Interior Design by Natalee

I’m always looking for some new way to spice up my condo.  Problem is projects cost money and money doesn’t grow on trees!  I redid my downstairs bathroom on my sabbatical last year.  For a mere $400, I stripped the wallpaper, textured and painted the walls, added some new accessories and a faucet… brand new bathroom!  Here’s the finished product. 

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Of course, I didn’t take a before picture but let me tell you, it was boring tan wallpaper with a leaf boarder.  How I lived with it for 5 years… I have no idea.  My next big project is the florescent lights in 3 of my rooms.  I’ve only rewired my light switches and tried to wire a fan… I’ll need to leave that job to someone else.  What next?

I’ve been trying to warm up the master bedroom and was toying with new paint or new bedspread.  It’s hard to put money down for new stuff when your old stuff is still good, but I’m just tired of it.  And speaking of tired, I’m getting old and don’t sleep well these days.  My windows face directly west and it’s a flood of sunshine bright and early.  So I combined this need for more shade with my attempt to updated the master.  I already shelled out money for expensive dual motion cellular shades when I bought the place… what could I come up with?  Before…. DSC00946.jpg

After….

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Mission accomplished for $60.  I have great deep window seat ledges in some rooms.  I didn’t want to lose that, so I opted for shower curtain rods that extend to the width you need.  I pushed them all the way back to the current shade and added chocolate textured panels that block 99% of the light.  I pinned them to a length so they pool nicely on the ledge, and presto… I got exactly what I wanted!  Too bad I don’t get to sleep in until Sunday this week!

No Hummel at Home

It was another non-Hummel game for Purdue.  But this time, we got the victory!  Purdue 61, Penn State 47.  It seemed like we hadn’t been to a home game forever, and turns out it kind of was a long time… January 31st!  With only 4 home games left, I’m starting to get sad already!  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the road trips to Boiler country.  Well, except last night.  On the way there we about got washed away by a monsoon.  People were pulling over but we kept trucking in the Cavalier.  On the way home, we stopped at DQ.  Me and the car about got swept away by tornado-sized winds AND we think some rabid animal got stuck to Sara’s door because weird noises were coming from it the entire way home.  Or maybe that was what she ate from DQ.  I’m not sure.

Colorado Adventure Day 4 – Are we done yet?!

No time to rest!!!  Last day in Colorado… what haven’t we done yet?  Oh yea, hiking!  Since I’d stolen my brother away from his family for a few days, we did a family event today.  We drove through Boulder and hit Flagstaff trail.  We had a crew!  4 adults, 2 kids, 1 soon-to-be-kid (Kim’s not mine), and 2 dogs.  We headed up a trail until we got to a part that had some really large rocks to climb on.  We played with the kids and the dogs for a bit and enjoyed some scenery. 

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I used to say “Rocks and trees… they all look the same”.  That was back in my prissy years when I thought this stuff was stupid.  Now I can’t get enough!  We stopped for a group photo op, then headed back to the car. 

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Many many many thanks to the Fuller’s of Colorado!  Brandon, thanks for hauling us around and planning such a great trip!  Kim, thanks for letting us into your home (for the last time) and taking Brandon away for a few days!  Syd & Reagan, thanks for getting my room ready and playing games with me!  Time to start planning my fall trip… what mountain(s) should we climb this time?

Check out my brother’s story.

Colorado Adventure Day 3

Today, we took Miss Sydney on our skiing adventure.  We arrived at Eldora Ski Resort a little before noon.  Just in time for the half day skiing prices.  I started skiing in 1997 at Boyne Highlands up in Michigan and have since racked up skiing in Indiana, Nevada, California and Colorado.  I counted how many times I’d been skiing in my life and decided it was time to try snowboarding.  15 times… yep, ready for something new.  Here’s Eldora.

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Brandon and Syd went off to the greens while Kyle waited with me to get suited up with a snowboard.  I got my boots and went to get the board.  The guy just hands it to me and says “have fun”.  I go…. ahhhh…. can I ask you a question.  Since I had never been snowboarding I needed to know what foot was most likely to always stay strapped in.  I’ve been told I wakeboard goofy foot, but to me it feels right.  Turns out, the way I wakeboard is the way I should snowboard.  We walked over to the easiest green lift and I strapped a foot in.  I about fell right there.  This damn board was slippery!  It took quite a while to get used to dragging a 5 foot long board around while the other foot is trying to keep traction on snow.

