Saturday, August 27, 2011

Another Fun Saturday at Blackrock

A. got up bright and early this morning, ate some eggs, and then hopped on the roof to begin another round of roofing. By himself this time, as he's just doing the small roof over the patio on the south side of the house right now. It's not very big, but even the small number of shingles that came off so the new ones could go on poses a serious pain in the ass.

Shingles are made of asphalt. Asphalt is really damn heavy. And we have no way to dispose of trash except in plastic bags at the dump. So the MiL and I basically loaded a strip of roadway into numerous plastic bags for disposal. Ridiculous.

This is what you get for doing it yourself.

I'm really, really hoping that A. can get this all done today. You know, before that little weather event named Irene comes our way tomorrow. I have no idea what we might get as a result of that storm. Some of our local weather forecasts are all, "Ho hum. Some rain, a little colder. Whatever." And some of them are all, "OHMYGOD BOARD YOUR WINDOWS, LOCK YOUR CHILDREN IN THE BASEMENT, IRENE IS COMIIIIIIING!!!"

It's a wee bit inconsistent, is what I'm getting at.

So we'll just try to get the roof done today, make sure all the animals are set with shelter for tomorrow, and see what happens.

And now, if you'll pardon me, I must resume my role as pissboy for the resident roofer. Happy Saturday, duckies.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Trot Trot

I'm afraid that while Cubby thought the real horse he sat on a few months ago was a little too large for a small cowboy, he has found a steed more his size.

You can call her Trigger.

Poor, beleaguered Mia. She's put up with a lot from Cubby in the last year or so. This is just a little too much, though. I try to stop him from jumping on top of her, but sometimes he's too quick for me. She was very patient for a while, but now as soon as he runs over to her yelling, "Tra tra tra,*" and starts to swing his leg over her back, she just gets up and comes to me, seeking protection from this crazy toddler that has replaced the calm, stationary, milky baby whose face she liked to lick.

I know just how she feels. (Except for the face-licking, that is.)

* Trot trot trot, that is. Cubby is not so good with the terminal consonant sounds.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


The only thing that really sucks about waking up to no power after a truly amazing storm in the early hours of the morning? No power for the coffee maker.

Unless, of course, you have a generator. And are willing to use it for such a frivolous purpose.

We do, and we are.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Heroic Green Beans

If you could see my bush beans at the moment, you would think they must surely be close to death, what with the yellowed, bug-ravaged leaves, the flopping stems, and their general air of depression. But if you looked closer, you would see that those pathetic-looking plants have all kinds of blossoms on them. They're trying really, really hard to produce seeds and pass on their genetics.

Too bad I keep picking off the seed part to eat. I feel kind of bad about it, but I do love green beans. Sorry, plants. Your genetic destiny will be foiled once again.

The pole beans have also finally started producing prodigious quantities of flowers. There are even some beans on them now. The problem I'm finding with the pole beans, though, is they're so damn big and exuberant, I can't see the stupid beans inside the mess of foliage. Green beans are surprisingly camouflaged, looking amazingly like a part of the stem. I have to spend several minutes carefully searching through the leaves to find even a few beans. I should imagine this might get easier when there are more beans on the plants, as they tend to hang in clumps. But right now? It's a daily hunting expedition for the few that are big enough to eat.

Next year I might go back to the purple pole beans. They're easier to find.

The rest of the garden has just started to recover from the July drought. So our growing season is pretty much just now getting started. In August. Our first frost can come anytime after the end of September. Yeah. I don't think we're going to be breaking any records for harvests this year.

A trip to the farmers market might be in order.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

An Important Lesson

Cubby is accustomed to sleeping in his own bed. By himself. He will not sleep if I bring him into bed with us because of piteous teething wailing at 3:45 a.m. He will roll and thrash and headbutt my throat, but he will not sleep.

I'll remember this next time and remind myself that the crying will stop sooner rather than later, and even more sooner (settle down, grammar people, I know that's incorrect) if I just leave him alone to go back to sleep.

Had I only been thinking that clearly at 3:45 this morning, I could have had an extra hour of sleep.

Ah well. Parental education is ongoing. And tiring.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Future Mr. Fixit

I foresee a future for Cubby in which there will be many, many tools. And the reason I foresee this is because that child has a straight-up obsession with tools.

Perhaps you think I'm exaggerating? Perhaps you won't when I tell you that one of Cubby's favorite "books" is the Northern Tool catalog. This thing is approximately 600 pages long (no joke) and we will sit there for half an hour paging through it with Cubby, patiently reading the descriptions for every blessed tool known to man. It goes like this: "Industrial pressure washer hose reel, 15-gallon steel low-profile oil drain, horizontal E-tack, utility trailer, heavy-duty electric chain hoists . . ." and on and on and on until infinity.

As the MiL has said, it lacks plot development. Nonetheless, it is fascinating to Cubby. His favorites are the chain saws ("sa? sa? sa? sa?") and the full-sized tractors ("twa? twa? twa? twa?") which are pictured being driven by men ("ma? ma? ma? ma?") in hats ("ha? ha? ha? ha?").

You can see the fun.

Cubby is also never happier than when he stumbles upon a hammer when he's outside. This happens more often than you might think, since his father may be less than diligent when it comes to putting away his tools. No matter, though, because it gives Cubby the opportunity to snatch up the hammer ("ha? ha? ha? ha?") and run off with it. He doesn't always actually hammer with it, seeming content to just cuddle it close to him and crow with delight at his prize.

Screwdrivers are also exciting. As are bolts, screws, nails, pliers, and anything else that might be found at your local hardware store. I should just take him to the hardware store in the village and drop him off. I bet he could entertain himself there for hours.

The man who runs it might not be so entertained, however.

We encourage this fascination with tools. It should come in handy some day, what with all the things that need fixing around here.

So have at that hammer, my son. Allow it to become an extension of your hand. And then build me a laying box for the hens, would you?
We could use a new one.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Charging Flash

Why does my camera say that all the time? Does the flash really require that much charging that frequently? Doesn't the camera know that when it spends all that time charging the flash despite the sun and light that actually make the flash unnecessary, I get blurry shots like these instead of a crazy-cute and in-focus picture of Cubby in his daddy's hat?

Stupid camera.