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19 May 2006
  Now You Don't See It, Now You Still Don't
See the screen door? I assure you it's there. :-)

invisible screen door

pumpkin divider

  Upgrades R Us
I was beginning to get concerned about the Dish Network guy until he called about eleven a.m. looking for directions. He showed up a bit later and set to work.

The invisible screens tech showed up after the Dish guy and did two doors and was gone before the Dish man was finished. I looked at him in surprise, because they'd told me the doors take about 40 minutes each to install. He said it is easiest on new homes (probably because the door frames haven't had a chance to deteriorate) and also that he'd installed about 4000 doors!

I guess he has it down pat. :-)

Anyway, I've had the doors open all day. It is absolutely grand to be living somewhere that seems to have been designed to circulate air through the house! The old house was all compartments and the only way to force air through the house was to put on the attic fan. With any type of a breeze outside, this happens naturally.

The screens puzzle the heck out of Willow. There's a barrier there—she pushed at it and I gently reprimanded her a couple of times until I think she's figured out it's a door and she can't go through it. This afternoon when there was a nice breeze she sacked out in front of the door to the deck. Ahhhh...

While they were working I was doing my own chores. I [yes, again] was doing a load of laundry. I also had tidied up the craft room so I could work: I finished doing the glass paints on the top half of the upper window sash. As always with glass paints, you can't really tell how it looks right after you get done. This evening, however, the window looked quite nice with its autumn color highlights.

I also took a plaque I bought at JoAnn and converted it into an autumn picture. They have these resin plaques done in primitive style of colonial buildings, farms, schools, etc. Mine has a motto of "America the Beautiful" over a scene of a schoolhouse with a tree and flagpole next to it; in the foreground is a round barn with some sheep in front of it. The background is a hill with little pine trees on it. I added yellow, orange, and reddish paint to the tree to make it an autumn tree and then painted a smaller one in the background, and scattered the same color dots under the trees and around the school to represent fallen leaves. I then applied a weak brown wash to the grass to make it look as if it were going dormant for the fall and brightened the blue of the sky because a fall sky is always more vivid. Didn't come too bad. Some of the leaves look more like what they are, autumn-colored blobs, but it will look better from the street. I used the Scotch outdoor tape to place it on the brick arch on the front porch.

I had to run to the grocery and stopped at the Dollar Store. Found another animal for the menagerie out front: a hedgehog. So now we have two rabbits (Fiver and Pipkin), a fox (Cinnabar), a bluebird (Happy), a hedgehog (Lindesfarne, of course), a goose (Samantha), and a Jack Russell terrier (O'Dell—anyone understand the joke?) "digging a hole" under one of our bushes, with St. Francis watching over them all. Still can't find that 3-piece Loch Ness Monster in a smaller size at a reasonble price. Maybe I should get the squirrel; then we'd have a "Perri."

Meanwhile, been vacuuming—sigh...again! the new carpet sheds so!—and dusting and the usual housework to tidy up for the party tomorrow.

In the meanwhile, the television picture looks stunning. You actually can tell the difference between the regular picture and the hi-def feed. It took me about a half hour to figure out the new remote. It's very cool. For instance, there is a picture-in-picture feature on the channel guide, so while you are searching for something new to watch, you can continue to watch the program that's already on. When you click over a program, even if you haven't selected it to watch, it will give you a full description of it at the top of the guide screen, without having to click the info button.

The HD channels are just...brilliant. The color is vivid and everything has razor-sharp edges. The funniest thing is that some of the HD channels are showing old television shows that weren't filmed in HD, but were created on film rather than videotape. You should have seen how good 40+ year old reruns of Hogan's Heroes and Flipper looked in HD. I thought I was watching it on a movie screen—and the illusion was reinforced since both programs were letterboxed! I don't know how they got letterboxed versions of a show originally filmed in a 4:3 ratio...probably the picture has been masked at top and bottom.

(I wish these people showed Lassie! These shows are shown uncut (commercials at the end) and look like they are from the original masters. Even the Lassie DVDs are from syndicated prints and have bits missing.)

