Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy Happy Joy Joy

oops...did I forget to wish everyone a happy holiday?

eek. we've been a little busy.

more on that soon.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Didja hear the one about...

News comes to me slowly, and my main news source is conversation, so I don't blog about it much.

But did you hear this...
"Pope Benedict was accused of stoking homophobia today after a speech in which he declared that saving humanity from homosexuality was just as important as saving the rainforest from destruction."

source: Philippe Naughton

I think Mr. Pope-head is forgetting that the biggest driving force behind saving the rainforest is those damned tree-hugging gays.

Friday, December 19, 2008



We're getting alot of snow here today. Perhaps some snow tips are in order.

If you're shoveling a big storm, go out several times to clear the snow. While this may sound like more work, its much easier in the long run.

It's best to clear snow off your porches and decks. While these structures are built to withstand all weather conditions - letting snow sit on them for long periods of time will definitely shorten the life of your finish and your wood.

When clearing the walks and driveway, clear the snow back several inches onto the lawn. This server two purposes - when the snow melts it will melt into the yard and not out onto the driveway where it may likely just freeze in sheets. And it gives room for future snows to come and be pushed back off the walks and drive.

Try to avoid using granular de-ice products if you can. They can be harmful to the environment..but also to your rugs and floors (see this post for more info on those products if you feel you need them). Natural kitty litters can give you traction, tho it too will make a mess - its less damaging.
(we rarely use any of these... so if you're visiting be careful, walk slowly).

And finally, grab your favorite cocktail and enjoy the show. For us that's watching the snow fall gently and settling on the trees creating such beauty and peace... or watching people spin out on the road in front of our house.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Learning curve

Earlier this week I had even more fun gathering stuff from the yard to decorate for Christmas.
I made this:

I was so proud.

Today I took half of it down.
Evidently, only certain evergreens stay 'fresh' after being cut.
I have discovered two that don't.

I suppose even Martha had some early failures.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Is your dog afraid of the vacuum?
Our FREE dog is. Very.
She will do anything to get away from it once we power it up. Her fear is so deep rooted that she cowers when I just carry it through the room.

So we came up with this great idea to solve the problem of her sleeping on the sofa.

Fear can work as a motivational tool.

We used to call the vacuum the Storm Trooper, now we call it Our Sentry.

Monday, December 15, 2008

First time homeowners

I am a little behind in posting this - mostly because we have been so ridiculously busy.

We are so excited and proud for our daughter and her handsome beau on the purchase of their

couple other shots

So you know where my energetic wife and I will be for the next several weekends.

Friday, December 12, 2008



Every so often give your shower head a good cleaning. It's often overlooked when doing the regular bathroom scrubbing. Think of it, water sits in there all the time with no air flow to help it dry out.

You can take them down and soak them or even take them apart. You can also use a little trick I learned waaay back when we were apartment dwellers.
Take a small baggie and add some ammonia*. Fasten the baggie over the shower head with a twist tie or elastic band and leave it over night.
Rinse it well the next morning and be SURE to let the water run a bit before jumping in for your morning shower.

* remember NEVER mix ammonia and bleach or bleach products.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


This year, with so many things going on in our lives - we are getting out the Christmas stuff a little later than usual. Yesterday's 'Martha' moments - led to today's acquisition of our tree. Which will lead to nog and stringing lights and hanging ornaments.

Last evening when my observant wife came home from work, you know work... it keeps you out of the house all day, she complimented me on my swag - and also noted that we still had a couple fall/thanksgiving gourds on the table outside by the door.

I planned to get rid of them today...
Apparently, word must have gotten around about that.

I wonder where the other one is?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Just call me Martha...

The interview went swimmingly. Mostly because of my smashing suit.
I got stuck in traffic on the way home. Like crazy traffic. The kind of traffic that you can't get out of by exiting the highway. The kind of traffic that is everywhere on every road as every one tries to get away from it... to outsmart it. Ha.

It's been a long time since I have commuted to work - this predicament reminded me of the commuting basics. Most importantly - pee before you leave. Also at all times in the car you should have: a bottled water, a snack, a good book, and a cell phone charger. Oh, and gas in the gas tank is always smart. I missed a couple of those last night - but I survived. I will be ready next time.

I decided to take a little time off from my job quest to get all Christmasy.
Since we are watching our pennies - I simply went outside and gathered cuttings from around the yard.

