This morning Charles called from Louisiana to tell me that the guys would be sealing the floors on Monday and so no one could walk on them. I said “This is a big problem.” AT&T and DISH were supposed to come out and do the installations on Monday. So, instead of getting my shower I had to spend half an hour on the phone with a rep getting the appointment changed. The upshot: We’ll have phone service on the existing lines, but the second line, internet and satellite service has to wait until the 31st. Oh dear, oh dear, what shall we do w/o the internets?

Go to American Science and Surplus, that’s what. Next weekend is their big sale, and as long as Jim is coming in on Saturday anyway, we figured we’d all go on up and fit out the house with weird stuff. I saw some slot board for $7.50 each and green chalkboard for $7.95. Both are things we wanted for the house. We can also get an outdoor thermometer, and huge bags of flat-backed marbles for $4.95 a bag! I’m not even going to tell you what that stuff sells for at other places.

How do I know all this? Well this morning, as I was desperately gulping down a bowl of cereal so I could take my pills, Barbara showed up to help pack and to see the villa. She and I made a huge dent in the stuff in the studio, so now most of what I have to pack in there will be my fabric. Then we went to lunch at Panera and I had some excellent tomato soup, and an amazing veggie sandwich, half of which I brought home with me because it was so damn big.

I took her to the villa and we dropped off my coffee maker, then I showed her around. She really loved the place even though I couldn’t show her my living room or dining room properly because David’s crew was there staining the floor. It’s going to be gorgeous. And Avery had gotten a bunch of the light fixtures up, so I was a happy camper.

Once we finished there, we went up AmSciPlus where I found a wooden shoe mold painted blue. That’s a mold for shoes, made out of wood, not a mold for wooden shoes. It was the only one they had and it was $1.25! It is so completely cool that I’m still humming with happiness over it. Also got some old apothecary bottles with stoppers, a pair of large brown “moonshine” bottles and corks to fit. A French salad dressing bottle with recipes on the side, some shrink plastic, a plastic needlepoint canvas which will probably work well for felting, some freezer labels, and three very large blending stumps for thirty-five cents each. I could have spent hundreds there but I didn’t want to have to move it all, so I’m thrilled to be going back next weekend. I may miss the old store which had wooden floors and an indefinably weird vibe, but this place has kind of grown on me. And now that it’s been open for a while it’s finding its own weirdness, which is a gift. Fly your freak flag proudly, I say!

We stopped at Staples to get some more bubble wrap and I tested some new desk chairs because mine has seen better days. And stopped at Starbucks for coffee to go with our desserts which we’d gotten at Panera.

After Barbara left, Glinda came by with Jim to pick up the mixer I’m giving her, and I gave Jim a light fixture for his (sorta newish) place. They were out and about looking for a new mattress for Glinda and some cat litter, and then were going back to the villa, so I gave them my bags from AmSciPlus to take over. I think our Eddie Izzard tickets had arrived, so I told her where to find the envelope. Woot!

And now everyone is gone, and I’ve just finished the second half of my sandwich which was still excellent in spite of having been sitting around for five hours. I also got a loaf of asiago cheese bread, an everything bagel and two cookies. The bread and bagel will keep me feeling like I actually have real food in the house for a few days, and the cookies… will be eaten tonight, I’m sure of it. *g*

Okay, back to packing. Before I drop off to sleep.


Random Randomness

ZOMG, I’m writing again! After… well I don’t know how long it’s been, but after that long I’ve begun to write again. I had an idea the other night while watching Ghost Hunters and it hasn’t let me rest. So instead of packing I wrote much of the morning. Of course now that I’m writing again I’m craving coffee instead of tea (Each side of my brain prefers a different hot beverage. “Hello, right side, would you like some coffee?” “Oh no, I drink tea. Only tea.” “You do not, you liar, I’ve seen you drink coffee.” “Shut up, left side. Go drink coffee and write porn or something.”)

God, I forget what the point was. Oh yeah, because I’m making coffee, I have to wait for it to finish its cycle so I packed a whole box full of dishes from the kitchen. Boy, that really drives it home for me. Shelagh said it was taking down her art, but for me it’s the dishes, the things of everyday life. It’s really happening. Jeez.

Oh, and it’s snowing. Not that I think it’s related to the writing because, hello? Lots of snow already this winter. But I always wrote better in the winter. But it’s spring, isn’t it? It’s snowing and it’s spring, and it’s also J. S. Bach’s birthday so today is uber special and should be celebrated. So go hoist a cantata or two in his name.

