Thursday, January 31, 2008

tribute to katie-kate

katie-kate loves to hang with her dad.
check out the video below. blame the hair on her mother.

Friday, January 25, 2008



Nice job, kyle. Maybe now you can get back to hitting the green.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

crema delicato: coming soon

Crema delicato; lovely in all its varities. below is one of the slabs that will be going in my kitchen.

although quartz is the most practical choice, we decided we are sick of practical and are going to start living for beauty. they misquoted us significantly on the slab, but our new motto in demopolis is plan on getting hosed.

we also decided to go with marble because we live in an historic town, and marble has that timeless flair to it that man-made products don't have. hopefully it will help with the resell.

a couple of tips for those putting marble in their kitchen: GET IT HONED. lemon, ketchup, salad dressing, and other acidic things will eat the shine on your marble; we tried it for ourselves on a spare marble tile.

another note: while shopping for bar stools in tuscaloosa we came across this table for $98. it was perhaps the first good deal we've gotten in 6 months. the best part: it fit in our van, yeah quest.

sits 10-12 with the leafs. not quite our style but the price was right.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Few more bumps in the road

#21 Cabinent guy's mother has a stoke and dies while he is installing our cabinents. So cabinents not quite finished yet. Our thoughts and prayers go out to him for his family for their loss.

#22 Countertop folks mis quote us $23 per square foot on the marble (73sqft) back to the drawing board on that one.

#23 Garage door guy forgot about us, still needs to install one door and windows on all three. I visited him yesterday and he told me he didn't have any money to order the doors. What happened to the 3 grand I gave him in October?

Kate and Ella love each other and the fun Valantines animals grandma anne sent.
The snow is pretty much gone but the snowman lives on.
Brittney told me today that once our countertops are installed she will be the best wife ever. I just wanted written documentation of this one.

Cute picture of Kate.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Snow in Alabama

It took a historical event like snow for the first time in 15+ years to get me to author a blog entry. My excuse is that I am a slave and have no time.

Ella and I made this snow man and Ella named him Frosty. All Ella wanted to do was knock him down so I built her another one to knock down.

Here is snowman #2, Ella's punching bag. Notice the wood stacked in the back ground it is from the two trees I cut down this week. I narrowly avoided a disaster and a crushed kitchen, that darn tree didn't want to fall the way I wanted it too. Needless to say I got a little nervous when the tree was completely cut and still standing straight up even with two missionaries pulling on it with a rope.

The begining of the snow

Thats all for now i must prepare, Brittney and I are speaking in church tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

kitchen cabinets are almost finished

now the question is: honed marble or quart countertops? either way we are three weeks out. they are coming to measure on monday. the bottom two are white kitchens with marble. not as durable as the quartz but infinately more beautiful.

The projects finished one by one, hurrah! hurrah!

1. Kyle and ella getting ready to attack the yard (5 bushes and 2 trees, gone)
2. The human tractor
3. Missionaries helping the tree fall away from our newly remodeled kitchen
4. Katie-kate watching the fun from the window
5. Ella practicing after her dance class

Friday, January 11, 2008

How to budget a remodel

Okay, so all the experts say you should save 10% of a budget when remodeling a home for those unexpected problems. In demopolis, you should ramp that up and hire someone full time to monitor quality control. Here are a list of things we've encountered for your reading enjoyment.

20. Wood floor guy recommends servicing AC/Heating. I was getting on an airplane for Utah (so the floors could be done) when wood floor guy called with the news. Said i needed to have the heat pump fixed so he could seal the floors. He also offered to have a friend come over and fix it while we were gone. It wasn't broken when we left, but . . . upon independent inspection it turns out it was a simple matter of "heat" or "cool", not fan.

19. It takes 20 garage door orders to get a shipment to this town. That's right. We ordered ours the end of September and they aren't here yet. AWESOME.

18. When mowing your lawn you realize there are shingles burried under your backyard. (What the!) Large amounts of roofing, under the grass. We'll have to tackle this one later.

17. Cabinetry is for the few and foolish. We've also been working on this one since Oct. 1. Forget inset cabinets, we're keeping it nice and simple. He's supposed to be the best in town and should be installing sometime next week.

16. Countertops are 3 weeks out, after cabinets are installed and someone can come out and measure. That means I've been trying to get stuff here since Oct. 1 and I will be lucky to have kitchen countertops by my birthday.

15. Cesearstone white carrara isn't the same color out here. My original choice, the ease of quartz with the beauty of marble. Same brand, same color: in utah it's white. i've seen it installed. Out here, it's dirty beige. Go figure.

14. Electrician quotes not in numbers but in metaphors. When pressed, his best estimate is, "I'm the cheapest in town." Needless to say, Kyle did the work.

