Cooling it

Here’s a quick catch-up houseblog: Esta and I finished painting the dining room this week, covering the inside of the built-in corner cabinet with the same dark blue paint (Behr’s “Bayou,” in case anyone is curious) that Lisa and I used for the walls below the chair rail. The overall effect is striking, with the room looking much brighter in comparison to the cream and tan it was before. I loaded in the cabinet, using the plate rails and pulling our barware out of the kitchen cabinets (we now have a glasses shelf—I’m so pleased).

Yesterday’s trip to the Cape was just the ticket. It was also a merciful interregnum in an ongoing problem we’ve had with the dogs. Both of them have had awkward digestive difficulties over the last week, and it hasn’t gotten better. Fortunately a highly competent vet in Belmont found the problem—some kind of nasty bacterial infection—and aside from a few highly dramatic reactions to the medicine this afternoon they’ve responded well. Both are sleeping soundly on the couches; they didn’t even bat an eye when we ate dinner next to them.

This house continues to feel more and more like a home. I found our photos and another bunch of our cookbooks today; there hasn’t been anything requiring professional intervention, knock wood, going wrong with the house in more than a week; the changing weather has lowered the temperature here to something more than comfortable, in fact cold enough for me to take some concern about the HouseInProgress article about the radiators. Makes me think we ought to fire up the system just to see what happens.

In the meantime, I’m grateful that I can still grill. Garage door open, I sit on a folding chair gifted by my in-laws, keeping an eye on the smoke and flames creeping out from under the lid of Old Faithful, our cheapo Char-Broil gas grill, watching the chicken slowly come to perfection, with a beer bottle beside me sweating condensation into the evening and a book in my hand; I wait for the meat to get just tight enough under my prodding finger (since, without a light on the back of the house, I can’t actually see what I’m cooking even with the garage light on). I drop the chicken piece by piece into the ceramic dish filled with marinade, getting the smell of garlic, lime, cilantro, mint, and fish sauce wafting over me each time I raise the lid.