Thursday, November 30, 2006

Almost Famous

Mackenzie has been chosen as the upcoming Pet of the Week at Glenway Animal Hospital, our vet! We have to take him in Saturday for a photo shoot and for him to choose a free gift. He'll be featured on the website and the bulletin board in the office. Here's a link to the Pet of the Week section of their site. I'll let you know when Kenzie makes his debut.

Toshie was featured in Cat Fancy's 2004 page-a-day calendar (Miss September 7th). Now that the cats have had their 7 days and 24 hours of glory, respectively, we wonder what Gilmore's claim to fame will be.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

String up the lights

It's holiday time at the Whitman home again this year!
I've uploaded all of our Christmas CDs to our iPods and got up the outdoor lights. Here's a photo of their first night up! Next week we get our tree. I can't wait!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Many Thanks

We just wanted to say Happy Thanksgiving to our wonderful friends and family. This year, you've certainly shown that you're not only there for the fun and laughs, but also to help and bring cheer during the not-so-great times. We're thankful for each and every one of you.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Hanky Panky

I'm on vacation all week and, among other things, am making bandanas to sell at our Bizarre Bazaar craft fair at work again this year. I'm making a different style this year, and they're super cute and really nice. They slip onto collars so you don't have to tie them. Gilmore agreed to be my model and struck a few poses in front of the fridge for me. He said to let him know if you need any handkerchief gifts for your canine friends. We have different sizes (even tiny ones that fit cats, too) and lots of styles, including candy canes and snowmen. Next project: peanut butter poochie biscuits and tuna kitty krackers!

What I CRaVe

I picked up my new CRV yesterday!!! I love it! I spent some time reviewing the owner's manual (so that I don't get banned from the car, Mom) and it does a lot of stuff!
Here are the details, per Stan's request.
It is an EX, AWD, 166 HP, black on black.
Some of the big features include power sunroof, six disc CD player, audio input (for my iPod!), power windows, locks, remote keyless, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, ABS, stability control, front, side, and side curtain airbags (front and rear), tire pressure monitor, 8 cupholders, tons of storage spots, a rear passenger conversation mirror, rear seats that slide forward and back and recline, cargo tray, and tons of little things that are very cool.
I have decided to name him Cliff. Cliff CRaVen. It fits.
Sarah's Vibe is named Veronica. She's very spunky.
We're dorks, I know.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Out with the old, in with the new!!!

So this weekend, Sarah told me that if we cleaned up all the leaves in the yard we could go car shopping on Saturday. It was a good goal to set, because our yard was so covered in leaves. Thirty one yard bags later we were on our way to my personal heaven. We went to Subaru to check out the Legacy wagon, Honda to check out the all new CR-V, and Mitsubishi to check out the just released Outlander. I was most excited about the Outlander because it had some neat features, but when we drove it, I was underwhelmed. We ended up adding the Mazda CX-7 to our list, but it was a little high on price and low on fuel economy.
We'd set out on this trip with the intention of gathering information and deciding what to do at some point in the future. But when we got home, Sarah and I were both getting pretty excited at the idea of a new car. I had resigned myself to the fact that I was probably going to have to sell the Cougar on my own to get what we needed out of it. So today I went to the car wash to get it cleaned up. After that we decided to go to another Honda dealership because we were really leaning toward the CR-V, but the one we test drove on Saturday was a different trim level. We made a quick stop at the Hyundai dealership to check out the new Santa Fe, but didn't love it.
I told the Honda dealer that we liked the car, but the other dealer was about $2,000 off on the trade in value of my car. So he asked me to give him a chance to run the numbers. I figured it is always worth it to get a second opinion. Initially he came back with the same quote as the first dealer, so we said thanks, but that's not what we need. So he went somewhere and came back with a more complete set of numbers and a slightly different trade in value. We talked about it, he came back, we told him what we needed, and this cycle repeated itself about three of four times. In the end, he got his number pretty much exactly where I wanted it. Sarah and I talked it over again and we decided this was going to be the right time and the right price.
So... I have a 2007 Honda CR-V EX being prepped for me in the morning. I CAN'T WAIT!!!
I posted a picture of the Old Coug (I really am going to miss her), and the New CR-V. I'll get some pics of my actual car up soon.
I'M SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Project Details

Okay, so now that I've had some time to recover, let me tell you about how our project went on Saturday. After I got some of the cabinets put together last week I realized that I was an inch and a half short of space for the corner cabinet, so it would need to be cut down. The corner base cabinet was also about two inches too deep for the space. So my cousin Kevin volunteered to help me cut everything down with some professional tools he had access to. So I headed over there Saturday morning after I had spent the night before verifying my measurements. I was so thankful for Kevin's help. It took about an hour to cut everything down and he did a much better job than I could have.
I made quick stop to Home Depot on my way home and ended up leaving with a new table saw! (See the photo above) I had talked to Stan earlier this week and he convinced me that it was something that I would be sure to use all the time in the future. I decided to get it then "in case" any of my measurements were off. After some "customization" on my corner cabinet I had it up and it was a perfect fit. The only problem I ran into was the fact that our new range hood prevents the door from opening all the way, oh well.
The base cabinet came together pretty easily and slid perfectly in to the space. Then I remembered that I had to install the door on the front. Suddenly my perfect fit was about an inch too wide. Oops! Glad I bought that table saw. I cut it down and it was perfect.
Everything came together pretty well, but it was a full day's work.
On Sunday, Sarah went out for some cabinet accessories. Among other things, she found some lazy susan's that fit perfectly into the corner cabinet. I went to a tailgate party before the Bengal's game so when I got home, I wasn't too helpful.
We've still got some things to do, but it is coming together. I can't wait to get back to Ikea!!!!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

What a difference a day makes!

