Monday, August 31, 2009

Vase Ideas

Here are three of the ideas I came up (although #3 is just a concept, not a design):

#1 would be the most likely but contained to two strips, a bigger one up towards the bulbous area at the top portion and a smaller one at the bottom...maybe. It goes with the "garden bowls" as pictured.

#2 would be good to carry as a secondary pattern at the bottom instead of having two sets of the circles as outlined in #1.

#3 like I said is more a concept but goes with the idea of combining #1 and #2. I wouldn't do a raised or relief pattern (though it could be done with Paperclay).

I have a ton more ideas but mostly have narrowed it down, thank goodness as I am not one that can make a decision like that unless I just go ahead and do it.

Monday! Glad you're almost over.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Just Sunday ramblings

So, what's happening? Not much here as I haven't been sleeping well and today has been cloudy and in the low 60s and is now about 57°.

With lack of sleep comes me doing goofy things. I bought a vase back in about 1995 from Pier 1 pictured here on the shelf just above the "EL-YEA" newsprint plate (the one on the top shelf, also from Pier 1 still has the price tag on it!):

Up close:

So I got bored with it, sanded it down and painted it:

Yes, those are Broncos fans - I am watching the game while typing this up...hehe.

I was going to go with an orange but I need more yellow in here to balance out the orange and green I have. I used a basic acrylic paint and while it will take a few coats, I like that it's brushed on. It adds a bit of character. I need to put another coat of "golden straw" on it and then decide what simple geometric pattern to paint on it.

I've grabbed various pictures from a Google search on patterns I like but finding the right one that wont be too hard to paint on there with the nature of the curves is difficult for me. From scale to actually being able to paint on a surface that isn't more uniform (perfectly cylindrical or just plain flat) has me a bit nervous. I am nervous as it is that I may have ruined a good vase but I was bored with the color, it didn't have as much pop as I would like and I already had it on hand.

The vase on the top shelf may meet a similar fate. It is a textured surface so I thought a glossy paint would be fun although I would rather go with a semi-gloss or satin as gloss paint kind of scares me.

Anyhow, with my lack of work, I am constantly mixing things up around here. Sonny (cat) chewed the fake plant that was in the pitcher in my kitchen so it ended up in a vase on my ancient speaker.

Oh that Hobby Lobby piece I painted the other day ended up here:

Another "it needed a place to hang out" like the orange bamboo placemats. I put it there just for grins to cover a nail hole from a picture I put up there before the mirrors went up. I've just left it there and it's grown on me.

On Friday I repotted my plants, seriously trimmed my schefflera (umbrella tree) and my philodendron. Since the move, they have been looking pretty sad. They both survived my stay at Parker Valley though. They didn't get any water for a month and then moving here with a lot less light, they've lost even more of their vigor. Both needed some serious TLC and I hope I didn't love them to death. ;-)

I have a cutting from the schefflera in soil knowing it's a small chance with no rooting hormone, using soil and the particular cutting I used it will grow, but there's hope. I put two cuttings of the philodendron in water instead of soil propagation which I have been successful with in the past but decided not to do it this time.

I guess that's all I have for now. There's just enough juice for my camera to last until Tuesday so if I finish painting the one vase before then, I will certainly post more.

If it weren't so early I would just crawl into bed, watch the game as long as I could and just go to sleep. My brain and body need a very good sleep.

Hope everyone had a fine weekend!

Friday, August 28, 2009

How I covet thee

Not much inspires me in the morning. I am especially not inspired with a lack of sleep. In fact, I probably am much less agreeable this morning than I am usually as I am not a morning person with 6 hours of broken sleep...

Anyhow, I saw this and I jumped an inch out of my chair:

Okay, I didn't jump as I don't have the energy but that fabric is just my style. It's casual as demonstrated in a painted log cabin room yet adds a bit of sophistication with it's structured pattern. This is what I could see stand the test of time in style vs. trend.

This fabric design would fit with most any style of furniture in a wide variety of settings. Of course I could see it in my home! I also could see it in a variety of beautiful colors but I personally like it as is.

Now I am feeling a bit less dramatic in the head and that's a good thing.

