Still Life, With Cats

This content shows Simple View

Life

That one time? At nerd camp?

So that whole write-a-letter-a-day thing in February? Um. Yeah. I think I managed to eek out about a dozen letters, and that included the trio of postcards I mailed out from Aruba to family members. But I did get a good handful of letters from other people, and I used up some of the stationary that’s been lurking in my cupboards for mumble-mumble years, so even if I didn’t exactly hit the letter (ha!) of the challenge, at least I gave it a try. And it was kind of fun.

And now is the point when you say ‘wait, Aruba?’. Because one reason I had a hard time doing the whole letter-a-day thing is that Richard and I went on a cruise for a week during February. To the southern Caribbean. Just us and a giant boat and a whole pile of extremely elderly people, and oh yeah, a total of 541 nerds, with concerts and performances by the likes of John Hodgeman, Wil Wheaton, Jonathon Coulton, Marian Call, and so on and so forth. I know, I know, most of you likely have no idea who any of those people are but trust me when I say it was a level of nerdy, geeky awesome beyond compare.

The cruise itself was the random idea of Jonathon Coulton, the singer/songwriter responsible for the ending credit songs on both Portal games, such classics as ‘Re: Your Brain’s’ and ‘Code Monkey’, and a host of other songs about math and science and giant squids and monkeys and crazed news anchors, and all sorts of things that warm the cockles of a geeky nerd’s heart. The first JoCo Crazy Cruise was in 2011, and we did not go because we found out about it too late, and also, cruises are kind of expensive. Then they announced that they were going to do it again, and we sat down and pondered and pondered and looked at the finances and pondered some more and eventually figured out that we could make this work. And after we finished doing a little giddy dance of joy, we signed up and have spent the better part of the past nine months eagerly waiting to go.

Of course, the first thing everyone else wanted to know was where we were going, and no amount of ‘On a boat! With lots of nerds! Nerds on a boat! Squee!’ seemed to satisfy them, because apparently non-nerds do not comprehend that Nerds On A Boat with Bonus Extra Nerdery was enough of a reason to get on a cruise ship, and we really didn’t care one bit where the boat was actually headed. And then there was the added fun of trying to explain who all the special performers were going to be. Okay, see, there’s Jonathon Coulton. Yes, he’s the guy that wrote that song about the zombies. And..uh…Wil Wheaton. He was in that movie, Stand By Me. And…uh…John Hodgeman. Do you watch The Daily Show? He’s an occasional correspondent. No. Okay. Um…You know that commercial? I’m a Mac and I’m a PC? He was the PC. No? And then it would all break down and we were right back to our starting point of Nerds! People just like us! Nerds! On a boat! With singing. And also a boat!

But preparing for the cruise – even reading stories about the first cruise, and hanging out on the forums, watching the excitement grow as everyone else – all these strangers from the internet that would soon become 541 of our new friends – wasn’t enough to remotely prepare us for how amazing the trip was. There were fezzes. There were mustaches. There was gaming, and cookies, and singing waiters with Baked Alaska. There were a whole lot of extremely confused elderly people who couldn’t quite figure out who we all were and why we were on their boat with them. There were random zombies, and karaoke, and fancy pants, and an event sign that turned into the most awesome Word Jumble game ever. I am still working out how best to summarize all of it, and even though I didn’t take very many pictures, I still need to go through them and get them all edited and uploaded. So eventually I will tell you all the rest of it – the thing about the dolphins, and about how we met our very first Sea Monkey, and how we made Jonathon Coulton giggle, and on and on. But this is what you’re going to get for now. A placeholder. Nerds! On a boat! I am still not quite sure how else to explain.



Challenge accepted

A few weeks ago, Mary Robinette Kowal posted an idea to Google +. For the entire month of February, write one letter a day. It can be as simple as a postcard, or a quick scribble, or it can be a lengthy missive; it doesn’t matter. What matters is that each day, you sit down and write out something and the put it in the mailbox. In an age where the majority of communication is electronic, getting anything but spam or a bill in the mail is always a bit of a shock. So sending someone a handwritten letter (or postcard) would be a fun surprise for the recipients. It took off, it got picked up all sorts of sites (newspapers, the US Post Office, etc.), and she created a site to collect all the information together, where people could interact, make plans, and share ideas.

I pondered for a bit. I used to write letters, years and years ago, back before the age of computers and email and Twitter and Facebook and all the other ways we all communicate these days. But I stopped doing it, mainly because email is so much easier. My handwriting – never very beautiful to begin with – has gotten worse the less I use it, and these days I can type so much faster than I can write (Plus the bonus of typing is that it is virtually guaranteed that I can *read* it later. Not so much with anything hand written).

But then I decided. Why not. Getting any letters written at all, even if it isn’t one a day, is still better than my current record (in case it wasn’t obvious from the above, these days that would be a big fat zero).

Of course, there is the issue of finding people to whom to write. So if you’re interested in doing the challenge, go here and sign up. If you want to exchange a letter directly with me, send me an email to jenipurr at gmail dot com with your mailing address. And even if you don’t sign up, or don’t intend to write a letter every single day, why not take this month as an excuse to write at least one letter. It can be to anyone at all. Just try to send at least one, and see where it takes you. You might brighten someone’s day.

I can’t promise that I’ll get letters out to everyone, especially if I end up with more than 29 people on the list. But I can promise I will try. You might get a story about Rupert (the cat who is smarter than his own good and also immune to trauma) and his latest escapade. You might get a short little blurb about something I’m knitting, or the latest awesome recipe I found, or something else entirely. Who knows – there’s 29 days in February, so by the end I might be really struggling to come up with something more witty than ‘well. it rained today.’ But I’m up for the challenge. How about the rest of you?



Let it be happy

A brand new year, spreading out fresh and bright before us. I know, I know, it’s an arbitrary number on a calendar that really has no meaning in the grand scheme of things, but there is something that is always delightfully refreshing about looking at a clean slate.

We heralded in the new year in a quiet fashion, Richard and I. December 31st is his birthday so this year (oops, *last* year) – okay, yesterday – we drove off to San Francisco and went to the zoo. We both love that zoo, especially the lemur habitat, so we got there just a bit after it opened and then spent a good long time watching lemurs go about their business, followed by the Emperor Tamerins (another favorite) and then we went to find the penguins and the river otters, until we were distracted by a rather strange and loud booming sound, which turned out to be the noise a very, VERY large rhinoceros makes when chasing an equally large ball around its enclosure. That’s something one doesn’t see every day.

Most of the critters still had extra branches and trees and toys in their enclosures from Christmas, and it was amusing to watch them playing. It was, as always, lazy cat time in the tiger and lion exhibits, but one of the river otters was industriously smashing branches into a nest, interspersed with diving into the water and swimming through a giant tube over and over. There were some cute little critters that were the South American equivalent of a raccoon (cannot recall the name) who were having a grand time playing hide and seek with several large towels. And we caught a glimpse of a rather small gorilla baby who is apparently known for harassing the others. But then considering his age, I suppose that’s to be expected for a toddler.

After the zoo we headed off to The Stinking Rose for a rather early dinner. We both love this restaurant because we are both huge fans of garlic, and their motto is that they season their garlic with food, and they really aren’t kidding about that. We kicked off the meal by splitting their signature appetizer, which is a little pan filled piles of roasted garlic, to be spread on fresh baked rolls (so, so very delicious), and then followed that with delicious entrees (lots more garlic in those, of course). We did pass on the garlic ice cream for dessert, as intriguing as it sounded, and instead split a large martini glass filled with the most amazing layered chocolate mousse of the sort where every single bite you had to stop and close your eyes and savor it slowly because it was just that good. And then we headed back home; the entire trip (and dinner) having been carefully planned so as to allow us to get back without having to deal with New Year’s Eve traffic (and the drunk drivers that come with it).

We were discussing what we wanted to do once we got home, but then on the way, Richard checked his email and hey, a note from Best Buy, telling us our order was ready to pick up, and that took care of that. This is because each year instead of doing presents for each other (beyond the stockings, which actually turns out to be the same thing anyway because we tend to go overboard at times but it’s the *principle* of the thing, you see), we get ourselves one big joint present. Last year it was all the furniture for the office (which we then had to assemble – hooray for Ikea), for example. This year was *going* to be new phones, as we’re due for an upgrade from Verizon, but since both prefer the slide-out keyboard, and since Verizon, for some obscure reason, pushed the release of the Droid 4 back beyond December, we decided instead to get something else. So off we went to Best Buy to pick up our new toys. Yay!

I have been dithering for the better part of a year (I like to take my time on these things) on whether or not I wanted to get an eReader. I like the idea of a tiny tablet sort of critter, but I wasn’t sure I wanted a Kindle because I want it for color items as well, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to get just an eReader because I read a LOT (no, really, I am not exaggerating, last year I checked out 223 books from the library alone and that does not include all the books I read that didn’t come from the library, which would likely have brought the total up to over 250, and admittedly, it’s felt like kind of a slow year for me in the reading department), and while a lot of books are available for electronic checkout, there’s still not a big selection when compared to actual paper versions, and that new thing with Kindle where you can borrow one book a month just makes me laugh (I can read several books a DAY if I put my mind to it). But a tablet – ah, that gives me options beyond just an eReader. I went to play with the Nook, and I did like that, but it locks me into Barnes and Noble, which I didn’t like. And then we went to Best Buy so I could play with the Kindle Fire, which I had fully expected to love (even though I have some major reservations about the fact that they force the user to keep practically everything in the Cloud, and not having physical copies of things can make me a bit twitchy). But I was quite shocked to discover that I actually did *not* love it, not at all. I have thought wistfully of tablets in the past, but they usually are wincingly expensive. But while I was standing there in Best Buy, frowning grumpily at the Kindle Fire, there it was, the cute little Acer Iconia, just about $10 more than the Nook Tablet, but with the added benefit of it being far more functional. I poked at it and oohed and aahed and started to fall a little bit in love with it, and Richard started playing with it and then I broached the possibility of us getting these instead of the phones, and he said something to the effect of ‘gee, twist my arm’, but they didn’t have them in stock right that moment, so instead they ordered them for us, and yesterday they came in. Merry Christmas!

So here we are, a brand new year, with five cats that make us laugh every single day, and a 100 year old house we adore, and jobs we both enjoy, and a brand new shiny toy to usher it in. I think I am giving up on making any sort of resolution, or setting myself any goals, since that hasn’t worked so well in the past year or three. Instead I think I will simply say that my hope is to keep on doing what I’ve been doing, except better, and take it from there.

‘Tis the season for Holidailies



Unprocessing

Oh look. It’s October already. And this year that means things get a radical shift in the kitchen. Okay, maybe not all that radical, since we weren’t doing too horribly bad about things beforehand, but this year, Richard and I are taking part in the October Unprocessed challenge. Granted, the word ‘unprocessed’ is a bit misleading for this challenge, since just the act of chopping or cooking is by its very nature ‘processing’. But the point of the challenge is that if it’s not something that the average person could make at home, or the ingredients list includes things that were manufactured in a chemistry lab, it should be avoided.

So far, we’re not doing too badly, although it’s only been two days yet, and weekend days are a lot different than week days when it comes to having time to cook. Of course it helps that yesterday we made our yearly pilgrimage up to Apple Hill, so pretty much the only things we ate all day were made of apples, and were made by hand at the farms (shh, we’re ignoring the ice cream on the pie). Today I made bread and for dinner we made a huge pot of dal. We followed that recipe pretty closely, but added a chopped zucchini (because the monster zucchini plant of doom is STILL producing, for crying out loud). As an aside, should you be interested in that recipe, bear in mind that it makes a LOT. Unless you have a large and hungry family, or are intending to serve this to a crowd, I’d recommend halving the recipe, at a minimum. I ended up stashing about half of it in the freezer, because while it turned out really delicious, there are only so many days in a row either of us is willing to eat leftovers of something before we get completely sick of it (and I suspect that given the amount left that *didn’t* end up in the freezer, we’re going to be bringing leftover dal for lunch all this coming week).

I know we’ll be running into a few interesting surprises as we go through this month. I hit the first one bright and early yesterday morning, when I went to set up my first cup of coffee of the day, took a look at the ingredients in the flavored creamer that I always use, and realized that it did not meet the criteria for ‘unprocessed’ by any stretch of the imagination. Luckily I stumbled across a blog post from someone else who’s doing the challenge who ran into exactly the same problem, and she linked to these recipes. This afternoon I made a batch of the Cinnamon Strudel (which smells just like a freshly baked cinnamon roll) and when I’m done with that, I think I’ll give the French vanilla a try. In the meantime, if anyone stumbles across a recipe to make my own hazelnut creamer, that meets the criteria for the Unprocessed Challenge, let me know!

