Monday, October 30, 2006

After practically ten years of marriage

Cary surprised the hell out of my by fixing the shower light all by himself. And they say marriage gets predictible? No way!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Time out of mind, and out of my usual format

In order to maintain full truthiness, I should specify that these events did not all take place within one 24 hour period, but because of event #1 below I have had difficulty accessing my computer
  1. Lucy has not only learned how to use the computer, but gotten pretty good at it, and she doesn't like to share. When I ask for a turn she says, "No. My 'puter! Play Game!." And then she contines her work. She has now found another excuse to skip meals too, so I can see we are going to have a continual problem.
  2. Henry spilled a good portion of the contents of a bag of red lentils inside my pantry and on my kitchen floor and then didn't tell me about it. I didn't know about it for awhile because I was too busy reading somebody elses damn blog! When I discovered the mess I was pretty annoyed because my barefoot children had tracked those tiny little red circles all over the house, (I am still finding them!) and Lucy had to assist in the clean up with her broom. Really this is all my fault because I wanted her to have her own broom for just this reason and I wasn't watching my kids, but I was still pissed.
  3. The light in our bathroom shower is out. I mention this because it will probably remain out until we go to sell the house. The lightbulb is covered with a fixture that has no obvious means to remove it. Plus I can't reach it without standing on something. So in our house, it really does take more than two over-educated adults to change a light bulb. We may have to call my dad. How embarrassing!
  4. My parents got a new TV. In order to keep them from kicking the old one to the curb I asked if we could have it. My dad and Cary brought it over, but they couldn't get it upstairs because it weighs about 150 pounds. So now it is beached on my living room floor, a Trinitron whale, until I can figure out an environmentally sound way to get rid of it.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Can squirrels talk to raccoons?

  1. Earlier today a squirrel figured out how to open my birdseed container. No big deal.
  2. Then tonight I heard a loud crash while I was putting Lucy to bed. There was a raccoon on the deck and it was determined to get into the metal container full of bird seed that is out there.
  3. Sufi and I tried to scare it away to no avail, and within minutes it had tipped over about ten pounds of seed. Apparently raccoons are not afraid of cats hissing and women waving their arms saying, "please go away, please, please!"
  4. All I can say is I hope it has a big appetite or it cleans up after itself (and doesn't invite friends) because our yard is already a huge mess. Now in addition to cleaning up the branches I have to clean up the seed and find a new way to store it.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Back to normal things going wrong... yay!?

  1. Lucy did not nap.
  2. Henry was so excited to get a brownie for dessert that he failed to notice that his dinner plate was resting at the edge of the table. It fell, and shattered into lots of tiny, tiny pieces.
  3. A few days ago I got a pill stuck in my throat. We were still supposed to be boiling our water and I didn't have quite enough with me but I tried to take it anyway because I didn't want to go downstairs for and haul up more. So it got caught in my throat and now for two days it hurts every time I eat. (I feel like David Cross in Mr. Show: "Hurts to swallow fizzy liquids.") Since the pill can't still be there I have no choice but to conclude that it must be a tumor or other unnatural growth.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Aftermath

