Let there be light…and carpet

April 30, 2012 at 3:01 pm

The kids were off school today for a teacher training day (or something) and we had two plans for our day at home: electricians coming to fix a few things and cleaning up the boys’ room.

The electricians arrived right when they said they would, around 8:30.

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I REALLY appreciate promptness in home service people. These guys were great. We had three can lights that needed to be replaced and three electrical outlets that needed to be replaced. One of the guys got to work switching out the outlets…

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and the other one got to work on the can lights.

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That picture is actually quite scary. Can you tell how totally fried those wires are? These are all the original can lighting fixtures that came with the house, which is close to 30 years old. There were no “auto shut-off if overheating” features in light fixtures 30 years ago. They recommended, and I agree, that all of the can lights in the house should be replaced. We’re definitely going to do that when we get the bathrooms remodeled, which hopefully will be SOON. I don’t know how our house has not burned down yet.

The outlet replacement was really quick, so then both of the guys were working on the cans. The one that actually got us to get off of our asses and call an electrician was the bathroom light over the shower which went out last week. Dark showers may be relaxing, but really they are not that great. But now we have light in the shower again!

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The second can they replaced was in our third bedroom which we use as an office. This light blew out in a thunder storm about ten years ago and we just learned to live without it (our basic M/O). Our office has been a relative cave, lit by a couple of lamps, since well before Mack was born. It almost seems weird to have light back in there again.

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The third can light that they fixed was the far light in this hallway picture:

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I blogged about our miserable never-ending air-conditioning/duct-work replacement last summer when the A/C-duct guys somehow knocked out that light and then couldn’t figure out how to fix it. So we’ve lived with a dark hallway for many months. Now it is so bright! The whole house seems so much brighter now that we actually have lights that work again.

The electricians also went ahead and replaced the trim kits (but not the guts) on all of the can lights in the house except for the master bathroom (which we hardly use because it doesn’t work and it is going to be completely demolished in the renovation). The old trim kits had glass lenses covering the lamps, which cause them to get super hot and also make them less bright. The new trim kits are open with nothing covering the bulb. We need to get some new special dome-style bulbs to go in them, but for now they all have the shorty fluorescents in them. They had to run out to Home Depot to get the kits, but now all the rooms are much brighter because of it.

I would definitely recommend Lloyd’s Electrical Service for anyone local. They are a small local business (Lloyd himself was one of the guys doing the work) and they are very familiar with the northeast St. Pete area. Lloyd’s kids went to Shore Acres/Meadowlawn/Northeast High and he actually lives in the neighborhood. He said his wife is our mail carrier. Awesome. I think their rates were very reasonable and both guys were extremely nice and polite. The non-Lloyd guy noticed the numbers which are still slightly visible on my legs, and asked me if I did the St. Anthony’s Triathlon yesterday. Turns out he does triathlons so we had a nice little conversation about racing. It’s always fun to find somebody who will willingly talk to you about race stuff rather than just boring people who really don’t care with it. He also recommended some good sprint triathlons in the area. He says the Mad Beach sprint tri is awesome (that’s Madeira Beach).

Lloyd is also recommending two bathroom contractors for me to meet with, so I have high hopes that one of them will work out and we can get the bathrooms done this summer. I hope, I hope, I hope. It so past due. To actually have two working bathrooms in the house again would be such a luxury.

While the guys were working on the electrical stuff, the boys and I attacked their room. I have blogged this exact same phenomenon many times, but here are the “befores”:

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As always, my blood pressure went through the roof as I yelled at the boys to stop playing, stop reading comics, stop touching each other, and WORK. Also as always, Chewie was a bunch of help.

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But we got it done. I know that these are not an organizing DIY blogger’s type of “after” photos, but we unearthed the carpet and got the room done to my satisfaction.

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After we got the boys room “done” and while the electricians were still working, I rewarded the boys for not making me kill them during the cleaning process by running out to pick up lunch at Evos.

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It’s pretty easy for the boys to talk me into Evos, because I love it. I especially love the ketchup karma. My favorite is the mesquite magic.

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I got the Championburger (veggie burger) and fries. But they are “air-baked”, so healthy, right? Don’t burst my bubble.

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On the way back I snapped a couple of photos of the new McDonalds under construction on Fourth Street.

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I posted a picture of them demolishing the old McDonalds at the same location a couple of weeks ago. The new one looks like it is going to be huge. We still won’t be eating there.

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Well, maybe once just to check out its newness.

After the electricians left we spent about another hour emptying boxes full of the boys’ junk that were lining our hallway. When we clean up the great room we usually just put all of the boys stuff into boxes, then take the boxes back to their room and empty them out. However, the last two or three times that we did that, we just kept piling more stuff into the boxes in the hallway and never actually emptied them out. So our hallway has been lined with overflowing boxes of toys for several months. But now I am proud to say that the hallway is well-lit AND box-free!