I made this nifty swag for the porch.

I used some of my leftover materials to make this little arrangement for the table.

Hung wreaths on the front windows (its pouring out...so you get an inside picture).

Popped a tiny little hat on David...

And yes... in case you are wondering - of course I am wearing a Santa hat too.

Ho. Ho. Ho.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Big day

I have an important interview this afternoon.

But in even bigger news...
Amanda pooped today!

It's important to keep your priorities in order.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

it must be in the water....

There's babies in the air. Yes..that's plural.

We are incredibly excited aunties today.
A little early, and only 3 pounds and change each... please go and meet my perfect little nieces.

Amanda Jane
Jillian Ashley

Friday, December 05, 2008



Did you know that you should drain the sediment from your water heater about once a year?
Sediment collecting on the bottom of the tank can reduce heat transfer to the water, wasting energy and your money (plus it's just yukky).

If you have an oil fired tank, like we do, simply get a 5 gallon bucket and open the valve at the bottom. Be careful -the water is hot and will come out with great force.
Also take caution if your water heater is old and has never been drained before as the valve may get clogged and be hard to close. You don't need to drain out all the water but you may need to fill the pail a couple times to get it clear. (I don't fill the bucket all the way because 5 gallons of water is pretty heavy to carry upstairs and outside.)

If you have a gas tank, you'll need to switch the gas control to "pilot" - don't do it yourself if your not comfortable re-lighting it if necessary. You can probably have your furnace folks do it for you during your annual maintenance.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

This night


We are gettin' all dolled up and going in early to have 'little plates' and much bubbly.

Tonight... I am taking my effervescent wife -- to the opera.

ef⋅fer⋅ves⋅cent   /ˌɛfərˈvɛsənt/

1. effervescing; bubbling.
2. vivacious; gay; lively; sparkling.

1675–85; L effervēscent- (s. of effervēscēns), prp. of effervēscere to effervesce; see -ent

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


So I am reading through the mountains of information provided to all of us unemployed lackeys from the 'Previous Employer'. I have books on writing resumes, nailing the interview (or as Syd may say.. nailing the interviewer), targeting a career, and winning the money game.
There are a couple of good tips, but wow - this is a lot of what I thought to be obvious information.
Really... people...really - you need to be told to buy a suit? And what would EVER compel someone to chew gum on an interview.
If you can't even clean yourself up and be presentable for an hour without being coached - then you may want to consider a career change... maybe office work is just not your thing. Maybe watch that show Dirty Jobs - could be a better fit.

Oh.. and another fun thing - I just stopped in at my 'old' office to pick up something I had left behind. I got to see the folks remaining after the layoffs and now... we get to hug.
I mean we never hugged before meetings or say when we passed in the hallways or getting coffee in the mornings - but now, its all about the hugging.

Good bunch of folks there. I will miss them.
Well... that and the parking garage.

Monday, December 01, 2008


Remarkably, I do not have a job yet.
No worries.
I did get up and shower this morning.
Got dressed.
Granted...it's sweats.
But hey, I've got shoes on.
And look... I'm blogging.

Monday, November 24, 2008

mr. mom

I just don't know how I ever had time to have a job.

I had the furnace guy in this morning. I have been calling exterminators for estimates and have one coming out tomorrow morning. Met a guy in a parking lot to sell my saxaphone to. Updating my resume and networking, getting my home office organized... sheesh - I barely have time to blog.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

No daytime TV or bonbons for me

What is the first thing one must do after getting laid off -- other than the obvious... find a job -- why, clean of course!
A good deep clean. A change of seasons clean. A new beginning clean.
There are several good reasons for this. It lifts your spirits, improving your outlook and giving you an upbeat attitude to better move on. It cleanses the Chi in the home and you will feel that difference and so will others who visit.
Plus if you're home all day and your house is a mess - now how would that look.

Friday, November 21, 2008

All I had to do was ask

What is that saying?
Be careful what you wish for?

Welp - I've got all the daytime access to the internet I could possibly want now.
From home.

Just count me another casualty of the depressed economy.

Anyone need any odd jobs done around the house?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I just signed in from my desk here in my warm, dark cubicle.

The IT people must be mucking with the settings.

Let's see how long this lasts.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Access Denied!!

Apparently my company has decided to shore up our firewall.
No more blogging from work.
I can't access my blog, and I can't read yours.

