Friday, January 30, 2009

men on stilts at work

yesterday while surveying recent work at the house, we were taken aback when a man on stilts walked down the hallway and waved hello.

Stilts (by ann-dabney)

totally distracted, we couldn't continue the conversation we were having with our contractor.  instead, we started giggling and asked him if he knew that the circus had come into town.

Stilts (by ann-dabney)

dabney and i had no idea that this is a thing until today.  of course, stilts make perfect sense for finishing drywall joints on ceilings and anything else above head high. i just had never thought about it before.

Stilts (by ann-dabney)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

dashing through what snow

it's snowing here. by the end of it, we may get 5".

i dunno for sure but by the likes of it - it seems that real snow is a rare occurrence around here judging by the way schools, churches, and other events are canceled with the mere appearance of flurries. if meteorologists predict a dusting, grocery store parking lots swell with shoppers pushing overloaded carts of water and other sundries.

not so in new england. in my former life as a teacher, i used to wake up at 5 am with the hopes of a good surprise snow day (a feeling not unique to students). however, in the boston public school system, it always took at least 8" and maybe up to 10" before reprieve would even be a possibilty.

here, school was canceled one day because it was too cold. i still don't get that one...

same same

i am not really sure what to make of this phenomenon...

Same pjs (by ann-dabney)

Xmas (by ann-dabney)

IMG_7020.JPG (by ann-dabney)

are we becoming our mothers?

Monday, January 26, 2009

As if I needed another reason to love Neko Case

She's come out with a new song and for every blog that reposts this song through 2/3, Neko and ANTI- will make a cash donation to the wonderful animal rescue nonprofit Best Friends Animal Society. Details here.

Neko Case, People Got A Lot of Nerve

Thursday, January 22, 2009

walls and floors

the house is really coming along now or at least it appears to be.  drywall, unlike all the structural, mechanical, and technical things we've been dealing with up till now, has a very satisfying conclusion and that is WALLS.  the first floor has walls!

Drywall up in big room (by ann-dabney)

Drywalled workroom (by ann-dabney)

the walls and ceilings have been going up so fast that we almost forgot that we have to turn our attention the other way literally and start thinking about the floors.

the tile below comes to us from a job that our contractor has just completed.  let's just say that this other job is a very swanky condo, with european-imported everything, and million dollar views.  leftover materials from this place at a fraction of the price suits us just fine.

Tile Possibility (by ann-dabney)

while were able to save nearly all the original hardwood floors on the second story, the first floor is a totally different case.  i guess one hundred years and thousands of pounds of raw meat, lumber, tools, and whatnot take its toll on a wood floor.  and while we'd love to install wood on the entire first floor, its size (at 1800 sq. ft.) makes this cost prohibitive for us.  instead, the studio portion (1/2 of the first floor) will get a new surface made up of MDF, medium-density fiberboard.  we figure a beautiful wood floor has no place in a true workroom anyway.  we'll paint it with some glossy, white paint and be perfectly happy.

here's one possibility for a replacement floor in the great room - which i've been calling the "big room."    we're far from a conclusion on this.  the choices, in order of costliness, are douglas fir (which would match the upstairs), maple, white oak,  and red oak.  anyone out there have any opinions on this?  we're stumped. 

Floor Possibility (by ann-dabney)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

peking duck and ugly cries

it was a family weekend. mom and dad were here. dabney's mom was in town swinging back through on her way home to hawaii.  in order to mark the occasion, we had a giant meal, complete with peking duck and salt & pepper flounder, at my family's favorite chinese restaurant here in st. louis. while there, we managed to cause a minor scene with a raucous squabble over the bill.  diane, with her undeniable scrappiness, won in the end.  my mother was none too amused.  ahh... family.

this weekend, i cried. it's been a long time since i cried - you know, a hard, ugly cry. i guess i should explain right here and now that it had nothing to do with family being in town. i am almost too embarrassed to admit what brought on such tears and near hyperventilation, but it was the movie "marley & me." cheeseball, i know, but the scenes of that big oaf of a dog reminded me of feidler, of course. and the end? don't get me started about the end! let's just say that when dabney looked over at me and started laughing, all hell broke loose. it was dark in that theater, but i am sure that my face was bright red. my body temperature rose to the point of me wanting to tear off my wool sweater. i could barely breathe. i guess that's what happens when one cries and laughs simultaneously to the point of ridiculousness. man, it felt good. the movie? it was just okay.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

a letter from jenna and barbara to malia and sasha

from the wall street journal, january 20, 2009

article here.

Monday, January 19, 2009

bye bye, bushie (10)

"They misunderestimated me."

George W. Bush
Bentonville, Arkansas, 6 November, 2000

bye bye, bushie (9)

"I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully."

George W. Bush
Saginaw, Michigan, 29 September, 2000

bye bye, bushie (8)

"Information is moving. You know, nightly news is one way, of course, but it's also moving through the blogosphere and through the Internets."

George W. Bush
Washington DC, 2 May, 2007

bye bye, bushie (7)

"Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream."

George W. Bush
LaCrosse, Wisconsin, 18 October, 2000

bye bye, bushie (6)

"For a century and a half now, America and Japan have formed one of the great and enduring alliances of modern times."

George W. Bush
Tokyo, 18 February, 2002

Saturday, January 17, 2009

bye bye, bushie (5)

"First, let me make it very clear, poor people aren't necessarily killers. Just because you happen to be not rich doesn't mean you're willing to kill."

