Monday, December 14, 2009

Hal moose!

This weekend, Hal and I were walking through the mall looking for Christmas inspiration, and we came across the Build-a-Bear Workshop in our mall. Guess what they have? A moose!!!
... Guess what his name is??? Hal!!! Isn't he cute?

He's apparently from a cartoon that aired on ABC called "Holly and Hal Moose: Our Uplifting Christmas Adventure." (It's also a book, I guess.) We haven't seen it (yet), or know much about it really, but we do know it's about a moose called Hal (and his sister Holly)!!!

Just in case anybody wants to watch this show, you can watch it here until Dec 24th. I intend to watch it shortly! (After I'm done watching "The Easter Bunny is Coming to Town.")

Friday, December 4, 2009

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Bobbing for Goldfish

A long time ago, Hal and I found a video of a fennec fox fishing for fish on YouTube. We decided sometime we should try it with our ferrets! We finally did it!

A while ago, when I was buying fishes for Archimedes, we decided to see what the ferrets would do with goldfish...
Hal put up some pictures of it here, on his blog. It was absolutely hilarious! I wish we'd had a video camera to record it!

The funniest thing is Rocket hates water! When I give him a bath, you'd think I was murdering him! But give him a bowl full of water with things moving in it and he'll dive right in! He's hilarious! Garrett seriously thought about it, but he decided it was not a game for him! Cocoa looked like she wanted to, but couldn't figure out how it was done... (It wasn't that complicated!) Maybe next time they'll play, too!

When Rocket would catch a fish, he'd shake it good (to make sure it's dead, then run off and stash it in some corner somewhere. (Yuck.) So I'd have to go pick up tiny dead fish. It did occur to me he might have been saving them for later, but I decided the my ewww outweighed his plans.

Hal kept trying to get a picture of him with a fish in his mouth, but he moves so darn fast!


I have a red eared slider turtle, Archimedes, who likes to eat little fishes. For a little while I was buying them at the pet store, but then we moved into this house where we are now, and there is a drainage ditch that runs right behind our house. It occured to me one day that there were probably little minnows in the living the in the ditch water.
The water level goes up and down, depending on if it's rained recently or not. In this picture it had been raining off and on for a couple of days, so the water level was kind of high. During a break in the storms, I walked up and snapped a picture. (Our house is the last gray one, right before the green one on the end.)

One day, I decided to try my luck at "fishing." So, with my butterfly net (purchased for this specific purpose), and my handy pickle jar (also used for catching frogs) I headed on down. I caught a whole bunch of little fishes and ghost shrimp! Archimedes loved the ghost shrimp!

I carefully crouch on the concrete sides and scoop with my net in the water. I say carefully 'cause it's actually fairly steep, I think to discourage people from playing on it, and I don't want to fall in! It looks slimy and gross!

A little while later, after a few more big storms, I went to go down a fish again, 'cause Archimedes was getting low on fishes. Everything was going so well! I had caught lots of fishes, I was having fun, and contemplating maybe puddling in the water to scare up a frog or two... When I happened to notice that there was a brown dead puppy floating in the water coming towards me! So, I went home. And didn't go back again for quite some time... Ewwww!

I like the fish that live in the water. And the turtles. And the frogs (lots and lots of frogs!).
I can deal with the funky smells that come from the ditch. And the moss. And the mosquitoes.
But I draw the line at dead animals!
The sad thing is the puppy looked just like some puppies that my neighbor had and was trying to get rid of... I'm not suggesting anything, just mentioning... It's either a tragic accident or a cruel person... It makes me sad just thinking of it...

Monday, November 2, 2009

He does stairs!

Ferrets, we've read, have no depth perception (because their eyes are on the sides of their heads), consequently, they don't judge distance well.

Rocket loves to explore our house. And me, being the indulgent ferret owner I am, sometimes let him. One of the days he was exploring the upstairs, he encountered this really scary thing... A drop off! After much deliberation -- about 2 seconds of walking back and forth at the top of precipice, he decided to try hopping off it, just to see where it went I guess. He repeated this process again and again...
...the whole way to the bottom of the staircase. I scooped him up at the bottom and took him back up. After I carried him back up, a bit later he tore down the stairs again. Apparently in taking him back up so quickly, I'd reassured him he NEEDED to be down there! There must be something great!

