Thursday, May 31, 2007

She said

C's very sage advice said to get a list of must haves. Here are some of mine. These aren't new, as I've been running this fantasy around in my head for some time. It's just that now I have someone running around in this fantasy with me.

Oh, and to put this in perspective, I'm more of the creative type and Bick, well, Bick is, as the old joke goes about a mother taking her son to the doctor and asking "Is he normal?" "No, I'm afraid he's an engineer" an engineer. So there are wiring incompatibilities even before we get started.

Overall design themes/goals for me

Ease of maintenance - I don't want to be a slave to keeping something up. Rather than a central vacuum system, I'd really like a system of floor drains and central water hoses. Seriously.

Energy efficient - we are planning this to be our last home. I don't see energy costs going anywhere but up. I am, however, more green than Bick who values green, but only if they are Franklins - meaning he'll jump all over energy efficient if it will save him some dough.

Small - two bedrooms, with a remote possibility of three. Around 1200 square feet


1. Undermounted sink with easy to keep clean faucets.
2. Walk in pantry to provide storage and minimize costs by reducing the amount of cabinetry needed. The pantry may actually be in the mudroom/laundry room/back entry way into the house.
3. Eat at island/bar that will seat 4-6 people. Said bar will be between kitchen and the mediocre room. I will have no dining room, but instead a drop leaf dining table will serve as a buffet/hall table when not in use.
4. I'd like to have a gas stove. I've never had gas in any home I owned, but I would like to try it.
5. Flooring - stained concrete, both because I like the look and because it is a very economical choice for Texas.
6. Great dramatic lighting. I want some damn fine lighting. It doesn't have to be expensive, but it damn sure needs to be well done. I hope to get Pebbles to do the lighting design for us. I'm convinced that a great lighting designer is much like Oprah's make up artist - brilliant, magical and able to perform miracles. I think this is critical. Of course, I think Bick will just roll his eyes on this one. It is over these types of issues that will be bumpy for us. I think that getting some real creativity here will provide a really big bang for the buck. I don't want just a functional house, I think that a very creative and interesting house can be had for the same money. That money spent on design is money well-spent.
7. Access to the outside living space. Bick and I really live in two areas of our home. If we are awake, we are either in the kitchen or we are porch sitting on the front porch. I don't see that changing.

It's like this....

Emotional dishonesty runs in my family, and I guess every other kind does to. I don't know that I am going to confront Bette about this because I would expect her to lie to me about it.

The really ironic thing is that I was getting ready to write about some happenings regarding the out-of-state-property that will trigger every family dysfunction that we've got. I was just ready to unload and for some reason, I went out and checked my stats. I mean, I used to be a numbers whore, but I've been doing this for so long and I really do it for me to keep track of stuff, as well as the whole place-to-vent thing, but I haven't paid attention to the logs in ages. With all the comment spam that resides on the first version of my blog, it really wasn't useful.

The issues concern the disposition of our family farm and how the monies, if any, get dispursed. And while I know that I want my Mom to make good decisions with her money, years of banging my head against the wall tell me otherwise. And I have to just let it be. And in some ways, if it turns out to get some decent return, I will feel much less obligated in the future. I just need to put into practice all those things I think I've learned about boundaries and obligations. Everyone has an opportunity to make choices and live with those consequences. Me trying to keep people from making what I consider to be mistakes is a bad behavior on my part. Just let it go. And keep quiet. Or at least there - on this blog I will bitch about it incessantly.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Get down off the cross, the rest of us could use the wood.


He's hanging tough.

Bick's entering day three of his quest to quit smoking. He's doing pretty well, so far. He did just go to the store last night for something to do. He said he was going to take the trash out and he didn't come back and he didn't come back and finally he came in with a few sundry items from the store. I asked him about it and he said he had to do something. I know the feeling.

I don't know if I'm helping or hurting, but I'm leaving requests for things to do for me, like food prep kind of things. He's always offering, but I've never really taken him up on it, but now, I leave the recipe out on the counter and ask him to prep whatever veggies we need so that I can get to the cooking when I get home. I'm just trying to keep him busy with something different to do while he gets over the roughish spots.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Alter your routine.


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Floor plans

We are talking about the next phase for us. What will it mean? How will we live? What would/could/change? Who owns what? Who pays for which?

Right now I'm looking at floor plans and I'm not finding a thing that I like. This is as close as I"ve found right now, athough I'm far from loving it. It does have the split bedrooms and some (but not enough) outdoor living space. And I don't love the whole mediteranean look, I'm thinking it could work in a combination of limestone, stucco, cedar and rusted tin.


Graduation Day and other celebrations

Sandy's graduation celebration was grand, indeed. The three of us, me, Sandy and Bick, had a lovely, if decadent, lunch. Bick and I just had enough time to get home, change, go pick up the food and get back for the pre-graduation gathering. Family gathered on both her Mom's and Bick's side - a crowd that peaked at about 25 - and everyone seemed at ease and seemed to enjoy themselves. Bick's ex-wife was hobbling around on crutches after a freak knee-swelling/infection incident, but that was the only fly in the ointment.

Pebbles just returned from Chicago on a training trip. She's heading out to Santa Barbara this weekend with her boyfriend who is doing an install at some megamansion. Sounds like fun. I only wish I could warm up to the new guy. Actually, he's been around for a few months, but I am just not finding any groove with him. They are still planning on running with me on the 4th and Pebbles and I ran a few miles last night after work - until she cried calf rope. She can certainly run faster, but I can run farther!

Today is day two of Bick's smoking quit. He seemed to be handling it pretty well last night, other than some pretty violent dreams that woke both of us about 4am. I went ahead and got up and got to work from home for a couple of hours. If the weather doesn't clear a bit, we are both going to go crazy. This rain has been unrelenting.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Regroup.


It was my sister. She's the one.

It was my sister. She's the one who somehow found the other site. So I just decided to move here. New digs. New start. At some point I'll figure out how to move the content over here, but for now, I'm just going to pick up where I left off. Don't worry, you'll catch on.