Monday, September 1, 2008

Is Anybody Out There?

I've been conspicuously absent for a couple months. It's summer...I've been busy, I've been lazy, I've been involved...with someone. It's hard to pin down exactly why I haven't wanted to share. I haven't felt inspired to write. I haven't felt creative in the story telling way. My heads been mashed full of jobs and feelings and then had a ton of pressure applied making a sort of thought pancake out of everything. It's not pretty. I would like to show you a little bit of what I've been doing though...

I have been trying to get the outside of this very large house painted, the rain has not let up all summer. In two and a half months we have had about 12 days so far where the house was dry enough to work on. It has been scraped 3 times now, because with each new rain more peeling occurs. It has been maddening.

I built this corner cabinet to a customers specs. Dimensions and color, slate blue with red underneath, then rubbed through in places.

And I carefully removed all the old paint, and repaired broken and missing wicker, primed and painted this set of old wicker furniture.

I'm sorry I haven't been around much to read and comment on your blogs. I expect things to slow to a normal and hopefully steady pace here soon. I hope to manage my time a little better and reconnect with everyone as fall approaches. I really do miss everyone and hope to back among you shortly.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Thirteen Year-Old in My Life

My friend Cathy has a nephew for whom she has become the legal guardian. His name is Chris, he's been in her care for about a year and a half now.
Chris and I have spent a lot of time together, we fly kites, play mini-golf, go to the driving range, shoot pool, fish, ride scooters, hike, go to the movies, have movie night at my house, play video games, drive around singing songs in the car, you get the idea. He goes away to school now, and I don't get to see him as much as I'd like. When I do, he's taller and older and it's always amazing to me how quickly he's changing and growing
The other day, I got a call from Cathy explaining she had something planned all day and into the evening, that she couldn't take him to. She told me that when she asked Chris who he'd like her to call, he requested me. She said, "He thinks you're just the coolest." I said, "Of all your friends, I am!"
I picked Chris up at 5 and we kicked around what we'd like to do for fun. He wanted to watch a movie. He'd grown, and I think his voice is starting to change. We went to the grocery store and picked up stuff to make root beer floats, and frozen pizza. While talking to Chris I noticed his speech has become so lazy and sloppy I could hardly understand him. Okay became OA, if you say it real fast. He talks in the typical droning way, with little or no inflection. He was telling me a baseball story, and when he stopped talking, I realized he'd reached the end of the story and it was my turn. Panicked I said, "And when was this?" We picked it up from there.
We hung out, made dinner, I showed him the bird nest and the babies. When the sun was setting we watched the bats circle in the back yard. He jumped up and easily touched a beam in my kitchen he used to have to take a running start to try to touch. We made our root beer floats and watched his requested movie, Semi-Pro with Will Farrell which was funny in that Will Farrell way, but the content was a tad mature for a thirteen year old at points. Chris did his level best to not make me feel uncomfortable about that. He's a good boy. When we said goodbye he wanted his hug as always, and I picked him up off the ground when I hugged him, as always. "I can still pick you up. " I declared, and smiled, wondering how much longer that will be possible.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Identity Established...More Baby Footage

I have determined these are definitely robins. I got a good look at mom when I made this video. You can see them expecting her any minute, they must hear her calling, but the fact that I was there may have prevented her from delivering the food, so I left pretty quickly. I also placed a thick soft dog bed below the nest so if one should fall out, it doesn't land on my hard rocky driveway below.

Friday, June 27, 2008

A Tribute to George

George Carlin has been a favorite of mine for as long as I have been able to stand still long enough to watch stand up, and before, when people bought comedy LPs and George did the "Hippy Dippy Weather Man". I have always enjoyed his unique insights and word play. There is a lot of stuff flying around on the Internet now that he has passed. I chose this one, short and sweet to post here in tribute to a life well lived. Somewhere there is a dealer with way too much pot on his hands.

George Carlin's Views on Aging :

Do you realise that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we're kids? If you're less than 10 years old, you're so excited about ageing that you think in fractions.

'How old are you?' 'I'm four and a half!' You're never thirty-six and a half. You're four and a half, going on five! That's the key

You get into your teens, now they can't hold you back. You jump to the next number, or even a few ahead.

'How old are you?' 'I'm gonna be 16!' You could be 13, but hey, you're gonna be 16! And then the greatest day of your life. . You become 21. Even the words sound like a ceremony. YOU BECOME 21. YESSSS!!!

But then you turn 30. Oooohh, what happened there? Makes you sound like bad milk! He TURNED; we had to throw him out. There's no fun now, you're Just a sour-dumpling. What's wrong? What's changed?

You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you're PUSHING 40. Whoa! Put on the brakes, it's all slipping away. Before you know it, you REACH 50 and your dreams are gone.

But wait!!! You MAKE it to 60. You didn't think you would!

