By Friday evening, Stanley had the tongue-in-groove deck placed. The next steps are trimming the end, sanding, rounding the edges, priming, caulking, then painting. I get to choose the color—I’m not sure yet what color it will be yet, other than it will not not not be battleship gray. He managed to figure out how to deal with one of the framing boards that was way warped. This porch is solid!
Stanley replaced rotting clapboards on Tuesday, and ordered the lumber from Torno in Westport. The wood for the new porch cost about $500, delivered. It came around 10:30 a.m. He moved quickly on getting the framing done.
Stanley accepted that the frame was way too far gone to try to salvage. Not surprising, since it’s about 60 years old.
Stanley got a bee in his bonnet and decided that, at last, the back porch must be replaced. Why today, I have no idea, but I’m glad.
The porch, about 30 years old, was rotting and needed replacing about five years ago. It’s 16 feet by 4 feet.
The Boxing Day nor’easter dropped 16 inches of snow here in Norwalk. Last week, we got another six inches. Last night and today, it snowed another 16-18 inches—officially it’s 16 inches but 18 inches in our yard. I was hoping the weather gurus were full of it, but damn, they were, if anything, a bit on the optimistic side!
Since Ruby is still in a cast, we couldn’t let her go out in it, but Bingo, oh wow she loves it!
The Weather Service got the timing right on this one, saying it would start here around 10 p.m. last night. And it did. It was a fierce storm—and one point, I couldn’t see out the window it was so heavy, a sheet of white. I was amazed when I woke up around 7 a.m. and took a look out the window. I updated some closings on WestportNow (lots of great snow photos here), then went back to sleep.
Stanley did most of the shoveling—we really, really need a grown-up snowblower and he promises he’ll get one. The little Snow Fox snow thrower he got me (my wedding present, which I loved, believe it or not) does a decent job but just isn’t able to handle more than six inches at a time without you having to put in a LOT of work. It’s just too exhausting to use it (and the electric cord is really a pain in the ass!) with deep snow.
We got the part of the driveway that will let us get the car out done and the sidewalk—the sidewalk was really a pain—finished, and called it a day. We don’t have to go anywhere tonight, so we’ll dig out the car tomorrow and maybe even the van. We met our legal obligation (schools are closed tomorrow, anyway). We each had a mug of hot cocoa—stuff Jamie sent us for Christmas—it was good enough to almost make the effort worth it. Well, it was good but maybe not that good.
I know I’m going to be sore tomorrow and Friday and ... and I lost a day of work, some of which I can catch up with this evening, maybe. If I can stay awake—I am really, really tired. I put a put of spaghetti sauce and sausage together before my second round of shoveling—I love my crock pot—we’ll probably eat dinner and collapse.
It’s beautiful out. But enough already.
Ah, once again, the only annual list I care about.
VIRAL: “This linguistic disease of a term must be quarantined.” Kuahmel Allah, Los Angeles, Calif.
EPIC: More than one nominator says the use of ‘epic’ has become an epic annoyance. “Standards for using ‘epic’ are so low, even ‘awesome’ is embarrassed.” Mike of Kettering, Ohio.
FAIL: One nominator says, “what originally may have been a term for a stockbroker’s default is now abused by today’s youth as virtually any kind of ‘failure.’ Whether it is someone tripping, a car accident, a costumed character scaring the living daylights out a kid, or just a poor choice in fashion, these people drive me crazy thinking that anything that is a mistake is a ‘fail.’ They fail proper language!” “Mis-used. Over-used. Used with complete disregard to the ‘epic’ weight of the word. Silence obnoxious reality TV personalities and sullen, anti-establishment teenagers everywhere by banishing this word.” Natalie of Burlington, Ont.
WOW FACTOR: “This buzzword is served up with a heaping of cliché factor and a side order of irritation. But the lemmings from cable-TV cooking, whatever design and fashion shows keep dishing it out. I miss the old days when ‘factor’ was only on the math-and-science menu.” Dan Muldoon, Omaha, Neb.
A-HA MOMENT: “All this means is a point at which you understand something or something becomes clearer. Why can’t you just say that?” Audrey Mayo, Killeen, Tex.
BACK STORY: “This should be on the list of words that don’t need to exist because a perfectly good word has been used for years. In this case, the word is ‘history,’ or, for those who must be weaned, ‘story.’” Jeff Williams, Sherwood, Ariz.
BFF: “These chicks call each other BFF (Best Friends Forever) and it lasts about 10 minutes. Now there’s BFFA (Best Friends For Awhile), which makes more sense.” Kate Rabe Forgach, Ft. Collins, Colo.
MAN UP: “A stupid phrase when directed at men. Even more stupid when directed at a woman, as in ‘Alexis, you need to man up and join that Pilates class!’” Sherry Edwards, Clarkston, Mich. “Not just overused (a 2010 top word according to the Global Language Monitor) but bullying and sexist.” Christopher K. Philippo, Glenmont, NY.
REFUDIATE: “Adding this word to the English language simply because a part-time politician lacks a spell checker on her cell phone is an action that needs to be repudiated.” Dale Humphreys, Muskegon, Mich.
