Sunday, July 31, 2011

too many books

We have a funny built in book case/display shelves next to the fire place. This area is directly at one end of the dining table and it looked sort of strange, as it only had 3 shelves for a 7 foot area - and the shelves are pretty narrow (they are made of 2" by 8"s).

I have tried a couple of different arrangements and was never happy with it. You can see what they looked like before here. I decided to get some new shelves cut and paint the whole thing white.

I am very happy with the results!

And now all of my cookbooks are next to the TV which is a better place for them since most are pretty wide. I LOVE cookbooks. My favorite gift to receive for sure! (TD's first present to me was a beautiful cookbook called Texas on the Plate & I knew he was a keeper!)

Sorry for the poor quality cell phone  pics.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Out with the old and in with the new

I have been trying to go through my clothes with a careful eye, getting rid of stuff that doesn't fit, is worn out, but mostly just doesn't go with my life/style/job.

I also recently read this post  from LPC at Privilege on dressing for academia. And while scientists (and biologists in particular) tend to be more informal, I did get several good ideas. Namely, I should focus on basic dark colors to mix and match.

So out with the old and in with the new. (notice a pattern here? everything is purple/fuchsia)

I also found a new swim suit at old navy - I was really impressed with the quality - the fabric (fully lined on top and bottom) was as nice as any of my JCrew suits (my usual brand).

I also rounded up some pastels (LPC says no to these and I realized there was a reason I hadn't been wearing them) and some shoes that I no longer wear to donate.

Add in a few button downs and a blazer or two (like this charcoal linen one) and hopefully no one will mistake me for a student (its only happened once so far).

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

better late than never (right?)

TD and I have been pretty slack about ordering any of our wedding photos. We did go from 1000+ photos to about 400 and also chose a few favorites. But that was it.

Somewhere in my mind, I figured we are going to be married forever, so what's the rush? ha!

But in an effort to get stuff out of the closets and more organized - I finally hung up the framed family wedding portraits that we had displayed at our wedding.

The blank one on the end is for a pic of my little sis from her wedding.  Doing so led me to go through wedding photos of ours to frame.

Which led me to order prints online, and while I was there I actually made and ordered photobooks for us and our parents!

I have started this several times, but never finished. I ordered these from snapfish - I am a little concerned about print quality - but they were having a 50% off sale and I already had uploaded our favorite photos so it was pretty painless. We may still order a really nice book, but having anything at all is a pretty huge leap forward!

Here are a few pages. If you click them, you can see them (a bit) bigger.

Monday, July 25, 2011

the boring home stuff

Its hot here. And dry. But not a dry as Texas. Texas is scary-dry right now. And not as hot as the NE. I feel very happy I am not living in Boston right now with no AC. Yikes.

So not much to complain about here.

This past weekend I cleaned off the roof (it had been 6 months and it really needed it). Our roof is a hip roof, which is better for hurricanes and the like, but it means that the leaves tend to stick rather than slide off. The oak blooms provide a nice cement for everything. I should probably clean it every 2-3 months (our next door neighbor blows his off and then power washes it about every month. but he's retired, and I think, bored).

While I was cleaning off the roof, dripping sweat and discovered that a limb/branch had fallen - pokey side down - and punched a nice slice through the shingles and tar paper. Hmm. So will be figuring out how to repair that (obviously another reason to clean it off more frequently).

the offending limbs (embarrassing so much debris was on our house...)

But thankfully this GIANT limb didn't fall directly on the house - it ended up resting against the roof (and it was super loud when it fell). Its about 15 feet long and now resides in our side yard as "habitat".

All clean now, for a couple more months.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

so now I am a film maker

well, not really (obviously).

But I am enjoying my new video camera that I got for my birthday from my sweet parents. The best part about this one is that it's waterproof. As soon as TD gets here, look forward to some canoe documentaries.

In the meantime, here is Prairie. Every now and then she gets the crazies in the evening. Usually it involves running around the house violently shaking a toy. Here she is with a bone.

After a 10 minutes or so, she's gotten it out and she winds down.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


As a reminder, our house had almond colored, metal louvered door on all the closets in the house. We ended up removing the tracks to install the floors and I freecycled the doors because they were ugly and some were bent and rusty.

Fast forward 7 months and we still didn't have any doors.

But not anymore! The new closet doors installed easily, even with just one set of hands. I painted them once they were installed and they were ready to go. Well, not exactly - they were missing hardware.

I ordered these pulls from on Saturday and they arrived Monday - thank you USPS!!
Stone Mill Oil-rubbed Bronze 'Nantucket Cup' Cabinet Pulls (Pack of 10)

Installing the pulls was not so straightforward...The doors are hollowcore with essentially cardboard backs making for difficulty drilling and installing screws. Also the pulls actually insert into the door, so you have to drill a really big (1/4 inch bit) hole. But its completed (only lost one screw inside a door & only had to redrill one hole) and it makes such a difference. 

