Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Case of the Missing Undergarments

I just realized this week that L is missing roughly half of her Little Mermaid undies. My first thought was that she had accidents in them and hid them from me. After scouring the house for them I realized that couldn't be the case. I mean, really...how good of a hider can a 5 year old be?

Right around the same time, we also discovered that our gray water was backing up into the bathtub again, despite the fact that our front yard was dug up last Friday for the system to be replaced.

This led me to the obvious conclusion: Leprechauns.

Leprechauns have filched L's underpants and shoved them into our drainpipes, the mischievous devils.

I'm keeping my eyes peeled for pots of gold.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Expect the Unexpected

It's been a fun weekend. I ordered a box full of vegetable seeds in anticipation of Spring planting, and I have a wish list of 13 fruit trees prepared. I learned about the art of burbling. JP and I tried salt and vinegar flavored fried crickets. This morning, we were entertained with a private oboe concert in our dining room. I strolled around Poplar Ridge with the dog this afternoon, looking for signs of Spring...and I found some!



Four of the 50-some crocuses that I planted last Fall are beginning to stretch and wake up. There are no signs of the daffodils yet, but the Bee Balm and Yarrow are already coming back in my flower bed.

Most of the long row of boxwoods that I planted last summer have buds on them. They didn't serve as a great snow fence this year. In fact, most of the time we had snow, they were completely buried. I have great hopes for next year, however.



My Harry Lauder Walking Stick has buds, so hopefully we'll be seeing catkins swinging from it before long. Both of the Maple trees I planted have buds, but sadly, only one of the ornamental Pears does. Three others appear viable, so I'll give them some more time.

At the moment, the whole first floor of the house smells of smoked meat. JP has taken our last 2 locally raised pork roasts and has been cooking them up in preparation for Lexington style barbecue this evening.

The precipitation outside the window has gone from rain, to icy rain cracking against the glass, to drifting snow flakes, to blizzard-like intensity. The yard is scattered with Robins scratching in the snow...the sight made me laugh out loud! It isn't Spring yet, but it is on it's way!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Blowing Away My Funk

I should have titled yesterday's post: "Pity Party". I was wallowing in self pity for sure.

The wind has picked up today. One of L's friends described it as "blowing as strong as a twister out there!" I don't feel like I'm about to be blown to Oz, but it seems to be blowing away the February Funk I've been in.

The laundry is on the line, whipping around. The girls had their kites flying high earlier, and are presently muddying their second set of clothes for the day. I grilled Nathan's hot dogs on the grill for lunch. We ate at the picnic table, situated in a shaft of sunshine, and tried to keep our Cheetos from blowing away!

School is already done for the day, so I'm getting ready to open up some windows and settle down in that recliner with my book.

And by the way, our old friend the Kubota backhoe drove up the lane not long ago. Hopefully that means that our water worries will soon be a thing of the past!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Best Laid Plans

I was up late last night trying unsuccessfully to set up the online bill pay program offered by our new financial institution. After spending the better part of 2 hours inputting information, it wouldn't send the remittances I requested because they were "over the allotted amount for an unconfirmed account". I was unsuccessful as well at trying to confirm said account, so after midnight, I ended up writing out the blasted checks and addressing envelopes.

L has had a cold for the past couple of days, and is getting progressively snottier. I decided that a sick day was in order for some extra sleep for the sick girl, and for her Mom who got to bed late. I had dreams of waking up leisurely and drinking my coffee in the new recliner by the window while FINALLY having a chance to read more than 2 pages of the novel I've been trying to read.

Instead, I woke up to the annoying "low battery" bleep of one of the girls' cell phones, transmitted over the baby monitor from downstairs. I successfully found the phone and turned it off, but the dog was now awake and rambunctious. I attempted to go back to sleep, but a few minutes later J crept into the room and asked to "sleep" with us. She fidgeted and sniffed for the next 30 or 40 minutes until she heard her "sick" sister pattering up the stairs. Yup...BOTH girls were up earlier than I normally would have woken them on a non-Preschool day.

The next order of business was to proceed with the daily grind, since the coffee and book in the recliner dream was clearly not to be. I loaded up the dryer with laundry that washed during the night and found J's new camera in the washer. At this point, J ran downstairs crying, L was calling from a bathroom downstairs for help wiping, and I felt on the verge of tears myself: we had already replaced the camera that replaced the camera that we gave to Jenna that now needed to be replaced. Clear as mud, no?

I finished the burnt toast smeared with Nutella along with my cold coffee. The dryer has stopped and I need to collect laundry for the next washer load. School is beckoning, and I'm feeling defeated already at 10 AM. I need to haul my shower gear downstairs if I'm getting a shower today, since we still can't use ours or the kitchen sinks for that matter. I'll also have to force a kicking and screaming L into a shower tonight since we can't use the bathtub either.

