Archive for the ‘During’ Category


Weekend Update: clearing the head and the teen’s room

January 5, 2014

THANKFULLY no before pics were taken but instead of cleaning the floors and buying flowers, per The Cure, the kid’s room got gutted.

Apparently we won’t be following directions – entirely ūüėČ

You may recognize more than a few things in the discard pile (like my precious and done silver vanity). But onwards and upwards!


The huge TV, vanity, desk chair and SIX bags of trash went. The computer armoire and top bunk are slated to go. All that will be left is a twin bed, a dresser, bookshelf and W I D E open space that’ll be her own personal music studio.


Taking the top bunk off = breathing room

We need to paint next weekend – but lots of trim and picture rails means a lot less to paint! We’ve settled on an ultra modern color palette. Can’t wait to see it all come together.

Next weekend we’ll finish her room and start ours. By the end of January our house will be much, much improved!


Projects: big and small

February 4, 2013

Projects come in all shapes and sizes – but the size is often more determined by the emotional outlay required to complete it than the physical expenditure.


I am the Queen of Pain Avoidance.¬† If it makes me uncomfortable I will go to amazing lengths to push it to the bottom of my To-Do List.¬† Dealing with the deluge of incoming mail at home is boring¬†and ungratifying.¬†The lack of pleasure I receive dealing with it results in MOUNTAINS of mail that gets stashed in a bag or box or some such¬†receptacle¬†do be dealt with at some vague date in the future.¬†Needing to find something in that slush pile takes so much time and frustration.¬† This leads to imagining THE most stylish and efficient solution that will CURE ALLLLL MY WOES… when I can find just the right cabinet, or when the exact thing I want goes on sale.

See what I did there?¬† I’m still avoiding it.

So I end up with this.


 This started out as a the pile that grew in the corner of the dining room when we moved in 2.5 years ago.  When we threw our Christmas Eve Eve party it took over the only meager (and not at all clear) corner of our bedroom. Yesterday morning I dragged it out back into the light of day.

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Clearing the way…

April 19, 2011

If you’ve been reading this tripe blog for a while you will know that I love going to the dump. Unloading massive amounts of dead weight from your life frees you up to move forward.

Last night I needed to find the last of my tax forms to file my taxes.  I waited until the last possible minute to do them because I needed to dig through the dunes of paperwork that has accumulated during the moves of last year. It was something I was having trouble steeling myself to undertake.

You know, I have a problem with that… when a task seems quite huge, I run and hide. Then, in my head, the task keeps growing and growing like some helium filled unconquerable monster until I feel like no human in the world (and most especially not I) can finish said task. Ever.

As the kitchen clock tick-tocked-tick-tocked (and it did not stop) I sat down at the table armed with paper bags, my trusty shredder, a dozen piles and two overstuffed boxes. If I was gonna start looking for the one 1099 I was gonna go through it all.

Perhaps this all or nothing approach contributes to my slacking¬†procrastinating… hmmmm. I think I’ll choose to pretend I didn’t just have that revelation ūüėČ

In the end the massive hoard was reduced to these perfectly managable file-piles.  As soon as I walk in the door they will all be slipped in to manila folders and nestled in the file cabinet.

Believe it or not, there is order there! (Note the blue tape used to keep the bulging tote closed. Yeah, you’ve really got your shit in a pile when you resort to such tactics!)

Outside, the recycle bin is now over half full. Yes, it’s one of the super big recycle bins. And, yes, it didn’t have a damn thing in it before last night.

Filling the recycle bin isn’t quite as thrilling as an outing to the landfill, but it was still pretty awesome.

And you know what? Honestly, it took me less than 2 hours. TWO HOURS. So much for the unconquerable monster theory…

Some of the crap I unloaded has been following me since we left the Avenues – last minutes bills hastily packed on my way out the door that never saw the light of day again.

Really – who doesn’t pay all their stuff online any way? And why can’t I make paper bills go away entirely??

Away went all the paper reminders of the debacle that was 2009… away went a bunch of unread magazines that I never got around to… away went random useless receipts… away went 401k statements that said the same thing month after month (You have $3.58 in your account – close it out for good you jackass!)… away went things I couldn’t find because now I know where they are.

No longer is there a massive pile on the table or in my head… I have cleared the path to breathing easier and focusing on the next thing that I will blow all out of proportion only to find that it really didn’t take that long after all. Ha!


Lessons Learned

March 21, 2011

This weekend I had grand plans to accomplish a million things, but I barely touched my To-Do list.

I did manage to fill the kitchen for the next two weeks, get the bare minimum of house-keeping done, and take care of three horses (but no time to ride even though the sun was out on Sunday).

