14 May 2011

It was nice while it lasted

All the flowers in the raised bed are done for the season. The last of the tulips puttered out about a week ago. At the same time, my one peony bud finally bloomed!

Mme Calot peony

Peonies take about three years to establish, so I was happy with even the one bloom. Unfortunately, an afternoon hail storm two days later reduced it to a pile of petals on the ground. Luckily the two rose bushes have taken over the spotlight to detract from the now empty flowerbed.

My first bouquet of the season, on my nightstand

This is the rose bush that the previous owner told me was 100 years old. It's probably not quite that old, but it is old and very profuse. In the three years we've owned the house, I've never done a thing to them. The ghost of Miss Kitta must be looking after them for me!

07 May 2011

Looking back, it was pretty funny

I had been waiting for a rain-free, warm day to get materials from Lowe's for the closet organizer I designed. The only way to get the plywood home was to have them cut it to size in-store and have it hanging out the back window (which is why it needed to be rain-free and warm). All the planets aligned yesterday and I was excited to get the project started. I asked an employee for help, and he told me that I had to pay for the wood before they could cut it. So I copied down the item number and checked out at the front of the store. Back to the lumber department. I asked another employee for help again, and he told me that the saw was broken, and that I didn't have to pay for the wood in advance. Apparently one of their highly-trained staff had cut through the power cord with the saw.

Yeah, let that one sink in.

Back to the front of the store to the return desk, where I return a purchase made 10 minutes earlier that I never had possession of. I explained to the girl what happened, and she said, "Oh, really? They do that all the time."

God bless capitalism.

02 May 2011

The past few weeks

I've probably started new posts a dozen times since the last time I checked in, but I haven't been motivated enough to finish any of them. That's not to say that nothing has been going on around the old homestead. The week before last it felt like I did nothing but drive to Columbus and back. That Monday, Clara had surgery to remove her extra toes.

Waiting for surgery. Totally oblivious.

Those poor sweet feet. :(

She was pretty much conked out for the rest of the day.

Don't think those casts slowed her down, though. A few minutes before the picture above was taken, she was crawling around in the hospital crib, even though it was clear the anesthesia hadn't totally worn off. Three days later, she managed to get out of one of the casts. After a frantic phone call to the surgeon, I was back on my way to Columbus to get another cast put on. The doctor told us not to worry too much if it happened again because the cast was only there to keep her from pulling out the stitches, and she didn't seem at all interested in doing so. Tom played in a table tennis tournament in Columbus on Saturday, and we were on our way there when she managed to wiggle out of the cast again. What a stinker!

When we got back from Columbus for the third time that week, we discovered that our basement had taken on water in a major way. It had always been a little damp and musty, but nothing prepared us for the 10" of water that awaited us. We got record amounts of rainfall in April, and even the driest of basements around here were pretty wet. Even so, I tried to remain grateful that this was the only real damage done at a time when tornadoes were ripping through much of the country. So after Mass and lunch with Tom's family on Easter Sunday, we spent the rest of the day pumping water out of the basement. It was certainly a memorable way to spend the holiday!

We had a guy come over to give us an estimate on finishing the other two bedrooms and adjoining bathroom. While we felt like his pricing was fair, it is still more than we want to pay out. He's willing to just do the framing for us and then let us take care of the next steps. It's nice that he's understanding of budget constraints, unlike many general contractor horror stories I've heard.

So that's all the news for now, unless you want to know how I feel about the royal wedding (gorgeous event, now leave the poor couple alone) or Osama bin Laden (feeling guilty that I'm relieved a person is dead) or the cancellation of All My Children (mad as hell). Lots of other house-related projects in the works, so stay tuned!