Saturday, February 24, 2018

The closet project

I decided to start another project on the long weekend which was to upgrade my closet a bit and add some drawers and shelves.  Frank had no idea that I even had this in my mind until I mentioned it while we were on a home depot trip for another reason.  (There are so many projects in my mind that he has no idea about, poor man)
 In my mind it was a quick project, of course.  But the reality was that it took 3 days of work, almost none of which was done by me.
I did do all of the assembly of the various parts for the shelves and drawers so that counts, right?

Here is the before:
A shelf, a long rod and a shoe shelf that I bought at Walmart
Frank did the demo of the shelving that was in there which was installed quite well and then painted, so it was a bit of a job getting it all out.  He then spackled all of the damaged areas and I painted it.


Everything is ripped out, including the carpet and the spackling is done.
He also cut out part of the baseboard to make room for the new center tower with drawers/shelves.
It was not very hard to paint and I only did one coat since it'll be full of clothes anyway.

I meant to take a picture of the finished closet before I put my clothes in, but I forgot. 

I was in a rush to get all of my stuff out of Carter's room because he came home for the weekend and my crap was ALL OVER the place so he wouldn't have had anywhere to sleep.

Now that it's all hung up, I'm not going to unload it just to get a picture so here is the finished product (sort of):
Turns out I took the picture and then realized that I had more shelves to install so I did that afterwards.

My old closet didn't really have a good situation for shoe storage and neither does my new one, to be honest.
It's actually smaller than your average reach in closet so it's pretty tight.  Luckily we each have our own or we'd be in a heap of trouble.
I do really like having some drawers though since I used to keep things in plastic bins up on the shelf that I can now keep in a drawer.  I like that much better.
The highest shelf is really high... I need a step stool to reach up there.  I haven't put anything up there yet but I'm sure I'll think of something that needs to be in here but that I don't need that often.

Overall, a simple and fairly inexpensive project.
Well, simple for me.  Frank might not agree since he spent a fair number of hours in there putting it all together.
I just have to make sure to mention, on a regular basis, how much I like it and then he will feel that it was all worth it!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Project Mode

We are in the middle of a 3 day weekend!  
We had originally planned to go on a little hiking vacation but that fell through so we found ourselves at home, wondering what we should do with ourselves.  
We decided it was the perfect opportunity for a few projects:
Frank organized the storage room while I worked on cleaning the grout in the bathroom (removing haze that was left from the installation of the floor that I just never get around to doing). I didn't quite finish my project but I am promising myself to keep at it until it is done...hopefully soon!

Halfway through the day, I realized that there was a project that we'd been meaning to do and totally forgot about: putting a plug in my kitchen island.

Let me just say right now that being married to someone handy is so awesome!  If I want a plug changed on my island, I know that my hubby can do it.

Anyway, once I reminded him, Frank said that was indeed a good project for the day and he got right on it...examining the space and how it would need to be done.

I've complained about the island in the past I know.  One of the things that is pretty dumb about it is that it only has 2 plugs and they are both on the far side of the island by the stools.  So in order to plug in my mixer or some other kitchen appliance, I have to plug in an extension cord and drag it across the island to my appliance.  Frank said he could put one closer to the front of the island where I work.  I am ridiculously excited about this idea! ha!

The new plug, while much closer to where I work, does have to be a bit lower because of the drawer there.  Still, I won't have to use an extension cord to access it.

And here it is all put back together!
(Frank even cleaned off the counter, so yahoo for that as well!)

I decided that I wanted to redo my closet, add some shelving and maybe a drawer or two.
I only got as far as emptying the closet but this will be just inconvenient enough that it will probably (hopefully) spur me into action and into finishing the project even after I have to go back to work on Tuesday.
I couldn't talk Frank into going to Home Depot tonight to buy the shelving though.
He was quite surprised to see that I had started this project actually.  He was probably hoping that the plug was enough to satisfy me.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Hiking adventures

We skipped town for a day and went down to Canyonlands National park for some hiking on Saturday.  The weather was AMAZING.  Nearly 60 degrees and sunny.

We've done a few hikes down there so we decided to venture to one we had seen but never felt quite up to doing.  We did the "Confluence Overlook" trail which is a 10 mile hike that is described as "strenuous".   We only did 6 miles though because, well, have you seen us?  We aren't exactly in peak physical condition.  But we've been exercising and trying to improve so why not give it a go.

I do have a knee that gets kind of mad after too much hiking so I was the one who told Frank that I thought 6 miles would be plenty this time. He probably would have done the whole thing, crazy guy.

