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After the big dinner

After the big dinner, Corb and I have been focusing on relaxing (for the most part) this week-end. No Black Fridays for these guys! Lotta binge watching.

Friday night we hung around with Ashes: Chinese food and movies. We each chose one movie, and it was a rather eclectic mix: Corb chose The Hot Chick (why Lord, oh way?), Ashes chose Anastasia, and I chose Spaceballs. Oddly enough Anastasia and Spaceballs both have a similar plot thread: the somewhat rough and tumble hero assigned to protect the heroine appears to be doing it only for the money, but gives up the reward at the end of the movie and when she finds out, she realizes she loves him. Who would have thought?

Yesterday morning I resolved to tackle digging out the dirt in the holes for the deck. I managed to dig out two: one about two and a half feet down, the other at least three feet. That leaves 14 more to go. Slow and steady, I guess.

That night, we invited Corb's mother over for dinner and started to watch Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. We watched one episode with her, then promised to wait til she could come back to watch the rest.

We lied. We watched one more that night and one today.

I am enjoying the return to Star's Hollow very much. Am most surprised by the change in Miss Patty. Boy, she lost a lot of weight! I completely did not recognize her in episode three.

I especially liked the continuing reference to the Thirty Something Gang in episode three. I guess I can relate to the idea of spoiled Millennials, having raised at least one myself. And in many ways, Rory is the model for the pampered wonder child, who was raised to believe that everything she had to say and do was ever so precious and wonderful. Which may explain why she turned out the way she did. Lovely to look at, but morally quite ambiguous and without a clear sense of direction about anything. All three Gilmore Girls seem to be suffering from this sort of malaise. I hope they get their act together by episode four. (I also hope there is a Season Two.)

Tonight we bring Ashes back to Salem. Right now doing laundry. What an exciting life we lead.

Thanksgiving accomplished

...and a splendid time was had by all. :)


The big clean.

Worked until 1:30 today. Then, deep cleaning at Green Victoria began.

Corb, in the meantime, has taken the entire week off. He has been in cleaning and prep mode since Monday, and was sweating bullets by the end of the night.

The trips to the supermarket never ended. We had three in all today. The last one was fifteen minutes before the supermarket closed.

I think we are all set for Thanksgiving. But it is going to be a race to the finish line: dinner starts tomorrow at two.

Gentlemen, start your motors! 

The big dig averted (Sort of)

Corb and I stared down into the nearly four feet of hole we had managed to dig the next day.

It was early in the morning. Well, early for us, A cold, bright Sunday morning.

Every muscle in our bodies ached.

I grabbed the shovel. Dug down pathetically. Looked over at Corb.

"We're not going to do this, are we?"

Corb shook his head. We started to pack everything up.

###

As Corb was dropping off the auger at Home Depot, he was approached by an older man in a truck that looked familar from the day before.

Friendly guy. "Have any luck with that auger?"

Corb shook his head. "Not really."

"What were you looking to do?"

"Dig seventeen holes four feet down for a deck we are building," Corb replied.

"I have a Bobcat that can take care of that in three hours," said the man, casually. "I'd do it for three hundred dollars."

SOLD!

We are both convinced that he was standing outside the Home Depot deliberately, looking for business. That's why he looked familar. We don't care. Anything to take this horrible weight off of our shoulders.

We also agreed to pretend to the outside world that we did it all ourselves. So you are the only one I am telling this to, dear electronic journal open for all to see.

More tales of the gay home improvers


Aside from the upcomng Thanksgiving dinner, we have one other huge home project in the works: (hopefully, God willing) finishing our back yard deck before the winter is upon us.

It's been a long, drawn out process. We wanted to start the deck in the summer, but decided to tackle the installation of a pool heater before we did. We thought that would be an easy fix.

It wasn't.

I have been meaning to tell that story on Live Journal for months, but suffice it to say, it involves buying a big ass heater, getting upgraded to an even bigger ass heater, and Corb determining he didn't want to pay an electrician $750 to install the pool heater when he was perfectly capable of doing it himself because his stepfather used to be an electrician. Fast forward to the entire summer spent trying to install said electrical wiring, encountering roadblock after roadblock.

