Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The rest of August...

We have been working on our house. Last Thanksgiving we had a toilet overflow and come down into the ceiling in our kitchen. We had a hole in our ceiling for about 6 months. Now there is Sheetrock and mud. I have one more coat of mud to put on and then Wayne can sand it again and then it will be ready for me to prime and paint. I also want to paint the rest of my house that wasn't done by the previous owners (which is a lot of it).

Thor turned 7 months old. He got neutered mid month but that has not slowed him down any. He also got a microchip. He was just a pound and a half shy of 70 pounds the morning of the surgery. We had to watch him very closely the first 10 days but now he is 16 days post surgery and healed.

Wayne had a birthday about a week ago. He is over the hill plus a year. He worked on his day but brought home a couple cards that co-workers had given him. They are nice. He also got a card from his mom and my parents. I didn't even make him a cake.

The week leading up to hurricane Irene was interesting...actually the whole month has been interesting weather wise. There was a fire in the Great Dismal Swamp in Virginia (I suppose it is out now since the hurricane dumped a lot of water). It was a LONG ways away...down by Norfolk but when the wind was out of the south it would blow the smoke this way. One Saturday morning I went out to go grocery shopping and was wondering what all the smoke was. Wherever I went in town the smoke was just as bad. It wasn't until later that I found out the swamp was on fire. There were 2 or 3 days that the smoke was so bad that you had to limit outdoor activities. Then on Tuesday the 23rd there was an earthquake.  The epicenter was in Virginia too and it was 5.8 on the Richter scale. It shook us pretty good. By this time we knew that we needed to start preparing for the impending hurricane.

We started considering buying a generator. It didn't take us long to decide that we NEEDED one. Wayne wanted it least 7000- 8000 watts but Lowe's was all out. We checked in Waldorf too but they were out too. The next day (Wed) I called the Home Depot in Waldorf and they said they had one on the floor and 2 up on a shelf. When we got there the one on the floor was gone so we asked if they still had the ones on the shelf (it was up high and needed a forklift to get them down). There was another couple who wanted the same generator so we got one of the last 2. Waldorf is a 50 minute drive from our house. Then on Thursday we decided we needed a chainsaw. Wayne was told to buy Stihl or Husqueverna so I compared prices and the Stihl was a bit less expensive and is supposed to be the better saw. I found out they sell them at the John Deere dealer so I drove down there that afternoon while Wayne was at work. I also bought 4 extension cords for the generator and was looking for gas cans. By this time it was about time for Michael to leave for institute. He called me and said he needed to leave 10 minutes ago so I had to hurry home. As I was driving home the weather was deteriorating and I was listening to the radio and they said we were under a tornado warning. I got home and told Michael I didn't want him to go out in the weather and he said that the people he carpooled with had cancelled anyway. This ended up being a blessing in disguise because our ward called an Emergency Ward Council meeting and Michael is in the Elder's Quorum Presidency so he had to go.

I was having problems finding 5 gallon gas cans so Diane told me to try the auto parts store. I found the last 2 at Advance Auto Parts on Friday morning. We spent the rest of the day on Friday laying out our stuff and getting ready for it to hit. I figured we would lose power about 6pm on Saturday and was VERY disappointed when we lost it much earlier. I was in the middle of doing our laundry. Luckily for us it was only out for 2 hours and then came back on. While the power was out I took a few short videos of the storm. Make sure your speakers are on for the first one. I am out of the front porch and you can really hear the wind and rain.

They were both taken around 1pm on Saturday the 27th. The one of the rain was a bit before 1 and the one of the trees was taken a bit after 1.

The hurricane was something else. I don't care to ever go through one again and it was only a category 1. The eye went through about 11:30pm. We were down in the basement in the front bedroom. Michael's bedroom is downstairs already. After the eye went through it quieted down a lot but I was very surprised at how loud it all was. Our power went out about 8pm and we thought it would be off for 3-5 days. We were VERY surprised when it came back on at 6pm Sunday. The wind didn't really calm down until Monday but by Sunday mid morning the sun was starting to peek out. I took a few still photos too. This first one was taken at about the same time as the second video.
Our neighbors lost a tree but it fell down parallel to their house. It was a big oak and there was a small oak that was in the root ball. The small oak fell onto our property but back behind our fence in the woods.

That is the corner of our fence. How our fence was NOT damaged we have NO idea.
Our church was canceled on Sunday. Wayne and Michael spent all afternoon helping out church members with removing trees. The chain slipped off our chainsaw so they had to resort to hand saws but we have a really good bow saw too. When our power came back on we let another family in our ward borrow our generator. We haven't heard back from them so they might not have power yet. I'm so glad our chainsaw and generator have gotten use and were not a waste of money.

