Monday, July 31, 2006

All Good Things Must Come to an End...

Every year I say I'm going to hack down these small tree things that grow along my property on one side, but they provide a nice barrier and in July they produce these lovely red berries. Anyone know what they are???

I'm home from work, finishing my lunch and the kids are engaged in a rousing game of RISK with my mother. So as I sit here I have a few minutes to reflect on this past month. Y'all.. I don't even know where it's gone. I have been so busy with drumming gigs and painting and housework and working that I really can't believe tomorrow is August. How did we get here?

I can't seem to remember the first week of July, except that I think we went to a party at my friends house. Oh, yes we did. That was rather lovely actually. We went camping and blueberry picking and out for ice cream and have had good times.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

If You Can't Stand the Heat....

This was the view across the street at 6:30 this morning. I was futzing around in my kitchen, and looked out the window and knew I had to snap my Saturday Sky photo then. Normally you'd see a mountain where those clouds are. Normally it's not 80 degrees out at 6:30 am either.

I read an article in the paper today about how warmer nights are contributing to the massive bouts of heat we've been seeing in the US. I don't doubt it for one minute. It's going to be in the hundreds this week. That isn't normal for NH. Usually we get 5 days of 90+ weather a summer. Y'all.. our summers last for roughly 60 days. We've already had a bunch, and we still have a month to go!

It's been hot at school... I can't fathom what this week will be like. This is why there is no school in summer. 10 more days (actual, not school) and I get a vacation. 2 glorious weeks off until school starts. Want to know how many plans I have? NONE. No, that's not true. We have a 4 days camping trip in there. I will not be painting my front room (it can wait until Sept.), I will not be doing any big house or yard projects. I am going to enjoy my 2 weeks and.. well.. I might just be lazy. We'll see how it goes.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


Y'all.. we have skunks. A family of skunks has taken up residence under my neighbors porch and they come out at night to frolic in my yard. I think it's the grubs in the lawn that entice them over to my side of the fence, or maybe the thrill of out-foxing the cat, or terrorizing my dog. But whatever the case... it stinks! Literally. Each night an eau-du-stink wafts in my windows. There is nothing pleasant about skunk when you are trying to fall asleep.

My cat almost got into a scuffle with the skunk. My foolish dog tried to get into a scuffle with the skunk tonight. I watched a raccoon hiss at a skunk from it's perch in my nut tree. (that was actually a riot and a half.) The boy went out one night because our friends across the street called him to "come check this out".. and it was the family of skunks out for a stroll.

Y'all... there are 5 of them! I worry about my vegetable garden. I fear that the skunks are going to reap the rewards of my labor. Do skunks like tomatoes? I don't even know. What I do know, is that while I enjoy most of God's creatures, I could live without the skunk!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Take a Number

Ten is what time I should've gone to bed tonight. I am tired beyond tired. But as I only got home from our drumming gig at camp at nine, it so wasn't going to happen. I'm one of those people who needs down time.
Nine is how many physical days of summer school I have left. I am so not working next summer if I don't have to. I am being pulled in way to many directions right now and I feel stressed out and frazzled.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Single Digits....

Nine years ago in the early hours of the morning, in what might've been the fastest land speed record for a delivery.. my doctor ordered me to stop pushing. I almost laughed out loud. None of this pushing was my doing.. 20 minutes from start of labor until birth.. and your body takes over on it's own. Her next words stopped me cold. "The cord is around her neck, you need to stop pushing." If you've never had to fight labor, it was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. Almost more painful than the contractions that were pushing this baby out of my body.

Monday, July 24, 2006

It's Summertime...

Cold and wet is miserable. Warm and wet isn't half bad. Especially if you aren't hungry at the same time. After breakfast on Saturday we went fishing. Why not we figured, the rain wasn't too terrible, and fishing is usually pretty good before a heavy rain. This is by far one of my favorite photos that I took this weekend. It was a drizzle when we got to the lake. Then it stopped for a bit. And then the rain picked up, and Mr. Man came out of the water shortly after I snapped this photo. He's a very quiet, shy kind of kid. Not into sports or outdoorsy things. He loved camping. He told me eleventeen hundred times. He enjoyed fishing with my brother a lot. He didn't catch anything on Saturday, but he didn't care. Didn't complain one time (on Saturday that is LOL) that it was raining or mention that he was having a bad time.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Saturday's Sky...

