Not for lunch.

For about six years now, Joe has owned a custom built recording studio here in Toronto. Designed perfectly, it was 2600 square feet of the stuff that music is made of, and every inch of it packed with things that make music geeks all excited. (I know there are music geeks out there and some of you are going to ask me now what these things are. I don’t know. I hear words like Studer, Neve, Drawmer and McCurdy. He speaks of Analog and tubes and resisters. He can’t explain the fleeces in the basement, I can’t explain the boxes at the studio. It’s an understanding.) This studio isn’t just a business for Joe, it’s also where he has his stuff. It’s where he talks on the phone, it’s where he can take things apart and leave disassembled stuff in a box on his desk. It’s where he can have paintings I don’t like and posters I think are stupid…it’s his space entirely, and it keeps me from having to have all of that stuff in our tiny house. It’s good. Really good. I work here where I have manuscripts and wool lying around, he works there where he has albums and wires everywhere…nobody gets in each others way. (Much. There is a small issue with my office also being his home and whether or not that means he has the right to sit in my office chair and touch my desk hang out here during any part of my workday, but I’m sure that by the time I’m 84 we’ll have hashed that out.)

This month, however, Joe’s landlord suddenly decided that he was not going to be in the landlord business anymore, and whammo, Joe doesn’t have a business any longer. (I really think this is harder to take than a bankruptcy. Closing a successful business bites.) Joe will start the business again when we find another location to build a studio in, or maybe Joe will begin a venture of another nature, but these things take months to sort out, and until that happens Joe has had to vacate the old space. There are three problems with this.

1. Joe is unemployed freelancing now.

2. Joe’s stuff is EVERYWHERE. All the big stuff, consoles, tape machines, that kind of thing went to storage, but if Joe’s going to freelance, a lot of his equipment needs to be set up and accessible, and that means this is in the kitchen.


This is in the basement. (Formerly known as the house of Washie)


Worst of all (and a clear violation of home sharing rules) this stuff is in my office. My sweet little office, my room of my own…


My space. (There is yarn and needles in that cupboard…now totally blocked by sound equipment.) There’s even more in the backyard waiting to come in.


Joe is working hard to move stuff in and out, but right now it’s a lot of traffic, all through the tiny office I’m clearly not going to be working in for a few days.

We have a 1300 square foot house with a family of five in it, and even just bringing part of a 2600 square foot studio into this place is way, way too much. (Truthfully, if you have a family of five in a house this size, a bar of soap can be a difficult addition to negotiate.) If one more thing with a resistor or a transistor comes into this house we’re going to have to start going outside to change our minds…and that’s not even the worst of it.

3. Joe is home. All day. With me. In this house, which, during the day is not in fact our home, but my office. He is drinking coffee. (That means I keep going into the kitchen and finding no coffee. That is a problem.) He is talking on the phone. (It is daytime. Nobody should be talking here.) He is turning on the tv (Dude? No tv in the office.) He is organizing his stuff….well. I can’t really complain about that. Not if I want the kitchen, office and backyard cleaned up, but you know what I mean. I love this man, I really do, but this is My Space. I work here. I write here and there should be no other people drinking coffee while talking on the phone in my space. I feel sure of this. So sure, in fact that I am hostile and edgy, annoyed and bothered – as well as locked in the bedroom.

This is not part of my system, and I really do like, love, need my system. The system is the only thing that helps me get anything done at all. I know this is temporary, I know this is necessary and I am certainly ever so sympathetic to how hard this is for my darling man. I have taken deep breaths and unkinked my shoulders and I am working hard to remember that this sort of thing is part of being a team…but it doesn’t change the fact that I’m on a deadline and there’s a hairy coffee drinking dude surrounded by wires and tubes talking on a phone in my our office.

I’m reminded of my Great Aunt Helen. My Uncle Don had finally retired and after 50 years of marriage and spending her days alone I wondered how Helen would like having Don home with her all the time. I called and asked her how it was going. “I don’t know dear” she sighed “I have to tell you, this might not be working out. I really married Don for better or for worse… not for lunch.”

I get that now. Reach over that amplifier and pass me a coffee.

284 thoughts on “Not for lunch.

  1. I can sympathize. Once my husband started working from home, any system for anything that I may once tenuously have had? Vanished. Sad but true.

  2. Oh dear! My utmost sympathies. I don’t know what I’d do if a stack of sound equipment was blocking access to my yarn and needles.

  3. You have suddenly made me feel much better about my I mean our cramped quarters. Nothing like a little perspective!

  4. Nothing like a big hairy coffee drinking dude to spoil a Yarn Harlot’s day.
    He really sits in YOUR chair? Does he eat your porridge too? πŸ˜‰

  5. Wow, there’s no way I’m first. I totally get it. Not that I have a deadline or anything, but when the man retired, I had to make a lot of mental adjustments, and we don’t have the space problem you have. My sympathy to both of you (since I’m sure Joe is having some mental adjustments to make too).

  6. OMG How true- there’s nothing worse than having to share space, even with someone you love!!!

  7. I sympathize. I gave up my own ‘office’ at home six months ago in preperation for our second baby. My husband still has his man cave in the basement, but I had to spread my stuff around the house. I’m STILL having issues with the lack of private space – not to mention the fact that my knitting is now spread out everywhere and is driving me nuts!

  8. That’s terrible news! My heart goes out to both of you. Is Joe crushed? Hang in there…hopefully Joe will find a new space sooner than later.

  9. WOW, yeah.. hubby and I were both unemployed togehter once, and I was eight months pregnant. Imagine..tiny little apartment, two adults at home all day..both normally slobs, but one is NESTING.. yeah, was kinda interesting.

  10. i feel for you. i fear every day that my hubby’s business will suffer the same sort of fate and I’ll be spending the few hours of sleep i actually get now trying to sell 10,000 comic books on ebay. never mind the having to actually have a lengthy conversation. good luck to you both.

  11. My heartflet condolences to you and to Joe. I have been dealing with a crisis of sorts (broken water heater and no bucks to replace it) of my own and having a big pity party for myself, but reading about your trials and tribulations…well, like I said, my heartfelt condolences and hope you find a solution(s) soon.

  12. I’m really sorry to hear about Joe losing his space. Hope it doesn’t take him too long to find an even better one.
    Wishing you good humor and patience for the duration until he does.

  13. Gosh, I wish I was a landlord in Ontario so I could rent you 2 studios, and make a little room for the soap. I know about the search for space – I once looked for high ceilings, sturdy floors, no neighbors and 3-phase electric service for my 3 industrial power-looms.
    And hey!! I thought you were done with deadlines for a month or two. Another one on the front burner? Are you still in the baby business? Best wishes.

  14. Oh Stephanie, that is awful, poor you. It drives me nuts if my husband is on shift and home during the day, invading my space, using my computer, sitting on my sofa when I want to knit there! We have a cramped space for 5 people, its 100 square metres but as my maths is awful I have no idea what that is in feet, but I am SURE it would be much worse if someone filled it with amps and electrical stuff! Hope Joe finds his own space soon.

  15. I used to live in Upstate New York. The last few weeks of winter are uglyuglyugly, but they bring about that fresh green newness where infant leaves form a halo around trees that looked hopelessly gray only a few days ago.
    Breathe. Say it with me. “Change is good.”
    “Change is good.”
    “Change is gooooood.”
    I’ve been single and alone (which are very different indeed) for over eleven years now. Dang, what I wouldn’t do to have a big hairy pre-employed coffee-drinking dude in my living space…for a while, anyhow, and then we’d have to negotiate.
    My best to everyone in your house as you adjust to the changes.

  16. Though I’ve never had to contend with as much added stuff – we’ve gone through the “between jobs”, “looking for a new venture”, and the “I’ll hang with you today” scenario a couple of times. The worst part is when he looks at you. You know, watching you – when you are planning your next profoundly important task of the day while sitting in the comfy chair drinking coffee. You will now completely understand when your children used to yell, “MOM -HE’S LOOKING AT ME AGAIN!!!”

  17. Dude, I feel for you. THe day my Dad moved his business into their house, is the day my retired Mom went back to work. Yet my in-laws happily spend most of the day together. Go figure. Weekends, evenings and holidays are enough for hubby and I.

  18. I just wanted to send my sympathies. I know what it is like to feel that things happen one thing after another, and I cannot immagine the stress for both of you. Our hearts over here go out to you, and I hope it will all be better soon… whatever better means for you and Joe… I hope you have it.

  19. Oh poor dear! Let me see if I have the math straight – you had 5 people crammed into 1300 sq ft, and then he put stuff that took up TWICE as much room into that space as well. It’s amazing no one clunked him over the head as he was carrying in a load.
    I feel bad for him though. I’ve been there. It’s always so disheartening to have something you’ve worked so hard on fall through – and through no fault of your own. I’ll hope he finds another space quickly, one with the best accoustics in the world, and the business just springs back to life.
    Meanwhile, the coffee will just wind you up, so may I suggest a nice glass of wine?

  20. And sound equipment takes up way more space than yarn. Maybe your brother can come by and help with more space saving measures. Good luck. I really hope he finds new space soon, and close by for easy transit.
    Calm & blessings to you both.

  21. After a former boss retired, I asked his wife what it was like. She said, “It’s a whole lot of husband!” Hang in there!

  22. Well I totally relate to the situation. People with strong personalities tend to get on each others nerves when their routines are interrupted, never mind not having enough space or enough coffee.
    Probably a good thing you got married BEFORE this happened.

  23. I hear ya! My dad’s back to work today, after having been in the house since Labor Day Tuesday – early September. And Mom’s going back to school, I take distance learning courses for high school, and he makes so much noise! It’s not him so much, actually, but he has five things that make noise, in one room, in the dead-center of the house. Which have been, for eight weeks, on constantly.
    It’s such a relief to get him out of the house. Just remember, this too shall pass – eventually.

  24. Shoot!! That all really bites. I certainly hope Joe will get premesis (sp?) soon. Electric stuff and fiber? I can see how that could get difficult. I too have a small house (940sqft) and with the addition of “Baby XY” we are also adding a room in the walk-up. I don’t suppose you have that option???

  25. Occasionally my husband gets the bright idea to work from home for a few days. ‘Nough said. You have my sympathy and fervent hopes for a new, improved studio space very soon. Perhaps you can put him to good use doing laundry, washing dishes, and vacuuming while he’s around. Better yet, send him on errands OUTSIDE the house. Hang in there, this will pass.

  26. You have my sympathy AND my empathy. We lived in a 1400 square foot home for 7 years, during which time our family grew from 5 to 9. Yes, there were 9 of us in that house with ONE bathroom. And now, even though we live in a larger house, I still get irritated when my husband announces without warning that he is taking the day off. This upsets ALL our home schooling routines and makes it difficult to get anything done. So I can only imagine what it must be like to have it happen every day!

  27. That is, by far, the best quote about marriage I have ever heard. Seriously.
    I feel your house pain. 945 sq ft…2 teeny closets…2 adults…2 cats….2 large dogs…and now…a baby?! Are you shitting me? Can kids sleep in washing machines?

  28. Oh, Stephanie. I feel your pain. My husband and I share our home office, which is slightly smaller than an average bedroom. It’s…a challenge. Mine mutters to himself while working, but only in half sentences. And is so loud on the phone that I’m expecting aliens to land in the backyard and tell us they heard him FROM SPACE.
    Love him dearly, but there IS such a thing as ‘too much togetherness.’
    I’ll be sending good ‘find a new studio STAT’ vibes your way…

  29. Oh, my. Here’s hoping that new space can be found for all the sound equipment SOON! Or, if that fails, new knitting/writing space for you instead…

  30. Having second thoughts about marriage?
    Thank goodness The Book and The Shawl are finished.

  31. And I’m suppose to believe it’s merely coincidence that this happened *after* y’all got legally hitched? Good thing you sort of dig the husband…

  32. Had similar problem. Solved it by building a log cabin in garden. His and hers sides. Mine full of wool, cross stitching and essential items! His full of short wave radios – how much fun can you get listening to aeroplane pilots!! I hope you get this problem resolved.

