Thursday, September 27, 2007

Historic Preservation Conference

In October of 2007, Saint Paul and the Twin Cities area will host the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s National Preservation Conference. The theme of this year's conference is "Preservation Matters!" Hosting the conference provides Saint Paul a unique opportunity to showcase its historic character to a national audience.
For all you preservation buffs, take a look at the conference!

Also take a look at Historic St. Paul's website... the neighborhood tours are fantastic. It's also a great model of a community grassroots organization that was started with neighborhood historic preservation as a goal. If I'm lucky enough to get the time from work, you can find me on the Restore St. Paul tour.

Friday, September 21, 2007

The most exciting thing we did this week

Hold onto your hats. I’m about to tell you the most exciting thing we’ve done this week.

We bought a new alarm clock. Yes, this week has been a cliffhanger. But, this isn’t just any old alarm clock. To us, the newlyweds, it’s a rather significant symbol of unity… the dual alarms- “his” and “hers”, if you will- all combined into one sleek vertical unit sitting atop the bedside table, where two alarms previously took up twice as much space. It even has a built-in CD player, so we can find another use for the portable boombox taking up floor space by the bed. Our old alarm clocks were circa 1989… the same ones we used in high school, probably. In fact, you may be familiar with the rwaaaaaeeeeeeeeeepppp, rwaaaaeeeeeeeeeeeeeep sound that blasts from these ancient beasts. The new clock has a new sound. A more modern sound. It’s more subtle. A bit more soothing. Yet insistent enough that I still get out of bed to turn it off. It’s a small change, with a big impact. I grew up with the old clock. I woke up to it almost every day, slapping for the snooze button, dosing until the familiar reaaaeeeeeeeeeeeeep, rwaaeeeeeeeeeeeep jolted me to consciousness again. It saw me through college, my first job, graduate school, my second job…. If I had a schedule, it helped me keep it. A single girl, a single body to get out of a single bed. When we moved in together, our two ancient clocks stacked awkwardly on top of each other, each set for its own time, each with its own idiosyncrasies the other knew nothing about.

And so the change fits. The dual alarm is our new life. Two schedules, one sleek unit.

A new alarm really is a little more exciting than I originally thought.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Hello, how I missed you!

Hello again.

Life got a little crazy this spring, and work on the house all but halted. With not much to write about, I all but fell off the face of the blogosphere. But now we’re back. So, what did you miss?

Here’s the soundbyte version, with the end-of-story written first, since all the stories have happy endings, but they were not such happy stories in themselves.

1) My mom is doing great and just went back to work full-time!

Beginning of story: My mom fell and hit her head in a freakish incident, resulting in a traumatic brain injury. After several weeks of hospitalization several months of rehabilitation, she is well on her way to a full recovery. The in-between time was scary and stressful, and I have gained great empathy for anyone who has a loved one with a traumatic brain injury. Her physical and occupational therapists say that her return to work is nothing short of a miracle. Morals of this story: Protect your head and the heads of those you love. Believe in miracles.

2) My health is getting better and I am back to work full-time. And hopefully able to work on the house with more vigor soon.

Beginning of story: After battling recurring and unexplainable dizziness, weakness, and fatigue, I have found a doctor that knows what is going on. I was diagnosed with Postular Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (also know as POTS). It’s a long and scary-sounding name, but what it really means is that my blood pressure goes haywire sometimes, dropping to freakishly low levels, while my heart races. It’s aggravated by changes in posture (not so great for working on a house.) The good news is that, with cardiac rehabilitation and some prescription medication, I am feeling much better. My job now is to eat as much salt as possible, drink gallons of water daily, and walk a lot, but slowly. Moral of the story: There are smart doctors out there... you just have to find them. And believe you will get better.

3) We’re MARRIED!!! That’s a happy ending to a happy beginning. We had a lovely wedding on August 25th , a lovely honeymoon in a place like heaven, and have happily adjusted to life-without-wedding-craziness.

In the midst of all this, we did finish a couple of projects. The upstairs hall got painted. The dining room was completely cleaned of any remains of the ceiling project. The drywall in the basement bathroom got finished. Most recently, I reclaimed our foyer from the mountains of extraneous packing material that comes from receiving wedding gifts. That may not sound like a home improvement project, but for those of you who have gotten married, I’m sure you understand. In the scheme of things lately, the house projects have all seemed small in the bigger picture. Don’t get me wrong… I love the house and can’t wait to finish that basement.

But we’ve also been enjoying a few blissful weeks of doing absolutely nothing.