Saturday, March 31, 2012

Quilting Down the Home Stretch

As I mentioned in my last post, I've gotta get my buns in gear and finish up my BOM blocks.  I was half a month behind, and had I not worked like a fiend today, I would end up being a month and a half behind tomorrow!  (What an idiotic sentence.)  These are from the free BOM Craftsy class.  I'm trying to only use the Christmas stash that I own.  Fail.  I bought a couple of new slabs 'o' fabric last week at the shop hop.  My bad.   Some are with the cream background and some are with white backgrounds.   (I just uploaded the pics and they aren't behaving.... I got a note that said I'm out of picasa space and I need to buy more.  Is this why so many of you have switched to other providers???)

Feb Block #1a HSTs, Finished last Feb.....
Feb Block #1b, same fabric, different placement.  I don't actually like the way these fabrics look in these blocks. Done with whites.  Meh.
Feb Blocks 2, Chunky Chevron, done with creams. Pretty nice. HSTs the regular way.

March Blocks, Foundation pieced strings, creams. Pretty fun.  Still didn't match up on the cream diamond, but not awful.

March Blocks, Foundation piece strings, called Modified something, with whites.  Very busy and very not properly matched.  Arg.  Remind me not to sew when I'm tired.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Packing Already? Seriously?

Yep, I am.

Just like the birds that sense the longer day, the bison that move to find the new spring grasses, and baseball fans who do what ever it is baseball fans do, I start packing with the longer day and warmer temps.

Last week's mind-blowing record highs and fantabulous weather started it.  I was looking for a nice summer top to wear last week, and ended up packing my summer street clothes.  Every year I tell myself I'm not going to take as much and every year I don't do that. Maybe this year....

I also ended up packing most of my books, because they had over taken the laundry room/office.  I was looking for one little thing and ended up re-packing and condensing several boxes.  I have cut down on books, knowing that the Mad Crew has a goodly supply of stuff, but I still have my own field guides and geyser guides.  Plus I try to take some non-parkie stuff for those few occasions when I need to get my head out of the park.

Anywho, I spent most of yesterday doing paperwork crap for the boys.  I've said before that I'm so thankful the safety net is out there for them, but it comes with tons of paperwork.  I'm hoping to get the info into a more universally useful format.  I have some of it under control, but now that I use my dumb phone for more and more info, it means adding it to the phone the old-fashioned way.... one entry at a time. No nifty linking cables from the Mac to the phone.  There's an iPhone in my future, but since I've already decided what this year's earnings are going to, and it'll be expensive... the phone may not happen for another couple of years.  And by then, I'll need a new laptop.....  I am thinking about getting an iPad for play and keep this laptop for more work/life related things.  Maybe.....

Anywho, with the changes in our lives, I'll be chained to paperwork, meetings, and more paperwork for the boys in the next few weeks.  I sorta have this naive hope that we won't have to do such extensive paperwork again, unless we end up with a bunch of ultra-conservative morons in state and national government, who believe the best way to balance a budget is on the backs of my kids and/or at the expense of a clean, safe environment.  Could be a double whammy.

So to make a short story long, I'm thinking I won't have much blogging time for the next few weeks.  I love reading your adventures, but can't always leave a note, but know that I'm with ya! I do have a few quilty things to finish up, along with a flamingo outfit, but then it will be time to 'close' up the crafty corner. (Did I mention that in lieu of summer clothes, I'm taking more sewing stuff??? :)  )

I did get DH's 'crappy' quilt bound and done!  I won a batik jelly roll, then added leftovers from our giant bed quilt and FTD's log cabin quilt to make it big enough for using on a sofa or up at the lake.  I double sewed corners and such to make it nearly indestructible so he can trash it all he wants.

