Saturday, May 21, 2011

Bringing Home Home

Mother's Day weekend I went back eastward to good ol' Amherst. for a long-overdue visit and to treat my mom to the pleasure of my company for a special weekend of family time and relaxed hanging out (!). In spite of the ridiculously high pollen count in Western Massachusetts, it really was a great visit on many counts, though it would have been better if Dave could have joined me (though that will be remedied over Memorial Day weekend, in addition to the celebration of R & D's nuptials! Woohoo!).

Among other things we did to veg out and lay low, my mom also gave me the gift of allowing me to poach some homey items that my parents are no longer using in their home. I love the idea of bringing some home, home.

(grrr... somehow my centering got off (though my leveling did not)... it will be fixed)


Friday, May 20, 2011

20th Project - May (Part II: The Fog Returns)

It happened again! Exactly the same as yesterday -- beautiful weather in the morning, even better during the day, and then The Fog started rolling back in. Same drive home - same inability to see the lake, or any parts of buildings above the fifth floor.

Here's the same view as this morning, only at 7:00 in the evening:

(this is from a slightly different angle, just so I could be sure to capture the shore line)

(Is tomorrow really the end of days? I hope not, because we have so much more we want to do here in our house... and in our lives! Just in case -- we love you all!)

20th Project - May

It's been a while since we've had something to post. Between traveling and just needing a break from working on the place, we haven't had much to report. But we will soon, we promise!

In the meantime, it's already the 20th of May. Nine months in our home. We've had some strange non-spring spring weather this year in Chicago, including lots of chills and storms. Yesterday was a beautiful spring day in the morning. It warmed up and the sun was shining strongly by the afternoon. And then by the time we were coming home from work, the fog had rolled in and the temp had dropped. You could barely see the car in front of you on the Drive. And you definitely could not see the lake, even from our beach-side windows... which would have made for interesting photos this morning! But that's not the case. The fog has lifted and left a dreamy haze...

So here is our beautiful view on this, our ninth 20th in our Home Sweet Schwab:

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

We Love Lamp(s) and Other Random Stuff

I apologize for the slight lapse in HSS postings... we've been enjoying a much-warranted lapse in projects since the floor is finished (both because we *deserve* to enjoy a weekend here and there without working, and because we *need* to save money again). In the mean time, there has been a shift in focus to simple updates and sprucing's up.

Last weekend involved a venture that will never again be repeated: a solo trip to IKEA. Yes, I went to IKEA... alone. This was a stupid idea from the get-go, and I knew that. I called and/or texted nearly everyone I knew didn't have plans to see if anyone was up for losing their mind along with me. No bites. So I decided that I'd just suck it up and go anyway - we had a little running list of things to look for/hopefully pick up there. This list included, among other miscellany: runners for the hallways, another dog-tail hook (as seen here), and lamps -- two lamps, to be precise.

For any friends of ours reading this who have commented either to me or behind our backs about how dark Dave likes to keep the house, you'll be pleased to know that it was Dave who said, "you know, I think we need a floor lamp for the living room." There was fist-pumping in victory going on inside my head, but I calmly said, "Oh, really? Yeah, that's not a bad idea." And I'd also recently concluded that our existing table lamp in my little reading corner also didn't really fit, and it needed to go. So, deep breaths in, and off to IKEA I went.

I was at IKEA for FOUR AND A HALF HOURS. This was not because I had that much to do there. It was almost exclusively due to the anxiety-related wandering that came from feeling overwhelmed with having to make IKEA decisions without any input. I found the few aforementioned "miscellany" quickly, as well as an art-and-frames request for my SIL, and then moved onto the Lighting department... where I spent at least an hour. I narrowed down the floor lamps to three, and then called Dave to look them up online, and we picked one. Then I picked a table lamp in a similar chrome base, and spent the next 40 minutes having lampshade anxiety. I called my SIL and mother for consults, and texted three friends. Ultimately, I nervously came to a conclusive choice and, voila, two lamps were chosen. I'll show you the lamps before I tell you how I spent the next 45 minutes of my IKEA experience:

(floor lamp! yay! and p.s., how cute do those little stools I found look with little plants on them?!)
(pretty impressive shade for such a dramatic selection process, eh? don't judge me if you've never been to IKEA alone.)
To conclude this tale of why never to go to IKEA alone, let me tell you about how I finally found our third dog-tail hook. I recalled from the last time I bought these that I found them in a giant bin of at least 800-45,000 different-colored dog-tail hooks somewhere downstairs near the registers. So, I saved this item for last. I went downstairs and found my Lack shelves (see above photo - they don't have an actual home yet, but I'm sure you'll see them unpacked and on a wall in an upcoming post) on the self-service shelves, and searched through the rugs--no runners came home with me, but I did pick up a little kitchen rug that looks good... see:

(dark blue stripes if you can't tell)
I browsed the plants and planters, but nothing struck my fancy, and all the while, I hadn't seen the bin-o-dog butts. Finally I gave up and waved down a yellow-shirted man. "This is going to sound odd, but you used to carry these wall hooks that look like the back end of a dog," I said with eyebrows raised in mild embarrassment. "Hmm..." he scratched his scruffy chin. "Yeah, well, if we have them, they'll be on the second floor in Home Accents. But, we discontinued everything that has to do with animals." What? What does that even mean? "I'm sorry," I said, "everything? These aren't for animals," I explained. "I know," he said matter-of-factly. "You still have them online, I checked before I came," I said knowingly. "Oh, well, then maybe you should just buy them there," he said and walked away. I'm not kidding.

Well, I was determined. I got myself onto the elevator in spite of my parched throat and slowly-creeping-in headache, an obvious symptom of too much time alone in an IKEA. I got off on 2 and went straight to the map of the floor. I located myself and then Home Accents and started making my way back around the floor. But for the life of me, I was walking in circles. No dog butts. I finally found another friendly employee and made my same awkward request. "Oh, yes! If you go directly across to the opposite side of the floor from where we are now, when you see the mirrors, they should be in a giant white bin on your left. And if they're not there, I'm sorry we're all out." OHMIGAWD. If they weren't there, I was going to hurt someone.

So off I went again, and sure enough, there were the mirrors, and sure enough, on my left was a giant white bin of dog-tail hooks. Red, orange, and hot pink dog-tail hooks. I was not dismayed. Just as I recalled, there were somewhere between 800-several thousand hooks in this bin. I dug in elbow-deep and moved them all around. And there, on the bottom, were two black dog-tail hooks. I grabbed one, sighed heavily, and made for the elevators. I will not add to the story by explaining how I got my loot to the car (since you can't take the carts into the lot, and I had no partner in crime to watch my stuff while I went to find the car), but I made it, and though I'll never again go there alone, I will go back. And all's well that ends well.

(*someone* told me that you should always accessorize in odd numbers!)