Taking over my little Universe, one room at a time!


So much to talk about, and I don’t know where to start!

Well, I promised pictures from my bedroom makeover, so I will start there.

My beginning inspiration was the new bedspread and curtains:

image

After I had those picked out, I chose a nice light gray paint, so light it’s almost white, and a super bright white for the trim.

I started out with a room that was painted two crappy colors of brown, and here are the before pictures. You can see where I started cutting in the new paint, and the contrast of the two tones of the brown. I think my room had been like that for 10 years or so. How freaking depressing !

You can see the new bed spread and curtains don’t look like much with the brown paint.

After a few coats of paint and a bunch of elbow grease, I was able to take this after picture. I still need to get a matching curtain for my closet door.

image

Now add the new night stand and head board:

image

This last picture is a little dark, but trust me, it’s like waking up in a cloud. My new room makes me so happy, and it took very little to make it happen. Sure, I had to spend some money, and there were some late nights spent trying to get it done, but it was so worth it!

So what else is new in my neck of the woods?

My new job continues to be awesome, and I have a lot of job satisfaction. I know it won’t always be this way, because life doesn’t ever stay static, so I am enjoying it while it lasts. Hopefully it will last a good long while.

Younger Son is coming home after being out at sea for 8 months. I got to talk to him on the phone for the first time since November, and it was so good to hear his voice. Just that simple act of speaking with him on the phone let off a lot of steam I didn’t realize had been building up. It appears that I was kind of holding my breath all of this time. Even with email, mail, and Facebook, it was so little contact. I don’t know how loved ones did it in the days before social/electronic media, when their kids joined the service and were gone for long stretches of time. He comes home soon, and it will be so awesome to have all of my chicks back in the nest again.

Older Son has been having a stretch of good luck in that he was able to replace an old car with a newer, cheaper-to-run vehicle. He even got a break on his insurance. Fabulous!!

The city is gearing up for the State Fair which begins next week. This year, I think we will just go for one day. Usually we go for multiple days, but it gets expensive, and doesn’t change much from year to year. I still get excited when it starts up, though. Older Son will be in the Parade this year, so I may just go watch it. This will be the first Parade Saturday that I haven’t had a prior commitment for a long time.

Well, I’m working on my 2nd cup of coffee, and I think I will finish that up and get to work on my house. The laundry needs to get going, and everything else needs picking up and scrubbing. After chores are done, I think I will go shop for a new BBQ, and plot my next home improvement project: Kitchen Part 2 – paint & floor! I feel like I am finally taking over my own little universe, one room at a time!

Here’s wishing you all a lovely, relaxing Saturday, with which you can plot how you will take over your universe! Blessings all!

Here’s to new beginnings


Well, it’s been a while since I posted last, and so much has happened in that time.

Between then and now I managed to get a brand new job, which is a marked improvement over the last one. I have good people to work with, and good and interesting work to do.  I’m working in a hospital now, and it’s interesting work.

Needless to say life is much less stressful, and I’m grateful for it.

I’ve fallen into a strange rut for the last several months, and I’m just now feeling like a human being again. Too much sleeping, too much eating, and too much playing games… Avoiding everything. All good anesthesia, but not good for living.

Today, I decided to take the plunge and get something going that is long overdue. Nothing so energizing as a good project!

My bedroom is painted two different, terribly awful, colors of brown. Ugh… So awful! Today that is getting fixed. If my bedroom feels so gross, and it’s supposed to be the most serene place in the house, that’s a problem easily rectified with new curtains and paint!

Progress will be documented and posted later. For now, I’m diving in head first and see how much I can get done this week.

Here’s wishing for you a creative outlet to help get you out of whatever rut you may be in. Blessings all!

 

Finding light in dark corners


You’ve heard me talk about procrastination quite a bit over the years in the blog. I’m a pro…just saying.

Yesterday, I had the whole day to really dig through some things and get rid of the stuff that I don’t need or want. Instead, I puttered around my house, just going from here to there, and back again, doing little things. I did manage to get the underside of my TV stand cleaned out, as well as the middle of my china cupboard. What I also should have done yesterday was clean out the bottom of the china cupboard.

But I didn’t. I found some very creative ways to avoid it.

Why, you ask? What could be so terrible in the bottom of the china cupboard that you can’t clean it out?

