7.31.2009

I Love Lists

We're coming along on laying the floor and it's looking pretty good. Ever the perfectionist, Chris can of course find TEENY TINY places where it isn't ABSOLUTELY perfect, but I think it looks pretty damn great so far (our goal is to finish it Saturday)

We now have both pendant lights installed as well

And we've started putting together the light to go above the sink

I love to make lists. I have a calendar of all that me and Chris have going on and I write EVERYTHING in it, and in my notes section I have 26 pages of lists (13 pages front and back on each). I LOVE making lists and checking things off (I think my mom instilled this in me)

So, naturally, Chris and I have made a list of all we need to accomplish before our Birth-duation Warming party (Chris' birthday, my graduation, and our housewarming party all in one) over Labor Day weekend. The list is pretty insane (amazingly detailed and organized), and I have Chris to thank for it :)


It's a day by day calendar of everything we'd like to get done. It's pretty ambitious, but hey, I like to check some shit off man :)

7.30.2009

Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Back

3 pieces of great news, 2 pieces of annoying news

Chris got all the electrical worked finished that he was working on (yeay!!!!) And, when we tested it all, it WORKED! :) Now, we have a hall light (which we've never had before)

We put in two on the same switch because the hall is just a LITTLE too long for one

We also have the sconces in our office working (when we first installed them we couldn't find the switch that turned them on and off.....strange.....)

We have a light on our porch

And we also have the electrical finished for the laundry room (need to finish work on the ceiling before we put it the light), foyer light (needs to come in the mail) and doorbell (stucco work needs to be finished first).

Chris was pretty nervous when we tested it all out for the first time

But of COURSE, it all worked on the FIRST TRY. Chris did a really amazing job :)

I also finished laying all the paper in the kitchen for the floors

So we got started LAYING THE HARDWOOD FLOOR (yeay!!!!!!!!)

It takes a bit longer than we anticipated, but I think once we get into the swing of things it should get easier.

We had some snackies for dinner last night and Chris came up with the great idea of putting some of our homegrown tomatos on top of our cheese and crackers

Our tomatos are super yummy, and it was pretty exciting eating something so delicious that grew in our yard

Yesterday was our granite appointment. We drove 45 minutes to get over there with two pieces in mind that we liked, a more expensive one we LOVED and a cheaper one we liked. After talking with the guy for AN HOUR (he wouldn't shut up) and trying to haggle the price down a little bit, we walked away with no granite :( It was pretty frustrating because I really thought we would be ordering some today, but it was a hard decision because the one we really like (and is more expensive and a bit softer so it scratches easily) is totally a stand out piece, and we're nervous for resale. Do you go with the one you SHOULD get, or the one you WANT to get (especially when there is a $1000 price difference). So I was pretty frustrated on the drive home. We'll go look at some more granite yards in the next few days and come to a decision (hopefully).

The other piece of annoying news is that while we were watching a movie last night Chris was installing our pendant lights (which are supposed to be 53" long and can be adjusted to any height in between)


So Chris is plugging away, doing great work, and gets the first one installed. When he opens the box for the second one the length is only like 20 inches!!!! WAY too short to hang where we want it to go! And, OF COURSE we bought it so long ago, so it's too late to return. So, we're just going to have to HOPE Lowe's still has them, buy a new one, and return the old one with that receipt. I feel bad doing it, but they sold us a defective product. Assholes. It was a blow to the productivity train.

The next 5-6 days will be really busy. My dad and Wendy come over today to drop off some stuff and go out to dinner because tomorrow they leave for Boston :( :( :(. I've been really busy so I haven't thought about it a lot, but now it's really hit me and I'm pretty sad :( Friday I work at the A's, Saturday is Krislyn's wedding, Sunday I work for the Earthquakes, and Monday and Tuesday I work for the A's again. It'll be some extra money though, so that's ALWAYS welcome :)

7.28.2009

Outback (not Steakhouse)

The paint is DONE! And I still LOVE it!


Now that the two coats are up on the walls, it's time to start preparing the floor for us to FINALLY lay down the hardwood! So, while Chris continues to work on the electrical, I vacuumed and mopped the floors. Then, I started laying down the paper that goes under the hardwood

I'm almost done, so that's pretty exciting

Chris has been plugging away on a bunch of the electrical work, and last night he was ready to put in the foyer light


We went to get the box from our stack o' lights, only to find out upon opening it that it's a wall sconce! The description on the website that we got it from said "flush mount ceiling light" and the picture made it look like it was a full circular light. However, when we opened it, the light was only a semi-circle and was manufactured to mount on a wall. We were NOT pleased, especially because we spent $75. We bought it over a month ago, so I was little nervous about the possibility of returning it. I called this morning and spent less than 5 minutes on the phone and they admitted that the description was wrong, they would change it, we would get a full credit (including shipping) and they would pick it up FROM US! I was amazed! Excellent customer service. Afterwards I bought our second favorite light, so that should be arriving shortly.

