Sunday, August 26, 2012

Always A Day Late

See, I should have started writing this blog again when I first bought the farm, and kept it updated as I went. Now I'm 3 months behind playing catch up. That seems to be the story of my life!

I have lived here since May 1st, but that's not entirely true because I also spent a month in China, which then allowed the groundhogs and other critters to take over the unattended yard.

Here is a smattering of critters found hanging out here at the farm:

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Farm

So, the farm was built in 1890. Last owners lived here since 1978. The place is in some serious need of TLC, mostly cosmetic. Since I'm not made of money, most of this work will fall to me. Good thing I like painting. Here are a few pictures of the farm.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I Bought The Farm!!

More than 2 years later and here I am. I've been busy, sue me. Anyway, a few months ago I bought a FARM. Yes, a farm. What was left of an old dairy. And I am now house poor and have more repair projects than money or time. Well, the good news is that I am as happy as a pig in a mud puddle. I've decided I should document my restoration (cough, cough) of this old place. I've just gotten started, but it needs quite a bit of TLC. So, bear with me while I catch you up to speed.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Time Flies!

It's been a while since I've posted. Working two jobs, hanging with the kids, trips to Cape Cod. Where does the time go? Spent most of this week combing through boxes in the basement (downsizing!) and replacing the drinking water faucet and filter in the RV. And swinging.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Found Money

When I was a kid, my mother used to say, "When you grow up, I hope you have a kid just like you!" I don't think she meant that in a good way. But as life should have it, I did. My son is exactly like me, and I can see why my mother said that. But, the positive of that is I know where he's coming from, and can take a different approach to things. But I digress.

So the other day I was helping him clean his room. It is amazing how much stuff a kid can accumulate! Cars, Legos, Bionicles, PS2 games, cases, controllers, clothes kicked under the bed, gum wrappers, batteries, wires, chargers, backpacks, and countless wadded up dirty socks. I had asked him numerous times to put stuff away, but there it sat, virtually untouched, so I decided to help him out.

Didn't take too long to find the floor, get stuff sorted and put away. But as I was going through a few canvas bags and random back packs, I came across five one-dollar bills wrapped around a work name tag (mine) and a bottle of Visine.

"Hey!" my son yells. "Money!"

"It's mine," I say. "My old bag, my name tag, my money."

"But, but, it's in My Room!"

"Yes, and I asked you to clean it how many times?" I laugh. "Snooze ya lose!"

"Aw, man!"

"Well, keep that in mind next time. You never know what you'll find in pockets, long forgotten." I reminded him I once found $140 in an envelope in my dresser drawer. Still trying to figure out where that came from.

I stuck the bills in my wallet and went about my business.

So last night we went to the theater to see the touring version of The Lion King. Amazing show, but that's fodder for a different post. We arrived early, and as we approached the theater, we heard a trumpet playing. Cool, I thought. They have an outdoor ensemble entertaining theater patrons. And on a cold winter evening, no less, there he was, playing Let It Snow. When we got closer, we saw that no, it wasn't a paid performance. It was a lone veteran sitting on a stool, with his trumpet case open in front of him. Everyone was enjoying the music.

Suddenly my son says, "Hey, can we give him some money?" I thought about it for a second, and said, "Sure! Why don't we give him the five dollars we found in your room?" My son's face lit up. "Yes!" So I pulled the bills from my wallet, and we wandered back over to the lone trumpeter, and put the found money in his trumpet case.

Lion King Tickets: $225
Trumpet Music: $5
Look on my son's face: Priceless.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Of Soap And Showers

I was in the shower the other morning, soaping up with the last sliver of soap that had split in half. Cheap dude that I am, can't let it go to waste. As I'm lathering up, I inadvertently bumped the wall and dropped the soap. I bend down to pick it up, and it's not there. Turn around and scan the entire tub. Not there. Stuck to the wall? Nope. Shower curtain? Nope. I move the shower curtain aside to see if it slid up the side of the tub and is hiding behind the curtain. Nope. What the heck? Okay, maybe I'm just going blind in my old age. After all, it is a white slice of soap on a white tub. I bend down and look closer. It's not there. Not even behind the shampoo bottles. Okay, I give up. Whatever. I grab the new soap that I had smartly placed in the soap dish in anticipation of needing it (my motto: Be Prepared!) and finished up.

As I exit the tub, what do I see? The remnants of my soap parked in the middle of the bath mat. How the heck it managed to get out of the tub with the shower curtain completely closed is beyond me, though I'm sure the physics of it all would be fascinating.

And speaking of tubs and soap, I was reminded of a time last May when I flew to California for a business trip. I was staying in the hotel, and when I went to take a shower, I noticed a heavy rubber bath mat perched on the edge of the tub. Seeing how I haven't used a bath mat since I was like, ten, I ignored it and went about my showering. After all, I'm a healthy guy, reasonable shape, and have been showering at least daily for decades without a problem, why would I expect this day be any different?

So I'm in the middle of rinsing my hair when I realize my feet are going one way and my upper body is going the other. The importance of said bathmat is now glaringly obvious. I reach for the grab bar conveniently located on the wall, but I am too far away. No ifs, ands, or buts, I'm going down. The only thing I could think of was that they were going to find my dead naked soapy body when I didn't show up for the morning meeting. Next thing I know my feet are in the tub, my body is on the bathroom floor, and I'm looking at my reflection in the mirrored closet door. I started laughing, of course. I mean, what else could I do? It was pretty funny.

Note to self: if a hotel provides you with a rubber bath mat, use it. They clearly know something you do not.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Winter Deja Vu?

So last year about this time we had a nice snowstorm. That evening, I was out shoveling in the wind and blowing snow, which at that time was approximately 8 inches piled up on the sidewalks and driveways. I was just about finished when I heard a pop and a sizzle, and the sky lit up with a blue smoky haze. The transformer atop the phone pole across the street lit up like a Fourth of July sparkler, sparks flying and cascading down. Then flames erupted. I started to count down: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, POOF! A big zap and the whole neighborhood went black. Which would have been fun if it weren't for the latest episode of American Idol that was about to start.

Cops, fire trucks, and finally the power company arrived. But not in time for AI. Enter the big rolling ugly RV and its ever-ready generator. Voila! Instant TV, heat, cooking, and lights while the rest of the neighborhood sat in darkness. Mock my RV will you? Take that!

So being the end of January in New England, snow is pretty much a given, despite sixty-degree temperatures earlier in the week. I awoke to a couple of inches of huge fluffy flakes that made navigating to the barber shop a bit tricky. By the time I got home and shoveled, the sun was shining and snow was melting and all was good. By early evening though, as I sat at my computer finishing my work, I saw a huge flash of lightning followed by a boom of thunder, and rain pelting my house. Such is the weather here!

About an hour later, I descend from my room with my little canine beasts to go outside. The temperature has dropped at least 15 degrees, the wind is howling, and there is now a half-inch of icy snow on the ground. Not a problem. I am about to start a fitness regimen (cough, cough!) so I'll shovel again. This time my 11-year-old son decides to help me.

Out we go, scraping the thin layer of icy stuff from the driveway and sidewalks. Suddenly the whole sky lights up, a strange tint of bluish white. Lightning? I thought so, but no thunder followed, only a distant buzzing. Hmm. Shrug. Shovel. Scrape. Bend. Toss. Then again, flash! Buzz!

I get the eerie feeling the power will go out at some point tonight. Either that or somehow my town has been transformed into Homer Simpson's Springfield and the local power plant is about to have a reactor meltdown. Either way, life is never dull!