Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend

This has been a busy week here and we were so THANKFUL for the long weekend.  Dan has been busy demolishing the fireplaces during the past couple of weeks, which is part of our master plan to remodel the basement before our Groom's Dinner by the beach in September.  We plan to replace the wood-burning fireplaces with gas fireplaces.  His goal this week was to get as much done as possible on his own, so that we could completely remove the chimney and patch up the holes in the house over Memorial Day Weekend.

What is left of the upstairs fireplace as of Monday night.

What was left of the basement fireplace as of Monday night.

To celebrate our success with the fireplace removal, we went to a Twin's Game on Tuesday night with Scott and Megan!  We started out at Kierans, the best place for a happy hour before the game, and then enjoyed a beautiful night at Target Field with an amazing and definately unexpected win by the Twins!


After having fun on Tuesday night, there was no more time for fun and relaxtion the rest of the the week. We still had more fireplace work that had to be done. We needed to get as much taken down as possible, so that we could remove the entire chimney on Saturday and get the holes patched up. So, Friday afternoon, Dan rented a jackhammer and went to town!

The scatter in the pic is from all the dust that was flying around. 
This whole project has been crazy messy!

Friday night we were lucky enough to go to ANOTHER Twin's Game!!

There was a Thrivent event, and Mark and Jen gave us tickets, and we got to sit in a Skyline Suite!  It was an awesome night to watch the game from a suite, since it was kind of rainy and cold.  Plus, we got beer and hotdogs!  Can't beat a Dome Dog!

Thanks Mark & Jen!

At the Harmon Killebrew statue, a bunch of people had left flowers and signs as
a memorial to him. It was really touching to see this...I had to fight my tears!

Mark and Dawn came to the game with us too, and we had a nice time socializing with them!

Justin Morneau is my favorite Twin's player ever since I met him at The St. Paul
Hotel after a Wild game last November.  He was super nice, and gave me his autograph
on a Wild ticket.  And he was really friendly to all of us, and gave Dan and Scott
multiple high fives and fist bumps throughout the night.  My bro Dave likes him a lot too, so I took this picture so he could be jealous that we were all at Target Field and he was missing out in CO!

The Twins managed to piss away their 4-0 lead in the last few innings. So, unfortunately, no Win that night.  But, there was a nice firework show after the game, and we all had a great time!

We got home pretty late, and we kinda wiped out from the week of fun and all the chimney work.  But, got up EARLY on Saturday to start the next phase.  We had people coming over to help us with the chimney and needed to be ready for everything!  That meant that Dan needed to climb on the roof and start work on the chimney up there, and I needed to go to the grocery store and buy doughnuts to feed all of our helpers!  Both equally important jobs. 

Fortunately, all of Dan's hard work during the past few weeks, had paid off, within a couple of hours, the upstairs part of the chimney was down!  It was so amazing to see it fall at once!

Dan busting out the final pieces, and a view from the house!

Mark, Jen and Dave helping us clean up the mess after the demo.

A view from the outside after the chimney was removed. 
Mark working on building some temporary walls.

The hole has finally been patched and sealed.  Just MINUTES before the rain and hail started!

Fortunately, we were able to get all the chimney stuff cleaned up and the hole in the house sealed just minutes before the rain and hail started.  Talk about perfect timing!  I was so glad to be finished!  We are so thankful for everyone's help with this project!!

The rest of the weekend we were pretty lazy.  We spent several hours on both Sunday and Monday cleaning the house...the dust from the brick is everywhere.  Poor Dan is super sore and still exhausted, but we are glad to have that first milestone of our project finished up.  I'm beginning to think our remodel for September is actually going to happen!  Yeah!

Back to the grind tomorrow...thank goodness it's only a 4-day week though!  Hope you had a nice Memorial Day Weekend too!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Truk - Day 7

Sunday February 20th was our last day in Truk.  We were scheduled to leave around midnight that night, so it was a no diving day.  A few of us decided to go on an island tour to some of the surrounding islands.  Our two divemasters picked us up at the dive shop and took us to a couple of islands.  These islands were kind of remote and didn't have electricity.  It's really interesting to see people living that way and makes you really appreciate all of the comforts we have here in the US.  When we were walking through one of them, we came upon a peace corp volunteer from the US...Nebraska I think.  I think she heard our Minnesotan accents.  She talked to us for a bit about living life there, which was really interesting.

Blue Lagoon dive shop.

An old hyperbaric chamber at the dive shop.

Hyperbaric chamber.

Tank filling station

David and Melanie

Buck and I

Dan and I.  What a hottie with no shirt!

This was an old school on one of the islands.

The "main drag" on this island.

Cute little girl that followed us around for awhile.  The people on these islands must not see white people very often, because the little kids were just fascinated by us.  They would all run out to the road and wave and run along with us for awhile.  It was really cute.  The older kids and adults seemed kind of intimidated by us though, which was kind of awkward...most of them laughed at us.

Another school.  You could see their lessons written on the chalkboard and their schedules posted on the wall.  The Peace Corp teacher told us that most of the kids have to walk an hour to school each day, so they are just really happy when the kids even show up.

This was at the remains of an old war hospital.

When we got back, Tom took a few "engagement pics" of us for our Save the Dates.

Of course, we had to get one with the big ship in the background.

And Tom playing around with the guns!!



Last Happy Hour



We all had our last dinner in Truk together and spent the night either napping or packing, anxiously getting ready to leave for our long trek back home.

Truk - Day 6

This was going to be our last day of diving in Truk.  I was tuckered out and kind of sick of diving, so I just decided to do the first dive, on the I-169 Submarine.  Again, I don't really have much noted about this dive...but Dan took this cute picture of me. 

After this, I took the rest of the afternoon off and took a nap and read my book.  Dan did two more dives and got some really cool pictures on a penetration of the Kansho Maru.

Engine room

Melanie swimming through the engine room


Sometime during the dive Dan cut himself on something and he took a pic of his bleeder as
evidence in case he wasn't able to live to tell the tale.  Or something like that.

Before the third dive, it was raining really hard.  The air was colder than the water, so the divemasters made everyone get in the water and snorkle.  The last day of the day, and the trip, was on a tug boat.

Self Portrait

Buck and Bev trying to keep warm!  Those kind of look like forced smiles to me. :)

This was Bev's 200th dive, so Dan took a few pictures of her to capture the memory.