Fun with markers

On Friday,  I noticed that Alice had drawn on her legs with marker.  It was visually interesting, so I encouraged her to draw all over herself with marker.  She was eager to participate, and even drew on her back.  When she was done drawing on herself, she drew on Jenny’s legs.  Fortunately, it comes off easily (except for blue).

On Saturday, Jerry brought over treated lumber for the frame (regular lumber should not touch the wall because it will absorb the moisture and rot).

  1. Measure the treated lumber and cut it with a saw to match the original wood frame
  2. Measure the location of the bolts on the original wood frame, mark it on the treated lumber, then drill
  3. To remove the old frame, use a hammer and a chisel (or large screwdriver) to split the wood.  Once the old wood is removed, unscrew the bolts using a socket wrench.
  4. Attach the treated lumber to the wall.
  5. Screw in the L-shaped bolts to hold the gate.  The two ends should point toward each other to secure the gate.
  6. Assemble the metal frame and attach it to the wall.
  7. Measure and cut the 2x4s and screw them into the frame.
  8. String a metal cable to go across the diagonal of the gate.  If you put in part of the gate upside down so there is no hole for one side, use the drill to add another hole in the metal.  
  9. Attach the latch.
  10. Since the gate is on an incline, hold one board against the gate and swing all the way to make sure there is clearance.
  11. Measure the boards and set aside any board that is less than 72 inches.
  12. Screw the long boards into the 2x4s.
  13. At the end, measure and cut one board to fill in the gap at the end.  Use wood glue to hold it in place.
  14. Remove the screws and nails from the old gate, then cut the boards with the reciprocating saw so that they are small enough to fit in the trash.

It was very satisfying when we finished.

On Sunday, it had rained, so we went and played outside.

In the afternoon, Jenny suggested that we go to the zoo.  The zoo had lots of good Halloween decorations.  While we were waiting for the petting zoo to open, Alice and Jenny looked at a map (I don’t know how much Alice understands that the map is a representation of the physical space).  When it opened, we practiced grooming goats from head to tail.  After that, we went to see the Rainforest of the Americas.  One of the glass panels for the piranhas had shattered, but no water escaped.

One of the highlights of the zoo was the lions.  The male lion was roaring, and it was loud.  Sometimes it was a constant roar, with some much base I could feel it in my bones.  Sometimes it was a halting roar that reminded me of a train getting started.

On Monday, Mom watched Alice, Gretchen drove down from Oakland, and Dad brought Barkis so that we could have a family dinner.  Barkis needed a walk, so off we went with Dad, Alice, and Gretchen.  The rain had stopped, but there was still plenty of water in the gutters.  Dad held Barkis while Alice and Gretchen jumped in the puddles.  Adorable.

After dinner, we even managed to get a few shots of the family.

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Help with home improvement

Gretchen came to visit and helped Alice with the paper airplanes.

Then Alice helped Gretchen find her moose antlers.

On Monday, Mom came to play with Alice.

Then Alice took some pictures of Mom and me.

In the evening, Alice helped me try to fix the shower.

  • Step 1: Turn off the water
  • Step 2: Remove the face with the H for hot.  It has rubber around the side and just pops out.
  • Step 3: unscrew the shower knob.
  • Step 4: Pull off the remainder to expose the stem.
  • Step 5: Use a socket wrench to remove the valve.  

I didn’t have the right size socket for the valve, so I went to the Do-It Center.  I found what I thought was the right size socket.  The price in the isle was about $5 but it came up as $15 on the register.  I paid, but then went back and found that the entire set of 5 was only $10 so I made an exchange and saved a few bucks.  Sadly, nothing in the set worked either.  I may need to get creative.

On Friday, Mom came to watch Alice again and we took some more pictures.  She is so great.  She brought Alice two plush bunnies: Pucky and Bobbie.  Alice was thrilled.