sillygoosegirl: (Fairy - Forget-me-not)
Josh is out of town for work. I got up and nursed Gwen and got her ready for daycare. Jogged with her 25 minutes (which is about 2 miles for me) per my C25K program, dropping her at daycare at the end. Went to the grocery store for milk and eggs. Walked home. My parents were already there and had already removed one of the sliding glass doors onto the deck. We set to work disassembling the south stairs of the deck. And unfortunately discovered that the beam closest to the house was badly rotted. The other two beams seemed fine, as did the joists. We would have expected the beam closest to the house to be in the best shape, but for some reason it wasn't pressure treated. Maybe they thought they didn't need to pressure treat so close to the house. Or maybe the other two beams were replaced at some earlier time or something. We ended up ordering 100 board-feet of pressure treated 2x10 to not only replace the rotted beam, but also handle the 2 ft addition we wanted to do on the south side, and the 14 ft addition on the north side, allowing us to tie them in/cantilever them in a good "new work" sort of way rather than a funky "old work" sort of way. Amazingly, Parr Lumber was able and willing and able to deliver the 5 20-ft boards to us day-of (they were coming anyway to get their pallet back from delivering all the other material).

While moving the 14-ft 4x8 we no longer needed back to the front of the house so we could send it back to Parr to return, I dropped my end on my knee. It seemed to go down really hard, and my parents were surprised I was even able to walk, but amazingly, it didn't do too much damage. They insisted that I baby it and I put ice on it right away and for a couple hours, and it hardly even bruised up, at least not yet, almost 12 hours later. Not sure what happened, but somehow my knee must not have been the first/primary thing it hit.

We got the rotted beam removed in pieces around the time the wood was delivered. We did some more designing and math, to figure out the exact measurements we would need. We needed to cut up some wider pieces of pressure treated to make supports to hold the beam on the top of the posts, which required the table saw. The new-to-us garage sale table saw hadn't been used yet (by us), so we had to figure out how to get the fence and new blade on.

We ran some loops of strapping around our first 2x10 and the deck above. As we lifted the board, we tightened the loops. This meant, essentially, that we always had somewhere right there to set it down.

By this point it was time to get Gwen and I spent the next 90 minutes getting her from daycare, feeding her, doing bath, and stuff.

During this time, my parents jacked up the deck here and there, and used pipe clamps to get the beam into place between the tops of the posts and the joists. When I left to get Gwen, they were arguing about whether they should do the top first or the bottom first, but the fit was so tight that they weren't able to do either--it went straight in, pulled into position by the pipe clamps.

Then we made up leftovers and ate dinner.

What a big day! We got a lot done, but I must say it is pretty frustrating to work so hard all day and find ourselves actually with more left to do on the project than we thought we had when we got started this morning. But hey, it's not a surprise. I mean, we didn't know what setbacks we would run into, but I've done enough of these home projects that I wasn't naive enough to think we wouldn't encounter something.
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I never thought I'd say this, but I kind of wish I'd paid more attention in Archeoastronomy. I kind of blew off a lot of stuff about where the sun rises and sets throughout the year, since I knew a lot of my classmates couldn't hack the math, so I didn't need to know it either.

Our north-facing condo at the Round, and my time unemployed last year battling with SAD, showed me that the sun's path is more complicated than I ever bothered to notice before. I was surprised to discover that we actually did get some direct sunlight. Perhaps I shouldn't have been surprised, but I think of the sun as always being to the south (well, in Oregon anyway).

Okay, that's nice, so what? Well, when we buy a house, I want to make sure it gets enough light. I want it to be bright and happy like our south-facing condo in Chicago. Not like our north-facing cave in Madison, or our north-facing home now. My dream house would have the garage on the north side of the house, and big picture windows facing south and the back yard. It seems, however, that this was not a huge priority for developers in Beaverton.

We toured a great house last weekend. It's layout was just about perfect. Except that it had almost no windows facing south, although it was almost all windows to the north. Also, it's a little more than we'd prefer to spend, a little further from the light rail than we'd prefer to be, and has kind of a lot of freeway noise. I might have been able to forgive those things for all those windows if they faced south. It's on a hill, so limited options for adding south-facing windows.

