...is wet and cold and gloomy in Wisconsin. After all the snow we get in the winter, I suppose I should be glad to see the rain melt much of it away, but after our warm week in Kentucky, it's rather disheartening to return home to FitzWalkerstan (I had to throw that in, y'know!) and the muddy, cold, puddly mess that is Madison in the early spring. The doom and gloom from the other side of the globe has me worried as well. Is our military going to be mired in yet another messy, drawn-out war? (Remember, they thought Afghanistan would be a quick project, and Iraq as well. We're still there, and we still don't have many friends despite attempts to "spread democracy" with military might. Anyway.) What on earth will happen with those nuclear reactors in Japan? It's terrifying.
Our lives here continue more or less as usual, though. In fact, Stuart and I were able to put these things aside for a little while this afternoon as we contemplated flooring for the basement and other matters of home improvement. Work on the basement is progressing, in fact. I'm happy to report that the jackhammering was done and over with while I was out of town with the kids, pipe has been laid, and the concrete restored in the location of our future second bathroom. (Have I mentioned that Anya finally potty-trained about a month ago? Yeah, that bathroom won't be ready a day too soon.) A frame of 2x4s has been erected where the walls will go, ductwork has been removed, and new water piping is spread across the floor in anticipation of replacing the galvanized steel pipes that have been in place since the house was built nearly 60 years ago.
So Things are Happening, and even though it's still a little while before we will be able to call it "finished!", there are some final decisions to be made. Things like "What kind of vanity do we want in the bathroom?" which sounds like an easy decision, but it's not. Before I left town, we went to the lumber supply store our contractor likes to do business with, and within 20 minutes we had something all picked out...and then we changed our minds as we were walking out of the store. We turned right around and modified the order. I'm happy with the new decision, which is a good thing since it's been ordered and is now a done deal, but I have to say, the vanity is only the beginning. Today we went to a carpet/flooring place to look at flooring for the bathroom and pick out carpet for the rest of the basement. Even when you narrow down your choices according to price, it's a little overwhelming. It's not like we're working with an interior decorator or designer, so it's hard to know where to start. We'll just go with boring neutral colors and relatively plain texture and play it safe, I guess.
The one decision I feel really good about is tiling the bathroom floor. Until today I assumed we'd go with vinyl because it's much less expensive, and also, as our contractor pointed out, a tiled floor will feel pretty cold, especially in a basement. But you know what? I hate vinyl. I hate that it looks and smells like plastic. I hate that it's trying to look like stone or tile or mosaic or what-have-you when it obviously isn't. I hate that it's terrible for the environment. I hate that it can get gouged so easily. So we're going with tile, even though it's cold (that's what rugs are for, right?) and more expensive (we're talking 50 square feet here, maximum, not such a big deal), and I feel really good about that.
Just don't ask me what color we're going to paint the walls.