Good Measure

When I picture our couples decision-making conversations, I realize I did a lot of pulling.

Carpet Outlet Plus was just down the road from our new home. We’d first gone in to look at possibly replacing the blood red carpet. Realizing it wasn’t going to be immediately affordable, Jeff was still convinced I’d grow out of my dislike.

Jeff got sidetracked in the carpet-tile section by an enter-to-win opportunity. He never missed an opportunity to enter a raffle.  If there was a box to put your name in, he’d put his name in. “You can’t win if you don’t enter,” he’d say. He’d also happily field the predictable sales calls that usually followed.

We wandered around a little on the way out just to be sure we hadn’t missed something, and we had. A small section of the warehouse displayed a few all assembly required Sauder line samples.

I had been thinking maybe a book shelf or two would solve the laundry room’s no-cabinets dilemma. There weren’t any book cases, but there was an armoire that seemed even better because it had doors to hide the supplies behind. We knew it would be a discount flooring warehouse with

Picturing it, I immediately had my heart set on a white one. Jeff preferred the wood faux-finish. Of course, there were only light and dark wooden finishes in the size I thought would fit. “It just looks nicer,” he said, politely trying to sway me. “Oh,” I responded, bluntly. “I think the fake stuff looks cheap.” “Oh.” he said. “Hmmm.”

Around the next bend there was a much larger, white double cabinet.  “Hey, look! It’s white!” Jeff smiled, assuring me that it would fit where it needed to fit. I didn’t think so. I argued that it would stick out too far into the doorway and crowd the space. We realized we’d have to go home to measure.

On the way out, my chicken radar activated. My swiveling eyes locked on a chicken clock. It was a rather large, regular round clock with a chicken feed motif, metal movements and an antique finish. It was $52 dollars, though, which was about half the cost of the large cabinet.  We considered that, then, left empty-handed with a “maybe someday” agreement.

Off we went to Lowe’s. They didn’t have what we wanted, either. But, as long as we were there, we went in search of lampshades for the bedside lamps that came along with the bedroom suite. It’s funny now that we didn’t know we’d need to know what size shade we needed. We didn’t have a clue, so we gave up shopping, went home and measured for both items.

The following week, Jeff received a call from the carpet store, informing him that he had the won the weekly drawing. The prize was a gift certificate. We took our measurements with us and came to the conclusion that the larger cabinet would fit nicely, giving us more storage space.

As we were completing the sale at the cashier desk, I pointed out to Jeff that the chicken clock was no longer where it had been.  “The chicken clock?” the woman behind the desk asked. “Yes,” I said. “It was hanging in that space right behind you.”

“Oh,” she pointed. “You mean that chicken clock over there? That’s the last one and it’s been marked down.”  Jeff asked me if I wanted it. I replied, “I don’t know…” “Well, how much is it?” he asked. It was $28 dollars.

Jeff nodded his head and told the lady we’d take it. “We will?” I squeaked. “Yeah.” He went on to  adamantly explain, “We were gonna buy a cabinet anyway, so we’ll just use the gift certificate for it. It’s like a little bonus!”

We stood in the parking lot a moment shaking and scratching our heads. Somehow, we stuffed the flat-boxed armoire and the chicken clock into the Neon, and headed home.

Quote for the Week:

2017 03 14 lucky enough to enter jakorte

Enjoy this Week’s Discovery Links:

Furniture:  Good Measure

Carpet :  Good Measure

Carpet Outlet Plus:  A Very Good Measure

 

 

Furnished, Part 1

For two people in their mid-thirties, neither Jeff nor I had a lot of anything.

I had my first-ever moving sale when I left temporarily Tennessee. It took three trips back and forth from Michigan, stuffing my Volkswagen Golf to the gills with books, and music and chickens. Not live ones; paraphernalia.

My first Michigan apartment furnishings were either free, flea or followed me. Free is self-explanatory. Flea is a bit of a poetic reference to garage sales, flea markets and second-hand stores. Only two items followed me from Tennessee.

I moved a hand-made wooden rocking chair purchased at a yard sale, and a coverta-table. Also hand-made and wooden, the table top swiveled up easily converting it into a chair. There was also a nifty little storage area in the bench for linens.

Both chairs had hand-carved and wood-burned sheaves of wheat. I didn’t think about that detail much back then. All I knew was I like the motif, had purchased them at separate times, and they sort of matched. A year later, in Michigan, I found a close-out entertaiment center with sheaves of wheat to match. I briefly acknowledged that with a fleeting thought of “Hm, what a coincidence.”

