1. Huzzah! Hurray! Our renovation is done. It's really kind of stupid that the delay took me by surprise. I've said for years that it's folly to take construction estimates at face value. Always add 50% to construction estimates and travel time estimates and you'll be a happier person. On our vacation, even, I was smugly suggesting to the kids that we play a little game in which we would ask the rest of the people on our vacation how long it took to get from Point A to Point B. I was confident that they would all underestimate, even though I would never do such a silly thing. Oh, well, I guess smug goeth before a smackdown. (I think that's in The Message.)
2. Oh, you guys, the room is so much nicer. I posted about the Horrible Office during my big pre-40 push to nicen things up around here (shut up, spellcheck, I decree that nicen is a word), but I don't think the post makes clear how much the ugliness of the room made my soul itch. The acoustic ceiling with several squares of tile missing, like a gaping maw opening straight into the bowels of the house. (And we all know that nothing civilized has a maw that leads straight to its bowels. Anatomy speaks volumes.) The gray-brown paneling striaght from 1972's list of Decorating Options Least Likely To Age Well. Beneath that, the peacock wallpaper from 1945's version of the same list. We didn't learn about the wallpaper until the paneling was stripped away, but I think my itchy soul must have sensed it was there.
I told the guy to do something that won't be to everyone's taste, but I love it. The two outside walls are painted a lovely pale sky blue. The two inside walls are still white, but each has a door, now painted pale blue. The nasty scuffed-up trim is now a gleaming white all around. On one of the walls, over our bed, I want to stencil a crescent moon and stars and a favorite Shakespeare quote: Such harmony is in immortal souls; but whilst this muddy vesture of decay doth grossly close us in, we cannot hear it.
2.5. Elwood has never been entirely sure that he will find it soothing to sleep under a quote about the muddy vesture of decay, but I am assuring him he will like it just fine.
3. The move requires us to find new homes for some of the stuff that lived in the Horrible Office before it became the Lovely New Bedroom, including a case of my cassette tapes. OH the nostalgia! Elwood sent me mix tapes when he was in the navy; my college pals and I swapped mix tapes too. I can't possibly throw them away but they're not in good shape. (They were in the attic during the re-roofing of our old apartment, and the cases are covered with a faint sprinkling of sticky roof debris.) I think turning them into iTunes playlists would probably be expensive. Maybe I could convert one at a time? Any thoughts for me?
4. My second son was sprinting out the door on Wednesday and sprained his ankle when he fell on the ice. Poor guy. I started to say that otherwise people have been pretty healthy here in Sickness Season, but even a person who strives to be un-superstitious is reluctant to tempt fate that aggressively.
5. Part of the reason I really really really hope everyone stays healthy for the next week or so (or, you know, fifteen) is that I have an Interview, a capital-I interview, on Wednedsay. Oh, you guys, would you pray for me? I will be so sad if I don't get this job. I have been working on my job talk this week and it's going s-l-o-w-l-y. I do feel confident that I'll be able to give a good talk, but getting from outline to final version always takes me many hours more than I think it ought to. I'm not so confident about what I'll say to the upper-echelon administrators (yes, plural!) who are on my interview schedule. How about, "Don't you have better things to do than talk to me?" I'm sure that's a winner question.
6. I walked Stella home today after preschool and we had the nicest time. She was happy to walk, after a recent stretch in which she has wanted to be carried to a ridiculous extent. We went for a hike in the Smokies during which she refused categorically to walk. In case you wondered, 2.6 miles (with a 300-foot climb in the first half) is a long way to carry a 30-pound child who is perfectly capable of self-propulsion. Anyway, today we walked and ran and galloped and jumped together. She found a stick and said, "Mama, is it beautiful or wonderful?" I said, "Yes, it's beautiful and wonderful." We came home for cocoa, and while it was heating I tried to map my recent runs. I turned around to discover that she and I have different ideas about the number of marshmallows that constitutes enough marshmallows.
7. Elwood was unenthusiastic about moving furniture when I spoke to him on the phone, so I decided to take matters into my own hands. I got two dressers and a big desk and a couple of smaller items where I wanted them to be, which emboldened me to tackle the mattress. Unfortunately, it flopped backwards on top of me. On the way down I smacked my head on the desk. It could have been a lot worse, though, and by the time my 13yo answered my calls for help I was giggling. We both cracked up as he set me free. The younger boys came home just as I was getting upright again, and my 10yo asked if he could see what it felt like to have a mattress fall on top of him. No, I said. Joe sighed heavily. He said, "You never let me do anything fun." That's my job, man: Sucker-Upper of Fun.
More quick takes at Jen's.