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Monday: Picking up the pieces

img_0359This is my basement.  600 sq ft of wasted space.  Yes, it looks dark and dreary.  But I’m about to do something about that.  The plans are at the township planning board right now.  While Ed the Inspector makes sure my contractor has planned for enough fireblocking, it is my job to get this huge, wasted space ready for framing.  That’s what I’ve been doing all weekend.  The room looks pretty empty now, except for a few stray cans of paint and some wood scraps.  But up until Friday, it was full of the same stuff as most everyone’s unfinished basement: boxes of old stuffed animals, saw tables, chairs in need of repair, old clothes, obsolete computer equipment and lots and lots of junk.  I filled the dumpster to overflowing and took 5 boxes of clothing to the bins at the local big box store parking lot. And the fun is just getting started.  In the next week, I have to drylock this whole thing.  Fun, fun.  Any PUMAs who have time on their hands want to learn how to wield a masonry brush?

So, if you don’t find me hanging around here much in the next couple of weeks, it’s not because I don’t care anymore.  It’s because I am trying to pick up the pieces of the life I once had before the blog took over.  I’ve been blogging for 11 straight months and my house is in need of some urgent TLC.  I’m still here and I’m still paying attention.  It’s just that it’s hard to spread drylock when you’re tied to a laptop.

I’ve seen a lot of mischief on the threads and there have been some temper tantrums.  My email box is overflowing with “She hit me! Make her say she’s sorry or I’m taking my ball and going home.”  Seriously, guys, let’s dial it back a notch.  The election is over.  We always knew that we were going to be disappointed no matter who won.  Let’s focus our efforts on constructive things.  Like doing something about the passage of Prop 8 or making sure that Harry Reid knows that we’re still interested in Hillary Clinton’s healthcare proposals.  Or making sure the media understands that we do not identify with Michelle Obama’s Mom-In-Chief role.  We want to be in charge of something.  That’s what we’ve been raised to do.  That’s what we’ve fought all our lives for.  We aren’t interested in taking a subordinate role to any man and we don’t want to hear about Michelle hosting the PTA meetings or having cookies and milk ready for Sasha and Malia when they get home from school while she gives up her career.  She is NOT our role model and we will not be dragged back to powerless domesticity.

Whew!  That article really ticked me off.  We may need another vent thread.  In fact, we may need one each night for 4 years.  In the meantime, let’s get our lives back on track too.  Tell us what Do-it-Yourself or home maintenance problem you’re tackling this fall. By the way, does anyone know how to keep tree volunteers away from the foundation of the house, permanently??

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102 Responses

  1. That looks like a good place for deprogramming Obots!

  2. {{Riverdaughter}} Your project sounds like a lot of fun. I’m excited for you.

    Now I guess I’d better see what Michelle is up to.

  3. Ooooh RD, you just called out my blog addiction. You are a good example! Off to rake leaves.

  4. Why is it so quiet? Does everyone got a case of the “Mondays?”

  5. I was just playing quietly in my room….

    And working on a Health Care Post.

  6. Did I miss something over my restful weekend? If so, goody for me, don’t need any more drama.

  7. Hi KB! Don’t see you around much anymore. You must be moderating your heart out.

  8. “By the way, does anyone know how to keep tree volunteers away from the foundation of the house, permanently??”

    Better living through chemistry! You want herbicides. If there is a clear zone (bark, rock or dirt) around the foundation then use a preemergent. There are some herbicides for broadleaf weeds and brush that could be used on the ones that pop up.

    Round-up at max strength will kill ‘em and anything else it touches.

    My weed license expired 20 years ago so I don’t know what the best stuff to use is nowadays.

  9. I have a post sceduled for 10am

  10. I pressure washed the furniture on my screened porch after the election. It made me feel better. That and the holiday I’m taking from the news.

  11. RK:

    We had a “vent your spleen” yesterday that was very popular.

    I’m planning a “drunken rant” open thread next weekend (6 drink minimum)

  12. Anglachel is back to her brilliant analysis once again. A good read overall on the “symbolism” of this election as she takes on the Village once again. Spot on.

  13. Good morning folks. The stress of last week has now given me a cold, so I’m too blurry to think. Have to get ready for work too. Have a good day and see you all tonight.

