One should never tour a sausage factory, because somehow, the sausage won't ever be the same. In the same way, I really shouldn't tell you that the background trees should have been a darker green to separate them from the ones in the foreground.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Monday, April 23, 2007
Saturday, April 21, 2007
This is a crappy picture of a crappy picture. All that white in the waves? Doesn't exist in the painting. It exists in the photo, however, because light is reflecting off the weave of the canvas. The lower half of the painting was covered in liquid clear, which tends to have that sheen.
We heard from Sean this afternoon. He said, "I just wanted to let you know we are all okay." Mom asked him, "Oh, why?" That's when he told us to watch the news. A Blue Angels jet crashed in his neighborhood, setting a house on fire. He said he didn't hear it so much as feel it.
Just wanted to let you know.
Friday, April 20, 2007
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Saturday, April 14, 2007
We don't get snow too often in Fredericksburg. Maybe once every couple of years. When I was a kid, we would pray for snow days, unaware we were putting the length of our summer vacation at risk.
I was a crappy day on April 7. We had rain. We had sleet. And we had two snow flurries. One with teeny tiny flakes around noon, and this one about 4 pm with quarter-sized flakes. The ground was too warm, though, only the sleet stuck.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
All last year, the neighbor on the back corner has been remodeling his house. It looks pretty good, too. His lot, like ours, is fairly deep, and part of it includes the seasonal creek bed on this block. On the side street is a low water crossing with a flood gauge. About twice a year it rains enough to put water up to two or three feet above the street.
Late last year, the neighbor divided his large lot, and put the part of the lot directly across from the flood gauge up for sale. One of our neighbors protested to the city, complaining that since they couldn't put a permanent structure twenty feet from their fence (which is directly behind our neighbor) how could anyone build a house on that tiny lot? The sign disappeared and we thought no more about it.
In early March, several dozen dump truck loads of red clay were piled on the lot. Now I'm not a builder, but even I knew what was up. Someone was going to raise the level of the lot and start building a house. This time, not only did the person behind the lot call the city to complain, so did the person next to the first neighbor, the person next to him, and the person behind him (who is out neighbor on the other side). The person delivering the dirt said he was told water didn't stand on that lot. And we complained too. A city councilman suggested we call Brian Jordan, a city employee and ask him to look into it. Once the piles of dirt were delivered, work on the lot stopped.
The week before Spring Break, the owner of the lot hired someone to spread the dirt. The person behind the neighbor was told that as long has he left a six foot strip from her property line to the dirt to allow water to drain, he was okay. Everyone on this block (except the neighbor who sold the lot) called the city to complain.
Then it began to rain. It rained the entire week of Spring Break.
This is a photo of the seasonal creek taken during the rain. The white truck you see in the background was a city truck, parked in the deepest part of the low water crossing so they could decide whether or not to put up barricades. (They never do, and everyone with a big truck or SUV drives down our flooded street at 40 mph spraying water ten feet into our front yard.) Now, our back yard usually has water on it after a big rain. This time, the water was a bit deeper:
When I wandered out to take these pictures, the water at the deepest point was one inch over my ankle. Do you know what happens when rain strikes piles of dirt? It washes the dirt away. Here's a photo of the lot that water never stands on. It was taken a few hours after the rain ended:
We called Brian Jordan at the City again, and it is obvious that he has more important things to do than take calls from the public. (And yes, Brian, it was as it sounded, a personal problem. Sorry to have disturbed your busy fucking day. I hope you don't get too angry at the City Councilman who told us to call you. Heaven forbid you do any actual public service.) Allegedly, someone came out and took a look. There were no witnesses to the visit, and no one from the city has called us to tell us what is going on.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Friday, April 06, 2007
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Last night, as I was watching Bob Ross paint something, I realized that we needed to have a Roger Holt family reunion pretty soon, while all three of Roger's kids are alive. Donn's Parkinson's Disease just rocks along, Ann's cancer seems to be under control, and Dad, well, he's okay, but he's 75.
So the idea is to get all three of them together, with as many of their kids as possible. Since our generation and our kids live in four states, that could be difficult! Maybe we could meet in the middle, somewhere.
Last year, Gary and I decided that since we were the single ones, we would have to be the ones to keep the cousins together as a family, and not let us drift apart. Time to live up to that promise, I think!
Monday, April 02, 2007
Sometimes I don't understand my brother. His and Jeanne's oldest boy, Shawn, is out of the house and in the Navy. Brandon is a junior and will be gone soon. Katie is a Freshman and will be out in just a few years. You'd think the two of them would be rubbing their hands together in anticipation of running around the house naked, but no! They've decided to become foster parents! Right now, they have three kids under 2. Katie has told them that she doesn't "do babies" so Rodney and Jeanne are getting lots of diaper practice. (Brandon has a job, and lucks out that way.)