Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Can you handle the excitement?


They are upside down, of course, but we got two of these ceiling fan/light fixtures for $50. Well and truly happy with that find. We do find good bargains. We actively look for them. The people were remodeling their house and went with a different style. They sell for between $150-200, so that was a nice score.

I am disappinted in you folks. No one was curious enough to look up the Keoma soundtrack. I do not suffer alone and so I have linked it for you here. it was truly an audio ear assault.

Worked on the house today. 

My. A thrill a minute, aren't I?

Monday, April 29, 2024

Looking Back

 This morning started a bit differently. We had a funeral to go to. Tim knew him as a teenager. I knew him from working with him. He was such a funny guy. Always good humored. Quick to shake off any irritation. I always admire people like that. I used to eat lunch with him and his girlfriend when I worked nights.

His girlfriend was one of those rough people who seemed to have spent her whole life doing battle with some damn body. She was quick to take offense, and to be honest, she said things that I didn't understand at all. Her son had moved away to take a job. There's something I could relate to, having a son on the other side of the state. A daughter in Afghanistan. But what I couldn't relate to was when she said, "Well, I hope he fails. I hope he falls flat on his face and gets his ass back here where he belongs."  That shocked me, that any mother would say such a thing. I mean, I missed my kids terribly, but I raised them to be independent, and I expected that they would make their own lives and do their own thing. I wished them well, and they have done well, which makes me feel as if I wasn't a total failure as a mother. 

But I digress.

There were other things too, and it quickly became obvious that we would never be good friends. By the end of it, I found her pretty selfish. She could also be pretty mean. I wound up working a different shift and that brought that acquaintance to a quiet close. 

Today, at the funeral home, I noticed something. She sat by herself. Only one of her sons attended, and while he sat next to her, he did not touch her. He did not look at her. The dearly departed's first wife and his kids and grands and brothers and nephews and I don't know who all sat all together. 

But the girlfriend sat alone. Her son next to her but not with her, if you can understand what I mean.

Tim and I sat in the back, and just before the service began, her face just crumpled, and she cried quietly. Alone. 

And it was the alone that got me. 

I am not everyone's cup of tea. Sometimes it seems as if I might not be anyone's cup of tea. I just seem to operate differently than most people in this world, and I don't know what it is exactly that makes me so different or why I am what I am.  Last year was kind of scary with Tim's issues and suddenly, I got this feeling that it could just as easily have been me sitting up there all by myself. 

I watched her crying and I couldn't not do it. I went up and sat next to her and held her hand. She cried even harder and said, "Thank you." I whispered back, "I just couldn't stand to see you alone." She said, "This is awful." 

That was it really. 

The family spoke during his eulogy. Told funny stories about him. When someone said something about his favorite food, the reply came back in unison: 'Fried bologna sandwiches'. And his girlfriend wept and whispered, "I've still got his bologna in the refrigerator." 

She did not fit in, either, and that was plain to see, and it appeared that there were some pretty hard feelings about something. I have no idea what, and I didn't much care. That's somebody else's drama. I know the girlfriend is a hard person. 

After the service, I walked back to Tim. He was visiting with some people. We walked out of the funeral home, and surprisingly, Tim did not want to rush back down to go to work. He wanted to go to a restaurant a couple blocks away for lunch, and so we did, and when we finished, Tim said, "I want to take a drive down to Sheffield" and so we did. He drove along saying, "We lived here (pointing) and we walked to school every morning." It was quite a distance and kids these days would be bused. He drove up to where his old high school had been. He was the last class to graduate from the old school. He told me what that old building was like. He drove past his old friends' houses, and reminisced. 

We came home then, and changed into work clothes and we got in the car and headed for the new build. We stopped in at that tent sale where we got the ceramic tile for the bathroom yesterday. They had some small windows that Tim was interested in to put in at each end of the attic for ventilation. No one knew the pricing when we stopped in on Sunday. Tim stopped in today, the guy came out, took a look, and said, "$25 each." We bought all four, and put them in the car. 

I got the insulation done. I cut the 2 x 10s into 36 inch lengths for the 12 stair treads and he got those blasted stairs built. We worked quietly together, each thinking our own thoughts. 

And that was today. 

And then we came home. 

Late Edit: Tim is watching some movie called Keoma that has the most godawful soundtrack I've ever heard in my life. I am not a trained musician, but holy cow, this is BAAAAAADDD. My ears are bleeding. I advise you all to find it and come back here right away to agree with me. 

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Sunday Work.

 Such a strange, strange day today, weather-wise, anyhow. We headed out to finish up a few things at the new build. Tim was working on the basement stairs, and project that was going very quickly once he got it figured out in his mind how he wanted it done. I had to finish up the insulation work, something that I'd intended to do Saturday, but things changed. 

Tim needed to stop and get a drill chuck. He got the last one at Ace Hardware, so we headed there on our way out of town. They do not sell them anymore, but they had a tent set up to the side of the building. Tim said, "Crap. They had their yard sale yesterday. I forgot to come over and see what they had." The guy inside told us to go out and take a look. 

They had quite a bit of stuff there. 

We've got the flooring for the livingroom and kitchen and hall. Tim found a great deal on that some time back. I haven't seen it yet, so I'm trusting his judgement. He wants carpeting in the bedrooms, which I'm fine with. The pantry? Quite honestly, if we don't have enough flooring left from the livingroom, kitchen, hallway, I'm not adverse to just putting down a piece of linoleum. That room will have the hoosier cabinet set in place next to the window, (not my picture, shamelessly stolen because I am too lazy to get the camera out and my phone display is dying a slow and painful death)

but the rest of it will be steel shelving on wheels, something that I can pull out and sweep and mop behind, easy cleanup being my gameplan. 

The one room we don't have flooring for is the bathroom. We found 36 sq feet of ceramic tile. $10, baby!!! We were pleased as punch with that discovery. 

So off we went, happy, happy, happy. 

I mentioned that the sky was looking extremely dark ahead of us. Tim agreed. We began to see cars come towards us with their headlights on. "Boy," I said. "It looks like we are about to run into something." 

Did we ever! 

The skies opened up and just like that, we were into rain so heavy that it made us think maybe we should pull over, but there really wasn't anywhere to do that. We were on one of those blacktopped country highways, and we sure didn't want to pull into someone's driveway. I noticed that it looked like it was brighter ahead of us, and then...bam...we were out of the rain. It wasn't that the rain had stopped...they never got any. The road was completely dry. It was the strangest thing! I wish that we had thought to turn around and see what it was doing behind us. 

