An Idaho Odyssey

I had a good travel plan in place. However, it was thwarted just a wee bit. Let me explain. Because the Xterra is a gas hog and because the check engine light was on, I didn’t want to try to take it all the way to Idaho (a five-hour drive from Utah) for a long, weekend visit. My plan was to head for Idaho after work on Thursday and come back on Monday, and I came up with a pland that was economical and not too bad logistically.  It went like this: 1) Drive to work (Spanish Fork to Lehi), 2) after work drive to the Lehi train station; park and leave Xterra, take the Frontrunner to Ogden, 3) my daughter, Katie, picks me up in Ogden and takes me to the boarding point for the Salt Lake Express, my ride to Rexburg, Idaho, where a family member picks me up; reverse for the trip home. That was the plan—but you know what they say about the best laid plans . . . .

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Carpe Diem a Requium

This blog is comprised of something I wrote in August of 2014 when Robin Williams died. It may seem strange to post about that event in November of 2016, but to me, they are inextricably connected. Tonight, I will watch Dead Poets Society and mark the day, the day another man died, who has been “pushing up daisies” for twelve years now, Kelly, my husband—it has taken me a long time to figure out a fitting way to mark this day. It’s not a day to celebrate his life (that I do on his birthday); and it’s certainly not a day to celebrate his death. But there is a need in me to mark the day, the anniversary of his passing, and watching that movie helps me do that. It helps me renew my intention to claim the idea embodied in the phrase Carpe Diem. I will continue to Seize the Day. I will continue to move forward. I will see the good in others. I will see the beauty that abounds in the world. I will be happy. I will look forward to the future. But for today I will pause, I will be gentle with myself, I will remember, and I will honor our life together, and because of the promise of eternity I will  simply say, I’ll be seeing you. 

                                               Love ya, Kelly,

                                                Your Cutestuff

 

Reflections of Dead Poets Society, Robin Williams, Jason,  and Kelly

August 2014

I am saddened today to hear of Robin Williams’ death.  I remember him first through watching Mork and Mindy as a teenager, and then of course his movies, some rather bland, some entertaining,  and some excellent.  Dead Poets Society, however, was the one that stayed with me long after the credits rolled.  As a lover of poetry, Shakespeare, and writing, I loved the story, and it spoke to the creative part of me.  There are so many gems in the movie, delivered so effectively.   These two, delivered by Mr. Keating (Robin Williams)  are my favorites:  

We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits, and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman: ‘O me, o life of the questions of these recurring, of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities filled with the foolish. What good amid these, o me, o life?’ Answer: that you are here. That life exists, and identity. That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?

And this one:

‘O Captain, my Captain.’ Who knows where that comes from? Anybody? Not a clue? It’s from a poem by Walt Whitman about Mr. Abraham Lincoln. Now in this class, you can either call me Mr. Keating, or if you’re slightly more daring, O Captain, my Captain. Now let me dispel a few rumors so they don’t fester into facts. Yes, I too attended Hell-ton and survived. And no, at that time I was not the mental giant you see before you. I was the intellectual equivalent of a ninety-eight pound weakling. I would go to the beach and people would kick copies of Byron in my face….

‘Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.’ The Latin term for that sentiment is Carpe Diem. Now who knows what that means?…Seize the day. Gather ye rosebuds while ye may. Why does the writer use these lines?…Because we are food for worms, lads. Because, believe it or not, each and every one of us in this room is one day gonna stop breathing, turn cold, and die.

Now I would like you to step forward over here and peruse some of the faces from the past. You’ve walked past them many times. I don’t think you’ve really looked at them. They’re not that different from you, are they? Same haircuts. Full of hormones, just like you. Invincible, just like you feel. The world is their oyster. They believe they’re destined for great things, just like many of you. Their eyes are full of hope, just like you. Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable? Because you see gentlemen, these boys are now fertilizing daffodils. But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen. Do you hear it? (whispering in a gruff voice) Carpe. Hear it? (whispering) Carpe. Carpe Diem. Seize the day boys. Make your lives extraordinary.

In November of 2004, my husband, Kelly; my daughter, Jaimie; and my son, Jason; had the opportunity to perform in a stage version of Dead Poets Society.  Jaimie was playing a school girl, who visits the boarding school boys in the cave scene.  Jason played the lead character, Neil Perry, a student at a boarding school. And Kelly,  his father, played Neil’s overbearing, militant father, Mr. Perry.  The chemistry between them on stage brought an entirely believable element to the play.

Opening night was November 8, 2004.  My whole family, except Cameron, who was twelve years old,  was there. (I couldn’t find him when it was time to go, and I figured he could see it another night.)  The actors did an amazing job,  and I was so caught up in the story,  with the ending of “Oh Captain, my captain,” playing over and over in my mind, that several hours later, I was still thinking about the play,  the performance between Kelly and Jason,  and thinking about how the pressure from his father led to Neil’s suicide.  It also stirred up in me a need to affirm the difference between Kelly the actor,  and Kelly, the father— because even though the dialogue was memorized,  the exchanges felt so real,  almost a reflection of angsty/angry exchanges that happened sometimes in real life, between Kelly and Jason.

But,  after a long day of work, and then the draining of energy that being on stage involved,  Kelly was more interested in eating tacos and watching a rebroadcast of a BYU football game than in having a serious post mortem on the play and how close the parallels to real life it may or may not have been. By this time, it was late, but I sat on the floor next to him for a while,   my head leaning against him as he reclined, watching football.   With weariness claiming me, I kissed his forehead, wished him goodnight, and made my way to bed, and promptly fell asleep.

In the early morning, I startled awake instinctively reaching for Kelly, but he wasn’t there. Glancing at the clock, I noted that it said 4:02. I thought to myself, he fell asleep watching that football game, I’d better go get him to come to bed. Groggily, I dragged myself upstairs. Switching off the blaring TV, I turned, and touching Kelly’s shoulder, I gently shook him, telling him to come to bed. He didn’t respond. I shook his shoulder again, harder, still no response. Then as I touched his hand, I realized something was wrong. His hands were cold, too cold and his face was slack.  And despite everything, calling 911, administering CPR,  he never woke up, he was gone, dead, with lingering bits of makeup from the play still on his face.  It was early morning on  November 9, 2004, and my world changed forever.   

 The life and death theme of the movie/play became my nightmare, my life.  Since then,  I have learned the value behind the idea of  Carpe Diem, seize the day, for you never know when you, too will be fertilizing daffodils.  For me, Dead Poets Society is inextricably linked to Kelly’s death. And now, each  year,  on that anniversary, I watch Dead Poets Society and hear Mr. Keating proclaim,  Carpe Diem, which helps me go on.

PS: Several years after Kelly’s death I wrote this poem, trying to capture the essence of my experience: In Fifty-Five Words.

In Fifty-Five Words

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Kelly and me, shortly before we were married.

November 9, 2016. Today marks the 12th anniversary of my husband, Kelly’s, death. There are so many things I could write. There are so many things I have already written. There are so many things hidden in the recesses of my heart that I can’t put into words, yet I feel them to my very core, inexpressible. So tonight—or rather this sleepless night/morning, I’m sharing a poem, which though brief, reflects that November evening and early, early November morning, when my life changed forever.  Sure Love Ya, Kelly —and as Wesley (Princess Bride the Man in Black) says, “Death cannot stop true love.”  I will be with you again one day. 

About the poem: Several years after Kelly’s death, I was taking a creative writing class,  and one of the assignments was to write a  fifty-five word story, with a clear beginning, middle, and end, preferably with a twist in  just 55 words. I wrote the story, which I later turned into a poem:

In Fifty-Five Words                       

My husband and son,

Playing father and son

in “Dead Poets Society.”

On stage, the dialogue

Between the character

Neil

and his father  was electric

– just like watching them

At home.

Teenage angst.

Overbearing father.

In a way,

Disturbing.

In the end,

on stage,

the son commits suicide.

At home, that night,

My husband

Died.

Faked Deaths and Distracted Driving: Distrust and Distress

Agreed. Worth the read.

What to Say When Someone Dies

I couldn’t believe the news story. Officials at a small-town high school announced four students were killed in an automobile accident. I was horrified, deeply saddened for the loss of those families and for the shock and anxiety of their peers.

Seconds later, the newscaster explained the school’s announcement was a hoax, a trick, a ploy to teach students the dangers of distracted and/or impaired driving. No kids died — thank goodness! For a brief moment, they’d been “dead” to their peers yet were now “alive again.”

My initial relief — joy, even — on behalf of these students flashed into disbelief and then burned into anger.

How dare their school pretend such a thing!

I understand that the school administrators in Brodhead, Wisconsin, wanted to impress the students with the gravity of distracted-driving consequences. I realize they wanted to prevent students from the fatal errors others have made. I agree…

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November

Kids at Cemetery
When I was in Idaho, the kids all came to visit, and we made a trip out to the cemetery.

In November melancholy feelings somehow creep inside my soul, and I have to work hard to banish them, and generally, I succeed, or at least I keep enduring. Sometimes, the more things change, the more they stay the same. That’s how I’m feeling today. Despite time marching on like it always does, and many changes happening in my circumstances, and my life—in many ways I find myself feeling the same way I did five years ago. But, I have learned so  many things during the last five years, one important thing being that I will be okay, whatever happens. But, I have a hard time not knowing about the HOW of me being okay will happen. This is where I was at five years ago:

Fall 2011

Tonight I am feeling restless. I have been missing Kelly so much the last few weeks, perhaps because the 7th anniversary of his death is coming up on the 9th of November. Today I went for a drive, and after driving through one of our favorite areas near the Snake River, I ended up at the cemetery with a Subway sandwich, a Dr. Pepper, and a longing heart.

Sitting near Kelly’s headstone, mentally tracing the lettering of his name and mine engraved in the granite, and warmly wrapped against the evening chill, I ate my sandwich and watched the sunset. I was reminded of the many times, when we faced uncertainty, how we would go to Subway and over a meal away from the distraction of the children, would discuss what we should do next—often times talking in circles until we came up with something, some way to move sideways, if not forward.

Musing as I worked my way through the olives, peppers, spinach, provolone cheese, and chicken, encased in the bread, I had a one-sided conversation with Kelly, a follow-up from an earlier conversation with Heavenly Father. I explained to Kelly that I was at another turning point in my life, and feeling uncertain about what to do next, or even how to go about what I think I need to do, but not even being sure if it’s the right thing to do — and true to form, I thought myself in circles, and came to no firm conclusion about what I should do—except, that I do need to make some decisions and move forward with plans for the next few years.

Which means it’s time for lists—lists of pros and cons for my options; and all the while, I feel like I am shooting in the dark. Some day, I want to understand exactly the timing involved in “the Lord’s due time”—that would be helpful for me to know. In the meantime, I do my best to keep moving, cause it’s better than sitting still.

As the evening shadows lengthened, and as the sun slid lower and lower behind the trees, I watched lacy silhouettes appear against the horizon. And, as I was caught up in the beauty of the sunset, I felt a familiar warmth across my shoulder, and I knew I wasn’t alone, that Kelly loves me, that the Lord is mindful of me, and that I will be okay. What sweet comfort.

Update:

It is now 2016, yet I still sometimes find myself pondering these same questions, feeling uncertain about, how to do, what to do, and the whys of it all.  In 2011 I didn’t have the answers, but life went on, and I made decisions, and here I am five years later, back in Utah, back in my house (which was rented out while I was in Idaho),  working a full-time job, feeling a touch of melancholy at the advent of November, and still wondering about “the Lord’s due time” —perhaps it is simply about endurance, belief, and faith.

Requiem for a Potted Plant

Hanging flower baskets at The Book Nook Inn in Spanish Fork

Note that the flowers in the hanging pots are not dead, yet.

Apparently I am on a poetry kick, my last three posts have been poems. I was looking for a different poem in my files when I came upon this one, a poem I had forgotten that I had even written. Today, with blustery winds and overcast skies and a bit of a chill in the air warning that fall is coming to a close, is perhaps, the perfect time to share this poem.  Or, maybe it was the hanging baskets out front their summer foliage turned brown from the first hard frost that prompted me to share this poem.

 

              Requiem for a Potted Plant

A daughter’s artistic gift,

A  ceramic plant pot

Cleverly painted—

An optimistic  cheery plant

Vibrant,  thriving, hopeful—

(that I won’t kill the plant this time)

—but, twist the pot around;

Reality lies there.

No happy plant this

A bedraggled, struggling clinging vine

An artist’s bubble captures its dark thoughts,

“Rest in Peace” on a tombstone engraved.

The struggling plant is doomed—

A banner neatly lettered

Around the ceramic brim proclaims,

“The Dead Plant Pot”

A requiem.

 

PS:

I did manage to keep a plant alive in this ill-fated pot for almost two years. . . before it died of neglect. I don’t know why, but I can never seem to remember to water plants. I did NOT inherit my mother’s, and her mother’s before her,green thumb! I would love to show  you a picture of the pot in question, unfortunately, before I could put another plant in, and attempt to keep it alive, the pot itself met an untimely demise, dropping onto the cement and shattering with a vigor that would have put Humpty-Dumpty to shame. I bravely salute its attempt to make a gardener of me, but based on the current state of my yard, and the decided lack of any type of living plants in my home, it did not succeed in this endeavor. But having had this pot remains a fond memory of my daughter’s creativity and humor.

Hot Chocolate

This evenhot-chocolate-570509_960_720ing, following an overcast, drizzly day,  I had to turn the furnace on to warm up the house a bit. The inside temperature is at about 67 degrees, which is perfect for drinking a cup of hot chocolate before I go to bed. Hot chocolate and toast have been a long-time comfort food for me. There is something soothing about butter melting into the toast, and alternating sips of the hot chocolate with bits of buttery bread. As I was enjoying the warmth the cup brought to my chilled fingers, I was reminded that I once wrote a poem about hot chocolate, so I searched through my files, running into other poems that I may one day post, to find it and share the essence of the experience with you.

 

       Hot Chocolate

Steamy clouds

Arise

Whispering froth

Beckons

Rich fragrance

Entices

Creamy, smooth

Whipped-cream

Floating gently,

A wisp of white

Contrasts

Velvety, dark, decadent,

Chocolate.

Sipping slowly,

I sigh.

The Pine Tree Place

The Pine Tree Place is perhaps my favorite place in the world. I realize that’s quite a statement for such an obscure cabin in a canyon. But there is something about being there that soothes my soul, that fills my heart, and that brings me peace. I’ve been going there since I was a tiny girl, and all through my life I’ve known I will be greeted with the gurgling spring, waiting for me to drink the clear, achingly cold water til I nearly burst, and walk through the grass, listening for birdsong and the chattering of chipmunks. Perhaps its charm lies in the decades of memories, of family gatherings, of good food, and music in the firelight, the stars brilliant against the night sky. No matter the reason, here, more than anywhere, I feel safe and at home on God’s earth.  This poem is an attempt to catch the essence of what being there brings to me.    

 

 

         The Pine Tree Place

 

Walled with thick stands of aspen and pine trees,

Nestled in a sheltering canyon curve,

Hank and Mary’s two-room cinder-block cabin sits,

Foundations melting into the ground,

Creating an uneven meeting of

Weathered cement and wheat grass.

 

Chattering chipmunks, humming bees,

Trills of birdsong, and the rustling of aspen leaves

Whispers a welcome

To sunlit meadow and mountain spring–

 

An oasis of nature removed

From the pel-mel pace

Of an electric powered world;

– blaring TVS, ipods, clicking keyboards,

Thrumming washers, dryers, dishwashers,

Vacuums, and fans, creating chaos.

 

I long for times past–wild strawberries and flowers hidden among the brush,

Earthy, silvery-green moss growing on boulders and trees,

Watercress edging the gurgling creek,  a hawk lazily circling in the sky,

Indian arrowheads in the meadow await.

 

The cabin’s creaking door leads into a cool, dim interior –two small rooms:

An old-fashioned cookstove, its black stovepipe crusted with smoke of years past in one,  

And in the other a metal bed frame supporting a down-trodden mattress; and a small dresser,

Its age-scarred top home to old Reader’s Digest and Western Horseman magazines;

And a chunk of an aspen tree, the legend “Mary and Hank”

Carved on its full roundness.

 

Tucked away in the rolling foothills of my stompin grounds,

the Pine Tree Place, a welcome slice of solitude.

Sprawled on the porch bench, I relax, daydreaming;

Basking in my grandparents’ legacy, I am content.

Project Update #15 — Additions to the Inn Plus Plumbing Revisited, Sigh

It’s been awhile since I posted an update about The Book Nook Inn — which, I suppose, is a good thing, in that it us up and functioning and I have guests staying regularly. It’s stayed fairly consistently booked most weekends and some week days through the last several months, and I am grateful for that. So, it’s been a crazy busy summer and fall, but now that it’s finally slowing down a bit, I am wanting to finish up some needed work at the inn.

The Book Nook Inn Spanish Fork UT an Airbnb space
We added a loveseat!

 

 

We’ve added some things to The Secret Garden room, namely a love seat (thank you Brittanie!) which sits at the foot of the bed and provides a comfortable place to sit while reading , watching a movie, or just visiting. We also added a shelf to hold the small appliances (toaster, instant hot-water pot, single serve coffee maker, other supplies), and a microwave located on top of the mini-refrigerator. So this room has everything you need for a weekend stay.

3 Musketeers Room, Book Nook Inn, Spanish Fork, UT Airbnb
The Three Musketeers room, a work in progress.

In other news, we now have a bed set up in The Three Musketeers room! I am excited about this. (Many thanks to my friends Ian and Tabby for the box spring and mattress!)  The bed takes up most of the room, but that’s ok,  because people will be there mainly to sleep after all. Reports are in that it is comfortable, which is good to know. I am now three for three when it comes to comfortable beds. In fact, that is the most common comment I get about the Treasure Island room,  “That bed is sooooo comfortable.”

Check out the most comfortable bed at The Book Nook Inn, in Spanish Fork, UT
The most comfortable bed, ever!

But, back to The Three Musketeers room! I have great plans for this room.  It’s clean and functional now, but it will be awesome when I’m finished with it. The ceiling still needs to be taped and textured, but the old, stained ceiling tile is gone, and I personally threw the ugly (which is properly pronounced as ugly with a long u in this situation, one of Kelly’s words) light fixture into the bonfire we had the other night, and I was happy to see it disappear into the flames.

I’m rather hesitant to tackle the taping and texturing myself, because the last time I did was in my futility room—yes, you read that right, it is a futility room. It’s futile to ever try to get that room completely cleaned out, it’s kind of like the junk drawer room of the house—currently, it is the repository for all of the things that don’t fit into my second upstairs bedroom or out in the shed. At one time we did use it for a bedroom, and it was then that we painted it and did the ceiling, and my first attempt at texturing does show the seam. Some day, I am going to just be able to pay someone to do all of these types of things for me, but until then, I get to learn new things.  (Anyone want to come help me learn how to do taping and texturing correctly? I’ll  feed you, and you can laugh at my efforts.)

The rest of the room will be fun to do though. I will be using some scrolls I have on the walls, and putting curtains all the way across the back wall to set off the bed, and perhaps suspending a mini canopy from the ceiling over the bed, because I think that fits the theme of the room nicely. Each room also has a nutcracker related to the room (I have been collecting nutcrackers for over thirty years now.) I have two musketeers already, Athos and Porthos,  but I still need to get Aramis and  D’Artagnan, and then I will have the set for the room—perhaps I should also get Cardinal Richelieu, there has to be opposition after all. The other thing I want to put in there is nice, leather bound copy of the book.I  So that is all in the works; however, a doublet, a rennaissance style dress, and the swords are already in place.

The bathroom. Sigh. The bathroom is my nemesis. It seems there is a slow, seeping leak at the base of the toilet, which will ruin my floor (and after all the work of doing the paper bag floor in there, the last thing I am going to do is let a slow leak ruin it); so that is my project this afternoon. Take it off, clean up all the wax, and try again. And, based on prior experience, I know it won’t be as easy to do as your typical how-to-do-it You Tube video shows — everything is so neat and clean in those videos, and you and I both know that’s not the way it really is, right?!

I do know that when it comes to plumbing I have to plan for it to take twice as long as I expected it to,  multiplied by three times the cost, plus the additional frustration factor added in, and with the possibility I will have to admit defeat. I know whereof I speak, as plumbing has been a long-time nemesis of mine—but I keep trying to do it myself because of  necessity, my own pride, and the $$ cost of hiring someone (and my favorite plumber who lives down the street is just a phone call away, but I hate to have to ask for help, especially when I can’t always pay the going rate, but I am grateful for the help I have received—big kudos to  Frank Hatch of Imperial Plumbing  who is a generous and amazing guy. If you need plumbing work done,  I whole-heartedly recommend him).  Sometimes though, I do succeed with my plumbing projects, and then I do a happy dance.  So we’ll see what today brings.

Bathroom Update:  I succeeded! It is back in, no leaks, and in a departure from past norms, there was no crying or cursing involved in the project.  Now I just need to complete the repairs to the floor, and add a silicone seal to the base and it’s better than ever.

My goal this week is to take care of the details that I’ve put off, you know, things like putting up mirrors, finishing some trim work for the floor, doing something to get the doors to stop squeaking (ideas are welcome),  some touch up painting, and add the other book titles to the wall, and figure out what to do at the top of the book nook.(In fact, if anyone wants to come over and help, I won’t say no to some assistance.)

Overall, this has been quite the (ad)venture! I am working to get it completed, and then I can start on the outside—I’m sure the City of Spanish Fork, UT  will soon get on board in regard to my back to the wilderness landscaping my yard is currently sporting. It definitely is an ongoing project/process which I tackle in between full-time work, family, and community stuff. But I love it (the Book Nook Inn, not yard work)! Sometimes, I go sit downstairs just to enjoy the ambiance because it’s so peaceful and inviting there, and there is still a part of me that is enchanted with the whole canopy thing (I always wanted a canopy bed when I was a little girl), and reading, always reading.

Thanks for reading today’s blog post, and if you have a minute, please like and share our Facebook page: The Book Nook Inn.

Project Update #14 – Ceilings and Fences

The Book Nook Inn has been full all week! Between working full-time, keeping the rooms ready, and everything else, I’ve fallen behind on my updates. So in an effort to remedy that, this post will chronicle what we’ve done in the last couple of weeks. But first, this picture of Captain, who was having fun playing with some of our guests who stopped off here on their way to Yellowstone Park. 

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*Photo used with permission from our guests. Notice the xeriscaping in the foreground; I’ve become a champion with the desert landscape.

 

Have  you ever been walking quickly, where you are nearly jogging, but not quite, and you lose your balance?  And in order to not find yourself splayed out on the ground, you have to do a series of on the fly adjustments to get your feet under you again, so you can return to a normal pace — you know that place, right?  Well, I feel like that’s where I have been.  I think, just maybe, that I may be getting somewhat nearer a normal* pace with this project, and with my life, and that’s a good thing. 

