Thursday, September 30, 2004

Mt. Saint Helens

Click here if you would like to see a volcano cam of Mt. Saint Helens that updates about every five minutes.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Bat Plant

I saw this strange plant at the National Botanical Garden this last weekend and thought it was rather wonderful.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Chapter 3, In Which Vicki Engages in Someone Else's Home Repair

Talk about strange situations! After viewing the town house last night we discovered that a friend of ours was going to be doing the painting for the owners. The kitchen and bathrooms need to have the wallpaper stripped off first. I mentioned the fact that I love removing wallpaper, and after a bit of a chat it was arranged that we (William, Beth, and I) would show up in the morning and do it! :)

Danny came along for the ride, and was able to get job search work done from the back porch. The kids and I have worked at it steadily all day, but we are not done with the kitchen yet. The majority of it is covered with wallpaper that has been painted over. It is proving very tricky to get off. (Please - don't ever paint over wall paper!). One wall had just wall paper, (no paint over it) and that came off relatively easily.

It was strange to spend the day in a house that wasn't ours, but we might consider buying. It has always amazed me that one generally buys a house with less "trying on time" actually spent in it, than say a new car or suit. You visit it for a few minutes one afternoon, and place a bid for more than a quarter million that night... how crazy is that? This was an interesting opportunity to not only see the house for a long amount of time, but to use the sinks and toilets... even eat take-out food sitting on the floor in the living room. What would it be like if people were actually able to test drive houses for a day or two, like most people get to test drive cars before they buy them?

As far as this town house goes, we are under no illusions as to the fact that there are many things we would want to change. The lay out is great. It is big and airy just like I thought it would be. But it hasn't exactly been loved (overstatement!). Really, while it isn't old, it would require of me many of the things I was mentioning yesterday as dreams I have always had about fixing a place up. We would definately want to (or hope they would) rip out the kitchen and upstairs bathrooms' cabinets, and the tile in the master bathroom. The lay outs of these rooms are fine, but just very negleted. We would also want to not only replace all of the switch plates (which have, over the years, been painted, papered, and repainted), but the actual switches and outlets too. We would also be strongly motivated to get new faucets for all of the bathrooms. Given the opportunity, dispite all of that I think both of us would consider moving in here quite readily. It would double our floor space! It is big and filled with posibilites. And, it would be just two doors down from our friends. :) We don't even know yet what the owners have in their plans to do before they put it on the market. They are talking like they have things they want to fix up, currently we know about the carpet and the paint. Who knows what else they might have in mind.

Now we just need to wait and see what God wants us to do. Danny still needs to find a project, and we have no idea where that might be...

Monday, September 20, 2004

A Pleasant Sight

Last Sabbath our drive to church led us past rolling hills displaying neat rows of hay ready for bailing. As we drove by this week the fields spread out before us cleanly swept, and the hay was ready for delivery.

Chapter 2, In Which Vicki Revisits Childhood Dreams

We are currently on our way to Ellicott City to view a town house. I have no doubt it will be just as lovely as the last two end units we have seen. If it is I would/will eagerly move into it in a heart beat. The last two have been large, airy, and wonderful. We would have space for a classroom. We would have a master bathroom again. We would have space to play music, and space just to breath. We would also be near to friends, and on the right side of town for music. I would love to live here!

That said, my little girl (not Beth, me) thinks longingly of the large red brick home in Brookville. It is a two story colonial, probably built in the very early 1800s.

(Brookville was the capital of the United States for one day when Abigail Adams fled the White House with its historical documents and a few famous paintings in tow when the British came to burn it down.)

I have never been inside, but the house looks to be a bit run down, especially the newer addition on the back, and the grounds, but it calls to me in a way few gleamingly new homes can. It has heaps and loads of character and history. Since my earliest childhood dreams I have longed to move into a run down old home, and restore it to its former glory.

This one certainly fits the bill. I love the moldings around the door, windows, and eaves. It even has a huge rhodadendren in the front yard. When I see its broken shutters it is all I can do to keep from walking up to the front door and asking if they would mind if I repaired them. I mean, these are real wooden shutters on hinges, you just don't see those kind any more. I can see the possibilities every where I look. I assume we would need to replace bathroom/s and the kitchen, not to mention the floors, pipes, wiring, roofing, and a host of other jobs. And of course, with this particular house you would most likely have to also add to that the fact that it is probably on the historical register, and therefore, what you could do to it would be strictly limited. I find myself longing for the knowledge and skill required to pull off these sorts of tasks. I have no illusions as to how much work it would take, but I still hope that someday perhaps I will be given the opportunity to try.

In the mean time we are nearly to our destination. A lovely three story town house, in good condition, and in a nice modern neighborhood. It will most likely be delightfully move-in-able, and (please don't get me wrong with all this daydream talk), it would be a great joy to do just that! :)

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Shleepy Puddins

It has been a very busy, but fun day. I rushed through sanding and painting the woodwork on the front of the house so that we would have time to go bike riding this afternoon. We took the long way across town so that we could take some photos of houses for sale between our house and the church. It was fun to finally get a closer look at some of the 200 year old homes in Brooksville. On the B&A trail we stopped for a little bit to get a drink, and noticed that the near by pond was full of turtles and huge coi. There were at least three full grown turtles swimming around in the middle of the pond, and about six babies sunning on a fallen log. We ended up riding about 19 miles I think. I wish I weren't so out of shape!

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Sabbath Morning

A little Carolina Wren serenaded Danny and I this morning. The sun had just broken through the clouds. The night of Ivan had passed. On the fence in our backyard there was a beautiful little wren standing on his tip-toes telling the world how grateful he was to be greeting a bright new dawn. It was wonderful. :)

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Chapter One, In Which Vicki Engages in Home Repair

We are going through a period of flux right now. Danny has been laid off the project he had been on at IBM. He still has a job, but without a project he could eventually be considered dead weight. It is very conceivable that his next position could be out of state in which case we may need to sell our current home very quickly. We are praying that we will not have to move, but if that looks like the direction God is leading us, we are willing to go. So, while he searches for a new position, I am throwing myself into getting our house in order.

Last weekend I scrubbed, sanded, and painted the window sills on the back of the house. I love this sort of work, but it did present various problems. We have a two story townhouse, and only a four step ladder. Leaning out of the upstairs window may not have been the wisest way to work on the sill, but it was kind of fun. :) If it ever stops raining I need to do the same for the front of the house. I am very grateful that the previous owners gave us all of their leftover paint.

Inside the house, I have replaced two fabric blinds, and patched screw holes from past curtain rods, and various other things. Actually, I'm not sure what some of the holes were from. I had not messed with them when we first moved in because the movers put furniture in front of them, and I forgot they were there. If the kids and I can manage to finish school in a timely manner tomorrow, perhaps I will be able to sand and paint all the little white splotches I have created.

Danny has been busy on the house too. He installed some gorgeous track lighting in the kitchen, and shortened the strings on the shades I had installed. He hung my white board this week too. :)

Monday, September 06, 2004


I am having a very hard time concentrating because I am so hungry. The house is filled with the sweet aroma of Jasmine rice, and Green Rice Casserole. Just ten more minutes to go!

Danny is working on getting my peony picture to appear in the header. Socks has wrapped herself around his neck, and Tiba is curled up by the hot spot on his computer. Grace is curled up here by me looking quite innocent (ha!).

It has been a wonderful Labor Day. I worked very hard on the house yesterday, so I have rewarded myself with a relaxing day of making Griddlers and blogging.