Nov. 11th, 2010 03:43 pm
marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (Default)
The drywall is all up for Mike's new basement office, which means that my currently-shamblified basement study has a nice long wall that I can put bookcases against.  Instead of the wall being made OF bookcases, as previously.   I started priming last night and hopefully will finish it tonight, and maybe also will get to put part of a coat of paint up.  The guys are coming back to finish the room next week - ceiling, carpet, trim, and door installation.  They're working on a real job site right now which is why I'm doing the painting, just to keep things on track and save a little money. 

Anyway Mike's office is going to be white, but I'm painting my bookcase wall a sort of goldenrod yellow, and I'm going to take the cardboard backs off of the bookcases and attach the backless bookcases to the wall in an unbroken row, so hopefully it will look sort of like a builtin, or at least hopefully will look cool.  I'm very excited about the color I picked so I hope it all turns out like it looks in my head right now!  We shall see. I'll post pics once everything is done.
marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (Default)
I finally got a new battery for our mostly-dead Roomba, so tonight I picked up all the toys from the floor of Charlie's playroom (formerly known as Mary's Half of the Basement) and turned the Roomba loose to vacuum it.  If this was a cartoon, the Roomba would have pulled out a gun and shot itself upon seeing the condition of the floor, but in real life it's attacking the job gamely enough.  I expect, however, to hear it softly weeping to itself in the middle of the night.
marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (white-blood-cell)
The playroom/study/library in the front of the basement has a big metal vertical pipe right smack in the center of it, holding up the main I-beam that runs down the center of the house.  In pre-Charlie days I jokingly called this my stripper pole--it's about 3 times as big around as a conventional stripper pole, just as I am 3 times as big around as a conventional stripper.  Hrm. Anyway, now it is called the pole of doom, because while the floor has foam tile all over the place [ToysRUs has these alphabet tiles, BTW, in case you're looking to pad your kiddo's floor], the pole has just been a big head-bump hazard.  Nothing bad has happened thus far, but it's been a source of worry even when I had it kind of boxed in with cubes of foam floor tiles.

So today I went and got foam pipe insulating thingies, covered the bottom yard of the thing with 2 layers of foam, and then put a nice piece of quilted fabric around that and sewed it shut. With an actual needle and thread! And I am not collapsing into bed immediately afterwards! W00t!


This evening's activities were made possible by the generous support of the Never Touching Zyrtec Again Foundation, in partnership with the Better Sleep Through Esophageal Health Foundation, the Blood Pressure Meds Only Make You Tired For About Six Months Foundation, the Depo-Provera Can Halt Your Endometriosis Foundation, and Mobil Corporation.
marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (Default)
So when we bought our house back in 2002 or so, we calculated up what we could supposedly afford according to the bank, and then we bought a house for half that much because even in 2002 we knew that banks will basically fuck you if you let them make budgetary decisions for you.  This resulted in a smallish house that's needed a lot of work, which has been fine.  The money we're not spending on an overly-high mortgage goes into fixing things up on our schedule.  The next project, hopefully happening in the spring depending on finances, is to finish the unfinished parts of the basement.  

That means that our contractor guys will have to be able to move freely around the basement, and that the spaces we're currently using will shrink by a couple of feet as walls and insulation go in.  Up until this weekend this has been UNPOSSIBLE.  Aside from my library and Mike's office/project room being down there (bookcases=walls), there are so many plastic storage containers.  Constantly rearranging them like tetris blocks does not make them any fewer or smaller, unfortunately.  The garage is full of Mike's RC airplane-flying hobby (I call it "the hangar" these days) plus lawn stuff and general garage stuff so moving the containers to the garage just makes them hard to get to, and makes the garage even more cluttered which in turn makes me go ARGH.   Of course what really needs to be done is to go through all the containers and throw half the stuff in them out, but we so do not have time for that.

So, although I feel like I have utterly failed in the war on materialism, I rented a storage unit and moved nearly all of the containers and boxes to it.  It's only 2 blocks away and is not too creepy, so I won't mind going to and fro if I need to get something out of it.   All the other random stuff fits on shelves in the laundry room now, and the floor of the laundry room has nothing on it but baskets of laundry. YAY.  I'm not crazy about paying rent for potentially forever, but it's not an unreasonable amount, and if someone asked me "would you pay an extra $$ of mortgage to have an extra room in your house?" I'd totally say yes.

