July 30, 2014

One step forward. . .

two steps back. Hello, all. Here is an example of my efforts in unpacking and making this a home. Let's draw a veil over the black and white word plate Mr. B smashed last night or the broken door shelf in the fridge for the moment, but I  give you exhibit A:
a half dozen empty boxes to get rid of; Flossie disapproves of that plan, see her investigating? Progress!
Until you wander by my closet and see what the furry miscreants have done in there. It wasn't perfect, by any means, but it was neat. Everything was folded or hung. Shoes are in a basket, there is a rack for hats, winter things are on one side, warm weather clothes on the other.  That's Junior and Butterball, brother and sister who pulled down a stack of coverlets, knocked hats off and a whole lot more foolishness that they sure aren't going to clean up. So, a little gets done, a little more has to be re-done. It was ever thus in a house with furry fiends. 

Take it easy,

July 28, 2014

Another box empty

Hello, friends,

How are you this last Monday in July? My project today, above and beyond the routine of meals, shopping, bed making and the like was to get some things hung. It is yet to be determined where my cross wall will go, depending upon furniture not so far bought and its placement, but it seemed high time there was more on the walls. I actually put up several others, but those pictures were too bad to use; here are a few examples:
This metal piece is again in the living room, this time atop a bookcase, near the door to the back yard.
These vintage postcards of scenes from the early twentieth century are in my bathroom.
These are on the short section of wall adjacent to my closet.
This one is actually inside my closet, next to the window.

It's a small start, but better than none at all. It's nice to break up the vast expanses of badly painted walls with a little color and cheer.

Have a relaxing evening,


July 25, 2014

One small find

Hello, all,

Are you busy TGing because it's Friday? I know Mr. B is. Today, after the crucial errand of getting cat kibble, I went  a couple of blocks farther down the freeway service road to the nearest Goodwill. It has always been fairly lame and there is nothing new to report on that situation, alas. I only got a couple of small things. Yes, I should be working on the house but GW didn't have any furniture we need, but who's going to leave without checking out the other wares, right? Previous shopping trips elsewhere produced these:
Two little metal bikes. They can probably be seen in place here:
One is on the top shelf on the left, the other the second shelf on the right, a nice pair, but.  .  .
and then there were three! Which officially moves these interesting iron pieces to the status of a collection. Have you ever done that? Pick up one thing that appeals to you, then stumble upon a few (or a lot) more similar objects? 

Let's raise a toast to serendipity!

Happy yard sales this weekend,

July 24, 2014

A quick peek

Hello, all,

How has your Thursday gone so far? Aside from being behind on the last chores, mine is going fine.

Today I thought I'd give you a glimpse of the living room in our new place. It is huge and still needs more furniture and a rug, so you'll have to wait for the big reveal. For now, here is the antique washstand that belonged to my mother:
The cat shrine has been incorporated onto it now. In another corner, :
a chair, revolving bookcase end table and way too many wires behind it. Notice the universal ugly tiles. Finding a rug is an urgent priority. There was one seen in the Salvation Army store right before I got the keys to this place. Sadly, although it was huge and appealing, with all the other expenses of moving I didn't have $1000 to plunk down for it, much as I wanted to. Surely something that fits will turn up eventually with a less hefty price tag, I keep telling myself. 

That's all for Thursday, or as my friend Susie referred to this day of the week "Friday Eve". Have a good one.


July 23, 2014

Another bit of the kitchen

Hello, Friends,

Today I thought you might like to see the window in the kitchen. Alas, instead of standing at the sink able to look out on a tree filled with bird feeders, this one isn't located for that type of pleasant daydreaming. It looks out onto a busy street's intersection, so the only view is of impatient drivers too often slamming on the brakes when the light turns red. As you see, with this vista there is no incentive to open the blinds, only to see plumes of exhaust from an unending stream of cars. 

That isn't the only issue in this room.  The sink setup is different from the previous house as well, which led to this arrangement:
The faucet is too tall for the little shelf to work with, so it seemed just as well to use the windowsill to display the collectibles and other things that were by the sink before. The pyrex and other odds and ends fit well enough and bring a little color to the room as well. 

