I Am What Happens to Your Stuff

I called my brother the other day and reached his voicemail. He must have still been at the burial site and couldn’t pick up. I was waiting at the country club trying to find out how soon everyone would arrive from the cemetery so I could let the chef know when to bring out the food. The sooner the better, I had a five year old to pick up at a bowling themed birthday party at 1:30.

It was Saturday and I was working. I had three children with me because there was a minimum of 35 for food and we were crossing our fingers to get 25 at the funeral and lunch. I figured somebody has to eat all those stuffed shells and beef tips, it may as well be us. When you reach 94, you’ve outlived most of the warm butts who would normally attend your services. It happens.

This is what I do. Everything and anything, from funeral luncheon arrangements to disposing of storagebelongings, including but not limited to, clothing, food, china, furniture, vintage Pfaff sewing machines, decorative plates and mid-century blaupunkt radio turntable liquor cabinets that everybody and their brother’s grandparents once had displayed prominently next to their chenille sofas. And jewelry. Jewelry is nice.

I search for hidden cash in ancient Tupperware containers and in envelopes taped under dresser drawers. The treasure hunt makes up for the times I must empty disgusting fridges and clean up other people’s bathrooms. They don’t make rubber gloves large enough for that.

Over the years I’ve found money and cut gems, massive amounts of vintage jewelry and enough bows to top Christmas presents for the rest of my life. I don’t get to keep anything, except the bows, and the dryer sheets and loads of tissue boxes. But, all in all, it’s not such a bad way to make a buck.

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Making It Happen: Purple Room

MIH PR

Fact: Not being married negatively affects the state of my house.

This is a  follow-up/weekly post  where YOU my blog audience “come home” with me to see if having you here helps me get home improvement projects done. For previous post go here.

Premise (same as last week – if read previously – skip down to Projects.)

I find being unattached affects the status of my home improvement projects in two ways.

1. The fact that there is someone coming home kind of gives me a kick in the pants to get stuff done. Clean up, pick up, make improvements.

2. I am so much more motivated to do home improvements when someone else is doing it with me.

Projects: Finish paint in both bedrooms. 1/2 DONE!

They found this (and the rot) when they tore out the steps. Now all my bedroom stuff in on a "back burning." w/e ;)

They found this (and the rot) when they tore out the steps. Now all my bedroom stuff in on a “back burner.”  House collapsing into the ground, every floor and door is uneven – w/e 😉

I am super close to having my 13 yr old daughter’s room done! Thanks to my wonderful SIL, J, we painted all day yesterday, then last night E and I cleaned the floor – WE ARE READY TO MOVE FURNITURE PEOPLE! Of course, I need the furniture mover guys… Well, my part is (mostly) done – a little window/door trim painting remains.  I also need the blinds put up, but when we tore out our back steps to replace them, we discovered that the back half of the 123 yr old house is standing on rotting something-or-others, so the hanging of the blinds is on the back burner. Sigh.

THE ROOM LAST WEEK (BEFORE)

ep2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFTER

eves room

This past week the amount of work left to do on the “new” portion of the house, on top of my regular duties, just seemed overwhelming. But some really wonderful things happened – like my children cleaning my entire house beautifully while I was out on Saturday night. Plus our family received ANOTHER blessing this week – but that deserves it’s own post…

Projects for this week:

Finish paint in my (new) bedroom!

 

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Making It Happen: The Girl’s Room

mih gr

Fact: Not being married negatively affects the state of my house.

This is a  follow-up/weekly post  where YOU my blog audience “come home” with me to see if having you here helps me get home improvement projects done. For previous post go here.

Premise (same as last week – if read previously – skip down to Projects.)

I find being unattached affects the status of my home improvement projects in two ways.

1. The fact that there is someone coming home kind of gives me a kick in the pants to get stuff done. Clean up, pick up, make improvements.

2. I am so much more motivated to do home improvements when someone else is doing it with me.

Projects:

For the first time in my 13 1/2 year old’s life she is getting her very. own. bedroom. This is pretty exciting. I didn’t get to do the work on my bedroom this week (family in from AZ) or scrub the bathroom floor (dang it – I was looking forward to that…) – workmen still working in bathroom.

BUT I did get my girl’s room primed. It was work too. There was a lot of scrubbing and cleaning and wiping that went on even before the paint.

