- grouting on slate tile in entryway and screened porch
- bedroom carpeting
- fully functional appliances (fridge churning out ice cubes; toilets duly tested by family members)
- home sound system (thanks, Ben!)
- grounds purged of Dunkin Donuts cups, cigarette butts and miscellaneous cement chunks
As we prepare for the move, I have acquired two new loves: Craigslist and The Container Store. With the help of Craigslist, I sold the dining set, slightly rusted Paddy O'Forniture and futon couch, with ads still pending for a couple of other things, and I bought a newer outdoor table and chairs (wood this time), a charcoal grill, and a used dining table and chairs in the Danish Modern style my parents had when I was growing up. Also on the way are a sectional and a desks for the kids, now that they have actual homework (or Sarah does, anyway), thanks to the generosity of Ben's father. Plus some bar chairs and a wicked cheap pair of chaise lounges from Target, and a bench for taking off your shoes in the mudroom (source: www.benches.com, of course).
The Container Store has nice people who design your closet shelving, e-mail you diagrams and a parts list, and box up the parts to install everything yourself. Of course when I say "yourself" I mean "Ben," which he is very happy about. I realized he's been really missing doing house projects these last three years. And the store sells lots of other home-organizing stuff that made me hyperventilate as I roamed the aisles with big eyes. All sorts of things to help you put things inside other things, especially in the kitchen. My excitement may be hard to understand unless you're the kind of person like me who not only alphabetizes her spices in identical glass jars but also cuts off the ends of bay leaves so they'll fit in those jars because they happen to be shorter than the jar they came in. I will be visiting The Container Store again soon.