Finally Some Dirt

Well we finally got around to yanking everything out of the overgrown weedy front garden and filled it in with new dirt.  It took quite a few hours and was mercifully accomplished in the rain so as to avoid heat stroke.  We did manage to turn the front lawn into a mud slick with the bobcat, but since it was less “lawn” and more “dried up ugly brown patch” anyway, it’s ok.  We reseeded and maybe we’ll actually get grass now.

The verbena and lavender are no longer being choked out by weeds, the lemon balm has been wrangled back into a manageable size, and the japanese maple is in its permanent home.  I just need more pansiess and to finish putting in the bulbs.  Once that’s done it’ll all get a nice layer of lava rocks.

It looks way better without all the overgrowth.  I need to tame those roses a bit still, I think.

Also, I think I need a better camera.  Or I need to learn how to properly use the one I have.  But I think a new camera sounds better!

WIsh me luck _ I am speeding along on Emily’s Drive – Thru sweater and hope to have it finished by next week, despite the lack of a working satellite.  Don’t get me started on that.

A 50th to Remember

That’s right, folks, my dad’s 50 this year.  He’s a young-un!!!!!!!!

Actually his birthday isn’t until December, which is what made his surprise party a real surprise.  A lot of weeks and months of planning and secrecy preceded the festivities (which, as you’ll recall, took place the Saturday before the block party here – it was a crazy weekend for me.  Fun, but SO glad it’s over!).  There were 2 surprise guests – my uncle from Florida, who stayed with me the night before, and a life – long friend of dad’s that he hadn’t seen in years.  The look of shock and surprise on his face at seeing these two was just priceless.  And he thought he was going to have an ordinary Saturday of golfing with a buddy and going home for a nap! HA!

Dad with longtime pal Chris.  I believe the correct word to describe how dad felt on seeing him there is “gobsmacked”.

The memorabilia board featuring some old jobs in radio.

From “The Stuff”, a campy (and yes, pretty bad)  horror movie that dad and Chris were in back in the 80’s.  Those b&w photos are with Garrett Morris from SNL and Michael Moriarty from Law & Order.  Another big star they met while filming (who’d like to forget he ever was in that movie) was Paul Sorvino.

Checking out the memo boards.

The gifts!

Neve liked helping grandma play bartender.

Emily liked Booboo.

Oona with her grandpa.

Enjoying the party.

Neve loves her grandpa.

Maddie doesn’t want to hear our funny stories about the old days.  She calls them “TMI”.

Maddie REALLY doesn’t want to hear.

Oona and her great uncle.

Dad with “Uncle Daddy”. (yes, we are very odd people, ok?)

More party people!

I also managed to get through the night without getting any embarrassing pictures taken of me or by me, despite the fact that I drank a few more mangotinis than I should have.  Hey, they were yummy.  The food was good, the people were fun, there may have been some happy crying.

Now go check out The Stuff. I guarantee it’s one of the worst movies you’ll ever see, but check out the newscaster three quarters of the way through.

Link to Hotel Under Blogroll!

Because my brain (or wordpress, whichever) refuses to properly function today I can’t seem to get a separate category for non – blog links to work.  Therefore, for now, please check out the link to the hotel under the blogroll!  Looks like renovations are running along well and and The Genesee Falls Inn will be open in the spring!!!!

Weekend Update – Success All Around!

As you may have guessed I survived the craziness of this past weekend.  There is still much to be done and plenty of looming deadlines between now and the 31st, but the major events and stress are behind me (for now!).

Saturday was a surprise birthday party for my dad (very surprising indeed considering his birthday is not  until December).  I haven’t yet gotten back the pictures from that eventful night but months of planning culminated in a successful party all around.  More on that in a separate post, once I have the graphic evidence in place!

Sunday we threw a block party (by “we” I mean the neighborhood).  There were only 3 weeks of planning, budgeting and prep for said party, making it an impressive feat to have been pulled off, and thanks are due all around to those whose hard work made it possible.  I am afraid I was not as much help as I would have liked, between the usual solo parenting and helping my mother stress out about the surprise party.

Sunday was cold but beautiful, we had plenty of food and games and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves well into the evening.  We have the best neighbors.

Our lovely location, pre – party.

Set – up began around 11 am, but the kids couldn’t wait until the slide was ready.

Wanted!!!  This year our theme was “Rodeo”.

Oona wouldn’t keep her poncho or hat on, despite the cold.

The kids loved the slide… fact they almost tipped it over they were having too much so much fun!

The mistresses of the face painting and tattoo table.  Another favorite stop for all the kids.

Getting the games organized.

Waiting to run the Rodeo Relay.

The kids ran a series of obstacles in a heated “Girls vs. Boys” competition.

Waiting their turn to run.

Even the little ones got a chance.

Neve cheered loudly for her team.  In the end the boys won, but everyone enjoyed it, and as an adult it was hilarious to watch.

People started filing in in earnest once the food tables were set up.

This little cutie and his lovely mum had fun watching the kids.

I also ran into some crazy people.  Actually Paul wasn’t around for very long but at least we got to hang with Lisa here for a bit.

Towards the end of the day we had to bring out the propane heater for the adults, but the kids kept warm by learning some line dancing.

Neve found a kindred spirit to copy for the dancing contest.

All in all the food was great, the people were great and the kids had a blast playing all the games planned for them.  I stayed with the girls until it was dark and I could no longer feel my face from the cold (thank goodness for the coffee pot – I’d have packed it in much earlier if not for the 5 cups of hot coffee keeping me warm!).  When we left there was a good sized bonfire going and marshmallow roasting, so my older girls were rather reluctant to leave.  They didn’t, however, argue with the nice warm bath and Sleepytime Tea once we got home and they were out pretty quickly once they were jammied up and in bed. My only regret was not getting more pictures of everyone that was there.

