Thursday, January 17, 2013


Yesterday all of our ideas for our house addition went to the Structural Engineer.  Can I get a whoop whoop! 

I dropped everything off at his office late in the day and had me wait in the lobby for a few while he finished up a couple of emails.  Instead of getting on my phone and zoning out in email land, I started looking around his office and checking things out.  He had all of the typical things one would find in an office.  Desk for the wife out front.  Workstations for other Engineers to work in the back.  Large printer to print 24'x36' plans out on.  Pictures of his kids and various trips.  Picture of my Parents house?????  
Say What!!!!  So not kidding.     

Once he was done with his emails, he came to find me gaping at the picture on the wall.  I said,  "Wow, that's an old picture!"  He looked at me puzzled since 1998 wasn't that long ago.  So playing with him I said, "It looks like you have won some awards?"  He explained it was actually the Contractor who submitted the project and won him and the others involved that particular award.  He had no idea he had even won until he received a call from ACI asking him if he would like tickets to attend the awards banquet or to just send him his plaque?  

The house was built using a specific concrete filled panel system that was pretty much an unknown technique at that time.  I remember my Dad, the Contractor, and even my Grandfather all had to take classes and get certified before anyone could touch the panels on the job site.  

It was the last thing I had expected to see almost 15 yrs. later hanging over the desk before me.  Pretty sure my Mom has their plaque stashed in the basement somewhere.  I think at this point he was wondering why I was so interested in that particular house because it is the polar opposite design wise from mine.  So I piped up and said, "That's a great story.  Especially since that is my parents house."  

He looked at me shockingly and said "WOAH!! SERIOUSLY?"   

"Yes Sir Ree Bob, even I can't make that up."    

After I left and started to process things in my little brain, I realized I was a bit freaked out because once the plan is in place it isn't something that can easily be changed.  We are getting a basement with 9ft. ceilings.  Which is pretty much a luxury in a 100 yr old farmhouse.  We have 9 ft. ceilings throughout our house now which makes it feel more spacious then it actually is, since my basement cellar is barely 6'3 tall.  But with that existing cistern having to come out and buried 9 ft. deep, it didn't make sense to add fill.  

The other cool thing is that the attic trusses we have chosen allow for us to have an upstairs after all.  This means when Mr. Doyle is 65 and needs a man cave to hide in so he can study star charts or whittle duck callers, he will have a place to hide and do that.  That is unless I steal the space first, and turn it into a place to craft with washi tape and or a dead dingo dog and chicken taxidermy display room.  :) you thought I was going to say quilting or scrapbooking?   Right.  

Next step.....Permit.  

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Cinderella and The Denver Nuggets

Well, I don't know about you, but this weekend flew by for me.

Friday night after Warren Miller safely came down the mountain from skiing, he hopped back in the car  threw it in 4WD and we all headed to Denver to see a Nuggets game.  

We scored a pretty good deal on Family Night where the kids pretty much got in free.  Since the Stock Show is in town all week, the whole game had a Country Western theme to it.  Think Cowboys in chaps and boots and Rodeo Clowns participating in flying dunk contests with trampolines.  Calla loved all of the Dancer's performances.  Dave loved all of the dancers costumes, and I loved my vodka lemonade and churro stick:)  Nuff Said.

Our seats pretty much rocked and we had a really hard time getting India to leave. 

On Saturday I woke up from my long winter's nap and drug my sorry butt to ballet.  Lucky for me they were having an audition for Cinderella.  While I didn't formally audition, I did mention that if Ethel needed to make a Guest Appearance during the shows as a party guest standing there at the ball, then to let me know.  It was either that or Tree #4 in the background.  Not sure if they will use her or not but we shall see.  I love Cinderella.  It is one of my favorite ballets, but sadly I can't rehearse for this one.  I had to make a decision.  It was either Cinderella or a new house addition.  Ummm, I'll take the custom built in closet and extra potties please.

I have always been one of the wicked stepsisters and wouldn't have it any other way.  Here are some blast from the past pictures from the 2 years we did Cinderella.