DH's stripy quilt--the one he can beat to heck.  And I suspect finding it laying around outside will be the norm.
I also make a mini-quilt that I thought I'd enter in the Sauder Village (Ohio) Quilt Festival.  The Challenge this was to use Ohio Star~~ 'natch one of my favs~~using Bear Essentials fabric in one of several suggested colorways.  I bought the starter pack in fall colors, which looked sumptuous in the store and after I ironed them.  Then I started messing with them on my computer. The other contest stipulations were use at least 4 Ohio Stars, and one colorway, and one neutral, also from Bear Essentials.  Well, I worked and worked and for the life of me couldn't find a combo I liked.  So I decided screw it, I'll just make and enter in the plain old category.  So I worked and worked, and stitched and ripped and by golly every single point was perfect!  And you know 'perfect' is not my long suit, I really don't have a patience for it.  So here 'tis:  I call it Bearly Up to the Challenge~~get it???

Bearly Up to the Challenge, by yours truly, 3/25/12.  Mostly Bear Essentials fabric.

The background fabric is Timeless Treasures, Are We There Yet? Line.  It says things like, "Don't feed the bears," "Are we there yet," "Take a hike," "Pack it in, pack it out" and stuff.  Get it.... BEARS...?

Will ya look at those points?  All of them!! Perfect!!
Not being a precision or even a good quilter, I just went simple, simple classic quilting on it.  Yea for me!  Then I went back online to get the registration forms and read the following:


Are you kidding me?  Why the hell didn't I read the big print first?  Oh, because it was buried several pages after all the other info.  Crap.  So now I have a beautiful little quilt that needs a really special home.  And there's only one I can think of, and that's my West Yell friend Lois, who hand quilted FTD's quilt.  She'll be so happy!  And I'm so proud that it's so darn good!

Today, I'm back to PT, then off to BadAmy's to help unload the few leftovers from the show she did last weekend.  She did fabulously well, and we're just tickled pink for her.

Tomorrow, back to the paperwork/meeting grind.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

March Madness, Our Way

This has been the weirdest March weather evah.  We're used to up and down, back and forth, never knowing what the next hour will bring weather in March.  But for the past week, it's been June here. I know we'll pay for this, but the payback sure won't be too bad.  The extra upshot for me is that this is the weather I don't get usually, because I leave Ohio before it's usually this warm, and it almost never gets this warm at Madison Junction.  Win-win for me.  I know it's just a teaser and tomorrow is forecast to be only in the 60s.... only in the 60s says she like that's crummy.  "Only the 60s" is still 15 to 20 degrees above normal!!  The only thing that could make this better is if the Whiporwills come back sooner and if the fireflies come out.  That's pretty much the only two things I miss from NW Ohio summers.

This year, I'll also be missing FTD.  It's official, he's staying home this summer. We still don't have a roommate, but if all else fails, I'll impinge upon the goodness and kindness of my nephew Rydie to stay here.  We have AC, his house doesn't.  Pretty easy sell.  And my niece, Sally Seam Rip-Her and her  son, Lil Ripper, have volunteered to come over whenever Rydie or roommate can't stay.  There will also be a trained provider from Lucas DD here, so he'll be fine.  But the best news is that FTD will be working 15 hours per week here in Oak Openings!!  One of the rangers, who was his adviser for his Eagle project, has been working with kids with disabilities from his HS for a couple of years.  She and one of the teachers there set up a summer job program with some grant money.  It almost didn't happen because getting most kids to Oak Opening is tough.  All FTD will have to do is to hop on his bike and ride the mile over to the shop.  Or maybe someone can pick him up, but we'll worry about that later. He doesn't really like being outside that much any more, but for pay he'll learn to be happy.  Awesome.
FTD and Ranger J on "his" boardwalk.

So now there will be three things I will really miss..... and he's number one.

Other news, he's started PT to try to get his posture straightened up... he's getting slouchier and slouchier, and there's no medical reason for it.  Sheesh.  And I'm in PT for my Achilles tendon, which I managed to bugger up last summer. Actually, the working hypothesis is that over the many years, I've had micro-tears in it, and it finally gave up the ghost last summer.  The PTs are really working it over, trying to get me back in shape before May.  Youch.
The arrows in this pic show all the places that hurt on my heel. Well, not all the places.......

