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Priceless

cleanroom1
Cozy and a bit rumpled.

Confession: our house is always a mess. Lately, I can’t keep up and frankly, I haven’t even been trying. Sometimes, life is just busy and you don’t get to choose what falls to the wayside.

However, I do hit my limit eventually. And Friday night, as I headed to bed I looked at IZ and said, “I can’t walk tomorrow–this house has to be cleaned.”

I wish I could say I was one of those people who kept up with cleaning on a daily basis. But, other than making sure the dishes are done every night, I’m not. For the most part, I’ve accepted that this isn’t my strong suit. My gifts and graces do not include ” keeping an immaculate house” and I’m ok with that.

What I will tell you, though, is that I adore a clean house. Who doesn’t really? There is something so hopeful about looking around your space and seeing everything, ok mostly everything, in its proper place.  Sure, keeping up with these chores daily would mean not spending an entire Saturday to remedy the mess–but, oh is the effort worth it. Even if it’s done all on one exhausting day.

I woke up yesterday to find IZ and Geo watching anime in the living room. As I began to clean, IZ said, “Don’t worry about the kitchen.” And then he booted our son into his room to clean it and began to clean the kitchen. He did all the floors too. Which meant that I actually had enough steam at the end of the day to tackle the laundry in its various stages of undone.

Clean sheets, vacuumed floors, fresh flowers — it doesn’t take much to remind me how much I love living in this house. Despite the unpainted walls and crumbling carpets. But a man who doesn’t let you clean alone, is priceless.

 

 

By Then

New Porch Light. That tiny stripe matches the haint blue porch ceiling.


I took a break this weekend that turned into an even bigger blogging break. Did “not much”.  And now, I’m paying for my slothfulness. I don’t have a post here, though I’m sure I can string together enough words to disguise it. We’re just sort of treading water at the moment. The weather and the paper work on the house and my ever expanding waistline have me questioning my sanity. Remember all that sunshine we had in January? Yeah, well, we’re paying for it now in damp, grey, wet, gloomy, I could go on with the adjectives weather. My soul is water logged.

Anyhow, I stumbled upon this photo I took during January’s snow and never posted. It’s pretty, no? There’s no real point in this, other than I love that light. It’s a tiny reminder of blue skies and prettier days that are sure to come back around again. Someday.

And who knows, maybe I’ll have found a point by then?

Ritual

Friday night ritual: lots and lots of water. And candles. And an icy cold Manhattan if I can cajole IZ to make one for me while I’m soaking.

This has become my Friday night ritual. The water is just beginning to fill the tub in this photo, but trust me, I push the water line as far as I can. It’s this little indulgence that keeps me sane.

And NO, there’s not a picture of me in the tub on principle.That and because I’m super scared of dropping my camera in a tub full of sudsy water. In real life, IZ says I’m a total exhibitionist.

Really? What was your first clue? My ten year old personal blog?

Still, no nudie photos for y’all.

Do you have a ritual to help keep you sane?

In Photos: My Closet

As promised, here are photos of my work in progress closet. It’s probably a good thing there isn’t space for a comfy chair, or you’d never get me out of there. Writing from the closet. . . sounds like a good name for a new blog.

I have a thing for beige sweaters. I don’t know why. If you’d asked me before I took this photo what color I prefer, I would have said grey. Um, clearly that’s not the case.

IZ added this shelf for me. There had been these horrible wood things that someone slapped into the walls. They were so gross and poorly done, he pulled them out for me before I painted the space. The only thing that really bugs me, is the mismatched hangers. I’d love to replace that mishmash with flocked clothes hangers —but it’s an investment and I feel guilty about it. So, until I get over myself (or come into a windfall) I’m living with the wild look. Beats the floor!

I love this little print I picked up a thrift store for a dollar. She was cut out of some sort of magazine or newspaper in the late 1800′s and I couldn’t resist her. And I’ve had the white ware vase for ages. The lace curtain is also vintage. It doesn’t quite fit the window, but it was close enough I couldn’t resist. I really love the patterns it makes on the walls when it gets afternoon light.

All my favorite things. Vintage textiles and blue glass and handmade trinkets. I told you, I would live in here.

The calendar is so pretty. Notice? It’s a new month! A new image. I think this is New York. It doesn’t say, so that’s what I’m pretending. I’m not happy with the way I’ve hung the calendar. But, I figured it was better to get it up in a make-shift way and enjoy it! Because who knows how long until I figure out what I’d like best. The flower on top I made and the ribbon is vintage.

