Sunday, March 11, 2012

Guest Room

This is what I want for my office/guestroom some day:


Ok, maybe not so fancy, but yes so welcoming.

A basket of goodies.
A vase of flowers.
Freshly plumped pillows.

I have a plan, thanks to Melissa.
Now I just need the money.
Around $1,000 (or less?) should do it.

A small sofabed,
A couple more file cabinets,
A rug to tie the room together.

A LOT of organizing
and throwing things away.

And then our guests will have a little space.
Better than an air mattress in the living room.
Not that I don't make things homey.

But still.
Someday the guest room (and office) won't look like this anymore.

view from the door, looking in
view from the back window,
looking back at the door

Saturday, March 10, 2012


On a more successful garden note...this also happened today:

I do love these flowers. So pretty.

I also bought a new plant. An indoor plant, to fill the void left by Plantie. A Peace Lily (or Spathiphyllum), which I still refer to as a he. A plant that is happiest in low to medium light, who asks that I keep his soil moist, but who should otherwise be very happy in our ambiently-lit living room without direct sunlight. Here's hoping, Plantie2.

He looks happy, if a little tilted.
Anyone else thing he's leaning a little to the
right? Should I attempt to straighten him?
Is he ok?
I am a terrible plant owner.

PS Big thanks to Dana, Steve and Sienna for including me on their field trip to Berkeley Hort! Couldn't have done this post without y'all :)

DST for you and me

Does anyone else notice anything funny about tonight's weather report?

Happy Daylight Saving time, (almost) everyone!
Don't forget to set your clocks forward an hour!

*though technically the missing hour should be at 2am, since that's when we technically change our clocks, right?*

The Root of It All

We started Project Garden today, thanks to an unlucky turn of events that prevented us from going to Tahoe this weekend. But it was a lovely day (on and off), featuring a trip to Berkeley Hort and quite a bit of digging, so it all worked out ok.
Testing the pH of my soil at Berkeley Hort
Lookin' neutral!
There is a corner of our yard that is currently not being used, and our landlord said I could use it for a vegetable garden (yay!)  - and hey, it's about that time of year...time to get this garden party started! The plan for today was to get a couple of plants and some gardening tools, and use the rest of the afternoon to prep the soil for planting (to be done tomorrow or next weekend). 

The patch of yard - See ya later, Nasturtium.
I would have kept you, but man, you grow like weeds,
and I want room for vegetables!
Once the Nasturtium was cleared, we started digging. Unfortunately, we ran into a little bit of a problem. Do you see it? There, just past the green bin? 

Misleading picture, since this is actually at the end of
an hour or so's work, and not when we discovered the
problem. But at that point, I was covered in dirt and not
about to go get the camera.
It kind of looks like a pile of dirt...

...but it's not.

It's a giant tree stump! Granted, we knew the tree stump was there. But we didn't know it had massive roots, submerged over a foot below the surface. Roots up to 6-8" in diameter! We would be happily digging away, scooping up little roots, feeling very good about ourselves, when suddenly we'd hit a giant root and shout something along the lines of "HOO BOY!" or "THAT'S A BIG 'UN!" and marveling at "the SIZE of that thing!!!" We were able to uproot a few of them, but then we hit...the motherlode. 

This thing is massive!
And it has a friend,
just out of frame at the bottom of the picture!
As our Yard Waste bin filled with branch-sized roots, we realized that this was a bit out of our league. We emailed photos to our landlord, and are awaiting advice from him; we may need to call in a professional, and we'll need his approval (and maybe help with payment).

Guess we won't be adding new soil/compost to the dirt and getting it all ready for seeds tomorrow...any tips for massive stump and possibly root removal? It's really looking like we have to call the pros in on this one...

A sad, sad day for plantlife

My dear, sweet little Plantie has died.

You may remember little Plantie from these posts:

So young, so hopeful.

I don't know if it was the bugs that killed Plantie,
or if it was the lack of sunlight in its corner in our new house.
Or perhaps the combination of the dry heat from the heater,
plus my lack of attention when it came to watering.
(I suck)

I can't help feeling that I let my Plantie down.
I know it's just a plant.
I do.

But I've had Plantie since the summer of 2008.
It was a teeny, tiny little plant from IKEA, only about $1.99.
At the time, I didn't even think it would live a few days.

Four years later, it's time to say goodbye to the little plant that could.

You lived a good little life, plantie. 
And I'm probably more sad than I should be 
that I'm going to have to put you in the Yard Waste bin.

I gave you many good little colorful pot-homes, 
and you survived each transplant with renewed zest and growth.
You lived with me in 3 different apartments.
You were a good little plantie, and I'm sorry I let you down.