Needless to say Doctor Who looked super tonight...

pumpkin divider

18 May 2006
  Taking Stock
The "basic project" of the house is just about finished. As I said previously, we're down to details. It's a nice place to be. The move was the usual pain-in-the-neck that moving always is, but was helped along mostly by our wonderful friends (and the nice movers recommended by our realtor) with a tip of the hat to the weather staying cold (at least it wasn't 99°F with 99% humidity like the last time!). It was a challenging and tiring first month—but in a way fun in putting a dream together.

Friday they're supposed to come put up the screen doors (just in time, of course, for it to get hot again, which as February Callendar notes is typical of life) and the Dish people are scheduled to come put in the new receiver (unless their truck breaks down again...). I think that is the end of the large projects for now unless we decide to go to BrandsMart for the freezer. It's time to do some maintenance work on the car, see about getting myself an eye checkup and new glasses—and put some money away. I'd like to look into at least one CD, but I think I want to go to a different branch of my bank, where the employees aren't so...lethargic.

In the late fall we can start acquiring the remaining bookcases. I'd also like to save up a bit on my own and purchase a phonograph that will play 78s so I can play Mother's records.

Minor things left to finish:
  • America poster in place
  • craft room sorted out
  • hobby room sorted out
  • excess furniture out of the garage and to the person who needed it
  • a couple more pictures and posters mounted
  • our own bedroom rearranged and settled
Perhaps somewhere in the future we can think about a stairway down from the deck and a fence around the back yard.

And I want to get our domain in new web-hosting quarters sometime soon as well...

pumpkin divider

17 May 2006
  "America" Reborn
I worked on the poster tonight. It was in pretty bad shape: frayed at the edges, bent, tears in the middle, and a couple of bits taken out. It had started out at a disadvantage in the first place—it had been folded when it was delivered—and several years taped to my bedroom wall and then more time in the attic sticking to an oil painting made it worse.

Well, here's the result (it's dark because if I raise the light levels any the room reflects in the plastic "glass" over the poster). It looks about 500 percent better, although if you get close you can see where my markers didn't actually match most of the colors, some of the tear edges, and the creases. Ah, well...

Alistair Cooke's America poster

I didn't realize until I looked at the back where I had gotten this so long ago: it had been folded and mailed to my eleventh-grade history teacher and I had asked him if I could have it.

So if you're still out there, Mr. Stone, thanks!

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12 May 2006
  An Open and Shut Case
The garage door openers are up. The guy programmed all the remotes to open both doors, so now we have six remotes! When he finished he showed me all the safety features and overrides, how to lock the remotes from inside the garage, and then it was done.

I had intended to tidy up my craft room today while I was waiting for the installer and ended up doing crafts instead. I repaired some of the worst marks on my Lassie (the 1994 movie) and put that up in my room, and a funny Star Trek: the Next Generation poster ended up downstairs near the laundry room (I was doing laundry as well). I also put the readi-leading up on the top half of the guest room and craft room windows. This took me quite a while to get even and by the time I was finished I couldn't do the actual glass painting because you are not supposed to paint when the sun is striking the windows; the paint dries too quickly. I have done a vertical pattern interrupted by one leaf (on each window) and diamond shapes.

At a more appropriate time I'll use the fall colors to highlight the leaves and the interior of the diamonds. I'm trying to give the house a little of the look of the lovely Craftsman-style homes they are building down the road in Smyrna. There are several dozen of them now. They remind me of the triple-deckers at home, the ones that were cared for, with their beautifully paned windows.

James is presently downstairs attempting to bring order to chaos. He has many model kits, in progress projects, reference books, and just miscellaneous hobby tools and now has to find places for them.

They mentioned on the news tonight that you could see Jupiter shining above the moon, so I slipped out on the deck to see. Sure enough, there it sat glinting like a glowing pencil point. It was cool and lovely out there. I opened up my arms to greet the breeze.

This place makes me feel reborn.

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07 May 2006
  No Travel Needed
We had nowhere to go today.

Usually on Sunday there's some sort of errand: milk we didn't buy over the weekend, a coupon or two going a-begging. But nothing today! James did run out to get a double paper deal and some batteries, but that was just a short trip to the Food Depot.

