0

Ok, Part 5 of the Dumpster Diaries: One step forward, two steps back… the back room AND upstairs kitchen today

I am just going to call this ‘part 5’, no point in getting OCD about it at this point…

As we were cleaning/tossing out/removing things from the back room, we realized that we had no place to put the clothes and dressers unless we cleaned out the upstairs kitchen… so he went upstairs and removed some of the bigger pieces of furniture. It’s still not empty upstairs, but it’s much better. We have a friend coming to haul the appliances away tomorrow (hopefully).

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yeah, it’s looking trashed again… but it’s actually more organized than before

I know we’re making progress, but I cannot help but feel like we’re taking 2 steps back for every step forward.

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Me: “Why haven’t you thrown away that old leather chair?!” R: “I didn’t know you wanted to throw it away” Yeaah- it’s ALL GOTTA GO!!

The back room is back to being a jumbled mess again. We emptied boxes, threw away at least 10 garbage bags worth of clothing from that room. I still have MORE CLOTHES to go through, believe it or not.

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oh… THAT’S where this pair of Louboutins went… *sighs*

it's incredible what one can find in here

it’s incredible what one can find in here

The upstairs kitchen lost antique Hoosier cabinet things, plus a round oak table, and some vintage enameled kitchen tables. At some point R put some plastic shelves up. He is now thinking about buying one of those modular wire closet systems from Lowes, but I think it’s too early for that yet. I need to figure out what to do with all of my Fiesta ware (most of it vintage) and the rest of the actual kitchen stuff that I no longer use. At one time we used both kitchens- don’t ask me why.

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the plastic shelf is new most of this crap needs to GO

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SPILLING into my bedroom now, yikes.

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view from my bed- the closet room transformation will take longer- but we need to focus on just getting a place to PUT our clothes so that we can renovate the back room

The most important part at this point is TO FILL THAT DUMPSTER UP. We need to throw away as much as we can-

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going to have someone haul away the appliances

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oh hey- Trixie, my dress dummy, and my vintage linens. On the floor is my old sewing machine. I have a new one still in the box somewhere.

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part of my (mostly) vintage fiesta collection. I need to do something about this

We’ve decided to keep the dumpster for a few days longer, at least, to ensure everything gets tossed that needs to.

Laundry was started and I need to fold things, but am too tired to go down the flights of stairs to the basement to retrieve the clean things tonight. I am doing huge loads of whites and I probably should go to the store to find blue-ing (it makes yellowed linens a sparkling white), because I ran out.

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22

Dumpster Diaries: More back room madness- and psychological self-realizations about my hoarding problem

I took a nap at 7:30 pm with baby. We woke at 10 and I decided to sneak a few more bags into the dumpster.

my nap partner

Filled an ENTIRE GARBAGE BAG with just BRAS-

How the HELL did I accumulate that many brassieres?!

I didn’t throw away this strange one I bought in Amsterdam over a decade ago. There used to be a little handmade exotic undies shop in the same building as my apartment. It no longer fits me, but it’s a souvenir- of what, I don’t know.

Another bag was filled with flip flops and shoes from at least a decade ago… I still have tens of dozens of more pairs of shoes to weed through. Imelda Marcos doesn’t have anything on me- except that she was more organized and had HELP.

The third bag was just old blue jean mini skirts, probably circa 2008-2009. Some were so short I have no idea how I sat down without my bits and pieces poking out. NEVER wearing that again- some looked brand new- OUT they went.

I found silk duvets and beautiful cotton linens and duvet covers- that had been folded and put into boxes AND SHOVED INTO A CORNER in that back room sooo long ago that I’d forgotten I owned them.

I found over the knee boots, from France, Italy, Spain, Brazil- most of them leather, all of them designer. Circa 2007-2009.

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horrible fashion choices in Oslo, Norway 2003

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Oslo, Norway hotel room- notice my mess already accumulating on desk

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I’m not naturally tidy

I noticed that my expensive clothing collection stops around the same time that I acquired R. I guess having a boy toy vs having nice things isn’t mutually exclusive. After 2010, I started my “Earth Mama” phase. I wore less makeup, became more nature girl.

