Monday, March 31, 2008

Easter Sunday at the National Cathedral

This is called the Smithsonian Castle which was built in 1855. It's beside the National Mall and use to be THE Smithsonian - now there are 18 museums that make up the Smithsonians.

You may be wondering why this photo is here when the title of this post says 'National Cathedral.' Maybe you're not wondering. If not, just skip this paragraph. MetroMan (who was not actually "MetroMan" YET) and I were trying to figure out distances. I had looked and studied my guidebook and everything seemed to be walking distance for us. Yet, different people kept saying "OH NO, you don't want to walk that far." So we were checking it all out. We were heading towards the National Cathedral, but we had some time. The flowers were beautiful ... tulips, and tulip trees. It was picture time:Now, I have no idea who this car belonged to, but MetroMan and I both realized that we had NEVER seen a Washington DC license plate. So, of course, I took a photo of it. Don't report this person... they did nothing wrong except park their car in the place where I realized I had never noticed a plate like this.

It took us awhile after roaming around the mall to figure out the Metro (the subway system). Once we did, we hopped on and rode to what we had been told was CLOSE TO the National Cathedral, but in fact, was at least 1/2 - 3/4 mile away. That was OK, we love to walk.

We could see the spires up ahead... way up ahead. Here's what we walked up to:We were there for an Easter Evensong service. It was beautiful. What I didn't realize, is that this cathedral was started in 1907. Actually that's when Pres. Theodore Roosevelt laid the foundation stone. Services started in 1912, but only in the Bethlehem Chapel. Services have been held here ever since... but it wasn't completely finished until 1990! THAT surprised me.
These two photos above, are the West Rose Window. The afternoon sun was coming through in the first one. This photo doesn't do it was absolutely beautiful! There are 10,500 pieces of glass in this one window! I read that there are actually over 200 stained glass windows. This is the "High Altar". Standing in front of it, I turned around and took this photo looking toward the front, down the nave. On either side where you see people sitting, I think this is normally for the choir... but I'm not positive. We were here - after the Evensong service - to hear a tremendous organ concert. If you look all the way down the nave, you can see the West Rose Window with the pinkish light coming through. I was in awe. I also read that this is the sixth largest cathedral in the world ... and the second largest in the USA. Impressive.

Back outside, the late afternoon sun was shining on it. The color looked totally different. The stone used is grey Indiana limestone. See this gargoyle? There are 112 of them around the cathedral. They actually spout water away from the cathedral during storms! I wish we had had a pair of binoculars to see all the different faces and expressions ... oh well. The side of the cathedral...equally impressive!And I'll end this post with MetroMan in front of the Cathedral's front doors.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

MetroMan and I come home

Recognize this?

My MetroMan and I just returned from an awesome 8 days in Washington D.C. The cherry blossoms were in bloom ... the weather was wonderful ... and my MetroMan and I had an absolutely wonderful time.

We flew back to San Francisco yesterday ... landing about 5:30 p.m. Once we got the car, we went to Gabe and Emily's, went to Chevy's, crashed (asleep... not the car) and got home about 4 p.m. Lots of posts will be coming about the trip. I've had some debates in my head about how to post this trip - and I actually have not settled the debate yet. Either way, you'll see lots of photos and read about a great time in a beautiful city.Do you recognize this airline? Remember this story?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The carpet is complete...and we've got a little semblance of order around here

On Friday, the carpet was completed ... and I absolutely love it. The new room is so warm and cozy. The wood has never come in so they can finish the rest of the downstairs ... oh well ... John (who owns the floor company) said now all of it will be in Wednesday. Then it needs to 'acclimate' for about 5 days. So it'll be around the 25th or 26th before it's complete.

Pete came over on Saturday. The first thing he did was trim both of the doorways into the new room. In this photo, he's up on a ladder ("hold on, let me suck in my gut") in the entry from the kitchen. My guy was staining boards so Pete could put them up.

After working on the framing, Pete and Ron moved some of the furniture in. What a difference! It's starting to feel like home again.

We haven't put up any pictures... just some of the main furniture is in.
I think from these photos, you can get a sense of what it's like. I'm loving the wood stove! Actually, right now, as I write... I just ask my guy if it was hot up here or was it me. The hallway is 75 degrees... our hallway is NEVER 75 degrees! I love it!
PostScript: I realized I hadn't included this photo - the new dining room .... so I just added it in. (Monday night).

Thursday, March 13, 2008

We have some new carpet...but we're in dire need of the cleaning lady

We've seen this lady before...and boy do we need to see her now.

"Why?" you ask.

Take a look at these two photos. I have to let you know these are Lindsey's room. Yep, the neatest one in the family has the absolutely messiest room. However, I can't mislead anyone. Lindsey did NOT make this mess. Actually, Lindsey doesn't even live here anymore. She's been married for over five years and was away in college before that! So who do I have to blame?