Probably a bunch of things. You see, I have many nooks and crannies where I stuffed things away just to put them somewhere. Also, I have a tendency to put things away to keep them safe, and then I never find them again. Oh, they are very safe, indeed…even from me!

I have a sneaking suspicion that there are a bunch of pre-divorce items lurking in the bottom of that cupboard, and I don’t want to deal with them. I have finally had a little bit of peace and it’s upsetting every time I have to deal with those things again. For instance, while cleaning out the middle of the china cupboard, I found several pictures of my ex husband, with the boys. I quickly stuffed those away in another pile of pictures so I don’t have to see them again for a while.

However, in my cleaning out of nooks and crannies yesterday, I was reminded of something. This thing, which is something I need to remind myself of, constantly, is that there is light even in the darkest of corners.

I found some interesting things that I hadn’t seen in years, and was glad to find. Pictures, without my ex husband in them, of my kids, and of other family members and friends. Batteries, which I sorely needed, and now don’t have to go buy. Paperwork that I thought was lost, but only put away. So many things that I needed to see.

The reality is that I found very little nasty dark little things in those dark, dusty corners, and found quite a bit that I needed or enjoyed. It wasn’t as painful as I always think it’s going to be. There were more blessings than not.

The bottom of the china cupboard is next, tonight, and I’ll be throwing a whole bunch of nasty little dark things away, and keeping the treasures that I find. Hopefully it will be a short expedition!

Here’s hoping that you find much unexpected light in the darkest corners of your space, and that you find many treasures to make your day. Blessings all!

 

Struggling not to multitask


I would have bet the whole farm that I had to work at the Big Red Box Store tonight. I even got dressed and went there after working all day at my primary job, and tried to sign in to work. Well, will wonders never cease…the time clock wouldn’t let me in because I actually didn’t have to work.

Score!!

So, what does a girl do with an unexpected night off do? She obsesses about what to do with all of that extra time. Too much work to do at home.

As if working two jobs wasn’t work enough, there’s always a lot that needs doing at home. Especially when I do have to work tomorrow night, and Thanksgiving night, and I will be cooking Thanksgiving dinner.

Not that cooking Thanksgiving dinner is terrible work. It’s quite a labor of love. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and I LOVE cooking for my friends and family. We’ve got it down to a science. I cook the Turkey, Ham, and potatoes, and set up all of the little extras like the veggie tray, pickles and some side dishes like Cookie Salad. OMG…Cookie Salad. I can’t wait! Mom brings the Green Bean Hotdish, and my friends bring the best homemade bread and deserts. OMG…I can’t wait!!!

But, I digress…Thanksgiving is a lovely distraction.

Our society is so consumed with the idea of multitasking, and it’s something I have become so trained to have to do constantly, that it’s next to impossible for me to sincerely enjoy an unexpected night off. Just to lounge around binge watching something I’ve been missing out on, or putz around my house doing something I feel like doing, as opposed to something that needs doing, is not possible without guilt.

That’s right…I feel guilty for enjoying down time. Therefore, I don’t.

I always have to have something else going on in the background. Tonight, it’s the laundry running while I am avoiding being productive. That’s worth something, right?

My question, to myself as well as to you, my Faithful Readers, is why is it so terrible to enjoy time doing nothing? American society prizes hard work to the point of exhaustion. If you are sitting, and not being productive in some way, you aren’t working hard enough. If you are on time, you are late. If you don’t work overtime you are lazy. Sheesh…I can’t even watch TV, or go out somewhere, anymore unless I at least have laundry going.

What happened to doing a good day’s work and then going home and doing whatever the hell you feel like? Without guilt, without worry. A person should have a whole weekend to be able to rest, relax and putz around the house, or around the yard. Or just sleep until you are fully rested. What the heck does being rested feel like?

I’m only 46, and I feel like I have traversed a longer road than my age would give evidence of. I have felt like I needed to pack in a whole lot of living in between my two jobs, and I have done a pretty decent job of it.  Nobody can accuse me of not checking things off of my Bucket List.

In the last few months, I have become aware that I crave a few things. I so badly would like to slow down. I have run at such a fast pace in the last five years, and in stressful circumstances, that I feel like I am burning out.

