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BY Vespone

02/01 Direct Link
There was snow on the drive to work this morning. Not so much accumulating, but much falling, swiftly. Visibility was about zero. I made my way by following a big tanker truck which was nicely lit on top. When I finally passed him, he blinked his lights goodbye. We were travelers on the same journey and we survived. Ok, so maybe it wasnít quite that dramatic, but it felt that way after 40 miles of white knuckles. I arrived at work to find no snow here. Ironic since the forecast predicted the opposite, snow for Mason and none for Lexington.
02/02 Direct Link
More snow today. Serious snow, accumulating snow. Ok, so just a couple of inches. But enough to make everything beautiful and allow me to work at home without guilt. I want to take some photos, but I havenít made it outside yet. Itís a very lethargic day. Not much work accomplished. I started the dishes 3 hours ago and they are still not finished. I did finally manage to take a shower and get dressed. I guess that is progress. I am totally consumed with refinancing my mortgage. It needs to be done, but I donít understand any of it.
02/03 Direct Link
No snow today but bitterly cold. A convenient excuse not to go for a walk. That kind of excuse will only last until spring. I guess Iíll have to think of another one by that time. It is true that I always feel better after walking and it gives me more energy the whole day, but it is oh so hard to get motivated to get started. I need to come up with some kind of reward system. Then, I need to find a way to keep myself honest, so that I donít enjoy the reward without doing the work.
02/04 Direct Link
The arena was moist today causing large clumps of dirt to become attached to Macramťís hooves. Then, the clumps would fly off at inopportune moments. This was disturbing to both of us. Macramť was disturbed when the clumps were attached because they were making her unbalanced and causing her to trip. I was disturbed because the clumps seemed to fly off at the strangest times. We both survived, but Lynn had to get the hoof pick out after only a time or two around. I think sometimes I do better with some kind of distraction, allows less time for thinking.
02/05 Direct Link
Snowed again, so I am working at home. It wasnít much snow, but when I looked out the window at 4:30 and saw the snow I couldnít get up and go. It is also bitterly cold. It was a major achievement when we reached double digits. There is no hot water emerging from the kitchen or the bathroom off of the kitchen. Consensus is that this means the pipes are frozen somewhere. Trouble is, I know not where. I have tried a hair dryer in the immediate vicinity, but have gotten no results. I am pretty clueless in these areas.
02/06 Direct Link
I have survived the white death! (at least so far). Cincinnati is amusing when it snows, everyone totally freaks out. Personally, I take advantage of anything that gets me home earlier or allows me to work at home. I was only following a trend, however, as the masses started escaping around 11:00. It took about 2 and a half hours to get home, an hour just to get out of Cincinnati. Not only was it snowing hard, but traffic was horrible as everyone left work and school early. Of course, the greatest hazard was getting stuck behind someone going 20.
02/07 Direct Link
Well, itís pretty clear why the pipes froze. It is extremely cold in the portion of the basement that is beneath the kitchen. The mystery is why they didnít freeze before. I guess I need to insulate the pipes and/or the entire basement. Another thing to go on the list (that list is getting awfully long and expensive). For now, I just have to hope that nothing bursts. Iím not sure what else to do. I did haul water from upstairs to do the dishes. Funny, normally dirty dishes wouldnít bother me, but I had to get rid of them.
02/08 Direct Link
I stopped at Wal-mart on my way home to begin operation pipe thaw. I purchased a small space heater (I wanted a bigger one, but apparently there has been quite a run on them), insulating foam for the pipes, and an industrial extension cord to plug in the heater. I walked in the door and heard the most glorious sound, running water. Hot, cold, itís all running. And, even better, a check downstairs found no evidence of bursting. I dutifully wrapped the pipes (need more foam), but I didnít set up the heater. Iíll continue my insulating crusade this weekend.
02/09 Direct Link
Finally Friday. Amazing how a week that saw me work at home 2 days and leave early another day could drag on so long. Maybe thatís part of the problem. A normal week, you get in a kind of rhythm and kind of coast along. In a week with so many stops and starts, you are always starting over, always have that Monday feeling. I would be much more productive if I could work at home the same days every week. I would be the most productive if I could work at home all the time, but that wonít happen.
02/10 Direct Link
Went out to Midway after the library today. Picked up a couple of gifts and a couple of bottles of wine, but nothing big. I am still trying to find a bench for the living room. I would like to have an old bench or chest rather than something new. There was one chest I liked, but I thought it was too tall. The bookstore has changed hands, itís now a used bookstore and coffee shop. The coffee shop is a good idea, but I liked the old bookstore. However, I never bought anything there which presumably happened a lot.
02/11 Direct Link
I have been having a lot of dreams featuring people that I havenít seen in a long time. Iím a big believer in the messages of dreams, not that they predict the future, but that they reveal what is dwelling in your subconscious mind. I feel like I should get in touch with these people. But many of them, I am not sure how to get in touch with. In this modern Internet world, youíd think you could find anyone, but itís not necessarily so. Besides, just because I want to see them, doesnít mean they want to see me.
02/12 Direct Link
Happy Lincolnís Birthday! I actually considered taking off taking off work to attend his 198th birthday celebration in Frankfort, but I think Iíll save that for the 200th.

