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The First in the Deck Series

Our most recent DIY experience through the process.

Out With The Old, In With The New

Gotta love a new beginning, right?

Peppermint Shortage

Just a funny afternoon.

Coffeyville, KS

I loved this experience so much that I had to write about it. Then, through e-mails it spread to Coffeyville itself.

Photo Restoration

I had a lot of fun with this "old school" photo. It turned out too cool to not blog about it.

Kitchen Remodel (part one)

This is the first of a nine-part series documenting the remodel of our 50-year-old kitchen in our 100-year-old home!

Blog Infomercial

As you must know by now, I like to write blogs. But, I didn't always like the whole blog thing. A long, long time ago (okay, a year ago) I had heard "blog this" and "blog that", but I had no earthly idea what to make of it. I didn't know what it meant, where it came from, and least of all why people were involved with them. I have since found the answers to all these questions and more.

As adults, we tend to get more and more stupid as the days progress. Don't take offense, but don't attempt to deny it either. As children and teens, we were learning everyday at school and then having our knowledge tested over and over again. Constant brain development was a way of life. Unfortunately, the majority of adults these days are not in positions to learn like we once did. We work jobs that test our ability to perform that job and no more. We get stupid.

There are ways to slow down the effects of what I like to call age-induced low IQ syndrome (A.I.I.Q.S). According to the professionals at The Words online publication, this sickness will affect 82% of adults in the United States. Not so ironically, 18% of adults in the United States currently practice the art of blogging. While there is no direct link to blogging and a cure for AIIQS, the numbers do speak for themselves.

Don't wait any longer. For the low, low cost of $0.00 per month you too can blog to your heart's content and remember what it was like to be creative. You will be forced to use large words and remember many synonyms so that your writing will be enjoyed and not sound too repetitive. You will find that, despite what most people say about you, you have a lot of interesting things to say. Maybe that last part was for me alone.

The best thing about the blog is that it gives you a chance to give back to the community. You can make a difference in this world by way of the blog. People will no longer have to watch the news that depresses and oppresses them. They can read your blogs and feel better about themselves. You will plant little seeds amongst the masses. Blog well!

P.S. A little added bonus is that when you, YES, YOU start a blog and notify me within the next fifteen minutes, you will get your own, your very own, personalized blog link button on my page linking to your page. You must act quickly, though, folks. These personalized blog link buttons are going fast! But wait. There's more! If you act now I'll throw in a one year membership to! That's a total package of one blog site, one personalized blog link button on my page to your page, and a one-year membership to What?! You want two years? Well, YOU'VE GOT IT! This package with a combined manufacturers suggested retail price of $0.00 can be yours for only 3 easy payments of $0.00! Act now before it's too late!

Much To Do

Well, I haven't had much time to sit down and do much of anything much less write a blog, but here goes. We've been working on the house and getting a lot done. I absolutely love how it is going. I'll admit that it is hard work and not a cheap endeavor. However, our plan is coming together quite well. We have ran across a few stumbles, but we got right back up and amended our plan accordingly and it is all going well. One stumble that was bothering me a lot was the discovery that the tub/shower fiberglass insert that was given to us for free from our pastor wouldn't fit up the stairs. I got a second opinion about what might be done to get it upstairs, but the second was the same as mine. The only option left was to remove an upstairs window from the framing and pull a Laurel and Hardy act getting the unit up to the second floor and in the window via ropes and pulleys. I was not about to try this, so we were back to the drawing board with our bathtub options. Yesterday, the problem was solved when on my lunch break I went to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore next door and found a cool old enameled iron tub. From the moment I saw it I knew that we could install it and then put up tile on the walls for the shower and it would look awesome. I hadn't previously considered tiling the walls due to the fact that the option of doing so just never crossed my mind. I definitely did not want to buy one of those piece-it-together-yourself plastic shower wall assemblies. So this works out great. I also saw a next-to-new dishwasher, so I bought them both. Get this. The ReStore is awesome. The tub was $20 and the dishwasher was $40. The store was still running their 25% off everything Valentine's promotion so I got them both for $45 and since they are a charity they don't charge tax.

Also, despite it's look, the bathroom is back in line to be getting done. I was having some major trouble with some old school plumbing. I wasn't sure how I was going to tap into the 4" cast iron drain waste system. But, with a hacksaw, a lot of elbow grease, and even a lot more patience I got the old pipe cut off and I'm ready to pick up the couplings I need to retrofit to PVC. That little challenge will be taken on tonight or tomorrow night. I'm excited. Anyway, the last Before/During photo slideshow I posted showed the beautiful hardwood flooring we found underneath the nasty carpet we removed. This slideshow may look a little backwards, but it shows progress nonetheless. We took out all the old crappy crap and as I mentioned earlier I'm in the process or re-plumbing the bathroom for all the new stuff which will include double sinks, lots of red mohagany stained oak cabinets, tile floors, and nice new white plumbing fixtures.

