Friday, September 28, 2012

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Harvest Gold

My mom and dad built our family house in the mid-seventies, and for the time, it was the height of style.  And by style, I mean kickin' shag carpet everywhere, paneling as far as the eye can see and...wait for it...harvest gold appliances.  They've changed out most of the carpet, paneling remains only in the basement, and the stove and refrigerator have been upgraded.

The rest of the kitchen, time warp. 

So we are redoing it.  Michael, Mom, Dad and I are going to attack this slammin' seventies beast next weekend, and attempt to have it done by the end of the month. On the cheap.  The super-cheap.  We've already got a great deal on flooring ($1.39/sf), and hope to avoid any major electrical or plumbing. 

So here's where we're going:
{1} P. Kaufmann Breeze Tapestry for drapery, $28 per yard {2} Granite countertops from Bangor Wholesale Laminates {3} Subway tile (already own from Lowes) {4} Bridge faucet $123 {5} Acrylic sink $158 {6} Pendant lighting $48 each {7} I love a good ticking stripe - Covington {8} Floors we own similar to these from Houzz {9} Dash and Albert rug $84

Monday, September 24, 2012

New Zealand, Part XI

Leaving Queenstown on our last morning, packing and repacking and taking one last look out our window, then another and knowing we had a 32 hour journey in front of us...well, it was hard.  We loved New Zealand.  We also knew we were leaving a soft, warm southern hemisphere spring for a New England winter.

Here is our drive back through the South Island's fjordland and the next morning onto Christchurch/Auckland/Los Angeles/Chicago/Manchester/the long drive to Maine.

Back through the world's creepiest tunnel.  I actually just noticed that the bottom little sign actually says 'signals off 6pm to 9am.  So...what happens then?  It's a giant game of chicken in the dark?  

Lake Gunn

Not sure what made the water so green...but it was beautiful.  

I was so excited to see this...I knew we were close.  It's kind of a bucket-list thing - I've now been to 45 south and 45 north.  Maybe the equator is next.

Oh, those crafty Kiwis.

One of my favorite pictures.

These shrubberies were in bloom all over the South Island.  We never found out what they were.

Sunrise on our last morning.

For two huge geeks, we didn't do much Lord of the Rings stuff while we were in NZ (we did go to Hobbiton, though!).  This river outside Queenstown was featured in Fellowship.

The end on the road for us and our little Focus.

The End...until next time.  

See the rest of the New Zealand adventures here:

all photos, ours

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friendly Friday, 9-14-12

So there have been a lot of NZ and Friendly Friday posts, but not much else!  I'll get on that next week. 

Oliver has been a punk for the past two nights, and while he is still as friendly as can be (he's currently leaning against my leg, waiting to be petted), I am more exhausted than friendly today.  Since summer is officially over up here (it was in the 40's this week), I thought I'd do a little before and after post.  When we got Ollie 5 months ago, he weighed 15 pounds.  Last night on the Wii, he clocked in at 64.  He's going to be HUGE!

Oh well, TGIF!

*Remember when there was that block of TV shows on ABC?  The only ones I remember are Family Matters and Full House - what were the others?  Anybody?

Early May in Acadia

Late August on Schoodic Mountain 

Look at the little puppy face!

 I think he is going to be a horse.  Or at least a pony. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

New Zealand, Part X

This was the day that almost didn't happen.  We were sitting in Maine, planning our South Island adventures, and figured we'd spend our last day hanging out in Queenstown, preparing ourselves for the epic 32 hour journey home. 

But.  In the back of our minds there was this little niggling thought that kept nudging us whenever we made a hotel reservation or mapped out a driving route.

What about Milford Sound?  It's practically the eighth wonder of the world! I know it's a massive bitch to get to, but really?  You've travelled to the other side of the world and you're not going to drive 4 more hours?  It's really something you should see. *tsk tsk...

So we did. We booked a trip with Mitre Peak Cruises (they seemed the least touristy) and exhausted,  dragged ourselves up and out of our warm room-with-a-view in Queenstown and began the chilly 4 hour journey out to the sound.

It was incredible.  Crazy steep switchbacks across the sides of snow-capped mountains, wildflower-laden fields, and the occasional sheep sharing the road.  Again, we were often the only ones on the road.  A tip if you are thinking about Milford?  Get Up Early!!  The sooner you get out there, the less crowded it will be.  Try to beat the tour buses.

I can't say enough about Mitre Peak; we had a tiny boat, informative captain, and a trip that took us all the way to the Tasman.  Hours flew by like minutes.  There are no words to describe the scale and magnitude of the landscape except that one felt very insignificant indeed.  It stilled the soul and made you draw a deep, clean breath of this-is-what-is-important-in-life. 

We will never forget our day on Milford. Cozy in...this is a long one. 

Sadly, Knobs Flat and Monkey Creek were not as awesome as they sounded.

Sheeps!  Sheeps on the loose!

It would have REALLY sucked to get out here and find that the road was closed.  

Getting there...

Only the Scariest Tunnel in the Fucking World to go!  Seriously?  It was one lane.  You could only drive through it on the quarter hour, because in the meantime, people were coming the other way. We had to turn on our windshield wipers because it dripped so much inside.  A carload of tourists had died the week before on the other side.  Now.  I am not normally freaked out by tunnels.  I don't love them, don't hate them, and generally accept them as a necessary addition to our ground transportation corridors.  I once ran a 5k through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel.  It was lovely.  This was...not.  

But we made it.

Milford Harbor.

Yes, we know.   We just came from there.  

Mitre Peak itself, just over 1 mile high and obscured by clouds. 

See that waterfall?  Insane.  

Calmer waters near the mouth of the sound.

Okay, a brief fashion note.  See those boots?  They are Patagonia Drifters and I have been wearing them almost constantly since I bought them 3 years ago.   I don't think you can buy them anymore, which makes me sad, because they have kept my feet dry and toasty tramping through Scotland, Canada, New Zealand, and to work during a couple Maine winters.  Plus, they are cute!

Heading back in... 

Bring a poncho.

As we were leaving Mitre Peak showed its head.  *sigh.

all photos, ours

Friday, September 7, 2012

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