Archive for July, 2011
Holy shit! It’s a boat!
John took it to get inspected so it could be registered, titled, and licensed on Friday.
On Saturday we finished up the rigging and did a dry run of assembling it in the driveway.
This morning we took it out on Ceasar Creek Lake.
We put-putted around the lake with the trolling motor. (Alas, the weather did not cooperate 100% and there was not even a little bit of a breeze.) We fished off of the boat. (John caught 2 fish worth keeping.) We jumped off of the boat and went swimming in the lake.
It was pretty awesome. As John put it – “We leveled up.”
One and a half years of work all leading up to this morning… of which John admittedly did 99.9% of the work. I helped out here and there, but mostly watched and asked if I could give him a hand. Turns out there is not really a whole lot of two person work to be done when you are making a boat.
Anyway. Boating = awesome. I think that we will be spending a lot of weekend time, up until it gets to be too chilly to boat, out on the lake.
And then we came home and helped the neighbors chainsaw up a tree that split in half during the windstorm last week.
I cleaned my office. I know, I’m shocked too. But wait… I had a good reason.
Last weekend John and I went up to see my folks, make the rounds of visiting relatives (the official reason for the visit, since some of my relatives from Spain were in town), and pick up some more stuff from my Grandma’s house.
When Grandma moved from her house to an apartment last year, she gave away a lot of stuff to various relatives (myself included). This year she moved again, from the apartment to an assisted living residence. Which necessitated another round of giving away stuff to various relatives.
My Mom asked me if I would like a desk (there were two to choose from) and some of Grandma’s bone china teacups.
The desk that I choose is a very nice Art Deco style desk, and is also incidentally the desk that my Grandpa (“Pop”) used in college.
The teacups… one of the things that Grandma collected was bone china teacups. Every now and then she would see one that she liked, and she would buy it. So by the time I came around and was old enough to be trusted with drinking a hot beverage out of a bone china teacup, she had quite a collection. None of them were the same and all of them were beautiful. I picked out a couple that were my favorites to use from holiday family gatherings past. My brothers will also get to pick out a couple. I also took a sugar bowl and creamer that matched a teapot (the teapot in question had belonged to, I believe, my great-aunt Agnes) that I already had.
(Even though it is over 90 degrees out, I am drinking tea out of one of those teacups – the one with dogwood blossoms on it – right now. However, in deference to the heat, it is iced tea.)
So. cleaning my office.
I had to rearrange the existing furniture a bit in order to accommodate the new (old) desk. Shifting furniture revealed the wooly mammoth-sized dust bunnies that were lurking in previously concealed corners, so it made sense to dust all surfaces and vacuum everything. And once I had started with the cleaning, it made sense to clear out a whole bunch of stuff that I didn’t need anymore. (Goodbye text books from grad school that I haven’t cracked open in almost 10 years!)
Five hours later, my office is neat, clean, organized, and the new (old) desk is centered in front of the window.
I like it. It looks good.
Any bets on how long I can keep it this way?
The warranty on the house and a lot of its contents seems to be expiring this summer, given the number of items that are breaking down, and have either been replaced or are in need of replacement. So far we have had to replace the garbage disposal, kitchen faucet, and lawnmower. (The engine on the old mower seized up and died in a cloud of smoke midway through mowing the lawn about a month ago. Fortunately the magic that is Craig’s List helped us to find a a better quality mower that we bought for less then we spent on the old one.)
The latest in the list is the dishwasher. For a while it has slowly been doing less and less of a good job at its sole task – cleaning our dishes. So last week while running errands, we “looked” at dishwashers at Home Depot. “Looking” turned into “buying” about 10 minutes into the process, and the new dishwasher was delivered yesterday. (The nice Home Depot delivery people also took away the old one so that we wouldn’t have to figure out how to dispose of it ourselves.)
And that brings us to reason number 973463 to hate the previous homeowners. As we have grumbled about before, they liked to DIY, but they were really bad at it, and cut a lot of corners, and made a lot of mistakes, and John and I keep finding things that they messed up that we now have to fix or find a work around for. Like the very nice tile in the kitchen. When they put it in, they blocked in the dishwasher, so that there was no way to just slide it out of its space under the counter. We had to shim up the counter top by about an inch in order to be able to wriggle it out to unhook it.
It is nice to have a new dishwasher, though. Especially now that it is all hooked up and installed and working. It is quieter then the old one, and also takes less time to complete a wash cycle. Even though we went with a bottom-of-the-middle range GE model, it is an astounding improvement over the old one.
I only hope that this is the last major replacement that we need to do for a while.
The jalapeno peppers, which were disappointments last year, are making up for it, and were the earliest producers this year. We have been using them, as well as the banana peppers, in stir frys for a couple of weeks now.
Last night for dinner we had poppers (for which we used 14 jalapenos), half of which were blue cheese poppers and the other half of which were smoked gouda. Yum. We also cut up, salted, and ate the first couple of the ripe Black Prince tomatoes.
There are zuchinis and green bell peppers and eggplants that are almost ready to eat.
There are a lot of green tomatoes that should start to turn red very soon. The Sweet 100s, a cherry tomato variety, have already been ripening, and we have just been eating them straight off of the vine.
The basil is finally tall and thick enough for us to start using it for pesto.
The vegetable explosion, it should happen any day now. We have so much stuff that is right on the cusp of being ripe.
Almost a month ago exactly, my youngest brother Kevin and his longtime girlfriend/fiance Christine got married.
They live in Aliso Viejo, CA, so John and I flew out for a long weekend for the event. We stayed at Dana Point, on the marina, and the ceremony itself was just a little way up the coast, at a very lovely location overlooking the ocean in Laguna Beach. It was very overcast on the day of the wedding, right up to about a half-hour before the ceremony, when the clouds all blew out to sea and the bright, bright sun came out.
As an interesting aside, John and I had spent the morning tramping around the Dana Point beach and marina, and hadn’t bothered much with sunblock since it was overcast out. Turns out that you can sunburn just fine through clouds, and we were unfortunately pretty red by the time it came to shower and dress for the wedding.
Initially Kevin had asked me to be their official photographer for the wedding. I spent about a week hemming and hawing over the prospect, before demurring. I just don’t have the same level of equipment that a professional would have, and knew that I would feel terrible if I missed an important shot. When I got o the ceremony location, I was glad of my decision…it was a beautiful spot, but the sun was so bright and harsh that photography was a little bit difficult, and I hadn’t brought any external flashes to provide any fill light to balance out the bright (backlighting) sun.
As a result, I didn’t feel like I took a lot of photos, and I put off downloading and working with them for a while, because I was afraid that the few photos that I had taken would not have turned out very well.
It turns out that one person’s famine is another person’s feast, and the “not a lot” of photos that I took turned out to actually be well over 400 shots. Gotta love digital photography. I remember well the days of film, when you had a couple of rolls of 26 (or 24) exposures, and by golly, you hoarded those exposures and tried to make every one of them count. Because when you were done, that was it. No more photos. Now I have a 12G flash card in my camera and almost never have to worry about running out of space.
Here are some of my favorites.