Saturday, July 25, 2015

Just Add Cat

So, I may have jumped the gun on something. 

Before I have finished unpacking... Before I've refinished all the furniture or have gotten things totally organized and settled... I went and invited this little furry turd to come live with me.

"Oh, furry turd?! Kim, you're so cruel!"

Yeah, yeah... she's cute in pictures, but let's run through her first night here.

  • 11:00 pm: Lights out.
  • 11:01 pm: Repetitive meowing from Cat.
  • 11:02 pm-4:00 am: Horrendously repetitive meowing/squawking/live exorcism taking place out in the Florida room.
  • 4:01 am: Human worries for the sleep of the entire neighborhood, slams both doorwalls shut and chastises, "Now NOBODY gets to enjoy the fresh air!!!"
  • 5:00 am: Cat scales every piece of furniture in the living room.
  • 6:30 am: Cat discovers alarm clock on nightstand. Human fears her stepping on the "alarm off" button and deactivating it. But, Human needn't worry about waking up, because Human hasn't fallen asleep yet.
  • 8:30 am-5:30 pm: Human is excessively grumpy due to lack of sleep and manages to avoid most human contact for an entire work day. Forgets the word "brass" at one point and refers to it as "the one that's like gold, but uglier. I forget the word. I just said in two minutes ago, but can't think of it now. You know..."

In Cat's defense, Human may have provided cat nip right before bedtime...

Day Two went a little more smoothly. She didn't greet me when I got home and was hiding under the bed. She still hadn't eaten, but there were signs of piddle in the litter box.

Night Two was a total 180. She stayed out in her favorite spot (kitty condo in the FL room) for what sounded like (or I should say, "lack of sounded") the entire night.

By the time I got home on Day Three, she had made herself at home. Food, eaten. Water, drunken. Litter box, pooped in. We were in kitty business!

That's not to say it's a perfect arrangement. We've had alot of "Seriously?!", "What?" conversations.

Like when she...

Climbs things:

Hogs the couch:

Climbs more things:

Impedes with my morning process:

I cannot go to work looking like that!

Last minute addition, from ten minutes ago.

I've been reintroduced to cat allergies that have laid dormant for the past five petless years. I've added extra chores to the daily list. She's decided it's fun refrain from retracting her claws when she walks, so she goes around the house sounding like steel velcro as she crosses the carpet... the bed... my brand new couch!!!

She kicks her litter all over the bathroom. Sticks her bumhole in my face as a sign of supposed affection. She gives looks of teenage indifference when I scold her. But, I've found my owns ways to even the scorecard:

I've had passing thoughts of, "What have I gotten myself into?", "Do I want to spend the next twelve years of my life itchy-eyed, snotty-nosed and incapable of breathing?", "Is she too old to be declawed? If so, can I have her feet amputated?", "Do I really want to be a mom?", "Would they take her back if I ask?"

But, as I was laying in bed this morning, in comes Cat. Steel velcro prancing across my new bedding. She mewed for breakfast and I tried to forcefully hug her to buy a few minutes. She pulled away, stuck that bumhole in my face, then proceeded to purr and rub her head all over me as I pretended to be sleeping. 

She climbed across my legs. Hugged her side against mine. Purred to almost pornographic degrees. Then took a lap across my nightstand and quietly lied down. She'd decided I could sleep. She would allow it.

She reminded me exactly of myself when I'm not the hugger, but the huggee.

And, I too, like to keep my own schedule. I too, would rather hide under the bed some days. I like to go where I want, when I want. I like to act like I own the joint wherever I go, 'cause it makes me feel comfortable. I too, invoke "Seriously?!" in others, and reply with my own "What"s.

She's independent. Sassy. Loves fiercely once she decides you're worthy of her love. Is affectionate on her own terms. Loves to sleep. Is thoughtful when it counts. And, is silly as can be. Wait a second... this cat is ME. I can't get rid of me!

In other words, she's a keeper. Seriously.

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Kitchen

Three words about my kitchen: 1.) Skinny, 2.) Boring, 3.) Wallpaper.

This scrawny galley kitchen was the room I least wanted to spend time in and most wanted to touch when I moved in. (Then, the idea of peeling wallpaper made me not want to touch it at all, but just wake up one morning to find it magically renovated.)

Once I started adding my own stuff to it and the new appliances arrived after the Fridge Ordeal... it's starting to grow on me.