So you BECOME 21, TURN 30, PUSH 40, REACH 50 and MAKE it to 60.

You've built up so much speed that you HIT 70! After that it's a day-by-day thing; you HIT Wednesday!

You get into your 80's and every day is a complete cycle; you HIT lunch; you TURN 4:30 ; you REACH bedtime. And it doesn't end there. Into the 90s, you start going backwards; 'I Was JUST 92.'

Then a strange thing happens. If you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. 'I'm 100 and a half!'

May you all make it to a healthy 100 and a half!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ooooh the babies...

I have no idea what kind of birds these are. I see the mom fly away every time I come home, or in or out the door. This nest is just below my deck floor, I couldn't see in, but the camera could. That's how I found out there are four babies in there! Wow. I hope to identify these little guys eventually.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Backyard Birds In Grainy Glory (Three Reds)

Male Cardinal
I took these pictures of birds through the windows in the kitchen, dirty windows, one with a screen on it, so it's really bad. I don't have the patience that Bird Anonymous has to go out and sit there until the birds decide I'm not a threat and start coming around despite my presence, and I'm not sure the cardinal ever would. They are very nervous, so here they are. If you don't enjoy them, take your own damn pics!

Robin Red Breast

Rose Breasted Gross Beak

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Frizz Index

Click on the Frizz Warning Chart to open in a seperate window and enlarge. I did not make this up folks, I found it on a weather page, it's for real. WTF! It is important to know if you're going to have a bad hair day! Maybe it will help you decide whether to wear a hat or not! On a day when there's an amber alert for a missing child, an orange alert for terrorism, and a red alert for frizz, shouldn't you just call it in, and stay home?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Gopher Dad

Yesterday morning I went to my parent's house to remove the cabinets from their old kitchen. A friend wanted them for her house, so they had to be taken out carefully, so as not to damage them. Usually a sawzall and a sledge hammer would make short work of this project, but this was all putty knives, screwdrivers and wonder bars. It was a bit like a puzzle, once you take out the obvious support, you have to find the hidden support, and then realize you need to get that out to get to this, but before that can come out that other thing needs come off, and you can't get that off without removing those...pretty soon the entire house has been disassembled and is stacked in piles with nails sticking out everywhere, and the f---ing cabinets are still hanging there laughing at you.

I had four hours to donate before I had to run off to another commitment, so I was all business, HA! When I arrived my Dad was already entrenched and frustrated.
"Can you tell how those cabinets are still up?" He asked, indicating some uppers he had removed all visible screws from. I looked up and's the soffit, the soffit was painted but it was wood and came down over the cabinet face and was nailed in about a hundred times. I began to pull it apart, but it was behind the crown on the door molding, hmmm, this is behind that! I found myself up on a ladder requesting this tool, then that, sweating and swearing, and Dad was scrambling to get me what I needed when he looked at me and said, "The tables have turned haven't they?"

We worked and worked on the hottest stickiest day so far this year and after removing the soffit from all around the cabinets discovered many dead and long dead, and long long dead mice up there. The odor was about as foul as it gets. Mom was grossed out, but relieved that she hadn't been imagining the terrible smell she couldn't seem to get out of the cabinets no matter what she washed them with. She'd even hung one of those pine tree car fresheners in there.

We had lunch and talked about social injustices, a high school student who was suspended for saying her teacher was a scumbag, in an email to some rat-fink friend of hers. Another girl who was suspended for taking control of the school bus when the driver passed out behind the wheel and safely pulling it over and stopping, because she was not a licensed driver. Then the woman who is taking the cabinets home with her, brought up a high school senior who was in jail for sexually abusing his dog, and posting video of it on the Internet. I didn't quite see the injustice there, but she claimed it was that he would be unable to graduate with his class. I couldn't help breaking out into a chorus of: "And they called it...puppy love". Then I went home and spent about an hour trying to get the smell of decaying mouse off me which seemed to be not unlike an odor tattoo.

Monday, May 19, 2008

It's About Frickin Time!

Many of you have noticed that I have been MIA for about three weeks. If you suspected that I was sick and had to go the hospital, or that I have met someone who is a wonderful distraction, and is occupying much of my previously allocated blog-time, you'd be correct.

I would like to thank everyone who commented or emailed me expressing concern for well-being, and wonderment as to my where-abouts. I have been remiss in reading all of your posts, and in writing any of my own. I do hope to rectify this, slowly but surely.

Work is extremely busy right now. I have three fairly big projects going on right now, with a couple little ones jammed in there for good measure. I have a lovely young woman, smart and pretty, who seems to find me irresistible vying for my attention, and the blog has suffered immensely, and I miss you all!

