It just. won’t. end.

I painted trim in the hallway today for 10 hrs, endocrinologist minus the 1/2hr it took me to straighten out a networking problem with the laptop (catching all sorts of unnecessary flack from the Ver*zon guy for having a laptop sans ethernet card running Win 2000) and the half hour I took for dinner.

I am still.  not.  done.

But it’s New Year’s Eve, and there’s a bunch of processed foods and a bottle of wine with my name on it, so it’s off to the couch for our regularly scheduled New Year of lameness!  I hope you and yours have a happy New Year’s eve, even if you like them lame like we do.  I also hope that 2009 brings me less paint.

(hahahaha – do you know what project we have in mind for this summer?!?!)

Exactly

I’m not dead!  But the last seven days are a complete blur.

Let’s see if I can piece it together. . .(editor’s note:  I don’t honestly believe the internets are interested in the minutiae of my past week – I wrote this post mostly for my own archival purposes, pilule so go ahead and skip down to the pictures ’cause that’s where the cuteness is)

Finished up work on Friday.  Hooray!  Oh, let’s start at Thursday – it was more fun.  Thursday after work Mr. Unreserved had an event to attend (that I weaseled out of) so I took the girls directly to the mall, as per their request.  We go to the mall so infrequently that Claire had no apparent memory of ever having been there.  We had dinner in the food court, rode the train, talked to Santa, played in the play area, and bought a gift.  The girls were saints throughout.

Friday:  Shopped for craft grab bag gift on lunch half hour, finished up work, came home, gulped dinner, suited up the girls in their dresses, shoved buckled them in the car, ran to the tree buying place, picked a tree, put them back in the car while Mr. Unreserved took care of the tree, took them to Target to have pictures taken, bought Christmas cards, cursed myself for forgetting the memory card from the old camera where the pictures I had taken on Wednesday with the intention of getting photocards resided (seventy five shots taken, three acceptable), bought plain cards, took the girls home, decorated the tree, took video with the camera for only the second time since the girls’ last birthday party (am delinquent videographer).

Saturday:   Cleaned, fed, and packed children because Gramma was coming to take them away, wrapped gifts for two hours while Mr. Unreserved slept off the previous night’s work, went to church, went to dinner, did shopping for girls together, came home and collapsed burned collection of digital photos for brother’s SO for (formerly) top secret project.

Sunday:  Gave photos to SO, cleaned house, fed spouse, sewed elaborate flannel nightgowns for both girls, went to collect girls and mooch dinner from parents.

Monday:  Addressed roughly 38 cards, printed (crappy) photos of girls to put in cards, got them in the mail before the mail carrier showed up, picked Anna up from school, bought groceries, cooked dinner, prepared four varieties of cookie dough and baked two of them.

Tuesday:  Tuesday sucked.  Fought with printer, ordered new camera online and was thrilled to learn of Camera Store’s free overnight shipping, prepared template for mirror etching project, masked mirror, cut out template, massaged cramps in arms, etched mirror, sliced fingers, attempted to put mirror in frame, mirror snapped.  Mirror had been purchased Friday on lunchbreak at store that is a great many miles fro home.  Much shopping for the appropriate mirror had been done before said purchase.  Cursed mirror.  Shopped up and down henious local shopping thoroughfare before settling on alternative mirror.  And then finding another alternative mirror, neither of which were as good as first mirror.  Bought more groceries, finished gift shopping.  Came home, etched new mirror, etching cream was not cooperating.  Further fussing with the mirror was making things worse.  Called it done.  Appliqued fabric on aprons while Mr. Unreserved finished his shopping.  Baked remaining varieties of cookies until the wee small hours.

Wednesday:  Camera came at 10:30 in the morning, less than 24 hrs from when it had been ordered.  Danced (literally) around with glee at new camera.  Took picture of the cat.  Called mother to express glee.  Crash-cleaned house (stuffed tools and materials for hallway project in basement to be sorted later).  Finished wrapping gifts, master bedroom trashed, inhaled peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  Coaxed eldest child out of bedroom closet, girls’ bedroom trashed.  Washed neon green paint out of eldest daughter’s hair.  Prepared foods for upcoming parties.  Prepared children for upcoming church.  Attended church in former hometown, went to party #1 and party #2 wherein much merry making ensued and many presents were opened and goodness abounded.  Came home after 12:30 a.m. and performed required parental activities related to Christmas Eve.