Oh how I love my morning blog run.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I tricked the batteries in my camera

Although after taking nine pictures, a few with the flash, the batteries protested so no more pics til next month! Not bad considering I take a lot of indoor pics and I got those super (snicker) batteries about July 6th.

Anyhow, here's my floaty looking fleur-de-lis without the paint (man, I need a pretty comforter!):

Of course with a P&S (point and shoot) camera, the options to take what you see are limited but from straight on, they aren't near as floaty looking:

I had mentioned I put the bigger of the "garden bowls" above the wash stand and the picture doesn't do it justice but it's a nice change from a flat picture:

So, all in all since I moved in back at the end of May, I have spent $43.50 (not including tax) to complete the decor in my bedroom. Which isn't bad over three months. I don't count the blanket I bought as that's a necessity and frankly, a lonely blanket isn't for looks but for warmth and it needs to be covered up with a pretty comforter. I am actually embarrassed to show the pics without a comforter but whatchya gonna do?

I am one of those that has expensive tastes and finding the right comforter hasn't been easy based on my budget, what's available in that price point and I don't want to settle with something just because it is the "right price". So, for now it will be a plain blanket with the afghan that someone on my mom's side of the family made to add a bit of interest and color and I will just deal with that.

Also, I wish I hadn't hung that mirror so dang high but again, I want to minimize the amount of holes I need to fill when I move out so it's staying where it is.

Hehe, I kind of laugh at how I have put all this together considering I wasn't even going to bother but with a few pictures here and there; but I realized pretty early on that I would be living here longer than the initial three months. I don't know what it is about our home though, the need to decorate, to embellish, to individualize and even a temporary home needs to feel like home. You need to put your personal touches in a space and if you think about it, even prisoners do what they are allowed to make their tiny cells individualized.

Huh, uniquely a human trait for sure.

Hope everyone is having a fine day!

Well poo

Good ideas sometimes don't work as planned.

I painted the middle (see previous post) one a solid black with Ceramcoat black and it just looks goofy.

I did that one first on purpose first because if I didn't like how it turned out, I can live with that. So, the other two will stay their faux wood for now and oddly enough the color is pretty close to the stain of the nightstand and the wash stand. I did a bit of touch up with the black and brown paint in the places where the faux wood had chipped off. Unless you know where and gave it a close inspection, you can't tell. So, I am kinda bummed because now I have a $2.49 piece of "eeewww".

Screwing in the mirror hanger was super simple so that pleases me. Since they are so lightweight, I will use very small nails to minimize the size of the holes that will need to be filled up when I vacate in the next 3-6 months.

No pictures of the failed paint project since my camera batteries are running very low as I use it a lot.

However, I can't end a post without a picture or two so I give you:

Cat Loaf:

On Alert:

Oh my, I am getting punchy.  Having a nap in the early evening is bad idea no matter how tired one is!

Oh my Aug 27 already? Time flies even when under employed.

A confession.

My confession: I am addicted to Hobby Lobby's steller and deep discounts even if the pickin's are slim at those prices. It doesn't help that the grocery chain I shop has a store in the same shopping center and the other (of the same chain) store near me doesn't stock my favorite flavor of Coke Zero - vanilla - thank you very much. I knew when I moved into this apartment it might be a problem. I don't shop the closest grocery (different chain) near me because their prices are much higher and the Target near there is a regular Target so their grocery selection is severely limited.

I can pass 3-4 liquor stores on my way to that grocery store yet I can't stand the idea of not making a run into Hobby Lobby - perhaps I have transferred my addictions!?! Since I set up shop in this apartment, I've been looking for something(s) to fill the corner of my bedroom above the nightstand. Something that isn't a flat and framed picture or set of pictures. Of course whatever I put there has to be inexpensive.

I had seen a couple of neat, certainly unique round wood carvings (hard to explain) that were painted robins egg blue that I thought would look cool painted black in that space but Goodwill wanted $7+ each for the two and also the weight was a concern because they were solid wood, about 2-2 1/2 feet in diameter, 3"-4" thick so hanging them could be an issue. I was bummed that I felt it was too much money and hanging them would have been an issue but I kept my eyes out.

Thanks to the bazillion home decor/DIY blogs and sites I read, I really have started to look at home furnishings, decor etc much differently. One of the key things to take with you to any store, thrift shop or yard/tag sale is look at how something is constructed. Can you use it in a different way?

