Showing posts from July, 2020

Pandemic Projects - Fun with the Drill

Today, Patrick took on a few items that had been on our to-do list for awhile. He hung up the valance in the library. I got it off the BST board and love how the colors tie the walls to the curtains. He also hung up the stained glass window from my dad's over the front doors. I think this window is one of the reasons my dad bought the house, and I've always loved it. I'm so happy to have it in our house now. Before: After: (Now I really need to re-stain the front doors and get a new entry mat.) At Summit, he also hung up a cord holder to the extension cord for the pool pump doesn't hang lackadaisically over the fence. In between I got to see my friend Geri's new haircut when she stopped by (I don't even remember the last time I got my hair cut, I think it was in December...), went on a socially distanced walk with my friend Chrissy, had Ximena over for dinner, and dropped off a wedding present for our neighbor's daughter, who is having a

Pandemic Projects - Small Fixes Courtesy of the BST Board

Today was a day about a lot of small fixes. I got a banana tree free off a BST board, and finally got my fountain fixed (courtesy of a platter I got off another BST board). The Summit deck is much nicer now. Patrick did an amazing job getting all the cords organized behind the main computer, of which we use the monitor as a music server and for video streaming (this is also thanks to a cord organizer I got off a BST board, for those of you following along at home). The end product looks so much better, and probably buys us a foot of space. We put away a lot of other items downstairs at Ashland, getting the space reorganized. Plus smaller things like B cleaning through a few bags of her stuff, cleaning up the shoes (we have so many shoes, and we never wear them anywhere anymore!), picking off some trim free off the BST, and generally putting things away. We're still working on the floors at Ashland, so we're taking our time re-arranging things and putting them away

Getting My Summer Back

Yesterday, my friend Katharine was discussing going to the Farmer's Market (which apparently has good protocols) and getting a big pot of basil for $5. "I'm getting my summer back, dammit!" she said. My version of getting my summer back in the past few days has included: -  Dying my hair red. -  Finally coloring my mug that I have had forever. -  Watching Guys and Dolls with Beatrix. -  Going to my cousin's daughter's socially distanced graduation open house. -  Hosting book club (outside and around the pool). Including mojitos. -  Going to an outdoor clothing exchange. -  Meeting up a couple of times with people, one on one, distanced and outside but able to talk. Which was amazing. I need more of that. Let me know if you're in. What are you doing to get your summer back?

Cabin Weekend

My aunt and uncle were not going to open the cabin this year, but in the end decided it was actually good for social distancing, so they decided to a few weeks back. We got to go up this weekend for about 50 hours of well-deserved R&R. Some thoughts: -  Even up there, there are a lot of teardowns. A few older houses in Osakis that we have loved for years are gone. -  Business has been hit hard. Several are closed or for sale. But the Tip Top Dairy Bar had lines every night. We were able to go to Beatrix's happy place, Vintage Village, where we had the run of the place to ourselves (well, except for the animals...) -  There are several Trump signs up. However, one of the more prominent ones literally had half their house burned down in a dumpster fire. -  The boat was not put in this year. However, truth be told we barely use it in an average year, and we were able to bring up and use our new inflatable kayak, which worked like a champ! - We spent a lot of time h

Pandemic Projects - 1st Floor

Ok, in general this is not "our project" un that we did nothing but move the furniture around and pay for it. But we just got the floor redone at Ashland and they look greta! The kitchen is a maple flooring. When I bought the house, there were 7 layers of flooring on top of the hardwood, including carpet and a layer of plywood top-nailed every 8". You can still see the nail holes. I had the floor redone about 25 years ago, but dogs and life in general had really worn it down. Before: During: After: On the rest of the first floor, the floors are a very thin layer of wood that was topnailed in. It probably could not take another sanding without earring it down, but again the finish was wearing off; I did not mind the footsoil so much but was worried about damage. So he did a buff-and-coat. Before: After: Finally, Patrick took the opportunity to organize the cables behind our media center as part of this as well!

Pandemic Projects - Ashland Front Yard

It started innocently enough while talking to our Ashland neighbor yesterday. We were talking about the carnage being wrought on our block by the demo of the 1880 house and the new house being constructed (that's for another time, but the situation is really horrible), when she mentioned "Well, I hope we can get the backyard looking better before the wedding." Yes, turns out her daughter is having a small, pandemic wedding in her family home's back yard later this month. So Patrick and I took one look at our rather neglected front yard and thought "Hmm, then we had better do something here, especially since it's so trashed on the other side." I'm pretty sure Patrick wanted to have a relaxing holiday, but he was incredibly patient about taking on huge gardening projects in blistering heat. The area around our front tree had at one time looked ok with some yellow irises, but they stopped blooming awhile back and now it looked pretty awful. Pa

Brutus on Brewpubs - Utepils

I had spent all week writing historic contexts for Golden Valley, and needed to get out and drive around the area a little to place things. Brutus needed to get out of the house. I had never been to Utepils but love that the name itself is apparently a Norwegian word that encapsulates "the longing and anticipation for the first beer enjoyed in the sunshine." And they have a newly expanded beer garden so I knew there would be good outdoor space. They prefer that you reserve in advance online, but they could not guarantee we would have an outdoor space if we did that (which is a non-starter for me right now, I won't be inside, and besides they don't allow dogs indoors). They said they would take walk-ups if there was room, and were "under capacity." So we headed over. The seating was not well organized. There was supposed to be a check-in spot at the door, but it was not staffed, so Patrick had to check in with the bartender inside while I waited with

On #Hamilfilm

One of the great things about working for yourself is that you can get up and spend the morning watching Hamilton the first day it comes out. (truth be told, Beatrix wanted to get up at 2:01am, when it first started, to watch it, but w put the kibosh on that after considering it briefly.) So all four of us sat on the couch this morning (with dogs) and watched it and cried and I needed it even more than I thought I did. And I guess there's a reason that I held firm in not seeing any other versions of it after seeing the original cast production. Why I was sad when e saw it because I would never have that experience again. This morning was such a gift. I won't even tell you how many more times I'm planning on seeing it. I miss theater so much, y'all.