Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘hausfrau’ Category

I’ve been reading quite a bit lately and I’ve got to say my latest guilty pleasure is the Magic series by Ilona Andrews. Just finished the latest book and they are well- written, fast-paced, kick ass protag, and have interesting world building. Two thumbs up, highly recommended. Reminds me of what Anita Blake could have been before she became a magic-induced nymphomaniac without principles.

The Year of Magical Thinking is pretty fantastic. I thought about picking it up for ages and finally did. Didion’s memoir of the year after her husband’s death will resonate with anyone who’s lost a loved one. This bit especially:

Grief turns out to be a place none of us know until we reach it. We anticipate (we know) that someone close to us could die, but we do not look beyond the few days or weeks that immediately follow such an imagined death. We misconstrue the nature of even those few days or weeks. We might expect if the death is sudden to feel shck. We do not expect this shock to be obliterative, dislocating to both body and mind. We might expect that we will be prostrate, inconsolable, crazy with loss. We do not expect to be literally crazy, cool customers who believe that their husband is about to return and need his shoes. In the version of grief we imagine, the model will be “healing.” A certain forward movement will prevail. The worst days will be the earliest days. We imagine that the moment to most severely test us will be the funeral, after which this hypothetical healing will take place. When we anticipate the funeral we wonder about failing to “get through it,” rise to the occasion, exhibit the “strength” that invariably gets mentioned as the correct response to death. We anticipate needing to steel ourselves for the moment: will I be able to greet people, will I be able to leave the scene, will I be able to even get dressed that day? We have no way of knowing that this will not be the issue. We have no way of knowing that the funeral itself will be anodyne, a kind of narcotic regression in which we are wrapped in the care of others and the gravity and the meaning of the occasion. Nor can we know ahead of the fact (and here lies the heart of the difference between grief as we imagine it and grief as it is) the unending absecne that follows the void, the very opposite of meaning, the relentless succession of moments during which we will confront the experience of meaninglessness.

I also finished the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. It is precisely as good as you’ve heard it is.

The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman is a recent release and it’s beautiful and touching and wrenching and honest. Love her work.

All the recipes I’ve been making lately come from Dana Jacobi’s The Essential Best Foods Cookbook. Unlike Rachael Ray, they don’t promise you’ll be done in 30 minutes but I haven’t run into anything that takes much longer. The food HAS been fantastic, including the Salmon with Coconut Curry Chutney that I served for dinner on Friday. P.S. Cookbooks on the kindle are THE WHIP.  Easiest way to ever shop for groceries. I’ve also discovered that the rice which cooks perfectly at 10,000 feet is Basmati, properly soaked.

I also read the latest Mercy Thompson book by Patricia Briggs – she’s a consistently good storyteller, period.

I can’t remember if I mentioned it previously but I THOROUGHLY enjoyed Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It’s one of those books whose cover design grabbed me but I didn’t pick it up. Finally got it on the kindle and it’s great. An interesting mystery with compelling characters, and a dose of social commentary thrown in. I’m very much looking forward to the next one.

I keep finding free books for the kindle, so I’ve got a mess of things in the TBR list. Probably I will not do much reading while Mom is in town and I’ve been keeping track of the books as I finish them on my facebook page. I believe I’m in the high 30s so far, which means hitting 50 by year’s end shouldn’t be tough.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

End of work week

Sort of. I’m done with my shifts at the club, but I felt like I worked TWO shifts today. While the inside-house paint project is done for a couple of months, the deck isn’t entirely finished. I stained the decking last week but hadn’t finished the railing. Since we used as much of the OLD railing possible, I had to get paint to cover the old paint job.

I picked the paint up today and got all of the new railing covered. Tomorrow I finish the old section of railing and then I’m honest-t0-goodness done with paint until after my EMT exam. We’re going to have some company on Friday, so it also means that the deck will be completely finished by then.

The weather was just about perfect for painting- sunny with a light wind, even though the internet weather was calling for rain. Being this close to the mountaintops makes just about all weather forecasting irrelevant. Mostly we look at the radar and then see how things roll in. I was a bit more than half through with the paint job when the wind kicked up and some cloud cover cropped up. When it finally felt like it might rain, I checked the sky and could see sun and blue sky just to the other side of the clouds and decided to gut it out. Sure enough, barely sprinkling.

It’s funny here how you can always see around the weather. This summer has been beautiful – temps of about 70 and sun pretty much every day. We’ve had more rain than they usually get this time of year but everything dries so quickly that you barely notice it.

Tomorrow we have erranding to do and then it’s all school and relaxation for a couple of weeks.

Read Full Post »

There were no real house projects (I re-stained part of a bench). I didn’t do any homework. Spouse and I drove into Frisco for the BBQ Challenge – Big Hoss had the best sauce, fyi. I started to rain as we were leaving, so we came home and couched watching movies.

The Wrestler was good, as predicted. I think the creepiest part about it is that Mickey Roarke’s own career has to feel very much like the character, making it less like acting and more like voyeurism. We also caught most of the latest X-files movie on cable. It was… strange. Good strange but not really what I was expecting. Spouse likened it to a much longer X-files episode. Pretty accurate and ultimately satisfying. One can never have too much Scully.

I was unsuccesful seeing The Proposal. In fact, I completely forgot about it until we were halfway over the mountain. I think the plan is to make it part of Spouse’s vacation week.