Another house we are partial to faces a road slightly north of west, so the back, where the majority of the windows are, faces slightly south of east. Good morning light is a plus. The mostly south facing wall has almost no windows, but we could potentially add some. We're going to go see that one again on Saturday. And a few more I'm looking forward to seeing, though I don't think they will get particularly good light either.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

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Someday I'm going to live in a house that not only has amazing insulation, but also has a smart passive central heating and cooling system. This house will have duct work like you'd find in a central air or forced air system, but it will also have a brain and eyes, and it will know how to use the internet. You see, it will have a temperature sensor outside the house, one (or more) inside the house, and a computer that can go on the internet to get the weather forecasts. I will give it a set of temperature parameters, a comfort/target zone and then allowed extremes. It will intelligently use external air to heat and cool the house. For example, in the summer it will blow in cold air at night, but only as much as is needed to keep the house in the comfort range the next day given the forecast. In the fall, like now, it would blow in warm air during the heat of the day (but not too much!) and then stop blowing in air when the outside air temperature drops below the inside air temperature. It could do all this with fans and only turn on the heat or AC when it was really necessary, and while I approximate this by opening the windows and using fans right now, I don't always notice when they need to be opened or closed in a particularly timely way. Actually, I'm really bad at noticing. I think this could greatly reduce my energy consumption and while improving my comfort.
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Like I posted before, we sold our old dining room chairs this morning, and were so glad to have them out of the house.

Also, as I think I posted yesterday, I finished varnishing my desk and took it inside today (post with pictures will be coming sometime).  It still needs handles.  I will probably buy these online as neither Ace nor Home Depot seem to carry drawer handles with 2.5 inches between centers.  Blah.  I'm also trying my hand at stripping the paint off the handles it came with because I like them and I had leftover stripper.  Results are not promising so far.

We also rearranged the bedroom furniture and are discussing the other rooms as well.  This townhouse isn't significantly smaller than our last place, but with the baseboard heat and different arrangement, we still feel like we haven't quite figured out how to make everything fit the way we want.  Slowly but surely I think we're making progress though.  We'll probably get this place feeling like a proper home before we move again...

I also repaired the giant ding our china cabinet got when we moved.  When I was at Ace looking at handles, I found a wood touch up product I'd never heard of before: Wood Scratch Repair Kit.  I didn't have high hopes for a repair kit that looked like it consisted of 4 crayons and cost only $3, but my attempts to fix it with the little touch up pens had totally failed since the gouge was kind of deep and didn't take the color evenly at all.  This repair kit at least claimed to be somewhat space filling.  Anyhow, it actually worked really well.  I wish I'd taken a picture of it before I started because the quality of the repair is pretty impressive.  Had I not used the pens in the first place, I think it'd be practically impossible to find the problem without feeling it, and even as it is now one could easily mistake it for a feature of the wood grain.  I'm pretty pleased.

Also went through part of my closet (the easy half), and pulled out some clothes I don't think I'm ever going to wear (or wear again) to get rid of.  I should do the second half at some point.  I don't think I have yet gotten rid of enough stuff to alleviate the hanger shortage crisis in our household. 

Other than that, it's been a pretty lazy day and I have precious little to show for myself.  I think we're going to go contra dancing in a few minutes here though.  Hopefully I will manage to stay awake. 
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I've done a significant amount of work on the desk the last 3 days (like, multiple hours each day), including a lot of use of the power sander. To update, when I started this evening, all the "outside" sides/front/back are done to 180 grit, and the inside "sides" were done to 80 grit. My goal for tonight was to do the inside "sides" to 180 grit tonight... which is probably only around 1 hours worth of work (not many corners/edges/curves, no more paint). However, I found after only a few minutes that I can hardly hold the power sander stable right now with my right hand because my muscles hurt (or really, not because they hurt... the pain isn't so bad... mostly they just don't respond to commands with any level of precision right now). My left hand has the same problem... only without any pain at all and for an entirely different reason.

Sigh. I'm so excited about getting this project done... and I have a hard enough time finding daylight hours to work on it... it's disappointing when I have the time to go out there and find I am unable to work on it. Oh well. I spent a good long time out there admiring it instead. Our entire evening is double booked tomorrow, so I should have a day to recover before I'm giving up any more time that I might have spent on it.

