Faerie Gardens

Under the heading of “too much time on my hands” are my faerie gardens. Now, I don’t actually have too much time on my hands. This is the single most useless project on the planet. Sure, wee things are charming but seriously, even visitors to the house will spend three minutes looking at it and then be done. I kind of want to do a version for Borrowers. This was the photo I found online that sucked me in. So charming.

Image courtesy of fairyroom.com

Image courtesy of fairyroom.com

It started with my fascination with tiny plants. You can usually find them in nurseries as stepping plants because they grow between pavers and are sturdy enough to withstand foot traffic. Then I started looking online and veered off track. I couldn’t resist many of the tiny objects so my faerie gardens have a bit more “stuff.”

A couple of the plants aren’t too happy but that may be because there is no drainage in this planter.

Someone has left their wee bicycle. With a front basket!

There are little flower pots and gardening tools tucked behind furniture. That mini ivy needs a little pruning. I’m trying to train it up the trellis. Those tiny ivy leaves just reduce me to baby talk.

There is a garden outside in a large pot on the porch. It is a little crispy right now because we have been so hot and dry and I’m bad about watering plants. One of the trees bit the dust but the others seem OK.

Buying all the cute little things can get pretty expensive and I really like the look of the natural elements from the inspiration photo. Doing it again, I will probably fashion things myself. You really only want one or two items so it wouldn’t be a huge project. Some of the plants can be bought cheaply at a nursery and then you would only need to buy a tree or two from a specialty store.

They do make me smile though every time I see them so I guess they aren’t completely useless.

Living Room Details

Someone pointed out to me that while I provided process details on the living room project ad nauseum, I provided very little practical detail should anyone want to do something similar.

So a quick recap on what got the living room to where it is right now.

Before and after. The living room just needed a little updating and some of the bookshelves had pulled off the wall so there were practical reasons for doing something different to accommodate the books.

I pulled up the carpet because that ubiquitous champagne carpet looks good for about 30 seconds and then real life makes it look like crap. A few years of senior dogs and walking on it had trashed it. Plus, right where the picture on the top cuts off, the carpet ends with a laminate floor that went into the dining room and hall. It looked strange to have a flooring change right in the middle of a space like that.

Here is a picture where you can see where the laminate floor started. Right across the middle of the space. This was the subfloor and it was gross. Some of those “bubbles” are pee spots from pets before I moved in and a few after I moved in. It stunk too. I was so glad to replace that! I also replaced the baseboard to update it and to fix it since the previous owner had done things like this:

When I replaced the floor after the washing machine disaster of 2013, I included the living room too so that the same flooring runs through the entire open space. It looks about 1000% better. And that is a statistically accurate number, I assure you.

The trim is a clean, basic, no-frills trim that I bought in a “builders’ pack” for $33 each at Home Depot. I wish I could remember how many square feet there was in a pack but 4 packs covered about 70% of a 1500 sq foot house. I don’t see the builder packs on their website but they were on an end cap in the store with some other styles.

The floor is a very inexpensive laminate but I love it. I love how it looks and for a cheap laminate, it doesn’t scream “cheap laminate.” I went with a very low-cost option because I was trying to cover as much square footage of the house at one time as possible and I wasn’t really budgeted to replace my floor at that point in time. The floor is Bourbon Street, LOBSLPCEFX in Flaxen. It has a touch more gray than red but since it is sitting next to gray walls, it looks very warm. It has held up brilliantly to dog toe nails and clumsy red heads who may or may not drag heavy things across the floor. It is less happy when liquid sits on it but that only happens when you don’t find it for a while.

I had been looking at the rug for a while. I fell in love with it but it was just too expensive for a house with dogs and clumsy people. Then it came up on Overstock.com for about $300 so I jumped at it. $300 is still more than I like to spend on something I’m so hard on (seriously, I’m like four teenage boys rolled into one, middle-aged woman) but I love the graphic design and color (navy and cream). It is a Safavieh rug and I still see it on Overstock. It looks like it is still under $300 right now too. They were also carrying a brown and white version of this which is stunning.

