Saturday, March 29, 2014

Problem/Solution : Door Jamb Keepsakes

At our old house we keep a birthday height chart of the boys on the door jamb like a lot of people used to do in the past. We replaced those bedroom doors, but kept the door jams with the height of the boys that were marked on their birthday. During this time, we seriously started to look at houses, and we were left wondering how to transfer the heights to the new house. This is a great solution for military families, apartment dwellers, and nomads of all types.

I was talking with my Dad, and we came up with the solution of having a strip of wood that would fit on the outside of the door stop timber. The wood slat would be the same measurements as the door stop timber, and removable!

Today, they got installed, but we haven't marked their old heights on it yet.

"R" for Row

A subtle and classy keepsake.

I will also file down the mark, so that any wear and tear wouldn't leave us guessing their height in a few years.

The five holes are already done, and I also used a small drill bit to start the hole for the screws. 

The finished product with Row's initial at the top of the birthday stick.

Thanks Granddad! This was a great Christmas present for the boys.

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Day Three and Four Of Spring Break

I didn't post anything last night because I was worn out. Sweetheart made me take a long hot bath, then she massaged my hands with lotion. I spent most of the morning and afternoon doing yard work, then after dinner, I went to the rent house and grouted the back room and landing. I finally got home about 8:30, and headed for the tub.


I finished all the top and bottom colors on Tuesday, and resumed painting the detail work today. I officially finished around 2:00pm today. 

I spent an hour after dinner putting the furniture back in place. Tomorrow I will purchase new brackets for the shelves, and wire the front of the stereo system. The rear surround sound will have to be another weekend project when the finances improve.

The picture above is the before picture and the picture below is roughly about 3-4 hours work. I really want the fence line to be cleared so that I get more sunlight. I'm hoping that after watching the back yard this year, that maybe I'll find a plot for a garden.

I broke "the lopper", as my boys call it, which turned out to be a good thing. I did some quick mental calculations and found that I was quickly running out of time, especially since rain was forecast at about sunset.

The sides of the house had a ton of leaves, and it took most of the morning to get them mulched and bagged. I'll have to brag on my boys for a bit...they were a big help. Both of them dragged, and lollygagged all of the limbs and bagged leaves to the curb. Granted, I happened to find a little two wheeler that made the job even more fun for two young men. Still, around  25 bags of leaves is a big job for two boys.

After about two hours of really hitting it hard, I asked Red Ant to bring my tea from off the porch. He kind of giggled as he handed it to me, and they had both drank all of my tea! I normally don't mind sharing with my boys, but drinking a man's tea on a hot yard day is downright wrong.

The yard still has a lot weekend projects, but this was a good start. Saturday is the big birthday part for the boys, and the backyard is where all the kiddos are gonna be playing. We have a bounce house coming, and it should be interesting. For $100, they had better jump up and down until they fall out from exhaustion. It'll be money well spent though. They are old enough to remember this year's party. After this big tax refund blowout, it'll be a lot of pancakes, grilled chicken, and ham steaks for dinner.

Keep Right On Prepping - K

PS- The only project that hasn't been completed this spring break is the studying for the 3 exams after the break. Friday night is reserved for my studies, and I'll record one of my classes to listen to at work for Sunday morning.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Day Two Of Spring Break

Today was paint the living room day. Mother-in-law came over and helped do the bottom layer of the living room.


 I made it to about sunset before the light (and hands) started to give out. The trim work is the only thing that needs to be done. The built-ins are about a quarter of the way done. I purchased Frog tape, and have been pretty impressed with the results so far. I'm not good enough to do the cut-ins by hand, yet.

Quitting time

Tomorrow is yard day. I need to get it cleaned up, and cleared for the birthday party on Saturday. Row and Red Ant chose to have their b-day party at the "new" house. The weather will be much better than their January birthdays!

I might knock out a few chapters of Pathology before bedtime, but after two long days I'm ready for some downtime. In a true SHTF situation, I doubt many people could put in a string of six solid days work. Heck, many people don't want to put in a solid days work.

I've got to finish the grout, which is looking like Thursday because it is predicted to rain. I'll probably finish up the trim work on Thursday too. I'm hoping to make a little progress on painting each day until Friday. Friday will be unpacking a bunch of boxes, and running errands.

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Monday, March 24, 2014

Day One Of Spring Break

I have rather ambitious plans for my spring break. A lot of it revolves around the rent house and the new house. Plus, I've got to fit school work into the equation somewhere since we have 3 tests the first two days back.

The downstairs (formerly the storage room) room needed a better floor surface, especially if I'm going to rent it.

