Friday, January 31, 2014

Random 5 Friday 01/31/14

Just trying to get an early start on my R5F entry this week.  Sometimes I forget about R5F until the last minute and then have to rush a post out, if I want to play...Here's the link to Nancy at ARJ.

1.  I picked up a Yoga ball at Academy this week.  It looks like a giant green pickle about 12" long.  I am hoping that it will help build my core, and also to alleviate some chronic back pain I have from an old injury.  The DVD that came with the Pickle, looks easy...
The Yoga Ball, a.k.a The Pickle

2.  Looks can be deceiving. (see above)

3.  Have you heard about the riots in Kiev, Ukraine?  Yeah, the populace is upset with their government's decision to go back to a more Communist outlook, and to reject the populace's desires to merge more fully with the EU.  Serious riots have been ongoing.  A stunning photo shows local priests standing between the riot police and the civilians.  It is both modern and medieval in appearance.  To credit the pic, it is from the AP, by Sergei Grits.

4.  Hormones are both bane and blessing....

5.  We took the Monkeys to see The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug last night.  We were the only people in the theater save for 1 other viewer.  We had to see the 3D version.  I was skeptical at first, having had bad experiences decades ago with the old red/blue glasses and 3D.  Something about screaming headaches afterwards.  But the new 3D is different.  It really worked well, and ZERO headache afterwards, even for DH!

As a diehard Tolkien fan, I am disappointed in the changes to the original book.  I mean, why cave to the feminazi crowd?  It added nothing to the plot.  Jackson would've been better off just making it a 2-film set, rather than hyper expanding the story line into a 3 film money-grab.  I was also disappointed in the portrayal of Beorn, and the skimpy coverage of Mirkwood and the Wood elves.  But the spiders were frighteningly realistic, and in 3D too....if you have arachnophobia, do NOT see this part of the film.  Overall I give it 3 stars, mostly because I am too much a Tolkien fan.  If you are not a diehard, you will like the film.  If you are a diehard, you'll probably like it, BUT...

Thursday, January 30, 2014


Wow....these gentlemen get it!  I wish they would consider running for higher office.  They speak the truth.

And then there was a editorial opinion posted on FoxNews the other day.  I suspect its author was promptly added to somebody's hate-list.

State of the Union 2014 -- thin-skinned amateur Obama addresses Congress, our parliament of whores

I did not watch the Golden Globes this year.
I did not watch the Grammys.
I am not sure if I will watch the State of the Union address.
Why bother?
A thin-skinned amateur who has been in office six years and still can’t grasp how to do his job will stand before an even more thin-skinned Parliament of Whores and tell them he does not need them, while knowing he really does need them, while none of them truly want to be with each other, and all have lawyers ready to go bow before the black robed masters who’ll sit stone faced at the front of room knowing they really rule the joint.
This State of the Union, like Washington itself, promises to be soul sucking gamesmanship
My only hope is that the Republicans grow a pair and start laughing uncontrollably when the president begins touting ObamaCare, which you know he will do and which you know they will not. Paging Steve Stockman — here’s your moment.  Complete editorial here.

I suspect I may use his description of Congress in general, in future ramblings.  It's too good not to spread around.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Pinewood Derby 2014

And they're off!

The cars move pretty fast.

This year's Pinewood Derby for our son's Cub Scout pack was today.  We didn't get as involved in the race as much as in previous years, as MonkeyBoy isn't sure he wants to continue in Scouting. His pack lost a lot of scouts over the 'decision' that the governing council made, including his best friends in Scouts.
His pack allows for an open class, for parents and siblings to participate too.  The other Monkeys had fun, though none of the cars did well in the final standings.  If we had spent some time setting up the cars for speed, we could have done better.  But they had a good time, helped with concession sales, and generally exhibited good sportsmanship. 

Not every race ran smoothly.  The Monkeys did not have any crashes themselves, though MonkeyBoy's car did get jostled, as shown below, by a car that did leave the track.
Jostling for position.
It ended up taking 4+ hours to run all the heats and races.  This made for a rather long day for me.  It was fun though, and the kids had a good time.  Maybe next year I will do up a car too...Hmmm...

Friday, January 24, 2014

Random 5 Friday 01/24/14

Wow, is it Friday already?  Well, at least it's payday Friday!  Here we go, linking up with Nancy at A Rural Journal for another round of fun on R5F.