The coffee table is a style I’ve seen around in a few places. I’ve seen versions of this for around $1000-$2000 which is out of the question for me. I just can’t have anything too precious like that or I would never feel like I could relax and be comfortable. The table I ended up with I found at Cost Plus. They were having an online sale so I got it for 20% (or 30%?) off which put it under $200. I’ve always been a Goodwill coffee table kind of gal but I wanted something very specific (2 tier so games could be kept out on the lower tier for easy access) and I wanted something that would look nice against my new, fancy-pants rug. Cost Plus also let me pick it up from a store which saved me a bundle in shipping costs. I like the wheels because this is supposed to be a game table and now we can roll it around as needed.

The bookcases are the ubiquitous Billy bookcases from Ikea. I put doors on these which gives them more of an uptown look. Two of the bookcases have the doors that are only half glass. These are hiding practical storage areas while the rest is staged because they are on display.

This was my inspiration room for the bookcases. She has a lovely blog. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should spend some time there.

The rest of the room is still in progress really. I despise the louvres on the windows and I got a Home Depot gift card at Christmas so I need to go down there and order some shutters for these windows and the dining room windows. I think they will look so good in here. The couch is in great shape and really comfortable so I’m not in a position to replace it even though the style and color aren’t quite right. I think I can do something with pillows to tie the blue and green better together. I have some ideas with peacock fabric and design. Amy Butler has some amazing fabrics that I keep coming back to that might be fun.

AMYBUT13_319

It takes me forever to make decorating decisions. I want to love it to live with it and I want it to be super practical and livable.  Hopefully over the rest of the year I’ll chip away at the other half of the room and get some more seating in there.

Anyone have big project plans for this summer?

Overwhelmed Finishing Projects

There isn’t much to catch up. I haven’t done any thing of interest or note in a while. It’s all just maintenance right now. Work is busy and there are reorganizations (as there always are) which increases meetings and calls so that sucks up a lot of energy. I’m stalled on a few things around the house because I don’t want to deal with them. It just doesn’t seem like fun which is kind of stupid because having these hang over my head is REALLY not fun so dealing with them would be the answer. But why be logical, right?

For example, my office. I had some momentum and then it kind of petered out. I had to hustle to empty out my living room so that I could have visitors again and things did not get put back. In fact, the whole step of painting and rehanging shelves so stuff could get put back did not happen. Now the mess sits around my desk marinating. Making me grumpy. I hate disorganization. My desk at work is always neat. But I get overwhelmed when there is so much to do. I need to just break it up into little doable chunks. It is the only thing that works for me. Instead, my desk looks like this:

Let’s examine a little closer:

As annoying as I find this, it is nothing with how grumpy this makes me:

The last two boxes to unpack.

When I was a little kid and had to clean my room (which always looked like a tornado had gone through. No exaggeration.) I made up a game. I would draw an aerial view of my room on my Play Skool chalkboard, draw a grid across the whole room, and number each grid.

You can make your grid as small or large as you want. Depending on how much work you have.

The blue shapes are the big furniture pieces that don’t move. You can make your grid as small or large as you want. Depending on how much work you have.

Then I write the numbers out on a piece of paper and cut each one out so I had a little pile of squares with a number on it. I would put those squares into a cup or something, shake it up, and draw one. That was the grid square I would clean. Only that one. I wasn’t allowed to go over the border. I also wasn’t allowed to just put everything from one grid square into another. As I completed a grid square, I could erase it (or color it out). That was the reward. I swear, that game was the only thing that got me through cleaning up my room. I think I’ll have to do the same thing with this office.

I used to be embarrassed about that elaborate game just to clean a room. Later I learned that being overwhelmed by a large project with multiple tasks is quite common. Some of us can only see everything that needs to be done and have trouble prioritizing the tasks. We become unproductive by trying to do everything at once and getting discouraged when we don’t see progress. So, weirdly, I came up with a great coping mechanism. I still do this when I’m having a hard time getting a chore kicked off. I may do multiple rooms if I need to scour the house or I may make a list of things I need to do such as:

  • Pack suitcase
  • Wash jeans
  • Clean out car

And then pull those out of the cup. The original grid is my favorite though. It’s the one that always works.

