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March 26, 2008

Flock of Birds

Oh yeah, sometimes it just needs to be thrown down.


March 14, 2008

Manu Forti

It is said that on St. Patrick's day, everyone is Irish. My family's roots are deep in Scotland but when you look at the history of my clan, we came from Ireland sometime around 710 AD.

That was a tribe known as the C'nel Lorne, the progenitors of Clann MacAoidh (or Clan McKay as we are known today). The C'nel Lorne are descended from Aedh, grand-son of the Irish king N'iall.

So I'll celebrate my Irish connection with a sampling from The Edge, a very fun column.

Irish is English set to music.
-- Mary Michael Malloy

What's the use of being Irish if the world doesn't break your heart?
-- John F. Kennedy

I have nothing to declare but my genius.
-- Oscar Wilde, at U.S. customs, upon entering the country in 1881

The Irish don't know what they want and are prepared to fight for it.
-- Sidney Littlewood

If you passed the pub as fast as you passed the chapel, you'd be better off, you little squint.
-- Maureen O'Hara in "The Quiet Man"

The people from Mayo are noted for their shrewdness and smartness. We're a smart, shrewd, poor race. Proud as hell. You don't say, "County Mayo," but "County Mayo, God help us."
-- John Ford

March 09, 2008

Held back by a little hardware

There are a few things about the new house that I hate. Overall, I love it and we are very happy here. But there are just a few things that I absolutely hate and that I feel truly decrease value. For some reason, there are people in my "circle" that are trying to talk me out of changing these things. I have no idea why as I think they are obvious changes that need to happen. Maybe because they are fairly large projects?

Anyway, it drives me nuts that it has been repeatedly suggested my ideas are ridiculous. But, since I'm the one that has to live here, I'm making the changes. However, have you ever noticed the smallest, stupidest thing can halt a project?

For example, I have a beautiful weeping willow that dominates the backyard. This is really a stunning tree that truly gives the backyard "curb appeal" (if a backyard can have curb appeal). The tree is just starting to bloom for Spring. Trust me, in the summer, it is very dramatic.

Now for some reason, someone thought it would be a brilliant idea to put this ugly shed right under the willow tree. Prime real estate in the yard. It should have a lovely seating area. This is a huge shed. I could park a small car in it. This would be the first thing I hate and want to change.

When I first moved in I had terrible trouble with hobo spiders. I suspect they are living between this shed and the fence. It is only about 5 inches back there and it is full of leaf debris. Perfect spider condo. Now that it is warming up again I am afraid they will come back. So now I have two great reasons to get rid of the hideous shed.

Oh wait, make that three reasons. This is the view from my bedroom. The master bedroom. Attractive...non?

Step one is to move everything being stored in the shed to the garage. And since I hate going in the shed (see above spider problem) I don't have much in there. This means I need to get an organization system in the garage. No problem, I have plenty of room for shelving. Which brings us to something else I hate about the house.

Some genius took a couple salvaged kitchen cabinets and put them up on the wall in the garage. Maybe it sounded like a good idea but in practice...it bites. It isn't enough room to store much (cans of beans, cans of soup?) and they are planted in the middle of the wall making any useful surrounding shelving impossible. It is truly un-storage.

This project accomplishes several goals. I take care of two "hates" in the house. I will have a charming seating/garden area just under the weeping willow. I could be eliminating the hobo spiders. (Have I mentioned the hobo spiders? *shudder* ) And I will have much needed shelving in the garage. The house needs storage space (there is no pantry, not much of a linen closet and no place for appliances or Costco purchases) I believe I'm creating real value in the home.

So why has this project stalled? One stupid screw. One screw in each cupboard will NOT come out. They are dry wall screws but they must be stripped or in mollies or something. They turn but they won't come out. I'm trying to figure out a way to get these off the wall without having to do demo and lose all that dry wall.

Ugh, when I looked at this picture I saw another reason to get rid of the cupboards. They are dark and a good hidey place for more spiders. I had my face in that cupboard working on the screw and never saw that big web.

So the whole big project is stalled. Every once in a while I go out to the garage and stare at the cupboards like that will help get them down. I'm this >< close to just taking a sledge hammer to them. So suggestions are welcome.

Chickadee update: The chickadees have made their home in the gutter. I don't know if they have laid eggs yet, I was hearing noise like there were chicks but I never saw any baby birds. I took a quick picture in the gutter but I don't see any birds.

The end of the gutter is about two feet from my kitchen window and both chickadee papa and mama sit there and watch me in the kitchen. They don't look afraid or threatened; just curious.

They are probably wondering when I'm going to get rid of that shed!