Thursday, June 26, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
I mentioned a sandbox project, and I think I mentioned taking the pick-up to go get a load of sand that I found on craigslist. Most of the sand is in a big tarp, while some is in a temporary baby-pool sandbox.
The project update is that the sandbox diggers arrived! They will be installed on the one side of what will be a large playground area I'm wanting to build for the boys (in the photo they are in "Portable" mode - the feet can get changed out for a long post that I'll concerte into the sandbox).
So far, the plan is to have a castle playhouse (complete with dugeon!), a slide, and the two diggers in a big sandbox.
Some assmebly of our new toys yesterday. A utility cart for the garden tractor and a big deck canopy to shade the deck during the day. Tris tackled the cart while I mostly worked on the canopy (scary swinging the long metal poles around on the deck with that above-ground electric line up there!).
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
The big projects are coming too, including new exterior doors, new flooring in the master bedroom, dining room, and extra room. And we'll be doing a massive poison-ivy removal, the gardens, new floors in the foyer and hall bath, and replacement of all the light fixtures and outlets. Not to mention getting quotes on a new garage, a full kitchen remodel, and the sandbox / playground project. Fun!
We'll post photos and updates on individual projects as we make progress (I'm especially excited about the dramatic post-poison ivy removal podcast), so watch for those.
What are you guys planning? If you have a house project coming up, tell us about it here (click comments below) - we'd love to know what stuff you're working on.
The storage locker is about 75% empty now, and we should have it empty before the next billing cycle (July 9). We'll have the PODS box delivered the Monday we get back from our vacation and start that unloading process (with help from some work buddies to get the big stuff brought in).
The computer hasn't been moved yet, so I can't upload photos, but we'll post a photo update later this week. Yay!
Friday, June 20, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Of course, the motivation here is to keep up with technology, but the other benefit is that this blog will soon have a complimentary podcast! Yay!
So watch for regular podcast episodes of We Live In Indiana! featuring the whole family to start appearing sometime in the next couple of weeks!
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Previously, paper diapers offered me a break from the daily washings and it was a sort of vacation. Now I just feel like I'm drowning in dirty diapers.
When you run out, you have to go to the store, not just do a batch of laundry- and they're expensive too! Cloth costs a bit up front, but then you don't have to buy anything, anymore, at all basically.
So now that I have experienced both sides, I have to say that I just feel even more strongly that cloth is the best choice :)
Monday, June 16, 2008
Yes, they are mostly on Saturday, but there's plenty on Sunday and Friday, too. And then a few on Thursday, and it's not unusuall to have a couple happening on a Monday or Tuesday, either.
Anyway, that's kinda fun, because you can really do some "impulsive yard saling" that way. And that's how we found this great workbench for the boys. We also got s stack of PlayHut tents, and a Little Tykes baby playground swing.
The other naturally occurring oddity here is Morell mushrooms. They are apparently very tasty and impossible to cultivate and grow on a farm. That makes them very rare and valuable. I've heard that at farmer's markets they sell for around 80 to $100 a pound! And folks hunt for them and find them, somewhat randomly in the woods, out in fields, all over the place - you just have to keep your eyes open for them. I've heard that they mostly only show up in the Spring - so there's another thing to put on the ol' "Indiana To-Do List."
Friday, June 13, 2008
We journeyed all over Southern Indiana today, with one of our stops being the Forest Discovery Center, which is basically a big museum all about logging, wood, and the forest that's right at a big saw mill. The coolest thing is the awesome factory tour - catwalks criss-cross the whole place, letting you look down over all the workers and machines. You can see how they take raw cut boards and take them all the way through to being fine, intricate trimwork, turn sawdust into composite boards, and do all kinds of fun chopping and sawing and whatever!
So, we were driving around Southern Indiana checking out some of the small towns and getting to know the area better, and we ran into Route 50! We knew it ran through Indiana down there somewhere, but it was a surprise to see it in person. For those who don't know, US Route 50 runs coast-to-coast, from Maryland to California. It winds through all sorts of old towns along the way, too. So I think we'll make a vacation out of a trip back to VA one day and take ol' Route 50!
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
First, I got some first-hand looks at the flood clean-up in Martinsville. It's just like on TV, but with the scope and scale of seeing it in person - piles of gooky furniture and carpeting in huge piles in front of houses, debris everywhere, trucks and dumpsters and people just emptying literally everything out storage lockers, churches, shops and buildings into parking lots to either dry out or simply have hauled away.
