Tidying up and refreshing old cabinets

IMG_0543 This was the first coat of paint.

I needed a project and wanted to do something different in our kitchen. So I decided to have B take off the cabinet doors on one side and then I would paint them and put my OXO there and my jars.

Well to start, when he took them off I was appalled at the mess and then I freaked out thinking this will never work. But by morning( he did it the evening before, I felt ok with going ahead. So I removed everything and wiped it all down. I had leftover white gloss paint so I got right into a first coat. I knew I would need more paint so I would get that later for a second coat.

IMG_0540I think this is the second.

IMG_0538This is the third. Here’s the other side.

IMG_0541Next, I’m going to do those shelves you can barely see on the right. The pine is nice but stained.

I’m completely wiped out by the painting and the rearranging. I managed to pull together a large box of thrift store things though so that’s good.

Our big project next year will be to pull out the counter and sink and replace. The layout of the kitchen doesn’t really allow for a different configuration as there’s a door on the left wall and then the opening to the front room on the other. So basically we’re stuck with where things are unless we hired a contractor which we can’t afford to do so it’ll be upgraded but nothing moved.

IMG_1624 (1).jpgI really love how it came out even though I am exhausted:(

 

Friday Five

  • Yesterday my daughter and I took a huge load to Goodwill that was mostly my son’s stuff. Hurray!!!! Maybe the decluttering is sinking in for him. ( Probably not, but it was a good start).  Plus it was two Kirkland dog beds that the border collies just don’t use. The books I saved out of the drop to take to the pet bookstore as I’d rather support them.
  • Did the budget with B’s check and we’re on track to finish the credit card that we put Z’s spring tuition on by July.  Also, I finally paid the last of my Invisalign costs. So that was exciting. After the CC is done, I’m determined to finish the Santa Fe. It’s 2014 so, that’s 4 years of payments and I want it gone. If I did that by the end of the year I’d be happy.  I don’t see us getting another car for B’s work. Even though the company does do a stipend it would mean another car loan and right now, I don’t want that.
  • Retirement is looming for B so we need to be as debt free except the mortgage as possible.
  • My daughter and I went to the gym and then after the thrift store drop headed over for some tostadas. Yummy.
  • For dinner, I made baked tofu and then made a really yummy coconut curry vegetable stew. It was delicious. Plus I made a peanut sriracha sauce for the tofu.

Today it’s hot. So I might just hang out at home and read. My son lent me another graphic novel, TheWatchman, so I’m curious about it. He said it is the # 1 graphic novel of all time.

I might wash the outside windows with the Windex outdoor product. It actually works very well and you don’t need to wipe them when done although it does help.

Tonight is pizza night.

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Cheese and pepperoni pizza with basil.

 

 

 

Simple Sunday​

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It is a lovely day. Sunny and pleasant. Not really warm but that’s okay.

This morning I made almond butter in my new Cuisinart. The first batch didn’t work too well as the almonds were stale, I think. I picked up another pound and then toasted them first then put them in the food processor. Viola!!! almond butter.  It does take a while to get to the final stage but I will do it again because it’s nice to just make a mall amount. We never get thru a whole jar so that’s kinda neat.

Then I made polenta. Some for dinner I’ll grill and then some for later in the week. I have brown rice cooking with some added wild rice.  Then I think I’ll just grill some tofu on the side.

I went to the gym and did an okay workout. I’m not feeling too inspired but I imagine it will pass.

This week is the Kitchen zone in Flylady so I’ll do that tomorrow morning.  Some stuff I already did ( wiped all the stainless steel appliances) but I’ll probably have to do it again.

Next week we’re heading to New Brighton State beach to camp. The weather looks ok. there is supposed to be some showers Sunday but the rest of the week looks nice.  Our favorite bakery ‘Gayles’ is there so that’s a win-win. Plus I’m looking forward to Lodge cooking again.

We are already into April and this year I’ve had almost nothing to drop off at Goodwill. I guess my balance with minimalism is darn good at this point. I just bought a new gooseneck electric teapot and the old one will go to Goodwill but really there’s not much left to declutter.  Perhaps down the road with different needs or criteria, it will change.

Things do change and each season in life brings new things.

 

 

Midweek

We went over to the pet bookstore this morning. I love that ALL the books are $1.00.

I picked up 3 new cookbooks to peruse and maybe get some ideas. One is a Classic French cooking book. For $1.00 if I don’t like it I can just give it back. Plus it supports the Foothills SPCA.

Then, my van wouldn’t start the other day which was weird as it always starts. So we thought it was the battery and B went dutifully to go buy one to the tune of $157. ( that includes the fees). Well, it wasn’t the battery but I’m sure we needed one anyway. So he called and had AAA tow it 1/8 of a mile away to the garage in town here.  So, today, I stopped in to check and the mechanic and owner said the grounding wire had deteriorated so he fixed it. All is well in van land. Not that I use it that much but I still love it. And we do use it to haul hay and Ikea (ha ha) stuff.

