Saturday, January 31, 2009

I Despise Shoveling - Painting Too!

Roof Shoveling

Well, here I am shoveling the snow off the animal shed roof. It's not really a shed per se but rather an enclosure and therefore wasn't built to support a lot of weight. Just to be safe up I went to clear it off. I would hate to have it collapse at any point but especially in the chilling, bitter cold we've been having of late. I can guarantee the animals wouldn't want that either. We're safe...until the next snow fall, alas.

Think Spring...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sialia Sialis Passing Through

We had a visit from a group of Eastern Blue Birds (Sialia sialis) this past Sunday morning - you can see (5) of them in the above photo. We hung a fresh block of suet just a few days earlier and it worked. These beauties were taking turns filling their bellies. However, if these dudes were returning from their over wintering sites their timing is off something terrible. It was 5 degrees here the other morning and stayed well below freezing during the day. Plus we're getting hit with another snow storm at this very moment. As a matter of fact these guys, or perhaps a new group, were here again this snowy morning filling up.

Sadly, I think they're just passing through, as they did last year. It would be nice if at least one pair would decide to stay and take up residence in one of our bird houses. We'll just have to wait and see come Spring time. In the mean time we'll continue to enjoy their visits!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

"What do you find more annoying" Poll Tally

The "What do you find more annoying" poll has ended. Here are the final numbers. I might also add that the participation in this poll was very disappointing. Perhaps, I'll make the next poll more enticing:

Slow Drivers
1 (25%)

2 (50%)

Traffic in General
1 (25%)

Oh, one more thing, slow drivers and tailgaters both suck unless they're me of course ;-)

Peony FYI

Q: When is the best time to separate my peony bush? I would like to dig up part of it and put it in a sunny part of the yard.

A: You can dig and divide peonies from the time the foliage begins to die back (mid- to late summer) until about the first frost. Peonies are long-lived plants that do not like to be disturbed, but sometimes the trees around a peony create more shade than the plant can tolerate. To dig it up, start by cutting off all the foliage to about three inches above the soil. With a spading fork, loosen the soil in a circle around the plant. Continue digging and gently lifting the soil in this circle until you can lift out the crown of the plant. Don't worry about trying to dig down to get all the major roots. Once the crown is out of the ground, you can cut the plant into sections. Look at the top of the crown, right below where it was growing in the soil. It will have little buds. Every division you make should have a minimum of three buds to produce another peony. Use a sturdy knife or hatchet to cut through the woody crown and replant the divisions. The secret to a happy peony is well-prepared soil. Since peonies can live up to a hundred years without disturbance, take a little time now to give them good homes. Dig generous holes, add compost, and replant. To encourage fast bloom, be sure the top of each new plant is about two inches below the soil line. The divisions will probably not bloom the first year, but after that, you will have flowers for the rest of your life.

Courtesy of The Old Farmer's Almanac

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Little Suzy Chapstick

Did you know that ChapStick lip balm when applied ALL over your face provides the same soothing, protective measures as when applied to lips only? Well it does!

Yes, ChapStick was designed to help treat and prevent chapped lips, however, that doesn't mean a 7-year old little girl can't coat her entire face with ChapStick and reap the benefits!

We'll call this almost 7-year old girl "Little Suzy Chapstick" to protect her real identity. Little Suzy Chapstick took it upon herself to perform this test and self applied a generous smearing of strawberry Chapstick to her entire face. She looked lovely all slicked up and shinny and smelled even better - you could smell the wonderful aroma of strawberries throughout the whole house.

As you can image due to how the product is designed clean up was a bit of a challenge; soap and water didn't work too well. I didn't feel a thing.

Ah, to be young again...

If you don't recall who Suzy Chapstick was, click here - Suzanne "Suzy" Chaffee

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow...

Here's Emilie in last weekends snow storm...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

toilet, can, commode, crapper, pot, potty, throne

We got a very good deal on brandy new American Standard low flow commodes just before Christmas, so we bought three of em. We're looking for ways to save money wherever we can and this is one of them - I s**t you not (no pun intended or is there?).

Of course I had some trepidation before beginning and was fearful that a relatively simply project would turn into an all day affair thus becoming an infamous "Frye project". However, I installed the first throne last Sunday afternoon and I gotta tell you it wasn't too bad. Outside of needing to make a quick trip to the local hardware store for a replacement part I was finished, tools put away, area cleaned up and took the maiden pee all under 2 hours.

