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December 29, 2007


We are finally back in business. The guys have been here since Wednesday getting ready to pour cement for the footings for both the deck off of the pool room and the bottom of the breakfast room off of the kitchen. Even though we are not yet working on the kitchen, they are trying to kill two birds with one (batch of) stone. It feels good to be moving forward. They want to get the lower deck up so that the windows will be easier to install. It all has to be done anyway, so whatever makes them happy!

Meanwhile, I have designed a shoe closet between my bedroom and bathroom. It has always been a shoe closet with space for other things, but I never liked it very much. So, I went looking and found the idea at IKEA. I didn't like the products that fit well in the space available (only 8" deep) and the ones that fit wouldn't hold many shoes. But, using their idea of pockets for shoes rather than racks, I went to the closet store and had them cut racks the rights size -- then I just turned them over and made them into pockets. I'm so please that I'll even post a picture. The closet store asked for pictures of an innovative way to use the product.

PICT2870.JPG My New Shoe Closet

Posted by Marilyn at 9:50 AM | Comments (0)

December 10, 2007


I think I've mentioned before that I'm on a plan to refresh the upstairs while major work is going on downstairs. Actually nothing is going on downstairs at the moment as I'm waiting on my contractor who escaped to another job during my absence from home. And, it has been freezing here. Yesterday I woke up at about 7:00 and read the Sunday papers, did crosswords, and finished my book. When I looked outside an hour later, it was snowing! This is our second snow of the year. I'm not sure the guys can even work very well in freezing temperature especially since the deck is the next part of the project.

In the meantime, my friend Barbara helped me wallpaper my master bathroom. It is one of the last jobs in the room besides painting the doors. The wallpaper looks wonderful, the job was awful. Never wallpaper a 98 year old house -- nothing is straight -- but I don't think people will notice all the things that made me swear. Barbara was much calmer than I -- she didn't swear at all. Of course, it wasn't HER bathroom. The problem with doing things yourself is that you don't feel like doing them every day and it takes forever to finish stuff because you rely on others to help. I still have all the rest of the woodwork to paint in my hall and bedroom before I can have my bedroom floors refinished. But, my bathroom is beginning to really look great -- and I'm pleased with it even if I'm not sure when it will ever be finished.

So, with my suspended remodel, my unfinished bathroom and the doors off my bedroom closet, my life seems in limbo. But, that is perhaps the state of things often in life -- waiting for something to be started, finished, accomplished, done. I think the only way to avoid that is never to begin.

Posted by Marilyn at 4:52 PM | Comments (2)

December 5, 2007

I'm here, just bored!

Not much happening these days. I went to California for Nico's adoption (very moving) and while I was gone my contractor was off on another job. And, one of his workers was hurt on Mt. Baker which is going to slow him down a bit. But, that doesn't stop my mind from whirling constantly about this and that. Debbie and I met to discuss use of my new room downstairs and creative designs for my kitchen. I don't want my kitchen to be bland with everything matching perfectly. However, I don't want to cross the line of being too inventive and end up with a mishmash of elements that do not coordinate. Bottom line for me is that I want my house to be aesthetically pleasing and say, "Come in! Make yourself comfortable! Put your feet up and relax!"

Maybe the aesthetically pleasing part is rather ironic considering I have been living in a mismatched, poorly constructed kitchen for 26 years. Our realtor would tell you my first comment on buying the house was that the kitchen had to go IMMEDIATELY. In fact, Donel and I have consulted three designers over the years -- one was too early, before we were ready to go forward, one went into some kind of oblivion after meeting with us twice, one didn't really understand what we wanted; but two kids went to college on the remodeling budgets, and I continued to ignore the stains on the ceiling, the cut out cupboards, the mingling smells of bathroom and cooking, the yellowing linoleum, and all the rest. Keith asked me the other day if I would be remodeling if Donel were alive. The answer is a resounding yes. I know that he is (up, down, around, somewhere off) cheering me on heartily. He promised when we bought this house to upgrade it. When I reminded him, he admitted he lied since he hated tinkering around the house and only did it under dire circumstances. We were not always able to take on the financial burden of hiring it out and worked too many hours to do it ourselves even when we had the inclination. So, I do this for me, for my grandchildren who are not ready for me to move, as a sound investment, and for Donel. As Etta says, it is unfinished business. Yes, it is.

My New Room With Floor
My New Room With Floor During a Recent Snowstorm

Posted by Marilyn at 10:47 AM | Comments (1)