Monday, January 31, 2011

I'm a Groupie

I've mentioned it a time or two, I think, but I'm not sure. The Man's an avid bass player. He's played in multiple bands over the years, a few of which have found good success. In college he was in a band called Volare which put out a few CD's and toured the progressive rock scene for a while before life got in the way for the guys. It's very interesting "music for the thinking man." If you're interested in a clip check out this link or this one that shows their second album. Google them if you like. They never met with a bad review.

Now he's in a few others including a classic rock cover band that plays out fairly regularly, a cover band that's just getting started and the one that really has some great potential, Velvet City Mercy. They had a gig this last weekend and my in-laws graciously kept the kids for us so I could go. They packed the house! I had never had so much of a good time.

Here are a couple of grainy pictures of the stage:

and here's the man doing his thing:
He was really very happy and had a great time doing it. If you want to check out one of their songs, click here. They also have a Facebook page, so if you're there, stop by and give them a 'like' as we've been hearing the local clubs book people by the number of 'likes' they have on their Facebook etc. pages. They're very, very good, IMHO.

Hopefully they'll get a chance to play again really soon. I found myself wanting to yell, "I want to have your babies!!!!" but I've already done that. Oh well. Such is life for a groupie.

The morning comes early. Sweet music loving dreams.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Just Call Me Erin!

One of the counselors at school came to my room a few days ago with something that looked like it was in a war zone for quite a long time. She needed my help, she said. I needed to make something for her. It had to be impervious to assault. It had to be unyielding. The gravity in her voice emphasized the seriousness of the situation. I began to panic and viewed the ravaged object in her hand with trepidation.

"What's that," I asked?

"My dog's bed," she hissed.

"You lie," I responded before I could stop myself. The thing was in shreds with thin strands holding it together in places while others were completely ravaged.


I accepted the challenge with the knowledge failure was inevitable. The fabric stores offered all sorts of heavy canvass, but the nails of that dachshund could easily pick at and snag even the tightest weave. Kevlar was my first choice. Carbon fiber my second. Then, I found a heavy faux suede. It had to work. It just had to. I allowed myself to bask in the glory that victory may in fact be mine; then grounded myself becoming reminded that I didn't know how to sew a dog bed. Straight lines? I got those down. Actually making something...that's another story. So, what do you do when you've got no direction? Grab a glass of wine and wing it, baby!


I toyed with several ideas. I couldn't leave it open on one end like a pillow case and I couldn't sew it completely shut because I wanted them to be able to take it off to wash it. I settled on making it like a pillow sham cover that overlaps in back, so I folded over the rough ends, pinned and sewed them down.
Then I lay it upside down, folded it over the pillow, overlapped the ends a bit, removed the pillow, pinned the whole thing together and sewed the edges shut. I used a zigzag stitch to hopefully give it some more staying power.
Actually, before I sewed it shut, I added this little fancy pants stitching to the top fold of the flap in back to hold it flat a bit better.
After flipping it back right side out, I stuffed the pillow back in and now have a fancy pants dog bed!
I'm pretty excited. It surprisingly turned out just like it was supposed to, which usually doesn't happen around here. I'm confident the pillow cover will last a good week. Maybe even a week and a half. That's why I made two. ;)
The morning comes early. Sweet dog bed dreams.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Blogging Monotony

Anyone here go to camp? You remember those terrible camp songs that went on and on and on with no end in sight only to have your irritation and ire exacerbated by the sentence "Same song, second verse. (Fill in the blank) style and a whole lot worse!" Subsequently the tedious song continued to repeat itself in some god-forsaken accent or worse, Pig Latin. I'm feeling that way about garden blogging at the moment. This would be the third spring for The Corner Yard and honestly, the trials and tribulations are much the same year after year and I'm worried that people, assuming people actually frequent this diatribe, are getting bored seeing yet another picture of a squash bug. However, I assume I'll keep on keepin' on until I get some sort of sign like an anonymous post from God saying, "Dude. Enough is enough already," or someone accuses me of plagiarizing my own previous posts.

Keeping all that in mind - here are seed starting pictures! Tomorrow these lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, and celery seeds will find themselves in the basement under my fancy pants light set up.

Ok. It's the same light set up and rather more ghetto than sanctified, but it gets the job done.

But in the spirit of monotonous blog posts - let me throw in a few anecdotes. This weekend the girl here decided to dress herself. Please note the grey, neon swirled pants, pink and white sun dress and the neighbor's Halloween shirt.
Thank goodness we were staying home that day.

