PACKING


What are you doing?
Packing.
Why? When you aren’t moving?
I have to get ready to move. Besides, a house sells easier when it is empty because the people can see the house.
But if you put your stuff in the barn, then they can’t see the barn and what are you going to do if you want to use something that is packed away?
I’ll worry about it then.
Where are you going?
I don’t know yet.
I think you are doing it backwards. You always do things backwards. Why are you moving?
I love this house but it is too big to keep clean. I want to force myself to sell my collections by moving into a smaller house. I don’t need a barn or 11 1/2 acres or a house of 3500 sq feet. There is only two of us and my husband doesn’t take care of himself so I expect he will die soon.
What a terrible thing to say! But, I suppose it is good to be prepared. All your collections? Good grief! Why did you buy them then?
Because I was trying to buy happiness. I did get happiness for a few minutes but now we don’t have money because of it.
You are so cheerful today! You know how real estate is now. You will lose a fortune selling now.
I’ll feel lucky if I sell it. I suppose we could just walk away but then where would I live? As it is – we are buying down (I hope) and will have a down payment.
What about your dogs?
Well, I won’t pack them into the barn of course!
I mean your dog figurine collection!
Packing.
Your enamel cream and green and the utensils that match and the Glenwood Stove that goes with them?
Packing.
What about your white ironstone?
Packing.
Your mirrors and crystals?
Packing.
Your shells?
Packing.
Your capo-de-monte?
Packing.
Your fox-hunting items?
Packing.
Your books?
Packing.
Your flower pictures?
Packing.
There will only be furniture left. Are you sorting through the furniture?
Yep. Some, I’m packing.
Your jade flowers?
Packing.
Your antique maps?
Packing.
Your crockery?
Packing.
Are you trying to hide your life in the barn?
Might as well. No one knows I’m here anyway except my daughter.
Well, your husband certainly knows you are here!
Not necessarily but we won’t go into that.
Are you going to pack yourself into the barn?
Nah. Then who would I talk to? Besides, I have a reunion to go to on the 19th and someone has to take care of the dogs.
Oh. Well you missed a shelf of dogs up there.
Yes, better get back to work. After packing comes the cleaning. I do so hate cleaning because of my allergies.
True. I think everyone except your older sister hates cleaning.
Yes. She is in Alaska now cleaning for her daughter.
Well, it’s been nice.
Yes.

