Wednesday, November 30, 2005


I direct a very unruly (by unruly I mean fun, and really hyper) group of about 25 kid singers. We call them the Half-Notes. They are an absolute riot. It's what I like to call "full-contact worship." Praising God whilst jumping, waving your hands in the air and singing for all you are worth. Probably the most fun part of my job at the church.

I started the group up officially last spring after having had several chaotic events at church when we wanted kids to sing. I would call a bunch of parents and ask if their kids would be willing to sing for a particular service or event. It worked and they were great, but was just a lot more work and not very organized. And I have to be organized!

I decided to go with an audition process and we have regular rehearsals and also very spiffy little matching orange t-shirts. We have had the opportunity with them to sing in public a couple times, at a ministry conference and as often as possible at Ada Bible Church for baby dedications, holidays, etc.

I say all this because our Children's Ministry Christmas event is coming up. It's the big holiday bash party for families. We have story-time with the Christmas story, lots of crafts, making Christmas cookies, have a hay-ride and of course, there is the singing of Christmas carols by all the kids! We have each class perform a couple songs for their parents and this year we are also having the amazing Half-Notes sing and dance a couple songs along with the Andy Ferris Band. :) It's not an event without the band.

Tomorrow night is the first rehearsal for the 1/2 kids. I am a little nervous because there is a lot for them to learn and not a lot of time to learn it all in. But it will turn out fine and they will rock. It is going to be very fun and probably a good bit silly also. But that's how kids are, right?! Not me, though. No silly here. Nope.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Coming Soon

"Dark and difficult times lie ahead, Harry. Soon we must all face the choice between what is right, and what is easy."
~~Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

What upcoming films are on your "must see" list? Why are they must see? Is there anything coming out soon that you have absolutely no interest in seeing? Why not? Need a reminder of what's coming out in the next two months? Here are direct links to listings of November and December films.

I have already bought tickets to see Narnia. That is going to be excellent. I have read that series probably 5 times since I was a kid, not to mention the few times that I have had it read to me. I have very high hopes for this film. And I plan to read the book again immediately after watching it.
I think that's it. I saw Harry Potter...loved that. Am already anxiously awaiting the next movie or book. I want to see Walk The Line, but that's also not one I have to see in the theatre, I could rent it.
Oh yeah! RENT! I really want to see that. I have never seen the production of it...Producers! I have to see that too!
Man...I have more on the list than I thought I did. Any more I'm missing!?

Monday, November 28, 2005


So in the past three or four months, I have been to about 5 or more Pampered Chef parties. Could be a bit overkill at this point. I don't believe I will ever need to buy any other kitchen item. Riiiight. (at least that's what I'll tell Andy...heh heh)

Anyway, I had another one last night. Very fun as usual. Good food, good friends, silly party games. I always find it so interesting to meet friends of my friends' that I don't know yet or have heard lots about but never met.

My one job last night was to bring the slicer and help with making the sangria. As I am explaining how best to slice the oranges and to be very careful since the blade is horribly sharp and that, "really you should use the protector guide thingy when slicing so you don't cut yourself...Aaahhh!!!" The yelling was me cutting my thumb way open. Sometimes I am not so bright. No stitches. Just some blood and throbbing. Though now I will be wary of ever slicing again.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Hip Hip


It's done! After three and a half months, my tiny little bathroom is finished! And I love it. Love it, love it, love it. It's so beautiful and exactly what I was hoping it would be.

Andy worked on the trim all day Friday and then we had to pick up one more little piece of wood, paint it and then he finished that today.

He installed the toilet, though we had to run to the hardware store to pick up a new flapper as ours was leaking. New toilet!? Leaking flapper!? That's just ridiculous. Ah well, it was only $57 dollars for the whole toilet. What can I expect?

The sink cabinet is in and steady. He had to do a good bit of finagling to get it to be level, but it is nice and sturdy now. I got new hand towels and soap. The plumber is coming this afternoon to look at one of the handles on the faucet as it was a little bit leaky. And we certainly can't have that.

Mirror is on. Paper holder is on. New matching trash can and light & outlet plates are on. New floor mats. Little shelf for a plant and picture is on. Now I just need to make a curtain for my window. Maybe something striped in white, brown & green to match. I sense a fabric store shopping excursion coming up!

My hubby did such a good job. All I did was tear the old bathroom down and pick out the things I wanted. He did all the work. :) Sometimes it's nice to be a girl.

