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All Things EARTH... part 2


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What a beautiful room Laurie! Those curtains really are nice. I just love the pattern so much... And that window...OMG...really lovely room. I know you are redone the seating and that looks really nice. The chairs especially look comfy. I like the higher backs and they seem to curve around a bit. Really nice. I've been looking at a lot of chairs lately and those are really nice...not too big nor too small.


The color is great...you have really accomplished that fresh feeling you were going for IMO.


I agree with Sally...the new table blends in wonderfully with the older table you have. 


We're moving forward again finally with the whole pantry addition. I think the motivating factor was when we gave ourselves permission to break things up in a way that normal people might not...but it's working. We're tackling what needs to be done with the scaffolding around the new pantry first...and then DH can continue with the pantry framing etc. So I've done the skip trowel texture and primed. Next is the color coat and the first coat for that will be tomorrow.


I did one of the 3 sides of a window with the new bullnose corner bead. OMG...for a reno it's more challenging...it requires so much mud to install...as I was doing it, I was thinking to myself...WHY? Why do I want this? But I got it up and it is so much nicer than the old corners. My windows don't have any casing or trim...only dry wall...and that is 30+ years old so this is a major improvement actually. I just have to get motivated to do the other two sides! The biggest difficulty is that I have to use 45 minute joint compound which has to be mixed up right before you use it...and that's a bit of a PITA truth be told. It's the next thing on my list though...


The window and the outside corner on an adjacent wall...these two walls are the next ones to get the new texture and paint color while DH moves forward with the framing and the sheetrock and all that entails.

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I think it is such a good feeling when you get a room the way that you want it to be, and it is so much more rewarding when you know the hard that went into it.


I think one of the things with this room that I really like is how my husband and I together talked about the different things and chose together.  I know that he loves it as much as I do.  we were just sitting in there a moment ago, enjoying the room.


Those chairs...they are so comfortable, and such a good size.  The rounded back just has a way of holding yo in the right spot.


Anita, I look forward to pictures.  I think I mentioned it to you, but I enjoyed visiting my sister-in-law in Florida, and the overall feeling of her home there.  It was a departure from her home here, but it had her stamp all over it.  She is an independent thinker, and her decorating has always reflected that she puts things together that she wants, and she knows how to make it all tie in.


It's always fun to see how things come out.  


How is your weather foe all of you?  I mentioned it has been cold but mostly very little snow, which is surprising here.  I heard the Dallas area got very cold last week.  It is snowing very lightly right now, and I don't believe it is expected to continue.  We may get a storm this weekend.  Sounds like a good weekend to finish some projects here at home!


I think it will be interesting to see when things will be more....normal.  Like, when will we be able to go to a basketball game or a Red Sox game?  Take a cruise.  My cruise is scheduled for just after Thanksgiving, so I am thinking I will be fine.  That is a not for quite some time though.  Depending on how things go, it will be nice to see if we can plan something out sooner.


Usually at work, everyone is handing me their vacation requests for the year for me to sort through.  This year, I have one so far.  That's it.  I think it is because no one really knows when they will be able to travel, so they want to wait and see.  Some of my time is going to be used for working in the house but if we are able to travel or even if we can both be off together for some little day trips, that would be great.  

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Melody...100% it will be worth it. Sometimes I do question if I go a bit overboard...and that's why I was questioning myself...but I'm loving everything. I got the first coat of color on today. DH and I both LOVE the color and how it looks in our space. I was using a slim LED flashlight clipped to a baseball cap bill today to paint...the lighting wasn't awesome and I saw using a headlamp as a recommendation, especially for cutting in and giving it a go...I have to say...very helpful. But pictures weren't coming out awesome...hopefully there will be some sun tomorrow for a better photo. Second coat tomorrow.


Our weather has had a few cold spells. I think the house got down into the 50s and so we actually had to turn on the heat. We wake up to a cool house now...usually in the 60s and it might warm up to about 71 inside...and often it is a bit warmer feeling outside in the sun. The house is definitely colder than the apartment.


