Hitting me with my best shot

Note to self: Just because you are in possession of a sledgehammer, it does not give you free reign to go swinging it around demolishing stuff.

I got my first battle wound tonight.

And I know that I have this whole other blog to talk kitchen renovation, but tonight's note was a very important one. Be ye not so ignorant to do as I did.

The Man of Iron and I did most of the demolition over the weekend, however the more that was uncovered, the more it became crystal clear that I needed to take one of the walls completely down to the studs. When I got home from work today (after taking a little cat nap, and drooling over my boy, Stanley--reading up on how to install and finish drywall), I got to cracking on round two of demolition.

I started out trying to remove the wooden slats with my little hammer and crowbar, but it just wasn't cutting it for me. So I went downstairs to get my sledgehammer (don't picture something ginormous, a la Peter Gabriel, but rather a medium sized one, hefty enough to do the job... and maybe a little bit of damage).

With the sledgehammer in hand I thought, who needs the crowbar, I'm just going to take this puppy directly to the slats. After I realized how hard I had to swing the hammer to actually do anything I started to think, this could be a great way to get out some pent up aggression. And that's when it hit me. Not a revelation or anything, but a piece of wood; it literally flew off the wall and hit me in the face. [EDIT: After rereading this post, I realized the wood didn't literally fly off the wall, my house is special, but not that special. So it flew off the wall, and literally hit me in the face. I decided to leave it in, because the visual is a good early morning funny. Note to self: Reread your work more carefully before you post...]

I got it right across the cheekbone. It's a little swollen and a little scraped, and looks a lot like someone took their pent up aggression out on me--maybe it was the walls giving me my comeuppance.

Little Miss Notetaker=0


On another note... this is my 100th post. I am beside myself that I ever made it past the first week. And honestly, this is not what I intended my 100th post to be, but it's oh-so-fitting. because I didn't intend to have this episode of "domestic violence, " but the absurdity of life prevails. At any rate, my humble thanks for reading my little notes. I hope you are loving reading them as much as I am living and sharing them (okay, I'm not going to lie, I'm not loving living with the self-inflicted shiner I gave myself tonight, but it's so great to know that I have a little forum where I can tell that story, and where I think a couple people will read it and laugh along with me. Without the blog, I just would have had to laugh at myself alone in my wall-less kitchen). Thank you, Internet!


Dust Bowl 2008

Was Steinbeck writing the plot line of my weekend? I realize my own personal dust bowl from Saturday's demolition derby does not make me an honorary member of the Joad family, but I feel like I have just a smidgen of empathy for all those families driven batty by the dust, the dust, the dust that's everywhere.

As unsettled as I was with all of the dust on Saturday, everything was settled on Sunday as I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned some more. After the dust cleared, I was checking out the now partially exposed kitchen floor and I found something Steinbeck-ish. On top of the floors under the old cabinets were newspapers. I'm not exactly sure why these clippings were laying on the floor, but it was such an unexpected find under the pile of plaster. Sadly, I can't find any trace of the date on these papers. But the advertisement for a sale on "Summer Sport (?) Dresses and Evening Dresses regularly for $25.00" tells me that these weren't laid in the age of Vera Wang bridesmaid dresses... at least I didn't get mine for $25.00.

Note to self: When your house talks to you, make sure you listen. Finding these relics from the past have got me thinking about the story of my house and the chapter I'm adding to it. I think I'm going to assemble a "time capsule" to hide behind the wall that I'll (and when I say I, I mean the Man of Iron and I) will be drywalling on Friday. Maybe I'll include Macy's weekly pullout from the paper to show how times have changed using the little known economic evening dress indicator.


Yellow and blue make green... it's sealed!

Apparently I'm a crazy bag lady.

While I was cleaning out my kitchen the other night I came across my secret stash--okay, I'll be honest, not one, but a few secret stashes--of Ziploc bags. Throughout my childhood I can remember my mom washing Ziploc bags by hand and reusing them for our packed lunches, leftovers, etc. She would always say they are perfectly good bags and expensive to boot, so we were supposed to save them from our lunches and bring them home. And dutifully, I did.

I'm happy to report that's a habit I've continued, well, the saving and bringing home of the bags. It makes perfect sense, they are expensive and can be used many more times than just once. Saving the bags is another step in living more sustainably, which despite my showering habits, is actually really important to me.

