Upheaval of every kind

Everything is closing or closed. The markets are scary looking ghostly places with empty shelves. There was so little traffic this morning I felt a chill. This was slower than a holiday. It truly seemed post-apocalyptic in a way. 50, no, only 10 people are allowed to congregate now! But, what about business?

Tomorrow I get to work from home, but maybe not Wednesday or Thursday. I’ve already scheduled off Friday. All of the managers are confused and have no idea how to handle this or what to do. The day shift at the shop has 100 people working in it. Will we have to close? We have measures in place to stop people getting in (sort of), but what about those already inside? My office is in a different building up a slight hill from the main shop, but I can’t go to the main building for meetings: A) because I’ve recently been ill and B) I’d scare the bloody hell out of anyone down there who heard me coughing. People are skittish now and on edge.

Even our home life has been thrown into disarray.

coffee table dinner

Behold, our dining room table for the past three days. It’s our coffee table.

We were notified our new cabinet doors would be installed March 17th, so we only had this past weekend to accomplish one thing: paint the cabinets. Since we are not getting a full remodel – only new doors and some drawers put in – we are responsible for making sure the kitchen is ready. Saturday my recovering ass was put to work. Z did the majority of the heavy lifting by sanding all of the cabinets and painting the upper areas. My job was to help with a little prep (taping, wiping things down) and sitting on the floor to paint the lower cabinets. That little bit of exertion wiped me out and I slept better than I had all week. Sunday I did a thorough cleaning of the kitchen, which had me utterly exhausted by night. The cabinet company emailed customers today saying they will honor their appointments – unless the people don’t want them coming into their houses. We want them to come! We want our new doors so we can have our house back in order!

kitchen

This is currently our kitchen. We put some things back in for ease of use for the past 48 hours, but all of this needs to cleared out because the installer comes tomorrow from 8-9 am. The drawer on the right side of the photo is the old, yellow-ish color. We put the utensil drawer back in temporarily.

mock kitchen

This is our dining room where everything in the kitchen is being held. It’s been strange to look at a cabinet and know something should be there, but when I need a spice or dish I then have to stop and remember where I placed everything in the dining room.

glassware

All of the glassware is on the bureau, which I realized later was a bad idea. Bento loves that window sill and even though it’s covered, he’s found a way to jump his big butt up there and then carefully jump down. Whenever he does the glasses jingle and I’m stressed out waiting to hear them crash to the floor. Since our floors are old and creaky and uneven, even walking past this room makes all of the glasses jingle.

roses

Tomorrow I work from home, but the installer also comes. But I have a lot work to get done because today felt like a bust just trying to figure out what to do about everything and hear from the managers. But I know I’ll be distracted by the installer and need to give input for the hardware we bought for the new doors. But what about keeping Bento and Yuki out of the kitchen?

I went to the store to buy onions and a loaf of baked bread to have with chili I made tonight. I couldn’t help myself when I saw these roses. I needed something cheerful and calming. I also bought Z a dark chocolate Lindt bunny and bought myself a cute large iced bunny cookie.

It’s the little things right now.

Upgrades

Lately a theme of upgrades permeates my life.

My flight to Miami this week was upgraded to first class on a large plane. I had a seat that nearly lay completely flat. After two glasses of merlot with dinner I laid down and slept. It was the best beginning to a business trip ever. I even worked out in the gym at the hotel that night.

tinted moisturizer

My tube of Dr. Jart Day Tint is empty, which put me in panic mode when I looked online to reorder because I kept running across the word “discontinued”. I’ve used it for many years. I think this was my fourth tube? I dragged myself to Sephora scoping out tinted moisturizer and saw the Laura Mercier. I didn’t want to drop nearly $50 on it when I wasn’t certain if I’d like. Bless the Sephora business model that allows customers to get samples of damn near everything in the store. I got a little container to try out for a few days and ended up hooked. Higher SPF, less greasiness by the end of the day plus the light coverage never looked like it melted away. Looking it up made me feel a bit derpy. It’s apparently a holy grail product for a lot of women. Consider me a convert. I’ve now got a new daily tinted moisturizer with better SPF.

