Saturday, May 31, 2008

Holy Hell

What a frustrating weekend. It is a good thing I'm cooled down, because I was steaming mad on Saturday, here is what happened:

As I said earlier, E and I are excited to sell our condo and move into a house. To do this there are a lot of things that need to be done around the condo to get it into selling shape. Over the last month we have been working on this list slowly, but with E's new job, our trip, and both of us being sick we haven't worked as quickly as I would have liked.

So last weekend I decided to designate as a "work weekend." Friday I spent most of the night scraping the back door frame getting it ready to paint. Scraping these things are not easy, nor are they fun. Saturday I woke up nice and early and got right to work. I finished scraping the door frame and began to paint. I painted so carefully, and it really looked nice. Right when I finished the second coat I heard a knock on our back gate. It was a roofer, and he wanted to come into the back because they are replacing all of the trim under the rain gutters. I told him okay, but to please be careful, the door frame had fresh paint. Anyway, they started to pull the gutters off, and you can imagine, dirty, gross water splashes and spills everywhere making the entire pond and door frame dirty. Great...... Luckily the paint was dry, but it the fresh paint still needed to be scrubbed down.

So E and I are mad and hungry, and we need to go to Home Depot. The light be bought for the kitchen is not going to work, and we need to get a new screen for the upstairs window, plus we needed a few other things. First though, we needed to measure the screen in the upstairs window. The frame for the screen was not easy to get out, actually it was impossible. I wiggled, twisted, pried, tried everything, until I finally it broke the screen frame and I was able to pull the pieces from the window. Fine, we'll buy a new screen frame.

So after lunch we get to Home Depot and find out that our windows are not standard size, of course, right? So we buy all the pieces to construct a frame, this include a new saw and about 12 other tiny irritating things. We also purchase a new light for the kitchen, some more paint, screen for the new frame we must build, and a rubber plug for our upstairs bathtub.

E and I arrive home and things go well, at first. I was actually able to construct the entire frame and E installs the new light in the kitchen. We get the screen in the frame and check out the light. The light buzzes, bad. E tells me that is because we bought the new energy efficient bulbs, so I send him back to the store to get standard bulbs. While he is away I begin to work on the screen. And work on it, and work on it. It will not snap back into place, and right when I think I've got it, it bends, and cracks. Holy hell! I am ready to kill.

E gets back with the new bulbs, unscrews the other ones, and I bet you know what is coming. The brand new light brakes. Yep, brakes.

E and I both decided we would rather fly to Tanzania 10 times then to spend another day like Saturday trying to get the condo ready to sell. And what do we have to show for a full day of work? A brown dirty door frame, a cracked screen frame, and a light that now needs to be taken out of the ceiling and returned (oh, and the bathtub plug was 1/16" too big).

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Things are not coming up Milhouse

(Sorry, random Simpson's quote). I feel like crap. Work is just going from bad to worse. Last month we let go of two, yes two people. When you are a company of 10, that is a huge amount. Then they did salary cuts because we are really having a hard time making overhead. This was all one week after we hired someone new! Why did they hire if they couldn't pay salaries? Heck if I know, as a decision influencer, I tried to talk them out of it.

Well now they are saying that they can't pay me the amount of commission I've been earning for the last 5 years, they say that it is not profitable. Without commission my salary would be cut by more than 50%. So the amount of commission I earn is a huge huge portion of my income.

I love my job, I love my co-workers, I love the money I earn, and I love my office. I don't want to leave. We'll see what happens.

As for now, I'm headed home, I've had a headache plaguing me for the last 24 hours.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I was a sicky at the farmhouse

Well E and I are back from a nice long relaxing weekend at the farmhouse. What did we do? Nothing. Really, we did nothing. I was sick with a cold, and didn't feel much like anything. I spent each day sleeping, taking doll photos, enjoying the rainy then sunny weather, reading, and working on embroidery. Oh yea, and bugging my brother-in-law and sister-in-law (which is quite easy and very fun, I never get tired of it).