But...we each got our projects done this afternoon. When we were done, we hauled the tile in and stuck it into a bedroom closet where it would be out of the way and then locked up and headed back. 

Everything is starting to take shape now, and that's pretty exciting. I did not take pictures because I forgot to grab the camera. I'll do that tomorrow. It will be a short day because we have a funeral to go to in the morning. It's a strange thing to lose contemporaries, isn't it? I really find myself seeing life in a different way. 

Sunday Sermon


I found this interesting and understandable. A different kind of evangelical movement. I hope that it takes hold. 

Friday, April 26, 2024


l’m old enough to remember 
that putting the National Guard 
on college campuses is a bad idea.

Bernie Sanders might be old but he has said what younger men cannot or will not bring themselves to say.  Read the letter here.

I will say it again. Opposing Israel does not make me antisemitic. I am not. It does not make me pro-Hamas. I am not. But Israel is wrong. Netanyahu is throwing around the word 'antisemitic' like a dog whistle. A distraction. "Don't look at me! Look over here! They hate the Jew! Don't look at what my behavior. Look at everyone else's."

He has taken a page from Donald Trump's playbook. 

Each of us has a responsibility to speak and to speak clearly on this subject. I don't imagine one of us has the power to change the world, however we should not stand by in silent witness. 

This morning was an early 'up and at 'em' and at this stage of my life, I am not an 'up and at 'em kind of woman'. 

But the good news is that I did something that I have not done in a while...

I took an afternoon nap. 

(Mostly because I was so sleepy, it was impossible NOT to take an afternoon nap.)

When I woke up, William was here. 

Anyways, We went out for supper this evening with William. There was a table across the way where two adults and two teenagers, were avidly discussing, of all things, books. Their favorite books. They all seemed to be quite into fantasy and science fiction. The conversation was quite animated. It just seemed to be so wholesome

Mangey came back today when I called. He came into the house when I patted my leg in a welcoming way. He had his supper and did a little explore around the house. He stayed for about 20 minutes, but when I got up and began to walk around, he got nervous and asked to go out. I gave him some pets and gentle words before I opened the door for him. 

Andrew wondered how Houdi would react to Mangey being in the house. They are acquaintances, and greet each other with a customary nose boop each time they see each other outside. They don't seem to mind each other at all. 

Andrew, I am thinking of you tonight and I send my love. 

Thursday, April 25, 2024


Well, Mangey came back today. I let him in the house to feed him. I figure that I'll do that for a few days until he gets comfortable, and then we'll do the collar thing. And the treatment thing. I'm afraid that if I move too fast, I'll spook him and he'll make himself very scarce. 

He came in the house very politely, partook of a substantial dinner with a dose of medication, had a nervous looky-lou around. It surprises me that he's so nervous. He was always sneaking in last summer. If I came in the house with a multiple bags and left the door ajar, he would slip in. I'd find him sprawled in the livingroom, or across my bed having himself a little snooze. He seemed quite comfortable then, so I imagine that he just needs to reacclimate. 

I did not go to the new build today. I needed to be back at a specific time to begin a medical regimen, and Tim did not want to be pinned down to a deadline. He's working on his project. So. I stayed behind. Got caught up on all the housework and laundry, followed my afternoon medical schedule, folded laundry AND put it away. All on the same day, for those of you keeping track. Okay. I was impressed.

My daughter in law messaged me today and asked if we would mind coming early to Ruby's baptism in June. My son will be on a business trip and will not be arriving home until late. She has to work a 12 hour shift, so she has to leave the house directly after supper. Sure thing! She always acts as if we've done her a great favor, which makes me laugh, because what kind of a grandma would say no to an opportunity like that?

It's not really babysitting anymore, but William will be walking over after school tomorrow to spend the night. It's always nice to hang out with the big boy. It just amazes me how quickly he has shot up in height this year. It amazes me to think that he is a teenager. It amazes me to think that next year is his last year of middle school. 

Truly, these kids of my kids amaze me and I will gladly grab for every amazing moment I can get with them. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Getting Things Done

 Today, I felt like I redeemed myself somewhat for my failure with the swing stapler. I am about an hour away from having the upstairs fully insulated. Tomorrow morning, I will finish up, and who knows...maybe I'll give another try with that darned stapler! Walls might be easier than ceilings. We will find out. 

The house looks a lot more spacious now that we have a lot of the lumber and nearly all of the bags of insulation used up. That's nice too. 

While I was cracking away on my project, Tim was able to make progress with his project in the basement too. Now that he had a clear idea about how to proceed, he went right to it. Having a cheerful Tim makes my life easier too. 

We still have to insulate the ceiling of the basement (floor joists of the first floor) but we are hoping to be finished with that by the end of next week. At that point we can call for our inspector to come out and clear our insulation work, as well as the things that he told us we needed to resolve from his last inspection. We need outside receptacles, safety film over our bathroom window so that we don't slip and fall out the window (which seemed pretty far fetched to me, for pity's sake, but hey...it's about keeping him happy) the stair walls in the basement. 

Once this inspection gets done, we'll be ready to actually hook up the electricity and water, and then finally begin putting the walls up. That will make a big difference! 

I've been thinking about it for a while, and today, I made my decision. Coming home, I said to Tim, "I've decided what I want for my birthday, and it's going to upset you." 

He looked over at me and I was actually surprised to see he looked fearful. "What's that?" he asked. 

I told him what I've been thinking of for a while, and made up my mind it is simply going to have to be done. "I want to buy a Seresto collar for Mangey and bring him inside." 

Tim looked at me. "Steal him?" 

"Weeeeeellllll..." I said. "It's not really stealing. His face looks bad. We've got the medication to treat him. I need to bring him inside to do it. The neighbors are not tending to him, and they haven't for quite a while. When he has one of these episodes, they simply don't let him in the house. He needs treated and I can't stand to see him. If we wait until warm weather, he's bound to end up with bot fly or something even more disgusting." 

Tim said, "We can see how it goes." 

So we stopped and spent a $60 on a flea collar.

I was a little surprised at how well Tim took it. "You're not mad at me?" I asked.

"No," he said, "I'm not mad."

Now...I will give you three guesses who did not show up for supper tonight. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2024


 Today went a lot better. Well...at least no blood was shed. We have begun to install the insulation on the exterior walls and it turns out that I am good at installing insulation, which meant that Tim could focus on other jobs. 