Quite a mess, don't you agree? I do have to say, our home is not normally like this. Lindsey will tell you that we have too much stuff... and I agree with her, but this is over the top. It's like this for a reason...
Come on up and I'll show you... oh wait just a minute! What is that camera case doing on the floor? And look at those stairs...notice anything different? Come on down the hall...
and here is the boys' room. Gee, the boys haven't lived in this house in years, but I still call it 'the boys' room.' Well, their room and the stairs was what was carpeted today. Yesterday, they did the hall and our bedroom. Tomorrow, hopefully, they'll be able to complete the new room.

Actually, it won't be totally 'complete' because the hardwood isn't here. The new room's carpet will butt up next to the hardwood in 3 places... I think they're just going to cut the carpet longer where it will meet, and then once the hardwood is in place, they'll cut and finish the carpet in those three spots.

It's coming along... slowly but surely!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008 angelic vision

Because of the not-enough-wood-situation, the goal for tomorrow is to lay the pad for the new room, and to carpet our bedroom and the hallway.

Which means, all the furniture had to be moved out...and it's big...and it's heavy... and there was NO WAY I could help my guy move it. Pete wasn't home and I had no idea what we were going to do. So, we started by taking out drawers...and moving what we could.

There was a knock on the door. My heart skipped a few beats....

I opened the door and there was this angelic vision standing there in the form of PETE! Now, I'm not sure if those are words usually used to describe Pete "Angelic Vision"... but that's what he was to me. I think I just stood there and stared at him for a minute... "Ahhh, Pete!!!""Ah, I love to move!" stated the angelic vision moving through our house with my guy as they grunted and groaned and moved massive furniture in a very short time.
My guy was analyzing every move, while Pete just said, "Come on Ronny, just move it!"Ron was slightly concerned... this angelic vision was just having fun moving furniture!"Gee, I thought this was going to be tough. This was EASY!" (This statement came from Pete!)

After Pete left, I told my guy, "WHAT would we do without Pete?" My guy... he just shook his head.

Thank you, Pete...

Unfinished Business

Well, now you see what I mean by "unfinished business"! The wood floor was SUPPOSE TO BE finished today, but that's kind of difficult to do when there wasn't enough wood ordered!

You heard me correctly... not enough wood.

John, the man who owns the company who is also the one that did the measuring, was VERY apologetic. He miscalculated on the amount in the boxes. More wood is coming from LA, but not enough. RATS. They'll hopefully finish the kitchen on Friday...but the remaining wood won't be here until probably a week from today!In these two photos above, you can see the wood in the room with the fireplace...what will be the dining room. There are no baseboards yet, but all that will wait until all the wood is finished.

Looking below...well, more of the 'unfinished business' I was talking about.Patience....

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Out with the old...In with the new

Say 'Good-bye' to the parquet. It's been walked on, had glass shattered on, knives dropped on, cats, dogs and kids have run across its surface, well, it's been pretty abused, but it's held its own. It's been a faithful companion.

Tomorrow - sniff, sniff - it's leaving.

Parquet's companion, Grey Carpet, is also leaving us. Actually, just part of Grey Carpet is leaving... only that part that's downstairs. The upstairs part gets to hang around an extra day or two.

I decided I better take some photos for nostalgia... so I don't forget what it was like for 20 years!Pete and Ozzy came over this morning to help my guy move the furniture out of the room with the fireplace. I thought we should just put it all out in the garage. Pete said it was no big deal to move it into the new room...then move it back to this room once the wood is in... then move it back in the new room once the carpet is in. Ok, Pete! They did put the table and the entertainment center in the garage.Ron said I should name this post "Out with the old, in with the new" and this is "THE NEW" ... the new hardwood. Remember I told you it had to acclimate? Well, we've acclimated!Today was SO INCREDIBLY BUSY. We worked all day cleaning out closets, under beds, and my guy removed 42 pieces of trim! Yep, you read that correctly - 42 pieces of trim. That was part of our agreement with the floor company. My guy is going to restain it all before we put it back up. You can see here where he removed one of the 42 pieces.You may wonder WHERE did those 42 pieces of trim go? Well, here they are... along with some other pieces of new trim that we stained today. These will have to be moved ... probably on Tuesday night. I think they'll carpet this room on Wednesday.The new room looks a little cozier with some furniture, even if it's on a cement floor.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Jack's first day of school

It's always exciting on the first day of school. I love the kids who are flexible and don't complain.
Take Jack for instance.

Here it is his first day of school. This adorable little man can't even see over the desk ... but does he look like he's complaining? Why, no!

He wanted to READ!

Not wanting to squelch his love of reading, I asked Jack what he liked to read. He indicated he liked sports and movies. Ok. Let's see what we can find.I need to be honest and let you know it wasn't really Jack's first day of school. He came with his sweet mama... my friend, Karen.It was so much fun to see them both! Because Jack is SO ADORABLE, I decided I should post the other photos I took of him in the short time he was visiting:
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