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Days 7, 8, and 9 of my captivity

It’s a mixed bag. I have to be perfectly honest – I don’t actually recall what I did on Friday. I’m pretty sure that I went down and poked at something, and Bob labeled four or five cases of bottles, but specific recollection fails. Saturday Bob headed off to a job fair, and after breakfast I loaded Charlotte in the car and we headed for Ikea. Naturally, Bob called to tell me he was done at the job fair just as I was getting to New Haven, but we decided that having him meet me down there probably wasn’t a good use of time. I was there close enough to when they opened to get a good parking space, and we headed inside to greet Charlotte’s adoring public.

Of course *I* think she’s cute – I’m programmed for that to keep me from throwing her out of a window. But I’m perpetually surprised by how many people comment on it out in public.

We did a fairly quick turn through the store (quick for Ikea), and I consulted with Bob on the phone about some measurements of things that occurred to me while I was there. I passed by the bookcases with great regret, but I’ll have my new bookcases soon enough, I’m certain of it. I paused in the children’s section and let her out of the stroller to “test drive” some child-sized chairs. She loves them in waiting rooms and such, so I figured we’d best get her a chair of her own for at home. By the time we got down to the self-serve area she was done with the stroller. Which was good, because I had a plan for that – I pulled out one of their steers-in-all-directions carts, folded down the stroller, put it on the cart, took her by the hand, and off we went at the world’s slowest pace. She walked all through the self serve area, either holding on to me or pushing the cart, which is a lot of walking when your legs are less than twelve inches long. By the time we got to the checkout, she wanted back in the stroller. This presented me with the dilemma of a plethora of wheeled contraptions. Luckily, those silly Ikea carts are fairly easy to steer with half a hand while pushing a stroller with the other hand and a half. It just needs the occasional hip check to push it in the right direction. I got everything and everyone loaded into the car and headed home.

Once home, I put together Charlotte’s new chair and discovered that it sits just perfectly at our coffee table. She absolutely adores it. After that was assembled I headed downstairs while Bob continued the labeling campaign begun on Friday. Annoyingly, first I had to unload the shelves that I had loaded last week, but I had known that was going to be the case. I got the first set assembled and set in place, and then put everything back. It’s still not the final arrangement, but at the very least it’s a much smaller area to search for a box of ¾” wood screws (for example.) After that, I set to work on the second set of shelving, and by this point Charlotte had gone down for a well-earned nap and Bob was downstairs digging out the brewing corner. We have a lot of carboys. A LOT of carboys. A scary lot of carboys. On the “hallelujah!” front, he’s even decided to dump some of the old experiments that are just crap. They’re vintage crap, but still crap. That will free up some glass. Oh – and we need to do a TON of racking. I’m kind of wondering if we might be able to rack some of them down there, now that it’s all nice and neat. It would be easier than having to let them sit on the counter annoying me for a week while the sediment resettles after the trip up the stairs.

While Bob was wrangling the bottles, I was wrangling a lot of cast iron. A few years ago my boss was buying a bunch of furniture from a salvage/junk/antique shop on Route 34, and noticed boxes of iron feet in the corner. Since I had just been blathering on about a running shoemaking workshop I was participating in and about the difficulty of finding the tools, she asked about them. Her purchase was so large at that point that the guy threw them in. I now have a multitude of shoe anvils, many of which are child sized, unfortunately. However, I also have seven (!) of the lap bases for said shoe anvils. Most of them are pretty ugly – they’ll need some elbow grease with a wire brush and some steel wool, I think. But now they’re neatly shelved so that I can start giving away the excess. After all, they were terribly expensive.   :-)

We went until it started to get cold and dark, and by that point we were both awfully, awfully tired. Luckily Bob had reminded me to start the ribs cooking early in the afternoon, so there was a rack of baby back ribs that had been slow cooking in the oven for hours that were ready to go on the grill. Just about the point where the grill was up to temperature and the meat had gone on – we discovered the first cork pop. We haven’t lost a cork in *forever,* but apparently one batch of cider was just sufficiently unstable that the shift from upright storage to horizontal storage woke it up. We lost one bottle, and we’re watching the rest like hawks. We woke Charlotte up, she ate ribs with us, and we called it a night and watched the tube for a while.

