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30 April 2006
  Up Ladder
Not much done on the house this weekend. I have mounted a few more pictures and this afternoon James installed the heavy-duty hooks in the garage to hold the big ladder. It's now off the floor and the bicycle can be parked in its place. Also have all the heavy-duty extension cords off the floor and the box they were in is gone.

All our boxes are gone. Two friends of ours are planning to move (she wants to be closer to her mother and also wishes to live in the country; her home which was once "way out in Douglasville" is now surrounded by developments) and have been taking all the boxes we empty. Saturday they came to get the last load and then treated us to dinner at Longhorn. This was a very happy surprise. We had a great meal and a great time talking.

We also availed ourselves of 30 percent off Border's coupons today and saw the Blue Angels perform again from the same vantage point on Cobb Parkway.

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28 April 2006
  Well, Fiddlesticks...
JoAnn is having a "Daffodil Dash" or something weird like that this weekend. We went tonight with 50 percent off coupons, but what we both wanted were already half off. James got two more plastic totes for the remainder of the model kits (then that will empty the final box). I caved in and bought a 10x20 frame for a triple print I have of pseudo-Thomas Kincade cottages (thatched roofs, flowers, bridges, the whole magilla). I had bought this originally for the old living room, but am now putting it over the jetted tub to make a "chill-out area." (Now all that's needed is some fluffy towels, one of those terry-cloth head rests—oh, yeah, and turning on the motor...LOL.)

So I get home, take the back off (it has those little strips of metal you bend back to get the cardboard out), put the print in, press the metal strips back down—and the glass breaks! #!#$!%!@$$%!!

Luckily I also had a 10x20 poster frame I was planning to use for the lighthouse print for the hall bathroom. This has plastic in it instead of glass, but beggars can't be choosers. I'm not spending $15 on another frame (and that was half price!) if I don't have to.

It's up now; looks quite nice.

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27 April 2006
  Small Victories
Woohoo! The downstairs hall is clear!

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   No More Plane Walls
We now have a small gallery of aircraft in the hall leading to the library and thence to James' hobby room.

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  Is That A Stairway I See Before Me?
Hurrah! All the fan art is up on the stairway wall! I put it up last night after polishing frames, cleaning glass, and using quantities of poster tape to re-stick matte frames back to their backing. These include two very funny black-and-white Star Trek prints, one with Scotty in kilts with a bunch of teddy bears dressed similarly, another with Sulu with his sword and some teddies in samurai costumes. (I don't ordinarily like teddy bears, but these are amusing), a beautiful color print of a space shuttle launching, a cute little dog in a space suit being taken "walkies" on the Moon, and the small but hilarious cartoon I purchased at Magicon, a collie with an ex-Smurf in her mouth, the caption being "Good girl, Lassie!" The largest of these is a very beautiful color piece of Mennolly and the boy character in Anne McCaffrey's "Harper Hall" series (is it Jaxom, or is he just in Dragondrums?) in front of a pool with Mennolly's fire lizards swarming around her. (I say "the boy character" because I've never read any of the Harper Hall books, but I fell in love with the picture, which is indicative of how lovely it is.)

At the bottom of the landing is also a framed print—can't even remember where we got this—of a little boy out in the night, consulting a book with a flashlight, while the stars and planets and the Milky Way wheels above him in the midnight blue of the sky. I told James the boy reminds me of how I picture him as a kid, always searching the sky.

I had previously placed a nice autumn print of a farm where the Mennolly pic ended up, so I changed that to the space between the china cabinet and the Expedit divider. (I'm so glad we didn't purchase the larger one; it would have been too much.) Underneath, I placed the wonderful metal pieplate from Table Talk that we found in Mom's cellar, polished up but still looking "distressed" as is the fashion. Goes well with the farm and the farmhouse table and chairs.

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26 April 2006
  The Last Box?
Actually, we've unpacked the next-to-the-last box (there's another in James' hobby room and one in the downstairs bathtub, but they're actually being used to store things right now). Doug! You can come get the rest of the boxes now! John! Your furniture is waiting! I emptied the big box with the artwork in it last night and have positioned things where I want them to go, if not yet up on the wall. I have pulled out several of the great airplane photos and artwork James has to put in the hallway leading to his room. I found another wonderful tin reproduction sign, this one saying "Learn to fly," probably from the 1930s. That will also go in the downstairs bath with the other metal signs.

