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May 30, 2006

Regaining Momentum

Our apologies to you faithful readers. The Barnstorming has been a dull place of late. After the blistering progress of April, May has been a snoozer. We went back across the Bay this past weekend, to stare longingly, once again, at the unfinished walls of our unfinished home.

To our delight, we learned that our carpenter, one Michael VanSant (photo to come), is ready to begin construction this coming weekend. He just started a new job in which he is responsible for monitoring and maintenance of a machine that date stamps eggs. Soon all eggs will have a "born on" date, apparently. His hours are long, but he has Friday-Sunday off. And so the really gratifying part of the Barnstorming is about to begin. Tune in this time next week to see some walls, door frames, etc.

Posted by bogenamp at 09:40 AM

May 21, 2006

Project: Sell This House

Well, it seems that the Christian did teach Ruby a thing or two about spackling. She spackled like there was no tomorrow. Even places that didn't seem to need spackling.

However, when we asked her to please sand down all the stuff she had spackled, she crumbled. "Sandpaper is rough, and gives me the heebie-jeebies," she whined.

Useless. The girl has absolutely no follow through. Seriously - next time I get a dog to do contract work for me, I'm going to get a purebred.

So, this weekend we had to get to cleaning in earnest. Our open house for realtors is on June 7, and we've got a lot of crap to get out of here (and it's not just the ever-multiplying dustbunnies, either). We decided to finally take down the remaining wallpaper trim that was in the kitchen - this horrible brown and maroon fruit business that I guess was supposed to remind you that you were in a kitchen. While taking down the wallpaper trim, we discovered MORE wallpaper trim beneath - this even more hideous. Or cute, you know, if you like countrified ducks and bunnies and whatever.

The funny thing is (our powers of deductive reasoning tell us) - we think the people who lived in the house before us probably put the horrible fruity trim up just before selling the house to us (thinking it was an improvement on the bunnies and ducks). The wife was all into crafts and bunnies (we used to have bunnies living in the basement, apparently, which is maybe why for a while the cats felt free to pee there with abandon when they were pissed at us for getting Iggy) and there was a general bunny motif going on throughout the house. So, I guess they were the bunnies, we are the fruits.

We also finally painted the kitchen. This yummy yummy creamy yellow that looked like butter cream frosting and I nearly drank right out of the paint can it looked so delicious. Of course, once the whole room was painted, you couldn't even tell it was yellow. It just looked white again. Oh well. It seemed to warm the place up a bit, even if you aren't standing behind a stove.

Matthew, in true form, managed to injure himself in a number of ways:
1. smash finger in sliding door of bookcase we are throwing away.
2. smash other finger in doorway while moving furniture.
3. smash other finger being generally frenetic.
4. pinch arm while walking.
5. get arm stuck on screen door handle.
6. get poked in the eye by a plant:

Literally.

Posted by ribbu at 07:27 PM

May 18, 2006

Soooo Boring

Suddenly, the barnstorming has become soooooo boring. The fact is, we're stalled. We're waiting for carpenters, insulation and wallboard, and that probably won't happen until after I get back from Alaska. Sigh.

But in the meantime, we get to do soooo boring things like prep the house (the current house) for sale. This mostly means cleaning, something which we haven't been practicing very much of lately. Yesterday, our real estate guru came over, so we frantically cleaned for a couple hours, and suddenly realized we have a damn fine house, if only we could keep it clean. We are very much looking forward to a smaller space, with more condensed dust bunnies.

We also were told that our house smelled sort of "doggish" which is way embarrassing. Though, I guess better that than "assish". An enzymatic cleaner was proposed.

And, I also spent a bit of time patching some plaster that had mysteriously given up hope in the kitchen. Hopefully the new stuff holds on - I did follow the directions.

And, we've finally bought paint for the kitchen, after saying we were going to paint it for two years and not doing it. In the future, I plan to actually do the things when I say I'm going to do them, instead of sitting on them until they are of no use to me anymore. Please remind me.