The other news is that after 7.5 years, I finally managed to finish my Badlands Quilt!!!!  This is a big deal for me, since it's the first quilt I've ever designed and stuff.  I've done lots of others before I really had any clue at all what I was doing, so this is my first "real" quilt.  Only two or three of the corners actually match up, there's a chunk of one block missing, so I sorta glued some fabric in there, and after I got it all together, I realized that some of the pieces don't really belong where they ended up. Who cares? I took it over to my LAQ last week, and put the binding on all by my little ol' self yesterday.  Ta-daaaa!!!!!
My North Dakota Badlands Quilt!  Finally!!

For those of you from Nort Dakoota, you'll be saying to yourself, "Is that supposed to be the Little Missouri River?  Why is it blue, instead of brown?"  Artistic license, of course. And see the green along the edges of the river?  Pretty artsy-fartsy, eh?

Snazzy new quilt rack in the newly painted bright yellow dining room!
And you'll also be saying to yourself, where did she get that cool quilt rack?  DH and his bro did the oak, and he and I put the curtain rod on it.  Easy peasy, and super quick to change quilts. It does hang out farther from the wall than I had hoped, but it also gives a nice dimensional look to it.  Happy dance.

And here's one of the things I really like about our house.  The shadows.  We get all sorts of interesting things going on, like this one:

Beware the Buzzards of March!
Which comes about from this:  Buzzy the Buzzard.  He's a treasure we picked up at the Dog Bark Park in Cottonwood Idaho, in July 2000, on our Grand Adventure.  And that's General Anthony Wayne standing next to him.  They guard the house pretty well.

Did I ever tell you that we named our house Buzzard Crest?  Not to be confused with Falcon Crest, mind you.

And one last goodie:

This was DH's Father's Day gift last year.  He drove one of the yellow busses in YNP in 1964.  Have I ever written about that?  I'll figure it out eventually.  I'm also hoping to have someone make a similar window of Old Faithful.  Next year, maybe, when I have money again!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

End of an Era

I wrote a while ago about coming of age issues with my kids.  We 'celebrate' the milestones differently.  And you'd think after 21 years, we'd be used to having the rug pulled out from under us.

It's happened again, and we didn't see it coming.  We never do.

FTD is at the Vocational HS.  He put in 4 years at the academic HS,  and as well as grades K-12, he attended the pre-kindergarten and 2 years of special needs pre-school.  In the state of Ohio, a child can stay in public school until the day before his/her 22nd birthday.  We've taken the position that it's a safe environment and they might actually learn something.  Children with special needs are usually pushed out of the system asap by staff and administrators, because of the cost of educating and transporting these children.  We pushed to keep them in public school, despite of all the heartaches that sending them to school creates. We fought battles at every, and I do mean every, step.  We thought our plan would be to let FTD stay one more semester at the Voc HS.  His birthday is early February, so he could get one more complete semester in.

Not gunna happen.  I should have figured something was up, when 2 people I didn't know showed up at FTD's IEP (Individualized Educational Plan) meeting.  Shoulda known. You'd think I'd have learned this by now... after attending more than 20 of these meetings for FTD and 20 for DD.  But no.  I ended up being blindsided yet again.

One of the newbies at this meeting was apparently assigned the role of "You be the one to tell her."  Tell her that they don't actually have a place for him next year.  Nothing to teach him.  Nothing for him to do, except babysit him.  Her words.  I've often said that school has often been nothing more than glorified babysitting but to hear it from the other side of the table was pretty sad.  She couched her info, under the guise of things like, 'You know he's way older than the other students," and "He's not really interested in his classes" and other junk.  Duh.  He was at the meeting and he clearly, and with out hesitation said, "Well, if it was something I liked it would be interesting."  Sadly, they had no program for something he likes.  They wouldn't let him in the Transition-to-Work program because he'd only be here for a semester and that wouldn't work.  Wha??? The why weren't they doing that for him this semester?  Because last year when he was in the supposed Jobs Training Program the only thing he learned is that they don't like his hair or beard.  Jeezus-f-ing-.....  Seriously?  That's the only thing you could see in my son?  Really????  They didn't look very hard. And apparently they decided not to look this year.