George W. Bush
Washington DC, 19 May, 2003

bye bye, bushie (4)

"You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test."

George W. Bush
Townsend, Tennessee, 21 February, 2001

Friday, January 16, 2009

bye bye, bushie (3)

"As governor of Texas, I have set high standards for our public schools, and I have met those standards."

George W. Bush
CNN, 30 August, 2000

bye bye, bushie (2)

"You know, one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror."

George W. Bush
CBS News, Washington DC, 6 September, 2006

bye bye, bushie (1)

"I want to thank my friend, Senator Bill Frist, for joining us today. He married a Texas girl, I want you to know. Karyn is with us. A West Texas girl, just like me."

George W. Bush
Nashville, Tennessee, 27 May, 2004

foamy goodness and no, it's not beer

dabney is so sensitive to cold, an open refrigerator can cause her to put on a sweater. (i like to think it's the floridian in her.) so to seal up all the cracks and crevices of our old house, we've chosen to go with spray foam insulation rather than traditional pink fiberglass. 

foam will not only keep the place warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer - it's fire and insect resistant.
Insulated (by ann-dabney)

the upstairs ceiling has blown-in-blanket insulation to keep us toasty.
Loose-fill insulation on ceilings (by ann-dabney)

next week, we'll see drywall get installed. and presto - the place will start to look like a real house.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

versailles, cribs-style

was flipping through the channels last night and i just had to pause for a moment on cribs. you gotta chuckle at the choices some of these celebrities make. my all-time favorite was missy elliot's armchair/aquarium from a few years back (sorry, i couldn't find a picture). i wonder if she feeds the fish through the cup holders.

watching cribs also reminded of this old gem featured on the dvd of marie antoinette.

louis xvi (jason schwartzman) presents his crib...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

for ashbloem

loving this song.
loving this video.
missing our girl.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Change (by ann-dabney)

it's officially a waiting room.

but how could we pass up a "wassily" chair, a cool-looking floor lamp, and a mod chandelier?  it was a three-fer - all three items for eighty bucks.

Floor Lamp & "Wassily" Chair (by ann-dabney)

Mod chandelier (by ann-dabney)

the kicker: the seller is a friend of our new friend/neighbor "k."  such a small world...

Monday, January 12, 2009

kitchen bones and windowseats

everytime we visit the construction site, it seems the place is buzzing with activity - which gives me hope that we are still on target for an april move-in date (dabney is banking on may).  truth be told, i miss my stuff.

speaking of which, we've been given a green light to unload our moving pods into the newly-completed basement at the end of the month, which we are seriously considering. since september, we've been living out of a couple of suitcases and anything else we could have squeezed into the back of the station wagon. the only hesitation would be the actual lugging of stuff through the house, down the stairs, and into the basement.

recent pics:

here's a new picture of the future kitchen.
Kitchen (by ann-dabney)

here our project foreman, bob (whom we affectionately refer to as "bob the builder"), examines the kitchen dimensions with one of the electricians.
Kitchen (by ann-dabney)

window seats below the storefront windows have just been framed in.  yes, that's a very large dumpster standing in for what will someday be a front yard.
Window seat (by ann-dabney)

the storefront has not one, not two, but three large display windows. below, joseph the electrician, demonstrates what a window seat provides. 

Joseph, the electrician (by ann-dabney)

the seats are surprisingly deep. deep enough for a couple of dogs to sleep someday. you heard me right... dogs.  okay, and maybe me, too.

Friday, January 09, 2009

another craigslist find

...this time in the form of a locker from an old high school.

Locker (by ann-dabney)

price paid = $40. the previous owner was even nice enough to deliver it, as it would not have come close to fitting in the wagon. it's huge (6' x 3') and heavy.

i think it will be great near the backdoor for coats, shoes, and whatnot. at first glance, we thought we'd paint it, but i have to admit, i am kind of loving the robin's egg blue. perhaps a clean up and touch up will be all it needs afterall.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

steady as she goes

we managed to move our first piece of furniture (a $30 craigslist dresser) into the house...

Dresser (by ann-dabney)

... more like into the basement (the only area that's somewhat contruction-free at this point). we like to think that's a sign of progress.

things are really moving along though, but it's boring, not very blog-worthy progress in the form of electrical, plumbing, hvac work.

Electrical work (by ann-dabney)

Furnace in (by ann-dabney)

Water heater in (by ann-dabney)

Duct work ready to be installed (by ann-dabney)

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

all corny in nebraska

ordinarily, we'd celebrate new year's eve on the couch with dick clarke ryan seacrest and a glass of champagne.  this year, we found ourselves boogieing in omaha, nebraska accompanied by these two crazy boys.

Omaha (by ann-dabney)

we'd like to thank our husker host, ron, for showing us all the sites that omaha (and lincoln) had to offer.

we visited the nebraska state capital where nearly every surface featured a corn motif.
Lincoln (by ann-dabney)

Corn motif (by ann-dabney)

Corny (by ann-dabney)

we paid homage to famous nebraskans gerald ford and willa cather, whom will likes to call willa "catheter."
Omaha (by ann-dabney)

The Willas (by ann-dabney)

we enjoyed local cuisine, thanks to big mama.
Omaha (by ann-dabney)

we drank champagne on tap. dabney and i just loved this.
Omaha (by ann-dabney)

of course, we couldn't visit nebraska and not take in a cornhusker football game. it was nice to see ron surrounded by his own for once.

Hopeful Husker (by ann-dabney)