Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
You read it. Build. Karen's in the Lou, leaving me time to construct!
Why? Well weeks ago we added a new hole to our house and now it isn't as much of a hole. See?
As is usually the case when someone is out of town, it was a gorgeous [winter] day in Seattle, and I enjoyed my time outdoors! (now I just hope I remember the screwdriver and utility knife that's just slightly visible on the fence!)
Whatever... Happy to Holidays to everyone!
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
(Dan says he only gives bonus points if you actually deliver one of each type of sushi shown.) :)
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
Karen said I should post that we've narrowed down a date... and that date is....
I'm really surprised by how many people ask "how are you feeling about this?" or "are you going to eat those french fries," or "is Otis okay?" The obvious answers are "thrilled, no, and he's showing his age but doing OK!" Really, I couldn't be happier or more terrified. Or more elated to be sharing this experience with Karen. Seriously, there's just not time just yet to deal with more than that. Of course I'm concerned about building a local support structure for Karen and a baby, Karen's health during all of this, the financial stress of a family, the possibility for a problems, the general opportunity cost of it all, but let's take those one at time.
We've got a wedding to plan. And we're going to aim for....
But to be perfectly clear, I'm excited to be in this position and it's a lot easier to be here, on the sofa, unburdened by constant nausea and coping with fatigue. Still, we've made a good start at continuing our efforts to eat smart and work out. This evening, in fact, we hit the gym. In my case it was moving hazily between stations hoping to gain some ounce of fitness from my gram of effort while thinking, "Wow. We're umm.. wow." Karen gave it her all, and returned home to go to bed...
But not before pulling out a calendar....
I'm particularly fortunate in all of this as I'll get to have my parents here - for a wedding as much as a birth - but as much as I wish my grandparents were still around to share in the moment too, I'm oddly excited that Otis will be. It isn't the same thing, of course, and they're not interchangeable, but that furry beast has been through so much with me. Yay! (Can we have dogs in the ceremony? The cats could provide a choir!)
How about March 16th? Ish? It won't be much more than a pause to honor our union - the reception party will be in the Lou at some later time - but we'll find a way to include as many people as we can. More details to come!
One Sonnet down....
Oh, and this stuff is FASCINATING!
Thursday, December 13, 2007
I'm guesstimating how far along I am, but it's about three weeks. I have my first doctor appointment on the 9th, so that will hopefully narrow the time frame.
Best guess as of right now - there will be a Baby Pinkard in mid-August.
Somewhere in the next few months there will also be a wedding. We'll keep you posted as we figure things out.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
It's literally an old bus.
The front two-thirds (complete with drivers seat and steering wheel) has tiny counters that run length-wise under the windows on both sides with itty bitty stools for you to perch on. The back third is the cooking area.
Surprisingly the food was amazingly good. The tacos are to die for, and the burritos were pretty tasty too. And it's within walking distance of the house (well, walking distance for Dan and I - about 1.5 miles). I see us heading back there as the weather turns warmer (and dryer!) for some yummy lunchtime vittles.
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
She's also running a "Save the Cupcake" t-shirt contest. Apparently, cupcakes have come under siege in Huntington, NY - which to add insult to injury, is Stef's hometown. So go check out her blog and read about how to save the cupcakes. (And she has some awesome recipes as well as links to other fabulous sites.)
Monday, November 26, 2007
The color is very intense, but we both love it. It's like walking into a sunrise.
Dan also managed to cut a hole in the side of the house and install a new door to the "basement" area. We'd like to level it out some, which will require lots of shoveling, but it will be nice to have a storage area. We're even going to store some excess root vegetable (potatoes, carrots and onions) we bought on the cheap at Costco.
We hit Costco after Turkey Day, and the deals were great. We bought a nice fresh turkey for $0.49 per pound! We cut it apart and threw the big pieces (legs, thighs, wings and most of the breast) on the smoker and ended up with the best tasting turkey I've ever had. The rest (including about 1/3 of the breast) was ground raw into "hamburger" for future use. I then boiled all the bones and made some great turkey stock for soup.
More on Dan's first experience with Black Friday later!
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Dan and I got up and started cooking some side dishes to bring to his friend Mike's house. Mike is hosting about a dozen people. He's providing a fried turkey, and asked everyone else to bring sides. So we (being consummate foodies) are bringing avocado triangles (an avocado mixture stuffed into a wanton wrapper), squash triangles, mint/basil dipping sauce, homemade fresh cranberry salad, rolls and a pumpkin-cranberry trifle that our neighbor said looked like something out of Martha Stewart Living. :)
We walked up to Walgreens with the dogs to grab a paper with ads for tomorrow's shopping...Dan and Kai have agreed to experience their first every Black Friday :)
All our love!