He's been having a struggle with something that he didn't seem able to problem solve his way out of. We've never built a house from scratch before, so I keep telling him that we will run up against situations like that. We'll have to ask someone who has done this before. He was stubbornly insisting that he could figure it out, and I've no doubt that eventually he could, but my question was why would he spend the time to do that, when you could get your answer much more quickly simply by asking the right person a few questions? 

So he spent the day puzzling through his project, while I installed insulation. Note: I avoided the swing stapler. I just installed it, cutting it to size where necessary, and it went okay. Tim came up from the basement to help, and I think he was a little frustrated. He took the swing stapler and began stapling bang, bang, bang. He was going too fast and hit his finger twice. Not as bad as yesterday, but it was a sure sign that he was upset. 

"Slow down," I said. "There's no rush on this, Tim. 

He slowed down. 

During our home inspection last week, Tim was told that the steps to the basement needed to be walled in. That was a bit of a shock. Our stairs here are not. They have railings on both sides, but are open. We live in a house that  is 100 years old, and things have changed. So, we needed to pick up a few things to build the walls in the basement.

So, we drove up to New York State to the Amish building supply and picked up what we needed. 

I tried to talk to Tim on the way up. His jaw stayed very taut. It's what he does. If he doesn't like what I'm saying, he tends to simply not respond. I gave up. 

We picked up the lumber and then drove it back to the new build and put it inside the basement. It's already for him to work on his project tomorrow morning. I can finish up the insulating. We locked up and headed for home, both of us tired and hungry and scratchy from the insulating. 

A shower made me feel better. 

I microwaved our suppers, and getting some food in my stomach made me feel better too. 

What made me feel best of all is that after supper, Tim said, "I'm going to take a shower, and then I think I'll run up to talk to Levi." 

Men are a very stubborn critter. 

Monday, April 22, 2024

It Came to Blows.

 It was bound to happen at some point. I was using a swing stapler to staple the insulation against the bottom of the roof trusses, and I was getting aggravated because apparently I lack the hand/upper body strength to get the staple all the way into the truss. When I tried to adjust the paper, staples would drop to the floor. 

I practiced with new ways to hold and swing the stapler while trying to hold the paper flat with my other hand. I swung a mighty swing and *bam*! I smote my left index finger a mighty blow, which caused a mighty oath to spring forth. There was blood running everywhere, and I did the best I could with a piece of zip tape and a strip of paper toweling. 

Forgive the bad picture...or maybe you're grateful for it. My phone is on its last legs. 

I tried to continue on, but the job was even more awkward with a zip tape wrapped finger. I gave up and went down into the basement in frustration. "I can't do it," I said. "I don't know why I can't do it, but I'm making a mess of it. I can help, but I can't manage the stapler part." 

So he came upstairs and I maneuvered him on the scaffolding as he did the stapling. I quietly cleared the work areas in preparation for moving the scaffolding. Oh the shame! I finally had a job to do, and I had proven myself incompetent. 

I heard a noise and looked up to see Tim shaking a bloody finger. 

He, too, had smote his finger a mighty blow. His and her boo-boos. Same finger. Same hand. 

I think maybe he did this to make me feel better about myself. 

Sunday, April 21, 2024

The highlights

 It was such a great weekend!

The girls were great fun. There were walks and a community yard sale, which was fun. (Two lights for the new build, nothing else. I'm really trying hard to be sensible about STUFF.) Iris played her piano for me. I saw little show. She and her troupe did one tap routine and one ballet routine. It was cute. I wish that I could show you the little video. It really brought tears to my eyes to watch her. Ruby is a 20 month old 'sassypants', which makes me laugh. Her father was the same way. She has the same blond curls at the back of her head as he did when he was a baby. It's fun to watch them and to remember. There was a celebratory supper out with all the grandparents after the dance program. We watched a movie after the kids went down to bed. We had to leave before noon today, but it was a leisurely morning, with a nice walk. Coming home was a six hour trip. 

Supper is made. Laundry done. Short blog post. 

Back to work tomorrow. We are doing the interior insulation this week. 

Thursday, April 18, 2024


 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 laces to teach her how to weave a simple bracelet. I was looking at some beads, but remembered that I'd gotten her a bag of UV detecting beads at Christmas (they turn colors in the sunlight). I gave my daughter in law a quick call to make sure she still had some of those. If not, I needed to buy some beads. I was assured that they were in a drawer, and that Iris was quite excited for me to get there. 

My daughter-in-law gets up before anyone in the house so that she can get her shower. Then she bustled down to the guest room to put the fresh bedding on the bed. She was moving quietly because the rest of the house was asleep, and she shut the door to keep any noise out of the hall. 

Iris woke up, and saw the light under the door in 'gramma's room' and charged in excitedly thinking that I'd gotten in early to surprise her. "She was SO disappointed..." 

That was sweet. 

Today, Mattie needed to do some grocery shopping, so I volunteered to take her down. Her sister Katie came with us too. I noticed that things were quite different last time. Levi was with us. The women were quiet, and when they did speak, they spoke in German to Levi and he translated to me.  It wasn't oppressive. I guess that's just the way they do things. But it was sure different from how it is when I've got a car load of ladies. 

Anyways, it was Katie and Mattie today. Mattie said, "I'll probably fill up the car." I said, "I'm just about used to that," and off we went. So as not to garner any ill will, our first stop was GoodWill. Fine by me. I found some cute dresses for the girls. I needed a knob for a cast iron dutch oven, and I've been unable to find what I was looking for. I'm not sure why it didn't occur to me before, but I saw a box of pot lids. Nothing but pot lids. I found one with a knob that I liked and so I bought it, brought it home and unscrewed it from the lid and tossed the lid in the recycling. Voila.

They had two stores they needed to get to, and once that was done, they suggested Dairy Queen. I had my normal meal which is a FlameThrower and an unsweeted ice tea. They ordered their meals and we waited together. They called out our numbers and one by one we picked up our sandwiches and headed for a table. 

When I unwrapped my burger, I thought, "This doesn't look right. I've never seen a slice of onion on a Flamethrower." I checked my bag, and it was my order number. At about the same moment, I noticed Mattie's red face with a very strange expression. She was looking at the burger she had just taken a big bite of. 

I knew what happened immediately. I said, "Is that your burger?"

She said, "I don't sink so." 

I asked "Is it hot?"