I don't feel we've wasted the last two years, but we surely didn't get anything but a safe place to exist.

I don't want a life of mere existence for my children.  I want them to live.

Now what?

Our caseworker from the county board of developmental disabilities was there with us.  He and our other caseworkers have sort of hinted around that they didn't think much of public education for children with special needs.  They hear the griping all day long from parents.  But I'm an educator.  I wasn't ready to give up.  I am now.  And good riddance.

Without our permission, the newbie at the meeting contacted the Ohio Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation (talk about a crappy name) to get FTD enrolled in that program.  We met with a caseworker there when he turned 18, and it was pretty dismal.  The person we met did nothing to make us feel like we were making a good choice or that this would be a good thing.  So I'm treading pretty lightly now.  Donn assures us that things will go better this time.  Lord I hope so.

So the upshot is that on May 17, my older son will be done~~forever~~with public education.  The end of a very long and very trying era.

From day one at school, we've held fast to the same goals for him.
1.  To be polite.
2.  To have friends.
3.  To be treated with dignity.

Have we met these goals? He is polite. Very polite.

He has two friends and feels that's plenty.

I don't know if he's been treated with dignity or not at school.  I know his fourth grade teacher did.  His pre-school teacher did.  His HS Science and Ind. Tech teachers did.  His grade school music teacher did.  Beyond that, I have doubts. 

I won't be here for his last day of school.  I could pull him now, and spend many more precious minutes with him before I go.  He still wants to stay here this summer, and we're now working furiously to find a room mate for him, in addition to his caregiver from the Board of DD.  The newbie woman asked at the meeting if he wanted to 'bother' to attend the Senior recognition day.  To bother to attend?  Jeezus, lady....  She'll think of some kind of 'certificate' they can give him.  Crap, lady he earned~~earned!!~~ a high school diploma!!! I'm so tempted to just say his last day will be May 4th, then DD and I can leave on Monday for Yellowstone, and get set up well before I have to report for duty.  And he can start the next chapter of his life, too.

Have I ever mentioned that having children with special needs means we're in a permanent state of grief? There are moments of joy, like watching DD at his party this weekend. But those moments are few and far between.  I hear parents with typically developing kids who worry about drugs, alcohol, and sex.  That would truly suck, too.  Maybe being a parent is mostly about worrying.  Oughta be a better system.....  maybe when I'm Queen of the World, I'll figure it out.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Birdies, Quilts, and a Couple of Parties

A new birdie season has begun here in the Midwest.  I don't think we'll have many more Snowy Owl reports from here (I missed them all, drat), but the spring migration has begun.  The Woodcocks are back putting on their awesome Sky Dance. Buzzards are all over again, though sadly the roost just up the road from us is no longer used as it once was.  For a good many years, we would have upwards of 300 Buzzies roosting for several days.  Somewhere I have my 35mm prints of them sitting all over the neighbor's house, holding their wings out to dry off, before continuing north.  Awesome sight.

The 75 or so Pine Siskins that ate us out of house and feeder this winter are gone, so our resident Chickadees, Nuthatches, and Downies have the run of the feeders now.  But for excitement, Mr. and Mrs. Cooper are back. DH spotted the Missus carrying new sticks in her beak, while the Mister sat and preened.  Yesterday, the Mister was back, just hanging around waiting for who-knows-what.  Oddly, the little birds didn't seem to mind his presence.  Usually, when the hawks are around, the woods go still and silent.  Not so yesterday.

Mr. Cooper, greatly cropped.
The fun part about seeing Mr. Coop yesterday was that FTD spotted him first. Last week, DD saw the Pileated and went berserk.  He could not believe how big it was!  We might make a birder out of him yet.

