Sunday, September 27, 2009

Pumpkins and A Red Barn

Update on the garage:
The cleaning/restoration company has been by 2 more times to check on things. They still can't do anything but clean the air (with an air scrubber?? machine) and use the dehumidifier until they hear from the association. My neighbor on the OTHER side told me today that the landlord came by today with HIS insurance adjuster and was all nice. Makes me suspicious. Did he call me? Nope. Did my association call me? Nope. I find it odd that he came by when I wasn't there and is playing all nice. Too late. He has to deal with my insurance company now. _________________________________________________________________

My weekend:
Saturday morning I had Religious Ed. Then I spent the rest of the day cleaning my computer room, doing homework (I despise my online classes) AND watching Glee (finally!). I LOVED the pilot (when I watched it after accidentally watching the most recent episode first). Let's hope they keep it up! This morning we went to church and then worked at Adam's house all day. _________________________________________________________________

Update on the Pumpkins:
We actually have LOTS of really large pumpkins. But...most of them are still very green. We have GOT to have some warm sunny days in order to turn these babies orange. They look great and healthy and are large....they are just the wrong color.

Update on Gourds:
Today after church I spent quite some time picking gourds. There are fun shaped gourds and little baby pumpkin shaped gourds (orange and white). I filled four 5 gallon buckets and half the trailer with them! I am so excited how they turned out. I like the bumpy looking ones best. I hope people want to buy some cute gourds with their pumpkins!

Update on the Barn:
The barn is officially a red barn! Today the last section was completed. Thanks to Adam's awesome brothers and father. Now we are doing the trim. Right now it is all being primed white and then we need to decide on color. Also, they have started to re-do the roof. Like we have money for that. But...if it isn't done now, the barn will be destroyed. So....roof it is.
White trim and grey trim.
I personally HATE the grey trim.
We haven't tried black yet, but at this point I am way over in the white corner.

The cupola The side of the barn with white trim.

Adam and his brother Aaron up on the ladders doing the roof with their dad directing and their other bro Andy painting the side.

The white trim. Looks like a Fisher-Price barn, huh??

The final side that was painted.

Adam high up on the ladder tearing off FIVE layers of roll roofing. They were going to put plywood over that and then shingle. But then they realized they also had to tear off the layer of Cedar Shake roofing underneath.

Scraping away

This is how it was left today.
One sheet of plywood down. It should hopefully go faster after this now that they know what to do. But there is a big barn roof ahead of us.
What now?
I have realized that we just have TOO many projects going on:
paint primer on trim on barn
paint trim on barn
tear off roofing
put down plywood
put down shingles
finish packing up house
begin demo on house
finish bathroom layout
begin bathroom remodel
care for pumpkins
turn pumpkins
harvest pumpkins
What about work and grad school and eating and sleeping????

Saturday, September 26, 2009

It's Been A Crappy Week (Literally)

This Wednesday was going to be an exciting night. It was the first night of "Adam wants to be Catholic" class. Adam has decided to join the Catholic church, so he will have class every Wednesday night from now until April when he will be confirmed at the Easter Vigil service. Contrary to popular belief, both parties do NOT need to be Catholic to get married in the Catholic church. Just one needs to be Catholic. I never asked him to do it or suggested it in any way, it is something he has decided to on his own and I am very excited. I love that one of his reasons is that when we have kids, he wants both of us to raise them together with our faith.

So on Wednesday night we were on our way out to church when Adam heard a dripping sound in my garage. We stopped, looked around and noticed a drop coming from the ceiling above an empty bin.

See the bin stack no the left. The top bin is empty and was catching a ton of water
We couldn't believe it. I own my townhouse and it is two stories tall. It is attached to my garage, but above the garage is another unit. There are four garages in a row and above all 4 is someone else's. Adam knocked on the door and the people who live there came out while I called my association. I reached the answering service and left a message. The lady who lives above the garage is a renter and she said she called her landlord last week about her toilet leaking from the bottom and it is bubbling all over the place, but he didn't come to fix it. Gross. So Adam called the landlord who wasn't home. There wasn't anything more we could do so we left.
We got home about 10:00 from church, stopping at my parent's house and grocery shopping so I could make pasta salad for the potluck at work. That is when I noticed more dripping. By that time the whole soffet was almost pouring out liquid. We realized EVERYTHING was soaked. Adam called the landlord back who was annoyed to be inconvenienced by this and we called the association answering service again where Adam insisted on speaking to someone.