She nodded. I laughed. "They mixed up our orders. They put my sandwich in your bag!"

She felt awful because she had taken a bite of it. "It's alright," I said. "You're not contagious or anything, right?" intending to cut out the part she'd taken a bite from. 

She looked quite shocked at that. I said, "It's not a big deal, really...unless..." I fixed her with a look. "Will I turn Amish if I eat this? Is Amish catching?" 

Laughing out loud is something that they don't do in public usually. Polite little giggles, but the ROFL LOL stuff is not something you'll catch Amish women doing. It was hilarious to watch them. Their eyes grew wide and they both simultaneously grabbed their paper napkins and held them tightly against their mouths, and rocked with laughter. 

In the end, I ended up taking the burger back, not because I was afraid to 'catch' Amish, but because there was nothing to cut the portion away with. Just straws and sundae spoons. I explained to the woman at the counter what had happened and they made me up a new sandwich right away. I looked back at Mattie and Katie and they were still rocking with their napkins tightly held against their mouths, laughing uproariously as quietly as they could.

I bought William a new pair of jeans while we were out. When he walked over after school, I had him try them on. They were too big. Honestly. The kid is so skinny. He's getting tall though, so now finding pants long enough that are not too big around the waist is a struggle. I headed out to the store with him and the jeans. He was outraged that I expected him to try the jeans on before we left the store. I said, "No. We need to make sure these are right." We were just passing the newly opened Dunkin' Donuts. I said, "Listen, humor me, and we'll stop on the way back and you can try Dunkin' Donuts." That quieted him down. 

3 pair of jeans later, we wound up going back to what we always buy, Wranglers, 12 slim. 

And when we stopped at Dunkin' Donuts, we had the intention of getting a donut for William and for Grandpa too. Except that there was (I kid you not) ONE lone donut in the long display case. William quipped. "This should be Dunkin' Donut without the S, and when I buy this donut, it will be just "Dunkin'" I thought that was hilarious. The poor guy behind the counter just looked as if he'd had a very hard day. 

Post Script: Tim has never met a donut he didn't like and so he told William that they'd go back to Dunkin' Donuts after supper. The store was open. They didn't have any donuts. When the guy said they had one donut left, he meant they'd sold out. There were no more donuts in the store. I guess they must be pretty spesh, as far as donuts go. 

So, we will be gone for the weekend. I hope that you all have a good weekend. 

GZ, I'll be thinking of you. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2024


 You know, a profound thing happened this morning, before I even got out of bed. We have a pretty nice relationship with our tenants. 3 of them have a pretty solid historical connection. They grew up in Kinzua, and were forced out by the government who were building a dam, and where their tiny towns stood would soon be underwater, part of the Kinzua reservoir. It ties in quite really well with Tasker's post today, strangely enough as he too recounted a story of a place which no longer exists. 

So...they are good friends, bound together by their shared history. Through them, we met another couple, who had the same 'Kinzua Connection'. I wrote about them. The gentle man made a huge impression on me in that short meeting. 

It's no secret that I've been struggling. I mean, the news of the world is really just overwhelmingly awful lately. Today I read that Israel is blocking the delivery of sleeping bags to Gaza. That's indefensible. It is simple cruelty. Unfortunately, 12,300 children have been killed in Gaza in the past four months. More will surely follow, because they are starving to death. Israel's goal is to inflict suffering, and they are doing a fine job of it. Hammerabi's law demanded 'an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth'. Israel's 'revenge' has gone far beyond what can be considered reasonable. 

I will always be ashamed of my president vowing to protect Israel, no matter what. To me, it is so very simple. Say that I've got a friend, and that friend gets mad and kills someone. How shall I respond? If I defend him, cover for him, help to him to avoid justice, this would be called 'aiding and abetting'. It is a crime. You can laugh at the simplicity of that, but in my mind, if it isn't ethical on a personal level, it is no more ethical on a national level, or a world level. Wrong is wrong. 

And then there is Putin. 

And our political chaos. 

I mean, it just never ends. I've given up watching the news altogether. I follow it closely, but somehow the words are easier to take than the actual visuals, so I read my news. It gets to the point where, really, you just feel as if it is futile. There is no point. There is nothing that I can do to make a difference. I mean, I try to be a good person. I do. But I will make no difference in this world. 

Last night, we got an unexpected call from that elderly gentleman from the beginning of this post. He's had a rough go of things in the past couple years. His wife died, and they were each a half of a whole. A tree blew down on his little house in the middle of the woods, in the middle of the winter. We offered him a camper to live in, but he thanked us. He went on living in the livable part of his little house, working industriously to make the unliveable part liveable once again. He's a quiet, independent soul, and sometimes you will catch him smoking a joint staring across the water. I don't begrudge him his small pleasures. I'll tell you true. Sometimes I am tempted to smoke one and see if the world looks any better when I'm done. 

Anyways, his text came out of the blue. He'd come across some foam sheeting and wondered if we would want it. Tim immediately said yes. The house is insulated. but Tim said that we could use it in the garage, to make that weather tight. They made plans to meet up. When we asked how much he wanted for it, he said that he didn't want anything, that it wasn't his. He was doing a job and had to get rid of it. He wanted it to be reused, instead of tossing it in the landfill. 

This morning, I invited him to supper, but it turns out that he eats very plainly, very simply. He's also a vegetarian. I said, "Well, can we do some sort of a barter? You're doing a kindness for us." He responded that perhaps we could do a barter at some point, but he could not think of anything at the moment. 

In a joking way, I responded, "Sigh! I can tell when I am being put off, sir!" 

He said, "Well. I'm afraid you're reading this wrong. Just an offer to a fellow traveler. I am sure things will even themselves out at some point." 

Afraid that I'd hurt his feelings, I said, "I know that you are right, and I hope that you remember us when the time comes that you need help. But whatever happens, know that this will be paid forward. In this world today, we have a responsibility to be kind, to pour as much good into this world as we can. It is our only hope." 

And then came his beautiful reply. "My friends on Water St. have shown me just how well you both understand the need to spread kindness and goodness to others. It is actions like yours that give me hope that we CAN create the kind of world that we long for." He closed his text with "Enjoy this day. Namaste." 

I do not relate this for shameless self promotion. I'm not bragging. But here's the gift of his words. We do try to be kind. We do try to do good. It never seems to be enough. It never seems to matter. It never makes a difference. Except...someone noticed, and I feel as if it has somehow eased my internal struggle just a bit. 

