Jul 31, 2006

Out of touch...

The computer/internet won't be set up until Tuesday afternoon, so that will be the soonest I can post some pics. The move went well all thanks to a good man named Tim. Brian's buddy was a real champ. He came out Friday and Saturday to help us move our furniture. He calls himself a "bad ass movin' man"...and he was. I thought we could've done without him Saturday, until we realized the box spring mattesses wouldn't fit up our stairwell. We had a "problem solving" moment and decided to launch them overhead to the upper deck and door while Brian stood, teetering, waiting to catch it. What a rush!
We had plenty of time left over yesterday to paint our living room. It's called "Lonely Pines" and I love it!
fyi, our internet is switching to Comcast tomorrow. I don't quite know what will happen to my e-mail address. So, be leary of sending me e-mail until I know more.

Jul 27, 2006

Caption Day

Great! Now that my pic posting is working again, I want to share with you my idea from the other day. I love this picture of Nolan. It makes me laugh everytime I see it. What's your caption?

Jul 25, 2006

This Sucks

Blogger won't let me upload pics today - and I just can't post anything interesting without pictures!! So, instead, feel free to check out the Yarn Harlot's blog. She has a great post about Chicago - Brian even left a comment on it. I don't even think I've ever commented on her blog!

I have spent today moving in to the house. Things are going well so far. I'm managing to find great ways to store stuff with limited amounts of storage space. I can't wait to post pictures of our new walk-in closet/room. Now I will recline in our hot apartment livingroom and work on my baby blanket. I frogged the last one - the yarn just wasn't screaming "baby" to me.

Jul 23, 2006

The Great Outdoors

It was a beautiful weekend for camping. Brian and I ventured out to Warren Dunes State Park in Sawyer, MI along Lake Michigan (the best of the Great Lakes). Carl and Jessie joined us on Friday along with the I-am-so-cute-I-can-make-you-do-whatever-I-want, Aaron.

He really is cute, and so smart! He was fond of my knitting. He asked me what I was making and I told him a "blanket for a baby." After a few rows, I decided to set the knitting down (don't want anyone to think I'm rude), but Aaron asked immediately "why did you stop?" I guess he wanted to make sure that baby is going to be warm. His parents have now been happily married for 5 years.

Saturday, the newlyweds Kim and Gary, as well as the newly-engaged Carrie and Matt, joined us. We tasted wine, attempted to make "gourmet" dinner over a campfire, and successfully avoided getting kicked out of the campground for possession of alcohol (our campsite neighbors were not that lucky). Really, we weren't rowdy at all, especially with a 2 year old in our presence. Brian and I had a great time. We hope everyone else did - it's so nice to spend time with friends again in a relaxing atmosphere. Times like these remind me why we have been friends for so long. Not to leave Jessie out, though, because I'm really enjoying spending time with her too!

With the weekend so fresh in my mind, I can think of the things I appreciate most and like the least about camping.
1. A line for the shower
2. Having to lie down to change in our small tent
3. Packing up dirty camp gear
4. No dishwasher
5. Soggy wood

1. Campfire games
2. Banana boats (my new-found campfire treat. Thanks Carrie!)
3. Drinking coffee at a picnic table
4. Not being expected to do my hair or make-up
5. No schedule- just eat/sleep when you feel like it

Jul 20, 2006

Lie to me...

Lie to me Jonny Lang. Tell me my hair looks beautiful, even though it's quite fro-like from the 70% humidity during your outdoor concert. Lie to me and tell me my husband doesn't look like my brother. Lie to me and tell me that my knitted socks are the coolest thing anyone has ever worn to one of your concerts.

I was lucky enough to attend my second Jonny Lang concert tonight - courtesy of Frederik Meijer Gardens. It was awesome!! He is incredibly smooth, and I find his music toe-tapping terrific. I slid my way into the v.i.p. section and got to hang out at the meet & greet. Of course, I was too shy to say much more than "duh, you were so great." Ah, the perks of having a husband who does p.r. for a non-profit. In person, I thought Jonny looked very much like a Dodds family member.

Well, we're off to the wonderful Warren Dunes for a weekend camping voyage. I hope you all have a relaxing weekend.

Jul 19, 2006


The carpet has been installed. No more hemming and hawing about whether to go dark or light, we went in between.

I would show you the pic of the spare room, but I'm kind of embarrassed by it. We painted it "blue whale" and I kind of hate it. It is exactly the reason I was scared to paint any room blue - it's so easy to make it look like a blueberry. If you want to imagine the room, just imagine this...

Only a thousand of them would have to be glued to the wall.

On other notes - I've misplaced my knitting patterns in a box somewhere and it's killing me because I'm craving a new project. I have NOT finished my tempting sweater yet, but I don't care. Give me a new project!! You know who has been knitting, though...Shari.

