Autumn HollowAutumn Hollow
Contact me at theyoungfamily (at) earthlink (dot) net

12 September 2014
  Some Wall Redecorating
Click on any image to see a larger version.

In my craft room:

The top shelf originally held a clock I didn't like, and the bottom the collectible Maxwell Smart figure James had bought me. Max is now tacked up next to the phonograph and I may rework the clock if I can find a new clock face for it. But I have a clock for the room now, so maybe not. And the "me shelf" now has a place besides on my art desk.

Closer look at the "me shelf," which is supposed to be a collection of miniature items that represent my interests. Almost all of these came from the Country Pickin's people who show up at the Yellow Daisy Festival, including the little shelf itself, some as purchased and some repainted, like the slate that's become a tablet, or the two big books on the second shelf which were painted and had printed covers put on them. I made the cross stitch frame out of toothpicks and a piece of linen. The drawing pencil is also a painted toothpick, and the box it's resting on should say "art supplies," but I haven't done that yet. The one that talks about stitchery was originally for sewing; I took the little spools off it and replaced them with "skeins" of floss. The books stacked up under the drawing pad have printed covers; one is "Sleigh Bells for Windy Foot." The encyclopedia volume at top right was a Hallowe'en spell book, repainted. The map (of Great Britain nonetheless—what a lucky find!) and the smaller stacked books in blue, brown, red and green are from the miniatures collection at Michael's. The little sheep and the cottage seemed to fit, although the cottage isn't done yet. I want to give it an autumn tint, and leaves scattered about.

The "art wall": an original Alice Spivey at top, Andy Runton's print of Owly and friends as some time traveling favorites, the stag print I bought at DragonCon this year, and a Mary Bloemker print which was included in one of her fanzines, "Faces of Time." Plus Mom and Cousin Anna Furtado smiling down at me at right.

And the recent redo of the wall in the spare room. I figured the poster fit the travel theme. [big wide grin]


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15 August 2014
  Gnedby Tales
A "Gnedby" is what Ikea has renamed the narrow CD towers once known as "Benno." I bought two of them about a month ago for use down in the library. Yes, they are very narrow, but I thought they would be perfect for use with regular paperbacks, small trade paperbacks, and even small hardbacks like Whitman books. I'd planned to put them together the last Friday I was off, but I had a stinking headcold and a low-grade fever instead. I'd worked through most of both and was damned if I was going to assemble shelving while blowing my nose every five minutes.

Ikea stuff is simple to assemble, especially if there aren't drawers or doors, so these went together easily. Annoyed to find out, though, that the "lock screws" they're now using are plastic. How cheap. Bad enough they quit making all the nice Leksvik stuff—glad we got our china cabinet and bed and the side table and James' night table when we did!—and stopped making the CD dividers for the Billy shelving.

While the shelving didn't take me long, the book shifting did. I love my books, but not having to shift them around in large quantities. The first Gnedby went into the narrow space between a Billy bookcase holding biographies at the top and travel books at the bottom. and the door to the library, and I moved any paperback biographies and small-sized biographies, like the Dell Yearling book of Jean Fritz's biography and the two of Beverly Cleary, into it. A few health books went on the bottom and now there is biographical room again—well, until I finish all the books I have about Theodore Roosevelt, etc. at least! To top it, a foam pumpkin hollowed to hold fall flowers.

The second Gnedby went into the bay between the children's books on the right and my Christmas books and bound volumes of "St. Nicholas" on the left. Again, I picked paperbacks, small hardbacks like children's books, small trade paperbacks, to go on these shelves. I could then rearrange the bookcase so that the World Book Encyclopedia Christmas books and my big Augsberg Christmas annuals, which had been on the floor between two bookends, were shelved.

I tried to arrange the little shelves with some kind of a theme. The topmost shelf is fiction. The second shelf is all my favorite Christmas fiction, the stuff I read every year, from The Cottage Holiday to Christine Kringle. The third shelf is some other fiction and the next is some books about Santa Claus, from the Jeff Guinn trilogy to When Santa Was a Shaman, and the rest are nonfiction books about Christmas history, origins, and customs. You can spy the "St. Nicholas" statue that my cousin Deanna made for my mom on the bookcase to the far left—what better place for it than with "St. Nicholas" magazines?

