He was a college-kid type obviously not looking like he wanted to attract attention (picture shown is not the real guy, but a look-alike I found on google):He was deep in concentration, listening to his music and had the countenance of any other commuter on their way to work. I had to hand it to him for giving it his all! I would agree with him that one wheel was better than none, but two is much more relaxing.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Friday, January 25, 2008
The carpet in the gathering room, freshly vacuumed
Looking at the gathering room from the entry-way.
Entry-way and staircase, freshly stained banister.
We are sooooo excited-- less than a week away now!
I waved Paul off to work at 6:45 this morning and stood out for a few minutes gauging the temperature to decide if I need to wear Paul's Wooly Bear jumpsuit with gloves and a hat during my ride to work, or if I could get away with wearing my two pairs of leggings, a long-sleeve shirt, windbreaker, wool hat and gloves. It didn't feel that bad and so opted for the leggings (easier to peddle in than a bulky jumpsuit).
Once on my bike, however, I did not warm up as usual. My hands stayed frozen to the handlebars, my lungs still ached with the cold air, and my legs were still resisting the peddling motion by the time I made it to work. Huh. So I checked the temperature on the internet while thawing out in my office, and lo! It was only 18 degrees outside. No wonder! Yesterday was in the 30-40's, I believe, and so that's where I'd like to say my degree range of liking the cold resides.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Don't know if I'll be reading much over the next few days, what with more fiber from Trish and packing to do.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Granite counter tops have been put in and the microwave, sink and dishwasher
The floors have been stained walnut color.
The light fixtures have been put in too!
Carpet being installed in the master bedroom.
Well, that's it for now!!
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Four of us are working as a team out at this particular job site and it can be really good times with the right people. The three people I'm with out here are a lot of fun and are the adventure-seeking type. Our project manager, Fred (names have been changed to protect the innocent), only here with us for the first day, was oblivious to this fact somehow, and he was giving us a general tour on the first day since none of us had been out here before. "There's well # such and such over there (motioning) and off to the left and around that hill behind the stump is well #such and such." Poor guy was droning in a very monotone voice while the four of us were jostling around on the dirt road ride trying to sound interested and attentive. As usual, when in a situation that is best not to fall asleep, I did. Mike jabbed me in the ribs as usual to wake me up and it didn't seem that I missed much. Yawn.
So we come around another bend in the road, and Fred was saying, "... and there's well# such and such by that pallet, and here's where we drop off the purge water, and the graveyard is off to the right in that forest..." That's when everyone's eyes became saucers and and their heads were craned to the back as we ambled past where the graveyard was supposed to be.
Fred was happy to continue on the grand well tour but luckily, Mike said, "Hoooollld on Fred. You said graveyard. Can we have a look?"
Fred looked surprised at the interest and then shrugged his shoulders. "Oh, if you really want to," he chuckled. "Actually it's quite interesting. John and I were here installing wells and were told by some employees about it. So we started snooping around in the forest and found it. Aparently the graves are of a family that lived here in the late 1700's to early 1800's. We were reading the tombstones once we cleared back the brush, and when we looked up we saw a large black snake hanging from the tree looking at us. That's when we cleared off and didn't come back."
Meanwhile Fred was driving slowly along the mysterious forest edge looking for the spot when he slammed on the breaks and pointed his finger, saying, "There." We couldn't see any telltail signs but as we got out of the car and walked closer we could see a faint trail easily missed by an untrained eye. We made our way slowly through the trees and thick shrubs to a little overgrown fenced in area with three tombstones inside. Someone had been by recently to tidy up a bit, but not enough to appear to be a regularly visited area. It was a well-kept secret. As I gazed down at the tombstones trying to make out the engravings, I couldn't help but wonder what these people saw when they lived here along the Cape Fear River (the grave was not 50 yards from the water although we could not see it through the forest) 200 years ago. Did they see much of the Revolutionary War? Was the father who was buried there fight in it? He passed away in 1811, and lived to be 54 years old, so it was possible. I think we were all thinking similar thoughts, as there was a respectful silence as we stood there.
