Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Early morning swing





It has been beautiful here lately!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Nap project: Winterize gardens

Sometimes it's just a half hour, sometimes it's an hour and a half, and I never know in advance which it will be.  My attempts to predict thus far have been wrong.  All wrong.

The potting project was something I did yesterday (30).  Today during his first morning nap (45) I started to winterize the flower gardens.  I think.

I'm not much of a gardener yet... But I did some reading which resulted in my cutting back the peonies (which were damaged due to total neglect.  This happens when you're gone for 10 weeks.) And resulted in my taking out some other dead plant by the garage.  I also weeded-- around the flowers and on our walk-ways.  I also separated out some Black-Eyed Susans and some decorative grasses which were threatening to take over all of the flower beds.

Next up, some overgrown Hostas need pruning, and I think I'll turn or till the soil and mulch.  I hear that you should put hay over perennials in the winter to protect the bulbs.  Do you know anything about this?

Nap project: Herb Garden

My parents got us this Herb growing kit for Christmas.  Finally I have planted it! It's in our sunroom.... 







Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Schedules

We are governed by many schedules.  Our teaching schedules, our very ambitious and hopeful renovation schedules, but none is so demanding as the nap schedule--that which bends all others to its will.  September   is "Exterior Paint Month" over here, and our list was ambitious.
1. Whitewash Fence
2. Clean/Seal/Stain Back Deck
3. Seal/Stain Front Porch
4. Repair/Paint Shutters
5. Repair/Paint Back Deck Arbor
6. Repair/Paint Front Porch Columns
6. Paint Shed
7. Paint wooden house trim

We thought we really ought to get all of the outside work done before it gets too cold to be outside working happily.  Plus Rowan LOVES it outside, and would prefer to be there than to be anywhere else.  especially napping.  He has taken the liberty of shortening most of his naps to 30 minutes or less.  He always shows great initiative, that boy.  You should also know that he is *this* close to crawling.  Last night when I put him to sleep he pulled up onto his hands and knees and started rocking back and forth (still sleeping).

One or the other of us can work at a time on the weekends, while the other plays with the baby.  Then, during one of his (generous) 30-45 minute naps, both of us can work and we run all around holding ladders and removing/hanging shutters and doing those jobs that you can't do alone.  One thing that you can do alone?  POWERWASH!  It's awesome!  We powerwashed the whole house, some cement and 2 tree stumps.  awesome.


So far we have whitewashed the fence, clean, sealed, stained, reconsidered, cleaned, and planned a re-stain for the backporch, AND repaired and painted 17 shutters and 2 doors (!)

The back deck is its own post-- we chose a cedar color stain which ended up burnt orange (doesn't really go with pink...)

The options were, redo it in white, or paint a giant longhorn on it.
We chose white (with longhorn accessories, that were not so permanent)

I'm waiting to give you the big "reveal" pictures until the white trim work is done, because I know that it's going to really "crisp" the place up, and I want a very dramatic before and after.  But because I can't resist, here's a peek....

See that awning?  a bat lived in there.  Drake found it, and scared it out with a broom. in the daytime.  
I hid with the baby.

And here's one tiny before and after for you.  This one was a nap project of mine :)


Oh just wait till the white is done!! It shall be the perfect canvas for my Halloween and Christmas Exterior Decorating Extravaganza!

I think I have Rowan's costume nailed down, too.  He shall be a frenchman.
Until next nap time, dear readers

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Something is afoot!


_MG_5017, originally uploaded by Alta Marie.

one of these things is not like the other...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Baby Picture of the Week: TEXAS

We had a little word-tour in August which began in the great state of Texas, land of Drake's birth, and land of which I am an honorary citizen.

We had many many people to meet! First of all, we met Grandpa!


The jury is still out on what his "official" name will be.  We're thinking Papa Dan sounds pretty good... You may notice a striking resemblance between the two of them. It is undeniable.
We saw GiGi again!
That's her with Uncle Dale at Mi Cocina.  Oh, how I've missed Mexican Food! especially...

FLAN.  be still, my beating heart


We also met Great-Grandpa Stanley

He is great man, and an excellent golfer.  We had a great time



We also met our Great Grandmother Dantzler and had a big time laughing and playing at her house






Drake's Aunts Carol and Diane threw a party for Rowan in Dallas, so that everyone could come out and meet him, it was at a house that was built around the same time as ours

Except with a really excellent and appropriate staircase (unlike ours)

Why oh why does our staircase look like a 70's ski lodge?  sad.

In any case, Texas was big fun!   We can't wait to come back at Christmas time and see everyone again. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Order in the Kitchen!

Now that we're back home, we're also Back to School.  I had my first day teaching on September 2nd.  This means that Drake and I are both working, and twice a week Rowan has a sitter.  This also means that she might like to know where things are... ha!

With that in mind I set about to bring order to the kitchen, and here's how it happened.

First I went to Meier-- a great mid-western alternative to Wal-Mart which I LOVE. I bought several things to aid me in my quest:

Brilliant.  The tupperware cabinet was a particular problem.  Not anymore!  behold!


Contained!
And the whole cabinet now looks like this:

Don't you want to look for something in there, and then find it?  You could!  It would be easy!

Unfortunately I forgot to take a Before picture of this one, so you'll have to imagine that it looked something like this:

Another one of the cabinets that needed a little order-- Blender, pre-natal vitamins, vacuum attachment, coffee and hand sanitizer all in one place.  The process went like this.  Remove all contents:

Then line with contact paper.
Then organize and make this happen:

BAM

Yup.  That just happened. A whole cabinet devoted almost exclusively to our three Magic Bullets (I cannot endorse this product enough) 
I am overwhelmed with glee every time I open a cabinet door.

Also noteworthy are the Saran Wrap holder which I installed on the pantry door (Drake installed after watching me struggle) AND the junk drawer organizer.  The junk drawer now has a place for a tape measure, scissors, pens and pencils, sparklers, glue, screws, phone chargers-- the list goes on.  

I cannot tell you how pleased I am with the result.  And the fact that this little guy kept me company in his jumparoo while I worked?  

Big bonus.

Friday, September 3, 2010

A Great Many Things

That's the problem with having a baby and a house.... there's no time to blog about them!  Now that we have Rowan and he has a tooth I've started to wonder if we would've bought this house had the opportunity come up now rather than pre-baby.  The answer is yes.  yes we would've.  We love it here!  And the more we get to know the area, the more we love it.

Take for example this:

Fresh Peaches from the Farmer's Market every Wednesday.
Or this:
Pie Eating Contest at the Dragon on the Lake Festival.  (And before you ask, I didn't know it was happening so I was too late to register.)  Or this:

The kids got to try out the Fireman's Hose.  Rowan was too little.  Did we just more right in to a Norman Rockwell painting?

(gratuitous cute baby photo)

Next up!  Rowan's World Tour, Meeting the Great Grandparents, Organizing the Kitchen Cupboards, Cleaning/Staining/Re-Cleaning/Painting the Back Deck and more!

We should officially be back to our regularly scheduled posting. Thanks for sticking around :)