Sunday, November 23, 2008

Nina - 18 weeks

Ready to move in

Well, we have a temporary driveway for the winter. I have the final walk through tomorrow afternoon and then we close on Tuesday.

Proposition 8: the aftermath

There's been a tremendous amount of backlash against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for their vocal support and for their members vocal and monetary support of Proposition 8 in California. It has at times gotten ugly. I am confused as to why it has gotten so bitter and why opponents feel so justified in making unjust accusations of bigotry. I guess it is still OK to defame the Mormons, while most other groups have become almost overprotected by the "doctrine of political correctness". I wonder why that is?
I find the following to be a good defense:

Dear Friends,

In the aftermath of the recent election, we may find ourselves oddly on the defensive regarding our support for the Yes on Proposition 8 cause. Our young people have been especially subject to mean-spirited comments by high school friends and teachers. We have nothing to be ashamed of. We did nothing wrong. In fact, we did everything that a civic-minded American can and should do. I have put together a few facts that help me to appreciate our position better. For example:

1. Mormons make up less than 2 percent of the population of California. There are approximately 800,000 LDS out of a total population of approximately 34 million. Mormon voters were less than 5 percent of the yes vote.

2. If one estimates that 250,000 LDS are registered voters (the rest being children), then LDS voters made up 4.6 percent of the yes vote and 2.4 percent of the total Proposition 8 vote.

3. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) donated no money to the Yes on 8 campaign. Individual members of the church were encouraged to support the Yes on 8 efforts and, exercising their constitutional right to free speech, donated whatever they felt like donating.

4. The No on 8 campaign raised more money than the Yes on 8 campaign. Unofficial estimates put No on 8 at $38 million and Yes on 8 at $32 million, making it the most expensive non-presidential election in the country.

5. Advertising messages for the Yes on 8 campaign are based on case law and real-life situations. The No on 8 supporters have insisted that the Yes on 8 messaging is based on lies. Every Yes on 8 claim is supported.

6. The majority of our friends and neighbors voted Yes on 8. Los Angeles County voted in favor of Yes on 8. Ventura County voted in favor of Yes on 8.

7. African-Americans overwhelmingly supported Yes on 8. Exit polls show that 70 percent of black voters chose Yes on 8. This was interesting because the majority of these voters voted for President-elect Obama. No on 8 supporters had assumed that Obama voters would vote No on 8.

8. The majority of Latino voters voted Yes on 8. Exit polls show that the majority of Latinos supported Yes on 8 and cited religious beliefs (assumed to be primarily Catholic).

9. The Yes on 8 coalition was a broad spectrum of religious organizations. Catholics, evangelicals, Protestants, Orthodox Jews, Muslims -- all supported Yes on 8. It is estimated that there are 10 million Catholics and 10 million Protestants in California. Mormons were a tiny fraction of the population represented by Yes on 8 coalition members.

10. Not all Mormons voted in favor of Proposition 8. Our faith accords that each person be allowed to choose for him or herself. Church leaders have asked members to treat other members with "civility, respect and love," despite their differing views.

11. The church did not violate the principal of separation of church and state. This principle is derived from the First Amendment to the United States' Constitution, which reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof?" The phrase "separation of church and state", which does not appear in the Constitution itself, is generally traced to an 1802 letter by Thomas Jefferson, although it has since been quoted in several opinions handed down by the United States Supreme Court in recent years. The LDS Church is under no obligation to refrain from participating in the political process to the extent permitted by law. U.S. election law is very clear that churches may not endorse candidates, but may support issues. The church as always been very careful on this matter and occasionally (not often) chooses to support causes that it feels to be of a moral nature.

12. Supporters of Proposition 8 did exactly what the Constitution provides for all citizens: they exercised their First Amendment rights to speak out on an issue that concerned them, make contributions to a cause that they support and then vote in the regular electoral process. For the most part, this seems to have been done in an open, fair and civil way. Opponents of 8 have accused supporters of being bigots, liars and worse. The fact is, we simply did what Americans do -- we spoke up, we campaigned and we voted.

Hold your heads up high -- you did a great job on this most important cause. We will have more opportunities in the future to participate in our democratic process. Let's remember the lessons learned and do an even better job next time.

These are my personal opinions and thoughts; any errors are mine and in no way reflect official church policy or doctrine.

Kevin Hamilton

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Phew! on two counts.

Today has been a day of great news.
DTE finished up yesterday moving the transformer and hooking up power to the house, so we are free and clear to close on Tuesday.
And I just got the news this afternoon that I am permanently hired into the position I have been temporarily filling since September. This comes with a significant pay increase...yay, and since it is with the University it is about as stable of a job as you can get in this state in this economy.
I cannot tell you how relieved I feel; kind of giddy.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

first, make a mess...

Well, DTE's part is half way done. They have trenched and wired from the old pedestal to the new.
Tomorrow they are supposed to finish. Cross your fingers.

They sure made it harder on themselves. If they had gotten it done before this week they would not be tromping around in this muck.
But I am happy they are tromping.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Brielle DeEtte - 18 weeks


No silly, I'm not having a girl.

But I'm going to be an aunt to what I'm sure will be an adorable little she-child who will be nick named Ellie. I cannot wait to hold this little person in May (she is due in April, but we'll probably go out to Utah the following month).

My little sister, Melynda, found out today she is having a girl and graciously allowed me to announce my excitement on "the blog".

