Friday Fill In #97

1. My blueprint for success includes two bottles of Elmer’s glue, a live guppy, and two Whopper Jr.s from BK.
2. Junior Mints were the last candy I ate.
3. The best facial moisturizer I’ve ever used is apparently still on the store shelf somewhere. I don’t moisturize.
4. Coffee can be good therapy.
5. I’d like to tell you about my King. Do you know him?
6. Humor  is my strongest characteristic.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to a night home with the boys, tomorrow my plans include two gigs, and Sunday, I want to play a benefit for elderly people and oil relief!

The Couch

As I mentioned a few posts ago, I finally found a couch for us. Last year, I thought I’d get Susan a Christmas gift: a new couch. We bought a red flowered couch about the time the boys were born. About two years in, we had to replace the cushions. At three years in, we were using a slipcover to hide the holes. Four years now, and it was really embarrassing and annoying. I really needed to find something.

The hard part is that Susan and I like more formal looking furniture. And that sort of furniture doesn’t take kindly to four year old twins. And, apparently, there’s not much call for it in midcoast Maine. I looked and looked. We found one we both loved, but I really didn’t want to spend $900.

So this week, while on vacation, we went to four different furniture in Portland. Nothing. On Saturday, I went to two more furniture stores. Still no luck. On a whim, Julia and I went to Prince’s over on Rt. 90.  Finally! Something in stock, and a decent price, with a more formal look.

Here’s the old sofa, without the slipcover. Remember, that’s just four years old! And, here’s the new one. I hope I can get three years out of this one. We’ll see.

Vacation Wrap Up

I know, I know. Not a lot of updates from me last week. I spent the week (mostly) getting the house ready for winter. I put some plastic up over the basement windows and doors, raked leaves, moved an old freezer, and insulated some pipes. We also took the kids down to the children’s museum one day, and had lunch at the Macaroni Grill. (I had Carmela’s Chicken: grilled chicken, mushrooms, caramelized onions, fresh basil and Parmesan cheese tossed with imported rigatoni pasta and creamy Marsala wine sauce. Yum!) I also spent a morning putting fresh drum heads on my Starclassic kit. They sounded sooo good, I switched out my road kit. Big Pink is now in the basement, and the Starclassics will go back on the road for a while. I also finished a web site for a client: Rockland District Nursing. What else? Well, breakfast at the Brass Compass one morning. A sofa was purchased after about a year of looking. (It gets delivered tomorrow night.) I think that may be all the highlights. All in all, it was a nice vacation; I got a lot done, and didn’t stress out over anything.

Gina’s Funky Word MI-5

I missed this one a week ago. This was also the same five in which I was nominated to write the following week’s five, and I missed that part too, which is why it was late. OK, onward…

1. Other than the usual “crunch”, what one word best describes the sound when you walk in snow? Tell us about a time you had with/in snow.

RRRmmmphhh. One of my greatest snow memories is the time I was sliding down Ma’s hill, and went straight into a tree. That was so fun! I got a concussion and stove my face up pretty well. Or maybe the time playing freeze football at Owls Head School, when Jamie Lamb pulled me out of the sky when I was leaping to catch a pass, and my ankle broke. Yee ha!

2. What one word best describes the sound of leaves as you walk through them. Try not to use the word “rustle, rustling”. Share a story having to do with you and leaves.

Skritch. I like jumping in leaves. I hate raking leaves. Unfortunately, you can’t have one without the other.

3. Choosing another word besides the word “slosh”, give us your best (one) word for walking through rain and puddles. We’d love to read a story about you and the rain and/or puddles.

Schmuggle. I can’t really think of a good rain story, other than all three of my children can’t hardly keep their feet out of any puddle near them, regardless of what they have on for shoes!

4. Yes, there’s sweltering. But pick one other word to describe the humid summer heat. If you’re able, tell us a funny story related to you and the summer heat. If nothing comes to mind, tell us what you do to beat the heat.

Slaking. To beat the heat, I will occassioanly resort to an old trick Frank Butler taught me: take a cold beer in a cool shower. It has to be a bottle of beer, so you can put your thumb over the bottle and keep the water out. That will cool you off right quick. This year, it didn’t even get hot enough for me to use that particular trick.

5. Halloween is fast approaching. Other than the word “spooky”, choose one word that describes the Halloween atmosphere. Share with us a favorite Halloween costume you wore. If you’ve never participated by wearing a costume, let us know the wildest costume you’ve ever seen.

I’ve always been a fan of “macarbre.” The best costume I can think of is the one Unk made himself–a homemade knights costume! It was fantastic, and you couldn’t tell who was under the helmet. He wore it to a community Halloween party, and he didn’t talk to anyone. All night long people were trying to figure out who was in the knight’s costume!

Friday Fill In #96

1. My favorite food seasoning is pepper.
2. Tasty jazz is music to my ears.
3. Lucky is the name of that leprechaun on the cereal box.
4. Drum tuning is something I take very seriously.
5. Many people kid me about my obsessive drum tuning habit.
6. Winterizing window shrink film was the last thing I bought at the store.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to “trunk or treating with the kids, tomorrow my plans include sleeping late (but it hasn’t happened so far this entire vacation week),  and Sunday, I want to lunch at my Mom’s!

