etakyma: (Technobabble SG1)
( Oct. 16th, 2013 09:19 am)
...the Christian Conservatives on my FaceBook feed post a ton of Christian Religious Right Crap all at once.  I don't mind the stuff that is political - everyone has their political views.  It is the social stuff that annoys the hell out of me - the "boycott the Muslim-themed post office stamp!" the "put God back into the holidays by saying 'merry Christmas' instead of 'happy holidays!'"  Its the exclusionary tone of this crap that gets me.

Unfortunately, most of the folks that post and repost and REPOST this stuff are mostly relatives.  So I can't just remove them from my facebook feed.  And I don't mind the posts about their animals and all the horsey-themed homilies and such.

The best I can do is hold my tongue and not post snarky socially liberal shit back to them.
etakyma: (Technobabble SG1)
( Jul. 14th, 2013 10:32 pm)
Today's major accomplishment:  I helped my mom wash their dog.  This was an item on my father's "things I want to happen today" list.  But after lunch, he was watching golf (ladies PGA - Park won) and fell pretty deeply asleep (he thinks it is some of the meds he is on right now - I mean, the man had pretty serious open heart surgery less than eight months ago and it takes a long time to recover - he's also 78).  Mom and I were puttering around as we do and I mentioned at about five if the dog was going to be bathed it should be soon.

We totally took the dog out on the deck and hosed him down and shampooed the heck out of him.  He was a little confused, but didn't seem to mind (much).  And an hour later when my dad woke up and I told him we made sure he could check that off his list of things to do he was shocked he hadn't heard us do it.  He had no idea it was happening (we were, no lie, about twenty five feet from his chair on the other side of the glass door).

So they are doing well - and their dog is clean.  I also discussed my mother's cousin - who keeps unearthing things on the Interwebz - this time some paintings my grandmother did were auctioned off in 2008 and the records from the auction house for the sale are online (and two paintings my mother did over forty years ago went in the same auction - I am thinking they were items from an estate because all four paintings were likely bought at the Kendall Gallery in Wellfleet - both my mom and my grandmother had work there for a few years in the late sixties early seventies.  Blasts from the past.
Christmas came and went - a very low-key Christmas, which is all to the good.  Dad was released from the hospital directly home.  There was talk of him going to rehab, but decided home nurse visits would be what he needed rather than in unit somewhere dreadful.  So he came home on December 16th.  He's been getting stronger ever since, and late last week his cardiologist gave him back his car keys - which means he is driving himself to the mall to do his walking therapy (too cold and too much snow/ice to walk around the outdoor track, and he needs it to be a level surface - so the mall it is!).

Today he even showed up at the gallery with the dog.  He really shouldn't have had the dog with him (muscular 70 pound Lab) because he shouldn't be pulled - but I guess it all went okay.  Interesting things I did not know about cardiac surgery.... when they do the "long cut" (from just under the throat notch to around the diaphragm area) there is less pain, and easier recovery than if they do the "short cut."  Longer scar, but easier path back to health.  Dad had the "long cut."  He was only on heavy duty pain killers while he was in the cardiac ICU unit, and off them completely pretty much before he left that unit to go to the step-down unit.  And he's only had to take the prescribed pain meds once since he got home (first full day home, he had trouble readjusting to a non-adjusting bed - completely normal).  He is healing well.

I spent a lot of time at the gallery today, because not only did we redo both windows (wtf? both?) we also took down the Christmas ornaments and cards and things, which necessitated the reorganization of the whole front of the shop - and then the cleanup of all the holes left in displays around the shop.  In between customers, of course.

My "big gift" this Christmas from my parents was exactly what I asked for.  I got an airbrush - which I spent a lot of Saturday playing with.  So damned cool, I can't even.  It has much much MUCH better control than I realized, and learning the ins and outs is going to a hell of a lot of fun.  I am using it with ink at the moment.  I have some fluid medium that I can mix with regular acrylic, but I am not really ready for that yet - the ink will let me learn with fairly easy cleanup.   It is pretty and shiny and I will be hauling the whole rig over to my folks in a couple of weeks to show my mother how it works.

Went to NYC for New Years (no, not Times Square - but we did see the fireworks in Central Park).  It was awesome, and exactly what I needed - a few days away.  I spent more money than I should have, but less than I expected to all told.  I used the cash "holiday gift" that work gave out at the holiday party - pretty much exclusively all weekend.

Second year in a row Bergdorf Goodman blew us away with their holiday windows.  They were spectacular.  Even the one or two we were less fond of were amazingly well thought out and executed.

