December 11, 2012

Life and the books beside my bed

Life has been different, life has been busy, life has been quiet, life has been the same old, same old. Seriously, it has been all those things, contradicting or not. Justin has been working out of town, which makes things seem busier, but it the same sort of busyness--kids, laundry, dishes, cooking, trying to be a normal, reasonable parent (so far, not successful). We are still in the throes of the living room remodel, so we have been staying upstairs. Same house, just different. Effectively, we are cutting about 600 square feet of living space out of our little house and life. I have a living room sofa on my bed and a sideboard and coffee table at the foot of the bed. The kids now have a piano, china cabinet, and dining room table in their room. The closet is choc-a-bloc full with living room furniture, rugs, and toys. While it has been a bit more of a struggle keeping things even-keel, our clothes and toys have all been streamlined. We each have a few outfits, the kids have only a couple different sets of toys. Life is altogether quieter with fewer toys and clothes. And not having bureaus has its drawbacks, but laundry doesn't have to be folded now. It comes out of the dryer, gets carried upstairs, and sorted into everyone's individual laundry basket. Done in 3 minutes. I am a little in love with this system. My laundry room has never been so consistently neat. Last night, as I listened to the rain on our tin roof, which you can't hear downstairs, I decided I was pretty happy with the whole set-up. 

Our upstairs room. A bit more full than it is supposed to be. And with unpainted putty covering the knot holes in the pine and sprayfoam. This was one of the biggest changes in the room, this little dormer. The dormer was there on the outside, but had never been framed in on the inside. 

Looking at the other side. 

And this is our huge shelf. The wall used to go straight up from the bottom, but we opened it up, which makes it seem a lot bigger. 

Another change is that our microwave perished two weeks ago. Lily, being resourceful while Mommy was taking way too long to feed Elsie, microwaved her own baked beans. With a spoon. There was a bean explosion and the paint started peeling off the inside of the microwave, so we decided to trash it. Just to be contrary, I wanted to see what it is like to live without a microwave for awhile. The biggest problems for me are that a hotdog can no longer be ready for Gilbert in 25 seconds and I can no longer pull something out of the freezer at 4 pm for supper. I have to plan ahead. Things have to defrost overnight. I have to reheat things on the stove (my pots and pans are getting a workout) or in the oven (the 70's pyrex dishes with glass tops that Justin brought into this marriage come into their own here), but it actually is sort of fun. Like camping. When you know the inconvenience is only temporary and you can go back to normal life when you feel like it. Not having a microwave in my kitchen makes my counter tops seem so... airy though. If you can use a word like airy to describe an area with a fake brick backsplash.... So if I can manage without it, I might actually go microwave-less indefinitely. But how to warm up cornbags for the kids?

The other major change is... tada! I am eating whole foods. I have been meaning to do this for ages. But just haven't. Three weeks ago, I just started. Mostly I am eating a lot of vegetables with some meat, fruit, and cheese. And I will admit to some dark, dark chocolate, which I just added back in this week, along with fruit. Oh and of course, there is peanut butter involved. Fresh ground from Martin's with just peanuts and salt. Yum. Weirdly, eating this way isn't that much harder. We had someone come to our house awhile ago that couldn't have added sugar, flour, or dairy and I racked my brain to figure what on earth to make. Now, I know. I am sure this won't always be easy to do (mainly during the week of all the Vaughans home together), but so far, so good. 

All these things make life different, but interestingly so. Busier, but not hectic. And, I get to re-arrange my entire household in my head every few hours, thinking about when the living room does get done. That is more fun than actually doing the rearranging. We are planning on priming this afternoon and painting later this week. So the actual rearranging can take place shortly. 

Since Justin had banished me and the kids upstairs while dust and noise was going on, I have been doing a lot of reading. I am in a mellow book mood, so all my books have been fairly calm with good endings. 

High Fences by Grace S. Richmond
1930's book about city vs country life, male vs female. --Good

The Heart of a goof by PG Wodehouse
It is PG Wodehouse. Short stories. Need we say more? --Good

Majesty's Rancho Zane Grey
Third time of reading this. Just a Zane Grey western. But it is from the 1930's with all sorts of slang. Like "I'll tell the world!" and "I'll snort to snicker!" both of which are good phrases to use when agreeing with what someone said. I think the snort to snicker one should make a resurgance. --Good

The Boss of the Lazy Y by Charles Alden Seltzer
Slightly atypical western where the main character is in the wrong a lot. But a woman reforms him, so it isn't completely atypical--Good

Catrin in Wales by Mable Esther Allan
A book from Tori's bookshelf. 1960's girl in Wales. What's not to like? I think I want more by this author. --Good

Let it Snow by Green, Johnson, and Myracle
Recent teen authors. Snagged this from Tori's room when I had no other book to read while feeding Elsie. Surprisingly--Good

The Brightest Star in the Sky by Marian Keyes
Modern day Ireland. Stories of people who all live in an apartment complex on Star Street. Narrated by an unknown "force" which I just thought of as omniscient narrator, but sort of off-putting as it discusses people's force fields. The author also teases you along, alluding to life altering situations going on in these people's life, but only parceling them out gradually. A bit annoying. But I did like some of the characters--Alright

Home Front by Kristin Hannah
Woman deploying to Iraq, leaving her family. --Good, if you want to cry

The Holiday Issue--Bon Appetit 
Not a book, but I like Bon Appetit. More as reading material, than recipe source. They use way too many specialty store items to be made in Northern New York

The Best of America's Test Kitchen 2011
Also not a book, but love it for recipes. 

I also stole some Stillmeadow books from Mom and Dad and some Elisabeth Olgivie--writes for teenagers and adults, mostly all set on the Maine coast. She has some pretty scary mystery books, but mostly they are good. 

And of course, lots and lots of kids books. 

Gilbert just pulled the silverware drawer onto the floor. So I better stop blogging. 

1 comment:

Virginia said...

I am SO envious of your life. It boggles my mind.