A yellow swallowtail butterfly in a clump of Joe Pye weed.
Photos loaded, the Audubon Field Guide to Wildflowers consulted, words and phrases chasing themselves, but not sorting into coherent sentences, let alone witty paragraphs to record the
month nearly ended.
We have continued to paint, achieving a cooperative effort whereby Jim uses a roller on an extension pole to apply a first sweeping coat of color, while I perch on the step ladder to 'cut in' along the ceiling edge, trace around doors and windows, or [easing my knees with a foam 'kneeler'] crawl along to paint above baseboards--in the rooms where these were previously installed.
I usually go through the next day to 'touch up' with a second light rolling of paint where needed.
I have been slowed down a bit by a sore throat/laryngitis which nagged at me for about 10 days. My voice still has a tendency to croak.
On Thursday I opened the drawers which hold my 'good' table linens and discovered that traces of pale powdery mold had invaded even there. I understand that we are not alone in combating this annoyance in a season of high humidity and pervasive damp.
I have swabbed book covers, leather shoes and jackets, the edges of leather chairs, peered at the underside of table leaves, in this battle which seems to be a common aspect of life in the 'south.'
The drawers of the linen chest have been scrubbed set out to dry on the porch, the linens laundered, pegged out on the lines, put through a tumble in the dryer for good measure.
I've not had time to iron them, nor fold them back into the drawers.
I have read of 'airing cupboards' in English houses--perhaps I need such a space.
For much of the past week we have picked our way around displaced furniture in the living area and back hall.
Jim has applied a plaster 'texture' which must dry for a day before it can be lightly sanded, primed, and then painted. By doing it in sections, I can be applying primer while he goes on to another expanse of wall.
On the third day [does this sound like a creation story?] we can do our painting routine.
I had cherished the idea of installing paintable beadboard wainscoting. Jim looked the situation over and declared that beadboard couldn't be neatly fitted without removing all window and door trim and baseboards--which put paid to my vision.
We applied the darker paint--a golden olive--to the lower area of the walls and the lighter paint above . Jim then created a narrow 'chair rail' of clear pine. The lighter paint is off-white with a delicate tint of yellow/green such as one sees at the heart of a creamy-white flower.
I pondered over some 2 dozen paint samples of each color before I found the two which will compliment my curtain fabric.
[Eventually there will be photos.]
Jim also constructed a medicine cabinet for the downstairs bath, utilizing the sliding mirrored doors from a quite ugly one which had been left here in a bedroom.
It should be noted that [finally!] this week we closed on the sale of the Bedford stone house which we bought and refurbished last summer.
The details of the sale spun out over three months due to the incompetence of the lending agency which the buyer used. We signed four extensions to the sales contract.
Buyers, sellers, and the two realtors involved, began to despair that the closing of the
sale would take place.
The new owners are obviously a couple who will take good care of the property, and are already talking with enthusiasm of the garden they will plant next year.
So, relief on that score after many times of downing paint brushes to rush to town and sign forms.
On Friday morning I sat in my rocking chair, a shoe dangling from one hand and declared to Jim that I hadn't the heart to paint yet another wall.
We decided we had earned a day off!
With two newly painted bedrooms to furnish I have wanted to find pieces which would serve as bedside tables.
I suggested that a trip to Peddlers' Mall would be a pleasant outing.
I hoped to visit another area consignment shop as well; that one had a 'closed for vacation' card on the door.
Peddlers' Mall, like any such indoor flea market, may feature anything from the sort of woebegone wares which I term 'early house trailer trash' to nice vintage bits and pieces. There are several larger stalls that I visit first.
In the one closest to the entrance I pounced on a vintage washstand which had been artfully refinished in a deep plum color with the top painted in a 'crackle finish' to resemble marble. While I could have done without the faux marble look, I was taken with the freehand decoration of green vine and delicate white blossoms which traces the edges of the drawers.
The washstand came home with us as did a less distinguished but useful piece--an end table which had been painted flat black and 'distressed'--a bit rough and ready, but sturdy and will not look out of place to hold a bedside lamp and other essentials.
My last find was a quilt rack, plain and sturdy, painted a pale grey.
I will repaint it in flat black or my favorite dark red. At $9 it was a bargain!
A treat of ice cream and homeward we came.
I informed Jim that I am a woman easy to please in terms of shopping trips!
Today Jim has applied texture to the remaining stretch of hallway at the front of the house.
That leaves only the wall behind my desk which extends along in back of the woodstove.
Upstairs the small room designated as my sewing room needs wiring and painting.
Perhaps most tiresome will be the painting of the kitchen ceiling.
We rejoice that the end of painting in this house is at hand.
I have gone on rather tediously about these matters, mostly because I need to look back and see that the swift passing of August has had purpose and accomplishment as well as
frustrations and weariness.
The sun has shone more often than not.
There are wildflowers to enjoy as I walk along the lane.
The hummingbirds still buzz around the feeder at the end of the porch--although they are less vociferous than earlier.
Mornings are misty and cool.
Soon there may be time to enjoy this home, to sit back and admire the results of our labors.
Both the black and the yellow swallowtails are in abundance here, hovering over the wild plants flowering along the hedgerows and the edge of the stream.
Several of these distinctively marked blooms appear in the tangle of wild morning glory which drapes the lowers branches of the willows near the brook.
Many of the swallowtails are tattered and faded.
After a slow start in the over-whelming heat of early summer, the butterfly bush has asserted itself with panicles of fragrant bloom.
A brilliant cosmos from last summer's saved seed.
The common pink cosmos--pretty against the rough grey of railroad ties that form a retaining wall at the foot of the garden.
This brilliant one is from a new packet of seed.
Achillea in a brilliant red which fades to a gentler hue.
I don't have an identity for this daisy-flowered weed which billows at the edge of the now dry brook.
Dwarf Michaelmas daisies hurriedly thrust into the edge of the herb plot last October.
The rugosa by the concrete landing below the side porch.
Lavender and sage are holding their own in the gravel-mulched bed which Anna Miller prepared.
One of Anna's cockscombs favored by a Painted Lady.
Willis [of course] who appears whenever I work or prowl about outdoors.