Friday, August 21, 2009

Day Trips & Fun Spots in the Pioneer Valley

Andy has four days off next week. We'd initially thought we'd make a trip to the Cape at some point, but because of various life things right now I suggested we do a "vacation at home" instead.

So, instead of spending the money to go away and stay in a hotel AND pay for every meal, we'll stay here at home but do vacation-y, explorer-y trips each day.

After all, we've lived here in Easthampton since June and really haven't explored much, like Mt. Tom or anything. We just went to Look Park in Northampton for the first time on Monday!

With this plan we can also actually splurge on a few nice restaurants and maybe even buy some "souvenirs" in our travels, AND get some exercise AND have fun in the nature and towns of the Pioneer Valley, Massachusetts.

I was reading a recent post in a great local blog, in the valley, that has some amazing pictures from Mt. Pollux (click on that link to see them). So, I think we might try that for a picnic one (clear) evening. The sky from that spot just looks breathtaking!

Also on my list is the Montague Bookmill, which sounds very exciting to me, and the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst. Have I mentioned I'm an English Teacher? This is the stuff that gets me going!

(Now that I think of it, Mark Twain's house is in CT... maybe I should see how long the drive is?)

If you know of any fun places to go to see, eat, enjoy - whatever - anywhere here in the Pioneer Valley, please suggest it!!

Found Me A Job!

Time to reveal that I've got a job! I will be teaching Poetry and Newspaper for an after school program here in the town.

Where I live.

Trying not to reveal too much.

Trying to be professional.

Very happy to be teaching again. This program will be quite structured and for this I am thrilled. I am in the process of doing curriculum plans. Nice.

Other than that... I was out of town last week visiting my grandmother in the Midwest. She's in the hospital. It's kind of stressful time, as she's 92 and we all love her so much. That's about all I'll share for now.

We took Vivi to the vet today and she got her rabies shot and took it like a pro. That bitch has got mad skills as toughin' it out through the pain and discomfort. Like her moms.

She also has gained 2.2 pounds, for a grand total of 6.2 pounds now!! She's growing so fast and it just breaks my heart. I can't imagine having a baby, as this puppy's throwing me for a major loop. Ah, well.

Back to my research for lessons now...and if anyone has any tips on producing a class newspaper (like, um, can it be on regular 8x11.5 paper?) please leave 'em in the comments section).

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Puppy!

Click here for pictures!

Some are old but there's some new ones on there.
She just turned 12 weeks yesterday. We've had her for 5 weeks now.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Away for a Bit

I'm in Michigan now for a family thing, but I had to take a moment to post this video (I found it on dlisted) which made me laugh. Enjoy!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Before & After: Kitchen (Step 1)

We went back and forth deciding what color to paint the kitchen (the first of many steps in fixing this space up).

We were going to go for white, because we want a clean, open, light space...but decided on the same pale blue (Behr's Cool Sky) with white trim (Behr's Creamy White) that we used in the living and dining rooms. One reason is because the first floor of our house is very open and you can see each room from the others. We wanted things to feel connected, cohesive, and not broken up (since the rooms aren't huge and don't need to feel smaller than they are).

Another reason we went for the pale blue/white combo is because it's just so pretty. Every time I look around at the walls I say, "Isn't this so pretty?" So, why not spread that love to the kitchen?


See how light it is now, without that dark green keeping everything in shadows?
The blue might not go with things yet, but soon it will all come together.

The next step we plan to take is to paint or stain the cabinets white. I say paint, Andy says stain so they're kind of white-washed with the wood grain still showing through. I'm open to anything - does anyone have experience/knowledge pertaining to this? Please share!

Eventually we'll also (over who knows how many months) replace the sink (I hate this one!), replace the counter (probably with granite, though a big part of me yearns for butcher block), put up a tile backsplash, and change the floor. Speaking of which - what do you think of the floor? Sometimes I love it, sometimes I hate it...

Saturday, August 1, 2009

What's Cookin'?

Our kitchen - the color, that is.

(Wait, does color cook? or does a kitchen cook? Whatever. The question was "What's cookin'?" meaning "What's happening?" and the simple answer is "We are painting our kitchen." Whew. Sorry.)

We spent the last two days priming & painting the kitchen. We finished today, and although we still plan to paint or refinish the cabinets, I'm really not one to wait, so I'll post (pre-changed cabinet) before and after pictures tomorrow.

Am I making sense? I don't think so. This is what two days of painting does to my brain. Ouch. Consider this a word problem.