Friday, July 31, 2009

Miley at the dogpark

As it turns out, Mike and Erin's dear sweet whippet, Miley, is not the most social of creatures. Her adventure at the Wegman's Good Dog dog park was a little alarming and probably a little disorienting for Miley ... especially when she charged a rottweiler and got flung sideways, spinning herself around on the ground. Poor thing!Here, Erin and Mike show their disappointment.
Chris attempted to get Miley to run and play like the other dogs...
But Miley always returned to her people, unsure of how she should interact with anyone else. I think she's asking Mike to take her home.
When that didn't work, she came to me, looking for a ride back to the house. lol

Poor Miley. On the upside, she did seem to be very happy to meet the neighbor's dog, a Great Pierenese. Maybe there is hope for her yet!

The Joys of Owning a Home, OR War with the Bumblebees

Sting number three for Chris. I have still managed to dodge the stingers on all the butts of all the bees in our yard, but I feel my lucky streak can only hold out so long.

Instead of yellow jackets, today Chris and I battle the surprisingly aggressive bumblebees that have made the bottom of our home air condition unit a stop on their flight path. Chris was taking the unit apart so we could clean it out - the metal filter thing was covered in dirt and dust and grass - and suddenly he grabbed his sandal and threw it into the driveway. Another point for the insects at the house on Church Street. (I've decided I want to give our house a name, like a lot of famous writers do, but I haven't come up with a fitting one yet. But I digress ...)

Unfortunately, the bee attacks didn't end there. Once the other spotted the poor little dead body of the bumblebee sans its stinger, the bees got angry. Three flew over immediately, so I ran in to get the insect spray I bought from Lowes the other day. So, with hornet spray for Chris and Home Defense Max for me, we headed back outside with our ammunition.

The battle, I am sorry to say, lasted for hours. Many bumble lives were lost.

We had a tough time getting the air conditioner cleaned out and a tougher time putting it back together. But that didn't compare to the bombardment of bees. Every three or four minutes, another bee or two would dive bomb us. And they weren't just trying to investigate. They aimed at our heads and charged no matter what direction we ran away screaming in.

In the end, I think we may have wiped out an entire hive of bees. The deaths burden my heart. lol I do worry that we just contributed to the ever-looming threat of extinction to the bees, which I believe scientists predict will lead to the destruction of mankind. So we may have just doomed you all. Sorry about that.

But the air conditioner is clean and purring like a kitten ...
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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

On the lake

Last week we headed over to Dave and Lisa's house to visit with some of Lisa's family from out of town. On Wednesday we went to Great Escape and rode a bunch of roller coasters and fun water slides. Lots of fun!

On Friday, we went out on the boat on the lake.

This little cutie is Gavin, the son of Lisa's niece, Julienne. He really enjoyed all the sand and mud at the beach.



Here's Julienne and Marena tubing behind the boat.
Julienne was pretty scared; it was her first time tubing.
Okay, I guess she was terrified.

Marena seems to be doing okay, though.


Chris is ready to go. Maybe a little tired, but still ready to go.
Marena and Chris on the tubes.


Just Chris now ... where'd Marena go?
There she is!

Here's and awesome action shot of Marena and Chris colliding.


Little video of Chris and Marena. Pretty shaky camera work, but it was the best I could do while the boat was going over all those waves.
video
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Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Joys of Owning a Home, OR Attack of the Yellow Jackets

Sunday has become lawn and garden work day for us at the little yellow house on Church Street. Each Sunday afternoon, Chris gases up the lawnmower and walks up and down the lawn with it while I attempt to garden.

Last week, I planted two hostas and some other flowery plant in two different locations around the yard. By today, the two planted in the back of the yard were dead, and the hosta I planted next to the swing under the pine tree is flourishing. It's even growing a second stem of flowers. So I decided I should move the other two plants over there before they die completely. It seems like the dirt in the back of the yard is just too sandy, not to mention overrun with weeds.

Anyway, I relocated the plants pretty easily and headed inside so Chris could mow over in that area. After a couple minutes of cleaning up, I walked by the kitchen door and glanced out to see how Chris was doing.

Not well.

I saw him shut of the mower, start smacking at his leg, and then come running toward the house with his arms flailing wildly around his head! I ran out the door to see if he was okay, and he suddenly stopped in the middle of the yard. He reached down, ripped off his shoe and threw it across the yard. Then he yanked his sock off and looked at his poor swollen leg.

It was the yellow jackets. They've burrowed a nest in the ground at the back of the yard. He must have run over it with the mower and pissed them off, because he got stung a couple times. :-( His leg suffered the worst sting, so we iced it while looking up ways to kill bees on the internet. lol We actually found a pretty useful article here. So we'll probably give that a try this week.

We're pretty sure it was the yellow jackets that also stung Mike and Erin's dog, Miley, yesterday morning when she was running around in our backyard. She suddenly started walking funny, sort of lopsided, and she ran inside and laid down on our cat's bed and didn't want to move at all. We found a large red bump on her side eventually though, and assumed that she got stung or bit by something.

So I guess this is war. Time to kill those ornry little insects out back, and maybe those darn weeds too. I have a feeling by the time this is over, there isn't going to be anything left out there but the two trees and some crappy, too-sandy dirt. Hopefully after we triumph we can mix in a little bit better topsoil and then grow some real grass (sans weeds) in that back section. Oh the joy! lol

Pictures of the past week to come soon. Need to finish my article on the history of New York City first, though. :-)
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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Progress

Still not done ripping the wallpaper off the wall. I seem to be getting the hang of it, though, because it seems to be getting easier as I go.

And there's not a whole lot left, as you can see in the picture below. So hopefully just one more morning will finish it off and then I can sand a little, prime and paint. haha Good stuff.


As for the kitchen, which was almost done, I'd say it pretty much is finished now. I might still do some window treatments, but I might not. Yesterday I painted the remaining trim around the bathroom and basement doorways, and the basement door. I also painted the medallions on the built-in cupboards semi-gloss white and painted the doors light green,
It definitely makes the medallions pop. I also painted the trim around the window in the backdoor, but you can barely see a difference, so I didn't put up a pic.
So yay! Finally done with another room! Woo hoo!
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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Syracuse Nationals

Yesterday while grocery shopping at Wegmans, I stumbled upon a little preview show for the Syracuse Nationals, some sort of annual car show. The actual show was later that evening, so Chris and I went back when he got home from work to check it out.

There was actually hundreds of amazing cars there. Mainly Camaros and Mustangs, but some other fun ones too, like the Roadrunner and a bunch of Belairs and such. Pretty neat.

Below is this souped up car that had a whole home entertainment system tucked into it's trunk. I guess it's a whole new kind of drive-in theater. lol
This was a great one. The headlights looks like tired eyes.
This was my favorite car: the Chevelle. Love it, love it, love it!

Chris said his dad used to have a Stingray very similar to this one.And this one is just plain bananas. haha

To Rip and To Steam

This morning's progress was definitely better. I only worked for an hour and a half because I had some writing to do, but I got more accomplished than all of yesterday morning.

The secret was Chris's clothing steamer. It definitely helped to make the sticking backing come off the wall in larger pieces with less struggle.
So at least now I have the whole landing done and part of the stairway.

Little by little, I will remove you, wallpaper. You are no match for me and the steamer!
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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

To Rip

So I decided to rip down the paint-covered wallpaper.

Ugh.

What a pain. I worked from about 8:30 this morning til around lunch time and this was all I got done.
I'm working with a bowl of vinegar and water, a sponge, a utility knife, and a plastic scrapper. Lots of good tools that definitely make it easier ... but still not easy. I think tomorrow I might give the steamer a try.

One good thing has come out of this adventure, though. I've decided I am going to rip down the paneling in the dining, but since behind it is more wallpaper just like the stuff I'm currently fighting with, I am going to put new paneling up. Not faux wood like the stuff that's up now. Maybe a nice white beaded board or even something more luxurious looking. Not quite sure yet. Might depend on the price tags. lol But after working all morning and only getting one strip done, I'm in no hurry to tackle that dining room. haha
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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My name in print

Well, the New York City page that I've been writing about for my editorial internship hasn't gone live yet, but after being an intern for more than six weeks, I do get my name listed on the other DGuide sites.

Check it out:

http://dguides.com/atlanticcity/about/staff.shtml

Pretty exciting! :-) I believe New York City will be the next city we launch, so my articles should be up pretty soon.

To Rip or Not to Rip

Today, I painted the walls in the upstairs hallway. I still need to do the trim and the doors, but I think knowing that there's more to do is always a given. I'm pretty sure I'll never be done. haha

This was a fun part: painting in between the railings on the staircase. Pretty tedious.
Unfortunately, I encountered a snag. I can't decide what to do about the big wall going down the stairs and the small wall at the top landing. If you look closely, you can see that they have wallpaper on them that's been painted over. The whole wall is sort of bumpy and there are obvious seams from the wallpaper edges.

Here's the worst seam. So I painted a patch to see how it would look and if it would hide the bumpiness a little more ... turns out, not really. Now I'm stuck trying to decide whether or not to rip off the wallpaper and see what's underneath.
Sighhh ... I never knew walls could give me so much trouble (ie. the paneling in the dining room that I still don't know what do with).
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Monday, July 13, 2009

Closet Makeover

Today's project: make over the closets outside the master bedroom. Thankfully, my dad ripped out the extra cabinets (pictured below) for me while he was here so I could transform this alcove outside the bedroom door into my own closet and give Chris the existing one.


Sadly, his closet was in desperate need of a paint job and a good cleaning.


I used the leftover blue bedroom paint to fix up inside Chris's closet. I did the floor with the light brown I picked up at Lowe's for $5 because someone had it made up and then didn't want it. It's just about the exact color I want to paint the dining room, so I figured it was a good find.

We still need to move Chris's shoes into the closet, but I wanted to let it dry a little more thoroughly first.

And here's my closet on the other side of the bedroom doorway. I picked up the curtains at the Christmas Tree Shop; they're a little long, but for $5 a panel, I figured I could manage.
My dad left a small shelf in place for me, which is perfect for holding purses, cute shoes and photo boxes full of my scarves and belts. The boxes and the cloth bins are all from Christmas Tree Shop, as well. It's a cheap and effective way to keep things organized and readily available for me to grab.
It's hard to tell in the picture, but I painted the walls and inside the closet a creamy light yellow color and the slanted ceiling is white.
Now I can actually hide my clothes from view and make the area look a little neater.
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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Updates!

I don't have a lot of time to write captions or go into detail. Chris and I are having our housewarming party today and our friends should be showing up any minute. But I wanted to get these pics up so my family at my brother's housewarming/birthday party could see them today. :-)

Here's some in progress living room pictures as we ripped out the carpet.




Finished living room.



"Before" kitchen pics.

"After" kitchen pics.