Sunday, November 23, 2014


Last night when I got in bed, Mark was so tired he said, "How's the furniture doing?"

We spent another day with our arms in the air, and we also realized we're two boards short (well, one board short and one didn't get stained right because there was tape residue or something on it). So tomorrow we'll obtain two more boards, and I'll stain them, and then we can proceed. Meanwhile, though, we have two of four lights installed!

(Also, Jonah and I ducked out this morning for a Tandem sticky bun, which is a marvel of baked goodness--there's a hint of orange and maybe cardamom, and it's iced with a very light touch, and every single bite of it is perfection.)

Saturday, November 22, 2014


The day went pretty much like this. Mark and I had our arms straight up in the air basically all day long, and as a result about half of our ceiling is up, nailed there, not going anywhere. Thank heavens (and our friend Mitchell) for this lovely nail gun. These tongue-in-groove boards are so long, and sometimes a tiny bit warped, and the tongues don't always want to slide nicely into the grooves. There is banging and hammering and shoving and stuff involved, all while someone (me) stands at one end desperately holding the board against the plaster overhead. And then there's the trimming and cutting holes for light fixtures and the weird, non-straight walls, etc (I do so love the smell of sawdust, though).

Anyway, we had a couple of bright spots in our day: first, picking Jonah up at the bus station, and second, getting Thai carryout. A low spot in between was having a carefully situated electrical cord fall out of a hole in the ceiling (long story). It took us an hour and a half, two unspooled wire hangers, lots of duct tape, and the long arms of a certain tall nephew to get the cord threaded from one hole up through the ceiling and back down through another hole. I can't even begin to describe the thrills and chills.

OH if you love Serial like I do, you might enjoy the meta wonderland which is Slate's weekly podcast about a weekly podcast. And you know what? Other podcasts are podcasting about it, too!

Friday, November 21, 2014


One thing about painting rooms white is that it's super obvious when there is a spider hanging out where the wall meets the ceiling. I would like them to move along on their own, but this time of year I find myself accidentally on purpose murdering several of them.

Speaking of this time of year, next week is Thanksgiving! I know, right? We still have to clean up our yard of its summer accessories (grill, chairs, etc). At least I got all the storm windows closed before the latest arctic blast or whatever descended.

My sweetie Jonah arrives tomorrow for the holiday week, and then Monday Mark's mom is coming, and then Wednesday it'll be Isaac and Zoë and Zoë's petite amie! I am starting my manic cleaning routine, wherein I attempt to remove every mote of dust and speck of pet dander from Z's room, and we make sure we have enough pillows and blankets and air mattresses for every body that will be resting here.

Here is a gratuitous wet puppy picture.

Kiss kiss.

Thursday, November 20, 2014


I am a sloppy painter--or, I start out tidy and end up with paint all over myself. My painting jeans have holes in the butt and white paint spattered here and there. But my kitchen walls are as white as white can be. I won't show you a picture until we get some of the ceiling up, because there are holes for light fixtures and cords and wires and things are rough where the tile is going to be...

Oh, it's Thursday! Time for Serial.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


My little Bean is 22 today, somehow. I am older than 22 in this picture, but not by that many years! Funny how time works, isn't it? I remember when this was taken, we were waiting for the ferry to Block Island, the wind was blowing. Zoë wasn't talking yet, but she was signing all kinds of things--"ball" is the one I remember most clearly. During this trip, she did an alphabet puzzle that made it clear that while she didn't yet speak, she knew the entire alphabet (she never did do things in the "right" order--she walked before she crawled, etc). It wasn't all that long after this that she taught herself to read (when she was three). I love to look at this face and see both baby Zoë and grownup Zoë. She amazed me then, and she continues to amaze me with her brilliance and ferocity and sensitivity and sweet beauty and determination.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


The sun came out today, which makes all the difference, and right now I can see my favorite murder of crows swooping through the sky together, hundreds of them. Napping goes on around here every day, even if the human inhabitants resist. I am drinking coffee with cream and eating a piece of toast with sea-salted butter.

Some nights I sleep so lightly, worrying about Zoë and Isaac, worries with some substantiated basis vying with worries that appear ridiculous in the morning light--last night was like that, thoughts racing through my head and nudging me awake hourly. It's as if they're both lost, and twelve years old, or traveling solo through India with no Internet access. It's the opposite of that feeling when they (rarely) are both home and in their respective childhood bedrooms, and my brain is utterly satisfied and content with that knowledge.

I got a coat of primer on the kitchen walls first thing this morning, everything smooth and patched and sanded, even places that used to have enormous holes in the plaster--you would never know. Tomorrow, we'll get the first coat of actual paint (ultra white) on, and when it looks perfect, we'll start putting up the long wooden boards we stained medium-dark brown.

Watching Olive Kitteridge
Reading Afterparty
Drinking hot drinks
Eating warm foods, as many orange-colored ones as I can
Listening to Serial, along with the whole rest of the known world
Cuddling with this cat, pictured above, who makes me stop several times a day to pet him and scratch his ears and kiss his head

Monday, November 17, 2014


Cold rain, damp dogs, birds in the blue-gray sky. It's the kind of Monday that keeps tempting you, all day long, to take a nap.

And then there's work, and tea, and laundry to fold and rough spots on the kitchen wall that need to be sanded, just one more time, before we can finally paint. Because paint comes first, and then the ceiling, and then the tile... Don't you worry, one of these days there will be some visible change in there and I will take a picture of it!

Missing my babies. It's only a week and a half until Thanksgiving break, though.