31 May 2007

Come Party With The Newtons

We had two parties this weekend. One Sunday night with some college friends and one Monday night with a bunch of Tim's relatives and family friends. Both parties we started by people inviting themselves over.

I have come to the realization that this is the only way that I will extend an invitation to others. Yes, you have to invite yourself. While it seems un-Emily Post it works for me because I have a slight perfectionist issue. I'm always telling myself I'll have a party as soon as I ______ (fill in blank). And as soon as the blank is filled another issue pops up that impedes partying. And while I was just a teeny bit stressed and unbearable on Saturday it was all worth it. We had a great weekend and afterwards commented that we should do this every weekend so the house stays clean and we are motivated to do house projects. So this is us inviting you to invite yourself over sometime, make sense :)

Tim was a saint this weekend* helping me clean out the disgusting back rooms that I haven't really set foot in since Molly was born. He even got some of the doors that were refinished back in March of 2006 up. Check these puppies out:

The door to the back stairwell in the mudroom

This door knob isn't original to the house. At the time we couldn't find the one that went here (if there was one- we are missing some). I must say I do like the black with the blue door so it might stay. It was from an old house Tim's aunt and uncle tore down last year.

The door to the back stairwell in the bead board room (notice how "off" it is at the top)
And last, but definitely not least the door from the hallway to Molly's room. Sorry for the bad picture, but I'm not taking any chances of waking a sleeping baby.

*but I don't know if it was enough to make up for the box of Volkswagen parts I found on the kitchen table when I got home this afternoon.

24 May 2007

I'm Going To Take A Long Hot Shower Tonight

Sunday night Tim was fusing with the old VW Rabbit he bought and in the process was down in the basement. The next afternoon I went to wash some dishes and there was no hot water. Assuming that Tim had messed with the temperature setting to afford more car parts I waited a few hours. A few hours later still no hot water. So I called Tim and discovered he hadn't messed with the temperature setting after all. I reset the electrical, but even that didn't give me any hot water.

Monday morning we had doctors appointments all day so I checked the water quick before heading out the door, and we had warmish water.

Tuesday afternoon no hot water again. So we bit the bullet and called the plumbers. They were out this morning and discovered that both of our elements were broken. We're kind of wondering if we've had an element out for quite some time now (the argument is when- I say after the bad snow storm this year, Tim says it's been going on for over a year), and the plumbers basically said they thought the same thing. Isn't it funny how after awhile the body gets used to things. Like cooler showers.

So stupidly we asked if there was anything that could have caused this. The plumber said that we've got some pretty bad lime build up in the lines (they're only 3 years old for cripes sakes). We need to buy a water softener. -sigh-

I tried to talk to Tim about the logistics of doing this, but he wasn't committing to anything. After all you can't spend $200 a week on your beloved VW Rabbit if you have to buy a water softener. I hate that car. In fact if it was home right now I'd go out and kick it, hard.

23 May 2007

Downstairs Bathroom Update

So here are photos of what the down stairs bathroom currently looks like. You'll notice that it did not get finished by Molly's birth or even her first birthday. No one is surprised.

We had the tub refinished. Unfortunately, I cannot find any before pictures, but trust me those of you who didn't see it. It was bad. The little spots you see now are lady bugs. 8 months pregnant=don't bend unless absolutely necessary.

We are very happy with how it turned out and would recommend it to others. But in the back of my mind there is still that little voice that reminds me of the horror stories I've heard about it all falling off one year later. So maybe I will wait a few more months before singing its praises. I am no longer the optimistic/trusting person I was four years ago because of certain run-ins with contractors on this house (can't talk about it yet-should be resolved soon though -sigh-).

21 May 2007

Houseblogging- Dangerous to the Wallet

So not only have I not really posted since Molly was born, I hadn't really read the post of my favorite bloggers either. So I am trying desperately to catch up on their lives (note: only 56 more pages w/20 entries per page -sigh-). And to make matters worse since I have dial up and it takes forever for a page to load I'm searching some of the "new" blogs. I just found Bare Hill Barn House, and am excited to start that one because as a little girl I always thought it would be cool to fix an old barn up into a house.