One thing that I have discovered about myself since I have been driving so many miles is that I really hate when the windshield is at all dirty. I clean it whenever I get gas (which is way too often), but it gets dirty so quickly especially with all the salt covering the roads in the winter. I may have to invest in my own squeegee.
02/13 Direct Link
Just rain in Lexington, but ice and snow in Cincinnati so I am working at home. A cold miserable rain, the kind that makes you want to stay in bed all day.

Prehistoric Macedonia came today, $88 which I canít afford. Every page was so familiar, even the smell seemed the same. Why did I want it so badly? Nostalgia? A desire to throw my hat back into the ring? I think itís too late for that, not even sure I would want it? I just know that I had to have the book, like reuniting with another old friend.
02/14 Direct Link
I could write an entry about how much I hate Valentineís Day, but thatís such a clichť that I think Iíll skip it this year. However, I would dearly love to have the box of dark chocolate currently residing in my desk drawer at work. Canít believe my weather planning didnít include bringing that home. Made bacon and eggs for lunch, scrambling the eggs in the bacon grease. Major cholesterol, but man oh man tasted so good. I think there is reason I donít usually buy bacon, I would eat it every day. Just writing this makes me want more.
02/15 Direct Link
Back at work after a two day reprieve on account of the weather. Cincinnati is absolutely beautiful with the snow and ice, especially as it glistens in the trees. I guess I would think differently if I were one of the thousands without power or the owner of a wrecked car. Itís easy for me to admire the beauty when I didnít have to deal with the destruction. My favorite ice scene was the ribbons of ice cascading down the cut in the hill, like a frozen river. Do you think I could stop for a photo of that vision?
02/16 Direct Link
Water in the kitchen, streaming out of the bathroom cabinet. Water in the basement, water in the furnace duct. Turn off the water, turn off the heat. Plumber, plumber hard to find. We can come tomorrow. Tomorrow? Another can be there in an hour and a half. Ok. 3 hours later, still no plumber. Drain the heating duct, furnace back on. Clean up the water in the kitchen. Throw out the rug. Exhausted, Iíll just go to bed, worry about it tomorrow. Whatís that? Someone turning around in my driveway. He smacks my mailbox down. Wow, what a great Friday.
02/17 Direct Link
The plumbing saga continues. Plumber canít come today, how about Monday between 11 and 2? Do I have a choice? Guess there goes any Presidentsí Day plans. I turn the water back on (itís off under the offending sink), no leaks downstairs. HmmÖ may just be something under the sink. Should I attempt to fix this myself? Weíll see how adventurous I get. Much accomplished otherwise, mailbox fixed, bathroom cleaned, kitchen floor cleaned.

