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September 3, 2011

Today.

I keep trying to come up with something cute or snappy or witty to say, but apparently my wit is broken. Or perhaps it's hibernating. Either way, I think I've run out of ways to say, "Oops, meant to post, got too busy, here's some pictures of the baby to make up for it." So, yeah. That.


July 28, 2011: Sporting the awesome handmade!! clothes he received from one of the Ravelry October Moms.


August 15, 2011: One of our new favorite games is eating the camera.


August 18, 2011: Grandmama came to visit and she bought Schondy Tot's first shoes!


August 21, 2011: This is Schondy Tot's first balloon. He spent hours with it, until the dog popped it. He had so much fun, I'm wondering if I need to invest in a helium tank.


August 28, 2011: Carlton is the source of much fascination.


August 28, 2011: Bathtime, always an adventure.


August 29, 2011: When Irish eyes are smilin'... they're usually up to something. See also: when babies suddenly get really quiet...


August 29, 2011: Baby's got blue eyes


September 1, 2011: Our newest trick, first begun on his 10-month birthday (8/31), is standing unsupported. Yes, I'm helping in this picture, but only so we could get a picture where his tongue isn't sticking out in concentration.

July 1, 2011

Where, oh where am I tonight?

Why did I leave you here all alone? Well, you see, life happened. We've had a lot of life happening lately. You've heard the saying, "I try to take things one day at a time, but lately several of them have attacked me at once," right? Well, We had a whole mess of them. For better or worse, we have a whole herd of them bearing down on us as I type, but the baby is sleeping and Schondy is playing video games, so I felt like I could take a few minutes to bombard you with baby photos.

So what's been happening? Well...


June 9, 2011: Schondy Tot and I played outside for a little while in the glorious weather we're having.


June 13, 2011: Schondy Tot had a playdate with one of the other babies from the October group. These two are 3 days apart in age if you can believe it.


June 18, 2011: We went to a wedding in Napa. He was a real trooper and looked like such a big boy in his button-down shirt and kakhis.


June 22, 2011: He's a big fan of food. In case you couldn't tell.


June 2011: We bought a house. (Yes, really.)


June 24, 2011: Schondy Tot started packing up toys to put in his new room.


June 2011: I finished off a new quilt.


June 26, 2011: Schondy Tot approves. That's good, since it's his.


June 27, 2011: Lulu and Schondy Tot shared some yogurt.


June 28, 2011: Bound and determined to crawl.

We also celebrated our first Father's Day and yesterday, my beautiful baby boy turned 8 months old. In the last month, he graduated out of his infant car seat, and he's started saying both "mama" and "dada" (though not really with any meaning behind them), clapping his hands and pulling up on everything in sight. He's not crawling, but he doesn't let that slow him down - he can wiggle/roll/army-crawl faster than you'd believe. In the last week, he's cut his first two teeth, mostly mastered eating yogurt from a spoon, and started laughing when we laugh. I wish you could all be here to enjoy it.

January 25, 2011

12 weeks! And a Sleeping Baby

I can't believe it, but here we are. SchondyTot is 12 weeks old. He's discovered his hands and sucks on them noisily - especially when he's hungry. He loves crinkly toys and walking the dog.



He thinks it's his personal mission every bathtime to make sure I get drenched, too, and then protests loudly and with much gusto when we pull him out of the bath to put on his pajamas.



On Friday, he rolled over from his front to his back - we're convinced it's because he just hates tummy time that much. Today he spent 10 minutes pondering the receiving blanket I had in the car. And when we sing to him, he will occasionally "agoo" along with us between smiles.



I didn't win last week's photo challenge, but the winning photo was truly awesome so I don't feel so bad. This week's photo challenge was for a sleeping baby. Here's my entry:



January 13, 2011

All's Quiet

Life continues apace around here. I'm still on maternity leave, SchondyTot's growing like a weed, Adam's working too much. Lulu's feeling neglected and the cats don't care. We've reached a new equilibrium, I think, unexpected in this time that we were warned would be so chaotic. I think we were prepared for the worst and have discovered that life can, at times, simply adjust to accommodate one more being when the time is right. He sleeps through the night, but makes up for it by eating all day long. They tell me infants don't really eat more than 30 oz. a day, but I feel like it's 1000.


Napping in the Moby Wrap

I don't feel like I'm accomplishing a lot during the day, though I know that I'm doing my single most important task and, I hope, doing so with some small amount of competency. He's growing like a weed (14 lb. 4 oz. and 23.5 inches at his last checkup), he smiles, giggles and "hoots" when really excited. He loves "The Rainbow Connection" and to have raspberries blown on his belly.

He's not fond of being made to wait for his dinner, but who can blame him, really. He hasn't discovered his hands in the traditional sense, but he regularly gets them caught in the toys hanging from his play mat and he manages to poke at me with a fair amount of accuracy and seeming dexterity. Whether or not any of it is intentional is anyone's guess.

In two weeks, we travel to Kentucky to introduce him to the members of his family who have not met him yet. A week after our return, I resume working and he will begin spending three days a week in day care. This will, I think, be the hardest thing we've attempted yet. Seems so wrong to put someone so young in the hands of a stranger, but under the current circumstances, there is no other choice. He may or may not know the difference, but I'm already dreading the separation - even if only for half a mile.

It's 12:30am, I've been up far too many hours and the late hour has made me melancholy.


10 weeks, 3 days old

December 14, 2010

Making progress

As evidenced by the fact that I'm writing this blog post in the middle of a work day when Schondy is at work, we are making a lot of progress on a lot of things. SchondyTot is 6 weeks (and 2 days) old today and currently napping (Hooray!!). He's chubby and happy and all those wonderful things you hope for. It's definitely not all wine and roses - some days I could definitely do with a little more wine - but it's also not the predicted misery that so many people seemed to want to torture us with when describing life with a newborn. Maybe our expectations were low, maybe our tolerance is high, or maybe he's just a really good baby. Who knows?

I've been meaning to write this post for days. I've got a thousand little blog post ideas percolating in my head, but nothing that I felt like I could do much with. So in the interest of getting something up, I'm just going to throw you a bunch of pictures instead and call it good.


He's actually a big fan of bathtime. It's pretty much a guarantee for a happy baby.


Note the little black paw on the right side of the seat...


Smiling at the critters on the play gym


Can't believe how big he's getting!

July 18, 2010

Okay, so maybe I'm nesting.

Things have been busy around here lately. Not in the "we have a thousand things to do" way, but in the "I just completed my fifty-bajillionth little project" way. I suppose that's the very definition of nesting, I just have to confess that I never really thought it would happen to me, and I certainly never though it would take this particular form... not that I'm complaining.

So I've been a veritable fount of handmade things the last few weeks, resulting in some (possibly) surprising... ahem... supplies for the baby and for its parents. First, we went to the Maker Faire, which always does amazing things for my crafty mojo. It's always a little bit playing with fire to go to the Maker Faire because it always makes me want to quit my job and just go... make things. And this year was no exception, really.

There was a booth there (I think it's there every year) with walls and walls of patches with all kinds of pirate-y sayings and silly little things. And every year, Schondy and I poke at them and have a grand time laughing at them. So it was inevitable that eventually we'd actually buy something:


Because really, What Would Cthulhu Do?

The bag on the left is Schondy's sometimes-camera bag, the one on the right is my backpack. And the patch that's not attached to anything will adorn a bag or other item belonging to our offspring. Because we can pretty much guarantee that this kid is going to be special.

So after we found all these great patches, I was inspired to give patch-making a go myself. I'd seen a great tutorial on patches over at my FAVORITE machine embroidery website, Urban Threads and figured I could use that to guide me. I tried out their tutorial first, mostly because the sample project featured an amazing design that I definitely could get behind:


Yarrrrn. That is all.

And it was so much fun and so easy, that my creative juices just exploded all over the house and everything/one in it, resulting in a few more goofy little things. If they make no sense, it's because you don't know the story. Ask me about it some other time when I'm not staring at a 20-page blog entry already. Anyway, all of these are my own personal custom creations and I'm pretty pleased with almost all of them. If you can't figure out which one is totally messed up, I'm not going to tell you which one it is. :)

Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a picture of an emu?


Craft felt is my new favorite thing ever.

As long as I was doing embroidery anyway, I'd had my eye on this adorable little mousy ever since it was posted over at Urban Threads (did I mention I love them?), and I'd grabbed a pile of plain onesies to customize, so this is what happened:

Note the gender-neutral green. Still cute, even though it's not pink like it's supposed to be, huh?

THEN I was talking to Sapphire about... I dunno... probably babies, shockingly enough... and she mentioned that a lot of her cloth baby wipes were just plain rectangles of flannel with the edges serged and that it probably wouldn't be hard to make some. So I hied myself off to JoAnn, figuring they'd have some pre-cut fat quarters of flannel that I could turn into cheap and cute reusable baby wipes. And I was right. 2 hours later, behold the monster stack of baby wipes for the low, low price of $0.18 per wipe:

I know they're pink. I'm a girl, even if the baby isn't.

