Monday, September 26, 2011

A Whole New Outlook

We had a little excitement here last week.  Sometime in the middle of the summer we were seized by the notion that we absolutely had to install a bay window in our family room.  We knew that terrible things would happen if we did not, so we contacted the appropriate authorities, offered up a pile of cash, and waited.  And waited.  And waited.  The lead time on this project was about two months,  and by the time the Great Day of Installation rolled around, I was pretty sure everyone else in the house had lost track of the exact installation date and that I would be able to surprise them all. For days I giggled to myself at the thought of snapping pictures of the expressions on their faces when they got home from school/work and found the  new window in the family room.   I managed to keep my mouth shut about the installation date even when I was burning to talk about it, just so I could enjoy the surprise.

That didn't work out.  They had all forgotten, but one of our friends had remembered and she called and left a phone message and spilled the beans by asking if Thursday was the day.  If you've ever left me a message, you may have guessed by now that I don't get messages.  It's not that there is any thing wrong with our voice mail system, it's just that I can't possibly be bothered to check for messages, so they all just sit there waiting for someone to show a little initiative. El Husbando is the responsible party who usually retrieves the messages and, not surprisingly, he got this one too.  He then shouted around the house asking me if Thursday was the day, this kids overheard, and the gig was up.

Failed surprises notwithstanding, the installers showed up Thursday morning to install a window.   We started with this:

Normally we keep some furniture in there, but I moved it to avoid the construction dust.  The installers had thought about dust on my furniture too, and they came prepared with a nifty plastic zip wall, which is why the next pictures look like they were taken through a piece of Saran Wrap.

They slapped down a bunch of drop cloths and started making dust.  The first part was pretty quick.  The missing drywall shows where the new window will go.

Then they took out the window and started sawing in earnest.  They sawed and sawed and sawed and the entire house vibrated and rumbled until I thought my head might explode.  I began to have serious doubts about the wisdom of letting these cranks put holes in my walls, which I consider to be an important part of the house, particularly when it is pouring rain outside as it was for a great deal of the sawing.  I decided that it might be best to chase these hooligans away, but when I went out to see what they were up to, it looked like this:

That is to say, exactly the same.  Nothing had changed.  I was terribly confused, but unwilling to reveal the depths of my ignorance, so I went away and endured more sawing and, as a therapeutic measure, began to issue anguished tweets about trying to work while people were busy taking my house apart.  When I went out to check again, it still looked the same.  Eventually it occurred to me that they were very carefully (and very loudly) sawing through each 2x6, top and bottom, so that they could very neatly cut the bit of the wall out.  So the sound that was driving me crazy was, in fact, the noise of people doing their job with intelligence, forethought and care.  It really freaked me out.

Not too long after these revelations struck me, the wall looked like this:

And then like this:

I really began having second thoughts here (which I guess were third and fourth thoughts by now) because I hated the way the window looked without any detailing and I was afraid that I had made a dreadful decorating mistake and that it would look this way forever.

I was wrong.  They just hadn't put the side windows in yet.  And now we have this, which I love.

It's got a nice, deep window seat.  Perfect for this:

And this:

We even have a reading chair, which is mine.  ALL MINE.

Mine.  Don't even think of sitting here.
That's all I have to say about that. 

The garden has been less of a failure than in years past.  Sort of.  I did keep it weeded, and the asparagus patch we planted in the spring looks very green and vital.  My cukes, however, were an abysmal failure, as were my squashes.  Cabbages, which are there only to provide volleyballs to entertain the chickens in the winter (no lie-- we hang them in the middle of the run and they peck them; keeps them busy for hours), still look distinctly un-cabbagelike.  More a collection of leaves than a head of cabbage.  Peppers are coming in with a vengeance, but the raw ones make me barfy so I roasted the first batch and we'll see how things go from there.  We got some gourds and it looks like my eggplant plant (that feels like a stutter, doesn't it?) is hosting a revival; now I just have to figure out what to do with some late season white eggplants. Tomatoes are taking over, which always bothers me because I feel obligated to cook them, but I never get around to it and I just end up weighed down by the additional guilt.

Here's a big success, though.  In addition to my regular bed of smaller sunflowers, which spent the summer beautifying my garden and are now serving as a bird buffet, we had two rogue sunflowers.  This one was the biggest and it clearly earned the name 'mammoth.'  That's my shoe--not Matty's-- sitting next to it. About half the seeds were already gone by the time I cut the head off the plant, but there should still be plenty of seeds.  Probably I'll keep them around for a while and then put the head out for the chickens.  Or maybe, just maybe, this will be the year that I actually save them for us to eat.  You never know.  Well, really I do know that I won't do any such thing, but I like to pretend that anything is possible.

The knitting mania of the last post has faded.  I've decided to ignore everything except the Swallowtail shawl and I stayed up late Saturday night finishing up the budding lace section (while re-watching most of the newer Star Trek movie on my iPad; I might still have a thing for Karl Urban) and starting the edging.  I have been stymied by the unexpected failure of one of my nupps, which has now been compounded by an amateur repair job.  I'll know after another row or two whether I can tolerate it as is or whether I'll have to retreat to the last life line and start the edging over.  I'm hoping to finish this next week. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

And last, so that no one should claim that I'm neglecting my other craft-stuff, here is a picture of a visitor that I had while I was spinning the other day.  I'm not sure whether I should consider her a good luck charm or a quality control agent, but there she was, one of the founding members of the spinners' guild, come to see how I was getting along.

She's moved on now, after hanging out for an hour or so on my wheel, but I would like to let the powers that be know that I like her company much, much better than that of the snake we found slithering around the garage today.  Just so you know.

Off now to make dinner.  They really do demand feeding with astonishing regularity.

1 comment:

  1. That room looks fabulous: I love the shade of yellow you have on your walls :-)