Amazingly, he was talking yesterday about the projects he wants to do someday in the attic and the basement. He's unstoppable. Though I'm not likely to try to stop him either!

Friday, November 25, 2005

shopping...part deux

I just want to preface this by saying that I am an amazing shopper. Other shoppers, employees, etc--they aren't a bother to me. I know what I want and I go after it. I am also quite good at browsing for a very long time.

I did well on my lunch break. Half an hour and I was out of there! HA!

I am out of work early today...give thanks...and I'm going back for more. This time I have more coupons, more stores and more presents to buy!!


I haven't gone yet today. I am planning on going very soon.

In fact, yesterday I spent much of my afternoon and evening going through the plethera of shopping ads. There are the Thursday sales, the 5-11 sales, the 6-noon sales, the 6-1 sales and the 6-2 sales. After that there are the Friday only and the two-day sales.

I have made my list. I have checked it fourteen times. There might even be a present for you on it.

I'm brave and very patient.

...I'll let you know how it goes...

Thursday, November 24, 2005

things i'm thankful for...

1. Andy--sweetest hubby in the world
2. Warm house full of love and kitties
3. Good job(s)
4. Full tummy of all kinds of thanksgiving goodness
5. My very strange family...even though no one called me to say happy day...I still love them
6. Friends who love me and put up with me in spite of my weirdness
7. Time--and the ability to make the most of each moment
8. Snow (I'll take this off my list in January)
9. Safety, heath, challenges, senses, knowledge, energy and a sense of humor not to take any of it (or myself) too seriously
10. the Lord who has given me all these things!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Joys of Tuesday

Tuesdays are always interesting days for me. I have two jobs: one at a bank and one at our church.

Most of the time I am at the bank and sitting in my little 8x4 cubicle staring at my computer screen for 9 or 10 hours of the day. I eat lunch here, read my email, process my work, edit my blog, etc. It is a very cozy little desk. I have a lamp, lots of pictures of Andy and my kitties, a plant and even a tiny little area rug. I really don't like plain stark cube walls. I must live in color. My last cube had a window looking over downtown. Sigh. I loved that. I'm still trying not to be bitter about when we moved offices back in June...

Anyway, Tuesdays change it up a little bit for me. I am only at the bank for about four hours and then I get to leave that office and spend the afternoon at the church office planning, plotting, organizing, charting music, selecting music, checking equipment, listening to music, etc. Very fun job. My church cubicle is very colorful and fun also. Different lamp, plant, pictures of Andy, area rug, coffee mug and a fish I lovingly named Nero. Plus all of my kid-CDs on my wall. Oh, and I just got new business cards today! Man, I must be slightly important.

I love the short day. Even though it's a full day. I feel like I rush rush rush around at my desk just to go to the church and rush rush rush some more. These are good rushes. The time flies right by and soon I'm home with my to-do list and my TV and my free time. Not necessarily in that order.

Tonight Andy has rehearsal for Sunday with all four bands for the church. He is their full time music director. Usually they have rehearsals on Thursdays, but since that is a holiday this week, it was rescheduled. So, I will have the house all to myself! I believe my brother may be home though. Maybe I'll have him make me dinner. Mac & cheese with tuna sandwiches. Mmmm.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Question of the Week

What is your family's traditional way to spend Thanksgiving day? What was your favorite Thanksgiving?

My family always went to my great-aunt's house. Everyone in my family went. Mother's side, father's side, and everybody who was remotely related to a side somewhere. It was chaos and so much fun!

Now that so many in that family have grown up, I haven't been to a big gathering in some time. My husband and I enjoy quiet Thanksgiving's together, or tag along with someone else who invites us.

My favorite Turkey Day was when I was in Israel. All of the Americans got together as many of the typical dishes as we possibly could (cranberry was strangely difficult to come by) and enjoyed talking about all the things we loved about our country back home.

