Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas pick me up

I am feeling a little bit sad that while everyone's blogs and facebook updates include gorgeous holiday decorations and christmas tree arrivals that my life includes phone calls to plumbers, siding salesmen, moving companies and trips to U-Haul.
I love Christmas so much. Everything bright and sparkly and calm. Our house is anything but bright and sparkly and calm right now.
And to top it off, Jack has been asking why everyone else has Christmas decorations and we don't. :-(
I am still REALLY holding onto hope that we will be moving in 14 days. (I don't know how much longer I can carry on with this working my tail off 15 or 16 hours a day.)

Of course, even if we do move in 14 days our Christmas this year is going to be one tree with whatever ornaments I can scavenge up! (How I wish I had time to spend with Jack making some kind of ornaments for that tree...even if it was just cutting out paper birds like I saw in Country Living.)
So, let's just revist a few photos I dug up on the old blog here and remind myself that by Christmas 2010 everything I love will be out in our new and improved old house...

That's a little better.

A bientot!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Blistered but good

In the past four days David and I have been to Chicago and back, hauled 4000+ lbs of IKEA furniture across two states, in and out of the moving truck several times and back and forth in the new house several times.

My hands are blistered, my wrists are aching, but it's all good. Moving day is inching ever closer and look at my new house!
A *very* happy and unexpected discovery happened when we finally installed the new windows in the master bedroom...we can see the golf course! Wooohoooo. (It's at the back between the houses.)
We went Penske to Chicago. Loading the cabinets via forklift was the easy part.
We both like this gray bedroom in IKEA, but I am scared to make my bedroom that dark gray. It was lovely decked out for Christmas though.
8 hours and 23 cabinets later...
and we have conquered!

Now they are waiting to be hung.
And looky there...hardwood floors. Beautiful, wonderful, gorgeous hardwood floors.

I sat in that spot for a long time this morning just marvelling at how far the house has come.

It is so bright and light and open (AND NOT SMELLY!) and I can hardly believe it is the same place it used to be.
Scary huh?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hi Ho Hi Ho

It's off to IKEA we go!

I have been in LOVE with this pink kitchen at IKEA for years now.

Tomorrow we are setting off to collect our very own version.
And then we will proceed to spend the entire holiday weekend in either IKEA assembly heaven or hell. I guess only time will tell.
The new windows are in.

The hardwood floors start going in tomorrow.

The plumbing for my main floor laundry starts tomorrow.

Next week will be December already. We are really barreling down the tunnel now.

And I am actually REALLY looking forward to spending 12 hours in a moving van with only my husband on the way to Chicago.

Much needed time to regroup...

Since I will not see any of you until it has come and gone, Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

T minus 23 days and counting

I need a pep talk.

We are 23 days from moving day.

I am packing, packing, packing and not feeling like I am making any progress!

And the new house is requiring more and more and more of our time and attention.

How am I ever going to pull this off?!?!?

I know I can, I know I can, I know I can...

Friday, November 20, 2009

If I wasn't moving

If I wasn't in the middle of trying to finish a very stressful renovation and trying to get us packed up over here, I would:
Be making these elves!

Fancy up my umbrella

Try my hand at sweater refashioning

Stick my fingers in some french bread dough

Or experiment with dying some buttons for button trees!

What would you rather be doing?

*Picture from

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I fought the law...

and I won!!!! We have the much needed variance so we can finally work on the laundry room addition at the new house.

In other thrilling in our world news:
The new windows arrived today;
I bought yet another gallon of yellow paint;
I selected kitchen cabinet knobs;
Our IKEA cabinets are in and we are scheduled to go to Chicago next Weds to pick them up;
And I am one proud mama this week. Jack REALLY REALLY REALLY wanted this expensive ($100) Lego train. I told him he would have to save and earn the money himself. He patiently waited as we worked to sell some of his toys, an unwanted gift card and he earned extra money helping with chores.

Last week he finally had the money saved to buy the train so we bought it on line and he waited and waited for it to arrive.
Then when it arrived I started to get nervous. It's a 14+ age kit and I just *knew* I would be spending many frustrating hours putting the thing together for him.

Much to my surprise he worked diligently day and night for two solid days and he put it all together himself.

Totally cool. Yea for Jack!!