So during the afternoon we installed the airplane lamp James's mom, sister and niece got him for Christmas. They had thought he would put it in his room, but he wants a ceiling fan down there eventually, so we put it into the hall. Yes, it will be a bit of a "low bridge." Beware in our downstairs hall, anyone taller than James.

This was taken from the foyer, hence the jacket on the right, and that's the laundry room door in the background.

airplane lamp in hall

This is the lamp from in front of the laundry room, with the "rocket garden" in the background. This is what James did after he hung the lamp. The door in the background is the coat closet (and, wow, yes there are actually coats in there rather than Christmas decorations!) and the print is of Spitfires coming in for a landing during the Battle of Britain. The other doorframe you see at the right edge is for the door to the garage.

rockets on shelves

We also permanently hung up the Wizard of Speed and Time poster and a smaller Battle of Britain poster over the coat rack, but I didn't take a photo because I haven't restored the America poster yet to put up there, so it's not complete.

pumpkin divider

06 May 2006
  Wait for It...
...the big news is...

...THE LAST BOX IS UNPACKED. Woohoo!!!!!

James qualifies this by saying there are still things that are in boxes. But they are actually boxes that are being used for storage, not boxes that were packed to move.

pumpkin divider

  Open and Shut Cases
We stopped by Bed, Bath & Beyond with a coupon and got another of those collapsible tables for downstairs.

God help me, found an autumn cross-stitch kit at JoAnn. This one's a sampler. Lots of detail. At the rate I stitch these days I might have it done in three years...LOL.

Anyway, we ended up at Lowe's and purchased the garage door openers. The development people wanted $400 each to put garage door openers in. We got two and will have them installed by Lowe's for a little bit more than half that. Have to wait for them to call to make an appointment. I guess I should make it for May 19; everything else will be installed that day.

pumpkin divider

04 May 2006
  Snapshots
Okay, you wanted more pics.

This is in the hallway; paned mirror, the lilacs, and some little decorations on the storage cabinet:

mirror and storage cabinet

This is on the opposite wall from the mirror, the robin and Susan Branch print:

prints on wall

Facing the guest and craft rooms; the "ethereal rabbit" print directly ahead:

hallway looking toward guest room

Guest room:

guest room

This isn't all that good a picture, but it's the artwork on the stairway going up:

artwork on stairway

Here's my wonderful washer and dryer:

washer and dryer

Here are some of James' aircraft prints on the wall of the downstairs hall leading to the library:

downstairs hall with aircraft pics

pumpkin divider

03 May 2006
  Down to the Bits
So the rockets are finally out of the downstairs bathtub :-) and it's primarily a bathroom again rather than an overflow storage place. I put up the shower curtain last night—it's not like it's actually going to be used, but could be useful if we ever do some grimy yardwork or something like spreading insecticide. Since it's the bathroom next to James' hobby room, I decorated it with the metal signs he's accumulated over time featuring airplanes. The capper is the nightlight, which I found at Michael's: it looks like the front half of an airplane, with the cockpit lighted and a red light on either wing.

Last night while I was watching Texas Ranch House and House, I worked on and finished the Autumn Hollow sign. James put it up in the foyer and I flanked it on either side with the copper-painted "J" and "L" wooden initials that used to be in our kitchen. He commented that it needs a bit of color, so maybe I'll take it down and pull out my paint pots to give the leaves I sketched on it a bit of autumn color. (Or maybe I'll just hunt up the autumn leaf wreath I bought at A.C. Moore last summer, which is supposed to go above it.) I also rummaged in the box of artwork and found several little prints (5x7) that I dotted in the hallway (one a ethereal-looking rabbit in the snow, another an English robin, a third a framed Susan Branch postcard with a Robert Louis Stevenson quotation on it). Found three more fannish pieces of artwork that I added to the collection on the stairway.

Just made an appointment to have the retractable screen guy come over on Friday morning. Have been looking at decent-looking screen doors in the Lowe's catalog and we might as well just put up one of these instead, since there's not room on the deck for a real screen door.

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