As I noted above, the zucchini plant is still chugging along, although at a thankfully slower pace than earlier in the summer. The tomatoes are also showing signs of slowing down, although based on the number of tomatoes we put in, ‘slowing down’ still results in me filling the freezer and having to process another dozen or so pints of sauce every few weeks. With what’s left from last summer, and everything I’ve put up this summer, we’re not going to have to buy tomato sauce (or pizza sauce, or marinara sauce) for a good long time. The cucumber and peppers, however, have hit their end point, so this morning we spent about half an hour doing some clean-up, hacking back the worst of the blackberry vines and pulling up an embarrassingly large number of weeds. Then we put in the first batch of cold-weather plants – lettuce, sugar snap peas, scallions, and spinach. Later on, I’ll get some beans and shelling peas started, and maybe even try carrots again, and maybe, if we’re really lucky, the snail and slug population in the neighborhood will take a drastic turn for the worse and we might actually get a decent winter crop.



Click, click

Pattern: Gentlemen’s Sock – from Knitting Vintage Socks. Made for Richard. This is sock pair #2 completed for the year (yes, I am aware that I am 3 pairs behind schedule).

The results of a massive book purge: 8 grocery sacks, and 3 boxes, stuffed with books. This filled the back of the Prius completely, yet is only a small fraction of what we still own. We dropped them off at the Friends of the Library used book store this morning, and returned with only 6 ‘new’ ones (one of which is being sent off to someone else).


Stacking herb garden. There are three basils on the bottom. Naturally those are the ones the snails are decimating. Stupid snails (I hope you like Sluggo).

Tiny baby cucumbers. There’s about half a dozen on the plant so far.

Baby tomatoes. We put in twice as many tomatoes this year. I am hoping that I do not regret this.



And On And On

The longer I go without writing, the more difficult it is to start back up, primarily because I start to feel as if I have to cover everything from the time I missed, and it gets too long and unwieldy. So I shall, instead, summarize.

Cats: Zucchini started losing weight at an alarming rate and his fur was matting something awful. At his age, I knew it was only a matter of time before he came down with one of the Big Three (hyperthyroid, diabetes, or kidney disease). The verdict – advanced kidney disease. He was nearly 17. We buried him in the backyard with the others.

The numbers in the house, however, are still the same. We picked up a new kitty at the shelter – a little one-year-old siamese mix. We’ve named her Nutmeg. She’s surprisingly quiet, for being part siamese, but she is adorable and has bonded with Richard (she is very much a Daddy’s girl) and loves to skitter all over the house chasing balls and if we could just get Ingrid to stop antagonizing her by growling every time she catches a glimpse of her, everything would be peachy.

As for everyone else – let’s see. Checkers’ eye finally cleared up, much to my great delight because I was getting seriously tired of chasing her down to dose her twice a day. Rosemary is hyperthyroid, but luckily she tolerates the pills just fine, so (fingers crossed) it’s an easy treatment for now. And Rupert has figured out how to scale to the top of the new office desks – the seven foot tall office desks, mind you – so we’re now slowly adjusting to looking up to see a fuzzy little face peering down at us without freaking out about it.

House: The downstairs bathroom sinks have faucets with lever handles. One of the sinks doesn’t drain very well. Rupert and Ingrid are extremely smart cats who like to play in running water. Do you see where this is going?

So basically after they flooded the entire master bedroom, we turned the water off under that sink and then hightailed it to Home Depot and ordered an entire new counter (because if we were going to replace the faucets, we might as well replace the sinks that we hate, and if we’re going to replace the hideous sinks, we might as well also replace the hideous tile). The counter is currently sitting in a giant box downstairs, and we are nearly done hacking off the remains of all the mortar and junk that was underneath the tile, so that we can install the new stuff. Possibly it will happen this weekend. We’ll see.

Everything else: Vox Musica went to Chicago to sing at the ACDA National convention. It was stressful. It was crazy. It was also kind of fun. We performed twice, in front of several thousand people. We did a lot of walking all over downtown Chicago. We got to see a few other groups perform. Alas, what we did not get to do was hold an official music-burning party once we returned home (let’s just say some of us are heartily sick of some of those songs at this point), but maybe we can still try for later on that one.

I finished my Estimating class and got an A+ (much to my shock, but hey, I’m not going to quibble!). So now I have my Tuesdays back, but I’ve lost my Saturdays for a few months because I’ve been spending them in training sessions to become a Master Food Preserver. I suspect it will come as no surprise to anyone that I am having far more fun in my MFP classes than I did in my Estimating class.

Knitting – sigh. I feel as if I’ve lost my direction there. Nearly all the knitting I’ve done lately has been test knitting patterns for someone else. I’m poking along slowly at two pairs of socks, but not really feeling the love on either of them. I have ideas for patterns in my head but I haven’t worked up the energy to actually play with them and work them out onto paper. I have a giant lace project that *must* be done by mid May, and I haven’t touched it in weeks. I know it’s only a matter of time until I’m back to my old level of enthusiasm – this isn’t the first time I’ve hit a lull and I know it won’t be the last – but when I’m in the middle of it, it’s just generally frustrating.