Yes, that was our Artistic Director in the middle as the Wicked Step Mother.  By the way he is a man.   
I wore a corset and pantaloons the whole show.  Just call me Scarlett O' Hara.
Yes, that is her real hair, and thank God the mole on my face was just drawn on.  The director wanted her as tall as possible and me as short as possible.      
I do have to say taking a couple of weeks off and then coming back to dancing pretty much SUCKS at my age.  I didn't even attempt to put on pointe shoes either.  I am not suicidal, and instead stuck around to do the Men's jumping part.  I am better at that anyway.  Needless to say, my calves killed the entire weekend and foam and stick rolling was not pretty.  Going to the gym regularly ain't got nothing on a ballet class.  It didn't help it was like 9 degrees outside either.  I know they have hot yoga, which makes me dizzy even thinking about it, but a hot ballet class in the lower 90's might work on a cold day to get the ol' hip flexors loose.

On Sunday some of us were lazier then others.

Uber lazy Dipshit Dingo Dog
It was slow going but productive.  I cleaned the house as well as the entire pantry, deep freeze downstairs and the fridge.  That felt good, and the chickens were super happy to eat all of the leftover chips, cereal, and snacks no one was eating.  

Now it is back to the weekly grind.  We have a landscaping conference to attend this week, so expect to see pictures of me and some very large equipment  at the Expo.  Bet you just can't wait.

Friday, January 11, 2013

WTF Friday Snow Edition

Somebody asked me the other day at the gym what changes I planned on making in the New Year to better myself.  Well, I didn't know where to start or what to say, because do I really want to open that can of worms on a somewhat complete stranger?

So I went with, "I plan to try to be a bit more classy and a little less smart assy."

2 points for leaving them speechless.  I honestly think they thought I was going to say something like, "take more time for myself" (hah right!)  Or "cleanse and purge my body of toxins with a juice fast."  (Not unless it comes in a Jamba Juice styrofoam cup and has frozen peaches, strawberries and orange sherbet.)  

Here it is on the 11th and I am pretty much a fail.  Perhaps I'll just work on learning how not to talk to strangers instead.  They seem to bring out the best of my inner smart ass anyway.

Today's forecast was evidently brought to you by a merry ol' band of idiots (see what I who forecasted light flurries only and a high of 45 degrees.  Does this look like flurries and 45 to you?  By the way, I am still not sure why the "you are here" dot is actually nowhere near me?  Last week it said I was somewhere across the border in Wyoming.  Too bad it didn't say I was in Steamboat.

Wait.....Here, let me show you another picture of what the view out my my front door looks like right now.  Just in case you have that visual spatial perception thing like me and the radar is hard to read.  I spy with my little eye 3" of snow and the foothills just beginning to be visible through thick clouds, 32 degrees, and 30 mph wind too.  
Believe me, I am not complaining since we do snow removal and it allows me to work at home.  But today the Senor decided to head up the mountain today to channel his inner Warren Miller and play with his Go Pro camera.  (Since we were only expecting flurries and 45 of course.)  No biggie, because the dude needs a day of now and then, but he took another plow driver and shoveler with him.  Lovely.  Last minute changes to drag workers out into the cold who thought they had the day off to play video games and watch All My Children make the old blood pressure rise.  

Since I am not a Pro and I don't really Go..... down anything more then a blue.   I thought I would leave you with some pictures from i phone that I took last week when it was my turn to make some turns in the snow at Keystone on a date with Senor Warren Miller.  

Next ride to the top was in the gondola.  I was not proud, just cold.   The sign at the top said "Warning cover all exposed body parts."    
Was freezing cold like 9 degrees and the clouds were starting to move out.
Dave in a snow dragon's mouth.  He didn't go through the tunnel in the snow fort because he thought he might get stuck.  It is made for little kids.  Calla asked if we could build one here in the front yard.    

