Monday, June 24, 2013

Things you learn when the power goes out

1. You might pull into your driveway on a Friday night after the power has gone out at the restaurant you were eating at with your family, only to find that the power is out at your house as well. You might go to a late movie then, hoping that it will be restored by the time you get home. But you might be hoping in vain.

2. Upon your return, when you find the power is still out, you might struggle with trying to manually open your garage door in the dark. Then a bug might fly up your nose and you will give up and leave the car in the driveway, because potential damage to your car might actually be preferable to having a bug up your nose. One quandary here: leave the car under a tree (protection from hail) or NOT under a tree (protection from falling tree limbs)? Flip a coin!

3. You'll call the power company and be informed by their automated system that your power will be restored in two hours. You'll pass some time sitting in the dark, waiting for the next round of storms. But your husband will not play Scrabble by candlelight with you, because you were too consistently ruthless with this game early in your courtship, and he does not enjoy it anymore. Are you satisfied? You have ruined Scrabble for the person you love most in this world.

4. The next morning, when you wake up and still have no power, you'll call the power company again. "Two hours," the mechanical voice will tell you. Later, the mechanical voice will turn sadistic and tell you that your power will be restored by Wednesday.

5. You will pack your cooler in a huff, taking care to save the Kramarczuk's sausages that your dad had bought, intending to grill them at your house that day. You will instead move the party to your mother-in-law's, where, despite the fact that you are actually so so fortunate to HAVE somewhere to go (let alone the fact that it's a beautiful, spacious, well-appointed home), you will still feel a little sad and displaced. You will wear a dress, because all of your jeans were in the washer when the power went out. 

6. You'll return to your house on Sunday to clean out your refrigerators. Both of them, you spoiled brat. Goodbye, kosher chicken breasts. Goodbye, Costco burger patties that you were always uneasy about anyway. You will keep your various mustards, though, because mustards are largely vinegar and therefore, let's assume, impervious to spoilage. (If this isn't true, please keep to yourself, because mustard!) 

7. Monday, while you're at work, your husband will check his Slingbox on his phone. If the Slingbox is working, the power must be on at home. The Slingbox is WORKING. GLORY GLORY. 

8. You'll go home and put things back together. All of the clocks need resetting, and Carson the Roomba appears to have gone on a drunken spree for some reason, having lost his dustbin in the kitchen but having still continued on, far away, into the guest bedroom, sweeping the dust but not collecting it (which is really the key thing), because for that he would need the dustbin, which, as we've established, was jettisoned in the kitchen. 

9. Outside, things will largely be quite all right, which you'll be very glad for, considering there are some house and cars in Minneapolis with trees resting on them at the moment. One casualty, though, will be the deck planter. After you'd seen the previous owner's pot filler early in the spring, you'd added to the system with whatever bulky recyclables you had on hand. This was all over Pinterest too; you figured it couldn't go wrong.

Turns out if the pot gets waterlogged enough, it can go very wrong. But you are lucky that this and some chicken breasts made up the total of your losses.

10. You then enjoy your air conditioning and your ice water and try to forget that this will most likely happen again someday, but worse. You will focus on devising a new pot filler solution, i.e., a problem you can solve. The end.

Friday, June 21, 2013

False Alarm

Here's a condensed transcript of what happened when the AC repair guy came over:

Repair guy: "Uhh, yeah, I fixed it. You just needed to flip the circuit breaker."

All of the other adults present: "You two didn't even look at the circuit breaker before calling a repair guy?"

Kate and Eric: "Umm..."

.... aaaand scene!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Currently chilling in the basement...

... because it's 82 degrees upstairs and when we flipped on our fancy-dancy eight-month-old air conditioner a few hours ago the fancy-dancy digital display said SYSTEM MALFUNCTION and then nothing happened, as in, cold air did not come out of the vents. So I guess all that money we paid was for, like, a brutalist metal sculpture that sits in our backyard. (It's very high-concept. You wouldn't get it. In fact, I don't get it either.)

Oh, and we're hosting six family members starting tomorrow. Great; adult life is awesome.

All the Euros are laughing at me. Shut up, Euros, HERRS LIKE IT MID-TO-LOW 70s.

Monday, June 10, 2013

All class.