Last night we took a (nearly daily) trip to Home Depot. I had been wanting a tool belt for a little while, so we looked around for one that was small enough for me and still had a good amount of pockets. I felt pretty professional after I got it :)

That's right, handywoman Meryl at your service :)

7.26.2009

Let There Be LIGHT!

Well, sort of.

Chris and I worked from 9:30am to 10:30pm yesterday. We took nice hour breaks at lunch and dinner to reenergize us, but it was a LONG and productive day.

Chris kept the theme of electrical work alive yesterday and spent a considerable time up in our (very hot) attic


Along with working on all the previous lights and switches, he also worked on installing our two hall lights and their outlet

(just a side note, Chris and I did NOT make that wonderful art that you see on the left. Once again, the previous owners treated the house REAL well and decided to write all over the walls. It's lovely.)

He also worked on installing a light switch to control the outside and foyer light by the front door

And, only fitting he worked on wiring the foyer and porch lights

And, lastly, he worked on wiring the sconces in our office

It was really hot in the attic and at times he had to really scooch himself into some pretty tight places. He worked really hard and I am (as always) eternally greatful for his mad skills :)

While I wasn't helping Chris shove and pull wires down the insides of our walls, I worked on painting the trim in our kitchen (it will be the same off white as the cabinets).

I also worked on sanding, repairing, and painting the salvage door we got that we'll use as a pantry (same off white color)

When I was finished and Chris was at an appropriate stopping point, we came together to get the first coat of "Outback" on our kitchen walls

I LOVE the color. Every time I look in the kitchen it makes me so happy. I'm really glad we picked this one.

We didn't make it out to San Carlos to look at the granite because the person we need to meet with wasn't available past 3, and making an appointment at that time would sort of suck out all the productivity from the day because of the timing, so we made our appointment for Wednesday. Very exciting.

Chris has to go to work today to get some electrical done there (he's just LOVING that right now), but hopefully it doesn't take too long. We'll try to get another coat on the walls, my dad may come over to hook up some new satellite stuff before he and Wendy leave (sad) and then we'll see what else we can get done. I'm glad we got a lot done yesterday though, it feels great when you have a super productive day like that.

7.23.2009

Back to Work

While I filmed another site inspection for LHB today, Chris went to work installing a switch in the laundry room to operate our (soon to be) new light outside. He was in for a fun little surprise when he began to work on the afformentioned outlet

He got knee deep in the electrical rats nest that is our attic (once again, the previous owners were idiots). So he had to work on replacing this outlet

And this one


And this one

And this one as well

Not a very fun day for Mr. Christopher

On a more exciting note, we FINALLY decided on our kitchen paint color (after one full paint job and 6 samples). It's the middle one, "Outback"


We went to a completely new color scheme, from brown to green. Yesterday we checked out some AWESOME granite in San Carlos and will probably head over there late in the day on Saturday to look again and possibly finalize things with them. We shall see though.

Chris also got our doorbell working, so we'll install that sometime in the near future as well

7.21.2009

If You're Ever In Vermont

Chris and I had a BLAST this last weekend. We packed in as much as possible for the 3 full days we were there (a day of travel on either end). And it was SOOOO much fun. Get ready for a LONG post
Thursday - Travel Day

We didn't leave until noon, so we were able to get stuff done around the house in the morning, so that was nice. Clarke was super nice and picked us up too, so we didn't have to leave our car at the airport, NICE!

By the time we got into Manchester, NH and to our hotel, it was midnight. We were STARVING though, so we made a quick stop at BK for a snack (everything else was closed. On road trips we try to never buy/eat at chains), then it was off to bed

Friday - NH to VT

We got up bright and early and had A LOT planned. We headed out on the open and BEAUTIFUL roads of NH and VT and found lots of cute towns on the way

Our first stop was on the border of the two states to the American Precision Museum.

They had a really cool exhibit of minatures too that a man spent something like 400,000 hours creating all from scratch with no drawings. Some of them even had motors with working parts. It was pretty amazing
Chris and I hardly ever take pictures together, so we made sure to take at least ONE the whole trip :)

These guys are real upstanding citizens (check out the license plate)

Chris and I like to visit colleges and state houses on all of our road trips, so after the museum, we headed over to Dartmouth (in Hanover, NH a real fancy shmancy town)

Apparently this is the only picture I took while we were there, you can tell how unexcited I was by it.

We tried to find Marsh-Billings Rockefeller State Park after that, it's the first park who's mission is to concentrate in conservationism, so I thought Chris would really like that. We were thwarted many times however by REALLY poor signage, so, still far away from Waterbury (B&J location) we had to forego our plans and head to Ben & Jerry's

They only make ice cream Mon-Fri so I wanted to MAKE SURE we got a tour on Friday. It was MADNESS. There were TONS of people there.
It was 3 in the afternoon, so we booked a tour for later in the day and headed out to get some food while we waited because we hadn't had anything to eat since breakfast. They didn't allow photos on the tour, which was a little disappointing, but it was still pretty awesome. Ben & Jerry's is SUCH a great company, and they really prove that you can operate a successful business while still having a soul. Not only to they have economic missions as a business, but they also have social and cultural missions as well. They make sure to buy their milk from local farmers, they buy their baked goods from a bakery that employs recent inmates that can't find jobs, and they use all natural products. We LOVE Ben & Jerry's
They have a flavor graveyard too, which was pretty cool (it's nice to see a company embrace their failures)
And we found this REALLY cool bug crawling on one of the "headstones"

