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31 March 2006
  On a Frosty Evening
Not here, at least literally. Here it was almost 80°F=Too Damn Hot. I apparently got home too late to meet the electrician (I told them I wouldn't be home from work that early). For some reason the breaker to our air conditioner will not come on. The builder's rep tried it with a puzzled look on his face. Apparently this hasn't happened on a regular basis. :-) Then he said he'd call the electrician to replace the breaker.

So I got it into my head to frost the bottom three panels around the front door: there are five panels on each side of the door and five on top. I wanted to frost the bottom panels so people can't see the boot tray and all the coats when they walk up to the door. Each panel is centered by a leaf which I will color in fall shades with glass paint, but I just did the frosting around them for now. It took a while, an hour or so before James came home and another 45 minutes after Doctor Who. It looks horrid right now because the clear frost goes on white. But it's drying slowly. I followed the book advice and used a toothpick to whisk some diagonal lines across the frosting to create a texture. Can't tell how it will totally look now, but the part that has dried doesn't look too bad.

I can't wait to color the leaves.

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30 March 2006
  Back to Work
James made boneless pork ribs marinated in Hawaiian Lawry's marinade on the grill tonight. Oddly, the high flame doesn't look any different from the low one and they took almost an hour to cook. Not sure what is wrong.

Later we went downstairs: James was supposed to be placing his built-up models on display shelves and I was supposed to be offloading all the strategy games, but he ended up helping me, so only one part of the "fleet" got unloaded; there are several more large boxes (but then they are mostly packing peanuts, too).

The stuff I brought home from my mother's is still in the garage; I am at a loss of what to do with it. Most of this stuff has been in the attic for twenty years; I suppose I could get plastic storage boxes and keep it on shelves in the garage. I hate to get rid of my issues of Starlog—I have all the early ones, including the original number one, not the reprint they did years later. But realistically, they aren't worth much. I don't see them selling for a lot on eBay. I won't give up the souvenirs—too many lovely memories of vacations with Mom and Dad there—or the historical things, especially the hurricane memorabilia.

Amazing how the stuff is expanding to fill up a larger house!

I took one of my grandmother's chairs, the one with the most battered and scratched-up seat, polished it up and put it into our walk-in closet for sitting to put on shoes. These chairs don't look like much anymore. They never were anything fancy, just sturdy working-class chairs for what was a working-class family. At one time they were very pretty, with a rounded back and a flower motif set into the top of it, and the two front legs are grooved with two different colors of wood. But they've suffered from forty years in the basement and Dad using them for sawhorses and supports as well as being used for stepladders. Mom used to use one when she did her neck therapy long ago: she used to say it was time to "stretch my neck." There was a weighted bag of sand on one end of a pulley device and the other end attached to a sort of Velcro harness that Mom put on her face. Fifteen or twenty minutes every night she sat in the chair with her head in the harness and watched television. It was to keep her spine from compressing from the rheumatoid arthritis. I don't know how much it helped, but I know she never had a double chin!

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28 March 2006
  It's Curtains for Us, V.2
The curtains are here! They're even prettier in person.

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26 March 2006
  Lights, Grills, Walking Up and Down Aisles, and Other Subjects
Not sure if I mentioned James got his grill on Friday night. Right now it's in pieces on the deck. It simply fastens together with wing nuts, so he won't even need tools.

I have a small blue table that used to be on the front porch of the old house. I'm going to put that on the deck and use my coupons to buy two of the pseudo—they're plastic—Adirondak chairs from Linens'n'Things. My godmother had big old-fashioned Adirondak chairs under her grape arbor, where I remember spending many summer afternoons keeping cool.

Along with the grill and St. Francis, I bought a floor lamp at Home Depot. The small bedside lamp simply wasn't throwing the light we needed into the combination living/dining room and I didn't want to have the table lamp on all the time, since we're both usually reading anyway, reflecting in the television screen. The one thing I noticed about all the floor lamps is that they don't go over 100 watts, and I felt we needed one that went over that limit. (I'm usually wandering around putting smaller wattage bulbs in the overhead, so this is a big surprise.) I could have gotten a torchiere, which do go up to 150 watts, but I'm wary about having a lamp that's open at the top with a budgie flying around, since they all have that "hey, guys, watch this!" attitude. :-)

So what I ended up with was a lamp with a cantilevered joint in it; it either stands up straight or bends down (here's the Ikea version; the Home Depot version has a real lampshade instead of a plastic cylinder). It came with a three-way bulb, but instead I went out and found a clear 100 watt bulb. That provides adequate lighting for the room, unless James wants to read, and then he has a reading lamp at his side table.

