Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Wrapping up the March

March turned out to be a really great month for us, although it seemed to buzz by like a bat in the dark.  Whoah!  What was that?!  And Summer just doesn't want to follow Winter's example of arriving quickly, all in one day.  Excited about the melt-off and the warm weather, we tried to go camping near Livingston last week, but I pansy-ed out and got cold, so we ate a nice dinner and came home. 

 Me- "Wow, there really is a ton of snow here!"  Shaun- toeing the sparse snow cover-  "Well, there's not really.  There are plenty of dry spots and there will be a lot more snow everywhere else..."  Me-  "Look how muddy this dry spot is..."  Shaun-  "It's pretty well frozen, actually."  Me-  "I forgot to bring my wool sweater..."
It is getting nicer, but winter just seems to be hanging on there by a thread.  So, while the weather's still too cool to spend the entirety of our days outside, we finally got a little work done on our house.  We managed to get the trim painted  and the walls are a lot less overwhelmingly salmon now that the paint has fully dried.  Tuesday we installed our new wood floor, but not quite all the way.  There are just 2 or 3 skinny boards that need to be cut to complete the very very edge near the bathroom and kitchen.  But we are close!  Close to finishing that part, anyway...  There is a lot more work to be done, really.

Last Thursday, a nice grey afternoon cloud cover rolled in and threatened to rain or do something, but before it did, we drove to the Trail Creek exit to do some rock climbing at 'The Pass'.  It was a lovely warm day.  The rock was still a little cool, but with a few hand-warming breaks, it was bearable.  The dogs found the depth and sloppiness of the mud to be acceptable and the amount of loose sticks to be sufficient.  I lead my first outdoor climb (yay me!) and Shaun was quite pleased to finally have some successful climbing out of doors.
It really was a great day, and we can't wait for all the great climbing to be had this summer!

This past weekend, Shaun and I knocked off one of our 'to do before we die' goals.  We drove 4 hours to meet up with some friends in Salmon, Idaho for a few great days of camping at Goldbug Hotsprings.

Suka, the champion of weirdness, hung out in the hot springs with us the entire time, swimming around and blowing bubbles underwater.  No joke.  Harvey, on the other hand, wouldn't even dip a toe in. 

For more awesome pictures of our weekend soak, click here.

If all of that isn't adventure enough, I am about to embark on one of the greatest adventures of my lifetime.  I have been accepted to school and, following our 3 month long summer road trip, will begin studies at Prescott College, in Arizona, the end of August.  I am so excited to be pursuing my education further and can't wait to move to the Southwest!  Time to save save save and apply for scholarships.  If anyone lives in an old house or near a nice field, let me know...I've already gone through the walls in our house and none of my semi-frozen muddy holes are turning up any forgotten stashes of cash or gold.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patty's Day!

I realize that this post and the last overlap a little, but I have been pretty busy and keep forgetting about things I mean to post about.  The 9th was my little brother's 21st birthday, so my dad bought him two tickets to see the Wailers in concert... yes, the Wailers, sans Bob Marley... So the next night Dylan and I went out on the town to get our reggae on.  Jah Rastafari.  Here's my best picture from the back row.

Yah, man.  Jah rastafari!  See those dreads? 
It was a good show.  Good energy, and fun to hear the Marley songs live, but seriously... How many times can one person say 'Jah Rastafari' in one hour?

After finally getting the song 'One Love' out of my head, I decided to do some sewing to prepare for the Run to the Pub, my first 10K fun run, last Saturday, hosted by Pub 317 (Bozeman's quasi-Irish pub), to celebrate St. Patty's Day.  I know it's just now the green day, but the pub likes to get started early apparently.
Alas, I had to dig the staple of my homemaker supplies (the sewing machine) out of a pile of outdoor equipment that Shaun and I have been stocking up on.  I found this situation to be rather ironic... what do you think?

There it is... My sewing machine and giant box of thread and accessories surrounded by climbing gear and our mountaineering book.  Somehow it just doesn't seem to fit, but I guess that's ok.  It's like going to the library and checking out the books 'Backpacking the World on a Shoestring Budget' and 'How to Build and Maintain a Saltwater Fish Tank'.

Anyway, the sewing project ended up awesome, as did the race.  I expected that it would take me an hour and twenty-ish minutes to run the six miles, but my official time was 1 hr 9 min.  Wonderful!  Since this was my first 10K, I wasn't trying to make a time, I was just trying to finish, but now I have a goal for the next race!

