"I'm what the world considers to be a phenomenally successful man. And I've failed much more than I've succeeded. And each time I fail, I get my people together, and I say, "Where are we going?" And it starts to get better." - Calvin Trager
We've all been inundated with media coverage of Katrina, so there's no need to tell people of the need. It's pretty obvious. Sept. 1 (tomorrow) is a day that bloggers around the world are trying to raise awareness and funds for hurricane relief. So I'll jump on a little bit early and urge you to take a minute, scroll down to the new button you'll find on the right hand side of this blog and make a donation to Katrina Relief through Episcopal Relief and Development (or just click on those words).
While you're on the ER-D site, check out the Gifts for Life Catalog -- a great way to give gifts of love in areas of need for any occasion.
Good news from down south is that Leine McNeely was kind enough to drop an email and let me know that she and Tom and Shadyside are doing just fine down in Natchez, MS. So praise God for that!
One more thing. When you give, please give new money. By that, I mean don't give money you were planning on giving somewhere else. One of the things that happens when something like this or the tsumani hits is that other NGOs and development agencies in places of chronic extreme poverty and disease get hit too ... because people give to the highly-publicized causes and not to the stuff that doesn't make it on CNN.
So eat Mac n Cheese instead of going out to dinner and give that money. Stay home and play Scrabble instead of going to a movie and give that money. Bike to work instead of driving and give your gas money.
There's lots going on to write about, but before I do any of that, I figure eventually I have to keep a promise about photos. So, without further ado, here are some photos of the new house (obviously still a work in progress).
Here's the living room. Robin chose the light green. I was skeptical at first, but shouldn't have been. It will look even better when all the trim is painted white. Only pieces of it are freshly painted now. This gives you a good picture of the newly-refinished floors.
This is the dining room (if you went off to the left from the last picture, this is where you'd be. What's easy to see are the boxes. What's hard to see is the furniture ... not so much because of the boxes, but because it's all pretty much the same color as the floor and the paneling ... kind of blends in. We're going to paint a darker green where the wallpaper is.
The kitchen (obviously). When we bought the house, the floor was tile. We ripped it up to find that there was a pine floor underneath -- but no subfloor. We had the floor stained and it looks pretty good. Problem is, the people who did all the floors didn't do that great a job -- particularly in here where some boards needed replacing. Pretty sloppy craftsmanship (or lack of same). Fortunately, the owner of the business was embarrassed so he's offered to credit the amount we spent on it toward the cost of laying a whole new oak floor in the kitchen and butler's pantry. Can't see us turning that down! The yellow paint is actually tinted primer. We're going to paint yellow (a different shade) eventually, but the primer looks good enough that there's no rush. The stove is vinitage 1950s or something ... the best feature is that all the buttons for the burners are on the very top and out of Hayden-range.
The playroom. Now we're on the second floor and this is the room to the immediate left when you come up the stairs. It's also right across from the boys' room. It's pretty much a big closet, and you can see on the left where the wallpaper is peeling off the wall. But for now, it's a great place for all the kids' toys and their computer and other assorted stuff.
This is the coolest room in the house ... the boys' room. The concept is all Schroedter's and Robin made it happen. He wanted the room to be like you were on the moon looking out into space ... so you can see the crater landscape and the dark blue walls (he wanted black with a black ceiling, but that would have been too dark). Then you can see the planets and spaceships glued on the wall and also the planets (to scale) hanging from the ceiling in orbit around the center (which eventually will be a light for the sun). Most of it is glow in the dark, so the room looks great when you turn off the light. It's a much bigger room than in the old house (which, by the way, FINALLY sold ... ask me sometime about that story!). The boys love it here. There's even enough room for Hayden's trains!
Probably the least photogenic room in the house ... but perhaps the greatest victory. This is our master bedroom. To fully appreciate it, you had to have seen it before -- while we were scraping the 4-5 layers of wallpaper and layers of mold off the walls and having the multiple cracks taped and all sorts of other things done. I can't believe this is a livable room after all the hours I spent in it this summer!
