Wednesday, August 29, 2007

My Mom (well, her quilt) is a covergirl!

I had to brag on my mom, since she (well, one of her quilts) became the covergirl for the current issue of McCall's Quilting magazine. The quilt is one that she designed herself, and they included a bunch of photos plus the full directions for making the quilt, which they rated as "Advanced" in terms of the skill level required.

Her picture's even in the magazine, but I told her that it doesn't count as a centerfold if she doesn't have a staple through her belly.

Needless to say, I"m rather proud of her.

Monday, August 27, 2007

An anti-dog cleaning spree

Well, not anti-dog but anti-dog smell. The dogs are confined to one room and one hallway, but between one of them being a partially incontinent old man and the other being a testosterone-poisoned obsessive marker, it wasn't pretty.

So on Sunday we had a Cleaning Marathon and tackled it all with a vengeance. Step 1 we actually did last weekend, when we took up the carpet and put down the vinyl in the hallway. Yes, a marking dog and a carpeted floor is a really nasty gross combination. This weekend's tasks included deep-cleaning the crates, deep cleaning the floors, saturating everything that ever touched Dog with Nature's Miracle, removing the area rug, removing all dog bedding ( no matter how much they loved it) that wasn't easily tossed in the wash or that was made of some nasty synthetic that held onto dog smells now matter how well you washed it. I also cut in half and sewed up the cut edges of some way over-sized comforters that we used for dog blankets to make them more easily washable and to make it easier for us to swap out a stinky blanket for a clean one.

Oh yeah, and we cruelly tortured washed the dogs. What a concept, eh? Of course, Obsessive Marker Dog was seen shortly thereafter lifting his leg on Tiny Brat Dog as she peed. Oy.

Other than that, I got some stuff freecycled (some picked up, some scheduled for this week), we did a full dust/walls/floors cleaning of the house, and I spent several hours getting my sewing room put together which included *gasp* unpacking three more boxes!!! We've only been here, what, going on 15 months now?!?

Ahhhhh :::taking a deep whiff of the air::: Do I detect a hint of minty freshness?!?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

And the heat goes on...

(Sonny and Cher have eaten my head)

Today: Expected high 95 degrees. Current humidity: 95%. This is not a combination that is conducive to doing anything more than being a wilted vegetable inside the house.

But of course it's the PERFECT day for our AC to decide to not work up to snuff. Last night after running for several hours it was still 80 degrees and 70% humidity downstairs (outside was 76 and 95% humidity). Oddly enough, the upstairs unit seems to be running fine except that the thermostat is going wonky - it reads 80 when it's really 76 (and, accordingly, keeps running), then it reads 74 when it's really 76.

Thankfully Head AC Company Guy is here bright and early (though he seems as awake as I feel, as I'm missing my sacred ritual of sleeping in until 10) to figure out what's going on. He doesn't look happy, but then again neither would I if I were up doing service calls at 9am on a Saturday.

Monday, August 20, 2007

"Oh, we can do this in just a couple of hours, tops."

It is with great shame that I am admitting to the world that a pathetic little project - taking out the [nasty dog-pee-infused] carpet out of a hallway and putting down some sheet vinyl - has kicked my ass.

The first piece was easy enough to do, or at least it seemed that way until we realized that the amount of adhesive the HD guy recommended was bogus, and we had a 9' long section that was lumpy with excess glue. We gave it our best shot to smooth it out, squeegee it out, and finally we just picked up what we could of it and scraped off all the extra. And in the mean time I'm doing things like jamming one of my fingers and dropping large heavy tool batteries on my toe (ow! there were tears!)

By the time I was done with that first section, my back and knees were killing me. I was cranky, not nearly as careful as I had been earlier, but I got the second piece cut (this one was tricky because it included two doorways and a heat register, then turned the tools over to Von to glue down while I headed up for a long shower.

Several hours later my whole body aches, in that "don't even THINK you are going to be able to fall asleep without finding a hidden stash of percoset, darlin'" kind of way. Thanks to V's kindness I was treated to a backrub complete with sore-muscle cream, so now I smell like I have bathed in a really intense double-bubble bubble gum scent. My toe hurts but I didn't break it. My knees are a fascinating bright red, with dark bruises under the red. Of course, I never contemplated knee pads, I was too damn busy getting freaked out about the possibility of getting a permanent gob of floor adhesive stuck to my favorite rolling pin.

I'll post pictures once we put back the baseboards, which will be after V. paints the room, which will be after V finishes patching the drywall holes in there (one dug by our very own Lucy)
and my selecting and buying the paint.

I'm wondering if I actually got the ADD meds which my doctor will prescribe if I want them (since I have a real live gen-yew-wine ADD diagnosis with all the classic symptoms, which combined with menopause brain makes life quite challenging), if I could start accomplishing what 98% of the folks in housebloggerland seem to be able to do, such as completely remodel entire rooms in a weekend.

OK, it's 2am, school's back in session which means I must go earn my living tomorrow morning, and I need to make an attempt at sleep. Oh gee though look at this: Major thunderstorm just crossed over the Chesapeake Bay, headed straight for us. Even if I go to sleep now, I won't be sleeping for long it seems. Wheeeeehaaaaaaa!!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Peeking in and waving

Life's just been far too nuts to blog: Illnesses, surgeries, cancer and heart surgery scares with friends and family (though everyone's pretty much ok for now), almost-walking babies and serious attitude pre-teens on the weekends (we're surviving both), a week-long trip to San Francisco for the LinuxWorld conference (where I stayed in a cool old house, met some wonderful people who I knew from online, ate some great food, learned a lot at my conference, and won a 250Gb external HD but did NOT win an iPhone, Wii, laptop or Vespa, dammit!), and I am now buried under "fall semester about to begin" insanity.

And except for general cleaning and a wee bit of late-night "if I don't do something I'll go nuts" organizing, life's been too nuts to do anything on the house, either. My only accomplishment worth bragging about - that I'm now riding my bike to work most days - isn't house related and is a pretty shameful thing to brag on considering that I only live a mile away and there's practically no excuse to not walk or bike, and yet last year I only did that twice.

Even through we've been overwhelmed with so much stuff, once the semester is actually started, V. and I are going to try and make a commitment to do at least a little bit every week; surely we can find two hours a week to work on the house, even if it's just organizing stuff in 15 minute increments.

Anyway, I doubt seriously if anyone missed me, but I just wanted to poke my head up and squeak "I"m here!" for a moment anyway.