On page 56 I came across an entry by Kristin at 1902 Victorian: Criminal for Hire. WHY!!! Why must I learn things like this exist? Why must I have such excellent taste? Why don't I have a money tree? Why, why, why?

I know I haven't gotten around to posting the progress on the downstairs bathroom, but our next step is finding a toilet.

Isn't it beautiful!

20 May 2007

Another Weekend of Landscaping

Yesterday afternoon we headed out after lunch to the local farm center because mulch was on sale there for the same price we've seen it at the big box stores. We lucked out even farther because they had some ripped bags that they gave us for 25% off. Unfortunately since we sold the truck we had taken the old red Taurus and could only fit nine bags in.

After that we headed to Osage to the Happy Acres nursery where we used our Christmas gift certificate from Tim's folks and learned that $100 doesn't go as far as you think it would towards plants.

This afternoon we headed out and as of 2:30 had all of the mulch we had bought put down. So Tim has now hopped back into the Taurus and is on his way back to the farm center for another load of mulch. He should be able to come back with a few more bags since he doesn't have Molly and I taking up space.

Here are some shots of the plants we bought, and notice we actually compromised:

from left to right- a dwarf lilac (Tim's choice), clematis (my choice, Tim's color), spirea (kind of my choice, kind of his choice- i.e. neither one of us loved but decided to give it a try), and a corenoester (my choice).
So I had better wrap this posting up because he will be back soon.

18 May 2007

And The Mystery Plant Is...

Sideshow Bob aka Robert Terwilliger from the Simpsons!
Kelli is that who you meant? Not that you win anything, well I guess my respect, and that's pretty hard to get if you note the post a few days ago.

My mom is a third grade teacher and she was telling me that a few weeks ago she asked her students how many of them laid on the ground and watched the clouds to see what shapes they'd make. She said hardly any of them raised their hands. Now isn't that sad. I used to do it all the time. I bet most of us housebloggers have or else how would be be able to look at these houses and see the future.

Totally unrelated, but exciting... Tim and I are headed to Osage tomorrow to the nursery to pick out some landscaping plants with the gift certificate we got for Christmas. Wish us luck!

17 May 2007

Flowering Almond

Forever hunting for landscaping plant ideas in my free Internet time I ran across this Flowering Almond bush at the Michigan Bulb Company site. Anyone out there have any experience with one of these puppies? And here's what I'm thinking:

The pink bush shaped scribbles are the flowering almonds. I always heard that when placing things they should be an uneven number because that is more visually pleasing. The only thing I don't know is if that placing applies if you move one across from the other two like this. Plus if you click on the link you notice you get a deal on three. I'm a sucker for deals like this. All you have to do is mark something up and tell me you get a deal buying multiples and I'm piling the shopping cart full.

Notice too that Tim got the trellis I got for Christmas from my mom two years ago up this weekend. Actually he had it up three weekends ago, but the puny brackets they sent to put it in the ground with bent the first night. He bought some angled metal pieces and welded some re bar to it to help drive them into the ground and so far this had held up nicely. The only problem is the trellis was used as a ladder at some point breaking the corner brackets. I think that if they are replaced the whole thing will stand up to the wind much better.

Also notice the pretty trumpet vine I drew in. They had them on this years Trees Forever order for like $2 a plant (I saw them for $7 at the Wal-mart) and so of course we got them. I placed on at each leg on the left hand side of the trellis. One is starting to leaf and the other one looks like it's a no-grow. I think that will be fine because they're pretty invasive plants from what I heard so I figure this one will be more than able to cover the trellis to the top. And what about the right side you ask? A clematis. I just don't have one chosen yet.