Thursday:  Santa came!  Also we’re out of coffee!  How can we be out of coffee and why didn’t Santa bring us any?  Anna woke half an hour before her sister and instead of either a) forcibly waking her sister so that presents could be opened or b) trying to convince us to let her open presents by herself, she lay in bed and played quietly with her new Leapster until Claire got up.  I can’t decide if that’s a testimony to Anna’s politeness or her deep love of the Leapster.  Living/dining room trashed.  Mr. Unreserved unloaded SUV, living/dining room extremely trashed.  Prepared more food, went to party #3 wherein much merry making ensued and many more presents were opened and goodness abounded etc.  Pried unhappy children away from party #3 to attend party #4 wherein you get the picture only with vodka which makes life better.  I think we stumbled in around 2 a.m.  Was too tired to read clock.  Slept with overwrought nearly-three year old using my head for a pillow.

So it should come as no surprise that we all slept in mightily today.  No one was dressed before four in the afternoon unless you count the fact that the girls had slept in their (third change of) clothes from the day before.  Mr. Unreserved unloaded the SUV again, living/dining room very really extremely trashed.  I tried hard to do nothing of importance, and by 4:30 could no longer stand being greasy and unkempt and wading through mounds of holiday detritus while laundry that had been started on Wednesday grew sour in the washing machine.  So I violated my “do nothing” edict and  cleaned up and did laundry.  Claire took a nap.  A long, late nap that resulted in her lying in bed talking to herself an hour after being tucked in.

I am now enjoying the first peace I’ve had in, um, I forget how long.  Man, Christmas is a good holiday, but it’s liable to kill me one of these years.  I am simultaneously happy that I got everything done that I needed to do to feel that the holiday was suitable prepared for and executed (although our library books are a week overdue and I never did finish the hallway), and disappointed that I allowed the details and hustle and bustle grow to the point that I’m happier today knowing it’s over with than I was yesterday in the midst of it.

But I have a new camera!!!!

I am not kidding – I took a picture of the cat because I was so thrilled with the new camera’s arrival:  The cat smiled.

I can’t believe that after all the work on the dresses and all the camera happiness that I was under the influence of, I never got a clear shot of the girls in their dresses.  My mom had to try out the new camera as we were waiting for mass to start:

Anna was rolling all over Gramma’s floor being silly.  I promise the collar is not so Snow White standupish – it’s supposed to lie flat.  At least this picture shows the embroidery on the bodice:

The collar is still misbehaving here, but there was hot and heavy present opening action going on.

At Mimi’s house we had three Christmas hams:

All of whom received sock monkey gingerbread jammies.

And tonight I finally got to see them in the fruits of Sunday’s labor for the first time.  They’re only swimming in them a little bit, and I think it’s charming.

So I’m off for another week now, with the exception of Friday when I get to go to the lab and try to remember what exactly it is I was trying to do with my latest batch of problem molecules.  All that is on the schedule is a party, a dentist appointment, and oh yeah,  I have to plan and prep for a birthday party for Saturday and figure out how to make a Hello Kitty cake and a Monkey cake (and an Elmo cake, says Claire, who claims that because she is two years old she should have two cakes at her party.  Mr. Unreserved turns 40 next year and if he follows the same logic, I’m going to resort to cupcakes.)
Exactly three years ago, sale
to this very minute, esophagitis
I was pushing.  At 6:19, visit this site
Claire was born.  Happy Birthday, silly girl!

Then:

Now:

And by some holiday miracle, I am the only member of my family not taking a nap at the moment.

The Post-Christmas Coma

I’m not dead!  But the last seven days are a complete blur.

