Friday, April 30, 2010


Or maybe this should be titled, Keeping Myself Pulled Together (Barely).
It's been a strange day. It was supposed to be a quiet Friday morning with the house to myself for a while, finally. It seems like there's been someone around, strangers in the pantry, on the roof, working in my family room forEVER. But, it was not to be. By 8:30 am, three pages into the magazine I'd been saving, and less than a half a cup of coffee down, I realized it was hopeless, and got dressed, poured away the coffee. Disappointed.

Earlier, I was making Gerry's breakfast, and had so much trouble cracking an egg, I put my thumb right through the yolk. I've been making eggs for how many years now? Let's not even count, it's frightening.

My errand and shopping plans went awry, Gerry slaved in the new rock garden all day (and caused me some concern), and apparently I cooked for the first time in my life tonight. I shattered a custard cup, threw capers around the counter, caused sparks in the microwave, found out I was out of a major ingredient halfway through the pie I was making, and burned my fingers on the oven door. Oh, and let's not forget thinking it was safe to add to the whipping cream in the blender, opening the lid, and covering myself in spattered whipped cream!

Despite all that, there were good things today. Like the geese having a little moonlight swim on the pond: (oh, how I wish you could hear the frog-song right now, and smell the lilacs!)

Like the beautiful containers of the spices that arrived today (and the Fooled You peppers that arrived a couple days ago):
Look at the results of plant shopping! Can't wait to see them in the new rock garden.
And found this happy dancer for the garden - 50% off:
Here's the rock garden:
I can't believe how much Gerry has gotten done in two days! He's really a rock-hauling, dirt-stomping hero!

Monday, April 26, 2010

DIP - Asia Ancient Icon

This doll was begun during Pearl Moon's online class in (I think) 2005. In-process projects got sidelined during the move, and it's taken me this long to pick most of them back up again.

I'm almost done - just her teeny beaded shoes remain to finish.

Not sure about her pants from the back - yes, I added all the ribbon and beads to the fabric - but this looks a little like Uncle Sam gone wrong, doesn't it?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

I'm Such a Delicate Flower

Last fall we removed a sickly pine that was too close to the house. It's made a world of difference in the amount of pine needles in the gutter. It also created a new potential gardening spot. Here's what it looked like yesterday, right after we brought home a pink dogwood, and figured where to place it in the space.
But the wall around the space seems too low. So we went rock shopping, because Gerry is going to build up the wall. Funny how quickly one can go from planting a tree to building a wall.

So we got two pallets of rocks delivered; about 4,000 pounds of rock. They were dumped right on the edge of our property, in the ditch. Just as it started to drizzle, we undertook moving them out of the ditch, near where they'll be used. Here's our pile-o-rock:
And here, we've generally re-located them:
That's a lot of rocks.
Sometimes I wonder if Gerry would rather have a wife that worries about things like broken fingernails and the latest hairstyle. But then I help with projects like this, and I figure getting help moving 4,000 pounds of rocks isn't a bad trade-off.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Monday Photo - Something Odd or Unusual

Wayyy late, I know. I struggled with this one, finding nothing odd or unusual about the house the prior week. Gerry tells me that's because everything about me is odd or unusual, so I don't notice those things. Finally, today, two offerings that are just a little different.

First, a view of the pond from a new angle - up on the roof, overlooking the new shingles.
Second, the white thing in the grape hyacinths. Knowing our yard, and our distance from neighbors, where did a golf ball come from?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Roof Still Isn't Done...

...five days later. Gerry thought I was kidding earlier when he called home and I said "don't come home without wine." I had to go out and get my own. (See the part that's done? It does look a lot better than that stark almost-black look we had going.)

They thought they would be done yesterday, but NO. They thought they would finish by 4 PM today, but NO. They're coming on Monday to re-set the skylights and it's a good thing we have two days of no bumping or thumping overhead, or I really would be running from the house, screaming and biting my arms.

It rained today. We developed a new leak in a place that previously didn't need repairs - directly over my computer desk. And yet, despite all my complaints, they're doing a really good job, they just uncovered a LOT of crappy prior work. If I can hang on to my sanity, I know it will have been worth the trouble.

Spring Blooms

I can't believe the lilacs have begun opening already. Just a week or so ago, there was just a hint of where the buds would be, and now look! It must have a lot to do with unusually warm temps, early. Lolo always liked to put lilacs on her mother's grave for Memorial Day. They certainly won't last around here long enough for Memorial Day.
The quince is covered in blossoms - aren't they gorgeous? They remind me of marschino cherries.
Looking up into the branches of the ornamental pear tree can be dizzying! Light fragrance, dappled sunlight, beautiful reaching branches sketched against the sky.

