Yay! To Noticeably Longer Days!

Random Thoughts

When forced out of bed at the obscene hour of 6 a.m. on Wednesday, I realized that ‘light’ was appearing earlier than before.  This was greeted by snarling from my son who complained that it was interfering with him sleeping on the bus on the way to school.  Poor baby.  It also hit me that at one point in my life 6 a.m. was the routine ‘up’ time for me.  Huh.  Maybe this is the year I’ll be able to get myself back on a (snort) ‘normal’ schedule (eye roll).  Any who, I looked up the daylight hours here:  http://www.almanac.com/astronomy/rise

On December 21, 2012 we had 9 hours and 18 minutes of daylight.  The sun came up at 7:41 and set at 4:59 p.m.  Today, March 1, 2013 we had 11 hours and 19 minutes of daylight.  The sun came up at 6:55 a.m. and set at 6:14 p.m.  AND I’m starting to hear birdsong in the morning.  A sure sign spring is on the way.  YAY!

Soon it will be time for these beauties!

Soon it will be time for these beauties!


I’ve gotten behind on my Simple Abundance and am trying to catch up.  I liked this section:

“Today, if you feel frightened or unsure about the future, pick up the double-edged sword of Light and Love.  Always remember, it’s simply not an adventure worth telling if there aren’t any dragons.  But as in the best old tales, at the end of your exploring, you will live happily ever after.”  Sarah Ban Breathnach, Simple Abundance


My March 1st quote of the day:  “Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it.” — Churchill

Life At Our House

Life has been a crazy round of after school wonderfulness.  Boy Scouts, The Play (6 days a week), and now Physics club for a gravity car competition.  But first they must build the thing.  Ugh.

But the real fun started last week when our furnace began to make the house sound as if it were under attack.  The bushings?bearings? and fan were dying dramatically.  Fortunately, the repair guy said it wouldn’t kill us.  If it died the whole thing would beat itself to death in what he called “the squirrel cage” without catching fire or blowing us up.  Phew.  Then he told us the company that made the furnace was long out of business (our furnace was 29 years old) and thus no parts.  Attempting to jerry rig something would only be a band-aid as the rest of the furnace was rusting to death.  Which we knew.  We were hoping to get through just one more winter before coughing up money for a new furnace.  We still have to put in sewage and had just enough money to do that.  Well, not anymore.

The first estimate was $3000.00 for an 80% efficient furnace and $3500 for a 90%.  I about had a stroke.  Eventually, after more estimates and some dickering, we got the company we wanted to put it in and a Rheem 80% efficient furnace for $2300.  $24oo something with tax (hey, I’m still traumatized).  Fingers crossed for a hefty tax refund from Uncle Sam to help off set this.  Having a kid in college has helped with that the past couple of years.

In the meantime I had to try to sleep (not) for 5 days with the furnace alternately sounding like a jet trying to take off or someone beating it to death with a sledge-hammer.  Gah.  Wednesday saw me up at the butt crack of dawn (6:00 a.m.) so that I could get a shower before they showed up and shut off the gas to install the furnace.

Life smiled on us.  We were given an estimate of a day and a half installation with heat guaranteed by night.  Well, we had two people working and someone to pick up the dead body and we had heat by 3:00 p.m.  I was stoked.  Of course, nothing is ever totally simple around here.  The furnace started up and burned a bunch of oil off the inside which flooded the house with smoke.  It looked like a fog had rolled in.  I have respiratory issues so this was ‘BAD’ and I ran around opening windows and doors and fighting with the fire alarm that was refusing to shut the hell up.  Oh, and did I mention the window screens?  We take them off for the winter.  They are on the inside of the house (what idiot came up with this I don’t know) and we wash them and put them away.  So after I threw open windows I had to have my husband keep the cats from jumping out while I dug screens out of the ‘Junk Heap’ (garage).  AND it was 40 degrees out and I also have circulatory issues so this was ‘Not Fun’.  But everyone survived and we now have a furnace that is half the size of the old one and really blows the air around.  I slept 14 hours yesterday and 12 hours today.  Thank heavens I had nowhere to be and things could be put off till the weekend.


I changed out the rocks in the rock tumbler after 7 days.  The grit was gone.  Three days into the medium grit cycle the medium grit was gone.  WTF?  So now we are on the fine grit cycle.  I decided to see what I could find on the net and, wow, what a difference since 2004 when I bought the cheapo tumbler.

The cheapo rock tumbling kits give you 1 bag of each size grit.  It will get you so/so polished rocks, mostly of the cheap brown variety.  I had purchased on an order form the rocks that are in now so I got a somewhat better selection, but still only one bag per size grit.  What you’re supposed to do is ‘recharge’ each stage of grit with more grit till the rocks are ground down properly.  Smooth, no edges, no pits, etc.  Then you move to the next finer grit.  Repeat.  Apparently wearing the grit down in 3 days is not unusual.  But since I don’t have extra grit, I have to live with what comes out in each stage.  *sigh*

I find this whole process fascinating so I went looking around at ‘proper’ equipment and found that for one good 3 lb. tumbler and tubs, not envelopes, of grit I would have to come up with about $200.  *sigh*  So this won’t be happening anytime in my immediate future!  The following pics are 1) the original rough stones. 2) The stones after the rough grit. and 3) The stones after the medium grit.  You have to look carefully between the last 2 pictures to see the differences between the 2 steps.

Note the two green chrysoprase, one on top and one on the bottom.

Note the two green chrysoprase, one on top and one on the bottom.

It isn't an exact copy of the original photo, but close enough.

It isn’t an exact copy of the original photo, but close enough.

Note how the red striped rock in the roughly 10:30 position went from a slipper shape to oval in just 3 days.

Note how the red striped rock in the roughly 10:30 position went from a slipper shape to oval in just 3 days.

I wish I knew how to put these pictures side by side.  Next up will be a picture of them after the fine grit and then to the polish stage!


After all the fun we’ve been having I grabbed a gift bottle of bubbly that we had been ‘saving’.  And I dug out my favorite hand painted wineglasses.  Well, only one.  And there are only three, not four, which is why I got them super cheap at a Christmas craft fair whose parade the Band always marches in.  I love these glasses.

Sooo pretty.

Sooo pretty.

Painted all the way down.

Painted all the way down.

Night all!

4 responses to “Yay! To Noticeably Longer Days!

  1. We usually notice the lengthening of days right around bedtime. Which is between 4 and 5. In the a. of m. 😉

  2. Ah I remember 6 am normal days. Now it’s 7 am normal days; I much prefer these. Also I can’t wait for the long daylight hours! And the birdsong at home, I miss that a lot.
    I’m glad that the furnace worked out alright though it sucks that it broke down. I’m also very interested to see how the rocks come out. They look very interesting.
    Tell Spider Bait that I wish him the best of luck with everything.
    I’m basically just doing homework and having the occasional bout of fun here at college. Nothing really special. And don’t worry I’ll clean my room before you get here. 😛
    Love everyone there!

    • We both need to quit ‘crisis’ cleaning and maintain.

      The snowstorm should be gone before I come get you on Friday. And start packing! If you’re ready to go when I get there we can be home in time for dinner! (Although that means I have to get up and go while it’s still dark….. grooooan…)

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