Sunday, June 19, 2011

Stinking Water Bill!

I hate coming home after work and seeing a pink slip attached to the front door! My pink slip was from the city water department but gave me no additional information except a name. I don't remember this person's name, so I will call him Billy. I immediately called the water department hoping they were not closed and asked for Billy. Billy wasn't there; however, I knew I needed an answer then or I would just forget about my little pink slip.

You've probably had these types of conversations where you're just frustrated and talking to the receptionist and getting angry at her because... you just want to be frustrated! There is no legitimate reason for you to get angry but you're angry at her even though you know you're just frustrated with this situation.

The receptionist mentioned through my short conversation that sometimes Billy hangs pink slips on doors because there is a water leak and the water meter reading is abnormally high. I hung up the phone regretfully not apologizing for my poor attitude and immediately started looking and thinking of where I had a water leak.

This hasn't been the first time Cami and I have had water issues in our short tenure of homeowners in this house. I peaked in the crawl space looking for water issues, and then I realized I heard water running in the water heater closet. I called my cousin who helped me install my water heater. He came over that night to find the leak and advise what I should do.

I knew that his wife was pregnant, but I had no idea that his wife was due the following day and scheduled for labor. My cousin and I found the leak and talked about when we would try to get back together some time later after the little baby was born and his wife would be doing just fine. Little did we know that they'd run into complications and the little baby was hospitalized for months.

Conversations between my cousin and I about my water leak naturally stopped as he was busy caring for his family. 4 months passed by with Cami and I buying lots of bottled water, turning the main water on and off in our crawl space, in an effort to not have a crazy water bill like the first month after we realized the water leak.

Finally in June, I found a Saturday where my dad and I could get together and see if we could make a mess. We installed this white tank (picture above) on the main water line going into the water heater. This tank helps regulate the high water pressure and I recommend installing it before you have to go through 4 months of fun. Cami and I have a greater appreciation now for being able to turn on the faucet; having running water without having to run down the stairs, climb into the crawl space, and manually turn the water on and off (and try to remember to turn it off before leaving for work).

Stupid Water Bill!

(I'm pointing to the check valve that was leaking for 4 months)
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Freedom Cows

I looked at these cows and they looked back at me. I couldn't tell if they were looking at me because I was wearing my bike gear or if they were looking at me because I was simply looking at them and they are a curious animal by nature...

It had been over three weeks since I played in the Timpanogos HS Alumni game and sprained my MCL. One of my teammates decided to push one of the opposing players into my knee. I could tell it was sprained immediately from my vast experience in spraining and breaking other parts of my body. This was first time I sprained my MCL.

Cami and I planned to go to Arches National Park early in June, but we had to postpone this trip because my knee was not ready. We've tentatively re-scheduled for some time this fall after it's cooled down a bit. Moab is such a hot place we want to make sure we enjoy hiking there.

I've tried swimming again but my strength is not strong enough in the knee to do real swimming (just pretend swimming). I hobbled around in Cash Valley on one good knee during Cami's Red Riding Hood bike ride.

Finally my knee felt good enough to ride my bike in mid-June. My plan was to ride to squaw peak from my house. A fine feat for a beginner biker especially after almost a month of not riding. I made my way through Pleasant Grove, Lindon, Orem and Provo Canyon. I missed my road to turn off from the Provo River Park Trail. So I kept going on the trail. As I approached the South Fork Park I was passed by 5 real road bikers all dressed in the same gear. I couldn't help but admire how fast and smooth they were on their bikes. Someday I thought, someday.... I saw them head up South Fork Canyon so I decided to follow.

My knee was starting to ache and it was dictating how far I traveled that fine Saturday morning. But because I made it this far I knew my knee could handle the wear and tear, even though it's still sore. I was free again from the pains of my knee, at least to ride my bike again and visit cows in South Fork. I take a deep breath of clean mountain air and think, "Freedom".
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Strawberries n' Creme

Here is a cute picture of Paul and I as we are waiting for the Rodeo to start. There were some really fun things to watch. We were able to watch the little jammers do mutton busting. You have to be a hard core cowboy if you are going to put your little kid on a sheep and let them get bucked off. I would have a difficult time letting my kid go through that punishment.

We met Brittani, Kenny, Bryce, Kristy, and the Glauser family at the rodeo and had a great time just spending time with them laughing and watching all of the different events.

