Sunday, May 29, 2005

Welcome to the neighborhood

Here we are at the house on Friday letting Kula check the place out. Dig the curved wall. I'm standing in what was the dining room looking into the living room.

So far we have only made 2 trips to Home Depot, 2 trips to the grocery store, 1 trip to the veterinarian's office and one trip to Sherwin Williams. (After a bad day on Saturday, Kula finally appears to be feeling better.)

I cleaned the bathrooms and kitchen while Andrew cleaned the living room and dining room. Andrew also used his mad skills to install a kitty door for Della leading to the basement (a.k.a. home of the litter box).

Today I pruned the Redbud tree out front, swept the basement and the backyard and trimmed the plants creeping into our parking area.... I'm not sure what Andrew did...

We also emptied my storage space, hung a flag on the front porch for Memorial Day and met many, many friendly neighbors.

So far the only down points for me have been the overly shady backyard and the overly active kids playing kickball in the alley. Oh wait..and the super disgusting bathtub I had to scrub for about an hour.

Tomorrow we are off to the Gypsy Caravan to look for treasure!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

It's Time!!

[Andrew's moving truck, Fall 2003]

It's time!!! Tomorrow at 9 am Andrew and I will spend an hour signing our names over and over and at the end they will give us a key to a house!!

Tonight we went to the house for our final walk through. It was so weird to see it empty!!! It was kind of sad. I really liked the way the previous owners had decorated the house and it felt alot colder without any stuff in it.

I also noticed a thousand more projects I want to do!! Wow...I am going to have to learn really quickly how to pace myself and my bank account. So much to do!

I'm not even sure I will be able to sleep tonight...I am so scared and excited about going back to the house tomorrow! I can' believe I own something so big and complicated!!


It's been a rough week back to reality from the very peaceful Little Sugar River Farm. Kula came back from the kennel with a nasty rash on her back and acting really weird. She had the saddest face I've ever seen. She wouldn't eat, play, or get out of her crate. All she did was drink a ton of water.....and then Tuesday night about 1 am she peed all over the living room floor..... and then did it again Wednesday morning. Turns out she came home with a urinary track infection. =( I'm not sure if she just caught it out of stress....or if there was something about the kennel.....but between a rash and an infection I'm not sure we will be taking back there again. This is stressful because we are running out of kennel options. We've elimated 2 now that sent her home sick. I already felt guilty enough about boarding I feel even worse.

Work has been stressful too. New cube.... However one really awesome thing did happen at work this week. My coworkers surprised me with a Happy Housewarming card and a gift certificate to Home Depot!! They totally got me... I had no idea! I almost cried. =)

I will try to keep posting regularly...but my attention will be diverted to the house. I plan on taking tons of "Before" pictures....and hopefully lots of beautiful "After" pictures fairly quickly. However, there will be a week where I will be without an internet connection so please bare with me while we get the new place up and running.

Wish us luck!!

Monday, May 23, 2005

Little Sugar River Farm


Friday Andrew and I headed to the Little Sugar River Farm in Albany Wisconsin for our first vacation since Christmas. I discovered this little piece of heaven from Jen Gray. The pictures on the farm's website look great but the place is even better in person! The house is absolutely gorgeous!!! It's also so cozy, calm and relaxing. The farm had everything I was looking for and so much more.... two friendly dogs, funny chickens, blue sky, sunshine, sandhill cranes, ruby-throated hummingbirds, fabulous bike trails, tasty organic salad greens, a porch swing.... I think this may have been the most relaxing vacation I've ever had.

Thank you to the owners Frank and Nancy for making our stay so easy and comfortable. For anyone looking to get away from your phone, tv, computer, chores and errands, this is the place.

Here's Andrew making us dinner...

One of the chicks that provided us with breakfast...

A view of the house...

Me and Teva relaxing and knitting in the sun....

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Hunger pains...

I am so tired..... and hungry... Andrew you must come home right now or I might starve to death before you make it back.....

Mother, cover your eyes...after all the nice things I said about you yesterday, one thing I didn't learn from you was how to cook. I am a disaster in the kitchen. I hate it. I LOVE to bake...HATE to cook. I can reasonably only last 3 days on my own. Baked chicken, pasta, and DiGornio frozen pizza. That has become the extent of my culinary skills. Very sad, I realize this....but we can't all be good at everything. Tonight I ate half of a yucky bowl of some sort of microwaveable asian noodle dish. It was not good...and I'm still hungry.

I'm thinking of buying this book. I found it at a fabulous home store I discovered tonight called French General. I've been thinking about having my own store someday for a couple years now. Remember how I was schmoozing the owner of Sycamore Moon the other day. Every so often this dream rears it's ugly head...and this is one of those times... maybe some day something will come of it.