Yeah, maybe I did run into my yard this morning in a bathrobe and pink hair towel, shouting "GIT!" to chase the Goose Duggars off the lawn. Whatever, I'm not ashamed. I hope EVERYONE saw.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The robins hatched.

baby robins

Mom and Dad are taking turns with feeding and childcare. Very egalitarian.

baby robins

I know they're taking turns because I accidentally just lost an hour watching the action.

baby robins

Apparently I am a bird-watcher now, in addition to a gardener. My AARP card should be arriving in the mail any day.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Hardy Hardy Har

One of the projects that was on my list when I took that week off was removing these crazy spreading groundcover plants from one of the front beds. I didn't know what they were, but they were just growing too well for me to believe they were anything other than weeds.

You in-the-know plant people are shifting uncomfortably in your seats right now, because yeah, as it turns out, these are not weeds; they are hardy geraniums

The good news is, I never progressed that far down the list, and then they bloomed, and now I know they are not weeds. The Google machine has informed me that the annuals most of us refer to as geraniums are actually "pelargoniums." True geraniums are perennials. (The more you know.) Therefore I can be lazy and let these continue their march all over that planting bed, and it will still look like I am keeping up my yard respectably. 

In unrelated observations, when I look at this shrub, all I see is it giving me the finger. It's mutual, shrub. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Visit from the Gaggle

Well I don't know if the neighbors took their dog and went out of town for the weekend or what, but these clowns have been struttin' around like they own the place. There's another pair that only has three goslings, but this particular pair is like goose Duggars. Stop pooping on my lawn, Goose Duggars. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Sometimes the Roomba...

... gets trapped between the legs of the kitchen table and chairs. And then it awkwardly repositions itself about 50 times before it finds a narrow path out again. Or sometimes it just mounts one of those sloping legs on the kitchen table and can't back up again, so it says, "Error. Move Roomba to a new location," and then shuts down. I changed the language to Spanish for a while but Eric didn't think that was funny. Which is odd, because his Spanish is much better than mine. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Bubble Hockey Miracle

Before we found this place, when we were just looking for a house--a house that would theoretically not need all of the mechanicals replaced within a year of moving in--Eric had a dream. Eric's dream was that when we got a house and had room for it, he would own the Super Chexx 1980 Miracle on Ice Bubble Hockey game. It was a nice dream, especially if you were Eric.

Yada yada yada, we found this place and any money that might have been semi-earmarked for bubble hockey was instead diverted to Really Exciting Purchases like a furnace and a water softener. We realized that there would never be a time in our lives when we would say, "Sure, it is totally acceptable to drop four figures on a bubble hockey game right now." Like, hahahahaha, what? No.

But I wanted Eric to know that the bubble hockey dream didn't have to die... we'd just have to inch toward it slowly. So for our anniversary I started the Bubble Hockey Fund, which was a glass canister with a sticker on the outside that had a bar graph to color in for every $100 increment up to the goal. (Tangent: I had a little speech prepared for giving this jar to Eric; I was going to make it really nice, like, "Honey, I haven't forgotten your dream and we're going to get there eventually." Then we went out to dinner on our anniversary and I enjoyed some delicious cocktails, which might have contributed to me dropping the jar and shattering it on the floor of the garage as soon as we got home that night, before I could even give the speech. So in the end "the speech" was more like me handing Eric a bag of broken glass with a $100 bill in it and slurring, "This is fer yer DREAM.")

Anyway... I got a new jar and that was the start of the fund. Both of our families contributed at Christmas, and Eric also cashed in some credit card rewards points he'd been letting build up. It was slow and steady, and with new contributions from me, my parents and Eric's mom for his birthday last week, the fund was up to about half the final goal. Not too shabby!

(The fact that this jar is empty may give away the rest of the story.)

This is when Eric got antsy and started browsing Craigslist, where he found two non-Miracle-edition Super Chexx games. And even though he had originally told me that he HAD to have the Miracle version--he would Accept No Substitutes--the prospect of having bubble hockey sooner rather than later became very tempting.

So that's how we found ourselves in Mound last weekend, where we purchased a secondhand bubble hockey game in pretty great condition. We even negotiated the price down $400 from what it was listed for, so in the end we paid just a hair more than what was in the official fund. AND, the lovely woman we bought it from then helped us drive it back to our place, refused to take any gas money for her trouble, and sincerely wished us a nice life.

