Monday, March 30, 2009

What's new pussycat?

In a word, lots is new. J and I have been terribly busy between work and hobbies, and haven't had time to post about any of them. I'll try to hit the high points:
I had a birthday, which J recognized with a great new toy--a Silhouette, or personal digital cutting machine that makes incredibly cool stuff, like this:
and this:
We're mid-way through having the gutters fixed from the ice storm, and last week, I had someone out to gie us an estimate on taking out the tree that fell on our deck during the same storm. His estimate was so good that we asked him to take out another tree, as well as the honeysuckle trees that lined two sides of our property. In just a few hours Saturday, our yard went from this:

to this!

Now, we just need to get the property surveyed and we'll be on our way to a fenced in backyard. We're pretty sure Zeppelin will be thrilled!

The cabinets are still unfinished, though we've continued to take baby steps on that process. I have a big DAR conference this weekend, but am optimistic that we'll get back on the cabinet finishing wagon next week! We've continued to clean out the library so we've got just the place to install the cabinets when we eventually finish them!
Title: "What's New Pussycat?" by Tom Jones

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Hungry Like the Wolf

J and I belong to a group of couples who get together once a month for food, drink, and games (usually board games, but cards and video game make a periodic appearance, as well). Last night we hosted the group, for the first time, at our house.

Ever the Martha Stewart wannabe, I promised heavy appetizers for all in an email last week, and then promptly came down with the virus that plagued J last week. On Friday night, I remembered my promise and assured J that I would come up with something. Lucky for me, he stepped in and hit the Food Network website for some recipes and offered to do the grocery shopping as well!

So we spent a few hours in the kitchen and put together a pretty nice spread (clockwise from top: cheese and crackers, brought by Tom & Shannon; a veggie tray; roast pork loin on toast; tomato & bacon cups; veggie pizza; salmon & dill cream cheese on toast; and sushi, brought by Keri & Doug). Recipes for all are available on request; Chef J not included!

In addition to the appetizers, we were celebrating two birthdays: Shannon's was on Saturday and I'll be adding another year on Tuesday. To celebrate, I bought cupcakes from Magee's Bakery downtown and made my own embellishments by melting down some white chocolate morsels and piping out a few cute (and even holiday appropriate) shapes.

It wasn't all food; we also played the new edition of Trivial Pursuit (meh.) and several rounds of Rock Band. J was quite the Band Leader and in the end, we weren't too bad at it.

Hoping to get back to those cabinets later this week, and I have some great pictures of the ice damage in Western Kentucky to post, as well. Stay tuned dear readers!

Title: Hungry Like the Wolf, by Duran Duran

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Shake, Rattle & Roll

Well, I had hoped to have the "after" pictures for you, but we're just not there yet. And for that matter, "in progress" pictures look a lot like what you've already seen, so I'm not going to post more. We've still got to do a coat of poly and install, but we cleared out the library so installation *should* be a pretty easy process. Hopefully we'll have pictures for you by the end of the week!

And what else did we do this weekend? Well, I finally put out our St. Patrick's Day decorations (see pics below) and shipped my neice's birthday present. E's four this year and has a nasty bruise on her noise from a spill she took a little over a week ago (clearly, she takes after her auntie when it comes to being graceful!). I'm hoping the pretty packaging brings a smile to her face (or at least the the presents inside do!).
Have a great week, and check back for an update (and hopefully those "after" pics) later this week!

Title: Shake, Rattle and Roll, witten by Charles Calhoun (most famously recorded by Elvis Presley)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Can we build it? Yes, we can!

Over the last few weeks, I've been slowly bringing order to J's office/our library downstairs. Unfortunately, the more I cleaned, the more I realized that we desperately need built-ins along one wall to corral our games, books, and J's electronics. I drew up the plans for the built-ins a couple of years ago, but we've not had the time or confidence to tackle that project.

So, as I've been cleaning and organizing this time, I realized that we could compromise on the built-ins and start with pre-made cabinetry. I made a quick trip to Home Depot on my lunch break last week, priced it all out, and proceeded to convince J this was a good idea. (That took another trip to HD, as well as calls to both dads and a grandfather, but he eventually got on board!)

Our unfinished oak cabinets were delivered Saturday morning, and since then we've been tackling the project of finishing them a day at a time. I've attached a couple of pictures below. Stay tuned--I have us on a two week time-line to get this complete, so as the look changes I'll add new pictures!

Saturday night, after we added the end pieces to the cabinet ends that will be visible and sealed all surfaces that will be in contact with the floor or drywall--the library is finished, but we didn't want to take a risk that water won't work its way in somehow.

Monday night. I spent all afternoon/evening Sunday sanding everything down so that we could get a first coat of stain down after work on Monday. By the way, you may wonder why the interior of the cabinet is a different color--it's because Home Depot's unfinished cabinets are lined with a laminate material that won't stain. A little frustrating, but we'll live with it.

The next steps are another coat of stain and poly, so I probably will not post pictures again until this weekend when we start to install everything.

Title: Bob the Builder theme song