Fun times, but needless to say, I hurt a little bit after that one.  A good incentive to run more, I guess...get my leg muscles built up.

On the homeward side of things, my brother has been helping us get the house ready for the new wood floor.  First, we hung plastic over everything that needed it, and textured the walls.  Yesterday we sprayed primer over all the texture.  Today we painted.  This is what our house looked like yesterday...

And this is what our house looks like today...

Not to worry, though.  After some trimming and woodwork, it won't look nearly so 'salmon'.  (Hopefully)
So...clean, dry, freshly painted walls, and soon enough a wonderful floor.  Then we can start rebuilding everything we tore out of our entry.  And then get ready to move out.  Yeah...

And the bonus for the day, week, lifetime is... 
Sometimes bad days happen.  It sucks.  But sometimes you get to wake up to views like this...

And it just makes everything alright.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Pre-season Climbing

Now that our house is all tore up and out of place, it is difficult to be in it.  It would be easier to just get our act together and finish the job, but the days have been so nice we keep finding excuses to not stay inside.  Today I'm sticking around the house, and have finally caught up on our nightmarish laundry situation, but I don't have much hope for the unfinished projects.

Last Sunday, after being stomped on like Tokyo by the weekend's Bridezilla,  I headed out to Nice Rock on the Madison River to meet up with Shaun, the dogs, and friends for a downright awesome afternoon of climbing and brats on the campfire.

Shaun enjoying a tasty cold beverage.

Watching Bree attempt the climb.  We could see the first bolt of the route, and it looked like a fairly simple climb to reach it, however Shaun, Bree, and I all reached the same spot and made it no further. Pretty lame.

Tuesday was another beautiful day, so before Shaun headed to work, we made the short hike to Practice Rock near Hyalite Reservoir, discovering half way up the trail that our van has remote starting capabilities, but not remote shut-off capabilities.
Although we were both very excited to climb, the route we wanted to climb was in the shade.  Turns out winter climbing is pretty difficult.  Numb hands, cold toes, slippery slippery shoes, and lots of mud.  

The hike up was still pretty snowy.

Shaun rappelling from the top.

So...we really didn't get any climbing done.  I gave up after two moves, due to my hands turning into frozen meat hooks.  Shaun kept slipping on the snow in his climbing shoes, and could barely even make it to the rock to climb it. 
But, we had a great day being outside, the dogs found more mud and sticks than they even knew what to do with, and Shaun gave me a valuable little lesson in using some of the new climbing gear we just bought.

Really really looking forward to the encroaching spring, and our developing summer road trip plans!

Now off to de-staple the living room floor...  

Saturday, March 6, 2010

March Madness continues

Our house work is continuing, although at a slower pace (except the laundry attempt, which has completely stopped all together).  We have continued with the craziness and ripped out the carpet in the living room area.

We have started the minor construction projects that we need  to do in the entry.

And, we finished grouting the Nook table!

As a bonus, a couple of our house plants are staring new little shoots and vines.  Looks like a little bug or something, doesn't it?

And in the spirit of things growing, I have been giving a couple of the ladies at Harvest House Farm, a local community supported agriculture project, blogging tutorials so they can easily keep the community and their members updated on the progress of their second year of production.

Here they are working in the greenhouse.

Check out their new blog at

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

March Madness

I've been planning for the last week to get the tile for the breakfast nook cut today.  I hired my brother to help us out just so we could get the damned thing done.  He showed up around 10 this morning and we got right to work.  Dylan and Shaun cut tile, and stuck 'em all down to our table, while I ran the clean-up crew, washing dishes and cooking lunch for my workers.
Fitting the cut tile.

All laid out and ready to be gooey-ed down.

Getting on with the gooey.

We'll let that dry over night and tomorrow we will finish it up!  OMG by the end of this week, could Na'Nook finally be finished?!

The table didn't take too long to cut up and paste, so after lunch Dylan asked what else we were planning to do to this place.  We are expecting guests in April and I've been wanting to get the house nice and cleaned up, so I whipped out my list and we decided to plunge into some of my other 'To Do's.

First we decided to tear out some carpet.
Next week, wood floors!

Then, we decided to remove some walls.
That's right.  Remove some walls.  We're serious about our home improvement projects.

Whoa!  Didn't I say clean up?!

I guess that will give me something to do for the evening.

