Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I won't be sad to see January go.

I already posted about my grandfather passing away at 96 years old on January 8th. What I haven't updated was that my uncle passed away at 48 years old just 2 days later on January 10th.

Hawkinson, Kenneth R. Found Peace Tue., Jan. 10, 2012, age 48. Beloved husband of Irene (nee Salapat). Loving father of Teresa and Anthony Hawkinson. Dear son of Richard Hawkinson and Joan (Gerald) Grund. Ken was loved and will be remembered by other relatives and many dear friends. Visitation will be held Sun., Jan. 15, at CHURCH AND CHAPEL FUNERAL HOME, 15250 W. National Ave., New Berlin, from 12 noon until 2:00 PM. Memorial service will be celebrated at 2:00 PM. Ken was a long time employee of Super Steel Products and currently employed at Enclosures Inc.

My dad went up to Maine for his family, my mother went to Wisconsin for her sister. I didn't go to either funeral, torn between what I should do and what I could do. Because as it turned out that was also a time of unpleasant upheaval in our home which has not abated, but in fact gotten steadily worse. I'll spare everyone the gory details.

The house goes on the market in April, eight weeks from now. There is so much to do and I have plenty of nervous energy to get it done now that my illness from the past week is easing.

I blame "Downton Abbey" for how tired I am though....

Saturday, January 28, 2012

You know how it is when you have loads to do?

And you find yourself in an activity that has nothing to do with what needs actually doing?

1/27/12: My shirts.

1/27/12: The kids' shirts

That's what I did the last 2 weeks. How did that help get the house ready for sale? Not. At. All. But it's been on my "Bucket List" for years, and now the tshirt quilt is done. I don't quilt. Using so many different fabrics was a pain. None of the seams are remotely even. I used my mom's 1979 Singer machine which is a trip and a half. The top is a collection of my shirts, the bottom is a collection of the kids' shirts; they are from places we've lived and visited. All but the Poland one, which was from a trip my folks took with my grandmother. The plan had been to meet them in Poland, all the reservations were in place, when we curtailed from Togo and the trip fell through. Obviously the shirt is there anyway.

I have more shirts from the kids, but not enough for a double sided quilt. So until then, into the tshirt bucket they go and it'll probably be another 5 years before the 1979 machine comes out.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Crossing all good things to equal awesome.

Hockey X Game of Thrones + Mike Green + Mike Knuble = AWESOME.

1/16/12: Hockey X Game of Thrones

1/16/12: Game of Thrones X Mike Green


1/16/12: Mike Knuble's autograph

'Cause getting to skate at Kettler Capitals Iceplex periodically, and watching Washington Capitals practice, and getting autographs is just plain fun. Today's adventure was thanks to $5 open skate at Kettler, and that included rentals. It was too good to pass up. The Caps won their game last night and had an optional skate this morning so only a few guys were out for practice yet the rink seats were packed thanks to the holiday, and the kids (and Ian) were more interested in skating themselves over at the freestyle rink. I had some time on the ice myself then decided to see what was going on back at the hockey rink. A few kids were finishing up their stick&shoot, with some dads on the side shouting out instructions. One, as it turned out, was #22 Mike Knuble. So I ambled over with a 1/2 dozen other people and he signed my way-awesome Game of Thrones jersey from Dave's Geeky Ideas (now also Dave's Geeky Hockey) and Rinkgear.com.

Color me giddy.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

SOLD: Orion SkyQuest XT8 Dobsonian Telescope

We used our telescope to watch and record (photos through the eye-piece) the lunar eclipse while we were in Togo. It was awesome. Sadly, it hasn't been used since. There wasn't anywhere in driving distance in Chennai that didn't have massive light pollution. And truly, a telescope likes to be put together, left together, and shifted only to find a better spot to view the night sky. This kind of telescope does not like to be disassembled, put in trunks of cars, or generally moved a great deal via shipping container or any other container.

So it needs a new home.

We have the solar filter for it too.

If you're in the NoVA area and interested, email me.

Selling price: $300 OBO

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Much Needed Release

I can be quite mean.

Like stepping outside, quietly returning inside, sidling up to Jonathon with a hushed "throw this at your sister" and having him WALLOP her with a very icy snowball all over her clothes and textbooks. Yeah, she was doing homework.

But there was just too much tension and sadness in the air and with that one little snowball you could feel the crack. Nicholas and I ran outside, pummeling each other. Rebecca tore outside and there was a faceoff in the garage. The cars had the most and the best snow for balls. Together, we turned on Jonathon who stepped out in socks and a tshirt, and his wonderful brother locked the door behind him. Snowballs everywhere.

It lasted maybe 10 minutes total. Our hands were red and frozen. Our clothes and hair were covered in ice crystals. And there was much laughter. Lots of much needed laughter.

What. A. Week.