Well, I had spied these in previous trips there:

But I just couldn't see any beauty in them at all. More dust collectors. Things that wouldn't have a home until I find a house to call my own. It just didn't make sense. However, I turned them around and upside down:

Aha, I thought to myself...they are flat on the back, they are screwed to the bases soooo I went looking for some kind of hook packet and found mirror hangers that should work, I hope (I am going to mount them on the back, not on the top, they didn't have much in the picture hanging hardware section - oddly enough).

When I got them home and their portraits of before were done I took them apart:

I have to admit, they aren't the prettiest things around and the one will need something to fill the screws in before they get a good coat of paint. But I thought for the price I paid for them I will figure out a way to make them work:

If you can't see the pricing two of them are $29.99 originally and I got those for $2.99 each. The other is $24.99 and I got it for $2.49. That's a total cost to me (before painting) of $8.47. I am probably going to sound very mean here but even at that price I am ashamed of what I spent on them...I would have preferred to pay about half that given the quality but I need projects (rather than alcohol) and I need to fill that blank wall...

What makes me sad is for those that actually paid full price for them. For three of those the full price would have been $84.97(!) and when I took them apart, you can see that (and feel too) that they are some kind of hard foam with a finish that isn't very durable. Granted I bought them after they've been shipped, moved around the store, handled a hundred times but $25 - $30 each for that material and labor is pretty excessive. Oh well, I got them and they will be put to use after I paint them.

I will keep the stands as I am sure I will be able to find something to use them for. I already have a few holiday ideas but finding the "right" things to mount on them is a different story.

I am going to have to paint them a flat black because that's what I have, both in spray and in craft acrylics. I probably should use the spray but since these aren't going to be used in a way that will be handled a lot, I will save the spray paint for something bigger and that needs to have a more durable finish.

I have a satin "espresso" color spray paint that probably would work better with the fake detailing to give it a bit of a sheen but with the mirror so close and I put the biggest of the "garden bowls" above the wash stand on the other side of the bed along with the flat black of the frame on the back wall, the brown just doesn't make a lot of sense.

Hmmm, I could also paint them terra cotta/burnt sienna, burnt orange, avocado green or golden straw (yellow) but for some reason that just doesn't jazz me for my bedroom...the burnt sienna might work but I don't think I have enough for all three.

At least I have a project to keep me busy because if I am not busy I could think of all the reasons I could just drink "this one time" and I know where that got me before. Painting is much easier on my wrist too so I haven't picked up my afghan in a while. I may have to figure out a way to get a couple of rows here and there done as I really would like to get that completed before it gets chilly.

I may make another post in a bit about some of the fun DIY blog things I have found recently. My sleep schedule is a bit buggered right now so I have a lot more late night-early morning idle time to kill. Silly me took a nap during "Wipeout" tonight so that didn't help matters any.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Thrifty Birthday

My birthday last Wednesday was pretty mellow. I needed to go to the dollar store to pick up a few things (yay for cheap tissues, gallon size storage bags, scented candles and reed diffusers) and to Home Depot to return a couple of things as well...inbetween I ran over to Goodwill and despite the fact I said previously I was done shopping for home decor, hehe, Goodwill tripped me up and heck, it was my birthday...

A leaf tile set in wood that is pretty much a trivet so it replaced the windchimes over the sink next to the metal trivets I have. I painted the wood (it was stained 80s brown) a mid brown but think I might go ahead and attack it with black paint instead. It's pretty much early 80s I am sure. (30% off)

A copper leaf silhouette thing you put a votive behind. I like its odd 70s feel to it. Maybe it's a lot newer but meant for Thanksgiving? I don't know, it's going to be displayed year round. (30% off)

I was going to get two brass plate/picture easels or stands from the dollar store that were a tacky bright brass (to paint) but I wasn't sure if they would work for those I passed on them and lo and behold I found two adjustable and in serious need of a good spray paint but doable for the moment easels/stands for 49¢ at Goodwill. I saved me a buck fifty-one! They were a green tag so they were 50% off.

