Archive | April, 2016

Beware of Falling Objects

25 Apr

After church yesterday, our friend Mac invited The Squire to go to the movies with him – some sci-fi flick or other – so I went home and they went off. It hasn’t rained here in quite a while and some of my hanging baskets were getting mighty dry. Rather than get the hose, with all that entails, I took the baskets out to dunk them in the pond.

I hadn’t bothered to change my clothes, so I bent over rather than kneeling and getting the knees of my slacks dirty. Lost my balance, and fell smack into the pond! Fortunately, I let go of the plants and managed to turn myself so that I went in feet first. I am absolutely terrified of getting anything over my face, and falling into soft mud with no way to push myself upright would have had some pretty serious consequences.

And I got my slacks messed up, in spite of it all, and possibly ruined a perfectly good pair of shoes, to boot.

Later, going up to bed, I caught my toe on one of the carpet treads and it came right off the step. The double-faced tape had dried out until it was like a shed snake skin. I showed it to The Squire, and he said he would get some new tape today, as he had to go to Lowe’s anyway for a striker plate for the guestroom door.

This morning, he trotted off to the Y, and I got the wash sorted to go the laundromat. On my way back down I hit that tread and slid the last four steps. Did not do my back one bit of good. Really lucky it was near the bottom. God does look out for fools.

Blazer has decided that he needs to go out every morning around 6 AM. He makes quick work of it, and then curls back up in his bed, and I go back upstairs and do the same. I was just drifting back off this morning when some four-star obliviot rode up the street on his motorcycle with no muffler. Probably woke up everybody from Aberdeen to Baltimore. And then a train stopped on the CSX line. It takes a mile and a half for a fully loaded train to stop, so we were serenaded for quite a while with thump-clang-bump-bump-bump-clang. Sounded as if somebody was over there throwing washtubs down a fire escape.

O Tempora! O Mores!

23 Apr

Porstmann Audrey & Floyd

I found this little gem in my mum’s stuff – natch.

The child in the front is my mother,  holding a small caliber revolver, possibly police issue. The little boy behind her is her cousin Floyd. (Their fathers were brothers.) He appears to be holding a Derringer. She has it dated May 14, 1922, which would have made her 14 months, and Floyd 13 months.

Today, of course, CPS would have hauled off the whole clan.

This was probably taken in the backyard at the Dickmann Street house. That is an outhouse behind them. They did have running water in the kitchen, and there was what they called a “swinging bathroom” upstairs; I can remember even as a child, there was a tub and sink in the room, but no toilet. The room was added well after the house was built, and stuck out over the kitchen door.


It’s Going to Get Worse …

20 Apr

…before it gets better.

Apparently, getting the guest room finished and the workshop started has set off some primal urge in The Squire. He actually asked me to post on Freecycle that he had a bunch of scrap lumber to dispose of. Now, mind you, I am married to the Scrap Lumber King of Greater Downtown Bradshaw, so this was quite an ordeal.

I did not expect anybody to be foolish enough to lug this stuff away, but we had several responses, including one man who wanted the 2 x 4s to build a treehouse/fort for his child, and another man who was willing to take everything The Squire was willing to part with. We gave Chris everything we thought was appropriate, but then the “fort” man was a no-show, so Chris is coming back sometime after the weekend to clean us out.

While he and The Squire were in the barn, my husband discovered that one of the bad storms we had a few weeks ago (Oh, heck. It could have been a few years ago, for all I know.) had carried water under the barn door, across the floor, and out the other side. Lovely. I still haven’t cleared all of my mum’s boxes,  some of which were stacked on the floor, and obviously had gotten soaked. I mean, she’s only been gone since 2011; what’s the rush? She doesn’t need any of that stuff anymore.

Today, The Squire brought down – at my request – three boxes for me to  empty. One was a box of plain old junk, most of it from either her desk or my dad’s. Who wraps and packages a collection of old pencils? Another was a box of glassware from the dining room – a mixed collection of Spode, antique cut glass, and pressed glass from a chain store.

What I really don’t understand is how three boxes of items wrapped in newspaper can leave behind six boxes of newspaper and peanuts, after you remove half the contents.

And then, there was this prize, from November 1958. Apparently, my “Famous Model” phase started earlier than I thought. Now, honestly, would you think these two people were related, never mind siblings?

L&E 1958

Hide and Seek in The Bedroom

17 Apr

A year or more ago, I mentioned that one of my pillow cases had disappeared someplace between the linen closet and the bedroom. The Squire has been complaining that his special pillow was missing. He’d spend what I considered an inordinate amount of money on a flatish pillow for me, and a practically-sleeping-sitting-up one for himself, and it was gooone!

Last night, being Saturday, I stripped and remade our bed, and decided to switch from the winter weight quilt to the lighter one for summer, which of course also meant changing around the pillow shams. I don’t bother to put our “real” pillows in the shams; I just use a old ratty pillow that nobody wants to sleep on.  I prop them up against the pillows we actually use, so the bed looks finished.

