A few befores …

I thought I could find a few more before pictures of the master bedroom but I think all the photos taken during scorpion invasion and the subsequent painting/drop cloth/really tall ladder takes up the whole room phase got deleted from my camera roll.  However I did dig up a few gems from the realty listing.

Master Bed 01

See that fleshy beige wall paint!!!  And the vertical blinds – those were the first thing to go and it was very satisfying to throw them off the second floor balcony.  JT also updated all of the outlets and switches to be nice and clean and white to match our new wall color.

Master Bed 02

That fan!  There are a total of five of the same mildly offensive but oh-so functional Hunter fans throughout the house.   I’ve started the search for a perfect replacement and have yet to find one I really love ….

For comparison ….Bedroom 2

The bathroom …. which has the same light fixtures, mirrors, sinks, faucets, granite and cabinets as the other full and half bath in the house.  A real first world problem I have is that I HATE my granite.  Or maybe I just hate it in context of everything else that is going on.  At any rate, I have plans for this space ….

Master Bath

So there’s a little sneak peek into some “befores”.  I’ll have more and a floor plan soon!  Cheers – CT

Master Bedroom Tour

Before we moved in, we painted the bulk of the first floor Benjamin Moore “White Dove”.  We stopped the paint at the corner at the bottom of the stairs before it turns and goes up into the two volume space.  So for a while, downstairs was gorgeous gleaming white and the upstairs was still that dingy, fleshy beige that drives me crazy.

Part of living in the desert means that all of the creepy crawlies that live outdoors would much rather live in your home.  And the creepy crawlies out here are so much more terrifying than in the Midwest I have found.  The long segue I am trying to make here is that we ended up moving into the guest bedroom for a time after we discovered a few scorpions living in our master bedroom.  There was one in JT’s shoe which was stored in one of the under-bed drawers and another hanging out on the inside of the shower curtain one morning.  Not cool.  While we were waiting for the pest people to come back, we decided to go ahead and get the master bedroom painted.  So here it is …

Bedroom 3

We have nice high ceilings in this room and so we decided to accent the end wall with Sherwin Williams “Porpoise” which was a color we had in our STL house as well.  I guess I just really love that color – it’s a pretty perfect warm dark grey.  The canvas artwork has moved with us too and lived in a few different rooms before ending up here.

Bedroom 2

I have a love/hate relationship with the mirrored closet doors.  They’re so functional yet so …. tacky.  They do help bounce the light around the room.  You can kind of see in the reflection that we have the Koehler white vinyl rocker/lounger in the corner for a little sitting/clothes piling area.  JT got that chair from Goodwill during college and I think we may have it forever.  I love it – there’s nothing tacky about it!   You can kind of see beyond that the master bedroom opens into the sink area of the master bath and then around the corner and behind closed doors is the water closet and a large tub/shower.

Bedroom Outtake

Here’s an outtake from my little photo shoot – Shenanigan was done with being photographed and wanted O-U-T of the bedroom.  Tough luck little dude.  The blue duvet cover and pillow shams came from West Elm about two years ago.  Next steps for this room is a proper headboard – we still haven’t had one of those in almost 11 years of marriage!  It would also be nice to upgrade our bedside tables and lamps as well at some point.

Shenana Snores

Above is a little scene from this A.M. – Boo got scared of something in the night and jumped up on the bed.  The dogs are getting older with creakier joints so they actually don’t get up on the bed with us as much anymore, which is probably good for both the husband’s and my back.

Sophie Yells

Not to be left out, I also caught Sophie the dog mid-yawn this morning.  You can see how the carpet has some Sophie spots on it.  JT and I would love to replace the carpet for hardwood or maybe an LVT floor as Miss Sophie has left her mark a few places when she wasn’t feeling well with a UTI.  We’ve rented a steam cleaner twice but haven’t had any success getting fully rid of the telltale stains.

The best part about this house and especially the master bedroom is the view – there’s a balcony looking out over the mountain.  We picked up some cool chairs from Lowes and JT and I sit out there some mornings, sip our coffee and soak in the scenery.