The silver candle holder got a good cleaning since the picture (not sure if it's real silver, looks like a Pier 1 candle holder I had once and is in fact Pier 1). (Only thing full price)

A soap stone (?) carving that is sitting on one of the plate easel things which also looks like it may have been from Pier 1...I have it on my night stand. (30% off)

A candle holder thing (30% off) which may get a good spray too.

I kind of like it as is - yeah, that mossy odd green to look like a cement garden ornament? I really wanted something for that hand made glass globe my parents got for me...the stand that went with it was sent to Goodwill. :-( Anyhow, I thought I would paint that either "espresso" in satin or the flat black...I'm still undecided if I want to paint it. It's been since last Wednesday and it's kind of grown on me.

So now I am fully into my 40s but still on the low end of 40s...but a few thrifted pieces made my day.

Check out other people's thrifty finds at Southern Hospitality blog!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Orange you happy? (A close-up of some cheap decor.)

I don't know why but the color orange and its variations has captured me and it's not because I am a true Broncos fan either. In the last few months, I see orange and I am drawn to it. My previous decor colors were a combo of maroon/burgandy, forest green and a deep blue - very 90s. When I moved, I started to see oranges, rusts and even coppers (less metallic though) as my new main color mixed with browns, black, yellow, green and cream/off white/beige. It's very versatile, more so than I ever thought before.

These two shelves are off to the right of my computer so I see them day in and day out:

Those shelves have seen many transformations since I moved in at the end of May. I think I have them close to where I want them. I plan on spray painting that blue basket either dark brown or black and the pine cones (in that metal garden thing from Hobby Lobby) may get a coat (or two) of cream color.

I put those orange bamboo placemats (from the dollar store) there because they needed a place to hang out and they just stayed there. It's unexpected, that's for sure. The trivet was a 50% off item from Hobby Lobby (along with two others that are hanging above my sink - see previous post).

I also used a bamboo place mat in a zen-like way (I guess, though not on purpose) on my coffee table:

Not a very good picture but I like the use of such an inexpensive grouping for my coffee table. The placemat was $1, the basket was $2, rocks were $1.40 and the plant $3. Not bad for $7.40 (not including tax). BTW, if anyone can identify that plant for me, I would appreciate it. The two books I have on houseplants are in storage.

So here's the coffee table decorated for about $11.50:

It's an odd assortment but somehow I like it. Of course cameras rarely can take a photo of how things really look but in real life, it does look fabulous to me because it's simple. I'd prefer to have something different than the tray but it needed a place to to be useful other than tucked away next to my knitting needles.

The stand I have that's between the entry and the kitchen was custom built for me to use as a TV stand back in the early 90s. I have a thing for mostly naked wood so this is why you see much of my living room having unfinished oak and I wont finish or paint them...anyhow, orange is there too:

The plate is the same as the one on my shelves. I originally bought them to hang on the wall but the two plate hangers I have didn't work since they are for round plates and plate shelves are out of the question for right now. Anyhow, I couldn't resist that pitcher. I got the plates and the pitcher from Ross - oh the things you can find in their home section! I walked around the store deciding if I really wanted to spend $ on it. Single items over $6 I really stress over. I must have mulled that for a good half hour before I gave in. I had also seen this:

The idea was to buy one or the other and that's what I did. Really. I gave it about five days on the one in my kitchen and decided if it was still there, I would go ahead and pick it up. Even then I walked around thinking about it before I decided to do it. Both pieces were under $10 each but I still feel somewhat guilty for buying them. However, I like them. I had seen fall specific pitchers in Hobby Lobby, new for $30 each so I guess for $16 I got a good deal on the two?

So orange has become a passion color for me and the home decor purchases have come to a halt for the time being. Spread over time they don't seem like much cost per each and they really aren't because so much of what I have purchased has been seriously discounted.

I've had fun with redoing my decor since I moved so soon after Parker Valley. I've used the major items (furniture, mirrors, etc.) as a canvas to make changes to go with the changes I have made otherwise in my life and it feels good. I actually enjoy keeping my house clean now. Why? Because I was buzzed too much of the time to care and while my new stuff is inexpensive, I feel good taking care of it all which in turn helps keep my mind feeling taken care of too.

In figuring out what I have spent on new home decor since I moved, it's less than half of what I would have consumed in cheap wine over that same period of time. This doesn't include the yarn for the afghan I am making and a much needed blanket for my bed.