I found an empty 11x14 frame and framed a pretty autumn countryside "oil painting" I found at my mom's. (Remember those art fairs they used to have in the 1970s, mostly in Holiday Inns, where you bought artwork for your home? This picture came from one of them. There's also one of those big-eyed dogs on the model of the big-eyed moppet craze from the same era.) It's now down in the foyer. I've pretty much decided where the rest of the fan art will go and want to mount The Wizard of Speed and Time poster over the coatrack. James is worried that it will fade, but then anywhere we could put it where someone would see it will be subject to fading. That's the problem with being able to see something—you need light! :-)

The last box is in our bedroom and holds the artwork that used to be in the old master bedroom: Sherrye's cross-stitch for our wedding, the 23rd Psalm and puppy/kitten sleeping next to each other that I did, the dreamcatcher, the cross-stitch pieces James' sister did of our birthplaces, etc. I suspect I will hold that for a while since I haven't quite decided what I want to do with the room yet. I'm thinking I might want to get a couple of 15" Billy towers to replace the two bookcases and move things about so there is more room for a small armchair. Ikea has something called a Tullsta that is kinda cute. They used to have a small armchair called a "Jennylund," but they have changed the design and now it is full sized.

Speaking of Ikea, here is the Bygel wall storage system James installed behind the door of my craft room. I'm thinking of getting another rail and more baskets or two to keep more pens and pliers and paintbrushes in. Here's the Nyled James is using in the kitchen: a long bar over the counter with just the hooks and the shorter one over the stove with a cutlery caddy for wooden spoons and the like, and the spice rack.

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24 April 2006
  Horizontal at Last
The shelves are finally up in the guest room with stuffed animals and Babylon 5 action figures liberally distributed upon them. The dresser has been moved to its proper place in the guest room with a mirror mounted above and our old radio alarm clock brightening its top. I also put up three corner shelves to hold some of the stuffed menagerie as well.

James also installed two narrow blue shelves over the closet in my craft room and I have my St. Jude statue and some other knicknacks up there, and a railing from which I have hung two storage baskets (a system from Ikea) where I have my pens and pliers and other tools. I mounted the two small decorative shelves myself (they just rest on nails) and one holds the clock I made and the other has my Maxwell Smart action figure.

James also mounted a short board outside and I used Scotch exterior mounting tape to fasten a shallow ceramic bowl with a bird on one rim (from JoAnn's "Garden Gate" collection). This has water in it for the birds at the feeder.

James did go downstairs today and assemble the small metal computer desk we found at Ikea and set up his old computer on it. He's erased all the files no longer needed and is just going to have games on there. We figure if we have a party and the younger set gets bored, they can go downstairs and knock out a few videogames.

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23 April 2006
  The One I Didn't Have Time for Friday
Here's the whole dining room. You can see Mom's stand mixer on the smaller cabinet. Not sure if you can make it out, but on top, in front, are those cute little Publix salt-shakers of the Pilgrim man and woman, like in the commercials. The cow print, of course. The two plates at the far rear have Thurber dogs on them; I put them over Willow's crate, of course.

dining room

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21 April 2006
  China Cabinet!
Late for vet appointment; gotta go, but wanted to show you the finished product!

china cabinet

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19 April 2006
  Fully Stocked
Well, spent all my free time washing and drying and the china cabinet is now completely stocked. However, there is no plate rail on any of the upper shelves, so to finish up by displaying some of the serving dishes vertically, I will have to get some plate "easels." JoAnn always had the best variety, so I'll look there first.

I put all our Christmas glassware on the top shelf, along with a very pretty set of three horse glasses with gold trim that my mom saved for best. (She didn't use them a lot after three were broken, which is why there are only three.)

The second, widest shelf will display a couple of the china serving dishes and also the creamer, sugar bowl, salt and pepper shakers, and the three china serving implements: yes, there is indeed a china pie server, salad fork and salad spoon!

