Tag Archives: Housekeeping

The price of my sanity

I found this post that I started back last November…not as in last month, as in last year.   It’s crazy I can still remember what it’s about.

The price of my sanity is $16.00

I’m rounding of course.  I guess I could get out the receipt and get the exact price, but $16.00 will do.

I store all our extra linens in the top of Lunchmeats closet.

One of the biggest challenges I have in this house is organization.  Part of it is that we don’t own this house and we never intended to be here very long so I’m having a hard time investing in this house and ways to make it work for me.  This post was supposed to be about when I finally broke down and bought some storage tubs for the top of Lunchmeats closet.  It made a huge difference and really decreased my stress when I tried to do anything in there.

It’s weird the things you remember.



Letting Go

Today I did something very hard.  I let go.

What I let go of was clothes that my children have worn.

I was moving the winter clothes to storage and pulling out all the summer things and when I asked Husband if I could use some tubs that we had been given to store the things in.  He hadn’t any plans for them so I challenged myself to get rid of enough things so that all the clothes would fit in the five large storage totes.

I learned some things about myself.

  • I stop being emotionally attached to children clothes so much once they are over the age of two
  • It is easier to get rid of clothes when the child who wore it isn’t there telling you how cute it is
  • I have vivid flash backs by merely seeing the clothes my children wore has infants
  • Dresses are harder to part with then pants

It was hard.  Really hard.

I should have more clearly defined my goal before I started.  Because I either succeded wildy or failed.

I got all the clothes that my current children (I do plan on having more at some point) will never wear again into 2 and 3/4’s totes.  But, the winter clothes and the clothes that Lunchmeat and Cake have yet to grow into don’t fit in the remaining two totes….

So…I did really great getting rid of the stuff that we have no need for at present.  Husband is on his way to D.I. with Four of those HUGE black bags FULL of clothes as well as a large box 3/4’s full of shoes.  I feel good about the fact that there are children who need those now who will be able to use them, but my heart is a bit bruised having done it.

Sometimes it is hard letting go.  Even when you know you should.


I work.  We all work, but I have a job away from home which pays me money.  So, in that way I provide for my family.  Somehow that is not as fulfilling as you would think.  I used to not work.  I worked, just not at a job that paid me money.  It was much more fulfilling.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to take the afternoon off work (the one that pays me money) and take Lunchmeat to the dentist and then my wonderful mother-in-law watched him and Peanut so Cake and I could can three flats of tomatoes which she had gotten for us.

Cake worked with me for an hour or two then she got bored and played computer games after regretting not being at granny’s house, but I labored on.  In the end I had twenty four jars of canned tomatoes in various forms.  I ran out of jars…

This morning as I was wiping down the jars and putting them in my cupboard I was overtaken by a feeling of truly providing for my family, it was a very spiritual feeling.  I don’t know why it was so different from going to work and getting a pay check, but it was.  I guess reporting running and database work just isn’t spiritual for me.

I prayed and asked the Lord to bless my efforts that the food I had made would be good for my family.  I just sat there staring at the jars filled with this feeling of accomplishment and love for my family.  What a blessing it is to be able to provide for my family in what ever way I can.  I am grateful that I am able to learn skills that will make me more able to provide for them in a variety of ways.

Old House (A.K.A Rental Property)

I thought I would do a run down of all the projects we did in our old house (well, not ALL the projects, but all the big one’s or one that I consider important)

We repainted the front of the house and replaced the garage door

(Keep in mind this before picture is about six years before we redid it so it looks WAY better (not that it looks that great) here then it did before the re-do, six years in the hot sun will do a LOT of damage.)

This is one of those bang–for-your-buck, I-wish-I-did-this-years-ago projects.  The repainting took me about an hour and a half and the garage door was WAY cheaper that we thought it would be and it make the house look SOOOOOO much better.  The picture just doesn’t do justice to how much better this make the front of the house look.

Talk about a different space!

I think the only thing that is the same in this room is the ceiling fan, and that is only because we didn’t live there quite long enough for me to get to it

If I had to pick a favorite thing out of the things we did in this room it would have to be the floors (but that encompasses many rooms so I get to pick another) so I would pick the paint.  We HATED the Apache White that was the color of the WHOLE HOUSE when we got married.  We had finally replaced it everywhere but in our closet when we decided to move and rent out the house.  I LOVE the red that we picked.  It was fun, bright and was a great offset to the dark floors and furniture we have.

On the floors I have some advise for you.  If you buy a laminate from somewhere (like IKEA) and when you are installing it you find it is softer then you hoped or you are thinking, man, I really wish that this had a higher gloss to it, I would really recommend you do what I did right before we turned it over to renters.  We babied our bamboo floors.  We are realistic and know that no one else will, so I got one gallon of minwax high gloss wood floor sealer/protector and spent about two and a half hours applying it.  The floors shine like a soldier boots and are just as hard as they are.  If we ever need to add another coat we just buff it with a fine gain sandpaper and put on another coat and it will renew the shine and reharden it up.   I wish that we had done this the day we installed the floor.  Oh well, live and learn.

Also, a word to the wise, if you buy wood floors as dark as we did, be prepared to dust mop them daily to get rid of the dusty foot prints from people coming in and out.

I know it’s a night and day shots, but that’s also the difference in what we (Read Husband) did.

