Thursday, March 22, 2012

 Here at our old stone home, there are things to do.

We've been given a gift of spring weather, way ahead of our usually miserably-slow-to-warm North country schedule. You see, it has thrown me off kilter.

I had mentally braced myself for a muddy, blizzard-ridden, wet, nasty, icy month of March, generally followed by the same for the month of April, sprinkled in with a few spits of sun & warmth and wonderment which- if one allowed their soul to be captured by- would leave the spirit in the dregs of disappointment,

But no. Not this year.

We've been up to our ears in sun, summer-hot temperatures, and feelings of general disbelief that such a thing could come to us.

So, instead of raking up the winter's debris, turning over the gardens, sweeping the porches, washing the filth-caked windows, I am kayaking and taking cat-naps in the hammock.

Thanks, Mysterious Weather. But you are not to be trusted.
I am still keeping my boots & mittens handy
and one eye open for a dark snow-or-ice-laden cloud on the horizon.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

large snowfall in Spain

It is snowing in central Europe, according to the top of this thrifted tabletop.

I spent a lazy hour or two last evening clipping coffee filters and paper cupcake holders into snowflakes. Even though this new/old table was one of #1 Son's Thrifty Christmas gifts, I stole it for my crafty purposes. He won't mind.

As for the table, it was a $10 auction bargain which had a damaged top. So I covered it with a vintage map and lots of layers of mod-podge. Anthropologie called & and they want it, but they cannot have it.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Before the guests arrive, I roll soft white napkins around the silver
and then the November sun deigns to warm them.

Friday, November 4, 2011

love people, not things

After the guest room was furnished with an antique brass bed, a night stand, a bedside lamp, an area rug, and little else, The Quest for a suitable wardrobe began. This was over a year ago.

We scoured local auctions, flea markets, roadside sales,and antique shops all over the North country & even beyond. Unless we were willing to part with a large amount of moolah, the wardrobe-thing didn't look promising.
The LOTM was in on this hunt too, and even resolved to build one from scratch -even tho' he generally takes on bigger projects. Like whole back wings or large sections of sidewalk.

But as you can see, our determination prevailed.

We scored this beautiful find at our local auction house for a very fair price. It is large, regal, and deep. (Can someone say, "Narnia"?)
The carved top had to be shaved a few inches to fit, but my guys took care of that, easy-peasy!

Now we -(when I say "WE", everyone knows I really mean "William Edwin", the fortuitous name of the LOTM) need only to customize the interior ( which is as large as the Louisiana Purchase) with shelving & closet racks, and we are ready for a small family to move into it.

We (again, that "WE"-thing) will leave just enough squeezing room to slip through the back panel into a lovely, snowy place where reside Victorian lampposts & talking beavers & such.

Now, I don't mean to make this little ole' blog into a list of things we have acquired. Oh no. But I really must share one more addition to our old stone home with you.

-namely, an old oxen yoke- turned- architectural curlicue.

A man named Blieux Coyote dragged it all the way from Mexico to Hudson, New York, just to sell it to me.
In the process of the sale (read: dickering & bargaining), he told me his story while #1 Son & myself stood transfixed.
Everyone has a story, and I am learning to just listen.

So thankful am I for this old painted hunk of wood, and not just because it adds a splash of exclamation to our kitchen wall. It reminds me to watch, look & listen for the tales that people need to tell.

I am richer for them.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

wake up time

The sun has awakened me these past two mornings. I always rub my eyes in wonder when I look from my bedroom window, but especially when the last days of autumn are upon us.

Blessed am I!

Monday, October 10, 2011

a perfect day for a new sidewalk

 This is the kind of day it was; a rare day of autumn warmth, sun, breezes, blue skies, and cement.

Those kinds of days don't come along very often. One must seize them when they do.

 So, around 10 am, when the ground rumbled with the arrival of a cheery red & white cement truck, the guys
tossed on their wellies & grabbed their rake or shovel of choice.
 The cement truck really thrilled me. When the back went round & round, the red & white stripes looked strikingly like a candy cane on Christmas morning. I think I was the only one who noticed this.

 Cement truck drivers are a special breed. And that's all I have to say about that.
-But I had to say SOMETHING, anyway.

 See how expectant these guys look? They know that this is the last time their lower backs will feel good for, say, 48 hours at least.

 Then the job kicked into gear when the first river of sliding cement dropped down. Ah, its a lovely sound!

Allow me to get out of the way ( which is what the LOTM regularly tells me to do) and show you what transpired:

 I'll just say this one thing: that girl in the background?

 Yeah. Her.

She stuns me with her beauty. And her ripped up jeans. And her brother's hat.

It was an eventful day.
Now I get to throw in more more thing, and it is this:

 When life gives you three wheelbarrows full of extra cement, you think really really fast about WHERE ELSE CAN CEMENT MAKE MY LIFE EASIER.

With me, it was a fast answer: I KNOW! Why, the bottom of the hill as slick as an oil spill! You know, that stretch of hill that always lands me on my bottom on my way to my kayak!

All it took was two really helpful & strong guys who didn't mind me being a tad bit bossy. ( "Dump that heavy load here." "Put that really big rock there" -and so on & so forth.) I suspect they were extra gracious to me because they knew I had a double-meat casserole in the oven with their names on it.
 I am so entirely happy with what they made for me, that I trotted down those steps tonight & hopped into my kayak for a quick spin on the river. I didn't even land on my bottom ONCE.

That's how I spell S-U-C-C-E-S-S!

As for the sidewalk, it will be quite useful this winter. And in the spring, the Lord of the Manor will install the gorgeous slabs of paving stone that he dragged home from Pennsylvania.

Won't that be ever so nice?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

sure footing

 What is the purpose of this mess?
Is it a moat? A new kind of security system? The ravages of a large marsupial?


It's just what happens when the Lady of the Manor sweetly suggests to The Lord of the Manor that we might possibly need a real sidewalk before winter. Last winter, we balanced upon wooden planks, the kind that pirates place over the open sea & forcibly urge prisoners to trot upon.

If my memory serves me well, ( and I pray it does) -all last winter's guests to the Stone Home were accounted for; none were lost in the mire, nor skated away over the hillside beyond rescue ---depending upon the rise and fall of the season's climate.
 Early this spring -when these planks rested gingerly upon a veritable sea of mud-, M'Lord bestrewed some sundry stone in place to make the way a bit more pleasant:

 (No side-by-side travelers, here. Single file, please!)

But I digress. I left you, kind reader, at my sweet entreaty for a proper sidewalk.

"The Royal Coffers cannot support such an Expensive Endeavor!" -quoth the LOTM.

(royal silence before the Lady replies)

"Neither can the Royal Coffers support the Hospital Bills of the Common Folk who mayeth fall on their keisters this winter." quoth the Lady --who thinks of such things.

So the LOTM saddled up his royal steed ( the Suburban) and hitched a jolly wagon ( a flatbed) to its hinder parts & hied himself to the Stone Quarries of Pennsylvania, where he had to go near anyway for another reason. And he brought home some little bits of paving stone.

These little bits of paving stone weigh a few tons. But their cost was well-discounted, even considering the efforts it took to obtain them and lug them to their new home!
We also have a humble pile of stone which we gathered from around the yard. No sense leaving these to waste.

It was kind of fun to take a can of bright orange spray paint & lay out the Royal Sidewalk Pattern this morning! As you may note, we changed out minds a few times. But nonetheless, the die was cast -thanks to the borrowed machinery (also bright orange) from our generous neighbors.

More on the new sidewalk very soon!