primsong: (freshly dead)
Took a shop vac out to the greenhouse to suck all the cobwebs, dirt, lichen and other crud out before coating the inside with wood preservative - it has two shelves of spaced apart slats with an aisle between them, the planks have a corrugated trough underneath to catch drips and such.  Going along poking the vacuum nozzle in wherever it would fit and it clogged.  Pulled up the nozzle to see what was clogging it, expecting a wad of moss or something.

It was a bird skull.

Looking down through the slats I could see the flat remains of an entire bird skeleton with cobwebby, dusty feathers.  How in the world did it get down in there? The wings were spread so it must have been trapped alive?  It was long ago either way.  The Tomb of the Greenhouse Bird. 

My son considered the skull.  "Man, that's totally metal." 
primsong: (lunch)
My son was transitioned to buying his own grub recently but thus far has been chowing down on what he started off with as if there was no worry about that.  Then it finally happened:
Son: "We're out of milk."
Me: "You can buy some if you like, I don't use milk."
Son: . . . . . "I really, really want mac and cheese."
Me: "If you have some quarters you can get a box of mac and cheese for about 75 cents."
Son: . . . . . (makes a peanut butter sandwich from his remaining half jar of peanut butter for dinner)

The following morning he gathered his bag of cans to turn in, went to the store and returned excited because he'd gotten a half gallon of milk on sale.  It seems like a small thing, but to me it was a tectonic shift - it's the first time he's grocery shopped for himself, entirely on his own impetus with entirely his own money.  Those can refunds would have been used to purchase soda or pizza before - now he's excited that he has a singular box of mac-and-cheese.  This is good!
primsong: (cat hug)
I recently realized from the way my cat responds that while her name is Pi, she believes her name is Beautiful Kitty.  It has made me suddenly self-aware of how often I greet her as "Hello, beautiful" and "Come up here, beautiful kitty!"  Now that would be a nice sort of nickname to acquire, no wonder she has such confidence in our servitude to her.
primsong: (medieval crowd)
At a shop earlier, toddler in cart in front of me having a meltdown.  Exasperated mother finally says "Atticus, will you please quit crying?!"

Atticus?

My son recently encountered a wee child named Brutus. This is an interesting trend, I like it better than soap opera characters I must say, at least the history the namesakes echo isn't fictitious. 
primsong: (starry sky)
My eldest came by to pick up her official papers we keep in our safe because she needs to expedite her passport renewal all of the sudden - she's going to Cambodia on a missions trip in June!

She's always had a heart for the people of Asia so she's excited at the opportunity. Says "I've been studying their history and language, it has a lot of the same sounds that Japanese uses so I'm picking it up." Now I get to be the gathering point for whatever monetary support she can wrangle on short notice to cover the passport, shots, plane ticket etc. She needs 3k, we'll see how it goes.

Life is never boring, is it?
primsong: (panda bounce)
My now-grown son has been reluctant to follow through on applying for work and had apparently grown quite comfortable in the nest - too comfortable...so I told him "Congratulations! You graduated!"

Explained that he was graduating from being a child in his parent's home to a paying adult renter. He starts paying rent in June - I cleaned out a kitchen cupboard for his food and a section of the freezer for him and let him know he is on his own. He has access to some staples and spices should he want to bake, etc. - I'm trying to be reasonable. Rent goes up $50 every six months til it hits lower market rate.

Sweetened the deal with letting him know this also means his bedroom furniture transfers to his ownership and that I will no longer comment on the state of his room or the state of his employment (or lack thereof). So far he's taken it fairly well, even when he only had mac-and-cheese available for dinner, and he's started applying for jobs.

Whew! My other two flew out on their own, but sometimes they need a little more encouragement.
primsong: Danny Kaye and Basil Rathbone (jester get it)
My old greenhouse is slowly rotting into the ground, so I'm working on bringing it back from the dead. So far I've located the siding paneling I needed and got the guy at Home Depot to cut it into thirds for me, then cut the smaller bits I needed at home - only working saw I had besides a hacksaw was a jigsaw, so the cuts are a bit wobbly in shape, oh well.. .that's why the Good Lord made caulking, right?

Was very pleased with myself for managing to bevel all the 2x4 ends I needed with the miter box, now those pieces have been sealed and stained and are drying in the garage. Next is prying off a lot of rotten wood and using wood-hardener on some of it as there are parts of the support structure underneath that are in such bad shape I can't even nail something into it, it's like nailing into spongecake. Learning as I go! I read that Bondo (like you use for auto body repair) is essentially the same thing as the fancy wood fillers that are sold for way more just because they are brown instead of the weird salmon color of Bondo.

