Monday, May 30, 2011

Famous last words

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Perhaps if you are eagle eyed, you may have noticed something going on in the background of the last post's last picture.

Yes, the Smart Car is in pieces.  Well a few anyways.  Soon after we bought it, a rock managed to smash out the cover of the fog light.

Although the light itself still worked, the broken cover didn't look so good.  When we were in Sherwood Park last weekend, Ryan took the opportunity to go into Edmonton to Mercedes and grab a new light.  The guy at the parts department said it would be easy to change out.  Just a couple of screws.  Famous last words.

What it really entailed was taking apart both side panels and the front panel.

This picture doesn't really show how much Ryan had it apart.  By the time I remembered to grab my camera he was already putting it back together. 

Hmm. That makes it sound like it was an easy process.  I'm going to say by the scowl on Ryan's face throughout, that it was much, much more annoying than a few screws.

We have a light again though! A really, really clean light compared to the rest of the car. Next up on my job list appears to be cleaning the car!

Also, if we ever want to change the color of the car, Ryan now knows how to get 50% of the panels off.....

Saturday's Progress

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If one of our lovely trees must get a strange disease, have it's leaves all turn brown and crispy, and then proceed to die, why, oh why, must it be one of the ones between nosy neighbor and us??

Although I vaguely remember saying that I wasn't going to replace any trees until right before we moved, Ryan couldn't stand the dead tree and stopped at the store and bought a new one.  He said he picked the tallest one there, but it is a little petite when  you stand it next to our four year old trees.  Let's hope it catches up a bit this year and doesn't decide to do like the last guy in that spot and die!

It was a beautiful day on Saturday.  Okay beautiful may be too strong of a word.  But it didn't rain, it didn't try to blow us away, and the mosquitoes were on vacation.  I managed to get all my flowers planted and pumpkin and sunflower seeds in the ground.


Let's hope they look a little more impressive soon.

Friday, May 27, 2011

This year's victims

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It's Friday.  *happy dance* 

While out and about today, I stopped at Costco and picked up some flowers for the planters in the front and back.  If it ever stops raining, or looking like it's going to rain, I'm going to plant these babies.  Even I can get them to live until July, at least. 

I wouldn't hold out for their life expectancy to be too much past that.  August comes. It gets hot. Karrie starts to drink. Forgets about ever watering these pretty flowers. Mourns passing of flowers with another cooler.  It's going to be an awesome summer.  Eventually.

Also, when I was out, I stopped at Old Navy.  I had $20 in Super Cash from Storm's shopping trip, that I had to use up by Saturday.  I noticed Clayton's socks were all holey again, so I grabbed a couple pairs for him.  I thought that the sign said $12 a piece, so I figured I'd at least spend my $20 anyways.  Standing in line, falling for impulse buying, I grabbed a to-go cup for five bucks.  When she rang my stuff in, she said it was fifteen something.  Surprised, but wanting to use up my whole twenty dollars, I grabbed another to-go cup.

I thought the till said it was going to be $21.00, and I was lamenting that I never seem to have any real money on me anymore, and I was sure I didn't have a loonie, when she told me that my total was ... zero! Turns out the Super Cash comes off as a discount off the item, so there wasn't even any tax!

That my friends, makes my Friday, a frigging awesome Friday!

Also, side note, you can tell Blogger is American, as 'loonie' won't pass the spellcheck and any Canadian could tell you it's a real word!! Ha!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Fence Drying

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Ahh, the warmer weather has arrived.  With it also comes the constant asking for the sprinkler. With that comes the traipsing through the house, covered in grass, dripping wet, looking for a towel. Now as much as you know I love to clean, and do laundry, I thought I'd attempt a fence line drying system instead.

I started out with some dollar store carabiners, some eye hooks, and an old stack of kid towels. On an off note I seriously can't seem to pronounce that word correctly. It made asking for them in the hardware stores, on the hunt for cheap ones, interesting.

Most of these towels have been around for forever.  That top one is Clayton's Big Bird one I bought him when he was three!  I picked out towels that I knew I didn't care if I sewed or cut, ones that the kids would use, and ones that wouldn't matter if they hung out in the rain because the kids forgot them outside.

My original thought was to either make some loops out of binding or old material, or cut holes in the edges of the towels and just zigzag around them.  Digging through my sewing box though I found the oldest package of elastic known to mankind.  I'm pretty sure I've had it in there since college.  I figured it would work maybe even better than the other ideas.

Being the scientific time wasting sewer than I am, I laid out all the towels on top of each other on my spotlessly clean floor, and figured out which one was the smallest.

Then I just measured how far apart I could put the elastic loops, cut the elastic into 5 inch pieces, and sewed them onto all the towels, keeping the loops the same length away from each other on all the towels.

This would be the part where I show you the carabiners attached to the fence via eye hooks and my lovely towels floating and drying in the sun.  BUT there is no sun.  We took off on the long weekend to Ryan's sister's house on the sunny days and came home to rain and the forecast of rain for the rest of the week.

Ah well, use your imagination until the sun comes out again!