Party Stuff
Speaking of DD, we had his party on Sunday.  The weather was phenomenal~~70 degrees, sunny, and no wind.  Holy cow, we could get used to that! ('Course last night we were hammered with fierce thunderstorms... a small home nearby was hit by lightening and burned the whole roof off.)  Today is fabulous again!

I cannot begin to fathom the generosity of our friends and family.  They showered DD with gift cards and cash, and several really thoughtful, just-for-him gifts.  Before the party, he kept telling us that he was going to sit in the basement and watch the race.  We said fine. (Also meant we got soooo much work done down there.)  We went with an open house idea, so every time someone new arrived or someone left, he was right there. He isn't often speechless these days, but every time he opened a card or gift, he was just.... speechless.  By the time it dawned on him to start adding up the numbers, he was completely bowled over. And so are we.  We told him he can't spend any of it, until the thank you notes are out, and we need for him to settle down before blowing it all.  He has so much that he wants... When we had FTD's Eagle Scout party, he had a tough time trying to figure what to do with his take.  Not so DD.  Any who, the party was grand and fun and I'm sure glad we did it for him.  Later on, in another post, I'll run down how last week's IEP meetings at FTD's school have left us laying on the floor, once again, as the rug has been pulled out from under our feet.

Quilty Stuff
Next up, I did get some sewing done last week, but haven't had a minute to post, so here 'tis!

First, I participated in my first quilt swap.  It was called New Beginnings, and it was for mini-quilts.  I figured I might be able to do this.  My partner, Marsha, is from Mississippi and suffered through Katrina, so her quilt for me is called Three Waves, and it's a beauty!  It arrived yesterday, along with some swag, and I'm giddy! Check out Marsha's Blog, Anything with a Needle.

It was sunny and dry enough to hang it on the back deck for a picture!  And the cool part for me is that this is a pattern I decided I should try last week. I'm taking the free BoM Craftsy class and this month shows how to do this.  Win win for me!!!!!  Now I have a real one that I can look at, while trying to figure out how to do it!  Woot!

And since I'm running a little slow on sewing projects (like I still have one of Feb's BoM blocks to do, in addition to both of March's), I'll be mailing Marsha's quilt tomorrow morning.  So here 'tis:

It's a Thimbleberry pattern (for a bigger quilt) that I found at one of my LQSs, The Quilt Foundry in Maumee, Ohio.  I didn't care for the colors used in the pattern, so I really switched them up, much brighter.  And I can tell you now that I either need to spend hours and hours of quality time making triangles, or give up on them!  On the bottom row, below the bird house, they aren't too bad, the ones at the top really suck.  I also realized, after I got my beautiful quilt from Marsha that I didn't add a way to hang it.  I read just a last week about a way to put corner deals on a quilt, and presto!  Marsha did that for mine!  Now I know what that should look like. Next time, I'll do better, I promise.  Anywho, I'll get it in the mail tomorrow.  

Also last week before the party-cleaning-blitz, I finished the mini-quilts for the West Yellowstone Whack-a-doodles silent auction.  The W-a-D's are a Relay for Life team, and each of the gals is fun, so when you put them together, look out!  My special peep on the team, Miss Molly put out a note on FB that for $20 the W-a-Ds will put a purple toilet in your yard!  Or better yet, the yard of one of your friends. Why do you ask would you want a purple toilet in your front yard?  To show folks that you want to FLUSH cancer!  Both of my parents succumbed to different cancers, so I'm all for this.

Or you can bid on a purple quilted toilet!  I sized it to fit right over your current toidy, which I guessing isn't purple.  (If it is, I soooooo want to see pics of it!)

