Wednesday, December 28, 2005

let me into my house!!!!

Countertops and cabinets?
Vinyl, laminate and carpet?
Check, check, check
Doors hung?
Trim up?
All livable rooms painted?
Tommorrow, Check
Back stoop and stairs to from garage to laundry room?
Check and Check.
Stairs finished
Well, sorta of check, I am staining it this weekend.
(gameshow buzzer sound)
Running water?
(gameshow buzzing sound)

Lovely, thank you.
Doing okay but I miss her hideously.
Installed almost all the laminate floor in the study by himself and finished today. What a guy!
I'll get back to you on that.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

All I want for Christmas is the plumber and the electrician

Well, we have things like toilets, sinks and a water heater in the house but they aren't installed and noooooooo sign of the electrician. All the vinyl is down, the kitchen cabinets and counters are done. All the upstairs doors and trim is done. Stairs are supposed to be finished by wednesday when carpet folks come to lay carpet in family room, stairs, second floor hall and master bedroom and closet. We'll see. Yesterday Andrew and I pumped the sump uh, hole empty of water in the basement where I got to meet Fred. Fred is the wolf spider that lives in one of the three tiles in our, ah, holde in the basement. Andrew named him Fred. He is larger than a quarter and smaller than a fifty cent piece and it doesn't matter what time of day you go down there. Fred is always sitting on his little tile. Andrew warns as we drop the pump in "don't agitate him" but, I think he is kind of cute. We also moved all the downstairs doors and trim to the house for our general carpenter to start on Monday. So Mom and Dad get most of their garage back. The big pole barn still looks like our apartment inside out. today we had adventures is laying laminate floor. We got a late start but didn't do too bad in the having to recut pieces department. Andrew used his table saw. We went slow and still have 2/3rds of the room to do but we don't feel frustrated and it is the last room in the house to get trimmed out. Because the room is pretty square from being new the sides are pretty even so that is helpful. Had a nice Christmas Eve steak and will hit the shower as soon as this is done. Andrew hasn't gotten his diploma in the mail and we are quite worried that with address change and all it won't get here. The dublin post office has once again hopelessly screwed up our mail...ah the joys of moving.

Anyway happy holidays and if you see Santa, put in a good word for our house...jules

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Our Kitchen is beautiful.

The cabinets, floor and countertops are in. All that’s missing is the appliances. As the most completed room in the house, it gave me a lot of hope as to what the move-in version of the whole house will be. I will be posting pictures after Christmas.

So far we have the laminate in the dining, kitchen, hallway and foyer. Vinyl is down and all the vanities are in some procession of installation. The master bathroom is looking good too I must say. I spent yesterday adding a second coat to the master bedroom, the dark blue and creamy white trim and door go together well. The light we picked to hang in the foyer goes perfectly—and the window in the center of the house makes that whole area light and airy. This week I want to put a second coat of paint in the study (wow is it red!) and the family room. I’d also like to get the kitchen cabinets dust bustered. And at some point soon Andrew and I are going to attempt laying the laminate floor in the study. Staining the windows is just going to have to wait until we are in the house.

We have a long way to go yet, no light fixtures, no plumber and our garage door is messed up. Downstairs trim won’t go up till next week, the stairs aren’t finished out. I think by January 2 when Kitten must leave the kennel, I will be taking her to a friend’s house. Our mail is getting forwarded so I am going to stop by the apartment complex and see if they will open the mailbox for me. I am not going to the Dublin post office until after Christmas, I am not standing in line for an hour over their crossed wires.

Monday, December 19, 2005

We roll on...

Well things seem to be happening all at once and not at all. Good news is that despite some shedding and losing a little bit of weight. Kitten seems to be doing okay in the kennel. Andre visited her this morning and cuddled her for a while and has assured me to stop worrying.

The house is going along okay. We have gotten a lot painted and will paint the study tonight. I am also going to attempt to do a second coat on the master bedroom and family room this week. We have all of the kitchen cabinets in and man do we have a lot! Laminate is in the dining room and hallway. Andrew and I are going to attempt to lay the study laminate on Friday so wish us luck with that. We will have everything pretty much painted except for the two extra rooms and I am not going to worry about those until spring.

I am pretty happy with our color choice, especially the cloth, the master bedroom and the bathroom. It’s been very helpful that Andrew has had a lot of time off to coincide with his Christmas break. Today doors and trim start going upstairs and hopefully the electrician will come soon and start putting in light fixtures. Carpet won’t get installed until after the first of the year, and we still don’t have toilets, or the master bath tub tiled so we got a way to go.

Brinks installs the security keypad tomorrow, and Sears delivers appliances on Thursday. I have a couple more things to pick up for Christmas and have a light work week so we are (for the moment) rolling right along.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Happy Holidays

Well friends I haven’t written in well over a month for a mix of reasons. First, our drywaller was weeks late getting to the house and I was too demoralized towards the end of November to write about how God only knew when we were going to move into the house. Talk about bad attitude, I had one. Then I have been busy. At the last minute I was invited by the system to attend a Gaming Symposium in Chicago which focused on gamer culture and what libraries can learn from it in terms of service, programming, and appeal. It was extremely interesting. I had a great roommate with me and we enjoyed a lovely Italian dinner and gawked at an 8 floor Saks.

When I returned (I was supposed to be on vacation that week but waived the first two days for the trip) I immediately set to work packing packing and preparing to move—not into the house, but Mom and Dad’s. It was a four day process and on Monday past Andrew vaccummed and turned in our keys. I have little hope of retaining much of our deposit as a result of some unfortunate incidents with drywall but hope to get reimbursed the rent money we paid in advance for days we weren’t living there.

So we packed up to Mom and Dad’s. Dad Andrew and Andrew’s friend Kevin did the moving. The white pole barn is chock full of boxes and furniture. I am very afraid for my audiobooks and dvds in the little red barn with these horribly low temperatures but there is nothing for it. They will either warm up and be okay or they will be ruined. The most stressful aspect came from the least considered corner—Kitten! We think that even though Chubby was long gone from the house, she could still smell him and tracked through the house sniffing the carpet and the furniture and she just went, well, she went crazed. Absolutely crazed. She would not settle down and would not stop yowling as if she were gearing up for a fight. She kept Andrew and I up all night and ate a whole in Mom and Dad’s garbage bag, ate some left over Salisbury steak and then promptly threw it up.

By Monday evening there was no other recourse we could take, we had to board her. It breaks my heart but she is better off there and goodness knows we are too. She’ll be there total, probably two weeks.

As I write this Andrew is spending his third day off in a row painting the house. The drywall was officially done on Sunday and Dad, my Uncle, and Andrew have been painting and primering away. Since I have had to work all week my contribution has been getting supplies. We will have most of the house painted except for the two second bedrooms but since we are waiting to floor those too we aren’t going to worry about it. I’m very happy with the colors we have chosen so far. We are still split on the family room color which will most likely be me and a friend’s project tomorrow. The downstairs kitchen cabinets have been installed and boy do the look nice. We aren’t going to be hurting for space that’s for sure. The vinyl will be put down today and tomorrow and our laminate has been delivered to acclimate for flooring this weekend. By this time next week all the floor should be in with the exception of the study which Andrew and I are going to try to do ourselves. Our garage door is in but the opener isn’t installed. Things are moving along.

In other news, Andrew passed his second quarter of paramedic school with flying colors and should be receiving his diploma in the mail sometime next week. His Christmas break hasn’t been much of a break but it’s nice to not worry while I am at work, knowing that he and Dad are there getting things done. I think my biggest pre-move projects will be painting the family room and touching up the other rooms, plus I want to stain all the wooden window sills, oak for upstairs and cherry for downstairs. Plus those will need two coats of poly.

The only other news I can think of is that I resigned from my Linworth job at the end of November. The new house is going to take a lot of time and it was just time to reprioritize. We aren’t sending out Christmas cards this year but maybe I will send something out once we are settled in.

Depending on how well I can get my act together I may post pictures of the inside of the house around Christmas.

Thanks for being so patient and all of your kind thoughts, Jules

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Drywall Despair

Well, as I have said before the drywall has been hung but we are waiting for the guy to come and tape then mud. Waiting, waiting and oh yeah, waiting. Everyone says he is the best in the area and a nice guy to boot but he's finishing up a job...then he has to finishe up another job, then he'll work on ours and who knows, maybe he will be done by Thanksgiving...or maybe not.

