Sunday, September 19, 2010

Birthday Breakfast

So far 30 is looking really good.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The 4 Runner

I know I promised honey moon pictures for my next post and instead you got a rant.
Well, guess what - you're about to get another one.  Deal with it.

Let's start at the beginning:
  1. I bought a car.  Cash. 1999 Toyota 4Runner Limited.  Right price, right miles.  Mechanic checked.  Loved it.  Bought it on 7/14/10.
  2. Plan to drive 4Runner to Florida for family vacation.  Took to mechanic for a trip check and oil change.  Let's be doubly sure that the car will make it there and back without a problem.  All checked out beautifully.  Just needed a new air filter.  8/26/10.
  3. Drive 4Runner to Florida on 8/27/10.  Drive 4Runner the entire week in Florida, to and from, short trips, trips as long as 30 minutes - normal daily driving.
  4. Pack it up and get ready to drive back home to TN. 9/4/10
  5. 7 miles from the house.  Count them. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. SEVEN MILES into the trip home an invisible robot jumps out in front of least that's what it sounded like we had run over when we threw a rod through the left side of the engine block.
  6. Promptly pull over, call Triple A and wait for an hour and a half for a tow truck.  Tow the now obsolete 4 Runner back to the beach house.
  7. Go to UHaul and rent a car hauler.
  8. Promise Mike our first born son so that he will tow us back to Nashville.
  9. Drink ourselves into oblivion.
  10. Ride 5 deep (+ dog) in Mike's extended cab truck for 10 hours to drop 4 Runner off at mechanic. 9/5/10
Moral of the Story - Watch out for invisible robots - they will screw you into buying a new engine to the tune of $6k.
Happy Vacation.

    Friday, August 27, 2010

    Pop of Color

    This is just a rant.  No pictures.  Nothing about my life at all so you may wanna skip this one.
    I HATE THE PHRASE "just adds the perfect pop of color."  As in, "These throw pillows just add the perfect pop of color to the space."
    Hate. Hate. Hate.  If I hear/read it one more time, I might have a postal melt down.

    I read a ton of home improvement and decorating blogs.  I pull ideas from here and there and I am SO over the pops of color that everyone keeps using in their rooms.  Seriously.  Could you just say "this colorful throw pillow" already instead of popping freaking color everywhere.


    Tuesday, August 24, 2010

    A Wedding Re-Cap

    I know it's been a few months.
    But here are a few of my faves:
    Before the ceremony. 
    Doesn't he just look so debonair?
    Yes, that is me writing my vows about 45 minutes before the ceremony.

    The Ceremony.
    We hadn't seen each other since about 2p that afternoon....when we were drinking beer on the front porch watching Nashville Electric Service figure out why, oh why, we had no electricity.  That was fun.
     Where is she?

      Well, how do I look?
    We took pics together after the ceremony b/c Matt didn't want to see me before.  It's bad luck, afterall.
    I am seriously excited about something....maybe it's the fact that we're freshly married??
    My Gawd. I. LOVE. THOSE. SHOES.

    And by God, there was dancing!!
    And a wardrobe change, for me at least.
    The kick ass band: Space Capone.
    And finally, how about a Krystal to finish the night:

    Next post - some of the scenic honeymoon pictures.

    Sunday, August 22, 2010

    July 4th - I knew we were meant to be.

    Every year we celebrate Matt's birthday for an entire week.  It's his only opportunity to run around and do nothing.  Lest you forget that he does nothing and ask him to do something such as feed the dogs you'll get a swift, "IT'S MY BIRFDAY!"
    We always throw an Annual Celebration of Matt's Birth Party on July 3rd even though his actual day is July 4th.
    And every year we go to our buddies Steve and Lisa's house.  They live on 3rd Ave with a rooftop deck, perfect for watching the downtown fireworks. 
    I have no pictures of either except the following:

    One might wonder why we have American flags stuck to our foreheads...
    Turns out we each, independent of the other, grabbed a flag as we were leaving and both stuck them to our forehead. 
    And that is how I knew we were meant. to. be.