I crave to do things that feed my soul. Crafts, gardening, reading. I love all of those things, but have lost the drive to do any of it because there just isn’t much time to really do them.

I crave so  badly to turn my weigh-station of a house into a home.  A real home where I get to cook something for supper every night. A real home that I get to spend time in. A real home where I get to have company more often than just Thanksgiving.

Changes are coming. They will be slow and deliberate, but they are coming. One more thing I crave to do and don’t have much time for is writing. Well, look at me…looks like I’ve taken a step forward tonight!

Here’s hoping that you don’t suffer from relaxation guilt and that your life is slow and and as non-productive as makes your life lovely. Blessings all!

 

Hope in days of despair, which means we win


So much despair today.

As I was busy last night, catching up with some old friends, I was a little slow to find out about the terrorist attacks in Paris, and was shocked when I woke up to the news this morning. What happened to those poor people is unconscionable, and unforgivable. Apparently there were attacks in other places this week as well, but they didn’t seem to get any press. There’s nothing to prove by systematically shooting innocent people. Nothing. While most of the people who perpetrated these crimes are dead, they certainly have accomplices, and I hope they are caught before they can strike again.

I spoke with Younger Son today. I made sure to speak with him on the phone before Monday, because he ships out and will be at sea for 5-7 months. As a consequence, I will not hear his voice for that long, and will have very little communication with him during that time. If I’m lucky, he will get a chance to send a quick email when they get close enough to shore. I feel quite a lot of despair about him being on an air craft carrier out in the middle of the ocean. I shouldn’t because our carriers are surrounded by a whole group of support ships, which have heavy-duty fire power. Still, I worry. Especially in light of the escalating events going on around the world.

Add on top of all of this that my work life feels like an ongoing train wreck, my house is a shambles (with the exception of my lovely new cupboards), and I just have very little interest in things that used to give me a lot of joy.

At times like these, sometimes it’s all I can do to hold it together and not just sob hysterically. I just about did today, at a wedding.

I hate weddings. What? Who hates weddings?! I hate going to weddings because I get really emotional and cry. Never fails, and it doesn’t even matter if I know the bride and groom well or not. As is the norm, I found myself sniffling with tears running uncontrollably down my cheeks…and I wasn’t smart enough to bring a kleenex with me. Uff-da…

I thought hard about why I was crying. It was a very lovely service, with lots of impromptu humor, and it was fairly quick. I analyzed myself and wondered if I cry at weddings because my own marriage failed. No…I don’t think so. I’ve been crying at weddings since before I got married myself. Probably, I am just an old sap, and there’s no help for that.

Something I did notice is people having babies (and there are a LOT of them I know having babies right now), and people getting married, give me hope for the future. Despite the fact that evil people are making a concerted effort to inflict terror on innocents around the world, we are still going about the business of living, and being happy. We forge ahead assuming life will be good, and that we will just carry on. Regardless of what comes, that’s generally what people do.

Four years ago, I wrote a blog post entitled “Join me in pissing off the terrorists“. I read it through again, and I believe what I said then still stands. We just need to keep on keeping on, because that’s what makes us happy, and what infuriates them so much. They are evil because they work so hard to make us feel something other than happy or hopeful. If they spent as much time working on themselves rather than killing others, perhaps life everywhere would be much better.

I’m glad I didn’t get the news about the attacks until this morning. I spent quality time with old friends, eating some awesome grilled pizza and catching up. That is something those nasty terrorist bastards can’t ever take away from me. Life is too short to hunker down and not live. Let freedom ring…ring it loud.

Here’s hoping that, no matter what, you are getting out and living life to the fullest you can…whatever that means for you. Every single time we do something that makes us happy, even the tiniest bit, we win. Blessing All!

The joys of home improvement…a new kitchen!


The, last two days have been a dusty, noisy, joyous, anxious roller coaster ride. I’ve been planning a kitchen remodel since the end of August, but nothing quite prepares you for the actual havoc of it all.

I’d been waiting for a call from the folks who are installing my new kitchen, and I’d asked them to give me a couple weeks of lead time so I could arrange to have the time off to be at home when the install happened. I got the call two days ahead of time. Whoops! Good news is that I was able to get the time off short notice.

