Sunday, March 31, 2024

My Finds.

 There were three things that I liked from the auction. We are not buying any furniture at this point, because we know for a fact we've got to get rid of furniture when we move. So there is not one whit of sense to buy any furniture at this point. 

But I saw these ducks. They are cast iron, and they were for a garden. They needed to be sandblasted. I don't think that I would have painted them, but, who knows? I will never know. They sold for over $200 so they went home with someone else. 

I sure did not like them that much. 

There was something else that I wanted badly just as soon as I saw it. I quietly called Tim over and showed him this. It is a history of our county published in 1887. It has 692 pages, not counting the appendix, so this was a massive book. I saw that it had each of the townships listed. People, places, houses, businesses. Our city was less than 100 years old when this volume was published. 

Tim agreed that this is something we should try to bring home.

We did not know what it would go for, but we both love history. 

The auction went on and on, and the book stayed there. Once the antique muzzleloaders and swords were auctioned off, I was pleased to see that some people left. We sat there for three hours, waiting for that book to be offered. Finally it was. Tim handed me our number and whispered, "Wait until it goes low." (Unnecessary advice.) When the price went down to $10, someone bid, and my hand was up in a shot. And my hand stayed up. There were three of us, and by god, I did want that book. And I got it! For $50! The guy behind me grumbled, "She got a good deal on that book!" but he had every chance to outbid me and he didn't. So...

One of the auction assistants walked the book back to me. 

I was reading about the great hydrophobia outbreak of 1835 in downtown Warren. The problem was so serious that they passed a temporary ordinance making it legal for a resident to shoot any dog found in the street without a person. Engrossed in my story (it is a VERY readable book) I missed it when the next thing I wanted came up. 

It is a pot hanger, a pretty one. 

It dropped to $10 and then attracted a half dozen people bidding on it. The bidding was fast and furious. I tried to tell Tim I didn't want it that bad, but he wasn't listening. In the end, we got it for $55. 

It is rusty, and the metal pieces need to be 'unfrozen' so that the thing can be taken apart. Just like the ducks that didn't come home with us, this will need to sandblasted and soaked to 'unfreeze' the hooks. One the thing is taken apart, it will be painted black and properly put back together. It's a pretty heavy thing. It will hang above our old butcher block in the new kitchen. 

So that was the auction. Tim got the screen door that he wanted so badly and a kerosene can. I got my book and my pot hanger. Who do you think got the better bargains this time around?

Auction Day

 As noted, we went to an auction on Saturday. Tim wanted something. He wanted something quite badly. He went there with a mind to get this screen door. It was obviously from an old store, and was complete with the Sunbeam bread advertisement sprayed on that screen. He just wanted it. I don't know why. 

It isn't a bad thing. I doubt that I would have picked it, but it seemed to trigger something in his heart. 

We got to the auction early, to have a looky-lu. To be honest, I did not think we'd be walking out of there with much. Since you seemed to enjoy the last link,.here's this weeks auction.

There were three things that I saw in this sale that made my heart go 'pitty pat'. One of them appears in the slideshow. Two of them, however, do not. They were the things that I wanted, and one of them, I made my mind up that I was not going home without it, if it was within my power to do so. 

Tim got his screen door, for $150. He was well pleased with himself. After that, he handed me the number and told me he was going to the restroom. 

While he was gone, something came up that I knew he would love and so I bought it. 

When he sat down, I handed him back our number and said, "I bought you a present." 

He looked very surprised and said "What did you get me?"

I said, mysteriously, "You'll see."

He looked quite intrigued. 

I said, "It was expensive, but when you see it, I think that you will agree that it is well worth the $275."

Oh my gosh! The look on his face. I thought he was going to fall out of his chair. He was speechless. 

I confessed. He collects oil memorabilia. (We live in oil country.) There was an old kerosene can that came up, a 5 gallon can, with good strong graphics. No one bid on it. When it went down to $10, I bid and won it. 

After the auction, we gathered our things together to leave. Tim said, "I like that can. That's a good one." He liked it even better when he picked it up. It was a full can! (Kerosene goes for between $4 and $5 a gallon.) We don't have any use for the kerosene, but we know people that do. We'll tell Mattie and Levi to use the kerosene in their lanterns, and give us the can back when it is empty. 

I will tell you about my finds tomorrow. 

Friday, March 29, 2024

Happy Easter

One of my resolutions for the year is to lose weight. I've been working away at it faithfully, very strict with myself about what I am eating. I make sure to meet my exercise goals daily. I aim for 60 ounces of water, and if I don't meet my goal, I always get 80% in at least. The smart watch has been a good investment for me. 

But for all of that, when I check my weight every week, it never really seems to be much to talk about. A pound. A pound. A pound... 

This morning, when I got on the scale, I made a milestone. Just over 15 pounds. When you divide that into months, it works out to five pounds a month, which is decent. So that was my first happy thing of the day. 

The second happy thing was that the rest of my books arrived. It is nice to have a stack of unread books on my bedside again. It has always seemed luxurious to me to have multiple books right at hand to choose from. 

We are taking the weekend off. There is an auction we are going to on Saturday. We're going to my daughter and son-in-law's afterwards to dye Easter eggs with William. Sunday, we'll go to my sister's house, as usual. It's a potluck, and so everyone brings dishes to pass. I'm making a meat and cheese platter, a relish tray and a sweet potato souffle, simple things. Afterwards, there is an easter egg hunt for the kids. 

I read a funny story today. A woman feeds the crows, and as crows sometimes do, they leave shiny things for her at the food site. Today, much to her surprise she found a metallic Easter egg. She opened it up and found a $20 bill inside! I decided that I need to take up feeding the crows.

That's it really. Working on the house, which is probably getting boring and repetitive, so I won't say any more about that

Happy Easter, everyone. 

Thursday, March 28, 2024

A Better Day

 First of all, I want to thank every single person who recommended 'Puckoon'. Oh my gosh. It has been a long time since I laughed so hard at a book. GZ said that perhaps it was a book to be read out loud. Tim is intrigued by my laughter, and I have read parts of it out loud. He laughed as hard as I did. Today's example was Mrs. Doonan speaking with a solicitor about getting a divorce. 

"But Mrs. Doonan, just because you don't like him, that's no grounds for separation."

"Well, make a few suggestions," she said. 

"Has he ever struck you?"

"No. I'd kill him if he did." 

"Has he ever been cruel to the children?"


"Ever left you short of money, then?" 

"No. Every Friday on the nail." 

"I see." The solicitor pondered. "Ah. Well. Think hard now, Mrs. Doonan. Has he ever been unfaithful to you?"

Her face lit up. "By God, I think we got him there, I know fer sure he wasn't the father of me last child!"

It's like Monty Python in book form. I have giggled all the way through it. The little asides slay me: Milligan arguing with the author about his legs, and then his explanation about being a soldier in WWI. From the waist up, he was a hero. Unfortunately, he had a coward's legs. 

The book gallops along at its own breakneck ridiculousness 

Thank you for that suggestion. 