I complained a bit about the pink wipes, but if I'm being honest, I used them up because of all the fabric I got, that was the stuff I liked the least. I did them first, so if I messed it up, I wouldn't care. But they turned out fine, so now I have pink and brown baby wipes. Whatever works, I guess.

A while back, I decided I wanted to use glass baby bottles because of all the recent news and whatnot about the frightening contents and effects of plastic baby bottles. Mostly, bottle manufacturers have certified that the bottles are safe and they've removed the scary chemicals, but I kind of feel like you can't be too safe, and I'm okay with paying a dollar more for glass bottles. But I'm also a klutz with tile and hardwood floors, so I'm using up some of my sock yarn to knit baby bottle cozies! I improvised the pattern and haven't decided if I'm sold on that particular style of tie around the top, but this was my first try and I figure I should probably crank out at least one or two more. So I have a chance to make it better:


Ugliest. Yarn. Ever. But the cozy is kind of cute.

I cranked through a quick gift for a swap buddy on Ravelry and it's so cute that I think I might need to make another one and I swear if I didn't know, I'd think it was an heirloom from 3 generations back (really proud of this one) - but that could just be the style. It's pretty old-fashioned, but I do think there are some things that just don't go out of style. I'll be shipping this off to Canada next week along with some California-made caramels for my mommy-to-be swap buddy:

Mmmm. Organic Cotton is so pretty.

And finally (we're getting to the pictures of me in just a second - I promise), I made the baby a blanket. Grandmama said that the baby must have a white baby blanket, and I was more than happy to oblige, turning out my "Ode to Short Rows" over the course of a little more than a month. I cast on the first day we went to the Maker Faire and finished it July 3. I'm so pleased with it. It did turn out quite a bit bigger than I expected, but I figure that's better than having something too small to do anything with. I don't think the picture does it justice, if I do say so myself:

Short rows for days! And days!

Most importantly, I worked all the last few weeks on making a baby. So here's the pictures you REALLY wanted to see:

23w2d


24w1d


25w2d

June 27, 2010

New pictures and a little excitement

So last weekend, we were invited out to a little party at the home of Schondy's company's new CEO. We had a very nice time and some very nice food. Suffice it to say that the house was beautiful and amazing and we would do incredibly well to be half as successful as these people.

When we returned home that evening, there were people gathered in the area around our mailbox. We didn't really think anything of it because there are lots of people in our neighborhood who spend lots of time gathering on the sidewalk and this didn't look any different.

A few minutes after we got inside the house, though, someone starting ringing our doorbell. I was greeted by a man who informed me that a friend had been leaving his house and had "lost control of her car and knocked over the mailboxes and some of the fence." So I went to look. And this is what I found (they mailbox smashers rearranged the bits to make it look a bit less crazy and we didn't get a picture of it before it was all straightened up):

We live in a little area with 4 houses all together and we kind of share a mailbox/fence thing and all 4 mailboxes were creamed. I took down the name and number of the woman who did the damage and the people assured me they'd have someone out to fix it all right up within a couple days. Well... it's now been a week and the mailboxes are still on the ground. Happily, our mail carrier has continued to deliver to us, since our box is quite where it's supposed to be, just 3 feet lower than normal. I'm not terribly far from going out there and fixing the stupid thing myself, but there are 2 other families whose mailboxes were also smashed and I kind of feel like I need to let this take its course or... something.

Meanwhile, the baby is continuing to grow like a weed. I look more pregnant every day and feel like I'm huge, though everyone assures me I look nowhere near 5+ months along. I get the occasional drum solo on my bladder, which isn't nearly as much fun as it sounds. Maybe it is for the baby, but it's not his/her bladder being pummeled. Aside from that, I'm convinced we're growing a Rockette in there. Schondy has been audience to some of the movement and we're even getting to the point where my belly visibly moves. So here's the current progress:


20w1d


21w2d


22w1d

October 4, 2009

Cute Overload!

First of all, I'd like to apologize for the blurry images. 5-year-old Point-and-Shoot camera + wiggly baby = blurry pictures. She was just so happy and it was kind of dark in the room. Oops.

ANYway. So a few months ago, Sapphire and Xippi had a baby. She is now 4 months old and just beginning to figure out a number of very important things: what hands are for, how to blow bubbles and that squealing and/or babbling will garner much attention. On Friday, we all went out to dinner together and then Sapphire, Xippi and Little One came back to the house, where we sat around chatting and introducing Little One to menagerie that owns me and Schondy (Miles, Deliah and Lulu).

When that got boring (for the animals, not us. I mean, who gets bored of babies squealing at cats?), I went and found my most recent finished knitting project - a WWII Watch Cap - and plopped it on Little One's head. She didn't really care, but we all thought it was quite possibly the cutest thing we'd ever seen, so pictures ensued. I didn't want to keep flashing in her face, so I turned off the flash, but there clearly just wasn't enough light to make the camera happy.

But I promised my mother I'd get some pictures posted, so here they are. :-)

September 25, 2009

...and a partridge in a pear tree

Hello! Bet you thought I'd never come back, huh? Well, believe me when I say I've told myself roughly a bazillion times that I should be posting to my blog. It's not necessarily that I've been terribly busy. I mean I have, but I took last week off from work to recover from the crazy busy I've been having. And it's not like I've had nothing to say. Because there's been plenty going on in the land of here.

I just... I suppose I couldn't really figure out what to say. Couldn't talk about work because, well, you know why. Couldn't talk about knitting because I've been working. Couldn't talk about home because there's not been much to tell on account of... I've been at work. But then I took the week off, and I wasn't working, but I was recharging and I still didn't know what to say. But now! I have something to say!

ANYway. So last week, Schondy and I took the week off. We needed it. We didn't go anywhere. Didn't do anything all that spectacular. We just stayed home, watched some TV, did a little shopping, etc. And finally, FINALLY, after 3 years of threatening to do so, we bought a new couch. I KNOW, right? I've complained for 3 years about how that sectional just wasn't right for this house, so last week, we finally did something about it. Hooray!

And because it was funny, we made a list of all the things we found under the old couch when we moved it. We didn't take any pictures of what we found or anything because, ew, but we were also pleased not to find anything too disgusting, either. So without further ado:

  • 3 cat toy mice
  • 1 purple pen with a bent tip
  • 1 voided check from last year
  • 1 knitting stitch marker
  • 1 rubber band
  • 1 clothing tag
  • 1 CD case
  • 1 tortilla chip
  • 1 cabinet door bumper (you know - the little rubber thing)
  • part of a "pork rollup" dog treat
  • 1 Cheerio
  • 2 cardboard pull tabs from Amazon boxes
  • 1 black pen
  • 1 tube of lip gloss
  • 1 bead
  • 1 raisin
  • a huge pile of dust, feathers and fur

Sadly, the one thing missing from this list? Money. We found no money in our couch cushions. What are the odds, I ask you?

So here's the before and after. What do you think?

Before:


After:


April 13, 2009

Anybody need a computer?

As you know, we are computer people. Schondy and I collect computers the way some people collect... blue jeans. Or running shoes. It's not something we buy every day, but we pick up a new one at least once a year. And, um, this year is no exception.

Earlier this year, it was my turn for a new computer. I got a shiny new 24" Intel iMac to replace my shiny, not-so-new 20" iMac G5. So now, there's an iMac at the house in need of a loving owner. It's not an Intel machine, so it won't run Windows or any of your PC software, but it's got plenty of Oompf for running Mac software.

I'm thinking I'm going to post it on craigslist, but thought I'd put the word out here first to see if there was any interest among the 2-3 people who read my blog.

Anyone?

January 25, 2009

Economy++

Oh, Internets. We did a thing yesterday. It was an expensive thing, but it sure made us smile. We bought two (yes, two!!) new cars. And we officially became THOSE people. Schondy and I are now the proud owners of a shiny pair of Mini Coopers. We never thought it would happen, and certainly didn't set out yesterday to do this, but, well, there it is.

So. Schondy has his cute little commuter car for driving over the hill. It's a 2009 Mini Cooper S in Pure Silver with a black cloth checkerboard interior. When he took possession of it, it had 3 miles on the odometer. :-) It has built-in Bluetooth so he can talk on the phone without taking his hands off the wheel, voice dialing (still need to set that up), a built in iPod connector, automatic air conditioner, windshield wipers, headlights and rearview mirror, and (reportedly) gets 32 miles to the gallon.

I have a cute little commuter car, too, but mine can also haul groceries and carry passengers in the back seat comfortably thanks to the additional suicide door on the passenger side. I have a 2009 Mini Cooper Clubman S in Hot Chocolate with Hot Chocolate leather interior. When I took possession of it, it had 8 miles on the odometer. And I have all the same features he does, PLUS 9 more inches of length. and half an inch of headroom. Completely by accident, I also managed to match my car to my dog. :-)

The funny thing is that until a week ago, we both swore we would never even consider Minis. I had ridden in one once a couple years ago and thought it felt like two chairs strapped to the inside of a tin can hurtling down the freeway. Schondy thought they were just goofy little hatchbacks with no power and even less personality. All that changed a week ago, when we were out walking the dog and discussing cars. He had been toying with the idea of getting a Prius and I was thinking about getting a Toyota Matrix. He was really concerned about gas mileage and I really wanted something that was small and sporty, but also would hold people and groceries when necessary. I made an offhand comment: "have you considered a Mini?" and we decided that maybe we should swing by the dealership since it was on our walking route.