Eric's life is certainly nicer now that he can check this off his list. Co-starring in this photo is his friend Wayne, who plays this game like the little plastic men are a natural extension of himself. It is astounding to watch.

The fund did its job so well that now we're thinking we should keep it going for another "There's never going to be a good time to spend that kind of money on a non-essential" thing. The front-runner: a rowing machine.

I don't know if you'd guess it, but this one wasn't Eric's idea.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Further Evidence That We Are Clueless

File this under "additional things we didn't know because we weren't around last spring": So, those three trees alongside the driveway, the ones that looked kinda sad and thirsty when we moved in, that we neglected all last summer and fall?

They are gorgeous flowering foxy babes right now. Here's where I really reveal how much I don't know: Umm, what is the name for this tree and how do I make it LIVE FOREVER?

Also, the lettuce has sprouted. As have the beans. My book says I have to thin these out now. But they're so wee and helpless! I hold their seedling lives in my hands. THE POWER. 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Related Thing I Learned This Week

Did you know that you can pull dandelions out of your lawn for hours, literally hours, and then wake up the next morning and see like 15 g-d little yellow blooms in your yard, which totally were not there yesterday, meaning they literally grew like 300 percent overnight, like they're on plant 'roids or something? Did you know this could happen? And when your parents told you a month ago that you needed to apply herbicide RIGHT THEN, or you'd be sorry, and you were all, "Oh blah blah, runoff, water quality, I'm a hippie and I'm not going to do that, blah blah," your parents were actually 100 percent correct? And even still you could have applied corn gluten meal, which is totally eco friendly, but now you have missed the springtime window and you are doomed to pull dandelions all summer long. You are doomed and your lawn is doomed. "Your lawn." How did we get here, in life?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Springtime Outdoor Serious Business

When I first moved in with Eric a few years ago, I felt strangely and strongly compelled to tidy up the place, set up cleaning routines, and generally "make it nice." In my own place before that, I did the usual decorating and occasional cleaning, but what happened in my brain when I moved in with Eric was a completely different thing. "Aww, you're nesting!" my hairdresser said when I told her about it. I said that I thought nesting was just for pregnant women, and she said, "No, it just means you want to feel settled."

I'm thinking about this again lately because now that it's spring, and our first spring in the house, that compulsive feeling is back, and I really think that it has more to do with biology than with my Type-A nature. There's also the fact that while there are hundreds of future projects around here that could be done at any time of year, there is a limited window of time for spring projects, and unfortunate consequences if you don't get them done. Your lawn will be overtaken by weeds. A tree limb will fall on your house. Your garden will be stunted. DIRE THINGS. Etc.

So I took the past week off of work to take care of spring business. This Sunday will be the one-year anniversary of the day when we first saw this house, but back then we weren't really attuned to the subtle spring stuff taking place outside; it was more like, "OMG NO ONE ELSE CAN HAVE THIS HOUSE MAKE OFFER NOW NOW NOW." Then we didn't really see it up close again until we took possession in July.

So we missed the little things, like ferns and hostas coming out.

That fern/hosta planting bed is now sharing space with my new composter. The city was selling these at a discount, so I decided to try it out. It doesn't reek yet, so let's count that as a success. 

Also included in the spring cleanup: emptying all of the left-behind planters and reevaluating which ones should stay in use. For the massive planter on the deck, the "emptying" process involved laboriously rolling it over to the edge of the deck, then dumping out the potting soil onto a tarp spread on the ground below. This process probably looked highly questionable to the neighbors. 

After emptying out the dirt, I found the clever pot filler the previous owner had used for drainage. Okay then!

My parents gave Eric this birdbath at Christmas, partly because he didn't have that many things on his wishlist, and partly because they knew I would find it distasteful. Eric finally put it outside today. Let's just say I will not be that upset if it is broken by marauding raccoons. 

But I WILL be upset if raccoons trash my garden! This is actually what I've spent the most time on this week. It's a square foot garden, which basically means that I had to drive all over creation to find the correct type of compost, peat moss and vermiculite to fill it. But the book I read promised that I will be richly rewarded for my efforts. Rewarded with things like... Swiss chard! I am not really sure what that is, but I planted some!

Okay, little garden. You can do it. I took this whole week off for you, and I'm going to try to remember to give you water from here forward. Let's see how it goes. 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Curtains! They actually happened!

