Our thermostat is in the coolest room in the house... dh and builder agreed that it was The Best Place to put it, and I was protesting but nobody listened, not even my spouse, who usually does. I have no idea what they were thinking. So the thermostat is in the room that remains the coolest in the summer, and the warmest in the winter. Needless to say, we use the fireplace in the winter a lot.
Desperately looking for replacement thermostats with a remote sensing unit. Preferably one that has fucking buttons to control it, not a fucking app.
I may use the reverse trick of the one we use at school, where we keep an icepack for the thermostat in the winter. If I put a warm sock filled with rice on the damn thing......
MS degree: plate seeds, wait two weeks, plant seedlings in dirt, wait two weeks, extract DNA from seedlings, test is via PCR. If some show the trait you want, rejoice, mark them... And wait weeks and weeks and weeks for seeds to be ready to harvest. Harvest. Plate seeds, wait...... I'm at this point more or less on track for focusing on writing and wrapping up lab work during fall quarter and defending next winter. Since I started this particular project last July (ie two quarters late), I'm not unhappy with my progress. Just waiting for grass to grow.....
Perry: he went to a regatta last Saturday, did really well, and had a good time. It was a small regatta, with a points trophy that his school won, because they entered 7 races, with four kids, and won 6 of them. Perry raced 4 times, won 3. The race they didn't win was a pair, ie sweeping, and just two boys. That's a difficult configuration and not one they practice, the coach entered them just to see, since it was a low stakes small (free!) regatta.
I almost hesitate to say this out loud, but we threw his name in the Goblet of Fire for an entry to the Head of the Charles in Boston in October. Think New York Marathon for rowing, as to the prestige/size/etc of the event. We'll see. Fingers crossed.
And, in a miracle I'm not sure is real, because I can't believe it: SAT and ACT testing, three, four if he gets Boston regattas this fall.... and not a single conflict. I'm shocked. Shocked.
In a failed attempt to slow Perry down and give him a better workout by adding drag, Perry's coach gave him a rope and a buoy haul behind his boat. Linnea named the buoy Simon. Perry is not pleased, but too bad, Simon it is. Linnea and I threatened to add ears, whiskers, and eyes to Simon and Perry complained that he didn't want a furry as a buoy.
Linnea is doing rowing summer camp with Perry and his crewmates. She's... both doing great and having a hard time. She's so funny, she's got a total girl crush on the coach (not hard, coach is awesome). Anyhow, she's learning, and doing as well as can be expected, but is very hard on herself. Perry is being surprisingly kind, as are all the kids in the program, which is less surprising.
Did I mention that her trip to Scotland and Ireland was a total 100% spectacular success? She had a blast. I can't WAIT to see photos, she won't show us any until she shows us the official slide show she's made.... but we've not had time to plan a full evening with the whole family to do that.
AC is doing great. Did I mention she scored an internship at Fred Hutch? I'm so jealous. The class she's taking (which catches her up in the biology track from the quarter she missed because of the brain abcess).
I'm annoyed because I always buy avocados at Trader Joe's and they always ripen in a day or so, sometimes two. I have had this four pack for 4 days and they could still be used to load canons.
Have to contact the breeder again for an update on the cats that were pregnant. This process has not gone well, to say the least, I'm a bit annoyed. I said from the very start that my only thing was no tuxedos, and no girlies with a dark face. I just can't. Especially black girl cats. I miss my sweet old lady so much, and I just can't.... Anyhow, all the kitties she's offered us have been... tortie girls with dark faces. Nope. Anyhow. Gotta ping her again to see.
Dh, Linnea, and I are headed camping this weekend, out by the ocean. Got a crazy awesome campsite about 3 weeks ago, which is just unheard of, I expect it was a cancellation. Alas, Anne-Chloe has school and work Monday morning, so she can't come, and Perry didn't want to, and since it wasn't a family trip anyhow, we're letting him stay home. Linnea is upset, I'm a bit sad for her. It just figures that the one child who deeply cares about having her family around her etc is the youngest who will get the least of that, ya know?
