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Thing #12 & Thing #6 – A Two-fer! March 25, 2009

Posted by Toy Lady in 101 Things, Home, random stuff.

I’ll bet you thought I’d forgotten all about my 101 Things List, didn’t you?  Go on, admit it.  It’s been a while, hasn’t it? But you know, some of those Things take time.  It’s not like I’m slacking.

Well, maybe I’ve been slacking a little.  😳

However, last week, I managed to accomplish two things on my List in one fell swoop, so there you go.  Don’t underestimate the slacker.  😆

I took a few days of vacation time – after all, what’s the point of working for the same firm 12+ years if you don’t use at least most of your vacation time? – and we decided to get some work done around the house.

First things first.  Both Peeps and I enjoy cooking.  We like food, we like chefs, we like recipes, we love cookbooks.  It’s a sickness, I think.  😯

Not really.  It’s more a lack of self-discipline than anything else.  🙄

Our cookbook shelf was full to overflowing.  And I forgot to get photos of it.

I suck.  😦


But imagine this.  a 72-inch book case full to overflowing with . . . cookbooks.  And cooking magazines.

Plus more – basically everything we’ve bought since we decided not to buy anymore cookbooks (unless we really needed them) – stacked up on top of the desk.  😳

Uh, that would be because there’s no more room on the bookcase.  Now do you see why “organizing recipes” was on my 101 List?  😳


There were cookbooks we have had for years and never once used.

Cooking magazines that, while nice enough, really don’t inspire either of us and we’re pretty much just waiting for our subscription to expire.

Duplicates – something we each owned before we, uh, merged our book collections.  😯

The books we didn’t even remember we had – THAT is how vital they were.

These books will be making an appearance at a future yard sale – see Thing #19.  😉


Then, of course, there are the sentimental favorites that we just can’t bear to part with.

The Marlboro Cookbook series.  Do you know they don’t even offer Marlboro Miles anymore?

Peep’s NASCAR wives’ cookbook.  My old church cookbook.  The Narnia cookbook.  Although we really don’t use these cookbooks, it would be a shame to get rid of them – they got boxed up and went to the attic.


Then, of course, there are the cookbooks that are staying.  The books and resources and and references we just can’t live without.

Both my and Peeps’s editions (not the same) of The Joy of Cooking.

My (really) old Better Homes cookbook.

Fannie Farmer.  Bittman.  Rosengarten.  Lidia.  Copies of my mother’s and Grandma Nelson’s recipes.  You know, the good stuff.  😉

Plus, of course, the Cook’s Illustrated – slash – America’s Test Kitchen collection.



Including, of course, Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country magazines.  Of course.  Because the online subscription just isn’t enough.  Sometimes you’ve just gotta feel the paper and look at pictures, you know?  🙄

So, uh, yeah.  We spent a good couple of hours sorting through cookbooks – deciding what should stay and what should go. . . then we turned our attention to the floor itself.

Actually, the floor was the reason for the exercise in the first place, to be honest.   I decided that, after all this time, I NEEDED to get the carpet out of the dining room.  Add the initial ugliness of the carpet to the fact that it wasn’t new when I bought the house 10 years ago, and throw in a couple of puppy-accidents (though scrubbed, it’s never completely gone), and, well, it Had to Go.  And before the carpet could go, the bookshelf had to be moved, and before the bookshelf could be moved, the books had to be sorted. . . you see how these kind of things just sort of snowball?  😯


As an aside, what possesses people to install wall-to-wall carpet over hardwood flooring?  Especially in a dining room?   I mean, really.  It’s like . . . like paving over a flower garden.

Barbarians.  😯

And of course, under the ugly “country blue” carpet is a layer of carpet padding, surrounded by the nailed-down-every-inch furring strips around the perimeter of the room.


And, of course, there’s still bits of furniture we need to work around – there’s only just so much room in the living room for table, desk and chairs, and there’s still the bookcase and the safe.

Yeah.  Now maybe you can see why I’ve put this off for so long.  It really is something of an undertaking, isn’t it?  🙄

Have  I mentioned the safe?  When Peeps and I got our pistol permits, Surly Boy was, well, an especially Surly Teenager.  And one can’t be too careful with teenagers and guns in the same house, so we knew we would need a safe place for pistols, ammunition, and whatever else needed to be kept safe.

Then Gander Mountain ran a sale on gun safes.  So we decided, well, better SAFE than sorry.  Heh. Get it?  Safe?  😆

Anyway, this safe is frickin’ huge.  It’s fire-safe up to like a zillion degrees, and weighs something like 600 pounds empty.  The initial plan was to stick it in the basement out of the way, but evidently the delivery guys (all 4 of them) couldn’t get it down the basement stairs.


