A Bathroom Cabinet Eruption (Photo Challenge: Victory)

With the terror attacks in Paris in the news, my worries about cleaning out my house seem even more trivial than usual (especially since Sam and I just got home from Belgium). Still, daily life goes on, and in a break from listening to bad news I’ll share what happened when I emptied the cabinet in my hall bath — getting it cleared out feels like a victory of sorts. Most of these things haven’t seen the light in years!

Bathroom vanity cabinet eruption

See that Harvest Gold tile? Clearly it’s past time to remodel. I kept hoping that if I waited long enough, it would cycle back around and be “in” again. Dare I admit that the tub and shower tile are gold too?

Here are some things I found:

  • Eleven plastic containers of hair goo, three of them from the 80s when I had (*blush*) a perm.
  • Eight products for polishing metal. Really? Eight?
  • Seven shower caps. Odd, since I wash my hair every day.
  • Five containers of talc — I’m pretty sure three of them were my mother’s, kept because I couldn’t bear to let go of anything that had been hers.
  • Two drawers full of shoe polish and leather cleaner (and my shoes are scuffed).

… and some things I learned:

  • Before I realized it was so wasteful, I bought way too much stuff in plastic bottles. I will mend my ways.
  • I only look at what’s in the front few inches of the space. Everything else gravitates to the back and gets archived. So … why have a big cabinet in the bath?
  • So that’s what happened to my vintage red pendant. It’s not a real stone; I think it’s what was once known as “paste”. I remember buying it when out “junking” with a friend on a sunny afternoon in the midwest, and used to wear it often. And there’s that 3-1-1 packing kit I bought to snazz up my suitcase, as well as a box of Axion, a stain remover that worked so well that they quit making it.
  • Big question: why so many hair products? I seldom use them. I’m guessing I thought they’d change my life, and when I found out they didn’t they got shoved to the back.
  • I’m still loving my washable, re-useable shelf liner. I didn’t have to measure and cut new.

That’s one more cabinet cleaned and ordered. Time to move on to the next task.

And, remembering Paris on Throw-Back Thursday, here’s a photo of Bob and his father, having a coffee at a sidewalk cafe, mid 1980s…

Bob and Ted - Paris 1986-ish

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Victory


A Day Trip to Ghent (& the Weekly Photo Challenge: Treat)

In some ways it’s a treat to be home from vacation — I can approach my house-projects in new ways and with new energy. But if my home is my ‘castle’ I can’t help comparing it to one we just toured…

Gravensteen - Ghent Belgium - Castle of the Counts

Gravensteen (Castle of the Counts) in Ghent, Belgium

Some of best times come on days that aren’t pre-planned. Sam’s been wanting to tour a medieval castle. We were on vacation last week in Brussels when he did a little extra reading in our guide book and noticed the Castle of the Counts, in Ghent.

We hadn’t planned our trip in detail, so it was easy to take a day trip to see it. Of course it’s been heavily restored, but what structure dating back to 1180 hasn’t? By the 14th Century the Counts of Flanders had moved on (I’m guessing they downsized), and the castle was used for other purposes until the 1880s when the city of Ghent started restoration.

Gravensteen - Ghent Belgium - Castle of the Counts

In back: a remnant of the moat.

One of the projects I most need to tackle here at home is bathroom remodeling, so of course I wanted a look at the loo —

Ghent Castle of the Counts - toilet

That spot of green is the shrubbery, or maybe treetops — a few stories down. Something like this would tend to discourage enemies from lurking too near the castle walls.

It’s a nice look, plain and simple, but a little basic for my needs.

Along the way up we toured through instruments of torture, so it was a relief to come out into the open, where there’s a great view.

Ghent - from Castle of the CountsThe climb up was steep, but going down was harder. Here’s Sam, waiting to see if I tumble…

Sam on the stairs at Castle of the Counts After the castle, we went to the Design Museum (no thumbscrews there). And now we’re home, so it’s time I got back to work on my own castle.

Did you see anything to inspire your home renovation?

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Treat

More on Gravensteen, the Castle of the Counts, in Ghent