Thursday, December 31, 2009

Bye bye 2009

You were truly a bittersweet year. We spent the first 4 months of the year with Hunter spending 3-5 days a week in the field. Sunshine turned 5 (which was HUGE!), we said good bye to her beloved Pierce Chapel Preschool. (which was hard!) .

Summer was hands down, the hardest ever. Hunter's PTSD came to a head. He was transferred from his unit to the Warrior Transition Brigade & started getting therapy for PTSD, TBI & various physical issues. During that same time, Sunshine & I were going to VT to see my parents as Daddy wasn't doing well. At all. We had a fun couple days in Boston on our first Mommy/Sunshine trip. Then Daddy went into the hospital the day after we left VT & would die there 3 days later.

While we were working through our grief & issues we began house hunting, partly because it was the right time financially, but also b/c it gave us something to focus on. Two weeks fter we started looking & a week after starting to look at houses, we bought one!

We're still working on the kitchen (counters & floors are coming up), but it feels like home. And that's what counts. We chose wisely which makes me feel good.

We had a wonderful holiday season, complete with family & friends. We decided to stay home this year & enjoy our first Christmas in our new house. Decorating was fun, we established new traditions (using the Spode Christmas dishes as daily dishes between Thanksgiving & New Year's Day) & enjoyed some older ones (Sunshine waking up Christmas morning to discover Santa left a chocolate kiss on her pillow, going to see Santa, Fantasy in Lights, etc).

The knitting front suffered this year. 18 FOs. Wow. A new low! I guess with all the challenges this year brought, it was to be expected. And I blame Facebook. And Farmville.

So as I say good bye to you, 2009, it's with both sadness & joy. You weren't a bad year, all things considered.

Monday, December 21, 2009

In case I don't see you

Have a wonderful Christmas!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

You know you have a problem when. . .

you get a text message from a friend at 6pm on a Sunday night that says "TJ Maxx has all Christmas 25% off" , you think "Spode highball glasses!!" and run to 2 TJ Maxx stores looking for them.

Sadly both stores were out of them so it was off to Barnes & Noble for a gift card for my brother.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Almost end-of-the-week Update

Scarf for Sunshine's teacher---Done!

Cookies for Cookie Exchange--Done!

New school toured/Sunshine Enrolled--Done!

Sunshine's bathroom painted--Done!

Christmas tree up & decorated--Done!

Christmas ornament boxes put in attic--Done!

Sunshine coming down with a cold--Done! She's got a good case of the sniffles so she & I will only go up to Atlanta for the day on Saturday. Hunter goes up on Friday afternoon. While I'm insanely jealous I don't get to spend a lot of time w/ his family (besides MIL/FIL being super wonderful, his aunt is also great. We've spent many a night talking & drinking wine into the wee (and I do mean wee! Like see the sun come up) hours of the morning. It's probably for the best ---this way I'll get a good night's sleep! I'm having 2 friends over to watch Love, Actually. One of my all-time favorite movies. I haven't seen my friend Kathryn since I went to visit her in the hospital 2 months ago when her darling baby girl was born. Cannot wait to get my bebe fix!!

Tomorrow is Sunshine's class party & her last day at her soon-to-be-old school. While I'm very excited about her going to the school near us, I'm sad she's leaving her old one. Her teacher (and the staff in general) was super. After the party I need to pick up some things for munchies for the girls & I to munch on while watching our movie. And more baking supplies for next week when Sunshine & I make cookies for some of our neighbors.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Let the insanity begin

It's not the week before Christmas that's hectic, it's the week before that! I'm still not finished with the scarf for Sunshine's teacher, although I am in the homestretch. Hopefully 2 hrs of uninterrupted knitting tonight @ Panera will help. It's long enough to BO now, but I'd like it a little longer.

We have a cookie exchange w/ her class on Friday after which we'll leave for ATL for the weekend.

This week I'm finally painting the kitchen & Sunshine's bathroom. Hunter helped me yesterday by washing the walls w/ the Trisodium Phosphate solution until he decided that the rubber gloves were too small for his hands.

Our guest room is finally set up, thanks to Hunter & my friend's hubby putting the bed together. I'm on a quest for the perfect chair for the corner near the dresser. A Queen Anne style would be perfect.

Today Sunshine & I will be touring the elementary school near our house & enrolling her. We were very torn about withdrawing her from her current school as it's been a great experience. There are only 10 kids in her class, something I know won't be the case at the new school. The local elem. school has a great reputation, super great really, several of our friends have their kids there (friends of Sunshine) & well, the librarian is a friend of mine! We're less than 1/2 a mile away & will be able to walk to school, which is very rare nowadays.