It seems the longer you spend not writing your blog, the more intimidating the virtual sheet of blank paper in front of you becomes. I began to think that just opening up the "new post" screen, would cause it to somehow grab me by the ear, and throw me out in the hallway, while I tried desperately to think of something innocent to tell the principal when he walked by and asked what I was doing out here. Not that I would know what that feels like...but I digress. I have spent some time thinking about what to write about and decided that a simple update will have to do to get the blog-ball rolling again.

Golf started. I play in a women's league once a week, with my golf partner, Lily. This is our third season as a team. We are in a crappy division, but we have won our division the past two years. I like to say that we are the best of the worst, or at the top of the bottom pile...anyway, we are only there to have fun, and we do. Lily is a warm and thoughtful person with a sharp wit, and a positive attitude. She's every one's cheerleader, and she's especially good at keeping me even, and calm without ever saying the dreaded phrase..."calm down". We laugh a lot, and see blue birds and orioles, and hawks, and woodchucks, and bunnies on the course. It's a real treat.

About ten days ago I got very sick. It was late Wednesday night. There was sweating and nausea, and blood. I was scared, but I'm self-employed and don't have medical insurance, so I tried to wait it Friday morning my mother informed me she was coming to get me and take me to the hospital. I did not want to go. I have an unreasonable fear of hospital, and all things medical, but couldn't argue. I was in too much pain, and I knew I needed to go. I was admitted Friday, and released on Sunday, Mother's Day. It was quite an experience which I will go into detail about on my other blog.

I have been enjoying the weather. I planted my herb garden, my tomatoes, and filled my planter and my flower pots on the deck with beautiful flowers. The hummers are here, and I managed to snag a photo of one while standing in my kitchen. I am feeling optimistic, obviously I haven't received the bill from the hospital yet. I am busy and should be able to get caught up with finances which will be a huge relief. Now if only I get the price of gas to go down instead of up up up!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Mom's Kitchen!

After much much hard work, and sweat and tears, lots of lots of tears, I have finally taken a preliminary after picture of Mom's Kitchen! I have been working on this project since January. It has been ever changing and expanding in scope, but now the is the only a pot rack over the island, some electrical, and the tile back splash left to go. The tile is picked out, but not ordered yet. I did everything but the counter-tops, the electrical and the plumbing.

These are the before pictures when it was a sun-room. One from each end of the room. The doorway is off the dining room. I had to tear out the bathroom and closet at the end of the room, pull up the floor, pull down the ceiling, and build a wall over the brick wall to accommodate plumbing, electrical, and cabinet hanging. The doorway to the dining room was closed down about six inches on each side to make enough space for the hutch Mom wanted to put to the left of the doorway.

After gutting it, and pulling down the ceiling which was the most heinous phase, I added insulation, leveled the ceiling, and ran the duct out for the range hood. I also blacked out the window on the end wall. Next came framing in the wall over the brick wall, then sheet rock.

After sheet rock came painting, then the new hard wood floor. Then cabinets, crown molding, other moldings, modifying and assembling the island, and trimming out the doorway. Ta-dah!

The blurr is mom running through the kitchen trying to pick things up when she sees me with a camera in my hand!

Friday, April 25, 2008

It's Official

Fiddleheads from my backyard!

Spring is here everyone. I'm pretty sure I won't be getting anymore snow for a while! If I have left any doubt in your mind how I feel about this, I'm p.f. happy!

I am having a house guest, so this has led to a major spring cleaning crunch. My ex and still very good friend, is coming to visit me from California. The weather has been fantastic, for the last two weeks, like summer almost! In the seventies, close to eighties, sunny. It's exactly this kind of thing that brain washes all New Englanders into staying here, and living through yet another cursed winter! Even I have almost forgotten how dismal it all seemed just last month.

I planned all kinds of activities for us, like cycling, kayaking, hiking...etc. so of course it's going to drop to the 50's and rain all weekend! Good ol' New England. Unpredictable my ass! It's a sure bet when someone from a beautiful climate comes to visit, they will leave questioning your sanity for living here.

I spent the day yesterday cleaning up all the leaves and branches and crap off my lawn, and mowed it. Not that it's really grown that much, but it does in spots, plus the mower does a great job of sucking up and mulching the leaves. It was a pretty gruesome task. The leaves were all dry and the mower made a huge dust cloud for me to walk around in and breathe in as I mowed. But wait, there's more...the little black flies are out. They buzzed around my face and head the entire time, in my ears, in my eyes, pinging off my forehead, and my personal favorite, up my nose when I inhaled. I swear those little flies would make me crazy if I had to endure them for very long. It would be a very effective torture method. It was almost enough to make me wish for snow again. Almost!

Chronic complainer! One more from the bitch, bitch, bitch series...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A New Post!

This post should be read to the tune of "I Want a New Drug" by Huey Lewis and The News, or he'll scratch your eyes out!