  33. Uh-oh!
    See? This is why I just have a dog. His stuff (aka squeaky toys) fit nicely in a basket in the corner, and he rarely ever chatters while I’m trying to think . . .

  34. Five people in 1300 square feet????!? That is now getting 2600 square feet’s worth of stuff moved into it? If you ever get tired of your various other brilliant careers you can give seminars on space management. (We have 4 people in 2500 square feet. All of a sudden I feel extremely wasteful.)
    May Joe find perfect new space, soon.

  35. Oh, oh. Mine will be home for six weeks after back surgery . . . but I have to leave to go to work. You have my deepest sympathy. My thoughts & prayers are with you.

  36. Yes, change is good, but beer is better. Drink. It will make the boxes seem smaller – or like they’re growing and that will be scary or entertaining. Either way, it will take your mind off the big coffee-drinker watching TV in the office chair. If these people would only learn their BOUNDARIES. I’m wishing you both the best in this new period of life. Good luck.

  37. Stephanie, when did you come in here and take pictures of my house? The worst thing is, the sound stuff doesn’t squish into small spaces — it demands a certain space, of a certain shape, and won’t compromise! Not to mention that stubbing your toe on yarn is a lot less unpleasant. At least my guy has a different day job — if it was him AND the stuff 24/7, well, my reputation as a nice person would be history. Poor Joe — did he know this was coming?

  38. I hope Joe gets set up in a new studio soon. it’s got to be terribly tough for both of you to be displaced.

  39. I feel your pain. I’m married to a writer and he’s home all the time. We live in the sticks, and there can be WEEKS when he doesn’t leave.
    Luckily, I have an office I can go to, even on weekends. Maybe you should rent a writer’s/knitters loft? A loft above a yarn store? At a secret location of course …

  40. In case you care, I got the title reference right away. My mom’s cousin had her husband (a lawyer) continue to go into the office after he retired. Well I don’T know if it was her or him, and he did keep up a couple of clients but, yeah, no lunch.
    Hope it works out. Maybe once he gets the pile of stuff safe from being snowed on, he could spend his time touring the city looking for studio space and drinking Tim’s coffee instead.

  41. I actually work in an office away from home, while it’s my husband who works at home. It took a bit of adjusting when he started working from home, and frankly still does, as there is lots of “projects” on the dining room table and all over the living room. But the one thing I have gained from having a husband who works from home is that dinner is usually on the table when the bus drops me off after work. And because of this, I tolerate the “projects” all over the house. Its pretty easy to get used to the “projects” all over the place when the exchange for that is dinner! on the table! without me having to do ANYTHING! (except the dishes).

  42. This is why I now avoid roommates.
    I might remind you that you own a lovely new laptop and are therefore, portable. I might also suggest the quiet and solitude of a library. Either public or at the university. I would suggest a park, but it is October.

  43. Bless you my dear sweet Harlot. I remarried after almost 14 years of single parentness and it was oh so very hard to get used to having a new person in MY space, picking up MY mail, sitting on MY couch, answering MY phone, looking at MY stuff, using MY free time. But, now, after 7 years of newly wedded bliss I’d miss him if he weren’t here. He acknowledges my need for my space and my stuff and I acknowledge his, but it took some major adjusting. My house was only 1100 sq. fee, one bathroom and filled with myself and two teenagers and all our stuff. Thank heavens for the basement. A few adjustments there gave him HIS space! Hang in there! I’ll send you both good vibes for finding him a new workspace.

  44. whoa, sorry… i’ve been there too (minus the added electronic stuff) but d(#!**^%)h was here at home while waiting for the new job to start up
    …one solution is to grab the knitting or laptop and go work somewhere outside…the botanical gardens is a real treat…pick up groceries on the way home and he’ll never know you were escaping the chaos…do they have those pod things in canada? they drive them up and you fill them ..i think alot about getting one but am afraid i’d have no acquisition bounderies.. not that i pay much heed to them now…..

  45. Was that a guitar case I spied in the picture? Hummm, guitars have holes in them usually. What if you stuffed fiber stuff in the music equipment holes, labeled the cases carefully, then he could use some of your storage space while you utilize a new “space”. He’d get a sense of what you are going through.

  46. It should be a hard and fast rule of the universe that when a loved one’s routine is interrupted, it should happen in a way that it doesn’t touch your routine. When Knitters rule the universe, that will be the fourth change to make. (I was going to say second, after “Yarn is limitless, knot-free (unless you like knots), sheep are revered, and everyone always has the right size of needle handy.” but I thought maybe we should have world peace and no hunger too.)
    Good luck with that.

  47. I can actually sympathize with you and with him. The day that my boyfriend and I had to close down our store, we had a ton of crap to move and store, and to make matters worse, he got laid off of his dayjob the very same day. It sucked. We aggravated each other. I eventually got another job and so did he, but we still have stuff stored in the storage unit and it doesn’t get any cheaper to do that. Once we can find a new location, we’ll open it up again, but for now, we’re working our little jobs and wishing for those quiet (well, semi-quiet anyways) days again. Thankfully you love Joe. That’s what got us through the hard times!

  48. Say it ain’t so, Joe.
    (But you just had to go and marry him, right?)
    Enough sympathy. The BASEMENT? The one that floods with slightly more regularity than the Nile delta? (As someone with a ShopVac on permanent loan, I can talk.) Get that stuff up on blocks! (Or rubber tubs of stash.) Tarp the backyard piles! Ach, wailey, wailey…
    And also crivens.
    And Presbetra? Sounds that that may have to be vertical.

  49. This is coming from a position of great (and appropriate) ignorance of your family dynamics/finances, but is there any possibility that you and Joe can become your own landlords (aka buy someplace yourselves)? Just a suggestion…

  50. Have you considered renting a small office for yourself and letting Joe have yours? Might be easier to find (and cheaper) than soundsuite space. Good luck!

  51. My husband of 23 years is now semi-retired, which means I get one half of what I used to done at home. You totally have my sympathy, wait ’til he sits in your chair and gets it with a double-pointer. And all that stuff! Hope he can find another studio soon. Did he have a coffee maker there? If so, dig it out and use both. Coffee shortage is stressful.

  52. ooooooohhhhh….I feel your pain…we’ve got 6 in 1200 sq. feet (and that includes the garage…) We have to flush the toilet to let the cat in the door, seriously…I don’t know what we’d do if I quit this sewer and had to bring all my teaching stuff home…something would have to go… (Probably the dog, the fish and the weenie pig…we’re sort of attached to all the kids…)

  53. Good luck to you both. I totally sympathize.
    John, my beloved has always worked menial labor. I have always worked computers. He doesn’t get it that yes, you can chat while unboxing ten thousand pair of shoes but no, you can’t chat while writing a DTO package, at least not a complicated one.
    When we had a severe snow storm here a few years back, John and some other folk were trapped in my house. I had to do my work anyway. I could dial in to my office computer and theoretically work as if I were sitting at my desk in the office. I’ve done it many times before and since.
    The other guests went into the living room and watched movies. John pulled up a chair next to me to keep me company.
    Understand that computers are lightning-witted morons. edName and eName and edtName and Ename and ename are all different variables and all refer to completely different things. The computer won’t understand that Stephanie and Stephannie might possibly be the same person. I need to keep those names, and the syntax of the various commands, and the logic of the program I’m writing, in my head simultaniously. It can be 20 or 30 such names at a time.
    Understand that computers need to be hand-held in a way that makes small children look like geniouses. You can tell a four-year-old kid “get me the crayon on the table” without going step by step about how to stand up, which foot to put forward first, how to shift his weight, pick up the back foot, swing it forward, step again… Computers need that and you can’t miss a detail.
    Understand that, if the child finds the crayon on the chair, not the table, the child might bring it, or say something, or ask “this crayon?” or worst case throw a temper tantrum. The child will not fall over dead from the experience, which is exactly what a computer program will do if one tiny detail is not as expected.
    So this isn’t chatting time.
    There was no getting rid of him. Every time he’d say something he’d detangle the web I’d built in my head and I’d answer and have to start over. This was about every 2-3 minutes. The thing is, I couldn’t get mad. Every time I suggested something like “I’m sort of busy, now. Why don’t you go watch Escape From New York with the guys?” he’d say something like “It’s okay. I’d rather be with you.” He’s too sweet to be mad at.

  54. Oh, how I sympathize with you. I raised 4 kids in 1089 sq feet. And with a on and off again unemployed husband. Challenges have made me stronger. Funny, now that all the kids are gone, the house seems smaller. Or fuller of junk. Have to work on that. Make more room for yarn.

  55. You have my deepest sympathies. My family of four lives in a 1200 square foot house. When my husband started our insurance agency, we were working out of our house for a couple of months, with no room devoted to the business. Our dining room (the only place to sit down to eat, as we have a galley kitchen with no seating area)became office during the day and dining area at night. Worse, I never felt like I was really at work nor that I ever was really at home, because it wasn’t a space that we coule just say was “the office”. Life improved dramatically as soon as the office space we had rented was finished and we moved the business out of the house. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for you that Joe soon finds another studio. It doesn’t matter how much we love them, they need to be out from underfoot!

  56. Ok. Here’s the plan.
    Remember how you were commenting about your stash “taking over” the world, errr…house? Well, i’m thinking that you could knit Joe a space.
    Yes, you read that right. Knit a ginormous room out of insane amounts of wool. Make it at least twice as large as you need it to be. Then felt it. That should render it mostly waterproof, right? No? Hmmm.
    I only have one small flaw with this plan and i’ve not yet figured it out…Mr. Washie just won’t be able to handle the girth of the “space”.
    Ok. Maybe two flaws. Time. It would take amazing amounts of time. Maybe it could be a group project?…
    Ok. I’ll leave now. Sorry ’bout that.

  57. Funny (not your situation), but my old man & I do the mostly the same things as you and Joe (not professionally though). We live in a slightly smaller house but only 4 live here, so it’s about the same. He has albums & wires & sub-woofers & guitars & things that are strange to me. It’s difficult at best for me to put up a post let alone knit with thought. Oh, I got that job thing too. I’ll throw all good Karma toward the north, so try to catch it!

  58. I feel your pain. I really do. My husband used to work in an office, but when I told him he had to either get a second job to bring his income to what we needed to buy a house or get another job completely that paid what we needed, he got another job completely. This new job has him “telecommuting” to the office (50 miles away) 4 out of 5 days a week. The first week, I thought this arrangement was heaven. Breakfast together, being able to talk to one another, less maintainence and gas spent on the car, having him home as soon as the kids got home at 5… well, it was wonderful! Until day 3 of week 2 when my email box was overflowing (his telecommute meant no more daytime desktop for me, as he is working on that computer), the budget spreadsheet hadn’t been updated, the online bank statement unchecked, the auto-paid (by online check) bills unconfirmed, and my google reader was bursting with unread posts. I asked him to hand over the computer for an hour. That’s when he uttered the phrase that brought paradise to an end: “All you do is sit and knit all day and now you want to kick me off the computer while *I’M* working?”

  59. Boy, just when I think you must be now living the easy life you surprise us with another major life event. Warm thoughts going your way for a bigger tomorrow (and for a successful change for Joe).

  60. i feel your pain. thankfully my E works mostly at the office. i work in a *corner* of our 1bedroom apt. i now have the run of my uni (again) so that has eased some tension (except in my back from schlepping). i’m not allowed a wheel (or any more spindles) until we figure out how/where to move. it’s stressful .. i gave up clothes to store fibre.. also good is now he’s back in school too so hopefully tv won’t be turned on while i’m doing either client work or homework at 10pm. *sigh*
    good luck. i’m sending vibes for good, clean, happy, harmonious spaces your way. πŸ™‚

  61. As an at-home writer and editor you have my deepest sympathies!! Although I adapted to having my son under feet while he was younger, having my husband home on a work day drives me nuts. Through no fault of his own… but yeah, TV on during the day and all that. And get off my computer – I wasn’t done working, knitting just helps me think is all!! It all seems so wrong… yet this man is my best friend and life partner. But you just don’t mess with a writer’s mojo.