I would say that DH and I make decisions together...if we can go shopping together, then we both pick things out...but if it is internet shopping, then I narrow down the options first. DH doesn't really do research for things related to the interior of the house too much. He's not very picky though...and generally we like the same things and are attracted to the same styles...so we don't have to deal with compromise really because we usually agree.


I'll say that I'm absolutely loving my Dickies brand overalls. So convenient for doing all these house projects...

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Florida has had cold and crappy weather . I feel sorry for all the people who came for the sunshine because it has been chilly for most of January . On Monday I had my house deep cleaned . A crew came and did a fabulous job on all the areas you get to but they got to better .It is so nice to have a sparkling house . I should have been doing this for years . Our big project last year was we redid our elevator . We live in an elevated house 18' up so an elevator is necessary for loading groceries etc. Ours had gotten old and fidgety so we replaced it . Major expense but a big selling point . 

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Sally...amazing how our environment can lighten our mood! Are you still getting geared up to sell your house? Are you hoping to still live on the bay?


It's still overcast today but I grabbed a photo when the light was a bit more intense:




So...this new dry wall is where the new corner style walk in pantry will be. The ceiling is 14' tall at the peak...you can just see the kitchen cabinets on the left which present their own challenge for accessing that 14' ceiling above. Meanwhile, I can use our scaffolding to treat the wall above the pantry while the pantry framing isn't there. This is all those dominos in a row...


I couldn't do the inside of the pantry wall because the side walls don't have sheetrock and so the inner corners can't be taped yet...and until that happens...I can't really do the texture... After the second coat though...DH can install the framing for the pantry and then progress with final electrical wiring (we're adding one more outlet to the pantry itself), sheet rock, tape, mud...then I can go back and do the texture, prime and paint...


Meanwhile...You can just see the white joint compound towards the right...that is the left side of the window...that is where I have installed the first leg of the new bullnose corner bead. After I install the top side and the right side...and another corner going into the room...I can texture and then prime and paint the window wall and the adjacent wall.


Maybe by then, DH will have finished the pantry framing/sheetrock to the point that I tackle that and the freestanding wall...also on the yoga room side.


If that is not ready for me...then I'll start to tackle the other half of the big cathedral wall above the kitchen cabinets.


All the walls will be done eventually...it's just a matter of the order of work.


Once DH is done with his part of the pantry...we'll decide if he starts tackling an outdoor project or the hall bathroom project. He generally does the technical work...the brute force work...and I do the more artistic finishing type work.


Meanwhile...the design of the pantry shelves are my project. I'm reluctant to get too detailed in those plans until the space has sheet rock and I can really test out the space. I want to see what is visible from where...and how easy it is to access the sides, etc. I'm gathering ideas though... 

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Anita, I’m glad you’re taking ‘as you go’ pictures. 

our March cruises (that we cancelled in December) officially cancelled this week. Celebrity has cancelled through end of April & summer in Med is off. I’m hoping the cruise industry can survive!

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44 minutes ago, awhfy said:

Anita, I’m glad you’re taking ‘as you go’ pictures. 

our March cruises (that we cancelled in December) officially cancelled this week. Celebrity has cancelled through end of April & summer in Med is off. I’m hoping the cruise industry can survive!

I can not see how it can survive after all this . It will probably be a lot different than what we were used to. I really miss movie theaters . My favorite theater shut down with no sign of reopening .

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I'm glad you are liking my play by play Melody! LOL. DH completed the framing construction this weekend. He still has to shoot it into the slab. Literally...he is going to shoot it into the slab. There's a tool out there called Ramset that is basically a 22 caliber gun that shoots up to 3" nails to secure the framing on our concrete slab. Here's the dry fit preview on the pantry:




This is really the way this pantry should have been from the beginning. It's hard to believe that it wasn't because it fits so perfectly...it's not a struggle to fit the transformation into the space.


The plan for the little bit of wall that is there on the outside of the pantry is to turn it into a coffee station. This is also where Grace kitty has her food...so my thought is to get something that is like a sideboard buffet thing with legs tall enough that her food can still be under it. I'd like one long drawer for utensils and related items...maybe tea bags too. And then two deeper drawers under that...one for kitty related items and one for coffee related items. We put in the double outlet there so that the Keurig and the espresso maker can stay plugged in and there is the additional outlet for the coffee bean grinder and the frother. 


