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High Up Low Down

December 19th, 2008  · stk

An electrician advised Scott against moving our electric Maytag dryer controls, but we really didn't want to purchase a brand new dryer, just so we could stack it onto our washing machine (and save space in the utility room). Read about how Scott sorted the spaghetti and modified our dryer.

Utility Room Remodel
Moving Dryer Controls so the Dryer Can Stack onto the Washer

Our utility room is pretty small and not well utilized. One of our ideas for gaining space, was to stack the dryer onto the washer. Unfortunately, our older-model dryer isn't a match to our newer, front-load washer. Not only is the dryer is a different make, model and year, but the controls are at the top and back. If we stacked it - as is - you'd need a ladder to dial in a setting and turn it on!

What to do? Plunk down $400-$500 (or more) for a comparable stacking dryer? Our dryer, a higher-end model that came with the house, has an "intelli-dry" sensor that shuts off the unit when the clothes are dry. It works great! Seems wasteful and expensive to purchase a new one, just to stack it.

Instead, we thought Scott could find a way to move the control panel to a lower position. This would enable us to stack our old (working) dryer on top of our newer, front-load washer, for a lot less money.

Our neighbor, Charlie, a retired electrician, thought this would be a tough job. "Do you know how many wires you'll have to extend and move?" he asked, "There's about 30 or so wires back there."

This is one of those cases where ignorance is bliss. Undaunted by Charlie's warning, Scott pushed forward and - last weekend when Rachel was off with Alex in Vancouver and he had the house to himself - he tackled moving the dryer controls.

For a low-down on putting the dryer high up and learning how Scott managed to move the dryer controls ... carry on ...

Moving the Dryer Controls

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Updated: 20-Dec-2008
Web View Count: 45221 viewsLast Web Update: 20-Dec-2008

Record Snow

December 15th, 2008  · stk

Nanaimo - Record snow fell on Sunday, dumping 33 centimeters overnight and in the morning. Record cold temperatures accompanied this record snow dump, changing what had been a mild winter thus far, into something a tad more extreme.

Thirty Six Centimeters of Snow

Rachel and the Oop were off visiting grandparents in Vancouver, so they missed witnessing yesterday's record snowfall.

"When I went to bed on Saturday night," Scott said, "there had only been a light snowfall that afternoon and nothing after that. When the fire hall pager went off at 5:30 AM Sunday morning, I woke up and looked out the window. It was a white winter wonderland!"

Thirty three centimeters of snow had fallen, during the night. Outside, Scott flipped "the beast" into 4-wheel-drive and plowed his way to the North Cedar Fire Hall, seven kilometers away. There, personnel put chains on the front-line pumper (Engine 1), back-up pumper (Engine 7) and the water tender (Tender 6).

Another 3 centimeters fell Sunday morning, bringing the December 14th total to 36 centimeters. This beat the previous December 14th record of 19.8 centimeters, which was set in 2000.

For more Nanaimo snow records and photos ... carry on.

More on the Record Nanaimo Snow

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Updated: 31-Mar-2009
Web View Count: 39322 viewsLast Web Update: 31-Mar-2009
Filed in:Alexandra

Oop Xmas Pageant

December 6th, 2008  · stk

What parent isn't proud when their kid takes the stage for the first time? Alex's school put on a Christmas Pageant and the kindergarten classes all joined in to do a reindeer "Hokey Pokey" dance. (Video included)

Alex Takes the Stage for a "Reindeer Hokey Pokey" Dance

Alex loves to perform at home, taking over the living room, doing her modern, "interpretive" dancing (and sometimes singing). So I figured she'd be all over her Christmas pageant like a dirty shirt, but I was a little surprised she wasn't more "into it" than she was.

Woodbank Primary School put on their annual Christmas Pageant the other night. They had an afternoon performance (rehearsal with the other grades) and a 6:30 PM performance, for the parents. Each class did one (or more) songs on a temporary, elevated stage in the gymnasium. It was pretty cute, watching all the kids perform. Some were really into it and others weren't, but a fun time was had by all, I think.

We sat next to our family doctor, Neil Rogers, who has twin boys starting school next year and another son in 2nd grade. (You know you live in a small town when you go to the "school play" and see your doctor!)