So we did. And we sat in a couple of the cars and both said, "hm. Perhaps things have changed and maybe we should come back minus Lulu to see how these things drive."

So we did. We traded in our old cars (a 2001 Limited Edition PT Cruiser in Inferno Red and a 2001 Saturn L200 in Navy Blue) for next-to-nothing, BUT we managed to milk the failing economy a bit so that we don't exactly feel cheated on that score. Funny things happen when you walk into a car dealership and tell the salesman you want... two of them. (We'll take two - they're small) Suddenly, they agreed to waive the dealer markup. And knock off an additional $500 from each. And throw in some floor mats. And pay for half of Schondy's bonnet stripes. And give us free theft insurance. And 80% off of Appearance Insurance (yes, there is such a thing). And 8 hours later, we drove off the lot with two shiny new cars.

We have a lot of configuration to do, but it was time for both of us to upgrade and it just worked out nicely that we both fell in love with the same type of car.

March 6, 2008

Do want.




Naked Decor

February 18, 2008

Did you ever see a lassie go this way and that way?

I'll bet you've been wondering what happened to me. I'll bet you're just going MAD with the suspense of it all. And right you should, too. Things are always hopping here in my little world. Lemmesee...

Last weekend, Schondy and I went bouncing around the county, shopping for two days. We weren't doing anything special, but there were a bunch of things we needed to take care of. I bought new artwork for our bedroom - a set of French art posters that match the 5-foot copy of La Victoria Arduino we picked up several years ago. I tried to find copies of all the new ones we got outside of goofy online poster stores, but good images of all of them are proving rather elusive: Pates Baroni, Parapluie-Revel, Cirio and Cioccolato Venchi. Anyway, this meant that we needed frames, which of course meant wandering around to various stores until we found nice frames that didn't cost an arm and a leg. Turns out such things are annoyingly hard to find.

Also, Schondy has taken up a new crafty project from which I have high hopes for some spectacular results. At the moment, the kitchen table is covered in crafty bits and painty bits and clocky bits, but I can't wait to see what he produces.

This upcoming weekend, I DID have plans to go to Stitches West, the knitting expo. But I have other plans instead that I will detail later on account of their secret nature. I'm bummed about missing the knitting show, but these new plans mean I'll have TONS of time for actual knitting, and that always makes me happy.

For the first time in.... well, almost 6 months, I'm knitting something for myself. I'm excited about this one. I agonized for days over what to make, even as I was finishing up previous projects. I would be all settled on what I was going to make and then I'd realize that something else would be more fun or more timely, but then I'd realize that I didn't have the needles for that one or the yarn for this one or... well, you get the idea. Lest you think the lack of knitting posts means I haven't been knitting, I assure you I've finished quite a few things, but my photographer has been somewhat pokey with the taking of the photos. Maybe, given that it's a holiday and he's home by himself all day, he'll do that today...

Since I last posted, we had a major launch at work, requiring waaaaay too much time on the train between home and the city. It was good to be involved in something like that because of the attention I garnered for my skills in the organization (I spent quite a bit of time with two directors and a VP), but it was fairly grueling work that I wasn't sorry to leave behind.

I'm now in the process of hiring someone to help me (possibly two someones) to help me out at work. It's exciting, but really confusing to be navigating the world of corporate management. I have to say that I'm honored to be considered responsible (Is that the word I'm going for?) enough to manage people other than myself, but it's a daunting prospect.

Schondy and I have taken to watching a LOT of British Television. Between Torchwood and Doctor Who, we've both started using a lot of British slang. It's a bit startling to suddenly find yourself talking about snogging with a completely straight face... well, as straight a face as one can have when using the word "snog".

Anyway.

The powers-that-be at work have booked a private showing of Cirque Du Soleil, Kooza in a couple weeks. Schondy and I are both pretty excited about that. We saw a Cirque show in Vegas when we were there two years ago and it was amazing. I can't wait.

A week after that, Schondy's company is having their annual winter party. I have yet to convince Schondy that he should be asking around to find out the dress code for this event, but I'm sure I'll have some clue prior to then. At least I'm hoping. A few days after that, the Neighbors have invited us to go see the Youth Theater production of Jekyll & Hyde. Given where we live, the amount of really excellent talent in the area makes for some better-than-expected youth productions.

So that's what's going on. I had grandiose ideas this morning about posting a list of all the concerts I've been to since landing my current job, but then I felt bad because that's probably not interesting to anyone but me. I leave you with my current favorite picture of my favorite babies, photographed by my favorite photog.


The babies say hello (look quick - they won't hold still for long).

August 9, 2007

Ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?

Holy cow! I have had a WEEK, let me tell you. It's been two weeks since I last posted, but it seriously feels like it's been a year. And here's why:

So I'll start with last Wednesday, July 31, when I took my car in to have it serviced. That wasn't any big deal, but it is a hy-uge disruption to my day, mostly because I had to be there at 9 to drop my car off, and there was this GUY. Older man. Probably very nice. But this particular day.... not so nice. And I unwittingly incurred his wrath when I was helped TWICE! Twice, I tell you! while the nice people at the dealership were trying to figure out what the devil he was trying to do. I don't think they were trying to hurt his feelings, but he was highly wounded. Basically, when I showed up, I waited patiently in line for the Service Rep to help me. And she did. Little did I know (found this out a little while later) that she was supposed to be helping him with... something. ANYway, how was I supposed to know this? I know not.

So, then, after I got all set up, I wandered into the sitting area with the hideously bad TV shows. I think this time it was Maury and he was talking to this couple where he got her pregnant when he was 18 and she was 14, but then they got married, but he still had to register as a sex offender and now they have a second baby and the wife is JUST NOW 18. But I digress. So I'm chillin', waiting for a ride to work, when this very nice older man sits down next to me and, despite my obvious interest in reading my book and being highly antisocial, insists on making comments about the people on Maury to me. Well.

Then they call him up to the desk and tell him that, yes, they'll take him to pick up his fiance, but they're going to have to take these other two nice people (me and another guy) to work first. Clearly something got lost in the translation there, but I didn't realize it until later. So we all piled into the van and the driver asked us where we were headed and I told him and he said, "oh, that's really close, I'll drop you off first." Well. Big mistake. HUGE. Because Mr. Previously-Very-Nice Man was under the impression that he was going to go get his fiance and take her back to the dealership first BEFORE me and the other guy went to work. And don't you know his fiance (Filangela or something) has worked there for 26 years and she can't just leave any time she wants and it's going to be hard to get there and it was right next to the dealership and in the time it's taken to drop this young lady (me) off, we could have been on our way and "I has the diabetus and my diabetics is acting up and don't you know I need medication!?!?". All. The. Way. To. Work. Bless the very nice driver who dropped me off first.

SO. Then there was the annoying part of having to pick up may car, but that was another whole fiasco because they're only open until 5:30, and I'm just getting going at work at 5:30, but that meant I had to leave work by 5, but that meant finding someone to take me to pick up my car. AND they hadn't called me to tell me my car was done, but I decided I needed my car, dammit, so I showed up at 5:30 and waited for someone to either hand me my keys or explain to me why a routine oil change took more than 8 hours. Thankfully, they handed me my keys.

And I think Wednesday was the day I finished my first sweater-type knitted thing. I've done socks, I've done scarves out the wazoo, I've done hats and dog sweaters and... well, all little things. So this was quite an accomplishment. I was quite pleased with myself. I hope to take pictures at some point and when I do, I'll tell you all about the project.

Thursday and Friday were both fairly calm and nothing remarkable happened, which was nice. :-) But on Friday, I was offered a pairs of tickets to see Rufus Wainwright, who just happens to be my favorite singer EVER, on Saturday night. Of course, I said yes. But first I had to make it through the rest of Friday (went to dinner with Schondy) and Saturday morning (obedience school with Lulu) and Saturday afternoon, until we left at 5:30 to drive up with the Mountain Winery to see the show. I don't have the pictures of the show on my laptop or I'd post them. I'll try to put them up later, but interestingly (and annoyingly), the best picture I have is from my iPhone (for Pete's sake!) of the opening act, A Fine Frenzy, who I also happen to adore. I wasn't supposed to have a camera at all, but I smuggled in my little Canon camera, too. I'm such a rebel. So I have a video of the encore. It was quite the spectacle.

The winery was beautiful and Schondy and I would both really like to go back sometime when we're actually allowed to have cameras so he can get some shots of... well... everything.

