Saturday, December 31, 2011

Winter Project List 2012

update: This list was retired in April. Priorities change. For that which replaces this one, see: The Little To Do List, Summer 2012.

update: (January 11, 2012)
This post was originally written before the turn of the year. It is a list of projects I feel I need to do.

But why?

Nester has posted a list of great questions to ponder.

At the moment I am in the midst of preparing the tub and shower surround for tiling. We hope to start the tiling today.

The rest of my house is in shambles. No surface is clear. It is very hard to envision what my home could be like while it it is in it's default state of showing the signs of our messy lives.

My children are going to leave this nest, soon. I feel like I am running out of time. I want these years to be calm. (I tend to get over-anxious and upset easily when there's this much chaos around me.) I want these years to create a sense of welcoming. I want the kids to be happy to be here--to want to be here, rather than somewhere else.

I'm not sure that any of the projects below will accomplish that.

Nonetheless, here's the to-do list.


Some of these items are carried over from the Summer Project List and some are projects I've started but haven't yet finished.

I don't actually expect to get all of these done before March 22, 2012, especially the painting tasks, but when I get something done, I will link the "final reveal" post back to this list --or the next, whichever is most recent.

So, without further ado, here's how I plan to keep myself busy over the next few months.


Make curtain panel for sink window. done: West Wall: Changes

Decide on a colour for the walls.

Paint walls.

Hang some black and white plates.

Back Hallway:

I'll make the back hallway match the front hallway. Photo from the Hybrid Spring Cure 2011.

Remove popcorn from ceiling.

Paint walls. (BM Edgecomb Grey)

Paint doors and trim. (BM Cloud White)

Stairwell and Upstairs Hallway:

Paint walls. (BM Edgecomb Grey)

Paint stair risers. (BM Cloud White)

Install a better light fixture

Living Room:

Buy a plant or two and keep it alive.

Install trim on wall above fireplace.

Finish resizing and re-sewing couch slipcover.

Spray paint lamp.

Buy new lampshade for silver lamp.

Downstairs Bathroom:

Wow. That looks even worse than I thought. The shelves, I mean, not me. Hi!

Paint wooden ceiling planks white.
done! Sometime in February.
Basement Spin Off Projects

Sew new curtain panel or shade.

Find and install new shelves/cabinet for over the toilet.
done! 02/20/12
New Bath Cabinet

Put up Kerdie and install Tile.
done! February 2012
Ta Da! Bathroom: Better

Master Bedroom:
You know, now that I see the bed with the adjustable lamps I purchased a few months ago, I may not need to raise hubby's bedside table. I'll ask him if he finds the low height inconvenient. (I would.)

Decide on a colour for the walls.

Paint walls.

Create height for husband's bedside table.

Purchase (or make) new Duvet Cover.


The house in May 2011

Plan and cost out front yard and garden.

Look into having the front sidewalk professionally removed.

Plan vegetable garden.

I have other, more personal goals, too. Later.

Update: posted to The Nester's Home Goals Link-up Party. Check out some really great goals and project plans here.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Finish It Friday.

So much to do!

I want to get it all done before the New Year (Sunday.) That's not going to happen--but maybe by Tuesday?

1. Speaking of Tuesday, it's the Big Shop, so I have to take an inventory of the pantry and freezer, plan all of our dinners for January and make a shopping list.

2. Finish running off the duplicates of the calendar I made for my Mom.

3. Take the calendars Staples to be bound. Yikes. I hadn't realised I'd left it so late! Mail them.

4. Write up my Statement of Intent for Cathy Zielske's Big Picture Class: Move More, Eat Well (MMEW).

5. Finish my pre-class assignment for MMEW.

6. Vacuum the stairs.

7. Work on my goals for 2012. Create a list of specific ones to work on for January, specifically. In other words, get specific!

7b: Finish post of top 11 accomplishments in 2011.

8. Create my project list for January.

9. Get out to a scrapbook store and buy kraft coloured cardstock.

10. Find a hair salon we can afford and within walking distance and make hair appointments for my daughter and I. (I found a place in B.C. which will accept 9" pony tail of my grey hair to make into a wig for Cancer patients.)

What do you think? Would something like this be cute?