On the observation deck between the 2 mountains.  They actually have church up here on Sundays.
The Flying Dutchman

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The plan

I shall call this - "Little Elves Hard at Work" 

Shop roof almost done.  Whoo hoo!!! So pretty and shiny.
A couple of people have asked to see what the addition will look like.  Not even kidding when I tell you Dave went so far as to build me a 3D scale model made out of cardboard because I was having a problem understanding how the roof pitch looked on paper and tied into the existing house.  Boy should have been an Engineer or something.

I have obvious issues we won't get into.  One of them being I have a visual perception problem.  Long non technical story short, I can see it in my brain, but can't figure out how to get it that way.  Needless to say I hate painting, and geometry made me almost manic.  Surprisingly athletics has actually gotten me out of both subjects alive.

The only reason I passed geometry in High School was because I kept promising the track coach, who was my teacher, that I would run track for him the next season.  Yeah didn't happen, was too busy dancing, and my shinsplints didn't need any more issues.  But at least it got me out of there with an awful passing grade.

Same with painting in College.  Anyone who wanted an art degree from history and education to fibers and papermaking was required to take it.  Trying to paint negative images and shapes, without any lines to stay in was awful.  Can I blend 5 different shades of blue eyeshadow, and contour the shadows on my face for a show?  Yup.  Can I blend 5 different colors of blue and gray to create clouds in a sky?  No way Jose.  I managed to attach myself to 2 football players that semester who had to pass in order to play.  One even went on to play in the NFL after graduation.  We did a lot of our work together and I am pretty sure the teacher took pity on us and passed us because he knew we had no future in painting what so ever, and besides he really didn't have a choice.  Can you imagine how pissed off the football coach would have been if his guys didn't pass painting and couldn't play?

It is also why I have a deep seated fear of wine bars that require you to paint something while you drink.  Good God!  That would be a disaster..... sober or drunk.

Anywho, the plan.  Here is a sketch of the addition.

Keep in mind my existing house is a square, and is off the right side of the plan.  This new addition will go on the entire South side of the house where my pergola and deck used to be.  It will sit back a bit off the front side allowing us to have a wrap around porch with windows that look out onto the Rockies to the West.  i.e.. the top of the paper.  Make sense?  

One giant open room will become our dining room and extended living room off our existing kitchen and living room.  This part will include stairs going down into the basement, and a door out to the porch to the re landscaped outdoor dining area.

The other half of the addition extending out past the existing house towards the East will be our master bedroom, big ol' closet, and bathroom.  Why yes, I do realize this is completely on the other side of the house from our kids. :)

There are plans to make our mudroom/laundry room bigger later down the road.  Probably Phase 2 before we finish the basement.  But one thing at a time.  We need more potties and with this plan I get one full bath and one 1/2 powder room.

So that's it for now.  I hope all of this makes sense.  If not, let me know you can come over and see my little model.  I'll even supply some dollhouse furniture to make it just that much more real.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Ch Ch Cha Changes

Today was the first day that both kids went back to school since before Christmas.  So I did what any self respecting mother would do.  Dropped those babies off as fast as I could, and high tailed it to the local 24 hr Fitness.  Or as I like to call it this time of the year, New Years Resolution Central.  Way more people then normal exercising way harder then they need to.  But hey, kudos to them for at least getting there.  Seeing as that is half the battle.  At least it is mine.  However, I am pretty sure the lady doing box jumps next to me (who had no business doing box jumps in the first place,) will most likely not be able to walk tomorrow.  It was a nice 45 min of moving the ol' badonkadonk, doing some ab work, and stretching.  In out and off to take a shower (at home) learned my lesson there Showering is good, and is becoming a bit of a luxury these days.

So we are doing a bunch of stuff around here.  By stuff I mean my home and work life is going to be a permanent construction zone for the majority of the year.  I am ok with this seeing as it will gain me 1800 more sq. ft. on my existing 900 sq. ft. house.  Can I get a holla' for more then 1 toilet?  I've also yet to figure out if it will make me manic to keep up with all of the cleaning or if I will just say F' it.  Seeing as the dust is pretty much awful out here anyway now before we start knocking down walls, I am leaning towards the F' it option.

