Monday, May 30, 2011

Spying

Mike keeps two binoculars by our back door and a spotting scope.  He likes to be prepared should should deer or fox or other critters appear in the field.  He also uses them for keeping an eye on the birds in the back yard.  These are old military glasses that are well made and expensive.  Still, they have a certain fascination for young ones who see them within arm's reach.

We gave Kristen a pair of binoculars and a bird book for Christmas last year, but It was Dane who had them around his neck when we set out for a walk yesterday.  We crossed a bridge over a brook and spotted a mallard floating on by.  Its head was such a shiny green that Kristen decided she had to look at it through the binoculars.  Of course, her brother did not want to give them up.
"They're mine!"
"No, actually, they are mine.  Tell him, Grandma."
"Yeah, they really are Sissy's because I gave them to her for Christmas."
That brought about some sadness, but at least some sharing as well.
"Grandma, I want you to give me binoculars for Christmas.  I like to spy on birds, too!"

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday with the Grand Kids

I spent the day with the grand kids.  We went out to lunch, went to the playground near their house, took a walk to Elfin Lake, and made Father's Day cards for their dad.  I showed my grand daughter how to fold the origami shirt and let my grand son decorate his card with markers and glue on embellishments.
Because of all the snow days, my grand daughter will not be out of school this year until June 21. That's late.  I am thinking of doing "grandma camp" with them this year on an individual basis.  Dane had never had exclusive time at grandma's house and Kristen is at the age where she both has many other activities to keep her busy and would appreciate some little-brother-free time.  Four years old and ten years old--that's entering a hard time to do things both will enjoy together anyway.  So I'm giving it some thought.

Memorial Day tomorrow.  I will make a visit to the cemetery where my parents are buried.  It seems from the amount of ads in today's paper that the proper tribute to those who have served our country would be to go shopping, take advantage of the big holiday sales.  Strange how meanings can get so lost over time.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Gemini

I read my horoscope every day.  It's not that I believe that the position of the stars is influencing my life; it's a habit and a bit of amusement over morning coffee.
I'm a Gemini--well at least I always was until someone had the bright idea to add one more sign and realign the whole astrological chart.  I continue to read my Gemini horoscope because somethings just are not worth changing.
Sometimes my horoscope will say something specific--like I will get some money.  I sent one of those to the Superintendent when I was teaching and asked her to forward it on to the payroll department.  I got a note back from her saying how she really liked my sense of humor, but I don't think she ever passed it on.  There was no extra money in my next check at any rate.
Most of the time my horoscope is much more obscure--often so vague that I forget about it as soon as I've read it and turned the page to the crossword puzzle.
But today, I liked my horoscope:
It seems that everyone around you wants to be bigger than life and famous for it.  You don't.  You are truly wise, realizing that the ordinary life-sized life is the perfect life to live in an extraordinarily beautiful way.
Living life in a beautiful way--that seems like something worth striving for.
And balance.  Balance is worth striving for as well.  I liked this post for One Day at a Time.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Times Flies

It was just one of those days that seem to have less the usual 24 hours.
Mike had a lucrative night on his e-bay site so that meant he was busy packing up things for shipping and I made the run to the post office.    While he was busy with his new listings for today, I wrapped up the  card and gift for his grandson who will be graduating from high school next week.  More packages to go out tomorrow.
I finished up some paperwork I was completing prior to a meeting with our lawyer.  Since Mike and I were both out and about at the same time (!) we decided to go out for a lunch.  We drove into Burlington and went to a place we like near the lake.  Today it was a lot nearer the lake than it has ever been before.  The whole ferry dock is under water.  Another BIG rain storm headed our way and more flash flood warnings go out as I sit here.
 This is getting tiresome.
I had left the car at the Ford Service.  On Tuesday, when I took it for an oil change, the mechanic noticed a fairly substantial leak in some vital part of the engine.  I had a rental to be returned today when we picked up the car all re-oiled, tires rotated and leaks fixed.  We never get extended warranties, but last winter we signed up for one for the car because of our travel back and forth to Florida.  It paid off today!
Finally, we had to drop off Mike's blood pressure monitoring for the past week at his doctor's office.  Since Mike rarely has a big lunch, I am sure he is downstairs now dozing away on the couch.
I really am wanting to get out for today's walk, but the thunder is already rumbling.  The rest of the little things I like to keep up on everyday kind of got away from me as well. I need to dust...again.  I really am sick of dusting.  What a thankless, never-ending task--Sisyphean.
There's an advantage to being so near-sighted.  If I take off the glasses, the dust disappears.  I'll bet I can function without my specs until it gets dark.  Yep, I just may go join Mike on that couch right now, put my feet up and sip an iced tea.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Yellow Bug

My 1973 Volkswagon Beetle was a good little car.  My father was less than thrilled with my choice--a car he was sure was designed by Hitler did not sit well with a World War II Vet.  Still it was reliable and I had it for quite a long time and still remember it fondly.