Anyway, although the entry of our house is now completely stripped, the overall finished effect will be much more roomy, open, and tidier, and really allow a lot more light into our somewhat dark 'living room'.  Not that our living room is that dark, but the walls are painted dark red, and that entry area was incredibly awkwardly fashioned anyway.

Tomorrow, we have furniture moving to do.  The living room carpet will come out and we'll tape off the windows and anything else that's important to prep the walls for texturing and re-painting.  Haven't decided yet if we'll stick with the red or move on to some other fancy color. (And finish off the Nook table with some grout.) By Thursday we should be able to install our wood floor and start on with the other projects.  I'm picturing some shelving, a small vacuum/broom closet, and a bench.

Big plans, big plans.  Pretty exciting, really.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Spring Things

Well, it's March now.  February flew by fast!  I now consider this spring.  The sun is shining bright, and every floor I've seen in the past week is covered in muddy footprints.  That has to mean spring is here!  And with all our developing plans for April, May, and the summer to follow, I can't wait till it gets in full swing!

To prepare myself for the warmer, but still slightly chilly days when I can wear a t-shirt and leave my jacket at home, I am crocheting a bright, bright, flowery scarf from some of my favorite drug, Noro.
 And lucky, lucky, oh so lucky me!  My favorite LYS (Local Yarn Store), Stix, just started carrying Noro's newest yarn, a beautiful tiny, thin, skinny, fine, VERY colorful, lace weight, made from 50% cotton, 17% wool, 17% nylon, and 16% silk.  The texture is awesome and the colors are awesome.  The colorway of the skein I chose just screams spring at me! 
Despite my excitement over my new yarn and project, Noro is notorious for a couple little things...  First of all, the yarn always seems to have a couple small pieces of grasses or twigs in it.  I can totally live with that.  Second, one ball of yarn has so many colors in it that it is almost impossible to see them all without completely unwinding the whole lot of string and laying it out for viewing.  There is always some surprise color in the middle that you just weren't expecting.  Most of the time, it's kind of ugly.  But I can live with that, as well.  
The third thing Noro is infamous for is having cuts and ties in their yarn.  Now, it's no secret that this happens quite often with many yarns.  It's a fact of life.  But, Noro has such unique color patterns that a 'cut and tie' can really throw a wrench in one's plans.  Imagine this... Knitting along with a beautiful mellow gray that is changing so gradually and gently into green that you barely even notice the change.  Now you are in the depths of an almost fluorescent bright lime green and you can already see the next color will be banana yellow.  You work through the flowing, natural color change so easily and mindlessly until, sure enough, there's that beautiful, rich, deep yellow.  Your mind takes you through the yellow to a vibrant orange or a snow white, or even back to the gray or the lime green, when all of a sudden, BAM!, purple.  Yellow, then purple!  Just like that.  No gentle transition, no flowing, gently mixing colors, just yellow...then purple.  Damn that cut & tie.  DAMN that cut tie!  Now your scarf gently transitions from orange slowly into gray, into green, into yellow... then without any transition... purple.  Yeah... That's my scarf.  And that I can't live with.

I have such a love/hate relationship with Noro for that very reason.  Now here I am unwinding parts of my ball of yarn to find another part of it to match the yellow where I was left off.  Then there's the possibility of that screwing up the rest of the color pattern... I'm going to be stopping and starting the rest of my project to get the colors to transition smoothly.   
But that's a risk I take when I buy Noro.  And I have to say, I love the yarn enough that I will gladly take that risk, despite the frustrations.  An untrained eye would probably never notice, anyway...
 Here it is... The Spring Scarf
In other news... The baking continues.  The house cleaning continues, although the laundry situation has reached a complete standstill.  Both parties are currently in negotiations.  The house projects continue. I made a whole list of 'To Do's today.  I highly doubt we'll be able to get it all done before we blow this popsicle joint, but at least we've got some organization now.  The climbing continues,  and soon to be outdoors (!!!!) due to the impending expiration of our gym passes.  Suka's allergies continue, although we are starting to get a better handle on them and his hair seems be holding it's ground for now.  Harvey's love of snow continues.  The snow has not continued.  It hasn't snowed for quite some time now, and the remaining seems to be losing it's hold quickly. 

The Olympics have finally come to an end, and oh man, I have been a busy little bee updating the Curling Blog and replying to curling related emails on a daily basis. 

Aaaaaaannnnndddd..... That's about it.