Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What's Happening?

I have no idea what's going on with that darned gravel pit mine thing. The latest gossip includes these gems:
  • Two never-before-known-about species (one plant and one animal) have been discovered along the banks of the river at the edge of the property in question. This could put a stop to the whole smelly business if it's true.
  • TXI continually failed to meet some city requirement. Now it's said the city's standards are being lowered so that TXI automatically passes.
  • My attempts at getting historical societies involved may have gotten us somewhere.
  • A second cemetery is said to lie somewhere within the property.
  • The city denied Houses for Urban Development's access to the property, but is looking to pass TXI's. We're hoping to get HUD just as upset about this as we are.

I don't know if any of those things are true. There was a local meeting last night- just the neighborhoods in the immediate vicinity. I didn't go, but my neighbor is going to report back to me with what he learned.

On a separate note...
I recently learned that all the new houses will be getting whole-house water softening systems at no additional cost.
There are presently only three streets in our neighborhood, a total of 100 houses. The projection plan for the neighborhood includes 500 houses. (The first three streets also happen to be the ones closest to the TXI mine.)

When we first moved in we noticed the water was weird. The dishwasher can't get anything clean, everything is coated in white gunk. The shower's sliding glass doors look horrible. We has had a water softening company come out and test our water. From what I can remember, "normal" water is around a 6 or 7 on the scale, hard is an 8-10. The water in my house tests at a 17. SEVENTEEN!
There are a few different types of water softening systems. One of them softens the water as it comes out of the spout. This still allows the minerals to deposit themselves in your pipes, eventually building up to the point of major plumbing problems. The ideal system is a whole-house water softener. It cleans all the water that enters your home. This system costs about $6,000.
And it's the kind of system now being installed in all the new houses- for free.


So the general consensus amongst me and my 99 neighboring houses is that we're being majorly gypped. We get to have a gravel-mine eyesore, breath in the destructive garbage produced by the mine, and drink water with visible contaminates. Hooray!

If anyone knows any lawyers willing to look into any rights we may have, PLEASE let me know.

There's still a possibility that TXI will be denied and we won't have to worry about any of that. And once we get a water-softening system our water situation will be fine. I love my house, I just want the rest of this stuff to runs its course. BLAH!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

County Commissioners Meeting Nov. 24

I went to the County Commissioners Court meeting this morning. Here's the link for the minutes. The video is there, too, but I couldn't get it to play.

The saleslady for our neighborhood was there. She was quite passionate about what she had to say, but part of it in particular caught my ear. She is now required to give paperwork to potential home buyers about the proposed mine. She said it's already deterred several families. We closed on the house in July, but TXI was having community meetings in April. Of course we didn't hear anything about this stupid gravel pit until the week after we closed. I'm wondering, perhaps, if we're entitled to something because it was kept quite while we were building our home.

Here's the transcript from my part of the forum:

>> okay.
can you hear me?

>> yes.

>> first of all, I apologize for my kids wandering around.
my named is _____________.
i live in _________________.
i have a bunch of questions and it would be nice if we could have answers.

>> that will be new and different.

>> okay.
i understand that t.x.i.
might have the legal right to be there.
if so, if they do get approved, which way will the trucks be going?
will they just be going back and forth between the site or accessing 969 and going to the highway.


>> [inaudible].

>> so they will be going because -- thank you.
there is an elementary school there.
so how many trucks will be passing the schools?
like if there's 710 total, do you know how much the traffic is going to be in front of the school?

>> according to the information provided by their traffic consultant at their peak of operation they estimate 710 vehicle trips per day, traveling up down dunlap across 969 to the driveway at the webberville processing facility.
so --

>> so that statistic doesn't include any of the going over to the highway is this.

>> that's truck traffic up dunlap road to the intersection with 969 and turning right, east on 969 to the webberville processing facility.

>> okay, so that statistic does not include going to the highway.

>> post processing, t.x.i.
would haul that material to the proposed construction sites where it was planned to be used.

>> okay.
will the trucks be going just up and down hunters bend?

