Sunday, November 24, 2013

Holding Steady

Apparently there isn't too much to report if you're not baking biscuits in your bedroom or tapping in to your inner Cave Woman.

We're plugging away here, juggling work, home ownership, relationships, and play. Now that the holidays are here, I'm definitely voting for mostly relationships and play...

We continue to put our new kitchen to good use  -- yesterday we had a Burrito-making extravaganza and stocked our freezer. Those people at Chipotle make folding a burrito look way too easy. I have reduced my work hours to 30 hours/week, which has been a blessing, so I find more time on Mondays and Fridays to do things in the kitchen. It is so true that a way to a man's heart is through his stomach. :-)

This year we'll be having a quieter Thanksgiving at home with just Kevin and I. This will allow us to try weird new recipes and experimentations. Who knows, we might even eat our pumpkin pie straight out of the pan. And eat it for a midnight snack. And breakfast. With a side of stuffing.

We are looking forward to a visit to Vancouver on Dec 11th for our first annual Thanksmas. We'll miss the 1/2 price socks at Fred Meyers and my parent's Christmas night gowns (Seeing your Dad in a candy-cane striped night gown and stocking cap: Priceless), but we're thankful for the opportunity to be with family when we can!

Thanks for checking in!

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Evolution Continues

It's been a few months and the kitchen is still wonderful. Kitchen output has been going full force, which we are loving! And so far, our pants even still zip. We are enjoying "boycotting" house projects for the summer, although we are both notorious for crossing the picket lines and working on a project.

We are making fewer trips to Lowe's and Home Depot, but I know have been frequenting FLEET FARM on a weekly basis. For those of you who aren't from the midwest, they sell accessories for every manly-hobby out there -- including camouflage lingerie --, have a giant nut and candy section, and have random bins of DVDs on sale. Can you picture it? Kind of like a Bi-Mart.

Anyway. I/we have been going there. A lot.

I now know what a combo Sump Pump is (we had massive rain/wind storms back in June). I now enjoy looking at camping gear, especially the cute little titanium coffee mugs.

Speaking of that, this past weekend Kevin and I went camping! No, it was not in the backyard, and I did not bring a battery-operated Keurig. I was a bit nervous as Kevin is quite the outdoorsman and I, well... enjoy good coffee and a roof over my head. But we had a great time! We relaxed, ate good food over the campfire, hiked and hiked and hiked, and I perfected my pop-a-squat technique. We hiked all 14 miles of trails at the campgrounds, without any injuries (unlike our hike by Mt. St. Helen's back in June...). The temps were cool, which made for chilly sleeping but kept the mosquitoes away! I only briefly got to use my Off! Clip On, which I highly recommend.

(Pictures for Mom)

I also went for a bike ride today, which, if you know me, know how big of a deal that is.

I now work 30 hours/week (3 days) instead of 40, which has been an amazing change for me. I love being home to do the "domestic" things and finding all kinds of new "opportunities" (See FLEET FARM, above)

We are continuing to learn about ourselves, both as a couple and as individuals. Life is good!

Monday, May 20, 2013

No Words

Okay, well maybe just a few.

We are SO CLOSE to being done. Hopefully our faucet will arrive tomorrow ( the many Unexpected Glitches) and we can install that, then the kitchen will be completely functional! Kevin still has to put the base boards back up, but hey, that's the family room, not the kitchen!

A trip down memory lane. Ugh, don't miss that!

In the middle. Sigh, I will sort of  miss this - lots of hard work, memories, and learning!

Baking biscuits in the bedroom. Classic.

Our makeshift kitchen... lots of meals in the toaster oven and on the griddle!

 And.... drum roll! 


Can't wait to bake a cake!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

It's been 16 days...

16 days since my last post, which means it has been more than 2 weeks.

The kitchen is still not done.

I prefer dark chocolate and See's, cream-filled.

Friday, April 26, 2013

I was holding out to have the next blog entry be a big unveiling with an "after" picture of our gleaming new kitchen but... it's still dusty and non-functional.  We are making progress but the finished product is still a few weeks out. At this point, I am very ready for it to be done. I am ready to have water access on the same floor, to be able to use a dishwasher, to have more than a 3x2 ft counter space, to be able to cook or bake something that requires more than 3 ingredients, and to plug in appliances to my heart's content without blowing a circuit. Oh -- and ready to have my husband and "us" back. I really shouldn't complain, as I think we've made the most of it and even managed to "entertain" with our make-shift kitchen (see below).

A few other tid bits...

