Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Boy, it sure didn't take long for my blogging muscles to atrophy! It's "only" been about three weeks since my last post, but it feels like years and I'm staggering around Blogger trying to remember where the light switches are. Mercy.
Anyway, I don't have enough time to write much but did want to send a quick status report from the trenches. Finally finished the spring cleaning (yay!) and got everything (I think) ready for the big yard sale (June 17 and 18 at Robyn's house, should you happen to be in the neighborhood!), and finally got everything - and I do mean everything - sorted, culled and organized. Well, except for the garage, which I've declared to be BW's territory, and he's got it more than halfway done. And almost all of our indoor repairs and maintenance are done, just a couple more small(ish) things left. But our homeowner labors continue unabated because we still have several outdoor projects to do, if only the weather would cooperate. Which it decidedly, stubbornly won't. We've only had about one nice day in the past two weeks. The rest of the time it's been very windy, raining and/or snowing. We've had a lot of snowfall during the past couple of weeks, including almost non-stop for the last 48+ hours. Here's what it looked like yesterday morning...
BW had shoveled more than 6" off the deck the day before,
or that snow on the railing would have been a lot deeper!
Of course everybody's favorite deer, Punky (and by this evening, the rest of the gang) put in a patio appearance, and I don't think she was too impressed with the weather either...
You probably know by now that I like winter and usually don't complain about snow. But by late April, even I'm tired of it. Our poor jonquils, tulips and grape hyacinths are coming up and our sumacs are trying to leaf out, but they keep getting clobbered. Down in town, which is always about 2-3 weeks ahead of us when it comes to spring weather (no snow down there!) the daffodils are all a-bloom. And this spring snow is wet and heavy, melts quickly (it's supposed to be sunny and 52º today, followed by two more days of rain), so it's just a muddy mess. While I wouldn't trade snow, rain and mud for tornadoes in a bazillion years, this weather is causing us delays and extra work.
I care more about that this year than I usually do because a big reason we've been working so hard for the past three months getting all these cleaning/organizing/culling/maintaining/repair projects done is that we're putting our house on the market and hope to have it listed by next week. We've lived here 19 years and have enjoyed and appreciated this beautiful setting, wonderful wild critter friends, and breathtaking views. But this house and property (10 fenced acres with two outbuildings) are just much too big for us and remodeling, cleaning, fixing and maintaining them has taken most of our time and energy (and money!), plus BW's commute adds an hour to his already-long workdays. So we've been ready and wanting to downsize and enjoy more leisure and together time, conveniences, hobbies and travel for a while now. Most likely we'll buy or rent a smaller house in town where BW can finish out his last 4 years + 47 days (but who's counting? lol) at UPS before retiring, at which point we'll definitely be moving on. But we have a couple of other possible options and plans in mind... we'll just have to wait and see how the sale of our house goes. It's with somewhat mixed feelings that we're doing this but know it's the right thing for us to do now, after talking about it for the past few years. Wish us luck!
We sold the only other house we've ever owned together (and that I'd ever owned) 22 years ago and without a realtor. So all the stuff that's required these days and when working with a realtor is new to me. The paperwork (contract, property disclosure forms and documentation), the visits (market analysis, photography, videography and measuring sessions, and MLS open house for realtors), and all the decisions to make (too numerous to list!) require a lot of time and effort, and that's before we even show the house to a single prospective buyer! I'll be a slave to this place while it's on the market, keeping everything spic-n-span, mowed and trimmed (no sooner will the snow have melted than I'll be mowing!) and in top showing form, just in case. Oh, help.
Anyway, that's most of what has been, is and will be going on with me these days! Now and then I've been able to take some photos, so here are a few. Been having a lot of fog again; the two foggy sunrise photos below were taken from our deck two days apart late last month...
I truly don't know when I'll get a chance to post again, and I definitely won't have time to do an Earth Day post on Friday or an Easter post on Sunday so I'll take this opportunity to wish you a Happy Earth Day (every day!)...
...and, with along with my sweet bunny friend, a very Happy Easter!
This is the first time we've ever seen a cottontail this color! I tried to take a photo of this bunny playing with two of our typical dark gray cottontails so you could see the big contrast in their coloring, but they were playing such a rowdy game of grab-ass I couldn't get a photo before the gray bunnies had sped off! So I just got this one of the white bunny sitting alone in our driveway, apparently savoring victory in the grab-ass game. :-) S/he's really camouflaged against the ground right now, but will sure stand out against the green grass (assuming spring and green grass ever show up around here!)
I hope you're all doing well and I really miss you, our "comment chats" and/or emails, and having time to visit your blogs! Someday I'll get my life back, knock the rust off my blogging skills (such as they are), and do my best to make up for lost time! :-)
Friday, April 1, 2011
I can't believe it's April - that has to be a prank! (Bet my New England friends must think so too, looking out their windows today!)
I've often enjoyed the lighthearted silliness of April Fool's Day. The first April Fool's prank I remember pulling was around the age of nine, getting up before my parents (a trick in itself), and making footprint cutouts from black construction paper that I then taped across the ceiling from my bedroom doorway to the stairway landing, where a sign on the wall wished them a happy...
So I'm taking a much-needed break to share some fun and interesting goodies I've gathered over the past few months that seem especially appropriate for this day of fun-filled trickery and mischievous monkey-business!
I caught this intriguing story on NPR back in January and after sending it to AdventureJo (an engineer who gets a kick out of stuff like this), I bookmarked it for my April Fool's Day post...
The illusions in the videos reminded me of the drawings of M.C. Escher, the 20th century Dutch graphic artist famous for his mathematically inspired illustrations of impossible architecture, the concept of infinity, and clever illusions that make the brain spin.
I really enjoy good trompe l'oeil ("fool the eye"), like this beer cellar Mark Spijkerbosch painted on the floor of a shower stall...
Or this sidewalk illusion (ooooooo nooooooo!) done in chalk...
Or this elaborate Danish April Fool's joke of a subway car appearing to burst from below a Copenhagen street...
Naturally we have to celebrate the day with a little April Fool fun with fruits and veggies!
Saxton Freymann's broccoli poodle
And the day wouldn't be complete without a brief history of April Fool's Day from the History Channel, some April Fools bakery trickery from Cake Wrecks, and Snopes' list of April Fool's pranks from the past.
But my favorite, given my spring cleaning marathon, is definitely this one. ;-)
He who lives without folly isn't so wise as he thinks.
~François, Duc de La Rochefoucauld
So here's wishing you a happy April Fool's Day, and a fun-filled Friday of folly!
- INFERNO ~ Dan Brown
- MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD & EVIL ~ John Berendt
- MY NOTORIOUS LIFE: A NOVEL ~ Kate Manning
- ONE SUMMER: AMERICA, 1927 ~ Bill Bryson
- QUIET: THE POWER OF INTROVERTS IN A WORLD THAT CAN'T STOP TALKING ~ Susan Cain
- THE BEAUTIFUL CIGAR GIRL ~ Daniel Stashower
- THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY ~ Erik Larson
- THE SHADOWS, KITH AND KIN ~ Joe R. Lansdale
- THE TIPPING POINT ~ Malcolm Gladwell
There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.
~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"