We're also getting our tree today. We had decided to do a real tree & then buy an artificial one after the holidays when they're on sale. The last few days of rain convinced us to go ahead & buy an artificial one now rather than a real one that would need to dry out before coming into the house.

And last but not least, we're watching Sunshine's health. A cold or anything contagious throws a major monkey wrench into our Christmas plans as well as our plans to go to ATL this weekend to celebrate Hunter's cousin's college graduation. Both FIL & Hunter's aunt are recovering from cancer & a sick child is a recipe for disaster. I'm praying she's okay & we get to see everyone.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Dear Disney

Dear Disney~

This evening Sunshine & I went to see The Princess & The Frog with 3 of her friends (and their mommies).

We've anticipated the release of this movie for what seems like forever. Once Sunshine found out we were going tonight, she's literally screamed every time a commercial would come on. We've watched trailers online. We've seen sneak peeks on tv. We were ready.

Or so we thought.

Granted, Disney Princesses are pretty big in our house. I mean, BIG. There are Disney Princess dolls both big & small, DP dresses for Sunshine, DP cups/plates/flatware, toothbrushes, lip balm, hair accessories, night gowns, books, fruit snacks, framed prints in Sunshine's room, and one Snow White pillowcase.

I've got to tell you Disney, you hit the ball out of the park with this movie. We weren't prepared for how absolutely charming it was. The artistry is gorgeous. The music was dance-worthy according to Sunshine & her friends. The characters were cute (come on, a Cajun firefly?! LOVE.IT!) And best of all, Tiana? An American princess with a work ethic who values family? Please stop, I can't take anymore! And lest we forget, an African-American princess. About time!

I'm patting myself on the back for picking up the Polly Pocket size Tiana play set earlier this fall. I think they're going to be a big hit on Christmas morning!

BTW, when will the dvd be out? Because well, I'd like to watch it over & over!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. . .

We promised Sunshine a tree for her room. I don't know when the trend of putting trees in kids rooms, but we've jumped on the band wagon. Sunshine's tree is a 3' artificial & has Barbie & Disney Princess ornaments. We decorated it on Sunday & she's loving it.

I caved & bought "The Elf On The Shelf" last week. Some friends got theirs last year & raved about the behavior changes in their children. Our elf is named Go-go & if Sunshine's had a good day, she brings back a small chocolate or some sort of treat from Santa. Here's Go-go enjoying some quality time with the snowmen at the fireplace. I know. Snowmen? Fireplace? Yeah.

Lastly, the red & gold snowflakes that adorn the window to the left of the fireplace. Hunter's aunt has a very large bay window in her kitchen that she decorates with different snowflakes so I can't take the credit for this idea. I'm kicking myself for only buying 1 box of each color.

We're getting our tree for the living room this weekend & I think we'll hang our stockings then as well. We're also going to Callaway Gardens on Sunday with friends to see their Fantasy in Lights. We're unsure whether we'll go see The Polar Express at the Imax theater @ the Infantry Museum on Saturday or next Sunday when MIL/FIL are here. December is a very busy month!

Sunshine's very excited & honestly, I am too. While I'm a little sad that we won't be with my family in VT for the holidays, I am happy that we're having our first Christmas in our new home. MIL & FIL will be with us for a week & we're looking forward to having them here with us.

Friday, December 4, 2009

7 year itch?

I think not! 7 years ago Hunter & I were married. In true Army fashion, it was in between deployments and in true Ft. Benning fashion, it was done across the river in Alabama at the Justice of the Peace.

Last night when I talked to MIL she asked about the 7 year itch. I told her that while we've been married 7 years, we've spent 4 anniversaries together & have only lived together for probably 3 1/2 yrs if you count deployments, field time, etc.

My Mom sent us a beautiful card & the present of dinner out at the restaurant of our choice. We'll be dining in "The Room" @ Meritage tonight. Sans Sunshine! She'll be playing with a friend's 2 girls. I'm trying to figure out what I'm going to wear!

When I look at this picture, I remember the excitement of that day & how much in love we were. I'm happy to say that I still feel that excitement & am possibly more in love w/ Hunter than I was then.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Two of the people I'm thankful to have in my life! Count yourselves in the list of the thankful as well!