Me, trying to suggest that maybe we should hire the services of a licensed electrician. Corb getting offended,saying I didn't have any faith in his abilities. Ah, the fragile male ego.

Cut to improper installation of wiring, a condenser that blew up after having 17 gazillion watts of electricity being dumped into it WHILE WE WERE IN THE POOL, and you have a sense as to how our summer went.

Finally, around Labor day, we did the only sensible thing we could do. We hired a gay electrician.

No, I'm serious. We hired a gay electrician. He even offers us a "pink discount" and everything. Who ever though a pink discount even existed? Maybe it won't any more, now that Trump is president.

Anyway, the man spent two days at our place, fixing the connections. Two days. I freaked about that, but he reassurred me he was going to cap his work at 10 hours, only charge me $80 an hour and apply the pink discount. Total cost...you guessed it, $750.

Sigh. I should have blown the gay electrician for saving me so much money. I didn't.

I didn't, but we have put him to work on other things. In fact, he has agreed to build the gargantuan backyard deck Corb has plotted out for a relatively minor amount on one condition: we do the heavy lifting.

Which brings us to this week-end. When Corb and I finally had the bandwidth to hire an auger to start digging the holes for the bracing.

Oh, it should only take a week-end, we thought. We have 17 holes to dig, it will be hard work, but we can do it, we thought. We'll buy a top rate auger. how bad can it be?

What stupid fools we are. What stupid, stupid fools. Why did we agree to do the heavy lifting? CRAZY.

Today was our first day. Each hole has to be four feet down and 12 inches wide. Anyone want to hazard a guess how many holes we managed to dig?

Well, maybe it's because we live in the rocky New England clime. Maybe it's because we started the rental at around 11:30. Maybe it's because we had an appointment with the vet at 1:25 to check out a bald spot that Kyra has on her left leg. (Don't want fleas in the house, after all. PS: It's stress.)

Anyway, sum total after one day? Well...

One and a half.

One. And. A. Half. And neither one is entirely complete. The most complete one has six inches more to go. Who ever thought six little inches could be that difficult? We have 15 more freaking holes to dig! AT the rate we are going now, We will have 17 complete holes by...well, winter may be upon us.

And by the way, boy do I hate augering. Is "augering" really a word? I don't know, I'm too tired to worry about that. I'm officially making it a word. I bless thee augering. Augering, the act of using an auger.

Every muscle in my body aches. And I wasn't even doing the heavy lifting!

I can only hope tomorrow brings better progress. Maybe if we wake up earlier. Maybe if we don't have any distractions.

At least Corb has all of next week off to prepare for the Big Dinner. I am going to go to work on Monday in complete agony thanks to the Big Dig.

What I Learned Today: I really, really, really hate augering.

After the Ball


"My gold ring was under the bed."

This was Sunday, the night after the big bash. We were getting ready to go to bed, after dropping Ashes and her friend off in Salem. And there was Corb, crouched under our bed, holding up his gold ring in his hands, as if he were Frodo or something.

I absently played with my phone. "Maybe one of the cats knocked it off the shelf."

Corb shook his head. "No, I don't think that's it at all. This was on my bureau. How did it get under my bed?" He stood up and moved to put his ring back on his bureau. Then stopped. "And another thing. My treasure chest was moved. It's in a different position. I think someone was sneaking around our room during the party."

What? I put my phone down. "Who would do something like that? Those are all our friends! You're just imagining things."

"Look, you always say I'm like Sherlock Holmes, right? I'm telling you, someone was in here moving our stuff."

"But nothing was taken, right?" Corb shook his head. No, nothing was taken. "So, why was someone moving things around in our room?"

Ah, but Sherlock was on a mission. Corb might as well have a deerstalker hat on. "Katherine said that one of her sons was missing for about twenty minutes, right? The one that she thinks is gay. Maybe he was up here snooping around."

