Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ian and the bear

The following was a discussion that happened this morning after breakfast. I thought it was too funny not to share.

Ashlie: I want to bike the Cade's Cove loop.
Ian: I don't! There are bears there.
Ashlie: There are bears, yes, but it's safe to bike there.
Mom: Ian, families bike it.
Ashlie: ...with little kids.
Ian: But I don't want families to look at me and say, 'hey look at that fat guy trying to bike.' And the bears will see I'm fat and think-
Dad: Mmmm....cheeseburgers!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Trials & tribulations in homeownership

Hi folks,
Thanks for sticking with us through our move and a week of technical difficulties in getting internet access. We're here in Tennessee, and moving here sure has kept us on our toes! Here's the best of the good, the bad, and the annoying so far:

To start, our refrigerator failed, prompting a quick search for someone who would let us borrow one until we can buy a replacement next month. Thank God for our close friends Brian and Amber!

I nearly ruined a load of white clothes in our washing machine. Needless to say it was my fault, but our plumbing system needs a good overhaul. Since writing the previous two sentences, we've discovered we have even more plumbing issues that bleed from the washing machine to one of our bathrooms. Luckily we have two bathrooms- the pink bathroom has a functional toilet and sink. Tub and shower need work. The blue bathroom has a functional toilet and TINY shower stall (shaving my legs has become nearly impossible. Sorry for the TMI.), but a non-functioning sink.

Moving into a house that was occupied by my Grandparents for roughly 50 years really makes you aware of how much crap stuff you accumulate in your life. With that said, moving into a non-empty house was challenging in that we had to maneuver around the remaining items belonging to my Grandparents while moving in our stuff. We thought the place would be empty when putting our previously 600 square feet of belongings into a 1050+ square foot house. Not so, my friends! We still haven't finished unpacking all the apartment stuff, and we've just barely begun getting things we've left at my parents' house over the years. In other words, if you come for a visit it may look sort of junky and/or trashy with all the boxes around and a carport full of random appliances and items, but I promise we're working on it!
farm bell

Now having said all that, I don't mean to sound unhappy or ungrateful. I can speak for Ian when I say we are both honored to live in the house my Grandparents literally built with their own hands, and any repairs or troubles we encountered are well worth it. To further prove my point, here are some of the happy things that we've discovered since moving:

We've had just about every single meal with Mom and Dad, either at their place or ours.

If they're outside, we can "holler" back and forth if we need. (We also have a great big farm bell we ring to tell them to come down for dinner.)

Kitter in the window
Since we're all off on the weekends together, we have a standing date for a weekly trip to Lowe's for whatever we need to fix our house. We're also looking forward to attending the Kingston and Tennessee Valley Fairs together.

One big worry we had was how well our cat, Kitter, would ajust. As you can tell by the picture, she has adjusted very well. Right now there are only two places in the house she is not allowed, and it'll probably continue to be that way if we can help it.

We got our plants from our balcony garden transplanted, and even added some new plants on our carport! We have thyme and rosemary just off our carport. We now have more bell peppers (and blooms) than ever. I took some pictures, but they're not close up enough for y'all to see anything at the size I'd have to use. Anyway, I'm already excited for next year's gardening season!

That's enough for now. Hope all y'all are well! Thanks again for your continued love and support.

Welcome home and happy birthday!

I moved back home on my 29th birthday. Ian invited close friends and family over for a cookout. Here are some pictures. There are more details about our first week in our house over on the Conway Scrapblog.

My 29th birthday party/welcome home party

They tried to make me a smiley face with the candles on my cake.
24 candles for 29 years; or smiley face

We all had cake and a great time!
My 29th birthday party/welcome home party

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Playing catch up

Hi folks,
Just wanted to pop in to give a quick update. I landed a fantastic job in Tennessee, and August 19th will be my last day at USC. I'm really going to miss the fantastic friends and colleagues I've made while here, but I'm looking forward to homesteading with Ian! My birthday is on the 20th, so I'm giving myself unemployment and my first home for my birthday!

Now to the pictures!
Here's the before:
Master bedroom

And here's the after (adjacent corner):

One room down, one to go! WOOT!

The bathroom is the next room. We've already torn it up, but I'm at a loss as to what to do with it. We've got a mauve bathtub and limited funds right now, so that's hurting progress. I think I'll keep the pink bathtub just for fun, but how to plan around it? I have some of the floor tile that'll work with it, but the walls are stumping me. The whole bathroom is currently tiled halfway up the wall (except for the shower/tub area), and it bothers me. I like all tile or no tile (again, except the shower area). Also, the tile is white with little green/gold specs, so it looks off-white overall. Suggestions (and pictures of suggestions) are absolutely welcomed!

So stay tuned, friends. Looks like my 29th year on this planet might just be the best yet.