Here's Amber's Nolan at 6 months in his new sweater from Grandma. I've never seen a kid so happy to be wearing a hand knit sweater in 90 degree weather. He must love his Grandma...and knitting.

Jul 17, 2006


It's too hot to...

flip the channel.
blowdry my hair.
eat warm food.
talk on the phone.

Now it's your turn to finish the sentence.

Jul 16, 2006

And the Beat Goes On

This weekend just flew by, and so did the projects! Brian got a new toy to amuse himself...

I got to go berserk with pruning shears on this travesty....

I have decided that even though these aren't weeds, they sure grow like 'em. The bottoms are so thin and gangly with far too top-heavy flowers. The only thing they're good for is making the world's largest bouquet.

We had the great help of Brian's (and I dare say my) friends Carl and Jessie on Saturday. While Jessie and I painted away, the boys decided to take on a more "manly" project. Don't ask me why, but they were so proud that they got this accomplished.

I guess the outlet behind the stove was just lying on the floor and was quite a safety hazard. It wasn't too surprising to me seeing as how we have found so many things done haphazardly in our house. In the end, our microwave was successfully rehung in it's rightful place. I say "rehung" because that's where it was before the previous owner tried to make off with it. I love it! AND, our oven is now level!

There were lots of small accomplishments this weekend, but I have to say I was most proud of Brian dabbling in electric work. That stuff still frightens me. I know the breaker is turned off, but I'm still waiting for a wire to be live. We got a great deal on a beautiful drop lamp for our diningroom - it has a little Frank Lloyd Wright style going on in the stained glass.

And for all of you who question why it's so great to live in Holland - we also got the chance to do a little R&R. Never mind the fact that we were the whitest people on the beach. I'm surprised people didn't step on us since we blended so well with the sand!

Jul 12, 2006

So You Think You Can....Rock My World

If you're not watching "So You Think You Can Dance" - then you're missing the coolest thing on t.v. right now. Hands down. Brian would beg to differ everytime I turn on that TiVo, but I swear, I just want to watch the show over and over. It's t.v. viewing crack.

I have to admit, I've never watched before this season. I thought the show was a lame teeny-bopper attempt at "American Idol." Boy was I sorely mistaken. These are talented kids. The show is similar to "Dancing with the Stars" in that I get to see some ballroom, but I also get to see a lot of fun dancing like broadway, pop, and hip-hop. Unlike "Dancing with the Stars," they really know what they are doing. I can't believe all they'll get out of this is a year gig dancing with Celine Dion. That should be the booby prize.

For my blog readers who already watch the show - who do you pick for the win? I have my own favorites, but I honestly love greater than 1/2 of them.

Jul 11, 2006

20 to Life...

After today I can now associate our new house to a prison. Today was the big day - appliance delivery day. I wasn't going to chance missing the delivery again - so I arrived right at 8 am.

My itenerary was as follows:
1) Trim rose bush.
2) Patch paint in office
3) Take off paint tape
4) Scrape paint off all moldings - watch out window every 5 minutes for delivery man
5) Search for snack - find only an old rice krispie treat bar. Call Brian and complain I'm hungry.
6) Read a medical journal - fall asleep on floor. Realize carpet smells like urine.
7) Wake up - get nervous I may have missed delivery man.
8) Patch paint in closet.
9) Start growing desperate - so hungry for lunch, but don't want to leave and miss them. Decide to knit - but it's not relieving stress because I have no furniture, food, and not enjoying the stinky carpet.
10) Take photos for my new Etsy shop.
11) Read another medical magazine.
12) Call Brian again - he says he'll call ABC to check on the delivery. He doesn't call me back.
13) Take picture of the rain, stand in window long enough to make my neighbors think I'm a weirdo.

14) Delivery men show up in the pouring rain at 5 pm. They are there less than 30 minutes.
15) Go home - defeated. Eat dinner.
16) Think to myself - I don't remember them using a level to make sure my cakes cook evenly in that oven. Once again, curse that lying ABC salesman.

Jul 10, 2006

Thumbs and Toes up

For those who don't enjoy toe up socks on circulars, I've found a new variation on knitty.com. I think I'll try this Widdershins pattern soon, right after I try these vertical stripe socks at knitpicks.com...or maybe vice versa. Maybe I'll flip a coin - perhaps from my money plant. But of course, I still have yet to get my shrug started from Interweave Knits.

I know it sounds ridiculous to have so many projects planned on top of all the house work to do- it's okay, you can laugh at me. I suppose the process would be moving along much faster if I got my butt off the computer and started knitting. Talk to you later...

Jul 9, 2006

The paint fumes are getting to me.

The projects just keep coming. I am pleased with the progress we've made in such little time.
This week we had some men come in to plaster our ceilings in the bedrooms with that textured plaster. It looks nice and now matches the rest of the house. It somewhat hides the cracks - which is the real reason we did it.