On Sunday E and David went on a hike up Maple Canyon. I was planning on joining them for this hike, but was urged to stay back and relax. I guess being sick is a good excuse for being lazy.
In addition to doing nothing, we ate a lot (we always do). E took a dutch oven apprentice under his wing, and David quickly and eagerly took on the new skill. For dinner on Sunday we had dutch oven roast which was so tasty, and an apple crisp for dessert (also cooked in the dutch oven). The next morning we had German pancakes for breakfast. Fantastic.
Now we are home and back to the grind, plus E is now getting my cold. Oh, and for anyone who is interested, I worked on my Hazel album this weekend, here is the link.

Friday, May 23, 2008

I'm getting sick with a cold


In other news, E and I are going down to the farmhouse with his family this weekend for the three day holiday weekend. That should be fun, but the weather forecast threatens rain.

This week has been a "normal" week for us, we both went to work each and every day, I had a few meetings downtown, and am totally ready for the weekend.

That's the mini update for now.

Monday, May 19, 2008

My four love-a-bugs

I was working on the computer tonight and E called me down, he wanted me to see something. I arrived in the bedroom to find this:
Yes, that is E with all three of our cats. If anybody knows Moose, they know how rare it is for him to snuggle up with the other two, he usually likes his space.

So, for the record, Mabel is on E's back, Rumpus is on the bed, and Moose is resting his chin on E's arm. So sweet!

My family's got talent!

Last night E and I attended the first ever Layton/Sturm/Meyer family talent show. My cousin Kendra planned this fantastic party with the help from my Grandma. She wanted everyone to arrive with a talent in mind and after the show, we would have drinks and appetizers, and enjoy everyone's company.

The party started out with a lot of laughing and enjoying the almost summer-like weather. Soon the talents started in the living room. My mom and Chuck did this silly lip sync song together, Sarah (Theo's Mom) did an impressive backwards talking, jokes by Morice, and we had some fantastic piano pieces from Theo, Sam (Theo's brother), Kendra and Mike. The finale was a spectacular duo of talent with Kendra singing and playing the guitar and Mike singing and playing the piano. Everyone clapped and clapped at the end of each preformance.

Then, we headed to the backyard for mine and E's talent. We decided to do a cooking demonstration, and show off two of the recipes we had learned in our cooking class. E and I showed everyone how to make a simple, yet divide truffle crostini and fresh homemade bruschetta. We also did a wine pairing the cooking, and talked about each of the steps as we went along.
Once our talent was done and everyone had tried both of the items we had to offer, dinner (or a lot of appetizers) were served. Everyone complimented E and I on "the best talent of the night" but we knew everyone liked ours because they were hungry, in reality, Kendra stole the night.

Everyone got their plates and a drink and we went back outside and enjoyed the rest of the evening together.
P.S.- I got the pond cleaned and working on Friday night after work. On Saturday we were enjoying the sound of the running water the pump died. And pond pumps are not cheap.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Sludge anyone?

You know what is really really overdue at our house? Cleaning out our pond. We have a miniature man-made pond in our backyard that is so nasty to clean out in the spring. All winter the pond collects gunk, leaves, bird poop and lots of slugs and snails. When spring rolls around all of our trees drop blossoms and buds, and the ivy starts to grow into the stagnant pond water like crazy. All of this makes for a rotting pool of fun. Sound yummy?

What this means is that by mid to late spring we have a pond full of black water that smells like sewage.

However, there is good news! We are looking for willing volenteers to help up clean out the pond this weekend. Please, comment here and tell us when you are available. ;)

Monday, May 12, 2008

And some of our underwater photos-

E swimming with the rays, see the one on the left side brushing up against his shoulder?

Beautiful coral reefs-

Another ray-

Here I am swimming with a lot of rays!

Beautiful blue ocean-

I am such a sexy snorkeler. ;)

More awesome reef-

Hot in the Caribbean sun

I am home, and I am sad.

I loved spending a week in the Caribbean with my family. For most people traveling with their in-laws and brother and sister-in-laws would be hell, but for me it was fantastic, everyone had such a good time. The house we rented was one of the best vacations homes I have ever stayed in- bar none. The house was clean and big, and in the most beautiful location. Everyone had plenty of room to spread out, and there was easily enough bathrooms (four in all), so there was no fighting over them.

