Thursday, July 31, 2008

Cough, cough

I am sitting here with a summer cold and procrastinating on putting the final touches on a LO so here I am to blog. It's been over a week and that is unacceptable bloggy behavior. Before I talk house, let me say how excited I was to finally find the Stephen Colbert Americone Dream ice cream from Ben and Jerry's at my local Kro Kro. I call that hell to the yeah. It is seriously the best flavor, it is supposed to be like a King Cone (cone, vanilla, caramel and maybe there was chocolate, I don't remember). I bought it, ate it, and floated away to a universe where angels did my hair and everything glittered. Then of course I came down and weighed five pounds more and am back to Atkins living. Summer eating, while exceptional, has to come to an end so the carbs are a bye bye.

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Anne and I pushed our monthly lunch up a week and hit Cafe Red Onion yesterday. Heather, I don't know why I've never dragged you here when you are in but one day we are going. Actually, it's very kid unfriendly but maybe sans kids. Pineapple salsa. Fusion Latin food. Mmmm. Thought I'd share a pic of what I had (um, might have had carbs in the fried eggplant) but frankly when you get a chance to eat truly amazing food, you should forget about diets and enjoy. McD's, not so much. I didn't take this pic, but a guy named Crossmage on flickr did and I am also including a link to his Houston set out of courtesy for borrowing his pic (giving credit is good) and because holy crap he makes this nasty place look tremendously presentable:


House chat. Ellen and others who haven't known me long -- this is the second house we've renovated. We swore after the first never again but here we are with some very important differences. First, we will never work in a place and renovate. Our last renovation literally took a couple years and we would not live like that again. It's the difference between having the money upfront though, this time because of the proceeds from that sale we can pay for everything at the same time. Exception: converted garage and studio in the back. We can't prolly afford it now and we will live there when they are renovated, but they are separate and therefore acceptable to do that way. We also learned lessons about what work is cool to do yourself and when outsourcing is appropriate. Sheetrock and painting -- worth paying others. Most everything else -- diy. Here are some before and after pics from what we did back then so you know why we think we rock:

Foxwood Kitchen Before

Foxwood Kitchen Complete

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I am seeing now that we did a crappy job taking after pics because I don't have a single finished bath one. How tragic. Nor do I have a good one of the crowning achievement of that house, the half bath in the hall that we converted into a full bath and installed a giant faux wrought iron tub. It was gorgeous. The good news is that when we housewarm this one, I will already have a digi book ready to go to show people how far we've come. Bottle of piss not included.

So yeah, we rock and we're at it again. Nothing supercool to report this week. We had to clear out the storage unit this week which only had like the stuff we cleared out pre showing the house for sale so the bedrooms are full of boxes and not much else. The rest is still here at the in-laws. But we did mostly put Dylan's bedroom together and his playroom has begun its transformation. Got an alarm system which makes me feel better. I bought and put together my Expedit shelves from Ikea -- the scraproom has begun. BTW, Ikea still hasn't charged me for the cabinet purchase of June 20 but there is a four year statute of limitations so I expect to hear from them in June 2010. The money's in the account waiting for them when they are ready to believe me when I say they haven't charged me for the stuff. Morons. Other than that, we are running out of money after having bought a fridge, house of Levelor faux wood blinds, island vent for the kitchen, and other expensive necessities. Tragically, Jason's ER Visit ended up costing us $700 and we had $1200 service on the Blazer, so the fund for furnishing the house is going bust. What a gorgeous empty house it will be, but Heather has assured me that she will be buying a fancy decorative key for me to start my collection as a housewarming gift and I believe she will just to keep that great joke going. Some crummy pics...better ones to come this weekend. Jason said all the blinds arrived yesterday which is awesome since they weren't even supposed to ship until next week. Crummy though since I didn't even have an email to expect them and they just left them under the carport and I randomly sent him over there to see if my PB purchase had arrived (to be shared later) since I was emailed about it. So hopefully we'll get those up this weekend, yay!

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Ignore the tree. Dylan's room will have an outdoor theme and I am using the tree to hang random animals in. Very theme-y, very un me but I am going for it anyway. And finally, the pic Jason got in the Home Depot urinal -- it's like a standoff between two, well anyways...

Shaft in the urinal

Sunday, July 20, 2008

This week in the land of Cumby...

Since Heather and Rita already posted their obligatory pics of their cute kids from our beach trip, I will have to do that too lest I look unloving towards my boo bear. So yeah, we all took all our kids minus the dads (because if they are there, it is just three more whiners!) and stayed in a condo on Galveston from Sun to Wed. Pretty cool for the most part, except Heather's promise that the kids are easier to handle like that didn't work for me -- possibly since I came with one and never have people over to stay at my house. To me, it just seemed like constant loudness and chaos but since Rita and Heather live with chaos, maybe that was easier for them. I mean, Heather seemed content to read a book and pretend it wasn't going on and brags on her blog about getting to read two books that trip. Me, I found myself asleep at 10:30 everynight exhausted. Don't get me wrong, I actually had a very good time, but it certainly was not cucumbers on the eyelids relaxation. Very fun though, learned a new game (Phase 10), finally had some good competitors for Mario Kart (go Jackson and Jordan) and I did find time to gorge. Will go again, assuming I am invited...and now those obligatory pics...

sepia beach

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and now that you are thinking...ugh, how is Galveston a vacation I will talk about something as gross as the water there -- the air here. I drove through downtown and was totally bummed by the ozone warnings and the haze over the city -- enjoy a pic of downtown on Wed coming home and then on Fri when it was nicer... It wasn't a rainy day, not even overcast, just a hazy day where you've been warned by a sign on the freeway that babies and the elderly shouldn't be out today

