I Have A Roof!!!

9 Dec

Hello. Just wanted to share a few pictures with you. I have a roof!!!!! These pictures are the most recent ones I have of my house that is being built. Disclaimer: My husband took these photographs. I have a roof!!!! All the framing is now complete and next comes the fun stuff. Walls, doors, windows, siding, beautiful southern brick exterior… I am so excited, especially about the roof (incase you couldn’t tell). The roof was the last major money hurdle. Having a roof means that it is likely that none of the materials on the inside will get damaged if Wisconsin is served any inclement weather. Thank you, God.

 

Enjoy the photos.

Weekly Soundtrip: Good Life

5 Dec

This weekend’s “Weekly Soundtrip” comes from the band One Republic and the song is called Good Life.  One Republic has only produced a small handful of albums, but their popularity has spread like wildfire in the U.S., especially in the movie industry. I’ve heard at least four One Republic songs in movie trailers and TV shows this year… interesting, no?

Piece of Flea: I first heard One Republic and their song Apologize over the radio, and I was instantly hooked. I eventually learned that the version that I heard on the radio was not the original version. It was a slightly remixed version that was released on Timbaland’s album, Shock Value. Still, I wanted to hear more from them, so I asked my husband to buy their CD for my birthday. He surprised me and bought the album that included Apologize and he also bought their newest album (Waking Up). This is the CD were the song Good Life can be found.

This is the point in the story in which my quirkiness is going to come to the surface… my birthday was in June, and I just opened Waking Up last week. Every time my husband saw that I hadn’t opened the CD he’d ask me why, and I had a very logical answer. Bands don’t come out with two CD’s in one day, one week, or one month, and I didn’t want to listen to them in a hasty manner. I wanted to experience One Republic and their band evolution as organically as possible. I wanted to get to know their first album, which by the way is called, Dreaming Out Loud, and form a relationship with it. And I did. I didn’t think it was possible that I would enjoy Waking Up as much as Dreaming Out Loud, but I do. There are 10 or 11 tracks on it and I love them all. One in particular has been working overtime in my CD player… Good Life.

This song has been lifting my spirits with its positive vibe all week. I’d prefer to not be too specific, but lately I haven’t felt myself, and I’ve been struggling with keeping my chin up and being positive about life. This song is helpful because it’s not overly positive, in fact it carries a few melancholy undertones with it. I find that balance very comforting. If something is annoyingly positive I get the urge to punch a clown. And that’s just mean. So, thank you One Republic for helping me keep my hands to myself, and I’m sorry I didn’t open you sooner- but you were worth the wait.

Enjoy.

Lyrics:

Woke up in London yesterday

Found myself in the city near Piccadilly

Don’t really know how I got here

I got some pictures on my phone

 

New names and numbers that I don’t know

Address to places like Abbey Road

Day turns to night, night turns to whatever we want

We’re young enough to say

[Chorus]

Oh this has gotta be the good life

This has gotta be the good life

This could really be a good life, good life

Say oh, got this feeling that you can’t fight

Like this city is on fire tonight

This could really be a good life

A good, good life

[Verse 2]

To my friends in New York, I say hello

My friends in L.A. they don’t know

Where I’ve been for the past few years or so

Paris to China to Colorado

Sometimes there’s airplanes I can’ t jump out

Sometimes there’s bullshit that don’t work now

We are God of stories but please tell me-e-e-e

What there is to complain about

[Bridge 1]

When you’re happy like a fool

Let it take you over

When everything is out

You gotta take it in

[Bridge 2]

Hopelessly

I feel like there might be something that I’ll miss

Hopelessly

I feel like the window closes oh so quick

Hopelessly

I’m taking a mental picture of you now

‘Cuz hopelessly

The hope is we have so much to feel good about

 

Making Progress

4 Dec

My husband and I went by the construction site of our new home a few days ago… oh wow- I was shocked at the progress. The last time I visited the site was the day after Thanksgiving, and there wasn’t a whole heck of a lot to look at. The house looked like a giant slab of cement (due to the 4 car garage) and there was just a bunch of pre-framed wood laying around. I figured progress would seem slow that week because of deer hunting season and the Thanksgiving holiday, but I wasn’t prepared for the fast changes I would see soon afterwards. The entire down stairs was framed so much so that I could discern which part of the house I was standing in. The fireplace, the dining room, the kitchen, the living room, the laundry room, the powder room, and the pantry are looking fantastic.The upstairs level and the garage are next in line for framing.

