Tuesday, January 06, 2009


On Sunday December 28 2008, Paul and I spent the entire afternoon cleaning our apartment. He scrubbed the bathroom from top to bottom, and I focused on rearranging all the clutter that had accumulated upstairs over the last 15 months. The basement is still the same mess, but now the upstairs is about as organized as it gets. The dining room was never bad, and the kitchen was fine too, except for the dishes we always let build up (since we don't have a dish washer!!), so the main improvements are the bathroom, bedroom a little bit, and the living room.

We had been planning to clean already, but on Sunday morning I woke up suddenly at 8 AM with an idea: photo boxes from JoAnn Fabrics like the one Rachel had given me for Christmas a few years ago. So I left early for church, and got to JoAnn's right when it opened at 10, and got myself 6 photo boxes...then when I got to the register, they were only $2 instead of $4, so I got 6 more...and then one had a small scratch on the lid, so I got it for only $0.50, so I ended up with 13. 9 are black, 2 are white, one is black with a grey design, and one is lime green. I have 9 on the bookcase and 4 on the shelf under the coffee table, and they are the coup de grace of the entire organization effort.

We have two matching bookcases, one of which is in the foyer and the other is in the living room. For some reason, we had all our books out in the foyer, and the one in the living room was just piled with junk. After filling a huge box to overflowing with trash and moving all the books into the living room, the bookcase in the foyer is now only half full, and the living room feels much more homey with all my books smiling at me from two neat rows. Here is what my living room bookcase looks like now:
From Home Improvement in New Cumberland

Isn't it neat how the photo boxes fit perfectly in the bookshelf? They all have labels, and now all the little stuff is organized: extra office stuff like markers and pens, stamps and envelopes and packing tape, random stuff like plug splitters and the old remotes, some of my craft supplies, and all kinds of stuff. Plus there are still three empty boxes waiting to obscure and organize the additional junk that we're sure to accumulate in the near future!

I also moved most of my smaller plants out to the living room on the radiator, and set up a bunch of photos on the window sill, so now I'll have to dust more, but there's no room for me to set papers and crap when I'm feeling lazy, so hopefully it will look nicer.
From Home Improvement in New Cumberland

I don't keep it on while we're home because it's so glaring, but I have a full-spectrum fluorescent bulb that stays on during the day to give the plants plenty of growing light. The aloe is growing like crazy, but I wish the basil and rosemary would thrive more. The pepper plant (not shown) just died after putting all its energy into one perfect red chili, so I'll probably re-pot the basil into that bigger pot and see if it's any happier with that. I should probably also get a bigger pot for the rosemary.

And finally, I thought of a good way to disguise the big ugly (but effective!) antenna Paul built to improve our over-the-air TV signal, and display one of my big pictures more prominently at the same time:
From Home Improvement in New Cumberland

The Van Gogh picture is leaning on the antenna, hiding it completely!

So there's New Year's Resolution # 1 still going well.
NYR # 2 I acted on today by using the gym at work for the first time: recumbent stationary bike for 30 minutes followed by elliptical machine for 15 minutes. I plan to go every Tuesday and Thursday after work, and strive to do some major physical activity every weekend, giving me at least 3 days of good exercise every week.
NYR # 3 is still in the works, planning to take the first time homebuyer's class in March with Paul.
NYR # 4 is obviously not going that great, since it's after 11 and I'm still blogging. But I have a doctor's appointment at 8 tomorrow and an eye appointment at 8 Thursday, so I'll have to get up earlier anyway. I'm going to shower now and go to bed, no earlier than before New Year's.

Oh one last thing, I settled on a sweater knitting book:

But I got it at Border's with my Christmas gift card from Paul's family.
The one Crystal used years ago I looked at, but all the comments on Amazon said it had good techniques but made very ugly sweaters; plus, it only made one kind of sweater, and I want to learn about all types and styles of knitting sweaters. This book goes through each different way to make a sweater with the different shoulders and necklines and bottom-up or top-down, and both circular and straight needle techniques, plus tells you how to do each kind with lots of different sizes, gauges, needle sizes, and yarn weights. PLUS it's spiral bound and hard cover, so it's very portable and useable. I think I picked a good one. Yay! I am excited to knit an actual whole (kid-sized) sweater within the next six months! Very cool. Also, yay for pregnant friends - I went first in the marriage thing, so I'm glad I don't have to go first in the baby thing.

OK seriously, good night for real this time. Byes.

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