The Patron Saint of Housekeeping

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I’ve heard it said that god created the universe in six days, and on the seventh day, he rested.

I call bull. I’m pretty sure that on the seventh day, god had to do the housework.

Yesterday, on Sunday, I did my daily tarot reading (woo-woo alert) and it said, “Don’t just sit there! Get something done!”

I did 5 loads of laundry. Darks, whites, reds, delicates and sheets. God probably wouldn’t have had to wash darks, but he I’m sure he had countless loads of whites.

I also cleaned the bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom.

I wondered as I was cleaning, is there a patron saint of housecleaning? The Catholic church (of which I used to be a member) has a patron saint for everything. I expected her (of course it would be a woman) to be named St. Dustina, or St. Cobwebbia, but it’s St. Martha.

St. Martha, if you know your bible stories, was the one who did all the cooking and waiting upon when Jesus visited. She complained about her sis, Mary, not helping her because Mary was instead hanging on every word J. said.

Do I have that story right? Or did Mary complain about Martha bustling about when she should have been listening to J? This is why they kicked me out of Catholic Club; I can never keep the stories straight.

Anyway, J. said, “Cool it, gals. It’s all good.”

And then Martha became the patron saint of housekeeping and Mary became the patron saint of hanging on a man’s every word like he’s god or something.

 

M, M & J

M, M & J

 

Today my daily tarot reading (woo) said, “Don’t just sit there! Go vote!”

It’s a weird time for an election. They’re usually the first Tuesday in November. But apparently some things must be decided, and they can’t make decisions without me. Off to vote, I go.

Stay tuned…

No-Spend Month

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I way, WAY overspent in January, so February has to be as close to a no-spend month as possible.

I need to stay away from The Tasty Gates of Hell drive-through this month. I also need to quit cruising Amazon.com.

My fridge, freezer and cupboards are full of food, so I think I can go most of the month without grocery shopping, too.

FRIDGE FOOD

FRIDGE FOOD

FREEZER FOOD

FREEZER FOOD

PANTRY FOOD

PANTRY FOOD

I’m a little worried about the low level of cheese in the house. I only have 2 partial blocks, and you know I love cheeses.

A COUPLE DAYS OF CHEESES

A COUPLE DAYS OF CHEESES

Oh, I guess there’s the sliced provolone for sandwiches.

SEVERAL DAYS OF CHEESES

SEVERAL DAYS OF CHEESES

And the shredded cheese for cooking.

7-10 DAYS OF CHEESES

7-10 DAYS OF CHEESES

Yup. I’m still worried.

I can distract myself from the upcoming Crisis of Cheeses by working on making some things beautiful.

I added another print to the bedroom grouping (Goodwill, $2.99) and hung a mirror on the opposite side of the bed (Amazon, $149.90).

ADDED PRINT

ADDED PRINT

ADDED MIRROR

ADDED MIRROR

I also spent an hour in the studio, unpacking and finding homes for some of the stuff from my storage locker. Progress was made, but I definitely need to keep at it. And I definitely need to find a bookcase to house the books I unpacked. Next month.

STUDIO, BEFORE

STUDIO, BEFORE

STUDIO, AFTER 1 HOUR OF WORK

STUDIO, AFTER 1 HOUR OF WORK

Stay tuned…

Wealth

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Woo-woo Alert:

I read tarot cards for No.2 Sis yesterday. They said, “Pamper yourself, rest, take a bubblebath, curl up in front of the fire and relax!”

I read the cards for myself, and they said, “You lazy bum! Quit daydreaming and actually get something done! Get to work!”

It reminds me of something No.8 Sis’ girlfriend said to her recently. “Sweetie, you have such good ideas. Why don’t you do one?”

So No.8 Sis is building a guest-house in India.

My ambitions are a bit more low-key. I cleaned the whole house (except the art studio). Do you know how seldom the bedroom, bathroom, living room, kitchen and dining room are all clean at once?

If you read this blog, you know that the answer is “rarely”. It looks so nice!

So today I can just watch the snow fall…and fall…and fall… This winter storm Jaxon is hitting us right now. I don’t know when they started naming blizzards, but there ya go.

I’m also working on feng shuiing (totally a word) the wealth corner in my cottage. This is in lieu of getting a j-o-b.

The wealth area of the cottage is in the bedroom. There was a flying pig lamp in this corner, which suggests that I’ll be wealthy when pigs fly. This is doing feng shui badly.

BAD FENG SHUI

BAD FENG SHUI

I got a new (used) lamp at Lamp Mender, or as I like to call them, The Lamp Ladies, a store in Bloomington, MN.

