My dachshund waits all day for our nightly pre-bedtime snuggle. The last week has been rough on him since I really haven't had time for it. He's a very patient dog, but I think that he was sort of getting depressed from the lack of snuggle. So tonight I made a point to set some time aside for him.

As we were snuggling on the couch, he heard SSB come back from work and leapt off the couch. I figure since he's up I might as well open the door for SSB. I start to talk to SSB on the porch when I notice something unusual behind him on our screen.

I look away and looked back just to make sure that my eyes were not deceiving me. Then when I was satisfied as to what I was witnessing, I said to SSB, "Um, we have a flying squirrel on our screen."

He looks at me funny, "What?" and I know he's about to ask if I'm high.

"Look behind you. There's a squirrel behind you." He's still giving me the funny look as he turns around, and I'm thinking as the words are coming out of my mouth - that just sounds ridiculous.

But there really WAS a squirrel on our screen:

This squirrel let me get right up to it to take a picture of it several times. This is the best one I could get with our crappy camera - but it is indeed clearly a flying squirrel.

What a treat. I think it was attracted to all the insects hovering around our light.

The last time I was this close to a flying squirrel, it almost landed on me as it was gliding past.


Shamus O'Drunkahan said...

Maybe he was just admiring your new floors.

Shannon said...

LOL! Maybe he wanted to snuggle with you guys too.

DrMax said...

Was there a talking moose nearby?

sideshow bob said...

I think he did have a Wattsamatta U tattoo on his butt...

Sylvana said...

Shamus, you always make me laugh at work!

Shannon, I read that flying squirrel were quite sociable, so maybe they would be into group snugglefests.

DrMax, no, and I didn't even see a moose in Grand Marais either.

SSB, I think that was just a rub on.

Elizabeth said...

Cool! We get deer in our yard. And regular squirrels. But no flying ones.

Laurie said...

Wow! I had a giant moth on my screen door once but a flying squirrel beats that by a mile.

Sylvana said...

Elizabeth, we live 2 blocks from our city's center and we have had deer in our yard too. Our neighbor said that one tried to "mate" with his deer statue.

Laurie, You probably had an emperor moth on your screen. I actually have a kind of funny story about my first encounter with one; which I may post about...

Pictures as Promised

Friday, August 25, 2006 | 0 Comments

This our dining room before. This is real linoleum sheet flooring from I think the 30s. I actually liked this floor. It was soft and warm and in the winter when the heat kicked in the floor would puff up. FUN!

This is our living room before. The carpeting is just a step above dirt. It is also from the 30s. It has horse hair and hemp fiber backing. Yeah, that's OLD! It was easy to pull up since it was not attached in any way. Back then they had the carpets custom made with fancy trim on the edges. Then they just laid them in the room. I bet it was beautiful in its day. But its day is long gone and really, this was DISGUSTING!! I can't believe that we lived with this for so long! YUCK!

BTW- that's MST3K playing in the background. If you look carefully you can make out Tom Servo, Joel, and Crow making fun of Hercules. When we were packing up we found about a dozen of these VHS that we had recorded while the show was still on the air. YEAH FOR US!!

This is the underlayment that they recommended for under the flooring. It was kind of itchy, but I think it looked way better than the carpet.

My camera does not have a flash so indoors pictures get a little tricky. The planks actually went in rather easily. The hardest part was picking out which planks to put in next. Since it was real wood, each one was different and some were kind of weird looking. We had to find the best ones for the highest traffic areas - places that would be most visible. THAT proved to be the biggest time sucker.

But I think it was worth it. Don't you?


We still have the rest of the dining room and all of the office to tackle, but I think that we deserve a break. So we are taking off to Grand Marais. It is actually a memorial trip for K. SSB has had a bunch of people that knew K write messages on some Tibetan prayer flags and we are going to where she died to hold a service for her. Her parents gave us pictures of the spot that she died and even a topographical map of the area with the spot marked.

And now I know where she got her quirkiness from! :)


evilsciencechick said...

wow! beautiful!!!

good job. you guys definately deserve a break :)

sands of time said...

