Friday, September 9, 2011

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Dare I Say... Progress?

No doubt that tonight a bolt of lightning will strike and I will learn to hold my tongue... um, fingers. Whatever.

First things first. The deck. This deck has been a work in progress for, ohhhh, since I got pregnant. I remember it quite vividly because the evening I told Eric I was pregnant was the same evening we moved in a bunch of lumber from the slab out back to the yard. And the weekend we told my parents was the weekend Eric and Dad actually built the thing. So 7 months pregnancy, and Harper is now 20 months old... So almost 2.5 years. But, if we needed 2.5 years to get to this, perhaps it was worth it. This deck is a wonder.

The kitchen, we've only been working on for the last four months or so, and we're at a very good point. It still LOOKS terrible, but there has been major work done in there. Eric took up all the hardwood and some of the subfloor, refloored and cement boarded the floor to prep for tile, took down the drywall on the walls and ceiling, built the frame for the island, installed a header for the opening in the wall between the kitchen and dining room, and removed the windows in order to make enough room for the countertop. Plus, electric is finished and plumbing is all done except for the gas line. Next steps are tile, drywall, cabinet installation and appliances. We're reusing our fridge, microwave and dishwasher (which has actually never left its box in the foyer) but we'll get a new wall oven and cooktop. Here's what it looked like a couple weeks ago.

And here's what it looks like now. Nice.

And outside.

More soon.


Someone at work yesterday said the word "margarita." Or actually, it might have been "limes." Anyway, since that moment, I have had margs on the brain. I used crappy tequila and a mix from a bottle, but tossed in a few strawberries, and darn it if this isn't the most delicious drink ever. :)

Things are interesting here at #2021. Little bunny continues to be a joy and a delight. She is a trip, and becoming more hilarious by the day. She learned to dance the other night, and entertained us this morning with some killer trick moves. She talks constantly, and is using some real words now--"night night" is a favorite, along with "see you later," "bye-bye," "hi," "puppy," and a bunch of others. Remember how I was despairing a while back about her refusal to say mama? Well, she says it now, and it's a lot like this:

I actually despite Family Guy, but this one paints a pretty accurate picture.

It's thundering rather dramatically out there right now, but no rain yet. It is dry as a bone out there. We have mowed our lawn once since June. Of course, we don't mow all that much even when it does rain because we're THAT house. Yes, you know the one. But it makes little sense right now to kick up dust and disturb the cicadas simply to cut down that one weed that has managed to grow three feet tall during a drought. Sigh.

Eric is making pretty dramatic progress on the house, but that is the next post. For now, I leave you with a shot of the little monkey making her escape with pigtails.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Back to Normal

What a week.

Harper has been feeling pretty bad this week. Last Friday, she spiked a high fever and then proceeded to puke and poop and every other disgusting thing you can think of ALL OVER ME for the next 48 hours. Her fever broke Sunday evening and she seemed back to her normal self, if a little lethargic. Well, then her molars started hurting her very badly. She ran another low fever and was little miss cranky pants for the next 5 days. Today, I feel as though the baby girl I know and love is back with us after being replaced by Bizarro Harper--no fever, no crankies, sleeping peacefully, molars have broken through, and she took a 4 hour nap today. I am hopeful that tonight we will make it all the way through with no marathon crying sessions, wanting to sleep not with me but ON me when I finally break down and bring her into bed with us, or angry baby words over the monitor, because even though I'm not teething or sick, I, too, am cranky.

In other news, we had a busy weekend. Despite hating beer, I went to Brew Ha Ha downtown and was crushed by the humanity--too many drunkards in one space, I think. But still had a lovely time with our fantastic neighbors. Today, I met up with an old friend from grad school in the Fe, and for just a little while, felt like I was 23 again. I also ate at Yats, which is always good.

The house is progressing slowly, due mainly to it raining on strategic days, and general busyness on both our parts. Eric is making significant progress on the deck, which he is painting with a artist paintbrush--like what you'd use for an actual painting. I think this explains the pace pretty well. He is making measurements and drawing all over what is left of the walls in the new kitchen, which signifies progress to me even if I don't know what it's all about. I am feeling pretty proud of myself because I put away at least 8 loads of laundry today. Whoo!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Another post for my mom

I am taking the advice of my mom (mark the date!) and setting my sights on something a little less busy and a little more classic for potential drapery for the big window. So, mom, what do you think about any of these? Clearly, I'm feeling green.

