The Secret Life of Melanie O.
Monday, March 29, 2010
The black hole of redecorating
For the longest time, Dan and I have wanted to build an extension on our house so that we have a large area in which to entertain. The last estimate we got was for $60,000, so we've had to put this dream on the back burner. $60,000 represents six or seven trips back home to visit family and tour around. I can't give up my family overseas. I will have to give up the extension - for now anyway.

To make up for it, the second best thing was to start redecorating. I've always loved Mid-Century Modern decor. Enough to be nostalgic and fun. I've done almost all of my redecorating via eBay and have been able to get teak and teak veneer furniture for a song. I've purchased vintage barkcloth curtains and funky mid-century china as well as my starburst clock.

The only thing missing to complete our dining room, has been a teak china cabinet. Dan and I struck gold when we found a five piece teak veneer set in a local second hand furniture store. It's not perfect. Heck, it's about 50 years old, but it's what we needed. There are three full size cabinets, and two narrow cabinets. All but one has lighting. I suddenly envisioned a space for all of my books! No more books stacked on my nightstand! No more DVDs on wire baker's racks!

Of course, once the cabinets were delivered, we realised that we had to completely rearrange the furniture as well as empty old cabinets and bookcases. Five teak cabinets is a logistical nightmare in a small house, but we managed to find space and get everything organised after a day and a half of huffing, puffing, curse words and bruises. It was like moving day. And to top it off, the summer heat returned to make it a hot and sticky affair. By the end of the second day, Dan and I could hardly move.

Once the furniture was in place, of course, we had to go through everything and throw away anything useless and out of date. The job grew and expanded, and expanded and grew until it ate into more than half of our weekend.

Finally, late Sunday night, when the last DVD and book was safely ensconced in a new home, Dan and I turned to each other and collapsed.

"This stinks," Dan said. "I want to celebrate, but I'm too tired. Everything aches."

I concurred. I had no energy left at all. I had to force myself to take a bath even though I'd worked up a sweat all day.

In the end, I think we managed a kiss to celebrate. Redecorating stinks for your love life. But darn, the dining room looks good! It's a walk back through time. Wish we could do the same.

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posted by Melanie O. at 7:07 PM - 5 comments
Monday, March 08, 2010
Simple pleasures
People often ask me why I'm usually in a good mood, even keeled - unflappable even. The secret? I enjoy simple pleasures and try to look for them every day. Simple pleasures make every day a good day.

Sometimes, my simple pleasure is a good cup of cappuccino, seeing my roses in bloom, or receiving a compliment on my shoes.

It can be a smile and hello from a complete stranger. Or finding an email from a friend or family member in my Inbox.

Simple pleasures include winning an eBay auction and getting something I want for a bargain price, or watching an episode of Ghost Adventures with my husband and having a laugh over Aaron's reactions. They include freshly baked bread, launching a new web site, getting a hug from a neighbor's child.

This weekend, my simple pleasures included a trip to a doll show, where I bought much needed doll stands in varying sizes. As I walked up and down the aisles, I was reminded that yes, I collect the right era's dolls for me. And my husband never minds accompanying me to these doll shows. I accompany him to his model train days and am never bored with them. Simple pleasure on top of simple pleasure!

In the evening, we went to a neighbor's house to help them "break in" their newly refurbished kitchen. The husband is a professional chef and the food was delightful. So was the company. Our circle of friends has expanded. And I got hugs from their kids.

Never underestimate the power of a simple pleasure.


posted by Melanie O. at 2:25 PM - 4 comments

About Me
Name: Melanie O.
Home: Durham, North Carolina, United States
About Me: Female, American health and beauty-conscious professional who has rekindled a childhood love of dolls.
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