    Re: projects, I don’t know where to begin. Getting some exercise again is at the top of the list. Creating files for tons of paperwork (how dull is that?), potential new job search. Makes me tired just thinking about it.

    Don’t you feel like we just ended a long Broadway run or something?

  14. I need to catch up on my work so I can graduate next spring. I also need some sleep after this weekend. I didn’t find it particularly restful. Cleaning my house anymore than superficially will probably have to wait until sometime in 2010. I hope everyone has a great day!

  15. RD: what myiq says is true, BUT please don’t use Round Up! Go gently with all herbicides–you end up killing the good with the bad and messing with the ground water. We get our water from a well at my house so I cut us off from all pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. We don’t have the best lawn, but I don’t need a water filter either.

    Best thing is not to plant trees that give volunteers near the house! Next best is to stay on top of them (remove them and replant them elsewhere, put ‘em in a pot and sell them at the next church bazaar, or something creative).

    Good luck with your basement and let me know if you need any help when you get up to rocking and taping!

  16. Good morning Conflucians!

    I’m going through something similar. I’m catching on life & my allergies have declared war on me. Aaaah-chooo!

    Anyway, today is my birthday (yay me!) and I have some cake at Liberalcrat if you want any with your morning coffee.

  17. PAT’S BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    YAY!!!!!!!!!!!

    myiq2xu, on November 10th, 2008 at 8:39 am Said:

    That looks like a good place for deprogramming Obots!

    Only if Capt. Spaulding is in charge

  18. Happy Birthday, SM!!!!!

  19. sm77:

    I said deprogramming, not organ harvesting, but it looks pretty good for that too.

    Is it soundproof? How far away are the neighbors?

  20. Oh yeah, Feliz Cumpleanos!

  21. Happy Birthday SM!!

    My birthday is only about three weeks off, but I plan to mostly ignore it.

  22. Happy Birthday, SM! I’m so sorry about your allergies.

  23. Happy Birthday SM! I worked on my house this weekend. I attempted to rearrange my bedroom, moved everything out and then back, in almost the exact same spot. Jeez, getting older is weird.

  24. Friday, I got a call from a friend who recently had a child and just bought a house.

    Then he was laid off with 700 other people from his well-paying AT&T job in this area.

    He’s coming over this morning to take a look at jobs that need to be done around my house. I’m too busy and exhausted with my parent-caring agenda to do any such work, and he needs to immediately find ways to keep earning money to pay his mortgage. Seems like a plan.

  25. from “Mom in Chief” article:

    “Her approach to issues? Perhaps calm and rational, like her husband — and Laura Bush.”

    puleez.
    calm & rational?
    she’s a hateful, nasty beatch!

    ugh

  26. Thank you, thank you!

    BB: Never ignore your b-day. It was weird because I always buy my own cake, I treat myself always but I didn’t have to do it this time. My family threw a surprise b-day party for me which was nice since I hadn’t had one since I was 10.

  27. Happy B-day SM! Wishing you all good things!

  28. Happy b-day SM! I took the day off, since I get tomorrow off for Veteran’s Day. I could make a snide comment on whether Dear Leader would ever have been on Omaha Beach, but I’ll refrain.
    So today, we’re going to start moving on our long-delayed downstairs bathroom renovation. We’re gonna look at bubblemassage tubs – that’s what sold the reno to hubby. Plus we have great contractors and I’d like to give them business during the hard months to come.
    Another 4 years of watching HGTV, added to the 8 during Bush. Dang, I’d better get sumpthin outta it.

  29. MYIQ: Organ harvesting? Isn’t that what that saw is for? (ok, I just grossed myself out.) & !Gracias!

  30. Sent you a happy Bday at the blog, SM but here’s another

    Feliz cumpleanos, Chica!!!!

  31. Happy Birthday, SM! Many wishes for many more for you!

  32. I have to go sneeze for a while. Be back.

    These are the times I wish I had health insurance.

  33. RD: On the other hand, if you do go the herbicide route, here’s an article about doing it cautiously and deliberately:

    http://www.diylife.com/2008/05/30/avant-yard-kill-a-tree-with-herbicide/

  34. Reading the Michelle Obama story–

    She’s been compared to Jacqueline Kennedy, is every bit as high-powered as Hillary Rodham Clinton was and has praised Laura Bush’s calm and rational approach to issues.