We painted the office. This is "fog bottom." I know it's dark, but it's a decent sized room and the color will go nicely with Brian's LOTR movie posters (if any color really goes with those).



Of course, the painter's tape is still up - so disregard that bright blue line near the ceiling.

I found a surprise in the garden. What the flip is this?! The petals look like something I could form into a necklace or type of currency.

As for knitting - I'm not getting too much of my own done. However, I had the distinct pleasure of an afternoon get together with Linda in Allegan. It was fantastic to see her. It's funny how conversations with old friends can pick up like it hasn't been a day since you saw each other. She showed me a scarf and mittens she made for her daughter's Christmas present. The mittens are pretty cool. "Slubs" of roving were used for the white stitches on the outside, making a super warm and insulated mitten.

A little knitting news report. For those who doubted the popularity of knitting - check this out. I want to go! Why aren't the Tigers on board with this awesomeness?! Does this count as being athletic?

Jul 6, 2006

Tempted to Touch

For those of you enjoying the before and after house pics - I've got a few more for you. The Burches were so kind to spend a beautiful sunny day ripping out the rest of our nasty upstairs carpets. I believe that is dust in the picture. I know it's hard to see, but there is in fact linoleum on that floor. It is loosely adhered to the wooden floor. Perhaps a desperate call for style in the 50s or a layer of insulation. We will never know.

Chuck even mastered a method for getting the long staples out. Brian says he "burched it up."

Now we have to decide on carpet. I know, you're wondering why are we covering the wood back up. Believe me when I say this wood is not flawless. It will be far less expensive (and warmer) to carpet the upstairs. We'll concentrate on the wood in the livingroom and diningroom later.

I like the tan color, Brian likes off white. Hmmm. What's your vote?

I had an inspiring conversation with a patient of mine today. She's refinishing her own floors after finding out it was $600 to just sand one room. Yech! When it's $45 to rent a sander, I think I know which direction we're going to head.

Beyond that - to be true to my blog, I am still knitting. I finished the socks, and am now determined to finish the "Tempting" sweater.

We'll soon find out exactly how tempting a knitted sweater can be. The yarn is especially soft - Knit Picks Shine.

Jul 5, 2006

Am I that hard to please?

This past weekend we decided to give our appliance business to ABC Warehouse. We entered with Consumers Reports mags in hands and looked for someone willing to make a deal for folks with cash in hand. His name tag said "store manager," but we're beginning to wonder how much that really meant. He fed us a trail of lies, including all of the following statements:
1) We'll deliver these to your house Wednesday.
2) You'll get an hour call ahead before the delivery.
3) If you're not there, they'll call you and give you 20 minutes to arrive.
4) Since you live in Holland, you'll probably get delivery in the early morning.
5) You can go online to sign up for a 3 hour time window.

When Brian called them at 9 am, he was then told 6) You're on the list for 6 pm AND that they could not deliver our washer as it was at the store for pick up which was more than 5 miles from our house. Unfortunately the latter was not a lie - they really weren't going to deliver it. Every other statement above was pure lies!!

When I drove to the house at 5:30, I found a sticky note on our door which said they attemped delivery at 4 pm. That's when the shit hit the fan. We drove back to ABC with receipt in hand. He fed us a load of crap about how we can't expect them to have time to call us. Sure we can! We can expect it because you told us to! In the end, we walked out with an order for a different (and nicer) washer/dryer for the same cost, which he assured us will both be delivered next Tuesday along with the oven. Being that's my day off, the time of delivery no longer matters. Don't mess with a Burch. Nuf' said.

My review - shop there only if you can pick the item up yourself. The salesman was willing to bargain - unlike Sears who has a no negotiation policy. And don't think you're cool for working with the "store manager." I think the real head honcho is the "general manager."

Jul 2, 2006

Celebrate your Freedom!

I have the freedom to paint my house whatever color of the rainbow I please!

Yep, those are really our colors. Upstairs and downstairs, respectively. Hope they're not too loud.

We have the right to congregate in public and peacefully celebrate our nation's independence.
This is the Holland fireworks. They had a wonderful church choir singing patriotic songs synchronized to the fireworks. I loved it, despite the intermittent rain.

I have the distinct pleasure of being able to knit in public while awaiting a spectacular display of fireworks.

(I know you all must be sick of seeing these socks - I promised they're almost done!!) I need to think of a fun new (small) project, any ideas for me? I still have to finish the "Tempting" top before I take on the shrug I bought yarn for.

I get to live, love, work and play every day with virtually no conflict or threat to my well-being. What a great nation, eh? Happy Independence Day everyone!

Brian's parents helped us rip the rest of the carpet from upstairs on Sunday...so much for the "day of rest." But Monday PM (I'm working in the AM) and Tuesday we'll kick up our feet at the Burch's cottage on Whitefish Lake.