I Hope You Like Book Reviews

I’ve received and added about half a dozen sewing and home decor books to my library in the last month that I would love to review for you. Since I probably won’t be sewing for at least the next couple of weeks, I hope you like book reviews πŸ™‚

And, I won’t be sewing because I finally started the big move of my sewing room from the third bedroom to the basement. I hired two men from a local worker center and we spent about four hours bagging fabric, moving sewing furniture, books and machines to the basement. I also moved out an old sofa and bedroom furniture while moving in new-to-me bedroom furniture.Β  And it’s a bloody mess.

If you can’t take scenes of abhorrent clutter and disorganization, please skip to the bottom where I have a dinner party question for you.

Please, don’t judge.

Here is the old sewing room (soon to become a study / computer room /den). I um, need some boxes to totally move out.


Here is the basement (the fabric is in the room on the left). I, um, need some shelves. And lights. And a chisel to take out the faux fireplace. And a lot of paint to brighten up the knotty pine.


This was done yesterday, the last day of my four day weekend. And, I am bloody sore all over. I feel totally overwhelmed. I’m one sheet of paper from being on a tv show about decluttering.Β  It feels like I just moved in. I’m trying to take it one day at a time and leave it alone until next weekend.

Dinner Party Question

So, where are we on being asked how our love life is going? I’m just curious. Because, I never ask people how their marriage is going. But, I find myself at BBQs and dinner parties answering this question. Probably three too many times this weekend. Truth be told, I feel like if I have something to report, I’ll tell you. Logically, I know people are justΒ  curious. But, it always feels like they don’t know what else to talk to me about.

So, am I being sensitive or is this a question you also avoid (asking or answering)?


  1. My mother would say that question and answer is not a form of civilized conversation. People just don’t know what to say. I think asking someone about their love life is just as annoying as asking WHEN are you going to have a baby? Personal questions like that are just bad manners. I have MS and and sometimes have trouble walking, sometimes not, but believe it or not, people want to ask how my disease is progressing! At parties! Not what I’d like to chat about over chips and salsa. So I feel your pain πŸ™‚

    • There have been so many great responses – so I’m going to be awful and run around here agreeing with people!

      Kathleen – I have ME, people think I said MS, so I have allowed myself to get bogged down in explanations. ugh. I have no wish to be defined by my health. I loathe being asked How are you? these days – it seems to carry overtones of ‘what, still ill?’

      But I don’t get out much, so it’s not that much of an issue currently!


  2. This is a MOVE. I know it seems overwhelming and you want everything in place right now. Give yourself some time. I think the tv shows give us an unrealistic view of how quickly rooms can be organized. You are one person not a TV crew with lots of help.

    I’m all for book reviews btw.

    CarlaF-in Atlanta

  3. I haven’t been asked that question in 5 yrs. I guess because that’s how long I’ve been married. LOL Before that I don’t recall being asked that question a lot. I NEVER ask that question; I think it is a rude one to ask. JUST DON’T GO THERE! I don’t think you are being oversly sensitive. The person asking is very insensitive and probabaly outta get a life!

  4. No, that question is not appropriate (except from close girlfriends, I guess, who should probably know how it’s going). But people are just reallly awkward about everything. You should probably just tell them, “Nothing to report right now, but you’ll be the first to know!” And then move on to asking them about whether they’ve starated having sex again after the baby, and other appropriate things like that.

    • LOL. Well, I thought about it. But, I think I’m going with yellow. And, I’m being told NOT to paint the knotty pine since some people really like it. So, bright yellow above the pine and lots of white accessories.

      But, the study will probably end up pink πŸ™‚

      • My parents have wood-panelled walls in the basement too that my mom REALLY wants to spruce and lighten up, but that my dad likes (no taste). So her idea (when she can get to it/convince my imagination-challenged dad) is to put a chair rail on the wall about 1/3 of the distance up from the floor (rule of thirds!), paint the upper portion a light colour, and leave the lower portion the panelling. I think it’ll look really smart, and it may be something that would work in your space too, too much wood gets confining-feeling unless you’re in some 17th century English country manor that’s huge.

  5. Inappropriate questions deserve no answers. People used to rag on my daughter constantly about when she was going to have a baby. Nobody’s business. Good luck on your move.

  6. Oh the pictures of your rooms are my idea of heaven! I LOVE LOVE LOVE to organise, stack, sort, file and put away (in a logical order of course!)I also love to throw stuff away, but one man’s trash is another man’s treasure so I don’t get asked to help a lot with other peoples clean outs -I wonder why!
    Wish I lived closer – I’d be there in a heartbeat, you just might not be happy with the results LOL.
    When I was single people asked me all the time how my lovelife was going, and now I’m married they ask me how my husband is. I really think people are just employing small talk and have a limited repertoire. Just tell them you’ve taken a vow of celibacy πŸ™‚

    • Where were you when my house was being rewired a few months ago!? πŸ™‚


  7. Judge? Are you kidding? I am in no position to judge. My house is a mess. You on the other hand missy are one of the most hardworking women I’ve met. I loved the way you’ve decorated the house. The retro pink theme all around the house is so adorable. The chalk board in the kitchen, so cool. Yup, I remember it all. I am sure when you are done with the rooms, we will be in for a treat. Keep posting.

