Monday, July 25, 2011

The Golden Years

Andrew and I have reached a new stage in life, we are now empty nesters…


I’ve always heard that it goes by so fast.  One week they are born – the next week college.  I guess I don’t know that Tupeck and The Notorious B.R.D. went to college necessarily, but in only one months time we went from this…

bird nesting

(picture from my sister taken July 3rd)

to this…


In less than a month – we didn’t get 18 years to prepare – I don’t know if it would have been any easier if we had…

I suppose it is time to take up new hobbies.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

New Additions

There have been a few new additions in the Waggoner household – both Andrew and I have our birthdays around this time.  I wait to open my gifts – Andrew does not.  So we both opened or gifts in the last couple days.  This year my gift was more of a “family” gift, but it is what I really wanted – a new camera!

You  may have noticed our long absence from blog-land, part of that is to do with the fact that I don’t love blogs without pictures.  Are you with me?  No one is coming here to listen to read my ramblings.

But the camera isn’t the only new addition – there are two little additions of the feathery persuasion.

Birds 001

Last month, Andrew’s mom came to visit us and attend a fiber art fair.  Over that weekend I went out to water my patio boxes – we have one box with basil and chives – a box with flowers (mini petunias and begonias) – and another with basil and cilantro parsley.  So as I was watering my flower box I heard the rapid fluttering of wings and saw a streak of grey in my near peripheral vision.

After getting over the initial shock of almost dying by bird attack, I noticed a nest with one tiny little white egg in the midst of our lush from the torrential rain storms parsley.  (As you can tell from the photos the plants loose their lushness when they go un-watered for a month.)

Birds 004

Seriously theirs are the faces only a mother morning dove can love.

Who knows how long they have been around – momma bird apparently enjoys sitting on top of them.  They made their first appearance a week ago today.  And on Sunday we saw clearly there were two of them – as we witnessed momma feeding them.

Andrew and I figure since the baby birds were born on our property in our patio box – it gives us naming rights.

So after a number of options we settled on Tupeck (reference) and The Notorious B.R.D (reference.)  Andrew has informed me that I am not allowed to name any future children we may or may not have.

As an aside how about the pictures the new camera is catching, huh?  I am no camera buff – so this is just on the auto setting, but I think the camera would make a soufflĂ© if I could only figure out the correct setting.

I didn’t have too much to take a picture of – so Andrew agreed to be my muse.

Birds 012

Then Andrew decided Fran should get in on the fun…

Birds 015

And then Fran punched him in the face – guess she didn’t want her picture taken!

Birds 016

So I put the camera away before anyone else got hurt!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

It's Gone

It was time...Andrew agreed...and an appointment was made.
I have always been pretty impulsive with my haircuts. I usually get the "itch" to cut it short. So I go in and get a cut, then a few months later when it is at that awkward length I start remembering "the good ole days" of long hair. So then I start growing my hair out - this usually lasts between a year and a half and two years - then the short hair "itch" comes back. I believe that I look better with short hair, my hair is pretty thin and rather lifeless so the additional weight of long hair tends to only make it look more lifeless. Plus I never really do anything with there is no point keeping it long.
Sorry for the bad montage of photos...I went back and took a clearer after picture when I noticed most of the ones we took earlier were out of focus.
I am generally happy with it, though there was a slight bang cut, that I am not used to, so I have been pining it back, as you can see in the photo (apparently there was a wind when this picture was being taken.)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The blog entry you have been waiting for...

You didn't realize you were waiting for anything, but here it is, the big announcement...Andrew and I are home owners!
It took a little searching and a little weeding, but when we stepped into this place, we knew it was right, there was no doubt in our minds, this was our upgrade.
After not being able to secure financing on the partially developed a for blogged about condo, we opened up our search from condos to condos, town homes, and single family houses. Our realtor knew we were busy (this was in late March, right after the other place fell through), so he scheduled one Sunday for us to go around to 18-20 different places. WE SAW EVERYTHING...or at least it felt like it. I had my heart set on a single family home with a yard. We looked at several, but the problem was that in our community the homes in our price range were either too small, too old (a lot of repair work), they lacked a garage/parking space, or one of a myriad of other issues. I was getting discouraged, it didn't seem like we were going to find "the one." And then we came to our town home, follow me if you will...

We walked down the courtyard (it was still snowing and not green when we visited, so it didn't look this lush then, but it does now.)
The courtyard makes you feel almost as if you are walking into another land. Outside the world is buzzing around, but in here all is serene. If you squint you can even see a nice park there in the distance with all sorts of fun things for children and pets to enjoy.
But lets not dilly dally any longer. Here is the place, come on in.
Our place is a town home set up in the traditional Chicago town home design - translation: vertical living. There are 4 floors (though the 4th is mostly open space - but you will see that in later pictures.) Each floor is 18 ft wide by 40 ft long (with the exception of the 4th floor which is 15 ft by 8 ft. of indoor space.)