Saturday's sky was dark and gloomy. We got rain from early morning until late during the night... and it ranged from light and misty to OMG it's pouring out. These sky photos were taken from Greenfield State Park where we spent the weekend camping. It was hot and sunny when we left on Friday. Humid as all get out. The air was so wet and heavy you could almost drink it. They talked about rain during the weekend.. chance of this.. passing that. You hear that so often that you almost don't believe it, because half the time it doesn't pan out.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Happy Hump Day

Project number two is finished.

Isn't there something so great about finishing something? It really isn't crooked. Or so the boy tells me it's not.. I don't know why it looks that way in the photo. We ran into a lot of trouble with this gate. Actually, the boy ran into a lot of trouble with this gate. See, he made an exact replica of our previous gate. Except that the posts on the old gate were fatter. He realized this in the middle of me painting the gate. Decided it would be bad news to tell me, and so he didn't.

After I got it all nice and painted, he had to take off those long strip boards, and re-cut new ones, re-assemble the gate, and then I had to paint it, again. The right post was a lil crooked, so we shimmed it up straight, and when I went to put the gate in yesterday, more problems. The gate now didn't fit in the posts and we had to trim a bit off each end of the bottom board. More painting ensued, and now we have a lovely new gate. It weighs a bloody ton but it's nice and not rotting, and hey it's white!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

It's a Jungle Out There!

(Click those photos.... you really need the big view to see them.)*disclaimer, these photos wee taken last night, not today.

So y'all know I'm doing summer school right now. As part of our morning "routine".. we go for a short walk down the road that runs alongside our playground and back to a pumping station for the town. It's a very decent hill and quite a bear to get back up.

Each morning (well, almost) we see a groundhog on our lower playground field. Usually we end up scaring it, and it's scurrying back into the woods. So often have we seen him, that we automatically look for him when we get to the top of the hill. At the bottom of the hill, to the right side (left on the way back) is a little grassy sort of access way to a field and trees that I think the town owns but I'm not sure. Each morning, as we turn around to go back up the hill, I look over to that area, just out of curiosity. Yesterday we saw a momma deer and a baby!!! It was so cool. The mother deer froze, because she saw us but the baby deer kept frolicking and then feeding, and it was just so neat. I almost wished we were closer.

Monday, July 17, 2006

It's hot y'all. The kind of hot that makes your skin greasy and your mood foul and places you don't normally think of sweat. And of course, it can't just be hot. It has to be hot and steamy. I'd take hot over steamy any day of the week and twice on Sundays. It was 112 in California this weekend. Someone pointed out it was a dry heat.. but then again so is an oven.

I went out to water my vegetable plants after school today (want to talk about how hot an old red brick building gets when it's 95 degrees outside?) and discovered that some of my tomatoes were ripe. They are cute lil ones.. and orange! I was waiting for them to turn red but they aren't the red kind it seems. I noticed while I was out there, that it was so hot my sunflowers were a little wilted. That's hot y'all.

Sunday 7-16

Project Number Three. (tomorrow I'll share my gate, had to finish painting it (again) today.)

(and apparently the internet elves ate my Sunday post so here it is again)

Every get around to something, and when you were done think, "WHY did we take SO LONG to get to that?"

Our upstairs bathroom is a remodel from the early 80's. So it has a "late 70's feel" to it. It is in dire need of a makeover. It's also pretty low on the priority list. However the faucet was a nightmare. Short. Set too far back from the sink bowl. You could barely put your hands under it to wash them.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

It Was a Dark and...

A bunch of different times today I thought about the Saturday sky. Once while I was paiting the 3rd coat on the porch ceiling. Once while I was driving back from the grocery store. Once while I was working on spring cleaning my kitchen (halfway done woohoo). And once while I was on the way out the door this evening to my friend's house. That was when the sky was the best too.

