Monday, March 31, 2008

Timeline: I think I can, I think I can ...

Monday: Seriously—clear out the bedroom shelves and closet.

Tuesday: Vacuum/mop. Go shopping for front room color—chair pads, table runners, etc. Design kitchen storage and arts/craft storage of my dreams. Consider front room stencil.

Wednesday: Buy ceiling, bedroom, and bathroom paint, blue tape, tarps, and extension rollers; and research how to and prep front room to paint the ceiling (gulp).

Thursday: Paint front room ceiling.

Friday: School

Saturday: Hang art back up on front room walls. Decide on additional shelves for cookbooks (possibly over sideboard). Prep other rooms to paint ceiling, and paint as much ceiling as possible.

Sunday: Finish painting ceilings. Possible trip to IKEA for ideas on realizing storage dreams. Prep bathroom for painting.

Monday: Paint bathroom, maybe prep bedroom for painting, or clean up for next day’s day trip.

Tuesday: Vegas

Wednesday: Prep bedroom for painting, prepare to sleep in front room until fumes clear, start painting.

Thursday: Finish painting bedroom.

Friday: School

Sunday, March 30, 2008

There's no way around it.

First, the good: I've been able to keep everything clean, at least. I've been making my bed every day. I make sure all my dishes are done before going to bed. It really does feel better.

I need a timeline. I mean, having a general timeline from the book helps, but I'm so equally overwhelmed and uninspired with the state of my room, that I don't want to do anything with it. Yet, it's the room I spend the most time in. Granted, changes I've made to the front room have drawn me out to it more often, but there are still some questions I need to answer for it. Mostly, am I happy having the TV as the focus of the room? While it made for a good conversation space, it was unavoidable at my last lunch party that the thing to do was turn it on so we could all watch it. Granted, it made for good conversation, but I don't want me and my guests to be sucked into it. I should set a deadline to be decided by the time living room week comes around. Wait ... is that this week? Already?? *sigh*

So! Timeline.

Monday: Make timeline and post it in blog ...

Sunday, March 23, 2008

3/23/08 update: the kitchen after

Today, my house is full of flowers--both buds that have hung on from last week, and new flowers I've gotten in the past few days. They really do make my home happy!
3/23/08 flower therapy 3/21/08 flower therapy DSC03019 3/21/08 flower therapy 3/21/08 flower therapy

My post-cleaning Friday fridge. It's almost always this bare on Friday, after I've cooked everything up to eat as the week's gone by. Saturday mornings, I fill it up with produce and groceries from the Public Market and store. I'm also a bit of a neat-freak about my kitchen, cleaning it frequently, so this week's kitchen focus was fairly easy.
after: fridge

Butter, fake butter, mustards, sweet pickles, apricot preserves, plain yogurt, a hunk of ginger, some black bean sauce, a couple of bottled waters I picked up at a recent foodie event, flaxseed, hoisin sauce, some gluten-free bread that I made into croutons today ... and that concludes our tour!
after: fridge door

Some shrimp, posole from my friend B, frozen spinach and raspberries, a couple of lamb shanks, a couple of chicken backs I'm saving for stock, ice ...
after: freezer

The little cupboard over my microwave.
after: over the range

I don't use a lot of self-rising flour, so that bin is empty. If I don't plan on using my wheat flour within a month, I put it in the fridge so it doesn't get rancid. I really love my knife bar. I always wonder why some people hang them blade up, and others blade down. I like them blade up so I don't accidentally stab myself when reaching around behind the sink to clean, and so if the knives fall while I'm pulling them off the magnet, they don't land blade down. Also, it just seems safer this way when reaching for the knife.
after: center square

Random dry goods.
after: cupboard

The awkward back wall of the kitchen is clean, but still just a pile of random storage furniture. I'll figure it out, I'm sure. I had friends over for lunch today and got their opinions on a wall treatment. But I need to figure this storage thing out first.
kitchen before
Maybe I'll just design something from the ground up that fits my exact requirements, like the storage of my dreams, then try to flesh it out with stuff I can find at IKEA and Goodwill and whatnot.

