A Napping House, Where Everyone Is Sleeping

ZZZZZ  A quiet corner between the hose reel and the herb garden seems like a good place to set up an outdoor napping area.

Before we get started here, I would like the record to show that I have been seriously nap-deficient for the last 20 or so years. I intend to change that starting now. That’s a joke. I already started. FYI – the chair pictured here is the infamous scratched one that precipitated the delivery of two free chaises.  I always meant to get rid of it but I never could do it. It’s been living in hallways and spare bedrooms all this time. Now it runs free and wild in the dappled sunshine, next to a freshly spray-painted Walmart table.

Where is the time going? I’m busy all the time now , doing what I can’t tell you but I don’t have enough hours in the day to do it.  I’m enjoying the little domestic activities that were, while I was still working, just a source of annoyance to me if I did them, or a source of embarrassment if I didn’t. Things like straightening out a closet or reorganizing a desk drawer. I do confess that more than a few drawers around here would provide a surprise much like a joke snake leaping from a can of peanuts for whoever opened them. I’m still haunting the kitchen producing loaves of bread of variable but still substandard quality and very, very good marmalades. Little bit sick of the washing up, though.

And crocheting dishcloths.

I hope you didn’t just laugh. I feel embarrassed that I like the act of doing this and that I like the end result. Me. A respected expert in my speciality field, a high powered executive business woman. Who is retired.  I guess I’m not those things anymore. Now I’m a maker of dishcloths.

scrubBut look at it: my lovely double sided scrub mitt. There’s satisfaction in this, at least for the moment. At least until I get this out of my system.  At least until the rain stops today and I can get back outside. That chaise lounge is not the only thing yearning to run free .

When Life Gives You Lemons Make Marmalade

Gby4evr! The last password I created for work. Although my work was very satisfying and I  am thankful for the experiences and opportunities I’ve had there, it gave me great pleasure type this into the corporate login page  several times a day for my last three weeks of employment.

Dudes! I have got the citrus marmalade thing down pat now. Here’s my production so far:

  • Grapefruit Vermouth verdict: overcooked, bitter, very firm. Has the consistency of a gum drop.
  • Lemon Lime verdict: exquisitely tart, loose set – possibly undercooked.
  • Lemon Orange verdict: perfect!

[Sidebar: I am very happily retired and do not miss work at all except for one little habit that I find very hard to break: I can’t stop communicating in bullets. I realize that I’ve used bullets aplenty here before but now it’s my only outlet to use them at all. Thanks for understanding! Just be glad I’m not that attached to PowerPoint presentations.]

MINIMALISM I was always a minimalist when it came to PowerPoint design. Just a few clues on the slide and the information delivered in the voice over. Try to imagine my lilting voice here convincing you that you too should be making your grocery lists using bullet points.






I’m really enjoying the wonder of this transition time. Remember when I was complaining that I can’t keep track of the days of the week and I needed an Alzheimer’s clock to help me? Well, please cancel that complaint – now EVERY DAY IS SATURDAY. And when I said I was looking to add some structure and commitment to my life , such as church attendance or a regular go out to dinner night? Not yet, please. Every day is Saturday and THEY’RE ALL GOOF OFF SATURDAYS. I’m waiting for the boredom hammer to fall on me like everyone cautions that it will unless I develop some new activity to replace working but it hasn’t happened. That might be in the future but for now I revel in the goofing off.

I’m not entirely without ambition, though. I’m throwing myself into the domestic pleasures that I haven’t had time for as an employed person. No set plan, really and certainly not anything that actually needs doing (like cleaning). I’m just an unemployed butterfly flitting from making marmalade to producing homemade bread, which if truth be told is not yet a success. Except for the Irish soda bread which doesn’t count because it has no yeast in it. Yeast is my nemesis.

Recently, I got the idea to crochet dishcloths. Don’t laugh! #1. I’ve never made one before and #2. do you know that they now have yarn called “scrubby” that is specifically made for this application AND some of it is sparkly!