Forgive me, but I sinned yesterday and did nothing basement-related. We went to my parents’ for a visit wherein I dug up some hostas and finally claimed the basin and pitcher of my grandmother’s that they had been storing for me. There are all sorts of things of that nature that I’ve been putting mom off about – I don’t want to take them until I have a space for them, and I delay her for as long as I can. Yesterday I could finally say “I have a spot,” and they’re now displayed. I also have bags and bags and bags and bags of hostas that I now have to plant. Luckily I have a plan for them, and there’s a spot down on the street where the extras will look great. Mom is tired of the deer eating everything she plants, so she is slowly digging it all up and sending it home with me. Last year that was really annoying, because I had no plan for the gardens and she kept sending plants. This year things are a bit more under control.  But by the time we got home last night, I just couldn’t face the basement. I couldn’t. I tried – I went down to do a cork-check, and tried to find something I could wrap my head around. But it just didn’t happen. The worst part is that the next few nights are going to be just as bad: tonight is barony meeting, so it’ll be an evening where I get home, eat as fast as humanly possible, throw stuff in the car and hit the road. Tomorrow night is archery if the weather isn’t too terrible, followed by the two hours of television that I actually schedule. If practice is rained out I can go downstairs while Bob watches Charlotte, but we’ll have to see what happens – planning for the weather in New England is a waste of effort. Wednesday is my appointment with the chiropractor/massage therapist, and by the time Karen is done beating the crap out of me, I’m not sure that I’ll be doing anything other than cuddle up to an ice pack.

At this point we still have a ton of work to do, but I think we’re winning. I really do. I can see actual spaces where projects could occur. I had enough space to lay out the 63-1/2” shelf uprights and assemble them, which is a very good indicator of how much we’ve accomplished. Bob is even starting to get excited about what we are going to be able to do with the space – and that’s really what this is all about. The flue lining is the catalyst, and provides the hard deadline. But the real goal was to rediscover all of the possibilities inherent in that space. Woodworking. Stained glass. Brewing. Any sort of messy project that would be most appropriate on a concrete floor in an unfinished space. It’s gonna be great. When I was feeling droopy about it, vynehorn  pointed out to me that of course it’s getting more difficult – we’ve already dealt with the low-hanging fruit: all of the easy stuff is done. It’s only going to get harder from here. But I’m determined that I’m going to stop letting the stuff own me. If I’m not using and enjoying something, it needs to go. If I put out a beautiful thing and I look at it and think “clutter,” what was the point?

Note to self – I have to get the firewood out of Ziggy so that the sweep can get in there tomorow.

So – tonight. When we get home from meeting, I’m going to pull a couple of boxes out of the near section of crawlspace that I suspect are mostly trash – and I’m going to throw it all away. That will clear space for bottle boxes! Then tomorrow night I’m going to install some of the decorative pieces that I have unearthed in the basement proper, which will get them off my dining table. Unless it pours, in which case I’ll go tidy the basement some more. Wednesday I’m still not sure about, but I’ve got a couple of days to figure it out. There – I have a plan.


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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
pippagrey
Apr. 26th, 2010 07:37 pm (UTC)
Think of the extra time you spent on Saturday as banked comp time, and count it against yesterday and today's non-time.

I need to do the same thing, since our basement is almost solid boxes of crap, and I don't want to move them again. And it would be nice to be able to go sit in the cool basement (or move the pigs there) if it's too hot this summer.
pippagrey
Apr. 27th, 2010 12:57 pm (UTC)
I just re-read this, and suspect that I ought to clarify that the pigs are the guinea pigs. Otherwise it sounds quite odd.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )