Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Who knows?!?

Where does time go? It feels like yesterday was mid-September and then *poof* in 3.5 days it will be Halloween. Although it feels like we are perpetually busy, aside from making progress on our heating/yard clean-up project, and sports... I can not tell you where our evenings have went. at all.

Last weekend, the Spartans won. Pete has been on an emotional high ever since; this is the first time since the early 1990's that Michigan State football has beat Michigan at the Big House. This is really the main game that he cares about all year... Go State! Maybe... We also were fortunate to spend time with Ed & Michelle (other family in town), and Brandon & Cindy (after arriving too late for a going away party).

Yesterday, I finished my series of Rabies shots from my previous bat exposure... I am very glad to be done with those shots... I guess I won't be growing fangs in time for Halloween. ;)

Next weekend, Aaron & Mindy and kids will be coming into town to celebrate Halloween! We are so fortunate to both come from large families, and (although they are staying elsewhere) have people travel to come see us semi-regularly. We are truly blessed! :)

Based on the current rate of time, by the time I register Halloween... Christmas will have come and gone. Seriously, where does the time go!?!?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Wheels on the Bus, Detroit Marathon, Skates

This past weekend, we were fortunate to be visited by siblings from both sides--my sisters and niece from MN stayed at my house from the wee hours of Thursday until Saturday afternoon, meanwhile Pete's sister, Amy, and family stayed down the road at my in-laws from Friday to yesterday. I would post pictures, but I'm too lazy to search for the camera.

It was so fun to see my sister's again, and my neice is growing up so quickly! We were able to go out to eat, go shopping, do a little visiting, and coax a few rounds of "The Wheels On The Bus" out of my niece. It was fun to catch up, and I was sad to see them go on Saturday afternoon as they were here for such a short time. However, as my neice is at an age where she no longer travels easily, wanting instead to be busy and out of her carseat... they needed to leave at night, and as my sisters work/go to school on Monday... it had to be Saturday night or they wouldn't have been able to come at all.

But... the weekend promised not to be boring. Soon after my sisters left town, Pete and I went to his parent's house to celebrate Beth's 7th birthday! And on Sunday morning, I went with Amy & E. Peter, and Debbie to watch Adam and Jeff run the Detroit marathon--I had never been to a marathon and found the atmosphere to be quite enjoyable! :) Adam finished with a great time, and it was fun to people watch and spot runners we knew at the race. Congratulations Adam! Afterwards, we had a cookout at the Pete's parents... it was much fun to visit and see the nephews (and neice)... it's amazing how quickly kids grow up when you don't often see them! :)

And just when we thought the weekend had lost its steam, I had hockey (just an in-house league). And I got my first goal this season! :) We won the game 4-2; mine was the last goal. And no, it was not an empty net goal! I was so excited, and couldn't wait to come home and tell Pete! What an exciting a way to end the busy weekend! :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

180 years of heating innovation

Aside from the aforementioned furnace, wood stove, and fireplace; our house came equipped with 180 years of heating technology. In the basement, there is an old oil storage container (empty), water pipes from the relatively new hassa, a remnant of a basement fireplace, and its easy to envision where a coal chute might have been in the past.

The hassa is a relatively new structure, added ca. 1980. During this time, there was an energy crisis, and former occupants built a large shed looking thing in our back yard fairly close to the deck. This structure holds water pipes, and a large incinerator. The intent of this structure was to create inexpensive hot water heat. This occurs because the burning of items in the incinerator generates heat, this heats the hot water pipes, these pipes cross underground from the structure to all throughout the house. This would be an efficient way to heat the house, if it weren't for one of the pipes in the structure freezing and subsequently cracking in the early years of use. Eventually, Pete and I would like to turn this shed into a sauna... but, we have a few more house projects before we tackle this project!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Dead trees --> Wood for warmth

With a house as old as ours (180 years), is it any surprise that we have the option to have wood heat?!? Although we have "real" furnace, and a fireplace in the living room (and a few behind walls)... last November we added a wood stove in the family room, using an existing, newly clay-lined chimney. We did this for three reasons: 1) we like the warmth of wood heat, 2) a wood stove is more efficient than a fireplace, and 3) although the previous occupants claimed they used the fireplace often without incident, the extinguisher on the hearth at closing did not inspire confidence in its safe operation.

But, I digress... So, this weekend was absolutely gorgeous, and we started to cut up some of the dead trees around our yard! Pete did the more involved parts of the project: cutting, and splitting the logs. I mostly picked up sticks, transported the logs, and stacked the finished project. Although I do not think we have enough wood to last the winter at this time, it felt good to clean up the yard and get a start on our wood supply!
Our kittens are now playing with each other and eating together... The black kitten, Cinder, is much more laid back, and sneaks into the house at any opportunity. The little cat, Smarky, is quite humorous... whenever we come outside, she is always running for her life to the hassa or waiting expectantly at the food bowls... She certainly makes us chuckle on a regular basis! :)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Cider Mill

Yesterday consisted of spending a gorgeous fall day in a line at a concession stand, an hour and a half long, to buy doughnuts and apple cider. The great company (Brad & Larissa, and Bruce & Shannon), warm doughnuts, and recently pressed cider was fantastic and made the wait worth our while. However, who decided that cider and cinnamon-sugar doughnuts go together?! It seems like such a strange combination, and an odd tradition!

Growing up in Minnesota, my family always went to an apple orchard to pick apples in the fall. This seems a more logical tradition--reminds us that fall is harvest time, and helps to give a pattern to the year. At the orchard, we would usually go on a hayride and make an afternoon of the event... doing something all the while. However, in my new locale, it seems to be a more popular tradition to wait in a long line at one of the local Cider Mills (essentially a specialty concession stand) to get supurb doughnuts and cider. Maybe, we'll go again next weekend...

Friday, October 3, 2008

October thoughts

We had wonderful rain about Tuesday, and since then... there has been a cool, crispness to the air. In fact, so cool... my roses froze. It was about time for the growing season to be over anyway, but they look kinda sad and droopy. Meanwhile, the leaves in our yard are quickly changing color and littering our yard. I hate to regard the leaves as a nuisance, as they bring such a nice golden hue to the yard.

We are also into our fall schedule. Pete has hockey tonight with the church guys; I've got hockey on Sunday; Soccer with the church ladies on Monday. It's nice to have the designated time for sports, and socializing. Besides, it is fun to be busy.

Additionally, I am happy to say~ the kittens are outside full time, and getting along. It is cute to watch them try to eat out of the same bowl, or the little kitten bounding after the slower, larger black one... The only sad thing about having the kittens outside, is that they are less personable than when partially in the house... But, I will trade that for less cat hair and fewer scratches on my couch!

Finally, a while back I posted about having a bat in my room while sleeping. I had a few concerned people tell me I might need rabies shots, and it turns out... I am having rabies shots. It's not just one shot, but a whole series. I had 6 shots (5 of rabies IgG, 1 of rabies vaccine) on Monday, and 1 shot yesterday. I will additionally get 3 more shots (1 next Monday, 1 the following Monday, and 1 on the last Monday of the month) to complete the series. See this link for more information about bats and rabies: http://www.cdc.gov/RABIES/bats.html.

I think that's about all that's new. I hope that you all have a great weekend!