Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I want a refund on my summer

Okay, it's July 30th and there's only been one single sweaty day this entire summer.  Yep, one day when the temps hovered around 90, other than that, we're happy if things creep up to 80.  Seriously, last night, I had to put a sweatshirt on to put my chickens to bed because it was 57 degrees outside at 9pm.  That is just so seriously wrong.  My garden is taking forever to kick in - I just had my first zucchini of the year last  night for supper.  Other than that, I've had 2 bean pickings, a cucumber (it was bitter tasting) and one eggplant.  What the heck?  Even my peas are just blossoming out now.  They're supposed to be over already and instead they haven't even pea'd out yet (that sounds kind of gross, doesn't it?)  After the incredibly cold winter we had you'd think we'd get a little payback by at least not having to wear a jacket in July, but no such luck.

WE is having a hard time in Basic Training, he's getting depressed and demoralized, which is the whole point of it, I guess.  But I still feel bad for my little boy.  He says it's not the physical part that's so bad, he was in pretty good shape going in, it's the whole mental thing that's getting him down.  He says he's missing things like tasting your food before you swallow it and hygiene in general, 10 minutes for a shower and shave just doesn't cut it.  He's got 3 weeks in now, so he's about 1/4 of the way through, and they say the first month is the hardest, so he'll do great.  I'm sure he's looking forward to October 3rd and graduation day though.

On the flip side, his big brother is waiting for his early discharge papers so he can get out of the Marines and start on his civilian life.  As soon as his discharge comes though, he's jumping into his car and heading to Miami to start school this fall.  Angel #2 is also starting college this fall as well.  So we'll have a kid in San Diego, Houston and Miami - looks like we'll always have a warm place to visit come winter.

My drywall sanding in the living room came to a standstill yesterday.  I think I killed the hand sander.  It stopped dead while I was working on the ceiling.  I'm debating if I should head into town for a new one, I probably should, but then I'll just have to get back to work and frankly, sanding drywall is one of the worst, messiest constructions projects in the history of building.  I can't wait for this project to get finished!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Our road is where all the cool kids hang out

Our little road was the place to be Friday night.  It was the night of our neighbors huge fireworks extravaganza party. Rumor has it that $20,000 was spent on fireworks this year.  He always has his party the same weekend every year, and it's usually full of non-local people since our neighbor doesn't actually live next door, he lives in a town about 30 miles away.  His place out here is more like his big park.  There were a few of us locals at the party, but not many.  So, all our other neighbors also have big parties on the same night so all their friends can enjoy the fireworks as well, we were invited to one of those parties as well and I had more fun at that one since I actually knew people there.  In addition to all the other parties, people from town also come out and park on the side of our road with their families so they can watch the fireworks too.  I suppose if you life in town, it's not much of a novelty to be within walking distance of an event, but when you're out in the boonies like  us, it's kind of cool to just walk home when everyone else is fighting to get out of the driveway.

To add to our novelty, the next day we had a parade of sorts come past our house.  A big veterans group organized a drive-by of about 100 classic cars & Corvettes and about 600 motorcycles.  They came by on our corner, so we grabbed our lawnchairs and set them up next to our neighbors on the other side of the house from the fireworks guy, grabbed our American flags and waved them as hundreds of vehicles went past blowing their horns.  So we had a bunch of big parties, fireworks an a parade, all in the same weekend.  You can't beat that with a stick.

Our living room is still a mess, but we're at the reconstruction phase now instead of the destruction part of the job, which is a whole lot more encouraging.  The old wiring is out, so now our house is completely rewired with modern day materials as opposed to old ceramic knobs and cloth-wrapped electrical wires.  Yay   I'm sure the insurance company will appreciate that as much as they liked it when we replaced the 50 year old roof and the asbestos siding.  Even if we don't get the house completely in the 21st century, we'll at least have it firmly in the 20th, which will be a massive improvement.  As an added bonus, everyone LOVES our bright red roof.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

what a mess

You know someone's a great friend when not only do they bring you Chinese take-out when they find out you're overwhelmed ripping apart your living room for a remodel, but after you're done eating, she also grabs a crowbar and rips out  your ceiling.  There's not too many of those around and I'm incredibly thankful I've got one like her.  My living room, on the other hand, I don't have any great affection for at the moment.

It started out simple enough, we were going to replace the patio door in the living room.  Then we decided that there was enough room to cut out holes for 2 new additional windows on that wall.  Since there wasn't much south wall left, we decided to just rip out the rest of the wall and re-drywall it.  Then hubs said, let's rip off the paneling on the west wall as well and cover up that doorway.  The west wall of our living room (formerly) had 2 doorways leading into the same long narrow room that hubs uses for an office.  The one doorway we've always had blocked off because there just was no reason to have 2 ways to get into a small room, it's only about 6 feet wide and about 15 feet long.  So we ripped off the paneling and discovered to our unending joy, lathe and plaster. YAY *not*  We ripped all that off and took it all off on hubs office side as well since we had to drywall over the used-to-be doorway.  Then I found out that you can live with someone in marital bliss for over 23 years and have no idea that they have in irrational hatred of painted paneling.  This is a bad thing because all the walls in both hubs office and the living room are (were) painted paneling.  Gone, it's all gone.  All the walls in hubs office had lathe and plaster under the paneling as did 2 of the living room walls.  Have you ever ripped out lathe and plaster?  Don't.  It's messy, dirty, heavy, dusty and a whole list of other adjectives that you don't want to know.