LAMP LADIES LAMP

LAMP LADIES LAMP

I liked the shape, but not the color, so I painted it white with blue accents. Here it is in its new home by the bed.

WEALTH CORNER

WEALTH CORNER

Four coats, hand-painted. If I had gotten spray paint, it would have been done in a couple of coats. But where can you spray paint in an cottage apartment?

I charged some crystals for manifesting wealth (do I need another woo-woo alert?), and put some money in jewel box (The Taj Mahal Box) No.2 Sis brought me from India for my birthday.

I also hung a watercolor print of Ireland given to me by my BFF “T”. It doesn’t necessarily represent wealth, but I love it.

This is the first picture I’ve hung in the cottage. Don’t judge, I’ve only been here 9-and-a-half months!

CRYSTALS AND THE TAJ MAHAL BOX

CRYSTALS AND THE TAJ MAHAL BOX

The crystals are (top left to  bottom right) Quartz, Aventurine, Moss Agate, Black Tourmaline, and Citrine.

Let the wealth come pouring in.

Stay tuned…

 

26 Minutes To Raise Your Self-Esteem

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I returned home from my Virginia vacation (more about that later) in my usual post-vacation slump.

My brain was tormenting me with, ” You over-packed. You didn’t walk enough. You spent too much money. You left your house a mess.” My brain can be so mean to me!

There was only one thing I could think of to raise my self-esteem.

Clean the kitchen.

I timed it. It took 26 minutes to take it from this:

DIRTY KITCHEN

BAD SELF-ESTEEM

To this:

CLEAN KITCHEN

GOOD SELF-ESTEEM

I felt so good, I cooked a delicious pot roast, which we all know is Food-For-The-Soul. (Vegetarians and vegans, please disregard previous sentence).

Then I had to clean the kitchen all over again. Totally worth it.

I was so inspired that, while the roast was roasting, I cleaned the living room.

DIRTY LIVING ROOM

ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY TO RAISE MY SELF-ESTEEM

11 minutes later:

CLEAN LIVING ROOM

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

Note to self: buy lamp shade.

And the bedroom.

DIRTY BEDROOM

DON’T JUDGE ME

Hey, I would have thrown the clean laundry on the floor before going to bed.

DIRTY BEDROOM

THE EGG CARTON IS FOR MY EARRINGS

27 minutes.

CLEAN BEDROOM

UNSTOPPABLE

 

 

clean bedroom

TA DA!

And the bathroom.

DIRTY BATHROOM

EASY-PEASY

5 minutes.

CLEAN BATHROOM

LEMON-SQUEEZY

It’s really, really good that I cleaned up, since Old Al, the 80ish-year-old handyman at “The Village” (my apartment complex) came to unstop a drain for me. He brought Young Al, his 20ish-year-old assistant, with him.

I wasn’t sure why Young Al was there until I told Old Al that the previous tenant must have dumped grease down the drain, as the water that had backed up was quite greasy.

Old Al said, “What?” Young Al yelled, “THE WATER WAS GREASY.” Ah, Young Al was Old Al’s interpreter. Mystery solved.

So, all told, I spent 1 hour and 9 minutes cleaning my house. It took all day, because I’m a big believer in (long) breaks, but it was only 1 hour and 9 minutes of work.

It’s now time to do it all again, of course. Isn’t it funny how that works? I’ll do it today, before my amazingly high self-esteem crashes again.

Stay tuned…

 

Project Backup

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I’m falling behind (WAY behind) in my resolution to only take on one project at a time.

My kitchen has plenty of cupboards, but they all open away from the stove. That makes it hard to access spices while cooking.

I bought a metal tray at an antique store and nailed it up over the stove (very low-tech, I know). Then I bought these magnetic spice tins from Amazon. I filled the tins with my most commonly used spices, added these labels, and plopped them up on the tray for easy access. One project down, untold multitudes to go.

SPICE TINS

SPICE TINS

Here’s the basis for the next project. I bought this picture from Goodwill for the frame. I’m going to replace the print with my affirmation, “Life is sweet”, and hang it over the kitchen sink.

FRAME FOR "LIFE IS SWEET"

FRAME FOR “LIFE IS SWEET”

I acquired my Grandma’s two antique dining chairs from No. 4 Sis. I had my handyman do some repairs on them. Now I have to paint them.

GRANDMA'S CHAIR

GRANDMA’S CHAIR

I bought this little footstool from a second-hand store that has, unfortunately, recently gone out of business. I may reupholster it at some later date, but for now I’d like to paint the legs.

