General Housekeeping

Here it is – Spring 2015 – already!

My poor blog has been nearly abandoned. Thank goodness I do a better job of paying attention to our fish, cats, and daughter (not in that order) or our home would be seriously smelly. And my daughter is doing a really good job of taking care of her new hamster. How did I agree to another pet in our wee home?

To update you, dear blog, in other news I have a new car. We haven’t yet sold the good ‘ol Saturn. But I now drive a spiffy Honda Fit. So no more holding my breath that the car will start and no more Metroing to work in sub-zero temps (and not even just because it’s Spring).

Building repairs have been more or less completed in our community – though we still need to do interior work like cleaning and organizing and painting a newly two-toned wall. One section in our living room was painted a textured cocoa shade long before the repairs and the rest is newly painted the standard white that the repair guys where contracted to do. We need to do other general repairs too that can move forward now that the building isn’t being pounded on 6-7 hours a day. The community needs to take care of an ongoing rainwater drainage issue. So repairs are done but there is still much to do. It isn’t all done. Kind of like laundry.

Our new microwave still works and it’s still attached to the wall. That’s a real plus in my book! Especially the attached-to-the-wall part because that was a little iffy.

Why we keep cramming our schedule to the point of overflow, I have no idea. I think I need a goal of enough but not too much of everything. My problem is that it doesn’t look like too much until we’re knee deep. I need to work on that. 

My daughter is at an all-day dance conference today, and I somehow ended up sitting in an Ikea eating breakfast after I missed the on-ramp to the beltway to get back home. I had a, “hey, look! Ikea!,” moment. I can’t complain too much. The breakfast is pretty yummy. The coffee was free. Ikea has lots of containers to help me organize things. The floor show was somewhat entertaining. 

The mom and two daughters sitting in front of me reminded me of how much young children like to use their vocal chords and not be confined to a high chair. I’m thankful the mom is keeping said child in the high chair. But the young girl is not keeping her food confined to the plate or to her mouth. So now that they’ve gone it looks like there was an egg and sausage explosion with the high chair positioned in the epicenter. That’s after the mom tried to tidy up. Somebody is wearing eggs on her pretty black Mary Janes today – inside and out. The older daughter seemed to find it all about as amusing as I did.  We are not laughing at her mom. Hugs to the mom. It’s more of an empathetic been-there-done-that. It’s better to find some humor than to feel the pain. 

I’m always a little amazed at how well people in public places can ignore other people in public – just never making any eye contact or anything. That’s what pretty much everybody else in the Ikea restaurant is doing. It’s a little surreal if you ask me. 

Now to figure out how I organize the rest of my life.


Foggy Morning Drywall

It’s a foggy morning this Wednesday, November 12.

We’re getting drywall! Finally. Work on our unit and entire building started almost a year ago when our balcony door was locked from the outside thus trapping our fresh-cut Christmas tree out on the balcony in a bucket of water. We could see it through a living room window and wondered if that would be it for the holidays.

They began work on the outside of our unit without telling us. We came home one day, and a sign had been taped on the outside of the balcony door window. The door was bolted (wired) shut from the outside. To be fair, technically, the former liaison to the community had posted a note in the lobby on the Friday before. Seeing as we couldn’t use the front parking lot anymore due to construction, we hardly ever walked through the lobby. The notice was in 12pt type and, at a glance, looked exactly like the previous note that had been up for two months. Out of date, it should have been removed. Danny claimed this was our notification. Communications where not his strong suit. We got a new liaison (our fourth) shortly after.

They would demolish the artificial stucco siding outside of our unit thus turning our balcony into a construction zone. We could no longer go out there except by clandestine escape through a window or the one day they let us out to reclaim our Christmas tree and a few clay flower pots left over from summertime greenery. It was cold and some of the clay pots had frozen themselves to the balcony which we freed with tea kettles of hot water. Sweet escape! The workers were helpful and nice as they helped us relocate the tree and pots.

Scaffolding would go up a few months later, then temporary security walls with their pinky, fluffy insulation, clear plastic, and fresh-cut wood smell. And zero windows. No daylight! Just singing workers on the other side along with the sounds of construction. Banging. Saws. Drills. Yelling. It lasted for months.

The pink walls came down in September. I can see this foggy Autumn morning through actual windows. We’ve been in a holding pattern with odd gaps, large sections of exposed 2x4s and fluffy YELLOW insulation peeking out at us. It’s a bit drafty too, so I’m hoping drywall makes that a little better.

One room will be finished soon, then the rest. We hope. Maybe it will be almost normal and free of leaks. It’s a process.