Tag Archives: books

Not to be Allowed Out Alone

9 Jun

Either of us.

Yesterday morning we had half a dozen errands to run, culminating in returning and picking up library books.

They were having their semi-annual books sale, and that was all she wrote! A shopping bag full of books was $5, so we collected quite a haul. At one point The Squire put the bag on a table and as he put it “played Tetris” so he could fit even more books into the sack.

We can home with about 35 books, enough to keep both of us out of mischief for quite some time. Jim&Dani

We’re supposed to be downsizing. Getting ready to move, you know. We could probably have much worse habits, and we both married well. We’ll read them all and then donate them back for the next crew to buy and recycle.

This cartoon is from the current issue of The New Yorker.  It certainly looks as if it might be some people we know. Hmmm.

The Addicts

11 Jan

The Squire went up to the gym this afternoon and swung into the library on his way home.  He noticed a David Weber book, Through Fiery Trials on the “New Books” shelf. “Oh, I think we’ve read this one”, sez he, and put it back.

When he got home, he went upstairs to see if it was on our shelf (we’ve purchased all of the others, normally via AbeBook.com) and didn’t find it. Hmmm. I suggested he go back up and get it, but he said he’d survive without it.  A bit of research and we discovered it was indeed, a new book, just out on January 9. It was out on loan at all of the other branches, but I did put in a request at our local branch.

He settled in to read the books he had in hand, but about a half an hour later he came into the den and told me he was going to go after it anyway. “It’s supposed to snow tomorrow” and that was really all the explanation I needed.

I understand perfectly. Two people, snowed in, and not enough books to go around. Oh, the horror!

Well, It Sounded Good

18 Jun

This morning The Squire announced that we were going to clean off the picnic table on the patio, so he can put it on Freecycle.  Now, cleaning it off is a good idea, but I am not too crazy about getting rid of it.  It would be lovely to be able to sit out there in the evening and watch the foxes play in the Back 40, or just enjoy a cuppa and a good book.

We dragged over the trash can and the recycling bin, and had at it. It really didn’t take too long to get most of the junk off there, and we found quite a few things that were either MIA or would come in handy.

And then, yours truly began the sneaky process of piling it up again! Back when grandson Matthew was about five, he and I collaborated on putting together a McKinley doll house.   http://www.picturetrail.com/sfx/album/view/24504323   After it was finished, we decided to work on a lighthouse, but that project somehow died a-borning, so the kit went into the barn. Recently, Eldest Daughter, who is in the process of moving the South Carolina, offered one of my nephews a roll-top desk and chair that had belonged to my mum. He accepted and we brought the desk here, as it would be a lot more convenient for him to pick it up. Besides, he can collect his kids’ Christmas gifts while he’s at it. And by the way, would your sons want to build a lighthouse? The Squire and I spread out and checked out all of the pieces that are in that kit, and wrapped it back up.

“You know, with this table cleared I could bring Matthew’s McKinley down here and work on it here on the patio.” The Squire was not pleased with that suggestion, but the patio is cooler in the evening than the workshop, and I really do need to get on with this project. We shall see. It’s been sitting around, first in their basement, then in our barn, and now up it the workshop, and if I’m going to get it finished before Austin graduates from college, I need to hustle. he’s pushing two, already!

We also went through several of my parents boxes that had been stashed here and there.  Lawsy, the stuff my mum kept! A quart zip bag full of keys. A bunch of receipts for donations to every cockamamie organization in the world. A huge bag of L’eggs eggs – which are probably worth a fortune on eBay.

And books! Another of my nephews is giving serious consideration to following in his grandfather’s footsteps and going to seminary, so I pulled all of the books I figured he could use and packed them up. He’s going to have to come get them, as mailing this thing is going to be very pricey.

All in all, it really looks good out there. It may not be obvious to the untrained eye, but we filled two trash bags and two recycling bins – and we’re not really finished yet!



One Last Hurrah

21 Mar

Like the obnoxious guest who keeps coming back, Old Man Winter has been hanging around far, far too long.

Monday it was in the 50s  but yesterday morning the temperature dropped to the upper 30s, and it began to snow in the late afternoon. Now, “snow” here is a comparative noun. Or verb, depending upon your approach to these things.  Maybe we got a quarter inch, and although the forecast was for snow overnight, this morning was hovering around 32° F and it wasn’t snowing. At all. I had a 10:00 doctor appointment, but when I arrived the office was closed. At some point somebody had managed to come in to post a note on the inside of the glass door, but nary a word to the patients. I did stop at a pet store to buy bird seed and a brush for the cat, but those people don’t know what to charge. They wanted $10.50 for a five pound bag of peanuts, when I could buy two of the same size next door at Costco! And I am NOT paying $7 for a brush when I can -and did – get one just as nice at the Dollar Store.  Came on home and stopped to pick up a few odds and ends at the grocery store. The library was also closed – as were the public schools – so no joy there. Other people stock up on toilet paper when it snows (WHY?) but we stock up on books.

