Thursday, January 12, 2017

An Update on Sitting in the Shadows

Gambatte!  (That's a typical Japanese encouragement; it means, "Do your best!"  And, no, I am not Japanese; I just love Arashi, and I love watching JDoramas.  Trust me, Japanese TV shows are frequently excellent and Arashi always is.  Besides, I was listening to their newest album Are You Happy? yesterday.) 

Gambatte!  That's what I told myself when I finally made the effort to move the furniture round in the blue room as I had promised myself several days ago.  As you might recall, I didn't like the darkness of the corner where my worktable resided.  What I dreaded was moving the bookshelves.....well, not the bookshelves but the contents on them:  hundreds of quite heavy books.  (Blame the crummy pictures on my silly StupidPhone.)

And move books I did.  Then I put the smaller bits and pieces of furniture and all of my craft boxes into the hallway.  I piled other random stuff on the bed.  A few things even wound up on the counter in the kitchen, in my bedroom, in the office.  So, in general and on the whole, I made an Utterly Colossal Mess (which you may be thankful that you are spared seeing since it was too shameful to photograph). 

Here is Daisy supervising from the middle of the room.  Where else would any cat be?  I had to keep stepping over her, and that made me swear at least once.  Okay, maybe three or four times.  Apologies.

I shuffled the furniture around in the not-nearly-big-enough space in the blue room (Not assisted whatsoever by the annoying feline).  And, you know, I kinda liked the change.  It was gonna be interesting. 


But it completely Did Not Work.  I had my suspicions before I began but I had to try, didn't I? 

The problem was electrical.  I couldn't use the outlets.

My small (not Tiny) house is electrically challenged.  Back in the late 60's, there just weren't as many electrical sockets installed in houses as there seem to be today.  The blue room is actually the master bedroom of my house so it rejoices in having three outlets; the other bedrooms have only two.  The locations of those outlets was the critical factor.  30 minutes after I had completed moving the furniture, I moved it right back to where it had been.  I had to acknowledge that the old way was the best and, indeed, the only way for the room to work properly.

Disappointed?  Strangely enough, I am not.  I cannot explain why I feel refreshed by this discovery but I do.  It was good to answer the What If question; it closed one door and opened others.

So I've made a few minor decisions.  Like finding a better lamp (or maybe just a white lampshade because I like my quirky little dollar store lamp that I painted bright pink) for the worktable.  Like introducing a little wall shelf for the house phone and removing the wicker table where it used to rest--that table, small though it is, was always annoyingly in the way.  The shelf will also serve to help corral one of the surge protectors--don't worry, I will sort the cords later.  (Multiple surge protectors and extension cords are necessary here.)  There's even room for an address book and the tiny local phone directory.

The basket chair will be in front of it, so it hides the untidiness.  Can't hide the modem, and I really do NOT like having it behind my chair (one of the other reasons for the attempted move) but it's okay for now.

I have ideas also for several other organizing changes that I will be putting into place, and I wouldn't have thought of any of it if I hadn't had the courage to Gambatte myself into making an Utterly Colossal Mess.

So, there you have it, fuzzy pictures and a very messy house and a story that is definitely TLDR (but I decline to apologize for that).

Yes, it will take me much of the day to re-shelve the books.....but it's kinda fun to take a look at the titles to see again what I've got, and that fits right in with my intention to read only books that I already own in 2017.  (See this post:  A Book Challenge ).  Shelving will a good thing to do on a rainy Mississippi winter day.  One summer when I was a grad student, I was in charge of the workers shelving the stacks at the Ole Miss library--over a million books at the time; so a few hundred here at home is a really only a piddly little amount after all.  It's all in how we look at stuff.....and it's also knowing where the electrical outlets are located.  Maybe I'll make a pot of tea to enjoy while I work.

I'm gonna go put Are You Happy? in the CD player again.
Thanks, Arashi:   I am happy. 

Life is good.


  1. I also live in an older house and suffer from the same problem you've described (not enough outlets). I've actually grown accustomed to working in the dark and prefer to do so now. It took some time for me to get used to it, but I find the the darker area more soothing than working under a bright light or near a window. Maybe you do too? Only one way to find out.

    Neville @ Electrical Experts

    1. Dark corners can be the very best for reading old books. I wish that I lived in a really old house; I'd actually prefer that. I've lived in a couple of old New England colonials where darkness seemed comforting. And I've lived in an Antebellum Southern town house where darkness made sense, too, In this little 1960's stucco, somehow I wanna be near a window. I finally made my peace with my worktable recently when I moved furniture and I split the parts of my homemade desk so I could be working directly in the light in the office; then I moved the topper to the worktable and Voila! It's now an amazing place to sit and work on crafty stuff again. At the end of the day it was the workability of the space that wasn't working--I'm slow at figuring this stuff out. Thanks for your comment and thank you for reading! That's most kind of you.