The color is a mix of paint (I know, I know, no more custom colors) of our bedroom paint (Morning Fog) and our bathroom paint (Bakery Box White). I’m not sure you can really discern the difference between the closet and our bedroom, but I carried the paint out into the small hallway that separates my closet from our bedroom to tie it all together. (Photos of that when I actually finish.Oy)

So, progress! Happy Friday Friends. I don’t know how to end this really, so I’ll just wish you a relaxing weekend.

Sneak Peek or Bribery Will Get You Everywhere

A gift from the lovely Heather. . .

The house is in limbo—I can’t really do much painting until we get through the inspection process and that’s still a few months out. So, I’m focusing on the few spaces I can touch. In this case, my closet. There is sun on the horizon, which means I can post photos later. The images I shot this weekend are still a bit dark. But this one exposure was pretty. I love how the vintage curtain casts a shadow that’s reminiscent of the trees in the photo.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the lovely calendar. It was a gift from the ever thoughtful Heather (aka HG on this blog). She puts up with my poor writing skills and is constantly lobbying for a move to Pennsylvania. I suspect this calendar was a bribe. . . and a very tempting one at that. I love it.

It took me most of the month to figure out where to put it, decisiveness not being my strong suit. Consequently, a month to mention this gift. (SO BAD) I finally decided the closet was a perfect location. I’m sure that makes absolutely no sense, but I think when you see the photos later, you’ll understand why.

So, until there’s sun, a sneak peek. Progress, not perfection.

Hola Azul

Main Floor:

Second Floor:

Margaret asked for a paint palette, so of course, I spent way too much time this morning creating our own custom paint chips.  (love you, Marge!) For the record, this is what’s on the agenda RIGHT NOW. I reserve the right to completely wig out and change this thing up. Though, I’ve promised IZ that I’ll stick with whatever decision is made once the paint is bought in gallons and applied to the wall. (I’m never going to live down making him paint our kitchen 5 times to find the right color.)  I’ll list names and sources when I’m absolutely sure this is direction we’re headed. :D  But this should give you a feeling for the tone we’re attempting to achieve.

Diga adiós amarillo, azul hola! Ya!!

On Your Mark, Get Set,

Ann Taintor never fails to elicit the truth. . . or a smile. Her work here.

Go!:

It’s not that we lack news to relate. It’s that I’m struggling how to put into words what needs to be said without putting it in print on the internet. It’s taken me 2 weeks to stop being dumfounded!

Let’s just say, for now anyhow*, that IZ is our new General contractor. He’s doing a bang up job of it, despite the fact that the budget is now 14K lighter than it should have been! He’s lined up amazing people to put our home back together again and the tradespeople we’ve been working with have been so compassionate about our circumstances.

There will be sacrifices. Like the real potential that not everything will be done on our hotel vacate date (10/25). And some of our finishes are, well, maybe not quite what we had imagined going into the process. I’m sure we’ll continue to tally up the damage done to our jobs and businesses by being out of our home for nearly 3 months.

But, y’all have seen the before photos?! It could be cheap vinyl on the floor and be better than what was in the space before! And the upside is that our electrical will no longer be a fire hazard. (say goodbye Knob and Tube) Our plumbing will be legal and, at least theoretically because plumbing has a way of misbehaving, flowing properly. We’ll have a REAL tub in the master bath.

A REAL TUB. And not any tub. . . a gorgeous claw foot thing that is heavier than heck and has to come up a flight of stairs. I’m already wondering what I can do to soften the blow for our construction crew that will have to haul that thing up to the top floor. Cupcakes? Latte runs? Vodka? Ok, maybe not the vodka!

So, this is it. The plumber arrives tomorrow morning. The electrician is scheduled for Wednesday. All our finishes are chosen and most are ordered. And now we make a mad dash in the last two weeks to finish a project that started July 1 and promptly stalled for two months. I really shouldn’t be surprised by this, since procrastination is a state of mind this family inhabits. But just the same, I’m bracing myself for all the work to be done in the next two weeks.

Oh, and did I mention I’m changing the color palette of 90% of the house. Uh. . . hang on, it’s about to get BUSY up in here.

* for those of you who have heard part of the story, I’d really appreciate it if we kept the details out of the comments. I’m happy to share our experience off-line, but it’s probably best to keep it there. Thank you! :D

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