Inappropriate Names

One of the first and most important things a person will have to do as a new parent is to name their child. As you know, my wife and I recently did this. So, I'd like to go over some pet peeves of mine that rose to the surface during this process. Naming a person is obviously an important task. There are so many things to consider and many more things to avoid when coming up with a name.

#1 - This is a person. While you think that your little one may be cute like a puppy or beautiful like a swan or whatever, your baby is not a pet and should therefore not have a pet name. Do NOT name your child Otis.

#2 - The picked out name may sound great alone but you should say it with the middle name and last name in every possible combination to see if it is still as great as it was by itself. For example, my mother used to work with a woman who had the last name "Bush". She named her daughter "Rose" and , yes, I agree that there could've been worse names. However, you're just giving ignorant people material to use against your kid.

#3 - Do not spell your child's name like an idiot. Sarah is spelled S-a-r-a-h, NOT C-e-h-r-a-a. Spelling your child's name in a unique way does not make your child unique. It makes your child hate you.

#4 - Coming back to #2, also shorten the proposed name in different ways to see if it can be used against them. Catherine Paulsen may at some point be called "cat pee."

#5 - Does the proposed name's initials spell anything? While this may not seem important to you, it will certainly be important to the recipient.

#6 - Be aware that if your child's name rhymes with something it can and will be used against them on a playground.

#7 - Don't name a girl George. And, don't name a boy Susan.

#8 - While Hollywood seems to glorify the lifestyle and more and more Americans are tolerant of them, do not name your kid "Gay". One of two unfortunate things will happen: Your child won't live to see his/her 18th birthday or he/she will personally make sure that you don't live to see it.

#9 - Names like Richard have proven to be great names throughout history, but seriously people, think.

#10 - Last, but no less important, do NOT name your child the same name as a celebrity. I've known or met people with the following names: Michael Jackson, Tina Turner, James Dean, Mike Meyers, and Jack Daniels. It can't be helped if the person rises to fame after the naming of your child, but all of these names were well known by America before the naming of these chilren with the exception of Mike Meyers.

I also knew a Kellie Kelley. She just so happened to fall in love with and marry a man with the last name Kelley and that's how that came together. So, I suppose she could have avoided the situation, but her priorities seemed to be in the right place. Another example of an unfortunate name happening without fault to the parents is a guy named Thomas Crapper. He's the guy who invented the modern toilet. We all take advantage of his genius several times daily and we reward him and thank him by using his name as if it's equal to poop. It's apparent that his unfortunate name couldn't be avoided. I wonder, though, if his name had been something else if it would've so easily been used as slang for poop as well.

In closing, when choosing a name for a person remember that it is a person who will have to wear this name. They will have to walk through a playground. They will have to turn in a resume for a new job with their name as a heading. While we can't protect our children from everything, we can sure protect them and ourselves from a lot of unwanted scrutiny with just a little consideration.

America's Youngest Model

We did another photoshoot in our living room the other night. This time it was baby focused. He was a real crappy model, though. Literally not figuratively. He was a great model who crapped a lot. The problem with holding a naked baby is that he feels the need to let loose and unfortunately was letting loose all over me. The whole photoshoot lasted maybe five minutes, but in those five short minutes he managed to take care of a lot of business. The straw that broke the camel's back was when in one photo where he was sitting in the palm of my hand and leaning up against my chest (the last photo below). He decided to take a dump right in my hand. I was done at this point and immediately went to the bathroom to scrub my over-soaped hands in scalding hot water.

The photos turned out great, though. And eventually I will forget about their stinky nature and see the beauty in them myself. And as always, click on the pictures if you want to see them bigger.

We bought it!

We closed on the house last night! It's finally ours! It's still sinking in. I don't think that it will completely seem real until we move in and start sleeping there. That will be a while yet. Our awesome landlords are letting us do a half month next month so that we will have about 35 days to get the place all cleaned up and fixed up the way that we want it.

Today, we couldn't help but get started on it. So, I woke up and changed all the locks this morning. Then, this afternoon we were all over there working up a sweat in a house with no heat. Jacob helped and learned a few things and Lyric helped by sleeping through all the hammering and other various noises we were making.

We started on the two bedrooms that had carpet in them. The slideshow shows the before (about 3:00 pm) and then the during (about 5:15) of several views. I say "during" because there is much more to be done than just removing the carpet, padding, and tack stripping. We'll have the real "after" photos at a later date.