Today was my first real test drive in the new front room arrangement. I like it for small groups, but I still need to see how I'll manage with sit-down dinners when I open up the folding table.

My outbox, or outpile, shrank when I invited my friends to take whatever they wanted home. One friend joked that she felt like it was her birthday, and I laughed and said I felt like Oprah Winfrey doing her Big Gift--"all of my guests today get to bring something home!"

Monday, March 17, 2008

March 15: still fussing around in the front room

I'm definitely not a pro when it comes to arranging flowers. I just haven't really had to do a lot of it. When I'd do event coordinating work for my friend, CP, the flower arrangements we'd do for banquets were pre-planned, so it was just a matter of following the plan. When I'd get flowers, I'd just stick them in a vase. Splitting bouquets the way I have been for my weekly flower therapies, I've at least made an attempt. I like seeing their sculptural values, trying to even out colors, heights, and shapes, then trying to design them for the rooms I plan to put them in. They're not fancy, but I usually just go for the mixed bouquets that Maya's Farm sells at the Public Market, and if she doesn't have any, I hit the grocery store cold case. None of my bouquets ever cost more than $10, but I think the flowers are always beautiful. I used to be so opposed to having cut flowers around, watching them slowly die, then having to toss them afterward. Now, I love being able to have them in front of me, filling my place with their beauty. Personally, I also think they just wouldn't be any happier wilting away on their home plant.

Counter flowers--it's simple, but I love this arrangement; it's the sort of thing I'd stencil on a wall. I tried to bring all the flowers to the "front," away from the wall behind it.
3/15/08 flower therapy from Fry's

Bathroom flowers
3/15/08 flower therapy from Fry's

Bedroom flowers
3/15/08 flower therapy from Fry's

One of the reasons I was opposed to getting rid of my CDs was because I like to listen to them in my car. Hun helped me find a good mp3 player on eBay for a price I was willing to pay for it. I bid for it on Monday, and it came in on Friday. It's a little small at 4G, but I'd have to drive a really long time to listen to 4G of songs ...
mp3 player

I finally sorted the books I most wanted to keep, yet I still have a few that won't fit. Two shelves of cookbooks, one shelf of poetry, one shelf of fiction, one shelf of resource/nonfiction, and one shelf of art, architecture, and craft books. I actually took the photo boxes and albums out of the top shelf of the left case to fill with cookbooks. Now, the photo boxes are on the coffee table shelf and on top of the table.
book cases

I picked up paint chips from Home Depot. Happily, they actually have some eco-safe paints in the colors I'd like to use--a sort of periwinkle for my bedroom, and a light sage for my bathroom. I've checked the chips on all my walls, under lamp light and daylight, and am getting close to narrowing something down.
paint chips

I also did another full-out clean. The condo people should be coming back after work on Monday to double-check the AC, and if all is well, we'll schedule time for them to come patch the hole they made in my bathroom wall.

I really, really need to make a trip to the used bookstore to sell books, the indie music/movie store to sell the DVDs I downsized out of my collection, and to Goodwill to donate the latest batch of stuff. I still haven't hauled out the debris from my book case tragedy; I keep thinking I can DIY something out of it. It's just pressboard, though, and may not even be worth trying to salvage. I like that it has a maple vaneer, since that's my choice wood (fake or faux), but trying to finish the edges might not be worth the time.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

March 13: still working on the front room

I'm done weeding out books, and about half the original collection is gone. Still, I can't quite fit them all in the book cases that remain. On a whim, I picked out some of my favorite books, and these were just some of the books that define me. Of course, I'm trying to keep a lot more ... I have two shelves just for cookbooks!
the (fiction) books that define me

While I'm moving stuff around, I'm keeping Scotch's giant dog bed in the closet, and she likes to sleep in there--a funny twist on the idea of putting your bed in your closet!
Scotch in her closet room

The Jo-ann fabric and craft store by my house is closing, so everything is on super sale! I bought a few things, including fabric for future window sheers (I hope).
future window sheers (maybe)

I also bought chair pads so that my chairs are a little more comfy and there's some added softness to the front room. Hmm ... I wonder if they're too small. I knew I didn't want them too big, but should they be a little smaller than the seat? Blast. It feels comfy to sit on, anyway ... (EDIT: I returned the chair pads. I'm going to keep looking for something else. I'm even wondering if I should try a different color, since there's an increasing amount of red in the room and I plan to use just a bit for my minimal wall treatment.)
chair pads

Thanks, JB, for going shopping with me and coming over to hang out while I sorted books!

