Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Did Newton Have a Pilot Light?

Despite what appears to be a complete lack of interest in maintaining this here web space, I blog in my head all the live long day.  I think about it... all kinds of wonderful updates... What?  You can't read my mind?  Oh.

I think I'm a thinker, not a doer.  And Matt totally called me out once with a personality comparison inspired by part of Newton's First Law of Motion: an object at rest stays at rest.  If the pilot light under my tooshie goes out things don't happen and the blog does not get updated.   And that's that.  An excuse ode to the wiring of my brain.

But I know forgettable memories worth remembering are happening all the time.  To everyone.  Everywhere.  I want to remember ours and share them with you.  So while my butter softens on the counter for a cookie swap baking session I'll search for matches to re-light the ole pilot.  A huge thank you for hanging around.

UPDATE: It takes a long time for butter to soften on the counter in December.  But I used my time wisely peeps.  Here are links to three new posts going as far back as June:

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Housewarming

Halloween night marked exactly three months in the house.  (Though Matt was only around for five of those weeks.)  At that point our transforming home had taken enough shape to coral friends, their kids and some costumes for a fun evening together under our very own roof.  Mom was also in town visiting and had fun putting names with faces.  She was a great help with food prep too!  We feasted on our traditional pot of Halloween chili as well as white chicken chili, potato soup, homemade pumpkin bread, other little finger foods and 87 tons of candy.  Really.  I think Matt ate Laffy Taffy for breakfast the entire following week.   But anywho... we were both so happy to give our home a good first dose of people and messes and memories!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Symmetry and the Standard Model

If you're looking for a good book, I don't recommend this one.  But it's still one of my favorites :)

What started in graduate school as a small personal project, over time grew into a book publishing contract in New York City.  With lots of patience and help from various qualified folks, there is now a hardback textbook floating around in academia with my husband's name on it!  And I'm so very proud.  It's the first in a series, so this will be a project on Matt's radar for quite some time.  A hobby with commitment.

Again, it's a physics textbook, BUT if you're curious and want to take a peek past the cover you can do so on AmazonBarnes & Noble and the publisher's website, Springer.  

"Symmetry and the Standard Model: Mathematics and Particle Physics, by Matthew Robinson, is the first volume of a series intended to teach math in a way that is catered to physicists. Following a brief review of classical physics at the undergraduate level and a preview of particle physics from an experimentalist's perspective, the text systematically lays the mathematical groundwork for an algebraic understanding of the Standard Model of Particle Physics. It then concludes with an overview of the extensions of the previous ideas to physics beyond the Standard Model. The text is geared toward advanced undergraduate students and first-year graduate students."

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Tale of Two Doors

I'm sure we will happily be painting our stamp on this house for as long as we live in it.  Latest focal point to receive a face lift: the back of our front door.  The foyer was a creamy/yellowy/tan, the trim was varnished wood and the door was doo doo maroon.  With no opportunity for natural light to come through the door into the foyer, it was very dark in there. 

We painted the walls and trim before moving in, but kept the door as-is just in case.  In case what?  I don't know.  But I didn't want to regret painting too many surfaces before living in the space first hand.  Caution be danged, the doo doo maroon had to go.

Yesterday I turned the (sad) Auburn game up loud and went to town with two coats of primer.  Today I turned on a baseball game (what?) and lathered on one coat of glossy white.  Needs one more coat tomorrow, then voila!  The front of the door looked okay, but was very dirty and almost creamy.  Now it too looks as bright and crisp as it's rear.  No more doo doo maroon. 

In other door news...  Friday morning I set my alarm for 6:15am to take the recycling out.  I was soo pleased with myself as I opened the back door at 6:30 and walked up and down the driveway in my jammies thanking God for this rare moment of early morning consciousness, as it was allowing me to see the sunrise and breathe the very crisp and refreshing 50 something degree air.  When I discovered the back door was locked I went numb.  Matt was at work, I had no phone, no spare key, no bra, nothing!  The basement was locked and there were no tools of help in the garage.  I think I stood there in shock for a long time wondering how in the blue blazes I was getting out of this pickle.  I was standing on the stoop with a brick in my hand (that I already hurled at the window once, but too tenderly to leave a scratch) when I heard an already trusted neighbor taking his trash out.  Thank.  The.  Lord.  By 7:30 I was back inside and no glass had been shattered.  But we did pry it out of place and make a small mess.  Nothing that duct tape couldn't fix. 

