Dot has arrived. More info and pictures at bobsplanet
This past week, Shawn and Dan from A-Ffix have been here retrofitting our basement. Our house was built in the 60s before building codes required such things. This will be a 3 phase project—the first phase is the basement living area, the second phase will be the crawl space under the bedrooms, and the third phase will be the garage. We got our permit and had it extended by a year, so we have until January 31, 2008 to get everything finished. Wish us luck. Here are some pictures of the cool stuff they did. (These were taken with my phone, not by our resident photographer, so the quality isn't top notch.)
Wells Fargo finally got themselves figured out and we moved into our new house in April. It was POURING rain the day we moved in, but some wonderful people braved the awful weather to help us anyway (thanks Bill, Kath, Perry, Kimberly and Sara!).
We've been a bit busy since then, so we apologize for the lack of new posts.
I had to post today to annouce our newest toy...check out www.wisehawk.com/weather/ to get the up-to-the-(15) minute weather report here at the wisehawk rookery.
Hope you and yours had a nice Christmas!
So we're packing up and heading out. Yes, we're moving AGAIN...again. This time we are hoping to stay put for awhile. Bob is working in Bellevue for ignition partners and I am keeping my job at [undisclosed company]. We are saying goodbye to the fantastic weather and unaffordable home prices and saying hello to overcast skies and home ownership. You can see pictures of our new place here. It was built in the mid-1960s, so it has a bit of character, which we will try to preserve.
The current owners have been wonderful to work with—they gave us a hand-written spreadsheet of their power bills for the past year, left a tape measure out for Bob during the final walkthrough, and are compiling an "owner's guide" for everything having to do with the house. They are really amazing.
Darn near as amazing is our agent, Perry Maddux. He did a wonderful job putting up with me and my multiple emails. He listened to our description of the perfect home and then found it for us (even though it wasn't a style that he, personally, got excited about). He kept us updated throughout every step of the process. He was truly great to work with. So if you are househunting in the Puget Sound area, give Perry a call.
As of right now we are scheduled to close on Friday, April 15, so if you are in the area, you're more than welcome to stop by and help us unpack! ;-)
We're baaack! No posting Sunday due to the $25/day internet. If I refuse to pay that much for a daily internet fix, does it mean I DON'T have an addiction??
Anyway, on Sunday we went to Tulum to see the ruins, then made a stop at Xpu Ha Palace to siesta on the beach and look at the onsite wild animals. (Remember to look at the pictures in the "Wisehawk Photo Gallery" -- link at right under "Links.") We got back around dinnertime and had a 7:30 start this morning, so we were asleep by 8:30 pm. Yes folks, we're in Cancun and WE ARE IN BED BY 8:30!! HOW LAME ARE WE!??
Our adventures today took us to Isla Mujeres ("The Island of Women") via boat, where Kim went snorkeling for the first time ever (again, see the pictures) and we went shopping...if you could call it that. If we had a need for tee shirts, silver jewelry, rugs and Havana cigars, we would have been in heaven. As is was, we were uninspired to spend money there, especially since the internet is $25/DAY! Did we tell you how much the internet costs here?! That's right--$25/day! The guides on our boat were a real kick...today would have been a good day to take the video camera, but alas, we didn't. We have a couple pictures up, but they don't do justice to the overall experience. Needless to say, Kim did enjoy the lap dance. ;-)
Tomorrow we are taking a little break from the action to sit by the pool (we haven't done that yet!). We will probably go to Cancun in the evening to go shopping at the pharmacy (wink, wink). Wish us luck. We are going to Chichen Itza on Wednesday, so we will probably post again on Wednesday night, if you're lucky.
Yes, it actually RAINED here today. I should have stayed in San Diego. Good thing we didn't do any tours today. Check out today's picts in the gallery (remember that the link to "The Wisehawk Photo Gallery" is always available on the right side of this page, under the "Links" category).
We made it to Cancun and even managed to find wi-fi at the hotel (their FIRST DAY offering it). It doesn't come cheap though--$25/day. Yikes! Our posts will have to be short and sweet. Lucky for us tonight, we only have 1 picture: Kim on the computer. Woo hoo! Take a look in the gallery. New pictures added as we get around to it. Photo Gallery
Not having any luck with the T-Mobile/Blackberry coverage though...
