Sunday, April 10, 2011

April Update

In looking back upon my most recent posts I've realized I've been remiss in providing my traditional regular updates. There's been a lot going on so I'll try to summarize as best as possible. So here we go...

Bandit. He's doing great though he gained 1/10th of a pound, which isn't insignificant for a 23.4 pound dog. He went to the vet last week for his biannual check-up. He got a report card of excellent, except for being overweight. Ideally he should be under 20 pounds. He just loves to eat. Too me he's a solid 23.4 - lots of muscle. He gets plenty of exercise and is on the tall size; in fact he was the largest of his litter. So, while I'd like him to lose a few I'm not overly concerned with it.

Bandit 23.4 lbs. (April 2011)

My health. I too went for my annual (Bandit has a better health plan) and also got a clean bill of health. Honestly, Bandit gets a more comprehensive report than I do! When I leave the veterinarian's office I get a 12 page detailed document on Bandit's condition. Me...I get, "keep on doing what you're doing...everything's great!" In fact, I don't even get a copy of my blood test unless I call and have them fax it over to me - even then you need an M.D. to interpret.

Work. Both Chris and I have been balls to the walls busy. Chris is enjoying a much shorter commute which is nice; however, instead of being in the office - like he was in his old position - he is now on the road. He's thinking of cutting back to 4 days a week, similar hours just less days.

Vacation. This week we're heading to Florida! Off to see Harry Potter and then down to Florida's southwest coast for rest and relaxation on the beach at Longboat Key. Looking forward to it.

For fun. Last night we rented Burlesque.
Cam Gigandet in Burlesque
It was entertaining. I'd give it a C+/B-. I enjoyed it. The soundtrack was amazing. I just love Christina! God can she sing. Cher looked like a 65 year old with a face-lift trying to act like she's 30. Cam Gigandet! What great eye candy.

Weather. I think we're finally done with the stuff that shall not be named. It better be: Yesterday I packed up the shovels and put them in the shed till (cross fingers) next year. Temperatures have been hovering in the 50s the last couple of days. Yes, spring is finally here!

Yard work. Taking advantage of said spring weather, yesterday I put down the Step 1 of my fertilizer program. Oddly enough the curtain and bath outlet (Ann & Hope) has a decent gardening section. I got a great deal on the entire fertilizer program for $175.

Additional yard work. We have (had) three huge Rose of Sharon bushes against the side of the house just under the kitchen sink window. They were so enormous and tall that you couldn't crank out the kitchen window. Yesterday, using my new loper, I seriously cut them back. I'm fairly new to pruning bushes so I hope I didn't kill them. Does anyone know if it's too early/late in the season to cut back so severely? I'm hoping they don't die. They hadn't started budding yet and usually don't till about August so I'm thinking I might be okay.

Before:  Rose of Sharon (Summer 2010)

After: Rose of Sticks (Spring 2011)

The book. My manuscript started in ~4,500 place in the Authonomy rankings and as of today I am 980. I've gotten some great feedback, both valid criticisms and supportive praise. While getting it to the editors desk (top 10) would be great I'm really looking for constructive criticism and proofing. For instance, the other day someone found an error ("ten years old" rather than "ten years older") that spell or grammar check would never have caught. Even having read it countless times there are things you miss.

House. The ceilings are finally done and came out great. The work took a bit longer than we liked and created quite a mess. We spent all of last weekend vacuuming and washing off plaster dust but now our spring cleaning is done.

Ceiling Damage (February 2011)

Another View of Damage

The Culprit

I get chills just looking back at those winter photos. Ugh!  Alright, must leave you for now. Till later.  Over and out...


Ron said...

Hey Rick! I love reading updates like this. I can tell you put a lot of work into it. Thanks for sharing. As to your question about pruning your Rose of Sharon trees. Don't worry, you CAN'T KILL THEM! Honestly, Rose of Sharon are VERY hardy. You can trim them anytime. Have noticed how easily they seed themselves? You'll never have to buy another one. Just dig up the new seedlings from the ground and plant it wherever you desire. How about this winter huh? At least we didn't get all that snow you had to endure. Man oh man. I got out yesterday and did a load of yardwork. I feel 'at one' when I'm out doing yardwork although I tire more easily now that I'm older. I can't go all day like I used to. By the way, Bandit is a cutie pie but then you already know that.

Craig said...

Bandit looks great and I'm exhausted just reading about your antics! Spring must be springing everywhere... even here in Scotland it's 21C (70F)! Have a good vacation.

Rick said...

@Ron - glad you enjoyed...I did put a bit of work into it. Had to run out and snap an after picture of bushes. Thanks for putting my mind at ease about killing them.

@Craig - 70 degrees is the perfect temperature.

Peter said...

I envy you for going south towards 80's to 90's weather.

Anyway enjoy your trip, you need those vitamin D3 rays when you're back up north in a week.

Rick said...

@Peter - so looking forward to the vitamin D!

Jim said...

Rick, hope you both have a great holiday.....don't forget the sunscreen!!!!
I didn't see 'The Hours' but loved the music.

wcs said...

Great update! I'm glad you're finally getting out of winter. Enjoy Florida -- spring will be even better when you get home.

Rick said...

@Jim - sunscreen is already packed...certainly don't need it here.

@wcs - I too was thinking how much better spring will be when we return.

Steven said...

You have been busy indeed! I know how you feel about blood tests and getting results. rarely am I told what the results are. Just told everything was OK. I have to get in the habit of actually requesting the results in print. Many times results are left on my voice mail and do I have time to call the doc and say, "Hey, fax me the facts, man!"?

Longboat Key is a great place! Right in between Fort Myers Beach and Anna Maria Island. They're in the 90's right now.

Rick said...

@Steven - yeah, I don't know what the big deal is in sharing the results.

Mark said...

Even though it wasn't the worst Winter on record, I'm so glad it's over. All I did was sit inside and eat. In fact, I think I gained a 23.4 dog right around my mid-section. Ugh!
Your Friend, m.

Charles said...

Enjoy Florida! Can you believe that here in Indiana, there is a chance of that stuff that shall not be named. Wish it would just go away.

Glad to hear that you got a clean bill of health.

the cajun said...

Whew! Exhausted just reading this post. That's a lot of work.

You guys totally deserve the down time in FL.

Rick said...

@Mark -- haha!

@Charles - be sure to keep "that stuff that shall not be named"

@Cajun - no wonder I'm tired!

Ur-spo said...

I have been away for a few days; so i enjoyed our post as it gave me an update/summary.

Anonymous said...

Re: Cam Gigandet

Aren't you hungry for cookies? ;-)

Norwalk Blinds said...

It seems you have a lot accomplished already. You have went to the doctor. Bandit has even seen a vet. You have done some gardening already to welcome the spring. And the roof/ceiling are fixed. Hooray! I hate dealing with repairs. A lot of things to organize, a lot of mess and alot to clean up. I let my husband deal with them all the time.

Will said...

I think that Bandit looks just fine, but I fell in love with Bandit around 3/4 of the way into the first blog post of yours I ever read and am prepared to approve of him no matter what.

We lost the very last traces of our snow only about ten days ago here in southern NH (January and February were brutal for snow and ice) and are now deep into daffodil season -- and reveling in it!

CJ/Rick said...

You've been a busy boy. So glad you and Bandit have checked out in flying colors. Bandit looks mighty proper in that pic.
I hope your trip has gone well for you as well.
Good luck on the gardening and glad to hear all the plaster work is behind you now.