Today we went to the home show at the Georgia World Congress Center. We'd quit going to these several years back because it seemed all they were selling were expensive kitchen remodeling, jacuzzi tubs, and fancy glass doors. Still plenty of those this time, but they did have other things. James and I are both much enamoured by the Little Giant Ladders, but it will have to wait.

I particularly wanted to look at the various dealers for retractable screen doors. I really want one of these, at least for the deck. (I'd prefer one for the front door, too, because the blue-grey color and the wreath looks very attractive and I'd hate to cover it up with a screen door.) These folks look to have the best value; here's a photo of how the door looks closed and open.

We came home after a stop at Lowe's. James had assembled his Enetri shelving last night; he is planning to use these open shelves to display his built-up models. If you look at the metal support that holds the wooden shelves of this unit, there is a crossbar between each shelf. I wondered aloud, since the models are so light, if he couldn't get three boards, perhaps eight or ten inches wide and three feet long, and put them on these crossbars for extra shelving to display smaller models. So we went by Lowe's and got the boards and also some foam tape (the kind that takes the drywall off). He used the foam tape on the crossbars, to secure the extra boards to them.

While he was doing this and assembling a second Enetri unit to use as storage, I mostly put together the two Billy units we bought last night (James had to help with the heavier bits, like lifting the sides). We put these back-to-back across from the two bookshelves with all his books. I put in all the shelves, including the two extra shelves for each unit, then began shelving my paperbacks. I got the nonfiction, television and movie tie-in books, science fiction and fantasy, and the few romance novels in the unit. The mysteries, young adult, and mainstream novels will have to be shelved in my old seven-shelf paperback bookcase that I made, "capping" the two large shelving units, until we expand the bookcases, but that's a while down the road. It's going to look a bit goofy, since the paperback shelf is about four inches wider than the two bookcases back to back, but we've expended enough money for now.

If James' paperbacks runneth over, he can use my other home-made paperback shelf for the interim.

The next thing I'd like to get is the china cabinet, so we can place Mom's china and the blue glasses in a proper storage space. They've been in the attic nearly forever and are now in boxes. The china pattern is vaguely autumn-y and will match everything nicely.

I can't wait until the curtains show up!

I didn't think I could ever be happy doing such domestic stuff. Thanks, Mom...

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25 March 2006
  We Should Rent a Bed There...
We've been to Ikea again. Bought the two bookcases we needed for the paperbacks.

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24 March 2006
  St. Francis Comes Home
Well, we brought the statue home tonight. He's presiding over the two rabbits and the fox (he has two birds on his shoulders as well).

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  Finding a Saint and Other Discoveries
I've found my St. Francis; he's at Home Depot. He's also very heavy, so I think I'll hold off buying him until James is along. :-)

I also finally found the Scotch clear mounting tape I've been looking for at Michaels for weeks. I'd hit three Michaels in the past two weeks, even the big one in Hiram, and not only didn't they have it, but the management had never heard of it. Today I went to the one at Town Center. I had two coupons; I bought two rolls. At the old house we had used the white foam mounting tape for our artwork; when we took the pictures down not only did the foam tape take the paint off, it took part of the drywall as well. Ouch! The clear stuff just peels off like a wad of glue.

I finally saw some inexpensive curtain rods at Linens'n'Things. I can live with the $19.99 ones, but I prefer the $29.99—they are weathered copper-bronze colored, look "fall-ish," and I like copper anyway. The curtains were just shipped and the coupons don't expire until April 4, so I can wait on them.

At the end of my circuit I stopped at the PO to mail some cards and parked at Marietta Square; I'd been wanting to walk down the antique store row on Church Street for ages. Didn't find anything but an inexpensive copy of The Reader's Digest Treasure of Fun and Humor. I also went into antiques on the square, mostly to see if Luke, the big white standard poodle, was still greeting all the customers. He was. Someone he knew sat down near the front to talk on her cell phone and Luke ambled up to her and presented his tummy to be scratched. "Pet the puppy! Please!"

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23 March 2006
  Errata
We have a 10 percent off coupon for Home Depot, so perhaps we'll look for a grill there. We got several useful coupons in the change of address package that came from the post awful.

Trying to tidy up the last of the dining room. It's those last few little things that take the most time. They're now sitting on the corner of the table.

James is making progress setting up his hobby room, but he now needs to shift boxes so he can assemble his Enetri shelving. These will be his built-up model display area. Unpacking the built-up units will get rid of several more boxes.

I arranged the television books in coherent order last night, which meant I was able to set out all my little collie statuary. These are of various media—resin, ceramic, plastic, even rubber, and one exquisite little figure that I found in the glassblower's shop in Helen, GA, is made of spun glass.

One of the other things we did last night was unpack all my old photo albums. I didn't mean to start riffling through them, but the lure was too much: I fell into friendly memories of trips with my mom and dad—that beautiful brilliantly scarlet tree in New York!—and conventions and old friends and costume calls and vacation photos. It took up entirely too much time and was worth every second.

