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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks


What a crazy week of craziness we had. It feels a little like we squeezed 3 weeks into one.

Exercise With the Wii

I was anxious to get building the shed all week. That was partially because I really dislike leaving things halfway finished, partially because I have wanted this shed since we moved in nearly 2 years ago, and partially because I wanted to get my garage back, but the shed pieces were taking up all of the space. Monday was off the plate because it was very windy and I had lots of my normal job to do. I did that in the morning, while Kira helped the kids work on their schoolwork.

Apollo Helps With the Yard Work

In the afternoon, Hannah and I made our monthly run to Costco, finding a line out the door, as they were limiting the number of people who could be inside. It went pretty smoothly, and then it was kind of nice to have less traffic inside. We were surprised to find we were under budget, not really sure how we could be eating less while we're all stuck at home. I splurged a bit and bought my first new pillow ever, as the one I've been sleeping on is older than all of my children, possibly combined. I tried it out that night, and regretted it the next morning, because I don't think I slept more than a couple of hours. It was just too poofy for what I was used to. It was a little like driving a semi truck when all you've ever driven was a little sports car. It was just too different all at once.

Mission Accomplished

Tuesday was, therefore, a terrible day, and I'd rather not talk about it. I woke up feeling like garbage. I had planned on doing some schoolwork and then putting the shed walls up, but the wind was still gusting pretty hard, and it was a cold wind. Because I felt so awful, I opted to wait on the shed again. That evening, as Avey and I watched some TV, I removed about a third of the pillow's stuffing, and sewed it back up. That has made a world of difference, and now I'm sleeping much better.

Wednesday, we awoke to a nice snowfall, that continued to fall until it got to be about 4 inches, which was way more than we expected. Most of it melted by the afternoon, but it was a fun change of pace, at least. It would have prevented work on the shed again, but I had forgotten that I had an afternoon phone meeting anyway, which tied me up for most of the best work hours. At least it was a relatively fun task. The university is working on a more universal grading rubric for scientific papers that undergraduates write, and they wanted some of the faculty to grade a student paper using the new rubric. The topic of the paper they chose was right in my area of expertise: solitary confinement and mental health. I was worried that I would be the only one who thought the paper was a pathetic heap of garbage, but that was also the general consensus. Needless to say, the rubric didn't have a category for "pathetic piece of garbage."

Thursday I was bogged down with grading, so still couldn't get to the shed, and Kira was working hard getting the kids to want to care about their school assignments.

Friday came another big snowfall, so that we probably had more snow this week than we had in all of December of last year. It was just warm enough that it was perfect for packing, so the kids and Kira went crazy with it.

I was toiling away in the meantime, grading my students' very sad statistics exams [sad violin music].

The kids managed to get through their schoolwork for the most part, although Avey likes to save it for near the middle of the night.

Saturday had a sunny and warm forecast, so I was determined to get the stupid shed up. I got up early to feed the boys breakfast and then I got going on preparation. As soon as Hannah was available, she helped me move the front wall out, where one of the side walls was already waiting. We got it up and then when Kira was ready, we got the back wall put in. It was the heaviest, and of course it should have gone up first, because we had to squeeze in past the front wall to get it in, but we got it in.

The kids were good helpers, with Carver making sure the walls were all square to one another, and they all provided counter-pressure as I screwed down the studs. The walls were up fairly quickly and then Hannah and I worked on nailing them all into place.

I added the trim with periodic help from Hannah, and then Kira came to help me put up the last of the rafters and then put the roof panels on. Once it was all in place, I mowed the lawn and called it a day. I'd done so much hammering that even my hand was sore, and I'd hit my left thumb plenty, don't worry. It's still bruised up, but not nearly as bad as yesterday.

Today was another glorious forecast, so I got going on shingling the roof. Hannah joined for a good chunk of that, too, and the boys were good helpers in cleaning up. Avey made us lunch.

I added a ridge vent, which was scary because I didn't know exactly how it would work out, but I'm very pleased with the result. Now we just need a big rainstorm to come through so that I can see if we did it all right.

Obviously, I still need to put the door on, so that's the plan for tomorrow afternoon. Then, I just have a few more little steps to do before it's all finished! Maybe I can even start tearing down the old shed:

Yeah, it's horrifying, isn't it? See now why I was so excited to get a new one?

Kira took the kids for a bike ride today, and Carver actually rode his bike for the first time since last summer! That's exciting to see. While they were getting ready to go, Merritt opened the door and said that he can open it "'cause my hands are super strong!" Then out on the walk, Hakan told a neighbor that he couldn't even feel the wind because he was running faster than it.

We thought it might be a fun night to rent Cats from Redbox and then enjoy how awful it was, and relish the fact that it bombed at the box office. I brought it home on Saturday night, and we were all shocked by just how bad it was. We turned it off about halfway through after we wanted to claw our eyes out (pun fully intended). It was weird though, because as we started watching another show, the internet just died. I went to check it out and an outlet that powered our modem and router was not working at all. I used my little device to find out that it was reading as having the hot and ground wires reversed. That's bananas, because it's been working since we moved in. I moved the power strip to another outlet and planned on looking into this problem outlet later today, but I went to check it and everything is working like normal again. Say what you want, but we all think that the movie Cats is possessed by a demon, and that's why the outlet freaked out. In any case, I'm going to keep a close eye on this one, as that was a very bizarre thing.

This week is going to be a lot more of the same, but I'll for sure finish the new shed, and the kids will for sure put up a big fight about doing their schoolwork.

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