On Sunday, again it was kind of quiet, except that we HAD TO clean up the yard. It was in a sorry state because we'd been so busy and crazy. Otherwise, there's not much to tell about Sunday. I did finally figure out how I want to do the sewing/guest room and realized I needed to get cracking with selling our old furniture to make room. I posted my stuff on Craig's List, but as of today, no nibbles. I'm pretty much at the point of "Free! You haul!" if they don't sell. At least I TRIED to make a little money. I did get an email from someone presumably interested in them, but I'm not so sure it was a serious offer. One way or the other, this stuff needs to get out of my house NOW.

On Monday, Schondy's new camera arrived, so I immediately began starring in a photo-documentary. We have pictures of me cooking dinner, watching TV, playing with the dog, sleeping, and just about everything else. Schondy seems to have a knack for this photography thing, and I'm all about encouraging it. I keep thinking about how there are pictures of my parents all throughout their marriage. Or at least there seem to be. And Schondy and I have, like, 5 pictures of the two of us and that just seems sad to me. If we ever decide to have children, I'd like them to know that we haven't always been party poopers or hopelessly outdated.

And that brings us to Tuesday, when the WHOLE WORLD EXPLODED!!!!! Each time Schondy and I have travelled, we've had to make arrangements for the care of our babies while we're gone. Before Lulu, if we were just going to be gone a couple days, we'd leave the cats in the house and just ask someone to drop by once or twice to make sure everything was still standing. If we were gone longer, the cats would go to stay with either the vet or The Neighbors (who are SAINTS for helping us out, and, I would like to mention, OFFER to take the cats. I haven't asked them to do so in ages, and have, in fact, made other arrangements, only to have The Neighbors assure me they LOVE to keep the cats and, hey! Free pet care! Don't have to offer twice.) and it was all good. Now that we have Lulu, it's a tiny bit more complicated, but only because have to get Lulu to the PetsHotel and... making the same arrangements for the cats as what we've always done. See how this works? Cats to vet or friends (the cats don't care where they are, so long as there's occasional snuggles and food and a litter box), and Lulu to PetsHotel.

So apparently we are unusual in this respect that we wish to not inconvenience others with our extremely active and demanding little dog. Because a friend (Jim) at work left for Japan on Wednesday and needed someone to watch his dog while he is gone. And I? I am an idiot. Seriously. Because I said I'd take "Pochi" for a couple days, until I pass him on to the next poor sod for the weekend, who then passes him on to the last person, who keeps him until Jim returns. Now, Pochi is very, very sweet. He's a 7-month-old dachshund-black Lab mix (Yes, you read that right. Work on that visual for a minute.), so he's relatively small - only about 20 pounds - and he definitely has the dachshund face and the long dachshund body and tail. But he also has the black lab hyper-activity, plus the puppy hyper-activity and the DESPERATE NEED for ATTENTION NOW NOW NOW NOW!!!!! And given that he's a slightly larger dog, he needs to run, which, if you've seen our backyard, you know, is not something we can provide space for at home. Lulu = tiny, so it hasn't been a problem for her. She could be quite happy running laps in a baby pool.

But, see, the crazy attention hogging and the lack of running space aren't the biggest problems. The biggest problem is that Pochi is currently being treated for Giardia, which, by the way, is HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS to.... wait for it.... cats, dogs and humans. And it means we're dealing with the most friendly and demanding HAZARDOUS WASTE-PRODUCING dog ever. I think Jim's exact wording was "don't let your own pets get too cozy with him". But did I mention he's part Lab? And friendly? We couldn't keep him from getting cozy with Lulu if we TRIED. So I'm thinking next week after Pochi is gone, I'll be taking Lulu to the vet and asking them for some preventative antibiotics. Happily, Pochi goes on to the next victim tomorrow. It's been nice for Lulu to have a playmate, no doubt, but I won't miss the 6am barking or cleaning of toxic messes. And the cats are SO looking forward to being able to walk around the house again. They've decided Pochi = evil, and I can't say I blame them. CLEARLY he does not have any cat-siblings at home.

The Lulu-playmate thing has been kind of nice, and yesterday, we took Lulu and Pochi to the park and let them run while Schondy practiced working with his camera to get action shots of them being dogs. Some of the pictures he got were really awesome. I'll try to grab some and get them posted here so you can see.

So now it's Thursday. The office is relatively quiet today, which is nice, and I have a ton of work to do, but I'm avoiding it in favor of documenting the last week (holy cow!) while I have the headspace and time to do so. Tomorrow is end-to-end meetings and, come this weekend, I'll be too pooped to lift my arms, let alone type a blog entry. Lulu graduates from obedience school Saturday morning, and I think that's pretty much the end of the line for her schooling. We're talking about sending her to Doggy Day Camp once a week or so after school is over so she can continue to get the social interaction. But I'm definitely going to enjoy having my Saturday mornings back for the sleepin'.

And that's why I've been terrible about calling. Or responding to your emails. I'm very sorry. It doesn't mean I love you any less. It just means I'm tangled up in leashes right now and will get back to you as soon as the dogs stop playing May Pole.

May 22, 2007

Miscellania, Laptops, Literary Journals, Faires, Wiis and Slimy Things

(In no particular order)

Things at the Peanut Gallery headquarters have been rather interesting of late. Interesting enough that I haven't had a great deal of time to post Blog entries, but only a couple of the goings-on are especially earth-shattering. In the category of low-impact excitement, we have:


  • I've resumed my knitting. Hope to have my current project finished in the next couple weeks so I can start on something else. The interesting bit here is that my current piece is by far the largest thing I've ever attempted, so I'm pretty pumped to finally finish it.

    Side story: Somehow (and I'm not sure how this happened, so if anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear them), I have gained the reputation at work as a FANTASTIC knitter. Now, I'm flattered beyond belief that anyone would think I was anything but an average beginning student of knitting, but I have to admit pure bafflement as to how my co-workers know I can even put sticks to yarn. I have given two of my co-workers hand-knit scarves as gifts, neither of which was especially fancy, so I can only conclude that this is the source of my fabled knitting prowress. Did YOU tell them?

  • Lulu is still very much Lulu. Deliah thinks Lulu's a great playmate. Miles thinks they're both annoying, but is greatly pleased by the pot of catnip growing on the kitchen counter.

    Nothing especially new there, except that Lulu and I have been continuing our dog classes. I hesitate to call it obedience school, though I suppose that's technically what it is. At the moment we're learning to Heel, Go to Bed, Wait and Stay (from a distance). This is the intermediate class, so it's not as much a goofy/happy/fun time, but Lulu still loves it. Not sure what we're going to do after this one, whether we'll continue on to one of the Advanced classes or if I'll go find the Santa Clara Dachshund group or what, but I'm pretty sure Lulu will be most upset if we don't continue this learning thing.

  • In 1 month, I will be attending my 10-year high school reunion. It should be.... um.... interesting.

    I hemmed and hawed for weeks, only to decide after the deadline that I really did want to go show off a little. I don't get to do that much, given where we live and the fact that everyone else in the Valley pretty much does some variation of the same thing I do. I'm excited to see all these people, though I'm a little nervous that none of the people I hung out with will be attending. Mostly, they're in the South still, but with the changing-high-schools thing we did our Junior year, it could be that my buds just aren't interested. I would understand, but be very bummed not to see them....

In the slightly-more-exciting category, we have a number of entries.


  • Schondy was supposed to be writing about this, but seeing as how I can't get him near my Blog (he barely reads it, and then only when I tell him he should), I guess I'm going to have to write about it. Basically, we sold a bunch of games at Game Stop over the weekend in the hopes of buying a shiny new toy for me and a shiny new toy for Schondy.

    We gathered up our collection of the Worst Hits for the Playstation and GameCube and hied ourselves to the store, expecting to walk away with a healthy chunk of change for the 10 (yes, 10) games we'd decided weren't worth the plastic they were imprinted on. As the clerk was scanning the barcodes to get the amount of fabulous richness he was about to bestow on us, he was telling us the various trade-in prices for our games. (Hold on to your hat, it's a doozey!) We had 2 that went for 75¢, 3-4 for $1.50, a couple for $2.00, a couple for $3.00 and one at an astounding $9.00. WOW! Plus, since we'd sold so many, we got a "multiples bonus" of an extra 5%, for a grand total of $32. Yes, folks, Game Stop gave us less than the price of a new game for our 10 games. We were so pleased.

  • Our yard has been infested with snails and slugs. And they're gross. And they're eating my plants. This does not make me happy. I'm going on a rampage this weekend. Just so you know. Stand back.

  • I've discovered yet another company with the power to separate me from my hard-earned money with great skill and speed.

    Apparently, there's still such a thing as a literary journal (Who knew!?!?) and there are still many people vying for positions in these journals, and there are still entries rejected. And that's where the literary journal McSweeney's comes in. McSweeney's was originally created to accept only content rejected from the "legitimate" journals, but has now become something of an underground alternative to such stuffy entertainments as those. I discovered this lovely trove of dry wit and dark humor at the Maker Faire (more on that in the last category) and, for reasons I don't fully know, did not buy the volume I was looking at. I have no explanation and no one to blame but myself. So I tracked them down online and ordered a subscription. They're absolutely beautiful books and I'm so excited to get my hands on them!

