Well, it’s T- five days until the party.
And of course, I’ve gotten far less done than what I’d hoped. I’m sure you’re all shocked.
So before I go and paint a second coat over some drywall patches in the dining room, I thought I’d provide an update.
Which will also explain why I took so long to write and post the Black Friday piece last week.
Work in general
This is the time of year when customers have the gall — the gall — to make me actually work for just about all of my shift.
No downtime to run errands or to tackle some DIY projects or, say, make some effort on a post. Nope, they have me working the full eight hours I’m paid for.
Adding to that, I was pecking away at my annual overtime project. So there were nights where I should have eaten and then set to work on a post, instead I set to work on testing literally thousands of links.
It’s stultifying. Even with the TV on, I can only manage 60 to 90 minutes most of the time. And of course there were days I didn’t have the time/wherewithal to work on it.
And once I’d done a session, I had no desire to be anywhere near my laptop for a while.
It’s finally done as of late last week. But all in all, it took me almost 40 hours to complete.
Though admittedly, 25 extra hours on my paycheck this month was pretty sweet.
So many party-related things
Obviously, I’ve also been busy trying to prepare for the party. And that’s required a range of different efforts.
I’ve been gathering all of the things that will help me feel okay having people in my house/throwing a good party.
That’s everything from changing out light switches, outlets and all of their wall plates to getting a couple biggish Igloo coolers on the cheap (for ice, sodas/mixers, etc.) to… I dunno, a lot of stuff. It’s a blur.
Point being, it meant I checked:
- The auction site I use at least once a day — both to check for new items and to check on auctions that I’d wanted to bid in to see if the price was still low enough to want to bid. (And of course, rushing to pick the items up within the two-day time frame.)
- Facebook Marketplace and OfferUp daily (and Craigslist every two or three days) for items I wasn’t seeing on the auction site.
- Amazon and a variety of other stores to see if I could get a good deal with the Black Friday sales.
I’m finally done with my list — or rather, what I can feasibly get done on the list — so thankfully I can stop monitoring those platforms as closely.
Since my three-bedroom house was made in the ’60s, it’s smaller than more modern builds. It’s not tiny by any means — around 1,100 or 1,200 square feet, I think — but it’s definitely not as spacious as newer constructions.
So to make more room, I’ve been trying to clean out the spare room. People can sit and chat or get out the card tables in there and choose one of the games I’ll leave out.
Alas, even getting rid of one of the two coffee tables and moving some other stuff out didn’t make the room anywhere close to uncluttered. So last weekend I buckled down.
Several months ago, I’d packed up four Home Depot XL boxes (24″ x 20″ x 21″), but an uncooled Phoenix garage wasn’t a good idea for storage. So I just left them in the room. (In my defense they were sorta landlocked amid all the other stuff in the room.)
This time, I fit one into the spare room’s closet and the other three into the guest room’s closet. Which was great, results-wise, but my back wasn’t happy about pushing/pulling boxes (and lifting one of them up to rest on the others) that weighed at least 35 lbs. Probably more.
My friend, henceforth known as The Pun Dude (it’s very fitting if you know him), will be in his new apartment next week, so the coffee table won’t be in there much longer, which will make the room feel much more spacious.
There was an old file cabinet in there, which served as a side table back when that room was the guest room. Thankfully, it took far less oomph than the boxes to push the cabinet into the guest room.
I stacked my current (and thankfully much lighter) file cabinet on top. So now I can move some of the older tax returns and such into the old cabinet — plus I won’t have to bend to get a file. Hooray!
I brought out an old medicine cabinet that I didn’t end up using, a small side table and small cabinet out. I’m going to has TPD to a) help me put a cover on the dining table light fixture (he’s tall) and b) get all of that loaded into the car so I can take it to a thrift store.
This still leaves a fair number of items in the room, but I’ve got plans for them.
- I have the leaves down for my old kitchen table, so it’s not taking up much room. It’ll stay in there for the party, with games on top of it and some folded-up card tables behind it. People can use the space to chat or play.
- Two of the chairs from that will stay in the room as seating. The other two will go in the guest room or garage until I see if the new guy (see the next section) can help me salvage them.*
- There are two outdoor light fixtures that I won from the auction site. Those will be installed before the party, though.
- I have two poster-size art pieces that I’m hoping will be up on the walls before the party. I need to cut the matboard on one and paint the frame for another.
* The wood is separating, and the rounded edges mean I haven’t been able to get a vice to squeeze the pieces together, so I can’t glue them yet.
My calendar is pretty full these days, especially once you consider that I have to leave two days free each week so I can rest.
I’m holding a trivia event each week for my group.
Pirate Party Guy (PPG) and I are still seeing each other twice a week most weeks. And the guy I met at the Halloween party — who will go by the exceedingly clever and innovative nickname “Halloween Party Guy” (HPG) — has been coming here at least once a week.
Which is good because he’s handy. (My usual handyman had death in the family; so understandably, he hasn’t been available.)
HPG rewired all of my light switches and outlets very cheaply. He also just last night got the frame up to screen my porch in. I told him we’d need to wait on the screening-in — these projects add up.
For now, it’s enough to know that no one will take a header on the boards on the ground.
He also got my vanity installed as a recessed one. I still don’t have bathroom pictures because the shower door popped out and broke while my usual guy was putting it in. Neither of us has had time to do anything about it.
But the house has been repainted (in the same colors), so that’s one major thing off my mind.
Now if only there weren’t so many other things on my list.
Things I need to do
In this case, “need” is a very relative term.
Integral (for the party to work well)
- Firewood for the fire pits
- Wash out the coolers so they can get ice (there’s no room in my freezer)
- Replace the toilet tank innards (to use the technical term) so that both toilets will be working for the party.
Important to my neurotic brain
- As I mentioned earlier tin the post, some of the drywall patches in the dining room need another coat of paint.
- A little closer to a must-have: Get HPG to do a dump run for some stuff like the old shower stall that I still haven’t disposed of. (It’ll require a dump run.)
- Another quasi-must-have: An extra coat of paint on one of the bathroom walls because a) it needed it anyway and b) my attempts to rub/sand away a spot of hair dye mean that… it really needs it now. (Sigh.)
- Repaint the main bathroom’s small medicine cabinet, since the black has chipped off in some spots, and gleaming silver is now showing through.
- Replace the front and back outside lights. (I may need HPG to do one of them to save me time.)
- Put up the curtain to cover the laundry area (and because it’s just cool)
- Replace the front door’s handle with the nice Venetian bronze handleset
- Get HPG to use a Dremel on the interior doors so they’ll fit the very standard knobs I bought.*
Not as important, but god I hope I can
- Put up the new and very pretty air vent grille in the living room.
- Get some of the art — hopefully including the Black Friday buys — up on the wall. There are a couple of odd blank spots because I took some down to fix them.
- Move my bedroom furniture around (preferably with a new coat of paint on my dresser) to be less awkward for people waiting/needing to pass by each other. Plus: aesthetics.
- And finally: put together Josie’s new tree because the current one has needed replacing for a while plus I got a nicer one for $43 (before tax)
(As as Amazon affiliate, I’m compensated for purchases through my links/linked images.)
* The currently ones are badly flaking/scratched up and don’t match. In fact, the main bathroom has a scratched up gold knob on the front and a crappy silver one on the other side. Oof.
I just looked at the time and saw I’ve spent about 90 minutes polishing/adding to this update.
Which means I need to get my ass in gear on at least the painting and handleset. I’ll try to do an update once I’ve recovered from the party.
How’s everyone doing? What’s at least one thing you’d need to have fixed or replaced before you could feel comfortable hosting people you don’t know?