Sunday, December 28, 2008

Good To Be Home

We made it back from Christmas in Wisconsin. The trip there was a little hairy with white-out conditions in Iowa, but we got there in one piece. We had a good Christmas and managed to see just about everyone on the list. Big thanks to Jerad for watching the house while we were gone.
My parents got us a Pearsall coffee table produced by Craft Associates from the 1960's. It has walnut legs with a very thick glass top. My mom and sister purchased it last spring at a flee market in Chicago, even before we got the house. Eventually it will go in front of our loveseat. A very sturdy support for a few cocktails.
When in Rome, or at least Wisconsin. Since we won't be back for some months, we made the compulsory stop at the liquor store for some good beer. One other thing I got for Christmas was a beer frig for the garage. All I need is a cot and there will be no reason to come inside, well except for my loving wife.
Here is the to do list for early next year
1. Set a date for the tiki party (everybody is invited, we will let you know when)
2. Finish drywalling the second bedroom
3. Prime and paint the second bedroom
4. Hang the closet doors in the second bedroom
5. Hang the birch wall in the second bedroom
6. Build the closet in the master bedroom
7. Finish drywalling the master bedroom
8. Prime and paint the master bedroom, hall, and rest of the living room
9. Get new carpet installed in the bedrooms, hall, and living room
10. Install new trim
Well, I better get to work. Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ah, It finally came!

Our Herman Miller bench finally came. I was getting worried they were going to deliver it when we were gone for Christmas. Portland made sure there was nothing dangerous in the box before I opened it. And he made sure it was ok to sit on.
This was our first real furniture purchase, pretty cool.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Oh the Joys of Home Ownership

It has been cold around the ranch and consequently some things broke. First, Sam's garage door opener has been slowly dying and in the cold weather finally died. I opened up the case and it looked like snow from the shredded nylon gears. Sunday was spent making the new opener fit into the old spot. They were "almost" the same size which made fitting the new one harder than if their mounts were completely different. As long as no children walk under the door until I get the sensors installed we are in business.
Then, Tuesday morning no water in the shower, hmmmm. Well a little very hot water, but not enough to do more than make me mad. Since the sink and toilet had water and after running shower for a long time with no improvement, I figured it was a bad valve and called the plumber. He concurred that it sounded like a bad valve and slid us into the schedule. Just to be sure I bought a little space heater and pointed it up into the empty space where the water lines run. A couple hours of concentrated hot air and still nothing so it has to be a valve, right? Our plumber shows up and sure enough it worked just fine. Luckily they installed flexible PVC water lines and those don't split when they freeze. In the near future we will have to blow insulation into the wall and try and get things shipshape. Our shower/bathtub is cantilevered off the side of the house and does not have anything underneath. Very cool architecturally, not the best for keeping things warm.
Anyway, here is a nice picture of the snow in the backyard.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Baby It's Cold Outside

This morning it was 56 and now it is 19, what a change. With getting ready for Christmas not much house stuff has been getting done. The cats really like playing in the tree skirt. The soft ornaments have to go on the low branches.
I managed to get some work done. The backsplash is getting closer to being finished and I got the drawers installed.
Big things to come next year.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Too much food

We had a friend in town visiting this weekend and like any good trip to Kansas City, we spent the weekend eating. We had to set up a temporary suite in the second bedroom. Hey, better than it was a couple months ago. Oh to prime and paint, soon.I have almost finished the first round of grouting for the backsplash. This week I should be able to finish the backsplash.
A couple drawers installed in the vanity. So far everything fits pretty well. Once the front pieces are completed I am sure there will be more adjustments.
We are pushing to get all of the drywall and painting done in the second bedroom before christmas. Sanding drywall is one of the least fun activities.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Hillview Tree Farm, Westfield WI

We spent the last half of Thanksgiving weekend at my parent's tree farm, Hillview Tree Farm, up in Westfield, WI. John claims to be the state's most-educated tree baler.

I love the smell of fir in the wintertime! No real snow (until the drive back to KC) but the weather was nice. Just look at all the Christmas cheer!

Here's John operating the tree baler. Brand new, 1968 technology! Just watch your fingers, avoid the fumes, and don't stand too close. We can bale children and spouses, but that is an additional cost.

Hmm, by the prices posted, looks like John would cost about $30. Maybe I could get more for him in the city.

Here I am with my "kill". We were going to get an 8-foot tree, but I found a beautiful balsam fir that was closer to 10 or 11 feet. It went through the baler and into the truck, no problem. We had to make some adjustments once we got it into the house. (Thank you Sweetie)

Six inches shorter, several branches lighter, and an hour later, it was in the tree stand and standing on it's own. The next time you see or talk to John, make sure to mention what a gorgeous tree we have. I would appreciate it. :) We decorated last night, listened to the Rat Pack's Christmas CD and enjoyed some Berghoff beer we brought back. The cats are delighted, it's like a Toy Tree, just for them. We each guessed how many ornaments would be on the floor this morning, but surprisingly, it was only one.

I had to turn the flash off to get the lights, so it's a blurry picture but you get the idea.

I brought back a wreath for the garage, too. I'm hoping to get to Christmas lights up this weekend, but it might not happen. We've been working on Nall's Room to try to get it a little more liveable before his visit this weekend. Sidenote: I hate drywall and joint compound.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Ever Seen a Monkey on a Cattle Drive?

Monkey wearing a sombrero on a cow creamer cattle drive. Just one of the many fun things to do at home for Thanksgiving.