To try to list all of the stuff we did would be silly, but here are a few things, along with some notes:
  • We went snorkeling almost every day. Our favorite spots were Smith Cove and Cemetery Beach, each had awesome viability
  • We drank why too much rum. The islands are known for rum, so on the first day we bought a big bottle and drank rum and cokes and Pina Coladas morning, noon and night
  • We ate great food. The typical Caribbean lunch includes fresh fish with lemon, rice and beans, and fried plantains. All of which was fantastic
  • We looked for shells and sea glass, both on "our beach" and all the beaches we visited
  • We swam with wild sting rays on a sandbar out in the ocean. We were able to also touch, feed, and interact with the rays
  • We visited a sea turtle farm where we got to pick up baby turtles and learn how they are releasing turtles back into the wild
  • We ate a breakfast of fruit, yogurt and cereal outside on our porch ever morning, overlooking the ocean
  • We took lots and lots of photos
  • We enjoyed each other's company
And here are some of our favorite photos in no particular order:

The porch at the Lemon House were we spent a great deal of time-

E looking out to sea on a windswept beach-

Photo of Cemetery Beach where we loved to snorkel-

I got to hold a juvenile sea turtle! He was so cute!

Green iguana hanging out on a palm tree-

Really interesting orange cactus at the Botanical Gardens-

Here were are taking the boat ride out to the sight with all the stingrays. The clouds look much worse than they were, it was a beautiful day-

One day we went to Cemetery Beach and snorkeled right up until sunset. I love this photo with E still swimming as the sun finally dips below the horizon.

E and I at a local restaurant enjoying some local food-

Here is everyone at Rum Point. We had just ordered lunch and were looking forward to our lemonades-

Another typical Caribbean beach-

This is where we ate breakfast every morning while looking out to sea-

We liked these black birds that were all over the island, we called them "Zim birds" because E's family has a cat that is black with yellow eyes named Zim.
More photos to come!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Grand Cayman is AWESOME!

I am sitting here at the kitchen table in the Lemon House looking over the most stunning beach, and the clear blue Caribbean Sea. The water is so clear they say the visibility is close to 100 feet. The heat is radiating, and wonderful after the cold dark winter we had in Utah.

Today was the first day we didn't go straight to the beach for some snorkeling, instead we went to The Queen's Botanic Gardens and then to the Grand Cayman Turtle Farm where they raise sea turtles so they can be released back into the wild.

The days at the beach have been so wonderful, so relaxing and the water is so warm. We've seen huge coral gardens filled with every type of fish and every color of coral. We've swam with stingrays and we've watched conch scoot across the ocean floor.

The best part of the trip has been the relaxing mornings we've been having in the house. Each morning everyone wakes up at their own time. I am usually the first one up, and I come downstairs, take my journal outside and look out to sea as I write down all of our travel adventures.

Here are a few photos, but I can't make this entry too long, I've got to go play on the beach!

Here is our house, this photo I took from a small pier. Our house is the yellow one. Pretty, huh?
And this is the view from our porch, I am looking at this view right now. It is as stunning as it looks.
Cemetery Beach at sunset where we had great snorkeling!
Blue Iganna that we saw today in the Botanic Gardens.
And now I'm off to go get my toes wet!

Friday, May 02, 2008

We leave tonight for Grand Cayman!

Bring on the beach house, the sun, the sand, the yummy drinks, the clear waters, the snorkeling, the food, the .... (the list goes on and on)

Thursday, May 01, 2008

A travel inspiration

About a year ago I stumbled upon a website that has become one of my absolute favorites.

Jennifer and Alex are a Californian couple that have an incredible thirst for travel and adventure. When they were newly married they traveled to all corners of the earth, and once they had children their travels never slowed. Their son Tim went on his first international trip to New Zealand when he was just six months old. Emily (their daughter) soon followed, and she and her family went to Australia when she was only nine months.

Jennifer and Alex are not only an inspiration due to the fact that they are extremly well versed travelers, but also because they've done it all with two kids in tow.

Now that the kids are older (10 and 12) Jennifer and Alex decided to take an entire year off and travel the world. The first stop was Europe where they traveled by car, boat and train over the entire continent. Next they explored South America by camper, and now they are sailing in Thailand.
Every few days Jennifer updates the travel log and it is awesome to watch this family see the world. One day I hope to do something half as adventurous with my family.

(And a side note, it is the first day of May and has been snowing all morning. Not lightly snowing, but really snowing. Yuck.)
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