A box I had on the shelving unit. Underneath are all of my holiday rugs rugs that I have for every season (for the kitchen and front door) that are soaked.

My poor new double boiler. I stored it in the garage next to the fondue pot because I don't have enough room in the kitchen. Anyone want to come for fondue this week?

The fondue pot and double boiler were also next to my punch bowl. Punch anyway? I know....seriously gross. But I just had to include it.

This is what damage happened. I didn't notice it until Wednesday, but how often do you look in the corner of your garage. Especially because when I leave in the morning it is fairly dark and it is also almost dark by the time I get home!

Here is all of my stuff spread out all over the garage.

The view from the other angle of all of my stuff that is completely ruined.
On Thursday afternoon Adam met the landlord of the unit above at my house. The landlord said that it isn't his problem. Adam said, "WHERE do you think it is coming from then??" and he said he wouldn't pay for it. Well...he has to. But I can't wait for a battle with him. So I had to file a claim with my homeowners insurance. I talked to them Friday and the cleaning people came out Friday afternoon. They started drying everything out with a huge fan and dehumidifier, however, they can't get started ripping stuff out until the association gives them permission. Anything above the drywall in the ceiling isn't "mine" so they can't touch it.
Grr to living in a townhouse.
Now I have to wait until the association lets them know what they can do. And I have to hope that my insurance company is able to go after the association or landlord to get paid and get my $500 deductible back.
Let me tell you, when you are trying to plan a wedding and have to pay $750 of deductibles within 2 is not good. My poor car is still in the shop being repaired, which may be a good thing, because there is no place in my garage for it now!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Dad of the Year

Has everyone seen this video? This is one of the sweetest things I have ever seen. I cannot embed it because MLB has taken it off most sites, but you can click on the link to read the article and watch the video.

This dad has been a Phillies fan since he was 3 years old and FINALLY caught a ball at a game. His little girl wanted to hold it so he handed it to her....and she threw it back! You can tell he was in shock and disappointed, but instead of letting her see his face, he gave her a huge hug!

What a great dad!

Click here to see the video!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

My Week and Weekend

So it has been a busy week and weekend! Where do I start...?

With pictures of course!

Last Monday night I had my college friends over for the evening. They were nice enough to come out my way because I am the only one who worked that day. Layla came with her Mama and she was just one of the girls. She did such a good job! My house totally isn't baby proof and she hardly got into anything and was in great spirits.

Tuesday was a *smashing* day. No...not like a good day. Like really a smashing day. "Smashing" in that I got in a car accident on the way to work. What made it really great was that it was my fault. I turned left onto the street my school is on and it just so happened there was another car already there that I didn't see that hit me because I turned in front of her. What made it really really great was that it was my teaching assistant and we had to go to work and work together all day. And what is fabulous is that it was my brand new car. Luckily ALL of the damage is on one door so that should be fairly easy to replace.

Friday night my friends and I (we used to work together but no longer do, but still get together once a month) had a surprise 50th birthday party for one of our friends. It was a birthday party complete with random decorations (Princess, GI Joe, Hannah Montana, Camp Rock, Jonas Brothers, Handy Man (or something like that) and John Deere!), a craft (crowns), a sing along (songs about our friend to the tune of popular children's songs), a game (Jeopardy about our friend), a multimedia presentation (DVD slideshow made by moi), rub on tattoos and a treasure hunt!

Here is one of the fabulous decorations I helped provide!

Me in my crown! We had to make a pattern with everyone's faces and then put it on a sentence strip. Then we used glitter to decorate them and talk about what type of sequence we used.

One of my fabulous tattoos (don't mind my freakishly pale calf). My other one was a High School Musical Troy tattoo on my upper arm. My Religious Ed kids on Saturday morning thought I was pretty darn cool!

