Archive | August, 2013

Revolting Developments

24 Aug

For the last eon or so, The Squire and I (mostly The Squire) have been working on remodeling the kitchen.

Yesterday morning I opened the drawer to grab a clean dishcloth and discovered We Have Mice. Lots and lots of mice. (Or, perhaps, just a few, but they were very busy.)  All three drawers in that cabinet had to be emptied and wiped down with ammonia and water, and every dish cloth and tea towel I own had to be washed with bleach and hot water.

One of life’s mysteries – I get out a clean dish cloth every morning and use it to wipe the counters and the stove, and then it goes into the laundry. Why, oh why, does every single one look as if The Squire borrowed it to check the oil in the car?

Several weeks ago The Squire had to pull up part of the bathroom floor and repair a leaky toilet. We both tried to convince ourselves that the odor was dissipating, but we finally had to admit that it not only wasn’t going away, but was actually getting worse.

And so once again he had to pull up carpet and floor boards, put a mirror and flashlight into the crawl space, and discovered that in the process of repairing the toilet, the pipe that connects the commode to the septic tank had come loose. No real damage done, but the aroma was overwhelming, to say the least. One more trip to Lowe’s for yet another wax seal, and the job was completed.

I do not move around much when I sleep. I have bursitis in both hips, so I really can’t sleep on my side, and I find the best position is flat on my back, with one leg or the other pulled up like a flamingo. I can sleep all night, slide out of bed and smooth the covers and you’d never know I’d ever been there. Today when I was hanging out the laundry, I found a large worn spot right in the middle of the bottom sheet, just about where my bottom rests. Apparently, runching back and forth is harder on the sheets and the thrashing about The Squire does.  Fortunately, I have a piece of percale left from making costumes, so I can mend it.

Which is a darned sight easier than fixing toilets.

The Eensy-Weensy Spider

22 Aug

We have been invaded by invisible spiders.

I can use the Swiffer around the edges of the ceiling and on the corners of all the doors in the morning and by the next day there are tiny cobwebs right back in the same place.  I have found spider webs between the shampoo bottle and the side of the shower stall. The Squire left the seat up one night and I found webs between the seat and the toilet tank in the morning. The dining room chandeliers have to be cleaned everyday because they look as if they came directly from the Munsters.

The sneaky little things can spin invisible webs between the house and the trellis in the garden in no time at all. That’s always interesting when I go out to get the paper in the morning. As the poet said, “A nest of spiders in her hair”. No, wait. That was a nest of robins, wasn’t it? Hmm. I think I’d prefer spiders, frankly.

This morning I got up and walked into a web spun between the bedpost and the window! Lucky it was me rather than The Squire. That poor man would have just gone up in a puff of smoke. His dresser is on my side of the bed, but he gets his socks and such in the evening before he goes to bed so he doesn’t awaken me in the morning.

Morning Visitors

21 Aug

deer by wallWhen I came downstairs this morning, The Squire informed me that we had had visitors while he was eating breakfast. He was going to come up and get me, but they said they couldn’t stay long. However, they did agree to pose for a few photos.

Mama and her daughter were walking up from the road, headed towards the woods behind us, just as nonchalant as you please.

doe closeThe fawn came over to the den window to see what The Squire was doing, and apparently stayed for quite a while peering in the window.

The cat wandered up to see what this “long-legged dog” might be. The fawn stomped her foot several times, a warning for Sir Edmund to skedaddle. Apparently, Eddie hadn’t read the rule book, as he got almost close enough to sniff the fawn’s foot before the fawn went back to Mama, shaking her head in bewilderment at that dumb cat.

I cannot imagine living anyplace else on this earth.

Doing Things the Hard Way

18 Aug

Maybe it’s just my German background, but I do tend to make things more difficult than they need to be.

Take gift cards, for instance. I don’t like them. Don’t like to get them, and don’t like to give them. Now, when our rector got married he’d already owned his home for a decade and they wanted to do some remodeling, so he suggested that unless we could find a way to gift wrap a couple of ten foot 2x4s, gift cards to one of the home improvement stores would really be the best thing. “I already have plenty of Tupperware.”

But for the most part, gift cards leave me with the feeling that “I couldn’t be bothered to pick out something I thought you’d like, so go buy your own danged present”.