Monday, March 10, 2008

March 9: trying to arrange the front room

Oh boy, I asked for this one.

A post on AT showed a photo with the same tall, pressed board book cases that I have, and I left a comment along the lines of "I have those same shelves! If I focus too much on it, the joint in the middle drives me crazy." See, the shelves are basically two short cases stacked on top of each other, precariously held together by four short plastic dowels. They're great ... if you never try to move the cases ... while they're full of books. I was convinced we could get the cases on sliders and slide then to flank the new entertainment center getup I put together. Well, my friend W and I got them on sliders, but as we were pushing one of the shelves to the far side of the entertainment center, the bottom case caved in. That's what we get for pushing the top half, leaving the bottom to bear way too much stress--the friction from the floor, the torque from the top being pushed, all that physics hoo-ha. So yeah, the bottom crumbled, the books tumbled, I ... uh ... fumbled and found myself holding the top half in my arms, full of heavy books. We slowly laid the books out on the floor as if it were a fainting woman.

casualties of furniture arranging

casualties of furniture arranging

After assessing the damage and finding it irreparable, I resolved, "Ah well--I needed to get rid of more books, anyway." I kept thinking back to Maxwell's words of wisdom about how old books sorta stifled new creativity--they were good while it lasted, but now it's time to make room for something new! Let's see *flipping pages*--ah yes, here it is: "Books are good resources and markers of experience, but we all tend to hold on to far more than we actually use. To ease the process, it is helpful to realize that books are collections of memories and old thoughts, not new ones; they carry an emotional weight as well as a physical one. On the subject, I have often quoted Karen Kingston's words from Creating Sacred Space with Feng Shui to my clients: 'Holding on to old books doesn't allow you to create space for new ideas and ways of thinking to come into your life.' Not only is letting go clearing out the old, it is also trusting in the future."

So, we had a usable top section of shelf, and I filled it with some of my favorites from that case for awhile before we decided to deal with the second book case. This time, we took all the books out before moving it and sliding it to the other side of the entertainment center. We stood back and looked. The whole grouping looked like stairs, with the tall book case, the shorter entertainment center in the middle, and the new short book case on the other side. Neither of us liked the look of it so ... we broke the other book case so we had some uniformity. We tried to just ease it apart, but there were connectors we couldn't access, so we just snapped the two plastic dowels that were holding us back. So then, I had two short shelves flanking the entertainment center. I filled it with some of my favorites from that shelf (minus the cookbooks, which just wouldn't fit), then we stood back and took a look. Neither of us liked the look of it. The entertainment center--really just a black utility shelf--was like a bix black square--the big TV screen, the stereo components, and the shelf. It was fine when it wasn't flanked by the two lighter-colored book cases. W looked at me and said, "You know, I really liked them better where they were. I should've said something." I replied, "Yeah, I liked them there, too, but this just seemed like a better idea. I was really wrong." Plus, while the symmetry with the group was nice, it looked really cluttered in context with the rest of the room. So ... time to spread out again, perhaps.

I'd been thinking about just getting shelves that span the wall where the cases were--that way, I got back an inch or two of floor space and I could fit more stuff. I've also considered getting just one, good quality, tall book case, maybe with doors so my books and my few tchotchkes don't get dusty so easily. Maybe I'll just keep using the short shelves in the places I instinctively placed them when Hun and I first put them together. Dunno. I didn't like the gap between them--it seemed like a waste of space, but I wanted to be able to access the outlet on that wall. At least the short cases look better than the tall cases with the seem halfway up the case.