Almost any chance he gets he darts down the stairs...

He goes down a bit like this:
He hops down by the wall with the railing, the whole way to the bottom of the last strait stair, where he walks across to the other wall, and goes down.
It's funny 'cause I walk down by the railing and step over (but only to the center) when I get to the bottom of the straight stair, too! I do it so I don't miss the triangle stair. His reason? Insanity?
This is a rough diagram of his steps on the bottom stairs. After switching walls to follow on the last strait stair and hopping down, he follows the wall 'til he hits the corner, and realizes he can't step down there, walks over to the center of the stair and hops down, then back to the wall, and for some reason then has to walk back to the center of the stair to hop down to the floor. Where he is then free to walk over to the wall by the door OR dart off straight across the floor trying to make it to the kitchen before I can catch him!

He's such a hoot! He has this thing with following the walls. He'll only walk across the center of a strange room when he gets really excited! He seems to forget he likes the walls. When he stops hopping around, he runs back to the wall...

As a little note: I feel it's important to know that my ferrets do have their own room in our three bedroom house where they get to get out of their cage to play. I block off the doorway (or close the door) so they can't escape, and they get to play for hours. (In a perfect world they'd be supervised at all times out of their cage. They are. Sometimes.)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Last month, on Sept 8th to be precise ( I blame this for being late on all my September birthdays!), I had a slight accident.
I was wandering around my house. I wasn't wearing shoes, 'cause I don't like shoes. But I was wearing socks, apparently slick socks. I was upstairs, and about 3:15 I decided I should go check the mail. So, I jumped up, and went to go down the stairs...
I somehow slipped on the edge of the first "triangle stair" on the bottom two stairs... And landed on the linoleum (not tile) on my foot. My entire body fell two stairs and landed solidly on the outside of my left foot. I was in a LOT of pain. So, I laid there on the floor and cried. As soon as I was thinking more clearly, I realized I needed to get ice. And ibuprofen. So I crawled across the floor to our kitchen and got ice and pills, crawled back to the living room and put my foot up and iced it, while crying. I wasn't sure if I had broken it, or just sprained it, but it definitely was painful and swollen...

By bedtime, I could almost hobble around a bit. But I couldn't flex or extend my foot, curl my toes, or anything. But I called my nurse sister (and she gave me sympathy and listened to me cry for a while) and then later my mother, and they both said the same thing: See if it gets any better by tomorrow, but if you still have circulation to your toes it's not an emergency. :)

The next day I could almost walk on it. It would hold my weight, but not bend, so I hobbled... luckily, I had a doctors appointment that day, (convenient, huh?) so I just talked to the doctor about my foot then. She said that while she could have my foot x-rayed if I wanted, she didn't think it was broken. I wasn't in terrible pain when she touched it, except for one tiny spot, and I could put pressure on it. But there apparently wasn't enough bruising and what bruising there was, wasn't in the right place.
(This is not my foot, but a foot picture I found online. I forgot to take a picture of mine.) The orange "circle" is where my foot was bruised, and the blue is where the doctor said the bruising would be "more likely" to be if my foot was broken.

However, she couldn't tell me for sure that it wasn't broken without an x-ray. I opted to not do an x-ray and just wait and see.

By my logic, it already felt a little better the next day, and if it wasn't broken it would continue to get better. If it was broken it would still hurt in the next few days.
By the next week, I could walk normally, but slowly. The week after that I felt just fine. Fine enough I decided to mow the lawn. BIG mistake. I stepped in a hole and torked it again. So I was back to limping around for a few days.

Anyways, that's my foot story... I fell, hurt my foot, but I'm better now! Stupid dangerous stairs!
I never did make it to the mailbox that day...

PS: I'm a bit paranoid about going down my stairs now, so I'm much more careful! Except when I'm not!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

House pictures...

