Confessions Of A Formerly Super Conscientious Woman + 3 New Projects

Once upon a time I was a super conscientious woman.

I lived and died by Checking Things Off My To Do List. My self-worth was contingent upon these checks because the results were more important to me than the process. Woe be it to anyone who got in my way: I was not always the nicest person.

Sad to say, apologizes offered.

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CURRENTLY: I want the walls in our home office to be griege, the trendy color of the moment. All I have to do is figure out which shade of griege goes best with the furniture and artwork that we already have.

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Then my goals and desires began to change.

That is, I got older and more self-aware. I evolved into a wiser + wearier woman who no longer felt obliged to Do A Lot Every Day Or Else. I still accomplish things, quite a few things– but at a slower pace, focusing on the process that I now allow to be organic rather than forced.

Mellowness is good for me.

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CURRENTLY: I want to continue upgrading our terrace using odds-n-ends of slate and limestone to create a patio with a level surface that is unique– and less pebble-y than what is there now.

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This new me is easier to be around.

Despite these unsettling difficult Trumpian times we’re living through, I’m a more relaxed version of my previous self. This iteration, Ally Bean 2.0 The Best Yet, evolved quietly during the last decade of my life when I didn’t feel well and couldn’t decide a thing without overthinking it.

However, no longer stuck am I.

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CURRENTLY: I want to organize all the inherited stuff that has accumulated around here, in our basement, for decades. Then I want this stuff sold | auctioned | donated | given away | tossed out. Enough already with the past, I say.

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I don’t know why I’m telling you this today, my gentle readers.  

All I can say is that this morning as I was planning my day I realized How Differently I Handle Any Decision Or Activity now, compared to how I used to do things when society had me convinced that my self-worth hinged on my super conscientiousness.

But you know what? It doesn’t.

A Remodeling Update: 7 Holes In The Ceiling + A Few Details About Each Room

We’re in the middle of the remodel now.  It has been four weeks since we began.  

In that time 7 holes have been cut in ceilings to either accommodate new lights and fans that will be placed overhead– or to double-check second floor water pipes from below in the kitchen.  

What I’ve learned about myself during these past weeks is that I find holes in the ceiling a bit unnerving.  Walls torn out don’t concern me so much, but those… holes… up… there… bother… me.

Go figure.

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 The LAUNDRY ROOM has new cabinets in it and the water pipes + dryer duct have been re-routed to accommodate the new washer and dryer– which are to be delivered here later this week.

Last Friday I picked the tile for the backsplash and the wall color with the interior designer, so all that’s left for me to do is to go to the granite store on the day that they cut the counter to decide what part of the slab will be our counter.

 The MASTER BATHROOM wiring and plumbing have been reconfigured, the dry wall crew has been here and gone– meaning that we’re all about tile now.  We decided on the tile weeks ago and are currently sitting back, watching some of the tile come together, while the rest of it seems to be lost somewhere. Somehow.

 The FAMILY ROOM is changing from tile around the fireplace to granite– and there’s to be a new mantle.  None of this is anywhere to be seen yet, but the crew has prepped the wall and floor for what is to come. Hence, we wait.

I have no idea what color the walls will be in there, other than to say “good-bye purple.”  The granite, once installed, will show us how it looks with our furniture so that we’ll have a better idea about wall color, but ultimately I’m leaving that decision up to the interior designer.

 The KITCHEN tweaks are seemingly a forgotten part of this remodel.  I have delegated the whole microwave kerfuffle to Zen-Den because I don’t care what the solution to the problem is… as long as I get a microwave.

As for the other little details in the kitchen they are: 1) a new door and handle on the trash bin cabinet;  and 2) re-doing the juncture where the counter meets the tile.  I’m on top of these details because I want them done before all of this remodeling is over.  Which is to say sometime this month, “God willing and the creek don’t rise.” 

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Talking Daylilies Here: No More Happy Returns

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Good-bye cervine freeloaders.  Hasta la vista deer buffet.

Yep, after 17 years of growing and tending a patch of Happy Returns Daylilies out front of our house under the lamppost, I had the landscaper remove them all and re-design the area.

The irony is, and there seems to be irony with anything I do, that when we built this house I was adamant about wanting Happy Returns Daylilies, which are a lovely shade of lemon-y yellow.  I paid extra to not have Stella D’Oro Daylilies, which are more golden-yellow, and common around here.

They’re in all the gardens in this subdivision.

Nope, planning ahead, as is my way, I wanted lemon-y yellow colored daylilies because they would look better with our particular brick–and because doing things, just a little differently than everyone else, comes naturally to me.

However, turns out that Happy Returns Daylilies are a favorite nosh of ye olde deer.  Also turns out that these pretty plants need lots of almost daily maintenance during the summer to keep them looking fresh and lovely.

So, with just a tinge of regret, but not much, I decided to embrace Admiral Grace Hopper’s famous quote and let go of my favorite Happy Returns Daylilies [and a patch of Russian Sage + Bergamot– and a few lost Daisies] to make space for a simpler, more modern, design out front of our house under the lamppost.

One that looks infinitely better than that which I thought that I knew that I wanted… years ago… before I became a wiser, and lazier, gardener.

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Here’s the new look: Boxwood [hedge], Fineline Buckthorn [small ornamental tree], Barberry [small bushes] + Liriope [used as ornamental grass].

Links I Love For Clever Beans, Badass Turtles + Other Goofs

… because information is FUN dammit.

 Sometimes you need to remember How To Begin Again.

 Inspiration like the 5 Tips to Trim Down for Trump is why I love the blogosphere.

  Reminding you again How Being Bored Out Of Your Mind Makes You More Creative.

