Monthly Archives: January 2012

Can Spring Spring Already?

So I vomited in the house for the first time the other day. When I write it like that, it sounds like it was everywhere. It was contained. I had a “Now I’m home” moment. I mean, I’ve had so many so far. But vomiting is kind of primal and very embarrassing. So that’s out of the way.
Last week I went to Home Depot. I have two official projects to start. My neighbor Jason mentioned to me a while back that the list of projects that you want to do in your house never ever gets any shorter. I am feeling the pain of this increasing list. I am a “list person” as in I usually make a list of tasks I need to complete and grocery lists and things to save money for and all that jazz. There are probably seven lists sitting on my phone that I stare at all the time. But I digress.
I went to Home Depot to finally buy an air filter for the treacherous air conditioning intake duct. The first project that I’m excited to start is to make the hall closet more functional for guests. The boys and I keep our bags in the garage on hooks and when I have people over, I can hang their coats for them, but I don’t have a reasonable place for their phones or keys or hats or purses. The doors to the closet are the classic apartment sliding doors, laminate “wood”, with a metal shelf toward the top of the closet with a curved lip to hold hangers. White, dusty, plain. I was shopping for shelves and closet rods and wallpaper. And ideas. I’ve never designed a closet before. I am looking forward to it.
The other project that is more of a necessity, especially with the summer coming, is to replace and upgrade the window treatments in the living room. The sliding glass door in this room is tall and very long and it has vertical blinds all along its length. On the adjacent wall are two more window, maybe three feet by four feet each, also adorned with vertical blinds. To hide the hardware for each set of blinds, the previous owner had these upholstered boxes made and installed. They’re white, like the walls, and at this point very dusty. I am convinced that the plastic vertical blinds have been installed in that house since it was built. Each blind has seen so much sun damage that they are very yellow and brittle and practically crack and disintegrate when I look at them. They are so incompetent that they don’t even move in unison when I pull the beaded chain to open them up. If one of them falls off of its holder, it’s a goner because no way in hell can I get it back into it’s clip without breaking it more. Add to these facts that I have a giant dog that is constantly galloping through the door and two wild sons and a little white pooch chasing him, sometimes before I can get the blinds open, and you have a lot pf broken blinds on that window and the other windows. SO much so that on one window with the blinds fully drawn, you can still see through half the window. And so can my neighbor. Goal: buy curtains. I lived in apartments for about nine years and I am over vertical blinds and cheap fixtures. Now I have a house and so now I can have insulated thermal pretty curtains that are a COLOR and that aren’t going to break all the time no thanks to the dog.
Naturally, all accounts of said projects will be gloriously relayed to you right here.
I did actually buy something else at Home Depot; jasmine. I love the way it smells in the summertime. Sweet but not too overpowering. I bought a white one and a pink one and they’re sitting in their pots under the kitchen window outside. I love them.
OH and my lemon tree and grapefruit tree each have buds on them. I am thrilled. Maybe I am getting better at not killing plants.


Putting Christmas to Rest

The holidays started kind of late for us this year. They normally start kin of late as is because it’s so hot here but for one reason or another I decided that the best thing for me to do throughout the months of November and December was to work as much as I possibly could so that I could “be Santa” this year. Also, time has been escaping me lately. And lastly, I put off buying a tree until the Wednesday before Christmas. I started baking cookies (coconut macaroons) the week prior to buying the tree. I wanted to have the kids help but their attention span is still somewhat limited, especially in the first week of winter break; immediately following a semester of school. The dog helped though. He growled at the oven for me. And ate some of the coconut that fell on the floor? Who knew.cookies baking The boys did help eat some of them though. I wanted to give some of the cookies to my neighbors too. Only made it to one house though because I chickened out. I ended up eating some of them too. And I took more to work than I intended to.
I didn’t put any lights up outside either. Mostly because I don’t have a ladder, but also because my neighbors just painted the exterior of their house and they had lights up that just look like Bethlehem itself. I don’t have any experience in the Outdoor Light Display Department. Enough said.
And onto the tree-puchasing jitters: I expected to spend a good $80 on a tree and a tree stand. And I drive a Honda. That I’ve never strapped anything to. I’ve never bought a tree solo. So I also waited to buy one until the boys were with me. We drove to Home Depot after breakfast and when we entered the tree lot, the attendants were sweeping up the zillions of needles all over the ground. The boys ran around and we looked at every single tree. They found a tall one they liked and a man came to turn it around for us and make sure that was the one. After we gave the green light, I glanced at the price: a 7 foot tree for $78. Sigh. It’s Christmas. The boys were jumping up and down. I grabbed a tree stand and we went to the checkout counter as he trimmed the tree for us and wrapped it up. The tree was on sale for $25 and the stand was only $12. Woo! I pulled the car around and we tied that beautiful unexpectedly cheap tree to the roof of the Honda and drove it home. Carefully, as I was scared to death. The boys were in the car when the attendant and I tied the tree to the car, so they were very angry when I made them stay in the car so that I could take this photo: My oldest grabbed the trunk of the tree and I got the rest and we carried it hilariously into the house. I think we hit every wall with it on the way to the living room. I’d aready set up the tree stand so we spent what felt like 10 minutes trying to get the trunk into the stand. Got everythng screwed in and as level as it was going to be. I trimmed the low low branches and started trying to even out the bottom area of that tree. Which I have also never done o apparently witnessed before because it was very difficult! And the dogs tried carrying away my pile fo branches. Terrible. We waited until that night to decorate the tree, mostly because my nerves were shot after the trial of getting the tree from a to b safely and securely. We went to dinner and instead of having game night had tree night. It was also my first time putting lights on a tree. I redid it twice because they all got bunched together on the tree. They were new lights too and the box read “every fifth light twinkles”. I was thinking that this would be a gentle Christmasy light. NO. It’s a seizure waiting to happen on this tree. If you sit in the room with the tree with all the lights off and the tree lit and close your eyes, it looks like there’s a raging fire in the room with you. Not good. These lights are going somewhere special for a loooong time. The tree has been well watered though. Even though the dogs keep drinking out of the base. Christmas morning was nice. The tree was on most of the day and family came up to the house to visit and bestow gifts. And if you’re wondering, the tree is still standing fully clad in the living room.
And lastly, on New Years Eve I had the boys at home with me. When I was young I loved staying up with my mother until the new year. It’s about time I share that with my boys. So I made spaghetti and meatballs for dinner with some bread and a little salad. It was a late dinner around 7 and then we watched a couple movies and ate popcorn. I fell asleep toward the end of the first movie and then we chose another one. My youngest fell asleep shortly after we started the second movie. He rolled off the couch and didn’t go to bed right away. He just curled up in a little ball on the floor with the dog and went back to sleep. At midnight, my oldest and I toasted with sparkling white grape juice in champagne flutes. We were both very tired but he was excited to have made it to midnight. We promptly went to bed and went to sleep happy that night. Welcome 2012.