Monday, April 30, 2012

Someone's In The Garage!

Let me set the background up on this story.  The other night at basketball I took a hard elbow to the chest that wound up bruising my sternum.  From the inside.  I imagine it feels like a broken rib or pulled chest muscle because EVERY appendage on my body is somehow attached to it.  I felt like a lobster tail being split open every time I moved.    The next day I got a bad cold and hadn't slept well at all the night before.  So I went to bed early Saturday night completely sore, sick and exhausted.  At 2:22 AM, the dogs started barking.  And it was serious barking.  So Lucie sprang to the window and said there were police cars outside.  Sure enough, 3 county police cars with the officers talking to a guy sitting on the curb in front of our house.  We have electric candles in the windows so there was a glare and I couldn't see very well.  I sat on the edge of the bed to put some sweats on when Lucie yells out, "There's a car backed up to our garage and someone is coming in and out!"  I looked again and there WAS a car backed up to the house!  Well that lit a fire under me so I finished getting dressed and threw on a hat and went downstairs.  I yanked open the door from the family room to the garage and there was someone standing right there!  Ashleigh!  Now for the rest of the story...

She and her boyfriend (Nathan) and some other friends were going to go to the Baltimore Orioles game that night.  On his way to get her, with their friends in his car, Nathan's car broke down.  He got it off the road so Ashleigh went and got them all and went to the game.  Nathan and the friends needed to get home in our area so Ashleigh decided to bring them all home and spend the night with us (instead of going back to school).  I turned my cell off so I could sleep so I missed her calls and texts (she didn't call the house phone).  When they got to our house, they saw the police were talking to the dude outside.  (Don't know where he came from but he was just upset about some domestic issue - not a problem.)  So she pulled into the driveway to drop off some stuff she had in the car and come in to go to bed.  Nathan would take her car home and drop off the friends along the way.  Just bad timing.  Of course it was a couple of hours before we all got settled down and to sleep...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Six Months

It was six months ago Tuesday that I became unemployed.  Six months!  I remember coming home that day and Lucie and I looking at each other asking, "how will we ever make it?"  Well, God has provided in some very creative and timely ways.  I don't sit back and wait for a pot of gold to appear on the porch but I have to learn the lesson being taught to me and that is to do my part, yet be still and wait for God's timing.  Sometimes I need a little reminder that things are still under control but overall we are at peace and determined to choose to be positive and believe.

Meanwhile, this week Lucie and I (and Mocha) were contest winners.  A package arrived at the door the other day and it was full of scrapping stuff for Lucie.  Turns out she won some online contest.  They never told her - just sent the box with a notice inside.  Mocha and I were on a big campaign to get votes for her in a photo contest sponsored by the local newspaper and a pet store.  It was pretty amazing how many people voted for us - including my international Newfoundland owner friends on Facebook.  We came in 2nd place and won a $100 gift certificate to the pet store.  And the provisions keep on coming...

Elliott is heading out to Utah tomorrow for a week to compete in the national DECA competition representing the state of Delaware in Business Marketing.  He has all of his "preppy" clothes ready and is going to have a great time.  Of course that means missing a few lacrosse games but we are pretty sure competing in DECA will pay off more than competing in high school lacrosse.  His coach, however, doesn't agree...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

If You Build It, They Will Come. Or Not.

That, my friends, is a carpenter bee trap.  As empty today as when I took it out of the box and hung it three days ago...  For those who don't know, carpenter bees are big, aggressive bees that hover around soft wood.  Worse than that, they drill dime sized holes into the wood.  And keep on drilling and drilling and drilling until they are way deep into the wood.  Once they are way in, and I am talking feet in sometimes, they lay their eggs.  Meanwhile, the males buzz and buzz around the openings.  They look like bumblebees but don't have stingers.  I was out there the other day with a tennis racquet swatter batting them down, then stepping on them.  I got over 25 but didn't even make a dent in the numbers.  So then I got some wasp spray and coated the holes and nailed a few bees.  That slowed them down but they kept coming.  New holes and fresh piles of sawdust every day.  Killing my split rail fence.  So I did some research and found this device.  Pretty simple concept - the bees go in the holes, find no one home, head for the light to get out, get trapped in the bottle.  Once it is full, just unscrew the bottle, put the cap back on and throw it away.  Good theory and apparently works for some people.  Not me.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Rack One Up For Home Depot

This strange looking thing to the right is actually a tool clamp rack that I have in my shed.  Got a couple of them from Home Depot a few years ago.  They work pretty well and slide along the rack.  One of the clamps broke the other day so I contacted Home Depot about replacing just the clamp - not the whole rack.  Within a couple of hours I received a call and an email from HD saying they contacted the manufacturer but they don't sell the individual clamps.  I was long out of warranty so I thanked them for their speedy response and let it go.  The next day, someone from the local HD store called and said she wanted to give me an entire replacement rack!  I said that wasn't necessary - I wasn't complaining or dissatisfied and certainly wasn't angling for a freebie.  But she said it was there if I wanted it so I went and got it!  Nice job Home Depot!

Meanwhile, I replaced the Pathfinder mirror and all is going well except for my tree pollen allergies.  Wicked bad this year.  Elliott missed some practices during Spring Break (his coach is one of those who believes there is nothing more important in life than high school lacrosse and all extraneous activity must cease during the season...) so his coach benched him and the other starters who missed some Spring Break practices for two games.  Oddly enough they were games against the worst teams in the division and his team won big without him and the other starters so it was OK.  Elliott was fine with it.  He will miss some more practices while he is in Utah for the DECA competition.

Still working on a couple of employment leads and very optimistic something will come through soon.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

No Looking Back

Literally - no looking back.  I was driving out of the neighborhood and was adjusting the rear windows for Mocha when I got a little too close to someone's mailbox.  Or should I say, "Fort Knox?"  The mailbox looked like a regular one but it was some sort of hardened steel box inside.  My hitting it didn't do a thing to it and it barely left a mark on the outside of my mirror housing, but it shattered the glass.  $22.55 from eBay and I will be all set in a few days.

As you know I am always finding meaning for the seemingly random things in life and it didn't take long for me to see how this is consistent with a recent theme that Lucie and I have been noticing.  The theme is from Isaiah 43:19 where God says He is doing a new thing.  We've seen this pop up a few times in the past week or so so I am claiming this as an allegory to not looking back but looking forward to whatever new thing is in store for us.

All else is going well.  Elliott is playing well at lacrosse and got his second goal the other day.  Ashleigh is home for spring break.