Slow But Steady Progress

2016_08_13-07I’ve made some progress on the kitchen, but I still have a long way to go.  This is what I’m up against.  Click on the picture to see it in all its messy glory.  It looks like they had a food(s) fight in the 2016_08_13-08kitchen. All that has to be cleaned up off the front of the kitchen cabinets, and then the spills and spots on the shelves have to be cleaned up and shelf paper put down.   Not all of the cabinets are this bad, but none of them had been cleaned in a while.

Saturday, I got all of one bank of drawers, and the cabinet doors under the sink done, and silverware, miscellaneous kitchen utensils, kitchen towels and hot pads put away.

I got a plug strip mounted up underneath the cabinet for my small appliances, and I got the stove top and backsplash (emphasis on the “splash”) behind the stove cleaned, and the new burner pans put in and all the counter tops on that side wiped down good.  That leaves all the top cabinets and the corner cabinets between the stove and dishwasher to go.  Once I get the cabinets cleaned and the shelves lined, and once I get the glass shelves in my china cabinet and bow front cabinet all cleaned, I can start in on the large stack of boxes in the garage.  I’ve been eating off plastic plates with plastic silverware for two weeks now, and I’m ready to get my dishes back.

2016_08_13-02Friday, I got all but one box of books shelved in the office, and all but one bookcase sorted.  The yarn bins are in the closet where they are going.  I still have to vacuum off the ceiling fan blades and figure out how to organize all my knitting accoutrements (needles, notions, gadgets, etc.), since the dresser where I was keeping them is now in the living room, but I think I know what I’m going to do with them.   I still have two boxes 2016_08_13-03to put in the closet, and a small piece of “surplus to requirement” furniture to move to the storeroom, but I think another half a day will see the office sorted.  I’ve gotten all the boxes but that last box from the office broken down and taken out to the dumpster.

I have the vanity in the master en suite cleaned and sorted.  There is still some “decorating” to do, but I can’t do that until I can unpack the stack of boxes still in the garage.  Apart from hanging pictures, the bedroom is done.  I still have cleaning to do in the en suite “water closet” and grouting/calking to do in the shower and along the baseboards of the floor.

2016_08_13-06 2016_08_13-05I still have not touched the “company” bathroom yet. That’ job is going to take at least a day if not a day and a half.   I think I’m leaving that room til last.  Sufficient unto the day . . .

The living room has had a little bit of decorating done.  As you can see, the big entertainment armoire dominates the space.  I want to get rid of it and replace the big hulking CRT TV it contains with a flat screen which will go on the sideboard to the right of it.  I can’t move that right-hand chair into a more realistic position relative to the fireplace until the armoire is gone because if I do, I can’t get the door of the armoire open.  Ideally, the two club chairs would flank the fireplace, with the ottoman between them.  I have a large wooden tray I can put on the ottoman so it can double as a coffee table in social situations.  The dresser under the window in the top of the two pictures is where I currently have my knitting accoutrements stored.

I think tomorrow I’ll back my car out of the garage and take pictures of the “surplus to requirements” furniture, drapes and rugs to list on Craigslist.  Then I can get the store room organized and move the bins of pictures into the house.  Our universities are about to start the Fall semester.  It’s a good time of year to try to sell furnishings.

This past Sunday, mom and I and our friend CK went to see “Florence Foster Jenkins” with Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant.  It was a completely enjoyable movie.  We decided we also want to see the film “Sully” with Tom Hanks when it comes out

When I got into the car yesterday to go to the bank to change the address on my accounts and to get walked through their new on-line banking procedures, the Silver Beetil’s odometer read 5900.

I’m finally beginning to get better sleep — partly because I’m getting used to sleeping here now, partly because I’ve managed to darken the bedroom to a significant degree, and partly because the pain in my hands, particularly, and feet has eased up.  Longer periods of sleep have meant longer, more coherent dreams.  Friday night, I had a long, rambling dream about meeting Neil Gaiman and traveling with him for a while, and having a rather involved discussion with him about life, the universe and everything . . . . Saturday, I dreamed I was Sam Elliott’s daughter, and was back home again after having had a rather harrowing escape from some unknown danger.  Last night, I dreamed I was babysitting Amanda Soule’s children, and sewed a raincoat for her youngest daughter Annabell that involved clear vinyl material that was lined with sprigged muslin with little pink flowers on a white background.