On the somewhat related subject of office furniture, we need more filing cabinets. Our funky little two drawer cabinet we bought in Evanston is getting rather full. I'd like to get something quad high, and at least double wide... possibly in a lateral configuration, and hopefully reasonably attractive looking (like wood or laminate). However, we might instead buy one or two of these or these (if they stack safely, which might be wishful thinking). As Josh is quick to point out, we really don't need that much filing space at this time... but I am confident we will eventually and have some desire for matching filing cabinets.

On the non-related subject of labtops, Becca's old Inspiron 1450 and another even older laptop arrived in the mail today. We'll be building a combination laptop out of Becca's old 1450 and my old 1450, which I am way more excited about than I have any right to be. Thanks Becca! That's exactly what I wanted for my birthday... and a month early too!
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Josh and I cleaned up the office today. It's been a wreck since... oh, pretty much when we moved in. We also moved my (old) desk out of here into the library/sewing room and the love seat in to take it's place... since I'd rather compute on the love seat than at a desk. It's nice in hear now that it's clean and organized.

I also spent 2-3 hours working on my (new) desk. The front, back, and one of the sides are now free of paint (or as free as they are getting) and fully sanded up to 180 grit sand paper (I need to work my way up to 300-something before staining--one or two more rounds). The other side is within inches of being done... but my light went away. Then there are the inside bits (where your legs go). The rest of the sanding rounds should go faster because I will only be smoothing out the wood from my previous sanding jobs... rather than digging out every last speck of paint. Anyhow, I'm really pleased at my progress in the last few weekends. I think I should be able to get all the sanding done in another 20-30 hours. And then it's staining and varnishing! Yay!

Also, there are some spots where there was a hole before the desk was painted, which is now full of paint... and where these holes are deep, there is precious little I can do about them. The final step (or maybe next to last before varnishing) will be filling the holes with wood putty and maybe applying a little brown paint to touch up these imperfections. I'm really excited though... I feel like the end is actually in sight, however far away a sight it is...

My goal, which Josh assures me I will make because he hates scraping snow off the car, is to get the desk completely finished and out of the garage before the first snow of the year. So I'm counting on having at least until mid-October.

Next up: Reupholstering Grandma's couch. (Don't hold your breath...)

Now to do some work work...

Edited to add: Today, just now (9:50pm), I set a personal record. That's right, I jogged 1 mile without stopping! Never done that before. At 11 minutes 20 seconds, it wasn't the fastest overland mile I've ever done on foot, but it is the only one I've maintained a jogging pace for the whole thing nonstop.
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Our lock on our front door has been very stiff and hard to unlock since we moved in. Basically, it catches about 1/4 inch from unlocked, and it's really hard to get it that last 1/4 inch. It's a bit easier on the inside though, because you have more leverage. Shortly after we moved in, Josh put some WD40 on the shaft and in the keyhole, and that helped, but it was still difficult. Last Friday night, we ended up going in through the garage it was so stiff. I decided we should just replace the lock, but I didn't know how hard that would be. So I grabbed a screw driver and started taking the lock apart to see. Turns out, there's not much to disassembling a lock, but once we had it open and started fiddling with it, we could see where it was catching! We lathered it up good with the WD40 and put it back together. Now the lock works like a dream! Last night, coming home with my hands full, I was able to unlock and open the door with one hand!!!!! Ah, life's little pleasures...

Run down of my full day yesterday )

House Fire

Aug. 8th, 2008 07:19 pm
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Today, on the way home from work, Josh and I got the opportunity to see something we have never seen before (in real life): A house on fire. We saw a great column of smoke, just a few blocks north of our townhouse, in the subdivision north of Cross Country, so we decided to bike up there and see what it was. Not terribly surprisingly, it was a house on fire. When we got there, we could see flames on the back porch for a bit (then they disappeared), and an inordinant amount of smoke seeping out of the attic. A cop showed up right around the same time we did, first authority on the scene, and assertained that there was no one in the house. After an inordinant amount of time, the first fire truck showed up. 20+ foot flames were already coming out of the roof. They sprayed the house for a long long time. When we went around for a better look at the hoses, we saw that the siding on the house next door was all melted off. Wow. Eventually a few of them got their masks on and went in. We probably watched for an hour. We saw a fire truck arrive from Oregon (not the state, but a suburb decently far from us) as we were leaving. And we've heard a few more come by. It was actually a lot like what you see on TV... only longer... and I bet they are still working on it. Got to make sure there's no residual fire anywhere inside the house, in the walls, in the attic, etc.

