Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Things we've done so far...

Despite what it may seem like from my other blogs, R and I have actually been doing other things in Miles City besides remodeling the house.

The first weekend we were here, this man came to town.
Though we are obviously not Hillary fans, neither one of us had ever seen a president - unless the Lincoln Memorial counts - and there was no way we were going to miss seeing one who came all the way out to Miles City. To show our unyielding support for Barack, we only stayed to take this picture, hear him say hello, and note how tan he looks.

The Monday after Memorial Day, I started my job. Here I am ready for grown-up work. Coffee and all.
If you will observe, I am wearing a skirt in this photo. No one wears skirts in my office. In fact, I am not sure if I have seen any one wear anything but jeans and other field-y clothes. Strange, but I guess Casual Everyday is a good thing. There aren't many (read: any) places to shop in Miles City and it would be difficult to have enough professional clothes in ones wardrobe unless you shopped online or went to Billings a lot.

R got himself a fancy new lawnmower. He likes that he can keep the yard looking lovely, and do good things for the environment. Plus gas is too expensive, and let's be honest....if we had to choose, we would rather have money to put gas in our car rather than have a nicely manicured yard.I have been psuedo-gardening. The person who lived here before put in a lot of really beautiful plants. I am still trying to decide what they all are, so in the meantime...I just cut off the dead flowers and wait for something else to bloom.
I joined two softball teams - the BLM coed team, which plays every Friday night, and the BLM women's team, which plays every Monday night. I am just as bad at softball now as I was way back in the 6th grade when Amber Kay and I got benched every game so girls like Callie Behmer could keep playing. The one good thing about being a token member (we have to have 3 women on the coed team in order to play) of a softball team is that at least I get to be in the field. Right field to be more precise. My years of tennis have paid off though - I haven't struck out once so far! Here I am looking slightly awkward at bat.In all fairness, the entire team kinda stinks. Most of them are there to drink...Capri Suns and Juice boxes...and aren't too upset when we lose. I can't say that much about the teams in our league, who are all very aggressive. And burly. R is using the opportunity to coach me from the sidelines, drink his own...Capri Suns and Juice boxes...and meet the other spouses who are also required to attend the games on Monday nights.

R joined a bowling league that meets on Tuesday nights. The guy who asked him to be part of his league is pretty good, which in turn challenges R to bowl better. I won't pretend to know what R's average is, but I know that its over 220. Perhaps we'll join a league together in the winter so I can get better. I think gutter balls should count for something at least.
Sorry, action bowling shots are blurry.

On Wednesday nights, I am going to a knitting group. I am currently working on a project for my niece-phew (Sex to be determined in a few weeks). I want it to be somewhat of a surprise, so I am not going to show you any pictures just yet. Though if you are on Ravelry, you might get to see it.

And finally, we've started making some friends with a few people in the office. We've been to a couple of barbeques and even had some folks over for dinner last night.

R starts work on Monday, so it looks like home improvement projects will start slowing down. He did finish the upstairs bathroom, which I will post about shortly.

Oh, and if you are wondering about the dogs...they are doing just fine. Ellie is really enjoying the fact that she can smell the flowers without getting stickers in her nose.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


It is true what they say about colors - they really do have an effect on your mood.

On our third day in the house, Linda and I painted the kitchen. If you remember seeing pictures from the house at UIR, we had the most amazing orange kitchen. It was cozy, inviting, and made you want to sit down and eat a big hearty meal.

The kitchen in this house has horribly outdated cabinets in a DARK DARK laminate. Since replacing them is no where in the budget for the next 10 years, I tried to come up with a color that would look good with the dark fake wood. Enter Robin Egg Blue, as seen here behind Dad and me.

And here against the dark wood cabinets, though the kitchen is in a state of utter disarray.
We tried and tried to get used to the color. We didn't want to spend time in the kitchen because it felt too...sterile? If it were any other room but the kitchen, it would have been awesome . In fact, if you come to stay with us at all, it will be the color in the guest room.

We decided to go ahead and try orange again, despite the possibility that it would be too dark. And here's how it turned out!
See, happy already!