Tomorrow, life returns to normal. Work, then homework. Rinse and repeat for Monday.

Read Full Post »

The inside upstairs paint projects are DONE. That includes touch ups where we changed lighting fixtures. There’s a guy outside right now hanging a gutter on the back of the house because they old owners didn’t have one. Gutters are the last home improvement for (at a minimum) the next year, if not more.

In terms of current home improvements, I painted the front deck post and have started painting the front deck bench. The benches were a gift from my in-laws for our wedding. When they’re pushed together and the backs are flattened, they become a picnic table. Very cool, but also makes restaining a challenge. I’m going to do it in two parts. :)

All that remains is the railing on the back deck and the back deck bench. I’m very happy at the prospect of being DONE for a while.

In related news, I got an 83 on my exam which I’m pretty happy about. First exams suck because you’re never quite sure what the test is going to look like. I’m excited about class time in July.

With any luck, our plans today will include a trip to Frisco for BBQ and maybe seeing The Proposal.

Read Full Post »

Paint project upstairs is finished. Colors used: Sherwin Williams – Cavern Clay, Lemon Verbena, Golden Gate, Dormer Brown.

View from the front door. All the walls used to be the same color.

View from the front door. All the walls used to be the same color.

I’m really really happy with how the colors have turned out. I’ve said it before, but the Sherwin Williams paint chips are – without fail – balls on accurate. The color on this chip is the color on your wall, period. I pay a little more for the paint but I am never, ever surprised. Also, SW does a good job of sending out coupons and giving you deals if you’re on their Preferred Customer list (which you can do at any store by giving them your mailing address). Their deals are typically 20-30% off – I got all of

Left LR wall from the front door.

Left LR wall from the front door. New color: SW Dormer Brown.

the paint for these projects at 30% off. I used their Cashmere line, Low Lustre (if you care).

My tools for this project were the Shur-Line 9″ roller with padded handle and extendable arm, Shur-Line Edge Like a Pro, a 1″ paintbrush, latex gloves and Ziplock bags. I did a better job using those supplies (and no tape) than the “professional” who painted this place last. The only thing that required tape was light outlets and the one edge of cupboards because there wasn’t enough wallspace for the edger.

New color: SW Lemon Verbena.

New color: SW Lemon Verbena.

I maintain that the edger is the single best paint tool innovation since the roller brush. It takes a little use to get the hang of it, and you need to wipe off the guides after every pass, but it is completely and utterly worth it. You CAN wash and reuse the pads, but I’ve been just pitching them after I’m done with the color.

The Ziplocks are invaluable between coats. Instead of trying to wash rollers and pads, sticking them in the zips until I’m using them again. It also makes for easy disposal when I’m

View from the dining/kitchen entry

View from the dining/kitchen entry

finished – keeping me from getting paint all over myself when taking off the rollers. Buying a box of gloves is also much more practical than getting the little packages from the hardware store. Then you can just dispose of them whenever you’re done without feeling pressured to reuse them.

The basement project will be a lot more work and is going to be postponed until probably August, when I’m done with school.

View from dining/kitchen entry.

View from dining/kitchen entry.

We’re having some folks over for a ‘deck-warming’ tonight. Mostly the house is squared away (hence the photos) but I’ve also got to review for my exam tonight.

View from kitchen/dining entry. New color: Cavern Clay.

View from kitchen/dining entry. New color: Cavern Clay.

Dining room from kitchen. Cavern Clay on the left Golden Gate on the right.

Dining room from kitchen. Cavern Clay on the left Golden Gate on the right.

Golden Gate. Kitchen buddha matches the paint!

Golden Gate. Kitchen buddha matches the paint!

View from dining room. The mask covers our thermostat!

View from dining room. The mask covers our thermostat!

My fave shot of the dining room. Cavern Clay.

My fave shot of the dining room. Cavern Clay.

New sliding door.

New sliding door.

Baseboards have been stained, we have to get paint for the railing.

Baseboards have been stained, we have to get paint for the railing.

Our mountain view from the deck.

Our mountain view from the deck.

Our room. Dormer Brown on back wall.

Our room. Dormer Brown on back wall.

Gratuitous Piper shot!

Gratuitous Piper shot!

Read Full Post »

Got the clearcoat done on the deck – now I’m just hoping that it doesn’t RAIN.

I’m painting the last living room wall today! I’m not PLANNING on painting any of the other rooms, but since my exam got postponed, I’m not making any promises.

Read Full Post »

It turns out, once I get started I can’t stop. I had full intentions of leaving the rest of the upstairs paint project (read: living room) until August. Then I started thinking, ‘HEY, those two walls are WAY smaller than the two I just painted. I bet I could knock those out in no time!’ And then I woke up at 6:00 am.

I put all the clean dishes away, loaded the dishwasher, loaded my Zune, and painted the first coat on wall 1. I’ll have enough time between now and when I go to work to do the second coat as well. Sweet!

The current debate is whether or not to maintain my two-color pattern. The dining room/kitchen has a gold/terracotta mix (one on each wall). The living room will either be 1) all moss-green (lemon verbena to be specific) or 2) one wall green, one wall tan. I won’t know for sure until I see the second coat.

I understand that some people like to live in white and off/white walls, I just can’t wrap my head around WHY.

I think it’s time for a toaster strudel and action movie. Or maybe studying.

Link to photos of current house projects.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »