Friday, August 31, 2018

Piano come, piano go

It was time.

I finally realized that it wasn't the piano that I loved, it was the idea of it. That maybe someday I would progress beyond "London Bridge" with both hands, and that heart stopping pause at "my fair ladyyyyy" while I searched for those nasty high notes way over there.

That maybe I could play something ELSE.

But yesterday I looked in Google and sure enough there are enthusiastic piano demolishers, giving very good advice on how to remove the 8 million screws and not to mess with the harp in the back or you could behead yourself and the neighbor's cat at the same time...

And this morning I ferreted  out four screw drivers and vise grips, and dug in.  (before you scream in horror, it turns out that no one and I do mean no one wants a piano like this.  They can't give them away, even with the promise of a cash reward.  All those middle aged pianos, and all anyone wants is a guitar)  So...

If you've ever wondered, this is what a piano looks like with the keyboard out, the hammers gone.  That thing in the back is called the 'harp" and it hummmmms at me even when I walk into the room, like a large friendly beast.  

Took three hours, one husband for the rough bits, and most of his extensive tool collection.  He is out now getting pizza and the one screwdriver head he never had and always wanted.  

Im also planning to use the wood (which is lovely) for something else, in another project I haven't come up with yet.  

The keys are entirely wood with thin thin bits of ivory on top, and as someone said, the elelphant died for this a hundred years ago, it's too late to what I dont reuse will be kindling.  Not sure what the entire thing is made of, the side pieces look like curly maple, and I suspect it may be a collection of several different kinds of wood.  

and oh joy in the morning I can reclaim an entire corner of this room that I have never even seen.  

Thursday, August 30, 2018

the ins and outs of T13

1. In hot water

2. out of time

3.  in the family way

4.  out by dark

5.  in. other words...

6.  you'll put your eye out

7.  taking it all in stride

8. out of countenance

9.  in for the long haul

10.  out of pocket

11.  in more ways than one

12.  out for delivery

13.  in another life

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Stiil Life with Pear

Finally caught our resident grey squirrel on camera:  we sit on the porch in the late afternoon and watch him rodent-handle fallen pears nearly as big as he is, eating them down until they're light enough to drag up the tree. 

 This has been going on for days, ever since the old pear tree has been dropping fruit. 

The quality could be better but I was shooting from behind the screen, so as not to distract  him:
but if you squint, you can see him gripping what's left of his breakfast pear

he's got the last of it in his mouth and moving very fast, so he's a bit streaky...happy squirrel 

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

It's been a long happy ride, but...

Bit by bit the car has been dying.  I no longer feel comfortable about driving it anywhere, so yesterday we called (sob) the car guys and either today or tomorrow they will be coming for it.

I feel like a betrayer.  I cleaned it out, found a small but hopeful mousenest in the back seat,  found about 75 cents under the seats, later I'll go through the wad of stuff that was in the glove box. 

On the bright side, they will probably be giving us a check for nearly $400 dollars.  And when I canceled the insurance on it,  they said they will be sending us a rebate check now and taking the car off the next policy statement. 

I feel like I just sold my puppy to the Dog People.

Sunday, August 19, 2018


This started out in a totally different place, and when I started looking at these incredibly funny, charming animals, I knew they needed their own post.

wombat movie

There are dozens of You Tube videos about these little guys, all of them make Cute Kitties pale by comparison,and I LOVE Cute Kitty videos.

this is my favorite.  I want one.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Finally Gave Up My Old Car (6WS)

Somewhere, Im not sure where, is a Six Word Saturday, but I can never find it.  Soooo. I do hate to waste a perfectly good 6WS,  thrifty Yankee that I am...

Last time I started it it made a strange grindy growly noise.  In the parking lot at the grocery store, when I slowed to turn, there was a funny hesitation in the brake pedal.

Oh. Not good.

