If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always had.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Finally, officially back from vacation

I guess I have no room to complain. I managed to cling to vacation mode for 11 extra days. The last vestiges have finally slipped through my fingers. It's been A Day--not particularly bad, just lots of petty annoyances. You know the kind: you put on a clean shirt, and an hour later you spill spaghetti sauce on the shirt AND your jeans. You drop cooked pasta on the floor putting together the rigatoni for dinner. Somebody leaves a full glass of water on the end table, and the cats knock it onto the couch. (Thank you, Lord, it was just water and not ginger ale from the can sitting beside it. Why can my family not put that stuff away?) You try to chip away at a big project, but it's so big you can't find a toe-hold to get started, so you stand in the middle of the room staring stupidly. (Had two of those today.) Your hair, for some unknown reason, has decided to part on the wrong side and will not be induced to behave.

To quote Ty Pennington: "I guess there's just one more thing to say. Welcome home, EJ, welcome home."

Pardon me while I go change clothes and start a load of laundry.


Before pictures

I've been working on the upstairs, trying to get the loft cleared out enough to paint. We're relocating part of the library to the guest room and have sorted paperbacks for alphabetizing. The goal is to have the loft painted and books squared away by the end of February. (Yes, 2007.) Forgive the brightness of the pictures; we have a lot of ambient light in these rooms.

This is the loft, missing some of the bookcases. That bright blob on the right is one of the two south-facing windows in our house.

Paperbacks, A-R. The basket on the floor to the left is full of B's.

T-Z. Note that all of the paperbacks are at least double shelved; tripled in most cases. I bought more shelves to put in the bookcases, but we might need more bookcases. Or fewer books. The good news is that I haven't weeded out duplicates yet. Miles to go before I sleep...


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

You know it's cold when...

the butter (yes, real butter, not one-molecule-away-from-plastic margarine) doesn't soften, and the butter dish is a foot from the stove. We're supposed to have a little warming trend in the next few days. Today is supposed to be 27* and the next two days should be a balmy 31*. I know I said I wanted a proper winter, but I'm sort of missing Florida this morning!

I got word from Scott last night that his roommate's tumor was malignant. It looks like he will be the subject of arrow prayers for the long haul. He does have youth on his side; he's under 30, and he's a fighter. Scott says his spirits are up, which is great. Attitude makes a big difference.

I meant to get in here yesterday with Very Exciting News: Vicky finished her second math book of the year! I know, it doesn't sound like much, but it is a big deal for us. She hates math. Monday morning, bright and early, we'll begin Pre-Algebra. I thought we'd be starting it later, and I'd planned to stretch it into the summer, but with six months to go before the start of her Freshman year I don't think it will. We might move into Algebra, or we might just do a couple of reviews a week through the summer. I'd dread teaching in the summer if this wasn't my last year!


Monday, February 05, 2007

The plan worked!

Eric is still migraine-y but he was able to show me the piece of information I was missing. It helps to open the right program! I wasn't able to do a whole lot about the resolution, but I guess that's what I get for using a disposable camera and not getting the CD when they were developed.

This is Dad and me. The friend who took it was trying to get our tent and the flag in the picture with us. The other tent, to the right, is a wall tent about the size of Dad's.

The rest were intended mostly as reference for when we start building the furniture for our camp. Eric hasn't seen the gear personally, so I took a bunch of pictures for examples. These are the least boring ones; the rest are hinges and latches and corners of boxes to see how they're jointed.

This is the 'living room.' The chairs come apart and the seats slide into the back for smaller storage and transport. The table folds, too.

That's part of the kitchen. The X on the right end of the table is my 'possibly non-authentic because it's not documented' drying rack. Dad hates them, but I don't feel bad about using it. He uses dish soap (in the little bottle on the bottom shelf), and they definitely didn't have that! The box behind the chair holds a cooler, and the black blobs on top are big coffee pots for hauling and heating water. They could be used to make coffee, too, but we don't drink that much.

Here's the other part of the kitchen--Dad's new cook stove. The lid lifts up to form a windscreen, and when you're done with the fire, you close the lid and side vents to bank it. The trivet to the left can be moved over or away from the fire to regulate temperature. (I guess that makes it a pivot trivet?) This particular stove also has a half-grate and a full grate. The bar across the top holds the pokers and S-hooks for hanging a pot over the fire.

Now you can see why my friends think I'm nuts for doing this! It looks primitive, I know, but we really have all the comforts of home except electricity and indoor plumbing. For me, this is as near to a perfect vacation as I've found, and this last trip was the best yet.


"Aged" picture

Why do I get the urge to blog on half a cup of coffee? And why does Dell Support have to pop up and interrupt my cursor when I start? My devices are fine; leave them alone, Dell.

Anyway, I've gotten tired of waiting for Eric to have a moment to help me edit these pictures. For some reason I've brain-dumped my usual procedure, and I didn't think to ask him about it while he was home. That's not true, exactly. He's still home now, but he's in bed with a migraine. He won't be much help. The plan is to post the one really crappy picture I did at least get cropped, and he'll read this and say, "Honey, why didn't you just ask me for help? I could have done this at work for you." Then he'll help me with the pictures and I'll post them later.

So here's me, in costume, under the fly of Dad's former tent. It was a 14' x 14' Marquis style (rather like a circus tent, with a center pole that holds the roof at a peak). He finally got tired of setting up the big tent (no pun intended) and sold it while we were there. He has two smaller wall tents so we can still camp together with my brood.

On a personal note, I was shocked at how big I look in this picture. Do y'all ever watch What Not To Wear? In at least half of the episodes, Clinton and Stacy have to convince people that wearing baggy clothes to hide fat makes you look fatter. It's true! This costume adds, like, 30 pounds! The moral of the story? The next two pieces I make will be the stays (early corset) and I new short gown (the jacket). The other moral of the story is never forget to take the digital camera ever, ever again! Maybe I'll save my pennies and buy my own to carry in my purse/haversack (18th C. purse)/pocket. After all, if I'm going to look fat curvy in costume, what's one more thing in my pocket? The petticoats (skirts) are full enough that it won't show anyway.

Any suggestions for a small digital with good resolution and not to many bells and whistles to confuse me?

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