Monday, December 24, 2012

Goal #21: Birthdays!

Birthday gifts are fun, but birthday dates are more fun! I hope...because that's what all my nieces and my nephew got this year.I first started doing this because I have four nieces in the same family and I feel like they do things together a lot and don't get at lot of individual attention. So I decided to take them each out on an outing.

This took all year to do for all five of the kiddos. The fun thing about this idea is that it's also fun for me, because I get to go do fun stuff.

First was Chloe. We went to the Clark Planetarium at the Gateway to see a wacky 3D movie about bugs in space or something. I don't quite remember, it was a long time ago -- like February. After that we came back to my house and made dinner for her family who came to pick her up about an hour later.

I'm not sure what we're baking here...but they were licking up frosting or something. I had this big idea about having grilled cheese sandwiches but I remember Chloe telling me that's what she had for lunch...or dinner or something. Anyway, we had ice cream too which usually makes up for anything she's not that thrilled with.

Next was Sadie. We went to Desert Star Playhouse in Murray. I went here on a date about a month before this and thought my nieces would love this. So I took Sadie to see The Princess Bridesmaid. There was a pirate, there was a princess, and a lot of singing and dancing. Sadie, as usual challenged the dialogue and logic of the screenplay. She also had a root beer float which she was stoked about. I don't know what she's holding in this -- a water bottle? Anyway. After it was over she wasn't ready to go home so we went to Target which she was super thrilled about. She wanted to buy a bunch of stuff. We bought a broom for my house.

When we got back to her house she literally started to ball her eyes out and then she went on some sort of speech strike. Carter kept asking if she had fun and she nodded. He asked her about the play but tears were the only response that came. I think she was upset the evening was over. My mom said the next morning she asked her how it was and she refused to answer. Weird. I think she wants to come live with me.

Next is Tessa who turned 3 this year. I was honest at This is the Place and said she was 3 years-old which is the turning point when it comes to paid admission. If I was smart I would have realized her birthday was two days away.

She's holding crackers in this picture. I learned if Tessa has crackers in hand she's a happy camper.

We went to Baby Animal Days so she could pet the baby animals. It was adorable and she loved it. She also loved her little admission bracelet they made her wear. Tessa also didn't want to go home when this was over so we went back to my house. She said she was hungry so I gave her some popcorn and juice. Then she wanted to hear a story. So I read her a couple stories.

Tessa is really good to have around because she has an amazing sense of what I'm forgetting. I need that in my life.

Next is Piper. Her birthday date came about a month after her actual birthday. Because the Desert Start Theatre was a crying success for Sadie, I figured Piper would like it too. Plus, the production was Wickeder. More princesses. What little girl doesn't love that?

I told them in advance it was her birthday so they could announce it at their little intermission entertainment portion of the program. They got her name wrong and called her Tiper at first, but that was expected. They were also confused as to why she was with her aunt on her birthday and not her parents. I left it alone to avoid an explanation in front of an audience that really doesn't care.

Piper was also super excited about getting a rootbeer float. She sat on my lap for half of the production. Not because she couldn't see (we were on the front table), I think she just likes me a lot.

On the way home I asked her what she thought of Wickeder and she said, "it was like the Wizard of Oz, but different-er." She's funny.

Last but not least we have Jack. I probably see Jack a lot more than the girls but I rarely take him out by himself, so we had a good time. I had a hard time trying to decide what we should do, but Lisa suggested the Natural History Museum.  I had been there a few times and I think it's an awesome museum. If you haven't gone yet, make sure to go. It's even fun without kids with you.

I looked up their programs online and every other Saturday is the bug brigade where kids straight out of your science nerd stereotype show them beetles and black widows and tell them all about their eating habits, daily rituals and quirks.

Jack is holding a madagascar beetle here. He also held a stink bug. They wouldn't let the kids hold the spiders. I don't blame them. If they handed me a spider and it started to move I would jump and squeal. We went into the bug room twice because Jack wanted to hold the beetle again.

The rest of the museum has some cool stuff. Here Jack is making a mountain so the water can't pass through.

I bought Jack a little wind up fly that he played with the whole way home. He had no problem with me taking him home, but he did want me to spend the night at his house. And be his mom.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Goal #9: Sickos

Back when I lived on Capitol Hill I had this girl that I visit taught. Kind of. I'm a terrible visiting teacher when it comes to visiting them, giving a lesson, coming regularly, etc. But I heard she was sick and so I decided to make her a get well package. She was so appreciative of it I decided I needed to do it again.

