Saturday, September 26, 2009

Domestic Tales, continued

i wanted to post Friday but realized I didn't have a camera, so you'll have to wait for pictures. But here it is:

Last night (Friday) T and I had our own very different, very stereotypically male/female victories and excitements:

1) T. got himself a great deal on a Sony PlayStation that, admittedly, does have amazing graphics AND the ability to play Blu-Ray DVDs. Plus it gave him the initiative to set up our surround sound, which has lain dormant in a closet for two years. This rocks, from the movie end of things. I honestly don't care as much that the car racing video game he got looks almost real, though I appreciate the quality of it. Truly, you could see extremely realistic clouds...and they moved so the sun randomly shone on the track. As if there was a breeze. Now, that's detail.

2) I finally got the drill bits needed to put up new shades in T's den and our bedroom. No more ratty, vinyl, ripped pull-down shades for THESE suburban dwellers. Our one window faces the street, so the partially ripped blind gave the house that oh-so-fashionable abandoned look. House & Garden was thinking of doing a story on us.... Plus I got top down-bottom up shades (the kind that go up or down from either's like we're the freakin' Jetsons, we are so modern) because our bed cuts off the entire bottom third of our one window, so it made sense to get shades that actually could give light from both directions. I have never cared that deeply about window shades before now. I love them. They fill my heart with a joy heretofore unknown. Truly, we lay down to sleep and marveled at the change. I'm not kidding. Plus I got to have fun with the drill, so the handyman side of me got a charge out of the whole process. I'd say that's a big plate of WIN.

Weather predicts a typical fall day: low 60s, windy, maybe rain later on, and it's Homecoming Weekend, so I may have to take time today to watch the parade as it goes by my house and see some of the football game, especially since I have a student on the team and he will ask on Monday if I saw him play. Which just makes me smile and want to reach up and pat him on top of his 6'2", newly shaved head.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Week in Review

(I wrote this on Friday and got distracted. Whoops!) Very quickly:

Today marks the end of the first full week of school. I've gotten most of the kids' names down, although those last few will take a little while, and that always embarrasses me when I have to say, "Yes, ma'am!" in a teasing way to a student with her hand up because I can't say, "Yes, what's-your-face!" without looking like a creep. Students for the most part are great--freshmen can be very sweet because so many of them still want to please you. It's kind of heart-warming. I also had one huge sophomore ask me hopefully if I would come to his football game and I almost melted into a puddle. Already made a few parent calls, but when we have three assignments and one has been turned in, that actually denotes the start of a pattern. And when I look at last year's comments on the student and see a litany of "Does not turn in homework", 1) that's a pattern, and 2) it means when I talk to the parents, they won't be surprised that I'm telling them this. But that's the minority. Most of them are very nice and just eager. I kind of love that. I want to pat them on the head...while admonishing them for muttering, "That's what she said" to classmates when I say, "Ok, we're at the part in the story where the main character says, 'Harry'...." Yes, that happened. But then the kid raised his hand a lot and chose to read aloud when he knew he wasn't great at it, so he made up for it.

So that's it in my world, a lot of crock pot cooking and grading and reading for class and a little New Moon thrown in for spice. Stephenie Meyer is not a great writer, but these Twilight books are like this generation's Sweet Valley High or something by Joan Collins: It's not great writing, but you just can't put them down. Nice diversion.

OK, leaving in ten minutes, then class, then sushi birthday dinner with DH. Happy Monday!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

How much is she? Priceless.

It's a little dark, but click to enlarge and you'll see why I love coming home every day because I get to see this:

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Domestic Tales

So...while I loved my picture of laundry on the line, my grandmother became quite worried about us walking outside to get frozen shirts off the line in December, breaking the foot of snow that probably would have accumulated on them. A few phone calls later, dear, dear R. let us know that Sears was delivering a spanking new dryer on Saturday. In a serendipitous moment, the dryer was too wide to go down the basement steps, so T. and I had to go to Sears to get a narrower model. Labor Day voodoo worked its charm and we got an amazing deal on a washer and a dryer. Both of our old appliances were of legal drinking age, I think. The washer doesn't have a gentle cycle; I've been simply putting my delicates in for less time and hitting the "wash and pray" button. Wheeeeee.

While we didn't get one of the space-age looking, uber-energy saving jobbies (because one of them alone costs upwards of $800 and I do not have a secret stash hidden anywhere, much less one I would use for a washing machine), we got a solid machine that has a gentle cycle AND a handwash cycle. It's not a front-loader, but boo-hoo, poor me with my nice, new washing machine. NOT COMPLAINING ONE BIT. I LOVE IT.
Our fabulous washing machine

Ah, but the dryer. Well. Huh. The dryer itself is wonderful. But I mentioned I'd give you a saga of sorts, and here goes:

our beautiful dryer

First of all, the delivery guys were running behind, showed up an hour later than they'd promised (although they did call ahead to let us know), etc. They put in the washing machine no prob. As I'm upstairs with arms thrown wide, spinning in circles and picturing the loads and loads of hot, non-crusty-from-the-line-in-the-basement, clean clothes, I hear, "Oh, we gotta problem...." Thud. Langston Hughes moment, dream deferred, nooooo..... The gas pipe on our wall was the same size opening as the dryer attachment, so one wouldn't screw into the other. You know, both were 5/8ths around instead of one being smaller, so it wouldn't thread properly. I needed to get an attachment to get this all to work. I told them I'd run to Lowe's and get the thing if they could just please wait (mom was there, so all was under control), but they were behind, everything else was installed, they had to go. So the one guy gives me the necessary bolt I need to get said attachment and mentioned something vague about "pipe dope" and sent me on my way.

I wandered Lowe's for ten minutes until a very nice salesperson handed me exactly what I needed in five seconds: an attachment that cost $1.21. I went home, put everything together, called T., and we spoke fondly of our newfound love of laundry. Tra la la.


Woke up the next morning, opened the basement door, and smelled a lot of gas. Awoke T., who intelligently turned off the gas valve to the basement. We called Sears to explain our dilemma--we didn't call the gas company because we knew where and why the gas had leaked: the dryer hadn't been properly installed. Keep in mind it was Labor Day Monday, the 7th. Sears said, "Well, we can get someone out there on the 10th sometime between 9am and 5pm." I'm not kidding--that's not an exaggeration. T. tried to impress upon them the direness of the situation, but "that's the best we can do". Plan B was to call A., T.'s extremely handy stepfather, who probably saved us a decent chunk of money and possibly our lives by realizing that we needed thread seal tape, which is similar to the mysterious pipe dope. For those like me, who don't know what it is, pipe dope and thread seal tape are "used to make a pipe thread joint leak proof and pressure tight." (wikipedia). I did not know that you cannot simply put metal to metal because, guess what, gas leaks out. Perhaps the whole "get pipe dope" bit could have been explained more thoroughly and intensely by the delivery worker, as in, "DO NOT TURN GAS ON UNLESS YOU HAVE THIS". Wouldn't you think?

So now all is well and we have a sealed gas pipe and two gloriously working appliances. T. called the Sears delivery people and pointed out that we were lucky that nobody got seriously hurt. Truly, I've written this entry rather humorously, but had we been smokers or candle lighters.... I don't want to think about it. I've certainly learned a few lessons about installation of major appliances.

Oh, and school started last week. Kids seem fine, though I may have to inject my first period students with a coffee IV. I've got a cart this year, which I may ask the kids to decorate. I figure if I have to use it, why not make it interesting? Ideas welcome.

Still Here

At work/school, so can't post REALLY because I already have umpteen assignments to grade (so I should stop giving homework, I know but I sort of have to).

Prepare yourselves next time for the short but fascinating saga of the new washing machine and dryer!

And yes, it's totally crock pot heaven at our house. So far, it's been orange teriyaki chicken and a big, fat lentil stew with lots of veggies. Oh, and my lunch period this year is at 10:00am. Yesterday I had a snack at that time and then ate the rest at 2pm just before I began EATING MY OWN HAND instead. Adjustments, kids, adjustments!

Happy hump day, my ducks.