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Garden and greenhouse 2013

He built all the raised veggie boxes in the yard and installed a small greenhouse for me. We acquired more dogs and I had a baby. I quit going out when I met him and my drinking (which wasn’t a lot before- I am not a big drinker) dwindled to nearly nothing. My house started to get renovated in earnest (he’s big about doing ‘projects’ with me).

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my preferred footwear went from Gucci and Louboutin to grubby macintosh boots

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garden glamma 2013

I remember one year, early in our relationship, when I took him to NYC to meet my ‘famous’ friends. He was not impressed. In fact, he was kind of like the little kid from the story “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. He found them shallow and strange and unreal- totally turned him off. They, on the other hand, LOVED him because he was so ‘strong and silent’- which meant, he didn’t fall for their bullshit.

That opened my eyes, too… in a very good way. I am glad I am throwing most of my past away. There are plenty of good memories, but a lot of them are also painful ones. There’s something really awful about living a life/working in the public eye and around people who only value a person for their body of work and/or BODY/FACE/BEAUTY. It’s an empty existence- like chasing a ghost. It’s only fun until the next party, next show, next role, next next next…

See this book? I'm one of the contributors and have a whole page dedicated to me lol

See this book? I’m one of the contributors and have a whole page dedicated to me lol

Someone wrote to me and wanted to help me eBay my stuff- Nope, no, noooo. If I need, I will do it myself. (I actually was one of the first ambassadors for eBay, many years ago when it first began. I helped write the first how-to use eBay book).

People can dumpster dive my dumpster if they want. They can pick my trash. I’m focused on THROWING THINGS AWAY… nothing else. Holding ONTO stuff, with the intention of selling it later, is one of the reasons why I am IN the situation that I am in now.

Time to feng shui my life. NOW.

6

Part 4 of the Dumpster Diaries: In the back room, where all my embarrassing hoarding issues are exposed to the light of day

About 4 days left- and I've only completed 1/3 of my projects!!!

About 4 days left- and I’ve only completed 1/3 of my projects!!!

I have less than 4 days left of dumpster rental and this endeavor is going at a much slower pace than I anticipated. I am SO frustrated.

Between my health issues (bad back, etc) and my clingy baby and having R away at work til Wednesday, this feels like I am trying to dig out of an avalanche with a teaspoon.

Add to that 2 days worth of personality clashes in my house while we re-adjust to my oldest living back home for the first time in 6 yrs- and a baby who is NOT used to a disrupted schedule and/or people yelling and arguing- and a teenaged boy who’s used to being the ‘oldest’ now and was suddenly catapulted a step down in seniority this week– AND a mother (me) who is on the first day of her menses… well, let’s just say I lost my shit this morning.

Our workloads from having another male in the house have been really tiresome. Getting these men to help out is driving me mad. I feel like I’ve spent 5x the normal amount of time this week washing more dishes or cooking. Something’s got to give.

I won’t go into other details, but let’s just say that disputes and arguments are a huge time waster. Stress begets more stress and it is EXHAUSTING. Thank goodness (knock wood) that’s over with… at least it BETTER be.

Maisie has also been a handful. We need at least one person watching her, while 2 people (minimum) work on whatever section of the house we’re working on.

made 2 loaves of regular zucchini bread

made 2 loaves of regular zucchini bread

My parents dropped off zucchini from my aunt’s garden, so I made 2 loaves of regular zucchini bread and 2 loaves of chocolate pecan zucchini bread.

chocolate pecan zucchini bread

chocolate pecan zucchini bread

Now for my personal shame.

I don’t want to post this, but out of straight up total disclosure before/after-ness, I will.

Most of this can be thrown away and will be

Most of this can be thrown away and will be

My back room is a MESS. Not only does it house old clothes I never wear and cannot fit into, it has my regular wardrobe and whatever catch-all that won’t fit anywhere else- and it’s a hoarder style freaking DISGUSTING JUMBLE.

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horrific

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yeah, that’s a real louis vuitton purse

UPDATE:

Now on DAY 2 of cleaning this back room. We have carted out about 20 garbage bags of stuff and it still has not made a DENT in the pile of shit I need to remove. Morale is at an all-time low. I’m losing my patience and just want to burn the entire thing.