I need a new post
One that won't be too long
One that makes people laugh out loud
Or that reads as if it's a song

I need a new post
One that knows when to quit
One that won't take up all your time
Or that showcases my sharp wit

One where I can say thank you
For awards I've won
Thanks to Ces and Anony for thinking of me
For Creativity

I need a new post
One to pass it along
One to drop some blogger's names
Or 'cause the last one's been up too long

I need a new post
One for having some fun
One that pays off all my bills
Or lets me lay out in the sun

Oh...I'm tired don't make me do the last one. Well, now you'll have that song stuck in your head not only for the rest of the day, but every time you think about how you need a new post! Ha! Gotcha! You may have ascertained from my brilliant lyrics, that I have been given an award. One award from two awesome bloggers!
It is a Pico award, in the name of spirit, fun and laughter. I would like to present this award to three men who never fail to make me laugh, with their blogs and their comments, Jonah of Gefilte Fish Blues, perhaps the funniest, and most polished writer I've read in blog-land thus far. Ben of No Ordinary Roller Coaster, who hits the mark every time humor is his goal, and last but not least, a guy who's only in it for the laughs, Ve of Ve's Fantastical Nonsense. Congratulations guys, and thanks for all the laughs!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Random Thoughts While Stripping

I am working on a refinishing project right now that needs to be completed by the weekend. I am still doing the stripping which is bad, because It takes time for stain and subsequent coats of polyurethane to dry. Be that as it may, this is where I am, and what I should be doing right now instead of writing this! But, my birthday is over and I couldn't leave that tired old post up for days on end, so onward and upward, then downstairs to continue with the stripping. I never knew stripping could be so tiring, and it doesn't pay as well as one would think either, of course, I'm not done yet!

Today was a beautiful spring day. I spent a little time outside breaking up and disbursing a large snow bank on the side of my house that doesn't get a lot of sun, so it'll melt. The large pile was caused by all of the snow that slid off that half of the roof all winter long, and that was a LOT of snow.

The goldfinches are starting to brighten for their mating season and things that should be green are starting to become green. I love to see my surroundings coming back to life, it makes me happy, and it makes me want to clean, even though no company is coming! I KNOW!!!!

Yesterday, for my birthday row, I rowed a personal best for 16,000 meters. I guess I needed to prove that being one year older wouldn't slow me down. It sped me up!

Thursday it's supposed to be sunny and 67 degrees. I'll be taking the convertible for a spin, maybe to the driving range to hit some balls for the first time this year! That is making me smile already!

On that note, I need to get back to it. I hope you all are letting some good energy flow through your lives as well.

Sunday, April 6, 2008


-April 7th. It's my birthday and I'll die if I want to, die if I want to, die if I want to...fortunately, I don't. In fact, I think I'd like to delay that as where's my martini? long as possible. I'm not going to get all depressed just because I keep getting older each year, and don't even look like myself in the where's my fucking martini?! mirror anymore. Everyday of life is a gift. I welcome all the signs I had it two minutes ago of aging with open arms, for I am becoming wiser and more evolved with each day. I know that I am still as vital and coherant as that's it...the writing stops until I find my God damned birthday martini, the last place I remember having it was in the kitchen, when I went in there for the Estrovin, then I wanted another twist, so I opened the fridge, and...oh, there it is behind the prune juice, now where was I?

Friday, April 4, 2008

Make Me Shudder

This opening is 7' x 5' It's quite large! This opening is at the top of a vaulted ceiling through to an office area upstairs. On the second floor it is at window height. My customer was losing all of her heat to the upper level and wanted a way to close it off during the winter.

Finally, Shutters. I took on this project and what I thought would take weeks, turned into months. I just got home from saying goodbye to these suckers!

In theory, and on paper these seemed simple and straight forward. I listened to what the customer wanted, drew up a design, gave her a quote, took a partial advance and bought wood. Off to the races. I planned to build them at night and on weekends, I was doing a kitchen remodel during the day, which also was intruding on my weekends. Snow slowed me down a lot too. The fact that I had to spend a good deal of time clearing it, getting sand, etc.

The first thing that happened was my router bit was causing considerable tear-out. Some pieces were unusable, others had to be patched. They all had to be sanded, because my joints didn't come out perfectly flush.

I was putting in some brutal, physically exhausting days on the kitchen and just couldn't make myself go back to work after dinner. When I finally got them together, I went over to check the fit before painting them. Three times I planned to go for the fitting, and three times it snowed. I finally made it over there and they needed to be cut down. I did that and then primed them. Once I started painting them I noticed some seems were still noticeable, so I sanded them down again. I had promised to deliver brushed nickel hardware, and finding hinges in that finish that would support the weight of the panels and fit a 3/4'' door proved to be much more of a challenge than I had anticipated. I found some I thought would work ordered them, and a couple knobs, and when they arrived, too small. I thought the width measurement was one side of the hinge, but it was the width of the hinge open, so they would be great for a jewelry box, but not big heavy shutters! I had to call and reschedule while I waited for the correct hardware to arrive.

