Thursday, March 31, 2011

10th day of spring, tra la

Look, we have brave little crocus buds:
Sadly, they will be under 12 inches of snow tomorrow if the weather forecast is accurate. 

We have been trying to get the painting done in the bedroom so Ameranth can move in before she moves out for her trip. We sanded the floor lightly, just to remove dirt, vacuumed and rinsed it off. Then it got two coats of paint, which turned out to be a shade very close to that in the other two rooms in the house that had old floor paint. We finally decided on the color for the drawers and nightstand and did those  last night. They need a second coat, then we need to do all the touchups where little spatters and drips have landed. 

The true color is darker, like the frame in the background. The nightstand is from a bedroom set that was J's aunt's in the 60's and was a horrible aged French Empire yellow. Much better now.

Last big thing to be painted was an old brass bed. It was rusted in places and worn in others. So we used Rustoleum spray paint to give it new life, and I think the gray hammered metal will go nicely with the other colors in the room.

It's killing me that I only bought 2 cans and will have to get another to add a second coat to this. And if J doesn't get into work tomorrow, I'll have to wait until Saturday to finish the paint. Then 48 hours before we can put it together.

I shake my fist at you, possible April snowstorm!  And yes, I bite my thumb at you as well.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Nature vs Nurture

I am once again using my family emails as a source of fun. I do enjoy our sense of humor and have to believe a lot of it is in our genes, reinforced by family interactions. Our first reaction to just about any situation is a joke and a laugh, which is not a bad thing, I think.  So here we go, starting off with my father's email earlier this week.

Grampa Bob: Surprising. Several days ago Ma fished out five dead frogs from the pond, laid them in the garden nearby. Picked them up yesterday; they were flat, black and dry. Took them out back and laid them out on some firewood; thought they were too neat to throw away.. She desires to tack them up on trees, whether as trophies or as a warning, I do not know.

Me: LOL- And I wouldn't buy the leprechaun tree face yesterday for J because I thought it was too much!  Reminds me of the time Sectaurs found a hen head and foot after a weasel raid and kept that for awhile. (not indoors)

#2: How about making dead frog wind chimes?

Griz (Montana cousin) : Use the frogs and get Sectaur's chicken head and foot. Call it a native american spirit chime and it could be worth a lot of money.

Grampa Bob: Post Script

   Ma and I have been outside, our pickup duties we were doing and have done.
    I got my first glimpse of her 'saved' frog bodies just moments ago.
    Naw....they wouldn't make good chimes - even with a chicken head and leg.
    Be lucky to get a husky rasp out of them.
    Any other bright ideas??
    But thanks, anyway!

Me: I don't know- if you added a few more bones/feet for the noise and used the frogs as the part hanging down to catch the wind?  Or frog whirligigs!

#5 : Okay, here are the frogs we are talking about - it is a little macabre to say the least... but if you put little bells on their feet maybe some wind chimes.....

Me: I think the worst part would be sticking holes to hang them up. Yuck.

FLAyankee (aunt in FL) : we're at chat and your father just said they are empty shells...........I think a burial is in order..................

#2: If you had another you could arrange them on toadstools like they were playing cards.

#3: OK I say just reconstitute them! you know like instant frog soup or something!
actually a little bright colored paint and they would be objects de art.

Ok big news for me (or I am terribly excited about it!-and dead frogs leads me right into it!!)
M and I attended a fund raiser for nursing scholarships last night and I bid and won a gator hunt in Tx!  I am soooo excited about this- it is on my birthday weekend to boot- which leads me into-hmmm- purse, shoes or if big enough? boots? and then what color?

so anyways- I also get the head and feet- and also plan on bringing meat home too-so if we can combine the gator and frogs- well I think- jeez- no wait Gumbo!

#3 again:  ya know I am also seriously regretting that last year when I had 5-6 big dead frogs that I, too, did not save and dry them. Oh well.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Patience, Young Grasshopper

Friday was a wonderful day. The temp was in the mid-50s and the snow visibly disappeared, hour by hour. Saturday morning it snowed a little, and was raw and windy. No problem, Spring was starting Sunday and that was one last mess.