That looks amazing.I really like it.

"AG" said...

It's gorgeous!

Flubberwinkle said...

Good job guys!
Looking very nice indeed.

Randi said...

it looks absolutely beautiful!!!

Derek Knight said...

what a difference! Now you may come and do the same things to my entry way and kitchen.

Thank you in advance, we will have pizza for you.

Elizabeth said...

You guys are my home improvement heroes. Amazing... it looks fantastic, like professionals did it. No, really. But I'm still more impressed how practically every other week, you have done something with your house. Congratulations and enjoy your gorgeous new house.

What did you do with the old tiles and carpets?

The Doc said...

Holy wow, that looks incredible. You also get props for using MST3K as your "work music". That's awesome.

Laurie said...

Beautiful! I still miss MST3K.

OldRoses said...

So when are you coming over to do my house?

Heather said...

That looks really nice! Wonderful job!

DrMax said...

Awsome job guys. I'd like you to do the same with our dinning room and living room. Bring the supplies too, while we have Lowe's and Home Depot but I bet Menards will beat them on price. Will grill you both some salmon as a way of saying thanks. Next Saturday OK?

Shamus O'Drunkahan said...

Cool, now SSB can do his Tom Cruise impersonation - sliding on the floor. Old Time rock nd roll.

So funny about MST3K.

Sylvana said...

ESC, I really can't remember the last time that we took some time off. I mean, well, this trip had a specific purpose, but we still had lots of fun.

Pink Lady, thanks! I love coming into those rooms and seeing how new they look.

AG, thanks! I'm changing your link.

Flubberwinkle, I can't wait til it is done.

Randi, thanks! I can't believe we waited so long!

Derek, I like Pizza Hut or Little Ceasars.

Elizabeth, the dining room flooring stayed right where it was. There was a very good possibility that the backing contained asbestos, so we didn't want to try and tear it out. It will be perfectly safe sealed under the underlayment.
The living room carpet is in the back of our truck awaiting disposal.

Sylvana said...

The Doc and Laurie, it's good to know that there are other MST3K fans still out there in the universe.

OldRoses, we have actually considered starting a small home improvement business. We do a good job - but I'm afraid that other people might frown upon how long it takes us to get the work done.

Heather, the hard part is yet to come. Trying to move a 1/2 ton piano with damaging the floor that we have already laid is going to be a bear!

DrMax, that sounds tempting, but we are booked next Sat. Maybe in a couple of months?

Shamus, I always thought that Tom Cruise looked like a rat. But he was pretty hot in Legend.

Shannon said...

I'm late on this bandwagon, but wow! This rocks. Would you like to come visit Vegas? I'll feed you in exchange for work done on my home. :D

J/K Bravo you guys!

Lyvvie said...

It looks wonderful!! And I am a huge fan of proper, old fashioned linoleum. Did you know it also has antibacterial properties and is all natural - it's made from pine trees and linseed oil! I live near Kirkaldy Scotland, the world's largest manufacturer of lino.

ok dorkiness over.

Elizabeth said...

Good move with the asbestos flooring.

Sylvana said...

Shannon, actually, I would like to visit Vegas.

Perhaps I could spin my home improvement abilities into travel opportunities.

Lyvvie, most people these days don't even know what real linoleum is. They think sheet vinyl is linoleum.
I talked my neighbor into getting real linoleum in her kitchen when she was re-doing her floors. It's tough and feels real - not fake and plastic-y like vinyl.

Elizabeth, the siding on our house was made with asbestos too, so we had a company come out and remove it instead of doing it ourselves. Although I don't really worry about asbestos that much, I figured with a job that big our risk would increase greatly.

One Room Down...

Thursday, August 24, 2006 | 0 Comments

Tuesday night we finally got one whole room done-

-at about 4am.

We came close, but we didn't even try to kill each other!

I was really hoping to be done with the floors by tonight, but it doesn't look like that is going to happen. We have a HUGE, HEAVY upright piano in the dining room that needs to be moved. I have some ideas in mind, but I am still afraid that this will be a disaster. Oh, well. I will worry about that next week. We are having some friends come over to help us move the monster. I'm making Margaritas if anyone is interested in lending a hand - or just coming over for drinks and watching the mayhem.

