Friday, January 23, 2015

Not All Birdies Fly

The schools were closed Monday and Tuesday but Leslie and Ryan still had to work which meant we got to spend a couple of days with Emerson, Myra and Pierce.  Monday morning the fairy left them kisses for breakfast so we weren't forced to waste any time cooking and eating any healthy

breakfast stuff but could get right down to putting together Dean’s old Lionel train set.  It took quite a while to get the track together because as soon as the kids got one section connected,

another would pull apart.  Once they got the track together, they had to set the wheels of each car on it, just right, without having one car fall off when the next was attached.  But patience paid off and finally everything was connected and the train was ready to chug around the track.  Dean turned on the transformer, there was a humming noise, a spark, and then …………………………. nothing.  Everybody stared at the cars and tracks willing them to move but …… nothing.  Dean picked up the engine and stared at it, put it back down and stared at the wiring.  Then each kid picked up the engine, stared at it and put it back down.  They moved the cars back and forth by hand and offered suggestions while Dean tried to find a solution on the internet.  Finally we all shrugged, took the track apart and accepted defeat.

We managed to overcome our disappointment by putting on our snow gear, grabbing the sleds and heading out back.  I didn't know how solid the ice on the creek was so I stood at the bottom of the hill ready to throw my body in front of any sled that was headed for it but those sleds got going so fast that a face plant about halfway down the hill was usually the preferred point of exit.

After burning off all those calories we needed some lunch.

Bellies full we headed back out to build snow sculptures.  However, before we could begin building we had to test out the condition of the snow and the best way to check that was with snowballs.  Sunshine and warm temperatures had softened the snow to the perfect consistency for construction – sticky with just a little coating of ice.

Not quite so perfect for a snowball in the face though.

Creativity can be an emotional process so it wasn’t surprising that a snowball fight wasn’t the only battle fought that day.  In the midst of one animated discussion where Myra expressed to Emerson
her architectural vision — “I’ve got a great idea.  You’re just so arrogant you don’t want to listen!”
— Pierce spotted a bald eagle, which thankfully distracted her from pleading her case any further.  It flew so close I almost ducked.  As we were watching, another one appeared so we quickly built a bench to sit and watch them.


The next day began with another healthy breakfast and a plan to expand and improve our snow

menagerie but it was a little colder than the day before and the snow wouldn’t stick.  On top of that it was windy so it felt even colder.  The cold and wind (or barely noticeable slight breeze by Casper standards) didn’t keep Pierce and Myra from braving the wilds of the chokecherry “forest” or preventing Emerson from inspecting snow crystals.  Dean and I paced around pretending to touch up the previous day’s sculptures until we could bribe them with lunch at Perkins and a trip to the library.

There had been a lot of debate and discussion over the two days involving everything from the correct tint for frosting, television programming, preferential treatment (or not), and restaurant selection.  As we were seated at Perkins I conferred with Myra over the ability of her tiny stomach to hold a whole adult meal.  She pulled herself up tall(ish), squared her pointy little shoulders, looked me square in the eye, and with her nose in the air said, “I believe I am quite old enough to determine how much I can eat Nada.  And as I say this I am underlining old enough.”   Over the two days she spent with us, Myra's well of quips and comebacks never ran dry so rather than prolong the discussion I chose to keep my mouth quite shut.  In the end she chose to order a kids meal, and even though she was dismayed to see pancakes as her side instead of the toast she should have gotten, we were all relieved that she chose not to discuss that mistake with the waitress.  And as I write this I am underlining relieved.


Thursday, January 8, 2015

They Call Me Martha

When we bought this house there was an old chicken coop out at the back of our property.  I thought it was picturesque.  Dean thought it was an eyesore.  It bugged him every time he looked at it.  

It is no longer there. 

In true Dean fashion, before he meticulously dismantled that charming haven for hantavirus, he pulled out and saved a couple of old windows that had been recklessly tossed in there years and years ago.  In true me fashion, I rolled my eyes and sighed when I saw him carrying them to the storage shed.   But then one day I saw something on Pinterest.  And then I remembered those old windows. 

One side looked like this.  

Dean made me paint it in case it was lead-based paint even though I told him I wasn't planning to chew on it.

The other side of the window looked like this.  The corks fit better on this side because it had a deeper ledge, and the wood stain complemented our kitchen cupboards, so that's the side I decided to show.

Who drank all that wine?!
I glued the corks on with Gorilla Glue and by the time I finished I was obviously getting either tired or bored.  Fortunately I could call on Mr. Meticulous to clean up my mess and if I ever try this again I'll use clear drying glue.  

Unfortunately, from now on, every time I roll my eyes and sigh when Dean saves some other hunk of wood or chunk of metal I know he will remind me of how happy I was he didn't throw those corks away and point out to me that if he hadn’t saved those windows …  But it’ll be worth it.....I hope.

Ta Da!