OK. I have to shut up and get to bed.
I count myself lucky. I've been a stay at home mom most of my kids' lives, and dh considered that doing <i>that</i> was my job. Not cooking and cleaning or doing all the shopping, and he's really one of the better ones at the division of tasks.
I still do have to ask. I'm still the one, even as the kids have gotten older, who remembers The Things.
It was strangely clear when AC was in the hospital last year: we were very clearly both there and involved etc, and both knew her medical history, but I'm the one who kept track of stuff as she was getting sicker and sicker: what meds she'd had when, names of doctors we saw, the fact that various vaccinations had been done. Sill stuff, but it's always on me.
Part of it, I'm sure, was being the stay at home mother. But not all. Even as I commute to grad school 90 minutes each way, I'm often the one who is the keeper of the schedule, the details, the menus etc. I delegate, which is fine, but dh does not take the initiative. I hate that, but since he's SO great in some many other ways, eh, I live with it.
Again, I'm very clearly trying not to complain. But I do see it, and I know it's a real issue the author is discussing. I'd like to say I hope things get better for the next generation, but I already see AC mothering her disgusting boyfriend (which just grosses me out, I've NEVER mothered any guy, and he treats her like she's his little sweetie and UGH, WTF?) and Perry wouldn't notice if a sink needed to be wiped down or a pile of laundry that needed to be folded to save his life. UGH. Parenting fail. (Actually, I'm not sure AC notices household tasks, but at least she listens when asked to do them, and does them 90% rather than 50% like Perry.) Yeah, parenting fail.
Linnea... hard to tell yet, I don't have as good a sense of her as a supposedly able to contribute to the household without being repeatedly asked person as I do her older siblings.
The Bad Mother
CRAP CRAP CRAP. I FAIL.
Linnea has the fucking state mandated testing. She HATES it, and we've discussed opting her out (remember, dyslexia, dyscalculia...) but she does insist on doing it, though she gets to work in a room with only a few others students, thank goodness, to minimize distractions.
On Sunday -three whole days ago- she asked me if I could make her a good breakfast this morning (ie an "egg McMuffin".) I said sure, made sure we had English muffins.....
.... and this morning, I totally 100% forgot. She didn't remind me, just told me as she was going out the door that she had testing this morning. I'm not even 100% sure she ate breakfast.
Gah. I feel like a horrible parent. I wish she'd said something.
The reason this kills me? She is SO good about remembering things about others. If one of us mentions a test or something we're nervous about, she remembers to ask how things went, she remembers to follow up on events we've mentioned. And I forgot the damn testing. (Note that the school used to send an email the night before to remind parents of high stakes testing, but I guess they're no longer doing that.)
In an attempt to expiate my guilt, I went to Starbucks and bought her gift card, and wrote her a note apologizing, and, at the suggestion of a friend, adding how I felt extra bad because of how thoughtful she always is.
Wednesday was a warm day, the first time the temps had gone to 70F since last October. I think I was forgiven, or at least that she enjoyed the fruits of my guilt.
It was a dark and stormy afternoon.....
This both made me laugh and kinda cry a bit too. We've had some pretty bad thunderstorms yesterday afternoon/through the night. Lots of lightening and thunder, which is not usual for the PNW. Linnea is terrified of storms.
So yesterday she got off the school bus into a thunder and lightening storm, and had to walk 1.5 miles home (it was the late bus, she'd stayed for homework help, and they only make a few stops, that's the closest). She got home, soaking wet to find.... the back door unlocked, AND the door between the laundry room and the rest of the house open. It usually stays closed, for various reasons. She was terrified to go inside, tried to call me, I was in lab working, but I guess dh whom she called next helped her out, calmed her down, and she went over to some of the neighbours who went into the house with her to make sure someone had not broken in (very low prob, but this is Linnea, anxiety child of my three, and she knew we'd left a few windows cracked yesterday because it was hot.).