And in the earth-shattering, gut-wrenching, ear-splitting excitement category, we have the reason I'm writing this Blog entry instead of the mountains of work-related things I should be doing, as well as the reason I've not gotten near enough sleep in the last week.


  • My laptop died yesterday. My work laptop. With 2 years worth of work. And right now the very nice people in the On-Site Support office are trying to save my 2 years of data while I leave work on time or early because I'm COMPLETELY HELPLESS.

    You don't realize how dependent on your computer you become until it's dead. So send happy thoughts in its direction. I've been limping along with my old ghetto Desktop computer. Happily, I had a month-old backup of my email. Unhappily, I did not back up anything else. We'll see what they say in the morning about whether or not they could revive it. (Happy thoughts. Happy thoughts.)

    So in the evenings, when I normally would have been playing computer games or working, I've been knitting. And during the day, when I normally would have been working, I've been panicking. And waiting. And checking my email obsessively. I'll be so glad when this is over.

  • We went to the Maker Faire this weekend. It was like a local version of Burning Man, complete with flaming things and crazy people. We have lots of pictures of bizarre things and even more bizarre people. I'll sift through them and post a few in the next entry.

  • Schondy bought a Wii. And that's why the crazy Game Stop experience. We have Super Paper Mario, Monkey Ball and Rayman Raving Rabids, but we spent a bunch of time this weekend playing Tennis and Bowling. The good news about the Wii is that it requires you to move around, so at least it's getting us off the couch, but the repetitive stress injuries are looming. And the pulled muscles. Stay tuned.

So that's what's the haps. With any luck, tomorrow will bring good tidings of a rescusitated laptop. Until then, I'll be knitting. And checking email. Further compliating my Wii-Tennis-Elbow.

May 2, 2007

More Pictures!!

I promised Mom I'd post some pictures of "her" delphinium when it bloomed and I've been rather slow in getting around to it. So here it is. And a picture of our very sad, but improving Japanese Maple tree. And a gratuitous Lulu shot. Because you just can't get enough of those.



April 17, 2007

Can't you see I'm busy, here!?!?

It has been brought to my attention that I don't post to my blog often enough. Apparently, my cousins with the brand new INFANT post more often than I do. In my defense, I don't have a new child to post pictures of and I'm not so sure anyone would be terribly interested in hearing about my crazy work schedule, which is my life these days.

We DID take a short little mini-vacation this weekend that I have tons of pictures from, and I have a few pics of the backyard, which is exploding in flowers, and Lulu is growing like a weed (still!!) and is more photogenic than either of her parents.

So. When I have a few minutes today.... maybe I'll have a really boring meeting, much like the one I'm currently in.... I'll try to put up another photo entry.

Oh! Speaking of which, how did you like the photo entry I posted before? Good? I've been trying to come up with an easy way to show lots and lots of pictures in a single entry. There are apparently some fancy pieces of software available for my blog that will do it, but they're all complicated to install. I don't really want to go through that, so I'm coming up with a few of my own solutions.

Anyway, let me know what you think and I'll try out a few other solutions as I have other photo entries.

April 2, 2007

Gazebo and Bridge

Well, it only took 20 years, but Mom and Dad are doing some truly amazing things with the pond in the backyard of "home". They sent me lots and lots of pictures of the crazy that went on trying to coordinate crane and people and I thought I'd share some of the more interesting ones here.

Mom and Dad, please feel free to point everyone here who wants to see pictures of what's going on. I'll even post updates if you'll send them to me.

January 11, 2007

I'm a terrible sister.

It has been brought to my attention that I have neglected to post or otherwise distribute pictures of the house now that we're all moved in, and that I have not yet posted any pictures of the new and improved backyard. I would like to point out that it still took me 2 days to get around to doing this, even after my egregious error was pointed out. :)

So consider this one a photo entry. I'm not even going to bother trying to put text in here.

The Living Room
The Office
The Office Bookshelves
The Sewing & Guest Room
The Master Bedroom
The Living Room with our
new rug (the cats LOVE it)

If you check out the entry from June 20, 2006 here to see how the backyard looked pre-landscaping. It was sad. I'm glad it doesn't look like that anymore. So here's what it looks like now.
The Patio
The Side of the house,
now with Pergola!
The Patio after Schondy's
fabulous lights were installed

There. Sorry it took me so long. I have tons of pictures of the yard as it was being done and I have lots more pictures of the house, but this entry is already going to take foreer to load, so I don't want to make it any worse. Cheers!

October 15, 2006

Bad Blogger! Bad!

I apologize. I haven't posted in weeks, and my last post was written in an early-morning, mid-launch stupor. Life is calmer now, but not by much. Of course, that's not really any excuse - I tend to post more when I'm busier, just like I tend to look for creative outlets just when things at work are at their craziest. I think it has something to do with a desire to take control over some part of my life, when the rest is spinning out of control. Either way, whenever I go for long periods of time and forget to post, I always vow to do better, and it doesn't happen. So there.

We're still going like mad at work, and now I need to keep coming home to make decisions on landscaping! Don't get me wrong - I'm not complaining. I thrive on the chaos at work. I've been a little hesitant of late because my "handlers" are pushing me to take a more visible role. This is not something I'm terribly good at. I talk too much, and say things I shouldn't; I have opinions and I'm not afraid to voice them; I tend to be impatient. This does not necessarily make me terribly good at talking to management, but I do have to say that I am learning. At least that's what they tell me.

I've always very much preferred to be the one behind the curtain, sending the actors on stage at the right times, making sure their costumes are perfect, telling the sound guy how it sounds. I like to be behind the scenes, making it all happen. This new visible role makes me a little uncomfortable - not necessarily because I don't like the pressure, or because I don't like talking to people, or anything like that. I just prefer it in the back. Apparently I'm not allowed to stay there.

As for the landscaping, I'm thrilled to bits that it's finally happening, the timing is just not so good, what with the rainy season bearing down on us, and the madness at work, and the fact that it took them 4 months to get started. The good news is that they're seriously cranking through and should be fininshed in less than a week. This is great news for us because it means that we'll be able to spend a (rather cold) 5th Anniversary in our brand new backyard.

Every year we "give" each other something for the house - something expensive that we can both enjoy. This year, that thing is the yard. It's costing us a fortune, but we weighed the pros and cons and decided to go for it. If we had done it ourselves, well, it wouldn't have happened. So we talked about finding a random yard man and getting sprinklers and sod put in, and that probably would have been fine, but then we found these guys. If you ever need to know about some killer landscapers, give me a call. They're not cheap. Really, really not cheap, but the quality of their work has so far been absolutely amazing. And did I mention FAST? I plan to post some before and after pictures of the work, and I've been taking pictures each day after the workers leave.

On Friday, I worked from home to be here to make some decisions about plants and pavers and the like (a meeting that didn't happen and will now happen tomorrow morning), and happened to be walking through the kitchen when I got the pleasure of watching the workers enjoying the oranges from out tree. Really, I was pleased. We were a little... clueless about the implications of having an orange tree in our backyard when we bought the house. It hasn't really been bad, so much as annoying. I can't say I really recommend having an orange tree in your yard, except that it means you never have to buy oranges or orange juice again. That part is great. It's the getting of the oranges that's bad, and the preparing of the oranges that just doesn't happen. And since we cleaned out the lower branches earlier in the summer, we now have a bumper crop of fist-sized green oranges just waiting to ripen and fall on the ground. Oy.

So I guess that's it. Schondy's sitting on the couch behind me, playing Pokemon (yes, Pokemon) on his Nintendo DS, Miles is staring at me blankly, and Deliah is sleeping. The fish tank is gurgling along, which means I should be cleaning the algae off its overflow, and I was supposed to do a water change today. But now it's time to start thinking about cleaning up the house, doing the laundry and figuring out what's for dinner in preparation for another crazy week ahead of me.

Maybe I'll post again in something less than a month.....Ciao.

June 20, 2006

Oh, where to start.....

I'm slowly coming to the realization that I live in a perpetual state of... panic? chaos?... At any rate, I always think I'm going to have some down time. You know next weekend. After we take the cat to the groomer, assemble the bookshelves, do the laundry, clean the office and throw a party. I mean, there's nothing else going on. And I wonder if it's always been this way, or if other people have the same feeling.

I'm reasonably sure that those of you with children are now sitting there with a wry grin on your faces, thinking something along the lines of "Oh, just wait until you have kids. You have no idea..." And maybe that's true, but it all boils down to... I never feel like I have 2 minutes to get my head in order. Makes for a messy-feeling head.

I have to tell this story. I think Schondy finds it a little embarrassing, but it was probably my fault, so I don't know what he's all ashamed. Anway, so two weeks ago, we were helping the Friends-formerly-known-as-The-Neighbors move and I got a bunch of black stuff on my favoritest white jacket. Now, why, you ask, was I wearing a white jacket to help someone move? Well, I don't know. I just was.

