Aug 31, 2008

One more post about the Olympics

I promise I don't plan to keep on beating this poor dead horse. Just one more thing pertaining to Gymnastics. As Richard and I were watching one of the women's gymnastics finals I said to him,
"You know, I'm surprised that with the advances made in swimwear, etc. (boyshorts, for example) that the gymnasts are still wearing leotards that are cut so high. They don't have to show so much bum all the time. I mean, I guess it doesn't bother them, but it would bother me!"

Richard responded "And that is why you'll never win the Gold."


A few Sundays ago Harrison and I went to visit my parents. Lots of my siblings and their kids go to Grandma and Grandpa’s on Sunday evenings, so it is often quite a party. On this particular night, after dinner, my 8 year old niece Asia told us we were going to play a game. We weren’t given a choice in the matter. She was so determined that she actually cleared off the dinner table, if that tells you anything. As we dawdled around the table, she came and got each of us one by one and bodily escorted us to our assigned seats. She eventually had to hoist my 7 foot brother in law over her shoulder to get to him join the circle, as she wasn’t taking no for an answer.

The game of the day was “FACT or CRAP”. We all agreed it was a dumb name. Why couldn't they have called it “Fact or Fiction”, or “True or False”? But even though we all decided not to call it by that stupid name, somehow the Crap stuck (as crap always does) and we couldn’t get away from it.

We were each given voting cards attached to popsicle sticks: one side of the card read “FACT” and the other read “CRAP.” Harrison kept walking off with my Dad’s stick who would then say “Where’s my Crap Stick?” We each took turns reading various statements off of cards, and then we all got to vote with our crap sticks whether we thought the statement was fact or crap. My dad was always sure he knew the answers (of course, he almost always did) and when one came up he knew was false he would say something like “I’m going to Crap-O-Reno this one!”

I learned lots of completely useless stuff, such as the fascinating little fact that Elizabeth Taylor has been married at least 8 times; but most of the statements were so obscure as to be ridiculous. For example the following: “A ‘passage’ is a movement in equestrian dressage.” I thought I must just be out of the loop in horse fashions or something. Needless to say, none of us got than one right, but all of us had a good time.

And thus we see, that when an 8 year old tells you what to do, you best do it, before the crap hits the fan. (I don't know why the crap hits the fan. I just wanted to find a way to use that phrase and that was the best I could do.)

Aug 29, 2008

Plumbing and Other Invisible Things - Summer '08

Doing the Heat Ducts ourselves was no quick thing. I think he finished in the Spring. I don't help much anymore because of Harrison, so Richard just does everything alone.
So lately, and still, he's worked on plumbing and electrical. Everything has to be run through the walls around the fireplace, And lots of stuff has to be done under the house to be ready for such things. Just a couple weeks ago we got power run to Harrison's room. He had been on extension cords all this time. That was exciting. So, soon we will have all the electricity and all of the plumbing for the upstairs run. Hooray!

Aug 27, 2008

Heater - Fall '07

The heater was hooked up under the house - after some unpleasant crawling around in the dirt by Richard - but there was never any heat upstairs. Everyone says (You've heard them say it, I'm sure) that duct work is an art, and wanting to have it done with, we got a quote to have a pro come in and build us the necessary heater ducts. They wanted $7000. We are cheap skate. I are bad write. So we decided that, science though it may be, Richard the Nerd would attempt it on his own. So he built the ducts himself. He is so clever!

He finished in Spring? '08

These pictures really don't do it justice. The stuff he spent the most time on is all under the house. But really, he did a great job, and became quite skilled at the art of Sheet Metal Craft! (Is that a thing? That could be a thing.)

Aug 26, 2008

Fireplace - First week in Oct '06

We had bought the fireplace at least a year before, and we were determined to have it working by Christmas. We thought the pipes could run through the existing chimney, but they didn't fit, so Richard had to build a new one. Well, not by himself. My dad, and brother in law Brad helped out quite a bit. Thanks!