Monday, November 19, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
We also met Kai and friends for tea, a quick couple games of poker, and dinner at Fuji Sushi in celebration of Kai's birthday. Dan and I gave her a different gift, but I think she liked it. She had been talking about hanging pictures, curtain rods and putting together some furniture - and how much easier it would be if she bought a drill - so Dan and I bought her a cordless drill. :) It came complete with a case and set of starter bits. Odd gift, but I know from personal experience a very handy one.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Any grumbling I had about being woken up early vanished the minute I saw that beautiful view. It didn't last long, but wow.
Monday, November 12, 2007
A nice bright spot is Dan is home! He was at a wedding in Dallas (that I was not invited to) all weekend. I heard all about it through drunken phone calls that lasted up until around midnight Pacific time. Goofball friends of mine - although I did get a kick out of the calls. Half the time I wasn't even sure who I was talking to, then just as I'd figure it out the phone would get passed again.
It sounded like a good time was had by all, although I wish desperately that I had been there. I would loved to have seen everyone again. Missing my great group of friends has been the hardest part of leaving St. Louis.
Friday, November 9, 2007
His gift from me was an attachment for our KitchenAid mixer to make homemade pasta. I can't wait for us to try it out.
We're headed to Pike Place Market and the mall to do a bit of shopping.
Friday, November 2, 2007
The restaurant had waitstaff serving hot appetizers and red and white wine. There was an ice bar filled with all the raw oysters you could eat, and a bartender serving mixed drinks. A DJ was playing music (not nearly as good as DJ Mano) and it was a general party/good time atmosphere. The oysters were fabulous, and we met several nice people and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I even bought a book about how to become an oyster connoisseur. Since I already love them, I'm hoping to learn about the subtle flavor variations and how to successfully pick really tasty oysters every time.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Dan made it home safe and sound Friday night. We found a new Italian restaurant that was fabulous - very European style - extremely tiny, doubled as a grocery store, a constantly changing menu, and fabulous food.
Saturday we spent the day shopping for householdy stuff. We got a new bathroom set for the upstairs bath, paint to repaint the office, and a bunch of misc stuff. We also looked at furniture - specifically a new couch and some easy chairs.
I know I put a moratorium on household remodeling, painting, carpeting, etc, until after the first of the year, but we have decided to switch the guest room and the office around. The current guest room is a little larger, and we could use the extra space. Plus, it has a much better view and more sunlight. Since I spend so much time there, it makes sense. The downside it, the room is pink. And before we move the office, it makes sense to paint. It will be a bright squashy/yellow color, with accents of "spicy orange." I think it will look awesome.
We also had some of Dan's friends over for movies last night. I had a great time, and I think our guests did too. Dan made homemade pizza in various flavors and we had a great wine from Snoqualmie valley.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Thursday, October 18, 2007
I now have a desktop!! I don't have access to our house network yet, but Dan's working on it. I think I have successfully managed to turn on the TV as well as record and watch something on Tivo twice now, so I'm pretty sure I got that down.
The dogs are still a little cranky with each other - Otis and Turtle got into it again today. They'll figure it out eventually. The cats of course, adjusted just fine. Grayson owns the place, and Bailey adores Dan. I think Bailey loves the kitty play room Dan created for her. It's filled with electronics, blinking lights and warm places to sleep. :)
No rain today, or at least no rain in Seattle-speak, but it is really, really, REALLY windy.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Michael was a tremendous help to us here. He went so far above the call of friendship. Besides the drive here, he helped move and ultimately unpack all (ok - most) of the boxes. (There may be a few that still need to be unpacked). He also was a great emotional help in keeping things feeling "normal" for me. It was a great way to transition to a new life without feeling completely lost. He had fun too - I'm pretty sure he can find his way around Seattle much better than I can. He took my car out every day and went exploring and doing whatever struck his fancy.
On last Wednesday Michael's mom and my dad both arrived. Michael and his mom stayed in a hotel, then took the ferry to Victoria, Canada. They stayed at a B&B there and thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
Dad has been helping with more unpacking, and making the place work for me. You know - having hooks on the doors, hanging organizer racks, little things that make a house feel more functional. The big job tonight is installing the over-the-stove microwave Dan bought. Counter space is at premium, so this seemed like a good solution.
Dad heads home early tomorrow morning, so then things will hopefully calm down and I'll have 2 minutes to think and return phone calls and emails.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Michael's still here, and his mom and my dad arrived today. I'm still trying to settle into a routine with the work-from-home thing. We've been dealing with boxes, and have made remarkable progress. We're down to the "oh crap-where do we put this" boxes now :)
More soon - I promise!
Thursday, October 4, 2007
Everything is going fine. Except for a blown tire in BFE Wyoming, we've had no problems. The animals are doing great - better than I would have expected.
Back to breakfast - we hit the road in a few minutes. I'll post more in the next few days as things settle down. Love you all!
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Saturday, September 22, 2007
One week from today. That's all the time I have left.