Bryce is really good at making us all laugh. He can't ever keep a straight face for the camera.
One of the really funny events is to watch was the "cash cow." I had never seen this before and didn't know where the term came from, but now I know. :) They sent all of the kids out to chase two cows with cash taped to them. It was really funny to watch.

After the cash cow and mutton riding events are over the "big" events started. I haven't been to a rodeo for years and forgot how amazing these guys riding these bucking broncos are!!
Brittani and I did feel bad when the cowboys would tie up the calves and the little cows would just sit there. Paul rolled his eyes and would tell us that they were just fine.

About once I year I crave strawberries n' creme. Luckily there is a rodeo nearby our house where they serve strawberries n' creme.
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Lagoon Day 2011

June 11, 2011 was the annual Russell Family-Visit-Lagoon Day. As always we had I blast, but every year I have to choose my roller coasters carefully.

Cami and I met up with Bryce (Cami's brother) and Kristy (Bryce's wife) at our house and drove up together. Upon entering the park we jumped in line for the "white roller coaster". The white roller coaster is the older ride still around at Lagoon. Every year I've ever been to Lagoon I ride this coaster first. Since this ride is so old it doesn't have the fear factor or whirl and twirl compared to newer rides at Lagoon such as: Spider, Mouse, Wicked, and the Rocket. Bryce, Kristy, Cami and I sat near the back of the coaster train and as we began ascending to the top of the first peak I started screaming. I had more than half the coaster train looking back at me. Throughout the ride I continued to scream random funny things. I wish I could remember now what I said.

After the ride was over I had that feeling it could be a very long day or short day depending on the next few rides I choose to stomach.

We rode the Colossus Firedragon and Wicked within 45 minutes of entering the park, but I knew I was done until after lunch. We met up with the rest of the Russell family and they rode on the "Turn of the Century" swing ride. I found out from the two kid rides I rode last year spinning in circles is no bueno. I don't think I'll ever be able to do the carousel again!

As you can see from the picture above we sat down for hamburgers and hotdogs for lunch. Bryce had finished his lunch before I sat down with my plate of food, so Bryce being bored, challenged me to put my chocolate chip cookie and potato salad in my double patty hamburger. The chocolate chips even melted a little to add a third dimension to my sandwich.

After lunch I had the stomach for just a few more rides; not because of the sandwich though. The entire family met over at the Sky Coaster: a bungee jump ride where Cami and I were strapped into harnesses, raised 145 feet, where I pulled the ripcord and plunged downward reaching 80 mph.

After this ride I felt I could do 2 more rides: Blast Off and Re-Entry. However the lines were too long because they were not working properly. After Cami and Bryce went on one more ride we left the park for our traditional visit to IHOP in Centerville.

I look back now and I can't ever think of a time where I only did 4 rides at an amusement park. There were years where I did each ride 2 or 3 times on a Saturday. A few years ago I found out my reason for my incapacity to do more than what I did a few Saturdays ago: too many concussions!

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Adoption Walk

In May FSA (Families Supporting Adoption) put on an Adoption Walk. This was to celebrate all of the birth mothers that have placed their babies with adoptive couples.

The day in May that the walk is held on is birth mothers day. Paul's parents came out to support us and it was a great time that we could show our support for all of the wonderful birthparents out there and for their sacrifices.

The fire department came for the little kids and showed off their fire trucks. They blew their horns and the kids got to sit in the truck. It was cute.

Everyone who was there to participate received a balloon and walked around the track at Provo high school.

After we walked around the track everyone who was there participating met in the middle and we let our balloons go to represent our unity as adoptive couples and birthparents. It was neat!

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Little Red Riding Hood

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So at the beginning of June I was able to do a woman's bike ride called Little Red Riding Hood. I was really excited to experience a woman's ride. The ride was held in Cache County Utah close to Logan, UT. There were different options for lengths that I could ride and I was able to do 80 miles!!! That is to date the longest bike ride that I have done.

The ride had stops where there were treats and a staff to help out with any accomadations that would be needed. It was really awesome and Paul was the best supporter of all. He came to all of the stops that I asked him to. It was awesome to have him there rooting me on.

Having a road bike has been an awesome experience this summer! Paul and I have been able to spend more time time together and it is something that we can do together to be healthy. It has been so much fun and I am looking forward to doing more rides!!