 Bam. Curtains!

It actually happened. I was not lying to you last week, though last week's post did suggest that I would be the one making the curtains, and as it turned out it was really a joint project between my mom and me. Which is wonderful, because if it had been my project alone it would have never gotten done. 

I went to my parents' house last weekend and we made a day of it, basically. That time was on top of the previous weekend's time, when I spent approximately 8 hours ironing, cutting and pinning the panels on my own. So this project probably required 20-24 woman-hours in total. I am not kidding. It was totally masochistic. Of course it would have gone faster for someone who knew what they were doing, but I haven't done a fabric-y project since Home Ec in 7th grade. Thank bejeebus my mom was the one running the sewing machine.

At some point my dad asked me, "Why couldn't you just have bought pre-made curtains?" And I told him honestly that I found this fabric on Spoonflower while we were still planning the kitchen, fell in love with it, and planned to use it for the curtains before considering how much work that would actually be. 

But now they're DONE. We wanted cafe curtains for the dining area because these windows get the best light in the house (not evidenced on this cloudy day) but they are very open to the street. So these let us keep the light but add privacy for things like semi-clothed dashes to the laundry room. 

Ikea Deka
I was having a hard time finding affordable inside-mount cafe curtain rods, and then we found the Deka system from Ikea for $7 each. Score. However, let me put this on the internet for fellow Ikea Deka installers (everyone else can skip along because this will get boring):  I have long prided myself on my ability to decipher and follow Ikea instructions, but these ones had me cursing a blue streak before I found this. Scroll down for the comments. The secret is- on step five, don't tighten the left bracket all the way. Try about halfway. On step eight, it shows clipping the wire even with the end of the right bracket, but you can yourself give a little extra. Then on step 10, you'll be tightening the wire by turning both the left and right brackets. You can see in this photo that my wire was taut before the bracket was fully tightened. I decided I can live with that because it feels really secure but if I wanted to fix it I would just cut a slightly longer length of wire and try again. There you go. Happy installing.

And now some notes for any fellow curtain-making masochists out there: I made each panel the same width as the window and used these instructions for the double-fold hems: 1" on the top and sides, and 2" on the bottoms. These would have been half the work except I wanted to line them, and the best way my mom and I figured to do that was to make a separate panel from the white fabric in slightly smaller dimensions, then sew the two panels together with just one straight seam across the top. I folded back the white lining in this pic to show how it's not attached except at the top. Are there probably other, better approaches to this? Yes. Did we break nearly every needle in my mom's sewing machine and almost have to make a midnight run to the 24-hour Sioux Falls Walmart? Yes. So... take our method with a grain of salt.
Hey, remember when we moved in and the entire house smelled like cat pee and the kitchen looked like this?

We still want to do a backsplash and add more art, but this kitchen is by and large DONE. Dang, that is gratifying. I am a lucky gal and this whole endeavor has been swell. 

One more before shot of the bay window and our just-moved-in disarray. 

I want to eat lunch here every day.

Aaaand I finally found the gif I've been looking for. Happy spring, happy weekend, gang!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Signs of Life!

Hello, blog. Let me acknowledge that posting has not been so steady for the past few months, for two main reasons. 1) Once the contractor was done working on the kitchen, the rate of progress slowed dramatically. Strange! I can't imagine what happened there. So yeah, our DIY projects are to make curtains and tile the backsplash, neither of which has happened. Curtains should be coming soon though, before my mom demands the return of her sewing machine, which I borrowed at least two months ago and have not touched since.

 But! We got rugs. They are stripey and zig-zaggy and are actually indoor/outdoor rugs that can be hosed off for cleaning. I know that makes them sound like they're plasticy, but they're not. And they were found on crazy sales at Fab and Overstock. So, rugs were gotten. A sort-of accomplishment that required no labor.

2) It was winter, y'all, and things just got real hibernatey around here. I dunno. We ate a lot of carbs and embarked on a Battlestar Galactica marathon that was startlingly close to this. Winter wore on and on and on.

Eric got in some quality snowblowing time. 

We both got in some quality deck-shoveling time. 

And that was about it. Daylight was short and laziness overtook us. We are also, budgetarily speaking, not up for another huge or even medium-scale undertaking for a while. So, now that spring is SUPPOSEDLY here, projects will be thrifty. And I am totally okay with that because I think spring itself will do a lot of the heavy lifting. I am planning a vegetable garden. We'll see how that goes. 

