Monthly Archives: March 2017
And no, I’m not referencing the 80’s band by the same name. I’m talking real ones. Before moving to Maryland, I had never seen a seagull up close. I saw them on television and had read that they could be pretty bold when it came to food and stealing it out of a person’s hand. They aren’t really seen in Kansas. Here in Maryland, I live near a river and the bay, so you see seagulls. Of course, most of those sightings are in the parking lots of stores. The gulls have learned that parking lots are a good source of food. After all, people love tossing things away and a few don’t care where they toss their trash and parking lots seem to find a lot of it.
Last weekend, my husband and I were running errands. He wanted to run into Target and I decided to wait in the car. Within a few minutes, a mom came out of the store pushing a cart with her child in the main section. In the upper section were two drinks and apparently some sort of food. The mom stopped and lifted her child out of the cart to put them in the car, and in the blink of an eye, a swarm of seagulls swooped in and picked the shopping cart free of the food. I thought I was seeing things when I saw a seagull with a bag of chips flying away. Another lifted a cup from the cart and dropped it. The mother turned and looked, screamed and dashed into the back seat of her car. The seagull with the bag of chips dropped it a few spaces away and the swarm was all over it. Chips disappeared quicker than snow on a hot grill. The gulls were hovering over the cars. Two literally hovered in front of my car. I wanted to get a picture, but my purse with my cell was on the backseat and there was no way I was getting out of my car in the middle of a scene from The Birds.
Once the food was gone so were the birds. A few minutes later my husband came out of the store. As we drove out of the parking lot we passed the seagulls sitting on the ground about twenty feet away. “I always wonder why seagulls seem to hang out in parking lots,” my husband stated. “You should have come out two minutes ago.” I replied. “You would know exactly why they hang out here. It was an all you can eat buffet. They apparently like potato chips.” I don’t think he believed me. But he will. Next time I’ll have my cell close at hand.
I blame the taxes. Every year when my husband starts the process of getting things together to do our income taxes things around the house gets a little crazy. It starts with him gathering all of the documents together and pulling those into the tax software that can be pulled in electronically. Once he starts entering data, I usually hear cussing and grumbling and updates being yelled upstairs, such as “we’re in the red. Son-of-a-mother f#$%&!” But this year was different. I didn’t hear cussing or grumbling. We were in the green and the conversation from downstairs was more of “we’re getting money back. We should think about bringing Chris in and painting the downstairs.” Chris is the general contractor that has repaired a section over our garage and built our deck last spring. So I began to think about finishing the man cave-media room.
Once the taxes were done, signed and e-filed, the conversation turned to saving money by replacing the ceiling tiles ourselves. Chris would still paint, but we would get the ceiling tiles from the home improvement store down the road and Chris would do everything else. We were picking up the first round of ceiling tiles, I say first round because more would be needed later due to a slight correction that needed to be made (note to self: just because a piece of tile looks like it is half of a big one, it isn’t and it means having to cut a lot of pieces to get the sized needed, which translates to more tile), my husband said that we should pick out colors. “I thought you picked out colors a few weeks ago,” I replied. He did, but that was at another paint store. We needed to find similar colors here, so we picked up paint cards to take home and hang them up around the room. He looked at the colors with all the lights on, just a few lights on and with only the pod lights on. He decided that the colors he liked the best were the first two that he had picked up. Down came all the other sample cards. “We’ll pick up paint samples and see how it looks on the walls,” he said. Of course we will.
Once the ceiling tiles were finished it was back to the home improvement store for paint samples. Not one color, but three colors in the same color family. He wanted the one coat paint that is has the primer mixed in. “That way it will go on in one coat.” he declared. “Why does it matter how many coats of paint Chris has to do?” I asked. He looked at me and the light bulb went on. “Did you ever call Chris to come out and give us an estimate?” I questioned. “What’s the right answer?” my husband asked. He knew the right answer was yes, and he is coming out tomorrow, Friday, Saturday. Something like that. The right answer wasn’t, “Well, I thought if we take this in stages, we can get it done ourselves on the weekends.” I looked at him like he was off his rocker. “The weekends.” “We don’t have to hurry, so it will get done when it gets done.” Now, I know my husband and while he says weekends, what he really means is that we will start with the belief that this will take several weekends, but at some point, he will start wanting to get it done sooner, so his weekends will probably be one weekend with several evenings after work.
So, the walls now have three different colors of paint just to make sure that the first choice really is the one we want to go with. It is. The walls have been patched, sanded, wiped down with a damp cloth to remove dust. The base boards have been cleaned in preparation for taping and all of the furniture is in the middle of the room and covered with drop cloths. Events tonight will not include a fire and a good book. Instead, it will be more taping and prep work. I am hopeful that painting will actually wait until the weekend, but I’m sure I will hear about just doing the cut in painting one night and will just go on from there until it is done. He’s like a freight train once he gets started.
My son asked how come we decided to start redoing the man cave and I may have been a little loud when I replied, “I blame it on the taxes!” My son looked at me and said, “You’ve been bamboozled by Dad.” Yes, I have and I will get him back. I just haven’t figured how yet, but I will. I will have plenty of time to plan while painting.
I am someone who enjoys winter. I like the cold temperatures. I love walking outside and hearing the crunch of the frozen grass and leaves underfoot. I love taking the dog out early in the morning bundled up in a wool throw and seeing my breath in the air. I love sitting on the couch with a fire in the fireplace and a cup of hot chocolate next to me. But this winter, I haven’t experienced much of that. Winter hasn’t really showed up to my part of Maryland.
We’ve had some cool temperatures and a few days in the teens, but most days have been in the 40’s or 50’s and last weekend we were in the 70’s. We had the windows open and I thought about putting on a pair of crop pants, but it is still February. Last year I wrote about the 37+ inches of snow that we received from the blizzard that dumped it all in one night. This year we had snow twice. The first snow was only about 1.5 inches. The picture to the left shows the snow from that “storm”. I use the term “storm” because all of the Weather people were making the storm out to be something major. Turns out it wasn’t much of one and they were even more bummed than me. The second snow was just a dusting. Neither of them covered the roads, so there wasn’t really problems from them.
The school children are upset that they haven’t used even one snow day. Of course they will get out of school earlier than they usually do, but when you want to play in the snow and there isn’t any, well, I can understand why they are upset. Also upset are the landscape companies that rely on earning money by plowing businesses during the winter. Some say that plowing is 50% of their income, so without it, they may not be able to continue. Most of all, a mild winter usually means that the summer will be especially buggy. Not a good thing for me. I am a bug magnet. If it bites or stings, they find their way to me. I’m not looking forward to being their snack.