>> there's no proposal for that.
dunlap road --

>> just for our piece of mind if we see trucks, what are the actions we're supposed to take as neighbors?

>> I believe from the public meetings that I have attended with t.x.i.
is they have given contact information for the site operator and, number one, I would expect that you should immediately notify t.x.i.
that that's occurring.

>> okay.
for the t.x.i.
people, I keep seeing this map, but it's always shaded different and so I would like to know -- I'll show you where I live and what my main concern is.
i've contacted the local historic societies and they've asked you guys to postpone your decision until December 9th because it isn't -- the mansion that's there, I wanted to know if that is in part of your property that you've purchased for the proposed mine.
who are t.x.i.
are they all gone?
he's right there.
so is hunters mansion and the graveyard, is that part of it?
because according to all the things I've seen, it looks like it is part of that.


>> [inaudible].

>> so it will remain intact?

>> could you come up so folks can hear your response.

>> and also for the record.

>> yeah, we need to get that response.

>> the hunter mansion and the graveyard are a part of the real estate deal, but that area is not a part of the mine area.

>> so you won't be doing anything with the mansion?
it is not a part of the mine area.

>> what are your plans for it?

>> we have not reached any decision on what our plans are for that area, but it is not included in part of the mining process.

>> that's not an answer.

>> I would like to point out for the Commissioners that the hunter mansion and its graveyard are on the city of Austin's website and noted as an Austin treasure.
i have the website if you want it or you can look on your own city website.
i have pictures of it on my camera, if you want to look.
it looks really neat.
it's right outside of my house.
hopefully if you all do go ahead and build a gravel mine there, you won't do anything with it.
but I've driven past the other -- what is it, the east site.
you can't see it from the road.
so I'm wondering with dunlap will you be able to see the mine from the road because there are 1,000 acres.
is it going to be pushed back or right up on top of it?
where are you proposing to put the eyesore part of it?

>> the limits of construction including both uplands and the fema.

>> what does that mean?

>> that means there are parts of that construction activity that will be next to dunlap road and that there are parts of it that will be off in the bottom that you won't be able to see from the road.

>> okay, so on the hunters bend side of it, the property that you own there, are you all not putting anything on that side of dunlap road?

>> I'm sorry, on which side?

>> your property isn't shaded on here and I've seen several maps.
i've seen several where it's on the eastern side of dunlap and that it also comes down to the western side of dunlap.
no, on the other side.
underneath hunters bend.
that's the area I'm questioning.
are you putting anything in that part?

>> [one moment, please]

>> so this you're if they want -- a gravel pit is bad enough, but if they wanted to bring in a pig rendering plant we don't have the authority to say know based on it being a pig rendering plant.
as staff pointed out, the only avenues of questioning the state gives us the authority even to ask are with regard to drainage and a very limited species of transportation questions.

>> okay.

>> which is -- it's -- I -- I think everyone of us up here would say that is a frustratingly short list of authorities when you are faced with these kinds of circumstances.

>> okay.
well then my last note patty hanson of the Travis County historic commission has contacted all of you and has asked that you I guess postpone your decision.

>> did she do it last night?

>> she did.

>> because I don't know anything about it.

>> she's got all of you listed plus barry hutchinson and mae smith.
they would like the opportunity to look into the mansion's historic significance because it meets all the qualifications for city, county, state historic and possibly some of the acreage surrounding it because it is still an operating farm, so to say.
i would like that to be considered.

>> thank you.

>> [applause]

I didn't stay for the whole meeting- I had the girls with me and they were rather sick of being in the courtroom.
I came away with the overall feeling that TXI will be digging massive holes across the street and spewing toxins into the air by early 2010. Other than continuing our community efforts, I think the best we can do is buy an air purification system...