During this last week, I need to:
organize the boxes
contemplate what I've done
find a way to be happy and sad at the same time
find the excitement underneath the stress
This has been quite the adventure (and I'm sure it will continue to be!)
Sunday, September 16, 2007
My house has turned into a "wander through" zone - inspectors for the city, inspectors for the buyers, gas inspectors, surveyors, insurance inspectors, appraisers, the list goes on. This week I have more people coming as I install new air conditioning and have the furnace repaired. I'm also gearing up for a fight with the city about one of their inspectors' findings.
My closing has been moved up to the 28th - which should be interesting since I've said I'm not leaving the house until the 29th. Ah well - that's why I'm paying Matt. So far things have been amicable between the buyers and me, so I'm sure it will be fine.
Dan comes in the 28th around 11pm. His job will be truck packer/supervisor. I suck at packing, and as evidenced by his move, he excels at it. I hope we see a bunch of you there on the 29th - it will make things so much more enjoyable - and quicker!
Ok - back to the boxes.
Monday, September 10, 2007
I flew in on Friday night and my cousin picked me up. We met up with another cousin at a local bar and had a great evening. Although I must say, it was the first time I've ever been in a bar full of drop dead GORGEOUS men, and not a one was even remotely interested in me. :)
Saturday we met Dan at the airport so I could also be on the rental car. We chatted with Randy, and went to lunch at an upscale Mexican place. Dan then took us on a flashback tour of his life - where he grew up, schools he attended, places he knew. It was wonderful to see that area of his life. (I even saw Otis' puppy hood home!)
After wasting some time in geek central (aka Fry's Electronics) we met a high school friend of Dan's for dinner. He was funny, articulate and a genuinely nice guy. I'm hoping he and his family comes to visit us at some point. By this point it was 9:30pm and we began the long drive to his parent's ranch. We arrived right around midnight, popped in to say hello then went and crashed from exhaustion.
Sunday morning we hiked up Round Mountain. Unfortunately no one has really been hiking it so the underbrush was really thick. My poor legs were shredded and chewed on something fierce. But it was fun to see, and I'm looking forward to doing it again - in jeans.
We hung out with his parents the rest of Sunday, and took them to dinner at a steakhouse Sunday night. Monday was a quick lunch with them, and we headed back to Dallas to make sure we had enough time to catch our flights home.
I spent most of my time with his mom, who was so sweet and so obviously proud of her son. I saw family photo albums and heard stories of his childhood. It was wonderful to know Dan better, and to feel so welcomed and included in his family.
Friday, September 7, 2007
Friday, August 31, 2007
Talk about feeling mixed emotions...excited, scared, happy, sad - I've pretty much got them all covered.
The official packing party announcement will be forthcoming, but it will be probably be Saturday, September 29. I've reserved the truck for pick-up on that day. Last minute stuff and cleaning will happen on Sunday.
Wow. What have I done?
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Then we begin the fun process of inspections.
They want to close 9/21 - which I don't see happening. I requested a close of 9/27.
Wish me luck!!
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Saturday, August 25, 2007
First stop - Golden Gate Bridge. It was still relatively early, and a Monday, so there were nearly the crowds we saw on the weekend. We walked across and back - a little over 2 miles. Very worth it though. The views were constantly changing because of the shifting fog. One moment everything would be grey. Suddenly a gust of wind would blow through, clear it out and blue skies would appear. Then the fog would creep in, spreading its tendrils out as it sought refuge in the crevasses and rocks of the bay. I really enjoyed the walk.
Our next stop was more of an accident. I wanted to go sit on the beach for a while, but en route to the one Dan had found we stumbled upon a different one. There were some surfers in the water, but otherwise it was fairly deserted. We sat and watched the waves for a while, then strolled down the beach until we couldn't go any farther. I got some amazing pictures there, as the rocks were perfect for photographing. The water was ice cold, but it felt wonderful to walk in. After a few hours of wandering, the sun was coming out and the beach getting more crowded with dogs, kids and families enjoying a picnic. We decided it was time to move on.
A brief stop at Safeway for some Aloe, and some ice cream at a local place called Woody's, and we were back on the road.
We drove over the Oakland Bridge, through the Berkley area then back across the Bay Bridge and headed south. We found the hotel and checked in, then went in search of dinner. I had been craving raw oysters, so dinner was at a great seafood place called The Fish Market. Oysters, clam chowder, a salad, and skewered swordfish, scallops and shrimp lightly grilled. It was divine.
Dan then took me on a tour of Silicon Valley. We saw every major name in the computer world- including Google and Yahoo. It was an amazing sight. We had a nightcap margarita at a nice little Mexican place, then headed back to the hotel. Dan's flight out was at 6am, so he had an early morning. My flight didn't leave until almost 11am, so I slept in and took the hotel shuttle to the airport. I was home by 7:30pm.
