Signing Off

This will be my last entry until we get reconnected to the internet. It shouldn't be long, but I'm sure it will be a few days. I'll probably go to Hastings if the process is going to take longer than three days. There, I can order a cappuccino and use their Wi-Fi.

Meanwhile, back in the Crap and Corruption Department, it turns out we won't have any help moving tomorrow after all. This has acted as the final straw for my health. My thyroid issues are so bad right now that I'm seriously concerned. I'll be very little help, which leaves Nettl and Micah to do nearly everything, including moving a 900 pound piano. Joel and I will do everything we can, but I'm already predicting that it'll take me a month or more to feel well again (such as that is anyway, since 58% became my new 100% last year). Oh well, it'll get done and I'll be back online as soon as possible.

Something Other than Moving

Recently, I discovered Art Garfunkel's official website. Hidden away within its depths are a set of lists of all the books he has read throughout his lifetime. I was really impressed, not only that he has read probably every English language book on the planet, but that he also kept a record of them from June, 1968. Check it out.

I was intregued that his favorite book of all time is Rousseau's Confessions (1781). I'll have to read that as soon as we've settled in.


There's Nothing More Studly Than a Homo with a Power Tool

Today our good friend Dr. Kielbasa came to the cottage with his Black and Decker and virtually installed the bathroom bi-fold door for me. Who knew that a music history professor could so deftly handle his power tool?

Thanks Herr Doktor! You made us hot all over.

(This picture is of the doctor and Nettl sharing a La Dolce Vita moment at our 2007-08 New Year's Eve party.)

All You Worriers Can Relax Now

Ville just called to say that two guys from her office have been threatened with their lives volunteered to come over Friday afternoon to move our big furniture items for us. Yay! Ville to the rescue yet again. This is such a relief! Now we won't have to kill ourselves, and you all can finally stop worrying about us.

It's been really raining this morning, so we won't be moving anymore small stuff over until it clears up. Won't you all be glad when this move is over and I quit writing about it? Anyway, Ville, I owe you big time!

My Usual Bed Time

This is what I get for going to bed at midnight.

In the past few days I've gotten Nettl hooked on Virtual Villagers. Last night our oldest, the village healer, died at age 70. We were actually sad. Instead of thinking we were just sappy (which we are anyway), I said, "It kind of shows how limitless the human capacity for love is, that we could feel loss over ones and zeros."


How About a Checklist?

Ye gods! I don't think this will ever be over. I've laid pretty low today,  though, because my blood pressure's up so high that my feet are all swollen and tingly, and I've been pale and clammy. I slept mostly, but I did pull nails, washed all of the antique plates that were on the walls, laundered the lace curtains and filled a couple of boxes. Nettl did everything else today, bless her. Yesterday, we painted from about 2 in the afternoon to 11 at night, not to mention all of us packing the van and the pickup and unloading them...


20 Things I Would Love to Say

The most recent meme to resurface is the “20 Things I Would Love To Say” meme. You make a list of things you wish you could say to someone, but you don’t name names. The readers then either join in with their own lists of anonymous statements, or spend the rest of their day trying to figure out who the blogger was referring to, wondering if it was them. Passive-aggression at its worst, no?

This can be a fun, but it also carries the potential of turning really snarky and mean-spirited. I’ve decided to play along, with the disclaimer that if you’re reading this, I might very well be talking about you.

  1. It doesn't matter how old you are, I'll always be a decade older, so you'll always be young and beautiful to me!

  2. There's a big difference between happiness and joy. Happiness is fleeting and originates from outside things. Joy is eternal and comes from within. You have a lot to be grateful for.

  3. If I am ever in the position to do so, I'm going to make your life so much easier for you.

  4. I have finally figured out, after all these years, that you come here because you like my blog, not to stalk me like you used to do. Pagina does not mask your regular visits like you think it does, but that's okay. I understand the quandary you're in.

  5. You'll never read this, but I'll never get over your death. After all these years the pain is as sharp as it was when you died -- I've just learned to tune it out most days.

  6. It has taken a long time for you to break through my doubt, but you have done so at last, with your gentle tenacity and your kindness.

  7. Watching you make your way through the dark night has been difficult, to say the least, but my admiration has only increased my love for you.

