More Basement Progress

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Slowly but surely we are cleaning and organizing the basement clutter. By we, this time, I mean me. Douglas has been really helpful on most of the household projects, but organization is not his forte. I have taken charge and am determined to finish this in the next couple of months. Last week I focused on the “storage” section of the basement.

Messy basement

Everything is now contained in bins and boxes.

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Lint Rolling Away

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What is the best way to clean a lampshade? I used to run my Swiffer duster over it, but it never came very clean that way. I tried vacuuming it but was not satisfied with the results. Last month my shade was getting too dirty to endure.

Dirty lamp shade

If you know me, you understand that something like this drives me crazy. If you do not know me, you will have to imagine me trying to ignore this disgrace while giving it side-long glances and trembling in horror.

Dirty lamp shade

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New Year’s Mrs. Clean

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I arrived home from Venezuela on the 31st, right before midnight. (You can read about the trip here.) I was supposed to get in earlier, but several of my planes were delayed. I spent thirty five hours between the city of Mérida and home. Needless to say, I was not up for much when I got home. January first was a lazy day for my man and me. January second, I was faced with a mess. My suitcases were still unpacked on the dining room table and there were things everywhere. Douglas had done a lot of laundry after he got back from his parents, but most of the clothes were still sitting on the bed in the spare room. Before I could start any other projects, the house needed to be clean. It took two days, but finally our house is clean, and I feel much better. Now maybe I will be able to work on something more exciting! Here are the before and after pictures.

Kitchen

Messy kitchenClean kitchen

Dining Room

Messy dining roomClean dining room

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How to Get a Divorce in 21 Easy Steps or How to Paint a Kitchen

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It was Douglas’ idea to title the post this way. I must admit that things were a little hairy by the end of the weekend, but you will be happy to know that I unpacked my suitcases and Douglas is no longer filing for divorce. I jest, in case you thought I was serious. We are not truly in jeopardy of separation. We are, however, still sorting out a very young marriage. Many people have told me that the first year of marriage is difficult, and while we have not suffered great difficulty, we are still working things out. We both lived alone for many years and had become somewhat set in our ways. We will survive, especially if we can ever finish all of the projects in the house. Is that even a possibility?

This weekend we worked on the kitchen. Here is what it looked like pre-painting, or at least this is what it looked like in August 2012. You can check out the whole house here.

Kitchen

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Kitchen Clean Up

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We are in the process of painting the kitchen. Doing this nearly caused our divorce. Things were pretty tense this weekend while the painting was going on. I have often heard that traveling together and renovations are two of the biggest tests of a relationship. Douglas and I travel well together, so I guess this is our test. The problem is that we have a lot of renovation left on the house, and I do not want it to end our relationship. Once we calm down, we can usually talk things out, but it is hard to get us to both calm down. He needs time to cool off, but it only makes me angrier when he walks away in the middle of an argument. It seems to me that he does not care about me when he leaves. I need to figure out how to let it not bother me so much. Anyway, we are still together, and the kitchen is nearly done. We have to finish touching up a few mistakes on the trim and rehang everything that was on the walls. Wednesday’s post will be about painting the kitchen, but in the meantime, here is a preview of the new color.

Cleaning kitchen

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I Rent Therefore I Own

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It is because there is a legal rental apartment in my house that I was able to purchase it. If I did not have the income from that apartment, I would not have been able to qualify for the loan. It has been a mixed blessing. For the most part, it has worked out well. I did have one bad tenant, but I learned my lesson. The last few tenants have been great. Both living spaces are accessed through the front door. The tenants’ apartment occupies the entire second floor.

Cape of Dreams April 2012

In the picture below, the door on the right is ours. The door at the top of the stairs opens into the hallway in the apartment upstairs. This is a current picture (September 28, 2012), but it does not look much different than it ever did. We have not done anything in the hallway, except to give the door at the top of the stairs a fresh coat of white paint.

Stairway to rental

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Window Washers We Are NOT

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So, you are no longer able to tell if it is night or day, while sitting in your house.  Your windows are filthy, and you need to clean them. You think that you would like to be able to see through your windows. Would you like my advice? In my honest opinion, having a view is overrated. Sit in your cave and enjoy the penumbra. You will be better off. Unless, of course, you have new modern windows that fold in and allow you to wash the outside of the window without going outside or climbing a ladder. If you have these newfangled inventions, you will be able to read this post and laugh at the ridiculousness of our situation. If you have older windows like the ones installed in our house in 1952, you can read this post and shutter thinking that this may have happened to you.

Dirty Screens

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Blinded

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Monday, September 17 was Rosh Hashanah, and both Douglas and I had the day off. We used some of the gift certificates that we received as wedding gifts to purchase woven blinds for our house. We bought the Cali Cordless Woven Shade at Bed, Bath and Beyond. It is nice to have window treatments that match throughout the house. I like that they are natural and cordless, as well as easy to raise up and down. Below is the picture from their website (This is not my house!).

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Second Bedroom Redesign

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My house was so messy by Saturday last week, that I could not believe so little time had passed since the last cleaning. I was particularly dismayed by the state of the second bedroom. Two weeks ago, on Labor Day weekend, my friend Nga came to visit, and the room looked like this.

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Bedroom Transition to Fall

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Autumn was always my favorite time of year. Now that I am a teacher and have the summers off, that season is quickly becoming my favorite, but fall will always have a special place in my heart. I love the cooler weather and being able to sleep comfortably with the windows open. I like the clothes; pants and sweaters are so cozy. There is a newness to the beginning of school unlike the other seasons when the students (and teachers, I must admit) are burnt out and tired of the routine. Football also starts back up in autumn, and I have always been a fan. Fall seems like a new beginning to me much more so than January. I should be Jewish so my new year would be Rosh Hashanah in September. (The picture below is from here.)

autumn_leaves_scene

Monday, my windows were open when I got home and the curtains were blowing in the breeze. It made me so happy to see that. I decided that it was a good time to transition my bedroom from summer to fall. I do this every autumn at some point, some years earlier than others. The idea of a switchover appeals to me because I get bored if things stay the same for too long. You may have seen a picture of my bedroom in my post of Before and “After” Pictures.

Bedroom

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