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The Reveal!!

So…it was recently brought to my attention that I never did post a full bathroom reveal.  I was waiting to get the art details done…but Mr. LLW and I have reached a bit of an impasse on that subject.  So art be damned.  Here she is!

The Before

It was bad.  It was really, really bad.  Behold the shell shaped sink!  Behold the avocado tub!  All things considered, I couldn’t bring myself to take a picture until we’d already started demo.

Farewell, sweet avocado tub.  May you prance freely on that farm upstate where old green tubs go….

And we begin to rebuild.  Here’s Grammy LLW checking out the new tub.  That’s 20″ deep, baby!!

A good week in and looking good!!  This pic made the cut because it gives the now impossible to catch clear shot into the back of the room.  Check out that beadboard and crown on the ceiling.  Awwww yeah.

The After

And then…it was done.  Here’s the obligatory “from the door” shot and a million detail pics.

Lulu says, “We hope you enjoyed the show!”



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Captain Obvious the Ass…And Other Joys of Country Living

Guess what AWESOME thing happend to us over the weekend? 

Grandpa LLW headed downstairs to the “guest quarters” (’cause that’s how we roll, yo) to use the bathroom and called up a second later, “Hey, hon, um…do you know you have a flood down here?”

Our “guest quarters” were flooded with poop water, yo.

After about 9 seconds of inspection, we quickly deduced – with a combined thimble’s worth of plumbing expertise – that there was something going on with the septic that was causing it to backflow out of the lowest drain in our house – the basement shower.  Thank goodness my father had gone down there and noticed – as it was there was already water seeping into the adjoining  rooms.  Who knows how bad it otherwise could have gotten before anyone noticed the situation.

Mr. LLW arrived home a few minutes later and we started making calls to emergency plumbers.  We quickly described the situation to the first to call back and they promised to send someone out right away.  In the meantime we were under strict instructions not to use the water (or, at least, not to let any go down the drain) as it was likely to come right back in again via the poop shower.  Baby LLW got a sponge bath in the kitchen sink while Mr. LLW got tasked with bailing buckets of nasty out of the bathroom and dumping them in out-of-the-way places outside.  As a dainty woman, I was deemed unfit for such work.  No objections here.  Mr. LLW was welcome to get on with his manly, poop water scooping self.  There’s a time and a place for feminism and this wasn’t it. 

And so we waited.  And waited.  And waited.  Well over an hour later, Captain Obvious arrives at our doorstep.

     -“This looks like a septic issue.”


     -“That’s going to be a problem.”

Without further explanation he heads downstairs with Mr. LLW to check things out.  A grand 10 minutes later they re-emerge.  It is indeed, Captain Obvious declares, a septic issue.  Unfortunately – and here’s the clincher – he doesn’t do septic.

     -“Soooooooooo…that’ll be $250.” 

     -“Come again?”

     -“Ma’am, that’s our fee for emergency visits.”

I laugh in (somewhat feigned) appreciation of his joke.  It quickly becomes clear that he is not kidding. 

     -“Sir, I’d be happy to write you a $50 check out of respect for your time.  I am not paying you $250 for coming out to a house in the middle of farm country, we’re you know full well that we have septic and the problem is poop water re-entering through the lowest drain in the house, and telling me ‘whoops, we don’t do septic’.  That’s something you should have mentioned BEFORE you came out here.”

     -“Ma’am” he says, arms all a’flail, “it’s not me.  It’s the owner.  He says it’s $250.”

     -“No problem.  I’d be happy to discuss this with him.  What’s his number?”

     -Eyes agog.  “My OWNER?  Ma’am, I can’t give you my OWNER’S phone number!!”  Clearly, there is a degree of reverence here.  Okay, that’s cool.  I can work with your weird owner-fetish, mister.  Just give me an invoice and I’ll call your company in the morning.  What you need to understand, Captain Obvious, is that you are not walking away with $250 for “forgetting” to tell us that you don’t do septic.

I should mention that all this time I am standing on our front walkway with Baby LLW on my hip.  This always makes me feel a bit “Cops”, which adds that certain necessary element of redneck daring that it sometimes takes to get your point across in a friendly, collected manner.

A conversation ensues wherein he comes back with a “compromise” of $175, I try to clarify that I’m not trying to argue with him, since we have nothing left to talk about, and reiterate that I’ll take an invoice for “discussion” with the powers that be.  He finally agrees to that – and that $50 for him that I’d mentioned earlier – at which point I further clarify that that had been intended as more of an “either/or” offer.  Conversations continue while poop water continues to rise up into my basement.  Mr. LLW *might* have mentioned my legal background….and in the end the guy splits without giving us an invoice and refusing my final, parting offer of  $50 for his time.  Really, I wasn’t trying to be an arse.  They just weren’t getting anything out of me connected to the “service” that they’d offered by forgetting to mention that they didn’t handle anything related to septic.

We ended up getting someone out about an hour later who fixed everything quickly.  An industrial carpet shampooer and about 15 loads of laundry later and I really hope we’ve mitigated the damage.  In the meantime, I’m braced for a call from this awful company.  At which point I will, without hesitation, disclose their name.

With love,


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“Cozy Chic”

There can’t be many things in the world more satisfying than Dyson-ing a 50 year old rug.

Speaking of which, check out our latest addition to the library!!

We’re going for the elusive “cozy library chic”. ;)

I’m thinking a loveseat or a couple of wingbacks in the back corner, maybe an old globe.  But this chair won’t stop pleading with me to find it a place.