My old roommate Mandi mentioned on FB or something that she had a terrible sinus infection. Maybe it was her blog. Anyway, I was sad she was sick but happy that I could make her a get well package.

In this bag is a box of Thai Kitchen garlic soup, a couple clementines, Grandma Durham's netti pot, some clam chowder (not awesome for sinus infections, but tasty because I made it -- in the sour cream container), the orange juice concentrate she left at my house and some zinc tablets. She also stopped by later and I gave her my humidifier so she could breathe at night. The next day, I can't say she was all better but she did call me a "healer" and a "magician".

About a month earlier my friend Jon was sick and I made him a similar get well package. I gave him the netti pot, some Vicks Kleenex, some garlic bread (always makes my colds feel better) and some zinc tablets. I don't think he got the hang of the netti pot. It takes practice. But it is nice once you get the hang of it.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Goal #28: Cousins

I honestly wasn't sure if this one would happen. But I'm so glad it did! I was able to get all but one of my Durham cousins away for the night up in Midway. First of all it's amazing that we all live in the same general area. Even Leslie who's lived Back East for awhile. The only cuz we missed was Amy (Nielsen) Roberts who lives in Washington. And she was missed.

I wanted to do this because I remember coming to a Durham Christmas party two years ago feeling like I didn't want to be there, but so happy I did because my family and my cute cousins make me happy. I think I actually wrote about it. Yes, yes I did.

We decided to stay up at Zermatt in Midway. It was only one night, but it was a blast. All eight of us (Amy, Monica, Lindsay, Sara, Liz, (me), Lisa and Leslie met up at Zermatt. Earlier that day Monica, Sara, Liz, Lisa and I did some shopping at the outlets in Park City and got some soup and salad at Red Rock. That was fun.

Before we went to dinner we served as Amy's focus group and helped her decide which products we thought Deseret Book should put on their shelves. Then we all piled in one car and went to the Snake Creek Grill. I think we all got something different. I had the salmon and it was delicious. We decided to go there in honor of Grandma Durham who loved it. It is tasty.

Some of us went to the hot tub (which was crazy crowded) and then we all stayed up until about 1 AM. There was no lack of conversation, stories and laughter. It was a blast. I hope we do it again.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Goal #20: Blog

Technically, my goal was to make a book of my blog from the beginning. I totally didn't do that. The thought exhausted me and I saw dollar signs everywhere which overwhelmed me. So I simplified the task. Remember, I'm being flexible with myself? That's how you stay sane, people.

Many of you few readers who are still with me know my Grandma Durham died in October. And most of you readers know I've chronicled my visits with her the past few years. I decided to make this goal more meaningful and make a book from my blog about my time with Grandma.

So I went to and I uploaded all my blog posts about Grandma. And in the back I put my talk that I gave at her funeral. My sister took some pictures which I ripped off to round out some of the blank pages. I think it turned out to be a 34 page book. I was able to include comments on my posts from all my family and friends so that was nice. I think it's more meaningful this way anyway. A book of my entire blog would be huge. Book arrives December 4th. I think it will be nice to have all those memories about Grandma in one place. I'm satisfied with this goal.

12 Goals to go! Do you think I can do it? 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Goal #5: Squares

Finally! I started this rag quilt project a couple months ago. I know what took me so long to start it (I’m indecisive) but I don’t know what took me so long to finish it. It’s a fairly simple process.

It's also a messy process: it made the inside of my house look like a snow globe that hadn’t been picked up for hours.

When I was picking out the fabric I realized I was on a wild animal kick with the bunnies and birds and foxes and horses. And then mushrooms.

A big thanks goes to Lisa for showing me how to do it and letting me use her rotary cutter and her apartment building’s washing machine so mine wouldn’t get clogged up with all the stuff that comes off when you wash it. And thanks to my Aunt Susan who posted somewhere about Pink Chalk Fabrics which is finally what motivated me to buy fabric to get the whole thing started.

I had several people ask me "Who are you making if for?"! I felt kind of selfish every time I answered.

Did you know that making a quilt is more expensive than buying a quilt? Well, it is. And it takes about 100x as long to do it. BUT it is satisfying. And I like doing projects and working with my hands. 