Next up: utterly failing in the war on dirt.  I have house cleaners coming in a couple of weeks to do a complete spring cleaning, mainly to get ready for the house guests who are coming in early September.  Hopefully we can keep it up from there, but if not we're going to rearrange the budget so we can have them come back once a month.  I hate this, because it pushes certain buttons of mine (and is not so cheap), but if I'm going to fail as a housekeeper I'd rather fail and have a clean, not-overcrowded house than fail and have a dirty one full of storage boxes.  At least, that is what I keep telling myself.
marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (Default)
The Sonic Scrubber is a nifty $13 electric toothbrush for your shower/sink/etc.  It is a spin brush, and is only "sonic" in the sense that it makes noise.  It is not the sort of noise that blasts dirt off of your grout or opens every lock in the galaxy, but it's a nifty thing that conserves elbow grease, so I like it.

Bar Keeper's Friend is a nice old-fashioned toxic scouring powder, very good for old white sinks that have lost their enamel, and stubborn shower grout and so forth.  My sink, toilet, and shower are all very white now , and my oxalic-acid-induced headache has abated after an evening's fresh air and some sleep.  Possible TMI: bathrooms are icky )

Also done: sawing down the giant overgrown juniper from next to the stoop, and all-but-sawing-down the giant overgrown burning bush from the other side of the stoop. (Both can be seen menacing me and Charlie over in the left-hand-side of this photo).  The burning bush has the option of growing into something nice in the spring after the hard pruning I gave it (over 70% probably), or it can sulk, and get completely cut down in the spring, as it so chooses.  For now I can say HOORAY! I can sit on the stoop and actually see things. And I didn't get bitten or stung by anything in the process, despite both bushes being a popular hangout for various insects. (Part of why they had to come down...attracting a bad element)  I did see one spider that was brown with a white mark on its back, which behaved in a reclusive manner by scurrying under some leaves on the ground, but it does not appear to have been  a brown recluse.   There is now an enormous heap of branches lined up along the curb in the hopes that the village will take them all away without us having to call a tree looks a bit like I'm building an evergreen fort.

Next: putting the library in order, and moving all of the storage and crap out of the guest room.  Also, about a thousand loads of laundry.  I'm glad, actually, that we have a lot of work to do to prepare for guests; otherwise we might fret about the visit. Which I'm sure will go fine, but I'm a fretter.
marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (Default)
We had a miraculous day in which we did not have social plans, I did not have more than about 3 hours of job-related stuff to do, Mike only had one errand to run, and Charlie decided to be cooperative and delightful all day.  The result is that I swept and scrubbed--not just swiffered!--the floor of the library (aren't we fancy?  Really it's an unfinished quarter of the basement--but a nice one) and put down some pledge floor shiny stuff that makes it look pretty good, for scratched-up painted concrete.  Then I moved all the boxes of crap that I'm sorting through out of my study (another quarter of the basement) and into the library, and I put two new entertainment thingies for Charlie in the study.  That, in turn, meant that I got to do my 3 hours of work while I was looking after Charlie instead of having to wait until Mike was available to watch him.  And thus Mike managed to clean the kitchen and upstairs bathroom while I worked.  And Charlie had a great day, in which much screeching and smiling were accomplished. 

Half of the house is still an utter wreck, but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel now.  And I can see the surface of my desk!  Yay.
marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (Default)
I have a lovely study/library in my house.  It's the front third of the basement, and I've partitioned it off with bookcases and fabric and whatnot.  And I've painted the concrete floor and foundation wall.  The foundation wall stops at about 5 feet from the floor, and it's exposed brick above that, so I've propped up a bunch of my collection of prints from comics conventions and stuff.  There's a 55-gallon freshwater fishtank with three dull colorless fish in it.  And there are about 900 books. And my creepy dolls, of course.  I love the space--it's cool, haphazard, cluttered, and gloomy.  PERFECT.  

Charlie does not love the space. Charlie HATES the space.  Charlie cries when I bring him anywhere near my desk--the only part of the place he likes is the reading nook, where he will happily sit on my lap looking at the spines of books, but if I try to put him in a bouncy chair or even sit him on my lap sortof near the desk, WAAAAAHH, DO NOT WANT.  He likes Mike's way-less-cool workroom in the back of the basement just fine, natch.

So I'm redecorating and reorganizing, because babies apparently don't like gothy art spaces as much as middle-aged mommies do.  I got a dresser to contain the clutter, some floor lamps to brighten things up, some fun toy thingies to hang from the "ceiling" (white fabric stapled to the rafters).  I'm going to add some small colorful fish to the tank, too.  And get rid of lots and lots and lots of junk.

Partly I'm doing this because I'm happy to let go of my former identity of sad mom-wannabe* with too many hobbies.  But mainly it's because a couple of those hobbies are still really important to me, and the more time Charlie is willing to spend hanging out in my study, the more time I can spend writing.   So I'm happily compromising on the design of a space that used to be my sanctum sanctorum.  And Ikea is happily taking my money while I do it!  Pictures once I've assembled all these damn drawers and cleaned the joint up.

*not saying mom-wannabe's are inherently sad.  But I sure was.

April 2013

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