ANYwho. Black stuff. White jacket. I went inside and soaked it down so that when I got home, I could throw it in the washer and hopefully all the aforementioned black goo would miraculously come out. See, we have this fancy-schmancy new front-loading washer that we're convinced is slightly possessed.... But that's a different story.... Since it's all new and smart-like, washing one jacket in there does not a happy washer make. So I gathered up some other clothes and loaded the washer and then toddled off to go do something else. At some point, I decided it would be a good idea to start working on unpacking some boxes, so I wandered upstairs to do that.... until I needed a screwdriver.

So back down to the garage I went after the elusive screwdriver beast. When I opened the garage door, though, what my wondering eyes should appear, but a hy-uge lake of laundry soap. All over my shiny new garage.

In this shot, you can see the extent of the lake - something like 10'x4'. Big. Really big. And how, I ask you, does one go about cleaning up said lake of laundry soap? I mean, think about it. You can't just.... towel it up. It's soap. It's too thick. Okay.... so you try.... the broom? Hm. That's just going to ruin your broom. The mop? Well, maybe.... but it's not like you can really wring laundry soap out of the mop like you can water. So we used a combination of all 3, kind of. We mopped the soap into the dustpan, then dumped it into a garbage can. For what was left on the floor, towels soaked it up, and then we threw them in the washer to clean up.

The moral of the story is "don't put the industrial-sized bucket of liquid laundry soap on top of the washer and then scoot it too close to the edge". Because it will hurt you.

The good news is that now our garage smells really good.....

In other news, I've been telling people for days how much all my plants love the new house. Indoor plants, outdoor plants, they're all thrilled to be here. I wish I could take some credit for it, but all I've done is put them down, give them some water, and walk away. So I have some pictures that I took last week. They don't show the spectacular things that have happened with my dahlias this week, but they show how happy everything else is.

As you can see from the pictures, we still don't have much of a backyard. We have landscapers coming on Thursday to tell us how many arms and legs they want for the privilege of giving us something other than a mud pit, but until then, I go out every couple of days and give all my potted plants a nice shower. So far, it's working....

The orange tree continues to drop oranges on our heads, so last weekend we bought a fruit picker. We also happened to buy an extension ladder, though for a different reason, so it looked like we were about to open an orchard or something. The ladder was needed because we now have 9ft. ceilings and those don't work well with a two-step stool.

I've also started back to my bagpipe lessons. I had to stop for a little while because of the selling and buying of houses. I just didn't have the headspace for anything else, so my obnoxious and expensive hobby was the first to go. But in the last few weeks I've gotten back into the swing of things.

I'm having to re-learn pretty much everything, which is probably good for me. The biggest problem I've encountered so far is that we no longer have a busy street to mask the sounds of my practicing at home. I'm going to have to bake our new neighbors cakes... or something. I'm a night owl, so I'm a nocturnal piper. Maybe this isn't the best combination. I've pondered the idea of morning serenades, but somehow I don't think those would go over very well, either.

So now that I've rambled on for days, I wanted to post pictures of one more thing - possibly the most exciting thing of all - our new TV. It's installed now, and happily sucking our time away. Schondy SAYS he was just trying to illustrate the scale of the TV by giving it a hug, but I think he really had some other motive. Maybe a little love for the TV? I think so.

As with everything in our lives right now, we have a temporary solution to the problem of where to place all the equipment that goes with our new TV. It's hung too low for a regular entertainment center (not that we need one of those anyway), and the tower speakers cause the need for something narrow. So we're looking for a 36"x36" stereo component thingie. Know of one we could buy? The larger problem is where to put our collection of 200 DVDs. We're entertaining options. But if you have any suggestions, I'll be happy to hear them.

Anyway, love getting those comments. It means I'm not doing all this work to make interesting entries in vain. I mean, my main motivation is just to ramble on about myself, but it's an added bonus that lots of people I don't talk to regularly enough are able to keep tabs on me.

April 16, 2006

New House Pics!

Last night, we invited The Neighbors out to dinner in Mountain View, and thought that as long as we were close, we'd swing by the new house so they could see it. We don't have a key, so we thought we'd just peek in the windows and see what we could see. It was a little dark, so just for kicks, I tried the handle on the front door. Amazingly, it was open! Not sure how we feel about that, but it did mean we were able to get in to take a whole bunch of measurements for a refrigerator and some curtains and stuff like that. We got all our measurements (after sending Steve back to the car twice), but we had forgotten the camera. :(

So we went back today! It was rainy and nasty, but here it is! This is actually the back of the house. The driveway is off any alley, which is off a dead-end street. Ah. At last. A quiet street.

Right now, the backyard is a gi-normous mud pit. It's been raining so much, and the ground is something that looks like clay. We DO have an orange tree, though. We're having mixed feelings about that, because other people have mentioned that eventually you do get tired of oranges and if you don't pick them up daily, they just sit on the ground and rot. Ugh. Anyway, we'll probably hire someone to sod the backyard and put in an area for our patio furniture.




Here's the great room. This is going to contain the couch, entertainment center, dining table, aquarium, and piano. Believe it or not, these WILL all fit. Last night after taking a few measurements, we started working on a floor plan of the house (it's down at the bottom) to make sure all the furniture is going to fit. In the current house, we have two front rooms, one of which we use as the den and the other is the dining room. The new house is going to be full. At least in that room.


The view out the front of the great room is kind of pretty. We think they're going to put a gate at the turn in the walk. There are certainly posts there that look like gate posts. It's not really that big a deal, since the house is way back off the road and behind another house. People would really have to want to talk to us to come that way.



The kitchen is just fabulous. Granite countertops, built in appliances, cabinets for days. I'm so excited about the kitchen - it even has counters that match! All the way around! Looking the other way in the kitchen is where the refrigerator goes. On the right side (where you can't see it) is the pantry and on the left is the is the door to the 2-car garage and to the third bathroom. It's very strange to have a bathroom in the kitchen, but I suppose it makes sense, given that there is a bedroom downstairs.

Here's a better view of the downstairs bathroom. All three baths are complete, which seems like more than we'll ever need, but I suppose if you have company and you have them staying in the downstairs bedroom, it would be way more convenient for them than going all the way upstairs.







One of the coolest things about the house (besides.... everything) is the landing upstairs and the counter and cabinets up there. I can see us putting all kinds of interesting things in here and I'm just thrilled to have storage!






Looking out the window in the guest bedroom, you can see the front yard and how the fence fits. It's an interesting little subdivision. The houses next door (one is kind of visible in this picture) are pretty much identical, but mirrored. The ones in front are a little smaller and have only a 1-car garage.




I haven't uploaded any pictures of the bedrooms because I realized they were just boring with no furniture or anything in them. Makes sense that they wouldn't have put any of those up with the listing, though I do wonder why they didn't put anything up on any of the other rooms. The kitchen would have helped sell it for sure. But of course, that means we might not have gotten it. :-)

This is the shower and bathtub in the master bathroom. Happily, that window has frosted glass. Otherwise, we'd be scrambling to get curtains on it, seeing the clarity of the shower glass. We're also terribly excited about having two sinks in the master bathroom. Imagine! We can brush our teeth at the same time! The toilet is banished to a little closet at the end of the bathroom. Didn't really feel the need to get a picture of that.

And the railing around the stairs from the upper landing. We're trying to figure out what to do with this little area. Looks like it would be wonderful for all manner of art and posters. Not really sure what we're going to do, but it's already provided loads of inspiration to both of us.





Just in case you had doubts about my insanity or my slight tendency towards OCD, here's the complete layout of the house and immediate yard (click on the picture to get a larger view). We actually started working on this (like I said above) to see if all the furniture would fit. While we were taking pictures today, we were also getting measurements of a lot of the rooms to make sure we modeled the whole thing right. It IS to scale, so we can plan out all of the rooms. This is good news for anyone helping us move. :-)


So right now, the plan is to close on both houses (the duplex and the new house) on May 10th, which is a Wednesday. Schondy and I are taking off from work the 10th through the 12th to get moved. We have to give posession of the duplex to the buyers on the 15th, so that means we really need to get organized soon. Happily, a good portion of our belongings are already packed and in storage, so that will definitely help the effort. Anyone who'd like to earn some serious karma points and our eternal gratitude is welcome to drop by and move/pack a few boxes! You know my number!

April 4, 2006

Wow! Sorry about that.

Sorry about that last post. Very tired. Still tired. A little less existential today, though.

So the house is almost ready for the market. We're finishing up patching holes, hanging doors, hanging pictures and making it all pretty. And this is good for 2 reasons.

First, the Open House is Sunday, and the photographer comes Thursday to take pictures for the online listing and for the flyers. Must be ready by the time I leave for work Thursday morning

Second, WE FOUND A HOUSE!!!! WOOOOOO!!! It's brand new, 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, has a kitchen that's to die for, and is right in the so-called "quadrangle of happiness". We're going to work on the papers tonight to put in a formal offer, which could be interesting. It's at the very top edge of our price range, but so worth it. We're rejoicing very cautiously.

Anyway, this means that We. Are. Pooped. Forget burning the candle at both ends. We're burning them in the middle, too.

Wish us luck!!!

