Category Archives: Apartment Living

Word up

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The last week or so since my last post has been interesting.

Build new Ikea bed with a gabillion gazillion pieces on New Year’s Day as planned.  Check.

Move furniture around to accommodate new bed.  Check.

Notice new dresser (also Ikea, built and positioned about May-ish last year) is wet on bottom, mold is growing.  Um NO CHECK!

Life in the Chaos in chaos since January 2nd.  Check.

Grateful for a TWO bathroom apartment.  Check.  Check.  Check.  Check.  CHECK.

Even more grateful we only had to make one phone call to get this fixed.  Check that for sure.

Even though we are not responsible for getting in the contractors to fix this mess or pay for it, our lives are disrupted just like any other folks going through a remodel.

It seems the shower base (some sort of stone thing original to the apartment – built in the mid 70’s) was cracked and water was leaking through one wall into our bedroom and through the other out to the balcony.  Lovely.

Things are uncovered and recovered daily to prepare for the day’s work, lots of other things were moved into the spare room and living room before work so that the contractors and maintenance crew could get in and out easily.  Plus I am paranoid of them dinging all our new furniture.  Most of the furniture in the apartment is brand new.  Redone shower should be ready for use by this Saturday.

Ramble ramble, check check check.

Seems the word for this post is CHECK.  That’s not really what this post is supposed to be about, so let’s reign this in a bit.

I read blogs.  It seems lately that reading them is a lot easier than writing on my own.  Any-who, with the New Year, there has been a LOT of buzz on the interwebs about resolutions etc.  I’m not into the resolution thing myself.  That has never worked for me.  Something new and different popping up this year (to me anyway) is the “word for the year”.

I’ve taken to this word concept.  Pick a word, live the word for a year.  I like words.  Words can have many meanings as Honey and I are finding out.  We may both speak English, but the differences are there.  Sometimes confusing, sometimes funny, always educational.

Now for My Word…

I have chosen the word “Create” to be my word for the year.  I can create crafty sort of things, create calm, create chaos, create love, create change…  Create can be many things.  I will try to apply “create” to my life every day.  I have a feeling a lot of my creating will be personal and internal (thank you peri-menopause three years and counting) and I don’t usually share those sort of things on the blog.  When I create crafty sorts of things though I will definitely post about it…with photographic evidence too.

“Life is what you make it” is how the saying goes right?  Create.

So there you have it.  Lots of words about Chaos checking and not nearly as much about the main idea of this post.

Today you guys get to decide if I’ve created entertainment or boredom.  Check.

It’s the end of the year…WHAT????

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OK, so I’ve been MIA for a VERY long time.

These last 8 months have just ZOOMED by…it just seems like yesterday that Honey and I got married.

…well it’s just one blog post away anyway.  hahaha

I am my own entertainment.

A lot has happened in the time since the wedding.  Big changes, little changes, change in general.

More Ikea furniture – we are actually having a build-a-thon over the New Year with what we hope are the final pieces.  I sure hope so, I’ve become hooked on Ikea’s “Chocolate Overload” cake and really need to have a piece when we go.  It’s bad enough we have to stop by the cafe for some meatballs.  Very bad for our waistlines, but oh so good in the moment.

Just for the record, Honey has done most of the building – so credit where credit is due.  I keep teasing him that I’m going to rent him out for Ikea assembly by the hour.

Anyway, we’re still settling into the Chaos and I’m still trying to rearrange my things, get rid of a lot of my things, find homes for what is left of my things.  Most of it is sitting at the warehouse where I work.  Boss has generously let us store stuff here while we get things settled.  More on what I’m doing later as I do more of it.  I promise there will be photos.

I hope to blog more about my organizing attempts in the New Year. With all the new organizing I hope to be crafting much more so stay tuned for stuff I make.

I’m looking forward to a creative year in 2015.  I think 2014 was the year of “barely making anything” and that hurts my inner creative bits.  Oooh!  I started dancing again, so you’ll probably read more about that.  I promise no photos of that hot mess.  Trust me, it’s a mess but I do it anyway because I like it.