This week has been a reoccurence of the stomach issues that plagued me a week prior. That finally seems to have eased up, which makes life a bit more endurable as well. I shouldn't be surprised if it wasn't a stress related issue. But I took a deep breath and realized that every single one of you reading this right now has some sort of aggravation in their life. It is just the way it is. I've taken a deep breath and Tim and I  agreed upon our next step. We will continue on. 

Houdi also aggravated me today, the darn cat. Something that has been happening regularly is that his dry kibble winds up spread across the kitchen floor. Everywhere. Every day. Sweeping it up is the first chore of the day while my coffee is brewing. 

He has a tendency to decide (at roughly 4:30 AM) that he wants outside. Due to some  pretty costly trips to the vet, he is no longer allowed outside at night. We can sleep through a cat fight. If we are awake, we can react more quickly, hopefully intervening before serious damage happens. 

So. When he starts carrying on at 4:30, we simply shut him out of the bedroom and ignore him. 

He does not like this. 

Tonight, I was putting a handful of silverware into the silverware drawer, and he meowed to go out. I was in the middle of my job, so I ignored him for a minute while I finished. I heard a clatter and turned around to find the little fart slamming the side of his food dish, sending kibble flying everywhere. Moreover, he was staring straight at me with an irritated look on his face. 

We are working on the plumbing, as planned. We will work on it again tomorrow. As AC noted, every day, we are making progress there. That's good to keep in mind too. 

It was chilly today, but sunny, and that was a nice spirit lifter too. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2024


I am sure that everyone has seen the video of the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge. I lived in Baltimore for a couple years while my ex-husband attended Johns Hopkins University. It's just strange to think that something like that happened in a place that I knew. 

 Today was a mixed bag day. We started the day attending to the debacle of 'us vs the city'. Best possible scenario? We end up with a bit of leverage. If not, we are receiving some sound professional advice. It is a time for waiting for things to unfold, but I'm not so good at waiting. Unfortunately, we don't have much choice in the matter. The first packet of bills were delivered before 9:30 am on February 22nd. The second billing was received by their office at 11:18 March 5th. The city has not responded. 

We are putting installing the plumbing at the new build. We will continue with that project tomorrow. We have two vent pipes to put in as well. 

Other than that, I am waiting on two orders of books. Puckoon, To Say Nothing of The Dog, Hoot, Lamb, Diary of a Nobody (when Jaycee writes her book, she'll have to find another title for it, I guess!), Thank You Jeeves and McCarthy's bar. It will be an interesting pile of books and I'm sure that one (or more) of them should tickle my funny bone, which really could use a bit of a tickle right now. 

I couldn't afford to buy all of your book selections, but I did list them in a notebook for my purse. I am sure that most of them can be found at the library. Again, thanks, everyone for your suggestions. 

That's about it, really. It's just been a tense time, and it is not going to stop. However, we've started the ball rolling, and we will continue on course. We will know how the story ends when it ends. 

Someone else has been waiting. Her waiting is done. Stop over and congratulate Jenny. She's a grandma! 

Friday, March 22, 2024


 William spent the night last night.  I guess that I'm going to have to simply accept that he is really truly officially a teenager. I am going to miss the boy that he was, He was in his own world. 

I want to thank everyone for the book suggestions. I ordered 7 books. I've never ordered that many books all at once in my life. $33. Eep. Granny Sue's suggestion about Bill Lepp was a good one. All the guys in the house used to be addicted to Patrick McManus books. They would read them and howl with laughter. They were a very popular stocking stuffer. I know that I'll be able to tick off some names on my Christmas list early this year. That was a great discovery. I've also got three series and a half dozen authors in my notebook for future reference. 

And while I'm thanking people, bless you all who are posting your spring flowers. It is snowing here (again!). Red and AC did not keep that crap up north. Thanks for that, you two. I thought that Canadians were supposed to be so nice, yet here we are. 

The wood stove is going for another night. It is supposed to be warming up here at some point, and next week is supposed to have highs in the 40s-50s. I am just ready for the season to change. A few warm days makes the return of winter even harder to take. 

Tim was very surprised to see that someone had set a trap line down behind the old house. Today, a truck pulled in, and he saw a man checking the traps. He was gone before Tim could get down there to him. Tim couldn't believe it. That really is quite an egregious thing, to set traps or to hunt on property without asking permission from the landowner. 

In the way of rural living, one person knew someone who knew someone...we managed to track the mystery trapper down. He felt terrible. He'd been given permission to trap on adjoining property and had made a mistake about how far up creek that property came. He did not know that he was on someone else's land. 

I am glad that it got all sorted out,  and amically too. We gave him permission to run the line on our property, now that we knew who he was and how to contact him. 

Not all things can be resolved amically, though, I guess. We have taken the next step in the case against the city for the capped drain. The city has not responded. They received the first stack of bills on February 22nd, at about 9:30 AM. The final bill was submitted on March 5th. I think that's ample time to respond or to at least give us an idea of how they mean to handle it.  The dead silence makes it pretty clear that they don't mean to handle it at all. They are simply waiting for us to go away

We can't afford to simply forget about over $11,000. Not many can.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Answers On a Post Card

 Borrowing a phrase from John Gray at Going Gently. The book club meeting was a pretty nice visit/sharing. I enjoyed it. It is not something that I get to do much of, just sit and visit with other women. We talked about our books, we ate our salads. It was fun. 

Next month's assignment: 'Read a funny book.' 

I've been looking up funny books and have found that many of them just don't sound funny to me. I throw the question out into the big wide blog world. Funny book suggestions? 

Answers on a post card. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Big Stuff.

Here's a funny one: I was looking for giant pumpkin seeds for Tim's grandsons. I thought it would be a fun summer activity for them. They are a pretty easy to grow thing, and it would be fun for them to watch them grow over the summer. 


I hunted around on line, reading about giant pumpkin seeds. Can you believe that people are selling. 5 giant pumpkin seeds for $150? Another place wanted $40 per seed! There you go, Northsider! That's a business for you! How many seeds does a pumpkin have? You could sell them at a bargain price of $10 apiece and still wind up with plenty of dosh to splash around at the carboots! 

Large pumpkins are much more reasonably priced than giant pumpkins, and I'm sure that they will be exciting enough to watch through the summer. 

Other than that, not much to report. Quiet day shopping for birthday presents. We found a nice sale and got all the interior door knobs for the house at $6. each, on clearance. We also got a low profile hall light for the laundry space for $15. Tim ran up to Levi's to get some rough cut to have on hand, and he picked up the stuff we need to start doing the plumbing work. Tomorrow is a one person day, with very little stepping and fetching, and it's a little too early for 'hold this right here like that'. 

So I've got a day off...which is great, because tomorrow is Book Club. I have not been able to make the meetings. The assigned reading this month was to read a banned book. I read two, actually. Since they were children's books, it was quite easy to do. I read "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie and Laura Ingall Wilder's Little House on the Prairie. 

