Thursday, May 14, 2020

Week 9 of Quarantine

I read something the other day on twitter, a reminder that what we're doing is not working from home. It's attempting to continue to work under pandemic conditions. I find myself tired all the time even though I spend the entire day sitting at a computer. A couple weeks ago my sister and I were each notified by our employers that we'd potentially come into contact with a person who had Covid the week prior (that it happened to both of us within days of each was jarring). My sister is considered an essential worker, she is at risk on a daily basis, and on some level I'm thinking about that multiple times a day, usually when I drop her off and pick her up from work and all the minutes in between.

I find myself trying to focus on positive things, lately. I look back at my pictures of Wyoming and Yellowstone and find calm in them. It's something about the wide open space, the quiet that is in those mountains and plains, and the way the air feels different there, cleaner. I also snuggle my cats as much as I can. They are the happiest creatures, content to let me hold them and kiss them as much as I need, and something about the vibrations of a purring cat loosens the anxiety in my chest. 

I could focus on all the stresses, like my grandmother who lives in an assisted living facility and is not doing well and cannot have visitors, or the fact that I no longer find comfort in cooking and am over-eating at an unhealthy rate, or the pain I have consistently in my back. But I'm trying, I'm really trying to focus on the feel of the sun on my face for those 15 minutes I'm driving my sister to work, or the fact that I'm still employed while so many others aren't, or that my sister lives with me so I'm not alone in this. Or even just the feel of a hot shower in the afternoon. Sometimes that's enough. 

With no sense of future, forced to live in this odd state of unending present, I think we have to find little pockets of positivity to hold onto. I'm trying my best. And I hope you are too.

I swear, there's nothing better than the smell of a kitty's fur when they've been laying in the sun. 

~ Stephanie

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

A Case For Staging

4 Tybee Ln Unit 4, Salem, MA 01970
*photo courtesy of

I was contacted last week by a realtor trying to sell a condo. It had been on the market for five months with no offers so she was hoping I could stage this big living room/dining room combo. It still amazes me that prospective buyers can go into a space and not see what it could be, but I suppose if everyone could see then I'd be out of a job. 

Friday, May 1, 2020

The Maynard Cape: Kitchen Before and After

The kitchen. I had never seen a yellow kitchen before this house. I managed to snag a piece of the wallpaper and framed it, adding it to my collection from previous renovation houses. I demoed the kitchen primarily by myself on our first day. My dad claimed he was staying out of my way, but let's call a spade a spade. He was letting me do the heavy lifting. It's fine. It was a good workout for me.


Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The Maynard Cape: Dining Room Before and After

I just want to preface that I have not altered these photos in any way. The dining really was that dark when we bought the house. The curtains, though sheer, did not help, it was separated from the kitchen by a wall, and again, the paint color. 


Monday, April 27, 2020

The Maynard Cape: Living Room Before and After

Let's talk about the living room! Remember this awful assault on the eyes? Dirty-dirty green carpet, mint green walls, faux wood paneling. It was so dark in this room and there were no lights. See that light bulb in the top right corner? It was tacked to the wall along the ceiling and then plugged into an outlet a million miles away. This room wasn't cozy, you wouldn't want to curl up and read a book in it (unless wearing PPE), and like every other room in the house the color choice was incredibly dated.

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