Friday, October 31, 2008

Hardwood floors

So - I've mentioned that we recently had hardwood floors installed. Technically, it's not 100% finished. The floor is down, but we still have a few "odds and ends" to put back in their appropriate place!

We decided on bamboo. "Bamboo" you say? Yep - bamboo. To be more specific it's stranded bamboo. They take the bamboo stalks, shred them into strands. Then they take the strands and "roast" them. That's what gives the color - and it means that the color goes all the way through (unlike stain, which is only on the surface). Then they stack the strands 5 to 6 feet tall, add some adhesive, and compress them into a 1/2" thick board.

After all of that, you have a plank that's a nice color (which goes all the way through), and is twice as hard as oak or rock maple. Yep - that's right. And that means it weighs a ton (22 square feet weighs about 100 pounds!). And for the eco-friendly aspect - the bamboo plant can be regrown and ready for harvest in 8 years (compared to 60 for oak). How cool is that?

We put it down in the living room, down the hall, and in the bedroom. It sounded like it would be easy enough (especially when somebody else is laying the floor) but it turned out to be a semi-major undertaking.
First was getting everything out of the rooms so we could get the carpet up. Wow. Where in the world are we going to store all of the stuff in the bedroom, the walk-in closet, the hall closet, and the living room?

The new and improved laundry room

The spare bedroom

Yep - that's a lot of junk. It was right about this point when we decided that it would be a good idea to paint the bedroom (it REALLY needed it!) before the hardwood the hardwood went down. And hey - while we are at it, let's put up some crown molding too and replace all of the baseboard! So - it's a scramble to pick out a paint color - buy all of the trim and paint and get everything painted and hung in a weekend.

Let the painting begin!

Foxy was less than impressed with the entire process. She spent most of the time outside (surprise!). She was scared of the POP from the nail gun and couldn't understand why we were sleeping in another room. But she wasn't afraid to let us know that the couch was still hers.

Foxy on the couch

Izzy on the other hand was not scared of the noise at all. Very interesting since she is terrified of thunder and fireworks. She was more interested in the progress of the installation and would wander from room to room to check the progress. The guys doing to work found this absolutely hilarious!

Izzy checks out the floor

All in all, we are very happy with the floor. Here's a couple of pics of the final product! And if anyone wants to come over and help us put the rest of the stuff away - give us a call...

The view out of the bedroom and down the hall...

The living room...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Let the games begin!

There here! And it starts this coming Monday!!!!!

This is the third year that we've had season tickets for the UT men's basketball games. Coincidentally, it's the third year that Bruce Pearl has been the coach and will hopefully be the third year that the team is competing for another SEC title!

It's been a fun evolution. Just over three years ago, the basketball team only sold about 30% of the seats and were lucky to finish someplace other than "last" in the SEC. We would go to a couple of games (usually the Kentucky game) and there would be more UK fans than UT fans. The program was in sad shape to say the least - and the revolving coach door was still swinging in one bad coach after another...

Then they hired some coach named Bruce Pearl. The Leengrams knew he was a fantastic coach because of the USI - Kentucky Wesleyan rivalry. But around here, nobody had heard of him and everybody was complaining about hiring another "no-name" coach.

Then he won. And won again. And again. And again and again and again. Now they call him "Bruce Almighty". Heh heh. I love it when I'm right!

And the fans have changed too. I never realized that the signal for a "false start" in football was the same as the signal for "traveling" in basketball until three years ago. We were at a game and a guy in front of us leaned over to his buddy and said "why do they keep calling a false start on that guy?" The other guy responds "I don't know. But they called a foul on that same guy a minute ago and he only pushed the dude a little bit." Wow.

After two short years - Bruce already has an SEC championship, sells out the arena every game, has converted MANY football fans (the football team is currently in last place in the SEC...), and WE get to go to all of the games!

Now - I need to clarify. This is MENS basketball. The WOMENS team is a completely different story. Pat Summit doesn't have enough fingers to wear all of her NATIONAL championship rings. The floor is named after her (yes - Bruce and his team play on the "Summit"). There fans are insanely dedicated and knowledgeable (yes - they know what travelling is!). Oh - and Pat Summit is the winningest basketball coach on the planet. I don't care if you coach little league or the NBA - you haven't won more games than Pat Summit. And if she gets 17 more wins that will put her at an even 1,000 for her career (which has been 100% at Tennessee!).

So - if you plan on coming to visit us between now and the end of March, you may want to call ahead. There's a chance we may be on campus watching some roundball...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

First Post

So - we've been talking about this for a while. A simple way to keep our friends and family updated on what's going on with us. For example - did you know that we got season tickets to the UT mens basketball games? Or better yet - did you know that we took two weeks and "destroyed" our house so that we could have new hardwood put in?

My point exactly! You didn't before, but you do now.

So - read and enjoy!