So as I'm emptying drawers and cupboards, I came across two secret hiding places for my bags. You see, as good as I am at saving bags and bringing bags home--I'll even bring home other people's bags for myself--I am absolutely terrible about actually washing the bags. And, I've been known on one or seven occasions to take the pile of bags waiting to be washed on my counter and jam them into nooks and crannies of my kitchen before having guests over. I always have the same thought, as soon as they leave I'll pull them out and wash them. Ah, the cleaning habits of a lazy Virgo.

But apparently, I forgot about a couple of stashes of probably four dozen bags. When I hit the Ziploc jackpot the other night I found myself faced with a very challenging decision. I could either a) wash and dry the handfuls upon handfuls of bags, or I could b) do what normal people do and throw them away. Horror of horrors, I tossed them. With limited time of sinkdom left in my life before demolition derby, I didn't want to spend it hunched over my sink desperately turning baggies inside out making sure all the suds wash away.

So as I tossed the bags away, I made a little promise to them that when I get my new kitchen I will start over with new bags and a new commitment to washing them out... although I can't help but think that I'm nearly doubling my drawer and cupboard space, just think of the nooks and crannies.


Bitter Betty bids bye-bye to beloved boxes

So I know that I can get set in my ways, so set that I may appear inflexible, but sometimes my ways are just the best way so there's no other way to be but set.

I also know that I'm PMSing like nobodies business--sorry I just made it yours--which tends to make me a little more stubborn, and in the case of tonight, a little more bitter than normal. But I don't care, I'm holding on to that for a little bit.

Note to self: Next time someone you know asks to borrow boxes to pack up their kitchen either a.) absolutely insist that you get them back, no matter what, even if you break up and you just want to be done with him, or b.) don't give him the good boxes.

Tonight was "pack up the kitchen night" in preparation for this weekend's demolition derby. On my list of things I don't like to do around the house (second to mowing/edging the lawn) is packing. However, I've moved enough in the past seven years that I have it down to a science, or at least I did. For every move I'd use the same boxes, and the same wrapping, for the same content. I had this perfect box for all of my glasses and inside of that box were the perfect little brown paper bags from World Market that wrapped each glass... perfectly. But when I went downstairs to find that box, and all of the boxes I normally use for my kitchen supplies they were nowhere to be found. That's because they are sitting in a basement one mile away, filled with someone else's crap that was never unpacked after their kitchen was remodeled a year and a half ago. See, I told you I was bitter.

When we broke up and had the final drop-off of each other's belongings, I asked him for those boxes. I was anticipating my remodel and my set science for packing up my kitchen. But when he hemmed and hawed about getting me the boxes, I just didn't want to deal with it. I thought to myself, I can get new boxes and pack up the kitchen just fine. But somehow tonight, it wasn't just fine. I was cursing his name, damn you marinara jar.

And now, as I'm getting ready to turn in for the night, I'm sitting here thinking do I really need to be such a negative Nancy about this whole thing? Why am I holding onto these boxes? And where is this bitterness coming from--and will it go away before morning? And aren't I creating a new science? And shouldn't that be exciting? But really I loathe packing, so I know that I won't fool myself into thinking that. Really, I think it's just that I dislike packing so much, that making the excuse that I don't have my perfect boxes and my perfect wrappings because of the ex is much more gratifying to bitter ol' me than actually getting the packing done.

At any rate, I did get the glasses packed in different boxes. And that's not so bad. I also managed to save a couple of boxes to finish tomorrow night. I'm hoping that maybe then I will be a little less bitter and a little more open to possibility of the new.

A second note to self: If the bitterness remains, take yourself to World Market and buy fun worldly stuff that comes in those perfect little paper bags so you can start stocking up for next time.


Cut on the diagonal, crusts on

Note to self: If you ever remodel your kitchen, don't forget to stock up on the food you can still eat whilst you are kitchen-less.

Demolition on my kitchen is this weekend. This means that I will officially be down to my bathroom pedestal sink and my bathtub for water sources. You could also count my two hoses outside, however it's been unseasonably winter-cold here as of late, so don't expect me to be doing my dishes out in the yard. But seriously, am I going to be doing them in my bathtub?

Reality sunk in tonight: as of Saturday, I'm going to be without functional kitchen for around a month (oh please please please say that's only how long it will take me to get this project completed). I knew that this meant no stove and no sink, but the more I got to thinking about it, the more I realized the challenges I'm going to face.

