Sunday, September 28, 2008

Misc. Floor Photos

Prior to having the floor installed, we removed a piece of cracked marble that had served as the mantle for the fireplace, underneath this piece of marble we found this fingerpainted 1980. Evidently, this was written when the house was lifted and new foundation added... Although this marble had cracked when the house was lifted, the prior residents chose to put the old marble back in place instead of putting in new marble/tile, etc. Our next project will be fixing the fireplace hearth.

The photo on the right is a close-up of the transition between our new floor, and existing lumber in the kitchen. We tried to match it, but not too closely. Our new floor is 5" red oak with golden pecan (slightly red tint) stain. It looks wonderful compared to what was there... !

New Floor Part 2

Our new floor is in! The left hand photos are the "before's", right hand photo's are the "after" pictures. The new floor took care of many problem areas, including unsupported floor areas surrounding the heat vents, and cracks in between most of the boards.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Happy 25th Anniversary!

Happy 25th Anniversary to my parents! Congratulations!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

New Floor Part 1

Since arriving at our house, we have had a big "to-do" list. One of the big projects on the list is getting a new floor for the living room and wood stove room at our house. So, yesterday we spent cleaning out these rooms (top right and bottom left), making Hondo's room and the upper level hallway look like used furniture warehouses. We also got our wood delivered~ 5" unfinished red oak (lower left photo), the ball next to the pile is a standard 8" plastic bouncy ball.

Today, in preparation for tomorrow's floor installation we removed the cracked marble fireplace. Obviously, it has been a while since this was cleaned out. We found treasures, most not belonging to us (upper right corner). As this mantle was cracked when the house was lifted ca. 1980, its amazing the marble pieces have not been removed before today! We look forward to the finished results... but tonight we're enjoying the smell of fresh wood.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Weekend Company

It was so nice to see my family this past weekend~ they were in town for Kate & Paul's wedding on Saturday. It was an action packed weekend with lots of visiting, and a wedding. We even had weekend company: my grandma, mom, and her sisters (except Cindy and Janel) stayed at our house. Thanks for coming; we certainly had fun!

New Kitten

I took home a new kitten this morning... It is such a little ball of fur and so cute! However, our existing kitten, Cinder, wants less than nothing to do with it... In fact, Cinder is downright hostile~ hissing and swiping at the new kitten whenever the little kitten is around. We got the second kitten for two reasons: 1) Cinder needs company, he is constantly mewing at the windows and doors seemingly wanting companionship, and 2) I wanted a female kitten, as they seem nicer and have a tendency to stay closer to the house.

So, we have separated the two kittens~ Cinder gets his back porch territory, and the new kitten has been relocated to the front stoop. We are also trying to reward Cinder with tuna when we bring the new kitten to the back porch, and I come prepared to spray Cinder with water when he becomes aggressive. I hope the two kittens can learn to get along, and live happily together outside.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

HappyBirthday Dad & Courtney!

Happy 50th to my dad, and 17th to Courtney! We wish that we could be there to help celebrate!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Monday ramblings

Once again , it's Monday. It seems that fall has arrived a week ahead of schedule.
1. The trees have started to turn colors, and shed their leaves.
2. Our chuck-berry tree (crab apple?), has yellow chuck-berries with a reddish-hue.
3. Ice Hockey season has started again...
4. It was a soggy weekend, by all accounts.

Aside from the downpour, this past weekend was truly wonderful. We were able to relax, and visit both family and friends. And, hockey started ~ it's nice to have this social & physical outlet again!

I am excited to have a short week, this week. My mom and her sisters are coming in-town, on Friday, for Kate & Paul's wedding this weekend! Pete and I have decided to have a long weekend, and have taken Thurs-Monday off! :)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Moving Wall

This morning despite the rain, Pete and I made the drive to see the moving wall ~ a half size replica of the Vietnam War Memorial. It was quite moving to see the names of the 58,159 men and women that either lost their lives or went missing during the unpopular Vietnam War. However, it was even more moving to see the number of people gathered at the wall on such a soggy morning, watching the reaction to finding the name of a fallen loved one, and seeing the items left at the moving wall: a bronze star, a hat, letters, flowers, etc.

One of the letters that was left there this morning, seemed especially timely... It was a letter written by an injured Vietnam War soldier to a fallen friend, and it brought tears to my eyes. It was only 3 paragraphs long, and spoke of the soldier's disappointment at acts of Congress preventing the U.S. from achieving a victory in the Vietnam War. It discussed why this injured soldier has kept his promise to never march in a parade.

After visiting this somber memorial, I realize why war tributes are so important, especially for those who fought or lost a loved one. It also made me see why victory is so important to the person's who fight in the war, as it makes it easier to make sense of loss.

Thanks for the comments

I certainly had a lot of comments to the last post... thanks! Additionally, I enjoyed seeing some of the names of people who read the post. I will have to try some of the suggestions next time I slice onions!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Fall Cooking

It must be fall...

I started cooking again this past weekend. Although I cook in the summer, in the fall I start cooking "real food" again, comfort food, food made from scratch requiring more than 12 min. to boil or marinate.

So, far this fall I have made: grilled chicken w/ green beans and garlic-cheddar biscuits, cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing, and brownies. Tonight, I chopped vegetables for chicken matzo ball soup, and prepared meatloaf. I will cook these last two foods this week, coming home to the aroma of a warm meal!

Although I like to cook, I dislike chopping onions; my eyes seem to water endlessly. So, I wear chemistry goggles while chopping onions, it prevents irritated eyes... Aside from looking like a What-not-to-wear Kitchen Edition participant, are there more adult ways to prevent onion tears?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Things that go bump in the night

Last night... true story. So, I am getting ready for bed; shutting lights off, putting Hondo in his cage, and sitting in bed upstairs, starting to read my book when... I suddenly hear thumps, like someone is walking up the stairs. So, I open the door, turn on the light, and yell down the stairs "Hello?! Anybody there?". There is no answer.

So, I turn off the light and lock the bedroom door. Again, I hear those thumps on the stairs. My mind starts racing, so I open the door with a tennis racket in one hand and again yell down the stairs. Again, no answer.

I go get Hondo (my fierce protector pug), because Pete is in Mexico. I keep the hall light on, lock the bedroom door, and put the tennis racket on the opposite side of my bed. And try to shut my eyes. I hear the knocking again. This time accompanied by "meows", too close to be outside. I unlock the door, and peer into the hallway. My cat is not there. I shut the door, and lock it.

About 10 minutes later, I hear the "meows" again. This time, I see my kitten outside my bedroom door. I had locked him in the bathroom under the stairs for the night(to prevent Cleo's fate), using Hondo's dog food bin as the latch. The dog food bin had moved a few inches into the middle of the hall, and the cat had escaped. At least my mind stopped racing when I found the cat, but I think I need a heavier doorstop! :)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Gap toothed front yard

Our yard seems to loose 1 large tree a year. We lost a large, healthy maple in a thunderstorm last summer. We lost this tree more recently. The large looming leafless tree keeps threatening to fall. Perhaps this means we will have treeless shrubbery in short order; and a whole bunch of firewood to show for it...

Monday, September 1, 2008

Feliz Cumpleanos Pete!

If you happen to see my husband today, wish him an early 25th! His 'real' birthday is Wednesday, but he will be spending his birthday alone. in Mexico. He flies out tomorrow.

So, Happy Early Birthday Pete! We will have to celebrate when you get back from your upcoming boondoggle, and I love you dearly! :)