Tonight I actually sat down in the glider rocker and continued the cross-stitch project I had begun last fall: the autumn garland with "We gather together to ask the Lord's blessing" motto upon it. I'm working the grapes right now; when those are done I have a few ivy leaves and an acorn motif, and then it's down to the backstitch.

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22 March 2006
  It's Curtains for Us--and Grill Dreams
:-) I ordered the "falling leaves" curtains from Plow and Hearth yesterday. Now we have to look for curtain rods. I think it's incredible what they charge for these things; they're even expensive at WalMart. First you buy the rod, and then to keep the curtains from sliding off you have to buy the finials. Of course then they never have a nice simple ball-shaped finial in stock: it's always some crystal ball or fleur-de-lis or carved creation that costs $$$. I have a 10 percent off coupon for Home Depot, so I may wander there on Friday.

Our previous mortgage company returned our escrow investment. Wow. We can put it toward having Willow's teeth cleaned, which will take most of it. James is planning to get his grill with the rest. He's not looking for anything fancy, although I see him glancing covetously at those stainless steel bohemoths that Lowe's has tucked inside the store. Heck, some of them wouldn't even fit on our deck!

I think this is the one he has his eye on. We already have the propane tank and just need to get it refilled. And a cover.

Not sure what type of chairs to put out there, though. Probably just those cheap plastic ones, unless one of the stores or one of the wholesale clubs has a special deal. The ones I've seen lately in the latter are huge, family of eight type tables. Wow.

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20 March 2006
  How Quaint!
I always think the hardest part of a move is when you have the bulk of the large things placed and unpacked and then you have to deal with the little things. I was doing "little things" duty today in the upstairs bedrooms, mainly rearranging the guest room. I have hitched up the old DVD player and VCR to the little television in there, and reconnected the rabbit ears. (Yes, how quaint, we have a television in the house that ::gasp:: has an antenna! I was a champion antenna-wire attacher in my youth. <g>) The long "table" we had made of the long shelves of "Phil's etagere" was polished up and taken downstairs so the photo albums can take up residence there again until I succumb to the scrapbooking urge (I have all the gear). The cameras now have a permanent place; they were just shoved on a shelf in the den before because there was nowhere to store them. And, oh, heavens, I did dispose of all those old 5 1/4 floppies. Windows 3.1 disks! My original copy of WordPerfect! There's a nice bag of trash to go out tomorrow.

I also changed the location of the lamp in the living room because when James watched television it reflected in the screen. Unfortunately it still reflects—and now I can see the reflection, too. Can't figure out quite yet how to solve this one; the solution may be simply a light kit for the ceiling fan. But we're having that installed!—it's up ten feet high.

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  Concrete Cutie
I forgot to mention that yesterday we went to a small lawn ornament place on Atlanta Road; the lady operates out of her yard, which is scattered with metal and concrete lawn ornaments and benches, fountains, some plants and a beautiful screen house (it's actually an oval gazebo, but is screened in and has a solid screen door and you can wire it for electricity—too cool). James is looking for a "moat monster," one of those pseudo Loch Ness Monster things where you have three pieces: the head, the bowed arch of the body, and the tail. We'd seen a small one in a magazine once, but she only had a larger one. Will need to look some more.

There is a space right in front of the brickwork of the porch that is open and I would like a St. Francis statue there. She had a couple, but I'm still looking. JoAnn has a painted one I would like to see again and Lowe's has a resin one.

I did buy one figure—it was only $4.00. It was a baby bunny about the size of a softball, grooming one of its hind feet. I put it out front under a bush, to join the resin fox and resin "sitting up" rabbit already there.

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19 March 2006
  Those Little Things
We did some little things today that make life easier: mounted a paper towel holder in the hall bath for easier cleaning, put a hook up for the bath brush in the master bath, placed a hook on the kitchen cart to hold an Ove-Glove, installed three wire shelves in the laundry room to hold cleaning supplies, and mounted the curtain rod in the library—there be curtains down there now. James also put a smaller Nyled rack over the stove and mounted a spice rack and a utensil holder on it and I put up the curtains in the guest room and emptied a couple of more boxes and put a few more storage containers in places they are needed. There's a hand towel in the downstairs bath now (no more wasting paper towels), as well as a night light.

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18 March 2006
  Declaring an Almost-Victory
James went downstairs last night a little before midnight for the purpose of simply moving the two remaining pair of matching bookcases against the back wall of the library. These were the shelves he planned to use for his military and aviation history hardbacks and assorted other nonfiction.

