Now they're on to the south side of the roof. (Thursday saw no roofing done, as it rained just enough to make and keep everything slippery.) The south side is easier (no dormers or porch roof), but there's a lot of vent stacks to work around, and a bunch of roof/attic vents that are being removed so there are holes to be patched. Still, they should finish today. Sunday when they were telling us that we were going to get storms, J and I pulled the ladders down. Then the storms were somewhat less severe than originally predicted (to be fair, the Weather Service downgraded the predictions as the day went on). However, we got a lovely out-of-nowhere storm with 30mph winds on Monday afternoon, so it was not wasted effort.

Saturday, J put in gable vents. Those things let a lot of air move through, and just doing that should cool the upstairs quite a bit. Then the ridge vents go on, and those should help even more. Putting the gable vents in included bonus 'can you climb this 30' ladder and pound on this for me' action -- J was creeping around in the attic (120F, dust & fiberglass everywhere), so I can't complain too much. Still, not my favorite thing to do.

Monday, we packed up the car with two saxophones, three music stands, two instrument stands and three people, and wandered off to Franklin (MI) to play in the Brigadoon band. The Franklin Community Band officially disbanded about 8-10 years ago due to dwindling numbers, but a friend from the Farmington band recruits a small group to play for Franklin's Memorial Day celebration. I took both the tenor and the bari because I didn't know which they'd need more. DB came along with a tuba mouthpiece -- it was surprisingly easy to get him to do so "hey, d'you wanna come play an old sousaphone? It'll only be an hour or so." "sure.". J came along to take pictures. (I saw him chatting with a reporter, so DB and I may wind up in the local paper.) I played tenor sax, and played TSax, baritone (treble clef), and 2nd Cornet parts, depending on what I had music for and what was needed more. In retrospect, I should have played bari on one of the marches -- it has a tricky tuba part, and DB was flailing, and it's one that I transcribed the bari part from the tuba part a few years ago. It's been two years since DB's played sousaphone, and other than that piece he did really really well. He said the hardest part was getting used to the weight -- the Franklin sousaphone is probably 80 years old, and is tightly wound plated brass. He said that he wouldn't want to march with it. :) (I suspect it's more tightly wound than current fiberglass sousaphones so that it's easier to wear.)

This year's recipient of "I don't remember planting this" is five oriental poppies in the side garden. They haven't bloomed yet, so I don't know what color they are.

wildlife, etc

Jul. 24th, 2016 09:38 pm
jennlk: (white daff)
Lots more frogs! J went past the pond on the lawnmower and said he got about a dozen bloops, and when I went out shortly thereafter we got another 5 or 6.

SR is in the air as I type...a 13 hour flight from Detroit to Tokyo, and then another 4 hours to Taipei, where she will be met by a friend and his room-mate. The friend teaches at the school she will be teaching at. DB is being his bratly self, and making her cry at the airport -- he sent her a picture of the grey floofball.

By request, crane pictures!
walking cranes

resting cranes

There are two cranes in the bottom picture -- one is sitting on the ground. Not the best picture, but that was taken through the sliding door. I knew if I tried to open the door for a better picture the cranes would move (and at least one of the cats would have gotten out....)

natter, etc

Jul. 22nd, 2016 10:54 am
jennlk: (white daff)
There are bitty frogs in the pond -- at least half a dozen, all about an inch long.

The cranes seem to have moved in -- they're in the yard almost all day. Their poo is not as bad as goose or dog, but I still don't want to step in it. The frogs stay hidden when the cranes are near the pond, but otherwise they don't care much.

DB has been working in the theater spaces at the schools for the last couple of weeks, and worked sound for the first few days of VBS this week. Bad timing on someone's part -- he'd have been willing to work all of VBS if it hadn't been the same week he was sorting/building/cleaning at school. J filled in on the days DB wasn't there -- he'd have been there anyway on Wednesday, as a tree branch came down on the powerline that goes by the church and the entire corner (including us!) was without power. J went over with the generators so they'd have lights and sound.

