Thursday, May 19, 2011

While Waiting for Blogger

During the days when Blogger was tossing my previous posts into their scheduled maintenance black hole, some bad weather also rolled in, making it necessary to unplug everything and instead work on projects that wouldn't be demolished by a lightning strike.

Our current big project has been our second bathroom renovation of the year; my guy and I decided to update the long, narrow bath that our daughter uses. Originally it had a colorful fish theme, which Kat picked out herself. It was cute when she was nine, but now that she's a teenager she wanted something a little more mature.

My daughter and I collaborated on this one, and at first I didn't think it was going to work. The kid wanted less obvious colors -- white and silver -- and picked out bathroom accessories and towels in a stark geometric style that probably would have been more at home on a Greek space station. I could see this bathroom turning into one big futuristic igloo, so I convinced her to go with a frosty blue instead of white paint for the walls, and guided her toward some subtle, nature-themed art. That softened the edginess into more of a winter look, which we both liked:

My favorite fountain pen quit working a year ago, and I miss it terribly, so I tackled fixing it. I'd read an article that suggested taking it apart and soaking it overnight in lukewarm water to loosen and dissolve any dried ink that might be blocking the nib. That was a bit messy, but it worked:

Btw, if you try this method, be sure the materials used to make your pen can withstand being immersed (if your pen barrel is made of wood, for example, it might swell from absorbing water.)

During one of the calmer afternoons we went to one of our favorite lakes to have lunch and stroll along the boardwalk, where I photographed this handsome guy to add to my bird pic collection:

That day we also saw a strange little blackbird with bright red shoulders, but she was too quick for my camera.

Finally I worked up my nerve to walk over and meet one of the new neighbors:

They're not especially friendly, and at night they tend to bellow at each other, but I like them better than the chickens who used to fly over the fence and tempt my dogs into opening their own private KFC franchise.

So what did you guys get up to during the Great Blogger Fail? Let us know in comments.


  1. The bathroom looks cool. I don't know the bird in your picture, but the other one is called a red-winged blackbird. We get them in droves out here, along with yellow-headed blackbirds. It's in fact a rare case to get blackbird :).

  2. I wonder if that was a red-shouldered blackbird?

    I just recently learned that yellow-headed blackbirds, like this dude, exist:

    Nothing quite like the guy coming home and saying, hey, I saw this bird at work, that looked like it had a parakeet's head and a blackbird body, what's it called?

    And having to admit that, despite having lived in this town, I'd never seen, or heard of, such a thing.

    The bird was a slight bit out of his regularly territory, so I forgave myself that - but I'd really like to have seen such an unique-looking creature.

  3. "That day we also saw a strange little blackbird with bright red shoulders, but she was too quick for my camera. That was a red-winged blackbird. They love to be around rivers, lakes, and fresh water wetlands.

  4. Love the bathroom! Looks very cool. I recently painted our guest bathroom plum and it has green is one of my favorite rooms in our home now.
    During the Great Blogger Fail we made and decorated 250 wedding cake cookies and made almost 1000 white chocolate mints for my son's wedding reception this Saturday.
    Have a wonderful day!

  5. Your black bird with red shoulders was most likely a red-winged blackbird. They're very pretty and flashy (and they will visit feeders now and then).

    Sounds like you had a productive time away!

  6. I just had a similar experience to the blogger fail - the power went out during a serious thunderstorm, and I was without Internet access for many hours. As a work-from-home dude who writes and delivers content via the Internet - I was dead in the water. So I did the only logical thing. I went to sleep.

    It may seem goofy, but if I can't work at noon, I know I'll be working at midnight to catch up on the lost time. The nap was practical, and stress free. Definitely the way to go when times get tough.

  7. We went to London! We were already going, actually. I can't pretend I foresaw the Great Blogger Fail and decided to take off to the metropolis for three days. Our daughter arranged it all for our wedding anniversary.

    We stayed in a lovely hotel near Hyde Park, saw The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre, shopped a lot, and called in on the IRS people at the US Embassy to apply for my ITIN. We had the best time and I didn't even know Blogger was down! :)

  8. Bathroom makeover looks terrific! I've been lounging around reading lots of good books. Glad I saved Frostfire for a rainy day.

  9. Your bathroom looks absolutely beautiful. That color scheme is great.

  10. Charlene...rainy days??? ;)

    I don't do blogger-Wordpress seems more reliable, so the flub didn't affect me much.

    I've just been trudging along trying to get to my normal speed and failing. ;)

    Love the bathroom. Our kids have their own and it's done in Spongebob. Ugh.

    Would love to see something...well, NOT spongebob.

  11. I love using fountain pens, too. Wash it with warm water between each ink change out until the water runs clear. Every now and again soak the nib in rubbing alcohol. It looks like you have a nicer pen. Have you tried using Noodler'sInk with a plunger-type refill? A better quality ink is easier on your pen, and the colors are fun, too.