16 May 2007

The Gerstner International 3 Unit Roller Cabinet Set-

Today I worked on cleaning out the closet, replacing our winter things with the summer stuff stored away. I HATE this job. You would think I wouldn't being a girl (stereotype=likes cloths) who likes to organize things. I think it's because it is depressing because Tim has three times the amount of cloths I do, and most of what I have remaining bears scars from remodeling. I just can't fathom why one man would need 30+ polo/button down shirts and 15+ pairs of jeans.

I love TLC's What Not to Wear. I shouldn't, the way I dress leaves no room for mocking those poor helpless souls chosen by their "loving" families. And why would you spend money on cloths when things like this beauty exist begging to be given a loving home with a girl who likes to organize things.

It's the Gerstner International 3 Unit Roller Cabinet Set. I spied it in the new Van Dyke's Restorers catalog this morning. Purrrrrrrrrrr!

15 May 2007

Celebrity Plant Look A-like Contest 2007

So we're sitting in the car and I say to Tim, "With all its new growth doesn't that tree look just like ________."

What do you guys think? Any guesses?

14 May 2007

Another Step Towards Lowering Our Heating Bills

Tim did do quite a few other things this weekend besides bring the wrath of Becky down on his head. Like install these two storm windows we got from the lumber yard a couple of months ago. I'm not sure what company they are, Tim made that trip with out me. But it is a different one than the windows, but unless you get really close the colors match up pretty decent. Here's the living room window:I noticed while taking these pictures that now the bar separating the smaller and larger panes of glass sticks out like a sore thumb being the lighter paint color. Luckily these storms swing out so I will be able to remedy this problem along with clean the interior of the glass.

Here's the foyer window. The other day when I pulled up into the drive I noticed how ugly the back of the sofa looks in the window. I really need to get something figured out curtain-wise because for some reason one of my biggest pet peeves is the back of a sofa showing in a picture window. There's this house in a near by town that we pass each time we go for a pregnancy check-up that has this same problem and it's like nails on a chalk board to me.

The only problem is I can't pick out curtains with out knowing what color my wall paper is going to be. And wallpapering the foyer is now just a distant unattainable memory since I've quit.

But I hope you all had a good mother's day. Ours was pretty low key. I worked on catching up on some of my favorite blogs and cleaned the downstairs, I had good help though :)

12 May 2007

We Have "Issues" In Our Marriage,

lots of issues so it's a long post:WARNING: This post contains an annoying amount of parenthesis.

I think we all know that remodeling or building a house can cause a little marital stress. Maybe magnify the "issues" you have with one another or bring to the limelight "issues" you weren't even aware you had.

One of these issues in our relationship is the fact that Tim will agree with you as to what should be done or bought and then once you go to do or buy that something will "surprise" you with what he all along wanted to do, usually the complete opposite of the "plan." I, of course, see this trickery as lying and this usually leads to some pretty heated "debates" in public places. One of the reasons that I am sure all of our friends have us pegged as Most Likely To Get Divorced.

We needed some sort of wall built around the future rose garden to prevent run off of the dirt. We agreed that with our current financial situation the only thing we could afford was concrete pavers. That was the end of all agreement. After lengthy "conversations" in the privacy of our own home I thought I had gotten Tim on board with using the same brick pavers we were using for the sidewalk. I should have known better when he refused to use the pavers we had on hand and opted to go buy new. So we get to the place that sells them and he springs on me that it is a "physical impossibility" to build a wall using bricks -insert your eye rolls here, and that we will have to get this type of paver. Well after "discussions" I cave like usual. The only thing is I was set on using the same color as the bricks because he had already bought 3 different colors/types of landscaping materials and I'm thinking the front of the house is starting to resemble a patch work quilt (which by the way he said he understood/agreed with in previous "conversations"). So after much more walking around the yard "conversing" I again caved and we now have another color of landscaping -sigh-.

I now realize that the photo I have above only shows the new blocks and not the other colors we have and now it's too dark to take another picture. Sorry.