At least there is the promise of sunshine and warmer temperatures today. I'm COUNTING on it!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Rag Bag

Another weekend has come and gone. Where DOES the time go? I've just finished moving furniture for the second night in a row. I hope we don't make a habit of this! Went East yesterday for a lovely dinner out and shopping for a new recliner (to replace the one we have been borrowing from my Mother, which was replacing our old, mouse infested one). We ended up with OUT the lovely dinner, but WITH a new recliner AND couch. (It ends up that Roomful Express was having a 70% off Going Out of Business Sale.) The new challenge is to make it fit in our living room, which is limited by a wood stove and the stairway. We may FINALLY have accomplished the impossible!

My dear friend accompanied the girls and I up to Children's Hospital today, since she knew I was nervous driving in the big city by myself. The girls (including one of hers) were quite content to watch "Annie" on the drive to and from, and we enjoyed chatting. We received very good news today: J's JIA appears to be in remission at this point. We were given the go-ahead to discontinue her oral anti-inflammatories, and do not need to return until summer. The joint issues may return, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

We stopped at Krispy Kreme on the way home for coffee (and chocolate milk) and donuts to celebrate the fact that I didn't get lost on the way there, did not lose the van in the parking garage, and made it home without incidence.

Today is Valentine's Day, by the way. L came home from Preschool with a bag full of valentines and candy. We delivered a few valentines for J after returning from the city. John handed me a stack of cards last night after we moved furniture and before turning in for the night: a valentine, my birthday card, and a mother's day card from last summer. I guess the pile of cards he had fell back behind his safe, and he just recently recovered them.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

* Deja Vu All Over Again

* Let me preface by stating that I never use the above expression, except when I am trying to pull some humor out of an unpleasant situation...or if I already used the title "Deja Vu" in a previous post.

While preparing for our Super Bowl party last weekend, I noticed a bad smell that seemed to be emanating from the girls' bathtub. It improved after I ran water down the drain for a while. Fast forward to last night, when we noticed water backing up into the bathtub when letting the lukewarm water down from the kitchen sink after doing dishes. (Deja vu number 1.) This time it did not appear to be as significant as last Spring when the entire bathtub was full of grey water and didn't go down, since it s-l-o-w-l-y drained away.

Did you notice my reference to "lukewarm" dish water? Right...we discovered when cleaning up after dinner that there was no hot water in the kitchen. (Deja vu number 2.) This is nothing new, if you've followed the on demand water heater saga that stressed me out when we first moved into our new house. This time, however, when I was researching the problem, it appeared that the pilot light was out on the gas water heater. Neither JP or I could get it re-lit. The propane tank was at 40% of capacity, so we weren't out of gas...some other problem.

Fast forward to this morning when we woke up and the house was 60 degrees. I realize that some people do this every day in the winter time, but we have set our thermostat to go up to 68 degrees about half an hour before it is time to rise and shine. Yep. The furnace was no longer running. (Deja vu number 3.) JP whipped out his Droid to check the freezing point of propane (it's 150 degrees below zero, by the way). At least this time when we flip a light switch, the lights come on!

Now we are waiting for repairmen to return our calls. (Deja vu number 4.) We are still able to use the showers on the West side of the house...that grey water still drains outside and is connected to an electric water heater. Unfortunately, the upstairs shower is still filled with 5 gallon buckets of water, so we have to go downstairs for a hot shower. Inconvenient, but not the end of the world. We have the wood stove blasting and again, we are thankful for having it here. Even better, this time we actually have firewood split and ready to use!

Sometimes being a home owner in the country is a pain in the you-know-what!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Not-So-Super Monday...


...as in Monday (bad enough as it is), following-a-late-night-where-the-hometown-team-loses-the-Super Bowl-day. **SIGH**


I have been wanting to host a Super Bowl Party for the past 5 years. This year, with the Steelers heading to Dallas for the big game, we decided to go for it. We had 10 lovely adults and 12 even lovelier children here to eat, drink, be merry and watch football on the big screen. It was so much fun, even though our team couldn't pull off a 7th Super Bowl win.


The girls got to bed too, too late. We did too, since we watched Glee before turning in. That made for a grumpy bunch of people this morning. L fell asleep in the van on the way home from Preschool. I hit a wall and fell asleep on the living room floor this afternoon while J was telling me (in GREAT detail) about the plot of the latest Magic Treehouse book she read.


The big downer, even bigger than the Steeler's loss, was going back to life as normal today...after planning, preparing, partying and cleaning up.


Things are looking up though! I got paid on Friday for the first time in about 9 months. I made more in my first paycheck than in all of 2010! I guess it is worthwhile for me to pack up everything and head back to the OR early tomorrow AM.


Gotta start packing.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Switcheroo

The weather pulled a switcheroo on us today. By 10:30, the winds were gusting up to 35 MPH and the temps started dropping. 6 hours later, it was almost half of what it was in the morning.

Groundhog Day

Last year, the term "Groundhog Day" was our attempt at humor during our long power outage. We watched the movie, starring Bill Murray, in which the main character wakes up on Groundhog Day over and over again. Just 3 days later, the big snow storm hit, and for days and days afterwards, each day was Groundhog Day: gray skies, snowing, and no power.

This year, Groundhog Day seems much more kind and gentle. I woke up to this:



and this:



and this:



Best of all, Punxatawney Phil, our resident groundhog, did NOT see his shadow, forecasting an early Spring! (See the live coverage by clicking on "Punxatawney".)