  8. I do not understand why people ask such questions because it is intrusive and really no one’s business. You are right, I certainly do not go again asking people how their relationships are doing unless the person brings up a problem he/she are having within the relationship. I just simply say I am happy and keep going.

  9. I will never understand why people ask that question. It could be that they are trying to make you hurry up and settle down because they truly believe that once you hit 30 you are past your prime and headed for spinsterhood. Or, they could secretly wish they had waited to settle down and are hoping that you will share some juicy story of a illicit affair so they can live vicariously through you.

    What I find more troubling are my friends who are now deep in the midst of either pregnancy or childrearing and that apparently is all that they can talk about. A few years ago I attended a baby shower for my best friend from high school. I was the only one present who was not either pregnant or already a parent. The other women I went to high school with treated me like I was some sort of inferior life form because I had not yet spawned. I guess the fact that I was single with no real prospects for marriage also made me a bit of a pariah.

    • Kerry,

      What you report is the painful truth. Single, childless women over a certain age who don’t seem “marriageable” are frequently ignored and/or dropped by couples with children. The idea that you’re always going to be worth knowing because you’re interesting and a good person is unfortunately another myth.

      I don’t have any easy suggestions; just keep pursuing your interests and trying to live the life you want to live. Ironically, some of the progress women may enjoy in the future will be built on the backs of single women who feel like outcasts today.

      But a decent marriage isn’t available to everyone and a lot of people don’t find that marriage works, at least not with the same person over time.

    • I hear you! I don’t want children – no idea whether it would be possible or not, but I seriously don’t want any. This makes me, apparently some other life form to my friends who are now producing. It makes me sad, to lose such life long friends because I no longer fit it in.

      But I ain’t changin!

      I’d rather not be single, but my ideal would be to skip all that painful dating stuff and go straight to the happily ever after. Yes, and a flock of pigs did just do a fly past.

      And the thought of being asked about it in public!? Ew. No. Rude, very, very rude.

  10. The only time I’ll ask is when I’m considering introducing them to someone I know is interested in dating them.

    On the other hand, I despise the expectation that everyone should be paired up – especially by a certain time in life. A convention that just doesn’t make sense anymore.

  11. Holy crap woman! You’re making this neat freak OCD girl hyperventilate! If I lived near you, I’d be there this morning helping to clean it up.

    As for the boyfriend questions, I think people just genuinely want you to be happy and they think a relationship is one facet of that happiness. Too often our society equates marriage and family with self-fulfillment. Heaven forbid that you’re content with yourself and your chosen path. In their eyes you must be missing out on something if you don’t conform to the antiquated rules of dating-marriage-babies. Goodness knows I’ve taken much grief in my life because I don’t have (nor have I ever wanted) children. But, remember, just because you’re asked a question, doesn’t mean you have to answer the question. Smile and move on.

  12. I think it’s one of those questions that thrill or irritate you depending on the state of your love life. If say for example I was happily ensconced with George Clooney in my house, I’d be DELIGHTED for everyone to ask how my love life was going………….!

    Concentrate your energies on the sewing room Cidell, it will be worth it when it’s finished and you get your production line going again!

  13. I think your new sewing space is going to be fabulous. Yes, it seems overwhelming now, but I think you’ll be happy in the end. You can only do what you can do each day and you are probably making more progress than you realize (been there, done that). As for “those” questions, I don’t answer them. I find them rude and invasive. If I want people to know the details then I’ll tell them. Otherwise, a simple “how are things going” will suffice. I don’t know why people have to be all up in other folks’ business or ask those questions trying to make conversation. So annoying.

  14. Before I got married I used to get a lot of “I just don’t understand why you’re not married” comments. The issuers of these comments thought they were complimenting me but it made me feel like an even bigger loser.

    I think when people ask you about your love life, what they are really saying is “You’re a person I care about and I don’t want to see you lonely or unhappy.” But being that forthright is hard for people, so they say inane things instead.

    Looking forward to the book reviews!

  15. well, after years and years of being asked this question I guess I have just grown numb to it. Given it is always family asking so I guess that is just there way of showing love and concern. Kinda like making way too much food when everybody supposedly is on a diet…LOL! They mean well :O)

    In the case of perfect strangers? I say mind your business unless you have Will Smith, Taye Diggs, or the Rock on call and ready to date me. Ok, I will take a body double with a brain as well :O)

    Anyhoo, good luck with the move and I totally hear ya about the clutter. I can’t wait to move so I can at least spread my clutter out so it looks more like decoration.

