Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Which Would You Say? Genius or No?

Part of me thinks this guy is a genius, and part of me thinks he's bonkers.



One thing is for sure, there is no finishing the header "This guy collected 5 million travels miles" with "...and you can, too!"

Monday, September 26, 2016

Finally Showing the Attic Clear-Out

I have to get the photos of the attic clean-up on here, don't I? I mean, I want to! Things have just been so crazy. But here goes.

The way in. The attic was built after the main part of the house, when they added to it, so it's accessed through this door in the west bedroom, on the second floor.
Looks all tidy and everything, right? Well. Deceptive.
In we go!
Lots of random.
Lots of who-knows-what, or why.
And while I could stand up, just, in the center section, going down into the eaves required great care. Because:
The roofing nails come through. Ow! Spoiler alert, somehow neither of us gashed our scalps, either day.

In addition to those nails, there are plenty of mystery bits.
I couldn't tell you why those bits of wood are nailed up there, but there they are.

Along the side is what was the original outside of the house.
Dates to 1886-87, by the way. We found the original door knocker, and a note from my grandmother with some names and dates.

Reach carefully back. Some trash, some treasure!
Like the sewing machine.
We found the table for it, too. It's like a card table, but with a space for the machine to slot in.

Look, floor! My aunt recognized the linoleum, or whatever that is.
We're really clearing space now! (Not shown: the west bedroom, getting more and more full of stuff to sort, or go elsewhere.)
And now we tackle the other side.
When I say don't-know-whys, it's not just empty boxes I mean.
Because I can't think why Grandma would have kept a copy of Clinton's impeachment.
On the other hand, I remember this hamper from the bathroom, when I was a kid.
More ... stuff.
Why yes, that is a barrel on the right.
Full of golf clubs and window hardware, of course.

This fan was one they bought when my mother was born, and they were living in North Carolina. Which I can't imagine doing without air conditioning, whew.
And more treasure:
Just a travel case, but filled with my great-great-grandfather's diaries.
They deserve their own entry!

And in the not-so-treasure department:
My aunt found it, and she didn't make me touch it, but she wanted it commemorated. We also found a couple of peach pits, signs of perhaps a squirrel in the attic at one time.

My grandfather was a mechanic, and we found just a few car-related things. Like a couple of old lighters.
More clear floor!
My great-grandfather's trunk from when he was in the Army during the Spanish-American war. Charging up San Juan Hill!
And, perhaps less romantically, Grandma's old typewriter. I'm just showing what we found.
Making space!
Not everything came out, but such a lot did that there's room to organize what's staying.
Including the hamper, for now, anyway.
And the barrel.
It was hot, filthy, and tiring, but so satisfying. Talk about a sense of accomplishment!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Sunday Report

All right, so what I have gotten done today?

  • I dropped off a bag of sheets at Savers, and shopped around a bit; found a shirt I like, though no jeans. I've been wearing the same pair of jeans a lot lately, since they fit the best of the ones I have, but, 1) they don't actually fit well (being too big, which is only better than being too small for comfort, not style), and 2) they are wearing thin. I don't want to be caught with only too-tight jeans to wear.
  • Went into Marshall's to try again for jeans, and found some! This was very startling. I found a pair that would totally do, and another pair that fits very differently, but in a way I think I like. I got both, just to be on the safe side, and may end up returning one. 
  • Then I looked at sneakers there, since my old ones are so far past worn out that even the chiropractor noticed. To be fair, actual holes are noticeable.


  • And I actually found sneakers! They're men's ones, but who cares. They fit, they're not gaudy, they weren't ridiculously expensive at $40, and they actually have support. How crazy. I've been wearing them since I got home, and I think that they will do. The old ones went into the trash.