I believe that puppies are harder to raise than children. Am I crazy? Probably, but think about it. My puppy is almost one year now. Not only does she get into everything but she is faster than I am. She understands some words and definitely understands the meaning of my tones but even though I have spent many professional years and un-professional years with dogs there are times that I cannot understand her as much as I listen. I can never really get angry with her because she loves me so much and tells me this every day in her eyes. She doesn’t cry when she wants something or when she has gas, in fact she hides it when she feels bad so it is very hard for me to know even when she needs to go to the Veterinarian with her. I can’t run to the neighbor to say “gee! guess what Karla did to day!” In fact my neighbors would think I was stark raving mad (as my family does). Everyone loves babies. Not everyone loves puppies.
Carla wid a K has been going through some changes. I’m not sure whether they are due to her age or just because she lives with me. Last week we had a tremendous thunderstorm which came out of nowhere. Now if I watched TV or listened to the radio or had a fancy phone it would not have come out of nowhere and we would probably have been somewhat prepared. If I had known it was coming the dogs and I would be sitting on the cellar stairs cowering and just waiting but no, Karla was playing in the burrs and guarding against invading chipmunks (she lowers her voice when guarding). She has been very brave since going to the dog show in Colorado! I was folding clothes and the other three were with me. THAT’S when I should have noticed something was going to happen because Spider was starting to shake and Sam and HarryIt were keeping close. Usually they don’t hang out with me in the laundry room. All of a sudden the rain started coming down and one minute later there was a “CRACK!”. The loudest thunder I had ever heard. Even Paul, who likes to watch thunder storms called down to see if all was all right. Then I noticed that something wet was trying to crawl up my body. Poor Karla was drenched and shaking and had reverted to her baby self. I dropped the shirt I was folding and noticed the other three were gone, probably under a couch, grabbed a towel and picked up my big baby and cuddled her. She is obviously still upset because when the fireworks went off last evening she was shaking and sitting on my lap. So much for chipmunks. This may be somewhat of a blessing because I’m tired of running out and throwing toads out of the pen.
I’m feeling much better in the foot and back areas and have continued painting the bath downstairs. I’ve been boxing a few collections and have called a cleaner for the house (who hasn’t returned my call) for preparation of putting the house up for sale again. This is so fun. If someone wants to come view, I have to grab the dogs and go for a ride and keep the house clean at all times. However, if it sells, at least we will have some things packed. I don’t want the movers to pack, just move. We have looked at two houses close to my daughters. One, looking through the windows, was adorable with cathedral ceilings and wainscoting. And, a loft. I’ve always wanted a loft for the bedroom or my office. A little pricey but maybe could talk them down. It even had a wood fence around the back yard to keep the dogs in and only 2 acres in the middle of fields to care for. However, visiting showed some problems. I think it was made of cardboard and the finished basement was drenched, with water on the walls and showed repairs to the ceiling from water problems. Cross that one off.
Then we visited another close to my daughter which was built in the 1870’s. Very sturdy with a few problems to fix inside. In fact, on top of the one car garage connected to the house were two rooms that had not been re-modeled and looked like they were ancient so had much potential. However, it had only one acre and was in the suburbs of Rochester (which are growing) and they had divided the land up so that the barn was not ours but was filled with cars, trucks, boards, trash and the entire house needed re-siding. To many “ifs” and “Maybes” for us to risk so we passed on that one also.
We were a great deal shy because of what is happening around our house. Both houses showed why it was that we bought where we are now. However, things change. We have a garbage disposal outfit across the street to the west that was very small when we moved in and has added three other disposal businesses to it so it runs day and night. Although, initially they had to keep their equipment under roof in the evening, the town wants the taxes and doesn’t pressure them to do so now. To the east moved in a hound kennel so there is the lovely baying sound day and night. Although I have complained about the noise, what are you going to do? Rubber band their muzzles? Now they have built a migrant camp that we look at from our back porch to the East also. When we went to the town meeting about that one, we were assured that we would not see it from our house.
We have received notice that a machine shop will open to the North of us. Town meeting is the 8th but what can you do? Obviously they have been approved because they are remodeling the building and have their signs up. And this is in an agricultural zoned area so variances have been approved for all. When I think of the trouble I had to open an antique shop in my barn I could just cry.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch I keep hearing the kittens but not seeing the kittens which is driving me insane. Luckily I’m just hearing the kittens complain a little when Mama leaves or complain a little until they get that teat. As for the kitten food in the barn, the chipmunks are running around with very fat cheeks and we will probably be finding stashes of kitten food for a year in things like our snow blower and swinging chairs. My older Sister has been in Alaska with my nieces children. They will now find out how bossy my older sister is! I miss her.
I actually sold an item on Etsy (D.A.YanceyRecollections) and someday am hoping to sell just one postcard (even though the postal rates are high on Bidstart (same store name) but, I need, need, need to get more stuff on line to sell.
ONE GREAT THING! A friend of mine sent me a whole booklet of old black and white pictures of the main Camp at Goose Pond being built. And, yep, there is my older sister and I and Vincent (he’s the one that Dad told us pulled the moon with a string when we were driving up there) popping something in my mouth. Probably to shut me up which I’m going to do right now.
Noodles!