  1. The Power. Soon after I posted my update the snow really started to pick up. We lost our electricity around dinner time. I didn't know where my matches were, or the candles we keep on hand for these occasions.
  2. The Trees. About an hour later we heard a loud crack, like a gun shot. It was the trunk of one of our pear trees snapping in half. The other one snapped later that night. The photo on the right shows the two trunks. One fell across our deck, and all of our patio furniture (see left photo), and the other fell towards the dining room window missing the house by a foot or so.
  3. The Sump Pump. After Cary and I got the kids put to bed in the dark (we only had one flashlight, and it moos like a cow every time you turn it on) we sat in the darkness listening to the radio. It dawned on us that we had better start bailing out the sump pump in the basement. We started Thursday night at 10 pm and bailed about 40 gallons of water out of the sump pump and dumped it into the back yard. I scooped it out using an empty gallon milk jug and Cary hauled it upstairs by the bucket load. We took the nights off to sleep, but otherwise we did this every two hours for a day and a half while we were awake. If Lucy was awake she usually screamed the whole time, but we had gotten 19 inches of snow and we were sure it was going to flood the basement.
  4. The Sewage. On Friday night we realized maybe we could dump the sump pump water down the utility sink and not haul it upstairs. Cary said, the sink already had some water in it. I noticed the water smelled bad. Yep. Our sewer line was backing up into our sink. Now we couldn't safely flush our toilets or run water at all. The kids were already asleep and we just went to bed after setting the alarm for 3 am just to make sure that the neither the sewage or the sump pump were going to overflow the basement.
  5. Our luck begins to change. Just before we went to bed the plow company came and removed all that heavy wet snow from our driveway. I just stood there and watched. I was so happy to see them. On Saturday morning Cary went next door to have our neighbor help him open the garage door since the opener didn't work and we didn't know how to bypass it. Our neighbor offered to plug our sump pump into his brand new generator! No more bailing! Then he came into the house, looked at the sink full of rising sewage and said, why don't you turn off the valve and the problem should go away on its own! Then he opened our garage door and we were off. We spent the day with my mom and dad who fed us. They also had no power. Then we were planning to spend the night at my brother-in-law's, whose power had returned. Just as we were struggling to get Lucy to sleep a friend called and said he had power, and so did we. 230,000 other Western New Yorkers still didn't and needless to say I felt incredibly lucky for so many reasons. The sink did go back to normal all by itself.
  6. The last few pictures are just a few more shots from the yard. It is amazing how much damage snow can do in less than 12 hours with the leaves still on the trees. There was no wind blowing or things would have been much worse. I have no idea how much this is going to cost to clean up, or when it is going to get done. I think there are plenty of other people who have it much worse than us. Some people lost every tree in their yard. I will have to rethink my shady backyard garden, but otherwise we are fine. I will miss the pear trees, but I will always remember them in bloom, and the time I saw the Horned Larks land in their branches.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The date: October 12

The weather in Buffalo: currently snowing! Need I say more?

Lots of other things have gone wrong recently but I have been too busy basking in the afterglow of the Jenny Lewis concert to care.

This won't be turning into a music blog because there are certainly plenty of those, but maybe I have found the magic formula: attending x number of excellent concerts builds stamina to withstand y number of irksome life incidents. Hooray! With Fiery Furnaces and The Hold Steady on tap who knows, I may not be posting much the rest of 2006...

I think this qualifies as what went wrong: When I wrote about the snow there were just a few flurries, like haha, it's snowing in Buffalo before Halloween. But now the stuff is sticking to the ground. My poor garden! The photo doesn't do it justice, but the gaura (front, center) is completely snow covered while still in bloom. My Clematis (previously thought to be dead) is blooming so beautifully, but not for long! My plants aren't silvery, they are covered in snow, and now they are going to be gone until next spring.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Libations: Tales of the Untrained

  1. A Starbucks with a drive thru just opened around the corner from me. While Buffalo is not new to Starbucks, it is new to the phenomenon of having one on every corner (or in our case in every strip mall). While this could easily be the subject of a post in itself, it is not. I have a love hate relationship with Starbucks, and I am addicted to coffee. No, this is just about my own drive thru experience today. I had my very own travel mug (thanks, Allie) and I thought, "I am leaving the house today, that counts as traveling, right?"
    1. I waited behind one car for seven minutes. I think they had to redo a drink.
    2. I watched through the window the guy fill my travel mug, then spilled the coffee all over himself and the outside of the mug. Appetizing.
    3. At the same time another "Barista" was having trouble steaming milk and steam was spewing out all over her and the woman trying to train her.
    4. When they guy handed me my cup it was barely sealed and there was coffee running down the outside of the mug. I asked him for some napkins and didn't tip him. At least not today. The whole thing was more funny than annoying, but if they don't catch on quick I think the coffee consuming public at large is going to be pretty impatient.
  2. I also had a trainee at the grocery store and she forgot to charge me for a 12 pack of beer. So yes, I do believe in karma.

Monday, October 02, 2006

This is for the heroes

Cary and I are huge fans of Stephen Colbert, and when he got his own show we were so excited. I was even more excited to learn that I could have a bit of Stephen for my very own.

Where are the migraines, you ask? Migraines are dead to me.