Category Archives: Uncategorized

When they walked in the room we didn’t know what to do…*

*Lyrics from another song, Givin’ Em What They Love, from Janelle Monáe‘s new album The Electric Lady (deluxe album via Target, regular iTunes album here). This song features Prince, and is one of those songs I’m sure could turn into a 20 minute set at a concert. At least I hope. Great song, great album, great way to usher us across that early September doldrum into autumnal sexiness. Perfect for a post about our bed, right? Too much information?

Some pressure treated posts cut into pieces were the best, cheapest solution for much needed under-bed storage.

While we may not have a full-on bedroom at The Pied – what we have is technically a ‘sleeping area’ since there is no closet, no door, no window, no means of escape – we do have enough space for a queen sized bed. I should say mattress, not bed. Even though we were lucky enough to carve out enough room for a dresser, some shelves, a mattress, and side tables, we can’t exactly devote any more space to the extra inches that a true bed frame would need. The mattress on the floor option was the cheapest bed solution, but the dramatically unlevel floors (I would roll toward the edge of the bed during the night, often waking gripping the side of the mattress for stability), combined with our need to have more options for under-the-bed storage made it necessary for us to think about getting yet another this’ll-do-for-now bed. The simplest (read: next cheapest) solution we could think up involved a split box spring, some form of risers, and a whole lot of screws.

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Vote.

I wasn’t going to put yet another opinion about who to vote for, blah, blah, blah, on the interwebs, but, well, I felt I had to. I’d like to say that I don’t really care who you vote for, that the important thing is that you DO vote. But that’s not fully true. I do care who you vote for, and it DOES matter to me. Now, I can’t make you believe in my point of view any more than you can convince me that I should believe in God, or that I should have 12 babies. We all have our own paths in life, and we all have the right to do as we see fit.

"If I never meet you in this life, let me feel the lack." - Unknown

Responsibility

In the wake of the storm surge that inundated the Northeast last week, and in light of my fervent belief that with great power comes great responsibility, I felt it was right to talk about it. Responsibility. People on the (political) right speak of ‘personal responsibility‘ a great deal, and they speak of things like liberty, freedom, and other abstract notions of basically doing whatever the fuck you want, whenever you want to do it. (Maybe they don’t mean it that way, but the deregulation that many of them call for makes me believe that they don’t really believe that we are responsible to one another, for better or worse.) I don’t believe in that sort of way of thinking about culture, society, and each other.

Ok, sure, you want to own a gun, and I don’t want to stop you. But I don’t want you to shoot me. So, what do we do? We make rules, and we abide by them. We all agree on some basic things: it’s not okay to murder, steal, torture, etc., so we enlist law enforcement and legal systems to deal with people who break those rules. What strikes me as odd, however, is how often the plea for basic health services is seen as some sort of lazy entitlement; or, how the desire to care for a people’s elderly or infirmed (and I include mental health in this) is seen as weak, or unnecessary. These so-called ‘social programs’ are there to protect the greater population from the failure to look after our weaker, or harder hit citizens.

We all share in the benefits of having a huge country, with plenty of natural resources, coastal ports to import and export goods from, from the ability to feed our own people from our own land, and to engage with the world from a position of great economic power. But, with that power comes the responsibility to look after our own – when the storm surge hit the entire coast of New Jersey, vast swaths of New York City, Long Island, Connecticut and Rhode Island, did we as a nation say to ourselves ‘eh, too bad for them, eh?’ No. We commended the efforts of our political leaders to put aside the petty squabbling to do what is right. To use some of our collective power to protect those read on…

Time has come for you to see where I’m coming from…*

*Lyrics from Texture of my Blood from Dillon. A strange little album, with a voice that reminds me of Lykke Li, and melodies that remind me of Fiona Apple and Feist. An interesting listen, and one that I’m still listening to.

Sunset at IKEA harbor. Kidding, it's not IKEA harbor. But we were at IKEA. And that was the view.

Last week my tiny, 4-month-old niece (oh, and her parents, too) moved to California. Boo. Hiss, hiss! Who but the cruelest of the cruel would force me to put ‘visiting California on the regular’ on my to-do list? I’m kidding, of course. Sort of. I lived in California for a brief bit of time during my late and not-so-great 20’s (yes or no the apostrophe here? I can never remember) and while it is undeniably beautiful it’s just not for me (plus, I really, really hate to fly). But, I suppose a visit now and then can’t hurt, right? Give me a few years and I’ll probably be thanking them for moving away (and giving me an excuse to visit warmer climes). But for now it’s just a drag.