But then there are so many dishes to this set I had to figure them all out: dinner plates, dessert plates, and what was either bread or fruit plates; soup bowls, salad bowls, and dessert bowls; custard cups and what I guess are finger bowls (unless they are real Chinese-style teacups); cups and saucers, a covered vegetable dish, a salad bowl, a big round serving platter, a smaller dish that might have been for slices of pound cake, some other shallow bowls. I suspect a soup tureen and dipper also might have come with the set and also napkin rings, but Mom evidently didn't get them.

I had a long time to think as I carefully washed, dried, stacked (with a coffee filter between each piece, as suggested by Cook's Illustrated). I think Mom told me once she didn't want a china set—she was a sensible person and wanted a set of nice dishes, but not really a set of china. But she was told everyone got china. The set was obviously used at some point prior to it being wrapped up in 1949 newspapers as we found it: someone had served chocolate cake on some of the dessert dishes and then didn't wash them. (I can tell you right now whomever did it was not my mother or my grandmother! Both of them would have gone without sleep rather than leave dirty dishes in the sink!) I always wondered how much she regretted not having a place for them downstairs. We only had four rooms downstairs and none of them were large enough for a china cabinet. She had several pretty sets of glasses and cups, which she kept for company, in the cupboard, and we gave most of it away. Daily we ate on sensible plates and bowls that we got from Woolworths, things she didn't have to worry about chipping when she washed them.

If we'd fixed all or half the attic, we might have used what was my room as a dining room, but we never had the money to do it (and I don't think they wanted to ship me upstairs anyway; Dad knew I would have needed an air conditioner to survive up there in the summer—downstairs was hot enough!). I would have missed the attic, though; it was my favorite place to creep up to on rainy or snowy days, even when it was freezing cold, to look at the old newspapers and the World War II maps cut from them or the Hurricane Book or the old photos and the snapshot of Dad with the fawn.

It's a lovely pattern, Royal China, and the pattern is Hollywood. It's sort of a small bouquet of flowers. There's a largish flower that looks a bit like a tulip, a couple of daisy-shaped flowers, and some other blossoms. They are not properly a fall pattern, but there are enough oranges and purples in it that it gives the impression of sort of a going-on-fall arrangement. The dishes are edged with 22-carat gold in a filigree pattern.

After an inquiry on rec.arts.antiques, I found out this pattern was not very popular. I checked out an antique dealer's page of Royal China patterns and couldn't understand why—some of the popular patterns are downright ugly, at least to me. I think Mom picked out a very pretty set!

The bulk of the rest of the things are the set I call "the blue glasses." It is mostly glassware of a rich cobalt blue color: tea glasses, tumblers, juice glasses, and some tiny glass that I can't figure out what you were supposed to put in it, plus goblets with crystal-clear stems. Also there are a set of dinner plates and salad plates and a salt and pepper shaker set, all in the same blue glass, as well as a fluted-neck vase. There were originally six vases. When Dad brought Mom red roses on Valentine's Day or her birthday or on Mother's Day, Mom would use the blue vases to display the roses. One by one they were broken until there were two left and James unfortunately dispatched another while we were packing them up. Now we have the lone vase.

I put some other things on the buffet top: Willow's biscuits, other treats, and the other cookie jar, plus the two ceramic apples (one is a bowl shape and the other an apple container) that were formerly on the table. The table is so nice and clear now! Just the napkin holder and salt/pepper shakers, the little turntable with the sugar, Splenda, toothpicks, and Sweet'n'Low, the two burgundy candles, and the bouquet in the middle. We don't have to clear off a lot of things any longer to eat there; it's wonderful.

I also have put up the cow-motif picture over the old microwave cart, which now holds our mugs, my stoneware dishes, and the stand mixer, and the two wonderful "Thurber dog" plates that my friend Sherrye gave me as a gift one year. I finally mounted the apple garland around the door to the deck.

Also washed all the slipcovers and throws in the living room. Been wanting to do that for a couple of weeks, but waited until there was no extraneous stuff that needed to be stored there until it found a place.

Now I need to finish the fall cross-stitch for the dining room. There's a special place left open for it between the cabinet and the cart.

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16 April 2006
  China Cabinet Check A-OK
It's all assembled...took us hardly any time at all. The main part assembles just like one of the Billy bookcases. The trickier part is hanging the doors and getting them straight.