I was dating the marinara jar while he went through his kitchen--purgatory--remodel and I remember all too well his diet consisting of cigarettes and greasy pizza. Lucky for me I don't smoke and am lactose intolerant, but where does that leave me? Tonight I fixated on what I will be able to eat and more importantly how I'll be able to eat it. When I went grocery shopping I bought bread, peanut butter, and honey for sandwiches, soy milk, and four different cereal options. Whereas the marinara jar had a hipster kitchen remodel diet, mine is of the kindergartner variety. However, unlike the marinara jar, who kept sucking on the cancer stick after the stress of the remodel was long gone, I will be hoping to kick my PB&J and cereal dinner habits faster than you can say, hmmm, I don't know, but faster than you can say something fast.


Insert cheesy 80s lyrics here

I want to know what love is. I want who to show me?

In a previous post, I mentioned photographer-extraordinaire Heather Gilson's blog, to which I am more than addicted. Heather may not know how precious I think her blog is (well, now she does), and how it makes my heart break, but in the most happiest of ways.

Every so often, she posts engagement or wedding pictures that just take my breath away. The other day I popped on over for a visit and was mesmerized by this post. Who knew a laundromat (sorry, Heather) could be so romantic? These pictures are adorable, right? And just to get a little deeper into my head, check out this couple too. I mean, even their damn feet are in love. So when I saw both of these posts, why was my first instinct to cry? Was it because my toes are definitely not in good enough shape to be as cute in peek-a-boo heels? No. It's because I want to know what love is. I want a partner to look at me like they do in those pictures, and I want to look back at the same person with that same pure honesty. I want to make a laundromat look like a love nest, okay, and maybe a little bit I want my toes to be cuter.

Let's get something straight. This is not a post eliciting pity, or looking for anyone to say, be patient, Little Ms. Notetaker, it will happen someday. Because maybe it will and maybe it won't. There have certainly been people who have looked at me like that, and I've even looked that way at one or two before. It's just never truly been mutual. And I think on more than one occasion we've tried, and when I say try, I mean we've looked and smiled but if you took the looks and the smiles out of the equation--say, just looked at the feet--you'd know it wasn't what love is. It's not about it happening. It's about not settling and forcing it to happen when it's not there.

Note to self: If I really want to know what love--this authentic laundromat kind of love--is, then the wait for the person that I want to show me will be well worth it. Thank you, Foreigner.

So, yeah, the fact that I don't think I've ever really felt like the couples in these pictures breaks my heart a little. But the fact that it's out there is like Elmer's glue, and that makes me happy. Thank you, Heather.


From Logan, with love

I started this post sitting in Boston's airport and boy howdy were there plenty o' notes to take! Of course, I was also going on my 12th hour of travel, so I may have had a heightened sense of the absurd.

With Lionel Ritchie's "All Night Long" piped in through the concourse, here are a few of the things I observed:
  • Thick Massachusetts accents--I feel like I walked through a Kennedy family reunion.
  • A really friendly pilot who helped me find my gate.
  • Learning that I was flying on an airline that was an inspiration for the airlines on Wings. When I got to the cape, I half expected Helen to give me a tuna melt and Antonio to give me the taxi ride to the hotel.
  • An "airport walker." Think mall walker, only in an airport. While I was on my layover, this guy scooted around five laps of concourse C. The best part was that he had a pocket full of change--I'd guess about five dollars worth in coins no larger than nickels. You could hear him coming from half a concourse away.

When it was time for me to board my plane, I was shocked when I climbed aboard that it was a double prop Cessna. I was expecting a puddle jumper, but when I say puddle jumper to me that means a small jet with overhead stowage. I had to slouch in my seat, because I was too tall for this plane.

Note to self: When the gate agent asks for your weight when you check in, she's not being rude, she's just making sure you don't make the plane fall out of the sky.


A mouthful

Note to self: Keep reminding yourself that it's worth it, that you'll learn so much out of the journey, and when all is said and done you'll be happy you did it.

This is essentially my mantra these days. I'm getting nervous about the kitchen and the fact that I'm about to take an incredibly large bite of something that may be way more than I can chew. It's consuming a lot of my thoughts right now--and for the next few weeks/months.

T minus 2 weeks to official demolition (goodbye to doing dishes in the sink I despise, hello to doing dishes in the bath tub?). Until then, and especially after, I'm just going to keep repeating my mantra.