    This post is just for Aunt Sally and Karen Ann - I know, I know, it's been a while.
    I need to update.  I have pictures from the wedding, pictures from the honeymoon, pictures of house progress.  Although the house progress has been non-existent since the wedding.  We're taking the summer off.
    I can show you where we were and where we are though. 
    It's coming, it's coming.  Keep your pants on!

    Monday, May 24, 2010

    We Did It!!

    I had an amazing time.  Matt had an amazing time.
    And if everyone isn't lying to us - they all did too.

    I don't know how many that were there will check this blog now, but if you do - Thank you for coming and making our day!
    If you have pictures, I'd love to have some copies. 

    Sarah B. Gilliam has some pics up on her blog.  Please pay no attention to my man-hands in the ring shot.
    Thank you Sarah, Sara Beth, and Melissa - it was great fun!

    A real blog update about the house progress, complete with pictures will be coming soon.
    And now....
    Back to regularly scheduled programming (life, just a little sweeter.)

    P.S. I was thinking that I'd change my first name to Ringger to avoid confusion...

    Tuesday, May 11, 2010

    Volunteer State

    I'm so proud of Matt.  Usually I'm the one that takes care of our charitable causes but not this time. 
    Matt made the decision last week that we do in fact have the time to volunteer.  There is no reason that we shouldn't.  We're young, able-bodied, and our house is fine. 
    On Sunday, we headed over to ArtHouse, the East Nashville volunteer epicenter, to give some time.  We were sent to a house on Moss Rose which backs right up to the Cumberland.  I cannot even describe the war zone that we drove into. 
    The houses were spray painted with "X"s from being checked for humans. 
    The roads and grass were covered in dirt from the river being over them and then receding.
    All the houses were being demoed: carpet pulled out, drywall cut out from belly button level down, kitchen cabinets gone, bathroom cabinets and sink torn out, couches, chairs, cushions, mattresses, TVs - All thrown into the front yards to be picked up by Metro garbage pickup.
    Matt got a couple of pictures but even these don't really show the severity of their situation.

    This is the front part of the yard. 
    The remainder of the yard all the way up to the house is covered in stuff to be taken to the dump.

    Obviously, Matt was moving when he took this picture but you can get the idea.  The back yard of this house was the Cumberland River.  Water made it half way up the walls inside the house.

    We're still on the water conservation effort.  Both Davidson and Williamson counties are running off of one water treatment plant...which means showering every other day at the most, only unmentionables in the laundry, no shaving, and really adhering to the hippie saying, "If it's yellow, let it mellow.  If it's brown, flush it down."   The word on the street is that we'll have to continue for at least another week and possibly longer.

    "Flood beards" like this are popping up all over town.

    Wednesday, May 5, 2010

    Nashville Floods.

    It's serious here.  People are dead and I bet much of the nation has no idea what's going on b/c there is no national coverage.

    This article says it best:

    Here is a link to some photos:
    And here:

    Matt and I came out fine with just some basement flooding.  Nothing a few 5 gallon buckets, a shop vac, and some heavy lifting couldn't cure.  Our biggest problem right now is the mandate to cut water usage by 50%.  Small potatoes when others have lost their homes, their cars, their loved ones. 
    I know at least 2 people personally that lost their homes and are now in search of another.

    Keep Nashville in your thoughts and if you have an opportunity to volunteer or give to the RedCross, please do so.

    In other wedding related news, the Hampton Inn on 4th and Korean Veterans made it through without any damage that I know of...The water did make it up to 5th Ave. but downtown is a bowl and Korean Vets is on the upper edge of the bowl.  If anyone went another direction and booked the Hilton downtown on 5th, they will be closed indefinitely.  Let me know if you need other options.

    See you in a couple weeks.

    Monday, April 19, 2010

    Work, work, work.

    That's all we're doing much so that I cannot find the time to update this little window into our lives.
    I can't even find to take the pictures of the finished product BUT what I do have are pictures of the work in progress.
    Living Room 1 - Before.
    Yellow paint - same color as the rest of the house.
    Someone got a crazy good deal on yellow paint.

