Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Home Improvement

So earlier this year I decided 2017 was definitely the year to begin some home improvements. I decided to start downstairs and do one level at a time. The first thing to change was the carpet. I don't know who decided putting carpet in a dining room was a good idea, but I've hated it since I moved in.


Before:




The carpet was nasty and had a stain spot I couldn't get out and it only ever looked good right after it was vacuumed. I've been wanting to get rid of it for awhile now.


After:






I'm very happy how it turned out. It's not quite that warm of a color depending on the light in the room so I'm rethinking the paint color I was going to go with.  Next up will be painting, then I can move my furniture back in. Of course, now I'm rethinking some of the wall d├ęcor and trying to decide what kind of area rug to get, but those are fun decisions.  The kitchen is fine as is for now so I'm leaving it alone.


Now that the floor is in, I keep looking at the upstairs and thinking how awful that carpet looks. I have lots of ideas but can't make up my mind about a few things so I think I may still wait until next year to start the upstairs but it will probably be early next year. The inconvenience of basically moving out for a couple weeks is starting to sound doable. Especially if I'm as happy with the results as I am right now.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Independence Day

People may think I'm a Scrooge (can I be a Scrooge in the summer?) but there are 2 things I really dislike about July 4th: fireworks and that cheesy "proud to be an American" song. Not so much the big fireworks shows put on by the cities, but the ones you can buy that people set off for hours at night. Just when I think they are done another big boom goes off. I know, I'm no fun... but I have to work in the morning. :)

And as my bishop said on Sunday, a better phrase might be I'm humbly grateful to be an American. And I am. I'm grateful for those who serve in all the branches of the military, now and in the past. I'm grateful for the good people who are the foundation of this nation. There is so much bad news and bad things people do but this nation is more than the bad news and the person who happens to live in the White House. It's the families and good people like my neighbors who are truly just trying to live a good life and stand for the right, even if it's in small ways.

My mom and I saw 1776 at the Centerpointe Legacy Theater last week. I've always liked it, even if it is a bit cheesy. I'm grateful for the people that founded this nation, imperfect as they were.

Anyway, I'm humbly grateful to live in this country and have the blessings and privileges that I have. To celebrate I slept in (I was tired after those darn fireworks last night). Later, my mom, and sister,  and I are going to see Wonder Woman at the movie theater. I kind of feel that's a pretty patriotic thing to do...ha ha. Then I'm staying indoors the rest of the evening. It's supposed to be 100 degrees today and I don't want to be outside at all. I'll try not to swear too bad at the people lighting off fireworks tonight.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

A Night Out

Last night I got to do something fun. At least I think it was fun. My sister and I went to the Salt Lake City Public Library to hear Mary Roach talk about her books and then got a couple signed.





Mary Roach is one of the few (maybe only) non-fiction writers I'm always watching for new books. If the topic is bordering on weird, unusual, or just plain disgusting Mary Roach might write about it. She's just as funny in person as she is in her books and I loved hearing some of her experiences and where some of her ideas come from. Ha ha... this is my idea of a good time and I'm so glad I heard about this and was able to go.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Fiddler & Fiora Mystery Series

