Archive for ‘Curious Lists’

2016, December 2

Things I hate and love in mom’s remodeled house

Right off the bat, I need to state that the remodel took place two years ago. I was so disappointed by the outcome, that I never even thought about writing a blog post on the topic.
About a month or so ago though, I read a blog post over at Bloggoneit, and then another one, which got me thinking about the old remodel, and decided to write down all my own thoughts.

We didn’t have too much money to spend on it, which might also have contributed to some things not being done properly. The house itself is very old, it was built about 100 years ago. The layout is not ideal, some rooms are warmer and others keep a steady freezing temperature even during summer. We have a closed patio-type thing and its roof leeks every time it rains, or when snow starts melting. I still have a loan to pay off, because it was the only way we could afford the remodel in the first place. It is basically a money-pit I can’t wait to get rid of!

And I could go on and on, with the old issues, but I am also stealing the idea of making a top likes and dislikes list, because you might just need to set aside a whole day to listen to my complaints otherwise.

Top five things I hate in mom’s remodeled house:

  1. The total cost for quality and time spent. We went over budget, even though we rounded every price up. It’s not the quality I would’ve expected. And it got done in a full four weeks over schedule.
  2. The shower. My mother insisted on getting rid of our (albeit bulky and old) bathtub, and replacing it with a shower pan the workers would build, then install a shower curtain around that.
    Well, what we ended up with is not a shower pan, but a tiny wall built which has a square cut out so the water can flow out of it to reach the drain. Yes. The drain is outside of the ‘pan.’
  3. That we didn’t get more wall sockets. We could’ve, but we didn’t. Now the house is, again, filled with a bunch of extension cords to plug in appliances and electronics.
  4. Unfinished things. We still need doors for a cabinet, covers for seat cushions and an armchair needs reupholstering. Up until last week, we still needed to replace our 30+ year-old fridge. A friend was kind enough to bring over her 3 year-old fridge since she bought a bigger one and would’ve thrown it away otherwise.
  5. Piled-up crap. Everything we owned was boxed up, stored on the patio during the remodel, and for the most part I managed to convince mom to only take back in the stuff we actually need inside.
    Unfortunately though, there’s still a lot of crap (I won’t even try and name it differently, because that’s what it is) that is on the patio, waiting to be thrown out or donated, because my grandparents refuse to let me near the stuff. Come to think of it, we also have a garage full of crap my grandparents don’t let me near because I’d happily throw it all out/donate it…

wall-of-art

Top three things I love in mom’s remodeled house:

  1. The wall of art in the kitchen. I wanted to display my plaster wall hangings for so long, but all the walls were covered by too many pictures/paintings, in odd places because the paint was peeling off or we had holes from previously hung stuff.
  2. The color of my room’s walls. Light blue. Exactly what I wanted when we moved into that house in 1998, and what I didn’t get because someone thought an eleven-year-old won’t know the difference if they paint it pink instead.
  3. The fact that I moved in with my boyfriend while the remodel was ongoing, and he wanted me to stay instead of moving back home once the remodel was done ;)

Have you guys remodeled your houses? Did you regret not selling the place instead? Or did the remodel turn out lovely? I’d love to hear how you survived a remodel, and possibly even kept your sanity! What are your likes and dislikes about it all?

2016, September 16

Expressing love

I’ve been in relationships where “I love you” was said every day. Or even several times per day. In ones where it was seldom said. And I’ve been in relationships where “I love you” was said too soon. Each of these situations has its own positives and negatives.