The library's still pretty crowded; at some point I'm going to buy six of the 15-inch wide Billy shelves and put them up at the end caps of the stacks to add more space. My history books runneth over!

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04 November 2012
  A Good Sunday's Work
"When last we met in Yet Another Journal," lo, there came the Georgia Apple Festival, a vendor who did woodwork, and...
"...a new cabinet for the dining room.
I've been wanting to get something new to replace the old microwave cart for a while. The gentleman who made our table and chair set and the medicine cabinet that we bought at the Yellow Daisy Festival also sold a lovely little china cabinet, half the size of the one we have, that would have been perfect. But he hasn't shown up at the show since 2002. I've looked online since then, trying to find something comparable. The closest idea I had was to buy a Leksvik buffet from Ikea and then mount shelves on the wall—in fact, James and I were talking about this last week at the Container Store—but I didn't want to mar the walls.
This isn't my ideal cabinet. It's plain boards dry brushed with white so it looks "distressed." [I believe the effect is called "pickled."] I'm not fond of the look. But it is nice and sturdy, and has three shelves on top and an enclosed cupboard on the bottom. With some autumnal trim it ought to look fine. Our decorating is nothing but eclectic anyway. :-)"
What with going away on vacation, the cabinet has been in the garage since October 14. After we got done today buying a paper and going to Lowes and CVS, it was time to remedy the situation.

James is taking over the old microwave cart that was in the spare bedroom holding the television and DVD player. It's headed down to his hobby room to hold a paint rack. I emptied it, cleaned it, vacuumed out the space, and he dispatched it.

I then emptied out the larger microwave cart in the dining room. It holds my bird reference books, Mom's stand mixer since there's no room for it in the kitchen, seasonal decorations, a candle lamp, a container of dip mixes and another of cocoa, our collection of drinking mugs, our plate holders for parties, the seasonal paper napkins, and the stoneware dish collection my mom put together for me when I was a teenager, so this took a while (this included the vacuuming afterwards). I polished it up, then set it up in the spare room as a television holder. There's now room to put the antenna on top, and I "put up" my first Christmas decorations: the Hallmark "Mrs. Claus' cabinet" and the cute little tree I bought in Hobby Lobby last night, a bottle brush tree with glittered tips, a few red beads glued on, a tarnished star at top, all sitting on top of a wooden spool with green yarn around it. (They were too cute to put away.)

(Click on picture to enlarge.)

Next James had to bring the two halves of the new cabinet upstairs. I polished and cleaned the bottom cabinet and we put it into place. It's actually no wider than the old unit. Now came the hard part. Not putting the top on the bottom, attaching cup hooks to it! I wanted cup hooks on the underside of the top shelf to hang up our mugs. Even after tapping out a pilot hole with a nail and tapping the cup hooks in minimally with a hammer, at least one of the hooks resisted going in the hole. James even got down and tried it. He finally got the hole large enough that I could turn the hook and finally get it in. We got nine cup hooks in which will hold all our mugs, including the two new ones James got in Virginia.

Finally that was finished and I was able to polish up the top part and James used the drill to fasten the two parts together.

Lastly I "restocked" it. The cow artwork on the top doesn't quite work, but I don't have anywhere else to put it.

I bought the two wooden red apples at the Apple Festival as well. Since the cabinet looks so much like a display case that might be in a country or vintage store, I applied some decals I had to either side, as well as the three apples that are on the door. They say "apples for sale," "apple country," etc.

Still don't like the pickling. But it does look, to quote Addie Mills, "nifty."

(Click on picture to enlarge.)

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17 February 2011
  Two More Craft Projects
Here are two more corner shelves in the spare bedroom, on the opposite side of the three original ones. The lower shelf holds the five little songbirds I got for Christmas (they each make the appropriate sound for that bird), and Kevin the fox is sitting on the top one.

This is the little shelf I painted to go in the hall bathroom to hold the clock. It's a lot pinker than I wanted it, but it matches the stripes in the towels.


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04 July 2010
  The Shelf Project
We had three of those "As Seen on TV" corner shelves in the spare bedroom to hold some stuffed animals. These are cool shelves and work very well IF the corner of the room is exactly 90 degrees. Unfortunately the corner in this room was more like 92-93 degrees, and the popout supports on either side kept coming out of the wall and the shelves would fall down. Good thing all that was on them was stuffed!

