*Lyrics from David Bowie’s Five Years. We’ve officially owned this house for five years, and it feels like that’s how long each project is now taking. My brain hurts. A lot.
Weekends around here have become mighty precious. Jeff’s work schedule has been non-stop since about September (I’m not actually exaggerating – it might even have been like this since August), with small pockets of time off here and there. And by small pockets I mean a day here, or a few hours there. It’s been hard on both of us, and even harder on the state of the house. With so few hours to spend together who wants to spend it cleaning out the garage, or organizing the stuff in the basement for giveaway, or otherwise finishing projects that are half done all over the place? Jeff did manage to get the week between Christmas and New Year off and we were able to finally tackle some of those half done projects. Like the closet in the master bedroom.
*Lyrics from this sweet little song I heard watching a sweet little indie romance (which I was completely in the mood for) called happythankyoumoreplease. The song’s by Jaymay and it’s called Never Be Daunted. Good song inspiration for a year opener, wouldn’t you say?
And now it’s time for the ubiquitous post on what the new year means to me. I know everyone’s doing it, and with good reason. Turning over a new calendar page can be quite bracing, forcing you to itemize your life, to measure your path and to judge it accordingly. Or perhaps it gives you a moment to cleanse your palate, to step back and say yesterday is gone, today is my focus. Turning over this calendar page (figuratively, of course – who has paper calendars anymore?) has been a most welcome occurrence as 2011 was an emotionally tough year for me. But it wasn’t all bad. I’m just glad to leave it behind, and start again.
Remember way back when, in late August, when we closed on a condo for my mom to live in? I mean, really, if you read this blog at all how could you forget. But, what you may have forgotten is what it looked like before we got our grubby mitts on it. Oh, and I have some semi-after pictures for you, too. So there.
Now that the dust has settled a bit, and mom’s things have arrived, her old place has been relinquished back into the hands of her landlady, I can start to appreciate the entire journey that was renovating the condo. It was rough, for sure, but it was my lifelong dream to be able to give my mother a home. Of course, when I first imagined that I was probably 12, and thought she might like a cottage in Canada. She might still, but she’ll have to settle for a condo minutes from her only grandchild. (Something tells me she’s pretty ok with the current situation, and has no desire to move to Canada, Joni Mitchell or not.) I could not have done any of this without my dear husband, Jeff, for whom I am eternally grateful for being in my life. (He barely reads my blog, but when he does I hope he feel sufficiently embarrassed for being singled out.) I love you forever. Thank you for giving my mom a home.
*Lyrics from, well, if you don’t know, I don’t even know if I can talk to you anymore… who ARE you anyway?! Ok, it’s from Peaches & Herb’s hit from 1980, Reunited. I could have gone with this lyric as my title, too: “And you’re exactly what I’m dreaming of all through the day…” Pretty much, save for the love making references, all the lyrics are applicable to this post.
Wow, so let me just first say that I’m tired. I mean, completely tired. Knackered, pooped, walloped, crashed, buried, done, cooked. Like, worrying about falling asleep while driving home tired. Not remembering conversations, not knowing what day it is, let alone what time it is, forgetting to eat, going through the motions of life tired. Getting this condo up and running for my mom has been one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. Like, ever. But so worth it, in the end (she did give birth to me and raise me, after all). And it wouldn’t have been possible without a little help from my friends. And by friends I mean trusty contractors Dave and Jonas of Innovative Construction Solutions (whom I consider actual friends, too, in case you are wondering).
*Lyrics from Phantogram’s You Are The Ocean off their album Eyelid Movies. I considered using the lyric “This song is about you, ’cause I can’t live without you” regarding Brad, since his work was so essential, but thought that the above sentiment was more accurate now. Not that I don’t think that I can live without Brad. I’m sure I can’t.
I can barely remember where I last left you. I mean, I think it was somewhere around painting the walls and floor delivery. Or something. Honestly, I had to look it up. Since then, so much has been done. Let’s see: the walls were patched and painted (last coats, minus touch ups if needed); the baseboards were completed (painted, patched, sanded, etc.); the dishwasher was installed; the sink faucet was swapped out; the (cheap-O, IKEA, it’ll do until we can really afford to tackle the kitchen) undercabinet lighting was installed; we installed the underlayment to prep for the flooring; and, some lights were swapped out (from 150watt flood lights to LED replacement kits). Also, Brad and Eric of Osgood Electric came by to add some closet lights, wire and install a fan/light in the bathroom, swap out some switches here and there, add some boxes for lighting in the stairway and the laundry area, and installed recessed lighting in the living room. Phew, again.