Anyhow, all was well, and she proceeded with her afternoon more happily. Anne-Chloe had been home between uni and coaching, and not bothered locking up or closing doors behind her. When dh and I got home a couple of hours later, we found a dish with a pat of butter on the counter, near the cat's curl up box on the counter. Huh? Later Linnea explained. She's been SO sure she was going to come inside to ransacked house and a "murdered cat" (her words) and she was so grateful that BamBam was fine that she decided to give him a celebratory pat of butter. He loves butter.
Today, her husband, widower I guess, died of glioblastoma.
Two children are left parentless. The older one is 19, like Anne-Chloe.
And on another online community, a funny, vibrant, wonderful woman is in hospice, metastatic colon cancer. She's only 42.
I just... can't. Can't even express how sad this all makes me. Yes, I know it's part of life, people dying, but dying too young, or too many close together people just seems so profoundly wrong.
And so I am angry. I express, as is conventional, my sadness, in public, but silently, I rage.
I'd like to say that this will be a coherently written post, but it will not. It will be thoughts and fears, linked by one common thread: yes, it has in fact come to this. A new world order, a nation divided, or, if you prefer, we're stuck on a journey to hell in a basket of deplorables.
And deplorable they are. They are haters, they are racists and bigots, misogynist and petty small minded gun fondling putrid scum. Most of them are stupid. Most of them are white. They represent the worst of the United States, indeed they represent the worst of humanity, and there are more of them than there are of us. Or at least more strategically placed them than us.
We underestimate hate. We always do, over and over, as humans. We underestimated it in Europe in the 1930s, in the Middle East, during the genocide in Rwanda, more benignly from a human-life cost, in Brexit.
We need to give up the fiction that Wisconsin, and Michigan are "blue states". They are not, they have not been for at least a decade, electing Republicans to state-wide offices, and in the case of WI, failing to recall a law-breaking right-wing governor. They are red states, inhabited by bigoted, racist, sexist, envious, stupid people.
There is no country divided. There are a few states with large enough liberal population centers to "hold", but we are less and less. The West Coast. Parts of the NE, though clearly not Pennsylvania. We are not divided, instead, this slim band of land on the west of the Western coastal states I live on is now an anomaly, a very small component in a nation of haters, as are the states of the northeast.
We will look back ten years from now, and John Roberts will be called a liberal, and Alito a moderate. Think about that, too. Perspectives will shift, and like Nixon and the Clean Water Act, we will marvel that a Republican appointed such progressive judges.
Single party rule is our future in both the short, and the long term. There are no checks and balances left in this country. Trump's worst ideas, backed up a House of Representatives with no morals or decency, no regard for the poor, women, minorities, the environment, a Senate there to rubber-stamp any judge, no matter how radical, Trump can scrounge up from the bottom of the tea (party) barrel. Judges who will fight to unite Church and State, who will fight for control of women's reproductive choices, of judges will will further decimate the voter's act, who will rule against minorities and immigrants. Judges who will push us towards a white Christian theocracy facade hiding the kleptocracy behind.
Sanders would not have done any better. He might have connected with some of the white "disaffected" jerks, but I don't think he could ever appeal to their slimy core. And he did not connect with minorities. His coalition would have been different, but not any bigger. The problem is not Clinton or Sanders or Biden, had he chosen to run. It is that core of hatred, that cold hard pure cruelty that has replaced any human decency that half the country might have once had.
Democrats, and the "liberal elite" are hated, and perhaps since the nineties, we've been painted as "not real Americans". We should not, they think, have a say in this country, because we have beliefs that are larger than guns, god, and whatever pablum they've been fed this month. The other issue, and also the part of the reason that Sanders wouldn't have done any better, is the profound resentment those people harbor. There is a new economy and it's based on brains. And they lack them. Sanders, like Clinton, liberals in general represent that forward looking society of the future, based on technology, open to the world, and embracing science. They're too stupid to participate in that society, so they'll break it instead, and they've elected a person to do that.
And that lack of belief in science and technology as solution to the very real problems our planet faces could, in fact, be the final straw that finally tips us over into environmental disaster. We're close now. We'll be there.