FOOTSTOOL

FOOTSTOOL

And yesterday I bought a tiny side table to go with No. 8 Sis’ tiny arm chair. The table was from a soon-to-go-out-of-business antique store. It only cost $4.50! It needs to be painted, too.

TINY TABLE

TINY TABLE

All the furniture on the “paint list” will be painted off-white and then be distressed.

Okay, not untold multitudes of projects, just four.

Time to get to work!

Stay tuned…

P.S. I screwed up one of the Christmas cards I was making. I stamped the sentiment crookedly and tore the paper when I tried to reposition an ornament.

OOPS

OOPS

Instead of throwing my “oops” away, I turned it into a birthday card by putting a matted strip over the sentiment and a matted banner over the tear. I like it even better than the Christmas card I was trying to make!

SAVED!

SAVED!

Stay tuned…

 

Final, Final Pictures and Final Bag Count

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Nearly a month has passed since my last post. During that time, with the help of the city sisters, I had a huge estate sale and sold most of everything I owned.

I packed up my clothes and toiletries and moved in with No.2 Sis. I now live on a pull-out couch.

I hired movers (Two Men and a Truck– accept no substitutes) and got everything moved from the local storage locker to a locker near No.2 Sis’s house. It’s climate-controlled, and will be much better for my antiques and art work.

Then No.2 Sis and I cleaned our asses off. We left Laurel’s Cottage in superb condition for the new owners.

We closed the sale on July 15th, and it is officially over.

I saved the best pictures for last. The storage room/art studio turned guest room. After TONS of decluttering, cleaning, and painting, No.8 Sis staged it beautifully with mostly borrowed furniture. It came out absolutely gorgeous, especially when you know how it started out.

GE DIGITAL CAMERA

 

GE DIGITAL CAMERA

STUDIO, BEFORE.

Sorry about the dark and fuzzy old photos. My photography is improving, yes?

Guest room-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guest room-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GUEST ROOM, AFTER.

I’d removed 362 bags, boxes and small pieces of furniture before I decided to sell my house. After that, I got rid of 221 more to prepare for the sale of the house and the estate sale. I didn’t keep count of how much was sold and cleaned out during and after the sale. My final count was 583!

I’m so proud!

Next time I’ll tell you where I’m going from here.

Stay tuned…

 

Some Final Pictures

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Now that Laurel’s Cottage has been sold, I’m crazy busy getting everything ready to be sold or packed before the new owners take possession on July 15th. Of course, I’m getting tons of help from my sisters. I can always count on my sisters!

Here are some more before and after pictures. The house is so beautiful, I could live here!

Clean living room.

drum vignette

 

LIVING ROOM, BEFORE

LIVING RM 1

 

LIVING ROOM, AFTER

kitchen, clean

KITCHEN, BEFORE

No reason to show you the fridge, I guess.

KITCHEN 1

KITCHEN, AFTER

LAUNDRY 1

BONUS PIC, LAUNDRY ROOM

Stay tuned…

SOLD!

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The last month has been crazy busy with getting the house (Laurel’s Cottage) ready to sell.

It went on the market Friday about noon. By Saturday at 4:00 I was whining, “Why is it taking so long to sell?” By Saturday at 6:00, it was sold.

I got my full asking price after 30 hours on the market.

Thanks to my nephews, Jamie and Jake, for moving furniture and hauling away junk.

Thanks to my nephew, Steve, for drilling all the holes for cabinet and drawer hardware (35 knobs).

Thanks to No.3 Bro, for being my realtor (and for apologizing that the house was on the market so long).

Thanks to No.1 Sis, No.2 Sis and No.8 Sis for helping me paint.

No.1 showed up to paint in nice clothes, so I gave her a shirt that fit her like a dress. She took her shirt and pants off and set them aside. No.3 Bro came by to check on our progress so No.1 put her pants back on before I let him in. She and No.3 Bro chatted so long, that No.8 yelled at No.1, “Take your pants off and get back to work”! Bro took that as his cue to leave.

Special big hugs to No.2 for spending every free moment in the last month helping me declutter, and to No.8 Sis for staging the house so beautifully!

My next adventure is a secret to be revealed soon.

Here are some before and after photos highlighting No.8 Sis’ fantastic staging.

QUEEN BEDROOM FINAL "BEFORE"

QUEEN BEDROOM FINAL “BEFORE”

QUEEN BEDROOM FINAL "AFTER"

 

 

 

QUEEN BEDROOM FINAL “AFTER”

queen bath-3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

QUEEN BATH FINAL “BEFORE”

QUEEN BATH FINAL "AFTER"

QUEEN BATH FINAL “AFTER”

More pictures and final bag count coming soon!

