Archive for January, 2009

a little pretty until i get back

January 27, 2009

keikooikawa

If you have a moment and want to be inspired check out this photographer’s site.

I don’t imagine that I will get much house inspiration down in Miami Beach (am I being judgemental? YES.), but I do know that if my toes  get to feel the sand, my nose smell the ocean, and my hands hold a seashell, well, I’ll be feeling inspired. For 2009, folks!

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Year of the Ox.

January 26, 2009

masks

Readers, it’s so awfully cold outside. This is something that you surely must  know. So, I’m off to Miami. Not to escape the cold. That’s just a beautiful by-product. It’s for work. And I’m dreadfully behind on my chores. My feet are in wool-sock condition. Not even close to this. There is laundry to do. Catfood to be purchased. Legs to be shaved. I won’t be able to post much, if at all, so I leave you with this: YOU CAN NEVER BE BORED IF YOU HAVE MASKS IN THE HOUSE. I implore you to purchase just one or two. Sweeping is more fun. Making your bed, too. When there is an awkward pause amongst acquaintances. . . pull out a mask!

O, on a by the by, it looks like I’m leaning heavily towards the crawl space scenario. A new drawing indicating such was drawn up on Sunday and the powers that be (the CITY) should have it tomorrow. Why have a concrete floor with no radiant heating? It really makes no sense.  God, this is hard.

concrete and barbed wire

January 22, 2009

floorHello beautiful concrete floor. Polished to an inch of your life, but not so sheen-y as to make one fearful of slipping. Clean, sophisticated, approachable. And, now, no longer on my horizon. No longer under my feet of the future. I received one of those phone calls from my builder where something gigantic is dropped onto my lap, like the poop from a soaring bald eagle (I’ve seen this, over the Kaw, and it was a sight to behold!) It seems that maybe having a slab floor on luscious river bottom soil isn’t so good. Something about cracks and loads of back fill. We’re now exploring a more common floor scenario of crawl space (where Jason, Mike, and Freddy can hide) with wood-framed sub-flooring over that. I’m okay with this. I didn’t sweat during this conversation. It’s so much better to make this kind of a decision now rather than when there is a 1 inch seam running through my kitchen.

I’m home now and looking at my Inspiration Wall (yes, feel free to vomit because I said Inspiration Wall) which is covered with various photos of concrete floors. LOTS of them. I’m going to need some more scotch tape and a bottle of wine.

celebration in the form of a ball

January 21, 2009

taff-tacular

The best way to distract yourself from the stresses of building a house and the fear of losing your job is to cast a vote for a man you admire and then throw a ball on the day he is inaugurated. Or, have your friends throw a ball so that you can hop out of your vanpool, throw on a dress, and line your eyes heavily with make-up.

obamaball

It’s nice if your friends dress up, too. Being surrounded by dapper folks is always pleasant.

obamaball

If you can swing it be sure that there is warm lighting, Turkish gentlemen, bowties, and knockout ladies.

moving thru & sitting still

January 19, 2009

forms

Look here! A form! A bunker for tornadic evenings. The eventual home of Miss Carlos’s litter box. Tomorrow they will pour the walls and on Friday they will pour the floor. Seeing tangible progress is what I’ve been wanting for so many months. Now, though, my heart is racing and I’m wondering when did I decide that I was going to settle down in Lawrence. What happened to Buenos Aires? Or returning to New York City? Am I moving through or sitting still?

wire&wool

On this, Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday, I’m going to make afternoon coffee; build a fire; and sit here and think about tomorrow’s inauguration.

port of call

January 15, 2009

miss carlos

I would love to share a photo of Miss Carlos with you all, but this seems to be the only angle I see of her lately. I fear the poor dear is going to go tumbling down the heat vent! If so, I really hope that it turns into some kind of Narnia-like adventure for her and she’s all saving a magical land and revered for having a cock-eyed ear. And then she returns after what seems like months only to find that I still haven’t gotten to the store to get catfood and she still has to walk to the basement to do her business.

This evening, for dinner (for punishment?) I ate this:

soup

I’m making an effort to eat what’s in the kitchen until most items are exhausted. You see, the economy is a little lackluster. So, this soup is made up of the juice of one lime, zest of half a lime, 1/2 t. salt, 1 cucumber peeled and half an avocado. Whirl it around in the blender until it is smooth. The flavor is fresh and zingy and would be perfect on a 90 degree day. Not necessarily what I’m craving when it’s ONE DEGREE OUTSIDE! In order to survive, I’ve switched to spanish peanuts and a glass of port. I figure Spain and Portugal are neighbors, so why not?

This weekend’s Honey Do (I’m the ‘honey’ in this):

Choose bathroom sinks & faucets

Choose cooktop range. Any suggestions? Ones that won’t break the bank?

Post Script: Recipe found here. Judge if you will. But remember: in 5 days we will have a new president. We should be hopeful and nice. Celebrities have to detox, too.

a good listen, if you have a moment

January 13, 2009

I listened to this interview this evening. Post KU vs. KSU basketball. I needed something unsporting.  Reminders of the two places I have lived besides Lawrence: NYC & Louisville. Mmm. Homes. The desire to distract me from the one I’m building is FIERCE tonight.

fit. form. foot.

January 13, 2009

weatherundergroundI’ve wandered around the halls at my work telling anyone who will listen that the concrete guys were fitting the formings. Or, forming the fittings. Or pouring something into the hole. All I got in response was a lot of polite blinking. I called my builder today for an update and found that what they were doing last week was forming the footings (I think!) and that today they were supposed to fit the footings (again, this is questionable)  so that when the temperature is right they are ready to pour the basement.  I kind of don’t really know what they’re doing. All I do  know is that they (concrete ogres) claim it’s too cold out for them to even do the foot fitting (laziness, I suspect.) And what I know most is that I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I’M DOING!

so much happening in 2009

January 11, 2009

house hole

My hole! Doesn’t this look like an amazing little basement? Do you see the three feet of river bottom topsoil? Somebody say ‘amen’! Either Tuesday or Wednesday the basement will be poured.

scones-019

Tomorrow morning we are having a breakfast to celebrate the new year at my work. I made these little maple scones. They need serious butter and tea. They’re cute, no? But I think they would be better served if a small handful of 9 yr. old boys got hold of them and used them in some kind of mean, yet sporting fashion. Neither me nor my scones look like this.

this little piggy went to the slipper store

January 7, 2009

img_0797

It has long been decided that I would have concrete floors in my new house. And radiant heat to keep my toes warm and the thermostat down. Today, though, I received a call from my contractor with this question: are you okay with warm floors but no central air? Come again?  He said that he would not normally even ask someone this question, but seeing how he and anyone else who visits my current home are fairly miserable due to my stubborness  to turn on either the heat or air, well, it seemed like a fair question. He said with the money I would save not having central air I could purchase a window unit for every window. Hmm. Yes, and I could walk around in a pretty Prada frock covered in cat vomit and beer stains.

When my contractor calls me in the middle of the day while I’m at work and throws  wrenches at me I become acutely aware that I’m building this house on my own.  I can’t cover up the receiver and whisper to my partner, “He’s on the phone again wanting to know what color grout we want! Well, what do we want?”  Today I took a few breaths, took a poll amongst my photo crew (warm feet or cool summers) and did some further research on the Internet (god bless you!). I’ve decided to say ‘so long’ to radiant floors; explore geothermal heat pumps; and peruse catalogues filled with animal skins and slippers.