Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sunday Walk with the Kitty Cats

Did you get a chance to spend time outdoors today? The 65 degrees registered at Eppley Airfield this afternoon (Sun., Jan. 19) broke a record that was in place since 1895! What better way to enjoy a freakishly-warm winter day than by strolling the grounds of noTTafarm? Lucky for you, I snapped a few photos to share.
Bibbers accompanied us as we picked up sticks in the yard. Leo and Wilson were outside, too, so we had quite a party.
Bibbers enjoyed the warm sunshine, too, stopping every few feet to roll around and allow a few belly rubs.
 Wilson took a breather next to the ol' reel mower.
The five of us made our way to the east yard to check out the raccoon holes in the ground. Bibbers lolled around in the sun.
 Wilson had to take a break in the shade. 65 degrees is pretty hot for a kitty with a black coat.
The subject of the best shot of the day - complete with sun flare - was Bibbers. All five of us enjoyed time on the slope north of the driveway. We were out of the wind and directly in the sun on the soft, brown grass. I could have slept there for a good hour but the idea of being awoken by raccoons kept me moving. 
 No - not a mountain lion. Just our Leo heading back up the hill.
Leo and I raced back to the house but Scott lagged behind to herd Bibbers and Wilson along. Can you see Wilson halfway down the driveway?

I hope you had a chance to enjoy today! 
Sadly, the weatherman predicts the return of winter tomorrow.
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Basement Cleanup Continues

Since last blogging, not much excitement has occurred. We've continued plugging away at basement cleanup, and have made some good progress. 

Last weekend, Scott switched out the bare-bulb light ceiling light fixtures in the 1972 basement (aka my craft area) for some small, stainless steel 3-lamp fixtures. This added much needed light, and made the room look less basement-y and more room-y. 
 Removing the bare-bulb socket . . . 
The new fixture!
My "craft area" is nearly complete; I was lucky enough to procure a rug from our friend Megan. It's bright colors really give the room definition, and it's so cozy now.
We recycled the old rubber "puzzle piece" floor tiles previously used in the old kitchen for the craft area. They got a good scrubbing after they were put in place. Was the kitchen really that dirty?  Hmmmm.
The craft area came alive with the addition of the rug. I pulled an assortment of framed posters out of storage and am creating a gallery of sorts on the west wall.
We created a room divider with the old armoire, book shelf, and office cubbies. The next chore will be to open each of these drawers, figure out what needs to be tossed or saved, then reorganize all for easy access.
I put an old fuzzy blanket on top of my big Ikea tub, hoping it would attract a kitty in need of a nap. The trap worked! Leo is quite comfy. 

In the meantime, Scott continued moving all of his hardware and tools into the 2012 basement. He's done a great job of organizing but still has a lot of clean-up to do.
The little room under the northwest stoop makes a great storage closet. Scott moved an old bookshelf in, and created shelves on the opposite wall (photo below) with planks and 5-gallon buckets.

Scott moved an old storage unit and another bookshelf into position on the little ledge near the bottom of the 2012 staircase. This is a perfect place for tool organization!
Stay Tuned for More Exciting Basement Progress!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

New Year Brings Organization

Perhaps we are victims of marketing. Retailers always push the tools for organization at this time of year, and there's no shortage of ads for bins and shelves. Or perhaps we are victims of the weather warnings:  "arctic blast sends temps to deadly depths!" Whether marketing or temperatures were to blame, we spent a big chunk of the first weekend of 2014 in the basement.

We've been trying to figure out how to best utilize each section of the basement. We know that eventually we will finish a section of the 2012 basement as a rec room. For now, it will continue to be Scott's main shop and tool area. The 1920 basement has been designated as storage, and the 1972 basement as a craft area. I'm very excited about this not because I'm a crafter but because I'm secretly making it into my own personal lair. More on that later. 

We made a good dent this weekend but still have a lot to do; check out the progress:
The first area to organize was the easiest. This ledge in the 1920 basement has most recently been our go-to spot for piling our paint brushes, trowels, buckets, sponges, and all the other little things necessary to finish the house. Not much has happened here for the last six months except for a build-up of spider webs.
The ledge is now the designated spot for Christmas decorations. (And I mean only Christmas decorations. If I see any sort of hardware-related item sneaking into this area, it's going in the trashcan.)
The 1972 basement presented the biggest challenge. This has been the dumping ground for all the boxes that needed to be unpacked as rooms were finished. There's a couch in the middle of this pile, and lots of empty moving boxes.
About 10 cartons of old checks, old receipts, old magazines, and old housewares were stacked behind the couch.
By the end of Saturday's work day, quite a pile of empty cardboard boxes was ready to be broken down for the recycler. Many of our childhood and college items were consolidated into more-permanent plastic bins for long term storage. (I found all my sorority scrapbooks, a box full of letters and photos regarding a certain cute boy, and countless stuffed animals.)
The ledge on the back wall of the 1920 basement became "permanent" storage. Since we don't expect to need to get to these things often, they are stacked high and deep. The cartons at the left are all old magazines. We know we don't need them but feel guilty tossing them - so, for example, if you need to find an article from a 1989 issue of Architectural Record or want to review 30 years of National Geographic, come on over.
By the end of Sunday's work day, the 1972 room was taking shape. I've got some pretty good plans that haven't met much resistance, yet. I hope to continue working on this in the weeks to come. 
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Happy New Year!

I'm a few days late but the wish is sincere: I hope 2014 is a wonderful year for all! Scott and I celebrated New Year's Eve with our traditional steak-and-lobster dinner. This year we invited four of our most favorite people to dinner - our folks! We were very happy that Ray and Jolene drove in from Kearney to sup with Carl and Marita, and us, and of course, Leo and Wilson.
What would NYE be without a glass or two of champagne?
While we finished cooking, everyone gathered at the peninsula for tidbits and good conversation.
Scott and I are so lucky to have such great parents! 
They've always been so supportive and truly love noTTafarm.
Happy New Year!