Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Annabelle and I have managed to squeeze in small but productive bursts of unpacking over the past couple of days. Yesterday we focused our attention on arranging furniture in the living and dining rooms; today it was all about my office.

Tomorrow we are going to the paint store to choose colors for the first floor. I took these photos to show the designer and figured I would share them here. As you can see, we still have miles to go. Feel free to sing out if you have suggestions for paint colors.

Here is the living room. The red couch isn't long for the program, which is a pity, as I really loved it when we got it. The fabric hasn't held up worth beans though, which makes me sad every time I see it. So in the near future it will be replaced, probably by something a bit more neutral:

The dining room table continues to be the dumping ground for stuff that we're just not sure where it should go:

When considering paint colors, keep in mind that I want to paint the kitchen and entry way as well. I see the living/dining rooms as one color, the kitchen and butler's pantry as another, and the foyer as yet another. This is the foyer, in case you need a refresher:

Monday, August 23, 2010

Happy birthday to our little princess!

Annabelle is 15 today! We've had a low-key celebration, but low-key is kind of nice after the crazy summer we've had. She and I ran errands in the morning and then after lunch we went over to Zona Rosa to do some birthday shopping. Then spaghetti and meatballs for supper (with Starbucks brownies instead of cake) and a few more presents after that. Now we are off to Kansas City to look at a headboard we found for her room on Craigslist.

Happy birthday, sweetie!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Home, sweet (haunted) home

2700 miles later, and we are finally home! We drove 600 of the final 900 miles yesterday so that we could get in early enough today to pick the dog up and stop for groceries.

Our cat sitter came by this afternoon to give us back our key, and he shared the most interesting story with us. I had shut the cats in the kitchen/butler's pantry while we were gone, but they kept managing to escape and get out into the rest of the house. That's not the weird part though!

The weird part is that one day when he came by, he couldn't find Harvey anywhere. Finally he followed the sounds of the howling and found Harvey shut in the basement in what we not-so-affectionately refer to as the "blood room." Seriously, could anything be creepier? It looks like something out of a horror flick:

Somehow, Harvey had managed to (1) escape the kitchen/butler's pantry; (2) get through TWO closed doors (the one to the basement in general and then the one to hell's bathroom); and (3) shut the door behind himself. Do we really think he did all that on his own? Hmmmmm . . .

Go here to read more about Ft. Leavenworth ghosties!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Brand new 'Nole!

It has been a busy couple of days in Tally! After getting back to DeLand from Jamaica at about 1 a.m. yesterday, we drove to Tallahassee and got Mike checked in to his dorm room:

His roommate, Josh, seems like a great guy, and I'm sure they will get along well:

Today was dedicated to dorm shopping: Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, Office Depot, back to Bed Bath & Beyond . . . I think we finally got him pretty well set though.

We said our goodbyes tonight at the dorm. He has an AFROTC meeting tomorrow morning at 8, and we need to get on the road to Pensacola for my cousin's wedding. It seems so weird to be leaving him behind. I know he is going to have a wonderful time though! College is full of new and interesting things, like this gang of tuba players we saw walking down the street today:

Jamaica, mon!

We had so much fun last summer at the Hilton Rose Hall in Montego Bay, Jamaica, that we went back this summer for another visit. This time though, my parents and sister came along for the fun!

Getting to Jamaica was a little bit hectic this time around. We had just minutes to make our connection in Miami, and unfortunately our one checked bag full of all the liquids and aerosols didn't make it until the next day (thank goodness we had decided to carry the rest of our stuff on!). Then there was a little tension at the hotel when they wanted to give Mike a child's wristband because he was 17 when I booked the trip even though his ticket cost the same as every other adult's. A call to the travel agent straightened it out, and he got to enjoy a few days of being of legal drinking age.