Stay tuned…

A Little Solstice Decor, and 307

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I haven’t put up a Christmas tree in a few years. In fact, I just got rid of my five-foot tall artificial tree while cleaning out the garage.

I decided to buy a new,  smaller tree this year. Small enough so Bella the cat wouldn’t recognize it as a tree that needed climbing. Large enough so that she wouldn’t mistake it for a cat toy.

LITTLE SOLSTICE TREE

LITTLE SOLSTICE TREE

No.2 Sis made these ceramic Santas for me.

CERAMIC SANTAS

CERAMIC SANTAS

And this is one of my favorite ornaments.

SISTERS ALWAYS STICK TOGETHER

SISTERS ALWAYS STICK TOGETHER

I added a bunch of the ornaments I no longer use to the “Sell” box and took 2 boxes to a thrift store that pays cash for home decor. They bought one of the boxes (none of the ornaments)  so the rest went into the Goodwill donation box.

That brings my total number of boxes, bags and small pieces of furniture cleared out of the house up to 307.

I still plan on decorating the mantel (yes, I know it’s getting very close to the Solstice/Christmas) and when I do, I’ll post some more pictures.

Stay tuned…

 

Laundry Closet, or 299

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I called No.2 Sis last Sunday and asked her if I could borrow my drill. She graciously said yes.

Before she came over, I cleaned out the laundry room closet. I threw away a pair of shoes. I put two more pairs in a Goodwill bag with some jigsaw puzzles. And I recycled two bags of bags. That brings me to 299 bags, boxes, and small pieces of furniture I’ve gotten rid of since January of 2014.

Untitled design-3

When No.2 Sis arrived, I unpacked the two organizing widgets I’d purchased from Amazon. One was to hold the ironing board, and one was to hold the brooms, mops and dusters.

We decided to hang the broom holder first, because it looked more difficult. We held the broom holder up on the wall, and I drilled through each of the six mounting holes with a 1/16″ bit.

Then we put aside the broom widget and enlarged the holes to 1/8″. Hmm, too small for the drywall anchors. We tried 5/32″. Too small. 3/16″. Too small. I used every drill bit I owned. Finally, the largest bit gave us the proper-sized hole for the drywall anchors.

We installed the anchors, put the broom holder back up to the wall, and screwed in the six screws. Beautiful!

Ew, that broom needs a good hose-down.

Ew, that broom needs a good hose-down.

I hung the mop up. It slowly slid down to the floor. I hung the broom up. It also slid down to the floor. Damn it!

Well, at least the hooks would hold the dusters. On the contrary, the hooks were quite large, and the holes on some of the dusters were quite small.

I went to my trusty hardware bin, and pulled out some “S” hooks to adapt the dusters. Harumph! The “S” hooks were too small, too.

No.2 Sis noticed some plastic rings in the hardware bin. “What about these?” They were old plastic curtain rings.

The curtain rings were small enough to fit through the duster holes, and large enough to hang on the broom widget’s hooks. Unfortunately, they didn’t snap closed. A quick rummage through the kitchen junk drawer yielded some twist-ties, and I wired the curtain rings shut.

I hung the modified dusters on the hooks, hung the mop from another hook, and put the broom in upside-down so it couldn’t slide out of the holder. Beautiful!

I had to make it work. I damned well wasn’t going to try to get those six screws out after they were anchored into the drywall!

Sis and I figured the ironing board holder installation would be a piece a piece of cake after the broom holder experience.

laundry closet- ironing board widget

We held the ironing board holder on the wall, and I drilled two 1/8″ holes. Oops. The screws just popped into the holes with no resistance whatsoever.

Another rummage through the hardware bin, and we found two more drywall anchors and hammered them into the wall. The screws actually screwed in after that, so the ironing board hanger was securely mounted. Whew. I mean, beautiful!

PRODUCT REVIEWS:

I bought both hangers from Amazon.com. The broom hanger was:

$13.95
This got mixed, but mostly good reviews on Amazon. Some people did mention that their brooms and mops tended to slide out of the hanger’s grips. I should have read more of the reviews before I bought it. I wouldn’t recommend it.
The ironing board hanger was:
It would have been nice to have been told the drill size needed for the screws, but otherwise, good price for a good basic hanger. I’d recommend it.

Stay tuned…

p.s. The links included in this post are not affiliate links (I don’t get any commission if you click on them).

p.s.s. I shared this at Cozy Little House.