See you on the other side, and I hope you all have a very Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year!

What happened to February and March?????

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I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while, just short of a month to be specific.

Honey arrived as planned on March 5th.  I nervously waited for him to appear on the tv monitor in the arrivals lobby.  Once he showed up on that, it was mere seconds for him to walk through the door.  It seemed like I waited forever, and almost broke down in tears thinking he hadn’t made it through immigration but there he was…

Once he arrived we pretty much hit the ground running.  There is a LOT to do to prepare for the next step in getting him here permanently.

He arrived on Wednesday.  By the time Sunday was over, we had added him to the lease, opened a joint banking account, got a marriage license and bought a car.  That was an exhausting few days.

Monday it was back to work for me and time for Martin to try and settle into the Chaos.

During the next two weeks, we dropped some money at IKEA for new furniture, Honey assembled it all, and we made some more steps forward into getting him even more settled into the Chaos.

Now it was time to finalize the wedding plans and for Honey’s parents to arrive.  They’ve been here 3 days and are still dealing with a little jet lag, tons of rain (they thought they had left that behind!), and the American way of life.

I have the next few weeks off.  My side of the family arrives Thursday and Friday.  We get married on Saturday.

HOLY CRAP WE’RE GETTING MARRIED IN 7 DAYS!!!!

There, got it out of my system for now.  Everything is set, we just all need to show up now.  The wheels are in motion, we just have to go along for the ride.

Now for the boring stuff.

Makeup:
No makeup except for something on my lips.  I’ve come to the conclusion that my perspiration and tears are comprised of acid.  I’ve given up trying to find makeup that won’t run down my face – even though it says it is waterproof or “bulletproof”.  As far as I’m concerned, it does NOT exist!

Hair:
I FINALLY found the size of sponge rollers I’ve been looking for so now my hair is done.  I tried hot rollers, curling iron, all sorts of hair products to keep it in place, etc etc etc.  Not one bit of that stuff worked.  I decided to go all old school and try the sponge curlers like my Mom used to curl my hair with when I was little.

BINGO!  Roll up all hair into sponge rollers except the front.  Sleep in them.  Take them out, run my fingers through my hair, pull it all up and back in a pony tail elastic.  TADA!  Hair is up and with the super curliness I got from the sponge curlers, I look like i have a high bun made out of curled ends.  NOT ONE BOBBY PIN NEEDED.  Just one lonesome hair elastic and lots of hairspray.

Dress and shoes still fit – barely.  Note to self: stop bloating for crying out loud.  Just. Stop.

Think that is all I’ve got for now.  Honey arrived safely, we’ve been busy, his family just arrived the other day, my family is coming in a few days.

Now if the weather could just make up its mind that would be good.  Thank you.

Crazy Time

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There’s been a bit of knitting.

Lots of rearranging, cleaning, sorting, worrying, stressing, sleepless nights, anxiety, surface of the sun hot flashes…etc etc etc

There has not been enough knitting and way too much of the other stuff.

But…I managed to color my hair so at least when I look in the mirror every day, I don’t see a woman who looks as old as she feels.

Seems there is drama everywhere lately, plus a visit from Honey, Spencer finishing out the quarter, and the annual apartment inspection (today actually).

I felt a brief moment of “down-timeness” this morning on the way into work.  I was cruising on the leg of one of the Chili Socks and everything just felt all nice and chilled out.

That lasted about 5 minutes.

Tonight I am hoping for more chill time.  All I need to do is wash my comforter, sit back, relax, knit and see what’s on TV.

That’s the plan anyway.

The Change Begins

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So the work that was supposed to happen in Spencer’s room a few Saturday’s ago finally happened this past weekend.  Well, most of it anyway.

Finally started in on washing all the linens as well.  I ran out of fabric softener and then had issues with soap and not enough quarters and well, I’m lucky I got my clothes washed a few weeks ago.

