Monday, August 14, 2017

Family Vacation

My mom rented a house on the beach again this year so the family went up for family vacation last week. I was a little worried at first because it wasn't going to be the same with dad gone and we had my brother's in-laws with us. And it wasn't the same, but it wasn't bad. I think we had fun.

On the way up we had a quick stop at Shoshone Falls - near Twin Falls, ID. I had never been there before. This is where my sister discovered that her 3 year old had taken his shoes out of his bag and he only had the pair of socks he was wearing.


We stayed in Lincoln City this time on a beach on the north end of the city. I loved the beach we were at, but I don't really like Lincoln City. I think there are better cities on the coast. The house we rented was fine. It fit all of us. I think they could have done a few quick repairs (like actually attaching the curtain rod to the wall) and it would be a nice place to stay.


I thought the weather was fantastic. We didn't get a lot of sun, but I love the mist and fog. Most days it burned off in the afternoon.

My favorite part was exploring the tide pools a short walk down the beach. It was a beautiful area with some caves and rocks and all kinds of marine life. I think the kids really had fun too.

 



Anyway, I got home late Saturday night (or technically early Sunday morning) and got to sleep in my own bed again. It was nice to get away and nice to be back home.


Saturday, July 29, 2017

Phase I = Complete

Phase I (aka the downstairs) home renovations are complete. My new floor is in and the whole downstairs (and upstairs hallway) has been painted. My furniture is back in and today I spent a bunch of money on an area rug and and a few other things.

I love, love, love, love, love it!!!!!!

I'm just so happy with the way it turned out. I've also rearranged the furniture and I do like it, but I think it will take some getting used to. I think my couch and love seat were in the same place for about 9 years so I have to get over it.

There are only a few things on the walls and I think it might stay that way for a while. I've decided I didn't want a lot of my old wall stuff but I'm not quite sure what I do want. I'm not in rush. I'm going enjoy some beautiful scratch and nail hole free walls until I find stuff I want.

And I've decided to suck it up and do the upstairs this year. I'm thinking October so I'm taking a break but towards the end of August I think I will start making more decisions about carpet and paint. It will be a pain but totally worth it.

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.