Friday, January 29, 2010

Birthday Redux

Andy's birthday is January 28th and mine is January 29th. Last year there was a great big ol' nasty ice storm that rolled through NWA on January 27th, knocking out the power for most of Northern Arkansas. We weren't able to celebrate our birthdays together (we weren't living in sin at that time). We celebrated them a few days later at the Days Inn which was one of the few places in F'ville that had power.
I am pretty sure that's why Andy fell in love with me - I found a place with electricity.

So what happens this year? Big ol nasty storm comes blowing through on our birthdays! Again! It's not nearly as bad as the one last year but it's still pretty impressive by Arkansas' standards. There is several inches of snow on the ground already, this coming after a night of freezing rain and sleet. Poor Andy is out working in this crap. At least I get to work inside.

We've had a nice couple of days despite the weather. We had friends over for dinner the 26th and the 27th. A bunch of friends whose company we really enjoy. Everyone had a good time and the food was fabulous. Of course this year I am missing having Tad here for my birthday - a first ever for me since I had him 15 years ago. That makes me sad. But other than that, it's been nice except for the crappy weather.

I've enjoyed today though. I always love my birthday. It's such a cool day. I've successfully completed another year of my life. I've laughed and loved and cried over another 365 days that I was gifted with. I've stumbled some with a failure here and there and had great successes as well. A few more wrinkles and gray hairs. A thousand more beautiful moments of love and joy. How freaking cool is that! It's why I love love love my birthday. I am now 43 years old. That's a lot of memories and laughter and tears I've been gifted with. I am blessed. Birthdays rock!

So today I've been in charge of potty patrol with Bubba. I would have bet money that this little shih tzu would hate the snow. He's a toy breed, right? Aren't they supposed to be frail and girly and fragile and sort of wussy? Oh no, not our Bubba. He LOVES the snow. He goes racing around in it, happy as a polar bear. He buries his head in it, snaps at the flakes flying in the air, carries around chunks of it, digs stuff up out of it, the whole nine yards. If I had a sled his size I am sure he would use it. He is really turning into such a delightful addition to our family.

That's my update. Now I am off to eat some more of my yummmmmmy mushroom soup. I already had my favorite - cold chocolate birthday cake for breakfast! YUM!

Love on!

Monday, January 25, 2010


Bubba is a Shih Tzu puppy who showed up at our house without a collar or a home, so we took him in. That is, his name is Bubba now that we decided his name is Bubba. Clearly, he's a Bubba.

We are trying to find his home, but he and Morgan think that he already has. Ours. He has no microchip, no collar, and there is no one looking for a Shih Tzu puppy in the city or county. No one has responded to our ad on There are no signs for missing dogs in or around our neighborhood.

Stinky thinks that we should drop him off at the nearest truck stop and wish him well.

Admittedly, he's sort of a wimpy dog, but he's lovable and sweet. Why a pure-bred Labrador puppy couldn't show up is beyond me, but that's how family works sometimes. We don't always get what we ask for. We don't always need what it is that we want. Bubba found us and we found him. He's in our family now, and he's already comfy with everyone.

Except Stinky, who hates his guts.

After hanging some furring strips, I put up two sheets of peg board in the garage for Morgan and I to hang our stuff on. Directly behind my truck is a two-foot-by-four-foot wide strip of peg board cut from the end of this one above my work bench where I am putting the string trimmer, extra line and two-cycle oil. Very handy.

I like the blue. We had weighed gray, taupe and considered a bamboo green, but the blue won out.

My favorite hardware store is getting rid of a bunch of hangers and selling them for 10 cents apiece. I bought 40, but it looks like I need about 40 more.

As for the riding lawn mower, it turned out really well. The carburetor came out of the cleaner looking brand new and the rebuild kit went in without a hitch. It started on the first pull, though the idle circuit was tuned a little fat. I leaned it out and it runs like a top.