It was a really fun hike with lots of different kinds of terrain.  The beginning included a fair amount of scrambling up rocks which made us a bit nervous, not gonna lie.  But there were also some flat spots, thankfully!

We did manage to get lost a couple of times.  The first time added a good 1/2 mile to the trek and we were thankful we had brought Frank's new binoculars (birthday gift!) because we had to use them to find the rock cairns we had apparently missed.

Here we are climbing up to what looks like it might be a cool overlook.
This was the 1 mile mark.

Here's a little info about Frank:  he isn't that good at noticing things like, say, road signs and ahem...rock cairns.  He just walks along on the path that appears to be the right one.  Well, on this particular hike, you can go off in the totally wrong direction if you aren't watching.  After our first detour we started being more careful but I realized several times that we had either stepped right over a log or rock grouping that was supposed to show us where NOT to go or we had walked right past a rock cairn showing us a turn. ha! Oh man. We are lucky we made it back, I swear.  It became a bit of a joke whenever Frank was in front.

so pretty!

We actually came across an old ladder that is attached to the side of the canyon so that you can get up this slick rock area.

There were tons of pretty over looks.
And we reached one area where we were excited to look back and see the car!
We knew we could probably find out way back at least.
And it also made us feel like we had accomplished something since our car was just a speck in the distance.

I love this combo of the red rocks with the mountains behind.

This stuff below is called Biological Soil Crust.  It is found in the desert and helps to control erosion, holds moisture and is alive with life.  It's important to never step on it and ruin it.  There was lots of it on this hike, although it's hard to capture in pictures, especially with just a phone.

We stopped for lunch at the halfway point and enjoyed this lovely view.
Although it was nice and warm, there were occasionally shady spots with snow.

Here is the overlook from the beginning and the view on the way back through.

And check out these cool formations that look like a pair of boots!

Here we are at the end of the hike.  I'm looking a bit red, a sign that I actually exercised!

We came back to the car and a big crow who had been hanging around as we got ready to hike, came right back and hung out, hoping for some hand outs I'm sure.

We got in the car and started eating a little bit and I heard a loud noise only to look up and see this:

I opted to keep the window closed to get the picture since it seemed like he might enjoy biting my face off.

We only came across on other person as we hiked and he was headed back as we were going outbound.  One thing we like about hiking in southern Utah is the lack of crowds.

I made a joke after he hiked away, that maybe he had come out here with a friend and then murdered said friend.  Then he came across us!  And so, fearing we might give away his secret, our lives were now in danger.  It was just a joke, but of course after that, I kept looking over my shoulder to make sure he wasn't coming back! 
Frank started making jokes about "the murderer" and even when we got back to the car we saw a truck waiting nearby and he said,"What if that's the murderer's truck? He's been waiting for us to come back!"
We never found a body and the guy didn't murder us so all is well, except in my imagination apparently.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018


I have finished the photo ledge in my office/guest room.  It took me a surprisingly long time to get all of the pictures printed and put in the various frames that I have either gotten at garage sales or had around the house in different areas.
I may yet paint them but for now, since it is winter anyway and too cold to spray paint anything, I am leaving them all in their original state.  I will live with them this way for awhile before making my decision.
I have a variety of pictures up: old pictures, wedding pictures, favorites, and a couple of landscapes of my favorite places.

I like how we made the ledge go around the corner of the room.  This is one of those ideas that I saw on some kind of home fixing show on HGTV and just loved it immediately.  I knew I had to find a place to do it in my own home. I originally wanted two ledges but the room is just too small.  I may end up putting fewer pictures later or different sizes, but for now it's a good start for me to get a feel for how I want it to be.  If I ever tire of my collage in the front room, I may end up making more picture ledges, I just love them!

Here's a little run down of the pictures I currently have up there:

One of my favorite pictures of my parents (on their 50th anniversary celebration), all of the Hill cousins when they were young, Family picture of the Alaska kids and a cute picture of Austin and Katy at Multnomah Falls

I have an old picture of my family before my brother died (it was in the newspaper at the time as they did a story on my brother's cancer fight), more beach photos, a wedding picture of Frank and I, and the picture we took at Christmas this year.

I have a gorgeous picture of Alaska and one of my favorite family pictures of Branden, Amber and the girls.

This is one of my favorite pictures ever!
Frank's Dad sent it to the kids back when the Harry Potter books were new and we were all really into them. I just love that he put on those glasses and took this picture!
Behind it is Katy and Austin's wedding photo.

Ryan with Kaylee and Branden with Isabelle
One of my favorite pictures from Branden and Amber's wedding is behind.