Here are some:

(These have a round outside edge; we have the original ones where the outside edge was flat, making the shelf triangular.)

I saw the shelves below in the unpainted wood section of JoAnn during their last "Firefly Frenzy" and got all three with coupons, so they were about $5 each. I loved the metal support underneath! The top and edge are painted with Plaid's Apple Barrel Gloss "Real Brown." After the "Real Brown" was dry, I polished it up with some Pledge.

The underside is done with Folk Art's matte "mushroom." Here they are on the wall, 14" inches apart.

They are hung each with one 6d nail with a broad head set directly in the corner.

I have put the "As Seen on TV" shelves down in the laundry room, where the corner is exactly 90 degrees, and they are holding extra sponges, stain lifter bottles, my brads, etc.


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08 October 2009
  New Lamps for Old
Well, there's the last of the "big changes" I had on the Master To-Do List.

The installers turned out to be a married couple; she put the pendant lamp together while he was the one that got up on the ladder and did the actual installation. While she was on the stairs putting the light together, she saw James' "rocket garden" and they talked about having taken their grandchildren to the Kennedy Spaceflight Center and having seen the Rocket Garden and taken the tour. "Endeavour" was on the pad when they went, but they did not see the actual launch. She even cleaned up the floor afterwards, although I planned to re-sweep it and wash it before putting everything back.

Yeah, yeah, I'll cut to the chase.

UGLY AND DUSTY OLD LAMP IS GONE! "Ding-dong, the light is dead! Which old light? The ugly light!"

REPLACED BY BEAUTIFUL NEW LIGHT (the light is on here, and this was taken with the flash):

The flash version without the light being lit shows the colors off a little better, although the professional shot in the previous post probably does the best job.

Now that it's there, it looks like it's always been there, like it belonged there all along.

If you look above the purple petals, and below the purple petals, you can see the light amber and light orange, respectively, tints that I added to the glass. It's very subtle, which is what I wanted.

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04 October 2009
  There's Always One More Trip
After we got home from grocery shopping this morning, James decided to install the programmable thermostat we bought yesterday (a Hunter, just in case you were curious). According to the directions, it was simple: take the old one off, label the wires, take the mount for the old one off and install the new one, match the wall wires to the wires on the new unit and fasten them, then put the new one on the wall.

And the screw holes on each mount actually matched, so no messy drilling had to be done.

Except for one thing: our present thermostat is powered by the house current, with battery as backup. But nowhere on the box of the programmable unit we purchased did it mention that the entire unit is powered by the battery. Neither of us want to play that way. We like the concept of double and triple redundancy. So it was back out to Lowes. Turned out that Hunter did not have—or perhaps Lowes doesn't carry—a type of thermostat that was electrically powered with a battery backup. We ended up with a Honeywell.

And after that, it was simple. By the time I got done folding the towels and my own clothes, James had it up. It took me longer to program it because it's a 7-day timer and you have to do one day at the time (well, okay, I found out later you can actually do multiple days at one time; that's what I get for reading the manual after I program the timer!). I'm so short I had to stand on a stool to look the thing "in the eye" to program it. I felt like Phronsie Pepper helping Polly with the dishes in the Little Brown House!

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27 September 2009
  A New Fixture in Our Future
I am finally ridding us of that nasty pendant light fixture in the foyer.

We didn't plan for the awkward thing. When they asked us to choose between the black-mounted fixtures and the silver-mounted fixtures, we thought the only difference was the color. The old house was so dark we wanted something brighter, so we chose the silver.

The black pendant fixture we thought we were getting in silver was a relatively tidy piece. It consisted of an upturned frosted glass "cup" supported and surrounded by curving black metal supports. I didn't know how on earth you changed the light bulb when it burnt out, since it was about 14 feet up in the air, but that was the only problem with it.

What we got was a silver monstrosity which I could take a photo of and post here, but I won't gag you with it. It consists of a tapered glass "box" with edges of antiqued silvered metal, smaller at the bottom that at the top. Three decreasing-size scrolls of metal piping are at each corner at the top. In the center is hung two sets of four "candles" which hold candle-shaped light bulbs. Not only is it impossible to reach to change bulbs if they burn out, but the bottom opening is so narrow that you can't dust inside it. I know, because I tried with a lambswool duster on an extension pole; it got stuck inside and I was afraid it would be hanging there in perpetuity until I managed to dislodge it.

