11.16.2007

Travelling further back in time: August

We didn't go far, or stay for very long, but it was a lot of fun anyway! We left our little Bella with my parents for the long weekend. It was the first time we had been away from her for more than overnight.

Our first stop was Cleveland Ohio for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. We spent the day there and saw everything. We had been talking about going there for years, pretty much since we first started dating. I thought it was interesting, but not at all what I expected. I can't describe exactly what I thought it would be like, but I can't help but feel cost of admission was a little high for what is there to be seen. It was fun though. We left as the Hall was closing and found a map and planned out how to get to the restaurant we had picked out for dinner. About an hour later, we found it. Great Lakes Brewing Company. Food was good, beer was better.

After we waddled out of the restaurant with full bellies, we headed toward the hotel, which instead of being on Lake Erie, like I wanted, we had to drive about 35 minutes south to a small town outside of Cleveland. We had a limited budget and couldn't spend $100/night for all three nights. The hotel was ok. No frills or anything special, just a room with a bed and a bath. All we needed.

We hadn't quite decided what we were going to do the next day, so we browsed the tourist magazine that was in the hotel room. The only idea I had for the next day was to go on to our next destination and see the city. Our next destination was Columbus to bet on the harness races at Scioto Downs. Post time wasn't until 6:30, so we had a whole day to kill. In the magazine there was an ad for an enormous flea market only about 45 minutes away from our hotel, and somewhat on the way to Columbus. We only got lost a couple... ok, we got really lost quite a few times. But we found it. A couple of the vendors had puppies and after being away from Bella for less than two days already, I wanted to snuggle them. The sellers were pretty firm about the pups being held by SERIOUS buyers only. jerks.

We headed toward columbus and got there just in time to plan out our first couple bets and re-familiarize ourselves with the process. Unfortunately we did not come out ahead. The first time we had been to the harness races we did really well. We had no idea how to read the program other than to read the names of the horses and what race they were in. So we just picked horses by their funny names. We did pretty well for first timers. I think we broke even that time. This time though, we had some knowledge and could pick out a little information from the program. We bet on the first 5 races trying to use that information. The last 5 races we went back to our funny name system. Neither way worked. Out of the 10 races (and us betting separately for each race, so really 20 bets) we won ONE. One single race. Good thing we were only betting $1 on each race.

That night we stayed at the most filthy, scary, awful and not cheap hotel I've ever seen. I booked all our hotels ahead of time online. This hotel was scary. The room had a bed and a tv. that is pretty much all we had. No alarm clock, no remote control, no ice bucket, no plastic cups, no hair dryer. I think all we had was a single bar of awful hotel soap. The room reeked like paint and was visibly dirty. If I were more like my mother I would have complained and/or left and gotten my money back. I don't know where we would have stayed, we surely would have had to charge a more expensive hotel. So we ended up staying there. Even though we were tired from a long day and a lot of driving and getting lost, I couldn't get to sleep because I was thinking of all the different ways we could possibly be killed in our sleep.

We woke up the next morning (good thing I have an alarm clock in my cell phone) in time to shower and get the hell out of there. We glanced toward the continental breakfast on the way out, we paused and looked at each other and I just said, "let's go find a bakery". So we hit the road looking for some kind of little bakery, starbucks or ANYTHING. We found a Tim Hortons a little ways down the road and loaded up on caffeine and naughty breakfast items. Things with frosting and cheese and chocolate in and on them. And headed toward the next and final destination: Cave City, Kentucky.

We drove the 4 or 5 hours to Cave City and arrived at the hotel right at check-in. We walked in and told the woman at the hotel we had reservations. I guess we missed the time zone change sign on the freeway. It was an hour earlier than we thought. So we decided to go to the Cave first and come back to the hotel later. There were a lot of Cave tours to choose from in this part of the state. Mammoth Caves were right near our hotel, but I saw one online called The Lost River Cave, this one had a walking tour to the cave entrance and then a boat tour inside the cave! So we had to go to that one. It was amazing and I could do a whole blog post just about the cave, but I won't because this entry is already getting to be pretty lengthy. So here are some pics and brief explanations. If you want more, you'll have to go take the tour yourself. It is not expensive at all and is worth every penny.
This is a blue hole. One of the 5 or so places the river is above ground.


This is a section of the river that was above ground. Picture was taken from just outside the mouth of the cave.


After the cave tour we wandered the hiking trails and found something we could set the camera on and use the timer to get a picture of us together. It only took 4 or 5 tries to get one of me in the shot too. We were standing on some rocks in a little stream.


