Monday, May 21, 2007
Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Back
I thought I'd give an update, for those of you who are reading along, with some following suit at home too, since a bunch of comments were along the lines of, "let's go Bev, I'll jump in too!" I can just see the garages and basements getting uncluttered across America.

Four days ago, we began this massive overhaul. I dragged three pieces of exercise equipment up the driveway, next to the curb, right about when people would start returning home from their workday. I took a piece of carboard, a big black marker and wrote FREE on it. When Don came home from work, he got so inspired he dragged the extra mower out of the shed; the one that was about half-dead, but he kept it for when the other one might not be working. He agreed, since it's been three years and that hasn't happened, we could likely get rid of it. I left to go to an evening meeting. When I got home he told me the mower lasted 15 minutes before some man, who does lawn work for a living, came to the door and asked if the mower was really free. Yep, free, help yourself. There's now extra room in the shed.

The exercise equipment took a bit longer. I really began to think we'd have to put it out for the trashman, but when the morning commute began some lady stopped and shoved and yanked and pulled on the exercise bike, til she got it wedged in her back seat. I went up to brush my teeth, make beds, etc. and when I came down, not only were the other two pieces gone, they took my sign!

Thank the Lord! Some people just can't resist, if it's marked Free to Good Home!

I planned to use the sign again. Next time I'll write everything's free except the sign.

So the basement looks worse than before, because I started making piles. There is still a treadmill and a cross-training ski thing. Our son-in-love, Jeremy is taking the ski thing. The other I'm hoping to convince someone to take home. It's monstrously heavy. I won't be dragging it up any driveway to a curbside.

The room is almost cleaned out - ready to paint!

Which leads to the next thing - Friday I mailed out 57 invitations to the Second Annual FREE Garage Sale, on June 12, 6-9 pm, here at my house. The rules are - bring all your stuff and a dish of food to share, we'll eat all over the house, then everyone grabs a box or bag, and heads down to the basement and garage. Nothing is marked with a price. No monies are exchanged - just take whatever you want. Or take nothing. Everything that isn't claimed, except for a litter of kittens, is left behind, and I call the truck for the local homeless shelter. They come pick it all up the next day. I figure with 57 invitations we should have 30-40, and it'll be a blast. Last year I gave away a rabbit fur coat, an oak pedestal table, and all sorts of other stuff. I got several decor items, and cleaned out a bunch of space. There were 10 of us last time, so this should be wild and fun. Setting a date, and sending invitations will keep me on task. No backing out now!

The beginning of my pile is on the pooltable. The table and chairs you see are next to be dragged to the curb, with a new FREE sign put beside them.

Don is having trouble parting company with the stuffed fish. There's also a smoothie maker, a bread machine, a waffle iron, a crockpot, a pair of shoes, exercise clothes, CD's up there. More to come! Much more.

Today I plan to paint the exercise craft room whatever neutral color I have on hand. With about 25 cans of paint in various colors sitting around, I plan to dump, mix, etc. til I come up with something. No way am I spending more money on paint. The next step is to make a clean spot to start putting away things, before I really start to purge. I've priced a chair for the room, a photo printer (for my scrapbooks) and later today, after I clean up a bit, hope to head down to the local Target and office store to look at various desks. I'd like something in black or white with enough surface space to sew or scrapbook. Also several shelves to hold supplies. The TV stand will get a coat of black paint, and possibly some shelves put inside it to hold fabric or paper, i.e., craft supplies.

I'm getting rid of the wreaths that we put on every window of the house at Christmas. Also the Fish Pillow, which Don pointed out would go nicely with our Lake House someday (NO way!). I warned him it would look worse before it got better, and he pointed out that it is apparently right on schedule, since it sort of looks like a bomb went off.

He asked what this whole redo is going to cost, and could I do it for under $100, to which I sweetly replied no, but for under $500. I'm planning to take down all the sports memorabilia, paint right over the wallpaper, bottom half of the rec room walls will be a darker neutral, top half will be light, with something inbetween (details of that to be worked out later). I plan to print out family photos in black and white or sepia, put them all in black frames, and do a Pottery Barn look. Paint the wooden stairs going up to the main level in a charcoal, with two stripes on them. I've kept decorating files for years, so these ideas were pulled from there.

Addison's quilt is looking much more quiltish, the layers are together, and it's about half quilted. I'll make more progress on it this Wednesday when I take a day off to quilt with my Sew and Sow's. (Sew fabric, Sow the Word). And eat lunch and talk and giggle, but that would be too long of a name. The dining room still looks a mess, maybe worse since there's now thread all over the floor too. Thank you God for a patient husband, who doesn't have a messy bone in his body, and loves me through these messes I make.

In the meantime, we also landscaped the yard this weekend, weeded, transplanted perennials, and hired two teenagers to help us spread 8 yards of mushroom manure. Yeah, it was a blast. It's such physically hard work, after we each took very long showers, and I washed my hair three times for good measure, we headed to Texas Roadhouse and devoured steaks. I'm not sure I moved last night I slept so hard.

Tomorrow is all about planting the annuals in the flowerbeds, and then taking some time to relax with a book and a glass of sweet tea. I finished Marcia Ramsland's Simplify Your Life, and have now started her second book, Simplify Your Time. It's more about dealing with things like Saying No, Too Much Time on the Computer, Overscheduling, How to Choose a Calendar, etc. Her third book, Simplify Your Space, is due out this fall, and while I will buy it, by then I plan to have my space in pretty good shape. I'd love to have just a few things to tend to, rather than this major overhaul.

So that's what we're up to - I'm off to the basement, outdoors, shopping, etc. BTW, our wrecked car should be ready this Thursday, just in time to leave for three days of camping over Memorial Day weekend. Time flies when you're having fun! At this rate, it'll be Friday before I know it. Leslie (our middle daughter) and her family move back here next week and I'd like to be much further along in this process by then. Have a great week out there everybody.


  posted at 8:21 AM

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