Category Archives: Life List

The Big To Do List.

So What Happened Next?

In case you’re just joining, check out this first post on this topic and just keep on reading.

The pregnant-not-pregnant-hepatitis story left off with the ears of a health department employee ringing and me sufficiently drunk to relax and laugh about it…a little.

Then came the inevitable question: Now what?

If you ever find yourself in a remotely similar situation, here’s what everyone tells you:

  • Relax
  • Take it easy
  • Enjoy yourself
  • Try again in a few months, but again, r e l a x

My need for plans and to know where the year was going made this relaxation difficult. We’d cancelled Burning Man plans (my idea of fun so does not mix with pregnancy, hello two heads) and found ourselves looking at a loooong summer with no idea what was in the future. Continue reading


Renovation: What We Did – The Kitchen

Hanging the kitchen from the wall instead of building it on the floor was Oliver’s idea. The carpenter thought he was crazy but agreed in the end that the space under the cabinets made the room seem more open – and in a shoebox every little thing counts.

See? Floats.

This has also turned out to be a great place to keep the cats’ food and water accessible but not underfoot.

By taking out part of the living room wall and the bathroom hallway, we had to sacrifice some kitchen space. We just managed to fit in everything we deemed essential: a fridge, stovetop, oven/microwave combo and a dishwasher. Continue reading

Renovation: What We Did – Entryway and Bath

Nuts, I’ve lost the one close-up I had of the entryway. Let’s skip to the bathroom!

Renovation: What We Did – Entryway and Hallway and Bath

Again to keep things open we removed the doorway and half the wall between the kitchen and the living room space and instead installed another sliding door between the bedroom and bathroom that recedes into the wall unless needed.

Hidden away unless needed - the second sliding door.

Continue reading

Renovation: What We Did – Bedroom Edition

Over the last ten years, or so, we’d rented and stayed in enough of the other apartments that we’d already figured out quite a few things that we did or did not like. We’d also  seen some variations of what you could do with a little place like this.

Most of our decisions came down to how to make this little apartment more spacious and comfortable.

We agreed on a set of mission guidelines and then applied them to every considered structural change or furnishing decision:  Open space, modern convenience, practical whenever possible but also the  occasional splurge on something special, and, without going overboard , some touches of mountain kitsch – this was an alpine vacation place after all.

View through the front door: Bedroom to the left. Minus one kitchen up ahead.

The bedroom in front was one of the more dramatic changes we put in. Originally there were two single beds, built along the walls in an L shape and a large cupboard/closet in the corner that took up most of the standing room when open.

Together with the sofa bed in the living room, the apartment could comfortably sleep four. The last thing we ever wanted to do was sleep apart on vacation, so we’d spent years sleeping on sofa beds and using the front bedroom as a large dressing room – a lot of wasted space for a place so small.

So we ripped out the bedroom wall  Continue reading

Renovation: Unveiling

Oh yeah, about that little vacation apartment. We went from this:


To this:


To this:

Continue reading

Renovation: A Recap


So right before all that reproductive stuff happened, Oliver and I had been in Austria checking out our itsy bitsy little vacation apartment, figuring out what renovations we wanted to do.

There it is!

Here’s a little recap.

* A small idea snowballed and suddenly, almost by accident we bought a little place in the Fall of 2009. You can read more about the why’s and what’s here.

* The original owners had been there since the building was constructed, so it was packed full of everything, including four sets of oil and vinegar. We left everything in place until renovation time, because moving anything left a gaping hole. You can see some ‘before’ pictures here.

* In August of last year we drove to Austria to make the arrangements. We had some interesting ideas, including using pink. You can read about my concerns here.

* And then it began. First step: get rid of everything. Everything included all the inner walls. Ouch. See it here.

All caught up? Ok. Renovation is only partly about destruction, tomorrow we’ll see some of the fun parts. Until then, below are some final pics of reaching zero, rock bottom, the empty shoebox.


…and then there was nothing left but the subflooring and some pipes.

I think this used to be the bathroom.

Time to start over from the ground up.

And then there was nothing but the shoe box it came in.

Remember that I said it was more like an Airstream trailer than an apartment?

The best joke I never planned.

Last year on April 1st, when he picked me up from the evening train from Munich, I took Oliver to a nearby hotel bar for a sundowner. After we ordered our drinks, I handed him a gift bag overflowing with colored tissue paper. He pulled out a bundle and unwrapped this book:

"One Man, One Book: Certain things in life that a man should know."

I had my life list, I told him and I knew he had one too, at least in his head. And since he hadn’t written one down, I explained, I thought I would give him a book of ideas to inspire him.

Then I told him to open it to a particular page and read the entry. As he flipped through the pages, I handed him a pen, telling him that he could already check something off.

He took the pen and his eyes dropped to the page. Reaching the bottom, I saw his brow furrow a little. I saw him read it again, the little crease getting deeper.

He stared at the page, and then looked up at me, bemused… or perhaps insulted?

Whatever it was, this was not the expression I was expecting at all. I took the book from him and looked at the page he had read.


I’d intended for him to look at this page:

Maybe I should have included a helpful arrow.

But instead he’d read this page:

(Translation: How to fake an orgasm.)

And that’s how I told him the first time I was pregnant.

(Translation: How to father a child.)