Second was the traffic. Or lack thereof! We left Bloomington around 7:15 and arrived in Indianapolis at around 8:10 or so - door-to-door it took about an hour to travel some 50 miles. There wasn't a single slow down or even a stack up of cars at a traffic light. Totally bizarre, especially when we got to the beltway and into the city itself - it was like driving around Fairfax County at 3 a.m. traffic, except here that's what rush hour is like. It's completely mind-boggling.
Friday, June 6, 2008
The strange thing about it is the selection. Specifically, there's no selection at all. I guess that's what makes the prices so low - you get what you get and that's all. For example, we wanted to buy ice cream, and they had chocolate Klondike bars, Popsicle brand FudgePops, Twix Double Chocolate, generic ice cream sandwiches and 5-gallon tubs of vanilla. That's it. Randomly tucked in with the food stuff they have other things, too, like a treadmill, a stack of $9 light fixtures, or a gas grill. A surprise around every corner, and they re-fill the store with more random stuff each week as things get bought up.
Here's the Wikipedia entry on ALDI if you want to read up on what it's all about. The ALDI website is nice, too, and they have the BEST TV commercials. We also have a Save-A-Lot in Bloomington, which is a rather ickier version of Aldi and not as clean and pretty. ALDI is my new favorite! Yay bizarro shopping!
Thursday, June 5, 2008
At our apartment, the parking lot started to flood, so I moved both our cars up onto the sidewalk - just in time, too! The water was about one inch from coming in over the bottom of the door on the Honda Accord. (this photo is from our apartment window) Some of the low-lying apartments actually got wet, and parts of Bloomington were underwater, too. We've been told that this kind of flooding is not typical, but does happen every few years if there is a series of large storms. But the funny thing is, to us, it seemed like the rain wasn't that bad - but then again, being from the East Coast, we've been through hurricane-driven weather.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
But, we did the math on things, and if we want to move ourselves out of our storage locker, get a big load of sand for a sandbox at the new house, buy lumber for a shed, avoid delivery or haul-away costs for new appliances, save on delivery for firewood, trees, mulch and other things, it made sense to go with an old truck rather then beating up the minivan or spending the same money on a hitch and a utility trailer. So, we set out to find a pick-up for under $1,000 and ended up getting this one for only $650 (no doubt thanks to it's lovely aesthetic appeal)!
And since there's no regular inspection like in VA, it doesn't matter if things are broken or worn out - there's no "required" repairs (like a horn or working windshield wipers). At the same time, we don't really want to drive this truck regularly, so that stuff doesn't matter - just runs over to Menard's or to Lowes is all we need it for. And since it's old and easy to work on, I'm expecting that I can take care of regular maintenance and simple repairs myself.
Plus, it's lots of fun! We're really excited about having a beat up old truck - we're feeling a bit more at home here in the "Heartland" having it. Plus, it'll look much better once we get it primed and painted all sorts of funky fun colors!
Anyway, McCormick's Creek is fairly modern and well maintained, with pools and lots of facilities. There's camping (only $6 for primitive sites!), fishing, hiking, a great nature center, a cave you can go in, and even a waterfall you can go under! We spent a good part of our morning in the creek itself, right at the base of the waterfall, catching crayfish and enjoying the cool water. This park is very near our new house, so I think this will be a frequent weekend destination for us for years to come!
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
I think not having an alarm go off in the morning and getting to have breakfast, as well as dinner, together as a family has had a very calming effect on all of us. It's a much easier morning for me, certainly, because Eric gets up with whichever kid gets up first! So we're all getting just a little bit more sleep and feeling a bit less rushed.
Mark was very confused about Eric being gone this morning and kept looking for him in the bed and the bathroom. When Dean woke up he looked for him too and then looked at me and said, "DaDa!?" Really sweet.
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Interestingly, they didn't have your common "combination fried rice", so I selected the seafood combination, expecting that this would be a combination of all, including seafood, i.e. shrimp. I was wrong! This was why they called to confirm my order- the seafood combination fried rice is shrimp, crabmeat, and scallops!! Weird. So I substitued chicken for scallops. The crabmeat was an interesting addition and didn't taste like much of anything, but the upcharge for the seafood was minimal, so it was worth it to try it out. All in all, I give this new experience an A+!