I decided to add mulch to the old not-actually-flower beds in front of my house that were now mostly dirt, old bark, weeds, and a sprinkling of cat poop. I walked into the closest big box store nursery section and asked the stocker to point me to the mulch section.
“It’s back in that corner. Or I have a few bags up here on clearance for a dollar-fifty,” he said.
“Sold!” I replied. There were three bags of red mulch sitting on a cart, exactly the number I needed in a red color that was just fine, marked down because of holes in the bag. A few minutes later and my house looked much nicer.
My dog is a sloppy drinker. She splashes water and doesn’t have the excuse of prodigious jowls or floofy ears getting in the way or youthful enthusiasm that cannot be restrained. She’s just messy.
More than a year after getting the little weasel I finally made a doggie dinner station placement using a piece of this home dec fabric roll I got at Goodwill. I also moved it to a dedicated spot in the dining room so it’s not directly next to the garbage and recycle anymore. Same floor, just different lighting for a different appearance.
Doggie Dinner is the magic phrase and soon she’ll probably learn “supper” too, which is what I say when I want to talk about dinner without drawing her attention.
When I was a small child I would play dress-up with my mom’s vintage fancy dresses, swallowed by what seemed like yards of material. Sometime around middle school I stopped playing dress-up in the same way. Years went by and one day I opened the box of old, creased dresses to find that instead of them being much too big I suddenly couldn’t even fit into some of them.
In my mid-twenties my mom shipped half a dozen boxes to me, stuff that had been left behind when I moved out after college. She felt confident that I wasn’t returning to the nest and instead of tossing my boxes into the garbage she sent them to me halfway across the country, which was generous.(Thanks Mom!) One of the boxes was full of her old dresses, now mine.
I moved into a house this summer after 5+ years in an apartment. While packing the dresses for the move I eyeballed one, estimated that I might have a chance at zipping it up, and tried it on. Success! Somewhat constricted breathing in the very tight bodice, still success?
I wore it to a Hummingbird Society gala in Sedona, AZ when I knew it would be for just a couple hours. My mom designed and sewed this dress herself when she was in college in 1966.
My new kitchen is smaller than my apartment kitchen, with less storage and unusable counters tucked in corners and cabinets that are suited for somebody 6’2″ and not 5’2″. Also, there’s not a single cupboard large enough to hold a cookie sheet, and no there’s not a drawer under the oven.
There is a wide ledge outside the kitchen window, which looks onto the large patio and backyard, so that part is cool.
This paper towel holder helps my kitchen feel closer to completion.
The night before the movers came I dropped off all my plants at my new house, leaving them near the front porch area on the east side of the house. The plants came from the dining room, the balcony patio, and by the front door of the apartment. By the time we showed up at the house mid-afternoon the next day most of the plants were sunburned and dying, even the ones that had been living outside in the heat all summer.
I don’t know yet how much of the two large plants from my dining room will survive. They might have healthy bits at the base to start growing again after I trim yards and yards of dead vines. It was not the triumphant moving experience I anticipated.
There are multiple sets of photos on my computer taken over the years with the plan to post Before & Afters. I’m moving to a house in a week and there won’t be many Afters for these. As I like to say, some problems resolve themselves if you wait long enough.
Before pictures on the left, After pictures on the right.
The ponytail plant didn’t make it so I bought a spiky $1.50 plant on a whim. It thrived even through a summer so I bought another when it appeared on the left-for-dead clearance shelf. The bit of white showing through between the plants is a seashell from my childhood. I had a shell collection as a kid and it’s the last one I’ve kept.
On a less successful note, the sweet little ivy plant is not growing well in the planter and it hasn’t exactly died either. Yet?
How to wear a pastel yellow bridesmaid dress again: dye it black and hope for the best. I don’t have a true Before picture of this dress because I shortened it by a couple inches before realizing I hadn’t taken any photos. I added the straps myself, using wired satin ribbon. After the wedding, I removed the ribbon and dyed the dress black, which came out more of a dark gray. The polyester zipper and the thread I used for hemming didn’t take the dye, so I colored it in with a permanent marker. So classy.
Full disclosure: these pictures are from fall 2013 and I still haven’t worn the After dress anywhere except my balcony to take pictures. Turns out I don’t have many occasions to wear a “if you squint maybe it’s not a bridesmaid dress?” dress in my regular life. If this dress isn’t in the giveaway pile yet it’s headed there soon.
Several years ago one October I was helping a friend find a bridesmaid dress for a small, low-key wedding. We looked through rack after rack of dresses at inexpensive stores like Ross and a Macy’s outlet.
“This is so frustrating, I won’t be able to find anything pale yellow, that’s not a color in stores in October, and buying a new dress is expensive!” She was frustrated. I agreed that it was not at all cool that they asked her to find such a specific color and just a few weeks before the wedding even! She looked sheepish. “Um, well, actually they asked for my favorite color and when I said yellow they requested that I wear something in light yellow because the three women in the wedding are each wearing their favorite color in a pastel version. And, um, that conversation happened over the summer.”
She found a lovely cotton short-sleeve dress with eyelet hem detail for around twenty bucks. To alleviate her concerns about whether it was wedding-y enough we made a trip to Jo-Ann Fabric and she bought some satin in a pale bronze champagne color. I sewed a sash for her waist; she and the dress both looked great. She found the whole process stressful and costly and vowed that when she got married the people in her wedding would wear whatever they damn well please.
Fast forward a few years: She was engaged. The chuppah bearers were her friends, more or less bridesmaids. We were asked/instructed to wear $100-150 David’s Bridal dresses, short, in canary, with “a strong preference for satin or chiffon” (adding the note directed at me “I totally disregarded your advice there re: either direct orders or not stating a preference, but you’re not the boss of me anyhow”). The official bridesmaid were the couple’s collective sisters, and they were assigned long David’s Bridal cobalt blue satin dresses.
A friend and I went shopping together. We both chose the same strapless cotton dress, and I added ribbon straps to mine.