Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Family camping

We were invited to go camping with John's half sister's family last weekend, what a blast!
For the dogs first camping trip they did really well, only whining when I left to go on the four wheeler. Other than that they just laid in the dirt next to our chairs and napped.

Friday night after setting up camp my brother in law and I went for a ride on the four wheelers. Just a few minutes out with me in the lead I crashed into a bush :). Let me explain, I was coming down a hill that went right into a turn, I hit a bump, lost the hand breaks (since my finger tips barely hit them when they're not compressed), missed the turn and went into the bush. After Ben and I had a good laugh at my expense he pushed me out and we carried on our way.
After some dinner Ben, John and I went back out. I took Enna along to see how she'd do. She loved it. She would stand on her hind legs when we went really fast so she could get more wind and loved watching the wild life fly by.

The first night I slept awful, our air mattress was on a slight hill so I felt like I was sliding the whole night. An appendage would also fall asleep no matter what way I slept so I'd have to wake up a hand or foot all night long.
At least the dogs slept peacefully and didn't make a peep until the next morning.
Here they are looking sleepy in their crate. Poor Enna was shivering, but I don't know if it was from the cold or that she wanted out really badly.

Only one off leash walk with the dogs since it's an ATV campground and it was a quick one, but the dogs loved jumping through the tall grass and chasing the potguts.

During the day everyone convinced my mother in law to get on the back of a four wheeler. Looks like she had a blast doesn't it?

Saturday night we went on a short hike around the campsite with the kids. They found this cute teeter totter and had to hop on for a ride.

Sunday morning we took our time getting packed back up and took one more trip out on the four wheelers. This time I finally took my camera along and shot some pictures. It was gorgeous there. Fairview Canyon is on of my favorite places to camp, could be because that's where I went the most as a child.
This is the back of John's head as I try not to fall off the back of the four wheeler.

When we got back to camp we finished packing up and headed on home. Everyone got a bath when we got home and washed about 20 pounds of dirt off.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Movie Reviews

Check out my other blog: to see some movie reviews I just posted.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


John and I consider ourselves pretty big movie buffs, we love all types and usually don't judge too harshly. So we're starting the goal of watching all the movies on the 1001 movies to see before you die list.
As a side experiment I started a new blog to review each movie we watch. It's still in test mode and I don't know if I'll follow through on it yet. (depends on if anyone even likes it)

Some movies will get short reviews and some will get long. Of course I'll be recruiting people to write some of the reviews for me since I don't do all genres i.e. horror.
Also some of the movies on the 1001 list I have seen already but aren't in the "ready to review" list because I either (A) dont remember them well enough and (B) dont know if John has seen them.
Some are just too popular to review since everyone and their dog has seen the movie.
(I dont think I've ever used the word "some" so much in my life!)
Let me know what you think!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Granite, epic journey part 3

Last Wednesday our living room looking like this:

Now it looks like this:

What a good birthday present. The TV and couch have also been moved back into the room until we get the money for the ceiling. As I napped on the couch yesterday I thought of how much I loved having the room back...for now.

Friday, June 18, 2010

How our home remodeling goes

Day 1: Be really excited about new project. Go to Lowe's 7,000 times to get supplies and wander around the store deciding on what we'll buy for future projects that have nothing to do with project we're working on now.

Day 10: still be excited and have gotten a handful of things done. Make goals that everything will be done in 2 weeks knowing full well that this isn't true. Be excited that project will be finished in 2 weeks and make plans to throw a party to show off work.

Day 13: Work on project with a little less enthusiasm. Nikki will lay on the floor, feet propped up on wall, telling John that we need to work harder and this has to get done SOON! Nikki will then whine when John asks her to go to Lowe's because then she'll have to put on real pants and try to not look homeless. Wouldn't want Lisa at Lowe's to think less of her.

Day 18: Work in short spurts, disappointed that more hasn't gotten done. After 15 minutes of work, give up and go watch 12" TV in bedroom because if we hook up the big TV we wont work on project. Also 12" TV cant be hooked up to satellite for same reason so only movies can be watched.

Day 23: Get really excited again because something big is going to happen with project. Go out for ice cream to celebrate. Come home and watch 12" TV because you still have ___ number of days until big thing happens.