After the tour we went back to the hotel to hang out for a while, then we headed off to Burlington, VT (pretty cool town, and the largest in VT with 40,000 residents) to see Whatever Works, Woody Allen's new movie. Both of us really liked it, except for the fact that its premise sort of tries to excuse the fact that Woody is married to his ex-stepdaughter.....if you don't think about that it's great though! (seriously, it is good) And anything with Larry David is great, we both really liked is character

Saturday - VT and NY

We headed over to the capital, Montpelier (smallest state capital with 9,000 residents), to hang out and see what it was like. We both LOVED it, it was SUCH a cute town. They even had a GREAT farmer's market that was super popular
VT is really big on buying local and organic, so that's always cool

While we waited for the state house to open so we could take a tour we headed a bit outside of town to a Maple Sugar Farm

We watched a movie on how they make the syrup in a REALLY cool theater
And we made friends with a goat who was very excited for us to spend a quarter and give him some yummy food

Then we headed back to town to tour the state house and learn all about the building and the state (at the beginning of the tour me and Chris were the only people on it and the tour guide smiled and said, "Vermont is a great state, and it's great to raise a family in." NOT SO QUICK LADY)

Afterwards we visited Rock of Ages in Barre (pronounced like Barry), a granite quarry. It was COOL

It's the deepest quarry (at 600 ft) in the world (and has been quarried for over 130 years!)



Afterwards, we drove through the BEAUTIFUL Lake Champlain islands that border NY, and then drove through the Adirondacks in NY

By the time we got done, it was nearly 9pm, so we grabbed some pizza at a local place in Montpelier, took it to the hotel and ate while we watched Casino on TV, and then hit the hay

Sunday - VT to ME

We woke up and drove to Stowe, a really cool skiing village just north of Waterbury. There we went to the Dutch Pancake Inn where they have nearly 80 DIFFERENT KINDS OF PANCAKES! They were TASTY

Chris had apple cinnamon and blueberry

I had strawberry, whip cream, and chocolate (and almost went into diabetic shock)

The we headed out on our LONG trek to Maine. Chris had been before on his road trip after he graduated from Davis, but I had never been. Plus, I've never had lobster (save for the "lobster" roll at the A's game), and Chris was pretty sure he'd never had "Maine Lobster," so a wonderful lobster dinner was the perfect dinner to end our trip. It took A LONG time to cross over two states (even small ones) to get over to Augusta (another capital). I think it probably took about 4-5 hours. For most of the drive the scenery was beautiful, but the small towns we passed along the way in ME were pretty depressing :( Augusta fit right along with that sadly :( The historic downtown reminded me a lot of Detroit, beautiful buildings, but so many out of business and nothing really going on

We checked out another capital building (note the shirt for later)

The we headed off to Portland for our GREAT lobster dinner at Portland Lobster Company



When we visit my dad in Boston, we've already decided going back up to Portland is a must. The downtown area was really cool, and after dinner we walked around a bit. It was after dinner on a Sunday night, so everything was closed, but it was still a nice stroll

Then we headed south to Kennebunkport, the family vacation spot of the Bush family for the last 100+ years. The town is SUPER ritzy, and REALLY diverse (and by diverse I mean 98.49% white, I checked it out online). We drove along the road that runs along the Atlantic and accidentally happened upon the Bush compound

At this moment, I was proud of my shirt selection for the day :) I had to go to the bathroom REALLY bad and I thought (for a second) it might be really funny to go up to the Secret Service booth and ask, "Is this a public restroom, I really need to use the bathroom?" But then I decided being audited every year for the rest of my life wouldn't be worth it, so I ultimately decided not to. Oh well.

Our final stop on the way back to Manchester was Concord (about 20 minutes north of Manchester) to get a snap of the capital. We got there really late, so we didn't get great pictures, but it's another capital we can check off the list!


Monday - back home :(
We got to bed around midnight the night before, so getting up at 4:45am for a 6:30 flight was not very fun. Add that to the fact that in Chicago the people at the bakery forgot to put my bagel in our bag with Chris' pastry so I had no breakfast, we had to run to our gate to make the flight, I had to sit next to a large man who kept my body contorted the whole flight, and I was not too happy. AND our trip was over :(
Chris and I had a GREAT time and the trip really made us both think about what it means to be self-reliant and how much we used to think CA was amazing and maybe it's not as great as we have thought. Chris and I talked a lot about how nice it would be someday to have a farm and not live in a huge city, but maybe outside of a small town and depend on ourselves a bit more. Trips like this are really great because going out on the open road with Chris is so much fun and we always have the greatest talks and adventures.
Now, we're back into the swing of house stuff, but maybe sometime after we finish the kitchen we can FINALLY go on our coastal road trip that we've had planned for almost a year (add that to the LONG list of things we have to do "when the kitchen's done......")