new driveway

Miffed by the fact that the pavers called while we were on vacation and grumbling that we’d probably have to wait until spring, I was confused when I couldn’t park in my driveway when I got home from my business trip. Apparently they called late Tuesday and showed up early Wednesday. I got home that night to a completely torn up and blocked off driveway. It was finished yesterday. We have much more room now!

porch posts

The 6:30-7am early construction mornings continued today with the contractor who showed up to replace our back porch posts. The post in the back of the photo was so rotted the guy said it’s good we did it before the snows because we’d most likely have a problem. Half of the old post was rotted through. I could put my fist in the hole before. Now we have new posts with vinyl coverings.

More upgrades to come in the future. I’ve also added some plant additions – because I have a problem with collecting them…

dead bouquet

A few weeks ago I cleaned up most of the flower beds – as seen in previous porch post photo. There are usually many more plants there in the summer and I trim them all down each autumn. As I cleaned up I noticed several plants showing pretty dead leaves or seed pods and gathered them up to make a dead autumn bouquet. RIP hydrangea bushes that gave me the dead flowers because both were torn up in the driveway repaving.

polka dot plant

Last weekend Z took me on a special surprise trip. We first stopped at a cute tea house where we both had amazing breakfasts and pots of delicious tea. I had apple crisp green tea and he had an amazing English breakfast that tasted much better than any other I’ve ever had. Afterwards we went to Otts’s Exotic Plants. It’s a huge nursery with its own arboretum with a two-story waterfall. The amount of variegated plants made my head spin and while Z just wanted to surprise me with a pretty nursery visit, he may have made a monster out of me because I’m already planning what to buy on my next visit. Pink princess and Red vine philodendrons! Hello!

string of beads

For the most part, I “behaved” this trip. I bought the pretty little tricolor polka dot plant above and several planters I’d been needing.

My once nearly dead string of beads is back and it looked amazing over the summer, but it’s starting to look a little dull now that daylight savings and cold weather have hit. I got a hanging planter for it and hope it’ll survive this winter better than the past.

philodendron brazil

I loved the amount of wall planters at Ott’s. One side is flat with a hole for a hanging device. Several cuttings of my philodendron brazil lived in a stemless wine glass for a long time. The massive roots are now planted on my bedroom wall so I can see it when I wake up.

philodendron swiss cheese

I couldn’t resist the philodendron swiss cheese plants also at Ott’s. There were so many of them I had to take one home. Figuring out where to put this and my Monstera when it gets bigger may prove challenging.

african violet

Lastly I got a wee African violet plant. My last one died so I thought I’d retry with this tiny one.

dark mystery pilea

While the contractor worked on our posts this morning I was out early to Target and Lowe’s. How can the parking lot at Target at 10 am be just as full as at 1 or 2 pm?! Maybe it’s our location since it’s always swamped. Next door to Lowe’s I was sidetracked by plants – as always. I was looking for plant stands, but apparently they’ve all been put away for the season at both places. I knew I should’ve bought the one I saw at IKEA two weeks ago! Instead of plant stands, I came home with decorative pillows, a candleholder, and the above Dark Mystery Pilea (that’s the actual common name for it). I instantly fell in love with the dark leaves.

elephant plant

This elephant plant spoke to me as well. The last one confused me greatly as to what it needed and died. Since this was on sale and is much smaller I thought I’d try again and see if I can figure it out this time.

kitty spooning

What better way to end a post than with kitty spooning?

A Saturday

fluffy pancaketoe clawscoffee tablepearls and jade

The summer heat is draining.

The front flower beds look post-apocalyptic from overgrown weeds. Yet I refuse to go out in the hot and humid weather to pull them. I’ve never liked hot weather and retreat into dark and cool corners.

I’ve started collecting sweaters and socks for cooler weather. Finalizing my “wants” list for a challenge I’m setting up for myself. Linen clothes and silk underwear have been ordered – the waiting game begins.

