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So I got fed up. I got tired of worrying about how dad would react. Tired of feeling overwhelmed by the enormous task. Tired of feeling drowned out by "stuff" everywhere. It was time to take matters in to my own hands.

One section at a time, I decided to tackle just rearrangement of furniture.

THIS is the section I decided to tackle Friday December 23rd. If you recall:

and


So two objectives:

1) I need a place to cook. I prefer cooking my own food from scratch. Not only for health reasons but because I;m a food snob. Since we've been in DC, I've gained weight. Why? Because my dad's kitchen is a major PAIN IN THE ASS to cook in. So I've been eating out and eating junky stuff when I'm not eating out. That has to stop. I have to lose the weight I've gained since I've been here and that means I need my own cooking space. I brought my iron skillets and saucepans from home on the last trip to Florida. So now, all I needed was a place to set up as a "kitchen". We have a full fridge down here in the basement plus TWO (yes, TWO) freezers.

2) Decrease clutter, mold, dust, and surfaces that cannot be cleaned regularly and/or easily. You'll remember my house in Florida. Very minimalist design. I could literally clean the entire place in 45 minutes. Not a lot of places for dust to collect. Easily flow of energy around the place.

So. Here's what happened when we moved the stuff out of that corner. TONS of mold. TONS. I quickly grabbed a respirator and doused the entire area in bleach. So much bleach, in fact, that we needed to use the wet/dry vac to get it up.

No wonder I couldn't breathe!

Anyway, we next put the hideous Orange Rug over the area to "set off" the area as the "kitchen" and to cover up the ugliness of the missing tiles.

And, oh. In case you were wondering why I didn't move the bookcases. No, I am not decorating-challenged. Dad has BOLTED them to the wall. They cannot be moved without way way more work than I want to think about right now.

Sigh.

Finally, we moved the fridge from one corner of the basement to the other. We moved the service hutch (and threw away tons of old bottles of "sparkling cider". We moved the short freezer over to the opposite side of the basement to keep the tall freezer company. Those freezers are mostly my dad's stuff. We don't keep anything in them. Now he can access them easily.

BEFORE

AFTER (sort of)

The short and tall freezers in a new corner awaiting some further decoration. The back door ACCESSIBLE! We always wondered how we'd get out of the house quickly in case of a fire. No, seriously. There was a BIG ASSED fridge in front of it. I understand why dad had it there. An elderly man in the house should create barriers to entry. BUt dad has an alarm system, anyway. And now, we're here. I do fearlessly carry a handgun (or two) and so does my husband. So. There's that.

And lastly, my "new kitchen".

As you can see we placed the fridge catty-corner.  I really dislike every piece of furniture being flush against the wall. It's just...bad. I'll be adding a potted plant atop it and some tea candles in a holder I brought from home in the next few days. I am using the cleared out white tall slim bookshelf for my spices and dry goods. The coffee maker is on the wine rack and I'll be adding a small microwave to it in a week. The side table there is where I'll place a couple of portable butane cooking burners

Before_And_After

I've added two lamps from home to the top of the big brown bookshelf. Once I clean the glasses, the light shining on them will look beautiful. You may also notice my bottle of Petron between the lamps. :D

This is my new kitchen. Already the space down here feels better. Different.

Dad came home from shopping and wandered downstairs. I suppose it was a bit of a shock. I assured him that I didn't throw anything away (which is MOSTLY true. All the books are in bags upstairs now. He can decide what he wants to do with them). But as he sat down and looked at it, I think he felt like it was an improvement. He definitely liked having the two freezers easily accessible, since the short freezer was behind a wall of junk. He started talking about "what hasn't been used in five years needs to go" and "going under the stair space to see what's in there". So this is progress. But it was pretty tense for a few seconds. I basically told him that since his doctor denied his request for a second knee surgery and that it would be May or June or possibly July before he'd allow it, that I was tired of living out of my suitcase and having my clothes all piled up everywhere. I said that it was too hard to keep the basement clean and dust free, and that it was necessary to make some changes because of my asthma. I told him that we MOSTLY weren't throwing things away, just rearranging furniture to make the space more livable and open for the long haul.  Seems like that did it. he even started talking about throwing away the OTHER freezer in the workshop - the one that doesn't work and is being used to store extension cords. (!) But honestly, I was at a point where I didn't care a whole lot if he liked it or not. The place needed work and I decided it needed to be done. The best thing is, once we get this basement done, there'll be room for everyone. And for entertaining. For socializing. It'll be great. Hubby and I are already settled on what we plan to do with the TV viewing area. So stay tuned. THAT will be an incredible transformation.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (24+ / 0-)

    I've become re-radicalized. Thanks a lot you bunch of oligarchical fascist sons-of-bitches. But once again, I have no choice. Bring it the fuck on.

    by mdmslle on Sat Dec 24, 2011 at 09:00:03 AM PST

  •  Looks nice (4+ / 0-)

    Great way to start 2012.

