Greetings from our snow covered apartment in West Des Moines, IA….

Last evening it suddenly snowed enough to leave an inch and a half of the white stuff.  The temperatures have been below freezing since Monday so expecting it to stick around for a bit.

My right toe is back to normal – the gout medication worked quickly.  I’m finishing up the prescription drugs and making sure to take my cherry, celery and ester-c supplements daily.  Glad I went and saw a doctor right away.

On Monday night I was able to start taking ice skating lessons downtown at Brenton Plaza.  My toe was not 100%, but was good enough to put skates on.  It was like 19 out and windy, but went anyway.  My class had three adults in it.  One who could skate well (like me), and one who was a beginner.  The instructor did a great job of accommodating the different skill levels.  Most of the things she went over was review for me, but enjoyed it all the same.  We moved around enough to keep us warm.

After the lesson was done went inside to change out of the skates.  Instructor said she only had one student in her next class and that I could also attend the second class for an additional $5.00.  So paid and went to the second class.  Was cool to have an entire hour of instruction.  She has me working on doing “Mohawk Turns“.

I did not have to work today.  Used up my last vacation day from work.  Needed to use it before the end of the year, and they asked me not to take it too close to Christmas.  So just randomly picked today.

Decided to work on a project that I have been wanting to get done – removing burn marks from the stair railings outside our apartment door.  It looked like someone (kids?) took a lighter and made two large burn areas.  Looks like this was done a long time ago – probably not by current tenants.  The burn marks did not look too deep so decided to obtain a palm sander and sand them away.

Went to Menard’s and found a palm sander for $14.95.  It had a wedge shaped sanding area that looked like it would get into smaller areas.  Also purchased a paint brush and some light oak stain with polyurethane in it.

Went back and started sanding the burn marks off the railing.  The larger of the two burn marks was not very deep and came off easily.  The smaller one was a bit deeper and took me 10 minutes to sand it away.  Then sanded the remainder of the railing surface so the stain would soak in evenly.

John checked out the can of stain I obtained and thought the light oak color was too light.  He also noticed that the railing was missing some little wooden caps that go in holes where screws are located.  Ended up going back to Menard’s and exchanging the stain for a darker oak color.  Was able to find the little wooden caps and some glue for them after wandering around the store for 20 minutes.

Got back and John applied the stain to the sanded areas and the color matched well.  I then went back with a rag and wiped off the excess stain.  In 30 minutes we were all done.  Hard part was cleaning the stain off of my hands – they are still a bit brown.  Good job to have done.


All done - no burn marks.

Been doing the Kinect workout system all week and I’m sore.  Been doing lots of stretching and cardio moves.  Each evening I do enough fitness games and personal training exercises to burn 300 calories.  Can really feel it in my legs and arms.

John has been working on finishing up his two classes.  He has a final exam tomorrow morning (Saturday) so I will need to leave and find something to do for a few hours.  Will probably go ice skating and shopping.

Not much else going on.  Going to order pizza for supper from Northern Lights Pizza.  Have a coupon.  Not ordered from them before so hoping for the best.

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