Then I unpacked all the china. It's not in the cabinet; it needs to be washed first after being in the attic since 1951! Sorry to say we had some casualties: a shallow small serving dish, two dessert plates, and a saucer. Also lost one of the saucers on what we think was Jadite, a set of four cups and saucers of pale green Fire King ware.

Also unpacked Mom's big Hamilton Beach blender. Am just going to leave it out on the microwave cart; it looks like a collectable. If I put a nostalgic tin or two near it, it will look like a display. And we can use it, too. :-)

Oh, well, have lots of washing coming up!!!

(Incidentally, have finally gotten all my collie statues unpacked. I think I need a shadow box for them all—I have twenty, plus a Royal Doulton china cup from Busch Gardens in Virginia with a collie on it.)

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  Different Types of Holidays
I thought we'd have the ham for Sunday Easter dinner.

Instead we went to Ikea. They had a holiday special, turkey and dressing with mashed potatoes and green beans. (James ate my green beans. Yay!) It was just sliced turkey breast, but it was real turkey, not turkey loaf. The cornbread dressing was quite good—had a good celery flavor and super moist, but there was an extra flavor in it that I couldn't place until I looked directly at my forkful of dressing. Turned out to be finely-chopped bell pepper. (Granted, it wasn't in the same class as the turkey dressing at the Colonnade, but then their dressing is in a class by itself.)

So we've bought the china cabinet home. James said it was easier to manage than the bookcases; not as wide or as bulky.

Not sure if we'll put it together today, but it's here. Also bought a very inexpensive metal desk for the old computer to go downstairs in the library for games.

Think it's time for Here Comes Peter Cottontail about now. :-)

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15 April 2006
  Happy Easter from Autumn Hollow
Here's the foyer decorated for Easter:

the foyer decorated for Easter

Look, the Easter Bunny brought his gifts early!

Easter decorations and gifts

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  Rising Damp
Well, we did something tonight that we had been very reluctant ever to do. We didn't need to do it at the old house.

We bought a new hose...two, actually...and a sprinkler.

The front yard of the old house was basically all weeds: broadleaf grass, onion grass (when you cut the lawn it smelled like someone was serving hamburgers at the local Wendy's), some kind of vetch, violets, wild strawberries, dandelions, you name it. It grew whether you watered it or not, and when we had a wet year, like last year, it grew a foot or so in a week.

This stuff is real grass and needs to be taken care of! :-)

We also bought a timer that fastens to the faucet. I remember reading that the best time to water the lawn is after dark. In the summer it's simply too hot during the day and most of the water evaporates before it ever penetrates the soil. Once we figure out the range of the sprinkler we can set it out and then let the timer turn the water off and on while we are asleep.

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13 April 2006
  All Boxed Out
Last night we went downstairs and...all together now!...emptied boxes.

There was one box that was driving me nuts: it was just filled at the bottom with odds and ends—a spindle of CD-Rs, a printer cartridge holder, little things like that. We tossed quite a few things and made several small piles of books, computer supplies, and other objects that need to go upstairs.

We also pretty much emptied the closet that has all the Christmas things and the big steamer trunk in it and then rearranged and restocked so there is now floor space the next time the tornado sirens go off (this is the only interior room we have) and we can still get the trunk open. Once I get the string of lights out of the box we can donate/dispose of faithful "Serendipity" the Christmas tree. I just realized last night that I purchased that tree in October of 1990, so it is fifteen years old. No wonder branches have fallen off and the needles are shedding!

There's enough room there, too, to store a few things that aren't holiday related, like the big box of ultra-thin CD cases we got for free one Black Friday and the Xerox box full of our wedding flowers and cake topper. I have the wrapping paper ready to take upstairs where it can be more accessible for birthday gifts, but am thinking it would probably be more sensible to separate out the Christmas paper, ribbons, and tags and leave them downstairs until "Natale" wanders by once more.