But you know what? Sometimes, you don’t really need those exact words to feel the love projected your way.

page more love letters

Love might come in the form of:

  • a caramel latte made every morning
  • asking ‘are you OK?’
  • being driven to work and then back home each day
  • saying ‘thank you’
  • finding us-time
  • watching movies/series together
  • annual Elder Flower Picking Day
  • having friends over when you don’t feel like going out
  • making tea
  • cuddling
  • going out of the way for something
  • road trips
  • funny names and titles
  • two art pieces on the wall
  • taking off one’s shoes as soon as walking in the door because they know you’ve cleaned the house
  • cooking together
  • being supportive
  • listening
  • cooking for one’s partner, or their family and friends
  • being OK with the tea collection taking over cabinet space
  • caring about what the other partner thinks, feels like
  • massages
  • a simple gesture
  • a hug
  • a caring look
  • a smile
  • guarding the plants from the cat
  • reading, while they watch the game
  • riding bikes together
  • holding hands in public
  • holding hands in the summer when it’s too hot to cuddle on the sofa
  • a photo on the fridge
  • checking that the alarm is set for the morning
  • going biking together
  • chatting while at work, too
  • taking care of each other in sickness
  • a note on the fridge
  • reading the partner’s creative writing
  • sharing about work
  • helping with studying
  • doing things separately, too.

What do you think? And what have you observed? How many other ways does love come in, aside from saying those three words?

2016, July 8

Take a Moment to Write a Curious List Today

CuriousLists.jpgEver since being gifted with the “Curious Lists – A Creative Journal for List Lovers”, for a past Valentine’s Day, I consider it an amazing gift! As of first opening it, I am simply in love with this book! I couldn’t wait to give it a try to see if friends wanted to join in on the fun. We had a blast!

So, since I haven’t done a blog post like this in a while, let’s have some fun today and write a Curious List together. I will write my list below answering the prompt, and you let me know in the comment section what Your own lists would look like. Deal?

I opened the book at random, to page 169 and chose the bottom left list title, from the chapter “Lists for Vacations”.

Unwise Impersonations to Perform in a Public Bath: 

  • Bugs Bunny, looking around shamelessly while asking “What’s up Doc?”
  • police officer, saying “Stick’em up!”
  • Paul Castellano from  ‘Boss of Bosses: The FBI and Paul Castellano’, asking “Who wants to sleep with the fishes?”
  • Radar in the ‘Deal me out’ episode of M*A*S*H TV series, when Hawkeye and Trapper, who are showering, make wisecracks about Radar’s appearance and height. Radar says, “That’s okay, I can take a joke” and swipes their robes as he walks out of the shower tent.

What other unwise impersonations to perform in a public bath can You think of?

2015, September 18

Things we do/avoid, due to Pixel reasons

Just the other day I was thinking about our life before the arrival of our kitty, Pixel. Of the things we used to do, of the things we do now or the ones we simply don’t do anymore. Some items seemed funny to me, so here’s sharing.

Pet owners everywhere will be able to relate to some of the items on my list, I’m sure.

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Things we do/avoid, due to Pixel reasons:

  • Close all cabinet doors, even if stepping away for only a moment.
  • Sit/lay uncomfortably for hours, because Pixel is too cute sleeping on top of us.
  • Have a long-pawed stuffed tiger doll hanging from our bar stool.
  • Get our faces tickled and licked to wake up. (You’d think only dogs did that…)
  • Have someone sit in our handbags, suitcases or shopping bags.
  • Find refrigerator magnets in odd places, like in the bathroom for example. 
  • Don’t own a terrarium or other fun stuff like that.
  • Wash the dishes before bed, every night.
  • Had only 20% of the decorations up for Christmas. (Easter as well, for that matter.)
  • Keep no plants on the balcony.
  • Have entire conversations with the kitty.
  • Pick up random stuff like deodorant, socks, mittens, mason jar lids, hand cream, forks, the kitchen sponge or the egg slicer off the floor.
  • Have a source of warmth for our feet while laying in bed.
  • Keep the crystal litter on the balcony instead of inside.
  • Are greeted at the door when arriving home.
  • Often find ourselves thinking we need a bedroom with a door.
  • Constantly have a source of amusement.
  • Enter the apartment bent down to grab him in case kitten tries to escape.
  • Cover the bed every morning before leaving for work.
  • Watch our step, especially with hot beverages in hand.
  • Don’t leave cat toys laying around during the night.
  • Place plants on top of the range hood.
  • Also keep candles, matches, tissues, a dried rose, my angel lampwork bead and a vase on top of the range hood. (Good thing its design allows it!)
  • Don’t leave glasses/cups on the nightstand overnight. 
  • Wear slippers in the bathroom, too.
  • Keep the toilet seat lid down.
  • Place the toilet paper high up in a shelf.
  • Find clothes and tea towels on the floor when getting home from work.
  • Throw away tea bags instead of leaving them on the saucer even for five minutes.
  • Don’t sleep with out hands under the pillow.
  • Nor with our feet peeking out from under the covers.
  • Are overheard by our neighbors as what seems like us talking to ourselves when it’s only one of us and the kitty.
  • Crane our necks to look at PC, phone, tablet and laptop monitors or read a book around the cat.
  • Say “NO” more often than we’d like.
  • Don’t leave food unattended.
  • Fish out cat toys from our shoes and slippers.
  • Keep pens, keys, scotch tape, batteries, paperclips, etc. in a basket.
  • Also, keep said basket behind a cabinet door. (Until we get a lidded box or something we can leave on the counter.)
  • Let kitten climb under the kitchen furniture.
  • Then dust him off.
  • Keep most of our shoes in boxes.
  • Replace certain shoelaces every other month.
  • Walk up the stairs quietly, on our tiptoes sometimes, so kitten won’t start meowing when we’re still three stories away.
  • Fall asleep with him purring on top of us.
  • Check on him regularly when he’s on the balcony.
  • Have tiny heart attacks every time we see him on the railing.
  • Listen for birds chirping. And run out the moment they stop, in case they need rescuing.
  • Check kitten for birds when he rushes into the kitchen from outside too fast.
  • Know exactly where a fly, mosquito, moth or spider is located.
  • Have a “built-in” fly killer. 
  • Try not letting him fall asleep too soon in the evening to avoid him waking up too early.
  • Don’t pet him after I’ve used the hair dryer to dry my hair. (The effect it has on him has to wear off first. *laughing*)
  • Same rule applies after vacuuming the apartment.
  • Accidentally hit “Send” when trying to write a text with Pixel on our tummy.
  • Have someone overly interested in anything we’re doing.
  • Are sometimes collateral damage while he’s playing.
  • Smile and laugh out loud at his funny poses. All. The. Time.
  • Have half a bag of laundry detergent in the hamper so he won’t knock it over.
  • Know the kitty is approaching even in the dark when a crystal is stuck to his paw from the litter box.
  • Replaced several mugs and glasses. Always our favorites.
  • Don’t get to sleep in, not even on weekends.
  • Wipe off all kitchen surfaces before starting dinner.
  • Love our life a whole lot more.
  • Have a writing companion while I write this list. 

Do you have pets? Did you relate to some of these things? Feel free to name a few things off your own list of things you do, or avoid doing due to pet reasons. I’d love love love to see what other pet owners have to say!

2013, December 28

Curious Lists for Holidays

Seems like my blogging-every-day-until-Christmas plan worked. I’m full of ideas, and eager to write new blog posts and have even wrote a few poems, and a flash fiction during relaxing after Christmas lunch the other day.

While building my book Christmas tree, I first topped it off with my Curious Lists book. Then thought better and replaced it with something else, so I could look through it and write something up soon. That “soon” is today.

As you’re accustomed, I’ll share one of the list titles in this book and the content I came up with. Then, You let me know in the comment section what Your lists would look like.

Curious Lists - xmas edition

I opened the book at random, to page 111 and then chose the bottom title, from the chapter “Lists for Holidays”. For it is the holiday season, I decided to give this list a festive/humorous spin and thought of items accordingly. Here’s what I came up with.