Coming In On Two Wings and a Prayer

Well, I guess Karla and I are down to the wire here. This is the last day before flying off into the “wild blue yonder”. Please don’t be wild, yonder. Yesterday I kept myself busy by trimming the grass around the trees on my hands and knees until the battery died on my clippers (about two hours, which is good for two year old clipper batteries) and which gave me hives from something. I was happy to see that my huge decapitated dead tree had toad hiding in the holes between the roots and behind the grass. I don’t want to scare them so I always say “I don’t see you Toady but it’s going to rain so go inside. Usually when I peek into the holes there are 2 – 4 eyes peeking back at me. What I love are those teeny tiny toad that you see jumping around.
I clip the grass with hand clippers because I believe that weed whackers hurt the trees and cut the bark off. And yes, I hug them. (The trees, not the toads) I was in agony because FIVE (that’s 5) times the people in hard hats and baskets in the air came and amputated limbs (and a body!) in one year. These are very old and huge trees. The house was built in 1886. Wish I knew when the trees were planted.
Anyway, I picked out my outfits which I’m going to change today and then we went to get the Subaru which had gleaming new brakes. On to Walmart where I don’t usually shop but I really needed a one stop for everything this time. For six items, at the end I wished I had used one of those carts. I DO have to get my footsies fixed. (after I get back). Home again by 6 pm with the dogs thinking they had been deserted and were going to starve to death (I do hope Paul feeds them while we are gone). Then two short movies while I sorted through historical things that were in the vault at the Old Town Hall. Ewwww. Compost in the making.
Now today….what today? Some of my friends on Facebook are on their way to the show in Colorado and sending cheerful messages about their journeys. Do they have “cheerful” pills or something? Not sedatives to relax you but…I KNOW! When my older sister and I were little there was a patch of rhubarb by the swing set. We would pick some, take a bite and laugh ourselves off the swings! She lives at the homestead. I’ll have to call and see if she has some.
Karla is as calm as ever (pretty weird for a puppy less than one year old) and is sitting like a lion next to me. Perhaps it’s her tail but I’ve never seen an Aussie sit like that. Do you think perhaps she is part collie?
Can’t put it off any longer. I must get a-goin’ and start worrying and changing my outfits and getting out my list! Adios Amigos! When something goes over your heads you can look up and say “It’s a bird!”, “It’s a plane”, “NO! – It’s Superdog!!!”

Future History

As most of you know, I was appointed as Town Historian (there was no other applicant) and am so excited about it! But then, I broke my foot and now I can’t get over there to look at and breath in the things that are in the buildings. Beside the fact that you probably all know how closed up buildings feel even colder than the outdoors which has been none to warm lately. So I begged my husband to at least help me bring the contents of one file cabinet home to examine.
I have also been immersed in a Museumwise class entitled “Preservation of Photographs and Albums”. So, you know what is coming… This is a very small town. We don’t even have a zip code. But, we do have three historical buildings that contain historical items which show how the people lived here and who they were so I think we are extremely lucky to be able to see our past. I, for one, am not too keen on looking at the future but am a firm believer that we will be needing to use the skills that were important in the past. So, I pulled all of the pictures so that I could store them correctly, identify them and at least stop the deterioration of them. There are so many developments (that was a pun) in preservation that I’m surprised at the good care that they have had so far but some are fading away and look like pictures of ghost houses and people. To stop their deterioration further, this small town needs a de-humidifier, an air conditioner and a small self-defrosting refrigerator; all to be placed in the office where the pictures will be kept. Also, will I live long enough to put them into archival sleeves, matts or boxes? Another expense for a small town. And, are the pictures even important enough to anyone but me to do this? So, we need volunteers and funds for materials from and for a town where there are not enough volunteers to start a Historical Society.
However, I’m having fun! Going through the documents and looking at the pictures I have actually found pictures AND two composition books about my Grandmother’s Mother’s family! Since I have been working on my genealogy for years now – this is BONANZA time. I am now photocopying them. I also plan on photocopying all of the pictures so that we can use those for display and not the originals. It would be nice if I only handled them once and did this when I placed them in the archival containers. Dream on.
Meanwhile, the condition of my house gets worse and worse. Because of my foot, I can do almost nothing so it is dark in here and dreary and piled up with stuff (including one file cabinets contents from the Old Town Hall) and just plain filthy. I would like to sell the whole thing for whatever we can get at the moment and move into a tiny, one bedroom, two bath on the water with windows all around. Of course it would have to have a big enough yard to enclose four terriers and far enough away from neighbors so that we don’t get fined every day for the noise ordinance violation.
I’m wondering how to go about hiring a cleaning crew. When they come in do they wear nose plugs and put things away where you tell them to? Do they dust, wash glass, clean ceramic and wood floors? Change curtains? I mean, I can’t do any of that stuff and my husband doesn’t even notice it because (I should be happy) he is making money so that sometime he can retire in a teeny tiny airy house by the ocean with our dogs.
Well, live long and happily and write composition books about your family for future generations to make them happy.