This year I have glommed my way through the Fiddler and Fiora mysteries by A.E. Maxwell.  The whole series just really appealed to me and I’m trying to articulate why. I found them through a podcast that included an interview with Elizabeth Lowell (one half of the A.E. Maxwell duo). They’ve been reissued digitally and after reading the first one, I quickly bought the remaining 7 books in the series.    
The first book was written in 1985 and it feels like the 80’s. They have to stop and find pay phones to make phone calls, shoulder pads are mentioned, and things that I learned in history class or had to look up online because I didn’t know about are current events.  Computer technology is simple, and reports come printed out on reams of paper.  The final book was written in 1993 so the technology does get better, but it’s still such a difference from today.
Fiddler is a guy who likes to meddle and help the underdog and can do so because his ex-wife Fiora, who is a finance genius, invested his money and made him rich. He doesn’t have to work. The two of them have an on again off again relationship at the beginning of the series. As it progresses, they start to deal with some of their issues and end up as partners.  These books are filled with all kinds of details and facts that I find a little bit unnecessary, but worked to create a certain atmosphere. Fiddler is the street smart, tough P.I. who keeps up on current events so the details didn’t seem out of place. At first, I didn’t like Fiora quite as much because I kept getting told she was the brains, but didn’t really get to see it in action as often. Even though she’s supposed to be Fiddler’s equal she came off more like his arm candy a few times. As the series progresses this does change and she even calls Fiddler out on a few things that I’m glad he didn’t just get away with (especially in regards to their relationship). The later books in the series where they truly became partners are definitely my favorite.
Anyway, I have loved reading this series. It will probably be on my top books list later this year. It’s really put me in the mood for 80’s television shows. I own a few seasons of Remington Steele so I should dig the DVDs out. I kind of wish Magnum P.I. or The A Team would come back to Netflix. I guess I’ve still got MacGyver. LOL

Monday, June 5, 2017

Summer is Here

Ok - I know I'm not supposed to complain, but it's HOT. We seemed to have skipped the days with 70-80 degree temps and went right to the high 90's.


I need to find my mom a fun sprinkler attachment. Yesterday at family dinner, I took the kids outside and we used mom's old Tupperware bowls (the large size) to put water in. I thought putting our feet in would feel nice but the kids decided to sit in them. It was pretty funny to watch. Silly kids. They had fun though and we all got wet enough that it felt good. Ok - so summer is not all bad. I'm looking forward to a few things we have planned...and there's always air conditioning or the freezer section of the grocery store.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Scotland, Part V

And finally, the drive back to Edinburgh from Skye. We made a few stops on the way back.


First stop was Glenfinnan Viaduct.  The Jacobite monument is across the road. It's a memorial to those who followed Bonnie Prince Charlie in "the forty-five".







We even stayed to see a train go by. It wasn't the steam train, unfortunately, but still fun.







After that, we drove through  Fort William and over to Glen Coe for a quick stop. The drive back was absolutely gorgeous and as we passed through to top of The Trossachs, we realized that's probably where we should have spent more time.






As we neared Edinburgh, we realized we had time to stop by Stirling Castle so we did a quick tour there.




And from there we made a quick stop at The Kelpies, which was on mine and Amy's lists as something we had to see. I don't really know why because I've never even been near a horse before so it's not like I'm a fan of them. Still we stopped and got some pictures.









By the time we were done with that, we were so ready to be out of the car and I was very ready to go home. We dropped off the car, took a cab to our hotel and repacked our bags. The next morning we got up and got to the airport for the long trip home.


This was a good trip. Scotland is truly a beautiful country and I love the history and pretty much everything about it, except the driving. I'd go back.  And now, I'm wanting to read books set there. :)



Scotland, Part IV

I'm mixing up our days on Skye but no matter.


We hiked to the Old Man of Storr and then drove to and hiked around The Quiraing.


You actually see the Old Man better far away or right close up.


Before The Quiraing is the stop for Kilt Rock.



The Quiraing


Single track road with "passing place"



We also made a stop at Dunvegan Castle. It was another one we really enjoyed with beautiful gardens. This was the first time it rained on us the whole trip...and of course my rain jacket was back in my room.




After Dunvegan, we hiked up to the fairy pools. It was still cloudy and raining so we didn't get great pictures, and really, could only see a glimpse of why these are called the fairy pools (a little hint of color in the water) but it was still a nice hike.



And finally the morning before the flight home we woke up on Skye and had to drive back to Edinburgh. We took the ferry from Armadale to Mallaig. It's not a long ferry ride, but was a great way to get off the island...and about a 2 minute drive from our lodging. LOL - I got nervous because we didn't have a reservation for the ferry so I wanted to leave early...but then mom was up super early and hustling us so we were there before the place even opened.