Monday, November 24, 2008

Finishing the man room

Yesterday, Drew and I emptied all the stuff out of our garage to make way for the beginnings of the master man room. Boy, that was fun.

Today, two hired men helped Drew insulate and drywall the inside.

I am excited to have a place for all my tools and garden paraphernalia. Drew has been planning and dreaming about shelving units for several months. Is that normal man-thought?
We got an estimate on gutters for the garage. We thought it might look nice to put a copper gutter on the front only. It would be about 25 feet of copper plus a downspout. For the copper portion alone the estimate was $700+! Holy crow!, as my mom would say. I guess we'll be satisfied with aluminum. Are all houses this much of a money pit?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Master Chef vs Master Shopper

Which one of us is the master chef? Here is a picture of the banana bread I made last weekend.

The stupid recipe had the baking soda listed after all the rest of the ingredients, so when I was mixing the dry stuff first, I neglected to add in the soda. I didn't realize it until half way through baking.

Or is it my awesome husband, who, for two days in a row, has had delicious mostly-homemade meals ready for me when I get home from my 10-hour work day.
I think Drew wins this cook-off.
But I might have him beat as a professional shopper. Last Friday, my friend Rhonda invited me to go shopping with her at the factory outlet stores in Park City. She had a 30% off coupon for us and the stores were having 25% to 40% off anyway. To do our part as economic stimuli, we shopped for 5 hours! Man did I get a load of great stuff. And I'm not even feeling guilty since 5% of my purchases went to a charity of Rhonda's choosing, plus, I have not bought new clothes for months. OK, so since I was so jazzed about my fabulous shopping experience with my new-found, perfectly matched shopping partner, I thought I could handle a shopping excursion to the shoe store on Saturday with Drew. Usually I don't take him shopping because he says the stores have kryptonite in them. The brat was done in 10 minutes and I still had 10 pairs of boots to try on and test out by walking up and down the aisles for an average of 9 minutes per pair. I got some great boots that look good on Drew too.

To prove that I am the more diligent shopper, I made a rather large purchase on Sunday buying tires for my truck. But to my surprise, my credit card was frozen! I had to use another card while 4 or 5 customers were lined up behind me at the tire store. Embarrassing! A while later, an automated robot called my phone to verify the shocking number of out-of-the-ordinary purchases I had made in the last 3 days. I guess the computer thought someone had stolen my identity and went on a shopping spree. It was just me.
I win the title of Master Shopper.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Happy Trash

Oh my, what an amazing fall day in Utah. The high was 62 and sunny, so Drew and I decided to not go play in the snow up in the mountains, but instead, get some yard and home projects done. My dirt patch is officially ready for winter. I laid a rough stone walkway to the compost bin so we can continue to compost through the winter without getting our feet muddy. The amazing compost tumbler Drew got me for my birthday a couple of years ago is winding down for the year.

My other little project was to make a parking stall for our trash cans.

The place I put them is not technically our property. Our house is to the right in this picture and our neighbor's house is to the left. But we take care of this strip so we're "improving it" .

Now we have happy trash cans that have a home of their own.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Moab in November

We went down for a Homeowners' Association meeting for our condominium development this past weekend. Drew is now the Secretary of the Board of Directors of the HOA. Don't be surprised if his next post is Mayor of Moab.

Our friend Steve (here he is)

came with us so Drew would have someone to hammer with. Since all of that endurance racing this summer, I have not been especially excited about biking. Once I'm out there, I have fun, but getting out there on a 55 degree overcast day is somewhat challenging for me. I guess I'm a fair weather biker. Thus the aversion to cyclocross.

To make the trip more fun for me, Drew picked up a RacerX 29er at Revolution bike shop for me to demo while we were down there. What a trip! The first time on a 29er on Sovereign Singletrack. Hmm, perhaps not the safesty trail choice on a bike with radically different geometry than I'm used to. Here are pics of Drew and me on Sovereign.

I actually only ended up with a skinned elbow and a small chain ring gash on my calf throughout the whole weekend.

In addition to Sovereign, I rode Bar-M (super easy) with friend John and his dog Lucy (why do so many pets have my name?) while Drew and Steve did Porcupine Rim (pic of Steve on the rim overlooking Castle Valley)

(I just wasn't ready to face that trail again, as my wounds from last trip have not healed).

On Sunday we all rode the Amasa Back loop onto Jackson's Trail. Here is me on the exposed part of Jackson's. All fun, but I was pretty cautious with that big bike.

My final assessment of the 29er is:
Very much easier to go up over obstacles
Rolls smoothly over little babyheads
Tough climbing
Squirly on the decent, and I don't think it was only because I had knobby tires and tubes instead of tubeless. I think the big wheels just are harder for me to handle.
For me, maybe a 29er would be fun as an alternate bike, like if the magic bike fairy left one on my back doorstep, but I'm not going to rush out and buy one.
Besides biking, we had a mini dinner party at our place. My old boyfriend from high school in North Dakota who I had not seen in 20 years owns the condo two doors down from us. Trippy small world. Anyway, he and his kids and their mom came over for dinner. It was good to catch up, and now we know what a full house in that condo feels and sounds like.
Moab is great. Long live Moab.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election thoughts

I don't want to get political in this blog, but I just can't help myself tonight. I am proud of my fellow Americans for believing that Barack Obama has the potential to be a great leader, and taking a chance on that belief. For the first time in about 15 years, I actually feel a sense of hope and promise for the future of the Best Nation on Earth.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Drew was able to trade his trip so we got to celebrate Halloween together. We drug the fire pit to the front yard, positioned the Tiki torches in a position to add the most danger and excitement to the little goblins begging for candy, and drank beer while doling out fuel for tooth-eating bacteria.
We had Matt, the blow-up monkey to help hand out the candy. He was a big hit with the kiddies.

Our costumes were last minute, OK? We were "The Ghosts of Wolverine Ridge". Wolverine Ridge is where the last race of the Intermountain Cup Mountain Bike Race series has been held forever. Next year, this important race is being moved to a different location. I am very sad about this development because I really liked that course and it was always a lot of fun to go camp out and make a weekend out of it. Who wouldn't love a race with free microbrew beer at the awards ceremony and FIREWORKS as prizes! Our biking friends will recognize the t-shirts from the race, and hopefully join us in our period of mourning.

Yogurt on the brain

I made yogurt on Friday. I like making yogurt. Since I rarely cook and hardly ever clean house, it gives me a sense of providing for my family. What! That is bull, but I do like making it because I know what went into it and it reduces our waste stream by keeping approximately 260 of those little plastic cups out of the world each year. I make it from milk, which we get from a home delivery service which uses reusable and recyclable polycarbonate bottles. I usually use Mountain High low-fat plain yogurt as a starter, so I end up buying that about once a month. That comes in one big quart container, which we use for paint containers.
Drew has not completely warmed up to the idea of growing cultures in our kitchen. I wonder if he would eat cheese if I made it?