Organization & Wine

Bit by bit I’ve tackled organizing my house. Closets, cabinets, shelving – you name it, it I’ve addressed it. When I bought my house, all the closets had the standard 12″ deep wire shelving. While for a clothes closet that is usually alright, it is less than ideal for the pantry or linen or other storage closet. I have both a regular linen closet and a small pantry, but I also have an odd-ball storage closet in my living room area (right next to the coat closet). While I am very happy to have the extra storage space, I have never really seen a second closet like this before in a newer home and the shallow shelving in it has made it not all that useable.

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Appropriate

The title of my blog…it is so appropriate these days.

My AC went out again. Second time in less than five years. Last time was just the motor starter thingy. This time its the entire compressor. It was also out of freon, but thankfully, it seems the leak is also part of the compressor problem and the system appears OK everywhere else. The guy said it looks like it got fried during one of the storms. Who knows. I guess I need to see if my insurance will cover it if that is the case. Thankfully it was nice and cool here last night and should to stay below 80 until they can come back to do the work on Monday.

The kicker is that there is still a small possibility that something else caused the compressor to fail, but no way to know that for sure until it replacement is done. Neato eh? So the whole deal is bordering between just replacing this part or the entire system.

I am really bummed today. (It’s been a bad week even before this…this is just the cherry on top of it all.)

The End of the Proverbial Rope

I am giving the lawn guys through Saturday to get here and mow my freakin’ lawn and pull/spray the weeds that are entirely out of control. And regardless of whether they show up, I am very interested to see what they send for a bill on the first of April. I haven’t seen ANY work done on my yard since January or February. I paid the March bill at the new Spring rate (which assumes a minimum of two visits per month). I refuse to pay for work not done.

The other salt-on-the-already-open-wound is the owner once again not getting back to me. Granted, it was his dad that said they’d get back to me at the beginning of this week with an estimate for the additional work (it is now Thursday)…but he specifically stated he’d have Aaron get back to me – at the start of the week. As a customer, while I realize someone was setting a deadline for another person, that someone came out to my home as a representative (and as an authority) of the company to take measurements and find out exactly what work I wanted done. I hold the company responsible for follow-up. To be honest, I don’t particularly care who follows-up with me, I just want an estimate. If the estimate is reasonable, then I would also like to schedule the work.

If (and probably when) the regular maintenance crew fails to show up this week, I am going to have a sit-down conversation with the owner. Apparently they are doing so well they no longer need my business and if that is the case, then just say so. I will go find someone else who does need, and better yet, wants it.

Maybe I am setting my expectations too high – and maybe I am a perfectionist – but I don’t really think so. It isn’t too much to ask that the work I am paying an average hourly rate every month for be done on my yard. When that work isn’t done (at all) then I am throwing money away.

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FOLLOW-UP:

The yard guys did come today and mow, edge, and pull/spray the weeds. Still no pine needles put down where I asked, but maybe…just maybe…they will come do that tomorrow or Saturday. Now to see when, or if, I ever get a bid on the other work I’d like done. The yard already looks a billion times better.

Argh!

I am SO pissed at myself. I dropped my favorite glass salad bowl as I was drying it this morning. It shattered. Spectacularly, I might add.

For the record, recycled glass makes fantastically small, incredibly razor-sharp pieces when it explodes. I have lacerations on my feet where pieces bounced, my hands are cut up from picking up pieces, and I have tiny slivers stuck in the bottoms of my feet (too small to see, but man can I feel them). Not to worry my medical friends, none of it warrants a trip to the ER, but it doesn’t make it any less irritating. Thankfully, there weren’t any critters in the kitchen or even the vicinity when it happened.

And the bowl. I can’t replace it. I think that’s the part that makes me the angriest. It was bound to happen one day, I’ve had the thing for years, but I was really hoping that day would never come.

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Later today the yard guys are supposed to come out to give me a bid on some work. We’ll see if it happens. The “office manager” that was supposed to contact me Monday to set things up never called until Wednesday (when I happened to be traveling). Yesterday morning I tried calling her back at the number she left but got a message that the memory was full. I’ve never gotten that before, usually it says the mailbox is full. Regardless, it wouldn’t let me leave a message. So, I emailed her to let her know that the times she had stated on my voicemail were fine. I also let her know about the voicemail problem on her end. I haven’t heard a word back. We’ll see if the dude shows up today or not.

Sadly, the same thing seems to be happening with these guys as happened with my dog trainer. They are getting bigger faster than they can handle the customer volume and their current clients are suffering. There is a lack of any kind of organization or urgency to do what they say they will in the timeframes they give. That is my number one pet peeve. Had the owner told me she would get back to me this week regarding my requests I would have had no problem with it (except the voicemail thing…that is just another detail overlooked by being too busy that in the end hurts their business).

Now I am torn. They are a local family (same small town I live in) that is running a good business and I think they have the potential to get back to the fabulous service they started out with. However, I have a real problem being the one who has to deal with crappy service in the interim. Not to mention, I paid my first “Spring rate” bill at the beginning of the month and have yet to see anyone come out to work on the yard. The grass needs mowing, the weeds…holy cow…and the list goes on.