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Below is a better view out the sliding door and over the balcony.  It was a rare(r) rainy day the other day and like a true Phoenician, I took a photo of the rain.

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You can kind of see the hot tub below on the left and the hammock is hanging out down there.  JT has been itching to find some pavers and fill in the large “sand box” we inherited and create a nice outdoor living room.

So that’s the master bedroom in the new house, a little sanctuary in the sky.  There’s still work to be done in there (we need a non-ugly fan STAT!) and I didn’t show more photos in the bathroom part of the suite on purpose – it’s a work in progress but we’re loving it.

Hopefully this week we’re going to finish up a little laundry room renovation and I also have some more of a room-by-room tour of the new house.  The hot weather has finally left Phoenix and I’m starting to get my home project mojo back.  Have a great week!  Cheers – CT

1978 Fender Telecaster

The guitar in this post is available (although probably not for long) in my Reverb store. Check it out along with my other offerings at Thompson Guitar & Thrift by clicking this button:

Shop My Store on Reverb

All around the guitar-nerd thunder-dome I exist in, I hear a lot of bad-mouthing of guitars made in the 1970’s. I definitely get some of it, and anyone can see it in the bizarre offerings from Gibson especially in that era. Quality control standards and just the sad state of the economy in general are often cited as reasons for these “less-than” products.

I’ll admit I wasn’t around in the 70’s (CT and I were both born in 1980), so I’m quite honestly not sure what the big deal is? For example, I found this 1978 Fender Telecaster recently. This guitar is absolutely solid, totally playable and has that vintage look/vibe.

1978 Fender Tele in awesome brown finish

1978 Fender Tele in awesome brown finish

This is a great guitar that (as a player) I would put up against any pre-CBS era tele.

1978 Tele Close

So much value is placed around the pre-CBS (before CBS bought out Leo Fender) Fender guitars. So much so, folks like me (and likely you) have an almost impossible time buying or even playing them. The average guitar player, and certainly the average musician just don’t have the tens of thousands to get our hands on one.

What we do have however for vintage Fenders is the 70’s era guitars. As much trash talk as I have heard about them, I have yet to come across one that hasn’t been a delight to play. I played a 78 refinished tele for years and absolutely loved it. They look every bit as vintage, have the same tone as those a few years older, and are guitars that you wouldn’t think twice about bringing to a bar gig.

So what the hell is it exactly that makes them so inferior? Cheaper components?These were guitars made by hard-working Americans who I’m sure took great pride in what they were doing, and did the best with what they had. I for one would like to send my thanks out into the universe to those folks who made some great guitars. Not all of us think they’re sub-par.

1978 Tele headstock

To Toronto and back

Hey all —

What’s been going on?  In the last few weeks I voyaged to Toronto and back all for a lighting factory tour.

JD and CT at Metalumen

Did you know LEDs use (man-made) sapphires as the base?  That’s why LED is such a blue light.  We learned that the future of LED involves a switch to a purple base for a more natural appearing light.

Metalumen LED boards

Above are some LED boards being manufactured.

We didn’t actually end up in downtown Toronto like I thought we would, the factory was in Guelph, Ontario and the first few nights we stayed in a nice hotel (the Delta) in Guelph.  The last night we moved to a Holiday Inn in Kitchener to be closer to Oktoberfest.

Octoberfest

The majority of the tour group went to a farmer’s market and shopping place on the last day of the trip but my lighting rep host and another pair of travelers and I slipped away, rented a car and went to Niagara Falls.  It was great to see it from the Canada side.

View from the restaurant

We went out on one of the boats and rode pretty close (but not under) the Falls.

Group at Niagra

We also stopped in nearby Niagara on the Lake to try ice wine.  I had never heard of it before – it is a sweet dessert wine that is made with grapes after they have frozen on the vine.  It was super yummy but I didn’t bring a bottle back as I was trying to travel light.  It might have been better if I had purchased something because the customs agent who questioned me on the way out was very puzzled as to why I had not done any shopping.  (See getting out of Canada was difficult below.)  Note to said customs agent – not all women who travel only do so to shop.