I also ordered a hinge mortising template kit, that the salesman at the local woodworker's supply, assured me would work for cabinet hinges as well as door hinges. I had 24 mortises to do, so I didn't want to screw around with the hammer and chisel. It arrived the day before I had rescheduled to go over there, and it did not accommodate small hinges at all, only full door hinges!

I had too much hand mortising to do, to make the appointment, so I called to reschedule it again. It got to be like a sick joke, and I had a mini-panic attack when I knew I'd have to make the call.

The afternoon I was supposed to go, my customer called me and asked me if I would mind pushing it off another night or two, she had romantic dinner plans. No problem, I went the next night. When I got there I framed the opening, didn't have my nail gun because it is still at the other job site, so I hand nailed and set the nails, not hard, just slower. I put the first shutter in place and one side fit but the other side was too tall. The ceiling sloped down in the middle of the opening. I hadn't noticed it. I mitered the door stop strips and painted them. Filled the nail holes, sanded them, and painted the frame. Threw the shutters back in the truck to take them home and cut them down some more.

Today, I cut down the shutters, and was loading them back in the truck, I thought about the knobs. I bought normal cabinet knobs. They'd have to be on the upstairs side of the shutters and the stupid screw head would be visible from the living room. Wrongo! I thought of the wooden knobs with screws attached. If I could find those nothing would show in the living room. I couldn't find those, so I decided to buy 4 different knobs, and some #8 threaded rod, cut it to size, and have a knob on both sides. I went to the hardware store and bought the stuff. Then back to the customer's house.

The next issue was the hardware itself. I bought very expensive high quality hinges, because the shutters are heavy and I wanted smooth movement. The screws that came with these hinges were just as cheap and shoddy as a Yugo full of fifty-year-old hookers. They were slotted, and they were small. I had my mult-tip screwdriver, but when I switched to the number 1 flat-tip, it was broken. I had a small tweeker, I tried using that, but I couldn't get any torque so I had to leave, and go to a nearby lumberyard, that had some tools in the store. I found a set of four with the right size flat-tip and bought it. That helped a lot. However some of the screws were unusable. The slot wasn't deep enough to hold the screwdriver. Half the head just broke clean off one of them and three broke off flush halfway in the hole making it impossible for me to put another screw in that spot. Two of the screws were actually glued together and I couldn't get them apart. What a pain in the ass. Also, it was a struggle getting the doors hinged because I was by myself, the doors were large and heavy and I only have two hands.

Once I managed to get them all hung, I installed the door stop strips and as the customer left to go out to dinner, I had only to install the knobs, do some touch up painting, and caulk. I cut the threaded rod to length, marked the knob hole locations, picked up the drill and the battery died. I'd have to go home and get the other battery. By this time, I was starving and tired. I drove home, let the dogs out, fed them, grabbed my battery and bolted back to the house. I finally finished, cleaned up, loaded my truck, and the customer arrived back home, surprised to find me still there, but very happy with the end result, which somehow makes it all worth it. I went to take the picture, and my camera said to replace the batteries, typical.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Time Goes By, So...

Well, it depends. Time can fly, and it seems to go faster each year as I get older. My theory on this is, that the less of a percentage a year is in your life, the quicker it goes by. Think about it, and get back to me. Anyway, when I'm waiting for something...time drags. It is slower than molasses in the wintertime. When I have a ton of stuff to do, if goes by faster than a barefoot rabbit on greased griddle in the middle of August!

Right now, I find myself in the unique position of having a pant-load of things to finish by a quickly approaching deadline, while at the same time, corresponding with someone new and exciting that may become a headliner in what has become the tragic story of my life. Now, in some incredibly bazaar way, time seems to be crawling and flying at the same time. Impossible you say! People said time travel was impossible, and look at us now! Okay, bad example, but seriously...How many times have you been in the shower, and completely lost track of time? You just have no idea whether you've been in there ten minutes, or thirty five. That's when it happens, time is added or taken away depending upon the opposite of whether you need more or less. The French thought they had solved this problem by simply cutting showers, and baths out of their daily, or weekly routines, but it didn't help, it just made them foul smelling. The truth is anytime you experience this "lost track of time" feeling, is when the adjustments are being made. In my case time is being added and taken away because I'm both waiting for something, and up against it, to complete some projects.

Studies have shown that 75% of all water related activities are time altering. A watched pot never boils, never...experts agree that that is dramatically slower than normal.

Time, or the passing of it, has also been linked to aging in three separate university double blind studies. This study was conducted by the blind, because no one really wants to see the effects of aging, and they also wore blind-folds to ensure that any sudden regaining of their eyesight would not influence the results. This is the most reliable way to collect data. The findings have been conclusive, time is a relentless son of a bitch, and you shouldn't be wasting reading drivel like this!

