melaniesuzanne: (Kermit on a bike)
Last night I pedaled up the Rte 28 overpass and I didn't need the granny gears to do so. WHOO HOO! My heart was racing and I was gasping for breath, but I made it all the way up and didn't even stop for a breather at the top of the bridge. I followed that trick with pedaling all the way up Holborn to home. Naturally, I was a sweaty, gasping mess when I got off the bike, but I felt like a rock star. I felt so good, in fact, that I carried in my trunk bag and swapped it for my basket so I could do a quick grocery trip. Madness.

Hubbyfink flagged me down on the boulevard -- he'd been running errands and had just left Safeway -- to ask me where I was going. He shook his head at his nutty wife and headed on home once I assured him that I'd be able to carry all the groceries. After shopping and loading up the basket, I took the long way home through the neighborhood -- instead of the short trip along the boulevard -- and got home just as Sian arrived to help Hubbyfink replace our leaky kitchen sink faucet.

While they worked in the kitchen, I readjusted the position of the bike rack because having the trunk bag and basket press against my backside is rather uncomfortable and quite distracting. When that was fixed to my satisfaction, I adjusted Hubbyfink's bike rack so he could ride comfortably as well. I also attached a cellphone mount to the front of my bike so I can track my rides more efficiently and easily stop/start the MapMyRun app at stoplights instead of leaving the phone tucked in the trunk bag or shopping-bag-in-basket. I'd attached a small handlebar bag -- after having Hubbyfink remove the handlebar basket assembly -- for stashing my wallet, keys, and phone, but the bag is trapped by the gear and brake lines and hard to access. My new seat bag should be big enough for the tools and gear I stored in the Schwinn's seat as well as keys and money. I'll find out when it arrives, anyway.

Back in the kitchen, Sian got the new faucet installed after Hubbyfink made an emergency Lowe's run for more hoses. The faucet is beautiful, the sprayer has actual water pressure, and Sian didn't slug me when I exclaimed that we needed to replace the sink basin because it looked so dingy in comparison to the faucet. I was so happy to come down to the kitchen this morning and find a non-leaky faucet. Yay!
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
Hubbyfink didn't feel well Wednesday and we put off running until last night. It was a glorious evening and I was able to jog a full three-quarters of a mile at a fairly decent clip. As an added bonus, most of that time was on an incline. Then I switched between walking for a quarter of a mile and jogging for a quarter mile the rest of the route until we got home. My pace is slow, but I can tell that my endurance is increasing. One of these days, I might even be able to outrun a zombie or even a Doctor Who monster.

It amuses me to no end that Hubbyfink has to jog to keep up with my speedwalking pace. And I'm very happy that the tightness/soreness in my left hamstring has finally worked itself out. My left heel was hurting pretty bad last night. Too much time in heels, perhaps.

I'm not sure what's on board for this weekend. Hubbyfink plans on spending lots of time in the basement tomorrow with his best helper (Oreo) getting everything prepped for paint. We've had paint chips taped to the walls for a couple of years; hopefully that paint is still sold. It will be FANTASTIC to have the basement den usable again. I guess I'll do a fair amount of housekeeping upstairs while he patches holes in the drywall. There's more than enough cleaning to keep me occupied for the day, that's for darn tootin'! There will also be jogging and assisting in dining tent room repairs at [ profile] carthew's house on Sunday. Should be a beautiful weekend.
melaniesuzanne: (Spring)
Mom visited our happy home for a long weekend. She got in Wednesday evening after a harrowing and much-too-adventurous flight from Memphis to Dulles via Chicago. Her trip included a late flight out of Memphis, sitting on the tarmac at O'hare and watching her Chi-DC flight take off, and waiting at O'hare as her new Chi-DC flight kept getting delayed further and further into the afternoon. Poor Mom. She was exhausted when I greeted her at bag claim and was VERY happy to get to my house. We spent the evening doing a house tour and acquainting her with His Floppy Fluffiness Oreo. She was charmed by both.

