Wednesday, February 28, 2007


(First, is anyone else having trouble accessing blogger through Firefox? I've tried for the last 2 days and just get error messages.)

Anyway, an update on the house:

We move this SATURDAY! OMG! We still have so much packing to do, it's not even funny. The good news is that we've got most of the work done - Huz finished the living room ceiling and got one coat of paint on the walls a few days ago. Hopefully he'll find the time to do the last coat so we don't have to worry about it for a while. We'll just have to paint the trim throughout the house once we live there - no more time to get it done before Saturday. The hardwood floor was delivered to the house yesterday and sat overnight to acclimate and is being laid today. I'm so excited to see this because the room will be utterly transformed at that point and all of our hard work will be realized in a nice, new, gleaming room!

Wish us luck with the big move - that we'll get enough help and that it will go smoothly and that nothing will break. Thanks!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:15 AM

Monday, February 26, 2007


Exhaustion used to be a word to me, now it's an intimate experience. I'm fatigued, tired, exhausted. Truly and utterly.

I took a personal day off from work on Friday and worked three days in a row at the house with Huz. We accomplished quite a lot, the two of us. We're a damned fine team, let me tell you.

Behold the hotness.

The Hotness of Home Renovation

Here's all that we did this weekend:


We scraped off the popcorn ceiling in the den, primed it, and painted it.
This is a nasty job that entails sealing off the entire room with masking tape and plastic, spraying down the ceiling with water, and then literally scraping the popcorn off, which rains down in wet globs all over you. I curse whoever invented popcorn ceilings. I curse you!

Popcorn Ceiling Removal - Oh The Fun!Popcorn Ceiling Removal - Oh The Fun!


While Huz did some overdue homework, I came up to the house and painted the dining room and kitchen my favorite green shade: Forest Canopy. It's a Martha Stewart color that Sherwin Williams doesn't sell anymore, but they were kind enough to mix it for me nonetheless. Thanks guys! I love this color! Huz came up in the early afternoon and finished priming and painting the den ceiling while I painted the previously electric blue hallway a lovely mocha brown.


Then we painted the bathroom. We call the before color "seasick blue".



We removed the popcorn ceiling in the living room, I painted the final coat in the bathroom, and Huz replaced the nasty light fixture in the kitchen.

kitchen BA

Now we need to finish priming and painting the living room ceiling, paint the living room walls, paint the trim throughout the house, get hardwoods in the den, finish painting the closet doors in the den and give all of the paneled walls a second coat of paint, paint the back door, replace the bathroom and bedroom fixtures, replace all of the brass switch plates throughout the house, pack, move, unpack, and then fall asleep for a month in our awesome new house!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:44 AM

Thursday, February 22, 2007


Lest you think the entire house we just bought is full of 1970s panelling, here are some other shots (we're re-painting it all, so I'll post the "after" pictures whenever we're done).

Living Room
We have all hardwoods throughout the house and I just ordered hardwoods in the den, which should be done before we move in. Niiiice!

living room

Dining Room and Kitchen
(looks into den)

dining room

(fixture to be replaced)

Huz looking at a fixture that has GOT to go in the master bedroom

Guest Bedroom/Future Nursery

future nursery

Our New Huge Backyard

There's one tiny bathroom, but nothing photo worthy!

The End.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 11:20 AM

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Good News/Bad News

Good - The popcorn ceiling results just got back in - no asbestos! Great! Now I have to decide if we want to tackle the messy job of scraping it down or pay somebody to do it (probably the former because of the dwindling moolah in our accounts).

Bad - The car wouldn't start this morning and Huz had to drop it off at the shop. Let us hope it's nothing major and won't be too expensive. Lord knows all of our extra funds are going to the house right now.

Good - My massage last night was great (painful because I'm so sore, but overall very good and relaxing). My dinner party was also fun - thanks to all my friends who were there and showed your love for me!

Bad - I have more painting to do and homework for photography class, but the car's in the shop. I'm stuck. Ack!

[Update: Phew! It was only a temperature sensor causing the car trouble. Total damage = $131. Not terrible.]

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 11:55 AM

Monday, February 19, 2007

House, Fatigue/Sore/Ow, Birthday

1. We bought a house on Friday. It was awesome. We signed papers for a while, got a present from our realtor ($50 gift certificate to a new cafe by our favorite local chef), hugged her and went back to the house that is OURS. I got carried over the threshold and kissed Huz in our new living room. Awesome.

2. We worked all weekend long on caulking, priming, and painting wood paneling and brick in the den. I never want to see paneling or brick again. EVER. We're only about half way done with this room, I'm afraid. We still need to repaint the kitchen, dining room, living room, hallway, and bathroom. We also need to replace light fixtures throughout the house and retile the bathroom and fireplace. Oy.

So tired. Every muscle hurts. Every bone aches.