On the way home from school this morning there was a dead skunk in the road. It was unmistakable. The boy said, "Thank goodness that skunk's sleeping. They're nocturnal, you know, so he'll need his rest, but I wish he had found a safer place to do it than in the road." I didn't have the heart to point out the skunk had a rather one dimensional quality to it.


And now, for your entertainment pleasure, I present to you: The Girl who came home from school today with a poem memorized. I caught her preening in front of the mirror after her bath and took the film. Speech therapy is in our future.
video

That's all folks!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Seed Starting and Apologies

During the snow last week I went back and looked through last January's posts and realized I was about two weeks late in starting my fall seeds in comparison to last year. WOW! I cant' believe that time has flown by so fast. I haven't even taken the last of the fall broccoli out of the garden yet. Last year we lucked out in that spring weather came pretty early, but I'm not as hopeful this year, but we'll see.

Today I started some bib lettuce, a lettuce variety mix, rainbow chard, broccoli and those small Gonzalez cabbages I tried last year. They worked out really well in the SFG, so I did some more of those as well as a savoy leaf one. I'm excited for those. I also planted one more thing - something I haven't tried before- but I need to first offer an apology to the lettuce seeds I berated last year for being too small. I now know their superiority and gigantic size for I have met the true fiend of the veggie seed world: the celery seed.

Yes, I'm trying celery for the first time and have no idea what I'm doing. I started them inside since I'm thinking they, like everything else on this planet, will not grow well at all in the GA summer and as much of a head start I can give them, the better. I'd love any and all suggestions you can offer on growing celery, however....

Monday, January 17, 2011

Leaving the House

Whenever I think about it, I'm still in awe over how poorly we fared during the recent snow. I had no idea things were going to be as bad as they were. Whereas in the past, we've never missed more than one or two days for snow in a row, this time we missed five straight days which was unheard of.

Saturday was the first time I had left the house in a week. I was never so pathetically grateful to go to a baby shower in my life. Yesterday we went to the grocery and even though the temps had been above freezing for two days, there was till a ton of ice in turning lanes or anywhere where there was abundant shade. Today we're out of school again for MLK day and they'd better get out there and scrape the bus turning lanes because we went by some schools yesterday that would still be considered inaccessible!

The big news here now is on the boy's front. Saturday night we went to watch football at a friend's house and the couple was so, so, so kind enough to give the boy all of their teenage son's old legos...however, the weren't legos, but the Mega Blocks Dragon sets....a LOT of sets. We took home one large wooden box and another monster tub full of broken down sets. Luckily, they had all of the instruction books with them. It took me 6.5 hours yesterday. Yes, 6.5 hours to put all of the sets together, and amazingly we were only missing 4 pieces. Two we were able to borrow from the real Legos we have and that left only two major pieces missing which wasn't a bad deal at all. Here's what we have:

This castle was the first an most difficult of all we built. Things got easier as we had fewer pieces to dig through.
I suppose this is an outpost of some sort...
The ship that almost killed me.
And finally the bad guy's stronghold.
My thumbs are blistered, my hip hurts from sitting on the floor and I'm generally stiff this morning, but once we got the red castle together I wasn't going to stop since I'd never hear the end of the prodding until we'd finished everything. The stuff certainly isn't Lego quality - the pieces don't always snap nicely together and I'm sure more of it's going to fall apart easily than not, but it was so nice and generous for them to give the sets to the boy. They came with a bunch of people and all of those dragons also. The boy couldn't be happier.
However, I'm realizing we're slowly losing our house to toys. The dining room table is already Lego Land and now these have occupied the front room since there's no furniture in there and they take up so much floor space because if they were in the play room, they'd be busted in seconds. I told the boy I'd earned a day of reading and respite and if I ever hear the sentence, "I'm bored" for the next several weeks I'm going to have an apoplexy.

The morning comes early...and thank goodness that means school for all of us. Sweet ice free, dragon slaying dreams.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Stick a Fork in Me

I'm done.

We were back in school for four days when this happened. Now, we have the weekend and Monday off as well. I wonder what the school calendar is going to look like now.....

Could There Possilby Be Enough Fodder For Yet ANOTHER Snow Post?

Yes. Yes there is.

Why?