Over the past decade and more, my effort and money has been going to protect women, and women's reproductive choices. That is not, however, where Trump will do the worse damage. That is the environment, and the public lands of the west. The push towards giving control of those lands to the states will be accelerated and I expect that to happen. States will not have the resources to manage those lands, and I expect we will see privatization and selling off of the more valuable ones, as well as destruction in the form of "resource management" in the others. Cliven Bundy and his ilk have won.
I am done, today, in a way I never have before. I can't cry, I have no tears. I have no real idea of what do to next. My heart breaks at the realization that the best thing I can do for my children is to tell them to get the fuck out of this country, and to help them do that. I hate the thought, but how do you reconcile bringing up children to be kind, compassionate human beings, forward thinking, accepting of differences and of "others" and then telling them to live in a country build on hate?
Hate wins. We often forget it, willfully blind perhaps, but hate always wins.
Brunch isn't until 10 and I have two ovens.
Muffins: done in advance.
Grapefruit quickbread (Smitten Kitchen, loooove that recipe): done in advance.
Bacon, maybe sausages: done in advance.
Sourdough bread: done (by Perry) that morning, he'll sign up for oven time. Bread will proof in the fridge overnight.
Cheese platter: done in advance.
Fake food but everyone loooove them caramel delights: prep overnight, oven time in morning.
Scones: mix and bake in the morning. Flour/levening will be premixed, so no thought necessary.
Starbucks Travelers for the coffee, I can handle the tea.
The big last minute is scrambled eggs, but I have two pans, and Perry will help.
I'm still figuring out paper/plastic vs renting plates and silverware, and I'll "hire" Anne-Chloe and the teenager next door as unskilled labour (note that Perry is skilled labour on this one!).
One important thing: AC's espresso machine will be PUT AWAY. I do not want to get into the espresso drinks for everyone mode, THAT would be a pain!
I just hope my deck is done by then. :)
Which has her pretty horrified itself. She, like me, has been pretty much 28 days every month for as long as she can remember. We're off by about a week, so it's not just her not counting right.
Big sigh of relief. We asked her, but she said, "I've never not had a 28 day cycle for as long as I can remember". However, the next time she went to pee, it was obvious that she now had.
Morning update. She got my parent pull out couch. Her head still hurts, but the rest of the pain -back, neck, sides- is pretty much gone. I got the sick bed, and had to defend myself several times during the night. Shocker. I woke up with back pain. I do not, as a general rule, get up with back pain, it takes a lot. I can't imagine being stuck in this bed and unable to position optimally because of an IV to boot.
Plan today is imaging again, and we'll go from there. Dh is at Perry's regatta which is an all-day affair. I need a shower. And, quite frankly, to see my other kids, and to get some downtime. We'll make a plan to get all that in place later.
I hear her breathe. Regular and strong.
And yet, how frighteningly precarious.
Because we don't know.
It's her, her immune system, and the antibiotics, against the bacteria. And in too many cases, the bacteria win. For whatever reason. An overlooked pocket, a reservoir. An immune system that just can't keep up...
And that is profoundly frightening.
Because my child may die. And there isn't a damn fucking thing I can do about it.
Oh, we're not near there yet. But we could be. And the superstitious part of me wonders how I can even write these words, admit that this horror may come to pass. If I say it, I made it real. I turn it from an impossibility to something that has been brought into the world, an echo in my mind of Ged summoning his monster into Earthsea.
I'm terrified beyond words, the words I am not finding to properly encapsulate the black hole of fear that is at the core of my being. It is always there. And it is the realest part of me.
Tomorrow, more imaging. That will tell us if the headaches are... well, what? She still has them. The news, either way, is not going to be good, it's going to be bad (return to the ER for more sinus clearing), worse (need to go into through the eyelid to the brain cavity to attempt to clear it out, or worst (abscess growing, neurosurgery is going to need to go in, saws and all). As each scenario is thought through, it adds horror to that hole. And each time I ask her how she is feeling and she says her head hurts, a little more substance is sucked into that black hole, each time she rates her pain, each time she requests morphine, each time, each time.