    Dining Room.
    I think the vacuum cleaner and pile of randomness really set this room off.
    Quick - Someone call HGTV, we've got a genius interior to show off here.

    I don't have any before pics of Living Room 2 but you can get a little taste from this post.

    And now the fun photos of exactly why it's taking over 3 months to get through only 5 rooms:
    All that pink stuff is caulk.  After caulk dries, you get to sand, and clean, and then clean some more.

    That dust you see isn't on my camera lens, it's floating in the air.
    Note the dust mask Matt's wearing - Safety First.

    The pictures I've left out are the ones showing the cracks and holes in the walls that have to be patched.
    And sometimes when we're really lucky, we get to fill in the cut outs in the trim where the old HVAC vents were.

    Isn't that pretty? 
    The folder taped to the floor in front of it is covering the brand spanking new HVAC vent.
    The good news is that we've finished Living Rooms 1 and 2 but the contents of the Dining Room are currently residing in both so I cannot show you any finished pictures.  Maybe someday this house will be put back together into something that sort of resembles a home.

    Sunday, March 28, 2010

    "I'm gonna write you a letter."

    I stole that title from Mike's parents.  When they are not pleased with each other, this phrase always makes an appearance and I love it. 
    Completely unrelated to that story is this:
    Today we received this letter in the mail -
    Very official looking and scary.

    This lovely letter is from Metro Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Department of Codes Administration.  Great.
    We have been "notified as owner" of our house of the following violations:
    Section 16.24.330 - Accessory Structures: All accesory structures, including detached garages, fences, and walls, shall be maintained structurally sound, in good repair, and in an otherwise safe, clean and sanitary condition.
    Section  16.24.330 - Open Storage: It is inlawful to store in the open area of tha yard or structure, trash, rubbish, furniture, appliances, automobile parts, including dead trees, weeds and garbage, etc (Junk, Trash, and Debris).
    That is a verbatim quote of the code law from the letter. 
    And what exactly are they talking about, you ask.  It's this:

    Our delapidated carport.

    Yes, it looks gross.  Yes, there is a fridge, a window, a shopping cart, a trash can full of metal, and about 1000 square feet of tile in there.  I know, Metro, I know, I HATE it too.
    But for the love of the Golden Cow, today is the first nice day we've had since we moved into this place.  I cannot believe that you honestly think we should have been out there in 12 degree weather and 6 inches of snow taking care of this.  Nevermind the fact that a whole lot of that "junk, trash, and debris" was left by the previous owners.  Thanks.
    Here's another doozy of a quote for you:
    Therefore, you are to have the violation or cause removed and/or corrected before April 26, 2010.
    Removed? Right, b/c we have about $8k lying around just burning a hole in our bank accounts for this very purpose. 
    And the deadline...seriously?  Sorry but we're a little busy trying to work on the inside of the house Where We LIVE.  And plan a wedding.  And work full time jobs. 

    So Thank You Metro Nashville Codes Department.  I'm gonna write you a letter.

    Sunday, March 21, 2010

    Mary Jane, Marchgiving, and our Doggie Disaster Weekend

    We'll start at the beginning. 
    Our plan this weekend was to take the pups to the vet get Mary Jane's "good leg" checked out, get their shots, have Marchgiving at the Vecchiomisterton household, and paint the 2nd living room.  That was the plan.
    Saturday morning:  We get up have some coffee and start getting ready to head to the vet.  I'm putting clothes on and Matt lets the dogs out.  I hear one of them screaming.  Not howling at a squirrrel as usual but screaming in pain.  Of course, it's Mary Jane.  The genius was chasing a squirrel and ran head on into a stump that is as big as she is....And it begins.
    We head to the vet hoping to get in early.  We get in and discover that her shoulder is swollen (from running into the stump), her "good leg" probably has a partially torn ACL, and they both get all their annual and every 3 year shots.  They weren't happy campers.
    Saturday afernoon:  Matt primes and paints the trim of the 2nd living room.  While I head to Bellevue to discuss wedding centerpieces and to the grocery then prep for Marchgiving.
    Saturday night:  Marchgiving goes off without a hitch.  Good food, good drink, nothing was set on fire - Success! 
    A picture from last year since I forgot my camera this year. Fail.