(Oh! And thank you, Sapphire, for the comment. It's my first and, so far, only)

March 16, 2006

Procrastination

So, this week, it's South By Southwest time and as that is a music festival and I work for the music portion of Apple, guess where alllllll of my co-workers are right now. I'm really quite okay with this. It just means that it's dead quiet around here. There's no emails. No phone calls. No one stopping by. It's nice.

Except...

Well, funny thing about everyone else being out is that I am SO not motivated to do ANYTHING. If they don't have to work, why do I have to work? Not that this is necessarily a problem. What with everyone else gone, they're not getting anything done either, so my marked lack of productivity should be pretty unremarkable. At least that's what I'm hoping.

Anywho, this week has been great for my internet surfing, which I literally have not done since... oh.... high school. I mean, one can only look at so many webpages before one just gets JADED. But I did find a link to this place. And there is some hysterical stuff here. I highly recommend this website. The owner is nuts. I swear.

In other news, D-day on the house is now just 2 weeks away. And somehow we've managed to have MORE projects than when we started this endeavour. Not sure how we managed that. And not so sure I like that. I mean, who decides to rip out a bathroom with 3 weeks to spare? Seriously. I feel like I'm on one of those goofy home decorating shows where they have 2 days to (cue announcer man with oddly deep voice) Completely Transform This Tired Old House Into A Real Show Place, Complete With Cozy Sitting Area!!! And We'll Do It In 2 Days And For Only $5!!! Next Time On (insert favorite HGTV show here). Except we're missing the TV crew. And the zany host. And the hidden crew of people who ACTUALLY do all the painting and cleaning and working. And the joyous reveal at the end. And.... well, you get the idea. Basically, we're missing the fun.

Not that I'm blaming anyone. Because I'm not. I'm just tired. So very tired.

Thankfully, work is pretty slow right now (see above discussion), so I'm able to get an hour or so of "me-time" immediately after work, before we start on the evening's projects. Last night we packed books and shot glasses. (Not together. Just at the same time.) Today, our realtors are at the house doing yard work. They're earning their commission for sure. And it's been proven over the last 4 years that I officially don't know what to do with a yard that isn't already all nice and pretty. So I need help. Happily, we have a realtor who actually likes yard work (hallelujah!), so I'm perfectly happy to just let her go crazy.

Because of all the house stuff, I haven't exactly had a lot of time to practice my pipes. And it's so sad. My pipes are beautiful. Really, truly beautiful. And they sound so wonderful. The cats (of course) hate them, but there's this amazing feeling of power that comes with playing something so.... well, loud. :)

Anyway, realtor just called. I'm to go with her to Home Depot to buy flowers and mulch and outside prettiness. Wish me luck.

March 6, 2006

House Hunters R Us

In order to make sure we have a suitable level of chaos in our lives, Schondy and I went house hunting this weekend. I have to say, it wasn't as bad as I was expecting. After listening to Madline and Tom talk, I was just sure it was going to be like walking onto a used car lot, but of course, it wasn't, except for the one guy....

(Real names concealed to protect the innocent)

Kinda creepy Realtor type: Hi! Your names? (reaching to shake hands)

Peanut: (returning handshake) Hi. I'm Peanut.

Schondy: (returning handshake) Hi. Schondy

Kinda creepy Realtor type: I'm Creepy Realtor Type, and this is Pat.

Pat: (waves a little, slightly confused)

Mr. and Mrs. Peanut: (wonder if Pat is the home owner)

Kinda creepy Realtor type: Make yourselves an open house! I'm just finishing up with Pat and I'll be right with you.

Mr. and Mrs. Peanut: (a little confused, but prefer to be left alone anyway) Ok. Thanks.

Kinda creepy Realtor type: (taking Pat outside to talk, being sure to look back over shoulder to make sure Mr. and Mrs. Peanut aren't in listening range) So have you heard about this house over on Laura? No? Go there. It's better.

Mr. and Mrs. Peanut: (eh? Wandering through house, noting Washer/Dryer in hall with no doors to hide them, interesting 4th bedroom that you have to go outside to reach, uneven pavers in back....)

Kinda creepy Realtor type: (comes back in, minus Pat, which means she probably isn't home owner. so why the introductions before? we know not.) So! How are you folks today?

Mr. and Mrs. Peanut: (a little mumbly, a little skeeved out) Good!

Kinda creepy Realtor type: (shaking hands again) And your names were?

Mr. and Mrs. Peanut: (mumbling names, correcting him when he's SOOOOO wrong. not a good impression)

Kinda creepy Realtor type: (wandering into kitchen and fiddling with radio, which is playing some sports event) Any questions? Anything other than what the score is? Because my team is down and I'm not sure they'll pull it together.

Mr. and Mrs. Peanut: (NOT sports types, so really don't care)
Mr. and Mrs. Peanut: (smile and giggle appropriately)
Mr. and Mrs. Peanut: (everyone's a comedian...) Nope! Don't think so!

Kinda creepy Realtor type: (leading towards previously-mentioned 4th bedroom outside) Did you see this room? Isn't it neat? It was once a studio, so it's all sound-proofed. I always pictured it as an excellent place for a family with extra children...

Mr. and Mrs. Peanut: (EXTRA children? as if there was suddenly a sale on them at the Piggly Wiggly, and you never know when you might run out?)

Kinda creepy Realtor type: (not noticing even-more-skeeved out Mr. and Mrs. Peanut) Or maybe a good place for the teenage kid so they can sneak out whenever they want!

Mr. and Mrs. Peanut: (ha! smile and nod, smile and nod.)

Mr. and Mrs. Peanut: (ready to run away, but he just KEEPS COMING. smile and nod, smile and nod.)

Kinda creepy Realtor type: (finally realizing Mr. and Mrs. Peanut just aren't going to bite) It was built in 1999, so it's pretty new, and the kitchen was redone in 2003, so it's pretty new, too!

Mr. and Mrs. Peanut: (eyeballing weeee little kitchen and noting the 3-foot section of granite counter top and thinking: well, you can only do so much, I suppose... smile and nod, smile and nod.)

Kinda creepy Realtor type: (one last bid for some action? maybe?) SO! Have you heard about the other property over on Laura?

Mr. and Mrs. Peanut: (blank stare)

Kinda creepy Realtor type: Wait. Do you have an agent?

Mr. and Mrs. Peanut: (finally! we can get him off our backs!) Yes. We do.

Kinda creepy Realtor type: (gotta be the good guy anyway...) Oh! Well, then, have your agent tell you about it! HA!!!

Mr. and Mrs. Peanut: (what is WITH this guy!?!?)

Kinda creepy Realtor type: (conspiratorial whisper) Well, I guess since I spilled the beans I have to keep going! It's just like this, but the garage is still a garage - not a bonus room and it's got LOADS of upgrades. I mean, it's a peach! It's also $5000 more! But don't say I told you!

Mr. and Mrs. Peanut: (ooooh. nevermind that the best thing going for this place was the bonus room...)

Kinda creepy Realtor type: (just trying to be funny at this point...) Oh, hey! And since this one has the bonus room, there's just a motorcycle garage. Just big enough for a Harley! You have a Harley, don't you!?

Mr. and Mrs. Peanut: (laugh and nod, laugh and nod.)

Kinda creepy Realtor type: (trying to mention Harley as much as possible) Ha, ha! Just right to park your Harley in!

Mr. and Mrs. Peanut: (edging out the door, continuing to smile and nod) Oh, right! It's great for that!

Kinda creepy Realtor type: (fully realizing that the people are leaving) Ok, folks! Call if you have any questions!

Mr. and Mrs. Peanut: (running for car) We will! Thanks!

Hm. So that didn't come across as well as I'd hoped. Oh well. You get the picture. He was the only one that was really annoying with the used car salesman style. All the others were very nice. And we saw some beautiful houses and some beautiful neighborhoods. Too bad they didn't line up the way we would have liked.

So we're out again next weekend, doing the same song and dance, hopefully with better luck.

February 27, 2006

I'm going to propose a new home improvement show...

And I'm going to call it "What Not to Do!" (much like "What Not to Wear"), where we show home owners and home improvement-types how NOT to fix things. For the first episode, I can just see it:

The top 10 things you should ALWAYS think about when working on your house

1. Always prime the wall before painting over glossy paint.
     I wanted to post pictures of the results, but I forgot in all the hullabaloo of getting it all painted

2. Make sure your screws are going in straight.
     Have you ever tried to straighten out a screw hole that was drilled wrong in the first place? Doesn't work so well. If you'd like a demonstration, come check out my kitchen cabinets. The hinges are fab!

3. When painting/mudding/whatever corners, it's a good idea not to leave large blobs of stuff. They don't go away.
     My bathroom door is a prime example

4. Large holes punched in the ceiling do not disappear just because you've placed a hook or light fixture in them to cover the carnage
     I have a number of examples of this one. Mostly confined to my dining room, happily, thought not having them at all would be even better.

5. When removing drains from the front of a house, it's a good idea to PAINT THE BALD SPOT LEFT BEHIND.
     You know, because it's on the front of the house, and it's obvious, and it just looks sloppy.