All in all a very nice trip. I'm already looking forward to our next one.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
We walked up Fisherman's Wharf (total tourist area - feel free to avoid it) and found the cable car station at Powell and Hyde. The line was huge to get on the car, so Dan bought tickets and I stood in line to get on. What I didn't realize (although Dan did) was the cable cars stopped at every intersection. So rather than wait an hour in line to get on the car, we hurried to the next intersection up and caught the first car - total wait was about 3 minutes. Yeah Dan!!
We hopped off at Lombard Street, which is dubbed the crookedest street in America. It is a series of switchbacks that is pretty cool to see. Your best view is from the bottom though, so we walked all the way down. Not bad, as the flowers are beautiful. Of course, then you have to walk back UP - which is a little tougher. They aren't kidding about those San Francisco hills.
Back on the cable car and we headed to Chinatown for a dim sum lunch at the Gold Mountain. The food was good and plentiful, and we had a nice time wandering through the strange area. The shops alone are worth browsing through, although you won't know what anything is.
Part of the joy of a cable car is riding on the outside of it. So after wandering Chinatown we managed to catch a car that had 2 spots on the outside - yippee! It was definitely more enjoyable to ride that way. We hopped off at Kennedy's Irish Pub for a beer for Dan and a Pear Cider for me. I don't recall where we were, but I recommend you find that place and have a drink - very nice.
We walked back and caught the 6pm ferry back to Sausalito, picked up the car and drove to Marin County Headlands. It's an old Army fort that overlooks the Bay and the Pacific Ocean. (My earlier picture of the foggy bridge was taken there). The view was spectacular. It was getting foggier and the temperature was dropping, so we opted not to walk the bridge. We walked around the area and took lots of pictures.
We could see traffic into San Francisco was horrible, so we opted for dinner in Tiburon at a little sushi place. Afterwards I took another soak in the jacuzzi and, quite literally, passed out as soon as I hit the bed. Poor Dan probably thought I was dead.
When we woke up in the morning, not only was San Francisco gone - the entire world had disappeared. We couldn't see 3 feet beyond the balcony railing because of the fog. Stay tuned for Monday's adventures...
We drove through San Francisco, and I got my first glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge as we drove across into Tiburon. We had rented a room from a wonderful lady named Holly there. I had found a website that let you rent a room from an individual. They often cooked breakfast for you as well, but these weren't businesses - just someones home. Holly said she rented out her room about 2x a year - whenever she was bored.
The room was fabulous - one wall was almost all windows and French doors that looked out over San Francisco Bay, the city, and the Golden Gate Bridge. We slept with those doors open every night - the weather was perfect for it.
Saturday afternoon we wandered around Alta Vista Park (where the picture was taken). They had some of the most spectacular houses. We walked over to Haight-Ashbury (the original hippie area) and walked through that area. We spent a bit of time in Dan's favorite place - Amoeba Records. There is still quite an eclectic group of people in this area - from hippie's to tourists to homeless and everything in-between. It was a fun place to wander, and turned out to be one of my favorite areas.
When we got hungry we headed to the Castro district (the predominately gay area) for food. They had some interesting window displays there, that are definitely not for the prudish. But we found a nice restaurant and had a great time.
We walked back to the car to head back to Tiburon. I soaked my sore legs in Holly's wonderful jacuzzi tub, then we both fell into a comatose sleep. When we woke up in the morning, San Francisco was gone! The entire city was blanketed in fog. It was the strangest sight, because the sun was shining and there wasn't a cloud in the sky - except over Alcatraz and San Francisco.
Come back tomorrow for our Sunday adventures...
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Monday, August 13, 2007
There's really nothing else exciting going on, or even unexciting. I went to a bridal shower Saturday, then to a movie with some girlfriends. We saw Stardust, and it was excellent. It's essentially a love story, but has a nice sci-fi/old English twist. Sunday Michael and I went to see Nancy Drew. It was really cute too. And since it's been between 95 and 100 degrees every day for the past two weeks, a cold theatre was a perfect way to spend a few hours.
In Dan News, he turned down the job he was offered. It was not an easy decision, and he's still not sure it's the right one, but he's opted to stay where he is for now. His current employer offered him some nice things to get him to stay, including managing a couple of underlings, additional pay, and more authority in the business. Add that to the incredibly flexible work hours he already has, and the extra vacation he gets and his current job morphed into something he really wanted to stay with. Both companies offer him wonderful potential, but in very different ways. We'll re-evaluate in a year or two to see how things are going. Who knows - maybe we'll take that position at Google in Sydney. :)
I honestly can't think of much more. Dan and I head to San Francisco for a long weekend on Friday. I'm sure I'll have more stories then - I've never been to San Fran.
Friday, July 27, 2007
In other news...Dan was offered the job he interviewed for! I had no doubt he would wow them, and sure enough - they called with an offer within 24 hours! He told his boss at his old job, but I'm not sure if he officially turned in paperwork to HR. But he starts in 2 weeks!
