Day 58. February 29, 2013-Get ready for St. Jude’s bake sale

Today was about baking.  I am hosting a bake sale tomorrow to raise money for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.  This is bake sale # 2 of 3 that we are having this year.  The people at our building love them and the come ready to buy.  Actually they tell us we should have them every month.

Luckily I am barely working and have time to bake.  I started with the cookies.  I made chocolate chip and white chocolate and macadamia nut.  Both are fan favorites.

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Cookie heaven

As the cookies were going in and out of the oven I was making rice crispy treats.  Those are easy and basically make themselves.

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Rice crispy treats ready to be cut

After that was all done I took a break to go buy tile for my kitchen.  There is a store called Beyond Surfaces that is where I bought all my tile when I first remodeled my house.  Great place and I just wanted to go back there today.  I took off with my Mom but had forgotten the name of the store but knew where it was so it should be easy to find you can see it from the Palmetto highway.  Ha the joke was on me.  First the Palmetto is under construction and in this area there are exits closed, major overpasses going in and everything just looks different.  I passed my exit so I went on to the next one.  Tried to get to the place but no luck, all I was able to do is go back south on the Palmetto.  No problem I will just get off on NW 25 Street.  No exit there so I continued to the next one.  I figured I would go North and take NW 25 Street.  The traffic was crazy, the drivers were worse and with all the changes I ended up in the wrong lane and ended up on 836 heading east.  Oh no now what.  My Mom is like do you have gas?  Yes mom I have 50 more miles to go.  She wanted me to stop at a gas station.  She was cracking me up.    She said after the 2nd wrong turn “aye I would have gone home if I had been by myself’.  I was determined to get there so there was no stopping.  So it seemed that every turn I took was wrong.  There was this one intersection that everyone was going left I went straight which led me to a dead end.  Well now I know why everyone was going left.  I turned around and decided to follow all of these cars.  Good move I finally got to the west side of the Palmetto which is where the store is.  Then we finally found it.

Funniest one liner from my Mom during this excursion.  Don’t you have one of those machines that tells you where to go?

The trip was a success.  I found a very nice tile and it was in stock so next week I can have my floor done.  I will not put a picture as I want it to be a surprise for Steve.  It is going to look so good.  The bright side of the water intrusion and the insurance company not giving me any money.

After I got back home I continued with the baking.  I started with the cinnamon cake (it took the longest to cook so figured it was best to bake that first), then to another batch of rice crispy treats and then to the banana bread.  I made 2 batches of that.

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The baked goods

What I learned today is that not all cookie sheets are created equal.  I have 2 that are the same no brand name ones and 1 that is a Caphalon.  What a difference it makes to have a good cookie sheet.  Besides having the baking time consistent the cookies bake faster.  I was amazed.  Guess what I am buying in my near future.  I also learned that I could bake stuff a lot quicker if I had 2 sets of bowls and attachments for my mixer.  The washing in between batches really does slow you down.  Oh guess what else I will be buying in my near future.

My best lesson today was that my Mom is really fun to have around on a day like today.  She had me laughing through out every wrong turn.  I probably would have gone home after several wrong turns too had I been alone.  She also made it very easy to pick out tiles.  She is very good at interior design and said you need to get something like this and within minutes the girl at the store had all of the samples laid out for me to look at.  I would say 10 minutes later we were on our way home.

Day 57. February 27, 2013–The office

I woke up this morning so happy.  I was gonna tag some trees for a project, pick some strawberries, head over to Trijungle to catch up on paperwork and then go home and finally get my office shelves installed.  It was going to be one of those days of great achievements.

So I did get the trees tagged and that was a great accomplishment.  This client is a pain in the butt and really has no clue but we did it.

The strawberry picking did not happen.  I was going to go with my nemesis Karla but she has this bad habit of not answering her phone.  Today was no different.  So I headed home, I was very hungry at this point.  Good thing I had leftovers from last night so I ate really good.  I finally spoke to her as I was almost home.  She was gardening.  So much for the strawberries.  This weekend for sure.

I was on my way out the door when I get a call from Dick.  He is helping me with another project and needed a printout with additional information.  I was like no problem I am headed to the grove now.  That should have taken a few minutes and then I could get to Trijungle.  Well my route to the office was closed down because of a shooting at one of the local schools.  Cops everywhere and streets closed.  I am so glad I know the back roads and was able to maneuver around without too much hassle.  Made it to the office, made the print then totally got distracted by several other things (some productive others just plain fun).