It was a whirlwind of a trip (getting out of Canada was somewhat difficult and we had to really RUN through the airport to catch a connecting flight) and I am lucky to have been invited.  My host paid for everything and I got him and the other lighting reps talking about all of their client-schmoozing adventures.  They have basically had to become enablers in the name of business.  Beyond drinks and expensive dinners, some of their clients demand strippers or hookers and the reps end up baby-sitting a bunch of spoiled  and often extremely drunk specifiers.  (That was not me, I stayed relatively sober and my host only had to indulge me by buying a plate of French fries at the bar after each buffet dinner where there was nothing vegan but salad …)

It makes me wonder if this is the old school of doing business (the Donald Trump school we might call it) and if there isn’t a new school on its way in.  I was one of only a few women on the trip which I’m sure changes the dynamic but we still had a couple of older guys cab out of Oktober fest in search of a strip club.  More than anything though, I think we should all consider thinking about value-added opportunities rather than just additional value items.  What on earth are you rambling about CT?  The other day JT and I met with our financial planner.  She graciously brought in lunch and even catered to my particularity and had a vegan option and even a vegan cupcake for desert.  This was great but I think I would have much preferred a value-added exchange where perhaps she came to our house to meet rather than providing us with lunch.  It seems more and more of our business is being driven to after hours activities where we’re trying to forge connections with potential clients over cocktails.  I would rather work hard and give them a great project than schmooze with them in the evening.  Maybe that’s just me.  Is anyone else seeing this in their work life?  This may be just normal growing pains as my employers push me towards project management while I try to dig my heels in and stay in the creative realm.  Dunno.

At the end of the day it’s all first world problems.  I was given a free trip (and a bonus day off work) to travel to a cool destination and learn some things and now here I am quasi-complaining about it.  It just seems like we all have a long way to go on this work/life balance thing and it’s not just about personal decisions – the whole corporate culture needs a shift in my opinion.  But that’s enough about opinions.  It’s Friday.  Time to head out into the weekend and live up the life side of things!  Cheers – CT

Fiver Floats

(PS – Above is a Canadian $5 bill.  It’s some kind of plastic or polymer or something.  It sat in the beer for a few minutes and then I wiped it down and then the nice Canadian gentleman showing me this party trick put it back in his wallet.  Also the exchange rate was such that everything was about 25% of a discount so maybe some shopping wouldn’t have been such a bad idea after all.)

Charvel Model 2 Project PART TWO

So I completed the Charvel Model 2 project! Totally awesome guitar, but since I started building my own superstrats (look for a future blog on this) I decided to sell it in my Reverb store. It’s on sale the weekend of October 8-11, 2015 if you’re interested- just use code GUITAR1 at checkout to save an extra 6%. Check out this and everything in my store by clicking this button:

Shop My Store on Reverb

Finished and in original case

Finished and in original case

Since it was gutted and the original tremelo was destroyed, the list of work is pretty long:

-Replaced original (and destroyed) Kahler tremolo with a Wilkinson (which fit the original bridge posts)

-Added Guitar Fetish VEH (Vintage Extra Hot) Brown Sound pickup

-New gold-plated Switchcraft input jack

-Push-pull split-coil pot

-All-rosewood volume knob

I gotta sat that guitar fetish pickups are where it’s at. This VEH has this amazing tone- just think of a hot PAF humbucker, or Eddie Van Halen’s mystery pickup he had on his frankenstrat. I loved this pickup so much I bought a white one for one of my superstrats (again- look for a future blog post).

Rosewood volume knob

Rosewood volume knob

The push-pull split coil pot was a first for me. It’s a complex wiring job, but I knew that the variance it would add to the tone would be necessary. With the split coil, simply pull the knob up and the hum bucker is now a single coil. It really sounds great and even with the single coil engaged there is minimal to no noise. This is such a great thing to have with a single-pickup guitar.

