So, what's it like living in two homes at the same time?

August and September 2008

Written by John  22 Sep 2008

In the last page I detailed the events of our move to our Boise home and our work in starting to get the home fixed up to a livable condition, including buying a little furniture. I mentioned that after painting the garage floor we added the painting of the garage walls and ceiling to our to-do list. Since that writing John, Jill and Jerica used up most of 5 gallons of paint doing just that. We got a shade of gray that looked like it might be a nice color, and it is, but it turned out more purple than we had thought. Of course, Jerica was pleased by that, being a "purple fanatic." I'm sorry that I don't have a picture to show here, but I was negligent and didn't take one yet.

Our bedroom has an interesting "cove" adjacent to the bathroom measuring 40" wide by 24" deep that Jill decided needed to have shelves. So we bought a 1x4 and some 5/8" plywood and put them together. Jill found some quarter round that we adapted to the front edges, then we painted them all with some left-over paint that we had in the garage. They turned out looking pretty good, don't you think? Jill had all her sewing crates ready to put on them. We also have a couple buckets of wheat we recently purchased on the floor level.

There was some shingle damage to the roof of our home which occurred a while back during a wind storm (as reported by Jackie). We had brought out the step ladder, which I thought would get me on the roof with no problem, since it works in Eagan, but the Boise home must be a little taller. I probably could have made it to the roof without killing myself, but I was a little spooked about the large step from the top of the ladder to the roof, and knowing how prone to accidents I have become (see my page on my recent bike accident), I decided not to chance it. Instead, I bought a couple 10'-long 2x4s and one 8' long and Jerica and I made them into a 10' ladder. Jill was astounded that I could "make" a ladder, but there's really not much to it if you don't have to fold or extend it. I have it hanging on a couple hooks on a wall in the garage now.

I have been able to keep up my bike riding in Boise, mostly going south from our home. The roads are mostly flat, but there are a few hills so I can keep up my climbing practice. Contemplating entering the City Creek Sprint in Salt Lake City on the 11th of October, I wanted to do some riding at higher elevations. The 15-mile road to Bogus Basin ski resort gets up to 6000 feet, so I thought that would be a good ride. In early September I drove the truck up to the governor's mansion, then rode up 10 miles to just past the 5000-ft level. It was never too steep, but was a near constant climb and it really wore me out. A couple days later I drove the truck up a little higher to about the 4000-ft level,  then rode the rest of the way, which amounted to about 9 miles. This time I had more strength and was able to make the ride quite easily. I didn't even have any breathing trouble at 6000 feet. So I think I may be in fair shape for the City Creek Sprint.

In the early part of September our daughter-in-law, Kelly, mentioned to us that her blood pressure was high and she would probably be put on bed rest soon. That was really stressing her out because she didn't know how she could possibly submit to that with her three active boys. With Jerica also anxious to get back to Minnesota, we decided we needed to make the trip a little earlier than originally planned. So on the 9th of September, with the Honda Civic packed with most of Jerica's things and just a little of John's and Jill's things, and John's and Jerica's bikes loaded up, we headed out at 8:00 PM, planning to drive straight through. With Jerica's youthfulness helping her stay awake during her time to drive in the wee hours of the next morning, we made it and got to Eagan 23.5 hours after leaving.

The next day, September 11th, was my birthday. So what did I get for my birthday? Early in the morning I went out to the work room to do something and discovered that the floor was covered with water and the ceiling was drooping and very soggy. After tearing down a little of the wet dry wall of the ceiling, I thought the problem was a leaky elbow joint in the copper pipe feeding the hot water to the main kitchen sink. But after a little investigating, I determined it was coming from above in the kitchen. I felt around and found moisture on the pipes under the sink, but couldn't pinpoint the source of the leak. Jill was the perceptive one and found it was in the hot water valve. I tried tightening the joint after finding it already fairly tight, but a little more tightening actually increased the leak. I removed the valve and found that the compression ring still slipped on the pipe, so the compression had not occurred. The threads on the valve didn't look good, so the nut must have been cross-threaded. I threw it away and installed a new valve I had from a previous project, and everything was fine then, except for the mess in the bottom of the sink and in the work room. It must have been leaking for over two months, since we did the kitchen counter work and I upgraded much of the sink plumbing. So why didn't we notice it before? It was leaking at about a drip every second or two, probably for that long. The water was secretly slithering down the vertical copper pipe so that it couldn't even be detected with a flashlight shining right on it. What is it about some things that can be so intentionally illusive! So now I'm working on the work room, tearing down all the soggy dry wall and cleaning up the mess. At least it's not in the house over a carpeted area!

After getting the leak fixed on my birthday things started going a little better. We were planning to celebrate my birthday with all the Minnesota Prices on Sunday the 14th, but Jordan and his family and Jansen and his family came over on my birthday. It was nice to get together with all of them again after being gone for a month. I requested a dinner of chimichangas. This time they were with chicken filling because Jill couldn't find a good roast. As usual they were really good. Instead of a birthday cake Jerica made a strawberry streusel  that was very good - but no candles.

On Sunday the 14th, when we had all planned to get together, Jordan called to excuse his family due to colds. So it was good we got together on my birthday. This time we had a real birthday carrot cake with cream cheese (actually Tofu) frosting.  All the letters you see were left over from a previous birthday cake, so not all desired words could be spelled out. The bottom-right matrix is for the reader to play Boggle. What can you see besides the obvious FUN GUY and HUB?  You can probably see that the extra letters that nobody could find a place for were thrown down into the hole.

Everyone thought that 63 candles would be a bit ridiculous, so they were abbreviated to just three, and placed all together in one spot. I didn't have much of a problem getting them blown out. To see a video of how I did as well as some of the other birthday celebrating, click here.


Christina had brought a few things over for the evening, including some homemade herb tea in a bag. Everyone was getting a whiff of the bag because it smelled so good. When Jerica was handing the bag to me it fell, dropping most of the contents in my lap. I was able to retrieve most, but some fell on the floor. I got out the vacuum cleaner to take care of the spill. I guess Dmitri is the official vacuumer, and wouldn't let me or anyone else step up to the duty. It is a very heavy machine and I was amazed at how he pushed it around with ease. Click here or on the picture to see for yourself.

So as of this writing Kelly is doing well, her blood pressure has come down, and she has not been put on bed rest yet. We thought the baby was coming on Friday the 19th because she had some good contractions for several  hours, but it seems that the baby decided it wasn't yet ready for the cold, cruel world. If it puts it off much longer, it may find a really cold world!