This is where we're at in the "dry" bar project. Stuff has gotten done but not really. The cabinets still aren't fully installed but we're blaming this on the fact that we had to paint a wall.
BUT!!!! Our granite is done!!! so that means we get to install it on Saturday (this is me hoping that it will be installed Saturday, when I talked to John about it he said, "We just have to go get it Saturday, doesn't mean it has to be installed." I better get my way!!) So we're working hard on getting everything prepared for the granite.

Sadly after this nothing will be getting done until we save up the money for sheetrock and lights. Then after that we have to save up the money for cabinet doors and drawer fronts. So after the glorious granite post dont expect anything on the "dry" bar for a few weeks.

P.S. The saltwater fish tank wont be complete for a REALLY long time because of how much it costs so the room will be considered done before that.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I miss my friend

I miss Dana.
I dont go to Tanner nearly as much as I use to because I dont have anyone who really wants to go with me.
I miss not seeing Makoa get super excited the minute Dana comes into view, I miss how he ran up to her with his whole body wiggling and his puppy smile.
I miss kumo, so does Enna. I asked her last night how much she missed him and she whined, licked my nose then ran to the front door waiting for Kumo to show up.

I'm happy for Dana's new life in Cali but I wish I could clone her and Kumo. They could live with me forever and we could have lots of puppy adventures.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

BBQ beef brisket

I love using my slow cooker and I've been trying to use it a couple times a week to make dinner easier. Yesterday was BBQ beef brisket and it was delish!

1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
3 pounds beef brisket, trimmed of fat (unless you're lazy like me, then I just put it in fat side up and scrap it off when it's done cooking)
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring (dont have liquid smoke so I used more BBQ sauce)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups barbeque sauce

1.Combine thyme, paprika, pepper, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, and cumin in a small bowl; set aside. Rub brisket all over with liquid smoke, then rub with spice mixture.
2.Pour Worcestershire and barbeque sauces into a slow cooker; place beef on top. Cover, and cook on LOW 8 to 10 hours, until fork tender.

I cut the brisket in half and marinated it over night in the rub, a little BBQ sauce, and John's grandmother's homemade chili sauce. When I got home I could smell it cooking before I even opened the garage door.

This morning hasn't been that great. My allergies are kicking my butt so I didn't sleep well, I had to rush call a payment that was due two days ago that I asked John to pay but never got done (I dont know why I even asked him, if I wasn't around nothing would get paid) and when I tried to put some baked potato soup in the crock pot everything was going against me.
We had no milk for the soup so I grabbed a can of evaporated milk. When I started pouring it in (trying not to drop my cell phone in the pot while the lady on the other end had me repeat my account number for the 5th time) it was lumpy. "Oh crap!" I thought and looked at the expiration date. October of 2007, dang.
Looks like I'll be running to the store after work to get more milk, totally defeating the convince of the crock pot.

But I hope this brisket gets you in the mood for summer!

Monday, June 14, 2010


I'm not a fan of red roses, but when I spotted the perfect shade of red mini rose bush at Albertson's I had to pick it up.
It was back when we were living in the apartment and I really wanted some house plants. Even though people will tell you that mini roses can live indoors they really thrive and do better out.
I planted this little fellow in the backyard last April since it was looking so pitiful inside and it seems pretty happy now.

It's such a pretty shade of red and not one you really see on roses. It's a strong little bugger since it has to deal with Makoa on a daily bases. As you can see, one of the buds has been broken off.

Thrive and flourish little fella!

Early morning marathon

Saturday mornings are made for sleeping in but I found myself waking up at 3 AM to drive John to Provo to run his half marathon.
Little Enna was being so cute, following me around and licking my foot when I stopped walking, so she had to tag along with us.

We picked up John's mom, stopped to get gas (not an easy task in Magna in the early morning hours) and headed off to Happy Valley.
John was dropped off at 4:30 AM to catch a bus to head up the canyon, my mother-in-law, Enna and I parked John's truck and tucked ourselves in for the long haul.
We chatted about everything and everything and then caught some Z's while we waited for 7:00 AM to roll around, John's estimated finish time.

We watched the first runner come in at a little after 7, he missed the final turn and someone had to go catch him :)
After a few more runners came by we headed out into the soggy weather to wait for John.
Enna thought it was great fun that everyone was running by her and would wag her tail at each participant. Her way of saying, "Your almost done! Keep it up!"

While waiting we talked of the beautiful cloud formations surrounding the mountains, I had to preserve the memory so I took a few shots. Nothing spectacular since I didn't want to run though the puddles to find a better location.