While I was gone we got TEN inches of snow... which had compressed itself down to about four inches by the time I returned.  I had no idea it was ten inches until my mom told me today.  Oddly enough, someone plowed my drive while I was gone, because it was very clear it had been plowed.  The walkways hadn't been touched, but the driveway was mostly clear.  Weird.  No idea which neighbor gave me the New Year's gift of a plowed drive... But I won't turn it down (since I was a couple hundred miles away when it happened...)!

G turned ELEVEN last week.  ELEVEN!  Soon, she'll be taller than me...
etakyma: (Default)
( Aug. 14th, 2012 10:33 pm)
My parents are not spenders. They are the king and queen of "Oh, no, its fine for now" fully cognizant that "now" can turn into a Very Long Time.

Case in point: They completely tore most of the house down and rebuilt it in 1987-1988. The kitchen they put in has a built in spot (including outlet) for a microwave that they "might get sometime." You know what has been in that spot since? Cookbooks.

This past weekend was the tax-free weekend for the year. All sales tax was suspended for items up to $2500 - and if the single item was over $2500? You only paid tax on the amount over $2500.

They decided to make a list and go shopping. Now they have great past shopping expeditions where they go out and come back with nothing. My mother was totally prepared to not get anything. Her list was modest. A new toaster that actually toasts BOTH sides of the bread. A new pole dryer. Some hypoallergenic pillow covers. A bigger cooler for the car for groceries.

She also thought they might be able to find a nice piece of furniture for the master bedroom that could function as a high side table that had drawers in it (pie in the sky, she thought). It would replace a fabric covered piece of plywood up on a jury rigged wooden base that my dad dumps all his pocket crap onto before going to bed. My mother HATES the pocket crap. She wanted something with drawers specifically so he had SOMEWHERE (hidden) to put his pocket crap.

My dad had loftier goals. He wanted a new flat screen TV. He wanted to finally get that microwave.

When they spend money they SPEND MONEY!

They came back with EVERYTHING ON THE LIST. Granted, some is being delivered - like the TV, and stand to put it on, and the bit of furniture for the master bedroom is being made and will be delivered in a few weeks.

The flat screen plasma TV is a 60 inch HDTV (replacing the "new" TV that was only about 33 inches ("new" being a relative term, of course. "New" in this instance means "since I was no longer living there")).
Unexpectedly saw my nieces and nephew Sunday afternoon.

L, my three-and-a-half year old nephew asked me, in all seriousness, if I had a "daddy" - and I replied I do, and he is standing behind you, and you call him Grandpa.

No, he said, sort of garbled (he was eating a chocolate "gingerbread man" at the time), at your house, do you have one?

I must have looked as confused as I felt because B (newly minted eight and obsessed with my single status) piped right up and said, he wants to know if you have a husband! o.O O.o

Cue awkward silence.

No, L, I do not have a husband. Or a "daddy at my house."

Is B infecting her little brother with the notion I need to be paired off? Is he just curious because everyone else in his life comes in pairs and he is confused why I don't? I mean, my parents (my mother described herself today as happily married), L's parents, K's folks - L's other grandparents, K's brother and his wife (while not "happily married" and possibly headed for divorce, they are still a pair as far as L knows).

And me. The lone singleton.

I should ask K if any of her other sister-in-law's siblings are single and if they get the third degree from B also - or if I'm the lucky one to have all that intense scrutiny on me.
etakyma: (Default)
( Nov. 25th, 2011 12:55 am)
And now its not.

My brother and sister in law hosted this year - and I don't think they could have done so if they hadn't moved into the upstairs bedrooms in the addition. Because they were able to ove into the upstairs bedrooms (and wow - they look really nice!) they had the space to empty out the study/library off all the furniture and put the double table in there.

They fit five kids under the age of 10 and ten adults around the table (my sister-in-law is the youngest adult, as she is four months younger than me). Plus their elderly golden retriever. The spread was epic - and yes, there was turkey even though the vegetarians hosted. The in-laws brought the turkey, gravy, and pies.

I brought a box of chocolates (about all I was mentally capable of seeing as I am still jetlagged as whoa and falling asleep at odd times and waking up in the middle of the night (hi midnight - I WAS asleep - quite happily too, and now I'm NOT... what do I do when I can't sleep? I'm blogging. Oy).

My three-and-a-half year old nephew L (our youngest person at the table) is a major chocoholic. He is a very good eater, but he *loves* chocolate. K's brother (also K) brought a chocolate chip pumpkin cake that L ate the chocolate chip out of his piece (funniest thing I saw).

And I saw G's (my nearly-ten year old niece) multimedia geneology report about my (my father's father) side of the family - funniest bit was about my great grandfather and his brother being run out of Italy because of the Sicilian mob (true family legend).