I followed him down there and we ended up shelving, and shelving, until 1:30. He almost filled both bookcases, and put other books, like his Tom Clancy hardbacks, on the top of one of the bookcases. We also found the rest of the science fiction and the humor, which I shelved. In the afternoon I had shelved all the Whitman books and the linguistic books. Now I finished filling the children's book shelves with Yearling-size paperbacks. We were trying to empty as many boxes as possible so we could call up Claudia and Doug and tell them we had more boxes for them.

Today we had so many errands to do that we didn't get downstairs until this evening, but we are declaring a semi-victory until we get a couple of Billy bookcases with the extra shelves for the paperbacks. The right side of the room (as you face it) is essentially done and some other boxes—my old TV Guide collection, the photo boxes, and my paperbacks—are stored in the three "bays" made by the back-to-back shelving for the time being. A few boxes of fanzines and APAs are against two walls. James' paperbacks and Analogs are stacked in front of the bookshelves he filled last night, so they will be near the Billys when they eventually go up.

Several boxes just made it upstairs (my old journals, a couple of boxes James wanted upstairs, the Alton Brown books, etc.) There are a couple of boxes that need sorting. One box has James' records in it and thus doesn't have a home yet. Plus there are some videotapes downstairs that I use for time shifting things I might want to keep and dub to DVD later. Need to find a place for them upstairs.

There was a small, three-shelf bookcase stored in the laundry room that, in the old house, we had used to hold James' drill case and other tools. I polished this up and it is holding James' tutorial computer books, my decorating magazines and Best of British and Reminisce, an oversize collection of Buck Rogers strips that won't fit in any bookcase, and, on top, graphic novels. It's a quick fix and I don't plan for it to stay there, but it will do for now.

But there is a table with a lamp, the papasan chair is tucked under the window with some comfy pillows and a fleece on it, and more than half of the floor is cleared and vacuumed. (And I found the rest of the yearbooks and the oversized media books to boot!) We've found the curtain rod and the drapes, so tomorrow we can put up the curtains on the windows and perhaps shift the odd boxes out of the middle of the floor. Then that will "rest" for a while until we can (a) get the Billy bookcases with the extra shelves (they were out of the shelves last week) and (b) get some things done upstairs, like finish up the two bedrooms and install the extras James wants to put in the kitchen and perhaps hang some of the artwork.

Plus there will be a little seasonal decorating on Monday. Winter's gone away...::sniff::

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17 March 2006
  "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Library..."
James and I went downstairs after Jeopardy last night, and while he continued to put his room in shape, shelving all his reference books there, I continued to shelve in the main portion. Emptied at least ten boxes, maybe more. (I long for more than three hours to work. I just get started and ::whap!:: it's time for bed because it's a work night.) The Christmas books are finally all found and shelved. How three shelves of books became four-and-a-half I don't know (well, okay, the paperbacks were doubled back on themselves and some smaller books were shelved sideways over other books, but yeesh). The mainstream novels are shelved. Most of the science fiction hardbacks are shelved. All of the humor books are shelved, although not arranged well. The history bookcase is all but one shelf full. I'm not sure whether to put the household care books below the humor books, or switch the travel books to that space and place the household care books under the the biographies, where they will be next to the survival and money books.

I'm going to put the linguistics books back into the bookcase they were originally stored in, even though they were overflowing. I can probably make a little space by putting the Richard Lederer "Anguished English" type books with the humor books, as that's what they are. I need a few of the reference books upstairs, including the big World Book dictionary and the atlas (I need a new atlas; mine is from the 70s—a lot of countries just aren't there anymore. <g> ). So maybe they won't overflow quite so much, since I did get rid of several before the move.

Once I shelve the linguistics books we can move the two dark bookcases against the wall and James can fill them with his military and aviation history books. We have one more large bookcase left, but it's pretty ratty. I'm all for getting rid of it.

Next we have to decide what to do about the paperbacks. James has a huge paperback bookcase and I have three smaller ones, one of which I hate and do not want to use. (I have built the three paperback bookcases myself. At that time only Home Depot was in the area to purchase lumber from. I needed a new paperback bookcase badly, but all the boards Home Depot had were so dirty, even when I picked them over, that I had to paint this particular bookcase rather than stain it and here ten years later the books still stick to the paint when it gets humid in the summer!) There is only one place for James' big paperback bookcase, and that is on the wall leading to the bathroom, where it could slightly obstruct the door because the downstairs thermostat is in the library and is practically in the middle of the wall (why do they do things like that?) and the bookcase would have to go to the right of it.

