Mary Anne Mohanraj


October 25 -- 8:35 PM

Paint colors. Everyone has an opinion on paint colors, right? Here's the situation. We've added the new windows to the kids' playroom, which is a converted third-floor attic, full of steeply slanted rooflines. There are two bench-type areas (which actually conceal ductwork), and some short walls (less than 3 ft' high). They badly need to be painted -- if you could see up close, you'd see that Kavya, age 4-5, has scribbled over them extensively. Anand is not nearly as much a scribbler, so I think it's relatively safe to repaint them now.

The plan is to leave the slanted walls off-white (they're painted in Benjamin Moore's Linen White) for now -- despite my temptation to paint them a deep blue and stud them with gold or silver stars, I think that would make the space feel claustrophobic.

So for just the lower third of the room, basically, what color would you suggest? Choosing ideally from Benjamin Moore's Historic palette, because we used their Great Barrington Green in Anand's room and it looks awesome -- really suits the off-white ceiling and dark wood floors and the general 1885 Victorian feel of the house.

Historic palette here.

I had originally been thinking a green (Kavya suggested moss green), esp. since this is a third-floor room and outside the window the view is basically treetops, but note the green IKEA sofa -- I tried putting up one of the cushions against Anand's walls, and it basically disappeared into them. Not ideal, I think.

So now I'm maybe leaning towards a slate blue, to evoke the sky, which is also up there? (We used Buckland Blue for our kitchen cabinets, and while I love it, I'd rather not repeat. Maybe Phillipsburg Blue?) Don't worry about clashing with the deep blue rug -- that can be moved elsewhere if necessary. And I suppose if we really wanted green walls, we could get a new cover for the Ektorp sofa. So it's all flexible…

Anand suggested yellow, of course. I did once paint an accent wall a deep gold, and I even liked it, but I think I probably would get tired of that here. Don't want to make the playroom a place I avoid…

(First two pics are daytime, last three are at night, with lights on.)

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October 25 -- 6:53 PM

The weather was totally stunning today (72 and sunny), so after a morning of cleaning and organizing the playroom (completely done, for the first time since, oh, since we moved in, go us!), the kids and I rewarded ourselves with a walk around the neighborhood. Hot dogs at Five Guys, pumpkin cheesecake and chocolate eclair at Sugar Fixe. The kids approve of the pumpkin cheesecake; Anand found the eclair a little too grown-up in flavor for him, but Kavi liked it. So did I!

Hide-and-seek in the park!

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October 24 -- 9:03 AM

A very delayed house project finally happened yesterday -- we added two new small windows to the kids' playroom (part of the finished attic), alleviating the gloom. We should've done it in the initial house remodel -- we talked about it, but somehow, it fell off the plans. But finally added, and it looks great from the outside -- like whimsical little eyes, flanking the trim that faces the old chimney. Two eyes, and a nose -- there's a face on our house now.

Interior shots after they've added the interior trim and I've had a chance to clean up a bit.

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October 24 -- 8:05 AM

I have nothing scheduled today, for the first time in quite a while. Well, nothing beyond watching Kavi and Kat's kids starting @ 11 (half-day at school, due to conferences), and Neha coming by in the afternoon to work on DesiLit stuff. I am waffling between trying to write, even with them here, and just giving up and planning on today being a cleaning-the-playroom / running errands / random e-mails / goofing off day.

I think I may split the difference -- 2 hours of writing first, while the house is quiet (have to drop Anand off at preschool first), and then randomness the rest of the day. We'll see!

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October 23 -- 2:00 PM

Can I tell you, it is both incredibly frustrating and incredibly satisfying teaching the early American literature survey course? I mean, on the one hand, we are just dipping into one text after another, dip, dip, dip -- for example, today we covered Uncle Tom's Cabin in 45 minutes! Okay, we only covered the first three chapters, because seriously, that is all you have time for in 45 minutes, esp. if you're trying to discuss Stowe's work in the context of Puritan tradition, transcendentalism, etc. and so on. But still doing close reading of the text! Frustrating!!!

And then on the other hand -- OMG, we are reading SO MUCH GOOD STUFF. I mean, seriously, this is like America's Greatest Hits here. I don't think the students have any idea what a treasure trove they're casually walking through (okay, racing through at breakneck speed), but hopefully some fragments are lodging in their consciousness, and maybe, I can hope, they will go back to these books over winter holidays and re-read them at their leisure, for the sheer pleasure of it?

A girl can dream.

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