Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Much needed update... with photos

We have settled in nicely to our new home. Fall is here and I am thoroughly enjoying watching the trees and bushes show me their brilliant colors. Who knew a crimson maple would turn green and then orange! And the burning bushes! Oh my! They are just brilliant!

My guest room is my favorite room in the house. Here are before and after (please excuse the photo size... one is from the blackberry and one from a digital camera):

And for the living room... I spent a LOT of time getting this room the way I wanted it. It is about 75% done right now, as we will be pulling up the carpet and restoring the natural hardwood floor underneath.
This is the day we started painting and renovating. After finishing the paint... (BTW, I highly recommend Behr primer & paint in one... a little more expensive than regular paint but OH BOY is it wonderful!) See my previous post for mid-restoration pix of the fireplace.

This is the living room today. (Pretend you don't see all the junk of the coffee table!)

Friday, August 07, 2009

The Joys of Home-ownership (with dog)

Everyone told me "owning a house is a lot of work". I accepted that and was ready for the challenge. Little did I know, it would start almost immediately.

First of all, we decided that the dog (3-year-old Jack Russel/ Beagle mix) would be caged while we weren't home, in order to train him not to have an "accident" in the house. He did NOT like this idea. He chewed his way out of his first (plastic) cage. This was the second day he was in it. On the first day, he merely chewed his harness to tiny pieces. Having no cage to put him in, Bill decided to put him in the basement for the 4 hours no-one was home. He tried to chew the door knob off! And today, when I came home (he still hasn't escaped from the basement), i let him out of the basement and we took a quick walk... and I noticed that he seemed rather dusty. Fast-forward to me taking a load of laundry down to wash (more on the laundry issue in a minute), and I find that he's found some drywall that hasn't been hung yet. He tore the drywall into shreds and left it on the floor. I don't think he actually ate any, but you should see the mess!

Other than the headaches the dog has supplied us with, there's MORE!

Day 2 of hot water:
My brother-in-law is in the basement "mudding" the drywall he's installed. He hears a strange noise and wanders around the basement trying to figure out what it is. Come to find out, the water line into the hot water heater has rusted completely through. He brings me the broken pieces, and says "Better go get a new one of these." Luckily, it was only about $12, and he was able to re-install the new one without a hitch.

Day 7 of living in the house:
We get the washer and dryer into the basement and hook them up. We are seriously low on clean clothes, so I put a load in to wash. About an hour later, I go downstairs to see if the load is ready for the dryer... i'm not halfway down the 6 stairs and I can hear water hitting the concrete floor! Shut the water off, finish the spin cycle and dry the clothes. No problem. Put a hose clamp on the drain hose, which seems to be the problem, and everyone is happy. Fast forward a few days, and Bill decides to do a load of laundry. Now the think won't drain. (Did I mention that the hose that says "COLD" actually feeds the HOT on the machine?) Anyhow, a service call was placed, and father time (i swear he was THAT old) made 2 house calls... all is well. Except for the fact that the dog decided to try to chew through the drain hose from the washer (so now it leaks and has a bucket under it until I go buy a new hose tomorrow). Oh, and there isn't any flexible "tubing" from the dryer vent right now. The dog destroyed that, too.

Who needs kids? My dog does more damage!

On the bright side: The barney-purple fireplace has revealed some absolutely gorgeous original woodwork! Its a strange hodgepodge though. Part of the woodwork is obvoiusly original, and other parts are painted-over unfinished moulding. EW.
The half-way point stripping the fireplace
To the left you can see where I stripped some of the lighter pink paint... only to find unfinished wood that is NOT 100 years old. What were the previous owners THINKING??????????? (Oh, and by the way, in case you didn't know... the entire living room was that lighter shade of pink - and it was atrocious!)

Monday, March 30, 2009

The United States is NOT in a recession?

The recession that the US is supposedly not in has just hit WAY too close to home.

Today I watched three co-workers pack up their belongings and leave the building, escorted by the boss. I did NOT, however, see the other 15 people do the same. Nor did I witness the departure of 5 of them on Friday. And I sincerely hope that I do not have to witness any departures tomorrow or Wednesday. Yes, that is how long I was told that this would continue.