  62. Just finished 8 months of my husband being home. I love him with all my heart, but why does the TV have to be on all the time? I remember this w/my dad; is it a guy thing?

  63. Poor Joe. How heartbreaking. I’m going to pretend that I have an actual, viable, affordable answer here (bear with me): He could get a trailer and create a mobile studio for recording bands at live gigs. I only suggest it because I have a friend who did just that. I don’t know if your current vehicle could pull a trailer like that, or where you would park it, or if Joe has any interest in that at all, and it wouldn’t solve the coffee issue, but I had to throw it out there ’cause it’s, you know, the internet. That’s what we do here.

  64. I was unemployed for a while when my hubby was working from home. Boy, lives surely can get threadbare when two people are trying to share space for two totally different working styles. Have a glass of wine, put on some of his fancy headphones and make your own zone in your mind.. what else is music equipment good for? πŸ˜‰

  65. I FEEL your pain. A little over a year and a half ago, due to circumstances beyond my control, our five member family, two cats, two hermit crabs and some sea monkeys moved to an 1100 sq ft. condominium. We have a home business. What we don’t have is a basement nor a backyard.
    I thought I would, and likely for a while I did, go mad. Now the hermit crabs have shuffled off their mortal coils, daughter number one is teaching up north and numbers two and three and the sea monkeys are away at school. People are getting SICK of me complaining about how quiet it is around here and wondering aloud about how to fill the empty spaces. Well, empty until the end of April.
    Hang in there Harlot, send me Milly if you like. The cats are lonely too!

  66. Yurt. What Suz is suggesting is a yurt. Totally doable. The Mongolians were deprived of Mr. Washie, too, so they dragged the felt-in-progress behind galloping horses. I’m sure the Queen Street bus would do.

  67. Yikes – I get kind of itchy after having my dear drummerman in the house just for the weekend. Drums and all their relatives – stuff you shake, hit, strike or otherwise make noise with, took up a good part of my basement for awhile. Drove me nuts, but he’s since moved the last of the drumsets (yes plural) out to their rightful place at his house, and I kinda miss hitting the crash cymbal, or thunking the hi-hats when I walked by. Love is a wondrous thing.
    However, space is vital to making it work – so here’s my suggestion. I want one of these so bad I can taste it, and I live alone in 1500 glorious square feet to call my own (most of the time).
    I think one would make the most fabulous studio and you could probably stick it on your new back patio…
    Until then, I know some better space than the old studio is going to present itself. You are the Harlot, and he is Joe. It will.

  68. I have a friend who lives in Toronto, by Bathurst and Sheppard, with a really big house near this even bigger (one would hope!) park, that used to house 5 ( she has three daughters, too), with a finished basement, and now just has her. She has been talking of downsizing.
    She also writes books.
    Maybe you guys should switch?

  69. Shite. That really sucks S. Wishing you lots of luck getting through this physically, financially and most importantly, psychologically!

  70. Oh my. Now that’s quite troublesome. I totally understand invading your space, even though it is a temporary one. And coming from a “sound” person myself (I work in radio – all I do is organize sound all day!!!) and a knitter, I’d much prefer my knitting and never for my equipment/work to get in the way of my yarn.
    I hope all that equiment leaves soon. What you don’t need is some yarn getting caught in some speaker wires. No, no one needs that. Though, now that I think about it, I wonder if wool is strong enough to hold up some speakers from the ceiling??? πŸ˜‰

  71. My sweetie and I have had nine blissful years living NEXT DOOR to each other. I recommend this as the perfect solution. Good luck keeping your sanity for the time being. πŸ™‚

  72. Steph–you completely have my sympathy! When my husband retired, he started an antique tool business and completely took over the kitchen, the garage AND the basement (I have a narrow path to the washer). We frequently have “words” when he tries to expand into the dining room! But we’ve worked it out and since his stuff fills up the kitchen, I’ve quit cooking (no more kids at home) and we have breakfast together but go our separate ways the rest of the time.
    Fortunately he knows absolutely nothing about my computer, so that is my refuge.
    Good Karma is coming your way, hoping that Joe finds a nice big studio space. And SOON!

  73. When I became a writer last June, I was the Joe to my husband’s Yarn Harlot (he is a work-from-home computer software programmer, and has been for seven years). The first three months were really difficult — for both of us. Then, we discovered the beauty of a home Wireless Internet, laptops, noise canceling earphones, the one cup coffee maker (we’re both very picky about our coffee), and rock-paper-scissors decision making (who gets the mail? who makes lunch? etc.) I know where you are right now, and I feel for you. I hope you figure things out, too, because now I enjoy working at home with my hubby!

  74. I empathize. I would like to offer my rec room for your wool stash. I would take really good care of it for you, and maybe even give it back…
    I have a Great Aunt Helen too. She’s a doll. She does her hair to take out the garbage (she’s 92), because she’s not going to be one of those “poor souls” who take out the garbage in their jammies (like me!).

  75. LOL – I can sympathize, but (I’m sorry) with Joe. My husband works from home and as a result when I come home (or take a day off) I’m in HIS space. Be patient. And take Sarah’s advice – headphones make a HUGE difference. Really. Oh – and a bigger coffee pot.

  76. Hey, shoot me an email. I am back from my trip and brought you something. I wanna know when to give it to you.

  77. Oh, I really do understand and feel for you. My dad has been living with us for the past 2 months in the basement of our own very small house. I am happy to help him out while they put his house back together (there was a flood) but I’m ready for things to go back to normal.

  78. Try headphones and phone headsets?
    I have to admit that I don’t quite get this post – I married mine for lunch. Nearly everyday and that is enough to make me go WOOT!

  79. Been there. Done that. Got the Tshirt. My husband retired from the Air Force after 20 years and thankfully he was only 40 when he retired. He drove me nuts being there when I woke up, when I got home from work, whenever I turned around. I was so used to having my personal alone time. The goodness is that since he was only 40 and someone who has to work, he’s found another job and I have my alone time back.
    Good luck in the interim. It’s a killer.

  80. Oh man. I feel for you, I do. My boyfriend is a live sound engineer, so we have all kinds of things I can’t explain in the way of my yarn. All I can suggest is get out those real estate listings and find help him find a new space!

  81. OMG — remember that you will look back on this, yada-yada-yada. My husband was once laid off (fired) and (while he was in school at the time) he was home a lot more than was, well, normal. My solution: I immediately bumped my part-time hours up to full-time. Yes, I said it was to cover the health benefits, but really, it was for something way more important — to save our marriage ;~}

  82. Please, Auntie Rams, what’s a criven?
    And Steph, in the spirit of trying to find any small good thing, I did notice that in the photo of (what used to be) your office the ironing board is well and truly stuck in the back there. That totally absolves you of any possible ironing duties for a while.

  83. Whooooa, for the love of all sweet woolies! I so feel what you’re talking about, although children are grown and gone, only two bedrooms here and he took the spare, pc crap all over the place,plus 3 pc systems all in ‘his’ room… The house is 1100 sq ft (maybe) no garage, no basement, and I do actually cringe a bit when even thinking about the time he retires…so that said, I’m hoping a space is found for Joe so he can set up with whatever he’s wanting to do so it can return to quiet for you….I love the quiet…after raising three, I love the quiet.

  84. Well, I didn’t read the comments above (lack of time) but I think it’s time for you guys to move!
    At least you know this is a temporary situation. Mine is, too, but it’s not for the same reasons yours is. My husband fell off a ladder 5 weeks and 3 days ago and dislocated his right heel, broke the hell and the ankle, and a few more bones in the foot for good measure. He’s just today started to work at home, but the cast is on for almost 7 more weeks (minimum) and he’ll be working there for the duration. At least I get out Monday thru Friday to my job. But I go home everyday for lunch to get him fed. He can’t carry anything since he’s on crutches (no weight bearing for 3 months). Poor baby. At least our kids are grown and out of the house!

  85. Reading your entry today reminded me of when my husband and I got married six years ago. I moved into his home (he was widowed, and the home was paid for so it made alot of sense) with him and his two lovely daughters-at that time 15 and 18. I had never really lived in a place as small-just under 1000 sq ft and one bathroom. I complained and whined. I wanted a bigger home. Then I found out my friend and her sisters (three of them) and deaf parents had lived in a house the same size in our same neighborhood. Suddenly, the house did not seem so small. Then our girls moved out. Perfect size now! But, we don’t have too much extra equipment and boxes around. I feel for you, Stephanie. Really. Here’s hoping a great space for Joe comes his way very soon!

  86. Wow! I thought knitting a shawl, doing a book tour and getting married was a lot…this is way. more. stressful! From a practical approach, can you even keep that stuff in the backyard? Isn’t it going to rain/snow sometime soon? I think you need a good old ice fishing house. My brothers go ice fishing in northern MN in the middle of winter in an 8×12 foot portable structure. It is heated with propane and feels quite spacious and warm. It folds up, so I know it could get into the backyard! Although, with teenagers around, it could turn in to a party house…especially if it had good sound equipment. I’ll have to rethink this idea.

  87. Oh my. Poor Joe. Poor you. Poor coffee supply. Though my husband does go away to work, I am sitting at a kitchen counter to type this, surrounded by an older computer and printer, big plastic bins full of things that should be in the basement, and a sleeping baby I didn’t have the heart to unbuckle from his car seat yet. Ever since we moved into this house (I’ll get back to you on the square footage but it’s way too small for two adults, four kids and two dogs) I have progressively lost every crafting space I have claimed for myself. Knitting is the only thing I can still do because it takes the least amount of space. Don’t even ask me how the quilt is coming for my grandmother.
    I think if I actually had the proper space to do anything in, I’d get too blocked to do any work.

  88. I’ve got a spare room and I’m usually quietly knitting or outside with children during the day. It’s a bit of a commute what with the hour and a half flight on a decent airline and the half hour flight on a puddle jumper. But all that flying time would let you knit quite a bit.

  89. Oh, I feel both y’all’s pain. Me man’s studio gear is strewn about the 1000 sq. ft apartment, depriving me of a dining room, a functioning living room, my office (now just a couch with a lot fo book snad crap on it), and my personal space. Had I know marriage would involve sharing my bed with a Mackie board and Neumann mic, I may have opted out.
    Still, I would advocate bearing quietly with it and using it as leverage in getting a Norm Hall wheel or a flock of merino lambs.

  90. Yep, I hear ya. I had Wonder Husband working in our basement for five years. He liked to play the radio (I like quiet during the day), he got lots of phone calls and deliveries (and who do you think was on the main floor to answer the door?) and he ate all the good leftovers in the fridge (which I see you have already dealt with as well.) Yep. I hear ya.
    The good news is that he moved his business out after finding just the right space, and I like him again. πŸ™‚ I’m hoping that Joe will be motivated to find another space quickly and that you will find creative ways to encourage that.

  91. Hang in there–this will all settle. I’m sure Joe will find another studio soon. In the meantime, make more coffee, take your knitting and go to your happy place and stay there. And remember how much you love him.

  92. My live-in boyfriend hopes to, in a few years, open his own recording studio. In the meantime, I eat breakfast with preamps and knit next to tape machines… Good to know there’s company out there!

  93. Studio spaces can be tricky to find. It doesn’t matter how great the building is if there is an autobody shop next door or a streetcar rumbling past every ten minutes. Maybe the solution is for YOU to rent an office where you can escape to do your work. And drink coffee and knit.

  94. Virginia Woolf had plenty to say about “a room of one’s own.” I think it’s time for your own studio. Think of it as a way to help Joe find a new space. As soon as you found the perfect few hundred square feet for you, Joe would find a lovely new space — even better than the old one– for himself…

  95. Oh, Steph. I totally understand. When my system is mucked about with I just lose it. I’m obsessive-compulsive and have lots of rules, and a strict system of How Things Ought to Be. Fortunately, my husband is very understanding and does his best to accomodate. If Joe is anything like John (and I ‘spect he prolly is), he’ll do his best to work with you in finding the balance again between mine, yours, and ours.

