Tag Archives: work

Holiday weekends rock.

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But at our house, not in the way you might think.

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This is one of our stone walls. It’s the smallest and has been falling in on itself for years.

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Mainly because when my husband built it 19 years ago, he didn’t listen to me and dug it level to the higher edge of lawn.

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You can’t tell but there’s over a two foot difference in height there.

Anyway… on July 2nd, the start of the holiday weekend, I came home from the grocery store and found this.

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Because the husband decided July 4th was the perfect time to redo the corner of the wall where stones were starting to slip into the ditch. He enlisted a friend, dug a trench and figured this jerry rigged engineering marvel would work.

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A slab of untreated wood, a line of black stakes and yes, God help me… roofing shingles to hold back the dirt. Not what I would call aesthetically pleasing.

There was a discussion. Followed by a heated debate. Which turned into the beginning of an argument. I offered multiple solutions and they did not go over well. Naturally the husband wanted to do as little lifting as possible because, you know… rocks = heavy. But if you’re going to rebuild a wall? You can’t just do one section, and after some (not so) gentle persuading, he finally saw it my way. Since the slipping stones were his main concern I conceded defeat on that point and we eliminated the corner.

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Filling it in with dirt which we will then seed or sod.

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And then the real work began.

If you’ve never built a rock wall? (And I mean a real New England cement free rock wall, with rocks of all different shapes and sizes and weights… not the nice flat ones you buy at a landscapers) Trust me, it’s work!

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Which is undoubtedly why my husband only wanted to do a corner.

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Silly man, he really should have known better.

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Day one? It went something like this:

Move rocks, install barrier, argue with wife, remove barrier, curse wife under your breath, fill hole with dirt, move rocks, curse wife again, start rebuilding entire wall when all you wanted to do was one corner, move rocks, curse wife under breath one more time because you can and she’s too far away to hear you.

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To be continued….

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And then there was a television.

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Next up in the Barn Mahal remodel was the addition of a 50 inch flat screen on a swiveling wall mount .

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Husband laid out all the pieces and parts….

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While I laid out snacks and a beef stew with crusty French bread I’d cooked to bribe a friend for installation assistance.

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The thoughtful friend even brought me a bar christening gift. I love those.

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Installation started well… and then as is wont to happen whenever we work in the man cave… it went straight downhill.

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Nothing lined up as it should, so a little force majeure was needed.

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When they thought it was mounted properly, they carried the television over…

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Only to realize the mount was upside down.

Oops.

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When that error was corrected?

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They dropped two weird sized screws (not sold on planet Earth) which promptly rolled into the floor cracks.

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After I took pity and found them both…. mounting continued. Leveling the tv was easier said than done.

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And though the bracket was perfectly centered between the booze shelves on the left and the WWII propaganda posters on the right…. they didn’t take the swiveling arm into account, so when it’s flush against the wall as it needs to be to allow access to the bar?

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It’s too far to the left… which will drive me crazy for years to come because the husband says he’s not moving it.

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Oh, well. It’s mounted and seems to be secure.

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Now I need to schedule an appointment for Direct TV to come install another what do you mean the barn is too far from the house to run off the same satellite dish. I was really hoping that wouldn’t be necessary but they assure me it is.

Ka Ching!

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1980’s Hell.

 

Another weekend in the big barn insulation/ceiling project commenced, but this time reinforcements were needed on day 1.

 

 

Because in as little as an hour? We proved that I can’t reliably hold plywood panels over my head long enough for my husband to figure out where to screw them.

Go figure.

 

 

So with the help of  a friend, insulation was stuffed, plywood was screwed and the part that gives me hives took place.

 

 

The husband…. playing with live electrical wires.

This is not a good combination and doesn’t always end well… but no one was electrocuted, so we call that a win.

 

 

The  bane of my current existence  pool table was moved to it’s new home spot.

 

 

And after a little trial and error, no toes were broken.

 

 

Also a win.

 

 

As soon as it was set up?

 

 

It was covered with plywood and a very rugged protector…. because no man cave should be without a touch of lace.

The next day we were off to Lowes for a tad more insulation.

 

 

Ka-ching!

 

 

We dragged it inside, and then all the crap that started here….

