Saturday, September 29, 2007

Finally, house pictures!

I finally got the memory card from DH, so here's the house. They're all interior, but trust it's a cute little cape with a big honking backyard that we feel very luck to have.

Hideous front hall wallpaper before I ripped most of it off--soooo satisfying!

View in the front hall, post wallpaper-ripping

Living room--the shelves will be filled with books; we still have boxes of them shoved into the cabinets below. And no, we're not keeping the valances over the windows. You can't quite see it, but we do have a working fireplace.

See why we're not keeping them? (Another living room angle)

Dining room

Kitchen with ugly linoleum and the scary oven. Notice the crock pot on the counter; used that again last night. Maybe we won't even buy a new range? I don't know why we have a kitchen chair in the middle of the floor. It has taken up residence; I'm thinking of calling it George.

Another kitchen view: our little table for mail and the phone and my one plant I've managed not to kill

Sorry this is on its side; this is the bathroom off the kitchen that clearly used to function as a closet. There's not even a sink in there, but hey, it works!

The TV for the "man room", although our friends have said until we change the wallpaper, they're calling it the "granddad room". The man room comes complete with large leather pullout couch, all very manly, yes, hmm, manly! Grrr!

Ech, another side picture. Wine fridge outside the man room. We love our wine fridge so much we received THREE of them for our wedding and that's the cause of my rant against Home Depot. DON'T REGISTER THERE. They made it nearly impossible to return it.

Contrast to manliness: Guest bedroom upstairs. Come stay!

My office. Notice I never let Kermit the frog or my Harry Potters (top shelf, the colorful ones) get very far away.

Screened-in porch complete with glider! That's the beautiful green thing. DH wants to get rid of it; I say no way.

So that's the house, in a nutshell. I have no pictures of our bedroom because it's a mess. You understand. And I didn't realize my last three captions ended in "-ay", but perhaps I felt the poetry of the house coming through my veins...or it's just coincidence. You be the judge.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Happy Home

This weekend we had a housewarming party/birthday party for DH. When I finally find 1) a USB cord that attaches to my camera or 2) the tiny memory card adapter that's probably buried in some weird place I put it to "keep it safe" for the move, I will post pictures, promise. I feel as frustrated as the rest of you. Know that the house looks lived in and put together, and that's partially due to the fact that we now have a basement and large cupboards, both lovely places to stash stuff for visitors so it looks like you live there and have some of your crap put together. Now we've moved on to the "where did I shove that _______ that I hid for the party?" phase. I'm sure I'll find everything I need within the next five years. Or I won't and I'll get over it.

I admit I had such fun showing our place to our friends who could come, and they all oohed and ahhed in just the right places and even brought us lovely gifts. Savoryandsweet and her husband brought a delicious green salad with tomatoes from their garden and an absolutely mouthwatering cake that I think she should post the recipe to. Plus they brought us our wedding present (a mandoline--the cooking appliance, not the musical instrument) now because she thoughtfully realized we wouldn't want to pack it. I second this: I still have a box filled with other wedding presents still in their respective boxes. As I said, give it five years. We had to crock pot it again, but as a result I have a super easy recipe to share:
  • 8 cu. cauliflower florets (about one large bunch)
  • 1 jar cheddar cheese pasta sauce (Ragu makes one)
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds, crushed (and if you know an easy way to do this that does not involve mortar and pestle, let me know. But I do want a mortar and pestle. They're just cool.)
  • Put all these ingredients together in a crock pot on low for 6-7 hours or high for 3-3 1/2. Add pepper before serving. How mind-numbingly simple is that for a side? And everyone liked it.
So, yes, we had a lovely evening with good food, good folks, and good fun. It eclipsed the fact that the Bills' performance today has me wondering if we should rename them the Fragile Porcelain Mice because we already have so many injuries. Eat your Wheaties, drink your milk, do something to toughen up, for the love of Mike. At least hockey's on its way.

