There are a few final areas of clutter, all belonging to Nigel, which are his responsibility to clean up but if they sit there for more than a week I will probably lose my patience and take care of them myself so I can vacuum. Other than that, the last frontier of pigstyness is the living room, which is good because it's right there by the door and it'll be quicker taking things down to the dumpster.
The dining room is clear. The table sits--clean--surrounded by open floor with the two chairs, two clean placemats, and a bowl of fruit. There are still pictures leaning against the wall, where they will remain until I sort out how and where to hang them.
My computer armoire is no longer home to as many candy wrappers and bits of paper as I could shove into it rather than getting up and throwing them away properly. It, and its contents, have been dusted, sorted, and put away properly. In this room, too, there are some pictures on the floor which belong on the wall--little store-bought prints of things on dress forms and a framed Victorian fashion plate--and they will go above the sewing machine. Projects currently in progress have found their home on the rocking chair; those waiting in the project queue are in boxes in the closet. Labeled.
The kitchen is in a reasonable state of disarray. Nigel has committed himself to doing the dishes, on the basis that I am doing so much else. Yesterday he offered to trade them for the task of taking out the enormous pile of trash waiting by the door. I declined, feeling that I would rather take out trash than do dishes. He proceeded to take out the trash anyway and then get started on the dishes.
I can't dust anything else until we go shopping this afternoon; I have run out of spray. So that will get finished up tomorrow. Today will be sorting out everything in the living room and determining how many bookshelves we need to buy--it's beginning to look more like two than one. And taking out the last of the trash, which is in the living room and unsorted. Then, I think, I will clean the windows.
When everything is clean
, I will have to sort out the stuff in my sewing boxes and find storage for the knitting needles where they will not wind up in the incomprehensible jumble they have been. Then I will only have to maintain the system, which should be a piece of cake with the new medication, since I find myself seeing things that need to be done and doing them
rather than just walking past.
I feel like a human being again. This is difficult to explain, but I have lived for so long in complete--not filth, the worst it got was merely dusty, but just such a jumble of clutter--that I had forgotten how it feels to live in rooms where there is more room on the floor than a little path from door to chair, or door to bed. How nice
it is to walk into a dining room and see a clean table with a pretty bowl of fruit in the middle. It's not about taking good care of the things (at least not entirely), and it's not about making guests comfortable if and when they come over. It's about respect for myself. It's about my deserving to live in a clean apartment, to be able to find things when I'm looking for them (and not because they're visible spread all across the floor). To look around and see things looking nice
, as cheap as most of them are.
We have decided to stay here at least two more years, unless something happens that forces us to move (which would ideally be one of us taking a good job somewhere else and not loss of job forcing us to move in with my dad). With that knowledge, I have begun planning a balcony garden. I intend to grow two or three rose bushes in really big pots, treating them as annuals since it will be too difficult to transport them to my dad's shed for the winter, and some herbs and strawberries and ideally some carrots, peas, beans, and bell peppers. I hope also to purchase a little table and chairs so we can sit out there with a glass of lemonade and enjoy the garden.
I am choosing my roses carefully. I want them to be among the most fragrant varieties so we can open the window in the bedroom and smell them. I want them to last decently in vases so I can cut them and bring them indoors. I want them to bloom continually or at least repeatedly. All these things are available to me. The hardest part is choosing the colors, and deciding whether to have two or three of the same rose or grow different varieties. Possibly the chance to give yellow roses (her favorite) to aprilmayinjune
on her birthday is insufficient reason to grow them the entire summer. I am currently leaning toward two of the same variety for the front corners, and then maybe a peony for the other corner, opposite the door.
Whatever I choose, I hope also to grow violets in the rose containers, and some other pretty flowers to fill in the edge around the balcony. I don't want any bare spots if I can help it, except for walking.
Meanwhile I will also have to find a way to protect my kitchen garden from the little brown birds (they appear to be house sparrows
who hang out in the tree in front of the balcony. They fly up to the railing occasionally as if to say, what, no strawberries yet? Let us know when the buffet opens, won't you? I think if I can get something to cover the plants that they can't get through, and then also perhaps provide them with something to snack on if I can find a bird feeder on a stand of some kind, that will probably work out.
I also have to ask the maintenance people to remove the hornet nest from the tree. They are going to become active soon and I don't know but that they'll be very interested in my flowers, which is the last thing I want. I wouldn't mind it if they were bumblebees or honey bees but they are yellow jackets, and those things are absolutely nasty
; I was stung once as a child and do not care to repeat the experience.
And of course when I go to buy my containers, tools, soil, etc., I will have to ask the nursery staff how bad the Japanese beetles and Rose Chafers are in this area. I don't know how likely it would be for them to come all the way up to the third floor to bother my roses, but I certainly want to be on the lookout.
Other future plans for the apartment include purchase of some area rugs if I can find them for an affordable price; sewing some custom panels, sheers and maybe valances for the windows, which I consider, since there will be so much straight sewing and the seams will not call attention to themselves, an excellent first project to get acquainted with my sewing machine; throw pillows, which may wind up being knitted, embroidered and
sewn; reupholstering the cushions on the dining room chairs (which will be very simple if Nigel turns out to have a staple gun); and a new comforter (or at least duvet cover) and shams for the bed, since what we have are hand-me-downs from my parents and are torn, stained and ragged from the attentions of various dogs over the years. I do intend, eventually, to make a few sets of linen sheets--I have found an online source of 108" wide linen sheeting--which I will adorn with whitework and possibly monogram, but that's far in the future.