Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Pumpkin Patch

Well, I completely forgot that today was Wednesday until this evening, so this Wordless Wednesday is rather late (but at least I'm still posting on the actual day, unlike a few weeks ago...)

Anyhow, I realized last week that I've not updated you on our pumpkin patch!  In a nutshell, it's been a bit of a roller-coaster.  It looked great, and the lawn mowing company did a great job of avoiding it.  All was well.

Then a pumpkin (an actual fruit!!) started to grow.  We were very excited.  Imagine the thrill when the roller-coaster reaches that first summit--serious excitement!

And then I went to show the pumpkin plant to my mom when she was in town a couple weeks ago.  I discovered that the lawn company, in an attempt to clean up around the plant, week-whacked the main stem.  The gut wrenching feeling you get when the roller-coaster drops off that summit into nothingness is about what we felt.  J and I were crushed.  

Somehow, some way, the little pumpkin plant that could has continued to survive this tragedy (Yes, I'm exaggerating.  A little.).  We don't know how exactly, but it seems that the little plant is putting every resource it has into growing our little pumpkin, which is actually becoming quite a nice-sized pumpkin:

We're happy.  Tentative and unsure, but happy!  I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thankful Thursday--August 23

This week, I'm thankful for lots of little things:

  • We've had the most amazing fall-like weather this week (of course, it's supposed to be back in the 90's this weekend, but that just makes me more thankful for the respite!)!
  • My boss and a couple of the volunteers have completely brightened my week.  In our office I'm often alone, but there have been tons of people dropping by this week.  While not great for my productivity, our offices have been filled with stories and laughter instead. 
  • I thoroughly enjoyed spending last weekend with DAR friends, and I look forward to another night and day with them again this weekend (even if it does mean another weekend away from J...).
  • J and I survived a frustrating dance lesson last night, and even managed to laugh about it and remember that this class is just for fun!  We're now almost competent in several steps in the foxtrot and rumba, which is something we certainly couldn't say a couple months ago!
  • Of course, I'm thankful for my new gutters!
What are you thankful for this week?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


So remember way, way back over a year ago (don't bother looking for the post; I found it for you...sixteen months back...) when I mentioned that the winter of 2010/2011 was rough on our gutters and that we'd have to replace them?  Well, we interviewed folks.  We asked our friends and neighbors.  We thought about, prayed about, forgot about it (except for every time it rained...then we remembered again).  Then, this spring (after spending all that money we'd saved on the refi and new cars), we decided to spring for covering the wood trim on the house in vinyl.  So we went back to saving money for a few months.  Earlier this summer, I got brave and started looking for a new gutter company.  Thanks to Angie's List, I found a guy from Frankfort who had great reviews.  I went out on a limb and called to see if he serviced Lexington.  The good news?  He was willing to!

So long story shorter, we got a quote right before the company owner went on vacation, then once he got back it took a couple weeks to work us into the schedule.  Much to my surprise, he showed up yesterday morning (bright and early!) with a crew of four guys to tackle our job.  It took them less than one day to remove the old gutters (actually, that part alone took less then five minutes...the front gutters basically fell off when they tugged...), replace a rotten bit of fascia, fabricate and install trim, soffit, fascia and gutters, and to install leaf guards on those gutters.  And the best part?  My Frankfort contractor cost us half what a Lexington contractor quoted us for the same work.

So without further ado:

The new color is called "sierra" and I asked for a sample so that we can get some exterior paint color-matched.  Those windows pop in a horrible way now!  Needless to say, I'm pleased!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A walk in the park

So usually on Mondays I walk with B and Baby E (BTW, B--at what point should I just say E?  'Cause I'm thinking he may develop a complex in his teens if he's still Baby E...).  This summer we've been joined by the Superkid, too.  This Monday, Baby E had his first(!) gymnastics class, so B asked if I'd hang with Superkid.  Not one to miss my walk entirely (or, quite frankly, one to know what to do with a six-year-old for an hour), I suggested we take Zep for a walk.  We had a great time (well, I did...I hope he did, too!) wandering around the walking trail in the park.  About a mile in, Superkid asked if he could hold Zep's leash.  I've seen him walk his own family dog before, and Zep was pretty tired at that point, so I figured it would be okay.  As he started to jog ahead, Zep trotted along, then suddenly glanced back.  I waved, they ran on, Zep turned around again.  I laughed, grabbed my camera and caught this picture on the fourth glance back.

It's as if he was completely sure about what was going on and why I was clearly allowing some small human take him away!  Luckily, they stopped just after this and let me catch up.  I took the leash back for a while, and the next time I handed it over, Zep seemed much more comfortable trotting along with his new friend!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Everywhere BUT the MP

What's going on around the MP lately?  Not much...  Saturday morning we enjoyed a lovely morning on the deck on an unusually crisp summer morning.  It was so nice to put on long sleeves and drink hot tea!  After a quick game of fetch for J and Zep, we both got to work (which we'd brought home from our respective j-o-b's) and I then spent much of the day tackling DAR work.  Our summer workshops are just around the corner and there is much to be prepared!

