Monday, December 31, 2012

Code name? Project Complete!

Without discussing just how many nerves have been frayed, this project is done.  Brenda and I have agreed (for different reasons) we are done remodeling.  :)

Here is how it looks...

Thursday, December 27, 2012

It's time for another project.

Whenever someone visits our house, it seems there is always one room which has a closed door because we're working on it, about to work on it, or some such excuse.  Just short of 2 years ago, we remodeled the basement living area.  The bathroom however?  Its door remained closed and has been totally out of commission.  The only thing you would see if you opened the door would have been debris. 

Finally, the fix has started.  I have some photos of the progress.  Perhaps it's just as well I don't have any "before" photos.

Shower will be here.  But floor drain from old shower doesn't line up with new shower and the lavatory will be on a different wall.  So cut out the floor to place new drains.

Entry.  The wall to the right of the door was moved back into the laundry room about 16 inches to allow for this sitting area and an area for shelves as seen in the next photo.

I'll have about 43 inches for shelves in the area where the chair stands.

The old lavatory sat below the window, but the new one will be on the wall to the left of door. 

Back to the sitting and shelf area.  The wood is going up.

Shower surround is in place and drywall will soon be ready for primer & paint.

Paint is now on, so time for the tile to go down.

Shower glass installed and trim is going on... one piece at a time.  Cut it in the garage, make the trek into the basement.  If it fits, nail it.  If it's a 1/16 inch too long, walk out to the garage and cut it again!

Shelves are in place.

As soon as I finish a couple more things, I'll shoot some more photos and show the finished project.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Deer Season

Where were all the deer this year?  Well, this one is in the freezer but the others eluded Kyle & I this season.  The statewide deer harvest was up slightly this year.  But the number of deer we saw was down.  I may have another hunt opportunity during the late season.  My wish is that Kyle could have another day or two in the woods but living in OK doesn't exactly make it easy.  We did have a great time together though. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Wedding

The town of Pawnee sits in the northern part of Central Oklahoma with it's 2,190 residents. (when they are all home)  Folks unfamiliar with that area of the Sooner State may never have heard of Pawnee, but those who are serious fans of Dick Tracy might know the cartoonist who created that comic strip, Chester Gould, was born there.  Which is why Pawnee is home to the world's largest Dick Tracy mural.  And maybe the only Dick Tracy mural for all I know.  Also born in Pawnee was Chief Yellow Horse and if you know that he was the first full-blooded Native American Indian to play professional baseball, you win today's trivia contest.

As of June 9, 2012, Pawnee is also the wedding site for Kyle & Kalynn.  The Pawnee Bath House & grounds (a 1939 WPA project) was the venue.  The weather was great, the wedding was terrific and the couple are favorites of ours.  Here are some photos.

 Brenda and Delaine with lighted candles 
and three handsome young men in tow are ready to start the ceremony.
Kyle awaits.

All our eyes are on Kalynn & Dan

 Diane shares some thoughts for all of us.

 Kaloni, Joseph, Carly, Kalynn, Wayne, Kyle, Parker, Tyler & Karmen

 Wayne performed the ceremony.  Very nicely, I must add.

 Katia, Kamela, Ashley & Karmen sing "We Have Chosen One Another"

 The Kiss.  Wayne approves I think.

Mr. & Mrs. Kyle LiaBraaten

Sunday, July 8, 2012


Thursday, June 7 was rehearsal day.  First order of business was to get everyone to the park where the wedding was to be held in Pawnee OK, rehearse, then head 40 minutes west to Perry OK and do some preparation at the reception hall.

First, thanks to Karmen for the photos.  Hoping others would share their photos with us, I never took my camera out of the car.  Microphone in hand, Kalynn and Kyle are all smiles BEFORE the start of rehearsal.  Afterward, you ask?  Well, we'll see about that!

 Brenda and others watch the proceedings. The venue was really nice which is more evident in the wedding photos I'll post later.

See, rehearsal is over, the sun has set and indeed, still smiling!

The project I was involved with at the reception hall was hanging a parachute from the ceiling. Kyle spent a good amount of the evening on a ladder stringing support rope. 

Kalynn hangs on to her Dad (Dan) as he holds the parachute up to take out slack as the ropes are tightened.  Just why a parachute is needed at a wedding reception will be revealed in a future episode.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Wedding, Reception, Wedding

A busy few weeks since my last blog post.  Several posts would be required to catch up and I don't have time for that right now so here is a brief (very brief) update.  It also will get Kyle's bloody finger off the front page and I know of at least one person who is ready to look at something else.  :)

Brenda went to S Carolina twice during May to see Kamela.  Then we traveled to Oklahoma for the June 9 wedding of Kyle & Kalynn.  They came to Eureka for a reception on June 23.  Karmen joined Brenda & I for a trip to Pennsylvania for Ashley's wedding on June 30.  Everything went exceptionally well and nobody melted due to the temperature extremes during June.