I've heard that some people like to see where other people are living, to be able to picture them in their environment better...
That said, my environment is typically fairly cluttered. I'm a messy kind of girl and while I am working on it, the "tidy up goal" is still a work in progress. One day, I'll have everything in my house in a place of it's own... (Yeah right, but it sounds good!)
A while ago, I said I'd take some pictures of our house:
Front of the house...
Back of the house... We have since removed the window air conditioner units and the foil from the window. Apparently it was violating the homeowners association rules... For the sake of not complaining about it (today anyways), I'll just say HOAs (for the most part) are evil, rude, and invasive.
Our view out our back, this was me standing in my back door, on my step stool, so I could see over the back fence. There's a park back there, in the next neighborhood over. Just past this fence is a drainage canal with lovely smells and animals in it. (Some animals are actually lovely, others... not so much! Story for a different day.)
This is our living room. Couch, bookshelves, TV, and speakers. I'm sitting on the stairs, on the right side of the picture is the front door... It opens right against the bottom stair. Makes it hard to move stuff in and up the stairs, too!
This is our living room. As you can see, we don't have a dining room table.
And to answer a question that people seem to want to know... We don't usually use either the weight set or the elliptical. But we wouldn't ever use them if they were in the garage, so this IS a step in the right direction, right?
This is the kitchen. Through the door frame across the way is the laundry room and a door to the garage. And I'm thinking of it just now... There is a half bath down stairs, it's located just to the left of where this picture ends (does that make any sense?), tucked under the stairs.
Here's the bottom of the stairs... This is the dangerous part! But I'll save that story for a different post!
This is the view of the stairs from the top. (I've got a ferret story about this...)
This is the view of the upstairs from the big room at the top of the stairs. On starting from the left: We have our bedroom (with our bed, dresser, and a closet with Hal's shirts in it), the next "door" just above the vent is the AC/furnace blower closet door. The next room is our computer room (with a door to the bathroom and a big closet with my shirts, pants, etc, in it!). Then ther's the staircase. The last door you can see is the door to the ferrets/frogs/turtle (and fish) room. There's another bathroom right by the ferret room.

I'm afraid ya'll don't actually get to see the contents of any of these rooms at this time... it's too embarrassing... (as I mentioned I'm kind of a slob... working on that... I'll get things tidied up and post upstairs pictures soon!)

There's some of the pictures of our house. And what do you know?! I came up with three stories to post about just from looking at the pictures!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Hal's new blog

I've been posting for about a week on a new blog, so it looks like I'm serious this time. The new format is less restrictive for me. I don't feel like I have to have a whole set of pictures before I can post. Also, being on blogger means the process is simpler and faster. Check it out if you want, and leave a comment over there so I'll know if I've got an audience. It's not just pictures this time. This blog is also going to have my musings sometimes, current events I want to comment on, things I find funny, etc. Also, when I post pictures they'll be right on the front page instead of in a Flash program. Here's the link:

I've established a separate blog so that I don't make a habit of posting on halanddani. I don't want to muck up Dani's blog with my own stuff, and you can ignore one of us or the other as you please.

Monday, September 28, 2009


This morning I decided to do something I never do (at just before 7 am. I'll do it sometimes at like 9 or 10, but never 7!)... I made breakfast. Now, my thought was rather than holler at Hal in the shower "Would you like me to make you breakfast? How do eggs sound?," I'd just make some. If he wanted it when he was done showering, he could have it, otherwise, I'd just claim it was all for me! :)
I was thinking maybe some scrambled eggs would be yummy...

So I went downstairs and got out the eggs... and my impromptu breakfast rapidly turned itself into something yummier! (This is about as close to retracing my thoughts as I can get...)
I thought runny yolk eggs sound better than scrambled, with maybe some toast to go with it? So I got out the potato bread (Hal likes potato bread) that we got Saturday and made a couple of pieces of toast to go with the couple of cooking eggs.
And then I thought... I'd like some cheese! I LOVE cheese!
So I got into my cheese drawer to get the cheese to cut myself a piece, and saw the sandwich ham I have in there. And I thought "I wonder if that's still good?" So I got it out to check (it was).
and then it occurred to me...
Instead of just eggs and toast, I should make something better! I've got toast (well, mostly bread 'cause my toaster seems to be dying), eggs, cheese, and ham! (Hal came in about this time and said he'd like one.)
I flipped the eggs over, added a cheese slice to each, a piece of ham, and then when the cheese was melted, slid the egg onto my bread slathered with mayo...

Maybe I'll make myself another for lunch... it was pretty good!

