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