The foster greyhound situation keeps moving. The last foster I shared with you was Willie who was adorable but a handful.

This wasn’t after a bath or anything, he just liked hanging out in the shower.

Willie went to a great home and they immediately gave me Blackjack. Who is a puppy. It’s quite unusual to get puppies into the adoption groups but not unheard of. Blackjack is 10 months old so he is about full height but hasn’t filled out completely. He also doesn’t seem to know how big he is or where all his corners are. I imagine he grew faster than he could comprehend, as some of us do.

We haven’t told him he is too big to be a lap dog.

The gang gets along really well so he’s basically been pretty easy. Other than normal puppy stuff. “Don’t chew the table leg! Don’t chew the power cords! Don’t chew the futon! etc.”

Coming back from the beach. He was comfortable enough to “cockroach” in the back of the car. I wonder what it looked like to the cars behind us?

He has a new home waiting for him and he’ll go to it Thursday. I’ve asked for a break in fostering so that I have a chance to get my knee surgery and hopefully get rid of my pain and limp. I’m so tired of it and it really has kept me from doing easy things around the house like finish painting the trim.

I’ll miss this guy though. He is beyond adorable!

He has somehow trained me to feed him in bed.

Working it

Slideshow of Dogs and Other Nonsense

I don’t even know how to properly catch up so I’ll just give you some snapshots of what has been going on at Casa de Drew:

There have been foster greyhounds. So many dogs coming out of Kansas and Tucson and it seems like our group is taking in new batches of dogs every week or so! I’ve tried to help out by fostering and it’s been fun as well as sometimes challenging.

First there was Yadi. She was a very sweet, 7-year-old brood. She had been having puppies and now retired from that. Lovely girl who went to a wonderful home.

She was very confused by living in a house. She had been living in the kennel environment for 7 years and was worried about the house. She didn’t like that I fed everyone in the same room and she never understood what treats were so she wouldn’t take them from me. She was only with me a couple of weeks. She was just starting to understand dog beds (before that, she would find a nook under the counter or behind the door) because she had been kenneled for so long. She was also just starting to enjoy toys so I made sure I sent her off to her new home with the toy she liked and a blanket she had used here so she knew she would be safe in the new home. She is going to be loved to pieces by her new human.

Then there was Fire. I confess, it was really hard to let Fire go. I did tell them that if her new home didn’t work out that I would like to adopt her. She went to a great home though so I know she is going to be spoiled to death and she and her new human will love each other to pieces.

It may be kind of hard to tell but Fire is the supermodel of greyhounds. Absolutely gorgeous. She and Coco got along great but I would look at Fire, slender, petite, perfect features, even eye makeup, and then I would look at Coco who is big for a female, quite hairy for a greyhound, very large feet for a greyhound, and think, “I get you Coco. Most of us are you.”

Coco sunbathing

Even when Fire cockroached, she somehow looked graceful.

Coco, not so much.

Coco falling asleep in the middle of cleaning herself. She just snoozed like that with her leg on her head.

But they really were great pals and it was hard to let Fire go. Coco missed her.

The latest is Willi. He is a lovely gentle soul that seems to be a total klutz. I think he may have some vision problems because he can’t just observe something, he has to get right into it and smell it, nudge it, bump it, etc. He is always shoving me out of the way to see something first. But so sweet and kind that I took his muzzle off pretty quickly.

Coco and Willi’s first meeting. She was trying to get him to play. You can see he is a big boy and totally ripped because he is in racing shape.

We got Mom moved out of her house and found some stuff I’d done as a kid. I present…Self Portrait, 5-years-old.

We’re going to ignore the green stuff on the nose. It’s abstract art. Don’t look too hard at it.

Despite my complete neglect, my roses are blooming like crazy with flowers the size of my face. Which is pretty big.

I tried to spoil Mom on Mother’s Day weekend but, oddly, that somehow meant we were in a tavern at 10am one day. Well, the best laid plans…

The tavern isn’t actually empty, I just thought other patrons wouldn’t appreciate being on an obscure blog that is mostly about dogs and failed home projects.

