Digging in and out
The slow bleed
It’s an exciting and stressful time, but at least it’s February now.
At home, the excavation and exploration continue—along with the perpetual discovery of even more asbestos tile (you’re killing us, maybe literally, unknown mid-century home builder)! We’re not at the point of hemorrhaging funds yet, thankfully; instead, it feels more like a slow bleed.
Seeing holes in the clay, however, is heartening. This space will one day be Guion’s new studio.
The clay makes me think of the dogs. I do miss them. I have a photo of us with Pyrrha on the fridge in the apartment, as a way to encourage me to cry a little every day. But when I see this photo, I also feel a rush of relief that we are dogless. Please imagine with me, if you will, getting this clay out of eight German shepherd feet every day, multiple times a day. Please imagine with me my constant state of agitation about our clay-stained floors, rugs, and furniture. It was a housekeeping nightmare, one that I am grateful to move on from, even as I miss the company of those beasts.
Indoors, it’s thrilling to see the new shape of rooms, and I imagine it’ll be much more so once the framing begins.
Moses is jazzed about the presence of excavators and bulldozers, which he requests to touch, ever so gently, as if they were living beings.
On the aesthetic front, I’m beginning to feel a few pangs of anxiety about my design decisions, as they were made almost entirely online, given time constraints + pandemic + cost effectiveness.
Picking paint colors (glimpses of swatches below) was taxing, as well as light fixtures (which were surprisingly agonizing to me). The sheer number of options is overwhelming. I was able to find some comfort in the constraints of our limited budget and thus knew I just had to make a decision and find peace with it. I’m sure there will be things I bombed, and I will have to make peace with those as well.
I’m thinking more about housekeeping lately, I suppose, because I never go anywhere (except to the office and to buy groceries).
I feel a bit caged. I just walk in circles around the apartment and look for something to clean.
Toddlers make a lot of messes, but they also really love helping clean them up. I’m really grateful for the Montessori model here, as Moses is getting this daily practice of cleaning up after himself at school. And at home, while I clean, Moses loves to help by spraying windows, “cleaning” the sink, and wiping down cabinets. It’s still a two-steps-forward/one-step-back kind of process, but he enjoys it so much, and I find it to be important training for the future, as I believe strongly, as my mother before me, that all kids should do chores, willingly and for free, every single day. Having toddler-sized tools also makes a world of difference, and he loves his spray bottle and tiny squeegee from Lovevery.
In an effort to stop using harsh toilet cleaners, I’m trying these toilet cleaning tablets from Blueland. They come in a cute baby-blue tin, and they smell great! As far as effectiveness goes, I really want to try them on our old toilets back home, but they seem to work very nicely on the apartment commodes.
Apartment life realization: Wall-to-wall carpet is absolutely filthy. What a disgusting thing to have in a home, frankly. Not only is it hideous, but it’s the hygienic equivalent of making your kitchen counters out of sponges: Just a material expanse for collecting dirt and germs and kid food and general nastiness—and holding onto all of that forever. Wall-to-wall carpet is legitimately bad for your health, especially if you’re small, so, for many reasons, I’m thankful to return to our hard floors at home soon. The Dyson is, however, making the maintenance of aforementioned carpet much more pleasant. But I’m perpetually disgusted at how much filth is in the canister after a mere five minutes of vacuuming. Anyone know the history of wall-to-wall carpet? When did it become so ubiquitous in American homes?
A Modern History of Japan, Andrew Gordon
The Overstory, Richard Powers
In with the Old: Classic Decor from A to Z, Jennifer Boles
The Lost Daughter: New film adaptation of the Elena Ferrante novel; available on Netflix. Directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal and starring Olivia Colman and Jessie Buckley, who are both riveting. Soundtrack is also perfect. Recommended!