I’m at it again with rearranging, purging, and finding ways to charm up the place. For those of you who are new I had gotten rid of almost all my old living room furniture. It was too big and bulky for this smaller living room. I was able to pass it along to other families and therefore repurpose. Then I found that flowery chair for free. It was clean and gently used besides a cat that had it’s way with it in the back so I received a $1,200 chair for free. The couch (you can’t see but the back of it) is an almost new pillow top couch for $125. It was a $450 couch on Wayfair. The people had it in their guest cabin. All Craigslist.
I dragged the garden bench back inside and put all my weak looking plants on it in the window. I call it sick bay. This house is a bit dark and some of my plants are struggling. I noticed the same plants at the Chiropractors office and they were huge and lush. They were all near the window.
We pick up ideas everywhere; the doctors office, a magazine, a visit to someone’s house that has a touch with making things charming.
Now all I need is a red couch cover and we are in business.
Little Miss and I were talking as I hung clothes on the line and she wanted to play with my dollhouse. I had it out at one time but she and Sam were destroying all of my precious dollhouse toys. I packed it up. I realized she needed her own dollhouse. Every girl needs a dollhouse. I began searching on Craigslist and found, what looked like in the photo, to be a small dollhouse for $25. Bali picked it up after a trip to the hardware store. I choked when he put it on the porch.
It’s huge! She can live in it! Kid Kraft dollhouses are over $200 new. Over time we can collect and create furniture and decor for her casa. She loves it and it’s the first thing she sees in the morning.
I have spent $150 total to redecorate my living room and Little Miss’s room. And the free things we have been finding! It seems everyone, including me, are putting out free items on the streets these days. When I walk with the kids we find fun things. One day Arjan and I found books for all of us. I have 3 little children’s books, a romance novel for me, and Guiness Records for Arjan. Then when all of us were strolling we found two pink, cotton pillow cases almost new and two nice linen Halloween napkins with embroidered pumpkins and cats.
Bali found a simple pergola for shade in the back yard and a long, sturdy, plastic table for the front porch. I threw a checkered cloth on it and we have candle light pizza dinners out there with the neighbors on Saturday night. I’ll share a photo of that soon.
The budget is different. I don’t know that it’s smaller. I lost a few sources of income but it’s made up for in other areas.
With more time freed up I can search for fun things on Craigslist and the kids and I love, love, love walking all over our charming village and the trails are just amazing.
I was able to get Little Miss in Head Start preschool. I’m excited for her to make new little friends and all the learning and playing. Her mother can go to her school and be with her as well. The boys school is not opening up for classes at this time so I enrolled them in their forest school two days a week. I’m excited for all of them and for myself, of course!
Our social life is flourishing here. Molly and I meet middle aged women with small dogs on our walks and chat and sniff (she sniffs, I chat…if that wasn’t clear). The neighbor up the road brings her small mutts and joins us on the porch Saturday nights for pizza and singing by candlelight (she sings, I make strange sounds). The boys have friends we meet with to go on long walks (I’ve put these off for a bit with the heat, I melt even in the forest shade). I talk with my neighbors and we share personal issues already. Even a quarantine couldn’t prevent the bonding we have over our fences. The lady in the back tied a blue bucket to the fence post for throwing over the fence when she or I had produce or goods to share. She fills it with eggplant since mine never produced and I put green beans or homemade oat milk.
The more we get off the computer and into our lives and the people around us, the more delightful life becomes.
And one more thing. I took Molly for our walk tonight before finishing this blog. We took a different street and passed an old victorian house. I think a single woman lives there and has her grandchildren at times because there was a little pink bike. Anyway, the place is a bit run down and peeling paint, but she has planted so many little vegetable patches, flowers, plants, trees, and such that it looks loved. She uses old buckets and boxes. I saw in her home as it was dark and her lights let me peek in. She had so many full, green plants.
It comes down to how to love what you have and make do. You can be piss ant poor (saying my mother had, never totally got it) and still have charm, coziness, happiness. It is truly amazing at how much is truly free in this life. Even living where you want. Say you live in a city and want the country. You can do it. You can find a farm or forest. You may have to move out of state or wait for a market crash…but it can happen.
I made so many plants from one plant I’ve had 20 some years. I’m making more plants now! You can learn to make rag rugs from all the clothes you’d normally give away. You could furnish your whole house from things off the street, out of the trash, on Craigslist. Ugly stuff can be scrubbed, painted, sanded down. Pinterest is great for getting ideas. You can make furniture out of pallets, paint old office furniture bright colors and repurpose. The sky is the limit.
Alright, I must get some sleep. I am always eager for the mornings, my first fresh cup of coffee and a little writing time before anyone wakes up.
Also, my ebook on Amazon The Homemade Housewife is free for a few days!!