So – when I removed one of the shams, there was The Squire’s extra firm pillow in the missing pillow case!

He, of course, knows nothing about this, but if it happened before breakfast today, he wouldn’t.

He’s cute, and I love him.  And that’s all that matters.

Some Things Funny and Pathetic

15 Apr

One of my favorite broadcasters is a fellow from England named John Oliver. I have no idea where to find him on TV, but he is on You Tube. He tends to get bleeped out a lot, but if you can overlook that, he actually has some pretty sensible things to say. His rant about the wall Donald Trump wants to build between Mexico and the United States is particularly interesting.

Most of the border is the Rio Grande River, and obviously you can’t build a wall in the water, so most of it will have to be built in the United States. Mr. Oliver points to a golf course which lies between the current fence and the river – a sort of putting green no-man’s land. There is actually a sign asking you not to shoot golf balls into Mexico!  Mr. Trump’s own estimate of the cost has risen from $4 billion to over $20 billion, and the government puts the cost at considerably more, plus annual maintenance.

“And what is a 30 foot wall going to do? It will simply increase the sale of 31 foot ladders”

So – yesterday The Squire and I stopped at Lowe’s to pick up the one last piece of bead board, and there at the cash register were two Mexican fellows lugging a 32-foot ladder. I could barely contain my giggles, but The Squire managed to propel me toward the Garden section to pick up a hose nozzle, while he went off to take care of the bead board.

“Please cut this to 30 and 3/4 inches.” The young man running the cutting machine had to ask where the 3/4 inch mark was! The Squire ended up marking the board himself, and the fellow still managed to cut it an inch too wide.

I used to work for a company that made storm windows, and the employment application included a section with rulers printed on the paper, and instructions to put a mark at 2-1/2 inches, 1-1/4 inches, 3-5/8 inches, and so forth.

Yeesh. What are they teaching in school these days?

One More Step To Go!

13 Apr

Today, The Squire hung the curtain rods in the guest room, and I ironed and hung the curtains. We need to get new pull shades for both windows and one more piece of bead board to put on the lower parts of the two book cases, so they will match the rest of the wall.

The cross-stitch pictures along the wall opposite the bed were a gift from a friend at church. She had picked them up at a yard sale for the grand sum of $10! For all four of them! Together! It borders on sacrilege. The frames alone are each worth more than that. And to have four years worth of stick-to-it-iv-ness to have actually finished the entire group is a real accomplishment. That’s the trouble with hand work; people who don’t do it don’t understand how much effort and time it takes. Well, JWF, whoever you are (or were), I appreciate them. Thank you very much!

We did discover that those “Command” wall hooks don’t hold a picture this size and when they let loose, they pull the paint off the wall, along with part of the sheet rock. I consider it a blessing that the glass didn’t break when the first one fell.

I bought the quilt set and matching drapes many, many years ago. The curtains were way too long, so I shortened them and used the cut-offs to make a cushion for my sewing chair. The chair itself, the sewing machine cabinet, and the marble topped wash stand all came from my grandmother’s house. (The sewing machine itself is “new”. My mum gave it to me around 1970.) The table next to the recliner is an antique; my mum gave it to us when she moved into a retirement center. The Squire made the lamp in shop when he was in high school. I gave him the recliner for Christmas not too long after I quit working in 1983.

The dresser was a gift from my brother-in-law. We needed one and he was looking to dispose of this, so it worked beautifully. There is a hanging bar behind the right hand door and four drawers on the other side. The oil lamp on the wall needs to be higher. From August 2000 to August 2001, we hosted an exchange student from Morocco. As Youssef was vacuuming his room before he left, he hit that lamp and poured the entire font of kerosene into his suitcase. Even then, things were tense in the Middle East, and I was not about to let him get on an airplane with luggage that smelled as if it was about to burst into flames. I had to wash his stuff three times to get to odor out, and used about a dozen dryer sheets, to boot. I bumped my head on it a couple of times this week, so it needs to be moved. There is a mirror between the dresser and the wall that doesn’t fit anyplace, so I’ll probably have to hit Target and find something to hang over the dresser.



Odds and Ends

10 Apr

Yesterday, The Squire and I spent most of our time ironing curtains and dust ruffles(me) and shortening and painting doors (him).

When I was working on the altar on Friday, I looked at the wrong chart and didn’t think we had flowers for Sunday, but later, while I was chatting with the secretary, I noticed the bulletin that we did indeed have flowers. In my panic I thought it was Saturday, but it was – thank Heaven! – only Friday, so I grabbed the liners and hustled up to the florist. I went up Saturday morning to collect the flowers, and then swung by church to put them on the side tables. I’d taken Blazer with me – I’ve developed a real phobia about driving alone – and he went into church with me. He has been trained not to go onto the chancel steps, but he wanders around and inspects things.