This last one is my favorite. What do you think?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Tunes #11-16

#11 - A Guilty Pleasure Song
Raise Your Glass by Pink. I actually like just about everything by Pink.

#12 - A Song No One Would Expect Me to Love
Heaven (Where True Love Goes) by Yusuf Islam. Now, I love the Cat, but generally I'm not into denominational music or denominational anything. I just kind of close my ears at the points where it talks about being saved and knowing His name, and this song really is beautiful.

#13 - A Song that Describes Me
Only Happy When It Rains by Garbage. This probably described me more when I was young, maybe between 16-24--back when I had time and energy to enjoy it when things were complicated. Still, great memories about this song (this whole album, really).

#14 - A Song I Used to Love But Now I Don't
Let the Drummer Kick by Citizen Cope. I still kind of like this song, particularly the opening, but I REALLY don't like the stream of "tion" words masquerading as lyrics. But, it's still a good hook.

#15 - A Song From My Favorite Album
High and Dry by Radiohead. Best album, and one of the best bands. Seriously, this whole record is just perfect.

#16 - A Song For Angry Times
Positive Tension by Bloc Party. We saw these guys at the Orpheum in Boston and they were awesome. I listened to this song a lot when I lived in Boston, and I felt angry a lot in Boston, so I suppose the connection forged itself.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tunes #6-10

#6: A Song that Reminds Me of Somewhere
Wouldn't It Be Good by Danny Hutton Hitters. This song reminds me of Elsey 3rd North at good old FC. I played this song over and over and over from August-October of 1997. I was a new RA in college, had my own little dorm room, and wore out this tape from playing and rewinding (tapes! wow, I feel old.)

#7: A Song that Reminds Me of a Certain Event
Dreams by Van Halen. I'm not a huge fan of VH, but Eric is, and he insisted that Dreams be the last song that played at our wedding reception. I will forever remember Eric and his best man drunkenly embracing each other, and then the best man climbed onto the luggage cart and demanded to be taken to his room. What a night.

#8: A Song I Know All the Words To
I have one of those freakish memories where I can remember the words of just about every song I hear (yet can't remember what I did 10 minutes ago). But this one has a story... Losing My Religion by REM. I know all the real words, but I also remember the words to a song we made up to the melody at Band Camp, in 8th grade.

#9: A Song I Can Dance To
Destroy Everything You Touch by Ladytron. This song takes me back to Heroes in Boston, the best dance night EVER.

#10: A Song From My Favorite Band.
Hey! by The Pixies. Picking a favorite band is tough. But I think I'll go with The Pixies. I spent most of the summer before I went to college listening to The Pixies and playing Solarian on my huge PowerMac. For variety and listenability, you can't beat The Pixies.

Eric of Mass Destruction

Yes, there is a lot of DEstruction and little CONstruction going on at #2021... Right now, in addition to the various electrical and plumbing quotes we're hearing, we are also doing some tuckpointing in the basement. This is necessary and we have been meaning to do it for a long time. A couple summers ago, we had the exterior foundation walls done, and that helped a lot, but given that our north neighbor has gutters, but those gutters are growing trees because they are so full of debris, we don't get a lot of water control on those days (apparently EVERY day, because it hasn't stopped raining since March) when it rains uncontrollably. So, interior tuckpointing. AND, as I've noted before, our basement entry has a door, but that door is at the bottom of a pit that does not have stairs. We're not surewhere the stairs went, but the walls around the pit were starting to cave, and without a cover forthe doorway, we inevitably had some leaking. With the purchase of a new furnace,it became ever more important to make sure that we're not messing around with leaks. So, here we are.

The Pit of Despair. Don't even think about trying to escape.

Our backyard. This is actually an improvement.

Meanwhile, work persists, albeit at a snail's pace, in the kitchen. The subfloor is nearly complete.

And, for a reason I don't yet fully understand, studs have been exposed. This wall will, ultimately, be opened. But yeah, not sure why now. The good thing? The orange paint is coming down. This color has haunted my dreams since it went up.


There's this 30 day music challenge making the rounds on Facebook. It intrigues me, because I think about music a lot, but I kind of hate Facebook. So, why not here? Also this might inspire me to do more houseblogging--there's actually a lot going on right now. None of it close to finished, but this is my life...

Day 1: My favorite song
Grace by Jeff Buckley. Hands down. Some boy my freshman year of college made me a mix tape and while the relationship went nowhere fast, this song was on it, and thus began a (to-date) 15 year love affair with a deceased troubadour. My poor Jeff--how I love him.