  8. I wish I could gloat that you got all that genius from being around me, but I can't. You are walking proof that talent is in the DNA.

  9. That was so damned gross, I knew it was you.

  10. I'm still amazed that you write emails to me. I mean, you were my blog heroine for so long -- you're a blog celebrity!

  11. Grumpy doesn't scare me, just don't Bogart that absinthe.

  12. I miss the eyes, dude.

  13. I had a hard time liking you at first, then you really grew on me. Like a bad yeast infection.

  14. We have so damned much in common, I think we were twins in a past life. Only, you were the one that got all the class.

  15. A day without one of your entries is like a day without a B.M.

  16. How do you see all those tiny details and then think to photograph them? And so perfectly, too.

  17. At least you're staying away. I think that's the nicest thing that anyone's ever done for me.

  18. Really, if you're going to play "spy", get your roots bleached.

  19. Sorry if I delete your comments from time-to-time. It's just that it's hard to tell if they're ad-spam or not.

  20. Just turn off your computer and go to bed, dumbass.


I Heard From Salzburg!

This morning when I fired up my laptop, there was an email from the Mozarteum in Salzburg awaiting me. In the friendliest of letters the director of research told me that my cache items were "of vital interest" to them and he asked me to please not sell them, and keep them safe. Other things were said that I cannot reveal here, but it was all good.

At last, some movement! And after yesterday's crapola, a very welcome and appreciated upward turn. Perhaps that was simply the last hurdle we had to scale in this decade of trials and tests before our karma can come to us.

Art credit: Salzburg, City of Mozart by Rod L. McGehee


This Old Spouse: Thoughts That Arise During a Move

1. Was it really easier to hammer that cup hook flat than to screw it out of the window's crown molding?

2. Although popular in the late 1980s and early '90s, that forest green on all of the old woodwork was a bad idea.

3. Plastic and brass modern chandeliers are never, and have never been, in good taste.

4. Drilling a cable hole in the wall and adding two wall plates is a whole lot easier than leading, draping and stapling cable along walls, under doors, and over closet door sills.

5. Barf pink is not the new peach.

6. It takes all of five seconds to put a switch plate on straight.

7. Dude, we found those (unused) condoms hidden in the Marlboro box.

8. Baroque music makes painting go a lot faster, and ELO and Queen make it more fun.

9. There's nothing like a cherry limeade from Sonic in the middle of a hot painting and cleaning day. You don't have to get out of your car and gross people out.

10. There's a sort of pride one gets walking through Lowe's wearing paint-covered, holey Levis and a paint-spattered Hawaiian shirt with a screw driver in the front pocket and a tape measure clipped onto your waistband.

11. Drinking that one beer while taking a rest on the front porch is the best feeling in the world.

12. Saying one is going to paint and getting one's ass up to go do it are two different things. I think I'll stall a bit longer; I wouldn't want to miss seeing Nettl when she comes home for lunch.

Is It a Bulletted List if There Are No Bullets?

So it took me a couple days longer to recover from our weekend painting bender, but I'm okay now and I've learned a valuable lesson:

~  No 12-hour days, especially two in a row, dumb ass! Really, I can't believe that I think I can still push myself like that. That's the problem with aging. The person inside us is always the age we were at our prime, and the body gets the sour end of the deal.

~  Nettl has been selling the kids' outgrown furniture like a fiend on Craigslist. Hey, cash in hand + fewer things to move = smart lady!

~  Today, I'm going to the cottage to finish the dining room windows (they've been primered, but not painted) and Joel's bedroom door (it's been primered and painted, but it needs a second coat). Nothing else though. I'm not that okay yet.

~  You know what I don't get? How so many people think alot and readmore are legitimate compound words. I see others like this on the web, but I can't remember them right now. And why is bedroom okay, but not diningroom or livingroom? Here on my Blogger post page, the last two have the spellcheck's little red dotted line beneath them, but the first one doesn't. Makes no sense to me.

Sorry if this appears kind of like a bulleted list. It's my bed time (bedtime) and I wanted to get a post up.

That sounded nasty.

It's Wednesday? Really? Wow, I thought it was Thursday. Usually, I miss a day, not add one.