Now if it would just stop raining long enough to dry everything out!
primsong: Scan from an old Dr. Who magazine (find tardis win game)
Went to reassemble the bed in our guest room after my son and I wrestled it back into the house from the garage, just one of those basic metal frames. No bolts. Son: "It was wired together, Dad had me cut it apart with my wire cutters when we moved it."

I go fish around in the garage and locate four bolts about the right size. Assemble bed. It doesn't fit the boxspring. What the heck? It's a king sized frame? No wonder it was wired together. Go to Habitat for Humanity to drop off king frame and pick up a nicer queen one for only ten bucks. Yay! While there I notice 2 lovely green chairs and a small table to go with them. Chalkboard sign says chairs are 50% off today. Hm.

Go home and assemble bed, turn around and go back to Habitat. Now I have a new dining set! The chairs were only $12 and the table $14. Gosh I love that place! Woo!
primsong: (poop)
After some pondering and reading up on what various folks are doing regarding the new Russian language TOS at LJ, I've decided to go ahead and pull the rest of the way out of it, DWth is already my main bloggy home, my blog is already backed up here and the crossposting to LJ was fun but is not really necessary. 

As expressed well elsewhere, I feel I should be more sad about that than I am.  End of an era, farewell LiveJournal.
primsong: (flower)
Spring brings me a learning curve adventure I'm kind of enjoying - My little greenhouse has been pretty neglected, I've used it but really done very little in the way of maintenance in the past 12+ years so I'm rolling up my sleeves and giving fixing it a whirl.   Pulled off big mats of moss (inside and out), scrubbed moss off windows (inside and out), scraped lichen off (the kind that looks like it has miniature Shrek ears), scraped old paint off, chipped away old caulking and ripped out whole pieces of spongy wood that were too rotten to clean up.   Whew!

Now I get to re-caulk the loose and/or broken windows before figuring out how to fix the rotten siding - most of it is okay, but the shadiest side is beyond help, it was at the point I could poke holes right through it and if I pulled it up there were literally earthworms having a party in there because the inside of the boards had composted.  Whoo-hoo, wormies!  But not IN the wall of the greenhouse, thanks!  I'm going to try piecing a couple of the cracked windows together with some clear caulking, hope it works.

Habitat for Humanity yielded super cheap paint for the door, a can of wood preservative for when I find the new siding and some pieces of wood that fit a couple of the needs for only a couple bucks more.  Love that place.  This is going to take a while, but it'll be SO nice when it's done.
primsong: (seagull)
It's been a long time since I bothered with roasting a whole chicken but the price was right so into the oven goes a bird.  I'd forgotten how fragrant a roasting chicken is too, makes me go put on my grandma's old apron, cut flowers for a vase on the table and otherwise come up with all those homey trappings that go with it.

Hubby, visiting for the weekend, comes in from working on the car and just stops to breathe it in.  "Wow, that smells SO good!"

If someone could make a perfume that really smelled like fresh roasted chicken with homemade biscuits it would be amazing - wear it on a date to bring all the guys flocking!
primsong: (monkeys)
Eldest only drives an automatic and while she was visiting she brought up how she'd like to learn a manual transmission, but her grandparents were busy and her dad wasn't available.  "All that leaves is you," she noted.  We looked at one another.  I'm not a good driving instructor.
"I don't know if I'd be much help, but I can get in and hang on while you lurch around," I said.
"Exactly.  Which is why I guess I'll wait."
She then related her memories of the last time I tried to teach her stick, when she was in high school.  It was along the lines of:
Her: "WHAT AM I DOING?  help help I'm going to HIT SOMETHING, help help HOW DO I SHIFT!"
Me: (maniacal stress cackling) "WE'RE GOING TO DIE!"

So.  Back to automatic she goes....
primsong: (fivey silly)
I have a new dream job:  I want to be the person who gets to name all the carpet colors for some carpet company out there.  Seriously, there are like fifty-gazillion shades of brown and the exact same one will have a different name at every store I find it in.  It's a veritable endless gushing fountain of quasi-poetic labels.

Biscuit, briar, sandswept, oatmeal, latte, fawn, cashmere, spice-is-nice, birch, quiet-afternoon, chai, antique lace...

Sometimes they get on a roll and don't know when to get off - I found one entire set of carpet colors that started off with vaguely 'retro' names and just kept going until there were random blends of berber being called "Fonz," "Love Bug" and "Kotter"... another where it was all kinds of candy with seemingly no association with the shades at all.

