Friday, September 16, 2005

Friday - visitor prep

Friday! I’m ready for the weekend! Some times the days go slow, but this week seemed to disappear. It does not feel like we accomplished anything. Lots of stuff at work, and at home we’ve been spending most of the time cleaning up. Our exchange student (why do I keep calling him that? It’s been over twenty years ago) Ulf is coming from Sweden at the beginning of November, along with wife Carina and three boys. Our one ‘guest’ bedroom is typical size, but a little crowded for five. So my wife has a ‘must be done by’ date for fixes around the house. The bedroom is the first – peel the wallpaper and paint walls, scrape the cottage cheese off the ceiling, pull the carpet up and put down Pergo to match the front room.

For those of you unfamiliar with the term, ‘cottage cheese ceilings’ refers to a style of finishing. During new construction, after the builder puts up drywall and it gets taped (seams covered with paper tape and plaster) a finisher uses an air spray machine to spray a mixture of plaster and bigger particles onto the ceiling. This produces a rough texture, that to some looks like small lump cottage cheese. It is very good at covering up irregularities that would take a longer time to fix, and is fast and cheap to put on. It was very popular in the 70’s and 80’s, but has fallen out of favor recently. Because of the rough texture it holds dust and dirt and just cannot be cleaned. It is also very difficult to paint. Most people just leave it alone, and you end up with black streaks near the heater/air conditioning vents. We choose to scrape it off, fix the problems, and paint. It does take some effort to take it off.

But for now, last night we finally emptied all of the drawers in the dresser and cabinet. I’ve got to go through the papers and figure out want notifications to make. Bobbie has taken on the task of informing friends and I do the business stuff. We’ve got bags of clothes – B will call Deseret today; in California they were the only ones that would come to the house and pick things up.

B also wants the breakfast area fixed up – we had discussed a different table and building in a bench along the wall. With three little kids she figures a bench seat would be more secure. Ulf says that he just wants to hang out and rest – with working 70-80 hour weeks he needs some time off. But he has to fly to Texas to speak at a medical conference for a few days in the middle of the visit, so he will not totally get away. And I don’t see that flying from Sweden to the US with three kids under the age of four is much of a vacation. Have to ask Tess about that – she went from Hong Kong to Canada with triplets. I’m just glad I wasn’t sitting in the row ahead of them. Tying kids to a seat for hours is not enjoyable to them in any way, no matter what the age.

We are looking forward to having a house full of kids. Alex is 3 1/2, the twins will be 1 1/2. B talked to Carina yesterday and one of them is walking, the other climbing and probably will be bouncing around in two months. We’ll find out if Alex has learned enough English. I’ve been sending DVDs over, Thomas, the Muppet show, Spongebob and other of my favorites. Ulf figured out how to make his European DVD player work with American disks. Most of the adult shows over there are in their original English, but the kid’s shows and cartoons are in Swedish. It’s always fun to watch the triplets across the street wandering around the front yard (they have a fence – don’t worry) and even more fun to watch mom take them in when they start to cry, and I get to just leave. It will be a little different when they are in our house.

Carina says they will use the pool. Water temp is still over 93f, even though it’s cooled off. So it will probably be down around 80 by Thanksgiving, which is still very warm to them. Not many pools over there. The folk’s summerhouse is on the North Sea, which to me does not get very warm.

OK, enough of the visitors. Went out to dinner with the kids the other night, here’s an update (3 1/2 months).

I added some more links, since I read them whenever I get on line I might as well have them listed. Thanks guys. Wow, looks like mostly women listed – is that because I like to read those, or because more women have blogs?

And for Clare:

1. Come on, look at the picture.
2. Cool crisp mornings and warm afternoons.
3. Breakfast coffee with the newspaper (as long as it’s the cartoons and not the front page).

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