On Thursday morning we dined on bananas and water before heading out to walk my three mile neighborhood loop. Mom did a fairly good job of keeping up and I tried not to get too far ahead of her on the hills. It was so much fun walking with a buddy instead of my ipod. I could get used to that. After a proper breakfast and showers, we hit the stores and shopped like, well, like we usually do when we're together. We bought clothes and shoes and paint for the bathroom and a firepit for the backyard and toiletries. I took her to the campus so she could see my cube and meet a few coworkers. We continued shopping until Hubbyfink got home from work. We picked him up and headed out for our Mexican feast at Don Pablo's. Because we'd shopped through lunch and had fairly empty stomachs, I got pretty drunk off my one Slender-rita. Mom blamed my sucking up the margarita through a straw. She sipped hers and was juuuust fine.

On Friday morning we dressed in some grubby, paint-stained clothes and set to work painting the full bath. Mom said, "Oh! This will take no time at all!" She didn't factor in the spackling, sanding, and priming with Killz. Six hours later, the bathroom looked great with its fresh coat of "Renoir Bisque" (a goldeny-peachy wheat/sand color) on the walls and crisp white on the trim, door, and mirror. Something happened to the light switch, though, and Hubbyfink replaced the dimmer switch with a standard switch so I could put CFLs above the mirror. I am in love with the wall color and with having lights that don't put out so much heat that I feel like I'm roasting when I put on my makeup. We got cleaned up and met [ profile] psalite and [ profile] pirategirleee for dinner at Amphora. Much fun (and food!) was had.

Saturday was Mom's last full day in town. We took another walk: this time to the trail and up through Hannah's neighborhood. It was a little too long a walk for Mom, but she hung in there and wouldn't let me race ahead to get the car and pick her up. What a champ! We breakfasted, cleaned up, and headed out for a little more shopping before catching a matinee of "The Adjustment Bureau". What a lovely movie. I was expecting something like "The Matrix" and got that plus a sweet love story. A little more shopping and we were ready for an evening at home. I tortured Mom with "Lake Mungo", an Australian ghost movie I really like but she found dreadful and dull. We stayed up late watching "Say Yes to the Dress".

Mom was up before us chickens on Sunday and managed to get all of her new purchases in her already overfull suitcase and the rolling duffel I lent her. I got her to Dulles over an hour before her flight's departure and she just barely made it to the gate because security took FOREVER. She got delayed in Chicago again thanks to terrible weather and eventually made it safely back to Memphis. We're sending her through Atlanta next time.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
The front of the house is decorated with evergreen wreaths (each sporting a red velvet bow) on the windows and the storm door. Pine garland outlines the front door as well and a small spray of leftover pine boughs is tied up with another red velvet bow and bedecking the trellis. Battery- and timer-operated Jesus candles are in the windows. Hubbyfink and I are still hemming and hawing about putting up lights. We do have a package of white icicle lights, but I kind of like the simplicity of the wreaths and candles; although you can't really see the wreaths at night.

The tree is up and I'm giving the cats a few days to get used to the new "toy" before it gets covered in brightly colored and/or shiny objects. Oreo has already chewed through a wire, thus shorting out the bottom third of our pre-lit tree. Hubbyfink thinks he can fix the wire, though, and then we'll put more conduit cover on the exposed bits. Stupid cat.

We changed out the shiny brass door hardware and porch light for "aged" bronze hardware and "rusty" bronze light. I am deliriously happy with our new porch light. Now if I can just get the daylight sensor thingie to work correctly -- the light was still on when I left for work this morning -- I will be ecstatic. The door hardware is a huge improvement as well. We're just not shiny brass people. I still need to paint the door knocker and a backer plate on the coat closet and we'll just about be done. Oh, and Hubbyfink needs to put up new weather stripping. I cannot wait until we get a new door and storm door next year.

