Saturday, August 23, 2008

They have put the new windows into the kitchen, making things noticeably brighter all the way into the living room (think Warehouse of the Lost Ark, with some places to sit). They have destroyed the tiny ill-designed bathroom with the unusable shower, and made a passage from the former closet of Doug into the Engine Room, still the home of the washer and dryer (disconnected) and the old fridge (connected)(but part of the point of all this is, pardon my insane desires, to have the fridge in the actual kitchen).

The passage is so whoever lives in those two rooms will be able to go into the new bathroom without passing through the dining area. The bathroom will be carved out of the old bathroom and the engine room, and not have a shower in the first place. The dining area will lose the direct access into the bathroom, depriving the dinner guests of the sounds their hostess makes while... you understand? There is something basically NOT Gracious Living in going direct from the table to the toilet without even an illusion that one is going anywhere else.

The kitchenette in the reformed garage (the one the previous owner built for his aging father, iwhere/in which my mother claims the aging father died to avoid being made to live)is giving me something like a rock-shelter for meal preparation. I am here to tell you it is not suitable for anyone but a barely-cooking warmer-up of things. They say one should sleep once or twice a year in one's guest room to make sure the room is still pleasant; cooking in this place is making me aware that it is barely above hotel mini-bar status. It has burners and a real oven, but there is not enough counter to sustain life or chop onions and eggplant at the same time.

Though the fridge is at least in the same room as the sink and the stove. Very handy.

Doug is not anywhere near moved out, but he is not around much. It is just as well as the house is only somewhat habitable. I hide in the Loom Room and my Bedroom. The number of places I don't usually sit where I can hide from the siege suggests that this place is way too big for me. It is handy at the moment. One of my friends remarked I could probably have a couple of small families living here with me and only see them occasionally.

The cats: Toby is staying with his other mother, who is having trouble adapting to a cat who is adapted to living outside and only slinking inside when Willow* is not around (Probably in Atlantic City). We are hoping he will adapt to a diurnal lifestyle (actually, more 'crepuscular' would be when Ellie will be home). I am hoping not to have an Ellen Moment, but Toby was getting daylights beat out of him and Willow, I am afraid, enjoyed it. I had him locked up with me in the Loom Room for a couple of days, terrified he would get out and I would miss the window of opportunity to have him transported to NJ, and he was darling. Now, of course, I miss him.

Marten got sick of being attacked without provocation and now gives as good as he gets. I yell "Can't we all just get along at them?" which is not terribly effectual of anything. Sometimes they both sleep on my bed at the same time. I don't know what they make of the reconstruction.

I am not getting the most favorable idea of queen kitties. But she is very nice to me.

The Chickens: In April of '06, I think, Doug had seven. This summer neither I nor Doug was around much to close the scoop door at night on the remaining five strikeout four strikeout three, and something traumatic happened to Miss Callendar in there leaving lots of feathers, and Faith refused to go in ever again. Now he and Buffy live in the bush, apparently fairly happy (although Faith, being a rooster and a complete Baftard, is still plucking her feathers from time to time),and we wonder what will happen when the snow comes. No eggs are noted, and none were ever brooded, which makes Faith's satyriasis kind of futile.

There are still a few frogs in the backyard puddle, bless them. And bats in the sky of an evening. And something that sounds like a cuckoo in the background with the goldfinches.

I am working on the strawberry Green Mtn Spinnery sweater in the Manos pattern with Seed Stitch and cables that I was trying to finish during the Winter Olympics, and I have real hopes of finishing it. It seems to make me look long-waisted. I am about 3/4 done with both Philosopher's House Socks that I only started a couple of weeks ago, and I would like to finish them and the sweater before starting to make socks for my parents for Christmas. I did finish spinning the lovely Macintosh by Heather roving I got at the first Fiber Revival, only I bought some lovely Pomegranate by Heather roving at the second Fiber Revival so it was not a net loss of stash.

I am trying to consider seriously embroidering the tea cosy Alice asked me to make that started off a frenzy of embroidery earlier this year. Alice's birthday is September early sometime, maybe 3rd. It could happen.

The Gault shirt is still mired in mud around the water screen illustration. Documentation of which you will look for in vain.

I have a secret project that I can't talk about about but it is using almost as much energy as it is producing in cheeriness and I will let you know when it bears fruit. It is not about a guy, but on the other hand that is usually just as well and you know I won't get any diseases.

The weather is absolutely lovely. I think this makes five days this summer.

I will try to do better.

* Willow might get along well with Dolores, but I don't think she quite has Dolores's sense of style. Willow really should have been named Mehitabel.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

I am in foreign

I know I am in foreign because the air is cool and dry and there aer exotic insects singing. Why does Piscataway have New Hampshire's climate while NH has, perhaps, one of the sweatier bits of Japan?
Also, why is my daughter's apartment bigger than most people's houses?