*Lyrics from St. Vincent’s song Surgeon from their latest album Strange Mercy. I totally dig her voice, their strange and quirky sound, and the fact that this album is so new to me. Have I mentioned that I love music? I do. Can’t help it. Wouldn’t want to.
With the fall season officially upon us, and with rain seemingly never ending, I am just now getting around to noticing that my blog is woefully out of date. Perhaps due to the marathon of painting, prepping and coordinating that I’ve been doing for my mom’s new place. Yes, yes, that’s it. My neglect for my blog is due to the work that I’m doing that I should be blogging about. A vicious cycle.
But, over at ye old condo we’ve made quite a bit of headway. Since last you saw pictures, we’ve completed the following: painted living room; painted kitchen; patched sheetrock in laundry room; painted ceiling and walls in laundry room (after visit from plumber); painted trim in entire downstairs, including doors; sanded and prepped baseboards for painting and reinstall (thanks to a lot of help from my sister and a friend); stenciled and painted a bedroom; painted other bedroom; replaced toilet in main bathroom (extra thanks to sis’ bf); ordered and received (and stacked and acclimated) flooring; and, received new appliances. Phew.
*Lyrics from We Are Family as sung by Sister Sledge. I debated about which of the several horrible videos to share, but settled on the one from Solid Gold. The pyrotechnics alone make it worth the viewing. The outfits, well, they’re just the cherry on top of that sundae. (Oh, and the Solid Gold link is solid.gold.)
Between the after effects of Tropical Storm Irene (hurricane to some of you), and closing on a house for my mom, I’ve had barely a moment to reflect and enjoy the last fleeting moments of a summer that practically sprinted by. Labor Day, traditionally considered the ‘last day’ of summer (though summer lasts well in September, if we’re lucky) became a reason to enjoy not one last lazy day filled with sunshine, hammocks and cookouts, but to enjoy discounts on appliances, toilets and sofas for the new place. And due to the gap in schedules at Mr and Mrs K’s kitchen/bath remodel, I was able to switch gears and get into full remodel zone for my mom’s new condo. So long, summer. I wish I got to know you better.
So, in an effort to distract ourselves from the lingering sadness that comes when you lose a family member, and to distract my 8 year-old niece from missing her mother too much (who was away on a vacation/conference trip for 10 days) we took a little vacation to NYC to visit family. We (not in this order, and not all in one day, and I’m certain I’ve left something vital out): walked until our (my) feet were swollen; enjoyed the Botanic Garden in Brooklyn; walked across the Brooklyn Bridge (twice!); ate real New York pizza, bagels and doughnuts, and visited restaurants old and dear; saw Chinatown and, as my niece put it, a “Little Tiny Italy”; strolled through Central Park; (she) went to Coney Island and swam in the ocean; (she, ok and we) played at NY parks, including running through a sprinkler with her clothes on; took a trip to the New York Hall of Science (a kid-tastic highlight); visited with each and every auntie and (formerly) untle (now uncle – sigh) we could muster up, and just generally forgot about the world at home for a bit. Well, we mostly forgot about it. We did manage to do a little design reconnaissance at Room & Board.
*Lyrics from Fitz & The Tantrums’ song Winds of Change from their album Pickin’ Up the Pieces.
Ok, I’ll fess up. I’ve been slacking on the blog lately. I blame the dentist. Or rather my wimpy constitution. (Turns out minor tooth pain is all-consuming, even when it’s planned.) And I blame my epic lack of emotional fortitude. Watching that bathroom come together inch by inch really damaged my psyche. And made me want nothing to do with finishing it. But I have to. It’s my job (the hubs is busy like the dickens, and has NO time to fiddle around with joint compound, grout sealer, or primer and paint).
Over a week since my last post and not much more has happened in the family bath. Well, except for Brad getting our ceiling fan wired in, installing a light in our new closet (now I have to finish that paint job, too), finishing up the wiring of the floor mat and fixing a sensitive circuit breaker in the basement. I guess that’s a lot, but not very photogenic. We’re still waiting for J.J. to come back (hopefully by week’s end). So we wait some more.