Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Local politics

A very nice representative from the city came to our neighborhood association meeting last week. One of the things I love about my neighbors, at least the ones who regularly come to the meetings, is that they are not shy. They are not shy about asking difficult questions or saying what is on their minds. They are also so nice about it that one cannot be offended.

We asked the rep about everything from recycling (he'd come to tell us about a recycling contest between our neighborhood and the one next to us) to civic plans. The city spent a lot of money on an Architectural Planning Guide to guide folks through the exterior renovation process. It recommends things such as period appropriate colors and building styles and adornments. Some of us have been suspicious that it is a move toward designating more neighborhoods as historic. So we asked. The rep said that our neighborhood was not in the works for any kind of historic designation. A lot of us heaved sighs of relief. Nonetheless someone did ask the million dollar question: if the neighborhood were up for consideration as a historic district would we be informed? The rep looked a little surprised and said of course we would be informed. Being a suspicious sort I'm still going to keep my eyes open.

The rep did remind us that Old Southwest residents requested the designation. True, but I suspect that a lot of those people did not fully understand what the designation meant in terms of rules and costs. I've looked at one or two other areas with historic review boards and it does seem that Roanoke's is pretty draconian. I would hate to see my neighbors a few doors down have to remove their rusted chicken sculptures. I swear that they look much cooler than that description would suggest.

Monday, January 21, 2008

And furthermore!

I Got Stuff Done this past week. Small things but for me, huge.

I cleaned and polished the oak floors in my TV room and put down an area rug. The color is totally awful for the curtains in the room and I absolutely refuse to put up a picture. Ok, maybe once I'm ready to replace said clashing carpet.

The other reason it took me so long to put down a rug was my 3 cats. or rather, the 3 cats who own me. Claw the carpet they must. I sprayed with some Lambert Kay Boundary Indoor/Outdoor Cat Repellent, stuff I used when I was an apartment dweller. It worked really well for that place, and I'm hoping that between the spray and the expensive kitty condo I put in the room here the little darlings will claw appropriately. Sure they will.

Holy Moly it's freaking COLD!

Even though southwest Virginia tends to be way warmer than my former home in the greater Philadelphia area, these mountains are COLD this week! It went below 30 degrees last night!

What does this have to do with my house? Ha! My house, like so many 1920s abodes, has no wall insulation. Brrr. And let's not EVEN talk about my leaky windows that are still leaky even after the shrink plastic. There were cold breezes wafting though my kitchen last night. I had my thermostat turned up to an embarassingly high temp last night and it was so cold out that my inside temp never got over 66 degrees. That's frigging cold.

I look into my crystal ball and forsee blown-in insulation. Oh Hell, yeah.

In other news the radiation treatments are going well. I feel a little better each week despite the tightly controlled sunburn. That nasty yet life saving chemo is slowly leaving my system. w00t!