She is moving back in with my Mom and I am going through all sorts of frustration that I cannot be there to help decorate the nursery. *Sigh*

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Oooh, a new vacuum

Now I realize that in the next little bit it's going to sound like I've gone crazy on a shopping spree...what with a new house, new boots,...
A new Dyson DC14 super-d-duper vacuum!

But that's not the end. In the next couple of weeks I will also be buying a new refrigerator and a garage door opener.
But no, I have not lost my mind and let loose with the credit cards.
We've been living very, very skimpily all year for this moment.

Now that we have that confession out of the way...
Isn't this vacuum just so very fun?
We need a good vacuum as it seems like I shed a pound of hair a day. I'm worse than a long haired cat in the spring.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Rubber Boots

It is entering the rainy to snowy season here.
I am 5'3" and do not hem my pants.
long pants + wet ground = cold Carmen

So, to remedy the situation, I just ordered these fun boots.
I like them. They are black. If you didn't know this, most of my wardrobe is black. Matchy matchy. I also like the small wedge heel. But most appealing of all is that they are rubber and will keep my raynauds afflicted feet their normal color. How nice.

I got them from with free shipping + no taxes + promo code for an extra $10 off.
I love promo codes.


Even though the economy (especially here in Michigan) has slowed down, that doesn't seem to mean that companies like DTE are acting like they need the work. They did not move the transformer this week, so our closing date had to slide to the 25th...thus we will be moving over the Thanksgiving holiday.
I can't say that I'm entirely surprised or even that mad. I just feel blessed that we are in the position to be moving into such a nice place, and hey...Thanksgiving is still just around the corner. One week is not a big deal.
(Hmmm, we'll see if I still feel that way if we can get no help moving our big stuff because of the holiday)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

so close I can taste it

Well, except for the whole electricity issue (and everything that goes along with it, such as a driveway) plus some very minor touch ups, the house is done.

Here is a look at the entry way; the piano room is at the far end on the right, the stairs are on the far end left. To the right is the kitchen, to the left is the living room. You can see the door to the basement at the left side of the picture.

Piano room.

Curt just said "what the heck is around the mirror".
No worries, it is just the reflection of the flash in the beveled edge of the mirror.

Kitchen. With Curt in it.

Kitchen + Dining Area

I didn't realize this until today, but the countertops are the full thickness solid granite.
In a lot of instances the edge would be built up for show, but the rest of the counter would only be about half the thickness.

Looking from the kitchen into the living room.

View out the living room windows. It is rainy.


Master bedroom.

My pretty window seat.

Vanity in the master bathroom.

Master closet. I'm so excited. Curt is too, he takes up just as much closet space as I do with all of his bulky suits.

Master tub. The shower is behind it.

I spent so much time in the house making sure everything was OK that I found Curt like this.

Hopefully this post isn't so long that you are now in this position :)

Our walk through is on Wednesday.
If DTE fixes stuff this week we're all set to close on the 19th.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

gosh it's dark

So, daylight savings kind of sucks.
It was 5:45pm when we got to our house to check out the progress and it was pitch black outside.

But hey, technology is wonderful, so camera flash + a run through picasa made it so that we could see. (I'll have a bunch of better pictures after this Saturday's day visit).

I think that they painted some of the outside of the house.
Kind of hard to tell, we'll have to see later.

We have appliances!
I'm so excited to have a microwave again!!!
(I left ours in Utah, doh)

And we have carpet...the finishing touch.
Now all they need to do is clean.
Oh, and do a tiny little thing like turn the power on.

I did get a call from the project manager today saying that DTE says that they still have it on their schedule to fix all of our power problems next week. We shall see.
But they did come and put a stake in the ground where they are moving the transformer box to, that's something right? ha ha.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Yes, you can believe your eyes...

This is $1.99 a gallon gas just down the street from us.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

accessories + sheesh, it's november

Things are getting pretty close.

Don't ask me why they put sod down in such funny places. I don't know.
We didn't pay for sod, and a strip about this size has been laid on all the empty lots, so my guess is that the city required it of the builder to keep the winter mud on the streets to a minimum.
But yes, they are going to have to take most of it out to put in the temporary, winter-long, crushed limestone driveway we'll have until the spring when they will be pouring our driveway and the city walks.

But hey, we have a dark brown door!
(which needs to be touched up around the hardware)

...and all the door hardware and closet shelving is in...

...and all of the plumbing is hooked up and running...

...and we have oil-rubbed bronze lever handles...

...and we have mirrors...

...and we have a chrome shower door that I am going to have to make oil-rubbed bronze somehow...

...and they painted the stairs going to the basement...

...and we have a water meter...
(it's cool and wirelessly transmits our water usage to the city so they don't have to employ a meter reader)

...and our A/C unit is in...

So, by way of summary, there is the following left to complete:

1) Carpet installation
2) Appliance installation
3) Construction final clean
4) DTE still needs to move the stinking transformer out of the driveway to the property line and hook up power to the house.

1-3 should be done no problem (our closing is scheduled for the 19th), but DTE has given a date of getting their part done as the week of the 10th. This is too tight for my comfort, for if they do what they've promised all will be well, but if they miss their promised date we will probably have to move our closing, which would make me extremely irate.
I do not want to move Thankgiving weekend.

We'll keep you posted.

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