Wednesday, June 24, 2009

In brief

I've been internet-less for the past week and a half while visiting the in-laws in Michigan. Awesome time, but now I'm playing catch up (per uzh with vacations, I think). So here's the news in brief:

Preparing for thesis defense tomorrow. Alternating between confidence with progress and abject terror.

Still living amid boxes. In-laws nicely dropped off about 20 more filled with the hubby's paraphernalia from growing up (they are preparing to move too). Let's just say boy collected a LOT of stamps.

One of the boxes has these amazing little books that cover all kinds of topics. Thus far, the ones I can't wait to read are "Esperanto for Beginners" and "An Introduction to Philology (The Science of Language)." Other extremely promising titles: "Sex in Psychoanalysis," "Hypnotism Made Plain" and "How to Psycho-Analyze Yourself: A Confidential Analysis of Your Personality." All published around 1923-1924. Amazing.

In Michigan, we killed some time at a Big Lots, discovering $3 DVDs. Most miraculously, MANY of the movies were my kind of stylistic, esoteric films, like Adaptation, The Squid and the Whale, and Lost in Translation. God bless northern Michiganders who would rather see big blockbusters for sending these to Big Lots. I bought 15 of them.

Made a to-do list in MI (while I was avoiding thinking about doing any work). Fills a page of a legal pad.

Sat next to an 8-year-old on the flight from Chicago to Denver flying alone. Cutest damn kid ever, but a bit of a hellion. Too smart for his own good, but reminded me of how smart kids can be (you can get myopic only working with the kids we usually see as SLPs). Reading, spelling, and doing multiplication on his own and not even in second grade.

Got to visit Amish country in MI. Awesome because it's almost totally untouched by tourism. Considering the last Amish country I went to was Lancaster, PA, where I seriously had to leave it was so touristy, this was amazing. Everyone was so friendly and just living a normal life. Very awesome.

In-laws' house in MI is amazing. Right on the lake with a dock and everything. Saw wild turkey, baby fawn (with spots!), lots of birds and fish. Fished every night till dusk at 10:30. Had visions of FIL teaching our kids to fish. Also found out that the line of grandfathers and grandsons fishing together goes back to Peter's grandfather learning from HIS grandfather in Germany. So our kids def. need to learn how to fish, regardless of gender.

Considering doing some stress baking for the defense tomorrow. A dear friend is making brownies. Cookies would be a nice addition, no? Plus, I could break in our new oven. Hmm... can I find all the ingredients and tools needed? What about the cookbooks?

Finally, so grateful for all of the support I've gotten from friends for my defense. They are amazing. The end.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Kitchen Pictures

So I realized in looking over my recent posts that I have left a lot out in the kitchen update. Mostly it's because I feel like each step deserves a nice long post detailing what we did and how we did it (since it's all DIY), but frankly, that takes too long so the post goes unfinished. Since we are going to Michigan soon with the relatives and will have no internet for DAYS at a time (oh, the humanity!), I thought I would post some of the pictures I have taken of the various stages, with limited commenting interruption. If you desire any comments on any pictures, let me know and I will write about them.

Keep in mind that all of the pictures are "in progress" pictures. I will hopefully have pretty pretty post-renovation pictures after we get back.

Please see the before pictures before reading on to refresh your memory and help see the changes.

Safety is #1!

New microwave frees up counter space.

Not technically part of our kitchen, but this sweet pantry will free up a ton of cabinet space in the kitchen (which is great, since we didn't have enough in the last place, and we have even fewer here!)
So hopefully that gives a better indication of where we are now. In looking through these pictures, I realize we still don't have a very recent picture with the new fridge, sink and under cabinet lights on. Ah well, that will save some surprise for the final picture!

I can say this: doing all of this work ourselves has made me immeasurably proud (even if Peter has done pretty much all of the heavy lifting), and has allowed us to get a gorgeous kitchen for a fraction of the price of most renovations. I'll have to figure out the costs when all is said and done. Really, the only place we've gone much over what we had thought was in purchasing the various tools necessary to do the jobs, but those are reusable and MUCH cheaper than a contractor! I now actually WANT to cook and spend time in the kitchen, which Peter would probably say is worth the time and money (at least, as long as I can improve my cooking skills!).

With those pictures off my chest (and hard drive), I am off to bed so I can rise to unpack another day.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Water: the giver of life

We have running water in the kitchen! Not only that, but a functioning dishwasher! My days as the "dish fairy" are OVER! (Well, except for pots and pans, but after doing every. single. dish. BY. HAND. for the last four years, I'm OK with that).