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That white rectangle leaning up against the wall is actually two light-cover panels that I bought to finish replacing the ancient yellowed panels in our kitchen. This project has been 1/3 done for maybe seven months.

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Since I am in “get it done” mode, I REALLY do plan to finish that little project this week. The hold up is that cutting those thick plastic panels is really difficult. Otherwise I would have done it a long time ago. But I am putting it out on the interwebs today…I WILL finish that project this week! Keep me accountable.

I don’t usually go to the gym on Mondays, but today is the last day of their latest promotion (being the last day in April) and I have filled in eleven of the twelve group fitness classes on the card. If I can fill in the twelfth today I will get a t-shirt, and I really need another t-shirt. Actually, it just seems a shame to fill in eleven blanks and not get the last one and the prize. So I am going to go to a BodyCombat class tonight after Chad gets home. I have only done BodyCombat as part of special combo classes that the gym does on holidays. They will have an hour and a half class where they do a half hour of Bodypump, a half hour of Bodystep, and a half hour of BodyCombat. The Combat portions have always been super high intensity and hard, so I hope I live through an entire hour of the class. I just want the signature of the instructor on my little card! If I hadn’t taken all those total rest days before the Iron Girl Half Marathon, it would have been no problem. But logically I know that I needed to do that.

Happy last day of April!

Secret Society and Bodypump 81 Sunday

April 29, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Last night I went to a meeting of the Secret Society. The theme was “spring”.

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The only thing I could conjure up for that theme was bunny ears and a big flower necklace.

A huge pink cup filled with bright green/yellow margarita seems pretty spring-y too.

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We had our typical spread of health-food.

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And Annie, the only society member who does not care if I disclose her real name…

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made us pay our dues.

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The mystic rituals included the passing of the thematic head dress amongst deserving members…

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as well as the oft-cited symbolic hand gestures.

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Okay, admittedly that last photo is not one of the symbolic hand gestures. It’s just me showing off the remnants of my bad-ass body marking from the Meek & Mighty Triathlon yesterday. But I may have to submit a proposal that this hand gesture be added to the canon.

While I was at the meeting, Chad texted me this photo:

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That is a picture of the dog hair, sand, dirt and garbage that he swept up in our great room while I was doing my duties in the inner sanctum. Yes, he cleaned the house while I was out! Generally none of us care whether the house is a mess, but maybe it had reached some sort of breaking point for Chad and he took matters into his own hands. Maybe that was my evil plan all along.

I was exhausted from my 4:40 a.m. wake-up time and the triathlon yesterday, so I made a hasty departure from the meeting and crashed kind of early.

This morning I could have slept in until 8 a.m., however stupid chirping birds, kids flushing toilets, and snoring husbands woke me up at 6:30 and I couldn’t go back to sleep. I never used to have that problem, but the older I get the less I am able to sleep in. Sad.

Chad must really be bucking for husband of the year because in addition to cleaning the house…

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he also bought me new slippers…

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and new flowers!

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The boys and I had breakfast at home and then headed to the gym. First I did thirty minutes on the elliptical.

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My hip was hurting after the tri yesterday, so now that it is over I will definitely not be doing any more running at all until it is pain-free. However, biking, swimming, the elliptical, and Bodypump do not do not make my hip hurt. It seems to just be weight-bearing impact (walking/running) that makes it hurt. And really, it’s not that bad, I just want to make sure it is truly well before I start running again, because I have such big running plans for the fall and next winter (hello Ragnar Relay Florida Keys). I tried to keep my pace really high on the elliptical and keep my heart rate in the “cardio” range to try to mimic running as much as possible, although NOTHING is ever as hard as running to me.

Next up was Bodypump. I wore my Meek & Mighty race shirt!

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Even though I swear that I took a shower after the triathlon, I may not have scrubbed the sides of my arms and legs as hard as I could have.

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This weekend was the release at my gym of Bodypump 81, or the 81st version of the class. Every couple of months they do a new release with all new music and routines (although the basic class template of tracks in the order of warm-up, squats, chest, back/glutes/hamstrings, triceps, biceps, lunges, shoulders, abs, cool-down/stretching is always followed). To get everyone pumped up about the new release they always do special classes on the release weekend, and then all of the instructors will do the new release for a couple of weeks. After that, they mix in old releases or even combine tracks from different releases.

Today they had four instructors leading the class, with different instructors taking the lead on different tracks.

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Holy cow, this release was HARD! Most of the tracks had no break. I have never sweated so much in Bodypump. During the squat track a river of sweat was dripping from my elbows.

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It was awesome. The four instructors were super high energy and I loved it.

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We are just hanging out at home this afternoon and Cal has a friend coming over to practice a karate sparring routine that they are going to do for the fifth grade talent show at school. I should probably do some laundry.

The kids are off school tomorrow and we have an electrician coming to the house to fix a few things that we have ignored forever, like three wonky electrical sockets and a few can lights that don’t work.

Enjoy what remains of the weekend!