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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spring "Break"

So this last week has been spring break and apparently it has been a self-imposed break from blogging as well. I got some house work done, some bonding time with my pups and Reid... and a little bit of school work done as well. Most importantly I got rest. I start rehearsals for Bright Ideas tomorrow... and that means that I'll be at school Monday through Friday from early in the morning until at least ten pm. I needed this week to recharge my batteries and am glad that I was able to do so.

Luckily for me, Reid had Thursday and Friday of this week off as well. He has been putting in a lot of over-time lately, and though the county can't pay him for the time they can compensate him with time off. Thursday he worked on overhauling his shop. His main birthday present was lumber (romantic, I know) so that he could build some benches and work tables. Also on Thursday I took three of our four pets to the vet (only Tater didn't have to go). Happy to report that everyone got a clean bill of health (though Clementine's shot made her very cranky for two full days afterward!).

Friday was a very fun day for us. Reid, the dogs and I ran some errands and then hit the road! We went to the Garden of the Gods National Park in Colorado Springs. For those who don't know, it's a park within the city limits that is nationally recognized because of the bizarre rock formations that are located within the park, namely really big red stones. They look strangely out of place and really beautiful, even against the cloudy sky that we saw them against.

The dogs, me... and the "Siamese Twins"

All four of us (obviously something behind us was infinitely more interesting... at least to the dogs)

A pretty shot of some of the rock formations, even with random strangers in front of them!

The dogs really enjoyed the walks (we walked for around two hours on two different paths). They did not enjoy the car ride there. Each of them puked twice. I think they are trying to prepare me for motherhood. We also stopped at Petsmart before we got to the park and, let's just say, it's going to take a bit more training for Winston to be a part of respectable society. Every time he sees another dog he gets excited and starts baying... no little bark here. And, of course, when Winston starts, Tater does as well (not that Tater has any idea what they are barking/baying about mind you). Having one baying beagle in a store is a little embarrassing. Having two is enough for me to send them outside with daddy while I paid at the check-out!

The other big news of Friday was that after the park we stopped at Home Depot. A few weeks back we received a nice refund from our mortgage company because they with-held more escrow than they needed to in order to pay our taxes. We have been wanting, desperately, to replace some of the light fixtures in our house. We ended up buying six fixtures and the replacing took us most of Saturday morning, but goodness was it worth it. They look great!!

Unfortunately, we did not fully understand the wiring of our guest bathroom. You see there is an overhead light and two vanity lights, with one light switch. You would assume that all three lights are controlled by the one switch. Well, we all know what assuming does. After installing new vanity lights on either side (which we first spray painted a great gun metal color), we found out why the lights we replaced had their own little switches on the bottoms... they aren't controlled by the switch. Only the ceiling light is. The vanity lights are on the same breaker as the light in the laundry room, which also has a pull chain to turn it off and on. In other words, unless we want the vanity lights to be on all the time (or we want to turn them on and off by going outside and throwing that breaker) we would have to break into the conduit and install a second switch in the bathroom. Yeah... we don't feel like going to that much work. So... after several options were discussed (including a trip to Walmart that left me pining for a Home Depot to come to Alamosa), we decided that we are going to spray paint the old fixtures that were up there, look for new glass hurricanes for them... and call it good enough. The fixtures that we hung in the bathroom will be taken down and installed one in our bedroom and one in our living room (replacing two more ugly lights... really, the ugly light quotient of this house was through the roof).

I thought I would show you the changes photo-journalism style, 'cause that's just how I roll. Here you go:

I hate fluorescent lights... Okay, maybe hate is too strong of a word and should be reserved for things like war, injustice, etc. Okay, I dislike them in shops, and labs... but in a kitchen they are truly horrible.

Here is the handy Reid hanging our new track lights! He offered to take a photo of me hanging the lights as well. I declined... and let's say that is because I want you all to think that I have a handy husband who does it all for me and not because my hair was three kinds of crazy and I was still wearing my pajamas!

And here is the best picture I can get of the track lights during the day. They give out a great amount of focused light... and at night they look great! They definitely make our cabinets look better than the plywood things that they are! Unfortunately, the only thing this picture really shows is that our refrigerator door is begging to be decluttered.

All I can say about this chandelier, that is not centered in the dining room but hanging in the middle of nowhere is yuck!

This is the other light that was in the big dining room... yes, you would be right in saying "But Jenna, they don't come anywhere close to matching one another"). I'm just not a fan of the bright shiny gold...

So, this is what we replaced both of those fixtures with (sorry it's so dark). The design is NOTHING like what I though we would go with, but now that we have them up, I love them. They complement the yellow walls and give out a really beautiful glow. They are classic and yet simple.

And, most importantly, they match!!

Unfortunately I did not get a picture of this light fixture before we dissambled it to take it down (at this point in the process the "fun" of hanging lights was gone and we just wanted to get it done!). This adorable children's fan was hanging in our guest bedroom... where it looked totally out of place. And Reid swore that every time he looked at it, he felt like he had just entered a circus tent.

So we replaced it with this! Look familiar? We spray painted this fixture (and the light at the bottom of the stairs that matches it) and I like them much more this color. It is a nice, neutral light for a guest bedroom.

And finally the poor misguided bathroom... here are the light fixtures that we wanted to boot out the door, but will now most likely be finding hurricanes for and repainting (at which time I am sure that I will love them muchly).

Though, aren't these perfect and beautiful there? Sigh... ah well, these will find other homes in our house.

And for all of you environmentally conscious readers, never fear. The ugly chandelier, the flourescent lights and the circus fan will all be going to property storage at Adams State, to be used (no doubt) on a future set. And when we replace the ugly lights in the bedroom and living room, those will go live at Adams too.

If you read all the way to the end of this post... thank you! You have a great deal of patience. And mom and dad, hopefully this will satiate your need for Jenna info for at least a few days.


Alice said...

So, you've been busy.
Puking dogs huh?? What fun.
Albie did the same for Grandpa when they went south while I was west.

JayD said...

Satiate my "need"??? Not even close. Though it was a nice update :-)

Stephanie said...

I love how many pics you always include in your blog! Inspiring :-)

JayD said...

And how goes play practice?

Jamie said...

Love the pics! You guys have been busy. The garden of the gods is gorgeous, I have had the fortunate experience of going there twice! It makes you love Colorado all the more.

Sophie said...

Thanks for the comment, Jenna, and thanks for the clarification of the phrase/meaning! Isn't spring break the best? I love that about being on a teacher's schedule. The garden of the gods is beautiful. I hiked around there with a friend for several hours. Actually, all of Colorado Springs is beautiful! Anyway, nice to meet you :) Sophie