After the cave tour we headed back to Cave City to our hotel. This was the only night we spent at a NICE hotel. This room had a King size bed and a 2 person Jacuzzi tub in the room. I also found an ad online for a nice steakhouse. I looked at pictures and a menu online. It showed $20+ steaks and lobster and all the things you expect at a fancy steakhouse. So we showered and got all dressed up and went to the steakhouse. We drive up and from the outside it doesn't look very fancy. We think maybe they just don't spend their money on the OUTSIDE. So we go in and see everyone in cutoff jeans, tank tops, SWEAT PANTS. So, we're a little overdressed. We wait to be seated and look around. The walls are 80's wood paneling, with the tables and chairs that you would have found in a Pizza Hut in 1987. There is a small, not so fancy salad bar in front of the open galley kitchen. We sit down, thinking, maybe the menu will redeem the rest of what we saw so far. We glance over the menu, looking for steaks, seafood, wine list and beer selection... We see steaks. Just your average American restaurant style dinners, and no alcohol at all. So we decide to leave before the waitress comes back. We hi-tail it out of there and drive back to the hotel. We didn't see anything else along the way. The only option looked like a steakhouse Saloon type restaurant that was attached to the hotel across the street. We go into the lobby of our hotel and ask the attendant for a recommendation. We should have asked about a fancy place or steakhouse specifically, because when we asked for a good restaurant, he immediately referred us to the little mom/pop BBQ joint practically in the parking lot behind the hotel. We also asked where we could buy some alcohol. He pretty much just laughed and said, "welcome to the bible belt". It was Sunday and there is absolutely NO ALCOHOL sold on Sundays. We were pretty bummed that we couldn't have a glass of wine or beer with dinner, on the one night of the trip we were doing our romantic type stuff. But we ended up having a really nice dinner at the hotel steakhouse across the street. After dinner we had a soak in the Jacuzzi tub and watched the ever so romantic show "Ice Road Truckers".

Monday morning we slept in a bit and headed north toward home. Of course, I had scoped out a yarn shop and planned to hit it on the way home on Monday. It was in a little town called Bellevue right on the border between Cincinatti, Ohio and Kentucky. I had $50 set aside for splurging there. And I did. I got some nice variegated laceweight and a skein of Schaefer Anne. Turns out, I drove to Kentucky to buy laceweight yarn that is manufactured only an hour from my house.


We returned home and unpacked the car and then I went out to check on the garden. My mom and sister had been there Saturday night to water the garden and pick anything that was ripe. I had been having a problem with Japanese Beetles on my green beans. So I had a spray bottle of soapy water out there. It just takes one squirt and they die and fall off the leaf. In the two days since Mom and Shannon had been there I had an enormous swarm of Japanese Beetles. I probably did a bit of damage to the plant by spraying so much soapy water all over it to get ALL those bugs.


*shudder* makes me feel all creepy crawly.

Next time: Continuing with August, The Michigan Fiber Festival in Allegan County.

11.06.2007

2 finished objects and a dog's birthday

I have been working on these socks since last summer. I cast on after we moved into this house in August. I started working on them again over the weekend and was surprised to see how close I was to finishing them, it only had about an hours worth of knitting left. Here they are,

Pattern is from Interweave Knits, Winter 2005. Yarn is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in Bittersweet.

If I had to do these socks again, I would definitely not continue the lace pattern along the bottom of the foot. I think it's wasted time/effort, but also it feels kinda funky on the bottom of my feet to have all that texture. I didn't even think of making the bottoms solid stockinette until the first sock was completely done. The pattern also calls to cut the yarn after the heel and start again, I think I would change that too. I get nervous about my socks not all being one long peice of yarn.

The thing in this house that makes me most nervous though... is this:

AHHHHHHHHHHHH There's a sock murderer loose in my house!!!
These are the worst things you could possibly ever step on. The nails stick up just enough to catch on a sock and RRRRRIPPPPP! I have lost quite a few socks to these strips, fortunately though, only store-bought ones. But it makes me extremely paranoid when I am wearing my knit socks.

The next finished object is a bag that I made for a baby shower that was last Saturday. I couldn't make it to the shower because my sister Shannon was home for the weekend. I hadn't seen her since April, so I thought that was a pretty valid reason to not attend the shower. I finished it Sunday night and will give it to the recipient when I see her this Saturday.



