The family dinner went amazingly well. It was really very pleasant, and I feel that I need to say that maybe my in-laws aren’t so bad. Fair is fair after all. There was a bit of a complication in that my car went into the shop that morning, and they hadn’t gotten the part in by the end of the day. So Bob had to pick me up at work and bring me home, which removed slush time from the schedule. I had cleaned like a crazy woman the night before, but ran out of time to prep the chicken. So between that and the car, I was running a little later than I’d planned. We got home, and I headed straight for the chicken. I got all of it skinned, dismembered, and sautéed, and had just gotten everything into the pot as they arrived. After that it was cooking and chatting, eating and chatting, and then chatting. Bob gave the art tour, as well as the tour of the new improvements. They were quite taken with our SCA documents. They were involved about 20+ years ago, so they’re familiar with the organization, but since they’d never been to our apartment, they’d never seen the collection. We have quite a collection. But unless there was something upstairs that they were much taken with, the hit of my art collection were my Merimask pieces ( merimask. ) Bob’s niece was *particularly* enthralled by my summer dragon plaque, and then went looking for the others when I said that I had another plaque and a couple of masks. They were just fascinated by them. As a side note to that, I think I’ve figured out where I can hand the masks to best effect. The only "problem" is that I just don’t have enough of them. Obviously that will need to be rectified. :-)
They ate my food, complimented my cooking, admired my art and my library, admired and wished to adore my cats – what else can I really ask for? It was really nice. I was SO happy to be wrong. We may have to try this again at Christmas. Hopefully that’s not pushing my luck.
There hasn’t been too much to report since then, hence the silence. It turned out that the car was leaking coolant because my thermostat housing was warped. It wasn’t a complicated repair, but the dealership sent over the wrong part at 4pm. That’s why they had to keep it overnight. It ended up being a $348 repair, which is significantly better than the other potential repair would have been - the head gasket. I’ve blown one of those, and it wasn’t pretty. I’m still keeping a weather eye on my temperature gauge, but that’s just good practices.
As he had promised, Bob got under the basement stairs and boxed up his old rally files. They need to be gone through and purged eventually, but this way the boxes went into the crawl space and the old file drawers can go to the curb this Wednesday. There is now space to put the two-drawer filing cabinets and set up files for his brewing. THAT will make room over by the door to the basement hatchway, which will just make me happy. Next goal down there is to box up the stuff I’m getting rid of and get it out from underfoot. I was hoping to be able to give some of it away to scadians, but I think at this point it needs to go straight to the Salvation Army to get it out of the way, unless I can make some space in the garage.
This weekend was almost a complete waste. We accomplished exactly nothing on Saturday. I actually think that I’ve been fighting a mild bug. Everyone at the office has been complaining about feeling a little run down, a little dizzy, and I’ve been feeling nauseous on and off. Nothing more than that, but I’ve been getting way too tired for the things that I’ve been doing. Hence the lack of any accomplishments on Saturday – I just couldn’t haul my butt off the couch. We went to Lowes to look at kitchen faucets and bath fans. I believe that I’ve picked out all of my faucets – now it’s just a matter of buying them. Four of them – that’s going to hurt. My god, faucets are expensive! Especially the ones I like. They also advertised that they’re carrying the new humidity-sensing ventilation fans, which I want even though they’re grossly expensive. I want to put on in the downstairs full bath sooner rather than later, because it opens onto the library. Books. Humidity. Need I elaborate? The fan will be worth every penny. Unfortunately, while they had them in the ad, they did not have one in the store that I could look at. After that we headed to Home Depot and bought one of those portable air conditioners. The little window unit upstairs is doing yeoman’s work, but it still gets icky downstairs. We figure that the portable unit will keep things livable and can be repurposed after we put in the whole-house system we want. It’s still in the box, but setting that up should actually be less problematic than setting the window unit in place was. If I’m feeling ambitious I may take a look at that tonight.
The only thing that I really accomplished on Saturday was getting the first coat of paint on the door. I painted out to within an inch of the edge, so that the door could be shut that evening. After spending the first half of a weeknight evening trying to tape the diamond panes in the glass, I gave up and decided to just get paint all over the glass and clean it up later. Yesterday Bob was down in New Jersey, and I got a second coat on early in the day, and realized to my chagrin that it really needed a third. So I waited the obligatory four hours, and put on a third coat. Then, of course, I got frustrated and impatient to get the glass cleaned up, because I wanted it to look done when he got home. Since it was dry to the touch, I decided to have at. Having learned many frustrating lessons about tape and paint when I was painting the walls, I scored the paint with a razor blade before I started scraping. It came off *perfectly*. Apparently waiting for the paint to be dry, but not cured, was exactly right. It even took off some of the old red paint that I hadn’t previously been able to get off of the glass. I hope it looks good – I haven’t seen it from outside yet. I was (and still am) worried about the new paint sticking to the weather stripping, so last night I rolled up the screen to slide the storm in place (I LOVE the new storm door), locked the storm door, and pushed the door so that it looked like it was closed without actually touching the weather stripping. I wanted to leave it like that this morning. I really meant to. But I just couldn’t. I couldn’t bring myself to leave the door open with no one home ALL DAY. So I’m hoping against hope that when I get home and open that door that the paint will stay on the door. What did I do while the paint was drying? Picked out paint colors for the spare bedroom, because there was actually a little bit of sun! Re-read some of Jacqueline Carey’s books, and watched a lot of Egypt shows on the Discovery Channel. Ate Spaghetti O’s & Meatballs. Nothing of any redeeming value.
There are a few more things around the house that need to be done now and can’t really wait. It turns out that I do want to move those lilies out of the back yard. They’re not standard orange day lilies. They look like the average day lily, but they’re double-blossomed. Rather like tuberous begonias vs. regular begonias. They’re really pretty cool, and I want to keep them. <sigh> So I need to dig those while I can still identify them. I also think I need to move the damn bearded iris now. It’ll probably eliminate any chance of a bloom this year, but I’ve got to get them out of harm’s way. We also have to deal with the rest of the wood pile. Other than that, I believe that I am done with house projects for the moment because I need to start pulling things together for Pennsic. We pull out in nineteen days, and I haven’t even started working on it. The only piece that’s in place is the co-worker who is going to take care of the cats for me, and I haven’t made an extra key yet. Luckily, I have exhaustive lists. Despite that, the idea of packing for Pennsic at the last minute with no plan makes my blood run cold.