I need to get by the site again soon. My husband has seen it more recently than I have, and he said that the upstairs is almost finished. Our CSM (construction site manager) gives us an update every Friday on the past week’s work and future progression; he said that the next week will complete the framing phase, and then they’ll be moving on to roofing (shingles), exterior (siding & brick), and electrical…. on and on goes the list. Things are happening fast, freakishly fast. I’ll try to keep up with the photos and share as often as I can.

Stairway

Stairway

Front of the house (lower level)

Front of the house (lower level)

Kitchen

Kitchen

Weekly Soundtrip: Closing Walls and Ticking Clocks

29 Nov

This week’s “Weekly Soundtrip” has been playing on my ipod nonstop since Sunday. The song comes from a band called Coldplay and it is called Clocks. If you’ve never heard of Coldplay- you are in for a real treat today. This isn’t a new song to me, but I keep replaying it because it is locked in a deep discussion with my soul at the moment.

Piece of Flea: This has been one of the most challenging blogging weeks that I have faced, and I have failed miserably… Not that there are thousands of people chomping at the bit to read my thoughts anyway, but I am disappointed that I didn’t get at least one little thought out there in cyber space.

But it is what it is. I can’t turn back time. I know that. We all know that. And this song is a perfect pairing for that realization: “Closing walls and ticking clocks”. Ordinarily, it’s the instrumental quality of a song that stirs up my emotions, but not Clocks. The music, especially Chris Martin on the piano is amazing, but the lyrics are as familiar to me as air to my lungs right now. I can’t breathe without this song.

If and when you play the video- close your eyes and keep the sound loud enough to wash out the world around you. Just listen. You might feel nothing. If you were me, you’d feel nothing and everything at the same time.

Enjoy and Happy Belated Thanksgiving.

Lyrics:

The lights go out and I can’t be saved

Tides that I tried to swim against

Have put me down upon my knees

Oh I beg, I beg and plead singing

Come out of things unsaid

Shoot an apple off my head

And a trouble that can’t be named

A tiger’s waiting to be tamed singing

You are

You are

Confusion never stops

Closing walls and ticking clocks

Gonna come back and take you home

I could not stop that you now know singing

Come out upon my seas

Cursed missed opportunities

Am I a part of the cure?

Or am I part of the disease? Singing

You are

You are

You are

You are

You are

You are

And nothing else compares

And nothing else compares

And nothing else compares

You are

You are

Home, home where I wanted to go

Home, home where I wanted to go

Home, home where I wanted to go

Home, home where I wanted to go

Weekly Soundtrip: Ice Cream in November

21 Nov

This Weekend’s “Weekly Soundtrip” comes from Sarah Mclachlan’s Fumbling Towards Ecstasy Album. The song is called Ice Cream. I love this song, and I’ve loved it from the moment I first heard it in 1994. It seems so effortless with its light percussion; slow melody of the piano, and Mclachlan’s soft and soothing vocals. She is amazing at what she does. Period.

Piece of Flea: As I said before, I first heard this song in 1994, when I was 11 years old. My love for the song then was topical because I only enjoyed the way it sounded; I didn’t understand it. As a kid, I remember thinking how awesome it was that an adult was singing about ice cream and chocolate. As an adult woman who has been married for nearly 8 years now, I love and appreciate this song on a much deeper level because I recognize that the lyrics are not about one’s sweet tooth.

I was thinking about this song the other day and looked it up on youtube. As soon as the song started playing my instincts came back to me, like riding a bicycle. I remembered instantly the way she hums throughout the song, as well as all of the lyrics. I own the CD, but I haven’t listened to it for many, many years (what a shame!) and it surprised me that I could recall the song so quickly. I wish my brain worked as efficiently at school. Any way, I just wanted to share this song with all of you because it is so beautiful. In addition, I’d like to dedicate it to my husband, who has had a “rough go of things” the last couple of days. I also wrote a short accompaniment for him inspired by the song. Enjoy!

I Have No Heart Without ARH

Chocolate won’t last if I eat it all day

And the thrill of ice cream

Too soon melts away

You, Love

Are the sweetest thing in my life

My spoon is hollow

Without you.

Lyrics:

Your love is better than ice cream
Better than anything else that I’ve tried
Your love is better than ice cream
Everyone here knows how to fight

Chorus (bottom)

Your love is better than chocolate Better than anything else that I’ve tried
Oh love is better than chocolate
Everyone here knows how to cry

Chorus: It’s a long way down
It’s a long way down
It’s a long way down to the place
where we started from …

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow…

20 Nov

I am having one of those days…. a professional would probably describe what I am experiencing right now as “writers block”, however, I hesitantly apply the label writer to myself at this point in time, but still… this feeling is just terrible.

