Jun 29, 2006

We all scream for icecream.

I came home today to find these in the mail!

I know the pic is a little blurry, but they're my new awesome stitchmarkers from Good to be Girl. I've been waiting months for her to get her shop up and running on her blog. Then, one magical day, I entered it by accident before she even advertised the opening. I encourage you all to get there and buy some before it's too late. Besides the chicks and i.c. cones, she has bluebirds (very cute), snowmen (her logo), and peas in a pod.

As for the house, I'm pissed at the house tonight. We did this last night...

only for me to go back tonight and find that the quart I used to cut in the edges in this room and the "bonus" room is slightly darker than the gallon Brian was rolling with. I figured this out after I ripped down the tape too. Argh! Two steps forward, one step back.

As for my report on Michael Buble (in case you didn't read Greedo's at action-squad.com)....it was awwwesome! He is a delight - right down to his pocket square. I couldn't stop smiling when he first started to sing. He has such a rich voice and it just pours from him like chocolate syrup.

I wish we would've had closer seats, mostly because at one point he ran all the way to the back of the ground floor and hugged/kissed/shook hands with girls on the lower level. I'll have to remember that next time.

I'll leave you with a glance of one of my newly bloomed garden roses in the night. It's right by the driveway so I'm tempted to "stop and smell the roses" through my car window.

Jun 25, 2006


I had a great idea this weekend and would like to take a poll.
I was listening to the annoying icecream truck make another endless round about the neighborhood (btw, that's not our neighborhood above, I only wish our lawn looked that good). The bad thing about this truck is that every so often the music pauses and a little girl's voice shouts "Hello?" That's right, like it's a question. Like "Why aren't you coming out to buy my delicious ice cream?"

I've decided to start a new business. I want an iced coffee truck! I would get to that truck in a heartbeat if it had iced coffee. However, my question is - what song should it play?

What's your vote?
1) Copacabana
2) Ice Ice Baby
3) I'm Too Sexy
4) Sarah McLachlan's "Icecream"

Today I've been busy getting high...off of paint fumes that is. I've decided I can't possibly move my kitchen stuff in without doing something about the drawers. When we looked at the house (before buying) we were like "wow, those cupboards are all brand new!" Correction, the facing on the cupboards was new. However, those drawers don't stand a chance against me and a can of spray paint. Here's a before and after. Well I got it backwards in the picture, so I suppose it's an after and before.

Tonight we're headed to a Michael Buble concert with the Burches. Should be awesome!!! I'll make sure to give a full report.

What a stud

Apparently Nolan loves his new socks and even sent me an e-mail to say so. He told me he loves to wear and eat them. I'm glad they fit and hope he'll at least get a good month out of them before he's too big!

If you wonder what's been going in Holland, well - I'll just tell you.

Of course, a lot of work on the house.
We put up our first real paint color - we're trying it out for a few days before we go too far. This is our bedroom color.

We had our first adventures in carpet removal.

My back is screaming after 1 1/2 hours of yanking staples out of the floor. We're pretty thrilled how it turned out. We just can't figure out how to get the deep staples from the periphery up....any suggestions? Our needle nose pliers weren't working and the hammer was too big to wedge in.

And we installed our rail on the upstairs walk-out. Allstate was very concerned that someone really would just walk on out.

For all of you who voted on weed or not a weed - you were right. It's not.

Now what's your vote for this one?

We did manage to take some time out for fun. We met up with our friends (dopplegangers) Roger and Luann for the winery open house at Fenn Valley. We had plenty o' wine and fun. It's always fun hanging out with those two because we have an insane amount of stuff in common....just to give you a few, Luann knits, they ballroom dance, Dave Ramsey, Roger sings, and they love to go to wineries. It's fate. And no, unlike David B. says, it's not like that Friends episode where Monica and Chandler meet a couple on their honeymoon and start stalking them.

Lastly, we went to the first annual Butternut Bash. My co-worker, Mary, has an awesome house on two acres. We played volleyball (well, I attempted to play until I got reamed out for trying to return a serve from the front line), we ate well, and I had a great time kicking Brian's a__ at flip cup. Go team!

