Monday, February 23, 2009

The Lady Has A New Wig

One of the previous owners refers to, or rather, used to refer to our house as "the old blue haired lady". Well, the old blue haired lady has a new 'do. It still needs some touching up here and there, but I must say, her new 'do makes me ache not being able to finish her make-over all at once. (Anyone got a couple hundred thousand they could lend me?)

In case you're not following, the house has a new roof. It was brought to its present state of completion not long after the first of the year. The contractors started on it before Christmas, heck, they may have even started on it before Thanksgiving. I just can't remember. I do remember that the process involved a lot of starting and stopping because of snow. They had hoped to beat the snow entirely, but they had no such luck.

These guys are remarkable. And insane. They would show up, shovel the snow off the roof, and get back to work. I don't know how they did it, but they did.














Because they worked as fast as they could, especially after the trees fell on the roof and put two holes through it, there are a few spots that they did not completely finish as they wanted to get the bulk of the roof finished before the weather got entirely impossible. As they worked, they ripped off the cornice moulding around the edge of the roof where it had completely rotted. They have the replacement moulding ready to go, but are waiting for the weather to turn a bit better before they climb back up there to give the old girl's 'do the finishing touches.

Here's how the front of the house used to look.














And here's her new 'do, complete with copper flashing.














And here's the side of the house prior to the falling trees.














And here it is now.














Pretty, isn't it?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

When in Rome . . .

When the ski lesson sign-up sheet arrived home from school last fall, I knew we weren't in Kansas, or New York City for that matter. Ski lessons? I've never skied, and have never really wanted to, but since they were offering it to the kids, I thought, "Why not? What a great opportunity!" I'm not sure what will be next for us, snowshoeing perhaps? We've got plenty of snowy woods behind us to snow shoe through, and a trek up to the spring house - have I ever told you about the spring house? - and back would be great exercise. And since it would be truly silly not to take advantage of all the diverse activities that are offered to us around here, we signed Mickey up for ski lessons. He's always game for anything new. Unless it's overtly scary, or has to do with bugs. I thought that all the kids in his class would go, but it seems that it's only he and another from Kindergarten. There are other kids from his school, but not as many as I thought there would be. The bus picks the kids up from school each Wednesday around 1:45 and they arrive at Ski Butternut around 2:00. They're all suited up and out on the snow having their lessons by 2:30. Since Tom was not working when the ski lessons started, it was his job to meet the bus at Butternut to help Mickey into his boots and skis and make sure he was wrapped up in his scarf, hat, snow suit and mittens. However, now that Tom is gainfully employed - more on that later - it has now become my turn at the slopes. There should have been six lessons by now, but we had two snow days, so there have been only four lessons. It boggles my mind that ski lessons are canceled due to snow. It's kind of like closing the beach due to too much sun. Anyway.

I think Mickey is doing really well given the little time he has actually spent on skis. We may have to give in and learn to ski ourselves so that he has more of an opportunity to get out there and get really good at it. If I could lay down and ski - some people call that position sledding - I'd be much more inclined.

First you get used to one ski.


















And then you put on two skis and hope to keep standing up. You learn the basics like "the pizza", that's when you turn your feet in to form a triangle. It's supposed to help you stop. Me, I'd stop by falling down or slamming into a tree.














At first, everyone scoots up to the practice hill where they take turns whizzing down!































In order to ride the ski lift and go down the bigger hill - the bunny hill, they call it - you have to wear a helmet, which I rented for his fourth ski lesson.














But you should really keep your eyes open.


















For their fourth lesson, they hiked up and over a big hill out of eye shot of the doting parents.














It wasn't long before they they all came skiing slowly down the practice hill, heading for the ski lift which would whisk them to the top of the bunny hill for some real skiing.

























This is Mrs. Dinan, his ski instructor. She is also the lunch lady in his school cafeteria!


















It wasn't until I got home and looked at the photos and videos of Mickey on that ski lift by himself that I realized I should have been worried!





















Mickey has six more ski lessons this season, and then he'll be ready for the Olympics. At least for Deer Valley!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Mr. Snow














I don't think Mr. Snow will be leaving us anytime soon.