My January Cure seems to be coming back together again after I hit the wall last week. No new plants have died, and the residual dust that seems to appear the moment I finish cleaning has gotten easier to deal with. This week's assignments made me want to go shopping like crazy, but the vacuum and paper towels are managing to do enough work to make a difference on their own. Day 14: Get Papers & Files in Order and Day 15: Exercise a Little Cord Control
Papers and cords have not yet become a problem. Upon starting a new job, my husband had enough paperwork to do that everything is already in order. And since we've only been here a few months, the only unnecessary cord that was out was the one that hooks my camera to the computer. I put that away and felt very satisfied with myself for a job well done. (I had to get it out again to take pictures for this post, but I promise I'll put it back as soon as I'm finished.)
Day 16: Give Your Bathroom & Medicine Cabinets a Cleanout
This week's Cure assignments kept hitting on the things that bug me most about my apartment. For example: We do not have a medicine cabinet. The bathroom has a narrow ledge running around it, and there's just a flat, unframed mirror perched on that so it leans against the wall. (It isn't fixed, but we don't have earthquakes here so it seems safe enough.) When we moved in, the previous tenants said, "There's no bathroom storage, but isn't this ledge great? You can just put all your bottles and things here!"
I would love to get a medicine cabinet (or at least a mirror that is attached to the wall) but fortunately, we don't have much that needs to live in the bathroom. My makeup and styling tools used to overwhelm any bathroom and make my husband completely crazy. But the apartment we moved to in Beijing had a vanity in the bedroom. Once I started using that, I discovered I loved it. My husband loved it, too, because all my tools and things were out of the bathroom. What is left in the bathroom fits in a couple small jars and baskets. (The shampoo and conditioner and things are on the shelf in the bathtub, tucked behind the shower curtain.)
Since there was no medicine cabinet to clean out, I reorganized the drawers in my vanity instead. I found an original bottle of Chanel Vamp nail polish in there, which at first I thought was awesome and then I thought might mean I'm keeping my makeup too long. Dark 90s lips are back in style, but I can't shake the feeling that I should not be wearing a lipstick that could legally vote in the last election.
Day 17: Look at Living Room Lighting
Well, I looked at it. I just wish there were something I could do about the random wires sticking out of a hole in my ceiling at this juncture.
The lighting in my living room is terrible. During the summer I get some decent light until about 10 a.m., but other than that it's pretty much like Gollum's tunnels in here. (We hates it.) I actually have a hanging lamp all set up and ready to go, but we've been unable to get the thing actually attached because the ceiling is solid concrete and resists any attempt to get through it with screw, drill, or nail. My plan is to hire a handyman or something to come install the light fixtures (my dream plan is to hire someone to come in and install five light fixtures), but that will have to wait a little bit longer.
There's a store in Heidelberg called Die Andere Laden that has all kinds of vintage lamps and chandeliers, especially neat gold Florentine ones from Italy that look like flowers and leaves. Sometimes I just go press my nose up against the glass and think about how cool it would be to buy them all and have my entire ceiling covered in glowing gold plants.
Day 18: Flowers, Living Room, Empty Outbox
Speaking of plants, I took everyone's advice last week and replanted the surprise basil shoot with a new basil plant. It appears to be doing just fine, though I'm afraid if I stare at it too long it will shrivel up and die. I also got a new thyme plant and some purple flowers for the bathroom.
Thanks to the living room cleanup, the mystery of my husband's missing socks has been solved. I found 12 of them in the couch. He insists he has not been taking them off and sticking them in there, but whom are you going to believe: him, or the 12 socks in the couch?
How did your fourth Cure week go? Did you uncover any crazy treasures?
MORE OF ELIZABETH'S JANUARY CURE:
• Week One
• Week Two
• Week Three
(Images via Elizabeth Licata)