 

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That was then moved over here….

 

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Had to be moved upstairs.

 

 

Ask me again how much I’m loving this free pool table.

Go ahead, I dare you.

Once the  temporarily mounted my ass  stereo was uncovered, the husband found part of my old collection of 1980’s cassette tapes.

 

 

And while I stand by my CSN, Queen, Clapton, Dire Straits and Grateful Dead picks….. the 2020 River cringed at the sight of Madonna, Richard Marx and the Bangles.

UB40.

WTH?

And if that wasn’t bad enough..

He also found a box of albums he bought sight unseen at a yard sale years ago…. which meant this was blasting from his recently mounted speakers:

 

 

All Night Long?

No.

Preferably not even for 5 minutes.

 

I needed a holiday from the holiday.

 

Our last day of the long Memorial Day weekend meant a morning of yard work.

 

 

Tag team mowing with the husband on his new toy and me slogging along with the old push mower.

It was a gorgeous day.

 

 

The pear tree was blooming.

 

 

The mallows I’d planted were thriving.

 

 

And everything had finally turned green.

 

 

Except the baby barn which I decided to start painting that afternoon.

Let me preface this by saying I used to love to paint.

I used to.

Until I had to use an artist’s tiny brush around all the nooks, corners, flashing and crooked angles on that beast.

 

 

 

Did I wear some paint, get covered in dirt, rip my pants, tumble off a ladder and work until almost 8:00 at night?

Yes I did.

 

 

But paint was applied.

 

 

And covered a multitude of sins.

 

 

Three sides done, one to go!

Quarantine fever?

 

I don’t normally blog about my husband’s job.

He is a Fed after all, they might be listening.

 

 

But this morning he received a message from a man who was threatening to shoot drones out of the sky. While that in itself was troubling… the man’s explanation was even more so.

You see the drones were flying over his house and scanning him with infrared rays. He was wrapping himself in tin foil for protection while sleeping, but would soon run out of supplies.

Well, sure.

Who can blame him for being upset? Everyone knows the anal probe comes after the infrared rays….. and that’s enough to ruin anyone’s day.

 

 

The courthouse passed him off to the sheriff… who passed him off to the State Police… who passed him off to the husband’s office…. and now my other half has to deal with him.

Quarantine fever.

It’s driving them out of the woodwork.

 

 

 

Scrambling…

 

 

 

No, not eggs.

Vacations.

You see, for the entire year my husband has been saying he’s going to retire in December. He also forbade me to book any vacations because he works for the Federal Government and can sell back his leave when he goes.

(He gets 5 weeks off every year, so the payout can be substantial.)

 

 

Except now that the day is rapidly approaching, he decided he’s going to work a little longer.

Yes, his reasoning is sound.

 

  1. The old boss he hated has left and been replaced with a laid back, drama free manager.
  2. Starting next year, they’re going to push teleworking from home 2-3 days a week…. and since he already works four 10 hour days, it will probably be a 1 day a week commute.
  3. Good benefits.
  4. Good pay.
  5. The ability to dump more in our TSP (Thrift Savings Plan, the government’s answer to a company matching IRA).

 

I get it.

I do…

But our retirement plan was to travel, and I’d like him to be semi-mobile and breathing without a respirator when we do. (Hauling a corpse in and out of resort elevators is such a drag.)

 

Zombie-nuts

 

But back to the scrambling….

It’s almost the end of the year and I don’t have much time to plan and book 5 weeks worth of vacations before time runs out. It’s not easy with the holidays right around the corner. We have a timeshare on a points system and can go anywhere, but since he’s waited so long to request time off, he can’t get more than a week at a time…. which leaves out long distance trips. I hate spending 2 days flying back and forth for only 4 days on site. With the price of tickets these days, it’s not worth it.

So thanks to WordPress’s magic scheduling ability, as you read this… we are currently returning from a week at a ski resort in the western mountains of Maine.

 

 

That’s right Lionel, I haven’t been here for a week and you didn’t even miss me.

God bless technology.

Did we ski? Hell no, it’s too early for that… even in Maine. But it’s a beautiful area and I’m sure we explored. And drank. And took pictures.

The deluge of photos will begin shortly….

 

not again

 

You’ve been warned.