Friday, May 20, 2011

It just keeps on giving

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Ever since I got the shredder (which I had convinced Ryan we needed, for privacy and those weirdos who go through your garbage) I've been sort of annoyed at where it has ended up. I had it on the small shelf under the old desk. Tucked back in there covered in dust, and unplugged half the time, I never used it to it's whole potential. So when I was planning out my new desk configuration, I decided my shredder needed to be on a platform with casters so I could easily pull it out and use it.

Enter the old desk.

Ryan cut a rectangle piece out of the back leg supports. I made him spray paint it black though. Unlike the dog dish holder

We bought some small casters at the store.

Ryan attached them in all corners. I meant to do this part myself. I even mentioned it in front of my mom and Ryan that I had meant to do it that day but hadn't got around to it. I swear it wasn't a ploy to get Ryan to get on it and attach them, but by the time Mom left, he had them on.

Voila! A platform.

I'm debating adding a handle to it. I might just add a small rope one. We will see how much it gets pulled out first though!

Today also marks the first time in a year that my child tax gets to go straight into the account and not towards paying for the deck.  I'm debating celebrating by spending it on booze and gas.  That's not too redneck of a thing to do is it??! 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Windy Weekend

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Wow, it was a windy weekend.  Sure makes it hard to get things done outside when you feel like you're going to blow away.  We spent part of the weekend outside, cleaning up and mowing the lawn.  Funny how your lawn looks so much better after the long winter just by mowing once.

I have a few ideas brewing in my head of things I still want to build or make this week. They were supposed to get done this weekend but it sort of disappeared on me, and I'm not sure what I really did.  Let's face it, you all know it was Ryan who mowed the lawn!

One item we decided we needed outside was a water dish for the dog.  I didn't want to just use an old plastic pail.  I know Rodeo, he'll get bored and eat it or it will blow away! We decided it should probably be metal and I'm cheap and didn't want to buy a 'special' dog dish.  Also, we figured it probably needed to be attached to the fence so it didn't just get tipped over and defeat the point of having a water dish outside.

So, with a dollar store metal bowl in hand and a half baked idea, we set out to make a dog dish holder that we could attach to the fence. We still had leftover pieces of the old desk hanging around, (surprise, surprise, I know) so we decided to re-use the back corner as the wood holder.

Ryan cut a hole in it, siliconed in the metal bowl, used some scrap wood we had laying around and attached it to the fence by the BBQ.

It ain't pretty.  In fact I told Ryan that maybe we should have painted it.  I mean that lovely orange cherry color from the '00's doesn't really match the fence.  *ahem*  And then I came back down to reality and acknowledged that it was just a crappy piece of board, we'll be happy if the whole idea works for this summer, Rodeo actually uses it AND it doesn't completely fall apart through many rain storms.

That, and Ryan already had it attached to the fence and looked at me as if I had lost my mind that I maybe wanted to take it off and paint it.

Up next, out of the old desk, a platform on casters for my shredder.  Also, I have this crazy idea involving towels, kids and these:

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

It came!

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I ordered a copy of all of last year's blog posts made into a book. It's so great!

I wrote up a short dedication.  How come it is, that you can't think of anything amazing to say when you really want to??

I think what I came up with sums up our family pretty good though.  Especially the picture.

The best part so far has been how much enjoyment the kids have gotten out of it.  They don't really 'get' that Mom writes and posts this stuff on the Internet. In fact, they thought it was pretty cool I wrote a book....

Hunter says his favorite part so far is reading the little excerpts like:

Well worth the $60 to have it made, printed and shipped to Canada!  I'm thinking that I may order at least two more for my Grandmas.  I'm pretty sure they have no clue what the Internet is, let alone a blog, but this is an excellent way for them to see what we've been up to for the last year.  Books they get.  Technology, not so much.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

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Today was a pretty great Mother's Day.  I mean I did bake all day, but that just means I have more snackies to eat all week!  The kids got me some really pretty earrings and a basket full of bath items. 

Last Sunday was a great day too.  In fact if you ask Rodeo, it was probably the best Sunday of his year so far! We went out to Dad's and he got to go and run free in the woods.  We only had one tense moment when we thought it was cute that he found the stray cat.  I mean after all, he loves cats. Too bad this cat wasn't so keen on him. Still it was funny to watch his reaction, that is, until he gave the cat chase across the road and into the neighbor's acreage, yelping and chasing as fast as he could, ignoring our yells to get back here right now. 

Looking rather pleased with himself

Anyways, after we worked on the desk, Dad wanted a little help with some trees he thought might be a threat to the trailer's roof.  Don't mind the old green fridge. It's only been there for about 6 months, probably will be there for another 6!

Whew. Those logs were wet, heavy and a really good workout!  I'm glad we got them all cut up and cleaned up though. 

No trip to Grandpa's would be complete without one (or ten) rides on the quads.

It was a really great day.  The kids played hard, Rodeo ran hard, we worked hard, and we all had the best time. 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

And now, the rest of the story...

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In my head, the title of this post is said in a deep, dramatic manly voice, about to explain to me The Rest Of The Story.  Anyone else remember that old radio program???  Man, I used to love catching that on the radio. My dad used to listen to it all the time too.  Maybe it was only a Canadian thing? I don't know.  Anyways, The Rest Of The Story.

