Friday, August 31, 2007

The Score So Far

The inconsiderate contractors have destroyed:
  1. two ferns transplanted from my grandmother's house
  2. one clump of variegated gout weed transplanted from my grandmother's house
  3. one lily I bought at the farmer's market (maybe the bulb will survive?)

The inconsiderate contractors have trampled:

  1. the coral bells transplanted from my grandmother's house
  2. two small hostas
  3. the foxglove from the farmer's market
  4. the Solomon seal's

And they aren't done yet.

There also seems to be fewer of the prescription Ibuprofen 800s that I left on the counter (not knowing my home was to be invaded). Perhaps I'm just paranoid. Or perhaps not.

House-Related Bullets

  • My fifth grade teacher walked by with his wife the other evening when I was outside doing yard work. It strikes me as sort of surreal that something like that can occur at all. It seems atypical of America today that I now own the home I lived in as a child.
  • I have finished the majority of the poison ivy removal from the "garden" in the front yard. I also removed said garden and have sown grass seed throughout most of it. I will put down seed in the last section tonight after I attempt to do some leveling with the rake. Little bits of PI keep poking back up, but that's to be expected.
  • My contractor has returned. In fact, apparently he was at the house twice last week and I just couldn't tell.
  • He texturized the ceiling and primed the walls. Today he is starting to lay the tile floor.
  • I felt bad because he picked up the wrong tile, and then had to return it. I had written Milano Walnut, and he picked up Milano Almond. Not the same thing.
  • He also reframed my garage door, so that if H0me Dep0t ever gets their act together, everything will be all set for the installation of the new door and opener.
  • FF just called and informed me that there are five guys at my house right now working both inside and out. And that one of them "blew the place up." Fantastic, it's not a frickin' port-a-potty, folks. Stay out of my bathroom!
  • I can't wait until this is all finished and I can revert to my hermit style. I don't like people in my space.
  • I don't even want to think about how my poor plants are faring. Hopefully, they can survive if they get trampled.
  • I like and trust the contractor doing the inside work. The outside people, I know nothing about them. I can only hope he keeps an eye on them.
  • Sigh.

Monday, August 27, 2007


I didn't do any walking. So for the first time since I set my goal of two walks per weekend, I didn't meet that goal.

But I did just devour a huge piece of office cake. That makes it OK, right?

Well, my weekend sucked. How was yours?

Saturday was maddeningly hot. And the humidity was gross, just gross. I spent all day laying on the couch sweating and feeling sorry for myself.

Sunday dawned cooler and delightfully grey. But naturally, I had to work. All day.

By the time I left work, I was feeling irritable and all I wanted to do was relax with my family over dinner.

But that was not to be. They were feeling argumentative. And then as the evening drew to a close, I was forced to take another trunk load of my old crap. It is mine, and I understand it should be my responsibility to deal with it. But the timing frickin' sucks. I have no room for anything, what with the inactive construction project. Plus, it was going on 9:30 at night, I'd worked all day, and I had to work in the morning. I wasn't anxious to have to spend time unloading my car and finding space to stack more boxes.

And my parents wonder why we don't visit more often? Whatev.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


First of all, let me just say that music does not play as big a role in my life as it does in Beth's. That said, when offered free tickets to see a rock legend, I'm not about to turn them down.

I went with low expectations, but found that I had a much better time than I'd hoped. I knew more of the songs and enjoyed the crowd for the most part.

There was this charming young man at the end of our row that was positively ecstatic to be there. He was on his feet, dancing and jumping around. I found him charming and highly entertaining (in a friendly way, unlike the frat boys in front of me that were ridiculing him). After several songs, a STAFF member came along and told him if he didn't sit down, he'd have to leave.

WTF? When I used to go to shows back in the day, everyone stood and/or danced. And now, apparently it's not allowed? So Dancing Boy and his party of three climbed up to the top of the grandstand so they could dance without bothering anyone.

Later on in the concert, the band brought out several servicemen to pay tribute to our troops. Of course that prompted everyone in the whole place to their feet, cheering and clapping. Because everyone remained on their feet for the duration of that song, Dancing boy et al came back down to our row and were welcomed with back slaps and high fives. When the rows in front of us sat back down, I remained standing as did the guys near me. There was no way I was letting Dancing Boy be forced back into the nose bleeds or to be kicked out.

Towards the end of the show, the band played the song I was hoping to hear and I did a little dancing myself. I can't even recall the last time I danced.

I'm glad I went, and I'm glad I was lucky enough to have seats near Dancing Boy, whose enthusiasm was definitely contagious.

Friday, August 24, 2007

It's a coffee morning.

And I rarely have those, since I try to avoid coffee unless absolutely necessary. I'm a tea drinker, but even after my starter mug of English breakfast (with milk and sugar!) I'm still dragging.

Five and a half hours of sleep is not nearly enough to put me at a functioning level. Not that the coffee will make me function well; it will just make me jittery and nauseous while still being exhausted.

But at least my combination of coffee, creamer, and a packet of hot cocoa with marshmallows tastes pretty good.

