Saturday, December 30, 2006

Slip Sliding Away

I would not want to be a weather forecaster in New England. The outlook changes constantly. Today we were supposed to have flurries, with acuumulation tomorrow. But I am sitting in the library, having just uploaded the latest gallery, and the ground is covered with snow. It's hard to tell out the library window, but I would guess at two inches.

It's probably more at home. But the good news is that now that this storm has moved through sooner than expected, we will likely have good weather for the First Night celebrations in Wolfeboro tomorrow. We are planning to attend several of the kid-friendly shows, including a melodrama at the Village Players. Then Karen and I are going to go out by ourselves for some of the later entertainment, probably including a repeat of the melodrama so we can hang out with some of our friends at the theater.

It will be cold, but it should be dry, and it should be a lot of fun. Hope you can find something enjoyable to bring in 2007 yourself.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Happy Holidays

Well, if you've gotten this far today, you've seen that the Web site has a completely new look. It's not as new as you might think; I actually designed the look of that banner at the end of the summer, but with all that was going on, it never came together. When I post the archive page, you'll get to see that banner that never got posted, with a glimpse of our summer activities.

The morning feeding frenzy is over, and children are up in their room breaking toys and making a mess, while Karen gets some much-needed rest and I prepare to do battle with the kitchen to prepare for tonight's meal.

I spent some time last night and this morning putting the finishing touches on a program I wrote to make it easier to post picture galleries to the Web site. Well, not the finishing touches, really. Just what I needed to get it functional. Now that it's all working, I will start adding little bits and pieces to the code to make it look nicer. But I plan to spend more time in the next week or so preparing pictures and posting them than on making the page fancier. After all, it's the pictures you log on to see, not my brilliant design sense (cough, cough).

Today is more a day for work around the house, though, with the usual preparations and clean-up that is so much part of the holiday. And, this being winter in New England (though you'd hardly know it with a temperature close to 40 outside), we have to go fetch and split some wood for the fire and mount the plow on the pick-up truck. There may be pictures of some if that, if Karen has her way.

Tomorrow Karen has to work, the boys will be in day care, and although Thomas has the day off, he will probably be spending it with a friend. Which leaves me all alone in the house. Poor little me. Excuse me while I cry. For joy. I never get any time alone anymore.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

A Night of Youthful Magic

A short entry today because it is nearly bedtime. But I had to talk about William's play. That's right, I'm not the only one to hit the boards this year; WIlliam and his kindergarten class participated in a half-hour spectacle called "The Incredible Reindeer," about a group of superhero reindeer who save the world--and, by the way, Christmas.

The little ones were part of the chorus, and I have to tell you I was amazed at how well they did. They learned four songs, and most of them were singing most of the time. They had dance moves to do, and I've seen adults do far worse on keeping together.

Older elementary-school children played the parts of Santa, elves, and reindeer, and they did a great job. For this recently-indoctrinated thespian, it made for a very pleasurable night. And WIlliam? He had a lot of fun and made Mom and Dad and brothers very proud.

Oh, and Danny got in on the act, too. When one of the reindeer gave the line, "Who can help us?" Danny piped up from the second row, "I can help you!"

Natural-born ham, that one.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

BIrthday Treat

Today was not Danny's birthday. But it was a day for his main gift from us, a trip to Santa's Village in Jefferson, north of the White Mountains. Farther to the north than we thought, actually, but worth the trip for the pleasure that it gave the boys.

Of course, being that far north it was also a bit colder than at home. Really quite cold. I thought my feet were going to fall off, especially when we had to wait in line for an hour and a half to see Santa. The other lines weren't nearly as long, and we got to go on a lit of rides, and the boys just had tons of fun.

Well, the little boys. Thomas had to work. Afterward he stayed around the library chatting on the Internet with friends and went over to the local pizza parlor (well, one of them; we have way too many, per capita). So, actually, he had a good time too.

Speaking of time, we got home late and the only people sleeping in the car were William and Daniel, so I need to get to bed. I'm taking Thomas into work in the morning and Karen will be leaving for work shortly after that. And so I have to get to bed.

Friday, December 08, 2006


So much for the weather predictions. We woke up this morning to around three inches of snow, with icy roads that, while they had been plowed, had not been sanded. It took me half again as long to get to work. And it stayed cold and windy. Probably normal for this time of the year, but a rude awakening after the mild spell we'd experienced until now.

I had a chance to test a couple of bits of wood splitting advice I got earlier in the season. One from the Internet said to use a six-pound maul rather than an eight. Easier on the body and better speed. The second was from Alan, who said that the best time to split wood was when the temperature was staying below freezing, which certainly described today.

Well, my new six-pound maul (from the local hardware store--the big-box guys only had eight-pound) and I gave it a go, and boy did it work! Pieces of hardwood from four to six inches in diameter and sixteen inches long yielded to a single blow. As Alan predicted, it made me feel like a king. And burning the wood gave me, shall we say, a warm cozy feeling.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Snow TIme For Snow

I am writing while sitting at my desk waiting for account information to load from EZPass, the automatic toll system used by many states, especially in the Northeast. While she is training, Karen gets reimbursed for these tolls, along with a mileage allowance.

It is snowing now, big fat flakes, though it is not quite freezing and so the snow becomes less like flakes and more like mush when it hits the ground. Unfortunately, Karen has to drive home in it, and we both have to drive to work in the morning.

Snow is, of course, a normal part of winter in New Hampshire. I'm just not ready for it. I've got a couple of cords of wood that my neighbor helped cut to length, but it still needs to be brought up from the vacant property, split, and stacked out of the weather. I haven't managed to mount the plow on my pickup. And I need to throw a tarp over our trailer. Have I mentioned the trailer? We have a 27-foot travel trailer. We were going to camp out in in between closing on one house and building a shell for the new one. But, of course, we have not sold the old house and we are withdrawing it from the market for now.

Fortunately, the snow will not stick around for long this time. By tomorrow afternoon it will have melted, by Saturday all will be dry, albeit quite cold. We are taking Danny, the birthday boy (he turned four yesterday) to Santa's Village Saturday as a birthday gift. Thomas will not be with us; he will be working, and then get a chance to hang around town on his own for the afternoon and early evening.

And Sunday is supposed to be another sunny day. Karen will be working, no doubt, but the day off will give me the chance to prepare for the next snowstorm--and the rest of winter. At least a little.