I love spring - the epitome of Hope.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Roof Work

I’ve been up since 4:30 am, when I heard the stream of water begin to run on the loft floor. The roofers covered the holes very well when they removed the skylights for work yesterday, but the spot that began seriously leaking while Bekah was visiting, let go even more. We have huge blisters running along the ceiling. I’ve managed to contain it with one bucket, two dishpans, and a large towel. Tonight we’ll be removing the blisters from the ceiling, hopefully so the plaster can dry. I’m thinking of it like peeling sunburn.

Of course, a new leak sprung, right down between the frame and the trim of the window next to my co-worker's desk. It gathered in the Roman style gathers of the curtain, and spattered everywhere when he pulled it away from the glass to see what was happening.

Now the sun is out (it wasn’t supposed to go away until Thursday – so much for all that expensive Doppler weather crap), and the men continue to work on the roof – tromping, dropping, heaving. I feel as though I am under siege, and if my car weren’t blocked in the garage, I would be OUT OF HERE. I’ve given serious consideration to becoming incompetent; to succumbing to the helpless-female-vapors and telling my husband he must take care of me, me, me, I’m just a delicate flower. Perhaps a complete melt-down and stay in some clean hospital room is in order. But really, how can I complain, when I’m the one who KNEW we needed a new roof, and was proven correct, unfortunately.

But why, why do they haul those bundles of shingles all the way up the ladder on their shoulders, these big, hearty tattooed men, and then drop them from shoulder height? The walls rattle, things fall off shelves, the pictures are crooked, and then it gets quiet, and suddenly, BLAM! And they drop more, the walls shudder, and I look for a foot sticking through the ceiling.

The know-it-all neighbor paces the property line. The same man who told me to stop feeding the geese because it’s illegal and encouraging them to stay will cause them to eat all my fish (I KNOW geese don’t eat fish – the ducks might, but the geese don’t). He paces the line, wanting to snoop, wanting to critique, and I stare out the window at him, daring him to say or do one negative thing, because I’m about to rip off my hormone patch and burst out there and tell him to mind his own business or I’ll rip out his outdoor telephone ringer that makes me feel like I’m living next door to a used car lot. This is the same man who, in his big white Hummer, cut me off TWICE in a two block stretch on the way to the bank. He still doesn’t know he cut off his own neighbor. Who needs a Hummer in the city anyway? (OK - I have to edit this to admit that he was actually admiring the work, and wants an estimate from our roofers, and since the noise has stopped, I'm a little calmer. However, he's still talks down to me, and acts like he knows everything.)

I’ve contemplated a trip to the treehouse, but that is directly under where they are working; saws, hammers, radio set to 1980s rock, other torture devices. It is also directly next to the closet I had to empty of all the fabric, so they could use the access door to the attic. The guest room is now filled with teetering stacks of flat-fold fabrics, the door to the closet is open, the protective plastic has been removed from the access door – and they just informed me that they decided to go in by rolling back the roof boards instead. Did I mention they have to get in there to strap on the chimney, which has pulled away from the house? That’s on the old part of the house – over 100 years old and still sporting the original roof boards – clean and dry and intact. The roof of the new addition on the house, built about 1980, has modern plywood sheathing which, along the entire northern edge, has rotted about two feet back from the edge.

For the past few days, my horoscope has read something along the lines of a pleasant financial surprise. I haven’t won the lottery, and the price on the roof repairs keeps going up. Perhaps if I need to take out a home improvement loan, they’ll say yes??

Hugs to all, from the soon-to-be-incarcerated me.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Monday Photo - Reflections

This week's theme is "Reflections," and I think the photo above is just about perfect for that. Look at the trees perfectly mirrored in the smooth pond.
And even though this photo only has one tree reflected in the pond, I had to include it - look at that incredible shadow of the house. It almost looks like a child's cut out, doesn't it? I just love the shadows in this photo.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Monday Photo - Something Easter-ish

This is as Easter-ish as we got with inside decor this year - a few fake eggs in a vintage vase nest.
I like the spring-y, Easter-ish look of this abundant and free-form forsythia. I am so grateful for this year's spring flowers!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

A New Round Robin

The Cloth Souls club has started a new round robin, with the theme "My Name is Betty..." We were to devise a doll and the first chapter of her story, surrounding that theme. The doll we provide needed the basic doll and her face.

My premise is that this is the original Betty - the one that Betty Grable, Bettie Page, and even the illustrated Betty Crocker were inspired by. I used a doll pattern provided by Sherry Goshon for a different project in her group, and made the whole premise even more difficult by using only patterned fabrics for the doll. This is such a lovely, creative group, and the whole concept is so off-the-wall, I can't wait to see what's done with the dolls.

When my Betty returns home in four months, I'll be sure to share. Remember my fabulous Swamp Queen? She came from this group.

The picture isn't the best. I took down my light cube to make room for house guests and haven't put it back together yet. I had to grab a quick shot before Betty left the house!