A Day in the Life

A Photoblog by Joel

Let’s Let Go of a Kite

July 1, 2020

The new kites arrived, delivered pretty quickly. The kids were both so excited to go flying that we left right away. Unfortunately there wasn’t much wind around so our first flight was a bust.

I knew the wind would kick up later in the evening though, so after dinner we drove over to the church and got set up in the big playfield behind. Lots of space and lots of grass. Within a handful of minutes both kites were up in the air and both kids having a blast. It was perfect!

I bought some pretty great kites for the kids from Into the Wind, a kite store based out of Boulder, Colorado. They took a few days to get here but were worth the wait. Just under 4′ wide and with the tail come in at over 7′ tall.

Elle’s is a butterfly.
Emmett’s is a T-Rex

Everything was going great. Until it wasn’t.

Oops.

I was trying to get some pictures of the kids when Elle said ‘Oops’ and I glance over to see her kite handle running along the ground at a pretty quick pace. I jumped up and started to chase it as fast I could. The edge of the field was coming up quickly and I was fast approaching the fence covered in bushes and thorns. As I braced for impact I saw the handle just barely out of my grasp and whip up and over the fence. See ya later kite!

Upset I turned back towards the kids to wrap up Emmett’s kite and see if could figure out where the kite would go down. Only it didn’t go down! It just kept on soaring, but soon stopped. The handle must’ve snagged on something! Lucky day. We packed up and I dropped the kids off at home and then went scouting for the kite.

I found it just a few blocks away from our house, the handle snagged on some branches about 20′ up a tree. I looked up at it quite stumped on how to get it down. I drove home to get our 12′ ladder and on the drive remembered that we had several long pieces of PVC pipe and some connectors. Maybe I could make a long, tall pipe with a hook on the end to snag to line and bring it down. Worth a shot!

After fashioning my pole, I walked over to the tree and did my best to snag that line way up high. PVC isn’t very sturdy and boy was that pole wobbly. I did manage to hook the line, though, and started to pull it down. But then… the handle broke free and the kite zipped away again. The handle bounced along the ground and then up over a house and hit a power line, wrapping itself up and stopping the progress. I had another chance!

After trying unsuccessfully to grab the line from below, one of the nearby homeowners finally came home and I got permission to get up on the roof. I took my wobbly pole, reached out, hooked the line… and off the kite went again. Clearly I wasn’t learning my lesson. This time it jumped across another street, through a yard and once again wrapped itself up around a power line.

Third time’s the charm, right? After setting up a wobbly ladder, the previous homeowner (who had decided to join the adventure) managed to actually slide the PVC hook in to the handle and began to pull the line down. Success! For a moment. Until the line broke. He wasn’t pulling the kite down, he was just stretching it past the breaking point. BUT, the kite stayed afloat. The line was still wrapped tight and the kite wasn’t going anywhere.

By this time dusk was approaching and it was time to call it a night. I packed up and headed home defeated. From my bedroom window, as the sun was setting, I could look at and see that butterfly kite flying high and strong in a nice, gusty, evening wind. Pretty cool! By this point most of the 300′ of line was out, so it was well over 100′ in the air.

A couple hours later I ventured out in the dark to see if the kite was still there. As I got closer I could hear it rustling in the wind. I pulled out my 300 lumen flashlight and spotted it pretty easily. Plenty of wind keeping it afloat.

Pretty amazing to be honest. It was pushing 3 hours of flight time. I walked home with a little bit of hope in my heart that by morning the wind would die down and the kite would be found.

Around 7:30 this morning I took a walk down to the corner where I had spotted the kite. I didn’t see the line anywhere. I hoped it would be draped across the road but no such luck. The kite was gone I thought. I then walked over to the power pole to see if I could spot the line and there it was! Still quite taught and very much connected. I knew on the kite end of things the line was very securely attached so I got my hopes up that perhaps the kite did just fall! I kept my eyes on the line and followed it to the street, and over the house on the corner, and into their neighbors backyard. There it was, laying peacefully on the ground behind an unlocked chain link gate. Victory!!

What’s the lesson? Don’t get your kids nice kites. They’re not the most reliable at holding on.

New LEGO set

June 28, 2020

Let’s Go Fly a Kite

June 26, 2020

Alicia bought the kids some kites from the Dollar Store. They were fun, and lasted about as long as a kite from the Dollar Store should last. I’ve since ordered some new kites for the kids from Into the Wind, a fantastic kite store in Colorado.

Trailer Ride

June 22, 2020

We celebrated Fathers Day in Sandy at Alicia’s dads house. It was a fun time. He had just finished cleaning up and landscaping his yard so everything was beautiful. Great weather, great family, great food. And a trailer.

Chickens

June 15, 2020

While stuck in this Stay-at-Home debacle I had several “good” ideas come and go. One was I wanted chickens. Fresh eggs are so much better than store bought, and it could be a fun little adventure for the family. As well as chores for the kids. So we did it! I ordered some from a person in a Facebook group that she was incubating. Six speckled sussex. Sadly, none of them hatched when they were supposed to so instead the kids and I went to IFA and picked out 6 of the same breed and brought them home. They were all roughly the same size/age except one was about a week ahead and bigger. She’s on the right.

For now they live in a 4’x2′ box that I built in our pantry until they’re old enough to survive outside okay. I’ll be picking up the coop that Jeremy Hall built several years ago for his chickens, but his wife won’t be doing chickens anymore so it’s not needed. It’ll be nice to have a reminder of him in my yard.

Construction Crew

May 28, 2020

We’ve been doing a lot of work at the house. Kitchen upgrade. Yard upgrade. Actually, at the moment, a lot of it is still in the demolition or demolished stage. The house is kind of a mess. Hopefully it’ll be put back together soon.

Baby Piano

May 6, 2020

Hitting the Wall

May 6, 2020

We’re coming up on 2 months of this work from home, shelter in place new lifestyle. For me that means still having a full-time job + 460. I would usually work 50-60 hours a week between everything. The workload hasn’t changed through all this but the output certainly has. Stay-at-home parenting with a 6, 4, and 1 year old is a full-time job requiring nearly full-time attention. That’s two full-time jobs. And let’s not even get in to schooling.

I’m empty. I’m out. I have nothing left. My mental capacity is shot. I’m exhausted when I get out of bed. I’m overwhelmed with slow and late deliveries and feel like I’m failing everyone. I still get things done and have little victories but the storm-cloud of failure is way bigger and much more in my face. It’s starting to take its’ toll on me.

I could really, really use a vacation – but how do you tell people already patient with a much-later deadline that I need to stop working altogether and push the deadline even further back just to regain some mental health?

I’m tired.

A ride down the canyon

May 2, 2020

We had a lovely time with the Magleby’s and the Hillier’s today. We started out with an early dinner at Vivian Park and then took the trail all the way down to Riverwoods in Provo. Most of the time it’s a slight downhill and all the kids did great – no accidents! That’s a miracle.

At the top of the canyon we rode under a canopy of green. It was so pretty and the weather was perfect.
Eight miles. That little girl went 8 miles down Provo Canyon on that bike and loved every minute of it. She peddled furiously and focused so intently on being safe. It was so cute to watch!

Contrast

April 30, 2020
Straight from the camera, Fuji Velvia. I really love my X-T20.