Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A 5k

You may have learned by now that I consider myself a runner. At first my goal was to run a mile without stopping because I could never really do that in high school. That was six years ago. I kept running (Skylar says my "running" is how fast she walks to class... oh well, I'm old) and now I can run a 5k.

Or so I thought.

My pedometer seems to be a bit off. Bill measured our route with his phone GPS app one time and had a few tenths of a mile more than my pedometer. I measured it on mapmyrun.com and came up with a number closer to Bill's GPS. I added on what I thought was a few extra tenths and figured I was pretty close to 3.2 miles.

Last week, I finally remembered to drive the route to see how far it would measure on my car. Surely cars odometers are more accurate than these other tools which didn't agree with each other.

Total; it came to 2.6 miles.

That is not a full 5k. And if I go to the end of the street and back (which I had been doing thinking that was actually putting me over 3.2 miles) it's only another two tenths.

I was disappointed.

Bill tried to point out that I was still running 2.5 miles every day.

I wasn't listening.

It's not a 5k.

So I changed my route, redid it on mapmyrun.com and the next day ran a 5k.

Whew. I can run it.

It's a good thing I don't have to do math in my job.

All this to say, I'm finally going to run a 5k with Heather O. (And now she has to do it because I put it on here and everything on the internet is true.) We are looking at different 5ks and are drawn to the ones where chocolate is involved. We both agree running in the cold is preferable to the heat of the summer. It's not official because we haven't signed up, but we are going to run one. Together. Next year. Where we will receive chocolate at the finish line. Or along the way. It depends on the 5k we choose.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

summer project #2

You'll remember my brief mention of the hallway project in this post? (Neither did I, as I had to search for it. Lucky for you, I linked it so all you have to do is click. Or click here for a different post about the hallway. Oh, and here are the photos that I said I'd add but never did.)
I'm removing the last of the paint.
Can you tell that I didn't think I was actually in the frame of this photo? (These were both from the landing looking up into the hall, in case you didn't figure that out.)
Here's looking at the second landing, from the first, which also happens to be the bathroom wall where the plumbing is located. Looks like there's been a patch here before...
Same wall as the above photo, all scraped and cleaned and ready for sanding.
Looking back down at the upper landing. Bill's home office is through the door just out of frame on the left.

The hallway project has progressed since these photos, but not since Bill took over at the office in St. Joe. We'll get the door hung on his home office soon (it's just waiting in the basement for some hardware). He has patched and will do a quick sand. Then it can be primed and painted. 

I have moved on to summer project #2. Or outdoor window project. Or Emily's-personal-mini-workcamp.

While Bill was with our Sr. High near Gettysburg, PA building a handicap ramp at a nice elderly woman's home, I was busy painting.

First, I drove to St. Joe. (After driving to Indy to visit Mom and Dad, where I promptly succumbed to food poisoning and ended up spending the entire time in bed, thanks for visiting me Alisha!!)

Jenny, her mom Marty, and I painted a few rooms in the office space there for GLC (the company Bill works for). We painted the lobby, the bathroom and Bill's office.

Here's the before of Bill's office:
 His desk before we moved it
 His furniture on the other side of the room, after we moved it...
 And the corner of the room with nothing in it.

And here's after:
 There's the furniture we moved and a "new" (to his office) picture
And here's his desk (I'm really showing off the pictures we hung because the desk had not been moved back and was a slight disaster). It has already changed a little because Jenny went back and hung a clock. She also put the small frames, that you see in the bookcases, on his desk.

When I picked out the paint color, I thought it was pretty similar to the living room color we chose. I found a speck of paint on my shoe and held it up to our walls at home. It's exactly the same color (different company, different paint name, same color)!

Then I came home and finished scraping paint off from around the side door. I also scraped the paint off the kitchen window.
 Here's the door...
 and here's a close-up of the window sill. Note the multiple layers of paint. And the color (three different shades of green). Yikes!

 Here's the primed trim...

 This is an example of the before (because I'm a dolt like that and forgot to take a before of the door and window).
 And these are the windows upstairs. Oh look! They're a different color. This is why the window trim is being repainted.
 Here's the final color. Um, it's difficult to see because of where I was standing to be out of the sun. But the trim is similar to the house color on the vinyl siding. Which means when I get to the second floor, the window trim colors will be similar to what exists but will stand out from the red house color. The difference from existing to new is the sill color. It is now a dark brown (the existing sill are the same as the trim color). 

Bill and I discussed painting the side door the same dark brown. That will likely happen when the weather cools back down. 

You can click here, to see the dining room windows. Since those photos were taken, we changed the trim color itself. The window casement color (the lightest brown) and the sill are still the same. 

Don't you just love historic preservationists and they're multiple color choices/multiple trim pieces?
Only fourteen more sets of windows, and two more doors, to scrape and paint on a ladder that is too heavy for me to lift by myself (no, really, I tried and almost died).