I told W that I'd just sort through my books again and put even more in the outbox (about 50 books, she suggested, to make them all fit well). Deep breath. In the stack of books, I found the old "All About Me" book that was kinda trendy about 8 years ago. Somewhere in it is a description of my dream home, complete with a big library with tall book cases and a bay window for a window seat. It's definitely not the home I ended up with. And a nagging part of me is trying to get the rest of me to admit that it's not the house I need. In the same book, I wrote about how I disliked excess, especially material excess--that unfulfillable desire to have more and more things. I wrote about how I hated having so many things I felt like I didn't need. One of those voices from the past is right, and I'm tending to thing it's the latter voice. There are a lot of things I can fill my little house with, but it doesn't have to be material stuff.
front room in progress

As for the rest of the front room, it seems to be holding up fairly well. After our attempt at arranging furniture, we closed the day out by making pierogies from scratch. I pushed my futon up a little and was able to fully extend my gateleg table so we could roll out dough on one end and sit and fill the pierogies on the other end. Then we ate them with onions, the whole shebang sauteed in butter. And I did up a cake.

Here, W beats potatoes for the pierogies while Scotch the Dog, always underfoot when there's food around, blinks for the camera.
Wendy making pierogies

All in all, a satisfying day. Later that night, I discovered a bruise the size of a large grapefruit on my thigh, and a large knot under it, from where I caught the book case with it. My first Burrow Cure battle wound! I finished copying the last of my CDs, which was cool. I also replaced my old shower rings with rings that had roly balls. W mentioned she had the same ones and while she liked how easily she could open her curtain, she didn't like the noise they made. They weren't any noisier than the rings that stuck, and in fact, they at least slid more easily, so the noise was briefer. Today's homework for after work is to sort through my books, carefully shuffle the cases around to see if I can find a placement for them I like, and hopefully get my rug back into my room.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

March 8: the front room--arranging furniture

So I established a landing strip. Before, it was to the left of the door, which was fine, but walking smack into the futon, I'd be more prone to toss stuff there, especially my bag. I still haven't decided if I want to line up some hooks above it, or maybe a rack next to it.

in progress: front room, landing strip

Pulling the entertainment center was more involved that the final results may look. The TV used to be on top of the coffee table, and the book case (entertainment center) as next to it, loaded with everything else. I moved the shelves to fit everything snugly, slid all the components in, and tied up all the cords. Instead of sticking it in a corner, I centered it on the wall. I'm not sure if I'll keep it there. It makes the TV the focus of the room, which I don't want. I plan to put some chairs around the coffee table, facing the futon, so it's more of a conversation space. The back flap of the futon doesn't bother me the way I was afraid it might. Again, time will tell how I feel about it later.
in progress: front room, entertainment center

in progress: front room

What to do with the coffee table is another question. I like it for things like game night, propping your feet up (as Maxwell mentioned in his book), and holding drinks, plates, and food stuff during luncheons. Since I don't dig into my DVDs and VHS tapes (yeah, I still have them) very often, I don't feel badly about blocking them off. Though I do miss the checker pattern. ;) I still have to sort through the media and get rid of the DVDs and tapes I don't want or need anymore.
in progress: front room

I was wary about trying to create little spaces with furniture, but I like the feel of it. We'll see how I like it after I've used the space more, though!
in progress: front room

Tomorrow's project will be to try flanking the entertainment center with the book cases--one on either side. Then I need to figure out wall treatments. I'm not sure if I should paint. The beige isn't really bad, and it doesn't wash out the space the way I'm afraid white would. It also doesn't make the room too dark. I need to start considering whether or not I can stencil the textured wall. If I can figure it out, I'm thinking of trying to incorporate some white from the base boards and trim into my stencil design.
before: wall color and texture throughout condo before: trim and wall color throughout condo

March 8: flower therapy

I picked up a bouquet from Maya's Farm stand at this morning's Public Market.
3/8/08 flower therapy from Maya's Farm, Public Market

3/8/08 flower therapy from Maya's Farm, Public Market

Some of the flowers went on my kitchen counter. I like their elegance and lovely colors.
3/8/08 flower therapy from Maya's Farm, Public Market

