Month: December 2007

Leak Fixed, Repair Next

Rainaldi Plumbing fixed the leak today and did a good job. The next step is repairing the water damage, and I suspect it will be more work than fixing the leak since carpet and bathroom cabinets are involved. Or maybe I’ll just push my desk back up against the wall and pretend nothing ever happened.

My Next Project


Leak in the wall

About a week ago I noticed the carpet against a wall in our bedroom was wet. So was the floorboard in the bathroom on the other side of that wall. Since family was coming in a couple days and it didn’t look urgent, I decided to deal with it later. Today I cut open the wall to have a closer look at things. I found the leak and was pleased to see that no mildew had developed, but water is definitely leaking out of what looks like the drain pipe.

I guess it’s time to call a plumber and see what he says. This one is out of my league.

For The Record

Jerry Surfing

Jerry Surfing

After four trips to the beach in unsuccessful attempts, I finally stood up on a surfboard and rode a wave today. Check that one off the list.

Today was Jim’s (younger brother) first attempt, and he had it on his fourth try.

Yes, Orlando in the winter has its advantages. Surfing the day after Christmas is one of them.

Fondue, Annie’s dog cousin

Fondue, Annie's dog cousin


Fondue is living with us while her family is here visiting. She’s the guest Annie wouldn’t tolerate and the reason we sent her away.

We’ve only heard Fondue bark once since she’s been here; a welcome respite.

Life Without Annie

I can’t recall a time when we’ve been in our house without Annie. The last few days have been enlightening for us. We used to think we had Annie pretty well trained, but now we see it was us who was trained.

We first noticed it when Andrew started intentionally hitting the lamp pull-chain ball against the lamp rod. The other three of us (who live here) immediately urged Andrew to stop before Annie went crazy barking. Then we realized she wasn’t there to bark and there really wasn’t any reason not to do this. Then Cathy got the tin foil out and braced herself for the explosion of canine insanity as Annie lunged at the foil. And then she realized that wouldn’t happen either. I bumped into the dishwasher, causing the latch to snap shut, and I prepared for Annie’s kitchen patrol to come shake me down for the infraction. That didn’t happen either.

And we have begun to see how miserably trapped we are in our own home. We can now run the vacuum cleaner, open the back blinds in the afternoon and let the sun reflections in, get CD’s out of their case, use tinfoil, put away reflective pot lids, close the dishwasher, turn the lamps on and off and use flashlights in the house – all without getting barked at for five minutes.

Those are just the things we’ve realized in the last two days. Who knows what the next few days will reveal?

In this case, parting has not been sweet sorrow at all, only sweet.

Thank you for watching her, Kelloggs!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Our Christmas Pajama Pants

Merry Christmas from warm Orlando. This is the second year in a row we’ve run the A/C on Christmas Day. This year Cathy made all of us pajama pants to wear this morning. They were comfy and everyone’s fit, too. She did a great job creating a surprise for all of us.

Today we’re all playing with our toys and having a good time doing nothing.

Annie Banished

When everyone arrived last night, Fondue’s first order of business was doing business in the grass. When she finished we let Annie out to meet her new puppy cousin. They dog-sniffed each other for about 15 seconds, then Annie attacked Fondue and didn’t let up until we grabbed her. She left for the Kelloggs five minutes later. Once she returns we’re considering military academy for her.

Relatives Arrive Today

My friend at church this morning couldn’t believe we would take in 6 more people and a puppy to our not-so-big house, but that is what we are doing later today. My parents and my brother’s family, along with Fondue the Dog, will join us for Christmas here in Orlando. It is nice to have family that you can enjoy in the same house for more than three days.

Our animals, on the other hand, aren’t so nice. The parakeets were the first to go, as their chatter would quickly put the noise threshold over the top. Our friends, Rob and Patricia, graciously adopted them for a week. Annie is the remaining wildcard. Her attitude toward happy puppies at Christmas is definitely, “Bah, humbug.” A snarl and an angry snap is probably how she’ll keep “that little snot-nosed puppy” out of her corner. So unless Annie can be nice tonight we’ll probably be taking up the Kellogg’s offer to remove this dysfunctional family member from the premises.

P.S. The extra person in our website picture is the first of our relatives to arrive.

Getting Colorful

Getting Colorful

Graffiti Cast

Audrey’s cast looks like a wall of graffiti or a really colorful tattoo! It’s been fun for everyone to add their mark to her leg.