It did have a standard transmission.  I thought by that time that I was quite good at driving a standard and managing the changing of gears.  Other people did not agree and, apparently, the car itself did not agree either.  I did end up having to replace the transmission.  Maybe even more than once.  It took at least two more cars and who remembers how many transmissions before I finally realized I was meant to drive automatics and that's all there is to it.

A new feature for me on this particular vehicle was the lack of rear doors.  Wrestling a toddler and an infant into the back seat along with all the attendant paraphenalia was quite the balancing act, especially on those early mornings when I had to get to work so I had all my work stuff as well.  Packing the car was accomplished after wrangling kids and stuff down the stairs since we lived in a second story apartment.  At least there was not the worry of an accidental door openning and a kid falling out--as actually happened to at least two different people that I knew.

Another new feature on this car--seat belts--only in the front though.  I'm sorry to say they were not well used.

It was a small car, but it served our family of four quite well for a number of years.  We got a car top carrier and bike racks for the back and used it for family vacations, moving into our first house, and handling all the "Mom's taxi" duties as the kids grew.

If I wanted to replicate the VW experience, I could buy one HERE.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Yard Work

The rain stops and starts.  At least there are times to get out and do some work in my little gardens.
Bleeding heart goes from zero to sixty in no time.

Crab apple tree in bloom

Bean poles, peppers, rhubarb

Lilacs
Miniature iris...so cute

C'mon sun, hit those tomato plants.

This snowball bush finally looks like it will do something
(besides get eaten by beetles).

I love these iris.



I am kind of a dilettante when it comes to gardening.  I so admire my neighbors who have grounds that are worthy of magazine spreads.  I look in wonder at the pictures posted on so many blogs--lush, colorful, welcoming "outdoor rooms." 

Since I have retired, I have doubled or more the amount of garden space I maintain, but I don't come close to having anything that would make it into a magazine (except maybe as a before shot).  I certainly don't have anything that would qualify as an outdoor room unless you want to count the deck with its bird feeders and couple of potted plants, a table with umbrella, and mesh chairs.  It's hardly an inviting space right now--being covered with a thick coating of yellow pollen.

Mike was amazed to see the pollen coating today because, "I just wiped that table last night and swept!"
Men are so cute the way they think that doing a household task once pretty much takes care of things.

Anyway, I don't think that I will take on any more garden spots beyond what I already take care of.  It is a lot of time and a lot of work.  Mike likes the flowers and fresh tomatoes, but he hates any kind of rounded corners.  See my small attempt near the snowball bush behind the shed?  He barely tolerates that...wants everything squared off.  When we planted a new crab apple tree, I wanted to put a large circular island around it.  When we put in the fence, I was thinking about a winding stone wall.  It wasn't worth watching him hyper ventilate every time the lawn needed mowing.

So I enjoy my little bits of gardens.  I'm off the pick a bouquet or two to bring in the house.  I love the springtime fragrances.


P.S.  I am having a hard time posting comments lately--getting an AOL "Whoops!" message.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Idle Hands...

...are the Devil's workshop.

Even so, I guess I missed the BIG cut as it appears that I was not one of the 200 million people saved in the Rapture.  Oh, wait, I wasn't killed in a cataclismic scourge either.  But I am not making fun...the volcano in Iceland and the tornado in Minnesota give me pause.

Oh, well...I'll just have to carry on with amusing myself with scissors and glue dots.


I found this tray on the side of the road on Green Up VT day.
Why someone felt the need to throw an old cafeteria tray out their car window, I have no clue.
Why I felt the need to clean it up and decoupage it, no clue either.

I can amuse myself with beads and wire as well.
This is a pin I'll use with a scarf I am knitting.