I think of Steve Reed's 'Estelle' painting her rocks, leaving them about London. I'm not sure how old she is but it was very moving to me to think of a girl, with a child's pure heart, leaving her rocks for others to find, earnestly believing that she can bring joy into the world. 

Red's story about taking his wife out for her birthday had an unexpected ending.

Weaver's stories about the kindness of others are touching too. 

Yeah. We are living in a very ugly world right now, but there is sweetness. There are Estelles. There are Geezes. There are good people, and just being reminded of that made a big difference for me today. 

Feel free to leave your examples in the comments, some little story of kindness that has made an impact on you. I'd love to hear them. I'm sure the world could use the encouragement. 

Monday, April 15, 2024

Feeding the Masses.

 Donna W. talked about potato soup over on her blog, I still have about 30 lbs of potatoes that I need to use, and I thought that would be a good way to use some of them up. 

Of course, I needed ham for that. I had a little ham, a two pounder, but it was in the freezer. Once thawed, it would need to be used. The soup would not require all that ham, so I made up my mind to do a quiche with spinach, ham, and swiss cheese for tonight. I got that put together and in the oven, and then chopped up some more of the ham and tossed it into a crock pot with celery and onion and some water. 

When the vegetables were tender and the broth good and 'brothy', I added some peeled, diced potatoes and let them simmer until tender. I added half a stick of butter and popped it in the fridge. All I have to do for supper tomorrow is make a cheddar cheese roux, add it to the soup base and heat through. That will make a quick supper for tomorrow. 

The rest of the ham and the left over swiss cheese from the quiche will become grilled ham and cheese sandwiches for the night after next. It's nice, esp. when we're busy, to have suppers pretty much planned and ready to go. 

At the end of the week, we are headed to see Iris' ballet recital. She is quite excited about her show, and it is all top secret, very hush-hush. She did show me one dance step, but swore me to secrecy. We're getting her a wrist corsage to present to her after the show. William is coming along and it will be a nice weekend away, a short one because Tim has a doctor's appointment bright and early Monday morning, so we'll head back Sunday. 

I haven't said anything about the cats lately. Houdi is not allowed out at night, and that seems to be saving his ass, literally. He hasn't been bit in the butt since his last bite in the butt. Of course, it makes him quite ornery when he asks to go out and it doesn't happen for him. He tries to argue the point. 

I know that after the last cat attack, I said that I wasn't going to feed the ferals anymore, but I can't help it. Mangey comes when I call, and he is glad for his food. He gets a good diet because proper nutrition is important to stave off mange. He had a horrible case the first time I met him, and we got him all cured from that. (I tried to talk to his owners about it. They think that this is from excessive grooming.) We treated him for mange, and got him all squared away. I was disappointed to see that a spot had returned on his face in January or so. So he gets a good cat food and medicated every other month as a preventative. His face is looking better. I know that commenters think he needs a new name, something nice, but he knows who I'm talking to when I call for him. He answers. We need to maintain that, because, as I said, when I leave this house, he's coming with me. They have a big dog, and he is not a fan of the dog. He told me so. The way he came over the top of the chainlink fence between our property and theirs was all I needed to know. 

Testing the water, I told Tim that we were bringing Mangey with us when we move. He gave me a look. It's not his favorite idea I don't think, but he didn't say were were not. Hence we have reached The Great Cat Accord. duly witnessed by all of you. You understand that you may be called to submit depositions in the case of objections down the road. 

In any case, when we got home from working on the house, Mangey was waiting for us. His face looks better. I called him to the mudroom and fed him his supper and we visited for a while. 

Another of the ferals is 'Goblin', and I think that he's the aggressive cat. He's a long haired black cat. We tried to bring him in a few years ago. Probably 6, maybe 7. It didn't not work out. He did not want to be an indoor cat. He told me so. The way he continually shot out the door each and every time he had an opportunity to do so made it crystal clear. When we tried to force the issue, he simply got out and to teach us a lesson, he did not come back for a couple months. 

Tim went to visit a friend and was a bit grumpy when he got home. He said, "Well, we've got another one. I've never seen this one before." I said, 'Is he the tiger?' Tim answered, "Nope. He was gray." I said, "Oh, the gray one with the white face?" Tim started to look a bit provoked. "No. He did not have a white face. He was solid gray. How many cats are we feeding???" he wanted to know. I honestly had to tell him that I don't know. If I see a cat hanging around looking hopeful, I put a cup of food out in the dish for him. 

I feel badly for the street cats, but they can't all come with us. We've already got one feral living in the old house in Grand Valley. He's figured out how to get in through the basement, and we don't mind. We run the furnace in the little house, keeping it at 50 degrees because we have a lot of stuff for the new house in there, so Get-Along has a cozy place to get out of the cold. I'm sure that he finds plenty of mice to keep himself fed. He is a true feral, and I doubt that he will ever get close enough to be petted, but he's a wiley character who has managed to fend for himself quite nicely, at the same time avoiding the foxes and coyotes. You have to respect an animal like that. We've seen him, off and on, for 4 or 5 years now, always from a distance, just a glimpse. 

Houdi was a rescue. We'll rescue Mangey too. but we cannot save them all. I can't help but feel bad about that.


We spent the afternoon working down at the new house. Wiring. I am not an electrician, and so at this point, I'm back to my old familiar role of step-and-fetch. I leapfrog the ladders. It's pretty boring. 

Today, I gathered up the scrap pieces of wiring and thought...hmmmm...and so entertained myself by stripping the wire down to the copper and then using pliers to shape it. I began restringing a windchime that had fallen apart, cutting the old string and then toying around with the wire to figure out how the best way to hang it. I think I have a plan. 

Of course, about the time that a design all began to come together in my mind, Tim needed me to feed wire through. We did that for the rest of the afternoon. 

When we ran out of wire, we spent some time finalizing the light placement for the bathroom. 

We stopped in and visited with my sister and her husband for a while, and then we headed home. The trees are starting to leaf out. and daffodils are everywhere. That's a hopeful sign. 

We watched the craziest movie tonight. 'Serenity', with Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway. It had an intriguing start. We were both hooked. I watched that movie devolve until I had no idea just what was going on. Tim dozed off and woke up after it ended. "So what happened," he wanted to know. I had to answer honestly, "I don't know. I couldn't tell you."