Carter with Isabelle just this last December
and a gorgeous view from Zion's National park

I also finally got some pictures put up at work.
When I was printing all of these pictures for the house I printed a ton of other pictures for work.  I printed way too many though so I can apparently change up my cubicle multiple times if I get bored.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

6 months

As of this coming Tuesday, I will have been at my current full time job for 6 months.

I remember someone telling me that once you start working full time you "get in a groove" and soon you don't mind it.

I definitely had a rough transition.  I would feel myself becoming anxious every Sunday evening and would realize that it was because I had to go to work the next day.  The week would crawl by as I waited and watched for Friday.  I questioned why I was trading my life for a few measly bucks an hour.  I was totally worthless in the evening, so tired that I would plop down on the couch and stay there until bedtime.

Now, I can honestly say that I have pretty much adjusted.  I think I am in that groove that was mentioned. I don't feel anxious on Sunday night though I do sometimes wish out loud that I could "just stay home tomorrow".  I doubt I'm alone in that particular feeling.  Although some days are slow, I have gotten to know my coworkers and enjoy their company.  I enjoy the time I have with them at work and we have done a couple of things together outside of work.  I still look forward to the weekend because I just enjoy the down time and the ability to spend a whole day getting things done around the house.  I find that kind of work fulfilling in a different way.  But I don't find myself being quite so bad about wishing away the week as I look to those two days off.

I still feel a bit like my whole life is being spent doing something that doesn't have that much meaning for me.  The job itself I mean.  But I try to find fulfillment in the people I help each day.
I also like knowing that the money I'm making is helping the ones I love. (Even if my pay is quite paltry)

I get up early and do yoga before work.  I'm sitting all day and trying to find ways to combat the damage that is potentially doing to my body.  My niece reminds me that sitting is the new smoking.  I go for a walk during my lunch break and I find myself really enjoying that small time in the outdoors, even if it is just walking around the perimeter of the parking lot. After work I am still pretty tired but Frank and I have been trying harder to go to the gym.  I make it about 50% of the time so far but I'm working on it.  I will admit that we have gotten into a pretty bad habit of sitting on the couch  while we eat our dinner and watch either the news or a tv show.  I quite enjoy it though and we have no kids to be good examples for so I doubt it will change.

At first we were eating out a lot.  I was just too tired to think of dinner (and anyone that knows me knows this was never my strong suit).  But I made a goal to have no eating out during the week and we have been doing really well actually.  I plan a few meals for the week, we eat leftovers and there is always breakfast for dinner in a  pinch.  It's working out just fine and the budget is happier.

I find myself most mornings being ready before it is time to go.  Someday maybe I'll use this time to read or relax in some way but lately I've been going into work a bit early to catch up on a new assignment I've been given and to do some of the extra things that I can do there.

For example, my company has a wellness program.  If I read some articles and fill out some simple quizzes, I get points that can be redeemed for gift cards.  I can log my exercise and keep track of other wellness activities I'm doing.  I decided early on to use all of these tools that the company is giving me and I'm enjoying it.  I have earned numerous gift cards already and I won a t-shirt too.  It's not much but it's a little perk...and why not?

I finally decorated my cubby a little bit with pictures of my family.  I like being able to look at my kids and grandkids if my day is going slow or I have to deal with a mean person and being able to remind myself why I'm doing this.

And honestly, sticking my toes back into the medical world has been kind of fun.  I used to love this stuff!  And so I called and talked to the state board of nursing about getting my license reinstated that I let lapse when Frank was sick.  I'm not sure yet what will be involved but they are sending me some information.  So, who knows what the future holds!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018


I have become a wearer of leggings. I really am quite ashamed to admit it.  I have never been a legging wearer... I like jeans or if I'm feeling lazy you might find me in sweats. I own a couple of pair of yoga pants but really only wear them to exercise or lounge around the house.  But my new job doesn't allow jeans so I got a few pair of dress-ish khakis.  But my job is really just sitting all day so it's hard to stay motivated to dress nice.  Dress code really only requires us to not wear jeans or sweats.  We can wear leggings or skirts or dress pants.  And so I found myself buying leggings with tunics because I am all about comfort.  I wear my oversized men's flannel shirts with leggings too.  Oh and my boots that are really more like slippers. It's not a good development and that's really saying something considering how badly I've dressed in the past.
And then I discovered these stretchy pants that they sell in the career section of the department stores.  They are basically leggings but thicker.  Oh yeah, I am hooked baby.  They are so comfy, like wearing pajamas.  I look terrible but I can't quite bring myself to be remorseful.