Anybody want to come help me paint??


Sunday, July 7, 2013

feelin' red, white, and blue

(aka, Emily's car game)

I drove to my parents on Friday, the day after Independence Day. I spent the first half of the car ride talking to a good friend, catching up on what's been going on in her life. After I, got off the phone I started noticing cars grouped together in some combination of red, white and blue. I decided to make a game of it and count how many times I saw some combo of those colors.

Here are the rules: the cars do not have to be in color order, but they must not be separated by any other color car. Say you see a white car, the next car has to either be red or blue. If it's any other color you have to start over.

I even went as far as seeing a red and white car, but if a green car was passing a blue car and the blue one was not right behind that white car, I didn't count it.

It's a four hour drive total.

I had already spent half of it on the phone and not playing this game.

In the last two hours I saw sixteen sets.

I thought that was pretty impressive.

Or a coincidence since I had Independence Day on the brain.

When I left this morning, I was debating on whether or not I should play it again.

Then I saw a set of the three colors and decided I should see how many I could count on the way home.

I got up to twenty-four! And there were a few times there were so many cars (holy mass exodus from the lakeshore back to Chicago) that I couldn't keep track. That, and I was trying to drive my car.

I didn't count the color if it was questionable. There are a lot of blues out there and a lot of black cars that could have been a deep blue. Nor did silver/gray blue count. I didn't count silver, it had to be white. I didn't count two-tone cars. I may have been more lenient on the red, but for the most part stuck to the true flag colors. If you can believe that!

I didn't count my own car (it's blue) if there was a red and white in front of me. There were a couple of times when there would also be another blue car. Mostly I counted the cars in the oncoming traffic, so I didn't double count any on my side.

It's a fun game and I recommend you try it next time you have a long car ride. Everyone wins, because everyone is counting. Let me know if you discover the same thing, there are lots of red, white and blue cars being driven, or if you change it up and look for different color combinations?!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Our independence

Happy 237th birthday to America.

As I sit here, in my dining room, listening to what seems like the entire neighborhood shooting off fireworks, scaring every living creature to hiding behind entertainment centers, curtains or whatever else they think will keep them safe (yes, I am talking about the same cat who caught a blue jay), enjoying the fact the the Tigers beat the Blue Jays, and having been slightly annoyed for the last year of the new law that Michigan now allows the average joe to purchase all kinds of fireworks; that is when it hit me.

This is independence.

This is what our rights and freedom mean.

We should be allowed to purchase and shoot off fireworks that I have only ever seen before in a professional show.

And we can shoot them off in our own backyard if we want.

I may not enjoy the fact that everyone in my neighborhood seems to have to turned into a ten year old boy who loves to play with matches, or that this can go on for another hour and a half, or that it can happen before, on and after any major holiday.

But it's freedom.

And I am happy that I can enjoy that.

God Bless America.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

birds of a feather...

Atticus is a Tigers fan.

Yes. As in the Detroit Tigers. Baseball.

And yes, Atticus is our cat.

Bill has started calling him "Pocket Panther" because Atticus is a killer bird.

You'll recall the bird funeral?

Well, yesterday I was in the kitchen. I was baking cookies to send along with the sr. high youth on their mission trip. They leave Friday. Just like the bird funeral, I heard quite the ruckus outside. This time I knew it was a blue jay because I've started learning bird calls. The blue jays are quite distinct and loud. I also knew they were upset with our cat. Maybe I understand the bird calls more than the average person.

I'm the bird whisperer.

Anyway, I looked outside to see if I could see the blue jay making all the noise and that was the exact moment that Atticus bounded up to the sliding glass door with a large blue jay clamped in his jaws.

Needless to say, I screamed.

Atticus was proud. He looked more like a peacock in that moment than a killer. This was only the second time Atticus has brought an animal to our doorstep. We hear lots of stories from our friends about the kills that their pets bring them; the "look at me? aren't you proud?" moments that we are happy to not be a part of. And suddenly, on this Tuesday morning, I was a part of it.

I had walked into the living room to get my phone so I could text Bill. This was a blue jay. These birds are not small. They are the bullies of the bird kingdom. No one messes with the blue jays.

We have been waiting for Atticus to be bullied by them. Not the other way around. Certainly, we did not expect Atticus to catch one!

I had just sent the text and was screwing up the courage to walk back into the kitchen when, all of a sudden, the blue jay flew off! Atticus had dropped it and walked a few steps away to sit back and admire his catch. An epic mistake in animal kingdom.

The bird wasn't dead.

It did leave a few feathers behind.

A few minutes later, I heard the screams of a child.

They could have been I'm-having-fun-outside screams. Or, they could have been a-bird-just-fell-out-of-the-air screams.

Detroit beat the Toronto Blue Jays yesterday. Atticus is part tiger, part panther.