Created with the assistance of the Instyle Makeover Tool.

It makes me want to laugh!

Five Minute Friday: Open

This is an experiment I am going to try this year. I want to improve my writing. I found Five Minute Friday, hosted by Gypsy Mama a long time ago and I did not have the courage, then, to try.

But I might, now.

Gypsy Mama offers a topic each week. Here are the terms and conditions, straight from her site:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Most important: visit, comment, encourage the person before you.

This is my first attempt.



Open doors. Open windows. Open minds. Open.

Change. Winds. Fear. Future. To be open is to be accepting, to be willing to receive what may come. But no. I want to be out in front of the change, directing it: bringing it myself.

I am scared of being open. Open is not good. ZOpen means access and there's a gate on that, thank you very much. I can't post this. I have nothing to say.

But I want this year to change me. I want to stay the same: I don't want my comforts to disappear--I want the need for them to disappear. But how can that happen with out change? Without a willingness to be open?

But, I do control the door, the window. I do stand in front of it and raise and lower it. I can be open and protected, too right?

(Wow. Five minutes is a long time).

So, maybe I can open my arms, at least, a little way. Change will come anyway whether I'm in front of it or not.

I guess that's OK.


That was awful.
Well, I suppose that just means there's room for improvement.
(I really don't want to hit publish, but I really must, mustn't I?)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Similar Yet Totally Different

It is an odd feeling to walk into a house with exactly the same floor plan as your own--and have the experience be utterly alien. But intriguing and interesting, too, because it's a bit like stepping into, well, not to go too sci fi on you, but something like an alternate dimension.

I have had the privilege of stepping into not one, not two, but three alternate house universes. One was a long time ago now and has since passed to new owner. The other two are somewhere in the neighbourhood. They were all built in about 1948 or 1949.

Today, we'll just look at the kitchen.

Firstly, to orient ourselves I've drawn a really rough sketch of the ground floor. The arrows with circles indicate where I was standing and the direction I was facing when I took the picture.

We'll start with view A, and then go around the kitchen to the sink wall, view C, then to the end wall, view B, then the last wall Vvew D. Only one house is featured for view E.

As you can see, the kitchen is situated at the back of the house and has three entry points. We will begin at the back door. Go up two steps and in my house, you see this (view A):

There is a window to the left in every house.

In house A, you see this:

This counter makes this kitchen a "U" shaped kitchen. The other three are L shaped kitchens

In house B, this is what you see:

The kitchen layout in House C is similar to this one above in that it doesn't have a counter against the wall to the left.

Already there are significant differences. I have no cabinets of any kind here. One has a stove, the other, the dishwasher. It's hard to judge (and I didn't measure) but our sinks all look to be in the same place.

Here's a better view of the "sink wall." (view C):

My house:

House A:

House B:

Interesting choice here not to put up cabinets.

and, now I have a shot of this wall for the third house:

The previous owner told me that originally her kitchen counter had ended where mine did: but she insisted she wanted a double sink--and more cabinets--so she got them in the mid-sixties when she moved in.

The end wall, the one opposite the window to the left where you come in has the doorway to the dining room. If you take a look at the diagram above, it's View B. (I hope this makes sense.)

So, we'll begin with my kitchen.

House A also has the fridge in this position:

In House B they've put the stove here, instead:

and House C retains the original cabinetry:

This area was re-purposed for the dishwasher and microwave. (Our lower cabinets were built at 34" high--too low to accommodate a dishwasher and keep the original cabinetry.)

That leaves the last wall, view D. It's opposite the sink wall and chopped up by two doorways and a chimney flue by the back door. The flue been camouflaged in each house.

Here's mine:
The flue is right beside the door to the right and behind the little cabinet and the spice rack.

The chimney flue is behind these doors in House A:

I've often wondered what it might be like to put my table and chairs in this exact spot.

House B has cabinetry brought flush to the wall:

and in the last house the chimney flue has a fairly decent sized closet built in front of it:

The last view is E --and I only have it for House B. There's a neat corner cabinet built next to the fridge:

We all have the same elements: a sink, fridge, stove and microwave. Each of us is working within the exact same footprint. One doesn't have a window where the others do, three have dishwashers and one doesn't. Only two managed to squeeze in a table. The resulting feel in each kitchen is very, very different. And, oddly, given how much it frustrates me, but luckily, cause it is mine, I like my own best.