We also put the small television we brought home from my mom's (she used it in the kitchen) and placed it on a cart along with the old VCR. James wants to buy a small cheap DVD player as well (there's one for $25 at Brandsmart) for when he sits down there once again to work. Haven't hitched up the VCR yet; the antenna wire won't reach it, so we need to buy some more (yes, another set of rabbit "how quaint" ears). Another chance to use my antenna wiring skills. [wink]

The box full of artwork is still sitting in the middle of the library floor. James has a few metal signs and I have an idea to put them into the downstairs bathroom, which can be the "airfield bathroom" (just considerably cleaner! LOL). One says "licensed pilot on duty," another "licensed airplane mechanic on duty," and the third is a replica advertisement for connecting flights to the Hindenburg. I think Michael's has one that is for the "Airline Diner," it would be a perfect capper.

Just need to decide where to put the other artwork: most of it will go on the stair wall leading up from the foyer to the main level. We have a great picture of a little boy out in the dark consulting a star map with his flashlight while the stars and the Milky Way gleam overhead—that's definitely for the foyer so everyone can see it when they come in.

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10 April 2006
  Cool and All That
Had to get out early, but it was worth it—the electrician popped in at the appointed time, tried to pop the breaker, checked out the compressor, then came back and was able to snap on the breaker this time. The air conditioning was finally "booted up."

I'm so flippin' short it was hard for me to tell that there was air coming out of the vents, but I let it run and the builder came by and confirmed that yes, indeed, cool air was emerging. Good...since it's supposed to be 90°F on Friday. Ye Gods. In April.

I spent the time waiting for the electrician and all the way to six o'clock emptying out the boxes I brought back from Mom's attic. I weeded out some things, and others came inside—judging by my collection of collie statues, I need a shadow box just for them—and the rest were reboxed in three large "Xerox boxes" and two regular sized ones (plus a box of Superman comics from the 70s and a legal file folder) and tucked up on the shelves.

I then swept out the rest of the garage, leaving the boxes near the door for James to dismantle. I then "walked" the excess bookcase and video cabinet out where the old boxes were. We have a friend who has a family member whose house burned down. Along with a four-drawer dresser, these should help the person until the insurance pays off and she can get some better things.

There are still some things left in the garage, but they're all neatly on shelves until I fetch them. One is the America poster that was released by Xerox when the Alistair Cooke series premiered on NBC in 1972. I don't remember where I got it, but it was on my bedroom wall for a long time before being relegated to the attic.

Unfortunately when we found it, because of the heat in the attic, it became fused to a big paint-by-number oil painting of a collie I had done. We just brought the whole shebang back with us, and today I used a knife to peel the poster off the painting, which was ruined—I tossed it. The poster is pretty battered and a bit of it went with the painting, but I think if I bond it to a piece of poster board and do some color work with my Sharpies, I can make it presentable again.

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09 April 2006
  A Place for...Sorta Everything
Not quite yet.

On Friday I did buy a little Closetmaid shelf-type thing. It's one of their stackers, but I couldn't find it on their site. It looks like this, but without the door, maple-finished, and only about 18 inches high. I have it in the small space next to my desk and it holds my unabridged dictionary, atlas, thesaurus, and some other reference books.

Put some autumn-themed rub-ons on the fireplace front. Not exactly how I wanted it. Oh, well. It looks warmer, at least, rather than that expanse of vast whiteness.

James had to work all day yesterday, so I did some more errands and then decided to go back to Walgreen's. They had a small boombox on sale for a reasonable price; the CD player on it also plays MP3s. I sat in the dining room eating my supper and trying it out by listening to a Bing Crosby Christmas radio show.

We drove all the way out to the DeKalb Farmer's Market today to stock up on boneless skinless turkey thighs; DeKalb is the only place that sells them at a reasonable price. Stocked up on some seasonings as well. The newspaper had Linens'n'Things coupons, so we bought the sky-blue plastic Adirondak chairs they have for the deck.

And then when we got home we cleaned out the garage. It wasn't all that bad since Doug had come to collect our spare boxes; basically what we did was pull all the spare shelving and the lawn tools, etc. into the middle, sweep against the walls, and then set up things where we wanted them. James had some big industrial-sized hooks, so now our big reel of heavy-duty electrical cord is hung up as well as the hose of the Shop Vac (damn that thing gets in the way!), the hedge clippers, and the trimmers. All the tools, nails, etc. are now on the wall closest to the door to the garage, and there are empty shelves for me to use after I repack the things I brought home from my mother's.

My car will actually fit in there now, and James won't be wedging the truck in. Still a few things to come in and a few to go out, but it looks pretty good.