  16. With so much there is to talk about in this world why do people ask these questions?Just make a joke and let it go.

    You will feel so much better when the move is complete. I recently attacked my cellar (which is unfinished), I made progress but is far from done (this is where I keep all my fabrics and yarn in plastic bins).

    I love book reviews!

  17. My family used to harp on this. The last time I was asked by family that doesn’t really care for me (my mom is the black sheep, and in turn I got the double whammy of being the black sheep’s orange sheep daughter) and I replied it was a great time to be a lesbian, they quit asking. (While I have nothing against anyone, I’m not a lesbian, which is probably why it amuses me still.)

    I don’t have a personality people feel comfortable enough to pry like that and therefore I don’t get asked. But I’m the gay divorcee`, so I get a lot of latitude with it. The one old lady I do know that asks does it because she always wanted to be more like me, and it’s done out of genuine enjoyment hearing about me walking to the beat of my own drummer. HER I give details to.

    Mostly I get the “when are you going to have more children?” posed to me. I always reply “Never.” *chuckles* They really don’t know what to say, since it is a truthful answer.

  18. The love life question used to drive me INSANE. Especially as I was recuperating from a particularly nasty split and, frankly, wasn’t interested at all in meeting anyone new. It was always from people I didn’t know particularly well. So I just used to smile and say “It’s fabulous” and move on. Let them think what they will…they’re going to anyway.

    I’m with you in spirit on the workroom. Mine needs ripping out and completely rebuilding – I feel your pain. It made me smile that you’ve had people suggesting to leave the pine…I was seeing it in retro pink to match the lovely accessories you’ve been buying. Or pale cream to bounce the light around. So I’ll butt out…I’m sure it will be fabulous when you’ve done it. You have such great taste.

    Good luck with it and remember to breathe. (Closing one eye so you can’t see all of it helps, too ;-))))))))))

  19. You know how I feel about that question. Rude, rude, rude, and to me it feels like when it’s coming from someone who is in a relationship it’s them bragging and putting me down. Ugh.

    You know what my sewing room looks like, and there is no moving involved!

    • Doesn’t everyone’s sewing room look like that?

      How’s your love life? (unspoken addendum- because mine is the same old same old and it really wouldn’t make much of a conversation. I imagine your life is like a glamorous TV show). The one that gets me is how people assume I won’t let my husband have a family or even a dog because I’m “too career oriented”.

      One of my aunts always used to answer, “You know what they say..if you have to ask….” and scandalize everyone.

      • also – I had no idea this was an offensive rude question. I won’t be throwing it out there so casually anymore.

  20. I’m thinking of moving my sewing room from the basement upstairs to the computer room. I let you do yours first.Ha.Ha, then I might do mine. Love your blog!

  21. That is such a great space with such potential! Have fun decorating it! I would tell people that unless you said otherwise, consider everything is cool!

  22. Hi Cidell. I’ve been following your blog for a while now, and wanted to let you know that it totally makes my day when you’ve put up a new post. I get such a kick out of your fresh writing style!

    I’m feeling your pain with the sewing room move. Just keep reminding yourself how great it’s going to be once you have everything where you want it. I can’t wait to see it.

    And I agree with the others. “How’s your love life?” is a rude and invasive question that people will probably continue to ask. (Adults are notoriously difficult to train:)) At any rate, replying with something like “Oh, I’m very happy,” is probably best because a) you haven’t actually told them anything, and b) who can argue with happy? And then you quickly change the subject, of course.

    Okay, last comment. I ran across your old post in which you described learning to sew. You said in that post that you were a fearless sewer, and I had to laugh, because that’s exactly how I pictured you from your blog. I’m a newbie sewer and you’ve inspired me to let go of my fear and just forge ahead. So thank you. Thank you for being a fearless sewer and thank you for blogging about it.

  23. I think it’s no one’s business about your relationships, but of course there are always people who ask. It’s odd that it’s usually people that aren’t that close to you, but I guess it’s just their personalities. I’m usually so surprised by the bluntness that I don’t have a good answer to pass it off with. The questions stop when you’re married except about kids, like that’s some kind of a measure of the health of your relationship.

  24. Laughing – people that don’t know me very well actually assume I don’t have a love life, and are surprised when I have a date. Which is fairly offensive, really.

    In any case, if I got asked this – which I don’t – I’d say “I’ve a good life”. And repeat, till the questions stop. Or, you can just talk about your cat endlessly? I find that gets rid of people pretty quickly. πŸ˜‰

  25. I love book reviews! Can’t wait.

    As for the love life question, I realize I have been guilty of asking this of a close friend who’s never very forthcoming about this kind of thing. I just wanted him to know I was rooting for him, basically. But now it occurs to me now that I’ve probably been embarrassing him when I ask. Honestly, thank you for the etiquette reminder!

  26. I sort of disagree with what seems to be the consensus on the love life questions. I would have no qualms about asking an acquaintance about her love life, simply because when I was single I enjoyed talking about any new guy on the radar and because I enjoy living vicariously through my single friends and their dating lives.

