Saturday, October 31, 2009

Miscellaneous thoughts in the midst of drying out

First, I am so very glad we had water and not sewage in our apartment. The water came from a water main under the intersection of Columbus Avenue and Claremont Park, about 75 yards from our building—so it was relatively clean. I’m sure we got a lot of street grime and oil and dog poop/pee, but we didn’t have floating human sewage or that kind of smell.

The main that broke was a 31” pipe and it created a huge sink hole as you can see. The city of Boston has been working there around the clock since the main broke Wednesday afternoon.

Second, it’s amazing how much damage just 18 inches of water can do. Our stove is fried, our freezer got water in it, as did the dishwasher. We are pretty sure the hot water heater is fried, and also our washer/dryer unit.

All our furniture is damaged, most considered beyond repair. We’ve asked that four pieces be restored because they can’t really be replaced: the coffee table and end tables that came from my mother, and the amazing armoire my mother-in-law gave us. Our bed frame will probably be OK because it’s metal but I won’t hesitate to toss it should it either rust or smell.

I have three pairs of shoes right now because I stored mine under the bed and in the bottom drawer of a dresser. Edited to add: the surviving shoes are a pair of running shoes, another pair of athletic shoes and my black knee-high patent leather boots.

Third, if you don’t have insurance on the contents of your home please reconsider that decision. Our insurance company is being amazingly helpful and all our clothing and shoes have been sent out for cleaning and possible recovery. Our next door neighbor didn’t have insurance on his contents, even though he’s a home owner.

The cats are finally a little calmer and that’s thanks to the kindness of a couple in our building. Tony and Peter also have a house in Providence and Wednesday evening they offered us the use of this home for the duration of our rebuilding process. That offer and their kindness really got to me and I admit I cried. So we are here in Providence—we drove down Thursday evening so we could get the kitties settled as soon as possible. They were still very freaked out Thursday evening but last night was a lot better.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Slight issue

I may not blog much in the next week or so. Then again I may find it to be a great way to relieve stress. A big water main ruptured near our house and all the garden (that's basement to you) apartments were flooded, including ours. I have no idea how long the clean up will take or what the final tally will be on damages. I'm pretty sure most of our furniture is a total loss. Oh and all my shoes. Anyway if I think about that too much, I'll cry and right now the kitties are pretty freaked so I better not.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Home again or bad, bad kitties

We are back after a really good visit to Tulsa, where most of Kent's family now lives. We had Christmas with them on Saturday--as we told Kent's mother, traveling from Boston in the winter can be a real gamble. By having our visit in October, we had a lot better chance of actually having our flights be mostly on time. And they were--mostly.

However the cats were not on their best behavior for our cat nanny. In no particular order, they did the following:

1. Wally took the Velcro off all the cabinets. He didn't eat the strips, he just took them off.

2. Naturally once they were off, he also got in all the cabinets and pulled things out.

3. Plus he got into the bathroom cabinet where he ate the plastic grocery sack lining the trash can AND slithered over into the drawer where we keep our toilet paper "safe" from him. I think the only reason he couldn't destroy all the rolls is because the drawer was full.

4. Eddie did his binge/purge routine and puked in several spots.

5. And on a positive note, Chloe decided that she loves the cat nanny and loved on her every chance she got.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


We leave for Tulsa tomorrow and I had to get the suitcases out today. That's actually a big ordeal because they are stored in the closet under the stairs. And they aren't at the front, either. So I have to empty almost everything to get to the dark blue suitcase. Apparently Eddie wants to go to Tulsa, too.

Edited to add: And then Wally had to get involved:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The grays

There’s no love lost between my gray kitties. Until we moved to Boston, Chloe really had no use for other cats, period. The move helped her thaw a bit but only toward Wally. I’m pretty sure that’s because while Wally will tease her, he’s not aggressive about it. If she gets too feisty with him, he backs off.

That’s not the case with Eddie. Our 15 pound fatty will chase her and pounce her and generally be extremely obnoxious and he doesn’t care if she hisses, spats at him or whaps him on his head—he doesn’t stop until he’s done with the game.

Chloe doesn’t kitty pile with either of the boys. At least not on purpose. Check out these three pictures: you can see Eddie knows darn well what he’s doing. He’s just lucky she didn’t really wake up.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Check out my banner

Kent created this for me for my Etsy shop. He's just amazing. The fabric is in my fabric storage cabinet and I love that he created a banner from the materials I use.

Getting ready for winter redux

It's cold enough now for quilts on the bed--I'm excited because I get to use the beautiful quilt my mother made for me. Because I love it so much, I've posted a picture of the whole bed plus a close up of the material and quilting. I'm so very glad that Kent isn't one of those weird men who think having pink in the bedroom somehow emasculates them. Pink doesn't emasculate men any more than black or brown make women less feminine.