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the tops of these shelves were PILED with boxes of UNNEEDED TRASH- gone now (mostly)

I’ve found tons of (real) designer purses, Christian Louboutin shoes still in their boxes and barely worn, belts and things I haven’t seen in years, you name it. Sewing and sewing machine items just shoved and overturned in the mess. I am going to throw away, wash, give away most everything in that room… mostly, I will toss them. I will start all over again, if need be. I don’t want this happening ever again. I’m done with this kind of crap.

… and I am hoping by publishing these pics, I will always be reminded of this.

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Time Life Books from the 1960s and 70s- GONE

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I can see floor

Without R here to go through HIS things, work is slow going. My back hurts- the baby requires attention and cannot be in this room with me while I go through things. The boys are unable to go through any of this (they can just cart things away to dumpster) because they have no idea what I need to be tossed or kept.

Maisie dancing with her oldest brother- she’s a dancing fool

Tomorrow is R’s day off and I hope we can actually get most of this done. We still have to do the upstairs kitchen, too.

2

Once Upon A Time I used to have what I considered a glamorous life…

early 2000s

early 2000s

I traveled to Europe and Asia and all points in between for work at the drop of a hat.

my former chauffeur, Albert.  Amsterdam @2002-03

my former chauffeur, Albert.
Amsterdam @2002-03

I wore makeup every day, had lovely Great Lengths hair extensions, went shopping and to dinner with friends at FABU eateries. I had the luxury of working out 2-3 hours a day and felt LAZY if I did not. I could take long, hot soak-y baths alone in my tub. I did theater and spent a lot of time in front of a camera. My nails were always painted and mani/pedi’d. My face was carefully botox’d. I was thin (for me).

This was from the Manila newspaper- Lolita Miripuri and me, at some Boy George party in the Philippines @2007

This was from the Manila newspaper- Lolita Miripuri and me, at some Boy George party in the Philippines @2007

None of these things applies anymore.

I am digging through the refuse of my house, hair mussed up with graying roots at least 2 inches long… wearing a SCRUNCHIE and grubby running shorts and tee shirt. I have baby spittle or what have you drying on my shoulder. I have Newfoundland dog slobber drying on the back of my shorts and am covered in dog hair. My nails are ragged and unpolished on my hands- my feet have been haphazardly topped up of color by whatever lacquer I find in the 3 minutes I am using the toilet. A quick shower is an incredible luxury. Makeup ditto.

this is as good as it gets right now lol

this is as good as it gets right now lol

Would I trade this current life (and Maisie) for what I once had?

Nope. No. No way in Hell.

I’m much happier now. I am more relaxed, even if I am far less social. Though I am not happy with how I currently look (who ever IS?), I still feel more satisfaction and content than I’d ever felt before.

this little diva is my entire world <3

this little diva is my entire world ❤

If you would have told me 10 yrs ago that I’d be STARTING OVER as a new mother at 45, I would have laughed in your face. I was a different person 10 yrs ago, 5 yrs ago, 20 minutes ago…

my Maisie

my Maisie

When I look over my shoulder at this sleeping child next to me, I know without a doubt that it’s all worth it.

0

Part 3 of the Dumpster Diaries: The Upstairs Kitchen is a pain in the ASS and there’s now a BAT in the Basement

If you’re just seeing this post for the first time, parts 1 and 2 are here and here.

I live in a 102 yr old house that is long on rooms (7 bedrooms) and short on closet space. It was divided into 2 apartments around 1929 (hello Great Depression) and we’re the first single family to dwell in the house since then. As a result, I have an upstairs kitchen that I really don’t need and a downstairs one. I have an old servant’s bedroom off of the downstairs kitchen that I use as my ‘closet/clothing room’. I need to gut that room and turn it into another office/studio space for my oldest son… and eventually a playroom/tv room for Maisie when he leaves. My master bedroom is directly off of the upstairs kitchen. I want to turn that space into my clothing room. Currently, it is a storage room for forgotten furniture and junk.
 
Woke up at 11:30 am, not exactly bright eyed and bushy tailed… not long after we’d woken up and I’d given the baby her breakfast, people started showing up out of the blue on my porch.

the first batch of Maisie's callers today... this girl has a far busier social life than I ever could!

the first batch of Maisie’s callers today… this girl has a far busier social life than I ever could!