The cold and the extreme busy – ness of the weekend made sure that I woke up Monday with one heck of a stuffy head and body aches (although I think most of the aches were due to holding Oona continuously Sunday with little break).  So Monday I gave myself the day off, yesterday was spent cleaning ( as if you could even tell….) and now I am on to getting Emily and Oona’s costumes made for a party Friday.  Busy busy!

Feathering My Nest & Big Busy Weekend Ahead

The big fall cleanng has begun in preparation for cozy weather and being mainly indoors and I’m pulling out all the warm blankets and flannels.  Time to scrub the summer grime from the floors and windows and winterize the garden.  I’m busy doing that and prepaing for a MAJOR! BUSY! WEEKEND!

I’m a little stressed out with the prep and anticipation and I can’t say much more than that right now, but if all goes well I will have a marvelous time (as will my family) and there will be plenty of stories and pictures to share by Monday.

Until then, have a great weekend and enjoy the beautiful leaves!

Tip: Absorbency Crystals Are Hard To Clean Up

Ah….life with 3 intense children.  I get caught up in taking care of everyone’s needs and before I know a week has gone by.  Brownies started up for Neve and Emily 2 weeks ago.  At first I was dreading the 4 nights a month at an hour and a half each that I’d be unable to be productive at home, but then it dawned on me what an incredible blessing it actually is.  I find a good parking spot near the front door, let the little brownie out, put a movie on in the van for Oona, and as long as she doesn’t fidget too much to get out of her seat (mostly she naps) I get that whole time to knit.  Hooray!  I got one sick nearly finished (and I can tell already I am suffering from second sock syndrome.  I totally am not looking forward to doing another whole sock just like this)

Of course then there’s the numerous play dates and birthday parties they are forever dragging me off to which take huge chunks out of my afternoons and weekends, but they’re only kids once, right?  Hopefully they’ll be grateful for all the personal time I gave up when they’re older. It’s certainly been a challenge keeping up.  Every day’s a new and different mountain to climb.  Today I changed a particularly wet diaper while upstairs and to prevent Oona from chewing on it (don’t ask!) I tossed it down the stairs to throw away after I was dressed.  Unfortunately it was heavy enough that when it landed, it exploded. Pee soaked absorbency crystals everywhere.  I stood in shock for several moments before foisting the baby off on Emily to clean it up before Pippa ate it.  Here’s the thing:  absorbency crystals (a tapioca – like gel substance in diapers) don’t wipe up well.  They further disintegrate and smoosh further into anything you try to wipe them off of until you want to bash your head in.  It took me an hour to get it mostly cleaned up to the point where we’ll be able to scrub the pee smell out of the wood floor.  If you’ve never tried it, it’s a *great* way to spend your time!

Speaking of giving up your time, last weekend I gave up to painting the upstairs bathroom and hallway.  It’s a lovely blue which I have yet to capture an image of, so alas it’ll not be posted here.  It’s a good thing it came out so well because we ran into a snag with the new couches.  You see, we used a can of brown dye to see if it would be the color we wanted, and it was perfect so we ordered a larger can to complete the project.  However, when we had the love seat done it became apparent that the larger can was a completely different color.  It was marked as the right color, but clearly it was not.  It was very much a burgundy color.  Yuck! So that will have to be exchanged and re – done.  Hopefully we’ll get around to it before the holidays!

Speaking of holidays, I have a ton of cleaning to get done and organizing to accomplish before everyone descends upon my dirty house for Thanksgiving.  I also have lots of projects waiting to be started.

Lots of fabric to be sewn, lots of socks and sweaters to be knit, and this, my latest obsession:


Happy October!

Welcome to my favorite month of the year.  Apples, pumpkins, crisp fall air, beautiful foliage and Halloween.  Perfect knitting atmosphere.  And if I am lucky, less stress than September was this year.   Emily had 3 fillings.  Neve had 6 (6!!!!!) fillings for which she had to be sedated and now she has 2 silver molars.  We didn’t come out of that cheap, I assure you.  Then the darn dog had diarrhea.  Then Neve did.  Then Emily did.  Then the cat got an upper respiratory infection.  Then we all got a nasty cold.  Then the dog got diarrhea again.  Noticing a pattern?  Oh yeah, and lice is going around.  Knock on wood, there’s been no sightings here.  On the mechanical front, you all know Paul had the engine incident whereby he almost gave himself a vasectomy.  Then after a heavy rain he got the truck stuck in the mudslide in our back yard (it’s actually the area beyond the driveway where 2 years ago Paul got a little over zealous with a borrowed bobcat and took down a bunch of trees and made a nice muddy slope.  Imagine the happiness that resulted for me.  And did I mention that he made the driveway into a massive gravel pit at the same time?  Fun for all, I assure you!).  Anyway with a little help from a neighbor we got the truck out.  I got to play with the winch.  Hee hee!  And just last night as Paul was getting a parts car delivered (at 9 pm, no less) the delivery guy overshot our driveway and the car had to be pushed so as not to roll into a ditch.  Which didn’t work out so well and our street ended up being blocked by the delivery truck (you know those big car carriers?) and the parts car.   The bobcat was called upon to save the day and tow the car out of the street.  Which it almost did.  Until it broke as well, leaving 3 vehicles blocking the street.  Good thing we have lots of understanding neighbors who are willing to help out.  Point is, September was full of fun and excitement.  Let’s hope October is boring and quiet!

In good news we got new couches on Craigslst.  Free!  Black leather, which we are dyeing chocolate brown using automotive leather upholstery dye.  So far it’s perfect.

So exciting!!!!