The last time I made a quilt it was an easy fleece quilt where you cut fringe and tie the ends together. That one now hangs out in my car trunk in case of a disaster. I knitted an afghan before that. THAT took a long time. And that was also expensive, but I still have it and use it a lot.

This is the most imperfect quilt I’ve ever made (if you look closely those squares are NOT all the same size and it doesn’t line up and it doesn’t fold perfectly because the final project is not a perfectly framed rectangle. But it’s cute and it’s warm. And I bet Lucy is sleeping on it right now because I forgot to shut my bedroom door when I left the house.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Goal #26: Escala

A few of my goals have been tweaked if you haven't noticed. You gotta be flexible with reality. The reality with taking some friends to San Diego was that none of my friends could a) afford to go to b) get time off to go.

I fall in the first category. Now that I have house payments and utility payments, etc. I am poorer than I used to be. Luckily I had ten years worth of Delta skymiles to cash in when I felt like I could really use a vacation. And luckily, my parents let me infiltrate their stay in San Diego. I actually came just as my dad was leaving so I got a day with him and my mom and the rest of the day with just my mom. I'm friendly with my parents and so we're going to count them as friends. What? Shut up.

I stayed for four nights. I went on a couple bike rides with my dad, I went shopping in La Jolla with my mom, visited the San Diego Mission, we drove to the LDS temple, we ate french toast, we ate tamales, we ate dumplings. And made cookies. And watched two episodes of Call the Midwife, Bernie and the third presidential debate. And I went to the pool a couple times. I read (still working on goal #3). It was raining when I flew in, it was moderate weather for the next few days and then very warm my last day. All in all, it was delightful. Here are some pics. I tried to choose ones you haven't already seen on Facebook and Instagram:

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Goal #27: Laps

I may not be awesome at swimming, but I learned a whole lot tonight about how to swim a freestyle stroke. My friend Alex taught me and she is an amazing teacher. In just an hour and a half I learned what I had been doing wrong (oh and clearly, we both look dorky in this photo. Swimming isn't necessarily a pretty sport when you're not swimming).

Who knew flippers were so useful? I never really understood the point of flippers until tonight. They really do help you swim more smoothly so you can focus on arm strokes and breathing and not so much on what your feet are doing. I might have to get me some. I definitely need to get me some goggles. She gave me some good tips.

I met Alex several years ago when I was working at Sur la Table as a culinary assistant. Her friend Melanie was the manager of the store and Alex came over one night after class as we were cleaning up and I introduced her to some of my friends and we just kind of became friendly from then on out. I don't see her that often, but when I do it's always a delight. She's way into triathlons and so I thought I'd ask her to help me with this goal. She watched me swim and was able to point out some of the things that are a challenge for me:

1. keeping my head down when I turn to breathe. I always want to lift it up first.
2. I have a problem keeping my whole body at a high level in the water. My body seems to want me to drown.
3. I need to take deeper breaths when I do breathe.

Anyway, I was surprised at how much fun it was once I got the hang of it. I definitely need to go out again. What I need is a free indoor pool so I can make a habit of it and get some exercise when it's too cold to take my bike out. Or I could join a gym. Sigh.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Goal #14: Files

If you remember, I needed aesthetic inspiration to start keeping files, so I found a file cabinet on Craigslist, made it cute, and now I have more space than I need for files (in fact, two of the drawers in this cabinet are for yarn and fabric. It's great.

I've been trying to organize my house ever since I moved in. I need to centralize all my information and papers so I know where to find things like photo CDs, warranties, sheet music, brochures and postcards my mom gives me, etc. The top of my file cabinet has been collecting more and more papers and more and more dust until last night, I finally decided to get to work and file it away. The cabinet still needs some work. And I probably have some stuff here at work that belongs at home in the files, but that will be a never ending process.

Hooray for organizing! Next up? My garage -- or maybe the utility closet. I need to turn half of that into a coat closet. Or maybe I buy an armoire for the dining room...that's weird. But with small houses weird's part of the territory. I strive for cute/classy weird though. It works.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Goal #25: Free Tickets

I'll admit, I'm fudging this one a wee bit. My goal was to buy season tickets to something. Instead I found a way to get free season tickets to something.

My lovely friend Annie Harrell Walker was a volunteer for Ballet West. She hooked me up with an opportunity to play the piano for the ballet in exchange for free tickets last year. So every now and then I would volunteer and get into a performance for free.

