Tuesday, January 30, 2007

We Will Be Both Warm and Cool

And the verdict is?

The seller is replacing the HVAC system! Yippeeee!! :)

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 12:54 PM

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Weekend Update

I did exactly as I set out to do yesterday: NOTHING. I did so much nothing that I got a guilt complex this morning and made sure I did something productive today, lest I feel like a big, fat loser. I'm still sick, but getting better - just doing some really loud, annoying hacking every now and then (just ask Huz - this weekend he told me that I have the loudest cough of anyone he knows - thanks). Despite this, I still accomplished all of the following today:

1. Got up early.
Thanks Neville. I love cuddling in bed with you too, but must you jump up and land with one paw on my eyeball!? Oh, and thanks Huz for elbowing me in the nose. Sheesh. The men in my life are obviously out to get me.

2. Researched wall-mounted book shelves for our new den. (They're really expensive, but so far the most affordable appear to be Elfa at The Container Store. They're 30% off but not for much longer. I wonder if we'll close on the house before the sale ends?)
I loathe the mismatching bookshelves in our current study and would love to have floor to ceiling shelves for all of Huz's books. You'll never guess how many feet of books we own together. Go on, guess.

20 feet? ha! Surely you jest. Try again.

50 feet? Wrong again.

We've got 65 feet of books, people. SIXTY-FIVE and growing. Damn, that's a lot of books and ain't no bookshelf or two gonna do it. We have 5 of them now and tons of books stacked on the floor. Hate it.

3. Ate a piece of pizza for breakfast because Huz ate the last bagel and we have had no food in the house all week (thank goodness for payday).

4. Chose some recipes, made a list, and went grocery shopping. I thought skipping church and going to the store on a Sunday morning would lend me a quiet, vacant store; I was wrong.

5. Decided to cook a bunch of food so that we'll have leftovers for lunch and dinner all week (which allows me to be lazy after getting home from work and after-work appointments because you know I'll be on the couch watching American Idol and Top Chef, don't you?).

a. Made a huge pot of meaty ragu sauce from a new Italian cookbook.

b. Made a huge pot of butternut squash soup with pureed roasted red pepper sauce and goat cheese (and bought a nice big loaf of Italian bread to go with it).

6. Did 3 loads of laundry and made the bed with the newly laundered sheets.
I must tell you how difficult it is to make a bed in my house. See, I've got critters.
Sheet Lump Critters
. These things make a habit of getting on the bed as soon as I attempt to lay down a fresh sheet. Every time.

Oh? Clean and hairless sheets, Mom? Let us take care of that for you!

Roll around.
Shed some more.

Meanwhile I'm trying my darndest to work around the Sheet Lump Critters and to smooth and tuck in the sheets. Once that's complete, I pull the comforter on top and put the pillows in their place - lumps underneath and all. I pretend they aren't there and go on with life. So if you ever happen to come over to my house, please don't think that I don't make the bed. I do, I've just got Sheet Lump Critters is all. They don't do much harm, other than ruin the aesthetics of the bed and jump in your eyeball at 6 in the morning.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 3:34 PM

Friday, January 26, 2007

The Waiting Game

This is a tiring process. Buying a home takes longer than any transaction I've ever made, but I guess that's a good thing - it gives you ample time to decide if you really want it and if it's worth it. We had the inspection on Wednesday and it came back with pretty good marks with the exception of two things. The first is some plumbing work because the house is 57 years old and needs some drains and pipes replaced - nothing urgent, but we'll want to get it done to gain water pressure and to be more up to date. The other, bigger, issue is the age of the HVAC, which we knew when we first saw the house because the unit looks ancient. Come to find out it's 21 years old and is in need of replacement (when the inspector was there it was in the 30s outside and the heat was blowing cold - not good). This is no small expense to replace ($3,500 - 4,000), so we're asking the seller to replace it before we sign the deal. (If they agree? Awesome.) We heard back from the realtor yesterday that the seller is getting an HVAC estimate and we've called two additional HVAC people to give us an estimate as well. This is a step forward, but no guarantee that the seller will do it yet.

So we wait.

My plans this weekend? To sit on the couch, get rid of my sniffy, coughing cold, and to not think about or do anything.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:26 AM

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

How To Buy a House

I have found this site tremendously helpful as we've gone through this new, scary process (actually, it hasn't been that scary...so far). I hope it helps you too.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 3:57 PM

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Waiting Room Blues

I had the pleasure of going to get my annual you know what today. Don't you just love getting those done? What with the intrusive spreading of the legs and palpating in parts that nobody's supposed to palpate? Ugh. At least my Dr. was cool. I was referred to her by a co-worker who is a Dr. herself, so you know she's got to be good. She was very down to earth and easy to talk to and gave me several pointers for this conception business, so we'll give that a try. She said call her in 3 months if nothing happens, which sounds like she's pretty confident that something will happen in 3 months. Knock on wood.