It’s The Villa, sir. They have a flag.

A tip of the hat to Eddie Izzard there. And yes, we do have a flag. I put it out this morning during a brief visit to the villa. It’s a flag of daffodils for spring. We’ll be the (temporary) Queendom of Daffodils. I’ll photograph it next time I go over there.

How on earth do people sand floors without goggles and a mask? I was there for ten minutes and got schmuts in my eyes, and my sinuses still hurt. Alas, my floors are permanently stained, but it’s no biggie, IMO. The rest of the place has personality, the floors should have it, too. Nothing should be perfect. Besides, I expect Caddy to urp up on the floors the minute I let him loose in the house, adding his own distinctive personality to the mix.

I have a new back door, broom closet (almost) and book alcove in the kitchen (almost.) Life is good. Except for my scavenger service which sucks. But I told them to talk to my lawyer.

As soon as Anna’s crew comes by to pick up the last of the stuff from the dining room, I’m back to packing.

Ooo, and “The Riches” last night? Wow, words cannot express my love for that weird show. I don’t know why I love it so much since I spend the whole hour in a state of anxiety, but there you are, I’m hooked.

Cocteau Plates

I didn’t expect the plates to generate such curiosity, but I’m gratified that they did. Cocteau deserves to be more widely known. When I posted over on Live Journal, my Cocteau icon came up of its own accord. Let’s hear it for serendipity. Apologies for the rather unorthodox method of display but I simply don’t have much horizontal space free just now.

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I’ve never been too inclined to celebrate St. Pats

Because I don’t think it was very nice of him to be so mean to the snakes. But I did put my feet up, turn on the special Irish episodes of “Ghost Hunters” they were showing tonight, and broke open a bottle of ale in honor of the day and all my Irish friends.

Packing the kitchen and bathroom is a progressive activity. First you pack everything you’re pretty sure you won’t need for the next month, then the stuff you probably won’t need for the next week, and finally all the rest of the stuff you’re hoping you won’t need for the next day or so. As I pack, I consolidate what’s left into smaller and smaller spaces so now I have five kitchen drawers filled, mostly with cutlery and gadgets of various kinds, four cabinets filled with dishes, which I’ll get to tomorrow, and half the lazy susan filled with various foodstuffs like cereal (I fear I’ll be eating quite a lot of that next week) and the various half-used things which I won’t be bringing along. The same is true for the fridge. Little-by-little I’m clearing things out. I figure that if I don’t care to eat these things now, when the only other alternatives are to carry them with me to the new place or toss them, I pretty much won’t be buying them anymore.

I heard from Anna. She wants the dining room set, so that’s another big headache over with. I’m going to call the movers tomorrow to firm up the date and get a time from them. Prolly 8 a.m. I’ve sort of decided to hand my keys to Mike on Saturday and let him take anything from the basement or garage he thinks he can use, and ask him to deep six the rest. That’ll pretty effectively empty everything out. And then on Monday, the 31st, I’ll turn the keys over to the new owner and it’ll be over. Gene is going to be doing lock work at the villa on Monday, too.

The Cocteau plates cleaned up very well. I really am thinking they’d look great on the red wall with my Chat Noir poster.

Someday I’ll be able to sit on my sun porch with my feet up, watching the birds in my garden, and knowing that my house is clean and everything is in place. I figure that will be some time in 2012.

Things are buzzing along

In some cases quite literally. The shredders just came by and did 19 boxes of my parents’ old paperwork. That’s out of my hair now, thank goodness. And before that, Anna came by and picked up the chests for restoration. She’s also going to fix a wood carving and a papier mache dog. Poor thing only has one leg intact!

I asked her if she’d be interested in my dining room set and she might be. I’d actually love to work out a trade with her for the restoration work plus a store credit because I know I’ll be looking for furniture for the new place. She seemed to like the idea, too.

While I was down in the basement I finally rescued my Jean Cocteau plates. They’d been underwater in the flood and the boxes were just covered in mold and mildew. So I pried them open and scrubbed the worst of it off the plates. Now they’re in a sink full of hot water and soap. I’d like to use them at the house, but I’m not sure how yet. I know they’d be best on display but at the same time I’d love to make use of them. I’ll have to think on that. I also found some other boxes of cool stuff and my enamelling kiln. Whatever Robin doesn’t take on the next trip I may just have the movers take to the new garage and sort it all out there. If I can do that with the doors open it might be less of a problem to get rid of what’s beyond saving. At least I’ll be able to breathe. Ten minutes of working with those soaked boxes and the whole right side of my head feels like it’s stuffed with cotton.

