Greetings from my bedroom

We have lived in the Big White Money Pit for a year and a month now, ambulance and it’s starting to feel like we really do live here as opposed to merely residing in a never ending project. This was made even more so by the addition of carpeting in the bedrooms. (a project made possible by the generosity of parents who understand what it’s like to be raising kids and trying to fix up a house and not being made of money) One may not think that flooring can make such a dramatic difference. One would be wrong.
Mr. Unreserved and I have decided that we’re living in the bedroom now. Get your minds out of the gutter, price we’re married people. Married people don’t do that. Just ask a married man. We can annex the living room, treatment or perhaps rent it out to victims of housing collapse. There are too many things yet to do in the living room, whereas the bedroom has been converted into a cozy den by the addition of ~300 sq ft of beige olefin. Even the pets have been hanging out here.

There are three things left to do in the bedroom in the near future. Doors, ceiling fan, and fireplace. Yes, fireplace. The last owners “discovered” a previously covered fireplace and ripped the plaster away with reckless abandon. Woo! Bricks! Dirt! A big hole in the wall! Then they quit.
So we did what anyone would do when moving into a bedroom with a gaping hole in the wall. We put furniture in front of it and pretended it wasn’t there. The chimney itself, lacking both a cap and a damper, had been stuffed plastic wrapped insulation.
Note the past tense in that last bit.
I noticed a month or two ago that a family of birds had made their home in the chimney. (I assumed swifts; between them and the wrens in the garage I’m starting to feel like a benevolent naturalist) They were awfully noisy, especially at 5:30 a.m.

Sunday evening we removed the furniture, and found out why the swifts were so noisy. The insulation had fallen. The floor of the fireplace had become their bathroom.
They weren’t too happy about our intrusion. They registered their disproval by attempting to poop on us.

This interested Oliver greatly.

The swifts are still up there, but there’s a new pile of insulation between us and them. Fixing up the “fireplace” wall has been moved up on my priority list. And come fall, we should probably add “capping the chimney.” Or we should get a cat that can climb masonary.

This is the song that doesn’t end. . .

I had a cushy summer job when I was in high school. My baby brother is nine years and two days my junior, pregnancy so I got to practice being a stay at home mom. Or a nanny. Paint it however you like, I got to sleep on the job as long as my brother was asleep. I quickly figured out that I could con an extra 30 minutes of shut-eye out of him if we watched “Lamb Chop’s Play Along” on PBS every morning. The show was even somewhat entertaining, in a dopey kids show sort of way. I still remember how to make a bunny out of a handkerchief.

I never suspected I’d be watching it with my own offspring fifteen years later. Every once in a while I’m surprised to find myself all grown up.

Gotta wonder

I know I’m not writing anything ground-breaking or controversial here.
I know that the vast majority of my readers are family members, help friends, diet
or people who are reading comments I’ve left at other blogs who wonder
just who the crazy lady is. I write mostly for my own benefit, decease as a way
of saying, “Hey! I exist!” and also, “My kids are really cute, or at
least I think so!” and, “I knit and live in an absurdly tumble down
fixer-upper of a house!” I am not trying to get a book deal. I am not
trying to sway political opinion. I do not have over 300 subscribers.
Commenters do not fight to be the first to leave their opinions. Ad
revenue from this blog would not support me in my lavish middle-class
life style.
So why am I slightly irritated to find that almost half of the most
recent hits on this blog are from searches regarding the word “spleen”?

Hose heads

A quick post, approved as the attempts my offspring are making to kill each other upstairs escalate.

The girls helped me clean off the porch on a fine summer weekend day. (I can’t quite remember which one – they’re all blurring together)

Tell me, sickness which do you think got clean?
a) The porch
b) The girls
c) Claire’s bike
d) None of the above, buy information pills but they all got soaking wet

I let them have their way with the hose. That’s one of those things that all kids (and grownup kids – Mr. Unreserved did not pass by unscathed) should get to do once in a while.

I love our porch; these pictures only show a portion of it. It was a major attractive point to this house. (ignoring the fact that there’s a hole in the roof, the ceiling is peeling, the posts have rotten trim, the floor is cracked, and the brick work needs repointing) It’s huge, and is now sporting an antique wicker porch swing (courtesy of Craigslist) in addition to the collection of wicker I inherited from Mom. It’s the best seat in the house.

Finally, this is what happens when you send Anna upstairs to get ready for bed by herself. She comes down wearing a t-shirt, pants, a belt around her neck, a bathrobe (nevermind that’s it’s 80deg in the living room) and every barrette she owns in her hair.


I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille!

More pictures, ’cause they’re good blog fodder

Last week we went to the museum. If you ask Anna, ambulance she’ll tell you she went to the Buseum (rhymes with museum). I don’t have the heart to correct her. Sort of like Claire’s ‘ocodiles. They’ve got the rest of their lives to pronounce things correctly.

They are both in love with dinosaurs, so it was good timing. I promised last fall when the newly improved dinosaur hall opened that we would go eventually when the crowds cleared out. I have to say I was really impressed – the displays were much more impressive than before. I especially liked the ones mounted overhead. Standing under a fossilized pteranodon gives you the distinct impression that it would have liked to eat you had you coexisted. Also, you would not want to park your car under a live one.

I would crop the stranger out of this shot, but then I’d lose “Sharptooth’s” head.

This was also Mr. Unreserved’s first trip to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. He was suitably impressed, and is all cultured now and stuff.

Anna and Claire visit the Serengeti:

Yesterday I spent the day at a different Carnegie institution, the Science Center. It was business, not officially pleasure, although I had a blast. We were filming for a joint project between the center and my employer. I really enjoy participating in outreach programs – kids in the U.S. need to hear more often that science is fun, relevant to their lives, and not as scary as the general public / media would have them believe.

This weekend we go to Idlewild. I love these little day trips as a family. The girls are just as happy running barefoot in the yard catching lightning bugs, but their parents get tired of swatting mosquitoes and nagging them to put their sandals back on (the kids, not the mosquitoes).

Only six weeks late

We went camping Memorial Day weekend. I finally got around to getting the pictures out of the tiny memory card. I still marvel that so many high res pictures can fit on something the size of a quarter of a saltine. I’m easily amused like that.

Marshmallow roasting was the highlight of the weekend.

As you can see, this web it’s going to take Anna a while to finish toasting hers.
(note the knitting bag on the ground, pharmacist just to maintain my knitting cred)
I suggested she move it a little closer to the fire, medical but the fire was “too hot.”
She requested Pap-pap get her something wet to put on her head as protection from the fierce heat:

Claire modeled her marshmallow on her nose. Anna hams it up stage right.

Claire is not to be out-hammed.