It really surprised Hal that I'd made breakfast. He said that he could tell I made it for myself, and not actually for him, as I seemed too happy to have actually made it for him. "??"
Apparently I only get that excited to cook something when it talks to me... Boy does that sound nuts. I just mean that when I get started and whatever I'm making evolves into something else, something yummy! I enjoy cooking more.

And yet I don't actually cook like that for Hal, because well... it doesn't always evolve into something yummy... I have funky tastes (in shoes, clothes, decor, pets, and apparently food) and Hal doesn't always agree with my culinary tastes... So, rather than subject him to forcing down something rather distasteful I just don't get carried away. I follow a recipe. Except when I don't...

I was making meatloaf. Following my mom's "recipe" (I'm sure she actually does have one, but I just make it like I remember her making it. Unfortunately, hers always turns out better 'causes she's better at it than me... I NEED to measure!) Anyways, it went like this. Some defrosted hamburger (I had just under a pound I think), a handful of rolled oats, some bread crumbs (I had some stuffing filling), a small handful of dried onions, an egg, some salt and pepper, (so far so good) and about half a can of tomato sauce. Now I didn't have tomato sauce so I substituted... tomato paste. They're both red! And gooey! And tomato! My meatloaf ended up a bit sweet. Hal said that it probably would have been better if I'd used ketchup instead of the tomato paste. Anyways, I liked it! I thought it was yummy! Hal ate it. But did not want seconds...

Another example (of my funky tastes, and why I don't "assemble" food for Hal):
(typed up into almost recipe form for added fun... If you have a sensitive stomach, don't think about it too hard...)
One of my favorite things to eat when I was very first out on my own, fending for my own food, was (probably still is delicious) this:
Combine in a bowl (or on a plate, but it stays together better in a bowl):
A cooked hot dog or two (the Bar S kind is the best here... and the cheapest), cut it into bite sized pieces,
some pineapple (chunks are best, but crushed works too),
some corn (I always used the kernel kind, because I don't like cream style, so I don't know how that would be),
add some salsa to add some color and more flavor,
And ta da! yummy! You can also add cubed cheese for extra yummy.
Additional notes: Green beans go well in this "dish" as well as, or instead of, corn. Mandarin oranges do not mix well with the salsa. Nor does ranch dressing. Canned chili (or just kidney beans) does mix in quite well.

Anyways, Hal always seems a bit leery when he comes into the kitchen and I'm grinning from ear to ear and say "do you want some?" Understandable? I think so...

I seems to have gotten distracted...
I made breakfast today, and it was yummy!!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A new toy!

This is a post I meant to blog about like a month ago, and just didn't, so I'm writing it down now!

When we moved into this house, our lawn was almost dead. (Which, while it may be ugly, at least means we don't have to worry about mowing it or hiring someone to mow it.) Shortly thereafter, it started raining. And raining. And raining. I like to say it's either hot or pouring rain. Which while not being strictly true -- it's like 78 degrees right now and almost noon, not really hot -- does seem to convey how I feel.
Consequently the lawn grew and grew...
We arranged to have someone come mow it, and I told them to cut it really short. When they were done, and it was, in my opinion, too tall still, they told me that that's as short as they could cut it with all the holes and uneven ground I have. Apparently I have "rocks" (I have to tell you, I've looked and there's not so many rocks!)
Anyways, a couple of weeks later when the jungle effect was going again, I tried to hire someone to come mow again... I had multiple people look and got quotes from $35 to $50 ("$50 at least maybe more, we'll figure it when we're done") ... And I thought... Um "no"...
So, we decided I could mow it! My wonderful husband got me a new mower!

It's a self propelled mower and you know what? It's seriously like the coolest toy ever! It's even better than the weed wacker! (And that's saying something, 'cause boy, is that thing fun!) I went out to try it out after we got it, and mowed the whole front lawn having a blast! I think my neighbors thought I was a little nuts... I was grinning and laughing...
By the time I done with the back as well, the novelty had worn off a bit, but it's still awesome! It makes me feel so TOUGH!!! I just squeeze the trigger and off it goes! Vroom!!! How wonderful! :)

Monday, August 10, 2009

I'm back!

Ok, so I'm a terrible slacker at this blogging thing! (And most other things, but we won't talk about those!)

I'm been meaning to post forever! And just haven't... Sorry for all of you who have been wanting to read my ramblings... :) I'll try to to better!

