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