Nope.  Dining room.


Dandy.  Just what I want – a big old safe in the middle of the dining room.  Though to be fair, it’s not in the middle of the room – it’s against the wall.  But still, it was essentially the first thing you see when you walk into the dining room.  But no more.  😀

Between Peeps and Surly Boy (with my gentle supervision, of course!), they were able to move the safe to the opposite corner of the dining room – far more discreet.  🙂

Meanwhile, I helped the guys pull staples out of the floor.


Why is it necessary to STAPLE the carpet padding to the hardwood floor Every Frickin’ Inch?

I’m just asking, that’s all.  I mean, if there’s a reasonable explanation, I’d love to hear it.  But from where I’m sitting, it just looks to me like gratuitous staple gun abuse, that’s all.  😦


Now, since we’re going to be ripping up the living room carpet as well, and before too long if I have anything to say about it, we opted not to install a threshold between the two rooms.  After all, the last thing I wanted was to nail or screw  additional holes in the floor – holes even bigger than the thousand or so staple holes.  Besides, who wants to make a special trip to Home Depot when we’ve got plenty of duct tape?  😆


So ultimately, I’d say we had a very productive day.  We’ve spent a little time figuring out what we have, we’ve prioritized a bit, not to mention organized, and we’ve got a couple of boxes of stuff for a yard sale.

I’ve exposed the entire area of the baseboards, so I can finally properly paint without the carpet in the way.

So the hardwood floor is somewhat marred – a few gouges here and there (I like to think of it as “lived-in) – and there are some smears of white paint (why not just put drop cloths down?) – clearly the floor will need to be sanded and refinished at some point.

But the entire room is so much lighter – more open –  after getting rid of that carpet.  It just looks more like “home.”


We’ll probably eventually get a small rug for under the table – probably about the time the floors start getting cold again next fall.  Maybe.  But meanwhile, I’m just going to enjoy the rustic feeling of real hardwood floors  under my feet for a while.  😀



1. Mazco - March 25, 2009

Peeps moving a safe looks surprisingly similar to Peeps moving a file cabinet.

Once you learn to swim…

Toy Lady - March 25, 2009

Yeah, well, I guess you stick with what you know, right? 😉

2. Mazco - March 25, 2009

Also, it’s not a NASCAR wives cookbook.

It’s a CARA cookbook, from the wives if IndyCar drivers.

And Cathy has 3 recipes in it (2 with her name spelled correctly and once with it mangled.)

It also forms its own stand when you open it. But that’s what you would expect from someone who’s husbands are drivers and engineers.

Toy Lady - March 25, 2009

NASCAR, CARA, like I’m supposed to know the difference. 🙄

If it helps my street cred, my father used to do stock car racing. . . I don’t know how that differs from the rest either. 😳

And yes, I know all about how it forms its own stand when it’s opened. I KNOW.

3. origamifreak - March 27, 2009

Ooh. Very nice floor underneath. I’m looking forward to having my own “hardwood” floor soon…

That nasty pale blue acrylic crud just really needed to come up. Now it’s left only in part of the living room and one of the bedrooms, and that will be gone within days, I suspect.

(I still have a difficult time thinking of a grass as “wood,” though.)

Toy Lady - March 27, 2009

Thank you. 😀

I was a little concerned about it – I had no idea what kind of shape the wood was in, and, while there is one spot in front of the door that has been repaired, that’s nothing I can’t live with for the time being, until we’re ready to refinish the floors.

What was up with that nasty blue acrylic stuff, anyway? 🙄

I think my prior homeowners must have gotten a great deal on it or something – besides the dining room, it was in the living room, the stairs, and the upstairs hall.

Now I’m starting to feel inspired to finish refinishing the woodwork. . .

4. origamifreak - March 27, 2009

Ugh. It was nasty pale blue acrylic that felt *crunchy* underfoot, in the way that only cheap acrylic shag can – plus the fact that it was there when I bought the place – and the place was a rental before (and just LOOKING at it made me feel like I was still renting), plus the fact that my grouchy old-man cat had his way with the carpet in one of the upstairs bedrooms when he had cancer and decided he didn’t want to bother going to the litter box downstairs.

Toy Lady - March 27, 2009

Ugh. My ugly carpet has been here since I bought the place, too – and what finally tipped the “it’s got to go” scale was a series of puppy accidents. . .

And as for the litter box . . . never again.

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