13. Speaking of electrical, stove breaker mislabled. Almost had to cash in Kyle's life insurance for this one.

12. Sears owner personally delivers, and drops, our new stainless steel range on porch steps.

11. Sears owner gives odds of not scratching our new wood floors: 55%. ("Well, ma'am, we're not saying we will scratch your floors . . . ")

10. Rohl kitchen faucet (solid brass, nickel plated) new in box, blemished.

9. Restoration hardware pendant lighting, new in box, threads stripped.

8. Paint bubbles all over walls, using high quality Benjamin Moore, even after extensive sanding and recoats. Painters quote: "What the #$%@! Did someone rub the walls down with pledge?"

7. Dead trees looming over almost done kitchen. Tornado warnings were out yesterday all day. Kyle tried to bring the tree down with a rope and pully system. Chainsaw needed.

6. Hot water heater needs repair, second floor only.

5. Textured ceiling unrepairable in kitchen. Impetus for the wood masterpiece that now resides over our head.

4. Takes two hours to open a bank account. (Time is money, people!) For the love, the next time we open an account we'll call ahead.

3. Wood floor guy stains around painters toolbox, permanently damages stairs.
He is currently working on a small refund, although he's short on cash. We are now in the credit business.

2. Leash law not enforced, 100 doogies on your lawn. Wide and expansive, a new vinyl fence is out of the question.

1. Around 2000 square feet of carpet installed, snag running through entire batch.

Good times here in demopolis. Now that we've properly set expectations, we'd love to have visitors any time. :)

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Luntz, Maslansky Strategic Research

I have a professional crush on Frank Luntz.

Just dreaming tonight, but if I weren't pursing the mom/work-at-home thing, I would be all over this job:

Anyway, maybe in a few years.


Staff Writer / Associate Project Director -- NEW YORK OFFICE.
Responsibilities. The Staff Writer/Associate Project Director is involved in every phase of our strategic communications projects. Tasks include message development, speech writing, survey drafting, analyzing data, writing analyses and making strategic recommendations. Associate Project Directors also have organizational and project management responsibilities.
Requirements. We are looking for creative individuals with the ability to use the written word to engage and persuade audiences. Successful candidates will be excited about the opportunity to work on a variety of issues from a variety of perspectives. They will have strong analytical skills and the ability to see the connection between the big picture and the small details. We seek team players who can handle the tight deadlines and multi-tasking that comes with client-services work. In addition, the position requires a willingness to travel as well as strong computer skills (Word, Excel, PowerPoint).

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

100+ hours what do you have to show for it.

I am finally off the ladder. I was up until 2:ooam trying to finish. I am tired but this is what i have to show for all my work.

All we need now is paint on the walls and everything to go in the kitchen. We are having a hard time finding the right color for the walls, better hurry though, the painter is coming in the morning.

Here is a list of what I have done on the kitchen thus far:
Removed counter tops and cupboards
Removed tile floor
Rewired and hung 10 ceiling lights
moved the oven outlet
moved the water connection for the fridge
removed crown molding
installed wood ceiling
primed ceiling 2 coats
caulked every joint in the ceiling
painted ceiling 3 coats with sanding between each coat.
installed crown molding, caulked and painted it.
Cleaned up the mess.
tried 8-10 colors of paint on the wall.
I think I am done now but you know what that means.... never done.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Running of the Ducks

We found a new duck pond. it is much better stocked and the ducks are hungry there. Katie-kate is walking; she takes 5 steps about every hour. We're just waiting for her to realize it is the preferred method of transportation. Ella's comment on the ducks, "My grandma grandma likes ducks, butterflies, and pinecones." That's for you, larae.

Here's to good weather and some more microwaved food!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Fish fry in the backwoods

This is John. He has lived on the river his whole life. These are his catfish. He can fry them with the best of em. John's friend jeremy has been coming to church lately. He said he needs help keeping his family together. Ella liked the river and seeing all the interesting things, like the dead snake in picture two.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Happy New Year

This picture captures our New Year. Todd installing a high ceiling vent while Kyle supports the vent with a pole and Gina supports Todd from falling down the stairs.

The Page family decided to surprise us with a little New Year's Eve visit. I guess reading about all the handiwork on the blog was too much for them and they had to help. Todd replaced our toilet seats, including the squishing one, and Gina cleaned bathrooms and helped unpack boxes. She asked, "What would Anne do if she were here?" And put herself to work.

I don't know if any of you have ever seen Gina clean but she's a freaking tornado. She should get a job as a professional organizer. I, on the other hand, have to wade through my messes and think carefully about where everything is going to go. Needless to say the help was appreciated and our kids had a blast running through the empty house.

Another New Year's surprise: a certain someone is pregnant! (Not me!) So the pix above is for her, as she is constantly impressed with my careful mothering skills.