I have more plants for the garden, and a plan for where to put them, but probably won't do that until next week, when it cools down a bit. Transplant shock plus heat shock is a good way to kill a plant.

SR leaves for Taiwan on Sunday -- she'll be there for at least a year, teaching English (vocabulary & conversational) at a 'cram school' in Taipei.

There is one more FCB performance this season (Monday, 7pm, Riley Park in downtown Farmington), then most of the band gets six weeks off -- a bunch of us are going up to Band Camp at Interlochen, though. I have music and bins to transport to the concert, and may have custody of some auxiliary percussion until September if we can't get in to Harrison after the concert.
The daisies have finished blooming, and I need to trim them back. There are a couple of tomatoes beginning to turn red. I still haven't finished weeding the strawberries, although I can do that today.

DB worked VBS at church last week -- he runs sound, and rings the bell for session change.

In workroom news, I took another load of stuff to the Salvation Army. Now to rebuild the pile! :) I got another couple of shelves cleared off, and a couple more boxes emptied. Now it gets into the hard decisions. Progress will slow slightly, as I have a project with a deadline, so I need to work on that. But first, I need to get the stuff off the cutting table.

We're in the process of deciding on flooring for the kitchen/dining room, and a new countertop for the island. While we're at it, we're going to paint those walls. Let the paint selection commence.

Garden natter

Jul. 1st, 2015 07:15 pm
jennlk: (white daff)
The state of the habitat in the yard:
  • two tree frogs, one toad (at least -- that's the different calls we hear);
  • indigo bunting, cardinal, oriole, blue jay, gold- and house- finch, barn swallow, three or four species of sparrows, hummingbird, red-winged blackbird, cowbird, crows, downy woodpecker, northern flicker, hairy woodpecker, mourning doves;
  • the milkweed and the sea holly and the penstemon are attracting lots of bees and butterflies;
  • the short orange lilies bloomed last week, the taller red ones bloomed earlier this week, the pink and white ones in the front flowerbed bloomed about a week before the ones I moved last fall, the second wave of alliums (smaller flowers) is just now starting to open, the blanketflower and sedum are blooming as well.

When it's too wet to work in the garden (which has been most of the last couple of weeks), I've been sorting out the workroom, and culling fabric and yarn. My goal is to get everything onto the shelves I have, so that the only boxes down there are the ones for the rummage sale.

The weird weather (for June -- it's not bad for April) has been wreaking havoc with FCB performances and grad parties. Last Monday's outreach gig was cancelled due to storms, and then Saturday's gig was washed out entirely. I probably wouldn't have played it anyway -- too chilly and damp for the various creaky parts of me. I rather *like* moving, yanno. There were three grad parties on the schedule anyway. Monday's gig has been rescheduled (afaik) for July 6, so there's that.

DB and SR have both received their diplomas and transcripts. DB is off to community college in the fall, SR is doing the job hunt thing, with possible grad school if nothing shows up by December or so.
DB returned from NYC on Sunday. They were a couple of hours behind schedule, so I wound up missing church entirely. Oh well. And now he has a nasty cold (the sore throat one).

The weather has been thwarting my attempts to get into the garden -- when I'm home, it's either cold or raining (or both), and when I must be somewhere else, it's warm and sunny. The crocuses in the side garden are just about done, but the tulips and daffs are beginning to show buds. The little irises in the E garden bloomed a week ago, and on Wednesday I was able to get out there and cut back the seaholly and the milkweed so that the irises could be seen. It's supposed to get warm enough to work in the garden today, so I hope to get something done. The pond rill is leaking again, but it's too cold to do anything about it -- once it warms up we'll have to figure out something -- we'll probably wind up rebuilding the rill, and using a rubber liner or a layer of concrete under sand (or both) to keep the varmints from digging through.

The blackbirds and grackles and starlings are back, so I've stopped putting out suet cakes & seed bells because the birds they're intended for never get any seed. I don't mind the black birds picking at the birdseed that's spilled on the ground, but they're greedy and there are a lot of them, and they finish a suet cake in a day.

