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My time has been consumed with painting and working – the week before Mother’s Day was wonderfully, crazy busy!

I’ve painted the entire living room and the hallway a nice cream color called Whispering Wandering Beige – they’re completely done, yay!  I found a couch and overstuffed chair with two matching tables at a nearby thrift store and they look fabulous in my new living room.  I think that all I need in that room now is a TV and lots of plants 🙂

The office walls are now a nice, light blue but I still have to paint the ceiling a crisp, white and then it will be finished.  

The kitchen ceiling has it’s first coat of the WWB but I still have to do the second one to finish it off.  Then the walls between the cupboards and counter will get a sagey green color to be a nice background for my strawberry decor and the cupboards themselves are cheap but dark and look fairly decent so I don’t have to try and make them look pretty until later, much later.  I’m running into a minor delimma because I really want to get blue dishes but I’m not sure if that will go with the strawberry theme and I’ve been collecting strawberry stuff for at least 15 years now… I don’t want to give up either one of them so we’ll see how I can work blue in with green and red, lol.

My friend gave me a washer and dryer and her family brought them over, her husband installed them and made sure they were working which was sooooo nice!  It seems weird how happy having my own washer and dryer makes me and I am so grateful for my friend and her husband!

The bathroom and the master bedroom are untouched by fresh paint as of yet and while I’ve asked my church for help moving my stuff out of the mini storage I haven’t been anywhere near as on top of them to pin down a time and date as I usually am.  I’m even considering not going to church tomorrow if I wake up tired, which will eliminate my touching bases with the pastor’s wife about getting help for moving…

I. Am. Procrastinating.  Yes I am.  Usually I like painting and can just whip out one painted wall after another but this time around it seems to be much more difficult for me.  I think I’m not trying very hard to move because I’ve never lived alone in my entire life and the closer I get to it the more nervous I’m becoming.

I know, intelletually, that being alone and being lonely are two different things.  My counselor has made sure to point it out to me as well.  But aside from one month or so before I got married, in 41 years I’ve NEVER lived alone, how weird is that?  And what on earth am I going to do with myself every night after work?

Sometimes I worry that I am not as brave as I need to be in order to see this whole “single” thing through but moving forward is my only option.  Therefore, I’m going to have to finish my painting next week on my days off so I can move in no later than the end of the month.  I still need a bed though. ugh!

I should probably get a cat.  Actually make that two cats because I’m gone about 11 hours a day when I work and it would probably be better if they could play with each other instead of being bored while I’m gone and shredding everything I own. 

Then again, maybe I should just get a fish…

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So, miracle of miracles, my soon-to-be-ex-husband actually initiated contact with me last week to go to the courthouse and file our divorce paperwork.

After I picked my jaw up off the floor I agreed to meet him on Friday, May 1st for what turned out to be an excruciatingly awkward and uncomfortable morning but at least when it was over, it was over.  He signed the divorce paperwork in front of a notary, we turned it in and they said the judge should sign it and make it official in 4 – 6 weeks.  Then we went to the title company where I signed a quit claim, turning the deed of the house over to him completely and in exchange he gave me one final guilt trip… and a check.

With that check I am moving into a 60 x 14, two bedroom, one bath trailer in a “bad” part of town, lol.  Ironically it is at the other end of a short street from the first trailer home we lived in when we first moved to this town 8 1/2 years ago.

I tried to use the housing voucher but the requirements are so strict I was unable to find housing in the price range and guidelines they set.  If I had one other person with me (like my youngest daughter), we could have easily found housing within the guidelines but as a single person there just wasn’t anything out there.

But in the end I think it’s OK.  I have 840 sq feet all to myself and can paint the walls any color I want, a second bedroom to make into an office/nail room and a little bit of yard that I can fill with plants and flowers to my heart’s content.  There’s new carpet in the living room and the master bedroom and there’s new linoleum in the kitchen.  The fridge is much newer and nicer than I expected and there’s a nice, big space to put a washer and dryer. There’s even a good-sized storage shed that’s included next to the trailer.  The neighborhood seems quiet, it’s on a dead-end street that ends against a steep hill but is only a block from a busy street so it’s easy to get everywhere.  The neighbors I’ve met seem nice and friendly and the landlord was a pleasure to work with.  I think I will do well there!

The down side is that the door to my new home has obviously been kicked in at some point because the deadbolt doesn’t have to be unlocked in order for the door to open and close.  The lock on the doorknob works just fine but I need to find a way to fix the deadbolt and I’m wondering if it would be worth it to change all the locks.  The windows are, well, old trailer home windows and not much better than plastic wrap at keeping the weather in or out.  Every single wall needs to be painted and there are several spots in the floors that will need stabilizing at some point in the near future.