Hello cleaning frenzy. We've called a realtor who will come by Wednesday for a walk-through of the house. We had several big items from the garage taken away by the garbage collectors. I cleaned out a ton of junk from the kitchen, especially a lot of items that will go into storage to be parceled out to kids as they move to college and beyond. Seriously, what kid wants to bother picking out plates and silverware while moving into their first dorm room? My true purpose is to clear off the cabinets to prep for painting, but as long as I'm clearing out the garbage can is getting filled regularly as well as the yard sale pile in the garage. (Ever noticed how garage and garbage are only a letter different?) The pantry also got a once over. Lots of stale crackers and cereal found their way to the birds.

The Christmas items went away, including the tree. The second living room is usable again. The light covers from the chandelier were washed along with the blades and light covers on the kitchen fan. The bookshelf was cleared out and cleaned, with loads of books donated to the library or put in the yard sale pile. Did you know that old text books have no place to go? Second hand stores don't want them, the library won't take them, and they won't sell in a yard sale. Off to recycling, my 20-year old biology books... your outdated information and your weight won't be missed.

For the past many months the boys' room has held a pile of items they wanted to sell, from a previous cleaning attempt with no garage space to put the sale items away. We'd just stacked everything up, and over time it had toppled, been dug through, rearranged. Saturday we sorted again, this time with boxes and trash can ready and space in the garage for everything they no longer wanted. We tossed clothes, dusted and washed and threw out bags of broken items. We bagged Pokemon cars, silly bands, I also changed out their curtains from black light-blocking ones to freshly washed sheers. The closet was cleared out and clothes hung properly. Under the bed was cleared out. The vacuum sucked up So. Much. Dust. The room looks amazing. Amazing. Amaaaaaazing. And huge. And clean. And it smells so good with those newly washed curtains up.

There were doctor appointments last week too. Tuesday Katherine went to the doc to get a burn checked out. It's healing, but it's also significant and will scar. Wednesday Jonathon went to the dentist. In Chennai he'd had 2 teeth covered in silver because 1) he has lousy teeth and 2) he doesn't take good care of his lousy teeth. Recently he mentioned his gum had a "bubble" so we took a look and yeah, it was a problem, an abscess was forming so the dentist pulled the tooth. The adult replacement should be in sometime this year.

And to bring our week/weekend even further down...

I have an uncle currently in ICU with pneumonia and complications.

And Sunday morning we learned that my grandfather (96 years) passed away. His obituary:

ST. DAVID - J. Cyril Beaulieu, 96, passed away Jan. 8, 2012, at a local health care facility in Madawaska. He was born Oct. 13, 1916, in St. Modeste, Quebec, the youngest son of Alfred and Leda Martin Beaulieu. Mr. Beaulieu's long business career and accomplishments started in 1937 when he graduated second in his class from St. Hyacinthe School of Agriculture, Quebec. At the age of 22 he emigrated to Grand Isle, speaking virtually no English and proceeded to establish the Grand Isle Creamery, which later became known as St. John Valley Creamery. After World War II Mr. Beaulieu expanded and moved his creamery to Madawaska and added Brunswick Beverages as a second business in 1952, becoming famous throughout the "valley," particularly for his cream soda flavored soft-drink. In the spring of 1947 Grand Isle Fire Department was organized and he was selected to be it's first fire chief, a position he retained until early 1951. He was a fourth degree member of the Madawaska chapter of Knights of Columbus, a member of Madawaska chapter of Rotary International and a founder of Birch Pont Golf Course. He also participated in the construction of St. Michael's Chapel at Birch Point. He was an organizing member and U.S. delegate of Club 200, a benevolent organization, which supported College St. Louis, Edmundston, New Brunswick, and was appointed by Gov. Edmund Muskie to the St. Lawrence Seaway Commission. In 2005 Cyril and his wife, Agnes, were inducted into Maine Franco-American Hall of Fame for their work in preserving and promoting the French and Acadian cultures. In 2007 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Gov. John Baldacci for his civic and professional contributions to his state and community. He was a member of St. David Church parish serving on the parish council, choir member and Cemetery Renovation Committee. He was also a member of St. Thomas Church parish. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Agnes Daigle Beaulieu; son, Daniel of San Francisco and his wife, Kathy, and grandson, John Charles; daughter, Cecilia Rhoda of Houlton and her husband, Richard, and grandsons, Leslie and Daniel; son, John of Annandale, Va., and his wife, Wanda, his granddaughter, Michelle Hopper and husband, Ian, great-grandsons Jonathan and Nicholas and great-granddaughters, Rebecca and Katherine; daughter, Claudette Greene of Greenwich, grandson, Charlie and granddaughter, Jody; daughter-in-law, Elizabeth, grandson, Philip and granddaughter, Sarah, of Bangor; and his sister, Rose Beaulieu of St. Modeste, Quebec. He was predeceased by his son, Alfred, in 1991; and his son-in-law, Donald Greene, Sept. 11, 2001.