My Weekend Summarized Into Two Sentences

 When asked what color they stained their deck, she replied:

“It’s a color called– NOT THE ONE I PICKED OUT.”

 While in the process of staining the deck when asked by her husband where she was going, she replied:

“I’ll be back.  I just need to change my clothes– BECAUSE I HAVE TOO MANY SPLINTERS IN MY BUTT.” 

… So how was everyone else’s weekend.  Did we have fun?

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{Photos added 05.22.12 for Margaret… because she asked.}

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{Please Note: the deck color that you see here is a warm pearl gray instead of a light golden oak as originally planned.  Fortunately our bricks have a gray undertone in them + our siding is SW Agreeable Gray so this “NOT THE ONE I PICKED OUT” color coordinates just fine.  No harm done, really.  In fact, Z-D really likes it so maybe it was meant to be.}

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Yes, Yes, But NO!


•  Yes, it is wonderful that the home accessories & furniture that we purchased from Pottery Barn & L.L.Bean arrived on time or 4 days early.  And that all items were packed PERFECTLY… allowing for the inexplicable delivery incompetence that followed.

•  Yes, it is wonderful to know that $800.00 worth of merchandise can sit in our driveway in front of our garage door ALL NIGHT IN THE POURING RAIN without anyone or anything in our neighborhood stealing or destroying it.

•  But NO!, it is not wonderful to find out that UPS thought it was acceptable to leave said merchandise in our driveway without telling us that it was there.


In what is yet another example of the subtle irony that infuses my life, confuses my mind and exasperates my soul, Zen-Den got home from work some time before 6:00 p.m. last night.  [Rather unusual, but he knew that I was making scallops + orzo for dinner– and that boy is a nut for scallops.]  If he had come home later, as is his wont, then he would have stumbled over the boxes in front of the garage.  But, of course, that is not what happened.

I’ve had merchandise left in the driveway before, but in those situations the delivery person: 1) rang the bell;  2) knocked on the door;  &/or 3) left a post-it note attached to the sidelights around the front door so that it would be noticed from inside the house.  NONE of those things happened last night.

Instead, here’s what happened.  UPS delivered the merchandise some time after Z-D got home.  We know not when.  Both of us can testify that no one came to the door to alert us to the fact that our stuff was here.  Plus, being the reasonably prudent people that we are, we even opened the front door before going to bed to make sure that our new stuff wasn’t sitting on our front stoop or that there was a note stuck to our front door.


We were lucky that when we found the water-drenched corrugated cardboard boxes this morning at 7:00 a.m., they had held tight so that our two lamps + lamp shades AND three side tables DIDN’T suffer any irreparable damage.  However, I’m NOT HAPPY that my stuff was left out in the rain all night.  Would you be?

All of which brings me to the point of this rant.  UPS CAN DO BETTER.

And that, my friends, is all I have to say.  Thank you for listening.


[Photo on the left from Pottery Barn: Sutter Adjustable Lever Lamp + Linen Tapered Drum Lamp Shade]

[Photo on the right from L.L.Bean: Black Painted Cottage 2 Shelf Side Table]

[Well hello there FTC!  Very long time no see.  I haven’t been specific in my posts of late so there’s been no need for me to add this sort of disclaimer.  But today’s post is different, so let me assure you that I was in no way compensated for my opinions about the above items & situation.  We good?  Take care then.  See you later, no doubt.]

The State Of Our “To Do” List

I am glad that it’s the beginning of a new week.  All our doing last week just about did me in.  It was stressful.

On the upside, we finished 3 projects.  The mail box post, which we repaired & painted, is now sporting a new shiny black mailbox.  The inside molding around the new [non-leaky] window in the bathroom is caulked & painted.  And the dingy old sheer panels on the home study’s French doors are tea-dyed a lovely shade of tan, ironed & back in place.

On the other hand, we started about a dozen more projects that for one reason or another we couldn’t finish.  I really wanted to have more projects completed by now, but everywhere we turned we encountered obstacles.  Weather.  Indecisiveness.  Lack of supplies.  Whatever we wanted not available.  No-shows by tradesmen.  Hours spent online trying to find furniture/accessories that will fit into our small room dimensions.  And on & on it went.

Four years ago when we decided to stay in this house & remodel/update it, I had no idea that we’d still be working on it today.  I thought that 1 year– maybe 2 years, tops— would be all the time that we’d need to re-do the house.  Not that I thought that everything in the house would be completely finished, mind you;  I just figured that we’d be where we should be for people living in a thirteen year old house.

However, despite my above grumbling, I will say that the progress we made last week is wonderful & encouraging.  I’d even venture to say that with one more week like this last one, we’ll have all the bones of our house in place.  Then there will be photos for you, my gentle readers– & a long-awaited sense of completion & belonging for me.

Until then, ever onward go I.

{An observation: this situation reminds me of when I got my Master’s degree.  I planned for it to take me 3 years, but for one reason or another it took my 6 1/2 years to complete.  Near the end of my studies, I didn’t care what courses I took.  I just wanted the whole process finished so I could move on with my life.  Same feeling here & now.}

Pretty Flowers, Itchy Eyes

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I’m feeling tired this week.

No energy for writing posts– or doing much of anything else.

While I admit that it is pretty outside now, there’s too much pollen in the air for my liking.

My eyes itch.  My sinuses hurt.  And I’m grumpy.