Because we're out of school for a fourth day and I'm about to go nuts. It's gotten to the point where I can't even send the kids to play in the snow. It's too dangerous. We'll get there in a minute. But first, my sister and brother-in-law braved the ice yesterday to bring their kids over to play. The day before, we took the skim board out on the snow and it worked great, so we thought to do it again. Doesn't the boy look excited...note the pittiful snow gear that's non existant.
Skim board? Bad, bad, bad idea. The snow had frozen to an ice layer of at least 1-1.5 inches thick. If my brother-in-law hadn't booted the boy off of the board, he would have gone half way down the street with it. I never thought that board would stop. Bad, bad, bad idea.

So, instead, they just all lay on their backs and flew down the hill. Look at the girl go!
The ice was so thick that the kids couldn't walk on it because they couldn't break through it. I had to stomp heal first two times to break through in places. The girl's trying to get up here but can't, and here comes her cousin down the hill. They wiped out.
Here was her favorite position coming down the hill - tongue first.
Then, she gave up and just grabbed a block and started chomping.
Sunny day, yes, but not quite the white beach sand. I just love this picture she took, but look at the wet road behind. That's not wet. It's a sheet of ice.
Still can't believe we're out of school today. I wonder what they'll call for tomorrow. They say we won't thaw out until then, so I wonder if they'll keep us out or if they'll delay openings. This is all very surreal and to think, it's only the start of January. We usually don't get snow until Feb or March!

Stay warm and safe!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Progress?

The man ventured out to work this morning for the first time this week. We had a bit of a thaw yesterday as the high creeped above 32 for a few hours, but everything that thawed just refroze last night with a low of 19. News stations were reporting that the driving conditions were worse than they were the first day of the snow.

We never cleared the snow off of the drive way like we should have, so the man had a bit of difficulty getting over the innitial hump.
This made me so, so nervous because behind the truck is a huge hill that goes straight to the fence of the back yard. He made it, thankfully.
Those of your northerners are probably getting quite a laugh out of us because of the difficulty we're having after a small snowfall of only 6 inches, but the south just isn't equipt for this. The DOT has admitted on several occasions that their handling of the situation has been sub par. They only had 50 snow removal trucks available for the city and metro area when this all started. Our county had no ice removal system in palce at all. Honestly, I bet there's next to no one here that has a good ice scraper for their car. I know the man has one here in this picture and he used it this morning, but I've been known to bust out a credit card or my driver's licence to scrape frost before, but this is no comparison to what we're facing now.
He made it in okay, but he did notice that there were several accidents and the highways that are six lanes only had 1 or 2 operational.

My problem comes in a different format. I'm in charge of graduation for our school. Right now, we've got about 475 seniors and their parents that I'm responsible for, but hey, it's better than cheerleading (which I've done and will not do again as long as I breathe). We only have two snow days built into the calendar which proves how little we miss school due to weather. So now, missing a third day and possibly a fourth, we're looking at having to extend the school year which throws off our contracts with the county arena where we hold the graduation ceremony. We're in troublem or rather I'm in trouble. Big, big trouble if we miss another school day. I suppose it is what it is.

The kids' cousins ventured over today and we had permission to sled down our neighbor's hill. Yesterday we busted out the beach skim board and had a blast. Today we quickly abandoned the skim board after it flew down the ice laden hill and half a block down the street before it stopped. Thank goodness the boy's uncle stuck his boot in the way and knocked the boy off of the board. From then on, they seriously just sled down on their backs or bellies. That's all it took. The snow that was there has a good inch of ice on top and it was even hard to bust with your boot to walk across. There's starting to be news reports of kids in critical condition from sledding accidents. One plowed under a parked car and has serious head injuries.

Snow and ice, you've been enjoyable. Now please go away. I hear Wyoming's fun...
The morning comes early, but who knows if we'll be back at school or not. Sweet no gardening in sight for the near future dreams.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Unprecedented

I'm still in shock over how hard this snowfall hit the Atlanta area. All metro counties, including ours are going to remain closed tomorrow. Roads are still impassable and the on/off ramps on I-285, the highway that circles Atlanta are closed. People are still stranded on roadways. We've watched neighbor after neighbor try to claw their way out of the neighborhood only to slide down a nominal hill and one neighbor with a 4 wheel drive got down to the main road and turned around. Even he couldn't make it.

