Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Back In the Saddle, Sort Of

Equipped with crutches and anti-inflammatory drugs, I am now able to get up and down to stairs. Which means I can work at the computer, and even sleep in my own bed (which I have been unable to do for two nights).

And that's what I'm going to do, because I am also going to get up and go to work tomorrow.

Good night.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


A little gap in the daily pictures as I recover from a knee injury. I will resume as soon as I can get up and down the stairs safely to work on my computer.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

One Last Time?

Just as the first day of Spring is due to arrive, snow comes to New Hampshire, and rather a lot of it at that. The predictions are that, when this storm has passed, we will see sunnier skies and milder temperatures.

But given the recent weather prediction track record, I'm not counting on it.

Friday, March 15, 2013


After being spoiled by a spell of warm weather, the night reminded us that Winter is not officially over. This bucket/planter was full of water yesterday.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


It rained today, a sure sign of Spring in New Hampshire, and a bit early (and it is too early to rule out more snow before season's end).

But as has so often happened this year, the storm didn't live up to predictions. We were supposed to get a few inches of heavy rain, but mostly we got drizzle. Nice for those out and about, but it doesn't melt much snow.

Karen and I stayed inside, treated ourselves to a nice hot lunch, and began the work of assembling the base trailer for what will eventually become a compact camper.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Living Daylights

We spent the morning struggling with Daylight Savings Time, especially when we had to get the kids out of bed at 6:30, which their bodies rightly identified as 5:30. Not even Danny, usually the early riser, gets up at 5:30 on a school day. But, with much pushing, we got them our the door and on the bus on time for school.

Karen and I got the chance to go out for lunch and to spend a little time at the library. We also picked up food for our dinner, which was soft tacos and nachos tonight.

We're clearing out some room in the basement to start assembling Karen's new trailer, so we don't have to wait for the snow to clear (although, with temperatures in the 40s and rain on the way, it may be gone sooner than we think).

It sounds outlandish, building a trailer in the house, but the frame is only 40 inches wide and the trailer with wheels only about 19 inches tall, so it will go out the basement kitchen door without any trouble. The camper part of it is much bigger, but that we will definitely wait to build until we can work outside.

Saturday, March 09, 2013


Went out shopping with the boys today; both needed new shoes, and we did our bi-weekly snack shopping at the Dollar Tree.

With my knee injury just two weeks old, walking is more tiring than I expected, and venturing into a new pet store having it's grand opening was very disconcerting. I felt as though I had to grab the shelves for support to keep from twisting my knee.

But I survived, though I am very ready for bed. Shame I lose an hour tonight. Thank you so much, Congress.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Last Gasp Of Winter?

I've not had much faith in the prognosticators of weather this Winter, but it does look as though we're finally aimed squarely at an early Spring. The last storm, which hardly touched us, is already melting off the more exposed portions of the back deck, and the next two days, we are told, will be sunny and mild (by New Hampshire standards) with highs in the low 40s).

And then, if predictions hold, Monday and Tuesday will bring rain, washing away some of our snow.

It's early, I know, but I'm ready for Spring.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Back To School, Sort Of

Today I began the coursework on a college-level class in songwriting. The class comes from the famous Berklee School of Music, and is offered for free through Coursera. The only expense is the book, which I got from the Kindle store for less than $10, and the songs that we need to listen to for the class (and I already own several of them).

I have to watch video lectures, complete quizzes, and submit assignments for peer review. I also have to review the work of five other students. The class goes for six weeks, with about six to eight hours of work for each week's lessons.

It's a little scary; not only has it been several decades since I took any classes, but I've never taken any college classes. But I have little to lose and a lot to gain, so I'm diving in.

Reluctant Mechanic

One of the problems with not having money is that you have to spend an awful lot of time doing things that you don't actually know how to do, in order to avoid paying someone else to do them. Case in point: on Wednesday evening, Karen's windshield wipers stopped working.

It made for a very harrowing ride home. My car is currently disabled (it needs a new starter), and Tom's doesn't do particularly well on icy roads, so, leaving the boys with Tom for the day, I rode in with Karen on Thursday to see if I could get her car fixed.

Every place I went was either booked or wanted way too much money to even look at the car, and Karen was due at another store at 1:00 for training. While I was looking for someone to repair the car, I was also looking online for information on how to do the repair myself. Much to my chagrin, I found some.

And so, while Karen was inside the Epping store learning about a new cabinet line, I was outside taking her car apart. Not the whole car, just the part under the windshield. I successfully disassembled the cover over the windshield wiper motor and linkage and diagnosed the problem. I went to the auto parts store nearby and found that the part I need can only be ordered from a dealer.

And the dealer nearest to Epping is in Manchester. Sigh.

So while Karen learned, I did some more reading, and found out that there are some workarounds to using the original part. I couldn't fix the car Thursday, but I could by Friday.

And I did, eventually. And temporarily. With the whole assembly on the kitchen table. Using wire ties. It will all be fine as long as the snow isn't too heavy, until I can get either the original part or a usable substitute. Then I get to pull it all apart again.

Okay, I admit it is kind of satisfying to take something that doesn't work and figure out how to make it work. But honestly, I miss the days when the most important tool in my kit was enough money to pay a good mechanic.