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three day weekend, i love you!

we have lined up: final cleanout of rental house, complete with uhaul van to take care of furniture donations. cookout with the family on sunday. maybe, finally, our giant trip to ikea if we're feeling up to it. for bookshelves, k's dresser, tv thing, assorted nonsense.

but also on saturday, i'm going for a trigger point massage to hopefully help with this searing pain in my leg. ow. stretching has not really been doing much, though sitting on a heating pad at night feels pretty awesome.


i am getting over this weird virus that i thought was food poisoning at first. crampy angry tums. exhausted, never hungry; my mom said if it was food poisoning it would have left my system in some dramatic fashion, and instead i just had this lingering exhaustion all week. like, climb in bed at 7pm exhaustion.


this morning we saw a nasty little egg thing in the cat's butt when she walked away from us on the bed. worms ahoy! it made me so paranoid. i caught pinworms once (didn't you really want to know that?) and it took paranoid hellish cleaning for like a week to get rid of it. all clothes in trash bags, every bed linen cleaned twice, etcetera. what a nightmare. i do NOT want to catch it from her, if it is a human-transferrable kind, so we are going to have to be extra crazy about washing hands and surfaces where she's stuck her butt and all that.

anyway. now we have to take a stool sample to the vet so they can give us the right kind of anti-worm medicine for her. we've had a stool sample kit FOREVER just sitting in the car's glove compartment waiting to start an awkward conversation. haha.

been listening to the ink spots on pandora, almost exclusively. would my every prayer begin and end with just your name? ghostly singing. so perfect and languid for these warm spring afternoons.
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here's kirk at our new office set up in the living room.

we took a trip to IKEA today :) i have been planning this out for a while, but this afternoon i was inspired to figure out the price and the measurements, and off we went. exciting! i do hate having to duck and weave through their stupid floorplan, avoiding all the ridiculously slow families, ugh. memories of boston sidewalk rage!

anyway. now we both have a large open workspace and plenty of storage underneath. before, this long wall of the living room was totally unused. my tiny desk was in one corner, kirk had our small old kitchen table in the other corner, totally covered in junk and really dim lighting. not anymore!

we found out that the kitchen table can fit in one corner of the kitchen, just barely, and i am so happy! it will be nice to have a place to eat that's not the couch. the dining room table is covered with my sewing projects right now, so it's pretty much unusable. (but also, we don't like it! it's an heirloom my mother grew up eating breakfast on every day, but the top has not been refinished properly and the veneer curls up at the edges. ANYWAYY does not matter, because now we have the kitchen table.)
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kirk and i have been talking a lot about buying a house. or, scratch that, buying land, and what we might do with it. last night i showed him the tumbleweed houses, which he hadn't seen before. he was enchanted, as i was. but then we had a discussion about what it might actually look like to get rid of all of our stuff, and we started to run into problems and tricky questions.

what do we do with our treasured book collection? where does a sewing machine fit? would we sell the letterpress? (been thinking about that for a while, since we haven't touched it in a year.) store our video game systems at my parents' house? a tiny house is cute and all that, but it's essentially like moving into an RV. we'd bring the bare essentials: some clothes, reference books, table games, some cookware. there's not even an oven. and there is no space to store endless sentimental things. or even bulk things, like cases of glass jars for canning. or six amethyst cut-glass iced tea glasses from texas. or my old journals. we have boxes and boxes of this stuff, either in our cupboards or in the attic.

kirk says we could just rent storage space and keep things there that we absolutely can't bear to part with. but i can't help but think we would be storing away the things for our 'real' life. the life with a legitimate kitchen, an expansive bookshelf. the fact that we started to get kind of anxious or weirded out by this idea is a sign to me that maybe we're not ready. or it's just not the right step.

maybe homesteading is my calling, but it doesn't have to be combined with living in a minuscule house, or at least not yet. and we could still pare down a lot of our belongings in order to have less of this accumulated sentimental effluvia.

ETA: But also, what is the point of our treasured book collection? Isn't it essentially scenery, props, unless we re-read? I can think of a few to keep that I do constantly reread. The River Why. Wise Children. Good Omens. The Secret History. Middlesex. Almost everything else (save ref books on gardening, cooking) I think I could let go of.
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dreaming of land, with tiny cottages and a longhouse for communal eating. oh god i want a commune so bad. i could raise chickens and jennie would raise dairy goats. we've already agreed. it would be divine.

but also, dreaming of a house. falling in love when it is so not appropriate.

le sigh. we need to pay down credit cards, which would allow us to start saving $500+ per month toward a down payment. we have been frittering away our extra income when we could have been paying down debts all this time.

realistically a house should be at least a year in our future. i'm not even unhappy with where we live (rent) right now, it's just that i have this itch to own something, tear it up and turn it into a massive garden. stop shopping. pare down to what is essential.
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the hot is back!

it's been like three weeks of chilly-ish weather.

later i'm supposed to make some blueberry crumb bars though i'm reluctant to turn on the stove.

i'm line drying some new fabric i bought today. this is for a reversible apron i'm trying out.