It was right in the middle of the destruction when my friend Connie called to see what we were up to.  I told her and that's when she brought over the rescue Chinese food.  Hubs decided that he also hated the ceiling in those two rooms.  It's this weird cardboardy square panels that have a tongue and groove that fit together - then you staple them to the former ceiling.  He wanted his out of his office.  Since I didn't have the hate he did, I decided I was good with keeping the stuff up in the living room.  Though it's not the most attractive stuff, I really didn't want to deal with taking it down and figured a good coat of paint would do wonders.  Well, Connie & the crowbar went to work on the ceiling in hubs office.  It came off rather easy, but you had to pull all the staples out when you were done, which was the difficult part.

So, between yesterday and today we got all that work done.  Then, when I was sitting  and chilling, I started thinking about that cardboard ceiling in the living room and I figured, you know, the house is already a disaster area, what's a little bit more mess?  So I grabbed a crowbar and single handedly took out the whole living room ceiling, then pulled about a million staples out.  My arms are KILLING ME.  I got blisters in the weirdest places from working the pliers so long.  But, it's done.  Tonight, hubs & I went and picked up almost a whole ton of drywall to put up.  We hired one of WE's friends to come over and help us unload it (boy, we're sure missing WE now!)  The same boy is going to come over tomorrow and help hubs hang the drywall after hubs finishes doing some electrical work, there were only two outlets in our whole living room.  Then there's the mudding to do, then the painting, I"m thinking lavender.  I'm also going to repaint the living room floor since that's scuffed up beyond repair and was looking pretty rough before the construction even started.  Eventually, we're going to put in carpet, but that's a project for another day when our bank account recovers from this latest adventure.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

And now there's only one

Big day today.   This morning we dropped WE off at the military recruiting station and he's off to basic training.  I'm so proud of my boy, but it's still hard to see him go, he's my little boy, you know?  He was pretty nervous, but ready to go.  I handled it okay, after all, I've done this before, I know he'll do awesome and though it seems like forever for him, it's really only 3 months and we'll be seeing him again.  I go much longer not seeing Angels #1&2.  But WE's poor girlfriend was pretty upset...prouder than heck, but upset to see him go.  The two of them spent a lot of time together this week, both at family together times after her cousin's funeral, but on a better note, her aunt's wedding was last night and they had a wonderful time.

Now Angel #4 is an only child, she's already got plans to take over WE's room as a closet, so she's looking forward to that, but she's now inherited Diesel doggy, which she's less than thrilled about.  WE usually has what we refer to as 'poo patrol' which is scooping up the piles of poop the dog leaves on the lawn.  Someone's gotta scoop that poo and hubs and I nominated her.  She's just realized for the first time in her life that the child to parent ratio is no longer skewed in her favor.  Sucks to be her.  hee hee

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

starting to calm down

As much as I love having all my kids home, I was equally glad to send everyone back where they came from.  Those extra bodies create an added level of chaos in my life that tends to drive me nuts over an extended period of time.  I like normal sameness in my life, I'm not a very exciting person, and having an additional 2 people, sleeping on sofas, living in the living room (which is made for sitting,  not living in, despite its misleading name) and keeping everyone fed and entertained is by no means close to normal sameness.

This is WE's last week home before being shipped off to the Marines on Sunday.  He's trying to get all the  sleep, food and fun he can fit into this week over with in anticipation of having very little of any of those three in the next three months. There was an upset in his plans on Saturday, when during his girlfriend's graduation party, her family got the tragic news that her 12 year old cousin was found dead in her bedroom of unknown cause.  He's now at the funeral home and will be spending tomorrow morning at her funeral.  His poor girlfriend has been struggling for almost a year with the death of her father and to have this happen 2 weeks before the 1st anniversary of his death, along with knowing WE's going to be leaving soon has got to be a huge emotional blow to her, though she's dealing with things rather well, considering.  Angel #4 and I will be going to the wake at the funeral home tonight to pay our respects - her family lives right down the road from us and in the country, living within 5 miles of someone makes you neighbors.  Besides, though I didn't see much of the deceased girl at school, I saw and spoke to her little brother every day and if I saw her dad someplace, we always took a few minutes to chat, as well as totally adoring the rest of WE's girlfriend's extended family.

Other than that, it's been the same old summer stuff, gardening, baby chickens, mosquitoes, etc  Just the way I like it, other than the mosquitoes