I think that's about enough for now!!

Jun 22, 2006

Hopping Along

Due to the fact that I am too consumed by the house right now to find time to knit fascinating projects to post, I am going to share others' projects with you. Here is Shari's sock from our knit-a-long. The colors look great! What brand is that? It kind of reminds me of a KnitPicks colorline I've seen.

Not too much new to say about the house today. I spent yesterday scraping flourescent orange paint off the moldings (who paints a room that kind of orange?!), only to decide that moldings aren't too expensive and we're probably better off tearing them off and replacing them eventually. I'm sure that will make life a lot easier for the carpet guys too. No final decisions have been made yet, but boy I'd love to do some demolition!

Brian and I are thinking about doing this next week....

The red thread project will connect over a thousand people with home knit hats. The performance is going to be a demonstration regarding the connection of humans in which we will each wear a hat and then make movements in unison. The hats will eventually be donated to cancer patients.

By the way, TGIF! I could use a Corona! My boss took this week off and got the thrill of having all the responsibility for a week. I'm more than happy to hand that right back to him on Monday. There's a reason I am proud to be an assistant. I don't need the stress and tears of being the top of the work pyramid.

Jun 20, 2006

Spackling Queen

Well, here's some disastrous works in progress for you all to see. Our "bonus" room off of a bedroom has horrendous cracks that had been filled in previously and looked like poop because they were higher than the surrounding wall surface and smooth, rather than textured like the rest of the plaster. The Time Life home improvements book advised us to dig out the cracks, fill them in, then texture the plaster with a sponge. We're going to give it a go!

Any one with advice on how to get paint off of moldings?? I despise that people are too lazy to use painter's tape.

A few extra notes:

My mom wore her sweater on Father's Day. I think it turned out a-o-k.

An official sign of summer....Brian argues that the otter pop is better. It's all the same to me.

Happy first day of Summer everyone!

Jun 18, 2006

I'm Back, and smarter than ever

The Primed conference was a lot of fun this year.

It was a little lonely as I'm used to going with a PA colleague of mine, but I managed okay. I heard a lot of interesting lectures from some of the most intelligent people I think I'll ever meet. Dr Weinstein, author of "Life Principles" gave a motivating talk about ethics and what should drive us to do the right thing. I also learned a lot about treating perimenopausal symptoms....and don't look forward to the day when I have to experience that misery. The last lecture I heard was on the bird flu. To summarize, it's a frightening thing that we should all think about and prepare for. When/if it hits, the best chance towards protecting yourself is social distancing, aka quarantine. I hope you all consider stockpiling some food and water so that you can stay at home for several weeks. If it hits, it will be fast and furious, passing through the area in 3-4 weeks. The people with the best immune systems will have the highest mortality rates. There really isn't a possibility to manufacture the drugs or vaccine in enough time. So, not to be depressing or act like the sky is falling. It almost seems a bit Y2K, but our lives weren't in jeopardy with Y2K, so I take this a lot more seriously.

Anyway, on a more positive note. I had plenty of time to knit. I made these....

If you can't tell, they're tiny baby socks in the K3P1 ribbing sock pattern that Shari, Amber and I are doing a knit-a-long on right now. I'm also making it along the cuff for sock 2 of my Kool Aid yarn. Anytime a fellow conference goer asked about the socks I was more than thrilled to tell them, "I dyed the yarn myself out of Kool Aid!" Being so nieve to yarn-dying they were thrilled to learn of the process, and of course, I was more than thrilled to share. I may not be an expert on the treatment of gout or sacroiliac joint dysfunction, but I can talk about sock yarn til I'm blue in the face.
The little socks are actually for Amber's baby, Nolan, hope they fit. For those of you who don't know Nolan, take a look.

What a babe!

Besides lots of learning, I also scored some cool swag - bags, mugs, jump drive, wireless mouse... It's no celebrity swag, I'll tell you that. No one was trying to push diamond bracelets or cruises to Alaska in my hands, but I always love a good travel mug. I know you can't see it, but the portfolio is personalized with action-squad.com. A little PR for my hubby.

