Lauren Has Strep

We know she had it. Not sure about the rest of us.

She’s on antibiotics now. Should be better soon.

– b


Finally got around to re-assembling Lauren’s bike with the pink skull and butterfly graphics we got her for Christmas.

The graphics install was what you’d expect for a vinyl water application process on curved Chinese cut plastic.  There are some bubbles and creases, but what’s important is Lauren loves it.

All that’s left is to finish the spoke covers and ride it. Hopefully the weather is getting more cooperative.

– b

Permit Approved

The township approved our permit.

Next up is an inspection, and work will resume.

– b

Bag a Day

Not that it’s relevant to anyone or even myself considering we’re moving, but with all the open space in our downstairs due to the construction it’s a lot harder for the pellet stove to heat our house.

Typically with the weather like it is, I could easily get nearly 2 days on a bag of pellets. Only when it was really cold would it take 1 bag (or 2 in extreme cases) a day. I managed this by basically closing all the doors downstairs and forcing the hot air upstairs. It also helped to use the furnace fan to suck the hot air in and distribute upstairs.

With all the construction, the doors don’t close and the furnace no longer has an intake for the pellet stove air. The downstairs is essentially an open space, thus doubling our space. That’s too much for the stove, or more accurately more space than we previously heated on average.

– b

Lauren Sick

Fever most of the weekend. Out of school Friday and Monday.

– b

ADK Family Winter Trip 2018

We headed to the ADK this past weekend for what is now our annual winter trip. Going into it, the weather wasn’t looking too favorable with previous weeks of warm weather and no snow, but we got lucky with about 5″ of fresh snow the day after we arrived.

Due to tricky travel conditions and just the need to sit home an relax, we did just that and spent most of the first day handing out in the condo.

The second day was our big day with an attempt to hike to Avalanche Pass. It’s an 11 mile round trip hike with moderate elevation gain. We figured we’d give it our best and see how far we got.

The trip to Marcy Dam was pretty uneventful. We stopped for lunch for ourselves and the chickadees.

With full bellies, we continued into the interior of the high peaks region. It’s a steady ascent most of the way, and doesn’t feel too steep except for one area near the end. At this point Lauren decided that she’d about had enough. Lucky for her, Mom wasn’t far from the same conclusion and they decided to slow down and take their time before deciding to go all the way or turn back. Abigail and I forged ahead.

Fortunately that last tough climb is very close to the end and we all made it to the frozen lake.

For me it is one of the more beautiful things to see in the ADK in winter. I was super excited to have everyone there to experience it together. Abigail and I even ventured out onto the lake to see the Trap Dike. Unfortunately it was too cloudy to see much beyond the first pitch.

Though not a summit of any kind, we did get to see some rime ice on a grove of saplings. Typically on a summit where there’s more clouds and wind, you’ll find rime ice on the rocks and anything else sticking up off the ground. Because the saplings were all exposed at the base of a slide and therefore getting more wind, I think the rime ice was able to form at a lower than usual elevation.

On the trip back the girls rode sleds most of the way.

We had gotten some easily packable sleds that are basically cafeteria trays with handles to steer. The girls loved it.

– b


Green Eggs & Ham

Last week was Dr. Seuss’s birthday, so the girls wanted green eggs and ham for breakfast.


Luckily they decided the ham could just be ham and not green ham.

– b

New Terrain Opportunities

There’s a mountain outside of Jim Thorpe whose top is criss crossed by many many dirt roads. Dirt roads where Abigail and Lauren could safely ride their dirt bikes all day.

The problem is getting to the top. All car accessible entries are gated except one. That one is a rocky climb up the mountain. It’s so rocky that I don’t think the kids could easily ride their dirt bikes up it. But it’s not too rocky for the Subaru assuming it has the right protection.

Enter the skid plate. Three skid plates to be exact.

The Outback already has substantial ground clearance (8.7″) for what it is, but the added protection should increase my confidence to drive to the top of the mt unscathed with the girls and our bikes in the trailer.

At the top I won’t have to worry about too many other bikes, vehicles, cliffs, ditches, etc. It’s just wooded trails and roads winding all around.

Can’t wait.

– b

No Mono

Blood results are back. I don’t have Mono.

If nothing else, the steroids are working. I feel significantly better.

Not going anywhere this week and next doesn’t hurt either.

– b

Progress Stalled

The week started off with a lot of good progress.

Our main bathroom has a tiled floor, new toilet and new vanity.

The new bathroom in the basement has been plumbed in with the grinder pump and a shower stall.

Can’t wait for all this to be functional.

The problem with all this are the inspections. After filing the permits and attempting to schedule the inspections, we were told the wait is up to 15 business days. Until then, all progress is stopped. Hopefully there’s an opening and gets done sooner without issue.

We shall see.

– b