There is so much more to setting up a new home than I expected, wow!  It’s entirely different than just moving with all your stuff.  I have to buy a broom, a mop, cleaning supplies, a thermostat for the furnace, window coverings, a shower curtain, towels, dishes, silverware… the list goes on and on.  But that’s just the little stuff!  I found a living room set at a nearby thrift store so I now have a couch, chair, a coffee table and an end table to go with my piano, bookshelves and computer desk.  The things I don’t have?  Kitchen table/chairs, bed, TV, DVD/BlueRay, tools (hammer, screwdriver, scissors, nails, etc.), plants – I miss my plants – they let them all die after I moved out in January…  Maybe I should start a GoFundMe account for all the little odds and ends of starting a new life, ha, ha!  Nope, I’m a big girl now and am exactly where I want to be so I’ll take whatever people offer me and slowly pick up whatever else I need. But I’m happy with my new home and wanting to hurry up and finish painting so I can move in, hopefully in the next couple of weeks. 🙂

Today I went and saw my case manager and my counselor at the women’s shelter and I found out that I qualify to be part of a housing program!  I’ll find out more at my next appointment a week from now but from what I understand this program will pay all of the deposits required to get into an apartment/home AND my first six months of rent!  It’s a program designed to help women like me get back on their feet and get established in housing they can maintain on their own after the first six months.  I’m so excited!  Now I can look for housing near my new salon and have a place of my very own, yay!

Once that happens I’m going to need furniture, but I’ll cross that bridge when it gets here, lol!

I think deep down inside every woman wants a magazine-perfect home – Picture this:  You walk in the front door and smell a light fragrance that reminds you of spring and burning candles at the same time. Soft light floods each room, revealing the sparkling clean that is everywhere.  In the bedrooms, sheets match the comforters, pillows, bed-skirts, curtains and the area rug.  Bathrooms are painted in soft aqua tones with shells and ocean accents with fluffy towels folded neatly into baskets and smelling as nice as the day you pulled them out of the dryer.  In the Kitchen there are never any dishes in the sink and the refrigerator is full of good, wholesome food that looks  amazing and tastes fabulous. The counter tops are covered in glorious mounds of baked goods that are sinfully calorie laden, created with the express purpose of soliciting complements about what a clever cook you must be to make such exquisite pastries.  Throughout the house are lush carpets with no traffic wear patterns and never need vacuuming, hard-wood floors that never need sweeping yet they are waxed and polished to the point of reflecting your face like a mirror.  All you have to do is float from room to room enjoying the picturesque perfectness and never cast a care to how it actually stays that way because you’re in a magazine home.  This is the modern woman’s fairy tale, eh?

<pause and reflect on what a life might be like if you lived in a magazine-perfect home…okay, that’s enough, now come back to reality>

Real Life is full of my spouse, children and pets making messes everywhere.  Especially messes that smell bad, really bad.  Real Life means the sink – and counter tops – are covered in dirty dishes, the inside of the microwave has spots from things exploding and the bottom of the oven is full of burnt offerings to the gods.  The ‘fridge may be full but everything is sticky from a frozen can of orange juice that leaked all over the shelves and no one ever bothered to wipe up. Also, something has gone horribly wrong in the bottom ‘fridge drawer, aka, the cool box,  and you’ve resigned yourself to waiting for the government to come and clean up the toxic waste.  Until then, nobody in the house is going to touch it for lack of proper gloves and radiation suits.

Real Life means that there is dog hair everywhere and if you are lucky(?) enough to have a large, prone-to-drool dog like we do, there is dog drool everywhere as well.  Dog drool on the walls from when he shakes his head, dog drool on your shoes because he likes to carry them around and dog drool on just about any soft, fluffy thing he can carry around the house with him… and he’s a big dog, there’s not much he can’t wrap his mouth around and cart all over, ugh!

Real Life means that the kitchen table is not used for eating at but for the storage of things like magazines, the mail, a citrus juicer, body lotion, reading books, your daughter’s latest sewing project, a motorcycle helmet, TV remote controls, an old rotary-dial telephone that’s missing its handset, electrical power cords, scissors, a wireless mouse and a set of super-old Tupperware popsicle makers.

Real Life means that there is a huge dog crate in the middle of my kitchen area for a week because we dog-sat for a friend who went on vacation.

Real Life means that we are renting our guest room to a nice, single young woman from church who has her own dog and we find out that neither her dog nor our own recently acquired, super-large dog are entirely house trained.  <rolling my eyes as I wipe up dog pee with one hand and hold my nose with the other>

Real Life means that my home normally operates in Disaster Mode but that it’s always open to others, just as it is.  Those courageous few that dare venture into our home usually leave saying they felt relaxed and at ease with us and they look forward to coming back.

Real Life means that we live with the disaster, the dog hair, the junk food and the cluttered table but we LIVE.  We laugh and play games, watch movies and just enjoy each other company.  We make terrible messes in the kitchen trying out various recipes, most of them completely delicious and therefore bad for us, and when we finally feel like it, we clean the mess up – unless we have company coming over and then we do the famous “Company Clean” dance all around the house, it’s both good exercise and good for our housekeeping!

Real Life means that we’re not perfect and our home will never grace the pages of a magazine but it’s our home and we don’t encourage any OCD behavior by making (housekeeping) perfection a low, low priority.  Our goals are to live and be a happy family together.  There are some people who can do that AND have amazing housekeeping skills but we are not those people.  We are ourselves.  You be yourself too.  Be Real!