Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Flaws and All

I’ve needed new sheets for some time now. I have a queen size bed, but I always buy king size sheets because I hate making the bed and slamming my knuckles up against the wall while trying to get that last corner of the fitted sheet over the edge of the mattress.

Due to my home makeover project, I ended up with only one set of sheets for my bed. I need two complete sets of sheets because I do my household chores using the 1-2-3-yank-the-band-aid method. With only one set of sheets, I have to yank twice—once to strip the bed and once to remake it after the laundry is done. That’s bad enough. But then I forget that I’m waiting for my sheets to dry and I straggle into my bedroom around midnight, seconds away from a Lindsay Lohan collapse, and I’m slapped in the face by my naked bed.

Have you priced king sheets lately? To get anything under $70 for the set, you have to go down to a thread count of 2. I don’t want a thread count of 2, I want a thread count of 250 or more. (Yes, I am a princess and I can tell a difference.)

I’ve been looking at king sheets for months but I can’t make myself pay $70 for two pieces of fabric. It goes against everything I believe in. I also can’t buy used sheets at the thrift store. That goes against everything I pretend to believe in. I suppose I could go to the fabric store and—no. Best not to go down that dangerous road, not even in my fantasy world where I can sew and cook.

I recently found myself at one of those fancy, schmancy specialty stores looking for a 9” double-sided (regular/4Xs magnification) mirror with an adjustable light rim around the edge connected to a 360 degree rotating frame attached to a remote control robotic extension arm that screws into the wall, allowing you to see both the front of your face and the back of your head at the same time. I didn’t find it. But I did see king sheets with a pretty rose pattern for only $29.99, regular price. What a find! What a bonus! What a gift from heaven!

Then I put them on the bed. They are cut the wrong way. When I put the bigger fold (there is probably a technical name for it, but we just call it the “drool catcher”) up at the head of the bed there wasn’t enough sheet left to tuck in at the bottom, and it hung over the sides nearly touching the floor.

Ah. That’s why the price was so nice.

This is not a problem actually because although I’m compulsive about many things, having the pattern on my sheets turned the right direction is not one of them. Nobody sees them. Not even me because I use them with my eyes closed. I just wish they had been upfront about it. There’s a bit of a thrill in getting a great deal on “irregulars.” Had I known, I might have bought two sets because I would know I was getting a high quality product with a few teensy weensy flaws—kind of like me.

Now playing on my real iPod: All I Ever Have to Be by Amy Grant

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Rejoice in 2007

Have you ever felt that divine discontent—that itch that tells you something is not quite right in your life—but you can’t put your finger on it? I’ve been itching for quite some time now. I feel a need to reconnect with who I am, with the dreams that make my heart sing. I’ve been looking around for a book or a course to assist me in doing that and when I read the following on the Rejoice in 2007 website, I knew I’d found it:

  • Do you often wonder why you’re here? What life’s about?

  • Are you giving all you've got, but still falling short?

  • Or maybe you have a dream, but lack the time, resources or know-how to make it happen?

  • Are you spreading yourself so thin that you’re missing out on true joy?

The course is created and led by Marnie Pehrson. She is offering it free to the first 2,007 people who sign up. I don’t know how many spaces are still open, but if you’re feeling the itch too, go check it out.

Friday, January 05, 2007

What They Don’t Tell You on Those TV Shows

  1. No matter what it says on the label, nor what assurances the salesman gives you, Wal-Mart paint will not cover it in one coat.

  2. There are a lot of really cool painting tools. Most of them do not work as described.

  3. Taping around the windows and floors is not as easy as it looks. If your tape is too far from the edges, paint will seep under and around and you’ll have a color stripe where you don’t want it. If your tape is too close to the edges, the paint that slops over onto the tape will dry and seal tighter than epoxy and will take off everything down to the wall board when you remove it.

  4. Yes, you do need a drop cloth. No matter how fast you move your roller from the tray to the wall, it WILL drip. Newton’s Law of Physics as it applies to painting: The more expensive your carpet, the more the paint will drip.