#2: My least favorite song. This one is stupid.

#3: A Song that Makes Me Happy
Why Can't I Be You by The Cure. Just the thought of Robert Smith rehearsing his dance moves for this video slays me. The Cure is so dramatic and self-absorbed--so 80s! I love it.

#4: A Song that Makes Me Sad
I Grieve by Peter Gabriel. Tremendous song, and reminds me of the (thankfully few) sad times in my life.

#5: A Song that Reminds You of Someone.
Too Shy by Limahl and Kajagoogoo. Reminds me of Ashlee, of course. We used to sing this song to each other as we worked on the Massachusetts state budget.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Kitchen Plans

I know that the plans I posted the other day didn't work, and I ended up giving a huge explanation of a picture that doesn't exist. Sigh.

Here are two actual pictures of what we're thinking the kitchen will look like. I will write more about this, as well as post pictures of what it ACTUALLY looks like, tomorrow, when I will not have just been at work for 14 hours.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I just have to brag. Is this not the cutest kid in the world, or what!?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Kitchen cabinets! We bought them! They're on order, so we don't have them yet, and I still shudder to think at the size of the check I wrote on Friday night, but despite the fact that the floor is ripped up, this is still the clearest sign to date that the kitchen remodel is actually happening.

We went with Kraftmaid, Mapleton Square cabinets, which seem pretty darn nice, if not totally custom. We ended up going with a painted finish, surprising ourselves. In discussing it on the way to the store, we both just kind of came to the realization that we wanted paint. So, it's a sort of antique white finish. Nice.

I am having the hardest time finding pictures of the cabinets that aren't embedded in some flash feature, so just go to this website to see them.

We're going with another slate tile for the kitchen floor. Of course, we have slate tile in the current kitchen, but it would be far too easy to stay with the same tile. This is what it looks like--not exactly but close. Of course, I didn't take pictures of either the cabinets or the tile when I was in their presence. I think our slate is a little less golden than this, and ours is 16x16.

As I was hoping, my mom was brutally honest about my fabric selections for the big window--hesitantly so, of course. We were in the parking lot of Babies r Us (entrance to hell) and I asked, "so, did you see the blog." Mom said, "Umhumm."
"So, what did you think?"
"What about the orange one?"
"For the curtains?"
"No, but really, what did you think?"
"Well, let me just tell you that when you have the curtains up, there are going to be folds, so you're not going to really see the pattern, and the curtains are A LOT, and I just think that those fabrics would really really be a lot on that window."

Okay, then. See, that wasn't so hard. Sometimes I have to have someone tell me that my decisions are utterly poor taste. If I'd had mom giving me opinions all the time, maybe I wouldn't have a chocolate brown bedroom. It is truly hideous.

In other news, obvs, the fam is in town. Just for the night. Harpster sure enjoys having Grammy and Pap around, and was in rare form this evening, showing off her impressive growling and howling skills, along with her screaming skills, when she really didn't want to sit in her high chair, and when she did a face plant into the floor after tripping over the coat rack. She took a 30 minute nap today--surprisingly good spirits, especially since she is usually a total pill when she gets sleepy to her core.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Post for My Mom

My parents are decorators, and are very talented. I try to ply them for tips when they're here, but they're also sensitive about this being "our" house and don't want to impose. To that, I say PSHAW! So, here's the deal. We have this great big window at the stair landing, and it's pretty awesome. It would be even more awesome if it were 100% weather tight (it gets a little drafty in the winter right now) and if it didn't look at my neighbor's ever-more-decrepit house. This has been an ongoing battle. We're in detente right now, but look for things to pick up this spring as the weather improves and we have more sightings of our neighbor in only her housecoat picking up leaves in her yard on windy days. Not cool.

So, we're looking for a window covering. Something that we can pull closed during winter months to avoid drafts, something that will frame the giganticness of it all, and something that will soften up the rather stark wood (which we're going to replace and paint off-white, but will still need something to lighten the mood). So, Mom, I know I've been rather impossible to work with here, as I have something pretty specific in my head, but can't translate it into words. I looked at about a trillion fabric patterns, and here are just a couple examples that caught my eye, both in terms of print and colors. They all have birds on them--this doesn't mean I need birds in the fabric we go with, but I've been thinking about birds, and I like the shapes, so just consider them inspiration.