So, when we last left off...
We've moved from Wichita Falls to Houston, and were trying to sell our house in Wichita Falls. And were trying to buy a house in Houston.

Well, after forever (like 4 1/2 months) of having our house for sale, we finally got an offer! So, we've managed to sell our house in Wichita Falls! Hurray! So that's gone! We no longer own a house!

And after getting frustrated and failing miserably at trying to find a house to buy here in Houston, we gave up, and found a big house to rent. It's bigger than our house was in Wichita Falls, and much bigger than the apartment we were renting. BUT it does have stairs! Which as we're learning, might not be such a good idea for us, since we both have "bad knees" that creak and snap and crackle as we go up and down the stairs.
It is nice to have our stuff with us again, not locked away in storage... and BOY do we have LOTS of stuff!!!
One of these days I'll take pictures of our house so people who like to see where we live (Nickie!) can see us and picture us here. (I really will do it sometime Nickie! I keep meaning to, I just keep thinking "I just need to organize this and put this stuff somewhere else first...")

So, no house buying for us. Which is probably for the best, since we're not sure that we really want to stay in Houston, and selling houses is almost as stressful as buying houses! (For us anyways...)

So, we moved into our rental house (here after referred to as our house) at the beginning of July, and a couple of weeks later (July 25th to be exact) left to go on our somewhat regular trip to California. We really like San Diego area, such wonderful weather! And happy people! The first summer we went there, it felt so warm and wonderful... Which coming from Pocatello, ID, where it's either too cold or too hot all summer, never a nice wonderful 75 degrees, was a great change. And this time, coming from Houston, TX, it was so cool and wonderful. 75 to 80 degrees feels fabulous after 100 degree days with 75 to 90% humidity... (Apparently we're having an extraordinarily hot summer here in Houston. At least that's what we've been told...)

In southern CA, we got to see one of Hal's friends from high school Tanner, his sweet wife Chandra, and their energetic hilarious son Parker. Tanner picked us up at the airport and we got to hang out with them all afternoon! It was great to see them again! And I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with Chan and playing with Parker! He's a fabulous little kid!

We visited the beach & played in the ocean and got lovely sunburns.

And we went to Seaworld twice (two visits for the price of one special) and got lovely sunburns.

...Seeing a pattern here?...

We visited old downtown San Diego and visited our favorite shops there -- a candy shop and a rock shop -- and ate disappointing Mexican food. We picked wrongly I guess... but by the time the plate is sitting in front of you and you see it and go "this isn't what I wanted!" it's kind of too late!

We visited Balboa Park and went to the botanical gardens to take pictures of flowers and went to a photographic gallery that had an Ansel Adams display, which was wonderful!

We went to Claim Jumpers for dinner and gorged ourselves on their fantastically huge slice of chocolate cake... Mmmmm...

We went to the farmers maker in Oceanside and got some yummy produce (green beans and grapes... mmmm...)

We went to this little Mexican place in Carlsbad Village (at least I think that's where it was at) called Cessy's taco shop, and had a delicious burrito. Hal said it was very similar to the burritos we used to get at Rolberto's in Pocatello... mmmm.... (The little bit I ate was good but very cilantro covered, hence why I only ate a little!) Now we know why we haven't been able to find those same kind of burritos here in TX... its a California style Mexican burrito (in Idaho)... And we had some of that delicious soft serve ice cream (for really cheap too!)

What else did we do? Hmmm... that's all that's coming to mind right now... but we had a blast! It was great to go away from home (and our computer games!) together for a little while.

We did have to be careful how long we were in the sun though, even slathering ourselves up with sunscreen we kept burning! Which led us to our discovery... Even though its warm and sunny here in Houston, nobody ever goes outside. Why? It's too hot! Verses in so CA, it was wonderful and everyone is always outside... I can't wait until fall when I get to be outside again! :)

That mostly more or less is what we've been up to...
Hopefully I'll do better at blogging! And I'll post a few pictures of our trip and our house soon!

In pet news...
For those of you who care, a while ago (like June or something) my mouse, Tilly, who I got last spring, has died. I was a bit sad and bummed. She had seizures or something like that all day. It made for a very sad tearful day for me. I don't watch animals suffer well at all! Tragically and luckily she didn't suffer for very long. My wonderful husband gave her a proper city burial for me, so that I didn't have to. (I zipped her a a plastic baggie and he carried her out the dumpster...)