In the future, even when I plan to have a lot of time to myself, I am going to refrain from list-making. The incomplete items overshadow the things that I did get done and I ended my day on Sunday in a rather foul and resentful mood.

I am learning that I can no longer run run¬†run run without running out of gas. My work-weeks are the same each day: rise, shower, pack breakfast and lunch, commute, work, commute, work out, make dinner, go to bed. On the weekends I try to pack in all the neglected household chores, errands, and fun freedom I don’t have during the week.

I should have been able to get everything accomplished that I planned. But it rained. A LOT. Mucking and grooming 3 horses took a lot longer than I thought. My attitude began to work against me in ways I didn’t anticipate.

Something has to give.

I have to learn to be reasonable with my expectations because setting myself up for failure doesn’t do anyone any favors. Most especially the people I live with. If I were to make a To-Do list (which I won’t) I need to build in time to do nothing – and I need to be ok doing nothing when there are things still left to do.

Do you do that, too? Do you only allow yourself to relax once everything is finished?

Yeah, that’s not really fair to yourself, is it?

I did manage to get the bedroom about 80% completed. And I am very happy with it (post to come once I deem it “complete”).

I do also need to acknowledge that my adventures in decorating have become so much easier. The agony I previously endured over every minute decision has been replaced with a stunning efficiency and confidence. Even my crafty ideas are translating much easier in to reality. My headboard turned out exactly as I envisioned – and it cost $29.

Another good thing I eked out of an otherwise frustrating weekend was a long, hot bath. Intoxicating were the vanilla-verbena bath salts in the water and the cold pina¬†colada in my hand…. yes, that’s the kind of thing that belongs on a To-Do list.

Oh… and I also learned that I cannot eat things out of a bag. There is just no stopping my gluttony if it involves my hand reaching in to a bag for something.

Not all lessons have to be earth-shattering, right?



Weekend To-Do List

March 18, 2011

It is going to be a dark and stormy weekend in San Francisco, leaving me with more free time than usual. The Child is at her dad’s and The Man will be working all day on Saturday, so I think I’m gonna do some stuff.

  1. Spend some extra time at the barn and take a ride or two in the rain.
  2. Super clean the kitchen and do a little decorating in there.
  3. Super clean the bedroom and do a little decorating in there.
  4. Work out until I fall down – watching my heart rate skyrocket on my shiny new heart rate monitor.
  5. Grocery shopping and cook ahead for the week.
  6. Church on Sunday.
  7. Go to a thrift store.
  8. Attempt a fantastical artistical¬†project using the big box of fabulousness mailed to me a year ago from Arkansas. Yes… I do believe the time has come.
  9. Oh…. and I feel the need to plant some things and add some living green things to our home.

Happy Weekend everyone! May you all be well, safe, happy and healthy.


Pick one, because clearly I am insane.

November 18, 2010

I want to redo my dining room chair seat cushions. Clearly I want green. I have narrowed it down to the following…






All of these will be a huge contrast against the chairs – which I am redoing a la this black chair. Wicker painted in gloss black = HolyEffingFabulous!! (And OMG that room RULES!)

Tell me in the comments which one you like best!

Don’t make me shame you lurkers for your lack of participation!

You know who you are! And I know who you are!


Now on the topic of crazy… If I ever could lay claim to even a shred of sanity I can no longer. I have undertaken the Grand Daddy of All Ridiculously Time Intensive Projects.

The bare bulb on the sun porch just cannot remain naked. Nooooooo. I could just go buy a shade, right? Again, nooooooo. Why? Because the shade I want costs $10,000. That’s right – $10k!

Me being the cheapest of all frugal, purse clutching, bargain shopping, penny-pinching sorts is determined to recreate the look of said shade for the princely sum of $4.50. Of course that does not take in to account the 12+ hours of freakishly tedious labor it will take for me to complete this project.

The major material used is drinking straws – and cutting them in to about a gazillion pieces.

So I got about 6 done in an hour. A box of straws has 100 straws in it.

Think I’ll ever finish it? Shall we start a pool?? Or should I just “do not pass GO, go straight to loony bin”?

Again, pick one.


Holy Mary, Mother of Productivity!

November 16, 2010

I think I set some sort of record for weeknight productivity last night!

This, if you remember, is where I started in the dining room…

I started in the opposite corner and cleared one small space. We hadn’t seen this corner¬†since the day we moved in.

But clearing one space means destroying another.

I was feeling rather down about that when my friend Patty pointed out¬†“It’s Newton’s 3rd law of house cleaning: “For every clean and organized anything, there is an equal and opposite mess to make it happen.”

So I pressed on…

I ended up with 5 bags of trash and a tower of recycling.

And a TON of donations.

The result?

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