Sunday was another nice day, and the hens were let out of their coop to get their feet in the dirt. Their yard is still snow covered, so we opened the big door on the other side.
Oops, you can see our Christmas tree now too!  Doing the dishes later, I glanced out to see a mound of brown at the edge of the yard. It took a few seconds to realize it was hens dustbathing, not a dead bear or deer! I know, I know, but it was one of those brain-clicking-into-gear moments. 
I tried to get a picture, but by then hens were up and jockeying for position.
So that was Sunday. Winter is done.  Another season over and a new one begun. Monday it snowed.
Tuesday, it was still snowing, just a little more to top off the 5 inches we now have on the ground.
 The hen dirt bath is in the center of the photo above. Oh well, spring snow disappears quickly. It better because I will not get the snowblower out again. (Unless we have a freak storm in April like we did that one year) As I was taking these pictures, I heard the snow sliding off the roof (not onto the step I had just shoveled and was standing on, thank goodness) and tried to snap a photo in time. You can see chunks going by the chicken coop window if you look closely. Metal roofs are why we have  had those massive heaps of snow along the house-they really are 3 feet shorter now, since the snow used to cover that nearest window.
Since our neighbors are still snowcovered right along with us, I wouldn't really mind knowing we get spring a little later up north here if I could pretend everyone was in the same boat. But thanks to our family emails, I know Texas has been dry and in the 70s, as has Florida. My aunt has been weeding (!) and my brother has been figuring out how to calibrate his spreader for the proper chicken manure distribution. Colorado has had warm weather too, though Shoeshine has been too busy to appreciate it. A cousin in Montana went camping this past weekend, but at least had the grace to also have snow out there. Connecticut did get a little snow, and so did Rhode Island, but it was very little. My parents have been out cleaning up the lawn and installing a new pump in their little stream!  And my poor little 2 inch tall daffodil sprouts are back to hibernating. As am I.

      Can't forget this- Happy Birthday, Grampa Bob!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

It's the laughter we will remember

I've been busy cleaning out a file cabinet and a desk, both of which have had papers stuffed in them for years with minimal sorting. Three bags of 20 year old tax returns, partial-year report cards and repair records for cars long gone were taken to the dump today. I now have overstuffed neat folders for each of us with papers and memorabilia that I wasn't ready to throw out yet. The kids will each be presented with theirs and they can decide to keep it to show their children or dump it now. (Well, the two that have houses - I'll hold on to the others for a bit)

I saved the notes and pictures to the Easter Bunny and Santa and the homemade birthday cards, or course. It was fun looking through the school reports, with the notes from the teachers about each child.  Not so much fun with some of the later notes, when some started having trouble, or causing trouble. Reading the "Needs Improvement" categories now just screams ADD- why didn't we pick up on it then? (Though I did bring it up, believe me. At the time it seemed if your child didn't have the H for hyperactive, he/she didn't qualify, though both were diagnosed later when they were in their 20s).

The best stuff was the notes and letters we have- a birthday poem for J from Ms M when she was in the Peace Corps, letters from Shoeshine written from his post in Kosovo, and the newsletters my father used to mail out before the transition to the family emails. 

When Ameranth was in elementary school she had to take medicine, which started as a liquid since she had trouble swallowing pills. A few years later the prescription changed and she had to start with the capsules. What drama! I was impatient with her and she was stubborn- not a good combination for success. (Later a new dentist told us that she has "tongue thrust" or infantile swallowing- some kids never grow out of it and she was one- she still needs to wear her retainer to keep her teeth from moving forward) Anyway, Grampa Bob sent a helpful note:

Monday, March 14, 2011

I shot the Grawl...

but I did not shoot the video.

PAX East 2011 is officially in the past- we left at 1, met Ms. M and Mr. C in Waltham for lunch and got home just before 6:30 last night. We had a good time, which is good since I think it is safe to say that will be my one and only gaming convention experience.

Google directions got us through Boston safely, although I was not thrilled to cross a toll bridge in the middle of town (I expected trolls underneath, and I was sad I had no bigger goats to offer them) and worse, a tunnel!  A tunnel under water, I fear. The worst sort. It was short however and traffic was light so no panic ensued.  Since we made it to the hotel with almost 2 hours before check-in, we tried out my directions to the Convention Center. We missed a left turn, since the street sign was well off to the side, but we got there anyway, scoped out the parking lot, then headed back to the hotel.

Not so simple as backtracking, however. Thank you so much, Boston one way streets.  D Street goes right down the side of the Center and should be a straight shot back towards the hotel. BUT- it turns into a one way street, for one friggin' block! Why?  We strayed a little too far south and got near some scary (to us hicks)  neighborhoods. Luckily Ameranth had just upgraded her phone and we had access to GPS so a nice lady voice showed us the way to go home. After maneuvering past school busses parked in one lane of the street (??) and having to pull over for an ambulance in a five way intersection, we were directed to the shopping mall behind our hotel because the front entrance is on a (you guessed it!) one way street.