By the way, it snowed again a couple of inches, pretty snow, fluffy snow. Maybe after my lesson tomorrow Iíll be able to get some snow photos.
02/18 Direct Link
I didnít get brave until around 6:00. I turned the water on under the sink and it was pretty clear that the leak was in the water line. Running my hand down the line revealed a huge bulge. Ok, this should be easy (famous last words). I measured the length of the line and took off to Lowes. Ooops, also should have measured the width of the connector, back home. Got to get the water line off to take a measurement and quick as Lowes closes at 7:00. The nut will not budge. Obviously, this will not get done today.
02/19 Direct Link
Success! But, it wasnít easy. I got the top end of the line disconnected and cut through the hose to get a replacement. Also got a pair of vice grips. Still the nut wonít budge. Desperate, I remove the on/off valve with the connector attached. I may have to get a new on/off valve, if the nut remains. Finally, using the vice grips and my foot, the nut moves. After that, replacing the water line takes a matter of minutes. $2.46 for the water line plus $10.96 for the vice grips. Even with the aggravation, itís cheaper than a plumber.
02/20 Direct Link
Lovely day off. I spent the morning in Paris, checking out some antique stores. Most of the things I liked were too expensive or too large (or both like a piano that had seen better days). I ended up with a small oak table for the living room. I told the antique dealer that I had one last question, where to get the best food in town. I followed his recommendation and was greatly rewarded. Home in time to finish all my chores. Too bad I have to return to work tomorrow, but as the saying goes, all good thingsÖ
02/21 Direct Link
Fog this morning. Pea soup, canít see your hand in front of your face, certain to be scary things lurking in it fog. The whole drive was kind of daze (or should I say fog, probably not.), certainly made the miles fly by, hard to keep track of distance when you canít see signs. One colleagueís daughterís school has a one hour delay. One hour delay for fog? That seems unbelievable. To be fair, apparently in Cincinnati, it is ďicy fog.Ē 46 when I left, but 31 when I arrived. The fog stuck around all morning, traces lasting until noon.
02/22 Direct Link
I had forms notarized, faxed, copied, and overnighted (in the prescribed order). I am ready for the closing. It was strange package day at UPS. First, a woman had a package that required dry ice, an extra $50. That was a bit much and she decided to call the Bon Bonerie to see if the cake really needed dry ice (I imagine a squashed cake, with temperature unimportant). The next customer wanted to send an enormous package to Alaska. She was not happy with the price, she used to send them all the time from work and it was less.
02/23 Direct Link
Online Closing is the way to go. Took all of 17 minutes. Partially that was because I had already read all the papers, but eliminating all the signing helps. It was such a contrast with my original signing. That was a strange event. All the random people running in and out, the construction guy who thought that he was going to be paid, the former owners not having a key to the house and me, the first-time home owner wondering what the hell I had gotten myself into. Then, the first night in the new place sleeping on the floor.
02/24 Direct Link
Woke up early, lots of chores done. I think I am avoiding working on that short story I really need to finish. The trouble is that I am no good at endings. Iím ok at beginnings, good at middles (especially individual scenes), but then it drags on and on with nothing really happening and no end in sight. Kind of like my life. No, I didnít just say that, did I? HmmÖ maybe if I spice up my life a little, my story endings will improve? Sounds like a plan worth pursuing to me. Now, how do I do that?
02/25 Direct Link
Feeling a bit like Spring this morning, middle 50s. Did a little bit of work in the yard, picked up sticks, fed the birds, picked up some glass. Will I ever have the yard entirely free of glass and other debris? Doubtful. Every rain exposes more. Letís see if I have any energy after my lesson to do some more. Would like to start digging up the garden, but itís a little bit too wet after all the rain Saturday. I donít think I am messing with tomato seeds this year, I think Iíll go with plants from the start.
02/26 Direct Link
Pressing the ďclosed doorĒ button repeatedly does not make the doors on the elevator close any faster. But, tell that to the person on the elevator with me on the exit from work. Ugh. I know, not a big deal, but I was already in a bad mood because I was unable to leave as early as I wanted. Again, not sure why five minutes makes that much difference, but it does.

Craving McDonaldís French fries on the way home. Canít even remember the last time I had them, luckily it passes before I get home and I ate sensibly.
02/27 Direct Link
Tess caught a mouse (tail emerging from her mouth as she proudly appears), but she doesnít know what to do with it. She lets it go, catches it, lets it go... Fearing this would continue indefinitely, I chase her trying to catch the mouse. Then, I get in Tessí way and we both lose the mouse. I spy the mouse behind the bookcase. I get it out, open the door and it bounds away. Tess reappears and runs outside, catches the mouse and brings it back in the house. Finally, I pick up Tess and the mouse runs outside again.
02/28 Direct Link
There are some joys to leaving for work so early in the morning, besides the obvious lack of traffic. I love the moon as it sets along the horizon Ė especially when it approaches fullness and the sky is clear. I love the lights on the Ohio river as I cross the bridge (but donít stare too long or there could be an accident). Then, there is the privilege of watching the sunrise. Often, I forget to watch this since it happens on the opposite side of the building. That sounds like a good resolution; remember to watch the sun rise.