I also got a follow-up e-mail from one of the neighborhood activists. Here's part of it:

There were many(25 or so) residents there and many good speakers. TXI as usual was misrepresenting the facts and saying as little as possible.
In the end since TXI was not even ready with all the requested information action was postponed at least until the meeting on Tuesday December 8th. At that time people should be able to speak out again or others can speak(I believe)
The biggest surprise for us was the "Road improvement agreement" (that was also on the agenda) and the fact that Dunlap Road will have to be widened and the intersection of Dunlap and 969 will have to be improved (I think at TXI's expense...someone correct me if I misunderstood.)
For those that were there today...after lunch, they revised their figures about the number of trucks per day that will be on Dunlap Road.
She changed the 710 down to only 250 on Dunlap Road per day during full capacity. That means 125 trucks per day leaving the mine full and 125 coming back empty in a day. The 710 total was actually the estimated number of 18 wheelers that will go through the intersection at 969 and Dunlap Road. This includes the 250 going from the mine to the gravel processer East on Webberville Rd and the current and new trucks going from Austin to the Webberville plant and back to get gravel.
With just 250 a day, thats still over 10 per hour, 24 hours a day. If they only work 12 hours a day, it would be 20 trucks per hour driving on Dunlap rd Imagine that intersection with trucks pulling out of Dunlap, pulling in to Dunlap and going past bothways up to 700 times a day.
If those drivers get tired of the traffic, I am sure they will go to Hunters bend light and drive through the neighborhood rather than wait.
They told us to call TXI if that happens??
My next question for the county is: If the permit hinges on the agreement between TXI and county about road improvements, how can the county enter that agreement and issue the permit if Travis County, the City of Austin and TXDoT all have jurisdiction over any improvements to that intersection(which is in the Decker Creek Critical Water Quality Zone)???

It was totally absurd when they told us to expect 710 trucks per day. The road they'll be driving on is roughly the length of one residential street. I'm glad they reduced their estimate to 250, but that's still ridiculous. I also found out today that TXI's property covers more thatn 1,000 acres. sheesh. Perhaps there are some endangered species living in there...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Hunter Mansion in Jeopardy

Recently I wrote about the TXI gravel pit (see here.) Tomorrow morning the Commisioners Court has allowed a (very) last minute open court meeting. I imagine it will be just as unproductive as the last meeting, but I've made an effort to contact local historical preservation societies in the hopes of saving at least part of the land.

Here's an edited copy of the e-mail I sent:

I live (where I live). A gravel company called TXI is attempting, for the ump-teenth time, to build a 786.5 acre gravel pit mine at (proposed address.) This massive gravel pit will surround my neighborhood on two sides and will apparently be tearing down the Hunter Mansion and graveyard.

My home, in particular, has a fabulous view of the historic mansion, it's remaining grounds, and graveyard. We had our home built this summer and specifically asked for the house to sit the way it does so that we may enjoy the beautiful view. One week after we moved in, there were signs and fliers all over the community about this gravel pit- our first notice aboout said project. Needless to say, it came as quite a shock.

My subdivision is just one of the many protesting the building of this pit. The proposed location covers the entirety of William Dunlap Hunter's plantation, as well as invading the space of a local Tree Farm and a functioning pecan grove. (The pecan grove also looks to be of historical significance with it's massive trees.) These 786.5 acres sit on the northern banks of the river, just eleven miles from downtown.

The site plan information is available here: https://www.ci.austin.tx.us/devreview/a_queryfolder_permits.jsp
CASE number SP-2008-0515D

We are asking for your help, or insight, in combatting TXI. There is a Commissioners Court open meeting this (date, time, address.)
I apologize about the short notice. We have only recently found out about this meeting ourselves, as the city officials have been quite dodgey about this ugly business.
Even if members of your organization are unable to attend, we would greatly appreciate any help or information you could provide on protecting the historical significance and beauty of our community.

Thank you!
(me and my contact info)"

I found the link about the mansion particularly interesting so I'll post it again: check it out.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Weird Plants Interest Me

When I was in high school I bought a giant vase and filled it with purple thistle I collected from the side of the highway and gave it to my mom on Mothers' Day. Another time I gave her a single spider mum, or what I had always thought was a spider mum. That picture is not as spindley as the thing I gave her.

Unique plants intrigue me.

Earlier this week I made a trip to the farmers' market. There was a nursery stand, where I purchased three small strawberry plants. When I was very small and my family moved into its first house, my parents bought me a few to plant in the front flower bed. Seven years later, when we moved again, the entire bed had been taken over by strawberries- my favorite fruit.