I want to do a series for boys rooms with names like "old socks" and 'boogers" just for the fun of it - I bet it would sell!
primsong: (rain tree)
I've been reading an interesting book on how various plants were first introduced to North America and how they became established, hybridized, etc. over time.  Under the entry on weeping willows I was enchanted to find the first were brought to the US by an admirer of Alexander Pope, an Anglican clergyman, philosopher and author named Samuel Johnson.  Enamoured with the tree, he was gifted with cuttings from Pope's weeping willow by his house along the Thames.  He planted these at his home in Stratford, Connecticut along the Housatonic River.  They grew well and he handed out cuttings as gifts to those who admired this graceful, foreign tree with its poetic associations.  It is believed all of the early weeping willows in America came from Alexander Pope's tree.  In the later 1700s there is record of some being brought as nursery stock from England, but the oldest belong to poets.

It made me think of how a friend once sent me an acorn from the old oak in Sherwood Forest and how I treasured that little piece of legend.  Wouldn't it be lovely to be able to plant an arboretum of trees associated just with poets and poetic ballads?
primsong: (penguin question)
First of all, a thank you and hugs to everyone who has expressed sympathy - bless you, I know this happens to a lot of people at varying times but it sure it tiring when it does.

Thankfully we do not live by a river, we're just dealing with an unusual amount of snowmelt and rain until the ground was completely saturated - I lived by a river once in my life and we had it lapping right at our back steps during a spring flood once, not an experience I would ever recommend.  This isn't nearly as traumatic as that.

The dehydrator and its attendant flock of fans are all whirring along, doing their thing so the rooms are smelling less like a wet dog and more like a regular damp day in a basement, so there is hope.  I've used the opportunity to sort old papers and magazines, hauled away an old tv etc. so that's good - and I get to go shopping for new carpet once it's all the way dry!  I'll take any silver lining that presents itself.  Crazy times.
primsong: (gadgets)
Some inventions are brilliant things.  Rented a big dehumidifier from Home Depot and it's whirring away down in my damp basement now - most of the store around here were OUT of them, but I was able to get the next-to-last one at the next town over, obviously lots of people dealing with this right now.

En route I noted the rivers are really swollen, some right up to the bottoms of the bridges going over them.  Wow!  I think it's been 20 years since it was like this.
primsong: (freshly dead)
Where yesterday was spent in a never-ending cycle of battling the incoming rainwater, today was a never-ending packing, hauling and moving furniture to pull up the carpet.  36 u-haul boxes of books later we wrangled the bookcases into the garage and then started in on furnishings.  More to do tomorrow.  Every muscle in my body aches and I had to crawl up the stairs to go to bed, this is ridiculous. 

Wherever I go in the future, I hope it will NOT have a basement.  Or be by a river.  Or under a waterfall.  Or in a fishbowl.
primsong: (percy lud love me)
Apparently a huge snow melt immediately followed by large quantities of endless rain was too much for my basement - got up early yesterday to find all the carpets going squishy and water seeping from parts of the walls in the laundry room. 0.o  Ran a marathon until bedtime of "put down towels - spin other towels dry in washer - pull up wet towels and replace with spun ones - rinse and repeat".  Thank God my sump pump and washing machine kept up.  At one point my son said "Did you just pat the sump pump on the head?" "Yes, yes I did.  He's a Good Boy."

Water seepage included my library, we were scrambling to put all the lower level books into plastic bags because that's all we could do at that point, I was like the Little Dutch Boy with the finger in the dyke between towels and the wet-vac and couldn't stop.  Today we've spent all day packing and moving things upstairs because we'll have to pull up the carpet, it's horrible... BUT I only lost ONE book, a big timeline book with history fold-outs, it was too big to be on a regular shelf and by the time we found it there was no saving it.

What a job. Ugh. On the good side, this is the only time we've had this happen in the entire time we've lived here.

We got it!

Jan. 25th, 2017 07:47 pm
primsong: (seagull)
Our offer was accepted and in 30 days we'll have a condo in the San Diego area!  It's a relief to have that part done, and though I seriously hate what this does to our debt load for now I'm hopeful we will at least get our money back out of it down the road instead of just throwing it down the gaping hole of Rent. Hubby is very happy that he will have a garage (albeit a tiny one) instead of just a carport and some eucalyptus trees around for greenery.  He's quite homesick for greenery.
primsong: (books)
There's a certain charm in the printed word that will never be matched online, as all book-lovers know.  But yet - I just put my massive old Thesaurus into my 'going to the thrift store' bag.  I still love the process of leafing through it but in all honesty I haven't used it in multiple years, it's too simple to just look up something online as I go.  Sorry, thesaurus, it appears there are small victories for the proponents of the paperless world after all.

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