Aug 31, 2005

September 1 update

Okay so we have been busy and remiss in our blogging and photo updates. So sorry.

Here is a quick and dirty update (photos to follow as soon as we find the camera cord):

  1. HOUSE: The new house is looking better. Furniture came (via mambo movers) and we pretty much finished the downstairs (or round 1 of the downstairs) renovations. The carpet is gone, wallpaper is gone and we are awaiting the floor refinishers (week of Sept 12) and new blinds and then the first floor will be pretty well complete. The second floor looks the same, still has wallpaper and everything. On third floor we took out carpets and painted the paneling in one of the rooms. Its quite a transformation. We painted our front door a dark purple and got a really cute doormat. Our neighborhood is terrific. One thing I particularly love is the trees on our block. I also love the proximity to things. We have Faragelli’s bakery on one corner, Ippalito’s fish market on the other corner, and a grocry store, pharmacy and all that jazz three blocks away. We are also located near the Italian Market, which is really an amazing place to discover. All these cheese shops and butcher shops and all this fresh produce and stuff. Pretty cool.
  2. WORK: Mike started his job at the EPA last week. Mike got a teeny weeny studio in Capital hill/ Eastern Market area of Washington DC, and he started on the 22nd of August. So far, the commute and the job have been a tough adjustment (Well who wouldn’t have a hard time adjusting to a desk job after 4 years of non-desk-job jobs and 2 years of school and 3 months of traveling footloose and fancy free?) but we are looking forward to a reunion in Philly this labor day weekend! As for my work (Karin) I am using this opportunity and move to shift my career and get out of the Instructional Design business for a while. I have realized over the last few years that I seriously miss working with others - I have felt rather isolated working on my own without co-workers, and frankly, Instructional Design has not been fun and creative enough for me lately and so, I can just tell that I am ready for a change. So the gist of it is that I have decided to embark on a search for “what’s next” -  I will continue to work, but for the next year, I will work only on a part-time basis so that I can have some time to explore some new directions by meeting with friends and community leaders about new possibilities and maybe even volunteering in the community.  
  3. FAMILY: Our families are doing good. We have nothing much to report!

Aug 12, 2005

Family in the News

So my mom released a research study back in late July, and I am a very proud daughter!
It is all about women who step out of the workforce, and how hard it is for them to re-enter the corporate world. The bottom line is that if you step out and even if you don't intend to go back, you need to stay connected to the business world in one way or another -- It is a very noteworthy and timely topic for many of my friends who have left the workforce to be full-time moms. Here are a few of the articles I have seen about her study:

Aug 9, 2005

Work work work

After a weekend of guests, family events and all kinds of distractions we've gotten back to work.
We've primed the Living room walls (almost entirely) and everything is half painted right now. Last night, we put up our new foyer light and dining room lights from Ikea. We made yet another trip to lowe's. We painted and cleaned some more. And last night for the first night in two weeks, we slept on a bed! What a delight to get a full night's sleep.

Today, we have a lot of the big work still ahead of us that we’d like to get done before Thursday morning, when our movers come to bring all of the rest of our furniture and stuff.

  • Finish painting the living room (its primed, but now the pain needs to go on, 2 coats)
  • Finish touching up the orange in the dining room (Needs another two coats at least but I like how it looks)
  • Paint the dining room walls and windowsills
  • Touch up the foyer paint and trim
  • Touch up kitchen paint at top
  • Take up the carpets on the third floor and on the staircase and bind and put out for tomorrow’s garbage
  • Scrape rest of black tar stuff off the living room floor, pull more staples
  • Clean living room floor up with some Murphy’s Oil
  • Take up all the kraft paper, clean floors up in the first floor
  • Peel paper in our bedroom (Might not happen today)

Aug 3, 2005

Living room today. All the wallpaper is gone and the staples are almost out of the floor. Now we have to prime and clean the floors up before we paint it.  Posted by Picasa
Our living room after we took up the carpet yesterday. That's my mom helping Mike. Both of our moms have been really helpful. Posted by Picasa
Here's our new living room on the first day we moved in. Posted by Picasa

Aug 1, 2005

Back in Philly

So we are home at last!

We arrived on Friday, around 12 noon, and got into our house. At first, I was so stunned by how much dirtier and trashier our neighborhood is than the one in Charlottesville. Both mike and I noticed that right away - how dirty some of the city streets are. Our street, thank goodness is very clean and very filled with trees.

Anyway, we went in the house and at first, it wasn’t as big as we had been imagining, which was really good! The house itself is in great shape, really clean. We can live in it right away, and work on it as we go, so first thing we did was unpack the car and set up camp in our upstairs bedroom. Then my parents came over with steaks and chicken and we went to the storage unit and got out our grill and patio furniture and set it up on the new back patio. Mike’s parents stopped by on their way home from the airport and then my brother Patrick and our friend Steve stopped by too. It was fun. We all ate on the patio sitting on boxes and stuff, and shared some wine. They all loved the house, and it was a great way to celebrate the end of our journey and the beginning of our new journey.

As we have been here, more folks have stopped in and we've gotten started on the wallpaper removal in the downstairs. The great thing is that, unlike the last house, there are no dark and scary places, nothing that worries me and nothing that I cant live with for a few weeks. There are no spider colonies hiding in the closets. The difference I feel in the karma of this house against the other one is pretty dramatic. It feels so much better, more positive. Everything went very smoothly with the purchase and with all the neighbors have been stopping to introduce themselves, which is really different than Charlottesville (Only one neighbor came over to say hello when we moved in and many never ever introduced themselves). It also helps that Mike's brother lives across the street with his partner, Robin...that will be fun! So for many reasons, it already feels so much more like a home than our other street in Charlottesville ever did.

The floors that were under the carpet are not too great and the wallpaper is coming off very slowly. We're about halfway through the living room. Basically, wallpaper removal goes like this:

  1. Score the walls
  2. Spray the walls with Dif
  3. Peel layer 1 of paper off
  4. repeat the process for layer 2 and then try to get all the little pieces off.
  5. Wash the glue off
  6. Sand the wierd spots
  7. Prime it

So needless to say, things are going slowly here -- the foyer wallpaper is all off, and all of the border in the kitchen and dining room. Mike is taking the popcorn ceiling off in the foyer in the morning and then it will all be ready to paint in the foyer. We started peeling the living room paper and I expect that 2 more full days of it and we should have all the downstairs walls ready for painting too. So it is coming slowly, but to be honest, we are doing it somewhat slowly. We are also exploring the nieghborhood and trying to get out at night. My mom and Dave's partner Robin both stopped by yesterday to help which was a HUGE help so we got more done than we would have alone. Today Mike's mom and Aunt Bette came by and dropped off all these tools, rags, ladders and Jersey fresh produce for us.

Otherwise I love the neighborhood and so does Mike. He's happy with the house - and the location and I know he feels that I will be safe here and happy while he is gone all week. And in general both of us feel a lot better about this house than we did about the last spider colonies, no surprises really and lots of good energy. So many neighbors have stopped to say hello and introduce themselves, and our local democratic committee person came over to welcome us and give us voter registration cards. Yesterday morning we walked done to Christian Street for brunch at Sabrins's (Yum it was fantastic!) and as we walked, we ambled through the Italian Market and I could tell that Mike felt excited about having all of that fresh food and gourmet cheeses, meats, his fingertips, which makes me glad.

Okay so in a burst, that’s the scoop. Its great to be here!
p.s. The blogs are going to continue, but in a less frequent (like once a week) way.