Here's some photos of our work on the den:

Old school brick fireplace:

den - fireplace to be painted

Old school wood paneling (How can people like this stuff? They do, though, because when I told someone at work about all the work we had done this weekend, they were shocked that we'd paint over paneling because, "That's expensive and you can't get it anymore!" For good reason, my friend, for good reason.)

den - paneling to be painted

On advice from the Sherwin Williams guy, who had done it to his own den, I caulked every seam in the paneling so that when it expands it won't crack the paint. Do you have any idea how many seams there are in this room? So many, so very, very many.

Caulking Every.Single.Seam on Panelling SUCKSCaulking Every.Single.Seam on Panelling SUCKS

Huz primed the brick while I caulked (Yes, there were many a caulk/cock joke being thrown around all day. I was much better at handling the cock than he. *Snicker*).

Priming Brick

I wish there were some dramatic "After" photos for you, but you you will have to settle with thesee "Half Way Through" shots intead. After caulking and priming the walls, I painted them a lovely mocha brown yesterday. Huz fought with the electrical stuff all day and took down the old, ugly ceiling fans, replacing them with some nice fixtures.

MochaMocha walls/white fireplaceNewly painted wall and fixture
Now we need to get the popcorn ceiling removed (we're waiting for the sample we took to the asbestos lab to come back). I don't know if I'm up for the task, as I've heard it's a very messy job, so we may have to pay someone to do it. Luckily it's only in the den and the living room. Then we are getting hardwoods put in the den to match the rest of the house.

3. It's my birthday today. I'm 31, but feel 61 due to the hardwork all weekend. Huz just booked me a massage after work so I can relax and hopefully get these muscles feeling a bit better before dinner with about a dozen friends tonight. Ah, feel the love! Now, if only some of these friends would offer to help us paint, I'd be a happy camper! ;)

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 9:41 AM

Friday, February 16, 2007

Guess What?

In a matter of hours, we'll be HOME OWNERS!!!!!!!

new years8

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 11:55 AM

Thursday, February 15, 2007

My Newest Obsession

Virtually painting the walls of the home that will be mine TOMORROW!!

Right now I'm thinking Spicy Hue or Fireweed as an accent wall in the living room with Trusty Tan or Artifact for the rest of the walls. I also want to keep the green we have in our current dining room and bring it into the new kitchen because they are open rooms that connect (looks like Bengal Grass, but isn't exactly the shade). We'll do coffee tones in the den/study which is currently all dark paneling, but will soon be given new life with paint.

Don't worry, I'll definitely post before and afters. I love those!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 10:55 AM

Because Apparently a Dusting is Scary Down Here

Special Weather Statement (via weather.com that likes to constantly flash these weather warnings on my computer screen):

…very light snow today with little or no accumulation…

Light snow has already been reported in west Tennessee…with no more than a dusting at most locations…most of middle Tennessee will have only a trace of precipitation. A few areas may have a quick dusting on grassy areas…but no significant accumulations are expected.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 9:50 AM

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Fucking Valentine's Day

Don't you just love it when you're in a fight with your husband on a day when every one around you is cheerful and in love, getting engaged (true, a woman in my office just announced it), getting love notes via email, getting flowers delivered, etc? I never get this kind of attention on Valentine's Day even when we're not in a fight because Huz hates the holiday and because my birthday is 5 days later, so he thinks it can be ignored. And I guess it can, I'm just never going to be happy about it.

I'm tired of being in a bad mood.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 9:08 AM

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Dreaded Sheet Lump Critter

Remember when I told you about our SLC infestation? Well, here's proof.

Exhibit A: A bed that was made (well, okay, it wasn't really made but I did pull the comforter up and it looked decent) but quickly fell into SLC disarray.


Exhibit B: Do you see that lump in the back? Here, look closer. It's an SLC cave.



Though the cave was vacant at the time of these photos, you can clearly see what kind of situation we have on our hands. Neville burrows in and makes these caves every. single. day. But? I love him all the same. He's snuggly. And grey. And has a high-pitched squeak meow that's very endearing. What can you do?

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 12:13 PM

Monday, February 12, 2007

Day 49: Pregnancy Test Negative


Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:26 AM

Friday, February 9, 2007

The 6 Step Way To Have a Good Ending To a Bad Week

I've had a bad week. Work has sucked ass and I'm stressed out with the upcoming house purchase and all the work that accompanies that, plus it's day 46 and no aunt has visited me yet. How does one put a happy ending on a sucky week? They take a mental health day, that's how.

