Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I'm A llama in a bar and other tidbits

I'm back! After 60 hours of travel and ten days in China followed by 5 days of crazy jet lag I have returned more or less to my normal routine. I'm looking forward to getting back into the swing of house projects but first I thought I'd do a couple of posts on China.

Later I'll post some "real pictures", you know those rare times you leave the i phone in your pocket in favor for the DSLR??? But since I haven't uploaded the 800 photos from my camera yet I thought I'd start with the random i phone photos that I took. While there may not be any grandiose shots of the Great Wall among them I think they capture a different view of china or at least some of my experience in China this second go around.
Our first real view of China once out of the air port. Just one among a sea of high rises.

Jessie and I riding around the Hutong in Beijing in a traditional Rickshaw 
The liquor shelf in the nearby grocery store = the start to a very interesting night. Major bonus points if you can guess what kind of alcohol one drinks in China
One cannot go to China without appreciating the art sign translations...classic
Jessie and ventured out to the lake district for drinks

We weren't the only seemingly strange things in a bar of only Chinese people, oddly enough the local patrons seemed more surprised by us than the llama
Only in China can you start drinking beer at 2 pm on your tour bus while driving through what was once the most pristine agricultural land in China and is now a smattering of small rice patty fields, large gaudy houses and skyscrapers.
Shanghai by night...just as amazing as I remembered it
Being the transit geek that I am, how could I not jump at the opportunity to ride on the fastest train in the world??!!! Why yes that is how fast we are going, oh and when another train passed us...there was jumping, screaming, squealing. It was freaking amazing!
And finally trying to pack all of my "loot" to take home. Highlights, a fine porcelain Chinese tea service, a little Chinese tea set for Margot, a one year supply of top quality green tea, some art for our house and a silk dress for one Moon pie to open on her birthday.

Saturday, October 12, 2013


So I leave for China (OMG!!!!) in 36 hours. One would assume I would be packing right now. But it seems I'm inclined to do everything but pack. In my kitchen jars and lids are sterilized and ready for chow chow.
While the chow chow drains on the counter awaiting spices and cooking.
Homemade chicken stock is simmering on the stove.
And I've been arranging my new latte bowls on the window seal...
And setting the table for our dinner party tonight...and still not packing.

Monday, October 7, 2013

"mama pumpkin, daddy pumpkin, baby pumpkin"

It is a time honored fall tradition, taking ones child to the pumpkin patch to select their pumpkin. And so it was Sunday afternoon that we set out for the circus otherwise known as Lone Pine Farms. 
 Poor Margot was asleep when we got there and stayed asleep for the first twenty minutes only to wake up to complete chaos. 
Children where running and squealing, there was a cow train ride, a goat sky walk, children's birthday parties and countless first time parents attempting to catch a photo op with their slightly confused infant or toddler and a DSLR. 
But alas we survived, even had fun and came home with several "mama, daddy and baby pumpkins" as Margot says. 

Despite her generally confused expression at the farm she emphatically announced "pumpkin patch fun" once we were in the car. 
 For me, I am glad to have some fall touches scattered throughout my house.

Our fun day ended with a tuckered out Margot and lots of Sunday evening snuggles.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

New pipes now the real work begins

With ceiling demo complete we were able to have our plumber remove all the galvanized steel plumbing that was behind it. Coming up the wall from the ground and into the ceiling was the kitchen waste water line.
 There was also plumbing for the kitchen sink, the shop sink and a mystery line that seemed to dead end below the kitchen oven. It appeared to be abandoned during construction of the house. The galvanized was replaced with pex behind the ceiling and onto the the next connection. This way when we are ready to replace another section we can connect to this plumbing without breaking into the ceiling again.

Now that the plumbing has been replaced we will turn our attention to some smaller projects while we save up to have a new plaster ceiling put in this room in this room and a new kitchen floor. We left baseboard stripping mid-project so we will return to that, there is much more painting to do with the sun room, Margot's bathroom and the downstairs next on the list. And we would love to start looking into polishing our concrete floors downstairs.