I've been fascinated with cacti for a while now. The scenic drive out to our aunt's house is lined with a beautiful blooming prickly pear variety which I have always enjoyed. As of late, I've been collecting dismembered cactus lobes and planting them along the side of my house.

Sitting on the table at the nursery stand there was a strange looking succulent, similar to a small cactus. It had one giant pod-like thing coming off of it- which I was told was a flower bud. I asked the lady what the plant was and she simply said it was a "carrion."

"Like meat?" I asked.

Here is a picture of what it looked like on Tuesday:

On Wednesday, I took it out of the planter and put it in a (temporary) pot on my front porch. On Thursday it looked the same.

Friday, I was startled by what the plant looked like:
The flower is HUGE. It was also covered with flies. weird, weird, weird.I was so taken aback that I immediately came inside to google my new plant. This giant, hairy, striped, oddly fragranced fly attractor is a carrion flower. More specifically, the one I have is in the Stapelia family.

Carrion are unique in that they are not pollinated by bees or butterflies, they depend on flies. And they attract these flies by producing a foul odor- that of decaying meat... carrion. The flowers also have a sort of marbled, fleshy look to them.


The odor of this particular one is not overwhelming- I hardly noticed it at first. However, I do not want flies gathering at my front door or to greet guests and have them say "What's that smell?" So I need to move my funky plant to a less prestigious location.

Now go look at the link above for the carrion flower and check out the photo of the Amorphophallus titanum in Wilhelma Botanical and Zoological Gardens in Stuttgart, Germany. Holy Magoo!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Gravel Pit

A week after we closed on the house we rented a moving van and brought all of our furniture over. On a stop sign in our neighborhood there was a giant poster: "SAY NO TO THE GRAVEL PIT!"
It also had details on a community meeting to be had later that week. I dragged my husband to a ridiculous and crowded meeting room, full of city officials, crying women and ranting men. Nothing productive came of the meeting, other than our gaining the knowledge that a gravel company wants to put a huge pit (and accompanying mounds of rocks and dirt) right across the street from the Winkler.

The projection plan covers many, many acres of land and surrounds our neighborhood on two sides. People from all over the community and the numerous subdivisions affected by this project are convinced that, in addition to being a giant eye-sore, the gravel pit will drive down the value of our homes, destroy our local water supply, infest the air with dust particles, destroy our neighborhood streets (with the work trucks), and cause major safety concerns for the children in the area: increased traffic, tempting mounds of dirt to play in, no fence around the work zone, etc.

From what I've heard, the gravel company has legal rights to build in said location. The people were being pretty ridiculous and yelling and scoffing at the city representatives- who were being very honest about the whole scenario. I understand my neighbors' complaints- I sure as Hell don't want a gravel pit less than 500 feet from my home- but I'm sure the people who live in the mansion across the street didn't want to stare at my subdivision either.

We don't yet know what the outcome of this will be, as there is a lot of red tape the gravel company has to crawl through to get all the permits needed to" build" their pit. Our community will continue it's protests and maybe we'll be able to discourage the project. Who knows?

Anyway, I figured I should go take some pictures of the area before it becomes heaps of rocks and dirt. Enjoy:

Just down the road from us, tucked back near fields of hay, there's a pecan grove. Rows and rows of pecan trees run down one side of a gravel lane. The other side of the lane has a small country house that has a large personal vegetable garden.

This hay field is adjacent to the pecan grove and stretches up the road, behind a couple of ancient, hidden, forgotten houses, and up behind the property line of the mansion visible from my house.

A nice shot of one of the dilapidated houses. There are about four of them on either side of the road that runs behind our neighborhood, back to the pecan grove. It's a street rarely used by anyone, as it's access to the main road is in the middle of a deadly curve. One of the houses has trees growing through it, or have fallen on it- you can't really tell. The two that are in front of the hay field pictured above still have toys in the yard and other scattered personal belongings, making me wonder what happened to the families that lived there and why they left so much behind. The windows are busted and the houses are caving in on themselves, so they vacated some time ago...

