Hammer Time!

Well, it’s been some time again between posts but the good news is that most of the family room has been drywalled, including the ceiling which we did this weekend.  A word of advice – if you ever hang drywall on the ceiling, rent a drywall lift.  $50 for the weekend from Taylor Rental and it was worth its weight in gold.  Makes very quick work of what would otherwise be a laborsome task.  We haven’t taken any photos yet but hopefully we will do that this week and then get a photo album online so that everyone can see the progress.

Unfortunately, the weekend started on the wrong foot – er, hand.  As I was using a block to try and wedge a corner of the drywall in place, I accidently smashed my index finger on my left hand.  Might I just say that it hurt… a lot.  Somehow, I kept myself from letting the entire neighborhood know in the form of some rather foul language that I had made such a boneheaded mistake and my friend Marty was surprised that I was able to contain myself so well, especially when I pulled off my glove to reveal a very black fingernail.  By the evening, the pressure was just too intense and I had to drill the nail to relieve the blood from behind the nail.  What a difference; here it is on Monday morning and it really doesn’t feel too bad now.  Maybe I’ll get a picture of that up here, too – hah!

We also had a nice little nor’easter hit on Sunday and locally we got around a foot or more of snow.  It was a little hard to tell because the wind was whipping around everything.  In fact, there was very little snow on the roof, which was good because there’s one little spot where if it ices the water backs up under the shingles and eventually makes its way to the ceiling in the kitchen, where we have a nice little water stain to look at these days.  Of course, the snowblower did its usual job and so it’s back to business today per usual.  Jakob did go out and play for a little while in the snow in the morning but everyone stayed in after lunch because the wins really picked up in the afternoon and the snow came down hard and fast.

So we don’t forget, we wish all our family and friends a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Groundhog Day

Groundhog DayFunny that the grandhog reportedly saw his shadow today, meaning six more weeks of winter.  Around here, it’s been unusually warm and just raw if nothing else.  We did get snow earlier this week but it’s nearly gone; with rain in the forecast, it will likely be washed away by the weekend.  We had every intention of hitting the slopes a few times this winter as we had before the kids came along but the chances are getter less and less that we will even strap on our bindings before the daffodils pop up this spring.

At least we haven’t had to deal with driving in adverse conditions; not so much that we don’t know how, but that we don’t have to be sharing the road with people around here who see a few snowflakes and suddenly forget how to operate a motor vehicle.  You can divide people around here into three categories: first, there are those who have a clue and just take it easy taking corners, staying well behind vehicles in front of them, and giving themselves plenty of time to come to a stop.  Then you have the people who think that because they have a four-wheel drive vehicle that they can go ten miles over the speed limit and ride your behind like they are trying to read your gages.  Finally, there are those who drive half the speed limit with one foot on the gas, one foot on the brake, and are oblivious to the mile-long caravan of cars behind them. Perhaps the latter two should just follow the groundhog and remain in hibernation, eh?

Progress Is A Good Thing

Well, the walls in the basement are starting to wrap around the family room and hopefully we’ll be ready to plaster in no time. That’s a long time from now, unfortunately, as we are limited by how often Jeff can find time to get the work done. Luckily, he has plenty of friends who aren’t familiar with the weight of an individual 4×12 piece of sheet rock.

Sesame Street Live

Saturday we went to Sesame Street Live in Lowell with the kids and some friends of ours and their kids. The show was subtitled “Out Of This World” and featured the Yup-Yups coming from outer space and landing on Sesame Street to learn more about earth and its inhabitants. So Elmo, Big Bird, and the rest of the gang spoke about how, even with our differences (languages, cultures, etc.), we are all earthlings. It was quite enjoyable and at a reasonable price – $15 per ticket. Of course, they were still hawking Sesame Street merchandise for outrageous prices; they wanted $8 for an Elmo balloon you can buy at the party stores for $2! Lea slept for the whole show, of course, and Jakob was a little frightened at first (how would you feel looking up on stage at six-foot-tall monsters?) but settled into the show and enjoyed himself.

Lea is now thisclose to rolling over onto her stomach from her back. Right now, she gets about three-quarters of the way there but her arm keeps her from rolling over completely. She’ll get there eventually, of course, and then it won’t be long before she’s doing the commando crawl all over the place.

Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss

So Theo Epstein has returned as Red Sox general manager and all is well again in the Boston front office. Jed Hoyer and Ben Cherington, who had been co-GMs since mid-December, were given new assignments as assistant GM and VP of player personnel, respectively. Now Boston needs to get the final two spots in the field filled, with free agent Alex Gonzalez the likely candidate to sign at short and outfielder Coco Crisp being traded from Cleveland to take over the departed Johnny Damon‘s role in the field and the lineup. Reports this morning say that the Crisp deal has hit a snag because Guillermo Mota, whom the Indians wanted in the bullpen and who has missed time over the last two seasons due to injury, failed his physical Tuesday. It doesn’t mean that the deal is dead, but the Sox and Tribe will need to work out another package to make it work (there are also several other teams that may get involved in a mass player swap, including Philadelphia and Cincinnati).

Pitchers and catchers report in 23 days (17 February) to Fort Myers; we can smell the outfield grass from here.

The Walls Are Closing In…

Drill with hard hatIt was definitely a successful day hanging sheet rock in the basement; Jim and Jeff got two walls completely covered with sheet rock and no one lost any blood doing it. There’s still lots to do but it is amazing how much more “completed” it looks. Jim also proved to be a great help and he is welcome back anytime (all the pizza he can eat)! Pictures will follow someday soon – gee, where have we heard that promise before now?

Meanwhile, Tiffany got to go with Lea and Jakob to the mall to walk around and pick up a few sale items. Both kids did really well with Lea giving every passing stranger a big smile. Jakob’s favorite part, per usual, was getting chicken nuggets from Burger King. That’s his schtick these days, running around the house and yelling: “Shicken nuggets… and a COKE!”

Chattering TeethOh, and on a belated note, two more teeth have popped through for Lea (the two bottom front ones). That gives her, at four months, a grand total of three. It appears like she will be just like Jakob and have all of her baby teeth before’s even a year old! Of course, getting two at once was not a pleasant feeling and there were a few sleepless nights, but… ç’est la vie!

Rats In The Cellar

Circular sawGood news is that we are finally getting somewhere with the basement project that we’ve been working on for almost a year now. The sheet rock was delivered this morning and Jeff should begin hanging that Saturday with his buddy Jim from work. Today was spent taking care of some of the loose ends, like finishing the installation of some of the insulation. If all goes well tomorrow, the family room should be “walled” by the evening.

There’s still a lot to do after that but it will feel like we are finally on the home stretch. It’s taken longer than originally expected (we had originally hoped to be done in time to put the Christmas tree down there), but there has been delays on many fronts, like waiting for the rough electrical and plumbing to get completed and battling colds. Plus, of course, having a two-year-old and a newborn hasn’t made it any easier!

The other news is that Jeff’s brother Greg is suppose to be here this weekend in Newport, RI with his ship, the US Vella Gulf. We just saw him last month when he and his family came to visit from Virginia, but that was the first time we had seen him in a year, so we’re going to try and catch him. He’ll be given leave of his ship for the weekend and plans to stay at Jeff’s parent’s place, so that’s where we will likely go on Sunday. It should be a nice visit!

A Weekend That Was

Happy Monday!

Well, somehow we knew that the Patriots would eventually run out of magic this post-season, but it was disappointing to see them go down in flames on Saturday night in Denver, which seems to have historically been a house of horrors for New England. Not that the Patriots didn’t have the opportunities to win, but turning over the ball at critical points in the game doomed them. Still, the team should return next season as strong if perhaps stronger than they were this year, and hopefully the injury bug will disappear.

Lock Monsters logoSunday afternoon, the family took in a Lock Monsters hockey game at the Tsongas (pronounced SONG-gus) Arena in Lowell. Down 2-1 with three minutes left in the third period, Nicolas Corbelli dented the twine with a nice little shot over the goaltender’s shoulder to even the score and sent the game to overtime. Unfortunately, just 17 seconds in, the visiting Bridgeport (CT) Sound Tigers got the game-winner to send the crowd home disappointed. Still, everyone, including Lea, had a good time. Jakob’s favorite part, of course, is the food, whether it’s a bag of popcorn or some nachos and a soda. Lea spent most of the time looking up at the lights and luckily didn’t get spooked too badly when our team scored a couple of teams and the crowd roared in approval.

At least there is one ray of sunshine today, as we wake up to sub-zero temperatures (-2°F on the thermometer this morning at 5:00 AM): pitchers and catchers report to Fort Myers on 17 February, one month from tomorrow!