Finally. Finished. Painting.

I have been painting for the last seventy-four weeks.  Ok, actually I’ve been painting for the last week, but it felt like months.  Bright and early Saturday, I got started on the prep work.  In case you are wondering, here are the steps you must do before you can even open the cans of paint.  There are twelve important steps, and they must be followed in order.

1.   Remove small items from the rooms to be painted.
2.   Drink two cups of coffee.
3.   Gather your painting supplies and pile them on the floor in the middle of the room.
4.   Wipe down all walls and baseboards.
5.   Watch a rerun of Law & Order:  SVU.
6.   Pull large furniture away from the walls.
7.   Place the loveseat directly in front of the television.
8.   Go find one of the ottomans that you had previously removed and place it in front of the loveseat.
9.   Make a grilled cheese sandwich.  Use TWO pieces of cheese and some garlic salt.
10. Watch an episode of How I Met Your Mother while eating.  Prop up your feet on the ottoman.
11. Check your email.
12. Place biodegradable plastic drop cloths over large furniture and floors.

I wonder why it took me so long?

The walls used to be Behr’s Pure Earth color.  It looked light and, well, earth-y in the store.  But we have been living and dining in a cave for the last 18 months.  I guess this is why the Smart People tell you to take the paint chips home and look at them in your space.  The Smart People would probably also tell you to not paint your walls brown if you only have two windows and therefore not so much natural light.  Oops.

Ok, lesson learned.  In fact, I learned my lesson so hard that it took me six months to decide on a new color.  I finally picked Martha Stewart’s Spring Melt.

It looks bluer in these pictures than it actually is on the wall.  It’s kind of like a light blue/gray-green color.  I love it.  I love it so much.  And it’s a good thing I do….because I never want to paint these walls again.


Be a Great Cook. Or Just Look Like One.

When we moved into this new place in April 2008, there was a shelf in the kitchen that was so crooked, anything I put on it would eventually slide to the floor.  When I painted the kitchen a while back, I installed the popular ikea open shelving, mostly to have a place to hang my pots and pans.  I have approximately three cubic centimeters of cabinet space in this kitchen, so extra storage was necessary.

I  love those shelves and love having my cookware on all of those hooks.  Before, I filled up the shelves with a few jars of flour and sugar and pasta and some vintage tins.  Empty vintage tins, serving no purpose.  But now that I have actually learned (well, am still learning) how to cook, I have cabinets full of things like couscous and quinoa and orzo and rotini and whole wheat flour and…well, you get it.

Tangent:  I have a love/hate relationship with Target.  I love that it is less than a mile from my house (because I despise driving and errands so if I had to drive far for an errand it would never get done).  I hate that they employed that pharmacist a while back that denied prescription medication for moral grounds.  I love that Target hires actual, real designers to put out lines of clothing and housewares that are stylish and inexpensive.  I hate that they were giving money to anti-gay candidates in the last major election (but I hear Lady Gaga made them stop).  I love that they carry the Method brand of envorinmentally safe cleaning products.  I hate that their very existence puts lots of small companies out of business.  I try to be anti-consumerism, but every day can’t be Buy Nothing Day.  So.
I went over to Target today for some airtight glass canisters.  Now I have all those beautiful pastas and grains out where I can see them and remember to cook them.

Not a huge change.  But it makes me smile.



This morning I got a call saying that Chloe the new couch is being delivered tomorrow!

I only had one problem.  The big broken low-rider couch was still in the living room.  Since I really want Chloe to feel welcome, I had to get this thing out of here.  So I called my condo management company.  Who gave me the number of our trash disposal company.  Who said that I could not just put the couch out on the curb with the trash in the morning.  (Oh, can’t I?)  They said they wouldn’t pick it up.  (Oh, won’t they?)  They said I must first send them a check for one million dollars (ok, eighty bucks, but just as ridiculous), then call to schedule a day that I would be allowed to haul the old broken couch out to the curb for them to pick up.

Clearly they did not know who they were dealing with.  I am both impatient and cheap.  There was no way I was playing their game.

Unrelated:  have you ever wondered how many trash bags it would take to hold a dismantled ikea couch?

The answer is seven.

Extreme Makeover: Down The Street From My Mom’s House Edition

The Extreme Makeover show is filming about a mile from my mom’s house!  The whole town is talking about it.  It seems there is a wonderful teacher at the local high school that recently adopted three sisters after their parents died.  She lived in a small trailer, and Ty and his friends decided to build her a new house.  It really is a sweet story.  And a chance to get a behind-the-scenes look at a home makeover show.

Just LOOK at how many people are there working.  No wonder they’re able to turn these projects around so quickly.

They are like little blue-shirted, hard-hat-wearing ants, crawling all over that house.

Here’s someone filming.  I think his name is Not Ty.

Look at all these people watching.  They actually ran shuttle buses from a local bank parking lot because there were so many people wanting to stop by to watch.

I am not sure if this roped off tent full of furniture is the worker’s chill-out tent, or if it’s the furniture that’s going into the house.  Probably both.

Only four days later, the famous bus was there.  Lots of neighbors showed up for the big reveal.

Here’s a free preview.  I think the episode airs May 8th.

I didn’t stay for the ‘Move that bus!’ segment.  I was just there to gawk on my lunch hour.  I didn’t see any of the show’s hosts.  I didn’t see the nice teacher and her family when they got home to this circus.  But many people were there all day, with coolers and lawn chairs, tailgating for Ty.