It's not had a lot of miles on it, as these things go, but they were all MY miles, and that seems to matter.  It took me to Iowa city four times, into Vermont countless times, and it always started, always stopped (which is sometimes more important, after all).  It never complained.  Hondas are like that, I know people who have  Hondas that just turned over their umpteenth hundred thousand mile mark, and they're still running.

But last year the window handle on the passenger side broke, and while the window is still in place, I expect at any point it will slide down into the well.  One good bump might do it. It has always had a back hatch leak which means when it rains, you need to move stuff back there to the right. 
It has never stalled at a light, or anywhere, for that matter.  Brave little car, never complained, and even on the most vicious days, it started right up, which is more than can be said of its owner.

I tend toward the point and click kind of purchase, and when I went in to buy one, 18 years ago, I looked at the cars and said to the salesman, "what about THAT one over there?"  took it for a drive, and brought it home. My husband was in shock for a few days,  since he's a great believer in researching everything down to the wires...

The first time I drove it somewhere I ended up coming home in a nasty blizzard,  no idea how it would handle, but it held the road, it never skidded, and I got through 30 miles of four inches an hour snow  in about two hours.  If you can fall in love with a car, I did, at that point.

I dislike intensely having to share driving  HIS car now, but I just can't see buying a new one, not with the doodads you're forced to take along with it.  So we will have to share.  (bummer)

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Lumbering toward autumn

Can't decide if this is the late spring rains or the early fall rains, but whatever it is, it's pretty endless.

Now and then the sky lightens a bit, and we see shadows on the ground, and like the good folks in Seattle, we get all excited about it.  Then the fog drifts in again, and we go back to whatever we were doing.

My lawn is now on the brink of hayfield, and the driveway is forming soggy places.  Even here in NH there have been flash flood warnings (our local town has three rivers that they are in the center of)  and for all of that, we do sit high and (I'd like to say 'dry', but...) not flooded.

This may be Nature's way of alerting us that August is half over, summer is no longer icumen in, and we'd better get used to it.  I can hardly wait for November, that's when the fall rains REALLY take hold...

I feel sorry, truly sorry, for the people in Pennsylvania and NJ;  this is nothing to what they're dealing with.  Can't even blame it on a hurricane.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

A new rule for seniors

--for whom time tends to swirl about like damp confetti:

put all the days of the week in a hat, and draw one. The one you pick is the one you celebrate until you weary of it, and then you take another.

I could have sworn this was at least Monday (don't ask me which one, I was pretty sure it was July until I found a calendar, and oh, my wasn't that a surprise) but my husband said, quite firmly, that it was Sunday.  An August Sunday.  We both checked to be sure of the date.

There was a chance to see the Perseids last night, but they were supposed to be near dawn--and I find it's one thing to BE up before dawn, and quite another to GET up before dawn.  And since we were socked in with clouds anyway, and fog tonight, I'd say my chance not-seeing any of them will have to wait until next year.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

No regrets, no shame, no blame

We all make decisions, every day of our lives. 

Sometimes yes, sometimes no. As a kid, many of the decisions in your life are made without your knowledge,  your consent, or even, often, your approval.  You learn to adjust, or make do with the shreds of what you have left.

I was an only child.  My husband was, too.  When we got married we never really discussed having children, since I was totally unfamiliar with babies, as was he.  After four years we moved up here, and I realized almost immediately two things:  1) a young married woman who is 'childless" has no business  going to baby parties where the new baby is passed around.  As soon as you reach for the child, someone reaches in and says, "it's okay, I got her" as if she were a football and I was about to fumble the play.  Message received. 
My mother was coy about it. She would say, "well, my daughter doesn't seem to want children, so I don't pressure her..."  and since I was sitting right there, well, all eyes would turn to the poor depraved  and thoughtless girl. 

and 2) where we lived at that time was no place to bring a child along.  We were living in a house with one leaky old cook stove, no central heating, plumbing, or amenties. I hauled all the water from a dug well, all winter.  All the wash was done by hand.   I didn't have  a driver's license and we couldn't have afforded a car for me anyway.  And he was away 11 hours a day.  It was a choice we had made to live here, and a serious commitment.