In other animal news...
Yesterday it rained. And the baby frogs and lizards hatched! We caught two little tiny brown baby frogs (at least I assume they were babies). They were like the size of my little fingernails! They were so cute!
And I caught tiny green lizard that was on the front of our house. I kept them for a few minutes and then decided I wouldn't be able to find bugs to feed them, so I let them go... But we caught them! :)

I think that's all the news I've got for now!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


So, while I was living in Wichita Falls (without Hal) working on our house, for the first while, I had our ferrets with us there. Then when we moved all of our belongings down to Houston into our apartment, they were moved down here...
Then I was all alone! So, I went out and bought myself a friend that I could talk to...

Meet Tilly, the cow...
...mouse, that is.
I know most people find mice creepy, and truthfully, I kind of do too, but she is CUTE! I love her little ears! and little feet! I do feel kind of bad, 'cause after I came back to Houston where my ferrets are she doesn't get out much anymore, but I still find her adorable!

So now I've got my three ferrets, a turtle, a frog, and a mouse. Next up is a cat... or a hedgehog... :)

Monday, April 20, 2009

What is it?

I was driving along a road, just outside the city, while looking around at houses. And I was driving by this pond (wildlife reserve?) alongside the road. When I saw something I just had to stop to take a picture of. Just so you know, Hal is really the photographer, I usually end up with blurry stuff... I have a hard time holding still...

But I took this:
You may want to click on it to blow it up bigger. See if you can see what's in the middle of the picture...

Just in case you can't tell, here's an zoomed in shot...

I came home absolutely ecstatic and dragged Hal out with me to see if it was still there. And we found this sign nearby: Great, huh?
I think its hilarious that they have to post things like this! How many people had to "annoy" an alligator before they decided to post a sign warning them not to? Hmmm...

I'm totally excited about this gator! I've always wanted to see one in the wild! I'd love to get up close and personal with one, but... somehow that doesn't seem quite safe... You know?

Friday, April 17, 2009

What we've been up to...

Well... I'll have to come right out and say that it hard for me to remember what all we've been doing... Luckily Hal has taken pictures and blogged about some of the things, on his photo blog (which is awesome!)

First of all, finding a house...
It's going very frustrating! We found a house we wanted (3 bed, 2 1/2 bath, awesome kitchen and master suite, in a good area, everything!) and were told by the bank that they wouldn't finance it. Because... it is in a neighborhood where all the houses have a paved driveway, and it only has a gravel driveway... (the like 30 feet from the road to the garage)...
So, we found another one we liked, and made an offer on that one, and were out bid, so we didn't get that one either.
And once again, I'm off to find another house! 3rd times a charm, right?

And on the weekends, rather than just sitting in our sad little apartment, we go out and play tourist! There's TONS of things to do here in Houston! (Most of them cost money, but *sigh* sometimes we get to do things for free!) Last fall when we came down to interview for the job, we went to the zoo. (Hal has pictures from it on his photo blog, post Houston Zoo.) We went to the zoo again last weekend. I love the zoo! It makes me dream of a day when I'll own my own zoo! (I'm well on my way already!)

We've also been to the Houston Space Center (NASA). It was not quite as fun as we were hoping for and super crowded, but we went!

We've been to museums (the Holocaust Museum and an art gallery museum).

We've driven out to Galveston to go to the beach and ridden a ferry. (Galveston ferry)

We went to see the USS Texas Battleship and some other monument, and rode another ferry... (Monument State Park)
I really like the ferry rides! :)

And Mom and Dad Bradbury came down for an Army medical conference thing -- is it bad that I'm not entirely sure what Dad was doing? Hmmm... -- and we got to see them, and go to Moody Gardens, which I really enjoyed, and would like to go again after they're back up and running all the way! (Obnoxious hurricane anyways! Just closed everything down! Breaking things! Jeesh!) I'm sure we did other things, but that's the only one that comes to mind right this moment... It was really wonderful to see them again though!