I reminded myself it could be worse. It could be any of the other kitchens I visited while house-hunting. If there must be wallpaper, at least it's a neutral color. If there must be boring peel-and-stick tile, at least it's in the same matching neutral.

I don't know why I originally hated the stainless steel backsplash so much. (I have an unpopular theory that stainless steel will become the Harvest Gold of the 2020's and have been avoiding it in exchange for the ever-okay white.) But, now that my stuff is in there, I realize the wall plays well with the metallic features of my small appliances.

All in all, the kitchen is still not my favorite room. But, it ain't so bad.

My favorite thing about this room:

Crockpot by Crockpot, purchased at Target
Red outdoor rug, also from Target
Adorable breadbox, by Waverly. Purchased at
Yellow tinted Bell jar from JoAnn Fabric. Spatulas from here and there.
(Here and There is not a store, by the way.)

This once boring room is all about the little things that give it some graphics and its pop of color. My favorite Crock Pot. The perfect red rug that happens to match my adorable breadbox. (Psst... it's an outdoor rug, purchased from Target's patio section clearance. 50% off and I can spill on it and much as I plan to!) Not to mention the new oven and fridge that actually work and are not in danger of imploding at any given moment.

Just don't ask about my dishwasher that, turns out, has not one inch of metal to it.

What this room will be used for: It's amazing how much I drift through this hidden corner. I planned on only spending about 1% of my time in the kitchen. But, it turns out, being hypoglycemic, I eat alot more than I'd like to admit. (Time to gain some of that weight back!) Not to mention the time spent chasing my nephews out of the cookie cupboard. Plus, it's where I stash the tools, scissors and batteries. My kitchen's work is never done!

One more use for the kitchen. Adoption news, coming soon!
What I'd still like to do with this space: Tear out that wallpaper! My original design plan involved white subway tile on both of the length-running walls, walnut floors and some paint. But, now that the stainless steel backsplash on the oven wall is growing on me, it may be more cost-effective to just add a matching backsplash on the opposite wall as well. (Half the work, half the price!)

I also want to paint a chalkboard wall on the narrow wall in the back. But, for now, this will have to do!

Notice last item on the shopping list. Check!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

I Ache!

Spoiler alert! The living room is partially done.

There's not an inch of my body that hasn't been aching in the past week!

I creak, I pop and I grunt like an 80-year-old man with every movement. I moan every time I rise from a chair and my joints mimic rust each time I sit back down. My skin feels like sandpaper and looks even worse!

Good news is, it's because moving day happened 8 days ago. Yay!!!

Bad news, my pale skin managed to bump into every box, piece of furniture and appliance that made its way up those three flights of stairs.

Lest ye forget...

I've got cuts in places I don't remember scraping and so many bruises that, when I catch a glimpse of myself in the shower, I look like a breathing Rorschach test! I was worried, for a split second, that the veins in my hands were showing signs of cardio distress... only to realize it was remnants of teal paint.

Then there was all the squatting, bending and reaching involved with painting the bedroom as well as various pieces of old furniture that just didn't look up to snuff in the new place.

Oh well. I ache, therefore I mortgage.

In other moving news... I sleep like a baby in the new place!

I credit it to the open door wall, providing a pleasant summer's breeze. The calming shade of Salzburg Blue (Benjamin Moore #755. Two thumbs up!). The luxe caress of brand new bedding.

The only time I haven't slept like a baby here is when the neighbor's infant decides to change the definition of that phrase.

I should count my blessings, though. If you must share a bedroom wall with a crying baby, thank my lucky stars this one's not a screamer. His (Her?) cry is more of the "Coo... coo... wa-ah.. [sigh]" variety. The real entertainment starts when its Middle-Eastern father appears to sing it back to sleep.

I may learn a foreign tongue, if for no other reason than to decipher the soothing phrases that lull the little one back to slumberland. Is it an immigrant's lullaby, passed down through his ancestors? Or, is he just gently threatening the babe with sweetly sung consequences of being awake at such an hour? (♫"Little one, don't you know, I wake in four hours to earn you food to eat? ♪ Shush your mouth, close your eyes, and just...)

Reason Two to become bilingual: To get a better grasp on what he and his wife are bickering about at equally late hours. If I must hear it, at least grant me the ability to pick sides!

