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July, 2011:

A Bug Up His Butt

Dude is active. He loves to be outside – like all the time. Rides bike. Hikes. Swims. Generally plays.

He is starting middle school in 3 weeks – ack and ACK! Last week, he informed me that he wanted to start running with me and Duma in the morning. I mentioned that would require him to actually get out of bed before 10:00 a.m. He said OK. He also mentioned he’d need shoes dedicated for running – running shoes. Um ya Dude, got it. I’m in.

That totally surprised me because last year when he “ran” the 5K with me, he hated it! I don’t know if he hated the running or if he hated the fact that his friends pulled away easily after the first quarter of a mile. I don’t think he liked that. I also think the running bug is due to a couple of his good buddies playing on semi-competitive soccer teams this fall – they each have a running program they need to do weekly. Dude was suddenly interested in track and all excited when it old him it was time to sign up for the Thunderstorm 5K again :-) I’m all for him wanting to run and exercise.

Then he said “We need to ride our bikes to school and see how long it’ll take. I want to ride my bike to school this year.” Um, OK. The only thing is, we live 3 very hilly miles away from school . . . not a huge problem, but the roads are a bit busy in the morning, have no sidewalks, and are narrow (not to mention the neighborhood bears that have been out and about!). This all means that I would “get” to ride my bike to school with him. I’m all for that – not a big deal . . . great morning exercise; however, after I leave him at school, I have to ride the 3 very hilly miles back home (more uphill home than to school). And THEN, I will have the privilege of riding 3 very hilly miles back to school at the end of the day to turn around and ride the 3 very hilly and more uphill miles home with him. For those of you keeping score at home, that’s 12 miles of very hilly bike riding for me each day that he wants to do this. If he wants to do it, I’ll do it. But SHEESH! What’s he trying to do to me? Get me in shape or something??? Let’s just hope for some of our regular thunderstorms some afternoons so I have to drive the car to pick up Dude and his bike :-)

For the record . . . it took us 20 minutes to ride to school today . . . we took a 10 minute break at school and rode back home. All told – 1 hour to ride 6 very hilly miles.

Not bad for a middle schooler with pencil legs and and out-of-shape 30-something Mom.

3 Years and $400 Later

Ever since we got our first popup 3 summers ago, I’ve been trying to find a bike rack that would work on it. We like to take our bikes to ride around the campgrounds and stuff – the kids especially like theirs when we’re just hanging out and they take a 2-way radio and go have fun on their bikes. And depending on where we’re camping, we’ll even head out on a day-bike rather than a day-hike.

My quest for a bike rack has been a PITA! In the beginning, it was OK, because the kids’ bikes would fit inside the giant popup that we owned. Hubby and I didn’t take ours with. But then their bikes got bigger and we wanted to take ours, too. When it was just the kiddos and I camping if Hubby was flying (rarely did this happen) I could stuff all 3 of our bikes in the Jeep with half the back seat down and Dude riding in the front. Couldn’t do that with Hubby along, and we’d much rather have Hubby along :-)

I ruled out a roof-rack for the vehicle because I’ve seen people try to put bikes up there and there is no way my 5′ 2″ self could get our big mountain bikes on top of our SUV.

So we looked for a bike rack that could go on the camper bumper. We had a Jayco popup, which rides very low. No hitch could fit on there and be towed safely. Strike 1.

Then we started looking at roof-mounted racks. We had a couple popup vents, which seemed to be located just wrong. Strike 2.

I found a roof-mounted rack that would have fit on our roof, but it go horrible reviews. And I didn’t want to drill holes in the roof of the popup. To me, that just seemed like I was asking for trouble. Strike 3.

Then we sold our popup and got a different one. This one is smaller, has no roof vents, and is a Coleman, so it rides higher. I was way psyched! So I asked our camper guy to check out the best place to put a hitch on it when he came to wire the new vehicle as well. He said the frame was too lightweight to put a hitch on it. Strike 4.

So I looked around for an adapter for the bumper so we could use our existing vehicle hitch rack. Turns out, you need a solid square bumper for those, which our popup does not have. Strike 5.

Continuing my search, I had accepted the fact that I’d probably have to do a roof-mounted camper rack . . . I didn’t want to drill holes or try to get bikes up there, but it was becoming clear that it was probably my only option. So I found a roof-mounted rack that would fit (no vents to work around). Then I read the reviews, which were HORRIBLE! I found another – same thing – terrible reviews. So I ditched that idea since I wasn’t crazy about holes in my roof. Strike 6.

Then we got another new vehicle and had to get that wired as well, and camper guy told us about a roof rack you glue on instead of drilling holes. Intrigued! So he said he’d check it out for us. Never heard back on it and couldn’t find it ourselves, so no go. Strike 7.

Then finally, I started my search again. There HAD to be something that would work! Lo and behold, I found it. A new design of rack for a popup. And the bonus? It doesn’t go on the roof, there are no holes to drill, and it telescopes so I can leave it on even when the beds are pulled out! YAY! The not bonus? I was stuck and this was the only thing that would work, so I had to pay for it.

3 years, 2 hours of assembly time, and $400 later, I finally have a workable bike rack for the popup :-) I can’t wait to actually go camping with it!

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Doesn’t look like it should’ve taken 2 hours (or cost $400!), does it? Annoying that you can’t get ANYTHING delivered even half-assembled anymore.