    But while it’s too soon to know just what kind of first lady Mrs. Obama will be, she doubtlessly will be the kind of first lady this country hasn’t seen in decades: the mother of young children.

    Barack Obama has portrayed his wife as the family’s “rock” — and told Newsweek magazine she had “veto power” over his decision to run for president.

    Aides say publicly she is not interested in shaping policy or reserving a seat for herself at her husband’s decision-making table. She prefers, at least for now, to focus on easing the transition for Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7 — getting them in new schools, settled and comfortable with a new way of life.

    The girls are her priority, she has said often, the last thing she thinks about before falling asleep at night and the first thing on her mind when she wakes up in the morning.

    During the campaign, she set her schedule so she would be home to tuck them into bed and see them off to school.

    Not since 1977, when 9-year-old Amy Carter moved in, will there be such young children at the White House.

    Chelsea Clinton was 12 when her family moved into the WH. She was two years older than the Obama’s eldest daughter. I’m really starting to believe that the Clinton Administration is going to be erased from history.

    During the campaign we were told that Michelle’s mother was doing most of the child care. I guess that history is to be revised as well. And Laura Bush is the new model for first lady.

  35. sm77:

    If you need any new organs I can get you a really good discount!

  36. Well, that article makes it sound like Michelle Obama is going to disappear from public life. Considering her approval ratings, that might not be a bad idea.

  37. bb chelsea who?
    f***-ers!

  38. The “mom-in-chief” article is indeed sickening.

    But if MO is out of the picture and out of my face I’m not going to complain.
    As long as the MSM doesn’t force cute little milk and cookies stories down my throat.
    The smaller her role, the better.

  39. Tree volunteers – are they from seed or from underground roots? (Not common, but some trees do this.) If they are seeding, just cover the ground with landscape fabric or layers of newspaper, Then cover with mulch. Wet the the newspaper as you lay them down to keep them from blowing away. You can still plant this area through the fabric or paper. This will also help with volunteers that spread by roots, but they may also need some strong Round Up. Supposedly Round Up dissipates so does not harm the environment as much as some other chemicals. The newspaper is temporary, but really helps the soil quality. I have done this in areas that I wanted to plant in the spring. It killed the grass and made the soil much easier to dig.
    NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT:

    I want to urge everyone to get organized and push back against the blatant sexism in the media, starting with the attacks on Sarah Palin. I would like to see Hillary and Obama come to her defense. McCain should be more forceful, too. (He has told his aides to knock it off but should speak publicly too.) We can contact their Senate offices. If enough of us do they will notice.

    But the most effective thing would be to hammer the media, especially MSNBC. I would like to see bloggers like Riverdaughter urge people to email them in large numbers and keep it up until they change their ways. Also we should complain to sponsors. Remember we are the majority in this country and control an even larger percentage of purchases. (Even cars, according to the auto industry.) Yet we have stood passively by allowing the media, advertisers, etc. to treat us like dirt. We have some responsibility in the way we are treated, ladies!

    I think a lot of women got a wake up call during this election season but if the anger and shock are not harnessed now, things will not change. If we ever want to see a woman president, it is time we act instead of just complaining about what we see. But it will not work unless we do this in large numbers.

    Mr. Phil Griffin,
    Senior Vice President, News
    NBC Television Network
    30 Rockefeller Plz
    New York, NY 10112
    phil.griffin@nbc.com

    Steve Capus,
    President, NBC News
    steve.capus@nbc.com

    By the way, Morning Joe has been really good about sticking up for Palin lately. Also for criticizing Mr. Thrill Up His Leg for saying it is his job to help Obama succeed.

  40. Happy birthday SM – and wish you a grand year ahead!

    Last week was lost to me – my husband thinks my back spasms were a result of the finality of the election – no, I wasn’t that surprised – one or the other of my non-choices was going to “win.”
    In any case, I am back in the office – one of the gals at the meeting I traveled to this weekend went to school with Michelle – told us that “She’s nothing like what the press depicted her as She’s lots of fun and easy going – of course this was coming from a Type A attorney – so you make your own conclusion.

