Tuesday, September 30, 2008


We are almost moved in. The kitchen is almost finished. The office and powder room...but you get the idea.

This move seems to have an awfully long half-life.

BUT. I am off (out of the office) tomorrow, and I have two major goals: (1)Make the kitchen operational (2) Make the bedroom as organized as possible.

(3) (If I have the time & the energy) Clean and glaze the tub.

I don't think I have been this tired since finals week at New England Conservatory. I slept through an exam (luckily my professor let me re-take it with another class).

Friday, September 26, 2008

Comic relief

Yes, these are really my boys. The breeder took this picture last year. It's a good capture of their personalities.

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

5 years old in House Owner Years

I'll explain.

Yesterday DH came over to the house with some boxes and found me working (and marvelling at the chaos and lack of finished work...as well as the very shoddy work of the "professional" painters) and dropped the bomb.

We can't move in until TUESDAY. Because, frankly, we don't even have a kitchen floor.

I feel like a 5 year old who has just been told (on December 23rd) that Christmas has been postponed until December 28th. Santa, you see, took a couple of weeks off for the hell of it.

There were two weeks at the beginning of September when nothing was being done.

Luckily for me (revenge-wise) and unluckily for our contractor, I am going to review his sterling work on Angie's List.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Today is another to cram as full as possible.

At 5:00 I'm changing into painting clothes and heading out! On the way I'll be dropping off more things at the thrift shop and stopping at the hardware store.

I'll do as much as I can on those cabinets, and start to clean up the tub.

Then back to the apartment for even more packing.

Today I also gave away a stack of coats and some more sweaters and a few other things at the office. Even a mink stole.

I wonder if I'll remember to knit the next time I have the time to pick up my needles!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Countdown continues

Well, yesterday all of the boxes I loaded up made it to the house, and I bought a welcome mat.

I even got some painting done. The cabinets themselves are finished, but the doors are dragging. Two sides, and only one set of sawhorses, you see. Not to mention some questions about hardware. I had been planning on buying new hinges, but it's proved difficult to find half mortise hinges in the right size for my tall pine cupboard, so I just bought Rustoleum in a "chrome" finish, and I'll use it for those as well as the flush hinges for the Art Deco pine cupboard.

The carpenter has finished roughing out the sink cupboard, and will be able to build a shelf like this above it:

We're also getting in someone to give an estimate about spraying for moths, tomorrow. The actual spraying needs to be on Friday afternoon.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

It's supposed to be ready this weekend...

...but I'll believe it when I see it. Cynical, ain't she?

The house, that is, ready for us to move in. We did meet with the cabinetmaker yesterday, and I liked him. Professional, quiet, intelligent, and happy to do something that's not cookie-cutter; it was encouraging.

DH picked up the butcher block from Ikea on Saturday, and I have been purging, packing and donating up a storm. There's still more to go, but I have worked hard, and please God, this weekend should go pretty smoothly.

My bosses (who really are wonderful) have allowed me a half-day on Friday and all of Monday. That's going to be a big help. Breathing space on both ends. AND they are allowing us the loan of a van to transport the big stuff. Most of the packed items will already be at the house by Saturday, I think.

Almost the best part about being in there? I'll be able to work on the outside without too much guilt. Last weekend I had to spend all the time I had inside, and the weather was lovely!

I will rake up the rest of the mulch and dig up as much of the garden as I can manage.

Also, we want to plant holly and peonies, and hydrangeas. The bulbs will have to go in, too.

DH wants ivy around the perimeter (I think it's going to look terrific) and we'll probably have most annuals toward the front.

I'd also like a flagstone path in front of the greenery; easier to get to them and prune without damaging the more delicate plants. I found one flagstone while I was rooting out one of the tree stumps, so someone else liked the idea too.

I hope we're able to find old pictures of the place someday, and see what the earliest owners did with the front garden.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Butcher block, damn it!