It was quite a thing to see. Everyone in the neighborhood was out watching. I sure hope I don't see another.

It was a gas grill fire. We're grilling out tonight, and we were sure to put our grill a regulation distance away from the building before lighting it up.

Shiny

Aug. 2nd, 2008 11:37 am
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Now there's a shiny house! Right down town Verona. Over 100 years old (yay character), but updated with central air heating and cooling (yay comfort)! Unfortunately, we're not actually buying right now, nor planning to spend that much when we do.

But... but... but... SHINY!!!
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So about 2 hours ago, our land lord came up and knocked on our door. She had a woman and two children with her. She apologized for disturbing me when I was busy moving and all, but Chris had said it would be okay for her to show the apartment this evening. So I'm just sort of standing there with my mouth hanging open... didn't know I was moving, and who is this Chris person, is he helping her manage her rentals now or something?? No, turns out it was just all a big mix up... she went to the wrong unit. Chris and Mandy next door are moving, not us.

Having the land lord show up unexpectedly to show people our home... not something you want to have happen! (Also not legal and all that, but that's another matter.)
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Apparently renting a home in Wisconsin doesn't actually make you a resident of the state. Because "renting is temporary, so a lease doesn't prove that you live here even though a documentation of a mortgage would." What a fucking bitch.

Fortunately I can take 2 hours off work another day and drive across town with any number of other documents I do have, but didn't have on me, which in no way prove that I live here, and use those to establish residency. Who would have thought that the documents they require for a drivers license are different than those they require to prove residency for registering a car, and in addition make no fucking sense.

Maybe instead of just offering tax incentives for home ownership, which just shift the demand curve, and don't actually make homes more affordable, we could help people achieve the American Dream by not making them feel less like people for not "having a home."

Yeah, and incidentally, I have tons of documentation that would make it easy for me to get a drivers license in Illinois, Oregon, or New York (if those states have such fucked up rules)... in spite of not living in any of those places. In spite of not ever having ever lived in New York.

Edit: Okay, so actually on closer examination of our papers we don't seem to have a document that will allow me to prove residency for a drivers license, since our pay stubs don't have our address on them (which is evidently required for them to work), and the only utility bill we have received thus far is in Josh's name and not mine... because a utility bill on a rental home is so much more permanent than a lease on a rental home. I've got 10 more days before I'm in violation of the law for living here 60 days and not changing my drivers license over. If I wasn't so pissed off, that would probably be funny.

Edit #2: And as if things didn't seem nuts enough before, get this: they mail your new drivers license to your home address... which really begs the question why they can't just take my word for it and figure that if I am lying about my address I wont ever actually receive my drivers license, so it's okay.
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As mentioned previously, Josh and I spent much of last weekend de-clutter-ifying our apartment. We signed our lease for another year, but decided that we still wanted a change. What we decided on was swapping the bedrooms--the master bedroom in our apartment is huge (13 by 14, plus 3 closets), while the second bedroom is tiny (9 by 10). As a result, the master bedroom naturally became our junk room, while the second bedroom was a very claustrophobic office (not to mention that it gets bloody HOT in there with Josh's computer on over the summer). We've tried various methods in the past 2 years for making use of this small room, but none of them have we been overly pleased with. And the master bedroom is a problem too... because of it's junk room status. I went to a sleep talk recently at work about how you will sleep better if you reserve the bedroom for only sleep and sex (and especially avoid activities in the bedroom that might stress you out--like fighting with your spouse, or your crap), and I think that makes a lot of sense. The last thing I need while I'm getting into bed is for my eyes to wander over to a bookcase full of crap we don't know what to do with, because that can get me thinking about such things as "How are we ever going to handle having CHILDREN, when we can't even handle all the THINGS we have?" rather than drifting peacefully off to dreamland. Thus, sleeping in a room that is too small for storing junk seems like a pretty good idea. I think this is the same sort of thing as how you will supposedly score better on a test when you take it where you learned the material you are being tested on.

So yeah, we swapped the two bedrooms. Except bedroom #2 is so small that we can't actually put our dressers in there... so pretty much we now have a bedroom that has a bed and nightstands, and Josh's closet, and then we also have a office/sewing room/dressing room. We figure that this'll work pretty well when we have out of town guests over too--we'll let them sleep in our bed, and we'll sleep in the office on our camping pads, without getting cut off from anything we regularly need except for Josh's closet. And our guests will get to sleep in a real bed.

