I admit it, I'm procrastinating right at this very moment. I have piano students arriving in 90 minutes, groceries languishing in bags on the kitchen floor and island, laundry piled up waiting to be folded and put away and general disarray throughout my home. And here I sit.
But, you see, I'm cranky and need a wee bit of time to decompress. I just did the most foolish thing and went with both children, though without The Viking or Daria or any other co-wrangler, to Wegmans. On a Sunday. After church.
When will I ever learn? I have done this a few times before (and have even blogged about it, sadly) and still have not retained enough of the bitter memory of it to prevent me from doing it again. I was practically twitching when I got the car and didn't even get everything I needed but fled the store at the earliest opportunity with who knows what!
I know why I do it. Wegmans is rather far from where we live and it's only minutes from church. So it makes sense, at first glance, to just make a quick stop on the way home from church as we literally have to drive right past it anyway to get home. But, oh! I'm really not sure it's worth it. Maybe if I had a flask of brandy on me for fortification...
Anyway, we got a lot of cleaning out done yesterday. First, The Viking and I had one of those "cleaning house" discussions every husband and wife needs to have every now and then and boy did we need one yesterday! I won't go into details but sometimes it takes some borderline shocking behavior from one of your children to make you sit down and look into each others' eyes and then long and hard at your marriage and what you're making of it. Which we did yesterday. And then we felt the need for a physical outlet to serve as symbolic evidence of the cleaning we had just done so we went into the murky depths and cleaned out the basement.
The Viking has been wanting to get that job done for...well...probably since about a year after we moved in 11 years ago. And as most of the things down there were accumulated due to me swearing I was going to fix/paint/refinish/re-purpose whatever it was I was insisting on keeping, I really owed it to him to get right in the trenches with him. I think I drove him a little nuts, unfolding each article of old baby clothes, sometimes crying over them, asking him to remember events certain outfits were worn to, poring over old letters (even found one last one from an ex!), old love notes (all from The Viking), poems written in high school (hilarious), poems copied and treasured in college (still love them), old tapes and CDs we had made in the early years of our relationship. The Viking was very patient and gracious to me. His only comment was, "Now I know why you've been putting this off. It's very emotional for you, isn't it?" That, as I was crying over our first son's first photo outfit. Truly, The Viking understands my tears over that one as we don't have much to remember him by, but still, by the time I was waving Redheaded Snippet's old booties for him to look at, he was ready for me to go upstairs, I think.
I did very well. We threw away most of the old clothes (most were stained and I kept one or two pieces that were just too precious to part with), several old chairs I had been intending (for over ten years) to refinish but were actually falling apart, bagged up lots of clothes for Goodwill, sorted through bins and crates and bags of other junk, and set aside a mass of old papers for the burn pile. I ceremoniously burned that old letter (don't know why it was still in there) with the kindling in our first fire since the stove was finished.
For, lo! It is completed!
I can't tell you the mess this last stage created. Imagine a tiny, but powerful Mt. Vesuvius erupting in your living room and you've about got it. There is white dust everywhere!
I just had to get this shot of the carpet just next to the stove. This is normally rather a denim blue. It took several goings over with the shop vac (The Viking and I took turns) to get it back to normal, but I'm still not convinced it's clean. I think we need to rent a carpet cleaner. Or simply pull up the carpet and refinish the floor underneath! I say simply, but I know I'm not kidding anyone. That is a different project for an entirely different time! But I bet The Viking's thinking about it...
Although I've dusted the usual places, I'm still finding dust in places that are rather unusual. Tonight when I lifted the lid of my shiny, lemony-scented piano to begin my first lesson, I realized with horror that the dust had gotten underneath the lid. I had no choice but to dust the keys right then and there in front of my student. Very humbling, that. Then later this evening when I dropped a large pile of clean, folded laundry into one of the baskets which had been sitting behind the couch, a giant cough of dust arose around it. Who thinks to dust the insides of their laundry baskets? They usually get too much use around here for that to be a problem! Now I'm not going to be able to sleep for thinking about places where the dust has settled. I probably should take the sofa cushions outside for a good beating, huh?
Anyway, it's in, it's done (save for the mantel), it's functional and I just love walking into the room and seeing this:
And we got it in none too early, too, because the weather has turned bitterly cold and even with the stove roaring away in flame in the living room, I'm still having to use the electric space heater in the kitchen. I think tonight may require an extra blanket on the bed!
I leave you this bitter cold night with a warm, toasty, though unoriginal thought.
-6 lb whole roasting chicken: $4 and change
-1 bag carrots: $.79
-1 bag egg noodles: $1.99
-grated Parmesan cheese: $2 and change
-1 pint heavy cream; $3 and change
-Your 14-year-old saying, after seeing the above together in the grocery cart, "You're making your Chicken Noodle Soup? YES!!!": Priceless