Thursday, December 30, 2010

The end is nigh!

Well, end of 2010 anyway. It has been a pretty good year. Only one funeral, no economic disasters (only a minorish sewer problem), no pets died, no car accidents. Depression pretty much under control, weight going down, slowly, but down. A nice Christmas, too. May 2011 be as stress-free.

Today is the first day in several weeks above freezing, and the snow is for now, slushy and slick. Tomorrow the high is to be 50! hard to believe, but welcome, at least for now, although the ensuing mud won't be pretty. Maybe it will be somewhat windy, to dry the ground out. The horses haven't been out in weeks, these geriatric beasts don't need to break a bone when they cavort around after a long confinement, or slip and fall even. I feel sure that is what caused Blondie so much pain that she couldn't stand, and which ultimately caused her death. I'm not taking any chance of a repeat.

Blondie and me, ca 1995

My Christmas gifts were an eclectic mix. The "big" one is a brand new set of cookware (Calphalon). Our old pots and pans were wedding gifts, 40 years ago, and in dire need of replacement; but I never felt justified in getting a $$$ set since what we had worked at least. But what a difference! I may actually find myself in the kitchen more. The majority of the rest of my gifts is candle making stuff, beeswax and molds, which I am itching to try out. Maybe on Saturday.

That's all for now...

Bumper sticker of the day: "Warning: May contain nuts"

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

All the shopping and present wrapping is DONE. One small thing I ordered has not come, but that's OK. We will be having lovely steaks for Christmas dinner, baked potato, and pie. Maybe dinner rolls. The best part about the menu? No all day cooking marathon, and no leftovers.

I mentioned the plumbers coming in my last post, and so here is the scoop on that.

The sewer pipe in the back yard had become crushed by the roots of an enormous ash tree. We took the tree down last year when it failed to leaf out (i.e., dead) but of course the roots were still there. These plumbers brought their pipe camera and showed N the mess in the line, explaining why every few months we have had to have the line snaked out. No one else had tried to look at the pipe.

Anyway, the only repair was to *DIG* down to tie into the broken line above the break (just as it leaves the house) and then dig a new path to get to the HAU unit (the digester). In the snow, not so bad; but of course the digging needed to be done under our deck; and under the part of the deck where a storage building lived. We had to empty the shed (into my dining room right now, lovely), then the excavator tore the railing off the deck so that we four could sliiide the shed off the deck and into the back yard (but it can't stay there, the ground is too sloped).

Then the excavator tore the rest of the deck off (took about 15 minutes to destroy what took weeks to make), then began to dig. Cut the water line (oops!). Got that fixed, and finally there was the sewer pipe. After that it went pretty fast, mainly making sure the run is downhill (where all good s**t flows). And finally, tearing out the stump of the offending tree, so NO MORE roots.

But the price for all this was (eap!) $5300.

Below are the image post mayhem.

The torn out decking:

The "Root" of the problem:

The lonely shed, cruelly shoved from its home on the deck:

And the scene of the crime:

The snow kind of hides the raw edges of the mess. What will we do with the backyard now? Wait until spring, or better yet, summer. And the dining room? oh well.

Bumper Sticker for the day: "Vaje de: The feeling that you're doing it wrong all over again"

Friday, December 10, 2010

Nearly Christmas

Well, Christmas is still 14 days away. So I can safely procrastinate gift buying for at least another week. What would Christmas be without frantic trips to the mall on Christmas eve?

Now comes the dreaded task of wrapping presents. We don't have any bows on hand, because last year they were so tacky we pitched them all. But then I got to thinking, even nice bows are a waste; the cats chew on them until the are all spitty and punctured, if not carried away. So if we forgo the bows altogether, how much difference will it make? None. So, bare bones packages it is.

You would think that I am all bah-humbuggy about the jolly season, and you would be halfway right. If it were left up to me, there would be a Christmas tree, no outdoor decorations, and no inside decorations. I do decorate a great tree, but only on three sides, because who looks at the back side? It makes wrapping the garland a snap, because you only go back and forth, and not around and around, getting it all tangled. The tree is pre-lit, so that is the worst part already done. When I still had to do that, I would use many many strands as I wrapped it up and down each main branch, what a pain. My ultimate goal would be a tabletop tree that is completely decorated, I'd just pull it out of the box and plug it in. Done.

The weather here has been bitterly cold for these parts, down in the low teens at night, night after night. The horses are all rugged up in their winter woolies and Willie has been moved to another stall until we can deal with the water leak under one corner of his old stall from the barn sink drain line. It isn't a problem for the dogs, who now can go in there, as they don't weigh 1000 lbs and stand in that spot all the time, mashing the mat underfoot. Pets are so much fun in the winter.

The plumbers are arriving momentarily (you don't want to know) and so I will leave this for now.

Bumper sticker for today: "Time flies when you're totally bewildered."