Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Life has certainly gotten more hectic since March 10 when I signed on about 30 dotted lines and officially became a homeowner.
I've been painting as much as possible -- updates: kitchen is nearly finished except for the areas that need to be retouched thanks to the stupid painter's tape that ripped off large chunks of paint. The stairway to the second floor is halfway done and will remain that way until we're done moving large pieces of furniture upstairs. The upstairs hallway and doors are primed. The office walls are nearly finished and the trim is under way. The only rooms left untouched are the bathroom and master bedroom, but it won't stay that way for long.
I stumbled on a new blog yesterday about a mom in Pittsburgh who lost both of her children in a car accident days before Easter last year. Through that blog I stumbled on the multiple lyrics, versions, videos and story behind the song "Hallelujah," which was originally written by Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen in the early 80s.
It's a very interesting story and a heartbreakingly beautiful song and I can't get it out of my head today. Every time I woke up last night, I heard the chords.
Sometimes, music can say things that you're feeling without having the words to describe them to others. Today, I'm feeling very Hallelujah.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Making progress

My 90% finished kitchen:

My finished, but full of stuff that belongs elsewhere in the house, living room:

This has been such a crazy journey already.

Once I finish the kitchen drawers (the ones I forgot were in the living room and therefore forgot to paint last night), do a few more coats of the spiced pumpkin to make it look a little more terra cotta brick and a little less orange julius, hit the trim with a pretty brown color (i can't remember the name of right now), lay some new shelf paper in the cabinets, move the dishes in, cover the refrigerator with white appliance paint, and move the kitchen table from the living room into the kitchen -- it might just be finished.

The living room is waiting for the removal of all unnecessary items, the completion of three bookcases and the arrival of my entertainment center. Most everything else is finished in that room.

The upstairs is probably about 7% finished. Basically all that has happened up there is wall washing and the initial coat of primer on the grooves of the wood paneled walls of the office.

The master bedroom will probably be the easiest room to complete, so I might just save it for last in case I lose some steam.

We moved half of my belongings ... the biggest furniture and a dozen boxes ... last Friday. I have no idea when the remainder will be moved and I'll actually be living there. I'm set against moving in before the painting is complete because I need to get away from it at the end of each night and the new house is just a little too much like a work site and not enough like a home for now.

Once I've picked a final moving date I'm going to take that week off from work so I can unpack, organize, clean, etc, without having to worry about getting my paper done that week. Honestly, it probably wouldn't be the worst idea to take a week off now to finish painting and another week to unpack, but I don't think that would fly.

I'm pretty tired all of the time these days, but it's a different kind of tired. My regular work is so mental that I feel tired some days without much physical exertion. This renovate/regular work/part-time job/packing/moving exertion brings on a whole new kind of tired. I'm hoping to get a really, really good night's sleep tonight.

Originally I intended to paint the wood paneling in the finished part of the basement in addition to all of the regular living space rooms upstairs. Now I know that will have to wait for a while. I just need to finish what needs to be finished so I can live in house! The basement can wait.

My brother has a son, Ethan James. He's very cute.

Work is going pretty well, it's hard to concentrate or be overly creative when you're bone tired, but I love this job. I hope to have it for a very long time.

I'm going to try to get some work done, more soon!


Monday, March 22, 2010

quick update

Hello reader(s)?

I have been disconnected for 20 days apparently...and not on purpose. I've been crazy busy!
I closed on my house on March 10 and within a few days the painting extravaganza had begun...and continues.
The closing process is something I will blog about when I'm living in my new house and have regrown my sense-of-humor about the situation. In the end, I own a house.
I can't live in the house yet, I'm still fixing and painting. I've never painted before, so this has been quite an experience.
I had this moment when I was on the ladder, painting the window trim with the windows open and several families walked by with their dogs and children. I flashed on the part of "Sleeping with Enemy" when Julia Roberts' character is shown in a montage of painting and house projects that takes about 45 seconds before she's enjoying her new home with a big smile on her face.
Let's just say that in my movie, the montage couldn't be finished in 45 seconds and I call hijinx on all movies that show independent women in 1-minute or less video montages fixing up their homes by themselves. Hijinx. Those montages give women like me the false sense that projects might be done without losing our minds!
I'm just really tired and am only about 2/10 finished with the project list.
I have nothing else to write about because I haven't had time to do anything else! More soon!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


I read "That's Church" regularly and I think I'm going to have to steal a concept from the brilliant PittGirl. She posts a regular item she calls "Random N'at," and it's literally a collection of random thoughts. I love this concept, but I want to be honest with you that I'm totally stealing it.

I had to leave work today before I was finished writing a story so I copied it onto my thumb-drive to take home with me. When I tried to open it, I realized that my work computer is now more advanced than my home computer. This has never happened before. I can't open my work file (which is a problem because the story needs to be filed ASAP)!! So, I'm downloading a compatibility pack ... and blogging.

While interviewing a group of high school students about this month's musical "Cinderella" -- how cool is it that I get to write about a bunch of students performing my FAVORITE story as part of my job? -- we were sitting in the music room when the door swung open. Suddenly, an adult man walked into the room, right past us, said nothing, stopped in the corner, dropped his backpack and started rubbing his hands together in what appeared to be folding his hands in prayer. I had this strange feeling and flashed back to the story about the shooting at the LA Fitness in Pittsburgh a few months ago when the man walks into the gym, puts his backpack down and starts shooting. I had this "shouldn't a grown-up be asking this guy what he's doing here" moment when I realized I was the grown-up in the room. It ended up that the guy was early for some other meeting, but I had the strangest feeling about the whole thing and had this weird mental image of shooing the kids out of the room if he got creepier. The kids were thrown off by the guy, too. I don't know what his deal was, it may have been nothing...but I had this feeling like I had to get the kids away from him. I went with my gut. No idea if that was necessary, but it was the weirdest feeling.

I'm still trying to close on the house. It's a long, weird story. It might not be too much longer. Let's leave it at that.

I ate a burrito for the first time today. Did you know burritos don't have to include beans? I had no idea. I got it with rice and cilantro instead and it was FABULOUS!

My birthday is in two days. My parents gave me a toaster, a microwave and a brita water filter. My grandmother gave me the most awesome birthday card EVER. She's awesome!!!!

I loved the Olympics. I wish they were held every year.

I have become ADDICTED to HGTV and random real estate and renovation shows. I spent hours and hours watching them this weekend. I can't wait to get my hands on some paint for my own house.

My download is complete, I have to go write a story about a great student athlete who saw his dreams of a playoff victory in wrestling dashed when his elbow was dislocated in the quarterfinals last weekend. Poor kid.