Knightly Duties:

  1. Attend to fair maidens – decorate the castle
  2. Make a popcorn & berry garland for the royal Christmas Tree
  3. Have faith and believe in the power of Mistletoe
  4. Knit a red and green open stitch eternity scarf for the princess
  5. On Christmas Eve be the first to arrive caroling to the royal court
  6. Wear Santa hat on top of his helmet
  7. Hang a wreath around his horse’s neck
  8. Build a knightly snowman complete with knight helmet and shield
  9. When called upon, help Santa’s Elves build toys
  10. Bake and build a gingerbread house
  11. Defeat the Grinch
  12. Ensure the survival of Holiday traditions

Your turn, leave me your list items in the comments below. Have I left anything out?

2013, July 1

When in need of a creativity boost…

… just pull out the Curious Lists journal!

Let’s have some fun. As I did when introducing my awesome gift from the Chef to you guys, I’ll share one of the list titles in this book and the content I came up with. Then, You let me know in the comment section what Your lists would look like.

I opened the book at random, to page 171 and then chose the bottom title, from the chapter “Lists for Vacations”. For this one, I decided to transcribe some of my real life equations. It’s been so much fun writing, it will have a follow-up, I think, with non-weather related ones.

X (Season) + Y (Weather Occurrence) = :

  • Spring + storm I thought might only start later = buying a black umbrella with red heart patterns on it (after running around in pouring rain, from store to store, in Brasov) which still allows for soaking wet shoes.
  • Summer + heat wave + a few innocent raindrops turned super storm of June, 2012 = Outfit and hairstyle generously provided by current day’s lovely weather.
  • Summer + bright sunshine + occupied hands with more stuff than one can carry = singlehandedly proving the laws of physics with a “Darn, these sunglasses work wonders in the dark!” kind of revelation while trying to pick oneself up from right before our apartment door and crawling out of the box of stuff our considerate neighbor left in the very center of the unlighted hallway.
  • Fall + rain = kitty paw patterned floors.
  • Fall + quiet downpour = my muse enjoying dancing in the rain.
  • Winter + shivering minus C cold = beds growing purring “lumps” under the covers.

Your turn. Ready? Go! :)

2013, March 4

Curious Lists, a creative journal for list-lovers

As you might have noticed already, I’m a list lover. Not the To-Do List lover, which tends to grow rapidly and even without my approval. But a list lover nonetheless.

Ever since my friend, j, mentioned being gifted with the “Curious Lists – A Creative Journal for List Lovers”, I’ve had it on my wish list. That was back in 2009.

This V-Day, the Chef and I agreed to exchange presents in the form of books. And since his cost more than my choice, I got to choose another something from my wish list – and went with the Curious Lists journal.

It is one amazing gift!

The book is small, will easily fit into my purse. It is divided into 26 chapters, like “Lists for Early Mornings”, “Lists for Rainy Days”, “Lists for When You’re on the Bus” (with my commute, that tends to be a lot of the time) and my favorite “Lists for No Particular Reason”. In each chapter list titles are given and the contents are to be written by me. As of first opening it, I am enchanted, captivated, and simply in love with this book!

Here are all of j’s lists thus far from the book. I plan to blog about some when I need a creativity boost.

Curious ListsSo let’s have some fun. I’ll share one of my list titles and the content I come up with, in blog posts. Then, you let me know in the comment section what your lists would look like. Deal? Let’s start today with the following.

I opened the book at random, to page 66 and the chose the top list title, from the chapter “Lists for When You’re at Home, Sick”. I am not at home, sick. Unless you count suffering-when-not-writing a kind of sick. Anyway, this seemed appropriate for a first list, given that I’m a writer.

IMG_77271_thumb.jpg

Letters of the alphabet that look good written on their own:

  • W
  • M
  • B
  • E

The way I handwrite them, at least. I am secretly in love with calligraphy. So I especially see these letters looking good written on their own. They could very well be putting their little innate palms up in a “Talk to the hand” gesture to all the other letters of the alphabet ;)

So, what do You think? Which letters of the alphabet look good written on their own?

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