A super big Yippee!! to Naima who won America's Next Top Model. She was my favorite all along. Now I normally try to stay away from learning life lessons from reality TV shows.... but I must admit that something from this show has stuck in my head recently.

If I don't believe in myself, no one else will either.

The biggest thing holding me back the last 5 years has been lack of confidence. I either need to pull myself together or end up being 80 and full of regret. Excuse my foul language, but it is time to "sh** or get off the pot". Yes, I can stay at the job I have and lead a VERY comfortable, safe and somewhat interesting life. But will it make me happy? It hasn't made me that happy for the last 5 years....chances are it's not going to get any better in the next 5. It's time to shake things up! Get out of my comfort zone!! Live life to the fullest!!!

1 day until vacation
8 days until a house is all mine....

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Happy Birthday Mom


This is one of my favorite photographs of my mother. That's my older brother sitting in her lap. I don't think I even existed yet when this photo was taken but something about it...the lighting I the sun is shining behind her, just makes my heart skip a beat. Maybe it's her hair...I don't think I've ever seen her hair that long. I think she still has those hexagone glasses hidden somewhere in the house.

Today is my mother's birthday and as usual I have been the delinquent daughter. I've known for weeks that this day was coming, watching it on the calendar, trying to plan a gift...and then the next thing I know the day is upon me and I haven't done a thing!! I'm so bad! I did actually put something in the mail yesterday but it wasn't exactly what I wanted to send.

First I thought about sending you my first set of batiked napkins....except when I hand washed them this past weekend the dye faded into the batik pattern and made it all but disappear. =( not such a good gift. Then I thought about sending you the collage you said you liked....but I needed to seal it and paint the edges and everything in the apartment is packed already and I couldn't find all my supplies, blah, blah, just wasn't going to happen. =( again, sorry for the poor planning...

So I figured the best thing I could do was write you a little blog.

You are a beautiful, strong, funny, smart and loving woman. Each day I see a part of you in myself. The way I scramble eggs in the morning, the way I fold my clothes, the stack of magazines I have next to the couch, the pile of half started craft projects piled on my table, the common sense I dish out to whoever will listen, and the love I carry in my heart. You taught me all of these things and lots more. I miss you very, very much living all the way in Missouri and I hope you know that. I know there is so much more I could learn from you and about you... I hope I get the chance.

I love you Mom, very much. I hope you have a wonderful birthday and I hope I get back home to see you soon.


Sunday, May 15, 2005

12 Days!

[Andrew and Della]

until we get the house!!! Andrew will be gone for the next 4 days.... =( He is in Providence for work. But then we get to take a vacation together. My first since Christmas!! I can't wait!!! Friday Andrew and I head to Wisconsin for a long weekend of deep relaxation. We get back Monday and then it is only 3 days until we close on the house!!! I am so excited and nervous I don't know what to do with myself. Andrew has also been suffering from awful cabin fever...we are both so ready to just get on with the rest of our a house!

Today I think I am going to do lots of house dreaming.... I might even create some storyboards for some of the rooms in the house. We'll see if I get that motivated.

Yesterday I visited my favorite home boutique and tried to schmoooze the owner so that when I come back and beg her for a job someday she remembers me as friendly and outgoing. Her store is SO adorable and has the best atmosphere. If only I can make my house feel that good.

I found a new blog I am in love with, Crazy Aunt Purl. This girl is definitely up there on the entertaining scale with Dooce. Love, love, love her. I have found myself craving more knitting blogs these days. As I get ready to finish my second project I am excited about starting a new pattern and it seems the best way to find cool patterns is from other knitters. In fact I think today I might go looking for a new knitting book that I've read about on so other blogs.

I miss you Andrew!!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Clover, no clover?

Ok, here you go. The finished green collage. I'm giving it to you 2 tell me which one you like better. The original idea was to do a series of the clovers but I think I might like it better on it's own.


And here is another to make up for being a day late.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Security system = big yellow dog

[niece Maggie, mother's day 2005]

Here we are again....Collage Wednesday and no collage. Last night I actually did finish the collage I started last week....but I'm too lazy to take a picture of it. It's already dark and I know the picture will come out awful.

It was kind of a hairy evening... I came home from work and had 10 minutes before the security system salesman showed up to talk to us. Then Andrew had to let Kula out of her crate so she could bark aggressively in the the security salesman's face.... (did I mention this dog will be the death of me?) Thank God she just growled/barked and didn't bite!

It wasn't until 7:15 that I finally got to take Kula for a walk and it wasn't until 7:30 that I finally got to make myself dinner. Then on top of it all Andrew is sick with a spring cold and needs some extra love and attention.