More photos and updates to follow but for now this photo of our and Kalynn's family will do.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Saw Won. As Usual.

Today Kyle had his stitches removed from his run-in with a saw about 10 days ago.  While the encounter did chip a bit of bone, he: 1- still has the finger,  2- missed the major nerves & tendons and 3- let someone else finish the sawing.

After the incident

After the clean-up

After the stitches

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Turkey Fever

Turkey fever.  We've caught it.
Don & I enjoyed our third joint turkey hunt this year.  Our time to hunt in IL was limited with Don
getting out only one day and me enjoying but two days in the field during the 6 day season.  Although we saw several turkeys, opportunity to harvest a tom never presented itself.

Fortunately we had planned a trip to Michigan and those birds up there were much more cooperative.  Don saw numerous birds and by mid-morning he managed to get in position and fill his tag with the good looking turkey shown below.

Future hunter(s)?  Too bad I didn't have a camera ready to record the excitement Hudson & Cadence displayed when they first saw Dad with his turkey. 

Late in the day I had a chance at either of two gobblers of equal size.  This one sported a 9.5 inch beard and weighed in at about 18 lbs.

Cadence checks to see how sharp the 1" + spurs are.

Brenda is quite gracious and allows two mounted turkeys from previous hunts to be displayed in our basement.  But I don't think she wants a third.  How do I know that?  After shooting this tom, I sent a text to Brenda, Kamela, Karmen & Kyle letting them know of my success.  Each of the 3 kids responded with various forms of congratulations.  Such as "Awesome", "Good job Dad", "Terrific". 
Brenda's response?  "Help us all!"  We all got a good laugh out of that. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Cold Hands, Warm Heart?

No, it's actually more like cold back, warm front. 

The winter of 2012 was almost non-existent in Central Illinois.  A handful of days below freezing and a couple relatively insignificant snowfalls that lasted long enough to get a few photos if you all ready had your camera out of the case.  For those of us who enjoy winter, the best we could do was open the refrigerator door for a few extra moments.  But somehow that just isn't the same.

However, there was one weekend that cooperated and like moths drawn to light, the winter camping crew hightailed it into the woods.  Here are a few photos of the annual adventure.

Camaraderie is a major reason these folks grab their -20 sleeping bags, some grub and show up year after year.  Sometime during the fall when those delightful cool, colorful days are upon us, I inevitably hear someone say, "It won't be long now until we can go camping".

The food absolutely is critical.  What tastes good any other occasion seems to have double flavor.
Venison steaks are a staple.  Brats made their debut this year.

Another new dish.  Taco pie.  Don hit a home run with this one!  
(Maybe I should thank Leann?)
 I can't tell for sure what else is cooking here but I do remember some really, really good beans.
Back to back home runs actually.  Good job Doug (Karena).  
The fire is the main comfort of the camp, whether in summer or winter, and is about as ample at one season as at another.  It is as well for cheerfulness as for warmth and dryness.
 ~Henry David Thoreau
 Looks like it might be close to bedtime!

We don't normally sleep in the back of a pickup.  But, since Bruce & Emily had to leave at 5 AM, it seemed a good option.  Did Bruce get the truck warmed up before you exited the bag Emily?

It's a bit late to post these photo perhaps but since I got no photos this year, I had to go begging in order to tell the story.  Thanks for sharing your shots Bruce!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Float! or swim

I would be somewhat surprised if our town of Eureka ever hosted concrete canoe races before last week.  Such an event was certainly new to me.  If you are a civil engineer or know someone who is, you quite likely are up on this.  I've learned that building a concrete canoe and entering competition with them is part of the curriculum for CE's.  Sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers, local competitions lead to national competitions and some university engineering department is awarded the top prize in canoe races featuring 2 man, 2 woman & 4 person co-ed races.  Perhaps there's more, but hey, I'm still learning.

Back to Eureka.  About 17 university engineering departments from the "Great Lakes" conference brought their canoes to Eureka Lake for a day of races.  Some assortment of winners from about 18 regions across the US will advance to the national finals held this year at University of Nevada, Reno.

One of the most interesting aspects of the 84 pages of regulations for designing, building and racing a concrete canoe is that the boat must be buoyant after it is completely filled with water. There is lots more interesting stuff but you'll need to check out the ASCE website if you would like to see it.

Univ of IL  carries their boat to it's "dry-dock" after a race.

Dedicated trailer for the concrete boats.  Serious!!

Northwestern U

In action.  Slalom races perhaps?

I wondered about a concrete boat taped together.  But apparently if you boat doesn't float after being filled with water you get deduction of points then you can modify the boat with ballast.  Or something like that.  Correct me if I'm wrong Andy.

And of course, the BANANA BOAT