  41. Since we’re suppose to celebrate choices, if Michelle Obama chooses to select Mom-in-Chief, I’m all for it.

  42. myiq2xu, on November 10th, 2008 at 9:28 am Said:

    sm77:

    If you need any new organs I can get you a really good discount!

    I need a new friggin nose! This one’s about to fall off from sneezing so much.

  43. Wow, a real basement! How cool. 11 months. Unbelievable…
    I did the same thing myself yesterday– starting to actually unearth the kitchen…out here we use the garages like basements I guess.
    It can get to the place where you just close that door, LoL.

    I did a remodel a couple of times. It was fun. In a way, it must be fun to live where you get four seasons.

    11 months. RD, I don’t know what I would have done without your voice of sanity all these months — in regards to Hillary. This has been hell for so many of us. How ironic that role model is, she has. Yeah, I (as a feminist Dem) never saw any real accomplishments out of that one in the last eight years, did you?

    2008. A year that will live in infamy. For our gen.

    what do people do with basements — do they become like yoga rooms or craft rooms?

    hugs…………………

    have fun——-
    I’m going to take up swimming, soon.
    & when I make that platter, I’ll post a photo! It’s going to be for RD — for all she did in the last 11 months. The studio closes over the next two months — but, I’ve intended my garage to be my own little barn for quite some time. This might just be that year…..

  44. does anyone really believe michelle will be the quiet, obedient stay in the wh mom? i sure don’t. that woman can’t keep her mouth shut. we don’t be disappointed there.

  45. There does seem to be an attempt to erase any memory of the Clintons. It has been remarked upon here before. It boggles my mind, especially as Obama seems to be selecting some of the same advisors–I suspect by making them his own he erases them from Clinton’s admin even more.

  46. hi Conflucians

    I hope all is well with everyone.

    As for me, I am doing fine!

  47. I kept quiet, now where’s my pony?
    All Obama’s crazy friends, protected by his media come now out of the woodwrk

    http://edgeoforever.wordpress.com/2008/11/10/i-kept-quiet-now-wheres-my-pony/

  48. stodgie, on November 10th, 2008 at 9:54 am

    I agree. But like with the Bush twins, you won’t heard most of the good stuff. But the BS spin stuff? I think we will see Mrs O on Ladies Home Jounal at least 4 times a year and the rest of the usually Repug out lets.
    Dem is the new GOP. The poltical split among the top 1% isn’t along party lines, but along class lines. IMO .

  49. We’re still on the prowl…noticing the skulduggery behind the scenes…Nicolle Wallace seems to be a “shape shifter”…

    Sarah Palin, Nicolle Wallace, CBS, Katie Couric…Too Close for Comfort? (And What of George and Jeb?)

    http://insightanalytical.wordpress.com/2008/11/10/sarah-palin-nicolle-wallace-cbs-katie-courictoo-close-for-comfort/

    I’m finishing setting up my winter garden and playing with my dogs….and waiting for the Obama Day holiday!

  50. RD, I made the mistake of reading that article too. God, she is a piece of work. No vision, no philanthropy, no cause but herself, for using her position of power and privilege, MO makes me mad. These two people deserve this office the least. There is another similarity between Bush and Obama, their wives.

  51. Happy Birthday SM! Sorry to hear your allergies are bringing you down. But cake is good for allergies, isn’t it? :D

  52. If you folks want to participate in the growth of the PUMAsphere, please go visit :

    http://www.votepuma.com

    Follow the simple directions!

    Off we go!

  53. What’s wrong with selecting Clinton advisors? What’s wrong with Michelle stating her children will be her top priority – they should be.

    I don’t like her, I despise the statements she made about Hillary, but I still wish her the best and I certainly hope that she will do as good a job in protecting her two girls as Jackie Kennedy and Hillary Clinton did in protecting their children. So far, she seems to be up to the job.

  54. Reading MO’s senior thesis at Princeton is likely reading “All About Me.” As a professor, I can’t believe someone let her write that. It just shows that two narcissists can live together, although it can’t be easy.

  55. happy birthday, sm!

