Thursday, November 22, 2007


Our family is amazing. Through all the turmoil this year, you have quietly stood by and supported us when we couldn't support ourselves. And by family I mean the family we were born into as well as those of you who we are lucky enough to call our friends. You have called us and talked us through the darkest moments, loved us through the toughest hours, and fed us when we could barely eat. You love us unconditionally.

For this I can't help but be eternally thankful and filled with peace.

This poem is for you:

There's no vocabulary
for love within a family,
love that's lived in but not looked at,
love within the light of which
all else is seen,
the love within which
all other love finds speech.
This love is silent.


And here we are on this holiday eve, quietly announcing we have something else to be grateful for... we are expecting again. A little brother or sister for Burke will be joining our family in June.

Love to all of you,
B and G

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Weekend drywall

Well, other than a few other small and insignificant areas, I think we can safely say our drywall-hanging days are finally through.

Here's the beautiful kitchen ceiling, sanded and primed.
And here is the foyer wall, leveled out, arched, lit with a couple new can lights and ready to sand next week. After Thanksgiving dinner, at least. And the ceiling has been redone, and is ready for further coats of mud. Not bad for the weekend! B's been nursing a sore back all day today.
We also got the last of the backsplash tile in the kitchen finished off and made one big change in our flooring plans. Since we're going to end up having to redo all the floors, we're just going to tile the mudroom. The rest of the main living space will be wood flooring for continuity. Wood floors are a much better choice for us. We spend a heck of a lot of time cooking and are not the most graceful of our species. Wood will offer a little more cushion for our feet and our poor dishes and cups.

Well, off to work on cleaning up this place. We have to make it presentable for the family coming down for the holidays. No simple task with all the dust and debris.

Biting the bullet.

So, our washer has been on it's own personal death march for the past eight months. In April, right before Burke was born, it decided it no longer wanted to use any setting but delicate and permanent press. Great. Then it decided to quit spinning. Super. Then it decided to trade: it would spin laundry, but badly, and go back to ONLY operating under the permanent press cycle, requiring you to re-spin each friggin' load once or twice if you expected the dryer to get your clothes past damp in less than 80 minutes.

Well, after struggling under this perpetual MOUNTAIN of undone laundry (oh, I think I've forgotten to mention you can only use the LARGE setting, but can only fill the tub up half way with clothes) I am throwing in the towel. I can't take it any longer. And Brian is tired of being out of clean shorts.

I've been lurking on Craig's List and E-Bay for three months, loitering on Consumer Reports to review their recommends, reading reviews on Best Buy, the Home Despot and Lowe's; you know, all the things that you do when you know you need something terribly expensive, but dammit you NEED it. You just can't help but wince at the price tag. Researching has led to some interesting discoveries: did you know that federal regulations on energy efficiency have caused pretty much all top-loading washers made after January 2007 to be terribly green but horribly inefficient? They have to restrict water flow and heat to such extremes to meet these guidelines that they can't effectively do what they used to. Even cheaper front loaders have been having problems (bad door seals, mold, etc). Ah, the things you learn.

While at Lowe's today, we noticed a Samsung front load washer for half price in the scratch and dent section. That's a much more affordable $650 buckaroos. It fulfills all our requirements: front loading for the energy and water efficiency, dials and settings that work, a good review on CR, only a handful of negative reviews at various sites, and a much less painful price.

So, hopefully by tomorrow we'll have a new washer. And a bigger credit card debt. It's the dance of Pain and Pleasure once more.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Kitchen tile

And here's a peek at the kitchen tile.
I'm loving it against the blue. The bright white really compliments the pure blue we painted on the walls.

Photos from the last couple of weekends

The last of the kitchen cabinet demo... and proof that if you visit we put you to work. Thanks, A!

And the kitchen ceiling , now with a skim coat of mud on it.
And sanded and ready for priming.

Fall shearing: week 1

Shhh. Prison Break is on. It demands full concentration and no distractions, especially a pesky flash.

And here's the winter beard growing in. Goatee was trimmed down last weekend and the last shave about ten days ago.

Weekend Progress

Well, here we are, another weekend down. The kitchen ceiling is re-drywalled, the foyer wall by the stairs has a new curved edge, and the subway tile backsplash around the kitchen counters is going up. Here's a pic of the insides of the half-wall in the foyer.
And here it is reformed and partially skinned in dryall.

But, more importantly than all these internal things is the external. We are officially junk-free in the backyard! Pop came down for the afternoon from Dayton and brought a box of 32 garbage bags and his pickup. We filled up the bags with the construction detritus and loaded down his truck. With 32 big black garbage bags of crap. Unreal. I'm always surprised how much and how quickly this stuff accumulates. Trash is like mold: once you get a little bit of it, it breeds and takes over. Soon everywhere you turn is covered.

Well, thank goodness that's over. Nothing would be more depressing than staring out the back window this winter with a cup of hot tea warming my hands and seeing piles of snow-covered plaster.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Fall shearing

B has sadly announced his intentions of trimming up his goatee. It's the end of summer, and it's time to transition into the full beard.

As a card-carrying member of the Lady-Fans of Bearded Men, I'm sad to see the goatee go, but am looking forward to the beard when it grows in. Which, given B's genetics, will take all of a couple of days/weeks.

Here's right before the spring/summer shearing: