Thursday, October 22, 2020

Covid Journal, Day 214: Fall

54 this morning and the promise of a warm, beautiful day. Yesterday was nearly 80, almost too warm, at least for this time of year. In summer, we'd have thought that was a cool day. The rain on Tuesday has kept the leaves pretty, although many are dropping.

This gorgeous autumn weather continues, with the best display of color we've had in some time. We don't have to go far to see beauty; just a walk up our driveway or a short drive across the ridge can satisfy. 

This photo and the next 5 are from Tuesday morning, when it was raining. I had an appointment for a skin scan at the dermatologist (just checking to be sure there are no lurking cancerous cells, and there are not ) and it was fairly bucketing, as my Irish friends might say. 

Even in the rain, it's still so beautiful here. I never get enough of looking at this land where I live.

And then yesterday, it was gloriously clear.

Such a feast for the eyes, no matter the season.

These old oaks have been my friends since I moved here. Some of them are quite hollow, but they still withstand the high winds on top of the ridge.

I hope Fall is as memorable where you live. Even in these Covid times, we can still seek beauty, and be refreshed and renewed by just a little time in nature. 

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Covid Journal, Day 211: Golden Days

55 this morning with light showers. We've had a week of good weather, some days quite warm, and here and there some light rain. It's been the prettiest fall I can remember in years. No killing frost here yet, although there have been patches here and there that did no damage.

We are creeping through fall, although it seems like the days literally zoom by. Each day I think of things I want to post, but by evening I am too tired to think of words to write. We have been busy as usual, the past week with furniture projects rather than food preservation, and also with a couple buying trips for new stock. Which, of course, has added to furniture projects. As if we didn't already have enough! Gluttons for punishment is all I can say.

But the trees and the land have been glorious sights for the eyes. 

I've done a little Halloween decorating; these two pieces are new to me. The mercury glass egg is a yard sale find, the bird skeleton is from the Dollar Tree.

A bit more on the porch, all thrift and yard sale finds, except Great Aunt Eva's teapot. One day I have to write more about my ex-husband's Great Aunt Eva, if I haven't done so already. She was quite a character.

This is one of my projects last week. I had such fun making this one pretty again.

This note was attached to the underside of the table. It says that the table was made in the West High School, Akron Ohio, Industrial Arts Dept, by student Donald Jones on January 22, 1950. That's a year before I was born. 

Another project, and this one took some time, as you can imagine. 

And here it is, finished and in the booth. We took several things to our booth, and good thing we did because a lady was there buying two tables and a chair when we came in the door. She told me she's bought several things from my booth, and loves my work. She just made my day.

Larry has picked the rest of the peppers, and also brought in the last roses. And a geranium bloom, which he thought was a rose. It's certainly just as pretty.

Yet another project that is underway. This table is solid oak, but has been outside in the weather for quite a while. We decided to flip the top boards--not thinking that they'd have screw holes on the underside. Geesh. What idiots. So I have come up with a plan to put little nail studs in the holes, which I think will add to its primitive look. I hope. The top side had some places just beginning to show rot on the surface, which is why we opted to flip it. The underside is lovely--except for those holes. I don't want to paint the top, but the base will be painted.

Another project we picked up this week. This one's finish is not in good shape. It's scratched and stained and faded in places. So, sanding was in order.

And look what I found under the stain. This one will have a new stain applied, lighter than the old stain, on the top and drawers, which also sanded beautifully. The cabinet will be painted. I will probably use the blue paint and dark wax I used on two other pieces that sold very quickly.

And here's the oak table in process. This one is going to take some work, but I hope it will be beautiful in the end.

I have taken time out to read--I started and finished How to Get Lost by Amanda Eyre Ward. It was a great, easy read, in that same style so many books seem to be written in lately--switching between characters and sometimes time periods, but not difficult to follow. I gave up on The Overstory, about 3/4 of the way through. I could see that the ending wasn't going to be good, and just wasn't in the mood for that. It's beautifully written, however, great character development and fascinating background information about trees. 

And watching. In the evenings I make myself stop work about 8pm, take a shower and either read or watch a movie. 

This week I've been watching The Irish R.M. and it's fantastic. It's hilarious, full of Irish wit, great scenery, some good music, and just plain fun. I worried after the first couple episodes about how the Irish reacted to this TV series from the 1970's. Would they find the story, set in 1897 to about 1905 or so, of an English resident magistrate in the deep Irish countryside amusing, or see it as a put-down of the Irish people? I asked my friend Carmel who lives in Sligo, and she assured me the Irish loved the humor. And as I watched the series unfold, I saw what she meant. That poor R.M. had quite a run for his money. I highly recommend it. 

Well, back to work. Those peppers are still waiting on me, so today is their day.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Covid Journal, Day 205: Differences and a Story

After a brilliant afternoon, rain came in the night and today is much cooler. 62 this morning, and not much above that now. But after a cloudy morning, we've had a bright blue sky.

We started the day with a power outage. This one was planned. Well, actually, so was the outage yesterday. Apparently the power company is doing maintenance, so that's a good thing, right? It just makes for a few awkward hours as we figure out what to do with our power-less time. I mostly used it for cleaning, or at least, cleaning where I could see well enough to do it. And painting. I've got several projects in the pipeline so I got them into places where I had some light and could work.

Plenty of light outside!

Today, I continued with cleaning, and decided to sort out my husband's dresser drawers. No matter that I sort and fold his clothes for him to put away, he manages somehow to unfold them and then stuff them willy-nilly into the drawers. And new socks and t-shirts don't seem to convey the message to get rid of the old ones, so I had a lovely clean-out, and he now has much more space. And everything organized. I wonder how long that will last. 

It is funny how different we are about some things. I want my dresser neatly organized, and when I was working I even had my closet organized by color. I like my kitchen the same way, and everything put back in the same place so I can easily reach for what I need. The same holds true for my work areas in my ebay room and the furniture workroom. Although to most people my ebay room probably looks like chaos, it's organized chaos and I can usually find what I need quickly. 

In the other workroom I try to keep my worktable and cabinets of paint, screws, nails etc organized, with clear space to actually, umm, work. But unfortunately I have to share the space with Larry, and he cheerfully spills over into my space until there is literally no room for me. The table will be covered, the cabinets open and things pulled out, nails and screws on the floor, the pegboard empty of tools. He's the kind that likes to have everything out where he can see it--so like my mother that it's a wonder the two of them weren't blood relatives! We both get things done, and I constantly marvel at how he manages to do so in such a cataclysmic mess. But there it is--he does.

All this reminds me of the old folktale of the husband and wife that decided to trade jobs for a day. The man was so sure his wife had an easier time of it, you see, and that he would do her work with no trouble at all. Here's the story--this version is from the National Museum of Wales, but there are other versions. Most agree that the story originated in Sweden.

The Farmer Who Does His Wife's Housework
Lewis T Evans (1882-1975)

There was an old farmer, and his wife could not please him at all with the housework, and no food pleased him, nor doing anything at all. But one day she says to him:

'Good gracious, John! You shall work in the house tomorrow and I shall go with the servants.'

'All right', he said, 'I'll set you a good example.'

And that's what happened. The woman went out next morning with the men, and he went at it. He had to churn to begin with. There was a churn in the house, and there was a cow that needed to be taken to a piece of land by the side of the house. And there was a big cliff there, and he was afraid she would fall over it. And what did he do but tie a rope round her horns and put a rope down the chimney and tied it round his leg. And then he went to churn. He left the churn for a little while and the sow came in and turned it over. He took a floor brush and killed the sow dead.

And it was high time for him to make dinner by then. He thought of making porridge. He put the pot on the fire, with water and oats in it. And lo, the cow went over the cliff and pulled him up the chimney.

And the men came home - the wife as well - and the first thing they saw was the cow hanging over the cliff. And they came into the house and they cut the rope, and what did they see but the sow dead in the middle of the butter milk, and the old farmer had come down the chimney head first into the pot of porridge.  Source: 

In other versions, the husband puts the cow on the roof of the house--the house had a grass roof, like some in northern Europe and Iceland. 

Well, I have to admit, my man is very good at housework. He can cook, clean, sweep, do laundry and almost all the things I do, while I on the other hand cannot, or really don't want to, do the things he does, like tractor work, roof repair, plumbing, etc. etc. So I try not to complain about his messy ways. It works for him, and that's all that matters, right? I promise I'm not gritting my teeth as I type!

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.
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