Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Okay, the cold has hit. And I’m having plenty of moments that reveal me instantly as a cold virgin.

I continued to wear my Texas winter clothing (layers and a cute sweater coat with cowboy boots) on Sunday as it dipped into the teens and started snowing. That was stupid.

I woke up on Monday morning to 3 inches of snow outside and realized that my denial of actually living in a cold climate had prevented the purchase of a snow shovel. Thankfully, South Dakota neighbors are kind and one shoveled the walk of the poor Texans. Rob brought home a snow shovel last night.

I’m learning that scarves, hats and gloves hold a very essential purpose in the keeping of warmth. I kind of thought they were just cute winter accessories. Don’t laugh. I really did think that.

My brain doesn’t fathom the single digits on my kitchen window thermometer… especially in conjunction with the fact that I know it runs warm, being on the window. Can. Not. Fathom.

Along those lines, my phone tells me it’s negative four right now. NEGATIVE four. Uh. What??

Rob took my car on Monday as it was the first “on the roads” snow and we don’t know how his two-wheel drive truck will do. As a result, I didn’t leave the house all day, too scared to drive his truck. Get over it, McKay.

Rob will be getting some sandbags for the back of his truck as we’ve been told they help the back end from sliding around. I continue to be amazed by the things cold weather dwellers say as if it’s standard procedure “…if you wash your car make sure you dry the weather stripping because it can freeze together and seal you in or out…” what??

In defense of the cold, it is very pretty. It’s very dry and fluffy and kind of drapes everything in winter decorations. Like spray snow in the windows of Texas retailers. Only better.

I think there’s something to this “dry cold” too. If you’re just going from house to car to business, you don’t have to dress for the arctic – you can dress for a regular Texas winter and it actually doesn’t feel as cold as the Texas winter! Amazing to me that lower temps can feel less cold…

Apparently that style that people from Colorado wore in Texas – that whole “I just got in from hiking… wearing my North Face fleece and gore-tex hiking boots…” lame… is not just a style. And apparently, I need to wear that… because those people look warm.

I’ll keep updating you on the cold front… he he. Just in case any Texas decide to relocate to the “tropics of the north” – yea that’s Rapid City – because it’s a milder winter than most northern areas… milder…

Monday, November 15, 2010

In Non-House News


We enjoyed one of the last warm Rapid City days by fishing at Canyon Lake on the other side of town.

I got some great shots of Gus while we enjoyed the serenity and sun.





In backyard news, Gus alerted us to the presence of a rather large buck right outside our fence!

Sorry, I didn’t get great pictures – you’ll just have to trust me that he was really close!


I was in love with this beautiful barn on the outskirts of town and,  wonderful husband that I have, Rob noticed that they were starting to tear it down. He actually stopped and asked about the structure and got permission to take some wood. So, a couple afternoons last week, we went out and salvaged some barn wood!


And my totally amazing husband built this oh-so-awesome work table with the wood!


Plugging-in News

And continuing with news, I’m teaching yoga!!!!

Roots Yoga Studio (www.blackhillsroots.com) has one of the nicest (well, no THE nicest) yoga spaces I’ve ever been in! The room is huge! Plus, they have an amazing child care room, massage rooms, locker rooms, and they’re still adding amenities! And even cooler, their prices are GREAT! It’s just $30 a month for unlimited yoga! Holy cow! And drop-in classes are just $7.50! They even have scholarships and work study if you can’t afford to pay for yoga! I’m very excited to be helping to promote such a great studio!

Plus… as a teacher, my yoga is FREE!!!! What a deal! I shall no longer pour my yoga income right back into yoga! PLUS… yoga for my SPOUSE is free too!! Yea, Rob hasn’t cashed in on any yoga yet, but maybe… someday… he’ll rock his downward facing dog…

So, if you’re ever in South Dakota I highly recommend Roots Yoga!

And… we’ve found a church! We’ve decided to plug in at Fountain Springs Community Church. Plus, they have a small group that meets on Sunday nights! Answer to prayer! Plus, it already has some people we know and like in it! Super awesome! We like the church and are looking forward to plugging in!