I have heard that drywall is often a stumbling block. I have also been assured that everyone else is ready and that there *shouldn't* be any other hold-ups. This gives us a weekend to primer, either Thanksgiving weekend or the weekend after that. My dreams of painting any rooms have been hopelessly crushed. Let's talk about something more pleasant shall we?

The antique doors are back just as we were finishing up the very last of the other doors. I am not posting any pictures of the mission doors until they are done and hanging in the house. Let's just say I am pleased. I spent most of yesterday cleaning the last bits of white paint from the cracks and corners with some help from Dad. Today he is giving them one last sand and I will be staining tommorrow and next week.

Kitten has been changed back to her old food and so far so good. She is acting different lately, quiet and not as lovey--we think she is pouting from all the pills we shot down her throat because she isn't used to us handling her like that. Speaking of Kitten, we went to this craft house north of Plain City last night called Hunter's House and it was pretty cool. I picked up a grapevine star to hand on the front door and I found Andrew's Christmas present for me this year. Luckily, he was there too :) It's a painting of a cat that looks exactly like Kitten sleeping on a white bed in a country house with the window open showing a road and garden beyond. It is too sweet for words. So Andrew's Christmas shopping is basically done.

That's about all. I will post when, say the drywaller actually gets in the house! jules

Monday, November 07, 2005

A Cat on Valium is pretty darn funny.

Okay so Friday night it proved slightly more difficult to give kitten her pills. I managed in the morning because Kitten had no idea what was going on. The only medicine Andrew and I have ever had to administer was ear drops. We managed though to give her the flagyl and then—because she hadn’t eaten anything, a quarter of a little yellow valium pill. The vet said what 20 minutes and right on the nose our sweet, cuddly cat began to act like an angry drunk. I have never in my life heard Andrew laugh so hysterically for so long. I think we both felt guilty for laughing at her but we couldn’t help it. Not only did she want to be active but also the relaxant of the pill made her list, fall of, and generally careen wildly.

And, she cried for food. I put down her bowl and she ate a whole serving. So that was good. Saturday we were completely unsuccessful in giving her any pills but Sunday and this morning we did better. I think I have now perfected using the pill shooter.

Unfortunately we haven’t gotten her to eat more than a couple of tablespoons of food since then valium or no valium. She is hungry but she hates the kibble—but this seems to be the only thing on the planet that won’t make her sick so she is stuck. I sympathize but it is no excuse for her attempts to knock over the trash can in a drunkenly like binge.

But at least she isn’t getting sick and she is eating some so that is an improvement. Not much to report on the house.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Hey Look Two Posts in One Week

Wow what a stressful week it has been. Drywallers have hung all celings and drywall this week, (good) mudding and stomping may take 2 to 3 (bad) So painting may get pushed back to the week beofre or after Thanksgiving (bad.)

In the meantime I will finish painting the last of the upstairs doors and hopefully finish the antique doors. I am bringing more and more boxes to Mom and Dad's and the apartment is slowly transitioning to disaster are to desolate.

Andrew took his exams in Muncie today. Now Paramedic school to go.

The biggest news, really, is that kitten has been quite sick. The Doritos seemed to have kicked off a downward spiral of not eating, eating very little and then getting sick. I have been a stressed out mess all week over her. We now have her on this stuff called flagyl that is supposed to restore the balance of bacteria in her digestive system and I gave her the first dose this morning with a handy plastic pill shooter. She swallowed it like magic. I have helped Dad give the now departed Chubby pills and he was awful about it. We'd have to wrap him in a towel like a little cat burrito and then we found out that sometimes when he could, he would hide a pill under his tongue and sput it out outside. Andrew says Chubby was evil but that isn't true--Chubby was just clever and a little cantankerous. I miss him.

Anyway we also have little valium tablets to give to her to increase her appetite--a side effect of valium, for cats at least, is a raging case of the munchies.

So while her personality has remained unchanged, it's been quite disconcerting to see her lose weight (vet assures me that now she is at a healthy weight) and not eat. So we'll see how the weekend goes.

Not much else to report really. Everyone keeps telling us how this is an exciting time and so much is going on blah blah blah but for Andrew and me I think, it feels right now like we are hamsters in the wheel, running in place.

Maybe I will take pictures of the house this weekend but really, how exciting can a bunch of white walls be? Jules

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Drywall started today!

Mom emailed me earlier today and the drywallers are in. I still hope that we can be in by December 1st and it looks like I'll be painting next weekend or the week after next. We have all downstairs doors done and over half of the upstairs doors painted. I will finish the upstairs doors tommorrow and while Andrew is at work Dad and i are going to get drywall and insulation for the third, south wall of the garage. The drywallers are taking care of the other two sides and will hang the other side for us if we get the material and put the insulation in. I am hoping the rooms we paint will have enough time to air out at least a little before we move in.

Speaking of moving I am slowly bringing more and more boxes out to Mom and Dad's house now that the doors are slowly moving out. In another week I will start a more aggressive phase of packing.

Kitten has been very naughty. She is mad her food has changed and eats only a little, lets it get stale and then expects more fresh. This is expensive kibble so she has to eat it stale or not. The other morning I woke up to find the cat food bag knocked off the counter and her eating a pile of it not 12 inches from her bowl with food in it. Thursday night she jumped on the counter and knocked over a bag of Doritos, ate some and then got violently day glo orange sick everywhere. Yuck.

Mom and I have taken up the family tree research again. Mom is doing the bulk of it right now and I am lending support. She even took a road trip with a cousin this week and we have been making a lot of progress. We are 8 generations back on this branch the farthest of all of them so it's been fun.

Not much else to report really. I'm tired and feeling behind. So many things that need to get done. Cell phones, land line, propane forwarding mail changing checks. I know it will all get done but sometimes the weight of it is wearing. At least we are somewhat packed and have nearly everything for the house--still need one more set of blinds, shower door and of course lots of primer and paint. Oh, and a ceiling fan.

Andrew is fine, plugging away studying and working. Last night we went to Macaroni Grill and saw a movie--Wallace and Grommit--funny but weird. Anyway it has been months and months since we did anything like that and it reminded me of a time when we did that two or three times a month. The funny thing about the movie was a father brought his daughter and three of her friends to the movie, they were about 9 and he kept falling asleep during the movie and snoring and then she would have to wake him up. It was funnier than the movie really.

As far as reading listening I am reading Undead and Unreturnable, a wholly fluffy romantic comedy mystery featuring a ditzy lead vampire. I am listening to nightmares and dreamscpes by Stephen King. I picked it up because it features Tim Curry, Stephen King and some other celebrities. My favorite has been the House on Maple Street, a very "sweet" horror story. I also like "Head Down" a piece King wrote for the New Yorker the year his son't little league team one the state championship. I'll never think about baseball the same and have a new appreciation for it.

I will post pictures when there is something interesting to post. Julie

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Another post in one week--it's the guilt from not posting regularly---

I didn’t go outside for my lunch today because the beautiful weather and having to stay in nine hours would just depress me. I am still looking forward to tomorrow because even though it will be cooler the sun will still be out and Andrew has the whole day off. We have a lot planned. After getting groceries in the morning we will head out for the house were many projects await. We had the septic put in this week and the guy graded it out a bit but there are some really big dirt clods and he said we would come back and do more if we broke them down. So tomorrow I want to mow the lot and then Dad will disc up the clods and then Andrew will follow along with a (I have no idea how to spell this or what it is or does really, ) col-packer? And while they are doing that I will be running around picking up rocks to put in the gator because it will be a good time to get those rocks up. There still feels like two dozen rocks in the field outside the house site so I may try to get some of those up too.

Thank God for Dad helping us with the doors. He has been polyurethane-ing the doors we did Monday all week so last night we spent doing two more doors and a jamb. So if we can finishe those up tomorrow, next weekend we’ll just have the double closet downstairs doors left and then a bunch of upstairs doors to paint.

And, speaking of painting, I’ll be begging for help with painting around the end of the month. The shipments of drywall arrived this week and they should be starting this week or next. We are going to try to rent and indoor paint sprayer to do the primer and then I have a list of rooms to be painted in order of important so if we can’t get it done at least the top priority ones will be. Four hours of help on a weekend day will be much, much appreciated. I will be emailing select folks who live nearby, who have painted before, who are feeling healthy and who have already voiced they are willing to help. If you meet that criteria but we haven’t discussed painting help—email me.