    I live in a townhouse. The landscaping wasn’t planted by me so I have no control over how the volunteers got there. All I know is that I’ve chopped them down once already but they came right back. They’re rubbing against my dining room window screens and shredding them. Their aren’t any wells around here. It’s all city water. If I have to use herbicide, I will. And I will use the maximum strength allowable. I don’t want to screw around with the damn trees and have them come back again. When I take it in my head to committ herbicide, no more Mr. Nice Guy

  56. If being “First Mom” will keep MO too busy to hog the spotlight, then I’m all for it. But who believes for a minute that self-absorbed woman will spend her time in the White House baking cookies and taking care of her girls. Honestly, it’s an insult to the working mothers, stay-at-home mothers and single mothers of America to have that poser crown herself super mom. What a joke… and a bad joke at that.

  57. The only way is poison, riverdaughter. You have to get the stump too, or they grow right out of the stump and before you know it they are trees.

  58. But if Michelle is bringing her own Mom with her to the White House to continue the childcare, then Michelle isn’t the “Mom-in-chief” she’s claiming to be.

    It’s just more of the same media “narrative.”

  59. OK , this is very fuckign important
    are foreign citizens allowed to work for US presidential campaigns as volunteers?

  60. because i found out some local people from my town including a city councillor travelled to US to work on Obama’s campaign

  61. RD: Be extra careful, please, with any products such as Roundup. There are special rubber gloves you can get. It is a nasy product. I live in farm country. Since they started using stonger products when they spray crops all the wild flowers have died. It breaks my heart because there were ditches full of brown eyed susans, wild roses and tiger lillies right outside my front door.

  62. soopermouse, on November 10th, 2008 at 10:31 am

    Where are you? I think another important question is did they use your money to come here etc.?

  63. I’ve started a little kitchen renovation too.

    Have been busy screwing Ikea kitchen cabinets together for the past few days. TV has been off 24 /7.

    Happy Birthday SM-Welcome home Pat.

  64. georgecat, on November 10th, 2008 at 10:32 am

    good advice and I’m sorry about the flowers.

  65. sm77: I have allergies like you do. None of the name brand products such as claritin work anymore. Found a generic by Sunmark that really works, and is dirt cheap.

  66. I had a very productive weekend. I (by myself) built raised planting beds for mom. Each planting bed is 5 x 8. This includes filling with new soil and planting the new plants. Went a little overboard though. She now has 32 lettuce plants, 24 pepper plants, 12 parsely plants, 20 onion plants, 10 chive plants, 24 Italian parsley plants, 4 varieties of basil, 10 oregano plants and 7 Thyme plants. The winters are pretty much nonexistent in South Florida, so everything should continue growing very well.

    I was very sore after all this, but it kept me away from the tv, in particular the news. I haven’t a clue what went on over the weekend and am very content today.

  67. Michelle said she would follow Laura Bush’s example as First Lady. I take this to mean we can expect another Xanaxed-out chain-smoking zombie who occasionally issues forth mean-spirited proclamations before running back to the loving arms of pharmacoepia? Cool.

    And as for “putting her children first,” right because God Forbid we actually had a first lady who was smart and accomplished in her own right and had her own agenda beyond the nurturance of sprogs. How awful that would be. We would be so much better off if Lady Bird Johnson had spent time baking cookies instead of beautifying our country; if Eleanor Roosevelt had changed diapers instead of fighting for the rights of the poor and women; if Rosalynn Carter and Hillary Clinton had spent time mopping floors instead of caring for the health of Americans. Uh-huh.

  68. Happy Birthday SM!!!!! :-0

  69. Depends on the activity supermoose:

    Generally, an individual may volunteer personal services to a federal candidate or federal political committee without making a contribution. The Act provides this volunteer “exemption” as long as the individual performing the service is not compensated by anyone. 11 CFR 100.74. The Commission has addressed applicability of this exemption to volunteer activity by a foreign national, as explained below.

    In Advisory Opinion 1987-25, the Commission allowed a foreign national student to provide uncompensated volunteer services to a Presidential campaign. By contrast, the decision in AO 1981-51 prohibited a foreign national artist from donating his services in connection with fundraising for a Senate campaign. [2]

    More info here:

    http://www.fec.gov/pages/brochures/foreign.shtml#Volunteer

  70. RD:

    Round-up is a translocator – you spray the leaves and it travels down and kills the roots.

    Spray, wait for the plant to die, then cut ‘em down.