One of my plants died recently and it made me incredibly upset. I’ve grown quite attached to some of them and tried everything I can to make them happy and grow. Unfortunately, I did something rather stupid with the plant that died without realizing it until after it was too late. Part of me wants to go run and replace it with another one to make grow again, but part of me says, “You’ve got how many others to take care of? Stop it and step back!”

 

It’s…Monday?

Holidays always throw me off. It doesn’t help that I’m not feeling very well today.  My stomach has decided it doesn’t like anything so that makes eating a bit problematic. I’m hoping I’ll be better by the time I have work tomorrow. I don’t want to be in recovery mode and exhausted at work.

Saturday I did manage to get a lot of yard work done. I finished cleaning up the front flower bed, put down mulch and Z installed a light in my Japanese lantern he bought me for my birthday last year. It’s almost been a full since since I got it and we are just now putting a light in it! We also bought some other pathway lights for the front. They do look nice, but I’d rather them all be Japanese lanterns, which would make for an expensive front area for the house. I’ll save up for them one at a time.

I’m always playing catch-up on previous week outfits, so I won’t even bother with what day I wore things. I do post them in the order of the week though.

YY outfit: top and bottom by Yohji-sama, Nisolo shoes.

wednesday

Yesstyle chinese shirt, YY pant, Lems shoes.

thursday

Everlane top, Won Hundred pant, Adidas shoes.

friday

Today’s outfit is lounge-schleppy. Old, stained Everlane top, sweatpants from Grand Teton Nat’l Park, Fog Linen slippers.

monday

It’s funny that Gretchen posted about plants and I’d been thinking of doing the same. Maybe I’ll try to do some plant updates. There’s a caladium and schefflera in the photos above and I’ve got a dracaena plant on the desk where I’m writing.

On the coffee table I’ve got an elephant bush, which seems to be ok, but it’s not as full as when I first got it. There’s also a “dry” terrarium that gets a spritz of water occasionally and my little jade plant.

elephant bush

Japanese Aralia also in the living room in the dark corner where it gets lots of shaded indirect light. It seems happy there after I read about it. I make sure to water it a lot and mist it with a spray bottle.

japanese aralia

Croton in the dining room where there’s direct western sunlight towards the end of the day. I’m hoping that’s enough light to keep the colors vibrant on it.

croton

String of pearls also in the dining room. I don’t think I’ve watered this since I bought it several weeks ago, but it doesn’t seem to need it. The top is so full of pearls the soil is still the slightest bit damp from the nursery where I got it. There’s also growth on it so I guess it’s happy. I was planning on hanging it today and even have the macrame hanger for it, but Z wants to get the right kind of hook to hang in plaster since our house is old.

string of pearls

I have two cacti and another jade plant on the window sill in the kitchen. They get direct east sunlight and seem to do well there. There’s also two pothos plants upstairs where there’s less light.

Bento

Bonus photo of this little shit (Bento) being cute. He’s such a demonic little terror and has been on the rampage, beating the crap out of Yuki all weekend.

 

This is for posterity

Work, personified this week:

Wesley whimpering = me.

Also, why is dealing with clients akin to that scared feeling of having a tooth pulled in the frightening manner of putting a string around it and waiting in anxiety for someone across the room to slam the door?

Thursday: Knock Knock linen top, YY skirt, Frye shoes.

thursday

I’ve been so much about shoes lately and yet all I want to wear are these Frye ones because they are the most comfortable. They are also the most beat up.

Friday: Grana tank top, Everlane button down, Rachel Comey Lure pant, Jil Sander shoes.

friday

I ended up leaving work early because something upset my stomach. I had felt off the night before and when I woke up I was nauseous and only got worse throughout the day. I’m not sure what it was, but hopefully I’m over it now. I ended buying take-out from a Japanese place for dinner since I was craving udon noodle soup. It did not disappoint although I was terrified the clams in the soup might set me off. Luckily they didn’t, but I didn’t eat them. Do food allergies only work if you directly eat the item in question? I thought that since they were cooking in the broth the soup base itself might be questionable then. The terror of it making my condition worse didn’t stop me from enjoying the soup though. Have I mentioned Stubborn is my middle name?

yuki and bento

Yuki and Bento. When I was taking photos off my camera I saw these and realized Z had taken some random photos again. I can see why he took it though – this is a rare moment where they both are in the same space and not fighting. They generally tolerate each other and only in dire situations (aka winter) will they curl up together to sleep, but even that is limited. Normally, Bento chases Yuki and she screams bloody murder. There have been several instances of Z and I walking into a room after hearing a commotion and seeing them rolling across the floor in a mass of hissing and screaming claws and limbs.

