So It Goes

Apr. 5th, 2010 01:40 pm
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
There are leaves beginning to happen on the tree outside my window. I can never quite understand why the leaf buds start out red-brown when what comes from them is green, but that's life for you.

Anyway, the sun is out again. It's warm enough to go without a jacket. The hornets are going to wake up soon. If I don't get it together I will miss my chance to ask maintenance to remove them. Then I'll have hornets to be contending with when I'm doing my garden stuff.

Today I got off to a slow start. Got up, puttered around. Read some fanfic. Then I decided, fuck it, I'm going to get something done. So I had breakfast and sat down with my planner and sorted out what I wanted to do today. Some of the plans changed as I was going along.

First I picked up the piles of stuff that had started to sprout back up around the apartment. I found homes for everything, wiped down the dining room table and put the trash in the trash. Then I emptied the dishwasher and put the dirty dishes in it. This is where I went off the track, but look at this, it was in a good way.

I noticed that the sink was filthy. There is a scum that develops on things when we leave them to stand in our tap water for too long; I'm not sure what it is, but it happens in the tub, it happens in the toilets, and it happens in the sink when we soak dishes. Some of it, I'm sure, is also food crud from the dishes we've been soaking. It smelled a little like mold and it was making me sneeze.

So instead of leaving the sink alone as I had intended, and going out to the park to read my library book, I filled up the sink with hot water and diluted some bleach in it. It has to sit for another two hours and I don't want Nigel to come home while I'm at the park and drain it too early, or put his hands in it unprotected, or something, so I'm staying here.

Then I moved some stuff out of the hall closet so I could drag the file cabinet into this room and put the plastic storage tubs of holiday decorations and whatnot into the closet instead. Moved the stuff, put everything back in the closet, except for one box--I had been wondering where the hell our other sheets were.

Then I moved the little side tables around in the living room to make room for another bookshelf, with the happy bonus of having something next to the armchair on which to set down a snack or a glass of water. Since I'm usually the one who sits in the chair, I'm not horribly worried about Nigel's general indifference to the existence of coasters; the coffee table is falling apart anyway, so I don't care if rings end up on it, but this little table is pretty nice.

I also went through my planner for the rest of the week and inserted some time each day to work on more stuff around the apartment. Even if I have to wait a while for the doctor to get me the prescription I need to go back on the amazing Ritalin LA, with things as nice as they are now, I think I can keep my head above water if I try.

Tomorrow is going to be dealing with all the paperwork. I have my file cabinet where I can get to it, and I know where the hanging file folders are; it's just a matter of deciding how to categorize everything and then dealing with it. Nigel has a bunch of old binders and crap in two of the drawers. I am going to consolidate it into one and make that his drawer (there are four). He can put the stuff in folders or leave it how it is. But the household stuff, like taxes and bills, that stuff is getting organized.
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
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 [livejournal.com profile] 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.
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
Made large pile of bags of trash to be taken out to the dumpster tomorrow before I leave for group. Sorted fabric pile into three boxes (scraps, things to cannibalize for other projects, projects in progress) and a basket (three pieces of uncut fabric). Moved boxes around in closet until I was happy with the setup. Went through much of feng shui book, sorted out ideal furniture placement, moved living room furniture to suit.

I'm gonna need some curtains, a rug, three mirrors and a couple standing plants. I'm thinking the standing plants should be fake because we have a bad track record of keeping plants alive. I also need a new desk and in other news the sky is blue. Oh, and a trash can for the computer/craft room. And something yellow to put on or near the apartment door.

Also I moved the wastebasket out of the money point in the bedroom. Heh.

Next: clean out my computer desk; forcibly organize Nigel's crap that is spread out all over the floor in front of the closet. Then it's a game of which room do I clean next, and I think it's gonna have to be the living room because I have made an enormous mess of it. Then the dining room, then the hall closet, then dusting and vacuuming like a mad fiend, then maybe I'll scrub the kitchen cabinets, put down contact paper in the ones I never got to, and clean out the refrigerator.

I'm not even going to talk about the refrigerator. You don't want to know how bad it is.

Then I'm going to finally organize (read: throw away most of) the various grooming products and related detritus that currently live on and around the bathroom sink. And scrub the sink. And throw away the non-working soap dispenser.

Oh, and figure out how I'm going to store my knitting needles. I have so many, I didn't even know, they've been buried under piles of stuff and stuck in projects I had abandoned, I didn't even realize. I need to figure out where I'm going to keep them and then, like, make little tags that I can attach with rubber bands or something to keep track of what sizes they are, because a lot of them don't have that printed on them anywhere.