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yesterday i finally put the birdfeeder up in the backyard, and this morning it attracted little chickadees and a giant bluejay. pippa watched them from the kitchen window and made those funny little i-want-to-eat-you cat noises.

i put up the birdfeeder because i found it while cleaning off the shelf in the laundry room where i want to put my seedling tray. i have to keep it warm somehow, but there's no heat in that room. i wish my heating pad didn't have that stupid auto-off feature. maybe i can just use lamps with incandescent bulbs? almost all of our lamps now have cf bulbs in them now. i need to hurry, the stupid onions were supposed to be seeded several weeks ago :/

i think yesterday was actually the first day that the house was fully recovered from me being sick for two weeks this month. even though i've been better for a couple weeks now, the house stayed messy. the whole place needed a good sweeping and dusting and straightening

in addition to cleaning, we also got a new rug, table and lamps from ikea this weekend. the living room is so much more cozy! i am pleased with it.

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things i miss about cambridge:

1. british cadbury and kinder buenos at cardullo's
2. reliably cheap sunglasses at newbury comics
3. a lemon poppyseed scone from c'est bon
4. tea luxe! (in which to dunk my scone)
5. the quietness of upper brattle street
6. everyone i could greet on the sidewalks in harvard square

things i love about portland:

1. early spring, and hats barely needed in the winter
2. sidewalks not made of cobblestones and uneven bricks
3. cheap drinks like whoa
4. the unexpectedly awesome got curry?
5. happy strangers
6. so many neighborhoods to explore

but i want to feel more enmeshed in this city -- i'm just nibbling at its edges right now.
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today i made an apron from a book on vintage design and patterns of aprons that my mother gave me for christmas. i borrowed katie's sewing machine and managed to dredge up vague memories of using my mother's ancient sewing machine in order to get this one working. it was so satisfying! even if a bit back-breaking. i even hand-stitched on a little detail on the pocket of green tomatoes. if you click on the picture, you can see more photos from the project in my flickr stream.

soon my mom and i will be ordering a boatload of seeds from seed savers and i will be making seedlings of a number of things for both her garden and mine. i haven't grown a seedling since kindergarten, and the last garden i tended was a weedy flowerbed when i was 11, which lasted about three days. but i have high hopes! and a compost heap that is already started, and raised gardening beds that came with the house. i am very excited for experimenting and growing and such!
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today in the yard i:
  • raked the leaves off the pathways
  • discovered most of the front yard is actually moss
  • repaired part of the stone wall that had tumbled down
  • clipped back the rhododendron so it doesn't block the walkway
  • removed parts of a vine that are choking a tree in the backyard
  • cut down the sunflowers along the fence where they were rotting
  • took down part of a trellis that had come apart
  • discovered some mystery beans in cranberry-striped pods under the trellis:

Mystery beans from the garden
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we hit the first snag in the new house on saturday night. we moved everything we owned into the new house, borrowed or bought enough kitchen supplies to tide us over until our belongings are delivered, and tried to use the vintage sensi-temp stove to cook a simple, one-pot meal.

Stovetop cooking, vintage style
[more house pics here]

this sensi-temp is a lot more confusing than i thought. i think the idea is that it senses when you put the pot down -- there is a weight-sensitive button in the center of the burner. then you push a button indicating the size of your pan, and THEN you turn the fancy knob to indicate what temperature to heat the coil to.

all this wouldn't really be a problem if it actually worked. which it doesn't.

we eventually moved the pot to a back burner (not controlled by the fancy sensi-temp) and cooked our meal just fine, even if it was a little hard to control the heat. the range of temperatures on the three non-sensitemp burners are HI - 2 - 3 - LO - WARM. The fact that 2 indicates a higher temperature than 3 makes my head hurt.

i went googling sensi-temp stoves and couldn't find any manuals, or even much reference to it other than that it was considered a nightmare of an invention, when it worked, and then it shorted out on most stoves and was discontinued shortly thereafter.

i really can't stomach a non-working stove. i would be hideously sad to lose our adorable vintage stove in favor of a boring modern one, but seriously. i cook a lot! this will not do.
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we did the walk-through and lease signing at the new house this morning before work. we got our keys. once the leasing agent left, kirk and i walked all through the house again, opening every cupboard and drawer of the built-ins, exploring the gardens (kohlrabi, sunflowers, rosemary), taking pictures (will post later). i had a hard time leaving it -- i have such an intense love for its bones and quirks. the way the cupboards in the stairwell are double-hinged just so to pass behind the lightbulb overhead.

we will move in and sleep there for the first time tomorrow.


i walked around at lunch and took a thousand pictures of the campus to put up in the frames i had hung in my office. i have to pick four that harmonize as a group, plus one to be a modern counterpoint to the old one i picked out from the archives:

(the manor house, 1948, from lc digital collections)


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July 2013

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