Posted by ribbu at 07:07 AM | Comments (4)

May 09, 2006

Bad News

newspaper.jpg

Bail donations are welcome. Send cash only to: 4220 Falls Road.

If we get enough money, we might also buy some real estate in the Everglades...

Posted by ribbu at 10:58 PM | Comments (3)

May 06, 2006

"You were stupid and wrong"

We didn't go over to C-town this weekend because the carpenters are still up in the air and there's nothing we can do until our tiny bedroom is framed and the beams are shored up [is that even a phrase? or is it "sured up"?] - right now all the beams are uneven, so without getting things straightened out, we'd have really bad-looking walls, with bent, lumpy and cracked wallboard. So - we're waiting. Plus, matthew had the nerve to go up to williamstown without me to play a gig and do a bunch of other "important" stuff, while I stay home and try to clean the house (or, at least my office) to prepare for having to show it to interested buyers. And while I was cleaning, I found this:
There is nothing better than pointing at my former self and saying "You were stupid and wrong" (and, in this case, kind of ugly, too). That's why it pays to be pessimistic, because then it's really gratifying to be wrong. Yes, it would have been very, very sad if this project had never gotten off the ground. I'm sure we would have found another way, but it might have involved moving back in with Mom and Dad, and, well, that's just plain not as much fun. This way we get the benefit of low-cost housing, selective time with mom and dad (we're all looking forward to movie night), and our own [little] space. As little as it may seem, it is a whole lot bigger than my old bedroom, and we'll be able to bring along some of our favorite stuff too, like, say, the dog and the cats. As it is, we are not official tenants of the barn. Because of the zoning, we just have to be people who just sort of live up in the attic. Maybe we can put a fake cabinet in front of the stairwell and Matthew can be Anne Frank. I'll be Miep, and bring him crackers and news from the outside. And if we're lucky, we'll never be discovered.

Posted by ribbu at 11:40 PM

May 01, 2006

Great Butt Shots & More!

Apparently, in these photos, we have defied all odds and reconstructed the maxim -

white is slimming...

and black... not so much.

White also makes it look like you've been working harder. Or, at least, that you don't give a crap what you look like.

We finally got to get a picture of the inside of mom's gallery without anyone in it - though, strangely enough, some random woman stopped by with a tripod and camera and asked if she could take pictures in there, and spent a good part of the morning taking pictures. I hope hers are a little better.

And the peonies in front of the door are in full bloom:

Aren't they amazing? And they smelled so good. I'm usually not as much of a fan of big, showy flowers with nothing but very explicit ulterior motives (roping in the bee with the bright colors, the big anthers) but I sure do love peonies. They're like those old southern ladies with big hats and big hair who you can't help liking because they're so crazy over-the-top.

We had a visit from Wheatie and his gal, Kelly, who were on the hunt for some good wedding presents. We have found that mom's pottery really comes in handy when looking for wedding presents. I hate to buy off a registry (even though, I know, people probably prefer it) - but after having to buy the dregs for Sam and Marilyn (all that was left were some potholder mitts and a cookie sheet) I decided no more! And have since been spreading the word to innocents like these:

This was the first time I met Kelly, but she seems like a nice girl. And look how happy these guys are! Probably because now they don't have to buy anything off of a stupid registry.

And so the cult begins...

Matthew didn't mention that we also spent a bit of time trying to figure out where outlets and phone jacks etc were going to go. After much hemming and hawing and measuring, we decided that an 8'x8' bedroom will be just fine - cozy and easy to air condition. Funny that it will be higher than it is wide or long, but that's okay - we're ready to nest.


The talk of the town, though, was that C-town was written up in the New York Times last week - the article will likely drive up real estate so that our one bedroom barn loft is worth a cool half mil. We won't tell anyone about the fumes from the kiln or the lack of running water upstairs. I mean, what do you think this is, the big city???

Posted by ribbu at 08:04 PM | Comments (1)