I may or may not have used the GI Joe decoration as a weapon when we heard some loud noises out back!

Friday was also a bad day because my mom ended up in the hospital. She had a bad flare up of her Crohn's Disease and hadn't been able to eat all week. So after Religious Ed on Saturday I spent the rest of the day with her. After being on fluids and meds she was in much better spirits and we worked on our Save the Dates and Baby Shower invitations for my friend Katie. I can't show you either yet because they haven't been sent out! The best part was that my Mom's brother stopped by and we got him to help! He ripped tape and put it on little pieces of paper. Then Amy's parents came by and her mom did LOTS of helping. We got a lot done for the Save the Dates.

Mom and Uncle Dave
(Sorry Mom-She didn't want a pic of her in the hospital but I couldn't pass up Uncle Dave helping with a stamping project!)

Saturday night I took the projects home and continued working on them.

Today, after church, I went back to the hospital and we got most everything done for the Save the Dates. We just need to wait for our engagement pictures to come back (oh yeah, we took those Thursday!) to finish them up! We also finished the baby shower invites. I am SOOOOOO excited about them. They are so freaking cute....if I do say so myself.

After leaving the hospital I ran around like a mad woman to go shopping, go home, make some dips, do some baking and clean because I had another group of friends over tonight. The people I started learning sign language with 12 years ago came over because we still get together once a month!

It was a lot of fun. It was a crazy busy weekend! But I didn't work at Adam's house at all. =( At least I got to spend a lot of time with Mom! I need to learn to stop booking every second of every day so that when unexpected things happen they don't mess up my schedule so much!
Do you do that? Or are you better about keeping some days clear? Am I the only crazy one?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Painting a Barn in the Suburbs

It has been a super busy weekend!

Friday night we went to the photography studio and signed a contract for our photographer and videographer. YAH!! After much researching and talking and meeting and spreadsheeting....we made a decision and we are super excited. After that we met Adam's parents (Dad and step-mom) for a yummy Italian dinner using a 90% off gift certificate ($25 for $1.25).

Saturday morning I had my first day of Religious Ed for the year. It was...interesting. But better than last year! My class should be fun though!

Then we spent the rest of Saturday afternoon and evening working on Adam's house.

We also did that on Sunday (after church of course). Then this evening we had a Thank You dinner at church for the Country Fair because I am a Committee Chair. More yummy food!

Adam has been talking about painting the barn for a while now, but it keeps falling to the end of the long "To Do" list. We went back and forth between white and red and he finally picked red. I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical because that is a whole lot of red (and it is white now). Earlier this summer he powerwashed the barn to take off most of the paint and it has been waiting for paint ever since. Adam's dad came over on Saturday morning (while Adam was still working at a side job) to get started and then the two of them did it the rest of Saturday and all day today. Thank goodness for wonderful family.

This is what it looked liked before!

This side is another example of the "before".

I came over after Religious Ed on Saturday to find this. I thought it was going to take YEARS!

This is the middle of the afternoon today. After they were done yesterday I was already in love with it. The red looks so awesome. I should never have doubted!

Please excuse your regularly scheduled barn painting program to join us under a super huge parasol (Adam's Aunt Sue and me!) as we work inside the house!

This is how the barn looks today. They finished one side and almost finished the front.

It looks so awesome!!

Now we just need to paint the trim! Black or white? That is the question!

We are considering painting the house white (it is white, it just needs to be repainted) and then adding black shutters. I think black trim would tie in nicely with the black shutters. Adam thinks white.
Must Google old barns and farm houses and see what we find! were wondering what other buildings are on Adam's property?
The "Chicken Coop"
There are no chickens....only old storage crap.

The "Pump House"
It currently doesn't pump anything, but it used to pump water to the house when it was built in 1886.

The Garage
It needs to be torn down. It is falling apart really badly and we will be adding one closer to the house so I don't have to walk 3 miles in the snow (or 200 feet).
So that was my weekend!
And barn painting in the suburbs!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Getting in Touch with my Muslim Side

The other day Mom asked me if I was interested in going to visit a mosque.