The Cub Scouts were having an indoor carnival and he went over and put his nose against the glass in the narthex doors. I could hear the boys yelling, “The dog is back! The dog is back!” so of course we had to go in and see what was going on over there. The Cubs normally meet on Monday nights and I used to go to knitting on Mondays, so Blazer was quite a popular figure over there. He wandered around, getting head scratches and belly rubs, and then we came on home.

When I got back, The Squire said he’s been painting on the front porch when a squirrel came up to the door, looked at him, looked at the seed bin, and then over his shoulder. The critter did this a couple of times, and then stood up, put his paws on the glass and started giving The Squire a real talking-to. “Table five is completely out of seed. The service in this place is dreadful. What does a squirrel have to do to get waited on around here?” The Squire got a scoop of seed and opened the door; he said the animal only went about six feet, and as soon as the seed hit the ground, he was on it. He didn’t even wait for the door to close!

About 4:00 or so,  my girlfriend and her husband (or, as The Squire phrases it, my boyfriend and his wife) swung by to ask if I wanted to ride to Costco with them. Why not? The Squire needed sodas and I was completely out of yeast, so I went along. I also picked up some Lutein for him and a bag of dried figs for myself. Managed to get out of the store for under $40.



A Parish of Pillows

9 Apr

Whenever anyone in our congregation dies, one of the ladies gets a sweater or shirt from the family and turns it into a pillow. She embroiders a little poem to put on the pillow about  “I’m still here; I’m just where I always was. Take my pillow and give me a hug.” Something to that effect, but it rhymes, and puts it in the pew where that person usually sat. (Is it only Lutherans and Episcopalians wo have “assigned seats”?)

There is another gal there who worries about my health and The Squire’s as if we were both on death’s door. The irony of it is that both she and her husband are on oxygen; he has lung cancer and she has COPD.  I laughed and said everyone in this parish is so old that someday the rector is going to look out and discover there’s nobody in the pews but pillows!

I don’t think this is what they meant when they mentioned putting cushions on the seats.

Almost There!

8 Apr

The installation company said they would besewing room here between 8 and 10 this morning. The truck pulled into the drive at 7:55! Neither The Squire nor I were in any condition to receive visitors; he was in his BVDs and I hadn’t brushed my teeth or put on my “hat”, let along get out of my housecoat. You should have seen us scurry!

There was only one poor young man to do all the work, so The Squire lent a hand, as I had to go to church to do Altar Guild stuff. Heaven only knows how Lowe’s expected Israel (that was the fellow’s name) to lug a twelve foot wide roll of carpet through the house and up the stairs without help. He and The Squire apparently had quite an interesting conversation while they were working.  He said he had left Mexico because it is too dangerous to live there any more. The cartels come and tell you that you are going to work for them, or join the police force so they will have an “in” if they get arrested. If you refuse, they shoot you. “After I lost a second amigo, I decided to get out while I was still alive.” Makes Cleveland look like Paradise.

So, we have moved the bed, dresser, and my sewing machine back into the room. The walls are painted a colour called Artichoke, and the rug is a light silvery grey. We still have to hang the curtains, etc. but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I don’t think it’s an on-coming train. The bookcases are to be delivered on Monday.

Next week, we hit the back room, defrosting the freezer and reorganizing the pantry. I had stocked up on canned goods in September in case we had a bad winter and the power went out, so I need to pack up those things to take to the food pantry, and then make space in the freezer for veggies and such.  The Squire mentioned in passing cleaning off the work bench back there (Not the workshop upstairs; that’s another nightmare.) but I’m letting that bear sleep.

All Things Work Together

6 Apr

On Monday, I ordered two bookcases to put in the guestroom, andSouth-Shore-Axess-71-Bookcase-7246768C was told they would be delivered on the 11th. Great service, but it meant something else to try to stuff into a corner, as the carpet wasn’t to be delivered until the 15th.

This morning, we got a call from Lowe’s saying the carpet had been received yesterday, and they would call tomorrow to set up an installation on Friday! So – we will have the carpet down, with the weekend to get most of the furniture back into place, and then on Monday and Tuesday we can get the bookcases set up, and get the rest of the stuff out of the workshop. I really would like to have molding around the tops of the bookcases, with bead board, etc. on the backs, so they will looks as if they were built in. We’ve put too much time, energy, and money into this project to cut corners at the last minute.

The Squire wants to take down the counter he’d built in the workshop back when he did computer repairs, but maybe I can convince him that would be a jolly good place for me to work on my miniatures.  Of course, that leaves the power saw down in the back room, and I have NO desire to bring that upstairs, with the sawdust and everything else that entails. We shall see.

And, of course, the freezer needs to be defrosted, desperately, and I’d like to be able to get the pantry straightened out.

All in good time. All in good time. Baby steps.