Versailles Domed Burlap-Backed Chair (RH)

We all know I have a soft spot for Restoration Hardware….



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What’s in Your Bathwater?

What??  Once a month is a perfectly reasonable blogging schedule.

I’m trying.  Really I am.  And, according to my mother and other most supportive friends, that’s really all anyone can ask.

Anywho, I was thinking this morning about Baby LLW and the huge exception he creates in my world of obsessive compulsive tidiness – no doubt because, especially when he was getting most of his calories from nursing, he was mostly my molecules.  (As an aside, one of my dearest friends made this comment a few months ago without any prompting and I was reminded of just how much – and why – I love her.)  Mr. LLW was in the tub with him for the first time a few days ago and, like he always does when surrounded by a pool of warm water, he peed.

Baby LLW, dummy.  Not Mr. LLW.  At least as far as I know.

This caused Mr. LLW to leap, horror struck, from the now-pee-tinged water.  And I was all, “What?”  And he was all, “Agghhhh!!”  And I truly could not wrap my ahead around what the big deal was.  I mean – baby pee?  Really?  In some cultures I think that stuff is used as a skincare product.

Anyway – just thought I’d share.

Much love,


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Holy Yum.

While my ventures into the kitchen are woefully rare, I sometimes surprise myself with the sort of culinary genius that keeps Mr. LLW coming back for more.  It’s often just a cool flavor combo like crack salad or my most favorite sandwich – lightly toasted fresh rosemary bread with lots of smashed avocado, a touch of creamy horseradish, some very thinly sliced apple (sweet – not that Granny Smith shizz) and a *dab* of mayo to hold it all together.  But it’s days like today that I totally outdo myself.

There are no pictures because I didn’t have the foresight to take pictures along the way and it was gone before I thought to do it afterward.  And, to be honest, it wasn’t the most attractive meal I’ve ever made.  But damn it was good.  So while this most certainly violates some sort of food blog code of conduct, I don’t even pretend to be a part of that group of writers and you’ll just have to trust me on this one without pics.

It all started with this week’s spaghetti squash from my CSA and this baked spaghetti squash with beef and veggies recipe.  I had most of the ingredients on hand and could fudge the rest.  And since I’m a sworn pescatarian (for some reason for now I can get past a meal of 15 shrimp but not one chicken or cow – I don’t question, I just run with it) the beef had to go.  So this is what went down:

1.  Oven preheated to 375 degrees, squash split, seeded and baked face down for 40 minutes while I did most of the below.

[Insert picture of my hands gently placing the squash face down in a dish after miraculously not slicing off a finger during the halving process.]

2.  One twelve ounce package of Morningstar Recipe Crumbles heated through in a large skillet.  (This stuff is seriously amazing.  Even my red-blooded, meat eating husband swears it’s better in a taco than the real thing.)

3.  Dice two green peppers and one medium white onion and chop (at least) two cloves of garlic.  Mix in with the Crumbles.  I also had a ton of fresh green beans and mushrooms on hand, which I threw into the mix.  Cook and stir until veggies are tender.

[Insert picture of a pile of diced and sliced veggies.  Gee…you’re really missing out without the visual aids here, aren’t you?]

4.  Add shredded pulp of the squash and about 14 ounces of canned diced tomatoes along with a teaspoon each of dried basil and oregano.

5.  At this point it tasted freaking AMAZING so I wasn’t sweating the fact that I only had like a 1/2 cup of sharp cheddar in the house.  Figuring I wouldn’t miss the calories from the missing cheese, I threw what I had into the mix and called it a day.

[Insert action shot of cheese being tossed into the mix, shredded bits flying toward the camera lens with wild abandon.]

6.  Baked at 350 degrees in a nonstick casserole dish for 25 minutes.

7.  Eat.

8.  Eat some more.

9.  Look surreptitiously around.  Eat a little more.

Seriously.  So.  Good.  The perfect meal for this perfectly crisp, lovely weather we’re having.

Love and more love,


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Spirit Activity

Baby LLW had his first – terrifying – bout of night terrors last night.  Holy hell.  It was like something out of that Born Schizophrenic documentary.  Terrified that our sweet boy was in horrible pain and couldn’t communicate it to us, we rushed him to a night clinic after about 30 minutes of unrelenting screaming.

The doctor looked him over and assured us that everything was perfect and, while early, it *is* possible to have episodes of night terrors as early as 1 year old.  We were already shaken when the tech, while giving us a list of follow up actions, included instructions to “check the history of the house” with an eye toward “potential spirit activity”.  Apparently there are “prayers that you can do” to fix it if this this a problem.

Besides the fact that I’m already a little scared to go into our basement at night for fear of being eaten by gnomes…who the hell SAYS something like that??  Seriously?  WTF?

In any event, amen for a healthy baby.  He seems fine today – hopefully we won’t have to repeat that awful experience any time soon.



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And Almost Over a Year…

Hard to believe it was a whole year ago that I was sucking down mass amounts of pineapple and labor cookies in an effort to serve up Baby LLW’s eviction notice.  And this weekend we celebrated his upcoming first birthday in our home with our wonderful family and friends.

We kicked things off with an attempt to make the walk up the driveway a little entertaining and kept the festivities going from there.

That very night in Baby LLW’s room…

and grew-

and grew-

and an ocean tumbled by with a private boat for Baby LLW

and he sailed off through night and day, and in and out of weeks, and almost over a year

to where the wild things are


So many thanks to everyone who joined us yesterday to celebrate.  We love you all!!!


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