Monday, September 15, 2014

The Bedlam of Moving

Howard used his well-organized tool/job trailer to move his belongings from Wyoming to Kentucky.
His boxes and furniture have come out so that Jim's tools can be conveyed to the 'other house.'

Our bedroom dressers going into the trailer drawer by drawer.

The living room is an uproar of our belongings and Howard's.
I have decided that I won't remove pictures, quilt racks and such until we have [somewhat] organized the heaps of 'stuff' which have landed at the other house.
I have not been there for several days and can only imagine the jumble which awaits sorting.

Bobby naps on our bed minutes prior to it being dismantled.
He refused to be dislodged from the bedspread, rolling himself up in it.
As each successive layer of bedding was removed he inserted himself in the folds.
Finally he stood on the bare pillow-top mattress, happily kneading the fabric.
The king-sized box spring comes apart in two sections.
Devin carried out the first section.  On picking up the second half, he realized that it felt heavier in a lop-sided way. Turning it up he discovered three frightened cats lodged inside, clinging to the wooden slats. 
The cats have been, according to their various natures, appalled/frightened by the shuffling of furniture, [Teasel, Mima, Chester, Edward] or intrigued and underfoot [Charlie, Nellie, Bobby, Raisin.] Willis has declined to grace the operation with his supervision.

By the end of the afternoon we had decided that trying to set up our bedroom at the other house and stay there tonight was not a working plan. 
H. set up his bed in the master bedroom, brought in one of his dressers, a nightstand, various boxes.
Our clothing remains in the closet, our bedside tables against the wall by the windows, my shoe rack shedding shoes near the door.
The cats have come out of hiding but are obviously confused.
Jim and I spending the night in the guest room.
Moving the guest room bed to the other house needs to wait until I have cleared the small bedroom there.  I have been using the floor and the closets as a landing place for books, baskets, various oddments.

Meanwhile [!] I am canning tomatoes!
We have yet to harvest enough tomatoes for the amount that I like to put up.
No matter how well we start out, blight and high heat put an end to tomato productivity.
Accordingly, we attended the Casey County Produce Auction on Friday, coming home with 14 boxes of tomatoes--half of them for Gina.
These are the best quality we've had from there--and the best price.

We are puzzled as to the variety of the tomatoes. 
They are very firm and 'meaty' with shiny, smooth skins.--the appearance of hot-house tomatoes.
I put up 15 1/2 quarts on Sunday afternoon. Gina popped in as I tipped the first colander of scalded tomatoes into the sink.  She peeled and cut up tomatoes into the kettles for simmering [we hot pack our tomatoes] while I tended the scalding and eventually the ladling of  hot tomatoes into the jars.
This evening I processed 7 quarts and 2 pints.
Most of my empty canning jars were conveyed to the other house in an early move--not sure why.  
I will now have to haul the remaining tomatoes to my 'other' kitchen--more sensible than bringing jars back here, then packing filled jars to the shelves in the other house.
[Why does my life get this complicated?]
I need to be at the other house on Wednesday as a serviceman is meant to install the phone and internet line.
The familiar task of processing tomatoes seems preferable to attempting to organize the house!
I very much want to be sorted and settled.
This is obviously going to require more time [and energy] than I optimistically projected!
The cats will need to be gently transferred in batches, and I don't want to do that while doors are being left open to haul in furniture and boxes.
I tell myself it will all get done, we will survive the upheaval one more [last!] time!
Posting here, reading, commenting, will likely be a bit sparse for a few days.
I am looking forward to setting up my 'study' in the sunny room with the soft yellow walls.
Perhaps I will place my desk in front of the window which looks out to the front lawn.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Cupboard Love

 Gina has fallen in love with my re-purposed cupboard.
As we unpacked the items she had carefully wrapped for their short journey to the other house, she began experimenting with arrangements.

She is pleased with this gathering of teapots, accented with a large McCoy vase [which she covets] a bud vase I have had since childhood and a lemon reamer of vintage green glass--with a tiny chip on the rim. The chocolate pot with the Oriental decoration was one of my maternal grandmother's wedding gifts.

She is not yet satisfied with her efforts on the two bottom shelves, declaring that the lower gathering is 'short and dumpy' and the middle shelf needing items with more height and color.
She rejected several offerings which I had previously unpacked and stowed in the kitchen cabinets.
My concern is for the safety of my little treasures once the cats move in.
I'm going to suggest that Howard fashion a door for the cupboard with a hardware cloth insert.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Flowers of Autumn

One of the delights of autumn is the small flurry of bloom from plants that have been trimmed back in the exhausting heat of summer, resting awhile, then rewarding us with a few exquisite final flowers.

Hawkeye Belle, fresh and lovely, and totally free from the scourge of Japanese Beetles which each season ravage the earlier roses.

Wise Portia, a David Austin rose which grew slowly after the January freeze killed it to ground level.