So this "issue" brings up another "issue" with in our marriage. The fact that Tim says I'm an insensitive harpy who is never happy no matter how hard someone works for me. OK- so he doesn't say that exactly. But that's pretty much what he's thinking maybe with fewer mythological references and more dirty words. And that is so not fair. I can't help my above average taste and the fact that I know exactly what I want and am not afraid to say I'm unhappy when I'm forcibly tricked in a public place during a huge sale with hundreds of people standing there while we "discuss" things.

So yes, he did a very nice job at laying the stones. And yes I'm sure they were very heavy and he physically asserted himself to a maximum to place those stones to protect those little rose plants I insisted on having (but must point out had no say in choosing he "surprised" me with the purchase after I insisted I didn't want any plants bought until I was good and ready to take care of them- read not when I'm in the third trimester of a second pregnancy in two years). But wouldn't nice small, black bricks look better?

So here's were I need your support. Send me lots of comments about how much better those pavers would look if they were black. I know. It's mean and harpyesque (hey- I'm not perfect and when you show your overwhelming support for me he can at least be right about the harpy part as consolation), especially since I don't think he knows how to post a comment in his own defence. But it's mother's day weekend, not father's day and that should have trumped any "discussions" right then and there, right?

-sigh- I feel better now.

11 May 2007

I Love Antonio Pasin

If you have a small child and plan on doing anything out of doors you need one of these wagons. They are fabulous! Now my only wish is she won't realize that it would probably be more fun outside of the wagon. I've found one of the draw-backs of restoring an old home is the fact that we have a lot of nails, wire, broken glass, etc. lurking in the grass which is making me dread that day.

And just in case you wonder, Antonio Pasin created the Radio Flyer company.

Something Just Isn't Right

The feng shui in the foyer is off and I can't seem to get it on track. Yesterday after nap time I decided to switch around the chairs and the couch. I think I like it better, but then again I'm not sure. I don't know why I'm failing at arranging this room. Sometimes I think it's because really all it is a giant hallway/pass-thru. Basically in my eyes a waste of space. No one is going to hang out in there on the furniture, sure it's pretty- pretty uncomfortable.

But I'm not quite in my blogging zone yet because I forgot to take before pictures so here's what I could find. They are both kind of the couch in front of the stairs because that is what bothered me the most. Maybe things would be better also if I could finally convince Tim to finish the downstairs bathroom and move that darn changing table in there.

So here's the after-

I think having some curtains would improve the situation, but that's a whole nother hurdle.

The piano is new, well new to us any way. My aunt and uncle were nice enough to give it to us. It's not the old beautiful dark-stained antique player piano that I learned on that I had planned to put there. But this one will actually hold a tune. I want Molly to have the option of taking lessons someday and I figured that this one, while it doesn't match the room, would be a better option. I can always replace it. The only problem is I don't think I'll get away with calling the guys, batting my eyelashes, and saying lets move a piano again. I'll have to think on a way to trick them, especially since the old player piano weighs about twice as much as this one- but we'll keep that one to ourselves he he.

10 May 2007

I Quit

Last month I quit my job and decided to try staying at home with Molly and the new baby on the way (current due date: July 25). And what surprised me is that I tell people and it seems the most common comment about this is "Good, now you can start writing the web page again." So I thought about it, and here I am. I figure that I can sit down a few afternoons a week while Molly naps. At least until the new baby shows up, then all bets are off and there might be silence again. But we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

So far I am very happy. But probably more so than happy, I am relaxed. I didn't realize how much of work was dominated my life. I guess the biggest change is I can lay down at night and go to sleep. Before I laid there and went over what I could have done differently and what tomorrow was going to bring. Now I lay down and I'm out in a matter of minutes because I'm so exhausted. But good exhausted. To all those people who told me I was going to be bored silly: you didn't know what you were talking about. I could use a couple more hours in the day- preferably nap-time hours, but I wouldn't be picky.

So stay tuned for updates from the last nine or so months. You won't believe how clean this place is :)