    BTW – When I first read “tree volunteer” I thought you referring to those “Earth First” types that chain themselves to trees to prevent logging and I started to give you some wholly inappropriate advice.

  71. DancingOpossum, on November 10th, 2008 at 10:36 am
    Well said!

  72. “A weed is a flower out of place”

  73. RD — I am stripping the paint off an antique ladder chair — it has about 6 layers of paint. I am doing this for my spouse as a gift.

    Carolina is working on Prop 8 and I am helping. I am also very, very interested in tackling sexism / misogyny in the media.

  74. Hello all.

    Yes. The project for me is all new curtains. A lot of sawing ASAP to prevent the NJ winter cold to jack up my heating bills in my new house. Saturday was all winterizing with a new layer of insulation under the covered porch. NASTY. That helped to refocus and now that a lot of my old “friends” (were they ever?) are not sociolizing with me anymore, that’s leave me with plenty of time to take care of me and my house. FrenchPuma, my blogger in crime at eurospuma.overblog.com and I are up to no good though. So much work on the horizon. I’ll let you know.

    I am still around and will stay around. You are my sanity guys.

  75. Stay in the news fox hole. If you pop your head up , here’s what you’ll see.

    Government provides record aid package to AIG

    Obama to get his first look at the Oval Office

    DHL to cut 9,500 jobs and close US service centers

    We are so F-ed

    That last one I added

  76. RD sounds like you have decided on good therapy for post-election frustration.

    I am having problems dealing with my rage at the way this election has turned out. And the more appointments from the Clinton era that are made by BO the angrier I feel! I did not want a Clinton wannabe. I wanted the real thing. And I bet all of those so-called progressive bloggers did not want one either. But they deserve what they voted for: a poor imitation of Hillary.

  77. I use Roundup myself, hate doing it, but sometimes it’s the only way. When I spray it, I don’t wear gloves, I wear shorts. I typically sweat like crazy and I’m not going to have a heat stroke for the purpose of protecting myself from a reasonably safe occasional use chemical!

    It’s an herbicide and I’m not an herb. It contains glyphosphate, which inhibits the enzyme EPSP synthase. Humans don’t make this enzyme.

    One study suggest it’s an aromatase inhibitor (meaning it can block estrogen synthesis), so I wouldn’t consider using it if I were thinking about becoming pregnant. For me, I have endometriosis (and no ovaries) and aromatase inhibitors are a treatment for endometriosis! So I kill weeds and treat my endometriosis at the same time!

    I wouldn’t use it every day with such ill protection, but occasional use is pretty safe.

  78. Re: erasing the Clintons: I had that inkling ever since Obama’s professing his love for Reagan back in January. I could see how this was a win-win scenario for the media and suspected for the first time that Obama might be their boy. In the so called “bitter” remarks (he actually accused people of being racist), he equated Clinton with W – and I feel this will be the “narrative”

  79. oops! I said the “r” word – I am in moderation yet again…sigh..Help!

  80. My fall project is getting my home office in order. I’ve installed more shelves in the closet and added decorative boxes and baskets for storage.

    I need to go through all of the computer equipment and cords I’ve saved……but of course there is never the right cord when I actually need one.

    I have a few art projects for art for my office I need to get to as well.

    Good luck with your basement. That’s quite a job and I hope it goes well. We did some remodeling to the upstairs of our house and though it was a difficult time having everything in disarray it was so worth it.

    Mountain Sage

  81. New thread up!

  82. T: Up north we use it less safely to really kill something. You buy the premix, but don’t add water.
    Then pull on the glove, dip a rag in it and use rag to soak the weed from top to bottom. Of course we were using what the farmers get, it’s probably not the same grade as the garden variety.

    I just have a thing about pesticdes/herbicides period. While living on the farm I was surrounded by crop land. Each year as they sparyed the crops by plane I was sick for a good three days after. The stuff that goes on our food in the fields is just high grade poison, i my opinion.