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Gray Area

 We worked on the house yesterday. It's a frustrating time for me, because there is not really a lot I can do, so I stand around a great deal of the time waiting for him to tell me what to get, or what to do. Sometimes, I can stand around for quite some time. We are doing the wiring for the ceiling fans/lights/exhaust fans, etc. We have the bathroom exhaust fan, and the recessed lights for in the bathroom, We will need to make a decision on the kitchen exhaust. 

So that was yesterday. 

Coming home, I had an unaccountable craving for a veggie pizza, and so we placed an order for one to pick up. 

I find myself just not wanting to be around people lately. Sounds awful, doesn't it? 

People just want to argue. An acquaintance really began blasting Christianity. She really feels it is responsible for so many evils in the world. There is no God! She proclaims this long and loud and will argue the point with anyone who dares to believe differently. 

Now, I don't disagree with her. She's right in my opinion, but I countered with, "Leave people alone!  For heaven's sake, I know people who call themselves Christians who are every bit as horrified as you are at what is happening in the world. Their belief does not affect you. " 

She was quick to let me have it. I think that she just assumed that we would be in agreement. The thing is, we are. I just don't understand the need to hold all Christians accountable for the acts of some. I guess my point is that I am completely willing to debate ideology. Evangelical Christianity and their ideology is doing a lot of damage, and I will argue that ideology because it affects me. Ridiculing everyone who believes in God is simply religious intolerance,  no different from the Christians she criticizes proclaiming that all other faiths are not 'right' or 'true'. 

People want to see things as black and white, and yet, life is rarely like that. If you don't agree with the actions of Israel, you are quick to be labeled 'pro-Hamas'. Or antisemitic. If you don't agree with the Evangelicals, you are a 'liberal', a word that cannot be uttered without contempt dripping from every syllable. If you don't agree with Islam, you are an infidel. It goes on and on, doesn't it? 

Yesterday, I disagreed with a liberal, and watched her take a page from the far-right republican playbook. If I was not with her, I was against her, and she tore into me. I recognized the gaslighting immediately. She was trying to discredit me by picking apart my words, making a big deal out of semantics, all in an attempt to miss my point, to ignore the big picture. 

I wished her a good day and ended the conversation, which she seemed to find hilarious. I'm sure she thought she won, that her argument was so overwhelmingly 'right' that I had no comeback. I had plenty to say, but what was the point of saying it? She wasn't listening to me, and I was sure as shit not going to stand there and listen to her. There was nothing to be won by continuing the conversation.

In the end, I think our world will be destroyed by intolerance, the refusal to respect people as fellow human beings with every bit as much right to live their life by their own rules as we have. 

Live and let live. 

It sounds so simple, doesn't it?

Friday, April 12, 2024

Water, Water, Everywhere

 We are getting quite a bit of rain here, but the Allegheny River is at 12 feet. It reaches flood level at 14 feet, so we're good. Still, the river is high and muddy. Our Conewango, which feeds into the Allegheny is likewise high. Tim walked down to check the flooding behind the rentals. He was mostly worried about the steps we built down to the creek for our tenants Paula and Jim to be able to reach the river bank and sit with a fire and watch birds during the summer. The steps are right where we left them, which was mighty good news to us. We've got rain in the forecast through Saturday night. High winds predicted for tonight. 

They're getting it badly down in Pittsburgh. Our Allegheny flows through Pittsburgh, and water levels there raised 21 feet in the past couple days. Comparitively speaking, we've got nothing to complain about. 

Today was a big day for us. The city has not responded in any way, shape or form to our paperwork. Dead silence. 

We have had a local television investigation team in. They've got questions. They requested paperwork from the city under the Sunshine Law, but the city has 30 days to get that paperwork to them. According to the reporter, he expects the city to take the full 30 days to forward it to them. 

In the meantime, we hired a guy to come in and run a camera down the line. He was going to provide us with a flash drive of the pictures to prove that the line had been capped. Unfortunately, the line is still filled with water and he could not see to get the pictures. But...all was not lost. He ran the camera through the line until it stopped. He came out of the basement and went to his truck. He had a device that communicated with the camera, telling him exactly where the camera was at. 

With a big grin, he said, "There you go. The camera is right here. See that writing on the side walk? (4'8", it said.) He said, "He marked where he capped it. The cap is 4'8" beneath this marker. That's where my camera is. That's where he's got it marked. Your line was capped." 

He gave us that information in writing. 

He explained where the city is going to try to get us. Shared lines are not allowed now. Back in the 1920s they were allowed so our lines were 'grandfathered in'. However, the law is, in the case of a drainage problem, the city requires the property owner to put in an unshared line. They will stubbornly stick to that, ignoring the fact that there was no drainage problem until they capped our line. Had they recognized that that was a 'wet line' and left it uncapped our drainage would have been working still. Since the house next door was removed, that line would no longer be a shared line, There would have been no problem. 

He pointed out that when a wet line is capped, the property owner is to be given written notice of what is going on. We were not. 

He said, given the city's dead silence on this, they are not going to respond, in his opinion. He said, "You'll have to get a lawyer." We had already figured that, and we have been researching out of town lawyers.

I forwarded the information to the reporter. Over the weekend, I will once again assemble the packets of information. Monday morning, I will deliver the information. What is so frustrating about this is that as citizens, if the city demands payment for anything, even a parking ticket, you don't have the option of ignoring that. How do they have the right to simply ignore us? 

Thursday, April 11, 2024


Well, I've caught cold. 

I'm on the mend. *snuffle*, but luckily, I have a nice pile of funny books on the table to read at my leisure. (Thanks again)

Monday, April 8, 2024

The Eclipse

 Oh, it was just the best time! Dylan and Brittani spent one night at our house. We had balsamic glazed pork, mashed potatoes, gravy and broccoli. My sister came and brought two loaves of bread and cooked up some parsnips for us, straight from their garden, to my stove, and straight to the table. Banana cake for dessert. 

(Note to self. My kitchen does not fit 11 people comfortably. The open concept in the new house will be a wonderful) But we had a good time, and we laughed together in that comfortable way of families. 

Ruby is 20 months old, and even though I saw her not too long ago, it boggled my mind to see how much more social she has become. She had hugs for everyone. She talks a bit, but one funny story. William brought down his marionette puppy from his bedroom upstairs. He walked the dog over to where Ruby sat on the floor, and made it dance around her and lick her cheek. Oh, how Ruby loved that. Ruby wanted that dog in the worst way and threw quite a tantrum about it. When her mother carried her upstairs, Ruby was roaring at the top of her lungs "UPPPPPPPYYYY!! UPPPPPPYYYY!!" I said, "Well. There's no mistaking that word." She was very tired. She had a long day, and it was past her bedtime. She went down with very little argument. 