So it sits there getting dustier by the day and looking ugly while doing it.

We had a $10 off a $50 or more purchase for Lowes that expired today, so we went there to buy some paving blocks for the dip in the side yard where the water collects when it rains and it gets muddy. (We only bought a dozen and see, after putting them out in the muddiest spot this afternoon, that we need a lot more. <g> Later...when it's cooler—although there was a delightful breeze this afternoon despite it going up to 78°F.) After buying those and more wild bird seed, we still didn't have $50 worth of stuff. I figured it was now or never. I looked at the fixtures one more time, then picked out this:

It goes with the Tiffany-style pendant in the dining room and, although it's a little more spring-colored than I wanted, it was more autumn-colored than the other Tiffany pendant they had there. And note that the fixtures point downward: I can use the bulb-changing head that goes with the extension pole to change bulbs when they burn out. (Don't think that will happen often, as we will be putting CFLs in the fixture.)

So next thing is to await the installer to come out to put it up. (Even if we had a ladder that long, damned if I'm sending James up there to do that! Let a professional do it.)

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12 July 2009
  New Restaurant Seating for the Birdies
After watching that slug of a squirrel sunbathing on our deck rails after prying out suet from the suet feeder, I got disgusted. Spent much too much yesterday on a new pole support for the bird feeder, and also bought a new, small squirrel-proof feeder.

James installed the new pole and hooks today, and we also put the old assembly back up, making it more stable. It's possible the latter may tip, however, if the squirrel tries to climb it, while the new assembly is quite sturdy.

Here the new pole is on the left, the old one on the right. The old one used to be mounted where the new one is now. The two suets have hot pepper in them, as birds are not affected by pepper. They have no taste buds for it.

New bird feeder setup

A close-up of the squirrel-proof feeder. It is all metal on the outside and if anything heavier than a cardinal steps on the perch or if something pulls on the perch from below, the gap closes up.

Squirrel proof bird feeder

When I have a little more money I will buy another feeder. Toying with buying a thistle feeder to see if we could lure some goldfinches here.


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04 July 2009
  Happy Independence Day from Autumn Hollow!
Haven't posted here for a while, but haven't done any more major improvements on the house (still want to get that light in the foyer changed, though).

Here on the table, on either side of the "pick-a-nick basket," as Yogi Bear used to say, are two of the prims I bought last weekend in The Maple's Tree in Gatlinburg, TN. (The "tablecloth" in the basket is a napkin folded up to look like a tablecloth tucked in for the picnic.)

Table centerpiece

China cabinet:

China cabinet centerpiece

The little "Anne of Green Gables" type Liberty Angel with the Pilgrim salt-and-pepper pots from Publix, and the fall blessing:

Liberty angel with Pilgrims

The foyer table:

Foyer table

And the complete foyer:


Porch, from left-

Porch--left angle

-to right:

Porch--right angle

Now that it's actually the 4th, the patriotic banner has been traded out for the flag.

Porch detail: sheep and birdhouse:


Porch detail: Uncle Sam and "bell tree":


These two have nothing to do with the Fourth, but I wanted to show off these cuties. This "fall display" is actually four parts, as the two pumpkins and the leaf scarecrow at right (with the orange leaf predominant) as three separate parts:

Fall prims

And I bought "Kiss the Cook" for James and set it in front of our cow chef:

Kiss the cook

I bought two other of these little block items, one that says "I [heart] Dogs" with a little flop-eared mutt sitting on the DOGS blocks, and an I [heart] Cows" with a cow in a similar position.


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10 April 2008
  Fence Photos
Told you they were dull. :-)

New fence

New fence


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07 April 2008
  Please Fence Me In
Well, it's done. (Actually, it was done before 3:30, but I've just had the time to post about it now.) I don't think photos are necessary, since it's just your garden variety "dog ear" top six-foot privacy fence. If I take photos it will probably be after we have it stained. Besides, you don't want to see outside right now. The yellow pine pollen covers everything with a thin, gritty coating. It's disgusting. The leaves on the bushes out front are coated and I can't even rinse them off. If you look out the window, everything is suffused with an icky yellow-green glow and when you come in you have to wipe off your shoes because they have yellow dust stuck to them.