101 Things About Anne by Andy

1. her name is Anne Ellen Ferris
2. she is kinda short, but I’m so tall that she might actually be average and I wouldn’t know it.
3. she is good at putting other people first.
4. she is a wait ‘till the last minute makeup applier…usually in the car or in the ladies room wherever we go
5. addendum to Anne’s #30…he doesn’t th ink he owns the world…but the nickname is from the moustache. The random right paw salute doesn’t help…
6. she is a better speller than I am
7. she is very organized. I’m not, so perhaps she really isn’t and it’s only in comparison to me. Either way, I’m impressed.
8. she is the messiest neat freak I know
9. she likes to read unless she has to
10. she likes cats.
11. she likes most cute furry creatures, but not as much as cats
12. she is obsessed with shoes. When we have kids we will have to sell enough shoes to make room for the crib
13. she doesn’t like it when I am paying attention to something other than her.
14. which sucks, because I have several hobbies…
15. she is great at speaking exactly what’s on her mind
16. she is awful about speaking what is exactly on her mind
17. she is very outgoing
18. she won’t talk to strangers
19. she likes fun socks and underwear. She will make them match, though no one ever sees (I hope) to make it matter
20. she will have piles of catalogues to look through and feed her (imaginary) materialism, yet will hide the one music gear magazine that I get lest I try and spend unessesary money
21. she has a bad habit of reading over my shoulder as I type
22. she is also terrible about reading books and magazines over my shoulder
23. I can’t stand reading stuff online if she is around since she will keep hitting the scroll button and I will loose my place
24. she is obsessed with cheesy online video games. If only she could be obsessed with the violent ones so I would have a reason to make her stop…
25. we spend lots of time working on budget and financial planning, then use the “if you spend money, I get to also” style of sticking to it
26. she has a very loud laugh
27. if coffee ceased to exist she would die
28. or at least be a very cranky person
29. she loves kids that she can play with and then give back to their parents when she is tired of kids
30. she loves starting projects for me to finish
31. she usually has too much to do
32. she also has too much free time
33. she is very committed to her friends and family
34. she has great taste in pretty much everything: clothes, decorations, music, books, art, etc
35. she know more about cars than I do
36. she can beat you up
37. she will give you a noogie or wedgie depending on how well she knows you
38. she laughs so hard that she has to sit down
39. she laughs so hard she starts crying
40. she cries at most sappy movies and books.
41. she cries when she sees dead animals by the road
42. she cries when I leave town
43. she cries when I come home
44. she is the happiest person I know
45. she listed all these places she swam in…she can’t swim…
46. though she can doggie paddle better than most dogs
47. she thinks dogs are cute, but doesn’t want one
48. that’s ok, since I have enough poop to clean up. The cats, not my wife…
49. I think she has a solid worldview. She knows what she believes but is always learning
50. I think she would get a haircut everyday if it grew fast enough
51. she is a good cook, but rarely has time to employ that skill
52. she is a hard worker for stuff she cares about
53. she is a decently hard worker for stuff she doesn’t care much about
54. she is annoyed by stupid leadership or management
55. good leadership and management motivates her to great ends
56. she is also good at motivating herself. She should be a manager.
57. she cares greatly for other people
58. she desires to follow Christ and is always seeking to know what that means
59. she has a ton of energy
60. she is energetic even when she is tired
61. she tells people that her energy is an act and she does it when she has to, but it’s the real deal. I know, I’ve tried to keep up with her.
62. she loves to garden. A recent development.
63. she is more of a boy than me sometimes in that she will pick up worms and frogs and those things give me the creeps
64. she prefers to listen to music the first time when I’m not there to provide a running commentary/critique.
65. she loves good art that inspires a discussion
66. she loves a good discussion
67. stupid people annoy her
68. which is funny, because she is right about never having road rage and Lord knows how many stupid people there are on the road.
69. she likes to make things pretty
70. it’s a crying shame she has to have a job, since she is so good at so many things she doesn’t have enough time for.
71. she makes the cutest pouty faces
72. she has to wear contacts or glasses
73. when she doesn’t wear contacts or glasses she has to get inches away from something to see it which is very funny to watch
74. she is always a fast driver, even if she’s not in a hurry
75. she is a slow walker
76. she says she’s a fast walker. Yeah, but compared to who? Not to me…hah!
77. she is a good snuggler
78. she is very theatric and steals a show
79. she is more of a rock star in attitude than I will ever be, multiple piercings, tatoos…
80. so’s your face
81. she is a good kisser
82. she is a flirt.
83. but mostly with me
84. she is a great cat petter. She always extracts a purr
85. she is not a big TV watcher, but is addicted to one or two shows each year.
86. she loves swedish fish candy
87. she punches people in the arm
88. sometimes she misses and hits your face
89. can’t say it enough: so’s your face
90. she would make a hot pirate
91. she is quite social and enjoys a large group
92. but also craves her time alone with a book
93. she is a good gift giver, always thinking of something for someone
94. she tries to live out her convictions
95. she is great at bargain shopping and talking people down in price
96. she is totally like a cat in that she will randomly climb into high places, ledges, trees, cliffs over waterfalls. She will also walk right in front of you
97. she likes to be cozy: hammocks, bathrobes, fires and hot chocolate, porches and beaches with ice cream, etc
98. she is more talented than she admits
99. she is really, really hot (even when not a pirate)
100. she is my best friend
101. she is definitly a gift from God