Good news- no bedbugs! I did do the mattress check :) The hotel is being renovated and everything in the room looked new, and smelled new too, which sounds good, but gets a little irritating after awhile. Also, one bed rooms do not get the advertised microwave and mini-fridge as advertised, but the staff was very nice and I would stay there again.

PAX. It was big, noisy, crowded, and lots of waiting in lines. Since we really wanted to get a chance to play the Guild Wars2 demo, we got there early Friday morning. Not as early as some, who were waiting there when the doors opened at 8AM. That is, the doors opened at 8 to let you into the queue room to line up for the real doors opening at 10. It was a room bigger than a football field and got crowded quickly.
I'm not tall enough to get a good shot of how many people were there, but it was lots. The yellow caution tape separated the crowd into lines about 10 feet across, and then each line waited for their turn to go in. Not spontaneously, there were Enforcers with red shirts, directing traffic with light wands. Everyone cooperated nicely. The crowd was easily a 90/10 male female ratio and ranged from plenty of teenagers to people older than me- at least they looked older than me :P

(Alert- geekery ahead) We enjoyed the GW2 developers' demonstration of the Thief, the newest profession release and we scored Guild Wars2 bandanas and water bottles, but did not get to play hands on, since there were so many in line and we had panels we wanted to attend.  Too late at the Meet and Greet that night too, and Saturday was even more crowded than Friday. 

We decided to get there as early as we could on Sunday and made a dash for the booth. There were several hundred people ahead of us in the queue line to get into the exhibit hall, but we were each able to be third in line to try the game. Yay!

I was very self-conscious about playing this, since the gameplay was also shown on large overhead monitors.  Plus my station was a laptop and had no working audio, but I decided just to enjoy it and ignore the people watching me go in circles and forget to pick up my trophies to get the rewards. I explored a bit and found a cave of grawl that needed to be demoralized, so we stole their food and killed them. That would demoralize me!
I was so pleased after trying the game that I actually went up to one of the Community Managers and introduced myself to thank him!  Now, I wish they would just announce a release date for this!

More thoughts another day.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Out of Sorts

We go to Boston tomorrow, leaving J and the dogs at home to deal with each other until we get back Sunday night. We have our Pax East badges, our hotel reservation, snacks and a car full of gas, so I should be happy. I'm not. I'm grumbly and edgy and nothing is going quite the way I want and everyone is annoying me, starting with the dogs this morning right up to J asking nicely if I have everything I need to bring. I blame PTS (pre-trip syndrome) and I don't have chocolate, having eaten it all last night. Not a good thing.

I worry about driving in Boston traffic, the rain/snow we are expecting for tomorrow, how to get to the convention center from the hotel, bedbugs, expensive food, looking silly at a gaming convention at my age and looking sillier trying the demo in front of other players.

I am also excited about going to Boston, experiencing a gaming convention, maybe meeting some other forum members as well as meeting the developers from Arenanet who are making Guild Wars 2, and seeing and playing the demo! We shall also see Sectaurs and Minnie there, and plan to meet Ms. M and Mr. C one of the days, maybe lunch on Sunday.

Off to do laundry after I decide what to bring. Will it be warm because of all the people (all the people!!) or cool because AC will be on to deal with all the people? I can't look cool so I'll settle for comfortable, which is more important to me anyway. No one will care what I look like anyway, so comfort it is. And maybe just a little coolness? *sigh* No. There will be no coolness. But that's okay- I will be surrounded with coolness!

Enough babbling.

It will be fun times. IT WILL BE FUN TIMES. 

"Make it so"

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Nothing is happening

I got nothing, people.

 J's new schedule started this week, so he no longer has weekends off, which stinks. If he's lucky he will get two days in a row, but that isn't guaranteed. It does happen this week and he will be home the next two days, so we have plans to finish up the construction upstairs. Today I bought more Kilz and another gallon of the wall paint color, as well as the rest of the molding we need. There may be pictures in the near future.

It snowed last Friday, and Sunday, and Monday so I am feeling the aftereffects of using the snowblower.

Oh, I did do laundry- how exciting, right? But lots of it was fabric that I got at the employee store last week. There was a box of "swatches" for .50 each- who could resist that? The so-called swatches ranged from a yard and a half of fleece to the best score: 10 yards of stretchy material, the kind athletic shirts and shorts are made of. Of course, it's neon yellow, but still, how could I pass up that deal?  Now to think of some use for it. :)

If nothing else, J thinks it will make some pretty snazzy ghosts for Halloween. They will practically glow in the dark.

The only pictures I've taken recently:

J does snowblowing too.
           Doesn't that make you want to give her a home?