Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Big Unchill

This has been a week of big changes, mostly due to the catalytic effects of warm weather. The first thing that happened was that all the willow trees in town burst suddenly into bloom with tiny white flowers. We even had some in our yard, although they lasted a tragically brief amount of time.

This galvanized me and I had the painters come and take away the dark muddy stripes on the wall of the foyer. Remember this? Those aren't shadows, oh no. They are painted on stripes. Also, that room isn't dark. It has a huge window. It's just painted that way.

It's a little difficult to describe the transformation that took place here, but if you want a comparison try looking at the stairs. The underside of each stair is still painted that dark color. Look at that, then look at the wall and you will notice that even under the overhang the wall looks lighter than the stairs.

Just when we got done with that a bunch of other stuff bloomed. I'm posting this because actually I'm not entirely sure what it is. We've got a bunch of 'em though. Azaleas? I'm guessing here.

In addition we had blown in insulation done this week, because it was warm enough for the installers to come. Over the winter we noticed that our heating bill was truly hurting our lifestyle. When your honey is sad because you don't want to take off your clothes because your house is too cold- it's time to get an energy audit. This audit showed us a lot of things, but the neatest one was the Xray specs machine which could see though the walls and told the auditor that we had no insulation at all, anywhere in the house, with the exception of the kitchen which had just been gut remodeled.

Not sure how the previous owners missed that. Also, weirdly it seems to be paying off already. The house is warmer in the night. Likely I will feel much more grateful next December.

To top this week off, a tiny spindly tree in the middle of the yard answered my questions as to its lineage by also blooming and proving itself to be... a magnolia tree! Splendid.

Here it is, on our first Spring.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Last weekend we went to PAX with a group of friends. For nearly a year now it has been among my husbands fondest wishes (not counting the menage a trois with Willow from Buffy) to own a gaming table made by Geek Chic.

And we totally ordered one.

They take nine months to arrive. But we are super excited. They make three tables: the Emissary, the Spartan and the Sultan. Oh, man, the Sultan is niiice. But a little out of our price range. The Emissary transforms astonishingly into a lovely dining table. However, the Spartan is the best for gaming when you don't want to take out a second mortgage to buy a table.

It has the ability to flip the leaves from craft surface to card table velvet, and pretty shoji screen patterns on the side if you like:

Which slide out and reveal shelves and drawers:

Wait, what was that one the side? A cupholder?

Let's take a closer look:

Under the leaves there is a dropped surface deep enough to hold miniatures under the leaves, which can be bamboo:

Or you can put a map under a dry erase surface:

I think it was worth it. There's very little else out there like it, and it was even nicer than in the picture.

Of course I had to endure the description of the salesman's 17th level Ranger in the process of buying it. Sigh.