1.  With last week's patio project, I have sort of gotten off track on my days of the week.  That usually happens when DH takes a day off work, which he did last Friday.  Hopefully by Monday, I will be back on track again.

2.  We are having a bit of a cold snap this week.  Woke up this morning to 16* DFW!  Yikes, that's chilly.  I was getting used to our 50's and 60's last week.  At least they are calling for a warmer weekend.

3.  Tomorrow is our local Pinewood Derby.  My Webelo and his Sibs (aka the Monkeys) are all entered this year.  We didn't have time this year to really spiff up the cars, since they only got finished yesterday just in time for final check-in!  Hopefully they will all have fun tomorrow.

4.  I REALLY need to get active again.  So does DH.  We look at each other, and say, "If it were a bit warmer..." and settle back down, indoors.  Not good.  Since it is supposed to warm up tomorrow I am hoping he will go ride, while I take the kids to the Pinewood Derby.

5.  I am finally used to carrying a small fixed blade knife on my hip daily.  It's just so much handier than a folder at times, and faster too.  Nary a soul has noticed, or said anything if they did notice. 

I hope y'all have a great weekend.  I don't know what all we will be doing other than the Derby, but I hope to have some good posts upcoming.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Patio Part 4: The End

It is finished!  YAY!  After a long day Saturday,  and yet more trips to Lowes for additional supplies, we were able to sand the joints, and lock the pavers in place, using the polymeric sand.  Then began the task of back filling dirt around the whole patio, to hold the edges in place (along with the paver edge strips), and to ease the transition from paver to ground.

We may have to trench in a French drain between the patio and the storm shelter, to ensure water doesn't pool up there.  Plus we have some stepping stones to set to cross between patio and shelter than need to be placed.

We still need more dirt to finish the patio transition, but that will have to wait until either next weekend, or the next payday.  Overall, though, we both like how it came out, and despite what we see as glaring errors, it really is fine.  The few spare pavers will be stored in the garage, and the polymeric sand and extra unused supplies will go back to Lowes for a refund. 

We learned a lot during this project, and it went more smoothly than I thought it would.  There are things we would do differently, were we to start over.  But on the whole, I am pleased.

Lessons learned:
First:  Don't believe the coverage area listed for the paver base.  It isn't 2 cu.ft. but is much more like 1 cu.ft.
Second:  Set your stakes and string lines first.  Then measure your depth necessary and do your volume calculations.
Third:  Think about which way you want to run your scree-pipes.  It's doubly important if you are covering a slab as we did, since it is your main reference height and sets your slope, especially if your patio will be larger than the slab.
Fourth:  The Gorilla Cart is totally worth the money!  It easily saved us a full day's labor just in moving materials from the van to the patio.
Fifth:  A Lesche digging tool is really helpful.  It's thinner and flatter and stronger than the usual garden trowel.  It costs a lot more, too.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Space Aliens Stole Cody's Brain

How many of you remember the original Star Trek episode, Spock's Brain?  Not one of the more memorable episodes...but I am here to tell you it must be real!  For the aliens came over our house this morning to steal my poor dog Cody's brain.

Seriously.  At least that's what Cody thinks!  Really.

Hiding behind the neighbor's chimney.
He spotted them early this morning, out the kitchen window.  He commenced to warn the household with incessant barking..."Hey! Look, look, look!  Space aliens come to steal my brain!  Look look look!"  We let him outside, so he could drive the invaders away.
It was a full scale invasion!  Cody was surrounded, but he put up a valiant defense.  "Bark bark bark bark! "  Charging around the yard, aliens to the west of him, aliens to the east of him ( it was a sneak attack from the rear...), aliens to the south even! 

Sneaky alien ship.
The space aliens are a sneaky lot.  They like to hide behind trees, idling their quantum warp engines, and then just when they are overhead, they light off the engines with a tremendous ROAR!
Look behind you Cody!

Cody thinks he can scare them off, if he barks enough!  
Look!  The alien mothership!

His hackles come up, (not his ridge for that is always there), and even a patch of fur on his backside stands up.  He will attempt to drive off any space alien he sees, no matter how far off it is in reality.

