Thursday, November 30, 2006

Talk About Changes!

I know I post alot of sunrises... I can't help it, I love them! I captured this one on Tuesday morning:And then, just 2 days later, the same view this morning:

Weird. At least it hasn't snowed yet! But they are talking about some of that stuff next week. I don't think we remember how to drive in the snow. All I know if if they call for 1/2 inch or more, we need to run to the grocery store and buy 53 gallons of milk and 138 loaves of bread. And lots of toilet paper. In case we get snowed in for MONTHS.

When I was checking out the fog on the front side of the house, I notices someone was a busy worker over the past few days:

This wasn't there the other day when I was putting up lights. It's quite the work fo art though. Spider webs are amazing.

Let's just hope that the creator doesn't try to come inside when it turns cold this weekend....

Monday, November 27, 2006

OOoo, this can't be a good sign....

As part of the holiday festivities, I put the Holiday Mickey antenna balls on the cars. When we got home this afternoon, I noticed Santa Mickey lost a leg:

Gah! Is this a sign of bad things to come?

Is Christmas doomed?

Was I *that* bad this year?? (Don't answer that ><)

Should I take his other leg off and pretend he never had them in the first place? Or maybe make him a little peg-leg! Arrrr!

The neighbors all seem to have taken advantage of the unusually nice weather and put up their lights! Time to go survey the competition :p

Sunday, November 26, 2006

I want this life...

I want to come back as a dog in my next life. One of our dogs. Sleep, eat, play, sleep, bark, eat, sleep......Max decided it was nice down by the fireplace, and took a little afternoon puppy-dog siesta:

He's probably dreaming of new ways to torment Miss Kitty....

Holiday Decorations - love 'em, hate 'em, could care less? In keeping with tradition, we got out the Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving. Roof lights went up on Saturday. Now we're working on the bush lights, and the inside stuff.

If you celebrate Christmas, when do you start to get things set up? The day after TG, the first of December, or do you wait until it's closer to the holiday?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!


* Cut out aluminum foil in desired shapes.
* Arrange the turkey in the roasting pan.
* Position the foil carefully.
* Roast according to your own recipe
* Serve.
* Watch your guests' faces!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Pet Names

No, I don't mean those cute little names you call your special least not this time.

I was trying to remember tonight how I came up with the name Spike, for Spike.I really couldn't remember where it came from, but I think I had the name before I had the dog. I wanted a dog when I finally was "making it on my own" (e.g., making enough money to pay the rent, the car payment, some food, and beer), and a friend convinced me to go to the local animal shelter and see what they had. Spike came home that day :)

I don't think we had much rhymn or reason for naming Max, other than it seemed like a good name for him. His mother's name was Foxy, and his father's name was Jax, so Max kinda fit right in.

Kitty was named Kitty by default. Her formal name is Miss Kitty.

Growing up, we always had a few pets around the house: Mimi, the black mutt was the first dog I remember as a kid. She lived to be about 12. Then there was Penny (Penelope), because Mom named her and it was a froo-froo poodle; and Peaches, the Old English Sheepdog. I have no idea where that came from. Rerun, the black cat, was named after Rerun, the younger brother of Charlie Brown from the comic strip. I think I picked that one out.

If you have a pet, or had pets growing up, how did you come up with a name?

Saturday, November 18, 2006

All's Clear in the Chimney!

We love fires. Especially the intended ones. So having a fireplace is a nice perk.

We had a chimney sweep come over the other day to clean the chimney. We always do that when we move into a new (to us) house, so we have one less potential for disaster. We all know that I attract disasters, so this is important.

The chimney sweep we found was recommended by our kitchen contractor and the eletrician. After checking the BBB records and being satisfied this guy was legit, I called to set up an appointment, thinking it would take maybe a week. This was in early October. (Haha. Apparently, I hit my head pretty hard when I fell off that turnip truck yesterday.)

I got the sweep-person's voicemail the first time, and his message went something like this:

Chim-chim, cha-ree
I feel mighty lucky that you're calling me!

Chim-chim, cha-roo
Leave your name and your number and I'll get back to youuuuuu!


Against my better judgement, I left my name and my number. And the next day, he got back to me.

Jeff: I'm looking to get my chimney cleaned, are you available?
Chimney Sweep: I don't sweep, I don't eat!
Jeff: Well, eating is nice. I'm off next Friday afternoon, October 14 if that works for you.
Chimney Sweep: I'll pencil you in for November 17!
Jeff: Swell, thanks...

So, a month later, he showed up as planned. Interesting character. He was wearing a big black top-hat, and looked a little odd, but was nice, and did a good job as far as I can tell. At least, he got out his ladder and actually climbed up on the roof.

