Back To The Grind

Our first day back in Virginia is getting off to a slow start. Although we went to bed early, we slept in anyway. Then I made oatmeal for the both of us, and Terry made the coffee (although the milk went bad while we were away so we had to drink it black). I sat in front of my sun lamp during breakfast. Just like we never left.

Except that we're left with the memory of how nice our apartment is now that it's freshly painted, thoroughly cleaned, decluttered, and ready for market. And the VA house is a mess-- We've still got tons of stuff from NJ just piled in the kitchen, Terry hasn't taken the recycling out in months so it's getting a bit out of hand (the pile of flattened cardboard in the kitchen is about 9 cu ft, no joke). Plus our luggage and stuff we brought back last night is all in the front hallway. It is not a soothing living environment.

Terry agreed to help me reach my new goal-- we're going to get this house in shape as if we're going to sell it, but then we're going to get to LIVE here with it all nice. The downstairs will be easiest to fix since if I manage to keep anything clean it's down here where we receive guests. But as I look around, it does seem like the TV room could use a fresh coat of paint (it still has the original paint from 1999, I never repainted when we moved in during 2003). I don't care for the color of the paint in the living room, I've wanted to change that for several years now. The kitchen is still fine, the dining room needs better quality paint but it's adequate since I like the color (I was experimenting with the Lowe's brand in the beginning for the living and dining room, but there really is a BIG difference in color complexity between that and Benjamin Moore, although I don't know if "normal" people would notice much, but since Terry and I are both on the artistic side we notice). I think I'm going to paint the bathroom some shade of white (it also still has the original blue paint).

The upstairs hallway really needs some fresh paint-- I've been putting it off since it will require using a ladder leaning from the stairs to the top of the stairwell wall to paint that part. If I hire someone to paint the master bedroom (since the ceiling goes up to 13' in the middle) I'll get them to do the hallway as well. Actually, all the upstairs rooms that haven't been painted yet really need fresh paint, the 9-year-old paint has accumulated a bunch of marks in all the rooms. I had high hopes to use Navajo White in the master bedroom (it's what we used in the condo bedroom), but Terry nixed that since he's not thrilled with that color. So I'll paint the guest bedroom/nursery that color. I'll use the Aura line of paint since it truly is low VOC, you can't smell it a bit so it should be fine for a pregnant woman to paint with. Plus the finish is really nice. But unless you can't stand the smell of paint (in which case you should use it), it's only cost-effective if you would have to prime the walls, since you really don't have to prime them with the Aura. So it saves you the time it takes for an entire coat of paint, plus cost of primer. I still use two coats for a superior finish, but if you're less particular one coat can be fine in most cases. The paint is really expensive which is why I mention this. I think it's something like $50 per gallon.

I totally would not be able to meet my goal if I had to clean up everything myself (it takes me hours just to clean up part of a room without an ADD coach helping), but with Terry I think we can do it. He works really fast. And helps me keep on track so I'm of some use at least. We really need to sort through everything and get rid of a lot. We were really disciplined about not keeping excess stuff around while we were just living in the NYC apartment, but since we've had the house we've slacked off and started filling the closets with stuff we should just sell or give away. We've been here over five years, so it seems like a good time to do a major purge. I'm in the mood to be ruthless. And now that I've discovered "freecycle" I don't even have to feel guilty about throwing perfectly good things away, there's someone who needs just about anything (the guy who got our old kitchen sink & faucet in NJ was very grateful). Plus it's even more convenient since people pick up, and we don't have to schlep stuff to goodwill or anything.

But I can't start today, I've got to see the midwives then go directly to the dentist to get two teeth drilled out (yuck). I'm sure I'll feel miserable after the dentist so maybe I'll play some video games to take my mind off the pain since I won't be able to use my usual distraction of knocking back a couple of stiff drinks. And tomorrow I've got to do the Christmas shopping for my entire family (nothing like waiting until the last minute).