    If it’s a close friend, of course I know and if it’s someone I’ve just met or just barely know, I won’t ask because then I do think it’s rude. I wouldn’t read too much into it when people ask. Either give one of the answers above or let people live vicariously through you (attached or not, it’s just as fun to remember how fun it was to be single and unattached as it is to remember dating.)

  27. Hi Cidell,
    It’s nice to know I am in great company. I envy you having a basement to move to. When you come into my home, at least you know without a doubt that I sew/craft/collect fabric. Whatever the guest wants to call it. The task looks daunting now, but I know your sewing area will be fabulous.
    As for “how’s the love life going” question, my responses are a) Going where? or b) It’s not or c) What day of the week is it? These response are usually given when looking the questioner squarely in the eye. Yep, just one eye. LOL
    Can’t wait for the book reviews.

  28. I’ve been plagued with that same question and it usually came from the same person. My answer “None existent, how about that! Next question.” After that answer she’s never asked again.

    Your third floor is going to be a haven.

  29. I know this sounds crazy but I LOVE that fake fireplace. LOVE IT!!!

    I’m married now, so people don’t ask me “how’s your love life” anymore. When they did, I always assumed it was a joke and laughed. Its such a cheesy thing to say.

    Now people do ask me when we’re going to have kids. I always tell them, “as soon as I can get my husband pregnant, we’ll have a house full.”

  30. Oh, it’s just a conversational thing – I’d bet most of the time it’s harmless and people are curious. People can relate to relationships, good and bad, more than they can relate to careers, particularly if you do something that is very foreign to their areas of expertise.

    I dated Matt for 9 1/2 yrs before marrying him, and the years of “when ya gonna get married?” was then followed by “when ya gonna have kids?”, also for years. Rather than explain to mere acquaintances the reasons that I wanted to complete my PhD before marrying or how we were struggling with more-or-less-devastating infertility, I would just smile and say, “Matt only wants to marry a doctor” and “When God says it’s time,” respectively (I’m not a religious person, but that reply is very effective).

    Good luck with the in-house moving project! Maybe try it in 15-min chunks – 15 of cleaning and organizing alternated with 15 of something fun. Nearly all of my housework is done in 15-min spans.

    • The 15min rule sounds good – no sense in punishing yourself with it.

  31. You’re not being over-sensitive. It’s inappropriate to ask those types of questions no matter how well meaning. It’s as equally inappropriate to blather on about one’s love life in a public gathering, married or single.

    Just my opinion. πŸ™‚

  32. Aren’t you supposed to answer with some comment about how great it was on the dining room table? I suppose you’re not as much of a smart alec as me.

    I love your blog.

    Too bad you couldn’t have taken the time to move your sewing room bit by bit. Life does get clutzy, doesn’t it.

  33. My dd the organizer par excellence always tells me to imagine one square at a time and clean up that. If you look at the whole it’s a bit overwhelming. Since you don’t seem to have any place to put the fabric, and that is taking up a lot of room, perhaps the next thing you do should do is to put up some shelves. The room looks like it will be a great work space when you get it finished.
    About asking about your dating life, some people are just rude. It’s none of their business but for some reason people think that it is, or maybe married people just want to reinforce that they are better off married than single? You’re right, no one asks me how my marriage is.

  34. I think that asking someone about their love life, when they are going to have kids, etc., depends on your relationship. I have many close friends who if I never asked them these questions, I would seem rudely disinterested and eventually our closeness would lessen. I think it’s easy to know who those people in your life who you should ask such questions of are. Everyone else should never ask such questions. Also, those types of questions are best for one-on-one or close girlfriends-only conversations rather than dinner parties. And while I’m at it, may I say that another totally inappropriate question to ask of a stranger is “may I touch your (pregnant) belly?”.

  35. Oh… I also wanted to say that I know first hand how hugely annoying pregnant women who can only talk about being pregnant are. I also know first hand how extremely hard it is to stop yourself from becoming one of those women once you become pregnant, even if you are very determined.

  36. I just give people who ask questions like that my bitch stare. Works every time! πŸ˜‰

  37. Being a single woman myself, I am asked when Am I going to get married by every member of my family at every gathering. So I waited until we were all together and stood up to make an annoucement. I told them that I have no intention of ever getting married to anybody. (picture me standing on a picnic table) I sat down and no one has asked me again.

    Yes they all thought I was crazy but I was sick of it. Now when I get asked that question by non family members my answer is more flippant.
    My personal life is personal I don’t ask about your marriage don’t ask about my singledom.

    THat is all (stepping carefully from the soapbox)

  38. Wow! I’m impressed with the size of your move. My sewing area looks somewhat similar–I bought the anabode chest of drawers and got some (cast-off) shelving from work, so I’m rearranging things, too. Have fun unpacking and arranging–the entire experience is some sort of fitness routine. If you don’t like the dark colors of the knotty pine, you might want to drape some brighter colored/light-reflecting fabric over the some of paneling (maybe one wall?). It’s another option to explore.

