June 30, 2008

Training Ride Update:

Over the weekend we had our group training ride and cookout to get pumped up for the MS Ride in July.

It was hosted by one of our team members, who has a beautiful home in Villa Hills, KY. Note that I said Villa Hills, so yep you can bet there were lots of hills along the ride!

Now about those hills, I've been riding my Dolce on many occasions and was feeling that I was pretty ready for the MS Ride, however after this past weekend's ride, I feel like I've been hit by a bus! I tried riding up a road called Amsterdam Rd. and boy was it an eye opener....talk about some serious windy hills. 

It seemed like it was never going to end and I felt like I was never going to make it to flat road. I didn't even make it a quarter a the way up the hill and had to get off and walk the bike the rest of the way up the hill! I was really bummed to have to get off the bike, but I still felt like I was getting a work out...at one point I was dripping with so much sweat, I'm sure I lost 5 pounds!

I have to admit that I didn't feel well the whole ride...but I powered through it and even though I had to walk up Amsterdam Rd., I did finish out the ride on the bike and overall it felt good to power through the tough parts.

I'm sure the cookout was great, but I was so beat from the hill & not feeling so great that we had to leave early. I certainly didn't want to be sick in front of everyone!!

The MS Ride is only 2 weeks away and after this ride I'm leaning toward the 50 miles each day, but we'll see how I'm feeling on Day 1 of the ride! Hopefully I'll feel better and at least try to ride the 75 miles on the first day....then maybe 50 miles the second day?!?!

Click this link to my fundraising page if you're interested in making a donation to the MS Society.


June 26, 2008

Who Forgot to Pay the Maid?

Really...I mean the inside of the house is looking pretty rough around the edges (baseboards, windows, bathroom & kitchen floors, counter tops, laundry, all of it!). Guess we've been spending so much time working on our Curb Appeal, neither of us have tried to keep up with the "house cleaning duties".

I realized the place was quite messy when JJ mentioned the idea of having some friends over for dinner. Absolutely Not, I said, our place is a mess....dog & cat hair EVERYWHERE, dust bunnies in all corners, crumbs on the kitchen floor in front of the pantry....you name it in the lack of cleaning department and I bet I can locate it in our little Cape Cod house.

This lack of cleaning brings up another question....who does the cleaning in your house? If you live with someone or lots of someones, then who does what? In college, many people have a cleaning chart , sharing the duties one a week (or once a month). Should a couple have this system too? Some of my friends split it up like this: He does the "outside chores" (Lawn care, Trash & Garbage duties, etc.), She does the "inside chores" (Dusting, Mopping, Counter tops, etc). What about the laundry...each person does his/her own dirty clothes?

Our system works pretty well for the most part. We each do our own laundry...I cut the grass and he does the weed whacking (mostly b/c I can't seem to work the trimmer!). Inside the house, we usually split it up, I'll take the kitchen, he takes the bathroom, which I appreciate - Hint, Hint !!!

The only good news to this posting is that now I have stated the problem and will have to fix it...Bet you can guess what we'll be doing this weekend - CLEANING!!

June 11, 2008

As they say on HGTV, it's all about Curb Appeal!

One of my favorite shows is Curb Appeal. It's this fantastic 30 minutes of television (well, not really 30 when you count the commercials!), anyways on the show a homeowner submits their home for a face lit of sorts, where a landscape designer will come out and put together a plan to update the outside of the house. Usually this includes a new coat of paint, possibly new windows to be more specific to the time period when the home was built, and almost always new landscaping for the front of the house. This brings me to my latest project going on ... working on the curb appeal for my 1960's Cape Cod house!

First up is the front landscaping, or lack there of in my case! When I bought my house it was framed with some old school bushes, that in my mind, had to go. With the help and muscles of JJ, this was a taken care of within the first few months of moving in. Below is a picture the front of the house after the bushes were removed.
This Spring I decided it was time to get a plan together to add some shrubs & flowers to make the walk up to the home more welcoming. I enlisted the help of a "landscape guru" I work with and also got some get advice from a local garden shop to get the plan moving. I spray painted the layout I wanted and edged the lawn to form the area where the front flower beds will be added:

After the grass died off, it was time for the heavy duty tools. And with heavy duty machinery, comes the help of JJ and his muscles!! We borrowed a tiller and used it to break up the dirt and pull out the old clumps of dead grass. Going on the advice of the "guru", we added some Peat Moss to the soil to get it ready for the new plants. From that point it went pretty fast, I picked out the foundation shrubs I wanted to use....Green Mountain Boxwoods & Rose Glow Barberries. Added some small mounding grass called Liriope and used different annuals like Impatiens and Zinnias to add some color.

After the planting was done, I used some brown small pine bark mulch to finish up the beds for this season. I think I may add some more perennials over time, but this is a great start for now. Overall, I'm really happy with the plants I've chosen and hope that my research pays off to make sure they are planted in the correct amount of sun/shade.

Next up on the Curb Appeal...painting the house!

Got any color suggestions?!?!

June 05, 2008

Kids say the funniest things...

Listen to this great interaction between myself, a friend and her daughter:

Guess you can tell who her parents will be voting for in November!

June 03, 2008

Do you know what a "flashing" is ... ?

Not that kind of "flashing"...Come on people, get your minds out of the gutters and indulge me in a few moments of telling you how I spent my "economic stimulus" package money.

That's right, I spent it on flashing's...the upper and lower flashing to be exact on the chimney for my house. Now it goes without saying that this is not how I wanted to spend this extra bit of cash so generously handed out by the U.S. government. But when you're a homeowner, as I'm learning, there are a few things you don't mess with when problems arise.
(For example: Roof/Chimney Troubles, Plumbing Issues, Furnace Problems, etc.)

According to Merriam-Webster.com, a flashing is sheet metal used in waterproofing (as at roof valleys or hips or the angle between a chimney and a roof). If you are new to the "roofing" terms, some of that will sounds confusing, at least it did to me. So, I give you a picture of the old bad flashing on my chimney to better describe a flashing:

OK - so a flashing is basically the metal squares where the roof shingles meet the brick of the chimney. I've learned that it's important to keep this metal parts in check b/c is they get old and crack away from the bricks, then rain water can leak in and cause all kinds of problems. (Luckily most of my problem is located in the ceiling of the garage, but some trouble spots are peaking through on the walls along the chimney wall.)

Going on the advice of some reliable neighbors, I called in the roofing experts to get these flashing's fixed! Within 2 weeks time, the problem was fixed with some other necessary maintenance was done to pro-long the life of the chimney and roof on my 1st home. Below I give you my new flashing's:
Are those not the prettiest flashing's you've ever seen! HaHaHa, just try to make it sound like a enjoyed spending my money on home repairs! But I am thankful I'm able to own a home and have the means to fix the problems when needed, don't get me wrong.

It's just that I was hoping to help the economy and spend my $600 stimulus check at the brand new IKEA on new furniture for the bedroom...guess that will have to wait!! Hope you've enjoyed learning a little about the roofing industry through my experiences as a home owner!