Wednesday, March 31, 2010


This, my dear readers, is an un-retouched photo of my very handsome husband.

This same man can pull off the rugged handyman look just as well as the dressed-to-the-nines look.

Perhaps he knows that someone is taking his picture; perhaps he doesn't. He is the same guy in both circumstances, which is one of the 1,001 things I admire about him.

One time, a bunch of teens voted him The Most Handsome Old Guy in the whole church.
By "old guy", they mean someone over 25, I would assume.

I haven't looked at him yet and thought "old guy". I just see my very handsome husband!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Not all the projects in this house have been taking place in the back wing, I'll have you know.

Some very serious creativity was going on in the front living room this afternoon, thanks to a visit from a friend up the street and her three darling children.

This boy knows his leggos.

He was intent on having this airplane-contraption documented with my camera.

The girls were thrilled when I offered them a gaggle of plastic eggs and a number of little baskets to play with.

At one point, one of the twins broke away from the toys to perform a spontaneous, can't-keep-in-inside-any-longer dance -which involved spinning deliriously and repeating a phrase over and over with such frenzied glee that I couldn't quite catch the lyrics.

Upon asking her mom, I found out she was saying, "I LOVE PINK I LOVE PINK I LOVE PINK."

This heartfelt display of joy has given me courage to wear my heart on my sleeve more often.
Check in tomorrow. The odds are good that I will be performing a variation of the I LOVE PINK dance in my new kitchen.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

#1 Son gets artsy

Can anyone guess what this contraption is?

No, it is not a potato-shooter. Nor even a paint-shooter.

I don't really know its official name. But it rolls and swings, bobs and dives, and holds a video camera while doing so. #1 Son is using it to film a real movie. It is his (ahem) fun little project of choice this semester. For which he gets no college credit. But who is counting credits when real learning is going on?

That's something I learned as a home-schooling mom.

He grabbed a full can of interior paint in order to balance this see-saw and he discovered that, within an ounce, it was the perfect counter-balance.

See how it is perched on PVC pipes? Last year, #1 Son cobbed together those pipes along with cushioned rollers he found on ebay in order to shoot a music video.

His mom did not teach him this stuff.

Since his early teens, he has been fascinated with video, recording, and photographic equipment.
All of which costs moolah. All of which he earns himself.

Never mind that his paychecks come mostly from his dad.

By the way, my refurbished hutch is in the background of these shots. By the end of this week, the doors & windows will be attached and it will be shuffled into its regal place in the kitchen.

-not that this is a post about the kitchen, mind you.

Here, #1 Son gets ready to play the part of Mary Poppins.

No. Really, he is adjusting the lighting with a photographer's umbrella.

What I like about this particular stuff is that some of it is borrowed, some of it was funded by the movie he is filming, and the rest of it is already paid off.

I also like the umbrellas and how they glow.

They look like Chinese lanterns. And I love Chinese lanterns.

#1 Son, a.k.a. Director of Filming, Lighting, and Sound, spent a few hours playing with his begged and borrowed stuff so he could get the feel of how it all worked. Also, now that he has experimented extensively, he has the freedom to be artsy.

Within the budget, of course.

Thanks for letting me ramble on & on about the dizzying array of projects taking place in the new wing of our old stone home.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Tonight, Hubby is finishing the third coat of joint compound on the kitchen walls.
Tomorrow he sands and then we prime.
Sunday, we take a break.
Monday, he begins installing the wood flooring.
The cabinets will be ready any time after Tuesday. The day of delivery, the cabinets can be installed.

Can somebody say EXCITED?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Snubby is groovin'

If concert violinist, film producer, photography journalist, business owner, architect, web designer, or actor doesn't work out, he could always do a little modeling to pay the bills.

-at least that's what his mom says.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

sabbath rest

I cannot imagine a more peaceful place to spend a Sabbath afternoon.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

German Lieder

It cannot be helped.

The painting, cleaning, refinishing, and other general remodeling chores must come to a halt this afternoon. I have one dozen German art songs to learn before tomorrow evening's dress rehearsal.
A swipe of dust cloth over the baby grand, the creak of a lifted lid, and the swish of crisp copies of music from my folder, and away I go.