Now, I admit to being a person of habit. For example, I just finished paying the bills tonight. I printed the confirmation page, took all the paper bills (I have some I have switched to electronic) and stapled them three times down the left side. They will be filed with last months and the month before that, and before that.
I do it this way every time.

I blog at work. In the morning I draft at lunch I post. I do it this way most times. I have to be a little flexible here as they are actually paying me to do something other than blogging. But generally, it gets done during my work day.

I am going to need some time to adjust people.

While I am adjusting here are a couple shots from our march on New Haven CT on Saturday.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Preparing to Protest

We spent last night and this morning getting ready to protest.

I made us some 'equality' hats.

While I was testing our signs for water exposure (it's like a monsoon out there right now)...

my creative wife was still working on her sign this morning.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Eating crow

Isn't that a silly saying? I bet it tastes like chicken.

Ok, so yesterday a friend asked if we were going to join in on this protest thingame-whatsy going on tomorrow -- evidently all over the country -- in peaceful opposition to the goings on in California. (prop 8 for those of you under rocks).

Fight the H8 in Your State

But I said we had things to do. We have yard work, and house work, and several projects in the midst. We have no time for protesting... and the last thing I wanted to do was stand out in the rain with 12 people I don't know. You know how these grass roots things can be. Small, underfunded, poorly attended. I just wasn't interested.

I even did a little research on the whole movement. For goodness sakes - it was a website started just last week by some woman on her lunch hour.

I mean really... call me when you have something real going on.

Welp, after gentle prodding by a blog friend, and finding out this morning that the HRC is now endorsing this nationwide event, and I hear that LMF is now on board as well... I'm listening.

It seems there may be something real going on.

Who knows... maybe we'll make some history.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I do...

It occurred to me after reading the post of good friend, and checking our messages on the answering machine last night -that I may have been remiss not mentioning that yesterday was the first day same sex marriages could be performed in Connecticut.

Yay CT!

The messages on our machine were from two couples looking for my officially-elected wife to perform wedding ceremonies.

Yay for weddings!

It struck me they both used the word 'marriage' in their messages. We could always tell in the past if it were a gay or straight ceremony based on the language of the message.

Yay for marriages!

As for us... no, we did not get married yesterday.
A girl's gotta plan you know.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Reality is not on TV

People - it's a show. It's entertainment. It is not real and never will be. If you think you are watching something real - you need to get out of the house more often.

I abhor reality TV. It's why I liked the LWord right from the start -- when you were all complaining about how UNreal it was -- that's exactly its allure. That's what makes it entertainment. Because I don't live in a town where my UPS delivery person is a hot 20 something who will most likely sleep with me every time I get a package. I am watching to be entertained.

My latest rant is based on a commercial I saw just last night for the yet more crap in the reality genre.
Loosely -- it's about millionaires disguising themselves as regular folk and hanging out with poor people. In the end, they reveal themselves and give away piles of money they apparently don't really need. Everyone cries - fade to commercial.

If you even think the word philanthropist I may have to slap you.

Philanthropy is the act of donating money, goods, services, time and/or effort to support a socially beneficial cause, with a defined objective and with no financial or material reward to the donor.

How can giving be altruistic when 10 million people are watching you do it. Applauding you. Thinking how great you are.

Don't misunderstand. I am not advocating the anonymous donor. There is nothing wrong with helping someone and actually seeing the appreciation in their eyes and feeling the warmth of their hug. Even telling the story to a friend - no harm in that.
But in front of a viewing audience... cue the crying.
Because people - this is just sad.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Friday, November 07, 2008



Time to bring in your screens for the winter.
It's not essential that they come in - but it not only helps them to last longer, it will brighten up your home by letting in more light.

Remember when you are taking them in and washing the windows for winter it's also a good time to wipe out your sills. If you find you have hard to remove stains on them or on the exterior window casings, try the Magic Eraser. I have had great success with this little gem on our aluminum window trim.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Your children are everyone’s future

Child rearing is more than molding children into tiny versions of ourselves. We need to teach reasoning and decision and selection. Many parents are already very good at this with their toddlers, and it can be as simple as choosing an outfit, or selecting a paint color for their room.
So why is it we fall apart as parents when our children are old enough to vote?

There has been a lot of talking over the last couple weeks around and about the recent elections and their process. And as much as I try not to listen, all this talk has uncovered a family phenomenon that disturbs me.