    We get home, let the pups out, and get ready for bed, it's about 230 am.  Matt proceeds to pass out and I keep hearing puppy collars rattle.  I get up to find Mary Jane's face swollen so bad that her eyes are barely open and she keeps shaking her head.  Cue prompt freak out:
    "Oh my God, oh my God, Matt....MATT - look at Mary Jane!"
    Frantic calls to the emergency vet and a mad search for some Benadryl ensue.  So began one sleepless night on the couch....
    Sunday morning: MJ is in a Benadryl induced coma, Doobie is being Doobie, and we paint the walls of the 2nd living.  Matt says, "Does it look like Doobie's face is swelling?"  Shit.  Yes, it does.  His ears are burning up and he's shaking his head like crazy.  Cue Doobie's Benadryl induced coma and 4th call to the emergency vet. 
    Sunday evening:  MJ's stomach is upseat, meaning I've cleaned up her stomach contents 4 times today (I'll spare you the visual), and Doobie is running around like he's on crack trying to make his paws stop itching.
    The only thing we can figure is the vaccines are causing this allergic reaction.  Our pups are miserable, we feel helpless and the new vet will be getting a phone call in the morning.
    ANOTHER Benadryl coma is headed their way.

    The good news is we have a painted 2nd living room and we have enough Marchgiving leftovers to last a week.
    I'm scared to even ask the there anything else, seriously??

    Sunday, February 28, 2010

    And another one down.

    Not that I didn't love our house before but now when I walk in the front door, I LOVE our house.
    The foyer was this:
    More yellow walls and trim that showed it's age, including hinge and door cut outs. Since this was a quad at one time, the foyer had a door on each side to separate the 2 apartments on each side of the house.

    Matt turned it into this:

    It's good to be home.

    Sunday, February 21, 2010

    One Down...

    Ok, so I'm serious this time...
    We have one room done. D.O.N.E. DONE.
    And we're so happy that there is a room in this house finally that isn't yellow.
    Some before, during, and after pictures for your viewing pleasure

    Please appreciate the untiled tub and subfloor covered in beautiful pink shag rugs, plus the cloudy mirrored medicine cabinet, and what looks like a light fixture that should be an old gas station bathroom.

    We were so happy to have a room a color other than yellow we left it primed for a whole week before painting it a color.
    Please note the missing medicine cabinet, that is a different light fixture (I know you can't tell) and the beautiful tile work now in place.

    And finally, the after shots:
    New light fixture, new mirror, new wall color, freshly painted ceiling and trim, new towel ring, tp holder, shower rod and curtain, freshly painted details like door knobs and heat/air vent...

    And Matt's favorite part, finally, there is a door in this house that locks:

    Snow Pics

    Now that it's 60 degrees outside and I can finally appreciate the pictures of our house in the snow, I'll share them.  Before I was too busy cursing and shoveling/sweeping the driveway...thankfully, we got some use out of some of the crap that last owners left behind...
    I mean really, how many people down here own a good snow shovel - we do now.
    Enjoy -

    A photographer, I am not.  ....maybe someday I'll grow some talent until then, you just have to suffer through my lack of skill.  Night time pictures never turn out as great as I think they should.

    Sunday, January 24, 2010

    The Car

    Ya'll are gonna love this one -
    So we all know that my Dad has this thing with's a collectors type thing. That in and of itself doesn't sound too bad except that his collectors type thing usually leads to conversations such as this:
    Me calling Dad, while driving away in one such car -
    "Hey....ummm, you know there are 3 different dashboard lights on right now, right? Is that normal?"
    Dad -
    "Oh yea, that's normal. I like to keep lights on to make sure they work. (while uproariously laughing) And watch out for the windshield wipers, they spontaneously turn themselves on, that's normal too. And keep an eye out for the power brakes, sometimes they just don't work..really, you'll get a nice leg workout when that happens."
    Me -
    "What about the power steering? It feels like I'm wrestling an alligator to make a left turn..."
    Dad -
    "About that, it comes and goes...kinda like the windshield wipers."
    Me -

    Feast your eyes on said car:

    Looks nice right? Riiiight.