It all started years ago when he was younger.  He used to be utterly ignorant of anything in the sky.  Not even Charlie, chasing airplanes on approach to DFW (they fly overhead) would register to Cody.  Until one morning...he was out back, when an alien ship drifted silently overhead, very low.  As they were too low and did not wish to crash into the subdivision, they fired off their engines in a dreaded sneak attack on Cody!  (Those burners really to ROAR, especially if they are close to you.)  He thought it was attacking, and he has been freaked out by the alien ships ever since.

Silly old dog!
See, Mom,  I drove it off!
 Good boy, Cody.  You scared it off.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Paver Patio Part 3 -- Equals 3 trips to Lowes...

DH took a vacation day today so we could do the patio.  We had a good start off, with some homemade breakfast burritos to fuel our labors.  We began with setting some sand on the concrete slab, and setting our first course of pavers.  We used the conduit (1" EMT, 10' long) as our scree-guide for the sand.  Ahh...this is easy we thought.


Turns out there were some problems with our calculations on how much paver base we would need.  DH initially wanted only 20 bags.  I persuaded him to double that, and we had 40 bags of base delivered with all the pavers.  The Lowes information said that one bag = 2 cubic feet of base.  They lied.  Those bags of 40# base have maybe 1 cubic foot of materiel, maybe a wee bit more, but 2 cubic?  No way!
This is what about 60 bags fills.

I had to make not one, not two, but three trips back to Lowes for a total of 60 additional bags (100 bags total so far).  Ouch, that was not in the patio budget.  My poor van whimpered with every 20-bag load.  That was 2400# of base I hauled in the van today.  There's probably half a bag of gravel loose in the van I will have to vacuum out this weekend too.

But we kept on working, all day long.  Gradually things began to take shape.  Here's the first course, going down.
First run of pavers.
Which then progressed to covering most of the original patio slab.  There were a lot of reworkings/miscalculations/corrections that we encountered, especially in dealing with the edge pavers.  We will still need a load worth of dirt hauled in, to back fill around the outside edge to hold the edge pieces in place, and to secure the anchor strips.  I think we called it a day around 5pm.  There are several more hours left to work on the project tomorrow.  But I think we have enough base, and sand to finish the job without any more trips to Lowes (other than for dirt!).
It's starting to look good.
Tomorrow we will finish laying the pavers and edge pieces, nail in the retention strips, and then lock it all up with the polymeric sand by brooming it in, sort of like this.
Then we will have our inaugural barbecue on the new patio tomorrow evening!  There will be bratwurst, sausage, hot dogs, and a variety of tasty beverages.  And of course, our regular Saturday guest, Mr. B.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Paver Project - Part 2

 Part 2 of the paver project begins today.   To start with, I found an angel working at the equipment rental shop.  She offered to let me have the Jumping Jack compactor through the weekend, for only 1 day's rental fee!  Sweet!  This means we have TIME to do it all right, and to go buy more supplies as needed, without worrying about the clock ticking on the rental.

Jumping Jack
I have measured the excavation depths, and thought that everything was deeper than necessary, so other than some edge cleanup, I didn't think there would be any more digging required.  WRONG!  We need to trench the edge pavers about 5" deeper than everything else, so they will match the flat paver elevation.  Oops.  See?

Setting the first edge stones.
Trench dirt for backfilling.
The conduit is used for when we scree the sand base, and it also gives us a fixed 1-inch height to measure our edge pavers against for our finished height.  The flat 4-square stone is the main decking paver we will be using.

Tomorrow morning, we will put down the paver base over the rest of the dirt, and pack it with the Jumping Jack.  Joy...that thing is a challenge to use!  It really will beat/shake you to death.  DH and I ran it together--he muscled it around, and I stabilized it and helped steer it.  I don't know how those construction guys run one of those all day long!

Maybe I should go back out tonight and dig some more would save some time tomorrow.  Or  maybe not...

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Paver Patio Project - Part 1

Two weeks ago, we tore out our old nasty wooden deck in back.  We have been wanting to replace it, oh, since we moved in 10+ years ago!  We have planned to put in a paver patio in its place, with an option to build a gazebo/roof over it (unattached to the house) later on.

If you imagine, you can envision the ratty decking, covering the cement slab and the now-dug-out dirt.  About the only thing done well on the deck was the corner post supports.  They were a royal pain to dig out!

 See what I mean?  That post wasn't going anywhere short of a 1megaton device!