All right.  I guess it is time that I looked for a job. A real job.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Crafty


I went to a card party last Sunday--making cards, not playing cards.  I really liked these two projects because they are not overly fussy.

Mike has been working on the computer long hours for the past couple of weeks.  He is selling some of his rather vast collection of antique motorcycle memorabilia.  This has given him something to do during the rainy times, but it has also drastically cut down on the amount of time I have spent in my virtual world.

So, I have found other things to do. 
 I obviously was inspired by the origami card.

These are felted slippers.  I'm working on a second pair and a hat.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Another rainy day...

The sun streaming through the east facing window woke me up today--have to admit I was a bit disoriented.  Not to fear, though, by the time my coffee was poured and my toast was buttered, it had completely clouded over.  By noon it was pouring again.

I did go out and get some garden work done in the morning--a bit of weeding, a bit of prep on the bean planting area, three tomato plants and two pepper plants in the ground.  Temperatures have really warmed up--which is not say that we won't have a big frost in the coming weeks.  I have old sheets at the ready and will listen for frost warnings.

Frost is not the concern so much as flooding, though.  The forecasts look grim--another rainy week ahead.  Sometimes it is good to live on a sandy hill and not have any kind of water view.  Well, except for what is coming out of the sky.

Whoo...big bang of thunder.  I guess I will turn off the computer and go put in some time at the library.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Food News

Oh, good!  Just in time for the strawberry season*--an article in the Huffington Post by Leo Galland, M.D. about the strawberry weight loss research findings.  It seems that strawberries increase metabolism and may suppress appetite.  They have the effect of slowing digestion which in turn controls blood sugar.  They have anti-inflammatory properties.  All this and only about 50 calories for a cup, and these little beauties get in line with blueberries, pomegranate seeds, and cherries for their health benefits.

I was disappointed that there were no recipes with the article, but it was by a doctor not a pastry chef.  I'm guessing that the weight loss benefits are overridden by things like shortcake, pie crust, and whipped cream.
See, I think I am reading some really good news, but there is always a down side.

*I wonder if there will in fact be a Vermont strawberry season this year.  The fields are still flooded.  And I just finished up the last of what I had frozen from last year.

One thing that doesn't seem to be hurt by rain is rhubarb.



Mine has not flowered for a number of years, but it is going to this year.  The flower stalks and buds are pretty scary looking.

Rhubarb goes well with strawberries--although Mike categorizes rhubarb among the nuisance vegetables and would prefer it not to contaminate his strawberries in any way.  It has long been known to have medicinal qualities--mostly laxative type effects from powders and tonics made from the roots.  The green leaves contain oxalic crystals and are poisonous.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Botox for Babies?

Has the uproar over the woman who gave her eight year old daughter Botox injections died down? Everyone wanted to know, "How could she?"

Personally, I always thought it was pretty darn outrageous that beauty contests for little girls are happening in the first place, but people push their daughters into them, slap make-up on perfect little faces, and all but make it the family buisness to make the circuit of pageants.  Then there must be corporate or private sponsors and audiences for these events.  I understand there was even a "reality" tv show about it.  How could anyone?

I was disgusted by the story but, sadly, not surprised.  In another time and place, that woman would have broken her child's foot bones and bound her feet so she would never walk normally as an adult.  Or she could have been the woman who mutilated her daughters' genitalia just so sex would always be a painful ordeal.  Foot binding, circumcision, other forms of painfully modifying the bodies children were born with--these are "cultural" practices, tolerated for far too long.  Not just tolerated, but encouraged by the involved societies for some social purpose.

So, what does this Botox incident say  about our society and cultural ideals?

Honestly, sometimes don't you just want to shout, "Wake up, world!!" 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Another Grilling



Have you noticed that the cost of groceries is skyrocketing?

If you haven't, please tell us where you shop!

I have changed my eating habits to increase fruits and grains consumption and to reduce salt (a lot) and sugar (a little bit) over the past year.  Mike is not so into what he calls "depression era" foods and "third world country" cuisine.  He likes what he likes and is not so inclined to venture into new territory.  I have been steadily building my stock of herbs and spices and increasing my variety of fresh vegetables.  Mike views these efforts with suspicion so we are ending up spending more time cooking separate meals together.