The big happy round ones went in my bedroom.
3/8/08 flower therapy from Maya's Farm, Public Market

And the wild, wispy ones went into my bathroom because it sort of reminds me of my shower curtain.
3/8/08 flower therapy from Maya's Farm, Public Market

Friday, March 7, 2008

Toward the end of Week 3, my landing strip

I bought my landing strip about a month ago, and despite it simplicty, I really like it. It doubles as my dining table. It's set just inside the door. The one problem I encountered with it is I don't open it up as a table for dinner parties until my guests have arrived and gotten comfy. It acts as a landing strip for them, too, so before dinner, we have to relocate all their purses and such to the coffee table or floor so we can move and open the table.

I store my napkins and linens in the drawers, and use the topmost drawer closest the door to hold my dog's leash, a flashlight for night-time dog walks, some plastic baggies for her business, and my keys.

I'm also going to seriously consider getting hooks for just inside the door. I'm just wary of installing something permanent to a space that needs to remain flexible.

In the meantime, I'm also contemplating my front room.

My front room is:
A living/TV/rec room
A gym
A dining room (for sit-down dinners for up to 6 or casual lunches for 6-8)
A library

When it’s not being pushed into duty as a dining room or gym, it likes to pretend to be a living room. It offers seating, a TV, and a plethora of books. The trouble is it feels more like a waiting room instead of a sitting room; it’s as if it were just a transitional space, like people go there just before being shuffled off to somewhere else. I think part of it is that all the furniture is pushed up against the wall, leaving a void large enough for a toddler’s tumbling routine in the middle instead of inviting intimate conversation. Granted, I do my yoga, kickboxing, and free weight circuit training in the middle of the room (when I’m pretending to be healthy), but ... that’s just an hour or so of a day. I need to consider it, though. A gym membership isn't an option. So, I’ve been continuing to scoot my furniture cutouts around my grid paper floor plan for the past two weeks, and so far, nothing’s inspired a Eureka. Sweetly, Hun tried valiantly to help suggest plans, a few of which were surprisingly innovative. My creative and skilled friend W is going to swing by on Sunday to help me scoot actual furniture around the actual room in an attempt to find a working arrangement.

Speaking of arrangements, this past weekend's flower arrangements have really kept me cheery. Maya's Farm at the farmers' market didn't have any, so I picked up a sale bouquet from Safeway and split it in two, placing the soothing white flowers in my bedroom and the bright and happy yellow and orange flowers on my kitchen counter. I photographed them with my camera phone and shared the love with my phone book.

March 1 March 1

Thursday, March 6, 2008

March 1 and this week, in progress

Poor condo bones ...
tiles to be fixed Tuesday, March 4 tiles to be fixed Tuesday, March 4 tiles to be fixed Tuesday, March 4

I cleared as much furniture as I could out of the front room and kitchen so the condo people could reset my tiles in those rooms, as well as the bathroom. Curse you, failed thinset! They spent most of Tuesday, the 4th, with the repairs. Such back-breaking work. At least the condo is small, and there were three people working on it, so it went by quickly. They told me I could walk on it, but don’t have a dance party or do jumping jacks on anything. Well, rats. I swept the floors twice, cleared the stuff off my bed, and went to sleep. The next day, they came back to try to fix my AC again. They decided to saw a hole into the opposite side of the wall from before so that (1) I didn’t have to stare from my bedroom at the innards of my condo through a gaping wall and (2) they wouldn’t screw up the patch job from the last time they tried to fix it. So now, there’s a neat hole in my bathroom … the commode room, I guess you’d call it. At least the AC works now (seemingly) and won’t drip (profusely) into my kitchen. All this time, I’d thought it was the overflow tray. I guess it was before, or at one point … this time, it was apparently mostly due to a hole that the last repair guys accidentally drilled through the drain pipe. RAD TIMES. So they replaced that section of pipe and increased the drain pipe’s recline angle, so hopefully it won’t drench my dinner guests when the AC really gets going. If only I could wrap a muffler around it … hmm—something to research, now!

