Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tool Time

We had 4 tv channels growing up if you don't count the fuzzy grey one with the annoying buzzing sound.  As you can imagine we were limited to the cheesy wholesome shows or daytime soaps.  So after dinner we used to gather around and watch HOME IMPROVEMENT.  Anyone remember Tim the Toolman Taylor, Jill, dorky Mark, dreamy JTT and Bradddd and the weird neighbor Nelson?!

Well about 5 hours after Andrew and I moved into our new house, we began demoing the back living room. I'm talking crow bars, safety goggles and massive floor lights - of course I am in my pearls the whole time - go figure.  I felt like Heidi, Tim's assistant, without the Daisy Duke jean shorts.

After an hour or so of prying off ply wood, sheet rock and nails, Andrew pointed out that I grunt. Yep, that's right, I grunt when I am doing manly work. And all I could think of was "Tim the Toolman Taylor" and his grunting sessions with his sons.  Very attractive...yes, I am aware.

This marks the start of our home improvement sessions on our new house.  It is so refreshing to have someone who has renovated houses in the past - sure does save time and m$$ney!!  It also allows me to learn the ins and outs of home improvements.  I learned a LOT about what NOT to do from Tim, but hopefully I'll learn a lot of what to do from Andrew.

Stay tuned on the blog for updates on more grunting tool time!

The first night in our house and the night we decided to demo this back living room
Removing the lovely wall paper from the wood paneling
Trying my hand at taking off wood paneling and trim

Wood paneling and old sheet rock off the walls and ceiling...down to the studs

Finding all kinds of goodies late this night...a window left in by the previous remodelers, a leaking base board and wood paneling glued to the sheet rock

Friday, May 17, 2013

Homeowner's Club

We are homeowners.  A whole entire house belongs to Andrew and I.  This seemingly grownup thing you do, buying a house, I am now a part of the club. It is thrilling, terrifying, uplifting and suspenseful all at the same time. We LOVED this cedar shingle New England home from the minute we saw it.  What's not to love about a house 1 block from the water and just voted as one of the best streets in Rhode Island to live on!?

Mostly what I feel though, a sense of ownership.  I have basically only owned duffle bags, bathing suits, journals and toothbrushes up until now.

In this whole buying a house thing for the past two months, my one concern has been....the lawnmower. Yep, you heard it.  Not the x@#$&* loan that will span 30 YEARS!!  Not the homeowner's insurance, closing costs, inspections, initial expenses and stresses from the not so nice sellers- though now I am completely and utterly overwhelmed at the fact that I am broke.  Hindsight really is 20/20.

But yes, the idea of buying a house meant to me that we needed to buy a vacuum cleaner, silverware, and a lawn mower. For someone who has lived on a boat or in someone else's house for the last 5 years (disregarding college years) this is a BIG STEP in grown up life!!  It is mind boggling to a yachtie to think you will ever have to buy such a device.  I literally laughed at people for having their house and mowing the lawn on Saturdays - Oh, the irony.

So literally, I keep bringing up the lawn mower.  Andrew comes home last week after work with great news.  There is a fire engine red lawn mower for sale at Home Depot with our name on it.  You can then imagine my excitement and relief at putting that shiny lawnmower into the back of the truck.

Now understand that we will be asking people to BYOC or BYOP if they want to come over for any length of time to our house - bring your own chair or plate or...We have none of these things. BUT....

We have a lawnmower:)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Carry On, Warrior

I haven't written a book review since about 8th grade, but I decided to give it a try since I found Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed to be one of the best books I've read since Unbroken by Laura Hildenbrand.

I picked this book up the other week while babysitting my dear friend Maikke's child.  She has some incredible books in her house, so I thought I would browse this one on top of the stack.  Turns out this book sucks you in - I could not stop reading it - I had to go buy my own copy the very next morning and in a matter of a few hours over the past week I have finished it.

Glennon Melton tells her story with brutal honesty, humor and encourages you to fight this life without armor and weapons, just wholeheartedly and real. As a recovering alcoholic, bulimic and everything in between, Melton recognizes humility, forgiveness, hardship and LIFE - how it is beautiful and brutal all at the same time - Brutiful.  Although I cannot relate to these addictions and her personal struggles, I found myself agreeing with her perspective on life, cried laughing at her trials and tribulations as a parent and saw a bit of light in the dark.

