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Not Spring Yet
2008-03-10, 3:36 p.m.

Day 1297

Heh. I gotta quit complaining about weekends. But first, I gotta have a weekend that isn’t complaint worthy.

Stayed home Friday to work on the kitchen. (Sorry Alison – no putting up of the feet – yet). Bad day. Everything I did, I had to do twice. Build in a stub wall? Measured its location & length correctly. Brain farted on how to assemble it and cut a couple pieces wrong. Had to rip them out and start over. Wanted to re-wire a switch box – change it over to a newer style and update the switches in it. Got that done – then realized that instead of putting the dimmer for the kitchen lights I had just used an ordinary 3-way switch. Of course, this was pointed out to me Saturday morning, when I was planning on finishing that particular section of wall. There were other things – all of them done twice.

Eric made it home Friday evening. When they left Fredonia at 3pm, it had been snowing there for at least 3 hours already. Needless to say, they drove through snow all the way home. Towards the end of their trip, they got a heads up on I-90 being closed due to a couple of accidents – one with a semi involved and another with a car on fire. Rather than get stuck in the ensuing parking lot, they got off an exit or two early and took surface roads the rest of the way. You should know though, in this section of I-90, exits are 10 – 15 miles apart. They basically drove from Batavia to Rochester on SR33 – just like in the old days before expressways. All in all, they didn’t do bad. 105 mile trip only took them 3 hours. Poor Kelly (Eric’s g’friend) still had to drive to Syracuse. For her – another 2+ hours. The good news? Aboput ½ way there the snow gave way to freezing rain and rain. It’s just a teensy bit easier to drive in that. Snow blowed the driveway Friday night – had about 6 inches at the time.

Saturday, while we (we being me & the boys) were laying waste to the kitchen, I had a lovely pork butt going in the smoker. Also threw in a pot of baked beans. Put them on a rack right below the pork butt – let ‘em catch all those lovely pork fat drippings and absorb some of that lovely smoky flavoring. Don’t know if it was due to all the snow or what, but that flippin butt never really got done. Slow cooked it for over 10 hours and couldn’t get the central muscle to tender up. It still made some amazingly good pulled pork sammies, just not up to par with what we can do in the summer.

Zach had to go pick up Jill from work in the afternoon. Jill is working at the Home Creepo while she finishes school. I needed a couple more sheets of drywall, more underlayment, nails, other odds & ends, so we yanked the seats out of the van and ventured forth into the blizzard. What was normally a 10 minute trip took about 20. Got our goodies, loaded up and headed home. All in all, that little supply run only took an hour. Only supply run of the weekend too. Pretty good all things considered.

Snow blowed the driveway again Saturday night. Had another 6 inches deposited during the day. Sunday morning I did the driveway for hopefully the last time. Didn’t get a whole lot of new snow, but there was considerable blowing & drifting. By mid-day Sunday we had significant patches of bare driveway showing. Looked to be 12 – 15 inch shelf where the blower cut an edge along the sides of the driveway. Guess that’s all the snow we got this weekend. Pity. Friday afternoon we could see grass. Could see the fish in the pond. At least 6 or 7 of them were visible chillin’ in there. Now? Looks like a scene from “Eight Below”. Only 10 days to Spring . . .

My hands are a wreck. Alligator hide is smooth by comparison. They suck up lotion like sponges. The back of my hands themselves are ok, it’s the inside surfaces and the outer edge of my index fingers – especially on my right hand. The calluses are getting really thick and are starting to crack again. I’m thinking a few minutes with some fine sand paper might make for a nice exfoliation . . .

Trying to remember if I thought Cindy had been drinking Thursday night. I think perhaps she did. It’s not like she was hammered, it’s more that I thought her behavior was altered. Saturday really threw me. For some reason, in the morning I noticed an unopened 20 oz. bottle on Ginger Ale in the garage, on a shelf right next to the main entry door into the house. When we got bask from our supply run & picking up Jill, that same bottle was on the shelf, empty. When we got inside, I noticed Cindy had a very large cup on the end table next to her. Had some amber colored liquid in it. Very curious how that bottle emptied itself while we were gone. It had to be that exact moment in time when she got a hankering to drink something other than water? I am very, very suspicious about that. I also wonder where the remaining cans of Labatt Ice beer disappeared to. They’ve been hanging out in the fridge in the garage for months. Noticed the other day they were finally gone. More evidence I suppose.