AJ's memorial service is next Sunday, so I will be at North Congregational Church for that. I went up on Wednesday to help Mum organise things. The minister there says that she's been getting notes and stories about Judy since her death was announced. (With that service on Sunday, I will be driving to Farmington four days out of eight, as there's a FCB concert on the 19th, with a stage rehearsal on the 17th. yay.)
So the jacket fit and is approved, so he's actually wearing his jacket today, not J's. So that's good.

The boots, otoh? They're too small. And it's -3F in the back yard, and all I want to do is stay home where it's warm. (I have a cold, and my back really dislikes this extra-cold weather.) But he's got to ride the bus tomorrow, and would really like boots that fit -- he got dropped off this morning for Jazz Band rehearsal. As usual, it's warmer in town, and the wind is far less than they had been predicting, so school as usual today. Many schools east and south of us are closed today. AA cancelled at 6am(!) due to "transportation issues" -- whether this means that buses wouldn't start or that the heaters wouldn't be able to keep up with the door openings, I dunno. (-15F wind chill cancels school, at -10F (air temp) the buses won't start, 10F means indoor recess for K-5.)

Must go feed the birds, but see above paragraph about cold. At least the birdbath isn't frozen -- the wind's not been blowing hard enough to do that.
Tags:
We've been doing this for 17 years now. Rousting kid(s) out of bed to leave to be in town for a 9am (band) or 9:30 (Scouts) call. One more year, and then I dunno what I'll do on the last Monday in May. Maybe drive to Franklin to join an adhoc "Franklin Community band" for their Memorial Day observances -- I have a standing invitation to do so. This year was the worst band performance I think I've heard -- the drum majors got lost, and therefore the band was out of sync, despite the tubas' best efforts (not much percussion in the Dragon arrangement of America the Beautiful). SR is threatening to call up one of her former CHS drum majors and do a clinic for next year's drum majors. She figures that between her and AS they have three years of drum majoring and at least eleven years of marching experience, and they can approach it from a band members' point of view. No fly-over this year, but the FeedTheBand parents didn't bring water. We brought a bit, but I'd assumed that they'd be there like they've been for the last 4-5 years. (For the first few years that they brought water, I did too, and that was bit much. J was like 'hey, we could bring a cooler full of water for the band', and SR and I were "we've done that." Frankly, it's *not* my responsibility, and I'm tired of covering for other people.)

Sometime next week, I think I'll be driving out to Southfield & New Boston with flowers -- Ana liked irises, Sam & Dad preferred peonies, and I may actually have flowers this year! (Lots of buds, but I've been misled by that before.) (John & Mil preferred roses, but I don't know if I'll have those for a while -- my spring rose hasn't even started to bud yet.)

The weeds are getting away from me. I should get out there today and do some more, but we shall see. I moved a daisy out of the shady bed next to the house into a sunnier spot, where I hope it will be happier. Right now, it's in shock, so that doesn't help much. I am slowly working my way through the E garden, removing grass and clover from in amongst the sedum. And uprooting sedum as I go, but it resettles itself pretty quickly.
Tags:
It was 3F when DB went off to school. The thermometers here say it's now 1F in bright sun, the local weatherunderground site is saying -8F (-22C). J drove to work in SR's car, as the van is at the shop waiting on a wheel bearing -- they probably won't even get to it until tomorrow, but it can sit in their lot as well as here, it's not going to be driven anywhere anyway, and this way SR's car can go into a garage and actually get driven while she's home on break.

The FCB holiday concert was yesterday. It was fun, although I could have played better (missing Monday's rehearsal really hurt). The Mass Choir from the Community Church of Christ (Detroit) joined us for the finale, which was a blast (not quite literally) to play. And now I have three weeks off from that to rest my hand. (I still have rehearsal and performance for church, but that's not quite as hard.)

We went out in the snow on Saturday for kidpix. There are people in my holiday pictures! Sheesh. I guess this means I should start writing the holiday letter.