Things, in general, are good though. Everyone is healthy and happy and when we fail, it is relatively minor. That is all we can ask, right?

Uh Oh, Coco

Coco continues to settle in nicely with only a few speed bumps. I’ve mentioned before that the challenge (and at the same time, the fun part) of helping them adjust to a home life is their second puppy hood and learning to live in a home environment. It takes a while for their personalities to emerge as they discover new boundaries and interests. I mean, they change  a LOT from when they first come off the track.

Coco is proving to be a kook. This shouldn’t shock anyone. Everyone in this house lets their freak flag fly. Except Oscar. He is always very concerned with being a good boy and gets genuinely distressed when he perceives that someone else is doing something they shouldn’t. I don’t know if that is a product of being abandoned but he is always trying to follow the rules. And set them.

Coco seems to have little concept of rules. Her whole life until now has been regimented so now it must just seem like a free-for-all (I assure you, it isn’t). She’s been seeking out those boundaries. Some journeys more successful than others.

That tongue is hanging out a little there…

One of her big discoveries was that she could jump up on the bed. She spent a few weeks wanting to get up on the bed and putting her front paws and elbows up but then would just move her hind paws up and down like she should take a really big step. I found it amusing that this world-class athlete didn’t believe she could do something as simple as jump. But she did eventually figure it out. And immediately started applying it in ways I wasn’t too happy about.

When I leave for the day I baby-gate the dogs into the family room/kitchen area. That’s where their food, water, dog beds, toys, couch, and TV are so they have everything they need in that single space. It leaves the rest of the house free for the cat to wander unmolested as well as protect my bed from being dug up too vigorously (thus ripping the sheets) and prevents accidents on the rug. I swear, it was right after the Coco-adoption-check cleared when she started doing interesting things. At first, I was finding her on the other side of the baby-gate when I came home from work. One day, I hadn’t even finished locking the door as I left when I heard her jump the gate.

Behind the Gate (that sounds like the super cool documentary I’ll make that pretty much consists of chewing toys and snoozing)

I even tried putting up two baby gates, one on top of the other. This made the baby-gate barrier about 5.5 feet high but she just immediately knocked the top one out.

A few days later I was on my way out the door and Coco was throwing a fit that I was leaving without her. I heard her clear the gate and turned around to see her standing on top of the table that is near the baby-gate (I was trying to decide whether or not to replace the existing buffet with this table so I had them side by side making this way closer to the doorway than it would normally be). It’s higher than the average table but there she was…standing on top. Jumping off this was a piece of cake and revealed the secret of her escaping the baby gate.

This is a reenactment with the table about where it was at the time of the incident.

Less than a week later, we came home to find Coco standing on the kitchen counter. Just standing there. She was trembling but I’m not sure if that was excitement that I was home or she was scared to jump down (she doesn’t love the laminate floors since she can slip on them when she does things like jump off of counters).

Only a few days after that I came home and couldn’t find her. She wasn’t at the baby-gate with Oscar. I didn’t see her anywhere in the family room or any of the other rooms. I was starting to get frantic and was fairly sure someone had come in and stolen her, when I noticed Oscar. The whole time I’m running around the house and calling her, he is standing in the kitchen with a funny look on his face. I finally looked up from the floor, where I’m used to seeing my dogs, and I see Coco on the stove. ON THE STOVE! This time I did have the presence of mind to quick take a picture. She was curled up funny like she had gotten up there, slipped around, and now was afraid to move.

The attractive Clorox wipes are always out right now because of the epic battle I’m having with the sugar ants. It’s like Game of Thrones around here.

She’s wearing a racing muzzle in this picture. They are very loose, she can still eat, drink, even pick up and toss a toy, but it prevents her from chewing and eating things that are bad for her. She has a tendency to chew and EAT her squeaky toys. I’m sure we’ll work that out as she settles into her new life but right now, for her own safety, I utilize that muzzle when I’m not here to take things out of her mouth.