Story goes Great Great Uncle Luigi's wife had taken up with a mob boss and he (Luigi) had broken into the house and stolen back the bedroom set (that he had made, as he was a cabinet/furniture maker). The mob boss was not pleased. So Umberto (my great great grandfather) brought Luigi to the US. Don't know what happened to the famous bedroom set. Of course G's report only said the Sicilian mob was mad at Luigi so he came here. I filled in the other bits since it is a family legend of how we came to the US in 190whatever.

My father's mother and my mother's parents and K's parents parents parents (possibly parents) (her mother's side has been here a long damned time) stories aren't nearly so colorful. Although my father's mother's parents came in 1880s and were first cousins. Which for Italy in the 1880s was not such a strange thing. Most possibly an arranged marriage.

Anyway. Now I'm just babbling nonsense so I'm gonna give sleeping another go. Hope everyone who celebrates had a lovely Thanksgiving!
Saw the progress on my brother's house today. The girls rooms are carpeted and the trim is going up. The carpet in G's room is pale blue - to match the color on the wall, and it has a pattern of very small squares, that makes an almost-herringbone type of pattern. B's carpet is varigrated pink and green stripes - to go with her pale pink walls. Apparently K found her canopy bed (sans canopy) on Craigslist. K will make the canopy for it (I suggested sari fabric - but we'll see what actually happens!). G's bed is something else - she found something she liked but it was $$$$$ to get the "kit" to make it. My brother will probably end up making it since she wants something pretty rustic looking, I understand.

The master bedroom carpet is a luxurious creamy beige - in a square relief pattern (and since we were wandering around the upstairs barefoot at his request, I got to sink my toesies into the pile - lovely!

Doors have door nobs and all. Thresh holds aren't in yet, but the pot lights are in and dimmer switches are working. Closet lights aren't quite in yet - but the wiring has been completed for it. The upstairs hallway hardwood floor is GORGEOUS - it had been installed but not finished the last time I saw it. It is stained and varnished a lovely pale amber color. And he's really thought very hard about how to turn the corner with the wood.

The tile has been picked out for both the laundry room and the hall bath (but not quite ordered - M is waiting a couple of extra days in case K changes her mind AGAIN).

As soon as the newel posts are complete and the railing is in around the stairs he can get the upstairs of the house inspected and certified for occupancy. And then his family can come home just in time to get settled into their new bedrooms before starting school.

In other news my folks are going away midweek, so I'll be moving into their house for a couple of days to care for their dog (and do lots of laundry!) and then I'll be leaving on vacation myself on Friday, when my brother will take over care of the pup until my folks return on Sunday.
When they first moved into their current home, my sister-in-law was pregnant with B, their second of three kids. B is now seven years old (as of February). When they moved in the house was a five room (two bedroom, 1 and 3/4 bath home) in the center of a lovely NE town (the same town I grew up in, and where my parents still live - although they are on the south side, and my brother and family live in the center).

My brother immediately started renovating the inside to make it livable - the two bedrooms had never been completed - the man that built (and died in) the house was quite elderly, and didn't climb stairs, so he lived in the three rooms on the ground floor. M (my brother) had to install flooring in the two bedrooms. So the summer K (my SIL) was pregnant with B she spent living with her folks (and G who was two at the time), and M spent the summer, when he wasn't working, completing the house enough so his family could move in. The kids are in the two bedrooms and M and K have their "bedroom" in the tiny den on the first floor.

He has spent the seven years since B's birth planning and building the "addition" to the house - which happens to more than double the square footage of the house, and added a two-car garage.

The architectural plans were done by man who knows how to design an addition that will seamlessly expand the current look and feel of the house. M bartered for the plans. M is an artist (amongst his other talents), and at the time was working on a commission for the Eastman School of Music - a portrait of our grandfather for their portrait gallery. So instead of paying thousands of dollars for the plans, he did a portrait of the architect's daughter (and a couple of landscapes of land the architect owns on the Cape).

Three years in to the build (since he is doing 95% of the work himself) the cellar was excavated, and cement was in, the framing was up, and the exterior shell was weatherproof - windows and doors were in, garage was complete, and the shingles were on. None of the interior walls were up the last time I saw the house, which was about three years ago.

My mom took me over to see it today - since M was spending the long weekend trying to get a little closer to moving the family into the new bedrooms - because if the girls spend one more school year sharing a very tiny space we might have WWIII on our hands.

