Robins gone!

Last month I wrote about watching some robins leave their nest, which had been built just under the roof of our deck. About a week later, a new set of robins set up in the nest and we’ve been watching them closely ever since. It’s amazing how quickly the chicks grow!

Tonight, we had dinner out on the deck and spent quite a lot of time watching mom and dad robin fly in with bugs to feed the 3 chicks. They had gotten so huge! They made lovely, soft chirping sounds when one of the parents arrived. One of the chicks was moving about quite a bit, stretching out its wings. It must have been standing on the others, there seemed like there was so little room left in the nest. We thought they’d be ready for their first flight very soon, possibly even tomorrow.

Well, all ended in disaster tonight. I heard quite a commotion from the birds at about 10pm. I ran outside, fearing the worst. Sure enough, there was our hated raccoon up at the nest. I picked up a deck chair and ran at it. It scrambled on top of the roof deck. I heard rustling in the nearby hedge. Thinking some of the chicks had fallen from the nest, I ran in for the flashlight. Sadly, I found one dead chick. No other chicks were left in the nest. Reid and I looked all over but couldn’t find the others. We really hope they were able to get away – since they were so close to being able to fly anyway.

I was really pissed. I realiaze it’s just nature taking its course, but our family had taken quite a liking to our family of robins. After it was over, we found Michael out of bed wondering what was going on. We told him what happened, and he was upset. He went off muttering something about hating that raccoon and wishing it would die. My sentiments exactly. This particular raccoon has been plaguing me since we moved in. We’ve looked each other in the eye challengingly on more than one occasion. I think we both know he has the upper hand. The little bugger.

Still working on the &#*@ hall!

Well, warm weather has arrived and I’m STILL working on painting/redecorating the hall. It’s my own fault. I ripped up the carpet on the stairs, expecting to paint the trim around the stairs and replace the carpet. When I saw the lovely oak under the carpet, I realized I didn’t have the heart to re-carpet. I hate carpet anyway. Reid seems to love it, but he lets me have my way in most things concerning the house. He did, however, insist on some sort of non-slip thing put on the stairs — so we’ll have a runner. I spent the day stripping the stairs with varnish remover and steel wool, and now my wrist is killing me from all the scrubbing! Now I’ve got to figure out how to urethane the stairs and still be able to use them! (I think I’ll do them after the kids have gone to bed and leave every third step un-urethaned so that Reid and I can get to bed. That way, they’ll be dry by morning.)

Not that I expect many people to be reading this, but be warned: you will no doubt find many of these logs really boring. They’re here for my own purposes, and for close friends and relatives who care enough to put up with me! I had intended to start the log in September when I started my sabbatical, but every day was too busy doing things to the house while the kids were at school. I had hoped to log everything I was working on so that I might use it as a reference.

Now that I think back, I can’t believe how much I got done. I think it’s due to the cotico-steroids I’ve been on since last September. I’ve had boundless energy while I’ve been on steroids. I have to take them because I have ulcerative colitis, a particularly icky disease. I fully expected this episode to go away after a few months, but it seems to be quite stubborn and has lasted (with 2 very brief respites) for more than 9 months! I’ll write all about it one of these days.

Reid and Lord of the Rings

I remember the shock I received, oh, maybe 20 years ago, when I learned that two good friends of mine, Reid and Debbie, had NEVER read Lord of the Rings. As if that wasn’t bad enough, they were proud of the fact, and even made FUN of the book. It almost made me dump them as friends. Well, I must have forgiven them: I married one of them, and the other was my matron ^h^h^h^h^h^h maid-of-honour.

Now, finally, Debbie has decided to read Lord of the Rings. She’s chronicling her journey through it on her site. Of course, as any normal person could predict, she’s LOVING it. And so, Reid has lost his ally to the other side!!. And I get to say, “Nya nya, Debbie’s reading it… Debbie’s liking it, Nya Nya!!”

It’s time I pull out all the LoTR books and leave them in key places around the house. Perhaps if anyone reading this e-mails him, begging him to read it and succumb to the LoTR side, he’ll actually give it a try!!

No need to call 911!

Well, it seems I didn’t plunge 12 feet down to my death as my husband, brother and father feared.

Sheesh. Everyone got all worried when I needed to paint the stairwell. I do all my house painting while the kids are at school and Reid is at work. But for the stairwell, they wanted to make sure someone was around, I suppose, so that they could call 911 if they heard a big thump. So I ended up painting the stairwell one evening and Reid worked from home another day while I did the second coat.

Now where does one find a scaffold to put on stairs?? I couldn’t find one anywhere, so I built up an 8 foot long plank that could be used between two ladders (my brother had to tell me how to make it sturdy). I’m very proud of myself, not having done anything like it before. (Silly being proud over something so easy to build.) It was lucky Reid was around after all. I couldn’t lift the thing after I built it!

I’ve been painting on and off for months now, and although it’s been fun, I’m started to get really tired of it. I’m close to the end now, though!! I’ve only got the second coat to paint on the non-stairwell part of the hallway, and the trim on what seems like thousands of doors to go. Oh, yeah, and I have to rip up the carpet. 😛