Completed wiring for push-pull volume pot

Completed wiring for push-pull volume pot

The brand new Wilkinson 2-point tremolo has a big block and keeps nearly perfect tune. What’s great about the Wilkinson is it matched the two posts that were there for the old tremelo. No drilling or filling. This is also great for anyone who would want to find an original Kahler tremelo, as it would fit right back on there.

Wilkinson tremolo mounted on original Kahler mounts

Wilkinson tremolo mounted on original Kahler mounts

This was a really great project, and a real treat to play if you’re into Kramer, Jackson, Charvel or Fender super strats.

Check out more pictures of it, along with a short demo video of me playing it at it’s listing here.

Portland … It’s all true.

Hey guys – happy Friday!  In theory both JT and I are off on Fridays thanks to our 4-10 schedule but I have a project that waits until Friday to need me.  The joy.  Oh well, what do you do?  Relive an earlier vacation?  Okay!

So we had never been anywhere in the Pacific Northwest before and we decided that early August would be a perfect time to escape the desert and break up the looooong summer we get here in Phoenix.  We landed at PDX (with the new carpet, boo) and learned that everything you’ve ever heard about Portland is true.

I’ll just give you a quick, non-linear recap because we saw and did and drank so much on our trip that there’s not enough internet or pictures to really go through it all.  So.

NATURE

Nature – they have that in spades.  Everything was SO GREEN!  We mainly stayed downtown but on the last day we rented a car and drove out to see some of the sights.

ROSE GARDEN

They have nature in town too – we visited the (free) International Rose Test Garden as it was in full bloom.  Amazing.  Roses for miles and they all have a slightly different scent but I thought the overall base smell was kind of lemon-y.  We lucked out and got the most beautiful weather while we were vacationing.  It was sunny and a little hot (not Phoenix hot) during the day and cool and perfect in the evening.

DRINKING 2

Beer.  Portland is the micro-brewery capital of the world or something. We visited a few places – Deschutes, Widmer Brothers (did the brewery tour) and McMenamins (the one in the Pearl District).

DRINKING 1

We did AirBnB for our lodgings and while we had a little hiccup at the beginning, it worked out okay and was a great location and view – we were in a historic building on the 8th floor near Madison and 6th Avenue downtown.  The photo below on the left is a view from the balcony looking west-ish and the other photo is JT after a grueling afternoon beer tasting – that’s hard work.  We loved the space, especially all the plants.  It was a little urban jungle and we slept with those doors open every night.  It let in all the awesome cool fresh air and the yells from the hobos fighting.  (Portland has A LOT of homeless people.)

AIRBNB

The apartment was within walking distance of a few metro stops and especially close to the Art Museum.  We saw the Ai Weiwei exhibit that is now set to open in Phoenix in about a month.  The space they used in Portland was well suited to the installation, I might have to check it out here as well to compare.

AI WEI WEI

What else?  Shopping – did that.  Everything was delightfully Portland-esque, made of real wood or leather and artisanally handcrafted by a hipster and displayed on a live edge tree slice.  We visited Powell’s Books twice and got nice and lost.  I also had my first visit to a brick and mortar Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams store only to learn they are soon opening one in Scottsdale.

SHOPPING

We saw a lot of the iconic Portland things (besides the hipsters, but they were everywhere).  There is a convenience chain called the “Plaid Pantry” – awesome.  We stumbled under the “Portlandia” statue on our way home from too much dining and drinking one night (see blurry night photo below).  We visited the food shacks (like food trucks but not actually driveable) a few too many times and the “Wolf + Bear” one below was quintessential Portland down to the font of the sign.  While there we saw a guy riding a unicycle playing the bagpipe and wearing a Darth Vader helmet – all in the name of keeping Portland weird.

ICONIC PORTLAND

We partied with the liberals at a free Bernie Sanders rally (There was more beer there too) and rode the metro back over one of Portland’s many bridges.
BERNIEWe dined and dined – visiting Clyde Common in the Ace Hotel and taking in a Portland sunset at Departures on the top of the Meiers + Frank building.

