Sunday, February 12, 2012

Building and shredding

Well, we've been back in Iowa 5 days now, and we are seeing major progress on my house.  We have been very focused this week, working from the time we get up until 7 or 8 or later each night.  I think we are getting in a groove of working together which basically means Mike works on his stuff, and I work on my own tasks.  Somehow it's better this way...

After taking some ribbing from Mike about all of my "to do" lists shortly after I retired, he has finally seen the light!  Yesterday he created his own "to do" list to keep track of steps in building a wall.  As you might imagine, I HAD to get a picture.

It's great when a plan comes together. From the diagrams to the framing, Mike has done a great job putting this "corner-piece"wall assembly together.   After several days of hard work, and an unexpected trip to the emergency care center for a tetanus shot, this work will be finished tonight!  And just in time before the drywall work tomorrow.

I got to tag along on several trips to Lowe's to buy 2x4's, 2x6's, nails, screws and Gorilla Glue.  I really enjoy learning about construction materials and how they are used.  Plus I'm learning how to pick out straight boards!

My work this week was very mundane.  I cleaned a couple of clothes closets and got rid of lots of stuff.  I took several large bags of casual clothes and shoes to Goodwill.  I still have work clothes and handbag to donate, and thanks to information from my friend Ruth, I am checking into donating to a couple of organizations that help women find jobs.  Of course I kept some of my work attire, just in case...

I spent 2 days going through all my files and shredding documents.  I always envied people who purged old records each year, but I never found time to be that orderly.  My file cabinet was packed, and I was buried in documents including debit card receipts going back several years and bank statements going back more years than I care to admit.

 Wanting to recycle the shredded paper, I decided to use leaf bags instead of grocery bags.  These large leaf bags were much easier to handle.  I am embarrassed to say that I filled 3 large leaf bags with shredded paper, and I have no idea how all of that paper ever fit in my small file cabinet.  What else can I say?

And then there comes a time when you just hit the wall.  I needed a break today and went for a wonderful afternoon walk.  I  felt like I had the world to myself; maybe the cold weather kept everyone inside today.  I love to bake, and I also found some time for baking today.  In the past baking was often stress relief, but today it was just plain fun!  We plan to celebrate completion of the wall with some of these treats!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Bowl Week in Indy

What a great week to be in Indianapolis!  It's been a whirlwind starting last Sunday when we spent the day at Lucas Oil Stadium putting seat cushions on 50,000 seats.  As I mentioned in my last post, it was a great opportunity to volunteer for the Super Bowl and help a children's charity.

One warm afternoon we met up with our friends Kevin and Kathy, and we headed downtown to experience the Super Bowl village. We arrived at Super Bowl Village and began walking through a 3 block area of stages, food, zip lines and thousands of people.  There were 4 zip lines across Illinois Street, and it was a blast watching people screaming overhead while they enjoyed this ride.  We decided that being spectators was ok versus getting in line at 5 am to buy tickets.  

The local bars and restaurants were hopping, and the media was set up at various places throughout the village.   We enjoyed watching an ice sculpture demonstration by the Ice Gurus.  They created an amazing sculpture a football encased in ice, but all I could  think was "what is wrong with this picture... chain saws and ice?"

We did some shopping for Super Bowl souvenirs at The Huddle, which was an eating and shopping area set up inside the Circle Center Mall.  We enjoyed great food and drinks along the way, and although expensive (as all the local residents complained) it was worth it!  Did I mention the absolutely great weather? It was in the low 50's which is unheard of for the first of February in Indy.

Mike and I headed back to Super Bowl Village the next evening after a day of moving furniture into my new study. We wanted some quality time together, and we ended up sharing the time with 150,000 other people who were downtown.  We went to the Darius Rucker concert and enjoyed some great music outdoors on a beautiful evening.

We enjoyed walking around and getting some great photos of the city all decked out for the Super Bowl.   It was amazing to see the Marriott Hotel covered by a Super Bowl Sign.

The Circle Center was beautiful at twilight.  This area was also home to the theatre where Jimmy Fallon hosted his show several nights this week.  

It's been a great week to be in Indy!  We were fortunate to be able to volunteer and participate in the events leading up to the Super Bowl.  We've had a blast, and we haven't even watched the game yet.  Tonight we head to a Super Bowl party at our friend Brian's house.  Go Giants and Eli Manning!  Like most people in Indy, you have to root for any team that plays against the Patriots.  And I used to say that I didn't like football.  Holy cow, what has happened to me...


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Got Muscles?

If not, I should have.  The past couple of weeks have been filled with opportunities to build muscles. 

Of course there’s been the repeat pattern of pack boxes, move to car and take to Goodwill, which surely builds muscle. I unpacked a bin of notes and books from my MBA.  The notes went into recycle and the books are still a question mark.  They are probably out dated, but I still want to research before tossing them (or as Mike suggested, use the band saw to cut through the books so the pages can be recycled.  Not as strange as his experience using the radial arm saw to make croutons out of old bread, but close). 

Like many people, I am trying to exercise more this year (also one of my retirement goals).  I am walking, stretching and doing light weight lifting.  After several days a week of this regimen, I can feel some abs and gluts that previously were non-existent.  Ok, it’s more like when I move, they hurt!  I will take that as a good sign of muscle formation…

And then there was packing the U-Haul trailer to move some furniture for my new study at Mike’s house.  After some interesting conversation with people at various U-Haul stores including a person who gave us patently incorrect information to another tough guy who said, “this ain’t my first rodeo” while hooking up the trailer to the Nitro, we rented the trailer for 3 days.  If I thought the renting was tough, I didn’t anticipate the strength and muscles needed to lift and move furniture into the U-Haul.  Pain in my lower back was evidence of lifting a recliner, leather chair and ottoman and desk. At first I didn’t know if this was an “oh $*** I hurt my back, or if it was muscles screaming, but the next morning I felt great!  Go muscles go!

Then last weekend, Mike and I got to help prepare Lucas Oil Stadium for the Super Bowl.  No, I wasn’t giving pointers to Eli Manning or Tom Brady; it wasn’t quite that glamorous.  We were part of a volunteer organization called One Brick who put commemorative seat cushions on 50,000 seats in the stadium.   I never did calculate how many seat cushions I put in place or how many stairs I climbed, but suffice it to say that my body was quite sore at the end of the day. 

We had a blast seeing Lucas Oil Stadium for the first time and without the huge crowds you would normally experience.  We got to witness preparations for the big event including setting up and tearing down the stage for the half time event. It was an incredible experience to be part of Super Bowl 46 and helping a children’s charity at the same time (NFL donated to a One Brick charity as payment for this work).  We were very impressed with all the volunteers who participated in this daunting task.  In case you are wondering, the remainder of the seats will get their seat cushions on Saturday however, I am not sure our bodies have had enough recovery time to volunteer for that work.

Got muscles?  Not yet, but I’m working on it.