EDIT 8:31pm:

One thing I have thought about with a lot of the new items (and old too) is that they serve a purpose, or can serve a purpose other than sitting there looking pretty.

For example, those trivets are an obvious duo-function. The pitchers can be used (well they are supposed to be food safe) for serving tea or ice water. The plates can be used as small party platters for veggies or a cheese plate with a dip cup or toothpick cup centered in between.

The metal thing on the first shelf was meant for the garden (was something like $25 full price at HL, got it for $5) but when I have a bigger kitchen again, it's main purpose I got it for is to put fruit in. I got bananas today and they'd fit perfectly in there.

Heck, I am using the colander I have but rarely use (I prefer those big strainers for pasta and such) to put doggie poo bags (pre use of course) in for Jake's walks.

Below the second shelf in the first pic I have a big black bowl that I initially purchased to make an indoor fountain with but use it for serving (like a big salad or whatever) when I go to a potluck but right now it's holding some basic office supplies.

So, rather than just buying things to look good, I try to find things that do more than one service...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Hobby Lobby lamp bases - update

I was really not liking the lamp I painted for my bedroom as the footprint was taking up too much room on the stand next to my bed. It was also just a bit too tall. I had gone to Home Depot prior to getting those lamp bases and picked up glue and sandpaper for the lamp I found near the dumpsters but I was a bit turned off by the electrical in it. It has a polarized plug but the cord is gold so its age concerned me and when I took it apart, the clamp part for the cord to the socket broke so it is just another base now.

I decided to go ahead and return the glue and sandpaper block and pick up a complete socket kit and work on the dumpster lamp later. It was only $2 more than the glue and sandpaper so I didn't feel guilty about the kit. I had seen the kits online about $4 cheaper but I wanted the ability to return it, with little hassle, in the case it didn't work for my needs.

I gotta tell ya, out of the do-it-yourself things, "making" a lamp is so very easy and it didn't short out or explode when I put it together:

It's a bit top heavy because I used the lamp shade from the lamp that was there before. I would have used the shade from the near the dumpster find but it is even bigger. It would have been perfect because of the color, the pleated fabric and that it's more elegant (or something) - great for a bedroom.

The shade size I have on the living room lamps is perfect but #1 I don't want a light colored shade in my bedroom and #2 one of the lamps would be sans shade. I will just have to wait until I can afford to find the right shade for it. Here's a sample of the shades along with the baskets I painted and added to the living room to complete the balance out a bit behind the futon:

Not bad for $1.50 and some acrylic paints I already had on hand. I didn't paint the insides because painting baskets with a brush is a pain in the butt. It's not magazine worthy but it works for temporary housing. I'm still looking for the right board to mount those fleur-de-lis things on...right means 12" x 36" and also = free. HAHA!

Here is the temporary solution for the other lamp base:

As I stated in the previous post, I had intended to use the bases for candles in the meantime and that's all fine and dandy but when I took out the the candlestick light fixture innerds and outerds (hehe) of that lamp, I was left with the nipple sticking out. I sacrificed one of the dollar store candles I had:

Yes, "nipple" is the technical term...anyhow, that nipple is an integral part of the base so I can't remove it. I also thought about using this:

To look like this:

But with that nipple there, I can't figure out a way to do it in a way that looks good and is secure. In that picture it's balanced carefully with bubble wrap and the luck of my fingers being crossed.

My parents got that for me in 1994 or 1995 when we were in Puerto Vallerta (we went both years) and in my mad packing and purging frenzy to move, I got rid of the base/stand that went with it. I am still remembering some of the things I got rid of and I am not a happy camper over some of the stuff I took to Goodwill.

Anyhow, that would be kind of neat if I can figure out how to get it to stay and look okay - cutting off that nipple would be ideal but it's just not going to happen.

And one last picture for this post:

Saturday I got a bug up my "you-know-what" and since I am staying here longer than I thought, I did a serious cleaning of the kitchen cabinets.

They were gross and I have only done the basic sponge with all-purpose cleaner w/bleach with my normal cleaning but just ick. These apartments were built in the mid 80s so you can imagine the gunk that was on them. I don't have to tell anyone that's lived in apartments before the grossness of some previous tenants. I swear, someone had a jelly fight in here at some point. I scrubbed the heck out of those cabinets and now I can open them without feeling the grime and seeing those gooey blobs of nasty anymore.