Tonight, however, I need to curl up on the couch with my Heyer, because these books are due back in less than a month and a page here or there is not getting them read.
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
Day 14: Finished last box of yarn, labeled, put in closet. Sorted through all four or five of the boxes that were piled up behind the couch. About one box-full was books, one box-full was stuff of Nigel's, and the rest was basically trash. Just old paperwork that nobody gives a fuck about, you know? So that is all bagged up and tomorrow I will get through the piles of paperwork on the floor in here and take all the trash out. I have about four empty boxes that are ready to be filled with fabric, and there's a box that already has fabric and other sewing stuff in it in the closet that I can also use, and I think I may actually not use them all.

Did two loads of laundry. Didn't whine about it, just did it. Fed hamsters, went grocery shopping. Made a command decision: in order to avoid burning myself out on this cleaning thing, I am restricting my work on it to standard business hours, so at 5 or 6 in the evening I am done for the day. It's tough, I still feel like I should be working until it's all done, but if I don't take time to relax I'm going to wind up with exhaustion and then I'll be really screwed.

Two weeks on 10mg of Ritalin LA = one and a half rooms cleaned and organized. Considering what this place looked like to start with I call it a fucking miracle.

Time for dinner. More work tomorrow.
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
So I am not quite finished with the yarn. I thought I would be done with it by today, but the last box (hiding out-of-sight-out-of-mind behind the open door of my computer armoire) had a lot more in it than I had thought, and also both my parents called yesterday. And talked. For two hours. Each.

I am almost finished with the final box. I'm taking a break from it for a bit, partially because our oven overheats the apartment and I just want to sit still for a little while. And get away from the TV. Do you know there is almost nothing worthwhile on television these days? I am telling you what.

I watch It's Me or the Dog and I watch the Animal Cops and then there is a time-suck of home makeover stuff on HGTV and I am starting to tire of that shit because, seriously, even the "low-budget" whatever shows are for middle-class people, and people who own their homes. If they could show me how to transform my space for free, I would be more interested. Also a lot of the stuff they do is just plain tacky. Lucite dining chairs? Even my broke ass knows better than that.

But anyway. So I am almost done with the yarn, after which I will Deal With the piles of paper trash (magazines, old junk mail, wrapping shit from the Victoria's Secret underwear my sister gave me for my birthday) that has been mixed in with the piles of yarn this whole time (strata of the sediment of my life--put down today's mail, put down the knitting, put down the cross stitch, put down another day's mail...) and also the boxes of just random crap that we were packing at the last minute on moving day, literally just throwing shit into boxes without looking at it because we didn't have time. And this is shit that has been boxed up underneath yarn and fabric for the nine months we have lived here, I know some of it is going to just get thrown away. But there are books in there too. And this weird wrought-iron wall hanging contraption with a pointy glass vase-looking thing that fits into it and some tacky looking crystals hanging off it that someone gave us for our wedding. Seriously, what the fuck do I do with this thing. I don't even know.

So I will figure out what to do with all that crap and find homes for it. And I don't mind telling you, I already know we will need another bookcase. I already have one box-full of books just piled up on the hearth because there is nowhere to put them. And that's because A) one bookcase was damaged in the move and B) Nigel wouldn't let me bring the extra one my dad has been keeping because he was afraid it wouldn't fit in the truck. (It totally would have.)

But so we need another one. I'm hoping to find one at Goodwill for cheap and avoid the throwing-down-the-toilet of money that is buying cheap particle board crap at Walmart. Because it doesn't last, it looks like crap and it's heavier than solid wood.

Come to think of it, if I can find a decent desk there too maybe [livejournal.com profile] aprilmayinjune or her friend Danielle will let me haul the current armoire monstrosity out to one of their houses, light it on fire, and dance around it singing hallelujah.

Anyway! After all of that is sorted out I should have some empty boxes (that don't have the bottoms falling out like the one I narrowly avoided putting yarn in yesterday) that I can store fabric in. And once the fabric is boxed up and labeled, I will dust and vacuum this room. Oh it will be glorious.

And then I will go down the lists on the yarn box labels and catalog my stash in Ravelry. What a novel idea!

Then I can't decide if I should start working on the living room, the dining room or the hall closet next. If I do the living room I will then have more space to spread out the crap that is currently piled in the other two locations, but if I do the hall closet I will have room to store the stuff I need to find homes for, like this giant plastic tote of Christmas decorations that sits behind me and has been sitting behind me for who knows how long.

Also I need to get Nigel to either stop trying to convince me not to buy picture hanging thingies or tell me where he has hidden the ones he allegedly already bought.

