Thursday, December 29, 2011

Breakdown

I just had my first major pregnancy induced emotional breakdown.

A major, body shaking, tears streaming, weeping in a way that puts Kim Jong-Il's mourners to shame in the parking lot of my local recycling center kind of breakdown.

They were closed.

I got there at 9:24am. They are open until 9:30 on Wednesday, but not on Thursday. On Thursday they open at 7:30am and close at 9. I really wish I had known that at 9:07 when I got back to my house and before I busted my ass to get the enormous pile of recyclables that has been taking over our laundry/mudroom/hallway to the only main floor bathroom for the last month into our little SUV.

Sidenote: yes, I do need to post about that. It's the most embarrassing part of our house and if you have to use the facilities while you're here you'll see it.

Back to that breakdown. So they're closed and the recyclables are already in the car. Not such a big deal, right? I can just bring them tomorrow instead when Austin will be off work and around to help me with them.

Wrong.

They also aren't open Friday morning, but they were open Wednesday from 5-7pm. Isn't that convenient? Who would have thought you might want to have a time that is actually after people who have jobs get home from work? Too bad it doesn't say that on the website.  I would have brought them last night instead of taking a shower. That would have been a really handy bit of information to have, especially now that my car is full of recyclables that I can't get rid of until Saturday morning.

Because,, you know, I don't want to drive anywhere else between now and then and I don't mind carrying them back and forth to the house over and over. It's not like I have to hold them awkwardly to avoid putting pressure on my abdomen (which is much more uncomfortable than you might guess if you've never been pregnant).

I've been trying to get rid of them all week, but every day there is something I need to do which I can't get done until some store opens (God forbid they open at 8:00am) and that means I don't get back to my house in time to load them up before the recycling trailer closes.

Why don't I just wait and do the errands after?

Because I need to do them 10 miles away from my house and I'm already there to drop off my husband for work. At least if I want to have a vehicle that moves to carry the recyclables. The battery in my car is dead and it's a heap anyway so we haven't replaced it.

So there I was, an emotional wreck with an Escape full of recyclables crying on the side of the road in front of the recycling trailer. I'm not sure which was worse, my level of frustration at the situation or at the fact that I couldn't keep myself from throwing a total tantrum right there even though what is left of the rational part of my brain didn't think it was that big of a deal.

And yesterday's project?

Totally not done. I worked for hours and I know I did a lot, but you really can't tell when you look at the room.

Today's project: Walk the dogs and try to regain some sort of emotional stability. Hopefully I can actually finish this one.

The nursery

Yep. I said nursery. It's official (and public). I'm pregnant!!!

If the three exclamation points weren't clear, I'm a little excited.

I think Austin is too. He's definitely really excited about the Baby Registry. If he has any say in it this kid is going to be AWESOME.

Now you know why we needed to do some shifting of the office spaces and why I was a little less than forthcoming about the reason. We figured we might have more frequent house guests if there was a baby to visit in the house so turning the guest bedroom into a nursery didn't seem like the best idea. At the same time, we both still need office space more often than we need a spare bed so we compromised on moving a bed into Austin's office and my office into the guest bedroom. Now we have two office/guest bedrooms and a room leftover for a nursery. Score.

The room has shown up on the blog frequently, but never in a complete and decorated state. Even a year after we moved in my office wasn't done. I'm hoping I have more success getting it done now that it's also a guest room. We'll see.

When it was my office it looked about like this. Well, at least it did when it was clean.


Clean is relative, okay? Right now it looks like this.


So I have this little green room that is going to become the nursery. We're sticking with our second-hand, reclaimed, and/or free roots so lots of the furnishings have been determined based on the generosity of others. I really like flea market styling and freegan decorating so I'm pumped about that.

We're getting a crib from a friend that I think is white, but I haven't seen it yet and my mom is giving me a dresser she's refurbishing as a changing table. We got this gorgeous chair from Austin's grandmother. It's been in the family forever and has a lot of sentimental value for him.



