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23August
2009

working on your master plan

maura @ 10:21 pm

I hadn’t planned to when I woke up this morning, but as it turns out I caulked two sinks and the base of one bathtub today. Like most things, it’s the cat’s fault. Yesterday we got home from our week @ the beach with most of my family* to discover that one of the cats had picked at** a bit of the caulk that joins the bathroom sink to the wall.

* 7 adults + 6 kids under 8 = chaos! But fun, too. I actually kind of miss it.

** And maybe eaten? Hard to say, but I wouldn’t put it past him. Since Caramel ate 1/2 a ribbon the last time I wrapped a birthday present (and pooped out a bow-tied treat later, eew), I’m betting he’s the culprit. Lucky for him he’s so soft + pretty or he’d be out on his kitty behind, I tell ya.

I spent most of the morning walking around in a post-vacation stupor, doing piles of laundry and feeling grumpy.*** After which I helped triage Gus’s school forms + supplies list (which gets longer every year, it seems) and felt grumpy. Every so often I went into the bathroom, and each time I saw the gaping hole in the caulk I sighed a big sigh.

*** Why is re-entry so difficult? I like my house, my bed, the relative quiet of my family of 3. And I’m cool with going back to work tomorrow — the semester starts this week and my research project is starting in earnest, too. Still, I moped around today like someone kicked me in the shins, seriously.

Finally I couldn’t take it anymore. A few weeks ago I’d up and caulked one of the bathtubs, so we had some caulk left over from that adventure. What I hate most is the decaulking — it’s always much more work than you think it will be to pry it out and scrape it off. But for some miracle reason this old caulk pulled free quick as a flash. A little masking, a little caulk, a little smoothing, and then it was time to cover it with a plastic bag so it can cure ’til tomorrow. Good times!

Then I was on a caulking roll. The caulk on the section of the backsplash near the kitchen faucet looked kind of grotty, so I scraped that off too and slapped on some shiny new caulk. I thought that was it, but then I noticed a bit of a weird spot in the other bathroom where the tub meets the tile floor. I stupidly gave it a tug and a huge chunk of caulk came off there, too. And who can leave a clean spot? Not I. So I scraped + slapped again.

Now there’s lots of caulk under plastic bags in our apartment, and I’m having a beer and feeling much less grumpy. Not bad for day 1 post-vacation, not bad at all.

les tags: ,
27July
2009

it’s getting later and later

maura @ 5:27 pm

I think it’s fair to say that I am a bit obsessed with tiny houses. I’ve been decluttering a lot, downsized from a desktop computer to a laptop, am checking more books out of the library than I buy, etc. So it makes sense that the tiny house would be right up my alley.

My daydream is that when we retire we’ll get a bit of mountainy foresty land near a stream and plop down a tiny house. Something like this one, the Harbinger, looks like a good fit for us. It’s 300 square feet plus a sleeping loft. Yes, we’d have to get rid of a bunch of stuff. But I’m ready to get rid of most of the knick-nacks (and paddywacks). By then I will have digitized all of my LPs and CDs so they can go, too. We probably won’t want to part with all of the books, but I bet if we invest in some custom-built shelves and arrange the books by size we’ll be able to get most of them in there.

What about the kitchen? Will we eat tiny food*? Some of these houses have tiny little kitchens w/hot plates + dorm fridges, but the Harbinger has enough space for a modest but real stove/oven + fridge. Yes, we’ll need to go shopping more often, but we’ll be living just outside of a cute little town and I will ride my bike** to the store every few days. Also, we’ll have a (tiny) garden where we’ll grow (tiny) fruits + veggies.

* On tiny plates! Like in Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s Slow-Eater-Tiny-Bite-Taker Cure.

** Gus + I got bikes! But that’s a post for another day, Pee-Wee.

You can add another bedroom onto the back, but I think that instead we should get another even tinier house as a guest room, maybe the Epu? Gus should be fine there when he comes to visit. We will probably also need a shed to hold bikes, gardening tools, push mower, cross-country skis, snowshoes + sleds. We’ll have to get a car but it can be small, too.

After I outlined all of this Jonathan said “so really it’s a tiny compound!”

les tags: ,
8June
2008

assorted tasty nuggets

maura @ 3:24 pm

It should not be 90+ degrees and 90+% humidity in June.

What’s worse than spending 2 nights (because we started too late for one night) watching a movie that had all of the ingredients to be hilarious but ended up being a total dud? The same PLUS awful-yet-catchy songs that get stuck in your head for days afterwards! That pretty much sums up Music & Lyrics, which we watched last week. It looked so good on the outside: funny cast (Hugh Grant, Drew Barrymore) + promising set up (what could be more fun than mocking Wham!?). But something went horribly, horribly wrong with the writing or direction or something because it was just BORING. And the songs are driving me crazy.

The kittehs are great, thanks for asking. But it appears that Mr. & Mrs. Fastidious are having a somewhat rocky transition to kitten ownership.

It’s funny, if you’d asked me a few months ago what housekeeping task worried me re: cats, I’d have said sweeping, of course, because of the fur. But you know, these little guys do not shed so much, and the fur is not bothering me at all.

However, both Jonathan and I are having a hard time with the litterbox. I hadn’t realized that a bit of litter tends to come out of the box when a cat exits (even despite the little footmat thing in front of the box), and am finding myself sweeping the bathroom about 10 times a day. Jonathan’s bugbear is the stinky poop, which he rushes in to scoop the very instant that a kitten has exited the bathroom. We are both freaking ourselves out with the thought of poopecules: the (probably imaginary, but what if not?) microscopic fragments of poop that give us pause whenever a kitten jumps up on the bed or sofa. Quel surprise!

Yesterday was stoop sale day, yippee! We took in a decent amount of cash, and got rid of a ton of stuff between the sale and our now-traditional hauling everything that didn’t sell directly to the thrift store afterwards (nothing comes back upstairs – nothing!). I’m proud of our steely resolve this year: we didn’t even buy much from our neighbors.

This year’s bang-up stoop sale innovation: the quarter bin (i.e. everything in the big plastic bin costs 25 cents) and the free bin (ditto but free). These ended up being a great way to get rid of all of those little toys and doodads (ay dios mia, plastic party favors!), while drawing in potential stoop sale victims. Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!

les tags: , , ,
6August
2006

if only the super mario theme song had words…

maura @ 3:23 pm

Hi internets, how are you? I’m much better, thanks, now that my last summer class has ended and it’s no longer Journey-to-the-Center-of-the-Earth hot here in Brooklyn. And I’ve got three weeks to catch up on sleep before the fall semester starts, wahoo!

We came through the heat pretty well in our house, and thankfully there were no brown- or blackouts in our ‘hood. There was, however, a moderate laundry crisis. Our dryer does not vent to the outside, so doing the wash on those heat index 110 days was pretty much not an option. I very nearly had to resort to washing the underpants in the sink (or stuffing Gus into his old size 3 tighty-Thomasy-s) when finally the heat broke to merely Journey-Halfway-to-the-Center-of-the-Earth levels.

And I cleaned! Yes, I used my Friday off, the day after classes ended, to clean the house. I’m embarrassed to tell you, dear internets, how long it had been since the house was cleaned, but you could use all the powers of your browser to find out how long Pratt’s second summer session was, which I’m pretty sure is the answer to that question.

So, to recap: the semester is over, the laundry is done, the house is cleaned. Ahhhh. Time for maxing and relaxing. And my last three weeks of work, which is kind of blowing my mind.

The little prince requires my help with his Super Mario addiction — later gators.

les tags: ,