This is what the sky looks like now. If you click that image you can faintly make out the tree on the left side. I didn't give you a black screen.. I really took a photo of the sky. The sky today was hazy and hot and cloudy and for a while it looked like it might pour. Then this evening as I was leaving.. the clouds finally broke up and the sun came out in it's glory without the haze and it was so pretty. If I had a better camera, you'd have stars to look at and perhaps that tree. As it is, I have this for you. A dark and sultry night.

Friday, July 14, 2006


"You’re not going to be able to read every book that you want
You’ll never have time to watch all of your favorite shows
The house will never be clean enough
There will always be another errand to run
The grass will continue to grow

Everything you buy will need to be dusted, repaired, maintained or disposed of in some way "

Read this today on someone else's blog, and boy did it ever hit home. I have soooooooo much stuff going on right now, that my head is spinning. Between painting and work, and trying to get ready for my mom to come.. I have barely enough time to sleep. Next weekend however, we're taking off and going camping. I need a break. I need quiet and nature and nothingness. Time to be silly and enjoy life and the great outdoors. A break before the mayhem that will ensue the next weekend.

The 5 day forecast is calling for 90+ weather. In order to paint in this madness, I have to get up at the crack of dawn tomorrow and Sunday, and hope that 4 coats of paint will finish up the ceiling and I won't need 5. Cross your fingers. Then I will spend the next 2 days (probably in early evening when it's cooled off some) priming the floor with the second coat. I'm hoping by Wed. it will cool off enough to start painting the walls.

Today when I got home, it was to stinking hot to paint anything. Except the posts for the new gate, but I need to wait for the sun to move off them before I do that. So instead of cleaning, or mowing my lawn, or working on 1,000 other things I need should be doing .. I'm going to lounge on my couch and read a book. Then after that, I'm going to go hang out on my friends porch in the shade and drink beer until the boy gets out of work.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

A river runs through it...

So tonight after dinner the boy and I went for our walk. It's a 1.5 mile loop that goes out our driveway, down to the school.. out to the bus turn around, back past the school.. back down our street half way.. down a little side road that turns and runs parallel to ours, then we go down the street, around the mill, back up the other side of the mill, past the library, around the common (not all the way) and then home. It's a rather enjoyable walk.

All Work and No Play...

Down at the very end of my road, rests the building where I spend most of my days. Typically the flag is up, but only when school is in session. As it's summer, and I took this around 6:30pm, we have no such flag. It's hot in our school in July. Notice that the building is made of red brick. Brick is a great heat retainer. I don't mind the hot so much (low blood pressure issues) but everyone else does, especially our autistic boys. They have loads of sensory issues, and being hot is one of them. So our Autism room has A/C.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

One Brick at a Time

Sometimes you have to be selfish and take time for yourself. Sometimes, you do something so totally stupid and hurt yourself, that you are forced to slow down a little. Or to at least pretend.

There's two stories in this picture. I'll tell you how I hurt myself, and then I'll tell you about those bricks. See that cement lil wall thing that those bricks are sitting on? It's shaped like an L if you can't gather that from the photo, and it's empty on the other side (now that the bricks are out.) We're not sure why it's there, except I have a theory that it was built to keep rain from running down the backyard hill into the barn.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Cuz I haven't Got Time For.....

Today I give you things I don't have time for right now. But the porch is coming along nicely. I've got one coat of primer and two coats of paint and have two or three more coats to go. Red isn't a fun color to paint with. But each coat gives a deeper, lovelier color and I can start to visualize what the final product will look like.

In the meantime, I have hardly been on my swing this year. It needs some new rope,and a good coat of water sealer.. and I miss it. The kids have been enjoying it. And the boy has been swinging when he's out using the grill. And I longingly look at it out the window. One day next week, I'm taking the afternoon off and doing NOTHING but fun things that I WANT to do, not have to do.
Yes, you can see the beginnings of the new gate in there. There's a rotten, miserable, long story about why the gate isn't up yet. Maybe I'll share it when it's finished. Right now it's too fresh.