 Taking the What’s Your Closet Personality quiz, learning that I’m a Clothing Economist.

  What say we all try to be a Warrior Not Worrier.

 Knowing How to Enjoy Tea Throughout the Day seems like a good idea.

  Wondering about being a “54” after taking the Do You Live In A Bubble? quiz.

  So The Secret Is Not To Care, huh?

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New goal: Be as badass as this turtle.

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On The Cusp Of The Holidays, I Give You Links I Love

It’s Thanksgiving week here in the United States.  

Much hustle and bustle. Much family related stress. Much TV watching for the non-shoppers, much discount shopping for the wackos people who like to do that sort of thing.

I thought a few fun links might be appreciated this week while you, my gentle readers, eye-rolled at familial lunacy OR made like a potato on the couch OR foraged in over-heated junked-up stores.

Whatever you decide to do makes no difference to me, but please…

Be safe. Be happy. Be.

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A cheery anthem from an unlikely source that gets us where we’re going.

Details about wishbone karma just in time for Thanksgiving.

An easy way to make people more social. Count me in.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Spend some quality time with old friends.

Feeling anxious? Relax with these neuroscience-approved songs.

Here are the 200 happiest words. Use them often this holiday season.

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Sharing My World, As One Does When One Keeps A Blog

Thanks to joey of Joeyfully Stated I’ve become aware of Cee’s Photography’s Weekly Share Your World Questions.

I’ve decided to answer them this week because I like to keep things fresh and vibrant around here. No same old, same old for me.

Variety rocks.

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Q1: Have you done something you truly want to do today?

A1: Yes, I have.  I started sorting through my clothes, accessories, shoes, focusing on getting rid of things I don’t like and/or things that don’t fit properly.

I’m not a clothes horse and would enjoy having less stuff to deal with every time I need to get dressed.  Which is to say, every day.  So this is a step in the right direction for me.

Q2: What can you help the world with?

A2: I’m better than the average bear at figuring out solutions to problems involving, but not limited to: understanding family dynamics;  planning for any event;  and decorating your home in a way that reflects your personality.

Yep, that’s what I can do for the world.  Facilitate understanding about what makes people tick;  get things done in an organized way;  and support you as you make things pretty.

Q3: If life was “just a bowl of cherries”… which fruit other than a cherry would you be…?

A3:  Difficult question.  I’m torn between being a blueberry which would snuggle up smoothly against the cherries, OR a slice of kiwi which would contrast in color, shape and texture with the cherries.

Probably going with kiwi, but here’s an idea: we could kick the fruit salad up a notch by putting it in a carafe and pouring white wine sangria on top of it.  Then it wouldn’t matter what kind of fruit any of us were.

Happy fruit is the best fruit, you know.

Q4: Quotes List: At least three of your favorite quotes?

A4: Thinking about funny movies I like…

ONE

“The world is made for people who aren’t cursed with self-awareness.”  ~ Annie [Susan Sarandon], Bull Durham

TWO

“Laugh while you can monkey boy.”  ~ Dr. Emilio Lizardo [John Lithgow], The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension

THREE

“I just find it amusing that you came from somewhere.”  ~ Marcella [Joan Cusack], Grosse Pointe Blank

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Bonus Q: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Bonus A: Last week we finished taking unwanted household items, formerly stashed in our basement, to Habitat for Humanity.

This coming week I’ve arranged for St. Vincent de Paul to come to the house to pick up used furniture, also formerly in our basement.

Those two events combined translate into a tidier basement, and a sense of relief about getting the right things to the right place.

Hallelujah!

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If We Were Having Coffee On This January Morning…

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{ image via @lawyermom1 }

THE SETTING:  

We’d be sitting at the local Starbucks, enjoying the fact that we were out of the house, doing something together.  

I’d be drinking a vanilla latte with an extra shot and you’d be drinking whatever it is that floats your boat.  My treat, of course.

We’d be listening to the sound of the overworked espresso machines, the indistinct conversations of fellow Starbuckians, and the random genre-less background music that seems to be in every Star$.

THE CONVERSATION:

√  We’d be chatting… about how I read that the colors for spring clothes are rust, mustard and poppy.  I’d assure you that there’s no stinking way you’ll be seeing me in any of those colors.  I’d also mention that I have no plans to go shopping for spring clothes this year.

√  We’d be sharing… our latest podcast obsessions, which in my case is Call Your Girlfriend.  I’d tell you that the podcast’s tone is smart and warm, and that it is lots of fun to listen in while girlfriends talk about a variety of subjects such as feminism, fashion, politics– and whatever else is newsy and relevant this week.

√  We’d be talking… about how after reading this article about raiding your own cookbook collection, I’ve decided to make one recipe per month from a cookbook I already own.  My first recipe, Braised Pork With Sauerkraut, which was delicious, was from Joy of Cooking [75th Anniversary Edition].  Considering I have over 30 cookbooks, this could turn into a fun longterm project.

√  We’d be laughing… about how Zen-Den, the confused, asked me if I’d be “calamari-ing” our house.  Somewhere he’d heard about this new Japanese declutter trend.  While he understood the principles, he’d gotten the name wrong.  My answer, when I finally figured out that he was talking about KonMari, was NO!

THE CONCLUSION:

We’d have to part after about an hour or so because each of us had things to do, things to do.

We’d hug and promise to get together sometime in February, weather permitting, daily life allowing, work schedule be damned.

And we’d count our blessings that we have each other to talk with.  Like friends do everywhere.  Over a fancy coffee in one of the most ubiquitous places on earth.

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Idea for this post came from Diana at Part-Time Monster.

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