Nothing like waiting until the eleventh hour. But what a wonderful eleventh hour it will be. I love the literature -and my fingers are tingling with anticipation to do something musical and magical!

Friday, March 12, 2010

next door

See this slumpy house? It is next door to our old stone house.

I really wish the owners would do something about it. It's quite an eyesore.

Oh right. We are the owners.

This morning, #1 Son and I went exploring inside its slumpy, dumpy, slopey, dopey walls.

Here is (was) the pantry. I checked all the cupboards.
Mother Hubbard must have lived here last.

Every wall either has groovy wallpaper or previously had groovy wallpaper. Ragged sheets of groovy wallpaper peppered with mold and mildew hang everywhere.

See? This was my favorite in the category of moldy wallpaper.

In the category of ceiling fixtures, this one took the cake.

Into each dilapidated nook & cranny we shone our flashlights in hope of finding treasure. Or at least anthropological evidence that humans lived here once upon a time.

We don't take stock in evolution. But someone who does could really run with this supposed "evidence". We named her Lucy.

All in one square foot, we found a seven of hearts, a porcelain doorknob, and the arm of a doll.
A creepy and edgy montage of sorts.

#1 Son pointed out drolly: "Just think. You actually sleep within 100 feet of all this. Now your nightmares can have more accuracy."

Just what I was going for. Thank you, #1 Son.

Friday, March 05, 2010

the bay window

This was the view yesterday from the open wall in our kitchen.

A stiff breeze wafted through the back of the house all night, lifting swaths of gray dust into the air and pushing them through the cracks in our protective plastic wall which separates the kitchen demo from the rest of the house.

This boy doesn't like dust. He takes after his mom.

A spate of sunny, relatively mild days has been perfect for outside work. I only say that because I get to stay inside with a paintbrush. The guys climbed around on scaffolding in order to install our kitchen bay window. The sunlight made them cheerier than normal, I think.

This bay window will be just right for potted plants, herbs, and other green things. A double Corian sink will be positioned there, giving the Chief Cook & Bottle Washer a supreme view of her little kingdom by the river.

The Lord of the Manor was awfully nice to build this bay window. He was duly hugged & kissed by the Lady of the Manor today.

There are many things to hooray about around here. I think a jig around the kitchen would be in order, too.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

the state of me

This week, my writing is reduced to bullet-points.

- I took all the food, frozen and otherwise, out of the fridge this morning and put it in boxes. The doors and drawers were removed. All this happened so we could squeeze the monster-fridge through the ripped up doorway and into the dining room.

-Moving all our food seemed to exhaust me, so I made #1 Daughter put it all back.

-The dining room has weird furniture in it. Like a set of metal shelving. And a plastic garbage container. And a fridge. Oh yes, and a plastic door with a zipper.

- A plastic wall separates the dining room (formerly the family room!) from the demo in the kitchen. A zipper/flap door allows access. Access was out of the question today because of the dust situation. Hubby and Tommy ripped open the kitchen ceiling and vacuumed out bag after bag of insulation with Hubby's home-made insulation sucking machine (really. I did not make that part up.) They stayed back there, I watched through the opaque plastic sheeting.

-I have no kitchen. No sink. No stove. The kitchen has been, in contractor's lingo, officially gutted.

-If you want to paint trim in the back rooms (for example, as I did), one must go out the front door and tramp through oozing mud to get to the back door. Going through the kitchen at this stage in the game would not be a good idea.

-If one calls the kitchen demo a "game", perhaps it would be more fun.

-the stone wall is exposed in the kitchen, but Hubby is discouraged at the cement, plaster, and paint that mars its beauty. I hope he blasts the devil out of it in order to bring it back to its heavenly beauty. Wouldn't it be fantastic to have exposed stone along one wall?

-Hubby is covered in dust.

-I finished priming the trim in the guest room and office today. It is painstaking work to trim windows and floor molding. But at least it does not involve dust.

-It's going to be GREAT, people.