And now we travel back in time to September 15th 2007. Since Bella is such a good girl and just loves to play with other dogs, we decided to celebrate her first birthday by throwing her a HUGE party. There was probably 35 or 40 people here and at least 15 dogs. we had People food and dog treats and I made a cake (for people) shaped like a dog bone:



It wasn't that difficult to make the cake. I used three box mixes and baked them in a 9 by 13 rectangular pan. (each separately because I only have one 9 by 13 pan) then stacked them up with cool whip in between and let them sit in the fridge overnight so they would be more solid. Then I just used a sharp knife and carved out the bone shape using a paper pattern that I drew out first.

Here are two of the dogs that attended the party. Cricket is in front and Jada is in back. They are patiently waiting for the hand made dog cookies that are there on the picnic table. Just after the picture was snapped though, cricket jumped up onto the table and snatched as many as he could before his mom caught him.



The next morning, Bella opened her birthday presents. She got quite a few balls and bones and toys. She even got some scratch-off lottery tickets. She didn't win anything though.



The party was quite a success. there were only a few little scraps here and there and the only major problem was the weather. It was only about 62 degrees here. After a whole week of 75 to 80 degree weather, and then the whole week after the party it was in the 90's. We had a keg and a fire so the cold wasn't bothering me.

11.02.2007

Happy Halloween (2 days later)

I've taken a very LONG vacation from the blog. Long enough to get kicked off some of my Rings. So I am going to try to really make an effort to blog more than once a week. I thought I would start with Halloween and go backwards. I won't make it all the way back to April in one post though.

I made Ryan an award winning costume this year. In early October, we were at a birthday party for a friend and we started talking about Halloween and Ryan just blurted out, "I"m going to be a pissed-off sunflower for halloween". He said he hadn't even been thinking about it, but it just came to him, right then. Everyone thought it would be hilarious and my wheels started turning about how to make the costume. I would need a costume too, so I decided I would be Marilyn Monroe and enlisted my mom to make the white dress from "The Seven Year Itch". The costumes were for a Halloween show at a local dive venue in Ypsilanti where Ryan and the guys play quite often called "the Elbow Room".

This is him playing drums with his costume on:

video

and here is a better picture of the costume.
I used felt and sewed each petal shape inside out and stuffed them with fiber-fill and sewed them all to a store-bought knit cap. Originally I started with flat petals with wire clothes hangers glued inside, but that made it really heavy, so I had the idea to use stuffed petals and it really worked well. I sewed each petal to a strip of brown felt and then sewed that to the hat by hand. then I picked a couple places on each petal to sew it either to the petal next to it or to the hat more toward the top of the head, to keep it from just flopping down in front of his face. Then to hide all my stitches, I sewed two strips of brown together and cut slits into it and sewed it around the face opening, to look like the center of a sunflower. He had the best costume at both shows he played that weekend. The second show is where he won the costume contest. It was down to him and one other guy wearing a store-bought costume tied for first place. So they arm-wrestled for it and Ryan won! First prize was a brand new iPod Shuffle! I ask you this though... Who really won? The guy who wears the costume or the gal who made it? I don't want the iPod, I already have my own, but I just want a little recognition for it!

This is the only picture I have of me in my costume so far. I'm still waiting for a friend to send me the pictures she took with her camera.



On Halloween proper, we went to Monroe to go trick or treating with Ryan's niece and nephew. They were freaking adorable in their costumes. Ryan wore his sunflower head too and got comments from almost every person we passed. Kids laughed, older kids just said, "HA! HE's a Giant sunflower!!!!" After trick or treating we came home and charged up the camera batteries and emptied the memory stick onto the computer and gathered up some flashlights. We waited until midnight and then drove to some really old scary cemeteries. We took pictures in the pitch black hoping to see some gnarly scary ghosts on the images, but didn't really see anything. There are quite a few spots on the pictures, like glowing bubbles sort of, but I'm sure they are just light reflections off the moon or the flash or something.



This picture actually has some of the spots on it, but you proably have to make it big to see them.


Nothing too scary happened while we were out. I was expecting to get really freaked out and RUN back to the car. The first cemetery was the scariest. It is really really old, it is on the side of a road near our house and just sortof in the middle of a bunch of corn fields. We got out of the car and held hands as we walked up the the stones and shined the flashlights around and saw something moving... it was an american flag at one of the grave sites. So we just sortof stood at the edge of the cemetery and took the pictures. The next cemetery was completely fenced off, so we just pulled up and took pics from the car.
At the last cemetery we got out and walked around a little bit. There were some houses sortof near it, but it was way out in the country. All the stones were really old, people that died in the mid 1800's. We were standing there and heard something. kindof like a metal pipe hitting soemthing else metal. we stopped and just looked at each other, still listening. We heard it bang three times and I said, "OK, I'm ready to go". We got to the car and looked back and one of the houses near the cemetery had their outside lights on and we could see someone walking around, so we were pretty sure that's where the noise came from.