She also gave us this baby blanket her mother crocheted.


 They are both amazing, but I'll be honest, my initial reaction was "how am I going to make these things work together in the same room?" The styling is completely different and the greens don't exactly "work" together in an obvious way nor do they work with the current paint color. I stressed and may have acted like a bit of a sociopath for a day or two while I tried to figure out how I was going to use them both. And make everything else we are given make sense too. 

I've been in love with Firecracker's nursery from Under the Sycamore for a while. I love how everything in it has meaning. There are pictures of her grandparents, a quilt made by her aunt, and the sock monkey she had as a child. Remind you of a certain two items I was stressing over? The nursery is completely eclectic so I'm not sure why I had such a hard time figuring out how to make ours work. I still haven't totally figured it out, but I did get a piece the brings the colors from the other two together.

This is all quite interesting and informative, but I bet you're thinking, "what exactly is today's project? And did you get yesterday's done?" Excellent questions.

Today's project: go through the massive piles of paper, craft supplies, and junk in the future nursery and recycle or store away in a reasonable place everything that doesn't have a reason to be in there. Not exactly fun, but totally necessary.


As for yesterday's project, I painted until I just couldn't paint anymore. Thankfully that was the point at which I had put two coats on every surface and it was too dark ans shadowy to do a decent job of touching up.It's a major improvement though. Just a couple of spots to tackle and the paint job will officially become an After.


Note: I made the bed and then a certain puppy who may or may not appear in the lower right decided I had made that spot especially for her.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A week's worth of projects (well, almost)

It's already Tuesday so not a full week, but as close as I'm going to get for a while.

Here's the plan: I'm going to bust my butt on house projects all this week. I'll let you know what today's project is first thing in the morning and report back tomorrow with pictures of the progress and hopefully a brand new project to start (that's assuming I finish today's).

Today's Project: Finish painting the bedroom.

Remember that Before & Later I posted a couple of weeks ago about it? If not, no worries. Hint, it was the last post before this one.


Well I got a bed for Christmas. A glorious beyond reason sort of bed. Sorry, no pictures yet, since it hasn't been delivered. My parents made it for us from a couple of reclaimed doors and it's based on this bed from Restoration Hardware.


 They're making it a little darker too so it will look more like this.


Clearly this baby is way too nice to put in a room with an unfinished paint job. Wish me luck.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

This is why they're called Before & Laters

I've been working on the bedroom for a while. I haven't posted anything yet, but there has been a lot of progress since we moved in. Here is the Before (like before we owned the house).

You can't see it in the picture, but the walls are plaster covered in paneling. Not like high quality wood paneling, like 1/4 inch thick wood textured MDF or whatever they make it out of. I decided it was just too much work to tear it all out and replace it with sheet rock. Don't hate me if you love plaster, but it's just hard to deal with. Every time I want to hang something on the wall you can hear the chunks falling off the back and down inside the wall. Makes The Hubs nervous and I just hate paneling. I've filled it in with drywall compound and painted over it with success in the past, but that's a whole lot of wall space and I'm not as energetic as I used to be. I turned 29 a couple of days ago, you know. 

I didn't know what to do. 

Then I got inspired.
  
(I cannot find the original source of this image to save my life. If you know, please tell me so I can link to it.)

If I did a board and batten treatment I would only need to smooth out the top part of the wall. 

Pretty smart, huh? I thought so.

I decided to go two thirds board and batten, one third smoothed and painted. I got the smoothed and painted part done. It's Glidden Brilliance 2 in 1 low VOC Paint + Primer in Whispering Wheat if you're curious. The blur is about accurate for how I felt when I finished. Too tired to care anymore.


I let it set that way until I couldn't take it anymore. I didn't have a plan to buy and transport the wood yet (getting the wood for the parson table into the Escape was enough of an adventure for me).

