Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Holy cow, we changed the weather with our minds!

Jul 30
Partly Cloudy79°/64°0 %
Jul 31
Isolated T-Storms80°/66°30 %
Aug 01
Partly Cloudy80°/66°10 %

Seriously, people, it's been in the 90s for weeks, and then I tell my online peeps I need good weather mojo, and the forecast for the 3Day suddenly becomes "highs of 80F" all three days?

You rock.  We rock.  Everyone rocks.  I love the world. And the Internet.  And you.

Also, this:

95 percent of goal achieved.
Goal:  $2,300.00
Achieved: $2,182.00

I'm $118 short.  That's $118 tax-deductible dollars you could feel good about donating to a worthy cause that uses only 15% of its donation money for administrative costs and the rest for actual research and programs to help defeat a disease that kills one person in the US every 13 minutes.  Not that I'm trying to be pushy or anything ....

Monday, July 26, 2010

Shameless plea for donations

Dudes, I'm running out of time here.  If you haven't already, please pony up a few bucks to support breast cancer research.  And start sending some good weather mojo my way for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  Mid-70s and overcast would make all 900 walkers very, very happy.  Surely if we put the power of the Internet behind this, we can control the weather, right?  After all, if eating chocolate that has been meditated over can improve your health, a bunch of moms and nerds ought to be able to effect massive weather shifts with their minds, right?  Or is that just the desperation talking?

Oh, and Cleveland folks - you can come and cheer for me and the other walkers.  Here's the link to the cheering stations that will be open along the route.  Signs, cowbells, and offers of piggyback rides are all great ways to show your support!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Summertime, summertime, sum-sum-summertime ...


End of day one:
(and nobody fell in the hole, not even the dog from next door who thinks our yard is her territory)

Beginning of day two:
Worker: "By the time we're done, you're going to know so much that Ken is going to have to offer you a job."

Day three:

Now all I have to do is buy a bunch of topsoil and reseed the areas right around the patio, and buy a few plants, and I'm done!  Huzzah!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Carnival of Construction

A few months ago Jason and I ripped the deck off the back of our house, leaving an ugly scar of gravel/sand/weeds/rusty screws just outside the back door.  All summer we've been picking our way across it, trying not to track too much junk into the house or end up contracting tetanus from the debris.

Meanwhile, we were talking to various contractors about pouring a patio and building a screened porch.  As with any decision that costs a lot of money and impacts the resale value of the house, Jason and I had different ideas about what needed to be done and when, which is why we've had the debris field in our back yard since April.  We finally reached an agreement - patio now, screened porch next summer - and work on the patio started today.

Needless to say, with all this construction work going on just outside the back door, not a whole lot is going to get done around here today.

Hope the guys don't mind an audience - Liza hasn't had so much fun since we had the trees trimmed.

Updates on all the excitement will be posted throughout the day, so check back often!

Sunday, July 18, 2010


There's something wrong with me and Jason - that's the only explanation.  Because every two or three years we start browsing house listings, even though we have no intention of actually moving.  And then we get a job someplace else, have to sell the house, and end up looking for a house in a different state entirely.

Well, we've been here for more than three years (second longest in any one location since high school - woot!), and last weekend I picked up a brochure for one of the houses for sale on my usual walking route **.  Not because I plan to move to a house that's only a mile away from my current home, but just because I wanted to look at someplace I could move, if we wanted to.  If we wanted to lose money on our current house, pack up everything ourselves for the first time since 1995, pay closing costs and Realtor fees for the first time since 1995, and go through the months-long hassle of changing addresses and phones and all that jazz.  Not to mention moving away from the friends we've made on the street, whom we'd see a lot less often if we couldn't just pop down the street when the spirit moved us.

So instead of moving to a new house, Jason and I spent this weekend moving things around in our current house.  Same amount of dust and hernia-inducing lifting, fewer Realtor fees.  After planning things out on Saturday (tape measures and graph paper!  Huzzah!), we started moving things around shortly before lunch today.  At one point we had managed to render no fewer than five rooms completely unusable because of the clutter and awkward furniture rearranging going on.  Even now, with most of the worst behind us, I still have a sofa lying on its back in the middle of my living room floor, and it's going to be there until I can get the front door off its hinges and arrange for a neighbor to help us move the sofa out to the garage.  So, like, August, I guess.