In fitness news, I was Mrs. Bundle of Energy most of the weekend. After a three mile walk/jog, I did three loads of laundry, raked the yard, swept and vacuumed, cleaned catboxes, and put away harvest decor. I don't think Hubbyfink understands why I feel like I'm going to climb the walls if I sit for too long. This is such a huge change in my personality. Now if only the terrible pain in all the diodes on my right side would cease, everything would be hunky dory.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
I think I'm going to work from home tomorrow. It's so dark and lonesome here in the cube farm with less than 20 people spread out in this room of 150 cubes. I'd much rather be in my sun-drenched home with the small black thing and long black-and-white thing. (The blonde thing will most likely remain crashed out in her basket in the bedroom window sill.)

Hubbyfink and I will celebrate our sixth anniversary on Saturday. I haven't decided what I'd like to do, but I'm pretty sure there will be gifts of power tools for each other. We spent a fair amount of time oohing and aahing over the Ryobi display at Home Depot last weekend and we each found a couple of items we'd like to add to our Ryobi collection. Of course, Hubbyfink asks me at least three times if I really and truly want power tools as gifts. Well, duh! Flowers would be nice, too, of course.

I am taking a break from school and reevaluating that particular path. It's feeling like a less lucrative career option, and school is making my life pretty stressful. I feel like I don't have time to take advantage of my stress-relieving hobbies and activities and I am fairly unhappy. So, that's been niggling in my brain for a while.

Busy bees

Apr. 25th, 2010 06:04 pm
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
We've been busy this weekend. Hubbyfink installed a new fan in the bathroom while I installed cordless fabric shades in the bedroom windows. I also swapped out our bedding and bedroom curtains for something more summery. There was load after load of laundry. There were trips to Target, Michaels, Lowes, Home Depot, and the post office. There was weeding in the front garden. There were also lots of kitty snuggles and acclimating our new friend to a new-to-him environment.

I am an impatient person and we have, perhaps, rushed the feline introductions. However, our efforts were rewarded last night. Margie and Oreo actually shared the foot of the bed.

An interesting development

Oreo is such a snuggler. Before I took that photo, he'd been curled up between Hubbyfink and me and was resting his head on my arm. Hubbyfink said that he woke this morning to find Oreo snuggled between us again with his head on Hubbyfink's pillow.

This photo is for tattycat. )
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
Sixth day of work this year and sixth day in the gym. Today, I walked for thirty minutes and then used upper body weight machines for twenty minutes. Rawr. That put me at my desk a little after 9am, so this will be my MWF routine. I have 9am calls on T-Th, so those will be treadmill/elliptical only mornings.

I mentioned over on Facebook that Hubbyfink and I ordered a washer/dryer set Friday night. They'll be delivered and installed this coming Friday. It appears that the old dryer knows the gig is up and is retaliating. It's now refusing to dry clothes in only one cycle and has started taking socks hostage. At least the washer is still cooperating even if it does make horrific grinding sounds during the spin cycle.

Hubbyfink and I spent most of yesterday afternoon in the basement. He shuffled furniture around in the den and I weeded through stored belongings in the laundry room. We wound up taking a Jeepful of unloved stuff to Goodwill. I really should weed through more of the Christmas stuff, but there's a lot of nostalgia wrapped up in there. We also watched some interior design shows which has Hubbyfink champing at the bit to get to work on the basement den. We saw a gorgeous hickory floor; I need to see if Bellawood makes an engineered hickory.


Dec. 23rd, 2009 11:54 am
melaniesuzanne: (Homeowner mouse is home)
According to Hubbyfink, the installers arrived around 3pm and got right to work dismantling the leaky old windows. They finished the installation around 8pm, just after I got back home from finishing Christmas shopping for the in-laws. Installing eight windows and a sliding glass door plus cleaning up every scrap of construction detritus inside and outside the house in five hours? Awesome. The gridless windows are gorgeous. It seemed a shame to cover them back up with sheers and curtains, but well, privacy. But they're beautiful. And warm. We were able to spend a winter evening in our living room without socks and slippers. Not only was the bathroom floor not freezing, it was pretty temperate. I don't have to worry about Basil freezing to death in his windowsill catbed anymore.