I started working in the studio yesterday and will prolly continue there this afternoon. Last night I just kicked back and watched the end of “Rear Window” and then “All About Eve” on TCM. It was fab. Two of my favorite films.

Now I need some lunch, and then it’ll be back to packing.

Oh and btw, tuna salad topped with sushi ginger is amazing!

D’you remember that scene in “Pretty Woman”

The one where Edward takes Vivian into the pricey boutique and tells the manager that there needs to be a lot of sucking up because they’re going to be spending an obscene amount of money and the manager asks: “Just how obscene an amount of cash are we talking about here? Profane or really offensive?” Edward replies: “Really offensive.”

Well… Glinda and I were really offensive over at Abt yesterday. We replaced the stoves, fridges, washer and dryer, and then bought a free-standing freezer for the basement. I also got a new, flat-screen TV (No, not a football-field-size one, just widescreen enough to watch Lawrence of Arabia comfortably.) with a very nice, sleek stand, and a KitchenAid pro model mixer in bright red. The nice saleslady (Dale, for any of you locals who shop at Abt. She’s low-key, knows her stuff and rescues kitties.) gave us a good deal on all that, but Charles took her to the side, worked his Charlesmagic (TM) and she came back glowing, looking positively thrilled to be telling us she was going to knock off another few hundred dollars because Charles is such an excellent schmoozer.

We started out the day at my bank because I needed to get cash for Charles and sign the papers for my new CD (invest, invest, invest) Because I’m on hugging terms with one of the personal bankers over there she arranged for Charles to be able to cash my checks there in spite of the rule that says you can’t cash checks there unless you have an account. I love my bank.

Then we went to the villa (and yes, there are pics, just hang on a bit) to meet with the ADT guy who had clearly breakfasted on Mexican jumping beans washed down with pure caffeine, as Glinda put it. Nice, nice guy, but he expended more energy in half an hour than I do in a week. Anyway he assessed the building and gave us his best advice on what we needed, so now I’m just waiting for the price quote. The only good solution to the problem of wiring the outer doors (a must) was the we each had portable controls for the other person’s apartment. He hesitated over this and said that the problem with that was that if something happened then one of us could say to the other “Things are missing, and you’re the only one who could have turned off the alarm.” Glinda and I looked at each other and laughed which startled him. “Not gonna happen” we told him.

Charles bought us lunch at the local Mickey D’s, bless him, because by that time I was starting to feel a bit woozy. ( Between irregular eating habits of the last few weeks and all the stress, my meds sometimes catch up with me at odd moments.)

From there, I had to drop off my tax stuff with Charlotte. I also brought her Christmas gifts along, still shockingly unwrapped and in a cardboard box, a tin of my favorite tea because I adore Charlotte and want her to be happy, and one of my mother’s antique Limoges boxes to remember her by. Charlotte gave me a chocolate chip cookie and a check for a bit more than what I’d just paid Charles so I’d suddenly broken even on the day. That didn’t last long.

From there to Abt where we fulfilled a mutual long-time fantasy of pointing and saying “We’ll take two of those, two of those, one of these, oh and throw that thing in…” Then we hit a couple of Home Despot stores for Glinda’s light fixtures. She chose the same closet lights I did, and a beautiful 6-light chandelier for her dining room. My feet were hurting by that time so we went back to the villa and dropped off all the stuff we’d bought (new brooms — sweep clean! — mop, bukket *g*, lightbulbs, painter’s tape, an Easter lily and a home decorating magazine to which I am addicted.

Charles dropped us at my place where we made tea and had chocolate chip scones, and made fun of people on HGTV while we waited for Renka and Gene. After a wonderful dinner at Great Beijing (Mongolian Mashup, Mmmmmmm) we took them to the villa for the first time. And they loved it! Renka, Glinda and I talked decorating while Gene inspected locks and made measurements. He’s going to do all our lock work, which is great because he’s a fantastic locksmith. He also gave me a page of notes to pass along to Charles about what to get when replacing the doors in back.

And finally, home. Caddy was waiting for me, and did his “Feed me, woman, and then get back in mah bed!” thing which I was actually quite happy to do. And I slept hard with a cat wound around my head all night. And now I have to get back to packing.

But first, the photos.

I think you can see from this photo, why my floors need refinishing

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All of my light switches look like this

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This used to be a pair of old mailboxes in use when the outer door was left open. I had Mike take them out, and Glinda and I are going to make a little niche thingy in it. Maybe a shrine to Frank Lloyd Wright *g*

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When the boys move in with their tools, everything starts to look like this

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New closet door in my bedroom. Almost.