I also have a guest bedroom that's up in Liza's old room, a really small television room in what used to be the guest room, and a spacious craft studio (with separate spots for me, Jason, and Liza) and office in what used to be our family room.  We're planning to cancel our cable subscription (again) since most of our favorite shows have been canceled, and we don't honestly have that much TV time in the evenings now that Liza goes to bed a bit later.  So why would we need to devote the largest room in the house to watching television when we actually spend most of our time doing crafts or on the computer?  Once we get the television moved and purchase a loveseat that will actually fit through the door to the new television room, I'll even have a comfy chair to sit and knit in next to the fireplace while Jason works on his Warhammer guys and the kid draws yet another picture of a butterfly.

There's still lots of organizing to do (although frankly, my craft area looks neater than it did this morning in the old room, which just shows how horrifying it was back then) and I get to look forward to a week of evenings going through paperwork with Jason to see what we can get away with shredding, but I feel really good about how it's turning out.  And tonight, while I was puttering around putting my craft stuff away as best I could, Liza and Jason tried out their new haunts.


Despite her exhaustion-induced glare, she had the colored pencils hauled out within five minutes of Jason bringing the table up from the basement.  Both Jason and Liza gave their areas a thumbs-up, which means all of my 14,948 trips up and down the stairs today were worth it.  I'll remember that tomorrow as I chug down 14,948 Tylenol and ice down my aching knees.

**Built in the '80s, and based on the kitchen and bathroom, not remodeled since.  I can vividly remember when my mother's friend Jane got those same kitchen cabinets installed - they were the height of fashion back in, oh, 1983 or so.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Today I discovered ...

... walking 20 miles isn't really any more painful than walking 10 miles, if you've got a good book on the iPod and a decent pair of shoes.
... my (new larger size) sneakers are only good shoes for about 10 miles, and even then only if I use $10 worth of various blister prevention aids before I start walking.
... my Rockport "sports" sandals are perfectly good walking shoes for at least 10 miles when worn with socks.  Dorky, but blister-free.
... I now get a speckly red rash on my calves every time I walk, presumably from where I kick up grit onto my skin and it somehow irritates the shit out of it which thanks to Google I now know is Golfer's Vasculitis.  It's completely painless and itchless, but it looks like I was attacked by a swarm of fire ants or something.  Last weekend it lasted for a couple days after I walked - wonder when this batch will clear up?
... when I run out of audio book, I can entertain myself for at least two miles or so by counting paces, but I lose interest after I hit 1,000 or so.
... when I run out of interest in counting paces, I can entertain myself for about four miles by practicing my intentional breathing - two paces inhale, three paces exhale.  My diaphragm is going to bitch about that for the rest of the week, I'm sure.
... blueberries are Nature's Most Refreshing Exercise Snack.
... bored hawks can fly incredibly high, so high that they are literally the size of a pinprick in the sky.  At least, I assume it was a bored hawk, because I can't think of any practical reason it would be up in the stratosphere.
... toenails - really not as necessary as you would imagine, based on their popularity.  I'm down to having about 9 1/2 left, with no negative results so far.  Using a pair of tweezers to scrape the hardened scab out from under the loose parts is strangely compelling, like picking the dried glue off of the glue bottles was in elementary school art classes.  What, like you never picked at the dried glue?  Really?  Weirdo.
... there's a whole page on the 3-day website devoted to what friends of participants can do to help.  On it I learned that I'll be starting at the Port Authority parking lot at 6am on July 30, and finishing at the fairgrounds in Berea at 4:30pm on August 1.  Cheering stations should be announced soon, so check back for more details on where your sorry butts will be with HUGE signs to cheer me on (and/or cookies.  I think the cookies might be better than signs, as long as there are enough to share with the 900 other walkers).
... I only have a couple weeks left to come up with a really cheesy last-ditch solicitation e-mail to send to all the deadbeats concerned citizens who haven't donated to the 3-day on my behalf yet.  Strangely enough, I'm not the first person to think crying kittens will do the trick ...
... all of my donations have come from people I know in real life.  I would really, really like at least one of my online-only acquaintances to step up and donate.  Really, really, really.