Archana‘s post about house plants rekindled a little flame I’ve had going in me since we’ve moved into this house. When I lived in Oklahoma I always had lots of house plants. The weather is much warmer there and cold seasons don’t last too long. My running joke about that state was there are two seasons: summer and January. I used to be the Plant Mom and friends who had plants that were dying always gave them to me to care for. However, that’s changed since I’ve been living on the east coast where there are still only two seasons: rain-forest-humid-with-a-side-of-sun and Antarctica. The summers here are ten times more humid that I ever expected they would be and then the winters are so dry Bento is trained to wince when we pet him between November and March (Yuki freaks out from the static and runs away). This house does get a decent amount of light, but the drastic temperature changes make keeping house plants extremely difficult. But I do miss having lots of plants like I used to and will try to make more of an effort to keep them alive.

 

Someone call Spring, it forgot it’s due date.

spring

Today is the first day of spring. We are expecting 5-8 inches of snow. We are not amused here and ready for this winter business to go away.

white shirt

This was Monday’s outfit with the new white shirt I bought. It got dirty, as expected, but I was right in how sturdy the material is and it can take a beating. I was a bit self conscious of the collar hitting my chin and possibly getting makeup on it, but it wasn’t as big a problem as I thought. Overall, I am glad I bought it.

pdc

Tuesday’s outfit: wearing the new Pas de Calais linen pants. These are extremely comfortable. It’s like wearing PJs because the linen is so soft. It’s also very thick. The weave of the linen gives it a herringbone look close-up, which I found really interesting and wondered if that had anything to do with how soft they are.

These are a size small and I wavered back and forth a lot on whether or not to return these for the extra small. These are a bit big in the waist, but there are side cinches to tighten it. When I do that, it bunches a little at the waist and so that made me wonder if I really am an extra small in size. I wore the pants on and off over the weekend and decided I’ll stick with the small and I’m glad I did. I cinched the sides when I first put them on, but ended up loosening them throughout the day and realized these are more mid-to-low rise kind of pants. They are meant to be worn a little slouchy. I can wear them at the waist cinched, but I ended up feeling more comfortable in them loose. These are the lowest style pants I have and since it’s been so long since I’ve worn lower rise pants I felt a little weird at first, but was completely fine by the end of the day. The small is in fact the right size for me because of the room I have in the thighs and hips. An extra small would be a bit snug there and I prefer the looser fitting. Once I got used to it and realized just how these pants are meant to be worn I was perfectly fine and do believe they are worth the price. Of course, I got an email from the PdC shop the following day about a basement sale of 60% off all items for this Friday. However, I think it might be only for in-store purchases and since the store carrying the brand are too far away from me (in NY) then I don’t feel too bad.

One other thing, the pockets are very low in these pants and are kinda weird. They bunch up oddly when I sit down because the pockets bulge out right at my hips when sitting, but I also got used to that. The side pockets aren’t so much for practical purposes as for just throwing your hands in, but there is a good sized back pocket that’s perfectly usable.

pothossucculent

Over the weekend I bought some house plants. Waaaaaaaayyyy back when in college – don’t ask how long ago – I used to be the Plant Rescuer. Whenever friends had plants that were dying they’d give them to me and I’d take care of them and the plants would spring back to life. My apartment was full of plants. I don’t know if it had anything to do with the environment I was in then or not (I lived in OK at the time), but now I can’t save a plant to save my own life. Keeping plants since I’ve moved to the east coast has been quite the ordeal. Every place I’ve lived in has at least a ten degree temperature extreme on almost any given day. Currently, during the winter lows in this house can get down to 62F and up to 70F when the heat kicks on. If we wanted to keep the house more temperate we’d be paying a billion dollars in electrical bills. During the summer, the house still ranges from 68 to 80F. On top of that, the difference between the bedrooms upstairs and the basement is anywhere from 10-15 degree difference constantly. I know not a lot of plants can handle that kind of temperature swing on a 24 hour basis so keeping plants alive here has been challenging. I’ve had a little luck with succulents (barely), but I’m hoping having a pothos, which is almost impossible to kill, will help me gain my green thumb confidence back.