There was finally a trip to Jo-Ann’s for the last of the fabrics I need for the quilts I’m about to start up.  Doggie quilt needed one more color, Spencer’s quilt needed two more colors and I needed some cotton thread.  Once I get all the tops made, I’ll be back at the store for some batting and backing for Spence’s and Sis’s quilt.  Mom had already bought the backing and the batting for Doggie’s quilt, so all I needed was thread.  I’ve got a cute idea for the Doggie quilt so hope he enjoys it when it’s all said and done (like he cares, he just needs a new blankie because current blankie is about to fall into even more pieces).  I’m sure Mom had just the basic quilt in mind with the pattern fabric for the top and a plain fabric for the bottom, but being a quilter, I just had to add another color, cut it all up and then put it all back together.

Sounds crazy, I know.  One of these days I’ll take some photos of the quilts I have here that I’ve made.

OK, now for the room (it’s about time, right?!?).

Here we have the room “before”, with the bed against one wall, all the stuff off the wall and everything else out of the room.

And here is the room “after”, with the bed moved to a different wall.  After of course having vacuumed the nightstand, the lamp, the mattress set, the frame, the ceiling, the wall, and the floor.  Nothing like a nice cleany clean room!

Tomorrow night I vacuum the drapes, clean the window, vacuum out the closet and start bringing stuff in!

Need to get moving with getting this set up because I need to get moving on all those quilts.  Can’t wait to get the sewing machines all set up with organized stash shelves, and everything in its place.

It will be my first dedicated sewing/craft area ever!  It will be nice to be able to leave out my machines and not have to worry about clearing off the table and putting everything away when I’m done for the day.

I’ve been finding a lot of small quilted items that I’ve got all cut out but need to be assembled, so I just might have to set something up to sell all this stuff.

Well the ones upstairs are done exercising and practically bringing down the ceiling, so it is my turn to make noise and fire up my NutriBlast blender thingy.  Need to get breakfast ready for tomorrow.

Room Redeco, Step 1 – Yarn Stash Wrangling

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After several false starts and just plain ignoring it, the yarny organization portion of the closet re-do in Spencer’s room is almost complete.  Only thing left to do is to go through all my needles and notions and knitterly what-nots.  Most of those are going in a special box on the shelf, directly above the hanging thing.  The rest will go in organizers I hope to make and hang off the side of the hanging thing which has some very handy dandy pockets and straps along both sides.  First I need to see what I have.

Here is a photo as promised.  This is all of my yarn.  Yes, ALL of my yarn.  If it doesn’t fit in this hanging thing, it does not stay or come into the apartment.  If you are a non-knitter, you will think, “Wow, that is a LOT of yarn!”  If you are a knitter, you’ll think, “Oh that poor thing, she’s STARVING herself, absolutely STARVING herself!”
I have plenty of stash, seriously, I do.  At the rate I knit, this should probably last me about 5 years.  A different way to look at it is: one sweater (that’s the denim yarn on the bottom shelf, yes I found it!), a dozen or so cotton cloths, 11 definite pairs of socks, 5 shawls/wraps, 1 scarf, and what could be either 6 wraps or 6 pairs of socks.  Oh, and half a T.A.R.D.I.S.
Whether you are a knitter or a non-knitter, you are thinking, “Wow, that’s a shitload of knitting.”
(Some of you are thinking, “What the heck is a T.A.R.D.I.S.”  Google is your friend.  Watch the Doctor and learn my friends.)
Anyway, yes, it is a LOT of knitting – especially for me because I knit when the spirit moves me, and it takes me a long time to finish something. Most of the time I start something, get pretty far in it, then decide to take it apart and make it into something else.  It’s just the way I knit – and I enjoy the hell out of it.
By the way, not included in the hanging stash is the sweater I already have on needles and a shawl I’m also working on…the sweater lives in my project bag next to Chair and the shawl occasionally travels with me.
Next up is the sewing stash.  It’s a bit too heavy for a hanging stash keeper, so I’m going to have to come up with something else.  I have been looking at various web pages about organizing such things as fabric, patterns, and thread.  I have shelf space, various nice boxes, and a creative mind.
Onward and upward.

