Living Maintenance - Maintainers Weekly Chat April 21 - April 27




BillBlueEyes
04-21-2014, 04:37 AM
The Boston Marathon runs today - an emotional day around here. The Boston Globe has been filled with stories of loss and recovery all week. Security for spectators will be stringent: no backpacks, no large parcels, no this, no that.

I'm reminded that, as kids, we could drive to the airport, park in front of the terminal, and wander about watching the planes land and takeoff. Some day I'll have to tell my grandchildren that we could do the same thing at the Boston Marathon.

Grilling on our new small Weber propane grill has been yummy beyond expectations. The salmon steaks, the chicken breasts, and the asparagus have all made us believers. Next advance is weather warm enough to encourage sitting out on the patio for dinner. That's not here yet.


Shannon in ATL
04-21-2014, 08:28 AM
I just ordered some snap together teak tiles for my patio, hope it will make it both prettier and more comfortable to walk on - I'm with you Bill, I need it to be warm enough to sit and eat outside please. My thoughts are with you guys in Boston today.

paperclippy
04-21-2014, 08:37 AM
Bill, there have been stories on all the news stations about the Boston Marathon today and what it will be like one year later. Even the local news has stories! Like they find some random person from Indianapolis who happens to be running it this year in order to make it a local story. Hope it all goes wonderfully this year.

The weather has been lovely the past few days. Such a relief after all the cold! We planted some lettuce seeds so we'll see if they get totally eaten by bunnies or not. We took down the chickenwire fencing last year after the homeowners association had a hissy fit about chickenwire, although they don't seem to have enforced that rule at all so maybe we should just put it back. Carter has chased three big fat bunnies out of the yard in the last two days though so I don't have high hopes for the lettuce! :lol: Our garlic is growing nicely though.

My parents are coming into town this weekend and will be here through the girls' first birthday. Can you believe they will be a year old next week? :fr: Crazy! They are making good progress even though they're still behind a bit due to being preemies. We finally got some imitating this weekend so we feel a lot better about that, although we still have them schedule for a developmental evaluation in a couple weeks anyway. We also got them off of their reflux medication finally and they are eating some dairy without becoming a disaster area. I may be able to eat cheese again soon! Hooray! The end of breastfeeding is also in sight so I need to start making plans to cut my calories and lose this giant belly.

Random question for those of you who have had kids and have had leftover belly skin/fat from it -- what is the best type of swimsuit to buy? I know my existing ones won't fit but my body is so strangely proportioned right now that I can't imagine I would be able to find a normal one piece.

Also looking for any advice about getting a tiny cheap wooden deck replaced by stone. Our deck is only like 3x3 with three steps down but it's very poorly and cheaply constructed and covered in splintery wood and nails that stick out, so I want to replace it soon so that we will be able to let the kids play without worrying about them getting splinters all the time. (We didn't maintain it well because our intent was to replace it anyway.)


ICUwishing
04-21-2014, 09:29 AM
:wave:

Bill, I will be hoping for a peaceful, beautiful and uneventful day in Boston. Glad the grill is getting attention! Agree with you on the weather - bring on the sun and warm!

Shannon, the tiles sound nice - I love the way teak ages.

Jessica, our new porch is done with a composite decking that is snapped into brackets - there are no fasteners on top. I can't speak to how well it's going to last, but the lack of maintenance certainly is a plus. Re the bathing suit - a tankini might do the job. You could look into a long-torso size for the top piece if you would like a bit of extra overlap to the bottom. Lands End served me well when I was in your position - you can order different sizes for top and bottom.

Another week with DH away on business. It sounds like it will be just a few more weeks. And DS is leaving for Wash DC on Wednesday morning for the show choir competition - I wish I could be there! Fortunately, the most overzealous of the parents have volunteered to go and will video it for us poor schmoes that have to work. Their agenda is pretty full - I guess they are planning to sing at one of the VA hospitals too. That's cool.

CalCounter1003
04-21-2014, 09:32 AM
Bill, I'm sure it is very emotional for everyone up there. I'm home on spring break so watched more news than normal and it's all over the news like you said.

Jessica, swimsuits are awful to buy no matter what! I feel so great trying on clothes at my new weight but when I tried a couple of those yuck! Lol anyway there are lots of suits that have those ruffles in the front which might be nice. On the one hand the ruffles may make you look bigger but on the other they hide it all. Don't worry about it though, you are a new mom! No one will be looking at you, they will be looking at your adorable twins! My DD was a huge baby. 10 pounds and 23 inches. She only nursed for about nine months, wouldn't eat or drink anything else. When she turned one she was 30 pounds and very tall. (She is 6'2" now). Anyway I remember that first summer after she turned one, I was at the pool in my huge bathing suit and I was thinking, oh it's okay, I just had a baby! But here's my giant baby that looks like she is three.