  • I also found another shirt I liked at Marshall's. Now that the weather is turning cooler, I am bypassing the stack of t-shirts, and a look in my closet the other day reminded me of how dire the need is to clear it out. I have a lot of things that I don't particularly love, or that don't fit right, or have an issue of some sort. Time to get rid of them and make room for things I actively like, that look good, etcetera.
  • When I got home, I went to clean the inside of the windshield ahead of next week's trip, and noticed a tiny chip on the passenger side. I don't know when it got there, and it doesn't look like it's spreading or anything, but with two trips upcoming, I don't really want to mess with the chance. I looked up my insurance, and it turned out that putting in a glass claim was easy as anything, all online, and they come to you, you don't even have to take it in somewhere. I picked Wednesday afternoon, and if it all goes as smoothly as setting it up did, I will be very pleased indeed. (Though very slightly miffed to have cleaned the inside for nothing. Except that I'd rather know about and fix the chip before travelling, so, okay then.)
  • I balanced my checkbook, paid some bills, and requested a credit report (much delayed, but I'm trying to "get around to" doing the three agencies at spaced intervals, instead of all three once a year). Happily, all of that looks fine.
  • Tried to print something out, but today the printer and computer aren't feeling the love. The other day they did, and I was scrambling for things to print! So hopefully they will feel like doing it another day. The whole day can't be full of win, I guess.
  • I also took pictures of the shawl I started last weekend, when I needed some comfort knitting. The pattern is called Winter Sea Shawl, and it is a subtle pattern of knits and purls that just suits what I wanted.

It's asymmetrical, so watching it grow makes me head-tilt.
So far, so good. And so, so soft. Tempting me to sit down with it, instead of making dinner. At least, I have to release it from its pins; we'll see what happens after that.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Slightly Better

Things are still up and down, but maybe slightly more up than they have been this week. Randomly:

  • I noticed yesterday that I had, uncharacteristically, left an actual real piece of mail opened since Monday; I'm usually good about not letting important-looking mail fall into the kitchen table abyss, but, hey, bad week. I opened it to discover my mortgage escrow statement, telling me that my monthly payment is going down a little, and containing a check for the escrow overage. Hey, nice!
  • I took the car in for service, and they did some preventive stuff and didn't find anything else that needed fixing.
  • I ran a bunch of other errands, including refilling two prescriptions.
  • On the other hand, as I realized after I got home, I had needed to refill three. Oops.
  • On the other other hand, I looked again at one of the ones I did get, and it cost more than double what it did last time, so when I go back for #3, I can ask them why.
  • Just running the errands left me incredibly tired.
  • So I sat down and read a book. It was ... okay. Good enough to finish, not good enough to rave about.
  • And now I'm knitting and watching hockey. Marchand scored one! It's funny, given the state of the Bruins in recent years, how "the best line at the tournament" is two-thirds Bruins. I have my fingers and toes crossed that nothing bad happens to Bergeron or Marchand (a few players here and there have been injured, which would suuuuuuuucccckk), but they're both looking really good. Knock on wood! Salt over left shoulder!
  • Back to the shawl! I'll try to get good pictures of it tomorrow; it needs daylight.


Friday, September 23, 2016

...Actually Friday Night? Really?

I actually, finally, made it to the weekend. Whoa! What a week.

My uncle's service is next weekend ... and the weekend after that is Apple Festival ... and the weekend after that is Rhinebeck ... so I am going to try to enjoy a peaceful weekend this weekend, as much as possible.

In other news, Mary Ellen won the awesome friend award yesterday for bringing me flowers (and chocolate, not pictured).
Arty angles inspired by the crap-ton of shit on the table top. Let's not show that!
As for the flower arranging, I call this method 'plop them in the container and hope for the best.'
They make me smile.
Thanks, Mary Ellen!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

One Small "Be Careful What You Wish For"

Every time in my life that I have attempted a regular exercise program, I have wished (in vain) for some sort of positive effect to come of it. Lose weight, clothing fits better, have more energy, feel better ... something, anything, other than the whole tired/sweaty/sore result that I get. And I never get anything.

Well, I was getting dressed recently and noticed that, hey, are my biceps more muscular than they used to be? This is a low bar, of course, as I have never had particularly muscular arms (now, if only knitting brought that about). But still, does that muscle feel more ... there? Hmm. I think it might.

Which, on the one hand, is cool: Look! Positive reinforcement! The hated arm work (my least favorite part of the water aerobics) is actually paying off.

On the other hand, biceps? Really? I can honestly say that I have never, ever had arms on the list of areas I wish to improve. I just don't notice them. Can I carry the groceries in without dropping them? Awesome; my arms are doing their job. (Mind you, I do drop plenty of things, but that's the arthritis in the hands, not the biceps.) So for this to be the first result I ever notice? Well. Mixed feelings.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Back in Time: A Day in Rhode Island

You know what? The hell with reality today. Let me go back and share the photos of the day I spent in Rhode Island with friends a few weeks ago. It was so pretty. (This was the day that started with seeing my friend's garden.)