Sunday, July 5, 2015

Progress (books back on shelves!)

We've actually made far more progress than just putting the books back on the shelves, though that makes a big difference, since it clears out a lot of boxes.  I just finished with the main 3 bookcases that hold fiction, drama and poetry.  I suspect that I will be able to keep the area in front of them clear (with all overflow delegated to the basement) in a way that I haven't succeed in doing for years.  This makes me quite excited.  I do need to try to squeeze in a few more paperbacks and I know I will uncover a small cache of Pym that will now have to find a place on the main shelves, as I can't just stash them on top of the bookcases.  I've also pulled a few books to go into the basement.

In general, these past few days have been quite productive.  I finished building a replacement wardrobe, I hung all the paintings and posters (aside from two that will go into the basement -- sense a recurring theme here?).

I'm perhaps most proud that I put up a shelf in the office.  I think it looks pretty good and it is completely level.  However, given that everything slants and slopes in this house (the downside of living in a house roughly 100 years old), I perhaps should have accepted just a slight decline to make it appear more in line with the rest of the room.  It certainly isn't a big issue, however, and I certainly am not planning on trying to rehang the shelf.  Once was enough!

What I am not proud of is that, even with the shelf, I have too many box sets.  It's simply absurd.  I have been making decent progress on listening to them at least once and then deciding which ones to part with. (Obviously anything I haven't listened to at all in the past year is a strong candidate for being culled.)  I have a few leads on where to try to sell them off, and I'll probably start doing that more seriously later in the summer.

I'll just list the main things left to do before this place feels done:
  • put the last of the urban books on the shelves in the office
  • find hardware for bookcase that we are giving away on Craigslist**
  • turn part of old wardrobe into additional bookcase shelf for my son
  • get Sauder to send replacement part for the desk and install it
  • unpack books downstairs and get them on the shelves (that will help a lot, but the downstairs is a serious no-go zone at the moment)
  • tighten up tarp so that space under deck stays relatively dry
  • fix up rocking chair (missing washer/screw is somewhere in my son's room)
  • find the refrigerator magnets, since they will actually stick to this fridge
  • put up deck furniture 
  • tie up boxes and/or recycle them
  • ensure handyman does 1st phase of work (shore up basement & install downstairs railing)
  • install new ceiling fan/light (leaning towards doing this myself with some help from a friend)
  • paint downstairs bathroom (I decided I just didn't like the color)
  • sand down door on upstairs bathroom (it's sticking like crazy)
  • hire handyman for 2nd phase of work (install upstairs railing)
  • sand and stain deck again (probably next year)
  • have roofer come out and work on flat portion of roof (current work is supposed to have 2 more years of life)
  • slowly go through other stuff in basement and clear out a lot 
  • double up and sew together curtains for middle portion of sliding glass door in office (I have the sewing machine at least)
  • work on rug in office (this is sort of a longer-term project alluded to here, but I must do something as it is treacherous at the moment)

That's not really too bad.  I am finally starting to feel like I deserve a break -- or rather than I can let up a bit and relax.  This place could be quite nice by the fall.

Update: So I've turned up an awful lot of the missing books and am trying to squeeze them in one way or another.  Once again, the Complete Poems of Anne Sexton was one that was misplaced, and I didn't realize until I saw it in a box with a bunch of urban books.  (A bit unfortunate as she is one of my favorite poets, but I'm sure I would have eventually noticed.)  I do know I am missing a Faye Kicknosway poetry collection.*  I also have somewhat inadvertently demoted a box of history books to the basement (I just hope there isn't too much fiction mixed in, as the shelves are now full).  Still there isn't much point in getting too hung up over this until I have unpacked the boxes downstairs (or decided they are destined for long-term storage).  In terms of the CDs, I am hoping to turn up a Giulini in Chicago set.  I also am missing a nice box set of Claudio Abbado on Sony, though that might still be at work. But really I need to part with at least a linear foot of CDs.  I probably can't do it all in one go, but if I set that as a goal for the next year (along with finding a place to take them off my hands!) I think I can make it.

* Actually, based on this post, I may have sold off All These Voices (the missing book), when it was superseded by Mixed Plate.  I don't remember doing so, however.  Maybe this means there are no more major surprises lurking in the basement, at least in terms of what I need to try to fit into the office, which would be nice.

** I guess this one "solved" itself because no one wanted the bookcase after it sustained water damage, as discussed here.  I feel badly about it going to the dump, but I really tried to give it away.  In general, aside from sanding the bathroom door down a bit and straightening the basement up a bit more and painting the downstairs bathroom, which I'll do when the rest of the family is in Chicago, I think the immediate tasks are all done.  It is a pretty sweet feeling.

In the end I had to hire electricians, since the box wasn't quite grounded properly.  As frustrating as that was, I was dreading them having to punch a hole in the wall or ceiling, but it turns out the ground wire was there but just tucked away (and not long enough).  I was so pleased that they didn't have to run any wires to the main switch that I didn't mind (too much) the extra cost.  The fan looks good though, and they also fixed up a broken light in the front hall closet.


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