"Oh." I thought about that for a minute. "Well, maybe. Is that a bad thing? I mean, maybe he is curious about us. If he really is gay and all. I think that would be perfectly natural."

Corb frowned. "I guess. I just don't like people looking around our stuff, though."

I smiled. "Just as long as he didn't find out where we hid the sex toys, I think we are fine."

Honestly, I am not going to make a big deal about it. First of all. we have no way of knowing whether anyone actually did move things around. And even if Corb's impressive Sherlockian powers are on the money, we have no way of knowing that Katherine's son did anything at all. We had sixty people in our house, after all, and there were other people who kept wandering around.

And even if his theory is correct...I mean, so what? I remember what it was like to be young and questioning. It'd be natural to be a little curious and start to wander. If I had known a happily partnered gay couple when I was growing up, I may have done the same exact thing. Of course, those things didn't exist in quite so much abundance in Masachusetts, way back in the stone ages. At least, openly.

Still, the two of us. Role models. I kind of like the sound of that. We are the gay exemplars for the next generation. I feel asleep that night with visions of role models swimming in my head and a smile on my face. 

The Curious Case of the Tantalizing Turkey

One month before the huge Thanksgiving dinner at Green Victoria and the age old fight has already begun: which of the kids will be eating with me and Corb?

See, since Josie and I split, each year, we switch off the kids for two of the major holidays (Thanksgiving and Easter). Well, Ashes and Theo, at least. Poor Annie is always stuck going with Josie to eat at her mother. The problems of being Grandma's favorite child.

This time, however, Annie announced she would be going with us, once she found out the shindig was at our place. That left us with the problem of which of the other kids is going.

Don't get me wrong, Lisa's mom host a lovely dinner. She is a terrific cook. It's just that the space is kind of small and people sometimes like to bicker there. Plus, my mom makes the best stuffing in the whole world.

You'd think it'd be simple, right? Simply look back at the previous year and determine who went then. The problem is, no one ever remembers who exactly went, and I'm not always good at writing it down in my journal.

And, there's one other problem: Theo likes to lie.

Same problem this year. "You went last time," Theo informed Ashes the other day. "I remember it well."

Well, Ashes has a TERRIBLE memory. She couldn't remember. When she asked me, I had a good memory of Easter (Theo went), but not Thanksgiving. So, rather than accept her fate, Ashes did some digging on Facebook. Isn't modern technology wonderful? And, on Theo's Facebook page, she found this photo, which she gleefully presented to Theo. "See? YOU were at Thanksgiving with Dad! It's my turn."



Ah, but she was dealing with Theo! And he didn't miss a beat. "No, you're wrong. That's from Easter," he replied.

And the thing is, Ashes believed him for a moment! She was actually going to give in! He would have totally gotten away with it! But then she stopped for a minute. Looked at the photo again. Can you spot the tell-tale clue?


THE SOLUTION: Caught red handedCollapse )

Twenty.


Me, my brother and my dad. Out painting the town.

Saturday was a day out with my family. Me and Corb, along with my sister Kerrie, my brother, his fiancee, Mom and Dad. We went to see a quite good production of Wicked at PPAC, then ate on Federal Hill at a restaurant called Costantino's. Then, a few bars with Tommy and his fiancee.

A great time was had by all. And then, Corb and I decided to make our announcement. It's been something we've been discussing for the past few weeks. Something we had almost on announced on several occasions. But it never seemed the right time, or we'd chicken out, or...

Flashback to two hours earlier. "I don't know," said Corb, as we navigated the S curves on our way into Providence. "Should we do it?"

"I think we should," I said, as I idly played with my Android.

"But what will we tell my mother?" he asked.

"We can tell her, too, of course."

Corb frowned. "But how about if she likes it? And how about if she tells Scott and Tina?"

I shrugged. "Just as long as she doesn't tell your crazy Aunt Carol."

Corb bit his lip in agitation.