102 Things About Anne by Anne

1. I am a follower of Jesus Christ
2. My husband is a full-time musician. Lucky for us, he even gets paid. He is amazing at what he does. One of those artists that amaze everyone he meets. God gave him a few extra doses of talent.
3. We own three cats: one is black & white and sucks her thumb, one is an orange tabby that styles hair, and the third is a calico that has seven toes on each front paw.
4. I love the snow if I am indoors with hot cocoa and a good book
5. I love laying in the hot sun if I have a fan blowing on me
6. I love the smell of spring
7. My favorite book is Wicked (but that’s really hard to choose and often changes every year!)
8. I will read mystery, sci-fi, fantasy, Christian living, children’s books, adventure, classics, thrillers, non-fiction, reference, but I can’t bring myself to read Christian romance. Not that I care if anyone else does.
9. My mom is 54 years old, has Multiple Sclerosis and lives in a nursing home
10. I am afraid of what will get me in the dark when my eyes are closed.
11. I worry the most about what people really think of me.
12. I need to get rid of those clothes from high school that I am sure I will fit into again but are out of style now anyway, so I don’t know why I bother.
13. What gives me the greatest sense of satisfaction right now is leading elementary kids in worship and teaching them how much fun it is.
14. I need to be a better wife
15. My shoes are like bunnies. They keep multiplying.
16. Garage-saleing is one of my favorite adventures
17. I wish I exercised more
18. I hate exercising
19. I feel like I don’t deserve my husband.
20. Bryer’s Strawberry ice cream is not overrated. In fact, I can think of none better.
21. Coffee is a gift from God. It is possible for me to wake up without it, but may not be pleasant.
22. I am a Harry Potter Fan
23. I spent 3 months in Jerusalem, Israel studying Jewish history, archaeology, Biblical relevancy and Israeli film; I traveled to Petra, Galilee and Tel Burnah and I made amazing friends and memories. I have pictures if you want to see.
24. When I was a kid, I pretty much got whatever I wanted. But I never felt spoiled. I suppose that means I really was.
25. I believe in summer days, laying on a hammock and having a kitty purr on your chest.
26. I am an unabashed fan of everything my husband does. He is my rock star. Other people think he’s a rock star also, but he belongs singularly to me.
27. I say what is on my mind. Sometimes with regret, sometimes just for fun.
28. I took care of my mother all through when I was in high school. I hated people telling me what a good thing I was doing. She’s my mother. That’s just the right thing to do. Putting her in a nursing home was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. And yet it was easy and I was relieved.
29. My invisible friend’s name when I was little was Suzie. I was planning on naming my first child that. I probably won’t.
30. I have a cat whose nickname is “Hitler.” It’s because of the mustache not because of his worldview.
31. I have swum in the Sea of Galilee, the Red Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, the Dead Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, Lake Michigan, Lake Erie and Lake Chautauqua. I prefer fresh water to salt.
32. I am of the opinion that Happiness is just another word for Chocolate.
33. I like being short. Except when I’m with tall people. Then I feel small.
34. I wish I could dance.
35. I haven’t acted in a play or musical in years. But I have been Corrie tenBoom, Jo March, Mustardseed, and a host of other small parts. My ideal role would be a leading Jane Austin character. I love all forms of theatre.
36. I met my husband as a member of the musical “HMS Pinafore.” He had to catch me as I fainted when one of the characters ‘swore’ onstage.
37. I can’t draw to save my life. Stick figures are another matter entirely.
38. I change favorite colors with the seasons. Right now it’s green. I am obsessed with green. Maybe because there isn’t any on the trees right now.
39. I love my friends. I know so many cool people that I am amazed every time I see each of them. I don’t think I’m popular (my husband has that covered) but I feel blessed to know so many awesome folks!
40. I want to be a loyal, dependable friend. I want to be trustworthy and honest and forthright. I want to be someone people go to for advice, counsel and a shoulder to cry on. I don’t think I am any of these things yet.
41. I can watch a lot of Law & Order, X-files, Lost, and Felicity.
42. I believe that God created the purr of the kitty to show us what peace really is.