Iris and I cuddled on the couch and watched Paddington Bear II, which was ridiculous, but she loved it. It was the great testosterone battle for William and his uncle. They both ate a pickled habanero to prove their manliness. (They do crap like this every single time they get together.)

Sunday afternoon, they headed out to Erie. They had a hotel room booked for two nights, and Iris was looking forward to the indoor pool. 

This morning, we all got up and headed to Erie to meet up with them. Their hotel was right next to a sports arena. It was one of the 'eclipse venues' around the city. My daughter Brianna and Don drove up in their car. William rode up with us in ours. We headed out about 9 am. We had heard so much about the terrible traffic, bumper to bumper traffic...but...nothing! It was like any other drive to Erie. It took us no longer than usual. 

With time to kill, we all went out to eat. Dylan treated us all, which was a nice surprise. We had a long leisurely lunch and then drove back to the hotel, parked in their lot and walked over to the venue. 

Ruby was totally befuddled by the astroturf. It was humped up in areas and she walked around studying the wrinkles, gabbling to herself, but throwing her little hands wide and saying, "Why? Why?" We had no answer. She was absolutely right. Grass would have been perfectly fine.

It was very cloudy, but the great thing is the clouds were scutting by quickly enough that even if the sun was obscured, it was not obscured for long. We were able to watch the sun slowly disappearing behind the moon. 

William and Iris were transfixed. As the spectacle reached totality, cloud cover briefly moved in. Iris shrilly screamed, "GET OUT OF THE WAY, CLOUDS!" which sent a titter of laughter through the folks seated nearby.

And it happened. As it got close, to totality, the music stopped, which was wonderful. Darkness fell, and everyone clapped. It stayed dark for nearly 4 minutes. Everyone quietly looked around. Lake Erie glowed red as if the sun was truly setting. It was a cool thing to see 300 people looking around in wonder, all of us in awe at what we were seeing. The temperature dropped noticeably and Iris requested her coat. William was snapping pictures, saying, "This is SO cool!" 

It was. 

And when it was done, we all could honestly say that it was a truly unforgettable moment, made all the more special by the fact that we were all together to witness it. 

I had so many little grandma moments. Can there ever be too many of those? 
I'm thinking no. 
Holding my hand as we walked, Iris said, "You are the best grandma in the world!" 
And she meant it with all her little 5 year old heart. 

Poor Dylan was in the throes of a major hayfever attack, so we decided to head home directly after the event instead of staying to visit with them. Ruby needed her nap, and Brittani was going to take Iris to the pool for an hour so that Dylan could have a nap right along with Ruby. 

The rest of us headed for home, despite all the warnings we had had about not doing that. 'Wait', we were advised. 'Give it a couple hours for the worst of the traffic to subside. Expect major delays!'

Again, nothing. It was an easy drive out of town. There was no more traffic than usual. It took no longer to get home than usual. Coming home in the car, William said, "I will never forget this day as long as I live!"I said, "I know that I will remember it forever." Grandpa said, "Me too." We all will remember the eclipse. Ruby will probably remember the astroturf. Memories all around. 

And when I got home, I carefully put the dandelion that Iris had picked for me between the pages of a thick old book. When it is dry, I will laminate it along with the note she wrote all by herself. 'I am so excited to see you.' 

It was just about perfect. 

Friday, April 5, 2024

Rain, Rain, go away!!!!

 It has been a rainy week here, and Tim and I have commented several times how fortunate we were that he was able to get that tractor unstuck and home before all this hit. The water levels are crazy. The small streams and creeks rise and recede in crazily short times. There was quite a bit of flooding behind the old house (where most of the stockpiled stuff for the new house is stored). I am quite sure that had we walked down back where the tractor was, it would have been under water as well. 

But...all's well that ends well. 

(and next spring, I will chain the tractor to a very large something!)

We live below a large hydroelectric dam called the Kinzua Dam, and the reservoir, which spans just short of 19 miles is normally at 1304 feet. It is currently at 1327 feet. Normal water output is just over 2000 cubic feet per second. It is currently at 7500 cfs. The water level in the reservoir is not dropping. The plan is to increase that output to 15,000 cfs. When the Allegheny river levels are high like that, all the creeks and streams that flow into it are much higher than usual as well. We are in no real flood danger, but it is certainly something that people need to be aware of, especially if they have children. People do get swept into that water and lost. 

The biggest news here, however, is Monday's eclipse. Everyone is keeping a close eye on the weather. We are on the very edge of totality. We are due to have total darkness for 47 seconds or something like that. The farther west you go, the longer that totality will last. My son and daughter in law will arrive here tomorrow, spend the night here, and then Sunday afternoon head to Erie, where they have a hotel room booked for two days. Erie should have close to 4 minutes of totality, which will be very exciting for the girls. 

We are driving to meet them there. We will leave very early on Monday, to get there before the worst of the traffic, and spend the day with them. William and his parents will meet up with us there as well. 

The worst part of the whole viewing experience is supposed to be getting out of town when it is over. Dylan and Brittani drove to see an eclipse back in (??) 2017 or 2018. When it was over, he said that traffic was so congested that it took them 2 hours to drive 8 miles. So we are hoping to have a quiet family cookout after the eclipse while we wait for the worst of the traffic to subside. 

The only thing that would goof our plans up is the weather. After a very rainy overcast week, it is supposed to stop raining for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. It will be partly cloudy all three of those days. They are still predicting that we will have a good viewing experience, which will be nice. Tuesday, the rains move back in again, and the rest of the week will see us returning to the rain. 

Boy. I am SO glad Tim got his tractor unstuck! 

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Isn't it Ironic?

 There is a young man in our area who considers himself quite t he businessman. I know that he has some mental issues and some anger control issues. He is prone to violent outbursts. 

He graduated, and moved on to owning an antique shop. He convinced his parents to let him have his college money, and invested in an old building. It wasn't a bad idea, and it could have been successful, but he's just a very disagreeable man. He got into disagreements with his neighbors. He broadcast his disagreements all over facebook (this sounds like I am making it up, but I'm not.) He says horrible disgusting things to people. When people get aggravated with him, he turns it right around to the fact that he is on the autism spectrum and that he is being picked on. 