Hopefully, there will be details to follow on why I didn't get enough sleep last night. Hint: Freebird!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Is it any wonder?

It's 71 degrees in my house. I'm wearing sweatpants and a sweatshirt. And I'm cuddled under a blanket to watch Law & Order.

No wonder I feel like dying when it's 56 degrees inside.

But the 90s shall return in another day or two.

Monday, August 20, 2007

No Cake For You

I had two birthday parties yesterday. For those of you who don't know, I freelance as a naturalist at Second Home Nature Center, leading nature-themed birthday parties. I usually limit myself to one per weekend. Yesterday I agreed to do the second because it sounded like I was needed and because I'm feeling the need to possibly take advantage of all opportunities to make a little extra money.

The parties are an irregular income at best. For much of the year I am often not needed, as there are interns on staff to cover the workload. But when there aren't interns available they will call me.

The two parties yesterday were "pond dipping." That means that we hiked out to a pond and used small nets to look for tiny creatures. The kids usually get the most excited over frogs, but I try to show them that the smaller animals and insects are just as interesting. Yesterday we caught crayfish, tadpoles, dragonfly larvae, water boatmen, and tons of fingernail clams. And of course, the obligatory frog.

(I just realized as I was typing this that I completely forgot to put away the pond-dipping supplies. I'd left them outside to dry in the sun. Crap. I'm so stressed that I'm not even thinking straight.)

But at least both parties were a success and everyone seemed pleased. Except the one mom that was insulted when I suggested I thought the frog was actually a bullfrog, not a leopard frog. Aside from her, all went well.

Still no cake though. Can't anyone spare a piece of cake for the nice naturalist?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Bullets of Whining

  • If I had wine in the house, I'd be drinking it right now. I'm just saying.
  • BerryBird, remind me of that when we're at the Farmer's Market. Local wine, bonus. I also want to buy more eggs. Remind me of that too.
  • Where is this cold front I was promised? And the rain? 'Cause I'm sitting here sweating, and I didn't water any of my plants/flowers/grass seed.
  • I would like to be sleeping on the couch right now, but I can't do that until the dishwasher is done because I will need to turn off the water (yes, it's one of the roll-up-and-plug-in kind).
  • I finally decided to run the dishwasher, not because of the dirty dishes piled in the sink (and on the counter), but because of the funky odor emanating from my water bottle.
  • The dishwasher, it doesn't help cool the house down. Not in the least.
  • But the dirty dishes on the counter may distract the ants from exploring the salt shaker.
  • Is that enough whining or shall I go on?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Why it's good to have clear salt shakers:

So that when you are leaning over the sink, shaking salt on your freshly hard-boiled local egg from the farmers market, you will be able to see the dead ant before you shake the salt on said egg.

Or as in my case, after eating an egg and a half you bother to investigate that darkish spot you've been seeing out of the corner of your eye each time you tip the shaker.

Oh well, finish your egg. They were the best tasting hard-boiled eggs you've ever had, and you can't let them go to waste.

After all, a dead ant in the salt is nowhere near as traumatic as an earwig in the mouthwash. That you may never recover from.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

So much for fashion

I've decided that from now on I will only buy pants (or skirts, shorts, what-have-you) that have elastic waist bands. Heck, I'm over thirty and a generation ago that would've been tantamount to being over-the-hill, so I might as well be comfortable. I would live in J-Lo-esque velour track pants if I could. And big t-shirts. And flip-flops.

OK, so I'm kidding about restricting my purchases, but seriously, why can't real clothes be more comfortable? Isn't it bad enough that I have to go to work at all, why make it worse with torturous pants that dig into my gut? Who's behind this madness?

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Cow Kitty

I know, you're thinking that for someone who doesn't like cats, she sure posts a lot of darn pictures of them. Anywho, Cat Named After a State in New England spent hours sleeping in this spot today. It's a good thing that it's not winter or he'd have one toasty belly. And before you start thinking you've fallen down some rabbit hole, that is indeed a very small chair.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 11, 2007

In and Out

My parents borrowed their friends' pick-up truck to bring me my stuff (not a good sign). It's stacked on the bed in the cat room three boxes deep and three boxes high.

I did, however, send them home with two of my dad's staple guns, their wet vac, and their air purifier. All of which were still left from the initial cleaning phase last fall. After they left I found several other items that I will attempt to pawn off on them soon.

Then I ran a small load of stuff to the donation center. There will certainly be more, but this way I was able to avoid even bringing several items into the house. I took:
  • one bag of clothes that had been previously prepared and has been shuffled around room to room as it got in the way of various projects
  • plus four clothes items from my own closet
  • five pairs of shoes (including two pairs of Steve Madden mules/clogs)
  • one pair of boots
  • one stack of dishes from my college/Florida years
  • one candle holder with the tag still on

I also informed my parents of the new gifting policy. No knicknacks unless I've specifically requested them. They seemed to understand after having packed all of those boxes and then seeing my basement.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Stuart Smalley Meme

A while back BerryBird tagged me for the Stuart Smalley meme. It is like many of the other list memes going around except for one little twist: this list of ten things has to be ten things you like about yourself. This is quite a challenge, especially if you are feeling a little poopy. I have elected to do it in installments, since I haven't found much inspiration yet (the dog ate my homework and all). So without further ado... I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!