We also got a kick out of seeing who was practically dying and who looked like they were out for a leisurely stroll.

I'd like to say is was around 7:20 when John came into view, but I'm not sure since I didn't check a clock.
We shot some pictures and cheered him on.

We then headed off to the finish line to see him cross but he finished before we got there. I then stood around doing my normal thing when I have Enna (no she's not a puppy, yes she's full grown, yes she was a lot of money, no we dont have a miniature sled, blah blah blah) waiting for John to turn in his running chip and gather his stuff.

John finished the run in an hour and 52 minutes but they haven't posted where he placed in the race yet.
He did really well and now he's training for the full marathon on the 24th of July.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


So when John gets distracted lights aren't turned off and doors are shut, this is even worse when he's really wrapped up in a project.
Last night was the worst. We let the dogs downstairs with us since they usually just lie on the floor chewing their bones, but most of the other doors downstairs need to stay closed. My craft room has all of our furniture from the living room in it, the guest room (which really is hold-John's-crap room) is very full of saw dust and I dont want it tracked through the house and the storage room is where Sophi's litter box is and the dogs like to get in it.

John ran from room to room doing God only knows what and leaving every door open in his path meaning the dogs followed and/or chased the cat in after. Then I would herd everyone out (when I could find Sophi) and close the door again.

Then John went upstairs to turn off a breaker and next thing I know the dogs are chasing the cat around upstairs. I turn to John and say, "You didn't close the baby gate!" and his answer, "I wasn't the last one who went up there!"
Yes, yes he was. I hadn't gone upstairs since I came down to start working.

I think he's losing his memory because all cases where something wasn't shut his answer was, "I wasn't the last one...."

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Flowers and such

Like I said, most of my flowers have bloomed and I have to say I think the bed looks pretty good for only being a year old! I like to walk the beds every day to see what's new and exciting, also to pull the occasional weed.
This bed is doing far better than the one on the left. I think it's because it was getting more water from the sprinkling system, but I should have fixed that. I bought this little sprinkling kit that hooks onto the hose faucet, a little unsightly but it gets the job done.

A few more flowers still need to bloom; the rest of my lilies, my dianthus and peacocks, my blanket flowers, cosmos and dahlias. But I do think the garden is looking nice, very cottagey in my opinion.

Here is my mini rose bush in the left bed. My family gave it to me for my last birthday and I love it. The last frosts sure got to it though so the leaves aren't looking that great, at least the flowers are intact.

I would like to take credit for this beautiful dahlia but I cant, it's one I bought last Friday for the left bed. Not a lot is blooming over there so I felt like it needed some cheering up. I hope my poppies bloom this year, they'll really liven the place up.
(yes those are forks you can see in the pictures. I had a huge cat problem last year and they killed a lot of my flowers, especially the left bed. So I'm trying everything in my power to get them to stop using my garden as a litter box)

Let me show you what I did last night:

That right there is 4 GFCI sockets hooked together *fist pumps air* That's pretty rad in my book and I'm very pleased with myself.
John loves to micro manage and usually I sit quietly and let him tell me how everything goes together even though I know what I'm doing. I couldn't hold my smile though once he started telling me how to know which way is up on the socket. He then promised he'll try really hard not to micro manage.

Want to see what John did last night? Well that's too bad because I'm not going to show you. It would look like he did more than me and maybe he did but I like to pretend that my work was harder and I dont want to distract from my awesomeness. So lets focus back on my 4 GFCIs shall we?

Monday, June 7, 2010

busy hot weekend, epic journey part 2

This weekend was busy with projects.
First off my sister graduated from high school on Friday (Congratulations!) so we attended that and went to lunch with the fam after.

I bought some gorgeous flowers that evening for the backyard and a couple for the front. It was a nice night to plant and I really enjoyed my time in the dirt. Most of my flowers are bloomed so I'll have to put some pictures up.
No basement work was done Friday night since John had to replace the swamp cooler's water line that the dogs destroyed or else we might have died of heat stroke.

Saturday morning I let the dogs out in the backyard and an hour later I checked on them. Makoa had chewed up the water line again (thrilling John to pieces) and had started on the TV cable line.
We had to find a cure for this behavior since we cant be out supervising the dogs the whole time and they're spending more and more time in the backyard alone while we do work in the basement.
Our solution, Chicken wire. It looks appalling but so far seems to be doing it's job. Makoa hasn't tried to chew anything it's wrapped around yet, well see if it'll hold.
We also took the day off from the basement and went to see Robin Hood. Good movie, Russel Crowe is dreamy.

