Tuesday, May 21, 2013

May is almost gone

and then comes the fun part...Summer! We have such a busy summer lined up this year. Two weddings, a retirement, and preparations for our bike trip. Sprinkle in there home improvement projects, gardening, and working out, and we will be busy, busy, busy. Have I mentioned that we got a new roof? Matt did a ton of research, and we decided that since the roof was going to need to be replaced in the near future (It was leaking in the sunroom, and damaging our newly installed drywall in the kitchen), we might as well do it right. The metal roof has many benefits, one of them being the natural insulating quality of the material. Plus, our metal is coated with a paint that reflects UV from the sun, making it even cooler. Add to that the foam insulation we installed above the sunroom (it's a flat roof, and before had just been covered with tar paper overlaid with gravel. Not effective as an insulation, and the sunroom just baked in the spring/summer/fall, and was cold in the winter. No wonder we never used it and it was just a junk storage area!), and our house is noticeably more comfortable, temperature-wise. Our heating/cooling costs are going to go down, and the sunroom will get much more use :) Win, win, win!

Here's what our roof used to look like:

And now (from the roof):

Way different! I like it!

So anyways, my whole point with that was to say that the sunroom is a much more comfortable space, and we might actually be able to use it to hang out. So, that's where our focus is at the moment. We're painting it, and then we're going to decide what to do with it. We're still deciding. But, already it's looking so much better. More inviting. Not so much like a cave. Here's what we've got:

In progress--at this point we had primed half the walls, painted half the ceiling. See how cavelike the other half is?
Trying to decide on colors for the walls. I picked out the one on the right, but that turned out to be too much of a yellow-green. Matt picked the one on the left. It's called Koala Bear. Perfect!
 And, here's the finished product. At least half of it. the walls, I mean. The floor is a different story.

What a difference a can of paint and a weekend can make, huh? We're hoping to work a bit more on it this weekend, but as it stands, we have a fun run/5K on Saturday, then maybe a niece's piano recital after. On Sunday we have a birthday party for a friend. But, Monday's a holiday, so maybe we can get a bunch done on Memorial Day. We Shall See :)


PS. I mentioned above the whole "working out" thing, and if you are interested, let me know. I've joined an online fitness community, a place where you get points for working out, embark on quests, and makes exercise fun (at least for me). A few of my family members have also joined, and we're turning it into a little bit of a friendly competition (if there is such a thing with family... ;) I've got to do something to motivate me to get ready for our 3000 mile bike ride in the fall!

Friday, May 3, 2013

April has flown by

Just way too quickly! I'm trying to think of all the things that happened in the last month....well, let me try....

March 27th, the Watsons came for a visit. It was Jheriko's spring break, and Demarko's leave, so of course they wanted to get out of the yucky Pacific Northwest weather and enjoy some Southern California sunshine. I think they were not disappointed. Earlier in the day, Ryan and fiance' Kandis came up from San Diego, and we took a quick tour of LA. Then headed back home, (getting a flat tire on the way...fun!) and I cooked us all up a spaghetti dinner. We finished the evening off with a bit of Wii and visiting.

The next day, Ryan and Kandis headed back to San Diego, and the Watsons and I headed out for our own LA adventure. We hit up Train Town, first, which I can't believe I've never been to before. 
 Then up to Griffith observatory. Of course the obligatory picture with the Hollywood sign in the background.
 We headed back home, the kids and Demarko went to the park, and Jill and I went grocery shopping. We tried to relax, because Friday was going to be a long day....Knott's Berry Farm!

April 1: Knott's Berry Farm. We were some of the first people to the park in the morning, and we were some of the last people to leave at night! We got to see Snoopy and Woodstock :)

 Gwen survived the Ferris Wheel (Jill did to. She kept saying to Jheriko "Stop rocking!!!" and to Dillon "Hold on tight!!!)

 Dillon wanted his picture with Peppermint Patty!
 And Snoopy!
 Saturday, March 30th, we did some more exploring around LA. We visited Hollywood, did the walk of fame, Grumman's Chinese theater, and had lunch.
 Then we headed over to the La Brea Tar Pits.