Michaelmas Daisies [aka New England Asters] are at the height of their beauty.
I am coveting some of the variety known as Harrington Pink.  These are a soft clear pink--maybe I can order them for the new garden at the 'other house.' 
I transplanted dwarf asters there which have done well.

Hummingbird moth on an aster.

Nearly the last bloom for the daylilies. 

 Rugosa Rose, Hansa.

Blanc Double de Coubert

 Pale pink achillea 

There is more than the usual end of summer nostalgia as I walk around the dooryard and gardens, knowing that this is likely the last season we will be living at this address.
I note that the perennial strip laboriously weeded at the beginning of August is again spiked with clumps of Johnson grass and clusters of yellow wood sorrel.
The butterfly bush, so devastated by the harsh winter, has managed a few fragrant heads of purple bloom. Salvia has thrust up coarse hardy leaves and its flowers are intensely blue. 
The flower strips at both homes are in need of a final weeding and an application of mulch before winter. I'm not sure what would be both effective and affordable in quantity.
At such times I almost wish I could settle for a prim and tidy small strip of low-maintenance plants--when my nature craves the luxuriant jumble of a barely controlled 'cottage garden.'
I have at least achieved a jumble!

Notice of an Email Virus

I am feeling that I should cautiously poke my head around a figurative corner, admit that my PC sent out a virus-laden email, and duck back out of sight.
It has been a long time since one of those emails got the better of me.
This one, appearing to be a file attachment from a trusted source, lured me into opening it and unwittingly spreading the problem
In spite of several frustrating hours I can't access my usual email program and can only use a web-based email.  I think that my nearly new PC will need a visit to the local shop.
Since this sort of thing trolls through the address book and sends junk to everyone I've ever emailed, I can only hope that most recipients were quicker on the uptake than I was.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Progress [of a Sort]

The process of moving to the 'other house' has begun in earnest.
HLW and I were scheduled to see the chiropractor this morning, so I first loaded my vintage kitchen ware into the van and then went with H. in his truck.

Behind the quilt is a 'display niche' with horrid narrow shelves, which I disliked on sight.
Gina suggested that I hang a quilt to cover the area.
H. put up the brackets and rod so that I could fold a quilt over it.
This was hand-quilted for me by the local Amish women. 
Later I may create one exactly sized for the area; for now I can enjoy the colors of the quilt which complement our paint choices.

As I finished tucking the quilt in place, Jim appeared with the van laden with oddments, followed by Devin and his friend, Chris, primed to help shift furniture.
We returned 'home' in a convoy--Jim with old 'Snort'n Nort'n the flatbed Dodge, me driving the van, Devin driving Howard's truck--D. being on the very short list of drivers who are allowed to touch a vehicle owned by H!
Howard stayed behind to install towel rods in the bathroom--probably glad to work for an
 hour in peace. 

I try not to cringe or hover or give advise as furniture is wrestled out of the house, heaved onto a truck, strapped down for the 10 mile trip to the other house.
Smaller items which I regard as precious ride with me in the van!

Our vintage kitchen collectibles made the move intact and have been lined up a-top the cupboards.
Probably not the final arrangement, but there they are.
We can only hope the cabinetry was properly installed and won't crash off the wall.

By the end of the day, Jim's recliner, a large bookcase/hutch, several wooden chests, my favorite rocking chair, and the drop-leaf table had all made the trip. 

Our over-sized washer and dryer are there--up one flight of basement steps here  and onto the truck--down the steps from garage to basement at the other house. 
This maneuver was not without incident: the washer had to be balanced on its side to descend the stairway, the heavy lid flew open and caught H. smartly above the eye, leaving him with a bloody gash in his eyebrow.
[H. is not meant to be moving/lifting anything heavy until his shattered wrist has fully healed--it has been marvelously reconstructed with titanium plates and screws!]

The washer and dryer which H. purchased on Friday are now installed in our present house, [which H. will occupy until it sells] likewise his bedroom dressers and recliner. 

We went on Friday to Campbellsville to troll through Peddlers' Mall, hoping to find dressers for H.
At any given time the booths there may offer anything from items which should have been consigned to the landfill, to antiques and good vintage pieces--and everything in between. This time there was nothing that caught our eyes.

We accomplished several other errands and were heading home when H. braked to gaze at items offered at a yard sale.
He wheeled the truck around and pulled in to inquire about the washer and dryer sitting in a trailer with other items of furniture. 
Katy and I sat in the truck while H. and J. conducted the usual 'wheeling and dealing.'
They came back quite jubilant.
The seller had explained that he was newly married and after combining households he and his wife were needing to unload duplicate items.
It being late in the day he was happy to offer a 'package deal' if H. would take everything 
on his trailer.
This, in addition to the washer and dryer, included two acceptable dressers, a tall mirror for one dresser, a bedside stand, a table with 4 chairs, and a TV!  For $10 extra he would follow on to our 'other house' with the things which didn't fit in the back of Howard's truck.