Andrew is done with his last two Ball State classes and luckily enough, he doesn’t have to write a paper for either and has scheduled his finals for the first of November. Another great thing about being in the house in December is (drumroll please) Andrew will be halfway through with paramedic school! The CRV is working out well. We are saving a lot more in gas and Andrew is changing the oil in it tomorrow and at some point he needs to replace the front breaks—come to think of it, he has to do it to the Corrolla too. Poor guy, I never give him a break! 

I will be posting new pictures week of October 17th including some of the doors we have been doing. They have turned out as lovely as the trim and I think will look quite nice. The house essentially hasn’t changed from the outside but I will post some new pictures.

Kitchen Advisory:

Okay, so I’m not the greatest cook in the world. I am impatient, don’t’ read instructions well and am paranoid about making sure meat is well done. But I do make the best chocolate chip cookies ever. Now that I have found milk free chocolate chips (thank you, Trader Joe’s) and I have my lactose free milk, I am unstoppable and have probably made 6 batches since Labor Day. When Andrew and I go to Sam’s Club next, I am sure we are going to buy the giant bottle/bags of vanilla and brown sugar. Anyway this is my chocolate chip cookie secret:

Use the Crisco Butter Flavored sticks in the baking aisle near the regular tub o’ Crisco—it’s butter flavored but made from vegetable oil. I am going to experiment with brownies calling for butter but using these instead. The second secret is to use airbake cookie sheets and to let the oven preheat so it’s at full heat—that’s important to make the first batch come out well.

Another cool little thing Mom found is these little Crystal Light on the Go packs—have you tried these little suckers? I’m mildly put off that they contain aspartame but, considering I don’t drink any soda, it probably evens out. Their just little packets of crystal light just write for a bottle of water, pour it in, shake it up and your set to go! Pretty tasty.

Oh yes and in the last little bit of minutiae I feel compelled to share, Kitten has only thrown up 3 times (in one day, yikes) since we have but her on low allergen, ultra-high dollar kibble. Man we were talking about getting a second cat but now I am thinking this one is enough God love her.

Monday, October 10, 2005

12 gallons per minute at 57 feet!

Well, even though I don’t have that many new pictures to show because most of the action is going on inside but is basically boring to show, I thought I would try to write an extra long blog to catch up. As of Monday October 10th we have had our first inspection and the house is wired an plumbed pre-drywall. We also have insulation and on Thursday we dug the well. We knew odds were good it wouldn’t be too deep. Mom and Dad are at 63 feet and the nearest neighbor is at 67. But another neighbor is over 150 and someone down the road was over 200 feet, which just goes to show that you never know. For those of you who know about wells, you know that it is a very unpredictable expense and the drillers charge per foot! So we are very happy. I wish my grandfather who used to spot wells was around to spot ours but who knows, he may gave still had a hand in it from upstairs!

In other progress news, we now have the doors, all of them. I feel sick with being behind now when in September I thought I was doing so well. Drywall starts next week so primer-ing and painting is going to run into working on the doors. I feel my confidence is much less with the doors because there are so many grooves and so many different directions the wood grain is going in. Oh well, we will do the best we can I suppose. It is much more time consuming than the trim because there are two sides that need stained, polyed, then sanded, then polyed again. Plus the door jambs. At this rate, we may have to hang the upstairs doors and I’ll just paint them later.

Andrew had yesterday and today off though and both days we have run errands and worked on doors together. It was really nice to work on some things together and just spend some time that wasn’t evening or morning. Kitten had another trip to the vet as she has been throwing up a lot lately. Food allergy is the verdict and now she is on super high dollar kibble, but no throwing up so it is worth it.

I spent a good deal of last week in Pittsburgh for a conference. Coming in from the west, you can’t see any city at all then go into a tunnel carved in a big hill then when you pop out the other end, BAM! You’re in Pittsburgh. Despite the weather and the fact that all I could think about were all the doors waiting for me back home, I thought it was an interesting city but wouldn’t want to drive all the one way streets and triangular intersections. Pittsburgh seemed to be an interesting blend of nature (the three rivers) architecture (a lot of bridges and few interesting buildings) and art. It was really good to be home. In a couple of months I will be off to San Antonio for ALA Mid-winter but by then I will be in the house.

I have packed more boxes but am running out of room to put them. I feel as if there is so much more to do. I had a whole week off but feel like I got hardly anything done. I will post again when drywall is in. I think this week we are doing the septic. Bye, J

Monday, September 26, 2005

Um, I meant to post earlier...

I really, really did.

Okay so the house is going on absolutely smashingly (in a good way). Yesterday was the two month anniversary of the groundbreaking and we have it framed, walled, roofed and three quarters sided. We have the tubs, showers and bulk of the wiring in. Windows and doors are in. It looks like a real house. It is exciting--well, when we have the time to be excited. The past few weekends I have been devoting most of my time to staining the downstairs trim. With Dad's help we have nearly all of it done. It was a little touch and go there when we used some minwax cherry stain on the hard yellow pine--it was awful--even when the pine was pre treated. Then we got this stuff from our contractor called Wood Kote Gel Stain and it ROCKS. This trim is beautiful, rich, warm and some pieces I swear they look like art. You will see when you come to visit. Doors will come in next week and I will try to get them donw by the middle of the month so I can finish October painting the upstairs doors. November will be spent painting drywall and then moving.

Once the weather cools down I will do round two of packing, winter clothes and other things I couldn't pack away earlier. Andrew has started his second quarter of paramedic school. I think our gas conservation efforst are paying off, we fill our tanks 3 times a week, maybe four and that is pretty good, really it is for the driving we do. Speaking of driving (no I did not wreck yet again--knock on wood) I applied for a job at the Hilliard branch earlier this month (another reason why I have been too busy to post, preparing for the interview) while I didn't get it, I hope I made a good impression with all interviews in light of future opportunities. Some folks are moving around the system and I am hopeful. As the reality of the move draws nearer I worry the drive will not be do able for long. What this means for my career path, I'm not sure. There isn't a big market for librarians who like teens in Mechanicsburg :) and I like working for CML. We'll see. Not much else really, I will try to be better about posting. I don't have many pictures to post because everything is going on inside and I think a picture of a bunch of wires would not be that interesting to you. Yes, we plan to take pictures and measurements of all the walls before the dry wall goes in and we may even videotape a walk through. All for now. Julie

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

It's hard to know where to start...

I guess obviously, with our beautiful, fabulous house. This morning I stopped by after getting my teeth cleaned. It's roofed (plywood etc) and so when looking at it--I can really envision what our home is going to be. I took a picture but got the wrong angle with the sunshine so will try again this weekend. I had a long five day weekend (long story) and spent both Saturday and Sunday night at Mom and Dad's since Andy had to work nights. We are making a concentrated effort to save money on gas. Dad helped me paint the upstairs trim for the house. We did it in two hour installments and mowed the lot. The trim looks pretty good. I still have to do all the doors for the upstairs. This sunday Dad and I will start the trim for the downstairs, staining pine cherry to match the laminate and the mission french doors. Where is Andrew you ask? Working of course because some of his time during the week he is at school but he works a lot during the week too. He has his quarter exam tonight and will spend a lot of time next week trying to finish up his other class for his bachelor's. He continues to be at the top of his class. Hey I have to brag about him because he certainly won't!!!

In other news, Dad's friend invited him along to these folks who were cleaning out this barn that had a bunch of stuff in it. And Dad God bless em brought home some serious booty like a solid oak dresser--three drawers, mission style. I stripped just enough to find out it is all oak woohoo! And now it will go in a corner of the barn until...oh Lord spring probably. Dad also brought a two shelf bookcase that may or may not be salvagable, and two really sweet wooden medicine cabinets with mirrors.

Weather was gorgeous all labor day weekend. I tried to soak in as much sunshine and fresh air as I could. On Saturday Andrew and I made another strategic move to save on gas by trading in the blazer for an CRV, same year, about 20,000 less miles and we are going to try to just fill up the tank for the crv and corrolla once a week. I am very comfortable handling the crv and Andrew feels like he has enough leg room. The crv gets like 250 miles per tank so I think we will be set. We will swap out cars on a daily basis. Whoever has the longest commute of the day gets the corrolla and on weekends where andrew works at mechanicsburg I will ride over with him (6:30 am!) argh.

