Online (not local) Shops

I’ve still got some more blog catching up to do (too many new places + too much stuff to do = blog way behind), but I thought I’d give a general update on how things are going.

We’re still liking the neighborhood and everyone in it. It’s an interesting group of people, as evidenced by the email distribution list affectionately (I suppose) called PsyCHO. If there’s one thing you can say about the people of Prairie Crossing it is that they are all passionate people. Well, at least the vocal ones are.

A couple kids came over yesterday to get books to read. They really loved the crawlspace in the basement. They want to turn it into a neighborhood sleepover / hang out spot with big fluffy pillows and strands of Christmas lights. Too cute. They also checked out some of my hat collection.

Let’s see…on furniture…we received our new dresser (no problems) and our table and chairs (no mounting hardware included…big problem…). The sofa and double chair for the family room has been received by the shipping company (I was told today) and we should be getting sometime in the next 7 to 10 days.

We also found and ordered two chairs from Toms Price. We found perfect chairs — tub chairs in red leather that swivel and rock. They’ll be perfect in the living room. With the other couch we ordered which should be here sometime in May. We hope. Meanwhile, we have a very echo-y house (which the kids also discovered yesterday).

Had another flooring guy out today. Tomorrow I’m calling to set up getting the new wood floor in the guest room. Then the whole house will be wood (no carpet. yay!).

And also tomorrow (hopefully) I’ll get a 220 plug in the laundry room so I can use my nice washer & dryer set again. We’ve been using the ones that came with the house. I miss my front-loading washer & dryer. *sigh* I was spoiled. Of course, we’ll have to sell the house ones and then figure out a way to get our set out of the basement and into the laundry room without killing anything.

Anything else? I dunno….Tony seems to be settling in at work. He’s really happy to have minions. I told him I want to dig up my old Dungeon Keeper game for the sound effects. You know, the slapping the imps around and what not.

The cats are also settling in. They’ve got their cat hole now and can get to the basement whenever they want.

Lots of funny stories around poor little Gracie…

There’s a little neighborhood girl named Grace and whenever I leave the window open and the other kids are calling her name, our Grace can’t quite figure out what’s going on. Why do they keep calling me? she seems to be thinking as her head bounces back and forth like she’s at a tennis match, watching them as they run by. Then the other day we ate lunch outside and she came and sat with us. Later, our neighbor Jill asked if we had a dog. It seems her mother (who must also live in the neighborhood) had seen us out and had a conversation along the lines of “Oh, I saw your new neighbors out with their dog”. Um, no, I said, that would just be our really fat cat…


Yesterday we decided to take a break from packing and drive up to Wisconsin, primarily to go to Penzey’s and get new spices (we’d been getting their catalog for years and now we’re finally close enough to actually go to a store). I’d never been in Wisconsin before, so that necessitated a cheese and brat stop. We were actually planning to go to The Brat Stop, but wound up driving past that exit. Rather than turn around we went to Mars’ Cheese Castle (2800 120th Avenue, Kenosha, WI 53144, (800) 655-6147) since it was just off the highway a little farther down.

I don’t mean this in a bad way, but it’s a pretty cheesey kind of place. Little bit of a tourist trap. That said, they actually had a pretty good brat and darn good cheese spread. There was also a bakery with kringle (a specialty of the area, so I understand). We ate at the bar and the bartender was very friendly, as was one of her regular customers who was there for lunch. We chatted over a game show.

After that brief stop, we were off. We stopped at some Prime Outlets place to check out a Restoration Hardware (didn’t realize it was an outlet until after we got there, which wasn’t what we were looking for since we wanted a new doorbell). Then on to Penzey’s. They are based in Wisconsin, so there are actually a number of stores there. We went to the one in Greenfield.

Nice stores, which I pretty much expected from their catalog. Every spice has an open jar so you can sniff before you buy. And each one has a description so you can see what it is, where it is from, and what you can use it for. We did a whole replenish thing and bought a bag full of different stuff in various sizes, including the sandwich sprinkle that I’d bought Lisa once as part of a gift set (she tells me she loves the stuff so I figured I’d better try it). We might try the Oak Park, IL store next time. I imagine it is closer. We just felt like doing the Wisconsin thing.

Got to use some of the spices last night for our first meal in the house (Tony made cornish hen stuffed with sausage and bread with a side of roasted potatoes and salad). Looking forward to trying out the vanilla and the cinnamon…I’ll have to do some baking soon.

We also stopped by a mall to hit a regular Restoration Hardware (picked up a bath mat and a doorbell…though the wrong size doorbell). Since it was cold and I’d made the mistake of wearing a short sleeved shirt (hey, the day before was beautiful!), I also made a stop at Coldwater Creek. Again, I just have to say: what friendly people! Everywhere we’ve gone we’ve met just really nice, helpful people. It’s almost unreal. I’d never heard that the Mid-West was particularly known for being friendly, but everyone around here has been really nice. The lady at the Coldwater Creek even gave me the $25 discount even though I hadn’t brought the discount card in (there’s one every month in Better Homes & Gardens).

We got the final numbers today from the finance lady for what to bring to the closing on the house. A little higher than Tony expected, but we’ll be okay. Nothing ever works out exactly like you expect.

I should get almost all the packing done today. I have to stop and get a few more boxes (just a couple), but it’s really and truly almost done now. And the realtor for the buyers down here is going to stop by with a check for the furniture that they are buying from us. They wound up buying one of the armoires, the red marble-topped nightstand, the settee, the eastlake chair, the bathroom cabinet and the entire dining room set. I’m kind of glad they bought the dining room set. We were debating about selling it, but it looks so perfect in that room it would be a shame to not leave it. The whole two-tone wood thing with the gold & burgundy fireplace tiles.

And I’ve sold quite a few other things to people on Craigslist (a CD rack, a TV, my old desk & office chair, a tv stand, an Ionic Breeze filter, our entire living room set, the fountain, a phone, the filing cabinet, an armoire, and our old computer). Not too shabby. Purge, purge, purge.

Of course, now we have to buy new stuff. 😉 We’ve already ordered a new dining room set, a dresser for the bedroom, a sofa & loveseat for the family room, and a double sofa for the living room. Hopefully they arrive not too long after we move in. I ordered most of it from Black Lion. The only way to order furniture, let me tell you. Saves TONS of money. If they carry the brand you want, you *have* to order from them. It wouldn’t make sense not to.