Trouble is, that is the wall I wanted to leave "blank" for the old computer (so when we have a party and the kids are bored, they can go downstairs and play a computer game) or a small stereo, leaving the bathroom door clear. What I'd like to do is get two more "Billys," with two extra shelves each (and perhaps the top extension). That would make eight (or nine) shelves instead of six and there might be a chance of fitting all his in one and all mine in another, especially if we double stacked (which I really don't want to do but could be persuaded to do as a temporary fix). (It's also possible to cull some. I've already taken the television-nonfiction books upstairs to put in the media bookcase. The history paperbacks can go in the history bookshelf. I could probably get rid of a few more series that the library now has, like Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody books, but most of the paperbacks I have are not in libraries and I wouldn't want to get rid of them.)

So it looks like for now the paperbacks will remain in boxes until we figure out something.

That will leave the miscellaneous stuff, James records, the fanzines, the three boxes of APAs, the decorating magazines, and the Best of British and Reminisce issues. The decorating magazines can go up in my craft room. Not sure what to do with the APAzines, Myriad and 500 Year Diary. We probably are not going to read them again, but since the issues hold a nice chronicle of our own doings in the past (including the infamous epic "The Terrifying Tale of the Mortgage from Hell"), the temptation is to take our own stuff out and toss the rest. Dunno.

The papasan chair is now nestled against the window and supplied with a couple of pillows and a fleece. Next to it will be a table and a lamp. Once we find the brackets for the curtain rod we can put the curtains up. Then we can do some spot decorating on the tops of the shelves: some air/spacecraft and/or rockets, some stuffed animals. It will be really cozy in the end.

"End" is the operative word I want to see. :-)

Of course then it will be time to finish arranging the spare room (decide on which dresser to keep, probably the larger one). Soon we can have company (waves to Mom Young, Candy, Nicki, and also Shari)!

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15 March 2006
  Ten Bottles of Beer on the Wall...
After my mass shelving last night, I'd intended only to offload the three boxes of television books that were in front of the media bookcase. But then James brought the box labeled "media books" upstairs and also the one with the radio books, and I shelved those, too.

In looking about downstairs I found the rest of the history books (I think I have them all now, except for the paperbacks like Washington Goes to War and A Night to Remember), and the organizing books, and another box of Christmas books (still no Gerald Toner)...and, well, it finally added up to ten.

I'll need James' help to shift some things, including the two tower bookcases, before I can do any more.

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  Bookercize
I recommend the workout program, even if it does make your back and knees hurt!

I was on a roll last night—emptied a dozen boxes, probably more. Found all the Christmas books except for one box (the one with Gerald Toner and other mid-size volumes), found all the seasonal magazines, found the few Halloween books and the Thanksgiving books. The seasonal mags and fall holiday books are all shelved and I'm started on the Christmas books.

Found most of the children's books and have shelved through Jo Mendel (the Tuckers), others are on other shelves preparatory to shelving. Found Donna Parker, Trixie Belden and Maud Hart Lovelace's Betsy, but they're still boxed. Found the Whitman TV tie-in books.

Found and shelved all the travel books.

Found and shelved most of the history books (will make order of them later, putting the homefront WWIIs together and the Victorian/Edwardian ones, etc.); my Images of America books on Rhode Island and Route 128 are still missing in action.

Did dig up three boxes of television books and James brought them upstairs. I also culled my paperback television books out of the nonfiction paperback book box and am planning to put them upstairs as well. Found the radio books and another box marked "media books," but those haven't made it upstairs yet.

Speaking of discoveries, we had, for the longest time, been using a two-drawer filing cabinet as a stand for the scanner. Well, the scanner is now on a stand with the printers, and the filing cabinet got tucked into my craft room because I had all my manuscripts in it. When I opened it the other day I realized we still had a filing container full of 5 1/4 inch floppy disks (WordPerfect 5.1, etc.). Good grief. We haven't had a computer with a working 5 1/4 inch floppy drive for years. The things that get tucked away!!!

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14 March 2006
  Fiddly Bits
Did a bunch of fiddly things last night. That mirror that was leaned up against the wall next to the tier table? It's now on the wall. There's also a mirror in the hallway, over the spare media case. (As much as I loathe spring as a precursor to summer, we do have a little spring corner here: the mirror has transfers of geese flying and I have a bouquet of the only decent lilac sprays I ever found in the silk flower bins at a craft store. The usual ones you see have these crushed, small petals on the flowerets that make up the lilac blossom. These have perfectly-formed four-petal flowerets and look almost real enough to have a scent. Lilacs are my favorite flowers. I was hunting around yesterday online to see if there is a lilac that will bloom in the South. Most lilacs need a certain number of frost days to blossom and there aren't enough of them down here. Apparently there are a few "Southern"-bred varieties.)

James also put up a cassette tape holder in my crafts room that has things I recorded off NPR—like the Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back radio series and the original Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy—and television, especially NBC: The First Fifty Years and CBS: On the Air (talk about two specials I'd love on DVD!) and Dinah's M*A*S*H salute and Waltons salute, etc.