Also also, tomorrow I cannot forget to get my measuring tape back out of my purse (where it lives now for clothes shopping purposes) and figure out the dimensions of this bedspread I keep meaning to knit. And the throw pillows I plan to knit. And the curtains I plan to buy. Et cetera, et cetera.
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
So in my digging through the various boxes with yarn in them, I finally found my feng shui book (Feng Shui Step By Step by T. Raphael Simons) and so obviously I have been leafing through it.

Now, let me first just say that I have always thought that I am very much like my dad, which is one of the reasons I was so freaked out when his Behavior came to light when I was 20--I didn't want to end up fucking up a relationship the way he has--and it was especially scary because even then I knew in my heart that I was addicted to pornography my own self.

And I have always thought my mom and sister were basically the same person.

Well. I don't know if I had done this when I went through the book before, but in the process of figuring out my and Nigel's birth stars (planets) and (interestingly enough) that we are both in each other's "most compatible" category, I thought, for shits and giggles, let's see if my parents were ever compatible. And they were in each other's "least compatible" category, which is probably why they made each other so miserable.

(Kids, don't get married at 19. It almost never works out. I know of one or two cases where it has, but those people would still have been fine if they had waited.)

And then I was like: wait a minute, my dad has the same birth star as me.

And it turns out my sister has the same one as my mom. Go figure.

So anyway, Nigel is insisting that I take a day off from all the cleaning and stuff because I wasn't feeling the greatest yesterday (I think it was caffeine withdrawal, to be perfectly honest), so today I am making up a bunch of floor plans of our apartment and trying to figure out what-all we need to do to make the chi of this place flow harmoniously.

Possibly all the clutter on Nigel's side of the bed that's in our money point should go away.

Meanwhile both our bathrooms are in a bad place, so I need to get that figured out; they are already painted white (hello, apartment) but I should get white bath mats and put mirrors on the outsides of the doors. Or maybe just the one, because the other one would be putting a mirror in the bedroom and that's supposed to be bad. But yet it would be an ideal place to have a full-length mirror for dressing because I can get a lot of natural light in that room. I don't know.

I'm supposed to put a mirror over the fireplace, though, and I know I can do that. I need to get those little removable picture hanging thingies, is what I need to do, because we have a crapton of art that could be on the walls but just never got there, and I need to get some curtains. Also possibly rearrange the living room. I might move the hamsters over and put the recliner sort of where they are so it's not blocking the fireplace and balcony door so much.

Planning doesn't count as "not resting", right?

Also I'm going to take some of the cheap acrylic yarn I bought when I was still learning to knit and make some throw pillows. I think I have enough of the winter white to make two for the couch and one for the chair. Also I need to get the rest of the super bulky yarn I need to finish this crochet afghan I started all that time ago. I had worried that it wouldn't go with the color of the new couch but it does. And I need to find the hook for it. If I can't, I'll have to buy a new one.

And I need to get a bunch of white crochet cotton and get on this Victorian bedspread I keep meaning to knit. And also finish the projects I have going. Once I know where all my needles are I can finish my Cherie Amour that I started back when that issue of Knitty first came out. Serendipitously, I had started it in a size that at the time was far too big for me; now the body section (which is finished--I just have to do the sleeves) fits me like the pictures.

Meanwhile, last night I actually finished organizing all the yarn that was in the closet. Plus, actually, a box that was outside of the closet, because I knew I had more of some things and that they were in that box and I am trying, when I can, to keep the same yarn together. Tomorrow (when I am not raiding with the Mostly Ladies) I will get through the pile on the right side of my computer desk, that's blocking off the rocking chair, the bookshelf and part of the sewing machine table. I will clean the inside of the bottom drawer on my little plastic thing that I'm keeping current projects in and put my burgundy linen project in it. Then on Monday I will get through the pile on the left of the desk and, time permitting, get started on the fabric portion of all this.

Actually before I do the fabric it may be better to sort out all the other crap--papers, candles, Nigel's army hat, books, I don't even know what-all--that is currently in boxes behind the couch, all of which had some yarn or fabric in and were therefore put in the closet when we moved, and all of which can find better homes, some of them in the trash. And then I will have some empty boxes for fabric storage. Although I think some of it can go into my mother's antique sewing chest. Well, mine now. But I won't be Scotch-taping a label onto that! (Sellotape for our friends across the pond.)

Then I will sort out all the fabric. Then I'll clean out the computer desk itself, and the file folders in the drawer underneath it. Some of them need to be relabeled. Some of the stuff in there (like pay stubs from high school) can probably be thrown away.

But today! Today is for resting. And to that end I will log onto WoW and get my new tanking chest piece gemmed and enchanted. I finally broke down and respecced from dps/pvp to dps/tank so I can off-tank for the Mostly Ladies. I think this chest may bump me up to def cap, but we'll see.

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slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
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