Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Target & Thrift: Update!

I have still not set foot in a Target store! I do peruse the ads and last week, there was an item I really wanted (Ocean's Thirteen, widescreen, for only $9.99!). I was tempted, yes I was. But I held fast, and rather than going in myself, I asked my sweetie if he'd mind stopping off at Target on his way home from our daughter's guitar lesson, it's on the way. He was happy to, and thanks to our daughter's sharp eyes, they brought home my prize! Nothing else tempted them!

I stopped in at a thrift store last week. I went in looking for two particular books and left with four, three paperbacks for me, including the particular book (pbs are only $.69 at Goodwill), and one book for my older daughter. It'll be saved for an occasion, perhaps an upcoming weekend out of town.

Over at Chief Family Officer, Cathy is halfway through her 29 Day Giving Challenge. I plan to consider a similar challenge.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Do you have a storage unit?

(Get Rich Slowly has a great post about self-storage units.)

I do. It's not full of my stuff though. It's full of my mom's. I haven't had the heart to go through it yet. Neither has my sister. Oh, both of us have poked at it. Last time I visited it, I brought out an oriental-style runner rug that she used in her hallway. Now it's in mine and I think of her every time I see it.

Every month, I call the storage company and pay for another month's storage. I haven't set a deadline for how long I'm willing to keep paying. It's been over a year now. Still, I feel the loss every day.

I've occasionally toyed with the idea of getting a storage unit. I do my decluttering best when I'm able to let things "age", that is, to have some time where they're out of the house and out of sight. A month is good, sometimes it takes longer. This allows the attachment to fade, usually, and then those items can be donated or sold. I've used our garage, but have been tempted to try a storage unit just so I can do more at once. I fear though, that it would be far too easy to just keep paying the bill and avoid making decisions. Clutter comes from unmade decisions, postponed decisions. Every choice that can be made right away? That's a gift, of time and space.

How about you? Do you have a storage unit? If so, why?

Friday, April 25, 2008

No One Needs 13 Jars of Jam

Really, what were we thinking? I'll tell you how it happens. It's easy, really. You run out of your favorite jam. There's a whole slew of jam in the pantry (from the summer of canning). You open up one of those jars, hoping for something tasty. You spread it on your toast. It's...ok. Not great, not the best, but ok. So, it goes into the fridge. Another time, you stop at Trader Joe's. Wow, they've got that great usually expensive ginger preserve cheap! Better get some. No matter that only one person in the house likes it. (Notice the price tag? Remember when Trader Joe's used to use price tags? Yeah, it's that old!)

Then, there's the aspirational jam. That's the jam you wish you liked, but don't. In my case, it's the low-sugar jam. I just don't care for it. I wish I did, but I don't, no matter how many times I try.

Then, there's the jam I really love, that I only buy when it's on sale, that I always use up lickety-split (which is why there are no jars of it in the fridge!).
So, in a nutshell, that's how one can end up with 13 jars of jam in the fridge. Now, some of the gory pictures!
These are the ones still in the fridge. Both are almost empty. Y'know why? 'Cause they're tasty!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Just so you know...

So, I did go to a thrift store recently. Remember, while I gave them up for Lent, I didn't swear never to enter one again. Rather, I had planned to shop there mindfully. I really like using thrift stores--I'd much rather re-use something already created than buy something new. Such a waste to buy new again and again when there are perfectly good things already in existence.

I went in with a plan, with two items on my list: dressy pants and Daring To Dream by Nora Roberts. I found two pair of dressy pants (had to try on two dozen!) and I actually found the exact book I was looking for! I left happy, and having saved a lot over buying new.

Mindfullness is key. I didn't shop for entertainment, or just as a habit. I had a plan, I went in with a list, and I came out with exactly what I wanted.

Friday, April 18, 2008

It's Alive!

Thanks to a certain someone's ingenuity, we have a working gas stove. Extra cost due to the poorly placed gas line? About $3 in parts.

So Close...and Yet...Frustration

We got the range hood installed yesterday. It's a Craigslist find, $20. Today, we planned to install the range. Well, we tried, but as you can see in the lowest picture, the gas line (which we had installed ages ago and have never used) is too far from the wall and doesn't allow enough clearance for the range to fit properly. So frustrating! We've got to re-do the gas line to allow more space.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ah, the Gleam of Fir!

The floors are done. The floors are done!! And, they look amazing!

Here's a reminder of what the floor used to look like. Isn't the transformation amazing?

Yesterday, DH installed the dishwasher (he's done it before and he likes plumbing, go figure!); today, we set the sink. That was a messy, annoying job. Still need to either clean up and re-use the old faucet or get a new one. There just aren't any new faucets that we like--they're all too modern or too old fashioned.

Here's the nice after, that is, after an hour of wiping up excess caulk!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Heading into the Home Stretch!

Well, yesterday I got the final coat of pinot noir on the walls, and did another coat on part of one cabinet (we'd sanded some drips aggressively). The new countertop is in, but not yet screwed down. The new sink is here, but it is unfortunately defective (warped, so it doesn't sit flat--and yes, we checked that the countertop was level!).

The floor refinishers come on Wednesday and work 'til Friday. Today, we cleared everything out of the pantry so the food wouldn't get contaminated by floor finish fumes. Still need to move out the house plants...remind me, will you?

We have our gas range, thanks to CraigsList. CraigsList has yielded: range, range hood, and dishwasher.

Everything is coming together. I'm working on the "punch list" so we can finish up the odds and ends.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

My Pinot Noir Kitchen

Welcome to a new world of colour!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Today's Update

Well, after much thought, I decided that I miss the green. I'm going to stop at the paint store today and pick up some chartreuse paint for the walls, and go for puce on the cabinet doors. What do you think? It'll set off the white fridge well, but I may need to choose a more complementary color for the range...any tips? Maybe fuschia?