  96. After having worked together 24/7 for 10 of our 18 years together, hubby and I have learned that separate space is essential to a happy household. May I suggest that you spend some of the book dough on a fixer-upper in a nearby neighborhood, put to use all of your recently acquired renovation skills, and make yourselves each new offices? If you have the space, you can even rent out a couple of spaces to cover the mortgage! Then you can be the landlord and bring the cat to work and put yarn stash ANYWHERE YOU WANT.

  97. what an awful shot of reality bites. here is hoping for a smooth transition and no rain until things find a spot to be.

  98. Har har…I understand! I’m sharing a 10′ x 10′ bedroom with my sister, and we’re homeschooled. I love books and knitting, and she’s got a puppy and all the thing’s puppy paraphanalia in our room…plus two dressers and two desks. Trying to get work done can be…interesting. But, you know what? I still love her, though I wish it were at a little more of a distance. πŸ˜‰

  99. I don’t know how you cope, I couldn’t. I’ve lived by myself since I moved out of my mother’s house. I don’t think I’ll every love anyone enough to crowd my stash. We’d just have to find a bigger place together or call it off. πŸ˜‰

  100. As soon as I read that past tense “was” 2600 square foot space, I knew we were in trouble here. I’m praying for Joe to find a new, and hopefully better space. Something will open up, and you’ll look back and go wow, it was a good thing! It’s the getting there in the meantime that’s the hard part. My best wishes to both of you (said the daughter of a man who worked and wrote his books from home, back when men never but never worked from home. Not a room in the house that didn’t have his stuff. His stuff happened to be artwork, he was an art dealer, so this is not so bad… but… it is. Don’t flick your towel in the bathroom or you’ll go through a painting!)

  101. Umm…I have a rather large tent (with 3 “rooms”). Perhaps one of you could relocate their office there for a bit? My husband (a geek who trails wires and circuit boards …) doesn’t do well with downtime/too much vacation. He starts finding things for everyone else to do. This summer, my youngest finally looked at him and said “Daddy, isn’t it time for you to go back to work?”

  102. Oh. My. Gosh.
    Big sympathies for you.
    As one who works at home, all day, every day,
    i understand that feeling of ” this is My System,
    and you’re in My Office.”
    Good luck.
    May the force of Patience be with you.

  103. Steph, that’s awful for you both! Now, take a deep breath and repeat after me: This too shall pass. This too shall pass. This too shall pass. Hang in there, friend.

  104. Oh, man! Totally sympathetic here, Stephanie. My hubbie and I were eventually both on permanent *disability* together. Not only major ouch to the finances, but our main entertainment, aside from reading, was the computer. Of which there was one. (1) And while we loved each other dearly, we’d circle the computer like competing predators at a watering hole. We finally worked out a solution of living in alternating shifts, believe it or not. [g] (Not having kids helped.) Each of us got 12 hours on the computer. One would sleep, then when awake, do the usual other stuff (household chores, read, watch TV), until the other was off the computer, then pounce! Ahhhhh, back on the computer again. Yeah, it was a tad weird, but it worked. And we didn’t go nuts seeing each other 24/7, ’cause a goodly part of the time the other person was blissfully snoring away. πŸ˜‰
    Rams – love the Wee Free Men refs!!! T’ere can only be wan t’ousand! (Pratchett *and* Highlander: The Series fan here, LOL.)

  105. My husband, after meeting with our financial advisor, has discovered that, should he want to, he can retire at age 55. That’s only 8 SHORT years away. While I am thrilled for him (light at the end of the working stiff’s tunnel and all), I’m just a wee bit devastated for me. How will I possibly manage with him at home messing up my system?

  106. Hmmm…. I have a big, hairy dude that hangs around all the time and plays video games while I work at home all day. I actually prefer that to having to go to an office everyday… he doesn’t drink my coffee though, so that might be the key difference.

  107. This is difficult for all of you. Well, you could see if there’s a corner down in Lettuce Knit where you can do some research.

  108. You must keep repeating that things like this happen for a reason – something bigger and better is on the horizon and if he had been content and stayed where he was you would have passed up the opportunity.
    But my first thought was — “OH it is just like he retired” something I am way to familiar with as DH retired 6 years ago and I am STILL adjusting to it. πŸ˜‰
    And Maria has a really good idea there….

  109. Much sympathy. Having just send our second daughter off to college, we’re beginning to have a faint hope of decluttering the house — and — we’re learning how much of the clutter is ours!
    The one time it was great having my husband working at home was when I had a new baby, and I could go out to run errands baby, baby paraphernalia, and all that that entails, and know she’d be safe and responded to when she woke up.

  110. Reminds me of a couple I met when they were grandparents, who had raised a set of twins in a really teeny house. They then wanted a larger house to accomodate visits by children and grandchildren. When they were looking at houses he about killed the agent that showed them a house without a basement, saying there would be a homicide (didn’t say which of them)if he didn’t have his basement.
    I later met the woman who had been his secretary for years and years. She said he would always come in hoarse on Monday mornings, from having been yelling all weekend…..
    Have you offered to help Joe find a new space?
    On the other hand, my parents ran mom-and-pop businesses together (the first of which we lived at) their entire married life. And I don’t recall any real arguing.

  111. Kinda reminds me of a Japanese colloquialism for a retired husband, which I think applies here too – they’re called ‘wet leaves’, because they’re always underfoot and really hard to get rid of.

  112. 7 years. My husband tells me he will be retiring in 7 years. Tops. Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband and even love having him around, it’s just that he…um….gets in the way. I’m used to doing things MY way for 8 of the hours in each day. It’s the quiet hours to myself during the day that make the togetherness in the evening so nice.

  113. That was supposed to be WITHOUT baby, in case it wasn’t obvious.
    Also just thought to add: we still have tons of his computer-related work stuff in the basement, even though his actual office hasn’t been at home in maybe 15 years.

  114. Years ago a fellow at work was retiring. I asked what he planned to do all day with his wife home also. He said “he and the dog would be spending a lot of time sitting in the pick-up truck in the drive way”.
    Do you have a garage where lots of the “sound stuff” can go to?
    Can a storage unit be rented until new digs are found? Maybe you need to let hubby know that he can hang out in the basement or the bedroom because you need the computer, phone and office during the day.
    Maybe you could set hours for particular areas of the house.
    Heres hoping for new sound space really soon!

  115. Poor you. My husband and I have both worked out of the house for over 11 years. He has the nice empty room turned office. I have the small desk in the dark corner of the kitchen. He continually wanders in while I am on the phone or computer, turns on the tv, makes a snack, chats, etc. Then goes back to his office, leaving the tv on and the dishes piled up. Doesn’t he see the virtual door?

  116. The four of us live in a house that I suspect is quite a bit bigger than yours, but when my Hubby is working from home I swear I can hear him breathing at the far end of the house. How dare he breathe in MY space? Drives me crazy. He used to work away from home every second week…now he does a daily commute to the new job. Everyone thought I would be thrilled to have him home so much. Um…no……
    Good luck with the studio hunting. And get your politicians to pass some decent protected tenancy laws.

  117. Sorry, Stephanie, but I’m feeling a whole lot worse for Joe right now. As a musician who works from my own very tiny home (apartment) studio (and who also has a stash bordering on structural), I’m feeling it for the guy whose stuff is still partly in the backyard. I also understand what it’s like to have all your gear randomly stacked in “someone else’s space”, and not even close to functional. It’s not really nice. It’s especially unpleasant to have been recently evicted from your very own “happy place”, and not such a nice feeling not to know what comes next on your creative path.
    You two creatives are obviously going to have to work something out, but I’m pretty sure you’re not the only one this is hard on. I say this with love, but Steph, ease up on the big hairy guy. And teach him to make more coffee when the pot is empty.

  118. I feel your pain. My sweetie – a bass player and DJ – has taken up all my yarn stash space and filled it with bass guitars, amps, monitors, and other big black boxes. My solution – skeins and balls of yarn fit ever so nicely in bass cases, it is just extra padding to protect those expensive basses. And the amps and such – there is only 1 – 4 horns in those black boxes and lots of wasted space – woo hoo – more yarn stash room! Try it! When Joe starts whinging whenever he needs a transistor or whatnot that a skein of yarn attacks him, he will find a new office toot sweet. Good Luck!

  119. My hubby freelanced for about 6 months and worked out of our house, with me. We had separate rooms but still…..he needed a lot of time and attention.
    Um, I didn’t marry him for lunch either! I need my space. I think we were both happy when he found a job outside of our home!
    Good LUCK!!!

  120. Oh that really bites! I’m so sorry that happened. My Mom has noticed the same thing, when my Dad was diagnosed 3 years ago with MS and couldn’t work. Now he’s always there…:)
    And looking at your backyard makes me laugh – I see GREEN. I am looking out my apartment window in Winterpeg and am seeing a blizzard. No joke.

  121. Hoping very hard that Joe finds a new studio space soon – for both/all your sakes. Being forced to close something that’s working must really suck. All the very best.

  122. You poor thing! My mom keeps telling me that she’s going to get a job when dad retires in a few years, as she doesn’t think she can stand to have him around ALL DAY.
    Hope it gets better soon!

  123. I’m so sorry that happened to Joe (and you) – what a kick in the teeth. Though I feel your pain as regards the space thing – we just moved to an 800 sq foot apartment with a family of four, a cat and an Irish Wolfhound. And my newly retired hubby wants a chunk in which to display his career memorabilia.

  124. Hey, Steph. I know. I’m sorry for both of you. I live with my partner in a 350 square foot apartment in NYC because that’s what people in NYC have to do if they are not investment bankers. I’m terribly sorry to hear that you’re all mashed in at home, though your reaction did reassure me that it very well may be that fundamentally crazy thing is the _situation_ rather than the poor people crammed into it. Strangely, this is reassuring to me.

  125. Stephanie, the idea of YOU getting YOUR own studio sounds interesting, doesn’t it?. Might not be financially feasible but… a whole big space, with a great desk and lots of shelves for yarn… No teenagers or big hairy dudes messing with your space… Really, my sympathies to Joe, and of course to you too. Keep up the deep breathing (and the knitting therapy), or this could be the shortest honeymoon outside of Hollywood!

  126. Hee! I know this is fairly obvious to a certain section of the world right now, but Steph? You do write great posts.
    My fingers are crossed for all of you, and my heart with Joe in his search for space.

  127. Hah! I’m sorry for the invasion of your inner sanctum ( I really am), but I live it every day. Both my boyfriend and I are music geeks (he is at this very moment standing over my shoulder and playing guitar right next to my ear as I try to type– knock it OFF MIKE–) so we have to accommodate our shared collection of instruments and instrument-related thingies. He’s a potter, too, so my wool has to share a room with his wheel, clay, glaze… thank god, the kiln lives in the garage. Let me put it another way: If we have a child, we will either need to buy a bigger house or give up a hobby.

  128. Been there and still doing it. My husband, dog and cat live in an 800 sq ft house. When his dive business went bankrupt two years ago, I lost my only spare bedroom, it is stacked full of boxes that use to be in file cabinets, and tons of dive equipment. My clothes are in that room because we don’t have closet space, needless to say I can’t get to them. My crafts use to be there and are now in plastic boxes shoved under my bed. We can no longer have out of town family stay with us and HE is home constantly. At least he is not so depressed and is working again part time. But it doesn’t ease the tightness in my chest everytime I open that door. Good luck, hang in there and make him at least keep the coffee pot full.

  129. This is my first post ever here-I’ve graduated from lurkdom! I just had to post though to say, “welcome to my life.” Doesn’t it feel as though you’ve been invaded?? I can completely relate to your need for your system and how there shouldn’t be any noise/sounds during the course of the day! Hopefully it won’t be for long and if so, you two will just have to figure something out.