What's interesting about the Little House series, is that I read them as a child and adored them. Every year at the beginning of the school year, I would go to the library, and check the books out, one at a time, and reread them. Every year of elementary school. My initial thoughts were that it was ridiculous that the books were on the banned list, but then came the day when I was reading a passage to William. The Indians had gathered to declare war on the white settlers. The Osage Indians, led by Soldat du Chene came to the powwow and argued against it, fearing that if they killed whites, the government would deliver a disasterous response. The chief felt so strongly about this that he said that if the decision was made to attack, that he and his tribe would fight them. 

The powwow lasted for three days, with drumming and war cries, and a Laura described the fear of lying in bed at night and hearing this. The family was fearful of attack. It must have been terrifying. in the end, the decision was reached. They would not attack the settlers. 

William was probably 8. Maybe 9. We discussed it. It was very easy to view the Indians as 'the enemy', but we also discussed the situation from the Indian's point of view. It was a back and forth discussion, and William was interested. 

We have Bob the Buffalo hanging in our library. The interesting thing about Bob is that he is a very old mount. His head is filled with concrete, and the board he is mounted on is very, very old. The story (unverified) from the man we got him from was that he bought the thing from an estate sale of Cornelius Vanderbilt back when he was a very young man. Who knows if it is true, really. He was an elderly white haired gentleman at this point, giving it to me because after years of moving, hauling it from one part of the country to the other, after 40 years, he realized that his wife was dead serious when she said that Bob was not going to hang in her house. Ever. 

For my part, I thought "HA!!! Here's my chance to get one over on Tim. He'll never believe that I got him a buffalo for his birthday." The deal was done, and it was only after the fact that I realized just how big a buffalo head is. His wife had a valid point. It took three people to get the thing on the wall, and this was only after installing a massive lag bolt directly into the stud. 

But I digress. Cornelius Vanderbilt was a key player in the building of the transcontinental railroad. When the government decided to take care of the "Indian Problem", one of the tactics used was to slaughter millions of buffalo. Indians died of starvation. Cornelius would, for entertainment, have a gentleman's car, loaded with wealthy men, and they would shoot buffalo from the trains. He would have the heads mounted and hand them out like party favors once the taxidermy work was done. 

Bob might well be one of those. The age of him is right. Taxidermy was a rich man's realm. And then there is the story of where he came from. 

Who knows for sure? 

Bob isn't talking.

But William and I discussed these things, the unfairness, and the cruelty, and the fact that when you treat people badly, it generally causes bad feelings. We discussed the fact that it was a different time. We discussed racism. It was a healthy conversation. 

And in my mind, it was silly to ban the Little House books although I was could acknowledge that they required discussion.

Last Christmas, I bought a set of these books for my grandaughter, who was five. She loves to be read to, and she's into chapter books now. Laura is her age in the first book. I bought the books early, early, early, before Tim's surgery, and in the months in between, I found myself wavering. Iris is a pure spirit. She loves everyone. She doesn't know about racism.  As they read the books, her good parents would have had much the same discussion with her that William and I had, but she would be hearing for the first time that there are people in this world who see others as less than human. 

William was old enough to know that this can happen. Being raised in the time of Trump, he saw the evidence with his own eyes, from the mouth of the president, and echoed by his cult. However, Iris was too young to see it. 

She will, sadly. 

Once that happens, it will be discussed with her. and after that, I think the books will be fine for her. They are safely tucked away upstairs waiting for her. She will have those books read to her and she will hear "Ma hated Indians." She will already know that thinking is wrong. I just didn't want those beloved books to be the introduction to that ugliness.

Alexie's book was entirely different. He was a middle school kid, a smart boy who had gotten into the 'good school'. His struggle to fit in. His encounters with prejudice in his school but also at home. His former friends, the kids that he'd grown up with suddenly saw him as not quite 'Indian' enough. There was also quite a preoccupation with sex. 

William and I read this book too. It was discussed with his mother. In the end we decided that boys his age think about this stuff anyways. I knew they talked about it. I'd heard them as I waited for William at the corner. While I was uncomfortable reading some of it to William (and he probably was embarrassed to hear his grandmother reading it to him), the book generated a lot of discussion. Good discussion. About the toll of drugs and alcohol on the reservation, about the pain of growing up the son of alcoholics. His sister was murdered. 

Banned books are interesting, but in the end, I think the adults in a child's life should be the ones to make that final decision. Both of these banned books have very strong and redeeming qualities. 

We have certainly come a long way from the topic of giant pumpkins haven't we?

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Little Things

 I was so exasperated yesterday, when I tried to delete a draft and wound up deleting a post instead. I've been struggling a little here, and when things get overwhelming, it just seems like I can think of nothing but that one big thing.  In the end, as always, I came to the familiar conclusions: It is what it is, and whatever happens, I will deal with it. Once that conclusion is reached, it seems like my mind lets go of that one big thing and once again, I begin to notice the little things around me. 

And, lets get real, that's all this blog is: a compilation of the little things around me. Why you all keep reading is beyond me! But I'm glad you are. 

To the commenter who noted that she has bad luck growing tomato plants, I bought the coolest little things. 

The great thing about these is that they are totally reusable. You fill them with your potting medium, plant your seeds, set the tray into the water tray and let it go. You water from the bottom and when you are ready, you lift the top tray out and the plants pop out from the flexible bottom. It worked so well on tomatoes that I bought a second for my cucumbers, which I intend to grow hydroponically again after an abysmal failure the first year (I have figured out what I did wrong though. I think. Worth another try since I have all the equpment I need.) 

Note to Tasker: No tomato is ever wasted. You end up with seven and only want four? Well, sir, you have received a sign from the universe that you're supposed to give three away. Easy peasy. I, myself have planted four zucchini seeds. I only actually want one, so that means that I will be up to my armpits in zucchini and looking for homes. (This is how you make sure that you don't ever wind up with an overwhelming number of friends. After one good zucchini season, they all run when they see you, and hide behind their curtains not answering your knock.) 

Channeling my inner Mary Moon, yesterday, I saw a packet of okra seeds on a rack of 20 cent seeds. (Twenty cents!) They are a wonderful addition to gumbos and soups, so I got a package of them. I resisted an urge to buy yet another seed tray. These will be planted in paper cups. 

While I was mooching about the store, finding little bargains, I decided to run back and check the houseplants. One can never tell when one will find a distressed house plant in need of saving, and reduced to a ridiculous price. Always worth a look. There was another elderly lady there with a younger woman (perhaps a grand daughter). I try to be pretty non-judgemental as a rule, but I'm going to tell you, These people smelled. Horribly. I don't think that I've ever been around such a smell. The elderly womam looked dirty. The younger woman did not. Maybe it was just the grandmother that smelled so awful. It wasn't anything definable, like she'd had some sort of bowel accident that she couldn't help. It was just this over whelming smell of funk. But how does a person get to that point and not notice? Or if they don't notice, how do the people around them not notice? How does anyone let someone they love get into that state? I don't know. I tend to be pretty direct. I'd be saying it outright. "I don't want to hurt your feelings but you smell bad. Here's some lovely scented soap. The shower's in there." 

