Friday, January 25, 2013

Birthday Locker Happiness.

The girls at Lily's middle school have a birthday tradition that is really great.
(middle school dudes have chosen not to be involved)
On their big day, the birthday girl arrives to school to find their locker decorated with happy birthday signs.  As the day continues, more fun signage is scotch taped up and so, by the end of the day, the birthday girl's locker is completely covered in happy birthday wishes.
(which she carefully removed and brought home at 3:15)
I can't think of a better way to celebrate a school day birthday than that.
oh wait, yes I can...
It would be more awesome if the school day birthday happened to fall on a FRIDAY!
And also if the school lunch happened to be PIZZA!
And so Lily welcomed her 12th year with a festive locker signs, lunchtime pizza and that end of the week Friday feelin' of birthday happiness.
At home she continued the celebration with a dear neighborhood buddy. 
 Her pal threw her arms in the air with glee when Lily opened her gift... a book (hardback!) that her gal pal read and loved and Lily had not yet read.
In the world of 12 year old girls who adore books, an unread good book is cause for hands in the air celebration.
(the well reviewed gift book; Lemony Snicket, Who Could that be at This Hour?)
Miss Lillian's birthday would not be complete without a photo-bombing.
Here is my nervous looking girl with her two rowdy/obnoxious  little sibs.
Happy Birthday dear one of your school pals so truthfully wrote
"It's your 12th B-day! Last until teenager :-)"
I am not yet ready for teenage Lily....good thing I have an entire year of 12 to prepare for 13.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

What's that Farty Smell?

I love our house.
I really do love it to pieces and plan to live here until my motorized stair-chair jams and Karl signs me up for an assisted living facility that allows dogs and is heavy into arts and crafts.
(Oops...but I digress, apologies.)
Our home is wonderful (to us) but it has it's lion's share of quirks that we, as a family, flow around until those quirks turn dangerous or disgusting.
(Or sometimes both)
Which leads me full on into the farty smell in our basement.   
Our house was built in 1897 and so, this means that our sewage pipes were lovingly placed under the basement floor 116 years ago.
They have done an awesome job for for about 112 of those years.
For the past four years (roughly) Karl and I (and the darling children, too) played the blame game... we pleaded for gas laps, avoided fiber...and while Karl (the architect) blamed the house, we blamed each other.
Or Turkey.
Who really is quite flatulent.

Then one day, Karl (the architect), with the professional expertise of someone who knows that 116 year old pipes might be a wee bit outdated, called the plumber with a snaky camera to drop into to poopy pipe and have a looky-see.
What the brave little camera saw was a whole bunch of really old and broken clay sewage pipes. 
It was no surprise that my healthy family had worked our dear sewage pipes to death.
They were droopy and pitiful and even though we could practically hear the geriatric cries of "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can..." our poor pipes could NOT make it over the mountain.
They were too broken and holey and even though they were doing their very best they could only barely keep the poop (etc.) moving and were powerless to keep the farty sewer smell in the pipes where it certainly belonged.   
So we made the appointment to retire the old guard and bring in the PVC new.
And while jack hammering the basement floor into a million pieces was a little noisy and stressful on the schnoodle and flatulent terrier, it was music and progress to mine. 
And before too long...this is what my basement looked like...
a channel of gross mud where once there was antique farty sewage pipe.
(the old clay more or less disintegrated upon contact with powerful jackhammer)
Please note the four foot wall of nastiness to the right and just a hint of glamorous PVC to the north. 

Our dear plumbers, Jason, Jason and Tyler, worked hard and when they weakened, they brought in their plumber pals and totally busted it out. 
(as they say)
Here is my most favorite jackhammer in the world taking a break in the powder room. 
When it came time for the nasty farty basement sludge to be taken out, Jason, Jason, Tyler and their strong and lovely friends did so with five gallon buckets.
I fell more and more in love with each of these men as I watched them hand carry out 116 years of very heavy, smelly, buckets of basement  floor.
Just when I thought it couldn't get any better... PVC happened.
Beautiful, beautiful fresh and lovely PVC pipe came into my basement and changed my life forever.
Then in what seemed like no time at all, sparkly clean pea gravel filled in the spaces and a new floor was poured.

Here are Lily (and Harry) admiring the new fantastic basement floor where we all signed and dated our names in wet concrete.
It's been a full week since our new floor was poured and I can report that our basement smells really nice...completely and happily farty smell free.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The happily ever after of Pumpkin Chun.

Once upon a time in college, there lived a little cat.
Her name was Pumpkin and she lived a happy life of a college freshman. She went to class and learned a lot about art and humanities.
And had tons of fun.
She was young and carefree and liked it that way.
 Then she got a little older and realized that the school holidays when her friends were gone were longer than ever. 
She did not like Thanksgiving, or Christmastime. 
Spring break gave her the blues. 
She became very whiny and needy... and not so fun anymore but she was still beloved by the human students.
They felt sorry for her, brought her into the dorms and did their best to hide her there... she became a hidden stowaway cat.
But all of the pity and sneaking around troubled her soul and made her sad...she longed for a family of her own, with a personal and private litter box and a diet of nutritious Fancy Feast instead of  coffee and french fries.
Then one day, a new resident adviser moved in and said that Pumpkin had to go.
"She violates the RULES!" declared to new R.A., and called the cat catcher.
While the cat catcher was on his way, some of Pumpkin's friends and hiders called their friend Anna for advice and counsel. 
"What should we do! They are taking Pumpkin away!" Her hiders cried.
Anna and her sorority sisters said "No! they can't take Pumpkin!" and jumped into action. 
They drove quickly (but safely) to campus and arrived just in time.
"We will take her, she can be ours!" said Anna and her sorority friends before they remembered that they had allergic to cats roommates.
Anna called her mom and asked if I knew of anyone who needed a cat.
"Let me call my friend Sunjoo and ask if they are still thinking catty thoughts," said mom.
She did and they were....Sunjoo had promised a cat to their daughter Sydney and it seemed that Pumpkin the Carolina Campus Cat would be welcomed into their family. 
Pumpkin will soon have a home of her own! 
A welcoming party of Anna's little sibs went to the airport to welcome home Pumpkin when she later flew to Ohio on Anna's lap.
And so here is Pumpkin's new grandfather, Dr. Chun, with the welcoming committee. He is very excited to meet Pumpkin, but also nervous about taking her out of her cute pink carrier and losing her in the airport lobby.
And here is Ms. Pumpkin Chun, with her very own kid a few weeks later.

She loves having a family with kids and a cozy cat bed in front of the dryer...and while she enjoyed her former life as a Campus Cat, she likes her life as a Beloved Buckeye house cat much better. 
She is now fat and sassy and forever grateful to Anna for finding her a loving home and then flying her to that magical place, where she could live out the rest of her 9 (give or take a few) lives,
The End.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Pony Tubing!

What do you do when you have snow, a tube, a pony, and a gaggle of kids?
(totally made up, but fun term courtesy of Anna)
 Don't worry... this sweet and solid pony has Amish roots and is extremely durable. Dragging a bunch of squealing kids around is a walk in the park for Prince the wonder pony!
Rosie feels that gogo boots are perfect for any occasion and pony tubing is no exception to her personal rule....she had a quite fashionable blast.
Lucy the farm dog is a very dignified sort of gal...she was a bit embarrassed for us but wisely kept her squinty eyed opinions to herself.