Finally made it to Trijungle.  I really only had about an hour.  I did not get to catch up but I managed to get a few things done.  So off I went to get the Elfa shelves done.  My friends Dave and Carley came down from Ft. Lauderdale to help install the shelves and have dinner.  I could see the finished product then Dave is like you have every drill bit except the one I need.  No problem lets go to Ace Hardware.  I asked Carley if she wanted me to pick up some wine and she said that would be lovely(she’s Australian).  So Dave and I took off.  We got the drill bit then we got the wine and we were in business.  I am pouring wine when Dave comes over and says drill bit broke and the tip is stuck in the wall.  Great Ace Hardware is now closed.  I called Steve, he doesn’t answer.  I am so sure we have a dill bit kit but I can not find it.  I texted a friend who lives around the corner.  So in the mean time we are all like what do we do.  I was like well I guess we should go to dinner.  I am not driving to Home Depot, its too far.  So off to dinner we went.  Guess what I saw when we got back?  Yep a text from my friend who had the drill bit I needed.  THe funniest thing is that Dave thought maybe we should get 2 but didn’t say anything.  Then as we were talking I remembered that we had hit Ace Hardware 3 times when putting up the curtain rods (the walls are concrete).  That really did explain the missing drill bit.  It was freaking broken.

At this point I was laughing.  I am thinking the universe really doesn’t want me to have my office.  But I am thinking I am one step closer and really the hard part is done.  The holes are marked and everything is measured.  All I need is a drill bit and someone who can finish putting in the screws.

Below are the before and after photos.  PLEASE do not laugh too hard.

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Before

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After

What I learned today has nothing to do with the failure to get this task done.  As we were sitting around waiting for Steve to call back Dave asked me about the lights in my house.

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Lights. None of these work.

Most are not working and he thought maybe they turn on slowly and they had not warmed up yet. I was like nope, they just do not work.  I told him Steve always has them working when he leaves and a few weeks later they stop working.  I told him that that is the first job for Steve when he gets back is to replace the light fixtures.  I have 3 of these.  Dave said I should try replacing the bulbs with LED ones.  The halogen ones get hot and the little wires melt and the bulbs slip so the connection is lost.  The LED ones do not get hot.  Damn it was like a light bulb went off.  That makes sense.  I am going to try it since I love these lights.  When the are all working they are so pretty.

So in the end it was a good day and I learned something.

Day 56, February 26, 2013-Dust and Suefro

So today my task was to have dinner with my friend Suefro but I had to get rid of the dust from the floor being ripped out.  Not only was there dust there was pieces of wood everywhere, in my coffee cups, in my salt and in the cabinets.  So I got home from work early and started wiping everything down, washing the pans that had been left to dry and loaded the dishwasher with what ever could go in there.  Then I moved on to the vacuum.  Oh my the floor was worse than I thought.  Since the dust was the same color of the floor you could not really see it.  Took awhile but got it all.

I then walked in to South Miami to meet Sue.  It was a typical Sue and Espe night:  dinner, wine and of course Uno Mas (which is code for about 5).  We had fun and it was good to catch up.  

What I learned today is that drinking with Sue turns into committing to a marathon.

Day 55. February 25, 2013-Kitchen floor

Today was about getting the kitchen floor fixed after 8 months of the water intrusion.  My insurance company decided that I had 30 days to prove I fixed a problem that they never gave me money to fix or they would cancel my insurance.  The letter even stated that they made an inspection.  Nice.

So the contractor showed up today (early) so my mom let him in.  What we thought was going to be ripping out a few planks of bamboo turned out to “I need to take the entire floor out.  Everything is wet and warped’.    I was like ok I might as well replace it with stone or tile.  So they ripped everything out and left me the measurements so I can go buy the tile.

I came home to a layer of dust.  I was not thrilled about that since you know how long it took me to clean yesterday.  I could not deal with it so I decided on an early dinner out at my favorite place Whisk.  Came home and thought oh I should wash Kristen’s towel so I can get it back to her tomorrow at swim practice.  Well when I opened the kitchen door to head to laundry room I found all of the debris stacked on my plants.  Right next to that is an entire area of gravel.  Seriously why do these contractors do that.  I am thinking gravel–no damage, plants lets kill them.  I mean my floor is all messed up might as well mess up my landscaping.  Not a happy camper. I had to move all this debris so I could attempt to save the landscaping.

Today was not about a lesson.  I am too mad to even see one.  I really want to kick this guy in the butt.  And now I have another task that I have to contend with.  Oh it is time for a glass of wine.