Here's what that looks like:

1. Huz and I were both in the mood for some authentic southern BBQ last night so we looked up some local joints and went to try out the one with the coolest name ever, Mothership BBQ. We drove past it a few times because it's literally just a small house on a block full of other small houses, but when we went inside we were taken aback. It was an eclectic place, to say the least, and we had it all to ourselves. The dark green walls were covered with album covers from the 70s and, man oh man, were there some serious fashion violations from the great decade of my birth. Shudder. We had many a laugh at the pictures of long, feather-haired men in bell bottoms and ladies in Jane Fonda-esque workout garb (oh? You don't know what that looks like? Don't you remember this post?). The tables and chairs were all mis-matchy and obviously picked up on the cheap at thrift stores, so the ambiance was seriously lacking (as the owner clearly knew, because one of the first things he said to us was, "Remember! We're taking reservations for Valentine's Day...heh, heh...I mean, check out that dining room!") but it didn't matter in the slightest. Nope. Because that pulled pork sandwich, macaroni and cheese, and roasted cinnamon apples kicked major ass my friend. Anthony Bourdain would have loved the place, if only it weren't for the no smoking policy.

2. I called in sick today and took a well-deserved, if I do say so myself, day off.

3. After calling in sick, I promptly went to the kitchen and made myself some walnut Belgian waffles. Delish!

4. I ran a bunch of errands that I normally would have crammed into a Saturday which tends to suck because a.) the roads are always busy on Saturdays and b.) I feel like I spend half of my weekend doing errands. But! Not today! Because today is a bonus day to my weekend! Because I'm bad and took the day off! Woot! (Feeling real guilty here, can you tell?)

Anyway, back to my errands: I brought my wedding ring and the lovely ring my grandmother gave me to the jeweler's to get an official appraisal done (because I have no paperwork for either and now that I'm going to be a grown up homeowner and all, I figured it would be a good thing to give to the homeowner's insurance company if, god forbid, anything were to happen to them); I ran to the post office and mailed a book we sold online; and I picked up my hot new pair of jeans that I got hemmed (I'm short you know) and dropped off another pair of pants for hemming.


Nice hemming job, huh? I found a place nearby that puts the original hem back on, which looks great on jeans.

5. Then I found yet another cool local place to frequent. It's (drum roll please) a shoe store. A cheap, but great brand-name-carrying shoe store. Ladies! Do you know how cool this is? It's like a store full of multiple O's! Hello heaven! I bought 3 shoes for the price of one, not kidding. Here they are.

A pair of tall black wedge boots to replace the cribbage board boots by famous shoe designer Neville Winters.


Nice, eh? They were the unbelievable price of (you won't believe it) $9! One O down, two to go.

The next are a lovely pair of Nine West shoes to wear with dress pants at work. They are all leather and fit like a glove. Priced at $24.99 they were a steal.


And finally we have a pair of fun, wedge cut espadrilles for summer. These are Liz Claiborne's and were a mere $21.99. (Ignore the ugly toenails with remnants of the red nail polish from Christmas please. In my defense: it's winter and nobody sees them but me. That is, until I take a picture of them and post it on the Internet.)


6. After this successful shoe shopping, I went out with a friend for lunch. It's a place I've been meaning to try for a while; I had a mighty tasty tuna melt with smoked mozzarella on wheat and a yummy, orangey spiced iced tea. Even better, my friend paid for the meal. Thanks Em! Then we went and she gave me a tour of the home she and her husband just bought. It's a great historical house with 9 foot ceilings, hardwood floors, a giant whirlpool bathtub, and glass doorknobs - a perfect blend of old and new. And they'll live only about 2 miles away from us once we move to our place. Very cool.

So that, my friends, is how to give a happy ending to a crappy week.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 3:41 PM

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Snap, Crackle, Pop

Scary. That's what it was, scary.

Did I ever tell you that the house we rent has ancient wall heaters with metal coils that turn bright red when in use? You could easily burn your ass (if it happened to be bare) or leg if you stand to close to them - which is also the only way you could possibly feel warmth because these heaters heat the wall and not the rest of the house (great design, that). Anyway, we used these heaters last winter because that's all we had and, luckily, the house never burned down (but I would have liked to burn my electric bills down).

This year we decided to try our luck with oil-filled radiators instead so we bought one and asked the landlord to buy a second one in hopes that our 1,050 square foot house would be warmed adequately by them. They do a so-so job (radiant heating can only do so much) but we got quite a scare by them the other day. I had showered and dressed, eaten breakfast, and was walking out the door when I walked past one of them and noticed that the electrical outlet it was plugged into didn't look right. It was black.


Hmm, me thinks black outlets aren't a good thing. Also? How do I say this? It was crackling. Like, lightning bolt crackling.


I immediately turned the heater off and, despite my adamant objections, Huz reached down and yanked the plug out of the fried electrical socket. Thank God he didn't get electrocuted. Down to only one working radiator, we fought about how we were going to keep the house warm the rest of the day for Cambridge and Neville (I know we both didn't want to come home that evening to catcicles, but I refused to plug that heater in again anywhere else). So we left in a frustrated, freezing huff. Great way to start the day.

