Wednesday, May 16, 2007


REHAB WORK. We did our first NACA-funded repairs on our house last week: two new furnaces and one new boiler. The boiler is sparkly and fancy and I think Steve wants to marry it. The company we used, TruTemp, was professional, responsive and especially great given the difficulties of working with NACA’s rehab department, known as HAND. This rehab work is included in our loan package so it’s not something we’re paying out of pocket but rather over the course of a fixed-rate, 30-year mortgage—yay! In the next couple weeks, we’ll begin our next major rehab project: a new porch roof on the front house, some new siding on the back of the rear house, and some chimney repair.

DECORATING. The living room continues to shape up as my lovely boss was kind enough to give us her hardly-used poposan chair. So, in one room, we’ve got a formal sofa and a poposan chair. What’s that Van Morrison line, the one that could describe our process of furnishing the house? Oh right--Bit by bit by bit by bit by bit by bit.

TRANSITION TIMES. I can’t speak for Steve, but I feel that The House is still an appropriate number-one conversation piece—sort of. I’m straddling a line between the newness of owning and moving into our house and the development of some semblance of a routine. My office is still a mess, there remain a couple boxes in the hallway, and I’ve got a list a mile long of all the shit we still need to do, buy, or fix but our kitchen has come together and we cook in it every day. I’ve begun writing again instead of just thinking about writing, and I know Steve is working on some music projects. So clearly, we’re getting used to our respective new lives in our new house.

PRESENTS. Growing up, we had lilacs and I always made “perfume” from them in the spring with my friend Kelly. Our perfume consisted of mashed lilacs, some water, and a couple drops of lilac-scented perfume that Kelly already owned. We sold it in Dixie cups door-to-door using a red wagon—seriously, we were that cute. Anyway, the lilac bush was destroyed in the October storm so you can imagine my delight when last week, I discovered that the massive bush between our yard and our neighbors was actually full of lilacs, on the cusp of blooming. Sometimes I feel like our house came with presents—like lilac bushes and door stoppers and pretty cupboards.


Russ said...

Sissy... it is those simple things like lilac bushes, springtime tulips, or the warmth from a visit of a friend that makes your house... now a home.

don't forget that in life - it is the simple pleasures that makes all the "shit" worthwhile!

mitchgib said...

I am just a suburban mom lurking behind your blog, but I wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your blog. My hubby and I would like to move back into the city when the last kiddo goes off to college. I get a lot out of reading Buffalo based blogs.
I had a fungus kill my 12ft lilac bushes, and I have to say it broke my heart !
Good luck with your house !

Anonymous said...

Great to see what you both are doing. I was told that Steve had moved to Buffalo, but that was as much as I knew…looks like it has been challenging, but it looks exciting and inspiring also. I had not heard of NACA; it sounds interesting. I wish you two the best of luck. I moved to NYC in August after accepting a job as a social worker in NYC foster care. It was something I couldn’t turn down, and I naively thought it would be “interesting”. As now seems obvious, the job has been personally challenging and often sickening. Although I think that some days I make a difference, the way I am doing it continues to feel very unacceptable to me; so I am leaving in August. I know there are many positions that are not in foster care, but I do not think I will ever go back to school for social work. So that’s that. I am moving back upstate in August to spend some time with family and friends. That’s been my year in a nutshell, hope this note finds you two well… chris machanoff