Yesterday I got an email from the volunteer coordinator who sent out the dates of all the performances this season and asked for pianists. I booked the whole season. Bada bing bada boom -- season tickets. I'm set. If anyone is dying to see a production and wants to come, I take bribes. I can also take you to the secret, catered reception in the basement during intermission. Sometimes there are two.

I wonder what else I can get into for free because I know how to play the piano. I asked PTC once...or tried to. They are so difficult up there. I did have season tickets for their plays a couple years ago. That was fun. Yes, you do see some plays that you wouldn't have chosen to if you bought them a la carte, but that's the point right? To expose yourself to a variety of playwrights, actors, etc. See what's out there. And feel cool because you have the same seats at every production because you are a season ticket holder.

Someday when I'm rich I'll be able to get season tickets for something because I have loads of cash, not because I'm a volunteer. But for now, it works just fine.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Goals 18 & 19: Letters and Notes

I'm calling this one good. I didn't exactly MAIL a letter to Grandma because I was going to go see her anyway. So I brought her a letter. And some kale chips.

It was about time I thank her officially (meaning in writing rather than verbally) for the blinds she bought me. Last time she saw me she asked "How is that house of yours that I helped build?" So I think I'm going to need to thank her for the blinds every time I see her from now on.

And since the "send a letter to Grandma" goal is so closely related to the "send thank you notes" goal, I'm calling that one good too. I was invited to my lovely friend Melinda's house several months ago. I made a special effort to send her a thank you note, but even if it wasn't a goal of mine I would have done it that particular time anyway because she and her little family are so dang cute, I'd feel like a delinquent if I didn't. Plus she stalks my blog ;)

I was invited to a BBQ and I sent a thank you note. The host actually called me to thank me for my thank you note saying no one is that classy any more. That made me feel good.

I'm excluding dates from this goal. I've been on several dates this year and my date usually bought my dinner. I don't think all of them need an actual thank you note -- that's weird. Plus some of them were taking me out to thank me for something I did for them. Who wants to get caught in a thank you loop?

So. Two more goals down. I'm a little worried about the following:

composting -- didn't do it
reading all the books -- I suck at reading
make a book of my blog -- I don't feel like it
take friends to San Diego -- fell through
organize cousin trip -- I may downgrade this one to an evening

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Goal #23: Stayin Alive

I don't really have any indoor plants right now. I've had bouquets of flowers and a poinsettia plant that stayed alive for awhile. But this here is my lemon balm plant. It has stayed alive for six weeks now. It hasn't really flourished, but it's stayed alive. I bought it at this fantastic place on 400 South and about 400 West called Mololo Gardens. It's where I got all my exotic tomato plants that I'm excited to harvest later this summer. The guy said to keep this one inside because it makes the house smell lemony. Whatever. My house still smells like paint from when I first moved in. But the point is, IT HAS NOT DIED. So yes, success.

You see I'm very good at keeping plants alive outside (for the most part). My vegetable garden is doing great (see right). That arugula on the far left I grew from seed. I started it in a pot outside before I transplanted it and it has done very well. For some reason my parsley and carrot and cilantro seed on the front porch is still hiding in the dirt. Doesn't want to come out. Maybe it never will.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Goal #10: Relics

I lived one and a half blocks away from the Daughters of the Utah Pioneer Museum and I never once walked in the building. I looked at it a lot. I drove past it a lot. I said to myself. "I should go in there one of these days," but I never went in. The problem was their business hours were also my business hours. UNTIL! They decided to stay open late on Wednesday nights. It wasn’t until I moved away that I made it a goal.

My delightful friend Pete volunteered to join me when I set this goal back in December. He had never been either and he also lived on Capitol Hill for years. So. It was time. I've heard all sorts of things about this museum from my friends. I heard it was like stepping into your grandmother's attic. It was pretty close. A lot of quilts. A lot of bibles. A lot of lacey stuff. There were also a lot of portraits of people who look disappointed in you -- whether they were paintings or photographs, no one smiled back then so their eyes spoke volumes. I didn't take any pictures of the portraits. It was a little too disturbing for me. I was impressed with how many pianos people brought over in covered wagons. Pianos are big and heavy.

The first thing I did when I walked in was eat one of these taffys. The docent there said Taffy Town makes honey taffy specifically for them and you can’t get it anywhere else (with the exception of their warehouse). I took three.