I think we have officially hit five of the top ten stressors (good ones, anyway) that a person can go through. Our theory seems to be get it all out of the way at once!
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Unless you've been living under a rock in a small cave located somewhere on Jupiter, you know that the 7th and final Harry Potter book came out Friday. I decided to join the throngs of goofballs who stood in line to get the book, and was rewarded by being the 24th person at St. Louis Barnes & Nobles to get my book! I was out the door by 12:03am and ensconced in bed reading by 12:30am. I read until my eyes were ready to fall out, then finished it yesterday afternoon.
(No spoilers, so don't worry) She did a great job with the book. She hit the ground running and never stopped! There were twists and turns and a lot of things explained. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Last night I did get out and have some fun. I met the gang at Dewey's Pizza to celebrate a great woman's birthday. The pizza was the best I had ever eaten, and the company even better. Afterwards we ended up at Traci's to test the next installment in the Cupcake Project. These were chocolate cupcakes with a crushed pretzel crust and topping. They were heavenly. Good job Stef! I've been extremely impressed with how beautiful and unique she's been able to make each cupcake. (The link to her blog is at the bottom, I highly recommend you check it out).
Nights like last night make me not want to leave St. Louis. I can't imagine ever finding such a wonderful group of friends anywhere else. I'm going to miss them so much. But my thanks to Capt. Jack for trying to reassure me. You are a sweetheart.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Dan is moved into our new house. He's tied up in the 48 film contest this weekend, so I haven't heard much. But I know he really likes the new place, so that's good. We have a phone, Internet and TIVO - all the important stuff. :) He's been so wonderfully supportive during my various freak-out moments. He's had his too - our general agreement is we can't freak out over the same things at the same time. So far so good.
I told work about my plans on Thursday. My boss's reaction was "well I wasn't expecting to hear this news until the end of the year." She figured we'd announce we were getting married around year end and I'd be moving. I pitched my idea of telecommuting, and it wasn't dismissed. Both her and her boss are supportive of it. Now we just have to get the rest of the management team on board. The next big hurdle, Eve's boss's boss, is very pro-technology, so hopefully it won't be much of a hurdle. Say a little prayer - being able to keep my job would make the transition so much easier.
That's it for now - I'm beat!
Monday, July 2, 2007
Sunday, July 1, 2007
Friday, June 29, 2007
Shortly after 6 I was hungry and Nora was getting bored. We headed to Baker's Square for dinner and had a very nice time. I told her we'd go swimming afterwards - big mistake on my part. I didn't book a hotel in advance, figuring how hard would it be to find a hotel on a random Wednesday in Alsip, IL? Yeah.....there were 350 flights cancelled out of O'Hare - every hotel between Joliet and downtown was booked solid. We finally managed to find one, but their pool was closed for cleaning. We settled for 2nd best and sat with our legs in the hot tub playing "I Spy." Later we went up to the room to wait for her mom to pick her up. I had given her a book with blank pages, so she started writing me a story. She has turned into a delightful young girl.
Thursday we were back at the funeral home for a 10am prayer service. It was beautiful. Part was in Gaelic, part in English and all Dad M. There weren't many dry eyes when it was over. We processed to the church for the funeral mass. It was about 1.5 hours long, because there was a ceremony to bring the casket in, including bagpipes, plus the full Catholic mass. At the end of the mass, Mary (the oldest) gave an exceptional eulogy. She did a wonderful job of sharing her father - the man. The fiery Irishman and the loving man of God. The father and the husband. The grandfather and brother. All that Dad M was to all of us.
We processed to the cemetery where a military ceremony was performed. It was also beautiful. When they handed Mom M the flag, she was able to give a small speech to the Army men about supporting our troops and praying that they are all home safe soon. She is one remarkable woman. I was having trouble coming up with a coherent thought, and she comes out with an eloquent speech.
After leaving the cemetery we went to a banquet hall for lunch. This was a time to sit and talk, to remember the good and fun that was Dad M. It was very nice. Dad and I headed home around 3:30pm and I pulled into my house around 10. It was a long trip, but I wouldn't have missed it for anything.
The world lost a good man on June 23, 2007. I love you Dad M.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Many of you know that Annie's dad had been in the hospital. After a very emotional rollercoaster week, he passed away Saturday afternoon. The wake will be tomorrow, and the funeral on Thursday. Dad and I are driving up tomorrow. Unfortunately, Dan had to fly back to Seattle this morning, so I won't have him with me. As a testament to his wonderful nature though, he brought funeral appropriate clothing in case we had to go over the weekend. He was willing to fly to 2200 miles to see me, then drive to 5 hours to Chicago to go to the funeral of man he'd never met - because it was important to me. He's a good man.