I bend over and I kiss her forehead and the thought ricochets through my brain, "what if she never comes home?" I hand her her water, and think of Linnea sobbing last night that she wanted us to come home, she wanted her whole family back home with her.
How can I live, how can I exist, in a world in which that is a possibility?
Here, I am trying to voice these fears. In real life, I never do. I suspect, but we can't talk about it, that dh feels as I do, but that he too is afraid that saying it will make it real. So we give each other love and comfort, but not raw honesty, we say "I'm scared" but never "I'm scared she's going to die." But I think that fear is now part of both of us.
Externally we laugh, we joke, we talk to doctors, we pretend normalcy. Inside, nothing is normal. Because our child is seriously ill and terror is our essence.
We just signed up for our yearly bike rides, that we missed last summer. Flying Wheels, a nasty hilly metric century in early June, and the Seattle to Portland, 204 miles! It's just dh, Perry, and me this year, Anne-Chloe having said "oh hell no" about doing it again.
We need to buy Perry a bike (sigh.... decent road bikes are expensive, even if we buy used) and get training.
The three things I am not looking forward to:
-- Getting up early for STP Day 1. I hate hate hate the nauseated feeling of getting up too early.
-- The hill into Napavine at the end of the day, 110 miles in, on STP Day 1.
-- All the condescending Good Jobs! tossed at the fatty biking. Those hurt my soul in a way I'll never fully be able to articulate. Someone I know, when I was complaining about it, said it was the compliment giver's way to welcoming me to the biking community.... To which someone else pointed out, which really helped me in articulating my feelings on this, that this was seriously othering, because it assumed I needed welcoming into anything, it removed the default if you're doing this ride, you're a cyclist into something that can be bestowed by someone wanting to feel good about tossing a compliment the fatty's way. They are. I must be given. So blah.
Also, OMG, I'm going to be biking with a taller than me teenaged boy. Why do I sense he's going to just head to Portland and call us from the Finish Line? (He's not 18, so he can't do the one day solo, poor kid, or he'd be sure to try.)
Thinking about a nom de plume here, since I am I am I AM going to get this novella self-published SOON, I still can't figure out what to call myself.
Current contenders are going up as a poll, damn it.
So my three readers can pick!
I will point out that that last one is my NPR name from the NPR name generator so don't mock too hard, ok?
Don't like any of those? Or can't vote for whatever reason? Leave a suggestion in the comments!
Next Monday, the 21st. Which also happens to be my wedding anniversary, but it was the day both the vet AND the vet tech we like would be working, so I thought that made sense.
She isn't ready, and I'm thinking she won't be until she actually collapses, and with the long holiday weekend approaching... I didn't want a cold table in the emergency vet to be her last curl up spot. Instead, I hope, it'll be our bed, the bed she's pranced on her whole life.
God I'll miss that cat.
I hate adulting.
I couldn't make the call, I actually had to go to the vet's office. It's easier to understand someone weeping when you're right there rather than over the phone... And it had to be me. Dh wouldn't be able to.
When they came and gave Gus the final injection, he glared at us. Dh remembers that glare, and still feels we acted too soon for Gus. We did not. It was time. I called the vet as soon as he stopped eating, as soon as he refused to eat Pepperidge Farm goldfish from our hands, his favourite treat. This is different. Gus gave us a clear indication that he was done. Keelee before him did as well (he died that night, I was going to call for the appointment the next morning). She has not, yet. I fear she might not, until things got too bad.
I feel so very sad.
I got that cat in my twenties. She's been with me though my thirties and forties, and into my fifties. She was at my wedding, that winter day so long ago. She was there as I laboured with Anne-Chloe, and stayed with me all though my labours with Perry and Linnea. I sobbed into her fur when my dad died, and held her close in times of depression. She's been there for me, this is the least I can do for her, allow her to go before things get dire.
She -and Gus- taught my children the love and compassion that will make them better human beings. It is to their credit, I think, that all three of my children opted to be there. They'll see this through, this final responsibility we have to the small creatures that make our houses our homes.