Once at work I called the maintenance man to fix it, which he did (both the socket and the plug on the heater). Wasn't that was nice? And guess how much it cost us? Nothing. Because we rent. That's the one thing I'm going to miss the most when we're homeowners. I guess we'll just have to read up on do it yourself stuff and bite the bullet if we can't fix it ourselves. That's home ownership, right? That's what adults do, right?

Anyone got any book recommendations on how to fix house stuff (replacing faucets, fixing drippy faucets, changing light fixtures, laying new flooring, etc., etc.)?


Posted by Bird On A Line @ 10:05 AM

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Current Mood: Bitchy

You know what's really annoying?* When you go to the OBGYN and get a cool new conception plan that she really feels confident will work for you when you've been trying unsuccessfully for 9 months. Then? Then! You can't try said new conception plan because you have the longest freaking cycle you've ever had in your life. That's right, folks, I'm talking about my period (or lack thereof) on the internet. I have no shame. I think it ended the day I started a blog because, come on, what fun is a blog without embarrassing, personal information? A bore, that's what.

Anyway, I'm currently on day 44. (FORTY-FOUR!) I'm stressed out at work, emotional like you've never seen, bloated, crampy, and NOT pregnant. Believe me, I'm not. See, they have these handy little plastic tests that you pee on that tell you if you are or not. I'm not - don't even suggest that I am, lest you want to be headless for the rest of your life.

Now aren't you glad you stopped by?

*Other than coming to Through My Lens just to find that Victoria hasn't updated in almost a week.

[p.s. Yes, I know it's probably because of stress that I'm on day 44. I'm in my busiest, most stressful time at work, I'm trying to conceive, I'm applying and interviewing for jobs that don't work out, and - oh minor thing that it is - I'm buying a house. Lord have mercy.]

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 10:26 AM

Friday, February 2, 2007

Friday Fun Links

This guy is incredible. Watch and listen.

This short documentary will make your Friday. Go ahead, watch it.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 9:21 AM

Thursday, February 1, 2007

A Place To Call Home

I'm sure I'm giving you a headache (or at least causing mild confusion) by constantly changing my header photo, but I just can't decide on one I like enough to give such a prominent position to. I'll try to leave it alone for a while (but probably won't, let's just be honest).

This one was taken in a black and white photography class almost 2 years ago when I was at Loyola University Chicago. I snapped it in the late morning as I was heading out the door of my flat on the way to class (how I miss those days of leaving the house at 9 or 10 o'clock - what a luxury!). This was the second Chicago flat that Huz and I lived in; in fact, it was just 2 buildings down the block from the first one we moved to. Why the move? Because we love packing up all of our belongings and begging friends to help us lug it all up and down three flights of stairs. Because, as apparently is our destiny when it comes to renting, we got kicked out. Yes, we upstanding, quality citizens got KICKED OUT.

Apparently all of our parties we throw are too loud and unruly.

Not really. It was because after just 2 years of us living there the woman who owned the building up and died. When the estate sold the new owner decided to convert the apartments to over-priced condos, effectively putting us out onto the street because there was no way in hell we were about to pay $400,000 for our 2 bedroom apartment that was being converted into a 3 bedroom condo (Um, New Owner Man? Having a dining room is kind of a good thing, buddy. Don't turn it into a bedroom just so you can get rich, thanks. Now goodbye.).

So we had to move. Luckily we found a great apartment just down the block and moved down 3 flights of stairs and back up 3 flights of stairs. Good times. Then? After a year or so? The owners of our new apartment sold and the new owner decided to convert to...you guessed it...condos. At least we were going to be moving anyway this time because it was just before Huz's first year at Vanderbilt.

Now here we are a year and a half later and still renting, albeit a house this time. Now some of you are probably wondering why we made the decision to buy a house so quickly (I know some of my own friends here wonder that) and I'm sure some of you are curious as to what prompted it. I'll tell you. We are getting kicked out of our home again. AGAIN!

The small university that we rent our house from is expanding and since we've moved here they have purchased every house on our block with plans to tear them down (ours will be the first to go as we're right next to their property line) to build more parking lots and buildings. Hence our frustration and decision to finally bite the bullet, be grown ups, and buy a freaking house. Plus? It's really not a bad idea down here where houses are so affordable. It's only going to cost us $100 more per month to own, rather than rent. That makes pretty good investment sense to me! We're scheduled to close on the house on February 23rd, so keep your fingers crossed that all goes well until then and that this will be the last move for us for a while (at least until Huz gets his Ph.D. and then gets offered a kick ass teaching position).

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 7:42 PM

July 21st

Do you know how much of a nerd I am? Do you? I just pre-ordered the next Harry Potter book that is going to be released on July 21st.

Oh yeah.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 3:02 PM

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