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April 25, 2004

Blog spellchecking!

Am I the last to know about about this? Don't care - my day is made.

Posted by emfoley at 2:45 PM

April 23, 2004

Years of misery, explained

I live in the pollen capitol of the northern U.S. Springfield is number seven nationally. After all of the years I have lived in the valley, why was I not aware this particular factoid? File this nugget under things I should have know before I signed the mortgage. Pass the antihistamines...

Posted by emfoley at 9:24 AM | Comments (0)

April 22, 2004


It's that once-a-year day when the city sends a street sweeper around to clean all that winter sludge out of the gutters, and no cars are parked in front of my house. That never happens.

Posted by emfoley at 11:36 AM

April 21, 2004

Painting the town

After work last night I took a good hard look at the front porch I was rhapsodizing about in yesterday's post. It has three bags of leaves on display, a rake and two snow shovels. The vine wreath looks like it belongs in one of the leaf bags. At least the toboggan is not still out there. And the house needs to be painted.

I was naive enough not to realize that having one of these big old shingle-style behemoths painted could cost a five-figure sum until after we'd signed the mortgage. Silly me. So now we're collaring neighbors trying to get the name of one of those painters who do a decent job for under $10K.

My parents managed to snag the elusive Billy Kelly, a man so in demand that he doesn't even bother having a listed phone number. With Billy you get the whole brogue-and-ballad package if he actually agrees to paint your house, but you have to be willing to wait. His truck is going to be parked in front of a lot of other people's houses before he gets around to yours. My mother plied him with stew and soda bread for ages before he actually turned up with brushes and a ladder, and then she blasted the Irish Rovers tapes on her boom box to keep him coming back, along with the stew. The competition is brutal.

I bet Mr. Peppin is still out there, but he stopped doing exteriors when he turned 70.

Posted by emfoley at 10:45 PM

April 20, 2004

Porch culture

With yesterday's blast of warm weather, there's not much doubt that it's spring. Time to clean up the yard, tune up the mower and repaint the wicker porch furniture.

I miss my front porch in the winter. I've always thought front porch culture was one of the best things about Springfield neighborhoods - they're just more social than patios or decks in the back yard. And for all the talk about crime in the city, the amount of furniture left out on porches in my neighborhood is pretty impressive (aside from the local political figure who chains hers).

So here's looking forward summer, before it gets hot enough to change my mind: a cool drink on a warm afternoon from the comfort of a tag sale chair on the porch, church bells and salsa music wafting over from the next block. Heaven.

Posted by emfoley at 12:28 PM

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