I Can’t Believe It!

We’ve lived across from an empty lot for well over two years. It’s been an eyesore as well as a constant source of noise and debris (it serves as a concrete truck clean out). Lo and behind the Ivory gods are shining on us. Last week we heard through the grapevine that Ivory was building a spec home on the lot. A few days ago they marked it out and started digging the hole for the the foundation. I’m not certain what their timeline is like (I’d guess 4 months) but it will be wonderful to have a home across from us instead of a dirt field. Maybe we’ll get a little bit of the mountain wind blocked as well. Hopefully our new neighbors won’t suck (so far all of our neighbors are great).

Blue Apron Spiced Pork Competition

Like many people (it seems) Fran is subscribed to Blue Apron. It’s a fun way to try out new “high end” cuisine. It doesn’t come ready to go though- you still have to cook it yourself. For a lot of people, like my wife,  that’s part of the fun. Blue Apron recently held a video contest where they invited people to film themselves cooking their Spiced Pork dish. We decided it would be fun to give it a shot. Even though we didn’t win (I still can’t figure out who did) it was enjoyable to film and edit my wife’s entry (although like all my personal videos it was a “rush job”).

Happiness Anyone?

4/30/2017 – This post is part of a large release of “DRAFT” entries. Many of these these entries were never finished (and may still not be) or were composed but never published for one reason or another. If you run across one of of these in a strange spot or out of chronological order that may be one reason.

Hughes Family: February 2015

February came and went in much the same way it always does… begging for more time, making desperate promises- that kind of thing.

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We were so American this year. We hunkered down and watched the Super Bowl in all of its ballesque glory. Mike is a mega-football fan and rooted enthusiastically for the Seahawks so we rooted along with him (“Just… stop talking! Be quiet!” he told us multiple times). A good solid game.

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Every since we went to Nickle City Gabe has been talking about the Transformers game they have there. I decided we should go back and see if we could finish it off. By the time we were done Gabe’s could barely lift his arm and we were $10 deep but we polished it off. Then I showed Gabe who was boss with a game of air hockey. And of course he won some tickets and bought crap. Love this little guy.

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We went to Walmart to get Chloe a real bike (to replace one of those scooter-bike hybrid abominations). Chloe is so particular about what she wants. After carefully going through all the bikes (including test drives) she selected one with the Eiffel tower on it (how fitting).

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Fran and I took a trip to the Hale Center Theater to see “Barefoot in the Park.” It’s always fun to get a little culture at a live play. I really enjoy live performances because there are no cuts- it’s like a movie with very long takes. Actually it’s better than a movie- there’s a heightened intensity and additional skill required when there are no second chances. Maybe it’s time to get season passes.

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For Valentine’s Day we did something a little different this year: Ramen! We made a bunch of different variation and even whipped up some scallops for good measure. We finished off our meal with some chocolate dipped strawberries and sparkling cider.

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What would winter be without snowmobiling (quieter?). This year we headed out toward Heber to a little place called The Aspen Moose (it’s located in a  gated community called Timber Lakes). Overall it’s a nice place to stay for a few days, but the Daniel’s Summit lodge is much nicer. Snowmobiling trails are comparable although I liked the Timber Lakes trails a bit more as it was easier to ride through trees and the landscape was more varied. 

Marble Run Fun

The other day Gabe made me an awesome little cardboard house (below, left). He told me it was for marbles and proceeded to roll one inside. I asked him if we could build an even bigger marble run around the house and he eagerly agreed.

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We created the runs using regular 8 x 11 sheets of paper. It’s pretty simple. Just cut the  paper into fourths (long ways). Fold a section in half (you can use tape to keep the edges together) and then fold the edges up on both sides (make sure your run is wide enough to accommodate your marble).

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Decide where you need turns and cut out triangles in your run. When the cut out sections are folded and taped together they will create the angles (adjust as needed by cutting out more or less triangles). Add runs as desired and tape your new run under your old runs. You can use the same sections of paper to create structural supports. Always make sure your marble runs angle down enough to maintain momentum.

Here’s what we ended up with:

Not too bad! Maybe one day we’ll build something a little more aggressive.

Hughes Family: January 2015

January was a blur. There’s no other way to describe it. I feel like we did a ton of stuff, but the photographic evidence doesn’t seem to support the claim. Maybe the best thing to do is just pretend it was a relaxing month. January was like a slow motion massage.

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What better way to start off the 2015 than with a little skiing? Fran, Catherine, Randall and the kids (most of them) hit Sundance for a day of snow and fun. One of these days I’m going to go skiing again. Green diamonds all the way.

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The beginning of the year is the perfect time to make poorly thought out resolutions. “Be healthy” Vague and yet impossibly difficult. Lots of veggies and lean meats? Check. Good thing these kind of resolutions only last a couple of weeks!

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Gabe is playing basketball again! We put in a quarter court (is that a thing?) in our side yard and he and Mike play all the time. I actually played a quick game against both of them. I am really out of shape, but I crushed them. Keep practicing kids!

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Per French tradition Francoise made “la galette des rois” (the cake of the kings). In addition to being delicious there is a hidden treasure in the cake. Whoever finds it while eating is the king! This year I was the lucky guy so I got to wear this sweet crown.

 

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How is this even possible? I swept up an amazing pile of trash. And then a few days later I swept up another pile. Our kids just seem to dump trash and food on the floor wherever they go. This isn’t “haha” funny to me either.  I feel like it denotes a serious lack of respect and consideration. What can I do? I know… just keep sweeping.

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Even taking into account their messes I feel like I have wonderful kids. I spent some time with Gabe playing on the SNES and working on a few projects- he’s quite the little builder. Chloe is enrolled in dance class and loves it. Claire is turning into quite the little chef and can make cookies completely on her own. Mike is an adept strategist and it’s fun to play games like Pandemic with him. Yes, the rewards of parenthood often outstrip the costs.

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We’re working on landscaping! The HOA here in Ivory Ridge has been fantastic. They have completely ignored everything we have asked and our repeated submissions. I don’t understand why the HOA hasn’t been turned over to the community or why no one who actually lives in Ivory Ridge is part of any decision making process. We are just plunging ahead. I don’t see why they wouldn’t approve our beautification efforts but nothing surprises me anymore.

As I said, the visual documentation of what I experienced in January is lacking. Perhaps that’s due in part to being gone for a few days at the SHOT show. Perhaps I need to take more pictures. Or perhaps my brain just makes stuff up to hurt me.