A reminder that I will be putting out a desperate plea for help with primering and painting in about--5 weeks? I will ask that those who can and able to to please email me around the first of October. Then I will email you folks with weekend days I have off and then if you could give me like four hours, morning or afternoon you would be pure gold! Morning folks get lunch Afternoon dinner and my eternal gratitude. Andrew and I would like to get 4 rooms painted before move in. As usual, thank you for all your love and good thoughts. Not to get all new-age-y or anything but we can definitely feel it. I will post more pictures this weekend.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Our house is getting wet! sniff, sniff

Hurricane Katrina will be delivering 3 to 5 inches of rain and high winds. Oh, our poor house. I know I know, it will dry out in the sunshine we get later this week and at least it's not snowing but I want to just throw a giant tent over it to keep it dry. The framers tried to put the floor joists in yesterday but gave up when it began to rain. The pictures you saw earlier was work done in one day and about two hours in the morning before it rained isn't it amazing! This folks our contractor has been getting don't laze about. The pictures I took don't adequately show the kitchen/dining/family room area but once the walls are in it will be easier to see. We are really happy with it.

In other exciting news I picked up trader joe's milk free chocolate chips and crisco butter flavored (but no butter or dairy of any kind) sticks and made cookies. I hadn't had a chocolate chip cookie since last fall so that was very, very cool. Not much else to report, I get my car back tonight and Andrew continues his work and school schedule. We had a nest of ground hornets in our hedge by the apartment door and I got stung a few weeks ago. The complex supposedly had a guy to spray it but for the past three weeks 10 to 15 of em have been flying around the sidewalk. I got stung in July and this weekend had one get in my hair and another in my sandal so you know, enough is enough. Last night I flashed a light on the nest, and sprayed it with a pencil stream of wasp spray for like 5 minutes. Boy did those suckers come out of that nest! But they were groggy and hit the ground. Andrew helped and felt a little bad for them last night but he wasn't the one who got stung. I did get a certain staisfaction out of it, a kind of "See you in Hell you little bastards!" mentality which I am ashamed to admit. This morning though I did feel a pang of guilt, many more came out to die in the night and it looks like a miniature massacure on our sidewalk. But then again, my sting took two weeks and soaks in epsom salt to go away so I don't feel too bad. Plus, with all the boxes and stuff I am hauling out of the apartment, it is less to worry about. Okay, well, if the rain stops by Thursday and the guys can work on it this weekend I will post new pictures next week. Later, jules

Friday, August 26, 2005

Reader's Advisory

Okay, well I haven't done this in a while so here is what I am reading/listening too. I am listening to Snobs, by Julian Fellowes and it is quite interesting. Fellowes wrote the screenplay to Gosford Park and stars in my beloved Bristish series Monarch of the Glen. Snobs details a middle class woman's roller coaster experiences with the british aristocracy. Fellowes goes back and forth between third person POV and that of an actor observing the others in a very Nick Caraway like fashion. The lead female, Edith, is barely likable but Fellowes pulls it off. I am also listening to the Goddess Rules by Clare Naylor. Very entertaining and another British title. I also tried the Ivy Chronicles but couldn't get past the first cd--not because of the narrator but because of the flat, vapid story. Sometimes I like vapid stories, the Goddess Rules is a bit Vapid, but the character had to be likable or it's a no-go. I am reading Marne David Kellogg's latest, Perfect, featuring the James-Bond-for-girls character Kick Keswick. This one is a bit more tedious than the first two, Priceless, and Brilliant but I am still enjoying it. If you like both Bridget Jones movies, make sure to get The edge of reason on DVD. One of the special features is Renee Z staying in character as Bridget Jones interviewing Colin Firth as well, Colin Firth. Music wise I am listening to Beekeeper by Tori Amos and it's pretty good as well as the farscape soundtrack which of course only confirms how geeky I am :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Nice and Cool

Well, next week I should have some really interesting pictures to show regardign the house. I thought you would enjoy the pictures of Kitten though, always in the thick of things as I have been packing nonessentials these past couple of weeks. Summer reading is over at the library and while the branch hasn't slowed down that much, it is a bit better. Andrew has been working a lot lately and as I write I have all the windows open letting in some nice cool air. I had yesterday off and it was fabulous. Perfect, beautiful weather. I managed to read by the pond for a bit and loot at thehouse site but spent most of the day in teh barn working on the mission doors and listening to an audiobook. We found out thatone of the doors had six planes of plexiglass not real glass when some stripper ate a hole through the glass so I have put in an order to get that replaced. Dad has been putting wood filler in and sanding and I could get them stained this weekend. The canada door is very nearly done. Not much else to report really, hang on until next week. Julie

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Just call me Crash* sigh

Well I don’t really have any new pictures to post. They finished the garage and basement floor last week but that’s not really too exciting to the casual observer. I may post pictures of Kitten *helping* me pack and they should start on the deck (?) or flooring this week so framing up shouldn’t be too far behind. The big news is that I got into a car wreck last Monday on 270. With all the traffic and crazy people it is inevitable I suppose. The kicker is I was being cautious and still got in a mess. I was past 71 and not quite to Westerville going a mere 50 mph because it was raining and we were getting close to the bottleneck near Minerva Park. Anyway I was about two cars behind this Volvo that hit its breaks. I hit my breaks but didn’t slam them because you know, sometimes people tap their brakes and then go right on. When I saw the left hand turn signal I though, uh-oh this must be bad. The Volvo tried to get into another lane but as I had observed, we were boxed in. As the car swerved though I did see a car in front of her at a dead stop and I found this baffling because all the lanes of traffic were going smoothly. I am long in the habit of watching the flow of traffic beside me as well as in front of me and I always am looking out for strings of brake lights ahead of me. So at this point I am punching down on the brakes and start to skid. My butt end of the car starts going to toward the lane to the right and I thought…oh this is bad! In a detached kind of way. I don’t remember consciously steering into the skid but the car straightened itself out just in time to ram the Volvo in front of me. The original standstill vehicle was at this point of course, long gone.

Yes I am okay, yes the other lady is okay and her car, is fine, trust me. My car, got crunched pretty badly. New hood, new bumper and ironically enough a new air conditioner which I had fixed I kid you not, not two weeks before said accident. I got cited but not for recklessness the lady ahead of me told the officer what happened (and mom thinks there is a chance maybe she wasn’t paying attention to the first car and that is why she slammed on her brakes so suddenly.) Anyway it was agreed that I wasn’t going some unreasonable crazy speed like so many folks do on 270—I still got cited of course, so had to pay a fine and of course I got points on my license which I have never had before and am quite appalled about but I know I know, I am fine and that’s all that is important. Just the day after a poor lady got killed not 6 miles from where I was at and the police suspected a third party involvement so I am lucky. We’ve been sitting tight all week, worried they were going to total it but they aren’t woohoo! No I can keep my ridiculously low car payment a while longer. I would like to resale it next summer and try to get a pre-owned hybrid if the price goes down. With all the driving we do gas is going to kill us as it is with Andrew’s blazer. He looks forward to a hybrid SUV. I know that he likes being able to stretch out in the truck after being used to driving such smaller cars and getting jobs closer to home may not be a reality for some time.

There really isn’t any other news. Work, school, sleep, house. We did go to the Champaign County fair last week and I found out I can eat sugar waffles (hurray) and I got to go down memory lane with Andrew. God bless him, he didn’t appear the slightest bit bored as I explained to him the inner workings of 4-H life. I do miss it.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Well two weeks since my last post isn't that bad is it?

Well on July 25th we broke ground on the house. It was a little later than we wanted but because of beautiful dry weather, we have had no delays in butting in the basement and foundation and we have every reason to expect the framing to start by the time school starts. We have signed our lives away for the next 30 years and despite the low interest rates it is pretty depressing still. We will be paying less than rent of course and this is something we can build and share together. Andrew and I have picked out appliances and about half the lighting for the house. We have been quite busy running errands, woring and working on the doors. Andrew painted the inside of the Canada door window black and found some nice molding at lowe's to frame the window so it should loo pretty sharp. Mom talked me into stripping the french doors compltely down including the muntins. Dad is going to help sand to catch us up. One door is in rough shape with split muntins on both sides but Dad assures is it is not beyond repair. We think it is a good bet that these french doors were at one time used as a transition into a backporch or veranda. There's some water damage and they are going to have a lot of character. I have decided to (after they are sanded to the true color and grain) to stain them cherry and then rub tung oil (I only love Formsby's refinisher more than tung oil) for a nice clean, muted tone.

