Sunday, December 31, 2006

Dreaming....(just for fun)

THE puzzle. It was challenging to do, more challenging to transfer and afix it to a precut (by me) board without having to do it over!
So...the dream.
Someday they will reopen the actual statue for visitors. Presently it is just the base that is open. I want to go up to the crown. It would be fantastic to climb into the torch, but I have a fear of heights so climbing that ladder would not happen for me. I can force myself to manage the stairs.
So...the day comes that crown visitation is allowed. Guess who is first to do it (remember this is a fun dream)? You've got it - me! You see somehow someone discovered that I have a huge collection. So, on this special day I have been a guest on the "Today Show" (hee, hee). We have assembled the entire collection for the show, then they follow along as I make the trip to Miss Liberty. Lots of fun! Dreams are good!
BTW, you see the little photo on the bookcase, to the left of the Liberty puzzle (sort of across from her armpit)? That's a photo that was taken of my mom when she was 10 years old. She was in costume for a play she was in as......THE STATUE OF LIBERTY.

Friday, December 29, 2006

A Good Start and A Good End (and the middle, too)

I just had to take a moment to post this! Monday, Christmas Day, I was once again reminded that dear friends *do* remember when I opened my Liberty snowglobe. Now on Friday a "Chippy" forget-me-not arrived from Maine totally unexpected! He's so soft and cuddly. I LOVE him. And sandwiched in between the two was Mary's generous offer! Mostly, though, the thoughts behind them (all three) remind me of how fortunate I am to have such dear friends.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

I'm Not Gloating...Really

Seems that I have been posting quite frequently lately. My apologies to those of you who are trying to keep up and really have other things they should be doing!

I just had to write this follow-up to a gripe post that I made awhile back. It concerns that tech that had complaints about some keywork, was rather obnoxious to me about it, and....I hadn't even done the work! Well, guess after Christmas ho, ho, ho.

As the title says, I'm not gloating. (I *am* chuckling a bit inside, though) Mr. Tech showed up unannounced at the house today. I think he was hoping to miss me and just drop off some stuff with my folks. He didn't call to say he was coming, nothing. Anyway, seems he needs some keybushing work done. He brought the set of keys. They had just been rebushed...very recently...very poorly...extremely poorly...embarassingly poorly. The keys wouldn't move up and down the bushings were so tight. Hmmmm....wonder who *tried* to do them? So he says they are all numbered (only the stamped in type so not very readable), they have been dumped in a "Shaw's" brown grocery bag, grrrr. I took them down to the shop to get started. Unpacked them, got them in order and cleaned, then in the clamps. Noted that two keys had chips out of them and two had burn marks on them. These brand new bushings ranged anywhere from less than .25 into the mortise to around .75. Absolutely wild. They were curved all around the ends, no shoulders on the front rail, just standing up straight with cloth above the mortise shoulders. A couple were missing so I tried removing one without soaking the cloth/glue to release it. Well, so little glue was used and evidently no cauls were actually left in while glue dried...I could actually remove ALL the bushings by merely lifting them out with needle-nosed pliers! No tugging, no bits of keywood stuck to them. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that the cloth was the cheap type, too.

And yes, when these keys are finished and returned to the tech, I *will* make a point to nicely remark on the absurdly unacceptable, amateurish attempt at keybushing that I had to correct. Maybe they have learned! Ooops.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Love of Liberty

By request....

My first trip back to MA after moving to FL was in 1986, the anniversary of "Lady Liberty". My mother, Amanda, and I were visiting my aunt and uncle in New Bedford. We had decided to wander around some antique and gift shops. In one shop, I saw a brass Statue of Liberty mounted on a dark marble base. I decided that it would be a good souvenir of our 1986 visit north. That was Number One and really was to be the only.

Then I was in a antique shop in Dunedin, FL. My adopted hometown. There was an art deco style statue with a "candle light" bulb torch and a clock in the base. Well, we had quite a collection of period art deco furniture and not? Number Two. And so now, 20+ years later...............................

Only once have I had a duplicate. Not bad for more than 70 over a period of 20 years with friends, neighbors, relatives, and of course me acquiring them! A neighbor, on our street in Dunedin, brought one back as a gift for taking care of their house while they were away. Since it was a duplicate, it was discreetly packed away in case I should need a replacement someday.

BTW, I have never been to the Statue of Liberty! I have been to NYC many times. I think I have done all the sights. Most many times over. However, the closest that I have been to Lady Liberty is a drive around Manhattan and my dad saying "see over there, that's the Statue of Liberty". Just a side note - My dad, my first husband, and my Uncle George, sailed past the Statue when they sailed the Minoan (see a previous post) from Rockport to Stuart, FL. Now, I haven't been to NYC in about 30 years. But, next time!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Amazing Liberty

And here it is! The most amazing gift! All the way from Florida. Now I realize that it is hard to appreciate in the photo. This is a snow globe. Not just any snow globe, but one with the Statue of Liberty inside. So, you say, so what? Well then, you haven't read my complete profile (hee, hee). And, and, and, to top it off it's a music box, too. Yippeeeeeeee!