Entering the front door you come to the first floor (no basement or anything below ground level.)
First floor: 1/2 family room (18'x20') and 1/2 two car attached garage (18'x20'.) This is a view of the family room - because we don't have much furniture, we are leaving the room colors as is for now. They may change in the future, but we are going to live in the space for awhile and see how that goes.

Also for Grandma Brandon there is also a half bath on this level :) No stairs required (unless you need to shower.)
Here is the toilet...
And there is the sink - and me. Hello.
You wouldn't believe the number of houses we saw that had "half baths" that were just toilets - no sinks...(usually in the basement - some had doors - some didn't.) Who does that?

Next I will show you the back of the place and the garage door. The garage is accessible via a back alley. And the interior of the garage. The garage is possibly one of our favorite features of the place. It is one of the "bonuses" of this place over the other place we were under contract with. At the other place we wouldn't have even had a parking spot to call our own - we would have had to rent a parking spot. Also because the other place was on two busy streets - street parking was difficult to come by.But at our place, this place, because there is room for two cars, there is room for your car when you come visit. Now you don't have any excuse not to come over. (There is also plenty of street parking if we have multiple visitors at a time.)

The garage even has bike racks - if you want to come on bike...
And extra storage, if you want to stay awhile.
Okay, back in the house and up the stairs to the second floor:

The second floor is 1/3 living room, 1/3 dinning room, and 1/3 kitchen (+outdoor patio off the kitchen - visible in the above picture of the garage from the outside.)
This is the light fixture that will go over our dinning room table (when we have one.) The dinning room is in the middle of the great room. To the south of the dinning room is the living room.

The rug, curtains, and selves all stay. The fireplace is gas logs.

You can see the stairs up to the third floor can't you? But before we go upstairs, let's go north of the dinning room to the kitchen area. Trust me you want to see this!

Have you ever seen so much cabinet space?
No more obnoxious pot and pan shuffling then hurrying to slam the door closed before they all fall back out on me! They could each have their own cabinet here - okay maybe not, but they will at least have room to spread their lids.
The light coming from around the corner of the refrigerator, (all appliances included) is coming from the door out to the patio.

A nice little outdoor space overlooking our garage/alley. There is just enough room out there for our grill (right off the kitchen - how convenient is that?) and our bistro patio table and chairs.

And one can even see a little corner of the green park space behind our unit - it is almost like we are living in the country!
Okay - enough fresh air for now, back inside and up the stairs to the third floor.
This floor has two guest bed rooms, a guest bathroom, linen closet, master bedroom and master bathroom (so the total for the house is 3 bedroom and 2 & 1/2 bath.)

This is the third bedroom - we will more than likely set this up as an office/study/sewing room.

This window faces north (this bedroom is over the kitchen - which is over the garage) it is the north east corner of the house.

I can't wait to fill that built in closet organizer with my fabric! I have already unloaded some of it - it works perfectly! Added bonus - I can close the door and Fran can't get in and get her hair all over my fabric. :)
Now the second bedroom - again northern exposure - north west corner of the home.

Please note that none of the bedroom furniture or bedding is staying - it is just what the former owners left to "stage" the place for open houses and showings.
Random fact, we saw so many places, by the end Andrew was able to identify what items of decor the agents had placed in the house to stage it. It was a sort of "which one of these is not like the others" kind of game.
This room does not have the built in closet units. Sorry guests.
And the guest bathroom (approximately the size of the only bathroom at the place we rent - Andrew and I share this amount of space in the morning getting ready - do you see why he is so excited about the double vanity idea?)
Master bedroom - without this bed spread in the room, the walls look less purple and more blueish grey.
Double closet with built ins...
Including a tie rack for Andrew.

Binds on all windows throughout the house are like these where you can open them from the top or the bottom. Good for letting light in and keeping peeping toms out. Another bonus of this place over the previous condo is that all window treatments are included.
Now to the master bathroom...
and the double vanity...
the toy-tee..
the bathtub...
and the shower.
Not sure if you can get a feel for the layout, but the shower extends to the back wall - so it is a full size shower. This bathroom is quiet the upgrade for us, we are very happy with it. Though I already killed the power to the lights & fan - it was a quick lesson in electrical wiring - but everything is working again.
Okay now up to the 4th floor - the laundry room...and a special suprise/my favorite part of the house.
You can tell in these next couple of pictures that the wall extends from the thrid to the fourth floor and there are three windows that let light flood into the thrid floor.

See I told you, three windows. :)

The laundry room (and paint supply.)

There is plumbing for a laundry sink next to the dryer. (Or another toliet - as Andrew suggested.)
Washer & dryer included.
Okay back out on the landing...are you ready for the suprise/my favorite part?
Our own roof top deck!!!!

To those in more rural areas who are reading this - this might mean nothing to you, but I can see stars from the roof deck! We are above the street light level, so it is actually dark enough at this height to see all the pretty little stars - and even some airplanes. :)
Well that ends the tour - back down the stairs. After you!

We are very happy with what we were able to get - and consider the other house falling through a blessing, because this is clearly our home!

We closed on the house last Friday, April 30th and plan to move in this Friday May 7th. Yeah!