It’s been an interesting few days.
The weekend was good. Friday we went to see Mary Chapin Carpenter, and the show was wonderful. It was very different from past shows. After three pieces I realized what was missing: there were no drums on stage. A little later on she referred to her "chamber band," as there were only four of them on stage. She was playing an assortment of acoustic guitars; Jon Carroll on piano; a gentleman whose name I’ve forgotten on steel guitar (she described him as "sweating like Dick Cheney at an anger management session,) and John Jennings on electric bass. They mostly did her "softer" more introspective pieces – some of my favorites, which I’ve not heard performed live. It was really, really good. There wasn’t quite as much "chatting" with the audience, which I missed a bit, but the music was awesome.
Saturday was Coronation. I skipped last court – it was something like 148 items of business – in favor of chatting with friends. Unfortunately I missed the coronation ceremony, which sounds like it was pretty cool. Oh well. But I got to have a longish conversation with my former apprentice, which was worth it. I really miss her. First court on the other hand, only started 5 minutes late, and ended 5 minutes early. Now *that’s* a good start. If they can hold on to that thought, this could be a good reign. Dinner was very, very good. Not everything was to my personal taste, but the food was timely, tasty, hot, and there was plenty. What more can you ask for? Afterwards the crowd came back to our house, chatted for a little bit and crashed.
Sunday was mostly visiting with Jan and Rosamund and giving them the tour. I made sure to show them the "before" pictures of the house so that they could truly appreciate the horror that was. They were appropriately appreciative of all the work we’ve done, which is always gratifying. Because of my kamikaze cleaning binge last week, we actually sat down and had breakfast at the dining room table. A first! I’m so excited. We need a couple more chairs, though. If the wood matches closely enough that it doesn’t look odd, I’m going to use two of the chairs we’re storing for Eilis. I also noticed that the seats of our chairs really need to be recovered – the vinyl is splitting badly. That shouldn’t be too difficult to do. Veronica played nicely with the cats; unfortunately the cats really didn’t want to play with her. They’re not too sure about humans who are less than four and a half feet tall. Sunday evening we straightened up and got everything set for our company this coming weekend. It’s pretty cool having things settled, because all we had to do was fold the futon back up, wash the sheets, and we were done. THAT is why I wanted a house of my own.
It was just as well that I was up early, and therefore left for work early. The storm blew in on Sunday afternoon and evening, and it RAINED. Then it rained, and then when it was done it rained some more. On the way in to work I was turned back at the intersection of 72 and 229, because it was kind of under water. The river had overtopped the road, and waves were hitting the overpass and splashing up like surf. It would have been really cool if it hadn’t been the only way that I know to get to work. My solution? I followed the traffic, and eventually looped back to the other side of the intersection to go on my merry way. But when I got off the highway and turned onto route 10 I was turned back again. An entire section of road was under water. I hadn’t even known that there was a stream there – I guess normally it’s a little trickle. Not any more. Did the same thing – I followed a blue SUV that was driving like he knew where he was going, and I ended up back on 10. One of these days I’m going to do that and end up in someone’s driveway with them.
Work was uneventful, unless anyone is vitally interested in how SAP is a crime against humanity. When I left, route 10 hadn’t reopened, and the water had actually gone up more during the day. The Pequabuck River that runs under 229 had gone down a little bit, and the road had reopened. Given the beating the overpass had been taking, combined with the fact that it looked like the water was still touching the underside of the bridge, it made me wonder what the criteria is for deciding that a bridge needs to be inspected before they allow traffic on it again. It was an interesting question to mull over as I was waiting for the red light while *sitting* on said bridge.
The excitement for the evening was Nishka darting between my feet and bombing down into the basement. She disappeared completely into the piles of crap that I haven’t dealt with yet. Nothing I could do, except swear. So in an effort to make exploration less attractive, I turned off all the lights, went upstairs, and closed the door. When Bob got home and checked, she was waiting at the top of the stairs and he managed to retrieve her. Good thing, because a cat in the basement would have cancelled my plans for the evening. Once the cat was recovered, I went downstairs and cleared off the desk that had been "conveyed" with the house. In this application, "conveyed" is defined as "we don’t want it anymore, and it’s too big and heavy to get out of the basement so we’re leaving it for you." Ugg. But April is bulk pick up month, and I wanted it gone. So I cleared it off and shoved it by bits and pieces around to the other side of the basement where the door to the hatchway is. Then we opened up the hatchway, and started trying to carry the damn thing out.
In hindsight, I think that we should have tried to take it out flat instead of on its side. Unfortunately, that was my error. Looking at the way the deck stairs intrude in front of the hatch, I though that we were going to need to maneuver the open part around the railing. Now I think maybe would could have carried it straight out. Despite that, with much straining and a little swearing we got it up the stairs. I’m pretty sure the thing weighed at least 300 pounds. Then Bob pulled on it and pulled it off of the concrete riser it had been sitting on. It landed touching my foot. He is a VERY lucky man. Very, very lucky. I truly believe that if it had landed on my foot that we would have had a lovely evening at the hospital. For the sake of brevity, I’ll skip over all the things I called him at that point. We carried it around the house by fits and starts, and then kind of carried/slid it down the driveway while the mist dripped off the trees down the back of my neck. Did I mention that it was heavy? My God, it was heavy. So it’s at the curb waiting for tomorrow’s trash pickup. I truly pity the crew that has to pick it up. But not enough to keep it. I reclaimed about 15 square feet by getting rid of that desk, and right in a place that I really need it. That spot is going to have the shelves that will have the overflow books – gaming, engineering, my collection of Smithsonian magazines, etc. That will empty out a LOT of boxes. Now we just have to find a home for the "antique" cabinet that was also "conveyed," and is also in the basement. That’s not as intrusive though, and someone may actually want that. I need to take some pictures of it. It’s also nowhere near as heavy. I don’t think depleted uranium would be as heavy...
After I’d gotten my breath back (which took a while) and we’d had dinner, I did some work in the sewing room. I started by pulling out the stuff that doesn’t belong in there. There was a pile of boxes destined for the attic, and a stack of shelving components that weren’t used, both of which are temporarily in the hallway. That alone helped a lot – more than I had expected. After that came the puttering. Mostly what I’m doing is taking things out of boxes and putting them on shelves. I’ll organize the shelves later, the goal for now is to get the stuff off of the floor. I got a few more boxes emptied, and found a few bits and pieces that could be put away. There’s still a lot of work to do in there, but it’s better than it was. Pretty soon I’ll have enough room cleared to measure for a rug. It’s getting there, just more slowly than I would like.
I still haven’t started cleaning the wallpaper glue out of the half bath. I really want to get to that. Maybe next week. It’s nice that I’m feeling excited about house projects again, instead of worn down. Between the rug for the sewing room and the shelves I’ll need for the basement, I foresee a trip to Ikea in my near future.
Tonight we’re going to the Bushnell to see Spamalot. My friend Sue likes to point out that she saw it on Broadway with the original cast. I’m going to have fun anyway – so there. :-p Now I just have to get through today. My boss is cleaning her office. That usually means that it all lands in my filing box. Joy.
<sigh> My boss’ window is leaking again. The carpet is soaked three feet into the room. They literally ripped out her wall last summer to get rid of the mold from the leak. I guess they didn’t actually fix the *leak* while they were in there. Maybe moving back to the main campus will have some advantages...
It's brighter out there. Perhaps I don't need to build an ark out of the lumber from the wet bar we tore out!