We had about 10 visitors today- Maisie had a fantastic time.

Got her to nap- FINALLY- and thought “wow, ok, time to start on the upstairs kitchen”

Nope. She woke up within 10 minutes of that thought.

Isn't this cute? Apparently a 20 minute nap is all she needs to leave her refreshed and gorgeous. Wish she'd sleep MORE!

Isn’t this cute? Apparently a 20 minute nap is all she needs to leave her refreshed and gorgeous. Wish she’d sleep MORE!

I was informed by R that he heard a squeaking/rustling noise last night in the basement when he went to do laundry. My youngest son confirmed it today when HE went to put clothes into the washing machine.

Great, we have a possible bat in the house. Not the baseball kind, either.

I can't be sure, but this is what I envision in my head to be lurking in my basement

I can’t be sure, but this is what I envision in my head to be lurking in my basement

So I asked my oldest to watch Maisie while my youngest and I did laundry in the basement. I needed the boy with me as a witness just incase I was bitten by something and died of rabies on the concrete floor. Yes, I am a super chicken. I don’t care who knows.

I WISH this was my laundry room, but it isn't- mine resembles a dark, dank, scary dungeon- with squeaky bat noises now

I WISH this was my laundry room, but it isn’t- mine resembles a dark, dank, scary dungeon- with squeaky bat noises now

We did whites. I separated them and added the detergent and bleach while the (almost) 17 year old looked on.

C: “why are you separating the colors from the whites and why are you putting that stuff (BLEACH) in? I just use the soap”

Me: “That’s why your clothes look dingy when you wash them- you’re SUPPOSED TO separate them first and do this

I shook my head at his comment, because I’ve showed him probably 102 times how to separate/wash these clothes. It doesn’t compute in the male mind, evidently.

We didn’t see any bats- but C could hear the squeaking and rustling noise. I am hard of hearing, so I could not.

I figure, if it dies in the ductwork I will have to call someone to clean the ducts- which I’ve needed to do for years. A potentially dead and rotting bat is all the impetus I need to finally call the duct cleaners.

After a couple of loads of laundry, I said screw it and hauled the boy to the kitchen upstairs. My oldest was still watching the little girl for me, thank goodness.

We threw out SIXTEEN huge garbage bags of things and old boxes, etc- and still did NOT MAKE EVEN A DENT in that room!

this was AFTER 12 garbage bags had already been taken out of here

this was AFTER 12 garbage bags had already been taken out of here- the stove will be junked, too.

I have antique furniture stacked in there and there’s no way I can move that stuff by myself. We have boxes of old dvd movies and games- again, this is not my domain. R needs to sort through them.

there is no rhyme nor reason to the 'storage' in this room

there is no rhyme nor reason to the ‘storage’ in this room

I have a fridge and stove in there, too. I will junk the stove- let one of the scrappers take it- and maybe switch out for fridge for one my dad gave me that’s been in my garage for 2 yrs.

this room actually leads to another pantry full of antique linens and antique fiesta ware

this room actually leads to another pantry full of antique linens and antique fiesta ware

I called it a day after we threw out the last 5 bags, etc. I think I will start on my clothing room downstairs (throwing stuff out) tomorrow instead. It will be easier to look after Maisie at the same time if I do that room. All of the things in my clothing room are MINE and I don’t need help with that.

Wardrobe to Narnia. I am half-tempted to go there and leave this hell hole I call a house.

Wardrobe to Narnia.
I am half-tempted to go there and leave this hell hole I call a house.

5

Part 2 of the Dumpster Diaries: Red Room/Office Revamp

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This is how full the dumpster is after 4 DAYS. We can keep it only 6 more days (unless I want to pay an additional 15 bucks a day). I have TWO MORE ROOMS to clean out.

OMG! My house is a CLUSTERF*CK!!!!!!!!

Go to my previous post if you don’t know what’s going on-

My ‘game plan’ for the revamp is this (not in order):

1. we have a 10 day dumpster rental (it was rented last Weds, so we have 7 days left).

2. The ultimate goal is to get the back room turned into a studio for the oldest son- we will have to empty it of my clothing and stuff, drywall and paint, put down carpeting.

