More fall cleaning and purging

Hubby and I are clutterred people. We are all but incapable of keeping anything organized for any length of time. Seriously. This is what our little front bedroom looked like until a few days ago:

Frightening, huh? And yes, Mom, I am ashamed of myself...

Part of the problem is that this little room has no purpose. It's right around 7.5' x 11', so it's really not functional as a guest bedroom. Shayne already has his "office" in the basement, and mine is in the back bedroom. The only thing we use that room for is extra uniform storage, ironing, and depositing junk that doesn't really go anywhere else. We've been talking about using it as sort of a dressing room, but I'm definitely open to suggestions on what to use this little room for.

One thing for certain is that the ironing board is a space hog in that small space. I'd really, really love one of these cupboards from Pottery Barn:

But $279? For a freakin' MDF cupboard? Can't do it... So I'm on the lookout for cheaper alternatives...

In the meantime, we cleaned out the room and donated a BUNCH of stuff to Goodwill. I'm going to take the computer over to a place in Elkhart called Computers For All, so that'll be out of there soon as well. Here's what it looks like now:

It's still not perfect, but it's a huge improvement. I'll just have to hope that our sorry, cluttered selves can keep it that way, since I plan on painting it sooner rather than later.


I'm Cheating...!

I can't decide if I'm ashamed or relieved. I made a call earlier to a local refinishing shop to get an approximate quote for stripping some of my baseboards. Not the flat, easy part, but the little 2" strip of intricate design. I want the living room done by Christmas, and I just don't have the time or inclination right now to do it all myself. There's right around 50 feet of it, and the price he quoted me is reasonable (I'll post more details once the work is finished). It was just a ballpark figure, but we can afford it, and I so badly want the room finished. Two years is too damn long.

I can't help feeling like I'm a quitter though. Granted, I've done a LOT of the work myself, and the focal point of the room, the stairway, will be all my own work. I was just hoping to be able to say that we did it all... There's just not enough time this year with my job change, and training, and both of us working full-time.

Someone, please tell me I'm still a real do-it-yourselfer...!


Fall Cleaning

Since we got back from vacation (a real vacation! We went to the Smoky Mountains!), I've begun fall clean-up in the yard and house. I've cut back most of our perennials that are done blooming, like the daisies and echinacea, and started cleaning up the mess from our black walnut tree. It's probably the messiest tree that grows in this area. Every fall it drops its "fruit", a round green nut, which quickly become soggy and turn black. They're a pain to rake up since they're relatively heavy, and the juice from the fruit is dark brown and stains. The yearly clean-up is enough to make me consider cutting down the tree, but I'd feel so guilty removing a tree that large... I'm not even sure it's on our property, even though that's where all the nuts end up.

This afternoon I'm going to vacuum and mop, then attempt to organize the basement storage a bit. There's not too much excitement going on at the Prairie Box lately...


The 24-Hour Getaway

My sanity won out over my house-guilt. Here are the highlights from my overnight trip to the dunes (the full album is available here).

And I'm very pleased to say that I didn't think about the house once the whole time!


To vacate or not to vacate

Warning: This is probably going to be a slightly whiny, self-pitying post. Read on at your own risk... :)

Ever since I started the academy, and even a little before because of field-training, I haven't had any real time to myself. I've had time by myself, but not time where I felt comfortable just doing nothing. Every weekend when I come home, it feels like all of the unfinished house projects are just suffocating me. It's like I can hear my house accusing me of not working on it, even though I've been making an effort to at least do something each weekend. Some of them I haven't written about yet, but I really have been busy. Unless I'm doing something, I feel incredibly guilty, and as a result, I don't really have any days off. Shayne and I do have a trip to the Smoky Mountains coming up soon, but I'm really feeling like I need some time for me.

So... I'm thinking about going camping on Lake Michigan for a night. I'd like to stay all weekend, but I have some prior commitments on Sunday that I need to honor. The thing is, I already feel guilty for even thinking about not staying home. My house is an evil slave-driver...

But who wouldn't rather spend a day somewhere like this?

So despite the guilt, I suppose my mind is already made up. For now.