The docent also told us how the fa├žade of the museum is modeled after the original Salt Lake Theatre. And when you walk inside there are three stories and staircases just like a theatre would have balconies and staircases. I thought that was nice.

For someone who works in arts and museums I am not the most reverent visitor. This is Pete holding his ribs as he laughed (he broke a rib playing soccer, and my jokes weren’t helping). I'd say something and Pete would go silent and then fold over with his hand on his side. Pete and I laughed a lot, but really, it’s impossible not to laugh at some of this stuff. I'm not sure exactly what he's laughing at here. He can tell you in a comment. It appears they unloaded everything the pioneers brought over in their handcarts, wagons and trunks and spread it all out under plexiglass. And I think this museum has to display everything that is donated to them so there is a lot of rubbish and nonsense.

Here’s something odd:

The thing that grossed us out the most was the hair art. It was shocking at first and then we just saw it show up everywhere. It was explained to us that these people didn’t have cameras to take pictures of their loved ones and so hair was something they could take, braid or knot into a chain or rope and keep on their person as a memento. Still, I think it’s weird. Pete tried to compare it to feathers from birds and people making things out of feathers, but I still think it’s weird. People could make stuff out of dead toenails too but no one does that.

I looked up the Durhams in their binder. There they are. 

A "real replica" of the golden spike. I don't even think the real golden spike is at the Golden Spike Museum. I think it's in California somewhere.

Pete said I would like nice in this dress:

I think they should make reproductions of these old study cards and sell them at Deseret Book or something. I’d buy them.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Goal #13: Bikes!

The title of this post is a shout out to my friend who hooked me up with my new bike last month. Ever since I met him I would tease him about how every time I ran into him he was talking to someone about bikes. All of his conversations led to bikes. All of his FB posts were bike videos or something about his bike. One time, I think to be funny he just put "Bikes!" as his FB post. I rolled my eyes and moved on to other news and updates.

Anyway, the good news is, he now works at a bike shop in Kaysville and when I told him I wanted a bike he found one he thought I'd like and I do. It's great. I live further away from work than I used to so it's too far to walk (a little less than 5 miles). But not too far to ride!

One of my coworkers lives nearish to me so we met up this morning to ride to work together. When we got to work we saw that Jim rode his bike too (Jim also doesn't live far from me). Coincidentally it was Mayor Becker's "Bike to Work Day". So I was an unwitting joiner. It was a lovely ride down. Can't wait to ride again. Not tomorrow though I need my car.

Goal #15: Old Friends

Years and years ago I went to college. I had some roommates. Some I've kept in better touch with than others. I decided to call my friend (and former roommate) Jennie. I saw her a year or two ago with our other roommate (and one of my all time BFFs Ilene) at my house on Capitol Hill. I called Jennie last Sunday. I think I called Jennie...I used the number in my phone. The voicemail was one of those where they just tell you the number you called and you leave a message. So I left a message. I haven't heard back from her.

BUT! Listen to this. Years and years ago when I went to college, I worked at the HBLL (Harold B. Lee Library) in the LRC (Learning Resource Center) at BYU (Brigham Young University). See:

That's a terrible picture. And it wasn't 1994. It was more like 1999 or maybe 2000. I was only 16 in '94. My camera must have been off. I worked with some great people there. One of them was Shawn (the girl) Bonifay (that's not her in the picture by the way, that is Michelle. At Angie's desk). The last I spoke to Shawn was eight years ago when she called me on the phone to tell me she was getting married. The last time I saw Shawn was 11 years ago the night we took this picture:

This was taken at my friend Marni's house in Salt Lake City probably around 2001. We must have had a party. We had a lot of parties there. It was so fun to see her. Look how young we are.

Anyway, Shawn added me on Facebook last year. Out of the blue on Friday she sent me a FB message saying she wanted to get together so that night I drove to her house in Cottonwood (seriously, she lives 20 minutes away) and we went to get dinner at the Porcupine Grill. She has a beautiful home and a beautiful 5 year old miracle baby boy named Lincoln. It was so fun to see her and I hope to see her again soon. I'm counting this as the supplement to my somewhat unsatisfactory result of Goal 15. Shawn it was great to see you and I'm so glad we were able to catch up!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Goal #29: Canyon Creek

I decided not to let another Saturday go by without heading over to Canyon Creek to play the piano. According to my aunt Suzi, Grandma has been "ready" for me to come play for awhile. I've just been busy these past couple months.