Having completed the initial replacement install unscathed and with my confidence high I installed the other two cans yesterday. Outside of a couple hurdles they too went relatively smooth and both were installed and usable in about 4 hours.
Before & After

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Recently Completed Puzzles

Here are (4) puzzles that Santa delivered and that we've recently completed. Technically, the snowmen one we started before Christmas.

The blue bird and snowmen puzzles were 500 pieces each and the other two were 1000 pieces each.

They were challenging but we got through them.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Cowboy Boots vs Cowboy Hat

An elderly couple was vacationing in the American West. Sam had always wanted a pair of authentic cowboy boots. On the next to the last day of their vacation, he saw the perfect boots on sale, bought them, and proudly wore them home.
He sauntered into their hotel room and said to his wife, “Notice anything different, Helen?”
Helen looked him over, and said: “Nope.”
Sam replied excitedly, “Come on, Helen, take a good look. Notice anything different about me?”
Helen looked again. “Nope.”
Frustrated, Sam stormed off into the bathroom, undressed, and clomped back into the room, completely naked, except for his boots.
Again, he asked, a little louder this time, “Notice anything DIFFERENT?” Helen looked up and said: “Sam, what’s different? It’s hanging down today, it was hanging down yesterday, it’ll be hanging down again tomorrow.”
To which Helen replied: “Shoulda bought a hat, Sam; you shoulda bought a hat."

Monday, January 12, 2009

"Preferred Saying" Poll Tally

The "Preferred saying" poll has ended. Here are the final numbers:

Jeepers Crow
1 (11%)

Oy Vey
8 (88%)

Ah, jeepers crow, only one vote for jeepers crow, alas!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Are You Going to Finish Strong?

The following video was sent to me by my dad.

Initially, I thought it was was going to be a joke or something funny and it sure looked that way as the footage began. However, far from it. It's amazing how a video 2:40 minutes long can pack such an amazing and profound message and hit you in ways so unexpectedly - it did me.

Click below to watch this amazing video,

Are You Going to Finish Strong?

Thanks Dad, your my inspiration!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Observant Kid

One day a guy was driving with his 4-year-old daughter and beeped his car horn by mistake.
She turned and looked at him for an explanation.
He said, "I did that by accident."
She replied, "I know that, daddy."
He replied, "How'd you know?"
The girl said,
"Because you didn't say 'ASSHOLE!' afterwards!"

Thursday, January 08, 2009

SEN-CHA Green Tea

Vlad HIGHLY recommends the above green tea. He has a box full of this tea in his office and has three or four cups throughout the day maybe more. He a 'pusher'; a tea pimp. He won't take no for an answer. He's always touting how beneficial tea is for you; antioxidants and all. As a matter of fact he's somewhat of a connoisseur of teas to the extent that he has special thermometers to measure water temperature, special tea pots, talks about preheating the mug and often orders exotic teas online for crazy amounts of money, i.e. Gyokuro, Sen-cha and Houji-cha.

My stomach has been giving me fits lately, so I caved and gave in to his prodding and finally had a green tea. I have to admit wasn't too bad - I enjoyed it. I will be fore going coffee and replacing it with the above green tea during our afternoon coffee time. This works out too since the company cafeteria increased their prices across the board beginning 01/05/2009 - happy new year to us.

Monday, January 05, 2009

RKSP Certification

We got hammered with snow a couple weekends ago from two different storms - the first ones of the season, blah!

These storms allowed me to work on and towards obtaining my "RKSP certification".

What is "RKSP certification" you ask? Well, it is the Ralph Kindred Snow Plowing certification.

I tagged along with my neighbor (RK) as he tended to and plowed out his 13+ customers during the storms. My neighbor (RK) asked if I was interested in being his backup in the event he's away on business and we're hit with a snow storm.

Step #1 - learning the route, the driveways and snow placement. Step #2 - getting accustomed to driving a Ford F350 PU sporting a 700lb snow plow and Step #3 - not hitting or mangling anything or anyone in the process.

Snow plowing anyone?!?!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Vasilopita 2009

Above is a picture of this New Years vasilopita, Greek New Year's Bread. Once again JoAnne did a fantastic job, as you can see - it was delicious! My cousins wife was the lucky recipient of the dime this year and is considered to be especially blessed for the year. Emilie and Alyssa were also lucky enough to each find a dime in their piece too, hooray!!

Here we are in the midst of cutting the cake and organizing the pieces based on families. Many of these cuttings will also be sent to those who were unable to attend.

Rumor has it that my uncle, who has been the official vasilopita cutter for as long as I can remember, is stepping down and passing the knife over to yours truly in 2010, rock on!

See my previous vasilopita postings:
vasilopita 2008

Thursday, January 01, 2009