His business failed because, really he's just not a nice person. 

He's gone on to buy other buildings. He has tenants. The buildings look pretty rundown from the outside. I do not know this personally, but he is reputed to be a slum lord who treats his tenants very badly. He's the boss, he's the owner, my way or the highway. There is no give and take, and when he gets mad at someone, there he goes, blasting away on public media. That part I have seen, and he is disgusting. 

Some time back, he bought an old fashioned ball room out in the middle of a very small town. It actually used to belong to my uncle. The building is very cool and dates back to 1870. It used to be a general store. He intended to use it as a special events venue, but it never got quite off the ground. It's pretty far out, but also...well...he's difficult. 

For example, kids have stood on the covered sidewalk in front of the building to wait for the school bus for years. I mean, really, generations. He got quite upset about that. It wasn't that there was damages of any sort. He made it clear that he was the owner, and he was making the rules now. No kids on his porch, which required them to stand on the edge of the street, since there was no sidewalks. When people tried to press the point, he put up big 'F U' signs in the windows. He put posts all over facebook laughing at the outrage his signs generated. People just thought this wasn't the sort of thing that they wanted their kids to see.  

That's the sort of thing that puts you on the outside of any community. He made a lot of enemies, and people tend to find other places to take their business. 

Someone drove a pick up truck straight through that covered walkway. Take note that walkway actually is the sidewalk for that stretch of street and has been since 1870. 

While I surely think the retaliation was wrong, I will say that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. You reap what you sow. 

On top of it all, there have been some questionable things, fires, insurance, things like that. 

After one of them, he tried to set up a collection to give to his tenants.


Most people gave directly to the tenants. 

Anyways, here's the latest thing. He's reportedly trying to turn the White Swan into a 'Gentleman's Club.' He has a facebook post up to recruit dancers. He wants them to call to set up auditions. He provides a number. You have to understand that the population of the entire township is only 1211 and this has plainly fired up nearly everyone in that small community. 

Late Edit: The guy in the back ground is a constable. 

He posted this on facebook. I'm not even going to bother showing you the ad. 

People are hugely upset about this. 

There is a petition. 

There are some who believe it is his idea of an April Fool's Prank. 
Others believe he is dead serious. 

I signed the petition. 

I guess we'll see. 

One of those people was venting to me. 
He's a terrible person. (He is.) 
He's rude. (He is.) 
He lies. (He does.)
He rips people off. (He does.) 
People are very suspicious of him. (They are.)

She went on at some length about his business practices and his ethics. 

I bit back my words, but here's the irony:
She is a Trumper. 
The very faults that she sees so clearly in this young man 
she cannot see in a man who is running to be president of the United States. 

Monday, April 1, 2024

Details, details, details.

On March 19th, Tim got his tractor stuck. It has been stuck all this time. We've been waiting for it to dry out. I mean, that baby is buried up to its hubs on the big back wheels. He's walked back a couple of times to try to get it unstuck, but it's well and truly bogged down. 

Last week, he watched a fellow on lawn tractor mowing a lawn and he laughed about it. "The grass isn't even high enough to NEED mowing!" he said.

I said, "And you're not the man that got a full sized tractor stuck brush hogging an area that surely didn't require brush hogging..." 

He laughed.

Yesterday, we heard the weather forecast, which calls for rain for most of the week. I groaned and said, "Honestly, Tim, we're never going to get that tractor out..."

Today, TADA!!!!! He got the tractor unstuck and back up to the garage! Hallelujah!

I had a nice video conversation with my daughter in England today. I'm grateful for that technology. Otherwise, missing her would be unbearable. 

My sister asked me to take the two ham bones home with me from our Easter dinner yesterday. (43 of us gathered. I think it was the best turnout she's had.) Today, I made a nice pot of soup using them and the left over celery, carrots, and zucchini from my relish tray. I chopped up four potatoes to toss in, and there was supper. 

The kids are coming home for the eclipse. We are in the zone of totality for 47 seconds, but if we head west for Erie, we will be in totality for 3 minutes and 46 seconds. It will be a cool experience to be with all the grands on such a memorable day! 

At the end of the month, we will be heading east. My oldest grandaughter will be doing her first dance recital and she is quite excited about this. I can't wait to see her. 

In between there are the appointments, and the house building, and the issue with the city, but it is nice to know that April will begin on such a fine note and end on such a fine note. It eclipses the crap in between!

For all you people who recommended 'The Detectorists', I am sad to report that we cannot get it on this side of the pond. 

Finished Puckoon, and it was disappointing. It was hilarious and ridiculous all the way through, but by the end, it had gotten so ridiculous, it started to seem silly. It was definitely a funny book though.

I began reading Lamb and got to Chapter 4 before deciding that this was a book to be read and thought about. It is a funny book, but I like that the author has Jesus 'staying in character', so to speak. He's a kid grappling with the idea of who he is, and who he is meant to be, and what he is meant to do. All reported from the perspective of his childhood friend, Biff. It IS funny. 

But I decided that it was not a book that I'd be comfortable discussing in a book group with people that I do not know. This loss of faith thing is new to me, and I'm navigating my way through it. I know what I believe, and I'm shocked to that I have come to believe this at this point in my life, but what I know for a fact is that I never want to be the person that destroys another's faith. I will never argue with someone about it. I think that it is just wrong to criticize anyone for their belief/faith/religion. There is no reason to measure their belief against my unbelief. Live and let live. So I sure don't want to tromp on in there to be discussing a book like that with people I don't know well. What I believe is my own business. What they believe is theirs. As it is said, "Go in peace." So I have set Lamb aside.

Then of course, I got side tracked by my new history book. I read some aloud to Tim Sunday night. He was so riveted, he fell asleep on the couch. I was so riveted, I didn't notice until he snored. 

My sister and brother-in-law were really interested in that book. In skimming through the information on their township, they recognized names from the cemetery across the road from our new build. We needed to leave, and my sister reluctantly gave me my book back. Today, I found a 2023 reprint of it, 1000 pages long (it must be a larger print). It is old enough that it is 'public domain' and an historical printing company has reprinted it. I ordered it for them today, to be shipped to their house. It's a surprise. Shhhh! Don't any of you say a word. 

In the meantime, let me get back to my 'assignment'. I need to pick a book and get reading!

The Lawyer.

 Remember how I told you that we'd talked to another local government person? We thought that if more people were aware of what had happ...