Of course I tried to call a few times in the morning and of course she didn't answer so I just headed on over there. As usual I found her laying on the bed and so I laid down and talked to her until it was time for lunch. I asked her if she wanted me to play the piano during lunch.

You might have heard (or read) about how Grandma has this thing where she doesn't believe I play the piano. No matter how many times I played the piano at her house over the years. And when I tell her I play she doesn't seem to think I'm very good at it. You see, what she really wanted was for my dad to come play the piano at Canyon Creek. There have been many conversations, bribes and manipulations on the subject, but we don't need to get into those.

The piano wasn't that great, it's really quiet and the hinge on the lid was broken so I couldn't really open it. But whatever. The most annoying part was they had elevator music playing in the background and it wasn't really my place to say, "Hey, can you turn that off so we can have some real music around here?" So I was competing with that.

I played some Grieg, some Brahms, some Send in the Clowns, some Til There was You from the Music Man. Grandma's table seemed to like it. Grandma said, "Laura dear, tell us what you're going to play before you play it," but I didn't. Unnecessary.

Overheard conversation at Grandma's table:

Waiter: "What can I get for you?"
Lady 1: "A sweater. It's cold in here."
Waiter: "Would you like something to drink?"
Lady 1: "Well I'd like a beer, but I don't think you'll give me that."

Grandma (to waiter): "I want you to know that is my granddaughter playing the piano."
Waiter: "Oh, that's nice."

And then my favorite:

Grandma (to the ladies at her table): "Would you like her to stop playing? Do you want me to ask her to stop?"

She said that a few times. Unfortunately I didn't hear what prompted Grandma to ask that question, but the answer was always, "No, I like it. Whoever doesn't like this music is stupid. Keep playing dear!"

So does she believe I can play the piano now? Or maybe the question is, does she think I'm any good? Perhaps, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Whatever. Goal #29, check.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Goal #2: Tips

I think I was in college when some friends and I went to eat at this little dive in Provo. It wasn't really a "sit down and be waited on" place, but one of the employees brought us our meal. I decided to leave a dollar on the table for a tip. After we walked out the door one of my friends said, "Look!" and we looked back through the window of the restaurant and saw the guy dancing on the table with his dollar bill like he just won the lottery. It totally made his day.

This month I finally got blinds for the large windows in my house. I finally have privacy. I had the salesman from this company come give me a quote before Christmas. I told him I wanted to shop around before I made a decision. And yes, it took me this long to realize he had the best price. He came by a few weeks ago and said it would only take 45 minutes to install but it took him about two hours. After he put up the third set of blinds I said, "Yay! We're done" but then he looked at me and said, "no I still have the two for the windows on either side of the door." I was confused because I didn't remember asking him to order blinds for those windows. He looked at me half frightened/half confused. "You sure you don't want them up?" I had him hold them up against the window and I didn't like them at all. That was just too many horizontal lines on one wall. I know he measured a lot of windows to give me prices for them just in case, but there's no way I would have asked him to order blinds for those windows. He said, "It won't change the price if you don't want them." I had him show me the bid sheet. It was a bunch of nonsense to me but he said they were $45 each. I thought to myself, "Wait, I could have saved $90 here?" I was a little bugged and he was a little embarrassed. He admitted he was really tired that day. Turns out he forgot to order a valence for one of the windows so he'd have to come back. He said it would arrive in about a week. It took two weeks.

He finally came to install the valence on Thursday. He thanked me for my patience and asked if I changed my mind and wanted him to install the skinny blinds for the door windows and I said no thanks, I didn't like the way they looked. I wasn't sure if you were supposed to tip these guys (but I got the impression after last time that he was waiting for one even though he'd have to return to finish the job). I kind of didn't want to tip him because I kind of felt he cost me $90 in blinds I wasn't going to use. But the proof of the matter was, he did a great job on the install and he didn't make any extra money off me. His bid was the best one (even with those extra blinds that weren't included on the quotes from the other two companies) and he honored the discount he offered before Christmas. So I gave him a generous tip. He tried to give it back to me implying that I didn't have to do that but at the same time his face was all lit up. Did I make his day? I don't know. At least I gave him something he didn't expect and it made me feel good.