I’ve been contemplating creating clearly demarcated areas in my front room. I think “Maybe I’ll put the futon in the center of the room, facing the entertainment center, which will be flanked by a couple of chairs. Then I’ll have a conversation space. And when I have game nights, I’ll push the futon back and put the coffee table in the middle of the group. Then, I can have my dining table behind the futon against the wall opposite the entertainment center.” Then I imagine eating at the table, and I imagine myself thinking, “I’m eating behind the futon … “ Maybe the space, whose longest wall is 13 feet (that’s the span I’d be bisecting—but not into equal parts), is too small to really portion out like that.

I’ve been scooting little cut-out shapes representing my furniture around a grid paper floor plan of my front room for two weeks now. I wish I could put my futon on a diet—it’s so fat. I love it, though, and with occasional guests, it’s great to have. It was also the biggest purchase I made for my condo. I’m not big on shopping, but I actually shopped for this piece.

So yesterday, after the AC was repaired, I mixed up some vinegar and hot water and gave my tile floors a good scrubby mopping. I was going to haul all my furniture back out into the front room, but decided to study the space a bit more. I adjusted the shelves on my makeshift entertaintment center(I like that typo, so it’s staying, stupid time-sucking TV, polluting my life) so I could fit my TV into it.

Since I was at home on Tuesday for the tile repair, I started burning all my CDs onto my secondary hard drive that I use just for data storage (my OS is on the primary drive). I have the CDs in books, and I know I can’t sell them back if they’re not in jewel cases. Using the books saved space, but now, I have so many books that they’re taking up more space than I’m willing to give them. Strange how solutions become problems, huh? I may just donate them, since the return on them is so low, and so few places are buying them anymore; a lot of local joints have a buying freeze on CDs since so many people are just downloading music these days. Instead of just dropping them off at Goodwill, which also may not be able to sell them without jewel cases, I’ve been researching places that accept CD donations. There are places that send music to troops oversees and that use donated music as part of their music therapy programs—like one that has portable CD players and music available to sick kids in hospitals.

Eco Encore, online resale for the environment:

MusiKares, building a music library for in-house cancer patients:

Recycle for Breast Cancer, recycling anything from computer parts to cell phones to data storage media: and direct for CD info

Operation Troop Appreciation, fulfilling wish lists for troops overseas:

Or, you can dump it safely:

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Answers to Christopher Lowell's Survey from April 2007

Dream it, do it, etc. I read a bit of his book and answered the questions he advised people answer before decorating their places.

1. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? If I could live anywhere in the world, it would be a cultural center—a neighborhood with a view of life and different people. It would have urban opportunity and melting pot sensibility. People would interact with their environment and with each other.

Interpretation: I get rejuvenation from the people around me and my environment, which would affect all senses.

2. What do you want to be when you grow up? When I grow up, I want to be a wordsmith, reading and writing and surrounded by words—as communication, art, and necessity.

Interpretation: I need an environment to support this.

3. What makes you feel safe, cozy, and protected? A close circle of friends and of space makes me feel safe, cozy, and protected. Soothing and soft light against the dark I’ve always feared. A beloved warmth against a welcome chill, the goosebumps just beyond the perimeter, in reach to remind me of what I love of life.

Interpretation: I must have these for comfort—an ability to surround myself and know what’s around me.

4. What does pampering mean to you? Pampering means lounge space—room to just be, slow and sensual and spoiled, but challenged. Anything that comes too easily is boring. Food should be delicious, but not just served to you on a platter. A bed should be fine linens and soft fabrics, but rumpled and lived in.

Interpretation: I like to work for what I get and be involved with the process of obtaining it, but then being allowed to enjoy it once I have it.

5. If you could acquire just one object, what would it be? If I could acquire just one object, it would be the color red, at least a hint, everywhere I looked.

Interpretation: This is a sensory device, something tangible, yet not—something fluid and shapeable.

6. What sound do you love most? The sound I love most is of song. Music itself is nice, but the voice is so powerful and words so moving. Even off-key or obnoxious, I love to hear people sing.