We put the chairs out on the deck and sat in the cool breeze for some blissful minutes before it was time to come in to make supper. Pity it's going to get warm. Hopefully there'll be a breeze out there in the summer.

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05 April 2006
  Non-Microsoft Windows
I decided to finish the sidelights around the front door tonight since most of what needs doing is box shifting and I can't lift most of them.

There were three blocks on each sidelight that had a leaf in the center. I had frosted around each leaf; now I used the glass paints to create fall colors in the leaves themselves. I then set two leaves each in the five clerestory panes over the door and added fall colors to them. The surrounding panes will stay clear.

The blending went better on some leaves than others. Hopefully when they dry it will cover a few "sins."

After supper James installed the curtain rod mounts, so the "Falling Leaves" curtains are now up. James also mounted the fall print we bought from Zazzle.com, which is flanked on both sides by small fall-themed tiles we have had for several years. They are a bit small for the space; maybe we'll find something better when Michael's and JoAnn put out their fall things later in the summer.

The finished product:

living room with curtains

On the left side of the mantel you can see the cute little "Maple Sugar Shack," complete with autumn leaves, that we found among the Christmas village stuff at Michael's last year.

A closer peek: my stitching corner:

stitching corner

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  The Library Story
Remember this?

The last time you saw the library on March 12, this is how it looked:

library in progress

The side you didn't see was still full of boxes—a week before that it had been a challenging tangle: one side full of eleven bookcases of varying sizes stacked against one wall, the rest of the room piled with boxes, and boxes, and boxes (not sure of the count, probably around one hundred).

Now that one side looks like this:

filled bookshelves

The two straight-backed chairs you see were my grandmother's.

I think the APAzines will just stay in boxes until we decide what to do with them. The records will stay boxed until we have a shelf or place for them. The artwork, now still in a box, will go into the foyer.

This looks so nice, even now, that it makes me want to cry. I always wanted a library, a real library, like Ward Cleaver had in Leave It To Beaver, since I was knee-high to that proverbial grasshopper. Although my dad only read the newspaper, Mom had been a voracious reader in her youth—her favorites were Zane Grey and Kathleen Norris—and while I don't remember her reading to me, I know she did. I had little books bought from Woolworth's from the time I was tiny and a World Book Encyclopedia by the time I was seven. On the occasional times when Mom would go downtown on her own and I would stay next door with my godmother's mother, she would return and I would say not "What did you bring me?" but "Did you bring me a book?" There were never enough books, and never enough room for the books I had. They were stuffed under my night table (neatly, because my bedroom was off the kitchen and Mom would have insisted anyway), in drawers, occasionally in the attic, and, after Daddy fixed the cellar, down there in bookcases he made for me: my old Whitman novels and later my Doubleday bookclub books and my beloved paperbacks, including all the Get Smart novels.

Plus I was at the school library every Friday, taking out the limit, whether it be old favorites or new finds, getting "high" not on pot but on the sweet scent of bookprint, which still beckons—bookstores have the scent of perfume to me.

When I was finally married (luckily to someone who was as book-friendly as I was) and we moved into a house, we turned the living room into a library. It overflowed, even though we had two sets of bookcases back to back on two different walls. James had his paperbacks in his hobby room; there was nowhere for mine to go but in our bedroom. There were bookcases in the spare room, a rack for books in the downstairs bath, media books and new books and computer books in the den, small cookbooks on shelves in the kitchen, a low book rack in the master bath, craft books in the laundry room...

But I still longed for that dedicated library.

And now thanks to Mom's final gift that dream has come true, and I can come down any time I like and savor, or even tarry awhile.

(Oh, there will still be books all over the house. <g> The media books are still upstairs, near the television where they need to be, as are the computer books—over the computer, of course. We each have a small personal bookcase in our bedroom. My fanzines are in my craft room—the craft books are already there—and there are some Reader's Digest condensed books in the guest room and some trivia-type books in the master bath [for "inavoidable delay," as Frank Gilbreth put it]. Cookbooks on the "Expedit" wall divider in the dining room. But that's us.)

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04 April 2006
  After the Pause
After taking last night off, I'm back to work.