Summer

opening spring & pink 003Summer… Wonderful weather here in upstate New York this year. I just can’t bring myself to start bringing in some income by putting my left-over store things on line. I did put some online in the beginning of June but then went up to our camp and put a message up that I was on vacation and forgot until yesterday to remove the message. People must think I take LONG vacations. But, too bad because I’m going on vacation next week again!
I’ve been working around the house (literally – because I did half of the front today) outside. I got a wonderful pair of grass clippers that run for at least three hours prior to having to recharge them so that I can trim several trees without hurting them. (The trees). I just remember to put on my knee pads and out I go. But, then I have to get the clippers to cut the suckers and a few of the lower brances so Billy can get under them to mow with his mower.
We live in a house that was built in 1887 so I assume that the trees were planted at the same time. They are huge and it breaks my heart to see branches come down or the trees themselves come down in a windstorm. The drumlin that we live on has always a breeze and when it blows, it blows. Earlier we lost a blue spruce to the wind, then a huge arbor vitae and a few branches from the black ash and the maples. Then the town of Huron came and removed several branches so they wouldn’t fall on wires which unbalanced them so that now more branches come down. But they are still lovely and I want to measure a maple and send it in to the record tree size place. This was a good start to the trimming this year.
So several weeks ago I started to work. I dead-headed the rhododendrum (which is about 10 foot tall). Is that what it is called? I know I am a deadhead. Well, it felt like I was picking apples and took two days, then I cut down all of the lilac bushes that were merged into the rhododendron and started using the electric trimmers on the yew beneath the windows which open out unless they are in the way. Unfortunately I thought the guard was the handle so that too care of working outside for a while with 6 slices down my left middle finger and a brace for the fracture.
All healed now, and forbidden to use the hedge clipper for a while by my husband I started removing the vines from the house. I started with the Virginia Creeper. I pulled and pulled until I was across the yard – I just couldn’t believe that they were around our upstairs windows and all over the roof on the screened in porch and up and down the white burch. Kind of fun to try to get them without breaking them. Then I went for the wild grape and felt like Tarzan’s Jane swinging on the arbor vitae. Even though it is a non-native species, I didn’t remove the ivy unless it covered the windows.
I clipped stray saplings and a few hedges and called my nephew to put everything in a pile. I think he will soon be rich.
For the front of the house I started with the cedar tree which is close to my office. My office used to be sunny and I really wanted it that way again so I clipped as high as I could then climbed out the bedroom window and stood on the porch roof to get the higher branches that were brushing the house. As long as I was up there I swept about three inches of dirt off (even found some earthworms!) and removed the moss. Tomorrow I will the tackle the forsythia covering another of my office windows. Again I have called in the troops to help put branches and vines in a pile.
Last week I had trimmed the grass under my climbing rose bush because it had started sprouting all over and I wanted to save as many sprouts as I could.
My daughter brought over morning glories and spread them under horse manure around two tree trunks so I have been busy watering the “green spaghetti”.
Meanwhile I started to move my wicker that should be sold to the second story of my barn and spotted a tiny kitten but couldn’t catch it! I’ve been putting out food but we have so many hawks that I am pretty sad. Especially since we had to put our cat Cady down for kidney stones that very same day.
All this, of course, means that I haven’t touched my paperwork or my blogging.
Good news: I’m getting a new Australian Terrier! I know this means four small dogs but I haven’t had an Aussie for so many years and this breeding was just the one I wanted. The sire is from Finland and the dam from Sweden so perhaps I can get out of the health problems. She was born on July 27 and I can fly out to Wisconsin to pick her up the end of September and I am very, very excited. She is from Dunham Lake Australian Terriers and if you wish to see her then just go to their web site and click on to the web cam and on even numbered days she is the one with the yellow collar. This home kennel picks themes for each litter and this theme was the show “cheers”. They call her Carla. Only they spelled it Karla with a K. So, I looked that up on Google and there is a nice song called “Karla with a K” by the group called the Hooters. So I’m going to call her Hooter.
Meanwhile in our spare moments when we have been on vacation we have been looking for a piece of waterfront property to call our own. After finding one and having the loan approved the bank says “Oops! We made a mistake and raised the interest rate 3 points so we need to think of that investment for a while.
So, obviously I’ve been busy and thought I would let you all know that I still have in the back of my mind that I am supposed to be blogging.
Oh, I did have company from New Mexico for a week two weeks ago. We call each other sister and brother and we graduated together. I think he is my best friend and I believe it is such a good thing to be able to say one thing and the other person’s eyes light up because they know exactle what you mean. By the time he left he had huge circles under his eyes because we stayed up until anywhere from 3 am to 4 am each night. At least I could take a nap while he was driving his 89 year old mother around to see her friends. It really was a blast.
So, I think that most news is good news here my friends and if I make it through a couple more weeks I’ll be back with you. I miss you.
Noodles!