Thursday, December 11, 2008

House Angst

Things have been feeling a bit overwhelming these past few weeks. It always starts like this. The cold sweeps in and takes away that spring in my step. The lack of sun spreads threads of despair through me, and then, it's Christmas.

My husband has been off from work for the past couple weeks working on the inside, and the house is more of a mess than ever before. Dust hangs so thick in the air that I sneeze even more than normal and my nose constantly runs, crippling me while I am in battle against a certain trap-savvy mouse. The kitchen and everything in it has to be cleaned before I can even start cooking, and everything takes so much more effort. The cleaning schedule is way off- there was a power outage last weekend and a mishap with our fuel tank the weekend before. How often do you hear of someone having a mishap with their fuel oil tank? I am patiently waiting for the day when I can laugh at this. Yesterday, my friend asked me, "Can I come stay at your house?"

Absolutely, I told them. Just bring a 3-season tent, and anything else you might bring on an outdoor survivalist mission.

That is what the never ending task of renovating an old house (while you are also living in it) feels like: a survivalist mission. Or at least it does for me, but perhaps some people are calibrated to handle dirty, chaotic living conditions where important things go missing or are randomly destroyed all the time with greater grace than I. Most men, for example. I have long chewed on the theory that men don't care where they live. They would gladly pitch a tent in an open field and claim it as home, if they could. It's why bachelor's quarters are infamous for all the wrong things, like horribly mismatched furniture and strange lighting. In college, a friend of mine lived in a riverfront town where recreational boating was extremely popular. There was a man who lived on his small recreational watercraft year round, anchored out in the middle of the river. In the winter, the guy just threw a cover over it and kept right on living. It was pretty amazing. He was not homeless either, he had a house and a wife. Obviously, there was a bigger story, but you get my point.

In the Kitchen: Thinking about staying warm and dry (it is wet here) with lots of comfort food, and stocking up on baking essentials. Christmas baking is something I can really get excited about, and I have a post on that coming up soon. Also, next week I was thinking about making some macaroni and cheese, which I love but never ever ever make. There is this recipe that calls for using cottage cheese (in addition to cheddar) and I am wondering whether to be daring and try that. Have you ever heard of such a thing?

Around the Home: It's not inspiring at all, so lets skip this.

On the Nightstand: "Blue Like Jazz: Non-Religious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality" by Donald Miller. For all of the buzz this book has gotten, I was hoping for something a little more profound. It is a memoir though, so it's really about Miller's unique journey. Still, it's engrossing and hard to put down, and that is saying a lot these days since I no longer finish about half of the books I start.


  1. I would love to hear your full "take" on Miller's book. I read it a couple of yrs. ago.

    I realize that may be a better e-mail topic than bloggy topic. You may want to stick to cookies 'round here. I AM interested in hearing your thoughts when you are finished.

  2. Stace, I finished Blue Like Jazz last night. Perhaps I'll do a book review? Even though it can get a little food-centric around here, books really are more my area of expertise!


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