First Family PhotoIt is refreshing to interview a politician and sense that “I could be friends with these people”, as is the case with Scott and Aunna. They are warm, inviting, fun, and shockingly normal. Let’s hope the office of Mayor does not jade them!

A funny story that was shared that didn’t make the article: Like any couple expecting their first child, there is a lot of preparation. One Saturday, Aunna was away for the day and Scott decided he would be useful and paint the baby’s room. (Let me stop here and add that Scott knows everything about how to run a farm, having grown up on one. Once he enters a home, however, the expertise abruptly ends at the threshold.) They had the paint, it just needed to be applied to the walls. Scott had watched the professional painters change the wall color in several other rooms in their home, so how hard could it be, right? Scott went to the Do-It Center to pick up the needed accoutrements and went to work. When Aunna got home he told her to go look in the baby’s room. She ascended the stairs with trepidation  Reaching the doorway of their baby’s room, she stood there and cried. For there was not only paint on the walls, but also on the carpet, ceiling, and trim. Before she came back downstairs, Aunna placed a desperate 911 call their painter to COME AND FIX IT!

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Every couple has a story like this one, where boundaries are set, rules are created, and limitations discovered. One of my favorite stories of my husband’s household handiness is a plumbing episode from our condo in Broad Ripple. We had a drip in the master shower that was slowly getting worse and making me crazy. It had progressed to the point that I had to close the bathroom door at night. After insisting that he could fix it, and after dropping hints that I should just call a plumber, he finally took the initiative to tackle it, on Thanksgiving Day…

I was very pregnant with child #2, and our oldest was 3.5 years old. The shower was a standup, stall shower that I could barely fit into being 8 months pregnant. As he popped off the nob, it unexpectedly burst forth, pinning him against the opposing wall, shooting out cold water at his chest like a fire hydrant. His arms and legs are spastically moving all around as he is screaming. I enter the bathroom to see what is going on and started laughing to the point of tears. It was the funniest visual and situational comedic event I have ever seen that wasn’t on a movie screen. Our daughter enters and starts crying because she thinks I am crying, due to the tears of laughter streaming down my face.

By 2pm on Thanksgiving Day, every plumber in central Indiana is relaxing on a La-Z-Boy in a tryptophan-induced coma drinking beer. Being forced to shut off the water main for our entire building until the next day did not win us any points with our neighbors. Lesson learned: call a professional!

View the Geist article here:

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WARMfest article with Dan and Lisa Ripley – Cover for August issue of the Broad Ripple Community Newsletter, BRip.com

This was a fun article for me to write because I love the environment, and to discover someone forward-thinking about capitalizing on the water use for the White River in Broad Ripple was exciting. When my husband and I were first married, we lived in Broad Ripple and I use any and all excuses to go back. Dan and his wife Lisa are easy-going people, and love the water and conservation – so much so that they created WARMfest to raise awareness of the White River. The fact that they have spearheaded such a large-scale music festival from inception amazes me. This concert didn’t just grow – it began HUGE and was a big success last year (inaugural) and will be this year, too. With Big Head Todd & The Monsters headlining, among others, this annual Labor Day weekend concert event is here to stay!

Funny story, so I drive a Hummer. It’s an H2 that has required hardly any repairs, I have driven it for over 10 years and 150,000 miles later the brakes are still in great shape. It is truly the BEST car I have ever had! So weighing financial costs of not having a car payment, driving minimally around town since I work from home, and the environmental factors of new car production – regardless of the model and make, I think I am maintaining my environmental edge, although I am easily judged to be quite the opposite until someone knows the full story. I have driven the Hummer for so long that I am completely immune to the dirty looks from Prius drivers and the like that occasionally misjudge me. After all, these people are not easy to spot since my vehicle is so large. So anyway, later the same day after our initial interview, I realize that I need to snap some shots of Dan and Lisa. I head over to their home, ready for a boat cruise on the White River and to take some pics. I pull up in the driveway, now keep in mind the interview and discussion was environmental in focus – and Dan sees me pull in and yells, “YOU DRIVE A HUMMER??!!!” I started laughing to the point of tears. He completely thought I drove a Subaru or a Prius, or God forbid a golf cart of a car like a SmartCar (no offense to owners of those, but go test drive a SmartCar and then a golf cart and I dare you not to make the comparison). WARMFEST.org

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