All of our ideas and design are headed to the Engineer next week.  Once that is done I suppose I should pull a permit with the County.  We have always done this kind of stuff by ourselves.  Meaning we don't use any outside contractors unless we need to.  This time won't be any different, except the County gets the final say and inspectors will be hanging out periodically.   We also ended up not going with an Architect.  Between Boy Wonder who does design work and plans daily and my knack for driving him crazy by pinning ridiculously complicated ideas like floor to ceiling windows on Pinterest, we were more then set for our simple rectangle addition.  The County basically said we could hand them the plans on a cocktail napkin, but as long as it was engineered they were happy.  Did I mention how happy I am to live in the Unincorporated County vs City Limits?

Obviously we can't do everything ourselves.  When it comes to things like excavating for example, we will be responsible for clearing the humongous pile of dirt when the excavator is done digging up the old water cistern to make room for the basement instead of paying him to do it.  Wasn't planning on a basement, but when you have to dig up a Silence of the Lambs style concrete storage container that goes 9 ft. deep, ya get yourself a basement.  I am sure I will appreciate the extra space later down the line when we finish it into a game room/ tv room/ teenager make out cave.

I also don't own concrete foundation forms (blankets yes) but do have a commercial account open with a concrete company so when it is time to pour the foundation, Mr. Doyle and his rubber boots and float will be there for the delivery alongside a friend of ours who does own the forms.

This is how we plan on gittin' er done.  By working alongside Contractors we have worked with in the industry for the last 14 yrs..  Pretty sure by the time it is all said and done we might need to throw a Marriage Counsellor into the mix too.  Because living with Dave, working with Dave, and adding onto the house with Dave, might just send me over the deep end.

Hopefully posting pictures here and keeping my lovely friends and family updated with progress will keep me sane.  If however I show up on your doorstep in desperate need of a break with no hair on my head, just let me in.  I promise I'll wash the sheets before I go.

In the meantime I will leave you with a picture of one of our beloved employees.  We are currently in the middle of replacing the metal roof on our 40x60 shop before the snow shows its pretty face on Friday.  The shop is located on the back East side of our property.  Thanks to the pitch on the shop roof being so high, and the area in the driveway in which Dave took the picture, it really looks like we have little elves or fairies working for us.  :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Resolutions, a Birthday Party and Ethel??

Y'all, my baby is 3 today.

And it's making me feel old.  Alas, there is no point in dwelling in the past or even making any New Years resolutions about recapturing my youth.  I'm just too plain lazy.

Besides, as we all know last years New Years Resolutions didn't work out so well
Seeing as I am not sitting in the HGTV Dream Home in Park City right now with my snowboard drying outside making dinner for Robert Redford 40 lbs. thinner.

On the bright side we did manage to make one resolution come true.  We turned Ethel into a Queen.  I was called in 2 weeks before Sleeping Beauty to be the Queen Mum.  One could get used to 2 rehearsals and tech week only.  That was nice and fun to boot.  

Damn, I wish my boobs were really that big!

Anyhoo, back to the small child named after a large country.  On Sunday we celebrated her birthday with a circus theme.  This time in my parents basement because they have way more room then we do to put bouncing balls, tumbling mats, trampolines, and various games involving play doh, bean bags, and elephants.  

I made various munchies that one would find at a circus.  ie. foot long Twizzlers, pretzels, mini corn dogs, nachos, popcorn, and baked/fried pickles.  I have never bought so much pre packaged sodium filled foods at Wal Mart before in my life.  All of the kids had fun just playing and being kids.  

Matching birthday crowns for her and Bitty Baby.


Since it was a circus theme, we decided to bust out the Funfetti cake.  


Indie was still a bit freaked out about blowing out the candles, but she had no issues snarfing down the cake.

Hello Kitty Bike from Dave, Calla, and I. 

Each of the kids left with a popcorn bucket filled with animal crackers, and a Beenie Baby.

Someone wanted to sleep with her crown on.

But we passed out in exhaustion instead.

Pretty sure she had a good time.