The night we moved back home, in the middle of a rain storm, the cat found her spot at the bottom of our bed, at that point just the futon on the floor. She curled up and went to sleep. Anne-Chloe came to say good night, and gave the cat a cuddle and started to cry, repeating over and over "She made it home, she made it home." She did, she came home with us, and an echo of presence will always be here with us.
My sweet Chloé cat.
No, it's not a life threatening crisis, and part of me feels like, hey, really, you're complaining about being homeless with two cats, one of whom is in end stage kidney diseases and pees all over the place? At least you're not....
Here's the deal. We have to move. We need to officially be out of the rental by Aug 31st, though I'd like to be out by the 30, Sunday, since, really, it won't make a gigantic difference for us, and will be easier on the folks moving in since school starts on the 2rd, thank you asses of the local school district, stealing the last week of summer.
Our house will not be ready. We will not have occupancy permits. We will not have a septic system. They claim we will. The way everything with this project has been going? I can't count on that.
We have to move in anyhow. With the cats, finding any other lodgings is difficult, expensive, and disruptive. I might be able to board BamBam, but my sweet old (peeing everywhere) lady? Cannot realistically be boarded. And taking her/them to a hotel isn't practical, as they'd need to be in their carriers the whole time. Etc.
So we're moving. Scheduled movers for Thursday, though we'll keep our camping gear and sleep here for the next few days (see: no septic...), until Sunday. Sunday night, we'll need to be in the house.
We made that clear to the builder and got a note back saying fine, but then we were forfeiting our right to have anything fixed after we moved in. They'd finish the work they'd contracted to do, even though there is a clause in the contract that say that by moving in, we accept the place "As Is", so they could skip out on the rest of the work, but that no problems will be fixed. So any problems (scratched floors, dinged walls etc) are 100% on us, and anything they choose to complete to lesser standard? Too bad, so sad.
It's like jesus fucking christ, you guys are over TWO FUCKNG MONTHS LATE, we have nowhere to go, your delays have costs us about 10k, and you're condescending to put in the fucking millwork, sinks, toilets, cabinets,countertops etc out of the kindness of your hearts, and complaining about because even though because we now HAVE to move it, we're no longer entitled to them?
Ugh. In the middle of that, some jackass online equates not being a reader with not bothering to learn, and I lost it completely and broke down in sobs. My spouse is not a reader, he's, however, one of the smartest, knowledgeable people I've ever met. He might not have read Twilight or Cryptonomicon, but he can reason, think, and infer information as needed. He'll almost never pick up a book for pleasure, but for information.
And that is why I'm taking a break from the internet for a few weeks. I'm waaay too vulnerable if the opinions of ignorant people leave me in a puddle of tears. I'll still be reading email, because I can't avoid that.
Why is it done? Because I told AC I'd buy her a latte if she reminded me to do it, I kept on "forgetting".
What is annoying? I do, in fact, need a second dose, ie the full MMR course. When I asked the person the kids see, they said most places will take one booster dose for adults, but yeah, NSM. Oh well. Had I known I was going to have to get TWO shots, I'd have opted for the titer (which I know would be fine since I had one done while pregnant. Alas, I have no idea what happened to my records for 18 years ago, since there were provider issues.). That said, I don't pay for the vaccine, and I would have to pay for the titer, so whatever.
The builder "thinks" they've found replacement granite. We've seen a sample. Bzzzzt, no, this is still the lower grade. To be clear, builder. The granite we HAD was black with some grey and lots of large pieces pretty shiny mica. The one you are trying to get us to agree to is grey with some black and a few small bits of pretty shiny mica. Keep looking.... :( We're pretty much resigned to laminate. :(
I went to Costco yesterday. I bought my 12 year old -since last week!- a size 7 Rainbow Dash costume. OMG.
I really hate emotional vampires. Especially on forums (fora?) They drain all the air from discussions by bringing everything back to themselves, and pointing out how miserable they are if someone requests supports and is then dismayed that the vampire had made it so that everyone pretty much... ignores them. Ugh.
See above: I got the MMR today. And now I have a migraine!!!! It's a vaccine reaction, I know it is! (Yawn. No, its not.)