There's hoarfrost glittering on the trees (pretty!), and the birds are all fluffed up. I don't want to go outside and feed the birds, but I really should sometime today. I'll wait for it to warm up a little. I also have errands to run (something about snow on Saturday and a concert on Sunday meant that I didn't get anything done over the weekend).

[ETA:The black cat, who has been curled up in the warm spot left behind when I got out of bed, has now moved into the sunbeam. I can go make my bed the rest of the way!]
- despite two days of near or above freezing temps, there's still ice in the pond, even though we added two inches of water on top of the ice (the water level had dropped due to evaporation when the rill was running in 20F weather). However, it's mostly a floating sheet, and should be completely gone by later in the week. It's not supposed to drop much below freezing until Thursday night, so we should be able to get the pump out. There were birds bathing in the rill even when it was cold -- they seem to prefer the running water to the still water in the birdbath (which has a heater & a thermostat so it doesn't freeze unless it gets really cold).

- yesterday's bonus "cello" performance at church was not horrible. It could have been far better (it could have been far worse, too). I needed some actual rehearsal time with just the pianist, so I could get her tempo changes. It helps that I'm used to singing with her, and am familiar with how she bends tempos, but still....

- I've been swapped down to alto for some of the Christmas music. The soprano part is just too high for me, and while DS would prefer to sing alto (less stress on her voice), she can sing the soprano parts.

- DB managed to hold off a cold for most of November (didn't have time, between the show and then finals), and so was sick over the holiday break. OTOH, Assassin's Creed IV was fresh out, so he and SR spent much of their weekend playing that. And Skyrim.

- Thanksgiving was quiet. Just the four of us for dinner, and I skipped most of the fancy sides. Salad, cranberry bread, roasted potatoes&apples, ham. With pumpkin pie squares for dessert. We forgot the crescent rolls, so we made them Friday and Saturday. By Sunday, we were pretty much out of leftovers -- there's a plate of ham shreds in the fridge, but many of them are too small for anything but putting into salad or soup.

- We got the tree up and decorated (we had to rearrange the living room to make a spot for it), and JO dropped by with the wreath we'd ordered, so it's beginning to look like Christmas is coming. Kid pix will be the weekend after next, so there's no need to start the letter yet. :)

- Sometime last week I strained my quadriceps. again. And a couple of days later, my knee started complaining. So back into the knee brace. mutter. Do Not Like. I like pain less, so there you are.
Choir Sunday, then senior center hymn sing*, with bonus "um. Could you lead us in the singing?" sigh. "sure", figuring that a small congregation of senior citizens is unlikely to come up with a hymn from the hymnal that the pianist or I don't know. I was right, although the arrangement of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot in the Methodist hymnal is different than the one in the Pilgrim Hymnal, and I flailed a bit more than I like to.

*: it was supposed to be a wind trio+piano, but wind players kept having family scheduling issues, so it wound up being me+Esme+piano. With 20 minutes of rehearsal and a balky octave key. such fun.

Soon, it's off to the HS for Fall Echoes. We don't have to go quite as early as usual, as DB is already there for play rehearsal, but if we want to get decent seating we should leave soon. I just got back home, after spending two hours retrieving props from various theater storage areas all over town.
Tags:
I was thwarted in my plans for the workroom yesterday. Anna-kitteh decided that what I really needed to do was pay attention to her. She will not be ignored, and shoves her head under my hand. So I paid attention to her. I did eventually get some sorting done, put fabric away and pulled other fabrics out. I have need of a new twill jacket, and a Halloween costume for the FCB concert.

Trimmed back the spent larkspur, and discovered a third flush. There's another wave of poppies, too. I trimmed back some of the sea holly, but got tired of being poked -- I may go out there this morning with long sleeves and gloves. I realised that the NE garden isn't really 'full-sun' -- it gets quite a bit of shade in the early-mid afternoon, which may explain why the volunteer milkweed is a little bit wobbly. I need to cut back the blackberry lilies before the seeds drop. There are quite enough of them in that garden already.... One of the stonecrops I planted last year is getting ready to bloom, while the other seems content with just growing, and may bloom next year.

