So: blue weekend

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tiny piece of inspiration

Hooray! The makeover of the formerly boring beige laundry room is pretty much complete—we finished the blue touchups on Sunday afternoon. I still need to get out white paint for the trim and the door, but the ultra blue (the paint color is called Azurean) makes me smile whenever I see it and it really brightens up a room that’s really not known much for fun.

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glass tile countertop works great with the wall color, just need to get that white counter trim done

We’re really pleased with how it turned out and I plan on getting the cabinets all organized during this long weekend. There’s a ton of space for the laundry stuff, some cleaning supplies that don’t need to go in the utility closet.

It may even be the home of Morty, the much neglected sewing machine (he really needs to come out and see some use in this last part of 2013). Morty would look pretty slick in this room because he’d stand out. Of course, the sewing basket and all of the fabrics I’ve been saving (truthfully old clothes I’m either going to repurpose or just practice with) should probably live here too.

While the color is certainly not a typical midcentury color (maybe too extreme—you think?), it makes me happy. So does the ironing board cabinet.

Do you have one of these babies in your house? This is the second house that we’ve had that has had such a built-in. In Toronto, we removed one to free up some needed space. Here, it’s perfectly fine where it is, although we don’t really use it. I just love the lattice screen at the bottom. The knob is not original and it’s not what I would have chosen, but it’s here. If I find something cool, I may replace it just for kicks. For now though, it’s fine.

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we kept the original ironing board cupboard and ironing board —a little visual interest for the room even though we don’t use it at all

The new ceiling light makes me happy too. The circles remind me a little of soap bubbles which is fun for a laundry room. The designers probably intended some grander purpose for it than lighting up the sorting and folding, pouring and spraying that will happen in here. Maybe a dining room or kitchen—or even a foyer (in Texas, it’s pronounced FOY-yer by the way, so I usually say entry, lest I be accused of putting on airs by Frenchifying the word).

It puts out a ton of light so it’s great for the laundry room. And for lighting up Guinness, who has recently rediscovered his love of the laundry room now that there are no paint cans, tools, and tarps in his way. It’s also a nice place to hide from the younger ones and their rambunctious romping and destroying of toys. Bruce calls George and Gidget the NGs (new Gs) and Guinness and Godiva the OGs (Old Gs).

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A bit of the fancy ceiling light…that we picked up at Costco Canada last summer

Speaking of the Gs, Gidget got a bright blue ear on Saturday afternoon as Bruce was painting behind the washer and dryer. That makes her even more official as a member of the 4G Network. Now, every one of those dogs has now gotten paint from this house on them. Guinness and Godiva have gotten orange and avocado green on them, George managed to paint himself with bits of gray while we worked on the office/tv room. And I always manage to get some in my hair too. Not sure what that says about me except that I’m klutzy.

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we painted the cabinets blue since leaving them white looked funny and made your eye just look at the wall of white

So that’s what we were up to last weekend. Bruce wants to put a shelf above the washer and dryer, but that’s a project for later once we see how we like the new set up.

We also took Gidget to our vet and found out that she’s not 11 months old. Dr. Hutson thinks Gidget’s probably 8 months old tops.

Now that explains a few things! Gidget decided last Monday that she might like the taste of the bay window sill and moved on to the surfboard coffee table. Luckily, Bruce is handy at fixing wood things, she didn’t hurt herself, and we have gone back to using the crate while we’re gone for during the workday. It’s just too long of a stretch for her to be left to her own devices—and the naughty 3Gs didn’t police her very well. Still, I know she looks forward to the Kong filled with peanut butter (I freeze it for less mess).

At the vet we decided to get her DNA tested like we did for Godiva (lab-bull terrier-chow-English setter) and George (lab-golden retriever-pomeranian-some other small dog). We’ve assumed Guinness is 100% lab but several people have remarked that he might have some Great Dane in him. Looks enough like a lab that we’re not bothering with DNA. I’ll let you know what we find out about Gidget. We should know in a couple of weeks. Any guesses? We think terrier of some sort for sure, but who knows?

Gidget’s gained a few pounds (yay!) and seems to be getting a little bit taller. She also was a wee bit sick and the vet found out she had giardia. Unfortunately, it’s contagious when you have a pack so It’s meant treating all the dogs this week. They haven’t minded much since we mix the medicine (it’s a powder that must taste delicious) with their favorite wet food. They’re going to be sad tomorrow when they take their final dose. They all line up and sit when they see us doling out the wet food and sprinkling the powder on. We have to hold each dog’s bowl to make sure each gets their own dose (it’s by weight). As you know, George would be glad to take everyone’s medicine.