I'm thankful for the time I had to knit yesterday. The scarf for Sunshine's teacher is coming along nicely & I'm kicking myself for not using the yarn (Classic Elite Imagine) sooner! It's been in my stash for at least 2 years, is very soft & knits up nicely!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mish Mosh

I was pretty organized in packing & moving but somehow somethings were missing. The charger for my camera that I usually keep in my purse for instance. Last night I found it (along w/ the contents of our "kitchen junk drawer" & decided to see what was on the memory card in the camera.

My Cotton Kisses Baby Cardigan from September (slacker much?!). I decided not to knit in the button holes as I couldn't find any buttons that I really liked for it. I also thought that putting ribbon ties on it would take away from the collar, so there. I loved this yarn & think I need to make a bonnet to go with. I may pick up more to make a sweater for Sunshine.

This was the dishcloth I received during Dish Rag Tag II. Like a dork, I didn't take pics of mine. Oh well! Our team came in around 13th place but we had a good time!

Among the other things I found in the drawer was the power cord for our video camera. The video that's still in the camera is from Nov. 06. Sunshine was 2 1/2 & was playing with a puzzle. So cute! Hard to believe 3 yrs have passed & she's now a very talkative 5 yr old!

Mother Nature reads my blog! Did you know this? The weather here has gotten cooler & we're experiencing beautiful fall weather. Sunshine's enjoyed lots of outdoor time the past few afternoons which has been great. I'm hoping next week is nice as she is off for Thanksgiving Break. How is it all the schools are off for a week? Craziness!

Monday, November 16, 2009

An open letter to Mother Nature

Dear Mother Nature~

I wanted thank you for the beautiful foliage I'm seeing around our new neighborhood. I've loved watching my next door neighbor's maple turn a brilliant shade of crimson before Tropical Storm Ida sent the leaves down to the ground. I've loved the yellows, golds, oranges that I've seen on the walking trail in the Botanical Garden. And I really, REALLY appreciated being on the walking path in Heath Park in brilliant sunshine while leaves have gently rained down on us while the 4 of us were walking & playing. Sunshine loved that best of all too!

My only problem is this weather. Don't get me wrong---I really appreciate the beautiful sunshine-filled days we've had (TS Ida aside), but 78 degrees? In mid-November? Come on. My legs have lost any color they had this summer (and they really did have a lot of color courtesy of the weather you provided us with when we were on Anna Maria Island!), so shorts aren't an option. I don't like waking up to 40 degree weather & putting on my fleece jacket to go walking after Sunshine is at school, only to have to take it off mid-way through my walk or else risking heat stroke.

I'm sure there is someone else who would love this weather---feel free to send it to them. I'd personally like some highs in say, the low 60's? I'm used to chillier weather in November, despite being here for 7 years (Is it so?!). I don't want my new hydrangea to freeze but I'd really love some cooler days.

And snow on Christmas if you can swing it. Even flurries would make me happy!


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Weekend Update

Sorry, it's not going to be like SNL's Weekend Update (I'd never call Jane Curtin an ignorant you-know-what!).

By mid-week my cold had settled into my chest & Tropical Storm Ida had hit Columbus. Our backyard was already puddle-ridden by 11 am.

We've started painting in the kitchen! I got the area below the chair rail done on Friday. Very pleased w/ the color & as soon as we treat the area where we peeled/steamed the wallpaper, we'll start painting above the chair rail.

Sunshine's 2 loose bottom teeth are threatening to come out so a letter from the Tooth Fairy & a special tooth box came last month (I kept forgetting to upload the pics!)

The weather is beautiful & I'm feeling less icky than earlier in the week so I am off! Have a fantastic weekend!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day 2009

This is one of my favorite pics of Hunter & Sunshine. It was taken in the ATL airport in Sept. '07 when we picked him up for the start of R & R during his 3rd tour in Iraq. What the picture doesn't convey is the giggles. She wouldn't stop giggling--she was so happy to see her daddy after 6 mos. apart. It would be another 8 months until we saw him again.

Today is Veterans Day. Originally it was known as Armistice Day & signified the end of WWI (My paternal grandfather served as a teenager). After WWII it became known as Veterans Day & became a day to honor all Veterans. We're honoring ours today. We're so lucky to have him home & whole!

What is a Veteran?

Some veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing limb, a jagged scar, a certain look in the eye.

Others may carry the evidence inside them: a pin holding a bone together, a piece of shrapnel in the leg - or perhaps another sort of inner steel: the soul's ally forged in the refinery of adversity.