This is the mansion at the edge of my subdivision. It looks like a plantation home. I think there's a historical marker in the yard, but people still live there and it might be odd if I walk up their driveway to snoop on them. There's a huge shed and what resembles an airplane hangar on their property. To the right (the area off camera, but that is visible when staring out one of my bedroom windows) is a field with some sort of old fashioned gas pump and several old cars. They are parked all in one short row, along with some giant tanks that sort of look like propane tanks. Aged from the years of exposure, all these things have rust and flaking paint, but with the tall prairie grasses growing up around them and the hay field, tree lined road, gorgeous sunsets and the one building we can see in downtown, it's actually a beautiful view.

The mansion also has a family graveyard out front, which makes me even more curious as to whether they will be selling their property to the gravel company. I often see strange work trucks going to and from the mansion, but they could be trucks used for harvesting hay. I'm unfamiliar with what gravel and hay equipment looks like... I hope they don't sell. I rather like having a historical piece of land to look at, even if I have no idea what it's significance is.

This is actually a view on the other side of the toll way- about a mile and half from the Winkler. I guess I didn't notice the sky as much before we moved, due to all the buildings and such of actual suburban life, but out here the sky stretches all the way across your line of sight and the clouds always look so beautiful. Every time I have to "head into town," my annoyance with the drive is relieved by the gorgeous country* scenery.

*We live just twelve miles from downtown...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

House Warming Party And Such

Here are some pictures from our house warming party and the days surrounding it. FYI, I organized them (mostly) by the flow of the house, not chronologically. Like always, clicking on pictures gives you a larger view.

The invitation I made.

A nice family shot.

Pretty hanging basket I got for three bucks- and the lovely blue flowers I planted in it.

The front foyer- my husband, his brother,and their aunt.

The area I call the "nook," outside the half bath and utility rooms. It's also the area the little one's play kitchen is housed.

Finally got Starry Night hung. It's a little crooked, so it's back on my to-do list. Here, you can also see the gigantic atlas we received from an uncle as a house warming gift. He called it a coffee table book, but if it had legs, it could BE a coffee table. :)

Behind the love seat we hung The Old Guitarist. Eventually we'd like to get a better copy of this. It's my husband's favorite painting. I really like how the blues in it and in Starry Night play off our kitchen walls.

Having fun at the party.

With the help of several family members, we got two of the guitar brackets mounted. The darned stud finder didn't like me one bit! Hopefully I'll find the third bracket soon so the wall will look more balanced.

Family at the party.

I've had this rug for some time now. I've always liked it and am glad it finally has a place to go, even if it is a bit small for a dining table rug. The colors and pattern are also on the throws on our couches, so with the open floor plan it looks great. I'm so glad to finally have an obvious decorating scheme/theme in my home!

View of the kitchen from the dining table. The light blue sun used to be orange, but with a fresh coat of paint, it's seeing new life. Eventually that spot will house our freezer, but for now the suns look nice. You can also see our brand new toaster. (Thanks, Tortilla!) It's a black 4 slot with a fancy retractable cord.

This is the top of our fridge- not the permanent home for any of these items. The white candle holders were favors for the girls in our family from Paisley's wedding. The sculpture, which is either a calaca, or a catrina (I'm unsure), was a house warming gift from my aunt. The two of us have been bonding a great deal over the past year and- boy, did she hit the nail on the head with this one! I LOVE it! The colors perfectly match the walls in the kitchen/living/dining, and I have always thought the Day of the Dead sculptures were amazing (odd, but amazing none the less.) Some time ago I bought some Alexander Henry Folklorico Fabrics ( Virgin of Guadalupe, Paseo de los Muertos, and maybe Calaveras ) from Joanne's. They're in one of my craft boxes. I've always wanted a Mexican themed kitchen, so after I get my sewing machine fixed, I think I'll make a table runner or some place mats. I also own a vintage apron with little guitars and maracas embroidered on it, and two little dancers at the bottom. I used it as a window valance in our old town house, but now I need to repurpose it.