Shortly after noon it did begin to snow in earnest, but we only got 2 inches – max. A bit further north, Eldest Daughter said she had 4 inches, and the roads were slick.  At the moment it is 37° and by the weekend it will be pushing 50° again.

Ah. The Board of Education has announced the schools must find a way to make up one day to have the kids in school for a full 180 days. What on earth are they going to learn in one day? Yeesh.


25 Oct

I have just finished reading a book by Bryant Simon, The Hamlet Fire.

The Triangle Shirtwaist fire took place in 1911, but it seems we have not learned much in the ensuing 80 years.  A fire broke out in a chicken processing plant in the little town of Hamlet, NC, on September 3, 1991. The fire itself was caused by the owners’ deliberate disregard for common safety procedures, insisting on repeated makeshift repairs to a cooking vat rather than spending the money to repair the thing properly.  Add to this, the doors were all locked, and the windows boarded up – to prevent theft, according to the owners. Twenty-five people were killed, and an additional fifty-five were injured, some very seriously.

Although North Carolina had passed legislation to provide for safely inspectors, they had not funded the project. There were so few inspectors in the state that, had each one visited four factories a day, each plant would have been inspected once every seventy-five years.  The health inspector did inspect the place more often, and was aware that doors were locked from the outside, there were no marked fire exits, and the place was a dimly lit rabbit warren, but since these things did not affect the food being prepared he didn’t bother to report the conditions.  A really classic case of “it’s not my job.”

The most profoundly damning part of the book, in my opinion, was comes in the epilogue, when Mr. Simon discusses what happens to your chicken between the egg and your dining room table. It’ll ruin your appetite, for sure!

Hoarder, Thy Name is Audrey

17 May

The Squire and I are once again playing “Let’s Pretend We’re Moving”, and decided to have one more go at the barn.  When my folks moved back to Baltimore from Roxboro, they purchased an 8 x 10 Amish shed, and loaded a moving van full of stuff into it. (Well, maybe not really that much, but it certainly seemed that way.) We eventually moved everything into the barn and donated the shed to church.

The Squire loaded about a dozen cartons of various sorts and conditions into the cart and hauled them down onto the patio. You would not believe the stuff my mum saved! I must admit I have held onto every card I have ever gotten from The Squire, and I generally save this year’s Christmas cards to address next season’s, but I do throw them out eventually. Not my mum. We found two large boxes full of cards dating back to their first home.  It wouldn’t surprise me; when my dad died in 1999 my mum moved into a retirement center and my sister and I helped her clear some of the debris. (Read, we spent our time taking turns distracting her while the other one crept out with a pile of paper.) We each brought home my parents’ income tax papers from the years we were born – 1942 and 1947 – and gave each of our children a Woman’s Day magazine from the month they were born.

My dad was a clergyman, for Heaven’s sake! Do you know how often they move? My mother could squeeze a nickel until the buffalo shit and the Indian had a headache, but she spent good money to lug paper all over the country. Yeesh!

Boxes and boxes of books, many so abused by the mice that they had to be tossed, and a pair of ceramic figurines Nana had made back in the 50s. They were carefully wrapped in what had once been a fine wool blanket, now so moth-eaten I’ll be lucky to get two pieces large enough to give to the Humane Society.  Some of the theology books will go to Operation Pass Along for other clergy, and I’ll see if I can donate the rest. It goes against the grain to dispose of printed material. Hmm. Wonder where I got that?

When The Squire moved the tractor, he found a handful of dog food under the seat.  He also found peanut shells in his boots. It’s a long way from our house to the barn.  Industrious little buggers.

The most surprising find of the day was a small garter snake, curled up in one of the boxes. Hard to tell which of us was the most startled.

At least it was only one.






8 Nov

The Squire and I are both serious readers. When we find an author we like, we will go to any lengths to get all the books in that particular series, so we can read them from the beginning. It is understood that the spouse with a book in hand is to be dusted off as necessary, but otherwise left undisturbed.

Last night, The Squire found that two books by one of his favorite authors were available at a library branch not too far from us – not our local branch, which is virtually around the corner. He had exactly fifteen minutes before the branch closed, and raced out of here as if his library card was on fire, screeching into the parking lot with seconds to spare.

He sat down at the dining room table, and was soon in outer space. When I bent over to kiss him good-night, I startled him, as he obviously wasn’t expecting me to be on Safehold, or whatever planet he was visiting.  I have no idea what time he came back to Earth – or to bed.

While he was at church this morning, I decided it was time to clean off the dining room table, before one end of it collapsed, and spent a fair amount of time putting away, and throwing away. You’d be amazed at the amount of clutter that can accumulate on a table built for eight people. I swear, goblins come in and drop stuff on that table – I don’t recognize half of the things there.

A few minutes ago, The Squire came into the den in an absolute panic. “Where are my library books? You didn’t return them, did you?”

“No, I put them upstairs on the table next to the guest room sofa, where you usually read them.”

He nearly collapsed with relief. Honestly, I do love that man.