I have what look like really good before and after pictures of the floor on the camera and I will try to post them tonight.


Elizabeth said...

Heh. Good luck with that. We have hardwood floors. Warning: if the dishwasher or washer ever leaks, you're screwed 'cause the wood gets ruined. I learned that the hard way. Well... my mom did, actually.

Why Do I Do This To Myself?

Friday, August 18, 2006 | 0 Comments

As if our lives aren't havoc enough, we are now completely ripping up the first floor of our house to install new flooring. It needs to be done. In fact it has needed to be done for at least 20 years.

Seriously. Our flooring is from the 30s!

We kept putting it off. But we can't put it off anymore. We have a bunch of people that want to come visit us-


SSB and I are pretty tolerant of our surroundings. We are fine with a little dust and clutter.
OK - I admit it, a LOT of dust and clutter.

But other people aren't as tolerant to the dust and clutter and worn down look. And I usually don't care what other people think, but this time I am thinking that they may be right and maybe there is a good reason to not have the dust and clutter.

Too much clutter means I can't find what I need.
Too much dust means my allergies are through the roof.

And what the hell, I always wanted hardwood floors.

At Sams Club we got enough snap together red oak hardwood flooring to do half of the first floor of our house. Not the laminate - REAL WOOD!
OK, so it is engineered and only the top layer is oak, but it is still real wood, and that suits me just fine. Plus since it is snap together, so if we ever decide to get something else, we can just un-snap it and take it someplace else.

And the engineered portion is made out of some sort of cedar so it smells WONDERFUL!!

And as far as the clutter goes - since we are dismantling three rooms and packing them up, we have decided to go through everything and get rid of some things.

So... does anyone need a couch (we've got two to go), Christmas tree ornaments (we have never put up a tree, yet every year my family gives me ornaments for Christmas), a Barbie workout album - vinyl (a friend of mine years ago gave it to me because I reminded him of Barbie - right. On second thought, I might try to eBay this one - Barbie and vinyl? That's got to be worth something), National Geographics (we have about 500 lbs of them and we were really intending to read them, REALLY!), or a typewriter (we have two. Maybe you are tired of the ease of use of the computer word processing programs that pratically write things for you?).

We are committing to giving away the things that we do not need but are still good and throwing away the things that are of no use to anyone. Why do we keep these things? Geesh!

Anyway, wish us luck! and I will try to post progress pictures so that our shame and redemption can be shared with the world.


Shannon said...

I demand pictures!!

I think I had a barbie workout album as a kid come to think of it.

DrMax said...

Hey, that is so weird Syl. The wife and I are doing the same thing. Not the floor (which sounds great by the way) but the de-debrising of the house. We didn't want to end up like those poor souls who authorities find with decades worth of garbage stacked to the ceiling.

OldRoses said...

Wow, new floors. No clutter. No dust. Way too fancy for me. I may have to find somewhere else to hang out! Congrats on the new look for your house. May you live long and prosper.

"AG" said...

Who bought the Barbie workout album originally? :)

Your new floors sound wonderful. I love hardwoods and the scent of cedar.

SierraBella said...

We're in a cleaning mode as well!
Been filling up a dumpster (debris box) all day today since the former owner left us 2 woodstoves and a huge garage door when they moved.
Why it's taken us so long is an unanswerable question...

Heather said...

My parents just had an estimate done so they can get wood floors. The guy told them they would have very limited access to the kitchen area for three days!! Lucky for them I live right down the way and they can use my kitchen!

Sylvana said...

Shannon, we have been taking pictures and as soon as a I get a chance to go through them I will be posting a few.

DrMax, we have a friend that works for the city and he told us stories about a few houses around town like that. He said that the most surprising thing about them was that many of them were in the nicer suburbs.

OldRoses, nanu-nanu.

AG, for as long as I have held on to that album, I have never even listened to it!

Sierrabella, we have enough of our own debris, I can't imagine what our house would look like if the previous owners have left a bunch of stuff too!