P.S. When he stayed with Oma last week I asked if he had seen Oma's cat. His reply? "Oma's cat is REALLY good at hide and seek." LOL

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hexagon Flower Tile Floor

Really I would have rather made the title something OMG SQUUUUUUUUUUUUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE my floor rocks, but I get frustrated when things aren't easy to google. :-)
Can you see my hex flowers on that floor? In pink and green?

And hard to do. Really hard to do.

Hard to source the products and even harder to lay the pattern and the floor.

I ended up using a totally random pattern. (Which might eventually drive David crazy, but it took hours to get even a random pattern.)

I tried like crazy to google up a floor like this when we started so here are the best tips I can give you:
I found the white hex tiles at a tile shop near the house. Dal tile DOES make them, but they were a little harder and more expensive to get.

Dal tile also makes colored hex tiles, but they refused to make them for me, even as a special order. They wouldn't give a reason to the dealer for their refusal.

We ended up having our awesome tub guy (Scott from The Tub Company ) refinish some of the white tiles in a custom pink and green color for us. Companies that specialize in refinishing/restoring tiles/bathrooms might be your only option for getting those colored hexes, so don't overlook them when trying to figure out what to do.

Expect to pay a lot for the labor. Tile like this is a dying art and guys who are used to more modern tiles are going to struggle with those tiles for a laundry list of reasons.

And with that I am off again. Today is a CrAZy day which will end with our meeting with the city tonight. Hopefully by tomorrow the work can start on my laundry room again.

Fingers crossed....

Monday, November 16, 2009

Here and there

Over here our little house is starting to feel less and less like home every day.
Where there were pictures of my little sweetie...
there is now just a wall...

all of my pretty pottery is packed away...
and the hall of frames is no more.

With less than 30 days until moving day, the other house is starting to show little peeks of a new home for us...
with pretty new subway tiles in the bathroom...
and some of my signature yellow starting to go up on the walls.

The transition is still a little tough for me. I had dreams all night last night that I was in my grandparent's house desperately searching for the kitchen light switch to no avail. Of course I couldn't find that light switch, *I* made them tear out that wall...

It will be interesting to see what it's going to be like for me to be living there again. All grown up and without my grandparents.

We have our big meeting with the city council on Wednesday to try and get the necessary variance for my main floor laundry room. Pleeeeeeeeeease wish us luck?

Friday, November 13, 2009

What a week.

Well, this is yet another week I want to NEVER, EVER relive. LOL

On Tuesday I suddenly felt really ill. I phoned the doctor who said "yea, that's probably the flu. Stay home."

On Wednesday, still feeling terrible, we were all snuggled into the flowers bed watching Wheel of Fortune (Jack suddenly loves that show), when Dave went to feed the cats and noticed our big old boy, Whinger, was missing.

We started searching everywhere, the house, the garage, the yard. No cat. Onto the neighborhood we went, driving, knocking on doors. No cat.

Up.all.night Wednesday worrying about my cat. He is not an outside cat. It is 32 degrees. He has not eaten today. Where is he?

Thursday arrives, with me sicker than ever, and still no cat. We hung up signs, we called vet's offices, we went to the shelter. We searched endlessly. Walking the neighborhood, driving the neighborhood, driving nearby neighborhoods. Thursday night comes and still no cat.

At this point I have been throwing up and am ready to just have a nervous breakdown. After everything this year I cannot bear the thought of losing my lovey cat. The cat who naps with me every day, the cat whose umblical cord Dave cut when he was born! Our cat, gone.

In the middle of Survivor I get a spam email from the ad I had put on craigslist. I took the time to read it anyway, what could it hurt?

The email stressed over and over again that a housecat will not go far. It said "Please do not give up on your cat. Go out between 10 pm and 5 am and keep calling your cat." So I told Dave we would go out at 8 pm, 10 pm, midnight and 5 am and look for him again. Sick or not I am not going to let go of my cat that easily.

We make the rounds of 4 houses on each street close to us, as suggested by the SPAM email. Still no cat.

Get home, more despondent than ever. WHERE IS MY CAT?!?!

Dave goes out to the backyard to look again. He sits down on a cooler that we have lazily left out way too long and he heard the cat. He came rushing in the house looking for a flashlight, we go rushing out to the garage and there is my damn cat!