These guys might become an issue.

I'm not as worried about the geese, since our neighbor's awesome dog does a great job of chasing them off the yards on our side of the creek. Do geese even interfere with gardens? Beats me. 

As for other, super minor projects, a few weeks ago we took down the sad dirty tarp thing that serves as a windbreak and keeps snow from blowing in to the screen porch. 

Naturally, that was premature and it has snowed again three times since then. Most recently yesterday. 

But whatevs, we've been enjoying the extra light in the living room with the gloomy tarp down. Perhaps one day soon a special miracle will happen and we can actually sit out on the porch.

So that's the update. I'm shaking off winter and embarking on new projects soon. It's like this: 

Minus the cubs. I would have mentioned that. 

Let's talk again soon, okay?

Friday, February 8, 2013

What Happens When Things Get Ugly on eBay

Okay, so... the gravel art. I know I have a little problem with it but sometimes I just go on a collecting spree until I feel the itch has been sufficiently scratched. I think I'm nearing that point because there's not a lot of suitable hanging space left in the bathroom and I don't want to grow this collection beyond the bathroom, because then it becomes less of a goofy theme and more of an "Oh, this is all over your house and maybe you don't understand it's ugly?" kind of decor statement. 

So the last you saw was this: 
Peacock, poodle and kitty. Okay.

Then I got this, which I haven't yet hung up: 
OMG, a colorful parrot! Hello, friend!

I have alerts set up on eBay so that every morning they send me an email of the postings that use the term "gravel art." Which is how, a few weeks ago, I came across this: 
(This is the eBay photo; that is not my house in the background.)
The listing said: "Up for auction is a Vintage Gravel Art Sequin Peacock Velvet Picture Mid Century Modern Eames Era . The picture and frame are in great used condition. I looked it over many times and didnt see anything missing but just in case there is I will say that this is over 20-30 yrs old so it may have a missing bead or design pattern piece. The bird sticks out of the picture a little and is really cool I tried to get it in the side view picture but you really cant see it. These pictures are very unique and getting hard to find. Feel free to ask questions and make offers !!"

It had a Buy It Now price of $29.99 and I really liked the vivid colors, so I decided to treat mah-self. Okay. It arrived about a week later, and upon opening it I realized a) it had a strong reek of cigarette smoke, and b) there was no gravel. The peacock and tree were all fabric (kind of like iron-on patches) and ribbon. It DID have a black velvet background like my other pieces, but the object itself... not gravel. 

At this point I was a little bummed, since this was a departure from my THEME, but I was still willing to keep the thing. BUT, I felt like I wouldn't have paid as much for it had I known it wasn't truly gravel art. I put it on the porch to air out the smell and sent the seller this message: 

Hello- I've received the picture and it's cool... but I'm disappointed to find that it isn't actually gravel art as stated in the listing, as I've been working specifically on collecting gravel art. As such, I'd like to ask for a concession on the price. Would you be willing to refund $15?
She responded with:
I am sorry that you are not pleased with your item but if have you been working specifically on collecting gravel art then you would have noticed it in the picture. This is gravel art and described correctly and since I do not take refunds or returns I cannot not help you. I am sorry again but this item is described correctly and if I make a exception for you just because you didn't look close enough or didn't like it when you finally got it then that avoids the whole purpose of selling on ebay. Thanks !

This is when my righteous indignation alarm went off. There's kind of a whole culture to selling on eBay about making your best attempt to describe items accurately. How could this lady be calling the piece gravel art when it did not have a single bit of gravel on it? 

SO I TOOK HER TO eBAY COURT, i.e. opened up a case in the "Resolution Center" under eBay's Buyer Protection program. I had never done this before in 10 years of buying on eBay, but it was pretty simple. You and the seller both get a chance to state your side of the issue and then the powers-that-be at eBay decide who is RIGHT and who is WRONG. 

Here's my statement: 

The item was listed as "Vintage Gravel Art Sequin Peacock Velvet Picture Mid Century Modern Eames Era." I reviewed the pictures and the listing before purchasing, but found upon its arrival that it is not actually gravel art- there is NO gravel on the piece; only fabric and beads. (Background on gravel art can be found here: This is not clear in the photos as some of the fabric looked like gravel to me. I requested a price concession from the seller, who replied that the item IS gravel art and was described correctly, and will not give a refund or take a return. 