The old tile had to be removed from the closets. For some reason I never finished removing the old tiles, and tack strips for the carpet.

I almost got too far into the project before pictures were snapped.

Row asked me if he could help. I told him no, and paused for a minute. Why was I saying no, when my son wants to help his Dad. Plus, I will probably be threatening him in a few years to do anything around the house, so I had better get my head on straight and take his help. Perhaps, this could be the beginnings of a good work ethic 

I was tempted to leave the insides of the closet rough, but decided to have to room look nice when it was finished. If the house is nice enough to sell, then it is nice enough to rent.

The toilet has been seated, and the float replaced.

The new vanity, sink, and faucet have been installed and the sheet rock patched. I'll have to add another layer, then sand the patch flush with the wall. A coat of paint needs to be done in the bathroom to bring it into this century.

The landing tiles were removed, and primed for new tile.

I hated to vacuum the stairs, and usually had one of the boys do it. I checked under the carpet, and the wood is in really good shape, so I've added another project onto my plate. I'm going to remove the carpet, and repaint the stairs. It will look better since Indy used the stairs to clean his paws on a regular basis. The time to clean vs. refurbishing will probably be equal.

The pry bar has to be one of the most essential tools that a homeowner can purchase.

 I've completed all of the tile work at the old house. A good start to a heavy week of chores.

Now, it's time for a hot shower, and The Walking Dead.

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Saturday, March 22, 2014


I've been saving a few dollars from my allowance every two weeks for Sweetheart's anniversary gift. I know that it seems odd for a grown man to have an allowance, but after our Dave Ramsey program it makes sense. Speaking of which, we have back charged a few items for the house, and will officially be in debt for a few months before I get a "real" job. Anyways, back to the allowance saving. I have been cashing in my change to make ones, and ones to make fives, etc since December. If I happened to have any money left on payday that also went into the gift fund.

The plan wasn't executed perfectly because I guessed that getting a picture framed would take less than a week. It takes two weeks, so I didn't have anything on our anniversary. I guess it was more of a surprise for her this way.

When my Sweetheart graduated college, her best friend and her decided to backpack Europe for six weeks from May until July 4th...Ireland, Scotland, France, Hungary, Italy, England, Germany, Vatican, and Switzerland. While she was in Paris, she had a street artist do a pastel portrait of her, and this is the picture that I got framed for her.

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Patty's Day


Nothing mushy,except that I'm happy to be with you. I'm looking forward to a long life with you...has it really been ten years?

- K

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


I got an email from a classmate about our quiz bowl meeting to discuss t-shirt sales the next day. I promptly marked my calendar, and since the meeting was on Friday, I let my clinical site know that I had a meeting to attend at noon.

I left the offsite clinic a little before 11:30, so that I'd have time to grab a bite to eat, park, and get to the radiography department. I made it a few minutes before noon, and knocked on my adviser's door. "Where is the quiz bowl meeting?", I asked. She kind of looked at me funny, then said that it was yesterday. At this point, my heart dropped below my knees, because I had left clinical before noon, an offsite clinical, which meant that I had eaten one of my two days allowed to take off from clinical. Plus, I had broken a few rules about not calling before leaving, which was another half day violation. I double checked the email with my adviser, and she noted that it had been sent Wednesday. I had checked my mail on Thursday!

After I mouth a few choice words, Ms. F drops here chin, and says, "You're here for the scavenger hunt, right?"  Now, I'm not entirely stupid, and agree after a seconds thought. This is the same scavenger hunt as last year where we had to run all around campus, and got an expired drink coupon from the cafeteria as a reward. (sigh)

I get assigned to the Pink group (oh joy!) called Glowing Bones, and we get our point sheet, and our instructions to think outside the box. We have 50 minutes to get as many points as possible. I happen to notice that if we get our photo with books from outside of our class division we get 2 points per book. Sounds like the campus bookstore to me. We scored 77 books for 154 points. We also got some good points by getting our picture taken with Santa, a  nurse, a hulu dancer, a policeman, and a priest. I know of only one place on campus that has all of those people...Google images. So, another 30 something points for creativity, and bonus points since I pulled up the image for Judas Priest. Well, after all the points were counted, we scored close to 300 points, with the closest group getting a mere 160 points.

It's 1:30 and clinic isn't over until 4:00. So back to clinic or home? Last time we were allowed to go home, so I head over to the director's office to ask. I knock on her door, and ask "So do we go to clinic or go home and study Sectional Anatomy?"
"So, your gonna put it on my class, huh?" she replies. She mulls it over for a minute, then asks who was in the winning group. I rattle off the names, and she says that we can go home, but the rest have to return to clinic. Now, I'm not one to disagree especially when I'm in the winning group, but I did dodge a few questions of "What did she say?"

