multi-hyphenated-me

the hyphens that define my life

Project Central July 30, 2013

Filed under: Creative — multihyphenatedme @ 10:48 pm
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When we made the decision to sell all of our furniture before we moved from Placentia, CA to Spokane, WA, we knew the time and energy and expense we would incur to make our house whole. As with aging, what we know now, compared to what we knew then are extremely different things.

We had a plan before moving. It was a good plan. Bedrooms were assigned, office space planned, everything fit. We had a list of things we needed to buy and a rough cost estimate to budget.
Then we arrived and all plans flew out the window. The vibe, feel and flow of the house, with us, our things, plus managing and dealing with all the things that were left in the house wasn’t right, based on our plan.

We quickly adapted and modified our plan. Part of the new plan involved creating a 10′ x 18′ space in the garage to house my husband’s man cave, office, and music space. This was our first project and consumed a solid three weeks. No photos yet of this space as now that the space is defined, my husband is still working on the interior design. I’ll post the finished product once complete.

While Vince was occupied with his project, I ventured down my own path to furnish the house. For rarely, like next to never, watching TV, I have seen my fair share of DIY design shows. I love DIY projects because you get something awesome for an extreme fraction of the price that you would pay for something new. I found a new couch that I kinda liked, but I couldn’t bring myself to buy it because it wasn’t right. Instead, I bought a beast of a sectional circa 1970, originally from the Leather Center. I found this rounded, overstuffed light blue leather sectional for $200. I showed Vince the picture and he said he liked it as it reminded him of the rounded sectional his family had when he was a kid. I drove over to see it, then called Vince to bring the trailer and pick it up. When Vince saw the sectional, he didn’t say a word but I could tell he was raging mad. He hated it but the deal was done so we loaded the couch onto the trailer. At home with the couch in the living room, I hated the couch too. I didn’t buy it because I thought it looked great. I bought the couch for its potential. With the two rounded sections removed, the two end pieces create an 11 foot long couch which fits the room beautifully. Vince, thinking the couch we picked up was the couch I wanted in as is condition, was relieved to hear my plan for the couch. Vince loves any engineering challenge, so he is tasked with modifying the center wood pieces where the sectional meet to create one piece. My job is everything else.

Have you ever upholstered a piece of furniture before? I have upholstered a couch, some stools and patio chair cushions, each time learning as I go, drawing on the issues I had in the previous project. Upholstery is a lot of work, but worth the effort in the end.

You wanted photos, so here are photos of my works in progress here at Project Central:

The first is the couch project. I have most of it ripped apart. The next step is removing the arms and finalizing the demolition. Vince will then modify the center pieces so you don’t feel the boards when you sit down.  The couch will have 5-6″ legs, and clean lines.  We have narrowed down the fabric to 3 choices, all shades of blue.

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Next is the vintage table and chairs. I tore apart one chair to see how complicated it would be as well as how much yardage I will need for upholstery. Each chair has 178 nail heads in the trim at the base of the chair and around the back. Removing the nail head trim on the back was easy, the trim at the base was painfully difficult. With one chair disassembled, I’m happy I finished uninjured.
The story behind the table is another craigslist find. I needed a desk, but wanted a table instead of a traditional desk. In Yorba Linda CA, a man listed this table and chairs. I loved it from the moment I saw it posted, even more so in person. When I picked it up, the man selling it told me his family member owned the furniture store in Los Angeles. Eva Gabor, Zsa Zsa’s sister, saw this table and commissioned a full dining table off this sample. Is it true?  Who cares, it’s a great story.

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The walnut coffee table measures 71″.  I love the mid-century modern style.  These photos look pretty good but it needs to be sanded and finished.  This was a $100 craigslist score.

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This clock has been through so many moves but has been stored for at least the past 10 years.  This clock was one of the original Pacific Bell clocks that provided the time when, way back in the day, you dialed a number to find out the time.  A woman would say, “At the tone the time is….Beep”.  Are you old enough to remember calling time?  My father-in-law was a linesman for the phone company and recovered this clock from the trash during a modernization remodel.  It was painted black and my mother-in-law finished the woodwork.  Any time this clock is moved, the inner workings get mangled.  This is one project I’ll happily deliver to the clock repairman.  I just found one the other day and need to drop off the clock soon.

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One of the items left by the previous owner was this chinese astrological calendar wheel.  It was hanging on the wall in the living room.  I love the piece, but do not want it as a wall hanging.  I’m going to repurpose this piece and create a table by adding some sort of base.  The piece is double-sided, but I like this side the best.

