Weekend Update

Normally weekend updates would be an opportunity for me speak about the artwork that I was able to do over the weekend. This past weekend, however, there was no artwork done. Sad as that sounds, there is a adequate and even jovial reason for it. My brother Shaun was in town for the weekend. So Julie and I were able to spend the bulk of the weekend hanging out with him.

Julie and I haven’t seen Shaun since 2004, before I left for school in NYC. It’s unfortunate that his family lives so far away in Alaska. We do miss seeing our beautiful nephews and nieces ever so much.

It was a pleasant visit and much excellent food was consumed. We even made a visit to the Salem hot-spot, J. James (provided you are willing to accept the premise that Salem indeed has hot-spots). We had three different fish entrees at J. James, and all were superb, even if the pre-meal potato-rosemary soup was bland and lumpy. Julie also got to flex her cooking muscles. She made a wonderful dinner featuring radicchio and chard rib tortelloni with homemade ricotta in a parmesan cream fonduta, fresh buttermilk bread, and a baby-greens salad with balsamic vinaigrette, crumbled Gorgonzola, candied pecans and sliced Asian pears.

We also put Shaun to work. I’m not sure how it all happened, but we ended up at Lowes attempting to find a new barrier to separate the living room from the kitchen (an unfortunate necessity with the ferrets). We’d been using a 2′ x 4′ sheet of MDF or particle board to do the job since moving into the house. However, it met with an unfortunate accident a few weeks ago (don’t ask), and the foamcore we put up as an alternate barrier was too tall for Julie to step over, and too light to keep Ajax from just pushing it aside without an elaborate system of weights to hold it place. Not a pleasant situation, for us or for the fuzzies, who kept making breaks for the kitchen only to have their hopes dashes when too-tempting crinkly bags kept giving away their off-sides position.

Anyway, what we really wanted was to have a half-door on spring hinges (the kind that swing both directions). Shaun is very early in the process of building his own home, so I think he had the building bug. He suggested we look into actually making what we wanted. So we did… A few hours and three trips to Lowes later, we had exactly what we really wanted in place. I’ll post some pictures in the near future.

Many, many thanks to Shaun, who, even after helping me turn a full-sized door into a half-door and hang it, was good enough to sit for some photos. Really makes me feel bad for all the times I was mean to him growing up…

It turns out that Shaun is really quite handy. I can’t wait to see the progress on their new home. Julie and I are going to have to make some time to go visit them in the next year.

– Jeremy

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