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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!

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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.

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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.

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Maisie’s Newest Silver Baby Bracelets from Claire Lush Designs!

New Silver Cuff Bracelets from Claire Lush Designs!

New Silver Cuff Bracelets from Claire Lush Designs!

 

Got more baby jewelry swag in the mail today from Claire Lush Designs!

In today’s package, she received a V-shaped silver cuff and a heavier silver patterned cuff, plus two thin silver cuffs for a friend’s daughter.

They look ADORABLE on Maisie.  I had to move the Puravida bracelets over to the other hand, which is no mean feat when you have a squirming 10 month old.

A happy Maisie with Papa (my dad)

A happy Maisie with Papa (my dad)

My parents were here visiting, so photos were snapped with the kid only in her diaper and jewelry. She’s going through a “MAMAMAMAMAMAMA” phase and doesn’t want anyone but me usually, so it’s a good thing when people visit and she goes to them- gives me a slight break, which I sorely need.  She refused to nap for 2 days and finally went down for one this afternoon.

She only seems to have 2 speeds lately:  “Pick ME UP!” or “DANCE TIME!”

Here is a video of her dancing with my parents in the background:

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Parenting After 40: Nostalgia and Raising Baby on the Front Porch…

View of my hammock and front porch... where we spend most of our time

View of my hammock and front porch… where we spend most of our time

Raising a child these days is so different from when I had my ‘first brood’ of three sons 26-17 yrs ago. Life is so much faster, more ‘plugged in’ than it was when my boys were young.  All of the ‘mommy friends’ I have now are about the same age or a wee bit older than my oldest son. We make playdates, talk online, or text on Facebook. Other mothers discuss phone/tablet apps and other electronic entertainments for their kids- which leaves me a bit overwhelmed. I remember a slower, more face-to-face time- and I miss it.

I live in a huge 102 yr old house on the corner of a semi-busy residential street- not far from the beach and downtown. I’ve owned this house for many years and raised Maisie’s older brothers here. It is always in flux, always in a state of renovation or some sort of pleasant (and sometimes unpleasant) chaos. We have very little yard, so I utilize every square inch of it, gardening even the city tree lawn. I grow veggies in raised beds and roses everywhere else. We own three lazy, gigantic Newfoundland dogs who are always snoring away in some odd corner.

Miss Maisie with Tiberius, one of our newfs.

Miss Maisie with Tiberius, one of our newfs.

My favorite part of this house is the wide front porch-where people who visit sit, smoke (if they smoke, because I don’t allow that in my house), drink coffee, and chat till late in the summer evenings. Maisie plays on it and has a small swing she loves. I have a hammock addiction and hung one in the front, too. I love to lounge with the baby there on warmer summer days.

this is how Maisie meets new friends- she calls out to the moms pushing their strollers down the street...

this is how Maisie meets new friends- she calls out to the moms pushing their strollers down the street…

People ask me why I’d spend so much time in the FRONT of my house, where it is so public… I like people watching (and I also have no backyard to speak of). It reminds me of my childhood, when people were not so hidden away from each other.

sharing bread from the farmer's market up the street with her grandfather

sharing bread from the farmer’s market up the street with her grandfather

My family is loud and friendly and argumentative and we spend most of our summer days and nights out there, probably to the chagrin of our neighbors. Nowadays folks cloister themselves away in their houses or backyards, unless they’re walking dogs or pushing strollers. My family is one of the few in my neighborhood who use their front porch as a living space.

where most of the action happens

where most of the action happens

When I was a child, I grew up not far from where I lived now. In those days, it was common to see people outside on their porches in the evenings. Children played on the sidewalks, rode their bikes.  Parents and grandparents worked in their gardens. Neighbors laughed and talked after supper. Women would hang their wash in the backyards. Everything was noisier and more ALIVE.

I still do most of those things. Most folks do not. It makes me sad.

The stillness and silence of these neighborhood streets is so unnatural to those of us who remember how it used to be.

the town I live in- and where I grew up- circa 1950s-60s.  We used to have a very famous amusement park here.

the town I live in- and where I grew up- circa 1950s-60s. We used to have a very famous amusement park that was torn down in the early 1970s.

Only when our town has festivals or fireworks or something similar does it come alive again. Our population swells with the FIPs (that’s Michigander for “Fucking Illinois/Indiana People) and out of townies who become weekend/vacation residents. A lot of people complain about these times, but I don’t. I love it when I can see humans out and moving and not hiding away inside their homes like Mole People.

Maisie and one of her front porch fashion shows

Maisie and one of her front porch fashion shows

I love raising Maisie on our front porch, watching her try to interact with her grandparents and friends and other family members.  Our world is so different now- people are less connected, more plugged in to the virtual world. I want her to learn to socialize and to say “Hi!” and wave to the folks who pass by on the street. I want my child to understand what life can be without the internet and iPads and all the other things that children these days rely upon for entertainment.

I think this is one benefit of being a mother over 40.  I remember what childhood used to be like and want my daughter to celebrate and enjoy the simpler things- like connecting with loved ones on summer days on a front porch.

Other new parents over 40:

How do you think your parenting style differs from younger parents?  

Feel free to leave a message in the comments section.

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New Silver Baby Bracelets From Claire Lush Designs

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I am so excited! Claire, from Claire Lush Designs, sent this photo of her newest silver baby cuff bracelets!  I can’t wait to see which ones Maisie gets!

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Baby Bling Review: Claire Lush Designs Custom Silver and Turquoise Baby Cuff Bracelet

I’m a sucker for baby jewelry.  My Filipino mother decked me out with bling from the time I popped out of her womb. I actually have worn the same sterling silver bangle on my arm since I was a year old- it’s been on my wrist for nearly HALF A CENTURY NOW.  It used to have designs on it, but it’s since worn entirely smooth.

Maisie has been wearing baby jewelry since birth as well.  One of my friends brought her a gorgeous hand beaded Native American baby bangle when we were still in the hospital.  She’s never taken any of her jewelry off nor had any choking issues.

Closeup of her Claire Lush Designs silver and turquoise custom cuff

Closeup of her Claire Lush Designs silver and turquoise custom cuff

What I am reviewing today is a gorgeous custom made sterling silver and turquoise baby cuff bracelet by Claire Lush Designs.  Maisie is actually now repping this brand, we love it so much!  If you go to her Etsy shop you can order a pre-made bracelet for yourself for as little as $20.00- or get a custom one for your baby for just $35.00!  She also carries an array of other jewelry and is quite talented.

I have been layering her silver bangles with other bracelets and it is such a boho, fun summer look!

Maisie wearing silver and turquoise custom made cuff bracelets from Claire Lush Designs and Puravida Bracelets

Maisie wearing silver and turquoise custom made cuff bracelets from Claire Lush Designs and Puravida Bracelets

Maisie and her bracelets, including her cuff by Claire Lush Designs.

Maisie and her bracelets, including her cuff by Claire Lush Designs.

The artist, Claire, was actually a professional kiteboarder and swimsuit model before she got into silversmithing and jewelry design.

This is the designer and silversmith behind Claire Lush Designs-

This is the designer and silversmith behind Claire Lush Designs-