Let’s see if I can piece it together. . .(editor’s note:  I don’t honestly believe the internets are interested in the minutiae of my past week – I wrote this post mostly for my own archival purposes, internist so go ahead and skip down to the pictures ’cause that’s where the cuteness is)

Finished up work on Friday.  Hooray!  Oh, let’s start at Thursday – it was more fun.  Thursday after work Mr. Unreserved had an event to attend (that I weaseled out of) so I took the girls directly to the mall, as per their request.  We go to the mall so infrequently that Claire had no apparent memory of ever having been there.  We had dinner in the food court, rode the train, talked to Santa, played in the play area, and bought a gift.  The girls were saints throughout.

Friday:  Shopped for craft grab bag gift on lunch half hour, finished up work, came home, gulped dinner, suited up the girls in their dresses, shoved buckled them in the car, ran to the tree buying place, picked a tree, put them back in the car while Mr. Unreserved took care of the tree, took them to Target to have pictures taken, bought Christmas cards, cursed myself for forgetting the memory card from the old camera where the pictures I had taken on Wednesday with the intention of getting photocards resided (seventy five shots taken, three acceptable), bought plain cards, took the girls home, decorated the tree, took video with the camera for only the second time since the girls’ last birthday party (am delinquent videographer).

Saturday:   Cleaned, fed, and packed children because Gramma was coming to take them away, wrapped gifts for two hours while Mr. Unreserved slept off the previous night’s work, went to church, went to dinner, did shopping for girls together, came home and collapsed burned collection of digital photos for brother’s SO for (formerly) top secret project.

Sunday:  Gave photos to SO, cleaned house, fed spouse, sewed elaborate flannel nightgowns for both girls, went to collect girls and mooch dinner from parents.

Monday:  Addressed roughly 38 cards, printed (crappy) photos of girls to put in cards, got them in the mail before the mail carrier showed up, picked Anna up from school, bought groceries, cooked dinner, prepared four varieties of cookie dough and baked two of them.

Tuesday:  Tuesday sucked.  Fought with printer, ordered new camera online and was thrilled to learn of Camera Store’s free overnight shipping, prepared template for mirror etching project, masked mirror, cut out template, massaged cramps in arms, etched mirror, sliced fingers, attempted to put mirror in frame, mirror snapped.  Mirror had been purchased Friday on lunchbreak at store that is a great many miles fro home.  Much shopping for the appropriate mirror had been done before said purchase.  Cursed mirror.  Shopped up and down henious local shopping thoroughfare before settling on alternative mirror.  And then finding another alternative mirror, neither of which were as good as first mirror.  Bought more groceries, finished gift shopping.  Came home, etched new mirror, etching cream was not cooperating.  Further fussing with the mirror was making things worse.  Called it done.  Appliqued fabric on aprons while Mr. Unreserved finished his shopping.  Baked remaining varieties of cookies until the wee small hours.

Wednesday:  Camera came at 10:30 in the morning, less than 24 hrs from when it had been ordered.  Danced (literally) around with glee at new camera.  Took picture of the cat.  Called mother to express glee.  Crash-cleaned house (stuffed tools and materials for hallway project in basement to be sorted later).  Finished wrapping gifts, master bedroom trashed, inhaled peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  Coaxed eldest child out of bedroom closet, girls’ bedroom trashed.  Washed neon green paint out of eldest daughter’s hair.  Prepared foods for upcoming parties.  Prepared children for upcoming church.  Attended church in former hometown, went to party #1 and party #2 wherein much merry making ensued and many presents were opened and goodness abounded.  Came home after 12:30 a.m. and performed required parental activities related to Christmas Eve.

Thursday:  Santa came!  Also we’re out of coffee!  How can we be out of coffee and why didn’t Santa bring us any?  Anna woke half an hour before her sister and instead of either a) forcibly waking her sister so that presents could be opened or b) trying to convince us to let her open presents by herself, she lay in bed and played quietly with her new Leapster until Claire got up.  I can’t decide if that’s a testimony to Anna’s politeness or her deep love of the Leapster.  Living/dining room trashed.  Mr. Unreserved unloaded SUV, living/dining room extremely trashed.  Prepared more food, went to party #3 wherein much merry making ensued and many more presents were opened and goodness abounded etc.  Pried unhappy children away from party #3 to attend party #4 wherein you get the picture only with vodka which makes life better.  I think we stumbled in around 2 a.m.  Was too tired to read clock.  Slept with overwrought nearly-three year old using my head for a pillow.

