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Two item scratched off the to-do list. Six items left:

  • Two big kitchen boxes left to unpack.
  • Two last kitchen cabinets and a drawer still to clean.
  • Kitchen floor to clean.
  • “Guest” bathroom to clean, including cleaning cabinets and drawers, and washing walls (a two-day job most likely).
  • Finish hanging pictures.
  • Finish sorting and arranging objets d’art in the various shelves and cabinets.

2016_09_05-05All the dishes have now been through the dishwasher and have been put up in the cupboards.   All the teapot lids were found  and all the wrapping paper and boxes have been taken to the dumpsters.  I can actually see my kitchen table now.

Of course, I wanted to do this in stages because I knew there would be a lot of packing paper and 28 boxes which, even with the boxes collapsed, take up a lot of room in a dumpster, which was why I wanted to do it in stages in the first place, but, no, somebody was not going to be happy unless it was all done at once and over with.  As I knew would be the case, when I started taking stuff to the dumpster Monday morning, all three of the alley’s dumpsters were full or nearly so.  I did manage to squeeze in ten of the trash bags full of paper, but four trash bags of paper, and all the boxes had to be left on the back “patio” until they emptied the dumpsters on Tuesday.  Naturally, it rained Monday night, and I had to let the boxes dry out Tuesday before I could finally put them into the dumpster on Wednesday.  But all that’s done now.

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Other side

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Door side

In the office, the old curtain rod and tatty old drapes have been taken down, and a better rod and new drapes hung. The bifold doors on the office closet were proving problematic for the fact that at least one of them had to stay open all the time so the fat(cat)boy could get to his poop box.  That made the folded door stick out and get in the way.  The office is crowded enough what with 5 bookcases and a shelving unit, and having the one bifold closet door open all the time and sticking out wasn’t working.  The closet doors have now come down (not without a fight), have been put in the storeroom and replaced with drapes.  This arrangement works much better.  There’s a small gap at one end where the fat(cat)boy can slip through and get to his poop box, whilst the rest of the closet contents are safely behind closed drapes AND the closet drapes are an exact match for the window drapes.

After I got my first electricity bill (August’s), and it was $157 (yikes!), I had the HVAC guy out.  The unit ran almost constantly.  He discovered it was low on “cool juice” and he topped it up. I mentioned that I had discovered that the blower had been set to run all the time at one point until I turned it off, and that I thought this was part of the reason my electricity bill was high.

However, the HVAC guy said you should leave the “blower” part of the unit on all the time “to circulate the air” or else leave the ceiling fans on all the time (which I already do), and that the newest HVAC units are set to do that.  This keeps the air moving and prevents “temperature stratification” (the hot air rising to the ceiling and the cooler air sinking to the floor).

I have kept my ceiling fans on all the time for years now, having intuited this idea on my own.  Running the ceiling fans is much cheaper than running the HVAC “blower” all the time, energy-wise.  Important to this idea, however, is to reverse the direction of the ceiling fans when you switch over from cool to hot. (That’s why ceiling fans come with directional switches — DUH!).  When you have the AC on, the ceiling fans should spin in the direction that pulls cool air up from the floor and pushes the hot air along the ceiling and down the walls.  When the heater is on, the ceiling fans should be set to blow the hot air down from the ceiling and pull the cool air up the walls.  The take-away mnemonic is:  Ceiling fans should suck in the summer and blow in the winter.

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2016_08_13-05In the living room, my accent colors are yellow (sunflowers) and oxblood red, which works nicely against the dark wood paneling.  (Yes, we are stuck in the ’70’s.) I took the green vase I had on the mantel (see right) and put it on the refrigerator.  I like it much better there.

2016_08_13-06Part of the problem with the living room is that entertainment armoire and the honking great TV in it, which I want gone yesterday and replaced with the sideboard and a flat screen TV.  I’ve got to decorate that wall as if the armoire wasn’t there and the sideboard was in its place, which makes final picture placement problematic.

2016_09_08-03The clock is probably not going to stay just there.  I just put it there because I needed to hang it somewhere and there was a nail already there.  The pair of lamps are going into the storeroom.  I won’t be able to have a lamp on the sideboard once there’s a flat screen TV there.  I have an odd lamp which is left over from a pair I had in my bedroom until one got broken.  It will go on the dresser under the window.

2016_09_05-07I still haven’t found anybody to replace the bedroom door with an el cheapo door I can put a cat flap in.  The temporary solution was to fold a blanket into a strip about six inches wide, drape it over the edge of the door to block the light and hold the door about 4 inches ajar, just wide enough for the fat(cat)boy to slip through, and put a door stop behind the door so it couldn’t open any farther.

I’ve come up with an interim solution that works pretty well.  I happened to still have a red velvet drapery panel (which plays into the color scheme  in the living room, BTW) that I got for a Christmas table runner back when I lived in the other duplex (2001-2014).  I almost got rid of it when I moved to the apartment, but thankfully I didn’t, as it’s exactly what I needed.  I now have it hung over the bedroom doorway on one of the tension rods I was using for kitchen curtains at the apartment.

I hung it Tuesday and Tuesday night, I left the bedroom door ajar with a door stop behind it. That’s not a perfect solution, as it turns out, because there’s no longer anything to prevent the AC from blowing the door closed to the point that the fat(cat)boy can’t get it open to get out.  He woke me up early this morning to tell me about it.  I think I know how to both solve that problem and eliminate the need for the doorstop if I can get hold of a sturdy cardboard tube or 6-inch piece of, say, wood molding or 1×1 and some cording.

I sat down to write this blog post yesterday, and the fluorescent bulb in my desk lamp went out.  I was able to track down a replacement (That’ll be $8, thank you very much) so I had to go get one.  When I had pulled the car back into the garage and turned the key off, I glanced down at my odometer and it read “6000.”  The Silver Beetil will be two years old on 21 November, and that odometer reading includes two trips to Pearland (roughly 2200 miles), two trips to Amarillo (about 400 miles), and a trip to Capitan, NM (around 490 miles).  I’m pretty much of a home body.  Don’t go out much, and that’s how I like it.  (I’m the one who had a 27-year-old Toyota Crayola with only 58,000 actual miles on it, remember?)

2016_09_08-04In the knitting news, I lack about 3 rows to finish the first WOL’s Owl Cowl.  I’m making two sets of the cowl and matching hat; one for KL, my first cousin once removed and one for her daughter, SL.  They are the daughter and granddaughter of my cousin who lives in Capitan, NM. These hats and cowls use bulky yarn and knit up fast.  I still need to get a bunch of little white buttons (64, in fact) for the owls’ eyes.  I also want to work up a pattern for fingerless gloves that has an owl on the back of the hand to match the cowl and hat.  That will complete the set.  I’m also working on a man cowl (and writing a pattern for it as I go) which will have braided cables.  I’m doing it for JT, my long-time friend.

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