As for the house, most of the rooms are painted. I have some trim to finish in the living room, and the doors/trim in the hallway. Dan replaced the wall in the basement (see previous post) that needed work. He fixed my gate, and bought new counter tops for the kitchen. Dad, Jean and Michael were over Sunday helping clean and paint as well. Dad marked off a section in the garage that is 8x16 to show me how much room I'll have in the truck. It's not nearly enough. :)
Dan also took me grocery shopping. Apparently a fridge full of wine, ketchup, butter, 5 different mustard's and rotten Chinese was not acceptable. He found some shelf-stable easy cook foods, and instructed me to not order fast food, pizza or Chinese anymore. :) Pot calling the kettle black...He eats out daily - although much better quality than I typically go for. I'm the fast, cheap and easy - he's more sit-down-ethinic-or-steak. He is a fabulous cook, though and wants me to eat healthier. Not that he does - but he wants me to. I get to work on him when I live there :)
We close on the house in Seattle July 3. Dan will start moving in pretty quick. He's already planning on gutting the kitchen. We boxed up his tile saw for him to take back on the plane today. Since it's his house, he can do what he wants to it. Luckily, I've seen some of his handiwork and it's very good. I have no problem leaving all the design up to him. He bought my counter tops with no input from me and they are beautiful.
Wow - what a busy weekend. More to follow...
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
I patched holes and cracks tonight, and will finish washing the walls in prep for new wallpaper tomorrow. Not what I wanted, but I don't seem to have a lot of choice. Anyone know where to find inexpensive wallpaper?
Monday, June 11, 2007
Friday night I did some serious packing/sorting from my closet room. Dan says I only get a closet - not an entire room - so some massive consolidation was needed. Naomi saved me by coming over to watch The Devil Wears Prada and eat Chinese as we commiserated about the moving process.
I spent Saturday doing inventory and picking up packing supplies. That afternoon Michael and I picked up tables and garage sale stuff from Jean and grandma, and unloaded it at my house. I spent the evening packing and sorting - again.
Sunday Michael picked up stuff from Naomi that she wanted to put in the sale. Jean came over to help price and organize my stuff. Dad helped unhook electronics for the things I sold, and he took home some stuff he wanted. I had Craigslisted my TVs, mom's jewelery armoir and a DVD player. It's all sold. Yippee! I used that money to buy a new electric stove off Craigslist, and Michael went with me to pick it up last night. Of course the outlets have changed over the past 30 years, so I can't plug it in. He's working on fixing that for me today. He also hauled away the old stove and helped unhook the old hood from the cabinets.
God bless Michael - this would be much more difficult without him. Whoever would have guessed we'd turn into this? (And yes, I bought him dinner and gave him gas money as a thank you)
I did take a break Sunday and went to gossip with the neighbors a bit. I went to ask if I could buy some of their painting supplies (he was a professional painter prior to retirement). She wouldn't let me, but gave me everything I could ever need - much better quality stuff than I could buy too. Rollers, nap, coveralls, extenders, about 2 dozen paintbrushes in various sizes, putty knives in various sizes and 100 razor blades and scrapers. What fabulous neighbors I have - they are going to be a hard act to follow.
Friday, June 8, 2007
All this by July 1. After sitting around and feeling overwhelmed, I called Dan for moral support. He helped tremendously and I got a few more boxes packed. I even got the first drawer emptied out!
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Sunday, June 3, 2007
Saturday, June 2, 2007
I looks like we are buying a house. We've spent the past couple of days scouring real estate websites and IMing back and forth on what we like/don't like. We found a few so far that might bear a second look. He's going to check out one or two this weekend.
The sheer amount of work that must be done is overwhelming. Anyone have sage words of wisdom to help me survive this?
Thursday, May 31, 2007
My head is currently spinning, and my emotions are on overload to the point of shutting down. I'm happy, scared, excited, nervous all at once.
There will be more to follow, but for now I've processed all I can for one day.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
much of the past few days working on my yard. I got a truckload of mulch, about 800 bricks, and enough flowers to plant three hanging baskets. The bricks will be used to create a tree ring and a sidewalk. My patio is brick and I'd like to have a sidewalk running from it to the driveway. Since the bricks were free (gotta love Craigslist) I decided this was a good time.
I love my backyard. Especially when the honeysuckle and peony's are in full bloom - it smells wonderful.
Monday, May 14, 2007
Friday, May 11, 2007
It was an interesting experience. I've never met a cabinet member before. The company chose 50 employees to stand on stage with him. I put my name in, but wasn't chosen. It's ok though, because I think we had better seats on the floor.
Here's an article about the visit...
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Saturday the weather was gorgeous, but the traffic was awful. Approximately 30,000 people came to compete, plus all their family and friends. It took us over an hour to get to the race site, and it was only a few miles away from the hotel. Michael and Ran ran, while the rest of us walk/ran. Final time 3 hours, 49 minutes.