Eventually I broke down and just painted the bottom Parchment White to match the rest of the woodwork. Wood purists, forgive me on this one too. The previous owners were working their way through the house refinishing all the wood. They didn't get to this room, and I'm not going to for a while. Maybe never now. I just had to promise Austin I wouldn't paint any of the other wood. I'm okay with that.


I hung the curtains too. Austin is a huge fan of those. You could sleep in there all day long with the blinds down and the curtain shut. Maybe that's why the bed isn't made.

Then I let that set for a while too. While it sat I realized the the top wasn't as smooth as I would like and really needed another coat of drywall compound to look like it wasn't painted paneling.


Finally I got an offer of a truck to use and someone to help me carry the wood while Austin was out of town. Fear of being told I got the materials but stopped there motivated me to actually get it up on the walls within 24 hours. I got that second coat of compound up too. Now the boards just need a coat or two of wood filler and some sanding and they'll be ready to paint.


I didn't have any wood filler and I didn't have the motivation to leave the house and get some. Somehow I had the motivation to tear out the carpet though.

Yes, I have a problem with starting new projects before I finish old ones. I justified it in my mind as part of the overall "Master Bedroom" project. That, and if I was going to pull up the carpet I would want to put down the trim along the baseboard and paint it. I might as well do that when i painted the rest of the board & batten, right? Sure. Let's go with that.

Anyway, gorgeous wood floors until I got to this.


Last corner I pulled up and way too far to turn back. It's only about 18 inches wide, but it runs pretty much the whole length of the room. Don't worry, I priced the wood and I think we can swing it to see those original wood floors. Love!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

I'm doing it!

I finally did it. I have items I made for sale in an actual store.

Just a few right now but I'm working this morning and coming up with ideas. Hopefully I"ll finish up some Christmas projects (like two HUGE dollhouses) and still get some others done.

My favorite is this little desk. It used to be in my office, but lost it's place with some room repurposing. I love it and you can buy it if  you want. It's sitting in the Oz Mercantile in Wamego, KS waiting for someone to love it.


Sorry for the cell phone quality image. I forgot to take a picture before I brought it over.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I'm taking the Make Two Challenge

If you've been reading my blog for a while you know that I'm obsessed with Ana White's blog. Yesterday she challenged her readers to take the Make Two Challenge.



I already have a project all picked out to make for my nieces this Christmas so it was the obvious choice.

Isn't she glorious? Don't worry. Their mom already knows and they can't read so the Christmas surprise is safe, but she's fabulous.

I'm pretty excited about building something that's entirely about fun. And pink. It's called the Dream Dollhouse and you can find the plans over on Ana White's blog. The dollhouse is designed to be scaled for 12 inch dolls. If anyone in the area needs assistance or access to a miter saw to make their own I can hook you up.I'm really excited about making it. I don't get to paint a lot of things pink.

I hesitated a bit when it came to actually committing to the challenge though. Money is tight around here and we certainly have other demands on our finances. Then I got a call from one of my oldest friends and we talked about tithing. I don't belong to a church and certainly don't tithe on a regular basis, but tithing is just another way of expressing trust in God, or the Universe, or whatever higher power you believe in. If you believe in something that will make sure you have enough there is no reason not to give to those who have even greater needs than you do. That's why I'm taking the challenge. I have faith that there will be enough and that my generosity can make sure that is true for someone else. 


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Can you say that in Deutsch?

I've been trying to come up with a name for my business. I want to make attractive home interior objects, but I want to make ones that are fun and playful and maybe even a little absurd. Ones that I love and think are funny. Ones that make your friends ask about them and then make you seem smart when you explain them.

Think butcher diagram piggy banks.

Okay, maybe that one doesn't make you seem smart. But it does make you think of bacon. 

I'll be posting all kinds of fun stuff on here as I get them created, but I need to officially name this little venture. I've been thinking on this for a while and I've gotten some options, but I'm just not sure about any of them. I'm sure about a couple of things. I want it to be German or play on a German word or phrase, I want it to reflect my playful, silly, nonsensical, witty nature, and I want it to be a pretty sounding word or words if at all possible.