This is my greeting card display. It's on the bar top between the kitchen and living room. I want to get some wood and some clips and build a double sided display to set out during Christmas and Birthday months.

Playroom- have it organized now. Definite computer area, home-school supplies, book storage, a movie watching spot, play area with table and seating...

and lots of toy storage!

We've decided this room will also get painted blue (of course!) My husband wants to put Dallas Cowboys collectibles in here, but as of yet the only thing he has is an enormous Game Day Flag for the front porch- another house warming gift. I, on the other hand, just so happen to have a collection of superhero items- and seeing as I'm the one doing all the hanging and decorating and such, I have every intention of blue walls and red shelves. I also have a frame built in my head to display my Supergirl comic books. I've already adapted the fan pulls- the one for the light is a small Batgirl action figure, and the fan pull is the Bat symbol. I'm thinking of using one of my old Supergirl capes as curtains...

This is part of the girls' bedroom. Here's their display wall. Looks better in person...

I finished this painting last week. My daughter and I started it two years ago!

My favorite part of their room is the window. I don't have a photo to post, so I'll describe it. They had a lavender mesh canopy that used to hang over their bookcase. I cut it into sections and used the sections as curtains- one long piece hung all the way to the floor on each side, with the final piece draped acrosss the top. It's supported by a beautiful mermaid hook at the center of the top, and a dried starfish in the middle. I'll post more pictures of their room after we get them a bed frame.

Girls' bathroom. This room will either be a light blue or green. I also want to get them a new shower curtain.

Master bedroom. I love the wall color. I only had one can of paint at the time, so it's a little thin in places, but one of the Home Depot housewarming gift cards we received afforded us another can (among other things.) Add "second coat in bedroom" to my to-do list!

We don't have any other bedroom furniture yet. Sometime down the line we'll get a dresser and at least one night stand. I may want a vanity on my side- or perhaps a night stand and a jewelry armoire?

My mom and step-dad got a bunny hutch! After the boys assembled it, I drove out to our old apartment to retrieve the bunny. We put it in what we've determined to be the shadiest spot. The only issue is that it's on the side with the rain run-off,so the ground tilts heavily here. Fortunately, we kept most of the pieces to the girls' old bed frame. One of the planks was the exact width of the rabbit hutch, so now it's level! The only problem with the hutch itself is that whoever designed it forgot that rabbits are burrowing animals. The lower level is open to grass for nibbling and digging. I purchased some supplies and built a framework for the bottom of the hutch. The last thing on my to-do list is to finish disassembling her old cage so I can use the wire screens to cover my framework. Then I will set the hutch on top of the screen and we can open the trap door for good, so she can hop down the ramp and enjoy some fresh greens.

Here are the kids on the front porch with the dogs that live behind us. I don't really know what the deal is, but these two are never in their own yard. My dog starts whining whenever they come up the street and I recently noticed that the beagle-y one hangs out on my shady porch during the hottest parts of the day. I put a bucket of water out there for them. I know her name is LaLa, but I don't know the little one's name, so I call her Scruffy. They are both friendly and very sweet.

Well, that's all the pictures I have for now. Things are coming together nicely, and it's quite livable now that I've crammed the remaining boxes into every inch of closet space... Thanks to everyone who came out last weekend! And if you didn't make it, call us soon so you can come visit!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

House Warming Party!

Our house warming party is set for Saturday, August 15th. Should be a pretty packed house! Hooray! I can't wait to see all your beautiful faces. Call us if you need directions, have questions, or when you figure out if you can make it (so we can get a head count.)

Don't feel obligated, but if you'd like to get us a gift, here's a list:
We need some big budget items, like a water softening system, a new bed frame for the girls, and a freezer. We've already shopped around for the best deals on the ones we want, so we will gladly welcome gift cards to Home Depot, Lowe's, Ikea and Sears.
For smaller things, we registered at Target- bath towels, kitchen stuff, odds and ends, and a couple of "fun" items. Our registry is under Club Wedd because I didn't realize I had other options.
We also need those clear plastic things that cover the knobs on the oven/stove, to keep the little one from burning the house down. They have them at Bed, Bath, and Beyond and "baby" stores.