Ok, I think this post is long enough, next time I'll go backwards into September and tell you about Bella's First Birthday party!

4.25.2007

I went to Chicago and all I got was...

sick, and some ribbon.

So, I visited my sister in Chicago for the weekend and it was a lot of fun. I took the train from Jackson, Michigan Friday night, which was an hour late when it picked me up, then eventually became two hours late getting into the city because of other trains being in our way.

Saturday we went shopping and walked around town. We went to a cute little shop in Bucktown called Soutache. It was a little store with a whole wall of ribbons, a wall of buttons and a some other findings and metal clasps and things to make dog collars and key chains and stuff. I bought one yard of this pretty ribbon and a fob attachment to make a key chain. Shannon bought some cute used clothing at an upscale "value world" type place. And I did my big sister job of not letting her spend $250+ on a pair of shoes. Actually, my job was to not let her spend more than $250 over the whole weekend. We had a nice lunch at Silver Cloud and then went home for a rest. Then we hopped onto the El and headed toward downtown with the eventual destination of The Cheesecake Factory. We stopped at a dissappointing "chicago fabric yarn and button" or something or other store that had bolts and bolts of UGLY fabric. Stopped at the BEAN; My sister said we HAD to go see the BEAN and I didn't know what she was talking about and it sure didn't sound too exciting. But it was SO cool.


We did make it to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. We did not order dinner. We each had a coffee drink and a piece of cheesecake for our early dinner. Shannon had Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake and I had the White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake. If you know anything about me, this should sound weird to you. I am a chocoholic. I didn't order the full on chocolate overload cheesecake because I also ordered a Mocha to drink, which has chocolate in it. I thought it might be too much. I was wrong. I could have handled more chocolate. But I had enough of Shannon's to get my fix and neither of us finished our huge slices.

Sunday we started out early and went to breakfast at the Hollywood Cafe or something. I forget what it was called exactly. Then we took the EL for a while and walked for quite a while to get to the little neighborhood where our Great Grandma grew up. We had an address off of an old postcard, so Shannon mapquested it and we found our way to the house. It was kind of dissappointing to walk what was probably a mile or two from the EL stop to find a house that looks like it was built in the last decade. This is the house, about 20 feet from the railroad tracks. This is significant because Great Grandma had a little sister named Leora. When Leora was 4, she and a friend were walking to the store and had to cross the tracks. The girls walked between the cars of a parked train and stepped out on the other side onto the second set of tracks, just as another train came. Leora was killed. So it was very eery to see how close the house was to the tracks.

One redeeming point during our long walk to the house was this:

We were walking up a city street in a not so wonderful neighborhood very near the freeway when shannon stops and points across the street to this chicken, just mosey-ing on down the sidewalk. It was hilarious.

After we looked at the house we were tired of walking and I was not feeling very good. I had woken up with a migraine and I don't think breakfast was agreeing with me, so we figured out the shortest distance to a bus stop. Our next stop would be "Midwest Discount Yarn". The online description said they had mill ends and discontinued yarns at discounted prices. This place was pretty far away, but it sounded worth it. So we took two busses to find it. Closed. Closed on Sunday. of course. SO we got back on the bus headed for a yarn store that Shannon knew was open and was worth the trip. We were on the second bus when I started to feel a little queasy. I took a couple deep breaths and started worrying about this busload of people who might all get to see me puke soon. I told Shannon I didn't feel good and we got off the bus. I just needed some water and I started to feel better, but wasn't ready to get back on a bus yet. We walked a couple blocks along the bus route so we could just hop on when I was ready. We finally made it home with no puking in public. But without any yarn either. Yes... I felt that bad that I gave up a trip to a new yarn shop.

