Wednesday, May 28, 2008

On a dark and stormy night...

Although the sky threatened rain with thunder, Athens remained dry throughout the night.  Except for the tsunami that hit our yard.

Let me explain.

Last night, I was in the spare bedroom on the computer and Kent was in our bedroom.  We both heard something topple.  At the same time, Kent thought he heard rain. I didn't hear anything out the back bedroom, but maybe it's only raining in the front of the house.  I went downstairs to explore.  

Nothing looked out of place in the house.  I stepped outside, and with the sky on the verge of darkness, I could only make out a bit.  But I could see that part of our retaining wall had fallen.  And it was wet there.  Soaking in fact.  But it wasn't raining.

Kent came out and turned on the light.  I grabbed the flashlight.  Yes, indeed.  Our wall had fallen down.  Now, there could be many reasons for this... Maybe the layers of brick that were stacked on top became too much for it.  Or maybe the stacks of wood were too much for it.  But what about all this water.  Nothing else around was wet.  Kent went over to get Jim, our neighbor,  and I went about investigating.

With the flashlight I followed the path of the water since I could see where grass had been pushed down.  I go up the hill and to our neighbors drive way to where I find the culprit.  It turns out they had a blowup swimming pool that was no longer holding the hundreds of gallons of water.  Instead that water rushed over the hillside and took out our wall.  

So we did have a mini tsunami that explained the toppling noise and the water sound.  

Sunday, May 18, 2008

International Street Fair

It was the week of celebrating all things international here in Athens and specifically OU. The week ends with a street fair uptown, where various groups set up booths to coffer their home country wares and fares. There is also dancing and music. The saying goes that it never rains on the street fair, and that held true once again. A 70 percent chance of rain turned to sunny skies and favorable conditions.  

This guy will write whatever you want (within reason, I suppose) in Chinese on a t shirt.  Look at the way he holds the writing utensil.  Different.

This group was singing when we showed up, so I didn't get to hear where they were from or what group they represented.  They were very good, and had a variety of instruments and people on stage, but it took me forever to figure out they were singing in Spanish.  I still don't know who they were, but it was one of those situations where you couldn't tell just by looking.  

I think these lovely ladies are from Indonesia.  They had a very slow dance. Or at least the movements were slow, the music wasn't necessarily slow...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Jarts rock the Spring Festival

On Saturday we went to the Spring Festival at the Eclipse Mining Town.  It's this old coal town that was bought up by a few investors.  Then the houses were restored and rented to businesses and residents.  It's a cute little town of about a dozen structures that house restaurants, doctors, massagers, a non profit, and others.  

The festival celebrated the history of the Appalachian coal culture.  It was small but fun.  Saw a lot of familiar faces, which is usual.  

Here are a few pics of the Jarts who capped off the music venue.

Someone's gotta keep time...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Lori's B-DAY

Hello all. Today is Lori's B-Day!!!
I hope that you like these fun photos of Lo that we took with our new lens.

We hope to enjoy this nice May day with a bike ride, and a little bit of chocolate..... Lori's fav

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The Floor

I mentioned the layers of ceilings in the last post, well this post will focus on the floor. Apparently it was even easier to keep adding to the floor than the ceiling. Let's start with the top. 

When we bought this house 11 years ago from two sisters that inherited the place from their aunt.  One of the sisters lived here with her many cats and smoking habit.  The place was wall to wall green carpet that we ripped out immediately.  All of the rooms had wood floors except this middle room.  It had a tile down that looked like too much to tackle at the time.  (Keep in mind that we stripped, washed and painted every surface of this small house in a month, so that we could move in.)  We decided to carpet this one room in the house and get on with our lives. (My goodness, it was May, and we had Ultimate to play.)

But after Sunday's madness, this carpet needed to go.  It was looking bad to begin with, and the mess we made didn't help. So I tore that out pretty easily.  Then came the next layer.  That tile I mentioned earlier.  Under the tile was a subflooring material.  We used a spudbar, many crowbars, and hammers to pry it all up together.

Here is Kent using the spud bar.  

Under that subflooring was a laminate floor with a diamond design.  The ironic thing about this particular layer is that it matches the cream and green walls in this room.  Too bad it's full of holes from the nails.  And it's slippery as hell.  Easy to clean though.