Toys are fun! (to destroy)

Since her stove adventure, she’s pretty subdued when I leave for the day. She immediately goes to the couch as if to say, “I’d prefer to stay here all day if you don’t mind.” This is a relief as I thought I would have to put some kind of child safety locks on the controls for the stove so she didn’t hurt herself.

We seem to be entering a quiet period. This could be because she learned her lesson or it’s the eye of the hurricane. I’m afraid I suspect hurricane. She is the first dog I’ve had where I decided right away I needed to have pet insurance. Is it ethical to bubble wrap a dog?

I still don’t know if I like that table there (I don’t like that vase on it) but at least it is out of jumping range. I hope. Does she look like she is plotting to you? I think she’s plotting.

Coco

Without a big deadline hanging over my head, my life returns to regular priorities such as tracking down the entry point for the ants in the kitchen and searching for the source of the smell in the house (spoiler alert, it was the water in the vase. Holy bacteria, Batman!).

In the midst of all the living room work, I had a home visit from the greyhound foster coordinator. My hopes were really to fail fostering which means you’ve adopted the dog. It feels kind of soon after losing Frankie but I may never feel ready after losing that kook. He was truly a special furkid and losing him has been devastating. But the greyhound adoption folks were bringing in a bunch of dogs and were desperate for foster homes and I wanted to help.

So, a couple of weeks ago, they brought Ketner to stay with me. Ketner was a terrible name. It was her registered racing name; Bob’s Ketner. Clearly she was never called this because she didn’t answer to it. Or maybe she just disliked it as much as me. Anyway, I started calling her Coco.

She discovered the toys almost immediately and clearly thought they were OK.

Coco came right from a track and is nearly 5 years old which is the mandatory retirement age for racing greyhounds. Moving into a home environment can be bewildering and scary for these dogs. Everything they know has changed. Even if it is what we think of as all good changes, they just know it is different and they don’t know what to expect. The sliding glass door, even with stickers on it to make it visible, will still get bumped into. The screen around the fireplace and even the fireplace. WHAT ARE THESE THINGS? Mirrors are an enormous curiosity. Endless hours staring in there and then watching me through the mirror. Stairs are these evil things that go up to the sky. WHY ARE YOU MAKING ME DO THIS? All these new things are frightening to dogs who have only known a kennel environment.

The entire first day Coco watched Oscar. She watched to see what he did, how he navigated this strange world, and she watched to see if he was frightened of anything. He wasn’t so she stayed relatively calm. Until she saw the sprinkler head. That thing was clearly just plain evil and she backed away from it slowly.

At least at this point her ears aren’t always up in watchful mode.

It wasn’t until the second day that she kind of started noticing me. Or maybe it was after I gave them their evening kibble. She thought that was pretty cool. She proceeded to gobble up great big mouthfuls and then coughed it all out all over the floor. And then ate it up. Hey, it’s a process.

The second day she started watching me. She saw how Oscar got up on the couch and cuddled and watched that very intensely. Sometime during the day I was giving him big noisy kisses on top of his head and she came running over to see about getting some herself. That was when she discovered that she really liked the love stuff. REALLY liked it!

She started getting up on the couch but she would stand on it with shaky legs because it was a soft surface and she didn’t feel terribly secure walking. She was willing to risk it though as she glued herself to my side. I mean, she didn’t just get up to sit next to me, she would turn herself around to get as much of herself up against me as possible. She wanted all the loves and wanted me to just envelop her. She will sit there just looking up into my face.

It’s a little heartbreaking to see such a need for the loves and touching. This actually started to worry me because if she bonded so closely to me, would she have a hard time moving into an adoptive home? Would it tweak her to leave the first home she knew? I’ve seen that before with fosters. Most fosters do just fine and they love the foster home they come from as well as their adoptive home. But once in a while you get that dog that is too insecure for that switch. I was really hoping this wouldn’t happen to Coco.

The big question about whether or not she could stay here was how she would do with Scarlet Kitty. Coco was very curious about the cat but hadn’t shown a strong prey drive. Scarlet also seemed pretty comfortable and I was paying attention to that because Scarlet used to be a street kitty so she’s pretty smart. When do you know though? When can you confidently say that Coco is cat-safe?