With a new fuel line, float bowl, fuel filter and muffler (which looks bad now that the paint has started to burn off after running for a bit), it should be ready for spring. I'll be happy if I can mow the lawn without having to hop off the mower to shake the needle loose.

On a sad note, the air compressor died. Though the crank case seemed full of oil given how oily everything was, it had been run while dry quite a bit before ending up with me. I fixed it up and then cracked open the crank case only to find that it was filled with metal dust. The connecting rod was worn completely through, so I had to scrap it.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Working inside

After Morgan redid the master bathroom, we were left without a toilet paper holder; mostly because we found one that we liked, but it costs $45 and partly because, well, we just never got around to buying one. Then one showed up today both on the floor of the bathroom and on my chore list.

I hope that is the last time that I have to use a screw driver whilst sitting on the toilet.

Morgan and I marked our first year of knowing one another on the 15th. At least that's when we decided our anniversary was. It's hard to believe that it's been a year already. It's hard to believe it's only been a year. Funny how it works that way when it's good.

As a present to mark this and my upcoming birthday, Morgan bought a table saw for me.

I'm not good at receiving unexpected gifts, especially ones this large, but it is a very nice gift and one that I will use and enjoy. After growing up in a house with a wood shop, it's been difficult to live without a table saw.

With said table saw, I have begun to hang cleats in the closet in Morgan's office to put up shelving. She's good at going to The Home Depot and sweet-talking the men there to use their radial arm saw to cut the shelves, so I'll let her do that part.

I used caulk to fill around the cleats, and will paint them in a few days with some wall paint that I found in the garage. The paint has aged a bit, though, and even with good shaking and stirring it still fails to match perfectly, but it's close enough for a closet.

Morgan picked up this old handmade air compressor at an auction for $8. My best guess is that it was made in the 1950s and charmed me immediately. The surplus motor needed some rewiring, the belt was shot and the air hose was rotten, but after a bit of work and some parts from Lowe's, it works well enough to fill a tire.

This is probably a project that is more my speed, the Ariens riding mower is getting a modest overhaul during the winter months. I get along with gas-powered objects. The carburetor was rather lacquered and needed to be rebuilt, but I have it soaking in a carburetor cleaner and it's looking very good so far. I will also replace the belts, the fuel line and the spark plug wire; sharpen the blade and try to fix the three flat tires with some new inner tubes. I might even move that weird ground wire that someone decided just had to go over the manifolds.

The engine had a bad tendency to surge, and the float would stick shut, but it always started, though it took a bit of pulling. Several times while mowing, it would lean out and I had to give it a good shake to break the needle valve free. Our neighbors must think we're really odd, but with a pirate flag flying over our deck, shaking the lawn mower is probably the least of what all that has made them think that.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Preparing the Mentos blast off

Tad's truck on Christmas morning. White Christmas!

The aftermath at our house.

Even Stinky Cat got a present, a stuffed mouse toy.

Tad and I burned this wood eagle puzzle toy thing. Because burning stuff is always fun!

Tad and Stinky.

Our 1st Christmas tree.

Antique toy tops. Neato!

Tad, Andy and my mom. Weirdos.

Andy and my mom. Earlier Andy was wearing the pointy hat which is actually a xmas decoration. Weirdo.

Tad in his snuggie and welder's mask. Weirdo. I have no idea where these people get it from. No idea.

My mom and the girls, Micah and Myriah. They got new chewy toys for presents.

Everyone was pleased with their haul at Mom's house.

Andy was not pleased with this haul of junk I bought at an auction back in the Summer. We left most of that box's contents there.

Tad and Andy checking out loot.

My mom and her fabulously wrapped presents. She always does these elaborate wrappings and decorations on her presents. It makes you a little sad almost to open them. Almost.

Andy opening a box! Neato!

Tad and Andy. That's what happens when you've been bad - Santa makes you wear the Christmas dunce cap.

Tad, Andy, Josh, and my dad.

My mom and her Christmas tree. It leaned a little.

Hope everyone had as much love and laughter over the holidays as we did over ours.

Love on!