DEPARTURES

They had the best Asian noodle dish there (it was a pasta strand that was as thick as my pinky with a good spicy sauce on it) and a separate “special” menu just for vegans.  It was hard to pick when I had a whole menu to peruse!

TRAM

We rode the tram, we walked around some more, drank lots of coffee and we took it all in.  Portland was amazing – beautiful and hand crafted and full of beer.  Four days wasn’t enough but we crammed a lot in.  We plan on going back to visit the Oregon countryside and all of the wineries.  Cheers to (maybe) next summer!  CT

P.S. – JT also has a post coming up today about one of his guitar projects and his online “Thompson Guitar and Thrift” store.  This has been a way better option for him than the crazy fees of eBay and maybe we’re one step closer to a brick and mortar “Thompson Guitar and Thrift” …. I’d better start on my estate sale-ing and Goodwill searching so I can be ready to keep up with him!

 

Tree Stump Table

So we have this amazing view of South Mountain in our backyard, but when we moved in it was blocked by two trees. Well, one tree and one sad-sack-of-shit tree stump that was totally overgrown with weeds. We were sure it was providing hiding places for snakes, coyotes, tarantulas, hikers, hipsters.

Big crappy trees

Big crappy trees

No more big crappy trees

No more big crappy trees

We had someone come out and cut them down, which they did in about 2 hours flat. One by-product was a couple logs, one of which I decided to turn into a tree stump table so I could contribute to CT’s living room design.

When I went to grab the stump, I found a giant bug on it. Maybe it was a molted shell, maybe it was alive……I don’t know. All I know is I saw something brown, green and about 5 inches long in a split second before I dropped it and jumped-jerked-pirouetted away. I then soaked it for about 3 minutes with the hose. From there I gathered up the courage to gather it up and set it in the sun for few days to dry out in the midsummer Arizona sun.

Sanded, ready for poly

Sanded, ready for poly

Once I got it into the garage, I began sanding it. Quite honestly I really didn’t know how much sanding I wanted to do. The whole idea of this project was bringing in a rustic touch, but at the same time I needed some leveling of the ends. My solution was starting with medium-coarse grit and finishing with 600 grit. Just enough to smooth out the real rough spots. I cleaned it off with a can of compressed air, and started in with layers of clear brush-on polyurethane. After a few weeks of curing, it was ready to bring in and enjoy.

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Hanging It Updates

Hey everyone – it’s been awhile so I thought I would just plunge in with some updates, highlights and clips of what life has been like around the Living Analog household lately:

After another trip around the blazing hot sun (it was 104 degrees here yesterday on the first day of October!)  JT rewarded me with something I have had my eye on for a while now …. an Eames Hang It All!

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Husband is actually very smart and lets me self-select most gifts as I am ridiculously opinionated on all things that live in our house.  He did also surprise me with flowers at work this year, bonus points husband.  Back to the Hang It All – is it a little overpriced for a coat hook? Sure.  Do I love it and want to keep it forever?  Yes please.

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It’s right inside the front door so I can now just drop my purse and bag right when I get home from work.  It keeps everything off the floor (e.g. dog hair free) and did I mention that I love it?  Moving on …
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Some more little updates from our world:

– Also for my birthday (did I mention I’m pretty spoiled?)  JT and I took a weekend road trip to southeast Arizona.  We visited Tombstone for a few hours (that’s about all the touristy time we could handle) and stayed the night in Bisbee, which I really loved and reminded me of the American West version of Portwenn in Doc Martin but far and away the highlight of the trip was the winery region around Sonoita.  It was so beautiful and there was some good wine.  We are going back and hopefully soon!

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The high desert is amazing.  I took this picture from a moving car while driving east from Sonoita towards our hotel in Sierra Vista.  Amazing views for miles and miles.  And – five years late I joined Instagram.  I posted the above picture up and was proud to add the hashtag #nofilter!  My Instagram handle is ct.livinganalog.  I’m hoping to use Instagram to help me get my photos out of my phone more and into an actual printed form.  If anyone has some good recommendations for Instagram prints, I’m all ears.

