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Thursday, March 29, 2007

ladies, meet bobby

Bobby is the reason why I didn't have to do any heavy lifting last night.

At about seven o'clock last night, Bobby came over to our house, and he and Don (both, you'll note, sporting some lovely fraternity gear) proceeded to move pretty much all of our big furniture into the garage in preparation for this weekend.

Next step: all the boxes of books. Don has to repack them (we've been rummaging through them for books for the past year, never thinking we'd need to actually move the boxes til we unpacked -- silly us!), and then move them out to the garage. Then he has to move all his tools out of the dining room, and then we are sort of ready to go. Sort of.

All I know is that my job is to be at the donut store at 7 AM on Saturday so that there will be donuts when people start arriving. It's a very important job.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

my own surprise

YOU GUYS! Look what I did! Me! All by myself!

Me me me!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Peeps, I am losing all my motivation, and this is so the wrong time for it. I'm a little stressed out with my various commitments, and stress sort of makes me shut down. I'm deep in the throes of a seriously down cycle, and I've spent the last couple of days unable to do much of anything besides lay in bed. And Don just emailed me this schedule for the upcoming pre-demolition week (I should probably mention that all bizarre spelling and phrasing is his):

Demo Week List…


Get boxes back from parents

Bag up couch pillows and extra blankets

Breakdown TV area

Breakdown Jamaila table

Put cabinet back together


Into Garage:

China Cabinet
Corner Cabinet
Coffee table
TV Unit
Dinning room table
Jamaila Table

Dumpster stuff in house


Move TV to parents

Move treadmill to parents

Move electronics to parents

Drain radiators

Sort tools

I have no idea how I am going to get through the next several days.

Monday, March 26, 2007

garage floor

Progress this weekend was about preparation for the big demo day next weekend. On Sunday, while I went out to breakfast with my dad and my grandparents before they headed back up to New Jersey, Don and his dad got in some male bonding time and built a temporary garage floor. I don't know if I've mentioned it, but our garage is actually separated into two halves. It's a two car garage, but there's a wall in the middle of it, dividing it. The right side is a wood shop -- it was Pop-Pop Brinkley's, long ago, and then Uncle Eddie inherited it, and now it's Don's. Or rather, it will be Don's once he sets it up. Right now it's mostly a clearinghouse for all the stuff I didn't want in the house, like various tools and building supplies. The other side of the garage is completely unfinished -- to the point of actually having a dirt floor. When we moved in, the dirt floor had several layers of slowly decaying plywood laid unevenly over it. That's what went in the dumpster last week. On Sunday, Don and his dad put together a simple frame of 2x4s and nailed sheets of plywood into it, making a very basic platform floor for the unfinished side of the garage. This is where our furniture is going to go (not the electronics, just stuff like couches and tables) sometime this week, to clear out the first floor for demolition this coming weekend.

And, for those of you who will inevitably ask, the reason we don't keep our cars in the garage is because they don't fit. It was built in 1920; I drive an SUV. You do the math.

Friday, March 23, 2007

new anapurna blog

Most of you probably already know this, but I have this jewelry business. It's pretty cool. We're working on some brand identity things right now, and as part of that, we've put together a behind-the-scenes blog. We're going to share everything we do and learn about growing a business, marketing, designing jewelry, etcetera. It should be pretty fun. Feel free to add us to your blogroll and come along for the ride.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

where i come from

I went to visit my mom in January, as I mentioned yesterday. While I was there, I took a few pictures of her house, since I thought you all might like to see it. See, when I was in elementary school, my parents got it into their heads to build their dream house. They found some property on a mountainside with one of the best views in the city:

The view is a better on a clear day, but hello, I was there in the middle of January. Behind that cloudbank at the back of the picture is basically the entire city of Spokane (downtown is on the right, suburbs to the left). It's pretty amazing -- and the sunsets are worth paying for. As you can tell by the bit of roof in the corner of the picture, this was taken on the upper balcony of the house, which is right off of my sister's room. When we were in high school we used to climb over the safety rail and go tan naked on the roof. Country living has its benefits.

Anyway, my parents are generally pretty awesome people, and they have some pretty awesome ideas about design. So in the middle of the house is this:

Yes, it's a three story atrium with a gothic arch. And skylights. You can also see my mom's collection of rugs -- she brought them home from Afghanistan and India (feel free to ask about this sort of thing -- my mom lurks in the comments here and can answer any questions you have!). At the bottom of the atrium is the basement courtyard, which has a cool feature inspired by the back room in this store in Seattle's U District: the brick floor is not mortared or grouted or even sanded, just laid in loose, so that when you walk on it the bricks crinkle together and make a beautiful musical sound. It's really cool.