When he was done, he left this on the mantel:

I'll certainly say I will remember him next year when we have them cleaned again :)

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Pretty sunrise this morning!

Too bad the day had to be ruined by that stupid thing called Work....

If you won the lottery tomorrow - would you keep your job? I wouldn't. What would you do with your time? I'd love to open and bed & breakfast.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Home Improvements + Jeff = Danger!!

...Or, Why Jeff Is Better Off With His Desk Job...

I'll never be a handyman. I don't have the patience, I dont' like to finish projects (just start them and get them 80% done - that last 20% is a killer!), and, well, I tend to injure myself.

I took Friday off and decided to work on some home projects. I started Project #1 - Ceiling Light In Kitchen Over Bar - at 8:15 am. By 8:30 am, I was on the couch with an ice pack on my shoulder blade, 2 Tylenol, and Joe wondering just how I did what I did.

But before embarassing myself further, I offer this redeeming photo of the end result, after the Tylenol kicked in and I didn't see 2 of everything:
This is over the bar area in the kitchen. It's a halogen light kit, with bendable rails that we rigged to follow the contour opf the bar/island area. I'm pleased with how it came out, and it does add a nice dramatic lighting effect at night. So 2 thumbs up! Now I need to paint the ceiling (ugh.....!).

My plan for this project was to first remove the light box the electricians put in, make a new hole about 10 inches over, install a new light box, and rewire the light. It went something like this:

  • At 8:15 I got out the ladder.
  • By 8:20, I was up on the ladder, removing the screws and disconnecting the light fixture wires.
  • **(This is where your inner voice should be yelling "DANGER! DANGER!!")**
  • By 8:22, I was flat on my back, on the floor, with the ladder on my head, and my shoulder into the sink cabinet door.
I fell off the ladder. Actually, I fell down the ladder. I missed the step completely, from 3 steps up, grabbed hold of the ladder, and brought it all down with me. FYI, ceramic tiles are very hard. The new cabinets are pretty solid, too! Except for that one door.... I'm not saying any more than that, but it was not pretty.

After Joe checked out my shoulder (boy, what a nice scrape/bruise!), he got me an ice pack, some Tylenol, and put me on the couch for a little bit. Not a good start to my day.....

On the positive side, today we finished the Pantry Project that I started in September. We bought the doors and I painted them and mounted them:

And they work! Yay!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie....

..*max*.......*maaaaaaaax....are you sleeping...?*


Sunday, November 05, 2006

Changing scenery....

This view outside the front door, taken today...

...looked like this on Monday, October 23:

I finally captured some pictures of what Joe kept telling me was a figment of my imagination - the horse the neighbors own! I knew they had one, dammit! I saw it once before, and by the time Joe got upstairs it was gone. He told me to stop making things up...

Well, here's my proof:
I knew it! How lucky are they - chickens, alpacas AND a horse! We so need to become their best friends.

It was funny to watch the alpacas and the horse check each other out:
One of these days, we're going to have 2 horses of our very own.....

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Views around town....

..but before that, Miss Kitty woke up for a few minutes during her morning sun worshipping, and let me take this of her:

Yes, I know, Miss Kitty...rough life.

While Joe and I were out and about this afternoon, I decided to take some pictures of the countryside to show that we really do live in the sticks.

This first one is one of the farms I pass every morning as I leave the house on my way to the office:During the hot & humid summer months, the cows are usually half-way in the pond, which I find hilarious.

And every day, I get to pass through this little tunnel:

...and then through downtown Jefferson, Maryland:

Um....Mayberry is a megatropolis compared to Jefferson.

And a few miles later, I hit the big highway towards Frederick:

From the driveway to the office is about 12 miles, and it takes 15-20 minutes, which isn't bad at all.

My shortest commute was when we lived in Phoenix, and we lived 3 miles from my office. The worst was when I lived in New Jersey, and I commuted from Flemington to Edison every day - 40+ miles and it took over an hour each way. My longest one-way commute ever was 3 hours, and again, in New Jersey. An unexpected snowstorm caused traffic to come to an absolut estand-still, so I decided to take back roads home. Back roads that I had never taken before. Boy, was that a mistake.

Anyone have any "Commute From Hell" stories they'd like to share?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

How the hell many bugs are there....?

When I went to take out the trash yesterday, I found this monster sitting outside the garage:

My first guess is a cicada, though all the other ones I've ever seen were brown, and had transparent wings. Anyone know their bugs?

In an unrelated note, I think the end of the kitchen remodel is near. I long for the day where we don't have anyone in our house for hours, and we aren't waiting for someone to either show up or call.

So, Max did his best to make me smile - he came over and gave me one of his best happy-faces:

I think he is saying "Can I please go live on Farmgirl Susan's farm?"