I don't know. Maybe it is just me who finds this sort of thing interesting!?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Quick Lick and A Promise...

Don't mind me.

Are you familiar with the expression, "a lick and a promise?" It means to just do something very quickly and not at all thoroughly. That was me and housecleaning today. I did just the bare minimum.

So here's the run down:

Weigh myself --yes

Make bed --yes

Wash breakfast dishes --well, they were from last night. They took all of 15 minutes.

Pick up house --I made a half hearted attempt. Things are still looking pretty good after yesterday.

Swish and Swipe --both bathrooms. I just used my bare hand for the upstairs sink, though. I'm out of cleaning cloths.

Laundry: I took one load out of the drier (didn't fold it though there were only three items. Sheets. Shudder. I hate folding sheets. They inevitably touch the floor and when they do they feel contaminated, somehow.)

Make To-Do list. Nah.

Do One Essential Task.
Well, actually, today there's two.

One is to glue my son's bed back together. I'll do that with my husband later this evening. (I have no idea what happened.)

The other was to vacuum.

Which I gladly did.

And that's that.

If you like seeing different houses with the same floor plan, you may be in for a treat tomorrow. We're currently bringing in mail from two houses which are almost exactly the same as ours. I think it's very cool how different all three look and feel.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Post Christmas Cleaning Blitz

There have been many years when this day has been painful.

Many years in which the love expressed in giving and receiving has been twisted by the pain of debt and compulsiveness. For many years, my mother suffered from bouts of compulsive shopping. Her love language is "gift giving." As you can imagine, Christmas was a perfect storm.

But not this year.

She gave us three gifts as "jokes" from Santa's Sack which my nephew handed out:

Then, after dinner, she gave us one major gift each. Every single one was received with happiness and gratitude.

This was my gift:

Two sets of our "wedding" silverware. We only had four. At Thanksgiving this year, Mom noticed and asked me why there was kitchen silverware on the table along with the fancy stuff. Somehow, we'd just forgotten to complete it.

Daedalus (my husband, not his real name) and I also made an effort to keep the gifts to a minimum.

So, today, I went about cleaning up and putting things away with a much lighter heart than I have in the past. I woke up with the intention of putting the house "back to rights" and it has taken me just about all day. But it was a great day.

Daily Checklist:

weigh myself: yes

make bed: yes

wash breakfast dishes: yes, and lunch too.

Pick up House: Are you ready?


Dining Room:

Front Hall:

and the Living Room:

Swish and swipe: Down, yes. Up, no.

Laundry: Started 2, Transferred 2, Folded 3, Put Away 2.

folding on the cleared Dining Table so I can listen to more of Great Expectations.

Make To Do List: no.

Do One Essential Task: wash and put away cutlery. yes! (above).

There is one thing I got too much of, however.

If, of course, it is possible to get too much chocolate.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Thank you all so much for being here for me this year. I am so grateful for your readership, support and encouragement. I love sharing things with you all.

I hope each and every one of you has a terrific holiday--and that it brings you what you need and want.

Today will be a bevy of activity: cleaning up, making tortiere and wrapping things last minute: but it will all be OK.

So, without further ado, this is the house all decked out for Christmas. Remember, my children took it upon themselves to almost every bit of it and I'm very grateful to them for getting it all done.


What you don't still have your pumpkins out on your front porch?

Immediately to your right as you enter are the cards on the wall.

The living room is on the left, of course.

Most of everything is concentrated at the far end.

the tree:

the faux fireplace:

A few treasures on the mantle:

Ben/Caius made this in kindergarten, I believe.

and to the far right of the mantle, on the shelf, our creche:

My husband built the stable years ago when the kids used to put their plastic animals inside.

This is our only set.
My Mom has eleven.

On your way out of the living room, tucked in the corner, is this message:

The dining room is quite minimal.

I cleared out a cubby for this prize.

Emma/Aurelia won it in a draw at school.

The kitchen is quite low-key this year with just this garland.

I think it's a nice touch.

And that is that.
Thanks so much for dropping by.
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