Parents who try to get their adult kids to vote along their party lines, and even publicly disapprove when they do not.

Parents, please –don’t underestimate and certainly don’t abuse the influence you have on your children – even when they are grown. You must know that by trying to make them acquiesce to your way of thinking only one of two things can happen.
They will bend– thereby losing their own conscience and most likely becoming apathetic.
Or they will rebel – by simply choosing the opposite. Unfortunately that decision will not be made of rational and intelligent reasoning. It’s simply falling back into the psychological play of the persuasive parent and indignant child.

These are people, people. They have their own minds. Right or wrong, with you or against you – they think.
That, my friends, is the greatest gift of being a parent. To have spawned, sheltered and released a person who can think, and be, and is whole.

Allow me to give you an example:

Let’s be in the living room of a typical American home. You see a strapping young man pacing – sick with worry, weak with fear, visible sweat on his brow. He is about to tell his conservative parents he is gay. And he is anticipating their rejection, their anger, and worst - their disapproval.
You feel his pain don’t you?
You’re already mad at his parents for not being accepting and supportive, aren’t you?

Now… let’s be in a different living room down the street.
Another strapping young man, feeling the same fears, the same doubts and only really wanting his parent’s acceptance.
But this boy’s parents are liberal lesbians, and he is about to tell them… he is a Republican.

People – could you just let you children grow into their own adulthood. Create a loving and accepting environment where free thinking is encouraged. Where to live under the same roof with someone who doesn’t vote your way is comfortable, even applauded.
Help them to reason their own views. Not to follow yours.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. But it does fall.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

It's all the talk

You're all writing about it... everyone is talking about it.
There is really not much more that I can add.

We did trace out the states on a white board so my enthusiastic wife could color them in as the results poured in.
Tho more fun than that was watching Ferris try to name them. We raised him to be a true New Englander - anything in between Pennsylvania and California is sort of a gray area.

He did surprisingly well tho, so I guess the tuition is paying off.

We are Obama supporters and so we toasted* at midnight. Congratulations to us.
For those of you who stood with McCain, I offer you cheer now instead of condolence. It was a good race, a good campaign. We all stood on our sides - and now we are one again, moving forward.


*yes, I do like a little 'splash' in my bubbly.

Oh, and ... I do send my condolences to all my pals in California. I was surprised and and saddened by the outcome of Proposition 8.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

a political reprise

My patriotic wife and I voted today. We got to the busy polls at 6:03.
Then we went to Starbucks for our free coffee!

Today will be all about election coverage, on tv, on peoples blogs, on the internets.
So, how about something a little different...

I will tell you a story.

My gifted wife is painting in oils these days. For a long time she had been working in watercolors enjoying the quick freshness of the process as well as the result. But lately her work has been larger, with brighter colors and broader strokes. Really she is doing some beautiful work these days.

Painting in oils is a completely different process. The paints are thick and luxurious and take a long time to dry. She may paint vigorously one day, and need to leave it the next to set up.

Here is a glimpse of her studio, and her latest piece.
I love hanging out in the studio with her. Sometimes I will watch TV there, or work on the computer. It's a very cool place. It has great energy. It used to be our daughter's room, and still carries some evidence of her.
I love all the stuff in there... her paints, her easel, that sexy apron she wears sometimes to paint in...

I even love the way her palette looks - with its random squirts and smears of color. She uses this pad of waxy type paper for her palette. Squeezing out her colors and mixing them into different shades and hues. I find this process delightful. Plus it makes clean up a breeze. Oil paints don't require the daily clean up as water colors do, since they don't really 'dry' overnight, and remain quite malleable for a time.

I truly love this part of my creative wife. I love watching an idea bubble up inside her and then explode over a canvass. It's no wonder really that our daughter is also an artist. She paints as well, but is also an accomplished sculptor. So much creativity swirls in our house... in this room...

So much so in fact, that really should this have been a surprise??

Can you see it? Do you need a closer look?

Friday, October 31, 2008



happy halloween

remember to be safe

  • carry flashlight

  • look both ways before crossing

  • stay with your friends

  • wait till you get home to eat your candy

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ok...let's talk about politics

well...not exactly.

I have been quite successful in avoiding news and media in general regarding the election. Tho it's not been easy and I will be glad when it's over. I will say that our wood stove is going to miss the plethora of bulk mail from our local candidates. Nice heavy stock, good fire starters.