We had already put one of my grandmother's old chairs in our closet, for the putting on of shoes and anything else that might require a seat. Today I polished up the other three. (They really need a good cleaning, at the least, to take off the years of accumulated wax and other grime, perhaps with Murphy's Oil Soap, but for now I just polished them well.) One is in the hallway, basically for the same reason the other is in the closet; we may need it on rainy days when we both start coming in the garage (right now my place is partially taken up with shelving) to remove wet shoes. The other two I have put in the "bays" of the library. With the three chairs I put the three fall-themed chair cushions that used to be in the kitchen before I bought apple red ones instead.

I also attempted to straighten up the garage a bit. I was going to put James' six tubs of model kits into the closet with the water heater, but worried about it. When they were out in the shed, we put mothballs in them to keep insects away. These aren't real mothballs, made with camphor, but ones made of some type of chemical. I worried that the fumes from these chemical mothballs might react with the gas of the water heater. (Okay, call me silly. But I don't like to fool around with gas. My grandfather worked for the Providence Gas Company and he knew it wasn't wise to mess with the stuff.)

Instead I placed the plastic tool stand in the closet instead and put all the rakes, brooms, and the shovel in there, plus the two regular lawn chairs and the two canvas ones in their carriers. I did restack the tubs, and also brought the attachment hose for the vacuum cleaner in. I have to find a place in the laundry room for what we jokingly call "the railroad spike," the biggest nail I could find at the hardware store, to hang it up. This nail is nearly as long as my hand and about as big around as my little finger. All those Union Pacific workers driving the rails west might have mistaken it for a small spike at that. :-)

Anyway, I have to go repair one of the cushions...meanwhile James is grilling drumsticks and making Rice'a'Roni. Can't wait until we get a screen door for the deck.

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02 April 2006
  Too Sticky To Work
The curtains still aren't up. It was too sticky today to do anything that complex. It promises to be a little cooler later in the week, so James says we can do it one night after work. Can't do it Saturday since he is scheduled to work noon to nine.

Little things did get done. We had taken the bird feeder pole down due to a storm approaching and left it down because it didn't seem quite stable clamped to the deck rail. Today James cut a few short lengths of board and fastened them with deck screws to a corner of the deck, then mounted the feeder pole on this. Hopefully it will attract the birds.

(Digression: we saw the coolest thing yesterday coming out of Fry's. A small sparrow was cutting across the parking lot; suddenly we saw it stall and wondered if it were hurt. Then we saw something small flick above the bird's head and the sparrow make a hard 90 degree turn upward, spreading his wings wide and pouncing—it was catching a bug! Spectacular move!

We were at Fry's because I bought the parts so James can make me another "Frankenputer." I've been putting along on a P2 or less with 300MHz [overclocked; the original was only 175MHz] and 135 meg of RAM, with a 32 meg video card. DVDs sputter and I can't play most online videos. Also, they are making noises about finally letting us telework two days a week and my computer just couldn't manage it. I got an Intel Celeron D processor [2.5GHz] and 512 meg of RAM on a P4M800 Pro motherboard, with a plain old Soundblaster 5.1 sound card and a 128 meg DDR video card. This should help with my graphics software, too; Paint Shop Pro 9 uses a ridiculous amount of memory.)

Put up my dad's old barometer/thermometer/hydrometer near the door and the hook for hanging up the Dirt Devil hand vac. Plus put up some hooks to get the colander and strainer off the counter and put up the two magnetic boards we had bought at Ikea. Before Christmas I used several Borders 30 percent off coupons to buy some magetic poetry sets. My mother-in-law/sister-in-law/niece have these on the side of their refrigerator and I love to work with them. The sides of our fridge aren't exposed, so we got magnetic boards instead. We have a basic set, the books set, the food set, the office set, and a dog set.

As for the glass frosting, it has dried and does not look bad at all. I now have to paint the leaves set inside, with fall colors, of course.

We still have a mystery: cannot find my boonie hat and the straw hats we wear when we fly rockets. We thought they were in the box that was packed of various things from the den. Then we thought they might be in the box with the books from James' end table. Still not in sight!

pumpkin divider

01 April 2006
  All Hung Up
Well, not quite yet. Have the curtain rods, though, a nice dark coppery color.

pumpkin divider