Next we have the crazy flower laminate.  It doesn't go wall to wall but they put down a wood laminate along the edges to cover up the real wood floor beneath that.

Here the flower stuff is rolled up to expose the real tongue and groove wood (some is painted) underneath.  You can see the fake wood on the edges of the room.  

If that's not enough, there is another layer of wood flooring beneath.  Both of these wood layers are about an inch thick each.  Which would make our house feel normal.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Tearing down the house

Sunday, we started down a path from which there is no return.  

We tore off the ceiling in the middle room of our house.  As most of you know, the ceilings in our house are low.  It takes a bit of getting used to, even if you are Meistersized.  When we tore off the first layer of ceilings, which was a cardboard tiled drop ceiling, it revealed a plaster layer.  This is where the fun began.  With the help of a 2x4 we ripped down the ceiling rather quickly. 

Then it just left us with a mess that took 2 hours to clean up.

Here is a video that shows the whole room.  
This gave us 2-3 inches on ceiling height, plus the 
6 inches up to the floor of the second floor.

I'll have more on this adventure soon.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Putting around

Recently, city officials challenged OU administration to a contest of wills. The challenge? Putt Putt.

Here is Kent and the Mayor Wiehl making a game plan.

The OU consortium, consisting of the wrestling coach (Joel Greenlee) and finance guy (Chris Clifford), are all smiles with their logo-ed apparel, ready to take on the fight.

Tricky putt for the Kentman.  Oh yeah, he made it.

Is that a legal use of equipment?  

This particular hole is sponsored by the local hot dog dealer, O'Betty's.  They have all beef hotdogs, as well as veggie dogs.  They do some fun toppings, my favorite is the one with mushrooms, swiss cheese, and mayo.  mmmmm good. So anyway, O'Betty's added their own twist to the game of putt putt by adding these balls that are rolled down the course and act as hazards. Clever huh?

In the end, the scores were tied!  Can you believe it!  But Kent did have the lowest score with a 44. Five under par. And he won some WD-40.

This event was a sneak preview of the newly refurbished putt putt course in Athens.  Each hole was sponsored by a local business to help pay for the renovation.  Sunday, May 11 is the official grand opening, so if you are in Athens, stop by. It's free, too.  Otherwise, it will be open on the weekends during the day for anyone to play.  This event was a fundraiser for HAVAR and the mediation services of Athens.

Friday, May 02, 2008

I am reposting this write up,since the checks are out.

Coming to a mailbox near you, $600 or more.

Sure it would be easy to take that money and go to Walmart/Target/any big box store, and spend, spend, spend, but what does that really do. Give money to big time CEO's that didn't get this incentive because they already make TOO MUCH MONEY. So keep it local. Spread it around. If you really want to help the economy, help your neighbors at the same time.

Make it last with these ideas. $600 divided by 12 is $50/month. You could spend that each month on:

1. Farmer's Market.
2. Dinner at a locally owned restaurant.
3. Get a Massage!
4. Haircut, pedicure, manicure.
5. Prolo therapy for your busted knee/elbow/shoulder.
6. Local music concert. (buy their cd if you like 'em.)
7. Local theatre production.
8. Tea from Herbal Sage Tea. 
9. Attend a high school sporting event.
10. Participate in a 5K run/walk.
11. Go to an Art Museum. If it is free, put some cash in the donation jar.
12. Go bowling.
13. Take ballroom dance classes.
14. Join a gym or hire a trainer.
15. Shop at the thrift store for some great buys.

The Big Splurge (not that these all cost $600, in that case, add them together):

1. Spend the night or weekend at a Bed and Breakfast.
2. Buy a bike and ride it.
3. Panniers, fenders, and helmet for your bike if you have one.
4. Buy a kayak or canoe and float down a river.
5. Stay at a cabin in Hocking Hills for the weekend.
6. Donate to a local Non-profit.
7. Build a new deck or patio.
8. Ride your bike across Ohio. ( I may do this, feel free to join me.)
9. Buy a share of Community Supported Agriculture or CSA (you purchase a share of the harvest in the beginning of the season and each week, you receive fresh food from the farm.)
10. Buy an Amtrak 15 or 30 day Rail Pass and see the country.

As you can see, your $600 can go along way if you think about it. Of course, paying off debt, investing it, or putting it away in savings are all smart things too.