Sunday, May 31, 2009


I walked up to Coolidge Corner and got myself an obscenely large banana split.

First I hit the comic book store for something to read while I ate but they were closed. Then I went to Booksmith and picked up a copy of Hard-Boiled Wonderland And The End Of The World, by Haruki Murakami. He's got a heck of an imagination. His stories are wild but his style is "chill," as my brother-in-law, Marc would say. I feel I can count on him to blow my mind gently.

Back at J.P. Licks, the minute I'd settled myself at a table with my book and my trough of ice cream I heard someone say, "hi Mel!" It was Nancy, my neighbor from down the street, and her husband, Jeff. At least the book wasn't embarrassing.

As big as my banana split appeared to be (I thought it could feed four people) I managed to eat most of it. Funny how that works sometimes.

A Close Shave

I was just reclining on my divan (okay, I was in bed) for a bit of shuteye when the phone rang. It was Pete. He had landed in Los Angeles and called to give me some phone messages. One of them required me to call my mom which I did.

While I was on the phone with her I heard some funny sounds. Then I realized that - Holy Crap - people were coming for a second showing of our house today at 5:30! I totally forgot!

Thank God Pete called when he did or they would have found me in bed, asleep!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So I guess I'm up now and ready to go after that hot fudge sundae. And maybe a good belt as well!

William Shakespeare 'n' Stuff

You see this rose?  Its name is William Shakespeare and it is growing in my garden in Brookline.  You would not believe how delicious it smells.  This is the finest smelling rose into which I've ever stuck my nose.  If you live near me come on by and smell it for yourself.  Or one of its co-roses.  It smells like deep rose and fruit and candy.

Do I have to move this rose bush to Vermont or will the people who eventually buy this house promise to take good care of it?  That is an answer for another day.

Today has been grueling and it's only now five o'clock.  I intend to spend the next half hour or so building up my strength for a walk to J.P. Licks in Coolidge Corner so I can go get a kick-ass hot fudge sundae.  I will brave the depths of hell (Coolidge Corner - blech) for a kick-ass hot fudge sundae.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Further Evidence That My Brain Could Work Better

I can't seem to get the taste of bath-water out of my mouth.  

You might be wondering how the taste of bath-water came to be in my mouth.  Well, I'll tell you.

Last night I decided I wanted to take a bath.  Once the tub was full and I'd added a cap-full of Hinoki cypress bath oil I turned off the water and began to disrobe.  When I looked back - horrors - the tub was draining!  I whipped off the rest of my clothes, jumped in the tub and stomped down hard on the plug.  

Something like this had happened before.  The problem is that the o-ring on the plug is seated improperly.  Crisis averted, I ran a bit more water into my bath and proceeded to enjoy a long soak.  I knew I might have a different problem once my bath was done but I WANTED MY BATH, DAMMIT!

Another thing that has happened before with this tub is that once you've stomped the plug down it won't always respond to the lever and go back up again when you want to drain the tub.  Sometimes there's a slow leak and the water will drain on its own if you leave it overnight.  I didn't think that would be the case this time.  I thought I'd stomped it pretty good.  Nonetheless I left the tub overnight to see what would happen.  I figured if it didn't drain I could go to the hardware store in the morning, buy some tubing and have the fun of syphoning the bath-water into the shower.

You see where this is going.

Did I mention that we were having an open house at 11 AM today?  I like to make up fun little projects for myself.

All was, in fact, well.  I got the tub drained and dried in plenty of time.  The bath-water taste is the only price I paid (plus what I paid for the tubing) for my adventure - as far as I know.  The last time I couldn't get the plug to pop up I left it for a few days and it came up on its own.  I'm not worried about it.  It will probably need a new o-ring before this is over.

On a side note, Chuck, the realtor called after the open house.  He told me that the couple Pete and I bought our house from came to see it today.  They are thinking of buying the place again.  I think it would be cool to sell it back to them.  We can leave them all the same stuff they left us eighteen years ago.  That would be portraits of the family they bought the place from plus a few cinder blocks and an old tire that's under the deck.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Some People Have Organized Brains

Okay so you know how I said a few posts ago that we'd sold our house?  Well my friends, that was an excellent example of counting one's chickens before they hatch.  A couple of offers have fallen through since that post.  The house goes back on the market tonight.

I did set foot in my studio today.  I watered the cacti.  They seem to like Vermont.  Maybe someday I'll have time to make something in there again.