Eventually we had all the problems ironed out, and after dinner we wound up hanging out at the bar:

We discovered that Jenny is very talented when it comes to cherry stems:

We spent the first 2 days lounging at the beach, taking breaks occasionally to cool off in the lazy river or grab a drink from the swim-up bar. My mom learned how to weave a really cool hat:

There was also a whole lot of reading going on:

Annabelle won a little trinket in a Bob Marley trivia contest:

She also met another Annabelle (this one from Canada) on the beach:

Mike got a temporary tattoo in honor of his best girl:

He and Fred amused themselves by swimming back and forth across the little bay at our hotel:

And Jenny found a double-stemmed cherry in her drink. What is it with that girl and cherries?

Sunday night we went to Three Palms, one of 3 fancy restaurants on the property. The food was delicious, even if the rain forced us to eat inside:

The drink of the day on Sunday was called a kiss-and-tell, which Mike found to be endlessly amusing:

The weather stayed bad through the night, and we were really worried that our snorkeling trip on Monday would either not make or it WOULD make but it would be miserable. As it turned out, it was a little bumpy heading out, but the trip turned out to be a lot of fun.

Fred and Mike recreated a couple of pictures from our trip last summer:

Dad found his younger Jamaican twin among the boat's crew:

Our shuttle to the airport didn't leave until noon the next day, so after we checked out of our rooms, Fred and I grabbed another drink and wandered around the resort for a little while. All in all, it was a great trip and a much-needed break in this hectic summer:

All my Jamaica pics are up on Flickr:

If you go here, you can see my dad's photos (and read about Buddy's adventures in the kennel).

Thursday, August 12, 2010

18 years later . . .

. . . and only one doll is missing. Evita Cynthie, where are you?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Photo barrage

Oh, sweet blessed Internet, it has been a long, dry spell! We didn't bother getting the cable hooked up in the new house since we were going to be heading out on vacation after only a week, and the past few days we've been on the road with little opportunity to connect. Now we are all 4 sitting around my parents' living room, each tucked under his or her computer. I will take advantage of this connectivity to post a bunch of random photos.

First of all, this is the major damage incurred during our move:

That's the hutch to my computer desk. Somehow it shifted during shipment, and the cardboard "wood" backing got a little crumpled. Fred was able to fix it OK. Eventually, I would like to replace the backing with paneling, but this will do for now.

The cats are enjoying the new house. Eddie tried to make himself at home in my limited kitchen cabinet space:

Meanwhile Harvey set about exploring all 4 (nonworking) fireplaces and wound up with some very dirty feet:

We did manage to get a lot of unpacking done in the brief time we were in the house. Patty was right--pots and pans weren't the look I wanted for the built-in in the butler's pantry. Instead I went with Christmas china and miscellaneous wine and beer glasses:

I have the cat and dog food set up in the butler's pantry but would be open to getting something a little more aesthetically pleasing than this:

I made the tall, skinny kitchen cabinet into a ghetto for our most commonly used appliances:

I wound up putting our plates and bowls in the double cabinet by the stove. Cups and glasses are in that weird corner upper cabinet with mixing bowls and pots and pans in the one underneath. It came together fairly well, but I am eager to get a dish drainer that sits in the sink instead of taking up counter space:

For the time being, we are using our old table in the kitchen. I would love to get an old-fashioned Formica and chrome set though. Maybe I have been watching too much Mad Men?

Nothing dramatic here, but just to give full coverage to the entire kitchen:

This is our room, but the pictures are already outdated:

It didn't take more than one night for Fred and me to figure out that having cats stepping on our heads as they try to wriggle their way behind the window blinds is NOT fun. So the very next morning, Fred and Mike picked up the bed and turned it 180 degrees to the interior wall. Now the blanket chest is on the exterior wall, and my dresser is on the right-hand wall.

Here is Fred's office, as seen from our room:

And here is MY office! There is a fireplace behind that bunch of boxes and bookcase to the right:

The fourth room on the second floor is a guest room, with an eclectic mishmash of furniture:

The kids' rooms are both on the third floor. Here is Annabelle's room:

And here is Mike's:

All in all, I think we got a lot done in 2 days!