    Well, your observations about inquiring questions about your romantic life sound like they come from Bridget Jones’s Diary. I have no easy suggestions, but I just thought I would share that observation.

    Rose in SV

    • HA! That was the first thing I thought of when I read about the “dinner party question” – Bridget Jones! Maybe that’s how you should respond the next time it’s asked: smile and say “Super Uncle Jeffrey!” irregardless of what their name actually is – and do it in an english accent!

  39. You are very brave and you will love the final result. For the knotty pine walls you can use a varnish with white in it. Too much knotty pine is too much. In a basement you must have light colors.

    • I agree – unless you worried about resale value on the house – paint/varnish it the colour you want, but lighter and brighter is the way to go.

  40. Ooh, can’t wait for the book reviews. Your sewing room rearrangement is making me want to redo my sewing area and I am sure you will do a fabulous job with your new room. I cringe every time I look at my area. Good luck with everything! Don’t paint the wood. Is there a way to apply a lighter stain? I know it’s a lot of work to do that, but thought I’d ask. LOL.

    I hate rude questions. People asked me that all the time when I was single and I really, really hated it. Especially people who could care less how I was doing in that area. Now, it’s when I’m going to have another child. Come up with a really witty response that catches them off guard and just ignore it.

  41. On clutter and feeling overwhelmed…
    Everybody has clutter. Just be thankful yours is tangible. =) What may appear overwhelming at first can be easily whittled down to small feats if you take your time. Start in one area or with one pile on one day. Do that and have a rest. Before you know it, you’ll wonder who organized your room and how fast they did it. =)

    On knotty pine…
    Pleeeeaaaaase don’t paint it. Find other ways to brighten your room. Bright furniture. Lots of lights. Bright accents. My childhood bedroom had knotty pine and I’m a bit biased. =) It’s so beautiful – especially if it’s finished. There are ways to give your sewing space a rustic-urban-chic look without the paint.

    On the question…
    No, you’re not being sensitive. It’s not a question I’d ask because I’m single and I wouldn’t want anyone feeling the way I feel when I’m asked. There are other things to talk about. If you bring it up yourself, that’s one thing. But, I wouldn’t ask it. Hmm…I had another thought but I forgot it. =)

  42. wait…are those GOLF CLUBS I see in the middle of the basement? You could always carry an iron around and threaten to bean the next person who bugs you with that love life question.


    I’m thinking those rude sorts of questions are cues to 1) leave the room or site (faux bathroom breaks come in handy), 2) to change the subject (“How ’bout them Blazers?”), or 3) to smile and simply say nothing (and this is the really hard one, at least for me).

    Have fun setting up your new spaces.

  43. Just tell people you’re a lesbian. Oops, that probably won’t stop them from asking. Or maybe it will.

    Tell people you’ve decided to become a Shaker and not have a love life.

    Ask them how their hate life is going.

    Tell them your love life is really great but it’s a secret.

    Tell them that your loves are so numerous that it would take hours to tell about them all right now.

    Tell them you’re in love with their husband/boyfriend.

    Ask them when they are going to get divorced. Tell them that marriage is immoral. The state has no business in people’s bedrooms.

    • That’s a good one – a Hate Life! ‘my love life is boring, let talk about my hate life, it’s going great, why only today I met someone I’m interested in hating’ πŸ˜€


  44. Sadly, I think that these kinds of questions are not unique to single women. I’m married and have been asked inappropriate questions about why I didn’t change my name, about when I am going to have a baby, and – heaven forbid I ever attend a social event without my husband! – where he is/why he didn’t come (you know, cause now that I am safely married off, I can no longer be independent in any way). But do you think my husband ever gets asked these things? Nope. Never.

    Hang in there!

  45. The ONLY person I’ve ever asked this question of is my granddaughter–she expects it of me…….. Anyone else?—wouldn’t think of it!

  46. Cannot wait to see what you do with the room!

    As for the questions… If you really want to teach someone a lesson not to ask that question come up with something along the lines of “the love of your life just passed and you are taking some time”. I got the when are you having kids question quite a bit. I only used it rarely but a quick discussion of my previous miscarriages seems to shut alot of people up.

    Looking forward to book reviews!

  47. I only answer that question from people I’d dare ask it to, which isn’t too many, only close friends, really. So I wouldn’t say you’re overreacting.
    Good luck with the move! Bring on the book reviews!