  130. Poor Joe. My wunnerful hubby was unemployed twice, and my routine disruption was nothing compared to the displacement, rejection, and anxiety he experienced until he had a job again.
    Men often define themselves by their jobs, so it’s often harder for them to not have their “cave” and their way of doing things. You can always escape to Lettuce Knit. I doubt there’s a similar place for Joe to go and play with the other fellas and their toys.
    Hope it all gets better real soon.

  131. OK – I have always been a fan and liked you on so many levels…. but I now feel quite bonded to you — I too live in a 1300 square foot house with 4 other people!
    I always say that that makes us a close knit family – pun intended!

  132. I go through this everyday. I hope for days when C has to go out on appointments. More than half my house is office / business. Somewhere between 6:45 – 7:30 a crew member will stroll in…hopefully I’ve had at least one cup of coffee and am out of the shower. Miserable, let me tell you. Love has nothing to do with it, it gets very old, quickly. Keep smiling. What else can you do.

  133. Oh, geez, I’m sorry! I have a 5-member family in about 1000 sq ft. 2 bedrooms, and one of them is hubby’s office. Until the new office we’re carving out of half the garage is finished, the little ones sleep in our room and the teen sleeps on a futon in the living room (but he’s looking for his own place now; can’t say as I blame him!) But the sound equipment is at a minimum, and we have both half a garage and a rented storage unit (until aforesaid construction work is finished). When we lived in an even smaller house, we seriously considered building a “workshop” in the backyard and turning it into an office–our local building codes allow that as long as you officially call it a “workshop”! Possible solution? Or renting an office/studio for yourself elsewhere until Joe finds his studio space? And then he could be the one dealing with the daily routine for a bit!
    Oh, and teach that man to make coffee!

  134. I feel your pain, I really do. My husband has been out of a job, except for occasional consulting, twice in the past 12 years. Once for a year, almost to the day, and the second time for 15 months. The worst thing we had to deal with, other than a MAN in my space, was his apparent belief that while I continued with my normal work of keeping the house, cooking, doing laundry, running errands, etc., he could sit around doing nothing but watching t.v. and complaining about being bored. That simply wasn’t going to fly! It took some time but I finally convinced him that he could actually help out and then I would have the time to go places with him. After that, things went pretty well. He helped around the house, we went fun places together and we had a pact that neither of us would resent the other getting out occasionally with friends, sans spouse. We not only survived but I’m no longer so worried about when time comes for him to retire, we’ll be o.k.. So hang in there, it’s not the best situation but you’ll both be o.k. and maybe even better for the experience. At least keep telling yourself that.

  135. I’m so sorry to hear about Joe’s studio. What a stressful situation. I will put the word out to my Toronto friends. You never know who will hear about an available space. Something will come up and it will probably end up being far better than the one he lost!

  136. I think, if she read this, my mom would thank you. I grew up (eldest of three kids, five of us total) in a 1400 sq foot (two bedroom/one bathroom) house, and I have a horrible history of using my time “at home” to unpack and repack everything I own. (I’m not sure what it’d work out to be in actual square feet, but it doesn’t all fit in my car, and I have things in four different house across three states…)
    Here I am wondering what business Joe has moving all that stuff into your space when I, (used to) routinely, take over my parent’s space. You’ve shed a whole new light on it, and I hope he falls into a new space soon. (I won’t takeover their house again. Now it just seems cruel.)
    (I feel compelled to share that I first read this through bloglines. A day “off,” and knowing that your sidebar will change led to the change. I’m not sure how I feel about it yet.)

  137. While my hubby is employed, so that problem isn’t really an issue, the sharing of the house is. I do things here. I do some of my work, and then I clean and knit and spin (yikes! did I just say that out loud?) and quilt and knit and take pics and listen to audio books and all that. This on the days that I don’t go to a job (which I do 3-5 days per week). Pete’s office is in our home. He does travel, but it usually coincides on days that I am away from the house, not in it. Today, as he left for an out of office meeting for the day and I was getting ready to go to my job, I told him I wanted to call in sick because he wasn’t going to be here. It has been weeks, months, oh I don’t even know how long since I have had this place to myself for longer than an hour or so. I NEED it. Nobody gets that. Drinking my tea in blessed silence. Cleaning up and having it stay that way for two whole hours. Being able to think without interruption. I mean. He does spend most of the time in his office, but he shows up every once in awhile with annoying questions like, “What’s your plan for the day?” I have a physical reaction to that question, it is not good. Our marriage could end on that question and my response to it.
    Okay, quick! I am the luckiest person, have a wonderful husband, great kids and a really nice home. Tons to be thankful for and really aware that others would love to trade places with me. But really, one day alone? Ahhhh…….

  138. Oh, Steph, THANK YOU! Your house looks like my house but your house looks so much worse! DH & former partner dissolved their partnership last week; DH got the business (media production) but no place to put it. The planned carport addition isn’t started yet, much less finished, my parents were here for a week while DH started new job; MIL is here next weekend….
    It’s stressful. But really, after reading your post, I feel so much better now!

  139. Several years back, I started receiving lots of wooden knick-knacks and even larger pieces of wooden furniture. It took me a while to figure out that mom was keeping dad busy. In the basement. Away from the rest of the house. During the summer. (She was a teacher and he was newly retired.) They are still married, so there is hope.

  140. Yeah, I can totally relate. Been there, got the tee-shirt, STILL doing that. Here’s my advice: wake up in the morning; think of a way to get OUT of the house AWAY from said husband. Knit in the park; at the post office parking lot. Pick the kids up early from school so you can knit AWAY from home. And lay down this law: “I make MY lunch, you make YOURS.’ Done deal.

  141. it’s absolutely a newlywed’s type of problem. didn’t ya know?
    p.s. i finished knitting and blocking the “forest canopy” shawl for my daughter to wear at her wedding. the hope you gave me by showing us your wedding shawl has come to frutition.
    smooches, if you have room to pucker your lips that is.

  142. Stephanie, I know you will find your way through this – there might be a few explosions along the way, but they are necessary when building tunnels and bridges (or at least that’s what I remember from civil engineering). I hope Joe NEEDS his space as much as you do. In the meantime, don’t let Joe get too comfortable or he might not move his office/studio back out. And feel free to give him the “you empty the coffee pot, you brew another pot” speach – it is appropriate office etiquette after all. πŸ˜‰

  143. Oh, Steph, this sucks in onion-like layers of suckiness. Sucks for you. Sucks for Joe. My heart is with both of you. I want to cry looking at all that expensive stuff outside and in basements — being from Louisiana, I am trying to resist the urge to ship you tarps unless you request them.
    Before Dave’s illness forced him to quit, he was in the very same line of work as Joe, and I, too have spent a large portion of my life stepping over reverbs and compressors and oscilliscopes and degaussers and banana plugs and mixing boards and miles and miles and miles and miles and miles of mic cords.
    I offer a temporary remedy:
    1. Get some Screech immmediately. Pour into glass.
    2. Go, right this very instant, to the record cabinet. Retrieve Traveling Wilburys Album, Volume 3, and play “Cool Dry Place” at a volume loud enough for the neighbors to summon the police.
    3. Rent a SMARTBOX — hope they have them in Canada — they are a lifesaver for working on gutted New Orleans houses — we have one at Mom’s house — and they are WAY cheaper than PODS.
    This will not cure the problem — but you will feel better for a little while.
    P.S. — at least you are not cramming all this into a FEMA trailer
    P.P.S. — For the benefit of those unfamiliar with this most excellent Wilbury’s tune, please review the lyrics below and then go pay your buck to download the tune:
    “Well I woke up this morning
    The place was such a wreck
    I couldn’t reach the bathroom
    Thought I’d better clear the deck
    I tried to call the lawyer
    And ask him what to do
    He referred me to his doctor
    Who referred me back to you
    And when you checked the manual
    You kept inside the case
    It said ‘put it in a cool dry place’
    I drove around the city
    Looking for a room
    That was high above the water
    Where my things could be in tune
    There was no one to help me
    Nobody even cared
    I had to got through hell
    To get those things up there
    I paid my first subscription
    Then I joined the idle race
    And they said ‘store it in a cool dry place’
    I got guitar, basses, amplifiers and drums
    Accordions and mandolins and things that sometimes hum
    Cymbals and harmonicas, capos by the score
    And lots of things in boxes laying all around the floor
    Some places they get mildew
    And others get too hot
    Some places are so damp that
    Everything you got just rots
    All kinds of condensation
    Direct result of rain
    There’s not much compensation
    When everything’s been stained
    Some have sentimental value that
    Cannot be erased
    Go store it in a cool dry place
    We got solids and acoustics
    And some from plywood board
    And some are trimmed in leather
    And some are made with gourds
    There’s organs and trombones
    And reverbs we can’t use
    Lots of DX-7s
    And old athletic shoes
    I bought a great big building
    It took up one whole block
    I made an inventory
    Of all the things in stock
    The place was getting longer
    I was up all night
    I used up all my pencils
    But I went on despite
    The blurring of my vision
    The sweat upon my face
    I’ve got to put this stuff away
    I mustn’t leave a trace
    The landlord’s breathing down my neck
    He say’s it’s a disgrace
    So I said ‘put it in a cool, dry, place.’

  144. I am so sorry. For both of you. If I were you, darlin, I’d pack up that laptop and the latest project and hie thee to the nearest cafe-with-wireless for the day. (It’s a business expense!)
    Although I must say the boarding-school-for-the-girls idea is a good one, too…

  145. Is it mean to say I feel so much better when I see other spouses have to live with so much gear too? There was a period of time where the shelves of my sewing nook/office were half filled with fabric and yarn and half with masters (alas not the much smaller digital ones) that could not be stored in our too damp basement.

  146. My husband has been unemployed for SIX months. He is driving me nuts! He has the tv on all the time and has his nose in all my business. I keep buying more yarn and eating more chocolate. It makes me feel better, but is just not quite making up for the quiet times I used to have. And my stash and I don’t need to be any bigger! My sympathies to you both.

  147. My neighbor, a semi-retired law school prof., is taking the semester off. He has been told, in no uncertain terms, that he needs to be completely out of the house one day a week or else!

  148. Oh, poor Joe. And poor you!
    My hubby lost his job in December 2005, and didn’t get a new job until the end of August. It was /hard/ to deal with always stepping on each other’s toes. I remember telling people that I found it astonishing that it had actually been /easier/ to get myself and the twins out of the house on my own, than it was to get myself, the twins and that other supposedly responsible, self-maintaining adult out of the house.
    It does get easier, but I don’t think it ever quite gets easy. Good look to all of you!

  149. I’m terrified someone bad will see your post and run over to your house and steal all your stuff. Am I paranoid? I’m hoping your DH finds a great place for all his stuff soon!

  150. OH MY &*#(@ – If Mr. Happy had to move all of his recording equipment into our slightly smaller house, I would lie down on the floor and pitch a fit. He was off work for a month one time; I kept coming home to find dishes everywhere and men playing video games in my living room. Yargh!
    Stupid landlord. That just sucks.
    If need be, you can send Joe to Halifax to get yourself some breathing room: Mr. Happy rents the former home of Solar Audio – They have lots of space for hairy engineer types.

  151. You can always bring your sock to Kelowna and hang it on the “dolphin” statue…I have a new hide-a-bed…75 wineries near by..kicking horse coffee… lots of sheep… Di in B.C.

  152. Gee- and you just got married! In some parts of the world “home invasion” is grounds for “divorce”. πŸ˜‰

  153. I’m so sorry that Joe lost his space, and that you’re needing to volunteer yours! I can totally relate as my DH is in sound recording also and has most all his equipment in our 1400 sq foot house. I currently have two guitars under my bed, one under my dresser, two ‘sitting’ in my rocking chair and a few equipment racks scattered around. I don’t say anything about his equipment and he says nothing about my yarn. But why should he complain? Yarn doesn’t hurt that much when you hit it with your toes!

