Wednesday, October 31, 2007

More pictures,kind of

I'm really pleased with this ability to make a whole bunch of photos accessible to you all through a simple link to Alexe's web album.

So following on the update on the building from the other day, I thought I would post the full album of pictures of that same building before I purchased it. Gives a bit of perspective, and for those of you who haven't visited, it might give you a better sense of what it is we got ourselves into. (Also, it should increase your "impressed" ness with how far we've come.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Photo bonanza

Blogger isn't being cooperative to my big picture-upload.
I'm going to point you to a web album I just tried for the first time. It's part of Alexe's larger web album, so if you want to cruise through for a while, have a blast.
I just took a bunch of pictures of the building, unlabelled, but I want to catch the steps along the way. I have a plumber helping out this week, which will jump me forward quite a bit.

Alexe was away on a trip back to Virginia for the past 10 days. I've been going slightly bonkers, working every day since she left, either on the building, or at my day job, and regularly both.

I've had no reason to go home when I can bring the dogs down to the building with me. I'm feeling much more relaxed since she got back.

Perhaps some commentary later. I'm tired, and have to go back to work tomorrow.
Enjoy the pictures, I hope they're not too confusing.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


I just saw a headline, or "human interest" thingy on Reuters asking: If an asteroid was headed towards Earth and you had 60 minutes left in your life, what would you do?

So I started thinking about it, and was planning my 60 minutes. My first thought was hat I would hop in the car and start racing home, calling my parents, my sisters, Nicholas and John and Natasha and ... then I realised that there's big dead zone between here and home. And I would want to say more than a couple words to some of you. But as soon as I got home I would want to be with Alexe, to walk across the street and lie down in the field with her and Shadow and Dido and watch the sky and talk. And honestly, I would want to call her on my drive home. So the whole calling loved ones isn't going to work out for me.

My solution is this. If ever there is some horrendous catastrophe that is going to happen quickly, I am not going to call you. Know I love you, and you are more than welcome to visit me and alexe in our hut in heaven.

If there's more time, I may give you a call, but if I don't, the above holds.


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Alexe's birthday today!

And she's blue.

The stupid spa called and ruined her surprise yesterday, and she's worrying about passing out of the Spring Chicken age range. (I have assured her that won't happen until she's 72, but she's still worrying.)

Since the spa is ruined I'm scrambling with fridge installation and apple cake for her tonight, but she would very much benefit from a flood of loving, supportive calls. This is the girl who has danced her cute patoot through every birthday she has ever had. She loves her birthday, more than anyone I have ever met.

So call please. Multiple times. If you don't have her cell number (she's in Oxford today) call me and I'll give it to you.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Alexe's last day as a 24 year old

And she's off having our baby girl checked on.

Can't say enough about what a good choice I made. She's almost 7 months preggers now, and is just beautiful. Last night we went to the town's athletic fields to play with the pooches, and she (Alexe) was racing around after Shadow, scrambling for the tennis ball, and even attempted a cart wheel! (A noble attempt.)

Good strong woman. And cute as a button.

On Saturday night we moseyed down to the town green for the weekly music event. Had a very pleasant, mellow time sitting on a bench eating spaghetti from the local girl's softball team fundraiser and hamburgers from the Lion's club, and listening to a band sing about cornbread. Lots of folks stopping by our bench to say hello, tell Alexe she looks great, and generally ask if I know what I'm going to do with the building. (It's positioned exactly across the street from the band stand, I think a very elegant back drop, but it's hard to avoid it coming up in conversations.)

There is a 3rd generation pharmacist in town, he's running the same drug store (with soda fountain) his grandfather started. Alexe has interviewed him for her Talk of the Valley weekly column, and I've listened to him guest preach at church, but I had not yet met him. (This is the case with most of the town; Alexe knows them intimately, I do not.)

This man, I believe in his 70s, glows a bit with God's constant presence. I'd seen this when he was at the pulpit, but after the first hour of his preaching, with no end in sight, it was a comical observation more than anything else.

