Monday, May 7, 2007

Clean for a day

Reason #47 why Nellysford is the bomb: the wine and cheese shop Basic Necessities, located right between the friendly hardware store and the plaza with the organic grocery/excellent coffeeshop and bakery/barbecue joint. Why are we so lucky? All this stuff is a mile and a half from our house. This is living.

We went to Basic Necessities for brunch with my mom. It's kind of South of France, kind of central California: funky orange and green cottage with flowers outside, a tiny front room with cheese counter and coffee counter, narrow passageway through wine shelves back to the back porch, which is screened in but has a fireplace and cute little mismatched dishes and tablecloths. They brought us giant cups of strong coffee, fruit with creme fraiche, and big plates of breakfast. "And of course...cookies," as the menu says. Cats wandered the backyard as we ate. We skipped the mimosas. This time.

Enough messing around. We got to the house, changed clothes, and buckled down. Mom went back to the kitchen and got to cleaning. John and I started on a long list of tasks:

--kitchen sink plumbing. This involved some crawlspace crimping, some side yard crimping, and some cutting of curved PEX tubing that took about 90 tries to get straight. The yard was littered with half-inch lengths of PEX, cut crookedly on both ends, as we made cut after cut. It was nice and sunny sitting there in the grass: an outdoor plumbing party.

--John did some wiring on the wall between dining room and bathroom. We'll have to drywall the dining room side before we tile the bathroom, otherwise we'll crack our tile hammering drywall in. So, ahead of that, he put in a couple of outlets and a switch. Where is it best to put the light switch? All we can do is guess.

--I mowed what John didn't get to last week. It still looks like hell, but it's no longer thigh-high.

--Will it ever end? John touched up some drywall spots.

--We mixed up thin-set in a bucket and used it to set the kerdi-band, the fancy orange Swiss-made tape that goes over the DensShield seams around the shower. Looks pretty hip. I rather liked troweling, too.

Meanwhile, Mom had gotten the kitchen all sparkly and moved on to the basement, previously a concrete box filled with dust, ladybugs and random household items. She got it all neatened up and swept out--aaahh! So nice! Then she started cleaning windows upstairs. This inspired me to bring a shelf from the back porch into our tool room and put our tools in some state of order, rather than heaped on the floor. That in turn inspired John to haul out most of the stuff in that room that isn't ours and is basically in our way: bad framed art, drawers with no cabinets, rags, panes of glass...Some of this we'll save and reuse, but some of it needs to go away. (One really awesome thing: a set of metal framing pieces for a greenhouse kit!)

So, by end of day, we had a much cleaner house with a bathroom a couple of steps closer to being finished. We'll order tile and buy a toilet and sink basin Monday night, we hope--entering the home stretch! (Literally, since we're moving in less than a month!)

Thanks for making our house so much homier, Mom!

- Erika

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