It's snowing here again, I am sad to say, and it is awfully cold, but in the handful of warm spring like days, I got out to walk. Something that I much admired in England were hellebores. I'd never seen them here. Reading up on them, I got the idea that they might be something that could be grown here, but I never seen them, so I wasn't exactly certain. Guess what? I saw one while I was out for a walk. I wanted to examine it closely, but couldn't. You just don't want to walk up on somebody's yard. That's how you get yourself shot. But, there it was. Proof positive. I can grow them here. I can't wait until we get in the new house and I can begin assembling things. 

I had to go back to the hospital to get the rest of my tests done. I didn't have time to do them all on Friday. I'd just done the lab work that required fasting. I still needed the chest x-ray and ekg. By luck, I got registrar 1 again, the same lovely person who had processed me through the first two times that there were no orders in the system for me. She must have recognized my name because she had my name plugged into the system before I even walked in. She said, "Guess what! I have orders for you!" I laughed. I said, "I know you do. I was back here Friday to get the blood work done. I need to finish it up today." She said, "Well, you were very pleasant about all of it, really." I said, "You know, I'm thinking it was because I hadn't had my coffee both times you saw me. I just didn't have the energy to make a big stink about it. I'm caffeinated now, sistah, so let's just get this done, and don't give me any problems." It always feels good to share a laugh, doesn't it?

So I'm surrounded by little signs of spring everywhere. Things budding out, splashes of bright yellow forsythia. I can see magnolia and azalea getting ready to do something big. There will be daffodils soon and tulips, too. Another season is coming. 

And keeping with his annual tradition, Tim has gotten his tractor stuck. 

Monday, March 18, 2024

Other Lives


Sorry folks. I managed to delete a post. I've put it back, but your comments have been lost. 

 12 out of 12 tomato plants have germinated. My zucchini and cucumbers too. I'm still waiting on 8 pepper plants. That little bit of spring never fails to make me glad. 

We were going to go to an auction today. Here's a link for people who like to look through. The fellow was quite a hunter and there were a lot of mounts. That mystifies me. Why on earth would someone want to hang a trophy that didn't belong to them? But Tim said that one guy snapped up like 75 of them for $100 a pop. There was a lot of art, something that would have appealed greatly to Northsider Dave. We were looking forward to going. We are still getting the feel for this stuff. 

Last night about bedtime, I ended up with quite a gastro issue that kept me up a large portion of the night. I was not feeling terrific this morning either, and felt it was prudent to keep close to the conveniences of home, so off Tim went by himself. 

It was packed and he said that there were no bargains to be had. Furniture selling for thousands. Still, he went and watched and bought a toolbox. (Why am I not surprised?) He brought it home and began to sort through it to see what sort of goodies he had. One of the things was a packet of pamphlets and papers. Turned out it was for a John Deere riding lawnmower. It even had (I'm guessing) a spare key taped to the inside of the owner's manual. 

Tim said, "Huh. A lady bought a John Deere rider there." (He was dumbfounded that she had paid over $4000 for it, which is about the price of a new one.) I said, "Boy, she'd probably like to have that stuff." When Tim mentioned that she seemed to be a friend of the auctioneer, we got the idea to call and leave our contact information at the auction house. We can drop the paperwork off the next time we go through. They keep records of bidder information, and can contact the woman who bought the tractor.

Another thing that was in this packet was warranty information that provided a name and address for the first owner. Because I am a curious soul who is glad that she was not born a cat, I looked up the name. I quickly discovered that he had passed away back in 2022. It provided his wife's name, so I looked that up and discovered that she had passed last fall. 

Little coincidences. They lived about an hour from here, but they had both worked at a factory that Tim's mother had worked at years back. It was interesting to think that they might have known of each other. Tim's cousin is the minister of a Methodist church in that small city. This couple was Methodist. Another link. 

We nosied through the details and coincidences of their lives. It was a second marriage for both of them. She had been widowed in November of 1972, and she had re-married in September of 1976. But that poor woman! Her son died in December of 1977 at the age of 23. Two years after that, her daughter died at age 21. 

Within 6 years, she'd been widowed, remarried, and then lost both of her children. How does a person get past something like that?

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Other Lives

 12 out of 12 tomato plants have germinated. My zucchini and cucumbers too. I'm still waiting on 8 pepper plants. That little bit of spring never fails to make me glad. 

We were going to go to an auction today. Here's a link for people who like to look through. The fellow was quite a hunter and there were a lot of mounts. That mystifies me. Why on earth would someone want to hang a trophy that didn't belong to them? But Tim said that one guy snapped up like 75 of them for $100 a pop. There was a lot of art, something that would have appealed greatly to Northsider Dave. We were looking forward to going. We are still getting the feel for this stuff. 

Last night about bedtime, I ended up with quite a gastro issue that kept me up a large portion of the night. I was not feeling terrific this morning either, and felt it was prudent to keep close to the conveniences of home, so off Tim went by himself. 

It was packed and he said that there were no bargains to be had. Furniture selling for thousands. Still, he went and watched and bought a toolbox. (Why am I not surprised?) He brought it home and began to sort through it to see what sort of goodies he had. One of the things was a packet of pamphlets and papers. Turned out it was for a John Deere riding lawnmower. It even had (I'm guessing) a spare key taped to the inside of the owner's manual. 

Tim said, "Huh. A lady bought a John Deere rider there." (He was dumbfounded that she had paid over $4000 for it, which is about the price of a new one.) I said, "Boy, she'd probably like to have that stuff." When Tim mentioned that she seemed to be a friend of the auctioneer, we got the idea to call and leave our contact information at the auction house. We can drop the paperwork off the next time we go through. They keep records of bidder information, and can contact the woman who bought the tractor.

Another thing that was in this packet was warranty information that provided a name and address for the first owner. Because I am a curious soul who is glad that she was not born a cat, I looked up the name. I quickly discovered that he had passed away back in 2022. It provided his wife's name, so I looked that up and discovered that she had passed last fall. 

Little coincidences. They lived about an hour from here, but they had both worked at a factory that Tim's mother had worked at years back. It was interesting to think that they might have known of each other. Tim's cousin is the minister of a Methodist church in that small city. This couple was Methodist. Another link. 

We nosied through the details and coincidences of their lives. It was a second marriage for both of them. She had been widowed in November of 1972, and she had re-married in September of 1976. But that poor woman! Her son died in December of 1977 at the age of 23. Two years after that, her daughter died at age 21. 

Within 6 years, she'd been widowed, remarried, and then lost both of her children. How does a person get past something like that? 

Friday, March 15, 2024


 Today I got up, skipped my breakfast biscuits and coffee and hotfooted it over to the hospital. It would be good for me to get those extra steps in. (In case anyone is interested, it is 2,897 steps from my house to the main entrance of the hospital.) I signed in at the kiosk once again, took my seat and waited. Before long, I was called back into the registrars office, and guess what??? My orders were in the system. 