Above the coffee station is where I am planning on moving the drinking vessels. I have some crystal and everyday glasses and cups that all used to fit into one tall cabinet in the apt. I think I'd like a glass cabinet...at least glass doors. And I'm very curious about the idea of the horizontal cabinets where the door lift up instead of swing out doors. 


Sally...our one local movie theater has been up and open. We went a couple times. I'd like to go see the WW 1984 but haven't quite figured that out yet. The times aren't working with our schedule. That movie is so long and I don't want to go if there are too many others in the theater. I wanted to go around the holidays but I wasn't willing to sit with more than a couple other people and a lot of people were going then. 


I received a survey the other day about some concert and movie attendance ideas. One concept for the movie theaters is a membership type model where you purchase different levels which entitle the member to however many movies each week or month. I'm guessing that the membership model is something that the entertainment industry is toying with as a means to get a steady influx of cash. My guess is that they are basing it on the fitness center/gym model where the membership far exceeds capacity but for whatever reason, the entire membership never shows up at the same time so that isn't an issue.

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I had a birthday surprise (5 days early) yesterday. All 3 of our kids got together & decorated the front of our house. It was Ike a scene from Up! Great day, first time we’ve all physically been in the same room for over 2 years. My heart is very full Melody






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Anita , I love how the pantry is turning out . I especially love the coffee corner . What a great idea ! I am sure you will find the perfect cabinet for that area.

Melody , Happy Birthday ! I love how your kids decorated your house .


We have been having constant cold weather . It may finally warm up this week . I am so sick of the few winter things I own.

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Anita!  You don’t know me but I have followed this for years.  My husband and I are here in Florida, actually around Ormond Beach right now.  I know you live around here someplace ad just wanted to say hello!



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Anita, I really like how your pantry is coming out.  Seeing it is really helpful to me.  Like the others have said, the coffee area is perfect.  I would totally do the same thing.  


And we do need those feeding areas for the furry family members!  I kind of wish we had the dog stuff tucked away a bit.  My grandson is fascinated by their water bowl, especially when it is filled up.  We clean up a lot of water, lol.


We went out on Monday to Lowe's to get a formal estimate on the area rug.  When we were there, we realized that we really weren't thrilled with the color choices.  Instead of going to Home Depot, where we saw the color we liked, we decided to go to a local carpeting place instead.  I am very glad we did.  They have a large selection of remnants, sorted by size.  We decided to start there since they were well discounted, and we found one that we both liked.


In my head, I was attracted to those jute and sisal rugs I was seeing, because I love that organic, natural look.  But those can be pretty rough, and sometimes they shed a bit.  On the flip side, those shaggy rugs can feel heavenly, but the look didn't seem to go with the room at all.  So what I ended up with was what I would call a more "normal" carpet.  It was soft, but doesn't have a pattern to it.  We got a pad to go under it, so it feels really good underfoot.  The color is called caramel.  


The weird thing is that I really can't see it exceptionally well.  We picked it out Monday, and they had it ready the next day.  It's dark when I leave in the morning, and dark when I get home.  I have lamps in that room, but no overhead light.  So I will tell you all my final thoughts this weekend, when  can see it in daylight!    Seriously though, it seems to fit the room well.


And the dining room drapes are done. 🙂


Next I will be recovering the kitchen chairs.  You may recall  decided to use the same fabric as I did in the dining room.  My husband is also working on the trim we need to finish up and it is really coming along well.  Slow but steady progress!


I am thinking more and more about planning out something additional for this year as far as traveling goes.  I know we are a ways off from normalcy, and paying for another cruise this summer as well as the one at holiday time just isn't in the cards.  I would love some budget friendly, but warm and fun too.


