Discolor Online

Weblog of the sweetest person you never want to piss off.


Improving the home

I've always loved a good project. I like to credit my Grandpa Lindroos for that as he was always willing to have me hanging around in his workshop when I was a youngster. He was genius at figuring out ways to keep me busy, like the time he let me look through a pile of wood chips and shavings for pieces that looked like animals, then handed me glue, a board, and a black chisel-tip permanent marker and let me build a "farm scene", or the times he let me "help" him create No Hunting signs for his property (the "Please don't shoot the bunnies" signs went over well with the neighbors). In the same way

For the longest time my projects had to be limited to things like putting together shelves. When we first moved into our house, I was thrilled to be able to do a few projects like putting in our garage door opener, staining the porch, hanging a pot rack, replacing our garbage disposal or putting our attic ladder in. I don't actually have a garage workshop but boy would I love one, with power tools.

Last spring I hired a company to put in a patio for us and that was a GREAT idea. We got a grill, I found a fantastic table and chairs on Craigslist, I built some raised beds and had a successful summer of gardening. It was all quite invigorating.

Of course, this just makes me want to do more. Now's not exactly the best time to be laying out for home improvements. We've already had some unfortunate expenses, like putting in the fix for the defecting heating system this winter and with Green Ronin as our sole income our means are decidedly more modest than when Chris was working in the computer game industry. Still, it's hard to tamp down on my brain and all the ideas that keep popping up.

We've made incredible strides in clearing out the garage and my primary fantasy is to finish the garage. It's only a one-car garage but in my mind there's still enough space to put in a craft table for Chris, where he can work on minis; set it up with a drum set for Kate, so she can practice and play to her heart's content; and where I can organize my tools, my gardening equipment, perhaps even my own little crafting corner where I could set up a sewing machine. Insulate that mother, put in a ladder to the rafters where we could have our storage, add a heater, extra lights, put in a router with an old TiVo, our old Xbox, and a cheap TV and our "livable space" is suddenly SO much bigger. *sigh* Long term dream, we'll get there sometime.

I'm also keen to pull out our ten-year-old carpet and replace it with flooring (which I've been told would be better for my allergies), finally paint a few rooms something other than the original "putty grey" the house came with, and put in some different window treatments instead of the rather ugly cheapo blinds that came with the house. These sorts of things are largely cosmetic. They'd make me feel happier about the house but it's not like my blinds aren't functional. Part of me feels a little queasy about wanting to make chances that aren't strictly necessary. I mean, it's not like I'm living in a mud hut and part of me feels I should just be happy that I have what I have. On the other hand, I work from home (and have for the last *mumble mumble* years) and my world is often distressingly small. Changing up my environment to feel more open, more creative, brighter... well, it's appealing. Very appealing.

I do feel like I could make many of these changes on my own and even enjoy it. On the third tentacle, after my experience both with having the patio put in by professionals and having my heating system/water heater issue handled by professionals I'm finding myself really leaning toward getting someone in to do a lot of the work.

Anyway, I've got a list of things that I'd like to accomplish eventually. I'd like to finish the landscaping in the back yard (tilling and planting the borders around the yard, put in about 400 sq. ft of new sod, put in stone cover in the side yard around the raised beds). I really need to re-paint/re-stain the porches before the HOA gets on my case. I want to do some painting, some window treatments, figure out some better options for storing our books and games. My next project is expanding the garden for this year but I should be done with that in the next few weeks. What's next is the question.

I'm not sure what's next but it will be SOMETHING.



Life Marches On

Although I've been up to a few things since my last update I find that I've been having a hard time putting my brain in gear to do any writing of substance. I've been popping off a few updates via Twitter or on Facebook but I've really got to make a change if I'm going to get back to any blogging of substance.

Even though blog-wise things have been a bit dead, I have still been up to a few things. I've managed to reconnect with a few friends, get out of the house with my husband for a little adult-time, still trying to figure out what we're going to do with Kate for high school, preparing to chaperon Kate's class on their Alaskan cruise in May. Since I'm still procrastinating on diving back into "real" blogging, I thought I'd do a little recap. Here's what I've been up to in the last couple of weeks:

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo
OK Go / Notre Dame marching band - This Too Shall Pass
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Chickpeas with Broccoli Rabe and Bacon
Szechuan-Style Tofu with Peanuts
Tuna Noodle Casserole with Leeks and Fresh Dill
Lamb Köfte with Yogurt Sauce and Muhammara
Pasta with Asparagus, Pancetta, and Pine Nuts
Brown Soda Bread
Beef and Guinness Stew
Turkey Sloppy Joes on Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits
Overnight Blueberry Muffins
Crockpot Butter Chicken

A Morning for Flamingos
Escaping the Endless Adolescence
True Compass: A Memoir
Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking
The Enchantment of Lily Dahl
Summer Knight
Death Masks
The City & The City
Child 44

Protesting Health Reform, GOP Attempts To Bring Senate Hearings To A Standstill By Blocking All Proceedings
Tea Partiers Call Lewis 'N****r', Frank 'F****t', At Capitol Hill Protest
Health bill protesters jeer at man with Parkinson’s disease
Dennis Hopper dying of prostate cancer
Alex Chilton dead in New Orleans

Planning my garden
Haircut and color
Baking up electronic files
Planning another Freezer Cooking Party
Playing Dragon Age: Origins
Playing Dragon Age: Awakenings
Playing Mass Effect
Playing Mass Effect 2
Roasting coffee

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