After clamping the leg into the vice, Dad hit the welds with the grinder in order to loosen off the flat plate that used to attach the leg to the desk top. I wanted the desktop slightly lower than my old one, so the plates had to be removed, legs cut, and then the plates re-attached. Dad has this nifty little machine that saws metal in a nice straight line effortlessly.  I can't remember what the heck it was called though..

Checking the length against the previously cut one.  If nothing else, they will both be the wrong length.  That my friends, is man logic in my family.

Perfectly cut leg. 

Next up, straightening the plates by the tried and true method.  Covering it with a steel plate, and smacking it really hard with a sledge hammer. 

Oh, don't worry, we all had on what passes for safety precautions in my family.  My brother even posed for you with his on....

Now, if only I had remembered to cover my ears as he was smacking that iron plate!
Dad re-welded the plates on the newly cut legs.

Too bad the legs were only made of questionable metal!  Amazingly this was the only hole out of all the welds. 

It will be hidden under the desk anyways.  I'm pretty sure the only people who will ever possibly notice it will be the kids as they play Hide-and-Seek!

My dad's shop is a treasure trove of stuff just waiting to be found and used by me.  Found:  black paint to re-paint the legs.  Found: wood to make a base for the filing cabinet to bring it up to the right height.  Found:  all tools and screws and power toys to make it all happen.  And when I say make it happen, I mean Ryan did it while I took a few pictures!

Back at home, Ryan took the old door outside and sanded down all the chipping paint.  As you can see in the middle picture, the door was far from square! I give Ryan all the credit for getting this desk done. I was beat from working at the farm, and he sanded, primed, and painted both the desk and the stand for the filing cabinet, as well as actually putting it all together again.

The desk finally getting put together. Everything fit. Everything was level. Everything looks fabulous!

And finally, after about five days of no computer (I was much too lazy to set it up some where else, so it sat on the floor behind the couch), all systems are a go again!

Only thing left to do, is build a small platform with casters for easier access to the paper shredder. I didn't end up getting any drawers but I do have the filing cabinet, and I have a huge space to put a large desk calendar.  Plus, we get to scratch #4 off of the list!!

Oh and the whole project was free! Yay!  Now to get rid of the rest of the left over desk pieces....

Friday, May 6, 2011

The start of the new desk

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I bought this desk about 9 years ago from Staples.  In the store it didn't seem so big!  We got it home to the rental apartment and it took up half our living room! Grandpa had gave all us grandchildren our inheritance (minus what we may have owed him and never repaid (let's just say Karrie didn't get a full amount, ha!)) and I wanted a desk for our new-to-us computer (you know, so I could play Solitaire in comfort....).  I also bought the chair at the same time.  As you can see, it's lived a rough life, but it still holds me and doesn't dump me on the floor or anything, so I just keep duct taping the ripped parts!  Looking back now, I'm not sure what I loved about the desk.  I've been craving desk drawers with a filing cabinet and one big flat open surface.  You probably can't tell, but I even took off the top shelf piece on the desk to make more room for my super tall, all powerful, pretty, lit up tower.

Back in October, we brought home a super ugly, seen better days, door from my Dad's place.  It was actually the door off of the very first addition we ever had on our trailer.  It was also green on one side, brown on the other, and chippy and dirty all over.  It's sat in the basement ever since we brought it home, but this last weekend we decided to head out to my Dad's and get going on my new desk.

The plan was to scavenge any usable parts off of the old desk for the new one.  The old one had been moved more times than the press board was up to, so I decided to re-use parts off of it and will probably end up tossing the rest of it.  First up, stealing the legs off of it.

Let's ignore the dust, okay?  The plan was to take the metal legs off of this one, go to Dad's, cut them down, re-weld them, re-paint them, and attach to the new top.  I don't know if you can see them or not, but the legs had holes near the top of them to run your power cords through, to keep your desktop neat and tidy.  (It also at one point had a power bar mounted underneath the top shelf to help with the cord situation.  Maybe that's what drew me to it?  I don't know.  Distracted by organization and technology! Ha!)

We soon discovered one little issue with those cord holes.  I remember sitting at my desk and noticing one of the little kids standing near by and sort of giggling while toys were slowly disappearing from their hands.  Children always have a way of figuring these things out...

Can you see?  Over the years, even though I told them to stop, they had been slowly filling up the leg with anything that would fit!  Since both the top and bottom of the legs were sealed, I could never get the stuff out.  I had actually totally forgotten that they used to do that until the leg was off and something was moving around in there. 

Here's their collection over the years.....

A whole lot of chips (ew), a half melted chocolate bar (double ew, apparently someone didn't like the taste of it, and I can tell you I didn't like the feel of it either!!), crayons, wooden blocks, a whole package of Halls Centres(!), a bouncy ball, a car (which Blade promptly reclaimed, even though you know it was him who put it down there to begin with!!), and even poor Dora ended up in the tube.   There was actually two more blue blocks in there too, that I just couldn't seem to convince to come out.  Mmmmm... half a Cheeto anyone?