vrijdag, december 30, 2005

Dutch Commercial About Learning English

I'm back into my routine. Ian and I are both working again. We've still got a bit to do on the house. The ceiling in the kitchen will go up in the next couple of days. I keep meaning to continue on with my posting updates of the house, but there's just too much going on. Sometimes it seems easier just to live.

I took my Dutch integration test a couple of weeks ago. I think it went fine. I'll get results in a couple of weeks. It really doesn't mean much - I won't get thrown out if I didn't do well. I think it's more for them to know if their system is working.

I'm still not speaking enough Dutch. My neighbors don't speak Dutch, but most other people speak at least as much English as I speak Dutch.

This Dutch Commercial About Learning English is aimed at those few who don't have a great grasp of English. It's very funny, and not explicit by Dutch standards, but it's really not very work-safe for those of you outside The Netherlands... It's worth a play though.
(Thanks for the link, Jeffrey.)

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woensdag, december 21, 2005

Week 2

This week we all but finished with the deconstruction and started with the contruction. Finally, I got to see if the technique I was going to use for the walls worked. Basically, I combined several different techniques I had read about, borrowing most heavily from some Venitian Marble descriptions, and tried it out. I'll show the step by step process if you're interested - just click on "Continue Reading".
At any rate, here's the finished product on the entrance hallway wall.

I took pictures of the process on the living room walls. Each part took about 1/2 a day - the whole thing took about a week. There are six parts that each use two basic steps.
Three colors are used on each wall, two base colors and the major top color. You start with the darkest colors and go lighter. The colors are mixed with plaster then troweled on in very thin coats. With each color, you use the 2 basic steps. The first step is to cover about 60% of the wall with the colored plaster, then let it dry.
Next, you cover the remaining 40% with the same color.

After the first color is completely dry, do the same thing with the next color - first 60%.
And here,before completeing the fill coat, I had me a beer and diverted from the master plan. I colored me in some cracks in the walls. What's a perfectly new wall without a perfectly new crack in it?
After that was dry, I finished the remaining 40% of the second color.

The same thing was done with the third color,

then the whole wall was waxed.

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dinsdag, december 20, 2005

Day 4 and 5

Jeez. It makes me tired just thinking about how much work we've done. One of the ongoing projects was the wall downstairs. Make that plural. The walls. The worst was this one.
By the end of the day, the framing was up for the new living room wall.

And we had our first dinner in our new house. Bente brought us a wonderful picnic that we ate ... hmmm ... I want to say that we ate it right off the floor, but that doesn't sound quite right. So instead I'll say that we had our first dinner in our new house. And although we had chairs, we didn't have a table.

After the 20 minute bike ride into Utrecht, we hit the hay. We were back at it the next morning - up early, and after the bike ride back we got to work hanging sheetrock.
This was the only wall that was so damaged we opted to sheetrock over it rather than to just repair the plaster. Were we to do it over again, I would vote to plaster. The technique I used on the finished walls would have lent itself to that, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Meanwhile, upstairs the bedroom walls were stripped. (And although I loved this light fixture, Ian used his veto power. As you'll see later, he was probably right...)

We had great weather while we were working. This is looking out of the South bedroom.

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zondag, december 18, 2005

Paris by night

A link for anyone who loves Paris by night.

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vrijdag, december 16, 2005

Ius Commune Prize

My hubby won a Prize ! He submitted Chapter 7 of his book, and they liked it.

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I'm Back

Kind of.
The house is nearly done, I'm back from the U.S., Ian is back from Scotland and Sweden, and defended his PhD here just a couple of days ago brilliantly.
Although I'm sure you're on the verge of blocking off all next week so you can read all about it and lose yourself in the pictures of the house progress and trips, I'm a little wiped out. Bear with me. I've got stories to tell and pictures to show.
Until then, I can't tell you how happy Ian and I are that we have nothing huge looming over us.
Oh - except that my house in Kansas . . .

has not sold, is not rented and I've got no one to housesit for me. I had two people say they would stay in it, but they both changed their minds.

I think I'm going to take it off the market and become a non-resident slum lord for a while.

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