So it should come as no surprise that we all slept in mightily today.  No one was dressed before four in the afternoon unless you count the fact that the girls had slept in their (third change of) clothes from the day before.  Mr. Unreserved unloaded the SUV again, living/dining room very really extremely trashed.  I tried hard to do nothing of importance, and by 4:30 could no longer stand being greasy and unkempt and wading through mounds of holiday detritus while laundry that had been started on Wednesday grew sour in the washing machine.  So I violated my “do nothing” edict and  cleaned up and did laundry.  Claire took a nap.  A long, late nap that resulted in her lying in bed talking to herself an hour after being tucked in.

I am now enjoying the first peace I’ve had in, um, I forget how long.  Man, Christmas is a good holiday, but it’s liable to kill me one of these years.  I am simultaneously happy that I got everything done that I needed to do to feel that the holiday was suitable prepared for and executed (although our library books are a week overdue and I never did finish the hallway), and disappointed that I allowed the details and hustle and bustle grow to the point that I’m happier today knowing it’s over with than I was yesterday in the midst of it.

But I have a new camera!!!!

I am not kidding – I took a picture of the cat because I was so thrilled with the new camera’s arrival:  The cat smiled.

I can’t believe that after all the work on the dresses and all the camera happiness that I was under the influence of, I never got a clear shot of the girls in their dresses.  My mom had to try out the new camera as we were waiting for mass to start:

Anna was rolling all over Gramma’s floor being silly.  I promise the collar is not so Snow White standupish – it’s supposed to lie flat.  At least this picture shows the embroidery on the bodice:

The collar is still misbehaving here, but there was hot and heavy present opening action going on.

At Mimi’s house we had three Christmas hams:

All of whom received sock monkey gingerbread jammies.

And tonight I finally got to see them in the fruits of Sunday’s labor for the first time.  They’re only swimming in them a little bit, and I think it’s charming.

So I’m off for another week now, with the exception of Friday when I get to go to the lab and try to remember what exactly it is I was trying to do with my latest batch of problem molecules.  All that is on the schedule is a party, a dentist appointment, and oh yeah,  I have to plan and prep for a birthday party for Saturday and figure out how to make a Hello Kitty cake and a Monkey cake (and an Elmo cake, says Claire, who claims that because she is two years old she should have two cakes at her party.  Mr. Unreserved turns 40 next year and if he follows the same logic, I’m going to resort to cupcakes.)

Ta-DOW!

I was right!  Having already assembled one iteration of the dress pattern, weight loss Claire’s went together assembly line style.  Piping on the bodice – check!  Bodice to skirt – check!  Interface back bodice panels – check!  Placket in skirt back – check!  It was great being able to whip that puppy together without consulting the (frequently confusing) directions every five minutes.  Since I still had to assemble and set sleeves in Anna’s dress before I started Claire’s, valeologist I didn’t get Claire’s collar and sleeves done (I promised myself I was not staying up past midnight).  But I should be able to finish them off tonight, more about which means I can schedule their picture appointment for this week.  Check! 

This week is crazy because I’m trying to get everything out of the way except baking.  I’m off all of next week, and my gift to myself is to have a few days before Christmas where all I have to do is hang out with my family and bake cookies.  Assuming this week doesn’t kill me first.

The conversion is nearly complete

No painting this weekend.  I ran umpty-million places on Saturday instead.  On Sunday I decorated indoors (at Anna’s request).  The girls helped, bronchi for certain values of the word “help.”  Once they were in bed, I got out the sewing machine and sewed until 1:30 a.m.  Just like Mom used to do.

