Friday, October 16, 2009

What with "All this free time" -

People all over the world (or up the street) have been asking me what I've been doing with all this free time I have since my youngest has finally found his way into meaningful work, I mean full-time education. (See previous posts). Well, I hate to say this, but it hasn't really sunk in yet, partly because of all the interruptions:

1. Sewage flood - thanks to 100+ year old sewage pipes which crack because of the roots of the 100+ year old trees which are planted far too close to my house in my opinion, we had a nasty, nasty, stinky leakage of wee-wee (and the rest) water into our basement family room. Not only did I waste a few days cleaning up the mess, but I then had to spend hours on the phone trying to get emergency help, when the rest of Chicago was apparently doing the same thing. Not quite fixed yet, but we'll be digging the front garden up any time now.

2. Internet interruption - this has happened on two occasions in the last two weeks. The first time, we got the Comcast guy out (after the usual four hour wait on the allotted day) and he told us we needed a new "packet" (huh?) out in the alley. When it happened again last Sunday, I phoned them and the message basically said, "Don't worry, we already know". Hmmm. Unbelievably, a Comcast sales rep phoned today to ask me if I would like to switch to Comcast. When I told her we already have Internet, TV and Phone with them she seemed perplexed. Perhaps that's why my service has been below par?

3. In-law visit - very nice, but visitors take up your time and don't allow you to get anything "accomplished" hence I am feeling rather behind in a lot of things now.

4. Cold season - Don't even start me off on this one. Oh go on then. Last week the Queenager was sent home with her second bad cold and told not to come back to school for at least another day. Cue major panics about upcoming tests etc. Then little guy gets up next day and tells me his throat is sore, yada yada. Well, what was the point of sending him in only to have to collect him later in the day.

(As it happened, there were so many high schoolers off sick and coming in sick to take tests, that the school was closed last Friday to allow everyone a long weekend to recuperate. It even made the local news!)

5. Oven and d/w breakdown - oh yes, even though we've had both for coming up on 6 years, they knew to wait till my leisure time to require attention. And of course this isn't just one quick phone call. I have an extended warranty plan with General Electric, whose idea of customer service seems to be to tell said customers to unplug everything, wait a minute then plug it back in again. I managed to argue my way into getting someone to come out and repair the fan in the oven next week, but the guy was adamant that he couldn't send anyone to repair the dishwasher until I'd done as I was told and switched it all off and then on again. Admittedly, it's only the LED display stuff that's on the blink but they will get the full force of my wrath when I ring back.

6. Kitchen painting project - which, in retrospect, I should have left to the pros but since it was only a small amount of painting, I thought I'd do it myself. I primed it back in the summer so that when I came back from England I would be forced to paint it something other than the awful mustardy colour I'd had there before. On my return I decided it needed two coats of primer, which took a lot longer than expected as my right hand kept cramping. Then I decided on a nice, subtle Wedgewood blue but had to make about 17 trips to the paint store for samples before I found the right one. (Isn't it amazing how different they look on the wall?) And of course, it needed two full coats despite the fact that the paint represented itself as a single coater.

And of course, when the final colour was up there, it was a "bit blue". Out came the 50-50 white plus glaze combination, a dry brush and a cloth rag. I'm a dab hand at this stuff but it is time consuming as you have to keep getting down off the ladder to look at the "total effect". Any road up, the total effect has been to soften the blue and give the walls a bit of texture at the same time. I have to say I'm quite pleased with the result, however the family room (right next to the kitchen) now doesn't really flow so I'm going to have to change all the accent colours to the same blue. A quick trip to the local Bed, Bath and Beyond for cushions and things tells me that the blue I've picked is going to take some matching. Pah!

Anyway, today I'm off to my first posh lunch complete with guest speaker. Does this make me one o' them ladies who lunch do you think?



  1. Oh, I say- a laydee wot lunches!! Hope you have a lovely time after all that's been happening of late!

  2. I too am asked about my free time too. It sounds like you have had an eventful time of it. Enjoy your lunch - how posh with a guest speaker. What is the speakers topic. I have an image of a lady talking about decorating your homes for halloween all Matha like!!

  3. Oh, it definitely makes you a lady who lunches. Enjoy since you probably won't get another chance for that until next term (if my 'free-time'full' life is anything to go by)

  4. That day off is something. Yeah, how do we ever keep busy.

  5. Maybe you could let us see a photo of the kitchen now that you've aroused our curiosity!

    I used to have Millie on my day off. Now she has started full days..... I really don't seem to get anymore done. Just that shopping is a bit quicker! 3.30 comes round very fast!

    Nuts in May

  6. Just interviewed a babysitter. Ladies-who-lunch-club, here I come!!

  7. Silly you for thinking there is such a thing as free time when you're a parent!

  8. Sounds like you have full hands, a full plate, and just about everything else! Trust me, Comcast should be the last thing you should be worrying about with everything that's going on. My team and I would like to help you. Please shoot us an email with the details to of the trouble (including a list to this blog) and a good contact number and we will make this right.

    Hope everything works out for you!


    Detreon Roberts
    Comcast National Customer Operations

  9. Oh wow. Busy, busy, busy. I am very impressed with the kitchen paint effects. Makes me hanker after my own in house art project somewhat. Do what you can to put me off, will you? I don't get a chance to lunch as it is...

  10. I think you need to take up coffee and have coffee with the girls a few times a week

  11. Kitchen paint job done - but now causing me more grief. It's definitely blue (as opposed to that turquoisy teal/blue that's all the rage at the moment). This means that I can't find any fabric to match it. I have to do two cushions in there and then use the same fabric in the family room to create some "flow". Aarrgghh!
    Is that enough of a put off Nicola?

  12. So how did you fit all this kind of stuff in when you didn't have all this time?


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