And here is the finished product. Now we can't seem to stay out of the kitchen. Eating and cooking is so much more enjoyable.
And while we were at it, we decided to take care of some of the Exorcist artwork. Remember this?Well, here it is now. Looking toward the once gross wall, and then toward the kitchen.Muuuuch better! Not that this color will make me want to do laundry any more, but at least the view from the stove is pleasant.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

What we did to the floor...

And what an adventure it was!

When we first looked at the house, we fell in love with the hardwood floors in the dining room. They were a little worn in, but nothing a little TLC couldn't fix. Our Realtor pointed out that there were probably hardwood floors in the living room as well, but it was covered with a hideous green carpet.
Once we signed over our first born child and all paychecks for the next 30 years, we decided to see what was actually under that carpet (thanks, Linda).

The entire house has the most amazing floors - the living room, the parlor, the stairs, the landing, and the bedrooms! Unfortunately, some genius some years ago decided to GLUE the carpet to the floor in the bedrooms. We haven't pulled that up just yet because it is going to take more work than we are willing to put in just now.

So anyway, last weekend, R decided it was high time we got busy on the downstairs floors. We went to Ace Hardware and rented a sander. The first one was small, and easy for me to use. In flip flops.
Unfortunately, it didn't really do very much. R channeled his inner "Bob the Builder" and went back to Ace for a ginormous drum sander. It took at least 1/8 of an inch off the floor at a time. He was so proud.After much cursing, inhaling of dust, and some really sore muscles, we finally got the floor cleaned and ready for new stain and polyurethane.
Since R didn't have to go to work the next day and was really really motivated, I let him start the staining on Sunday night. The floors in the rest of the house are dark, so we were hoping to make things blend a little better by using a darker stain. Unfortunately, R is a bit of a perfectionist and was unsatisfied with how some parts of the floor turned out. He went back to Ace while I was at work, rented the sander again, and started over. At least he didn't do the whole thing, only the parts he didn't like.
He had sort of a nightmare with the polyurethane part. Apparently dog hair abounds in our house...and dog hair sticks really well to wet surfaces. Suffice to say, I stayed clear of the house while R was finishing the last coat.

Once we finished that, we decided to go ahead and paint the living room. Here is the before and after...

The floors are a little dusty in this one, but I thought you might like to see one of the irises that bloomed in my garden this week.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

If it doesn't fit...

Make it.

Have queen sized box springs that won't fit up your stairs? Let me help!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Woo! Internet Service!

Woo! Woo!

Three weeks in Miles City, and we finally have internet service. In case you haven't noticed, I've been a little out of touch. Okay, a lot out of touch. Our cell phones drop every other call, our broadband internet card works slower than dial up, and my computer at work is restricted to official government work only.

So I guess you want me to catch you up on the last three weeks? Unfortunately that would be a very long blog. I guess I'll start where I left off...

On Monday, the 19th we closed on the house. Here we are with the dogs, getting ready to unload the UHaul.It is amazing that it took less than 3 hours to unload the Uhaul even though it took us nearly 12 hours to load it. Here is a happy crew.And here is where we actually put everything.
The first day we moved in, we got started on the fence. I say "we" loosely - it was mostly Dad, Dwayne, and Ryan. Ellie and Tanner helped a little by "marking" everywhere a post hole was supposed to go. Case in point. The fence looks pretty good from the alley.

Next on the agenda was to simultaneously install the garage door opener and rip out the bathroom vanity. Ryan and Dwayne worked in the garage.While Dad and I worked on the bathroom. Lookin' good, Dad!
Here is the installed vanity. We have a lot more to do in the bathroom (such as paint the walls - I am guessing the previous owners were either HUGE fans of Jackson Pollack or were in dire need of the priest from the Exorcist).
And finally...we installed a dishwasher. I can once and for all get rid of the germ infested drying rack and Ryan will no longer suffer the humiliation of dishpan hands.

Next up...what we did to the floors. Oh, and what we've been doing in Miles City as two of its newest residents.