Meeting with a security salesman is interesting.... hearing all of his horror stories and scary scenarios and trying not to panic! I hope all of this fancy technology actually gives me peace of mind when I'm in the house.

Sorry for the hodge podge post.... Emotions are running high these days and it's a bit exhausting. Mother's day always makes me home sick....hence the picture of my niece Maggie.... I hope I get to see everyone soon. =(

16 days until we close on the house!!

Sunday, May 08, 2005

I & the Poppy

Andrew and I attended the Laumeier Sculpture Park Art Fair as planned on Friday evening. It was an absolutely gorgeous spring evening in Missouri. The perfect temperature, just a touch of the setting sun, a light breeze.... wonderful....

A lot of the same artist were at the show that attended last year but many had new work. I found it interesting to see how their work had changed or stayed the same over the passage of time. Andrew and I ended up purchasing two pieces for the new house.

One was a photograph by Audrey Heller. Audrey's work is super fun and Andrew and I are looking forward to giggling when we see it each morning.

The other piece we bought was by Diana Stetson. This piece is made using a technique called collography. I can't explain it but Diana really exuded a wonderful spirit...and so does her work. I'm really glad that it will be in our home. The text in the top right corner says, "Just simply alive*Both of us*I & the poppy."

The piece that got away was one of these SUPER, SUPER, fun graphite art objects that you can write with just like a regular pencil!!

This is what I spent the rest of my weekend doing....
Kula is molting her winter hair...and has been for about a week now. The pile you see here is just one of MANY! I hope she is done soon!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

You're getting warmer, #36

Sorry gang... no collage Wednesday...unless I get home tomorrow night and have a sudden burst of energy and motivation. We'll's possible.

Today I bought my first Amy Ruppel!!
[You're getting warmer, by Amy Ruppel]

I'm totally excited! I love her work! I think this is really the first piece of official art I've ever bought. Amy is crazy popular. Her sale started at 1pm Central Time and everything was sold within two hours! The one I really wanted was gone in 30 seconds!

Andrew and I will also be attending the Laumeier Sculpture Park Art Fair this weekend. I went last year and had a great time. I got an awesome pair of earrings and my favorite St. Louis artist Caroline Huth was there. Maybe Andrew and I will buy one of her pieces this year. Something about buying a house has us craving new artwork.

I've been spending most of my evenings this week researching paint, refrigerators and washing machines. I'm trying to find a balance between being environmentally friendly, spending money and being stressed. Being good to the earth takes cash and energy. It's hard work. I did find a really awesome website though that has tons of great advice for home owners who are interested in being earth friendly. It's called eartheasy and I highly recommend it. I will be referring to it often in the next month.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Introductory batiking


Sunday was my very first attempt at batiking! I started gathering the various supplies over 3 years ago! Good Gracious! I started by buying several colors of RIT dye. Then last summer I started buying vintage linen napkins and last fall I purchased a electric skillet off of eBay. It all came together on Sunday and I was so excited!

Things I learned:
1. watch out for drips. Always give your stamping item a good shake before taking it over your fabric.
2. don't dye too many pieces at once. I put four napkins in the bucket at once and they didn't come out nearly as well as when I only put two napkins in the bucket.

I'm a little nervous about removing the wax with a hot iron because when I tried to do this for some of the drips I seemed to just spread the wax out rather than really lifting it. I really need to read my batiking book but it's already packed and I don't know which box to look in! Damn this move! I'm trying to keep in mind that it is only the first it can only get better, right?

Here they are in progress...


Oh, sad, sad looking napkin. I hope a good washing and ironing will improve things....

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Martin Sexton


Well I'm officially old.

Friday night Andrew and I had tickets to see one of my favorite musicians, Martin Sexton. He is a blues/folk singer from Syracuse New York. I got home from work about 6:30 and needed a nap...I told Andrew to wake me up in an hour. Next thing I know, I wake up and Andrew is asleep next to me and it's 9 pm! Guess when the show started?! 9pm! So there is example number one of being old....a 2.5 hour nap on a Friday night.

We rushed out the door and stopped at Whole Foods on the way for slices of pizza. We got to the show just as Martin was getting onto the stage, perfect. But then out of all the places we could have picked to stand in the room we stand behind the three, loudest, drunkest and most obnoxious three college girls. They ruined the entire show for me. They were just totally distracting. Screaming over Martin the whole evening, grinding with each other, falling over drunk. Example number two and three of being old.... I was depressed thinking about how much I missed college and angry about having to be around drunk college students.

Martin is really an incredible musician. This was my third time seeing him live and he never disappoints. Check out his tour schedule.