Except in parades, however, the men and women who have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem.

You can't tell a vet just by looking.

He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn't run out of fuel.

He is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 38th parallel.

She - or he - is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang.

He is the POW who went away one person and came back another - or didn't come back AT ALL.

He is the Quantico drill instructor who has never seen combat - but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy, no-account rednecks and gang members into Marines, and teaching them to watch each other's backs.

He is the parade - riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand.

He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals pass him by.

He is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb Of The Unknowns, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor dies
unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean's sunless deep.

He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket - palsied now and aggravatingly slow - who helped liberate a Nazi death camp and who wishes all day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when the nightmares come.

He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being - a person who offered some of his life's most vital years in the service of his country, and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs.

He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness, and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known.

So remember, each time you see someone who has served our country, just lean over and say Thank You. That's all most people need, and in most cases it will mean more than any medals they could have been awarded or were awarded.

Two little words that mean a lot, "THANK YOU".

"It is the soldier, not the reporter, Who has given us freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, Who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, Who has given us the
freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier, Who salutes the flag, Who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protestor to burn the flag."

Father Denis Edward O'Brien/USMC

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


That's me--I feel blech. Low-grade fever (if at all), cough, no real nasal congestion & just blah. I really don't think it's the flu as I don't feel like I've been run over by a herd of buffalo. I'm debating whether I should call the doctor. If they don't have any appointments then I'll be told to go to the ER, where I'll wait for hours & possibly be told "blah blah blah, cold, blah blah blah,"

Tropical Storm Ida's causing lots of rain which means the back yard is full of puddles. The irises, roses & our new mimosa tree (courtesy of MIL & FIL) certainly could use it but I'm worried that if it continues we're going to need hip waders & a canoe.

Christmas knitting's coming along nicely. I need to get yarn for another gift & then decide on which pattern I'm going to use. I need to start a list of what we're getting for people this year. Maybe later on after Im done napping!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Here's Sunshine on Halloween--a friend had some of us over for dinner & trick or treating in her subdivision. Since Sunshine's the only child in ours, it made sense to go. We all had a great time despite the rain!

It's Norovember & with my new Noro stash courtesy of our trips to VT this summer, I'm feeling the need to make some Noro projects. I bought some Noro Cash Island thinking a scarf, mittens & headband type warmer would be great for me. I'll get it started shortly as soon as some Christmas knitting is done.

I'm going to attempt felting in my front loading washing machine. I've read online that it IS possible & since I'm using Paton's Classic Merino, I feel pretty confident about the amount of shrinkage & such. I'd say more, but I'm not sure if the recipient still reads my blog or not.

Now that Halloween is over (so not my favorite holiday), I'm feeling the Christmas itch. I want to fast-forward thru Thanksgiving (again, not my favorite. Love the sentiment of being thankful but eh) & head right into the Christmas season! I've already picked up a Yankee Candle in Balsam & Cedar (YUM!) & am mentally going thru my decorations to see what's going where. We've staked out a place for our tree & I cannot wait to decorate the mantle, windows, front door, etc. Yesterday I picked up the first Christmas present---a Polly Pocket sized Tiana doll (from Disney's Princess & the Frog movie). Sunshine has indicated she'd really like both the PP size & Barbie size Tiana dolls, so we'll see if she gets both.

Off to walk in the Botanical Garden w/ Libby & enjoy the foliage on their walking path.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


I actually started & finished a project last night! A friend of mine had her baby girl yesterday & with our weather being a little cooler, I decided to make a hat to go with the feather & fan baby cardigan that I had made over the summer. I found a cute f & f baby bonnet pattern on Ravelry & started the hat around dinnertime. Somewhere after midnight I finished it. Today I need to block it & find some ribbon for the ties & get ir wrapped to bring to her.

Last week was very busy---lots of work around the house for me. I used the steamer that our painter had let us borrow & got the wallpaper out of the kitchen & Sunshine's bathroom. I didn't know what tedious & occasionally hard work it was! This week I need to pick up the paint colors & get to work on the painting.

I also did some hedge trimming in the front yard. The majority of our neighbors have lawn people who come out every week or every other to tidy things up so we didn't want to be "those" neighbors. I also got a huge patch (6x6 or so) of vine & weeds out of the back yard. Next is the Lantana bush in the corner. I'm letting Hunter take care of that one!

This week is the start of Christmas knitting as well as prepping for Sunshine's Fall Festival at school. I have to bake cookies for the bake sale & make up a candy basket for the silent auction. Hopefully we can stay strong & not eat the s'more flavored candy corn!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Spicy goodness!