I want to make clear that there was no point getting upset about the situation, not really. Inefficient? Sure was. But it was not the fault of the registrars. If the orders aren't there, they aren't there. She asked me if the doctor had given me paperwork. They had. So, it was my fault for not bringing that little stack of papers with me the first time around. Of course, they turned out to be completely useless, which led me to wonder if I'd lost something. I didn't think so. But maybe it was my fault. So when I called the doctor's office, I was still not sure if I had lost or misunderstood something. When he assured me the orders were in the system, well...that explained it. All of you who suggested that the orders were never entered? I believe that is what happened. Could I have blown a big ol' hissy fit? Sure could have. But the thing was, this mistake was not made by the young man I was speaking with. Which brings us back to whose fault it was. I know her. She's a young mother, and at the time, she was going through a very difficult time with one of her children. So...could I have bitched about her. Sure. Jeopardizing her job was not going to make things better in her life. didn't get mad. 

Anyways, I went back to the lab. The lab tech was very sweet, but OMG. She looked about twelve, for one thing. She was so very nervous for another. She couldn't find my vein in one arm. She asked for back up. A more experienced tech palpated, found the vein, showed it to her, and then returned to her own patient. 

My 12 year old tech continued to tap around the inside of my elbow in an uncertain way. It was starting to make me a bit nervous. I said, "Would you like to try the other arm? Perhaps that would be easier to locate." With relief, she snapped off the tourniquet and we started over. We were both relieved to see a vein pop right up. She got her tubes and set them down and they began to roll. She kept picking them up and setting them down and they'd roll again. I finally said, "Here. I'll hold those." She got ready to put the needle in and her hands were trembling. Actually trembling. I felt bad for her, don't get me wrong, but I was also a bit worried about me

She did a fine job. It didn't hurt at all. She filled both the tubes required, and I said, "Good job!" as she withdrew the needle. I don't even have a bruise, she did such a nice job. 

But, ye gods. The lead-in just about did me in, and I am not usually squeamish about stuff like that. 

I saw the cutest thing today on my walk to the hospital. A herd of preschoolers, led by a large green dinosaur marched down the street, accompanied by a gaggle of teachers and aides. Their little faces were painted. One had a green mustache. There were rainbows. Shamrocks. Pots of gold. Little banners being waved. It was just adorable. I stopped and said, "Oh, I do love parades (spoiler: usually I don't)." I applauded and waved and they waved back to me with the hand that wasn't holding on to the rope with the loops to keep them all in a line. Cutest bunch of little leprechauns I ever saw. 

I am aggravated about one thing though. Remember that big cooker we got yesterday? It works a treat. It really is a nice thing. (Tonight, roasted vegetables and porkchops: Tim pronounced them perfect.) Anyways, paying it forward, I listed both of my smaller airfryers to give away. 20 minutes later, they were claimed. 

Except that I have had no one show up to get them. One person did not return one DM after telling me that she would be here today. The other got irritated when I asked for a time that she would be by. Her fiance does not even get out of work until 4:30. He doesn't get home until 5. I replied, "Well, yeah, that's fine and all. I have things that I needed to get done, and I wanted to arrange things so that we didn't miss each other." It is now 7:30 and I haven't heard from anyone. 

I went down the list and gave one of the fryers to the next woman in line. She was as excited as if she won the lottery. "I work until 7:30 (it was 7:12). Can you hold it for me?" Too funny. I assured her I would hold it. 

Who would have thought it would be so hard to give stuff away?

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Silver Linings.

 The thing that I didn't tell you all is that when I went for my bloodwork the day before yesterday, I couldn't get it done. She had no orders on file. 

This morning, I got up once again and headed over to the hospital to get those darned labs done. I took the two papers I'd been given from the doctor's office. (Yes, Andrew, I was nicely dressed, wearing makeup, and my hair was neatly styled.) I signed in once again, and I ironically got the same registrar that I had the last time. I handed her the paperwork from the doctor. She said, "Well...these aren't orders. Either the patient has the orders, or the doctor puts them into our system. We don't have anything in the system." She got up. "Let me check one more place." I said, "You checked there two days ago, and I wasn't there either." She said, "I did, didn't I?" I said, "Well, I will have to call the doctor's office and find out what's going on. This needs to get straightened out. I have skipped coffee twice this week." She made a horrified sympathetic face. I said, "Well, fortunately, everyone has lived." She laughed and said, "THAT'S good news." I told her I'd see her next time, and off I went. 

Tim was waiting in the car with coffee, the good man.

By the way, remember that nicely dressed woman who seemingly jumped line? I figured it out today. The fourth registrar is for appointments. When you sign in to the kiosk, you list whether you are there for labs, imaging, or appointments. The appointments are handled at the fourth window. So that's one curiosity solved. I don't know whether anyone has bought the used lipstick though. 

Anyways, I called the doctor's office as we drove to Erie for Tim's appointment. The office person explained to me that the orders were in the system and all I had to do was come into the hospital, and the registrar would see them. "But that's my point," I said. "I went there on Tuesday, and they had nothing. I went back today carrying the instructions from the doctor that said what needed to be done. She said that she needed the actual orders and there is nothing in the system." 

Long pause. I was put on hold. 

He came back on and said that apparently my orders had been "lost", and that he would resubmit them. 

So. Tomorrow, I will skip breakfast and coffee once again. 

But every cloud has a silver lining. Because I did not have the blood work done, we ended up getting to Erie about a hour early. Tim asked what we should do until then. I suggested checking out a thrift store. He wasn't enthusiastic but he went with along with it. We walked in the door and after a quick look around, he said, "They don't have anything. I'll just sit here and wait." 

I had a look around and I found a banana hanger. Tim eats one half a banana on his cornflakes every morning, and the bananas sit in a bowl. This might help them last longer. So I picked it up.

I found two ghost stories for William, and the boy does love a good ghost story, so I picked them up as well. I walked on and saw this: 

The thing did not appear to have ever been used. The plastic cap was still over the prongs of the cord. The manuals were all there. We have two small airfryers, but this would allow me to cook a whole meal at once instead of batches. It was $9.99. 

I don't think that Tim was too impressed really, but we bought it. Just to use it, we had homemade frenchfries and I made fish sandwiches to go with. He was happy with supper. He was happier yet when he came out to price them on line. They run, new, from $149.99 to $299.99 (the high price is the price on the NuWave site.) 

"Holy cow!" he said, "you really have an eye for this stuff! I don't know how you do it!" He laughed all the way out to the livingroom. It made his day.

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

The Addict.

Drug addiction is a terrible thing. We know of an addict who needs help desperately. Can't hold down a job. Has no desire to. Felon, and proud of it, Rehab doesn't work. Homeless. No car. His relationships do not last because he's not looking for a partner. He's looking for someone to take care of him. Support him financially, feed his ego, feel sorry for him. I mean, I really could go on and on. He fancies himself quite charming, and I suppose initially it's easy to make that mistake, but once the charmer's in, all bets are off. 

And, let's be clear: he's a very dangerous man.

