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Entering the forever phase

August 30, 2010

(…of construction.)

A week ago, we moved back into our house.

I am too busy wrestling with boxes and Jack to find my camera and take a picture of the teetering mountains of our packed (and sort of packed) belongings that are stacked, Dr. Suess-style, in the kitchen and living room. So I will show you instead some big bugs we’ve found lately:

Which isn’t entirely off-topic, because while we may be short on plumbing, furniture and baseboards, we still have plenty of bugs.

At least we’re used to it. And we’re reclaiming this place, one day at a time. There are no wren families nesting, or rat snakes shedding (yeah, that happened. Inside. Twice.) So far, just one brown recluse (Who met me and the shop vac. And then there were none.)

We have beds, hot water, air conditioning and a working refrigerator. And we’re making it without the things we don’t yet have, like hot water in the kitchen. I’ve been heating water on the stove for dishes, and using one of Jack’s plastic bowls to stopper the sink. A thick cotton sleeping bag, folded just right and pushed up against the back of the kitchen island, makes a seat for two.  We’re keeping the cooking so minimal that I’ve been joking about our new raw food diet, and Jack picked now to introduce raw carrot, bell pepper and cucumber sticks as his very favorite food.

I have to keep reminding myself that what we’re doing is better than actual camping, as far as kind-of permanent living arrangements go. Though we did have hot dogs for dinner last night.

But I have had my moments. Such as when I couldn’t find a vegetable peeler or a can opener or a place to sit that wasn’t covered with sawdust. And when, on day three, my confused and teary toddler asked again to “go home now, please.”

It was about that time that I gave up on using my week of vacation to unpack and set up a house that will remain full of boxes and long to-do lists for a long, long time. I used the time instead for unpacking toddler toys, blowing bubbles, singing Barney songs, talking about Home Depot, taking walks to the mailbox and trips to the park. When I needed a break from that rotation, I introduced Jack to Dora the Explorer via Netflix Instant Watch – because I was waiting for that shout-at-the-television milestone (“MAP!” “BACKPACK!”).

For camping, the amenities are great.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. August 30, 2010 5:18 am

    I sense progress here. Sending you postitive vibes, hoping the bugs are gone for good.

  2. August 30, 2010 1:00 pm

    Leslie – you are one brave woman. I’m really squeamish and I also have a snake phobia, so the discovery of snake skin the first time would have sent me back to wherever I came from. But it sounds like you’re comfortably settling in, albeit one square foot at a time. A monumental task, to build one’s own house, but with a toddler in tow, that becomes even harder. Hats off to you guys for pulling this off.

    • August 30, 2010 1:28 pm

      Oh, Justine, it gets better: We found the skin once, in the basement. The other time, it was the whole snake – in the house. Fun.

  3. August 30, 2010 1:46 pm

    It is better than it was and it will keep getting better. Good luck Leslie!

  4. August 30, 2010 2:03 pm

    We’ve had scorpions invade our home this summer, a rat take up residence in our garage and hornets forever building homes in our decking. We’ve also had a few encounters with snakes, but all of those were outside thankfully. I’m glad you spotted the recluse – we had one in our garage when we first moved into our house. They like to invade quiet, dark, empty spaces.

    Bugs are never fun, but even less fun for me would be living out of boxes, with sawdust and more, especially with all your family. Hang on in there!

  5. August 30, 2010 9:01 pm

    A brown recluse? Oh. Dear. Lord. Did you do the Panic Dance? That’s what
    I do when there’s something icky and dangerous out there that I know I have to take care of because these are my children and I’m the only one around. So I usually scream and jump and holler for a few minutes. And then I plug in the shop-vac. =>

    PS: Happy Housewarming! Wishing you sawdust-free gathering spaces and all the extra vitamins a raw-food diet can provide. =>

  6. August 31, 2010 12:17 am

    OK, the sight of that bug gave me the jeebies, then talk of rattlesnakes shedding? Inside? Then, the brown recluse. Yeah, I’m done.

  7. August 31, 2010 6:29 am

    You are so brave! Stay strong!

  8. August 31, 2010 11:04 am

    Oh I’m thinking of you. This part is so exciting and yet so hard – moving in when it is not yet done. We’re 3 years in this second house and I fear it will never be done. But in a an odd way it’s that that makes it home. I hope it feels like that to Jack soon!

  9. September 1, 2010 1:20 am

    I echo what others have said: you are brave. As soon as I see as spider, I call our landlord to come out and spray. I guess that’s one of the benefits of living in an apartment, right?

  10. September 5, 2010 5:10 am

    That’s one cool cicada! We only find their shed dings and hear their night music.

    Good for you for realizing what was important. It took me nearly three months to unpack our house last summer and there was no saw dust. Who am I kidding, we still have boxes in the garage!

    Good luck!


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