Hunter & I are both big fans of Alton Brown & his show Good Eats. For a while we've lusted after his spice storage & when we moved into the house & saw the pantry, thought "Alton Brown spice tins!!!!"

A trip to World Market for the tins (cheaper than Bed, Bath & Beyond) & Home Depot for the stainless sheet & we were halfway to spice storage perfection.

Yesterday Hunter got the sheet mounted, I alphabetized the spices (shush! this way I don't have to search!) and there we were---Good Eats-goodness!

On an unrelated note--Sunshine has 3 loose teeth! Her bottom 2 are pretty loose & hopefully will fall out (one at least) before Halloween. I have a cute Halloween Barbie for the Tooth Fairy to leave for her, as well as the big bucks for the first tooth lost. Her top front tooth is also loose, as we discovered at the dentist's office last week. My bebe is a big girl now! It's so surreal!

She's loving the new house---her room, the yard which is great. We've been to her new school to check out the playground (school was closed) a couple times & she agrees it looks like a great school. I need to call to set up a time for us to visit and meet the teachers. I'm hoping that she could be in her friend T's class. They were together all 3 years at pre-school & get along well together. A friendly face might help her transition. Actually, who am I kidding---she's never met a stranger (children anyway) & makes friends easily.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Slowly back to the world of the knitting

Monday night I managed to sneak away to Panera to knit w/ the Col. Knit Group. I honestly don't know the last time I went---sometime in August I think.

And as always, a dishcloth provided the perfect sorbet (if you will) for my knitting palate. I'm doing the ball band cloth from Mason Dixon Knitting's 1st book. It's about 1/2 way done--hopefully I'll get some time to work on it tonight.

Our new stove & range hood were installed--thank goodness! Our kitchen is coming along & hopefully I can get the rest of the wallpaper off in the next week & start painting. The floor comes after that!

We've been enjoying the sunroom/ porch in the back of the house. Well, Sunshine & I have. She informed Hunter that it was only for "girls & Barbies" so he's been banished. Poor guy! It faces East so by mid-morning the direct sunlight is gone & it's not too warm. There is an overhead fan which helps to move the air aorund & we have a great view of the pear & crepe myrtle trees with the birdhouses. We have a Blue Jay who keeps coming around---I think he sees the Blue Jay wind chime inside & thinks he's got to free his fellow-bird! We've also got a male & female cardinal, as well as some ofther unidentified birds.

While we know our way around our new neighborhood, we're learning where to go for certain things. I stopped shopping @ Winn Dixie two years ago after what is known as the Prosciutto Incident of 2007. I went to the one down the street from where we used to live, waited for the woman in the deli for 5 minutes before she finally came out & then watched as she got the deer in the headlights look when I asked for prosciutto. It became obvious that she didn't know what it was & that they didn't carry it. I was the bad guy for requesting such a ridiculous item. Come on----who doesn't love a little prosciutto?! It's one of my most favorite things & well, Hunter was deployed & I like to treat myself. So I gave up on WD & was picked on by friends for requesting my "snotty fancy Italian ham"

There is one near us & it seems clean, well stocked etc. So I went in this week to do some shopping. Everyone seems friendly enough. Decent sales (Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream was 3 for $10) & aside from their bagged salad looking kinda wilted, everything looked to be okay.

Until I tried to find the GoGurt that Sunshine likes. Nope, no strawberry with blueberry combo packs. Lots of Sponge Bob, lots of the Trix rabbit, no plain ol' GoGurt. The associate stocking the shelves was too preoccupied to ask what I was looking for.

As I wandered along I discovered there were no boboli shells (thin crust, thank you very much). Hmmmm, some other brand that I've never heard of, but no Boboli.

In case you haven't figured it out, you really don't want to grocery shop with me. I want what I want---doesn't everyone?? Then I wound up in the line with the really.slow.bagger. Normally this isn't an issue but when I have 10 min to check out & get to Sunshine's school it becomes a problem.

And I get all "Oh, let me help you bag" And I do, sort of like an 8 yr old after drinking 3 cans of coke that have been laced w/ pixie sticks.

Again, you really don't want to shop with me.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Still with the boxes!

Here's our living room the way it looked Monday. Note the boxes in the bottom right corner. They're slowly making their way out the door!

Our bedroom. Slowly things are making their way to their rightful places. Paintings/prints are being hung in all rooms.