The second floor also has a guest room and a bathroom, and the third floor has two large rooms that are being used for storage -- though one is gradually transitioning into my office.
It's official ... we are in the new house on Pershing. We close on the Midland house over the next couple days, and although we dearly love that wonderful place, we will be so glad to only be owning one house. Even more, we will be so glad not to be dealing any more with the realtor for the buyer, who is just as unscrupulous as they come. Decorum and Christian charity prevents me from saying more!
But we're moved in. THe kids have been just incredible with the adjustment. There are, of course, boxes everywhere, but things are starting to take shape. Robin has the kitchen looking great ... Emily and Banji brought some flowers over as a housewarming gift and they really spruce up the kitchen wonderfully. We got the kids room set up the first night -- actually got the IKEA bunk bed reassembled in only an hour. Got the kids playroom (pretty much a large closet) somoewhat put together yesterday. The cable guy was here today and when I get home from the Rockwell House BBQ, I'm going to try to get our bedrooom put together. Robin did a lot on the living room today, and that's looking great. Tomorrow the plumber comes so we will have a washer working and (please!) more than one toilet working! It's all coming together!
I wish I could show you pictures ... but I can't find the digital camera. I think Robin has it. If I can get it from her, I might take some later tonight and (if the internet is working) post them.
Wednesday, August 10, 2005 Because if Laurie, Nicole, Caroline and Katy do it ... I should do it too!
Directions: Type "(your name) is" with the quotes, into a Google search then pick out your favorite 10 responses. Copy, then repost your responses:
Oh, and I'm doing this because "Laurie is giving Mike an opportunity to air his concerns"
1. Mike is a 23 years experienced mobile DJ 2. Mike is also available to instruct dance lessons at dance competitions 3. Mike is the largest Corvette dealer on the West Coast and in New England, with clients worldwide. 4. Mike is less likely to be hurt than Dave if he is pushed overboard. 5. Mike is both lazy and gay. 6. Mike is on the Board of Trustees for the International Museum of Cartoon Art in Boca Raton, FL. 7. Mike is an active member of "The 700 Club", but his main focus is and will always be, low-carb beer. 8. Mike is one of the pioneers in the abstinence education movement. 9. Mike is able to simulate either a male or a female sexual identity. 10. Mike is a big jerk. (from http://mikesabigjerk.blogspot.com/)
| Mike at 8/10/2005 10:54:00 PM
Monday, August 08, 2005 Still alive!
Yes, I'm still alive. It's been an insanely busy couple of weeks, and it's just going to get busier.
Good news ... it looks like we've sold our house. Closing is on for August 19. The movers come on August 15. The floors of the new house are being refinished. Robin and I painted the living room and first stairwell on Saturday morning. Things are starting to take shape. Did I mention we now have central air conditioning!!!
It's strange thinking of moving. We've lived in one house for 8 years. It just doesn't register that seven days from now, we'll be somewhere else. It's going to be really hard on the boys ... especially Schroedter. He doesn't do transition well and this is certainly the biggest transition he's ever had to deal with.
Kate (our intern for this year) arrives on Saturday and starts work next week. That's really the beginning of the year. We've got so many great students coming back and we've had a ton of interest from freshmen ... it's going to be a fantastic year. The student leadership has already been working planning lots of stuff and we're so far ahead of where we usually are this time of year. You can see a lot of it by checking out the ECM website.
We're also raising $150,000 to pay off the house, pay for renovations and establish a fund for future maintenance and renovations and build up the Julia fun. We're also tithing 10% of everything donated to our outreach ministries. You can check out the progress of the campaign (and add your name to the list of donors!) here.
We've got some good before pictures of the house, which I'll post soon (I hope). Hopefully they'll be some even better after ones soon, too!
EGR resources and connects the church to embrace what one person, one congregation, one diocese and one church can do to make this mission of global reconciliation happen.
Want to find out more ... check our our website at www.e4gr.org.
"Christ's example is being
demeaned by the church if they ignore the new leprosy,
which is AIDS. The church is the sleeping giant here.
If it wakes up to what's really going on in the rest
of the world, it has a real role to play. If it doesn't,
it will be irrelevant."