My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Just ducky!


An impossibly excessive amount of shtuff has been going on in my world lately, making it impossible to squeeze in working on a blog post despite having an abundance of material to blog about. However, I did manage to get this photo of a haughtily handsome mallard as he promenaded past the cottage earlier this week. He and his wife (who was coming along behind him) were taking advantage of yet another day of beautiful June-like weather AND having the walking path to themselves for a bit!...


Here is a quack quick synopsis of just some of the other goings-on of the past week...

I got a good report from my ortho doc last Friday ~ he said my elbow's healing beautifully (and was very surprised that I experienced no pain during all his sadistic elbow-gunching tests). He freed me from my cumbersome Terminator brace (yay!) and gave me some simple flexing and stretching exercises to do - no need for physical therapy (double yay!) I can't quite straighten my arm completely yet, but he's confident I'll get back my full range of motion or something very close to it. I see him again in a month and was told not to lift anything heavier than a coffee cup till then. Hey, no problem! LOL (He's onto me - after telling me that he said, "But you've been lifting things heavier than that for a while now, haven't you?" I said, "Yeah, but don't tell my doctor.") :-)

Speaking of lifting heavy shee-ite, our move continues. The furniture movers arrive Monday morning so we've been emptying and clearing off all our furniture, as well as closets, cupboards and cabinets. BW is on vacation next week so we'll finish our move and get the cottage cleaned during that time. Since our lease isn't up till the 30th, we'll probably keep our bikes and lawnmower here till then, as we'll come back from time to time to do some yard repair (three piddling dogs, dontcha know) and use this as our bike-riding base (it's more convenient for most errands than our next place is). 

After returning home Tuesday evening after a very long, tiring and hectic day to a message from the realtor wanting to schedule a showing the next morning, I pitched a bit of a hissy (that went something like, "Can't you people just lay off for a week till we get out of there?") To my surprise, they were very accommodating (just as we've been till now) and in the end we were granted a moratorium on showings till next Wednesday, which gives us time to finish packing, moving and cleaning without further major disruption or intrusion. (It won't stop more minor intrusions, however, like the family of three who thought a for sale sign in front of the place granted them permission to tromp all around the house and peer in my windows while I was in the middle of an important phone call! I had to interrupt my conversation to go out and tell them if they wanted to see the inside they could look at the photos on the brochure or schedule an appointment to see it, but it was rude to trespass and stare into someone's house like that! Good grief!)

As for the house under construction, that's clicking along nicely thanks in part to the great weather. I'll post more photos after next week, because they have the foundation walls in now and will start backfilling and framing next week!

Meanwhile, we've got three kitchen designers working on bids for our kitchen cupboards and countertops (and we've asked each to redesign the island, since we decided it wasn't very efficient as drawn), we've narrowed our quartz kitchen countertop choices to three*, ordered all our appliances (which they'll deliver when we're ready for them) during Sears' big semi-annual sale, have chosen our cork flooring (for master bedroom and closet) and are close to choosing our carpeting (still need to choose our tile(s) and our hardwood (oak) floor stain color). We've also selected our landscaper, who we're very excited about. He specializes in low-water, low-maintenance landscaping, which is what we want. I've already got a list of trees, shrubs and perennial wildflowers I'm hoping for, and he said we can do most of the grunt work ourselves (under his supervision and instruction) to save money, have him and his crew do it all, or do something in between - our choice. I'm rooting (no pun intended) to do as much of it ourselves as possible, and not just for budgetary reasons! I love that stuff. 

And speaking of plants, I'll leave you all with some photos I took on Sunday of some of the pretty crocuses growing at Whitney Commons. Our friend Wendy, one of the maintenance/groundskeeper employees there (who also boards her horse where Mocha is) told us that people have been pulling them up and leaving them in the restrooms. Vile people - if they're not peering in people's windows they're vandalizing flowerbeds!

Anyway, enjoy the lovely springiness of these (so far unmolested) beauties...




and have a very...