He also put up the curtain rods in the two upstairs bedrooms, a paper towel rack and towel hanger in the downstairs bath, and a magnetic strip hidden in the foyer that will hold our coupons from Sweet Tomatoes (yay! salad!) and other restaurants.

I've bought a disposable camera so I can take some photos of the house and send them to my godmother and other relatives not online.

I had forgotten to mention that we finally have a hand-held shower massage again. The only problem is that stupid water-flow restrictor. I know they put these in so people will use less water, but I usually end up taking a shower twice as long because it takes me so long to rinse my hair. Also, I use the shower not only to keep clean, but for theraputic purposes: ever since my thyroid cancer surgery, the right side of my neck and right shoulder have been stiff and sore because the doctor had to scrape the growths off my tendons and muscles. Even with the so-called "shower massage" setting on, there is absolutely no "massage" factor.

We bought a very cheap hand-held unit for the hall bathroom so we could bathe Willow. The water restrictor fell out of it when James hitched it up and that has a nice flow. (Needless to say Miss Wil hated it.) I wish I'd just gotten two cheap ones now!

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12 March 2006
  Team Bookcase Assembly
We needed four more bookcases before we could start unpacking the books, so after a grocery trip to WalMart, we went to Ikea, had lunch, and brought four "Billys" home. I wanted the medium brown, but they were out, so we got the birch effect; it should keep the room looking lighter. We assembled these in a little over two hours; they are now in pairs, perpendicular to the wall, so we will eventually have aisles like a library. Unfortunately, they didn't have extra shelves in that color, so we'll arrange them so we can put another shelf or two in if we want.

We offloaded one at a time, then assembled it and put it aside, which worked well.

Library in progress:

library in progress

You can see back left that the bound St. Nicholas magazines have already been shelved. My cousin Deanna made the St. Nicholas statue for my mother; of course it goes perfectly with the books.

James' hobby room in progress:

hobby room under construction

Here's Mom's tier table with the horse lamp on top of it in the foyer. The horse lamp was in our front window from my childhood. The mirror will be mounted soon. Yep, those are my bronzed baby shoes!

Mom's tier table in foyer with horse lamp

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11 March 2006
  On a Hot Day You Can't Work Forever
James had to go to work today—rotten hours, eleven to eight—so I was on my own. I still had that nagging sinus headache and it was bothering me. Still, I dashed up to Linens'n'Things and got something to hang James' ties and belts on, using both coupons, so that part of the closet is now tidied as well. At JoAnn I got a poster frame (yay, more coupons!) for the autumn scene print we have for over the fireplace. Also stopped at Kmart, remembering that I had a small gift card. I bought a good hand-held shower head for our bathroom and a less expensive one for the main bathroom, where Willow will have her baths. There's no way to rinse her properly without one.

The headache was bothering me, so I had something to eat and came home for a while. Our dimmer headboard lights had arrived! So I fit them on, then transferred the bedside lamps to the guest room and craft room, respectively. Then I lay down for a while. When I got up to work on the bookcase for the encyclopedia (if you remember the rest of our saga, it needed some nails in the shelves), it was pretty hot. I hoped I could turn on the air conditioner anyway (see "Yet Another Journal" post), but no dice. Went by the sales office, which is when I found out the builder wasn't here today. Arrrgh. That means no A/C until Monday...

Anyway, have the majority of the encyclopedia and yearbooks towed upstairs and in their proper place. Five yearbooks are missing, in a box we haven't gotten to yet. As I said in the other post, I bought another fan as well. So I have one fan set up in a dining room window and the other blowing in our bedroom. There is a third fan in James' hobby room, but we'll see if we need that later.

Oh, I finally have the secretary out of our bedroom and next to the birdcage. That has all our envelopes and other things we need in it for bill paying and needs to be closer to the computer.

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10 March 2006
  Floor Sighting!
That big box in the middle of the craft room floor is gone! James brought the bookcase I use for my small stereo system upstairs last night and this morning I positioned it and then offloaded the LPs into the bottom. The 45s are put up as well. I moved a few things around, too, all to the "Barry" album: wonder how the guys working next door liked Mr. Manilow.

Ran over to Brookwood for a little while before the television repairman was due and got another vinyl chair mat for my craft room so I can paint without worrying about the carpet. Also got a spare house key made and bought another small animal statue to decorate our front yard (James, you'll have to see if you can notice it when you get home).

Circuit City repairman showed up a bit after noon and determined the problem was a loose system board; he fitted it back in place and now all is well except we still can't play the VCR—James was obviously correct about that cable connection!

Have been to Costco and the freezer is now stocked with portioned boneless, skinless chicken thighs and we have a nice bit of stew beef to wrap for the freezer.

