Saturday, April 23, 2011

Where's the Ark?

We may need it here today. It's raining so hard at the moment, I'm really afraid that the new little pea shoots I saw in the garden the other day may just wash right away.

Luckily, the little tomato seedlings I transplanted to bigger pots yesterday are safe in the study. I can see that the biggest problem with having over 100 baby tomato plants (120 at last count) is that when they are moved from their tiny communal cells into bigger pots so they can stretch and grow, they will take up a LOT more room.

Well, the plants won't take up a lot more room, but the pots will. I only transplanted 16 into new pots yesterday, and that filled up one whole tray. I only have so many south-facing windowsills. And the way this spring is going, I'm not going to be able to put them outside until the Fourth of July.

Maybe I can rig up some kind of woodchuck greenhouse with cinder blocks and all those old windows in the shed. I probably could, actually, but it's not going to be today. Today is no kind of day to be outside working. Which is probably a good thing, since we have 20 people coming for Easter dinner tomorrow and the house is in no fit state for guests at the moment.

So I guess I'll do housework today instead of transplanting more tomatoes. What a drag.

Here's hoping your Saturday is more fun and features more sun than mine, duckies.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Another Kind of Baby

Since I posted no less than four photos of Cubby yesterday, I suppose I'd better not oversaturate this site with more photos today. Which is really too bad, because he had his very first haircut yesterday and yes, I took pictures.

I did not, however, save any of the hair. This probably means I'm a bad mother, but honestly? Hair kind of grosses me out. Victorian hair jewelry has always been particularly repellent to me. Not that I can compare that to a lock of my PRECIOUS BABYYYYYY's hair, but still. If I am judged a failed mother for not taping a hank of Cubby's hair into his baby book, then so be it. I can live with that.


So yes. Haircut. Cubby and I tagged along with A. when he went to get his cut, and then we had the lady cut Cubby's hair. This lady has been cutting A.'s hair since he was, oh, about six years old, so it seemed appropriate. She was really good--she moved quickly and didn't cut off an ear or anything, so two thumbs up. Cubby was good, too. He sat on A.'s lap quite calmly and played with a bottle of nail polish. He had a miniature little cape and everything. It was very cute and has all been recorded for posterity. (SEE? I'm not SUCH a bad mother.)

What I did not take a picture of, but really should have, was the mounted deer head that greets you at the door to this salon when you walk in. It is, as the MiL remarked, a country salon. Indeed.


Instead of pictures of MY baby (who is much less of a baby these days and much more of a toddler, complete with the pigheadedness and manic energy that characterizes those small people), I will instead leave you with a picture of another baby on the property.

If you're having lamb for Easter dinner, don't worry. They are nowhere NEAR this cute when they're turned into the "leg of" kind of lamb.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

No Reason

Just because the photos were hanging out in my computer, and who doesn't love photos of a happy kid?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


It occurred to me as I was driving my new/used car (which actually will not REALLY be my car until the car seat is installed in the back--how telling) to the mechanic the other day that I don't even own a pair of sunglasses anymore.

Yes, this occurred to me at night as I was driving in the dark. I suppose my thought process went something like, "Car from Arizona . . . driving in Arizona . . . ALWAYS needed shades . . . no shades here."


I remember when I first met A. (we met and lived together in Phoenix for a year before moving to New York state), I was really surprised that he didn't wear sunglasses. I always wore them. You just didn't leave the house without them, for obvious BLINDING-DESERT-SUN reasons. But A. didn't even own any. He just wasn't used to them and didn't like the feel of them on his face or the way they somewhat restricted his vision.

Now I know what he was talking about.

Shortly after moving to Albany and starting to work as a proofreader, my vision went to shit. Reading closely for eight hours a day will do that. I had to get glasses for the first time in my life. Just for driving, but driving is of course when you need sunglasses the most. My glasses came with some magnetized, removable sunglasses things. I used them for awhile, but they got bent and scratched and after awhile, I just kind of . . . gave up on them.

Sunglasses are far from necessary here (hello, third straight day of dark, rain-laden skies!), but I don't even wear them now when we visit Arizona. Because I'm just not used to them anymore.

I suppose I could make some profound comment about how this small change is just representative of the larger change in my lifestyle, but forget the profound. That's not my style. Instead, let me just ask: How about you, poppets? Are you a shades kind of person, or do you prefer to go bare-faced?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ridin' in Style

I did indeed manage to register the car yesterday in one shot. A shot that included needing a piece of documentation that I didn't actually know I needed but that my father had included with the title and I had thankfully brought along anyway, so thanks, Dad! Also a shot that required me to explain to the DMV person why exactly I was not required to pay sales tax, and then the same explanation from her manager, before she would reduce my amount owed from $715 to $131.