DB had his first before-school rehearsal yesterday. And I think we need to adjust the schedule on those days a bit so we can leave a bit earlier than we did. Or maybe we just need to do it a few more times.

I have decided that I really need to get myself a camera. Doesn't need to have bells-n-whistles, just a decent camera that I can use indoors and out (birds, cats, projects). The last camera I used on a regular basis was a Pentax K-1000 :), so I'm a little out of the loop on cameras. Any suggestions?

That's the third bird into the sliding door this morning. Guess I'll be stopping by the bird store this weekend. Meanwhile, I'll roll the awning out a little to keep the reflection down --I like the light, but I don't like stunned birds.

(no subject)

Aug. 19th, 2013 06:50 pm
jennlk: (Mink Frog)
The froggie count is now eight. I think there are more, but I have only actually seen eight at one time. There are three different species (mink, leopard, pickerel) in the pond, and some toads and tree frogs live in the yard. Today I was out doing the frog count, and a chipmunk popped out from under the ornamental grass next to the rill and stared at me. Yesterday, a squirrel meandered past me on his way to the birdseed on the ground (the jays and sparrows throw seed off the feeder platform as they eat).

I played Esme for the first time since she came back from the shop, and the first time in nearly a month -- there are some new pads and they're a little leaky. That was a bit disconcerting.

I pulled a lot of blanket flower out of the east garden today. It rather takes over, and I was tired of it being the dominant flower in the bed. There's still some out there, and it will be back next year anyway. Next up, I need to thin the sea holly. ick (it's got pokey leaves *and* flowers, especially once they've dried out a bit). The milkweed in the NE garden got pounded by the hail last week, and many of the stems are falling over. I may go out and put the peony rings on them, just to keep the leaves & seedpods off the ground.

DB has band rehearsals T-W-R this week in the afternoons. Of course, it's supposed to be hot. OTOH, we need to move SR up to campus this week, and it's supposed to be even hotter in MP than it is here. OTOOH, she's doesn't have Band Camp this week, and by the time DB and the high school band step off in the fair parade on Saturday it's supposed to be much cooler (and fair parade uniform is T-shirt and shorts anyway).

J's been laying new concrete (see?). He's nearly done with the floor, but then he has to move everything back in. I'll help some, but a lot of the stuff is things that I don't know where they go, or are too big/bulky for me to handle.
Tags:
It was probably inevitable, but in my second year of double Band Mom, I have a direct conflict -- both kids have games on the same day. Unfortunately, it's a Central game that I really don't want to miss (Navy), and it's unlikely that the game will be moved, as it's ESPN2's Friday game. But I really should be at the CHS game. I think SR will probably have to do a big game without me there. bummer.
Tags:
It was probably inevitable, but in my second year of double Band Mom, I have a direct conflict -- both kids have games on the same day. Unfortunately, it's a Central game that I really don't want to miss (Navy), and it's unlikely that the game will be moved, as it's ESPN2's Friday game. But I really should be at the CHS game. I think SR will probably have to do a big game without me there. bummer.
Tags:

(no subject)

Jul. 27th, 2012 10:31 pm
jennlk: (Default)
Elder Urchin successfully moved. yay. Student housing has come a long way since I was a student. Apparently, the complex is mixed housing -- undergrads, grad students, and the 'general' public. She's closer to campus than she was, and there are sidewalks all the way.

Spent about 45 minutes pulling QueenAnne'sLace out of the east flowerbed, where they were blocking the view of the hibiscus *and* the sea holly. There's a lot of dead stuff in that garden. Some of it is to be expected, because there's a lot of cornflower and california poppy out there, and they die back once they've flowered, but the second flush never started. But it rained last night, and again today, and it was cloudy and cooler today, so stuff may actually come up soon.