Can you tell I'm delighted? I'm also wishing we'd ordered a new storm door...
melaniesuzanne: (Homeowner mouse is home)
We're getting new windows next Monday. Except we're not. Thompson Creek asked if they could bump us up to today. Sure! So I'm in the office early and Hubbyfink will tough out the cold temps and watch the window installation. The installers are supposed to arrive between noon and 2pm. We're skeptical that they'll finish before dark, but what do we know?

Got my final grade for the drawing class and I squeaked by with an A. My 4.0 GPA stands. Whoo hoo! Digital Visualization for Interior Design starts up January 11 and is followed by Color Theory for Print in February. My textbooks for next semester should arrive next week. Gotta fill out the new financial aid stuff.

Work is going well thus far. I've been busy taming Visio. There are more hub and network diagrams in my future. Everybody else is on vacation so it's Bossman and me against the world. We can take it.
melaniesuzanne: (Homeowner mouse is home)
Hubbyfink got the call from Thompson Creek: our new windows will be installed on the 28th. Whoo hoo!! No more chilly breeze through the living room. No more watching the bedroom curtains billow when the wind blows. No more FREEZING bathroom. The tax credit is icing on the cake.

Hubbyfink, bless his heart, wants to be present when the install happens. You can bet your sweet bippy that I will happily be in the cube farm while the house is open to the elements.


Nov. 2nd, 2009 11:33 am
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
Everything's back to normal and I'm fighting the post-holiday malaise. It certainly helps that daylight saving time ended; I really needed that extra hour yesterday. I also spent a fair amount of time outside between cleaning up the decorations and taking a walk with the Hubbyfink around the adjacent neighborhood. We then zoned out with the original miniseries of "V" on SyFy. Heeere, leezard leezard leezard.

Today, I have been poked, prodded, and polished at the dentist's office. So far, so good and I get to go back May 5. Tomorrow, I will be poked and prodded at my doctor's office. May as well take care of all the unpleasantness in one week.

This week's school assignments include Illustrator and Acrobat. I have to design a magazine cover for tomorrow night's assignment. Hubbyfink wanted me to make a Western Martial Arts magazine, but the assignment specifically says the magazine has to focus on our field of study. I've promised him the article title of "Remodelling your basement in three easy steps" in homage to all the work he's been doing (and still has ahead of him) in our basement.

Oh! Speaking of the basement work, Hubbyfink discovered something disconcerting after shoveling up tile: the sliding glass door leaks. We never noticed with the dark blue carpet nor with the shiny tile. But the water was quite evident on the concrete slab. Replacing the slider has joined the window replacement project. We'll also have to replace the floor moulding because of water damage. Ah well, at least we found it now and not after we'd installed new flooring and we know the culprit of the occassional mustiness down there.
melaniesuzanne: (Homeowner mouse is home)
I am thrilled to absolute bits by Hubbyfink's progress in the basement. He removed the carpet from the stairs and basement hallway on Saturday and pulled up the carpet covering the basement den floor today. What a tremendous change! We'd assumed the carpet and pad were laid atop concrete, but we were wrong: vinyl tiles lurked beneath the carpet. I'd rather not remove them, but Hubbyfink has discovered that the tiles are disintegrating as he pulls up the tack strips. Because of the age of our house and the suspected vintage of the tiles, he's putting the remainder of tack strip removal on hold pending a visit from an asbestos testing specialist.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
I stamped out all the work fires by 1pm and have been taking care of personal fires since. My root canal was completed at the end of June, I think, and a little bit of the temporary crown disappeared during today's lunch. Oops. Plus, my follow-up with the specialist who did the root canal is next Friday. She expects there to be a permanent crown in place. My dentist's next available appointment is on the 21st. D'oh. Scheduled that and rescheduled the specialist's appointment.

