Peaceful Sunday

Things have been relatively quiet here in Sabbaticalville, leaving me without much to write about.  Quiet is good.  Quiet is nice.  Quiet is more enjoyable than I anticipated.

M the Elder will be returning from his trip to D.C. tomorrow.  It’ll be great to have him back.  I miss him.  I always feel a little lost when we’re apart like this, as if half of me is missing.  That said, I’m surprised to admit that I’ve found some enjoyment in this time alone.  Still and all, I’ll be much happier when he’s back.

I’ve watched a few movies, read a few books, and got most of the unpacking done.  The apartment was badly in need of some spring cleaning after being shut up for most of the month.  The dust bunnies were almost as big as the giant bunny I once posted about.

One of the movies I thoroughly enjoyed was Little Miss Sunshine.  I was going to wait until M got back to watch it (he wants to see it), but decided that if it’s as good as all the hype, I wouldn’t mind seeing it twice.  And I won’t.  Mind seeing it twice.

I spent most of yesterday outdoors, enjoying the beautiful weather.  I took a walk around town to see what changes spring has brought.  It’s looking pretty colorful in Sabbaticalville now that there are so many different flowers blooming and showing off.

There were lots of people out and about, also enjoying the beautiful weather (I presume).  A lot of the restaurants, bars, pubs, and cafes have tables and chairs set up on the sidewalks and they’re not lacking in customers.  I’m going to head over to a local coffee shop when I finish here, find an outside table, and people watch for a while as I sip on some tea.

In fact, that sounds so good I’m going to wind this up and get to it.

The Club Room

(Sabbatical digs. April 2007)

We’re back in Sabbaticalville. Or rather, I’m back in Sabbaticalville. M the Elder left shortly after we arrived here for a meeting in Washington, D.C. He’ll be back on Monday.

Our trip back was uneventful. We drove as far as State College, PA on Wednesday and finished up the trip yesterday. I’d forgotten how sabbatical and apartment living had turned us into pack horses. It took about an hour to unload the car. Hauling all the stuff we brought back up to the apartment was a good workout.

Side note: If you’re ever in State College, PA and looking for a good breakfast, go to the Corner Room. The selection, food, and service are all excellent. They even have fried sticky buns on the menu if you’re in the mood to truly overindulge.

I know I said I wouldn’t be back online until May 2nd, but I forgot that we have access to a computer and the internet in the Club Room which is conveniently located in the basement of the apartment building. There’s a “business area” set up for folks who want to use the computer. There’s also a kitchen area, a large screen television, a poker table, and a pool table. It’s all free to those of us who live here. I won’t be uploading my photos to this computer (the one posted above of the apartment door was already uploaded at Photobucket), but I think I can manage to write a few entries without photo highlights.

Since I opted not to go to D.C., I have the weekend to myself to do as I please. I miss M. I always feel sort of lost when he’s away, or as if part of me is missing. I’ll probably overindulge in movies, reading, and pizza. Cooking just isn’t much fun when I’m doing it just for myself. That’s a bad attitude, I suppose. I ought to want to cook for myself, don’t you think?

I have two movies to watch: Happy Feet and The Last King of Scotland. I borrowed them from M the Younger. Tomorrow I’m going to the library to borrow a DVD or two from them. I should pick up some popcorn while I’m out. Popcorn always goes well with movies.

I think we may have missed some of spring this year. Spring was just arriving in the Bogs when we left (my last photo of the pond shows the green of leaves starting to pop out of the trees). Here in Sabbaticalville it looks as though most of the flowering trees are just past their peak. I’m going to go out for a walk tomorrow and have a look around. It’s been raining all day today. I don’t mind walking in the rain, but my camera doesn’t care much for the wet stuff and I’d like to take it along to get some new pictures.

I see the exploding soda cans post is still my most popular entry. There are a lot of folks out there doing searches for what happens when cans explode. I can tell you this much: What happens is a big mess. That’s what. But don’t take my word for it. Feel free to try it for yourself.