Vacation, Day #1

I’m taking a week off from the office. The goal is to use the time to get things around the house ready for winter. I need to put some plastic sheeting on the basement windows. I need to get the yard cleaned up. Today, with the help of Barry from the office, I was able to move a 6′ chest freezer out of my basement. It’s been down there for nigh on 10 years, and it never worked. (Note: if someone gives you a freezer that “probably” works, make sure you test it before you move it into the basement!) Today, though, it went to the dump. I also stopped by the office to do a few little things. Gina, since I’m not there, lunch at Kiwanis was chicken picata, rice, asparagus, and blueberry pie. (I ate every scrid!)

Paddy’s Harvest MI-5

1) If you could only pick one type of apple, which would it be?
Macs. I just dig ’em. I know all these new flavors are the rage, but I just can’t get in to them too much. I really don’t care for “mealy” apples. I know they’re the ones that are best for “out of hand” eating, but I don’t like the way they just fall apart in my mouth. Macs have a texture I like, and just the right amount of tartness.

2) If you could just have two kinds of greens in your garden, which ones would you grow?
Some kind of lettuce, for sure. I’d lean toward Romaine, but Boston Bibb would be fine too. I’m not sure what I’d pick for the other. I like spinach, especially raw or lightly cooked. But I also like collard greens. I don’t think they’re as versatile, though, so probably I’d go spinach.

3) What are your top three favorite root veggies and why?
I’m not really a fan of root veggies. Carrots and me don’t get along since an incident I had in childhood with boiled carrots. If they’re in a stew, though, or some otherwise flavorless preparation, I’m ok. Certainly not a favorite, though. I like potatoes. I also like onions, and they grow underground, so I’ll count them, even though they’re a bulb, not a root. Same with garlic.

4) Do you like squash? Name your four favorites, winter or summer varieties.
I like squash, but I’m not a fan of the real wet stuff. I prefer a firm variety, and I like it roasted. Susan and I have found that buttercup roasts the best, but acorn works ok too.

5) You are going to make a meal of grilled veggies … what five do you pick to grill tonight?
Red peppers, onions, portabello mushrooms, asparagus, cherry tomatoes. Susan and I make grilled veggies as a side dish when grilling outside, and she has this dressing made with coarse mustard that’s delish!

Friday Fill In #95

1. Right now, I’m feeling hungry.
2. Back in bed is where I want to be.
3. How does one change the variator weights in a 2007 Honda Metropolitan scooter to get better acceleration?
4. The calendar in my i-Pod Touch keeps me on track.
5. Please don’t worry about people stepping on your grass.
6. My family  fills me with joy.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to getting home from my gig, tomorrow my plans include something fun in the afternoon (I hope) and Sunday, I want to make it through!

My Cartoon Inspired MI-5

1) Johnny Quest meets his friend Hadji in India. Tell us about a friend you have/someone you met who is “far” away. (You determine what “far” is.)

I met Amy by way of Neurotic Fishbowl. The lady who ran that site–I think her name was Amy too–did something called the “Burn It.” She had this theme, and asked people to make a CD with songs that followed the theme. She then divided everyone who signed up into groups of four. You then made a CD, and sent it to those other three people. In return, those three would send you their CD. Amy was in my group. I still have her CD, too! Since then, she’s made several “friends” here in in Maine, but I don’t think she’s met any of them.

2) Scooby Doo and Shaggy are always hankerin’ for a snack. What have you got a craving for recently?

My wife let me indulge a craving for Twinkies recently. I hadn’t had one for some time, and Julia mentioned she wanted one. So at the grocery store on Saturday (I think), we grabbed a box. I had one last night. The kids like them so much, it may be the only one I get!
3) There are so many trains in “Thomas and Friends” I can’t keep track of them all! Is there a group of folks you’re involved in, and yet you don’t know everyone’s name (e.g. chruch group, business group, support group, etc.)? Can you tell us about it?

In Kiwanis, we try very hard to get around to each member of the group, shake hands, and say “Hi.” And, as the bulletin editor, I really need to know everyone’s name. Still, it can be hard. I’m also on the Advisory Board for the local Salvation Army. I’ve been a member of that board for a little over a year, I think. In that time, there are some members who are on the board, but I haven’t met them yet. If they come to a meeting, it must be the ones I have to miss!
4) Bill Cosby was only a regular on “The Electric Company” for one season before he left. What job have you held for the shortest period of time?

I had two jobs that didn’t last very long. My first real job was pumping gas at South End Exxon. I think I had maybe five months in that one–January through May. I left when they insisted that I come to work, even on my days off, just to “check in and see how things are going.” I also had a job for a short time as receiving clerk at our local Fashion Bug. It was my job to unpack clothes, and hang them on rolling carts for “the girls” to put on the sales floor. I never worked the sales floor, and I didn’t learn to run their register. I just stayed in my little room out back, and listened to CDs, and unpacked clothes.
5) Speaking of Bill Cosby, “The Junkyard Gang” from Fat Albert made instruments out of old junk. Do you have something in your house that’s old junk that you’ve turned into something useful? If not, tell us about something that’s junky, but that you just can’t get rid of.

I have a white marine pearl drum shell that I use as a trash can down in my basement.  Just put a trash bag in, and Walla Walla Washington, it’s a trash can.

Friday Fill In #94

1. Follow the red line on the map until you hit the blue line. Then you’re there!
2. A little extra cash is something I always take with me on vacation.
3. To achieve your goals, you must work at it.
4. “I like Halloween” is something I’d like you to know about me.
5. I have a local gig tonight. If you’re in Rockland, c’mon down to the Black Bull.
6. Float rope floats. (Sink rope doesn’t.)
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to coming home from my gig, tomorrow my plans include going to a winterizing workshop, and Sunday, I want to give it all I’ve got!