When cleaning the back porch Saturday I discovered a birds nest with four tiny birds in it. Since we were home all weekend I watched closely and discovered that a female cardinal is bringing them food many times a day. The male cardinal sits in a tree close by and watches/guards. I'm worried when they jump out of nest because they need to make their way off the porch and hop around on the ground. I will be watching my DSs dogs on Thursday-Sunday so I'm going to have to be a maniac guarding these birds, and not let them out until I clear the way! One of his dogs is a puppy who has to go out quite often! Yesterday we had everyone here for Easter and the dogs ignored the area even though the birds were squeaking for food. I had to keep shooing everyone inside so the momma birds could feed them. This is a screened in porch but we leave the door propped open for the dogs. The mamma is quite good at walking in and out and then hopping to nest. I think we need to get a dog door when this is over!

Shannon in ATL
04-21-2014, 10:38 AM
Jessica - another vote for Land's End for swimsuit. The tankini is a good idea - you can get a high waist bottom and a long top and that should help keep things under control.

CalCounter - cute baby birds! :)

Becky - these tiles I got snap together similarly to some of the composite decking I saw, but are only 1 sq ft apiece. Some people say that you can pull them up during the off season to keep them from getting damaged in the winter. I'm looking forward to them. Need to pressure wash the patio and rinse the pollen off everything!

alinnell
04-21-2014, 11:32 AM
I basically refuse to wear a bathing suit without a sarong wrapped around my waist or a short dress type coverup!

CalCounter, you'll have to get photos of the birds! Cardinals are so pretty.

A friend from high school has her daughter running in the marathon today. Last year, her husband ran it.

traveling michele
04-21-2014, 12:00 PM
Jessica.... I know there are a lot of suits out there with tummy control panels. Can't believe your girls are almost one! My advice on stopping breast feeding... If possible stop in the warmer months when there are fewer viruses out there. I stopped in the winter with older dd, and she promptly caught rotavirus and had to be hospitalized for a week! With younger dd, I went a few more months to stop when there were fewer viruses prevalent.

I'm back from my cruise and very ready for my normal schedule. We got off the boat Saturday morning and spent until last night in Houston with relatives. We flew younger dd there, older dd and in laws live there, and dh's brother and his 7 year old dd were visiting from Hong Kong so we spent time with them. Got home very late last night and took today off. It feels very weird to be home but not working.

I'm off to yoga soon and then to the grocery store.
I feel huge and I did get on the scale. It shows a 6 pound gain so I'm hoping in a few days some of it will be gone. Hopefully the damage wasn't as bad as I imagined. I had a dream that I gained 15 pounds!

Bill... Your grill foods sound yummy!

Shannon in ATL
04-21-2014, 12:39 PM
My DSS got rotavirus at his first birthday, too. She had stopped breast feeding a few months before, so I think that was a coincidence. Rotavirus is horrific. If you can breastfeed a little longer and avoid it, do so at all costs. Especially with two to catch it. It makes me shiver just to think of it still, nine years later.

traveling michele
04-21-2014, 04:00 PM
My DSS got rotavirus at his first birthday, too. She had stopped breast feeding a few months before, so I think that was a coincidence. Rotavirus is horrific. If you can breastfeed a little longer and avoid it, do so at all costs. Especially with two to catch it. It makes me shiver just to think of it still, nine years later.

It was godawful. She wouldn't drink anything because drinking anything but breast milk was new to her. She couldn't leave the hospital because she was so dehydrated. I shudder at the memories and it was 22 years ago.

ICUwishing
04-22-2014, 08:35 AM
Cal - baby cardinals ... awwwww!!! :) How close are they to fledging? Do they have all their feathers?

This has all the feel of a really slow week. :p

saef
04-22-2014, 10:53 AM
This has all the feel of a really slow week. :p

I am wishing fervently that this could be true.

Unfortunately, I will spend half the week catching up on work stuff that went on hold last week because I wasn't there to take care of it.

I'm trying to hold onto all the resolutions I made while on vacation regarding being calmer & saner & better-rested & more philosophical. So far, they've lasted to early Tuesday, so I have hopes.

CalCounter1003
04-22-2014, 07:11 PM
Cal - baby cardinals ... awwwww!!! :) How close are they to fledging? Do they have all their feathers?
:p

I'm not sure on fledging. They do have some feathers and are squeaking quite a bit. They are always either sleeping or squeaking for food. I read they will jump or fall out of nest and make their way onto branches. But on the back porch, they are going to have to be led out the door. And there are no branches near by! So the mamma bird keeps coming to feed them and at this point she just flies by all of us (me, DH, and 3 dogs) if we are out there and hops into nest and feeds them. It is very cute. I keep taking pictures but the nest is in a dark part of the porch and you can't see anything.

