Monday, December 13, 2010

Vote for my Dad's Video please!

Click on the link and vote! The prize money helps the hungry in Oregon and Washington, but it also helps Team Just keep Fishing! Please Vote!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

New Pool Water


When the weather finally cooled down enough in November to be safe for the pool, we drained all of the 5 year old stale water. I know, not very exciting to hear about, but it took up a lot of my time and energy and the end result I am pleased with.

Draining the pool took two days and way too many trips to Home Depot. Then once the water was drained, we discovered a gritty substance all over the walls and a thick layer of what appeared to be sand on the bottom of the deep end. It was calcium or mineral deposits that had to be removed either by an acid wash, which is dangerous to a novice and even a serious matter for a professional. It costs at least $100 or so for a pool our size. Or I was told I could hand sand the pool surface with a special water proof sandpaper for about $9.00. I opted to go cheap. It took me several days. The first two days I did so much sanding by hand, that my back and shoulder muscles were in serious pain, and I had to give it a rest for a few days. (Where was Tony during this? In the midst of busy season, spending 10 plus hours working a day.) This is what it looked like after all of that work.

There is a light circular discoloration on the bottom of the pool in the pictures, which is just a bit of residual calcium deposit that the pool vacuum will take care of.

Filling the pool also took a lot longer than I thought. We just used our garden hose and the pool auto filler, so it ended up taking about 3 full days, if not a bit longer. After the first night, I would only leave the pool auto filler on, for fear that the pool would over flow in the night. It wasn't a realistic fear, and I knew that, but I still stayed up that first night thinking about it.

Here is the gorgeous AFTER result.

The water is so crystal clear. It's sad that it will not stay so pretty and sparkling. I have said this before and I will probably say it again, but a pool is so much more work than I ever knew. There are just problems that you don't think of when being a novice pool owner, so consider it carefully if you go to buy one in the future.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Lazy Dog Days

Are you still there? I am, although I can understand why it could be easy to imagine I had vanished. No post in months, and really minimal posts in general. Facebook has been sucking the life from my blog. Sad but true. I will post more on this blog, as I need the communication practice.

We are having a very long summer this year. I mean it is November, and yesterday it was almost 90 degrees. Really? At least the forecast has reasonable weather for the rest of the week, so the lazy dog days of summer will be a thing of the past.

I am still with out a job, which means my life is not very exciting, and I find little chance to talk with people. I haven't started talking to myself, (at least not more than normal) so I am still good on that front. Job hunting really sucks in Phoenix for someone who does not speak Spanish. Even places like Home Depot or Target ideally want Bilingual. I am applying but really it isn't going very far. I am trying to come up with ways to make extra money, like I tried to do a sleep clinical trial, but actually slept almost all through the night on the second night, and so that didn't last. (I did get a few hundred dollars for it though, so worth the time.) I know something will come through, but I wish it were easier.

My current hobby is couponing. Each week I try to see how little I can spend on groceries and how much I get for what I do spend. I love to see what free things, like toothpaste or body wash, that I can get. We have a whole shelf in the hall closet filled with different free or really cheap supplies. Today I got 5 things of floss for .02 cents each.

This picture is missing 3 cartons of ice cream, but even with that it only cost about $10.00 for all of it. There are things like dishwasher tabs, laundry soap, produce, pasta, etc. So I will probably post some of these deals, when I get a particularly great run.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Thursday on the Vashon Island Ferry

Amanda came over again on Thursday the 29th. The day had no real plans, but I wanted to do something fun, and I think it was Tony who came up with the idea to take the ferry over to Vashon island. Even though it is such a short ride, it was pretty fun.

We followed signs to toward the other end of the island where there was a little lighthouse.

There were hardly any other people around and beautiful bleached driftwood in all shapes and sizes littered the beach. Some one had crafted little tee pee huts out of some longer pieces of wood. The kids thought they were pretty cool, and started playing house.

A Wild Waves Monday

We decided to go to Wild Waves on Monday the 26th of July. Dad dropped a very excited Amanda off really early in the morning, since he had to work that day. The place didn't open until around 10am so it was a bit of a wait, but we survived.

The park is showing it's age in quite a few places, but we had a fun day anyway. I took my camera, but forgot to use it after taking this picture. Oh well.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Mushroom Festival and Shipwreck Beads 7/25/2010

I spent the night at my Dad's house on the weekend. I went with Natalya and Amanda to a mushroom festival. Tony hates mushrooms with a passion, and so could not have been dragged there if I had wanted him to come. It was a small festival, but there were a few games, like a mushroom ring toss, and bouncy toys for the kids. Of course we got to try lots of mushroom dishes. I loved a mushroom bruschetta type dish and Natalya's favorite was a mushroom barley soup, which was very good too.
After the festival, we stopped at a bead store I had been hearing about called Shipwreck Beads. It was a huge warehouse style bead store, complete with a cafe. It is probably good that the store is so far away or I am sure I would go there too much.

Once we made it home from the bead store, Tony was waiting at the house with the Boys. Dad was setting up a feast of barbecue food, and Brandon and Carter were already going up and down on Amanda's inflatable slide, which by the way everyone wishes they had as a child.

Brandon and Carter were also very impressed with my Dad's boat and the garage it is in.

Later Davey and some of his friends came over to help eliminate some of the food. Dad always cooks a feast. This picture is of Davey and Samantha.

We also went over to see Davey's new house. His property is pretty nice. It sits on a tree studded acre, set back just off the road.

