tiny flat


Upheaval has happened in my tiny room, and Miss Google is traumatized.

On Friday & Saturday, my Mom had a yard sale, selling (or attempting to sell) all sorts of stuff gathered from around the house. This included clothes, toys, and furniture. Among the furniture was a headboard that was part of a bedroom set. I’ve been using the long, low dresser in my room because, well, it was in here when I moved back, and it was just easier to use it than not. It’s a lovely piece, blond wood, and very sturdy. The headboard matches. At the sale on Saturday a family decided they wanted to buy the entire set, and would be back on Sunday afternoon to pick it up. So Sunday morning, I moved all of my belongings from the blond dresser to my old dresser, and Dad transported it down to the garage for them to pick up. Of course, these folks never showed up, and the whole thing was done for no reason!

Here is where the problem comes in: since I moved here, Miss Google’s food & water bowls had been on a tray on top of that dresser. There is not enough space on the tall one for the tray, so I moved it to my desk. She didn’t like that; every time she jumped from the bed to the desk, she ran into the wall. So she kept looking to the place where her bowls had been before, and yowling pitifully. “Meooow?” It was pathetic. I compromised  and placed the tray on the floor beside the tall dresser. I only hope I don’t trip over it in the dark!

My new old dresser, and a calm Miss G.
My new old dresser, and a calm Miss G.

This is the dresser I’ve had since I was a child. I once told Mom I wanted to paint it, and she said “But why? It’s such good wood!” This is her response to me everything I mention painting a piece of wooden furniture. I love the look of painted wood; Mom thinks that just the wood is enough. Sometimes I agree, sometimes, not so much. She’s gonna have a hissy fit when I paint my antique school desk this summer, but I want to use it as a vanity, and it needs to be a different color.

On a different note, I began searching for apartments this weekend. It was both exhilarating and depressing. Those available in my price range are either way out in the boonies (or in Vancouver, no thank you!), or creepy. Lots of studios. I am too old to live in a studio apartment. Been there, done that. As for sharing a bathroom or kitchen with a bunch of strangers, not even gonna think about that! Isn’t that why I’m moving? I have lived in dorms, student housing, a studio apartment, tiny apartments, a “manufactured home”, condos, houses, and fairly nice apartments. My dream apartment is in an older building, funky, and fun. A cross between Jerry Seinfeld‘s place and the apartment of Friends. Easy to find, right? And totally possible on my teeny-tiny budget, of course!


This, for $550 a month? In your dreams.
This, for $550 a month? In your dreams.


I do know that where ever I end up, I will be decorating on an even smaller budget,  hitting up Goodwill and thrift stores for the furniture I need. Which is nearly everything. I don’t have any living room furniture anymore, and I gave my kitchen table to my niece Kristan. Of course, she’s not using it now, and I’m using her living room chairs, so maybe we can trade for a bit…hmm. Anyway.

The idea of hitting the thrift shop used to just appall me. If it wasn’t new, I didn’t want it. While I always had an appreciation for antiques, especially furniture, the idea of buying thing like clothing from Goodwill was abhorrent to me. Not any more. (Don’t get me wrong; I’m not tying to be some hipster, shopping at the thrift store because it’s cool. And I have no intention of posting every days outfit on Instagram or Tumblr–folks would get real tired of seeing my yoga pants and plain cardigans! Life on a limited budget is challenging, and until this point, I’ve not been trying very hard to live within my means. ) There was also a time when I refused to buy groceries at WinCo, preferring Fred Myers, or a higher priced chain over the bag-your-own stores. My ex-husband was a big fan of WinCo, and introduced me to the delights of lower prices. It took me a long time to discover that shopping the bulk bins was even cheaper, as well as a greener choice, but these days, I buy lots of my stuff in bulk. I’d still prefer to have someone else bag my groceries, mainly because I suck at it, and always end up with one bag way too heavy, but I am getting better. The lower prices and larger selection have converted me to shopping WinCo! (Sorry for the commercial!)

What was my point?

Oh. I am challenging myself to live within my means from now on. I haven’t been spending like crazy, but after all those years of not having any money, I went a little wild. Amazon was my downfall…  The months ahead will be tough. Trying to find a place to live, and keeping the budget tight. Saving up all I can. I hate being broke, but I always remember that I am so much better off than so many others!

Meanwhile: watch this, and sing along.








books · crap · crowded · epiphany · finances · hoarders · home · moving · rummage sale · selfish · Steven · stuff · tears · tiny flat · tools · understanding

This Isn’t a Home, It’s A Rummage Sale!

In the last month my entire life has shifted, not just physically, but in a rather spooky spiritual sense. Some background: it’s been a very rough year for us, as the gods of finances seem to be conspiring against us. Steven lost his job, and my itsy-bitsy monthly disability stipend just barely covers the rent. We decided to move to a smaller apartment in the same building in order to have enough to cover utilities, too.

Over Thanksgiving weekend, and a few days after, we moved the contents of our two-bedroom flat into a one-bedroom down the hall. a few things went into storage at my parents place, and more will go there eventually, I hope. More things must go. This place is tiny, and every bit of space is taken up with stuff–his desks & computer stuff, the amazing television & the sofa Dad gave us, my bookshelves & books, his tools, and boxes of stuff neither of us has been wiling to sort through or part with yet.

As we moved, I discovered three drawers full of my clothes that I’d forgotten about in the dresser I couldn’t get to in the closet. Now these are piled in the bedroom, waiting to be sorted. I must sort, because until I do, I cannot get to the other clothes! I was so angry at Steven when we moved, simply because I stood in the center of all this stuff, feeling like one of those people on “Hoarders.” All I could see were these endless stacks of crap, and I would start to cry & whine. Scared that I’d get crushed under a pile of old magazines & Philips head screwdrivers, I was tearful & not very nice to him. Looking back, I was being incredibly selfish, especially since he did 80% of the work for our move, including moving full bookshelves all by himself !

Fortunately, he is not only eternally understanding, he didn’t like the mess, either. After a day of rest, he began putting up shelves, and finding places for things, just so I’d be happy. We’re slowly settling in, and sorting out. I have to remind myself that it doesn’t matter where we are, as long as were together; I also have to remind him of that, since he’s not real thrilled with many things right now.

The whole purpose of this move was to save money, and that isn’t going to happen. Yes, our landlord screwed us with extra fees and took all but three dollars of our damage deposit! So even though I’m happy here in our rummage sale home, I’m pretty ticked off. And crowded. But happy. And home. Oh, and as for my big spiritual epiphany, there wasn’t one. But it sure got ya reading, didn’t it?