While I love the character in all of the hand-me-down furniture Steve and I have collected over the years, it also means that nothing actually matches anything. This doesn’t really bother me because even if I woke up vomiting money tomorrow I wouldn’t necessarily want everything to match anyway, but there are a few items that I can’t help but give the stink eye to every time I walk by them. For example, Steve’s Ikea night stand that he got to take to college with him. This little guy has gone roughly from Shoreline to Southern California to Shoreline to Seattle to Idaho to San Francisco to Shoreline to Seattle. It’s still going strong, but it definitely needed a bit of a re-vamp. Using the leftover primer and paint from the dresser, I spray painted it to match.
Along with our house, Steve and I inherited carrots, potatoes, strawberries and rhubarb. Jack. Pot. The rhubarb is the only one ready to be harvested, so yesterday I decided to concoct a sparkling rhubarb drink with ingredients I had in the house. The recipe:
1 oz vodka
3 oz ginger ale
1 tbsp rhubarb simple syrup
2 ice cubes
The recipe for the simple syrup can be found here and is also below.
Rhubarb Simple Syrup
2 cups rhubarb, cleaned and chopped
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
Add ingredients to a saucepan and cook until mixture reduces by a third. Rhubarb will be completely soft and sugar dissolved. Strain through cheesecloth to remove all fibers.
I thought “Happens Every Day” was really, really good. It was a fast read (it took me 3 days worth of bus rides to complete), it was funny, it was heartbreaking, but most of all it seemed very real. No made up mumbo jumbo on this one. Despite the fact that the main character Isabel Gillies (who is also the author) grew up in an apartment overlooking Central Park and had a summer house in Maine, she was still very easy to relate to.
In a nutshell, Isabel is an actress-turned-writer who’s dbag of a husband left her and her two small children for someone who was also married. Back story: he also left his first wife for someone else. I’m sensing a pattern. The outcome: it was all for the best.
Side note: I just discovered that she has also written “A Year and Six Seconds“. I think I might just have to give that one a whirl too.
A few months ago Steve and I bought a dresser from Ikea. That makes the third piece of brand spanking new furniture that we’ve picked out and bought ourselves. I love hand-me-downs and second-hand items, but it is such a treat to know you need a dresser and to go to the store to actually buy a dresser. Well imagine my frustration when we realized that the holes screwed in one of the front pieces had been put in backwards by the Ikea people, which meant that the only choice was for the unstained side to face out. It was infuriating for me to look at…I’m actually getting heated just thinking about the unbalancedness of our brand new dresser. We discussed taking it back, but that would mean disassembling it or borrowing a truck, which neither of us had the gumption for. So in the end we decided that I would just have to deal with this little flaw in our new dresser.
Needless to say, it could not be ignored. It was bright and annoying and glaring at me. Then I had a genius thought that if I painted all of the front pieces the same different color, maybe I could live with that.
Project number one that we knew we wanted done before we moved in was to get the hardwood floors refinished. The front two bedrooms had hardwood floors that were really beat up, and the living room had decent looking green carpet with hardwood floors under it. Holy moly. The difference between the green carpet and the dark brown (exact color is “antique”) hardwood floors we have now is incredible. It was worth every penny.
Steve and I are in the midst of unpacking in our first home. It was built in Seattle in 1910 and is just perfect for us – it’s in fantastic condition for being over 100 years old, but has an unfinished basement and the ugliest back bedroom you will ever see. (Picture: dark brown carpet and dark brown faux wood paneling on the walls.) This means we’ll get to put the endless hours we’ve spent watching Holmes on Homes to good use and complete a project or two in the near future.
The previous owners lived here for 44 years (!) and I am so grateful for how well they took care of this house. Here’s a photo of what it looked like almost exactly 71 years ago. (Check out the fancy car in the bottom right of the photo.)