On April 1st, we got to go see Les Miserables performed here in Houston (at the Hobby Center). It was awesome! Hal absolutely loves Les Mis and has always wanted to see it live! So, we jumped on the chance! Funny thing about that... Hal's so familiar with the music from Les Mis that he's been dreaming it... I'll wake up in the night to find him sort of singing-humming in his sleep... Less now that right after we went, but still... "Do... hear... people sing... angry men... music... slaves again..." Cracks me up every time!
We'll be going to see Rent at the end of the month, and I'm really excited for that one! I love Rent!

We go take walks in parks and Hal takes pictures with his newly acquired cameras... I'd say new, but the one is most definitely NOT new! He's been taking pictures with film lately, and loving it! The whole manual focus lens thing, and the waiting to get them developed... it's a lot of fun for him, and he's been enjoying it!

What else have we been up to.... hmmm... I know there's more, but there's a small sampling!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

House in Wichita Falls pictures...

So, I'm going to try to get back to blogging! Slowly but surely I'll get caught up to what's current...

I mentioned working on our house in Wichita Falls...
You can see more pictures of our house in previous posts, like this one: Pictures of our house.
I'll be posting a few of them here, anyways, but just in case! (I apparently don't do well with before and after pictures, or even actually have the pictures that I think I do! So, I apologize, I'll try to do better next time!)

Starting with the outside... when we bought it, it had a giant, huge, stinky in-the-way bush by the front door... it would prevent the door from opening, "knock" on the window in the wind, and be stinky!
So, we ripped it out. (Well, I cut it to bits and then the missionaries ripped it out for us, but... it was gone!)
I painted the overhang and part of the front of the house... it's not a great job, but it looks better! It might be more obvious in person, but I was proud! :)

When my brother, David, came down to help us with our house, he did the most amazing things!
This is what the bathroom looked like before...
He made my bathroom look oh, so pretty!
Granted, it's still (re-painted) white, but I've read houses sell better painted plain colors, like tan, white, off-white... And it just so happened, I had white paint! :)
He replaced the tub, tiled the floor, fixed the leaky toilet (which unfortunatly, sprung another leak later, so I took the tank off again and fixed it... hopefully for good!). And he removed the old sink & counter and put in a new one, and removed the old ugly mirror & lights, fixed the wall, and hung new ones! (Sorry, no before picture of this one!)
When we bought the house, the dining room had carpet, which I didn't really care for...
And the kitchen had this wall oven and counter top range, that we removed.

David also laid some flooring in my kitchen and dining room.
We were planning on just replacing the kitchen sink and counter, BUT the sink wouldn't fit into the existing cabinets, so we had to replace those too! Ugh! It looks mighty pretty if I do say so myself!

After Christmas, Hal came up from Houston with a friend from work, Anita and her husband Nino, for the weekend, and Nino trimmed (around the floor) in the dining room and kitchen, and they helped us pack up the house and drive it all to Houston! They were life savers!

One of the other things I did (after Christmas) was work on the half bath... which involved removing the tank from the existing toilet, removing the water-saver device that didn't work properly and prevented the toilet from flushing, re-assembling the toilet (my first one ever!). I did not remove the bowl from the floor, though! 'Cause there's no way I was going to mess with that if I didn't have to!
I replaced the faucet for the sink, and the valves that ran the water to it, because they leaked! And in the process of working under the sink, knocked it off the wall onto myself (we were both fine!) But I did have to re-attach the sink to the wall! Whew! And I re-attached it properly! Grrr!
This is the before/after shot of the half-bath... Everything you can see in it look exactly the same... sorry, I didn't take pictures of the faucet! (You're not missing much!)

I do like to tell stories!

Funny story about our old bathtub... One day in October or sometime right around there, I climbed into our bathtub to take a shower. And I'd swear, I felt it move! Well, it apparently DID move at some point, because it appeared to be sinking, in comparison to the floor and the wall... big cracks appeared around it, where the caulk around the tub had pulled away from the sheetrock surrounding it... Hmmm...
As scary as it is to have your tub drop an inch or two, I wasn't actually all that worried... it's not like it could go anywhere! Our house was built on a slab foundation, which just means it's sitting on a concrete floor. (Think of your garage or basement... imagine a tub sitting on the floor... not really anywhere to go, just a little obnoxious and scary when it moves!)

