The Breaking of the Fellowship….A Quick Update Really

Alas my friends all good things cannot last forever, can they. My lovely holiday season with my wife and  children is coming to an end and it is with heavy heart that I must accept this fact.

Jude and Georgia left today. Jude back to Sienna College and Georgia back to North Adams, Mass to start a job as a substitute teacher. They will be missed. Ethan has two weeks of vacation left before heading back to SUNY Cortland though so we will relish his presence while he is with us. They have to leave I know…..I will miss them…..every day.

Their great adventure is just begining and in a sense ours is always continuing.

I’m looking forward to getting back to work and getting our slab pour all in order. I’m glad you will be with me in spirit.

“We travel light…..Let’s hunt some Orc!”…. Aragorn after the breaking of the Fellowship and realizing there is still much they can do together as a team.

I’m looking forward to continuing our journey together!

Hobbit Hollow Jim

Happy New Year….A Super Bowl Pool….Hmmmm, This is Going to Take Longer Than I Thought

Ah yes, Free Folk of Middle Earth it’s good to see you back again! Thanks for stopping by. The holidays in the middle of the week is weird. At least for me anyway. Had a half day Wednesday, New Years Eve and Thursday off. Had to go into work Friday though. It wasn’t bad. Traffic was light. I got hurt at work though. Not too badly. One of those metal post shore jacks fell on the back of my leg while I was holding something. It really hurt. Got a pretty nasty scrape/cut from the thing right through my Carhart pants though, and the back of my leg swelled up quite a bit. I could walk though so it was okay. Good thing the jack didn’t hit me in the head….I might still be sleeping.

My New Years Eve days are over. The kids were all out for the night so me and the missus watched CNN coverage with Anderson Copper and Kathy Griffen. It was pretty funny. Entertaining. I was going to stay up but at like 11:30 I hit the wall and couldn’t handle it so we went to bed. Happy New Year!

New Years Day we had my wife’s family over for an early dinner around 1PM. Very relaxed, baked ziti, meatballs, gravy or sauce (depending on which part of Italy you’re from). Watched the college football games. (Where do they grow these huge kids?) We got to talking about Super Bowl Pools. For those of you who live in another country or under a rock, the Super Bowl is the most heavily bet sporting event in the world. So my father-in-law comes up with this crazy family pool so that everyone in the family can make a wager and sort of get into the action. It went along these lines…Pair up everyone in the room and then they get to pick two of the playoff teams out of a hat. Whoever gets the winning team wins the money. So this is kind of a long term pool here because the playoffs have just started. But…and I know what you’re thinking…there are certain teams that have a lot better chance of winning than others. Like Green Bay and New England for instance. So as the hat goes around and around guess who winds up with New England and Green Bay…..My father-in-law and his partner. What a coincidence, right? It had nothing to do with the fact that my father-in-law cut up and placed all the teams in the hat. Nooooo! It’s the children I worry about though. They’re being disenfranchised. By their own grandparent nonetheless! Amazing! Not only that but nobody liked who they were paired up with or who they picked out of the hat…except me and my wife. (What a great pair!)

Oh yeah the construction blog, I almost forgot!

So like I was saying I had a half day Wednesday so I headed up to the Hobbit House to meet Jude and Ethan. I was thinking we might be able to finish leveling and tamping the gravel base in an hour or so. What I was thinking I don’t know. It must be the perpetual optimist in me. Anyway I started showing them how to fine tune the gravel base and as soon as I started I realized this is a pretty big job. To get it right  is at least a full days work. I had them pick up a tamper so that was a waste of $70. Anywho as I was telling them it is pretty critical we get this right. You’re not going to get it perfect but it should be within a quarter inch plus or minus. The main thing though is to get the gravel bed flat…that is really the critical part. You want the Styrofoam to lay on a flat gravel bed. If there are voids underneath the Styrofoam this could lead to settling of the slab which could lead to cracks in the slab. If the cracks occur where we put tile down this could transfer to and crack the tile as well. We don’t want this to happen. So I would rather spend an extra day or more making sure the base is flat.

Other than going over that with the boys that was the extent of our work on Hobbit Hollow this week. Hopefully the weather will stay in our favor and we should get back to work in the next week or two.

This Friday I met the Editor down at Grand Central Station and went to see the play “Discraced” at the Lyceum Theatre on 45th street. It was really good. Not for everybody but I really enjoyed it. Very thought provoking and quite controversial on a lot of levels, as well. Without getting too into it it was all about varying degrees of racisim and your own perspective as far as racism is concerned. It’s deeper than that but it was very entertaining. We stayed right next to the job I am currently working at on 31st street and 6th avenue at the Hampton Inn. It was great because we were able to walk to the theatre. We had a great night.

We went to the Museum of Modern Art the next day to go see a special exhibit by Henri Matisse. It was a zoo though. I mean I think it must have been the holiday tourists. I’ve never seen so many people at a museum before. It was ridiculous. It was like you were being pushed along by a mob. People weren’t even looking at the art! We left early without seeing the exhibit we wanted to see. We still enjoyed the time we spent at the museum though.

I hope the holidays were good to you and here’s wishing everyone a wonderful 2015!




A Hobbit Hollow Christmas…..What Are You Doing?!?!?!

My Hobbit Shed.
My Hobbit Shed.

Merry Christmas to all from your friends at Hobbit Hollow! I hope if you celebrate Christmas you had a great one. Santa always seems to rise to the occasion. We had a great day. Didn’t really have the time, or energy for that matter, to work at the house. Just wanted to enjoy the holiday with my family and forget about everything else for a few days. It was good for the soul….and we’ll get to everything else sooner or later.

Went over to my mother-in-laws Christmas Eve. She cooks up the big seven fishes Italian thing for the eve. She can’t count though. I think it was eleven or twelve fishes….but really, who’s counting? It was really, really good. If you’re into Italian food that is. She even put out a little super sod for me too! Gotta love that super sod…(nothing like chewing on something for a half an hour and raising your cholesterol level by 50 points.)

So we got home late on the Eve and sent the kids up to bed with the reprimand, “You know Santa’s not going to come if you all don’t go to sleep!”So everyone complied and Santa (aka: the Editor) and I started bringing the presents upstairs and putting them under the tree.  Then wisenhymer son number three comes out of his bedroom and starts walking down the stairs!!! I stop him at the stairs, “What are you doing?????” It’s not a surprise if you see the pile before everything is in it’s proper place. I mean Santa has a pretty cool way of setting the whole thing up. Terence starts saying he knows what we’re doing. “I know what you guys are doing! And I need to get something downstairs!” That’s not the point son…capece? It’s all about principle at this point. Don’t ruin it. I sent him back upstairs. Geez. Can’t we have a little old Saint Nicholas fun???

The funny thing is, we collapsed exhausted into bed when we were all finished with the Santa duties. I said: Oh, I guess I should tell Terence he can go downstairs now.” The Editor said: “He’ll figure it out on his own when he hears it’s all quiet.” Poor guy. He broke his finger during football and he had been heading downstairs to get tape to bandage up his splint. Probably spent an extra hour upstairs waiting to bandage that finger!

Anyway, we had a wonderful Christmas morning opening gifts and spending time together. One of the best Christmases ever for me. I hope you all were able to enjoy friends and family as well. It’s not always as easy as it should be.

Have a wonderful New Years Eve and go easy on that spiked egg nog!

Best wishes for a wonderful and fruitful new year to all!!!