It's so stressful because I have my dog, and my DS and his GF's two dogs! They are going away Thursday-Sunday so we are watching the dogs. But then his GF got really sick last night and they had to go to ER (food poisoning) so I got the dogs early this morning! I love the dogs, but I have to really be careful whenever I let them out. And one is a Golden Retriever puppy that has to be let out often. Only the black lab/mix has made any attempt to go near the nest - so I put a table in front of it to block him. He's a frog/lizard eater so I'm sure if he sees one it would not be good!

In the midst of all this the guys came to clean out the big weed garden! I told them -- leave my back porch open and don't bother the bird that keeps going to feed her babies. Guys looked at me like I was nuts. LOL So the poor mamma bird had to work around them too! Anyway the big weed garden is gone!!! It was expensive but it looks so nice!!! I am not going to plant bushes or flowers because we won't care for them. I will just let the grass grow in. We need a townhouse or condo after DD gets out of college! No yard care for us, I envy you green thumbs! :)

Mudpie
04-22-2014, 08:29 PM
Back online finally - internet was out since Saturday and the tech soldiered on for close to 4 hours to fix things today.

We had the saddest day imaginable on Saturday. We had to have Mishka, our male cat, put to sleep. He went into renal failure on Good Friday. The vet that came to the house was amazing. It was calm and peaceful and Mishka died quietly on his cat bed with my hands on his shoulders.

All sorts of other stuff happening here too but I'm going to go to bed now. Will catch up when I'm less sad.

Dagmar :(

BillBlueEyes
04-22-2014, 08:47 PM
Sending <hugs> Dagmar as you process walking Mishka across the bridge.

alinnell
04-22-2014, 08:58 PM
Oh, Dagmar, I'm so very sorry to hear about Mishka. Renal failure is horrible (that's what Chico had that made us put him down--not his cancer). Hugs to you.

JayEll
04-22-2014, 09:19 PM
Dagmar, you helped him have a happy life and an easy death. How fortunate he was. Thank you for your efforts.

CalCounter1003
04-23-2014, 06:55 AM
Dagmar, hugs to you. So sorry. It's so sad.

ICUwishing
04-23-2014, 07:10 AM
:hug: Dagmar. It sounds like he had a wonderful life with you.

saef
04-23-2014, 08:45 AM
Oh, Dagmar, I am so sorry about Mishka. You had a scare recently with Mudpie, but I didn't know Mishka was in poor health, too. Please accept my condolences, though I'm at a loss for the usual consoling words, because you know animals so well, and have given so much thought to the human-animal relationship and how we live together and bond with them. All I can speak to is the pain, the absence in the house and how seeing a water dish can put us under for an hour afterward. I hope you find some consolation with your dog-walking.

I just heard myself about a good friend's wife diagnosed with lung cancer. She's already on an oxygen tank with damaged lungs. This doesn't look good. I have been so caught up in work, I let our correspondence in email & my occasional visits lapse. He's rightly giving me grief for this, letting me know he's felt abandoned. I must visit and make what amends I can. She is so frail, I am not sure she'll survive the course of radiation that they've chosen. But I think they have to fight back, in some way, so that's their choice. I know at this point it feels like there is no choice, so to choose anyway is an act of defiance.

Mudpie
04-23-2014, 09:52 AM
I just heard myself about a good friend's wife diagnosed with lung cancer. She's already on an oxygen tank with damaged lungs. This doesn't look good. I have been so caught up in work, I let our correspondence in email & my occasional visits lapse. He's rightly giving me grief for this, letting me know he's felt abandoned. I must visit and make what amends I can. She is so frail, I am not sure she'll survive the course of radiation that they've chosen. But I think they have to fight back, in some way, so that's their choice. I know at this point it feels like there is no choice, so to choose anyway is an act of defiance.

Life is about balance. I think we all find it hard to balance work with our personal lives. We are supposed to be available 24/7 for work, find time for our hobbies, pets, friends, do our diligence re diet and exercise, keep all those plates spinning.

I think everyone here is to be commended for keeping most of their various plates in the air. You will do what you can in this situation saef even though you yourself are already so over-extended. Don't feel guilty here.

Mudpie
04-23-2014, 09:57 AM
Thank you all for your kind words re Mishka (Mishi). He was the complete opposite of Mudpie. His talent in life was to provide quiet loving companionship (with a lot of squawking thrown in if his dinner was late :lol:) and he excelled at that. I will miss him for a long time to come. Sweet little guy is at peace now.

