August 23rd, 2010

House - spring

Progress, of a sort

It was a fairly non-descript weekend, but a few things were accomplished. Mom and dad came to visit on Saturday, nominally to pick up a bunch of things my mom wanted and to pin down fabrics for the quilt she’s making for Charlotte. Actually, I suspect that it has just gotten to be too long since the last Charlotte fix. Mom and I did indeed finally pin down fabrics – given that we needed eight fabrics and she needed us both to like them, I’m surprised it happened. It’s kind of like asking a group of twelve what they want on the pizza – a sure recipe for disaster. While all of that was going on, dad and Bob took a field trip to Harbor Freight and Hoffman’s, so there was something for everyone. The various crib pieces were loaded into the Jeep to go home with them, and everyone had a nice visit. Afterwards we went out and tried to buy new shoes for Charlotte. I did manage to get a new pair of “outdoor” shoes for her for daycare, because they insist that those be Velcro closures. I couldn’t find what I wanted for regular shoes though. I just want a pair of canvas shoes that lace up. Like the Keds we used to wear. Is that so hard? Mind you – Keds still exist. $25. For shoes that she will probably only wear for a few months. It galls me. But her feet sweat so badly in the plastic sneakers they carry at Wal-Mart and Target, I’ll probably end up ordering them.

Yesterday it rained, and washed away my plans. The original plan had been to go out and run some errands that I have been putting off for a little while. Instead, I looked out the window and decided that it wasn’t worth putting shoes on. For a lot of the day I sat on the sofa, but when I finally achieved some forward momentum I hauled my sorry self upstairs to work on cleaning up the sewing room. Yes, I’m back to that project. Previously I had gotten it sufficiently clean to get to my quilting fabric, but the sewing table was piled to an approximate average depth of about a foot. That’s no good. But when I started looking at the pile I realized why I had been putting it off. In order to get the stuff off of the sewing table, I needed to have someplace to put it. That meant that I needed to go through and clean the shelves along the knee walls. Which I did! All the shelves are tidied, and I’ve dug most of the way down to the actual sewing table – putting the stuff away rather than just piling it onto a different horizontal surface. I still have a few things on it to deal with and then it needs to be washed, but I’m inching towards having a usable room. That would be very cool. Possibly the coolest part of this though, is that the room is now finally picked up enough for a few larger projects to move forward – like installing the low-voltage lighting system so that it isn’t so murky in there, and finally hanging the curtains.

What I’m really working towards here is being able to leave that door open again. The window in the sewing room is an important component of getting a cross breeze through the house, and right now I have to keep that door closed. See, Becket has decided that he wants to eat string and this can be a fatal hobby for a cat. For the short term, I just closed the door. For the longer term I need to Becket-proof that room. Every spool of thread, skein of embroidery floss/wool/yarn, every raw fabric edge has to be secured. Yes, you read that one right. I discovered that if he can’t find a piece of string, he’ll make one if he can get to the cut edge of a piece of yardage. On the bright side, it’s led to a much more thorough cleaning and organizing than there would have been if I just needed to pick up the clutter. Oh, and I need to buy a trash can with a lid for in there.

I think I’d rather have a cat who chews pins, like Vynehorn. There are fewer of those to police.

Like every other part of the house, there are some long-term issues/projects in that room. The biggest one is re-insulating the soffits correctly, and that may include knocking out the existing kneewalls and shelving and rebuilding them. If so, that’s going to be horribly disruptive, but it may very well be worth it in the long run. Right now the soffit space is insulated (incorrectly, our inspector told us) with batt insulation that isn’t aging very well. It looks to me like it was an afterthought when they decided to use that room as living space rather than as attic space. My biggest concern about those spaces is that they are unvented. There’s no evidence of any mold, but it’s still something I should look at carefully. But not this year.

For now, I’m going to enjoy the progress I’m making. Maybe I’ll even think about sewing something.