Earlier this year, I had a moment where I DIDN’T get my feet back under myself after stumbling, and I fell, full momentum, headfirst into the fence, and dented it! Apparently that’s how headstrong I can be. It left me with a headache for several days. (I didn’t dent the big pole, but the fence itself, that was my doing.) From that I learned that I needed to watch where I was going, and to slow down. Which is something I think I need to apply to my life, generally speaking. And that’s my new philosophy, but now on to the project update.

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Today I will share some pictures of what we have accomplished (and by we I mean the wonderful, wonderful men from my church who came over and did the work; and my son who came over and helped) this month.

The Three Musketeers Room is nearer to completion! After I made arrangements to get some help with getting a new ceiling put in (wall board and texture to replace stained, broken, ceiling tiles), I went to town on ripping the old ceiling out. With Captain supervising, of course.  He did discover that the taste of ceiling tiles is not much to his liking. Silly dog!

IMG_4038

 

It was messy, but worth it. I was delighted at the thought of the removal of the light fixture, as well as the anticipated relocation of it. (It’s placement has NEVER made sense to me.) Luckily when we got it uncovered, there was enough play in the wiring that we were able to move it closer to the center of the room, where it currently has a temporary light fixture attached.

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The “grid” that the tiles were attached to were a random collection. I’m not sure who did the basement, but it like so much else in the house was done with a unique twist. Those came down too.

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I went to Home Depot, and the nice gentlemen there got me loaded up with the sheetrock I needed for the project. Then I headed home, and unloaded it myself. (I’m so buff, right?) In the blowing wind no less. A few night later, members of one of the men’s organizations from my church, The Elder’s Quorum, came over and moved the light fixture box, removed the ugly (not just ugly, but UUUUUUgly – pronounced with a long u sound), light fixture to my profound approval, and installed the sheetrock  on the ceiling in The Three Musketeers Room, and also in the closet of the Treasure Island Room. I think I was doing this little happy dance inside the whole time they were here!  

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That is as far as it’s gotten. I still need to do the taping, texturing, sanding, and painting, but I will need help with that, and while I’ve arranged for some help, the room has been in use all week! So it’s good it’s been booked, but that does make it difficult to get the taping and texturing done.

The other project I requested help with was moving the fence. Why move the fence?  Captain Underfoot is the short answer.  The long answer is also Captain Underfoot — more accurately, keeping him from being underfoot. Moving the fence back about 10 feet will make it so Captain can exit the house from the deck on the upper floor and go down the stairs into the back yard, while guests will (eventually) be able to come to the side/back of the house and enter The Book Nook Inn through the door in the back, without having to go through a gate or deal with Captain being in their face at the door. This is a good thing.  I love Captain, but he does tend to get underfoot, and not everyone loves dogs (although he is lovable, and relatively well behaved).  

 

But, with some jerry-rigging, and cannibalizing some parts from my existing fence and gate, plus the new poles and fixtures I got, they were able to get it moved, and the posts cemented in.  Now we wait for the cement to dry (it actually already did, now it’s just a waiting game to see when they can come back to finish up). They also installed a gate on the other side of the house so there is access to the back yard (the meter readers will be able to figure it out, right?  Putting it there helped us to avoid the necessity of breaking up concrete to make a post hole.  So it’s nearly done, and it’s a win/win situation.

 

 

My plan for xeriscaping is successfully coming along (I’ve successfully pretty much neglected the back yard all summer); the front yard has relatively green ground cover, and I rather like the delicate flowers of the morning glory! The hanging flower baskets are pleasant, and they add a nice touch. We did add some mulch/bark to the front, and that made a marked difference to the appearance.  Eventually, I would like to make these, brick books, and plant rows of them in the front flowerbed that currently contains mulch.  I think it would be delightful.  

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It’s been nice to slow down a  little this summer. We hope you’ve been able to do so as well. That’s the thing, the work will wait for you.  It simply doesn’t disappear; it will be there waiting for you to get to it.  

My goal this week is to get the little things finished up in all of the rooms.  And the fence restrung.  Now excuse me while I go water my flowers.

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*And of course we all know that “normal” is merely a setting on the washing machine, right?