I'm not sure how John can talk me into these things, he makes these points and at the time I think, "Wow! That's brilliant!" and let him do whatever he wants.
So now our whole basement ceiling is gone, I'm still not sure why...
John decided that he wanted to rearrange the furniture in the basement so the cable line had to be moved so the ceiling had to come out. I know I'm baffled too.

So now my family room resembles how it did when we first moved in minus all the crap shoved to one side of the room and the scattering of dog toys.
On the plus side we can get all new lighting now. :) bad side is we have to look at unfinished sheetrock for who knows how long.
So if you need ideas for my birthday coming up, you can ease our suffering by buying a gift card to Lowe's (while there say it's for the Voshell's, they'll know who we are ;)) or a gift card to Best Buy. Yes I just advertised my birthday on my blog, but can you blame me?

John tore down the ceiling Sunday while I hauled the sheetrock out to his truck. It was hot, sweaty, dusty, stinky work.
Then came the hard stuff that I couldn't really help with without being in the way.
We want the fish tank on it's own breaker because it will use up SOOO much electricity and we dont want to trip the breaker every time I vacuum. We had an empty 30 amp breaker so John changed it to two 20 amps. That was the easy part. To get the "fish" wire to the breaker box he had to take the breaker box out of the wall meaning that all power had to be cut and all wires had to be taken out. Getting the wire the the breaker box was the easy part, John fished it up the wall and I grabbed the end when it finally poked through. Putting the breaker box back into the wall was the hard part. It took John an hour and a half. Since I didn't have anything to do (couldn't help John, lap top had died, power was off so couldn't make dinner) I sat outside with the dogs and ate popsicles.
We were without power for a good 3 working hours (more if you count the trips to Lowe's and the grocery store).

Finally when everything was back in place and the power was back on we ran the wire to the future fish tank's home and put in one double socket.
That's as far as we got this weekend. This week's goals is the get electrical all done, Reverse Osmosis filter in (another could-be-hard project) and cabinets installed.
Let's hope we can get it all done since this weekend John will be incapacitated since he's running is half marathon Saturday morning. Cross your fingers for us!

On a side note I apologize for everything I write turning into a novel.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Mold seems to follow me

I was starving to death so I bought some donuts out of the vending machine. I happily popped one into my mouth and instantely thought, "Why does this taste like a nail salon?" ironically I looked at the package at the same time this thought came into my head and read, "New package, same great taste!" and was like, "LIES!"
I was really hungry so I was like, "oh well" and popped in another one. It still tasted awful.
Then I opened the package fully and almost passed out. White mold covered the rest of my donuts. I shreiked. Even thinking about it right now makes me want to vomit.

I got my money back on the rancid donuts but if I get sick or die I'm going to be really upset. I dont think I can ever eat crumb donuts again...dang I really liked those.

Update: I'm 65.2% sure that I'm developing a fever...and when I burp it tastes like a nail salon again....oh poop I think I'm not going to make it!

The epic journey of our basement part 1

Want to see a picture of what our family room looks like right now? I bet you do! well here it prepared that it's very frightening!
I'm not sure why all our home projects mean tear out the ceiling but they do, so we did. Another hole. This one will be filled again but not finished. Eventually the whole ceiling will be torn out to replace the crappy lights, awful texture and put in surround sound. This will hopefully be next year but we have to save our pennies for a good surround sound system so until then we'll get to look at unfinished sheetrock. How luxurious.

So I think my true calling in life is to be an electrician. I really do enjoy running wires and putting in outlets, it's like a puzzle but I know where all the pieces go. The one thing I do hate though is pig tailing, if you dont know what pig tailing is all you need to know is that it's of the devil. You have to twist multiple wires together and then stick a wire nut on them. Easier said than done.
It took me a good while to get the stupid black wires pig tailed and once I did John came over and yanked on one of the wires, pulled it out of the wire nut and then starred at me. With lips pursed together and eyes glaring I said, "Well if you didn't Incredible Hulk it out it would still be in there!"
See the wires are suppose to STAY in the wire nut and that one would have it John hadn't super human strengthed it out!
He then left to let me fix his super power moment while I mumbled to myself about how stupid pig tailing is and how it might have only caused a little house fire. Did I also mention that I stuck my tongue out at him? Well I did.