Dagmar

traveling michele
04-23-2014, 10:16 AM
Thank you all for your kind words re Mishka (Mishi). He was the complete opposite of Mudpie. His talent in life was to provide quiet loving companionship (with a lot of squawking thrown in if his dinner was late :lol:) and he excelled at that. I will miss him for a long time to come. Sweet little guy is at peace now.

Dagmar

Hugs to you Dagmar. I'm so very sorry. I'm glad a vet came to your house. I've never had one do that and it would make the pet so much more comfortable to be in their own surroundings. :hug:

Shannon in ATL
04-23-2014, 10:30 AM
I'm so sorry about Mishka, Dagmar. :hug:

bargoo
04-23-2014, 12:07 PM
Sorry to hear about Mishka, nay he RIP

Shannon in ATL
04-24-2014, 11:13 AM
http://i429.photobucket.com/albums/qq12/ShannoninATL/tile.jpg

So I can't do math, apparently. When I get the rest of the tiles in the patio is going to look fantastic. :)

CalCounter1003
04-24-2014, 11:18 AM
Haha!! That is going to look great!!! Your yard is beautiful.

CalCounter1003
04-25-2014, 08:04 AM
All the baby birds are gone! Two were gone yesterday morning and the other two are gone today. I tried to attach the only picture that I got where you can actually see the birds. Such a relief to not have to guard the nest from the dogs today!

On Wednesday my DH was crashed into on the way to work. He is okay just very sore today. The ins company says the car is totaled. Not exactly what we were planning on but what can you do. We have two older cars 2004,2005. We were planning on driving the one that was hit, 2005, until it died which would be another 100k and replacing my car in the next year when DD is done with college. So the plans change! I get my car early! Fun to drive but no so fun that we will have payments. We don't usually ever finance a car. Waiting to here how much ins co is saying the car is worth. I've been wanting a Prius for a long time so I'm pretty sure that's what we will get. DH said he felt so sorry for the guy that hit him. He was really polite and apologetic and is also a teacher. Said he wasn't paying attention and didn't see the car. He had a 2013 car that was also totaled. Just a sad day for us and him but at least no one was seriously hurt. I am making my DH go to doctor today just in case he has any neck issues.

paperclippy
04-25-2014, 08:11 AM
Dagmar, sorry about Mishka. :hug:

CalCounter, glad your DH is okay! Hope you can get a car you like. I have been off and on thinking about cars since ours are pretty old. I've been driving DH's 2001 Civic to and from work, and he takes the girls around in my 2006 Forester. We are planning to drive both until they die. I have a feeling we will end up replacing the Civic with a minivan.

Shannon in ATL
04-25-2014, 09:18 AM
I'm glad that DH is okay, CalCounter!

alinnell
04-25-2014, 09:25 AM
CalCounter, glad you're DH is okay. You'll probably be amazed at what changes cars have undergone since 2005. My DH had a 2005 Expedition and recently got a new Explorer--smaller to conserve gas. The electronics on this thing are amazing. If he is using cruise control it senses all the traffic and if traffic slows, it slows for you and if a car suddenly cuts in front of you it applies the brakes. It's a little freaky to get used to but it seems SO much safer. I believe the technology is the first step to the so-called driverless car of the future that they keep talking about.

Mudpie
04-25-2014, 10:03 AM
calcounter Glad your DH is OK and good for you for making him go see a doctor today. The neck stuff show up anywhere from the next day to a week later - I speak from experience long long ago.

My DH just got his first ever new car (he's 52) - a Mazda 3 sedan. Mishi's death totally eclipsed this event but I think secretly DH is thrilled, even though he's now in debt due to a car also for the first time (he previously paid cash for a used car).

I guess DH and I are both kinda weird, for North Americans. I'm on my 3rd car and I'm 57, DH is on his second @ 52. We're totally late bloomers in everything!

Shannon You're right, your patio floor is going to look amazing. Remembering you pics from last year your whole yard will look pretty amazing.

I'm concentrating on the front of the house. The painter put a coat of primer on its stucco yesterday and it looks much, much better already. Can't wait for the yellow paint - DH and I have wanted our "yellow house" (fans of Frank Black and Millenium will know the reference) since we watched that show long ago.

Gotta get back out to work - 8 degrees and massive east winds. BAH!

Dagmar :brr:

traveling michele
04-25-2014, 10:38 AM
Glad your dh is ok CalCounter (and the other driver too). That is so scary!

While I don't like car payments and we always say we'll keep our cars, we never do! We currently have...gulp.... three car payments! We paid off my dh's truck but then we took a loan against it to help dd buy her service dog. My younger dd has our other car and it will be paid off in September (yippee!). I have a new Jeep (few months old) so we'll be paying for it for a long time....