This one: You know I'm a sucker for yellow, and I like the yellow/gray contrast. However, we're planning on painting the big hallway the same color as the back hallway, which despite being called "relaxed khaki," actually looks kind of green. But I do like the pattern here. I wonder whether it might be better suited to a bedspread than curtains.

The simplicity of this one is what I like. Plus, the colors are nice. It may be too "cute." Although I think it would be too cute in a pillow--maybe with yards and yards, it transitions from cute to striking?

This one is probably my favorite of them all--the birds on laundry lines. Both because I like the way you have to look twice to see that it's actually a specific pattern, and because it kind of looks like piano keys. But is it too small a print for such large drapes? And even more important, is this a cliche? Because I've seen this before in hipster boutiques.

I really kind of hate this pattern, but I like the colors.

And I'm inexplicably drawn to this one, probably for the master bedroom. I think that color combination is really pretty, and would look nice with dark carpet on the floors if we used it for either the curtains or a spread or a headboard (not all of them at once, of course). This is really surprising to me--you'd think after the Kenny Rogers Roasters situation I've got going on in the dining room, I'd be orange averse forever.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Moving forward! I like it! While we're still struggling to finish projects that were started two years ago (ahem, Eric... the deck...), we're making progress on the kitchen. Eric just yesterday finished ripping approximately 8,000 nails out of the dining room subfloor in preparation for plywood and/or cement board and tile. And today he went to put the down payment on our countertops! Soapstone!!!!!

A picture of our stone. We went with a semi-local company, The Stone Studio out of Batesville, IN. Eric has been the point of contact, and these folks have been super helpful and we're both pleased we could support a local business. Plus, the stone is awesome.

Eric has also finished the kitchen layout--he's bound to this one, as the stone order was based on it. This is a good thing, because we all know he could spend the next year working on this design. So, top left is facing toward the back of the house, where there's currently that doorway and the window. Not a huge change, except for the fridge and wall oven. Top right faces the south wall, which is currently loaded with three double-hung windows. We're going to remove one entire window, and the lowers on the other two, and this is where we'll have our cabinets and stovetop. Finally, bottom picture is the overhead, and shows the island, where we'll have the sink and dishwasher. A DISHWASHER!!!! It will be glorious to have a dishwasher actually installed and not just sitting in the foyer.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

It has been so long since I posted on this blog that blogger forgot me and delinked my account. Yikes. It could also have been that I used the wrong email address. Whatever.

All is well at #2021. The Harpster is peacefully sleeping through the night (most nights) in her own crib--a relatively recent development that was 1) hard, and 2) necessary. She figured out what was going on pretty quickly, and after just one night of waking up every twenty minutes to yell at us, decided she digs sleeping in her own bed and now wants nothing to do with our pre-bed cuddle time. Which KILLS me because it's my favorite part of the day. Sigh. My baby's growing up.

She is talking up a storm, but in a language that only she knows. Very elaborate sounds and words, hand gestures, beseaching look on her face like "why the hell can't you understand what I'm saying," etc., but few recognizable words. Dada is a favorite, both in words and in person, as are "Da!" which means dog, especially when accompanied by a pointing finger at either of the puppies or at a dog on the tv. She has said Yogi clearly several times, but refuses when I ask her to say it. She will not say mama. I know she can, but she won't.

Eric is busy at work on our upcoming kitchen remodel--it has been a long time coming. We are finally in the right position to be able to do this, and now that it's here, I'm a little scared. We're moving the kitchen into what was formerly the dining room--a MUCH larger room that opens up into the living room, and should make for the kind of space we've been looking for. Eric just ripped up the wood floors in there, and while we were expecting some of the nails to stick in the subfloor, we thought most of them would come up with the hardwood (likely original to the house, and for the most part unsavageable). That is not what happened. The wood is SO old and so paper thin that every single nail stayed in the subfloor. S, we have a 16x18 room, formerly floored with 2 inch planks, with double nails every six inches. I can't do the math, but that is a crapload of nails to rip up by hand. He's nearly finished after about 10 hours of work.

Next up is tile. We're going to do slate in here, and then carry it through to the current kitchen and into the foyer/half bath. Thankfully, the subfloor is in really good shape, so we'll just need to slap down a layer of cement board and tile will go down. Electrician is coming on Friday to install a new panel that will cover the kitchen. Whooo!

In the meantime, I am hoping to get over a nasty cold that has left me sounding like, according to my boss, Al Pacino.

Thursday, January 27, 2011