43. I love playing in the dirt. Growing fruit, vegetables, flowers and weeds. I love seeing something I planted months ago produce something beautiful. It almost makes Spring worth the wait. Except then I have to suffer through Winter. Bah.
44. When I was in high school I had a much closer relationship with Christ. Now, I am much more mature but not in as regular of communication.
45. I love learning. I would go to college again if there weren’t homework involved. Random classes too. Languages, cooking, history, art.
46. I hate the time it takes to learn something. I want to know it all right now.
47. I have developed a green thumb in the last two years. Used to be I couldn’t keep a spider plant or simple ivy alive and now I have plants coming out from every corner of my house. Maybe that’s why I like green right now. Huh.
48. I love climbing trees. I don’t care if I ruin clothes, scrape my knees or freak out my husband who is afraid of heights. I will probably be terrified when my kids are just like me.
49. I am the loudest laugher in the room. Sometimes I even fall down laughing so hard; people have stopped to ask if I’m ok. My husband’s favorite trick is making everyone in the restaurant turn around and look at me.
50. I hate cleaning. Dishes I don’t mind. Laundry I can fold while watching TV. But sweeping, dusting, vacuuming…ugh. Just the thought of it all makes me tired.
51. I think my nose is too big. I wish it was cute and pert but it is not. It is large and in charge. I have never embraced this fact. I feel sorry for my future children.
52. I have a tattoo of a teddy bear on my back. His name is Samuel. Why did I get a teddy bear? Beats me. Spur of the moment. I would get another tattoo if I think my husband wouldn’t kill me.
53. I used to love to play in the woods as a kid. I’d catch crawfish and tadpoles in the creek, build dams, create houses out of fallen trees, ride my bike headlong down steep hills, and hike for hours and hours. I was by myself, but never alone or bored.
54. I am afraid I won’t be a good parent because I won’t know how. My mother was sick for most of my teenage years and I don’t feel like I got a chance to learn how to do it right. Maybe that’s why I’m putting it off as long as possible.
55. I am sad when so many Christians give us a bad name. Christ showed love to everyone, why don’t we? I am a believer in His love and life and the restoration of His church.
56. I love to bake and to cook. Sadly, I don’t do it often enough. My crock-pot cries out from the cupboard from lack of use.
57. I wish I could play an instrument better. I have played violin, piano and percussion. But I’m not really great at any of them. I have taken guitar and bass lessons from my husband. But I never practice. I am very impatient with myself.
58. I don’t have to agree with you to get along; I love theological and philosophical discussions that stretch my thinking and my ideologies. I have been put in my place more than once and I’m not afraid to sit there.
59. I used to think bunnies could be pink or purple.
60. I have been married to my husband four times. It’s a great story.
61. Kittens implore me to adopt them. Especially when they have seven toes on their front paws.
62. I will eat almost anything. Except bugs or brussels sprouts or beans (apparently I don’t like things that begin with B…but I like bacon and broccoli and bananas…)
63. I am the financial manager of our household. Not that my husband can’t do it, but we find that I do it better. He’s the artist; I’m the organizer.
64. I am a part of two small groups. One is a women’s group. They are supportive and very challenging, which I love and need. The other is a couple’s group that myself and my husband lead. They are the coolest bunch of people who love learning about God and life together.
65. I don’t shop at Wal-Mart. They once tried to send me to jail over a $50 check. It’s a great story.
66. My recurring nightmare is that all of my teeth are falling out. Every time I have this dream, I am sure that it’s for real.
67. I always read over my husband’s shoulder and then take away whatever he is reading. He hates it.
68. I love budgeting.
69. I dislike sticking to a budget.
70. I make amazing home made salsa from fresh veggies out of my garden. At least it’s amazing to me.
71. I work full-time at a bank in their Commercial Loan Department. Not my ideal job, but strangely fulfilling. The management is great which also makes it worthwhile to me.