I’ve got a love/hate relationship with sewing.  I love planning, picking fabrics and patterns.  I love the magical moment when random shapes of fabric come together and start to look like an object of clothing.  I could do without realizing that the recently sewn, reinforced, and trimmed seam needs to be picked back out and redone.  Or that a seam puckered.  Or that I ironed interfacing on the wrong collar piece.  I am completely over every project I sew long before it’s finished.  My hope this time is that I apply the learning experiences for dress #1 to dress #2 (the girls are young enough that they enjoy having matching dresses) and I can whip it out smoothly without touching the seam ripper.  I wouldn’t bet on it.

There were many nights, particularly close to holidays, that I went to bed with the muffled sounds of the sewing machine plugging away down the hall.  The tradition continues.

No more cribby

Claire is at this very moment falling asleep in her big girl bed.  Her Pap-pap brought it over tonight, phimosis and Claire wanted it set up tout de suite.   She is very excited and demanded that we dismantle her “cribby.”

I’d been planning on putting her in a big girl bed ever since she learned how to climb out of the crib herself many months ago.  We talked up the big girl bed to get her ready, buy since she was a little attached to the crib.  What I was unprepared for was how I would feel.  This is the first time in nearly five years that we don’t have a tiny person in a crib.  As I dismantled the crib, the memories of setting it up for the first time were so vivid.  Could it really have been five years ago?

I feel so dirty

I’ve gone and done it.  I ordered a FiOS package.  I swore for years and years after Verizon gave me the hard sell that I wouldn’t touch their fiber optic cables with a ten foot pole.  After the month long run around required to move my landline and DSL from the old house to the new (a total distance of four miles) during which they pushed me off to a FiOS salesperson at ever opportunity even though said sales people were baffled as to why I was sent to them when all I needed was my copper lines to work properly I swore I’d get FiOS over my dead body.

I guess I’m dead now.

But on the plus side, ask Mr. Unreserved and I picked a new paint color for the hallway.  Now if only we could find some little elves to come and paint while I sleep. . .

Ratfinks at Comcast

I am cheap.  Too cheap to pay exorbitant amounts of money for cable television.  But I’ve got a family that refuses to rely on rabbit ears, for sale so we have had basic basic cable.  Most people think basic cable is roughly 40 channels with no HBO and whatnot.  It isn’t.  Basic cable is pretty much the networks that one would get with an antenna.  It was $8 a month and we were happy with it.  We’d rent movies as needed, viagra approved and life was good.

Then we moved.  And the lovely person at the Comcast had the good fortune to talk to my husband about maybe a little digital upgrade?  Just a smidge?  Just a digital classic package?  After all, it’s only another $10 per month.  Oh, and another $10 per month for the two digital boxes.  That’s all. 

And lo, the digital classic package was filled with educational childrens programming wonderfulness, and On Demand free movie and tv program goodness, and we were happy.  Meanwhile all the video rental places around us went belly-up and the grocery store took their rental section out and stuffed the cereal aisle with DVDs to buy. 

Over the summer, On Demand spontaneously went away.  I called Comcast, and the customer service rep said that I wasn’t supposed to have it.  Oh, wait, I’ve got digital classic, so yes I am supposed to have it and it will be back on in 24 hrs.  And it was. 

Well, as mentioned two posts ago, it went away again.  And I called Comcast, and the nice man told me that of COURSE I should have it, and he was unable to make it work, and he’d send someone over this afternoon.  Which he did.  And the someone he sent over looked at it and said we weren’t supposed to have it.  And I became belligerent and called Comcast and the woman on the phone said we weren’t supposed to have it.  And I told her that the nice man said we were.  She said he was wrong.  I said their website says we’re supposed to have it.  She said it’s wrong.  I’m not making this up.  See?

Without On Demand, I don’t feel the service we are getting is worth the extra $20 a month.  Oh, wait.  $23/month.  They raised their rates this month.   I am either going to cancell the digital cable and get a NetFlix subscription, or I’m going to *gasp!* do something I swore I’d never do. 

I may break down get a FIOS package. 

I don’t know what makes me more mad – Comcast’s duplicity, or the fact that they’re driving me into the arms of my sworn enemy.  Or perhaps the fact that I can no longer deny that I am hooked on cable.

Happier bits

So busy was I focussing on the madness that is the hallway last night that I forgot to mention the smiliest moment of the weekend.