As the election draws near I do plan to participate beyond simply casting my ballot.

We'll start our day with hitting the polls at 6 a.m. We hear the lines are going to be long - so we'll treat this pragmatically like... say... a Black Friday shopping excursion. Really most people don't get up and out as early as they say they will, so I am thinking we'll be in and out before we finish our first travel mugged cup of steaming coffee.

Then... of course we'll need to go to work. Where even I will keep an eye on the internets as reports are streaming in with polling information, lines, lies, cheats and steals.

When we arrive home from work -- we'll first start a fire... because of course we now eschew oil heat. And let me tell you - you start the fire FIRST.

Then my very excited democratic wife wants to color in the states as the results come in - yes, she wants to do this even tho they do it for you on every channel. She really likes the idea of participating. We are working up some ideas to best implement this... I'll let you know what we come up with.

We are also planning All American fare - hot dogs, apple pie, and of course beer.
The brand of beer is up for debate. Bud used to be considered a truly American beer. But with Anheuser-Busch sale to the Belgium's and its highly publicized political affiliation... well I am thinking we may need to drink a beer from the mother country instead. Hmm, perhaps a California Cabernet might be American enough.

I am excited. I hope you are too.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


ok so here's the problem.

It seems the FREE dog has decided after 7 years of being on her best indoor behavior - that our furniture is her new cozy spot to sleep.
She has never been allowed on the furniture, and has never shown a desire to be there.
So now...why... after 7 years?

For example, my animal loving wife and I went upstairs Sunday night at around 10:30 expecting to get into our bed with freshly washed flannel sheets.
As my sleepy wife rounded the corner into our room - all I heard was "uh-o".

It seems that not only had the FREE dog napped in our fresh sheets, but evidently also had an upset stomach at the time.

I realize it is times like this when it's most important to remain in a calm state of acceptance. I understand that my reaction will not in any way change or remedy the situation. And so as I surveyed the damaged, I paused and drew in a deep cleansing breath...
I found this breath quite useful when I let it out... screaming obscenities at the dog.
O well.

Ok so ... we'll close the bedroom door - ALL the time. Easy enough.

We have also discovered that she has been sleeping on the sofa. Also a no-no.
Since we cannot close off the living room, we have been putting 'things' on the furniture before we leave for work in the morning.
Yesterday I put an ottoman and a small table on the sofa.

Last evening after work I saw this:
Notice the precarious tilt to the ottoman. I found this curious.

Upon closer inspection...

We have a problem.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008


No... really??

You are 28?

Happy Birthday TheDaughterTheTherapist

(or as your Mum's would say... Peanut)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The results

I tried.
I was optimistic. I really wanted not to rake.

Two things to consider in my testing:

- I did not use 'mulching' blades. I have straight blades with side discharge.
I think this makes a difference.

- I am neurotic.

ok... so -- here is the front yard 'before':

Notice in the after picture. The lawn is nice and tidy.
The street -- not so much. Oopsie.

In the side yard for example - here are the leaves under our high maintenance magnolia tree.

After cutting - it left me with a pile of leaves that will need to be raked.

Also in the side yard...before and after.
(notice the clear line between our lawn and our neighbors. That's because he has the coveted Cyclone Rake.)

Also a pile that will need to be removed.

I won't say this is a bad idea. If you have a mulching mower, and set the deck height higher than I did (I was trying to get the grass cut low as well). And you are less concerned about how the lawn looks this fall - this method may work well for you.
As for us... well the pictures show only a small portion of what we still need to rake. So enough blogging... I need to get back to work.

Friday, October 24, 2008



Stop raking.
No really. I just read this article:

Improve your soil by raking less

Now, I don't normally post tips before they have been fully vetted. But I am pretty tired of raking...

I'll give it a go this weekend.
Pictures to follow...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Our clever kitty

Welp, it took all of 3 days.
Sorsha (aka the FREE cat) is now coming when she is called and eating her dinner right on our covered porch.
She eats very fast and is certainly a little nervous. But I feel better about this than leaving food in the back of the garage - where who knows who is eating it.

Last night, glowing in our success - I suggested to my cautious wife that perhaps we could train her to come into the basement on cold nights, and did she think that the basement window in the far corner might be an ideal spot for a cat door.

My wise wife agreed that it might be possible and encouraged me to think more on the matter.