I wish I had taken a pic of the before up close so you can see how much of a difference it made. Even corporate managed apartments don't get the "construction clean" between and I wish I had done it sooner. At least that's done although my right arm is protesting the hard work I put into doing some deep cleaning of things this weekend.

I took down the AeroGarden because only one set of the flowers (from the original kit) grew and the one that did grow was too gangly. Also, with the move, I got rid of the box that it came in which incidentally had the nutrient tabs. I will get another seed kit and will go with more (but different) flowers instead of herbs. I like the idea of having flowers growing inside.

A few more Hobby Lobby deals added as well...I've got to stop this buying of stuff. I know I am getting things at seriously reduced prices but it's starting to add up and while I am not spending my money on drinking, I have to get a job before I spend anymore - plus I am bored so I think of things to add to the apartment...

So, happy Monday to all and hope this past weekend was a good one for all.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Shady Deals. I mean shadeless deals.

Ran to Hobby for two things...get another application for employment and to see if they had any spray paint that would work for that lamp I posted yesterday. I had gone to Home Depot first and was disappointed by their spray paint selection.

I walk into HL and of course ran over to the seriously, seriously discounted section and look at what I found:

The 13" one was:

The 10" was:


Okay, so as they are right now, they won't work but seriously, $1 each? I can't pass that up. For the time being, I am going to take out the electrical parts and use them to put candles on. Once I find a reliable source for new sockets (don't want a candle-like specialty non-fluorescent light) that should only run me around $5 each (if that). Hopefully I can find free, cheap or seriously discounted lamp shades that will go with the bases.

If for some reason that lamp I found yesterday doesn't look okay after attempting to fix it, then it's parts will go into the 13" one instead.

As for paint at Hobby Lobby, they were a bust too. I guess that if I am able to properly fix the base on yesterday's lamp, it will just be painted a flat black as I already have a can. I was hoping for a more metallic look and was not inclined to drive all the way to Lowes to see what they have.

So, I saved in not buying paint but gained by getting cheap lamp bases that are completely workable.

EDIT: To see what other bargain/thrift hunters have found recently, go check out Southern Hospitality Blog...tons of links there.

Oh and if you popped on here via her blog, check out what I ended up doing with them by going to the default page of my blog - click on the banner...

Transformation Thursday

Okay, I have nothing to post on my own but as the day progresses, check out:

Click to launch her site!

People post links to their projects (usually a before and after) so you can get some fabulous ideas to take that old, dated, thrifted, curb-shopping item and give it new life. I have found so many fun ideas from her site, links from her site and others who do similar posts that link out.

BTW, soon I will post some of my favorite home decor links to not only share but in the case of computer ills, I have them as a back up.

Oh and a "just because" pic I found in June, (I think on Sweet Home Style) because I love the windows and I just felt like posting the pic.

I have about 250 pictures I have saved to my inspire folder...I think that's a bit much but oh well. I like house stuff so when I see something I like, I save it.

I am going to go get some Gorilla Glue all purpose and some sandpaper to fix that lamp. Hope the car doesn't protest too much.

Happy Thursday!

EDIT: Oh and there's:


No I am not a participant but man, the links people post are fun, fun, fun!

(Still working through my daily blog cruise.)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Walking the dog pays off again

It's an odd time of month to move but as I was walking back from taking my dog for his afternoon poo/walk I spied these lovely items next to one of the dumpster fences and a nice woman helped me carry one of them (nice people here).

Only three are workable, one of the chairs had a broken front rail - it was gone - so the head of maintenance chucked it in the trash can for me:

Besides, I don't like to decorate in fours so I am good with that and I am a bit odd anyway:

Then this poor lamp that actually is savagable with a bit of epoxy and some paint...the shade is in near perfect condition, a good dusting with a can of air and such:

All are sitting out on the patio for right now as the scare of bed bugs seems to be popping up in places you never would think they would be. I don't know how long to leave them out there, not sure what to do to them just in case there are hidden creepy things and I hope there's no rain anytime soon.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The sad reality of having been in rehab

(Somewhat disjointed post.)