  5. Yes, you do need to wear icky clothing that you don’t care about. Including socks.

  6. Always wash the paint off your hands BEFORE going to the bathroom.

  7. Watch for paint drips on your wall and smooth them with your roller. No, they will not flatten as they dry. Neither do dead spiders. Nor dust bunnies.

  8. Buy your paint the day you plan to do the job. If you buy your paint in August and don’t use it until January, take it back to the store and have them shake it for you. No matter how many muscles you have, you are not strong enough to mix the paint and oil back together once it has separated.

  9. Clean up your rollers and brushes immediately after you’re done. Don’t wait. You’ll get distracted and forget about them, and then when you see them 24 hours later all stuck together in some nuveau modern art clump, you’ll rush over and try to save them. Bad decision. The outfit you’re wearing when you do this cost much more than your paint roller. Just wrap them all up in the drop cloth and THROW THEM AWAY!

  10. The easiest way to paint baseboards is to rip up your carpet, paint, replace the carpet. Seriously.

  11. You will never find all the fixture screws when you are done. Just go ahead and buy extra ones when you’re getting your paint.

  12. That warm fuzzy feeling you get when you stand back and view your completed job and say, “I did that all by myself” is HIGHLY overrated. Next time, I’m going to try the warmer and much fuzzier feeling you get when you say, “I paid for someone else to do this for me.”

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Step 1: Paint Master Bedroom

I've mentioned before that my mother-in-law lived with us for 9 years. She was part of the package when I married my husband. When we bought our house, we picked one that she would be comfortable in and that had a master bedroom with a bath for her. My husband and I used one of the smaller bedrooms.

She moved out November 4, 2005 to go live with another son. That was 14 months ago. The master bedroom has been empty and unused since then. I just haven't had the time to make it mine yet. We did get a bed in there around May. And I bought paint in August. But it's mostly been a shove-all-the-extra-crap-in-here room.

Until now.

I told my husband I wanted to fix up that room and that he was to give me an IOU for that purpose as my combo birthday/anniversary/Christmas gift this year (2006). So he wrote me a check for $1,000,000 and put it in my stocking. Sweet man.

On New Year's Day, we went shopping for dressers. They're being delivered on Friday. So that means, I HAVE to get that room painted before then. Fortunately, I like to paint--except for the baseboards. There is just no easy way to paint baseboards.

So I decided for this room, I wouldn't paint the baseboards, or the door trim, or the ceiling, or even inside the closets. I'd leave them white.

Did I say there is no easy way to deal with baseboards? Not only is there no easy way to paint them, there is also no easy way to keep the wall paint from slopping over onto them. And once you paint the baseboards, you have to paint the door trim and the inside of the closet, or else it just looks stupid.

Total Time Commitment:
Moving out the furniture, taking down all the fixtures and outlet faces, taping, plugging holes, painting baseboards, trim and closet, touching up the spots you missed, clean up, putting fixtures back up, moving furniture back in = 8 hours.

Painting the walls (the fun part) = 15 minutes.

Room after painting:

Living Room with all the crap that came out of the Master Bedroom, 90% of which will not be going back in and will have to find a new home:

Now Playing on my Real iPod: Cheeseburger in Paradise by Jimmy Buffet (aka The Painting Song)

Home Makeover By Dummies

Due to huge corporate downsizing at my company (2/3 of the workplace laid off in the past 12 months), I've elected to become a telecommuter again.

I love working from home. I've done it for 90% of my career. I'm much more productive when I don't have to deal with other people. Plus, most bosses just don't understand that looking at the celing while twirling round and round in your chair is a vital part of the creative process. For some reason, they feel you should be using your time in more traditional job pursuits, such as brown nosing and water cooler politics.

So when the opportunity arose to move my office back home, I jumped at the chance. Pink fuzzy piggy slippers, here I come!

Road block #1: Creating a space for my home office. When I moved out, the family sort of oozed into the empty space left behind. Now that I'm coming home, they don't want to ooze back to where they were before. After much measuring and drawing on grids, I've come up with two possible options:

A. Rearrange six rooms in my house.

B. Bulldoze everything and start from scratch.

B might actually be the easier option.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Photo Test