We made our way back to the car, all deep in thought, and deeply impressed with Fred and his interesting way of shrugging off adventure. Mike asked dubiously, "Is there anything else cool about this place?" Fred thought, reflectively and finally came up with something he thought might pass, "Well there is an alligator living in the pond over by the shed over there and he's usually just hanging out ."
Needless to say, we were all most impressed again, and feeling bolstered by everyone's enthusiasm Fred thought it was a good time to mention "Lizard Well." He took us to the well and warned us that inside this well lives a family of lizards that are very territorial and stand their ground. "So becareful when you take the top off the well, because they're all likely to run out and be aggressive. Just give them their space and sample as if they aren't there." I can tell you everyone was thinking it but didn't say it for fear of sounding chicken: "Yeah, right."
Nobody was too excited to volunteer for that one, but Mike and Lindsay got the luck of the draw and had to sample that well yesterday. Mike sent us a picture message showing him holding the well cap with a lizard perched staunchly on the top, not about to go anywhere. Actually, Mike said because the weather was so cold, and being that they are cold-blooded, the poor guys had a hard time of being territorial as they were not able to move above a crawl! It's been about 30 degrees.. maybe not exactly, but that's how it's felt.
Monday, January 14, 2008
On Sunday before I left for Cape Fear we decided to quickly swing by the house and see how things are going. Wow! What progress! They have the counter tops in, most of the lights, the floors are stained and they are working on installing the carpet right now. Oh dang it, I just realized I forgot my card reader so I'll have to post pictures when I get home on Saturday.
I've got to head down anyway and meet everyone for dinner, so good night!
Friday, January 11, 2008
One thing that I did want to share is that I went to Border's bookstore last night with Alyssa from work (and she was kind to take me and my bike home afterwards). I bought a book to replace the two that I have been trying to read at home and have not really enjoyed: "The Time Traveler's Wife" and "Onion Girl." The first has a good story but I lost interest in the characters, and the second book I found was not my cup of tea by the second chapter- too violent for my tastes.
I am starting to find that in general, I prefer classic books because I think the authors had a better talent for character development, and another key difference is that the characters they created had integrity and qualities to admire. So many modern books are about people without morals or courage, and represent what I get tired of seeing in society. There are exceptions and I do stumble upon a good book here and there that I really can get into. I love the Harry Potter books, for instance, because the characters have real trials (in the sense of jealousy, friend problems, loss of family, etc) and real faults, but they have many good qualities to admire, and are truly good human beings. Plus, the creativity is outstanding in those books. And there's the mystery aspect, the humor, and the violence is more my speed as the books are written for kids!
Anyway, so at Border's last night I picked up the second book "Duty and Desire" in Pamela Aidan's trilogy that corresponds with Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice." The fun thing about these books is that they are written from Mr. Darcy's perspective and they are written very, very well. I was surprised to see how well a woman could write from a male perspective, including the humor, the character interaction between Mr. Darcy and his friends and also between him and his hired help. I really loved the first book, "An Assembly Such as This," and the second one is already proving to be very enjoyable (hence, no dinner was cooked last night).
Monday, January 7, 2008
For our English family, here's a picture to show we did the traditional "Christmas Crackers" at Christmas dinner, complete with the enclosed jokes and crowns.
Below is the big scrapbooking day, with the dining room table wedged into the family room so we could have a better view of the TV for the many movies we watched while working. The men were out of the house for the day. Can you tell what movie we were watching? Hint: Starts with a "P" and ends in the word "Bride"
Sunday, January 6, 2008
Phase I - Pre-moving Prep: Scattered days this week we will both be traveling for work. I'll be going to Camden, SC and Paul will be going to Utah. Birds are scheduled in for their grooming so that we have no accidental flights out front doors during moving. On Saturday the 12th and 19th we are scheduled to pick appliances, book our U-haul and set up our utilities and insurance for our new home. I'll be in Cape Fear for work during the whole week of the 13th. Our home inspection takes place on the 21st and I'll be traveling to Virginia for that day and the next for work. On the 23rd we appear at our home to meet the builder and do the walk through. Then we do all the banking stuff related to the house on the 26th.