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All of these projects above are for the living room.  I also need to change the draperies, make poufs in front of the fireplace and pillows for the beast of a couch once it is complete.

The dining room is painted a shocking caution sign yellow.  I can’t stand the color.  It offends me every day. I can’t wait until the painter arrives, currently scheduled for the week after Labor Day, while the kids are in school.  My china looks fantastic in these built in cabinets that flank the window.  The dining room is oval which is super cool.  But the color!! Ugh!

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To add to the “Bee” (that’s the name of the paint color), the seat cushions and rug conflict with my brain.  The idea, as I understand, was that the paint is matching the yellow squiggly in the chair upholstery.  With this plan, the rug doesn’t work.  It may work for you, it hurts me.  The dining room table and credenza came with the house. I love the furniture but the color combinations, if you haven’t already gathered, is not my favorite.  I’m going to change the upholstery fabric on the six chairs, hopefully before Thanksgiving.

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Moving upstairs, two of the boys share a room.  The room used to be a girls room done completely in purple.  Purple carpet and purple walls.  We pulled up the carpet to find the original hardwoods.  Out went the carpet, tack and staples pulled and the plan is to eventually finish the floors.  The floors are in good enough shape for now.  We have to lower the baseboards and paint, another room slated for the first week of September.  These beds are my super score.  $57 total (not each) for both bedframes.  They were in sad shape, scratched and well used with some damage.  Vince bracketed and bolted everything together and I waxed, waited 20 minutes and polished.  I found these bedframes at a repurpose vintage, design store that was having a 60% off sale.  In addition to these beds, I bought an awesome table that I use as my desk.  I’ll show you the desk another day.  The boy’s room needs curtains, which I’ve bought the fabric, just need to sew, sew, sew.

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The other boys room is an odd-shaped room and we decided to find a captains bed for this space. For now, this room is the most complete.  The walls photographed purple, but they are blue.  This room is blue, blue, blue.  This bed is in great shape and was a $75 craigslist find.

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My office is the third room to be painted the first week of September.  I will post photos when it is completed.

Some of you have asked if we were settled yet.  We have unpacked all of our boxes.  Everything needing to be stored is stored, everything in use, is in use.  We have a plan, and this time, I think we’ll get there.  Our rooms aren’t “done”. When they are complete, I will post photos, I promise.

Projects would get done sooner if we weren’t running to the river or lake every free moment. Summer is meant for outdoor fun.  We will have all winter to work on these projects.  One step at a time.

 

My Daily Blog: T-7 Survival Mode June 12, 2013

My friend said ‘We’re still on for Tuesday, right?’ Wait.  What’s Tuesday?  ‘We’re having lunch.’ Oh yeah, right, lunch Tuesday.  Definitely.  What a flake I’ve become.  Maybe I’ve always been flakey but the mysterious blank spaces in my mind are becoming more and more apparent as our move draws near.  Our family calendar is so crammed full of activities, even with written and electronic calendars which help tremendously, I can’t keep everything committed to memory.  I was supposed to walk with a friend last night during our son’s soccer practice.  Nope, didn’t remember and committed to packing with my husband.  I’m not even focusing on and selecting the fun stuff.  I chose work over fun.  Something is seriously wrong with me.

Perfect timing.  Just what I need for this move is a mental breakdown.  No joking around, I’m concerned.  Yet I question it too.  Why am I forgetting the fun stuff?  Why am I not forgetting the work stuff? Why am I not shirking my move responsibilities?  Why am I meeting my family’s needs?  Why is the laundry getting done?

Oh. Dear. God.  I’ve crossed the line.  I’ve reached the point where I’m so focused on the move and on work that both have totally consumed me. There is no room left in my brain for fun.  EEK!  I should run away. Fast.

Don’t get me wrong, I am having fun, too much fun, and I’m having fun having fun.  In fact, I am having more fun on a daily basis in the past few weeks than I have had in many months, if not years.  Almost every day includes a social event. On a regular basis, I’m social.  I socialize.  But I don’t socialize daily. Let’s remember who I am – I’m on a first name basis with the local librarian!  I’m a bibliophile!  I sew.  I cook.  I garden.  I like getting massages and pedicures.  My hair needs to be cut! Fun is taxing and I miss my projects.  My projects kept me organized and on task.  Without my projects, I am lost.