72. I work part-time at a church as the kids’ music coordinator. On Sunday’s I get to lead hundreds of elementary students in worship. I love it. My ideal job if it were full-time.
73. I love being served by my husband. He’s the best French toast maker, back rubber, coffee bringer, litter-box changer, chauffeur, tuck-er-in-er a girl could ever hope for or desire. And I don’t deserve him. I can only hope to learn servant-hood from him.
74. I have to do my hair differently every day. Whether it’s parting it on the other side, straightening it, curling it, scrunching it, putting it up—it has to be different.
75. I love to be home alone with my kitties
76. I love to be at a party with all my friends
77. I prefer the party to be at their house
78. I love entertaining at our house
79. I love remodeling. I love taking something and making it better. But I can never do it on my own. My hubby is remarkable in so many ways. He’s been a painter, an electrician, a plumber, a builder and a tiler. So really, I guess he loves remodeling. Though I doubt he would never tell anyone that.
80. I love my fries dipped in my Frosty.
81. I enjoy a good cry. But I usually try to hold it in when other people are around. Must…appear…tough…
82. I am a pretty patient driver. I don’t get mad by other dumb drivers and I don’t believe I have ever had road rage. Though I am the one passing you on the right. Or the left. Or on the shoulder if I have to. But you’ll hardly see me go by. I’m quick. The tickets I have had over the years will attest to my speediness. There are some states and countries I can no longer drive in.
83. My favorite smell is freshly cut grass. Or patchouli incense. Or fresh brownies. Or Andy’s cologne. Or a newly blossomed rose. Or baking bread. Or the smoke from a candle that has just been blown out.
84. My least favorite smell is cat pee. Hands down. Ugh. And with my big ol’ shnoz, I can scope it out from a mile away. This scent is also one of my biggest pet peeves.
85. Ignorance makes me angry. As does apathy. Especially in myself.
86. I used to think I was pretty decent at selecting home d├ęcor. But since one of my best friends is an interior designer, I have lost most of my confidence in that matter. I will now run to her with every question.
87. I like wine and foo-foo alcoholic beverages. I don’t like beer except Corona and I don’t like straight liquor.
88. I used to think I slept with my eyes open. Hey, they're open when I go to bed and open when I get up. It makes sense.
89. My favorite fruit is a pomegranate. It is an adventure in eating and a challenge to conquer. Plus they are very tasty and remind me of my time in Jerusalem.
90. I like to wear makeup. I am pretty confident in my looks, but always like to at least have some lip-gloss on if nothing else is available.
91. I have become very addicted to corny online computer games. Feeding fish, escaping from a locked room, short little adventures. I love it. There are few other things I will stay up past midnight for.
92. I will stay up all night to finish a book I am really into.
93. I love sleeping. Andy says that we won’t get to sleep when we’re in heaven, so we’re doing as much as we can now.
94. I love chick flicks, action movies, sci-fi, thrillers, and classics. I really love movies. I try to stay away from horror. They give me nightmares. That freaky girl from “The Ring” tends to keep me up at night.
95. I had two wedding dresses for two different wedding ceremonies. My mother’s, which we altered, and another that I purchased. Both very different, but I loved them both.
96. Get Fuzzy is my favorite comic. Always funny.
97. Comics are the only part of the newspaper that I read.
98. I don’t really have a favorite flower. I love roses’ scent, daisies’ cheerfulness, mums’ heartiness and how delicate orchids are. I grow as many as I can. Haven’t grown an orchid yet. I have one, but no flowers yet.
99. I speak in my own funny little girly voice when I am on the phone with my husband. I didn’t think of this myself, but my coworkers brought it up…apparently they notice.
100. My CD collection is alphabetized. My DVD collection is ordered by genre (chick flick, action, comedy, etc.) and then actor. My library is organized topically (mystery, christian living, reference, chick lit, history, biography, classics, etc.) and then by author. I like to be able to find things.
101. I like being challenged by work or conversation. I get bored easily.
102. This list was really hard for me. Andy did his on me in an hour and it has taken me three days. Apparently I am not very good at introspection. Who knew.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Remodeling--Part 3