I have a booklet sitting on my desk here for traveling to Vermont.  While it isn't a beachy type of vacation, it will be warm if we go in the summer?  I was there once for a long weekend, and we had a nice time.  There was a mansion we visited, a teddy bear factory, the Norman Rockwell Museum and the Ben and Jerry's factory.  We were with a group at the time, but we could go and stay wherever we want so I think it would be fun to look into.

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Anita, so glad you posted that picture of you in the new pantry. It now makes sense to me- I guess I needed a visual! You are doing a great job with all the remodeling. Your coffee corner will be perfect and Grace Kitty will love that it is her corner too!


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Laurie, Vermont has some truly beautiful scenery. We spent a lot of time in the mountains back in our ski days, and we did a fall foliage road trip one year. If you like covered bridges and picturesque towns, you will like it a lot.


Perusing the latest catalogs:


I like this tunic in Basil and Clay



Cozy sweatshirt, so nice to find a brown:


https://www.coldwatercreek.com/sleepwear-and-loungewear/quilted-pullover-sweatshirt/17909.html?q=quilted pullover&dwvar_17909_config=M


Dark Balsam:




This flax color is very pretty:

https://www.coldwatercreek.com/sweaters/cap-sleeve-sweater-tee/12486.html?q=cap sleeve&dwvar_12486_config=M



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I'm in love with these cotton capri pants, but how to choose?




I really liked this dress until I realized where the roses are:




Pretty green blouse:




This made me laugh:




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I’ve not shopped a lot at Coldwater Creek (even when they had a store front) but I really like those tops, great colors...not tgat I need anymore clothes!!!  My mission this winter (since we’re not traveling till we get the vaccine) is to really downsize my closet as I’m really tending to wear the same few outfits. Melody

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Laurie...I'm looking forward to seeing a photo of your new rug! I understand wanting to wait for good lighting...being able to get a good picture to share. 


I haven't been around the Northeast much, but I'm betting that Vermont in the summer would be lovely. Somewhat similar to when Margaret went to Pittsburg...and based on my experiences living in the various places I have...every place has something to recommend it. You can find fun and interesting sites...beautiful sites in just about every place. I bet you could have a very nice little getaway.


The same thought is why I did an impulse buy on some magazine...I can't recall even right now, but I think it was a Southern Living special edition on things to see and do in the South. I think there is a whole lot of local tourism that could be a wonderful break.


Margaret...a lot of good choices there. If I were in the market for any clothing, I might be tempted. I'm totally NOT though. All my focus is on house projects and trying to squeeze myself as a project in there as well. I need some self improvement more than new clothing.


Sharon...picture is worth a thousand words right? LOL.


Speaking of...we've been busy and here's the latest. The pantry is framed...sheetrock is up...and we've begun the mud. This view is the one I see walking into my kitchen from the utility room which is where the garage enters our home. Please ignore the dishes on the counter!




No...I haven't yet removed the protective wrap on the dishwasher...LOL. You see how difficult it would be to do the wall above the pantry with it all framed out and sheet rocked...no way the scaffolding could get in there.


Alternate view...with DH finishing up the little strips on the top of the new pantry wall.




This is the view that is from the family room side. There's my up and coming coffee/kitty corner. The other side of this partial wall is the room I call the yoga room...that technical formal dining, could better be described as flex space that will be used for indoor exercise and open space.


Today I measured the finished results of the pantry. The most important thing was that we get that angle at 45 degrees, because we plan to install the floor tile on the diagonal...if those angles weren't in sync, it would have made me crazy. So the back wall is 55'' and the side wall (partial wall) is just under 60". The depth on the installed cabinet side is just over 26" and it's just over 21" on will be a coffee station side. A lot of room to work with. I got the graph paper out...drew it out...measured a bunch of my appliances, etc., and things to go into the pantry and will be working on the plan for the interior. I've spent so much time on Pinterest looking at ideas.

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It is fun to see all the fresh new living spaces coming to life. My apartment projects are mostly maintenance and cleaning. Yesterday I deep cleaned my microwave and ended up knocking the glass turntable to the floor. Fortunately it's easy to replace. After being back here for a bit, it was also time to re-organize the cabinets where our food supplies are. I don't always see what's lurking in the back of the higher shelves, so it felt like inventory time.


