Friday, July 31, 2015

Dyer Park - The Third Visit

Visiting Dyer Park on New Year's Day was quite delightful (see here). Our February visit was just as nice (see here). When we weren't able to finish the hikes on the list in the spring, I was disappointed. I really had no desire to go back in the summer. However, I lucked out and last Saturday was a nice, cloudy day, and we were able to enjoy our day in the park before the afternoon thundershowers came.
This multi-use trail took us from the parking lot, along the lake, and through the playground to reach the main entrance.
Then we walked around the basketball, baseball, and soccer fields.
We finished our walk by taking the 1.5 mile loop around a giant, open field.
Then it was back to the playground area where we had a nice quick lunch of Jalapeno Cheese Sausages. You'll notice we even got a bit of blue skies before the gray ones returned. There's still one more hike. I wonder what the weather will be like our next available Saturday!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Sunrise - Post #50

It's been a few months, but we finally had a free Saturday morning to head over to the beach to watch the sunrise. It was a beautiful, calm day (which meant the no-see-ums were out and about) and we had a nice time. As we arrived we noticed the turtle tracks, and later we were surprised that some volunteer came and drove over them. I guess they don't want people and other animals knowing where the nests are.
We had fishermen, boaters and dog walkers for company, but no one else was just sitting and watching! I guess we're different.
Isn't that gorgeous, though?

We had a nice time at post #50 and afterwards we enjoyed our breakfast at Duke's Lazy Loggerhead Cafe. It's a fun tradition!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

It's a Beautiful World

One of the things I love about our backyard is watching the wildlife, as long as the alligators stay away. This month I actually saw the otter that occasionally drops by. Normally he dives too quickly for me to catch a glimpse of him.
One day we were able to watch a bird catch, and then eat, a fish. That was pretty fascinating.
It's also fun watching the afternoon storm roll in.
And catching the sunset after it leaves!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Dryer Repair

One of the "come home from vacation" chores is to get caught up on laundry. After the first load had been in the dryer for a while, I realized that it hadn't "buzzed" so I went to investigate. I discovered that it hadn't buzzed because the clothes weren't dry. And the clothes weren't dry because the dryer wasn't getting hot. Not good!

Fortunately, our internet connection was working, and Google led me to RepairClinic where I found some great videos to give me an idea of what might be wrong. I started by ordering the cheapest part - a thermal fuse - from the various possibilities, and when it arrived a couple of days later, I got to work.

First you get to the back of the dryer, pull out the plug, detach the lint tube, and remove the cover. (At this point I was extremely grateful that one of the chores Jeff helped with last month was cleaning behind the washer and dryer! I don't like dealing with lint and dust.)
It was an easy matter to unscrew the old fuse and screw on the new one. However, that didn't solve the problem. So, I ordered another part - the cycling thermostat. A few days later I repeated the process with the same result. That meant I needed to order the actual heating element, which cost quite a bit more (although still less than the cost of a service call). And I was even able to find it cheaper on Amazon.

While I was waiting for that part to arrive, I also decided it would be a good idea to invest in an inexpensive multimeter. That's a pretty cool tool. It told me that the heating element was defective, but so was the thermal fuse that I had already replaced. The original cycling thermostat was okay. (So, if any one needs one, we have a spare!) In addition, I learned that a multimeter will test batteries. I had a couple of expensive batteries for my camera (found when I unpacked) that I thought were dead, but I decided to test them before getting rid of them. They were still good. The multimeter paid for itself in those few seconds!
The pulled out dryer, the back cover, the multimeter, both heating elements, and the thermal fuse.
Finally, the heating element arrived, I replaced it, screwed everything back in, replaced the cover, hooked up the exhaust tube and plugged the dryer back into the wall. Success!
We were inconvenienced for a couple of weeks, but Wayne was quite thrilled that we got it in working order again for less than the cost of a repairman's visit. I'm pretty pleased as well.

Since I'm recording these experiences so I can remember what to do in the future, I should also mention that the very first thing you check is to make sure there's no lint buildup and that the vent pipe is clear. Many, many years ago we called out a dryer repairman and all he had to do was clean lint out of the back of the dryer. The lint trap had been broken for several weeks, and while I thought I was getting everything out, I wasn't. It would have been cheaper to just replace the lint trap when it first broke!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Establishing Residency

Jeff's been a Florida resident for over 15 years, but in order to be eligible for resident tuition for his graduate program, he had to prove that he was severing all ties with the state where he did his undergraduate work. So, after graduation I helped him drive his car home where he re-titled and re-registered it, and then he lived with us for a couple of months. There really wasn't time for him to get an outside job, so we put him to work at home. We certainly appreciate his willingness to tackle some of the chores we've had on the list for a while!

Cleaning the carpets. And mowing the lawn.
Washing the windows. And the cars, too.
Pulling out a bothersome bush.
Planting an orange tree in the resulting hole.
Cleaning behind the washer and dryer. And replacing the hose that broke in the process!
Cleaning the tops of the cabinets.

Helping with dinner and other meals.
Being an awesome nurse and chauffeur while I had to wear this contraption for a couple of weeks.
We tried to have some fun as well - kayaking on the Loxahatchee River.
Going to the beach.
 Hiking a time or two (maybe that was more work than fun).
Eating out a time or two (not sure what's up with the facial expression).
Taking advantage of technology to read a book to the 2nd grade class in Utah.
A lot of time was spent Skyping with Alicia and rebuilding Lego sets.
And he put the clubhouse facilities to good use on a regular basis.
And on his last day in Florida, he helped us celebrate Father's Day.
Once they were moved into their apartment and came down to retrieve the car, we celebrated the end of the separation with one more yummy dinner. They deserved a reward!
Best wishes on your new adventures!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

St. George 2015 - Zion National Park - Part Five

On our last day in Zion we hiked the trail to Weeping Rock. It was a good choice, because it's short. We didn't have to wake up early, and we were back in St. George in time to fix dinner for everyone.

On the way to Weeping Rock, we stopped at the Court of the Patriarchs. Since we'll be studying the Old Testament in seminary this year, I thought a picture of the Abraham, Isaac and Jacob peaks might come in handy. Too bad that Mount Moroni is in front of Mount Jacob!

Wayne with Jeff - 1990

Wayne with the mountain peaks - 2015
It looks like they've updated the informational sign, but the mountains haven't changed.
Then it was off to Weeping Rock where we met up with Weston's family.
Although it's only 1/4 mile to the end of the trail, there are sharp drop-offs, so we had to be careful to harness the little boys' energy.
And you do need to be prepared to get rained on at the end.

The reward for obeying the rules on the trail was a chance to play in the creek back at the trail head.
It was probably more fun than climbing the mountain!
Lots of fun memories were created during our family reunion week. I'm looking forward to the next one!