And Sunshine's room in all it's pinky girly splendor! I'm really pleased with how it turned out & would be lying if I said my inner 5 yr old wasn't a tad bit jealous of the color & bedding! Although, our bedroom is pretty nice too! Most importantly, Sunshine loves it!

Friday, September 25, 2009

So. Very. Tired.

Moving Day #1 was today, as well as closing day! While I'm recognizing that I have a skill for removing wallpaper, I've also realized how incredibly exhausted I am. Our painter is great & did a super job on our room & Sunshine's. His hired guy quit on him so he was alone. He'll be back in the morning & Sunday if necessary. Nice man, originally from CT (gotta love New Englanders!) & gave us a great price.

I spent most of my day in the kitchen unpacking & setting things up. I love our kitchen---the cabinet space sold me when we looked at the house. In addition to the standard above the counter cabinets, we have 2 cabinets that are floor to ceiling. Pics will come once the painting is done in there!

Tomorrow we rent a Uhaul to move smaller furniture items & boxes. I want to get Sunshine's room set up ASAP so the move is easy for her. I have to admit, I'm afraid of Hunter's Army stuff in the closet. Very afraid. Sunday we'll move whatever else is left & then Monday the movers come for the heavier stuff.

We'll be without internet for a few days so I'll see you sometime next week!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Knitting to follow, I hope

We're in full house mode now. Honestly, I don't even know that I've thought about knitting in days. No, that's not true, I've looked at friends projects on Ravelry. I've looked at my stash & needles & am thinking they'll go over to the new house soon (we close TOMORROW!!!!). I'm debating purging some of my stash & library of books/magazines whenever I make it back to Knitting Group. But all thoughts go back to the house.

The painter comes tomorrow. After painting Sunshine's closet ourselves (Hunter started & I finished), we realized that while there are certain home renovation things we enjoy doing, painting isn't really one of them. I'm fine w/ painting the interior of a wall--you know, after someone's taped everything & painted the perimeter for me. So anyway, we hired a painter. He's doing Sunshine's room (from blue to pink --Behr Delicate Bloom), the hall between her room & the guest room, the guest room, living room (Behr Wilmington Tan) & our bedroom (Behr Witch Hazel). The wallpaper in the kitchen will be peeled off after we've unpacked & settled in a bit & then we'll paint (Valspar Fog of London all over & then Val. Grecian Urn below the chair rail in the eat in part).

The movers come on Monday to do the heavy pieces. After packing all these boxes, transporting them ourselves to the new house & unpacking, I've decided that we deserve a break. The next day the cleaners come to the apt & the day after that we have our walk through.

Speaking of the walk through, what a pain in the neck!! I'm fine with the fact that it needs to be cleaned, nail holes in the walls need to be filled in. We already know about the mini-blinds. But I draw the line at cleaning the carpet that they are going to rip up for the next tenant. In their perfect world (which isn't the same as my perfect world), they have you pay THEIR suggested carpet cleaner $65 to steam clean your carpet. Then they rip it up as per GA law for new tenants. So, why exactly are we shelling out money for something that's going to be trashed? When I asked the woman in the maintenance office she didn't have an answer & asked if she could "get back to" me. Hunter's been here for 10 years (unheard of in the Army). There have been 3 dogs here, 2 of which were puppies when they came to live here, there's been a baby who grew into a small child. Miles were walked on this carpet. So when she asked if it looked worn I had to laugh. What 10 yr old carpet doesn't?? We know they're not using premium quality here. I'd be shocked if they did. We've kept up with cleaning it as we have a carpet steamer but still. 10 yrs old.

So the decision they came to was that while we didn't have to pay to have it cleaned, we would be charged a $65 replacement fee IF the floor below shows signs of pet damage. They don't let you in here when they're pulling up the carpet so we're to take them at their word. Pardon me for being cynical, but I'm willing to bet that we're going to get a bill for $65 sometime in the next month.

While packing & moving have been exhausting, they've also been very liberating. I've been able to purge stuff that we don't use, haven't used & will never use again. Hunter & I enjoy movies & when we got married, discovered how many VHS tapes we had (it was when DVD's were becoming more affordable). We relegated them to the guest room (now Sunshine's room) storage under the vanity next to the sink. I'll be honest, I've put off cleaning up under there because I was afraid. Very afraid. Last night I conquered my fear & went where VHS tapes go to die. 30 minutes later I was done. There were 8 (4 but double bagged) ForceFlex bags filled to capacity with VHS tapes. 3 of the bags held commercially produced tapes, 1 was trash. They're going to a woman on the Columbus Freecycle board along with one of our VCRs. We're keeping the other one as our old video camera did super 8 tapes & well, there are some videos of Sunshine that I have to keep!