(*Here are our three kitchen countertop choices in case you'd like to share your preference in the comments: Ceasarstone "Chocolate Truffle", Samsung Radianz "Mariposa Buff," or Silestone "Bamboo." (The Mariposa Buff has more black and gray in it in reality than the image here, but the other samples are pretty true to life). I realize they all look very different and the images you get to see hardly provide a level playing field, but such are the constraints of the company web sites! How well the counter coordinates with our chosen cabinets - and with our budget - will naturally be the determining factor in our final selection, but I'd love to hear your opinions!)

15 comments:

  1. Sounds like things are moving (pardon the pun) along in the right direction, perhaps following that duck.
    I like the marimba counters, but silestone is a nice product. However, lots of future buyers may have "granite" on the brain, along with HW, tile, etc. Oh those finicky buyers.
    Very good for getting a moritorium on showings. Hopefully no more peeping toms. Good God is right! Happy day-enjoy the weather and those pretty crocus.

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  2. I would have to scratch Chocolate Truffle off the list because I'd keep licking the countertop, and some people would think that was gross.
    Jane x

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  3. Sue~ I still need to get a sample of the Marima Bronze countertop to bring home (I hate looking at samples under fluorescent lights!), which I hope to do today, but I really love that one too - those copper bits ring my bells!
    While we're taking future buyers into consideration at almost every step, I did my homework (that's one web site/article of several I read; this one was especially useful too) and quartz countertops were a no brainer for us. We like its maintenance-free qualities, its relative environmental friendliness, and its more uniform look (I don't like that wild veining and busy patterns that a lot of the granite has), and it's every bit as high-end as granite. I know people have different tastes and priorities and we can't anticipate every future potential buyer's personal taste. But I'd like to see home buyers and remodelers investigate other options, and not just march in some creepy Stepford Wives "must have granite and stainless steel for that is what I've been programmed to want" fashion! If we could afford it, we'd probably have gotten soapstone, but we'll be happy with the quartz. (And future buyers will probably be able to satisfy their granite craving in some or all of our bathrooms and the laundry room, however. We're hoping to score some nice remnants!)

    Thanks for supporting our moratorium! :-)

    Jane~ LOL! I know, and that countertop would do a great job of camouflaging chocolate chip cookies. :-) I really like that one, and the fact it's one of the Ceasarstone products that's made from a lot of recycled material. It won't be an easy decision, unless price tags make it so!

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  4. I can understand why you don't have extra time on your hands! i vote for Chocolate Truffle. Wonderful that you are out of your arm cast. Would be interesting to see your house's progress as it goes through its stages toward the finish line. -- barbara

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  5. Barbara ~ Thanks for your vote! It really is a rich and pretty color. I finally brought home the Radianz samples and have rejected the Marima Bronze I'd posted a link to earlier. It's much too gray in real life - looks dingy! I replaced it with Mariposa Buff, which would work better. But despite my love of the copper flecks, I think I prefer the Chocolate Truffle and Bamboo.

    We got our first kitchen cupboard and countertop estimate this afternoon and it blew the entire budget for ALL the cabinets and countertops (2.5 baths and a laundry room) for the entire house! Holy cannoli! These prices are outrageous! And did you want those cabinets installed? Want flooring, lighting, backsplash and appliances with that?! And we went with the least expensive wood and door style, and very few bells and whistles. Todd based his allowance on the finishes and features we'd told him we wanted, so I can only hope the other two places are a lot more reasonable, or it's back to square one! :-( You're right, it's "interesting" (as in the Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times") to see how this progresses!

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  6. He is certainly a very handsome duck! The duck couples are out and about around here too...getting too close to the road in some cases...and of course it's a worry.

    As for your elbow: YAAY!! Good news and glad to hear it. Moving is hard on any elbow, much less your poor little one! Let the movers do it! But, I know you're tough, and your elbow will keep improving...even with that gigantic coffee cup. :D

    Glad to hear the showings are on hold until you get moved! What weirdos...just coming up and peering in at the windows!

    As for the kitchen counters...I don't know, I think I'd go for the one with the most grey and black...but it's hard to say without seeing them in person.

    I'm excited to see all your landscape shrubs and plants; what fun!

    You've come a long way in the past year house-wise! I'm so happy for you!

    I love the crocuses; they are truly charming!

    Happy Easter to you, BW, and the girls!...And Val and Tino too! :)

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  7. Wow. Busy, busy, busy. I am so glad that your elbow is healing well. Have a wonderful Easter.