The sad reality is, those that you are in treatment with often don't make it. The possibilities are endless and rehab is not a cure-all. It's a place to give you tools; much like a stone mason to build a foundation so that you can live a life without drugs or alcohol. However, you have to use those tools or your wall will crumble but hopefully your foundation will help you back if you do relapse.

I learned last night that one of my fellow patients had committed suicide last weekend. One of the guys who "cupped out" (graduated) with me called me to let me know and later I spoke with the women's dear friend from rehab about it. The memorial services are this week and as far as I can tell, all that were in treatment with me during that time will be there but for a few that didn't live in the area.

Alcohol and drugs, in my opinion, is (are) a symptom of things going very wrong in a person's life and that is one thing I don't think that is touched upon enough, at least for me. I have a different view than most about the disease model because for me it started years before my first drink with a lot of emotions that a child simply shouldn't have to shoulder. I can touch on that at some other point I guess here or in my journal.

Mandy (Amanda) was a very emotional young woman. I say young because she was younger than me by about 10 years. You throw in a lot of addicts together who want to live a life without their substance(s) and you have quick emotional attachments. These are your fellow humans at their most vulnerable because we don't have the substance(s) to deal with these emotions and baggage anymore so you're a bit raw. Amanda was pretty raw. We all were but some were more visibly raw than others.

Anyhow, the reality of rehab is the attachments you find yourself in. You may not maintain a friendship outside of rehab but you do find yourself thinking about those who were in the program with you a lot. Then you learn that someone didn't make it and it sends you in a state of shock. Well, that's kind of where I am and since it was only around 7:40 last night I learned about her taking her life, the reality of it hasn't hit yet.

It is in times like this where you question your own ability to stay the course. You question if rehab was worth it because if he or she can't make it work, how can I?

I think the true test for me will be after her services this Wednesday. I have no desire to drink because it doesn't solve anything. It's a temporary state. But how I deal with the feelings after her memorial is a different story.

I cried at the "black ribbon" ceremonies we had while I was at Parker Valley Hope. I didn't know those people who lost their lives because of their addictions but you feel a bit of kinship. Parker Valley had seen a strange increase in deaths (all post treatment) related to addiction while I was there. They aren't sure exactly why because they say their success rate is pretty high.

So, instead of heading off any potential emotions flooding to the surface by going to get a box of cheap wine, I dusted the apartment, cleaned the bathroom and the kitchen. I was itching to vacuum but by the time I was done with that, it was too late so I will do that today.

I also read and listened to my journal entries from my posts during and after treatment to get a sense of where I was and where I am now.

My friend (the guy who called me) may come over for dinner tonight. We're not sure yet. I have too much to lose to go back to my old ways so once I finish cleaning, I need to find something to paint or knit (since knitting is not as harsh on my wrist).

Mandy, I pray you have found some peace, the peace you desperately needed. I will be there to celebrate you and to find comfort with our friends from PVH. You will be missed by all.

Photo from stock.xchng, downloaded 08-01-05.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Underemployed and bored so pictures of the same

So I took pictures of my apartment - again! I did a bit of decluttering, removing and shifting things the other day which started because the shelves I use next to my computer. It's a magnet for old papers that needed to be filed, craft supplies that didn't make it the three feet to their own shelves and such...

I need a stain pen to hide past movers stupidity who dinged up my dresser:

Found the oval painting my mom had purchased or had made or something (it looks like me as a child) so the double shelves got a bit of change...not getting rid of my Broncos stuff, no way:

I am going to mount those seriously cheaply priced fleur-de-lis things I got at Hobby Lobby on a painted board so they don't float - garden, schmarden, they are in the house like other 66%-80% off garden things I got there. I really need something on the left side of my futon, that wall is just blah:

The other tab top curtain panel crudely tacked up on the patio door. I like to keep the patio door open at night to let in air but want a bit more privacy too and with those vertical blinds, it's not an easy task. Like I said in a prior post, some things are just going to remain crudely done since this is a temporary living situation:

I am consuming coffee this afternoon even though it's warm at 79° in the apartment. I could easily take a nap but doing what I can to avoid that situation!

Hope everyone had a productive and good week and I am raising my cup to a good weekend ahead!

PS Must find a job, I am repeating myself not only on the internet but in my head!