Friday, August 08, 2008

not bad as these things go really

Kitchen creeps along, ingesting hge rolls of cash and producing plaster dust and mysteriously tarp-wrapped things in the driveway. I still have hopes for Labor Day. It is not entirely Paul-the-contractor's fault; the electrician kept standing him up, his client's mania for windows keeps intruding.

I am not coming off as very heroic, since I am doing a terrible job trying to get things put away before the room they are in is destroyed. I tend to creep away upstairs and murmur "This is not happening."

The switch on the washing machine needs fixing, as it now needs to be turned on freshly for each chunk of the cycle. I am trying to impress on Paul that we have a subsidiary fridge in Doug's kitchen and getting the washer hooked back up (he plans to detach it soon) is much more urgent. I may not eat but I do get clothes dirty. The subsidiary kitchen and bathroom have been helpful in not making me entirely bedroom-dwelling (like some species of lemur?).

It is raining every day. Often with serious consequences somewhere not all that far from here. A seven-year old drowned last night when her family's car was caught in a flash flood last night. This is not The Old West, here. I have never heard so many people complaining because they cannot get a spare, dry moment to cut their lawns.

The cats are not being very nice to one another. There are also two raccoons walking through the background, one of whom follows the other making heartrending grunting, squealing noises. Since they want to come inside and eat the cat food, I have to be careful to shut the cat door. The cats are not happy about this because it makes it harder to go hang out at the bar or the mall or wherever they go (I bet they smoke).

Today I am driving to New Jersey, to get my daughter (and drop off some possessions, or we would all be doing this by train) and take her to her boyfriend's house so his family can include her in their trip to Disney World. I don't want to be snarky about New Jersey, but I don't recall it as the Garden State from my life there in the 60's. My daughter is now working at the university where my father used to. She says it is often humid. I am trying not to say, constantly, "Well, that's New Jersey." She is loving the ethnic food in the markets.

Maybe it isn't having a monsoon there.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

I'm turning amphibian

Or maybe amphibious. Or just growing webs between my toes. It rains often. I rarely see the length of my driveway when I wake up in the morning.

I have been home from digging for just over a week, and only taken one mental health day since. My boss is in Palestine and environs, but business has actually picked up a smidge and there was enough work to actually work most of the time.

Quebec was great. It didn't rain very much, most of us found a few flakes or more (I am being brave; I found a few flakes, Dick and Heather and Matt found about 200, and George and Linda found flakes that had been used as tools. Will found part of a biface and Nathaniel got skunked. Ronan found most of a fluted point, but he is from Brittany and deserves something for coming so far. But the point was made out of either Mt. Jasper rhyolite or Jefferson rhyolite, New Hampshire either way, so we were able to share in the happiness. It is very fine to think of the PaleoIndians making the same journey we did) and the team from U.Montreal continue to make us feel very welcome and put up with people mangling their beautiful language.

I thought digging was like Boot Camp and so I would be able magically to do 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer. Indeed, I can, without any immediate ill effects, except that by 3 pm I start wondering how soon they will let me go to sleep. And my leg muscles say this was not the boot camp they attended, and my feet have decided that trendy people have heel-spur type issues. This has not been helped by the disappearance, upon my return, of one of the most comfortable shoes in the world (or they may be the Venice. They look similar. Mine are black and make my feet look like ninjas.). I have tidied the room in which the widowed mate was found repeatedly and I am baffled. The Chacos, former holders of Most Comfortable title, are apparently not being supportive and cushiony enough anymore.
It was sticky hot (high 80's F) most of the week so I tended to find myself reading The Curse of the Spellmans (this and the work to which it is sequel are very funny books) in the air-conditioned bookstore. My kitchen is making very slow progress (this is not a surprise), perhaps because my contractor is being played by his electricians. We hope for serious work this week. I am betting it will be mostly done by Labor Day.

We will not speak of the garden, which is FINE, but so are the rampant Queen Anne's Lace and Evening Primrose. Willow continues to try to add Toby to her dinner, and she and Marten had words at about four this morning. I tell myself they will be happier when we have a kitchen again (and family dinner, and do our homework and watch Laugh-In together).

I haven't been knitting or embroidering, perhaps because I lack the brain cells, or perhaps because I had to reread all of Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City so I can borrow the new one from Sarah.

And then I got my copy of the fifth Temeraire novel back from Doug (who persists in moving out, but slowly; I've told the cats but they don't believe me)and had to reread that.

And today, in between downpours, I stalked the League of NH Craftsmen Fair where strangers forced me to buy another mug...actually two, and a milk jug. Then I sat and spindled while Sarah spun on behalf of Canterbury Shaker Village. Now I am home hoping to stay awake till 9pm, which, considering how much sleep I had last night, is silly. I should feel fine till at least 9:15.