Speaking of dreaming, I think I hear my beddy-boo calling my name.  I’d better go see what it wants . . .

Off Center

2016_08_10-04As I noted to the ladies of my knitting group, I’m moved, but I’m not moved in.  I’m making slow but steady progress, however.  I have cleaned and put shelf paper in all the vanity drawers in the master suite. I have all the drapes hung in the living room and my bow front cabinet moved into its final position. I have the UV/tinted film up on the sliding glass door (above).  (I can already tell it won’t make the room dark enough.  I will be putting aluminum foil over them to completely shut out the light.)

2016_08_02-10According to my landlady, this duplex was built to deluxe specifications by the builder who (presumably with his wife) lived in my side and rented out the other side.   She noted several times that the fact that the kitchen and bathroom cupboard doors are ash is evidence of this luxury. Many of the cabinet doors could use painting, but the paint/stain treatment would make them difficult to repaint without completely stripping them and reapplying the same finish.

"Master" unit
“Master” unit
"Slave" unit
“Slave” unit






Further evidence of the  level of luxury is an intercom system (with the main unit in the kitchen) that also allows one to “pipe” the AM or FM radio station selected on the master unit (above) into “slave” units in every other room of the house.  (Assuming the units still work — I haven’t bothered to test them.  I detest AM and FM radio.  Too much yacking.)

2016_08_10-05Whoever hung the towel rack in the kitchen (left) was (a) tall, and (b) wasn’t thinking about how much longer it would take a damp towel to dry out when the air couldn’t get at the side that was right up against the wood.  I’ll remove the higher one — just haven’t gotten to it yet.

2016_08_10-06This duplex was built in the late 1960’s or early 1970’s, judging from the fact that it has a telephone nook in the kitchen, hearkening back to the days when there would have only been one, centrally-located telephone in the house.  (Extension jacks have since been put in all the rooms.) The placement of the wall outlet/power point and the little desk (with a drawer for the phone book) made this the perfect place for the fat(cat)boy’s pet fountain and feeding dish.

The whole duplex (semidetatched) building, with its two parallel units, occupies roughly the same lot space as a detached single family house, so it’s no surprise that the floor plan is long and narrow.  The master suite is large, and is the whole width of the unit, with its curiously laid out en suite.  As you face that end of the room, the very large closet is on your left, the vanity is straight ahead, and the “water closet” is on your right.

2016_08_10-03I have noticed several design peculiarities about the en suite.  One would think that when one built a shower cubicle, one would put the shower head in the middle of the wall.  However, the shower head in the master shower is situated about 6 inches to the right of center, putting it uncomfortably close to the wall.  2016_08_10-02One would also think that if one built a “water closet,” one would center the toilet between the two walls.  However, the toilet is noticeably off center by about 6 inches.  Indeed it is so close to the right-hand wall that one is practically “up against the wall” on that side.  And with nearly four feet of width on the vanity counter, one would have thought the sink could have been set further to the left from the right-hand wall than the 3 inches of leeway it has, or at least be centered over the cabinets below.2016_08_10-082016_08_10-01






It makes me suspect that the builder (and/or his wife) was a southpaw.

Monday night, we had a right little thunderboomer and got a fair amount of rain out of it.  The “patio” outside the sliding glass doors was still wet when I woke up Tuesday morning.  After knitting group this evening, I stopped by Walmart to get a new alarm clock and some padlocks for the fence gates.

2016_08_02-11Tomorrow, I’m going to be hanging more drapes and probably make some inroads on the kitchen.  My dining room table is too big for the space, and my mom has finally convinced me to sell it, but in order to do so, I would need photographs of it, and right now, it’s pretty covered up with stuff that goes in drawers.  I also want to sell my TV and the armoire it goes in, and replace it with a larger flat screen TV that will go on the sideboard to the right of it.  At some point I need to finish transferring my “phone book” from my old cordless phone to the new one, and bag up the old phone for the upcoming garage sale I’ll be having for superfluous items and furniture.  August is a good time to try to sell furniture as the University fall session begins at the end of August and students will be returning to town to set up housekeeping.  I’ll list the dining table and chairs, and the TV and armoire on Craigslist as soon as I have some good pictures, as I want to sell them as soon as possible.


