Sunday, May 19, 2013

We are officially outnumbered in our own house!

It's official, the critters now outnumber the people.  The day started so innocuously.  Pete and I had some breakfast, got our bikes out of the garage and got to church before 8:30.  That was pretty amazing for us.  Pete practiced for the Pentecost procession and then headed off to Sunday School.  We met up in the sanctuary before church and Mike surprised us by coming to the first part of worship before heading over to St Marys for Mass.  Because it was Pentecost, worship was led by a Dixieland style jazz band (and they are GOOD!)

After church, we met up with Mike again and went up to the co-op for some really delicious lunch and then back downtown for the Cherry Blossom Festival at the library and over to Parkview Field for the YMCA's Healthy Kid's Day.  We locked our bikes near the library on Wayne Street and worked our way through the Cherry Blossom Festival crowd.  While Fort Wayne does not have an overly large Japanese/Japanese-American population, they do have a presence here.  They also incorporate a Cosplay event into the day, with scores of people coming dressed as their favorite manga characters.   There are crafts for kids, vendors selling Japanese food, books, clothing, the local Bonsai club has a display. A formal Tea Ceremony is explained and demonstrated, various martial arts clubs show off their skills, the Taiko drummers perform. It's a very well done afternoon. We've gone previous years.  Pete tried out a couple of kid's crafts and thought he was ready to be done.

So we headed over to Parkview Field and the YMCA event.  Pete tried his hand at wearing a Velcro suit and throwing himself up against a Velcro wall.  The suit was miserably hot and he was unimpressed.  The batting cage was a slight improvment.  Mike had a blast against the pitching machine though.  We picked up information about various groups and programs around town and then were headed back to the library to get our bikes.  Mike had a little time before he had to head to work, so we grabbed some bagels and cool drinks and sat out on the plaza  in the shade.  Mike left for work.

 There was a carnival style game going on near where we were sitting so Pete went to check it out.  He came back and told me he needed a dollar to play.  I parted with a dollar.  He stood watching for a while, so when I finished with my iced tea I went over to see what was going on.  The object was to try and catch a small goldfish from an underbed storage type box (shallow plastic container) with a flat net.  Not as easy as it sounds.   Pete managed to get a fish and flop it into a styrofoam bowl.  From there a volunteer put it in a fish-carrying plastic bag with strings on the top.  I'm not sure he understood yet that he now owned this fish.  I said "Well Pete, I think one fish would get pretty lonely, you should go for two."  So I fished out another dollar and he scored another fish, which also went from underbed box to styrofoam bowl, to fish-carrying bag.  I think it was about now that it fully dawned on him that he was supposed to take these fish home with him.

We had planned to go to 5:00 Mass at ,the Cathedral.  It was after 4:00. Not enough time to go home,but still too early to head over to the church.   So we sat and watched a martial arts group from Indianapolis finish up their denmonstrations on the outdoor stage while Pete contemplated names for his new pets.  The winners? Flipper and Flap.   Flipper is orange, Flap is greenish-gray.  At least they are easy to tell apart.   I offered to carry the bags.  We headed over to our bikes to get them unlocked, my purse stashed on the rear carrier and the fish hung off the handlebars of my bike.  I got several comments about riding in a dress (I wore a very red dress for Pentecost today), but none about having bags of fish hanging from my bike.  Go figure!

We rode the few blocks over to the cathedral and locked our bikes on a rack across the street.  It was too hot to leave the fish hanging from the handlebars, so off to church they went.  We stopped outside the restrooms before going into the sanctuary.  Three adults were already waiting in line to use the restrooms.  People commented about the oddness of there being a lineup outside the restrooms.  No one made a sound about the lady holding two bags of fish on her fingers.   Personal business cared for, we went into church and sat in a pew.  This is when I realized that these two bags weren't going to sit on a pew and not slop over and out.  Hmmmm.....

My purse has a button to hold the top shut, so I hung the two bags off of it, and they rested on the pew. Dilemma solved.  Mass proceeded with no hitches and afterwards we collected the bikes, rehung the fish from the handlebars and pedaled home where we met up once again
with Mike to have supper.  He was introduced to Flipper and Flap.  I found a Tupperware bowl for them to temporarily move into and they were ensconced in the middle of the dining room table.  After dinner, Pete was charged with researching the eating habits of goldfish.   He found a website about feeding goldfish.  We blanched a few spinach leaves and several peas.   Flipper and Flap seemed pretty pleased with these goodies.  Tomorrow he needs to get some real goldfish food and we need to figure out what kind of larger more permanent home these guys can have. 

For now the fish are on a cupboard shelf, next to the oatmeal, out of dog reach, since we aren't really sure what Domino and Shuba will think of them.

 ( Doesn't everyone keep their pet fish between the peanut butter and the oatmeal?)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Oh deer, you'll never believe who was on the bus....

I've written before about riding the bus and some of the fellow passengers you meet.  This video has been making the rounds and it was too good to not pass along: 

I can in all honesty say I've never shared my bus ride with a white tailed deer.  (However I have been known to ride the bus with my dears.)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Carfree home improvement project

Over the years we've managed to get water in places along a bathroom wall that it shouldn't have been - namely the wall along the tub.  The wall is tiled part way up and the rest was just painted plaster.  When the tile started buckling, we knew we had problems.  Cut to present.  Two weeks ago my son and I started removing the remaining tiles and saving them.  Tell a 9 year old boy he can take a wall apart and you have one excited kid!  The tiles came down easily. So we started removing the plaster.  Our house is over 80 years old. It was built in the days of lathe and plaster applied in place and left to dry.  Except for the section along the tub, the plaster appears to be sound.  The area we are working on will have cementboard applied to it.

We worked for a while and then it was time to call it a night.  The next day Pete felt sick and a week of sore throat followed.  Once he was recovered, we rode our bikes to our local Lowe's and began the purchase of items for the project.  Mike, wanting to get his run in, ran over to Lowe's.  We met up and found what we needed by way of cementboard.  I thought we'd get it delivered until we found out the delivery charge.  Time for a plan two!  We bought the thinset for applying the tiles, the plastic sheeting to put on over the lathe, the screws for securing the cementboard to the joists, and a garden hose because we needed a new one.  How to get this home?

The 25 pound bag of thinset went on the rear carrier along with the garden hose.  (Probably pushed the outer limits of that particular carrier.).  Everything else went in the backpack and it wasn't bad at all.  One Starbucks stop later, Pete and I arrived home.  Cue music to indicate the passing of time.

Here we are one week later and Pete asks if we can work on the wall tonight. Yes we can!  Cheerful at the prospect of deconstructing more plaster he set to work.  Here are some of the results:

 Ready to scrape plaster!
 Goggles and mask in place.
 Take that, plaster!
 More plaster in the tub, less plaster on the wall!
Mom gets to do the high places.
And this is where all the plaster went - into the tub!

Our next project is to get the cementboard home from Lowe's  - two 3'x5' boards.  Stay tuned and see how we pull that off!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Fort Wayne's public transit is growing up....maybe!

This came through my Facebook feed today and it caught my attention in a positive way! It appears that Fort Wayne is taking a big picture view of public transportation.  We have an active bike community and an ever growing great system of trails.  But this press release says the conversation will involve more than just Citilink.  The regional planning commission and the county system are also at the table.  I know first steps don't result in instant change, but that this kind of visioning is even under consideration, I find huge for my fair city!   We won't be building light rail like Indy is trying to do, but the more ways we can connect our region that are not only auto dependent, the better off we all will be in so many ways.