Ten Things I like About Myself:

  1. My eyebrows. I have naturally well-shaped eyebrows. Even in my pre-waxing days when it looked like I had two caterpillars crawling across my face I received compliments on my eyebrows.
  2. My ability to drive standard transmission. Granted, I did refuse to take the road test on a standard because of the hills, and my dad rented an automatic for one day just so I would get my licence. After that though, there's been no stopping me. As I've said before, I think everyone should at least know how to drive a stick in case of an emergency, and it's a mandatory requirement for the men I date (you know, the fictional ones in my head).

OK, that's enough for now.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

I actually did something!

Here's what I got done last night:

  • two shelves of books (not organized but out of the box at least)
  • which emptied one box completely and part of a second
  • put clothes in 5 drawers in the dresser
  • which had previously been stacked on the bookshelf
  • FF gave the cat room a thorough vacuuming
  • and I brought one unopened, brand-new tooth brush to work with me to leave as a grab item in our break room (it is not a style I would ever use and was a freebie from the dentist- must learn to say "no, thank you")

My parents did not end up bringing my stuff last night, but they warned me that there is a lot of it. Fabulous.

No construction work was done yesterday except for the delivery of sheetrock, which was conveniently stacked blocking the stairs to my basement. Uh, thanks guys. I really hope they come back today to hang it.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to prevent the cats from scratching the tops of all my furniture (i.e. buffet, old sewing machine table, new handmade table from the farmer's market)? I usually keep everything piled with items to prevent them from jumping up on them in the first place, but I hate the cluttered look and feel of that method. All you cat people out there, do you just sacrifice your furniture for the love of the feline?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Cutting Down

One of the bloggers I enjoy reading, Riana, has been writing a series of interesting posts on simplifying her life and cutting down on her consumerism. She's calling it "A Slow Year".

I've been reading along and thinking how fabulous she is for doing what she can but that I wouldn't be able to do it myself. And then my parents called last night. They will be showing up tonight with my belongings that were left at their house in the years since I moved out. I own a three bedroom house and it's full. I have random pieces of furniture plopped in odd places waiting for the family room to be completed. The basement is so stuffed already that there is just a narrow path leading to the washer and dryer.

I've had enough. So I'm brainstorming on things I can do to cut down on my possessions.

First, I'm considering issuing a request to my family: no more nicknacks or claptrap. If it collects dust or takes up space I don't want it. If I can't eat it, wear it, or read (always an exception for books!) it, I don't want it. If I haven't specifically requested it, I don't want it.

Second, I need to tackle what I already have. Can I donate it? Throw it out? Return it to its rightful owner (namely mum or sis!)?

And third, organize what I keep. The piles of crap, they have to go.

I realize this sounds ambitious. I recognize it would mean actually putting forth some effort and pulling myself away from the Law & Order reruns I've already seen twice. But I can't live with boxes stacked in my living room. The time for action has arrived.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Book Quiz

You're Brave New World!

by Aldous Huxley

With an uncanny ability for predicting the future, you are a true
psychic. You can see how the world will change and illuminate the fears of future
generations. In the world to come, you see the influence of the media, genetic
science, drugs, and class warfare. And while all this might make you happy, you
claim the right to be unhappy. While pregnancy might seem painful, test tube
babies scare you most. You are obsessed with the word "pneumatic".

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

As seen at No Polar Coordinates.

I'm going to have to start using the word "pneumatic." What does it mean, anyway?


I am overwhelmed with sadness for a boy I used to know. A boy I had as a camper, who was funny, charming, intelligent, affectionate, and kind. I haven't seen him since the last day of camp a decade and a half ago, but he has always stood out in my memory as being one of my all-time favorite campers.

And now he's been arrested for arson. I am sad to think of how he got to a place in his life that made this a possibility.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Birth Date Meme

Marni tagged me for this meme. I am nothing if not predictable.

Go to Wiki, type in your birthday (month and day), choose 3 events, 2 birthdays, and a holiday, and then tag 5 folks.


  • 1789 - Mutiny on the HMS Bounty

  • 1945 - Mussolini and his mistress are executed by firing squad

  • 1969 - Charles de Gaulle resigns as President of France


  • 1926 - Harper Lee

  • 1937 - Saddam Hussein


  • Canada - National Day of Mourning


  1. NSLS

  2. BerryBird

  3. Andy

  4. Mary

  5. Chelene

Thursday, August 02, 2007


One of my co-workers brought me four mature hostas this morning. Someone she knows is ripping out their gardens to install more grass, so she was able to dig up a bunch of plants. Knowing my love of hostas in particular (and plants in general), she brought me what she felt she could spare.

The forecasted high today is 95, so the plants are hanging out in my cool office. It's like a mini-jungle in here and every time I turn and see them I am just so thrilled.

I am not looking forwarded to digging into the dry, rock hard earth after work, but it's a small price to pay. Literally, as anyone who's ever bought a mature hosta plant can tell you.