  83. Let’s see. We decided to remodel the second floor bathroom. It didn’t meet current code so we took the opportunity to move it. That required moving some plumbing so we decided to add another bath at the same time. We needed to raise a dormer to that. We cut a hole in the roof for it, and our chimney fell down. We decided to change the furnace to a side vent so that we could get the chimney out of the kitchen. If we were changing the heating system, why not add central air? Adding extra bathrooms required an upgrade to the electrical system. The system was so far out of code that we had to rewire the whole house. Needed to cut major holes in the walls. Horsehair plaster? Not anymore. Beautiful new walls throughout. Woodwork? left out in the rain by the contractor. New woodwork? Absolutely gorgeous! I figure the only thing original to house is the outside walls. I love my new kitchen. The extra bathrooms are great. But living through the construction again? Not on your life! The only thing that kept me sane was the new hot tub.

  84. Happy Birthday, SM!

  85. Have a great birthday SM!!!

  86. RD, enjoy your house project! I am working on a sweater. (I knit.) Okay…I have been working on the sweater off and on for over a year, but now that the weather in NYC is growing cool, I am back to my knitting fascination. :-) I’ve also found that chanting a mantra as I create each stitch is a wonderful way to zone out and calm down. Lord knows I have needed to do a lot of that for the past week.

  87. Good Luck! That DryLock stuff is a bitch to use. But, well worth the effort!

  88. Michelle protecting the girls is fine. Using it as political propaganda is not. No one’s objecting to the former; everyone (except Jmac) is objecting to the latter.

    Unfortunately, the First Lady’s actions are taken as a model for how we think about women as both mothers and professionals. For how we think about females as human beings even.

    Of the various various sterotypes-archetypes Michelle could invoke, she (or the campaign for her, most likely) will have to choose between mommy or professional. (madonna-professional having replaced madonna-whore in a large part of the political discourse).

    Of the two, I’d rather the public narrative be professional, even if I don’t like her and disagree with much of what she says. She is a smart, educated woman with accomplishments of her own. Why should she be relegated to First Breeder and Cookiebaker?

    Of course, what I’d really like to see in a First Spouse is someone who breaks the framing dichotomy altogether, as Hillary did, but I’ve seen no sign Michelle is capable of that.

  89. Well, I FINALLY hired a “mother’s helper” (actually, daddy’s helper, because it’s my husband who stays/works at home), which I have been putting off for a full year. So she showed up today — in her car with a HUUUUUGE “Rosie the Riveter/Hillary 2008″ bumper sticker! Now I flove her even more….

  90. RD I will miss your insightful posts. Thanks for the link but I, for one, will not read anything about the Obamas except for articles pertaining to his policies and governance. Am sitting here at my PC in perfect silence except for the sounds of passing cars in the street. I no longer turn on the radio or tv except for football & basketball games, NASCAR and maybe local news.

    Living in a predominantly Black community as I do, can’t help but continue to encounter deranged Obama supporters. Was in Pathmark earlier today and a middle-aged woman was buying every magazine that had anything in it about the Obamas. (sigh)

    Came down this morning and looked around the living room and thought to myself this stuff looks crappy. want to throw out the sofa, love seat and occasional chair; end tables and coffee table can stay. Think I’ll start cruising the furniture stores.

  91. The person that started saying michele is like Jackie Kennedy should be deported. Who in the blazes ever came up with that? Jackie Kennedy had class…michele wouldn’t know what that was if it hit her in the head.
    By the way..not everyone in Philadelphia wanted obama and biden to win. When Biden was introduced and shown on the big screen…the people booed.

  92. Valhalla, Michelle’s professional accomplishments include diverting poor locals from the hospital she worked for. I’d just as soon she baked cookies.

  93. gmanedit —

    No kidding. I will say (as a former resident of Hyde Park who worked at that very hospital — and also had the lovely experience of being WAY overcharged, badly treated, and dunned by them) that the U of C Hospitals had a reputation (deserved in my opinion) of being pretty community-unfriendly before MEchelle came on board. It doesn’t sound like she did anything about that, though.

  94. Adding here that I didn’t work there at the same time as MO. I worked there in the late 80s when I was a student at U of C; I was a research assistant for a sociologist, the job mostly involved taking surveys of people who brought their kids in to the pediatric ER. We came to the unsurprising conclusion that poor people on the South Side of Chicago, who mostly had no insurance and very few resources for primary care, used the ER for their primary care instead. I doubt this has changed much in the last 20 years. It was one of the most depressing jobs I ever had, seeing those adorable little kids night after night, living in poverty SO incredibly close to the wealthy U of C/Hyde Park.

