What on earth have we been doing since we got back from our honeymoon? That's a good question.
This last weekend we tried to catch up some of our work around the house. We moved mountains of laundry through the washer and out onto the clothesline in the backyard. I mowed the lawn. Sarah did some weeding and pruning. After mowing the lawn, I put some caulk around the basement windows where the original caulk had dried out and broken off. Sarah also put up some curtains in our office. We had several that we saved from our house in Alameda, but she made one more because the ones we saved weren't quite long enough. Yesterday, we went mountain biking in Governor Dodge State Park which is about one hour west of Madison. A so-called real mountain biker probably wouldn't appreciate the trails there as they aren't terribly technical, but we're not out there riding to experience single-track spills and thrills. We just like to go farther, faster in the woods than we can on foot.
The park itself was delightful. We encountered exactly nobody on the trails. The weather was plenty warm, but not terribly humid. There is a pleasant lake and beach area in the park that attracts numerous families and other sun-seekers. While we were eating our lunch (after biking), we watched some kids swamp their canoe about twenty feet from the dock. They didn't know how to get back in the right way, so they ended up back in the canoe with so much water that just the tips of the canoe were visible above the water. It was fun to watch.
After we got back to Madison, I watched the Vikings game while Sarah walked over to a friend's house to visit.
Labor Day weekend, we laid around the house most of Saturday. We sat out on the patio, in the shade of the house, and read, snacked, and drank. It was a very pleasant and relaxing way to spend the day. For lunch, we had four bratwurst from BratFest. Sarah ate one, and I ate somehow found room for three in my stomach.
The next day, Sunday, we spent most of the day installing a ceiling fan in our bedroom. That wasn't on the agenda when we woke up, but it needed to be done. Of course, none of our home improvement projects can be completed without at least one mid-project trip to the hardware store. So, while we made that trip, we also stopped at BratFest and bought four more brats for lunch. Installing the fan took a fair amount of time because we first had to remove the old lamp, and all of the old wiring from the electrical box. Since our house was built using a technique called something like "spider web" electrial construction, all the wiring for any given circuit can be found in a ceiling electrial box. So, the master bedroom circuit has three outlets on it, including one in the office. That means that there were four pieces of conduit attached to the ceiling electrical box. After removing the old lamp, and untwisting the various wires, it was up into the attic for me. That was easily the worst part of the job. The attic was at least 110 degrees. I was sweating so profusely, that I soaked through both my shirt and pants in twenty minutes of being up there.
I needed to get into the attic to remove the old electrical box. In this house, the electrical boxes are fastened to joists via some old system. So, I had to crawl up there with a wrecking bar, a hammer, and the like to remove the old electrical box. Once that was done, I was able to install a new "ceiling fan approved" electrial box that would support the weight of the ceiling fan.
Once I had that done, needed to enlarge the hole in the ceiling that allowed access to the electrical box. The old electrial box had some sort of cowling on that it limited access to it from below. So, after persauding the plaster to fall with the wrecking bar, she fit the hole to the new electrical box.
When we purchased the ceiling fan, the box said it was a "quick connect" type that could be easily and quickly installed. Even as I read that on the box, I knew that it wasn't true. Sure, once you spend six man hours getting everything ready for the ceiling fan, it will most likely be a relative snap to finish the installation. That turned out to be the case. Once we had the electrical box in place, it only took about an hour to attach the mounting bracket, wire up the fan, attach the decorative fairing, and balance the fan blades.
With that done, we took the rest of the day off. On Labor Day, we tackled our basement. Since we moved into this house a little over one year ago, the basement really hadn't gotten any attention. As such, we tended to just dump things down there we didn't want cluttering up the first floor. Such a policy naturally lead to junk everywhere on the foor.
So, we spent most of the day sorting through the junk in the basement. We ended up with three boxes of stuff for Goodwill, several bags of trash, and an amazing amount of floorspace.
In addition to all of the above, Sarah has been getting ready for her classes. Today is the first day of her first full week of classes.
I've also been getting up early every morning to take Dalla to a dog park that is within walking distance of our house. All of the all-day dog parks are driving distance from our house, but there is a limited hours dog park just ten minutes away. The hours are 05:00-07:30, so we have to get up early and get over there before time expires. She has a great time there chasing and being chased.