Men's Uneven Bars

This video comes to you courtesy of Barrett.

And if you would like to see a little more, here is another one.

Aug 25, 2008

Landing - May '06

We tore out the wall upstairs and then framed in some walls. We'll have a laundry closet, a bathroom, and Bedroom in this space.

Stairs - Mar '06

Richard took a week off work and we conquered the stairs. The original stairs were narrow and steep, and we tried for quite a while to figure out how would be best to lengthen them. We needed to be sure we would still have enough of a landing upstairs. Richard is very clever, so it is always nice when I come up with an idea that solves our problem. I suggested we knock out a doorway in the parlor, and extend the stairs through there. So that is what we did.

Dining Room - Jan '06

Or something closely resembling a dining room. Sort of. We took out the wall dividing the room, put up a big ol' header, and then replaced half of the floor. We'll need to replace all the floors at some point.

Aug 24, 2008

Siding - '04

Sep - Oct 2004
I forgot something else. Fall of 2004 we put new siding up on the addition. We tore off the old ugly outside wall and replaced it with a newer ugly outside wall. The whole addition will have to be replaced someday, so it is all temporary.

Aug 23, 2008

More Olympics

As you know (or maybe you don't know. How should I know?) I'm no sports nut. At least not organized, professional sports. Which is why I was only watching gymnastics and diving. I say this just so you know that my opinion isn't necessarily to be trusted. I wouldn't recommend, say, standing around the water cooler tomorrow and quoting me as your new, fav, Olympic guru or anything. That being said, I am always right, and my words are ripe with wisdom.

I watched rhythmic gymnastics and synchronized swimming today. They were both really cool and fun to watch, but seriously, I cannot believe that they are Olympic events. It is dancing! What will be added next? Roller Skating? Clogging? Kitten juggling? I may have to agree with Mike, that only quantifiable sports should be allowed in the Olympics. The only problem with that is, it means gymnastics and diving will probably have to go too, and then ice skating, and then what am I going to watch?

P.S. It really is a shame, however, that MEN'S rhythmic gymnastics isn't an event. THAT is something I would watch! Or men's synchronized swimming for that matter. Ah. I guess I better include a video at this point. Look what we are missing out on!

Dining Room - 1

I'm out of order. I know. Summer '04 we did a little work in the dining room. Faralee and Jessie helped a lot at this time. Oh, I just remembered that we gave them the dining room to decorate and design. I had forgotten about that. I don't even remember what some of the plans were.

Originally, the dining room was shorter. There was a small doorway into the kitchen, and from the kitchen, a doorway into a little back room that was used as a laundry room; complete with super old Washing machine. Which we got $50 bucks for at an antique store.

This right here is the spot where the addition was attached to the original brick house. Because the addition wasn't put on a foundation, at some point it started to sink a bit. As it fell, it tore the wallpaper, so the sweet lady living here decided to do some home improvement of her own.

In July '04 we tore the lathe and plaster off that dividing wall.

Aug 18, 2008

My Thoughts on the Olympics

You might be thinking to yourself at this point "I don't care what she thinks about the Olympics!" Well, too bad. You are here now and I’m afraid you can’t leave until you’ve read the whole thing. You are mine for the next 45 minutes (longer if you read slower). So sorry. You may as well get comfortable.

If someone had asked me 2 weeks ago which country turned out the best athletes in the world, what would I have said? What would you have said? “USA”? “Canada”? “What kind of a question is that you racist scum?” I certainly wouldn’t have said China, but that is where I would have been very wrong. Obviously I am out of the loop. Obviously. The first events that I watched were diving and gymnastics, and the Chinese won the gold in every event. I never would have guessed. I’ve decided that diving is my very favorite event of all. And I like the gymnastics, but I like men’s gymnastics a lot better than women’s because I get so tired of the poses and hand flipping that they do. Is it supposed to be dancing? I don’t know, but it drives me crazy.