Is this actually true? Only time will tell.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Actual Things...

Something Odd: I used the word unbefreakinglievable in an email today, and spellcheck didn't bat an eye!

However if you get a tattoo, make sure your tattoo artist uses spellcheck, or people may get the wrong idea.

Something Depressing:

I read in the paper yesterday, that an elderly man in a retirement home was stabbed to death as a result of a dispute over a loaf of white bread.

Something Silly:

I had no idea how much work went into seedless watermelons!

Something True:

I really enjoy blogging, sometimes too much, and I know the reason for this is all the bloggers who visit my blog regularly, and who I like to visit as well. My life is richer becasue of it.


Wieneke would be here if she had an avatar!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Being Grateful


One of my closest friends lost her father on the day before Easter. This seems to be happening more and more around me. I am at the age where time with my parents has become something I am grateful for. I still have mine, this set at least. My father died when I was thirteen, but the new one mom picked out has weathered the storms of our adolescence, getting licenses, borrowing the car, going away to college, bringing home women...well, I did, my brother...not so much, and then some.

My mom still won't tell me who my mother was before her. She insists she's the only mother I've ever had, but I'm not completely convinced yet.

I was away from my family for twenty five years. I visited of course, but didn't live nearby. Seeing them only a few times a year was good in ways, and probably best at times, but now I'm here, and I see them several times a week. At the moment I'm remodeling (building a kitchen in a room that was the sun porch a few months ago) her kitchen, so I see her almost everyday. I love my mom, but there is a limit to how many heaping helpings of mom I can take in given time period. We are exceeding that currently.

The news of this recent death, brings into sharp focus the fact that I should be enjoying this time with my mother, and this project we are doing together. We are making the memories I will be keeping with me when she has gone. Sometimes we need to get a dose of the bad, to realize we are actually in the good part.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Here Comes Peter Cottontail...

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! The Easter Bunny!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

My life in 6 words

I have been tagged by Citizen of the World to describe my life in six words. This is a tough one for me, I've lived in more than six different states. But when I get tagged, I respond to the challenge.

Come to think of it, I love a challenge, and that is how I've lived my life. I have never let my gender limit my career choices. I can't say I have never been afraid to go for it, but I will say I have never let fear stop me from going for it.

I have made some bad decisions, but at least I don't have to regret not trying.

When I know what I want, I fight for it, it's being clear on what I want that seems to be the difficult part.

Anyway, sweetened and condensed, these six words sum it all up, probably:

Reaching, risking, growing, following my heart.

I'm not going to tag anyone, that would be mean, but I'd like to hear how kj and heartinsanfrancisco would sum themselves up. If you choose not to do accept this tag, that's okay, I will happily choose 6 words for you myself, just kidding. I know this one will be fun for you. Run along and get to work.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Dad Goes To Bat

photo from

My stepfather married my mother when I was eleven. He's been a part of our family for over thirty years now, and I call him Dad.

When I was entering my freshman year in high school, I was hit squarely in the face by a gender injustice, the first one since I'd wanted to play little league baseball. It seems that when everyone chose their electives for that year, a lot more students chose to take Industrial Arts than Home Economics. Well, the school decided since they couldn't give everyone what they'd asked for, they'd just assign the boys to I.A. and the girls to Home Ec. I was furious. I went home that day and told my parents what had happened.

The next day my dad was in the principals office. He said, "Why on earth would you put the boys in IA and the girls in Home Ec.?" The principal explained that that was the way things used to be, so they decided to just do that again to solve the over crowding issue.

dad: "If you have too many students in an English class what do you do?" "Throw out the girls?"

principal: "Well, that's not the same thing."

dad: "What's different about it?"

principal: "Boy's are more naturally inclined to IA, and girls to Home Ec."

dad: "Oh really. My daughter shingled the entire roof of our house last summer, by herself, cedar shakes on a gambrel roof! Show me one boy more qualified to take that class."

After dad's visit, they changed the resolution. Now every student had to take half a year of each class. Go dad!

Recently he said something else that made me really proud. He said his receptionist had advertised for a roommate because the price of heating oil was killing her.

Suzanne: I found a roommate!

dad: that's great, how much are you getting?

Suzanne: I'm getting $525.00

dad: Do you think that's enough?

Suzanne: Oh yeah, it's fine. I might have a problem though?

dad: What's that?

Suzanne: I think she's gay.

dad: Well.. Are you gay?

Suzanne: No

dad: Then you've got nothing to worry about.

That's my dad. He rocks!

Monday, March 17, 2008

It's Your Lucky Day!