And yet...yet...from the outside looking in, I see a boy who grew up under the worst circumstances. The very worst and from the outside looking in, I find sympathy uncurling inside of me. I can't help it. I am a sap.

But I'm a smart sap, one who knows better than to let her heart rule her common sense. I've been down this path before. It leads to chaos. This addict dces not want to change his life. He is not my responsibility. 

I take a deep breath and save the sympathy for the feral cats. 

It's just a thing that's troubled me today. 

We worked on the wiring today. Tim has a therapy appointment in Erie tomorrow, but we hope to be back at the job Friday. We're hoping to be done with that part of things by the weekend.  Then on to the plumbing. 

Something affirming has happened. Tim has been saying that I look skinnier. I thought he was being polite. He knows that I'm dieting and exercising, and I figured that he was just trying to be encouraging. The scales show the pounds coming off, but so. very. slowly. I've noticed that my pants seem to fit more loosely, but I thought it was wishful thinking. 

Today, I got out a summer-weight tee shirt and slipped it on. I was so shocked. It is plain to see that I am thinner. Tim came into the bathroom while I was still dumbfounded at the discovery. He looked at me. I said, "I AM skinnier!" He said, "Well...yeah...I told you that you were..."

That's a great encouragement. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2024


 I needed to get some bloodwork done at the hospital. It was fasting bloodwork, so it was one of those things that needs to get knocked off early in the morning. I regularly skip breakfast, but skipping my coffee is haaaaaaaardddddd. (Also ill advised)

Anyways, I got a pair of sweats on, and a bulky sweater with easy to roll up sleeves. We were headed to the new build as soon as I was done, and so I was dressed to work. I signed in and I was 6th on the list which appeared on the monitors in the waiting area.

As I waited, a tall woman, perfectly groomed, perfectly dressed, high heels, leather coat, came in and signed in as well. Her name appeared at the bottom of the list. She took a seat across from me, and I started with that niggling sort of inadequate feeling. Plain-jane, dressed for a day working, no make up at all, hair neat, but not styled. I felt a bit awkward in my carhart sweatshirt (actually it was Tim's but I wear it for work). 

I always find myself wondering what it is like to be self assured and perfect. I am not those things. As I awkwardly watched the monitor and tried not to look awkward, I was much surprised to see that although she was at the bottom of the list, she was called to the registrar's office next. 

Obviously she was someone of importance. I wondered who she was, and why she would receive priority. I was so very curious about this. 

We worked at the new house today, on the wiring. Tomorrow we will work on it some more. 

I saw something that I have never, ever seen before. There is a local garage sale site. Yes. It is on facebook. I keep track of the kids and the grands, and the relatives, but I do not comment. I checked out the garage sale site, and I saw, much to my amazement that someone was selling used LIPSTICK!!!! It had only been used once she claimed, and she did not like the shade. She had 8 tubes she was selling for $4. 

Used lipstick! Once again, I'm very curious.

Monday, March 11, 2024

I Can See Clearly Now...

This is the south side of the house. Tim made a design change, deciding to put 3 windows on this side of the house.  So, these are the two windows that we put in the area that is our livingroom. The windows are short enough that a sofa can be slipped in under them. 

The narrow window is to the left of the door. He really wanted a window so that you could quickly see who was at the door. The door lies to the left of those two livingroom windows in the last picture. This little nook will hold a six foot log bench. Underneath it will be the boot tray and a wooden box to hold mittens and hats. There will be hooks installed in the corner to hang coats. 

This is my design feature. Can you guess what it is? 

I'll tell you. It is our computer area. I wanted a little window to provide light. It is tucked away in the little cubby between the outer wall and what will be, at some point, a walled in stairwell. Tim put his own special touch in that corner as well. 

This is my kitchen. That window will be above my kitchen sink. That second window, to the left is actually in a different room (well it will be once the plumbing and wiring is inspected, and we can get the insulation in and the drywall up). Anyways, that will be the pantry. It is big enough for the hoosier cabinet, and a couple of wheeled steel shelving units, the idea being that I want an easily cleanable space. It is where the vacuum and the broom and mop will be stored as well. 

So there you have it. Windows. 

Tomorrow, we will resume rough wiring. We hope to have that done by the end of the week. 

Then we will start on the plumbing. 

PS: I admitted it to Tim. He was right about the windows. I can see clearly now...and they make everything much brighter. 

Here's a shot for all you photograpers out there: 

Saturday, March 9, 2024

What Now?

Well, I am sad to report that we have finished all the episodes of Antiques Roadtrip.

We got the last two windows framed in. It was cold and rainy outside. It will be changing to snow sometime tonight and snowing all day tomorrow. We decided to wait to actually cut out and install the windows until Monday.

Surprisingly, Tim is being very cautious about the coming bad weather. He has decreed that we need to stay home tomorrow. He's not sure he will even go to church. 

I imagine he'll find something to entertain himself. I have two new recipes to try. Beer fries (in the airfryer) and some molasses cookies. 

If I was a betting woman, I'd lay odds that this is, once again, overblown hype and that we will not get much of anything though. Enjoy your weekend, everyone. 

Friday, March 8, 2024


 Yeah. I know that's not how you spell it, watch someone acting the ass, and you just tell yourself, 'yeah...that will catch up with him/her', but there's a wicked part of you that wishes, just once, you could be a mouse in the corner to witness the come-uppance...but it never works out that way. 

Well...except when it does.

A vehicle came roaring down the street, revving his engine and making a general spectacle of himself. What is irksome is that it is a time when there are lots of kids walking home from the middle school, and the very last thing that we need is a driver acting foolish. 

He gunned his engine and...HIS EXHAUST SYSTEM FELL OFF! 

And that wicked part of myself rejoiced.

We were working down at the new build today. Tim decided that he wanted more windows. To avoid lost time, I simply agreed with him. It rankles me to watch rough wiring pulled out to install the 3 new windows. It just feels like a step backwards, and I hate steps backward. But. It is not just MY house. It is OUR house. So sometimes it is just time to shut up and go with the flow. 

So I was running the chop saw and Tim was hammering, and when I shut off the saw, I heard the radio saying ' on legislation that a woman's place is in the home..." and Tim and I looked at each other. 

"What?!!! Where the hell is THAT???" I said. 

Tim said, "That's just crazy!" 

It is, and we both thought it is ironic AND outrageous that the party who blocks raising minimum wage every. single. time. is now telling women that their place is in the home. We had absolutely no reason not to believe that some evangelical republican right wingers had introduced legislation like that. It won't pass. Most people cannot live on one pay check. 

I grabbed my phone to see which batshit crazy state had come up with that legislation, and was much relieved to read that it was in Ireland. And that they were voting to remove the outdated wording from their legislation. 

That gave us both a little laugh. We were relieved to hear it, but isn't it sad that our country is dancing backwards so quickly that we totally believed that it could be happening here?  

Anyways, it was a beautiful day today. The peepers are out. I heard them for the first time yesterday. 

