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Friday, November 30, 2007

done moving

I actually forgot to post earlier this week about the fact that we've officially completed the move downstairs. Don wired in another of the ceiling fan lights from upstairs to light the new temporary bedroom:

Then he put up some 2x4s to re-create the old front hallway between the stairs and the living room and stapled tarp to them to make the last wall, fully enclosing the living room. All of the tools that were in the family room got moved up stairs so that we can use it as a guest room -- Lindley's already used it, over the weekend while we were selling at the convention. My sister will be using it next week.

As soon as Don gets back from his latest business trip, he's going to start organizing the upstairs demolition. The window company called us and said they were looking for work in the next few months, and would we be interested in a couple of incentives? Why certainly! So as soon as the demo gets done upstairs they'll come in and do the windows finally. And sometime around there the upstairs HVAC will get done, too. It seems that scheduling things in the off season is really the way to get fast service in the contracting world.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

not a bloggy time of year for me

The holidays are a serious danger to my blogging. This is always the time of year when things start to lapse around here, internet-wise. Last year it was a surgery -- this year it's work, work, work! We've been slammed at the office, churning out proposals as fast as we can and working a lot of overtime.

And the holiday weekend, unfortunately, was NOT a break for me!

We were vendors at Darkover 2007 all weekend -- setup started Friday at 11 AM and the show ended Sunday at about 4 PM. The picture above is of me taking down our booth on Sunday (I'm sorting rocks!). Lindley's full set is here. It was fun -- our first real convention, and successful enough to merit going back next year -- but it's definitely work to be a seller at these sorts of things, and more work after three weeks of full-tilt proposal writing plus a long Thanksgiving day over at Chez Brinkley was pretty wearing. (It didn't help that I had to be up at five AM Sunday morning to take Don to the airport in the middle of all of this!) By the end of the weekend I was ready to sleep sleep sleep. But of course I didn't get to, because my mom and I had arranged to spend Monday Christmas shopping together. Most of my list is crossed off after a successful day (and a few online orders in the evening), but I woke up on Tuesday running a fever, aching, and exhausted. My body just wanted to finally shut down. I called in and said I was staying home to rest, but not more than an hour later I got an emergency assignment from work that HAD to be done, and had to be done fast. By me. Sigh. No rest accomplished.

Then it was back to work yesterday, for another extra-long day, and more of the same for the rest of the week. I'm hoping that this weekend I can FINALLY relax a little bit -- and maybe clean up the disaster area that is my house after three weeks of coming home late with no time to clean, plus Anapurna displays and inventory strewn wherever we put them after unloading the car Sunday night, plus the detritus of family visits (in addition to my mom this past weekend, my dad and grandparents were here the weekend before that -- and my sister is coming to visit on Tuesday! Augh!) -- restaurant leftovers, empty boxes, souvenirs from Dad's trip to Greece, a box of Grandma's cookies (Don LOVES them), bags and bits from shopping trips and crafty discussions with Mom, and all the other things that build up when people come over.

So, uh, maybe not so much relaxation. Just cleaning. Lots of cleaning

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

studio helper

I was trying to take some bead photos to list some stuff on our Etsy shop the other day, but I had a little unexpected help.

Also, I need a macro filter like whoa.

Monday, November 19, 2007

so crafty

Today I organized my temporary craft space. It was pretty satisfying, I feel like I can finally get some things done.



Check out pics of each of the tables -- here and here -- for my notes on what everything is, if you're curious.

Administrative PS: I'm switching to a somewhat larger font from now on, so that my grandmother can read the blog a little more easily. :) I doubt most of you will notice or care, but that's why the font's bigger now.

Friday, November 16, 2007

a little surprise for don

I have been keeping this a secret ALL WEEK. And that's a major accomplishment, as anyone who knows me knows that I'm not so great at keeping secrets of the happy variety. But I'm pretty sure that Don has checked out of his hotel and won't have Internet access til he gets home tonight, so I can finally post this!