  95. “And that’s what I like about Laura Bush. You know, just calm, rational approach to these issues. And you know, I’m taking some cues. I mean, there’s a balance. There’s a reason why people like her. It’s because she doesn’t, sort of, you know, fuel the fire.”

    I’d settle for her making time to figure out how to answer questions without saying “you know” so much!

    I also hate the comparisons to Jackie, Hillary, Laura. Let her be her own damn woman. I keep hearing about how she is a strong woman, effin’ prove it, honey!

  96. MO, according to the article is “every bit as high-powered as Hillary Rodham Clinton.” What an absurd statement! On what possible basis could she claim such power? Michelle Obama, IMO, is not very smart, although she has had the privilege of an exceptionally high quality education. If her undergraduate thesis is any indication, she was not qualified for admission to Princeton, which reportedly has the most stringent admission standards of any of the Ivies. Hers was clearly an affirmative action and legacy (older brother) admission. IIRC, her undergraduate major was sociology. When I was an undergraduate, sociology was viewed as the basket-weaving of majors (apologies to any soc majors here).

    We’ve speculated here numerous times on BO’s path to Harvard Law School, but I’d be just as curious to know how MO got in. She simply does not strike me as being exceptional in any way. Given the quality of her education, she settled for a job as community relations liaison for a hospital–a job that became exceptionally well-paying only after her husband was elected to the US Senate.

    All that said, it’s fine with me if she fades into the background and concentrates on raising her kids. The less I have to see of her, the better.

    Oh, and Happy Birthday, SM!

  97. We had a basement that looked like yours did – with decades of stuff no one knows why we still had it. We cleaned it out last Spring and spent the summer transforming it. It is now beautiful and space we love to use. Good luck with your project. Even with a contractor, it is a ton of work, but worth the effort. Hope you send progress photos and end result photos so we can keep up

  98. Betty, on November 10th, 2008 at 1:00 pm Said:
    The person that started saying michele is like Jackie Kennedy should be deported. Who in the blazes ever came up with that?……..

    Perhaps the same person who first said Bush was another Churchill. Remember that one? There was a while there( 2002? ) Bush was likened to a new great leader every week . Then Norman Mailer said ” Is there nothing these toadies won’t say? ” Then the pace slowed greatly . The Village has moved on, but the song remans the same.

  99. I wonder if Michelle and Obie will send the kids to public school or a private one? Did Bill and Hillary send Chelsea to a public school at some point or was that Carter with Amy?

  100. Still in the process of doing the room that serves as my study and the dining room. The drywall was removed (I was correct, that cold @ss room had no insulation), new walls and ceiling (I miss sitting in a sea of redwood – it was like a cabin). The ceiling is off white, the walls (painted this weekend) are moss green. We need to finish the trim (white) then clean the carpet and install the doors (12 pane beveled glass so light comes throught the house). I haven’t decided on light fixtures and we can’t agree on a dining table, but I will consider it ‘done’ once I can move my desk (that is sitting in the middle of the living room) back in.

  101. Well, Over the weekend I winterized my outdoors. I put all the summer stuff up in the attic and took all the winter stuff down from the attic. I cut down frozen dead flowers and bushes and am all ready for the snow to fly.

    Today I installed 2 really, really cool heaters in my basement….you should check them out RD, if you need heat in your new basement. They can be found at eheat dot com. They’re 2′ X 2′ panels that install 1″ from the wall. They can be painted to match your wall color (AWESOME) so they don’t stick out like a sore thumb and they plug into an outlet. It’s a radiant heat.

    They cost 3 cents an hour to run, will heat 100 sq. ft and are VERY easy to install…I installed 2 of them in about 30 minutes this morning….1 in the downstairs bathroom and 1 in the family room. I painted them to match my walls and am just waiting for the paint to dry to see how well they work. I also connected them to digital thermostats (“LUX PRODUCTS” PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT….found them at Ace Hardware outlet dot com) that plug into the outlet so the heat can be regulated. They are just supplemental heat to duct heating that SUCKS down there and I’m anxious to see how well they do.

    Anyway…that’s been my life for the last few days. :) Good luck with your basement. I KNOW how much work it is finishing an unfinished basement…been there, done that!

    What are tree volunteers? I’ve never heard of those before.

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