I'm too tired to share any details tonight, but here are some pictures of the (almost) complete kitchen project. Note that we are one cabinet short of completion, but I am really happy with the results. I'll recap my "custom" kitchen experience for you soon!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Happy Veteran's Day!

Happy Veteran's Day (Saturday) to our dads, Katie and Matt. Thank you for your bravery and service. We love you!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Life is Good

Despite having a cold, here are some things that have made this a terrific week: good food and drink with old friends at Bryn's Saturday night, French toast with family Sunday morning, a super-cute kitchen, a handy/motivated/handsome husband, Rummy's resignation, a bio-nephew to be, a healthy pregnant sis, Dems rockin' the vote, Gilmore's brother's myspace page, a sunny 70-degree day, and the return of Twix bars to the F+W vending machine.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Creepy Crawlies

Saturday night, I awoke on my back and felt something on my face. In my half-sleep, I brushed it off then felt it crawl or jump back onto my face. So I grabbed it, squeezed it and heard it go "crunch" before I threw it onto the floor. I actually heard it hit the floor and wondered what in god's name it was. I tiptoed out of bed, went to the bathroom, washed my hands and dashed back to bed without investigating.

In the morning, I told Kevin about my nocturnal adventure before we got out of bed. He said it was probably a dream, but I have a pretty good grasp on sleep vs. awake. So when he got out of bed, I asked him to turn on the light before my feet hit the floor. There lay a spider corpse, big, thick-legged and blackish brown. I was mortified. Needless to say, I changed the sheets and blanket before going to bed Sunday night.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Three cabinets down...

Four to go. Later, possibly much later.
I managed to get three of the wall cabinets up today. It was frighteningly easy to install them. We put the dishes back in one and everything seems to be secure. I'm really happy with how this project has gone to this point.
That corner above the stove is making me a little nervous though. I keep finding little and not so little problems. The newest one is that I'm an inch and a half short on the wall with the stove. I've determined that I should be able to cut down one side of the corner cabinet and it will work. From the outside, it should not look any different. My only concern is that I don't have the proper tools to cut the boards correctly. Anyone got an extra table saw??? After Sarah talked to her dad tonight we've decided that it may be best to set up the range hood to filter the air rather than vent it out. It's not ideal, but will meet our needs for now. We can look into some other options in the future.
I'm about "projected" out for this weekend. I'm ready to go to bed. I may continue the project next weekend. We'll see...

Quick Update...

Today we got all of the painting done and I got the doors installed back on the original cabinets. I also built three of the new wall cabinets and plan to install them tomorrow.
I've hit a few snags in some installation plans, though. It turns out that where I had planned to run the vent for the stove goes directly into a chimney that currently vents our hot water heater in the basement. I'm not sure how that will work, so I need to give it some thought. We've also got some electrical work that we want to do and are considering calling in an expert. I can change an outlet or replace a light fixture, but beyond that I have no idea what I'm doing and I am generally scared of electricity. We want to run a new outlet in next to the stove and need to figure out how to run the power from our old vent to the new one. I'm sure we'll figure it out.
Here's a picture of the painting in progress to give you an idea of the color. It's a little overwhelming right now, but once we get everything installed, I think it will look really good.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Kitchen: Phase 1A

Kevin has sanded and painted all the old cabinets and is now working on stripping the old hinges. We replaced the outer hardware/handles, but newer hinges have a different curve than older ones, so we need to stick with the original ones. We've taken down the cabinets we plan to replace, and now we need to prep the walls a bit before we paint them, as you can see from the photos. Kevin also needs to seal up the old vent (aka, the hole in the wall) and install some new outlets to power up the new vent, the stove and microwave. (My role in all of this: lovely assistant and doer of all other household chores.) Hopefully, we'll get enough prep done tomorrow so we can paint on Sunday. Wish us luck!

Can You Say "Spoiled"?

Inside Job

Aside from the kitchen remodel, Kevin's been busy working on a couple of smaller projects this fall. He put new insulation and paneling in the attic (which you access through the guest-room closet), so we have a lot more finished storage space. And he turned our master bedroom alcove into a walk-in closet of sorts. This may not seem like a big deal to those of you who own newer homes, but in old houses like ours, closet space is at a premium. Previously, my clothes were scattered among a dresser in the master bedroom, a dresser in the guest room and two closets in the guest room. Kevin's occupied a closet and dresser in the master bedroom, underbed storage and the cedar closet in the office downstairs. Now everything fits tidily in our bedroom, where our clothes belong.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Spread Some Love

Save the Animals Foundation, the shelter where Kevin and I volunteer, is having its annual holiday open house from 2 to 5 on Sunday, December 3rd. If you live nearby and want to share some Christmas cheer with our fuzzy friends, please stop by. Kevin or I can give you directions.

In conjunction with the open house, the shelter is holding its annual STAF Big Bucks Raffle. Tickets are $5 each, which seems steep for a raffle, but the prizes are, in fact, BIG: 1st prize is $5,000, 2nd is $2,000 and 3rd is $500. If you'd like to buy a ticket, just send us a check made out to Save the Animals Foundation, and Kevin and I will enter you and mail you your tickets stubs. The drawing will take place on December 3rd or when all the tickets are sold.