Archive | May, 2014

Closing In On It?

8 May

My friend Kay is back in town, and I gave her all of the Tudor trim to paint. It’s something she can do while she watches TV, and frankly, it’s a job I hate.

tape sideI have been busying myself putting the roof on this beast. It seems to have an obscene number of pieces, and it looks as if it’s going to make actually thatching the roof very difficult, as it wants to “pretend” it is a thatch roof. Well, we shall see.

I played with arranging the furniture this morning and we are not going to be able to make two rooms out of the ground floor. Not quite sure yet what we’re going to do with the upstairs. Probably a bedroom. If I can figure out how to partition a space, we’ll make it a loo; otherwise, they’ll just have to use a thunder mug.

This is a county cottage, after all.



In the Name of the Father

4 May

This morning, Fr. M, the organist, and I were discussing plans for the service on the 25th. He will be away, and we will have a supply.  I always serve as chalistist on the last Sunday, as it is Rite I, which I infinitely prefer to Rite II.

This will also be our Memorial Day service, as it will be in places of worship all over the United States. I asked the organist, that if she was going to do Eternal Father, to please use it as the recessional. I explained that I had followed my father’s coffin to the cemetery to that hymn – and began to cry.  M+ put his arm around me and asked if I really thought I could make it back down the aisle without falling to pieces. I nodded, and mumbled “If we hurry”. He promised he’d have the supply “keep an eye on me”.  He had had to follow me into the narthex last Veterans Day, and put me in his office, out of sight, until I was fit to be seen in public.

My dad died fifteen years ago, on the first of May. You’d think I’d have managed to keep myself held together after all this time.

I talk a lot about my mum, simply because she was such an “odd duck”, to be as kind as possible. Dealing with her was like watching a bird feeder. You never knew what was coming next, and her foibles make good fodder for funny stories.

I don’t have a lot of stories to tell about my dad, simply because his kindness was so constant. One time I offered to scrub the kitchen floor for my mum; I was probably about eleven, and the job had to be done on hands and knees with a scrub brush and bucket. I got about three-quarters finished and was totally wiped out, and nearly in tears from exhaustion. He quietly tapped me on the shoulder and silently nodded his head, then got down and finished the floor for me.  I used to get earaches, and he would hold me on his lap and blow cigar smoke into my ears to melt the wax. Was it the warmth of his breath or just snuggling up that made me feel better?

My dad was like a big old wing chair. Always there, steady, comfortable, soft where he needed to be, and firm when he had to be.  And I still miss him. Dreadfully.

Making Progress

3 May


My friend Kay has been away all week, and I brought the Country Cottage over here to work on it, so I’d have everything in one place. Well, if you consider the picnic table, the kitchen counter, the dining room table and the work bench in the back room “all in one place”…

I got all three walls up, and the doors framed on the outside. The Squire bought some textured paint to re-do the guest room and TV room, and I used that to “stucco” the exterior of the cottage, although it will definitely need some touch up work.

We (well, I) had decided to omit the stairs and have a complete upper floor, instead of a loft, so Tuesday night I hied me down to Michaels and got a piece of thin plywood to fill in the “hole” where the balcony would be. Got that all glued up, and I was going to cover the underneath with ceiling paper. Couldn’t find the partial roll I’m positive is around here, but I did find a piece of thin white cardboard that will work even better. It was a bit bent from having been stored, so once I had glued it to the floor, I stacked encyclopedias on it. Nooks and Kindles are nice, but they’re not much help when it come to holding things down. Or up.

glue job

I glued the floor in place last night. Since this house was designed to be open above the bay window, there were no slots in which to insert the floor, so I had to get creative. Books to support the front wall  so I didn’t mash the bay window, and then more books on top to hold the she-bang in place while the glue dried.

From here on in, it should be fairly straight forward – she said naively. The roof is already assembled, and I’ve ordered the thatching. The furniture is all on hand,  so now we have to decide how we’re going to finish off the upstairs.

Wish us luck!

Security Problems

1 May

For the second time in about six months, somebody has yanked hard enough on the church doors to get them open, and set off the alarm. The Property Warden, a.k.a. The Squire is not happy.

A while back, some members of the church managed to open the doors so they could return some folding chairs they had borrowed. Today, The Squire found a card from Baltimore Gas and Electric, saying that they had come by to switch the church to a smart meter, and “the customer was not at home”.

First of all, what idiot expects a church office to be open at 5:30 in the evening? And second, this thing could have been hung over the door handle – there’s a hole in the card for exactly that purpose – without pulling the doors off the hinges.