Rest in Peace, little Plantie.
Rest in Peace, little leaves

I know this post is kind of silly in its earnestness (I mean, writing a eulogy for a plant? Who does that?), and again, I am probably irrationally upset that my brown thumb resulted in a brown plant.  I know it's silly. But you know, I had faith in this little guy, and I'm feeling a little bit of a loss, knowing it's over and it's probably all my fault. It was a good four years, Plantie. A good four years. You may have been just a plant, but I'll miss you.

Please don't leave comments if you're going to make fun of me. Please do leave comments if you have ever been irrationally upset at the death of a plant or other non-human, non-pet type of living creature (spider you accidentally killed? ants you wish you hadn't exterminated?). I'd like to know I'm not alone in these things, in feeling sad even as you feel embarrassed even as you feel sad again.  Sigh.

Ok, it's almost 2am. Time to go to bed and stop writing goodbye letters to plants. Tomorrow is a new day, with (hopefully) new I attempt a vegetable garden. This is probably an awful idea. See above.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Kitchen Sign Fail

The other night, we were woken up by a crash. No, not an earthquake. Alas, the sign fell down. Next stop, Command Velcro Strips!

For now, the wall looks like this:

Hopefully this will be remedied this weekend!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Project: Kitchen Sign

Back in September, I did a little review of Bon Ami's lovely cleaning products. They sent me samples in an adorable wooden box, with a removable lid that I thought would look adorable hanging in my kitchen. For months now, I had the lid leaning up against the wall, propped up on the paper towel holder, semi-precariously. I had big ideas about how I was going to drill little holes in it and hang it from little gold hooks, rustic-farmhouse-style. Tonight, upon realizing I didn't do a house-related project to blog about this week (and y'all know I'm trying to do one thing per week), I decided just to do it. 

Sorry for the terrible photo quality.
No natural light + task lighting that
makes shadows weird in photographs
means slightly dark and slightly blurry.
15 minutes and 3 attempts later, ta-da! I realized the wood wasn't really the type to drill through, and I was concerned that it would just splinter if I tried to drill through it. I thought I could rig up a hook system by attaching a hanger to the back (with duct tape or something), but it looked kind of weird when I held the hanger up to it, so I nixed that idea. I then tried a clipping a binder clip on top, figuring I'd just hang it from a nail.
This was my first mistake.  I used a nail that was too long, and it wouldn't go all the way into the wall (must've hit a super hard stud of some sort?). When I pulled the nail out (which wasn't hard, since it was all not stuck in the wall and all), the hole was...large. I mean, it wasn't larger than the nail, but I clearly had used the wrong nail, here. I grabbed a smaller nail, but it wasn't going to be big enough to hold the binder clip. Brilliant idea! How about hanging the binder clip from a Command Hook! I love those! Sadly, the hook was too girthy to fit through the binder clip. I didn't want to use just the strips, because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to remove it from the wall after (since you have to remove by pulling down, and the board might not have come off easily).

But then. Ohhhhh then. Lightbulb moment of genius magical divine inspiration. I whipped out my trusty earthquake putty, stuck a dab in each corner, and pressed that baby up onto the wall. It seemed super firm, but I tapped it with the hammer just in case. And then, for good measure, I hung a hook for a hand towel. And then took it off (thanks, Command Hook, for your easy removability) and re-hung it at a better height.

And there it is, folks. A too-long story about how I hung stuff on my wall. Mission: Accomplished.

Project: Clothing Purge

Last weekend (as in a week ago), Reed came over to help me with a little clothing purge. My closet and dressers were stuffed, but I was still wearing the same things pretty much every week. She has great style, and is super creative (and honest), so I figured she'd be a good person to help me figure out how to wear what I have, as well as what I just don't need.

A few hours and several mimosas later, I had a pretty large stack of clothes ready for Goodwill (and Reed got to take home some clothes/shoes as well - win!) as well as a slew of ideas of how to pair some of my clothes in ways I hadn't thought of...and...yes...a reminder about some clothes I forgot I had. Funny how that works.

Newly re-organized tshirt/long-sleeved shirt drawer
Pile of giveaway clothes 
All piled up, nice and neat
Looks sort of more impressive this way.
I included this one for perspective,
and also because I feel like I look sassy.

I meant to post this last week, and then I didn't, and it's probably better that I didn't, because I just did the pants drawer (which we didn't get to last weekend) tonight. But either way, my drawers and closets close a little easier, and I'm looking at what I have in a new way. So that's exciting. Getting things done, hooray!