Anyways, when my brother removed the tub, he discovered why it had dropped. (And I'm really sorry to say I didn't take pictures of it!) We had a metal tub, probably the tub that was dropped in in 1961 when the house was built, anyways, there were bars running along the bottom of the tub to support it. And they had just rusted up and partially crumbled away! And the tub slowly dropped down... Tee hee... Not entirely certain HOW metal bars on the bottom of a bathtub rust off, but such is life! It amused me!

Stupid Dani story!
While David was laying tile in the bathroom, I was watching him smear the adhesive glop on the floor, before setting the tiles on it, and I decided that the gray goop looked a bit like clay! Okay, so it looks a LOT like clay! I wanted to play in it...
My brother, being the nice guy that he is told me that he didn't think it was such a good idea to play with it. It is cement after all... This "cement" word didn't scare me though! And I pestered and bugged him 'til he said "Look! Play with it if you want, but it's not a good idea!"
So, I proceded to smear it all over my hands and squish it and play with it... It was a blast! I had so much fun! Until it started drying and hurting... At which point I asked my brother what was going on, why it hurts...
He looked at me (in the typical you're being an idiot fashion) and informed me IT'S CEMENT!!! Cement has lye and sand in it. The lye was burning me and the sand was probably imbedding itself in my pores. Ummm... Oh...
So I went to wash, and lucky me, my hands hurt and itched for weeks! I had some really terrible looking red bumps all over my hands (I concerned the people at work. They thought maybe I'd gotten some horrible disease...)
Lesson learned: Cement is not a good idea to play with bare handed! Maybe next time I should wear gloves... ;) OK!! OK!! I won't play with it again!

Whew! So that was just lots of information! Sorry! I tend to get a little long winded! :)
I'll try to post again soon!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Checking in...

Hi everyone!
Boy, it's been a while, huh? (Sorry about that... we're alive and well! I'm just a slacker!)

Hal started his job in Houston on Dec 1st. He came down for a week, then drove 6 1/2 hours home for the weekend, then came back down for 2 weeks (staying in a hotel this whole time). Then we went home for Christmas.
In the meantime, I was working my job in Wichita Falls, and working with my brother David on my house. (He did a most fabulous job of re-doing my bathroom! And I love the floor and counter in my kitchen!) Thanks David! I'm awfully sad to move out of my "brand new" house!

Christmas in Idaho... was COLD! Suddenly I remember why it is we moved to Texas... To get far far away from the *brrrr* cold snow! It was wonderful to see our families! We love you all! We had lots of fun hanging out, talking & laughing, playing games, and enjoying the children and animals! (We've got some adorable nieces and nephew!)

Once we got back to Texas in January, Hal headed back to Houston, and I followed a day later, after taking care of some business (picking up accumulated mail, etc...) in Wichita Falls. I was here for a week, finding us an apartment and getting us moved in (not much stuff to move in, just what we had in our hotel room.) Then I left Hal here in Houston, again, and headed back to pack and work on the house a bit more. Two weeks later, we rented a giant (26 ft) rental truck, Hal came up for the weekend with some friends from Houston (a wonderful lady he works with, Anita, and her awesome husband Nino) to help pack the truck, hang trim around the newly renovated rooms, and drive back to Houston, where we unloaded our giant truck. Boy, we've got lots of stuff! *Sigh* One of these times we move, I'll just leave it all behind, I swear! :) Ok, probably not...

I stayed in Houston for a couple of weeks, lazing around, hanging out with Hal, dreading going back to finish up the house... Then I went back to Wichita Falls, where I spent two weeks working on my house and being sick. Amazingly enough, I finally finished and got the house listed "for sale."
On impulse, after another long day of working, I packed up the remainder of my belongings and started my drive back to Houston at 6 pm... It's a six hour drive, in good traffic... I gotta say, I was a bit loopy and tired when I made it - safely, I should add!

So, for anyone keeping track, Hal and I have, since the beginning of December, lived apart for 3 weeks, together for 3, apart for 2, together for 2, apart for 2 and now we're back together again! We decided we'd rather be living together, than six hours apart. It's awful!

It's kind of sad to be leaving our pretty house! (It wasn't pretty before, but now it sure is!) But we're excited to move again, and start a new chapter in our lives. That's my grand ol' summary of what's happened in our lives lately!

I'll post pictures of my pretty house soon!