Last year we hung curtains across our back door and also enclosed the stairwell leading up to the front door with insulated curtains. We found that the stairwell acted like a chimney so all our heat collected at the top of the stairs by the door, which did us no good at all.

This year, Kent did some reading about forced air electric heaters, our only heating method in the house. We can't really put in forced air or even a heat pump because the unit doesn't have any duct work so the cost would be insanely high. Anyway, Kent learned that these small wall heaters are quite good at heating small spaces quickly. One of our biggest complaints last year was that our office nook didn't stay warm, and based on what he read we finally understood why.

Take a look at the picture on the left. I've circled the office nook in red (it's called a dining room in the picture, which makes me laugh a bit); as you can see, it's rectangular, with an exterior door on the right side and an archway leading to the hall (and the stairwell) on the left side. The wall heater is on the long wall right by the exterior wall. Last year the heat just didn't stay in the space very well--it could go out into the living room or into the hall.

Yesterday we found curtains that match our living room curtains and the curtains we have across the back door. I lined them and Kent got them hung, and here's the finished product:

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Fat Talk Free Week

I ran across this week-long event through another blog I follow, and I like the idea enough that I'm posting it here and committing to the week for myself. I like the idea of being comfortable in my own skin.

The week begins October 19 and runs through October 23. You can read more about it here, here, and here.

Friday, October 16, 2009

These links are for you, Mom

The first article is about how to stop buying clothes you don't wear. And the second article lists the staples for every woman's wardrobe.

They are quick reads, I promise.

Edited to add that the author of the second article has published an updated list

PS If you aren't my mother, don't think I'm bossing her around. Her email crashed and this is the only way I can get her the articles--she was interested in them, I swear!

Pike position

Wally is the most limber of our three cats and he's the one I'm most likely to find sleeping in strange positions. Even though you see one eye slitted open a bit, he was well and truly asleep in this picture. The fabric you see on the chair is actually two pillow covers we no longer use. They are part of my kitty countermeasures--tools I use to keep kitty hair off the chair. It helps just a little bit.

I just took this picture at 11 AM, and had to add it. Eddie's head is completely unsupported, yet he's snoozing away.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I've wrestled with whether or not I want to launch an Etsy site of my own. Much as my mother doesn't like to make her quilts on spec, I am not sure I'd be up for taking orders for the sewing I do. I like to pick out the patterns and then find exactly the right materials that fit my internal view of how the item should be.

I also wasn't sure I wanted to sink a lot of money into fabric only to have my items sit there collecting online dust. But I realized I had enough remnants to make up some bags at almost no additional cost to me. All I needed to invest was a little additional money and of course time.

So the slide show on the left show the first five bags I've made along with close up pictures of the materials I used. Now I need to get an Etsy site established and figure out how to ship stuff should anything sell--oh and of course I need to figure out how much to charge.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The tube

We got this tube from Ikea. Although you won't hear it in this video, the tube makes crinkly noises very similar to a plastic grocery sack. The cats love to play in the tube and chase each other through it. Lately Eddie's been using it as a place to nap.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Dear Kent,

I know we play the silly “I win” game all the time—where we tell each other that no, I win! But today’s the day I hope you’ll see the truth.

You say you win because now you love wearing your slippers around the house and because I brought kitties into your world. Fair enough, I did show you the kitty way and yes, I introduced you to the comforts of slippers. Oh and I suppose I’m to thank for your much improved diet.

But you’ve given me the things that really matter. I have a partner for life who thinks I rock. I laugh a lot more now. Plus I’ve really mellowed out a lot—if my sons are reading this, I know they agree. I’m less quick to get frustrated or annoyed, and I’m not nearly so insistent on everything being just so.

You have changed me, made me a better woman and really just a much nicer human being.

So clearly I win. Neener neener.



P.S. Happy anniversary.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Am I ready?

Winter is coming.

Our days are getting quite short; it’s full dark at 6:30. That will change when Daylight Savings Time kicks in but it will still get dark very early as December approaches. It’s not dark when I run about 7:30 AM but it’s not full light either. If the snow and ice hold off, I could be running in the dark.

I didn’t pack away any of my long sleeve T-shirts this summer. We just didn’t have enough summer to make the effort worthwhile. I did get out my summer dresses, though. I wore a couple of them twice.

I’ve fired up the crock pot—it’s soup season already. And I’ve gotten out my cooler weather running gear.

The cats are ready. They'll sleep through most of winter, usually in strange poses.