Saturday, September 29, 2007


Well, it's finally done. I finished on Wednesday night at about 11:30pm. By 6:30 pm the next day we had a house full of guests. Whew! just in time.
Here's the tour...This is the entry at the front door. This is a view from the entry looking upstairs.Here is the living room....and another view of the living room.We put in the new kitchen about a year and a half ago and we still have a some trim to put up around the cabinets but, at least the walls are done now.The hallway off the kitchen.
I'm taking a break from painting for a while.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


Oh my GOD!!!
I'm going freaking crazy!
When your wall color contrasts this much with your trim color it's soooo tedious to cut around the trim!
I'm so glad I have the entire weekend to do this!

Friday, September 21, 2007


To keep you all entertained until I reveal the completed painting project...

As promised in my last post, this is what our upstairs bathroom looked like when we first moved in.Needless to say, it no longer looks like this. It's been through a minor facelift for now. the walls are painted and wallpapered (with a much more tasteful pattern) and the toilet has been replaced and a new oak medicine cabinet and light fixture have been installed. Still on the list of improvements for this bathroom are the window removal and a new tub and shower as well as a new sink and cabinet. However, the downstairs bathroom is most likely on the list ahead of this one. It's not as bad as the Brady bathroom above, but still leaves a lot to be desired.

Monday, September 17, 2007


...Well, I'll just start with the house for now. Believe me, it's an undertaking that I misjudged. But, I think it will all be worth it once it's done and everything is put back in place and stuff back on the walls.
We're just so sick of white walls. The previous owners had the entire inside of the house painted white in an apparent attempt to sell faster, I'm guessing. It's been two years since we moved in and we're still living with white walls in 90 percent of the house. Of course there were many other things that had to be done before we painted. The entire kitchen had to be gutted and replaced, some windows needed to be replaced and new flooring in the dining room, kitchen and entry. Oh, and the upstairs "Brady Bunch" bathroom had to go just to get the theme song out of our heads every morning when we brushed our teeth! Remind me later and I'll post a fun little pic of THAT.
I always do this. I intend to take "before" pictures before I start a project and then remember part way into it. So, once again, here are my before pictures kinda sorta before but not really.

The living room with the first coat on the trim and a little paint slathered on the wall just to see what it's going to look like because we're impatient.

We're still unsure of the color. The paint chip looked fabulous in the store but on the wall...hmmmmm. Well, after spending more than $200.00 on paint, we'll get used to it. Actually I have more faith than Andrew does. After the furniture is put back and the stuff back on the walls, I'm sure it's going to look great.
A closer look at that wall color.

The first coat on the trim in the entry. you can see a little bit of the unpainted trim on the stairs leading up. Oh, and add a new front door to that list of completed projects so far too.

...and, of course, Poodles ALWAYS have to get into the act too. He loves to help.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Ok, Let's travel away from Cedar Rapids, Iowa for a while and discuss a few places, one or more of which Scott will call home one day...
Thanks to my friend and fellow Cedar Rapidian, Tom, I decided to share with you all, the places I want to live one day. Of course, these are places I've been and love. I'm sure there are many other places out there that I would love just as much and enjoy calling "home". These are a few places I know I would like to live:

This is the only place in the Midwest I truly would love to move to. I'm sure many of you are well aware of my love affair with Chicago after reading many of my previous posts. Andrew and I have spent many weekends exploring the "Windy City", taking in the sights, sampling food from favorite local restaurants, shopping the "Magnificent Mile" and frequenting the restaurants and bars of "Boystown".
If and when Chicago becomes my home, I don't think I'd want to live in the suburbs. Right in the city, where we could walk to most things we need would be where I'd want to be. I know, the winters would suck but there is just something about Chicago that I fell in love with many years ago when I made my first trip in the family station wagon with my parents. I believe that was 1979 and I've never stopped going back to get another and another taste of the sights, the architecture, the smells, the food and the all-around Midwest but large city attitude. My love for Chicago is difficult to put into words. It's just a feeling I have when I'm there and the sadness I feel when I leave.

Bar Harbor, Maine
When I say "Bar Harbor" I actually mean the general Mount Desert Island area. It wouldn't have to be Bar Harbor, but any of the surrounding small towns along the coast of Maine. It's the "outdoorsy" part of me that wants to live here. Hiking in Acadia National Park, walking the rocky beaches of the North Atlantic, seeing the quaint, old lighthouses that dot the coastline or just standing on the docks and watching the salty sea captains bring their lobster boats in at the end of the day to unload their catch. One of my favorite times of year is Autumn when the leaves are turning, the air is cool and crisp but the sun is still shining brightly in a blue sky. This is what I think of when I think of Maine. I can't imagine any place more beautiful in the Autumn. I guess it's the nature lover part of me that loves Maine. My time spent in Maine several years ago was a June vacation. A very expensive vacation spent staying in bed and breakfasts and traveling the coast taking in the sights and a 35 mile trip out to sea to see finback whales (up to 80 feet long) surfacing right next to our 45 foot boat. Wow, talk about feeling small! I know daily living is not the same as vacationing, but I did fall in love with the nature that you feel like you're surrounded by even in the middle of town. Living here, I know I'd still need my frequent get-away to a large city at times. As beautiful as Maine is, I do know it has it's share of "backwoods" attitude and culture that can be charming, but I'm sure it would get old. So, maybe just a summer place in Maine...