So, after I meet VCR/VHS girl, I am off to Home Depot for paint & then to the liquor store for more boxes. Today's packing tasks are our toiletries & hopefully a little cleaning of our closet.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The one with the mini blinds.

Without getting all political, let me just say that I stopped shopping at Walmart a while back. Anything I needed I could get at the commissary (grocery-wise), Target or elsewhere.

Until yesterday.

We're trying to replace the mini blinds that have met w/ Sunshine or Libby. Our complex charges you $25. per mini blind that they have to replace. For the vinyl el-cheapo ones. Twenty-five dollars. I'm sorry, but that's a skein of Tilli Thomas!

We needed to replace 3 blinds, which isn't horrible considering we have about 10 windows in here. So I measure the blinds that are in there now. I measure twice. Hunter joins me in the measuring activity. I write down the measurements (36 x 64) & head to Target the next morning.

Target disappoints me by being out of the size I need. What to do? I caved & went to Walmart. We're leaving this place, why do I want to put lots of money into replacing things when I have a house that is crying for me to paint 3 bedrooms, a living room & to replace the wallpaper. I'd much rather invest my money into something that is *mine*.

I find the size we need at Walmart & head home. Only the size I need isn't the right size. The blinds are too wide. I know you're asking how. Believe me, I was too. We measured once, twice, THRICE! We're not idiots. We can read. The tape measure said 36 inches. Nope, too wide. So, off to Walmart to exchange the offending items. We have 4 Walmart stores w/in 10 miles of our house. (Can you say "oversaturated market"??). I go to the closest one only to discover that too bad, so sad--they don't have the size I need.

Fine, be that way. I stop at store #3 & pick up the blinds. Get home (after picking up Sunshine at school) & take the blinds out of the box only to discover---say it with me---they don't fit--they're too SHORT!

I think those of you who know me know that I really can read, I can function in society, can read a map, and I sure as heck can read a tape measure. And, if for some bizarre reason, I couldn't then certainly Hunter could.

I admit, I cursed at this point. No one heard me. Okay, maybe the dog. The thing I love about her is that she keeps all my secrets.

So today I went to Walmart for trip #4, returned the now-cursed blinds. I venture to the blind aisle (because I can tell you where they are in 3 different Walmarts in the greater Columbus area!) only to discover. . .

they have a 34" x 72" mini blind in white but they are 10 dollars. Now, I'm by no means cheap. Please, my stash speaks for itself.

But when the 36" x 64" blinds are $4, surely the 34" x 72" shouldn't be more than twice that price.

But they are.

I text Hunter. Apparently my texts are special because he knew I was hysterical at this point. Bless his heart, he suggests going to Home Depot (our new home away from home). Fine, I say, as I can also get paint samples.

Home Depot doesn't disappoint me (except for the self-check out machine, but that's another blog entry) & I head home with 3 34"x 72" mini blinds in white. The bedroom blind slides right in & looks all spiffy. The two for the living room & foyer are impossible to open so they go to the "honey do" list for Hunter.

Tonight after dinner he starts replacing them as I'm folding laundry. The living room opens for him (whatever) & is replaced. He gets the foyer window one open only to find out that . . . wait for it. . . the foyer window ISN'T 34" wide. It's 31"

Tomorrow morning after I drop Sunshine off at school I'm going back to Home Depot. Sunshine doesn't like the paint color for her room so I need another paint sample. And the blessed mini blind.

The best thing about the new house? The only mini-blinds are in the guest bedroom & kitchen. And I may get rid of them purely as a matter of principle!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sushi on Thursday

Is there anything better for lunch than spicy tuna roll? Our commissary has a sushi chef who makes really good sushi---whenever I'm on post I try to swing by to grab some for lunch. There's something decadent about eating sushi on my couch while watching America's Next Top Model.

The house is coming along nicely & there is talk about letting us close early!!! Like w/in the next 12 days! The timing would work better for us as we could get in a couple days earlier than expected to paint. I am so excited to decorate---especially Sunshine's room! I'm just hoping that her pink room looks little girl chic instead of pepto-bismol scary.

We've got 2 birthday parties this week--one Friday night & one Saturday noon, both at the same place. Too bad we can't sleep there on Friday!

