This week has been very productive. Now that I am spending so much time at home – being unemployed and all – it’s as though I can’t stop myself from doing things around the house. Don’t get me wrong, these things have been desperately needing to be done for months, if not years – yes, probably years.
We have lived in this (rental) house since I moved to Florida four years ago and I never expected we would stay here as long as we have. Finding a different rental has proven very difficult as we have two dogs and two cats, which immediately rules out apartments or any such community-style living situation, and finding a less expensive single family home rental – not so much. I digress. When I was working, I was also battling my depression – my meds stopped working almost two years ago. Between the stress of work – trying to hide my illness and not fall apart – and trying to be a good wife to my husband, household duties were whittled down to the bare minimum. Most of the time I struggled to keep up with the laundry and dishes, let alone dusting and sweeping and vacuuming and litter boxes and, and… You get the idea. So aside from the small amount of decorating, if that’s what it could even be called, that I did upon first moving in, this house has been stagnant. I had grown to hate it, hate coming ‘home’ to this place. That’s not good for one’s mental health either. Home should be my safe place, my oasis from the chaos of the world outside, a space I enjoy rather than try to avoid. And that, my friends, is what this past week has been all about – making this house our home.
Saturday A quick thankful from last Saturday, which definitely counts since it arrived after I posted last week’s TToT 🙂 I finally received my order from Amazon! Yayyy for The Erratic Sun by Matthew Blashill and Michael Hansen, and Stigma Fighters Anthology edited by Sarah Fader!!! You may also notice a book right next to Stigma Fighters called 13th Hour by Tammie Painter, I’ve had that one for a while now and have read it – Tammie is also a fellow blogger/artist and I could not get enough of this book (that means I highly recommend it)! I have not begun reading the others yet, my mind has been so scattered lately I can barely sit still long enough to read a blog post, let alone a book! However, I am thrilled to own these books, to support my fellow bloggers (now published authors!!!), and I have an upcoming vacation which should give me plenty of time to catch up on some reading!
Sunday Pets are destroyers of many things, furniture being one of those things. We had a sectional couch that I brought to Florida when I moved here and my cat had already done a fine job of ripping parts of it to shreds, but hey, a couch is a couch when you don’t have a couch otherwise, amiright? Over time our black lab decided two pieces of the sectional belonged to him.
That would have been fine; however, he has this habit of chewing on himself – I don’t know if he really itches that much or if it’s an anxiety thing, either way, it’s incessant to the point of making himself bleed at times. Obviously, we redirect this behavior as much as possible, but we are not always home and we don’t see or hear him doing it while we are sleeping. I’ll let you imagine how lovely his favorite pieces of the sectional became over the years. I tried covering them with towels and old sheets but then we were going through those so quickly and doing massive amounts of laundry that it became pointless. Our other dog, the Shih Tzu – don’t even get me started on him – has an obsession with licking everything. Everything. He’d sit on the floor and lick the side of the couch, he would sit on top of it and lick the top of the couch, he would lay on it and lick himself on the couch. The worst part of this obsessive licking is the fact that, despite my best efforts in stopping him, the damn dog eats shit. Yes, you heard me, he eats shit – dog feces (or cat feces for that matter, cat shit is a delicacy to most dogs). Basically, this is one disgusting dog. I love him, he’s my dirty, stinky, disgusting dog. But disgusting nonetheless. Apparently I am in a real rambling mood because all I really wanted to say about last Sunday was that we rented a big ‘ole truck and took that nasty couch to the dump!
Monday Swept and vacuumed the house, one of those household duties I have not done well at keeping up with – it was pretty bad. Organized the junk that had collected in our ‘guest room,’ which is a funny name for it since we never have any guests stay with us. The cat’s room would be a more apt name for it. We put up a baby gate in the doorway so the dogs can’t get in, it’s the only room in the house where the cats don’t have to worry about being bombarded by them. My husband, father-in-law, and I walked our pack of dogs 1.15 miles – 4 dogs, we get a lot of stares and often comments about robbing the dog kennel. What I’m most proud of from Monday, however, was the little ‘tea & books’ station I created in our house!
Tuesday I did more cleaning and dusting, yet somehow I’ve barely scratched the surface of the mess that this house has become. I purchased our plane tickets for our upcoming trip to California!!!!!!
Wednesday Decided to paint the cheap bookcase in our living room (family room? What’s the difference between a living room and family room? I understood the difference in the house I grew up in because there were multiple rooms and they had designations, but this house there is just the one room we hang out in…). I found the perfect color of paint, it’s a darkish gray with a hint of blue to it – a friend referred to it as ‘cornflower’ but I have no idea if that’s the right description or not – whatever you want to call it I love the color! I should have taken a ‘before’ picture but by the time I thought of it the painting had begun. *Painting tip* Well, it’s not much of a tip really – painting cheap wood sucks – even after it dried overnight every item I placed on it scratched the paint. Luckily I am not one of those DIY bloggers and the only person I care to impress is myself and I am very pleased with my not-so-perfect paint job 🙂 Oh, but let me tell you, I had to clean the bookcase and all of the items on it in this process – can we say layers of dust much?! I shouldn’t even be admitting to how awful I am at housekeeping, though I doubt anyone reading this will be dropping by to check on the dust situation. If you would like to pop in and say hello now would be the time! I swear, once our beloved fur babies make their journeys to, you know where I’m going with this, we will have only one at a time going forward. Also took the pack for another evening walk – 1.5 miles.
Thursday As a general rule we do not have houseplants for two reasons. One, I cannot for my life keep plants alive – try as I might, I do not have a green thumb. Two, our cats think plants are food for them – they will risk their kitty lives trying to reach fresh greenery for a nibble. However, I absolutely love succulents and I have wanted to have some of my own for a while. Not only are they pretty and unique but they are hardy and need little assistance to survive – my kind of plant! In the process of decorating my newly painted bookcase I decided I wanted to add succulents, I figured if they were on a high enough shelf there was no way the kitties could get to them (let’s hope I’m right). I bought three tiny, adorable succulents and potted them in little teacups with pebbles at the bottom. I had to call my mom and have her walk me through the process of potting them. Sometimes I wonder how I can be considered an adult at all. I do hope my little succulents will be happy in their new homes and that I can manage to keep them alive! They look so lovely on the bookcase ❤
Friday Yesterday I went to a friend’s house for a few hours and watched a horror/comedy flick called Krampus. It was a fun and creepy movie, I always have a good time with this friend so it was a nice reprieve from my as-of-late cleaning kick! When I got home I spent more time working on the decoration of the bookcase – by this point I think you could call it OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder)! However, I finally finished!!! I was aiming for balance, symmetry, and a sense of calm. I didn’t want it to be overcrowded, I am attempting to be a bit more minimalistic with possessions (attempting being the key word there). So I placed things and moved them, re-placed them and moved them again, switched things from the right side to the left, up one shelf then back down until it was just right. Now, I think, everything is where it should be or where I want it to be. I think. For today. The photos are terrible – I’ve literally taken fifty trying to get a good shot but the lighting is terrible and this is as good as I could get…
Whether we live here another month or another four years I have decided it is important to make this house our home. I want to look around and feel comforted, peaceful, relaxed… When I’ve had a frustrating day I want to know that home is the place that will soothe those frustrations. Piece by piece, room by room, I am turning this house into our home. Perhaps eventually it will even be dust-free, for a day or two 😉