And wall paper. I like wall paper very much;  painted walls put me in mind of a model home.  Last Sunday at church I was discussing the fact that I’d overdone it a bit by starting to paper the kitchen. Somebody piped up and asked me why I didn’t just put a coat of paint on the wall and be done with it. And that’s exactly why I didn’t paint – I like the feeling that I have taken the time and effort to search out exactly the paper that suits our personalities.  A coat of paint is the easy way out. And I understand that there are folks who put every bit as much time, thought, and effort into the color paint they use in the living room, but that’s not me.

Ah, well. Too German for my own good, I guess.


Back to Work

11 Aug

Yesterday, both The Squire and I tried to settle into our old routine.

I mentioned that I had noticed a funky smell in the bathroom, which turned out to be a leak in the tank, and resultant rotten floor boards. Lovely. Just lovely. Two or three trips to Home Depot, much grunting and groaning, a helpmeet who put the wax seal on upside down, and I think it’s fixed. There is a kit to patch the leak – which is a very small one, but had been going on for quite some time – which needs to be installed, but that will be tackled tomorrow or soon after.

It has rained every day for the last two weeks, so if it is nice tomorrow, The Squire needs to hit the lawn mower; we are in no immediate danger of falling into the crawl space but we are apt to disappear behind the tall grass, so priorities need to be set.

I decided it was time to get back on the job in the kitchen. The floor is down, the cabinets are in, and now I need to get the wallpaper up. kitchen wallpaper I guess most kitchens are odd spaces and weird cuts, and you are just thankful for the few places where you can go ahead and put up a swath or two. The space between the pantry and the windows was a snap, and the short bits over the windows weren’t too bad, but papering under the cabinets is a beast. Naturally, the pattern repeat is off by about a half an inch, so there are lots of wasted bits to drive my thrifty German soul to distraction.

I am currently searching for slate blue curtains of some sort, which are remarkably hard to come by. The other color is a very pale beige and I haven’t decided if the background is white or cream or eggshell.

bookshelfHowever, this is the part that I dread.  I easily own over fifty cookbooks, plus umpteen paperback leaflets, all of which must be unloaded and stacked – someplace. Most of them are vegetarian books, but some are vintage treasures – I have a book from Frigidaire, telling housewives how to use their new “electric icebox”, and books from both World Wars, with recipes for stretching meats and other rationed items. My grandmother could have fed Coxey’s Army with a pound of ground beef and a handful of oatmeal; I have the recipe.  You want to make Junket pudding? I have a recipe for that. I can remember my mom making us “Bags of Gold” – cubes of cheese wrapped in biscuit dough and simmered in canned tomatoes. Cheap and quick.

For a gal who enjoys cooking, and loves history, this is my inheritance.

Wish me luck!

I Don’t Understand…

8 Aug

Every trip into the living room means a trip out of the living room. So why is the rug between the living room and the dining room always creeping toward the fireplace. You’d think the backwards and forwards would make it stand still. No such luck.

Confound You, Comcast!

5 Aug

I turned on my computer one day last week and although the Internet page came up immediately, after about five seconds the screen went completely blank. Nada. The Squire had the same problem. After a few phone calls, we learned that Comcast had, for reasons unknown, installed Google Chrome as an “update” for all of their subscribers.


In order to get anywhere, we have to go to Google Chrome, type in the Comcast URL, and go from there. We get audio from random commercials, a row of pictures across the bottom of the screen which blocks the bottom of some emails – such improvements I can hardly stand. Good Lord, deliver us.  We are both annoyed enough that if Comcast can’t/won’t fix this we are going to change carriers.

??????????We did discover that even when the blank page comes up, we can access our bookmarks, which is a blessing.

Yesterday, The Squire was on his way out to feed the foxes when he saw this egret – probably a young one – walking up the stream bed. He went around the stream bank so he was facing the bird, but the bird stopped in the middle of that “pond” in front of him (her) and started catching minnows, so we never did get a really decent shot.

Today was the first time I’ve felt up to going out of the house since I got sick, so we trotted off to church.  Well, feeling better does not mean I’m well, by a long shot. Home and back to bed. Apparently, two hours is my limit.

The Squire and I were scheduled to usher, which is no big deal, but I was supposed to read. Under the best of circumstances, I am fairly soft-spoken, and yakking starts me hacking, so the Squire read in my place. He forgot his reading glasses, so there was a bit of a kerfuffle until some dear soul passed a pair up to him.

Other than one doctor’s appointment I haven’t been out in the sun since the 16th, when I had lunch with a girlfriend. I’m either going to get rickets or turn into a vampire.