17 September 2014

Happy Birthday Willy Wonka...

and Charlie and his chocolate factory.
The year marks the 50th anniversary of two of Roald Dahl's most endearing characters.  In the final analysis, Roald Dahl was perhaps the most enduring Roald Dahl character.  If one could step back and take a long look at the truly great children's authors, one might be quite shocked.  Frankly, they are not the kind of people one would actually leave children with.
I imagine that the very thing that makes children continually adore their work is a darkly violent undercurrent that is not always visible to the adult.  To be a truly great children's author one needs to retain the petulance of a child, a trait not greatly admired in the adult population.  Roald Dahl retained his childish petulance.  He was no paragon of virtue, but he innately understood the evil that lurks in the mind of a child.
He rarely let anyone in his writing hut, but once a year it was opened as children flocked to see the inner sanctum of Dahl's creativity.  A favorite object was his hip bone, removed during a hip replacement.  While adults seemed bewildered, children loved it.
This week, to mark the 50th anniversary of Willy and Charlie, 50 Irish bakers gathered and created cakes in honor of Dahl.   The Telegraph featured a large selection of these amazing cakes here

11 September 2014

Requiescat in Pace -- My Darling Clementine

Little did I know when I picked up this little sprite of a kitten, with ribs like fish bones that she would grow into the big bruiser of the cat she did. 
I've had Clementine for nearly 20 years, which is longer than most of the people in my life! 
She will be missed.

The Aftermath -- Progress

You know how it is.  You plan for a job.  You start the job.  Chaos ensues.
Once we got the shed jacked up and all the stuff out of it, it became clear there was no saving it.

It needed an entire rebuild, which we didn't need.
So we had a big fire.
 A controlled burn that reflected nicely in the cold house window.
 Truth be told, it looks much nicer now.

Alas, the yard is still littered with a thousand old canning jars that need to be dealt with and an enormous soapstone sink and counter that never got installed.

But we are moving on...

05 September 2014

Labor Day

This is for you slackers and procrastinators out there who watched Labor Day come and go.

We were very proactive this year.  In March, we started making lists of things to do so we could hit the ground running once spring got here.

We bought paint and painting supplies to paint the upstairs hall and stairs.

We bought paint to paint the porch.

We bought glue to repair chair rungs.
We piled up boards to fix the bridge to the garden. (The bridge I fell through in June.)

We bought sandpaper to sand the smoker and high intensity paint to paint it.

We bought new shelving to put in the kitchen.

We got piles of wood mulch to start a garden compost.

We discussed propping up a sinking building.

We talked about fixing a tiny leak.

A week before Labor Day it was impossible to get into the house because the paint, painting supplies, new shelves, old shelves and who knows what else were still sitting in the mud room.

In August (late August) we did get the mulch moved to the garden.  The new kitchen shelves are up, but the old ones are still waiting to be moved to a new location and the box the new shelving came in has not "went."  The painting supplies are now in the upstairs hall, still in the bag.   The leak has been repaired.

The sander broke in early August, so we just got the new replacement.

The glue is missing.

On Labor Day we watched 9 1/2 hours of Mike and Molly. 9 1/2 hours!  Of Mike and Molly!

Today the last nail went into the bridge.

The small building sinking into the groundhog hole is almost up and level.

We have revised our March estimate and hope to have the hallway painted by Thanksgiving.

We are still smoking in the rusty smoker, but should we decide to paint it, we know where the paint is and the sander now works.

As for the glue... we have it on our shopping list.

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