Take a look!

And there was only one mishap...

Friday, July 15, 2011

Work work work

I should be writing my course prospectuses (is that really the plural? Prospectae?) Prospecti?) and a research narrative for CRIS (this is a requirement in the College of Agriculture here). I REALLY need to do these before the beginning of August.

Instead I am painting and installing closet doors. Sadly I couldn't use the tracks from the old doors, but these aren't too hard to install, even with just one set of hands.

Had to buy trim paint to paint the doors. Colormatched it to the rest of the house (all of the house - walls, ceilings, trim, doors - is painted flat white - which I actually like). But hopefully the satin finish will stay grime-free a bit better.

Also, while I was there, I got two sample pots (less than $3 - wow!!) to test out wall colors for the kitchen and bath. (for after I get around to removing the rest of the wall paper) I am going for a warm grey - I have zero experience with painting, so I am following Maggie's color choosing advice.

And I am loving my new loafers - quite a fashionable bday gift from my 20-year-old brother. Usually my fashion choices vacillate between hippy/crunchy & preppy/yuppy. I think these days I am leaning to yuppy.

And I have had to limit my NPR listening lately (I am often a 12 hours a day listener) because listening to debates about raising the debt ceiling (and in particular a certain female republican presidential hopeful) makes my ears bleed (and makes me want to punch the radio). When Bill O'Reilly and I are in agreement, there is something wrong in the world. (very very wrong)

I am so not looking forward to the run up to the 2012 election.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Stamp of Approval

We have joined a German Shorthaired Pointer rescue group, South East GSP rescue and we've applied to foster dogs for adoption.

We had our home visit this week and were approved! (Mainly I think they assess your fencing and if you are a weirdo). No idea when we will get a foster dog, but this should be interesting! (and will make me feel less guilty as TD wants our next puppy to be from a breeder)
Pdog has been going to the office over the weekends - and she was very interested in this dove at the feeder.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mini-series (indulgent summer TV watching)

Lately I've been loving some BBC miniseries on Netflix. Sadly, they don't have the best miniseries ever available on instant streaming but I have found several new good ones. Although given that Netflix is doubling its rates, we may be canceling and going for Hulu plus Amazon Instant.

My favorite so far is Downton Abbey. Its set on the eve of World War I. Its worth watching for the interiors alone. Bonus - season 2 will be available soon.
Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey (Original UK Unedited Edition)

Another goodie was North & South. Somewhat similar story to P & P, but enjoyable.
North & South

I really enjoyed Daniel Deronda - a George Eliot book I haven't read. The heroine reminded me of Middlemarch - not exactly the most sympathetic. Will have to read it once I am done with Middlemarch.

Daniel Deronda

The Way We Live Now is an Anthony Trollope book. The show was pretty over the top - dramatic music and the like - and was my least favorite.
The Way We Live Now

What's up next? 

Kennedy: The Complete Series

Bleak House (A Dickens novel I've never heard of...)
Bleak House (Special Edition)

Friday, July 8, 2011


I am liking instagram (when I remember to use it) but find it a little annoying to share the photos (the best I have figured is to email them one by one from the camera roll? help?)

I have had at least 5 people that I don't see regularly (3 are over 50 males) comment on my hair. Apparently its dramatic - never sure if this is a good thing - or maybe it looked awful before??

 Here's what else has been going on.

Froze 5 pounds of peaches. Now trolling Craigslist for a chest freezer...

Loving my new chacos - a birthday present from TD

Been serving tennis balls in the backyard for Prairie (Lost my Chuck it launcher). Hopefully I am not ruining TD's racket & perhaps there is some recreational tennis in my future. 

A sweet co-worker gifted me with this AWESOME push mower. We have a puny patch of grass in the front (not warranting lawn mower purchase) but its nice to know we won't be getting any HOA hatemail anytime soon (well at least not for the lawn being over grown)

In shameful news - I have broken down and Prairie is now allowed on the couch. I can't believe myself. 
....Gross! Dirty! Dog hair! Bad habits!
(But! Its only one couch & she now sleeps much later in the mornings.)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Birthday Week!

Had a great weekend with my Little Sis - her visit was short, but we managed to fit in biking to the farmer's market, a tour of campus, Satchell's pizza, the beach, and a dinner with friends. We did a bad job of taking photos but here are a few.

And, its birthday week around here. I am currently procrastinating working on finishing a grant so nothing big is planned - BUT I have a giant pile o'loot to celebrate the last year of my 20s!