Overcome with joy and relief.

Now, a note to God (or whoever is in control of this dog and pony show called life), WE ARE FULL UP ON PROBLEMS. IT IS ENOUGH ALREADY. CANNOT HANDLE ANY MORE. NEED RETURN TO NORMAL LIFE IMMEDIATELY. NO MORE FUNNY BUSINESS.

Afraid that soon I will require a strait jacket...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Do you see what I see?

Going to the thrift is always like a big I Spy adventure. Particularly so today.

Want to play?

I found a little bag of ornaments hanging with the toys. What's that I think I see in there?
Cheap plastic bells, weird satiny ornaments, generic glass balls.

Oh wait! A little something is calling me...
Ohhhhhh, a super thin old fruit ornament.

Hmmmm, what else is hiding in that little bag?
A cool indent ornament...
and two more tiny ornaments. The smallest pine cone I have *ever* seen and a beautiful old orange one (that is likely an old feather tree ornament).

Let's wander over to the fabric section. What's that I see in that big bag with that nasty polyester fabric?
I think I see something interesting in the corner up there.
First up, a nice old tablecloth, but not my style. (And destined to be redonated.)

Getting closer. Is that what I think it is? In a fabric bag?
Ohhhhhhhhhhh, it is! A tablecloth.
But wait, the checkered "fabric" that first caught my's a tablecloth too!

Yippeee! (There was also a white damask cloth in the bag. Clearly the sorter was insane that day. I've never seen them bag up tablecloths.)
And just for fun, I found a dozen Shiny Brites too.

Not too shabby for my little adventure while Jack is off playing with Oma, eh?

Monday, November 09, 2009

Love is

Jack's first drawing of our family...
"Look mom! It's our family. Wait, you need arms." LOL
a quiet nap on a Sunday afternoon...
painting the bricks on our new old house white (even if everyone said I was crazy)...
a pile of yummy vintage tinsel from the flea market yesterday (even if I did have to pay a premium price for it)...
and a lovely new piece of old fabric (wish there was more of it!).

Happy Monday to you!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Am I being punked?

A few weeks ago there was a knock on the door in the afternoon. It's always a solicitor, so I was already irritated. For some reason I agreed to a subscription to the St Louis Post Dispatch. (I think it was the "Post can't sell enough papers so they aren't sure they are going to still do a daily next year" part that got me.)

Recently they changed their website and the garage sale ads are HORRIBLE. Impossible to navigate, make my head spin, awful. So I thought it would be useful to have the actual paper in hand again.

After the first two weeks they started calling me on the phone every day trying to upsell me...subscribe for longer, yada yada. After the first phone call I realized I had not yet seen a SINGLE newspaper. I was assured that would be remedied.

Another week passes, they are calling again. Again I realize I still haven't seen any papers. Again reassured that would be remedied.

This week I got a few random papers. Maybe one on Tuesday and one Friday and part of the Sunday.

I sit down this afternoon to browse the sale ads and this is what greets me:
Oh, I got a newspaper alright.

After someone removed the coupons they wanted first.


And really irritating to boot.

I need to go make sure that Ashton dude isn't hiding the bushes...

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Goodbye Brady Bunch

We started the demo on the porch this weekend.

We are going from Brady Brunch:

To something a bit more traditional:
There will be round columns and vinyl fence railings and siding and all that good stuff soon.

We've gone from plain ceilings:

To more of a beadboard ceiling:
Which tomorrow will get painted blue!

And just for fun, let's enjoy some scans of my grandparents when they first moved into our new old house.
My gran tending to some kind of topiary near the front door. This must not have lasted long, I never remember any sort of topiaries in the yard, lol.
Gran near what will be Jack's new bedroom. She ALWAYS carried her purse everywhere. An early golden girls Sophia I suppose...

Behind the house you can see all the farm fields. That is totally filled with houses and a golf course now!
My grandparents doing some wierd Pulp Fiction impersonation. LOL (I never, ever saw my grandfather wear anything even remotely close to this kind of shirt. It makes me laugh.)

Dave and I love that dentil molding and wish it were still on the house.
And this is my uncle and a friend BBQ'ing in the area where the new french doors are that I showed you yesterday.

Back tomorrow with new paint on some parts of the house I hope!