That being said, I am thankful that when I was called into the boss’s office, I had another co-worker with me. Evidently that was code for “you can come back to work tomorrow.” I have to admit, I was ready to ask my “buddy” to hold my hand as he shut the door. Thankfully the first words I heard as the door closed were “you guys are safe.” It was a VERY long day, but in retrospect, I am SO PROUD of myself. Evidently, the way I saw myself as an employee is the SAME WAY my employer sees me.

As is evident in earlier posts (see Friday, October 10, 2008 "This is a man's world..." ), I know that as a woman in the Engineering field, I “need” to prove my usefulness. (Please, male readers, do not react to this. It is true, and has paid off, as you will see) Every day, I strive to do more: faster, and with more accuracy than the men who could be given the same task. I do so willingly and happily (99% of the time, if I must be completely honest.) When asked how busy [with work] I am, I will say’ “I can fit you in” before I will say, “Very busy.” I get to work between 6 and 6:15 in the morning, so that I have a good 2 hours to get work done, because I know that I can get more done in those two hours than I can in the following 6 hours. I worked an average of 47 hours a week in 2008.

I honestly believe that it is my drive to be “better than the guys” that saved my job. My male equivalent at work, although he had been with the company years longer than I, was laid-off today. He, with a wife and 2 kids, was let go. I, with a husband and no kids, was spared. To quote myself (and it was affirmed by the boss), “I work circles around him.” To the poor guy’s defense, his attitude HAD greatly improved lately, and it WAS noted by another employee before we knew anything about lay-offs.

Moral of the story: Yes, dad, please get me software and a laptop for PLC programming. I need to know more than I do now. And I’m in the thinking stage of going back to school.

“A woman’s work is never done.”

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Almost Heaven... West Virginia

Last weekend, Bill, his mother, and I took a trip to Beckley WV for his half-sister's wedding. It was absoluetly wonderful! We got to see his dad again, and I've got to say they are two peas in a pod. I got to meet all kinds of Aunts and Uncles and siblings and cousins... They are one wacky crew! Lucky for me, I'm just as wacky.

We took along our friend, Vince the Gnome. He had a great time having his picture taken. Enjoy the photos!

Paying the toll at the first tollboth on Route 64

Enjoying a pepperoni roll. A MUST when in WV!
Getting ready to play poker with my father-in-lawPlaying on the swings during the reception
New River Gorge Bridge on the trip home

A little light reading to pass the time on the trip home

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Confessions of a Wii Fit Addict

So I have been the proud owner of Wii Fit for just over two weeks now, and I must say it was worth the money.

I only weigh 2 pounds less than the day I started, but I am fine with that. For the past two days, I have noticed that my pants fit looser than they did the last time I wore them. I'm not jumping the gun and trying on things I outgrew a year or two ago, though - I know better (LOL). I realize that I'm replacing fat with muscle. A few days ago I noticed that what I affectionately called my "pony keg" is disappearing, and has been replaced with a 2-pack. I'm starting to see the upper half of a 4-pack, which just tickles me pink.

I find that in the afternoons at work, I start counting the minutes until I can go home and work out. I thoroughly enjoy the Rhythmic Boxing, Step Aerobics (although I wish I could increase the length of the session), and the Super Hula Hoop.

Yes, hula hoop. Not as easy as it sounds. Rotate your hips in a wide, even circle in one direction for 5 minutes straight, then immediately switch direction for another 5 minutes. It definitely works your abs, if you do it right.

I find myself skipping the Yoga a lot. By the time I work my rear-end off (literally) for an hour, my muscles don't seem to want to hold steadily in one position for very long. My 'trainer' is constantly chiding me about being unsteady. No kidding, lady!

The strength training is fun as well. For some reason, I struggle with the 10-rep lunges after about the 6th rep. I suppose that means I'm doing it right... I just need to do it every day instead of wimping out and skipping it.

Anyhow, my arms are a little shaky now, and my abs are burning like a bonfire. Time for a shower, or people won't want me around at work tomorrow. (Wait, maybe that's not such a bad thing)