starting in on the winter break projects

i almost conquered the livingroom yesterday. our new year’s day party will be the New Furniture Arrangement unveiling, as it were; we moved everything but the bookshelves (and even two of those, actually). now the livingroom has the sofa on the south wall, the recliners facing it from the center of the room, and the table on the north end surrounded by all the tall bookshelves. the corner where the mauve recliner was has become the Baby Things Spot. they have to go somewhere. the oak bookshelf resumed its long-held role as an altar (it is deeper than the one we were using, and makes a better surface for that sort of thing) and moved under the north window. the long shelf that was the altar is now under the south window (as in, scooted three feet south of where it was), and has all the big houseplants on it, all in a row. that looks really nice. and is a way more functional arrangement for the plants themselves. we got a hoosier, which is like a china hutch but with more doors, and which Jenny is really excited about. it’s where the altar-shelf and green man were, just behind the door. it now contains everything that was inside the dresser-and-tv-stand-stack. said stack has been evicted and will now be friend-cycled. anybody need a couple small shelves? i am not sure if we’re getting rid of the dresser, or moving it to the playroom at CA for the baby’s things. will check in on that.

having a kid around sure makes American materialism obvious. the kid is too little to know what things are, but he sure has a lot of them. and it’s really easy to see how this comes about, how it is unavoidable in this culture. some of them are super practical — bottles and clothes and diapers and such. a bouncy seat (which routinely saves everybody’s sanity) and a swing, mobiles for entertainment & learning. he already has books, of course. i am disinclined to regard that as unnecessary. :-D i of course want him to grow up to be Our Kind of People, and respecting and reading books is sort of a baseline there. he doesn’t even have a crazy number of toys or anything. but somehow the little things we already do have (besides scads of clothes) take up a bunch of acreage. so anyway now they have a home.

i’ll take pictures and post later. or you can come to our NY Day Soiree, 2pm next sunday (not this sunday).

i am so glad i have an entire week now, with its attached weekends!

we also have a new shed. that was four days of phone wrangling, on my end — we found this awesome shed on Craigslist. i was searching for bookshelves (see livingroom, above — we also replaced the brick-and-board ziggaurat with something more structurally stable, aesthetically pleasing, and space efficent — that is, two new actual tall bookshelves, plus this super-awesome triangle corner cabinet that Jenny found for the art supplies, which we can put a kid-lock on, and which is just the cutest piece of furniture ever) and i got every ad with the word “shelf” in it, and one of them was this shed. for the last two years, we have been trying to figure out how we can afford to buy or build a shed, about 16×12, next to the pump house. it’s the Shed of Holding. i NEED a potting shed; the irrigation, shade cloth, and other potting supplies are in several completely disastrous piles here and there around the barn and property, hard to organize and hard to access at need, and, in the barn, in real risk of mouse-damage (they ate a bunch of t-tape last year, the little bastards. t-tape is not even nourishment for mice. jerks). and so here’s this shed listing, 10×20, built-in shelving, wired, insulated, fully finished interior. for $2000. whoa. we could spend a lot more money for a lot less shed than that.

so we made it go. it’s not next to the pump house; that spot is just not 20′ long no matter what we do to it. so it’s 5′ south of the greenhouse, instead, between the greenhouse and mr hill’s old house, abutting the driveway. i’ll photograph that, too. i had to drive up there and see it on friday, put a deposit down, go back on monday (having taken Monday off to clear that spot and get it ready for the shed, which meant moving a compost pile and doing a bunch of levelling, mostly, with Rev and Madeline’s capable help all day, and Alan’s for the first couple hours — Madeline is the current intern). then i drove across town in an increasing slush-storm (it really wasn’t snow, or rain), up to 2nd and Alameda to pay the balance and organize the towing. but, the towing-guy is local to the east mountains, and it was snowing like crazy up there, so he was busier than a hive of bees in summertime, pulling stupid people, and unlucky ones, out of the ditch. on my way up there, the windshield wipers on the VW decided to finally give up the ghost (which they’ve been thinking about for a while, but of course, this did it — 20 miles across town in a yucky wet storm). i was about 2m from my destination, so i drove slow and stuck it out, damnit. i got there, paid for the shed, worked out more towing details, and drove very very slowly all the long-ass way home. made it fine. the roads were wet, not icy. it was just the visibility without windshield wipers. oh, VW. of course, if it hadn’t rained, we’d never have known the wipers were done. :-P

two days later, and about a thousand phone calls, the snow eased up enough in the mountains that the tow guy could get this job done, and i coordinated the delivery from town, while Jenny and Madeline managed the in-person end of it when the guy got down here. and now we have a shed! and it’s really awesome!

here it is:


other angle:

from the side:

from the garden:

so, starting tomorrow, i am going to take THIS mouse-ridden mess:

completely gut it, and start organizing things into the shed. then build new shelves for the water jugs (thermal mass) in the greenhouse, and restock them. meanwhile move the rest of the shadecloth & irrigation supplies out of the barn & goat shed and into the new Shed of Holding. bikes, too. that will leave about a third or more of the shed free for other things. which i’m certain we’ll immediately discover needs for. but holy cow am i relieved and glad to have a potting shed! this is going to make life So. Much. Easier.

it snowed more last night, and was really enchanting for a couple of hours in the late night. now it’s the usual brown-white patchwork of half-covered ground and wind, kind of dry.


look, snow!

and here’s the little monkey, 5 months old this weekend, in his monkey suit.