Painting the Kitchen

I’ve lived in this house almost 10 years now. The kitchen was the first thing we painted because it had this awful plaid wallpaper that refused to budge (we probably could have tried harder, but decided to read up on painting over wallpaper and went that route) and a floral print border on the top. The 80s and 90s were weird.

My decor ideas at the time were pretty bold. I like colors and I wasn’t afraid of putting something bright on my walls. The house came with a mustard yellow fridge that was nearly as ancient as the house itself and since we decided to leave that and use it for as long as it would last, I embraced the retro feel of the place and went with a color called “Shallow Valley” for the walls and a shade of black for the border.

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Eventually I got a more rustic table cloth to cover the hideous table top and in the light of day it looked really nice. I had the color the entire time I’ve lived here, up until yesterday when mom and I finally got around to painting the walls again.

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I’m pleased with the way it looks this morning. Last night I was worried it was going to be a little too “baby boy nursery,” but it ended up being the pale hue I was hoping for.

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Now I have a decision to make. That border. I don’t understand it. The thing serves no purpose. I could have so much more cabinet space if it weren’t for that thing. But it’s there and I’ve got to work with it and I need some help.

My initial idea was to paint it the same white as the trim, but I’m having second thoughts. I feel like painting it white will leave it little underwhelming. It will also mean I’ll need to repaint the cabinets sooner. With the new white against the old I think the old will look pretty drab and need a new coat of paint. That’s not a job I want to take on right now, so I’m trying to come up with ideas for this thing. I’ve scrolled through pages and pages of images on Pinterest, but I’m not really sure what to look for. Valspar has some suggested palettes and I do need to keep in mind that the living room (which is visible from the kitchen) is in Valspar’s “Milestone” (not quite this dark in real life):

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Ideas? I need some help!

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What A Day Looks Like

I’ve officially been working from home for 2 years now. Okay, maybe a little less. Those first few months were basically Skyrim, caffeinated beverages, and Taco Bell. It’s taken me some time to hit my stride and find a good schedule that works for me and there are still days when all of that gets thrown out the window. There’s some normalcy now though — I’m not always on the lookout for a new project (I’ve got steady work with one company, plus here-and-there work with one writer) and that makes things a whole lot easier.

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The day starts whenever I feel like starting. I know, there are some people thinking how lucky that is and that they’d sleep in. Well. I’m a morning person. “Sleeping in” usually falls somewhere around 8am.

First thing I do is start the tea kettle or coffee maker. Haven’t been drinking as much coffee recently. Don’t get concerned. It’s out of laziness. Grinding the beans, yada yada. Filling the kettle with water and having tea (peppermint or lemon and ginger) is so much faster.

Next I get down to work. I handle a lot of social media and blogging duties for a company and its CEO, so I make the rounds on Twitter seeing what needs responding and if there’s anything breaking in the world of startups and technology that needs retweeting. I keep in contact with guest bloggers, edit and schedule their posts, and keep all of that in order. Sometimes there’s a lot of work to do, sometimes it’s normal, everyday duties. There are times when a big project falls out of the sky and then I tackle it. I like the steadiness of knowing what needs to be done every day with the occasional new thing. Keeps me on my toes.

That’s all before noon. I stop and have lunch, either here or out if I’ve made a lunch date with a friend. I use early afternoon to get chores done around the house or to run errands and usually begin prepping dinner in there somewhere.

By the time all of that is done, it’s early evening and I’m usually double checking to see if I need to respond to anything else or do anymore scheduling. I’ll check on those things periodically through the evening if I’m waiting on something important or if I see a notification pop up.

Now, all of this can change a lot when I’ve got a manuscript to edit. Those have a “fall out of the sky” nature to them as well and when I get them, I get them and they have to be done. I’ve got a great working relationship with an author and I’ve edited a few of her books and done a tiny bit of ghostwriting. Those are a fun change from the stuff I’m normally working on and a great way to earn a little extra.

That’s my workday. Roughly. I never know what’s going to happen and sometimes on a whim I go looking for some new, quick work and that’s fun, too.

The best part of this whole thing is that I have time. Time to do the things I want. All the travel, writing, and side projects I’ve worked on recently would not have been possible if I hadn’t decided to try working from home. I’m still learning how this freelance thing works, but I have picked up quite a bit over the past couple years. I’ve got a few posts planned about that and I welcome your questions if you have any! This was a scary step, quitting a traditional job to do who knows what. But you know what? It can be done. I’m not stuffing envelopes or answering phones (what some people assume), I’m making more than I did at my old office job, and I have so much more freedom.

Questions about freelancing? Do you work from home or at some other non-traditional office job? How do you manage your time?

Posted in Daily, Freelance | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Gone Writing

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I’ve been in a writing competition since March, producing something every week or so, and I’ve somehow made it into the top 100 of this thing. Hard for me to believe. My friend Katie had suggested it to me a long time ago and then again before this round started and I thought, Well, my life isn’t too busy right now. Heh.

There have been long weeks and short weeks. The short weeks appear to be occurring more frequently now and that’s making me nervous. I’ve already used all my “byes”, not even for any good reasons. Well, maybe that one leading up to me being on the plane headed to London was legitimate.

I’m producing all of this stuff. Some of it I’m proud of, some of it was totally phoned in, last minute, “Please don’t vote me off the island” stuff. Everybody has a bad week.

But it’s doing something. Stirring up things on the bottom. There is churning and it’s weird and good. When you’ve gone a long time without dipping in to that part of yourself where things are alive and happening, then you do…eek. I mean, it’s scary but it’s also wonderful. It reminds me of the time we cleaned out the fish pond (a cement well house that had an attached “cement pond” — no idea how else to describe it) at Granny and Paw Paw’s. We found an old rubber ball and all manner of things that had fallen into it over time. That pond had been smooth like glass as long as I could remember. Even though the bottom was dark, everything had settled. Then we started to clean it and everything churned up into this disgusting mess.

It was all fun until I decided to sit on the edge staring into the water like Narcissus and fell right in. Twenty years of fish pond sludge is enough to make anyone cry.

Posted in Daily, Friends & Family, Memories, Writing | 8 Comments