Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Now that's something you don't hear everyday

Neil Gaiman convincing Adam Savage to sing "I Will Survive" as Gollum. Whut?

Forty-eight inches

In case you've forgotten, my daughter is now 48" tall, which means she's tall enough to go on many of the roller coasters and spinning rides at Cedar Point.  This is a good thing, because if we'd had to hold her to the meager selection of rides available to the 46" tall kids for another year, someone's head would have exploded.

Liza has been in love with roller coasters pretty much since the first time she saw one, and generally she's not scared to climb right aboard and try anything she's tall enough to ride.  Makes sense, right?  She's always been the kid who wants to go higher, harder, faster, longer.  So this year we got season passes to the park and have gone about once a week since school let out.

Once a week.

I'll let you absorb that for a moment while you think about how many nausea-inducing rides I've had to endure in the past four weeks ...

I don't actually mind riding these with her - just not half a dozen times in a row - especially since we've been going to the park in the evenings during the week to take advantage of the smaller crowds.

I mean, seriously?  Fifteen minutes' wait to ride a coaster I've waited as much as 2.5 HOURS for in the past?  Sign me up!  Liza isn't tall enough to ride some of the most popular attractions, so we're doubly lucky and can frequently just walk right up and get onto our chosen ride.  Sometimes we even get walk-on front seats.

Waiting in line isn't always a bad thing, though.  Last time Liza and I were there by ourselves, we used the walking and wait times to concoct a story about her secret identity, The Pink Streak, fighter of crime and archenemy of the Iron Dragon.

Jason isn't that big of a Cedar Point fan, and he has to work during the week so that Liza and I have money for overpriced pizza and parking, so he's only come along once this year.  I'm glad he did, though, since it gave him the chance to see how gleeful Liza is at the park, and it gave me the chance to ride some of the attractions Liza's not qualified for (yet).  It's been killing me that I can look at maXair, and I can see there's no line, but I still can't ride it because there's no one with me to watch Liza.

Having him along as a photographer was pretty handy, too, especially once I told him how to prep the camera to get faster shots.

We're taking a girl-scout-camp-induced hiatus from the park for a week or two, but when we go back I'll have to bring the camera with me, even if it is a pain to lug around.  I've had plenty of time to scope out some nice shots, and now I just have to work on getting the lighting and framing just right ...

Wonder if I'd get in trouble for bringing in a tripod ... those sunset shots aren't going to focus themselves, you know.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Patio pics, part the first

Remember the patio room?  You know, the one that we started prepping for a year ago, poured the pad for last year, and started building a month ago?

It's (almost) done.  The contractors are finished, we've been able to use the semi-finished room for a couple of weeks, and the building permit is gone from the front window of my house.

But in order to save money, I'm doing some of the finishing work myself.  Why pay the contractors to install a floor and paneling when I can do it myself (and take 10 times longer, curse more, and have it look almost as good as if it was done by professionals)?

(primed, not painted, so don't worry, it will look better soon)

The humans haven't been using the room to its full potential yet - we haven't even ordered the carpet, and walking around on the DRIcore subfloor barefoot isn't the best idea - but that hasn't stopped other family members from taking full advantage of the three walls of glass surrounded by birds and squirrels (and even an occasional chipmunk).

I've got to get one final coat of trim paint on the paneling, wait for the carpet to be installed, and I'll be done.  And then it will be party time!

Monday, June 27, 2011

One quick photo before bed

My stage crew buddies from high school would have been so proud of me, standing on one leg and bracing the plywood with the other leg while cutting it with the circular saw.  Clamps?  Who needs clamps?  We have plenty of body parts for that!  And OF COURSE that lumber will fit in my semi-compact car ... it just takes me 15 minutes to figure out how to wedge it in so I don't lose the load (or the kid's head) if it shifts going around a corner.  All I needed was a Welch's soda and it could have been 20 years ago.

More pics to come soon - Liza's at Girl Scout camp this week, so I can actually get some work done in the house and on the computer.  It's a nice change from the past few weeks!

(and Liza gave me the manicure ... I was in favor of waiting until after the construction was done, but she HAD to do it NOW, so I got to rock the neon pink nails for several trips to Home Depot.)

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Remember this week

This was the week I ...
- became the mother of a rising first-grader
FWD: IMG00311-20110531-1840.jpg

- took a road trip with a good friend

- worked with my daughter to produce hundreds of yards of cord to "yarnbomb" my craft camp

- learned to make my own blocks for printing

- discovered the power of the flying purple olive of doom

- saw this, and felt something inside me unclench

- evicted silkworms from their cocoons and used them to make yarn 

- taught my daughter some of the skills I learned at Squam

- confirmed that my daughter is 48" tall, so I don't have to ride this thing over and over and over every time we go to Cedar Point

- was constantly impressed by the thoughtfulness, flexibility, humor, bravery, smarts, and maturity shown by my daughter.

It's been a good week, and I'm really hoping that this is what I remember about the summer, not whatever disagreements and grumpiness are sure to occur at some point over the next few months.  My heart is full, I am happy, and I can't wait to see how long we can keep this up.