Interpretation: Communication, sound, song, melody, harmony, something easy, yet something that yearns for attention. Something I can study.

7. What is your favorite human quality? Of all qualities humans possess, human kindness is my favorite.

Interpretation: I want to be surrounded by this, and I want to be this.

8. What would you do if you could pamper yourself every day? To make myself feel pampered and indulged every day, I’d lay in a hammock with a yummy sandwich and a good book, or maybe sit at a wood table with a delicious homemade dinner. There’d be nice music and sometimes great company, and fresh live flowers on the table.

Interpretation: Food is a central theme, and physical comfort and sensual comfort is important.

9. What three menial chores would you get rid of if you could? Three small tasks I’d like to get rid of are dusting, scrubbing the stovetop, vacuuming.

Interpretation: I don’t like when my things get dusty, dirty, grimy, and while I love tactile features and touching things, seeing them encroached upon and invaded and undoing the damage is gross.

10. Rust.

Interpretation: Reminds me of Tan Raspberries, mom’s curtains, sunrises and smoggy sunsets. This color makes my brain spark and come alive.

11. The thing I like most about myself is my ability to make things work, make ends meet, come up with creative solutions.

Interpretation: My ability to make things work—I need space to do this. To make things work and work things out.

12. The most courageous thing I’ve ever done is grabbed the bull by the horns when I was in financial trouble and worked my ass off to pay off my debts. Also, letting my current boyfriend into my life. He’s amazing.

Interpretation: I need to be allowed to just do things with gusto, fearlessly.

13. The happiest moment of my life to date … my birthday potlucks, with all my friends and good food around in a safe familiar place … dinner with Carol and Charles on their deck at Innsbrooke with fireflies dancing around us … snuggling with Robert into sleep.

Interpretation: I love food and friends and cozy surroundings, either familiar or new and wondrous—again, things that appeal to the senses.

14. The one thing I’ve done for myself that makes me most proud is taking care of my money problems as best as I can, by myself.

Interpretation: I must continue to be allowed to take care of things, learn new things, be with old things I’m comfortable with.

I want a tactile place—a touchable place for all my friends and my passions—my passions for words, art, colors, smells, tastes. I want my private space for introspection, but a space I can open up when I want to let the stale air out and the fresh air in. Though I want to be able to bring people in more than I want to feel exposed. I want a malleable place to suit my moods and give me room to breathe and change, adjust and adapt. It should be dust-free. =) I want a place that encourages food and family and comfort and quiet and song and boldness at the same time.

I’m picturing window seats where I can lounge and relax and have a view out. I’ve always wanted a window seat. I’ve always wanted a window seat. A place where I can put my feet up, lean back, read, eat, drink iced tea, take in sun or rain. There are lines and fabrics—soft cushions on contemporary urban furniture. There’s bold rust-painted iron with organic sweeps. There are books everywhere. Everywhere, words. Things to touch and hold and interact with. There’s white and bright and airy colors and sunlight. There’s warm, light wood—maples and birch and pine. Everything’s simple and sleek, except for the frills in the background—the Nouveau bold lines with organic sweeps and points.

Feb. 23: the second weekend

Feb. 23: Public Market on Saturday morning, as always, for produce. And now, for flowers, too. I bought a small bouquet from Maya's farm and split it into two again for the kitchen counter and my bathroom. The bathroom one later moved into the front room because it's so stinkin dark in my bathroom, and the flowers seemed so unhappy there.

Feb. 23 Feb. 23 Feb. 23

Spent the rest of Saturday cleaning and getting ready for a little dinner party I threw Sunday night.

The week of Feb. 24, I spent sorting through books a little more and through my ... more accessible ... clothes (those not crammed into plastic tubs into the nether regions of my closet). In the previous post, you saw a dresser in each side of my closet--the left held my office and art supplies (yes, more, and there's even MORE under my bed), and the right held clothes (I'm not a clothes horse--I just have a lot of bad clothes). I got rid of a lot of office/art supplies and emptied two drawers, then sorted through the clothes in the right dresser and winnowed all that down. So now, I have only one dresser.