  154. I’ve got it. I’ve got it! It is close to winter. The garden will be buried under how many inches of snow real soon. right? OK– Joe needs to buy a storage shed. One he can set up, then walk in and out of right there in your very own back yard. I know the yard is small but, think of it, the boxes will be out of the kitchen and maybe out of the washie space too. Then maybe he can set up a temporary office in your bedroom, like on the dresser. Compromises do have to be made in partnerships. but unless something is found very soon, the temporariness of this situation will seem forever and may get blown out of proportion. Just my 2 cents. namaste, Susan

  155. oh Steph, I went through this once with my own dh who was “in between jobs”. I love the man, but boy was I ever glad when he went back to working. I had to keep reminding myself how hard it must’ve been on him… and that kept me from killing him. All that stuff though.. oh baby. You should probably have a lie down.

  156. See what happens when you get married???? Now you can’t just move out!! Seriously, you have my condolences–both of you. Change of career/job/location is STRESSFUL. Been there. STill dooing that. Are there heated, indoor storage spaces to rent in Toronto? Rent one–SOON!!!!

  157. Condolences for both of you.
    When DH asked me what I’ll do when he retires, I squawked, “I’ll get a job outside the home!”
    Have you thought about taking your laptop to the local library to get some peace and quiet so you can write? GOOD LUCK!

  158. Does he whistle? If he whistles I think you can, by law, cut his tongue out…just saying, drinking your coffee, breaking your silence AND whistle….I hope he doesn’t whistle.

  159. It will get better…hang in there. White noise headphones and a bigger coffee pot might be in order for the interim.
    B R E A T H E ….. in, out, in, out, etc.

  160. Oh man. I have no solutions, although quite a few here sound possible, but I do send *lots* of good energy and wishes for it all to come around to the best solution.
    In the meantime, maybe borrow another coffee pot?? At least you won’t be irritable from lack of caffeine.

  161. Two words: Coffee House. There must be one nearby with wireless internet access. If not you can come here. There is this great place in Goshen with wireless internet, big comfy chairs, pastry and the best coffee. They’re so wonderful they don’t chase me out when I sit and knit and take my time drinking my coffee. It’s heaven.
    I feel your pain, my husband works nights. He leaves at 9:30 at night and comes home just as I get rid of my kids in the morning. His work day is done and he wants to “hang out” with me. I’m just gearing up and he’s winding down. It’s a disruption. I love him but it’s so hard to think when I can’t be alone. And, while he will make the occasional pot of coffee after he drinks all of mine, his coffee making skills are inexact. This has been going on here for twenty years. If he ever retires I might kill him.

  162. Nodding my head in sympathy. I get this. For roughly half of my 20-year marriage, we lived in a tiny old house on a mercifully large fenced lot (.7 acre). When we moved in, we had two small children. Four of us in 1000 square feet. When we left, we had *five* daughters.
    Now it’s just LittleBit and me (she’s pushing 17 and nearly out of the nest) in what feels like a huge apartment at just over 1000 square feet, and we have to holler “Marco! Polo!” to find one another.
    Tie a knot in the end of your rope that you’re waving so eloquently, and hang on. The new normal will make itself known, probably not as soon as you’d like, nor as late as you fear.
    I’ve seen the bumper sticker: “Retirement = twice as much husband, half as much money.” Think of this as a [hopefully brief] dry run for 30 years from now, LOL.
    This too shall pass

  163. Wow that’s really erm…inconsiderate of the landlord to give such short notice to a renter to vacate, especially since it doesn’t sound like he needs to quit renting ASAP. You have my sympathies and I’d second the commenter who suggested checking out pods if he has enough stuff that he doesn’t absolutely need to have immediate access to.

  164. Feeling bad for you and feeling worse for your Joe. I’m a firm believer that when we are given an obstacle we already have the skills to work through it. It will take time but you all will work through it, I know this because you are very strong and I suspect he is as well.
    In the meantime if you can find an unused electrical plug,yeah right, get another coffee pot – it will save the marriage.

  165. Similar dilemma. Solution: 2nd mortgage for new office (for me); his stuff to smaller existing office and garage. Now he is moving in more sound equipment his hobby/2nd job as a mobile DJ. Oh well, he is generous with his cash for my stash!

  166. Durn… I thought you were referring to regular-type music-not technology. Y’see, I thought that maybe you meant Stradivarius or something, though come to think of it, your stash enhancing, urm, DUTIES(;D), probably make that impossible. (BIG band geek in school-don’t ask)

  167. Sister, I feel your pain. Mr. Kasmo and I are living with his parents, and I can’t imagine how they feel, but I’ve already told my MIL that when she dies, I’m personally chiseling “Well where the hell is THIS supposed to go?!” on her tombstone.
    I’m driving through TO tomorrow and heading to Cincinnati. Want me to stop and pick you up?
    Oh, and a question from Mr. Kasmo: “Where do I go to retrieve all the lost time stolen from my life every time my wife says, ‘Just let me finish this row and we can get up and leave.’?”

  168. Wow. Just when life starts going on an even keel — the book is to the publisher, the wedding is over, the kids are almost civil — life decides to stir the turd. Please tell Joe that I said “Sorry, Mate.” That’s a hard kick in the balls. But he’ll catch his breath and start again. Maybe with a limp, but he’ll start again.
    We are all saddened by Joe’s loss. My wife, the lovely Myfanwe, ever the lawyer, asked me thirteen questions about his lease and ended the conversation with “He shoulda had a lawyer.” That’s Lawyer for “I wish I could have helped him.”

  169. I just started reading your blog and that has got to be one of the funniest things I have ever read. Thank you for writing that. My sympathies to you, your space, and your lack of coffee.

  170. Think of the equipment as extra insulation. You’ll win the heater war for sure! (If Joe doesn’t find a new place by then and I hope he does)
    If you do not mind putting sedatives in the coffee (or clandestinely drugging others) perhaps you could convince him to drink lots of dosed coffee while in the comfort of his armchair in the living room.
    You need a coffee pot in your office with your own supply of Peet’s. Just wait until that new shipment gets in and Joe drinks all of it…

  171. So sorry to hear about the space problems. This post is getting me prepared for our “big change”. Having a live in nanny b/c of my back problems caused me to give up my space and all of my knitting stuff is in the bedroom, garage, storage unit etc. I miss having things organized in a way I can find things…ARGH! Now we have our business moving from the facility up the road that my MIL owns (and is taking away from us b/c she doesn’t think we need to live where we do and this is her way of trying to make it unfeasible). So an entire small engine repair shop that is now housed in two large buildings will be run out of our (admittedly huge, 6 car) garage/barn and yard. The nanny is gone, finally, but all my visions of creating a craft/tv room for myself are gone b/c that space will inevitably become the office for the shop.
    I completely sympathize with you!!!

  172. My great aunt was married to a space engineer. For years she had a life and 3 kids. Then he retired. He would come knocking on the door of the bathroom just because he felt she was taking too long to brush her teeth. She finally died. I think she had to get away from him.
    You know the story…. divorce? NEVER! murder? maybe so… Wasn’t it Billy Graham’s wife that said that?

  173. Yeah, I know all about that hubby stuff all over the house thing…..I have tools, dog training stuff, and baseball equipment everywhere! Currently, there is the hardtop to my husband’s latest toy on my good couch in my living room!! And his electric dog training collars, a large dog kennel and the kitchen trim (that has YET to be installed – three years after the remodel was finished). I used to have the tools for the remodel in the living room too, but I made him move them – last year. There is a kind of ordered disorder to our house. The only time the living room looks decent, is the month of December. Then the Christmas tree goes in there, too!

  174. My regrets to Joe. As leases go, that would be devastating. As for personal space…well, that is another matter. I still remember reading Leo Buscaglia’s accounts of his travels and how people would all sit very close to him and everyone slept alongside one another to celebrate his visit. Reading that made me embarrassed by our own North American insistence on personal space. Keep spinning – keep the momentum – find a new location and get the word out!

  175. I sympathize. I sympathize in the way that I have four roommates, one of which has a practically live in boyfriend, a practically live in boyfriend of my own, and friends staying over all of the time. It is not unusual to have ten people in my house on any given night. Often, I wish that–just once–I could wash the dishes, go to class, and come home to the sink still empty…But I love my roommates and I couldn’t give them up for anything.
    Breathe in and out. Send him on lots of errands. Or start writing in a coffee shop?

  176. Amen. My DH retired several years ago. We have our own business and he continued to work (part time) from home. I continued to work from our office, about 1 mile away (we own the building)– 4 rooms with just me in them, heavenly. He would show up for maybe an hour a day. He decided to put the office up for sale, so I had to work from home (it is still up for sale, as I very slowly move 26 years of documents and equipment into our garage). DH has a small but sun-filled room in the back of the house. I have a small dark corner of the dining room. At least we are in different areas. We are 5 people and 3 dogs in 1500 sq ft. DH had a heart attack, heart surgery, then kidney failure a couple of months ago, so I am now full-time nurse, chauffeur, etc. Business? Income?? We are living on fumes, and as much as I still love him after 35 years, the unrelenting togetherness makes me a little…touchy at times.

  177. You poor thing! And your poor sweetie as well. I too am trying to cram a successful business into a much smaller space. It’s like trying to put the springy joke snakes back into the can after someone opens it.
    I can also sympathize with a husband underfoot. For 6 months, in a poor job market for engin-nerds, my husband was home and in my office. Now, a few years later, our home offices are separate and NOT equal. Mine is spacious and soothing, upstairs, overlooking the city and two mountains, his is in a closet πŸ˜€

  178. What a drag for the whole family. My heart goes out to you all. I have a few suggestions, though. A big number one – All of Joe’s friends and customers need to be told what kind of studio space he is looking for. The girls and you can talk it up,too. A large network will probably net faster results. A close second – Talk over the time and space requirements each of you need so you can each accomodate the other. Third – Support each other in grief over what you each have lost and plan for the future together. Knowing you have an ally in each other can bring you closer together. Having a plan and seeing it come together can get you throught the rough parts. Fourth – The running of a household is an invisible art, dividing up the tasks will be efficient and make each one value what the other does. Last – The one who empties the coffee, makes the next pot. All this will go better if done SOON before resentment sets in. BTW this reminds me of the joke about the peasant woman in ancient times. She went to the village wise woman and complained her house was too small. The wise woman told her to bring the farm animals in, and although she argued, eventually she did. After a while she comes back to the wise woman and says her house has become unbearable. “Let the animals out.” the wise woman says. She does and the next day says “There is so much room!”

  179. Would you be interested in moving just north of Toronto in Georgetown. My son lives in an old church there and is selling it. He is currently restoring it. The upstairs is completely open with the church windows and all. I think it’s about 2500 square feet upstairs and the same downstairs where he has built an apartment for him and his family. He has put new concrete floors where there was previously just dirt and has done some major reno’s while preserving the architecture of the church. I think you would love it Steph.

  180. My husband had a custom recording studio for many years. He left his partner to run it while he went onto a more ‘corporate’ job in music production, if there is such a thing in music production. To make a long story short he was laid off after 7 years and sold out to his partner. Our house looked alot like yours except I was a SAHM with 3 kids under the age of 3 who liked anything with buttons and knobs. We eventually made it work by turning a bedroom into a studio. We covered the walls with shelves and packed them with yarns and fleeces to help deaden the sound. The clients all thought it was strange, but loved all the colors and luxurious fibers. Not to mention the cute kids to greet them when they arrived. We’ve sinced moved and he’s got a proper studio in this house and my yarn has it’s own closet. You get used to each other being around all the time and create a new rythmn to the day. Hang in there.

