Thursday, October 11, 2007
I kept working, paying attention my watch, since I was to meet Cliff at 7:30 for dinner. I thought I was paying attention. It was close to dark outside when I finished, but my watch still said 6:30. Dead as a door nail. (Wonder where that expression comes from.) Oh dear. Went to the computer only to discover that it was actually 7:36. Late again.
The next morning Cliff went to work at the house next door for a while before leaving for work. He kept working and working and finally realized that his watch had stopped, too. He came home and showered in a rush and got to the office.
When I finally got around to changing all the clocks in the house, I realized that the clock on the stove had stopped working altogether. Electricity is running, but not my kitchen clock.
I've resorted to my phone to tell me the time. Maybe that will help me remember to carry the phone with me more often, at least until I can buy a clock for the stove.
Monday, September 17, 2007
The Egyptian wing of the British Museum in London.
We started in Bath, toured through the countryside of the Cotswolds, visited Blenheim Palace where Churchill was born, went to Stratford-upon-Avon where Shapespeare was born, wandered through Oxford, and spent two jam-packed days in London.
Arlyngton Row. I haven't figured out how they're related to Arlington Cemetery yet, but apparently this row of houses, or the owner, are another connection to our history books.
St. Paul's Cathedral is absolutely stunning. It was one of my favorite memories. I nearly missed Holman Hunt's painting "The Light of the World." The painting has been a key image in my own journey into knowing God I would have been devastated to have discovered later that I missed it. Standing in front of it was incredible. No reproduction even comes close to the original.
I nearly missed it because my husband called me across the room to see a memorial to some ship captain who fought bravely in some battle until he was "shot through the heart." End of memorial.
There was flooding in the countryside for weeks before we arrived. One little village we stayed in had many businesses closed because of so much damage. A school at the end of the street also had lots of damage. The dumpster on the curb was full of waterlogged debris. On top of the pile were a bunch of books. It was near dusk, so Cliff and I lifted the lid and plundered through the school books. I came home with an 1896 copy of Twelfth Night that I pulled out of the rubbish bin. In good shape.
My American friend who lives in London laughed and said, "You know they say 100 miles is a long way in England and 100 years is a long time in the States." I guess she's right, but it's still pretty amazing to me.
I've wanted to go to England since I missed out on the college choir tour back in the 70s. It was worth the wait.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Monday, August 20, 2007
I had Catherine, the 10-year old, in my car. She's very outgoing and chatty. So she was telling me all the things she liked. High School Musical was at the top of the list. She also likes washing dishes, cooking, and swiffering. Too funny. So I asked what she didn't like. Dusting, but she couldn't think of much else. The conversation went on to other things. About ten minutes later she suddenly pipes up with, "Hospitals. I don't like hospitals." The smart brains in these short people ruminate beautifully.
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
One of the lovely private homes at Chautauqua.
Me with Kathi Appelt, children's writer and my faculty mentor for the week. Kathi has written picture books, poetry, and middle grades fiction and memoir. She's also on the faculty of the MFA program in children's literature at Vermont College.
I came home feeling like one of these carvings.
This picture is foggy because the humidity is so high, I couldn't keep the lens clear!
The electrician has been around, too. As you can see, he's still got some connections to make.
Monday, June 25, 2007
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Some of the windows are in. The rest are still stacked around on the main floor.
Plumbers have been working. They've dug up the basement floor to put in drains for bathroom and mini-kitchen. Tubs and showers are in upstairs.
So, it seems we're finally making progress.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
So far the house has only frames and angles. This one from our side yard.
Monday, April 30, 2007
Friday, April 27, 2007
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Monday, April 23, 2007
The bugman came today. He said, "I don't think I've ever seen it take so long to build a house. Everytime I come over here, it looks like they've taken something else off." I didn't enlighten him on the project as my husband probably would have done.
Once the roofing came off, we discovered the roof itself is tongue and groove number one pine. Amazing. Put down with 16 penny nails. If you don't know what that is, it's about the biggest nail you can get. It's going to be hard to get off.
Mom and Dad came by to look at it on Saturday. We agreed to delete the half bathroom that sits just off the great room area. When we stood in the pantry area (the smallish square at the window in the above picture), we realized there was no way a freezer was going in this room and still allow space for anything else. So now there will be a larger pantry. If you're visiting and need to use the facilities, you'll just have to walk through the guest bedroom.
Cliff makes sure it stays clean inside and out. It's an emotional boost to the workers, he says. They see you keep it neat and they take more pride in what they're doing also.
Saturday, April 7, 2007
As John upon his dear Lord's breast,
So would I lean, so would I rest;
As empty shell in depths of sea,
So would I sink, be filled with Thee.
As water-lily in her pool
Through long, hot hours is still and cool,
A thought of peace, so I would be
Thy water-flower, Lord, close by Thee.
As singing bird in high, blue air,
So would I soar, and sing Thee there;
Nor rain, nor stormy wind can be
When all the air is full of Thee.
And so though daily duties crowd,
And dust of earth, be like a cloud,
Through noise of words, O Lord, my Rest,
Thy John would lean upon Thy breast.
Sunday, April 1, 2007
Saturday, March 31, 2007
No windows. No doors.
The next thing to go is the roof.
Beneath the vinyl siding we discovered tongue and groove number one pine boards. The ceiling of the carport was built from the same stuff. Number one pine is not even manufactured any more. The best you can buy is number two pine. What makes it number one? No knots. Apparently it's too expensive to go through all the pine trees and pine boards cut from them to find pieces that are not knotted and put them in a separate pile marked number one. The boards will be salvaged, somebody has to pull all the nails out, then put them through a planer, then stack them somewhere safe until the house is ready to be finished inside. They'll go on an accent wall somewhere.
You have to admit, even without the windows, the view is outstanding.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Today my dad ripped the rest of the hardwood floors out of the house next door. Give him a mallet and a crowbar, and the man is happy.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Sunday, March 25, 2007
After months of piddling with small demolition projects:
Major work has finally begun.
Our Mexican brick mason took one look at the outside walls and said, "No good. No ties. Wall fall down." In other words, the bricks weren't tied to the construction. If we take the roof off to add a second story, which is in the plan, the existing walls will tumble without the benefit of silent marches or blowing trumpets. So, now the house next door looks like this:
Isn't this going to be fun?!