Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Springtime house projects

Nashua also chews on rocks. He cracked a tooth on one of them this week and needed to have it extracted at the vet's office (fortunately it was a baby tooth).

We've spent the last two weekends buzzing around the house, invigorated by spring. The brighter days bring more energy but also show us the flaws in the house that were hidden by the gray light of winter. Last weekend Liam and Andrew spent several hours with our new chainsaw, cutting down scrubby spindly saplings and tree branches. There were nearly a dozen scrub trees that had been allowed to struggle up and they each blocked each other from getting sufficient light or space. They came down. There were several large tree limbs (dead and alive) that reached out over our yard, blocking the light and turning our property into a dark and gloomy cave. They came down. With every cut Liam jokingly rejoiced at how we will have fewer leaves and sticks to rake up in the fall.

Now our yard is open and welcoming, with light making it all the way down to the ground. The trees reach their branches up and into the sky, and frame our yard instead of dominate it. It will mean another observation year for us as we see how the yard reacts to the extra light. Perhaps the grass will grow in more than mossy patches. Perhaps the lilacs and the apple tree (which we're not 100% certain is an apple tree) will flower.

While the boys had fun with power tools outside, I had fun inside. I've finally finished retrofitting the closet, which meant cutting boards to the shape of the plaster walls (because plaster could not hold up the hanger rod brackets, and there were no studs to be found), gluing a vinyl covering to the boards for a finished and cohesive look, and drilling and screwing the boards and rods into place. Mum was the one to come up with the plan, and it worked beautifully. It was an awkward little space, but we made it work. I've always wanted a custom closet with multiple rods and levels on which to organize my wardrobe, and now I have one. Dad, I promise that I'll bring the circular saw and sawhorses back soon.

Everything looks crooked and uneven, but that's the settling house, not my measurements! I've checked everything over and over with a level.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Vacation at Smuggler's Notch

Last week we swapped our time share for a week at Smuggler's Notch Resort in Stowe, VT. It was a peaceful week. We didn't do much of importance, besides Not Working. We had grand plans to snowshoe and hike on the mountain trails, but we arrived to find that we were smack in the middle of Vermont mud season, which meant that there wasn't sufficient snow for snowshoeing, and that we needed help at one point to push our car out of the mud in the middle of the road. We feared getting mired in mud if we took to the trails, so we spent our time around the area (Cabot Cheese flagship store!) and in our rented resort apartment.

Snow! Snow and mud!
I like how the bottom of the parking lot looks like sea foam.

The apartment was beautiful! It was bigger (and nicer) than our house! You know those beautiful and spacious apartments you see in television shows and movies? The ones where you think "How do they afford a huge apartment like that in New York City?" That's what it was like.

We left Nashua with a dog-sitter, someone from the Guiding Eyes network so they would be familiar with the training program and wouldn't accidentally undo all of the work we've done. He sent us several pictures, which was sweet since Liam was definitely missing his puppy.
Being a good boy at the Statehouse.
The sitter also sent us a picture of Nashua with a sign around his neck saying 'I chew on doorstoppers." Yep, sounds like our pup! His adult teeth are coming in and he chews on everything while he's teething. We've started giving him frozen carrots, which he thinks are magical tasty sticks that numb his painful gums. He's 5 months old now, and was 33 pounds when last we weighed him. He's getting so big!