Saw this cute little guy on our trip to 'Nighttime Zoo' at the San Diego Zoo last night. Isn't he cute?
With Martha Stewart likely spending some time in jail soon, I figured there might be an opening for a new homemaking guru. I thought (for a very brief time) that I could be it.
You see, I bought a sewing machine earlier this month. Bob & I had gone to see Sue speak at a homeschooling conference. Various vendors were selling their wares in the homeschool marketplace. One of the booths we came across was "Learn to Sew." I chatted with the guy behind the table, and he explained their sewing program for girls as young as 6. I (mistakenly) assumed "if a 6 year old can do this, then certainly I can do this." We bought a Level 1 sewing kit and a machine on the spot. (Mind you, I did sew in 8th grade home ec. class—all those many, many years ago. I further tried to convince myself that I wasn't in over my head by reminding myself of the cute surfboard pillow I made way back when...)
The following week we went out of town, and the whole time we were gone, I had a hard time containing my excitement at the thought of my sewing machine waiting for me upon my return.
When we did return, I woke my poor neighbors up at 11:30 on Sunday morning (oh to be young, single and able to stay awake past 10 pm) to collect all the packages the UPS man had left for us—including my sewing machine.
But as soon as I brought the box upstairs, I got stage fright. I set the box down and proceeded to open a different box— the sewing kits that I had ordered as a project when Kate & Beth come down next month. (BTW—they are the same kits that I used in 8th grade home ec!!)
By Sunday afternoon, I still hadn't opened the machine.
By 6:00 Sunday night, I had psyched myself back up and decided to just dive in. I ripped open the box, cut the tape, and pulled my sewing machine free. I was making good progress. I started examining the machine closer, and managed to pull open a storage drawer filled with all kinds of sewing stuff I didn't recognize. I quickly grabbed the user guide in hopes of unlocking this mystery called a sewing machine. It only took 10 seconds more for me to realize I was in over my head.
I have now stared at my sewing machine, sitting on the kitchen table, for almost a week. Occasionally I get up enough courage to grab the user guide again, hoping to find the magic answers to this strange piece of machinery I have brought into my home. Meanwhile, Kate & Beth are still coming next weekend and are very excited to learn to sew. I wonder if I can just send them to sewing camp instead. I think I'll go too.
I hate moving. This time it took us a week and a half to get everything moved out and cleaned up, and that doesn't mean the new place is all tidy yet. Not by a long shot. I think this picture Bob took on day 9 of this ordeal accurately portrays my feelings about moving.
We're leaving our over-priced, parking-challenged, 'luxury' apartments for a great condo in a neighborhood that promises to be much quieter and contains a plethora of parking; however, the best part is that this new place costs one third LESS than our current rent. Woo hoo! The landlords seem to be very cool people too. We'll be making the big move next weekend (6/12), so if you're in the area, we could use the help. ;-)
Hard to believe we have already been in San Diego for a year...
I don't know if you could really call it a gadget, but Mr Clean Magic Eraser is the BEST THING EVER! I had heard about these little foam-type pads a few months ago, but never had any reason to use them until our trip back to Colorado to clean up the townhouse after our renters made a giant mess of it. The walls were covered with various marks—scuff marks from shoes, furniture marks, marks of unknown origin—and we thought we would have to repaint everything. We picked up a pack of them at Home Depot and were AMAZED with the results! Now we don't have to repaint the entire house (we still have to paint the master bedroom, but that was beyond repair...).
My Sweetie has been busy posting new pictures to his gallery at bobsplanet.com. Take a look when you have a minute.
Our timing to clear out our garage couldn't have been much better (unless, of course, we had cleaned it out before Bob's car got broken into). We got a letter a couple weeks later stating the apartment manager was going to start garage inspections. Garages are for cars only. For those of you who were curious, here are some pictures of our new storage unit. It is actually even more organized than the pictures show. We have a center aisle now! Woo hoo!
P.S. Those chairs are for sale. Please buy them. ;-)
We just returned from a weekend at Disneyland (picts here). Each time I go, D-Land seems smaller and smaller. When I went for the first time at age 8, it seemed like its own planet...everything was so big. Now, of course, I realize EVERYTHING is big when you're 8.