Getting used to things…

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Mainly, I’m still not used to this new blogger layout.

Worst part about it is that I didn’t actively change it.  Instead of doing that, I just ignored all the notices that popped up every time I logged in about a “new blogger coming” and then one day last week, there it was…

The “new” blogger…

And here I am trying to figure it all out.

I will, eventually.

One other thing I’m not used to is anything Spencer related.

Not used to:

  1. Not texting him at the end of the day to ask his opinion on that night’s dinner.
  2. Going into his room and doing stuff – that was his domain, I hardly set foot in it.
  3. Doing the dishes, thankfully, there is only me, so there aren’t that many now.  He somehow dirtied every dish every day – or at least that is what it seemed like.
  4. Not having 3 loads of laundry a week.  I’m down to 2 every other week.  Now THAT I like.
  5. Cleaning BOTH bathrooms, once again, the hall bathroom was his domain.
  6. There are many little things I come across, too many to list or remember but they cause memories and twinges of missing him.

I’ll eventually get used to it all and I really do miss him, but with email, texting, facebook and Skype, I can keep in contact way too easily for his liking.  Bwahahaha.

I was going to take a photo of the first part of my closet re-do, but forgot, so that’ll happen soon.  I’ve got a bit of a hot mess on the last few “shelves” of the hanging thing for yarny goodness, so I should figure out what I’m going to do with it before I snap any photos of the ‘finished product’ anyway.  I have been sorting through lots of things and moving other things around and still haven’t found that other box of yarn, but I know it’s in the apartment somewhere.  I’m missing some very cool denim yarn that my sister gifted me a LONG time ago. I KNOW I still have it.  The bottom-shelves-hot-mess may need to be donated to make room for it.  No great loss since it’s been that hot mess for 2-3 years now – I obviously have no feelings for neither that project nor that yarn.

Tomorrow morning is a wash-a-thon of linens.  Stripping both beds, washing everything, seeing what linens stay, what linens go.  My donation pile will grow exponentially tomorrow morning, I’m sure of it. 

I have 4 rolls of quarters.  Bring it.

And so it begins?

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I have made a few decisions on what to do with Spencer’s room.

First I thought about going to a smaller space, then decided against that because I didn’t want to pack to move, didn’t want to pay to move, and didn’t want to be bothered with moving in general.

So now his room becomes a craft/storage/bedroom room.

It’s still partially his room, only I’m arranging it the way “I” want it to look.  His part is the bed.  Oh and he has a bit of the closet still, but not very much.

I’ve decided to store all my decorations and craft supplies in the closet.  I know the craft supplies will fit, but I’m not so sure about the holiday decorations.

Here’s my plan:

Each craft and holiday is designated a certain amount of space.  It does not increase. 

First up: knitting/crocheting and all things yarny.

I hit Ikea yesterday and bought this and this for my knitting.  So far so good.  I had already thinned out a LOT of my knitting stash, so things are fitting perfectly just where they need to be.  I have a sneaking suspicion that there is another box of yarn lurking somewhere and that will throw my whole plan into chaos, but I’ll cross that bridge when I find that box.  I have another shelf of the hanging thingy available so things just might fit.

Photo proof available soon.

I had the idea for the knitting in my head and it needed to come out and come into being NOW, so had to get that out of my system.  Now I can get back to concentrating on stripping the bed, washing everything, getting new sheets, and dealing with the corner of boxes that Spencer left behind.  Then I can move the bed to the wall I’ve always wanted it to be against, and start moving things in and out once I’ve given the room a thorough vacuum and cleaning.

The Chaos will truly be Chaos until the dust settles.