Leaving home

(The first tulip of the season.  Photo by Robin.  April 2007)

We’re heading back to Sabbaticalville tomorrow evening.  I have mixed feelings about it.  I love being at home, but I’m also enjoying our sabbatical adventures.  The thing I’ll miss most is our bed.  I don’t sleep well on the torture device (futon) we have in our apartment in Sabbaticalville.  Mostly I don’t sleep at all and end up going out to the couch to catch a few hours of sleep.  I’m not looking forward to that at all.

M the Elder is going to Washington, D.C. this weekend.  I’m not sure yet whether I’ll be going or not.  I think not.  M will be tied up in meetings most of the time, leaving me on my own.  I don’t like sightseeing on my own.  I find it depressing.  I like to share the sights with someone.  But not going means hanging out in Sabbaticalville for a few days on my own too.  The advantage to that is I’m at home (or as much “at home” as I can be in our temporary quarters), I know my way around, I don’t have to pay $10/day to use the gym (unlike the hotel in D.C. where M is staying), and I can spend the time relaxing and reading without feeling like I should be out sightseeing or otherwise making good use of the time and trip.

As you can tell, I’m leaning towards not going.

I will not have access (or if I do, it will be very limited) to the internet again (once we leave) until May 2nd when the cable connection is reinstalled.  So, enjoy your weekend and I’ll see ya’all again next week!

An iced tea day

We had a wonderful weekend.

Emma and her parents arrived on Friday evening. I managed to put together Emma’s birthday present and she was able to play with it for a little while before going to bed.

Ta-da! The finished product! A wooden play kitchen. It’s not crooked or tilted and neither are the room or floor in which it’s sitting. It’s my picture taking that’s slanted. A lot of my photos come out tilted a bit. I can usually fix this using Picassa (software for photos), but I don’t have access to it right now. I don’t know why I lean or tilt a bit when I’m taking photos, but it happens frequently.

Saturday we went to the Cleveland Zoo. I often find zoos to be a little depressing, but I’m still fascinated by the animals and could spend a lot of time watching as they go about their day. Where else would we be able to see some of these animals? And the way things are going, zoos may well end up being the only place where some can continue to exist. (Yeah, yeah, I know. I’m getting preachy. It’s Earth Day. Give me a break.)

Emma enjoyed it for the most part. She got a little cranky here and there, as toddlers will sometimes do (especially when it’s getting past their nap time). She was also afraid of the elephants, but I can’t blame her for that. They’re enormous and she’s just an itty bitty little girl.

The Cleveland Zoo is better than some, with rather nice habitats/exhibits for the animals. One of the inmates, a gorilla, even has its own television set. The park is pretty well spread out with one heck of a hill that takes you to the upper part. There’s a deck walk that gently takes you up to the top, but it was closed yesterday. That meant we had to tackle the hill. Great exercise, especially for Emma’s dad who had to carry her up that hill.

The kangaroos were active, hopping all around. I got a kick out of watching them and I think Emma enjoyed them, too.

After the zoo we came back to Breezy Acres (our property) and hung out by the pond. M the Younger’s girlfriend was here and we had a nice little party of sorts. I had some drama with a couple of chickens that were not thawed as they should have been. But once the chickens were stuffed and in the oven I was able to go out and play with everyone else. Emma really likes being outside. I think she’d spend her entire day outside if she could.

Dinner, even after the chicken drama and the long wait for the dang things to cook, was great with lots of good conversation and laughter. Once the clean up was done and Emma was put to bed, the six of us adults sat down for a fun game of Pictionary. The young ones (M the Younger and his girlfriend) won, but Emma’s Dada and Mama and M the Elder and I didn’t do too badly. I think we ought to mix it up for the next game instead of pairing off into the couples that we are. It might make it even more interesting.

The weather this weekend has been gorgeous. Clear, sunny, and in the 70’s. We should get close to 80 today.

Emma & Co. left fairly early this morning. The M&M’s will be working on the shed which was damaged in the high winds we had last week:

As you can see, it’s a little too ventilated. The wind ripped the back right off.