We are also helping our neighbors with their downed tree (although so far it has only been Mon) They worked on it yesterday but we had missionaries for dinner so were busy. They didn't work on it today but we did yard work. I had a lot of small branches to pick up before I could mow. Our lawn is VERY green now :)

The rest of this week I will spend getting ready to fly out on Saturday. Rusty has a scan next week and then an appointment the week after and mom wanted me there for those 2 things. I don't have a return ticket yet but I will probably be there for most the month of September.

So it is been a busy month. We had fires, earthquakes, tornadoes, and hurricanes. PLEASE DON'T SEND ANY OTHER NATURAL DISASTERS!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

And Thor...

Is 67 pounds at 6 1/2 months. I guessed about 60. Michael took him up to my bathroom scale to weigh him. He wasn't too thrilled about being held. That is right about where Buzz was his last few years. But I'm sure Thor still has some growing to do. His paws are still huge. He is either zonked out on the floor or else up and wanting to play. It is funny because he'll bring his frisbee, or rope, or bone to Wayne when he is home instead of Michael or me. Wayne of course complains about it but I think he secretly enjoys it.

I finally figured out how to download my last videos (with Michael's help). Here is Spice and Thor playing at our last puppy training class. We miss puppy playtime. The dog trainer would always let them play and ask us how they did at home the previous week so this is them playing at the beginning of class. You can see how Thor towers over Spice but she loves playing with him.

Right now we are scheduled to have Thor fixed a week from today. He will also get microchipped and she will check his hips because purebred labs are known to have hip dysplasia. We don't think he has it although he does usually sit funny. That is all for now. I have photos on my phone that I need to send to myself so that I can show the airport we flew in and out of.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

We spent...

A week in Arkansas. I thought that I was going to have to stay for longer than originally planned BUT things were better so I came back home. We asked Ma Burke what project she wanted us to work on and she said trimming her bushes but it was really too hot to do that so I asked if she would like us to tackle her master bath. She was thrilled at this idea because her shower head had been dripping for years and she had what she thought was mold or mildew in her tile grout. It was a BIG project for a week but Wayne thought we could get it done. We started out with a Lowe's run for a shower faucet as well as some tools we would need. Wayne searched the internet to see if there was a way to get to it without coming from the back side but every video he looked at did it that way so we had to cut a hole in her side wall so we could get out the old faucet and put in the new one. That took a day to get that done but the solder joints were good and it didn't leak...well kind of. This is a funny story. The water shut off is in her yard on the other side of her driveway from the front door. So we had Ma stand in the shower to watch for leaks and she could yell at me (I was near the front door) if there were any and I could  yell at Wayne to shut it back off. So he turned on the water and I could hear water running but Ma never yelled at me so I ran back to investigate and the water was running out the shower head and into the shower but the pipes weren't leaking at all. I hurried up and shut off the faucet but by that time the shower was FULL of water because we had the drain plugged with a paper towel to prevent junk going down it and clogging it. By this time we also had removed some of the tile and soaked sheet rock and were trying to dry the shower out so it was VERY WET again. Luckily it was quitting time so it had all night to dry out again.

She has a ~45 year old home with those lovely green tile / toilet / sink combos. She actually really likes the color and wanted to keep it. We thought about changing it to a fiberglass shower but the drain was wrong and moving a drain when it is on a slab and that old was too big of a project for us to tackle. So then we had to try to salvage green tile but knew we could buy white tile so Wayne busted out the white that was around the bottom and just took out the green (which pretty much fell out since the sheet rock behind it was pretty well rotten). We got backer board to replace the sheet rock to make it up to code. We thought the floor tile (it is tiny one inch) might be in an old lead pan but it was put on poured concrete and since it was in good shape we didn't need to change it. We found out that what she thought was mold on the floor was actually missing grout. So I had A LOT of green tile to scrape and took the better part of two days. Luckily Wayne had other things he could work on in the bathroom while I did that.

We finally got the tile back in on Saturday night (a week ago yesterday) but we were two days behind schedule. We didn't want to grout on Sunday but also knew we would NEVER get the project done before our flight out if we didn't. So we got up Sunday ready to grout but first had to read tutorials since it had been years since we had grouted. So we tried to get the grout to stick but it was all rough and gritty and just wouldn't stay in our joints. So we called his brother who had a lot more experience than us in doing this and described our grout and what it was doing and he said we had defective grout. By this time it was late on Sunday (it took about 6 hours to prep the old grout...AKA take it out) so the project was on hold until Monday.

So early Monday morning we made another trip to Lowe's to get more grout and this time it worked!! The only problem was that I didn't sponge off enough of it so it looked more mudded than sponged but it will have to do until I get back to fix it. At least it is waterproof (we hope...couldn't shower in it until after we left).

I wish I had photos but my camera's battery went dead and of course I forgot the charger.