The applique stitching doesn't show up very well in this pic, but it's there, honest.
I mentioned in my title 'a couple of parties.' The other party will be this Friday, my place (or hopefully yours if you're not here in my local patch) and it's a Cocktail Party Girls' Night Out!  DH is in South Carolina this week, playing golf or something, the boys are in school, and the house is clean.  That can only mean one thing~~another party!!!!!!  With DH gone, and me hounding the boys, the house will stay clean.  Yesterday, I spent most of the day in my bedroom chair, enjoying the clean-ness, and today I'm in the family room, enjoying the clean-ness of it and the kitchen.  (Yes, the kitchen is clean... the boys and I will be eating out a lot this week, heh heh heh.)

So that's only a partial wrap up of the past couple of weeks.  The business with the boys is actually taking lots and lots of time.  More on that later. Thanks for stopping by and don't forget:

Friday, March 16, after work till whenever
Girls' Night Out Cocktails!!!!!
Be here!!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Happy 100th Birthday Girl Scouts!

For a several months I've been trying to wrap my head around this:  I've been a Girl Scout for 50 years.  That's half the life of the organization.  Wow.  I'm now the Training Peep for my area Service Unit, and I've been spending more time with troops lately!  I really miss being with kids when I'm home.  I'm up to my eyeballs in kids at Yellowstone, but since my sons are now young adults, running amuck with the little tykes has been missing in my life.  I think I've found my new at-home niche.

And what a grand time to re-up with the group that shaped so much of who I am now. All over the country today, and in many parts of the world, Girl Scouts are getting together in Promise Circles, Sing-a-longs, and Scouts' Own to celebrate the fun of being a girl and a Girl Scout.  In Savannah Georgia, Julliette Gordon Low's hometown, there are ceremonies and parties galore today.

Here in my Service Unit, we held a Scouts' Own and Sing-a-long at a historic movie theater on Saturday.  I was privileged to be the MC of this deal.  It's what I do, after all.  I found a Promise and Law Candle ceremony and found girls to be the readers.  While they were reading, I had a PowerPoint program going that coordinated with each part.  After this solemn part, it was time to start the singing!  We sang some oldies but goodies, and some new songs including one called Ignite which was written for the Rock the Mall event in June in DC. (I sooooo wanna be on that stage!!!  Don't you think they need a singing Ranger/Girl Scout from Yellowstone National Park as part of the act?  If I had any clue how to get a gig in the form of a detail from NPS, I'd be there in a heart beat!!!!!) The biggest hit of the afternoon was probably a 'song' called Chicka Boom.  It's a nonsense thing and each time we 'sing' it, we take on a different persona.  I do the usual versions, like super loud, then in a whisper, under water, and then I sort of let the kids shout out suggestions.... this time we did the Queen, Valley Girls, Elvis, and Scooby Do.  I never know what the kids will throw at me. It's not much of a song, but it is a ton of fun!

Maumee Indoor Theater

Dancing in the aisles!

More spontaneous dancing!

We ended by having all the girls sit together in the center section, and we grown-ups circled them and held hands, creating our own version of a Promise Circle.  We promised the girls that we would lead them and love them, no matter what.  In return they recited the Girl Scout Promise and Law for us.  Win win.

On my honor, I will try
to serve God and my country,
to help people at all times, 
and to live by the Girl Scout Law.

I will do my best to be
honest and fair,
friendly and helpful,
considerate and caring,
courageous and strong, and
responsible for what I say and do,
and to
respect myself and others,

respect authority,
use resources wisely,
make the world a better place, and
be a sister to every Girl Scout.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Planning Ahead

We're spending an inordinate amount of time and cash cleaning/fixing up the house this week.  I never bother to even spit shine the place, if I don't have a party coming up.  We didn't have so much as a dinner visitor since I got home last October, so the place has been in a shambles.

We're having a party on Sunday to celebrate All Things DD!  He's been in HS for 4 years, and will complete 2 more a the vocational HS FTD currently attends.  When FTD was about this age, he earned his Eagle Scout rank, so we threw a big party for him.  It was his bar mitzvah, graduation, confirmation, and birthday party all rolled into one. His Coming of Age party.  So now, we're throwing a really early graduation/Amtrak/Nascar and We're never in Ohio for his birthday party now.  We'll be back out west by the time the rest of his peeps walk across the stage.  And he has sworn up and down that he won't do it.  Even talking about it makes him turn pale.  No problem.  FTD did walk with his peers, but he also had more typically developing friends than DD does.