As for me, I’m going to hang out some laundry, grab a glass of iced tea and go sit outside by the pond, maybe watch the ducks swimming around or read a book or take a nap. If I’m feeling particularly ambitious, I might take the rowboat out and get some exercise. I can’t think of a better way to enjoy this lovely day.

Today’s weather shot:

Last night’s sky

(Cresecent moon over the pond.  Photo by Robin.  April 2007)

Last night’s sky was clear and gorgeous.  The crescent moon floated between Venus, the “Evening Star,” and the Pleiades.  A great horned owl sat in the woods, hooting as I took photographs.

We have a clear and gorgeous day today too.  Not a could in the sky.  I filled the clothesline with laundry, drying it in the sun and wind.  The windows of the house are thrown open, inviting in this magnificent spring day.

I can’t wait to finish my chores for the day so I can spend the afternoon outside.

My oldest son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter will be arriving for a weekend visit tonight.  Since the weather is going to be just as nice tomorrow, we’re hoping to visit the zoo.

I’d better get back to work so I can go play.

Well said

And All That Could Have Been

Read. Weep.

The photos really got to me.

Assembly required

(Emma’s birthday present. Photo by Robin. April 2007)

It doesn’t look like much, does it? It was much more intimidating in real life. This photo just doesn’t do it justice. There are four (four!) pages of instructions and about 35 pieces to this thing.

Because Emma’s parents occasionally read the blog, I’m not going to say what it is (or show you the “after” photo). I spent a good chunk of yesterday afternoon putting it together. Yes, me. I originally asked M the Elder to do it. He suggested I get M the Younger to do it. M the Younger didn’t have time so I did it myself.

I sometimes think I’m mentally impaired when it comes to pictorial directions. Or symbols. I’m terrible with symbols. A good example: When we lived in London (England) we had a washer in the flat. Instead of words all the dials and buttons had symbols. I used that washer for weeks not knowing what cycle I was using. I’d just pick one and hope for the best. In my own defense, M the Elder couldn’t figure out the symbols either. We eventually located the manual for it and all became clear. Or mostly clear. I still question some of those symbols.

Give me written directions and I can follow along quite nicely. Give me pictures and I feel like it’s all a foreign language.

But I managed to muddle my way through the pictures and figure out slot A, piece Z, and how to insert XX into YY. (That sounds a little obscene, doesn’t it? It’s true, though. There was an XX that went with YY.)

Speaking of XX and YY, the birds around here have officially declared it to be Spring. They’re twitterpated. If you’ve ever seen the movie Bambi, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t seen it, what I’m saying is that they’re singing, dancing, and mating. The preferred mating spot is right in front of the living room and dining room windows.

I created a monster when I posted about spam (here and here) a few weeks ago. Every day I have a ton of spam (filtered from the blog comments) to sort through. This one cracked me up:

HI everybody. I have spent cool weekends! Me and my friend bought viagra and
all our university group went to the forest. We hadn’t tried viagra before, but – recommend to try – won’t be sorry! We bought anonymously .

Were they having an orgy in the forest or what?

I must be easily amused because I found these funny too:

Hi everybody! Does anybody know what is VIAGRA? i tried it and was be wery happy!!!!

Hi everybody! Does anybody know what is levitra? What a shirt? I go crazy about this!

Maybe the spammers are twitterpated, too. I had to delete 156 of those suckers today. Of course I’m killing myself by writing about it again. Just the mention is probably enough to double the spamming fun.

I stopped by Wally World again today to visit with friends. Good times. I don’t miss working and I don’t miss Wal-Mart, but I do miss some of the people. I think if I were to go back to work there, that would be why. The people. And the morning joke.

Today’s weather shot:

Sunrise was similar to the orange-red sunset we had the other day. Very pretty. It was so still out there this morning that the pond looks almost like glass.

I’m glad the gusty winds have departed. They were starting to drive me a little crazy with all that roaring, moaning, huffing, puffing, and rattling. Sounds like the wind was also twitterpated.

Guess it’s that time of the year. 🙂