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Rain, and Home Improvement

It’s been a "two steps backwards, three forward" sort of a few days.

Thursday and Friday were the days from hell. I can’t remember the last time I was quite that stressed at work. The gist of it was that several business units got caught doing business in Chicago without a business license, and somehow fixing that became my problem. Needless to say being Chicago, the forms, rules, and procedures were difficult and draconian. Then one of our internal people decided to kick a fit, and although he was 100% right, it really, really complicated things. It was a horrible day.

Friday evening was lovely however. Two of the couples who helped us with our initial painting party came over for dinner and a movie. They haven’t seen the house since the day we put the primer on, so there were a lot of big changes. We never did get around to putting in the movie, or even making it into the living room. It was absolutely delightful. It did however make it a little hard to get up Saturday morning when

vynehornand I headed out to Hrim Schola in the rain. Rain! "Rain" doesn’t begin to describe it. How about "deluge" or "downpour" or "lime-green golly-whomper?" (Thank you Hilton Kaderli for that one.)  

Bob and I had pored over the maps, and given the "you can’t get there from here" location of the site in relation to my house, we determined that the best route really was cross-country on two lane roads. If any of the countryside had been visible through the pouring rain I’m sure it would have been a lovely drive, and the northwest corner of the state is really very pretty (as well as very exclusive and excruciatingly expensive.) We got to the site with about ten or fifteen minutes to spare before the first classes – he underestimated the driving time a touch. We ended up leaving a bit early because of the weather, but I managed to get in three really interesting classes including an ad hoc beginning fingerloop braiding class. It had been scheduled and then cancelled, and then the lady who was teaching the intermediate class agreed to run a beginners class off the cuff. That was hugely fun. Now I think I’ve got enough of the idea to dig into the Complete Anachronist on it and try to follow the directions. I thought about staying for the intermediate class, but I felt like that old Far Side cartoon – "May I be excused? My brain is full." Although there was some commentary on my color choices of blue and light gray...

We headed out after that to make sure that we were home before it got dark in that weather. Heck – to make sure that we got home in that weather. To be perfectly honest, I was half expecting to get turned back before we got out of NY, but I really didn’t want to go the long way around – down the Taconic to 84, then up 84 to CT to go back up route 8 to the same latitude we started in. It just didn’t thrill me. But it was still light, and everywhere there was actually water across the road we could see how deep it was. It was a bit of a hair-raising ride –

vynehorndid a great job driving in that slop.  

Sunday was a lazy sleep-in morning, and eventually I levered myself off of the couch to go get some doing done. We hit Ikea to check out some desk ideas and buy a storage unit for the bottom of my closet, and apparently, everyone else in New England decided to go to Ikea also. Luckily we were there to scope out some specific stuff and get out, because it wasn’t conducive to browsing. After that was a stop at Home Depot for Minwax. I finally got around to crow barring out the center divider in the upstairs sink cabinet (I think I mentioned that before,) and I took it along to color match the stain for the new doors. It looked like a perfect match to "colonial maple," which is a color name that I can clearly see the former owners going for. We also measured the display of two wall-mount storage cabinets. If you’ve been reading my blathering for a while, you know that I’ve been struggling with what to do about a medicine cabinet. We’ve got 23 inches from center to center of the light sconces, which is way too narrow for any of the standard medicine cabinets, and I’ve been planning to open the wall and move the sconces. The problem is that I just can’t work up the ambition to cope with that, so it hasn’t been getting done. Home Depot and Lowes both have a nice line of special order cabinetry that have some nice wall-mounted storage. The measurements listed in the pamplet include the crown molding, and those measurements won’t fit. However, if we don’t attach the crown (and it will look just fine without it) they’ll fit as though made for the space. So I’m going to put cabinet storage on either side of the window, and just mount a nice mirror in between the sconces as currently wired. The best part is that the cabinets come in a finish that is almost exactly the color of the existing wood in that room, so they’ll blend perfectly and I won’t need to sand and re-stain the barn board wainscoting, or replace all the molding (right now.) It’s perhaps a slightly less elegant solution than moving the sconces, but it’s one that will actually get implemented. Once Bob has a paycheck or two in the bank from the new job, we’ll go order them. I’m actually very excited about this, because that bathroom is very ugly and I spend a lot of time in it. Now I just need to find sconces and a mirror that I like, and I’ll be several steps closer to finishing that room. Until it’s time to do the floor, of course...

The other thing we’re struggling with right now is moving the desktop computer. Now that we have laptops and wireless internet, I don’t feel as strongly about having the desktop in the living room in order to preserve at least physical time together. Also, now that we’re closing in on ordering the new sofa I’d really like to have more actual seating in the living room, and moving the desk out could provide that. I can make some floor space in the library by moving my flat file storage down to the basement just under the stairs. It’s dry, it’s convenient, and they shouldn’t be in the way under there. But that only opens up 42 inches. I need to accommodate the CPU, monitor, scanner, and two printers. It’s in front of a window, so I don’t want a hutch. Why have windows looking out at the trees if you put furniture in front of them? At the moment, I’m toying with the idea of clearing one shelf on the bookcase adjacent to that space for the printers, but that might cause different problems with some of my long term plans for that space. I’ll just have to keep thinking about it. We’ve got years.