Archive for December, 2009

We’re still straggling along here at Two Cats. Last Sunday, while Nick was working, my mom came over and forced me to helped me straighten up the living room. This took all of about 15 minutes while Sadie was napping. We put all her toys away in bins, vacuumed the rug and upholstery, and moved various dribs and drabs to their proper places, most of which were not in the living room. As my mom said, we needed one sanctuary, a room that was “done” and where we could sit down and just really relax. When Nick came home that night, he was visibly relieved at seeing that one place of calm in our little house, and I felt it, too.

Well, that calm sanctuary lasted all of about 3 days. On Nick’s next day off a few days later, he emptied a bunch of boxes, the contents of which ended up strewn all over the living room. He also installed more door knobs, light switches, caulked the trim under the front door, and sprayed some expanding foam in the gaps around our basement windows. Somehow, setting up house isn’t that easy when you are also still fixing the house. And finishing the house.

As for finishing, we decided we couldn’t wait until every wall and piece of trim was painted to fully unpack and set things up. So two nights ago, we assembled our Ikea bookcase in the office, and last night we emptied out the boxes that had been sitting in piles for the last 7 weeks and finally filled up the shelves. It’s nice to feel some breathing room in that part of the house again, but the room is a long way from being finished. At some point we’ll have to take all those books down again so that we can move the bookshelf and paint the wall and trim behind it. But we’ll get to that…

We are hosting Christmas dinner at our house on Friday, which just means that my mom will be coming over to spend the day with our little family. I think it’ s a perfect way to christen the house. We bought a little tabletop tree that we’ll put out on the deck when the season is over, and we’re putting some lights up in the window, and that’s about all the decorating I can muster this year. Here’s to hoping that by next year I’ll be a lot more organized and it will begin to look a lot more like Christmas in Casa dos Gatos.*

*A note on Two Cats:  A few weeks ago Wiley ran out of the house when the door was open. We haven’t seen him since. We miss him terribly, but we’re comforted knowing that he lives up to his name and truly has the ability to get by on his wits and wile. We have faith that he has found a home somewhere that better suits his wandering spirit and his wiley ways. His spirit will always live on at Two Cats, and in Sadie, who calls every cat she sees Wiley (including Thumbs).

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Brightening the Corners

It’s amazing what a little light can do for a room. This night-time iPhone photo doesn’t really do it justice, but in the dining area of the kitchen we just placed some small Ikea lamps on either end of the long bench running along the windowed wall, and what a difference. Having some light in the corners makes the room look bigger, warmer, and more “done.” Next up: curtains, our large wood-framed mirror, and some artwork.

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1. You find your daughter’s sippy cup standing upright inside a ring of painter’s tape on the kitchen island.

2.  You store your cupcake pans in the oven, with bolts and screws inside the cups. Oh, and if you’re in our house, your oven has no door, because you’re still waiting on parts.

3. You no longer think it strange that you take a bath instead of a shower every morning because you still haven’t ordered the tile for the tub surround you insist you can tile yourself.

4. You don’t see a safety hazard in your toddler’s room where the outlets are not yet screwed all the way into the wall and aren’t even covered by a plate. You just see an unfinished project.

5. Toilet paper holders? What a waste of money.

6. You see your contractor more than your see your friends. In fact, at this point, your contractor probably knows you better than your friends do.

7. You don’t see what the big deal is about not having any hallway lights when you can just bring a flashlight upstairs when you need it.

8. The cardboard boxes in your house have become your toddler’s favored medium for her works in crayon.

9. You’re beginning to think primer is an acceptable wall finish.

10. When you come home from work, you no longer notice the lack of siding on your house and think at least your Typar looks better than the guy’s down the street.

I’m sure there are more. I’ll add to this post as they come to me.

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My father, whom I call cappy, gave nick and I this clock as a housewarming gift. He built the case for it 25 years ago, and the clock hung in my grandmother’s house until she died in 2003.

We also finally got around to hanging our Matisse print. It’s starting to look like home around here!

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Leveling shelving

We built a storage nook off the kitchen with the intention of someday getting some efficient shelving custom built to the space. In the meantime, we’re making do with a shelving unit from Ikea. We had some trouble getting the whole thing balanced, as you can see in the glorious shot of the level on top of a can of refried beans. But we shimmied it up with a piece of wood from the basement and filled the whole thing with some long-lost kitchen items, and now it looks downright homey. And we emptied some boxes tonight, which is major progress.

Meanwhile, our carpenter continues to trim out the windows and baseboards, and it looks great. Pictures on the way.

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We’re really late on posting these photos (they’re from over a month ago, before we moved in on November 1), but thought you might want to see just what we went through to get our sewer pipe running. They cut a giant hole in our street!

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