Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Can I have a Z, Pat?

Help me welcome the cleverly named "More Zs Please" to the blogosphere. Devon and Mike wish to share their ambitious undertakings (co-habitation, house, puppy, wedding, etc.) with anyone who cares to tune in. Join me in following along. It will be a good time. Promise.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Summer Notebook, Part 5 (treasures from the Far East)

I traveled to China, sans Mike, July 13 -- 21. It was the trip of a lifetime. Since this blog is about the Bungalow, I thought I would share with you the treasures I brought back for the house.

When we moved in, Mike was adamant we get a tea set. I was confused and wondered why he really wanted one -- his explanation was that every house needed a tea set and we didn't have one.

Ok. (picture Mike sipping from a teacup with his pinky sticking out and giggle with me, please.)
I made it my obsession to get a tea set for us in China. Of course, I waited until the next to last day to buy one, but I finally gave in to the purchase after mom and dad bought an extra carry on bag to bring back all of our goodies. I had put off buying a tea set because I didn't think I could get it back home.
I bought this in the Beijing Pearl Market. It is a building with about five floors of New York City's Canal Street. Only, there are more persistent sales people who relentlessly try various methods to get more money out of you. I was called a stingy American Lady for my offer for this particular set. I was told it is a very popular brand in China and is high quality. I don't understand the logo on the bottom of the set, so I'll take her word for it. The cups are also insulated, so the tea stays warm. After many minutes of bargaining and threatening to walk away twice, I purchased this tea set for Mike for 205 Yuan. That's about $30! I chose this one because I love the flowers and I love that it is yellow, like our lil Bungalow! I think Mike likes it as much as I do.

The other purchase for the Bungalow was a joint effort between my mom and dad and me. We visited a silk factory in Shanghai and learned about how silk warms make silk and how the factory manufactures 100% silk comforters and duvets. It was actually very interesting!

We were told if we wanted to purchase silk goods, this would be the place to do it. Sure, you can find silks in the markets, but you can never be sure they are the highest quality and 100% silk. So I purchased a silk comforter for Mike and me and mom and dad bought the duvet for a Christmas gift (Christmas in July!). I looked around and immediately picked out the one below. How about that for a keen eye? I can't believe how well it matched our existing bedroom accessories!

Thanks mom and dad! And Merry Christmas!

Summer Notebook, Part 4 (there really are nice people out there)

Take a look at this Fiestaware coffee pot. At first glance you might think it is the color Tangerine. The more trained eye may notice this style isn't quite like any you have seen at Macy's or the Fiesta Outlet store. That's because this particular piece was only made from 1936-1956. This color is the original Fiesta red (but it looks kinda orange, right?). This color was only produced until 1943. Production halted due to the need for uranium for the war. So, this piece dates from 1936-1943. Pretty cool, huh? (I thought so before I went to China and saw pitchers from the Tang Dynasty ... but that's another story).

Isn't it beautiful?

So, given my obsession with Fiesta, I'm VERY much in love with this coffee pot. It has a flaw -- a piece broke off the lid and was glued back on. But I don't care about that at all!
A very sweet lady, Lynn, who was a coworker for a while brought this to me at work one day. She and I had had a few conversations about Fiestaware and she told me about her collection made up of mostly the "old" stuff. Lynn spontaneously announced to me that she was going to bring a piece to me. She knew the three colors I collect and I suppose she decided this piece would go well with them. Upon her presentation to me, I asked her if she knew what she was giving me ... it is such a valuable piece. She explained that she knew and just wanted to give it to someone who would love it and give it a good home. You can see in the picture in the post below that the coffee pot has a nice spot on the middle shelf of the corner cabinet.
Thank you, Lynn, from the bottom of my heart. It was such a sweet gesture and I will cherish this coffee pot forever!! It is a constant reminder in my house that there are good people out there in the world. We just need to be friendly and we will find them!

Summer Notebook, Part 3

In early June, Mama Jo and BG Al came up to help us with our additional kitchen counter top and cabinets. Well, Mama Jo and I went shopping and BG Al, Mike and Jay played in the kitchen. We have been missing the piece of glass in the corner cabinet and the counter top was cut wrong. So now, both are in place. Here is the finished product (for now). We still want to do something with the middle space we left open. We're wired for a TV -- we think a 19 or 20 in flat panel would fit nicely. Or a spice rack would do. Notice the square Fiesta plates!

Summer Notebook, Part 2

Mike and I spent a Saturday at the end of June painting the ugly paneling in the upstairs room. After 3 coats of primer and 2 coats of paint, it looked like this:

Not to shabby when you see the before and after:



I'm so thankful to Mike for helping me paint the room. Now, we have to tackle the stairway (yikes). This is why I bought him an 8-foot ladder for his birthday!

Summer Notebook, Part 1

Since I forgot to blog this summer, I thought I would catch up on some of our homeowner setbacks and successes.

Gene and Marie (Mike's pa and ma) came for a visit at the end of July. They had not seen the house since we moved in and were very excited to check it out. While our kitchen's addition looks nice, it's hard to enjoy when standing in a puddle of water ... but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Their first night here we all had a good laugh at Gene's expense because there was a puddle of water in the kitchen floor. We thought he had unknowingly made a mess and left it for Marie, Mike and me to find. So we giggled and wiped it up. The next morning, after washing some dishes, there was a puddle again. Perplexed, I looked under the sink. Of course, everything was wet.

We cleaned out under the sink and dried it up.

Mike and Marie got to work taking apart all of the pipes and fittings while I tried to rinse them all out in case they were blocked. Gene slumbered peacefully.

There was no blockage. But then Mike couldn't get all the pipes back together again. Marie: "Gene, dear, wake up."

The Shop Vac was brought out. Gene and Mike tried to suck whatever was blocking the drain out of the pipes. Didn't work. We go down in the basement and freak out because the pipe flows into the basement's concrete floor and beyond to only God knows where under that.

Church has to be attended and discussion of drain-o, plumber's crack and Morgantown sewage system ensues.

After church, it is decided that the pipe in the basement has to be cut in two. Gene and Mike get to to it and discover the blockage is most likely above the concrete (Whew!)

Enter the Shop Vac again. It sucked out this:

I admit, it looked like celery and onion pieces (my doing) stuck with some bread dough (Mike's strombolis). We're both guilty. Or, maybe, just me. Who knows. But we got a stern talking to from Mamma Marie on the ins and outs of using a garbage disposal.

Just a quick trip to Lowe's and Mike and Gene had the pipe in the basement back to working order. All were happy and dishes could once again be washed.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Get a Home Warranty!

Heading into the last hurrah of summer, Mike and I and our little bungalow received a new air conditioning unit today. I haven't been home yet, but I'm told it cools the house very quickly. We had a quick fix for the summer months in the form of a leak repair, but now we have a brand spanking new AC. Since ours would have been 20 years old in October, this is a good thing. Thank you, home warranty!! You've out done yourself.

I promise to write more on here more frequently. I've been a bad blogger this summer.