So be warned, anyone who comes to visit me. Everyone gets a door prize of an 8 oz. jar of artisan marmalade and a hand crafted dishcloth (also recommended for facial exfoliation).  ←seriously. Maybe I can learn to weave some little baskets for a nice presentation?

A Mistake

I saw this lovely old chest for sale in one of the local antique markets around here. And around here,  “antique ” means good old wood  stuff that some Etsy wannabe has ruined with chalk paint and then stenciled a sea shell on top. But this was different – it wasn’t chalk paint it was old fashioned oil based paint, lovingly worn away at the touch points instead of assaulted with 100 grit sand paper to look distressed*. The description in the local ad called this dresser “a lovely old gal” and she sure is. Even the modest floral design is hand-painted freehand and is exactly right.

ugh I did not buy this

But in person it was hideous. It’s hulking presence was enormous – the top was almost at my chin. The green and yellow hues which looked so appealing  in the photo were soiled with decades of cigarette smoke. It was just wrong.  And the price tag was an unacceptable $329.00.

But I was looking for a small dresser to put into the guestroom to hold bed linens and to be another surface for guests to lay out their stuff. At the same store, I found this sort of cottage-y thing at the right price ($50.00) and unfortunately wearing a coat of pale aqua chalk paint. It did have the original hardware which mercifully was unmolested. My intention was to paint it in the same color scheme as the lovely old gal and adorn it with a modest amount of tasteful floral decals.

ugh I did buy this

It might appear to be another hulking specimen but it’s really quite petite – only 36″ tall and 18″ x 29″. It sat for a week or two in the guest room while I thought things over, and then I bought two sample paint pots from Lowes. Today I applied spots of paint in various combinations to determine if it was going to be green on yellow or yellow on green. And while I was up close and personal with it, I made a discovery about this little dresser.

This is the point in my story where I apologize to the chalk paint. Because the chalk paint is the only thing holding it together. The person who sold it must have found the chopped up pieces in a wood pile somewhere and reassembled it. It’s that much of a mess. So instead of a simple independent painting project this has turned into a wood glue wood filler extensive sanding that then painting project that now depends on Sami . Who probably will conclude that he has a say in the finished appearance. Correction: … will erroneously conclude …

I’ve lost heart for it. I’m going to go through with the rehab just to get it out of my system and then I’ll sell it. I made a mistake bringing this home with me and I don’t want to be reminded of that.

*Distressed is exactly the right term for this treatment. I am EXTREMELY distressed by how many salvageable wood pieces have been sacrificed to appease the chalk paint gods.

You’d Be Better Off Just Taking A Wild Stab At It On Your Own.

Listen – I’m all for “The People” and everything but at some point, reason must prevail.

I was looking at a few videos to prepare myself for turning a very damaged Craigslist night stand into a golden luxury item but YouTube is not the place to prepare for such an activity.

My God. These people are idiots.

Not only should they be vetted before being allowed to post a DIY video but somebody better institute a suitability screening process before they can be allowed to even buy a can of spray paint.

That is all.

Our Beloved EKTORP

For reasons that are boring even to me, I find myself on the brink of buying a flat pack love seat from Ikea.

Okay. I’ll confess – the reasons are:

  • we don’t have enough mess and turmoil in this house where only 2 oldsters live
  • we think the challenge of bolting a piece of upholstered furniture together will be good for our marriage
  • it will be good practice for trying to zip up a handrail cover that has only 1/8″ of fabric beyond the dimensions of the rail itself
  • we have faith that a love seat that costs $359 will be a quality long term investment

I am at the point where I have to admit that this might be the only option for me.  I never had anything from Ikea and know only only college students or people in their first solo apartments who have had. Does anyone here have experience with upholstered furniture from Ikea? Or the longevity of any of their furniture? Comments appreciated.