Friday, January 28, 2011

Adventures in Home Ownership: Water Damage (Part I)

I'm one of those homeowners that would rather just fix it and move on. I may not have the savvy and know how to do it alone, but goodness knows I will stalk beg politely appeal to someone who does until they help me fix it. (Sorry, Dad, that usually means you.) However, I have recently come across one problem I could not solve alone.

Water Damage.

I discovered a small pool of water collected in the bottom of the laundry closet. We checked the washer and all of its many water connections and deemed that temporary halt of its use would help us determine the cause. I stopped doing laundry (which had its own benefit, which was pseudo-discussed here.) And then, three days later, the water appeared. This led us to the conclusion that the water had to be coming from the shower, just behind the wall.

We did several experiments to try and determine which part of the shower the water was coming from. We blocked up the drain to check the basin, and then we put the water line directly on the one of the corners of the encasement... as we allowed the water to run, we noticed the water seep under the drywall in the laundry closet. Clearly we had a culprit. However, at this point the damage had gotten worse, and now linoleum tiles were pulling up from both the laundry closet and the bathroom. I decided it was time to call the my homeowners insurance company.

I have to say that I am pretty impressed with Safeco. My claim was taken late on a random weekend day. Within two days an inspector was taking measurements, two days later a 'water specialist' arrived to determine the exact location of the leak. And it was not from where we thought --- the basin was leaking, and the water was pooling underneath the basin and spreading out on either side of the shower encasement. The problem with this being that if the leak was deemed to have lasted more than two weeks, my particular coverage would no longer cover the damage. The description provided to me by the water specialist didn't give me much hope...So I waited several days before my wonderful insurance claim lady called back. Assuming the worst, I was pleasantly surprised to hear that my claim would be covered and that the company was sending out a specialist to look for specific water damage, mold and other types of damage.

And that brings us to today.  This morning, the water damage dudes came out to the house. They noticed some water damage in the other bathroom, and took out some dry wall to look at both bathrooms. Luckily, there was no major water damage, rot or mold. They did put ginormous green industrial fans in both bathrooms and in the face of both drywall holes. I am supposed to let them run and hang out until tomorrow, or the next day, when they come pick them up. Until then, I get to figure out how to use the facilities around giant green fans and possibly shower at the gym. See!! Another good reason to have joined the gym!

The fan in the kitchen blowing into the bathroom. 
Hall bathroom: Anyone need to use the facilities?
Master bedroom: fanning out underneath the shower. 
Master Bathroom: Being mastered by the green fan! 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Adventures in Fitness: Goals

I know, I know. It's terribly cliché ¹ to start talking about being healthier as soon as the new year hits. And to be honest, I go through this same cycle every... single... year. Each year I resolve to eat healthier, work out more, be a better person -- blah, blah, blah. Some years it has worked out for a while... others, well, not so much.

At first I had resolved that this year would be a year of no resolutions. I had resolved to not put any unneeded pressure on myself by creating resolutions I will inevitably give up because it stresses me out. That plan lasted a whole two weeks.

I caved. It basically started when Aaron and I joined the gym. He and I had been trying to work out on the at-home elliptical trainer in the office reguarly. (Admitting, he was much better at it than I; his 'regularly' was several times a week, mine was Mondays.) Then the stupid thing starting making this high-pitched squeaking noise. For some reason, this tauntingly annoying sound only reared its ugly head when my pathetic booty dragged itself aboard. That's when we joined the gym.

At the gym, they want to you to have 'goals' and 'plans.' My plan was to get my ass to the gym. But the not-so-subtle proding of the gym staff made me think... what could my goals be? I have had the lifelong goal of not being on the 'obese' (aka super-fat) end of the BMI Chart. (I would like to give mad props to myself for exiting out of the 'extremley obese' (aka super-ultra-fat) section of the chart about two years ago. Go me! But I digress...) I would be happy if I could stand proudly in the 'overweight'  (aka chubby and happy) section of the chart. But I figure that goal is always there. I needed a better one. So I stole one.

By the end of 2011, I will do one unassisted pull-up.*

* Stolen from my friend Chelsea's 30 by 30 list, featured on her blog Lovely Indeed.

