that items be repurposed and reused – often by generations of farm families. You love this style because it hearkens back to the simpler days of yesteryear and satisfies your longing for good-old-fashioned hard work, practicality, and close family ties.”

I don’t know if any of this is true or not. Certainly we do a lot of DIY and I like reused items quite a lot. But I said years ago that I liked “shabby” not because I loved chippy paint, but because I liked the fact that you didn’t have to fuss to maintain the surface. My observation about modern decorating is that it’s all about surfaces: clean, shiny surfaces — and they demand extensive caretaking. I do NOT want that. I want a place I can put my feet on the table or couch without stressing about it. The Tampa house was beautiful, but it had a great room with a white floor and the other floors were all med. grey carpets. Took a lot of maintenance to keep up the huge horizontal surfaces (which I didn’t do well).

“A Farmhouse style home is unpretentious, but definitely stylish, with an emphasis on useful yet aesthetically pleasing items. Flea market finds and DIY masterpieces are combined with new items and reproductions – it’s all part of the charm. A neutral color palette sets the stage, followed by weathered or painted furniture, apron front sinks, open shelves, and farmhouse tables. Complete the look with grain sack, linen, or ticking stripe fabrics, farm and industrial accents, galvanized tin items, vintage signs, chalk paint, white ironstone, and mason jars.”

I agree with all of this, up to the apron front sinks. I’m not fond of most of the rest of it: grain sack linens, ticking, farm/industrial accents, galvanized tin items, vintage signs, chalk paint, ironstone, and mason jars. I like all of that in moderation and HATE most of what I see. I call it “cheap Chinese crap.” I’m not fond of cutesy. I don’t want this place to look like the Sears catalog or any other. 

This was weird, because I hadn’t found anyone who seemed to have any idea that I might like a huge old industrial pressure cooker (we use it to hold fat wood) as well as the LCD op art looking thing on my bedroom wall (it’s a thermometer). If you read this blog at all, you know that I’ve written several posts about trying to find a description of my preferred “style.” And, although I will likely never put up a sign about farm girls, farmsteads, or country, or sweet tea or… this is pretty darn close!

The company has NOT asked me for this review, and I’m not getting anything for it, but the company is this one.

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The Road Goes Ever On. . .

Okay. Today we did the “great fridge move” and pulled the 2nd cabinet out of the kitchen to go to the antique store.

Right this instant, it’s a disaster down there. The fridge part of the big fridge has been cleaned, but not the inside of the door, the freezer section or the outside. The little fridge has been cleaned, relocated, and refilled. The outside of it could use cleaning too, but that’s it. The freezer has had a layer of frost removed from it (I use an ice scraper, the stuff is really soft).

The cabinet is in the middle of the room. The area where it stood has been swept and has been partially refilled with asst. other stuff.

As I said, the kitchen is a disaster. The sink is full of the dishes which haven’t been washed as well as various containers holding “science experiment” foods and containers of food which just need to be pitched and the containers washed.

Clearing the kitchen counters alone is about an hour’s work. That plus the rest: removing things from my car, putting the cabinet/top IN the car along with whatever else I can fit will take some time and effort. I would dearly love to be nearly done for today, but I’m not!

We’re doing some kind of “instant” dinner. Maybe more of the breakfast burritos we bought for flea market mornings (The market opens at 6 a.m. I’m not cooking breakfast at 5 in the morning!)

J

My Car is Full

of things to go to the flea market this week which were in the house. Tomorrow they’ll be put into the storage, until Friday, so I can make a dump run tomorrow too.

I don’t know quite how big my car is, but it’s a station wagon, so it’s not tiny! The car is pretty full. Also, I should have more selling space this coming month, which will help too. I can put some of the flea market things in the bigger selling space, before giving up on them and hauling them to the flea market or donating them.

Goals? One goal is to clear the boxes out of the corner of the kitchen. Another is to do the same in our bedroom. The same out of the attic. If I manage that, then I should be able to CLOSE the storage, because those spaces combined probably are about 200 square feet, but the storage is actually 20 x 10 x 9, so it’s 1800 cubic feet and I don’t know really if I have that much space available. However, for the first time, I have a way (weekly) to get rid of things, in bulk.

full car

I have obviously gotten rid of things consistently before, over a long period of time. But I haven’t had a weekly purge process, except going to the dump and/or just counting things. Things at the booth are staying 2 months. Then they’re hauled to the flea market, twice. Then they’re donated.