Heather, we grilled three family packs of wings on Friday and ordered out for pizza yesterday. we live for excuses to order out for pizza!

Wendy A said...

Wow I feel for you. We are renovating also. What a hassel! It will all be worth it in the end.

Sylvana said...

Wendy A, that's what I keep telling myself.

Shopping Games

Sunday, August 13, 2006 | 0 Comments

We were at Sam's Club yesterday buying new shoes for our car. I am a HUGE Michelin fan, so even though they are quite expensive, I alway get them. They are like really good sneakers for your car. Quiet, grippy goodness.

While we were waiting for the shop guy to get our paperwork finished to start the job, I was looking around to see how many people were in the store. I wanted to go shopping in the store and wanted to know what I'd be up against. As I was sizing up the mob, I realized that I could not see a single person smiling.

Not one.

I mentioned this to SSB and even the shop guy stopped to look out at the people. We all just stared out there at them. Not only were they not smiling, but most of them actually looked grumpy, perhaps even "pissed off" would not be too strong a description.

Just as we were discussing what exactly it was about the store that would make people so unhappy a guy walks by with a huge slice of pizza and he has the slightest grin on his face.

I shout, "OH! There's someone with a smile!"

SSB says, "Well, that's not so much a smile as it is a look of contentment."

Even the shop guy nods in agreement.

So what has sucked all the fun out of these people? Long lines? Getting frisked at the doors? Knowing that it will probably cost them $25 in gas just to haul that barrel of mayonnaise, 100 rolls of toilet paper, and 50lbs of meat home in their SUVs?

Eh, what ever it is, it sure is fun to try and find one of them let loose and smile, and it made me really glad that I wasn't one of them.


Laurie said...

I was at Sam's yesterday, too. People didn't seem particularly grumpy even in the outrageously long checkout lines. Even the lady I saw in the parking lot who just dropped her box of two dozen cupcakes didn't seem particularly upset. I wanted to cry FOR her but she seemed fine. Odd. She must use better drugs than me.

evilsciencechick said...

maybe sams was out of packages of 40ct toilet paper. or 12 packs of ketchup.

that would make ME grumpy.

Sylvana said...

Laurie, just as I feared - it isn't Sam's Club that makes them grumpy - these people are bred grumpy. Thank goodness I don't really live there!

ESC, Sam's Club always seems to quit carrying things that I get hooked on. Like the mocha mix, potato pearls, gatorade, Dreft, Triscuits, .... grrr!

evilsciencechick said...

...potato pearls?

Heather said...

No one at the Sams I go to is ever happy. Customers and employees alike are always grumpy. I don't go there anymore - it depresses me!

DrMax said...

See? That's why you need more Costcos back there in Packer country. People still buy the gallon drums of Worcestershire sauce, but they seem happier about it.

Sylvana said...

ESC, they are instant mashed potatoes that look like tiny pearls, and they are delicious!

Heather, we laugh at them. It is pretty funny to see all these signs around the store that tell people how great they should be feeling about the wonderful benefits that they get at Sams and then seeing the people all grumpy.

DrMax, I've never been to a Costco. Do they give out happy pills at the door?

sands of time said...

Ive never been to a sam's .They have a costco here.Probably similar thing.

Sylvana said...

PinkLady, I think that they are very similar from what I have heard of Costco.

No Effin Way!!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006 | 0 Comments

Just seconds ago I was watching a commercial for a new movie coming out with Samuel L. Jackson. He is a protection specialist in charge of a very important witness, but something goes wrong. The ninja-like assassin that wants his witness dead finds a way around Samuel.

Is it through the legendary ninja lethal stealthiness?

No. The guy puts a bunch of poisonous snakes on the plane transporting the witness.

Oh, but that isn't the dumbest part. The name of the movie?

Snakes on a Plane

I shit you not.

Samuel. Oh, Samuel. Quentin gave you a shot at career redemption and this is what you do with it?


evilsciencechick said...