Unfortunately, my camera battery was dead, but Rachel came to the rescue and caught video of "the Oop" doing her Hokey Pokey thing! (They were supposed to be "reindeer" and each kindergartner had a red nose and a head band with cut-out hands as "antlers". Both the morning and afternoon kindergarten classes were combined, which is why there's so many kids.)

Alex is wearing a blue dress and is - pretty much - the kid in the center of the video. Her teacher, Mrs. Pettit, is the one you see in front, waving her arms and shaking her head, giving directions to the kids.

OKAY ... I'll shut up now. Head to the next page to see the unedited, raw footage. (Pasted in a relative hurry for eager grandparent's pleasure)!

Alex does the Hokey Pokey

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Updated: 9-Dec-2008
Web View Count: 18404 viewsLast Web Update: 9-Dec-2008
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Sugar-coated Saturday

November 1st, 2008  · stk

Our five-year-old daughter, Alex (whom we call "the Oop"), had a great Halloween this year. Her Halloween costume was a princess gown, tiara and a shimmery golden cape. She thought she was pretty cute. She was! Hope you had a great Halloween too!

Halloween Tales of Princess Oop

Alex has been enamored with Princesses for some time. It all started when she received a Disney "My Princess Collection" Alex's Princess Books Disney's My Princess Collection of hardback books "My Princess Collection" is a boxed set of 12 hardcover books containing illustrated stories about heroines from Disney and Pixar films, including: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella, Mulan, Beauty and the Beast (Belle), Toy Story 2 (Jessie), Alice in Wonderland, Atlantis (Kida), Aladdin (Jasmine), Sleeping Beauty (Aurora), A Bug's Life (Dot), Pocahontas, and The Little Mermaid (Ariel). They're all told from a first-person perspective - that of each Princess - each being a story of true love, adventure and "living happily ever after". The Oop loves them and both Mom & Dad can tell each story, from rote memory. :p  of bedtime stories, as a gift from her "Uncle" Bruce and "Aunt" Michelle. For a while, they were her favorite bedtime reading choice and it started a near-obsession with Princesses, which resulted in a myriad of drawings, discussions and has - hopefully culminated with - this year's Halloween costume.

Trust me, as a responsible father, no-one wants their little girl believing that they are "a princess" ... with all the self-important, royal behavior that might follow! (Pity the poor guy marrying into THAT, some day, eh? I'm not sure where he'd sit on that royal court, but I doubt it'd be as "prince" ... more likely knave, slave or court jester!)

Alex's "princess" costume consisted of a $5 princess dress at the thrift store, a $1 jewel-studded tiara and the golden cape she was given for 'dress-up' on her birthday, a few weeks ago. Best $6 Rachel ever spent! The Oop loved it and played her part royally, wearing it to the local pumpkin patch, then to kindergarten, a party at day-care and (of course) trick-or-treating on Halloween night!

For a slide-show of the Princess Alex's Halloween festivities (and a celebration of the joy, innocence and excitement of a 5-year-old girl) ... read on ...

Read full story...

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Updated: 21-Aug-2012
Web View Count: 55539 viewsLast Web Update: 21-Aug-2012
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First School Bus Ride

October 23rd, 2008  · stk

First School Bus Ride: About a month after school started, Alex had a chance to take the school bus home. Boy, was she excited about doing that!

A "Proud-as-Punch" Kid

School started some time ago, but it wasn't till this month that Alex rode the school bus home for the very first time. It wasn't for lack of lobbying on her part.

"Mommy?" (or Daddy, depending), she'd ask, "Can I take the bus home tomorrow?"

More often than not, Alex was headed to day-care immediately after her afternoon kindergarten class, or off to swimming, or we'd pick her up on our way into town ... or some other activity. It's a rare day that she can actually ride the bus and boy-oh-boy, was she eager to do so.

Riding the bus to school isn't really an option, since the bus comes at 8 AM and her kindergarten class doesn't start till 11:35 AM. However, riding the bus from school is an option and (somehow) she knew it! She was bugging us about riding the bus since school began.

Finally, the opportunity to take the bus home came up and she was sooooo excited!

To see how excited and proud a 5-year-old can be about riding a school bus for the first time .... read on ...

Read full story...

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Updated: 21-Aug-2012
Web View Count: 31293 viewsLast Web Update: 21-Aug-2012