Making Progress

One of the dog-eared areas in my life is my house.

Not all of it.  Just bits.  I bought my adorable little yellow house in May of ‘07 and jumped right into painting and arranging some rooms before I even moved in.  But then there are the sad, neglected spots like the back room.  Sometimes I call it the den because there is a step down into it (it used to bet he carport I think).  A lot of the time I call it the sun room because there are 3 big windows lining one wall.  But I’ve never really DONE anything to it.  For about a minute I set up a little couch and chair and coffee table and it was a sort of reading nook.  But then my cat basically declared war on the couch.  She hangs out in the back room and laundry room during the day so she’s not breaking things around the rest of the house and trying to make soup on the gas stove and setting the whole house on fire.  Also I don’t want to come home to find my pillow covered with 6 inches of Tonks fur.  I’m picky like that.

So eventually I had a furry room with a couch that looked like it picked a fight with my paper shredder and lost.  Of course it then became the catch-all room.  So it was basically just a wannabe Hoarders episode without the decaying organic matter.  I attempted a revamp on several occasions but it always fell right back into disarray.  And the nice positive of the room—all that sun—bleached my lovely curtains to, well, I don’t even know what. And this is what it looks like today.

  • Poster on the wall from Bikes, Blues & BBQ 2008 including tiny posting stating “You are Here” so my family wouldn’t get lost
  • Papasan chair with no cushion because it either needs to leave my house or get more stuffing for the cushion which has done a pretty respectable job of trying to become as flat as possible in the last 10+ years
  • Pile of various work in the yard shoes/hiking boots
  • Canning supplies because I have the tiny kitchen from HELL and can’t figure out where to put my boiling water canner and beautiful mason jars 😦
  • Lovely Faded Curtains
  • Insane cat
  • Books, books, and some more books
  • Bags and bags of yarn and fabric

The last few are what have really inspired me lately to get in gear and do something with the room.  Last month my mom fixed my sewing machine that wasn’t really broken I just thought it was for the past year or so.  I still think it was broken, it just took one look at her coming it’s way and said “WHOA….this is serious.  It’s a professional so I better straighten up and fly right!”  I know it always worked on me as a kid.

Sewing is another one of my dogeared pages.  I sewed anything I could get my hands on as a little girl.  My mom used to give us a needle and thread and sheet of paper to sew pictures at the kitchen table.  Come to think of it, that might be a good idea for the kids in Sunday school.  I better add that to my list.  But I digress.  When I was 7 or 8 (correct me if I’m wrong, Mom.  But I think it was the same Christmas I got my Little House Books) I got a kid’s working toy sewing machine for Christmas.  Shortly after that my parents decided they should have just bought me a used real one at a yard sale and I moved up to being allowed to use my mom’s.  I really did keep at it for a while off and on.  I have made two attempts in my life to make clothes.  Once in the 6th grade my final sewing class project was an outfit that I never did finish for some reason or another.  And in 9th grade I decided to make a skirt out of ties that attached to the tops of an old pair of overalls.  But we moved Southeast Asia before I was able to get enough ties together to finish it, even as tiny as I was back then. haha

The sewing machine I have now was given to my by my grandma.  I borrowed in sophomore year of college and she never used it so she let me keep it.  At that point I was hemming pants and doing basic repairs or making Halloween costumes for my hall mates.  Looking back on it I should have put up posters and charged people. *sigh* another missed opportunity to build my evil empire.  Then I moved on to attempting to make a quilt.  I have a very nearly finished Drunkard’s Path quilt top folded up in the bottom of a stack of fabric.  Dogeared.

So this is where I sort of kill two birds with one stone.

  1. Pick one of the hobbies I have rudely cast aside and either develop it or get rid of it for good. (I’m about to become a sewing machine.  Hmm…that’s not exactly how I wanted that to work)
  2. Pick any area of my house that I have neglected and stop treating said area like a college kid in a sleazy rental property.