Among my early Michigan acquisitions were a second-hand orange and brown plaid couch and a second-hand matching orange velvet chair that were stashed in an empty office where I worked. A wood coffee table that needed some balancing help and an old used-to-be-white dresser and mirror came next.

I painted the dresser a yellowish-white to match the yellowed laminate top, then added a few burnt orange accents. I happily accepted a compliment when the previous owner exclaimed, “If I’d known it could look like that, I might not have given it away.”

I purchased an old wood-boxed TV that must have weighed about 100 pounds. Trying to corner roll that into my new apartment building, lead to meeting the neighbor who would later introduce me to online dating.

I also acquired an old copper dry sink, an old three-tiered wooden sewing basket, and a beautiful piece of stained glass art.

Of all those first run belongings, only three remain. The dry sink sits just inside the door of my current home. It’s where I set my work bag down when I get home, and where I pick it up from in the morning.

The sewing box serves a dual purpose as an end table in the living room. The stained glass rainbow hangs over the bureau in my bedroom.

I guess you could say I don’t hang on to much furniture.

Quote for the Week:

2017-02-14-you-cant-take-it-with-you-when-you-move-jakorte

 

 

Enjoy This Week’s Discovery Links:

Why DO We: Keep It

What To Do With: Sentimental Pieces

On the Other Hand: Minimalize

 

No Chickens on New Years

An update and a correction:

  1. Regarding the politic of cows, I have been informed by a very reliable party, that I am guilty of glamorously rephrasing. Jeff’s true 1988 election sentiment was, “No matter who is the President tomorrow, I still gotta pull tits in the morning.
  2. Christmas was at Jeff’s brother’s the year Sally died. Nannee came for a while, but asked to be taken home because she was feeling sick.

Neither of these is an earth shattering revelation. The first makes me laugh, and the second one leads to another story.

But let’s talk about New Year’s. This was the year I learned that we’d never have chicken at Nannee’s on New Year’s Eve. That would be a bad omen. Chickens, she believed, would peck away at your money and bring poverty to your door.

Despite that, Jeff bought me a crowing cookie jar. Made of plastic, it looked a little like Foghorn Leghorn but different enough that there’d probably be no copyright infringement.

Tilting the hinged head to get inside would make it squawk-a- doodle do. I remember thinking that would be a good diet enforcing, snack-deterring tool. And I’m sure it would have been, if that had been where we kept the cookies.

Instead, it sat atop our fridge in our chicken-décor kitchen, not in our everyday line of vision. Once in a while, Jeff or I would re-notice it perched up there, and mischievously crank that chicken’s neck back just to hear it crow. It was such a random thing to do, and, to be honest, we both enjoyed the laughter that cackle encouraged.

Anyway, back to New Year’s. The resolutions are flying and folks everywhere are crowing about goals. I get that. I make a point to give voice to mine or text it to someone because the possibility of being asked “did you treadmill today?” makes me that much more likely to actually follow through.

So, Resolutions.  All the fail safes, plotted reminders, and spiritual encouragements don’t mean much if they’ve fallen into background noise. You have to remember to see them, pay attention to them.  It’s not good enough to fill up space with them; fill your heart and mind and soul.

I don’t have that jar anymore, but I think if I did, I’d keep it on the kitchen counter closest to the basement stairs. I’d joyously tip the cockscomb-ed head back each time I emerged from treadmill land.

Instead, I’ve push-pinned my Wounded Warrior Project calendar to the very past its prime inherited thin wood paneling that wraps the treadmill room. I’ve added an old green felt-tip to mark my efforts, but that all doesn’t seem “shiny” enough.

Yeah, I’ll use it, but I’ve eyeing that blue storage tote just a few feet away from my Sole. I’m gonna pull out one of those Christmas jingle-bells I put away last week and relocate it to one of the three built-in spaces designed to hold stuff like water bottle and hand weights.

That way it’ll be handy for vigorous shaking – signaling the end of exercise mode for the day.

I could possibly retrain my own Pavlovian response to jingle bells signaling the season of non-stop holiday eating. With enough repetitive reinforcement, I could end up feeling compelled to leap from my seat and take a few laps around an extended-as-far-as-it-will-go family table.

I could probably get a grant for that… just sayin’.

#imakemyselflaugh.

Quote for the Week:

2017-01-10-2-imakemyselflaugh-jakorte

 

Enjoy this Week’s Discovery Links:

How to:   #

How do:  Bells Jingle

How you:  Resolve