The only thing getting me down is a nagging sinus headache which is from the pollen and the sun; it is bright today and in the mid-70s last time I checked. Other people feel bad in the cold—I always feel worse when it gets warm.

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09 March 2006
  Tote That Bookcase, Lift That Box
We'd taken a break from unpacking for the last few days, but I'm off tomorrow, and since I may be home most or all of the day waiting for two repairmen, I wanted to stock bookcases, but these were all piled in one corner of the soon-to-be library, with the book boxes scattered all over the rest of the room and the papasan chair tucked back near the window.

The first thing we did was rearrange James' hobby room. We shifted all the boxes left there to one corner of the room and prepared three areas he can fix up immediately: his desk area, the area under the future spray paint booth, and the big bookcase and tower. (We later moved a smaller bookcase next to the large one. He will stock these with reference books.) Once he finishes, he can move the boxes back across the room and he can assemble the Enetri from Ikea, which will display his built-up models.

Then we went back into the library. Most of the boxes were heavy, so James had to shift them. We put a couple of bookcases out in the hall, then shifted a few to the other side of the room and were able to put up two sets of bookcases and the tower. To get some of the boxes out of the way, we started to fill the two cases: these had space and science books, pet books, and the miscellaneous volumes that defy classification, like Murder Ink and Harlan Ellison's An Edge in My Voice, and biographies.

James then shifted the big boxes full of my bound St. Nicholas magazines in front of these two bookcases and he was able to move the two 84-inch cherry finish bookcases to the opposite wall. Now I can unbox the St. Nicholas volumes tomorrow and set them up in one. Could put all the Christmas and holiday books in the other, although I'd love to have them upstairs.

Maybe in digging around I can find the rest of the media books, which do go upstairs, and the rest of the cookbooks (ditto) and our organizational/housekeeping books (I have a yen to read my Pam Young/Peggy Jones books again).

Something else I can do tomorrow is truck the encyclopedias upstairs. Pidgie's cage sits on a narrow two-shelf unit which holds his seed, extra toys, millet, and all my budgie books. This shelf is on top of a two-shelf bookcase which holds the encyclopedias. The horizontal shelf in this bookcase was pulled out by the movers, even though it was nailed in to give the shelf a little more support (the World Book is heavy <g>). So I need to "offload" the birdcage, remove the budgie paraphenalia, remove the shelf unit, then tip the bookcase forward and nail the shelf back in before I can shelve the encyclopedias.

The World Book has special meaning to me. My parents bought me my first set when I was seven and I bought myself a newer set in the mid-seventies. Mom still had that set in the house when she passed away. When we moved into the old house ten-and-a-half-years ago, she bought our present set as a housewarming present. That's my mom. She always wanted me to have lace curtains and cut crystal, but when it came to a housewarming gift she knew what we'd both like best and bought it for us.

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06 March 2006
  Speaking of Many Things
James nearly exploded at the designer of the bed last night. Everything went together wonderfully except for the four thin metal struts that went diagonally from the metal midbeam to the bed rails. They were installed with sheet metal screws and had to be put in upside down. Good grief! Who would have thought the hardest part of the job would come at the end?

For the headboard I have ordered a pair of keen headboard lamps from the Vermont Country Store. They not only clamp on the headboard instead of taking up space on the night table, but they have a built-in dimmer switch. The lamps we are using now can be re-used in the guest room and the craft room.

I did a stupid yesterday and forgot to take my Prilosec, then forgot I had and we had pizza for supper. Needless to say I was very sick most of the night with acid reflux, not to mention being woken up by what sounded like the panic button alarm from my car (James said we had a big clap of thunder in the middle of the night, so it might have been set off). I called in intending to go into work later and then ended up finally getting some sleep and waking up at almost noon. I can't believe I can sleep better in the daytime than I can at night.

I have got to quit forgetting the Prilosec; I don't want to end up in the hospital again.

I didn't want to waste the day, so I did get about five or six boxes empty and tidied up the laundry room and our closet. I found all my computer books, and, finally, the encyclopedia, but I can't put it back into the bookcase until we have nailed the shelf back in; it needs the extra support due to the weight of the volumes. Since this is the bookcase Pidgie's cage sits on top of, it might take us a while. I want to make sure he's feeling okay.

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05 March 2006
  A Long Day's Work
We have bed. We have a medicine cabinet and mirrors in the master bath. And the main bathroom is set up for visitors. We worked from just before one o'clock until eight. Boy, did that pizza for supper taste good! (Papa John's found us. Yay!)