The demolition of the Beforeold kitchen went off without a hitch, and was carried out in short order yesterday. The picture on the left is what the kitchen looked like to start with, in all of its ancient, built-in, plywood cupboard glory. Notice the really old brown/orange-flowered flooring? I’ll look forward to seeing the last of that, but more about the flooring later.During

Once all of the cupboards were gone, it was lunch time, and then it was time to get the new cupboards installed. The thing about installing new stuff in an old house is that you never know what you might find after you pull all of the old stuff out.  They did find a little mold under the sink cupboards, but they took it all out and sprayed some stuff over it to prevent it from coming back.

They would have been able to get the whole thing done in one day, had the plumber shown up on time. He didn’t manager to show up until day two, and the only reason he came right away this morning is because there cold water feed line decided to spring a leak in the middle of the night. Older Son woke me up at 3am to let me know that it was raining in the basement. The whole kitchen floor was covered with water. Poor kid had to work all day today on not much sleep. After we got done mopping it all up, there wasn’t much sleeping going on.

After the plumber showed up and fixed the leak, he said he would be back about 2pm. Well that time came and went, and we had to call him to remind him to come out. The crappy part about that is that this is my regular plumber that the kitchen installation team just happened to contract with. I was super disappointed with that, and hope it was just a fluke. As things stand right now, it’s 3:30, my kitchen installation team has done their job and gone, and I am still waiting on the plumber. The new cupboards are installed, along with the new counter/back-splash. I still have the electric items, dishwasher/garbage disposal, painting and flooring left to do, but that can wait. I’m hoping to have that done by the time June rolls around. Just need to save up the cash and build up some time off. This was a good company to work with, and I’m super impressed with them. If you live in the High Plains, check out Your Home Improvement Company. They are based out of St Cloud, MN, but have branch offices in other places. The guys who did the cabinet install is WIT Construction, LLC. Good guys. They showed me how to operate these new-fangled cupboards, and take the doors off if I need to. You wouldn’t think there’s much that goes on with cupboard doors and shelves, but there really is.

All done but the plumbing and electric! 11-13-15

This last picture is of my new cupboards in all of their honey oak glory. I’m so happy with this…it’s really quite surreal. I can hardly believe this is actually mine! You know what, though? I work my butt off, and I deserve this new kitchen. It’s been a long time coming and, while it might not be done all the way yet, I can still enjoy it on the way to completion. It’s amazing what kind of transformations can happy in just two days!

Now the plumber is here and is putting in the sink stuff. It’s not going to be too much longer before I have my running water back, and the stove and fridge back in place. Time to wipe everything down and get my house back together, until the next round of home improvement!

Here’s hoping all of your home improvement projects go smoothly, that you find nary a weird thing behind your kitchen cabinets, and your plumbing never leaks! Blessing all!

Why can’t you just apply for a job? And a little Indian Summer Lore…


So, my job has become pretty awful and I’m in the process of searching for a new one. A job that is much less stressful, and will make me work many less weekends. Not that I want to be a slacker, mind you. I will still need to keep my part-time job at The Big Red Box Store, but I find I need more time for myself.

I remember the good old days when you could turn in a resume, and then they would read through them and just call you if they were interested in you as a potential employee. Not anymore. You have to jump through hours and hours of poorly constructed internet fill-in-the-blanks to input your information. Just for one job! I sat at my computer last night copying and pasting, and rewriting, all of the stuff from the resume I had already uploaded to this site. What a waste of time! I think it’s seriously an exercise in patience and perseverance more than anything else.

Mouse River Valley

Overlooking the Mouse River Valley

Uff da… Whatever new job I get is hopefully worth the work it takes to just get to the interview!

In other news, winter is on the horizon. It still smells like fall, but the cool bite of winter approaches. I love fall, and we have been blessed with a nice long one…what many of us in the High Plains call an Indian Summer. I did some reading up on Indian Summer, and apparently it really only occurs when there are warm days after a cold spell, some time between November 11th and 20th. Well, look at that. We haven’t quite reached those dates yet, but we certainly have had some lovely warm weather. We did have a cold spell a week back too. It counts as far as I’m concerned, and with any luck, we’ll have more warm weather to add to it. To learn some more cool facts about Indian Summer, click here.

Here’s hoping you have lovely weather where you are, and that your jobs are easy to apply for. Blessings all!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 70 other followers