Baby sweater is coming along nicely---I need to do the sleeves, the ribbing & then seam it together. I'm loving the yarn & cannot wait until it's done. The shower is the 20th of this month so I need to get it done this weekend.

Today Sunshine & I are going to swim after school---it's still warm enough & we're planning on taking advantage of the good weather (and the pool) while we can!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Son of Dish Rag Tag or GO DIVAS!

I had so much fun last year doing Dish Rag Tag that I signed up to participate again this year. I'm part of Team 8: the Dishrag Divas! After a snafu caused by our new mailman (I am SO convinced he's been paid off by another team!), I finally got the box from Suzanne yesterday & started knitting. Easy pattern to memorize & worked up quickly. The cloth is done, the box is packed & tomorrow after I drop Sunshine off at school, I will pay a visit to the PO near her school to send the box off to Lynda in PA.

I've had a great birthday weekend---dinner w/ Hunter & Sunshine on Friday night, dinner w/ the girls on Saturday night & some time at the new house. Yesterday I went thru 7 Mr. Clean Magic erasers cleaning baseboards, the vanity in Sunshine's bathroom as well as ours (including the interior of the drawers), the wall in the hallway & living room and the plantation shutters in Sunshine's room. Hunter spent most of the afternoon sanding & staining the front door. It's a gorgeous door & the finish has been worn by the sun (the front of the house gets the strong GA afternoon sun). Our contractor complimented him on his mad handyman skillz & told him that he knew a guy who did the same job (refinishing the door) for a woman & charged her $700 for a job that wasn't nearly as good as Hunter's.

We're talking about pulling out the carpet in the LR & DR and replacing them with hardwood. Manuel (contractor) told Hunter that he would be wise to do the job himself as it's really easy nowadays (Hunter did construction for a couple summers during college & has put down hardwood floors) & if we paid someone he'd be kicking himself as he could handle the job himself. It's nice having a hubby who is handy & can tackle jobs like this!

Let's just hope he doesn't expect me to mow the lawn!!!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Back in the saddle

The knitting fairy has come back to visit me! Yesterday while Sunshine watched a movie & played in her room & Hunter napped, I got 2 solid hours of knitting in! I was able to finish the back piece of the baby sweater I'm making & CO for the right front.

Tonight is Knit Night @ Panera so I'll be able to get a couple more hours in & hopefully finish the right front & maybe CO for the left front. Babies don't wait for projects to be finished!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A new home for me & my stash!

We found out yesterday that we got the house we wanted! After being outbid on another house on Saturday by 2k, we found ourselves back at square 1. Scouring the internet for houses, driving by the house to determine whether we liked the neighborhood, contacting our realtor (anyone in Columbus--I HIGHLY recommend him!). We saw this house on Monday night & were smitten almost immediately. I had driven by the house earlier in the month & decided the yard was too small & not private enough. Because I can tell this from the road, can't you?

We pulled into the garage, walked inside & were wowed. The kitchen is fantastic--tons of cabinets including 2 large pantry cabinets. It's eat in & the laundry room is a great size & off the kitchen. The living room has a gas fireplace & also, a great size. The dining room has a huge window & plantation shutters. The master is beyond huge & will easily fit our bedroom furniture & then some! Custom walk in closet in the master & the master bath sports a double sink vanity, nice size stand alone shower & a bona fide Jacuzzi tub! The other 2 bedrooms are spacious & Sunshine chose the blue one with the large bay window as her room. It will be repainted pink to her specifications. The other will be the guest room & the closet will hold my stash! The backyard turns out to be perfect for Sunshine & Libby and is very private thanks to hedges along the fence which surrounds the back & side yards. There is an attic above the garage (2 car) & a glassed in sunroom.

We close in late Sept & are very excited to get started w/ painting & putting in new counters in the kitchen. Hunter wants to retile the kitchen & Sunshine's bathroom floors.

One of the big decisions we're facing is when to switch Sunshine from her school to the new neighborhood school. Do we switch after Christmas break or at the end of the year? Again with the school questions!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A new blog

For me, a new email address means a new blog. We're still in the house hunting race & have found some that show promise.

The Wee One has been renamed Sunshine as she really isn't a wee one any longer. *sniff*

There isn't much knitting lately & that needs to change. Facebook & the demon that is known as Pet Society have taken up too much of my time. I have a couple baby projects that I need to finish (including the one that needs to be started!).

Dish Rag Tag is starting ---- GO Team 8!!!!!