The plumbing and electric has all been done, and the walls are roughed in (drywall up, mudded and all - but the interior window sills have not been finished yet) - in some places the walls are even painted! There are stacks of hard wood for flooring planks in what WILL be the family/livingroom/kitchen waiting to be installed. The original plans only had a one-car garage, but when he expanded it to a two-car garage he left the girl's bedrooms the same size - but that expanded their closets - so they have the most AMAZING walk-in closets ever - with beautiful hand built built-in shelves and shoe towers (because my brother wouldn't do anything so mundane as buy ready-made anything).

The girls will share the new upstairs hall bath - L, their little brother (who just turned three) will remain in the original part of the house and have his current bedroom and the space where the girls' bedroom is, and the current upstairs bath to himself. Which I think he will be glad of when G is fifteen/sixteen/seventeen, B is thirteen/fourteen/fifteen, and he is nine/ten/eleven - living on the opposite side of the house from his teenage sisters. He'll still be a boy - and they will be rolling balls of hormones and hysterics (I know - I was once a teenage girl). That space will probably be a huge relief to him.

The master bedroom is gorgeous - with a closet slightly smaller than the girls' closets for M and a *huge* walk in closet for K - this closet is the size of my smallest bedroom! The master bath has a gorgeous oval soaker tub and a separate shower - but none of the tile or fixtures other than the tubs are in yet. The upstairs also houses the laundry room - which is probably a space about ten by ten feet, and two hall closets - linens and sheets, maybe? Perhaps one will house all the cleaning products?

The floors are in, but as yet unstained, in the upstairs hallway, and he is working on finishing the stairs and the newel posts for the bannisters. The bedrooms will be carpeted - that isn't in yet either. He showed off his pin-nail gun. And mentioned a couple of the windows "sprung" and before he finishes them he's got the replace them - what he means is that the seal broke on them and condensation got inside the panes - but the windows are under a twenty-year warranty so all he has to do is call them and they send him replacements. He'll replace the ones that "sprung" before he puts up the interior finishes - sills and framing.

The what-will-be-the-new-kitchen area is his current workroom - and the kitchen will be the last are of the house he finishes before he breaks through the wall to the current kitchen and joins the ground floors together. The upstairs he'll break through the wall as soon as the upstairs is ready to be occupied - but he can't break through before, because the wall where he will break through is currently where the girls' built-in bunk beds are in their bedroom (he built the beds when they moved the girls in together when L was born, because the roof line right there is weird, and there isn't the head space for standard bunk beds. He also built desks for them that fit the space they had in the very small room.).

He is planning the design and building the kitchen cabinets himself. Since he did this for his first house (and learned a LOT about making kitchen cabinets) I have no doubt his kitchen will be amazing once complete.

All in all I was incredibly impressed with where he is now.

I see a lot of work that the house needs, and K and the kids will be very lonely for him, and he will be very lonely for them, but they should have new bedrooms/bathrooms come September and they'll be back from the Cape, moved into the new rooms. Only a year late - he'd wanted to get them moved in last fall - but I think the summer he broke his collarbone (nearly exactly two years ago) put him way behind his schedule. All in all he is building it on his off hours from his day job (sys admin) and as he scrapes up the funds to buy materials and tools. My dad has tried a couple of times to give him money for various pieces of the project - but I don't know if he has been successful at getting M to accept at all. I think his frustration with my brother was what made him offer to redo my bathroom when the tiles were falling off the wall in the tub surround (the really bad tile job the previous owners had done was not done correctly - neither the mortar, grout or backing board was done correctly, so water had done its level best to rot out the backing board behind the (really ugly) tile). Since I didn't have the funds to do it at the time (three years ago) I accepted - and he paid for the tiling of the floor and tub surround, the new toilet, and the new vanity. I have no idea how much it cost, but it made him feel good to do it for me - and it allowed me to use the money I'd saved for house repairs to fix the roofline fascia and replace the gutters that were rotted out and falling off.
etakyma: (Default)


( Jun. 23rd, 2011 11:56 pm)
My cousin posted this to her facebook feed:

"does anyone else that uses hotmail have a problem sending anything to yahoo or know what the issue is and how to solve it. I can't send an email to any yahoo'ers"

My oh-so-helpful-and-pithy-response?

"You solve it by migrating to gmail."


ETA: My aunt just commented with:

"what's gmail?"


You can't make this stuff up.
And what he really wants for his birthday is a full sized dump truck he can drive around. Or firetruck. Or cement truck. Or any kind of truck really.

Mental post-it for me... Get him something with wheels. Definitely wheels.
My parent's dog, Max, a pretty good sized black lab, is shedding like hell right now. After I helped my mom at the shop we went to my folks' for lunch today. After lunch we took Max out on the deck to brush him, since my dad hadn't done it after his walk. Fistfuls of fur came off him! And he treated it like a huge game.