That’s how we roll in The Chaos

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OK, so my friend Antonella gave me these awesome covertible fleece gloves last Christmas in a most fetching green.  Fingerless gloves with the tops off, put the tops on and you’ve got warm mittens.  They even have zippers on the top to hold money, an ID, your bus pass, or a key or two.

I wore them every day when I got them until the weather changed and I didn’t need them anymore.  They were set aside and that was that til the next winter.

Well the next winter is here.  The temps dropped last week and there I was going through all my winter accessories and lo and behold, NO GREEN GLOVES.

I look night after night. Sound familiar? Yeah, I was also looking for my knitting needles.

So The Chaos was torn apart, put back together and torn apart again.

The needles were found, but not the gloves…until last night.

Also found with them were a few other items (from top to bottom as they were pulled out of where they were):

  • two organic face towels that have been earmarked for a special project
  • a large freezer ziplock bag (empty)
  • Ms Cow’s knitted sleeping bag (I was wondering where that was too)
  • the gloves
  • a small ziplock bag containing the leftover yarn from Ms Cow knitted sleeping bag and two sets of dpn’s (which I noticed were missing from the ones I found the other day)
  • a small silk pouch with my best set of zils
  • my favorite veil (used mostly in dance class)

Quite an eclectic collection of items, wouldn’t you say?

Oh, and Donna, where DID you happen to FIND all these items?

Ummm…wellll….

They were in a small tote bag sitting innocently next to a shelving unit in my bedroom.  I ummm never bothered to look in it because I thought the whole thing was full of the face towels that were the top layer.

I just so happened to accidentally knock it over as I moved the shelving cabinet to see if my gloves had fallen down behind it.

When BAZINGA all those diverse little goodies spilled onto the floor.

Of all the things I manage to lose in my apartment, I really do miss my sanity the most.

Well…it’s been a few weeks, hasn’t it?

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And still the Chaos is in the same place.  There has been no forward movement on moving.  I’m pretty much stuck in a loop.

Search ads online…call poster to set up appointment…go look at disappointing apartments.

Good grief, you think I have looked at hundreds, don’t you?

There have been only 3 so far.  Three.  It seems like I have already looked at hundreds.  I think it’s just because I check the adds about 10 times a day.

Once something gets posted you have to jump on the phone, so whenever I get a chance, I am checking to see if anything new has shown up.

I’ll be honest here and say I did actually see an awesome place.  That very first one I went to see after work.  I did not get it.  Disappointed to the max, but there are lots of people out there looking for the same things I am and at the same price points (lowest possible of course) that I am.  it’s tough out there.

The last two were awful.  I’m am not a picky person by any means.  And for me to say they were awful…well they just were.  The last two apartment buildings were “born” in the 60’s – just like me.  I think I’m holding up a lot better than they are, and that’s really not a compliment.  Not at all.

Cracked and peeling formica on the counters, peeled and warped under sink areas (can you say water damage?), one washer/dryer for a floor of 13 apartments.  Really?  Those poor overworked machines looked older than I did.  A pool that hadn’t been cleaned in MONTHS, probably longer.  An exterior that probably hadn’t been painted in 20 years.  Carpet older than the hills, cabinets that didn’t close, moldy caulk in the showers.  And these places were “ready for immediate occupancy”.  The musty/mildew/moldy smell was unbearable in the last one I saw today.

It’s really a shame too as these places have such potential.  Too bad the owners won’t put out the money to do a few necesary repairs and upgrades.  The managers mean well and can only do so much.  I just can’t see myself living in a place like this and don’t really know how others do it.

The worst part?  Large closets, fireplace, ROOMY living areas, kitchen with a ton of cabinets and EXTRA CLOSETS.  O.M.G. The storage possibilities in all these places were amazing.

I’m just very very bummed that they won’t work for me. 🙁

So…when I publish this post, I will check the ads again and see if anyone did any late night posting.

This is going to take some time…sigh.

On a happier note: Things going out from the Chaos.  LOTS of things.  The Chaos is shrinking.  Now if I could only get my waistline to shrink as easily and quickly as the Chaos!