I am going to take some credit for the rain, as I dug out the sprinkler and watered the vegetable garden on Wednesday. We're still way behind on rainfall, though.

Current frog count is 12 plus three tadpoles. There's a leak in the pond. We hope it's in the hose, not the liner. I think it's too fast to be the liner. We'll see tomorrow, after the pump's been off for 12 hours.

(no subject)

Jul. 27th, 2012 10:31 pm
jennlk: (Default)
Elder Urchin successfully moved. yay. Student housing has come a long way since I was a student. Apparently, the complex is mixed housing -- undergrads, grad students, and the 'general' public. She's closer to campus than she was, and there are sidewalks all the way.

Spent about 45 minutes pulling QueenAnne'sLace out of the east flowerbed, where they were blocking the view of the hibiscus *and* the sea holly. There's a lot of dead stuff in that garden. Some of it is to be expected, because there's a lot of cornflower and california poppy out there, and they die back once they've flowered, but the second flush never started. But it rained last night, and again today, and it was cloudy and cooler today, so stuff may actually come up soon.

I am going to take some credit for the rain, as I dug out the sprinkler and watered the vegetable garden on Wednesday. We're still way behind on rainfall, though.

Current frog count is 12 plus three tadpoles. There's a leak in the pond. We hope it's in the hose, not the liner. I think it's too fast to be the liner. We'll see tomorrow, after the pump's been off for 12 hours.

(no subject)

May. 24th, 2012 08:52 am
jennlk: (peony vase)
More white peonies, and they're gorgeous. This is the best they've looked. Then again, this is only the third year for the plants, and they usually take a couple of years to establish themselves. Looks like I'll be making a trip out to the cemetary in Flat Rock sometime this weekend. Maybe I'll have some solid deep pink ones to take out as well -- they're beginning to unfurl.

DB twisted his ankle yesterday, and called home for crutches after class. sigh. (apparently, he was reaching up to get something off of a cabinet, jumped a bit and landed wrong.) He says it's better today, but still sore and he's limping a bit.

more garden natter )
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(no subject)

May. 24th, 2012 08:52 am
jennlk: (peony vase)
More white peonies, and they're gorgeous. This is the best they've looked. Then again, this is only the third year for the plants, and they usually take a couple of years to establish themselves. Looks like I'll be making a trip out to the cemetary in Flat Rock sometime this weekend. Maybe I'll have some solid deep pink ones to take out as well -- they're beginning to unfurl.

DB twisted his ankle yesterday, and called home for crutches after class. sigh. (apparently, he was reaching up to get something off of a cabinet, jumped a bit and landed wrong.) He says it's better today, but still sore and he's limping a bit.

more garden natter )
Tags:
A musician's high. OhEmGee. 290 musicians crammed on a stage, Leonard Slatkin conducting. The band hit a note in Elsa's Procession to the Cathedral, and his face just lit up. (something about 20 *good* tuba players makes a chord sit up straight and behave.) We started the mass band rehearsal with a Leroy Anderson piece, and it was good, and he was pleased, but then we moved on to Elsa, and he was just floored.

And then the mass band dispersed and we snagged lunch. And then it was time to go on stage, and open the show. We were on. As one of the trombone players behind me said as we were leaving the auditorium "well, we set a mark." And then I listened to three other groups, and then it was time to go reassemble the horn for the actual mass band performance. After shuffling chairs and stands and such around, Slatkin came out, the crowd went wild (including us, to be honest), and then we sat down and played. There really aren't any words for that experience. I wanna do it again. :) (so does Slatkin. Preferably on a day when he doesn't have a plane to catch, most likely.)

And then, after a short decompression time, it was into the car with SR, who needed to be returned to campus. Rolled back in 12 hours after I left, still in velvet top and dress shoes. (I win at Mom -- my teenage daughter was jealous of me this afternoon, because I was on stage with Slatkin and she wasn't. :) Next year, maybe.)

And tomorrow we start rehearsing the rest of the Mar 27 concert. :)
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