Meteors!

The Girl Scout troop was going to do some late night thing for a badge – go somewhere people work late, go to Panera for dinner, watch a movie, blah. I have to say, I thought Girl Scouts would be more like the Boy Scouts (Hiking badge YEAH!). But no. Girls apparently don’t do the cool stuff.  I mean, hosting an “extreme nighttime party” as a badge requirement?!

Yesterday, we figured out that the Lyrid meteor shower peaked tonight, April 21. Faced with the choice of seeing Stop and Shop getting restocked, and heading out with blankets, 3 layers of hoodies, and some Dunkin’ hot chocolate, the choice was clear.

Screw Stop and Shop.

We went to a recreation area in Tewksbury, the closest we could find to a good, dark, publicly accessible field. After setting up a blanket under us, and another on top, we cuddled together and started watching the skies. We saw multiple meteors, two normal satellites, and one Iridium flare. Every one of those satellites was spotted by Beta, the Champion of Satellite Detection. She pointed out the Iridium satellite before it had a chance to flare, so we all got to see it.

We hung out in the field for about 45 minutes before it got too cold, and we were tired.

And of course, on the ride home, Beta saw one last  meteor. Awesome end to the night.

In which I sew on buttons

Alpha loves the Newsies. Alpha had Christmas money, and bought herself suspenders. Alpha asked me to sew buttons on to her pants so they wouldn’t snap off. Since we took her phone away, she’s got the time to pester me, so here we are.

Buttons on a pair of pants.
Buttons buttons who’s got the buttons

Mission accomplished.

Also, reading glasses help with the threading of needles.

Me in glasses.
My glasses match my shirt!

Quick note about the birds and the cars

You know what a cardinal is, right? Little red bird with a big red attitude. I pulled into our drive way last night, and parked next to Quinn’s pretty new car. Quinn’s pretty new car is parked in front of my mother’s car (we’re car sitting while she’s Out Of The Country). I heard a noise behind me and looked in the rear view mirror.

There was a cardinal on her rear-view mirror. And it was really really angry at the cardinal inside her rear view mirror. Lets say that again for the people in the back:

There was a cardinal attacking her rear view mirror because he saw his own reflection and they are insane, territorial little beasts.

Quinn scared him off by accident, so I’m the only one who saw him. I have pictures of the results of his assault (bird poops and some weird smears on the mirror).

This morning I came out and found my rear mirror – covered in a little bit of bird poop and weird smears.

This guy is going to be a problem, I can see already.

Third storm of the last two weeks

View down the street. Its really coming down
Our backyard. The plays cape is not doing well….
Artsy-fartsy picture of my mittens. They kept me warm while shoveling.
I didn’t bother with my hat. Whoops.
Drying my mittens.
View before the second shoveling. Probably 8 inches deep in the shoveled sections – over a foot overall.

 

So, Storm # 3 (named Skylar) hit today. As of 9 PM tonight, we had at least 20″ – taller than the dog. We had to dig her a path so she could go out to pee, poor thing. But she had a grand time playing with in the snow. For a dog with no fur, she loves snow.

I went out to shovel twice – once around 9 am, and again at 3. Both times took about an hour, and both times were reminders that we should have waxed the shovel in the fall. Car wax does a great job.

The bottom layer was all slush, and really heavy (apparently there was some rain at the beginning). The top layers were light and fluffy, thankfully. I did most of the driveway the second round, but I just couldn’t deal with the slush by the street. I just cleaned up the rest and left it for Quinn. Because I’m terrible.

The kids spent the day inside, reading and playing Minecraft. We kicked off a huge fire in the fireplace to warm up, and we spent some time cuddled up in front of it.

Around 4, we went to our neighbor’s house for frozen pizza and games. We roused Alpha out of her room, and got her to come along. She had fun, once she got there. We played Upwords (for the first time). Beta did better than I did, which is always fun. Sam-across-the-street kicked our butts, though.

Overall, a pretty good snow day!

The snow is deeper than Butter is tall. We had to dig her a path to her “potty.” At least 20 inches.

I’m the best mom (because my kids make it easy)

I parked towards the top of the driveway (I was suppposed to go out for lunch, but that didn’t happen), so Dad’s car wouldn’t fit. I’m sitting here on the couch, next to Alpha, and realize …

So I gave Alpha my car keys and said, “Hey, wanna move my car for me?”

She only freaked out for 10 seconds and then she was out the door with my keys. I told her to tell Dad to help her out.

She did it. She moved my car (20 feet down the driveway). Kid is flying high on success right now. I am SO proud of her!

ps – Go. Me.

In which Mom goes on a wild tear

We’ve all had that moment (or at least those of us who are the “fun,” read “irresponsible,” part of the couple), where our responsible half, they who keep roofs over our heads, food on our plates, and everyone mostly on task, sighs a sigh of wistful desire. Well, mine happened today. Dad’s mountain bike is 25 years old, and in need of so much TLC at this point, it would be cheaper to replace it. This offends his sensibilities, so he’s been effectively without a mountain bike for years. Until today.

Bones3 truck-mount bike rack on an 2011 Hyundai Elantra Touring
Bike, rack, and helmet #3.

I give you his new bike. Its another Specialized Rockhopper, and he loves it. The rack was pretty simple to put on, as far as trunk-mounted bike racks go. That means the swearing was kept to a minimum, and there was no blood spilt.

Keeping an eye on the bikes, because who needs a bike lock?

We took it out for a dry run with Beta. A traditional trip to the Panera downtown to grab some lunch and have some fun. Their kitchen sink cookies are not for the faint of heart, but oh so good if you share.

We hung out for a while, until the whinging from certain parties about going home became too much, got back on our (lovely, new) bikes and headed home. The ride is surprisingly flat (yay floodplain), which made testing out and finding gears so much easier.

After we got home, the statement was made: I want to go to the beach (guess who). After some digging to find a beach with other things to do. Apparently we were not doing bathing suits today. Some pretty slick Googling came up with Castle Island. Beach, walking trail, dog beach, perfect!

After some finagling, browbeating, and the promise to play Minecraft when we got back, we piled everyone (including the dog) into the car and took off for South Boston.

Handful of periwinkles, all still alive. One is poking its head out.

The place is surprisingly pretty. It is right next to the docks for the really big ships, so we got to watch a cruise ship put out to sea. Beta and I walked the beach, while Dad and Alpha walked the dog around the causeway. Beta turned out to be the periwinkle whisperer. We didn’t count how many she found, but they were all still alive. We put them someplace safe to wait for the tide to come back in.

Safe place for periwinkles (we hope)

We had a great walk, and found a couple of live oysters, too. After a while, we started down the causeway towards the open ocean. Beta walked back on the outside of the fence, only having to jump across about half way back (no more asphalt to walk on, and I lost my nerve). We met up with Dad, Alpha and the dog a little while later, and packed up to head home.

Not too shabby a day!

Beta and her oysers

That was one angry duck…

I’m sitting in the living room, minding my own business, working from home (as you do), when I see a large bird land in the neighbor’s yard, followed by a male mallard duck. Being me, and curious, I checked and sure enough, the first bird was a female duck.

After they finished doing … whatever it is they were doing in the neighbor’s yard, she popped up on the fence and started quacking. Loudly. For a LONG time.

She was up there for a good two minutes, quacking angrily. And then she moved…

Yes. That’s my car. With an angry duck on it. She flew off along with Mr. Duck. You can almost hear the “Honey! Wait for me!”