Jenny: The Good Wolf Lunch: Details Matter

It’s not always fun being on a budget. Sometimes it is, when I feel particularly virtuous because I saved a lot of money by building something on my own, or when I find a truly great bargain, or when I pass up something expensive because I don’t want it or need it. The virtue just washes over me, it’s so wonderful.

But sometimes it’s a pain in the ass. And those times are when my Bad Wolf chomps down because I am terrible with money. He hasn’t been eating very well lately because I’ve been doing so much of the work on the house on my own with plain old pine, always a bargain, but then I looked at trim for some of the shelves and bookcases and found this:


Isn’t it pretty? It’s ten bucks for an 8′ piece. That is not cheap.

“I want that,” I said.

“It’s pretty, get it,” my Good Wolf said, smacking her lips.

“Are you out of your mind?” my Bad Wolf said. “You’d need at least six pieces. That’s sixty bucks. The bookcases on their own weren’t sixty bucks.”

“But it’s so pretty,” I said. “And I’d see it every day, it would be the trim in my bedroom.”

“And we could spray paint it gold,” my Good Wolf said.

“No,” the Bad Wolf and I said together. He’s not always wrong, you know.

So I bought two pieces of the trim. Then the next time I went back, I bought two more. I’ll probably buy some more the next time I’m there, spreading out the pain, but I’ll definitely buy it because the details count. A clean, clear, simple life is a good idea, but if it gets too clean, clear, and simple, it’s just sterile. Sometimes you need some fancy trim, a little razzle dazzle, even (dare I say it), a little gold spray paint.

PearlsThe Good Wolf and I bought a pearl bead curtain to hang in the doorway to the bathroom, too. She smacked her lips when she saw it, and there went thirty bucks. But we’re going to be feasting on that curtain and that trim for a long, long time. (One of the most important money tips I ever learned was cost per use. A pair of shoes you buy for twenty bucks and never wear has a cost per use of twenty bucks. A pair of shoes you buy for two hundred bucks and wear twice a week for three years until they fall off your feet has a cost per use of nine cents. The cost per use of that trim given how often I’m going to look at it and smile is about zilch.) And we were VERY practical and passed by all the chandeliers that cost hundreds of dollars and only spent $81.99 on this one because, as my Good Wolf said, we can always add more pearls.

Toshiba Digital Camera

God is in the details, and so is the Good Wolf’s lunch. What did you feed your good wolf this week?

Jenny: Cottage Saturday: The Front Bedroom Girly Bureau

Krissie’s bedroom (aka Lani’s bedroom, aka the front bedroom, aka the guest room, aka my bedroom for right now) is tiny (9′ x 9′) with an even tinier bathroom attached. It has a ridiculously small closet under the stairs–the hanging pole is twelve inches–and that means we have to have supplementary storage: a coat rack and wall racks for hanging clothes, a tower for storage boxes, hanging organizers for make-up and meds (no bathroom cabinets, either), and a chest of drawers for folding clothes. Did I mention this bedroom is tiny? Continue reading

Jenny: The Good Wolf Lunch: Gold Spray Paint Fixes Everything

My Bad Wolf had a field day with the fireplace in the cottage last week. It’s such a small house that one fireplace could probably heat the whole downstairs, but unfortunately, the Chimney Guy who came to check it out told me that the furnace is illegally vented through the chimney which is crumbling and that to fix it requires repointing the massive stone chimney outside, ripping out the brick and the cabinets and the walls (which I just got finished putting back) and rebuilding everything. Or there’s option two, venting the new furnace a different way and putting in an enclosed glass fireplace that will probably heat the whole downstairs for the bargain price of around $10,000. My Bad Wolf ate big on that one, telling me what an idiot I was for buying a cottage in which everything is rotting, rusted, or covered in mold.

Of course, he didn’t eat for long. Continue reading

Jenny: Cottage Saturday: As Requested, How It All Started

When I knew it was time to move–my grandkids were growing up without me, Squalor on the River was bankrupting me, Lani and Alastair needed a place of their own–I made a list of things I wanted in my next home. Within four hours of the grandkids. Small. On the water. Two bedrooms with room to put a third bed temporarily for three goddesses. Two bathrooms because I’m paranoid about bathrooms. Cheap. Room for the dogs to roam. Then I started looking on the internet. Continue reading

Jenny: Cottage Saturday: Veronica’s Home

I know it’s not Saturday. This is a catch-up post to say that Lani came and brought the dogs and Veronica has claimed the bay window in the bedroom as hers:

Veronica Window

(Click on the pic to see the full gorgeousness of Veronica.) All four dogs seem very happy, and I am, too. I didn’t think we missed having the other two around, but now that they’re here, it really feels as though this is my house.

Yes, I’m going to finish painting that woodwork. Give me a minute here.