The office was nice, as was all of the staff (especially the jolly chap who drew blood to check my thyroid - he was fantastic.), but I was very uncomfortable sitting in the waiting room. I had to force myself to look down at a magazine while I waited because I found it really hard not to cry when I looked at all of the pretty, plump, pregnant bellies around me. Strange, because I don't walk around every day thinking about this and feeling bad about it, but I had a deep, visceral response to all the expecting mothers around me. It made me feel empty inside.

I hope getting my mind off of it and looking forward to buying a house will help. It'd be a pretty amazing few months if we bought our first home and were expecting too. One can hope.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 2:00 PM

Monday, January 22, 2007


I think I'm in shock right now.

Here's the rundown: Friday we went out with our realtor (great woman who knows her stuff and easily picks up on what you like and don't like, both in neighborhoods and homes) for 2 hours to see some neighborhoods and a few houses I had liked online. On Saturday she drove us around for 4 hours and looked at 20 houses she chose from a list of about 200 in our price range and size requirements. It was dizzying and a little frustrating as we realized that our price range was either going to give us a refurbished house (usually a flip) in a crappy neighborhood or an old house needing a ton of work in a decent neighborhood. But then it happened. We drove into a nice neighborhood and walked into a house that just sung, "this is it!" to both of us. It's been on the market for less than a week, is in our price range, is the perfect size for us, has an open kitchen which will be great for entertaining, has an large den with a fireplace for the library/study, two bedrooms, hardwood floors, and a giant back yard perfect for outdoor parties (and a swing set if that other dream of ours happens soon enough).

We slept on it and went back to see it yesterday. We talked to a neighbor (who's the "new kid on the block," having only lived there for 17 years, and who knows everyone on the block by first name), listened the to birds chirp, went in again and got some friends' opinions, then made an offer.


Did you read that right? We made an offer on a house. A whole, entire house. Me. Huz. We made an offer on a house yesterday.


I cannot believe we did this already, but we did. We bid low, as our realtor advised, so we'd have some wiggle room when they countered, which they did last night. It's a very reasonable counter and the contract was just signed about a half an hour ago. Oh.My.God. I cannot believe it's all coming together so quickly. I know not to get too excited yet, as this all will change if our inspection the day after tomorrow doesn't go well, but right now I'm in an excited, yet subdued shock daze.

Somebody pinch me!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 11:11 AM

Friday, January 19, 2007

Anyone? Anyone?

If anyone was ever going to give me some money, now is the time.

We're meeting a realtor this afternoon to discuss buying our first home. EEEEEEKKKKK! This is über scary, yet über exciting. I've wanted to buy a home for years, but haven't been a.) in one place long enough, b.) making enough money to even think about it, and c.) in a city where it was actually possible (thank you Nashville for not being as prohibitively expensive as Chicago!). The only thing is that we don't have a 20% down payment - more like 6-8%. And when I start thinking about closing costs and PMI and taxes and insurance, etc., etc., my heart rate rises exponentially.
And yet, it's still really exciting.

So, if I have any rich uncles (or whatever) out there that I don't know about...now's your time to speak up!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:58 AM

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

To Post or Not To Post

Sorry it's been so boring around here, kids. I've just been lazy and don't have much to say.

I begin a photography class (darkroom based) tomorrow night, so I'll be sure and let you know how that goes. I need to get my snazzy new tripod (thanks for the gift, Huz!) out of its box and take pictures of things like: myself, night shots, moving objects, etc. I also need to load Photshop Elements and begin learning the program. Oh, and write thank you notes for Christmas still. (Lazy I tell you!)

Tell me: how did you decide on your career? Was it a sign from God, a passion that drove you, or did you just fall into it? I still struggle with this and the sense of identity that comes with it. I'm working on it with counseling, but still struggle. Your thoughts would be helpful.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 1:36 PM

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

More Than Words

If you know me at all, you know that I love dumb dance scenes in movies. Even if the film is crap, it always redeems itself to me if it has fat or nerdy men (or women, but I prefer men) dancing in it (can you say Napoleon Dynamite, Little Miss Sunshine, or The Full Monty?). Thus, I thought it appropriate to present you with this post - all in dance. Also because words alone cannot express just how happy being home with family and watching it snow make me.

Victoria Loves Snow Interpretive Dance:

Enjoying a cold, windy moment.


Thinking to myself, "Hmm, should I bust out into an obnoxious dance right now?" Shrugging and telling myself, "Why not? You have no shame!"