So, just when I was thinking that China would win the whole Olympics, I started watching swimming. I got kind of caught up in the Michael Phelps excitement. I couldn’t really believe what I was seeing. In every race that he won (and he won almost every one) he also broke the world record. Every time! Doesn’t that seem kind of amazing? Almost impossible? But he was doing it.

The thing I hate is the commentators. I don’t need them to tell me it is bad when a gymnast falls off the pommel horse. I like when they explain what the judges scores are based on, etc, but when one announcer says to another “What is this gymnast thinking right now?” And the other guy responds “She’s thinking she is really going to have to do her best to pull this off” I start throwing things at the TV. Please! For one thing, how do you know what she is thinking, and for another thing, No Duh! Of course she has to do her best! Was it really necessary to tell us that? They seem so afraid of silence that they talk just to talk. It’s not like I am going to be lost in confusion without their words of wisdom. If I see a synchronized dive, I’m not thinking “Was that beautiful? It looked good, but I can’t be sure. Oh, however shall I know! Wait! The announcer says it’s beautiful! I guess it is! Thank goodness for them!” Isn’t that what scores are for? At this point I was going to go on about how unbalanced an Olympian’s life is. How this is all they ever do or think about and how do you come back from a devastating loss? What do they do when it is all over? Is it ever over? I was going to say all that, but then a friend said that he admired their passion and all that they are able to accomplish because of it, and I can’t help but think that maybe I could do with a little more passion. So anyway, I won’t bother saying any of that so you can just forget it. Forget the whole thing. I already have.

Aug 11, 2008

Pioneer Fashion

It all started with the pioneers. We were going on a Pioneer Trek  to Martin's Cove with our ward - me as one of the dignified and responsible leaders - and we were required to wear authentic pioneer clothing. Well, you know, as much as possible. I like to think I know my way around a sewing machine, so I decided to make my skirt. All us girls had planned to make our skirts in the first place, but after our embarrassing attempt at helping the young women mass produce their skirts in an hour and a half - the skirts ended up so narrow that they could only get around by hopping - most of the girls resorted to visiting the local cowboy apparel store. I was not to be deterred however, and went out and bought myself a pattern. A pretty little tiered skirt that was sure to be cute and versatile. The skirt on the model in the picture on the pattern envelope was ill fitting and unbecoming, but did that bother me? No! I just chose one of the other styles that were included with the pattern. It really was just what had in mind. The material was 40% off, and I paid a grand total of $28.37; more than I had planned, but I was gong to be really happy with this skirt, so it was worth it.

Half a skirt later it became all too apparent that the skirt wasn't right at all. I would probably still be able to wear it on the Trek, but forget about being authentic. And there was just so much of it. I had only added four of the seven tiers, and it was already so voluminous as to be a little difficult to handle. (We started making jokes about all the things I could hide in my skirt due to its very abundant nature: candy, books, a television, a live chicken.) Not to mention that Richard just didn't like it. I had chosen the style and material specifically so it could be a skirt I would wear more than once. As Richard commented on the sheer mass of material that seemed to be multiplying on our kitchen table, I tried to defend myself. I told him that I had considered making one of the styles that required significantly less material, similar to the one the lady wore on the pattern envelope, but it just looked so bad on her that I couldn't do it. As an afterthought I added, just a little discouraged now, "Though it may not end up looking good anyway." Richard nodded knowingly and said,"Probably not".

Of course at this point I was too vested in the project to quit. The pattern wasn't difficult, but it was time consuming, and I just couldn't give up after all the work I had done. And there was part of me that still hoped that the skirt would, somehow, come out just the way I imagined and manage to completely win my husband over at the same time. (Not surprisingly, if I had made it into a mini skirt, he would have liked it just fine.) So I plodded on. In any case, I still needed a skirt for this pioneer trek and the deadline was fast approaching.