And just to be thorough, we decided to bathe him (since the brushing brought all the sand and grit he loves to roll in to the surface). Ugh - more fistfuls of fur! We clogged the tub drain several times. He was good, though, and leapt into the tub when we wanted him to, and even if he was a little confused as to why we wanted him to stay there, he did - long enough for us to wet him down, soap him up and rinse him off. Then I took him back out to the deck to dry in the sunshine so my mom could clean the bathroom - where I pulled even more fur off of him.

So when I left I was completely covered in dog hair... Every single thing I was wearing went into the laundry (and I showered this morning - I kind of feel like I need another one!)

But the shop is in good shape - I took apart and rebuilt some of the glass cubes - and figured out that the FEWER people involved in building one of these displays the sturdier it becomes. I was in on building another one in the front room several months ago and it still shocks me it is standing, that thing is so danged unsturdy. The one I built today is very very strong - like it should be. But there were four people who were actively involved in building that one and I think that is WHY it is as rickety as it is.

And we removed half of the column of two glass cubes from the very front (and alternated out the hardware for half of it as it stood - which I think would have had fewer breathless moments of "omg is this going to collapse" if we'd just pulled it apart and rebuilt - but since I arrived while they were in the middle of that project I couldn't exactly SAY anything.

Really lovely day - low humidity, sun shining, and about seventy-two degrees out. PERFECT day.
etakyma: (HP Up to No Good)
( Jan. 3rd, 2011 12:00 am)
Our January thaw hit early this year. Yesterday we got up into the mid fifties, and today we were just shy of fifty degrees. The snow is melting at a very rapid rate (we got seventeen inches last a week ago). Today, we had snow fog. It is not a foggy day, but the snow is melting so fast, there is a mist hanging over everything, even though the sun may be shining and the sky blue.

Today is also my eldest niece's birthday! She is now NINE years old. Which is shocking and distressing. She is becoming a TWEEN. Went over after dinner for cake and presents. She got quite a number of fabulous things - her folks gave her a "design your own converse sneakers," her younger sister gave her a light-up ant farm. My folks got her three origami kits. Her little brother gave her a replacement for the toy he broke (and at 2.5yo, he really doesn't understand what is going on, but was still enamored of the toy in its packaging.). She got a renewal of the magazine series from me, plus a solar powered snap together kit that makes six different things, that are powered with a teeny little solar cell rather than batteries.

Well, back to work tomorrow. I didn't get through half the things to do on my list, but it has been a really good break, I think.

Currently, my first rehearsal is on Thursday night (did I mention I was cast in Annie? Yeah, one long three-month earworm). It is a music rehearsal, so singing! In public! For the first time in years! Thankfully I am in the ensemble, so nothing is riding on me singing by myself (which I am sure you are all thankful for).
So earlier this week I saw my nieces and nephew at my parent's house. It was like a playdate. My brother took the day off to work on the addition, and my sister-in-law took a few hours as well. My parents got the kids until noon, when K picked up the eldest (swimming practice) and the youngest (nap time), and left the middle child, my niece B, to have lunch and continue playing with me and my mom.

She has got to be the most exhausting child I've come across. Not only does she talk without ceasing, she has an enormous "I want" streak. Every other sentence seems to be "Can I have?" and she does not take no for an answer. She will just continue asking until she wears you down. Although, I am a mean mean auntie and for me no means no.

Anyway, she wanted to set up a "fort" in the living room, which consists of a folding card table, two animal pillows, two fleece blankets that get thrown over the card table that make sides, and a box of oversize cardboard blocks (storage box included). The card table is kept folded up in the dining room out of the way, and I pulled it from the hiding place, and B wanted to carry it over to the softer rug in the living room. She didn't want help. She is not-quite-seven years old, so big enough, but the table is still twice her size.

I told her "be careful not to hit any of the furniture and, don't knock over the Christmas Tree. Watch where you're going, and don't step on any of the tiny invisible people." O.o

Honest, guys, I have NO IDEA where that came from. Tiny Invisible People? Really brain? What the hell? But I went with it when she looked at me with the "are you crazy" look. I just wanted her to watch where she was going and be careful. All of a sudden I am spinning a load of blarney about the society of mice-fighting people who live in the house, and hide things like keys and toys. I had her pretty well convinced there were legions of tiny invisible people everywhere. And when she was doubtful about it, I got my mom to back me up with absolutely no prompting. B went right up to her and asked point blank if there were such a thing. "Of course we have tiny invisible people! You must be careful not to step on them!"

Reason number eighty-six billion three hundred and sixty two why I love my mom.
etakyma: (Default)
( Dec. 26th, 2010 09:52 pm)
Due to the frickin' BLIZZARD going on outside.