Saturday afternoon was spent in the hot tub easing sore muscles, and Saturday night at the post-race concert. Sara Evans was the headliner. I really like her and was excited to see the concert. My body had other ideas - namely sleep. I managed to doze off in the middle of 20,000 screaming people. The part I saw was good, and I slept like a baby that night.
Sunday we slept in, only to be awoken by the fire alarm. We're pretty sure the hotel people figured it was the only way to get 200 exhausted people out by check-out time. We headed to The Hermitage, home of former president Andrew Jackson. It was beautiful and very interesting. By the time we left Nashville it was almost 3:00. I finally pulled into my driveway about 10:00.
Very long, very fun weekend. Ran, Eric, Michelle and Michael are wonderful travel companions. I can't wait till we do it again (well, maybe not the running part)
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Monday, April 16, 2007
Friday, April 13, 2007
The bathroom is coming along veeeeeerrrrrrryyyyyyy slowly. It takes forever for the mud to dry. So I mud, wait a day, mud some more, wait another day, mud, wait, sand, wait, mud, wait - you get the idea. I'm hoping the final stages of mudding are here. I have to go help Michael with his floor this weekend, so I won't get much further until next week. Oh well. I do what I can. I'm learning to live in a completely trashed house.
Last night I did take a break and met up with some of the gang for a night at the Funny Bone. Very enjoyable evening, mostly do to the company. Thanks for a much needed night out, guys.
Now - on to taxes. Somehow it's already time to mail them and I'm not done. Oops!
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Sometimes life seems hard to bear,
Full of sorrow, trouble and woe
It's then I have to remember
That it's in the valleys I grow.
If I always stayed on the mountain top
And never experienced pain,
I would never appreciate God's love
And would be living in vain.
I have so much to learn
And my growth is very slow,
Sometimes I need the mountain tops,
But it's in the valleys I grow.
I do not always understand
Why things happen as they do,
But I am very sure of one thing.
My Lord will see me through.
My little valleys are nothing
When I picture Christ on the cross
He went through the valley of death;
His victory was Satan's loss.
Forgive me Lord, for complaining
When I'm feeling so very low.
Just give me a gentle reminder
That it's in the valleys I grow.
Continue to strengthen me, Lord
And use my life each day
To share your love with others
And help them find their way.
Thank you for valleys, Lord
For this one thing I know
The mountain tops are glorious
But it's in the valleys I grow!
Sunday, April 8, 2007
I did put another layer of mud on the bathroom walls, and I finished painting the register and cabinet. I think it will look very nice when it's done. The medium color is a little pinker than I'd thought, but it will be good.
The workweek will be tough without a functional bathroom. And of course this is the week I have something going on every night - and nothing can be changed. Oh well. My one bright spot is I think I'm going back to Seattle over Memorial Day weekend.
Saturday, April 7, 2007
I bought paint and plan to spend tonight painting the cabinet and register vent. I also started painting the quarter round for the dining room. Since it's red it takes about 6 coats.
Friday, April 6, 2007
You know you're in the midst of a major remodel when your bathroom sink and toilet end up on your bedroom floor.
After working until 2 am though, I had a sheet of drywall behind the toilet, a new floor, and water. We replaced all the stuff inside the toilet, as well as the seals and washers. As long as it was apart and in pieces, why not?
For now, a long soak in the tub, followed by Advil and bed. I begin again tomorrow.
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Monday, March 26, 2007
Sidebar - We've finally made peace with each other and our differences. We are simply not meant to be together. Thank you to Dan for giving me the final knock up side the head I needed to see it, and be finally be ok with it.
I pulled up all the tack strips, and Michael helped me lay the underlayment in preparation for putting down the laminate . We couldn't finish because I needed a saw with a special blade that I didn't own. Dad has one though, and he's bringing it today. With any luck I'll have a brand new floor tonight!
Dad is coming in to take my grandma to the doctor. Aunt Jean handles all of this normally, but true to form, when it rains it pours. Grandma's health is really going downhill. She is having trouble breathing and the fainting spells are increasing. She's afraid to leave the house to even get the paper. (Of course, no one mentioned this to me until yesterday.)
Normally, Jean stops over every day after work and makes sure grandma's ok. Last night, she called me in tears. She had just fallen down her steps and thought she broke her ankle. Her husband was at the store, but she thought he'd be home soon. I did find the phone number for the store he was at and had him paged. Unfortunately (fortunately??) he had already left and was en route home. Mostly she was concerned that I get a hold of dad and make sure he could take grandma to the doctor today.
After a visit to the ER visit it turns out she broke her left ankle, sprained her right, and tore some ligaments in her right. She is not allowed to put any weight on her feet for at least 7 days. She's pretty upset about the whole thing - and worried about grandma. Her husband got a wheelchair and a shower seat, and has arranged with his work to be with her for the first week or so. They meet with the orthopedic surgeon tomorrow so we'll have a better idea of how long she'll be down.