On Sunday, after I dropped Don off at the airport, I moved all of our bedroom furniture downstairs to its new home in the living room. The bed, both dressers, the TV, and the nightstands. I went out during the week and picked up some inexpensive garment racks, and got all of our clothes moved down. I've also cleaned the downstairs bathroom and moved all of our bathroom stuff down.

He's going to be pretty surprised. We were both disappointed that we didn't manage to find time to move the bed down before he left, and he said "Well, at least I know you won't hurt yourself trying to move the other stuff down, since there's no way you can move the bed down by yourself and there's no point in moving the other furniture without the bed." Little did he know! We made plans to move the bedroom furniture this weekend, after he got back, trying to fit it around his flight in, D&D on Saturday, and a visit from family on Sunday. But as soon as he was gone, I came back home and managed to get it all done by myself! And no, I didn't hurt myself except for one scraped knuckle. Actually, I hurt myself more when I fell down the stairs this morning not trying to do anything at all than I did during all that effort.

Anyway, I finished the last bit up this morning and took the picture above and this one, which I've put notes in for you curious types. It shows the whole room, as seen from the stairs.

I've managed to keep it a secret all week, so I'm excited to see what he says tonight. I'm sure he knew I'd try to get SOMETHING done, but I don't think he would ever imagine that I got all of this done. Go me!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

things i have learned while don was away

-Left alone, I talk to myself. Like, a lot. In parking lots, too.

-Bagel chips and garlic-herb cheese spread are a perfectly acceptable dinner.

-I'm both more and less self-sufficient than I expected.

-There really is nothing good on TV.

-Sledgehammers are heavy, even little ones.

-The Bank of America on Route 1 near the Laurel Mall doesn't exist anymore.

-Working late can be satisfying when you get a lot done.

-The grocery store is open until midnight.

-Don't go to the grocery store when you're hungry, you'll wind up eating bagel chips and cheese spread for dinner.

-A week is shorter than I thought but it's still kind of a long time.

I'm looking forward to Don coming home tomorrow. The cat, on the other hand, could take it or leave it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

office space

new office
Originally uploaded by jamailac
The last thing Don did this weekend before he left for his business trip was to move our office downstairs. He even took the ceiling light/fan from the upstairs back bedroom that had been serving as the temporary office and wired it into a temporary setup to give us some overhead light! He really struggled to get it all done before he left on Sunday, and I really, really appreciate it.

This photo's kind of dark, so you may want to click through to see the larger version on Flickr -- I've put some notes in there to identify everything, if you like that sort of thing.

I'm really excited to finally have some usable surface space in the house. You can see that the Anapurna stuff is currently strewn all over the two tables on the right that we set up for exactly that purpose; I'm going to try to organize it a bit so that those tables can be used as crafting space, leaving the extra table in between our desks available for us to use for more office-y purposes (right now it holds the printer, my week's to-do list, and a test setup for some photography that I was trying out, having dug my tripod out finally). And for the cat to walk on, of course. She's already indulged herself in that privilege several times since I put the table up.

Monday, November 12, 2007

kind of like a padded room

So, I promised pictures of The Great Tarping of Ought Seven. Here's one, anyway. Living in this space is a little surreal; the tarp covers everything from floor to ceiling, so it can be a little unnerving. I'm not used to black walls and black ceilings and vaguely shiny rooms. As you can see, Don put clear tarp over the windows, to keep the light but make sure we're maintaining the insulatory effect and also for privacy for when we move down. The picture above is the corner of the living room; the entire living room and dining room look like this. Very weird.

Friday, November 09, 2007

make it hot, hot, hot

The heat is fixed -- HVAC guy did in fact show up, although not as promptly as we might have hoped. He installed some pipes and voila! Leak-free heat. So that's good.