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It feels like I’ve been here, I’ve been here forever…*

*Lyrics from Phantogram’s You Are The Ocean off their album Eyelid Movies. I considered using the lyric “This song is about you, ’cause I can’t live without you” regarding Brad, since his work was so essential, but thought that the above sentiment was more accurate now. Not that I don’t think that I can live without Brad. I’m sure I can’t.

I can barely remember where I last left you. I mean, I think it was somewhere around painting the walls and floor delivery. Or something. Honestly, I had to look it up. Since then, so much has been done. Let’s see: the walls were patched and painted (last coats, minus touch ups if needed); the baseboards were completed (painted, patched, sanded, etc.); the dishwasher was installed; the sink faucet was swapped out; the (cheap-O, IKEA, it’ll do until we can really afford to tackle the kitchen) undercabinet lighting was installed; we installed the underlayment to prep for the flooring; and, some lights were swapped out (from 150watt flood lights to LED replacement kits). Also, Brad and Eric of Osgood Electric came by to add some closet lights, wire and install a fan/light in the bathroom, swap out some switches here and there, add some boxes for lighting in the stairway and the laundry area, and installed recessed lighting in the living room. Phew, again.

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You’re a little late, I’m already torn…*

Who knew that the family bathroom renovation meant moving more rooms of furniture around to make work for the workers? Well, we sure didn’t. It took us going through the 3-day closet renovation to realize that having the Teams work out of the basement was not only inefficient (and extra tiring for them), it was also wreaking havoc on our main level (joint compound does not vacuum out of sisal, just FYI). So we decided that we could spare our guest bedroom for the few weeks that it would take to get the job done.

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Please, please, please, don’t you know that I need you?…

Week 10, day 46, and we’re off and running. Well, maybe more like walking. You’re really not supposed to run with sharp objects in your hands anyway. Not safe at all. But, the Team arrived to a less fume-ridden house, the floors having cured well enough since the last coat to be walked on lightly with socks, and tomorrow with shoes (though that’s really only so the dog can walk out of the house on her own, instead of being hoisted by Jeff). We’ll probably all still do the sock thing for a few more days. I will, anyhow.

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And it rained all night…

Day 21 marks the start of week 5, and the start of Phase 2-B: painting and flooring. After a week of watching joint compound dry, now we get to watch paint and stain dry! But, this part will actually be more visually dramatic than last week, though more familiar (we’ve all painted at least once or twice, right?). Choosing colors was tough, especially since we weren’t really prepared to make these choices so soon in the process. Lucky for us, we’d already narrowed down the overall look we wanted to achieve, and were simply choosing the best version of whichever color we liked for a particular space. There are some surprises yet to come, and I don’t want to spoil the effect of the next few days (color will be on the walls tomorrow!), but suffice it to say, our house palette will be beachy, modern, cool-toned and (hopefully) sophisticated. I suppose time will tell whether our paint choices are ones we’ll love – Jeff told me to check with him in two years, and that by then he’ll know whether or not he likes them or not.

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On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

Day 12. Can you stand it? I can’t really believe we’ve made it this far: our first inspection is tomorrow! The framing is done, for all intents and purposes, until if/when the building inspector wants to take a look, and the electrical rough-in is complete. Today was mainly a day to finish any lingering tasks, and to clean up after the framing stage. Saws were put away, everything was swept and vacuumed, trash was removed, bits were tidied. Jeff and I ran errands to get specs on the framing for the shower door, and to seek out some more tile for a decorative element in the kitchen. All in all, a mellow, but productive day.

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So lucky, to be loving you…

Day 11 started off week 3 with a gentle whoosh toward the next goal: inspections! It was as if we were sailing along all last week, and are now coasting toward the shore, but we must slow down so we don’t crash into the dock (sails IN!). Steady, measured (literally) building and light hanging/electrical work hummed along in the house all day, ending with a recap of our overages to date. Nothing shocking, nothing that we didn’t discuss as it happened – just a moment to touch base, and to connect regarding the budget. A good builder/general contractor has your wallet in their mind, and won’t leave these discussions until the last day. If you’re about to embark on a project of this (or any) scope, make sure your team is really working for YOU.

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I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it…

Day 9! Wow, what a day! We had some rain early on in the day – ideal weather for ripping windows out of houses, right? – which luckily rolled through speedily enough to usher in an absolutely beautiful day (perfect for window work). The guys came in (nail) guns blazing today, and managed to remove and replace FOUR windows in one day! The change to the feeling of the space is unbelievable. The rooms are starting to look like rooms, and feel like rooms. I can’t quite explain it. The volumes of space are starting to become defined, both by the lighting placement, and now by the windows, and the personalities of the spaces are starting to emerge. Views to the outdoors have been framed in lovely, chunky classic details with Marvin windows that were a worthy splurge.

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