Home Improvements

Finally! All the apartment improvement-type things I hoped to do are done!  So here’s what we’ve been up to…

Well we had a very productive Saturday. We went to Ikea in the morning, and if you have ever been to Ikea, you know that this alone is an adventure. And even after you’ve figured out what you think you want, you keep walking through the store and find something else that changes your mind. At any rate, we walked out of there with a storage/closet unit for the bedroom.

So we spent the better part of the afternoon building our Ikea purchase. Because of its size, we couldn’t build it in the bedroom, so we had to build it in the living room. Except that for when it was finished, we realized our little hallway from the main living space into the bedroom was too small and the ceiling was too low to actually get the unit into the bedroom. But, we’re PhDs right? So being our clever selves (who forgot to think about how we would get this monstrous closet thing into the bedroom) we took it from the living out to the balcony and through the screen door leading into the bedroom. Thank goodness we have access to the balcony from both places otherwise Saturday may have ended with some strong words, tears, scrapes and/or holes in walls and ceilings and a variety of other things.

So here it is in all it’s grandness…

IMG_2359The top drawer is covered with a towel because the cats seem to think that hiding at the back of the drawer is the perfect thing to do so until we move the glass shelf above it, I have to keep a towel over my clothes unless I want everything covered in cat hair. Other than that, we love having this in the bedroom because now all of our things have a home and I finally don’t have plastic bins sitting in the bedroom looking ugly and taking up space. I also LOVE the mesh shoe boxes that I have, also from Ikea. They’re great for shoes that don’t have shoe boxes and for women’s shoes, they comfortably hold two pairs of shoes if you want to store things like flip flops or ballet flats in them.

My $4.00 Ikea splurge was this:


I have had a bamboo plant in my dorm/apartment since I think junior year of college and my latest one that I had in Clemson had to go because obviously I wasn’t packing a bamboo plant to come across the country. But I felt like we needed something to warm up the house, so my little twisty bamboo stalk will do for now. And surprisingly the cats don’t try to eat it, which means I can leave it out on the table, not tucked away somewhere so the cats don’t find it.

The first thing we actually bought though to help with our issue of storage was this:


We have a lot of towels. This new shelf thing holds all our newest, nicest towels while all the other random old towels stay beneath the sink. Some of them are towels I’ve had since I started college (oh my gosh that was 7 years ago already!) and some of the towels that Derrick brought to this relationship are so worn and tattered that I’m sure they are just as old if not older!

Our friends who were out here for 6 months temporarily just headed back east and wanted to get rid of the furniture that they had gotten once they moved out here so we were able to take a few things off their hands (they drove across country and couldn’t take anything back with them except for what they brought) like this cute table set for our balcony (where I am currently sitting to write this post):


And this storage cube unit, which we still haven’t quite dealt with, but it is a useful addition next to the entertainment center nonetheless:


So I think I mentioned in a previous post that we got two bookshelves from one of Derrick’s coworker who was looking to get rid of them. We put one in the living room:

IMG_2353 It holds our DVDs and a collection of hardback books. Plus our growing bobblehead collection:


We have another Clemson tiger bobblehead but in football attire; he sits next to the TV though.

The other bookshelf is in the bedroom and I couldn’t be happier to have a large chunk of my book collection here with me in California (I still have several boxes of books back home at my parents’ house…Thanks Mom for letting them live there a little longer even though I’m sure you’d love to not have them cluttering up your basement!)


And also my CD collection made it out here as well, but mostly I love seeing bookshelves full of books. In fact, may I digress? Wonderful. It is my goal someday to have a library that looks like this:

File:Bibliothek.Admont gesamt.jpg

Because if your personal library doesn’t look like this, then you’re just not doing it right. And yes, this does look reminiscent of the library from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, but it is actually the library at Admont Abbey in Admont, Austria. It is the largest monastic library in the world. The library hall itself was built in 1776 (the Abbey has been around since 1074)  and it contains over 70,000 books plus manuscripts and incunabula (Who knew what this meant without clicking the link to the definition? I didn’t. Gold star if you did!). Being the bibliophile that I am, I’m pretty sure I’m going to need to see this in person some day! And now we’ve all learned a lot. Learning is fun, no?

So back to our real life. Job prospects for me seem to be improving. I don’t want to count my chickens before they hatch but I finally feel like I am at least getting somewhere after the plethora of applications I have filled out/submitted. Which means I may not be unemployed forever, and that’s a comforting thought. Our weather here has been  so lovely, staying in the low to mid 70s during the day, which means I can leave the windows open without the AC and the apartment feels great. But there is a drawback to this. Living by an orange orchard and with all types of vegetation surrounding our apartment complex, we get a lot of fruit flies in the house. At first I thought that maybe I wasn’t doing a good job of cleaning or something somewhere was attracting them in, but I realized that when we left the house shut up for several days when it was too warm or uncomfortable not to run the AC, I didn’t see them. And now that the house has been opened up again, I see anywhere from 2 to 10 a day. So I’m wondering if this is just something I will deal with living here.

Now, I’m not sure if you’ve heard the story, but I am maybe hyper-sensitive to fruit flies. You may be thinking Gee why do they bother you so much? Good question! The short story is this: When I moved into my first apartment in Clemson for grad school, I was moving into a townhouse with 3 other girls. Two girls had already been living there but were undergraduates so they were home for the summer and the third girl wouldn’t be there till the fall. So when I moved in the place was filthy (the girls had dogs and didn’t bother to clean up all the hair they left behind; it took me going over the stairs and living room 3 times with the vacuum cleaner to get rid of all the hair) and there were a lot of fruit flies in the kitchen. And I couldn’t figure out where they were coming from. And then I discovered the source of my fly infestation. It looked like this (except I think it was Jack Daniels or Captain Morgan or something):

And it was full of a red sticky alcoholic beverage and, truthfully, hundreds, if not thousands of fruit flies breeding, living, eating off this thing. My roommates had left at least two weeks before I moved in, so my guess is that is how long the fruit flies had been having themselves a grand old time in my kitchen. At any rate, it was disturbing and gross and vile and it took a few weeks to finally get rid of them all. So having them in the apartment here just bugs (pun not intended) me so much. For some reason, they seem to love the bathroom mirror, so I have been taking pleasure in spraying them with Windex and killing them on the mirror. It makes me feel like I’m at least helping solve the problem! But I think if we continue to have issues, I will have to come up with a better solution to either keeping them out of the house or trapping/killing them without them getting too cozy. If anyone has wisdom on these matters, please feel free to share! 

Other than that, we had a relaxing Sunday of watching baseball and napping. I went to the library yesterday and got a few books, one of them being Mere Christianity by CS Lewis. A lot of people I went to college with love this/recommend it/quote it, and since I like CS Lewis, I decided to give it a read. So far I am finding it interesting. Any other book suggestions? Right now I don’t have anything I’m dying to read so I just wander the shelves at the library until I find something that catches my eye.

And finally, for my southeast family/friends or anyone who has shopped at Publix while visiting in the southeast, I read this article about Publix and learned so much about the company that I never knew. Anyway, maybe you’ll find it interesting too.

And now it is time to go inside because this woodpecker


has been making a lot of noise while I’ve been working on this post. And my cat inside has been scratching at the door because I’m out here and he isn’t and he may have separation anxiety. And my computer battery is dying.

Hope everyone’s week is off to a great start and the rest of the week is a good one!


2 thoughts on “Home Improvements

  1. I don’t know if this library was in the beautiful libraries blog, but check out the Abbey of St. Gallen Library. Dad and I visited there. You have to wear special shoe protectors while visiting.

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