Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Progress!

Saturday evening I cleaned up the second bedroom to ready it for its second-ever overnight guest, and Paul vacuumed the entire house. The second bedroom now looks rather austere, with one empty bookshelf, one little chest at the foot of the bed, one bedside table with one lamp, the bed, and no other furniture or decorations.

I did stick the narrow CD shelf in there (my Dad made it years ago) and stuck a bunch of old framed photos on it, so that was a slight improvement. It definitely needs a plant or two, a dresser, and some pictures on the walls, though. And a mirror.

Oh, and while I was cleaning? I put an old wash basket full of currently-dormant back packs, bags, and purses, and our aero bed and drying rack, IN THE CLOSET. Neatly. And now you can't see them when you walk into the room, but they're still there, in easy reach, beneath a shelf full of neatly-folded blankets, comforters, and sheets. I HAVE CLOSETS IN MY HOUSE.

Sunday afternoon and evening I cleaned up the carport: I tidied up all the gardening paraphernalia (and put it in our shed! I heart storage space SO MUCH), re-potted and/or cleaned off all the plants and brought most of them inside, and FINALLY did something with the 8 little herb seedlings that have been struggling along in their teensy little containers that should have been re-planted six weeks ago. I finally pitched the dead pepper plant from last year, and used its rather huge pot to hold all of the surviving baby herbs. They've all perked up a bit already, so I'm hoping now they'll finally start growing in earnest, and maybe by the end of Summer I'll at least have a handful of parsley and cilantro to supplement all my basil, chives, and rosemary. I also finally stopped by Highland Gardens and got some liquid plant food that's SO much easier to use than fertilizer sticks or pellets. Hopefully that will get everything looking perky and healthy, especially the aloe plants, which still look pretty pathetic almost a year after being separated from the monster mother plant.

Sunday night we also went to see the movie Up, and if you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend it. It was so fun and whimsical, and totally sad and thoughtful and deep in some very adult ways, but still very happy and uplifting, especially the ending. The little vignette you hear about is the first 5 minutes of the movie, so you're crying 5 minutes in, but then only one other time might make you tear up.

Monday Paul finished converting the little coat closet in our dining room into a rather large, deep pantry closet complete with five adjustable shelves. I stopped at JoAnn Fabrics on the way home and got some thin, clear vinyl to use as over-sized shelf liner (cheaper than official shelf liner, which wouldn't even have been big enough to cover the two-foot-deep shelves), and then spent all evening stocking the shelves! There is room to spare with all of our food put away, and we now have only one remaining box full of spices, as they're the only thing we haven't decided where to put yet.

Tonight (Tuesday), we are going to move the dining room table into the living room and RIP UP THE CARPET in the dining room. It is going to be glorious. We will see the entire expanse of wood floor for the first time, and I can't wait! Hopefully that will go very smoothly and thus motivate us to get the living room carpet removed soon too! Maybe on Wednesday or Thursday I will be able to finish painting the baseboard & door trim in the dining room!! And/or I might haul some boxes up from the basement and fill the bookshelves in the office and bedroom with appropriate books. Actually, painting will probably wait until next week at this point, since I also have a bunch of clothing to re-organize and put away in the master bedroom.

Then Friday after work I hop on a plane and land in Raleigh, NC to meet Kelly M and visit Rachel! Maybe knowing I'm spending another unexpected weekend having fun with friends instead of working on our house is what's motivating me to get so much done this week so far. I hope it continues!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Yummiest CSA food thus far

Yesterday we got a HUGE head of incredibly beautiful red leaf lettuce from Shared Earth Farm. It was delicious, just by itself.

I chopped up two entire cucumbers and two tiny onions, also from the CSA, sauteed two frozen tilapia filets with Gazebo Room Balsamic dressing, and plopped a filet each on top of the huge mountain of salad on our two plates. Add some crumbles of the raw-milk sharp cheddar we lucked out and got for free because someone didn't pick up their cheese share, and you have one incredibly delicious meal.

And just for fun, here's the not-really-a-tart I made for the 4th of July. I just slapped down some graham crackers, covered it with creamcheese mixed with sugar and vanilla extract, and topped it with blueberries, pitted and halved sweet cherries, and a few raspberries. I got tons of compliments, even though the graham crackers got all soggy - I guess you can't go wrong with creamcheese, sugar, and fresh fruit!

Can't help posting one more house pic, of the blinds I installed all by myself. Five windows total thus far, in all three bedrooms (i.e. two bedrooms and the office). Hopefully we'll get enough trim painted in the dining room tonight that I'll be able to hang blinds on that window next, and then I just need to decide what to do with the huge window in the living room...hmm...

I still haven't put up the curtains, as you can see. Soon.....

Thursday, July 02, 2009

200th post! And Sangria.

I posted the recipe for the Sangria I made at our party! Enjoy!

I have off tomorrow, but Paul does not. This means I will be home alone, which will be nice for the day. I hope to clean out the boxes of homeless pantry food from the kitchen, although I don't know where I'll be able to put it all...and we're still down by one cabinet until Paul has time to finish installing the fridge. Then I'll be baking a couple of things for July 4 festivities. In the evening it's over to Hannah's birthday party, yay!

In other news, this is my 200th post. Crazy! This is a big deal for bloggers who have myriads of followers, but for me with my immediate family and friends it's more just a fun little thing to point out. I posted my first blogger post on October 5, 2006. For a while I also kept up with Xanga, but that didn't last too long. Anyway, just an interesting thing to think about. I'm glad I have a blog, it's pretty fun to go back and read the old stuff. And I'm sure one day, 15 years from now, my future offspring will be able to get a few good laughs, and maybe some blackmail fodder. Maybe I should look in my parents' basement for an old journal of my mom's...does such a thing exist?

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Pictures! Of the house!

I found my card reader, yay! It was hiding in my purse all along.

From New House!


I also have a few before-and-after pics, but since the trim isn't painted yet and the carpet isn't lifted in the living and dining rooms, they're still technically before-and-during pics. The closest thing to an "after" pic is the bedroom, since I have painted the window trim, so in these views it looks like it's all finished!

Before:


During:



After:


I love the furniture! It was my grandparents' so it's all super solid and heavy. It will probably last forever. All we need now is to install the blinds and curtains I bought...might happen this weekend! Also, now that too-bright ugly floor lamp is gone and I have my old Ikea bedroom table lamp, which matches the room and the furniture so perfectly. I thought I had taken a picture of that, but I guess not.

And here's the living room before:



During:


and After, but with the trim not yet painted and the carpet still down, and no decorations or pictures on the walls yet:




The dining room is more obviously not finished until that chair rail (and window trim) is painted white so it really pops out and emphasizes the light grey and light greyish-brown, but even with just the wallpaper down it's a HUGE and drastic improvement:

Before:




During:




So there you have it. I have a few other pictures, but these are the main before-and-after-ish pics so far. What do you think?

In other news, we had our final apartment inspection yesterday, and we got our full security deposit back. The landlord had been weird about some things, so we were worried he was going to keep some of it, but he didn't, so yay! We are REALLY feeling like homeowners now. Our first bi-weekly mortgage payment was automatically debited from our account on Monday! Only 26 years to go... (actually we're hoping to up the bi-weekly amount and get it down to 20ish years...ZOMG)
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