Phase II- Moving Commencement: We sign for the house on the Thursday the 31st, pick up the U-haul and start to organize for loading (we haven't scheduled in packing but it starts today). People from my church are helping Friday and Saturday to help us load and deliver and unload.
Phase III- Post Moving: Appliances arrive on Saturday the 2nd. I begin cleaning the apartment on Monday after work to finish on Tuesday for our move out inspection on the 5th. Paul comes home from Sweden on Thursday the 7th and we start our search for a car. On Sunday the 10th we'll get a rental car which I'll be using during the next week (end of bike riding) until we find another car, since we'll then be living too far from my work to make it work with one vehicle.
Something we haven't worked into the schedule is getting the Mustang fixed. It is leaking power steering fluid and some jerk tried to break into it this week (luckily for us, unsuccessful of completing any theft), so now we have to fix the window paneling and get the leak fixed.
This commentary does seem overbearing and it is a not-so-subtle plea for sympathy. I know everyone has their trials and ours are not any more significant than yours, but it does help me feel better to write it down and share with a listening eye!
I think before starting the packing, I'm going to chill out with a bit of scrapbooking or continuing on with knitting The Sweater. On that score, things are moving along. The trunk is finished and I'm about to start the sleeves. Funny how out of proportion things look from this angle! Paul tried The Sweater on last night for the first time and it fit pretty well. A little snug perhaps, but in my defense he did have a big bulky T-shirt on underneath.
Friday, January 4, 2008
Now that we live in the Charlotte, NC area, it has been a goal of mine to gradually learn some of the plants native to this area so that we can plan our backyard trees, shrubs and flowers. I was pretty excited to find the Plant Native site which lists native plants (and their characteristics) in the location that you choose. The list is limited to the United States. It also has a nursery search that allows you to find nurseries in your area that carry native plants!
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
"Mighty Mom" scored 3 points in the tasty category and 4 points in the traditions category, 3 points for texture and 4 points for appearance for her Southern Boiled Custard.
"Mighty Mom" and "Kare The Bear" worked together to make Jill Cooper's gingerbread cookies with some additional ingredients for added spice. We scored 5 points for texture, 2 points for tradition, 2 points for appearance and would have scored more points for taste, but accidentally put too much salt which gave us only 2 points for taste in the end.
"Burbee The Baker" scored a whopping 5 points for taste (first plate to be cleared), 5 points for tradition (being the shortbread cookie recipe of our great-grandmother, Nanna), 3 points for appearrance and 4 for texture.
"Gary The Pot-Stirrer Man" scored 4 points for taste (second plate to be cleared), 2 points for texture (the chocolate kept melting and re-solidifying), 3 points for tradition and and 4 points for appearance. Gary had two assistants.
Let me know by comment or email if you want any of these recipes posted!
This morning I was sorting through the fridge looking for lunch from the remaining leftovers from the past week's festivities and I came across some yogurt that my sister had in our fridge and some leftover snack carrots that my mom had left, and her brand of yogurt. And I thought, "Awww, that's my sister's, and mom's..." It made me feel like we're pretty darn alone all at once. We've had practically non-stop company for two weeks now, and I was getting quite used to having everyone there. Sigh.
So as I sit here and eat my sister's yogurt, I was reflecting on things and thought to my consolation: we can't say we'll be bored because we both have work travels coming up, mortgage decisions to make and paperwork for the house to get started. We sign on the 23rd! Life is exciting and new with each turn we make, and it is always surprising that it can still feel that way after our 32 and 35 years of experience.