Is it better to work with the problems you know? Or should I start hunting for another yard service? *sigh* At least if the guy does come out today I am express my lack of happiness at the current state of my yard, especially with the amount of money I give them monthly. If he doesn’t, then that answers my questions and I will start looking around for another service.

 

It is time…

I need to get new seating for my living room. My sad couch and chair have been with me for somewhere around 10 years – and those years have not been the kindest or easiest on them. Dogs and cats and parties (not the grown-up civilized kind) and several moves have taken their toll. Today they are sagging, the internal frames are separating, and the leather is cracked and torn and rough.

Already I’ve found a nice sectional online at Costco, but I fear it may be too large. I suppose worst case I only use a couple of pieces from it and the remaining sections can go in other rooms. This weekend (probably tomorrow) I am going to head out to some furniture stores to take a look at what is out there these days. Unfortunately, my tastes are nicer than my means…but I expect with some hunting I will find something that will work and won’t make me cringe.

OK – back to some housekeeping. Today is full of Spring cleaning. Replacing HVAC filters, vacuuming ceiling fans and blinds, and dusting everything I can reach. It’s not likely to stay dust-free for long, but it is better than having it continually accumulate.

Some of my favorite things…

I am not a girly girl, but I do love my product. Make-up, skin care, bath stuff. You name it, I love it. I rarely wear make-up or fix my hair unless it is for work or we are going out somewhere special. Though, you’d never know it to look in my bathroom. So with that, here are some of my favorites by brand:

  • Philosophy – in particular, I am fond of their skin-care line. I regularly use purity made simple, hope in a jar, and eye hope. I also love kiss me…especially excellent during our dry winters. Give me any of their citrus-scented lotions. And soul owner is like magic on my feet. Their make-up line is also nice – I use the supernatural airbrushed canvas in natural. On occasion I also use their supernatural mascara and blush, but they aren’t my regulars. Really, you can’t go wrong with any of their products. I admit, some of their scents are not my thing, but I do LOVE the fruit scents.
  • M.A.C. –  Oh how do I love thee, let me count the ways. MAC is my staple cosmetic brand. Mineralize satinfinish foundation is my mainstay when I do put on make-up (some days it is all I use). And then any combination of their blushes, eye shadows, powders, eye-liners…you name it, I probably own or have owned it at one point or another.
  • Rusk – my neighbor is also my hair-dresser. He has turned me onto Rusk products. I am not particularly fond of the low-end line of products, but I do love their Sensories Wellness shampoo and conditioner in both Bedew and Reflect. (The Restore scent is very musky…not my thing. The other two are citrusy.) I also am a huge fan of Blow Foam.
  • Village Naturals Therapy – bath salts and lotion…this is a new one for me, but it is love at first sight! Or scent, maybe. The amusing thing to me is that these products are made by the company that makes Mr. Bubbles. Heh. I ordered bath salts and some lotion from Amazon – the lotion is called “Muscle Relief“…smells like wintergreen and feels fabulous on my legs after running. I ordered the salts in “Cold & Allergy”, “Aches & Pains”, and “Stress & Tension”. Mostly I wasn’t sure what scents I would really like, but I love them all. The Aches & Pains one is almost too camphor-y smelling and yet I still really like it. Mostly just a warning for others who aren’t as fond of the scent. The Stress & Tension is also a little camphor-y, but less so. I did not order the lavender-scented one, so I have no idea how grandma flowery it is. I love lavender scent when it is a true lavender, but the flowery fake scent gives me a headache. There are a ton of good reviews, though, for it.

So there you have it. A very complete tour of my bathroom and the products contained therein.

Craft Time – Oil Diffusers

I am no Martha Stewart…in fact, I rarely (if ever) do anything crafty. However, this evening I did a little, easy project that I am quite pleased with.

Scented oil diffusers are all the rage these days…and I am particularly fond of Pier 1’s scents. They are one of the few places I can find scented candles and oils that don’t give me a monstrous headache. A while back I had purchased a couple plain diffuser sets to try out. I loved them and realized I wanted more around the house.

Then some recessive crafting gene kicked into active-status and a lightbulb went off. I have several lovely (small) glass bottles that I’ve collected in years past that sit and collect dust on my shelves. And shish kebab skewers are typically made of bamboo (reeds). And Pier 1 sells their oil in bulk refill bottles. See where I’m going with this?

I now have three very attractive, unique oil diffusers. Or rather I will have once they dry – I had to wash the dust accumulation out of them first and I can’t get a towel inside to get all the water out. Evaporation will have to do its thing.

My scents are Ember and Ginger Peach, but the Citrus Cilantro is also a favorite of mine (I have many CC candles in the house), especially in the spring. The Island Orchard candles  are also nice, especially in spring or summer, but I find the oil cloyingly sweet and don’t like it.

What are your favorite scents? Do they change with the seasons?