Lastly, kitty photos of Bento and Yuki because they were being cute and quiet (for once).

bentoyuki

Things fall apart

Thursay

Last Thursday – Sweater: Everlane. Pants: Fantasy Linen. Shoes: Vivobarefoot Gobi.

Friday

Last Friday – Shirt: Yesstyle. Pants: Fantasy Linen. Jacket: Journal Standard. Shoes: Vivobarefoot Gobi.

Monday

Today – Shirt: Everlane. Pants: Grana. Shoes: Vivobarefoot Gobi. Purse: Coach.

Things have been an awkward mess lately and so am I.

Saturday the husband and I did some damage to the weed pit situation that is our flower beds. I took the electric hedge trimmers and gave the holly bushes out front a very bad buzz cut. I cut them back much lower than before, but that’s because I’m tired of them creeping up so much. I may work on removing them this week. The flower bed along the driveway was completely ripped up. Some of the plants we tore right out and others we trimmed back to tiny nubbins. It was nice getting a foot of space back on our already narrow driveway. The husband wants to tear out all the plants and put rocks down until we can afford to repave the whole driveway. It would be a lot of work, but at least we wouldn’t be fighting plants when we open the car doors next to the house.

Just now I heard a noise and our dumb cat, Bento, was so worked up from seeing a squirrel outside the window he body slammed into it and then bounced backwards. I saw him at the moment he wobbled to keep balance, but then fell on his butt down to the floor. He then jumped right back up on the window sill and is huffing and puffing, furious at the squirrel outside. He does this somewhat regularly. He forgets there’s a pane of glass in front of him and then slams himself into the window because his little kitty mind is too actively trying to chase the critters outside. I really wonder if he’s somehow given himself head damage from how many times he’s done that.

Achievement Unlock: Baggy Comfort

outfit

Shirt: Calo Rosa on Yesstyle. Pants: Fantasy Linen. House slippers: Muji.

I know I normally don’t post weekend outfits, but I felt like taking photos today.

Why did I ever obsess about wearing skinny jeans? I wore jeans once this week and I just wanted to go home and change. They are the comfortable Grana jeans, but now that I’m starting to embrace loose clothing I feel so much better and rarely want to put on jeans.

This top is fantastic and I love the texture. It’s also much warmer than I thought. Layered with a long sleeve tee or turtleneck underneath would make it perfectly suitable for cooler weather. I could even wear leggings underneath the pants and be fine for autumn.

My mood about my ankle has gotten better. Other than the lump that was created from wearing the Nisolo shoes earlier, I’ve not had any problems. In fact, even when I had the lump I didn’t have any major pain either, so maybe I need to give the tendon a little more time to strengthen.

I’ve been doing my usual weight training and actually started throwing weights on the barbell again. I had 40 lbs on the barbell for squats yesterday and ooof…. I am feeling it today. It’s been so long and that amount is so wimpy compared to where I was before! Baby steps…. I’m also taking regular walks around the neighborhood. After all the exercising, I spend more time now stretching, paying extra attention to my calf for tightness around the tendon.

I mentioned I’ve been craving ramen (not cup noodle, the real bone-broth stuff) and the best place to get it is in the city 40 minutes away. The hubs mentioned going to have some for dinner later today.

yuki

This is my perpetual battle in the house. Keeping this chair fur-free. Most of the time I fail because the cats both love this chair. They’ve claimed it as their own and Yuki, seen above, is usually in it 99% of the time. When Bento wants in the chair, he’ll pretend to attack people so they leave and he can get in it, because he’s an asshole that way. He usually only attacks the husband though because he’s a big softie.