This is a test… And a confession

Yesterday, Chris moved all my website database to the new host.  I figured I would write a new post to make sure everything is working properly.  Good thing I did — turns out my theme broke when we moved to the new host, so I had to install a new one.  I have more work to do on visuals — the logo I was using was too big for this theme, so I cropped it.  I’d rather make a new logo to fit properly, once I decide if I’m sticking with this new theme.

This is my second shot at writing this post.  I wrote the whole thing yesterday, but it turns out the new name servers hadn’t propagated to my desktop yet, so when that finally went through, I lost everything I had written 🙁

I’ve decided that I’m going to use this blog as an accountability tool for the next couple months.  I’m going to post weekly, aiming for Sunday, with what I’m trying to accomplish in the next week and what I actually accomplished in the last week.  As I mentioned in my last post, several rooms in our house aren’t really functional due to the accumulated detritus of the last few years.  For the next couple months, I am focusing on returning this house to a functional home.  Here’s the confession part — actual pictures of how it looks now.


The hallway. Straight ahead is Chris’ office. The door to the right is the bathroom. The door to the left is my office. When I took this picture, I was standing in front of the door to our bedroom


Looking from the hall into the bathroom.


Where the tub and toilet should be.


The bookshelf and a corner of the desk in my office.


My desk, where I’m sitting and writing this blog post!


Looking straight through the door into my office.


The loom is sitting in what is meant to be the closet in my office. The prior owners of the house removed the doors and built shelves into the sides. We left it that way.


This room, located off our kitchen, is intended as a family room, but we’ve never used it that way. We used it as a dining room for a while, but for the last 7 years or so it’s been hydroponics and miscellaneous storage.


The dining room / library.


The living room.


The Overall Plan

Finish the bathroom before we have a houseguest in early August.

Create a sewing / crafting area in the ‘family’ room.

Sort through books and find storage solutions for them.

Turn office into a functional space.

Get remaining looms out of storage unit (not pictured) before the next payment is due on July 13.


This Week’s Tasks

  1. Get the tub installed.  The plumber was here last week to install the tub, but wasn’t able to shut off the water to the house.  The water company was here this morning and didn’t have any problems with the valve on the meter.  Today I need to call the plumber to reschedule tub installation.
  2. Learn to spackle and finish spackling the ceiling in the bathroom.  Chris has done all the spackling (I love that autocorrect turned that into ‘sparkling’ — is he a Twilight vampire and I haven’t noticed?!), but it is killing his back so I’m going to finish it.  I’ve never speckled before, but it can’t be that different than icing a cake, right?
  3. Finish sampling varnish options for the bathroom vanity.
  4. Varnish the bathroom vanity.
  5. Finish all coats of Danish Oil on the loom I’m refinishing for Lorelle.  This is necessary to have space to work on the looms that are in the storage unit.
  6. Sort through all the books.  Donated any unwanted books to the library.
  7. Paint the four bookshelves I bought from the used bookstore that went out of business on Saturday.  Canary yellow = not a good look for our space!
  8. Sell 4 bar stools and the TV from the ‘family’ room.
  9. Take the two tables out of the family room, remove bar-height legs, and add standard-height legs.
  10. Put bookcase from hallway on top of family room entertainment center and use it as temporary storage for dyeing supplies.  The long-term plan is to build a matching cabinet for the top of the entertainment center, but that won’t happen this week.
  11. Get the cart out of the family room and back to the garage.  Find new homes (either here or by donating) for everything stored on it.
  12. Thoroughly clean the floor on the side of the family room where the tables are.
  13. Install all the newly painted bookcases: 3 in the family room, along the wall, and one in the hallway to replace existing shelf.
  14. Put the standard-height tables back into the family room.
  15. If the bookcases are sufficiently cured, shelve all books.  This may need to wait for next week if the bookcases aren’t cured.
  16. Return folding table to Shellee once I shelve all the books.

Did I finish all these tasks?  Find out in post two of this series.

Behind the Scenes

Those of you who know me, or have read this blog for a while, know that the last few years have been challenging.  I have spent much of my time helping other people, friends and family alike, through one crisis after another.  In November, one long-expected shoe dropped when my husband was laid off.  In January, another long-expected shoe dropped when his mother passed away.  At the same time, the other people I’d been helping came through their crises.

This confluence of events meant that for the first time in many years, I have been home regularly.  Since returning from my mother-in-law’s funeral, I’ve only traveled once.  For the first time in at least 8 years, I have no obligations to anyone who is currently in a crisis situation.  This means I can make plans based only on my own schedule, needs, and abilities.  It feels strange to me.  So much has changed in my life over these years and I’ve felt like I was reacting to rather than shaping our circumstances.  I need to relearn how to be proactive about evaluating what I need and want, to make sure I’m saying yes and no to the right things.

One consequence of the chaos of the last few years is that I am surrounded by the detritus of half-finished projects and ideas.  At least 3 rooms in our house (dining room, family room, and my office) are not functional due to piles of one kind or another.  Fleece, paperwork, and books are spread out rather willy-nilly.  I have multiple looms to repair or refinish, one for me and 3 for others.  I have goodness-only-knows how many abandoned knitting, crocheting, and spinning projects.  Our main bathroom, the one guests would use if we let anyone visit us, has been at least partially demolished for 2 years as of next month.  It’s long past time to start digging out, getting rid of the things that no longer serve us and creating spaces where we can be productive with whatever projects we want to take on at this point in our lives.

The good news is, that we’ve got a general idea of what we’re going to do next, and we’ve started taking steps to make things happen.  We’ve started closing some of the open loops.  The bathroom is on track to be finished by the end of July.  The first loom is on track to be finished by the first weekend in July.  The piles of books and a sewing workspace should also be in place by the first weekend in July, thanks in part to 4 bookcases I’m buying from a local used bookstore that’s going out of business.

One of the other major projects I’m undertaking right now is reconfiguring this website.  I have a hosting agreement with one company.  My husband has a hosting agreement with a different company, for a website he hasn’t been maintaining for a while.  We are consolidating into one hosting agreement, at a third company, a move that will save us an estimated $5,000 over the next 3 years!  This means I will be migrating this website sometime in the next week.  The site will be down for some time (hopefully a short time) when the migration actually happens.  The domain name isn’t changing and I’ll still be using WordPress as the structure, so you should be able to access the blog by the same means you do now.

During July and August, I will continue to focus on plowing through the accumulated clutter and projects.  I hope to be back to regular blogging in September.  If there’s anything you’d like to see on the blog when I get back, I’d love to hear from you!  In the meantime, enjoy your fiber crafting.  I’ll see you in September 🙂