(The one mistake I did make was keeping the side and front windows open while they worked. They raised a lot of pine dust out there and now the sills and on things close to the window everything is coated with yellow dust. Ugh.)

The crew came, worked to music which didn't bother me much since I had the windows in the rear closed, cleaned up, and left (they didn't even ask for the check; I assume either the supervisor will come back for it or they will send me a bill for the balance). They did put in the second gate, and when I went out there to inspect I was astonished to find it perfectly counterweighted so it doesn't swing all the way open on the slope. You can open it to any angle and it stays there. Wow.

Anyway, once I had inspected I snapped on Willow's leash and took her out back. When she encountered the fence she tried to go around it and I had to tug her out of the neighbors' yard. I let her off the leash once inside the fence and she did her business and sniffed around, and came both times when I called. I had to watch her since the back fence is high enough off the ground so that she can get underneath it. We are going to buy wire edging and put it along the fenceline to solve that problem, but for now she behaved quite well.

They cleaned up nicely and the only problem I did see was that there are already two ant beds out there. !@#$#$!@$#$$%!! bugs!

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  Please Fence Me In--The Installation Edition
We had a bobble on Friday, when they were supposed to come. As I explained elsewhere, they need electricity and water to install the fence (water for the concrete and electricity of course for the saws). At the morning job they had Friday, the electricity failed and they had to use a generator to finish the job. The supervisor told me they would definitely come today, and they have; working as I "speak," so to say.

He said I didn't need to be here, but it was a good thing I was, since there was some question on where to put the gate so that Willow would not get under it. (If they put it in the middle, there would have been a big gap underneath.) Once they finish, we will need to go get some wire edging (which we looked at at Lowe's yesterday) to set out the length of the back fence that separates the property from the trailer park, since it is some inches off the ground and Willow could easily get under it.

Willow has at least quit barking, although she lets out an occasional "woof" when the sound gets loud enough. I had to shut the side window where they were installing the corner fencepost since the sound of them driving it into the ground was making Schuyler nervous.


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03 April 2008
  Please Fence Me In--Interval
Well, now we know it's going to happen: the grass is covered with red marks showing where the utilities are buried.


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02 April 2008
  Please Fence Me In--Part 2
The deposit is down on the fence. They're tentatively supposed to come next Saturday.


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27 March 2008
  Please Fence Me In
The "fence estimator" has come and gone. Maybe I am naïve, but I never realized a fence would be that inexpensive, since I have never had to get a quotation for that sort of thing. The fence behind the house I grew up in was existent when my folks bought the property and my dad replaced it himself when it was nearly 50 years old and falling down (but we had chain-link and that was easy for him; we can't have chain-link here), and there was a picket fence between our property and the Santamarias' land. I was expecting something like $3000-$4000. Of course, we don't need a fence on one side, either, since Josh and Susan already fenced in their property. I guess if we had had to order an entire fence it would have been quite a bit more. I am told the company uses "Yellowwood" and the fence itself is warrantied for 20 years. (You can have the fence stained for an additional amount, but that does not affect the length of the warranty.) They have also advised we have a gate on either side, which we both think is sensible, and will make sure we have at least one wide gate so if we ever have someone who mows the lawn who uses a ride-on mower, they will be able to get through.

The fescue in the back yard is getting quite scruffy, so I will have to call the new lawn-mowing guy. The Bermuda grass in front is just starting to emerge from hibernation. Any day the pine pollen will start sifting in little drifts on the deck. We figure since we can't hose down the deck this year due to the water restrictions, once the pollen deluge is over we are just going to have to sweep it off best we can and take all the lawn chairs to the car wash. The tassels on the pine trees around the building at work are fat with yellow pollen, but I don't see any tassels on the pine trees in our yard, just cones. Still, I found my car with a fine sprinkling of yellow on it Tuesday. Spring is galloping in apace anyway: all the trees are in bloom except for the dogwoods, daffodils wave from yards and around Smyrna city center, some places the forsythia and the snowball-like Bradford pear trees are even leafing out.

I have all the windows open today (it's about 73°F right now), but no fans since I don't want to deliberately pull that muck in here.

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