Saturday, January 29, 2011

A week later...

And nothing much has happened. Oh, no. Wait. Something. What was it? Oh, yes... the shower was completely deconstructed. <cough, cough>

But alas, life is not all work and no play. Why don't we start the weekend with a loud concert, too much to drink, and a way too late night.

We had plans to go see Taproot, sorta. It was more that we wanted to see one of the opening bands, which is one of our favorites, 12 Stones. But they had to cancel, so we weren't going to go. But then one of sweetie's former band mates said his band had taken 12 Stones' place in the lineup, so we were back on so we could see Chrome 44, and Mike.

Now, of course, I did not indulge except in one drink the whole night because I was the DD. In the end, I was very glad for this because while the rest of the crew had, um, imbibed a bit too much, I was perfectly fine. This meant that when THIS started up at 9 a.m. the next morning, I was unfazed.

It was loud. It was noisy. It was dusty. It was LOUD. Banging on the tile, whacking the walls, hauling crap out. But, as you can see, huge progress has been made on the before-mentioned ugly shower. We are left with an empty shell. Next up is a re-route/re-do of all the plumbing (yaay for new a hot water heater too!), a re-centering of the drain, and installation of the shower pan. Then next weekend the tile itself will be installed. And then... the plumbing will actually be connected to the fixtures. And then... the shower door will go in. In all, it will be about 4-5 weeks without a shower. We could make it happen quicker, except that little thing called WORK gets in the way. <sigh>

In any case, I'm getting excited. Dual shower heads, body sprays, cool tile. Did I mention a new hot water heater? I swear I am going to be the number one cause of the fail of Earth's ecosystem, what with all the energy that is used to supply me with all the hot water I use. And I wonder why my skin is so dry.

I will leave you with a random sampling of some of the photos I took last week.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I love holidays! (But remodeling projects suck)

Monday was MLK. Not many folks have the day off save for those of us in banking or federal work. I don't *technically* work for a bank, but I get the day off and I am not complaining. My girls and I went to Mad Potter, which is one of those paint your own pottery places. Oldest wasn't feeling it (read instead), but youngest painted several pieces. I read a bit and occasionally helped her with some parts of her projects. It was just nice to hang out.

Back to work on Tuesday. Meh. But I got a good shot of the moon that evening when I standing in, of all places, the grocery store parking lot. Shh. Don't tell anyone.

You may have seen mention of an impending shower project. Well, it is impending no more, and it appears that demolition is to begin this weekend. While we have decided on tile and some cool fixtures and better volume (with control knobs no less) and a thermostatic valve and body sprays and a larger water heater, the fact of the matter is that, due to the stages involved and the people working the various stages, we are set to be without a master bath shower for, oh I dunno, A MONTH. Not that the other bathroom has a bad shower, it's just that all of that kind of stuff, well, you know... throws off the routine. I bet $50 that I am late to work everyday for the first week because I just won't be able to handle the change to my normal, zombie-ish way of going about my A.M. business. We'll see. Here is the shower BEFORE.

I know. I know. We can't get past the 80s gold/brass shower door either. The primary idea here is to expand the shower stall and make it approximately 48" x 48". But of course the shower door will be replaced too, and all the other groovy stuff mentioned above will be installed.

Psst. If by chance you did happen to get past the 80s gold/brass shower door, could you please not look too terribly close at the shower floor? I know that it is horrible. I hate cleaning showers. And then, well, once we knew we were going to replace it, we kind of just... stopped cleaning it. At least in the scrub it and make it sparkly kind of way. We do occasionally spray some bleach-y smelling mildew cleaner in there. Just to keep the growth from sprouting legs and invading the rest of the house.

I'll keep y'all apprised of the project, and my sanity.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Told you it was busy...

So Wednesday my youngest was in the spelling bee. First time either of my girls have been in it. They divide it up K-2, 3-5 and 6-8, so already the 3rd grader had a disadvantage... the youngest in the batch. Six from each grade, 18 altogether. In the gym. In front of all their peers from the classes. Oh, and they had to speak into a mike too, which most of them had NEVER done before in their lives. In any case, real proud of my girl. She made it to round three before getting knocked out. The word? quench

Friday night me and my honey went to one of our favorite places to eat.

They have a terrific roll there called the Crazy Irishman. Salmon and tuna and other deliciousness and they wrap it in soy paper and quick fry it. Yum! Since it was happy hour, they were half price. We had a couple of beers plus green bean tempura, edamame, and chicken yakatori. I just love the decor of this place!

