Bills are finally paid!

I finally paid the last of the medical bills today! And to think it only took 5 months (well, tomorrow would be 5 months) It’s a relief to not have that hanging over our heads anymore. Now we can allocate our money toward fun things like finishing the roof and fixing the car.

Rant: bitter envelope paste

Okay, so we have stacks of medical bills piling up from my pregnancy and miscarriage. I’m finally paying a few of them today, and I have a bone to pick with the medical billing people: can’t you please purchase return envelopes with decent tasting paste? I’m not asking for anything gourmet, but paying the bills is painful enough without exacerbating the situation with nasty bitter paste. I’ve just sealed three envelopes (Southwest Health Center, Madison Radiologists and Associated Pathologists - yeah, I’m naming names!) and they all had the same foul taste, and I’m left with that charming taste in my mouth! I know there are tasty envelopes out there, so if anybody out there is in a position to supply such things, please give it a little more consideration.

New Recipe: Rhubarb Crunch

I made Rhubarb Crunch for fellowship this morning, and got some requests for the recipe. So it's in my recipe book now.
The recipe is from Joe's grandmother, Gert Tennies. Joe's not a big fan of rhubarb, but after he heard it was her recipe, he gave it a shot and liked it. That woman really knew her desserts!

New Features At Tennies.US

We are actually going to have some level of features at Tennies.US (kid you not). I’m not exactly sure what those features will be, but I’ve been looking at new Drupal features. On the list of things I’m throwing around is comments. Of course, one of the fun things of such features is dealing with SPAM.

Well, we’ll see what happens. I just got OpenID working on the site, and it rocks hard. It allows me to have single sign-on for all websites that support OpenID. If interested in the technology, check out their site

Trip to Chicago etc

My shopping bounty!

I went to Woodridge, IL last Sunday for Wilton’s annual tent sale. For those of you who’ve never been there, Imagine a tent about the size of a gymnasium…. (I’m talking a full basketball court with lots of room on the ends and sidelines. Now add long rows of banquet tables going the long way, leaving aisles just wide enough for three shopping carts. Pile the tables high with Wilton, Copco, and other kitchen-y type products but save most of an aisle for picture frames. Mark everything down at least 50% off retail prices (not just clearance items) and add about three billion people, a few of whom are always going against the flow of traffic.

Anyway, Heather and I went down together, and even going through the sale fairly quickly, we were there over 2 hours. We were able to get most of what we needed, and some things we didn’t! I’m now the proud owner of a complete set of cupcake trees, which will have their debut with Adam and Allie’s wedding cupcakes in a few weeks. I also got a set of tart pans, some candy making supplies, and misc. other stuff.

We took my new car, and I was glad to have something small and maneuverable while I was navigating the parking lot down there — and I was glad to have cruise for the 6 hours on the freeway! And I finally got a chance to use the rear windshield wiper! (First car I’ve ever had that has one of those — humor me) Good weekend, though.

Beware this herbivore...

Do not attempt to apprehend yourself...

Aliases: Bugs, Buster, that %$&*(@ rabbit!

Last seen: our backyard

Cute Habits: uprooting dandelions and eating up the stem to the calyx, cartoon-style

Bad Habits: eating our hollyhocks, kohlrabi, broccoli and cauliflower plants

Deterrents: Liquid Fence (hopefully). It stinks, but if it works, I’ll make a point to mention it on here later.

After spending a Friday afternoon planting, we woke up Sunday to lots of bare stems. The hollyhock (or is the singular form also hollyhocks…) was down to stubble (and stayed that way for a week). On my way back from Madison this past Friday, I stopped at Cushman’s Greenhouse in Belmont (the place we bought the original plants) and replaced the vegetables. I was told the hollyhock would come back, but got another one anyway. So our flower garden is getting pretty full. I’ll be putting up a garden gallery on here shortly.

This Year's Project

For those that don’t know, we have been trying to do a project or two every year on our house.

First year was the living room, including a new window. We gutted the living room down to the studs and put in some headers, insulated, redid the electrical, and ran a ton of Ethernet and coax cabling. You can find pictures here.

Last year, we redid our roof on all the 1 story tall parts. You can find pictures here. We also redid the plumbing in the house (not sewage). Though it may sound like a daunting task, it really wasn’t. We used this stuff called PEX (cross-linked polyethelene). Combine the materials with the fact there really isn’t much plumbing in the house and you end up with a 24 hour project for 2 people. You can see a picture here.

This year, we had talked about redoing the rest of the roof, but we are a little short on cash. That means it’s going to be a “finish up the old projects” year, with a couple little new projects. We put in a whole-house humidifier (pic here). We also put in a new flower bed/garden in the back. (I’ll bug Anne to do a post and put up some pictures.) We also put 2 little beds flanking the front sidewalk. We still plan to replace a couple pickets in the back fence and either paint or stain the fence and the deck. The thing I want to do is put in chicken wire at the bottom of the fence going around the backyard to keep the rabbits out. Though that may sound fairly expensive, we waited until the last minute to get the plants, so they’re all on sale. Platteville also takes the tree branches they collect during the year and chip them and offer the wood chips to the community, so the mulch was free. We are also planning to finish up the bookshelf/bench in the living room, the stairs going upstairs, pulling the old plumbing out, and putting the flashing back on the roof.

Besides all this, we want to have a party. Anne and I had our five year anniversary this year. Unfortunately, right around the 6th of April was when we were dealing with the miscarriage, so we weren’t in the mood to celebrate. If we can’t host a big party, we are at least hoping to get together with people. The big thing preventing it is weddings… and I thought I was done with having them every weekend.

Updates

Well, we haven’t updated recently. Been a pretty busy time. So, here it goes.

Anne miscarried a couple weeks ago. The baby never grew past 6 weeks, though 4 weeks had past since it was 6 weeks big.

In more uplifting news, we got a new car. It’s a 2007 Honda Fit. We got it because we didn’t want to crawl in the back of a 2-seater and try to place a baby in a seat. It’s an awesome car though. Pictures to come.

Other news is that we knocked out a little area in our house and are redrywalling it. Currently, the walls are up and some new electrical was run. Still need to do the mudding, taping, priming, and painting.

Off to work.

Pencil in a new due date...

So I went to the doctor to start my OB visits today… Supposedly 11 weeks 6 days along. They couldn’t find a heartbeat (other than mine) so the doc ordered an ultrasound. Turns out I’m 5 weeks 6 days along, with a due date of November 1.

pregnancy week by week
So this might put a crimp in the Christmas Cartoon party plans…

Python's Ate My Baby

So, I was at the 2007 PyCon in Addison, Texas last weekend. It was great. I’m shocked by just how dedicated the community was. I also got to see some great projects written in Python. I also learned about other projects I use all the time that were written in Python. Got to hang with a bunch of cool people. I’m a dork…. that about covers it.

Secondly, I’d assume most of you read Anne’s blog if you read mine. So you probably already know that Anne’s expecting a baby in the mid to late September time frame. I’m old

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