I took a picture of the icicle hanging from the boy's window. You can see how dreary it was still outside at noon today. Yesterday we had freezing rain and sleet which caused a film of about a .25 inch layer of ice on top of the snow. My dad said it best when he equated it to walking on fried chicken. Kids got out the skim board today and just had a blast on that ice layer. Even the girl at 3 took a huge tumble, jumped up and said, "That was totally WICKED!" Tomorrow we're going to use our neighbor's hill - it's still pristine since he doesn't have children. Low is 17 tonight and high is only going to be 31 tomorrow, so I'm not holding out for much to melt.

At least my nook's full of books to read and we still have power. Stay warm and safe, y'all.

Monday, January 10, 2011

This Says it All.....

Third post for the day, and for that I'm sorry, but this picture pulled from The Gwinnett Daily Post says it all. This is I-85 Northbound- the major highway through Atlanta and an exit ramp. You can barely see the southbound lanes on the far left.
It was the middle of the day today and whereas the traffic is usually bumper to bumper, there was hardly anyone at all. We're out of school tomorrow as well and I'm starting to wonder if we'll be back at all anytime soon.

The Sun Brings Sleet

Nasty, Nasty, Nasty. That's what it is out there. There was about a two hour lull between the snow and then the freezing rain/sleet that hit us around 11:30 and hasn't stopped since. We're dealing with conditions we're completely incapable of handling. The news shows cars abandoned everywhere, even on the interstates. This is quite a mess, my friends.

Here's a picture of the snow now that it's light. The total on the back deck is almost six inches. There are drifts that go up to your mid calf, however.

The corner yard is somewhere underneath all that snow.
Here's looking down our street from the front porch steps. Look at the snow and ice on that road still. There's no way we're getting out of here tomorrow either.
The boy and girl were invited to a neighbor's house to go sledding this morning before it started sleeting. Here's the boy with Susan ready to go!
The surprise of all surprises was the girl jumping on afterwards. She tore down that hill without a moment's hesitation and jumped up yelling, "I did it!"
Quite a change from her attitude last year. Stay safe and warm, y'all.

Well, They Didn't Lie...

Woke up to the most impressive iron grey clouds I've ever seen. We missed the entire snow fall while we slept and woke up to an impressive sight. Now we're snuggled in the warm house with warm coffee, happy kids and all is right with the world. The snow is so deep on the porch it's above the threshold!
Toni...you're snorting while laughing again, but know this, our governor has issued a state of emergency for the entire state. For GA, this is an epic event and anyone who decides to drive anywhere today needs to hand in their sanity cards at the desk because they're certifiably idiots. We don't have snow plows here and salt/sand trucks are sparse at best. It's freezing rain out there now and the temps don't expect to get above freezing until noon Tuesday.
I'll take better pictures when it gets lighter out, but you can see I've got veritable proof of the cat that comes to our doorstep now to harass the dog. That catpurloined a beaded decoration from the girl's pumpkin in October. Woe befall that kitty if she ever catches it.
Took a film of measuring the snow. More pictures to come!

video

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Hunker Down, Y'all

I've mentioned before that this state has no coping mechanisms in place when it comes to snow and most assuredly ice. We scream it from the roof tops weeks in advance and the local news stations turn to 24 hour news coverage of the weather system that hasn't even left Texas yet.

But before we get to all that, I'm over my bottle opener. Every time I try to open a bottle of wine, the screw unhinges from the opener and I'm left with this:

It's obnoxious. It's irritating, and I'm tired of it. It's only made worse that three months ago I cleaned out the 'junk' drawer in the kitchen, realized we had four bottle openers and chucked all but one. Which one? The one that doesn't stinkin' work! Irritating at best.

Anyway, about that snow. The weather stations and the people all around town started buzzing on Friday, but the forecast hasn't been the same for more than 2 hours. As a matter of fact, all three local news stations are touting different snowfall totals from 2-7+ inches. The only thing they can agree on is that something is going to happen, which is honestly a first in and of itself.

So, like a dutiful Georgian, Friday after school I went and stocked up on all of the supplies you're supposed to have on hand.

Got the milk: Got the bread: Even got snow-beer for us and hot chocolate for the kids.
And then remembered something and ran back to the store yesterday. I braved the mad chaos and the dashing children. I refereed a fight between two unknown children and the last box of Fruity Pebbles. I ignored the urge to pick up yet one more gallon of milk and loaf of bread even though peer pressure is a powerful devil, and I made it out alive with this: Let the snow begin. ;)