Furthermore, not only did we rearrange, but we were really diligent about de-cluttering as we went. So rather than just moving junk from one junk pile to the next, we went through it and made actual decisions about whether or not to keep it, and where to store it. As a result, we have a rather big pile of things to get rid of. And we now know where to find a lot of things that we have had for a long time, because they are organized now.

Our areas of accomplishment include:
- The junk bookcase that was in the bedroom
- The top of Mary's dresser
- The top of Josh's dresser
- Mary's desk drawers
- Josh's desk drawers (4 of which are now loaded with communal desk stuff, since Josh has the bigger desk--there is a writing implements drawer, a checks and batteries drawer, a envelopes/cards/stationary/stamps/address labels drawer, and a notebooks drawer.)
- Mary's closet floor
- Josh's closet in it's entirety (though there's still a box of my stuff--mostly knitting and beading stuff--Josh found there to be dealt with tonight)
- The cardboard box we tossed all our wedding stuff in 2 years ago when we got back from the honeymoon (it's a new box--the yellow one--now that is a little smaller and has a lid--also, though you can't tell, it's somewhat sorted.)
- Half of the bedroom linen closet
- The random crap mini-cabinet that used to be a TV stand (which now has electronics/software storage in the cabinet part, and desk supplies--stapler, hole punch, pencil sharpener, scissors, tape, paper, etc--in the above part that was probably designed for a VCR).
- The junk closet
- Under the bed
- Mary's nightstand (drawers and surface)
- Josh's nightstand (drawers and surface)

Anyway, I love love love our new office. It is huge, and it has a bigger chunk of unoccupied floor space than I've had access to since moving away from my parents' house--which will be excellent when it comes to cutting out sewing projects. Furthermore, it is clean and uncluttered. I know exactly where to find everything, and there isn't a bunch of crap about. Also, there is lots of space for projects other than sewing projects, such as cleaning/de-cluttering projects we've been handling recently. And we have new light bulbs, so it's bright and friendly in there. Finally, I think it will make a fine space if we ever want to have everyone we know over to our apartment and be able to split up for separate games or divided D&D sessions. We can set up our card table in there in a pinch (though we decided we shouldn't leave it set up in there in general because it's a junk magnet).

If I sound like I'm proud of us, it's because I am.

Voila!



Now, here's to keeping it clean and clutter-free being easier than making it clean and clutter-free in the first place! (...I hope...)
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Okay, we released our hold on that place. I'm a little sad, but relieved not to be committed to anything. The folks at the second place, the one where management seemed kind of non-responsive, they were a no-show on showing it to us... either that or we just failed to find them. Ugh. But we stopped in at a 3rd place, this one cheaper than anything else we've considered so far. Location's okay (3.5 miles or so), remodeled last year so probably it will satisfy Josh's general desire for being aesthetically pleasing, has balcony/AC/dishwasher, probably smallish, but a price that would be hard to beat. Will see it tomorrow night.
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Okay, so we need to decide where we are moving at the end of this month. I want to be closer to work, and I want our budget to balance a little better... like, I want us to be able to "pay ourselves first" at a certain level, and then not have to pull $150 out of savings at the end of each month.

Hypothetically, we will save $40-$50/month by living near work, because I wont be taking the train anymore (biking only). Plus, we're looking at somewhat cheaper places than what we have now, by $100 to $250/month. Naturally, the places at the higher end of price are also at the higher end of niceness.

The two places we think we will be choosing between (one which we turned in a preliminary application to today--they are holding it for us for 24 hours now, but we'll need to give them a check for $100 for them to hold it until the end of July. the other we haven't actually been inside yet).