The old fence got a lot worse and eventually fell down.  The grass was actually really great at one point, I took this picture after we had not been living there for a while so we were not watering it every day.  We did have a wonderful neighbor who kept it alive for us though! (Thanks Jen!)  The little garden we had was fun.  We had nuclear jalapeno’s, crazy tomato plan that lasted for two years and produced more tomatoes then I can count (which it’s killing me I can’t find a picture of!), among other things.  It’s amazing what you can get out of a little garden.  The yard shade was great.  It’s what made it possible for us to have a yard.

We also had our little sandbox.  I have a love hate relationship with that sandbox.

I loved that my kids had it to play in.  Pretty much the rest was hate.  We always had sand in our bed, no matter how hard I tried to get it off my kids before they came inside.  It was just too close to the back door.  There was always sand EVERYWHERE.  Which was awesome with my aforementioned dark floors.

The back yard itself was wonderful because the way our house was it was shaded thought most of the day, which is great.  Once we had done some of these things the back yard (when it wasn’t too hot) was like another room for us.

I think that this was the first thing that we did to the house after we got married.

We redid this closet.  The space on the right can actually be used as a desk and had a drawer set (which we took with us).

You can’t see it very well in this shot but there is a set of shelves over the doors.  My mom’s idea.  Most of the changes in this room came with us.  Lots of decorations, lots of toys, lots of kid stuff.

The best thing that Husband ever did, and again I don’t know why we waited so long to do it was this.

I know it seems a small thing but floor lamps and children DO NOT MIX!

The Master is next

I know, your thinking, Jenny, it’s not any different, you painted the trim white and changed the carpet, I thought you said you hated that paint color and replaced it everywhere.  I did!  But then I did again.  I repainted it with the help of my wonderfully helpful sister-in-law (Thanks Amber!) because I didn’t know how into Purple, light blue and grey renters would be.  Plus the paint was flat and it needed some SERIOUS touch-up.  So much so that it was just easier to just repaint the whole thing and call it a day.  And it just so happened that we still had a TON of that hideous color in our garage.  I will give it props for one thing, that is some good paint.  The can said Wal-Mart but it only took 1 1/2 coats to cover my seriously dark purple.  I was really impressed.  Next time I buy paint I’m going to try getting it from Wal-Mart and see how it goes.  Also, I learned from that experience, unless you are painting something you have no way of EVER EVER EVER touching, don’t paint in flat.

Speaking of purple, here are some pictures of it when it did have the purple wall.

One thing that Husband also did that if you are looking carefully you will notice is that the ceiling fan in this room has a chain and plugs into an outlet.  Husband fixed that.  That was a wonderful day to be able to look up and no more chain!

We also did some stuff in the bathrooms like

This and This!

Sorry, no before shots on these.  We had your standard faucet and your standard teeny tiny tri-fold wooden old and falling apart medicine cabinets.  We saw these on sale at IKEA (my favorite store) and we bought one set for our bathroom and another set that goes along the whole wall of the other bathroom.  It made an AMAZING difference.  Event though they are bigger then the old ones it made the space feel bigger and doubled the storage. in the bathrooms.

  And last, but not least.

The Kitchen

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, I really think it is here.  Wow, the old kitchen almost makes me depressed.

Here are some more shots of the new kitchen to brighten me back up.

The thing that I learned the most from the kitchen re-do is that taking just a doorway out can have a HUGE impact on a room.  You can see from the before and after shots the wall that was taken out and the  pass-through that was also added.  Just taking that wall out and being able to move the fridge over a few feet made a HUGE difference in the functionality of the kitchen it was quite astonishing.

So, I guess that’s it.  We did a lot of stuff to that house in the eight and a half years we lived there.  A lot of memories of living there.  A happy start to a marriage, three babies came home there, life has rolled on.  I’m happy that we have completed all of the thing we wanted to do with it.  That bring a sense of completion with it that very fulfilling.  I’m also happy that we still own it so that we can continue to care for it has been so important to us.

That’s not to say I’m not excited to live in a bigger place.  I AM!  I will show you how that’s going soon.

So what is your favorite thing we did?

What has been the favorite thing you have done to YOUR house?

What lesson’s have you learned in your DIY?  I’d rather learn from you then the hard way like I did on some of my projects.

Three Lives

I feel like I’ve been living three lives for the past two months.

One here in our new home.

One and work.

And one back in our old home.

It makes it really hard to do any very well.

We have been working on finishing up all the projects that didn’t quite get finished while we were living there in preparation for our renter to move in.  It was amazing how many projects were at 95% completion.  It’s also amazing to me that you can live with most projects at 95% completion just fine.

So we would work, do school, take care of kids, and try to spend as much time as we could going to our old house (which is 45 (if you drive fast) minutes from our new house) to finish things up and also try put our new house together and settle into a new life here.  And this was all while I have been dealing with an extremely busy work schedule, starting a new migraine regiment that involves injections (which if you know me at all you will know how much I HATE shots) and Peanut starting a new school, and Husband starting his heaviest semester, and probably hardest semester for his degree.

It’s a good thing I’m on meds already or this would have put me on some.

But, yesterday I officially completed the work on the old house.  I declare it done.

I hope to take some picture of it before they move in this week.  I would really like to re-cap all the things we’ve done to that house and walk down memory lane, as there are so many memories there.  Close the chapter so to speak.

But, it is done.

Well…just one more thing…then it will be done.  I promise.

Ode to a Stickblender

To Whom ever it was that bought us a stickblender for our wedding.

After six and a half years it kicked the bucket, after one last Hollanday’s sauce.  I think it got more use in my home then it would have in most non-restaurant kitchens.  It will be missed.  So, who ever it was that bought it for us, thank you! And my wrist thanks you for all the wisking it has saved me.

Sneak Peak

Of reorg par IV