  48. They are asking you because you are young and think you are having a marvelous time. Trust me, it gets worse when they QUIT asking. I’m now 45 and have never been married – I probably haven’t been asked that question in 8 years. I remember, though, how horrible it was: I never knew what to say. Usually because nothing was going on. Now it is like they have given up on me and have just quit asking all together! : )

  49. Dear Cidell, wow, I admire all the hard work on your sewing room. I am inspired and want to take a page from your book. My room is not much of a mess at the moment, only because I shoved all my piles into the closet before I went on vacation. Frankly I’m afraid to open the closet; it’s stuffed to the gills. The room is extremely boring and not very pretty. By the end of the summer I want to have painted it a cheery color. Thank you for helping to motivate me!

    As for the love life questions — I like the humorous and distracting responses offered here. As mentioned, those questions are similar to queries about ones reproductive life. These are times when snappy but cheery repartee comes in really handy. In most cases people are just clueless and would likely be horrified if they realized how rude these interrogations appear.

    Having said that, the one place I get a little confused about what to say is when I’m inviting a single friend to dinner and I’d like them to feel free to bring a date, but I don’t want them to feel pressured to bring a date. Any suggestions?

    • There’s formal and informal invites, honestly. I get invites to weddings as “Ms. Me, and guest.” (Or Ms. Me, Master Son and guest) Sometimes I bring one, sometimes I don’t. I also am not the type to feel hugely pressured to conform to actually bringing a guest, although I do RSVP my choice. Sometimes it’s just me/me and kid.

      I went to a party a couple of weeks ago and the whole conversation was on the phone (male friend had a wine tasting party) and it lasted less then 2 minutes, and ended with “Bring someone with ya, if you like.”

      He was very breezy about it, and I knew it didn’t matter if I came alone or not, and that helped immensely. I have gone to his parties in the past with and without dates and it’s met with the same “whatever, glad you could make it” attitude, with or without a date.

      The problem some face is having some random person come into your house and life for the duration of that visit, and some people aren’t okay with it and don’t do well with people they don’t know at all.

  50. Cidell: You are going to have a wonderful sewing suite…..complete with a fireside sewing library and a fabric room! In business media training, we learn to answer a question in a way that allows us “to deliver our message” regardless of the question that is actually posed. Since we cannot prevent people from asking rude, intrusive, and inconsiderate questions, just be prepared to answer the question “How is your life!” A few stories about your exciting travels, work projects, cooking, events attended, etc., and they will have forgotten their original question and just be focused on your “fabulous life!” Linda

  51. First, the “How’s your life going question?” I sill get that and I’ve been married for 31 years and have three sons in their teens (okay, the oldest just turned 21). My sisters ask that question all the time and it feels like what they really mean is, “When are you going to do something with your life?” Or maybe they are just trying to make conversation. My standard answer is, “Same old, same old.” ’cause they clearly don’t want to hear about the day to day humdrum just trying to pay the bills life I lead.

    As to painting the knotty pine….While I do love the pine, a brighter color probably would make for better light when sewing. Maybe leave one wall unpainted to preserve that beauty?

    I too envy your space. I’m waiting for one of my boys to move out so I can reclaim a sewing room but in this economy I don’t think that is going to happen anytime soon.

    Good luck with the move. Maybe bring in a friend to help with the de-cluttering. Not only would it be more fun but I find that others can clean up stuff they are not attached to emotionally better than oneself. Just a thought

    Take Care.


    • If the question was how is your LIFE going, I wouldn’t assume they meant my love life, so if they did I’d blithely miss the point and probably start either whingeing or talking about fabric!

  52. I NEVER ask questions like this because I LOATHE being asked them. When you’re single people ask about your love life, then when you get a boyfriend they ask when you’re getting married, then when you get married they ask when you’re going to start having children. NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS is what I would say to these questions. A friend of mine who has remained childless by choice responds to the when are you having a baby question by saying (in a tearful voice) ‘I can’t’. The other alternative is to ask them something personal, too. Perhaps asking them who made their wig, or did their new breasts might shut them up.

    As for your new sewing room, the paint will make a big difference, but please keep the faux fireplace. I love it! My sewing room is still being worked on, so I know how you’re feeling now. Good luck!

  53. I think people don’t mean to offend when they’re asking you about their love life, but I can see how it does. You are right that people never say “how’s your marriage going?” LOL I can’t speak to your specific situations this past weekend, but in general, I think single people are seen as having exciting/interesting dating lives and married people fondly remember those days and enjoy reliving that time through other people’s stories. The grass is always greener…

  54. I applaud you for hiring people to help you move all the furniture, etc. Good for you. As to the mess, girl, things are always a mess whenever anyone is moving anything around. You’ll get there.

    As to the love life question, develop a chronic hearing problem. That is one of the questions you just don’t hear. You’ll let them know if and when it is ever their business.

  55. I love book reviews. The love life question is just wrong. I am jealous of your sewing room! Even if it is messy at the moment. πŸ˜€ You have ten times more room than I have, lucky girl! Just enjoy your life, your current project and be thankful for your blessings! We all have different paths.

    Keep blogging. I read yours everyday (unless you scip, LOL)

    • what she said.

      Very nicely put – I waffle too much. (did anyone notice?)