However, his daughter is a kick-a** good cook.  If she cooks something and does not make a major deal about full disclosure of all the ingredients in a big way, he will eat it and declare whatever she serves, "the best meal" he has ever eaten.  In turn, this gives just a little bit of license to try something she has served or use a recipe "kind of like what Renee made that time."

Friday night, I made barbecued country-style spareribs--because the meat was on sale and his daughter had made ribs the last time we visited--and he helped me grill them.  Had I ever, ever before asked if he would want that for supper, he would have said no, but he really did enjoy them and, while I had just one rib, there were no leftovers.  There were no leftover sweet potatoes either, but I had only roasted one and ate that myself.

Should I get that book by Jerry Seinfeld's wife about how to trick your children into eating vegetables, or should I just give it up?

Full disclosure: Mike does eat lots of fresh fruit, tossed green salad, and raw vegetables.  Also, I totally understand that I will not change him, and I don't really want to, anyway.

P.S  I hit spell check and nothing happened.  Since I have never failed to get some yellow high lights before, I assume spell check was a casualty of the recent blogger breakdown.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Words

There is a law on the Vermont books that allows for a marriage annulment in the case that one spouse or the other turns out to be a "lunatic" or "stupid."  Personally, I find that amusing--not because I think it applies to my own marriage, but just to know it's there in case Mike decides to vote Republican in the next election.

The reason this came up was that it was mentioned a recent newspaper article.  Our governor has signed a bill that is aimed at eliminating language that is deemed offensive to people with disabilities.  There will be a commission formed to review laws and suggest alternative wording.  Not a bad thing, but I wonder if it altogether a good thing.

I understand that words can be hurtful.  I remember well enough being the kid with funny cowlicks in her hair and crooked teeth and chubby thighs.  In those days we were taught to ignore it.  Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words can never hurt me.  At the same time, we were taught not to be rude and not to hurt another's feelings--I think that shows awareness that words can hurt.

I was a special education teacher for a long time and I know that one kid calling his buddy a "retard" or a "spaz" for something like dropping a pencil on the floor was just a joke to the two of them--but very painful to the learning disabled or the physically challenged student sitting two rows over.  We always tried very hard to raise sensitivity to the power of words and it was a never-ending battle.  Once kids stopped calling each other "retard" they started calling each other "sped."

So how far can you go to sanitize the lexicon?  And, then, how will it translate into the future.  Today's neutral words become tomorrow's offensive words.

Do I think it is not worth the effort?  Not at all!

The thing is a word is just a word.  Meanings shift with context.  It seems to me that it is intention that does the real damage.  If you learn that something you have said was hurtful to another you apologize and you both move on.  However, if you keep doing the offensive thing that becomes more than hurtful; it becomes abusive and just plain mean.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

On the Grill

Today I was the Grilled Grandma on the blog, Grandma's Briefs.  You can check out my adorable grand children there, and you can check out Lisa's blog.

My brother has been here for the past three days and has put in two new windows on the north facing wall of the house and has replaced the back door frame and rehung the old door.  Nice to have that talent available in the family.  Now I will have to do a spot of painting and I sincerely hope that will be it for home repairs this season.  That's what the budget says, anyway.

Tomorrow is my brother's birthday and my sister, other brother, and our spouses are taking him out for lunch.  He'd rather go golfing, but the links are way too wet.  It's a big O birthday so that deserves a bit of extra attention.  Of course my sister, being the baby of the family, can get away with making jokes about old age, but, since I am the oldest,  I am pretty much required to be nice about it.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Knitting Brain Cells Together

While I was reading about boosting brain power, I had the intuition that knitting has got to be exercise for your brain.  Sometimes knitting can be meditative.  And believe me, struggling to wrap my mind around that lace pattern for my recently completed shawl--that was a brain workout.  I can't tell you how much ripping out I did before I finally got started.  At some point my brain and my fingers just started to work together.

Well, lo and behold, it turns out that there is some scientific investigation into the benefits of knitting (crocheting and sewing, too) for the brain.

According to Dr. Yonas Geda of the Mayo Clinic, knitting may be "neuro-protective."  It may reduce memory loss and symptoms of depression, which seems to be a factor in the likelihood that mild cognitive difficulties will lead to dementia. 

An interesting article about therapeutic knitting can be found here.


