Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Stripping, Swimming, and Traveling

Somehow, despite being off work for almost two weeks, I haven't had much time to blog. Hopefully this post will catch you up a bit on my recent adventures.

My last day at my old job was Monday the 23rd. I had planned to work until Friday the 27th, but they said when developers leave, they usually ask them to leave immediately. I guess they're afraid of sabatoge or something. I would never to that (clearly!) so I was a little shocked when they said that. But, the more I got to thinking about it, the more I thought "Cool, more paid time off!" (they're required by law to pay out the full two weeks). They let me stay for a week after I gave notice, but I did get four unexpected days off. I originally planned to use the time to do fun things, but I've been planning to strip the wallpaper in my dining room and then paint this summer. I decided I'd much rather strip wallpaper when I'm off work than after a long day at the office. I did go blueberry picking with my cousin one morning (super fun and super cheap! I'm looking forward to eating the berries I froze all year long), but then I started the wallpaper job. The first picture is "before". It was taken a couple of years ago.

Stripping wallpaper is definitely not my favorite chore!! My back and shoulders begin screaming pretty much as soon as I pick up a scraper. Fortunately, this room was easier than the hallway that I did last summer. It only had about 2 layers of wallpaper on it, instead of the 5 or 6 that the hallway had. And occassionally, I was able to grab a piece and rip off a huge section of the outer paper and the backing! That made the chore go pretty quicky! Unlike last summer, the walls are actually in decent shape. I should be able to avoid having to do a skim coat of drywall mud before painting! Yay! I'm totally excited that my house is finally wallpaper free!! WOO-HOO-WOO!! The picture below is of the wallpaper-less walls. Once I get the paint done, I'll post a picture of the finished product.

After finishing the wallpaper project, my mom and I headed to Omaha for the swimming Olympic Trials! Oh my gosh! It was a blast!! We saw tons of world and American records! Swimming has gotten so fast in the ten years since I retired! But, it was cool for me because I still know a few of the swimmers that made the team and still just love to watch the sport! I jumped up and down with excitement when a fellow Northwestern grad made the team in the men's 100 back. Imagine me excited and then multiply that by about 10! That's how excited I was! This picture is of the awards ceremony for Michael Phelp's 400 IM. Notice the Micheal in yellow letters behind him? That was some cool sort of falling-hologram-thing (that's a very techincal term!) that spelled out swimmers names, events, USA Swimming, and even did a picture of the Olympic Ring logo. Very cool!
After four days in Omaha, my mom and I drove back to KC on Thursday and then turned around and flew to Hartford, CT with my dad first thing Friday morning! I got up at 3:15 a.m.!!! I'm used to getting up around 5:15 or 5:30, but anything in the "3s" is EARLY! After arriving in Hartford, we rented a car and I drove four hours north to Middlebury, VT, where a good family friend of ours, Erica Hill, got married. Mark drove up from Philly for the weekend and we had a GREAT time!

Middlebury is a picturesque quaint New England town, nestled in the mountains of Vermont. It's so green up there. The Middlebury campus has a big "green" in the middle, with old stone buildings around it. The wedding was lovely! Good food, great company, and fun dancing made for an awesome evening!

And then yesterday, I started my new job! It's going well so far, but I'll share more about that in a future post.

This might be the best family photo we've taken in a while!