The Scene:  Saturday evening dinner (eating the mediocre squash soup)

Anna:  Do we have to go to church tomorrow?

Mr. Unreserved:  Yes.

Anna:  Why?

Me:  You could use some Holy Spirit.

Claire:  Amen!

Our family has the most fabulous Advent calendar ever.  It’s a big manger scene, this web and each item in the scene is a door hiding a little cubby.  Every year on Nov. 30th we make a big production about leaving it out overnight and it “magically” gets filled with little toys and candy and whatnots.  The girls decided that Santa does the filling. 

This morning they got to open door #8 – Joseph.  There were two pairs of very girly striped Hello Kitty socks inside.  Both girls were thrilled.  Anna told me, info “Santa’s elves must know how to knit like you, Mommy!”  That must be why I’m in such a better mood today.  (but really I think it’s because at work I have nothing to paint)

 

“But I always look green,” said Frog. “I am a frog.”

This really wasn’t my weekend.  This post is disjointed because I can’t figure out how to mesh all this stuff together but for the fact that it happened this weekend.  Astute readers will also begin to understand why I talk so fast.  No one in real life sticks around long enough to hear all of this.

Saturday Started out okay.  I stained the sanded portions of the treads and primed the walls.  While I was at it, cheapest I baked bread and did laundry.

I was taking a load of darks that Mr. Unreserved had washed out of the dryer.  = Before I go on, I want to mention that I considered not even telling the internets about this because it’s gross, but it’s so gross I had to laugh; you’ll have to believe me when I say we normally run a tidy house and this was a weird anomaly =

So I was taking the dark clothes out of the dryer and something fell on the floor with a *plunk*.  I figured I had left something in my pockets (not uncommon).  I picked it up.  It was a piece of poop.  Dog poop.  Tumble dried dog poop.  I know I didn’t leave that in my pockets.

My first hope was that it really hadn’t fallen out of the drier.  A sniff of the laundry revealed that it had.  Also I have a head cold.  I could smell the non-Downey aroma through the sinus congestion.  Le sigh.  So the laundry had to be rewashed, that much was a no-brainer.  But how to clean out the inside of the drier?  I scrubbed it out with Mr. Clean, soaked some dust rags in the Mr. Clean water and dried them on high for a while, then ran the drier some more until satisfied.

The burning question is how?  Our dog does not, to the best of my knowledge, poop in the drier.  The only thing we could figure is that she had an accident in the basement and it inadvertantly got mixed in with the dirty laundry while sorting.  This is extra weird because she’s not allowed in the basement (but she could have crawled through the cat door when we weren’t home).  That would mean the dropping(s) would have had to go through the wash first.  Ew.  I tried not to think any more about it once everything was decontaminated.

This morning we went to church (which reminds me of another story. . . more on that in a minute).  I wore a black shirt .  I wore a black bra under the black shirt.  My bras don’t go in the drier.  I still have a head cold, but it’s getting better (trust me, I’m going somewhere with this).

As I was lifting Claire out of her carseat after we got home, I noticed an odd smell.  A bad sort of odd smell.  I found the source of the smell when I changed out of the black bra.  Apparently I wore a bra to church that had been washed with a bad sort of laundry ball.

We were at church this morning instead of seeing “Walking with Dinosaurs” even though a friend called at the last minute and offered us three tickets to the morning show that they unfortunately couldn’t use (stomach flu) because sometimes I’m bad at being a bad Catholic.  I fully intend to succeed at it tomorrow by not attending the holy day of obligation.  We did get to light the candles on the Advent wreath as a family.  Claire was ticked that we didn’t light all four.

Claire’s foot is healing nicely from where she sliced it on broken glass.  She and Anna manged to break the glass shade on their Tinker Bell lamp while I was priming the hallway.  While I was tending her foot, Anna yelled, “I found another piece of glass!”  I told her not to touch it.  I went back upstairs and asked her where it was.  She didn’t know.  She had picked it up, see, and put it somewhere in her bed, and then she couldn’t find it.  I’m sure many sensible people like to sleep with shards of broken glass in their beds, but I spoiled all the fun and washed all her bedding.  In the very clean washer and drier.