The First Before & After Pictures

Adjusting my mind to this mood isn't easy. I love this house; it represents reward and accomplishment after years of hard work. Moving into a small, dirty rental in an old part of town represents failure to me. Moving down. I'm working on it, but I admit I'm depressed as hell and my self-esteem is shot. I keep telling myself that with a little paint, decoration, and furniture, the cottage will be exactly what I've always wanted...


Who's My Famous (60s) Parent?

Take your guesses. We'll be at the cottage painting all day, so I'll post the answers tomorrow evening sometime...


Basta, Cielo!

Pamina: "I'm so tired, Tamino. Will these trials ever end?"
Tamino: "Sod it! I'll keep playing this damned flute until I turn blue!"

Okay, a day of R&R (sort of) and I'm back in the fight. Just try keeping me down, Life!

Characters and photo from Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) by W. A. Mozart.


Sixties Faces: Pattie Boyd

To wash the grime of the past few days' NAR off of both myself and my blog, I've decided to start a new feature I'll call "Sixties Faces". The feature, which I'll post whenever the spirit moves me, will contain photos of faces that held, and still hold a fascination for me. Some will be women and some will be men.

There's something about Pattie Boyd's face that made it really difficult to look away whenever I saw it in magazines when I was a teen. Having never given a tinker's damn about super models, I could never understand the fascination...


Driving in the Dark

In about an hour I'll be leaving to take our friend, Dr. Kielbasa (professor of Music History at OSU) to the airport in Tulsa. He has to be there at 4:30 am. It's a little over an hour's drive each way, but I don't mind doing him the favor at all. The only part I remotely dread is the ride home alone...


Chillin', but Just Barely

Do you remember this Twilight Zone episode? Yeah.

I finally had to move to the living room, downstairs, where it's a cool 79. Upstairs, it's 90. Still no AC guy, but they never show up until 5:30 anyway. Doesn't matter, though, because it was 103 at 10:00 last night.

Reason #1 Redux

Okay, so here we are sweating our asses through the hottest week this area has known in a decade--under an extreme heat advisory--and our AC breaks down. Again. Yeah, I know you've heard a lot about this over the past five years, but now it's really serious. The unit is making all kinds of banging-clicking noises and it's standing in about an inch of water.


Seriously, this is a nice house. In California, it would be a $500k-$800k home. It's big, stylish, modern -- the kind of house you see in gated communities. THINGS ARE SUPPOSED TO WORK. I can't believe that the suckers people who are moving in after us are going to be paying $150 more a month than what we're paying. Good luck!

I called the maintenance guy yet again (we're on a first name basis now) and someone will be out to look at the problem LATER THIS AFTERNOON. Meanwhile, it's 93° and climbing, and this beast of an AC is raising our utility bill and giving us nothing in return.

I've had it.

Reason #1 Why I'm Glad We're Leaving This House

This crap can end any time now. 109° with a heat index of 115° is just unacceptable, and of course, it was this evening that our state-of-the-art geothermal AC decided to stop blowing air. Oh, there was cool air, but I had to stick my fingers inside the vent to actually feel it. Now that the temp is down to a "cool" 90°, it's working again. Someone tell me again what an expensive 2-zone, 7-day, 4-period energy-monster is good for if it doesn't put out air on the hottest days and heat on the coldest. Besides, I did the math the other day and I figured out that, added together, I spend about 30 minutes a day readjusting the thermonstat. That's about 182 hours a year! The little 1-zone, no frills AC in the cottage works better and seems much more efficient. Here's our forecast:
  • Today: 107
  • Tuesday: 108
  • Wednesday: 106
  • Thursday: 96
  • Friday: 91
Wow. Looks like we're getting a cold snap just in time for the weekend.


A Satisfied Exhaustion

Nettl, Joel, and I got a lot accomplished on the cottage today and, wow, does it look better! I just got out of the shower, where I think I washed off about five pounds of sweat. Tomorrow, I'm taking a day off so that I'm not one of the walking dead when I set back in on Tuesday. Thanks for all the help, Joel! You're awesome!

Fixing a Hole...

One wouldn't think of spackling a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house as a big job, but when the house has been lived in only by college students for the past 10 years, the picture changes. Remember when we were that age? Remember all of the posters, mementos, calendars, and greeting cards we stuck to our walls?...