 



Clickety click

So, I was right – the 100,000 mile check-up did include another ‘ouch’ for my car. Turns out a cracked drive belt can be expensive. Ugh. But I am consoling myself that, all things considered, the ‘major’ repairs on this car have been few and far between, so it isn’t as bad as it could have been. We’ll see if I can keep it going for another 100,000 miles (although I suspect it’ll take even longer than the first 100,000, since we do a lot less driving than we did when we first got it).

Aside from the wince-inducing auto maintenance, though, the week’s been a decent one. The box arrived for Kathy’s Take and Replace Swap, and even though I need more lace yarn and/or more sock yarn like I need another overly caffeinated turbo-cat (aka Rupert), I could not help myself, and took out these:

That’s two skeins of Knit Picks Shimmer in an absolutely gorgeous red, and a ball of self-patterning sock yarn. I have a laceweight drawer and a sockweight drawer in the paint-spattered old dresser I use for yarn storage, and they are both so full that it is almost impossible to stuff any more yarn into them, but…in the face of shiny new yarn, I am weak. At least with a Take-and-Replace swap, yarn in = yarn out, so total number of yarn skeins in the house didn’t change.

On the plus side, however, last night I did finish a pair of socks (plain stockinette ones, in purple Trekking XL), thereby fulfilling the Sock-Completion-Goal for January. And earlier this week, I handed a few sock pattern books to Richard and said ‘pick the ones you like’, so (using some of the sock yarn that ‘accidentally’ fell into my shopping basket at a yarn-shop-closing event a few weekends ago – ahem), Thursday night, I cast on for a new pair. I’m not holding my breath I’ll get these done by end of month, because Richard has large feet and I have other things I also need to be knitting in the meantime, but it at least gets me an early start for February.

Oh, and speaking of February, since she posted it to her blog, I can show you the thing I was frantically trying to finish up last weekend.

This is Coo and Coy, and you can get the pattern to make your own little duo here (just in time for Valentine’s Day!).



Up for air

This has been kind of a crazy sort of week, and I feel as if I’ve spent pretty much every day running from one thing to the next without getting much of a chance to catch my breath. Rehearsal has started back up again for Vox Musica, which means my Monday nights are now spent with music and singing in preparation for our upcoming trip to Chicago . I finally got notification that I was approved for a class I signed up for (work related), so that means that all my Tuesday nights for the next few months will now be spent sitting in a classroom, and my weekends will include heavy reading and doing homework. Wednesday night was dinner out with four of our friends, in order to take advantage of this year’s Dine Downtown, so that (plus an impromptu trip to the vet for Checkers because her eye still isn’t getting better) took care of Wednesday. Thursday night was knitting group, and Friday kicked off with me getting a flat tire on the freeway on the way to work, and ended with a frantic dash out to go shopping and run errands that neither of us had any time to do earlier in the week.

The flat tire on Friday means that today included a trip to the closest tire place, and the unexpected purchase of four brand new tires for my car. Ouch. Plus, the ‘maintenance required’ light, which pops up every 5000 miles to tell me it’s time to take the car in for a check-up, blinked on the minute I turned on the car to drive it away from the tire shop. Considering the fact that the car just recently passed the 100,000 mile mark, and the tire shop guy was muttering darkly about ‘possible oil leak’ and some kind of belt or something that could be cracked, I suspect we’re about to get another ‘ouch’ for the car real soon.

But in the middle of all this running hither and yon, there’ve been some bright spots. Dinner on Wednesday was a lot of fun, since we got to introduce some friends to other friends, and it was several hours of laughing and talking and delicious food and fun. And today included a baby shower, with even more laughing and talking and delicious food, plus the bonus of a few adorable babies to coo at and pass around.

Oh, and also, today just happens to be the 11th anniversary of my very first post to this little corner of the internet. So yay for that.



That whole resolution thing

I usually do not do resolutions. Or rather, occasionally I do them but I fail to write them down and then I end up forgetting what they were by mid-February.

Regardless, I’m going to give it another shot this year. Also, posting this here helps me meet the last goal on the list  (at least for this week), so yay for multitasking, or something.