In other news Mom has grown mutant elephant ears that are giant. Like the circumference of a trash can lid. Andrew got a 98 % on his first paramedic exam. I am not surprised that he is once again at the head of his class. Between class, work, lab, ride time, and clinicals Andrew's freetime is taken up with homeowrk, sleep and working on the door and not in any particular order.

The other night, Kitten, the little scamp, was sitting on the floor while I ate french fries sitting in the recliner. She showed absolutely no interest in my plat but it was all a ruse and while I was distracted talking to Andrew on the phone, she popped up on her hind legs (she can balance on her butt she is so chubby) and without an investigatory sniff she grabbed a four inch fry off the plate and ran. I was worried she would get sick but she ran under the dining room table and this fry disappeared in like 10 seconds. She didnt' get sick though.

I am expanding my professional development in YA Services on a National level. I am on the YALSA publication committee and the Editorial Advisory Task force. For those of you not in library land, I am basically working on the kinds of profeesional writing (books or articles in YALSA journals). It sounds boring but it fits my interests.

I have not been reading much at all since I last posted. I listened to Fell by M.E. Kerr and was floored by it. This is one of the classic YA novels that I have just not read and I listened to the wonderful Jeff Woodman read it. I am now obsessed with Fell and have the other two in the series. I just wish that Kerr would re-issue it with some editing to bring it up to date. Too many fo the references are 1985.
I am now listening to a fun chick lit book, whatever happened to Jane Spring by--oh Lord I don't know, it's in the car. There are so many chick lit books now and so many on audio that you have to be a bit picky and I am pleased to report that it is original and the narrator is top rate.

I am savoring the last few farscapes on dvd it is soooooo good.

I think I have brought you up to speed. Now that the house site will be changing nearly every week I will be more motivated to post. Hope all is well with you! Julie

Monday, July 11, 2005

Reader's Advisory

I’ve decided to borrow a theme from a friend’s blog and pepper my posts with what I am reading/watching/listening too. I suppose as a librarian I should be doing more informal advisory and so I will try. I just finished up watching the third series of Monarch of the Glen on DVD. For those of you who like BBC shows I highly recommend this—it’s set in Scotland and one you can’t catch on PBS. It’s about a young man’s wacky family on a degenerating 35,000 estate. Lots of beautiful scenery and quirky storylines. I’ve also recently become absolutely to Farscape, a space opera from the FX channel that aired from 1999 to—2003? My supervisor got me started on this and now I am a junkie. I never really was a big Star Trek fan, but this series by Henson Production (Muppets) is witty and funny. I am working through the first season.

As for books I am halfway through Every Which Way But Dead (start with Dead Witch Walking) by Kim Harrison. Set in Cincinnati, it’s a mix of mystery, light romance and supernatural intrigue. Not too violent or sexual. Another wonderful read along those lines is the Sookie Stackhouse series, start with Dead Until Dark. I adore these books and am a regular poster geek on the fan site message board.

As for listening, nothing much of interest I think—I’m quite worried Recorded Books didn’t pick up the rights to Eleven on Top, the latest in the Stephanie Plum series—or maybe my library just hasn’t gotten it yet.

And finally YA fiction—I have just started “Finding Lubchenko” the second novel by Michael Simmons (Pool Boy) and I have to say, two chapters into it I am pretty darn impressed.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Found my future writing, a piece of it anyway.

For the past couple of months I have been thinking about what kind of writing desk I wanted in our study. I thought I had settled on what I wanted, a mission style desk with a single drawer in good to okay condition. The ones I have seen on ebay and antique stores were going for a couple hundred dollars (who knew mission style was so popular) and I thought I was content to just keep looking. This weekend however was Mutual Days, were the two antique stores bring out lots of items them have been storing through out the year. I'm ashamed to say I walked past this piece but Andrew, wtih the slower and more patient eye pointed it out to me.

It's a solid walnut slanted writing desk--not a roll top but it does have two large drawers as deep as the desk itself with key holes and some decorative lines. It has a flat top at the edge of the slant to place inkwells. It has a nice patina and for some reason reminds me of my Grandfather--and it is huge like it came from a courthouse--it's going to take up quite a bit of the study I', afraid but Andrew thinks it will be all right. We got it for 30 dollars because well, the poor little guy has no legs. The previous owner had two legs on it and attached to a wall. Andrew has a couple of different ideas of how to build a walnut frame underneath it and then four walnut pillar legs. While the stain and poly looks pretty good, it has some scratches and white paint so when I am ready I will use the gentler formsby's stripper on it--but don't hold your breath for pictures, we are keeping it in the barn well until this winter or next spring because we have too many other projects. I am very pleased with it and think when it is done it will be wonderful piece...

Sunday, July 03, 2005

How well can I type

with Kitten on my lap. She has been super snuggly all day. Her little bald patch is all grown in now and she is her sweet self. ALA was all right, I was fighting the tail end of a cold the whole time but my hjotel was comfortable and I had an easy enough time getting around. I reconnected with friends and made some new ones and picked up some advanced reading galleys of titles by some of my favorite authors so that is always a treat. I am balancing the keyboard on the very edge of my lap as kitten rests across both arms. I know, I should make her get down, but she is warm and purring and even when she is in the way she is comforting company. Dad has cut the driveway for the lot and we applied for our loan last week with fingers crossed. Luckily all of our permits are in place so once we get the green light from the bank we will be able to break ground immediately so I hope to be posting more exciting house pictures soon. As for teh doors, Andrew is nearly finished with the Canada door and it looks great. The second mission door is proving to be a challenge. The consistency of the paint is different and came up so gummy with the stripepr that I decided to chisel off the first layer of paint--it's more time consuming but it saves on stripper it less frustrating because then when I put the stripper on it, it comes up much easier and evenly. The mission doors needs more work thatn the canada door, new doorknobs ( I want to get tiger eye) and the floor sweeps on the bottom have like 50 nails in it. One of the doors has a bunch of tiny staples that almost look like carpet tacks. They will be lovely in the house though and I am glad I have Andrew to help. My goal is to get both doors to the point where Andrew can finish them by the time our trim and doors come in because I will be staining that.

We had a lvoely cool day yesterday but now we are back to summer weather. I have been tying up loose ends from the conference, spending time with family and packing more books up--boy andrew and I have a lot of books already...

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Oh I can't think of anything creative

Sorry I haven’t posted for a while—a combination of being busy as always and of being a bit down in the dumps. Before I talk about what has been going on lately, let me speak in more general terms.

I cannot wait until Andrew and I are out in the country. Because of relatives visiting and our side refinishing projects I have been going out to Mom and Dad’s more often—both weekend days and maybe a weeknight or two. I felt as I got off 70 onto 29, wrapping up a pilot test of my commute as if I could finally let the breath I had been holding out of my lungs and with each mile taking me deeper into the country, I felt like an onion, mentally peeling layers to get back to feeling good about life and it’s possibilities. Passing a herd of beef cows in their smooth red and black summer coats, smelling the hayfields and forests through the open window as I whizzed by. I felt like myself again once I reached home. More an more it feels like I treasure every moment outside and working or visiting family and friends and I am using it to inoculate myself the coming week’s stresses and inconveniences—the noise and pollution, the waiting and the feeling of confinement in our around a patch because a ground chickadee had a nest there) working in the doors and hanging out by the pond. All I can think of is that this time next year we will have a clothesline up and lots of windows to air out the house and Kitten can watch all the birds.