Tomorrow is gym day and then some errands I need to run. No one will be here, so I’ll be on pet duty for the day. The doggies expect lunch promptly!!:)

I may venture out to the barn to view what I need to do.  I went out there the other day and it looked pretty good. B’s work samples are on one side and he needs these for work so that’s where they live. The middle area is where I need to just kinda re -organize. Most things have been decluttered once, twice, three, four times but there’s always room for improvement.  Until the temperatures start hitting 70 which is now, it’s too cold out there plus it’s dark. I mean there are lights but it’s much better if the doors are wide open. My plan is to start with bring out a vinegar water solution and at least wipe the bins down and then look at a little better system of organization.  Last year, I must have given away 4 bins of magazines so I’m not sure there is more to get rid of right now. I’d still like to only have 2 bins of the best but that’s still aways off.

Dinner is a stir-fry with leftover chicken from last night.

 

Simple Sunday

The decluttering count is up to 850. This is since October 1st I think.

My husband cleaned up his office and threw tons of stuff away( yeah B!!!!). Then I had him get the Christmas bins and reduced from 4 to 2. My goal is always to reduce by half. I didn’t go thru the ornaments just cleaned up boxes and threw away some things I know I won’t use.( in thrift store box). ( 3 tree candles, a computer mini tree that lights up, and some other things I threw out(boxes and a leaking snow globe. At one point I collected snow globes but realized this wasn’t for me. I have a few left and when I open then at decorating time I’ll decide whether to give them to goodwill.

So all in all a win-win.

We went to Costco pre-Holiday time and won’t be back till probably after Christmas. I spent @ $300 on just food. This includes beer for B and wine (4 bottles) for Thanksgiving and Christmas. So lots of butter for baking, cheese, cuz it’s cheese, organic tofu, Starbucks winter blend of coffee, mayo on sale( I love that). So all good there.

It’s interesting going to Costco as a non-consumer advocate (as much as possible for us, right now), and seeing ALL THE STUFF! Wow, it is a little overwhelming. It’s important to just get what you need and go. So for instance. I use some mayonnaise and the coupon was for, I think,$2.00 off. So a giant mayo for $4 something. I will get thru it actually as I make egg salad, tuna salad, dressings etc with mayo. So a good purchase.

Dinner is grilled tofu with golden gravy, a salad of kale, spinach, chard, walnuts, and pomegranate things. Plus mashed potatoes.  I was disappointed Costco didn’t have the huge bag of russets.  One of the best freezer meals to make are double stuffed potatoes. We use these all the time. So, I’ll have to wait till next time.img_0496

Exciting news, tomorrow we head up to South Lake Tahoe for B to work and I get to tag along. Lucky me!!! At the condo, I’ll cook some dinner and we’ll do breakfast.  Just simple scrambled eggs and toast!!

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Beautiful Lake Tahoe!!

 

 

the journey towards minimalism

Life is certainly a journey with its up and downs and in-betweens.

For me, I guess, it really did start with ‘death decluttering’ ….ha ha ha.  Before I was diagnosed in the early 2000’s I became obsessed with collecting things from the 30’s,40;s 50’s and 60’s. I had a lot of fun going to estate sales and looking for buttons, Melmac, old fans, dishes etc. I had some really nice stuff. And my absolute love is mid-century furniture and still is actually. image

So in 2005 when I went thru the gut-wrenching process of getting diagnosed( I would not recommend a biopsy of a plasmacytoma in the back with a neurosurgeon using a hammer), I had a very tiny house with lots of stuff.  With a prognosis of 3-5 years survival, I think at some point, I just wanted it gone but it wasn’t right away.

It probably wasn’t until @ 2010 when I relapsed that the idea sprung into my head, that I didn’t want my kids or husband to deal with this stuff. So….it slowly was tossed, given away or donated.  Thus, the ‘death decluttering’.  Don’t wait till it’s too late to purge, and simplify.   Really, really, DO IT NOW.

 

I still have more than I’d like. In October my challenge was 1000 things gone. I got to 700 and then I just didn’t find any more or at least motivated too.  So, it is a journey of discovery.

I guess there is a balance with it too.  I kinda need a couch at this point.  There was a time sitting on the floor was fine but now I’d probably need a crane to get up so that’s out.  Also, I’ve always loved all things Japanese, so I wanted a low table on the floor but again, crane anyone?

Where am I with it all?  I want only what I use and need and fits our house.  We have given away thousands of things and it feels so good.

I am enjoying adding house plants which are adding oxygen and greenery. A win-win….

 

Dinner is leftover wild rice chicken soup and twice baked potatoes with a salad.

 

 

Clearing more Clutter

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This quote really says it all.

I’ve been removing more little things that are just clutter. Old pictures that are duplicates( like @ 200), old pens, those old family books I mentioned in another post and more.

I’m up to 600 items. Of course, 6 pens is only 6 little items, but I still count them.  I also count stuff I throw away like old files and papers and junky little things. I figure it’s all part of decluttering another layer.

One of the most helpful things I’ve done is take pictures with my iPhone and then look at the space.  This has been very helpful in really seeing the space from an objective view.

Right now, I’m trying to work on my desk area. My desk is a Heywood Wakefield double wish bone table that I have the one leaf folded down against the wall. I have my printer, 2 plants, an orchid, my Mac book and then a desk organizer for bills etc. That’s the problem area. I need to figure out a way that this stuff isn’t so visible.  I also have a bin that was on the floor with files and that too looks too messy I realized after looking at the pictures. I think I might try getting some magazine holders and see if that works.

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I took off the wall folders so that looks better. Then I moved the file box to my Ikea cart. So, I’ll take another picture and see if that looks better.