Here's the Leksvik with just the mattress and box spring in it:

bed with mattress

Michael takes advantage of the pillows in the finished version, with our blanket chest in front.

bed all covered

Here's the master bathroom vanity, looking much better. The medicines have their own little shelves. The cabinet is handmade—we bought it at the Yellow Daisy Festival several years ago from a man from Alabama. We bought our table and chairs from him, too. Unfortunately he hasn't shown up for the past two years. The mirrors flanking the cabinet are from Ikea; aren't they cute? The little shelf at the bottom just swings down.

master bathroom mirrors

Here's the sea/lighthouse theme main bathroom:

sea theme bath

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  ...tick...tick...tick...
The struts between the midbeam and the sides of the bed are a pain in the ass.

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  Half a Bed
We are just taking a break while assembling the bed—darn well we couldn't assemble it last night. We have just finished the headboard and the footboard and now have to put the side rails and mid rail on.

It's a bright day, sunny and in the mid 60s, and almost all the windows are open.

No birds at the feeder yet, darnit.

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04 March 2006
  Bed and Boards
Well, we have a bed again, although at the moment it's in pieces.

We had supper at Ikea and then went through the store to get a few more small pieces—another, smaller Nyled rack for the kitchen, two mirrors to flank the medicine cabinet in the master bath, a shelving unit for James to display his models, another Billy divider to store James' cassette collection, and the big purchase, the bed. It's called a "Leksvik" and has a compartment inside the headboard.

No time to assemble it tonight, though.

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  Old Tray Trey
James has finally gotten the wooden sofa tables together properly. The legs and the support for the tray itself went together fine, but, as I'd said in a previous post, the brass screws were too short to fasten the tray on.

We bought longer screws and they kept breaking. Finally he went downstairs and found steel screws of the same size and used those.

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03 March 2006
  Considering an Extravagance
Twenty-one years ago when James and I started sharing an apartment, we needed curtains, so we went to this little fabric and domestics place that used to be in Warner Robins, Milam's. We knew the the apartment we were moving into was old and not well insulated, so we bought insulated curtains, two pair each of blue, beige, and a tweedy sort of blue and beige mixture, for $10/pair.

We've taken good care of those curtains and still have them. I was going to put the blue ones up in our bedroom, but the tweedy pair are the thickest and we like to have it as dark as possible in the room, so they are up instead. May still replace them with the blues, or put the blues up in the guest and craft room (the guest room already has a blue motif with the blue-and-gold quilt on the futon).

But I'm toying with the extravagance of buying new curtains for the great room and am getting sticker shock. I want more insulated curtains to save both heating and cooling energy and since I haven't been satisfied at what I've seen in the stores (and no insulated curtains to boot), I've been web surfing. The cheapest curtains are at least $55/pair. Wow.

I initially thought to buy the burgundy-color curtains from the Vermont Country Store—the red would blend well with the apple-and-cows theme in the dining room—but James pointed out if we go putting red curtains up against the neutral biscuit color of our walls the windows will become the focal point of the room rather than the fireplace and the television (can you tell we've been watching too many design shows on HGTV?). So while I was surfing I came upon a set of curtains for the same price at Plow and Hearth, and they are in a design called "falling leaves," which would tie in with the "Autumn Hollow" theme.

So should I be extravagant?

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  "Phil's Etagere" Rides Again
From 1984 until June of 1985 when I got hired at Robins ALC I worked for a little advertising agency in Macon. In the office for the longest time they had a white plastic etagere with some short shelves and some long shelves; my boss had it arranged so the short shelves flanked the long ones on both sides. It was used to hold decorative knicknacks and company literature.

When he got enough money, he decided to buy a new wooden unit and was going to sell off the etagere. We always needed storage space, so I asked if I could buy it and Phil sold it to me for $10.

Taken apart and used in different arrangements, that etagere has done yeoman duty for the past 21 years. The long portions have held books or the photo albums. The short portions became a bookcase night-table next to my side of the bed, held the birdcage, held the telephone, been a hall table.

We dismantled most of it and were toying with donating it, but I realized yesterday that I need more shelf space in the closet for my craft things. So Phil's etagere will go marching on. :-)

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02 March 2006
  Rearranging Blues
Well, not that bluesy—I emptied four more boxes when I got home and almost cleared out the downstairs hall. There's still things on the lower part of the stairs that need to come upstairs, like empty floppy disks. I found the Harry Potter Uno cards, too, and tidied up in the laundry room.

Remember me discussing the wooden sofa tables we went through so much trouble to get from Walgreens? They had them listed on sale but we couldn't find them and had to write to the front office for them to "appear"? James tried to assemble the first one tonight and found he couldn't: the screws designated to hold the top on are too short! So we need to hit the hardware store again to get some brass screws that are at least a eighth to a quarter of an inch longer.

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01 March 2006
  No Pictures are No Pictures
Sorry I haven't posted any new pics, but (a) didn't think anyone was interested in photos of boxes and (b) according to Earthlink, we'll be on dial-up for yet another two weeks. Upload takes a while on dial-up. :-)

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