In the meantime, I have grandma duty. I'm going to stop by every night after work to see how she's doing - not matter if she says I don't need to or not!
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Friday, March 23, 2007
Dan and the gang are headed to Vegas for Eric's birthday weekend. Have a great time guys! Spin the roulette wheel for me - $5 on 12. :)
Thursday, March 22, 2007
I've been reading the most amazing book Dan gave me called "What Should I Do With My Life?" by Po Bronson. It may even be worthy of the Captain Canuck reading list. The book is, essentially, a collection of short autobiographies. He explores his premise, that "nothing is braver than people facing up to their own identity," as an anthropologist and autobiographer. He tackles thorny, nuanced issues about self-determination. Among them: paradoxes of money and meaning, authorship and destiny, brain candy and novelty versus soul food. Bronson’s stories, limited to professional people and complete with photos, are gems. They include a Los Angeles lawyer who became a priest, a Harvard MBA catfish farmer turned biotech executive, and a Silicon Valley real estate agent who opened a leather crafts factory in Costa Rica. I highly recommend everyone read this book - it is that good.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
The flight turned out to be awesome. There were a total of 16 stranded passengers, so we got the ENTIRE plane to ourselves. Of course, the airline re-booked us all in first class, so the the whole coach section was empty. A glass of wine before lift-off. Warm nuts and a cocktail, followed by a warm cloth to wipe our faces. Dinner with real dishes, brie, crackers, wine and linen napkins. Warm cookies with milk for dessert, followed by coffee and liquor. At the end of the flight we were offered a champagne flute of M&Ms. And of course, roomy seats with lots of leg room. Craziest flight I've ever been on, but it was AWESOME!!!
I was sad to leave Dan and Seattle, but with my free ticket, hopefully we'll see each other soon. My final days there were a whirlwind of activity. Friday night (after returning from Lacey) we went to a vertical gym to go rock climbing with a friend of Dan's. I loved it - and didn't do to badly either. My stomach was pretty upset for some reason, but I ignored it as best I could in the face of having a safety harness winched around me. After climbing we headed to a cute outdoor cafe for dinner. As we waited for a table, my stomach all out revolted. Standing on the edge of the street in downtown Seattle I completely lost it. I would have been embarrassed if I hadn't felt so crappy. Dan helped clean me up, then drove me to his place to rest. He and his friend went back out for food after they had me settled.
Saturday I still felt a little queasy, so food for the day consisted of hot tea. Kai joined us for breakfast at Dan's favorite cinnamon roll place. Afterwords we headed to an art festival, which was awesome, then the traditional St. Patty's Day dinner of sushi. Don't ask. It was really good sushi though. (Obviously I was feeling much better by this point.)
Sunday Dan and I headed to the mountains. We hiked Mount Si just south of Seattle. It is four miles to the top, with a grade of about 22% all the way. For us flatlanders, that means it is VERY STEEP. We ran into a friend of Dan's en route up the mountain (it's the Seattle equivalent of running into someone at the gym) and she hiked the rest of the way with us. Once at the top any pain of the climb is forgotten as you look out over the amazing views. Of course, then you have to go down. Not as tough, but my legs were shaking by the time we hit the Jeep. I was pretty sure I was going to sleep in the Jeep because I wouldn't be able to move. After a great steak dinner, though, I felt good as new.
Dan and I ended up staying up all night looking at pictures, talking and burning music CDs. I figured I'd sleep on the plane then go to bed early. (See beginning of post to see how that turned out!) I did feel bad that Dan had to go to work on no sleep, but we were having so much fun. Of course, he caught my stomach bug yesterday, but I think he feels better today.
Michael picked me up from the airport at 1:30am, and we talked about my adventures until about 3:30am - I was too keyed up to sleep anyway. Actually, by this point I think I was just overtired and beyond exhaustion. So I'm at work, running on about 3 hours of sleep over the course of the last 48. Ouch.
Friday, March 16, 2007
It was a good thing the food, wine and company was good (I enjoy the folks I work with) because the work itself was a little rough. Things got off to a slow start. Things the IW should have had done before we got there weren't even started. We spent the first 3 hours doing their work. That put us very far behind schedule. We had anticipated finishing everything and being out of there by 2:00pm yesterday - at the latest. Instead we were still there at 7:00 last night. We all left exhausted and a little cranky, but we got the job done.
Working in any warehouse is manual and very dirty. It's a nice change of pace from my typical workday. Sore muscles and aching feet - not to mention dirt and grime streaked clothing - usually don't accompany 8 hours in front of a computer.
My team headed for home today, and dropped me back at Dan's place. He's at work at the moment, so I've hijacked the washer and dryer to do laundry. Next on the agenda is a nap - it's sunny and nice, but I'm beat. I have a sinus infection and am on some nice drugs for it. I feel good, but they are making me sleepy. I'm not sure what's on the agenda for tonight. More later though...