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  8. A spectacularly beautiful duck and some excellently exquisite flowers. Thank you so much for the photos!

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  9. I was lucky to find this laloofah.blogspot.com website. I'm so surprised by your way of thinking and writing. Have you thought about writing a book?

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  10. TW. Finally checked your blog again! Great news on the elbow...always knew you were a fast healer ;-). I know you'll be glad to get out of the cottage so the gawkers will be a thing of the past....the noive of some people! We're excited about all you have going on! xoxo

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  11. Just because I like the name I'm going for Chocolate Truffle. I hadn't seen your post when I sent that easter card with the 'relaxing' message... irony! And that duck is very... flamboyant! Couldn't you get the dogs to at least bark/growl/slaver at rude people looking in your windows?!? And LOL to your remark to your doctor :O)

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  12. Rose ~ I know, we keep seeing duck couples in all sorts of places, including alongside the cottage. So cute! The ducks here cross the roads (or waddle right down the middle of them!) all the time, but the speed limits are slow enough that so far, no mishaps. But I do wish they'd use the pedestrian crossings! :-)

    I'm not sure how far we've come house-wise, but we sure are moving a lot! Crazy, after so many years in one spot. I'm realizing that for all the downsizing we did before moving here, we could sure stand to do a bunch more!

    BW and I, the girls, Val and Tino and Mocha (though from far) all wish you, John and your furbabies a delightful Easter, Rose!

    Ellie C ~ Too busy! We're about to take two more carloads of furniture and "stuff" to the other rental, but I wanted to catch up just a bit on the comments. Somehow I found time this morning to cook up a batch of fried tofu and bake some cornbread! (We've gotta eat, after all!) This weekend's been hell on the elbow, but after a night's rest it's feeling a lot better, and today should be much easier on it than yesterday was.

    Happy Easter to you, too! I miss getting to gaze at your birds and garden photos and look forward to having the time again!

    veganelder ~ Isn't that duck a handsome fellow? I'm happy I caught him in mid-stride. You are so welcome for the photos, I'm so grateful you stopped by to see them!

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  13. Anonymous ~ (If that is indeed your name, lol). Oh sure, I think most bloggers feel like they've got a book inside them somewhere, someday! :-) Thanks for visiting!

    Spud ~ I'm glad you did! I knew it would answer at least some of your last email's questions while I wouldn't have time to reply (blogs can be handy that way!) :-) I attribute my fast healing to all the kale I've been eating and my "Fluffy Drinks" (a combo of hemp milk and either soy or almond milk. Yum!) And perhaps the beets Andrea told me help bones to heal! It will be nice to get out of this fish bowl. We had more people tromping about and gawking, though none as brazen as that bunch that pressed their noses to our windows! Yeesh! We're excited about all we've got going on too, but also overwhelmed and tired at times. It's a lot at once. Don't suppose you guys are excited enough about it all to come out here and help us?! LOL Happy Easter!

    Barbara (UK) ~ Would you believe our crazy dogs, who were on the pooch porch at the time, uttered not one sound? All they did was wag their tails! Some watch dogs!

    We brought home a few cupboard door samples from a third supplier last week, and one of our favorites was cherry with a stain called "Chocolate." And it probably goes without saying that it went beautifully with the Chocolate Truffle countertop sample. Do you think "Chocolate" covered Cherry cupboards and Chocolate Truffle countertops would be going overboard? I think it would either be a very therapeutic kitchen or one that inspires incessant food cravings. :-)

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  14. I don't think you can ever have too much chocolate... ever, ever, ever... One of my favourite flavours is Green and Black's dark chocolate with cherries in it - I think you should have a permanent supply in your kitchen!

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  15. Barbara ~ Prepare to be appalled ~ Green and Black's, which used to be one of my favorite vegan chocolate bar makers too ~ no longer makes a single vegan chocolate bar. Not in the US, anyway. They put whole milk powder in every single flavor - even in their 85% cocoa dark chocolate bar! It's a travesty!

    Check it out. Are they still vegan in the UK?

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SOME CURRENT & RECENT READING...

SOME CURRENT & RECENT READING...

  • 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"