Yes, I registered the car in one trip to the DMV and GOOD THING because the driver of the car-hauling truck called around nine yesterday morning to say SURPRISE! I'm supposed to be there on April 20th, but it looks like I'll be there at eight o'clock tonight instead!

Except he actually ended up not getting to the appointed truck stop meet-up place until about 9:45 p.m. because of delays. Let me tell you, there is no surer way to feel shady than to meet with a guy in the parking lot of a truck stop at night. Yikes.

BUT! The car was successfully delivered and I got my maiden voyage in it as I drove it straight to the mechanic to drop it off for the required New York state inspection*. As I drove, I noted several fun things.

For one thing, the Subaru has an outside temperature read-out in the dashboard. Which is how I learned that it was 35 degrees outside. Oh. No wonder I was so damn cold as we were doing the auto hand-off in the parking lot of the truck stop.

For another thing, I had NO IDEA there were so many radio stations in the area. See, the antenna on the Nissan snapped off several years ago, so my radio reception was less than stellar. In fact, I could only pick up four stations. Two, once I got into the Small City. But apparently, there's a whole wide world of radio listening out there! A world that I can now be a part of. How broadening.

For a third thing, I really hate having to stay up past nine o'clock and by the time we got home around 11 p.m., only the sight of the adorable clothes for Cubby and the box of See's Candy peanut brittle for us that my mother had generously stowed away in the back of the car could have kept me from crawling into bed immediately. But the lure of peanut brittle and tiny sandals was strong and did manage to keep me awake for another five minutes before we collapsed into bed.

Anyway, this collection of entirely too many run-on sentences was really just my announcement that yes, I now have a legitimate, fully functioning car to call my own. And HOORAY for that.

* Obviously, the mechanic was not THERE at 10:30 p.m., I just left it for the inspection to be done today.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Navigating the Paperwork Maze

There are some things in this modern life of ours that are guaranteed to cause stress in the form of paperwork: Getting married and changing your name on every blessed legal document in the world, insurance claims, and anything involving the Department of Motor Vehicles. I have personally dealt with all of these things and, at the moment, am deep in the throes of that last one.

See, A. and I did decide to get a Subaru Outback to replace my trusty-but-rusty old Nissan. It just kind of happened that the approximate year and price range we were looking for was the same as the Outback my mother had. And when I was talking to my dad about what we were looking for, he asked if I wanted to buy my mother's car. She was looking for a newer car anyway, so it seemed fortuitous for us all. Her car is in good condition and she's owned it for all but two of its years, so I knew it had been treated nicely. After some online haggling, we agreed on a price* and all that remained was to get it from Arizona to New York.

My father very kindly took care of finding a car shipping broker and setting up the details (and also very kindly tacked on the shipping costs to the overall price of the car, but did NOT charge me for his services in setting it all up, so I'll accept that). Then my parents signed the title over to me and shipped it Certified Mail.

And then our postman refused to walk up the driveway on Saturday when he was deterred by the Deterrent, so that the title is now sitting at the post office awaiting our pick-up. Annoying.


Once I have the title in my hot little hands, I can then begin the real paper chase. Calling the insurance company to get the car on our insurance, then having them fax the appropriate paperwork to A.'s handy home office. Printing out the registration form from the DMV website and filling it out, along with a form for sales tax exemption because the vehicle was purchased from a family member. Gathering all the various papers and forms of identification together and getting to the DMV to actually register the thing.

I don't know about you, but my record for actually having everything I need to get a transaction completed at the DMV the first time I go in is not very good. I will endeavor to do it this time, because I now have Cubby to deal with, so I do not have the luxury of driving to and from the Small City more than once.

And then, finally, after jumping through all the bureaucratic hoops, me and my shiny new/used car will drive off into the sunset. I hope.

* Not joking. This is a business transaction, and I was not going to accept the first selling price offered. Even if it was offered by my own father. Family ties are no excuse for ignorant business dealings.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


A. and I went out last night to a friend's house. We left Cubby asleep at home with the resident grandmother. There were spirituous beverages and spirited conversation and a good time all around. We got home a little after midnight. A. kindly offered to take the morning shift with Cubby this morning so that I could sleep.

Which is why I am really mad that I woke up at 6:45 this morning FOR NO REASON WHATSOEVER. And with no hope of getting back to sleep.

Irritating, indeed.