Day 54, February 24, 2013-House work

Today I was about cleaning the house.  I have been so busy with my projects that I just realized it had been a few weeks since I actually cleaned.  Well throughly cleaned.  So I started with the glass, then wood then all other surfaces.  Moved on to bathrooms and then vacuum and mop.

I am amazed how much dust gets in my house.  I have hurricane doors and windows nothing should get in.  I am assuming it is from the dogs.  It must be shedding season for them because although I pretty much sweep everyday there was more freaking dog hair on the floor than on the dogs.  Well at least it seemed like it.  In addition to all the cleaning I was doing laundry.

It was pretty much non stop for 4 hours.  I think I will wear my heart rate monitor next time.  I think it was a good workout and I must have burned some good calories.  I would love to know how many steps I took.

So I did not really learn anything today.  I already know I hate cleaning and doing laundry.  I did come to the realization that as much as I love my dogs long ears they are getting shaved next time they go in for a haircut.

Day 53. February 23, 2013-Spartan race

Today was about heading out to watch my cousin Marta and some Alien team mates run the Spartan Race.  Yesterday I was like sure I’ll go watch.  I’ll go early hang out for a bit and then get home to get some stuff done and maybe hit the South Miami Art Show.  My cousin was so excited that I was going so I had to go.  Well this race is intense as it is.  It is 30 obstacles with and 8 mile trail run.  Its hard for the athletes and you expect that.  As a spectator it was crazy.  I went on line to get details late last night.  Besides the logistics to get to the race it costs money to get in.  At this point I could not back out.  So the adventure began.  First it was free parking at FIU North Campus.  Then you had to get on a bus (you know one of the yellow ones from grade school-that was cool) $5.00 for that.  So much for free parking.  Then once you got there it was $25.00 to get in.  Best part we had to sign a waiver.  Yes spectators could get hurt.  I am thinking what I have gotten myself into but went in with great expectations.  Literally in about 3 minutes of me being inside I almost went down 3 times.  Turns out we were in a BMX ride course.  Now I get the waiver.

Once inside I found a map (they only gave it to me if I proved I was not running-apparetnly they do not show it to the athletes).

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Course Map.

I looked at it and laughed.  The end is a bitch.  Four obstacles right in a row.  I then found a spot and started setting up my new camera.  Well you need a college degree to work it so I could not use it so I went for the iPhone.

The Alien group took off at 8:30 and they were expected to finish in 2 hours.   After I saw the map I was like no way.  These guys are in shape but that is a lot of obstacles that we do not normally do.  I knew they could do them but it was gonna take some time.  So I sat down just before the last 4 and waited.  They finally started coming.  Hans saw me first and let me know the rest were right behind him.  Mike, JC and Maalo passed by with Hans.  I waited for Magui and Carolina which were just a few minutes behind.  I think they were so happy to see me.  I gave them some pointers from what I had seen other people do.  Off to the ropes they went.  So I ran to the other side to see them finish.  So The ropes first then a wall that you had to scale sideways, then the mud pit, then the slippery wall and last getting smacked by the Spartans.  I took pictures, videos and yelled like a maniac.

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Carolina in the mud pit

Then they finished.

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Magui and ?

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Carolina, JC, HAns, Magui, Mike and Maali after finishing

So then it was off to see my cousin.  It was great to see the Aliens finish but my cousin Marta was more impressive to watch.  She has never run or lifted weights.  She has always exercised but mainly aerobic type classes.  For the last couple of months she was telling me about here training.  She told me about her first run.  I think it was 1 mile and she almost died.  but she along with her team kept going.  They did all sorts of stuff to prepare like climbing trees, jumping over stuff climbing walls and lots of running.  The fact that she was doing this was impressive.  The thought of her going through the mud made me go.  This is my cousin who is always dressed to perfection and can not stand to be dirty.  I had to see her in the mud.

I was impressed she kept moving until the end.  I have never laughed so hard while she was looking at the mud pit.  She did not want to go in but eventually she did.  Then I thought what the hell, look at her pearl earrings.  Only Marta could pull that off.

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Marta getting dragged out of the pit.

Once she past the mud pit she was good to finish.  She was overcome by emotion but you could tell she was glad she did it.

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Marta with her medal. Check out the pearls still in tact.

It was fun being out there supporting but as usual I wish I had been participating.  Next year for sure.

