Archive | April, 2016

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.

How to Drive Your Wife Crazy

5 Apr

Right now, we do not have any carpet in the TV room (I believe I may have mentioned this before once or twice.), and you’d be amazed at how sound travels in an empty space.

The Squire has a habit of drumming his fingers while he watches TV. I didn’t notice this when we still had an upholstered love seat in that room, but now he is using the recliner that belongs in our bedroom. The ends of the arms are bare wood, as are the legs; he has actually worn the finish off the right arm, tapping his fingers on it. The sound travels through the chair arms and down the legs and through the bare floor, echoes under the ceiling tiles in the dining room, until it reaches my ears, and drives me nuts!

It’s like Chinese water torture.

I must love him; I haven’t killed him.

How to Spend a Rainy Afternoon

4 Apr

When we were clearing the decks, so to speak, before we did all the work upstairs, one thing we had to do was remove my sewing cabinet from the wall. Are you old enough to remember Fibber McGee’s Closet? Well, let me tell you – I ended up filling a “Xerox Box” with the contents of that cabinet. Buttons, spools of thread, packets of pins, bobbins, and Heaven only knows what all else came out of that thing.

It’s been rainy all day today, so the dog and I sat on the guest bed box spring and sorted stuff. Most of my thread had dry rotted on the spools. I mean, who else do you know who still has wooden spools in her sewing cabinet? I pulled off a few feet of thread, and if I could snap it between the thumb and forefinger of both hands, it went into the trash.  I now own a dozen empty bobbins and six spools of thread. And a trash can full of what I am sure my mum would consider perfectly good thread.

I found a packet of needles sold by Food Fair, a grocery chain that went out of business


old stuff – sideways, for some odd reason

about 1965 or so. I unearthed a half-dozen hat pins; not dinky little corsage pins, but gen-you-ine five inch hat pins. They must have belonged to my great-grandmother. Elastic that has lost its spring, a sewing kit from a moving company that went under before I graduated from high school; it is so old it has little cardboard sticks with glue on them that you moistened and applied to a runner in your stockings. A set of sew-on replacement pockets for men’s trousers – priced 80 cents. A pair of shoulder straps for a lady’s slip, probably from before WWII, judging from the picture. And, oddly enough, three tiny, tiny crochet hooks. I neither knit nor crochet, and these seem small enough to make sweaters for the fairies. I can’t imagine actually using them for anything larger.

Dear Heaven, where does this stuff come from?

Anyway, my sewing cabinet is now all neat and tidy, and I am sure it will stay that way for, oh, at least the first of May.



Amateur Hour

3 Apr

Doubting Thomas

We have finally gotten all of the painting squared away, and went down to Lowe’s last Monday to select the carpeting for the guest room. I’ll tell you, if ever there was an outfit where the left hand didn’t know what the right hand was doing, this is the place. We looked over several selections, and then paid a deposit to take home a board of samples. We had gotten a “guesstament” from the salesman, and he had told us we could simply call the store and make the deposit on the carpet over the phone.

Nothing doing. The woman at the desk said we had to come in and do it in person. “We’re not allowed to take credit card information over the phone.” Since The Squire was going in that direction on Thursday anyway, he stopped and took care of it. We went back on Friday evening to settle things, and arrange for somebody to come measure the room. When the man came, he was quite pleased that the tacking strips were still in place from the previous carpet, which he said would save us some money. I pointed out that we simply did not have space to move the TV, but if the installers would do the upper part of the room, my husband and I would move the set ourselves to that side, while the men did the lower part. OK.

When we went in to sign the final contract, we were being charged both $75 for tacking strips and $50 to move the TV.  Needless to say, The Squire was not pleased. We had also received a $25 gift certificate in the mail, but we were told it could only be used for merchandize; it couldn’t be used to pay on a contract. Well, the contract was for merchandize, but that didn’t fly. It ended up with the manager giving us a new $25 gift card to spend on whatever we wished, and he “discounted” the contract by $25.

Yeesh. The Squire was ready to go to Home Depot, but that would have meant starting all over, with no guarantee things would be any better.

Things at church have been a bit confusing. (What else is new?) I was under the impression that one person was doing the Rota, and it was another person entirely. Since people still come to me with questions, I’m sort of caught in the middle. We have not had a newsletter since last April, and the website is “wonky”, so quite often people don’t know they are on until the pick up the bulletin in the narthex.

Today, the person who  was to be crucifer became ill.  I was assigned to assist at the altar, so she called another member to carry the cross in the procession. The gal she called is the shortest woman in the congregation, and Dulcie simply isn’t capable of carrying that cross, so I said I’d do it if she’d take the altar for me. Fair enough, except that Dulcie had a sore throat and didn’t want to read the Epistle. OK, I’d read both the Psalm (part of the crucifer’s job) and then cross the sanctuary and do the Epistle. I had gotten as far as the altar when another member of the church came up to the lectern, and since she is also a reader I figured she was going to do it, so I turned around and returned to my seat.

Except that Christine wasn’t going to read; she had a question about the Power Point, and she turned to her seat at the same time I did. Of course, I had my back to her at that point, and didn’t know she’d left. By that stage of the game, Dulcie decided the Epistle was only a few verses, and she might as well do it. Do-si-do, and allemande right!

Amateur Hour. Has anybody here ever done this before?