This was the moment she discovered pillows and you can see how impressed she is with the concept.

After a couple of weeks I was starting to almost feel pretty good about the cat-safe question but I think I kept waiting for that definitive moment when I “knew.” When I could be certain that everything was going to be all right. I know. I say write that out loud and I see how silly it was to be looking for certainty. Coco is very different from Frankie. If I’m honest, what I wanted was Frankie back. That isn’t going to happen. I know that logically. I just tried really hard to be present for Coco. To give her what she needs. To celebrate little things like when she learned she can jump. She’s been wanting up on the bed but couldn’t figure out the jumping thing. She would just put her front paws on the bed and move her back legs like she was trying to crawl up but couldn’t get purchase on the mattress. Then she would cry and go back to her giant, soft, luxurious dog bed. Her dog bed that was, like 6 feet, away from me. It might as well be miles to her. But Sunday, she figured it out. She jumped, and she was up! All the beds are all hers now.

I also got a call from the adoption coordinator who felt like she had a prospective home for Coco. I realized that while I may not have made up my mind, Coco had. Coco had adopted us and it wasn’t an option to let her go somewhere else. Somewhere new that she had to learn and someone new she had to decide to trust. I may still be grieving for Frankie, but I didn’t want to grieve for Coco too.

So I told them that she wasn’t up for adoption anymore. She was already home.

Success

The best thing I heard during the book club meeting? “Your house is so comfortable, can we meet here again?”

Why yes. Yes you can.

Oscar waiting patiently for his fans to start arriving.

 

Artwork by Kim Parkhurst.

 

I love how the new gray in the entryway makes everything pop.

 

Truffles and wine.

Eats.

 

Bookcases a success.

A quick glance back a few years at the living room and it’s changed a lot. Next on the list are those awful louvres.

LR

And now I sleep for a week.

B-Day (for book club day)

Just a quick check in before I run out to buy flowers and wine. I have no idea if wine is what I should be serving at an afternoon book club with women. I don’t drink so the whole thing is slightly mysterious to me. It seems that whenever I have it, people are pleased and it gets consumed so I’ll go throw myself on the mercy of the Trader Joe’s sommelier.

The epic bookcase project has been completed. There are little details to complete, such as affixing the bookcase to the walls, but you gotta prioritize in a situation like this. I can go back and do those little things later. Like next year.

I did do some little details like re-hanging pictures that I had taken down for painting. It gave me a chance to kind of reevaluate if I still wanted them all or if it was time to freshen things up a little.

It’s funny when you take a step back at this and look at your things in a new light. No matter how much I’d like to think I have a sophisticated, European, modern taste; I just realize that I fall more into the “rustic hippy” camp. My house is always going to look like the place where you could stretch out and take a nap on the sofa. Which isn’t a bad thing at all.

Now I just need to claim my dining room table back from the cat and I’ll be ready to feed people again!

I did it. Happy Valentine’s day folks.

For a recap: this whole makeover started on Monday.

One, Last Day

Holy crap. I’m down to the wire and I’m not liking what I see. But this should surprise no one as my project ideas always outpace what my poor mortal body can accomplish.

The shelves were delivered just after lunch which was great because it gave me more time to put them together. What was intimidating, was looking at the pile of boxes that I was going to have to tackle.

This is what I had when I went to bed last night.

I did not meet my micro-goal that I have been blathering on about. When I set project goals, I’m always forgetting to factor in things like eating, breaks, and things from normal life that still need to be done like showering and loading the dishwasher. In this case, I knew I could finish up at about 11pm, but the problem was that I started fading badly at 9pm. This isn’t too surprising as I had been up since 5am. I had an early call and I knew I’d want as much of the afternoon as possible for working on the shelves so if I started work super early, I could cut out early. However, at about 9:30pm I realized I was so tired I was going to start making mistakes and that would make the whole project a waste of time. So I forced myself to walk away with the project just a little over half done, took a Aleve PM to ensure I’d sleep instead of thinking about everything I had to do Friday, and went to sleep. I didn’t even need to read to fall asleep. I just lay down and crashed.