Well actually, Adam and I were watching TV and he checked his email on his iTouch and saw Mom had sent both of us emails. It was a very cryptic email about visiting a mosque. I almost felt like it would be set to self destruct when I finished reading it. It also told us to be there at 5:54. That sounds rather precise! And cryptic. Did I mention that I thought the email was cryptic?

So I called and found out she didn't mean to be cryptic and it really started at 5:45. Much more normal.

Our church does a lot of neat activities and a lot of times I don't learn more about them because I think I am too busy. Apparently when Mom was teaching a CPR class to the staff this week, one of the deacons mentioned this interfaith meeting. This week for the month of Ramadan the local mosque was hosting a gathering to learn a little about the Muslim faith and break fast (Iftar) with the community. Mom invited me to go with her and Dad and a few others from my church and because I had nothing better to do (lie-- I have lots to do, but it sounded interesting) I said, "Yes". Adam wanted to go, however, he ended up having to work.

It was VERY interesting and I learned a little bit. They host this event every year and there were local politicians and church leaders there. I also got some brochures and stuff that they passed around and even my own copy of the Qur'an (Koran) to put on my bookshelf. I found it even more interesting because I saw this culture first hand when I visited Erin in Morocco. Obviously I wasn't fasting today (I would be a very crabby teacher if I had to fast), but it was still neat to break fast with the Muslim members of the community.

Hey, I just noticed "breakfast" and is the words "break fast" put together. I wonder if that is where that word is derived from? It is! Look at that!

I digress....

This is a picture of the sun today because today was hot. Today was summer. There was no summer during summer, but it found its way here today. I loved it. But then I didn't love it when I was wearing long sleeves and long pants and shoes (GASP! SHOES IN SEPTEMBER??? Flip Flops are a MUST until November!!!). But all I could think of was my dress code in Morocco and I tried to be conservative. I did, however, let the outline of my butt show. But there were a lot of women there in short sleeves and regular clothes, so I needn't have worried!

There was A LOT of food! First there were figs (or dates?) to break fast and some other food that they didn't tell us what it was but I didn't know what was in it so I didn't eat it. But I ate the date (fig?). Then we had the real dinner (after the fake dinner) and this is what was served.
I ate bread.

Oh yeah. And this was another option.

It was very meat-filled.

But the bread was yummy!

Luckily my friends from church didn't think I was too odd when I asked to take pictures of their food!

One of the speakers.

And we each got one of these before we left. Figs...Dates?
I love a good good bag!

Of course I have to make a plug for Sister-Erin's project to build a Women's Community Center in her village. She is doing amazing things and has collected half of the funds necessary to complete this project. Let's work on getting the other half. Please forward on this info to family and friends and help these women!

Click here to go to the Peace Corps website and learn more!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Picture tour of the Pumpkin Patch

From top left:
The pumpkin patch, a hidden pumpkin, baby pumpkin growing, huge pumpkin, Lumina plants (growing white pumpkins=FAIL), Baby Boo, Jack-be-Little, Bumpy Gourd, Yellow Gourd

Overall, the pumpkin patch is still behind. The gourds are cool and so are the Jack-be-Littles and Baby Boos (as long as we can keep the squirrels away). There is ONE big pumpkin. Maybe instead of selling lots of pumpkins this year we are going to have to auction off our one successful pumpkin. Boo. There are lots of little ones growing, so we just have to pray that this warm weather continues and our pumpkins can ripen!

In pickle news, I sold 15 jars of pickles at work the other day and my canner is more than half way paid off! I am so excited that people love my pickles so much. And I have a whole new batch that will be ready in October too.

And a few questions for YOU:

1. If you have you buy pumpkins every year?/If you don't have kids do you buy pumpkins every year?
2. Would you be willing to spend a little more for a locally grown pumpkin?
3. Do you buy extra decorations such as gourds?
4. Do you carve your pumpkins or just use them as decorations?
5. Would you want to pick them yourself or buy one already cleaned for you?