Enough poetics. A couple of weeks ago I got into a fender bender in Urbana. No one was hurt. It was my fault and I feel very stupid as it will most likely raise our insurance rate a bit but considering that ten times a week I drive the busiest loop of outerbelt in the city and have seen pile-ups and flipped over cars, I’ll take my mini-crunch going less than five miles an hour in good ole’ Urbana. My rental rides very smooth but takes more gas of course. I’ve been very tired lately—summer reading program and people taking vacations have taken their toll on all of us. I am not really looking forward to going to Chicago this weekend although my schedule is more spacious than the past two times. I will not take any time off before I go back to work and I have decided to take two carry-ons, one for clothes and bath stuff and one for snacks so I don’t starve like I did in Boston. I can pack my suitcase in my carry-on. I am worried about transportation because the convention center is on the other side of the river from all the hotels and most of the evening events. I know some more people though and hope I can meet up with more people to share cabs. Andrew is trying to enjoy his last week of freedom before paramedic school. He is going to try to finish the Canada door. I will try to post pictures before I go to ALA and will email you all if I do so.

Andrew had a good birthday I think. He got some toys to help us lay the laminate floor and some other home improvement things. On father’s day Mom Dad and Andrew and I went out to Buca Di Beppo’s for dinner and I managed to avoid dairy—can’t believe I pulled it off. After running some errands we went out to the house to work on the doors a bit and spent the evening fishing out some of the bass that Dad has been feeding these past few years. They are eating the goldfish and so we are taking them over to the neighbor’s pond. It’s pretty fun to catch 4 pound bass and these are just the small mouth—there are bigger ones yet in there and a friend got a large catfish. It was beautiful weather, cool and dry for June and we hated to go back to the apartment. We are aiming to break ground in July so I will keep you posted. I will be posting more pictures soon and will email. Later, jules

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Moving Right Along

Hi, we now have the zoning permit and the floor plans. By then end of next week we should have the contract and the health department test. We may go for the loan as early as next week but most likely the week after before I leave for ALA. The county will sit on the plans for a couple of weeks but in the meantime we can get the driveway put in. We still will break ground in July I think. In othernews Andrew and I have completely taken over mom and Dad's pole barn with out projects so it is a good thing they have the garage built. Andrew and I make a good team because we like doing different things. He is good with the details that normall drive me nuts. I managed to mow half the lot yesterday and then just gave up wtih the heat. We even bought some rubbermaid tubs to start packing. It's a mental thing for me and we are going to be so busy by the time we actually move that I want all the little stuff and books alredy in storage in the barn.

that's it I guess, I gotta get ready for work. jules

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

A good weekend’s work

Even though I had to work Saturday I still got a three day weekend (Friday, Sunday, Monday.) I spent most of Friday running errands (grocery, bank etc) and I did get the lot mowed before the rains rolled in and spotted another dozen rocks that Andrew and I picked up on Sunday. Andrew only had Sunday off so we just kind of relaxed. Yesterday I spent the morning picking up Andrew’s birthday presents and then went on to Mom and Dad’s to start working on the door from Canada seriously because this Saturday we are picking up two mission style French doors for the family room. I have to get the Canada door ready for Andrew to (sand and stain) while I start stripping the French doors. I put on an audio book and stripped both sides completely and one side cleaned with one round of Formsby’s condition/refinisher. Mom swears by the stuff and she’s right to do so. Not only does it pick up left over stripper, but continues to lift up dirt, shellac and gunk and moisturizes the wood to get it ready for whatever you want to do with it. It’s a good bet this door is a heavy yellow pine door that’s been stained (before the coat of shellac, and three kinds paint.) Andrew wants to stain it Cherry and I think that will look good. It was so satisfying to not be on a computer all day and to just plug in an audio book, get some Gatorade and just work on it. Mom and Dad came in occasionally to advise and do a little scraping. There may be a chance that Andrew will be off both Saturday and Sunday and that never happens. If so we are going to go to Oakridge and get some trees to plant along the back and side of the lot. We’ll also spend a lot of time working on the doors. Tomorrow I will go to pick up our preliminary floor plans to show to the contractor. I will be posting pictures soon of the door from Canada as it is refinished and the French Door find. Bye, Julie

Saturday, May 28, 2005

We have a house number!

I have put off blogging because I have been depressed, busy and stressed. Andrew is back from his trip out of town. We had a family member pass away and the past couple of weeks have a decidedly blue tinge to them. Andrew has to work most of this weekend but on Sunday we hope to finish stripping the door we got at Canada—we have to wrap that project up in a couple of weeks because this Saturday I am going to pick up some old French doors with a mission style look. Quite a find I think. Anyway we got our approval/suggestions for putting in a driveway and got our house number-2321 South Parkview Rd. Our application for a zoning permit can now go through. We meet with the floor plan drafter again this Wednesday so things are moving a long. I mowed the lot yesterday two hours before it rained. It’s amazing how quickly the sky can go from beautiful to “Hang on Toto” but there you have it. I found another dozen rocks for Andrew and I to pick up tomorrow and only ran over a couple of pieces of plastic tile so we must be getting most of that. I have been invited to join my first American Library Association Young Adult Library Services division committee. It’s a two year appointment and should be a lot of fun. I am preparing for my trip to Chicago—trying to figure out how big a suitcase I should bring. I am not staying as long as I did last time so I may try to get away with a smaller case. I’m also going to dress a lot more casual for comfort since it will be so hot. Not much else to write. I imagine we will have the driveway in by the time I leave for Chicago.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Canada and stuff

Well I think I am just starting to dig myself out of the hole from vacation. You know, laundry, groceries, running errands for the house, mowing the lot, trying to cram in a little socializing if I can. Andrew and I had a lovely vacation in Canada and had just a really good time. The rest of May will be rough for Andrew. He is working nearly every day this month. On Thursday we go to his paramedic school orientation. Also on Thursday I will give a 2 hour presentation or mini-workshop based on that special training I went to in Boston in January.

Canada was great, a little cold, but the B&B we stayed at was absolutely beautiful.

We did see three moose and a black bear at Algonquin National Park.

Mom and I went to the local (40 miles away) mall and they had a lot of nice clothes shops. Even their Wal-Mart felt like the equivalent to Target down here. Andrew spotted a neat antique door at one of the craft stores and we have no idea what wood it is except it’s heavy and we hope to use it in the house somehow. I didn’t get sick once (woo-hoo!) and when we got home Kitten wailed at us like she was auditioning for the role of little matchstick girl. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we have a relative that is very ill and we are quite worried and sad. I will be emailing out our online vacation album shortly. Julie

Sunday, May 08, 2005

an even shorter report

Back from Canada. It was great. Playing a ridiculous amount of catch up and will email photos and post to the blog--oh let's be honest here, like a week from now. love jules

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Short Report

Well I’ve tried several times to post this week but kept losing it so we will try again here. Andrew was one of the 24 entrants (out of 90 that tested) selected for Paramedic school at Columbus State. He will start in June. Because classes are 5 to 9—he will be able to work around the school schedule easily. I am so proud of him. Kitten is on the mend and will get her stitches out on Saturday. Not much else to report. Julie

Wednesday, April 27, 2005


Stupid thing did not publish my first draft and I didn't copy the text like we usually do so:

Kitten is fine, she gets her stitches out Monday.

We got our deed straightened around finally.

Andrew got accepted into paramedic school.


So the Monday update is on Wednesday

Kitten continues to recover--her surgery went fine and she is looking less like frankenkitty by the day. She will get her stitches out Saturday. Our deed finally got fixed but has yet to be rerecorded on the auditor's website. Even though it will take 90 days to get the deed we can still go with the construction loan when we are ready. I think we are like 90% sure we are going to go with the contractor. In other news Andrew got accepted to Paramedic School at Columbus State and will start in June. Because the classes are evenings 5 to 9 he will be able to work around school a lot easier. Not much else--we are paying for the gorgeous weather we had earlier this month with snow and temps in the 40s. I may post while we are in Canada and definitely will post a vacation album and ophoto and invite you when I have figured it out. Julie

Friday, April 22, 2005

Kitten is okay

Andrew picked her up yesterday morning. It was just a fatty tumor but she still looks a bit frankenstein-ish with a pam sized area of hair shaved off and about five stitches. Of course she keeps rolling around on the carpet on that side freaking me out. When Andy picked her up he forgot our carrier so the vet gave us a cardboard one. Andy didn't completely close it in the truck because he wanted to give her some air and of course while he was driving she popped out of the carrier and started cllimbing on his lap and the backseat and everywhere else crying in fear so he had to pull over and then when he tried to pop her back in she splayed out all of her legs like in a cartoon. Oh well, she is home safe and sound following us around the house, demanding to be petted and generally making us feel guilty for abandoning her. We will get her stitches out next week before we leave for Canada. That's all the news for now, no new deed yet. Julie

Monday, April 18, 2005

Deed? Not yet.