MAMA GRIZZLIES: “Unless you are referring to a scientific study of Ursus arctos horribilis , this analogy of right-wing female politicians should rest in peace.” Mark Carlson, Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.
THE AMERICAN PEOPLE: “No one in Washington can pontificate for more than two sentences without using it. Beyond overuse, these people imply that ‘the American people’ want/expect/demand all the same things. They don’t.” Dick Hilker, Loveland, Colo. “Aren’t all Americans people? Every political speech refers to the ‘American’ people as if simply saying ‘Americans’ (or ‘people’) is not enough.” Deb Faust, Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.
I’M JUST SAYIN’: “‘A phrase used to diffuse any ill feelings caused by a preceded remark,’ according to the Urban Dictionary. Do we really need a qualifier at the end of every sentence? People feel uncomfortable with a comment that was made and then ‘just sayin’’ comes rolling off the tongue? It really doesn’t change what was said, I’m just sayin’.” Becky of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. “And we would never have known if you hadn’t told us.” Bob Forrest, Tempe, Ariz.
FACEBOOK / GOOGLE as verbs: “Facebook is a great, addicting website. Google is a great search engine. However, their use as verbs causes some deep problems. As bad as they are, the trend can only get worse, i.e. ‘I’m going to Twitter a few people, then Yahoo the movie listings and maybe Amazon a book or two.” Jordan of Waterloo, Ont.
LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST: “It’s an absurdity followed by a redundancy. First, things are full or they’re not; there is no fullest. Second, ‘live life’ is redundant. Finally, the expression is nauseatingly overused. What’s wrong with enjoying life fully or completely? The phrase makes me gag. I’m surprised it hasn’t appeared on the list before.” Sylvia Hall, Williamsport, Penn.
The last measurement I saw before the cable went out was a wind gust of 79 mph with sustained winds of 35 mph at the Maritime Center, which is just under two miles from our house. It was a wild day, but the wind was getting worse and worse and even though the warning was supposed to be over at 1 am, it wasn’t. It was scarier in the dark because even if we heard something crash, we couldn’t see what was going on. The cable was off about 24 hours to the minute. March 13 was wild, the early morning of March 14 was wilder, the daytime wet but not so windy.
This morning, Stanley woke me up to tell me that trees were hanging in our next-door neighbors’ power lines, and we had to figure out what we could do about it. My first thought was to winch them back toward true, but when I saw them, they were wrapped in the wires and there was no way anyone could do anything about them while the power was on. Here are some photos:
We did call the fire department to ask them what we should do (the neighbors called CL&P). NFD said they’d add it to their list of problems for CL&P to handle, and not to, under any circumstances, even try to do anything about it because the wires are live. We waited all day, but the power company didn’t show up. With 18,000 homes without power in Norwalk alone as of Sunday morning, we weren’t surprised. I’m just getting nervous for Reneev and Ashi because it’s supposed to be pretty windy again tonight.
This wasn’t even a hurricane and the damage is appalling. I’ve never been in a hurricane (except for the Blizzard of ‘78, which was a winter hurricane, when I live in Boston), and after yesterday, I hope that’s an experience I never have. We didn’t even get the worst of the damage—far from it. It was much worse in Westport, as you can see on http://www.westportnow.com.
So far, we have about eight inches of snow. Yesterday, we had 2½ inches of rain. Squirrel Lake appeared at the bottom of the hill until the snow covered it. A lot of H20 this month. Supposedly, it’s not over until tomorrow. Just 22 days until spring ...
I hope it doesn’t get too cold tonight—the roads are clear for the most part, but there is just so much water around the roads will probably get slick. I’m glad we only got the edge of the storm—no blizzard conditions here.
I hope it really is finished everywhere because there are loved ones driving long ways over the next few days—Kelly, Leo, and Dale from Panama City Beach, Florida to Ann Arbor, Michigan and Dad from the same place to Natick, Massachusetts.
A lot of what we’ve been busy with is behind-the-scenes stuff. But we recently launched two new websites.
The first, Cerulean Advisors, is for a company that provides capital markets advice as well as unbiased financial and strategic guidance to emerging public and privately held healthcare companies. It’s an elegant site that will expand as the company does. This site, as well as the one below, are built with the Expression Engine content management system, which we like more and more as they polish and improve it.
The second site, which is in a soft launch as we fine-tune things, is Robin’s Resources, a site that reviews Fairfield County, Connecticut stores, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, charities, and more, and is geared to busy women. It features succinct reviews and tips on what to look for or to order or why to give your money to a particular charity. Eventually it will have a full directory and be supported by advertising.
Breanna Marie McCaskey, born Saturday, October 24, 2009 at 8pmish, at Wyandotte Henry Ford Hospital in Wyandotte, Michigan. Six pounds, eight ounces according to Granny Carolyn.
Also, Alexandria LaPorte met the world on October 16, in Chicago I think. I don’t have any details, have to ask, but I know Bob LaPorte is thrilled (thank you to Wendy for sending on the photos!)
As soon as I get some more details and photos, I’ll make a gallery for the October babies!