The Room takes shape


Despite an indoor reenactment of the Dust Bowl earlier in the day the room is beginning to take shape.


The trunk in the center will be part of a cherry tree. The layers are being built and the animals will be painted tomorrow

What happens when you mix a power sander and a philosophy major?

Dust and lots of it. More than you can imagine. Yes, that’s me in the center of the picture doing my best Jesse James impression… And no it’s not a black and white picture, there was just that much dust.



Of all the bad decorating decisions in the history of the world, the one we currently dislike the most is the textured ceiling trend. At some point in the history of our house a textured ceiling was installed in Lili’s room. Ceilings are normally nice and high and we usually don’t pay too much attention to them but the problem with this one is that it was cracking and chipping.

Let’s see young baby, chipping paint, 100-year-old house – even Homer Simpson knows that is not a good combination. So I chipped, and chipped, and when my arms were too heavy to lift, chipped some more. After successfully getting about 40% of the ceiling scraped clean, I began the sanding process, first with a hand-sander and then with the palm sander. When I was done sanding, the room was a giant cloud of dust. 


It’s a little anti-climatic on the blog, but as surfers the world over say  “you should have been here this morning….”

More pictures will be posted shortly.


The Nursery Prep begins

After days of furious cleaning, boxing up unwanted books for donation to the library, and slaying numerous “dust dragons” (the older, more vicious, and surprisingly hard-to-kill relatives of dust bunnies), Catherine’s former office is about to be transformed into Lili’s nursery. This was her office, now Lili’s room.



After days of frantic scrambling we finally got the room ready to paint. For this task we’ve brought in our friend, and artist, Saralee. That’s her with the brush.

Saralee Room

Over the next three days she’ll be painting, and we’ll be helping and hopefully not hindering, a mural on all 4 walls of Lili’s room. The exact scenes aren’t finalized yet but there is wildlife, Bamboo, possibly some mountains, and of course no nursery is complete without a naked mole rat. (too complicated to explain)

Link to a webcam at the naked Mole Rat exhibit from the Knoxville Zoo

Stay Tuned more pictures will be coming.

Books, Books, everywhere and so many must go

As we prepare the house for Lili, Catherine has pointed out that our house tilts to one side because of all our books. So as she prepares to give up her office for Lili’s room and officially become a gypsy inside her own home, it’s been pointed out that I have books in almost every room of the house and I might be able to get rid of one or two – thousand.

While I was initially skeptical I realized that no one really needs three copies of Burgess’ Clockwork Orange and I probably won’t be refering to my 1989 edition of Law and Mass Communications any time soon – and if I did it would be a bad decision. So book by book I’ve filled three boxes with stuff I haven’t looked at in years, despite having moved some of the books from Missouri to Virginia to Connecticut and then back to Virginia from there to North Carolina and onto Philadelphia then to Massachusetts and finally to Rhode Island. 7 states in only 9 years, making many of my books better traveled than some Rhode Islanders. I guess all people have addictions, mine just happens to take up space, costing both $$ and sweat to move. 

The main benefit of clearing out books is the extra space and reduced clutter of stacked books everywhere. The side benefits include a strange freedom and lightness of spirit – which could just be all the dust causing hallucinations – and a realization that our daughter will be here shortly and she needs her space, for her stuff. Hopefully I won’t infect her with the pack rat compulsions handed down to me by my parents, I can only hope nature overwhelms nurture on this one.

Photos are coming soon because I realize that the blog is a little text heavy and could use a graphic or two to create some white space and hold the reader’s interest. Sorry about that I was channeling journalism school for second…. good night. -t