So, how's that for coming out smelling like roses?

 Keep Right On Prepping - K

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Big Announcement

Okay, I know that everyone has been waiting with anticipation about our big announcement, and today is finally the day. Can anyone guess what this picture is?

It's actually labeled for you, so you get two points. Now to answer the questions:

August 14th due date.
No, we are not going to find out the sex.
I have no rhythm.
Sweetheart is hoping for a girl
I'm hoping for a  boy.
Realistically, we are praying for a healthy baby.

So, we are adding another addition to our clan, and excited about the little prospect of another worker around the house. The boys are super excited about it too.

When we were doing prayers Row wanted to feel the baby. Sweetheart tried to explain that the baby was only about the size of an egg. Row felt on her belly and said that she needed to lose some weight so that the baby would have some more room. Sweetheart, "Thanks". Red Ant, not wanting to be left out, started with his hand at the belly and kept feeling upward. He proudly smiled and said that he "felt the baby's head", to which Sweetheart told him that he was feeling her booby.

Anyways, Keep Right On Prepping - K

Monday, March 3, 2014

Meal Kit Supply - Another Use

Another good reason to have a few MREs around is in case you have to move. I actually do mean the entire family. We recently bought a new house, and had a few guys help with the move. Needless to say, after a long day of moving packing boxes out of one place and into another, it didn't take very long for the guys to get hungry. You should have heard the grief that I got when I suggested sampling a few MREs from Meal Kit Supply. Plus, the MREs are easy to find among the boxes. Can you spot them below?

Yeah, pretty easy. No need to stop and cook a meal. Just add water, find a spot to sit, and relax. Four of these pouches fed five hungry guys. Two of my friends had served in the military, and they were surprised at the freshness and quality of these MREs. The guys were impressed with the MREs, and I think I smashed a few misconceptions.

We tried Menu 1,2,7 and 8. The guys ended up sampling a little bit of everything except for those entrees/side dishes that were being carefully guarded. Some of the surprise hits were the Strawberry dairyshake and vegetable lasagna. Now, if the rumors hold true, and they perfect the MRE pizza, that would be an awesome feat. I'm happy to say that none of my friends left hungry or left!

The upside to MREs is that the clean up involves finding a trash bag. Now, how did we get that sleeper sofa through the doorway again?

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Socializing for Kids

One of the neighbor kids came over and asked if our kids could play. I quickly got them dressed for the cold weather and sent them out. It's good to see them getting to know the other neighborhood kids and schoolmates. I'm feeling better about the new house. My wife and I have also met more people in our neighborhood by them dropping by and introducing themselves, it's kind of refreshing.

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Another Project Down

I had to pass on my crew's annual backpacking trip to get the rent house ready. While we have made good progress, we are roughly about half way through my mental list of things I'd like to get done. The downstairs bathroom needed some attention, and I spent a good chunk of this weekend tiling.

The old tiles were removed and the concrete was exposed, cleaned, and prepped.

I cut and laid the tile yesterday, while Sweetheart cleaned, and purged a few rooms.

The grout was finished today, after letting the adhesive set. This week the toilet will be sat, vanity installed, and faucet put into working order.

I've had quite a list of project that are running concurrently. The doggy door has been finished except for painting the trim work. That will happen when the weather cooperates. The pantry door has been added and some tile work needs to happen in that room. The old wire racks will be installed until the funds become available for a bigger wooden shelving system. This is the room I'm most excited about...

The Klipsch speakers are tucked into the living room built-ins. This room needs painting before too much more can be completed. This will allow boxes to be unpacked, and items finally falling into place.

The boys bunk beds arrived, and of course Red Ant can now reach the ceiling fan, and pull chains. The fan is getting replaced with a low profile lighting fixture this week before a trip to the emergency room is needed.

The refrigerator will be here is supposed to be here tomorrow, and living with a dorm refrigerator has been an adventure, and an exercise in our Tetrising ability. I've joked with my wife that we living as Europeans. Meaning that we go to the grocery store every day. The little dorm frig has come in handy quite a few times since we've bought it, and I appreciate having not to run out into the garage to get milk for the boys in the mornings.

I may not be posting as often, but enjoy reading the blogs to my right. I'll post as projects or events happen. Oh yeah, a big announcement is coming Saturday, so stay tuned!!!

Keep Right On Prepping - K