    Happy new year!

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Sat Dec 24, 2011 at 09:16:40 AM PST

    •  thanks! You too! I'm far from done (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shockwave, chimene

      but it's a start. I'm hoping to get the place reasonably livable by the new year.

      have a great holiday!

      I've become re-radicalized. Thanks a lot you bunch of oligarchical fascist sons-of-bitches. But once again, I have no choice. Bring it the fuck on.

      by mdmslle on Sat Dec 24, 2011 at 09:19:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good for you! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mdmslle

    Nothing beats redoing your living space, even if it's just moving stuff around.  It can really improve your outlook.

    "We *can* go back to the Dark Ages! The crust of learning and good manners and tolerance is so thin!" -- Sinclair Lewis

    by Nespolo on Sat Dec 24, 2011 at 09:46:52 AM PST

  •  Nice going! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mdmslle

    The mold may have been from damp coming in that window, or perhaps from condensation of the freezer (?) against the wall.

    And your father may very well now want to start getting rid of things. If a clean-up job is too big, the tendency is to avoid it, because there's no place to start. But once you've found the levreage point, it goes from there.

    You are inspiring me to keep on thinning things out. Yay you.

    Mery Happy Joyous whatever to you and DH and dad.

    The trouble with quotes on the internet is that it is difficult to determine whether or not they are genuine. -- Abraham Lincoln

    by Mnemosyne on Sat Dec 24, 2011 at 11:17:49 AM PST

    •  and this (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mdmslle, ban nock
      the one that doesn't work and is being used to store extension cords. (!)
      reminds me: There's an old New England story about a farmer whose family was going through the house after he'd died. Up in the attic they found a box labeled, "String too short to be saved."

      The trouble with quotes on the internet is that it is difficult to determine whether or not they are genuine. -- Abraham Lincoln

      by Mnemosyne on Sat Dec 24, 2011 at 11:20:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  thanks Mnemosyne. Merry Christmas to you (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mnemosyne, chimene

      too!

      Yeah, the mold was coming from that window just above. Earlier this year my husband figured that out and spray foamed the window from the outside and the inside. We hit it with another shot yesterday for good measure.

      I showed my dad pictures of the mold. I took pictures before scooping it up in the duster. It looked like dirt from a potted plant, there was so much of it. I told his this HAD to be dealt with at least marginally because it's made my asthma worse. And my dad also has mesothelioma (very mild, though) and I told him this is not good to be in the house. We need to eradicate it as much as possible. Of course, it's still behind the walls and everything but at least there's a barrier between IT and US rather than it just laying there open and proliferating and spreading.

      So yes, I think he's warming up to it all. He sees my breathing issues and so there's no denying that. And although I had issues before I got here, it's a bit worse and he doesn't want to feel he's contributed to it. Worst case, I/we will move out and take him with me/us.

      Anyway, I'm glad you're inspired to pare down yourself. I feel SO MUCH BETTER just having made the little "kitchen change". I'd love to hear your progress.

      Merry Christmas!

      I've become re-radicalized. Thanks a lot you bunch of oligarchical fascist sons-of-bitches. But once again, I have no choice. Bring it the fuck on.

      by mdmslle on Sat Dec 24, 2011 at 11:56:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm sorting (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chimene

        papers and so on. And because I've never met a book I didn't like, I'm sorting those as well.

        When it's cold enough to turn on heat, if you can crank the temp for a bit, turn it way up and fry the mold out. Kill the little suckers. But you'll want to leave the house for some hours to do that.

        If the mold is bad enough, it could be contributing to your dad's health issues.

        The trouble with quotes on the internet is that it is difficult to determine whether or not they are genuine. -- Abraham Lincoln

        by Mnemosyne on Sat Dec 24, 2011 at 04:04:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Hope you and all your family have a merry (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mdmslle

    christmas and especially I hope your dad doesn't find out about those fasteners in his collection. ;-)

    "Slip now and you'll fall the rest of your life" Derek Hersey 1957-1993

    by ban nock on Sat Dec 24, 2011 at 01:13:16 PM PST

    •  hehe. Thanks ban nock. Have a great (0+ / 0-)

      holiday. You and yours. :)

      I've become re-radicalized. Thanks a lot you bunch of oligarchical fascist sons-of-bitches. But once again, I have no choice. Bring it the fuck on.

      by mdmslle on Sat Dec 24, 2011 at 01:20:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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