¹ Cliché is in italics because it is French, and therefore needs to be in fancy pants italics. Ooh la la. You learn something new every day!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Adventures in Anticipation

Laissez le Bon temp rouler y'all! 
and let the countdown begin! 

I am going to New Orleans, Louisiana exactly one month from today. I am so excited I can hardly stand it! I'm a gonna sip some cafe au lait while eatin' a beignet at Cafe du Monde. I am going to listen the big boys blow down at Preservation Hall. I might even try to catch a glimpse of a krewe getting started on the forthcoming Mardi Gras parade. 

But I would love to hear from you --- have you ever been? What are the best things to see and do in the Big Easy? 

A Romantic French Quarter Balcony
{photo via}

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Bloggin' Birthdays!

Today is my blog birthday! I started blogging a year ago today!

Thank you to the wonderful people who have read, continue to read or will ever read this blog.

I am very grateful to all of my readers, whether you are one of my truly awesome three followers or a random reader! I extend even bigger thanks to those of you who have left comments throughout the year -- I really appreciate your thoughts and your willingness to share them. I welcome anyone and everyone to stop a share a comment or two... I love to hear what you have to say!

Thank you ♥ Thank you ♥ Thank you

{Photo from Graceful Cake Creations on Flickr}

Mmmm. Birthday cake. Let's all have some, shall we? (Yes, I think I shall!) 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Year of Adventure ... 2010

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."
Charles Dickens

For me, 2010 was a very interesting year. I have so many things to be thankful for and so many blessings that have occurred throughout the year... but it would be remiss of me to not mention the challenges as well. I know I kind of  ignore or glaze over those things traditionally. I just prefer to try to see the happiness of it all, and not dwell on the negative! But, I think it is important to mention the challenges, because they are just as much a part of who you are and who you become.

The worst of times.... 

Due to the California budget mess, everyone in my district took a 8.5% pay cut. Brutal.  

In addition to a pay cut, I was given an "involuntary reassignment" to sixth grade. 

Summer vacation was non-existent thanks to summer school, math trainings and moving classrooms. 

Sixth grade is not as easy as I remember. I am lucky if I am organized and ready for them when they walk in the door.

My classroom, prior to its fancy paint job, November 2010.
Yes, while school was in session, we were displaced
right before Thanksgiving .

The best of times...

Do you? Do you? You're married! 
Even though I whined a lot about it, I am super excited to report that I went snowboarding for the first time. 

Browsing through the internet and various cookbooks led me to many new awesomely delicious recipes. 

My baby brother got married! And I officiated the wedding! 
(I cannot believe I did not blog about that! OMG! I might have to do a retro-adventure blog on that one!) 

Despite my aversion to new tastes and textures, I tried many new and adventurous food items, like crab, lobster, sushi, alligator and biscotti! 

Sight-seeing at its best, I got to go on several wonderful, trips including visiting both Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks. 

Beautiful new windows were installed in my pretty, little house. We are also nearly finished with a little patio outside of my brand-new sliding glass door. 

But I think the best thing that happened this year was that I got a roommate. How could I not feel blessed when this handsome thing is waiting for me when I come home every day?

{Photo compliments of Kevin Plattner}

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

I thought I would start off the new year with a little something old and new, and maybe a little TMI!

In many Spanish-speaking cultures, one of the most popular New Year's Eve traditions involves wearing new matching underwear in a certain color to determine what kind of experience you will have in the forthcoming new year.

This colorful underwear tradition has been traced all the way back to Spain in the Middle Ages, when it was forbidden to wear bright colors. Even then the people of Spain believed wearing yellow would bring them good fortune, so they wore the color underneath their clothes.

As the tradition as evolved, various colors have come to signify different things. Yellow is said to bring a year of happiness, fortune and success. Red ushers in a year of passion and romance. Pink brings the wearer a year of luck in love. White may bring you a year of peace, harmony and happiness. Blue means a year of good health, and green signifies a year of better luck. 

Should you want to improve your luck even more, some cultures believe that wearing your brand-new underwear inside out as you ring in the new year will give your luck an added boost. 

I don't know about you, but I would like all of those things.... with that being said, I am pretty sure my brand-new, multi-colored polka dot bra and panties should help make 2011 the best  year ever! ♥