The remains of the old deck.
 Now the Monkeys get to haul this heap to the curb for a special trash day pickup.  DH was kind enough tonight to chop it down into 4ft lengths in order for the trash guys to collect it.

Yesterday, the supplies arrived on the giant flatbed truck.  That's some 7372 pounds of rock!  Yikes!  And we have to move it all into the back yard by ourselves.  Good thing we got a Gorilla cart recently.  The Monkeys can manage to haul a seriously heavy load with it. It rolls well, dumps fairly easily, and steers well if you don't try too tight a turn.
Gorilla Cart

We actually got all the patio supplies moved to the back yard today.  All 7372 pounds of it.  Despite being careful while lifting heavy things, I am certainly 'feeling' it in my legs and backside.  Ouch.  

As you can see, the Diva has already claimed her spot!   The pile she is lying on, is actually about twice as high as that now.
The Diva surveying her minions.

Tomorrow we work on the final design layout, and continue additional excavation as needed.  Time now for a bit of chocolate, and a tasty beverage!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Saturday Night Special--Dead Pig wrapped in more Dead Pig!

Saturdays are my main cook-a-big-meal nights.  Our good friend Mr. B usually calls the night before, so we can plan the menu.  He then goes to the store in the afternoon on Saturday, and picks up supplies, which I will then cook for everyone's dinner.

Yesterday was no exception, excepting that I had already purchased the pork loin which was to be the central ingredient in the meal.  Here' then is the main course:

Slice everyone a thick (at least 1.5") pork steak off the pork loin.  Coat it with whatever choice of marinade sauce is requested.  Last night's choices were Teriyaki, Stubbs Chipotle Butter, and Stubbs Green Chili Marinade.  I have also previously soaked the pork steaks in apple juice for about 4hrs, which also works well.  Then take bacon and wrap each pork steak in 3 slices (2 around, and one end to end).  Pin these in place with wooden toothpicks.  It helps to try to remember how many each steak has, so you can tell your dinner guests...  Now spread a little more of each chosen marinade on the bacon.  Sprinkle the non-teriyaki ones with Pensey's 4S salt.

While you are doing this, you should be microwaving a large potato for each diner.  Once cooked, you should gut the potatoes, saving the empty carcass as a shell to be refilled.  Take the potato guts, add some sour cream, more crumbled bacon, a stick of butter, salt, pepper, lots of shredded cheddar, a little milk, and mix it all together well, like you are making mashed potatoes.  Once you achieve the desired taste, stuff all this back into the empty potato skin shells.  Add some more shredded cheddar on top, and pop into the oven to bake at 350 until the pork steaks are done.  Throw a loaf of garlic bread in, to heat with the potatoes too.

Now take the Dead Pig Goodness out to your smoker (which your DH thoughtfully lit in advance!) and smoke them with some apple wood, until the bacon begins to crisp.  Flip once, until the other side is crispy too.

Serve with the twice baked potatoes and garlic bread.  Be sure to remove the toothpicks!  Enjoy.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Random 5 Friday 01/10/14

Linking up with Nancy at A Rural Journal for another installment of Random 5 Friday.

1.Wednesday night was the first night in almost a week, that I got to sleep in my own bed!  YAY!  DH's flu has finally left him, and it was safe to sleep in the same room as him.  At least in the days prior, I did figure out how to make the air mattress more comfortable.  Now I know, and knowing is half the battle!

2.  OUCH!  I have never dropped that much cash at Lowes before Wednesday.  Paver patios are not cheap.

3.  I had mentioned previously, that my mom's oven thermostat died on her after 55years of service.  Her local Sears says they don't have/make/know of a replacement part, even on a service call the guy was clueless.  Of course, he was probably younger than the oven!  I had a similar experience once with my folks old overbuilt Lennox A/C unit and 20-something yr old repair tech...who had never seen a unit with a high pressure AND a low pressure cut off switch!  Anyway, Mom was regrettably getting ready to order a new oven when I told her to let me try to turn up a part that could work.  So last night after she emailed me the relevant part and model info, I hopped online to the Sears chat-live feature.  In less than 20 min, the online guy had FOUND the appropriate approved, still-in-production part, and sent me an order link for it!  YAY!  Now all I have to do is order it for her (only available on line) and then she can get some guy to install it for her. 