BEFORE

ep5 ep4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ep2

Taken during a break. Getting my prime on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And this is where you learn how cheap I am:

I’ve gone through 4 semi-used cans of primer that I’ve found in my house. They usually are separated and look pretty gross but I just mix them up and voila! Here is my technique:

ep3 ep1

 

Rusty & Dusty? No problem! Just wrap lip in tin foil. 😉

 

 

 

 

I also got gardening done this week – my squash is sprouting!

Projects for this week:

Finish paint in both bedrooms.

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Making It Happen: PAINTED BEDROOM

MIH PBFact: Not being married negatively affects the state of my house.

This is a  follow-up/weekly post  where YOU my blog audience “come home” with me to see if having you here helps me get home improvement projects done. For previous post go here.

Premise (same as last week – if read previously – skip down to Projects.)

I find being unattached affects the status of my home improvement projects in two ways.

1. The fact that there is someone coming home kind of gives me a kick in the pants to get stuff done. Clean up, pick up, make improvements.

2. I am so much more motivated to do home improvements when someone else is doing it with me.

Projects:

I’m expanding into the other half of our Victorian Home. I spent all day Saturday and half Sunday priming and painting the (previously) tan/maroon walls. (I’d Rather Be Blogging and I May Be Addicted)

r3

ew. ugly. 

bye bye.

 

 

 

 

 

wall1 wall 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The bedroom walls are primed and the top is painted – all with paint I found around the house. Today, I bought the color for the paneling on the bottom – this room will be done this week!

wall 3

 

Bathroom tile floor. I will be on my hands and knees scrubbing this one. And the sink. And the radiator.

Deep breath.

 

 

 

 

Projects for this week:

More painting in my bedroom and the girl’s bedroom. If I scrub a floor – well, that would be cool too.

I am really thankful for great health – no back pain. I’m feeling good – I’ll keep plugging along. God is good.

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Making It Happen: EXPANSION

mih exFact: Not being married negatively affects the state of my house.

This is a  follow-up/weekly post  where YOU my blog audience “come home” with me to see if having you here helps me get home improvement projects done. For previous post go here.

Premise (same as last week – if read previously – skip down to Projects.)

I find being unattached affects the status of my home improvement projects in two ways.

1. The fact that there is someone coming home kind of gives me a kick in the pants to get stuff done. Clean up, pick up, make improvements.

2. I am so much more motivated to do home improvements when someone else is doing it with me.

Projects:

Clean up the new bedroom. DONE! Yesterday I got a little nervous because I couldn’t remember what the project was for this week. I shouldn’t have worried, I had already cleaned the bedroom. My brain knows me so well…

Before

house 2

 

 

After

Ex 1

Obviously, the doors are off on this huge closet that my German Grandparents had built into the room by their German carpenter buddy in the early 80’s. Part of me wishes it wasn’t there and I had the huge room in its original state, but, then again there really isn’t storage… I’m thinking of wallpapering the ugly doors or something.

Ex3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

house 3

Kitchen Floor Before

Ex5

After! (And I should be getting a new toilet installed asap)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ex2

 

 

I’m not giving myself any projects this week because I’m working around the clock on the “new” section as it is. Painting with the BFF is on the schedule for Saturday. I want to prime and paint my bedroom – going for these shades. 🙂 yes, I’m happy.

 

PS – I got my Gardening/Planting done this week as well.

PPS – My daughter keeps asking me why I’m taking so many naps lately… Uh…

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Making It Happen: CLEANING

mih cLEANING

Fact: Not being married negatively affects the state of my house.

This is a  follow-up/weekly post  where YOU my blog audience “come home” with me to see if having you here helps me get home improvement projects done. For previous post go here.

Premise (same as last week – if read previously – skip down to Projects.)

I find being unattached affects the status of my home improvement projects in two ways.

1. The fact that there is someone coming home kind of gives me a kick in the pants to get stuff done. Clean up, pick up, make improvements.

2. I am so much more motivated to do home improvements when someone else is doing it with me.

Projects:

Sand entire vanity – Fail. Sand antique desk – DONE

mih sand

Mostly sanded. Rough week, I’m happy with 50% completed.

 

 

 

 

Projects for Next Week:

Clean up the new bedroom.

house 2

It’s gonna be beautiful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will be moving into a new bedroom. The previous occupant left it a mess. (read about that here) I’ve already had some professionals come through to clean out the big stuff, I now need to sweep, mop and paint the room. Sweeping, mopping and arranging are on the agenda for this week. 