What I wrote to some friends earlier:
So we're in a rental, and the landlord has been very kind, letting us extend our lease as the remodel took longer and longer and....
Yesterday morning, he texted dh to say the house was being painted yesterday and today.
Grr, because there is plastic over the windows etc, and it's 90F outside.
But here is the sad rant part?
The inside of the house has HORRID paint colours. Think pistachio and peach in the main area, and periwinkle blue in the bathrooms. Which is fine in the master bath, but since the main bath has turquoise blue sinks, it clashes.
The outside, however, was not repainted. It was cream, with a nice green trim. Needed re-doing.
When the landlord said he was repainting in grey, I figured one of the two greys that has become ubiquitous in the Pac NW, either a shimmery silvery grey, or a deep stormy grey (we're considering both for our house when we repaint. Can't decide which.)
The house has been repainted brownish grey, with a baby diarrhea brown door, and cream trim. It's SO ugly.
Hopefully I'll only have to look at it for one more month......
Perry has a regatta on Saturday. He's supposed to race at 5:45 PM. I do have to confirm that he really needs to be there for the coaches/rowers/judges or whatever it's called meeting at... 5:45 AM.
I have figured out a way to borrow books on my Kindle from the library system without getting an evil Bibliocommons account. I don't know if this is new, or if the instructions weren't there before, but YAY!!!!!
I've been reading a whole bunch of books by Tanya Huff. I'd started her vampire books at one point, but really, I hate vampire books, and as a result, I stupidly dismissed the author. Then I picked up the first of the Valor series on CD. Light, funny, SF. And now I'm reading a few other of her series.
Considering what I've seen so far of stainless steel appliances? I'm going to wish I could have gotten simple white one, and be very grateful that the blue range should be easier to keep clean.
Hot out. Blah.
I HATE shopping. I hate looking at stuff, having to figure out what stuff to get etc. The only time I actually enjoyed it during the extended shopping trip that this fucking remodel has been was when we looked at granite for the kitchen.
We found it pretty quickly. We were positive. It was gorgeous, a granite called "Blue Volga" and we loved it. It looks kinda like this photo, stolen from the web, because it's hard to get a good photo of granite, especially shiny granite.
The shiny things are pieces of mica, they glow a beautiful blue under some lights, and they're big, some egg sized.
That first day, we sat down with the owner of the stone place, and our builder, and talked about what we wanted design-wise. One thing I made VERY clear is that I wanted a full-slab kitchen island. We had the room for it, and I wanted the big space. I nixed the breakfast bar in favour of a large expanse of beautiful granite.
We decided on our stove (cobalt blue!), and eventually had custom tiles made for the backsplash based on that granite.
Project went on, we specc'ed on cabinets in a long painful NASTY process. I said, several times, that I wanted the full slab width on the granite. They talked us out of the extra deep cabinets under one side of the slab, so I said fine, but I still wanted the extra width for the island and they said, sure, whatever.
And then... I asked if the slab would be long enough. Ha ha ha laughed the builder, of course it will. Two hours later... he called dh back. Umm, no, NSM. We needed an extra-long slab, longer than the gorgeous ones we'd initially found.
Off we went to a different stone supplier, Pental in Seattle. And we found some Blue Volga there, and it was big enough. But it was butt-ugly, with much smaller pieces of mica, and more green rather than black and grey.
We kinda said, yeah, sure, but we were bummed. Much of my excitement about the granite was gone, and it was sad. We debated changing the cabinets, but because of cabinet box sizes, we either had to go much smaller, which was not good when it came to the size of the kitchen, or pay A LOT extra for custom cabinets.
Then.... we were at the good granite place (Denali in Woodinville. Highly recommend.), shopping for remnants. And we saw..... A FREAKING GORGEOUS PIECE OF BLUE VOLGA THAT WAS BIGGER THAN THE OTHERS. We measured quickly, and yes, it would be big enough!!!
We spent a weekend on pins and needles, waiting to see if this holy grail of granite was unsold.
And it was. It was ours!
