Sunday, February 26, 2012

A surprise.

While sorting through the bills at our weekly meeting I came across this envelope. "What is this?" I asked Matt. We opened it to see.

We were both flabbergasted to see a gift certificate to Bridgetown Games and Hobbies given to us by our friend Joshin. Or, as he names himself, "Joshin, Ectopic Dermatitis Yamada"
We will be buying more games to bring "more friends together" just as the envelope instructs. Stay tuned to see what we come up with. We're very excited to receive and use this gift. Thanks Jo-Jo!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Laundry Peace

The new washer and dryer have changed our life. No longer are the washer and dryer churning all weekend long to clean clothes. The large capacity means I can do all my laundry using half a load--instead of my usual two. Matt can finish his laundry in three loads.

The other day I walked into Matt's room to turn on the Internet and couldn't figure out what was different. Something was incredibly strange and out of place. Then it came to me. Whereas I usually was walking over piles of clothing to get to his desk, here was bare floor. Amazing!
Thanks washer and dryer!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Beat Burt!

Our friend Burt turned 50 and decided to have a party in his honor, as well he should. At the party, there were a variety of ways to beat Burt, as these very nice posters explain.
(You can click on the photo to see the posters in a bigger size.)

Here, a variety of people attempt to Beat Burt running around the block. Only about four people managed to do this.

One of the best parts of Beat Burt was that if you brought a musical instrument and played a song with Burt, you got a point. Both Matt and I did this, with Matt performing "Hey Ya" to great applause. Burt and I played "Better Be Home Soon" by Crowded House.

Aside from posters explaining the various ways to Beat Burt, there were also magnets of Burt in various guises. We got to take home Burt magnets as party favors.

The magnets changed position a lot during the party. Sometimes someone would organize them by category, and then someone would change the order.

There's the man himself, attempting to beat us at Formula De.

This game was one where I actually Beat Burt, which as the party progressed we realized was rather a difficult task. (I also won the game, for those who are counting. Although I had a whole table of advisers to assist me.)

Checking the standings.

Beat Burt cupcakes made by Darla.

There were pictures throughout the house of Burt at various ages. Here, an earlier version of Burt with hair.

Beating Burt at Guitar Hero turned out to be impossible. The closest anyone could come to beating his score was to meet him halfway. At one point, Burt replayed one of the songs to see if his scores were a fluke and he beat himself, but no one else even came close.

A self portrait in front of "Burt-y Holly"

Checking out our scores. Notice that Matt beat me.

Laurie updates the scores.

Both Burt and Laurie did a lot of work for a wonderful party.

Burt with Burt-y Holly

When we had all finished our attempts at beating Burt, each of our points was converted into a ticket and then the tickets were put into a bowl and the winners were drawn from that bowl. ("Just like the Hunger Games"exclaimed Burt.)

Indeed, one person won a prize with only one point, just like Prim. Although that person got Moonstruck Chocolates, not a one-way ticket to a deadly reality show.

Beat Burt was an incredibly fun party, matching our trip to Italy for Laurie's birthday last fall. Well done!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's gifts from....

When Matt spotted these paper hearts in the refrigerator and asked their origin, I told him to guess. "Elephants? New Seasons?" were two of his choices. But no, they were delivered to me at school made by my mother for Valentine's Day.

And inside were some delicious Whoopee Pies. Thanks mom!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Mom's birthday: shadow pie and UNO

It's my mom's birthday today and so my Aunt made her favorite: Shadow Pie. Shadow pie is chocolate pudding and whipped cream in a pie crust. I've queried my family as to this pie's origins and just done a quick search on google and found nothing, so I'm thinking this might have either been an invention of my grandmother, or perhaps a recipe on the side of some box.

Then we played UNO for points and you can see (if you are hip to the family initials) in whose favor the cards were working. Note that in UNO you win if you have the fewest points.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Making it work.

In hindsight, it would have been ideal to purchase the washer and dryer before we had the hole cut in the wall so we could ensure everything worked. Ah hindsight, you are never around when needed. As you may have guessed from the title and the above sentence, it didn't all come together with the washer and dryer quite as planned.

Thank goodness for the Tool Lending Library. They lent us a circle cutter and a powerful drill.

Here you can see our new washer and dryer, as well as the hole that our handyman installed. The hoses for the washer don't reach and so we have purchased more hoses to give us length. Mick, at our Lowe's was quite helpful in solving this problem. Now the main problem comes with the cord for the dryer. We are about an inch short of length and six feet is the longest cord allowed by code. What to do?

Destination: Hole in wall part II

Matt's excellent math skills told us that we would have enough cord if the hole was just a few inches higher than it was. Here you can see our pretty hole:

And here's the hole that also lets us plug in the dryer. As solutions go, it's a pretty good one. We can always have Wesley the handyman come back and make our hole pretty too. Plus, it's in the closet where the litter boxes will be. That doesn't need to be a pretty space.

Success! Both the washer and dryer work! Hooray!

Luring cats

While we are working on the new washer and dryer situation, I have taken a break to lure the cats into the new location of their litter boxes: the old washer and dryer closet. I've removed the wooden slatted vent from the door, making the perfect opening for cats. Now to get them to come through the door.
Sentinel was all in, especially once he saw I was holding a treat.

Antares was his usual cautious self.

This is as close as he would come. I would hold up a treat and he would move my hand outside the closet and then take the treat.
He's not so into new experiences, but he will come along.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Shelves. New Plan

I recently have been winnowing down the things on one set of shelves in the pantry. I made it through the top shelf and have been avoiding dealing with the other shelves, but we've suddenly had a change of plan. We're tired of making our too-tiny and semi-working washer and dryer work and we are moving on up to bigger and better models. This means that the shelves need to go away, so that the washer and dryer can go where the shelves are now.

Before: (Although you have to imagine that the cats' litter boxes were in that space, as I moved them before I remembered to take the picture.)

Old washer and dryer before:

Shelves cleaned off and ready for work:

Establishing before shot:

After: our new dryer will be vented directly outside. Currently, our dryer vents up several feet over several feet and then makes its way out a very tall side vent. It's incredibly hard to keep this very long vent from clogging. This one will vent one foot over and out. I love it! You can also see the shelves are gone.

Here's the new plan, as planned by our handyman, Wesley Johnson. Instead of moving the pipes and the electrical, over several feet, we will run them through a new hole in the wall and into the exact same connections.
Now we will purchase our washer and dryer. We are excited for a whole new world of laundry.