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12/15/08:  Goodness, it has been too long since I updated.  Things at work have been absolutely crazy and the year end rush is upon us.  Bill and I have been busy around the house getting ready for Christmas.  You can check out his decorations on Bills Bits

We also did some painting last month.  We were getting tired of the white walls, and I had some vacation time to use.  I took a Friday off, and spent the day taping off the rooms to be painted.  We did the living room, dining room, stairs, and upstairs hallway.  I even had enough time to get about 1/2 of the downstairs ceiling painted.

On Saturday, Bill and I tackled getting the painting done.  I worked on finishing the ceiling, while Bill started on the walls.  It took us all day, but we were able to get all the painting done on Saturday including the dining room, and stairway.

We love the results, but they don't photograph  very well.  The pictures look much more golden than the paint actually is.  Here is the entry way, dining room, and living room.

We also had some fun with the kids last weekend.  Jessica, her boyfriend Trent, and his daughter Morgan came over for dinner and cookie making.  Here we are rolling out the dough for baking.  We made royal icing, and everyone had a good time decorating the cookies.  I think Bill had as much fun as Morgan and Jessica.  Even I joined in the festivities.


11/3/08:  Here are some project pictures.  For you loyal readers, you will remember that when we moved into our house last year there were some problems with the pool.  We made a few repairs, but I did not do a complete enough job on fixing one of the plaster blisters.  Therefore, this summer we had a rust stain that kept coming through the plaster in the pool.  To fix the problem, and update the pool, we decided to repaint the pool using an epoxy based pool paint.

The first step was draining the pool.  You can see the rust area in the center of the picture.  Once the pool was empty, I chiseled out all the old plaster.  It appeared there was a rebar wire in the gunite that the water was getting to via the bad plaster.  I created a cavity that I then filled with hydrostatic concrete.  I then used the same plaster repair process that we had used previously to finish off the repair.

The next weekend we began painting.  Of course the hardest part of painting is the prep work.  We spent a few hours taping off all of the tile areas.  A roll of blue tape later we were ready to start priming.  The primer was easy to apply using a roller just like regular paint.  We started in the deep end, and ended at the steps, so we didn't paint ourselves into a corner.  Just adding the primer made the pool look much nicer.

The next day we began the painting process.  This paint was much thicker, and very sticky (not water based).  We thought the primer made the pool look bright, but the white paint just about blinded us.  After the paint cured, it was very shiny.  We used some sand on the steps and seat to keep them from being too slick.  It took 3 days for the paint to cure, and then we filled it with water.  We decided to use the white paint, because we didn't care for the shades of blue available.  We are happy with the way the white goes with the tile, and existing 'grout' lines.  Hopefully with the thorough repair job, and new epoxy paint, the pool will stay sparkly for several years to come.

10/27/08:  Woo-hoo finally an update!  Bill and I took a trip with our best friend Jay to Key West a couple weeks ago.  Jay had a big birthday this year, and he has done so much for us over the last few years, we wanted to celebrate it in style.

I didn't take my camera, because Bill has a nice new digital.  You can check out his pictures on Bill's Bits - or go directly to the photo album.  Jay also got some amazing pictures which you can look at on his Kodak Photo Album.

I really enjoyed Key West, and the oppressive heat and humidity didn't bother me at all.  We stayed at a gay only resort that was comprised of 3 1890's homes that have been converted to guesthouses.  When you stayed at one of the properties, you had access to the activities at all 3 locations.  For the most part everyone congregated at the Oasis House.  We met some nice people there, and had a good time just hanging out and relaxing.

The highlight for me was a trip we took on the Blu Q catamaran.  We did the Island Time trip.  It started with a 45 minute sail to the skin diving site.  Key West has the only living coral reef in the US.  It is also the 3rd largest in the world.  We spent about 45 minutes diving around beautiful coral, fish, turtles, dolphins, and sting rays.  Then it was of to kayak around a mangrove island.  The island was within a bird sanctuary, and was a very different ecosystem.  The skipper and first mate were very knowledgeable, and made the trip thoroughly enjoyable.

On Monday we rented bikes to tour the island, and take care of all the 'Tourist' destinations.  One of the things I liked about Key West was that it was very compact.  However, all the cruise ship and touristy shops were limited to one small corner of the island.  Once you were away from that area, you could really get into the local feel of the island.  We made it a point to avoid all chain restaurants, and try to stick to local cuisine.  We did stop at Hemmingway's house (which for $12 a person was a big disappointment), the southernmost point in the US, and the Butterfly and Nature Conservatory (which was very enjoyable).  We finished the day watching a beautiful sunset at Fort Jefferson State Park.

Tuesday was a kick back and relax day.  We spent a lot of time by the pool, and walking around town.  We needed the down to to prepare for the 4 hour drive back to Ft Lauderdale, and then the 9 hour flight back to Sacramento.

We finished out the vacation by starting work on refinishing our pool.  I will post pictures in a few days on how that turned out.

8/5/2008:  I been working on the website to try and accommodate non Internet Explorer browsers.  Because I use a crappy web publishing tool, the text that was in these lists did not show up.  I have modified some of the code generated by FrontPage, and I think it is working for Safari and Firefox now.

To make the transition easier, I moved the recent postings to the Past What's New folder.  Also, Bill's Bits has its first posting, so make sure you check it out.  Other than that not a whole lot has been going on.  We have been enjoying the summer weather, and getting a lot of use out of our back yard and pool.