  181. Stephanie, truth be told, you have become a Famous Author; and maybe it’s time to have a little space that’s “just yours.” That way, only you and the sock can have lunch together if you wish, and the sock won’t drink all the coffee.
    I say this because here in southern California, the yarn shops are few and far between, unfortunately, due to the climate. But when I went to my LYS, right there in the center of the front window, were your wonderful book book books. The shop owner says they are very popular, and they sell quickly. You are known and loved from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Therefore, maybe your publisher, as part of the next book advance, can help with the rent on a little office that’s all yours, with only your stash and the sock for roommates.
    My heart and my empathy go out to Joe, you ,and your girls. Of course, advice from readers is always cheap, but the importance of your career perhaps makes it time now to have “a room of one’s own.”
    Take care and many best wishes to all of you πŸ™‚
    – Daryl Lynn

  182. Ahh my dear! My heart bleeds for you! It’s HORRIBLE getting your space invaded! But look on the bright side, at least he’s not reorganizing YOUR stuff. Right? Just touching it… All. The. Time.

  183. My husband recently began working at home. Today I realized why I feel so edgy…I no longer have any privacy. He’s asking me all day what I’m doing and why.
    I think he’s not busy enough.

  184. Dear Harlot
    It’s been said 200 times before but you have my sympathy! My house is about the same size as yours, but instead of 5 people, there are my husband, myself and my 6 foot tall son and his size 15 feet. His feet keep demanding their own room but I won’t give in to their demands! We also have 2 dogs, a cat and a cockatoo! Then theres my stash, my looms, and all of my husbands computers and assorted parts. Pretty cramped. My husband, the computer guru/geek was out of work for the better part of a year several years ago. It wasn’t pretty. The job market around here was awful, and he had never been out of work unvoluntarily ever before. He’s a great guy and a hard working man and this was a terrible blow to his ego, and my routine! Every day while I’m eating my lunch, I give myself 30 minutes to read. I love it. The house is quiet, and it’s my time to lose myself in a favorite author. Well, my husband could be home all morning and barely say 2 words to me, but whenever I sat down to have my lunch and read, THAT’S when he wanted to talk! He didn’t want to have lunch with me because we had different schedules. He just saw me and wanted to chat. Sigh! Finally, I had to tell him that our marriage could handle unemployment and all other kinds of things, but if he kept bothering me while I was reading when he had all day to talk to me and didn’t, HE wouldn’t survive unemployment! Needless to say we survived it and he found a job, but man, it was a close thing there for a while. If I were you, I’d get another coffee pot that has the word MINE etched on it LOL! I mean, a woman has to have some limits. Taking all the coffee is like eating all the chocolate, something you do at your own peril! Hopefully, Joe will find the right space again soon and you can get your writing space back. In the meantime, good luck on your mission. You have my sympathy!

  185. I really feel for you, having to feed your guy lunch really is the worst part. My hubby sometimes works from home. He thinks he does my a favour. why?

  186. Everyone else has already made so many useful suggestions that I can think of nothing to add (although I am now considering knitting my own Yurt – as should you; the sound insulating properties alone should make it a good studio for Joe!)I just wanted to say that I too share my space with a large hairy man who drinks all the coffee, eats all the food and leaves things everywhere. Our office is 6mx6m and we share it with another technician, our ten networked computers and the 20 or so computers in for repair. I don’t know if it is the unrelenting prescence of Him With Whom I Am Shacked Up, or if it is his constant ‘just showing an interest’ comments on what I am doing or even the constant noise and non-stop techie-talk of the two men who are taking up an unreasonable amount of space with their tools and cables and who keep dumping their paperwork on MY desk whenever I clear some of it. I just know that most of the time I am grinding my teeth, developing a facial tic and trying not to hit them over the head with a shovel and bury them under the patio.
    Good luck with the brevity of your current situation. I recommend strong drink and frequent trips to the nearest cafe or yarn shop. Buying more stash will not ease the space problem although my Big Hairy Man tells me that speakers are half to two thirds empty space….

  187. My husband was unemployed for three years many years ago and I still twitch when I think of that time 25 years later.
    I sympathize with you and hope that Joe finds something FAST.

  188. Maybe you should just take this opportunity to make that audio book everyone’s been asking for? πŸ˜‰ Course then you’d be working together too! Hope you find space for everything!

  189. let me know if i should fed ex you some coffee. i’m only about a 8-hour car ride away, i think.
    those musicians sure do love their transistors and shiny things.

  190. I am SO SORRY.
    I empathsize.
    After 20 years, my DH changed careers (machinist to 1st grade teacher . . . it seems a stretch but all of our friends saw that it was a natural change). He went from working 70 hours a week in a machine shop to working 70 hours a week with only a small portion at work . . . grading papers takes TONS of time. We put a desk in for him, moved book cases, made adjustments. AND EVERYTHING EXTRA THAT GOES INTO THE OFFICE GOES ON MY DESK because “he needs his space.” ARGHHHHH. Let me know if you come up with a solution.

  191. Hang in there Joe. Hopefully something good will come of this. A landlord suddenly deciding he wants to quit after that long just bites.
    Make coffee for Steph.

  192. OH NO! There is no way to know how far this ‘togetherness’ is going to expand. Guard those needles and yarn. Maybe it is a good thing the cupboard door is blocked. He might want to ‘share’ the treasure that is stored within!!!!

  193. I TOTALLY sympathize! I was so happy when my husband went to his new office on the first day of the school year that I took his picture, too! I love him very much…that’s why he can’t be here all the time!

  194. I was sorry to read about Joe losing his space. Give him my condolences. I can relate about having someone else around all the time. We went through 3 years where my husband was “consulting” and he was between jobs for long stretches. It drove me nuts. We are better now that he has a full time job and we moved to Buffalo.
    If you would like to escape for a day, and come south a bit, I would make a scumptious lunch and you could get away from the sound equipment.

  195. Buy some really good coffee and hide it; then sneak it out when you are having a difficult couple morning. My best wishes will flow your way. cecilia

  196. Oh, I’m really sorry to hear this for both of you. What a pain all around. Maybe Joe will luck into an even better studio space and it will all work out for the best? good luck!

  197. Miz Harlot this is nothing! If you were able to finish a book, keep up with your blog and plan a wedding all while conducting a book tour (as well as an insane amount of knitting). You certainly can find a space. I was definitely in the same place as you (my house is gasp 935sq.ft on a good day with a newborn baby). You can finesse this! Do as I did use that pent up hostility wisely by making it seem like his idea that you are looking for places on the Net,paper, word of mouth, etc… and give him a schedule everyday of inexpensive places, maps and appointments to meet with landlords. My man was out in 10 days!

  198. Hooo boy do I understand. Even when one has lots and lots of space… my partner and I just moved into an enormous loft in the downtown area of a depressed upstate NY town. For weeks I have tried to work (as in, practice my viola) surrounded by unpacked boxes, workmen, HIM and HIS stuff and more filthy dust than I thought ever existed – without much success. It’s very, very hard to have your system disrupted and have to find space (this place doesn’t even have doors or rooms, try THAT on.) I too know this is temporary but have also been tense and snarly and teary and not too nice to be around. The only thing I can say to you is:GET. OUT. OF. THE. HOUSE. Go to Lettuce Knit. Go to the library. Go to the coffee shop. Go to a friend’s house who has a spare room or isn’t home all day and who will let you use their space. Go to a bar. Otherwise, we’ll be reading your blog from prison after you have killed Joe by smothering him with your stash. Gruesome. Trust me, there is no way for you to stretch the space-time continuum to find more space where there is none. Good luck!

  199. Oh this one’s easy! Open a yarn shop, move all your stuff in there, write your books from the shop (imagine the fun!) and let your darlin’ have the house as his studio.
    {sigh} Let me know when you open!

  200. hmmm… but think of all the wild fun you all could have in the middle of the day.. well that is if there weren’t speakers on the bed.. hmmm

  201. I see a pattern here. Many of us are living with our husband’s, S.O.’s, kids’ stuff and clutter. Of course, OUR crap, stuff, ah….clutter is never an imposition.

  202. Oh no πŸ™ When my father retired, that is when my mom started working outside the home. Maybe if you look at this little chapter in your lives as practice for retirement? Hang in there… this too will pass.

  203. Oh do I feel your pain in regards to a small house……we have a two bedroom and there are five of us…..thankfully the girls don’t mind sharing their room and thankfully there were no boy babies!! We have a hot tub in the backyard….kinda makes up for such a small house!!
    I hope a new studio is found soon!!!!

  204. Stephanie-
    I’ve somewhat been in your shoes. Eighteen years of marriage, two teenage daughters, and husband in IT bussiness. Larger home, but husband AND working partner in our home for 18 months! I bought a book that changed my life. “The Power of a Positive Wife”, by Karol Ladd.(Sorry, underlining is beyond my computer skills) She has a website, The title sounds hokey, I know, but I reach for that book quite often. I actually had the privledge of meeting her and hearing her speak last month and she was phenomenial.

  205. Steph,
    Your entries are always funny, apt, intelligent and an excelent part of my work week, but today, today you have out done yourself! This essay is a brilliant commentary on marriage. May God(dess) help me the day my husband retires!

  206. Hello, it’s me again. I checked my own footage…it’s 1500 square feet. And we shuffled the master bedroom last night (we have a king size bed in what the former owners used as a playroom for their 4 year old), so now the kitchen also has two dressers in it.
    But I must say, I think Lisa in Chicago is a genius! (Let me know when you open, too. I need time to apply for a passport but it will be worth it.)
    I have spread the word to non-knitting friends who have audio or Toronto connections. Whatever I can do to expand the network and get Joe set up in a proper space.
    Peace be with you, let’s hope Joe knows how to make coffee the way you like it.

  207. I can *so* relate, but I’m NOT going to tell you a similar story. You’re living the similar story, and I can tell from the yards of posts that you already have others to sympathize with. Instead, I’m going to give you a survival technique.
    I also telecommute. DH works in an office, but his schedule is non-traditional: first shift (6-3), Mon and Tue off. As you say, “no TV in the office!” So for his birthday this year, I got him a pair of wireless headphones for the television. They plug into the TV and sit on a little stand next to it. When he wants to kick back with the tube, he plunks his headphones on and I can keep my back turned to the TV and keep working. He’s happier, I’m happier. (Happy would involve actually having one common day off, but hey, we works with what we gots!) Bonus: The pair I got him — Sennheisers, I think — has a nice big range, so he can roam the apartment (roughly the same size as your house) while using them. I occasionally find him doing the dishes or the kids’ laundry on his days off, while listening to the TV.
    Is very, very cool. It may be one of the best gifts I’ve ever given us. If Joe anticipates being more than a few weeks finding a new studio (and the best to him … it SUCKS that happened) I’d suggest getting him a pair of these wonders as soon as humanly and budgetarily possible.

  208. …”I married him for better or for worse, not for lunch”…..ROFLMBOOOO!! That should be engraved in stone somewhere. Too funny. Hang in there and just think how much you’ll appreciate having your space once it’s all yours again! In the meantime….carefully placed pins might discourage the hairy coffee-drinker from planting his arse where you don’t want it. Maybe. You can try.

  209. GOOD LORD! I totally understand the space issues – we are 6 in a 1200 sq ft. house! UUUUUUUUUUUUUGLY! I pray he finds a place and LEAVES your office soon πŸ™‚

  210. You know, Stephanie, you’ll get used to having Joe around. The real difficulty is finding room for all that stuff. At my house, (which is probably even smaller than yours), we have the opposite situation going on. I’m an interpreter for the deaf and I work during the school year with deaf students. My long-time student graduated this past June and I’m unemployed at the moment. I’m enjoying the time to myself but my husband (who works nights and usually has the house to himself during the school year) is adjusting to having me around now. He arrives home at about 7:15 am and I used to leave about 7:20 for work. He liked being able to watch his golf channel and do computer stuff before going to sleep. We’ve adjusted. When your husband works nights, weekends, sometimes evenings and weird hours, you can adjust to anything. I’m quiet during the day (knitting is quiet) and the upside is I wake him up to some really nice dinners these days.
    I’m horrified by the stuff in your house, though. Yikes! Looks like my garage (we don’t have a basement).
    It will get better, really.

  211. Eeeeeeeep. Much sympathies.
    The closest thing I’ve had to contend with is when hubby and I were both laid off, from the same company, at the same time. Sitting in our computer room much of the day, looking for jobs, working on resumes… Good thing I was working within 4 months.
    I hope the situation resolves for you sooner!