Liebst Du, Ville!

Ville (standing on the back porch of the cottage): "Oh, when you get home, you have some Bass Ales in your fridge."

Steph: "In the fridge at home?"

Ville: "Yeah. I knew that you'd want beer after working on this house all evening."

Steph: [Hugs Ville].

Meine Schwester versteht mich!

All the while, we stood in the "pink moment" that was created from the atmospheric conditions caused by the eruption of a Russian volcano a few months ago. It took all this time to reach us and it was beautiful!

Damned Hot

We're in a heat advisory until Saturday evening. Tomorrow (today, actually), which is supposed to be the hottest day so far this year, is supposed to get as high as 112°. Ye gods! Looks like I'd better pack that jug of lemonade to take to the cottage. I'm taking sandwiches and stuff so that Nettl can have lunch with me. I'm also taking my laptop and speakers with me. Spackle, sandpaper, Mozart, Spackle, sandpaper, Mozart...


Before the After

I promise that not every post will be about the cottage. Really. But today, I want to show you some pictures I took yesterday. These are Before pictures. Later, after we've moved in, I'll post Afters. Remember that the place has not been painted since 1998 and that since then, the tenants have been only college students. Remember too that I really wish we could pull up the carpet. Also, the workmen's crap is still in there (the two guys who put on the new roof have been sleeping there and some of their crap is still littering the place). Then, account for painting, cleaning the windows until they sparkle, and removing the makeshift cable wiring. You know how students are. This place has great potential and great bones. If we ever bought it, I'd gut the entire kitchen area and make it larger.

NOTE: The color chips (linked) might not look the same on your computer!

Looking from the mud room through
the kitchen and dining room
to the living room.
  • Paint - Fishnet SR310 (medium sage).
  • Replace overhead light with something like this.
  • Clean hardware, cabinets & drawers.
  • Add down lights to cabinet.
The living room (from the dining room).
Not really as tiny as it looks.
The dining room
(from the living room).
Dining room window
(the area is large enough for a table
that seats 6-8, comfortably).
  • Same paint as the living room.
  • Change out that hideous ceiling light with one like this.
  • Same curtains as the living room.
  • There's a built-in planter under the windows, which I will fill with some of my plants.
Master Bath (Ugh!)
But the tub - Yes!
(the bathroom also has a
huge shower to the
right of the vanity)
  • Paint - "Boathouse Blue MS309" with white trim (colors can be seen in the 2nd linked image below).
  • Replace vanity light fixture & mirror.
  • Remove ugly miniblinds.
  • Lace panels.
  • We have a blue and white area rug that we're going to use to kind of hide the green carpet.

That's all for today. We're on our way over to the house now so that I can take more pictures and show it to the guys.


Torrential Downpour

Of course. Because they just turned on our sprinkler system. Still, I love a good storm. At noon we're meeting at the landlord's office to sign the lease. Better get my ass in gear.


Our House!

We got it! Here are a couple of pictures we just took from the outside. I'm looking forward to cleaning up the flower beds, removing some of that generic foliage, mostly, and replacing it with hollyhocks, hydrangea, roses, and foxglove, etc. I'm also going to repaint the white trim, and replace the front porch light with a period fixture.

The Mosquito Blues

We had a great time at Dr. Kielbasa's on the 4th of July, but the weather turned scary. The sky turned that sickly greenish yellow that signals a potential tornado, and we eventually got chased inside by a lot of rain, but in the meantime, we shot off our own fireworks, ate until we were stuffed, then Micah and I got our guitars out and jammed. Everyone was in fine form...


No Fireworks This Year

Looks like there'll be no fireworks at Booomer Lake this year; we awoke to gray skies and rain. Oh well, we've been invited to Dr. Kielbasa's again for a BBQ and this time, Ville will be there, too.

Happy 4th, everyone!


Oh, No! I've Become a Gamer!

I don't know why, exactly, but in the past couple of days I've gotten really into HOGs (Hidden Objects Games). I found a neat little blog, Novitacu Games, that posts links to free, full-play, no-ads downloads, and I'm going through the list in search of the perfect game of this genre. And believe me when I tell you there are some real dogs out there. So far, the one I've enjoyed the most is Enlightenus...