It's a beautiful sunny morning here, or "top o the mornin tooya". I know that's the wrong "to" but it's better phonetically. Why are you worried about my grammar anyway? It's St. Patrick's Day. Go do something green! I have some Irish in me, about 15%. I find most people do, especially on St. Patrick's Day! The Irish are a busy lot! What percentage are you?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Meme Challenge Issued & Answered

"I dare you to be as ridiculous" from VE.


This meme is answered in a completely fictional manner in order to meet the challenge issued forth by VE. Please do not write angry letters or comments about how mean it is to sabotage a diet, or cruelty to hunters etc.

Warning: Reading the following post may lower your opinion of me if there is any room for movement in that direction.

All Fours

Four Guilty Pleasures-

I like to catch mice in those glue traps, then use solvent to free three of their feet, and tickle them until they promise to stay outside.

I like to hide in the bushes with a semi-automatic rifle during deer season and when they shoot at a deer, I return fire. It makes it more like a sport.

I like to stop at toll booths and pay by check, which takes a couple hours, just to see how big a back-up I can cause, leaving my left turn signal on the entire time of course.

When someone at work says they're on a diet, I like to show up with a couple dozen warm Krispy Kreme Doughnuts the next day.

Four Favorite Foods

Tofurky Jerky,

Brussel sprout cheesecake,

Pickled banana chips,

Jalapeno mint jelly and goat cheese pizza.

Four things that make me smile

When I try to make my ears move,

when I'm brushing my top teeth,

When I practice my reaction to winning the lottery

When I can successfully string together the nine-word-sequence for my favorite coffee drink at Starbucks without taking a breath in the middle.

Four Artists I’m listening to Right Now-

Anytime I try to listen to four different things at the same time, it always turns out the same way; with me trying to figure out the child safety cap on my Advil bottle.


Random Questions:

How would you describe yourself?

Honestly deceptive, forward thinking historian, with a stand-offish approachability. Attractively plain, passionately even tempered, skeptically optimistic, interesting, vanilla, woman who's energetic about taking naps. My stubborn flexibility, and logically emotional reasoning powers make me singularly popular.

What is your life’s purpose?

To completely eliminate and get rid of redundancy. I will establish the Department of Redundancy Department, and begin to issue fines, give tickets, charge people money for, saying or doing, any action or words that would be considered redundant, and if they do it again, that's twice the fine, doubling the amount.

What do your friends think of you?

What are these...friends, you speak of?

What do you think about very often?

Why I keep forgetting to take the pill that's supposed to improve my memory.

What is your wedding day going to be like?

Lots of shocked people wandering around, most of all, me!

What is your life story?

My life story is "I'm Okay, You're Okay" It's a self-help book. My motto is if you need help, help yourself!

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Kept. I would like to fritter away my time on the computer...while someone else worries about responsibilities, and obligations. I guess what I'm really trying to say is, I don't wish to grow up.

What will they play at your funeral?

"My Way" by Sinatra

And now, the end is near, And so I face the final curtain. My friends, I'll say it clear; I'll state my case of which I'm certain. I've lived a life that's full - I've travelled each and every highway. And more, much more than this, I did it my way. Regrets? I've had a few, But then again, too few to mention. I did what I had to do And saw it through without exemption. I planned each charted course - Each careful step along the byway, And more, much more than this, I did it my way. Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew, When I bit off more than I could chew, But through it all, when there was doubt, I ate it up and spit it out. I faced it all and I stood tall And did it my way. I've loved, I've laughed and cried, I've had my fill - my share of losing. But now, as tears subside, I find it all so amusing. To think I did all that, And may I say, not in a shy way - Oh no. Oh no, not me. I did it my way. For what is a man? What has he got? If not himself - Then he has naught. To say the things he truly feels And not the words of one who kneels. The record shows I took the blows And did it my way. Yes, it was my way.

What is your hobby/interest?

Mostly, I enjoy letting my dogs in and out of the house. They have worked out a system that insures them the highest allotment of cookies possible. It goes something like this. One dog asks to go outside, the other insists he does not need to go out right now, and he'd better stay in the house with me, it's for my own safety of course. I let the dog in, give them both cookies, and about 5-10 minutes later, the second dog, now has to go outside. You see how they have outsmarted me? I spend more time enjoying this activity then anything else really.

I also love shopping for brightly colored pot-holders on EBay, and plan to make a cozy for my house out of them, once I have enough.

Thank you for tolerating my meme. If you should choose to tag yourself with either of these, please let me know. I apologize for any permanent damage caused here today.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Best of the Worst!

Here's a little poll for you. Assuming you MUST pick one of the choices, please do your best, I didn't make it easy!

Ah, but I made you picture them all didn't I? Sorry about that!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Not Right Now, I'm busy?

I have thought about posting, really. I just can't squeeze anything out of my jam-packed head right now. The break down is something like this. Once I free up a few cells, I'll be back!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

If You Are What You Eat, I'm Glue!

