Thursday, July 31, 2014

Prince Sonic

Prince Sonic surveys his kingdom

Our fifteen pound muscle-man cat looks so tiny in the big back yard at the 1952 House.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Yes, Please

Blue Star Cooking has the antidote for stainless steel appliance monotony. I'm loving the Ruby range from their new jewel tone collection.

Of course, the orange Bertazonni 30 inch, four burner gas range is equally lovely.

For a retro feel, the Northstar Range by Elmira Stoveworks fits just fine, but I'd want the candy apple red model 1956 P. The company also makes matching refrigerators, hoods and microwaves, I'm going to go for broke and put the whole kitchen suite on my wish-list. All in candy apple red. Please and thank you.

Model 1959 for the 1952 House

I'm off to enter every sweepstakes known to man in an attempt to afford any of the above-mentioned loveliness. Wish me luck!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Heads-Up! (Imaginary) Housekeeper

Dear Valued (Imaginary) Housekeeper,

Heads-up! Next week, my schedule will be a ridiculous pain-in-the-patoot with work start times at 4:00 AM. Yes, AM! I know. It hurts my feelings too. 

Stock the pantry and fridge now:

chocolate covered espresso beans
cucumbers for cucumber water
beans for quick protein
organic peaches, berries, grapes
Brooklyn Roasters, Corner Donut Shop coffee K-cups
organic half and half
cheese cubes, preferably smoked gouda & mild cheddar
part skim mozzarella string cheese
kale, pepita, ginger salads
and whatever else yummy that I can't think of, but will totally crave

Also I need a new pillow, and you know how I hate shopping in person. (Shopping online is entirely different. Were shopping online an Olympic sport, I'd earn at least a silver medal.) Please get a standard size, medium support, NOT down pillow for me.

Please keep things running smoothly at the 1952 House while I make retail a prettier place to shop. Make sure the pets are fed on time and receive lots of brushing, cuddling and bootie-scratches. If you spot the feral kittens of backyard infamy, scoop them up and make them feel at home in the dressing room until I can see to them.

Please keep your mobile phone on your person at all times in case I need a breakfast taco delivery around 7:30 or 8:00 AM.

Together, we will get through this. Thanks!

Your adoring fan & taskmaster,

Sunday, July 06, 2014

The Elephant in the (Bath)Room

The floor around our one and only bathtub at the 1952 House creaks and groans during dry winter months. As moaned about previously, I would love a new bathtub due to the peeling glaze I applied seven years ago in an attempt to prolong the life of the now-62-year-old tub. The new bathtub need not be fancy. In fact, I have an affordable, not fancy, replacement picked out from Home Depot. 

The problem lies underneath the bathtub in the form of rotted subfloor. I hosted a foundation expert last week who poked around under the piers and beams for an estimate to repair the one beam that I thought was causing the creaky bathroom floor. The one beam turned out to be one beam sitting off kilter, one pier sitting off kilter and a rotten subfloor under the bathtub area. Yikes. How did our home inspector miss all that?

To install a new bathtub, we have to be ready for several contingencies: repair the one beam and one pier; rip out the old bathtub and some surrounding tiles to see how far the rotten subfloor extends; possibly remove the one and only toilet and all surrounding tile if the rotten subfloor extends to that area; possibly rip out the bathroom sink and all surrounding tile if the rotten subfloor extends to that area. Then put it all back together with the new subfloor and new tub.  

Chad and I were prepared to shower at the gym for a few days to accommodate the new tub installation. However, with this new information, we are not prepared to open the floor of the one and only bathroom at the 1952 House for goodness knows how long. We are not prepared to trek to our respective gyms every time we need to use the toilet. I also refuse to put a port-o-potty in the yard. REFUSE.

That know-it-all, Hindsight, keeps nagging me that we should have replaced the bathtub when we first bought the 1952 House and redid the bathroom. Live and learn. Our next house will have more than one toilet, and will feature a bathtub made and installed in the twenty-first century.

For the time being, I'm going to learn to love showers, ignore the peeling glaze on the tub, ignore the creaky bathroom floor, and do my very best to ignore the elephant in our one and only bathroom.

Friday, July 04, 2014

Our Big Screen Viewing of Pee Wee's Big Adventure

Chad and I (along with eleventy-hundred other Austin peeps) attended Sound & Cinema on the lawn of the Long Center for a showing of Pee Wee's Big Adventure. Dare I say it, and risk tempting higher temperatures to muscle their way to Austin, but the weather was lovely: not too hot or humid. 

Urban Achievers brass band played jazzy-pop songs before the show. (Even the tuba player manages to dance as he does solos. What a fun spectacle to behold!) A guy dressed as Pee Wee ran up for a brief introduction of the film, informing us that "today's secret word is Pee Wee". *aaahhhhhh* *waves jazz-hands in the air* Cyclists road past along the trails of Town Lake/Ladybird Lake, one cyclist giving a loud Pee Wee Herman laugh as he cruised behind the big screen.

I mention our attendance of something outside, because Chad and I increasingly find ourselves hiding at home, basking in the comfort of air-conditioning and refrigerated beverages. Thus far, this summer is nice and mild. We need to pry ourselves out of the 1952 House and enjoy Austin.

No Kittens, Also No Raccoons

My pal, Tracy, of mystery dinner theatre fame/infamy, loaned us a few humane traps for the kittens spotted in our backyard last week. (Three separate trips to the Austin Humane Society yielded no traps, as they are all out on loan for the booming kitten season.) Despite baiting the traps with delicious, mushy salmon kitten foods, there were no nibbles. We kept Sonic inside, so as not to scare the kittens, and so as not to have to free him from the traps umpteen times each night.

Yesterday morning just before I went to clean out the traps and unset them for the day, I spotted a prosperous raccoon climbing down from the backdoor neighbor's roof line. As cute as raccoons are with their little masks, thumbs and fuzzy selves, I don't want to catch one. I fully acknowledge that a wild raccoon is more likely to bite my face and give me rabies, than to bring it in for cuddles.

I admit defeat. Sonic, Chad and I scared those kittens away from ever returning to the 1952 House. I hope someone else scooped them out of harm's way and started feeding them.