Now I'm off to plan the week because, hey, it's 8:10 on a Sunday night and my time's running out. Oops. Do as I say, not as I do--I always tell the students to avoid exactly this. Have a good Monday, people.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Brief Comment on Life

I don't remember if I read this, but I agree: Nobody ever looked back on her life and said, "I wish I'd watched more TV."

Our new cable enticed me too much yesterday. I'll try not to let it happen again, and will write more about books; dear, wonderful, touching, funny, inspiring books.

Oh, and the crock pot rocked. Nothing like coming into the house with the scent of dinner deliciously and gently assaulting your olfactory senses.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Moving, Part II

OK, I'm alive! We JUST got Internet last Thursday night--the TimeWarner guy didn't finish setting up until 11pm, so this is the earliest chance I've gotten to sit down for more than five minutes to update. I appreciate your time and patience...and have to ask for a little more, as DH has the camera at work with all my pictures on it.

I will try to give the Reader's Digest version, but if you read this blog at all, you'll know that's a bit of an exercise in futility.

We moved in on Monday, August 27, after expecting to do so the previous Friday and being told that previous Wednesday that that would not happen. Super. Honestly, we ended up needing the days--ever notice how 80% of your stuff takes 20% of the time and vice versa? That last 20% included all the little items that don't go anywhere except a large trash bag for easy carrying...but then half of that needs bubble wrap (or a ratty old pillowcase; whatever's handy) so it won't break and only three items fit in one box and why the hell do I even have this thing anyway? What IS this? When did I get this? You understand.

SO! While I also did about 80% of the packing, DH did the same amount of heavy lifting, so I think we came out pretty even-Steven. My mom thinks I did the lion's share--mommies are good like that. A number of lovely and strong friends of DH's came to help us move everything in that Monday, as did the gorgeous and talented A., in from Colorado on a whirlwind East Coast tour. Not only did she haul in boxes, she did so in a skirt. We schlepped everything in and DH set up the bed and the alarm clock so we could spend our first night in the house. I admit freely that I loved falling asleep to crickets and nothing rather than sirens and "HEY! WHERE YOU AT?", which did happen on occasion in the old place. For the rest of the week we put things away and straightened up, putting things to rights slowly but surely. Mom and my sister M. helped tremendously by hanging pictures, moving furniture that DH and I had obviously put in the wrong place (I write that lovingly), and buying those little touches like curtains and towel rods that truly do make the house a home. Right now we've got things more or less set, although I have stowed a few boxes in the basement (WE HAVE A BASEMENT!) or in cupboards. The whole place still needs paint, but I did have a blast peeling off the majority of the hideous old wallpaper in the front hall. Wait until I post the picture of that bit of gorgeousness.

Now, recall I moved on a Monday. On Tuesday and Wednesday, I had all-day new teacher orientation at my new school. Fortunately I now live quite literally a five minute walk away, and I kept a few nice pieces of clothes and the iron handy for just such an occasion. I don't know how other orientations for other jobs go, but picture a large group of excited people becoming more and more bewildered and freaked out as a person stands up, talks about what we need to know for this area of the job, gives us a form to fill out or something to read and know well so we can do our jobs properly...all repeated about ten times. Fortunately I'm in a group of six new English teachers, so we all spend a lot of time muttering, "Did anyone tell you you have to do X by tomorrow?" "WHAT? No! What are you talking about?" "Yeah, I happened to overhear that we have to do X." "Oh, crap."

However, everyone has been extremely nice and helpful, from neighbors to teachers, and while I'll miss the city, I know we made the right move, literally and figuratively. Plus I still have friends in Buffalo who won't allow me to become a scary suburbanite, and I'll have to go there so I can go to a restaurant where I won't know any of my students. Thus it all works out.

I'm sure my next post will include something about the glories of the crock pot because our oven is so old that you just have to turn on the burner and look at the thermometer the previous owners have mounted inside to see if it's at the right temperature. Hence we've stuck to the stovetop and microwave. Ah, the glories of house ownership. I still love it anyway.

Thank you to everyone who has supported us through words, gifts, or backstrain!