After the pig tailing adventure (I told John that we should have left the socket out of the wall so I could show everyone how wonderful I am, he didn't agree) We ran wires from where the light for the "dry" bar is going to be (top left corner in above picture) to the old light socket.

This is the new wiring and new special light switches with glider dimmer things, please ignore the fact that they are hanging out of the wall. They don't fit in the box we bought so it's off to Lowe's again.
I'm not particularly in love with the placement of the light boxes but after John's battle with the old box and mutilating the wall, I wasn't about to say, "So about the box placement..." and have his wrath rain down upon me. I just kept my mouth shut and let him stick it where ever the crap he wanted it.

And now the journey of Sophi in front of a pile of crap. You might have to click on it to actually see whats going on. Notice how she stops to investigate something on the wall. She's always a big help with our projects, carrying off screws and lying on top of what we need.

In other news I want to say a big congrats to my high school bestie who had her baby early yesterday morning. If I believed in procreating I'd want a baby as cute as her little son. *insert picture of cutest baby you've ever seen here, I dont want to put his picture up here without her permission*
Her and her hubby will make great parents and of course I'll make a great auntie :)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I promise we're smart

Just to prove that John and I aren't as dumb as a can of SPAM I'm letting you know that when digging up our basement we didn't just say, "Now that looks like a good place for a sewer line!" and hammer away. We went to the water company and got our plumbing plan. They just lied to us and probably gave us our neighbors plan...or maybe we dont have a sewer line and our waste just magically disappears....

Any who, many people have asked and I promise John and I do think our plans through on occasion.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

new blogs to stock...i mean read

This may be news to most but I love to laugh. I know, shocking! In fact I have a really hard time being serious (thanks Father) so of course I like blogs that make me chuckle. Here are a couple:

Sadly I have never perfected my haiku writing, a very valid life skill, but Winona has. Her blog is mostly about fashion but she's very witty. In fact some of her posts had me laughing (read as snorting) uncontrollably at work causing people to glance awkwardly at me while worrying about my sanity.
In fact if her About Me thing doesn't have you in hysterics than something is wrong with you (seriously).

Next is this little gem.She adds Paint drawings to her posts to nararate her meaning. Let me tell you, there's some talent right there! I can barely manage filling in a square let alone making art. It pretty much has me rolling on the floor in a fit of glee.

Have fun "working" now :)

So many trips to Lowe's

Well the weekend got better. We tried not to dwell on the fact that we cant have a sink and continued work.
The design will change now to just going straight across the wall instead of L shaped meaning we can save some of the granite we bought for the vanity counter top remodel that's in the distant future.
Electrical design also changed but that's not very exciting to talk about.

When John cut out the sheetrock to run electrical we found black mold on the sheetrock in the adjoining room. Not really sure how it got there since it's not by any water, we're thinking that it's from the previous owners. I've heard some weird stories about them from my neighbors and we're coming across their escapades.
I knew they kept a giant boa constrictor in the room that is now our family room and we found where the tank was when we pulled up the carpet. It was a huge cage, we're talking 4 feet by 5 feet and it looks like it was nailed into the cement. They also had the heating lamp hard wired into the ceiling and left the light boxes for us right in the middle of the room. How nice. Good thing that whole ceiling is being ripped out (not all of it right now, just sometime in the future)and those can be tossed.
So back to the mold, we have to tear out the mold infested sheetrock in the bedroom and replace it. We dont want to die from some random disease now, do we?

After 6 trips to Lowe's and 4 to Home Depot (oh I'm not exaggerating, I promise) we should have returned everything we dont need and have everything we do. John somewhat started electrical last night but by 7:30 he was hungry for dinner and we decided to call our weekend quits. At least the dirt is back in the trying-to-find-sewer-line hole and cemented.

We did buy our first fish related thing this weekend though, dont get too excited, it's nothing you'd even see.
It's a Reverse Osmosis filter for the top off mechanism (that we dont have yet) for the sump (which we also dont have yet).
John needed it to do the plumbing while the sheetrock is cut out so we're a 1/16th of the way there on the fish! Woot!

Tonight is going to be a long night, I'm wishing I would have put meatloaf in the crock pot...