So it's party time at our house.  I've been thinking that maybe we could add 'a little color' in the dining room foyer.  Boy oh boy did I ever.  So far the folks who have seen it have been kind enough to say they like it.  We sure do.  I wish I could remember what FTD said about it.... so screwed up and so right on all at the same time.

Since the train layouts are in the basement, much of the party activity will be down there.  And that meant covering up the utility mess.  DH did a great job on it.  He's down there even as I type sawing stuff up.  Dunno what kind of mess there will be, but maybe just maybe he'll clean it up.  I wrote out a list, and he actually acknowledged that it looked like a plan.  We even got a little bit more done, in the form of hanging a door on his Man Cave.  What ever he's up to now, I think he wants to surprise me. So I'll wait till he's finished.  (After I wrote that rant about what a slob he is, I realized that since he's playing FB Scrabble now, he might actually read my posts.  Oops, my bad.  But the truth hurts sometimes.)

Anywho, if you've ever been involved with a household project you know fully well that one thing leads to another.  In this case is was carpet cleaning. I haven't had them done since forever, so today it was.  They look great.  I picked out nearly-white carpet for the living room, hall, and our bedroom, and everyone, and I do mean everyone thought I was nuts.  In my defense, I must say that the LR and hall look pretty dang good for 15+ years old carpet.  It's a nice, simple berber.  Our BR hasn't faired quite as well, so my earnings from next summer will go to real hardwood floors and area rug for our room next fall.  We are on round two of family room carpet, but we knew that would wear out soonest.

So tomorrow, we put the furniture back, and finish the dusting and tidying.  Then I tackle the kitchen....

or maybe not....

Saturday, March 3, 2012

In Like a Lion, and Lots of Boring Stuff

Wow, when did March get here?  Here in the Midwest it has arrived lion-style.  I can do without the sustained 30 to 40 mph winds.  I've discovered that I don't sleep well on windy nights. Until 3 years ago, we had 100 foot tall pines plumb against the house.  They were top heavy, having been plantation planted many, many years ago, meaning they only had needles near the tops where they could get sun.  The lower branches die off.  When we cleared the lot to build the house, these top heavy trees really, really swayed  in the wind.  When they have forest friend trees, they sway less, supporting one another.

So to make a short story long, for 10 years I wondered which tree was going to come crashing down into the house.  Given how our house is constructed (with structural insulated panels~~SIPs), if they were to hit the roof, there are no rafters to stop them.  I feared that one of the kids would be killed in his bed.  We finally took down the trees that were tall enough to hit the bedrooms of the house.  I still don't sleep well on windy nights.  Sigh.  The good news is that we didn't have any tornadic activity here, but I'm waiting to see if a call comes out from the Red Cross for shelter volunteers.  Sadly, I can't go this week, since we're getting ready for All Things DD Day next Sunday.

So here's the catching up news.  I begin work at YNP on May 13.  Yea!  I called two of the parks that are closer to me (so to speak), but one didn't hire anyone new this year, and the other had two new positions and 5 military vets on the list who qualified.  Oh well.  Too bad for me, Yellowstone is my fall-back position.  ::grinning grinning grinning::  Since I've made this trip 4 other times, I'm not going to sweat the details this time.  A week or so before I leave I'll check the weather maps and pick a route.  I prefer the North Dakota route, which is actually shorter, but if they or eastern Montana are having blizzards, we'll go the Iowa way.  But if Iowa is having tornadoes, we'll go north.  Sheesh. We still haven't found a room mate for Tommy but I'm plugging away at it. 