Now sorted, we have gained 4 sturdy chairs which go well with our refinished round oak table. Howard has what he needs and Devin has made off with the TV!  This leaves a dis-placed table--which will likely be utilized somewhere--eventually!

As promised, the repurposing project which claimed part of several days just before
 J. and H. arrived home.
Gina plopped herself in the living room one day and considered the spaces of the other house and the possibilities and problems posed by our existing furniture. 
She concluded that a tall cupboard was needed beside the fridge.
She pointed at one of a pair of tall dark bookcases which Jim bought at auction for me 
several years ago.
They have held books and sewing supplies in the finished basement room here.
Moved to the other house early on they have loomed unhappily one on either side of 
the front windows.
We emptied one of the cupboards, removed  the glass shelves and wrestled the thing onto a length of cardboard to drag it into the kitchen.
G. eyed it critically and decided it would work.
I declared that it was much too dark for the room which has a north aspect.

Next day I sanded it lightly and applied an undercoat of dark green paint.
Since much of my creativity involves using what I have--I remembered two cans of Old Century simulated 'milk paint' which were languishing in the garage.
One color, Dark Hunter Green, was almost too dark.  The other, Holly Green, had proved much too bright for my taste on a prior project. 
I dribbled and stirred Holly Green into the darker paint until I had a pleasing shade.

At home that evening I did a bit of online research on various specialty furniture paints. 
Friends have praised the effects achieved with Annie Sloan Chalk Paints--usually used with glaze or wax as a final coat to achieve a vintage effect.  The paints are pricey and not locally available.
I didn't want the flat effect of the milk paint for a kitchen piece, so in the morning I pulled out my folder of paint sample cards and chose a soft green called 'Apple Grove' which I 
purchased in semi-gloss.
My original intent was to apply a coat of this and sand back to expose the darker under layer.

When I began applying the lighter glossier paint I discovered that the milk paint base lent itself to using a sparsely loaded brush for a slightly streaky vintage effect. 
The darker green shows through a bit more than is visible in my photo.
I think I will use this technique--maybe in a different color--on the 'blond' bookcase acquired at the same auction--it has been landed, with great physical effort, in the room designated as my study!
I am tired enough to howl--and there is SO MUCH more to be done, that another repurposing project must wait--but my creative wheels are turning!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Willis and Katy

Katy Dog arrived Tuesday evening with HLW in convoy with Jim.
I was on the front porch to welcome them, having heard the two pickup trucks roaring along the road.
H. let down the rear window of his truck and called out, "Look, Katy, there's Meme--we're home!"
I could hear Katy's joyous barking as the trucks lumbered up the drive.

Willis, in his capacity as monitor of all things indoors and out, has decided that he needs to keep Katy in line.  
There have been several staring matches which are hilarious to watch--Willis with flattened ears and those owlish eyes, blocking the hallway when Katy wants to walk to the bedroom; Katy crouched in typical herding dog pose a few feet from Willis who just 'happens to be' in her path.
Katy attempts to walk around Willis, who shoots out a paw to whack her as she skitters past.
These encounters are replayed several times each day.

Katy is H.'s constant companion.
Willis has decided to be companionable--after a fashion.

Katy would prefer that H. does not notice Willis.

Katy asserts her claim on H. and his attention.

H. has scolded both Katy and Willis for interfering with his laptop.
[Observe the tell-tale flattened ears on both.]

Peace, of a sort, has been restored.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

As Summer Ends

Summer ends, in my mind at least, when the calendar
page is turned to September.
Our weather remains tiresomely hot and humid.
Rain over the weekend filled Big Creek which days before had been reduced to a mere trickle.
The air is so heavy with moisture that a bloom of mildew has appeared on the wood furniture in the basement room.  I have scrubbed  with a solution of vinegar in a little water with a slosh of tea tree oil added, dragged in the big fan and set it up downstairs.

The soybeans are enjoying the heat and moisture--planted a bit late in the season but thriving.

Red Knockout roses hang heavy with rain.

The venerable pear tree has produced a light crop this year.
It is not a season for fruit and berries--perhaps blighted and set back by the severe cold of January.

The daylilies have passed their season of exuberant bloom, but 
each day several still raise a vividly colored head.

Each autumn I grope for the correct names of the yellow flowers in the north field.
Coreopsis of some variety?

I should have brought some of these in and searched through my wildflower books for a match.
I was more concerned with protecting my camera from the drizzle.
Jim and our son Howard in about 9:30 PM on Tuesday completing the long haul across country.
I warned Jim that the two weeks of his absence had done the garden no good.
We went over today and he viewed the weeds with resignation, clumping through the damp clay soil to salvage a mess of okra, a few tomatoes, a nice haul of green peppers.
He hadn't much to say about my painting of the third bedroom at the other house.
I was quite fired up to defend my project--the room is the one I have claimed as a study, etc.
He was more interested in my other project--more about that in my next post.