So I'm stuck inside until we're through most of the day tomorrow. I'll shovel first thing in the morning, and likely again sometime tomorrow afternoon. The town has, due to our state of emergency, canceled trash and recycling pickup for tomorrow (Monday is my trash day), and all trash pickup will happen one day late this week - like a Monday Holiday schedule. Which is good, since I have been spending the day throwing things away and getting the multitudes of boxes broken down in prep for recycling.

The Christmas holiday was good, if a little weird. My brother invited us to dinner on Christmas Eve, and he, his wife and kids, his in-laws, my folks, and his wife's brother and his family all crammed ourselves into their tiny kitchen/dining nook/livingroom. Five kids, nine and younger (the youngest is my nephew, he's 2.5yo), all hyped up on sugar and holiday excitement, and nine adults. Plus one aging golden retriever.

Dinner was amazing, mostly because both my brother and his wife are really good cooks. Plus they are vegetarian, so they prepare a wide variety of foods (my SIL's folks brought meatballs and Italian sausage for the carnivores - my folks brought wine).

After dinner, we went to their across the street neighbors to carol a little bit (although we need to widen our song base if we do this again next year - plus, some hand held electric lights might be useful, as it was dark and extremely cold).

Christmas morning found my parents and I back at my brother and sister in law's for brunch and presents. All three kids were excited and wound up, but also really really appreciative of everything they got - L loved the wooden workbench my folks got him - he wanted to bang on it all afternoon. I have awesome pictures of him standing at it with the wooden hammer, just happy to bang on it for the rest of the day. G wanted to play her Muppets Monopoly game (even if it was slightly defective in that it did not have a Gonzo player piece, and TWO Swedish Chef player piece. I suggested painting one of the Swedish Chefs so six people could play the game and not get confused if they were going to keep the game as-is (G wanted to keep it, as she didn't mind there were two Swedish Chef's and no Gonzo)). My folks and I left around 2pm, so they could get to the other grandparent's for dinner. I went to my folks for a mellow afternoon with them, and a comfortable dinner.

Came home around nine, and nearly went straight to bed.

Today it started snowing around 2pm, although there isn't a heck of a lot of accumulation yet. But the storm isn't supposed to end until tomorrow afternoon, so there is lots of time.

In other news, I cleaned up on tea and tea-related items, which is *completely* awesome. And I *think* my brother and sister in law liked the pancake extravaganza I gave them. They are so food-oriented, this might be a good idea in general, to keep gifts consumable.
Spent the afternoon running around with my nieces yesterday. Boy, did they tire my mom and I OUT. B got whiny (she's the younger), and G got annoyed towards the end. G is a total outdoor girl! She wants to be outside, preferably with no coat or shoes. As beautiful as yesterday was it was still chilly!

B wanted to play "sardines" which is a version of hide 'n' seek. But when outside at my folks house, there are only two ways to "split up" to search. One goes around the house one way, and two go around the house the other. And there are relatively few places to hide, especially with the leaves falling off the trees. But, play we did. And we played tickle tag (just so we could chase B around while she giggled, really). And regular hide 'n' seek (which is really more challenging), and museum statues, and throw the ball to the dog, and running just for fun.

I went to bed last night at 11pm I was so tired.

M brought the all three kids to lunch at my folks to give K (his wife) some time to work on the crafts she is creating for a craft show in early December. After lunch and some play time, M took L home for a nap (and also to continue working on the addition - very close to move in ready - at least the bedrooms. Bathrooms are getting there...) and left the girls with me and my mom (although very shortly that gambit won't work as for the first time L realized B and G were not in the car going home - next time I bet he gets fussier). My dad parked himself in front of the TV to watch the Patriot's game, so we let him be. When we decided to go outside, we took the dog, who part way through being outside decided he'd had enough and nosed his way back into the house.

When M got back the Patriot's game was about to go into overtime and the girls were fussy. We sat about and watched (mileage on "watched" may vary) the end of the game (G and I read the comics in the Sunday paper, B got just as close to us as she could and made me rub her back. That there were three of us perched rather precariously on two high stools didn't seem to phase either one of them - but I got rungs and ridges in odd places trying to make sure none of us fell off.).

B is at the age when "washing her hands" is holding them under the water for a second or two then swiping the towel is "washing." And after one of the indoor games she had dirt and dust all over her hands, I had to scrub them so she didn't transfer all that dirt to her clothes - it was the particularly sticky icky dirty dust that coats things not cleaned in years - and she'd found a pocket of it in the underside of the baby grand piano - a little ledge that nobody's ever dusted, because by the time my parents got the piano, there was no one small enough to want to crawl under it to see there is a ledge someone can hide something on, and so it has never been dusted. Very icky - and it took some scrubbing to get it all off her hands and arms.

