Tuesday, April 28, 2009


So, I think the biggest news around here is that the bathroom, dare I say, is finished! Wahoo!!!

Here's the new foyer wall color, which is still awaiting a second coat of paint... grrrr...  Also, notice the new coatrack. This thing is at least 90 years old, and under a thick layer of grime, may be copper, or at least have a copper finish. I did some stripping and sanding up near the top, where that sheen is showing through. Pleased. 

These are the rugs that inspired the new paint color. The one on the right will look so good in the foyer! The orange one is going in the living room. 

In neighborhood news, our neighbor Mark painted his house a vibrant red. It's AMAZING! These are just his front pillars. It's changed the light in here, though, and isn't really working with the orange in the dining room. Which is fine, because the finish is wrong in there anyway. 

Finally, my aunt made copies of some old pictures. Here's my grandma and grandpa on their wedding day. I love this picture, and I love having it framed and in a prominent place, so I can see their faces every day. 

Reminding myself why I like my house...

These two pictures say a lot about why we bought this place. I got out the Liquid Gold polish and went to town, and here's the result.


Sunday, April 26, 2009

I feel like I have been painting forever...

So, next time we decide to paint the foyer (and we will--this is color #3), we will not start at 6:00 on Sunday evening. I just finished, and I'm beat and dirty and need to go to bed. 

I will get around to the painting story.

We spent the vast majority of yesterday doing a neighborhood clean-up, which entailed picking up trash in the allies (gross!), shoveling all the debris that gathered along the gutters in the streets, planting, sweeping, etc. It was also a beautiful day, so we got a little sun--it got up to about 85 both yesterday and today. We spent both evenings in the company of our delightful neighbors, Scott, Scott, Tom, Ed, Bob and Mark. They are hilarious and kind and we feel very lucky to have them just down the street. 

Yesterday, Pixie ate my phone. She's chewed on Eric's before, but it still worked, so we held off on getting new ones. But this little snack totally destroyed mine, so we went up and got new phones. I wouldn't let Eric get a touchscreen/internet phone. He pouted a little but got over it. 

We had a giftcard for Pottery Barn that we needed to use, so we went up there to look around. Pottery Barn has nice stuff, but it's SO expensive! I just can't justify spending $20 on a candle, no matter how good it smells. Anyway, we ended up finding two rugs that were being discontinued and were therefore about 70% off, plus the giftcard, so we got about $800 worth of rugs for less than $200. Sweet. 

However, the rug we picked out for the foyer didn't match the mauve walls, which I haven't been crazy about anyway, so we picked up some nice coffee-with-milk colored paint and went to town. Hence the late-night paint fest. It looks good, and I'm pleased. The funny thing is, though, the foyer has been three different colors, and what we put up on the walls today is pretty much exactly what was up when we bought the house. Nice. 

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Backyard Hijinx

So, even though we have a very small backyard that is daily, nay HOURLY, defiled by two doggies with toxic pee, we moved ahead in realizing Eric's dream of a lush green lawn. 

Step One: Rent a roto-tiller built for farmland. Destroy yard.

Step Two: Survey destruction. Pray that it doesn't rain. 

Step Three: Seed, fertilize and spread hay. Install Eric-Scarecrow. 

Step Four: Get puppies' opinion. Yogi thinks it's awesome. Pixie is not so sure. 

I also planted some flowers and mulched the flower beds in the front yard. It was a long, dirty day. It was beautiful outside, though. Perfect, really. 

But I am grateful that it's raining right now, if only because we need to get some work done inside. Today, I am hoping that Eric will finally FINISH the guest bathroom. We just need to paint the ceiling, do a little wall touch-up, and install the final touches: robe hooks, towel racks, shelves, TP roll, etc. And then, we will have a TOTALLY FINISHED ROOM! But then again, knowing us, it will take at least another month to get all this done, at which point we'll need to rip out a portion of drywall or something. While he's doing that, I'm going to dust, move the furniture around, wash/polish the floors, and maybe hang some pictures. 

Thursday, April 16, 2009

What the HECK???

Eric had several contractors in today to talk about some tuckpointing for the corners of the house. One left a quote. 

Are you ready?

$1,500. What the HELL!!??

To me, tuckpointing is just putting some bricks into existing places in the foundation walls/corners where they have fallen out. I feel like, if given the appropriate materials: cement, bricks, and, say, 4 glasses of wine, I could do this myself. 

DIYers, let me know. Is there any reason why I should pay some dude two months of mortgage for this?? If we do it ourselves, will we knock the house down?

