misssylviadrake (misssylviadrake) wrote,

Emptying out my life; or house improvements: unspoilt nature of house must go

A diary: It's like throwing away what used to be my life which somehow I made paper records of. But it's more than I've no room for it; I need to shed it and the space opened up can be improved and changed and re-freshened.


Took 1st baby steps towards house improvement. Phoned landscapers & made appt for people to come estimate how much to pull out unsightly (hideous) hedge. Began task of weeding files, put two shelves in attic. Arduous climbing up & down ladder.


Took more baby steps on house improvement -- and ordering. 2 shelves filled with files gone through, about 3/4s put in attic. Found all my Vittoria Colonna folders! poetry of Renaissance male friends (including Michelangelo) and early modern women. Threw out a shelf of files from obsolete teaching. And I think I may have succeeded in setting up two appointments for different landscape people to come and give estimates on pulling out horrible hedge (!). One man was open to making flower beds. Must rest now.

9/27: went to gym during morning; afternoon hot and Admiral has bad sciatica.

9/28: "Duchess," said the admiral to me about 3 hours ago. "We have to clean the house today. "Oh no!" "Yes, it's been six weeks since we last did it." Two and one half hours later and two nervous cats (they loathe the vaccuum cleaner), we have given over. No further house improvements today. Immanent needs trumped transcendent ones.


Lovely cool day! breezes. So house improvements went on from top of house. Stayed in attic. Emptied out shelves of book cases and surrounding floor areas.  Fat files from teaching general education serious literature courses in 1990s. All abolished everywhere now. So look, see as obsolete, put in piles near ladder.  Old dampened books, journals, stuff I'll never read. Stay at top of ladder, hand down to admiral.  Then pitch into big garbage cans. Shut resolutely.


Not so modest improvements begun.

Very nice man in jeans, lovely shirt, came and made estimate for removing hedge, making two modest flower beds (silver ferns, daffodils). Discussed land: swamp on one side, rocky down back so beds go on one good side. Don't want all sorts of drains and stuff.

Discussed turning screened porch into room. Carlos asks what did I have in mind? well, walls, windows, flo
ors, that sort of thing. Heat and air-conditioning to come out of ducts. Suddenly Admiral making difficulties, all becoming very complex. No it's not. Window in present room stays. I like window, looked at it for over 30 years. Doors to porch stay. Maybe clean, replace glass, paint: fix up. Then like the rest of house a window in each outer wall, since one will be big, then have 2 windows.  Brick walls, wooden floors like rest of house again. No door from porch to outside. Admiral looks dubious. I ignore. Carlos pleased. Will send estimate for room later today.

I admit there is one statement in all W's years I actually liked. I did not hear him say it, but was told he said "I am the decider." What's the use of being duchess if I don't get to decide and get the thing done.

Realize unspoilt nature of house will be lost. Ah well. Sobeit.

Carlos says an Occupy demonstration nearby. Hurrah! I say. Bad for traffic.

'Nuff house improvement effort for today.

Tags: 20th century, diary, life-writing (mine), real family life, social life, teaching, womens lives

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