Eat better – We’re doing fairly well at this right now, but it could definitely be better. We have this tendency to default to sandwiches more often than I would like to admit when it comes to dinner (the fact that the rolls are homemade doesn’t count in the grand scheme of things, alas), and we didn’t get to the farmers market nearly as often as I wanted to last year. So this year the goal is to do the bulk of our produce and meat shopping on Sunday mornings at the farmers market (thus encouraging that whole ‘eating local’ goal I’m trying to chase), and to minimize the number of times we just give up and call for pizza.

Finish the Level 1 Master Knitter program – the sad part about this one is that I actually signed up to do this back in 2008. I got all the information, bought myself some yarn, and then….nothing. I thought about it here and there, as in ‘gee, I should really work on that’, but the year passed and I did not even knit a single swatch. Massive Fail.

I’ve renewed my membership to TKGA and am waiting for them to email me the information. When it arrives, I’ll print it out and then get to work on it. My goal is to have this thing completed *before* December of 2011. We’ll see.

Knit 1 pair of socks per month – I have an embarrassingly large stash of sock yarn that needs to be dealt with. I’ve been, over the last year or so, working on knitting primarily from the stash, but the sock yarn drawer hasn’t really been touched. I’m not going to commit to any particular sock pattern – I’ve tried that whole ‘kit a month’ thing you do yourself and it failed miserably. All I care about is that by the end of the year, there are (at least) 12 fewer balls of yarn in the sock yarn drawer.

Blog weekly (at least) – Long time readers (if there are any of you still out there) likely have noticed that posts to my usual little corner of the internet have been few and far between over the past year or so. I am committing to posting at least once per week. I suspect that less time spent on Twitter and Facebook will help with this. We’ll see.



What we did on our winter break

When it comes to Christmas, Richard and I do not get each other gifts. Or rather, officially, we only do stockings for each other (you can stuff a lot of books and things from ThinkGeek into a stocking, in other words). And then we get a joint Christmas present, like tickets to go see Jonathan Coulton perform, or a really fancy dinner out. Or, in the case of this past Christmas, a whole pile of brand new office furniture.

When we moved into this house, we did not have computer desks (the desks in the old house had been built into the room, so they weren’t exactly the kind we could take with us). We found some extremely cheap desks on Craigslist and bought them, figuring they’d work for the short term.

This was my half of the office.

And this was Richard’s half of the office.

The cheap desks were too low and a bit wobbly and the keyboard shelf on mine had a tendency to fall off at random, spilling keyboard and mouse onto the floor and inducing panic in the cats (at the noise) and swearing from me (as I often had to crawl under the desk to retrieve the mouse trackball which would inevitably roll into the one area under the desk that was hardest to get to). The desks were only meant to be a temporary fix (those and a random assortment of bookshelves acquired over our college years from various garage sales, and a file cabinet whose gorgeous exterior hid the fact that the bottom of the drawers tend to fall off if you look at them cross-eyed), but what with the kitchen remodel ending up costing a bit more than expected (thanks to the need for the giant supporting beam in the attic) and the recent round of furloughs and paycuts, we’ve been dealing with them for a bit longer than we’d expected.

The furloughs and paycuts, however, had a silver lining. We learned how to live on a lot less, during the past twelve months, so that when we had our full pay restored, suddenly we were able to put a lot more into savings, and this year, Christmas brought a trip to Ikea.


We came home with seven very heavy boxes. Or rather, since Ikea has a delivery service, we came home with a receipt and the next day, a pair of extremely strong young men carted those seven very heavy boxes up the full flight of steps to our front door.

We started putting together the first desk on the morning of Christmas Eve, and then finished it up on Christmas Day. The first bookshelf followed, then the second desk and bookshelf (which went significantly faster than the first set, due to the fact that there was far less staring cross-eyed at the directions and a random assortment of hardware, muttering things like ‘wait, is it supposed to go like this, or like that?’). A new cabinet to hold all the routers and various electronic gizmos necessary for running network / cable / phone, a new file cabinet to live in the coat closet, a new window perch so the cats can still have a comfy place to watch the squirrels dash up and down the giant elm trees on the street, and today, we finally were done.

This is my side of the office.

And this is Richard’s side of the office.

Notice how the desks have doors, not only to hide the fact that neither of us is a particularly organized person, but also to keep cats out when we’re not there to supervise them. All the electronic gadgets are safely tucked away in that low cabinet along the wall, again out of reach of cats (some of whom were very good at turning off surge protectors). As an added bonus, all the new furniture is low enough to the ground that cat toys cannot be shoved underneath (and Ingrid was especially happy that when we moved out the old desks, we unearthed one of the little Cow toys she adores).




top