Sunday, June 22, 2008

Random Blatherings From the Lady Without a Kitchen

Grrrrrrr, we are somewhere around week 6 of the kitchen remodel and I have hit my limit. I am done. Or ready to have it done...NOW. Or as Natalie says now, now, now, now (in about the same tone as the seagulls saying "mine" in Nemo)...and keeps going until her request is granted. For some reason it does not work that way for adults though.

Now for the update:
Last week they installed all of the windows with new framework and we are thrilled about that. It's so nice to have operable, easy to clean windows!
The base cabinets were supposed to be installed by Saturday, but Jesus had a family emergency so they will be installed by Tuesday. Scary thing is, when Chris talked to him today (Sunday), he was on his way TO Amarillo, TX to drop off his son. Tuesday, the countertop people will be here to template and then hopefully we can get this show on the road.
The fence guys STILL aren't finished with the gates, we haven't seen them in...two weeks? Maybe more actually.

Now for the Rambling:
We went to Dallas last weekend for Jessica's wedding, it was a fast but nice trip. All went smoothly and it was a nice break from the craziness of the house. Jessica looked beautiful, and everything was so organized -I've honestly never seen a bride so organized. Her family is very big on games, so she put Sudoku and Trivial Pursuit cards at each table so that guests would have something to do while they waited for pictures to be finished. A very thoughtful touch, I thought. Natalie did really well on the trip and at the wedding, I was so relieved. There's nothing like having your child screaming during an important event. She decided at the hotel that she REALLY likes to go to the pool, so every day now we hear "swim, go swimming? swim now?"

I had planted some tomatoes, peppers, spinach, basil, marjoram, and lettuce in the one sunny spot in the backyard. The tomato plants really grew fast - I mean they just shot right up. I thought maybe I would have a bumper crop but...they were really just reaching for the sun - it's still too shady for them. They gave up on blooming and growing leaves and now are just focusing on getting enough light to survive. I don't have the heart to remove them, they are trying so hard. Plus I love the way their leaves garden-y. So no tomatoes this year, I guess. The lettuce and spinach were doing well, they didn't seem to mind the smaller amount of sun. Unfortunately, they were mistaken for mere weeds and the old windows were heaped upon them. As for the basil and peppers - the bugs have gone to town on them. Who knows what happened to the rest of the plants - no sign of them anywhere.

We have been putting our two cats outside at bedtime lately because the door no longer shuts in the office (where we used to put them to bed-yes I know we sound nuts -keep reading). The door gets a little tight in the summer for some reason. We have to put them somewhere at night or else there is just no sleeping in our house. Molly jumps in bed with Natalie, which wakes her and then Natalie yells "MOLLY OUT" repeatedly. I can't say I blame her. Lilly and Molly both bombard our bed repeatedly and when they land on you, you know it. Neither of them are lightweights. Anyways, so they've been going outside to sleep and Lilly has been getting under the house. Lilly is a bit nutty and a very big chicken so when she goes under the house, she cannot find her way back out. I would say no instincts, but she is a successful hunter (of socks that is). So we have to go to an access door and coax her out. This is getting really old. She is also very loud, Siamese cat loud (she is actually a mutt though), and relentless. You definitely know when she needs something. Did I mention she waits until I am at the bathroom sink washing my face while Natalie is asleep and then starts her caterwalling for water? Yeah, Natalie's room is right next to the bathroom - Lilly may be silly, but she knows what works.
The culprits - Lilly on the left, Molly on the right.

I am working on some toddler bibs to put on I'm tired of sewing on velcro - it ruins the needle (so sticky). I found the neatest little snap stomper thing. It looks kind of like a stapler and it punches the snap right into the fabric - can't wait to use it.

Well, guess that's it for now. Today was such a nice day - the weather was just perfect. I'm hoping that such a nice day is a precursor to a good (productive also) week. Optimism never hurts, right?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Woo-Hoo, Windows!

The Peachtree windows arrived sooner than we thought. They were delivered and were installed in the span of two afternoons. Each window got a new frame and we weren't expecting it but the windows ended up being new construction windows, not replacement windows (which Jesus said was better). Basically to get them installed Jesus had to remove the window trim and install them from outside the house. It is so nice to have windows that open and close with ease and not have stupid storm windows from the 70's that get blown off their guides from a stiff wind. I really can't wait to replace the rest of the windows in the house but the price of these five was high enough. The price of replacing the remaining 16 windows would just about give me a coronary.


Monday, June 09, 2008

Still Here

For the past couple of weeks, there has not been anyone working at our house. Jesus has been building our cabinets at his house, the gutter guys are now finished, the fence guys are MIA, and we are becoming strangely used to not having a kitchen.
We were wondering about the cabinets, when we will get to see them, how far along they are, etc, and lo and behold Jesus sent us a photo over the phone. It is a picture of the sink cabinet, and it looks exactly the way we were hoping (minus the doors, paint & sink of course). It was great to get a little taste of what is to come, we can't wait for more!
So for now we wait...the windows should be in this week, then the drywall can be finished, then the base cabinets can be installed. After that things will start moving more quickly: the countertops will be templated, the tile floor installed, and so on.