– Sophie (the dog) is on antibiotics after getting her first UTI.  She started peeing inside the house once a day and we figured it was just a part of the old age thing so we got her a doggie diaper (that didn’t stay on … I also tried the toddler diapers from Target with a hole cut out for the tail but that was even worse …).  The drugs seem to have kicked in and we are back to a pee-free house.  However, we are now also a rug free house because she has done a LOT  of damage.  The carpet on the second level was pretty well toast when we moved in but now it’s beyond gone.  Thanks Sophie …

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(She’s so cute though  And we’re glad she’s feeling better.)

– JT made me a log table!  We had a tree crew come and cut down a dead and mostly knocked over tree as well as the tree at the back most corner of the yard.  Couple that with our backyard neighbor getting their tree (excessively) trimmed due to aggressive hybridized “killer” bees, and things got kind of bare in our backyard for a while.  The quail all quit us for a little bit but we got a huge bird feeding block from the hardware store and now they’re starting to come back.  JT will have to do a proper post about the log table but it’s been a great addition for the living room – perfect for holding a beverage and just looking cool.

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– There have been other, more terrifying bugs than the hybridized bees around … I found this THING in the garage the other day, words don’t even do it justice.  It appeared to be part large black spider and part scorpion or crab.  It was waiting for me at the door from the laundry room to the garage (it was inside the garage though, not actually in the house).  I was too terrified to get a picture of it while alive and the dead picture doesn’t even show what it could be but here goes ….

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The body part of the creature was about the size of a quarter and then the legs when out from there …. I hope I never meet that bug’s mother.  I think it was an alien.

– We’ve been taking lots of little trips and one big trip (to Portland!).  We’ve been traveling around Arizona and camping and staying as many places as our three day weekends allow – Payson and Lake Pleasant and Tucson, Jerome, Prescott and Apache Junction.  We’ve driven to Las Vegas from here once (it’s about 5 hours and you go through about 5 different types of environments – even a Joshua Tree forest).  Driving in Arizona is fascinating and terrifying because once you get out of the valley, the scenery is breathtaking but the roads immediately become steep, winding and full of tractor trailers going too fast.

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Above is a snap from one of our jaunts – the Elvis Chapel at the Superstition Mountain Museum.  Yes, Elvis (or a non-lifelike replica statue) was inside. Yes, my sunglasses are too big for my face – look at all that sunshine!  A girl has to take cover where she can get it in this state.  Portland (Oregon) was so amazing and such a great respite from the heat we’ve been plodding through.  I’ll do a better Portland recap in my next post.  I loved it there and I could easily see doing a 6 month split with Phoenix – live in Portland for the 6 months of summer and Phoenix for the 6 months of winter.  Now I just need to find a job that will let me telecommute like that …..

I hope all is well with my interwebs friends!  I’ll be around more and I hope to catch up with everyone.

Cheers – CT

Entryway Updates

We moved into our new house in mid-February and I know I haven’t shown much of it here on the blog.  We painted the whole first floor when we moved in and changed out the outlets and switches from almond to white.  We stalled out for a while and we were just kind of living with things to see what was working and what we needed to change.  One thing that needed a little help was our entry way.

Before 2

See the mess?  (Yes that is a Darth Vader toy thing. It’s going up to the music room but it needed to get hosed off outside first.)  We needed a “landing strip” as they call it on Apartment Therapy.

Before 1

One of the “fun parts” of living in the desert is scorpions and since our new house backs up to the mountain preserve, we have a lot of wild life, scorpions included.  JT found one in his shoe one day shortly after we moved in so we decided it would be best to store shoes in a way that would be not as inviting to any stinging inhabitants.  (We also have a black light flashlight so we can check things out – scorpions glow under a black light.)  You can also see that we were using a painter’s tape floor warning as there is a small step at the entry that is hard to see when the floor is all one tile.  A lot of temporary things.