I made soup the other day using some of my homemade/home canned beef broth. But I didn't quite finish it in time for dinner so I stuck it in the fridge for another day.
Today I got it out to add the rest of the ingredients and cook it up for dinner.
I threw the potatoes in and they just sat on top and didn't sink down into the soup.
I looked closer and my amazing broth had jelled while in the fridge.
I know it's kind of weird of me but I felt so happy about own homemade broth gelled up and is (I'm sure) full of awesome nutrition!

I also used home canned tomatoes and frozen peppers from the garden.

I am practically a pioneer over here.

I decided to FINALLY decorate my cubby at work.
So I got some bakers twine and strung it up to make a place to hang photos.
I plan to put photos of the grandkids and my boys and their wives and my favorite places.
That was a couple of weeks ago and all I have hanging up is string.
Today my boss threatened to put pictures of my coworkers up that she prints from the work printer.
I told her she probably should.
Somehow sending pictures to Costco and picking them up is beyond me.

Monday, January 1, 2018

2017 in Review

  1. What did you do in 2017 that you'd never done before? Helped make a bridal bouquet (for my niece Hannah), started working full time (I don't think I have ever worked full time before...even as a nurse it was a less than 40 hr position), hiked to delicate arch, went to Disneyworld and Harry Potter World

  2. What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017? Energy/will power to eat right and exercise, a visit with Ryan

  3. What dates from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? April 4, 2017 the day that Frank can officially say he beat cancer! September 9. 2017 the day that Austin got married to Katy! December 9, 2017 the day my lovely mother-in-law Janice passed away.

  4. What was your biggest achievement this year? Painting my kitchen cabinets, got my first full-time job

  5. What was your biggest failure? Too much complaining about work

  6. Did you suffer illness or injury?  This year was a year of struggling with pain.  Joint and body pain, migraine pain, foot pain.

  7. What was the best thing you bought?  Tickets for my kids to come down from Alaska for Christmas

  8. Where did most of your money go? Tickets for my kids to come down from Alaska for Christmas :-D Also college expenses.

  9. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Going to Harry Potter World! (my birthday present for 2017)

  10. What song will always remind you of 2017? Probably none

  11. Compared to this time last year, are you:
    a) happier or sadder?
     Hmmm...about the same
    b) thinner or fatter?  
    About the same, sadly
    c) richer or poorer? About the same

  12. What do you wish you'd done more of? You know, I feel pretty content honestly.  I'm sure I could have been kinder at times or gone on a vacation that Frank really enjoyed  or called my kids more (or they could also call me..hint hint) but overall I enjoyed 2017.

  13. What do you wish you'd done less of? complaining

  14. What was your favorite TV program? This is Us, The Middle, The Good Place

  15. What was the best book you read? Re-read Jesus the Christ (actually, audio re-listened) and I loved it so much. Read most of the book club books, so that was nice to get a few new ones in...can't specifically remember having a super duper favorite though

  16. What was your family's favorite children's book this year? Irrelevant to my life right now I think.

  17. What did you want and get?  A trip to Arizona to visit my friends there and just relax. A trip to Alaska. Harry Potter World! Most of the kids here for Christmas. Several trips to Logan to visit the Petersons. A get together with the Peterson's and Peter's.

  18. What did you want and not get? A trip to Alaska by myself. Ryan here for Christmas.

  19. What was your favorite film of the year? No idea. Bad memory.

  20. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 50 this year. I still can't believe it.  Frank threw me a party (at my request) but a snowstorm kept most people away.  I had a good time though and everyone who came got to eat lots of food!  My cake was amazing. 

  21. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016? comfortable and usually ugly. Once I got my new job it became somewhat business casual with an emphasis on casual.

  22. What kept you sane? prayer

  23. Which celebrity did you fancy the most? Don't care about them.

  24. What political issue stirred you the most? Frank has to tell me to stop watching the news or reading because I get too riled know, Trump. Gah that man makes me nuts!

  25. Who is the best new person you met? Katy's family!

  26. Who did you miss? Ryan

  27. Tell us a valuable lesson you learned in 2017. Don't judge (why do I have to keep re-learning that?), everyone has something going on...give people the benefit of the doubt, I can do hard things.
Favorite pictures from 2017 (mostly this is really good memories vs. good pictures but you get the idea)

Seeing my son for the first time after his mission!

visiting Logan

First time at delicate arch

fun weekend of hiking/sightseeing in southern Utah

Old friends!

Cute green couch/my own office space

Alaska! Family!

Mom's 80th


Harry Potter World + visiting Annavon!

My cute mom

talented son

Grandkids :-)

grandkids :-)

Alaska beauty

Finished kitchen!