Our current #1 issue is that our only car died this week. Fortunately we have a rental place that we can walk to, so on Wednesday we rented a car and did some shopping. We had done our deep research on the internet already and focused on two vehicles. We have decided on the Mazda CX-5. For us it's always a compromise between the size of our parking space (small) and the length of DH's legs (tall). He always needs to do the butt test and see if he fits!  All that remains before we can do the deal is to get past the big snowstorm coming on Monday and somehow get rid of our old car, which is stuck in our spot. We are very relieved to be here in the city this time where we can get around various ways without a car. Although it's too cold to go out!!


Because we only have one car and we keep them for a long time, believe it or not this will only be the 4th time we've bought a car. So, it is a big deal for us and requires lots of thought. :)


On the fashion front... since I've wanted something red in my wardrobe, I just ordered these:








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Margaret, you are finding a lot of nice things lately!  I was thinking about how different it must be for you.  Not needing work clothes, and needing more stay at home clothes is a switch.  


I think about that a lot lately.  My husband often discuss the future, and we've been focused on saving for retirement as well as getting things done at home.  I will be 56 this year, and my husband turned 59 a few weeks ago.  It's interesting because I don't really know what exactly my retirement age will be.  If I could choose simply based on what I want, I would say 60.  It's been rough for me for a while at work, and I just feel....ready.  


just over 4 years would give me time to consider the changes I want to make in general.  


Financially though, it will be longer.  How do we know when we've saved enough?  How do we know how much we need?  The reality is that it will be between 6 and 9 years, or between 62 and 69, unless something changes.  Our mortgage will be paid in full in 5 years.  Our progress on things such as emergency funds and being debt free (just household expenses and vehicle(s)) should be complete as well.


I have read that I would need 85% of my current salary.    It certainly is something to think about!


Have any of you had issues with allergic reactions to your shampoo and conditioner?  A few times last year, I had an issue when coloring my hair.  I have more recently stopped coloring it for this reason, and because I like the idea of not putting all those things on my scalp.


About a month or so ago, I started using Hair Food products, which are free of dyes, sulfates, parabens, etc.  Then about a week ago, my scalp felt itchy.  My husband said it was probably from the cold and I do wash my hair daily so dry scalp is certain an option.  In the past few day though, it has been much more uncomfortable, and it was very noticeable when I had my hair up for the gym.  


So I need to figure out how to calm it down and what to use going forward.  It's just weird that the culprit could be something that is more natural as opposed to something filled with chemicals.  Two of my nieces and my daughter told me to buy Shea Moisture shampoo, and interesting enough, they didn't know each other was using it.  I'm going to pick some up but I would really love to here if any of you have had this issue.  Melody, I think you have?


I've always had issues with skin sensitivity, but never on my scalp before.


If anyone is looking for bras, they had some great buys on clearance when I was on their site a few days ago so I ordered a few.


My husband and I have been talking about the board and batten for the den again.  We did some precise measuring, and started to plan it out on graph paper.  It is challenging.  The room is small, and when you walk in, there is a window straight ahead.  It isn't centered.  That means that the vertical boards are not symetrical under the window.  It also means that with the spacing we wanted, it wasn't going to look correct.


We went back and readjusted the spacing, and while we think it looks much better.  We had to actually go with the boards closer together and use 2 inch wide boards instead of 3.  We are now seeing what happens when we turn the corner to the next wall!   We are going to use painter's tape and lay it all out so we can be sure before we work on it.  The actual process of installing it is easy, once you get the layout figured out.


I should add that we didn't show the outlets on our graph paper, so that can throw it off again.  That is why I want to lay it out with tape first.  We don't have to do this, but we have been talking about it for a long time, and after I got the chair and curtains for the room, I saw a picture with a dark blue wall and white board and batten going up about 5 1/2 feet and it was so nice.  I've been thinking about it since, and we really want to do this.  I hope we are able to figure it out.  I spend a lot of time in here so I would love to get it spruced up.  If I didn't do this, I would really need to figure out what another option would be.

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