Snakes on a plan is ALREADY cult favorite on the internet. In spite of the fact that this movie is obvious crap, because of the internet buzz, I will BET you that this movie will be the #1 movie of the summer.

Sylvana said...

ESC, I was reading that. They even reshot and added some scenes to cater to the whims of the internet groupies.

Heather said...

From the title alone, you'd think Samuel would have screaming the other way when he saw the script.

Scott said...

Luckily internet cultists don't usually push movies to #1. If they changed the movie to appeal to them, chances are it won't appeal to us.

Shamus O'Drunkahan said...

I bet that movie pitch meeting was the shortest in film history.

"The premise of this movie is snakes on a plane."
"Cool, what's the title?"
"Snakes on a plane."
"I love it."

Sylvana said...

Heather, you would think. He does have a weird sense of humor though. Maybe it is his humor that it appealed to.

Scott, I'm still wondering how people saw this on the internet before it even hit the theaters.

Shamus, I had that very dialog going on in my head after they flashed the title. I was thinking, they just keep getting lazier in Hollywood. And it's sad to think that they think they don't have to work very hard for us.

sideshow bob said...

Sweetie, you are so out of the loop!

And FYI, Samuel is an artist and blacksploitation is a valid art form...if you don't believe me just watch I'm Gonna Git You, Sucka!

sideshow bob said...

This is a great scene from the movie.

The Doc said...

When I went to see Pirates this weekend, they had a fake plane safety brochure featuring what to do if snakes did, in fact, happen to be on your plane. I have to see this movie.

Derek Knight said...

Yes, such a shame that it took THIS long for the Snakes on a Plane propaganda machine to reach you. I believe that Snakes on a Plane has been part of my vocabulary for two months now.

Of course, it's not like I say "Snakes on a Plane" with reverence. Or awe. Or appreciation. It's more like "can this be at all serious?"

It's like changing the name of "the Sixth Sense" to "Don't waste your time, Bruce Willis is actually dead."

Flubberwinkle said...

The movie hasn't come out yet in Europe but I was hoping the title was metaphorical... I mean, "Snakes on a Plane", really... Hollywood? Will Parseltongue speaking Harry Potter be making a cameo appearance?

Shannon said...

I'm torn. I know this movie is going to be crap, but I'm a sucker for cult classics and kitch. I think I will see it. I also saw the same propoganda/marketing that Doc saw and found it amusing...

DrMax said...

What's not to like? Snakes! On a plane!

Best title ever.

Sylvana said...

SSB, that scene is interesting enough to make me want to watch this movie.

The Doc, that is some pretty original promotion.

Derek, I'm beginning to think that we are not supposed to take this movie seriously. I read the post that Flubberwinkle linked to and they aluded to it being campy.

Flubberwinkle, thanks for the link. That helped put this movie in a whole new light for me.

Shannon, I will have to see the movie. Even if it IS bad, I will have to see it just so that I can see just how bad it is. I think the commercial was set up to get you all in the "serious" mode then they spring the "ridiculous" on you at the end for a stronger comedic sense. I think my mind was wandering by time they got to the funny.

DrMax, at least you know exactly what you will be getting when you go to the movie.

Shannon said...

Check this out:

Wendy A said...

I saw a preview for that. How stupid is that? Sometimes the movie industry is insulting.

Sylvana said...

Shannon, yet another example of fine creative promotions. Stop it or you will make me like this movie.

Wendy A, the only way that this movie can truly redeem itself with me is to be REALLY funny!

sands of time said...

It will be the box office hit of the year.Its had so much internet hype.

I haven't posted in awhile because I have been working long hours at both jobs, I'm cranky from the humidty, and every time I start typing a post I'd get pissed at myself for sounding so boring.

Well, it rained last night and cooled down so I'm not cranky anymore, and because of that, I really don't care if I'm boring. Deal.

SSB and I replaced a dishwasher in one of our rental units last week. We have never installed a dishwasher before, but that has never stopped me from doing things. I say that you come into this world not having done anything before; you didn't let that stop you then and you shouldn't let that stop you now.