All in all it was an exhausting Sunday. Good, but man, I wish I could bottle that energy. The sisterly spats I could do without.
etakyma: (Eureka Fargo (Proud))
( Sep. 27th, 2010 02:36 pm)
My not-quite-nine year old niece is learning how to play the string bass (how cool is that?). It is bigger than she is.

My six and a half year old niece is going to start piano lessons in the next couple of weeks.

My brother is still working on the addition to their house to try to get the upstairs live-able. He just has to complete installing the bathrooms, cut a door into the new part of the house, and move the girls into their new rooms. B is a little anxious to have her own room. We pointed it out (gently, of course) that her Papa said he was hoping to have it done this fall, and Fall is only a couple of days old, so he's got until after Thanksgiving, at least. But I guess she's been hounding her mother. She is one of those people who is still after instant gratification, instantly. Her older sister is far more patient, and able to see the bigger picture. Always has been.

This past weekend was incredibly busy - I helped backstage for a brand new theatre company trying to get off the ground - their very first production was "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum..." which I'd never seen before. Sure, I know the music - "Comedy Tonight" is a classic, as is "Everybody Ought to Have a Maid" and "Pretty Little Picture." Less well-known, but still pretty standard are "Lovely," "Impossible," and "Free."

But, as the cast tells us in the opening number ""No royal curse, no Trojan horse, and a happy ending, of course!" it is a pretty mad-cap musical that is never PC, and kinda dated, but still damned funny. It seemed as if the audiences ate it up and laughed for two hours. Two sold out shows, and a third that was nearly three-quarters full. Not bad for a show that is almost fifty years old!

The costumer, who I enjoyed working with very much, is one of those people who you know for two days and are already old pals. I've known her for less than two weeks, and yet, she is completely awesome, talented, and knows a heck of a lot about many different subjects. And she is one of the sweetest, most genuine people I've ever had the pleasure to meet. I told her I want to be her when I grow up.

Today, back to the grind stone.
So forty years ago today my mother became a mother. My brother was born within about a half an hour of Mother's Day (in 1970, Mother's day was on the 10th). So she spent the holiday in the hospital recovering from his (breech) birth (he was also an enormous baby at over nine pounds). In those days it was more difficult for them to catch the babies before they came out butt-first. And as my mother is a very petite person, she must have been strong as an ox, since she birthed him naturally - backwards. I am amazed that my mother actually wanted to have another child. Although, I was just over five pounds, and *not* a breech birth, I was a much easier delivery.

I spent the afternoon with my folks, having lunch and just chatting. My brother called in the middle of the afternoon to wish my mom Happy Mother's Day, and I got to wish him "Happy Birthday." He spent his birthday working on the addition to his house - apparently he has the insulation, or heating, or something folks coming in tomorrow.

My folks kept all three kids on Friday night over night. My mom told me she was completely exhausted by the time they all left Saturday afternoon. And they watched High School Musical 2 which she thought was the most horrible movie she has seen in years. But my brother and his wife had a lovely date night where they went into the South End for dinner and home sans children. So they celebrated Mothers Day and his Birthday a little early.
etakyma: (Masque of the Red Death Anton)
( May. 2nd, 2010 08:28 pm)
...found out today my brother ran the Boston Marathon. Not officially, or anything. He didn't have a qualifying number. But he ran it - sort of on a whim.

Would have been nice to know that *two* *weeks* *ago* when, y'know, he actually ran it.

He finished in under four hours.

My brother, ladies and gentlemen.
etakyma: (BandB Crumbling!)
( Feb. 1st, 2010 07:27 pm)
Monday started off with a bang!

But first, my weekend! Let me show you the fun! Friday night I went to a party! I had a pretty wonderful time, and the party was low-key and fun. Our hostess was relegated to *sitting* in the living room. She had spent Thursday night in the hospital having tests done (gallstone was the diagnosis), and she didn't tell anyone until we got to her home Friday night. If it were me, I'd have canceled the party, but she didn't. So I took over her kitchen as the party was set up to be pot luck. I did a lot of "So what'd you bring? Do you need a serving plate? Does it need to be heated up? Microwave or oven? What temp, and how long?"

Which will make those of you who know me LOL as I don't cook. At all. But, by damn, I can heat shit up with the best of them! The only thing I would have done better is start the coffee earlier. But what the hell do I know from coffee? I don't even know how to make it! I had to ask our hostess to explain her coffeepot. But next time! Oh, next time I will make the coffee earlier!

