Sunday, April 29, 2007

Nashville Country Music Marathon

WE DID IT! Five of us (Michelle, Eric, Ran, Michael and I) left for Nashville Friday morning to compete in Saturday's Country Music Marathon and 1/2 Marathon . It has been a wonderful trip.

Saturday the weather was gorgeous, but the traffic was awful. Approximately 30,000 people came to compete, plus all their family and friends. It took us over an hour to get to the race site, and it was only a few miles away from the hotel. Michael and Ran ran, while the rest of us walk/ran. Final time 3 hours, 49 minutes.

Saturday afternoon was spent in the hot tub easing sore muscles, and Saturday night at the post-race concert. Sara Evans was the headliner. I really like her and was excited to see the concert. My body had other ideas - namely sleep. I managed to doze off in the middle of 20,000 screaming people. The part I saw was good, and I slept like a baby that night.

Sunday we slept in, only to be awoken by the fire alarm. We're pretty sure the hotel people figured it was the only way to get 200 exhausted people out by check-out time. We headed to The Hermitage, home of former president Andrew Jackson. It was beautiful and very interesting. By the time we left Nashville it was almost 3:00. I finally pulled into my driveway about 10:00.

Very long, very fun weekend. Ran, Eric, Michelle and Michael are wonderful travel companions. I can't wait till we do it again (well, maybe not the running part)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Happy Earth Day!

The dogs and I spent today in Forest Park in celebration of Earth Day. We met one of my oldest friends, Janel, and her family down there. It was so good to see her. We grew up next door to each other and haven't talked in a while. I miss her. Her daughter is a sweetie, and they are expecting #2 in October. Hopefully we can get together once a month or so.

The weather was perfect, and I am a little pink from the sun. It was great though, to see so many people come out to celebrate our planet. The beautiful picture is the Grand Basin, Art Hill and the Art Museum at the top. It was a perfect day to be out, and a ton of people seemed to agree.
I also ran into a few friends there, and stayed to listen to a fabulous band - The Bottoms Up Blue Band. They put on a wonderful show, and have a brand new CD coming out.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

What a Wonderful Day for a BBQ

My friend Amie had a BBQ today at Tower Grove Park. It was an absolutely perfect spring day. I took the dogs (as did everyone else who owned them) and headed out to join my friends. We had so much fun! It was great to hang out in the fresh air and enjoy each other's company.

Turtle is checking for any food that may have dropped. Mickey hung out by the grill most of the day to get first dibs.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

It's DONE!!

I have finished my bathroom, and I love it!!! There's a few touch up things to finish yet, but it's minor stuff that most folks won't even notice. My house is still messy, but we've downgraded from all out catastrophe to just a mess. Most of the tools and such have ended up back in the basement, although not necessarily put away. Michael has taken his tools home.

What a relief! I can shower, dry my hair and brush my teeth - all in the same room!!

Casa Karen is open for business once again. (Ok, it never closed, but now you don't have to worry I'll make you go potty in a bucket and shower under a hose!)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Making Progress - Slowly

I'm about at the end of my rope. I'm not sure I can live without a functional bathroom much longer. Call me a whiner, but I am not dealing with this well. Fortunately, I am making a bit of progress. I finally got some paint on the walls, and tomorrow night the sink should go back in.
Remind me to never do this again.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Travelin' Fool

This summer is going to be an on-the-go one. I have officially booked my trip to Seattle for the end of May. Then, for good measure, Dan and I booked a trip to meet in San Francisco in August. He thinks I'll love it there, and I've never been, so it seems like a good time to go. Anyone have any ideas on what to do or see in San Francisco?

The bathroom is coming along veeeeeerrrrrrryyyyyyy slowly. It takes forever for the mud to dry. So I mud, wait a day, mud some more, wait another day, mud, wait, sand, wait, mud, wait - you get the idea. I'm hoping the final stages of mudding are here. I have to go help Michael with his floor this weekend, so I won't get much further until next week. Oh well. I do what I can. I'm learning to live in a completely trashed house.

Last night I did take a break and met up with some of the gang for a night at the Funny Bone. Very enjoyable evening, mostly do to the company. Thanks for a much needed night out, guys.

Now - on to taxes. Somehow it's already time to mail them and I'm not done. Oops!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

A Hug From My Mom

Mom sent this to me a few weeks before she died, and I just rediscovered it.

Sometimes life seems hard to bear,
Full of sorrow, trouble and woe
It's then I have to remember
That it's in the valleys I grow.

If I always stayed on the mountain top
And never experienced pain,
I would never appreciate God's love
And would be living in vain.

I have so much to learn
And my growth is very slow,
Sometimes I need the mountain tops,
But it's in the valleys I grow.

I do not always understand
Why things happen as they do,
But I am very sure of one thing.
My Lord will see me through.

My little valleys are nothing
When I picture Christ on the cross
He went through the valley of death;
His victory was Satan's loss.

Forgive me Lord, for complaining
When I'm feeling so very low.
Just give me a gentle reminder
That it's in the valleys I grow.

Continue to strengthen me, Lord
And use my life each day
To share your love with others
And help them find their way.

Thank you for valleys, Lord
For this one thing I know
The mountain tops are glorious
But it's in the valleys I grow!

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Moving Forward

I have completed my dining room! I nailed the quarter round down and moved in all the furniture. I even washed the walls and baseboards for good measure. It's wonderful to have something done.

I did put another layer of mud on the bathroom walls, and I finished painting the register and cabinet. I think it will look very nice when it's done. The medium color is a little pinker than I'd thought, but it will be good.

The workweek will be tough without a functional bathroom. And of course this is the week I have something going on every night - and nothing can be changed. Oh well. My one bright spot is I think I'm going back to Seattle over Memorial Day weekend.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Coming Along

It's coming, although slowly. I finally have all the drywall up, and the first coat of mud on. Does anyone know how to do corners? That's the one thing Michael won't do. The large hole is where the medicine chest goes.

I bought paint and plan to spend tonight painting the cabinet and register vent. I also started painting the quarter round for the dining room. Since it's red it takes about 6 coats.
I am so ready for this to be done.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Dark Before the Dawn

Things always get worse before they get better, right? Well, here's worse. I had no water in my house all day yesterday. I had to shut the main off because none of the shut-off valves worked. I have since replaced them all. Of course, the cold water one was so corroded I couldn't get it off, so we cut it out. Michael then taught me to pre-tin and solder new pipes then install them to the existing pipes. Once that was done, I replaced the shut-offs.

You know you're in the midst of a major remodel when your bathroom sink and toilet end up on your bedroom floor.

After working until 2 am though, I had a sheet of drywall behind the toilet, a new floor, and water. We replaced all the stuff inside the toilet, as well as the seals and washers. As long as it was apart and in pieces, why not?

For now, a long soak in the tub, followed by Advil and bed. I begin again tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Fare Thee Well, My Bathroom

I have begun the process of updating my bathroom. As you can see, things are not going quite as planned. I got a wild hair and decided to remove the paneling that was there (you can still see it behind the sink - it looks like brick). Unbeknowst to me, there were no walls behind the paneling. YIKES!!

Step two will consist of me learning how to drywall. Step three will be using a chair rail to hide how much I screw up the transition from drywall to plaster.

On the bright side, it will be much easier to re-wire the lighting since all the wiring is now exposed. Wish me luck!