6. More screws isn't always the best answer for cabinets that don't want to stay on the wall.
     Well, you see, sometimes that means that you shouldn't be doing these things yourself. Sometimes that means you're doing it wrong and you should GET HELP. Because people just MIGHT notice the 10,000 screws in the backs of the cabinets.

7. Feng shui is great in THEORY. Sometimes questionable or just not PRACTICAL in practice.
     I can think of a number of examples, one of which isn't necessarily even my problem: the 8-foot in the roof to cast sunlight on the red door, facing south, with no outside light, no knocker, and no doorbell. Who thinks that's a good idea? Anyone? Anyone? No?

8. Concrete that slopes towards the house will cause flooding and drainage problems. Period.
     Yes, even if your brother knows how to pour concrete, that doesn't necessarily mean you should let him. Because you know those crawlspace windows? The ones that are now on the same level as the concrete? And the concrete that slopes towards those windows? Guess what happens when it rains...

9. Just because you've put half an inch of dirt over the pipes for the sprinkler system doesn't mean they're truly buried
     Yes, they may not be visible right this very second, but just try to add a sprinkler head to THAT. Or try to plant around that. Go ahead. I dare you.

10. And finally, It doesn't matter how much paint you put over it. A bad patch job will always continue to show.
     Places like the bathroom, the not-fitting wall in the entry, and the thousand other places where you just slapped 3 inches of mud over the crack and then painted. We can still see it. You're not fooling anyone.

So anyway. I'm tired. Of painting. Of cleaning. Of spackling. Never mind the fact that the cats have fleas right now. Yes, our indoor-only cats have cultivated a fairly raging colony of fleas. Best we can figure is that Miles picked them up the last time he was at the groomer. Now, I'm thinking that I've had enough trouble with them in the past that this just could be the last straw. Ask me again the next time he needs a shave in.... oh.... 4 months.

And then there's the fish tank. I guess we're going to have to start a batch of water-change water tonight. The nitrate levels are just too high. I thought live rock was supposed to help that. At least the Ammonia level is down. sigh

Do I do that before or after the curtains for the bedroom?
  Before or after the counter on the bookcase?
    What about cleaning out the computer room?
      Storing the small fish tank?
        Patching the ceiling in the dining room?
          Cleaning the heater air return?
            Scrubbing the shower?
              Touching up the blue paint in the bedroom?

Oy. At least the kitchen is pretty much finished. Soon as I remember to get the pictures off the camera, I'll post. It's pretty. I promise.

February 20, 2006

We'd better get a lot of money out of this

So in case you haven't figured it out yet, my favorite new topic is the huge pain of having to fix everything in the house that was broken when we moved in, plus undo all the changes we made in the last 4 years to make the place a little more fun. Well. Let me just tell you. It's not so easy to make breakfast when your entire kitchen is in PIECES! I'm fiddling with the camera, trying to get some of the pictures I took this morning so I can show them to you, but so far, it's being very stingy.

The cats have been cooped up in the bedroom for an entire day now, meaning they.... are.... BORED!!!!! I got out of the shower to find both of them standing at the bathroom door, waiting to ambush me and make me let them out. It wasn't fun to tell them that it wasn't going to happen. (aHA! I have conquered the camera) Meanwhile, Schondy and I have been sanding/priming/painting for 2 days now. Seeing as how it's President's Day and he has the day off, he's still. painting.

At this point, I'm convinced that we have magical color-changing paint, which means that right now, when the sun is shining, all the paint looks the same color :), but when it's night and the lighting is funny, it magically CHANGES so that some of it is white-ish, and some of it is lemony, and it's very ODD.

Happily, we get lots of light in the kitchen, meaning this will nice and bright and cheerful. And I think I'm going to put some big, pretty sun catcher up in that window over the cabinets. We'll see how it all comes out.

On top of all the paint, we also have all new hardware for all the cabinets and we're going to shelf-paper everything to hide the painting mistakes tie everything together all pretty. I even told Schondy he could use green if he wanted (aren't I nice). I've been told to call home before I leave work to make sure he doesn't need me to go buy all the shelf paper at Home Depot. I did have a meeting at 2, but it's been cancelled.... Hm. Wonder if my manager would understand if I told her "my kitchen needs me".... The up side of this is that we will have a lovely kitchen for Friday, when the realtors come back, and for when we start taking pictures/showing the house.

Of course, the down side of all of this is that the kitchen is in pieces (as mentioned above), meaning everything is on the floor and we're trying to figure out where it all came from. Because we do not have a large kitchen. In fact, we have a small kitchen. With just a few cabinets. I don't understand. And we have to move this? In 6 weeks? Really? Seriously? Oy.

And now for some more pictures of my poor destroyed house..... I'm also learning how to do a picture blog. I find this whole thing very interesting because it's a really powerful system. And I feel very good about the fact that I'm admin-ing the thing myself and control everything about my system. I thought about doing a blog before and decided I didn't want to use any of those websites (blogger.com, etc.) because I... oh, I don't know... wanted to let my inner geek have a little fun.

And finally, one last thing that makes me very happy. We have track lighting in the dining room. I've only been trying for that for the last 4 years, but it finally happened. See that, poor-schlub-who's-going-to-give-us-loads-of-money? We installed track lighting for you. Hope you like it. Because there's HY-UGE holes in the ceiling now. You're welcome.

Hope you've enjoyed my pictures of the carnage. Hopefully I'll have some prettier pictures the next time I post.

February 17, 2006

Just in case you were wondering....

Preparing houses for sale stinks. In profound ways. And can I just say: the people who last worked on this house should have their contractor licenses taken away (assuming they have them).

I'm wishing I had pictures of the house right now. To show some of the heinous things we've discovered. The sad and frightening and WHAT WERE THEY THINKING things that we've had to fix/remove/disguise in hopes of getting some poor schlub to take this thing off our hands at an oh-so-reasonable price of 1 zillion dollars, please, thankyouverymuch. But alas, no pictures. Not yet, anyway. Maybe that's what I'll do tonight.....

Anyway, we've decided entirely on our own, certainly not because the realtor told us to... oh, no, never would we have considered avoiding this chore, to paint the cabinets in the kitchen. But if I'm going to paint the kitchen, I'm going to do it MY WAY. And I don't do beige. Be afraid. Be very afraid. So last night, in a fit of HOLY COW WE ONLY HAVE 6 WEEKS TO DO ALL THIS, I insisted on getting Schondy to remove all the cabinet doors in the kitchen. And the last 2 doors on the pantry. So now, the cats are all confused, and the house looks funny, and it's a big mess, and I don't like big messes for very long. So this weekend, if you're bored and have nothing better to do, you can come help me sand and paint 18 cabinet doors and 6 drawer fronts. I might even be convinced to provide drinks......

On that same note, if anyone has a hankering to replace a door frame, I have just the project to make you happy. Oh, yes, we were planning to save this job for a professional, but we could probably be convinced to employ... you know... ANYONE. :-)

And the pantry. Did I mention the pantry? I love my pantry. Or at least I used to. Until we discovered the hinge that wasn't anchored to the wall (yes, really). The center post that wasn't anchored.... much. The GINORMOUS globs of paint keeping the doors from closing. Because OB-viously, why on earth would you REMOVE a hinge before painting the door? That just slows you down, right? And surely no one will notice that the doors don't actually close anymore. Details!

And then there's the windows in the kitchen. We have a great vaulted ceiling in our kitchen. I've always liked that. And there's windows up really high that bring in the sunlight, so the kitchen is lovely and bright and I've always liked that. BUT last night, I decided to get all industrious and pull down the screens from those windows to see if maybe some of the 3 inches of grime could be cleaned off, at which point I discovered that only 1/2. That's right. Half! Of the window frame was painted up there. The other half, they... I don't know... forgot? to paint? Along with the entire window sill. Seriously. Who wants to paint a window sill that's 10 feet in the air? Because no one will ever see it, right? Of course!

We're pretty sure we're going to have to completely dismantle the hall cabinets for a full hardware-ectomy (again with the painting hinges - I mean, seriously, people!), but I'll worry about that after I get my kitchen cabinet doors back. Deliah thinks we opened them all up just for her and I'm not much enjoying the thought of itty-bitty-kitty-paws all over my pots and pans.

Thankfully, most of the carnage is limited to the kitchen/dining room/entry area. Not to say that everything is just fabulous everywhere else. When our realtor saw the random diagonal wall in our master bathroom (~85 degrees), she literally was speechless. And I get the impression that this is not a normal state for her. Not that this is a problem. Because it means she's able to get a word in edgewise with me. Which is (I'm told) not always easy.

Anyway, I'll be glad when this is over. It makes me so tired to think about it. I'm ready to just go. Let the (aforementioned) poor schlub deal with the globby paint and nasty window screens and new door frame, oh my! I prefer my homes to be somewhat devoid of things that make you go "hmmm." I'm hoping for more of an "oooooh" or an "aaaaaah".

So this weekend, I will be sanding and painting and lighting and migrating live rock and.... possibly hunting for the parts for a new door frame. <sigh> Come join me and we'll make a party of it.

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