Saturday, July 5, 2008

A Passing Summer

How quickly the 4th of July comes and goes. Tammy and I went to the Taste of Minnesota on Harriet Island in St. Paul Thursday afternoon and evening. We strolled around seeing how much free food and beverages we could fill up on before finally breaking down and buying some tickets. We're not cheap; we only had $45 in cash and I'm one who hates to pay an ATM fee for taking money out of my account. It's quite easy to blow through $45 between the two of us at this event.

We got off the beaten path a bit and went down along the pier to look at the boats pulled along side. We talked about what it would be like to live on a house boat and then we talked about how maintenance would be a constant.

REO Speedwagon was the headline act. Tammy isn't real big on them but I enjoy some of their music. Here's one of the videos I took for my YouTube account...Golden Country.

As we were leaving we walked by the Christian music tent/stage and grabbed a seat inside with our Budweiser wrist bands still on minus our beers. There was a local group on stage, Josiah Smith, which we watched for a few songs. Not bad.

We opted for leaving early and beating the crush of exiting people after the fireworks. We always enjoy our time a the Taste.

It's going to be a busy week around our home. Jim had one of his sons out on Thursday to power-wash our house and I think the plan is to come back on Tuesday to continue the prep work. My guess is they'll be painting on Thursday.

Thursday is also the day we're having our furnace and air-conditioner replaced. We got a couple bids and decided to go with the guys our neighbors across the street used last winter when they replaced their furnace.

We're going with a high efficiency furnace with a variable speed fan which is continuously circulating air through the house. Our current furnace/AC setup isn't very efficient. It's builder grade stuff which came with the house when I had it built in 1992. It's served us well but the last tech who was out at our home a few weeks ago to service our air-conditioner said we should give some serious consideration to replacing at least the AC. He was worried about how loud the compressor was. We could do it now on our schedule or wait until either the furnace or AC breaks down for good and go into crisis mode. I don't like crisis mode.

We're trying to avoid using our savings for this. Tammy noticed a credit card offer in the mail a few weeks ago which was offering interest free financing until October 2009. Usually those envelopes don't get past the garbage can in our garage as the rest of the mail is brought in but this one slid by. We'll take advantage of it.

I got up yesterday morning intent on going for a long ride but then it struck me that Tammy and I had the day off together; something that doesn't happen often enough. I asked her what she thought about taking the pups for a walk around Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis. A half hour later we were in the drive-thru at Starbucks ordering coffees for the ride. When we got to the window to pay, the woman inside gave us a piece of paper which would explain that our bill was paid by the driver of the SUV which had been in front of us. There's a Christian music station in town, KTIS 98.5, which promotes a program called Drive Thru Difference and we'd just become the latest recipients of it. Cool.

Rachel spent the weekend with her best friend, Camille. There would be several of them going camping a couple hours north. A bunch of kids and a few adults to chaperon them. We have a rule that she's not allowed to have more than one other person in the car when she's driving. I got a call from her asking if it would be alright for her to drive one of the cars they were taking to a carnival 15 miles away and that it would be full of other kids. I wasn't all that keen on the idea. An unfamiliar car on unfamiliar roads with a bunch of kids who I could hear in the background were loudly having a great time. She put Camille's dad, Chuck, on the phone. I told him that she's only ever had one other person in the car with her and she's still a very new driver and wondered if maybe they could minimize the amount of kids she would be driving. He told me he understood and that they would work around it. I sent Tammy a text explaining the situation and she agreed that it would be inviting trouble. I didn't want to rain on their parade and most likely everything would have turned out fine but it goes with the territory of being a parent. I appreciate that Rachel would ask us rather than tell us about it later.

It was a nice 4th of July weekend. Next stop, the Dakota County Fair.

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