Maryland nephew's birthday is next week. Gifts have been ordered and should ship directly to him soon.

Hubbyfink is currently wrestling the tub spigots which decided to fail spectacularly this morning. The hot water has been getting harder and harder to shut off. Today it just wouldn't no matter how tightly we twisted the spigot. Hubbyfink shut off the water -- with my approval -- before he left for work and I pretended I was at Cooper's Lake during my dribbly, chilly shower this morning.

Tonight I have an appointment with an admissions counselor at Westwood College in Annandale. It's not good enough to simply despair about my job; I still have another 30 years or so of employment (hopefully) ahead of me and I should do something I enjoy. So I looked up schools offering degrees in interior design and this one is fairly close by. I could finally get my Bachelor's and it would put me on a track for something I'd not only enjoy but also be good at. I'm terrified about this meeting. I know I don't have to make a decision now or tonight or even this month. But still... it's something new and scary. And crazy expensive. And I'll have to figure out how to balance my wonky work schedule with classes.

I don't have to decide anything right now. Breeeeeathe.

And... during the middle of typing this, Bossman sent me an Ovation Award notice for all my hard work during budget season. I got a little teary.
melaniesuzanne: (Homeowner mouse is home)
I frightened Hubbyfink with all sorts of wild ideas about home improvements yesterday. There were quick calls and voicemails throughout the day consisting of "Oh! We could do this!" and "Ooh. We need to check this first, though." His coworkers concluded that I must be very bored at work. Not really; I'm simply putting off the work I don't want to do.

I decided that I would pull the carpet off the stairs this weekend and install new treads. Hubbyfink was less than thrilled with this idea and suggested we paint the bedroom instead. I accepted his counter-offer but maintained that I still wanted to see what was under the carpet so I know what we'll be working with. I was hoping for hardwood, but suspected it would be plywood and subfloors. When Hubbyfink grudgingly pulled the carpet back on the top step, we were unsuprised to find plywood. Ah well. He's terrified that I'm going to rip up the carpet while he's at WAMW next week and has begged me to leave that project for another day when he's home. Fine.

Oh! I can paint and make some cosmetic changes to our bathroom while he's gone. That should insert a tiny icepick of fear in his heart.
melaniesuzanne: (Army of Darkness)
Painter guy has the front door open so he can paint said door all the way to the edges (good thing I'm working from home), and Margie is being a very good supervisor and is watching his every move from the safety of the caneback chair. Surprisingly, she hasn't tried making a break for freedom.

I'm so excited about the new paint. The facade has been pretty shabby, but because the exterior of the unit is the condo association's responsibility, I'd been gritting my teeth about the paint condition until I could figure out the steps for requesting new paint.

The painter is very good. He did a fantastic job on the muntins, getting no paint on the window panes. The poor guy is melting the afternoon sun which beats down on the front of the house. I gave him a bottle of water.

Home stuff

Aug. 17th, 2009 10:23 am
melaniesuzanne: (Homeowner mouse is home)
Our house is being painted today. We got a notice from the HOA on Friday that a crew would be painting woodwork on our homes this week. Sure enough, when I retrieved the recycling bin this morning, the crew was working a few houses down from ours. They've been painting the soffit for about twenty minutes now and Margie is avidly watching the action -- which consists of the ladder shaking and moving about -- through the living room window.

Hubbyfink removed the screens from the windows at the front of the house, per the notice's instruction, yesterday. He's now removing the screens and storm windows from the back of the house because he doesn't trust me to do it properly. I can't blame him on questioning my abilities given last night's...

Reason number [whatever] I shouldn't be trusted with the laundry: I caused a small flood in the basement while trying to wash pillows. I'm pretty sure I know (now) what I did. At the time, however, I thought there was a problem with the pipes or washer. The 'fink and I spent a very worried wash cycle waiting for another deluge which, thankfully, never came.