We had to leave Shannon's apartment at 5:30 to make it to Union Station so I could catch my train home. We got to Union Station at 6:19 or so and strolled toward the monitor to see what gate I should wait at. It wasn't on the monitor. So we found an amtrack employee and asked what gate the detroit train should be leaving from, he told us and we went in that direction, but the people at that gate were not even going to Michigan. I was starting to get nervous because the train was supposed to leave at 6:30. I saw another amtrack employee and whipped out my ticket and just said, "where am I supposed to be?" She said, "that train's already gone. It left at 6:00" as she pointed to the ticket where it says "6:00pm". "IT"S GONE" I mouthed to Shannon across the room. She looked puzzled. I got over to her and showed her the 6:00 on my ticket and we both said F***!. but then Shannon exclaimed, "you get to stay another night!!!" Which would have been great and awesome if I still didn't feel like crap with my stupid migraine. So we exchanged my ticket for the first train out in the morning and of course double and triple checked the time with the ticket lady. When we got outside Shannon stopped for a smoke and said I should call Ryan to tell him he doesn't have to pick me up tonight in Jackson. I just looked at her and started BALLING. I lost it. I was sick and when you're sick you just want to be at home. And honestly after only two days away, I missed Ryan and Bella and was excited about him picking me up at the train station. (Of course it's always more romantic in your head). It ended up being a good thing that I didn't take the train Sunday night. It would have been a long miserable ride with the migraine I had. Especially if I didn't get a seat to myself so I could stretch out.

So, that was my trip to Chicago where all I got was a neat piece of ribbon.

4.12.2007

few and far between

I just thought I'd stop by my own blog and drop a line. Once every two months seems to be my limit on posting. Not that there isn't "blog worthy" stuff going on around here. I've been sock knitting like crazy. I'm just stuck in a sock rut, and every sock I've worked on, including starting new ones have all been my old stand-by, not toe-up. I was just not in the mood to learn something new I guess.

I've been working on this sock for quite a while. I think I cast on last summer after we moved into the house. I'm getting pretty far on these, despite the needles being stolen and eaten right out of the stitches back in January. Luckily Bella was only interested in the bamboo, not the yarn. Maybe she doesn't like wool... I think in this case that is a good thing.




I have one more 16-row lace repeat to do before I start the toe. This is only sock 1 of the pair. hmmmm that kind of makes me want to go finish it right now.

So after my last pair was finished I cast on this sock. I think the yarn is Trekking, it came from my grandma's stash without a ball band. It seemed like it was a little smaller guage than usual sock yarn, so I was using size 0 needles. I was going along and after 6 inches of 2x2 ribbing and the heel flap and turn heel and even a few gusset decreases, I tried it on.... way too small. So, I stared at it for a couple days, then finally pulled the needles out of it. and there it sits. I'll eventually re-wind the ball and RRRRRRip the sock, but I just can't do it yet.



So after that, I started on my favorite yarn from my stash. My Trekking. I just love these colors. These are for me. I just finished the gussett decreases last night and heading toward the toe on sock one.


And of course I am still working on this pink silk/wool tank top from the cover of Interweave Knits (don't know what issue, magazine is upstairs and I'm lazy). Last time I worked on it, I had an extra stitch in the last row and just did a k2tog with the two stitches before the marker. So now I'm discouraged and think it will mess up the alignment in the lace.



I have not even started working yet today. I have the rest of today, most of tomorrow and all Monday to do almost 20 hours of work. I should be getting it done today and saving myself the stress of finishing 12 hours of work on Monday, but, that's how I do things I guess. Procrastination. Instead of working I have been ADD cleaning, packing, unpacking, doing laundry and snuggling with Bella. Oh, and washed a sink full of dishes. Which included a whole lotta stuff that we got yesterday at IKEA. It was the first time either of us had been there and we (well, I) went nuts; throwing things in the cart left and right. It was all a birthday present to myself. I told Ryan, in lieu of a birthday present this year, I just wanted us to spend a day together and go to IKEA and do some other fun stuff. So that's what we did yesterday.

Then we went to my parents' house for dinner (Seafood quiche, salad and yummy homemade bread), presents and cake. No singing. We don't sing. Except for my sister Shannon, I got a quite lovely saranade over the phone of an off key, out of tune, exuberant Happy Birthday song from Shannon. And since Shannon couldn't come here on a wednesday for my birthday, I am going to take the train tomorrow night to Chicago to see her and spend the weekend. I am SOOOOOOO excited. and kinda nervous. I've never ridden the train alone before. So I have to pack up a big bag of knitting and stuff to keep me busy for at least 4 hours. I am really excited about having 4 hours of knitting time though.

Here's some other stuff I got for my birthday from my parents.

I also got a 10 piece set of CALPHALON pans. Yeah. They are AWESOME. They are all washed and ready to use. I just want to go upstairs and cook a HUGE meal.

