A fresh start

Things are finally getting back to normal here from the holiday. Yesterday we lugged the last box of Xmas decor into the basement and my family room looked a lot bigger again without a tree and a mountain of toys.

I had this crazy idea, back before Halloween… that for each holiday of “stuff/decor” I was going to buy color-coordinating containers to put stuff in rather than miscellaneous cardboard boxes. So all my Fall decor is in orange 18-30 gallon plastic containers… and now (after raiding Target of the last clearance aisles) 10 red and green containers for the holiday decor.

The goal is to get rid of as much cardboard as possible.

1. Because the storage area in the unfinished side of the basement is risky (we had one flood a year back and I feel much safer with all my stuff in plastic and up/off the floor)
2. Keeps my sanity when I have to ask S. to bring up any seasonal stuff.
3. I feel organized.
4. Cardboard sucks and there’s only so many times you can tape and retape a box.

All of David’s (baby) clothes that he outgrew are also in big blue containers. Stacked in the corner should we ever need them again.

The crazy thing about all of this, is I feel so much better not wading through junk downstairs anymore. There was a time (before the basement was partially finished) when our basement was a graveyard… a dumping ground. When we were forced to organize and throw out stuff it took us TWO FULL DAYS and an entire dumpster.

Soon I can rest easy that my basement is a friendly environment, and not have that perpetual monkey on my back that I need to clean and organize. Sometimes tasks like that can be so overwhelming.

Next up after the basement is finito, the walk-in closet above the garage. 7×10 feet of more stuff I probably don’t need. Half of it is old baby stuff. Most days when I have to venture in there for something I don’t spend a lot of time. It’s currently a wasted space that could function as a sitting room, or a crafts room.

No matter what happens this year, I do plan to get rid of all of the contents (some of the stuff can’t be reused anyway). I feel like having it stare me in the face is doing me no good. Just a reminder that I’ve been perpetually waiting for 2 1/2 years.

Cleaning is good. Sorta like cleansing the soul at the same time.

Well, at least it’s not an ice chest

Have you shopped for a major kitchen appliance lately? I am aghast at the prices out there for basic kitchen necessities. Not to mention the quality has declined year after year. Which means whether you buy a $4,000 fridge or a $800 one, they all have similar shelf-lives. Thank you China.

Hubby and I have been on the hunt for a new refrigerator, mainly because since the resuscitation of the old one back in August? to the tune of $250, our beloved fridge has been going Sybill on us lately. One day the milk is just a touch not cold enough, the next day it’s the polar ice cap.

I don’t need a fridge that sings to me or tells me how beautiful I am in the morning (although that might be a nice add-on). I went shopping for a basic fridge with an external filtered water dispenser.

So, off we go to Lowe’s for their Veteran’s Day Sale. They had four rows of refrigerators. Your basic top/bottom, side-by-side, and the new french door top with the freezer bottom. We didn’t want the bare-bones top-bottom (no water dispenser or inconveniently located in the fridge). We looked at the new-fangle french door ones, but as much as I loved seeing the fridge portion wide and at eye-level… the freezer on the bottom was useless. I mean, who wants to DIG in your freezer? I would never find anything in there!

So, we are forced back to the side-by-side. And, now, we decide we want stainless. But did you know there are several different kinds of stainless? true stainless, faux stainless, satin stainless? Satin stainless won out (I did the fingernail test… shhhhhh) because it was the only one that did not scratch with minimum effort and showed no handprints.

In the end, our final choice was a Whirlpool Gold, which met all of my needs except it doesn’t talk to me. lol.

It does however, have a few bells and whistles I could have done without. Of course it was one of the only models that cannot be delivered next-day. So we won’t have it until the day before Thanksgiving next week. Or maybe earlier local Lowe’s helper says.

Did I mention I am hosting Thanksgiving?

Eventually, when I become independently wealthy, I will need to replace the stove and the dead microwave, even the dishwasher soon I bet. Now that it’s been 8 years since we last fully furnished the kitchen I’ll know better next time when I am thinking appliances aren’t THAT expensive.

For now, I thank Lowe’s for the no-interest financing… which allows us to buy food to put into the refigerator.

An oasis for hubby

My dear beloved husband is turning 40 in two weeks. He’s been pretty stern about not wanting to make a big deal out of his birthday. I am obliging, especially since I want the same low key atmosphere when my 40th comes around next year.

It’s not that we care about turning forty. Well, we do a little.

It’s a milestone that seemed so far off for so many years.

And here we are. 10 years to 50 (now THAT’s scary!). and after that 10 more till I get my AARP card. bwahahaha…

I stink at gifts for S.

We pretty much buy what we want anyway, so it seems illogical to go out and buy something he won’t wear or use. So I thought, how about something different.

So let me back up a little…

Husband of mine has a very stressful job. He has customers that beat up on him on a daily basis. When he comes home, he would optimally like to run up to the bedroom and hide under the covers and forget about work.

At the end of his workday, he drives though rush hour traffic to pick up David from school, then he turns around and goes back the other way (in the same traffic) to get home. Upon getting home, he is usually beat… physically and emotionally. He grabs a soda and sits in the recliner (HIS recliner! I have one too) and decompresses.

With David running about and shouting at his ninja turtles and throwing crackers and Legos at the dog, and the dog barking, and me trying to cook dinner and finish up my work in my office, and the phone ringing- well, you get the idea.

It’s not very tranquil in the house.

Hubby had dreamed of having a quiet oasis in the backyard. A place to relax and kick back with some nice scenery.

Five years back, my Dad and my brother installed a patio (EP Henry Pavers), but it was square and plain. Nothing to look at, just grey rocks and moss growing inbetween them. No trees, no bushes, no flowers, no character…..nothing.

We had all intentions of landscaping the backyard. We just had a jillion excuses. It’s too much work, it’s too hot, what kind of trees and bushes, when will we have time to do it, who wants to haul dirt around, I might break a nail, etc.

Last month I threw away the excuses and asked my Dad to throw us a referral for a landscaper. I knew there was NO WAY we were going to EVER landscape it on our own. I decided to hire someone and get this monkey off my back for good.

I didn’t tell S. until the crew was scheduled. When we came home from Florida last week, we pulled into our driveway, unloaded the suitcases, and found 3 men in our backyard digging.


And they finished Monday. They added a fancy step-off the patio and planted bushes, flowers, and trees!!! and it looks sooooooooo nice.

I finally have given my dear S. the quiet place he always wanted. ~xo~

Not as riveting as Pirates of the Caribbean, but exciting nonetheless

We had a very busy holiday weekend here.

Since S. had off a four day weekend, we spent much of it painting around the house. Primarily the kitchen. We had sealed in a wall that connected our old dining room which is now my office a YEAR ago, and the spackled new drywall remained for 12 months until this weekend.

Since Lowe’s was having a paint sale, we decided that it was finally time to finish what we started. I am now convinced that the kitchen is THE hardest room to paint, considering what we thought would be a day or work turned into almost three.

I guess I should have shot a “before” photo, to truly admire how dark and danky the kitchen was. Half of it was a medium stone-brown and the other was blue. Our house is only 7 years old but the kitchen looked like a dungeon.

Behold the results, brighter and it looks clean!
We painted the ceilings and even the bead-board that the construction guys installed last year.Check one big item off the major to-do list.

Next items on the list, a new front door and landscaping around the patio. I’m already thinking of subbing out the landscaping. The reason we keep putting it off is it’s sooo labor intensive. I mean, who really wants to shovel dirt in 90 degree weather?