Well, the title company has managed to screw up our land once again. We haven’t gotten the deed in the mail yet, but the transfer in the paper and the property listing on the auditor’s website lists our property being on the wrong road! Every single thing the company could get wrong, they have gotten wrong. It’s unbelievable. We can’t of course go for a construction loan (not that we are quite ready) until we have an accurate and clear deed. It’s a mess, just an utter mess. This didn’t stop us of course from meeting with the local contractor we are considering and I mowed the lot once again. We picked up some big rocks but no monsters like last weekend. I think we will reach a decision about who to go with by the end of the week. Andrew got a part time job at Morrow county and I have my big author visit at the high school this week. I’ve been planning it for months and am just to the point where I want to get it over with. I take Kitten into the vet tomorrow night to get her little cyst removed. I hope she will be okay. She cuddled with me all night last night.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Finding Treasure on the Lot (hey Treasure is in the eye of the beholder)

What a wonderful weekend!

I took Kitten in on Friday and the lump on her side is most likely not serious, but we are getting it removed in a couple of weeks. The vet went ahead and clipped the area around it so it would be easy to find and Kitten seems to have a peevish look about her, as if her dignity has been affronted with a bald spot the size of a silver dollar. It was beautiful on Friday and Sunday so I didn’t feel so bad about working Saturday. It will never stop baffling me how many people choose to stay in a building (even if it is the library) for hours at a time on such beautiful days after the long winter but not everyone is such an outside person like me I guess.

Anyway on Sunday I picked up rocks in our lot while Mom and Dad mowed then I took Mom’s mower and Dad and I mowed the lot down. We had the blades set pretty high so we wouldn’t hit any rocks sticking up and that made all the difference in the world. I am going to try to mow it once every two weeks. Dad says it will help what grass is there get a firmer grip, cut down on the weeds and long grasses and make it easier for us when we disc it up. Andy came out after his paramedic entrance exam and started digging up rocks now that we had most of the field mown. We noticed (me and Dad) that after a while he was staying in one place and more and more shovelfuls of dirt kept appearing. We finished mowing and rode over to see and what Andrew thought was maybe a 3 or 5 pound rock turned out to be a giant landscaping stone about 400 lbs! Dad went and got the bobcat and it took us a while to get it out because he had the bucket on it, not the teeth and the stone was in lengthways but we got it and loaded it up in the gator. I didn’t want to leave it on the lot because I didn’t want anyone to steal it which Dad thought was crazy but we loaded it up and took it to Mom and Dad’s. Who knows what we will find!

The jury is still out about the house. We are looking at either going with American Heritage or with a local lumber company (family run) who builds houses on the side. He uses subcontractors that have very good reputations in the area—some of which Dad has worked with and knows they do good work. With the local guy we are looking at being in around September. With American Heritage it would be December. We still have some research to do but I will keep you posted. Thank you for all of your good thoughts. Julie

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

We have our homestead--hurray!

We closed Monday. It took some patience and some flexibility but we should have the property recorded under our name within ten days or so. Since Andy has to study for his paramedic entrance exam on Sunday we are taking a break from house talk for the week and will hopefully have made a decision and gotten a construction loan at the end of the month. Kitten has a rather alarming lump on her side and I am taking her to the vet on Friday and hoping it's just a little fatty lump. We are also counting down the days until our Canada vacation. I imagine I will post pictures at Ophoto.

Bye for now, wish Andrew luck on his test! jules

We have our homestead--hurray!

We closed Monday. It took some patience and some flexibility but we should have the property recorded under our name within ten days or so. Since Andy has to study for his paramedic entrance exam on Sunday we are taking a break from house talk for the week and will hopefully have made a decision and gotten a construction loan at the end of the month. Kitten has a rather alarming lump on her side and I am taking her to the vet on Friday and hoping it's just a little fatty lump. We are also counting down the days until our Canada vacation. I imagine I will pot pictures at Ophoto.

Bye for now, wish Andrew luck on his test! jules

Wednesday, March 30, 2005


Today is beautiful. I am not to resentful about having to work late because I took an hour walk this morning along the nature trail by the complex. It was a little windy but man, I'll take it. Despite the roadblocks to closing (we are now looking at next week) I reminded myself today that by this time next year we will be in the house and planning our lawn and landscaping. I am not exciting about moving again but it's for the last time. I can't believe my address will be south parkview road again. We are supposed to get rain the rest of the week but not dip below the forties. Not much else to report. Just that we aren't close to closing (sigh) and the weather makes me wish I was a construction worker rather than librarian.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Not closed yet

Of course we ran into some snags on closing on the land. We are hoping to do it this week but we will see. The land has yet to be surveyed so we will see. Easter was quiet and cloudy. We had a nice dinner at Mom and Dad's and cozied up in the living room watching tv and reading. Andrew took a civil service test for a fire department in the city. They aren't hiring just testing for future hires and without and positions being open now, Andrew said there were still about 200 people there. In a little over a month we will be in Canada. I cannot wait. The first week of May will be my first full week off since we got married. More later, Julie

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

You can now comment on the blog, if you want.

I didn't realize that you couldn't comment until a relative mentioned it. I dug around in blogger help and changed my setting so, if you would rather comment or ask a question here rather than email me that's cool or whatever. I did figure out (kind of) how I can post pictures here but now that I have set up that ophoto account I'm just going to keep that (there's that techological laziness again). Bye, j

Monday, March 21, 2005

Choosing a House

Well, I think we have pretty much settled on a house from American Heritage and once everything is set in stone I will put up a link to the model we are choosing. We talked to the folks yesterday and are going to work on finalizing the different options we want to settle on a price to go for the construction loan. We are going to spend the summer staining all the trim and five of the doors, then the construction folks will install it. We are also painting the house ourselves and will be grateful for any and all help our friends and family can offer. We have to primer too. It will be around the holidays I fear and I know that isn't a good time for anything like this. If you are uncomfortable with the idea of painting someone else's house, you can certainly help with putting the primer on cause we gotta do that too. We have already started a little journal of ideas and things we think we might want to do with the house and I have even opened up an online account at home depot where we can save project directions, tips, and even have a wish list of items we want to get later. I hate the idea of seeing something we really like but then forgetting about it in the thick of things so this helps with that. ANother cool thing about American Heritage is we buy light fixtures with some of the money from the loan, pick em out ourselves and then the construction folks pick them out so that is pretty cool. The good news is I have posted pictures on the web--not here though :( but the bad news is I will not be able to post a link here. I will be emailing you all directly with an invitation to view the album, so we are getting there. That's all for now I think. Later, Julie

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Okay, so, let's just but me in a bubble until May

I had to take the last two days off of work from having a really nasty cold. The kind that keeps you mildly feverish and sick to your stomach and so week you are tired after being out of bed for more than a half an hour at a time. I think I have slept away 30 of the last 48 hours. At least the sun is out for the third day in a row and it looks like next week we are in the 40's and low 50's so maybe brighter days are on the way. In other news, the health department is coming out today to test the lot. Andy picked out where we are going to put the house. If the weather is good tommorrow I will go out and take a picture. We are looking at American Heritage homes this Sunday. These are stick built houses that are very competitive with unibilt and the will probably have a better rate of appreciation so we are going to check them out.