That's really where the timeline for me starts.

Not a good place to be pregnant, go into labor, have the child on the kitchen floor, and then pack it up and go back to hauling wood and water. yes indeedy.

We would not be living here now if we had had kids. My mother, being the family Narcissist, would have had them in her power by the time they could form full sentences.  I was just numb enough and young enough to not really understand just how toxic she was.  And what is chilling, in looking back, every single one of my 'young men', at least the ones I was drawn to, were also serious control dudes.  It was familiar to me, obviously.  The man I married was not into control, and that has made all the difference.

If we had had children we would have been living in town,  and the house would have had to go to the highest bidder. (Read, developer.)  It would have been pulled down, the land divided into umpty-teen house lots, and the history of the place destroyed forever.   It's a revelation to realize that there is not a single thing that I can recall now that would have existed to remember.

What I'm heading for here is I have reached the 'no regrets' part of the story, and the long sigh of relief.   People tell me I've missed so much.  I agree.  Different scenario perhaps, different ending.

Our memories are about other things.  I'm cool with that.  Maybe, in the next life, I'll go down the other pant leg of time, and see how it turns out that way.  Maybe, in the next life, I get a different  mother. yowza.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Bit by bit, we progress

The innards of newer woodstoves are almost as complicated as the innards of a car, these days:  ours also has firebrick, which over the past 8 years has begun to split and wobble. not good.   Getting it out is a lot like those dreadful puzzles we used to get for Christmas, with a 'key' that you had to find to take it apart. 

Took him all morning to find the right place to unbolt, and then we replace the firebrick and we're good to go for maybe another 8 years. By then, I truly won't care. Probably.

Two chimneys  to clean, and tomorrow the nice man comes to see about putting caps on the chimneys to keep the rain from getting in.  This week with all the incredible downpours, the dining room flue has run a steady stream.  Messssyyyy...

Still cleaning out books that I no longer want or will read again.  Along the way I've found several that I never got into, a good time to  try them on for size, I guess. 

And Toby, the determinedly touch-me-not cat, is now consenting to voluntary head pats, and careful shoulder blade scratches.  A little patience finally paid off. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

This year is turning out to be last year in a different room (T13)

Last year it was windows (putty, paint, refurbish) and curtains for the whole house, some serious wall stuff in the dining room, and bronchitis as a side dish.

And as these things happen,  when I look back, if this were a movie, it would start with a large drop of water falling gently into a still pond. Ripples.

Lots of ripples.

This year

I wanted to move a small bookcase downstairs into the back parlor.  Easy peasy. However I had to also move a huge oak dish cupboard out of the space earmarked for the bookcase.  Once I got it emptied and half way across the floor I realized that I wanted to finish taking off the ancient layers of varnish and let the nice wood show through.  What I really wanted to do was paint the damn thing, but the varnish still had to come off.

Two quarts of varnish remover later  I realize it does look pretty good, buffed it up a bit, and have it nearly in place on the other side of the  room.

While this was going on, my husband had tracked down the colony to end all colonies of carpenter ants (euuuwww) raising hell with the foundation.  In order to assess the damage from inside  he wanted to take out the cupboard and sink in the far corner of the kitchen.  Haven't used the sink in years, so that wasn't a problem.  Besides, I said, I always did want a woodbox there.

Sink removed, wall cleaned down, wallboard up, painted, woodbox (repurposed from elsewhere) in place and glory hallelujah a countertop and two lovely wide drawers.   Now I have a place for just making bread.  And five feet of countertop to do it on. **

Next ripple, dismantle the piano.

**there is, by the way, no such thing as too much counter space, shelving, or cupboards.  Men don't quite agree, but then they get to hammer nails into walls and hang stuff.  It's not the same.