Almost There

The appraisal on the house went well but it came back with two exceptions. The exposed plumbing in the bathroom would have to be covered and the hole in the hardwood floor between the first bedroom and hallway would have to be fixed. The plumbing was relatively easy. The cover was already there. I just didn't put it back when we found a leak during the inspection process. So I fixed the broken piping and covered it back up. The bad news is that when I turned the water on at the meter and went back up to check for leaks again, there was another leak. My plumbing didn't leak a drop, but there must be a busted pipe in the floor of the bathroom somewhere under the sink. So, in order to fix it I have to tear out the bathroom floor. So, it seems that we'll be renovating that bathroom a little sooner than what we had originally planned. Oh well. It's nothing to cry about. We were going to do it anyway, just not right off the bat.

By the way, I volunteered to fix these two things myself to make sure that it was done right. If the seller was forced to do it, then the hole just would've had a board thrown over the top of it and nailed down. It would've looked horrible and we would've had to redo it anyway.

The hole was easy, though. Jacob came with me and was my little helper. He is very interested in this stuff and kept asking me how I knew how to do everything that I was doing. I told him that I knew how, because I watched my dad doing things like this while I was growing up. He then said, "So, I'll be able to fix things like this when I'm older?" He was amazed when I said, "yes." Below shows the before, during, and after photos. It turned out much better by me doing it than having the seller do it.

Now, the only thing that we are waiting on is the seller having the termite treatment performed. Get this. He tried to get out of it. His agent said that the seller spoke with Campbell Pest Control (the company that Jodi and I hired to perform the inspection and ruled that it needed a treatment) and that they "revised" their original statement and said that it didn't really need treatment since it didn't appear that the affected area was active. I called C.P.C. and the office manager told me that no one had spoken with them, they don't "revise inspections", and that they still advise that a treatment is necessary. I think the office manager knew where I was going with my questions and was very adamant about never doing anything of the sort. He was very polite and helpful. So, if you need a pest inspection done call Campbell Pest Control. (plug, plug) I called my agent and filled her in and she called the seller's agent to inform him that we have not forgotten about the treatment and that we will not close until we have documentation proving that it has been performed. That was yesterday morning and we haven't heard anything yet. I'm telling you, this guy we are dealing with is an old penny-pinching uncooperative fart. The treatment is about $300 and he's known about it for about 3 weeks and he's done nothing but try and get out of it, when he should know that as soon as it is done we could close as early as the next day. It seems he is not willing to spend $300 to sell a house for thousands. What a butt.

Home Alone

Today was Jodi's first day at home alone with Lyric. Her mom left Saturday evening after having stayed with us since Tuesday evening. She was a big help and we really appreciated her being here. However, today I came home and found a funny site. With no one here, Jodi finally got to catch up on her sleep. These two pictures show how I came home to find them. They were a couple of blanket mounds. It was cute. In other news, the old fart that owns the house that we are trying to buy finally signed something that we sent him. Last Saturday, we sent him a new addendum stating that he would have the termite treatment done and have the yard cleared of all the debris from the ice storm and have both these things done before the new closing date of February 16th. Eleven days and we could be Springfield's newest home owners! This could be us!

Good News A' Plenty!

#1 Lyric gets the end of his thingy sliced off today for the low-low cost of about $50. We went through an ordeal trying to get it done while Jodi was still admitted into the hospital. The doctor's office wanted fax confirmation that it was covered under our insurance and our insurance company was acting like sending a fax was equivalent to pulling a tooth. It didn't get done and the wording of my insurance policy made it sound like it was no longer covered after being discharged from the hospital. However, under a higher degree of scrutiny, a magnifying glass, and the use of a law school approved dictionary it turned out that it was still covered so we'll only have to pay 20%.

#2 I've been carrying two and a half jobs worth of responsibilities for quite some time. People got moved or retired and instead of replacing them they just asked me to absorb their work. I did it. What's good for the resume is good for me. The good news is that my new supervisor decided to relieve me of most of the group leader responsibilities. He's going to take them on so that I can focus on our inventory control program. Also, he asked me to head up a brand new project and I accepted. The project is switching over the warehouse procedures from our old paper-trail systems to a new and improved handheld barcode scanning system. This move will bring us out of the 70's and into competition with modern business. Also, it means a BIG plus on my work history.

#3 It's friday! And I don't have to work this weekend!

#4 My federal tax refund got deposited today.

#5 The house we are trying to buy got appraised and while I don't yet know the exact dollar amount that the house appraised for, I did hear that the house appraised for at least the amount that we are trying to purchase it for. This is great because if it hadn't than we would have had to go back to the drawing board and start the whole process all over again.

Man, I love good news!

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