On Saturday night I introduced myself, as he had just inquired after Alexe's health, and shook his hand. He was warm, affectionate, and soothing all at once. He said he had wanted to give me something for a while, took out his wallet, took a folded $100 bill out of a hidden pouch, and slipped it into my pocket. "A drop in the bucket to help with your renovation; we appreciate what you're doing so much" he said. I didn't even make a motion to refuse. There was no arguing.

He then reached into his breast pocket, pulled out a yellow card, handed it to me with a smile, and wished us a pleasant evening. The yellow card said, "Smile, God Loves you and I Love you." He had a pocket full of them.

I'm living in a story book.

Friday, October 5, 2007

My goodness it's been over a month

Hmm, and so much has happened in that month, as per usual. I have all sorts of photo-opportunities, which I take advantage of, thinking "this would be a great thing to share with my family and friends via the ole blog", and then I never get to it. Ditto with random thoughts, about life and love and babies and marriage. They just never seem to make it this far.

Which produces rambling entries, far longer and less concentrated than a worthwhile entry should be.

Quickly, then:
1) Building progresses well. Hiring a plumber and an electrician, purchased appliances for the appt and coin operated washer and dryer for the common area, walled off the back room on the first floor, have most of the tiles off the floor, have one teenager left working for me, had to fire the other.
2) As of Wed we are in the third trimester. Crazy. Alexe's belly is very definitely baby-filled now, and she is doing a remarkable job of a) mooning over baby b) hitting her daily novel writing quota c) continuing her proofing for the AJPH and her local newspaper work d) keeping out house cozy and clean e) nesting like crazy, ie making slipcovers, buying mirrors and more mirrors, and re-arranging the furniture f) radiating super-sexy preggers girl. I can still count on at least two prancing around the house belly first sessions per day.
3) Alexe's turning 25 next Tuesday, fun messing with her expectation levels.
4) Work progresses.
5) Northern Vermont troop is coming down in Dec, very much looking forward to that.
6) J&C may also come down in early Nov., also very cool.
7) We had a lovely 2 year anniversary.
8) Shadow is at the vet, again, with various troubles. More on that when I pick her up this afternoon.
9) Ummm, baby shower, long visit from the mother in-law, massive Costco run, etc. Just basic life stuff.

See, by the time I get here, the thoughts muddle and nothing really seems that news worthy.

Re-reading the Chtorr series, in between the birthing books as I'm on Dula (sp?) duties. Still one of my favorite science fiction series, the Chtorr, not the birthing books.

Brendan's birthday and the anniversary of his death passed by in late August. A generally sullen time for everyone in my family, and a difficult time for Alexe, who has no idea what to say, and zero experience with not saying. I have weeks worth of not so deep thoughts about Brendan, his passing, death, and the general impact and importance of these events on me and everyone else. They can be easily condensed to this: it sucks.

It has produced an interesting fatalism in me since he died. I am constantly braced for loss. Which is highly ironic, because I am steeped in blessings far beyond my deserving. So much to lose. I make a point of being constantly thankful, yet always prepared for some terrible news. It's not so much a perpetual state of fear as a state of quiet acceptance.

This is not the easiest concept to articulate, because I am a faith based person, certainly feel that the large things are out of my control, but in no way do I limit my own efforts to impact my circumstances. It's an odd harmony between two contradictory thoughts that I completely believe. 1) I have no ability to change what has and will happen. However 2) My abilities are God's most direct means of effecting my life.

I suppose the underlying axiom here is God is a loving god, which I believe.

Which leads me to work my tail off for the betterment and safety of me and mine, believing that nothing will happen for us unless I make it happen, and simultaneously, I have no way of preventing stuff from happening to us.

How's that strike you?

It leads me to renovate a building rightfully requiring a crew of 20 and take on a chunk of business responsibility probably the job of 3 (both for the financial security they should eventually provide), make an effort every day to appreciate and indulge in my partner, and get a whopping life insurance policy just in case.

And miss Brendan.
And be happy to be alive.

Enjoy your weekend.