Now back to home and normalcy. Back to spackling and watering the flowers. The weed/holly hock is looking like it may bloom soon!

Jun 13, 2006

Flag Day

Today was a pretty good day. I spent several hours over at the house washing walls and cleaning up the outdoors. My sister, Chris, will be pleased to hear that there are millions of helicopters in our yard from the maple tree. I assume they are left over from last year. Maybe I should make some helicopter-mud pies like we used to when we were younger. I left the flower/weed alone, but pulled up a lot of other weeds. The most amusing moment of the day, I was playing around with the janky underground sprinkler and discovered that the robins like to play under the sprinkler for a little mid afternoon shower. There were about 5 of them hopping around.

This evening I checked out the "Concerts in Kollen Park." I wasn't sure what to expect....turns out I was about 1 of 5 people under the age of 50. The concert is put on by the American Legion band.

What else did I have in common with the senior citizens, you ask?

I was knitting. I think I'm going to like being old.

All in all, the concert was nice. They played a lot of patriotic songs because of Flag Day, but also did a "Hello Dolly" medley that took me back to the days of Adrian's Croswell Opera House.

Amber, get going on your sock. I've got one done! Don't worry, I'll work on something else for a bit before I do the second. I have a little "second sock syndrome" going on anyway.

Well, don't expect any posts for the next few days. I'm going to a medical conference in Chicago until Saturday. I'll have plenty of time to knit during the lectures, so I'll post some pics when I get back. If you need a blog to read in the meantime - check out action-squad.com. I'll miss you all!

Jun 12, 2006

It's just the start...

We took the keys to our house tonight and finally got in to begin our work and renovations. A few surprises, apparently the range hood/microwave, washer/dryer were not included. On every other house we looked at the rules were anything that was bolted down stayed, and they would specify if the washer/dryer stayed. She specified that she was taking the oven, but didn't bother to mention the washer/dryer. So now we have to do a little battle to get money for the range and the realtor says the W/D is his fault, so he'll help us buy those. I feel bad hitting our realtor up for money because he's a great guy, but this was not our screw-up.
At any rate, I wanted to share a few perks. First, the wonderful rose bushes alongside the house. They climb all the way to the roof!

Some mini roses in the backyard....don't mind the trash, I picked that all up later.

A few toys I found amidst the flowers...lots of boys lived in this house. I also found a number of bottlecaps. God help me if I ever have all boys.

Brian and I celebrated by drinking some champagne - Sophia blanc de blanc from the Francis Ford Coppola line.

The house is definitely a "fixer upper." But it gives us something productive to do and we're thrilled to take on the challenge. We just wish we could do everything at once. We peeled up the downstairs carpet and the wood floors look great, so we're excited for that.

Otherwise, I think I have a new game for my blog. As we all know, I'm not a master gardener. I need Patty Ann to come out and give me some advice. The game is called "Weed or not a weed?" What's your vote?

Jun 11, 2006

8th Street Farmer's Market

Brian and I made it to the Holland Farmer's Market yesterday. Yum! It seemed they had more flowers than food, but I guess it's just that time of the year. I hope you enjoy my photo montage below.

The strawberries were delicious! Those overgrown rock like monsters at Meijer don't compare.

After that, we enjoyed a sunny day at the Burch cottage on Whitefish Lake. Brian navigated the pontoon, aka "green machine," about the lake....

I knit...

And at the end of the day, I had these...

My final review of two socks on one circular - I liked the fact that they were done simultaneously and that I could try them on along the way, but that's about it. I don't like the pointy toe, however, I could fix that by casting on more stitches to begin with. I didn't like that I was constantly having to untwist the strands from the two ends of the ball. I also found the cast off to make for a tight cuff. I did as the teacher instructed, switched up to larger size needles and cast off loosely, but I still found that it doesn't have much give. I'll probably try this pattern one more time, fair is fair. It's definitely not love at first sight.

Otherwise, Brian and I are still waiting for the keys to our house. The prior homeowner gave us the impression that she may be able to get them to us this weekend, but no call from the realtor yet. We made a trip to Menards this morning, I'm sure the first of many. We bought our first ladder, which I told Brian was a "big step in our lives." Haha.