I've been spending a lot of time out in my workshop lately. I love that. It's one of my favorite places to be, although yesterday,

*Digression Alert!*

for some unknown reason my Bose sound-dock stopped working, so no music. Booo! Coincidentally yesterday the ipod in my truck stopped working too. I have one I just leave in the truck. It stays in the glove box and it's wired into the stereo. I use my other ipod for out in the workshop, when I'm rowing, or painting or shoveling, or any other activity that's more fun with music. Anyhoo, just two days ago, my house phone, a Panasonic wireless, I just bought a year ago stopped working too! I've got my fingers crossed that the hot water heater, or furnace, or washing machine, or truck don't decide to jump on the bandwagon.

Anyway, as I was saying I've been working on building some stuff. I have several projects in various stages of completion out there. I was putting together some large raised panel shutters and typically what I do, is take all the pieces and assemble it first with no glue, just to make sure it all fits and is going to work. I get all the clamps I'm going to need, a rubber mallet, the glue, a brush, some water and a rag. Once you apply the glue you have to move at a pretty good clip to get it all together and clamped up. The really big gangley pieces with lots of parts that all have to be glued at the same time, can be challenging, especially for one person. I was dipping the brush into the glue bottle and spreading it on all the edges that needed glue, and when it came time to put it together again, I was having trouble. I needed to put the brush down and free up my hand, but there was nowhere to put it, so I put in my mouth. Not the end with the glue, but the middle of the brush handle, like when you put a rose in your teeth. You know how you like to do that. Well, I had been dipping that brush so far into the glue bottle that the part of the handle now in my mouth was covered with glue! That'll keep my big mouth shut! But I can still type.

That was nasty. I was never one of those paste-eaters in elementary school, and I know now that I wasn't missing anything. The funny part is I really had to get the dumb thing clamped up. I spit the brush out on the floor, but my mouth felt full of glue and it seemed like it was bonding to my teeth. It was really disturbing. Once I got the thing clamped I rinsed out my mouth and there doesn't seem to be any permanent damage, but I don't recommend it just the same.

The shutters came out great, the customer was very happy with them, as was I. I'll take a picture once I install them. She's painting them herself to save a little money, then I'll go back to hang them for her.

After leaving her, I went to another job I'm working on and hung some sheet rock. I also did quite a bit of housework today. I feel pretty productive all in all, but I have been working all day, and never got to do any rowing. I don't like that, but I'll be on it in the morning. I think the slightly warmer weather, along with the sunny day, has really given my energy a boost. It feels good.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Ch ch changes...

I have received this notice to cease and desist blogging about snow, and my frickin driveway, so NO MORE! I know you guys want to hear a new set of complaints, and more whining week after week but I'm sorry! I just can't do it anymore. You'll be fine, I'll find other ways to keep you entertained.

For instance, I've been doing a lot of driving lately and the potholes are absolutely everywhere. It's all you can do to miss them and invariably when there's a completely horrific stretch of them, there's also an oncoming vehicle that forces you to go over them instead of around them. I mean how is it possible that you could drive along for 10 minutes without another car in sight, but somehow one appears just as you reach pot-hole-polusa!

It's just like when you're trapped behind someone who apparently doesn't have anywhere to be at any specific time, and is just out sightseeing, and enjoying the fresh air, while you are late for an important appointment. As you go through the center of small towns and wind around on curvy roads, not another car in sight, besides the forty backed up behind you that is, but as soon as a straightaway arrives, and some passing lines, cars and trucks the whole way, it baffles me.

I love the guy that pulls up next to me at a light, and drives like a bat out of hell to get in front of me when the light turns, only to hold me and everyone else up two blocks later when he wants to make a left turn.

I'm also very fond of the people who, even though they drive a Chevy Speck, just can't seem to handle the turning radius of a left turn and have to swing wide right to manage it. Things like this should be on the driving test. That idiotic little move should be an automatic failure, that and the inability to merge. Some people just don't get it! If you are going 50 or 55 on the entrance ramp, it is much easier to fit seamlessly into traffic, then if you are going 15 or 10, or 6, or 2, or stop completely to wait until there are no cars as far as the eye can see! Why people, Why?

In Massachusetts I've noticed that stop signs are merely suggestions. People here roll right through them like they're all yields. It's crazy! I suppose if they got stopped, they'd say "I slowed down." Which reminds me of a joke.

It seems this guy from Massachusetts goes to California, and rents a car. While he there, he gets pulled over for rolling through a stop sign. When this is explained to him by the officer, he whines, "But officer, I slowed down."

The officer pulls him out of the car, throws him down and begins brutally wailing on him with his knight-stick. The man cries out, begging him to stop, but the beating continues, the man pleads for him to stop, and the officer says, "But I slowed down."