And of course, here's another picture of Bella. She has a little raw spot on the top of her nose from burying bones and treats in the couch cushions and in the bed. It's so cute how she pretends there is dirt there to cover the bone up with.


Ok, I think I have gotten all the non-work stuff out of my system. Now I need to get a start on this week's load of work.

Next post (hopefully some time before June) will have some Quilting/sewing content.

2.20.2007

What could be better?

Today I learned how to cast on and start a sock from the toe up! Very exciting. I was saving this Twizzle yarn until I learned the toe up method because I don't want to waste even an inch of it. So here is the start of it.


But even more exciting than that is THIS that was waiting for me in the mail box when I got home!

Thirteen sets of 5" DPNs. I can hardly contain my excitement! My mom bought these for me on Ebay for less than $30. What a deal!! I was planning on going to the yarn store and getting new sets of size 0 and 1, to replace what Bella ate. But now I don't have to. Now my only problem is this:


I have too many needles for my needle case... I don't think I'll complain too much about that one.

2.13.2007

Wow... It has been so long since I posted I don't even know what to say. There is too much, so let's pretend that I haven't been neglecting the blog, then there won't be a really long rambling post detailing all the mundane happenings since December 10th.

Christmas was fun, 3 days of presents and food.
I got a lot of great stuff; a stereo for my sewing room that has a dock for my iPod that allows it to charge and play at the same time! Plenty of gift cards including one for kpixie.com. (it has been so long since I posted, I have to brush up on my html for linking) And, I am coming to you live over the internet, on my own computer in my own house! My parents actually paid for a full year of internet for us! All I had to do was take the check to the office and sign my name. Very exciting to have internet again, although I am very glad I had that 4 month break from it. When I worked in an office and sat in front of the computer all day, I read blog after blog, checked ebay daily, checked my own web site stats, and bought way too much yarn. So, now that I have had a break from it, I realize I don't miss most of that stuff and now am out of the habit of reading a lot of the blogs I used to read.

The size 13 socks I was knitting were for Ryan. Christmas eve, he opened a box containing one hand knit sock and about 2 inches of the second sock, on the needles. And last night, only 2 months later, I finished the 2nd of the pair. He was very excited about the first one and now is really excited that there are two. It was pretty cute, since Christmas he's been asking me where his other sock is, when it will be done and reminding me that it isn't done and whenever he saw me knittng something other than his sock he said, "so... how's my sock coming along?" Of course I blamed him for it not being done because he has such big feet. Bella hasn't been helping either; she has already eaten two sets of 5" bamboo dpns.
Here are the socks, finished but not yet worn or washed.

And here you can see how much yarn I had left... gulp!
I am very relieved to have had enough to finish. I was really starting to worry.


I haven't really been working on any of my own stuff lately, other than just knitting along on socks. The next big adventure is going to be swapping my sewing room in the basement with the guest bedroom upstairs. Our house is a ranch style with a "finished" basement. I say "finished" because it is usable as another living room, but the drywall isn't finished and the ceiling still looks like an unfinished basement. But, off of that area is the 3rd bedroom of the house which is about 11 foot square, has berber carpeting, two very small basement style windows, no closet and I had to rig up so much lighting in there so I can see that I have to hit 5 switches when I walk in to turn everything on. The worst part of the basement room is that it is freakin' COLD down here. it has to be 10 degrees colder than the upstairs... which would put it at about 58 degrees. I'll be generous and call it 60 though. The upstairs extra bedroom is only about 9 by 10 feet, but it has two REAL windows that get great sunlight all day (they face north and west) it has a closet and some shelving, it is more convenient for work to be upstairs near the bathroom, kitchen, the front door, etc. Best of all, it will be WARM. So I want to paint in there before I move my stuff, I hope to start pulling out nails and start sanding and spackleing this week. I still can't decide on a color, I think I am going to pick out fabric for curtains first, then pick paint for the walls. Then I would also like to paint the basement room before I set up the guest room furniture in there. We'll see how that goes though, it is not a priority.

Life with Bella around has been rough. She just refuses to be potty trained. I don't understand how she can NOT be trained yet. How many times do you have to yell and, I hate to say it, smack a puppy's little butt before she gets it... NO POOP IN THE HOUSE. I don't care if we didn't SEE you do it, I don't care if you can still just barely fit under the bed, that is NOT where poop goes! Umbilical method training starts today. Whenever she is out of her crate, she will be attached to either me or Ryan by leash. She will not be out of our sight until she can learn that POOP goes OUTSIDE. She turns 5 months old tomorrow. Wish us luck...