That's all for today, which was broken up by some literal cat-astrohpes, a major mess caused by Bitty, currently bearing the title of Least Favored Feline at our house. There is still more to do before Mr. B gets home, so I'll say

Bye for now,

July 22, 2014

Shelf Esteem

Hello, all,

Today is hot and humid, a good day to stay inside and think about decorating. Since moving a few shelves have gotten put up, not including the infamous one to set the microwave on hung on Sunday. Let us draw a veil over that shared marital project, permanently. A few others weren't such an ordeal, though:
This one is in the dining room. An odd thing about these pictures is the walls look much lighter than they really are, a kind of medium tan or sand.
There are my salt-and-pepper shakers in the kitchen.
Also in the kitchen, the plate rack with the old rolling pins and other utensils on it.

This one is in the library. Because of the time suck of moving from mid-May till now (from the standpoint of unpacking, at least) this year summer got sunflowers for decor and not a lot of those. 

I like decorative shelves and trays both. Do you use many of either in your home?


July 21, 2014


Hi, folks,

I hope you all had a good weekend. We managed to get a few things done, which is always good in the recently moved. Earlier I think the fact that this house is ugly was admitted to, but it also has some weird attributes. Like, it has no front yard. At all. It has no garage, either. Instead of those normal features it has five exterior doors. Except only three are functional. Two have been permanently sealed up, but not removed. One is in the room with all the cat beds, food and toys; as far as it seems possible to deduce, so far it doesn't bother them at all. The second is in the dining room and would lead to the back yard if it worked. So, when we got here we had the movers do this:

The cabinet and hutch is in front of the door. It doesn't block it entirely, but works well enough. It's hard to think of another solution as a renter who can't make structural changes. There is another interior door that has a big bookcase in front of it to conceal an unnecessary second door that would otherwise open straight to a toilet in the room entered by the front door, not exactly the route to charm! As you can see, the dining room is still home to some boxes, odds and ends and other items waiting on a permanent home. I'll keep you posted as progress is made. 

Have a good one!

July 18, 2014

Where has July gone?

Hello, friends,

I can't believe we are this far into the month of July already. At least we've continued to have rain, unlike most other recent summers, so that's a relief. Part of this week has been spent thinking about Mr. B's birthday which falls on Sunday so not a lot of decorating has gone on. 

In our former house, there was a grouping over our headboard, which is a repurposed mantel. That isn't possible here. Due to a dearth of wall sockets, it has to go on a wall with a window now. Some of the other elements were shifted over the dresser instead:
the wreath pictures and goodnight sign were all above us before. The oddly placed piece to the left is covering up an alarm system box that was here when we moved in. 

Outside the door is a small, square hallway. It has doors into the master bath, closet and bedroom. This is where the former pantry has come to rest:
Sheets are stored inside and a few quilts and pillows on top.  It's useful. Two houses ago, pre-Ike, we lived in a place with a huge linen closet, so storing everything wasn't an issue. The last house had a large one, but also an attic where out of season things could be stashed. Here, although the house is larger in some ways storage is a problem, so this works well and fits available space, can't beat that combination.

Have a wonderful weekend!


July 17, 2014

Unintended Detour

Sorry, folks,

The intent was to write every day this week. A newly erupting wisdom tooth took Tuesday and Wednesday out of that plan, but now it's gone and I'm happy to say bye to such an unwelcome, painful visitor. 

Meanwhile, I have been trying to work in the library, as much as possible. Keep in mind it still lacks essential furniture and a rug.
These large Ikea shelves were in the dining room at the other house.
At the end, for now at least, is this old primitive chair with a picture over it.
A slightly better view of the picture.
I hung a picture over the desk of a child and her mother with a book.
The peg rack by the front door. That spot on the right must be a cat toy that was overlooked. The door seen on the left goes into our bedroom and bath. 

More soon on our new life in a new space.

Take it easy,

July 14, 2014

First Glimpse

Hello, all,

As announced in the previous post, we recently moved to a new house. There is still tons to be done, but here are a few pictures of spaces that are starting to be organized and decorated, if a bit feebly:
These pictures aren't great because they're from my cell phone, sorry. Anyway, in the dining room there is a long alcove along one side. This is where I'm set up with laptop, books and all to work. 
One of the bookcases, this on the left side of my table. 