The drive to his house takes you past spectacular views of Mt Rainier, small lakes, old barns and open meadows.

His house is definitely a bachelor pad right now, complete with mounted animal heads and a truck in progress in the garage.

There is a beautiful really branchy massive canopy tree with a high rope swing for the kids.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dash Point 7/24/2010

Tony and I took the Boys out to Dash Point. Tony said he used to go there as a child, and thought I might enjoy it. It was a beautiful day, mid 80's with clear blue skies and I was reminded why I love summers in Washington. The boys took off at a run and didn't stop until they splashed fully in the water. It was cold, but not too bad. I went beach combing, and picked up a few good shells, but not many. Carter found a lovely dead crab specimen. He looks grossed out in the picture, but really he was thrilled and wanted to keep it. I was disappointed that the sand dollars are a protected species, and that I couldn't add any to my collection.

After Brandon and Carter tired of the water, Tony helped cover the boys with sand. They are pretending to be sleeping or dead in the pictures. I don't remember which.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

3 months and what have I done?

I haven't blogged in 3 months. I have thought about blogging, read other blogs, even started to blog, and then some how or some way I became distracted and never posted a thing. So what have we been up to?

In May we went to California for Ali's baptism. She seemed very excited and was working really hard to be on her best behavior.

That same weekend the beach was calling, so we trekked out for a day in the sun. I love the beach, the sounds, the smell, the colors of the water, it's where I feel at home. Everyone seemed to have a good time, with Annika especially enjoying the sand.

June was interesting. The third week or so of June, I drove to Blythe to pick Ali up. She was spending some time with us this summer, until she tired of us or her parents missed her too much. Just a few days after that, I lost my job, which kind of put a kink in the super fun things I had hoped to do with her. We had to get creative in our activities. We did some window shopping, went to the bead store and only spent about a $1.25, but with some of my beads, made Ali a really nice necklace, and of course we went swimming, once or twice a day. Ali also got to make a friend, Liliana, whom she wished she had more time to play with.
There was also our first really party at our first house. I know we have been in the house over a year so it was about time. It was going to be really beach themed, but with me out of work, we didn't go overboard like I had planned. It was fun though, with a lot of people showing up.

I also got to see the new Twlight series movie, which I liked, but wasn't sure I liked it better than the last two. (I also recently saw a little of a movie called "Shark Boy and Lava Girl" which has somewhat tainted my image of Taylor Lautner, as Jacob. I guess I forgot how young the actor really was, plus now I might have to look and see if the wolf boy also has a shark fin still.)

Late June into early July was spent bouncing between restaurants that had sent Tony and I free birthday treats. We had free claim jumper meal with free dessert too, two free red robin burgers and free ice creams, free cold stone, free Rubio's, and free movie theater treats. It was maybe a bit much for a short time frame, but hey, free is free.

Then this last weekend my sister and brother in law decided they had been with out their oldest daughter for long enough, and decided to pick her up. We had a few scares with the air conditioner going out in killer temps, but managed to have a great few days swimming.

This is the only picture of Tony. I was behind the camera, so none of me.

And that about sums up the months I missed. Oh I am sure there's some stuff in between, but this will have to do for now.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Wildlife World Zoo and Aquarium

My sister Melissa and her three little girls have been visiting since Monday. We've played at the splash pad in the park down the street and ventured into the pool a little, even though it is not perfectly clean or warm. Ali, Ashling, and I discovered a really cool bead store and I helped each of them make a necklace.

Today was their last day and Tony was able to steal a little bit of time away from a very busy work season to head to the World Wildlife Zoo and Aquarium with us.

We had to make a somewhat early start to beat the heat. It was in the upper 80's today, and we did not want to be caught in that.

I enjoyed this zoo. It was not very crowded, and there was a decent variety of animals. I also liked how up close we were able to get to some of them. For instance there were these beautiful electric colored peacocks wandering the park. They would let you walk almost right up to them, and there was one that almost ate out of my hand. (He seemed inclined to try it, if jittery excited kids would have held still for a bit.)
They also make an interesting call, which I suppose would be annoying if it were outside my window in the morning, but which only added to the ambiance of a zoo.

Another favorite of mine was the giraffe stand. They have pellets for feeding, and there was this one giraffe that was enthusiastically licking up the proffered treats.

He would let you scratch his nose or face and was not opposed to holding still for a photo op.

I would have liked to see an elephant or a rhino, but I'm wondering if maybe we just missed a loop or a turn somewhere. I didn't care enough to check a map, as I was ready to be out of the sun after about 5 hours.

Monday, March 15, 2010

5 Queen Palms

Saturday was a very beautiful day. The sun was shining, but it wasn't hot so it felt like a good day to be productive. We went for a drive and looked at several nurseries for different plant ideas. There are some really nice places, but we ended up buying our trees from Home Depot as they were about the same price or cheaper, and they had a truck we could rent for $20. The trees are maybe 10-15 feet tall, but they will grow a little taller eventually. They look much bigger when you are out there than in the photo.

I think we dug holes for at least 3 hours or more. The problem was that the soil was kind of compacted and clay like, plus we kept moving the trees an inch or two this way or that. We didn't want them to look too planned, or totally random either. Also we had to remove some plants that were already there, and dig new holes for them in another location. (which is why there is this random plant in between the trees.)

Eventually we want the queen palms to line the whole side of the fence by the pool, but for now it looks so much better already.