In the mean-time it's back to Brookline to scrape and paint some old water damage and pimp the house some more.

I'm going to try to move into the Cambridge apartment on Sunday.  Anybody know some strapping young guy who can help me move our bed?  MMRROWRRRR!!!  Pete's going out of town on Sunday so he can't help me.

I've also got to move my favorite plants from the Brookline garden to the VT garden.  We'll see how that goes.

I think I might be losing my mind.  I'm being bombarded by logistics.  Beats garbage - or bullets.

Dad's still in the hospital though he called me a couple of days ago.  Pete and I were at Ikea, each having the smoked salmon plate in the cafeteria.  The cafeteria is the only place in Ikea with cell phone reception.  It was nice to talk to Dad - it made me feel a little better.  I don't know if it made him feel any better, which would be the more important thing.

Pete and I spent the first day at Ikea trying to figure out which bookshelves we should get.   The next morning we got some graph paper and did a drawing of what we wanted.  Then we spent the rest of the day trying to find the components in the Ikea warehouse.  We were partially successful.  We even found a couch we like (but only in the showroom - not in the warehouse)  This means that there is at least one more smoked salmon plate in each of our near futures.

I have to say I really enjoyed those two Ikea days.  It was kind of fun to have something so simple to concentrate on.  I'm also good at space so I enjoyed figuring out the bookcase conformation and doing the scale drawing.

Okay, I'm off to pack up the car.  Maybe I'll stop at Agway and see if they have any astilbes I can swap my peonies and roses out for.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Blah Blah Blah

Sarah posted a photo of another of the ring bearer pillows:

Whoops!  That's not it!  How'd that get up there?  Plenty of obvious Photoshopping on that one.

There we go.   That's the right one:

I'm definitely going to make more of those when I get back into my studio.

I'll be heading up to VT today for the first time in over a month.  I still probably won't get much studio time in.  In my absence we shipped tons of stuff up there from the Brookline house.  It all needs to be dealt with.  According to Pete you can barely make it from room to room in the house.  I'm scared.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


If I had plenty of money to waste I would buy this sarcophagus book case.  I would.  I think it's a riot.  If you're interested I saw it on Sky Mall

At this point I would have nowhere to put it unfortunately.  Pete will be extremely relieved.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Few Thoughts

1.  I wish my dad was at home sipping a nice caramel frappucino.

2.  I believe I was unclear when I said that I have to do the same cleaning out in VT as I just did in Brookline.  What I mean is that now that we've rid ourselves of so much junk in Brookline I can see that we also have too much junk in VT.  I'm on an Own Less Junk rampage.

3.  We're actually having a Spring in New England this year.  I don't remember ever experiencing such a thing.  We're having long stretches of sunny, low seventy-degree weather.  It's hard to fathom but I'm REALLY enjoying it.  Usually it seems like it goes from forty-five degrees and raining straight to ninety and humid.  High-five, Mother Nature!

Now I'm going to go read a Hellboy comic.  Woo!

May, Week Two

We did an amazing job cleaning out the house and getting it ready for showing.  It is heartening to me to know that I can do something like that because now I'm going to have to do it in Vermont as well.

The first several people came to look at our house on Friday at noon.  It wasn't an official open house so Fay and I were still there.  It felt really strange to be there while people were going through so I popped Fay in the car and bolted.  We went to the reservoir on route 9 where the cherry blossoms were blooming and the grass is soft.

Fay and I went to the reservoir for at least an hour each of the next three days as well.  Our realtor said that the open house on Saturday drew a hundred people.  By Tuesday we had five offers, one of which we accepted.  Our house was on the market for one weekend.

So if you live in Brookline Massachusetts and you need a realtor, call Chuck Silverston at (617)264- 7900.  The man will sell your house.

On Wednesday Pete and I closed on the condo in Cambridge.

I love this house that we just sold.  Every day I'm saying goodbye to different aspects of it and of living here.  I know though that this is the right thing to do.  

One thing I think I'll miss very much is the greenery.  The block we live on is rectangular.  Our house is on one of the short ends so the back overlooks not just the back yard of the house behind us but the back yards of all the houses lining the long sides of the rectangle.  That's at least seven houses on each side.  It's very green for an urban setting.  We see more backyard birds in Brookline than we do in Vermont.  I've really been enjoying listening to the birdsong this week.

In Cambridge we have no trees near our apartment windows.  I can't complain because in Vermont I can listen to the frogs and the birds.  