The more expensive one is real nice. It's like a 3.5 mile bike ride to work (all on small roads, except for a smidge on Hicks road, the road I work on). It is a one bedroom, but a large one at that... the bedroom is as big as the master bedroom here, which means there should be no trouble putting a desk in there, or maybe even two if we wanted to. It's an eat in kitchen, which means there is space to set up a desk in there (which I think we will do--that way the food wont burn so much when Josh wanders away to check his email). The living/dinning room area is as big as what we have now in the short dimension, but 5 feet shorter in the long dimension... this pretty much means we would lose the 5 ft of dead space we now have between the living room and the dinning room. The balcony is a bit bigger than we have now (yay!). The kitchen isn't huge, but is has some wonderful looking cabinetry (in the functional sense, though also the asthetic sense). The kitchen floor looks like hard wood and the counters look like granite (though I *think* both are fake, but definitely decent fakes if they are), and in the bathroom there are 2 sinks (druel). It doesn't have laundry (which we will definitely miss), but it has a fire place. Also, it is across the street from a rather large forest preserve with a paved bike path. They are building a clubhouse and pool, to be hopefully open before the end of the year (the club house that is--the pool presumably wont open until summer--but in the mean time they are buying season passes to the Palatine Park Distric Pool for all residents). We can lock in the "cheap" rate for a lease of anywhere between 6 and 18 months, after which the rent will be... just about exactly what we are paying here (but presumably Josh will be working again by then).

The cheaper place we are considering is a little more than $200 less that our current place. It is only about 2 miles from work. It's got two bedrooms, but by square feet it's only a smidge bigger. We like the layout on paper but haven't been in yet. It's along a bike path which snakes through Palatine, all the way up to the above mentioned forest preserve. It's got all our essentials--balcony, dish washer, A/C (central even). As far as we can tell, it really doesn't have anything else going for it, and so far our impression of management has been pretty negative... like, we're interested in renting an apartment from them and even under these circomstances it's pulling teeth to get them to talk to us, so one wonders about such things as maintinance. The selling points are probably going to be limited to price and location. We haven't actually been inside yet though.

So tomorrow we will be making a decision. I don't think it's going to be an easy one. I *really* want a fire place.
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I think I'm allergic to something. It seems to affect my eyes for like a week or two in the early spring. I experienced it my junior and senior years at Mudd, last spring, and I'm experiencing it now. I do not remember whether I experienced it while we lived in Evanston. I know I should be careful what I wish for, but I wish it was regular allergies instead. I think I'd deal with that better than I deal with the pain I get in my eyes.

Mostly unrelatedly, except I happen to be remembering it right now, the bridges in Chicago smell like chocolate. There was a thing on the radio a few weeks ago about how the bridges in Chicago smell like chocolate, and Josh and I were, like, "Yeah, right." Then they went on the explain that it is because of this little chocolate factory along the river, and how someone complained and they got in trouble for excessive particulate emissions, so it's getting fixed and now the bridges in Chicago aren't going to smell like chocolate anymore. We thought it was silly and a bit unbelievable... and what with it getting fixed, we wouldn't even be able to experience it ourselves. But then when we were on our way home from Midway, walking from the loop to Oglvie (sp?), past the Lyric Opera House and over the river, I made a comment about how the bridge didn't smell like chocolate, and how I thought it seemed like a pretty tall tale. No sooner were the words out of my mouth when a little puff of wind blew by... and sure enough it smelled strongly of chocolate! It was just one of those perfect surreal moments. So yes, I can personally verify that at least one bridge in Chicago at least used to smell like chocolate, and I was there and I experienced it.

And that's just awesome.

I live where the bridges smell like chocolate.

Maybe next I'll live where the houses taste of ginger bread.

Um... and because I know how to google, you can listen to the radio segment if you want... it's This American Life, and you'll want Act III. http://www.thislife.org/pages/descriptions/06/307.html
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Back in December I was at Home Depot and decided to pick up a programmable thermostat because there they were for what looked like a pretty good price. We didn't turn on the heat all last winter, but we run the AC with impunity 3 months out of the year and had been wanting one for that... plus, we can take it with us when we move.

Well, as those in Chicago may remember, last December was really cold, but January and February weren't too bad. This year has been the opposite so far. In December we were still routinely cracking windows to cool down our apartment. Now, however, it's really bloody cold in the mornings when we get up. Okay, so like 66 degrees in the bedroom, which for 2 people who aren't too good at getting up, is an incentive to stay in bed which we do not need. (It's plenty warm under the down comforter.) So on Tuesday we set up the programmable thermostat to heat up the apartment to 72 degrees between 6am and 8am (and be more or less off the rest of the day). Wednesday when we got up the thermometer in the bedroom still said 66 degrees, and the thermometer on the thermostat in the hall said 73 degrees. What a big help... I'm not even sure the furnice turned on. So we cranked the temperature up to 75 degrees for the morning. Yesterday was better, and this morning I actually bothered to look at the thermometers--a nice comfortable 70 in the bedroom when we got up, and a less than comfortable 75 degrees in the rest of the apartment after I had my long underwear and wool sweater on (or perhaps I should say more than comfortable?). So this morning I had a brillient idea--turn the temperature on the thermostat back down, and close all the vents in all the rooms except the bedroom! Should have thought of that before... though there still remains the question of what temperature do we have to set the thermostat to in order for the furnice to even turn on? We shall see.

