Sunday, September 30, 2007

Yard Work

Yesterday, we decided that we'd had enough with working on the inside of the house, and started focusing on our yard again. As winter is stepping in it's going to start raining soon, so we had to start burning all the debris that was on our yard. And when there are so many trees on the property that makes for a lot of debris. I invited my folks over to help, mostly because my mom likes to be part of a debris burning party.

We found out that we had a science experiment on our hands once the blaze took off. Apparently sound doesn't travel through intense heat. I could talk to Erin on the other side but my voice sounded like it was coming from either side of the fire, not through it. Try it out, it's really neat. (Disclaimer: I am not recommending that you begin a large fire on your property or anywhere else. Check with your local authorities, and apply for permits where neccessary. Be sure to contact the fire department 48 hours prior to setting your blaze. Unless you live in Gig Harbor, and can just create any fire however large at any time.)

You can see in the picture below how we already have a large pile to burn to the right of the fire. It was a perfect day to burn as it was a little overcast with very little wind so the smoke went mostly straight up. It rained the day before and again during the evening, with little to no risk of the fire spreading. However, I just checked and at 8am this morning it is still burning away with a visible flame after raining all night.

Many of you may remember that I love watching Little House on the Prairie. I thought I'd perform a little Pa Ingalls on the firewood leftover from the previous owners. But they left some horrible, knotty wood; although, I did manage to split a few. My dad gave me back my old maul that I used back in High School to help pay for mission trips for church. (I'm sure he'll call it his, but I don't see him using it again any time soon, so I'm keeping it.)

Not pictured is our cat, Six, who we let roam in the outdoors with us. His front paws have been de-clawed, so we don't let him out much and it shows. He doesn't let us near him when he's outside because he thinks he's in trouble and we'll take him back inside. At one point when it looked like he was trying to escape, he scoweled and hissed at me when I went to touch him. I backed off and he ran back into the house. As soon as he was just within the door, he calmly said "Meow." and I could pet him without fear of attack.
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New Cereal

So, I found my new favorite breakfast cereal lately (eaten with a side of fruit). It has all the grains and things to make a healthy body without all the artificial sugars. It's pumpkin, flaxseed granola, found at Trader Joe's. Then the other day when shopping at Fred Meyer (a grocery store with a healthy food section) I saw the same cereal sold in bulk for more than a dollar cheaper. I'm thinking, "A dollar and a half cheaper and less waste in the environment. It's like I'm getting paid to be healthy and greener for the environment." Upon this epiphany, Erin and I go purchase a tupperware container to fill up.

Once home, I realize, "Hey, this cereal is bigger than my head!"

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Breakfast Test

This is our first full weekend in our new house. So we wanted to have a fun breakfast together. But we really haven't gone grocery shopping since moving out of our apartment. So with our leftover ingredients we had buckwheat pancakes with bannana syrup and eggs. The egg carton said they were expired, but a trick we learned from the days of Mr. Wizard was to test them in water.

Here you can see a good egg and a bad one. (The bad ones float)

As far as progress with the house, we have decided not to scrape the rest of the ceilings. Or should I say, I won't be scraping any more ceilings, as Erin didn't participate. It made the whole house dusty, I'm sure we've ruined at least one vacuum, and my hands are dry and crackling. However, it was fun spraying the mud onto the ceiling for the orange peel texture. My friend Jared came over with his compressor to help out. Sorry there are no pictures, the camera was misplaced at the time.

Also, our current front door doesn't have a deadbolt. So I purchased a door-hole maker to do the job. But the drill bit broke off in the middle of drilling and left itself in the middle of the door. The door now is completely scratched up and looks awful. A quick trip to Home Depot and I returned the unlodged part of the drill bit and exchanged it for a new door. The new door is fiberglass with an ornate half-moon shaped window at the top. It's pre-hung so it came with a new door jamb and everything. I just have never installed one before, so I'm a little hesitant to start ripping a hole in the front of my new house.

I need to stop watching the DIY Network, otherwise I'll keep thinking that I can do all of these projects on my own. Next project, custom built-in bookshelves, new windows, sunroom off of the kitchen...
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Settling In

We are now actually living in our new house (hooray!) and hard at work on some updates. Joshua has expertly applied texture to the bedroom ceiling and painted it too. We finished painting our now creamy yellow kitchen. Today we intend to finish painting the bedroom so we can move our bed in. I have been lining shelves and cabinets all over so we can put things away - a slow but steady process. Six has made himself at home. He prefers our bed to any other spot in the house unless there is an open closet door or cabinet - then he heads inside for some privacy.
I have also been settling in at work. Have I mentioned yet that I love it? I knew I loved teaching, but somehow in the craziness of the last eight years the joy had faded away. I am happy to say that it is back and better than ever! It is so wonderful to have parents in my room helping out with everything they can - grading and filing, helping students, sharpening pencils, etc.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Moving Day

Yesterday was a whirlwind of moving fun. Joshua and I were up and moving before 6 (although he made me wait for breakfast and coffee until 8!) We got everything packed and ready to go. Surprisingly, this was the only time that I actually packed any boxes. Joshua packed like crazy all week while I worked on school stuff. One of my students gave me a gift card to Starbucks, so we treated ourselves to their new "warmed" breakfast selections. Not bad food, but for $15 we could have had a much better spread at a diner. Next stop - truck rental. Joshua found an amazing deal of $25 a day. Back at the apartment our moving crew was beginning to arrive (what would we do without family??).In about an hour and a half the truck was all loaded and we set off to the house. Marisa and I stopped to grab a lovely pizza lunch (can't beat Little Caesar's $5 deal). After a quick break we began unloading. In about an hour, we were done! I think that's got to be a record or something. The secret to our speed: everything is in the garage and not yet in the house. Not very convenient, but we can finish painting and ceiling scraping without worrying about covering our stuff. So now we are staying with Joshua's folks. Six is happy as a clam to be back in his favorite waterfront spot. Now we get to go back to our new home and try to find some clothes to wear this week ...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Ceiling Scraping = Mess

So I thought it would be nice to scrape the icky popcorn off of our new ceilings. We put our nephew Spencer to work donned in mask and goggles. What a mess that stuff made! The whole house (and half the neighborhood) was covered in powder. Joshua took over to finish the task and he managed to keep the dust to only the one room. Take a look at Spencer the "snowman"!

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Monday, September 03, 2007

Let the fun begin!

Yesterday began our new home improvement projects. After a quick trip to the house to assess the situation, we headed to Home Depot for the first of many shopping trips to come. $500 later, we made it back to the house and started painting. We decided to go with a very pale color palette. So pale in fact, that you may see the wall we are painting as white. Nope. It's actually a light shade of purple for our master retreat. Today we are going back for more painting fun, and maybe a little yard work. Doesn't that sound better than a Labor Day BBQ? Maybe we should go back to Home Depot and buy a BBQ ... now that sounds fun!

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