    All the issues listed above I inheireted.
    The following I grew all by myself:
    A few months ago I was at the grocery store, I shut the truck and the license plate fell off. On the ground. It's currently propped up in the back glass.

    On my way to work on Monday – The driver’s side window fell off track and is currently being held up with wedges stuck in the door.

    And guess what happened on my way to work Thursday, when it was raining like hell – my windshield wiper flew off….Like the entire blade thing (not just the rubber part) was dangling from the arm.
    Thankfully I was only a few blocks from the house so I circled back around and creeped home without wipers then cursed my way into figuring out how to reattach it while holding the umbrella over my head with my chin…I looked like a damn circus act. It's still attached but I don't trust it.

    I mean really, you just have to laugh, it's so ridiculous.

    Monday, January 11, 2010

    It's Stopped Pouring

    So my last post was kind of a downer. I have to admit I was overwhelmed and pretty pissed at the world yesterday until.....
    10:15 PM.
    At 10:15PM, both Doobie and Mary Jane start howling like crazy. WTF? I go to see if someone is on the porch and I hear the glorious sound of running water.

    "We got water, We got water!!"

    After 5 hours of a canon style heater being pointed directly at the main water pipe headed into the house, we finally got some water moving.
    The funny thing about water is that is drips and runs down walls and falls from ceilings and ruins hard wood floors. The water I heard running was actually running and dripping from our upstairs bath to the doorway in the downstairs bath and then to the hardwoods below. Lovely.

    Now what do we do? We can't turn the water off b/c it'll freeze again. We can't leave it on, it'll ruin our hardwoods. ARGH.

    So I called my dad for some plumbing/frozen pipe expertise....his advice: "find the leak." Really? I could've figured that one out on my own.

    Meanwhile, Matt has crawled into the wall behind the upstairs bathroom to try and find the leak and I've lost him. So of course, I yell for him, find him, and we discover that it's not a busted pipe but the cast iron drain pipe had been leaking (probably since we bought the house, we never use the upstairs bath.) Since the water is turned off in the sink, there is no more leak.

    Hallelujah. Angels sing. And we sit on the couch and drink wine, quite pleased with ourselves.

    A side bar to that story is this:
    When Matt was younger, his Mom, Ronnie and he would do a lot of hiking and camping. Once in Florida, during a drought, they almost set their campground on seriously, like a whole bunch of bushes caught fire and they were really close to calling the Fire Dept. and Smokey the Bear. So while Matt and Ronnie were frantically beating the 5 foot flames with towels soaked in water trying to kill it, his Mom was running around and opening and pouring cans of root beer on it.

    After we hit the couch, wine in hand, Matt proceeded to tell me that I was about as helpful as pouring out root beer, running around screaming his name.

    Thanks Honey.

    Sunday, January 10, 2010

    When It Rains It Pours

    What a beautiful faucet. It's all polished and bronze and pretty. Do you notice something not quite right though??
    Take a 2nd look.
    That's right. It's on. There's no water.
    Now that we're working on our 9th day below freezing our old plumbling just couldn't take it anymore....even with the radiant heater in the basement. The pipes froze.

    But wait there's's the rundown of our last week.
    • Matt's car - his "ecgc" sensor (no idea if that's the right name at all??) went out on his car, while at the shop was told it's time to replace his timing belt.
    • Heater unit in the basement - drain pipe froze and the pump was continuosly running.
    • While down there checking out the heater, found that our downstairs bath pedastal sink had been leaking into the basement.
    • One of our 2 outdoor spigots, the one in the shed, froze and burst.
    • Main pipe bringing water to the house is frozen and we're currently without water.

    And just to add insult to it all, today, during mile 1 of Matt's 5 mile run, his Ipod flipped out. After he has spent the last 2 weeks cleaning up his music folders and adding CD art to all the albums in the library (over 5600 songs). To him, this is the worst of all.