  56. I am 47 and single. When asked about my love life, I have a series of answers. My favorite is: “I am busy working through every man in town.” Or I will say, “I am out every night, can’t keep up with it”. When asked about kids, (and it is usually asked by an older person making conversation). I say “I am divorced, and I don’t believe in having children as a single person” “I know its old fashioned, these days it does not seem to matter..” and laugh…Then the conversation moves into differences in values, and changes from the good old days.

    Words of wisdom about organizing a new sewing room. Take your time, do it right, take twice as long you think you need too. So its a dream to work in, and you are not reminded that you did not do something as well as you could have.

    Love, love your blog. Makes my day.

  57. Cidell, Please don’t paint the knotty pine in the basement!!! PLEASE? Unless it is fake knotty pine pressboard paneling. The fireplace may have to go, but please hold off on the paint until the room is nearly done. Heck, until you’ve sewed in it for a while! Pillows, art, your sewing projects – all will add color and pizzazz. Save the wood! (please)

  58. About the nosy questions – I usually answer according to whether I perceive hostility in the asking. So my answers range from a mild ‘not much happening on that, in part because you wouldn’t believe how much work it’s been to move my sewing room and…’ to ‘wonderful! And how about you, have you finally found a job/finished your thesis/changed your child’s school?’. The thing I think is to not answer what you deem inappropriate, people eventually will get the point if they have a long-term relationship with you. The odd accident won’t be a problem, but you might make them cautious about attacking someone else and contribute to a better society on the whole. In life as on the net, our privacy only has us left to defend it, but we must..

    As to your move – wow! I agree you need to face up to it being a real move. And to boot one that keeps you from indulging freely in your favorite pastime, so it’s very disruptive. One thing strikes me: how about getting a small area together so that you -can- sew a bit? Not necessarily in the future sewing room, so that you don’t get depressed as you’re trying to make something. Definitely break down tasks in general, so that you can feel accomplished after finishing one thing, even if the rest looks like hell still.

    You need shelves. Shelves can only be put up if you have space to do it. So first order of business should be to pile stuff up to clear up space to put up shelves, followed by a massive trip to Ikea (some of them deliver, I’d recommend that..). I use 18″ deep shelves, cheap and sturdy, for a more fiber-friendly configuration. Gives me room for plastic boxes to preserve fabric, dust-free, and allows me to see what I have. Think close rather than bookshelves. Complement with the existing bookshelves for books and you’re fine.

    I confess to adoring the fake fire place, so utterly kitsh :-). The knotty pine actually is beautiful and it’d be criminal to paint it over, you will be cursed by whoever inherits it and has to spend weeks stripping. Maybe a light once-over with something to lighten up the aged varnish? But mostly when you’re done covering the walls with shelves, it won’t matter that the walls look dark now. Paint the shelves, not the walls, or just get white shelves to begin with. It’s a basement, you need some good halogen spots anyway and you’ll be fine. Perhaps I’d pick some light and cheerful colors for a poster (or better yet a quilt) over the fake fireplace for a touch both homey and light?

    But I’d encourage you to keep taking a good hard look at your stuff as you organize it. I used to run a textile business with a lot less stuff than that, so it’s just possible that you might feel lighter and work better without some of it. And you shouldn’t be embarrassed about tossing things that you’ve just moved to the basement – I’ve tossed some stuff I’d moved across the country! It’s better to toss too late than not at all, trust me. Also, these days it’s not an ecological/philosophical/financial problem to get rid of stuff, I’m sure you have an eBay account, just use it in reverse :-). You will be a popular girl, you will be rich, you will be free.

    You’re taking some good steps, the transition is just a bit overwhelming, but it’ll be over some day. Don’t get down on yourself, keep it to small steps, don’t forget to take care of yourself through the process. Courage! We know you’re strong..

  59. For most of us when things are going well in our relationships we are more often than not, anxious to share unsolicited information. Those of us who are more sensitive would know that if a person says nothing about a relationship, there’s probably nothing new. When faced with a relationship question of that sort, a soft answer such as “Life is such a blast right now” and move on to share something exciting that you’re currently involved with. Something totally unrelated to the question. For you Cidell, that should be so easy since there seems never to be a dull moment in your life. I would say to you, enjoy the attention while it lasts.

  60. Ah, the dinner party question. Can I tell you how sick I am of variations on “So, when are you and Mario getting married?”

    Just act like a guy – develop selective hearing, blink and go on to the next topic. If that doesn’t work, I know you’re capable of a great evil glare.

    I’m on the fence about the knotty pine – is it real or is it paneling? If it’s paneling, paint that baby. (I’d say rip it off, but I know what’s usually hidden behind paneling and that’s a can of worms you don’t want to get into or you’ll be sewing upstairs for the next 6 months).

    Just think of the end result and the lovely, organized uber-functional room you’ll end up with.