I guess what’s different is that I know I can’t just move the things around any more. I have to do a major purge in the next few months, or I won’t make my goal before it snows.

I don’t know if I can make my goal? But I’m going to try!

J

Tomorrow Was Indeed

better, although I’m still pretty discouraged. The antique store WILL take furniture again and the money issue I had with them has been resolved too — all good.

sunrise

 

The shop where I had craft supplies for sale is undergoing a huge change of methodology, so I’ve pulled all my stuff. That will be the basis of my inventory for the flea market, next week. This makes things much easier, as I didn’t really have items pulled for a flea market. Had some but not enough.

I need to get to the antique store today, move in the Hoosier, pull the oldest things  and rearrange the space. I have new merchandise to catalog and put in too. I have a lot of stuff to do with a lot of “stuff.”

In the ongoing book purge, we took 4 books to a donation bin last night while we were running errands. That is still ongoing, daily. It may never be enough, but. . . .

J

Rumination on the Process

The book purge. Every day. Five or more books out. But also purging anything and EVERYTHING. . . coffee grinders, books, saws, kitchen knives, tools, you name it. Bought clothes the other day and we asked ourselves what can go? And some went and keeps going — every day.

So, this morning I asked myself, when will I have gotten rid of enough stuff? And the answer is pretty simple: when I can take care of what remains in a fairly relaxed manner.

I want to get another job and want the house purge done, first, so that the house doesn’t degrade because I’m not here all day.

Seems like a good new goal. Not going to make having a Cinco de Mayo party this year either — maybe next? I sure hope so!!!

cinco de

J

Worked on Storage, Yesterday

Intend to do more, today. And yet more, tomorrow. I may have to rent a tiny unit to take the furniture. I’m not sure if the antique store has a place for furniture in its new location. If not, then pieces need to be hauled to auction, sold otherwise, or given away. (Purged books from the house today instead.)

We are getting a new back roof this year and maybe some storage space along with it. However, it will NOT be filled with boxes of books. If I bring the stuff home and it just sits here, I have only gained the price of the storage. And the price of the addition has to be considered in there too. The difference of course is that an additional utility area adds to the value of our home, not just a landlord’s bottom line. But as we’re talking about it right now, it will be a much bigger undertaking than we’d originally planned.

I still have WAY too much stuff. My ultimate goal this year is to have NO storage unit by 12/31 and be able to sanely (no box stacks, except perhaps in the attic) store what we keep. There’s a huge amount of stuff to shed between us and that goal, but I’m really tired of hauling things back and forth, trying to sell them or determine what happens to them. I don’t need the camouflage anymore and I’m tired of drowning in stuff!

stuff stacks

I have no idea how well we can manage this. All I can do is try!

J

Took a box to the dump’s swap shop today. Also wrote notes to booksellers, collectors, etc. who are friends. Were they still interested in x or y or z type of book? If so, exactly what did they want? Got answers, Am getting a list together.  More stuff gone. Also, will have a way to sell the best of the stuff it looks like. Hurrah!

New Rules

  1. Handle things as little as possible.
  2. When items are for sale, if they don’t sell at some previously set time frame, try to remove at least 75% of the items from inventory.
  3. If it’s in the house, you don’t use it, haven’t used it, and you have no idea when or if you’ll use it, get rid of it or reuse the components.
  4. Ask for help when you need it.
  5. Take advantage of good weather.
  6. Talk to the people you do business with. If you’re personable and reasonable, it can save you money. Maybe not a lot, but some. We drove the rental van about 8 miles yesterday. Because we were personable with the folks we rented from and the person before us had put in a little more gas than they had to, the guy told us if the gas hadn’t gone down below x level, to not worry about it. It hadn’t, and so we didn’t buy gas.
  7. Make use of the resources and tools you already have. This one actually cost us money. We forgot our hand truck yesterday and so had to rent one, sigh. We didn’t use it much, but we still paid for the one we rented. Today I’ll throw the one we own in the car.

full hand truck