Jun 9, 2006

Saugatuck Rules

Brian and I made it to the 8th Annual Waterfront Festival last night. We had no idea what to expect, we just knew they were showing a free film outdoors so we took our camping chairs and headed out. I have to tell you, it was pretty awesome. They had a huge inflatable movie screen in the street and everyone was arriving to put up their chairs. We got some brats and beer and set up camp. Things that we forgot...my knitting (duh! I had hours til dusk), my camera for this post, and a blanket.

They had a few guys on acoustic guitar to entertain us. One of them was Emerson Hart from the band Tonic. He was great. Most people know their songs "Open up Your Eyes" and "If You Could Only See." Brian and I loved the short film "Zombie-American" - which is where I got the picture. I laughed heartily. The zombie was getting ready for a date and inserted a q-tip through a skin flap on his forehead. He claims "it tickles" and "is a great party trick." It was quite clever. The main film, "Pittsburgh", with Jeff Goldblum was decent, but not good enough to make me tough out the chilly weather. I don't think you need to see it to picture what Jeff looks like singing "76 Trombones." He's cheesy, talk-sings, and is the perfect image of a Jewish Harold Hill.

We're planning on going back for more movies Saturday. Hopefully this time I can get some pictures. I love living close to Saugatuck because it's so eclectic for a small town. I was impressed how many people knew each other and wished I was popular too.

Jun 7, 2006

Master of the Dance

Our fellow blogmate Linda just finished this beautiful Flower Basket shawl. I thought you would all enjoy it just as much as I did. Her daughter is modeling it for the camera phone.
Linda, you are such an inspiration! I hope you have a beautiful event to go to and wear your masterpiece. I can see you sitting in your back yard sipping ice tea with this shawl to warm your shoulders.

Jun 6, 2006

Top Ten Places I'd Knit

In response to my mother's comment, I have come up with my list of the top ten places I would love to knit. I hope you will all join me and let me know your picks.

1) While sipping coffee near the Eiffel Tower
2) On a hillside in Ireland
3) During church (I'm always afraid I'll insult the priest)
4) At a Detroit Tigers game, while sipping keg beer
5) At "Purl" in NYC, a hip knitting store I read about on The Blue Blog
6) During a supreme court session (alas, no knitting needles allowed, I tried it once)
7) Next to a campfire at Yellowstone Park
8) Next to a waterfall, and not a cheesy waterfall like Niagra, a peaceful one in the wilderness
9) While sipping a pina colada on a cruise in the Caribbean
10) With the Yarn Harlot

Jun 4, 2006

Happily Ever After...

Kim and Gary's wedding was a day to remember! The ceremony and reception were beautiful.

I loved that so many friends were there to play a role in the big day. The gang was all back together!! It was actually the first time that the entire group, with the new fiance Adam included, had been together. It was like de ja vous with David Bailey back on the piano. Amber was a sight for sore eyes. It was awesome to hear Brian sing solo. I've heard him play around singing Moondance with the Nick Ayoub trio, but this was the first time I heard him doing serious vocal work. It literally brought tears to my eyes.

We had a great time dancing at the reception, too.

Some of my favorite moments of the celebration:
1) Kim's father toasting that Gary is the kind of man you want your daughter to marry.
2) How beautful Kim's mom, Yvonne, was in her dress.
3) The photographer's keys getting locked in her truck...and the groomsmen hailing a tow truck to save the day.
4) Kim's not-so-"agreeable" interactions with the wedding coordinator, including the question as to whether she would be wearing a blusher veil.
5) Brian's plan to get a tattoo of an eagle on his back so that he could move his arms to make the wings flap.
6) Meredith's rendition of "I'm getting married in the morning," sung on a Red Vine.

Sorry to those of you who don't get those inside jokes above, but I know there are some out there who will really appreciate them. For those of you who feel left out....here's a knitting picture for you to enjoy.

Pretty cool, eh...knitting in an SUV limo!!

If you'd like to see more pics, check out my Flickr account.