Sunday, July 26, 2009

Harry Potter at the Museum of Science and Industry

Last Friday I took a day off of work to go into Chicago with the N-boy. It's great that we live close enough to Chicago to be able to take advantage of some of the great things they have there.
This trip was to go to the Museum of Science and Industry.

We decided to take the train in; something that the N-boy has done frequently but that I'd never done. We ran the numbers for taking the train versus driving, and it turns out its about the same when you consider tolls, gas and parking. Not to mention the train was much more relaxing and we got to read and talk instead of drive in the toll road.

We got off the train just two blocks from the museum, and so we were able to walk over and get tickets to see..... the HARRY POTTER EXHIBITION!!

I was so excited! They had the Ford Anglia in the main hall way of the musuem.

We spent the morning looking around the museum before going into HP in the afternoon. We couldn't take pictures inside, but it was super cool. They had lots of the props from the movies. It was amazing to see them up close and look at all of the details they put into them. They even had a set up of Hagrid's Hut where you could sit in his chair and quaffles you could throw through Quidditch Rings. For any HP fans out there who are near enough to make it to Chicago, I would definitely recommend going.

In the farm exhibit they had an old billboard from my favorite soda,
Vernor's, a type of ginger ale.

And for the MomCat and Daddo--this one if for you. Maybe I should give you a little bit more time to clone Francine the Sheep for me.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Goldilocks and the multiple houses...

I cannot believe it has been so long since I last posted. It has been super busy. And I do mean super busy. With what, you may ask?
Well I haven't made any progress on knitting the sweater....

I haven't worked on any quilts...

But instead.... the N-boy and I bought a HOUSE!

The original plan was to buy one by the end of July. Due to the N-boy's health crisis this spring, this was not an option. I was upset, but ok, the plan changed and we moved forwards. Fast forward to last week. We'd already decided that we were ready to start looking again, and so we got in touch with a friend of mine who is also a Realtor. On Monday we went to the bank to start the pre-approval procecess. On Tuesday we met with Realtor and her sister (they work together) to go over what were were looking for in a house neighborhoods we liked, etc. On Friday, we got a call from the Realtor: someone else had already made an offer on one of the houses we'd really really liked online. We panic and run over to the bank after work, begging them to give us something to use as a pre-approval letter. As we are sitting in the bank, our Realtor calls to say that the first deal had fallen through. Phew.

Saturday morning we go to look at houses. We look at about ten of them.
Some of them are nice,

some require too much work to fix up

and one had a stream, fountain and koi pond in the back yard.

Which while festive, does not fit our current needs. (This is starting to feel like a bad version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.)

But there was also "the" house.

A three bedroom, one and half bathoom, 1456 square foot house with a basement, hardwood floors, two car garage, and nice yard. And it's super cute. By 3:00 on Saturday afternoon we'd put in an offer. By 5:30 on Sunday the sellers had accepted the offer.

Today we had the inspection, and with the exception of a few things we would like to be fixed, it was GREAT. The inspector said it was a great house.

The listing is no longer on the website and there is this beautiful sign in the yard!

We close on August 25 and are so excited! Now that things are calming down, I'll blog more this week. Anything to keep from having to pack!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Laying by the pool and The 4-H County Fair

It was another busy Saturday here in Indiana-land. The day started off bright and early with a very playful kitten and on of his favorite toys:
the paper bag.
Before we adopted cats, I had no idea that they could be entertained by such simple things. I mean, this paper bag is one of his favorite toys (in line only behind the cardboard box and the hedgehog puppet). Which is great, because it means he has cheap toys, and not so great because it means that I do not have an excuse to buy the cats those cute little sparkly mice and balls and other fun things at the pet store.

However, I digress. Once the kitten had been properly entertained, we rode our bikes down to the Farmer's Market.
This week's bounty included rhubarb, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, a red onion, peppers and bacon.

Then, while the N-boy went to do his own thing (which I'm pretty sure involved proof reading a colleagues dissertation-ugh), I slathered on the sunscreen, grabbed Harry Potter (books 4 and 5) and my knitting and headed down to the pool. Where I spent three and a half glorious hours splashing in the pool and then lying in the sun, reading HP and eating cherries from my binge last week at Meijer.

A lot of cherries.

Then, we were off to the 4-H County Fair.

The N-boy recalls many county and state fairs from his childhood as he grew up in rural areas. I, however, do not recall any such adventures. When I confronted my parents about this childhood deprivation, they both insisted that I had attended both county and state fairs in Nebraska as a child. A very small child, but still, they counted that as a win for them.
At the fair there were many rides. We didn't go on any, but enjoyed watching them.
I thought this one (which I believe was called the Ring of Fire) looked nice with the flags.

We did, however, at the N-boy's insistence, play several games of Skee Ball. It was super fun, and we both had a good time. I do remember playing skee ball as a child, so I clearly was not deprived of all things fun and festive.
Look at how intense the N-boy is!

We both managed to score a 150 on our second games, winning a small package of gummi candies. Yum!

And then there were the animals. Since we were at the fair on it's final day we missed seeing the barns full of animals. I think I was ok with that for this first Indiana fair experience.
We did however get to see the...

I will not bore all of you with the dozens of pictures of animals I took. I mean, do you really want to see ten (bad) pictures of the cute little cows? No cow is that cute, even if it is a champion. However, I couldn't resist sharing this cute little goat.

And this champion turkey. What makes a champion turkey anyway?

At 7:00 they had a motocross show. Again, something that I had been deprived of as a child.
The men on their motorcycles looked very focused.

I was pleasantly surprised, albeit alarmed, at the daring displays of jumps and wheelies.
I mean, isn't this dangerous?