Of course, I came to the conclusion later that evening that perhaps it was not such a good idea after all.

My gentle wife simply nodded.
She is so good at this.
She is so good at me.

Let's see how I fare as the temperatures drop below freezing this week.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Herding cats

You may remember, earlier this year - we had rats.

So we got a cat.
A FREE cat of course.

And --other than the fact the our FREE cat likes to spend her days elsewhere and show up only for meals - really, it's been going swimmingly.

Well until of course the mice decided that coming into the house might be a toasty and safe and fun place to spend the winter season.

Add to that - I have been leaving food out in garage for the FREE cat -but lately I suspect that I may be feeding more than our cat.

Now it's not that I mind feeding ALL the wildlife in the neighborhood - but I really, really want one or more of the eaters to be cats. Ideally - cats who might spend a little time hunting around the yard and house. Also - we made a commitment to feed this FREE cat and we want to be sure she is at least one of the diners.

So I decided I need to train the FREE cat to come and eat when I call her.

Leave it to weese to try and train wild animals.

My sapient wife gives a simple nod and an offhanded smile as I told her my plan.

So last night there I am out in the yard with a food dish calling for my FREE feral cat.
I didn't expect her to come skampering across the yard. But I had hoped she at least heard me.
She didn't show. Tho I kept checking and calling.

She didn't eat last night.

Tonight was the same drill. Calling and calling with a food dish in my hand.
No cat.

Well... not right away.

She did actually show up, and through some coaxing and calling and using a couple of food dishes - I was able to get her to come up to the walkway to eat!

My next step is to get her to come up and eat on the porch shortly after I call her to dinner.
I feel this is the best winter solution for everyone involved. Even though there may be some hungry rats, chipmunks, raccoons and possibly even other cats out there.
(of course... if they come to the porch when I call, rest assured I will feed them too)

Friday, October 17, 2008



Remember china markers? Sometimes they are called grease pencils.
Keep one in your kitchen drawer to write on tupperware, or as my careful wife uses --glass serving saver containers.
You can note the date you put things in the fridge or freezer. Perhaps what it is... ya know... sometimes it can be hard to tell.
Perhaps you have a leftover reserved for the dog - that always good to know.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I am going to try to put this into words...

I am not sure if I can get this across in a blog entry.
This is more of a conversation we should have over the dining room table - with cocktails and finger foods. Where I can look at you and you at me and I can use my hands and eyes and inflections to express myself.

Alas, you are not here and I really want to tell you about this - so bear with me.

My adoring wife and I have been together for over 23 years. We have raised two children, several dogs and cats, some fish, and a couple of lizards. We have lived in the same house for 21 of these years, and have painted each room... several times.
We are truly and utterly in love. We are best friends. We are very different. We are very happy.

When the Civil Union bill passed several years ago - my excited wife became a Justice of the Peace. It's been a truly wonderful experience for her to share in so many joyous Unions. She comes home from each ceremony welling with joy. I have been privileged as well to see some of you Unioned.
We are moved by each and every one.

When this bill was passed we were preparing our second child for college, and we made a conscience decision to hold off on our own Civil Union until after he was done with school -- specifically for the financial aid forms. It was our little way of getting back at the system.

Well our son is a junior now, and we were already planning to 'Unionize' next year --and then we heard the Marriage bill had passed.

Yay. So now we’ll be ‘Married’ instead. This is nice.

Ahh.. but over the course of this past week I have to admit… I have been feeling a bit… well… emotional (in the most pragmatic way that I can of course).

Intellectually, I have always understood that a Civil Union would give us the same (state, that is) legal rights as marriage. But what I didn't realize - that in my heart … I never gave it as much weight.
No really… I had no idea that I truly felt this way. That it wasn’t just rhetoric.

Civil Union, after all, is a legal, binding commitment - and yet some how… for me… it was not gelling. I wasn’t giving it the weight it deserved (or did it).

Today I am sitting and thinking about actually marrying the woman I love, and what that truly means. Literally I am welling up as I type – and frankly I am surprising myself.

When I come into work after our ceremony - I must notify my employer that I am now 'Married'.
When I fill out my taxes - I will be 'Married'.
When I go to the doctor and fill in the forms - I will no longer be forced to check the 'Single' box.
There won't be any question or difference or confusion.

I won't be ‘in a Civil Union’.