But I didn't have any duct tape.  So I used Scotch tape and bubble wrap. 

Until I bought duct tape. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Moi Boudoir

Current Me Status: Sitting on the couch watching Parenthood and What Not To Wear while cruising the internet for images to inspire decorating progress in our bedroom. 

Current Bedroom Status: wood floor, varnished closet doors, white trim, gray walls, baby blue side tables, hand-me-down dressers and brass lamps, black bed frame, white bedding, gold curtains from college.

Possible Plan of Attack: matching larger side tables, taller prettier lamps, better lighting, white curtains, comfy chair/floor lamp/table nook, area rug, photos, personal items and general effects of coziness with possible pops of color.

Really searching for the motivation to make something beautimous happen in there!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Storm Came & Went

Thankfully, for our area, Irene was more hype than muscle and after she stuck to a chosen path, all we got was rain, rain, rain and a little wind.  This did result in significant power outages, but no real damage.  Our power was out for a couple days, during which we hung out with friends in DC who had power.  That's about it.  No basement catastrophes, though we do want to get a plumber out to check on something we noticed during the monsoon.  And what we were told was a fixed and "dead" water spot on our bedroom ceiling came back to life.  I don't even want to think about what that may mean until after the inspector investigates next week.  With that one exception, all fared well.  And our insurance company is reimbursing us for the fridge/freezer food we lost!

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Storms A-Comin!

Hey guys!  How was that for an [unintentional] blog hiatus?  Hope your past month has been a good one.  Around here we're taking it day by day getting acquainted with the house.  And apparently the best way to get to know the ole structure (three weeks after moving in) is to endure a major storm with it.

Come on Irene.  Help us know how waterproof that basement really is.  And thrust us into what life is like with[out] well-water when the power goes out.  And while you're at it, knock a few trees down over the road so we're stranded out here in the country for a few days.

We are as ready as we know how to be.  Working radio and flashlights, gallons and gallons of drinking water, eventually a bathtub full of "flushing" water, cars full of gas, cash and more snacks and pantry items than I should have ever bought.  When I added Hershey's boxed chocolate milk to the cart, I knew I crossed the excessive line.  Reminded me of the times Mom took Cameron and me to the grocery store as kids and let us pick out whatever we wanted on the snack isle.  It took  a few years before we caught on to her method.  As we sat in the backseat of her car dreaming of being elbow deep in cookies once home, she was driving us to the doctor for shots!  Sneaky sneaky.  Thank goodness we had those cookies to focus on once the needle torture was over!

So in light of the possible torture aggravation of not having power this weekend, I stocked our pantry with special items like Granny Smith applesauce, chocolate pudding, chips and grape juice.  It only occurred to me just now and is very, very, very ironic that Matt actually got a shot today.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Moving Weekend

Past moving experiences: Home to Auburn (everything fit in a car) ---> Auburn to TX (everything fit in a car & minivan) ---> TX to MD (moving company did everything) ---> Five year love nest to long term home (HOLY COW CALLED IN FOR BACKUP THERE'S NO WAY WE COULD HAVE DONE THIS ON OUR OWN!)

By Friday afternoon before the big move I was spent, overwhelmed and unsure of how things over the next 48 hours were going to go down.  Matt had been working hard all week (rightly so) which left me solely in charge of scenes like this:

But friends came to the rescue (as hoped) Saturday morning with fresh outlook and energy!  When help arrived around noon Matt and I already had a full day.  We picked up our U-Haul (With a little disappointment... our reserved big truck was given to someone else on accident and all they had was a cargo van.  We knew it would be doable, only take a LOT longer, which it did.) Then drove to our storage unit (aka a family member's basement) to pick up a huge furniture load and take it to the house.  Upon arrival we found the... get ready... brand new AC not working.  At all.  On July 30th.  No air conditioner.  But thankfully those two events were the most of our worries that day.  Everything else went smooth as butter mostly due to our patient friends, some of which stayed with us until the very end... when the U-Haul was returned around midnight.  Though they deserved more, all we had the energy to do was feed them pizza and Oreos in our nearly empty apartment.