Things in my life are changing at a rate that I can't begin to process so I'm not trying.  It's rather disorienting in a way.  Fortunately none of it is bad.

Well, except maybe this:  my dad's back in the hospital.  My mom called yesterday to tell me he was going in for a colonoscopy.  He'd been having what everyone thought was a bad reaction to his antibiotics but they just wanted to check to make sure.  It turns out he's contracted c. diff.  So dad's going to be in the hospital for a while longer.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

What To Write About...?

It's been a very concentrated two-and-a-half weeks.  There's a lot to tell.  Finally things have slowed down a touch.  Also I'm recovering from a cold so I won't feel bad about sitting in bed for hours typing away.

First there was our trip to California for my brother's wedding.  Yes, that was why I was making ring-bearer pillows.

Here is the happy couple arriving at the reception:
I introduce to you my new sister, Sarah.  She is a wonderful person, too much fun and a welcome addition to our family.  You know what else?  I believe she can do anything and make it look easy.

Here's a shot of one of the pillows:

Pete took this photo but I stole it from Sarah's blog.  This pillow wasn't used in the wedding.  I went with a plain ribbon on this one so that the flowers inside wouldn't be obscured.  I left the ribbon long so it could be cut to whatever length worked best with their rings.  

Hopefully photos of the other pillows will be forthcoming but I didn't get any.  Sarah's hoping to post some later though.  Maybe I'll steal them from her blog again.

The wedding was beautiful and went really well.  There were donuts, cheeseburgers and six cakes and I don't think there were any ugly scenes (you know how family events can be)  I didn't hear of any scandalous episodes amongst the guests either.  It was just a good time with great people.

The next night Pete and I got to have dinner with Christian and Sarah and hog them all to ourselves.  Yay!

The night after that Pete and I came home from our date with each other to find my mom on the phone calling an ambulance.  Dad wasn't feeling well and asked to go to the emergency room.  I will spare you the symptoms.

You know things are bad when you can't wait for those sirens to get to your door.  First came a fire truck full of EMTs, then the ambulance.  It was San Diego at peak Swine Flu scare so they all wore surgical masks.  They whisked Dad away to the hospital and Mom went too.  Poor Mom didn't get back home until 5:45 the next morning.

It turned out that Dad had come crashing down with bacterial pneumonia.  Visiting Dad in the hospital has unfortunately become a bit routine.  He's very good at being hospitalized.  He now has a system.

Pete and I thought we'd give him a day to recover at the hospital so we visited him on his second day there.  Then we went to lunch with Mom and bought some Fit Flops (Pete didn't buy Fit Flops - and Fit Flops are another story)  Then we all decided to go to Starbucks for a Frappucino.  On the way to Starbucks Dad called to say they were letting him out and could we bring him a Frappucino too.  So Dad is now taking his antibiotics and recovering from pneumonia at home.  Phew!

Next hurdle: the flight home.  

Fay loves to travel.  She loves to go to new places and meet new people.  She also loves to go to different places and be with people she's already met and doesn't see all that often.  She loves a change of scenery and the potential change of menu that it entails.  More people equals more people to mooch from.  She was having a great time in California.

We've also changed her medications and she's been feeling great and moving really well.  She stands up on her back legs a lot these days though they still can't support her for long.  She can use them enough that she isn't wearing through the fur on the tops of her feet (or the skin on her backside) anymore.  She has all her joie de vivre back.  The only drawback is that she has occasional idiopathic bouts of diarrhea.

Like in her carry-on bag at the airport before we flew out of San Diego to come home.  Five times.  I'd take her into the ladies' room, wash her off in the sink, dry her with paper towels, remove the topmost diaper from the stack that I'd layered in the carrier, put her back in the bag on top of a new, clean diaper, wash my hands and carry her back to the gate, sit down, catch a fresh whiff and start all over again.  Fortunately we were two hours early for the flight.  Once we got on the plane the diarrhea stopped.  I think she ran out of ammo.  That was lucky because I didn't have an endless supply of fresh diapers.  She has been completely fine ever since.

We got back to Brookline early Wednesday morning with two days to finish cleaning out the house to get it ready to go on the market Thursday evening.  Our first open house was Friday at noon.

This concludes my first installment of "What I've Been Doing For The Last Two Weeks Or So."  With luck I'll write another installment later today.  Things have slowed a bit but they sure haven't stopped.