So, lots of news from the South Dakota front! On the weather front, it got COLD! It’s in the 30s and 40s this week. I’ve discovered, though, that when the sun is out, it’s not that bad! Yea, I know! Weird. I could actually walk to the mailbox in a long sleeve cotton tee at 40 degrees and it wasn’t shockingly cold! Maybe there’s something to this “dry cold” after all… But of course today is overcast and a little more miserable. I’m glad I don’t have to be outside.

Bedrooms done!

We are finally done with the upstairs bedrooms! It took a little longer because we decided to paint the doors and trim a higher gloss. Trim should always always be HIGH gloss! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! And our doors are now semi-gloss.

Plus, we installed new fans,


put up the new blinds,


re-hung the doors,

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and did final touch-ups

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In all, we’re very pleased with how they came out! 

Some of my favorite things:

the way Rob oohs and aahhs when he walks on the luscious carpet in the green room.


the colors of the rooms – very happy!

the airy-ness of the blue room (the color is actually called “Distant Valley” and it’s kind of a blue-green-grey)

the carpet in the blue room is perfect for yoga, using my yoga towel!

the fans are great! They provide plenty of clearance, without compromising air circulation – they’re specially designed for lower ceilings! Plus, they’re so pretty!

the white trim – thanks for helping me decide! I think if we’d kept much wood, it would have still been stuck in the 70s (not bad, but I like the fresh new look of white trim).

the doorknobs that we got at auction for a measly $10! They are beautiful and I love the lever handle! Plus, with new hinges and striker plates, they make it look like a new house!


Currently, Rob has almost all his pieces cut for building the bathroom cabinet. We might start putting some of it together today. Then, we can make the mold for the concrete countertop (which will be awesome, by the way!) and start that (it takes about 4 weeks to cure).

Today, I need to clean out the garage of the old carpet (anyone know where to recycle carpet? I hate to just take it to the land fill… such a pity). And asap I will start to move our bedroom to the green room! Yay!!!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

DIY Galore


The carpet upstairs is being installed TODAY!!!! I’m SOOO excited!!! I’m sure amazing pics will be soon. But for now, this what we’ve been doing:

ripping up carpet – So fun! Rob would come home to find a big pile of carpet and padding by the front door.

prying away baseboards and door casings – I rocked this baby out! Plus, I removed ALL the staples from the floor, vacuumed (with my new best friend - mr, shopvac) and removed more staples.

removing and prepping doors – also done while Rob was at work!



caulking – I know of no one better at this than Rob! Major skills!

re-texturing – whoa! getting high now! better open a window.

priming – SO much to primer! doors, casings, closets…

choosing paint colors – this is my method – happily Lowe’s is not stingy with their paint samples!


grinding – we took a break to grind the sample pieces for the bathroom countertop and decide what the final product would have in it – glass sand recycled from Abilene’s recycle center, white quartz, black granite, and a shell accent all in white cement for our black and white bathroom! No final pic yet, as they’re still with slurry.


renting a paint sprayer (Rob’s skills as a painter have come in handy a LOT!)

painting doors – with the sprayer! So fast!

painting ceilings – again with the sprayer and wicked fast! We decided not to deal with the popcorn in the bedrooms as it wasn’t that bad and I didn’t want to wear myself out scraping popcorn before I tackled the main floor…

painting trim – paint sprayer rental is SO worth it!!

painting walls – color is BEAUTIFUL! No more dingy white for me!!!!

cutting and installing baseboards and casing (again, Rob is AMAZING!) His first time installing trim and he made it look super easy! But of course, the miter saw and nail gun helped a lot!

changing electrical switches – white is better than ugly cream/brown that was in every rental I lived in!

pulling wiring for the fan and light – attics are hot! Even in fall!

more caulking

more spackling

more painting

more vacuuming

and right now… carpet guys are here!!!! Can’t wait for the finished product!!!!

Some pics in progress:

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Carpet going in! I’m in love with our paint colors! And that white trim! MMm!