Maybe it's taking the easy way out, which might not be in the proper spirit,  But, hey, way easier than reading Kafka.  That's what I think.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Senior Moments


I often use a cast iron pan.  Mine have been around a lot longer than any nonstick coating pan.  They are easy to clean when well seasoned--a wipe out, a rinse with water, another wipe out usually does the trick.  Sometimes I put the wet pan on a lit burner to dry it out and/or give it another light coating of oil.

The other day I left the burner on and went into the other room to watch TV.  I could smell something "hot" and I even felt warm, but I never made the connection until Mike came upstairs and found a glowing red pan sitting on the gas stove.

This bothered me less for the house burning down potential and more for the senility setting in probability.

I was adding it to the  recent incident of finding that I had two left handed rubber gloves and not being able to figure out right away that one was turned inside out.  Yikes!

Is it possible to still have blonde moments even after turning gray?

I got on the computer and searched "brain, aging."  God love the boomer generation.  There is all kinds of information on boosting brain power.  Although to a cynical mind a lot of it appears to be predicated on the widespread fear of dementia in boomers and conveniently  designed to get us to part with some of our retirement savings,  there is valuable information as well.

Here's what I gleaned from my reading so far.

  1. Eat healthy.  Aim for whole foods, not too much meat, lots of fruits and vegetables and whole grains.  Sugar is really bad.  Omega 3s and green tea are really good.  Get lots of the B vitamins.
  2. Supplements are readily available and lurking not far behind the eat healthy advice.  How many times are we exhorted to eat a more healthy diet and how often does it actually happen.  Supplements are big business and there are many being marketed as "brain boosting."  This is not in any way to say that supplements might not be worthwhile.  I've been a Prevention Magazine groupie forever.  So if you don't or can't eat the optimal diet, you can get pill forms of all the B-vitamins, omega oils, CoQ10, DMAE, Gotu Kola, Folic acid, etc., etc.
  3. Stay connected to others and maintain a social network.  Hey, if nothing else this makes it more likely that someone is going to notice sooner rather than later if you start to drop the bucket.
  4. Exercise your body.
  5. Exercise your mind.  There are sites where you can play "brain games" and sites where you can order (purchase) complete, "personalized" brain fitness programs.  Have to say, the one that offered a free trial for only $14.95 kind of hurt my brain a little bit.
  6. In the exercise vein, there are books such as:
  • Will Shortz: Sudoku
  • Lawrene Katz: Keep Your Brain Alive
  • Gary Small: Improve Your Memory Now
  • Elizabeth Miles: Tune Your Brain (about the role of music in brain boosting)

I am not endorsing these books, just giving examples of what can be found.  The exercise approach makes a certain amount of sense to me--the use it or lose it thing.  Apparently the brain likes surprise.  I have even read that brushing your teeth with the "other" hand is supposed to  forge new cell connections.  (Having not strong dominance, I have always switched my toothbrush back and forth between hands, so this will most likely not do anything for me.)

I'm off to check my stove one more time and then I'm sitting down to read some Kafka.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

I just received a card from my darling daughter:
                        
Mom, I thought about you today
while playing with my food...
...after spoiling my appetite
with cookies...
before leaving my stuff
on the floor...
to go blindly follow
my friends in whatever
they were doing                  


On the inside: God, I love being a grown-up!
There you have it!  The heart break of motherhood.  Your children are going to ignore the most valuable training you worked so hard to instill.  Rebellion is inevitable.

And you just cannot follow them around for ever insisting that they floss, drive safely, be polite, make only wise choices.  You cannot because they have totally perfect photographic recall of the times they watched you resisting these very efforts from your own mother.

Do you think that they just didn't notice all your own bad habits--the ones you thought you had so cleverly kept in check while they were around?  HA!  Your children may or may not take on your exact bad habits, but they absolutely will use them to justify their own behavior.

Actually for not being a perfect super mom, I got two pretty good kids.  I would like them as people even if I didn't have to love them because I gave birth (after hours of agonizing labor...).

And I have to admit, I got two pretty good grand kids, too.  And what could be better than taking on the grandma role while watching your daughter be the mom.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

It's Done!

My hopes for a lovely, spring-like May that were so quick to bubble up last Sunday with its sunshine have been dashed.  Rain and more rain.

The library has benefitted.  I spent extra time working on my clean up project for three hours yesterday. I'll put in another afternoon on Friday.  Areas of floor are visible now, and by the end of the time yesterday I was starting to think there may be an end in sight--at least for round one.