I'm very quickly losing my domestic goddess street cred.
melaniesuzanne: (Homeowner mouse is home)
Last night Hubbyfink asked if I was feeling okay. No, I replied after a pause to consider the question, and it wasn't just because of the stomach-churning headache I'd developed from staring at a computer screen all day. No, I was terribly discontent with our house. Hubbyfink frowned and asked what was wrong with the house. I began a list: the ants, the windows, the nasty carpets, the unpainted walls, the concrete slab in the back yard, and the general level of filth. I really, really want to rip up the carpets, I told the 'fink. He looked a little horrified. Not tonight, I promised. Or even tomorrow... He asked if he should clear his schedule on Wednesday for carpet removal. Alas, no. We really should replace the windows first.

I'm alarmed by how out of shape I am. My heat and physical work tolerances were pretty low the past couple of weeks and that frightened me. I'm also not thrilled with my appearance in photographs, truth be told. And so it's far past time to get back on that physical improvement horse. Done.

Our mortgage company has apparently ceased most operations. I discovered this last night when I tried to pay our mortgage online. All payments must be mailed in to a new address until further notice. Oddly, there's nothing on the home page about the company dying nor have I received communication in writing about this. Warm fuzzies are not bountiful.

Work has been blessedly low-key. I had 550 messages to slog through yesterday; not bad for being out for two weeks. Bossmand was surprised that I hadn't logged in at all. I assured him that when I'm on vacation, I'm on VACATION (aside from side trips to the office in another state, that is, but I won't be making that a habit).

I downloaded Mothership Zeta for Fallout 3 last night, but I haven't started playing the DLC yet. I haven't finished Point Lookout and would rather not start a new campaign until its ends are tidied up.
melaniesuzanne: (Homeowner mouse is home)
I was happily snoozing, fully prepared to be late for work -- not that I have a set start time, but I do like to be online by 10am -- when a couple of someones set a ladder against the front of the house and then banged on the front door.

The hell?

I greeted them, unhappily, and they presented me with a work order requested by Melanie last Friday to replace the rotten wood around the front windows and the window sills. But... I was out of town last Friday and I haven't submitted a request for that repair yet. The other weird thing was the ticket had our pre-Fios phone number on it. I called Hubbyfink to ask if he'd called. Nope. One of the repairmen said he was on the phone with Melanie to verify that she requested the work.

"But I'm Melanie!" I replied at about the same time the woman on the phone told the guy he had a wrong number.

I called the association office and the secretary told me that sometimes the property manager writes up work requests on behalf of residents after he does walk-throughs of the community. Ah.. okay. Well, good thing I hadn't gone to work early and I had my laptop here so I can babysit while the guys crawl in and out of the open windows upstairs.

Hubbyfink and I were going to request the repair, but we didn't know if it should be done before or after we get new windows. That question is now moot. The hazard? benefit? of living in a condo cloaked as a townhouse, I suppose.

Home goods

May. 4th, 2009 10:11 am
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
Hubbyfink loves the new circular saw. He used the saw to cut a couple of shelves for the upper reaches of my closets and was as happy as the proverbial clam while measuring and marking and setting up a guard and buzzing through the MDF. There was sawdust in his grin and he's on the lookout for anything else in the house which might need a trim.

And the shelves? Perfect. I'm such a loon; I keep opening the closet doors and sighing happily at the beautifully organized state of the contents. Ditto the sewing room. I can't not grin and feel relaxed when I go into that room. Now I know what it's like to have a "retreat" room.

Two out of three kitties have given their approval of the new loveseat. Margie spent much of Sunday hanging out on the top of the loveseat, overseeing Hubbyfink's puttering in the man palace, and Basil happily meatloafed behind my head while I checked out the sofa for myself. Kit's noncommittal either way.


melaniesuzanne: (Default)
Mary F'ing Sunshine

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