The clincher that REALLY motivated me was This Lady’s Blog.  She redid her studio and it ended up looking like this:

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And I broke a Commandment.  Remember the one about Coveting?  Yah.  I covet the fact that this neat lady has an Ikea so close to her.  Because those fantasmical shelves would cost more to ship than they do to buy.  Lucky me, it’s back to school time and places like Office Depot, while they may have some real numskulls working for them (I’ll have to tell that story another time) do things like put these shelves on sale!

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Mmmmm…Pretty.  So I bought two and hauled both the boxes home in my Saturn. ( I TOLD you they would fit annoying Office Depot guy who doubted me).  I had to go grocery shopping tonight so I didn’t have time to start putting them together but tomorrow night will be my night!  I am going to pop in Season 1 of Grey’s Anatomy and get started creating a beautiful space for creating works of sewing art!  And also knitting.  Aren’t those shelves going to look beautiful full of colorful yarn and books?  Woohoo!  It’s no Posy Gets Cozy and it’s definitely not quite Vanessa levels of cool just yet but it’s a start!

Did somebody throw a bucket of soapy water on me? Because I’m melting.

You know it’s been hot when you comment about it not being so bad out because it’s cooler than the day before.  And it’s still 100 degrees.

Because I am a crazy person I got up and went yard-saleing this morning and ended up with a couple of dandy items.  Last night over pizza and Dogma I asked Daniel if he wanted to get up early and go with me.  He just stared at me.  I think he was waiting for the punch line.  Because he was SLEEPY and planned on sleeping as long as humanly possible on Saturday morning.  Both of us probably got about 4 or 5 non-consecutive hours of sleep Thursday night due to our exciting meteor shower adventures.  We actually DID make it out at 3am to watch!  I was impressed with us.  It was quite an adventure.  We just hopped in the car and drove East looking for a field or open spot to pull into away from the city lights.  We finally ended up in the driveway to a field with just enough space between the gate and the road for the car.  I spread a blanket on the hood of the car and leaned back to enjoy.

Then Daniel heard a noise and saw a flash of white in the field about 3 feet in front of the car.  I saw a flash of black.  (Does black actually *flash*?) I’ll give you a moment to imagine we might be seeing lumbering through the weeds.

Daniel started flashing his phone in the direction of the disturbance trying to catch a glimpse of what he thought was a cute little bunny.  I on the other hand was grasping at every ounce of willpower I could muster to NOT scurry up onto the tippity top of the car. Because bunnies don’t  lumber.  You know what’s black and white and lumbers?  Stumped?  Here is a little hint….

imageBingo.

When I was pretty sure I could concentrate on anything other than being totally, completely still, I begged Daniel to stop flashing his phone at the dangerous little critter and to please.stop.talking.  I just knew I was going to have to have to call in “Stanky” the next day.  I don’t actually get any personal or vacation days until October when I’ve been there 6 months but I’m pretty sure I could have gotten a free pass on that one.

Thankfully, Pepe Le Pew kept going on his/her merry jaunt through the pasture and I was able to go to work the next morning.  Sleep-deprived but not in need of a tomato bath.

In which I get off to a very slow start

I finished up The Fiery Cross two days ago and still haven’t cracked open Blue Like Jazz.  But I have carried it around with me in case I find some free time to start reading on my lunch break or something.  Except I keep either working through my lunch break or I’m busy trying to write a Sunday School lesson plan for this weekend.  (I SWEAR I’ll get it done tomorrow, Grace!)

The problem is that my normally very uneventful life got very eventful at the last minute this week!  Yesterday a friend needed a girly night out so her husband set us up on a chick-date.  Nice husband!  So I picked her up after work and we had a delicious dinner and some drinks and lots of laughs.  Thanks, Ness for not judging me for bringing up the Duggars about 15 times throughout the night.  They’re like Kevin Bacon!  They relate to EVERYTHING!  And I’m only a little bit ashamed.

