Not Today, Kitty Kitty...

Oscar, a Rhode Islander, curls up with dying patients at the nursing home where he lives.

Strange news, but comforting.

Not That I Would Know Anything About This

"Writing a thesis is a lonely obsessive activity. You live inside your head, nowhere else. University libraries are like madhouses, full of people pursuing wraiths, hunches, obsessions. The person with whom you spend most of your time is the person you're writing about." -- Hallucinating Foucault, Patricia Drucker



Not So Much Sweetness & Light in This Post

To the idiot who screeched past us last night and screamed "You're Jewish!": And you, my friend, are an asshole.



Originally uploaded by quiet.eye.
This popped up this morning. I've got a blister on my thumb, too. Haven't seen these in quite a while. Life's a little stressy, I guess - what with the vandals, the gas company, the ditch in front of the house, the guys pulling up at 8 am with dump trucks full of rocks...



Originally uploaded by quiet.eye.
So, yesterday, as the stone & brick guy started to dig the footing for the stone wall behind the driveway, a cry goes up: "We hit the gas!"

Two fire trucks and five National Grid guys later, we discover that our gas line is not ... oh dear ... up to code where it connects to the house.

Except that it is up to code, at least according to the building inspector.
But he's not the gas company.
And the gas company can turn off the gas.
Something is fishy here.

Anyway, the long and the short of it is, we need to sink a new gas line. We've got about an inch and a half through which to run the pipe (the house has no basement). The people who do this for a living are here now, and the initial signs are not encouraging.

On the bright side, those are the apples I picked this morning. They are sweeter than they appear, with a sort of macintosh-like flavor, but crisper. So. They are putting a hole in the wall now and tearing up my brand new floor discussing some other possibilities. There is nothing else for it. I am going to make a pie. Oh yeah, no gas. Never mind.


Main Room

Originally uploaded by quiet.eye.
MJ calls it "the library in the garden".


Originally uploaded by quiet.eye.
Granny smiths in the back yard.


Originally uploaded by quiet.eye.
If you look closely, you can see the "coffee corner" way in the back. The old brown sign says: The Best Coffee in Town.


Originally uploaded by quiet.eye.
The books go up!

Trike in the Yard

Originally uploaded by quiet.eye.
I love this picture.

(You can't see it yet, but there's cilantro in the pot. We have three of these old pots - I used to dislike them but they're growing on me.)


Home Ownership

Wow. I am sitting here, in my own kitchen, looking out at my own backyard, and it hits me: This is our house. Ours. All of it. (deep breath)

How to Remove Latex Paint from a Ceramic Tile Floor

Here's a tip: Use EZ-OFF. Yes, the oven cleaner! Spray it on, wait 30 minutes, and mop it up. Easy, off - just like it says. Another discovery: Muriatic acid will remove the paint from the grout.

How to Remove Latex Paint from a Hardwood Floor

...without refinishing the floor or damaging the finish (much).

You will need: a steam cleaner, bamboo skewers (like the ones you use for kebabs), disposable wooden chopsticks, rags, rubbing alcohol, sponges with softish plastic scrubbers, toothbrushes, dish soap, buckets, warm water, cotton balls or pads.

Mop up any big spills while they are still wet. Hit remaining streaks, drips, and splotches with the steamer. Pour a little rubbing alcohol onto the stain, the rub it with a cotton pad until the paint starts to dissolve. Use the sponge to mop up the paint as it comes up, otherwise you'll just spread the old paint around on the floor. If the paint doesn't soften, hit it with more steam and alcohol, then try the toothbrush. If that doesn't work, try pushing gently at the edges with the chopsticks (don't break them in half; use the blunt side).

For paint that has seeped into grooves between the floorboards (a problem on pre-finished wood floors, which we have upstairs because they were brand new when we bought the house and we thought it would be wasteful to remove them - another story), use the pointy tips of the bamboo skewers to push the paint out.

We did this all last week, with lots of help from friends and family. Each room took ten hours.

There's still paint in the hallway and in a few places downstairs, but we're getting there.

Incidentally, we would have simply refinished the floors and sent the bill to the insurance company, but we didn't have time -- the vandalism happened six days before we were going to move, and the lease on our rental apartment was up.

Six days to repaint and clean the floors -- plus we still had to complete two bathrooms and finish installing the kitchen cabinets. Six days.

Everyone pulled together, and with a lot of help from friends, family, and our wonderful builder Bruce Eddy, we did it.