As for the progress that's been made downstairs, I haven't got any pictures, as my camera battery is dead and I haven't decided what to unplug to plug the charger in. Life will be so much easier when our whole house has functioning electricity and fully-installed outlets. Anyway, what's happened is that Don has actually managed to completely line the downstairs walls with tarp. This is going to serve as makeshift insulation, creating an air barrier between us and the outside. It's not much, but it's better than nothing. He's also lined the ceilings, both to prevent hot air from rising to the soon-to-be-unused second story and to prevent plaster dust and construction debris from falling through the floor and severely damaging something, like the cat. It's all about the preparation (he was an Eagle Scout! Did you know? As far as I can tell the only thing he gained from it was a lot of experience playing Magic: The Gathering and the ability to tie seemingly complicated knots that don't actually hold things together [I'm pretty sure bungee cords were invented to save us from Eagle Scouts]).

So, there is in fact a possibility that by the time he flies out for his business trip on Sunday (still no idea how I'm going to entertain myself for a WHOLE WEEK without somebody to bicker with), we could in fact have at least the bed downstairs. And maybe the desks. This is complicated by the fact that I'm going to the Bead Society of Greater Washington's Bead Bazaar with Lindley tomorrow, and we still have to do a lot of laundry, but still! Heat! Not having to huddle in bed under the down blanket at 7 PM because it's the only place to be moderately warm! Very exciting.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

soooo coooold

I'm waiting for the HVAC guy. It's like some horrible version of deja vu, except with added coldness.

Our new heating thingie (I never know the difference between a furnace and a heat pump so I have no idea which one we have -- therefore you get the technical term 'thingie') is leaking water all over the basement. Don called the HVAC guy yesterday and he said not to panic, it's actually a fairly common problem with new installations. Apparently the manufacturer often ships a faulty water line with these units, so it has to be replaced. HVAC guy is supposed to be here sometime around 11 today to fix it, very prompt service on his part if it actually happens.

In the meantime, Don has turned off the heat so that the basement won't be full of water -- probably a sensible thing to do, really. But I'm the one who's stuck at home waiting with no heat. He has a super-important briefing at work today, so he had to go in. I have a lot of super-important things to do, too -- we have a proposal due in about a week -- but I agreed to stay home for the morning. I'll go into the office after HVAC guy gets here. In the meantime, I freeze.

Seriously, I'm SO COLD. My hands are so cold I could hardly type this stupid post. Ugh, winter sucks!

Further progress has been made downstairs but I'm too cold to write about it, you'll just have to wait.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

karma strikes again

So, last week, Anger Hangover posted about this terrifying bug she found in her bathroom. (Seriously, click through and look at the picture, then come back. I'll wait for the shakes to stop.)

At the Blogger Happy Hour on Friday, I may have made fun of her a teeny bit. Just a little. I might have mentioned that bugs can crawl under bathroom doors. I may have casually told her that the bug probably crawled into her ear and laid eggs in her brain. Maybe. Just a little. You know.

Well, karma is a bitch. Because guess what was in MY bathroom last night?


Now, I don't think the same bug crawled over to Baltimore Highlands from Pigtown after laying its stock of eggs in AH's fertile brain-juice. But it was definitely the same kind of bug. EXACTLY the same kind of bug.

Don killed it.

He's staying home today -- hopefully if we're haunted, the evil bug ghost will go after him and not the cat. She's too cute to die!

PS: Special note to the Baltimore Ravens, whose game we were watching when the exciting events above occured: COME ON. Seriously. You guys. Just because it's the Steelers' 75th anniversary blah blah blah didn't mean you had to GIVE them the game. You could have at least made them have to TRY. I don't think I'll even be able to watch the upcoming Ravens-Patriots game. It's going to be a massacre.

Monday, November 05, 2007

how the cat wishes we would spend every day

And how we spent a great deal of the weekend, which means I have absolutely nothing to post about this week. Also: note identical expressions of smirky glee.

Friday, November 02, 2007

i need to start using my tripod

This action wiring shot came out okay, but it could have been better.