Saturday I went and explored some of West Concord with [ profile] gwendolyngrace. She had to pick up dance shoes at the dance shop, and conveniently there was a quilter's shop right next door. So we went in there and poked around at the gorgeous fabrics. Then we amused ourselves in the 5 and 10. So cool! I love 5 and 10s. There are so few of them still around. Gwen found some green boot polish, and I got a nail brush.

After that we wandered into the local artists shop - and I recognized some of the artist's work! Some of these same folks are in the CHG, my mom's co-op.

We got a late lunch together and she went off to rehearsal, and I went off to the Players "Coffeehouse Capers" which is sort of an in-group variety show. I was set up help. So I went early and put together the centerpieces, and started to help in the kitchen. I ended up being one of the two or three people making the event unfold smoothly. I guess I was house-elfing this weekend.

Sunday I went to the CHG and helped my mom and DL with display. I completely tore apart one of the artist's display of jewelry and rebuilt it, making it look so much better than it did. And almost the moment I locked the cases back up after having finished working on it, a woman came in and bought a bracelet from the case! So, it was also pleasing to the customer. The bracelet was $145. Which more than made the artist's rent for the month, so I felt good about that (and didn't mind having an empty spot to shift things around to fill).

Lunch with mom and dad as per the norm of my days going to the CHG. I left my copy of MOON with them so they could see it. They're currently working their way through the first season of "The Wire" that my brother gave them.

Last night was an early night as I was tired from two nights up really really late. I got up this morning and checked my email... I had a quick project (as in, must be done in three hours, but you know you're on a conference call in two, and both need about two hours of your time to prep for...).

I sent back my reply with the needed information for the project just in time to log in to the conference call. The conference call went quicker than they were expecting, and this time I was strictly listen and take high-level notes, no talking necessary! That ended in time for a late lunch, and I had the rest of the afternoon to try to get my normal daily work completed. Which I did at about 6:35pm... Whew! Seeing as I started this morning at about 8:27... It has been a damned full day! Glad I had that wild blueberry tea (OMG, so damned delicious - but also caffeinated, so I must be careful to only have it really early!). I now have two favorite teas... one caf and one decaf!

Whew! I think I'm gonna go veg out for a little while and figure out dinner...
Saturday I ran about doing lots and lots of errands - one of which was a three dollar solution to a fifty dollar problem for [ profile] gwendolyngrace. We are crafty! But I also went to Lowes to research some things for the shop.

Sunday I went into the shop and helped out with display. My mom was "big picture-ing" it - she was moving large items hanging on the walls around and making the shop look really good. LLC set me on "little picturing" it - I was relegated to clearing off and re displaying one shelf of jewelry in one of the cases, and making a list of the designs the shop had sold out of. I really enjoy the time I spend in the shop - it gets me out of the house and talking to people. I love the ladies who meet for Sunday morning display work. They're pretty fun and entertaining. Plus DL, the leather worker at the shop has given me three large bags of leather she no longer uses. There are some full skins as well as some pieces she's cut things out of. All of it will be fairly useful in costuming, for items or trims. Maybe a patchwork vest. I've never worked in leather, so I am looking forward to it. Interestingly, for health reasons DL has been vegan (celieac-casin? Something to do with gluten allergy and other animal protein, maybe?). She is no longer strictly vegan, but she is on a limited diet.

My dad came in with the dog while I was there to get everyone tea and coffee from Starbucks. I got a chai tea - which was a mistake, as Starbucks has changed their tea. Don't get me wrong, it was delicious, but man, I was shaking with the caffeine hit an hour later. Starbucks tea did not used to do that to me. But now, with the new "full leafed tea" and the tea bags are about twice as big as they used to be, it is also three times as strong. Guess I won't be getting any caffeinated tea from Starbucks anymore (bastards).

Then Mom and I went home for lunch with my dad. And after lunch my dad turned on the football game and my mom and I sat and chatted in the living room while I cut up a pattern I was thinking of using, and she covered a couple of pillows with some soft rugs she got at the discount shop for less than two dollars each. The pillows look fabulous.

Monday began benignly enough, and sort of went down hill from there. But it did end with a dinner date with my dad, so it wasn't all bad (mom was at the monthly meeting for the store, so dad was at loose ends). Today began with email from my client who hadn't received my email from Friday testing a new tool. So it looked as if I blew him off. I did not. So I resent my Friday email, and followed it up with an IM. ARGH!

Hopefully the rest of the week goes a little smoother. In other, better news, it looks like I am vacationing in Delaware this summer. Beach House! I can't wait. I wonder how hard it is to make a kite?


etakyma: (Default)


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