In addition, all of the counters are done, microwave is in and the kitchen is almost done! If only stupid Target had not been out of the only two kinds of contact paper we liked on the last visit, we could have actually put all of our dishes and things away. Perhaps Home Depot will treat us better tomorrow.

Pictures! OK! Here are some teasers:

I promise more when the kitchen is in better shape for photographing!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Weather here has been CRAZY the past week: heavy rain, massive thunder and lightning, hail and actual, literal tornadoes touching down almost every afternoon. TORNADOES! This is Colorado, people, and not the Nebraska part of Colorado either. Thankfully, we haven't had any in town, just in the county. I would not know what to do if there were a tornado here. Anyway, today as I am standing under our lovely wide eaves, watching the rain pour down, cascading off the roof and filling up the drainage "pond" across the way, I realize how very, very thankful I am that I can be inside and dry and not out there and wet.

On our cross country trip, pretty much our first stop was Oregon. I was born there, we still have lots of family friends there, and it's lovely. It also rains a lot. I knew this. Our first night there, in early September, we pitch the tent and decide to leave the bulky rain fly off because it is so gorgeous and we want to be able to see the stars through the mesh roof. You see where this is going. We did not.

2 AM or so, we feel the drops, Peter gets the fly on (which is still in the car, I think), and we never sleep in the tent again on the trip (our minivan was WAY comfier anyway). We are also not dry again until almost a week later. Oregon, you see, gets a lot of rain. Well, a lot of drizzle. We were perpetually damp with no way to really get dry, since everything we owned was also wet. And in the small minivan. And the humidity was always 100%. As Nevadans, this was WAY too much wetness for us.

About a week later, after much damp camping, hiking and cooking, we arrived at the home of one of those Oregonian family friends previously mentioned. Honestly, I have never been so happy in my life to be in a SHELTER, a place that would shield me from the elements and keep me warm and dry.

I don't ever want to forget that feeling of gratitude for simple shelter. As much as I love redoing the kitchen and making our new place pretty and welcoming, I truly love the walls, the roof and the floor, which protect us and keep us safe. I am grateful we have that much when so many others out there do not.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Writing on purloined internet

All of our belongings are now in one place, but now we have the challenge of trying to remember where everything is. Making a bagel the first morning required hunting for: a bread knife to cut the bagel (5 minutes), a plate (never found, used a paper towel), and a butter knife (used a paring knife with some success). Pretty much every activity has required a similar search for at least one necessary item.

Our first piece of the counter is in and looks gorgeous. We also now have a microwave (hooray!) so we can kind of cook some things at least. The stove will go back in once all of the counters are installed. I can't wait for all of the counters to go in! I will post some pictures once we have real internet again.

In other news, I am employed! I don't start until August or September, but I am thrilled and a little scared, but I know it will be great once I start. Hope to post more tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Stuck in between

I have a lovely post in the works with more pictures of the kitchen floor, but I was rudely interrupted by a little thing called MOVING. Yes, that time is upon us, when you open a drawer to butter your bagel and discover all of the silverware, including the knives, is at the other place. Repeat 100 times daily, and add in 50 or more trips up and down seven flights of stairs carrying heavy boxes and furniture and you have our life!

We spent our first night in our own bed at the new place last night, though we had to leave early this morning to come back to the old place for several reasons, including the fact that our kitchen is not currently functioning yet (no countertops, though we have purchased them, microwave comes today, new fridge not until next week).

In good news: we are *almost* done, though we have the most annoying loads left wit lots of large, awkward and fragile things. Fun! As mentioned, we also purchased the countertops, and I think they are going to look beautiful. However, they clash horribly with the wooden trim we were going to paint anyway, but now we really need to paint it. More sanding. Ugh.

Bad news is that we are not done moving yet and we need to be out by tomorrow. We can do it, but it will be a push to get everything out and the place cleaned in time. Other bad news is that once everything is moved, we need to actually unpack and figure out how to make the new place livable with all of our furniture and crap. I think Goodwill and dumpster divers will be very happy in the coming week, not to mention Craig's List.

Before we can even think about really unpacking, we have GOT to finish the kitchen. The stove is in the dining room, construction materials take up half the living room and there is just no space for anything.

I would upload some new pictures, but I'm pretty sure the camera cord is packed.