There was much rejoicing. All of a sudden some of the excitement about the project returned.
Last week, we got an email asking us to approve the fabrication of the granite. WAT? we say. Because we'd been told we'd work with the granite fabricator. And this design is not ok. We went a curve to one side, AND it must be bigger, this is waaaaaay too narrow.
We confirm this at the house. And find out they'd bolted down the cabinets, without leaving the gap in the middle that I'd expected. I was already annoyed because most of the drawers in the cabinets were specimen drawers (seriously wonderful if you are storing your butterfly collection in your kitchen, not so much if you are trying to use your kitchen to, well, cook.)
Anyhow, majorly annoyed here. They make a mock up of the slab at their office, we went to see if, and nope, not ok, too small. The plan had been to have fake doors on the "short edges" and I told them, move the cabinets, add a piece of plywood between the fake doors, and let's keep the island bigger.
All this was between the project manager and the designer and us. Then yesterday we get a call that we the builder wants to meet at our place.
We figure they're going to give us the hard sell, difficult to move cabinets, plywood won't look finish, and figured we'd have to fight over who was to pay for this, which, hey, if they'd listened to me, wouldn't be an issue.
They have a full size mockup up of the island again, on my cabinets, and it's pretty clearly too narrow, both visually and functionally. It's esthetically too narrow for its length, it leaves an area of the room as wasted space (and one of the reasons for this remodel was that we had a house with plenty of square feet, about 1/3 of them useless, and this was supposed to correct for this.), and makes the balance of the kitchen look off.
So we confirmed that we wanted the larger island.
Then we heard the truth: the slab was sent for cutting without our approval, it had been cut, nothing to do.
I think I started to cry.
I'm still angry, but more than that, I'm sad. Who the hell at the builder's told the fabricator to go ahead when we hadn't approved the design?
NOTE: they did offer us that slab for free. Fine, nice, a little savings, but who the fuck cares, because I don't have the only fucking slab I've found that I want, ya know?
We spent the morning going to a bunch of granite places in Seattle, looking for a decent slab. We could get ones that were big enough, but they were ugly, or ones that were beautiful, but too small.
Current plan is to give up on granite for now, and just install the cheapest possible countertop, probably laminate, and hopefully over the next year or three, Denali will get another high quality piece of Blue Volga that is big enough. That means my backsplash, with the pretty custom tiles we had made, won't get installed either, and we'll have an ugly kitchen for the foreseeable future. :(
Needless to say, while this is a tiny-ass-sorry-little-first-world-
So my mom sent me an email Saturday, asking me if I wanted said china set. I'll add, btw, that it's from a reputable Swiss brand, but it's ugly. Anyhow, I composed a polite I DON'T THINK SO.
While I was composing my gentle refusal, she emailed again to ask me if I wanted my grandma's china.
Ah! Yes, that I actually do want and like. So I'll get that, whenever. This is the pattern:
Probably not something I'd have picked out myself, but I really like it. I don't have china and since my brother has my aunt's (well, it's in my closet, waiting for him), my sister had a zillion sets, I don't feel bad taking my nana's.
I still would love to understand why my parents bought that hideous stuff. I mean, my mother otherwise has good taste. Darker than I'd like (darker woods, stuff like that), but nothing that makes me suspicious of her ability to distinguish nice china from a nightmare pattern.
New and Improved! 25 Best of the Enchantments 2014. The best, or whatever photos from the trip. A bit less overwhelming!
And this link should get you a trip report
I'm linking in this photo, and I have to find a way to add some more tags to it. Because when I went looking for photos of the Enchantments, every single person I saw was thin. There were young people and older people, but they were all thin. I guess I want people who look like me to see the photo and realise that they aren't alone. Because I was freaking out and felt absolutely ridiculous, I mean, the though that a fat person could haul their fat ass up to the Enchantments? Ridiculous.
Also, Perry and I were standing on a sloped slab of granite! He is NOT NOT NOT that much taller than me!
This trip was my birthday present to myself, and I'm so very thrilled about how things worked out. It was spectacular.