The big news around The Manor is that our cleaning company quit doing residential houses, so for the last couple of weeks we've been figuring out just how messy things can get before someone (me) loses their mind. I've been doing sporadic vacuuming and we generally keep the kitchen pretty tidy, but it was getting pretty bad. So today, everyone chipped in to clean the second floor -- it took hours and hours and I think that we decided that we need to find another solution, stat.
We've been doing a few smaller things over the last couple of weeks, in between an anniversary weekend at the lake for Bill and me, the first week of school for the kids, Bill's birthday, and a return of hot summer temperatures. I was feeling a little disheartened about our lack of progress, but looking at what we've accomplished over the last month, I feel quite impressed with our collective efforts.
#1. New pillows for the basement.
After a Facebook poll to decide which color scheme to use, the blues won out and I made three pillows for the new basement couch.
#2 - New quilt for the basement (or the hammock)
I had started this quilt last winter, using the last chevron scraps left over from a couple of baby blankets. When we realized we were going to move, the quilt-in-progress got put away and I only pulled it out a couple of weeks ago when I realized it matched the color scheme in the basement. So far, it's been a hit with grown-ups and kids alike.
#3 - Faux taxidermy!
I love faux taxidermy, and so when I saw a sale on Joss & Main I jumped on it. The first piece was a white elephant, which now resides in our living room. I wish it was a little bigger, but it does make me happy every time I walk in the room. (We also have a white rhino and a white lion on the adjacent walls, but I haven't gotten a photo yet -- the sunlight makes an early morning photo the best option and I'm not particularly keen on getting up early.)
#4 - Fruit Fly Massacre
Because we still haven't turned on the air conditioning, any fruit in the kitchen is particularly susceptible to fruit flies. And last week was the first time that things have gotten really out of control. Once again, Pinterest came to the rescue and offered a solution that worked brilliantly: a shallow dish of apple cider vinegar with a couple drops of dish soap. Within 12 hours, they were drowned and I was a much happier person.
#5 - A second damaged delivery
We ordered a narrow chest of drawers for the master bedroom from Joss & Main about six weeks ago. The first one was delivered about three weeks ago, and I was very very sad that it was damaged. We contacted the company and they agreed to send a second cabinet at no cost. Fast forward to last week when the second package arrived. And whomp-whomp -- guess what?
Grr. At this point, we're going to just cancel the entire order. I'm not going to wait for a third order.
#6 - New Furniture
And the big one -- over the Labor Day weekend we got three new pieces of furniture. The first one is a refinished sewing machine table. It's pretty cute, but needs a bit of work. The other two pieces date to 1910-1920 -- a matching dresser and vanity. They are beautiful, with dovetail joints, hand-worked flourishes, and a bit of a musty odor. It was a bit of a hike to get them -- an hour's drive into the back woods of southern Virginia, then navigating an old house (really, really old with wood plank floors and unfinished ceilings and holes in the walls) packed with boxes and furniture and pets. But in the end it was totally worth it.
Right now, the furniture is sitting in the unused parlor/library room. Bill has done a little research about how to best clean and polish both pieces. But it's definitely a task for another day -- preferably a day with cooler weather.
Tomorrow we're celebrating Labor Day by cleaning the main floor. Who-hoo!