Sunday, November 27, 2011

Renovation Ravings

I am exhausted. Jeff and I finished emptying out both bedrooms tonight. Tomorrow morning I'll strip the bed linens, move the clothes we need for the next two days and move the few remaining items that we'll need such as the clock radio. The carpet installers will move the large pieces.

We are entering our ninth week of work. I've learned a few lessons that I may never have the opportunity to apply. For one thing, I should have started and given up on the wallpaper removal long before I did. We might be done by now if I had done so.

I should have made sure I had all the options before I decided on a change in the bathroom design. While we needed to make some change (the installers could not get the Corian wall piece into the bathroom) I let my fear of being without a shower make me make too quick a decision. We are still trying to make that decision right.

Someone recently asked me if we saw the light at the end of the tunnel. If I look at the steps in the process, we can see the light. The kitchen and baths are done (except for window treatments which we looked at yesterday) and a few paint touch-ups. Painting is completed in both bedrooms and the carpeting will be installed tomorrow. Next is painting the living room and dining area and installing the hardwood floors. The last step is window treatments. Well maybe not the last step. Jeff is talking about replacing the couch and I'd like to replace the loveseat/sofa bed in the second bedroom. Plus I want to only put things back that we really want to keep. That's what I did in the kitchen and it took me about two weeks. Pack rat Jeff is resisting me on this, but maybe the hard work we did to empty all the things in the bedrooms will help.

Soon our place will look beautiful--I can't wait to see it.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I Voted Today

We don't have any big elections this year in Connecticut so turnout was low. Some people are still without power after the snowstorm ten days ago or their polling places are being used as shelters.

Norwalk did have a mayoral election. I must confess I haven't followed it closely. It's a big difference from a 2001 campaign when I was a volunteer. I briefly toyed with the idea of not voting, because I hadn't been focused but I couldn't justify that.

Too many women gave up too much to give me that right. Women have had the vote for less than 100 years. I can't squander the right that they thought so hard to win for me.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Bumper stickers on a car in the Norwalk Hospital parking lot:

Our lives begin to end the moment we become silent about things that matter.

Loyalty to the country always. Loyalty to the government when it deserves it.

When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.

Artists are here to disturb the peace.

Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.

The needs of the many outweigh the greed of the few.

The Labor Movement "The folks who brought you the weekend."


Abuse an animal, go to jail.

I'd like to meet the person who selected those stickers.

Fall Back

I still haven't written a companion piece to my "Spring Forward" poem but today is the fall back counterpart.

This is one time each year that I can trust in the government--it did return the hour that it took in the spring, but what about the interest? Shouldn't we be entitled to a few more minutes?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Happy 11th Birthday Spike!

Spike turned 11 today. We celebrated with a trip to the dog park and a filet mignon dinner with a Frosty Paw. (Although I have to admit that that sounds like a normal Saturday in many ways.)

Spike has been part of our life since he was just over a year old. Our life would be deficient without him. I hope he would have had a good life without us, but I know no one could love him more than Jeff and I do. I like to think that the three of us are destined to be together.

The photo above is from our first Bark in the Park at Shea Stadium. We walked the warning track around the field and Spike looks like he enjoyed it as much as we did.

Happy Birthday with love.

Last of the Dark: Mornings at the Dog Park

Jeff started working in lower Manhattan in late April. Most mornings I drive him to the South Norwalk railroad station at 6:30; there's a long wait to get a parking permit at the station garage.

At some point, I decided to take Spike to the dog park after I dropped Jeff off. Spike needs a morning walk anyway and it's nice to go to a place where he can be off-leash and see other dogs. We got into a routine doing a loop or two with Chris and Kira, sometimes with Roberta and Bugs, sometimes with Courtney and Cash.

The past few weeks,  the mornings have grown darker--we arrive around 6:45--I've been wielding a flashlight just in case. I remember that Balien was sprayed by a skunk in early morning.

The upside of early fall mornings have been: beautiful orange suns  (reminding me of this song) the silhouette of boat masts against the sound, and the rosy and violet glows of sunrise on the horizons.

Soon daylight savings will come to an end and our morning dog park visits will be in full daylight.

Part of me will miss the dawn.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Back to (Kitchen and Bathroom) Business

For the past five weeks I've been obsessed with home renovations. We started with the kitchen cabinets, then the countertops and backsplash, followed by the floor. Unfortunately I didn't realize that I should have removed the wallpaper first. The wallpaper is proving recalcitrant and I am growing more and more frustrated. Wallpaper removal is delaying painting.

But at least the kitchen is usable. It took a long time to get there because the old contact paper was hard to remove. Plus I rethought all my dishes, glassware, etc. before deciding what to keep in the kitchen and what to donate to the Treasure House Thrift Store. I had no idea how many items were in those cabinets until I had to take them all out of the kitchen.

We're getting there. Painting is next, then carpeting in the bedrooms, hardwood floors in the living and dining areas. The last thing is window treatments.

Can we do this by Thanksgiving?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Taste of Winter

On Saturday, we had an unprecedented snowstorm in October. We got off relatively easy here--only a few inches of snow in Norwalk (many towns in Connecticut got over a foot) and we were among the 68 percent in town who didn't lose power. Since Saturday, it's warmed up again so much of the snow has melted and we're seeing the odd juxtaposition of patches of snow and patches of flowers.

It's been just over two months since Hurricane Irene hit which also created many downed tree limbs and major power outages.

Something is wrong with this picture.

It's not just this corner of the world. Floods, droughts, extreme temperatures, tsunamis anyone?

Yet there are some who ignore all these signs and warnings. Those who extoll man's mastery over nature but claim we are too insignificant to effect earth's climate. The Republican presidential candidates seem to channel the anti-scientist views of the original series V. Lock them up and throw away the keys--how else can we solve our problems?