My mind is not lost.  My life is lost.  Don’t misread my writing.  I love going out with my friends.  We have had good times, great laughs and I will miss them dearly.  With my life packed into 122 boxes and counting, I can not go on much longer sorting, pitching, donating, keeping, wrapping, packing, taping, boxing and stacking my life.  The good, yet sad news is that I don’t have too much longer.  Only 7 days remain.  One week.

I’m in survival mode now.  What would Bear Grills do in a time like this?  He’d probably eat our pets and make clothing, furniture and shelter out of the packing materials so I won’t follow his lead.  What I need is my friends.  What I need, to paraphrase Bill Withers “Lean On Me” lyrics,  is to let me lean on you, because I’m not strong. I need you to be my friend and help me carry on.

This isn’t a cry for help.  It is a plea to my friends for understanding and compassion for my flakiness and general brain meltdown as we are in the final stretch.

 

Goodbye 2012 December 31, 2012

Goodbye 2012.

It has been a good year overall.

I started a blog, this blog, multi-hyphenated-me.  Though only 8 posts this year, I love it and have big plans for the future.  I lived up to, or tried to live up to, my hyphens, every day.

My 7 month foot saga put me back in touch with my old friend Reading. Perhaps due to many Ohio winters with not much else to do or maybe it is the escape from reality that is reading’s gift, in either case, I have always been a reader.  Being a project person and needing a project that would keep me down and resting while my foot recovered, I turned to reading.  I decided to read all of the New York and Los Angeles Best Sellers , fiction, non fiction, children’s, hardback and paperback.  It was mid-January when I started this project and it was sometime in February that I realized I had to scale back the lists in order to be somewhat manageable.  The LA Times fiction nonfiction hardcover and paperback lists were my source of material.  The Public Library was my resource.  I’m happy to report that I have read 134 books in eleven and half months, roughly 12 books a month.  I have so many favorites.  I learned so much and was reminded of things I have known and lived and seen. There were a few books that were wasteful of my time spent reading them but I learned from them too. I travelled from Machu Picchu to Africa to Paris to India and points in between.  I cried.  Sobbed.  I laughed and laughed.  The library staff knows me by name. The intelligent, literary conversations I had with so many in discussing books was truly one of the highlights of this journey.  On Facebook I “liked” “The Book Isn’t Dead” Community and have been inspired by discussions and quotes and moments. This journey inspired me to be the Book Fair Chairperson with the elementary school PTA where we had our most profitable sale to date.  From my Book Fair experience and my frequent trips to the library, I learned about Battle of the Books and rallied 5 twelve year olds to form a team and read.  I was asked months ago if I would keep up the reading pace, off the same reading list in 2013.  My answer then and remains, no.  Will I continue to read?  Of course! To focus on the best-selling Pattersons, Silvas, Picoults, et al is a huge oversight to the countless great writers out there with books that deserve to be read. The best part is to say, because of this project, I have grown.

My foot finally healed and I embraced the ability to move.  I ran three 5 ks and one 8k.  My friend and I walked/ran 95+ miles in the month of August, in the wee hours of the morning before we had to go to work.

We, as a family, spent great time together.  Camping trips in the Santa Ynez mountains and at the Kern River.  An awesome house rental in Palm Springs, and resort living in San Diego.  Summer was filled with trips to the beach, the water slide park, movies and parks. We experienced the multi-facets of Southern California.

Successfully raising a child is one of life’s greatest rewards.  To bear witness to my daughter graduating high school is a huge milestone for me.  I am so proud of her.  It wasn’t until she finished her first 16 collegiate units that I realized how quickly the next phase of her life, the college years, would pass.  My work here is not complete, nor will it ever be.  Our boys are quickly aging up too and their perspectives and antics are heartwarming and hand wringing, usually at the same time.

This was my year of fundraising.  Or was it my year of baking?  A fantastic combination of both.  What I learned most, or what was reinforced most  from these efforts was the incredible group of friends and coworkers that support me and have major sugar addictions.  Thank you. I will keep you supplied.

This year, as a recruiter, I regained footing lost on the slippery slope of the recession. It feels great to have traction, being back in the groove, doing what I love.  The icing is that I get to work with awesome people at an amazing company too.  The chapter “How to Get a Job” in Augusten Burroughs book, This is How.  Any recruiting advice that starts with a dual personality reference to the movie Sybil  and the person we become when interviewing is terrific.   “The truth is:  You are only the person you actually are; you may not may not be the person they actually want.” This is How is one of my favorites and a book everyone should read.