Other news on the nature front, our buzzards are back and they are waaaaaay early!  The woodcocks are back in NW Ohio, but I haven't heard any right here yet.  Now that bluebirds and robins are year-round residents it's a little harder to get excited about them.  But they are so much brighter now.  The goldfinches started showing more gold two weeks ago.  And since the raccoonnss totally trashed the feeders a couple of weeks ago, we haven't fixed them, so no feeding at the moment.  Drat.  That's on this week's To-Do list.

In housekeeping news, we have 5 or 6 projects running all at the same time.  Now I confess that when I'm sewing, I often have multiple projects in the works.  But they pack up nice and neatly in to smallish bags are are put on the shelf.  When DH has a project in the work, it involves getting out every tool he owns, which he never,  I repeat nEveR puts away.  It's always my fault that he can't find stuff.  I use my best passive-aggressive approach to get him to do it, but alas, he's totally immune to that.  (Probably the reason he looks to be only pushing early 60s instead of the actual 71 that he is, he can easily let things roll off his back.)  Then I finally get pissed off and put it away.  "Away" now means a small, rolling scaffold that is now his tool pile. You should see the size of his workshop.  Truly, it's huge.  And truly he can't find a damn thing.  I've labelled, corralled, marshaled stuff, worked with him, worked without him, all to no avail.

So to make another short story long, we have several projects all strewn all over.  We've finally picked a design for the quilt display rack in the dining room which is now painted a fantastic yellow.  I'd show you the pics, but now the partially completed rack is on the table, the small table had to be moved to the center of the room, etc, etc..  Crap.  He's waiting to finish that until he speaks with his bro, the real woodworker who would kill someone if they don't put the tools back properly, but bro is getting a title to a new car and has his phone turned off.  Crap again.  (Okay, a few pics below.)

So the other huge project is in the basement.  Because of the design and construction of the house, we have two locations for utility systems.  We're now trying to hide the pump, conditioner, and basement floor heater, since they are next to the crafty corner and train stuff.  We've had lots and lots of ideas, all of which ended up with rolling doors.  He found some super cheap ones that will work perfectly. And omg, he got the end boxed in! We'll try to get it "paneled" tomorrow.  Tonight he's off to a Northwestern Ohio Rails to Trails annual planning retreat.

Foyer, before.

Dining room, before.

Dining room, during.

Foyer, after.

Other side of foyer, after.

The new beast..... yep, right in front of the boob tube in the family room.

Basement trains and a new moving wall on the far side.

New moving wall by the Crafty Corner.

What's behind door #8?  Yep, there's 8 individual sliding door panels.  Three of them will be joined together, so I can put my design wall on it.  At the moment, DH wants the other doors to remain singularly.  We'll see.

One of the doors moved, to access the freezer.  Pretty nifty.  The wall helps to cut down some of the pump noise.  And boy is it noisy.

So here are the things I didn't get to write about this week:
Quilt for swap is done.
Ranger Anderson quilts have been mailed (short version, we raised over $500 on the two quilts and stuff.)
All Things DD Day (Sun. March 11)
Whack-a-doodles Purple Toilet Quilt. (For auction May 11)
FTD and diabetes.
IEPs for both kids. ( One down, one to go, then meet with next school for DD)
Waiver option provider search continues.
First wedding ceremony scheduled. Friday, March 9)
Relaxing afternoon with my Sis at the Toledo Museum of Art. (Last Wednesday)
Little Turtle Service Unit Girl Scout Sing-along. (Saturday, March 10)
DH leaving for golf trip (hallelujah!) (Monday, March 12)
Girls' Night Out Cocktail Party--here on Friday the 16th~~ BE HERE!!

EDIT:  I forgot... PT for my screwed up Achilles tendon (the PTs said, "Hmmmm, we've never seen anything like that before.  Stay off your feet, and don't wear shoes that rub the back of your heel."  Yeah.  Right.)
PT for FTD's back--the slouchmiester.
Paint last two basement steps (tonight?  Get off the dang couch and step away from the computer!)
Paint basement stairs landing. (Ditto)

Other than that, not much happen' here......