  61. The blue-green & white portable sewing machine case looks just like mine, albeit, yours is in better shape! Mine holds a ?? year old Montgomery-Ward-made-in-Japan machine that stitches a beeyoutiful straight stitch. I use it on anything thick or heavy. Just finished a teepee for my nephew out of cotton duck & it sewed like a dream. Your new space will be wonderful! Sometimes I think the best part of sewing is the room to myself!!

  62. Huh. Just peer over your glasses and ask them “How’s YOURS?”

    And then grin at them and change the subject to something inane like the weather…

  63. I’m afraid I’d reply that when I have something to report, I will report it. Unless I felt like being rude and asking if their husband/wife was still able to perform, or had gotten bored with them. Yes, I can be very rude. I can’t abide nosy people. Personal stuff is just no one else’s business.

  64. Oh, and I meant to say that your basement is beautiful. Ignore the faux fireplace. It adds character!

  65. Hi Cidell
    Two things first you have to give those rude people a reply that will let them know the question was inapropate. I always tell people when they ask I am married to Jesus. This being said they know to move on. Trust me people will not go any further with the questions.

    Second I recently watched a eposide on Mission Organization where they redid a sewing room in Pink Black and White it turned out GREAT and your space is big enough. I say paint the wood it will brighten up the space.

  66. Sadly enough, I was asked the love-life question when I was single, and now that I’m not I get this “so how are things between you and the man” question. Please. The only ones qualified to ask these questions already know the answer anyway. My mother has this technique where she replies very politely and curiously, “why do you ask?” and then waits with amusement for the stammering to begin. I can never get that right–one has to sound bland for it to work, and I always sound pissy. Anyhoo, that room will be great when it’s finished. And i’m with those who love the fireplace!

  67. It is a very rude question! I would say , with a look if intrigue on my face, “I’ll have to get back to you on that” and let it go.

  68. Your basement looks like my whole house! Monday is moving day for us. I can’t believe how much fabric I have found either! Ooopss…but it has been very handy for wrapping up the breakables.:)
    I think it is rude for people to ask about your love life. I have had a couple of those questions recently. I was married for 27 years and I AM NOT going to rush into a new relationship. Why do people think we need a man!?

  69. Hm… my neighbors tend to ask me when I’m gonna get married. My reply is always the same – As soon as I find a groom. Rude question, and certainly nobody’s business.

    However, the thing that annoys me more than the question is that everyone feels free to advice me. Do I have to mention those people are usually unhappily married? And most of advices sound like offenses to me. People say I’m too picky, a snob or that I have raised my standards too high. Well, after years of bad dates and ridiculous men in my life, I say I am reasonably careful.

    Keep posting, I love reading your blog!

  70. You probably won’t get this far down in comments, but please don’t paint over that knotty pine. You can probably sell it for enough to cover the installation of drywall.

  71. Your ARE moving. Just because it’s within your own house doesn’t make it a trivial job. I agree that some of these TV shows make organizing look way to easy – “just toss some stuff, buy some baskets, and viola! you’re done”

    On the paneling – I’d decide on shelving and other storage first, it may be that once it’s up and filled, there wouldn’t be a lot of paneling showing. If you really dislike – paint away, you are the one living with it. Perhaps a good cleaning would brighten the paneling also?

    Personally, I’d be carefull about how deep the shelves are. For me, deep shelves seem to turn into a horror of having to constantly unpack to reach items in back, not to mention forgetting what’s at the back. 1 box deep is my limit now.

    I love book reviews. I’ve added some gems to my collection based on other’s reviews, and am watching for a few others.

    Have enjoyed your blog for a couple of years now – thanks for taking the time to write!

  72. The moving is looking good. I’m not just saying that because your “mess” looks like parts of my apartment at any given time, either. πŸ™‚

    I hate that rude question- and I’m sorry to say I haven’t any good answer for it. I try really hard not to ask anyone, even close friends, because it just stinks to be on the receiving end.

  73. Well, I happen to be married with kids. The annoying question I get all the time is “Are you going to have another?” And it’s never just a casual asking because if I answer they immediately demand “Why/Why not?” I usually just tell them I don’t like that question and find it rather weird at times. I enjoy the looks on their faces. Then again, I’m rather blunt.

  74. Personally I think a basement is a dark place and the pine would be nicer painted cream, I’d also remove the fireplace and have as much cream/white furniture as possible.
    But its not my house or my room so do what makes for a nice happy space for you.

    I feel for you on the ‘Love Life’ question. I’m married so don’t get that but people do ask about kids – why? – I am a whole person whether I am married or not, have kids or not

  75. I just want to add: Ditch the knotty pine! It is such a dated look and can feel dark and depressing. It gets old fast. What I would suggest, which I have seen done, is to paint the knotty pine the color of choice, whether it is pink, white, or whatever. Then you go back over and sand it off, leaving hints of the color and brightening the whole wall treatment. I have seen this done and it looks really pretty. I have no doubt this room will be fabulous when you are done!

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