Since I will be expanding into the other half of the house, my home improvement workload is gonna be huge. Here are some BEFORE pics:

house 4

Drywall, electricity, painting. Lot of work in this soon-to-be bedroom for my 13 yr old. Beautiful sun room with 4 windows and 2 window seats. 

house 3

Oh, the kitchen. New floor, new mantel. It’s gonna be a gorgeous dining room/kitchen once I’m done with it. Cannot wait. How cool to have a fireplace in your kitchen! Just like Little House on the Prairie.

 

 

house 5

Bathroom. New toilet. Resurface tub. Seriously scrub floor. But this original tile floor is going to look great! (I hope)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am like the perkiest person ever in this post.

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Making It Happen: GLITTER

MIH glitter

Fact: Not being married negatively affects the state of my house.

This is a  follow-up/weekly post  where YOU my blog audience “come home” with me to see if having you here helps me get home improvement projects done. For previous post go here.

Premise (same as last week – if read previously – skip down to Projects.)

I find being unattached affects the status of my home improvement projects in two ways.

1. The fact that there is someone coming home kind of gives me a kick in the pants to get stuff done. Clean up, pick up, make improvements.

2. I am so much more motivated to do home improvements when someone else is doing it with me.

Projects:

Put some kind of sealant or another coat of paint on my bedroom vanity. It needs it.

(Two weeks ago I chose this as my next project, as you may know, last week It Didn’t Happen. However, if you were a stink bug on the wall you would have seen me  finishing this up this morning.)

ML

I found this cool Glitter Glaze type stuff at Home Depot. It worked wonderfully! Unfortunately, it also brought out the major flaw in the entire paint and shabby chic the vanity project – I didn’t sand first. After putting on this super fantastic subtle glitter, the brown, original varnish bled through. ML1

 

 

 

NOT TO BE DISCOURAGED!

I now have in my possession an electric sander. Which leads me to the project for next week…

Projects for Next Week:

Sand entire vanity. (I am sanding, repainting and reglittering, not shabby chic-ing this time. Live and learn.) This week I plan to sand this and an antique desk I bought at a Thrift Store.

From Sunday I will also be spending two nights and three days away. Alone. Just Being-ing. Quiet.

Therefore, I am not giving myself too much in the way of projects. Oh, and I’m holding a yard sale. W/e.

😉

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Unwanted

I trash pick.

I’m not even ashamed of it – unless I get caught by the owners of the trash, that is. The TRUTH is – I love it. I talk to anyone and everyone about it because I ❤ Treasure Hunting. If the treasures are among the unwanted and thrown away – so be it.

It’s incredible what people throw away.

Recently my neighbor died. (Read about that here.) His adult daughter came and cleaned out his apartment. She bagged up everything, marked it as trash and left. I’m not gonna lie – I dug through every single bag. The result was, I now have six large black trashbags of good (some new) clothes to go to a charitable thrift store that supports an organization I love.

I had four bags of good men’s pants, shirts, blankets, and socks that I handed out to the homeless last Saturday.

I have enough stuff for an entire yard sale.

I also found actual money; brand new, in the package AA batteries, several ebay-able items and enough kitchen wares to stock a kitchen.

lim

Hand Painted Rochard. There were two of these in a box marked “Trash.” Oh yeah, they’re already on ebay.

Unwanted. -Not by me.

And since we’re on this topic – this is one of my most favorite blogs: http://garbagefinds.com/2014/04/23/public-relations/

Making It Happen at Home – BEDROOMS

MIH BR

My neighbor died this week and that will greatly affect my Making it Happen posts in the coming weeks/months. More on this below – like all the way below…

Fact: Not being married negatively affects the state of my house.

This is a  follow-up/weekly post  where YOU my blog audience “come home” with me to see if having you here helps me get home improvement projects done. For previous post go here.

Premise (same as last week – if read previously – skip down to Projects.)

I find being unattached affects the status of my home improvement projects in two ways.

1. The fact that there is someone coming home kind of gives me a kick in the pants to get stuff done. Clean up, pick up, make improvements.

There is no one coming home.

2. I am so much more motivated to do home improvements when someone else is doing it with me.

I’ve lived in this apartment for the last three years and it’s really only been over the past six months that I’ve started to feel like this is my home. (I briefly wrote about this in my post, Dwelling.)

Then, a recent post where I discussed my cleaning habits got me thinking that maybe what I need is motivation. Since no one is coming home to motivate me, dear readers, YOU have become my motivation. I plan to post two small home improvement projects that I would like to work on during the next week and then follow up with you next Wednesday to see if this kind of accountability works for me.