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And finally, la casa del Cumby. Just cause I left didn't mean work ended. Raul's crew finished the painting and then while I was gone I got a call from the Window Guys (seriously their name) and they were ready to come Thurs and Fri to put in the new windows. Hot dang. Fri was also heavy trash, so Jason and Paul were trying to take down this shed/workshop thing that Grandpa Lott used a million years ago and leave it for heavy trash. It *may* have resulted in Jason getting a tetanus shot. Would you want to be jabbed by anything in the below pics? I think not. We also cleared the sunroom of all of its trash (like any remaining debris from bath renovation, etc) and the result is closer to godliness. Not there yet-- someone literally threw a bottle of piss at some point in the last five years into our backyard and that was gross to find. I mean, Dasani doesn't turn that color on its own. When that 12 foot fence goes up, life will be good for sure. Also in the trash was like a bunch of tree bits. The men took down like two gigantor hackberries -- the trunk even in pieces had to be dollied away to the curb. Pics...

Shed/workshop treasures including the fossilized remains of the oldest trike ever:

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New windows -- except one in the master where the Window Guys mismeasured and now we have to wait another couple weeks for that to come in. Sigh on that, but the difference between the new windows and the old aluminum is pretty profound. Which is obvious since we can admire them side by side for the next couple weeks...

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Today I had the grand job of getting all the cover plates back on and the boys worked on putting in the Ikea cabinets -- where I am off to, yet again, tomorrow. Wish me luck!

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The journey continues...

Before I talk about the house, can I just say that if you are in the Houston Heights area and want a good breakfast, you have to try Dry Creek. Anne (former teaching partner in crime) and I have decided the first Wed of every month is breakfast/lunch together and this was our first stop as we explore non-chain/franchise restaurants. It is a converted gas station and supercute. I only sort of felt like a poser walking in. Anyways, I had the Egg Sam'ich (fried eggs, bacon, cheese with Tabasco Mayo, mmm) and Hash browns with cheese and sour cream (ow, my heart) and Anne had the waffles with blueberries and bananas and some bacon. No one left empty and the prices were totally reasonable.

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Now, because I know you didn't check this to see what I ate today, here are some updated pics on the house...

This weekend was about getting the new doors all cut and up hanging (13 by my last count), hanging some cabinets for the sake of getting it ready for the how the fridge/oven area turned out. The left side will be the island between the kitchen and loving, gotta have a queso destination! And FYI, if you can see that tiny bit of dark wood Paul is holding as Jason nails, that is the color all the doors and fronts will be. Jason really wanted to go dark this time...

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That brick wall had gone out to the front of the cabinet, but we cut it off. As a result, it needed finishing and I looooove Paul's solution to turn some of the bricks sideways. Brilliant!

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And then there's the paint! The thing about paint is that the colors don't always come out the same as the I saw when Raul and his bros did their magic

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Ah, to coin a phrase from some of my fave gossips blogs, that's shiteous! I pictured "Alchemy" in the dining room as a olive/gold-ish color and instead I had banana yellow next to a bright green. Guess which one already got repainted? Bu-bye, bananarama!!

Here are the final colors:

Whole Wheat in the kitchen, breakfast, den, entry and hall (and I am so trying to convince Jason that the light fixture in the breakfast room is totally adorable in a kitschy sort of way...tell him you agree!):

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Mediative in the bathrooms:
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Sassy Green in Dylan's room and playroom (front den):
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and Basket Beige in the master, guest/scrappy space and yes, the dining:
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We're all taking a couple days off, but in the next days the trim will be painted and hopefully The Window Guys (yup, that's their name) will come put in our new windows. We weren't initially planning to do them so it sucked a bunch of budget and rearranged some things, but I am still pleased as heck that we decided to do it. No more Nottingham windows in the front, lol. Update more soon!!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

More words.

So, yeah, all kinds of stuff going on.

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I got Dylan a haircut and part of what held me back was that his best friend Kolby was rocking the same look. I finally did it, thinking Shana might be inspired by Dylan and cut Kolby's only to find that Shana and I share a brain and Kolby had finally cut his too, the same week. That may not sound so monumental except that these boys have been rocking the long hair for like nine months and without mentioning it to each other we both cut the boys hair off.

Since we had to work at the house all day yesterday, we kept close and went with Shana and fam to the fireworks downtown. It was like a ten min drive from our houses to Jeff's work where we went to the top of the garage of American General and watched the fireworks. Any pics of the kids were awful since I didn't have the insight to bring the little camera for candids and the Rebel for the fireworks. Oh well, here are the fireworks and our awesome skyline (which I actually really heart)

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And the house. It is moving along quite nicely. Raul started the drywall work a little early and it was a total a-ha moment walking in and really seeing more of the vision for where the house is going. He and his bros do amazing work, for sure. I picked out the colors for the house and I am a little anxious that they may have been too much, but we'll see. The "whole wheat" and "basket beige" for like 60% of the house doesn't worry me, it was my choice of green, blue and yellow-y color for the dining room, playroom, Dylan's room and bathrooms that have me a little worried. How bad could it be, right? We'll see.

It is amazing how quickly you burn through a budget on a big project like this. We're on track with what we said we'd spend on each step, it is just still sad to see how much our Brookwoods account has depleted. But then again, we've never done an entire home in this short a time, so projects stretched out on the last house never felt like much. I'd like to remind you all that we've now owned this house...18 days. These pics are as of Thurs night, projects have been going on all weekend and I will those pics up soonly...

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Til next time...