joanna irl

Living Room, at last

Over the weekend, J and I finally (FINALLY!) got rid of the last of our “extra” stuff. We donated the vast majority of it (including the last of our free furniture from when we were first married) to a local group that runs three thrift stores that benefit disabled veterans– Disabled American Veteran Thrift Stores. If you happen upon this and are in San Diego, I recommend them. They were easy to contact (there’s a form online to fill out), they come pick up your donations, and will take anything, including old TVs.

At any rate, we have been climbing over things ever since we first took delivery of our belongings back in October. True, we’ve only really been here for about two months, but it’s been a long, slow process to unpack and organize. The square footage (in terms of actual living space) is about the same as our house in Hawaii; the bedrooms are even a little bigger, I think. The difference is that we no longer have our own garage, and we don’t have storage space, except the two bedroom closets. So bear in mind: we lost a garage (which held all of the camping and outdoor gear), a large storage closet (we also had one in Virginia and it held all of the seasonal decor, including my plethora of Christmas stuff), a backyard storage closet (for all of the gardening and yard equipment), and (this is a bigger one than you might think), a staircase with hallway. So all of those thing I listed had to either go away, or find a home inside our condo.

Losing a hallway and staircase is having a bigger impact that we expected. There is no separation between anything, and the bedrooms open off of the living room. You would think that might increase the living space, and it probably does a bit, but there’s something visually about having two separate floors, or at least having the bedrooms in their own part of the house. Here everything feels on top of everything else.

The good thing that came out of all of this is that J and I have had to be smart in our downsizing. We finally had a reason to get rid of the “just in case” and streamline. We also got the push to pass on the things passed to us (like an end table from a neighbor in Virginia) that we don’t have use for anymore. And we discovered what was important to us, because we worked REALLY hard to find a way to keep certain things (like our saddleback bar stools that I love but don’t have a breakfast bar for them at the moment). We talked about renting a storage unit, but the cost (and the effort of having stuff in another place) was really more than we wanted.

At the end of it all, we wound up becoming extremely organized, moreso than either of us is naturally, and fit quite a bit. I’d say we gave away about 25% of our things when it was all said and done, which feels good now but was exhausting at the time.

So now, without further rambling, here’s the (finally put together and mostly organized) condo!

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joanna irl

Days downtown: week 20 of 2012 in photos

I spent a lot of time downtown this week, especially at the zoo, so most of this weeks’ photos are from that.

5/14/2012 Coke display

This was the Coke display at the grocery store on Monday. I thought it was cool. They do some really clever things with the boxes of soda. It never makes me want to buy any, though, so I’m not sure if it’s entirely successful in terms of marketing.

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joanna irl

Food, flowers, and fans: week 18 of 2012 in photos

I know I’m very far behind in my photos, but I have been taking them and just haven’t had the time to sit here and upload them. May’s been a very busy month, what with one thing and another. Anyway, you’re getting 3 weeks’ worth today, and here’s the first. 5/1/2012 pretty zoo morning

May 1 was a Tuesday, so this week will be a short one. It was a really pretty day and the sky was gorgeous at 8am.

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joanna irl

And then I went to the beach: week 16 of 2012 in photos

4/16/2012 chocolate rabbit

I couldn’t think of a clever theme for the 3rd week of April, except that most of my photos were from the zoo, and I ended the week at the beach. This is the tiny chocolate rabbit from my Easter basket that was (almost) too pretty to eat… until Monday the 16th, anyway.

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joanna irl, society of dabblers

Finding Art in the Everyday: week 15 of 2012 in pictures

4/9/2012 best portrait of alien family ever

This week has been filled with art in surprising places. This first picture from Monday was hanging in a “gallery” at one of the local frozen yogurt shops, where about 25 drawings by 4 and 5 year old kids were featured. This one was far and away the best, as it depicts an alien family in so much detail. I couldn’t stop looking at this drawing! I mean, a bird-mom, a kid with another kid growing out of his head and a bunny with eye-stalks coming out of its ears? What’s not to love? (Not kidding, I really like this drawing!)

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joanna irl

Easter week and spring-time things: week 14 of 2012 in pictures

Even though it’s not quite a dramatic shift here the way it is on the mainland, there are definitely signs that it’s springtime, from Easter traditions to flowers that will bloom on schedule no matter where they are planted.

4/1/2012 splat artist

On Sunday (April 1) we had what’s called a “worship artist” come and paint this canvas in about five minutes using buckets of paint and smearing it with his hands while music played. It was very neat.

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joanna irl

Beach day

There are several posts I mean to write this month. One of them is maybe a new “Learn a New Animal Day” entry, but I can’t quite decide which animal I want to do. I’m open to suggestions.

Instead you get to hear about how I went to the beach today and how, despite my sunscreen applications every 45 minutes, my chest and left shoulder still managed to turn red. It’s not an uncomfortable burn, and it’ll be tan by tomorrow (or Friday at the latest), but STILL. I really REALLY tried and used the strong sport, high SPF stuff. It’s probably because I haven’t been to the beach since January.

It’s hard to complain too much about anything else that frustrates you about where you live when you can go to the beach in January. Y’know, and not be bundled up in thermals. And when the week before Easter you can bask a little too long and have simple AWESOME tan lines for your Easter dress.

My Easter dress is green. I am red. Will I look like a Christmas tree? (No, I won’t, because it will be tan by then, but I’ll have weird white stripes across my shoulders. YAY.)

Moral of the story: Sometimes sunscreen isn’t enough when you live close-ish to the equator. Or I need to get SPF 100 or something.

And that is all.