The run down on our decorating scheme:
Living Room- deep tan walls and couches with green and blue accents, large painting of Starry Night, brownish black furniture with straight lines
Kitchen/Dining- deep blue walls, dishes in shades of blue, green, and brown (mainly plastic due to the kid factor) black appliances, dark brown tile and countertops, medium shade wood cabinets
Half Bath- presently unpainted, deep red accent pieces. I'd like to get a collection of Mexican punched tin hearts to hang on the wall- I bought one the other day- a red heart with silver flames coming out the top. We might want to hang them over the cabinets in the kitchen. Hmmm...
Girls' Room- turquoise walls, purple furniture, under sea/mermaids
Girls' Bath- blue and lime green, puppies and kitties, with a few frogs
Master Bedroom- blue walls, brown and blue bedding, dark wood bed frame
Master Bath- presently nothing, hoping for brown and deep orange color scheme
Exterior- forest green front door, green door mats and flower pots
(Pictures of what we've done so far are available in the previous post- August 5th.)

The new light fixtures my husband installed are all dark brown/bronzish, with slightly yellow frosted glass. The carpet is a light tan with brownish speckles. All hanging picture frames are black.

Candles are also great- I love it when my house smells like Thanksgiving baked goodies: pumpkin pie, hazelnut, cinnamon, maple.


OK, well I guess I have two weeks to finish painting and get unpacked... Don't forget to RSVP!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

What I've done so far...

Special thanks to my most fabulous friend for bringing us Sonic, helping me paint, and letting me use her camera.

Here's my cacti on the front porch:

The baby's kitchen fits perfectly in the nook outside the laundry room.

I painted my sun to match the kitchen wall. Then I hung it over the pantry.

Blue kitchen walls and island- new chandelier hung by my hubby.

My lovely couch, with one of the fabulous blankets my aunt gave me.

Bookcase and loveseat. Check out our awesome new ceiling fan! Still need to hang the painting...

Family pictures in the staircase- new light fixture here, too.

More family pictures at the top of the stairs.

Started painting the girls' bedroom, with the help of a friend. Ceiling fan salvaged from my aunt's attic.

That's it so far. Lots of unpacking and rearranging left- also a little more painting. The apartment is still a disaster. I hope to be done out there soon, but it's difficult to get anything done with the kids there, especially with the apartment being empty. At least the Winkler is feeling more and more like Home.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Living Room Paint

Got to make this post quick- I'm supposed to be throwing some things in the truck and letting the dog out to pee. It's 2:35 am, I've not done much packing, and I am a good hour or so from the house- blah!

Last night, as I pulled into the driveway, my husband found a stray beagle/basset dog outside. We brought her in the yard. A few minutes later, we found a black lab puppy. Neither had tags and we assumed from their friendliness that they belonged together.

Later, the people who live behind us came home. The beaglish dog is theirs. The other is a stray. We let it eat Chinese food (our first meal in the Winkler) with us and gave it some water. This morning I came out to find it had a dug under the fence and gone on it's merry way. For those of you wondering, we won't be bringing our pets over until we get the furniture in- and we need to go buy a rabbit hutch. The bunny's just had free reign to the bathroom for the past 8 months and has outgrown her cage.

My little one, covered from head to toe in sweet and sour sauce. She likes to dip her lo mein- which she eats without utensils...

My daughters, keeping themselves entertained.

Painting the living room:

My husband's new fancy-pants tv. (It's not hooked up yet.)

Fridge story, short version: Saleslady forgot we were supposed to have one, gave us a promisory note that it would arrive the day after we closed. It was supposed to be a basic black refrigerator. It did not arrive. Was rescheduled to come the next morning- it did not. Called our builder and our saleslady. Extremely accomidating team pulled the super upgraded fridge from the just-built house next door and installed it my house this afternoon. Hooray!

empty, painted nook, waiting for it's fridge

Appliance guys had to remove our front door to get it in. It's enormous!

I went shopping grocery shopping after this.

Current verion of the front room:
egg-crate covered with throw blankets, empty card board boxes

Girls watching a movie in their room.