This is the one on the right side. Both of them have collections of a sort on the tops. 
Here is the desk in the room entered from the front door that is going to be the  library.
Here is a new freestanding pantry we got to replace the smaller one we used to have. It is larger and holds more with a drawer as well. On top is the collection of black and white word dishes. 

As you see, the floor is large ceramic tiles. Not very attractive, but practical. We are going to get rugs for the other rooms; so far, the bedroom is the only one that has one in place. 

I got sidetracked on a pesky search for a missing key this morning that took so long not much has been done so far. 

Till tomorrow,

July 11, 2014

Long Time AWOL

Hello, all,

There was no intention to quit writing regularly, believe me, but a double whammy hit this spring that knocked all plans off course. First, Mr. B was sick for two full weeks of April. Despite being woefully unqualified, guess who got to stand in for Cherry Ames, R.N.? Life had barely recovered from the horror of tending a man with a head cold, when there came news in the mail. We got a letter from the owners of the house we rented that they had sold all their property--our house, another one next door and small 4-unit apartment building behind us--and would be closing before 1 June. EEK!

The good news is that the Houston economy is doing great. The bad news is that since things are going well there is nearly full occupancy and it is very hard to find a place not sold or rented the first day it went on the market, so we knew it would be a challenge and probably impossible to stay in the same area. Both these facts were true. We did find a house online that had many good points and an equal number of negative ones. After a frustrating six day wait while the agent ignored phone calls, e-mail and texts, contact was made. We applied, were accepted and put down a deposit. Starting on June 13, every single day I made at least one, if not more trips to the new house hauling things in my car. Meanwhile, this was our life:
Every day I hauled boxes in my car. On the weekend Mr. B borrowed the company pick up and we filled it with boxes and small pieces. The hired movers came on June 21. When they finished we STILL had lots of stuff at the old house, including two cats. It turns out I ended up going there daily until this past Tuesday, when a son came to town to retrieve his sister's car she had loaned me. It was a horrible experience that felt like it was never going to end. AND, just so you don't think we were stubbornly determined to take every rusty paper clip or broken rubber band each day there was also something donated, discarded or left with a Curb Alert to the local FreeCycle. We gave away tons of stuff, yet still it went on. And on. My friend says your old house becomes like the clown car at the circus when you move, and nothing about this event disproved her theory. 

Highlights/lowlights. Three service men appeared hours early, so there wasn't as much waiting as anticipated. On the other hand, getting the newspaper delivered was a challenge. 

Three days after we'd officially moved in with the furniture and slept here I found one cat at the now empty house in a lower kitchen cabinet. Poor Freddie was paralyzed with fear. He was easy to stuff in a carrier in that state. A trap caught the remaining elusive feral, Tilly. Mr. B got a ticket for speeding trying to rush her home that evening. 

The movers were great and patiently waited as they assembled our bed when I raced in to put the dust ruffle down before they laid the mattress on top of the box spring.

Other good news: this place is about twice as big as the former one with two full bathrooms. There are not enough words for the delight of no long having to share. It is also literally five minutes from where Mr. B works, so the relief from the stress of his commute is already starting to have an effect. The listener to his monologues railing against TXDOT is pretty happy too. 

Bad news: the house is well, ugly and on a busy corner. Otoh, before we were right next to an entrance ramp onto I45, so we're used to loud. It also has no front yard or garage. Weird, huh? 

Good news: the kitchen is larger. There are enough extra rooms that Mr. B has one just for an art studio. The living room is huge and at the back of the house, so away from the fray. That leaves the first room you enter for me to be a library, whoo hoo!

Other good news: because it's larger there are lots more spaces to decorate and excuses to shop. Not to mention the undeniable fact that if the owners hadn't decided to sell, I would never have gotten my other half out of the tiny settled-for place we landed post Ike.

I will stop for now, but will show you some of what we're dealing with in the coming week, with pictures of problem areas and others that have come together fairly easily. 

Have a great weekend!