So far the top suggestions, in no particular order (or maybe reverse alphabetical now that I've finished the list), have been:

Papperlapapp: which according to my friend Casey is a slang term and is a "synonym for Quatsch, or like what you'd say to someone as like 'whatever', 'nonsense' or 'pish-posh'." I trust her because she speaks German fluently and online dictionaries agree. I wasn't sure of the pronunciation until she told be she went to a bar called Papperlapub.

L├Ącherlich: Which is more like ridiculous or cockamamie. I really like the way it sounds, but I don't think most people wouldn't have a clue how to say it.

Ausgelassen: this one has tons of definitions including "frisky," "larksome" and "rambunctious." All of which fit what I think I'm doing.

Thoughts? If you have any great ideas I'd love to hear them, especially words or phrases that play on German ones. It doesn't have to make literal sense, it just needs to invoke the sort of mental and emotional response I'm going for. I want to get this decision made by the end of the week so speak now people. As an incentive, whoever comes up with or inspires the name I choose gets a special custom object I create for them. Trust me. You want it to be you.

Thanks.

Oh, and I'm planning some more Before & Laters over the weekend. Big things are about to happen at the Parsonage and I'm planning to document the process.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Before & Laters

The hubs and I have been living in The Parsonage for almost a year now. We've done some work, but not as much as I expected. A lot of it still looks like someone else could live there. We're on a bit of a mission to change that and we're getting there...slowly, but surely.

In the interest of providing some motivation to work on it and to improve the overall quality of my blog I've decided to begin to document the current state of things in The Parsonage (yes, I absolutely must capitalize both every single time I reference it). Since we don't exactly have "Afters" I've decided to reference them as Before & Laters. In addition to the rooms just not being done I think "After" has a sense of finality to it that I just can't see making sense for us.

These will go on for a while and hopefully become more impressive as we make progress on the house. I figure we should start as the beginning so the first room up is the dining room. We took it on shortly after we bought the house in a mad rampage to get it done before we hosted Thanksgiving. In three weeks it went from this


to this.

Maybe not exactly this. I'm pretty sure we waited to put up the Christmas tree until after Thanksgiving dinner.

At the moment it is mostly serving as a craft/storage table in the center of our house, but I didn't promise Before & Nows. I just said Later and this picture was taken later than the preceding one. Hopefully I'll have an even later Later to add soon with awesome photography and everything.

Next Up: The guest bedroom

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I'm a fish. And I'm going to judge myself on swimming.

I got an email today with this quote at the bottom.
 
Everyone is a genius.  But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb
a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.
 
Albert Einstein 
 
It resonnated with me. I'm working a lot on personal growth lately and part of that is recognizing what I was born to do and going with it even if that isn't what other people think I should be doing. 
 
I'm a fish and I'm going swimming. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Speed & Light

Warning: I'm about to geek out hardcore so if you're not into the academic part this will be of no interest to you whatsoever.

Two pretty cool things happened yesterday.

First, It was the fall equinox,which if you've never thought about it comes from Latin for equal night since there are about exactly 12 hours of each everywhere on the globe. It happens because the tilt of the earth's axis is perpendicular to the direction of the light coming from the sun.

You might need a diagram.


You can thank NOAA for this one. See how the tilt isn't toward or away from the sun, but perpendicular to the direction of the rays? Cool, huh? But I digress.

I cheated. Instead of 12 hours of day I got like 12:20. How you ask? I woke up in my home in Wamego, KS and by sunset I was in Scott City where the sun goes down about 20 minutes later. I think that's cool.

Odds are you don't. This is why I had the warning.

AND the people at CERN think they found a beam of muon-neutrinos speed of light by 60 nanoseconds. I'm sure you heard about this yesterday unless you spent it under a rock, but I still wanted to comment on the cool factor. Anything traveling faster than the speed of light is super cool by any kind of scientific standard, at least if other people can replicate it.

Good day.

Crazy.

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