Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Updates, updates, updates!!!

It seems like this year has flown by. It's been a hectic and busy year, and never seems to end. So I haven't blogged much at all. In one fail swoop, I'm going to cover some ground today!

Waketoberfest was the weekend of Oct 20-21. It was our first time attending one. I actually took some days off from work, and decided to camp out there Thurs, Fri, Sat nights. I got there Thurs morning, since Pace Bend is not too far from us. I got to Mud Cove -- the primitive camping spot. There were a few tents around, but no people. I set up my tent, cooked my lunch of ramen with my new Jetboil personal boiler (which rocks!), and hung out.

Quite Mud Cove -- Pace Bend Park

Finally, I saw Whitie, and spoke with him. I tagged along in some of the set up festivities -- sign stapling, moving the starting dock. But it was pretty quiet Thursday.

There was one oddity, though. Whitie and I were at my campsite stapling signs. Then this weird dude appears out of nowhere. He sits at a table a bit away from us. Then yells and asks us what we're doing and stuff. We tell him. No worries. Then he comes up to us and is like..I've been living in the woods for a month and haven't spoken to anyone..I just want to talk. We let him talk. He had cuts all up both arms. A young guy. Sad case. Cleaned up, he would've been a decent looking guy. Then he left us alone. Creepy.

So anyways, throughout Thursday night, he kept re-appearing -- same story. His name was Remington. People had to be stern to drive him away, because he would just sit down and hang out like he knew you. In the end, he ended up threatening to commit suicide. Our gang got the word to the park rangers, and kicked him out of the park the next day. Needless to say, Ian, Greg, Dizzy, and Andrea were nice enough to let me move my tent by their RV in the improved camping -- much safer, especially with the creepy dude wandering around (and me camping alone).

All in all, Waketoberfest was pretty neat. I got a ride on Tim and Angie's Nautique on Friday, finally went wake to wake again twice, thanks to Angie's encouragement. Saturday was comp day, so went out with Ian, Sonya, Greg, and Christy on Dizzy and Andrea's boat, and later met up with Sean who joined us. It was extremely windy that day, so felt bad for the competitors! Volunteered a bit for the fest. And completely got worn out. I ended up not camping out Saturday because I had gotten about 2 hours of sleep Fri night (late night partiers outside my tent telling their dog to 'speak' at 3am...).

The weekend of Oct 26th-28th, Sean and I flew up to Pittsburgh for his friend, Tara and Geoff's wedding. Tara and Sean were college buddies from CMU. A brief wrap up -- the trip was pretty cool. A lot neater than I expected. Fall was in full effect there (first fall I had ever seen!) and beautiful. The Andy Warhol Museum was pretty neat. Visited CMU and saw some pretty geeky/dorky people (Sean says not everyone is like that...). And really enjoyed the Dale Chihuly glass exhibit at the Phipps Conservatory. The long weekend flew by, and then we were back home.

Here are a few pictures - highlights of Pittsburgh:

View from the Duquesne Incline overlook on Mt. Washington

Giant glass fast food - Society for Contemporary Craft

Bruce Nauman work at Andy Warhol Museum

Warhol skulls

Dale Chihuly glass exhibit -- Phipps Conservatory

On the weekend of Nov 4th, I decided to rip out the vincas and a badly placed rose bush out of our planter beside the house. It was time for something new. I planted snapdragons and pansies in time for fall and winter.

Oh, another detail..we had put our old house in Leander up for lease or sale the week before we went to Pittsburgh. It was on the MLS, but it didn't have a picture if you look at a quick listing. You have to do the virtual tour. Not a good first impression since our house was the most expensive in the neighborhood (lot size, private cul-de-sac, lots of upgrades). So last week, we contacted our realtor to talk about the listing. She said that she may have some people interested. But didn't hear from her for a day. Then Sean calls me at work, and all of a sudden, several couples are interested in renting. One of the couples wanted to move pretty immediately -- something about they had rented a place in Lago Vista for a few days and were completely disappointed as it had been in shambles. Sean called me to get an okay from me. Of course, I said it sounds good.

The couple put in their application. Our realtor said they looked like a good couple, with a small baby. Good candidates, excellent credit scores. So we went for it.

And then it happened so quickly. We still had some items in the garage left. They wanted to start moving in that night. So after Sean got home from work, he called the couple up and asked if it would be okay if we dropped by, so we could clear the garage.

We met the couple -- they're actually from Texas, but were living in Colorado. They were moving back to Texas to be closer to their family, since they have the baby. We chatted for a while, and learned that her parents (who were there helping them move) had lived in Leander years ago -- ranchers. It was like meeting a piece of history..well, sort of. They're nice folks. We ended up clearing the garage, stuffing both of our cars, and driving on home.

It wasn't till we opened our garage at our new place, that I realized..holy shit..we need to do something about this. It was stuffed full. I hadn't touched it in a while, with everything else going on..just didn't feel like unpacking...

Luckily, our place rented out quickly. That's $1295/month back in our pockets. So we can breathe easier now.

Also last week, the lot on the other side of us (Builder C, aka the lot we wanted to buy but couldn't afford at a whopping $65,000!) has been fully cleared. Our house is completely naked on the side now. They were really quick to clear it -- most of the work in one day. So when I got home, I quickly worked on my rock border for two nights after work into the dark. That way, they know what is theirs and we know what is ours. Seems like the point has gotten across so far. I picked up an application to build a fence, so that we can do a decorative lattice fence between our lot and theirs to make it more private (I miss the trees, don't really like the view of the street)

I had a sewing emergency and made a curtain for our side office window, since you can see me sewing, at my computer, and at my jewelry bench from the street. And soon, I'll have to make a curtain for our side living room window since you can watch our tv if your standing in the lot next door.

View from side office window -- before, we could barely see bits of the street.

View from my front yard

So anyways, with all this deconstruction happening AGAIN...I've gone bonkers and decided to plant pretty things. I went to Home Depot, bought a bunch of bulbs and seeds, and potted away. I think I overdid it this time, as I potted for a few days straight after work, and still am not done! Hopefully, they'll grow. I guess there's some sort of satisfaction seeing something sprout up from the ground (and I'm not talking about a house, either!).

And more home improvements. Since we got our old house rented out, we figure we could spend some money on the new place again and not feel so guilty. Sean remodeled our downstairs half bathroom. Paint, replace the stinky toilet. Once the paint is cured, he'll add the new light fixture, new toilet paper roll holder and towel holder. We want to replace the crappy faucet, but that'll have to wait a bit. All the fixtures in this house (the new place) are odd -- mixed metals and ugly styles -- like they got it all from the thrift store or leftovers.

And even more home stuff! This weekend, we got motivated and packed my little Volvo with cardboard boxes we had used from moving. Our garage was full of them, and is full of stuff..stuff everywhere! So we took the full load down to Ecology Action to recycle them.

And yesterday, we brought a shelf up from the garage, as well as a TV stand and TV for the guest bedroom. I unpacked a few boxes. Slowly, but surely, getting there. My Goodwill pile keeps growing...

That just about sums it all up lately! If you haven't seen me or heard from me..well...you know why...


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