She’s been very patient in this ordeal, but she’ll be ready to lose the cast as soon as she can.

Surgery Was Easy

Audrey's Cast

Audrey’s Cast

When Audrey woke up from the procedure today she looked at her leg and laughed at how easy it had been. She was anxious about the thought of surgery, but it turned out to be an emotional non-event. The only challenge was getting past the IV installation. After that she was much more relaxed, and after her first dose of mild anesthesia she was quite relaxed, even a bit slap-happy.

Best of all, she has no pain in her foot right now. Her biggest challenge is just lugging the new appendage around.

INTERESTING NOTE:When I was in 8th grade I had surgery on my right leg the first week of December. I spent the next eight weeks in a cast. Strange coincidence.

Police Chase Near Home

Police Chase Near Home

The Getaway Car – Caught

On our way to Audrey’s doctor visit this morning we noticed a police helicopter flying just over our neighborhood. As we turned the corner off our street we saw some police cars approaching with lights flashing. Leading them was a white Camry heading in our direction. We pulled over (resisting the temptation to try to block the oncoming car with ours) and watched all five or so cars zing past. The fugitive turned back toward our house, but it was of no use since his only options from there were to circle back out to the main subdivision road.

Our route put us on that subdivision road at the same time he returned to the road further down. In our rear view mirror we saw him approaching us again, but then he tried to swerve onto the oncoming lane of traffic. He began losing control of his car and swiped a tree, ripping it out of the ground. The police car behind him then moved up and bumped his rear end sideways, swerving him out of control again. This time he ran up onto the median between the traffic lanes and stopped. Within seconds police had his car surrounded with guns drawn.

The local news at noon said he had stolen the vehicle and then rammed a police car and took off. The pursuit lasted over an hour and involved lots of police cars. They still had the road blocked off when we returned two hours later after our doctor appointment.

UPDATE: The 5:00 pm news showed another suspect who was riding in this car but got dropped off midway through the chase. He was arrested immediately. Upon seeing this person’s face, Andrew says, “Oh my gosh! That kid rides my bus!”

Well, not anymore.

Audrey’s Ankle Update

Yesterday’s trip to the orthopedic surgeon’s office revealed the need for additional x-rays and a CT scan of Audrey’s ankle. Her tibia fractured along three planes, one of which was the growth plate. This morning we returned with new x-rays and CT scans in hand and learned that the next step is surgery tomorrow to position the bones and install a cast.

Ironically, the thought of “surgery” freaked Audrey out more than the last three days of pain and sleep-deprived exhaustion. Adjusting to this new reality was difficult, but I think she now understands that it will be OK. The next four weeks of a full-leg cast won’t be fun, though. She’ll have general anesthesia while the doctor positions her bones, but she opted to get a full-leg cast rather than having a below-knee cast that would require screws inserted into the bones to hold them in place while they heal.

So tomorrow we return for this procedure, and we’ll probably need to go back again on Saturday for a follow up. We’re thankful for good medical care, albeit across town. It’s become our main focus this week.

Audrey’s Broken Ankle

Audrey's Broken Ankle

Audrey’s Broken Ankle

Audrey broke her ankle Monday night just before Cathy and I left Budapest Tuesday morning. Today we’re waiting to get a cat scan before the doctor concludes how to treat the fracture. In the mean time Audrey’s managing pain and being very patient. None of us have slept much in the last two nights, including our friend, Laura, who was taking care of her when Audrey broke it.

How did this happen?

Audrey and her friend were riding a wagon down the driveway and swerved too sharply. They both tumbled out onto the pavement and Audrey’s ankle got crunched in the process. At least they were having fun.

Being in Budapest reminded us how blessed we are with friendships there. It seemed like just a couple months since we had been with our Budapest friends – rather than the 17 months in reality. Audrey breaking her ankle highlighted how blessed we are with friendships in Orlando, too. Our two kids and Annie had excellent, loving care while we were gone by people who love them like their own children. We are rich indeed.

Another Freezing Christmas Market

On The Way to the Christmas Market in Budapest

On The Way to the Christmas Market
in Budapest

It was relatively warm (40 F) at the Budapest Christmas Market today, but it was still freezing. I don’t know how that works.

Mostly all the same stuff is there from the last time we were here. Food-wise that meant a turkey shishkabob for lunch followed by kürtöskalács and coffee at the Gerbeaud to warm up after shopping.