Thursday, May 06, 2010
For some weird reason we decided to use the rest of the tax refund (i.e. that free loan that you give to Uncle Sam, AND in our case, the State for a year) and spend it on paving the driveway. Hubby and I have gone back on forth on the environmental issues, the weeds with ticks that appear by August down the drive vs. the toxicity of herbicide and pesticide vs. the oil runoff of asphalt and the heat that it will bring to the front yard. I think what pushed us over the edge was the inability to shovel a gravel driveway with any success this past winter after week after week after week of snow.
Then hubby, who is the least pretentious person I know, decided he wanted pavers for the part closest to the house. (Yes, you can close your mouth.) That is an expensive decision and certainly not necessary. I was/am so shocked I decided to go along with it. As I frequently say these days, I am going to die someday, so why not? I do not fear or welcome death; I just know that I am now on that downhill side and any decisions I make are not that important when they help employ others in this recession.
Anyway, I sit here at my desk with clouds of powdered cement drifting across the outside front yard and coating every green leaf and colored flower petal as workmen begin to saw into chunks the current cement sidewalk before starting on the driveway paving. Oh yes, this will be major. The house shakes as they lift huge chunks of cement with a bulldozer and dump it in their truck. The workers (you know, the ones with the green cards that everyone wants to ask for to make sure they are legal ...the ones who are essential to our lifestyle...the ones that actually helped, in a small way, keep retail businesses open during the recession... and one of whom has only two pairs of work shoes but will not wear the other pair for weeks because a bird nested in them on his back porch) are covered in cement dust as they use cement saws to cut chunks of 4 inch thick concrete into manageable sizes. The white guy sits in the front loader and moves the cement to the truck.
They had to carefully move quite a few established plants from either side of the walkway. I am hoping they survive.
Mrs. Bluebird left early and I have not seen her return, and I am VERY concerned that we have driven her off her nest. The distant chickadee in the far birdhouse is still hanging in there in spite of the noise and dust. We had forgotten the issues of spring when we scheduled this project. We also should have been prepared for the washing machine gasket problem (in prior post) and the compressor going out on my little wine cooler in the kitchen.
(Did she say she has a wine cooler in the kitchen? Really?)
Anyway, neither of these are going to be repaired anytime soon.
Thursday, April 09, 2009
Thoughts after an extended weekend with immediate and distant family:
- Legos are still fascinating toys but involve tiny detailed work! And, of course, Tabor still follows the directions and her projects look like the picture on the box!
- Hubby does not follow directions (as you will recall in a prior post) and he skipped an important step in putting together the birthday plastic basketball kit and was told in no uncertain terms by son-in-law that he would have appreciated a more organized approach. One is a biology major and one an accounting major...can you guess which is which?
- My son was at the birthday party and when we hugged good-bye he told me he loved me! OMG was I in heaven for days.
- This big party for my favorite 4-year-old's birthday was a bowling party where they used regular bowling balls and no one broke a toe or mashed anything! I don't recall any strikes being made either. Kind of gives you a feel for this recession when they allow 4-year-olds to drop bowling balls on these nice alleys.
- A new experience for me was having a 4-year-old I didn't know sit in my lap at the birthday party while I pushed the accelerator and he did the driving on a video game at the bowling alley. We wiped out a ton of stuff!
- I had Xman the first three days after his party down at the house and am totally wiped...!
- 4-year-olds cannot eat at the table or play games on the computer unless all four appendages are moving around like crazy at all times. This leads to your dinner plate being moved while you are eating as the table slides away and your computer DVD loader opening and closing as little toes keep kicking the button!! You have to be a pretty sharp grandparent to keep up. (I learned the last day, if you are eating at a small drop leaf table, this toe tapping leads to the drop leaf dropping and Xman's entire plate hitting the floor and shattering into a half dozen pieces!)
- I taught Xman about collecting colored rocks on the beach and putting them in his pocket. He asked if I was sure he could put rocks in his pocket and I said "SURE, always!" (I am a sneaky little grandma.)
- We also were the first for the new season to have him take off his shoes and socks and walk on the beach and actually wade in the cold bay water. He loved it.
- I made a promise to hubby that I was no longer going on international trips just because others wanted me to, and instead, my money was being saved for my next big trip in the coming year to somewhere I really wanted to go. But recently I have been asked to fly to South America to babysit grandchildren for a wedding over Thanksgiving (on my dime of course) and my SIL wants me to join them on their annual trip to Denmark this fall. I love them both and am going to have the courage to say 'no.' (help me...)
- Sky asked about my gray hair decision and you will just have to wait until I get back from the cruise...too busy to elaborate. And Tammy, bless her heart, actually wants pictures of the cruise!!
- Tied into my 360 degree prior post, the Italy earthquake was very near the area where some of my ancestors were born and raised...very globally intense and thought provoking as I saw people that looked like my Dad when I visited years ago.
- This will be my final post for a number of days as I will be heading out on a ship with animals with large noses and big ears. Everyone together now...awwww, gee!