Random thoughts of the day:
I saw a guy crossing the street on a unicycle! He was wearing a trench coat and holding an umbrella (since it was raining today). I just had to get a picture, so I took a couple with my cell phone. Not only was he very tiny on my phone, but I clapped my phone shut before saving them. Oh well, maybe I can catch him another day!

Our tomato plants (3 beefsteaks) are doing really well, two of them have blooms. Since we had a couple of overcrowded trees removed, we now have a sunny patch - woohoo! I thought we would start with just a couple of things this year to test it out and then go crazy next year. Surprisingly, small space gardens can produce quite a bit. You should've seen our crazy garden at our old house (although Chris would say it was me who was crazy).

We have a major ant problem outside, they are (or were, heh heh heh) eating our plants. The monsters were devouring the two hibiscus plants and the sweet potato vine. I think Ortho may have taught them their lesson or killed them dead - either way works fine with me.

We have 200 refurbished Lexmark Optra T laser printers available through our computer shop if you are interested...just leave us a comment and we'll get back to you privately.


Thursday, June 05, 2008

Getting Closer...

The gutters are one elbow from being done. The gutter guys came out and shortened the spout below...

And moved the spout that cut through the flower bed...and forgot to add the elbow piece to point the water away from the foundation. I swear, that one elbow piece is THE LAST thing the gutters need and I'll shut up about them :)

I'll talk instead about how the only thing left to do on the fence is to add the gates and it's been over a week since we've seen the fence guys...


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

A serious gutter miscommunication.

Well, the gutter guys were out to fix the two issues I blogged about yesterday. They got part of it right. They got the downspout moved around the corner, the photo below shows the gutter in it's now correct position.

They didn't change the downspout going through the flower bed...

They ADDED about three feet of downspout to the opposite corner!!! Why would they do this when already there was a concrete water trough under the downspout?

I'll have to call them again and see if they get it right this time. This IS something that could be done by myself but I feel that since we paid the gutter company to do this it should be done by them until they get it right. It's only downspouts people!


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

A cyclists worst fear.

This is horrible. As a cyclist this is your worst fear but normally one you rarely think of if you live in an area with a large cycling population. Here's the story from foxnews Tuesday, June 03, 2008:

A car driven by an alleged drunken driver plowed into a bicycle race along a highway near the U.S.-Mexico border Sunday, killing one cyclist and injuring 10 others.

Juan Campos was apparently drunk and had fallen asleep at the wheel before crashing into the race in Monterrey, Mexico, police investigator Jose Alfredo Rodriguez said.

A photograph taken by a city official shows the horrifying moment of impact. The force of the collision sent bicyclists and equipment high into the air and Matamoros newspaper El MaƱana described children crying, women shouting for help and men trying to lynch Campos before police arrived to arrest him.

Killed in the crash was Alejandro Alvarez, 37, of Monterrey.

Campos told police he was an American citizen from Brownsville, Texas. The U.S. consulate could not immediately confirm that.

"We are looking into the incident in terms of whether American citizens were involved,'' consulate spokesman Todd Huizinga told the Associated Press.

The crash happened 15 minutes into the race along a highway between Playa Bagdad and Matamoros, authorities said.

The sickening thing is that the cop car escort swerved out of the way to avoid being hit and in doing so allowed the drunk driver to plow into the cyclists.

Click here for more pics of this tragedy.


People just don't use common sense...

So the gutters are installed. The gutter guys did a pretty good job, the gutters/down spouts match the trim color almost exactly. Two issues though, which are supposed to be taken care of (I have not mailed their payment yet so I don't have to worry):

#1) They ran the downspout like five feet though the flower bed. My thought on how this should have been done is to curve the downspout along the house until it clears the flower bed and then point it outwards to deflect the water flow away from the foundation.

#2) They put a downspout in the middle of the wall next to the window. I understand that there is a fencepost in the way for the fence gate, but the spout could have easily been placed on the other side of the fence post around the corner...duh.


Monday, June 02, 2008

Decisions, Decisions

We are at a crossroads with the countertop selection now, and we keep flip-flopping.
We had it in our minds that we wanted Soapstone, but we didn't realize how much the color varied from piece to piece. We both were thinking it would be a dark dark gray, almost black (like in chemistry class). The piece that is available to us is not almost black, and it has veining and a little green to it. Below is the soapstone.

The other choice is Absolute Black Granite that can be honed & sealed or polished. It is definitely black, and there is absolutely no veining to it. The picture below shows the honed & sealed sample.

We will have slate tile floors, so either will match just fine. We just can't seem to make up our minds. Tell us, which one do you prefer?

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Fence: Day ???

I don't remember what day the fence is on but it's almost complete. There are three gates to build and their work is done. After the pickets are sufficiently dry it will get stained white. Not much else to say about a fence so here are the pics.


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