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New bedroom closet from kitchen

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We’re going to have roses, wisteria and — we think — a magnolia.

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Fire pit. Not staying.

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The old stove with Glinda’s shoes reflected in the door

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Electric in, gas out (so to speak)

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Mixin’ up a nice sheetrock cake

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There was once a door here!

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This is the pot we pulled down from under the porch roof.

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So that’s it, kids.

Well, I lied.

Exaggerated, really. That wasn’t my last post before the move. There are two weeks to go, and I have changes to document. Unfortunately I didn’t think to bring my camera along on my last trip to the villa, so you’ll have to see this through my eyes. I am a camera. (No, stop it, this is not Isherwood decadence talking. It’s renovation.)

On Tuesday Charles came by and took me over to the villa. On the way in, I pointed out something at the top of one of the brick pillars of the porch so he climbed up and pulled it down. It was a beautifully glazed pot! I suspect it got stuck up there to keep birds from nesting (doesn’t do to have them dive-bombing visitors) and then forgotten. I want to make the place bird-friendly, but that’s not the best nesting spot, IMO. We’ll have to fix that.

Inside, total chaos! Jorge was plastering the wall in my studio where the second door had been, Avery and the other Charles were running new electrical wires almost everywhere since much of the wiring was very old. In the process they discovered wiring for sconces in the dining room so I said “Yeah, leave them, I could use the light.” I also now have a place to put a ceiling fan in the living room. Avery said he’d never seen a place with more electrical outlets per room.

My closet has been completely gutted and is now 12′ x 4′. The whole floor needs to be replaced which means the bedroom floor has to be refinished to match. I think that since I’m having the living and dining room floors stained to match the woodwork around the windows, I’ll do the same in the bedroom. I like a darker finish on floors. It’s kind of unusual.

The opening for my back door (which is being moved because of the closet enlargement) was starting when I got there, and I nixed putting it in the middle of the wall. I need it just about 90 degrees from where it originally was so I can open the door without hitting my table and chairs. It’s not that big a sun porch!

Then we hit Home Despot for lighting fixtures. For the hall I got bronze-tone fixtures. A ceiling lamp for my doorway and an uplight for Glinda’s. I got a perfectly gorgeous bronze-tone fan for my bedroom, and two very girly flush-mount fixtures for the closet. Also a bronze-tone fan/light combo for the bathroom and two replacement fixtures for this place since I’m taking two of my fixtures with me.

Next we stopped at Lee Lumber. Lovely people there! I asked for info on cafe doors for my closet, and am waiting for quotes. Then I ordered the new windows for the sun porch, and found the absolute perfect countertop in Cesar Stone. I okayed the windows but now I’m waiting for the quotes on the counter + installation. When I spoke to the kitchen guy Charles works with, I asked him about pull out shelves and something to make that corner cabinet less impossible, so I’m anxious to see what he has in mind. I also asked about glass-front doors for some of my cabinets. I might not do it, but the variety would be a good thing.

Then Charles, brilliant guy that he is, suggested bumping back the wall of my closet about 10 inches and putting shelves in the alcove. This is a great idea because I can put my cookbooks and teapots on them. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!

Oh god, please let most of it be done by moving day…

Possibly the last post before my move

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This place looks like someone came along and shook it. There’s stuff everywhere. Mostly boxes, thank goodness. A friend came over on Sunday and helped me pack. She was amazing! Unfortunately now I seem to be running low on boxes. *facepalm*

In my downtime, I’ve been crocheting, and felting the results with mixed success. I’ve developed an obsession with vessels. Here are two recently felted projects:

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I’ve already learned a few things about the process by doing these. Unfortunately I doubt I’ll have much time to put those lessons to use until I move.

Work over at the new place — now officially christened “Villa Allegra” with champagne and everything — proceeds apace. Very apace. It’s going along so quickly that I’ve been okaying ancillary projects like the moving of doors, which I’d previously avoided because of the time factor. As it stands now I’m going to have a 4′ x 12′ bedroom closet! Yes, 48 square feet! I swoon. Honestly, this is all such fun, I don’t know why people don’t do more of it. And if I had to actually live through it I wouldn’t be saying that.

Today I get to pick out some new lighting fixtures and a door for my HUGE closet. Also new windows for my sun porch. Calooo, callay!

Must finish tea and get dressed.