Saturday I took the girls to a cooking class to try. I had a Groupon, so it was a great deal, which worked out perfectly because my oldest refused to participate. She is just not a social kid, and these kinds of situations are not her favorite. I didn't push. I did take advantage of her anti-social behavior by photographing her, which she hates, as you can see below. I have an enormous number of photos of her like this, the other photos being of her making a terrible face.

I did get a couple of okay shots after I showed her some continuous shot photos where it almost looked like a movie when viewed in rapid succession. This is one of the many I took of her saying "Stop it!" in slow motion.

Back to the cooking class... youngest thoroughly enjoyed it. Highly recommend Young Chef's Academy. They made crunchy fish nuggets with a tartar sauce and creamy cole slaw. They gave us copies of the recipes and she is ready to make the fish again tomorrow night. I was surprised to see that the recipes were low fat. Way to go Young Chef's!

More chores this weekend. Trying to start thinking about getting ready for the possibility of a garage sale in a couple of weeks. Love the money, hate the work, but got to start getting stuff cleared out to move.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Busy weekend... and more to come

The weekend was awesome, but so busy, and now I am still catching up to the point where I can't even get around to posting about it until Tuesday! Whew!

In any case, it started with a delicious dinner at Eddie V's, our favorite seafood restaurant. Actually pretty much our favorite restaurant all around.

We traveled on to a club where a friend of ours was finally get up and back out in the real world after major surgery. Sorry. No pics (that I can share) here.

Saturday was a blur of chores and laundry and cleaning and cooking and finally. Nap. Time. That's what happens when you are old and stay up to late on a Friday. (See paragraph above). But the nap was totally worth it and essential to survival because friends came to town and we went to see Alter Bridge in concert.

This band is basically Creed. Except without Scott Stapp (thank God!). They rock harder too. Oh, and their songs are much, much better! This is Myles Kennedy. He has a really cool voice. Very unique. They have a new album out. Check it out here: Alter Bridge Official Site

Sunday. After sleeping in a bit, drinking copious amounts of coffee, eating a hearty breakfast, and seeing our friends off on their journey back to their home town, we headed into town to look at cultured marble and granite and bath fixtures. Yes, we are headed toward a major shower renovation. I am in denial. If I don't write about it, then it will magically happen and I will wake up one day to a groovy new shower. Yeah. Right. I do admit that I love to go to home improvement stores and fondle fixtures.

(I just converted this to B&W in an attempt to make bath fixtures seem sexier. Did it work? P.S. Thanks to The Coffee Shop Blog for the cool PSE action. P.P.S. See side bar for link to The Coffee Shop Blog.)

But the sojourn was not without additional awesomeness. We dined at a pizza place that, although we love it, don't get to often. A big shout out to Star Pizza on Norfolk and the yumminess known as homemade pizza dough.

Not my photo. Full credit to Star Pizza's website. I was too busy eating MY pizza to photograph it.

Ok. I've got my kids tonight and tomorrow for special time since their dad is out of town, so I am going to go check on homework, and showers, and You Tube usage.

P.S. Bought train tickets from Amsterdam to Cologne for the upcoming European vacation. Woot!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Planning kicks into high gear!

We have been planning our European trip for more than a year. He's never been to Europe, and when he first told me that (more than a year ago), I said, "Let's go!" So we started saving, and planning, and we bought our plane tickets, and planned some more, and worked out a way to stay with his cousin in Paris for a few days, and planned yet more, and pre-paid our hotels. We are now at the point where we have little left to do. I need to look into an overnight ferry and get those tickets, and then a couple of train reservations need to be made, but that's it. Now it is time to get down and dirty into the meat of the trip... what are we going to do with our time in each city. I love this part of trip planning! The reading, and the mapping out of routes, and the notes about what would be nice to see, and what I absolutely don't want to miss.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Ha, ha!

Take that, diet. So the first weekend of the New Year basically ended up being one long "I-bite-my-thumb-at-you-diet" weekend. To the average user, it would not appear that I did that badly, but to me (who for the last few weeks has been been sooo good about watching what I eat), it was awful. So, today starts me back on the watching-what-I-eat thing, as opposed to eating-what-I-watch. Allow me to show you but a small window into my weekend diet:

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Day 1

Ha, ha! As IF I will actually blog every day. Actually, I don't even have those kind of lofty plans. Blog as I wish, and move on. Life's too short to stress over that.

In any case, NYE 2010 was perfect! We ate a delicious sushi dinner and then hit the town square for some entertainment. We sat in the wine bar enjoying each other's company and a few Jack and Cokes, and then headed outside for the count down and fireworks. Because we live so close, we were home by 12:30. It was awesome, and definitely a wonderful start to what will be a great 2011.