Getting off the chair was fine, but maintaining my balance on one foot was not.  I think all day I successfully got off the chair lift without falling 5 times, but luckily you have to sit down to strap in your other foot so you can kind of play off the fall if it’s graceful enough.  After a few falls on my first two runs, I was ready for some bigger greens and blues.  I think I did pretty good for my first time out.  My only falls later in the day were because there was a 15 kid pile up for ski school and I didn’t want to make snowballs out of any of them.  Kyle stayed with me for some runs until he was bored and ready for more challenges himself.  I went back to find Syd and B.  When they were done, I went back to the blues to find Kyle.  I could have stayed up there all day, but everyone in my party was ready to leave.  I think I found my new winter hobby.  If anyone is looking to buy me a gift, I’m a size 9 boot and about a 150 board!

Check out my brother’s story.

Colorado Adventure Day 2

Today’s adventure… 4 wheeling.  We took the Hummer over to my brother’s “shop” (storage shed) to pick up the ATVs.  We headed up to a trail in Roosevelt National Forest.  Usually, when my brother has company, he takes one person at a time and leaves the other person to sit waiting for their turn to ride.  He was bored with that, so he brought his other kids, Dakota and Wyatt, along.  He was going to run them around the trails while Kyle and i went off adventuring.  Here’s where we started.  The trailhead is just in front of the truck.

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There used to be a shooting range on this trail too.  I got the pleasure of driving right through it one time without knowing what the hell was going on.  My brother forgot to tell me about that part.  This time, it’s been closed down.  Smart move I think.  Kyle and I got moving pretty well up the trails and got to a steep part.  My ATV didn’t seem to want to gas it up there.  It was stalling on me.  I gave it a third try and off we went.  I got out the video camera to take some shots and when I slowed to put it away, my ATV stalled again.  We couldn’t get it started.  We got into the packs on the ATVs and fashioned a pretty good tow system to get mine down.  On our way, we ran into my brother.  With one pull of the manual start cord, my ATV was running again.  Kyle and I felt pretty stupid but we’re pretty proud of our towing skills.  Kyle and I wound our way up the mountain and took some stops to check out the scenery.

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Day 3… here we come!

Check out my brother’s story.

Colorado Adventure Day 1

I have the luxury of my brother living in Longmont Colorado.  Easy access to a ton of adventures.  My winter trip was approaching, so Kyle agreed to come with me to see what Colorado was all about.  We arrived Wednesday night and went straight to rent Kyle’s skis and get our lift tickets for first day of adventures — Skiing at Breckenridge.  

The alarm clock (a.k.a. Sydney and Reagan) went off early Thursday morning so we all got ready to go our separate ways.  Kim took the kids to their daily routine, while Brandon took us to the mountain.  Since we all had our gear, we went straight to the gondola and up to the slopes.  Kyle got his “ski” legs last week in Indiana, but this doesn’t even compare.  He and I went to hit the bunny slope so he could practice, and B left to grab some food.  

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The bunny slope sucked, so we decided to head for the greens and work on some fundamentals.  Kyle excused me to go on my own way then check back.  I went to look for B at the lodge, but couldn’t find him.  I was itchin’ to ski, so off I went.  I hit some blues and blacks then managed to find B again.  I’d been eyeing the bowls at the top of the peak, so he agreed to go up with me… up to 12,830 feet!

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You could go up a little further but you had to walk with all your gear… no thanks.  We both got down the double black diamond and decided while we were up there, to do another one then we’d meet up at the end to find Kyle.  Well, I had a little trouble the second time.  I hit a rock, gained control, but then hit another one.  Apparently even though you are so high, there isn’t enough snow cover for everything.  I slid about 30 yards and lost my skis.  The nice skiers around me collected my belongings.  It took me about 10 minutes to figure out how to get 2 skis on while not sliding down any farther and maintaining my balance on a 70 degree slope.  I made it, lost Brandon, but headed down to find Kyle.

He was still mastering the greens and working on his “S” skills.  He was doing really well, but was ready to call it a day.  We caught back up with B and headed to the car.  It was a great sunny, clear sky day full of skiing.  Just what I ordered!

Check out my brother’s story.

