Friday, January 13, 2012

What can be better than alcoholic chocolate milk?

It is like getting in touch with your inner child by drinking an adult beverage.

And how can you not like, no, love this?

At first I tried the regular ChocoVine.  It was yummy, basically adult chocolate milk.  But the one above is the espresso ChocoVine, much better than the regular.  

This is not my favorite chocolate wine.  My favorite one is probably still "Noche" by Cooper Vineyards, I mentioned that one earlier.  I have also discovered another good chocolate wine but cannot remember who makes it. I will post about it soon. 

Back to ChocoVine, this is more like chocolate milk rather than chocolate wine.  So, next time you are in the mood for chocolate milk, throw out the Ovaltine and try some ChocoVine. 

'til next time...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Addition update - progress has been made

I was looking at my blog today and realized that I haven't updated about the progress on the addition.  The best part is, there is actually progress to report.

At the end of November we moved the bookcases to their new home, you can read about that here.  But since that post we have installed the crown molding around the top and painted the bookcases.  Like everything else around here it is not quite finished so I can't take it off the list but it is still progress.


We have also been working on the outside as well. Our property is very sloped and we had to dig into the hill when we started building the addition.  The long range plan was to build retaining walls once the addition was completed. However, we have been getting so much water under the house every time it rains that we had to move forward with that project. Last month we had a company come in and start digging the footers for the retaining wall.  This was a very effective way of entertaining our toddlers, you can read about that here.

This is what our yard looked like behind the addition. Notice the logs?  I call those "redneck retaining walls", they didn't really work.

After a day of digging we had lots of dirt piles.  A little boy's dream come true.

Then after days and days and days of work, we have the first level of wall up, 110 feet of concrete block.  Now Peter is digging back 8 feet to make room for the second level.

Basically, we are building our own Great Wall of China.  It is possible that the Great Wall of Rightmyer may take almost as long to construct as the China version. Once all the block walls are up we still have to clad all of the walls with brick. Peter and I were discussing how many bricks we need for the first level of wall. We discovered we can't count that high. It is somewhat discouraging to realize you will have to lay more bricks than you can count. However, bricks are pretty small, not too heavy, I see no reason why Wythe and Ainsley cannot start their masonry training soon.

Now for the big news.....the bathroom!  After months of trying to pick tile, pick paint colors, changing tile, changing paint colors, making up my mind, changing my is finished.  I can no longer change my mind on the tile or the layout of the tile.  I could change my mind about the paint color but I think I am content to let  that be.  This bathroom has been a story unto itself.  I think to do it justice I will need to write a post only about the bathroom, so you may be hearing more about that later. But for now, here is the picture of the bathroom prior to tile/paint/etc. 

And here it is painted and tiled. We are still waiting for the shower head and I need to do some touch up work, another coat of stain on the cabinets, hang the window curtain, things like that.  But this is pretty much what it is going to look like.

It is so exciting to see things finally coming together, perhaps this will motivate me to finish painting the rest of the addition!

'til next time...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A coat of many colors...

but isn't it adorable?   I think this is my favorite coat for her.

'til next time...

Friday, January 6, 2012

The pros and cons to heating with a woodstove

There are many great reasons to heat with wood.  If you have enough trees on your property then it is basically free, provided you put the muscle into chopping down the tree, splitting, stacking, etc.  Also, there is nothing more cozy than a house with heat radiating off of a wood stove. 

However, the downside is, unless you get up during the night to keep filling the stove then it is freezing in the morning.  It may take a few hours to get the house warmed up to a comfortable level.  We now keep our furnace set on 60 degrees so that it will come on in the night. We found that when the house drops into the 50's it takes forever to warm back up.  It probably doesn't help that we have all hardwood and tile floors in the house, they get ice cold as well. 

Here is what it looks like some mornings around our house, particularly when I am having a rough time getting that fire going. 

'til next time...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Year's Resolutions, working on the house, and so on and so forth...

We rang in the New Year the way we spend most 11:59 P.M.'s.....snoring peacefully away.

There was a time a few years ago that we would have been partying, or having some neighbors over, or watching the ball drop, but those days are temporarily on hold.  Our kids are usually in bed by 8 o'clock.  That means 4 long hours of trying to stay awake to welcome 2012.  Just wasn't gonna happen this year.

We did however, have a weekend that  pretty much summed up our entire year.   We worked on the addition. We painted, sanded drywall, promised ourselves that "this time next year we will be enjoying this space in our house and will have forgotten how many hours we worked on it" seems like we have said that before.

But we did make good progress. I finally picked out a paint color for our new bathroom. I know that doesn't sound impressive but it really was quite the accomplishment. Did you know there are approximately 64,000 shades of green at Home Depot and Lowe's?  I know because I have bought a sample of each one of them, painted a test patch on my wall, primed over it and gone back to the store for more.  I finally chose a color that I really don't like, in fact it almost makes my want to throw up a little in my mouth, but I made a decision, so that it good.

We finally broke down and hired "Professionals" to tile the bathroom.  Something about being almost 3 years into a 6 month project just wasn't setting well with us.  The are supposed to start the tile this week, that is the main reason we were motivated to work hard vs sitting around drinking champagne.  Although, had we heard a 'pop' in the distance we would have gladly set down our paint brushes and followed the bubbly.

Since I put "New Year's Resolutions" in the title I should probably address that subject, as distasteful as it may be.  Basically, I'm still working on those, I kind of allow myself the whole month of January to let the resolutions fully develop.  I do know what #1 is.

#!.  Finish the dang-blasted addition project.

That resolution has actually been number one for the past few years, but this year I switched it up a little and added the "dang-blasted".  I hate to jinx anything but I'm feeling good about this one.

I usually have about ten resolutions and this year I'm really trying to have better resolutions and stay away from all the standard ones you hear about.  I used to always resolve to 1. lose weight  2. drink less alcohol  3. drink more water  4. improve relationships with various people, etc., etc., etc.  My failure rate was high, thus my happiness and confidence was low.  So, I took charge of the situation and resolved to make better resolutions, resolve to not do certain things throughout the year.  "I resolve to: 1. not get addicted to nicotine  2. not rob a bank  3. not gain more than 20 pounds (unless pregnant)  4. not get drunk before 5pm (except on weekends or holidays).  Things like that, you get the picture.  I can honestly say my success rate has been high.  But this year I'm really trying to raise the bar a little.  So bear with me as I cogitate a bit.  If I come up with more resolutions that are sharable then by all means, I will do so.

Happy New Year!  Bring it on 2012!

'til next time...