Friday, November 02, 2007


Here's a link to that puzzle.

Our windows are being installed as I type! Where we had two smallish windows on our bedroom wall across from our bed, we now have three much bigger and longer windows, essentially a wall of glass but in three frames so we can open them. It looks out into our woodsy backyard, and will be so nice all year round.

Dave has pictures of the pumpkins on his blog -- see address to the right -- and I will ask if he can also put up the window installation shots. Our man Alex is also finishing our laundry room in the basement, the room off Lily's playroom, and that's going to be awesome. He's Sheetrocked it all in and also had an electrician in to put in some more outlets and change some of the circuits. This room will also get a drop ceiling and some sort of floor, either a roll-out linoleum that can be relatively easily removed in case the floor gets wet, and some strong lights overhead.

He's also constructed the laundry chute (!) and cut some holes in the floors to install it; he needs to move some heating vents, unfortunately, but we are all hoping that's not a big deal. The chute will run from our bathroom upstairs through the pantry in the bathroom off the kitchen down into the basement next to the washer. Fabulous!

One of the first things we did was install a double work sink in that room, and Dave built a shelf above it for the dehumidifier and ran a tube right into the sink. The basement seems dry, in that it doesn't flood, but it does get too damp when you don't have a dehumidifier going constantly. And who wants to empty that all the time? When it runs continuously the basement stays dry. It's excellent having a sink right next to the laundry, too: I leave towels soaking in Oxyclean to get the mildew smell out, for instance, and then move them directly into the wash. This kind of thing feels small but huge, you know? A luxury worth paying for. The laundry chute is more of an extravagance, but it's fun, so what the hey. Nothing wrong with fun.

Also in that room, I think I've noted, will be storage shelves, so we can move the boxes out of the so-called den into there. Once the den is cleared we can put in a futon or something, along with another TV and DVD. It has its own pellet stove and gets very snug, and is also cool in the summer, so it might be another good place to put overnight guests.

Finally, Alex has ideas about building a shelf that hangs from the wall in the laundry room and opens into the room, as needed. I'd like that for a place to fold laundry, as well as for Lily to do any kind of messy arts and crafts. We have an old blender, for instance, that we want to use to make paper.

Finally, we are building a coat closet off that room. The idea will be that when you come in from outside you head downstairs first, where there will be more open space, and a bench to sit on and take off your boots. Not exactly sure what it will all look like, but I'm thinking the hallway will also have some empty pegs for guests to hang their jackets. We will also have some shoe and boot racks. This way we can keep mud and snow in a concentrated area. We'll see how it all works, I guess.

Sometimes I think, oh, my, we are really putting a lot of money into all these home improvements! It really can be endless, can't it. But we really want to be here for the long haul. It's a bit far for Lily's school, and getting her up at 6:30 in the dark is a chore; living in Deerfield would be a lot easier for her, at least. But it's 8:30 now, I have to be at work at 9, and I won't be late. My office is two miles away. We are on these lovely woods, but we have supermarkets and a soon-to-be food coop within spitting distance. We can hear the distant roar of I-91, but it's easy to tune out, and I love that we are a mile from the exit.

The more I think about living in the wonderful Hilltowns, say, north and west of here -- and they really are in the country, those towns, they don't get cable and they don't get DSL and we could have gotten quite a lot of land and a great house with the money we spent on this place -- the more I am glad we are here. It's the best of both worlds, to be on these wonderful woods at the same time as being so close to town. And I'm not sure it would have been a good idea for someone like me, who'd lived in New York City for 18 years, to be so isolated in the country, or for Lily, a city girl and only child going to a private school 20 minutes away and so doesn't really know very many local kids.

Yes, our bedroom situation, with both bedrooms opening on the bathroom, and one wall of our bedroom open to the cathedral ceiling over the living room -- ie, not a lot of privacy -- is a little wonky. But I have an amazing studio, Dave has an office, Lily has a playroom, our kitchen-living area is great for entertaining, we have two other rooms to hang in (family room and den), and it's close to town. Couldn't really ask for more.

This was the right choice.

PS -- HAPPY 10TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY, OCT. 31, TO MY MOM AND DON !! I'll write the story of how they met some time, it's great.

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