Oh, incidently, during the day we get lots of ambient heat from other apartments, appliences, etc, such that the hall thermometer generally reads about 75 degrees when we are going to bed. But the master bedroom always seems to be about 5-6 degrees colder than the rest of the apartment. And I'm thinking neighbors are using programmable thermostats and that is part of why the temperature is lower in the mornings.

Yeah, I bet you all wanted to hear about that so very much...
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Okay, so I was going to update you all with some talk about the things I am currently bitter and unhappy about relating to the whole holiday season thing. But I decided to pass on that. It's bad enough that I have so much to be bitter and unhappy about--I don't feel like wasting more time writing about it... and I doubt anyone has much interest in wasting time reading about it (though if you do, feel free to imagine in great detail all the ways in which my holidays might have been crappy). Instead I'm going to write about positive things I want to share.

So now the list (with some pictures):

1. We rearranged our apartment! 
2. We have a tree! 
3. Josh got me a really pretty ceder chest for my fabric! 
4. Josh got me a lovely necklace and earrings to match the other ring! 5. Peggy got me a folding box for my sewing notions, just like the one my mom has! 
6. After much angst at each other, Josh and I attached the desk extender thingie I made to his desk this morning, and it is awesome! 
7. Becca got Josh and I a GPS!!  (No pictures yet...)
8. After a good deal less angst at each other (but plenty of angst at the saw), Josh and I cut out the pieces to make a bookcase today!!  (Pictures after we make it...)
9. We are making a bookcase!!! (!!!)
10. Today there was a special for 15 cent listings on ebay, so I listed a few more of Shippy's pieces and our old coffee table!
11. After much angst at the internet, I am now willing to bet mine and Josh's life savings on AmTrust Direct being FDIC insured! 
12. The convertable one-seam dress I made last week is pretty cool, but I haven't gotten around to getting a picture of it now and can't do that yet because Josh is plugged in to Natural Selection.  :-(
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
We came to the conclusion that our bedroom really wont fit into a 10 ft by 9.5 ft room. However, it should fit okay (if tightly) into a 10 ft by 12 ft room... if we ever find ourselves considering one of those.
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
Yesterday was a really nice day. We made plans during the week to visit Pioneer Tree Farm up in McHenry, about an hour away from us. But I woke up in the morning inspired to move the furniture around in our apartment. The idea was sort of bumping around in my head before off and on, but at Ed and Mandy's Christmas party on Saturday, I was reminded a little more vividly how nice it would be to have a living room that didn't also have to double as the office and sewing area.

Furniture stuff, and the saga of getting the couch into the living room )

Adventures in trees )

Anyhow, it was a really lovely day. Practically a perfect day. It's the first day that Josh and I have spent all day doing stuff together off our computers in a long time... long enough I'd almost forgotten how much I missed it... and long enough I'd almost forgotten how little it matters to me WHAT we do together so long as we do it together. I feel rejuvenated and in love... in a way I haven't felt in far too long. It feels good.

We will be tackling the tasks of putting ornaments on the tree and moving furniture tonight, I think.
sillygoosegirl: (Other - City of Roses)
My dad grew up in Nebraska, and when ever people come visit my parents in Oregon, he would always tell them about how great Portland was as a place to live because, "You can drive 2 hours in one direction and get to the beach, or you can drive 2 hours in the other direction and be in the mountains, or you can drive 3 hours and be in the desert."

I always took that for granted when I was a kid and didn't know what my dad was going on and on about. Then I moved to Chicago. From where we live, you can drive 1 hour and get to Chicago. Or you can drive 1 hour in the other direction and be in a corn field. Or you can drive 2 hours and be in a corn field. Or you can drive 3 hours and be in a corn field. Or for that matter you can go out on my balcony and be in a corn field.

I miss the Pacific Northwest. I miss it so much.

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sillygoosegirl

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