And I WILL have it for my lone countertop. It was touch-and-go for a short time, but we're having only one cabinet (built to hold up my farmhouse sink) and there won't be space for my butcher block cart, which in any case is 19 years old, stained, and with a drawer that works. Sometimes.

It means DH and I will have to go to an Ikea (this one in CT) and pick the stuff up, and juggle the budget again, because our top priority is to come in at or UNDER budget. If the almost-frills have to go, so be it. (That probably means my lovely shelf around the kitchen. Though DH swears he can do it himself. Someday. Before I die, I hope.)

Last night I packed books, purged videos and also bagged up more books to donate to the library and to give away.

We are moving one week from tomorrow, and DH has done very little in terms of packing.

I'm doing all of my own and nearly every shared item we posess...he'd better get a move on, because I am not going to risk falling into one of his closets. Unlike Alice going through the Looking Glass I doubt I'd make it out again!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Bored yet?

I can't help myself...this will be a DIY home improvement blog for a while.

Very little knitting going on, though I manage about 15 or 20 minutes a day at lunch during the week. All I want to knit is lace! Right now I'm at Decision Point with a lace scarf in the Milanese lace stitch. Should I cast off and add a bit of trim? Keep knitting? (Long lace scarves don't wear well, in my experience.)

The stole (Christmas gift) has become boring, but I really should get back to it.

And I'm half-way on the finishing for the Retro Redux shrug from Lace Style. The sleeves are seamed and I'm in the midst of picking up for the outer ribbing. It won't take long to finish, but I just haven't worked on it in a couple of weeks.

When we're really settled in the house I'll be knitting by the fire!

As for the house...well, I just want to run away from work and paint. Then when I've done all I can (long drying time with oil based paints) I want to work on the front.

And buy mums. Bronze mums. Lots of them. And planters for them. And urns.

I want to strip the front door, and measure the hardware I need to replace on the cabinets for the kitchen. And work on the door for the dining room built-in, and....

I certainly don't want to be at work! (But to be fair, without this job we'd never have managed to save enough to get the house. Catch 22, at your service. Though as jobs go, I like this one.)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Poco a poco....

...ma non ritardando....I hope! (Excuse my Italian, it's not the best.)

We are getting the work done little by little, though. The neighbors are very pleased. Every time I'm there someone new "just happens" to be out and says something nice about all of our efforts.

I really like this neighborhood, because it feels like a neighborhood. Yes, there are a few who pretend instant deafness when you say hello, but for the most part people are almost alarmingly friendly.

DH is 2/3 finished installing columns in place of the awful 70s aluminum. I dug out the last two trees--the big ones!--and am in the process of bagging up the old cedar mulch.

The free-standing cabinets for the kitchen are on their way. The Art Deco one is nearly ready, and the others have the first coat of paint or are ready for it.

The contractor has finally returned, and the real plumbing work is happening.

We haven't done a thing about the upstairs bath, which is hideous. I hate it, but there's no money to pull out and replace the tub, let alone do the re-tiling such a move would require. That re-model will have to wait for a few years at least, unless we win the lottery. (Better start playing, eh?)

I'll have some pictures up soon; haven't taken any since the last batch.

Monday, September 08, 2008

We're getting there


DH has been doing electrical and plumbing work (nothing huge, little fixes...the guy who last worked on it was...creative). Putting up fixtures, all that. And some demolition.

I have been ripping out unwanted trees, weeding, restoring brass, cleaning windows, prepping the cabinets in order to paint them...keeping busy!

This evening it's off to Home Depot. Not our usual choice, but the officers at my company got together to give us a very generous gift card. It will help enormously, especially with the bathrooms. Problem is, I can't use the damn thing to make online payments. Nice, isn't it? (I can tell you that they'll be getting very little of our business after this.)

We need this to be liveable by the 26th, so we can do the real move-in, though we're bringing in bits and pieces as we go.

One horrible thing: clothes moths.

God. I think they're infesting the attic, which has long been populated by squirrels and pigeons. Propbably the moths have been feeding on the pelts of corpses and stray feathers. Ugh!