Saturday, February 26, 2011

Reality Check

You didn't think spring was coming or anything, did you?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Shakin' It

If you have never lived in an old house, perhaps you did not know this about them: They are loud. There tends to be not a lot of buffering of sound anywhere in the house, so that if anyone is walking around upstairs, it sounds as if that person is about two inches above your head and could fall through at any moment. In our house, we have the added bonus of big old heating ducts that transmit sound wonderfully, as well as the Secret Stair, which serves as a perfect conductor of noise from the downstairs to the upstairs.

And then there are the floors.

I suspect in a modern house--such as all the houses I ever lived in before living here--the floors are anchored quite firmly to some kind of subfloor. In Arizona, the floors are also almost always tile. Solid. Unyielding. Totally unlike our floors.

Our floors are wood. Old wood boards, to be specific. The boards are laid over wooden floor joists, but of course, in between those joists is . . . space. Space for the floor boards to bounce up and down a little. Plus, some of the floor boards are just loose. This is all normal and inevitable for a floor that was installed 160 years ago, but it does make for some noisy movement.

You walk across our living room and the lamps on the table rattle. You walk across the dining room and the silver on the sideboard shakes. And when I say "you," I mean ANYONE. Even Cubby, who weighs all of 22 pounds, makes things rattle when he stomps around.

I don't think the floor is in imminent danger of collapsing (OHGODKNOCKONWOOD), but it is sort of disconcerting to dance around the living room with Cubby* and listen to the lamp across the room shake.

At least he'll never be able to sneak out of the house when he's a teenager without us knowing.

* Not that I dance around the living room to REO Speedwagon's greatest hits with my toddler**.

** I totally dance around the living room to REO Speedwagon's greatest hits with my toddler.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

This Post Brought To You By My New Laptop

Yes! I did indeed manage to set up the laptop, connect it to our wireless network, download a new Internet browser, and all kinds of fun things. Of course, it helps that computer setup these days is pretty much geared to the lowest common denominator (that would be me) and the computer walks you through steps so simplistic I'm pretty sure Cubby could have done it.


Today we're not going to talk about my admittedly limited technological prowess. No, today I would like to address a comment Alicia made yesterday about using my new laptop to read intellectual articles so my brain doesn't atrophy. I found that really funny, considering I've spent the past week watching the entire first season of "Glee."

Yeah. Not the choice of intellectual giants, I know. But dammit if it wasn't entertaining.

See, I saw the DVDs at the library when I was there last week and decided I'd better see what all the hype was about. I had only the vaguest idea of what the show was about, only knowing there was singing in it.

There is singing. Some very good singing, and some . . . not-so-good singing. Also dancing of the good and not-so-good variety. Also some incredibly cheesy storylines and an actor who plays a 16-year-old boy but is actually 28 years old.


Here's what redeemed the show for me and made me sit through all 22 episodes, or some such ridiculous number: A performance of "Ice Ice Baby." And a Salt-N-Pepa song. And Montell Jordan's "This Is How We Do It."

In short, the pop songs of my adolescence that I never hear anymore. It may not improve my mind significantly--in fact, I'm pretty sure it has the opposite effect--but it sure was entertaining. And these days, frankly, I'm more interested in entertainment than intellectual pursuits. So thank you, Glee, for hours of escapism and music that's so bad, it's good.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Send the Geek Squad

A. went into the Small City yesterday, so I asked him if he could pick up a new computer mouse for me while he was there. He did. He also bought me a new laptop.

Well, if that doesn't deserve a heartfelt YAY!, I don't know what does.

It wasn't completely out of the blue. I was supposed to get a new computer for my birthday this year, but then we had to be all adult and stuff and wait to see what our tax hit was going to be this year before spending any large amounts of money and MAN, being an adult is such a DRAG.

But never mind that! Because I have a new computer! A computer that does not have a broken disk drive or a huge, awkward monitor and will (presumably) not take five tries to connect to the wireless network.