I can simply check :
[ ] Single
[x] Married
[ ] Divorced
[ ] Widowed

This feels very different - and I don't mean that in the political “I want to fight for my rights way” -- I mean ... emotionally, spiritually, passionately.

I will be married.
I will be a married woman.
After 23 years of calling this adorable, sexy, playful, intelligent, free-spirited woman my wife... she actually will be.

Thank you to the folks at GLAD and LMF and to the couples that participated in the lawsuit, and to the legions that supported them, and to the Connecticut Supreme Court for making a sound and fair judgment.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Of mice and women

Friday evening, after working out in the yard and doing some house cleaning, I sat comfortably in an arm chair we have in the corner of the dining room.
We were expecting company later that night, so I sat chatting with my busy wife who was in the kitchen preparing various food items.

Suddenly, around the kitchen corner and into the dining room --- comes a very small mouse.

Yes. A mouse.

I did what any red blooded American woman should do upon sighting a mouse, I picked up my feet.
Then calmly explained the situation to my curious wife. And when I say ‘calmly’ I mean that I shrieked “A mouse!” shaking my finger wildly in its general direction.

The mouse rounded the corner and scampered under a chair in the living room.
Now what.

We both stood there staring at the chair.
What to do, what to do…

As humans I figured we had very little chance of actually catching the mouse ourselves. So we called the FREE dog into the room.
Our attempts to get her to look around for rodents were futile. She simply ran around excitedly thinking we were going to give her a biscuit or let her out or throw a ball.
Clearly we needed an animal with a brain.
We needed a cat.

Technically, we have a cat. But it would be easier for me to catch a greased mouse with my bare hands than to get our feral cat into our living room

We briefly considered borrowing a cat... The Daughter The Therapist has two - certainly she could lend one… but it would take time for the cat to acclimate, and get comfortable in the house before even beginning to hunt. And we didn’t have a lot of time.

Ok. useless FREE dog, AWOL FREE cat – clearly we would need a trap.

I had recently tossed out our last ‘humane’ mouse trap.
So I went out in search of one.
I was on my third store, – with no hope of getting a humane trap anywhere local… dismayed I purchased a standard ‘quick-kill’ trap.

At the checkout my cell phone buzzed.
Maw: “You can come home now”
Weese: “I can? What happened?”
Maw: “I let him out.”
Weese: “out?"
Maw: "Yes, out the door."
Weese: "How did you get him to go out the door?"
Maw: “I told him to.”


So I went home.
My gentle wife explained that the mouse circled the whole first floor and wound up near the kitchen door. So she simply opened the door for him and gave him a little nudge and out he went. She said he was clearly just a baby mouse and rather cute and confused.

Don’t mice have lots of babies?

Against my beliefs I thought it best to set the ‘quick-kill’ trap in the basement, just in case there were more babies. With no cat, a useless dog and company on the way... I felt it was best.

My curious wife questioned why I would put the trap in the basement. This mouse was clearly a baby…and much too small to climb stairs.

Hmm. Really…

Just the thought of the little guy… trying to make his little way up the steep basement stairs… I realized there was no way I could actually set out a ‘quick-kill’ trap. I sheepishly put it back in the box.

I decided to finish up my tidying so I started up the stairs to get the vacuum – and stopped dead in my tracks.

“Umm-- love, it seems baby mice can climb stairs.”

There on the top step was …yes… another tiny mouse.


He was obviously scared, and simply froze, never trying to escape. We easily popped a little cup over him and escorted him waaaayyy out in the back yard.

We explained to him that he would have a wonderful happy time there – plenty of friends, including the little pet lizards which we had released out there so many years ago...

Back in the house we waited and watched.
We are still watching.
No mice yet.

Tho, I still think we need more cats.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008



Have you noticed that the Scott's lawn folks are inundating us with commercials this year on the all important fall feeding.
Well, first, I have to say - I agree. The fall is not only a wonderful time to feed your lawn but also a great time to start new seed. The fall fertilizers are specially formulated to promote strong root growth, so essential for healthy lawn year round.

But ...people... listen. If you are cutting back because of these crazy financial times - by all means skip the fertilizer. Your lawn does not need you. It will grow happily without any intervention or care at all. Sure, it may not be the weed free, lush carpet that you see on those Scotts commercials, but let's keep our priorities in line. It's just grass.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Part of the problem could be that I am currently reading 'Walden' --
but here's what happened.