Some of these stories and paragraphs stuck out to me and maybe they will to you too...

  1. "If you feel something calling you to dance or write or paint or sing, please refuse to worry about whether you're good enough.  Just do it.  Be generous.  Offer a gift to the world that no one else can offer: yourself."
  2. This is for all my friends out there who are moms: You might constantly get told by strangers to enjoy this time with your children, carpe diem, enjoy the most of these moments. Melton is sick of this. Her advice to mothers years from now will be, "It's helluva hard, isn't it? You're a good mom, I can tell. And I like your kids, especially that one peeing in the corner. She's my favorite. Carry on, warrior. Six hours 'til bedtime."
  3. "All of us live in some sort of poverty.  Poverty of hope, poverty of peace, poverty of love. We are all poor in one way or another.  Mama T. used to call material poverty the easiest poverty to alleviate."
  4. "I do not know Zen. I just know gratitude. I am grateful for the beauty in the midst of suffering. I am grateful for the treasure and hunt through the minefield of life. Dangerous or not, I don't want out of the minefield. Because truth, and beauty, and God are there."
  5. "I don't believe in advice. Everybody has the answers right inside her...So, when a friend says, I need some advice, I switch it to, I need some love, and I try to offer that. Offering love usually looks like being quiet, listening hard, and letting my friend talk until she discovers that she already has the answers." 
  6. The dentist story: pages 150-154. You will die laughing. 

I plan to follow Melton's motto...


Monday, May 6, 2013

Sunday, Not-So Funday

We had high hopes for this Sunday Funday. It is in fact our last Sunday Funday until the fall. We might be able to sneak one in in two weeks, but not likely in between a move, weddings and sailing season.

I got back from my pilates class full of energy and cheerfulness on the beautiful morning in Newport. As I'm making a quiche and catching up with my mom, Andrew comes in the door winded with bike in hand and an hour early. When I get off the phone, the news is depressing. The truck is broken.  And then the really crushing part is revealed: it's probably the starter which will cost approximately an arm and a leg, ie $2,500.  This was money we had saved to buy some furniture and siding/paint for our new house.

Remember that childhood game, "Chutes and Ladders"?  Well, I didn't understand as a kid the underlying meaning, but somehow now it is CRYSTAL CLEAR!!  I think there is someone up there who makes these decisions. They see us as being one step forward and then immediately as you are settling into the high, push you back two steps. It's like, "don't get too comfortable up there on your pedestal, I'm here to prove to you that life is unfair and you cannot plan because it all goes to the wolves in the end".  Thanks, yeah thanks a lot, really appreciate it.

The biggest example of this is my brave friend Ellie. She and her husband Tommy have been on a roller coaster ride with their son Tucker. He was born at 25 weeks and they have had 9 1/2 months of struggle. Ellie quit her job, they relocated to Boston's Children's Hospital for the surgeries Tucker needed and now, after all this time, Tucker is being discharged tomorrow to go home, FINALLY, and they can't. Last week their house got completely water damaged from a broken pipe while they were in Boston and they cannot come home. That is unfair. That is like being at the top of the ladder and getting the longest chute in the game.

But alas, the Sunday Funday was not entirely ruined.  We still accomplished one of our goals: Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge. Oddly enough we have never been...it is 2 miles from our house.  Thanks to Hurricane Sandy it has been closed all winter and is now reopened. This park hosts over 2.5 miles of nature trails, over 200 bird species and beautiful coastline between the Sakonnet River and the Atlantic Ocean.  We saw four deer passing us by and learned of new surf casting fishing spots for Andrew to practice his old man sport.  Solid find.

And then there was the BONUS of Sunday Funday. Time with our neice and nephews this afternoon playing with the label maker and chasing chickens. I call them my neice and nephews too because I love those kids to death!  There really is nothing better than watching "Uncle Dandy", Eloise and Curly chase 8 chickens around the yard and herd them into the coop with stale croutons while having sweet Benedict sleep on your shoulder. 

Thank you again Sunday Funday, you redeemed yourself. 

Back to playing "Chutes and Ladders".

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