It’s another one of those situations where I’ve been waiting for the right moment to bring it up. Unfortunately, right will never happen. I’ll just have to dive in and hope we’re both adult enough to work through this. We’ve been operating pretty well lately, I hate to upset the apple cart.

Maybe I’ll grow a brain and solicit some experiences from my Tuesday night group. Then I can continue the roll by asking Annette some questions during our 1 on 1 Wednesday. By Thursday, I should have some sort of plan formulated and I can spring it then. If it’s a Thursday when she decides it’s be a good night to drink, I hope she won’t be too schnockered to participate fully. Actually, having had one or two drinks might help drive my point home.

Sometimes I feel like Circe has felt recently. You think you’re heading towards safety, maybe getting a little comfortable even, then reality bitch slaps you back to your senses and you understand that no – the addict hasn’t changed their habits. At all.

Ok – switching over to cheery, spring like thoughts. Just as the snowstorm was settling in to our area, I was eyeing the birds at the front feeder. It’s a hanging feeder and we use a sunflower seed/corn/millet mix in there. Get a real nice mix of chickadees, finches, and a couple different woodpeckers visiting regularly. From the love seat, as you look out towards the feeder (hanging all of 2 feet from the window) there is a purple flowering plum tree in your field of view. It isn’t flowering right now, I can assure you. But – there was definitely something of interest in there. Something interesting like a male robin. On March 7, in way upstate NY, just hanging out in my plum tree. For me, this is a local record. I can’t ever recall seeing a robin quite so early. I hope this guy’s diet includes nasty old dried berries, cuz I think that’s all he’s going to get to eat. No worms for this guy. First, we have to lose this 12 – 15 inch blanket of snow, then the freakin ground has to thaw. Last I knew both those things happened when the temperatures were over 32. Wonder when that’ll be?

Yeah – ok – so much for cheery spring like thoughts.

Did get a lot accomplished on the kitchen this weekend. All of the old flooring is gone, both the parquet and the red oak slats. The underlayment is finished. Insulation is replaced. Stub walls are built. Did the expansion foam in the window & door installs. All the drywall is hung. 99% of the electric is done. I have a single switch left to install, and a cable lead to run for an under-cabinet fixture. I’ll get those parts tonight on my way home and do that little task. I’ll get the drywall corner bead started tonight and maybe get going on the mudding. I’m just running out of things to do to delay that particular job. Bummer.

As incentives for finishing up work this weekend, I splurged and got a few six packs of some new-to-me beers. First up – “Rising Moon” – from the Blue Moon folks. A wheat beer, but with lime overtones. Eric tested and approved. Zach stayed safe and stuck to the Guinness. Had a couple left over from, hmmm, Christmas I think. At least they’re gone now. I got brave and tried a Brooklyn Brewery
Black Chocolate Stout. Whew!! Talk about dark! And at a whopping 10.6% alcohol, one is enough to loosen me right up. With me new, relatively tea totaling ways, 2 of them might put me out. Or make me a VERY cheap date. Another one I got but didn’t try yet, I’ll have to admit, the label appealed to the 8 year old in me. Made by Hook and Ladder Brewing Company the beer is called “Backdraft Brown”. I was all, “Now what beer doesn’t cause backdrafts?” I’ll have to let you know how it goes. Or whether it goes. I just couldn’t say no to the label. Yes, I really am 8.

Gotta run, work actually beckons.
Edited to add: Had a few minutes to myself when I got home. Used the time to look for "peanut M&M's" (really, I was). Don't care for what I found - now I wish I hadn't looked. BTW - the salmon was delish. It'sa Giada DeLaurentis dish. Go to Food TV and look up "salmon dijon mustard glaze" and it'll show up 4 or 5 deep on the list. Helps if you like salmon. If you're not sure, this might be a good dish to try it on. Gotta go do dishes . . .


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old habits - new tricks