Our current project is the small first floor bathroom. Like I said, it came equipped with only a toilet and a towel rack. (I am of the opinion that those who owned our house in times previous to ourselves were not rocket scientists.) We wanted to have a sink so our guests don't feel quite so weird. We also needed to update the look of the room quite a bit. In taking down the wallpaper and classy wood paneling on the walls, we decided to rip out the half wall and expand the size of the room a couple feet. This was a good decision. Messy, but good.

For a sink, we first thought that the best thing to do would be to get a tiny corner pedestal, but I have always loved vessel sinks and so began my search for the perfect one. Everything I found exceeded our budget by quite a bit. I kept looking on ebay and every possible online store. Then one day while driving home, I passed a potter's shop. "Hmm," I thought. "I wonder if he could make me a sink." In I go and find the coolest Einstein-type eccentric potter fellow. He had actually made a vessel sink before for someone and promised me one in exactly the dimensions I wanted and for less than half of the price of anything I could have found anywhere else. I considered hugging him. But refrained.

The faucet I did buy off of ebay. Struggles and lamentations. But I got it and it's exactly what I wanted. Andy put in all of the pvc piping himself. We have an amazing friend who is a plumber help us with all of the copper piping and plumbing installation. The walls are now painted. The tile is laid (another great friend) and grouted. I need a new toilet since the old one didn't match, and a new door and wood trim. We have the trim and it is cut and just waiting to be painted. The mirror is waiting to be hung and the sink to be attached. Soon and very soon it will be completely done.

Sigh. I think we will take a break for a while.

Next year is new carpeting and fixing cracked plaster in some spots. Maybe painting a few more rooms. But until then, we are just going to cuddle into our snug little house, light some candles to save on gas, and enjoy our home that we have been exceedingly blessed with.

Please come visit. I'll make some brownies, we'll watch a movie. And I'll even let you use my new sink.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Remodeling--Part 2

This year we started off the summer with building a retaining wall for my flower garden. Two hundred bricks, three yards of dirt and many pots of flowers later, we have a stunning little addition to the front of our home. My morning glories grew all over the front of the house this summer. They even stuck their little ivy fingers through our windows and into the front porch! The roses did not blossom after replanting, but by the end of the summer had lots of green leaves again. I am hoping that next year they will be splendid.
Oh this picture makes me smile. Especially now when I know I will not see the beautiful green for many months.

Back into the house we go. The dining room became the next big project. Lots of ripping, busting, tearing, and demolishing. Underneath our very attractive dropped tile we found broken and falling plaster and lathe. The whole ceiling had to come down. And down it came. Breathing was best done outside during those few weeks.

Again, my amazing husband hung new drywall and while he was at it, he decided to install three new electrical outlets upstairs while the access was available! I am ever more impressed with him. We painted the walls two different colors, stained and hung picture rail trim and wha-la! I love my dining room. It is so warm and cozy. Now I just have to get pictures on the walls.

I sometimes get the urge to buy another big old house near us just so we can remodel it and make it amazing. But then my husband shakes me out of my stupor and informs me that we won't. Good man.

The Night of the Gnome

I've got a garden gnome. His name is Gary. He is a lovely fellow. Red hat. Long white beard. About a foot tall. He keeps away the bugs and pulls my weeds at night while I'm sleeping.

But I am naive.

I thought he would be with me forever. But alas. He has been gnome-napped. Not once, but twice.

One dark stormy morning (ok, it could have been nice out, but this makes the story much more intersting) I received a ransom letter. A request for me to comply with their demand for money. (I was not informed at first how much money, however.) Gary was in danger for his life. Duct tape across his mouth, hatcuffed to a pipe and placed behind bars. What a traumatic experience for a young gnome. (they grow beards early)

I complied with the evil gnome-nappers. I gave them their requested twenty dollars and Gary was released into my custody. Ahh. Peace at the Ferrai residence. Freedom from bugs and weeds once more. Smiles and joy whenever I arrived home and saw his happy face.

But his tale was not to end there. Oh no. Far from it. His story is just beginning.

For Gary was to become a member of the elusive Traveling Gnomes clan. (dum, dum, dummmmmm)

On September first of 2005, Gary left us for warmer climes and in his place we found: Darryl. Darryl the hideous, acrylic, broken half-a-donkey. The front half, mind you. We of course thought this was a hysterical turn of events. First poor Gary is gnome-napped and then he is taken on this life-changing journey across the country!

About three weeks later, however, we discovered it was not quite as simple as that. One morning, sitting next to our lovely Darryl, was a goose. A wooden, faded white goose. Huh? Are we to keep recieving random lawn ornaments as consolation prizes for the lack of our beloved gnome?

The correct answer to this question is, of course, yes. Yesterday morning, we walked out our front door on the way to work and sitting placidly on our front step was a lovely, little frog. At least he's cute. Well, at least he' There's more about him here and here .

I don't know when Gary will return home. And sadly, I have not even recieved any photos of his exciting travels. But I have hope that he will return home soon with many stories and pictures of his journey. I miss the little guy.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Remodeling--Part 1

I love to remodel.

Our house was pretty cool when we first bought it--dark wood trim, wood floors, high ceilings, many many rooms. But all the walls were white. And we had dropped tile ceilings in the kitchen and the dining room. And the first floor bathroom only had a toilet. (and a towel rack, go figure)

So we are always on a quest to improve our home. Inside and out.