Monday, July 10, 2006

And Because I love These Stupid Things....

You Are An Ash Tree

You are vivacious and impulsive, which makes you extremely attractive to many.
Intelligent and demanding, you don't care much for criticism.
You have a ton of ambition and talent, and sometimes money rules your heart.
You like to play with fate, and you can be very egotistical and restless.
Demanding of attention, you need love and a lot of emotional support.

Back to the Grind..

"A vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you've been taking." ~Earl Wilson

There are not enough hours in the day for my summer. Y'all.. there is no way I can work 5 hours, come home, eat lunch, do pidley things around the house, paint the porch, work on other projects, do laundry, do chores and still manage to hang out with my family. Oh, and do I have a garden to tend to and a sock I'm knitting? And what about that damn prayer shawl.

See, when I agreed to work this summer, it was going to be for half days. There is no way that 2.5 hours less than a normal work day equals a half day. Do the math. Doesn't add up When I finally got a chance to sit down today, it was after 9pm. 4 more weeks of this might just kill me. And did I mention my mom is coming in 3 weeks? If anyone hears me mention working next summer... you have my permission to bawl me out. Remind me that vacations are for relaxing.. and working during your vacation is not relaxing. And if you happen to be married to me and living in my house.. "I told you so" is so not called for here.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Sultry Sunday

After a long day yesterday that involved getting up at some obscure hour, driving many hours up north, drumming and then driving home again.. I was tired. Sunday is the one day I can sleep "late" (our definitions of late probably differ) and I was so looking forward to it. I was rudely awoken this morning at 6:30 by my dog howling. The kind of bark that makes you think someone is in the house. Turns out, after a lot of sniffing and whining.. there was a mouse on the ceiling in our basement hall (it's mostly a storage area now.) How that mouse was hanging on sideways I don't know. I do know that it's little leg was bleeding, so I wonder if it had a run in with my cat. And why my cat didn't finish it off.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Saturday Night's All Right For.....

The sky over southwestern NH at about 8:40 pm. I spent most of the day today on the way to/at/coming home from Warren NH. Our steel drum group played at their Old Homes Day event and it was quite an interesting time. I forgot my camera, which is a shame because I could share with you some pretty cool moose that they have that died in the midst of a battle with each other, antlers locked and all. And, in the middle of Warren is a real live, honest to God missile. No kidding. Instead, I have the sky over my house. Which I love coming home to. To the right you can see my black walnut tree, and to the left is an oak that grows in the corner of our yard.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Q is for.....


I went out onto my porch this morning, after walking the kids to Summer Rec. and was treated to the highlight of my day. I was standing there, thinking about how to open the window I had painted shut, and where and how I was going to start the process of priming the porch ceiling, when I heard a ruckus out in the yard. I looked over towards the bird feeder and noticed that it was empty. I thought to myself that the birds must be yelling because there was no food. After almost 5 years of feeding them they get a little pissy when I slack off on filling the feeders. So I stood there, kind of gazing out the window, and noticed a commotion going on near the birdhouse that is on the tree.

July 6th- So.Very.Tired

In lieu of a fabulous posting from yesterday (which will make it into my book, fret not, and I will post for today later).. I give you:

Google Searches that Lead People Here

1. Manly Cards. Now, I'm certain that I have never done a blog entry on cards, never mind manly cards.. but I have made many manly cards in my time. Here's some hints: Use dark colors. Navy, burgundy, black, deep browns, and greys work very well. Men don't like frilly. Nor do they like sappy very much. I've done cards using game themes, (cards, chess etc.), ocean themes, I've actually made several cards with ties on them... use your imagination. So long as it doesn't scream girly, you are OK.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

All In A Day's Work

" Be not afraid of going slowly; be afraid only of standing still." ~Chinese Proverb

*click photo for larger image

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Declare Your Independence

Declare your independence.. from working! It's nice to work. A paycheck helps, and getting out of the house for a few hours a day is always good. Nothing can take the place of some good adult conversation, and mostly your co-workers don't give you lip But let's face it. A bad day at home is still better than a good day at work. It's nice to have a day off. It's nicer when the whole family is home together. The kids and I get many days off. But very rarely do we get days off with the boy. His job is kind of sucky that way.

It's the kind of job that calls you at 6:30 am on your day off, about something foolish. And then, because some people chose to work on their day off, they call you again an hour later.. because you didn't want to sleep late today did you?? Sometimes I don't miss the days when we didn't have a phone in our bedroom.

Monday, July 03, 2006

July 3rd

Monday's are for cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms. I have a chore list posted on the board in my kitchen. It outlines each person's chores for each day of the week. Not the ones they are expected to do anyhow.. the ones that help me maintain our house. I used to do it alone. Our house is big. I work all week. I made an announcement over dinner one night that things were going to change, and no one said a word. I still do the bulk of the cleaning. But I get a lot more help now. This caddy holds all of my cleaning goods, plus a scrubby sponge and a toilet brush.

July 2nd

Yesterday, regrettably I don't have a photo for. My July 2nd page is going to be about our Church.
Our church was supposed to close last week. There is a whole big re-clustering going on, due to lack of priests. Our parish fought hard and loud and we were able to save our church from closing. However, we lost our priest. Last week was his last mass, and this week was our first mass with our new priest. He's not really a new priest. See, Keene is sending us 3 of their priests on a rotating schedule. So we'll only see each priest each 3rd week. I went to mass yesterday a little unhappy. Our mass got moved out half an hour, so it's more of an inconvenient time. We won't get out until noon at the earliest now. And I didn't want a new priest. We were given the impression that the new priests didn't want to come to our church. They had too much going on already and this wasn't a grand idea for them either. Mass was ok. It wasn't the same though. Fr. Jim brought something to our church when he came 3 years ago that we will never get back. He reminded me of a grandpa, and was just the sweetest man. He'd tell you like it was and in words you could understand. Sometimes I think he forgot he was a priest, as his words or statements were a bit shocking. (not in a bad way). When we would go up for communion, he would call us by name. Although, he had this funny habit of calling the boy Brian. Not even close. LOL. He was certainly missed yesterday, and his new churches are lucky to have him. Although, they are being closed in 2 years also.. so he'll be moving on again.

A Month in My Life...

I'm doing a project for the Untamed Scrapper. I am documenting a month in my life in photos. The fun, the interesting, the boring.. all the nitty details. Each day I will post the photos here with a blurb about them. Once a week or so I will have my photos printed and the layouts will be posted in the Untamed Gallery. At the end of the month (or the first week of Aug.) I will have a book highlighting my days. What, you didn't know I was a scrapper? Have you ever read my profile? One can only blog about so many hobbies. (g)

This first photo is actually from Saturday. We have been working on our porch. It has turned into a much larger project than when I first brought it up. See, we enter our house through the porch. It is an enclosed porch that has a door into our kitchen. Technically it's the side of our house, but it's the side of the house we park on, so it's just more convenient. My kitchen is a mess. The previous owners started a renovation project (who only knows what year) and it never got finished. Being it will take a few more years before we're in a position to be able to make over the kitchen, I felt like I needed to be able to enter my house and feel some sense of order. I didn't get that from my porch either. So I figured, what the heck, let's paint the porch. We got primer, we got paint.. and I thought we'd get it done in a weekend. The porch isn't all that big. HA! The porch is made up of old dry barn board. That had been stained a dark horrible brown. And it's rough cut. Which means I had to use a paintbrush. The first coat of primer sucked right into the old wood and took me 3 days to put on. In an hour today, I've finished 1/3 of the porch with the second coat. We also decided to replace some hardware, and might as well paint the floor and ceiling while we are at it right? And how about that ugly broken door? Well, this is our new storm door. We installed it last week over a few nights. I think it looks pretty darn good.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Cloudy With a Chance of...

Here it is, Saturday. This is the view over my house in Southwestern NH. Overall not too bad of a day. And hey, it ain't rainin'! It's a lovely low 80ish outside, and for the first time in a week easy, there is zero humidity.

They said we weren't due for rain today, but I'm not convinced yet. Enjoy your Saturday!!!