Yesterday was the Sunday School Kickoff Cookout at St. R.  I got there at 8:00 a.m. to prepare, made announcements in the early service, met with a parishioner, met the inflatable set-up guy, set up for the cookout, made announcements in the late service, put on the cookout, then waited for the inflatable guy to come back and pick it up.  J, ever the awesome partner he is, dropped me at 8:00, went shopping for cookout supplies, then manned the grill for two straight hours.  He was just as happy as me to leave at nearly 4:00 p.m.

While exhausting, the day happened without a hitch, and the kids LOVED the inflatable.  I bet you will, too:

Yeah, that's Noah's Ark (there's actually a blow-up Noah on the other side).  Even my 'too cool' middle schoolers were impressed, and the little kids stayed busy bouncing most of the afternoon!  I've been excitedly showing off pictures from the company's website for two weeks, but it was way cooler in person.  I'm tempted to go ahead and make our reservation for next year's kick-off!

So there you go--not much going on around the MP, but a lot keeping us busy!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

It's the great pumpkin plant!

So...I was a day or two late in taking this picture and then I forgot to blog when I got to work.  So welcome to...Wordless Thursday.  Um...just go with it!

Remember last year when we had a pumpkin plant out front?  It ended poorly for the plant, probably because it kept being moved and its delicate little flowers fell off early.  I was so bummed that I decided to better our odds for this year, an after Halloween I dropped all our pumpkins off the side of the porch in hopes that we'd have another try.

Success!  In fact, thanks in large part to the mowers leaving it alone and just mowing around it, it's doing really well!  We've got more than half a dozen flowers and I'm hopeful something good comes of it!  If anyone has tips on how to ensure those lovely flowers turn into pumpkins, please let me know!  I'd love to be able to grow our own this year, and maybe even supply our friends!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Thankful Thursday--August 2

Happy Thursday!  Happy New Month (well, technically that was yesterday...but it's still a new-ish month, right??)!
You know the best thing about August?  (Try to keep up--this gets a little convoluted...)
The football pre-season starts this month.
You know why that's so awesome?
Because it comes right before the football season.
Why is that so awesome?
BECAUSE FOOTBALL SEASON MEANS FALL!!!!  And of course all of the wonderful things that come with fall--autumn nights, pumpkins, cooler temps, long-sleeves and sweaters on crisp nights, trips to the pumpkin patch and corn maze, burning leaves, family.

So this week, this month, I'm thankful for the change in seasons, and the reminder that this change happens every day, and that the change toward my very favorite season is happening right now.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Coolest Field Trip Ever

Remember last week when I mentioned that VBS was sucking my soul out of my body in the slowest and most painful way possible?  Oh wait, I was too busy to write that and too tired to think of the words anyway.  So yeah.  VBS.  Killer.  We have a three day VBS for all of our elementary aged kids, and quite frankly, it went really well.  There were hiccups, of course--any event has those--but really, I enjoyed the week and I think our children did, too!
The biggest hiccup had to do with Friday's schedule.  Initially, we planned a field trip to EKY.  On Wednesday afternoon, Fr. Johnnie said "oh the place we're going Friday has been condemned.  I got a voice mail."  Quite frankly, I thought he was joking.
He wasn't.
I learned on Thursday that it wasn't quite that dire, but that it was pretty serious.  The facility had a bat issue.  A family of a protected species of bat had taken up residence.  The Executive Director was, understandably, flipping out.  (My interpretation of her situation.  She might have been calm as a cucumber...but she didn't sound that calm.)  She was grateful when I suggested we would find another field trip.
As it was, no one was really looking forward to a two-three hour drive with little people, so we set about brainstorming local field trip ideas.  The conversation in my office went something like this:  Music (the VBS theme)... field trips... hmm... Recording studio?  Does Lexington have a recording studio?  I dunno, let me Google it...  Oh look, we do!  Oh!  This place actually looks cool!  Fr. Johnnie--call this guy!  One quick phone call later, we had a field trip scheduled.  And let me tell you, it was COOL!  I wish I'd taken a picture in the room with the sound mixing equipment, but I did grab this shot of the owner talking to our group in the drum room. (The room is big enough they can put a whole band in to record a 'live' take, but usually they don't.)

So, if you happen to find yourself needing to reord some music, I highly recommend Saint Claire Recording Company in Lexington.  They are set up to house overnight guests (some artists stay for as long as a month), so you can stay there and invite me over to visit.  The hot tub looked nice...