I had a little party today after work with the ladies from work which was  hoot.  PLUS Tuesday another friend said she wanted to go see South Pacific at RLT tonight but didn’t want to go alone so she was all “I’m buying two tickets and you’re coming!”  I take adult tap and jazz (one of the multitude of hobbies I’ll get into later) from her and have done a few shows with her at RLT so we had  a fantastic evening seeing our friends perform in a GREAT show.  And now I’m home and I said I was going to sleep half an hour ago but I’m writing instead.  Even though it’s 10 till midnight and I’m getting up around 3am with my boyfriend to go see the meteor shower!  We’re nuts but I love this meteor shower.  Church camp was always the first week in August so sometimes I would get to see it from the car in the drive on the way home and I have always remembered that.

I’m probably not making any sense because I’m completely EXHAUSTED and I’m not checking this for any grammar mistakes before I post it or adding any links so there.  The plan had been to go camping tomorrow night but it’s supposed to be 103 in Devil’s Den tomorrow and down to 74 as a low which means it would feel about 90 when we tried to go to sleep in a hot hot tent, I’m sure.  So I think I’ll try to get some projects done and get started reading instead.

Have a great Friday!

Prologue

I have a book problem.  I don’t so much read books as devour them.  I relish an afternoon this used book shop:

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(Photo from Abebooks.com)

Digging through these treasures:

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(Photo from Green AR by the Day)

But I also have one little quirk.  Yup.  Just the one.  No others.  Why are you looking at me like that?  STOP STARING!  And pointing.  And laughing.  Fine.  One of my many, many quirks has to do with books.  I get very attached to books that I love and sometimes I find myself falling into the habit of jealously guarding my reading time and reserving it for books with which I’ve already made friends.  Old, dear friends.  They’re practically family.  They might even be who I leave my hypothetical future children to in my will.  I’m serious (except for the inanimate object as beneficiaries part).  I am deeply attached to some of my books.  I’m on my second set of the Anne Series (I wore out the first set). 

Incidentally, I was going to link that to a certain official website, but then I realized they are all proud of the 3rd movie they did a few years ago called Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story and decided that they do not deserve the added traffic.  Because the movie behind the DVD cover you see below?  Biggest travesty ever inflicted upon literature.  I’m not exaggerating.  I would kind of very much like to punch Kevin Sullivan right in the throat for that one.  And I’m not really a violent person.  OK, so maybe I wouldn’t punch him for real, but I dream of meeting him someday, looking him in the eye and saying to him “You, sir, should be very, VERY ashamed of yourself,” and walking away.  That would be delectable, but it wouldn’t wipe this piece of trash from existence:

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Ugh….just looking at it makes me angry.

But I digress.  Someday I will definitely write a little something about how L.M. Montgomery and Anne Shirley changed my life.  That little something might take you a few days to read so you should probably bring a snack.  For today I’ll just leave it at “I take my books and the characters within their pages very much to heart.”  Hopefully that gives a pretty good idea of how I feel about my books.  And now we finally get to my little problem with them.

Sometimes I get all wound up with rereading my old favorites and stop reading anything new for weeks. Months.  Probably not years though.  I mean, come on, let’s be reasonable.  The problem with me rereading all my old favorites is that I have a bit of a penchant for series’.  Because I get so attached to the characters I don’t like to say goodbye to them after one book.  So I love me some series’.  The more books on the list the better.  The problem being that rereading each series at least once a year takes up a lot of time.  Even when I’m reading several books at once.  Right now I have one in the living room, two on my nightstand, one at my boyfriend’s house and one in my car.  Only two of those are new books.  So I have a new plan.  A plan that sort of scares me. 

I’m not going to read anything that I have already read for the next 6 months.

I started to make it a year but I almost had a panic attack just contemplating the very idea of not getting to read the Little House books in a nice hot bubble bath for a whole 365 days.  525,600 minutes! Oh dear, that gives me the vapors!  Maybe I’ll get brave later and make it a whole year but for now that’s a little too daunting. 

In order to make sure I stick to it I’ll keep track of my reading list here and post my reviews of all of the books I read.  So if you have any suggestions let me know!

FIRST I have to finish the book I’m re-reading for probably about the 11th or 12th time; The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon.  I LOVE this series.  It’s sort of historical fiction/sci-fi/romance.  Once that is placed lovingly back in it’s space on the bookshelf I will dig into Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller.

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