I Need The Sun More Than My Kids Do

While shopping for a birthday card for his wife, my neighbor came across this card. It made him think of me so much that he had to buy it. My birthday is in November but I’m a proponent of spreading it out.


Thanks Eben

He followed my battle with City Council closely and formed this rather high opinion of me as a take-n0-prisoners ass kicker.

I don’t really see myself that way. I just did what I had to do because no one else would and while I’m not 100% thrilled with the results, it’s more than I would have gotten had I not gotten into the game.

And, I’m pretty sure the person’s who ass was kicked the most belonged to me.

Anyway, several months later I’ve been asked to fight against or advocate for a transitional housing project for homeless youths (youth being defined as under the age of 27 or something like that) just two blocks down the street from me. I have been approached by both sides.

I know very little about the project except that one of Boulder’s most corrupt former City Council members is championing it which makes it stink of graft, personal gain, and closed-door deals. An extremely NIMBY neighbor is against it, and another extremely generous and philanthropic neighbor is for it. It’s complicated.

It aims to put 40 units on a small lot not moments after everyone on City Council was caterwauling about how short term rentals would ruin neighborhoods by making them too dense and full of scary strangers.

Other than that, I know nothing and I don’t think actually knowing about it will make any difference. You know why? If City Council wants it, there is no amount of grass-roots organizing that can stop it. Period.

Why waste my time getting all worked up in someone’s living room meeting?

My foray into provincial politics has taken the fight out of me, at least when it comes to anything outside my immediate control. A rather nasty experience from my last fundraising event (the party was great but someone who wasn’t even there and doesn’t live in Boulder completely freaked out and tore me a new asshole) has soured me on fundraising. But guess what? I raised money for my school, not that it matters.

Powers that be, you win.

But my house better watch its back. I have the urge to purge.

I married into this house in 2003 with a fun little house fire to kick off our new life together.


Since then between squirting out babies, I tackle one gigantic project at a time be it replacing roof, moving Loony’s business out of my office and then the guest room, putting cabinets in the entry, or that little project I did where I got rid of 20 things a day.

The latest room in my crosshairs is the sun room.


Loony added it to the house about 25 years ago when he took over the home from his brother. I wish I had pictures of it back then because by the time I entered the picture it had become the place where old furniture went to die.

Pretty much anything that Loony didn’t want to deal with went in the sun room including a vintage barbershop chair that leaked oil, old turntables, decrepit plants, and lots and lots of boxes.

I redid the room before I had Itchy with bright blues and sweet prints. Many an hour was spent in that room reading board books and bouncing babies on my lap to the tune of The Lone Ranger.

The kids got bigger and it turned into the Lego room, the beginning of the end.


Beyond walking into the room and dumping about 50 pounds of Legos on the ground and leaving, my kids have moved on, leaving me with this …


Don’t let the sublime Steven Retchless distract you from the shit everywhere

I lamented the torn and filthy upholstery on the window seat and the stained cushions.


Then I realized that it has suffered ten years of little boys and all their friends, no wonder it’s such a wreck. So I haven’t been blogging this last week because I have been deep in fixing up the sun room.

My old friend Suzi Plooster told me that the sun room was too nice for the kids and she was right. They would be better off in a basement … if only my basement wasn’t loaded with records. My Parasitic Twin doesn’t like sitting in my living room because it’s dark (true fact) so she’s been scarce since it got too cold to sit outside. It’s time to take back the sun room.

The first thing I did was purge a bunch of crap. Most of the stuff went to friends, into my Little Free Library, and the Salvation Army. Some of it went to the dump.

Then I made a new cover for the window seat cushion. I’m still whittling down a giant bolt of denim Loony got at a garage sale years ago for $10. It’s pretty much why everything in my house has denim slip covers. I made new pillow covers, too.


Mr. Bates modeling the new cushion and pillows

I picked out a new color to paint the room. I loved the blue but I wanted something more adult.


I realize that it is beige. Don’t judge.

Then I moved everything into my dining room (and this is after I got rid of a bunch of crap) …


Ah, just like the good old days!

And I acted super adulty and actually prepped all the surfaces to be painted …


I didn’t go so far as to paint the room myself. I always start off my painting projects with good intentions about being tidy and doing the best job ever. It isn’t long before I say fuckit and start slapping paint around. So I hired a nice guy off of Craigslist who did it in one day for $300.

The result?


Cue the angels singing as the doors to heaven open

All this shit staying tight is contingent on the kids never setting foot in the room again cleaning up after themselves. I got rid of all the tiny action figure toys they never play with and I’m going to sell the Legos.

I was about to give them to a friend but Loony looked up the resale value on the internet and I quickly scratched that idea. I’ll be selling them by the pound.

Also, the other day we went to a neighbor’s house for a party and Itchy loved their window seat. He said that he would sit in it all day and read books if we had one like that at our house.

How about a whole room?


Most importantly, My Parasitic Twin approves. We’ve already given it a test-drive.


“Can my dog get on the seat?” As if anyone can’t do whatever the hell they want in my house.

So yeah, it feels really great. The only downside is that it is too bright in there to work on my computer.


First world problems

I’m gathering my strength for mother of all projects. I want to get all the records and crap out of the basement and turn it into a boy cave. I’m going to need a little time to get the nerve up.

6 thoughts on “I Need The Sun More Than My Kids Do

    • You talk like this is happening soon. I’m scared. But I know that my relationship with my kids would be vastly improved if they had a basement to fuck up with wild abandon.

  1. I can’t believe you had such a lovely room that you didn’t use. It looks great! About your basement….Do you have to do the whole thing at once? Could you divide it into areas? Say divide it in to quarters and just work on 1/4 at a time. Have enough area that your kids could use it, then move on from there? That way it wouldn’t be so daunting, and they might love having their own little space. Ask them what part of the room they would like to play in first?

    • That’s a good idea but the room is very small, it’s the same footprint as the sun room (it’s right below it). It’s a great room, it has a 1/2 bathroom and windows and everything but it also has 8000 records. As you may or may not know, vinyl and men are hard to separate. This will have to be a full-court press. I attempted a while back to do the slow route but got nowhere with it. I’m not sure how to proceed. The best case scenario would be to get a buyer to go through it and buy what he/she wants, throw out the junk (and there are lots of worthless records and duplicates down there) and keep a small collection of the records Lonny actually likes. But … he has about 30 minutes of attention for this type of project before he gets overwhelmed and this is a house destroying type of event, aka records EVERYWHERE. If it were just up to me, I’d have it done in no time, but there’s that marital bliss thing …

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