Beginning slowly like a majestic baleen whale floating through the depths and filtering the seas for plankton, I open my small (and oh so quiet) mouth to taste a tiny flake of snow.


Then the glee takes over me and I go nuts.


Thank you Huz for capturing your crazy ass wife on film for the whole internet to laugh at.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 11:02 AM

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Colorado Christmas, Part 2

Okay, so despite the gray, drizzly weather that my mood is currently mimicking, I will try to pull myself up from the weight of the Lazies and post another round of Christmas photos for you, as I'm sure you're anxiously waiting with bated breath. (Drip goes the rain, drip goes the sarcasm.)


Okay, so we left off with my fun family cocktail reception which was followed with, believe it or not, more food in the form of pizza and beer with me, Huz, my sister KK and her boyfriend Steven.

The next day was Christmas Eve and we spent most of the day lazing around my Mom's house and wrapping presents, which takes a really long time if you obey the airport and keep all of your gifts unwrapped. It started to snow that day and so I sent Huz out for a last minute gift purchase while I continued to wrap, wrap, wrap.


And then I took a break and caught a snowflake, in more ways than one.


The next day was Christmas and we had a nice, new blanket of snow. Perfect!


We had four households to visit that day, starting out with my Mom's house where we got presents and a lovely breakfast. She surprised all of us with iPod Shuffles. I'm excited to use mine at the gym, which I really need to start visiting in fervor as all of that holiday gluttony is catching up with me.

Me and my sis before opening presents.


The next stop was Huz's Dad's house where his Mom, 2 brothers, sister and her family were gathered. It started off slowly, but when the kids got there and the wrapping paper began to fly, it was the usual Christmas chaos.


Then it was to my Dad's house. Right before dusk our house in the mountains always had this spectacular coloring that made you feel like you had stepped into a watercolor painting. My Dad has a word for it, but I can never remember it. Something elfish or gnomish, I think. Here are some shots during this brief time - notice how pink everything looks.


Here's my Dad, who I was supposed to have lunch with later in the week but couldn't because of a second big snow storm. I was sorry to have missed out on some one-on-one time with him, that's for sure. He gave Huz and me the coolest gifts this year. I got Photoshop Elements 5.0, a book on digital photography, and a really cool old camera that's a double lens reflex. I can't wait to try it out and will hopefully be able to in the photography class I'm taking this semester. He got Huz a great reference cookbook (written by a chef that happens to date the former professor of a friend of ours) and a book on writing his dissertation, which was perfect.


My sister, Jax, who I took out for lunch later in the week. I'm so glad we got this time together because I realized just how talented and unique she is and how much I respect and miss her.


She made us all unique bottles with clay baked on them this year. They're really outstanding. Mine was a flower tree with mirror shards and Huz's is a fruit tree with bulbous marble fruits (I'll post pictures of them later). My grandma's was one of the best.


My sweet grandma, who I went up to see a few days after Christmas. We had a lovely morning together chatting and she shared an old scrapbook with me that chronicled my Dad's childhood accomplishments. She also honored me with an heirloom - her and grandpa's old wedding set. I was greatly touched by this and will treasure the ring for years to come.


The last stop of the night was my Aunt Jenny's house where my Mom's side of the family was all gathered. We had our annual white elephant gift exchange and the hysterical laughing that always accompanies it (thank God for my asthma inhaler).


Here's one of the white elephant gifts - a huge, fake pink diamond that my uncle Steve is so fashionably demonstrating.


There were other funny ones, like a tin elephant watering can (that I stole at the end of the game because I actually liked it) and some obnoxious ornaments. But the best one of all had to be the one I chose. My number was called so I walked up to the tree and selected the biggest box there was (because size does matter) and began to unwrap it under the watchful eyes of my family. The wrapping came off to reveal a brand new Wii. No way! Surely this was a mistake as it's supposed to be gag gifts! I opened the box and saw the styrofoam packaging and cords sticking out. What luck! The room filled with celebration over my awesome luck and with disbelief at such a great gift (as well as with plots to steal it from me in the next round). But, alas, no one was going to steal this gift from me, no. Because I did some further investigating and pulled the cords out to see not a lovely new gaming machine, but instead a lowly ten pound bag of potatoes and a potato masher. The sound level increased ten fold with hysterical laughter. What fun my family is!

Stay tuned for my next installment of photos, where you will see the famous Victoria Loves Snow dance.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 12:33 PM

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Colorado Christmas, Part One

I got in to Denver on Friday just a tad late, despite the blizzard, and was greeted with fresh snow and sparkling lights.


Huz, who had been there through the first big storm, bragged the next morning about how much he had shoveled, saying "first it was this high..."