The N-boy wore an expression of "Well, I could do that, couldn't you?"

We wrapped up the night by walking around the midway.
They'd turned all of the lights on when it started getting dark, and it really was quite beautiful.

We ended the evening with one last dessert-tropical snow (also known as Italian ice). We used to eat these occasionally when we lived in Lawrence, KS, so it was a nice treat to have them again. They were a nice refreshing way to end the night out.

Once we got home it was pretty much straight into bed, as it was quite late. There, we found the other cat waiting for us. Or more accurately, we found Catcat stretched out to her full length on the bed, wondering why these silly humans were interupting her nap time.

We had a great and very full Saturday. Today has been a much quieter day, with sleeping in, some chores and cleaning, and several episodes of The Wire on DVD. It was a wonderful weekend, althought I would have liked to get some more crafting done. It's just so hard to want to stay inside and work at my sewing machine when it's gorgeous outside.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Finished for Friday: Harry Potter Books 1-3

Lit and Laundry

This week I'm participating in Finished for Friday hosted by threeundertwo over at her wonderful blog Lit and Laundry. This week...Harry Potter!

For those of you who are completely oblivious to all things Harry Potter, the movie for book six (the Half Blood Prince) is coming out next Wednesday. In preparation for this glorious day, I'm re-reading the whole series. I typically do a re-read at least once a year, and this seemed like the perfect time to do it.
So while I haven't finished the whole series yet, this week's finish is books 1-3.

I'm currently on chapter 26

of book four (the Goblet of Fire)

and hopefully will get it finished up this weekend and move onto book five (the Order of the Phoenix).

I know others out there are also doing re-reads of at least book six (threeundertwo and Daddo, for example). Daddo had better get a move on though, as he was only on page 71 last time I checked.

Be sure to check out some of the other finishes for this week!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Fourth of July Weekend

For the Fourth of July weekend the N-boy and I went to visit his parents up in Green Bay, Wisconsin. As I'd mentioned in my previous post, I was nervous about this visit, due to the N-boy's getting so sick this spring (he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder-more about that in the future, when I'm ready. Let's just say it was a very rough spring here.) Well, it was a GREAT visit-perhaps one of our best trips to see them. We were able to have some good conversations out the health situation, ate some good food and saw beautiful scenery. I can't wait to go back!

Here's the front of their new house.The floor plan is eerily identical to the parsonage they moved out of!The first night there we went to eat at Applebee's up at Sturgeon Bay. Food was ok, but the view from the table was great.
Sturgeon Bay is where they build very large ships.
On Saturday we spent the whole day up in Door County. We stopped at a Piggly Wiggly along to way to get the makings for a picnic on the beach.
The N-boy insisted we get a picture of the sign.
Here is a picture of the water in Green Bay. I didn't even know there actually was a Green Bay. Look how clear the water is!We spend a lot of time just walking around some of the cute little towns in the area. Lots of them were Scandinavian themed. This one had a sod roof with goats on the top!Here is D-Mil and I in front of the goats. For the celebration that night we were invited to a cottage on Green Bay by some of D-Fil's congregation members. It was an adorable little cabin, and had a great dock, beach, and view of the bay. We had a super delicious dinner (BBQ ribs, corn, salads, desserts) and then waited for it to get dark.

The N-boy sat looking out at the Bay and relaxed.

And he watched the sun go down.

When it got dark there were HUNDREDS of (likely illegal) fireworks all along the bay. They just kept going and going. It was super nifty, especially with all of the bonfires people lit, as well. Unfortunately, all of my fireworks pictures just look like a bunch of pretty dots in the sky, so I won't make anyone suffer through those. Clearly my night time photography skills could use some improvement.

Overall, though, I think both of us had a great weekend, and I think the N-boy's family did too. Sunday was highly uneventful; we attended church, drove back to Indiana, and managed to get extremely lost in Chicago when we accidentally got off I-90 and couldn't figure out how to get onto Lake Shore. But we made it back, and even had time for me to relax by the pool for a bit. I hope everyone out there had a great holiday weekend!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Finished for Friday: Polka Dot Dress

Lit and Laundry

I'm joining threeundertwo over at Lit and Laundry again this week for Finished for Friday! Yesterday I took a day off work as a comp day (for leading the Taste of Chicago field trip last weekend). I went out for a bagel, read Harry Potter book 2, and worked on this dress:I'd gotten the pattern back in May at JoAnn Fabric when it was on sale for $1. I know that princess style seams look best on me, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. I've made skirts before-successfully-and was hoping this would be just as easy. The N-boy picked out the fabric himself!
Here are the pattern pieces all layed out. After I took this picture I realized the fabric was folded the wrong way, so I had to take everything off, re-fold and re-pin. I'm counting this as a finish because it is put together, even though it still needs some tweaking to make it fit correctly. The Momcat has already promised to help me with this. The problem is that the arm holes are a little tight, the bust line needs a little adjustment, and it's a bit too big from the waist down. In the picture below You an kind of see the problems with the sleeves.BUT for my first attempt at sewing clothing in many years, I think it turned out ok. I'm going to try a skirt again next, to see if I can't do better with something a wee bit simpler.

The N-boy and I are heading up to his parent's for the holiday. They took a new call (ELCA) last November, and this will be the first time for me to visit them there. It will also be my first time to see them since the N-boy got sick this Spring, so I'm a bit nervous about that. His illness is definitely going to be that big elephant in the room that noone wants to talk about, but that needs to be discussed. Oh well, I'm sure it will work out ok, and it will be nice to see family.

Hope everyone out there has a wonderful holiday!