At about 8 p.m. Sunday night I shut the car door on the last load, put a check for the last water bill and the keys in an envelope, sealed it and dropped it through the mail slot into the apartment manager’s office.   I was so tired, I didn’t even bother to unload the car, but just came in, took a shower and washed my hair, called in a pizza strike, and sat in front of the TV and chilled.   I’d been on my feet bustling around from 7 am to nearly midnight pretty much since last Tuesday, my feet were killing me, my ankles were swollen, I’d been doing hard work in punishing heat (90+F/32+C) for days and I was just exhausted.  But all my stuff is at the new place now, and I can sort everything out at my leisure now that I’m no longer under a deadline.

2016_08_02-09Everything is piled everywhere and can’t be put away until drawers and cabinets are cleaned out and shelf paper put down.  It’s a good thing my “critical mess” threshold is rather high.  The people who lived here before me had to move to assisted living because they could no longer care for themselves, so you know how much housekeeping they did. Tuesday afternoon I was going to lay down shelf paper and hang some drapes, and ended up spending the whole time vacuuming quite an impressive amount of dust from baseboards and window sills and hung curtains in exactly two windows.

2016_08_02-08I wasn’t going to take the fat(cat)boy to the pet hotel until Thursday when the movers came, but Tuesday morning having him shut away in the bedrooms crying to be let out while the packers came, and while I came and went loading up the car convinced me he needed to go early Wednesday morning.  There are two “kitty cottages” at the pet hotel that have a large window where they can watch what goes on in the store, and they put him in one this time.  Poor little guy.  He was already clingy before I took him because of all the disruption and everything being changed and shifted around.

2016_08_02-03Not having to gate-keep the cat, made it easier to come and go loading up the car.  I was able to make three runs Wednesday, unloading bins at the new place and loading them up again in the old place. The movers didn’t come until nearly noon on Thursday, which gave me time to load up the car again.  My furniture has another layer of nicks and dents and scratches, but it all got here and with one exception ended up where I thought it would work best.  For some reason, my “good” alarm clock (corded, not battery operated) died after having been in my hot car for four or five hours, which reminds me I need to get another one.  Thursday night I spent my first night in the new place. Fortunately, the sunlight woke me up before the anemic alarm clock I was having to use.

2016_08_02-04Bright and early Friday morning, I went to get the fat(cat)boy to bring him to our new home.  He was only a little furtive coming out of his crate, but then he was exploring.  The cable guy came and got my TV, phone and internet hooked up.  Then I went back to the old place and put another load in the car and waited for the water guy to come uninstall the reverse osmosis gear from the old place and install it to the new place.  I made one more run after he left.

Saturday and Sunday it was a big push to get out by Sunday night.  The heat and unaccustomed exertion was taking its toll and by the time I turned the keys in I was pretty much worn out.

2016_08_02-05Yesterday, I pottered.  I moved one towel bar from the bathroom to the “water closet”* where it was handy to the shower door, and hung one that matched the toilet paper holder in its place.  Then I hung a toilet paper holder in the WC.  I took down the slatted blinds above the sliding glass door (!) in the bedroom (!) and hung blackout curtains.  I had to use the double rod for that, as one set of blackout curtains wasn’t sufficiently opaque.  I had to wash the old ice blue curtains from the apartment living room and hang them behind the new curtains to get better opacity.

At the old place, there was a wall to the right of my computer desk.  Here there is a wall to the left.  At the old place the side of the double sink with the disposal on was on the left.  Here, it’s on the right.  The shower pipe is about a foot from the back wall of the shower, which makes an already small shower (about 3 feet x 3 feet) feel even more crowded. The fridge door squalls each time it’s opened. (I’ve invested in a can of WD-40.)

2016_08_02-07I forgot to set my alarm last night and it was almost 8:45 before the light through the gaps between the drape panels woke me up (the panels have since been pinned together).  I may clean out the vanity drawers in the en suite and line the drawers and put some stuff away later, but then again, I may not.  I’m still trying to get the swelling down in my ankles.  I may lie in the bed and read for a while.  Or not.

When I went into the kitchen in search of breakfast this morning, the fat(cat)boy was haring around playing with a cat toy.  I’ve caught him several times playing with the toys that were discovered when furniture was removed.  They are slowly but surely disappearing . . . again . . .

2016_08_02-01But we’re here, all the stuff is out of the car.  Things are beginning to get sorted.

*The way the en suit is configured is unusual in that the sink, vanity, and mirror is actually at one end of the bedroom proper, while the shower and toilet are behind a sliding door off to the side, rather like the “water closets” of old.