No other news I suppose. If all goes well we will close on the land next Friday. I will try (I know I keep saying that) to post pictures here. Bye, Julie

Friday, March 11, 2005

Big News

Yesterday morning we went into contract for a rather choice (I know who uses that outdated word anymore) 1.93 acres in Mechanicsburg. No drainage problems, fantastic neighbors, and great property values (read as no clampetts nearby.) It's very close to Mom and Dad's--like we will have the same street address. We'll be able to overlook this awesome little valley and one side of the property is already fenced in. I know there is a way to post pictures on this blog and I will figure it out and use this site as the construction album. We are still deciding between unibilt, and a local contractor so depending on how things go we hope to be in by Christmas but that might be a bit naive we will see. Amidst all these new beginnings we had an ending on Tuesday. Chubby has passed away for greener catnip patches and is buried underneath a large stone near the pond. Andrew promises that once the house is built we can adopt a little orange kitty. More later and pictures maybe as early as next week. Even though I am finally feeling better, I doubt I will be emailing much in the future so make this your spot to find out what is up with us. We miss you! Julie

Monday, March 07, 2005

Can't think of a clever title

Right now the power is out at home Andy is worried about the milk. I has been crazy at the library all day today but people are really nice, a change from the usual winter crankiness. I got a flu bug last week and still off my feed a bit but at least the sun was out a little bit this weekend. We may have found a great piece of land this weekend but need to do a little bit more research before we decide. Took Kitten to the vet for her check-up. She fell for the old tuna-in-the-cat-carrier trick and waited to cry until after she finished her tuna. Chubby, I am afraid is on his last legs. The box is built, the hole is dug and I imagine Dad will be taking him in this week or next. It's time and 17 years is a good run for the childhood companion, but I am still quite sad. Not much else. Apologies for not emailing like I should. j

Monday, February 28, 2005

The dreaded running into a former high school classmate’s mother…

You know the one, the classmate who had to get the highest score/best grade all the time or life just wouldn’t be worth living. The poor kid groomed to put others down anyway they can no matter how trivial just so they can feed their vortex of low self-esteem. Then you run into former classmate’s Mom at some place hopelessly innocent place like the drycleaners, grocery store or dentist and then you are trapped wondering what possible nasty thing you did to deserve the barrage of bragging. On the plus side, the Mom is too busy spouting off than to ask nosy questions about your own adult life that you would like to keep quiet. Nothing motivates privacy like a busybody asking questions with semi-automatic like speed. Smiling civilly you try to ask polite but safe questions and ultimately you are amused by aforementioned parent’s need to flaunt everything but a paycheck stub. And as you listen about how stressed out former classmate it (because God knows, we must equate success with stress) all you can think is wow. I am so glad that is not me, still striving for perfection—a race down a narrow lightless tunnel with no end. Ah well, it’s amazing how talking with someone five minutes can take you back ten years.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Land ho!

So Andrew and I are thinking it is time to try a different tact in finding long term housing. After looking at so many houses where either the house or the location or both was wrong to one of both of us we are thinking about looking for land first. Acreage is still cheaper in Mechanicsburg than places like London and Plain City. If we find a nice lot to suit us 1.5 to 2.5 acres we may be able to get it and put a new unibuilt house on it for what we would spend on a 30 year old house in a decent neighborhood. Unibuilt is really cool--they build the houses in pieces in a climate controlled factory and then put up your house in 8 days. It's less expensive than traditional contracting because you don't have weather delays, sub contractors, or materials coming from like, 5,000 different places. There are loads of floorplans and options too. Check it out,

So now we have to find land, and that isn't going to be easy but Dad is going to drive around keeping his eyes peeled and our agent is on it. We are going up to unibilt this weekend to find out more. The weather is crappy and everything feels tired and worn. We took Kitten to the vet for her check up and have her on special food because she has been throwing up a lot. Yeah I know, special food from the vet but she hasn't thrown up since we switched her. Andy is fine. He's watching lots of home improvement videos and reading a lot of books. I think at this point he could be a house inspector. He's also cooking a chicken for us tonight. YUM, no cheese in that!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005


Yeah, what is that? Nothing new to report this week, both of us just trying to keep our heads above water in terms of getting done what needs to get done. Looking at more houses on Sunday and waiting for warm weather. I am finally starting to feel better and am eating healthier but it's not much consolation when choclate and pizza are by and large off limits. More later, Julie

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Dairy is Death

Okay, so I've been trying to live without the cheese/ice cream stuff for a few months now but apparently, milk in any of its forms from whey in breaded fish sticks to honey mustard salad dressing is bad, very, very bad. So it looks like shopping at Trader Joe's and Andersons is the order of the day. I'm eating a lot of fresh fruit, nuts, dried fruit, cereals and breads. Trying to incorporate some proteing in the evenings too. It's just such a big adjustment but between reading ingredients and when in doubt taking those lactase supplements I should be okay. I suppose I'll be super healthy compared to the average american but having to watch the chocolate intake really sucks! Andrew and I are still looking at houses and are getting a better idea of what we want and what we would like to do to a house when we do get one. I had to work this Sunday and have to work this Sunday, so we have to cram looking at houses in the morning. Even though I get to take four hours off during the week, it doesn't seem to even out. That's all for now I guess. Please forgive us if we havent' called, emailed or tried to arrange a visit. Our window for socialzing is really small right now. Jules

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Andrew got his cert!

Of course I am not surprised. He's been anxious for weeks now and is really happy. He will have to wait until the state of Ohio sends a special card but he's and EMT-I now--I don't know what living with him will be like when he is waiting on the results from his paramedic test next year, but as Mom reminds me, I wasn't exactly easy going when I was in school myself--the real world has mellowed me out a bit. Andy is going to look at more houses while I work the late shift at the branch. later j

Monday, January 31, 2005

Is it spring yet?

Usually I din't mind the winter weather but the cold is getting really annoying. Long coats, pumping gas, scraping windshields. I am so ready to be done with that. Is this a sign I am getting old? Andrew and I are continuing the house hunt in many different neighborhoods--it's surprising what people think they can get out of some of these houses. More will open up as the weather warms up and we are hopeful. The branch got a whole new computer and printing system we have to spend the next several weeks training people on. It will make life much easier in the long run but for now, it's on the floor all day teaching people how to use it. Can't wait for it to get old hat. Andrew is fine, working and waiting to hear about his certification.

later j

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Stomach flu

And here I thought I missed that little bug that seemed to be circulating around ALA. Sunday night I began to feel unwell and it was downhill from there. So even though it is Tuesday it feels like Monday and I am woozy, but on the mend. Nothing that new to report other than it was bitterly cold all weekend and our apartment had two temperatures: freezing (downstairs) and tropical (upstairs)I'm sure the gas bill is going to be a doozy next month. Before I got sick I managed to finish the laundry and clean up downstairs so the house by and large does not look like a bomb has hit it. more later, julie

Friday, January 21, 2005

Another snowstorm?

Everyone from the chiropractor's receptionist to the people in the grocery store keep yammering about 4 to 8 inches tommorrow in central Ohio. Andrew is going to leave me the truck to drive to the library and go into the firehouse 12 hours early so he doesn't have to take the corolla on bad roads. the online forecasts don't seem to be backing this up, but last time we ignored weather reports, it took me two and a half hours to get home so maybe we should play it safe. In other news, I've recently discovered EBAY. It's that same laziness that kept me from doing a blog that kept me from EBAY but now, I'm thrilled to report, I may never buy clothes in the store again. I hate the fitting rooms and trying on different sizes. I get hot and thirsty and a headache. So far I have scored 4 new ebay sweaters cheaper than catalog prices even with the shipping. It's quite fun. More Monday.

You're little blogger,

Tuesday, January 18, 2005


Ah well the best laid plans often go awry.

Buildings: beautiful
People: very nice
Cab Drivers: absolutely horrible
Meals: hard to avoid dairy, despite medication I nearly starved.

Andrew the utter sweetie that he is, got off of work early and was waiting for me with flowers. We went to PF Changs so I could load up on lemon chicken with broccoli and it was off for home. I was asleep by 9:00 with Kitten on my pillow. It is soooooo good to be home.

More next week.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Joining the Blog Revolutoin

Well I have a couple of friends that use this blog site and it seems fairly easy and fun. Despite growing up in the wondrous age of technology, I'm pretty lazy about learning new stuff but figured I'd give it a try. I've found that I'm slacking more and more on the email notes and on phone calls so I hope this will do better to let y'all know how we are doing. Andrew of course rarely uses the phone much less email so most of the posts will be by me generally jawing about whatever we've been up to. My plan is to update this once a week. Since I built it on Monday, we'll say I'll add something every Monday and see how that works.

This week in a nutshell: We are still looking at houses but considering waiting another year. It looks like houses with a comfortable house payment either need a lot of work or are no bigger than our apartment now. We'll keep looking thoughout the spring and keep hoarding money away. I am going to Boston for 6 days for a library conference. I'm doing some special training in teen services and then staying the weekend for my editing job. Should be pretty fun, I still have to pack.
Andrew is doing well, picking up work and getting ready to register for his last two classes at Ball State. I'm not sure if I can post pictures on here, but if I can I will since I got a digital camera for Christmas.

Later, Julie