I did notice that my hands were covered in hives when I went to bed. I hadn’t done anything all day except for open boxes and put together bookshelves so it looked like I might be a little allergic to something I was handling. This morning, both my hands are swollen. I’m either allergic to the materials I’m handling or I’m allergic to hard work. I suspect the latter.

I was up bright and early to get a coat of paint on that red wall (I know I had originally planned to just leave it but what you want to do when you are overwhelmed by the number of tasks that must be done is expand the scope of your project), hauled out the mountain of cardboard that I produced yesterday so I can continue building.

The wall is gray because I got a tip that the red walls bleed and will make me cry when I try to paint it. The guy at the paint store said gray could be used instead of black and white and I just happen to have some gray paint hanging about. It’s covered the red really well. *phew!*

Really, tackling a project like this under pressure is actually something I do on purpose. If I something isn’t driving the deadline, I can stretch out a project forever (see posts on the home office makeover) so I confess, I volunteered for hosting book club for this very reason. As tired and sore as I am today, I’ll be so happy on Sunday to have things clean, painted, put away, with left over food in the fridge.

Next week I can go back to being my slothful self. I’ll just be doing it in the new, awesomely bookish living room! (With only two walls painted. If that makes anyone twitch, I’ll trade you left over party food for painting labor.)

The living room in the light of day. Nothing built itself overnight and I’m disappointed.

Two Days Left…

I hit my micro-goal last night but I’m not going to bother with a bunch of pictures because it will look like I went from this:

To this:

I know your heart must have skipped a beat at the after photo. My goal was just to finish the walls that needed to be ready for the bookcases. That means I had to caulk and paint the trim. It isn’t a big showy step but, you know, I do love how caulk finishes a project. I did take one picture so you can see how nice the bit that was done (on the left) looks compared to the un-caulked/painted bit (on the right).

I made myself panic yesterday when I imagined a whole scenario where they forgot to deliver my bookcases and the entire project was for naught. Luckily, at 9:30 last night (that is super late for me, I get up early) I received a recorded call that they would be delivering the bookcases today between 1:00 and 5:00. So I’m reassured that at least they will get to me today but I’ll bet you money they don’t come until 5:00pm and I’m up half the night assembling them. My only micro-goal today is to assemble the bookcases; doors and all. That is hardly a micro-goal because it is eight bookcases. They are only the Ikea Billy ones and are super easy to put together but the doors may be trickier. If they are like my kitchen cabinets, they require a little careful carpentry. They are already pretty cheap and it would be so easy to make them cheap looking by hanging doors crookedly.

It would be lovely to take a couple of days off to finish this up and be ready for Saturday but I have some meetings I have to make and some deadlines I can’t miss. Actually, I think it is interesting to see what can be accomplished by someone who doesn’t have a lot of free time for projects around the house. Many of us have so much to do that DIY projects are kind of out of scope. The micro-goal technique actually really works. I stress out a lot less when I know I’m at least hitting those because they will eventually finish up the project. It is much easier for me to focus on those little goals than the whole thing. The whole project just sounds overwhelming. Especially when you are me and inventing a lot of scenarios that haven’t even happened yet.

I forgot to give an update on the greyhound fostering situation. The coordinator came by with a lovely dog. The greyhound was the coordinator’s own dog and not one of the fosters. She was just part of the test to see how Oscar gets along with other dogs. We passed with flying colors, even with the house in a disaster-state. The coordinator is a true dog person and could see the dog blankets were wadded up on the floor because my dogs happily nest with them. She wasn’t worried about all the toys around the room because her dog bounced up to the toy box and checked them out. And the grubby blanket on the couch didn’t faze her because she is used to the muddy paws this time of year. Actually, it was a nice visit and she said to expect a dog soon. So yay! I’ll be a foster-mom to some greyhound baby just off a track (or out of a kennel) and I get to help them adjust to home life. They come to us having no idea what stairs are, how homes and families work, even what mirrors are so it is a lot of fun showing them all this and watching them discover soft beds, toys, treats, and loads of love and cuddles.

This may be just what the doctor ordered.