Projects:

1. Paint and shabby chic vintage vanity in my bedroom. DONE!

Before

 vanity

 

After

vanity I realize that this looks pretty crappy in the picture – it actually looks pretty good in real life. I do need to put some kind of sealant or something on top, but I’ll get to that. I probably added a little too much baking soda paste to the white paint and I’m sure I should have sanded the whole piece first – which I didn’t – but all in all, I’m happy with it. I found the recipe for the paint here.

 

The part where I tell you why my neighbor dying affects my Making it Happen momentum:

I will be blogging about this in more detail in a couple days, but the short story is, when I say neighbor, I mean the person who shares this residence with me. I live in an old Victorian that is split into two apartments and offices. Both apartments and offices share common areas, so my neighbor is not someone far away, but a person I see everyday and whose kitchen I need to walk into to go down to the basement to do my laundry. Communal like that.

For the last three years my daughters and I have shared two bedrooms and one bathroom, not the worst life by far, but with the death of my neighbor and the other half of the house opening up, we will be expanding into two more bedrooms, a large kitchen and another bathroom. All four of these rooms are in terrible shape and will need much work. Hence – why things are kind of in a flux right now.

My goal, after painting the vanity was to redo my BEDROOM (B for A to Z Challenge). However, my present bedroom is now to become my ten year old’s bedroom – I’m moving down to the second floor, etc. What this means is:

Projects for this week:

Gardening. I’ve got a black thumb, but my neighbor left some nice little plots that need to be cleaned up and planted.

garden 4

There have been tomatoes, peppers and flowers in here in the past. Any suggestions for good things to grow in the Northeast? Keep in mind my Black Thumb.

Garden 2

My own little plot. I’ve only ever gotten cilantro to grow here – I planted wildflowers in the Fall – we’ll see how they work out.

Grandmom's rose

My Grandmother LOVED pink and LOVED roses. She moved these roses from house to house three times before moving them here in the early eighties (She lived in this house for many years.) I cannot wait til they bloom again, this picture is from the Fall.

I realize the news of my neighbor’s passing is glossed over in this post, the reason being, I have an entire post dedicated to it already written and ready to post in a couple days.

Making It Happen at Home – Episode 4

MIH new

Fact: Not being married negatively affects the state of my house.

This is a  follow-up/weekly post  where YOU my blog audience “come home” with me to see if having you here helps me get home improvement projects done. For previous post go here.

Premise (same as last week – if read previously – skip down to Projects.)

I find being unattached affects the status of my home improvement projects in two ways.

1. The fact that there is someone coming home kind of gives me a kick in the pants to get stuff done. Clean up, pick up, make improvements.

There is no one coming home.

2. I am so much more motivated to do home improvements when someone else is doing it with me.

I’ve lived in this apartment for the last three years and it’s really only been over the past six months that I’ve started to feel like this is my home. (I briefly wrote about this in my post, Dwelling.)

Then, a recent post where I discussed my cleaning habits got me thinking that maybe what I need is motivation. Since no one is coming home to motivate me, dear readers, YOU have become my motivation. I plan to post two small home improvement projects that I would like to work on during the next week and then follow up with you next Wednesday to see if this kind of accountability works for me.

Projects:

1. Clean inside of car. DONE! I can even open the door without trash falling out. (I’ll spare you the pictures.)

2. Finish cutting quilting squares and start piecing together. DONE! I am ready to sew. This took til this morning, but we are ready to move forward.

I’ve been thinking this week about whether having or not having children affects my willingness to do projects. I came to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter. Yes, there is more everyday cleanup stuff to do with kids around and, in general, I’m more tired. But I lived in this same apartment pre-husband and pre-children and I was no more likely then to initiate home improvement projects than now.

I obviously need adult accountability.

Project for this week:

1. Paint and shabby chic vintage vanity in my bedroom.

vanity

This is just a third of the whole thing, but you get the picture, it’s nasty. I got it for free, pretty much anything I do to it will be an improvement.

I am choosing only one project this week, because A. this is a big one and B. this is the initial step in re-doing my bedroom. Which is HUGE!

Also, overall I’ve discovered that the success of this blog accountability thing is flowing over to other areas and I’m getting more and more projects done. Ones that are not even on the list (i.e. blog post)! That’s pretty exciting.

Productivity is producing productivity!

Has anyone else tried this? Thinking of trying it? I’ll be your virtual person coming home if you’d like me to.