When we came back home, guess what? I got out of the car to see Mangey running to me. Running! He is still pretty thin, but he came right to his bowl and waited patiently. I fed him and he ate every bit of it with a voracious appetite. That was such a happy end to the day. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Still Here

 Boy, I really do like having a smart watch. The bout with the kidney stone on Sunday has made me more mindful of my water intake. I set my watch for 60 oz, and record it as I drink it throughout the day. I do at least 10,000 steps a day. I exercise for at least an hour a day. It's a lot like having a teeny tiny drill sargeant on my wrist. (Sure beats having a drill sargeant on my ass. Been there. Done that.) 

In any case, we got the 'new' car today. Tim is quite pleased with it. We were quite surprised that the car manuals are not all that helpful. We thought we were locked out of it, but we figured it out. We had to ask another Suburu owner how to open the gas tank. Turns out there is a lever on the floor. We were looking on the dash, where they are on the other vehicles we own. We've never had a car with BlueTooth before, so that will be a novel experience. Just as soon as I sit down with the book and figure it out. (Glasses will help a great deal, I think.)

I ran into a coworker. When I last saw her, she was struggling because she could not have children, and wanted them desperately. Now 5 years later, I saw her in the Walmart. She and her husband began taking in foster children, and have adopted a boy and a girl.  I commented that her life had changed considerably since I last saw her, and with the biggest smile, she held her little daughter close and said, "Yes, and I am so happy!" It went without saying. She exuded joy. 

Tim picked up William after school today, as a surprise. He didn't know that Grandpa had gotten a new car, so he was delighted to be the first 'guest' to ride in it. 

It's cold and it is rainy, but I didn't mind. I planted my tomatoes. Romas, beef steak, and one lone cherry tomato. The cherry tomato seeds are from Amish plants. They get huge and one is enough. We will be in cherry tomatoes for the season. 

Early day tomorrow. Ladies day. Mattie and two of her sisters. 

I've gotten behind on commenting. I am reading your blogs, but I can't comment on some of your blogs on my phone, and I have much less time on the computer this week. 

I looked for Mangey tonight. I made up my mind to bring him in and isolate him. I did not find him. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2024


 What a beautiful day we had! A second day of 70 degree weather. 

This morning, I got up and headed off down town. I was delivering another bill to the city manager for the sewage, this one for $1420. So far, we are up to $11,422.06. I reprinted the previous packet with the previous cover letter. I put a new cover letter and the new bill on top of them. I thought it would be convenient for him, everything all in one place. 😒

I've been hearing robins in the morning, but today, walking down town, I saw one. I also saw violets, crocuses, pachysandra blooms, and snow drops. It was a nice walk. 

When I got to the city building, the fellow I needed to see was not in the building. I left the stack of paperwork with the receptionist and told her I'd need a receipt with her name, the date and the time that I dropped the stuff off. I don't think she'd ever been asked for that before. I said, "A post it note, is fine. Just something that acknowledges receipt of the papers for legal reasons." She made one up and then said, "I'll stick it on these papers for him." I said, "Well, no. I need that to document that they were dropped off." 

Poor thing. She had no idea what happened there. 

I walked back home enjoying the sun and the spring, and the birds and the flowers. Such a great day for a walk. Such a great day that I didn't stop when I got home. I walked a couple blocks down to have a visit. Walked back home. 

After lunch, I set off once again for another jaunt. I just didn't want to miss a day. Tim had to run to the bank and he was loading up some things that he needed to take to the new build, so I headed out and he picked me up en route. Got another mile and a half in before he caught up with me. 

We got another window in the new house. 

On the way home, we detoured down by the river road to see if the swans were back, because I'd seen AC's post. They were. But I made an amazing discovery. These are mute swans, not trumpeters. They don't migrate, really, although they do move away to open water where other swans are, sort of a local move. I don't know where these ones go. So. Today I learned something new. 

A nice supper of venison chops with peppers and onions and tomatoes. 

I saw Mangey today. His face looks like it is healing, but he is thin. So thin. He came right to me. I right away opened some catfood for him (he gets the good stuff because a well nourished healthy cat generally doesn't get mange) He smelled at the food and but listlessly went out to lie in the sun. He did not eat. I am kind of worried about him. 

Tomorrow we pick up the new (to us) car. Tim is pretty excited although he doesn't like to let on. 

Monday, March 4, 2024

Scrap and good fortune.

 Well, today was the day. Tim's old car was showing signs of a definite transmission issue, and the decision was made that it wasn't worth putting the money into. A new transmission is a pricey fix. So, after some amount of talk, we wound up replacing his car with the Toyota Outback, which should be good to last for the next five years or more. 

That means the Cadillac was headed to the scrap yard. It also means that the other Cadillac, the 'parts car' can go to the scrap yard as well. So yesterday, Tim spent a good portion of the day preparing it to be hauled up to Metalico, a scrap yard up in New York State. Before they take a car, the fluids have to be drained: gas, oil, transmission, radiator. There were parts that he wanted to save. (Short answer: I don't even know why), so he took those off. 

This morning, he drove down to the new build to retrieve the car dolly. Once home, the car was loaded. I decided to follow him up in my car, which seems like a waste of gas, maybe, but I wanted to be sure that there was someone behind him if he ran into problems. 

And...he did. The tire blew on the trailer and before he could get the rig off the road, the tire had shredded, hitting the fender of the dolly so hard that the tail light flew off and went into the brush at the side of the road. I made a mental note of the area it landed in, and then pulled up to help Tim. I had the good jack in the back of my car, and he had a spare tire in the back of his truck. It was if he knew this would happen. 

We got there safely. We got about $500 for the car. I stopped on the way home and walked along the road when the light flew off. It wasn't even damaged, which was dandy news. Tim stopped into the the feed store in Sugar Grove to order a new tire for the car dolly. I met up with him there. Ruben, the Amish man who broke his leg so badly works there, so I asked the woman if he'd gotten home from the hospital. She said that he had, but that the leg was quite bad. He broke the femur, the tibia and the fibula. The lower leg fractures were compound and broken in multiple places. He can't put any weight at all on the leg for six weeks, and then they will begin physical therapy. It will be a pretty long convalescence for him. 

She mentioned that the most miraculous thing to her thinking was that his small son was the one who sensed that his father was in trouble. He told his mother who went to make sure that things were okay. Of course they weren't. I agreed with her. In a worse case scenario, Ruben could have been stuck in the woods for a while. 

She said, musingly, "It's like that Spartansburg case." 

I said, "That was just unspeakably awful." I told her that when we'd run Levi 1 and Levi Too and Clara to Erie to see Ruben, we'd met some Amish from Spartansburg. "That poor four year old. I just can't stop thinking about that little boy."

She said, "It was that little boy that solved the case." She explained how the police had narrowed down the red jeep clue. Sounds as if maybe someone knew who it belonged to. The police sat down with the little boy and his father, and they showed him four pictures. Without hesitation, he was able to pick out the man that he saw slitting his mother's throat. 

Imagine that. In the midst of all that horror, he had the presence of mind to memorize the man's face. The woman at the counter said she thought that was a miracle too. I could not disagree. 