Sunday, the Watsons headed down to San Diego to hang out at Peggy's. I met back up with them on Thursday, April 4th, and we went to the San Diego Zoo. Evidently I got one picture all day. It was a ton of fun, thought!
Then, Friday, April 5th, we went to Cabrillo National Monument, in San Diego, and explored the tide pools. 

I skedaddled back to LA that afternoon, since Matt was coming back from Minnesota that evening. Boy, was I exhausted after all that driving :)

Saturday, April 6th, I played bingo for a charity event for my neighbor Yvonne's birthday. I've never played bingo before, and I won! Twice! Had a great time :)

Saturday April 13th, we celebrated Gwen's boyfriend's birthday with a trip to Huntington Gardens and a dinner party at my house.

April 18th, Matt and I drove down to Hollywood and enjoyed a Bad Religion concert. They were awesome! Then, Friday morning, I drove down to San Diego to visit Maura and her (soon to be) fiance' Scott. We went to the beach, boogy boarded, and had a blast. (I got a sunburn) We had tacos for dinner, and went to see Oblivion. Saturday, Peggy, Maura, Scott, and I went sea kayaking in La Jolla, which was amazing. Then we had lunch and I headed home.

Sunday morning, April 21st, Matt and I participated in CicLAvia, where LA shuts down some of the roads to cars, opens them up to cycles and foot traffic. It's like a carnival, and was really fun. I'm glad we got to participate. We took the subway from North Hollywood, and rode around for a few hours. Then we had to get back, so we could pack and get on the road, headed to Sacramento for the week.

Sacramento (Rancho Cordova) was fun. Matt had training all day, Monday through Friday, so I tried to keep myself occupied. I explored the fish hatchery, historic Fulsom, the Fulsom zoo, and even got a little bit of shopping in. Oh, and Matt saw his first wild turkey! Matt and I ate out at an amazing restaurant on Tuesday night, Waterboys. I had the best steak of my life there. Seriously.

On Friday, Matt finished up, and we headed over to Pleasonton to meet up with a great friend, Matt Timmermann, who happened to be there for training as well. We hung out and got dinner and caught a movie, and the next day visited the Winchester House of Mystery. I've always wanted to go there! 

And then we headed home! And now it's Friday, May 3rd, and I can't believe April is no longer. Lots of fun things in the works for May, June, and July. You'll just have to stay tuned, I guess :)


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Bye, Bye Birdies

I'm so sad to announce that the baby hummingbirds are no longer in the nest. They were sitting in the nest today when the gardener came to do his gardening thing, and he scared them out of the nest! They flew away. About a half hour later, the mother hummingbird came back to the nest and appeared very sad that the nest was empty. I know it's the circle of life, and it was bound to happen, but I'm still a little sad.

I happened to capture the moment on video. It's pretty grainy, but you can definitely see them fly away!

~Sorry that the video is huge. I had to imbed it from facebook, or something like that, because the video wouldn't upload directly....~

Also, my microgreen kit arrived in the mail yesterday, and I sowed my first crop of seeds! I planted half radish, half turnip. In just 12 hours (this morning) I had many seeds sprouted, and I just watered them again, and pretty much all of the turnip is sprouted, and a lot of the radish, too!

The seeds are sown.

24 hours later, they've sprouted!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Miss You

It's been 6 years since my dad died. I really miss him. Sometimes it seems like it's been a long time, other times it seems like it happened just yesterday. I've been digging though some old files on my computer, and thought I'd share a few pictures of my dad with all of you.

First Grade

Sixth Grade

High School?
1958 CT A-School

April 1, 1960
San Antonio, TX 1979

Grand Canyon, 1979
At Grandma Helm's house, Christmas 1979

Lani's graduation day 5-24-82

My dad teaching Matt how to shoot, May 2005

And, on a final note, this picture is for those of us who didn't really see our parents kiss all that often.

It did happen!

I miss you, Dad.