4.  I can just imagine the chatter in the Sears floor last night as I worked with their live-chat tech....
"Hey Max, can you believe some lady wants a part for a 55 year old oven?" 
"Seriously, Teddy?" 
"Yeah, seriously, Max.  Do you still have that ancient cheat sheet of parts?  This lady even knows the part and model number!  It really is 55 years old, and she's pulled up the online schematic!"
"Yeah Teddy, gimme a minute.  I gotta grub around in my file drawer....Yeah I got it now.  What was that part number? (insert thoughtful mumbling here)  Hmm....looks like part#123456 was replaced by #234456, which was replaced by #789654, and then they changed it to #321456.  Yeah, #321456 should work according to Whirlpool, as an OEM replacement part."
"Great!  Thanks Max!  You're a lifesaver!  You gotta burn me a copy of that cheat sheet one of these days."

5.  Lowes is supposed to deliver the patio stuff today.  It started raining Wednesday.  It is supposed to rain lots today.  Of course it is....I won't curse the rain though.  We still need it.  And moisture will eventually make it easier to compact the ground properly, though it will make it a pain to work in the muddy soil in the next few days.  House will get muddy as anything too, between kids and dogs running Out-In, Out-In, Out-In in an  unending loop.

Thursday, January 9, 2014


Today marks 2 years since I started this blog.  I am still enjoying it, having made some friends over these two years.  The writing, while not often inspired, at least allows me a mental outlet.

I want to thank YOU, my readers, for putting up with me, and encouraging me, for your thoughts and prayers, kind words and all.  I appreciate them all, and most especially I appreciate you, being here!

Thank you.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

DIY repairs

Over the Christmas holidays, I noticed a problem with my oven.  It seemed to not be heating properly, as evidenced by a near doubling of cooking times.   Last night it died completely, while trying to bake some french fries for dinner.

Most recently, my mother's 59yr old much-loved oven, gave up the ghost.  She had hoped it was merely the baking element, for which she had a spare, but alas it was the antique thermostat instead.  So far we have not found a replacement part, and most techs look at us like we are crazy to ask!  But I am still hunting for one for her...

Which brings me back to MY problem...I was hoping also that my oven failure was an element.  I got to looking inside the oven after it had gone cold, and noticed the bottom element looked bubbled and 'crunchy'. 

After looking up the model of oven with the help of the barcode scanner on my phone(!) I was able to look at to find the part number I needed.  That website is a wealth of information and instruction on how to do repairs to major appliances yourself.

Being somewhat frugal, and an adherent to Dave Ramsey's ideas, (it helps being of Scots ancestry!), I decided to try to solve the problem myself.  After unplugging the oven, and hauling it away from the wall, I began to remove the suspect element.  By the time I removed the second mounting screw the element had snapped into 3 burned out pieces.  Ah ha!  The police often refer to this as a CLUE!  Yep, bad element.

This morning I began calling around locally to try to find a replacement.  Luckily there was a shop only a few miles off that had one in stock at a fair price.  I popped over there, bought it, and zipped home in the cold. 

The install was just the reverse of the removal.  Slip on the spade connectors, fit the element in place, and reset the two screws.  I plugged in the oven, and turned it onto bake to see if it heated.  YAY!  It promptly heated up to a glowing orange like it should.  What was the hardest part of the whole project?  Shoving the oven around!  All told it took maybe an hour including drive time to and from the parts store.

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Coldest Winter in Memory...

The lyrics to this song seem fitting for today.  Song and lyrics by Al Stewart.

Coldest Winter in Memory

Al Stewart

The coldest winter in memory was 1709,
The sea froze off the coast of France all along the Neptune line.
By the lost town of Dunwich the shore was washed away,
They say you hear the church bells still as they toll beneath the waves.

Come all you earthly princes, wheresoever you may be,
From the Sun King in the court of France to the Czar in Muscovy.
Take heed of Charles of Sweden, the Lion of the North,
On the cracked earth of summer with his army he goes forth.

Guardian angels wherever you may be,
reach down and keep my soul for me.

I was there amongst that number, I heard the trumpets strain,
I saw the host of banners spread across the Polish plain.
Those who stood against us, they soon were swept away,
They may have the numbers but it's Charles shall have the day.

We cut our way through forests, crossed on frozen streams,
They fell away before us like a murmur in a dream.
And they burned the land around us as snow was closing in,
And the arms of winter took us as we fired against the wind.