  212. Well my dear, I can relate. We moved from a 3000 sq ft house to an almost 1300 sq ft house, and we are a family of 6. Then the hubby came along with his cars, their parts and his music stuff. Now there isn’t the volume of stuff like yours has, but a whole VW camper lives in my back yard!There are car parts in my laundry room, I mean garage. There are also flight suits and jackets and uniforms hanging around my room to trip on and fall over in the night. But this too shall pass. If you kept him before you can keep him now, they either have to find a job or get deployed, one or the other. Then you will have peace, even if it is just for a bit.

  213. A few years ago, before my dad died, my parents were looking to move out of the family manse, where they had lived and raised 4 kids, in an older suburb of NYC. After viewing several one-level homes, condos, etc., my mother confessed that she could not move to a house without a basement “to keep your father in.”
    Originally, my parents had finished the basement of our small family home so that 4 teenage kids had somewhere to hangout and bring friends. After we all left the nest, Dad took it over. He cheerfully watched sports on tv, with the volume off, while sitting in a recliner held together with silver duct tape, listening to opera piped into the headphones he wore. He was usually snoring after 5 minutes.
    In the back of the basement, he kept an old compressor, dental drill, soldering iron and dental tools left over from his dental practice. There he created “art” and the most god-awful silver earrings immaginable. All 3 of his daughters, myself included, received these coat-hanger sculptures to hang on our own walls, and claws of silver to dangle from our ears. My brother only got the sculptures.
    I am convinced this bi-level retirement living arrangement permitted my dad to die of causes other than murder by my mom. Do you have a basement?
    P.S. Once he was retired, and home all the time, my mom never made Dad lunch — that was the one meal where he had to make do, on his own (and preferably in the basement).

  214. Oh honey, I am so sorry about him losing his space and yours being so comprimised. There are two of us (and three cats) living in less than 900 square feet, but we’re looking at 2700 sq foot houses right now and I tell you, the feeling on impending space is wonderful. But, I do have a TON of crap in storage that will be accompanying us to the new house. I sympathize with you.

  215. OMG! One word: Starbucks. Or an equivalent. They have coffee (endless), wireless, and big comfy chairs to knit in. Bring your ipod, laptop and knitting and just enjoy an hour (or lots more) of “solitude”. Well, it’s not like home, but no one is yelling mom, and there’s nothing within eyesight that you should be cleaning or doing. It’s where you find me when hubby is taking a business call from home or the kids have been home on school vacation for too long!!
    And if Joe doesn’t find space, then YOU can always rent a small office (much more easily found) for your doings! Tell them it’s for writing & business when you sign the contract. They’ll never understand the stash part.

  216. Dear Harlot,
    Please give Joe my commiserations, it’s miserable when that happens πŸ™
    It is horrible to have to share space like that, in fact a world crisis that can only be amended by a secret parcel… If you would like to receive a secret fibre parcel, please email me an address to send it to.
    I am a new Harlot fan and am still catching up on your archives, but my husband says we live in a wool house too!
    Positive thoughts,

  217. Switch tubes with cables and motherboards and you have my husband in between jobs. The noise drives me batty, the music comes with a whistled accompaniment, his desk is right next to mine, and there is never any coffee left when I go to get a cup.
    What, exactly, is so hard about making a freaking pot of coffee if you’re the last one to drink from it, anyway? I mean, it’s not like it’s replacing the last roll of toilet paper, dude, it’s just coffee. You can do it. We have evidence.

  218. Oh, i am soo sorry! Hang in there wonderful person. It will change. I bet he doesn’t like it, either. Imagine, losing your place of business like that. It happened to me with a dance studio years ago, and i was devastated, for years. I hope that Joe with your help (dear girl) will make it through this. Egads!

  219. I’m so sorry about your husband’s business. It’s unexpected stuff like this that can really hit you in the gut. I hope this will soon be resolved.

  220. Sorry…The year my boys were 12 and 15 my partner and I moved into an 800 sq ft cabin (Including two large porches). Then in the summer I lost my studio and the long arm quilting machine, boxes and boxes of fibers, and sewing machines moved in. My temp solution was to move the living room onto the back porch and put up a tent for the older child. OK for summer in WNC mountains. I am sure there is something much more wonderful on it’s way to you and the entire family!

  221. Stephanie – my partner’s business in San Francisco was shut down after the landlords got greedy, tripled the rent, and evicted all the live/work tenants after a 3-year legal battle (which he lost. But it turned out to be a really good thing after all, because in our search for a new place for to start his business up again we determined it was time to move in together (his old neighborhood had been a lot more dicey than I wanted to live in!) and we found a fabulous space in an old storefront in the historic downtown district of a smaller town nearby. We have made a wonderful new life for ourselves there, with a real sense of community and a greater sense of purpose than we’d had before, as well as getting Thomas’s screenprinting business going again. Since you and Joe have already made a change in your life together I wish you as much good fortune from this additional (albeit unwished for) change that life has brought. Change is scary but sure can be a good thing in the long run!

  222. I think this is how my Joe and his kids must feel about me invading their 750 square foot apartment with clothing, shoes, yarn and needles. My sympathies are with you, my Gemini space-needing sister.

  223. Ouf! My uncle was a chief engineer on ships. Merchant mariners like him work in a system they call 3 on/3 off. That is, they’re at sea for three months, then home for three months. Many people did not understand how my aunt could stand this. They’d ask her “how do you do it?” “Just when I think I can’t go another day without seeing his face,” she’d say, “he’s coming home. And just when I think if he’s around this house for one more day I’m gonna kill him, he’s going to work.” Good luck.

  224. Step 1: Call “landlord” explain that YOU are THE Yarn Harlot (world famous, duh) and he is not. Landlord must return Harlot-hubby’s space to him NOW! (remind him you have lots of pointy sticks (drats – you can’t reach them -amps in the way).
    2. Recall the “curse of the sweater” – you know, the curse that says if you make your man a sweater bad karma stuff happens. Dudette – this is Karma knockin’ on your knitty little harlot door.
    I feel for ya. Perhaps Joe can learn to knit amp cozies – just a thought.

  225. Hello Steph,
    I don’t know if you will read this but there is this great new business in the States here that I wish with all my heart that I thought of…it’s called PODS. The company parks this storage unit in your driveway and you fill it up at your leisure and I think that they then haul it away or leave it in your driveway. I do know that Home Depot has some of them in their parking lot. I don’t know if there is a Home Depot in your neck of the woods.
    Anyway, just thought this might be a workable idea for you.

  226. Maybe it is the marriage curse. A friend of mine just tied the knot and now her husband is unemployed too. Or as they prefer to call it, retired. She’s also a major knitter.

  227. I’m so sorry. That seems like an awful shock for everyone involved. I just found your website the other day. Tricoteuses sans Frontieres is a wonderful idea. I plan on participating. Thank you for thinking it up.

  228. Oh, man….now would be a good time for the body snatchers to come your way huh? I’m with you…my space is exactly that. I vote you buy a storage shed..put his stuff in it, run a powerline and he can….nah, sooner or later he’d need the powder room…Hang in there…you are WOMAN – you can do this !!!!!

  229. My mom is going through the same thing right now. My dad works out of their home (well, his office is in what used to be our barn, so it’s not attached to the house, but he’s still THERE). Mom just lost her little part-time job last week because the owner closed the business. So now she’s suffering from too much of my dad. πŸ™‚ I have a feeling she’s going to be doing more shopping from now on, just to get away!

  230. I can relate! I have a little cubby at home to call my own (where the washer/dryer used to be). The worst sight is my husband’s computer bag there or the kids’ backpacks. Hoping that Joe finds a good new spot soon.

  231. Wow. A 1,300 sq. ft. house for 5 people! I bow to your obviously superhuman powers of organization. My 1,500 sq. ft. house barely fits my husband, me and our pets with the various stuff we’ve accumulated over the 8 years we’ve lived there.
    I hope Joe finds a new studio space soon.

  232. Two aphorisms that always help me unkink my shoulders: “If it’s not one darn thing, it’s another”, and, “This too will pass”. Good luck and Best wishes for a soon and good new space for Joe.

  233. A YURT! YES!!!
    Thank you Rams! That’s just the word i couldn’t quite come up with.
    So, i’ve got this roving that i bought with my very first drop spindle, back in May at Maryland Sheep & Wool. Anywho…if i get to work spinning up some slubby looking thick “yarn”, that could be the start! MmmK??

  234. Maybe you should just take this opportunity to make that audio book everyone’s been asking for? πŸ˜‰ Course then you’d be working together too! Hope you find space for everything!

  235. I totally sympathize! My DH works at night mostly. I work at home, also at night mostly, after the kids go to sleep. So this year, when they’re both at school for a lovely three hours…he’s here. Every day. A few weeks ago he said out lout, “It must be nice for you to finally have some time to yourself.” It was the most difficult thing in the world not to reply, “Sorry, hon, you’re still home.”
    I love him, I truly do, he is my soulmate. But I wish he would go somewhere in the afternoons! I have thought about taking my spinning wheel and my ipod and roaming the city, but I don’t really want to feel driven from home. Oh, well. Maybe the business will take off and we will get a bigger house (4 people, 2 cats, 800 sq. ft., 1 bathroom right now) and he can have his own office!!
    You’ll get through it, I’m sure, with your usual humor. And we’ll all get to read about it, yay!

  236. If this makes you feel any better, I spent the first 15 years of our marriage living with a very large Craftsman tool box in our bedroom. My husband is a now retired auto mechanic. We moved to a house with a 2 1/2 car garage. There are no cars in it, just his tool stuff. We are still married- 24 years this past September.

  237. My husband had a professional recording studio, until he sold the building it was in last summer, and all the exact same stuff ended up in our house. Neve, DigiDesign, all the giant piles of very heavy, black equipment with dials and plugs and boxes of cables and cords, and mike stands, and keyboard stands, and keyboards, and computers and consoles and, and, and. Oy, I heah ya sistah.

  238. I can relate. We also have a small house, and one of the two bedrooms is my Joe’s studio, my craft room/office, CD storage (like yarn storage, but less pretty), and guest room. Oh, and Joe’s closet.
    I can’t complain too much, because he keeps all of his major stuff up there, while my yarn and thread and fabric and sewing machine are willy-nilly. But still — one more bedroom would go a long way.
    Good luck, and remember, this is what laptops and cafes are for.

  239. G’s going to have some major surgery at the end of the month – and yes I’m scared of hospitals and anesthesia and statistics. But mostly I’m scared of the fact that he’ll be home recovering for at least a month. A MONTH.
    I love this man more than is humanly possible but I don’t think I can stand a week let alone a month.
    You have my sympathies.

  240. Storage space rental. It doesn’t sound (no pun intended) that he’ll be using his stuff until he has somewhere to put it, so…

  241. I am married to a musician who moonlights as a technical editor (hey, someone has to pay the bills!). Apparently it is really important to have 3 or 4 of every instrument he can play, then there’s the audio equipment and now he wants to get into recording, podcasting and lately, video. I’ve lost my “family room” to piles of boxes, Things-Which-Cannot-Be-Named. Lucky for me, it isn’t my work space. I urge you to find storage outside the home. For one of you, flip a quarter…
    I wish you peace in your home/office, but you might want to watch the caffeine intake until this settles. πŸ™‚

  242. First: Ouch. Poor Joe. That really is quite a trauma.
    That said, damn. That a lot of…..stuff. Good luck with all of that, you are a stronger woman than I. Also, you should know that I have a perfectly lovely attic guest room/office with great light, plenty of cozy wool, wireless internet, a lovely spacious desk, two charming cats, and all atop a house that is blissfully empty (except for the cats) about 11 hours a day. You’re welcome to hide out here for some deadline crunching anytime you need it. Seriously. We’re 15 mins from the airport and our guest room is always at the ready.
    Did I mention the home-roasted gourmet coffee? πŸ˜‰

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