We survived the 2 year Anniversary of Alison and Eleanor's deaths. April stirs up a lot of emotions and insecurities in me, but we made it through. Kevin, as usual, handled it remarkably well. We (coincidentally) ended up having a much-anticipated, 1-night Staycation on "The Anniversary." It was a perfectly relaxing, fun-filled day. We ate delicious foods all day, went to a yard and garden expo, went to a CSA fair and signed up for a veggie share (yipee!), stayed at a hotel, and escaped our work and worries. After months of being consumed by the kitchen project and other "stuff," it was so nice to have some quality one-on-one time together. Can't wait for the next one! :-)

My clinic just moved to a new building, so it's been a hectic few weeks of packing, moving, and now trying to find my way around a *much* larger building! My one day/week at the high school is going well, and it's been a nice change of pace.

My parents were here last week, my mom for a week and my dad for a long weekend. It was fabulous! My dad was able to help Kevin install the bamboo flooring (See?! Progress!) and my mom and I had plenty of girl time -- much needed. The house feels awfully empty with them gone, now. I'll hang on to those warm memories until we (hopefully) make a trip there over 4th of July.

Spring may finally have arrived, despite several snow storms in the last few weeks (which my parents even got in on!). A week ago we were shoveling out our driveway, and today/this weekend the forecast is into the 70s. Finally! Kevin's softball league starts soon, so that'll be our new Monday night routine.

This summer I'll be trying out a 3 day work week (10 hour days) which I am hoping will help me restore a little more balance and decrease some work-related anxiety I've been experiencing. We'll try it out this summer and see how things go. I hope to find some projects to work on, like prepping our bushels of veggies! :-)

If I haven't posted The Reveal in two weeks, send lots of chocolate. By then, I'll be needing it!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Two Truths and a Lie

Truth: Apparently my Uncle Morris, who has worked in construction for many years, has a hypothesis for determining how long a project will take.


What you think it'll take, multiplied by two, plus 10%.

We have proven this hypothesis true.

The kitchen project is more or less (we'll go with less) on schedule. We've been very busy tackling both anticipated and unanticipated projects. I have learned that our kitchen is as complex as an onion, the floors at least. The more layers we peel off, the more we find and have to peel up. For all of you who think you have a clean house, have you checked your sub-sub-sub floor for dust bunnies?

Truth: My mother has a theory that when your husband sends you on a "simple" errand to "just buy this" or to just "have this done to the car," he cannot be trusted. Inevitably, the sales person will stray from the script you've rehearsed, making your handwritten shopping list from your husband worthless. They will not carry the screws you are looking for, and they will grill you on which drill bit you have and if it's the correct one, because the Phillips 2 bit will not work with this torq screw that uses a T20. You will sheepishly insert the self-defeating "All my husband told me..." They will likely roll their eyes at you. Not that I hold any ill feelings towards the sales man at Ace's Hardware on Winnetka Avenue.

Lie: I cannot operate a power drill.

It's a lie, it's a lie! Cause I can! I am a drilling machine and have sore forerms and blisters to prove it!

Well, time for the Easter bunny to do a few preparations. Happy Easter! :-)

[No pictures today. The pictures would be deceiving in that you wouldn't be able to see any progress (like shiny new appliances), and knowing how hard we've been working, my ego can't handle that.]

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Here We Go!

An update on the kitchen project, for those of you who have been curious:

Last weekend I packed up the kitchen (I'm getting pretty good at packing after living in 9 different places in the last 7 years), then this weekend we gutted the kitchen, scraped the popcorn texture off the ceiling, vacuumed, sanded the ceiling, vacuumed, took out the laminate flooring, found 2 layers of classic 1970s linoleum, pulled up 2 layers of classic 1970s linoleum, vacuumed, scraped the floor, vacuumed. Did I mention we vacuumed? And Kevin did some other odds and ends that I don't understand. Wires? Phishing? Fishing? Better him than me.

Living in a construction zone is quite the feat for a germ-a-phobe such as myself, but I/we are surviving. We have a make-shift kitchen set-up in our front room, the fridge in another room (just a quick trip outside -- we're struggling to get above 20 degrees still -- through the garage and mud room since the kitchen is plastic/taped off), sink in the basement...We do have a freezer full of leftover food and are still managing to keep a fridge stocked with fruits and vegetables, so I really can't complain. Add to that a few bags of Easter candy, which we dug into early, and we're all set for a busy month or so!

It was a busy and productive weekend, and quite gratifying. I say that now, showered, sitting, breathing (relatively) dust-free air, and in clean clothes, although in the midst of tearing up the linoleum, I remember asking Kevin to remind me of ripping up linoleum when I'm in childbirth, just to see which I'd rather be doing. (Mothers, don't harass me for that comment. There's a good chance I'd jump at the chance to be back in Demo. It'll be interesting to see).

Kevin is a super hard-worker, so he keeps me going. I've learned all kinds of new things this weekend and have a few blisters and lots of sore muscles to show for it. Tomorrow I learn something new again when I start my first day at a high school, where I'll be working one day a week through the end of the school year, a contract placement through my current employers.

So lots of new things and a bit of instability, but we're hanging in there!

Thanks for checking in!

Back when life was "normal"

The Zone