Guardian angels wherever you may be,
reach down and keep my soul for me.

Through all the courts of Europe there's a rumor from the East,
The kings have come to battle and it's Charles who's known defeat.
They'll shake their heads and wonder at how this came to be,
But it's nights without a shelter that have made an end for me.

Now Charles is fled to Turkey, left his men afar,
And they'll be marched through Moscow now as prisoners of the Czar.
And had I but known last summer what I know understand,
I'd have never set my foot inside this bleak and bitter land.

Guardian angels wherever you may be,
reach down and keep my soul for me.

The coldest winter in memory was 1709,
The sea froze off the coast of France all along the Neptune line.
By the lost town of Dunwich the shore was washed away,
They say you hear the church bells still as they toll beneath the waves.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Bacon Flu 2014!

Yes, Round #1 of the H1N1 Bacon Flu has struck Casa Monkeywrangler.  DH is down with it, hard.  It hits fast and hard, so folks, if you did not get your vaccine yet, please consider one.  The Monkeys and I have had ours, but not DH.  However ours were very recent and may not yet provide adequate protection.  Time will tell.

Lucky for us, DH's doc was able to work us in yesterday evening, and DH popped a positive test for Influenza A, aka Swine Flu.  Because we were prompt in getting him to the doc, they were able to put him on an antiviral, which should shorten the duration of his discomfort.  At least this all hit on a Friday, which gives us at least 48hrs to get him back on his feet for Monday's work day.  Yes, there's no such thing as "sick leave" with his have to file FMLA, which then despite the doctor completing all the papers, and noting the contraindications of driving while taking certain meds, HR will deny the FMLA, forcing you into Leave Without Pay, or burning vacation time.  Joy, oh joy....

Friday, January 3, 2014

Random 5 Friday

Linking up with A Rural Journal for another installment of Random 5 Friday.

1.  Weather here has been alternately cold and on the warmer side of the 60's.  I wish it would make up its way or the other.

2.  DH and I are going to be getting back into the biking thing after a couple month hiatus.  We both want/need to be back on the bikes.  Plus, with the tandem we can at last do some rides together without a mismatch of speeds...and after a 2mo layoff the bike, our speeds are wildly different!

3.  We have taken on a home improvement project.  We have torn out our old nasty wooden decking in back, with the intent of laying a nice paver patio.  The eventual plan is to build a roofed structure over most of the paver patio, to provide shade, and a place to spend time outside with friends in the evening, with ceiling fans in the structure (think like a gazebo), a fire pit, and of course the BBQ smoker will have a pad of its own to sit on!

4.  We had a nice Christmas, just the immediate family.  I got some super nice things, including a Freiling coffee press, a Spyderco Street Beat, a book on breads and home made Christmas ornaments from the kids!

5.  And amidst all the hooyah in the media and government about this latest snowstorm currently plowing its way across the northern tier and into New England, I observe that it is January, here in the northern hemisphere, which equates to WINTER!  It's supposed to be snowy up north in the WINTER!  With the sun in a significant solar minimum cycle which is supposed to continue apparently, what exactly were they expecting weather-wise?  A balmy 72*F in Green Bay?  Gimme a break...

Thursday, January 2, 2014

What's in a day?

What's in a day?  Lots of things, at least on some days.  The time from Halloween to today is a busy one for me and mine.  There's of course, Halloween which is for kids (big and small!), Thanksgiving, then near Christmas, a pair of birthdays close enough together to share a cake most years, and then comes Christmas, and New Year's Eve (parties if you do that sort of thing), and New Year's Day (aka hangover day for the party crowd!).

Which brings us to today.  January 2nd, 2014.  Time to dig out my copy of The Grim Reaper's Book of Days, to see who famous or otherwise, died on this date in history...*  No, that's not what makes this date special to me.  It's our anniversary!   Yes, 15yrs ago today, my life changed, for the better.  Time flies, when you're having fun!

We've bought two houses, sold one, moved halfway across the midwest, birthed 3 Monkeys, had as many as 3 dogs at one time, gotten back into biking, gotten fat, gotten skinny, buried parents, gained friends, and through it all stayed in love. 

Happy Anniversary my dear husband!  I love you!

* Ross Alexander, Hollywood actor committed suicide.  The studio hired a replacement, a young actor on his first job, Ronald Reagan.