Dishwashers are surprisingly light! And it wasn't that hard to hook up either - mostly because we were just taking out the old one and putting in a new one. If we had to start from scratch (like, tying it into the plumbing and all that) I would have a very different story to tell.

Yesterday we went shopping. We looked at canoes and tires, both of which are very expensive. We didn't buy either, but we did get a bowling ball. It is so gross to get the loaner balls at the lane. They are always greasy and sometimes have some sort of gunky residue on them. Eventually we will get our own shoes.

We ended our shopping day at Kowalski's (an upscale grocery store). It was dark (around 9:30pm). As we were walking up to the store we could hear this woman in a car is arguing with this guy in a wife-beater standing on the sidewalk.
She screams, "I don't want to talk to you about this here!"
He mumbles something about going somewhere and talking to her about it later.
He mumbles something to her.
She screams, "Look you FUCKER, I can't sit here all day! I gotta go drop these kids off!!"
At that point we had reached the store and thought it rude to just stand and watch. When we left a half hour later, the car was gone, but he was still standing there. You can all make up your own story about what they were arguing about.

We've got a BBQ to go to today and next Sunday too. Both should be pretty interesting. Today's is at Elle's house (see "Family and Friend's" sidebar thingy if you want to know who anyone is). The people that I work with get a little rowdy when they get together, so it should be fun. And Elle made sure to let everyone know that her dog has giardia.
So it sounds like it will be like going to Mexico without the culture.

Next week we are having a BBQ over at Ned's. I think he misses us. He drove by our house yesterday at 8:30am to see if we were out in the yard. Usually on the weekends we don't get up before 10am, but it was going to rain and I had just woke up SSB to help me get the old dishwasher out of the yard and into the back of the car. I waved and thought that he would probably circle around to come talk to us, neither of us were really dressed nor in the mood for socializing. This morning I had to get up early to go grocery shopping for the BBQ (it is a pot luck and I'm making chicken wings). As I was going out to the garden at around 8:45am to dump out coffee grounds, Ned pulls up again. We talked for awhile and set plans for a BBQ - he's making the kabobs and we're bringing the Leinie's.

He's one of the friendliest, down-to-earth guys I know. And he's funny and fun to talk to. Both SSB and I enjoy his company a lot. I think the reason he's so lonely lately is because his wife left him and his daughter is going away to college. He has tons of friends, but most of them seem rather dull. I think SSB and I are probably the most interesting friends that he has. He's can seem very white-bread suburban on the surface, but I always get the sense that he has some fun darkness brewing underneath. It's a treat to see it peak out now and then. Maybe next week we can get him drunk enough to get a good show.


DrMax said...

Chicken wings and Leinie's. Go ahead Syl, just pop that beautiful image in my head when I'm too far away to partake. You're killing me here.

Sylvana said...

DrMax, my chicken wings were a big hit too!

Randi said...

ok, canoes, bowling balls, and tires......can you guys get any more random? hehe :)

Shamus O'Drunkahan said...

Canoes are very reasonable! But don't buy one, find a fallen log and then carve out the middle with a sharp axe.

Snowshovels make great paddles!

Shannon said...

I've had a little giardia before. No fun!

For some reason, this post makes me miss summer in Wisconsin!

"AG" said...

This made me giggle and cringe: "It is so gross to get the loaner balls at the lane. They are always greasy and sometimes have some sort of gunky residue on them." Ewwww! Loaner balls with grease!

BBQ, mmmmmmm!

sideshow bob said...

Those loaner balls are gross, but it's just so exciting to go to bowling alleys to see all those fine athletic specimens. Plus, it's one of the few "sports" that lets you drink beer during the competition!

Sylvana said...

Randi, we are pretty random. We just let life take us where it will.

Shamus, I don't know if I have the arm strength for snow shovel paddles.

Shannon, was it the canoes? the bowling? the beer? the grilling? the woman screaming and swearing at her man in a parking lot to quit being such a fucking jackass?

AG, now you just made me cringe!

SSB, northern athletics, the secret to the traditional Wisconsin body tone.

Elizabeth said...

Giardia really sucks and gives you eggy burps. I've had it too. I feel sorry for the dog.