3. I had to clean out parts of the basement to make room for extra stuff from the other rooms to be moved into storage there.

4. I have to clean out the upstairs kitchen (which houses stored furniture currently) in order to turn that into the master bedroom’s closet.

5. The “Red Room”/my office has to become my son’s interim office while the remodeling happens.

The rubble in the red room

BEFORE: The rubble in the red room

super cluster fuck before pics

BEFORE: Super cluster fuck

The basement part was carried out on Weds/Thurs. All day yesterday we worked on the red room. We weeded out junk and papers that were no longer needed and threw them away. Walls were scrubbed, furniture polished/scrubbed- the whole 9 yards. My Art Deco burled walnut library table and lamp that I purchased in Paris were spiffied up.

my prized art deco burled walnut library table that I bought in Paris- I love love love this thing so much, but it was hidden under piles of old papers and junk

my prized art deco burled walnut library table that I bought in Paris- I love love love this thing so much, but it was hidden under piles of old papers and junk

The furniture was rearranged to better suit my kid’s needs. My handmade rug from Afghanistan was hung on a line and beaten with a Victorian wire rug beater (which, for some reason, always intrigues the neighbors/tourists/passersby when I have someone beat the carpets- I DON’T know why! We always did this when I was a kid…).

beating the rug

beating the rug

For SUCH a small room, I was shocked at how much crap we had to throw away! It’s just crazy how things pile up.

Most of things disposed of and furniture rearranged

Most of things disposed of and furniture rearranged

We went through every old paper, receipt, scrap and disposed of everything that we no longer needed or used.

Bookshelves moved into place and curtains opened

Bookshelves moved into place and curtains opened

The walls and floors and furniture all needed a good scrubbing. Everything was SO gross. I have neglected this room for 2 yrs (since becoming pregnant and having the baby). The problem (#firstworldproblems) with owning a huge, old house is that it is SO easy to pile junk into a room and close the door/forget about it for a while.

the laser printer and ugly storage things were put into place in the only area that they'd fit.  Bye-bye window for now...

the laser printer and ugly storage things were put into place in the only area that they’d fit.
Bye-bye window for now…

At this point, my stress levels (and everyone else’s) were pretty much at max. We had to drill a hole into the floor to run the ethernet cable to the modem (and fish it out through the basement and back up through an air vent again).

the final result- all of his stuff set up and ready to use

the final result- all of his stuff set up and ready to use

the room is ready- only a zillion more things in the other rooms to do!

the room is ready- only a zillion more things in the other rooms to do!

The end result was worth it- it looks lovely again and no longer like a dark storage hovel. It took me all day, in between doing other stuff, just to finish writing this post!

5

Part 1 of the Dumpster Diaries: Cleaning Out Crap and Redoing a Couple of Rooms.

I rented this 20 yd dumpster today

I rented this 20 yd dumpster

I wasn’t going to so publicly chronicle my cleaning and renovation endeavors, but I was inspired by Brey’s post on her Ordinary Adventures blog, where she started doing the same thing in her loft.

I got a call last week from my oldest son, Sam. He wanted to move back home from Chicago and we have to make room for him/his studio. More on that in my previous post HERE. He’s been gone for about 5-6 yrs, so this is a big deal… I rented a dumpster and the fun is now beginning.

yeah... I can jams and sauces and things, too... what a MESS!

yeah… I can jams and sauces and things, too… what a MESS!

 

this is my basement shame. It flooded earlier this spring and we were unable to do much about it because of the baby and my back until now.

this is my basement shame. It flooded earlier this spring and we were unable to do much about it because of the baby and my back until now.

I am very fortunate to have a 7 bedroom home. It’s over 100 yrs old, but not all the bedrooms have been utilized as such since I bought the house. One room off of the master was converted into a kitchen (when this house was divided into 2 flats in 1929). Another 2 bedrooms downstairs house my office and ‘closet room’ (for my clothes, since this house has very little closet space. I also have a full (and I mean FULL- HOARDERS FULL) basement.

I had 2 SETS- of washer/dryers that no longer worked in that basement. That's FOUR big hunks of junk just taking up room- I gave them to people I know who do scrapping.