Ar home, I took out a large load of blankets and sheet sets that we no longer use but I had stored for "just in case we need them."  I looked for a an organization that was collecting bedding and blankets to send to Alabama tornado victims, but ended up taking the whole pile to the Salvation Army.  There are people being displaced right here in Vermont because of flooding as I was informed when I called the SA to inquire.  So they happily took what I had.

Finally, the wet and chilly weather has given me plenty of time to knit and I have finally finished my lace shawl.  I'll actuall get to use it with this dreary cold snap.

The funny thing about it is that I used a pattern from the book, One Skein Wonders.  This shawl took every single bit of two skeins of yarn--2000 meters instead of the 1000 specified--and--I knitted only 105 of the 162 rows called for.  Obviously, I did something wrong, but I have no idea what.  My finished dimensions were right and my gauge was not too off.  Oh, well, it fits me and I am happy with it.  I am mighty sick of knitting lace, though.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

History Lesson


With sincere apologies for my photography skills (or lack thereof--these photos do no justice to the actual artifacts) and the difficulties I seem to be having with formatting this post tonight.......




All these pictures hang in our office space.  The George Washington and the Abraham Lincoln above are "school house" pictures.  They would have once hung in a classroom.

 This is a newspaper front page that Mike found in a barn in Rhode Island.  It is The New York Herald, dated April 15, 1865 (price: four cents). The important news was that President Lincoln had been assassinated.
This is a map of the United States showing 30 states and the District of Columbia.  I am not sure of the date.  It was published by Ensigns, and Thayer of New York.  There are pictures around the border of significant historical events--the landing of the Pilgrims, Battle of Bunker Hill, and more.  Mike found this in a ditch behind a building where he was working as a security guard many years ago.  He is very much a student of American history so these things really mean a lot to him.

These things have as much--maybe even more--prominence in our home as his collection of Harley-Davidson/other American motorcycle memorabilia (which is how he made his living) and all things Samuel Colt, RobinHood, etc., (his other hobby and confined to his man cave).

I think they work nicely as office decor, but what I cherish about them is the memory of two-year old grand children pronouncing "George Washington" and "Abraham Lincoln."

My grand daughter, at nine, has now become quite interested in the newspaper page.  It seems to make something she's learned about in school a bit more real to her.  We get a kick out of her interest in the world around her and now extending that interest to history--makes for a satisfying "grandma moment."

 

Monday, May 2, 2011

News

Spring cleaning.  A time honored tradition.  It used to consume an entire week--our annual spring break in April when I was teaching.  Now I do things differently, small jobs spread over the month of May.  I started Monday by washing the upstairs windows and then leaving them open to let in the fresh air. 

I know that New Year's Day is celebrated in the dead of winter, but spring is the season that really sings "fresh start, clean slate, things are getting better."  It is easy to look out through newly polished glass at newly budding trees and cheery yellow daffodils and just feel that the world is a better place because winter is over and spring is gracing us, at least for today.

Well, today, I think, the world really is a better place.  I don't celebrate war and killing, but I am not at all sorry that bin Laden is dead.  He was a murderer and a mad man who only defiled humanity by his actions.

It would be over reaching to say that we now have a fresh start, that things will only get better.  The man did not act alone and evil will continue to swirl and settle on the earth just as the dust will swirl and settle on my window panes.

Today, though...I breathe a little easier and believe that justice will prevail...at least for today.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May Day

After record breaking rain during the month of April, the new month is off to a more promising start.  It was sunny today and buds are starting to pop out.  The grass is nice and green.  The town crews are all busy trying to get the roads patched up again.  Nobody wants to complain, though, because a detour around a washed out back road is nothing compared to having your entire town flattened.

It was a good day for a bit of garden work.  The perennials are just starting to poke through, but the weeds have already gotten quite the toe hold.  There also seems to be a bumper crop of ants about this year.  Well, I'll have plenty to occupy my time for the coming days.

I have to see about getting two windows replaced and the back doorsill needs some work too.  The front door was damaged by wind, so now we add that to the list.  Sometimes I question the wisdom of home ownership.

Mike had a fairly successful trip to Pennsylvania and came home with a good chunk of change that is going into the second house fund.  I know.  What are we thinking??

He immediately hated the new pillow on sight.  He tried it to humor me, but ended up throwing on the floor in the middle of the night.