I said, "You know what doesn't make sense to me though?" At that point, a man walked in to buy feed, but he seemed interested to hear, so the woman said, "What's that?" I said, "Okay. According to his step daughter, or foster daughter, depending on what report you go by, he went to that house believing that the previous Amish owners still lived there. He was looking for his grandson, who'd been adopted by them. According to his daughter, he went there intending to get his grandson back. Now, let's say just for a minute, that the previous owners were still there, and he did find his grandson, how on earth did he think the crime would not be traced back to him? I mean, if he had gotten his grandson, it seems like he would have been the very first person on that suspect list."

The three of us nodded. It didn't make a bit of sense to any of us. I said, "Well. I guess if someone has that much ugliness inside him, that he would do something as awful as all that,  we can only hope that he turns out to be as dumb as he is ugly." 

And we all agreed on that. 

Music to our Ears.

 Well, the concert was good fun. It was not nearly as loud as the last event we went to, which was a bit of a relief to my poor ears. Tim enjoyed himself, and it made me happy to see him enjoying himself. There is something very nice about listening to music that you know all the words to.

For the last half of the concert, Tim wanted to be up front, and surprisingly, there was plenty of room to do so. I love to people watch, and there were plenty of people to watch. I watched a tall dark haired woman come up to a man and begin rubbing against him, her arms around his neck. They obviously knew each other, and she was talking earnestly in his face. He listened, but I noticed that his hands stayed in his pockets. He did not hug her back. He did not smile. A song came on that she loved and she turned her attention back to the band, and began to dance. He quickly sat down. She turned back to him and then leaned forward, still dancing, and removing her sweater in a flirty, flashy way. He did not look at her. 

I found this all very interesting. He was part of a group of three men. There may have been a fourth, but he was up and mingling in the crowd, while the other three stayed at their place. appreciating the music, clapping and cheering with the crowd. 

The Titusville Iron Works is just that, a huge old foundry building, probably a good city block in size. It is furnished with an eclectic mix of furniture: sofas, chairs, vintage kitchen chairs and tables, office furniture, benches, barber chairs, There are gas fires in cast iron clawfoot tubs and furniture arranged around these things. There's an old city street car filled with local memorabilia, old cars, old motorcycles. It's hard to explain, but I guess a picture is worth a thousand words. 

Anyways, these three (possibly four) men had staked claim on a sofa right up front that had a long bench in front of it that held their empty beer cans and the remnants of their meals. When the girl heard another song coming that she loved, she climbed up on the bench and began to dance. She must have been quite tipsy. The man who'd been trying so hard to ignore her leapt up to make sure she didn't fall, but acted as if he didn't quite know where to put his hands. He tried to talk to her, but the music was loud ('Tusk'.) He gave an 'I give up' sort of hand motion, and sat back down. 

After her song, the woman climbed off the bench and turned her attention once again to the man. Another man in the group crooked his finger at her and she went to the other end of the sofa to him. He was trying to have a quiet word with her, but...the music was loud, and another song came on that she liked and she disappeared into the crowd. 

I found it all fascinating. 

The three men were joined by another fellow and after a quick discussion (the show was nearing its end), I saw them fanning out in the crowd, craning their heads this way and that, obviously looking for someone. I got the idea that they were looking for that girl. They must have felt some responsibility to her. I found that interesting. Did they all come as a group? What happened? What was the story?

But in the end, the show ended, and the crowd began to filter out. I will never know. 

So that was our night. Something I found very odd was that in the middle of this set, the guitarist set aside his guitar and picked up, of all things, a flute! He began to play Bouree, which I will aways associate with Ian Anderson. I turned to Tim and said, "That's Jethro Tull!" It just struck both our ears as out of place. 

That was our night. I've never been a tribute band sort of person myself, but we've seen three of them now, and it is just nice to spend an evening listening to familiar songs that you know every word to. 

I spent a miserable day today. A kidney stone was on the move. It seems to be over and done with now. It gave me a good opportunity to try to figure out why my watch called my daughter 11 times during the concert. I still don't understand what happened there, but I did figure out how to lock the screen to prevent it. 

So that was the weekend. 

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Breaking news.

 Wasn't intending to post today, but we got some wonderful news. They arrested a man in connection with the murder of the pregnant Amish woman.    

This is good news for the community, I am sure. No word on a motive. No explanations. 

In othe breaking news, my sister gave me a smart watch. It was something that she got as a reward at work, but didn't want, since it didn't do anything that her I-phone didn't. I had never really considered getting one before, but discovered that I really liked being able to track my 10,000 steps. Measure the calories burned, etc. After a week, it suddenly stopped taking a charge. 

I waffled back and forth on replacing it. It really wasn'ta necessity, and between all the recent budget hits, I did toy around with not replacing it, but...I liked it. I really liked it a lot. So today I replaced it. All by myself! (Well...and with a helpful but shy young clerk who explained all and seemed pleased as punch to complete a sale.) 

And then I brought it home and sync'ed it. All by myself. (It was a lot more complicated to accomplish that the inexpensive watch my sister got me hooked with.)

Breakfast this morning was enlightening. I got a better idea of how things work. I also found out that this should be a pretty straightforward insurance claim for the city. She doesn't understand why they would even be difficult about the matter. But she offered some good advice, and some really great insights into personalities. She also offered up plan B, if the city manager doesn't respond, which was helpful. The whole visit was very reassuring, and I know that when I told him, Tim felt better too.

This winter has been the fourth warmest winter on record.

Tomorrow may be a record breaking warm day for the county. (55 degrees on Sunday, nearly 70 degrees on Monday.) Of course, with that comes the risk of severe weather, to include tornadoes. 

Another interesting note: We used to be a 5a plant hardiness zone but the temperature has moderated enough that we are now listed as a 6a. 

If only there was something we could do! 

Well, let me get a move on. We've had supper and are about to head off for our concert. The noise level nearly killed me last time. I've got ear plugs. 

Friday, March 1, 2024


Getting the car stuff out of the way, we were able to spend the day working on the new build. We installed two windows, and have two more to do. I noticed today, that we have become so comfortable working together, that there was little need for words. He called out the measurement for the window headers, and I cut the 2 x 6s to length and measured out the OSB pieces to fit between them. He nailed everything together, and installed it. I am better at installing the zip tape flashing than he is. I did that while he prepared the window. Together, we pulled it into place. 

It felt good to be a team. 

Tomorrow, I am meeting up with a former city official to get some tips on protocol and procedure and what we need to do next on this drain issue. It should be an interesting discussion. Tim is going to head down to the new build to frame in the last two windows. He will not cut them out because we are expecting rain, but they will be ready to finish up on Monday when it is expected to be (drum roll please!) 68 degrees. 

In between, we are going to the Titusville Ironworks. There is a Fleetwood Mac tribute band playing tomorrow. Tim has always been a big fan of the group, and we have missed any opportunity to see the real thing. 

Have a good weekend folks. 


 It was a day of getting ready to go, getting everything packed up. We are headed east to see Iris' ballet recital.  I picked up some la...