After a good night's sleep, on the weekends, I always enjoy my breakfast in (one of the few completely finished rooms) my Florida Room. A routine I pictured even back in the house-hunting phase.

I woke up like this. Sorry you had to find out!
A toasted Eggo tastes extra filling out there while I spy on the neighbors and watch birds commit unintentional suicide one-by-one as they fly into my floor-to-ceiling windows. (I swear, its like the Hale Bopp cult of sparrows around here!)

Then, it's always back to the boxes and their reciprocal paper cuts. It may ache for a short while, but it's no death-by-plexiglass!

Slowly but surely, this condo is becoming a home. [Insert smiley emoticon that Blogger's template doesn't support.]

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Bit 'n Pieces

I'm now at the stage where I don't have another completed room to share with you.

It's that odd limbo that happens between appliance deliveries, cable hookups, uHaul rentals and finishing up with a spackle and paint job.

I've spent the last two days supervising a carpet install, making lists, scheduling services and bringing lightweight bits and pieces out of storage, while waiting on my stronger-than-me helpers who are coming to my rescue later in the week.

All while nursing a pulled hip. (Don't ask! It's a non-juicy story whose setting can be found at Ikea.)

I've got carpet! (And, way too frizzy of hair to be posing for this...)
Carpet by Home Depot. They were incredible!

While I keep you waiting on the next room, here's some favorites of my "bits 'n pieces" that have made their way home, so far:

Hepburn graffiti print:

Canvas print purchased at Veramar Arts at

I always thought that Holly Golightly could have been alot nicer to Cat, so this revenge piece has me completely enamored with it! 

The best part is, I hung it just so that when you stand facing my hallway, it looks like she's being dragged away to her doom.
Disclaimer: I absolutely love Audrey Hepburn.

I've got my towels back! 

Most towels from Target. T.P. too, if you're interested!

This is definitely the stage of the "little things". I've been using the same three borrowed towels for the past year, while mine set sat buried in storage. They're not new. They're the same ones I'd been using, wearing out, and replacing for the last decade or so. But, they're back! And, they're mine!!!

Living Room Curtains:

Patterned curtains from
Sheer curtains from Kmart
Double curtain rod from Bed Bath Beyond
Cubed storage (that's not staying there) from Target
Chair from

I've been dying to add some privacy to my doorwall all week, but was waiting on the carpet to hang the curtains.

The day finally came to hang these pretty teal things up and whoops! As you can tell, I only had half as many panels needed to fill this 125 inch-wide space. Total user error on my part when ordering. And, they sat, undiscovered, in their shipping packaging for over a month before I bothered taking them out and having a look. The other half is on its way! (Thankfully, they still had this color and pattern in stock!)

Today, I also spent way too many hours running around town trying to find the perfect pair of plain white sheer panels for the curtain rod's second layer. Every store in town was super fancy with their patterned sheers, textured sheers, colored sheers, pre-crinkled sheers (why?!). But, I could not find a plain white pair in the entire metro area to save my life!

Finally, I just happened to drive past a Kmart store. (Yes. There's still at least one left in existence!) I thought, "Well, I'll kick myself if I don't stop in and later find out they had them." Sure enough, there they were. I got two 60 X 84" panels for $5.99 apiece. Score! 

New chairs:

Both chairs found at

Both purchased to be used at a desk (one in the bedroom, one in the living room.) But, I'm tempted to just place them in the epicenter of the joint to be stared at like the pieces of art that they are.

My favorite!

Disney wall:

Replications of vintage Disney posters
found at

I hang prints of vintage Disney World and Disneyland advertising in my cubicle at work. I love them so much that I've always planned on buying more and having a feature wall in whatever place I ended up buying. (And, they're beyond inexpensive. We're talking $5-10 each! Then, I just used basic frames purchased at Michael's to hang them in.*)

These are in my dining room. Now that I've temporarily placed my favorite chair in there and snapped a photo, though, I'm tempted to turn the room into a library/office instead!

Alas, I already have a hand-me-down dining set that I'm committed to (and frightful of) refinishing. But, I will do the deed! The deed will be done!

And, I'll be sure to blog it once I've made a mess of things.

*If you're planning your own feature wall, be careful to check the poster sizes before piecing together your collection. Several different vendors sell these and I almost ended up with a couple that were and inch or two smaller than the rest of my set!