But, I’m happy. And if I had actually showered today and had someone to videotape me and had a Youtube account, I’d probably let you all see my Happy Dance :-)

Or not.

You’ll just have to use your imagination.

Seeing my lovely working awesome 4-bike popup camper bike rack will have to do :-)

New Carpet Means . . .

We’re getting new carpet. In the entire house. Like, everywhere we have carpet now. Including inside closets. That’s a lot of carpet. When Hubby said “We just need to suck it up and get the carpet” I was ecstatic. Finally! The carpet had 5 hard years on it before we moved in. We’ve put 8 more hard years on it. 2 kids, countless neighborhood kids, large dog, pine forest, no grass. Our carpet has been used and abused.

But when you replace all the carpet in your house, apparently you must also:

**Paint the entire basement. No sense in waiting to get new carpet to paint, right? Painting the entire basement means you also need to . . .

**Tear out the 1979 lights in the basement and get new ones (btw, I sent Hubby to the store to get new ceiling lights – he did awesome!)

**Tear out all the trim and replace it (anyone like to stain trim?)

**Call the electrician to replace all of your 1979 almond colored outlets with white ones to match the rest of the house.

**Clean your son’s room so there is a half-assed chance that the carpet guys can actually move his furniture to put in the carpet. This was almost a two-day project. The closet was the worst. A close second was underneath his bed. Yes. He’s 10. Yes. It was THAT bad. Yes. He’s learning a lesson. Yes. I’m pissed.

**Clean your new office/hobby room so you can move the stuff to a non-carpeted area of the house to replace the original brown carpet from 1979 (no, I”m not kidding).

**Clean your daughter’s room so the carpet guys don’t have to sift through 547 stuffed animals to find the carpet (I can’t wait to see how they move HER bed – it’s a loft with a slide!).

**Clean your own bedroom closet so you can remove the organizer dressers that are attached to the walls so the movers can replace the brown carpet from 1979 (yup, it’s in there, too!).

**Sadly (not really) the kitchen is hardwood, so I have no excuse to spend a day organizing that; however, I am lucky enough that Princess got my organizational genes. When she emptied the dishwasher the other day, she just couldn’t stand the Tupperware/Gladware/Ziploc cupboard, so she took everything out of it, matched lids with containers, recycled non-matchers, and organized the entire thing :-)

Who knew getting new carpet and agreeing to hire the carpet guys to also move the furniture could be so expensive?

I guess the good thing is that my house will finally be in the organized and clean condition I’ve been dreaming of for the past 18 months :-)

It may have also given me an excuse to take a week off from actual work after quitting my other job and moving home to work for Hubby – guess it pays to sleep with the boss!

Neighborhood Visitors

These guys have been roaming the neighborhood for a couple weeks now . . . ask me how annoyed I am that some of the neighbors won’t put their trash inside. The DOW will not remove bears that are “acting like bears” – which I totally agree with – so as long as food sources are out, the bears are welcome. I can’t believe they won’t put their trash in their garage for the safety of all of our kids and pets.

***Disclaimer – the photo below of the bear in the trash . . . these people JUST put their trash out for the trash guy to come that morning – not much you can do about that.

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Snowboarding Sunrise

One of the many reasons I don’t mind getting up early to go snowboarding.

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Working From Home

Yesterday was my first official day working from home for mine and Hubby’s business. Yup – I quit my other job . . . my last day was last Friday, July 1st. It was a tough decision . . . I really liked my employer and what the company did. I liked my flexible hours and the people I worked with. For the most part, I even liked the actual work 😉 Even with all that, it was becoming a stress that we didn’t need. The hours were becoming less part-time, mostly because there were never enough people to do the job and I held that in my head all the time. I just didn’t see that changing, and it wasn’t making me a very good wife, mother, or employee. I didn’t have enough left-over time after my volunteer stuff with the kiddos (which I am not willing to give up) to help Hubby with the home and business and even though we spend tons of great time with our kiddos, I didn’t feel like I was giving them the best of my time, so I gave my notice. My employer was surprised, but also very understanding. We definitely parted ways on excellent terms, and who knows, maybe we’ll work together again some time.

For the time being, I’ve been promoted from Production Specialist to CEO Aviation Solutions 😉 HA! Basically, that means Hubby can hand off our goofy little book and cockpit poster business to me and I get to do the shipping and quarterly taxes . . . I might actually get to use that accounting minor my diploma says I earned! I’m also going to be doing content editing and reviewing as well as a handfull of other stuff for his other company, which I’m way excited for! Hoping that my availability to work for him will lessen the load he’s been carrying. I continue to be amazed at how he does all he does without completely losing it or ignoring his family and friends.

Yesterday was so unstressful it was amazing! In my first 3 hours as an unemployed/self-employed person, I was crazy productive! It felt awesome :-)

Now I just need to finish setting up my home office and actually commit myself to some working hours. Wish me luck!

A Glimpse Into The Future?

I’ve been strolling through photos on my laptop lately . . . not doing anything with them . . . just looking.

Every time I see this one, I pause.

There’s something about it that catches my eye and makes me feel nostalgic and teary.

Today, I finally figured it out.

I wonder if I’ll be seeing my beautiful Princess with her beautiful smile in this same photo in 15 years…

15years