As my boss tells me, with all on my plate, something has to give.  He’s right, just don’t tell him I said so. As much as I feel I accomplished this year, the counterbalance is that I didn’t stay on diets I self prescribed, or lose the weight I wanted to lose (with all that mileage you would think…). I didn’t travel to all the places I wanted to go.  I could have been a better wife, mother, friend, person, employee, better in all of my roles.  My garden could have been better.  I still can’t hula hoop. Something does have to give.  Figuring out that something every day is the challenge.

Two Thousand Twelve was good to me and my family and we lived life well. For this I am thankful and know we are blessed. Thank you for sharing this year with me.

2012 Reading List

*books I enjoyed

Fiction

  1. The Book Thief*
  2. Extremely Loud Incredibly Close*
  3. The Marriage Plot
  4. The Art of Fielding*
  5. 1Q84*
  6. The Goon Squad
  7. Tinker Tailor Sodier Spy
  8. The Paris Wife*
  9. Against All Enemies
  10. Bonnie
  11. Then Again
  12. The Drop
  13. The Sense of An Ending
  14. Private #1 Suspect
  15. Breakdown
  16. Believing the Lie
  17. Raylan
  18. Death Comes to Pemberly
  19. Defending Jacob
  20. Homefront*
  21. The Summer Garden
  22. Kill Shot
  23. What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank
  24. Dreams of Joy*
  25. 44 Charles Street
  26. The 9th Judgment
  27. Celebrity in Death
  28. War Horse*
  29. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children*
  30. Night Road*
  31. Capture of the Earl of Glencrae
  32. The Starboard Sea*
  33. Sacre Bleu*
  34. Fifty Shades of Grey
  35. Fifty Shades Darker
  36. Fifty Shades Freed
  37. The Fault In Our Stars*
  38. The Lucky One*
  39. Calico Joe*
  40. All There Is*
  41. State of Wonder*
  42. Istanbul Passage *
  43. The Kings of Cool
  44. Beautiful Ruins*
  45. Private Games*
  46. Guilty Wives*
  47. Bones are Forever*
  48. The Beautiful Mystery*
  49. The Night Circus*
  50. The Next Best Thing*
  51. The Prisoner of Heaven*
  52. A Hologram fro the King
  53. Mission to Paris*
  54. The Age of Miracles*
  55. Where’d You Go, Bernadette?*
  56. Creole Bell*
  57. The Fallen Angel*
  58. Shadow of Night*
  59. The Life of Pi*
  60. Broken Harbor*
  61. 3rd Wheel Diary of a Whimpy Kid
  62. Invention of Hugo Cabret*
  63. The Timekeeper*
  64. Zoo
  65. Notorious Nineteen
  66. In One Person*
  67. The Perks of Being a Wallflower*
  68. Gone Girl*

Non Fiction

  1. Bossypants*
  2. Outliers: the story of success*
  3. Unbroken*
  4. Heaven is For Real
  5. Steve Jobs
  6. Elizabeth the Queen
  7. The Obamas
  8. Ameritopia
  9. Quiet: The Power of Introverts
  10. The Power of Habit*
  11. Wild*
  12. Bringing Up Bebe
  13. Killing Lincoln*
  14. Blue Nights
  15. Full Service
  16. Take the Stairs*
  17. Great by Choice*
  18. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks*
  19. Thinking Fast and Slow*
  20. The 17 Day Diet
  21. Taking People With You
  22. Abundance*
  23. Moneyball
  24. The Big Short
  25. Tipping Point*
  26. I Am A Pole*
  27. Turn Right at Machu Pichu*
  28. Pioneer Woman Cooks
  29. Behind the Beautiful Forevers*
  30. The 5 Love Languages*
  31. The Happiness Project*
  32. Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt*
  33. I Remember Nothing
  34. The Vow
  35. Paris versus New York*
  36. The Irish Americans
  37. It Worked for Me
  38. Cronkite
  39. Mortality*
  40.  How to Be a Woman
  41. I Hate Everything Starting with Me
  42. Yes Chef
  43. Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness*
  44. Not Taco Bell Material
  45. Farther Away*
  46. A Natural Woman*
  47. Go the F*** to Sleep*
  48. American Grown*
  49. Boomerang
  50. Blood Bones and Butter*
  51. The Mobile Wave
  52. The Amateur
  53. My Berlin Kitchen*
  54. Sh*itty Mom
  55. Moonwalking with Einstein*
  56. Drift
  57. Help Thanks Wow*
  58. America Again
  59. Along the Way*
  60. The Grand Design
  61. Joseph Anton
  62. F in Exams
  63. Dearie
  64. Strength Finders 2.0
  65. This is How*
  66. Darth Vader & Son