The whole house has a warm, earthy vibe, though it's filled with light from the huge windows built to maximize sunset-viewing. Part of this is because my parents chose their materials carefully; the kitchen floor is tiled in a warm red terra cotta tile, and the front hallway was done in this incredible slate:

Note that they chose to pull the slate up onto the stair risers, too -- at the time it was a fairly revolutionary design idea.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

a romantic surprise

Remember when Don broke the bathtub? Yeah, the bathtub that was already missing a knob? Well, I never told you guys what happened when we went to fix it. (Oho, you say, a STORY!)

First of all, apparently double-knob bathtub faucets have become
very unpopular, because we could only find ONE of them at the store. Most of them now seem to have just the one knob in various incarnations. So we bought the single faucet which fit our specifications and took it home.

First things first, we went ahead and took off the remaining knob -- which, of course, stuck, because it was rusted and gross and old. So Don just sort of hacked away at it until it broke off. Then we replaced the faucet itself -- which was the real problem, of course, since Don had broken the diverter. Next we went to replace the knobs and lo! They
didn't fit. They were made to fit the pipes that came with the set, which of course were not the same size as ours. Of COURSE.

So, we had fixed the original problem, but in doing so had given ourselves a new problem. Try as we might, we couldn't get the new knobs on without tearing out the wall to get to the plumbing (SO not an option right now). So we put the old rusty vice grip back onto the left knob and hung a pair of pliers over the side of the tub to use to turn the right knob.

If you are pondering renovating your house, be prepared to have to use common hand tools in unusual situations, people. For reals.

Anyway, so things were that way for a few weeks, and then I went away to visit my mom in Washington state for a few days. When I got back, Don picked me up at the airport and drove me home. When we got in, he told me he had a surprise for me: he'd installed two brand new handles for the tub! Thrilled and excited, I rushed in to the bathroom and saw this:

Two brand new vice grips.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Monday, March 19, 2007

it's that time of year again

That's right -- it's dumpster season!

Our good friends over at Benjer delivered this dumpster on Friday, in the middle of some very unpleasant freezing precipitation (thanks guys!). Now we know why most of their other customers cancelled their deliveries, though -- by Saturday morning when we went out to start work, there was a LOT of ice inside that dumpster! We cleared what we could and left the rest to drain or dry up as it gets warmer, and went ahead and started loading. That's right, you heard me -- we accomplished something! We actually cleaned out the garage! Can you believe it? After months of nothing interrupted by brief periods of pipe-related panic (broken pipes so far this year: three), we have started to work again. And in honor of this accomplishment, I submit unto you a list (I love lists!):

Things We Put Into The Dumpster:
-a cooler
-a fireplace grate
-fake logs (there is no fireplace anywhere in the house, so I don't know where this stuff came from)
-a broken table
-a lot of decaying plywood that was forming the quasi-floor of the garage, having been laid directly onto the dirt
-a wheeled drafting table
-some sort of electric bug killer
-a lot of broken plexiglass
-some mysterious platform things -- maybe proto-floors?
-a big plywood base which we think might have been from Pop-Pop's train garden (a family hobby Don hopes to start up again someday)
-a giant glass window pane (we just couldn't think of a reason to save it -- plus it was pretty scratched up)
-a homemade shelf thingie
-some old homemade weights
-a box of fishing weights
-two really long metal poles

Things Which Could Not, For Legal Reasons, Go Into The Dumpster:
-two window air conditioners, broken
-three car batteries
-approximately twenty four pint sized cans of transmission fluid

Things Which Did Not Get Put In The Dumpster Yet Because They Are Really Heavy:
-the staircase unit from the pool
-the deck platform the staircase used to lead up to
-a fifty gallon drum
-an old barbeque
-lots of really long PVC pipe
-the antenna that used to be on the roof
-a lot of rubble

Things We Decided To Save:
-the school lockers (certain people will be glad to hear that we decided to salvage the lockers -- they are in pretty bad shape but I love them too much to let them go, so we will build the floor around them for now and try to refurbish them someday)
-an ancient post hole digger made entirely of steel (VERY HEAVY and no I didn't know that until I tried to pick it up. Don laughed at me. A lot.)
-several other old tools (maybe we'll start a museum!)
-some cabinet doors, because they were pretty (maybe we'll use them as frames for something crafty! or maybe they'll sit around in the woodshop until the next generation decides to clean out the garage)
-spiders (really we're just wusses)