My first trip to Seattle was only about 3 years ago. I've now been there three times and have learned more about Seattle and Washington State each time I've been there. I have been very fortunate that each of my trips to Washington have been during gorgeous weather. Perfect temperatures, little or no rain and clear enough on most occasions to see Mt Ranier. I do know, however that this is not typical of the Seattle area throughout the entire year. While the temperature does, for the most part, stay warm enough to not blanket the area with days upon days of frigid snow, I think, for me, it would be just enough snow that I wouldn't miss it having grown up in Iowa where winter is all about snow and below freezing temps for three to four months. In my opinion, that sucks. The only thing about Seattle that makes me hesitate is the winter months of very little sun and dizzily skies. I'm just not sure how I would endure that. I guess I'll need to spend some winter time there before I make my decision.

Palm springs, CA
I've visited Palm Springs four times and I've loved it every time. Many people don't feel the way I do about this, but I love the heat. (Very low humidity. Seriously, it DOES make a difference) On my first trip to Palm Springs I took one of the jeep tours into the desert where is was about 110 degrees in the shade. That's where I first fell in love with the desert Southwest. I think the desert is beautiful. How awesome to be 4-wheeling through the hot, dry desert and then, out of nowhere, suddenly come upon an oasis of water, green plants and palm trees in a small spot where an underground spring has made it's way to the surface.
Palm springs has been know as "the playground of the stars". Beginning in the 1930's Hollywood stars would spend time in Palm Springs as a get-away from busy Los Angeles. Palm Springs still has many seasonal homes that belong to Hollywood stars young and old.
Surrounded by some of the most scenic mountains, Palm Springs is my idea of shear beauty. The fact that from Palm Springs, you can make a short trip into the mountains to ski one day and then a few hours in the opposite direction is the beach, make this place, in my opinion, the perfect place to live. For a really great blog where you will find lots of stuff about Palm Springs (as well as tons of entertainment) check out Rick Rockhill's blog "Palm Springs Savant".

Ok, now I've chosen three corners of the United States and one place in the Midwest. I refuse to even consider the remaining corner. I've been there, nice place to visit, I have no desire to live there.
Where I'll end up, I still don't really know. Now, off to buy that lottery ticket that surely will afford me a home in each of these places!

Thursday, September 06, 2007


Growing up and living in Cedar Rapids, Iowa has had it advantages. However, as soon as I am able, I will move away.
If not for my two children I would be long gone already but for now I need to be here for them. My travels to different parts of two countries over the past 10 years have me convinced of two things: #1 I'm fortunate to have grown up in Cedar Rapids. And, #2: I can't wait to move to somewhere else.
Don't get me wrong. I love Cedar Rapids and it will always be my "home". I'm sure you all understand what I mean. No matter where you're from and where you've ended up, your home town will always feel like home. (For most of us, I think)
So, for now this post is dedicated to Cedar Rapids, Iowa and many of the good things about it.
To start off, Cedar Rapids has been home to many famous persons from history and also the not so distant past. Artist Grant Wood, The Wright Brothers, Historian and journalist William Shirer, writer and photographer Carl Van Vechten, and more recently, actors Ron Livingston, Elijah Wood and Ashton Kutcher. For a fairly large listing of other famous people from Cedar Rapids click here.
We're also very proud to be the home of many large and very successful companies as well. Quaker Oats Co., Archer Daniels Midland, Rockwell Collins Aviation headquarters, and 5 Cargill plants.
Cedar Rapids is also home to 3 local colleges:

Mt Mercy College

Coe College

Kirkwood Community College.

One bit of trivia that I have always found interesting is that Cedar Rapids and Paris, France are the only two cities on earth whose government buildings are located on an island. (Ok, so maybe not as fascinating to most of you, but I always thought it was cool)

This ariel photo of downtown Cedar Rapids shows City Hall and the Linn County Courthouse buildings on Mays Island.

Cedar Rapids also is home to a fairly large Czech population. Why they settled here, I have no clue, but we have a really cool "Czech Village" downtown area with great restaurants, bars, museums and bakeries! Yum!
Our city has a nickname; "The city of five seasons". Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall and a fifth one to enjoy them all. Gag! I can't think of anything more corny and stupid. Oh, wait, there is this...

The tree of five seasons

Yeah, don't ask. We have no idea either.

If there is one thing in this city that I am proud of, it's the Cedar Rapids Art Museum. Pictured here:It houses fantastic pieces by famous artists Grant Wood and Marvin Cone among others.
Well worth a visit.

So, next time any of you are flying over Iowa, be sure and look down over Cedar Rapids and wave to us. Heck, you might even get glimpse of the tree of five seasons if you're lucky! Check your map, it's right there on the corner of First street and First Avenue, downtown. you can't miss it. It's the gleaming, stainless steel piece of who knows what, currently serving as the worlds most expensive pigeon condo. Now THAT'S high rise luxury!