"and then I shoveled it this high."


Isn't he cute? Ahem.

We stayed with my Mom and Step-Dad, Ed, in Arvada and were treated (as usual) to great hospitality, good food, and lots of laughter. We also got an extra bonus: the neighbor's cats visiting every day causing me not to miss Cambridge and Neville so badly (though I did miss them, don't get me wrong).

This one's nicknamed Oreo. She was shy and had ginormous eyebrows, seriously bigger than this guy's.


And then there was Mooch. Oh yes, Sir Mooch-A-Lot. He was very sweet and came to the house every day (Mom and Ed actually let him inside all the time and even have canned food for him - and they say they don't have a cat. Ha!) to give me some cat love and to eat all the food we'd give him. It's remarkable how small he is for how much he puts away.


We laughed at my Mom's antique waffle iron (this thing has springs on each side - weird!), but man it does a good job at making hot, golden waffles.


Saturday afternoon/evening we all got decked out and enjoyed a cocktail reception celebrating my Uncle Bruce's recent marriage. It was a lovely time and I'm so glad Lynn is a part of our family now - she fits right in!


The coolest new invention in the world - icecube lights! Huz pocketed about 4 of them for me before we found out they were Lynn's and we could have them! Ha. Such good Chrismtas spirit we have lifting those icecubes. But now I'll never loose my drink at parties again. Yippee!


Me and my sis.


Doing our best Paris Hilton impressions (yes, she's better at it...she's 9 years younger than me!).


Ed, Huz, Sis, Me, Mom, Sis's boyfriend


Mom and Ed doing what they do best (laughing).



Me and my darling Huz.


More later....

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 10:00 AM

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Foot Fetish 2007

I love shoes. Hence the idea for my new blog header. Guess which fancy, shmancy foot is mine.

I still have no time to write you about my lovely time in snowy Colorado, but the wait will be worth it because I'll dump a load of pictures at you for sure. (They say a photographer takes a lot of pictures, right? Well, I must be one then because I took about 350 in a week.)


Posted by Bird On A Line @ 10:31 AM

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Home Again

I'm home in Nashvegas everyone. Just too hungover tired to post yet. Currently back at work (blech) and trying to focus on my computer screen and get through all my emails. I'll update soon - promise!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:10 AM

My Food Blog

Quesadillas and Drinks


Nurse Jackie
United States of Tara
So You Think You Can Dance
True Blood
Curb Your Enthusiasm

Book Reading



Julie and Julia
Thirteenth Tale
Kite Runner
No Country For Old Men
The Road
What To Expect When You're Expecting
Water for Elephants
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Baby Wise
Norwegian Wood
Rabbit Redux
Rabbit, Run
On Beauty
Cement Garden
Eat, Pray, Love
Cute, Quaint, Hungry and Romantic: The Aesthetics of Consumerism
The History of Love
Pure Style Living
All The Names
Collage Discovery Workshop
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and The End of the World
Fugitive Pieces
Taking Charge of Your Fertility
A 90 Day Guide...
The Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy
Fast Food Nation
The Reader
Angel's World
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
Black Dogs
Enduring Love
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Blog Reading

Blue Poppy
Bookish Bent
The Burkerts 3
Colors of My Mind
Cool Hunter
The Craziness We Call Life
Creative Musings
Fickle Feline
The Forth Clan
Geek's Pensieve
Green Genes
Holly Needs a Hobby
I Pretty Much Hate Everything
Inevitably Keely
Just Jenn
Mighty Girl
Mimi Smartypants
Modern Cottage
Mothers of Invention
My Head is Full of Stuffing
Nienie Dialogues
Possum Holler Press
Quarter Life Crisis
Say It, Don't Spray It
Self Passage
So Not Cool
Super Hero Journal
Tea and Brie
Three Girls and a Guy
Waiter Rant
Who Knew?
Wise Craft
Work It, Mom
You Go Grrrl

Kid Related

Baby Cheapskate
Cool Mom Picks
Green Mom Finds
Project Nursery/
Rookie Moms
The Soft Landing

Home Style

Apartment Therapy
Design Sponge


Amy Ruppel
Boho Photography
Daily Dose of Imagery
Deceptive Media
Decor 8
Little Purple Cow Photography
Non dairy Diary
Not Martha
Photo Junkie
Three Potato Four
Shutter Sisters
STC Craft
Tiny Showcase


101 Cookbooks
Becks & Posh
Chocolate and Zucchini
David Lebovitz
Delicious Days
The Domestic Goddess
Food Beam
My Vintage Kitchen
The Perfect Pantry
The Post Punk Kitchen
Serious Eats
Smitten Kitchen
Vegan Yum Yum