Oh, and I'm currently taking creative suggestions for what I can do with floor remnants...


The Seinfeld of posts

Nothing. That's what I've got. I've got blogger's block. I want to have some funny story or witty quip, but alas, I do not. I do have a few half formed posts in my brain, but the time isn't right for them yet.

Okay, so here's something. I want to send a thank you note to the thankless:

Dear Hubcap Humanitarian,

Thank you for picking up wayward hubcaps that have found themselves on the side of the road. And thank you for propping them up next to signs or in bushes for all the world to see. I love that you do that, not because someone will come back and find their long-lost cover--let's face it 1.) if you lose your hubcap, will you ever really be able to trace your tracks? You have no idea where that fell off. And 2.) say you do see your lonely hubcap leaning against the speed limit sign on the interstate, are you really going to stop and climb that hill to retrieve it? No, I love you not because you reunite driver and cap, but because your act of kindness just makes me smile deep down.

Keep doing what you're doing.
Love always,
Little Miss Notetaker

I am so willing to bet that if you've never noticed how many hubcaps have been touched by the hubcap humanitarians of the world, you're going to start noticing it now. I counted four on the drive home today.

Note to self: If you ever lose a hubcap, rest assured that it is in a happier place now and that there was someone there to make sure it got the roadside memorial it deserved.


You can call me baby, if I can call you Chadam

Note to self: Regardless the length of the drive, a weekend away with the girls is always worth it.

I snuck away this weekend to celebrate the Link's b-day on the coast. I laughed the weekend away with a great group of women, all tied together through the Link, but for the most part relative strangers to each other. But throw some strangers into a beach house with good wine, good food, and a podunk local tavern a few blocks away and you've got the makings of a memorable weekend. All of us ladies agreed that what happens at the coast, stays at the coast, but I think I can divulge a few of the funniest observations and still protect our dignity (and, for the most part, the dignity of the Tavern locals).

Here are the top things from our girls' night out for burgers and beers on Friday:
1. Lovelorn "Chadam." Was his name Chad or Adam? Did it matter? He was smitten with one of the girls in the group and we had quite a time turning their short-lived flirtation into the lyrics of a country western song.
2. Unlimited selections on the jukebox. Even though I had to break my number one jukebox rule: No matter what, Journey must be played first (seriously, what jukebox DOES NOT have Journey, especially in a small rural town), we were able to set the tone for the evening with nearly 150 plays at our disposal. Unfortunately after about three hours worth of tunes, we were definitely scraping the barrel... that's about when Meatloaf would do anything for love, but he wouldn't do that.
3. Ingenious beer filtration methods. If commercial beer filtration's got you down, fret not. There's still hope! A person was spotted at the bar slipping on a medical mask (the kind that surgeons wear in the operating room) and drinking his beer through it. When one of us girls was caught staring mouth agape at the scene, he turned to her and said, through his beer-soaked mask, "It filters it."
4. Men who know their hairstyles. As we were getting ready to leave, a man approached me and told me I had a great bob. Although I'm months overdue for a haircut, apparently I'm rockin' the do and my hairstylist must really know what she's doing, because this guy knows a good bob when he sees one.
5. Five city girls can create quite a storm. When we entered the place we had it to ourselves (we actually sent a couple of locals scurrying when we started playing the jukebox), but by the time we left people had crawled out of the woodwork and we had worked the place into a frenzy. Many a heart was broken--sorry boys--but we all got out of there with plenty of fodder to keep laughing well through Saturday.

By the time I left this morning, I was sad the weekend was over. I even hugged people--that's saying a lot.


Three things before I go to bed

1. The Universe is killing me, in the best way possible. After I publicly admitted that I want to move to Ireland, this is the note it had for me:

"If you hold the thought, it begins to form.
If you speak the word, it draws ever near.
And if you walk the talk, Little Ms. Notetaker, heaven help the poor "Jones'," because this is exactly how worlds are born, miracles are performed, and dreams come true. The Universe"

But fret not, I'm not planning on moving anytime soon... just going to keep the dream alive.

2. Last night I started round two of Improv classes. I cannot tell you enough how much I absolutely heart them. In fact I heart them so much, I think I may marry them. Then I can be Little Mrs. Notetaker-Improv. (Also, want to give a little shout out to my Improv friends, March was lonely without you, "what? what?")

3. I've been busy. This is a MUST read.