In other news, I got home at 8:30 tonight. From work. It was quite a day. I gave a rousing presentation at College Cooperative Southeast, quite possibly the nicest group of people ever assembled in one room, and very receptive to our message. I met the woman who wrote the Rocky movies, as she was there to give a talk--that was a nice bonus. I had to leave before her talk, though. Saw some old friends from Scottsburg, too. All in all, an excellent morning. Then I had meetings all afternoon till 6:00, and then went back to the office to follow up. I'm feeling like a very responsible employee. I do love my job. This sort of stuff, while it makes me tired, makes me happy too. 

We had Subway for dinner. Bad Haley!!! But seriously, it was that or cereal, because I was NOT cooking tonight. 

This weekend, we have absolutely nothing on the agenda and it's supposed to be lovely outside. I'm hoping to get some work done on the front lawn, which is flowered, but still derelict. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Despite the fact that I haven't updated lately, we've actually gotten quite a bit done around here. But first...

Work is going well. I'm working on a project that is getting mad press, which is nice, but unfortunately the press has, invariably, mischaracterized the project. I've been quoted in the paper, which is nice, but misquoted... Sigh. 

We spent a lovely long weekend up in Michigan with the fam. I REALLY enjoy going up north, and the puppies were very unhappy to leave, too. Pixie and her cousin Maddie bonded over a shared love of chasing things, and Yogi just loves to be outside, though we can't let him off his leash because he's a runner. We tied him to a tree on a long piece of rope and he was convinced that he couldn't move. Anyway, we had a good time till Saturday night, when my sister got violently ill. Thankfully, Eric and I have dodged that bullet, though I've spent the last 3 days feeling psychosomatically sick. Thanks, mom and dad, for a lovely weekend. 

In me-personal news, I have been CRAZY tired lately. I wasn't feeling well yesterday at work, came home and immediately lay down on the couch, slept for 2 hours, and then went to sleep at 9:00 and slept till 6:45. I must need it, but it's causing me a bit of concern. I've also been a bit of a space cadet lately. I'm looking forward to the weekend. Need to de-stress, as well. I've never been one to get really stressed out, but this week is pushing it. I carry it all in my shoulders, which I hunch up around my ears and don't realize it, and then wonder why my back hurts and why I'm lurching around like Frankenstein. 

Moving on... House news. In the last couple weeks, we've finished a couple semi-major projects, none of which actually improve the way my house LOOKS, but I suppose they were necessary. 

We encapsulated the crawl space. Now, the crawl space is a place in this house where I've never been and, truly, I never intend to go. Apparently, it was filled with old junk, like iron pipes, ductwork, and (CREEPY!) a mummified cat. So, the guys cleaned that out, sprayed a mold-inhibitor (didn't have mold, but it's nice to protect against it), and then laid what is essentially a really thick layer of plastic throughout the whole space. Now that that's done, we'll have to clean out the regular basement. Dad thinks it's got great potential as a man-cave, and my cousin has expressed that it might made a good wine cellar. I think it looks like something from Silence of the Lambs and I hate it. So we're going to clean it and paint it white, and while I will still not go down there, I will at least know that it's not spooky anymore. 

We had the electrician in. Phew! As I noted in an earlier post, Eric and cousin Matt are no longer allowed to do anything related to electricity, as they successfully installed a vanity light but, in doing so, removed the power source to the washing machine. So, the electrician fixed that, and took care of an issue with the attic air handler. As I understand it, the handler required 60 amps, but was hooked up to the panel with a 40 amp breaker, with 30 amp wire. What?? Anyway, that's fixed. 

We're having a guy in to look at doing some tuck pointing and chimney inspection tomorrow. Eric's got his little heart set on doing gas inserts for the fireplaces. I understand this, but kind of hope that we can do the projects we actually NEED before we worry about this. He also brought in a guy to look at window refurbishing today. In our historic neighborhood, we're basically not allowed to change the windows. Apparently, ours are in decent shape, and could be restored relatively easily. There are 7 windows we're targeting right now. Not sure if we'll be able to do that, given the price, but we'll have to do it at some point, and get storm windows. 

It's time for Lost... We'll be back with pictures of puppies and projects soon. 

Thursday, April 9, 2009

If Only He'd Played Suedehead

I saw Morrissey the other night with my dearest, Ashie. It was somewhat amazing, if only because I was really close to him. The concert, while entertaining, was held in a distractingly hot venue and while he put on a hell of a show, as always, it's dawning on me that Morrissey really believes his own hype. See these articles for some insight.

Anyway, it's been a busy couple weeks. I mentioned the concert--this was sandwiched between a raucous night unlike any I've had in QUITE a while, and a conference that, while interesting and ultimately productive, totally wore me out. It's good to be home.

Speaking of home, we head up to Michigan tomorrow to see the fam. Can't wait. It promises to be a delightful weekend, with the 6 of us all together for the second time in a year (unprecedented) and 4 dogs. Yogi and The Pix got a groom the other day, so they're ready to see Grandma and Grandpa, and hopefully will not leave too much black fur all over their furniture.