I was sitting in a Dr.'s office waiting room yesterday afternoon, thumbing through a magazine. The magazine I picked up was some 'home-ish' type rag with a picture of a cute, but pricey lakehouse cottage on the front.

Who doesn't love a lakehouse cottage?

I started to read the cover article about the happy, happy family pictured in their cute, but pricey lakehouse cottage. The pictures showed their happy, happy children carrying around a top of the line but gently used kayak, and their adorable Labrador dog lapping their happy faces and scampering around the finely manicured yard. The article talked about how these folks built their house to look historic and renovated... rather than like new construction. It mentioned how they left the open rafters on the second floor to gain that rustic look. I wondered, only briefly, what climate they might be in... but didn't have much time to ponder over that because I was quickly bombarded with pictures of their o so Pottery Barn interior, interestingly showing that happy Labrador in almost every shot (hmm, no visible dog hair on the floor). My climate question was eventually answered however, when it was mentioned that this happy, happy family only stays in this house during the warm summer months. They retreat to their winterized home down the street for the rest of the year.

That's when I put the magazine down and picked up National Geographic.

Something so seemingly innocent.
Cute little pictures of a cute little lake cottage...
Tell me, what is the percentage of people who can actually afford that lake cottage - nevermind afford it as a second home.

And so it is further ingrained in our sheep like brains -- we WANT it, we NEED it. We will be HAPPY if we have this, and so will our family, and our dog.
My poor, poor dog... o dear.

Over and over, on TV, in magazines, in advertisements we are trained to want more. We are convinced that these are the things that bring us true joy.

And if you are EVEN thinking of commenting that you like to read these magazines just for decorating ideas and such ...think again.

My point is that exactly.

That's precisely how they get the average person to read these magazines. They know you can't afford this cottage. But clearly you can apply some of these great ideas to your own home!
Because then people.. you will be happy.
And your mutt will become a Labrador but will not shed, and your children will do well in school, and they will love you unconditionally - even through their teen years, and your marriage will improve and your sex life will be better than you can imagine.

Friday, October 03, 2008



Winter is coming...in case you hadn't noticed.
With these crazy prices we are all trying to think of ways to save on heating bills this year.

Installing a digital, programmable thermostat can not only save money - but they are just damned convenient. How nice to wake to a warm house and still save money!

They're also an easy do-it-yourself project.
I installed our second one this weekend and have included an illustrated tutorial below in case you are nervous about doing it yourself.

Here is our current thermostat. An original Honeywell. It's served us well - but it's time to upgrade.

First, gather the tools you will need for your job.

A thermostat is a low voltage device - so while it won't kill you, turn off power to the unit. Safety first.
You can do this either at your electrical panel...

...or you may have a switch that cuts off power to the thermostat.

Be sure to test to see there is no current before you begin.

Next, familiarize yourself with the instructions. This can save time and aggravation later.

Remove the thermostat cover. Then find and NOTE the current configuration of the wires. Either jot this down or label the wires directly.

Oh.. by the way...
Whenever I am taking something apart that I am not all that familiar with, I try to line up the parts in order of their removal. This helps a whole lot if I need to re-install the old part.

Ok, so here we are ready for our new device.

Based on where the wires were located and how they were to connect to the new device, I realized I would need to move it slightly. So I got a couple more tools to make that adjustment.

Here, I have the wires hooked up, and you can see under the screw hole to the left that I have drilled new holes and installed a yellow wall anchor (a molly). The instructions were very clear on how to connect the wires - so there were no worries.

Once the base was attached firmly to the wall, I installed batteries and snapped on the control box.

Now its time to program the ON/OFF cycles and temperature settings. These settings are detailed in the instruction booklet as well as having Simplified Instructions right on the inside of the lid. This is very handy as a reminder since you generally don't changes these settings too often.

hmm... looks like my artistic wife has some work to do on her fancy faux finish.

Remember, any settings you make now can be overridden. And the great part about that is - let's just say you are very chilly one night and crank that puppy up. Then - you drink a bottle of wine and then... perhaps start dancing around the living room...naked... ya know cuz its so warm ... and then you might...dance your way upstairs and possibly fall into a deep, drunken sleep.
Your new digital, programmable thermostat will set the heat back down at its regularly scheduled time -even tho you used the override feature to raise the temperature during its ON time.

ok, pack up your tools and tidy up.