Here is her statement: 

This item was bought at a local street fair. The vendor only sells vintage gravel art. There were 3 pictures and they all have the close up option. Just because gravel is in the title does not mean gravel is actually used in the picture it is called that because of the items that are used...beads,feathers,velvet,yarn.pattern,etc and yes sometimes gravel but not always....there are no rules to art...I see abstract paintings of people all the time and see the same art called abstract that has no people at all....does that mean since there inst a person in the second abstract painting mean its not abstract then? NO RETURNS OR REFUND IS CLEARLY STATED !! THIS IS A PIECE OF GRAVEL ART....LOOK AT THE PICTURES NEXT TIME !!

So, some thoughts on this: 
1. What a lovely person!
2. Lady went DEEP with that whole "there are no rules to art" thing. Yeah, it's like... if I paid $10,000 for an "oil painting" and then found that the materials used were actually ketchup and Sunshine Downy, I might say to the artist, "Hey, I thought this was an 'oil painting,'" and then she might say to me, "Hahaha, that's all part of the statement, you fool. This piece is really about the nature of EXPECTATIONS and the meaning of TRUST in modern society! THERE ARE NO RULES TO ART."

Okay, but, that's not really how eBay rolls. Pretty much immediately after the seller entered her side of the story, the customer service people made their call: 

So initially all I wanted was a price concession but by this time I was feeling such bad juju toward that stupid thing that I was glad to be rid of it. They gave me a prepaid shipping label and I wrapped it up (I think the smell had in fact improved during its time on the porch; you're WELCOME, lady) and sent it back. 

That's not quite the end though! Guess what the seller did immediately upon receiving it back? POSTED IT AGAIN WITH THE SAME DESCRIPTION CALLING IT GRAVEL ART. She also added this charming note in the listing: 


Girl sticks to her guns, let's give her that! 

The grand finale is the mutual feedback we left for each other yesterday. Shockingly, I gave her negative feedback, which sellers haaaate. 

And then she returned the favor, but somehow marked it as "positive." 

I will say this: If I am in fact a scammer, I am truly terrible at it because this whole escapade took up my time and I've got nothing to show for it. Nothing, I guess, except this story. 

So what have we learned?
1. I am a loser and usded feedback as a threat !!!
2. eBay Buyer Protection actually works, or at least it did in this case. 
3. Most importantly, there are no rules to art.


Friday, January 18, 2013

J-Hiccup: Days 2 and 5

As established in my first post on this topic, I will not be adhering religiously to the assignments of the January Cure (also referred to as the January Happiness Cure Project, or "J-Hiccup") so there will be some skipping around and some items that are ignored altogether. But I'm doing stuff! Here is proof.

The assignment for Day 2 was to set up an outbox, which I have renamed Limbo. I also went an extra step and put a Donations box right next to the Limbo box, because I think I'll be ready to send a lot of things away for sure, without the need for the intermediate step. You'll see that the Limbo box was also once a "Recycle" box...

... which was used during my great paper purge and consolidation a few weeks ago. (This is the before photo, just to be clear.) Now Eric's files and my files are merged and streamlined and living happily in two neat boxes. That feels good. 
Day 5's assignment was to pick a project from your initial list to tackle this month. I said I would clean out the little bedroom and I DID.

Yeah... this is embarrassing. This room was a random catchall for junk that somehow didn't make it to the basement. Which includes a pile of costume dresses on the floor. I do not feel the need to explain my costume dress collection to anyone; I'm just a little sheepish that they are on the floor here.  

Here is a random pile of electrical cords, a broken roller shade, a window screen... you know, just stuff that's nice to keep around for ambiance. 
After. There is no longer a dire risk of tripping on the way to the ironing board. Those boxes in the corner are the limbo and donation boxes from the top of the post. 

I left our remaining art to be hung in this corner because I plan to actually do that soon, so this stuff didn't need to be banished to the basement. Also note my prom and homecoming dresses hanging in the closet- part of a massive delivery of stuff my parents brought to our house to get it out of theirs. I guess I could probably move those into storage downstairs as well, or better still, put them in the donation box. 

J-Hiccup progress! More to come.