We have decided that the next time we go, we will go in January. We are assuming the crowds will be a lot smaller then. The Fastpasses help, but the lines are still unacceptably long. We were there 9 hours on Saturday and managed to get on 6 rides. I'll even throw in the 3 exhibits/shows we saw. That means each ride/show costs $5.53. Keep in mind, each ride/show is around 3 minutes. On Saturday, we went to California Adventrure (which Bob & I have decided is better...more rides for big kids). We rode 6 rides there.
Now, I do have to admit, we used the Southern CA 2for1 passes, so we got into both D-Land and CA for the same price of $49.75. So, if you do all the math (and please check me, I'm not a math major), the rides now work out to $3.32 per ride. A bit more acceptable. Too bad that 2for1 special is only available once a year, and only for So Cal residents.
All in all though, we had fun. The weather was great (on Friday), the atmosphere was nice, and the company was excellent!
During my trip to Washington State a couple weekends ago, cousin Kim and I stopped in an Eddie Bauer Outlet store for a bit of shopping. An hour later we left with our purchases in hand. The next day on our way to Seattle, Kim popped her new Eddie Bauer Christmas CD in the player so we could all hear what she got for $2.79. We were pleasantly surprised. I decided I would try to find one for myself.
The following week, I checked the Eddie Bauer website for the CD and for the socks I had bought as Bob decided he really liked them. No luck.
Fast forward to yesterday. I finally remember to call Eddie Bauer (found the receipt as I was cleaning out my wallet) to inquire about the CD and see if they can send me more socks. A pleasant-sounding man (I believe he said his name was Ed) answered the phone. After I ask about placing an order over the phone, he tells me he would be happy to help me, but he is with a customer and could he call me right back. No problem.
Ed called me back about 10 minutes later and happily took my sock order. I asked him about the Christmas CD and he informed me they had just sold the last one a day or 2 before. Oh well.
Imagine my surprise when, this morning around 10, Ed called to tell me he was about the ship the box out, but that they had just received a package from some other Eddie Bauer stores and he found a Christmas CD. Would I like it?
Now I don't know if Eddie Bauer employees work on commission, but if they do
In my mind, his actions boil down to good ol' Customer Service. I knew I liked Eddie Bauer, and now I have even more reason to like them.
I spent this weekend in Washington State visiting family and friends. It was great to be back 'home' and see everyone. The main purpose of my trip though (aside from Bob being in India, allowing me the opportunity to visit people with pets!) was to take an oral history of my grandparents, who are 91 (grandpa) and 83 (grandma).
We used my video camera and asked questions listed in The Well Trained Mind, ad-libbing a bit as we went along. I enjoyed learning things about my grandparents that I never knew before, and I think they enjoyed talking about their childhoods to an interested party. I learned that my grandma walked 4 miles each way to school as a child. My grandpa told me about working in the garden with his uncle, who he was very close to. (He also made his political views well known. He really should consider having his own talk show on TV!) Now, as I sit at SeaTac recalling our interview, I am thinking of so many more questions I wish I had asked. For example, my grandma didn't know she was having twins until she was in the delivery room; I wonder what kind of prenatal care she had—what kind of prenatal care was standard for that time (early 1940s). I forgot to have my grandpa tell the story of how he wanted to tell his boss that he quit, but by the time he had walked all the way to the office, he had cooled off and his boss told him how valued he was (I think that was what happened!).
My plan is to create DVDs of our interview so they can be viewed by future generations. (Based on my track record though, I don't know how successful I will be.)
When I told my friends of my plans for taking the history, they all reacted positively and said it was a great idea. Those who don't have living parents or grandparents said they really wished they had done something like that while they were alive. If your grandparents are still living, an oral history interview is a fantastic way to keep your family history alive.
Saturday is my favorite day of the week! Not only does my Sweetie make me a yummy bacon and eggs breakfast with fresh roasted coffee (I drink green tea during the week, so coffee on the weekends is a big thrill), we get to watch our favorite cartoons: SpongeBob SquarePants and the Boomerang Channel. Then, when we can watch no more, we play computer games. I have now been playing The Sims and Sim City as long as I have known Bob. I think of it as Barbie's for grownups. Bob has been busy playing Max Payne 2, which has meant less time playing his favorites: Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy.
Oh! My eggs are here...gotta go!