And now, there we were. Ready to make the big announcement. I looked over at Corb. He looked over at me. We nodded. It was time to take the plunge.

I reached over and grabbed a breadstick. "Corb and I would like to be the ones to host Thanksgiving this year," I said.

###

"Twenty people!" Corb said to me today. "We are going to have twenty people coming to this thing. At least!"

Yeah. Twenty people, he's right. Because we couldn't just invite my family (That's nine) and my kids (Which will probably only make it two), but he invited his mom (who immediately jumped at the offer, as did Jim). And now, Scott and his family seem to want to go (five)Add Corb and me and you get...

"Twenty," said Corb, looking as if he were having a mild heart attack. "How are we going to fit twenty people in one room? What room should we have this in? How much am I going to need to cook for twenty. Twenty!"

I don't know. I'm kind of looking forward to it. For three years now, people have dropped hints in the family that they would love to see us hold Thanksgiving at Green Victoria. We were almost going to do it last year, but Tommy beat us to the punch, and quite frankly, that worked out for the best, seeing as mom had just started chemo and couldn't travel far. But honestly, even then? There were only about ten of us at that meal. Ten to twelve is usually the norm. And here Corb wants to up and double it. Not one family, but two combined. And of course,m Corb being Corb, he wants the food and the place to look (and taste) spectacular.

Corb is furiously consulting sites on his phone. "It says here we will need a 25 pound turkey at least..."

Twenty people. What are we thinking.

I think it's going to be a grand adventure :)

Footprints.


After all the yard sale-ing and cellar bleaching we did on Saturday, Corb decided to surprise me with a mystery ride to Horseneck Beach the following day,

I haven't been in years, even though it's located close to my parents' beach house. Hmm, maybe that's why I haven't. Who would go to a busy beach in the summer when you can relax at a secluded beach house instead?

Summer's ending, it's after Labor day. And, the weathermen predicted it would rain. Meaning, the beach was pretty empty. There's something kind of special about an empty beach.

Corb and I walked for about seven miles along the shore. Enjoying the feel of the sand squishing between our toes. The salt water licking at our heels. There were more seagulls on the beach than sunworshipers. Some white and fluffy, others gray and skinny. The seagulls, I mean. Are the male seagulls the ones that are white and fluffy? Typical men, all about plumage.

We passed an area full of jellyfish. That was scary. Another area where you'd take a step and your feet would start to squish into the sand. Quicksand gulch.  Another area filled with late season surfer boys. That was pretty,

"I want to rent a beach house next summer," I remarked as we made our way back to the car. Still two miles left until we reached it.

"Maybe somewhere like South Carolina. Myrtle Beach, maybe."

I traced a dirty picture in the sand with my big toe. "I was thinking around here. That way people could come visit us for a day or so."

"But if we rented a place in the Carolinas, we could get other people to pitch in and rent it with us. Your parents. My mom. Maybe Pauline."

"The kids would have to be with us full time, then. If we rented it around here, we could get a free day or two."

Corb snickered. "Like that could happen. One of these days we have to start taking vacations alone."

The thing is, I kind of like having a mix.

Still. Dreaming dreams for this summers ahead. I kind of like that feeling. I kind of like today.

Afterwards, a trip to one of our favorite restaurants, Lindsey's. A lazy man lobster for me. For Corb, his absolute favorite, chicken croquettes. I was tempted to have a martini but refrained.

WHAT I LEARNED: Some days are meant to be cherished.

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A Bird Whisperer


Some of you may recall the problems I had at the start of the summer getting a birdfeeder established.

The first bird feeder I put in this area was easily opened by squirrels and chipmunks. Then the roof was ripped apart one night completely. To avoid it being vanadalized and detract the damn vermin, I had to replace it with a good squirrel proof feeder and a type of seed that the squirrels dislike (laced with cayenne pepper).

I am happy to report that I have successfully solved the problem. In fact, the birds like it so much, I can now stand completely still inches away from it and they will still come to feed!

I am a regular Snow White, I am.

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