I think I’m having trouble expressing myself because I have nothing to express. My week was a run of the mill, hustle and bustle type of week. I had barricades of mundane tediousness flanked on all sides. Writing wasn’t an option, and even if it had been, I still wouldn’t have done it. My week was so blah, I probably would have wrote about laundry detergent (or something as equally lame). However, I do have a few exciting things on the horizon that I’m sure will provide a multitude of things to share.

For example, tonight I am going to a “Widow Party”. This party began as a tradition for wives during deer-hunting season. While the husbands took leave for the weekend to deer hunt, the wives would get together and socialize. I have no idea why

Three Cheese Platter

this party is coined as a “Widow Party” maybe some of the husbands were a lousy shot?? (Oops.) I have a dear friend who hosts this party every year, and she adds a unique twist to the tradition. She turns the social event into a wine/cheese party for the preposterously dressed. The guests bring a unique cheese, she provides the wine, and we are all supposed to get dolled up  in an outdated dress. I don’t do dresses, but she lets me slide because I bring several remarkable cheeses. Tonight I am bringing a cranberry white cheddar, a full-cream dill havarti, and a Brun-uusto Juustalepia cheese (baked cheese). I sampled as I cut them into cubes, and if you were wondering, YES- all three are delicious.

I am really looking forward to next week! Not only do I not have class Tuesday through Sunday, also… my family will be here!!!  Some of my Florida relatives are coming up to visit for Thanksgiving. We have not been together for a Thanksgiving in a while, so I am thrilled to say the least.  We have made a few plans during their visit, such as visiting the Milwaukee Public Museum, and taking them by the construction site. I have a feeling though that they aren’t going to want to leave the house much. I just spoke to my Dad this morning and he was up in arms about the weather reports for next week. It might snow on Thanksgiving… oh man, this is going to be fun!

New Piece of Flea Segment: Weekly Soundtrip

13 Nov

I am adding a new segment to my blog called “Weekly Soundtrip”.

At the end of each week I’m going to select a piece of music that has altered, moved, or inspired me and pair the music with a written Piece of Flea. Why music? The wonder of how one recognizable smell or one familiar taste can spring forth a long forgotten childhood memory within us simply astonishes me. I find all the senses of the human body amazing, but my own personal favorite is the ability to hear. Some music is so beautiful, vibrant, and alive that I can literally feel it coursing through my veins. Hearing is expressive, like art for the ears- music is my preferred sensation. Music is my past, my present, and my future.

I realize that I’m not the first person to discover or discuss the powerful emotions that are found in music, but I hope my segment can offer you something… be it a song you’ve never heard, an insight to my personal life, or a smile that has been MIA all week.

This weekend’s “Weekly Soundtrip” comes from Brandon Heath and his song called Give Me Your Eyes. The song is written from the Christian faith, but the lyrics apply to everyone who walks this earth. We are all a part of humanity. It is a powerful song.

Piece of Flea: Give Me Your Eyes is a song about broken humanity and  how we often turn a blind eye to those who are in pain and hurting around us. This song makes me think of a story my mother told me once. My Grandmother was hospitalized for a few weeks and my mother went to visit her often. My Grandmother had cancer and her health was declining noticeably everyday. My mother was overcome and stricken with grief, but  held onto her “I can handle this” façade. One morning, while drinking a coffee alone in the hospital cafeteria, a stranger approached my mother. The strange woman said that she had been watching my mother for a few minutes and decided to come over to talk to her. The woman said to her, “You look sad and frightened. I want to give you a hug and tell you that you are not alone.” My mother started crying and opened up to a complete stranger about her fears. I’d like to dedicate this song to that very same woman, the stranger that opened her eyes to the pain my mother was in, a stranger that I’ve never met before, but whom I owe a great amount of gratitude.

Lyrics:

Looked down from a broken sky
Traced out by the city lights
My world from a mile high
Best seat in the house tonight
Touched down on the cold black tile
Hold on for the sudden stop
Breathe in the familiar shock
Of confusion and chaos
Are those people going somewhere?
Why have I never cared?

Chorus (bottom)

Step out on a busy street
See a girl and our eyes meet
Does her best to smile at me
To hide whats underneath
There’s a man just to her right
Black suit and a bright red tie
To ashamed to tell his wife
He’s out of work
He’s buying time
Are those people going somewhere?
Why have I never cared?

Chorus (bottom)

I’ve been there a million times
A couple of million eyes
Just moving past me by
I swear I never thought that I was wrong
Well I want a second glance
So give me a second chance
To see the way you see the people all alone

Chorus:
Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me your heart for the once forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see
yeah … yeah … yeah … yeah