Away from the Computer: Adventures with Toad

April 15, 2016


Above: Toad sitting on boxes, with more boxes behind, and a peek into the studio. Pentel Pocket Brush Pen on defunct printmaking paper in handmade book.

First, don't ask me why Toad has never received a name. Some things aren't understandable, like the lack of gravitational effect on Donald Trump's hair.

Wednesday I spent 2 hours moving stuff in the studio (shutting down the computer and moving all my work tables) and the front storage room so that we could install some ductless air conditioning in "this old house."

Then I spent 7 hours penned in by boxes, framed art, stacks of children's books (which I used to collect), the empty 5 shelf unit that held them (we had to empty it in order to move it out of the way), and 1/5th of my rubberstamp collection. I sat, situated as you see here, with Toad, while a crew of mostly 2 but sometimes as many as 4, worked around me, and one very grumpy electrician drilled through 20 inches of cement block in our foundation—just 5 feet away from me.

I had several epiphanies which I'll share as time goes on. I made notes!

We had good timing on the installation because Thursday the below normal chill of spring gave way to 70 degrees and beyond.

Wednesday night I spent 3 hours putting some stuff away with Dick's help, just so that additional artwork that no longer fits on the walls could be moved off the bed so that we could go to sleep.

While it was a disruptive day and I'll be putting stuff back over the next week or so (I can't explain it, you explain it to me), it was useful. As I sat companionably with Toad looking over her shoulder at the device that would save my sanity this summer (I couldn't spend another summer bombarded by noise from window box a.c.s 24/7 while editing video at the computer or drawing at the drawing board) I decided to pick up a pen and capture the moment.

Installing this a.c. system so that Dick doesn't have to wrestle with window box a.c.s in the spring and fall, and I can hear the urban sounds outside, is something that I wanted to do 5 or 7 years ago after seeing a friend's system and hearing the "silence." As with most home related projects this has taken a long time to get off the ground. (The kitchen and bathroom are still in the same condition you last saw them if you are a local friend—13 years and counting!)

But I'm looking forward to summer now in ways I haven't for years! I have even more than usual to be grateful for.

And while we plan some day to move from here (I want to live on one level and not carry clothes from the basement laundry up to the second floor drying racks—small things like that), the reality is this decision is a bet on the folks' health. We are betting they last another 10 years. And that will give me some time to win Dick over to the concept of moving…It's simple, some people do it all the time—I did 10 times before I was 17 years old. I just have to find the right angle to present it…

Get out your pen and draw your situation this weekend!

  1. Reply

    Enjoy your ductless! We got a ductless system last year and have been so happy! We don’t need it much in the summer, but once in a while we get temps in the 80s and 90s even in Seattle, and it’s wonderful then. But I really use it a lot all the rest of the year for heating individual rooms! So much more efficient then heating the whole house, and so much quieter than space heaters. Will look forward to hearing about your epiphanies!


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