A trip to Ikea (yes, Ikea again) found us with the Hemmes shoe cabinet flat-packed into our car and this afternoon JT began the arduous process that is assembling one of those things — we have built a few Ikea items and this was one of the most complex.

During

And — after!

After 1

(Sorry for the dark photos, we just wrapped this up about an hour ago and I wanted to use my Sunday evening to type up a little post. The Hemmes cardboard boxes are even still in the picture there, I am not one of those super slick bloggers, I guess.)

After - Open

Thanks to Swedish design, we now have a place we can stash our shoes that doesn’t junk up the entry way so much and will hopefully stay bug free.  I think I will eventually change the knobs out to de-Ikea-fy it a little and we talked about maybe putting a more rustic wood ledge on top …. we shall see.

After 2

I pulled the blue painter’s tape off the floor and put down four of the Flor “Mod Cow” carpet tiles I’ve been hoarding, I mean holding on to for a while now.

Off to Goodwill

It’s off to Goodwill for the old shoe rack.  We’ve been on a good roll of purging out items we haven’t been using and right now we have two bins in the garage waiting to go.  I also have some plans for that little sliver of a wall next to the front door too – more projects!

Shenanigan approved the new rug.

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Hope you had a great weekend full of successful projects. Cheers – CT

(Another P.S. – I don’t want our gun artwork to seem insensitive in light of current events.  It’s more intended as an ironic statement …)

In Hot Water

This is our second summer in Phoenix and while May was unseasonably cool (not really chilly but just below average temperatures for the area), June rolled around and brought the hot weather with it.  I call it the hair dryer – even the breezes are hot.  Temperatures all week are above 110 and it makes outdoor activity, especially physical exercise, virtually impossible for a heat weakling like me.  Summer in Phoenix takes on qualities of the winter in the Midwest – a lot of indoors time leads to cabin fever and a little weight gain.  Not so fun.

However our new house brought us into a new neighborhood and we have a community pool.  I started out by just getting a punch pass and over time I may become a monthly member.  It’s great because the lane lines are always in place and there are diving blocks and the warning flags – it’s a real “competition” style pool available to me 6 days a week and all year round.

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Being able to get in the pool and get a workout will make this summer tolerable I think.  JT is not a swimmer (I was on the high school swim team for three years) so he has invested in a mountain bike that he takes out on the mountain you can kind of see in the background of the image above while I’m cruising in the pool.  It works out because while I enjoy bikes while on a flat, stable surface, South Mountain is the opposite of flat so we both get some exercise into our 30 something selves.

The pool stays open until 9:15 pm during the week so during the work week I have been swimming in the dusk and evening.  It’s such a cool feeling to glide through the water with the night sky above you.

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Here was the workout I did last night:

-1 x 200 freestyle with 100 easy then 100 intense
-1x 50 breaststroke
-1 x 200 freestyle with 100 easy then 100 intense
-1 x 50 backstroke
Repeat the above twice
-500 freestyle with a moderate build
-100 cool down

I’m not Olympic material and don’t necessarily want to join a Masters swim group just because I don’t really have a competitive bone in my body when it comes to sports.  However I do go “full swimmer” and wear a swim cap, goggles and do flip turns during my workout.  It felt like riding a bike (ha ha) – I haven’t done a real “swim practice” since probably 1998 but getting back in the pool and working on my strokes felt so natural.  It’s also a great release from all the “screens” in my life – the work computer, the home computer, the work tablet, the home TV.  When you’re in the pool, swimming in your own lane, it’s just you, your breathing and your thoughts.  I also count each lap to hold my place in the workout (for some of you non-swimmers, a 200 is 8 laps in a 25 yard pool and a 500 is 20 laps) and it’s very meditative.  I’m in (not very) hot water and I love it.

Cheers!
CT

(PS – JT and I have been having a lot of home conversations about the Charleston shootings.  I hope you have conversations with the people in your life too.  We need more conversations and we need change.)