Cell phone abuse

I first got my “ninja” phone over 2 years ago.  I fell in love with how it opens 2 different ways so you can talk or text with a full keyboard.  There weren’t too many of those on the market at that time and this was the thinnest one I found.  Since it was so thin, I found myself putting it in my pants pocket with my ID when I would go out so I didn’t have to carry a purse (or luggage as some people would say because of my addiction to oversized purses).  Well, the damn thing kept falling out when I’d sit down and ended up pretty scratched and had some water damage.  But, I didn’t care, it still worked… unti last summer.  It stopped holding a charge for more than 1 day.  I figured “no problem” I’ll just charge it every night.  A little bit of a pain in the ass, but saved me from putting down any more money for a new phone…. until it finally had it.  People could call me, but I couldn’t hear them.  Crap.

Good news was I had saved up a New-Every-Two phone credit with Verizon, so of course, just give me the same phone.  No need to shop.  So about three months ago I got my brand new silver Alias.  I protected it with kid gloves.  It had a specific spot in my purse where no keys, pens, anything could scratch it.  I always made sure to put it in my front pocket, not back so it wouldn’t slip out.  Last week, I cracked the front cover.  No clue how this happened or when this happened.  It’s under warranty so I figure I’ll take it back after my Colorado trip, in case more damage happens there on the slopes.  Well, not sure it’s even gonna last through that trip now. 

This morning, at work I bent over in the bathroom stall to get some toilet paper to blow my nose with.  My phone was in my front jacket pocket.  I bent over just enough for the thing to perfectly slip right out and deep into the toliet.  My first thought was “F*&% my phone!”  My second thought was “F*&% I have to stick my hand WAY down in that toliet!!”  Good thing I chose the stall that had just been cleaned.  I took the battery out and dried everything off for the past 4 hours.  It looks like it’s back in service now, but my front screen is screwed. 

I need to get one of those lanyards like babies have for their pacifiers.

 

 

Snow Globe USA

Don’t the weather gods know I’m leaving for Colorado tomorrow and I would prefer to see the snow out there and not here?!  We had our major snow dump last week of 12.5 inches.  Most we’ve had in Indy at one time for 13 years, or something like that.  So I was hoping it was done with.  I don’t enjoy snow where I live.  I prefer to travel to it, enjoy it, then leave to return to the clean streets of home.  My normal 22-32 minute commute turns into over 2 hours when snow falls.  Yesterday I’m at work, and everyone rushes over to the windows around 4:30pm… Of course, I must go see.  It literally looked like I was in an office building inside a snow globe that someone had just shaken up for 5 minutes.  It was a white-out.  Strangely, it lasted about 20 minutes, nothing accumulated and it was gone.  Phew… no long commute home like last week.

This morning, I get up and at 6:45 am, the roads are clear.  No snow, no ice, traffic is flowing.  I decided to actually sit and have cereal at home, then get ready for work.  I walk out the door at 7:45 am…. F’in blizzard is back!  Once again, I had a 2 hour drive to work AND had to stop for gas.  Great start to my day.  WFD was in full effect.

NOTE TO SELF:  If you move somewhere with major weather patterns, make sure they have good public transportation so you can be productive while commuting instead of playing Freecell while driving 4 miles an hour to work.

Hello Cougar-ville!

I’m saying good bye to year 30 of my life today.  It’s on to year 31.  I have many fond memories of my life as a 30 year old.  I don’t even hesitate to say it was the best year of my life so far.  So many adventures, new friends, traveling.  I will take a minute here to reflect on some of my highlights so if I get windy, just stop reading and we are no longer friends.  When I’m 100 and losing my mind, I’ll need this blog to remember what I used to do!!!

  • Purdue Pete delivering my birthday cake
  • Week of skiing and rejuvenation in Steamboat
  • Final Four in San Antonio
  • PR’d my mini-marathon with the help of my brother and broke my goal of under 2 hours.
  • A couple of Cubs games
  • Got downsized from my job
  • 14 week sabatical in the gosh darn middle of summer… such a shame
  • Vacationed in North Carolina
  • Turned a shade of golden brown that I’ve never seen before.  )My friends asked me to stop going out in the sun.)
  • Completed my first Sprint Triathalon and Urban Adventure Race.
  • Placed 2nd in the CCA Kickball league and learned to catch a ball without using the “twins”
  • Spent a day at a Med-Check clinic in Vegas
  • Climbed 3 14’ers in Colorado
  • Got a kickass job

Thanks to all my family and friends that made 30 so special to me.  Here’s to hoping 31 is just as fun!  We’ll kick it off right tonight with some Saki Bombs!