Saturday, October 27, 2007


I've never been a sports fan, so Homecoming has never been a big deal to me. Today, however, they dedicated the new Aerospace building at our alma mater, so we went to see Neil Armstrong speak (they named the building after him). Gene Cernan spoke, too, as did the president of the university. The director of NASA was there, but he didn't speak. It was a nice event. Mary Grace liked the balloon release best.

Afterwards we walked around a bit. We saw the alumni band and the alumni cheerleaders, as well as the current band and cheerleaders as they were lining up to go to the stadium for the game against Northwestern. We tried to find a balloon for MG, but the best we could do was a temporary tattoo for her cheek.

We then walked through the new building to warm up, and ran into a bunch of our friends and colleagues. Unfortunately, Mary Grace chose that moment to melt down, so we had to leave to take care of nap. It was an enjoyable morning, and it made me regret all the Homecomings that I've missed.

Next weekend is Fall Space Day, so we might return for that.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we have a major renovation going on in our kitchen. Unfortunately, it's a completely unscheduled renovation, and we really can't afford it right now. However, the lighting fixture in the kitchen fell apart. We thought it was because the upstairs sink was somehow leaking into it, but that turned out not to be the case. (The plumber I called when things started sparking and sizzling, and lights started to flicker, said that it wasn't leaking - he said, "You need an electrician, and seeing as you have small kids, you need one today." Eek.)

The kitchen light is all rusted inside due to condensation. All the moisture came from the dryer vent, which runs through the soffit above the cabinets in my kitchen. BJ had to make 4 holes of various sizes in the wall to find the break (right at the lowest elbow, of course, in the last place we looked). At one point he hit a live electrical wire with the saw (what was THAT doing there? Holding up the dryer vent, of course! We just love this house...), which caused sparking and scariness. I mean, the dryer has been blasting that wall full of lint for years (it has been a problem since we moved in, but we didn't realize that it was affecting the wiring until recently), so the sparks fell onto dryer lint. No... That's not at all flammable!

Long story short, I've lost two kitchen cabinets to this project, there are holes in my walls, my overhead fixture still doesn't work, and now we have to re-do the floor because BJ scratched the crap out of it when he moved the fridge. So far, I've managed to limit the chaos, but it's not pretty. I get a little anxious when I have to live in a mess, and now the house and the office are all messed up (the office still hasn't recovered from the move).

I'm trying to figure out how I can score a little more counter and/or cabinet space out of this. If we leave the fridge where it is now, we could add about 4 ft. of counter and another upper cabinet or two. We'd need another corner cabinet. It could be done, and it would seriously improve the tightness of my kitchen's triangle, but I don't think we can do it. I also think that it would be a P.I.T.A. to match the kitchen cabinets we already have. Knowing this house, some crazy person custom made them (out of particle board) in his basement, and they don't exist anywhere else in creation. That's just kind of how things go around here. Ask me about trying to match the pattern of the texture on our ceiling (can't be done, because the guy who did it was left-handed! We need to find a left-handed drywall mudder who knows that particular pattern in order to match it! Sheesh...) or the random centers on the ceiling of the family room - not a single one of them was a standard 16 inches. *sigh*

Of course, none of these projects are easy to do with two babies around (that's why the office is still in chaos, too, incidentally). And meanwhile everyone still needs 3 meals and 2 snacks a day, so I have to figure out how to maneuver around the work-in-progress that is our kitchen, while keeping the babies from injuring themselves on tools, and making sure that no one eats the dryer lint that is falling like snow from the ceiling. Fun, fun, fun.

Sometimes I want to go back 4-1/2 years and meet myself when I said that I wanted to buy this house, and I want to punch myself in the face.

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