It's so exciting, and yet I am a little anxious about my fun new toy. I am not good with machines. The thought of uploading software and figuring out what programs I need and how to connect to the wireless network fills me with trepidation. I mean, I can certainly do it, and have a few times in the past, but it is not something I enjoy.

What I DO enjoy, however, is having a fully functioning computer, so today I will overcome my weaknesses and make that laptop mine.

(How's that for an overly dramatic conclusion? I thought it was pretty good, myself.)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

YAY! Boo. And How Are You?*

We're running on all heat cylinders this morning. YAY!

But my computer mouse is still broken. Boo.

This means that I get to use A.'s much faster and all around better office computer. YAY!

But only while he's asleep (like now) or not working during the day. Boo.

Unlike the last several mornings, Cubby did NOT wake up at 3:30 this morning. YAY!

He did wake up at five, so that's when I got up. Boo.

But this means that he went back to sleep and I now have the time to drink my coffee without a small child grabbing for the mug at every opportunity. YAY!

The sound Cubby now makes when he is denied access to said mug (or anything else) is a combination shriek and whine that makes me want to rip my ears off. I hear it a lot. Boo.

It's seven degrees outside. Boo.

But that means that at least we don't have to worry about the sugaring season ending prematurely. YAY!

Oh, did I not tell you we're tapping maple trees this year? Boo to me. More on that some other time.

So how are you, duckies? Are you all YAYs? All boos? What's your list like?

* If that title sounds like a children's book, that may be because I have done one too many readings of "Moo Baa La La La." Welcome to the life and atrophying brain of a stay-at-home parent.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Off Kilter

I'm feeling very off today. Two things happened this morning*: First, the MiL informed me that we were out of heating oil. Oh. That's why Cubby's room felt chilly last night.

We were scheduled for a delivery this week anyway, so I called the heating oil people first thing and told them it would be really great if our delivery could happen today so that our baby didn't die in his bed from hypothermia.

Okay, I didn't actually say that, but I bet that would have been effective, don't you?


Not having an operating furnace is not a complete disaster for us, as most of the heat in our living areas comes from the woodstove. But the furnace does provide a little boost to that heat and keeps the living room at a fairly comfortable temperature. The furnace also adds to the heat of the space heater in Cubby's room, which meant his room was a little cooler than he likes. We got an oil delivery a couple of hours ago, so we're all good now, but it was a little chilly for awhile there.

Second, I broke my computer mouse this morning. I was cleaning the inside of it--as I have to do occasionally or it will cease rolling merrily around and will instead get all stiff and sticking and extraordinarily irritating--and I broke off a little plastic piece on the inside. Yay.

The result of this is that I couldn't get online today until A. took a break from work and I could use his office computer. Which is now, as he eats his lunch.

And now I must get offline so that A. can resume his work and we can pay the excessively large heating oil bill delivered unto us this morning along with a functioning furnace.

Happy Monday!

* Okay, LOTS of things happened this morning. Things like eating oatmeal and letting dogs out and watering sheep and . . . well. You understand. Many things happened, only two are on topic.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Well, That Was Unexpected

We have not been impressed with the weather forecasting this winter. It seems to be all over the place and rarely accurate.

Case in point: The forecast yesterday called for some bands of lake-effect snow (which, despite the fact that we do live on a lake, never actually happen for us because of our actual location), with accumulations of only one inch. The reality? It snowed all day, with high, horrible winds, occasional periods of near-whiteout conditions, and accumulations of at least three inches.

Dropped the ball on that one, Mr. Meteorologist.

This meant that all four of us, plus the cats, were inside all day. The dogs wanted to be inside too, but it was crowded enough around the woodstove without that trio of large canines. A. made dinner. I made popcorn. The MiL mended some clothes. It was all very homey, and we were all very bored by the end of the day.

It's still snowing a little this morning, and the forecast is calling for more snow tonight. Although, given the local weather guy's track record so far this season, I wouldn't bet on it.