What I learned today is that it is a pleasure watching people overcoming their challenges.  Today was one of those days as this was a challenging race.  I also learned that even though it is February the Miami sun is brutal.   The last thing I learned is that hats really do protect you from the sun.  I used the same sunscreen as always but forgot my cap.  And this is what happened.

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Spectator injury.

Day 52. February 22, 2013-Fundraising tasks

So today I had to get my self organized and start helping my team start their fundraising.  I am team captain ad there are a lot of people who have not started.

 

Today was all about reaching out to people and making sure everyone was in the right place.  There was one girl who had been raising money and we found out today she wasn’t on our team. Got it sorted but man you have to be on top of it.

Being team captain is fun but hard work.  I always have to come up with ideas to get people motivated to fund raise.  This past week several people finally started and they kicked butt.  So now I need to keep going down the list.

What I learned today is that those who think they can not raise money end up raising the most.  Basically they just try harder.  Those are the people I admire the most.

Day 51. February 21, 2013–Again it was about St. Jude’s

Today was about raising money for St. Jude’s as part of our team’s effort.  Today was another happy hour that helps raise money.  We had a good turnout.  I am proud of the Alien/Trijungle team.  This week everyone stepped up their game and in the last couple of days we raised about $2,000.00.  How cool is that.  My favorite conversation tonight was with Carolina.  When this whole thing started she was so worried.  She raised $125.00 in one day practically.  Individually you only need $150.00.  She was so excited.  She calculated how if everyone on our team met their minimum we could be in 2nd place.  She told me it was the first time she ever raised money and she was excited about doing more.  I love the newbies.  Raising money for such a great cause is addicting.  Can’t wait till everyone gets the bug.  It is coming soon.  You know how bugs spread quickly.

There are a few stand outs this week.  Jd and Mari killed it (over $500 each in like 2 days).  Kat was posting like a maniac and met her goal.  I am so happy to be part of your team.

What I learned today.  If you share your passion about something people will gravitate and follow you.  That was so clear this week.  I even got a congratulations from team Fedex, my biggest competition at the moment (well they are killing us on the dollar amount but not the party contest).  

It was a great day.

Day 50. February 20, 2013-My plans were shot

So today I was so happy I was going to spend the day at Trijungle catching up.  It was my big task for the day.  That is what I thought when I went to bed last night.  I was then woken up by a text message “are you going to the groundbreaking today”.  Oh damn I thought it as tomorrow.  Well good thing I can get get ready in hurry.  This is one of my projects that I have been working on for 2 years.  It should have been built already but well the government got in the way.  So I had to go.  Got there and it had been cancelled but the architects didn’t tell us. Typical.  

Well that turned into day of inquiry.  So  I never made it to Trijungle.

When I finally got home I had to do something about the mess so I started with opening up the mail.  Seriously why is there so much mail.  It’s horrible how it builds up.  I found a bounced check that was returned in January.  Really I need to open mail more often.  This sort of thing really pisses me off.  Why can I not just open the thing the day it shows up in my mailbox.  I have been struggling with this for some time.  It is not good.  I once almost threw away a check for like 9k because I thought it was junk mail.  It was a check from my mortgage company because they over charged on insurance.  I need to get in a routine to open mail, pay what needs to be paid and throw the other crap away on the day I get it.  That is my goal.  Who wants to help me?

So I did get some stuff done like complied a bunch of papers for taxes that were unopened.  So that was good. Not my task for today but damn its a good task.

What I learned today is that man i need to start working on daily routines.  I find myself getting stuff done but then it piles up again.  LIke laundry or vacuuming or mail.  How do I work that into my daily routine.  The only routine I have is feeding the dogs.  How can I translate that to everything else in my life.

I am open for suggestions.

 

Day 49. February 19, 2013-Ugh nothing worked today

Today was going to be about getting my office shelf unit installed but the guy who was going to help me was not able to make it today.  So I decided I needed to go to the office and get a head start on a project.  Of course that was a waste of time since the architect hasn’t gotten me the latest information.  I should have known better since they never send me the required information when I need it. So then I decided I needed to get my Garmin connect working again.  It has not worked for months.  For some reason the software is not working on the IMac so I figured I would use the laptop (windows version).  That thing was moving so slow but I was getting things downloaded and I thought I was actually going to accomplish this task.  It was not meant to be.  The ANT software could not be downloaded.  This is the software needed to be able to download the information from my watch.  It is really frustrating since it is supposed to be so easy.

What I learned today is that some days things just will not work out.  Today was one of those days.  I should have just given up earlier and gone to bed.  Now I am up too late.