How much do I love my husband?

He sent me this e-mail today (he’s off work until the new year):

floor done
plumbing done
clean up done
dry cleaning dropped off
time for lunch
then a run to the dump
then groceries
and a chilifest

My response:

haiku on steroids
husband’s to-do list is long
you are done?  thank you.

Christmas miracles

…or, for want of a dishwasher, the floor was lost. Our old dishwasher was a malcontent, with rusting racks and a tendency to cook food on to dishes every several loads instead of washing it off. Unfortunately, it was also entombed in its hole. A layer of pergo and two layers of vinyl flooring (with an extra subfloor in between) created a ledge over which the grumpy old appliance couldn’t be removed. So, out went all of it:

Out, out, damned pergo

John demonstrates the... unloveliness of our old floor

Pretty, no?

The final subfloor.

I think the disgusting subfloor is rather festive with the tree in the background, don’t you?

Here’s the tree itself in all its glory. I’m sparing you the scene just to the left, which is everything that usually lives on our countertops, relocated to the dining room table.

Christmas tree 2008

John’s got a new subfloor down, and our new flooring should arrive… in time to have a proper kitchen floor by New Year’s.

The chaos in the kitchen wasn’t severe enough to divert me from my desire to make Julekake – Norwegian Christmas bread. Full of dried fruit, walnuts, and cardamom, it makes lovely buttered breakfast toast. I got a good first rise:


A good second rise:


And perfectly lovely loaves:


Let’s hope the Julenisse and the Dala horse are fierce enough to protect the cooling loaves from Dash…

First ice

After some recent whoops-a-daisy with the thermometer, we seem to have settled firmly into the cold:

First ice

A thin rime of ice in the old watering can – Rime of the Ancient Geranium, perhaps.  In point of fact, the geraniums came in weeks ago, and are still behaving like overly-corseted Victorian ladies: weeping and sighing and coming close to fainting as they wonder how on Earth anyone would be so cruel as to haul them inside into the warm.  Not known for their brains, geraniums.  But pretty when they’re not turning yellow and fussing.

We have today off, in honor of veterans.  John is running up and down ladders, in hopes of finishing the  house project that Will Not End – repainting the master bath.  We’ve been camped out in the guest bath for about a month now, and while I am grateful for the fact that we have a guest bath to camp in, I am well and truly ready for this project to be over.  In a master stroke of poor planning, we had the main mirror in the master bath removed right before the busiest time at work for John – late summer.  So even though we have been able to use the room until very recently, it’s been… challenging.

Such first-world problems I have.  What a brat.

School colleagues are set to come over later today to finalize a project, so I must off.  So odd to have this day in the middle of the week.  But nice.  Thank you, veterans.

Until next year

Overheard at our house, fall edition

John comes in from hauling the fresh load of wood that was just delivered.  He’s in that "third-day-of-a-cold, dammit-I-need-movement" phase.  He’ll probably be wiped tonight.

"What’s up?" say I.

"Just want to put my boots on.  I almost dropped a piece of wood on my foot."

"Good.  Wouldn’t want a husband with a mooshed foot.  Defective.  I’d have to return you."

"Got your receipt?"

"You’re under warranty.  I bought the extended plan."

"That’s power-train only.  Hands and feet are accessories – not included."

Good thing he put his boots on.

A Faux FO?

So, there have been finished objects Chez Writingortyping.  It’s not just cute kittens and yoga around here.

One almost-FO is the front door.  A few weeks ago, John bought a screen/storm door whose packaging promised that it would install in six easy steps.  Um…  Yeah.  Right.  More like seventeen million not-so-easy steps, too many hours, actual rebuilding (or adding on to) the door frame, and adding a few choice words to his blue-talking wife’s rather extensive vocabulary.  The door only lacks a few elements: hydraulic closers, a few bits and bobs – nothing to get excited about.  It fits, it closes, it latches, it does not cause John to make odd explosive noises.  It does not require me to get up from my knitting and cling to it in a manner uncomfortably reminiscent of a tree frog in a hurricane while John mutters and wields his mighty electric drill/screwdriver.  I have hopes that I shall have no more mashed fingers in its uncaring jaws.  It is, for all intents and purposes, a real FO.  This is productive of much happiness.

Another FO has actually been such for a while.  I bought a lace stole kit at Stitches back in the spring.  It seemed like a simple pattern (and it was – but not one that lent itself to “reading”).  It kept me busy in front of undemanding tv, on airplanes, etc.  It was semi-abandoned and picked up a few times.  It may well be my go-to scarf for this winter, as it is light, warm, and versatile.  I’m rather pleased with it.


The very simplicity of it was what made it difficult – there was no organic beginning and ending to latch on to: no point at which I said, “Oh, here -this- begins (or ends).”  But it is lovely and I am pleased.