So I’ll be taking some allergy meds to manage my symptoms and lying low for the next week or two.

Take care everyone.  See ‘ya later.

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Twitter, Why Doth Thou Thwart Me So?

Alas and alack, I am saddened, dear Twitter, by thy inability to do what I want-eth you to do.  Did I not make-eth thee my friend and confidant, lo these many long months?

Yet thee insist-eth on thwarting my every move regarding my profile description. Thy refusal to do as I want-eth you to do regarding punctuation on said profile description bespeak-eth of your inclination to be with bug.  Here is what I desire-eth.

Yikes and away!  Whither thou go-eth my beloved punctuation?

Verily I beg of thee, thy social media giant, to put-eth back my punctuation where I want-eth it.  Not on the morrow, my liege, but on this very day.

Thanks be to thee, my provider of instant communication, for hearing the plea of thy humble user… BUT WAIT A MINUTE.  What. hath. thou. done. now?

Forsooth and anon, I shall look-eth upon thy service as something very optional in my life.  That is unless thy clean-eth up thy act and restore-eth my faith in thee, ye olde Twitter.  Only then, will-eth we be friends and confidants again, I say-eth unto thee on this fine day.

In Which The Hubster Scares The Bejeezus Out Of Me, Not Once, But Twice

[Subtitled: What Comes Around Goes Around, Dear]

•  Zen-Den and I worked outside in the yard this weekend.  We also cleaned the screens and put them into 20+ windows.  Then we washed and repainted portions of the screened-in porch.  In between doing all that, we shopped for deck and patio furniture in brick-&-mortar stores and online.

We were busy, and I was exhausted by bedtime.  So exhausted, in fact, that after I got ready for bed and sat down on the edge of our bed, I forgot to lie down to go to sleep.  Really.  I just sat there.

So Zen-Den, who was already in bed, said real sweetly: “Don’t you want to lie down now?  You’ll sleep better.”

My addled brain liked that idea so I just leaned over, eyes shut, ready to plop myself down on my comfy pillow.  But Mr. Shenanigans pulled my pillow away from my side of the bed just as my weary self went thunk.  And suddenly, realizing that something was very wrong, I bounced right out of bed– wide awake.

And what do I see?  The Hubster holding my pillow and laughing his fool head off.  Because it was just. that. funny. to him to see me go from dead tired to live wire in a nanosecond.

Oh, yea!  He’s a card… must be from St. Louis…

•  I slept in this morning— didn’t even hear the alarm go off.  It’s no big deal because today my schedule is very flexible– I’ll get to where I need to go when I get there.  And all will be well with the world.

However, Z-D must have gotten up very early– and on his way out the door he must have put a load of laundry into the washing machine.  Then not wanting to wake me, he must have started the machine using its timer function.  Meaning that one hour later the washer automatically turned itself on.

Or at least I’m hoping that is what he did… because no one left me a note telling me to expect a very loud machine with a tendency to clunk to start. working. spontaneously. when I was sitting in the soothing early morning quiet sipping my coffee.

Which it turns out I don’t need to help me wake up when a loud unidentified sound comes from the laundry room– and causes my system to produce enough adrenaline to keep me alert for– oh, I don’t know— years.

Thanks, honey.  You’re a dork peach.

Scattered Hither And Yon

“God is in the details.” ~ Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

I’m an organized person, but I am not a tidy person.  There is a difference.  The reality is that I know what I need to do to make things look tidy– and when my heart is in it, I can get things looking pretty darned spiffy.  If I do say so myself.

However, this past weekend when I attempted to get some of the more {how shall I say this?} egregious messes in our house under control, the Fates were not on my side.

•  For instance, I knew what I needed to make the bookshelves in the TV room look great.  But the shelves are so shallow that almost no baskets or photo file boxes or office-style charging stations now available will fit on them.  Except for one lovely wooden desktop organizer from Ballard Designs… that isn’t available for shipping until April.


•  In the bathroom I had a very cute idea, gleaned from Pinterest, about how to make my make-up and other stuff look organized… but I need a tray of a specific size to make it happen.

So I tried Hobby Lobby, Meijer, Pottery Barn, Ikea, Crate & Barrel, Kroger, Kohl’s, Tuesday Morning & who knows how many places online. And here’s what I learned: that size of tray doesn’t seem to exist, rather like a unicorn.


•  Meanwhile in the un-bedroom, the project stalled over the size, style and cost of the frames I need to create a gallery wall behind the chairs.  The beautiful floral drapes from Pottery Barn dictate the color scheme in that room.

But now I can’t find any images to put into the theoretical, yet-to-be purchased frames that won’t fight with the drapes, while gracing the wall behind the stylish and comfy chairs… that we bought at Crate & Barrel just last winter.

*loud sigh*

•  And then there is my perennially not-so-tidy desk in our home office… where I shuffle little pieces of paper and catalogues and pens and file cards all over the place.  Never quite sure what to do with all the notes I make.  Never quite able to file things properly in file cabinets or in computer files. Always aware that my way of organizing, such as it is, would give Leo Babauta nightmares & David Allen fits.

*oh well*

All of which brings me to the following conclusions:

  1. Decorating a home is much more difficult than I once believed– and makes me understand why so many people don’t even try;
  2. I do not enjoy the process of making a house pretty, but know, from experience, that I will love living in it after it’s all finished;  and
  3. That when this home redecorating project is over I might never, ever change another thing in this house again.  Ever.