Since the beginning of the school year, Mr. D has been proclaiming, "T is the nicest boy in our class." For the longest time we've been wanting to invite him over and see for ourselves.
Finally, the winter break nudged the stars into alignment and we were able to get these two young men together for an extended playdate. First, a little outdoor action:
Then, a trip to Ice-Land! Young master T had never been skating before, and was initially skeptical about our offer. Mr. D worked his persuasive charms: "There's a railing you can hold onto. Wear double pants and that way if you fall down it doesn't matter so much. If you don't like it, we can just stop and get cocoa." Finally T gave in. And then, once he got out on the ice, he loved it! He fell over and over again, but was absolutely unbowed, and got better and better, little by little.
Here's T yelling, "I feel like I'm gonna fall!"
And here he is an hour later. ("I want to do this every day," was his parting quote.) A good time was had by all. (And we continue to think that Mr. D has great taste in friends.)
There's nothing quite so sweetly satisfying as Christmas in your jammies.
Here's T holding up a postcard I made for her of her "home course" at Anstruther. Clearly she didn't need anything else. (Good thing, too.)
Mr. D was thrilled with his "big presents" (here he's showing off his much-longed-for Eli Manning jersey; yay, Grammy & Grampy!)
And also quite taken with "found" presents such as this empty wrapping paper tube.
The surprise smash hit of the morning was a bag from Santa full of all sorts of disguises. (Disguise pictures have been removed at the request of He Who Prefers His Cover Not Be Blown; leave a comment if you MUST receive a disguise picture via email.)
(PS: The new camera seems to be working out well so far.)
This last from a gal who has spent the entirety of Boxing Day in her jammies. (When Mr. D and my partner came back from a bike ride into town and back today, he greeted me with a jaunty: "Hello, Pajama Mama!")
I am an opinionated person, with passionate and deeply held beliefs.
I would do well to remember more often that others feel the same way about theirs.
I believe in compassionate listening and reflexive kindness.
And I believe that we are all of us works in progress.
(Thanks to the women of Sunday Scribblings, who this week unwittingly gave me an excuse to go poking about in old posts. New pics tomorrow, maybe?)
Saturday morning wrestling: year three (Here, Mr. D is trying to "post up" out of the down starting position.)
Neighborhood caroling: year two
Former neighbors returning for the caroling party: year one
Mr. D waits until hot chocolate cools down without being prompted to do so: possibly the first time ever!
(All photos taken w/ my brand new Fuji Finepix F60. Indoor shots are a little grainy:I haven't used any flash modes yet. I also haven't read the manual, which is providedas a .pdf document on CD. Will consider the next week or sothis camera's "try out" period. Stay tuned...)
A few years ago, I put myself on a lifetime t-shirt restriction. Simply put, I do not allow myself to purchase t-shirts. I have enough t-shirts that I could probably wear a different one every day all summer without repeating.
I do graciously accept gifts of t-shirts. And thus my problem continues to grow.
Just now, as I was wading through my RSS feeds, I came across this idea via the Alternative Consumer site... up-cycling! (Taking a used item and re-purposing it to make it even more useful than it was before.)
The picture above is from an Etsy shop that specializes in giving your old treasured t-shirts new life as a blanket.
That's all I wanted to say, really. A girl's gotta get dressed for work, and all.
Every year, while packing for our two weeks of tent camping on Cape Cod, I "forget" my earrings. This creates a situation in which I need to buy new earrings, thus enabling me to bypass my naturally self-sacrificing ways.
Designer Deb Panish's work is one of the treats of my vacation. The buyer at the little shop on Wellfleet who stocks her jewelry clearly shares my aesthetics. And I've just received an email from Deb herself, telling me that she's giving wholesale prices to anyone who places an order of $50 or more.
So. Check out Deb's work via the teaser page here. And let me know -- via comment or email -- if you need the wholesale login info. Support an independent artist, make some folks you love happy, AND get a great deal! Woo hoo!
(It's an old picture; I wasn't out in shorts today, I assure you!)
The pavement on our street is in terrible shape. And apparently the Township engineers have reason to believe that the pipes underneath it aren't much better. So tonight a bunch of us trooped down to the Twp. Municipal building to hear what's in store for us. I wasn't there. But T's notes look pretty comprehensive, so here's what I know:
The proposed project includes both reshaping, repairing, and resurfacing roadways as well as renovating our sewer lines.
A township sewer main runs down the center of our street. There is a 4'-6' copper pipe that runs from each house that they're not worried about. The longer pipes, or laterals, which run the rest of the way from the houses to the main are clay, with a life expectancy of about 25-40 years. They were installed between 1941 and 1943. Thus our little sewer project:
1) Install "cleanouts" on our lines to enable them to access it from outside the houses
2) Inspect laterals w/ a TV camera to assess for damage/degredation. (We'll be billed for about $150 / house for this.)
3) Most laterals are expected to be in need of replacing; concern is actually more about groundwater getting INTO the pipes than about anything leaking out. We are trying to reduce our inflow to the Stony Brook regional sewer system. Clay laterals will be replaced with thick plastic pipe, which is expected to last 100 years. (Of course, that's what they said about clay and galvanized steel at the time, too, but never mind...) Existing pipes will be removed via a trenchless, pipe "burst" method.
4) The Township guarantees the installation for 10 years.
5) In January we'll get an assessment (NOT a bill). This is just a statement to help the Township set aside the appropriate funding. When the fees are assessed, they'll be payable over 10 years. Estimated at about $110/foot.
The timing of this is probably in our favor; not many jobs going out for bid in this economy means that we'll get lots of competitive bids.
Sump pumps must not be tied into the sewer system.
We should start trying to teach our kids NOW to resist the urge to yank out the little flags the Township engineers leave poking out of the ground.
Work slated to start around April, should take 75-90 days to complete.
There will be a follow-up meeting with the selected contractor to address issues of access to our homes during the roadwork
Lateral sewer pipe replacement should take about 1-2 days/house
The sewer improvement should not have an impact on our taxes, although the associated road improvements might.
Curbing is an "all or nothing" proposition. If everyone on the street wants it, it runs about $26/linear foot, again assessed over a ten year period. But it's up to us to decide (as a street) whether we want curbing.
The most interesting part of the meeting? (For me, who wasn't even there.)
Our street joins another street in a kind of hairpin turn, and there's a section of public land where the two streets come together. Over here on our street, that land is universally known as "the point." But if you grew up on the next street over, you call it "the field." How's THAT for some extremely localized linguistic ethnography?!