I had 2 SETS- of washer/dryers that no longer worked in that basement. That’s FOUR big hunks of junk just taking up room-
I gave them to people I know who do scrapping.

base5

I also had an old art deco buffet that was damaged some years ago by teenagers and dogs- they were gracious enough to haul this away as well.

Sam will be getting the downstairs closet room as his studio- it was originally probably meant as a servant’s room, since it is off the kitchen. It has access to the back door, so it’s the most private room in the house.

He does a live comedy/entertainment show thing on the Internet, so he needs a room specifically as his ‘broadcast’ room.

Before we can even BEGIN on the new ‘studio’, we have to make space in the basement/bleach everything/spray anti-mold crap so that we can store whatever we aren’t throwing out in the ‘clothing room’. Sam still needs to broadcast, so he’s getting my red office room as an interim place to work. The ‘Red Room’ has been basically storage/a catch all for the last 2 yrs as well. We have to work on THAT ROOM before we can even THINK ABOUT cleaning out the other rooms.

an antique psychic carnival sign my friend in Missouri sent to MI for me. I love this thing.

an antique psychic carnival sign my friend in Missouri sent to MI for me. I love this thing.

we're going through every book, scrap of paper, you name it in my office (Red Room) and tossing EVERYTHING that is of no use.

we’re going through every book, scrap of paper, you name it in my office (Red Room) and tossing EVERYTHING that is of no use.

After the Red Room is sorted and cleaned we STILL CANNOT start on the studio. I have to actually go UPSTAIRS and empty the kitchen (and future closet room). It’s currently stacked to the CEILING with antique furniture that can’t go anywhere else. I will probably give a majority of it to my parents so they can sell the excess in their antique store.

see this adorable 10.5 month old with the chewed onion in her hand? She makes work nearly IMPOSSIBLE when she is awake.

see this adorable 10.5 month old with the chewed onion in her hand? She makes work nearly IMPOSSIBLE when she is awake.

Maisie, her onion that she pulled from my garden (she loves onions) and the girl who came with the scrappers, sitting on my lawn.

Maisie, her onion that she pulled from my garden (she loves onions) and the girl who came with the scrappers, sitting on my lawn.

It’s slow going because I have to watch Maisie and she is NOT conducive to productivity at ALL. All the REAL work falls to the males in my household, mostly poor R. The other two (including the person for whom all this is being done) keep running off to nap or hide in their rooms. Unfortunately, R goes back to work Sunday, which means people will need to do their parts and get their asses in gear. I really should’ve done this BEFORE the manny left, but we didn’t know until this week that Sam was moving home.

If we persevere, we MAY finish the red room and the basement this week. Next week will likely be the upstairs kitchen/closet/storage and then clean out the back room/future studio.

I haven’t even figured in the RENOVATIONS I need to do to the back room- the plaster (not drywall) has water damage in the ceiling and wall from previous floods (bathroom and kitchen upstairs). We fixed the bathroom and installed new flooring and toilet last week. The studio will need drywall done over the damaged plaster (thin sheetrock veneer- MUCH easier than gutting the lot). It will need to be painted, the new carpet put in, etc.

LAST week's project: New TEEN PROOF acacia smartcore floors and toilet in the upstairs loo-

LAST week’s project: New TEEN PROOF acacia smartcore floors and toilet in the upstairs loo-

this spare bathroom project took only a day or two... unlike the project I have going now

this spare bathroom project took only a day or two… unlike the project I have going now

ALSO WE MUST get everything tossed within the next ten days, because that is when the dumpster goes back- OR, I COULD PAY *ANOTHER* $400 BUCKS TO RENT IT.

No. Fucking. Way.

In 2 days, this arrives- it’s the new computer desk for the studio that won’t be completed any time soon:

http://www.amazon.com/Walker-Edison-Soreno-3-Piece-Corner/dp/B001FB5LE8/ref=sr_1_2?&s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1437666914&sr=1-2&keywords=desk

His birthday is in a few weeks, so my folks and I also bought Son Numero Uno some studio gear: green screen stand, umbrella lights, clips.

Tomorrow I go to check out a hide-a-bed sofa for the room that god knows if/when it will be completed.

I am kinda freaking out right now. I really am. If this post isn’t edited well, sue me. I’m so damned tired, I can barely type.