When you are so done before you are done.

I just put up another beef stew in the instant pot. If I never see that thing again, I will be just fine. The multipurpose room currently looks like this:

and I am almost one hundred percent sure that the can opener is somewhere here in my laundry room: I am close, but not close enough.

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Can you grill a down coat? Asking for a friend…

A major casualty of the kitchen remodel has been outerwear. I ruined several of my own coats barbecuing, because apparently I cannot barbecuing without leaning against the grill and singeing the front of my coat. Tonight I was wearing one of M’s coat. He doesn’t know it yet because he is not around, when he returns from his journeys, he will learn that the cute coat I bought him for Hanukkah also has a hole in the front of it. Because, barbecued broccoli…

They say the cabinetry is arriving tomorrow. They say it will take a week to install, and then at some not too distant date, we will also have appliances and even counters. They say this just a matter of time before I will not have to ruin my coat by grilling broccoli in 25° weather.

They also say that we are no longer allowed to use our master bathtub, because at some point (also in the not too distant future) our entire master bathroom will leak into the kitchen, or worse. (Right now only one of the shower heads leaks into the kitchen.) Master bathroom activities have therefore been suspended.


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Filed under kitchen remodel, kitchen renovation, winter

The Way We Live Now

I am officially at the point of the home renovation project where I am waxing nostalgic. That’s right, I looked at the kids today and said there soon may come a time when we miss all the coziness of cooking, eating, working, and lounging in a small space.

Given that, this is the current state of affairs:Behold: the kitchen table/counter/storage/homework/random crap space.

My beloved living room couch covered in shmatas and then backpacks and a gazillion hoodies. Also shoes. On the couch. Because I am beaten down, I say nothing.

And this window, which is open because the house smells like paint most of the time. Because the house isn’t crowded enough, this is also happening. It’s fine for Lois to come in and out of the window. But her outdoor kittens (who we feed and vaccinate, so please don’t come at me), have taken to leaping indoors or just sitting outside and crying for attention.Neither of these cats is Lois. The larger one, Scout, got into the house and woke me meowing at three a.m. An hour and a half later I fell back to sleep. He may have also peed under my bed. I am not in the least bit cranky.

They say we are weeks away from a kitchen. They’ve been saying that since the fall.

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2019 – the year of project completion, decluttering, and some coupon jazz.

I am certain of this: One way or another, the kitchen will be done this year even though the ground floor of my house currently looks like this.Among other 2019 resolutions I may or may not keep, I hereby resolve to be neither negative nor anxious about the kitchen situation.

M resolved to declutter his side of the closet. As I’ve explained before, after a long battle with sentimentality and clutter, I was pretty much Marie Kondo before Marie Kondo and have been culling and purging for years. M, on the other hand, likes to wear T-shirt’s from the Clinton era – and I’m not talking about the fantasy alternate universe in my head.

Yesterday he went through the closet and proudly presented me with this: (Oh, in case you were wondering, that thing on top is apparently a beer horn. It appeared in the house recently, courtesy of M, and did not qualify for the purge. It is going in the basement in something we like to call the Costume Box.)

He was feeling quite pleased with himself until he asked me for some help picking out a shirt to wear and I discovered THIS. That’s right, three heaving bags of giveaway and THIS beauty made the cut. If you can tell me how much this vintage tee from a 2013 New Orleans Coupon Convention will fetch me on the open market, I’ll send you the shirt.

In the meantime, happy 2019 everyone. May all your projects be completed and may you all rid yourself of all types of unhelpful baggage, coupon convention shirts included.


Filed under home improvement, Remodel, Uncategorized

Genetics and Two Right Feet

It would seem that at least one of my kids has inherited my packing disability.

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We may have vomited, but we also saw the Queen.

A family trip took us to London last week. Once I got over the horrors of packing and getting myself to the airport — the cab ride to JFK might’ve been longer than the flight itself — the trip was pretty lovely. The low point was when my youngest caught the stomach flu and spent the entire night puking into a trashcan in our Airbnb. The high point was the family event that took us to London. And this: As we arrived at Buckingham palace just as HRH was leaving. We got this picture.

There was some turbulence on the way back, and I grabbed my 12-year-old’s arm and screamed, “we’re all going to die!” But I’m trying not to think about that right now. I’m also trying not to think about the fact that four months into this project and I’m still cooking dinner like this:It’s still good to be home. It always is.

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Why I am a Bad Traveler, Reason 244.

Invariably, on the night before any trip, I announce to anyone who will listen that maybe it’s best if we don’t go. Would it not be better to stay at home and wear pajamas and fight about whose turn it is to sweep under the table?

Other than missing the cat, the real reason I hate to leave is because I hate to pack… mostly because I am an awful packer. I tend to under-pack and by under-pack I mean forget underwear. I also tend to assume I’m going to want to wear two outfits for about six days straight.

My under-packing does not extend to toiletries. Three quarters of my bag is taken up by bottles which will inevitably leak all over the two outfits that I have brought for six days.

I also do not believe in practical luggage. I like a pretty little bag. Sometimes I like a pretty little bag that doesn’t properly close. I also like a pretty little bag without wheels that I am not able to carry on my own.

I am currently deciding which attractive yet impractical bag to bring with me. Maybe I will bring two.


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