Wednesday, June 30, 2010
On Saturday I got a call that Katie was coming, as in she was about to leave for the airport. I knew she had Caesar with her. When I picked them up at the airport, I found out she actually had Liz, Owen, and long-time friend Becky with her. Surprise!
When we got to the house, they kicked things right into gear. In just a couple hours, we finished up my bedroom and closet. They rewarded themselves by going to the "Taste of Chicago." Owen and I made a miserable, failed attempt to go to the Lego store, but due to the level of activity downtown, we couldn't buy ourselves a parking space. It had taken 45 minutes to drive the mile from "Taste of Chicago" to near the Lego store, but then the very expensive parking lots were full. I offered Owen $20 for us to just go, but he wouldn't take it. So we searched for a parking spot (moving at the pace of traffic, which was very slow) until I was at my wits end and the Lego store was about to close. Eventually we went to Target, where he selected a Lego item costing $20. He doesn't know I was prepared to pay more.
Sunday we did a little more around the house. Becky is amazing. She is a rare person with planning and organization skills, great work ethic, the ability to direct others, and an eye for decoration. With her help, the office is totally done. All of those boxes that were stashed in the closet have been unpacked and organized! Sunday night Katie made chicken tacos for our special guest: Kent. He is a friend of Liz and Harry's who is in Chicago for an internship with the railroad.
Monday morning Liz flew home and the rest returned to work. Becky installed a set of blinds, single-handed (which I found very impressive.) She hung pictures, arranged my artwork, and helped me do some planning for future decorations. We've removed the most hideous of the window treatments in the house, but more will come down soon.
Owen was an important member of the crew because he entertained Henry. Owen loved Rody, the bouncing house, and bounced on him from one end of the house to the other. It was very cute to watch.
So by visiting, not only did Katie, Becky, and Liz do work I would have taken a long time to do, they did a better job than I ever would have. Becky made sure everything was organized and thought out, so we can actually find and use our stuff. What a novel idea! With so many of my friends moving right now, I wish these ladies could go full-time as professionals, but I don't think anyone can afford to pay them what they're worth- priceless!
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
The thunder and lightning were VERY close. We think that several trees in the neighborhood took direct hits. The power lines just a block to the north of us were struck. The lines were laying across the road (which is a busy road, similar to highway 89 in Bountiful) and the road remained closed for almost 24 hours. We were without power just shy of 24 hours. It wasn't bad at all- the weather was cool so we didn't miss the air conditioning, and we had great LED flashlights.
The most inconvenient thing was our phones needed to be charged. On Thursday morning when my phone was dead, I went with Henry to McDonald's, and we enjoyed a drink while I charged my phone using their outlet.
Henry loved running down the water-covered sidewalk. We let him run back and forth on the walkway leading to our door when it was just barely covered with water. He probably did it twenty times, and would have done it more if we had let him.
Friday, June 25, 2010
The 1992 Honda Accord just reached 170,000 miles. It is a little worse for the wear, but it keeps on going. When we purchased it just over five years ago, it only had 120,000 miles- that's barely broken in.
Don't worry about the glowing light- it's just telling you the parking brake is on.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
of my life. The power is still out, and this downed line a couple
blocks away may be partly to blame. The power pole was down across a
street similiar to highway 89, and the street is still closed. There
are giant branches down all over the neighborhood.
I went to McDonald's to get a cold beverage and charge my phone. It
was nice to spend time in their AC. Luckily, it's only 82 degrees
today. The rumor in the neighborhood is we won't be getting power
back for at least another day.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
After a few technical difficulties, the one-doored 1992 Honda is back on the road. Nick finished putting the brakes together last night. Henry and I were instrumental in the bleeding of the brakes- we pumped the brakes when Nick told us to. Nick is still in orientation for residency, so we're glad to get this wrapped up before he starts working 80 hour weeks.
Monday, June 21, 2010
We spent the evening of the longest day of the year playing in the yard, working on the car, and watching lightning bugs.
We're getting settled into our house in Chicago. It's not Chicago-proper, we're just a few miles outside of the city itself in a little suburb that reminds me of a smaller Rose Park. It's like Rose Park (in Salt Lake) in both architecture and era. It's smaller in that this neighborhood is smaller and the individual houses and lots are smaller. The houses next door are REALLY close to ours, like about four feet between our wall and theirs. Our garage even smells like my grandpa's Rose Park garage.
We've been having some car problems. We had to take the Ford in for a repair, and now that we have it back, Nick is fixing the brakes on the Honda. They started to make a squeaking noise when you weren't breaking, so he has replaced all the brake pads (as maintenance) and replaced some cylinders, which should fix the problem. If being a doctor hadn't worked out, maybe he would have been a mechanic. As a side note, google has totally changed how you fix cars. You google your symptoms, find out what other people did and if it fixed the problem. It really saves you a lot of time and money because you're not just throwing parts at things to see if it will fix it. Nick had a problem with the disassembly, and googled it on the phone to see if anyone had similar problems and how they fixed it. Someone had, Nick used their idea and it worked.
Henry loves having a yard. He goes to the back door and knocks on it, telling me he wants to go out to play. He loves to play on the Little Tikes play set a St Louis ward member gave us. He loves to play with bubbles. And for some unknown reason, he loves to get handfuls of topsoil and put it on the barbecue.
The garden here is pretty tiny- about the same square footage as a door. Even so, I find it's out of control already. I recognize some of the plants, but many I'm still wondering it's a weed or not. I did plant some basil, a tomato, and a jalapeno plant for Nick.
I can identify chives and dill, but that's about it. If you have any idea what those little daisy things are, leave a comment. Feel free to identify which things are weeds too.
We are having a major ant problem in the kitchen, and a minor one everywhere else. We bought commercial ant poison. The ants will have nothing to do with it, and continue looking for any crumb on the counter but pay no attention to the ant bait. Tomorrow I'm putting out borax-laced hot dog meat, which I hear they'll go crazy for. It should also kill them.
I still can't find most things. I have a lot of unpacking to do, and even more organizing. It's probably going to be a little chaotic for a while.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Miss N is in town for Harry's wedding, so we celebrated her third birthday. We celebrated her second birthday last year when she was in town for Sam's wedding.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
A Final Farewell to our St Louis apartment. (Click on the picture for a larger view)
The hydrangeas in front were in peak bloom as we left. They didn't flower at all last year. They're a bright spot in our otherwise unkempt yard.
Built-in dishwasher, I miss you already. You were the best.
Neutral and attractive paint colors, I have to admit I completely took you for granted. I know better now.
And to the many large windows, I will miss your natural light and the fact I never used electric lights during the day.
Electric water heater, you're terrible. I don't miss you at all. I'm with something better now. It's larger and powered by natural gas.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
moved the dumpster just enough to be a problem.
Dallas was an expert in patiently pulling back and forth, turning the
wheel just enough to eventually set the truck free. In watching the
professional driver have trouble with this mammoth, I was even more
amazed that they'll rent a truck this big to anyone off the street.