I hope that you’re all doing great. Thank you for your kind words about my last post. We are all so glad that Gidget found her forever home.

PS: I’m sorry that I haven’t written much lately. Work’s been a little nutty. And having a puppy in the house again is keeping everyone on their toes. I’m hoping that things have settled down a bit now.

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So: in praise of routine

After this extended break, it’s never been so obvious to me why people say they need routine when they retire. Or when they freelance.

I was off from December 21 until today and while my to-do list shrank substantially, my puttering around the house and urban farm was anything but routine. If the 3G Network hadn’t insisted upon their morning ramble around the neighborhood, I probably would have been pajama clad for the entire day. Eating during the day consisted of grazing upon leftover party food whenever I felt like it. Coffee consumption was at an all-time high for my post-college life. I have no magazines left to read until the February issues and downloads are available.

Now back at the office and despite my goal of improved punctuality, I puttered around here for the first hour of my day. Chatting with co-workers, distributing a few wayward holiday cards, watering plants (they aren’t even mine, but for some reason, my office is where everyone’s unwanted plants find a new home), dropping off already read magazines, etc.

And I need to figure out my 2013 routine. When to write this blog (and other non-work-related writing). When to schedule my workouts so they don’t fall by the wayside like they did this fall. When to schedule my various extra-curicular activities. And when not to over-schedule and just rest. I’d even like to explore taking some technology time-outs.

Some people set their resolutions and goals on New Year’s Day, but I generally use the week to assess and ease into a new year. One thing I always do: I jumpstart the health goals on January 2 by returning to healthy eating, drinking more water, reducing caffeine. This year, I’ll return to the gym this weekend, not today. I plan to get my vision board for 2013 done by Friday end of day.

A new year means a fresh start. A new routine. But what I like about 2013 so far is what a paper supplier’s card called it: LUCKY 13. It seems as if there’s something magical about to happen and I like it.

So: an ode to under-appreciated (but necessary) home tasks

It’s the final day of 2012 and I don’t have to work. (Poor Bruce does though.)

I’ve been up since 5, which is when the 3G Network (Guinness, Godiva and George) prefer to rise so their humans can consume mass quantities of caffeine prior to a brisk-ish 30 minute walk. It’s raining so most of my outdoor to-dos have to wait (except fertilizing the plum, peach and fig trees, but more about that in a second).

So what’s a gal to do?

How about the most heinous, the most under-appreciated home tasks imaginable: taming the paper pile monsters and getting organized for tax time!

Ugh. I’ve been at it for about an hour and while it is exhilarating to run the shredder and eliminate some of the clutter in mere moments, it’s also dreadful. Sure, the paper cuts hurt, but so does the archeology.

For example, as I unearthed the “Home Warranty” file from the old filing cabinet and looked to see what could be streamlined, I realized the answer was “nothing”. For those of you who don’t know, a few days into our residence at the Mortroski Midcentury, we started experiencing bizarre and frankly disgusting plumbing issues. Like sewage backing up into one of our bathtubs every time we ran the washing machine.

I won’t go into all of the gory details, but let’s just say that the home warranty company did everything in their power to NOT help us for more than SIX MONTHS. Finally, a solution: tunnel through the foundation in the family room (we call it the lounge since it’s 1960s groovy) and purchase 37 feet of new sewer pipe which inconveniently ran right through the center of our house. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. So we must keep that entire file in case we ever want to sell. My stomach still hurts just thinking about it.

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A huge chunk of 2011 was spent worrying about things like was our cool new house a total lemon? Would we be able to afford the costly repairs? Would we have to take the previous owners to court since they did not disclose this preexisting condition? Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

This little project will take most of the day, by the way. I plan to pace myself, get outside in the mud and fertilize the fruit trees with their first (organic, naturally) fertilizer in perhaps ever in the case of my formerly neglected, now lovely plum and peach trees, and run a couple of errands in the middle of it, just so I can propel myself through the piles—and keep the shredder from overheating. But many black garbage bags full of shreds later, it will be done. And I’ll be thrilled to have it out of the way at least until December 31, 2013.

Yes, although I’ll promise myself that 2013 will be different and I’ll stay organized all year, the odds are good that I won’t. My track record hasn’t been all that great. And I like to procrastinate and find preferable activities like digging in the dirt and planting stuff to eat.

But for 2012, I also blame the office renovation, which is verging on fabulous, but is still not 100% complete, mostly due to me having a crazy Q4 and not being available to devote whole days to sanding, staining, painting, etc. If it was up to Bruce, it would have been done months ago. Like August. Sorry, dear.

So tell me, what horrible home task have you been avoiding? And when are you planning to get it done?

Now, excuse me, the shredder is waiting.