And then, yards and yards of material later, I was suddenly finished! Finally! In my excitement I held it up and Richard exclaimed, "Oh Good! We won't need to bring our tent!"

Here is one I took just before I took off for a quick flight around the neighborhood.

So, I am going to have to accept it. Completing this skirt didn't suddenly transform it into the cutest skirt in the land, at least not in Richard's opinion. So what am I to do? I'm just not. . . something enough to wear clothes that my husband hates. Where would I wear them, I ask you? It is a shame though, because when I spin in a circle the skirt billows up around me and I feel like a Spanish Dancer. Which, incidentally, Harrison LOVES. He laughs and claps and runs at me so that the skirt hits him in the face, over and over. Hmm. . . maybe if I hit Richard in the face with it a few times it will change his mind?

Aug 4, 2008

After the Master Bedroom

Once we finished the Master Bedroom, progress became a lot less noticeable. I don't even remember what we did next. Perhaps I should ask the master. Ha! He doesn't know either. Bless me, I'm going to have to look it up. Hang on.

Another List

So tonight was the combined activity. Lynsie gave us the idea to play sock tag, so we told everyone to bring socks and we were in business. The game is this: everyone puts a sock in their back pocket and then you run around trying to steals socks from other people without getting your own stolen. It wasn't sure I should play; I'm not entirely comfortable grabbing at people's hind quarters, or having them grab at mine. But I like to be an example of participation, so I stuck a borrowed bobby sock in my pocket and away we went. The kids seemed to have a great time for the most part - as much as 12 year old boys and girls can when they are together. And so did I. (For some reason the grammar checker is telling me at this point that the correct grammar would be "So did me.") But in the last game I was running from a young man who was going for my sock and since I was still wearing socks, I slipped and hit the ground hard and he took my sock and ran. Hello! Check and see if I am all right at least! I was fine, of course, and I don't like to be fawned over, but maybe you could be a bit of a gentleman? Kids!! Anyway, blah blah blah, what it comes down to is, if I am going to be falling down a lot, maybe I should stay on the sidelines during games like these. I am not as young as I once was - as I've said - and if there is one thing the Young Women do not need to see it is me breaking my hip.

Other things the Young Women don't need to see me do:
  • Dance. And by this I mean the way I might dance in a night club. (If I went to night clubs. Which I don't. But you know what I mean: lots of prancing, arm swinging and flamboyant hip movements.)
  • Ride a Unicycle. This goes back to me breaking my hip again.
  • Strut my stuff in a swimming suit. I think this goes without saying.
  • Cry. I have a tendency to bawl, which includes lots of snot, tears, gulping, and a red face.
  • Run. Which includes lots of snot, tears, gulping, and a red face.
  • Be Dismembered. The reasons for this might not be quite as obvious as some of the others, but trust me; it is not a good idea.
  • Throw Up. I'm not really sure anymore why the Young Women are the only ones who shouldn't see this stuff.
  • Talk to an Automated Phone System. Automated phone systems are the most evil force in the universe. I cannot be on the phone with one for more than 30 seconds before I start yelling.
I'm really sure what the point of all this is, but here is another list anyway!

Aug 3, 2008

The Other Room

I left out a whole room in my hurry. Right after we finished the bathroom, like right after we finished tiling the shower, we got a room ready for Faralee who would be staying with us when she got home from a mission in Taiwan. We got lots of help for that project. ( You can see it here with a few of the various and sundry items found around the house. I think they were all eventually deemed "Worthless Trash").

 In a couple of weekends (from 3/27/04 to 4/4/04) we tore out the ceiling, scraped off all the old wallpaper, ran some quick wiring, and prepped and painted the walls. We needed to leave the ceiling unfinished, so we had a super neat exposed beam thing going on.

Boydell suffers from an irrational fear of paint, as you can see, so it was real nice of him to come out and give us a hand.