Sunday morning...  Pictures speak louder than words...

Somehow we made it to church that morning (I think we were desperate for air conditioner) then packed the last of our things, spackled and cleaned until sundown. 

Our day (and apartment phase of life) was complete when the love of my life suggested we eat leftover pizza upstairs for one last dinner on the rooftop...

Friday, July 29, 2011

Air Conditoner

The people we bought our house from were so very kind.  Their kindne$$ came out in $uper beneficial way$ for u$.  Knowing the 23 year old air conditioner unit was nearing the end of it's life they left us with a good chunk of cash to aid in it's replacement.  I'm so glad they did!  Because the unit did not survive our latest heat wave.  D-e-d.  Dead.   (The thermostat got up to 90 inside.)  Thankfully we were already lined up with a company to do the work.  They were simply waiting for our phone call.  This past Tuesday a four man team made magic happen when a new handler was installed in the attic, a 15 seer thing installed outside, and in place of the old dial thermostat in the hallway, a beautiful new glowing digital one.  And, while they were at it we had them and install central heat as well.  You know, just to make sure we spend all our savings before we even move into the house.  Hah.  No, it really wasn't bad, thanks to those kind kind kind sellers.  And rebates!

So now we have brand new central AC and brand new central heat as well as original baseboard heat for back up.  Bring on the seasons. 

Let me procrastinate from packing a wee bit longer and share a few photos with you:

First, the "15 Seer thing" outside by the driveway.  Two days prior the weeds there were knee high and thick as wool.  Matt and I worked some weed pulling magic.  The spiders kept us company.  UGH!!! I get the heebie jeebies just typing that!!!  But it's true.  Big enough for appetizers.  AGH!!! I'm itching all over!!!

The spot in the foyer ceiling where the air handler sits in the attic.  Take note, because this and one even smaller hole is what the workmen had to work with.  And, do you see any lavender anywhere?  Neither do I, thank goodness!

Back in the hallway there is an itty bitty doorway leading into what we'll use as a broom closet, but it's primary purpose is attic access.  When I showed the workmen what kind of space they would be working in, I could tell the would remember their day at this house.  Only one had to, you know, squeeze in a little.

There are two giant steps (shelves) up to our non storage friendly attic.  Though there is a pink plastic swimming pool up there.  And pool nets.  Strange. 

The view below is in the attic from the broom closet access hole (above) down through the foyer access hole where the handler now sits.  And the right side photo captured an element of the day.  Dirt, debris and one gray wall color that still has multiple personalities.  But we really like them this time :)

So that was my Monday and Tuesday.  Hanging out with men from Baltimore who have tattooed arms, try to refrain from cursing when in ear-shot of a customer, make jokes that remind me of 10 year old boys and put their shirts back on when indoors.  They were a riot. 

Wednesday I found a great gaggle of moving boxes for free off Craigslist.  Woo hoo!  Yesterday I bid farewell to our blue bathroom.  Two years of color was worth the effort of two coats of primer.

And today I'm packing up.  Closing shop.  Putting our stuff in cardboard boxes.  And trash bags.  And luggage.  And the guest room bathtub. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Yard Crashers

Potential, not perfection.  That's what we looked for on our house hunt.  Can you envision it with me now, all that potential hiding in there?

Hooray for potential!!!

Taming the jungle.  Matt's parents were crazy for volunteering, but they knew we couldn't have done it without help. 
Welcome to the jungle!

And voila!

Elves came to assemble a new lawnmower and clean out the garage. 

Trash from garage
Those elves hard at work again. 

A quick visit with part of the Robinson family tree.
A gazillion bottles of Gatorade later... it was a phenomenal and fulfilling transformation.  Hiding in the rough were crepe myrtles, dogwoods, azaleas, day lilies, peonies, iris bulbs, a rose bush and a hydrangea bush.  And once the mowing and edging was done we unearthed a brick border along the front walk.  It was a miserable week in the middle of July, but payoff was worth it!