Back to Saturday.  I planned to make butternut squash soup for dinner.  I had planned to do this weeks ago but never got the chance, and it was time to use up the squash.  But the recipe I wanted was online (if I had planned better I would have printed it at some point).  And the internet wasn’t working.  I still don’t know why, but it came back so I dare not question it.  Also our On Demand cable is behaving more like Off Demand (it has been “Available Shortly” for two days). The nice guy on the phone (I reached a human!) at the cable company tried to send signals to the box.  Which it laughed at.  He offered to send out a technician between 8:00 and 12:00 Sunday morning which wasn’t good for us because see above regarding church (but I still wish it was – giant robotic dinosaurs! – Rawr!).  I’m still trying to figure out who needs cable so desperately that this is even a possibility.  There’s something wrong with a world where the cable company will offer to come out the next morning within a four hour window, but Verizon will give you a ten hour window ten days from when your land line goes out.  The soup wasn’t even very good.

Mr. Unreserved put up our Christmas lights.  They’re very pretty.  Last year we thought we’d get smart and put them on a timer because we hate going out in the cold to unplug them at night.  The timer I found has preselected “on” times and it has a photo-eye that turns the lights on at dusk.  If you position the lights anywhere near the timer (which is likely, given the power cord situation) they trick the photo-eye into thinking the sun has risen, at which point it helpfully shuts the lights off.  The ensuing darkness makes the lights come back on again.  The result is a very.   slow.  blink.

And now we get to the subject I intended to include when I started this post.  When I planned the hallway project, I envisioned the walls in taupe.  Yeah, I’m wild like that.  Woo TAUPE!  I found the most perfectest shade of taupe and lost the paint chip.  So I collected every taupe paint chip from every manufacturer and once again found the shade I had envisioned (but I swear it wasn’t the same as the first one) and got two gallons of paint in “Cherry Blossom” and was very happy with it and even showed it to my mom (Hi Mom!) because I liked it very much.  (anyone who knows me well knows where this story is going)

Then I went shopping for carpet runners for the stairs and found the local selection lacking and the special order ones outside of my price range and was thrilled to find one on the internet that is both beautiful and well within my price range and I ordered it and it came on Wednesday and looked exactly how I expected it would and life was fine.

And today I painted 50% of the hallway and decided that the taupe is all wrong.  It’s not all wrong in and of itself (although its similarity to the color of Silly Putty was giving me pause), but it doesn’t work with the runner at all.  The taupe is cool and the runner is warm.  The runner is black and gold and sage and cranberry and tan.  I could even take pictures of the wrongness and show you, but the camera still has water spots inside the lens from when Claire knocked it in the dog’s dish, and the Ritz Camera people want six weeks and enough money to buy a replacement camera to fix it (note to self – find other camera shop recommended by nice Ritz guy).  And now, after months and months of agonizing over paint chips, and three hours spent painting, I have to pick another color.  Which sucks.  It sucks a really lot.  I hate picking paint colors.  I agonize and run all over creation collecting paint chips and pick the one that I swear is exactly what I’m looking for and put it on the walls and the doubting starts.

How much doubting?  In 2002 I decided a few weeks before Christmas that the off-white that I had originally painted the living room was too yellow.  I chose new beige paint.  (there I am with the wild colors again!)  I painted the living room.  It was too dark.  I got new, lighter beige paint.  I painted half the living room (I do learn eventually).  It was too light.  (but I don’t learn how to pick paint colors)  I mixed the two paints in a leftover kitty litter bucket and got the exact right shade of beige and was painting the living room for the third time the week before Christmas.

I ran out five minutes before dinner to get more paint chips from the local big box home improvement store so I can agonize over them and get back to painting.  None of them seems right (because I’m still hung up on taupe).  When I got home from the store, the underwire escaped from my bra (not the dog poo one) and stabbed me in the armpit.

I am toying with forcing asking Mr. Unreserved to pick the color this time (he has good taste, but not very strong opinions) so that when I decide it’s all wrong I can at least blame someone else.

People at work wonder how it is that I can like Mondays.