Latest project completed: walls!

Tl;dr version: if you just want to look at pictures, scroll down to the end.

This post is about colors. I love vivid blues & greens. Cobalt blue is my favorite color ever. Much of my wardrobe comes from that part of the spectrum. My hair is often bright blue or green.

But.

When it comes to my surroundings, I go straight to the earth tones every time, and the lighter, the better. Leafier greens, red-mineral browns, and the kind of creamy pale shades of gold you see in autumn meadows.

New house is mostly painted in cooler colors like cloudy blue and sage green, but they’re earthy enough to live with for 5+ years, which is when the walls will be due for refreshing anyway.

But some of the color choices were Just Too Much:

  1. a minty-fresh green in one basement room (henceforth to be known as the game room)
  2.  a turquoise I’ll call bottom-of-a-California-swimming-pool blue” that was used in a bedroom, a stairwell and in the utility area of the basement.

Both colors are pretty. I have shirts in those colors. For walls, thought? No. Sorry, not for me.

Spouseman concurred with my judgment, emphatically so. And thus in the fullness of time, painters were hired, and lo, they have made with the painting.

I had to be at the new house at 7:30 AM two days running, which was a fun trick to manage while still living in the old one with the car in the shop all week. I got up on time both days, and the results were more than worthwhile.

The walls in our bedroom, the game room & elsewhere in the basement are now all warm, bright, and mellow…or they’re boring and bland as hell, depending on your perspective. What matters to me is that I’ll sleep better in a room with “light honey” walls than I would in one that made me feel like I was underwater.

And Spouseman says the games room looks calmer now. For sure it looks more like a room in a house and less like a dentist’s waiting area, and that’s all I ask from a finished basement.

Last note: in one of those amusing moments life sometimes offers, I realized today that without even trying, we’d matched the downstairs utility area paint toathe original vintage ’30’s door into the mechanicals room.

Here’s the door and peeks at the other painted basement parts:

And as a bonus, another pic of my evolving soon-to-be-office space:

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bonus

Old floors made new again

I promised I would post before & after shots of our new-old house’s floors getting sanded & refinished. Below you’ll find a place by place breakdown.

First, the entryway. This was a last-minute addition to the project, once we realized how awful the old tile would look next to the refreshed hardwood. Plus Spouseman has a huge affection for woodwork, and this was the perfect reason to give our new place a lovely custom piece.

Next, the dining room. This area had the largest number of dark, worn spots, between old radiator locations & high traffic zones.

The den:

The hall & guest bedroom:

And the front room. This looked perfectly fine before anything was done. But after? So much lighter & brighter now.

And there they are. Rooms. Shiny, empty rooms. Many thanks to Darek, Max, and the rest of the crew from Chicagoland Flooring who did such beautiful work.

Bonus pic of my nest-in-progress up on the second floor:

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Closets. Plural. Room for bookcases. Natural light. This is a happy room.

Spouseman and I will continue moving books and other important belongings & buying some new furniture (BOOKCASES!) over next 2 weeks. (Technically, professional movers will be doing the heavy lifting part.)

The rest of the old furniture will move whenever the old house gets under contract or November, whichever comes first. (Really hoping the old house finds a new owner sooner rather than later.)

So. That’s the update. “Complications of Moving House” remains the #1 reason I haven’t been getting much writing done, and that won’t be changing any time soon. Arranging and following up on various work projects, juggling checklists & timelines, and organizing two households has swallowed all my time and energy.

But “not much” writing is better than zero writing, and I’m making slow but real progress. And life will settle down after Dragon Con. I’m really looking forward to a productive, quiet autumn.

Anyway. That’s all the all there is for now. Until later, folks.

The fun of making things

Today I played.

Okay, I also read things and took a nice long (FREEZING, BRRRR) walk with Spouseman, but mostly I played with my new Instant Pot.

I had some perishable foods I’d been neglecting because March totally got away from us, and we scrounged for meals several nights I planned on cooking. The list”

  • a full bag of yummy Yukon potatoes on the verge of going sprouty.
  • too many sweet potatoes because I kept forgetting I still had a couple and bought more every time I shopped.
  • Cream cheese & Greek yogurt tipping past their best-by dates. Ditto some eggs.
  • Some bell peppers I had to turn into something before they got soft spots.
  • various “‘I’m tired of this variety but there’s a couple left in the bag” apples going wrinkly and soft.

So there was that, and when I went to the desk to write Scooter looked at me from my chair with this LOOK that said, “Please no, Mom, I’m comfy here,” and I needed to take my brain mostly offline for a recharge today anyhow.

So. Playtime. I rummaged around the pantry & freezer, set up the Instant Pot, and Kitchen Magic happened. 

The pressure cooking function meant I could do a lot of slow-cooking dishes…fast. I didn’t use any recipes, exactly. The Instant Pot came with a little recipe book, plus I hunted around for ideas online. Various blogs helped me cobble together an estimate of  how much pressure-cook time each food needed , plus I learned how to use the steamer rack that came with the pot.

The peppers joined forces with chicken tenderloins from the freezer, canned tomatoes & tomato paste, plus some garlic to become italian-style chicken for tonight and tomorrow plus a batch for the freezer.

Butter plus the aging dairy products & potatoes transformed into a big ‘ol batch of cream-cheese-golden mashed potatoes. Again, some for now, the rest for later. Big win!

(Yes, I know it’s weird to eat chicken in tomato sauce with mashed potatoes, but I like mashed potatoes with everything, and Spouseman prefers it to pastas as a sauce base.)

Apples got fast-cooked to soften, and then slow-cooked with the lid off to become smooth, sweet, delicious applesauce. There’s always a use for that.  And the sweet potatoes got steamed and then peeled once they were cool. So now I’ll have sweet potato mash available for reheating at lunch time all week.

Also, while grabbing the chicken from the freezer, I found blueberries from last summer and some bananas. Well. Couldn’t ignore a hint like that, could I?  Of course not. I turned those into blueberry banana cake and baked it while one of the other things was working up a head of steam in the pot.

Because why NOT make cake too, right? Of course right.

Today was about letting the brain rest, for tomorrow, it’s back to the hard stuff. Revisions & additions.  It’s also the fun stuff, but still. W-O-R-K.

Until later.