Our first project was the kitchen. Since it had dropped tile and industrial florescent lights, neither of which am I a fan of, we started there as soon as we signed the loan papers. Down came the tile. We discovered that this was insulated tile and therefore our kitchen was rather chilly that first spring. With the tile came the millions of pellets of styrofoam insulation. That was fun. *note sarcasm* But my husband (the amazing handy Andy that he is) hung new ceiling studs, real insulation and drywall. After mudding and sanding (not done by us) a few coats of paint and new light fixtures, the kitchen is spectacular. Hurrah!

Our second project was the living room. Nothing wrong with it to start, but I can never leave anything in its original state, so off I go. New paint, take down the mini blinds and hang new curtains, stain and hang crown moulding and a new ceiling fan. It's perfect!

Then we decided to tackle a really difficult job. The attic needed a bathroom and the basement should be finished off. You see, after several years of harassment, I finally cajoled my brother to move from Ohio and come live with us. We have a large basement and attic that he has since taken over in the past year or so. The process: we first put in a full bathroom for him in the attic where it was once just a big open room. Then we changed the open basement into a laundry room, utility room and living room for my brother. (he has painted this room Mets' blue & orange--not as bad as you might think!) He also has cool fish tanks, scorpions, turtles and frogs to keep him company down there with his TVs and couches. It's quite the happening batchelor pad.

Deep Breath. That was all just in our first year of living there. I believe our house was in a constant state of upheaval and construction. But oh, so much fun!

Amy's Gone

And time moves on...

So my one and only sister-in-law is moving. From Michigan to Florida. From here to there. From near to far.

Tonight at 7 pm. It will be much harder for us to just get together to watch Pride & Prejudice. It used to be a regular event. Twice just this year, in fact. Tea and scones and Mr. Darcy. Sigh.

We have lived together (both before and after I got married to her amazing brother), sewn together, laughed and cried together, cleaned, gardened, painted together. We usually love the same movies and books and dislike the same movies and books. We were in each others' weddings, threw showers for each other, worked out together, (to no avail) shopped and baked together. We've gone to Hawaii, to family events, to the beach, to the bar, to church, to New York, to Chicago and to many places in between.

She is an amazing writer. I get the priviledge to be her editor. I've read stories and poems and odes galore. The odes tend to be my favorites. Especially the one that was dedicated to Bert. He was a good guy.

She wrote me a poem saying the things she would miss when she left. I am not a great poet. I'm probably not even mediocre. But this is my attempt to respond to the beauty she has given me.

i shall miss your smile, soft and sweet
your heart and joy of life
laughing at your jokes unknown

i shall miss talks of family and friends
the times to sit and relax
eating chocolate by candlelight

i shall miss the joy of sharing Christ
our worship with kids before God
seeing their sweet young faces

i shall miss your warm happy hugs
your cat, your books, your tea

i shall miss all we’ve shared when you go
the gifts you have brought to my life
but not half as much as I shall miss
my friend.


Thursday, November 17, 2005

My Hero

"Nothing falls asleep quite so easily as a cat." Desmond Morris

Mr. & Mrs. Zorro

I present to you...the Zorro's!

Ok, so recently we had Halloween, right? And myself and my husband have not dressed up together for this holiday for some time. (the last time he dressed up he went as Elvis)

Last year I had a girls-only party complete with apple bobbing, haunted house, costume contest, caramel apples and the watching of "Young Frakenstein" and "The Blob." (which is a very ridiculous movie involving a large amount of raspberry jelly attacking a small, unsuspecting town)

This year, we did not have a party, but instead hung out together in our (rather goth) costumes and handed out candy. Tons of kids!
We lit tealights out on our front lawn in the shape of a huge Z. Zorro was in town!

My husband is already 6' 6" tall and with his Zorro hat, he was a good bit taller. He stood menacingly in the doorway while I handed out the goods. "Is he real?" "Wow, he's really tall!" "Oh man, it's Zorro!" And then of course, "Who are you?" "Why, Mrs. Zorro, of course!" No one is going to know that her name was Elena. Including me.

In between kids, we watched Shaun of the Dead. Excellent Halloween movie. Much better than The Blob.

Baby Steps

I am venturing out into the wide world of blogging. Hmmm... Where will this adventure take me?
Maybe I will become world reknowned, maybe no one will read me.

Or perhaps I will just entertain myself with my own thoughts, ideas and prose. Nothing wrong with that. I have an awful lot of thoughts. I may be busy for some time.

I may even add old thoughts. Thoughts I haven't even gotten out. Thoughts I didn't think I had. Now that's a thought.