The next photo is of another gift I got this year. This was a Statue of Liberty kit! It came as punch out wood pieces on three sheets of .25 thick wood. Pretty much no instructions on how to assemble. Only lots of little numbers to match up. No numbers on the pieces, just a drawing of each sheet of pieces that was labeled. No glue required. As I recall it was something like 1 - 120. It said for ages 5 and up on the package...UH, HUH. Oh yeah, the framed poster behind came from the "snow globe" friends when I lived in FL. The wooden statue is about a foot tall.

And just so y'all get the idea. I've taken a couple pics of part of my collection. I have over 70 actual statues, all sizes, types, a bottle with maple syrup in it (from Maine), wacky with a light-up torch, some that open with surprises inside, a pencil sharpener, a pen, a liquor bottle, a giant puzzle (not pictured) that I mounted to stand on the floor, a thimble, ornaments, and on and on. I also have collector plates and mugs, postcards, magazine articles, posters, piano rolls, a mask, tins, and jewelry.

Oh, and don't you love the Liberty Cow! There's a bobble-head, too, in the back. So thank you for my Amazing Liberty F and L in FL. LOL, I just noticed that F and L match their state!

Just a little of these days I've got to change the setting on my camera. I'm tired of poor photo quality.

Ahind and Ahead, Assigned Numbers

Traveling back nearly 20 years and saying..."No, Amanda, it's BEhind not Ahind". Funny the things that we remember.

Now that Christmas is over I spent some time thinking about the past year. I have been soooo anxious to get this year over with. It hasn't been very good.

So, AHIND...

  1. 3 of my newspaper customers died of emphysema/lung cancer.
  2. My father was diagnosed with lung cancer. He has emphysema. There is nothing that can be done for him as far as trying to "cure" the cancer.
  3. 3 friends that I never had chance to meet died. Yes, I know that sounds weird. I had contact with each person in some manner, and they were part of my life.

And the good of ahind.....

  1. Volunteering with WHOA. It gives one purpose to my life. And it's a purpose and, yes, obligation, that *I* have agreed to and love.
  2. Meeting some wonderful and caring people.
  3. Knowing that I am thought of by others. I am not alone.
  4. An apparent end to 3+ years of being cyber-harassed.

Now for ahead. Some certainties.

  1. I will start each day hoping for the best. It's my nature and sometimes I hate being that way. LOL
  2. I'm pretty sure it will eventually snow this winter (drat).
  3. I fear my dad will not see the end of the next year.
  4. My life *will* change, for many reasons, in many ways. Nothing that I can do about it.
  5. Summer will come with its warmth and sunshine!
  6. I will continue to be stressed with family stuff.


I find it odd that people need a number, or more specifically a date, to remind them to be generous and caring. Should be that way all the time. Same goes for "resolutions". Seems the ones made on the "day for it" don't work well anyway! I like to sometimes forget about the "assigned" time. Just do things. I hope it makes other people feel good. I won't makes me feel good to do it.

And what about the down side of traditions. They play such an important role in our lives as long as things are good, happy, and "right with our world". They cause havoc and despair, stress and sorrow, when things are wrong. Could there be a tradition of intentional change? Would lack of tradition work as "tradition"?


Saturday, December 23, 2006

A Quite Remarkable Tree

This story was written by a couple in Clearwater, FL. I take no credit for any portion and I am retyping this as it appeared in our local paper in 1991.


"Our remarkable, amazing pine tree is still going strong and heading for its 10th Christmas with us! My husband and I purchased a pine tree from Michigan, the Christmas of 1981. We decorated it, and enjoyed our tree. The only thing that was different about this tree, was that after a few weeks it remained pretty, full, olive green and did not lose its needles!

The weeks went into months and still, this unbelievable tree was beautiful. Yes, year after Christmas year this amazing tree has graced our living room.

This coming Christmas, our pine tree will be with us for its 10th year, green, decorated, lights and beautiful as always. It drinks a lot of water - oh yes, it has no soil, no roots and just refuses to die.

So many people have seen it through the years and feel as we do, that is (sic) is a "miracle of God" and a sign and symbol of eternal life, which is the real and true meaning of Christmas.

We really think that you would be happy to know that our (God's) "miracle tree" is still alive for this Christmas, and the New Year 1991. May you all have many "miracles", and a blessed Christmas and new year."

H and L W.


May I add this...I would like to think that the "miracle tree" had a lot to do with the care, love, and nuturing that it was given. May H and L's example be followed each day, in all that we do, particularly as we "tend" our families and friends.


Friday, December 22, 2006

The Little Things

It really doesn't take much to get me to smile or to please me. I am an optimistic person, although at times I wonder how I can be. LOL

This has not been a particularly great week. No big problems, at least for me. Just a bunch of little stuff that has added up along the way. It started out with one of my customers dying on Monday. She had been ill with emphysema and lung cancer. She spent most of her time sitting in the window watching traffic and the goings on. Everyday on my walk (the paid exercise of delivering newspapers), I would look for her and wave. She always smiled and waved back to me. This is the second person on my walking route that has died of lung cancer in the last 6 months. It just reminds me of my dad and I wonder how much longer he has.

My mom has been trying to keep up with some of the stuff that my dad used to take care of. Since his eye surgery and because of macular degeneration he has not been able to read. She has started paying the bills. The problem is she is so insecure about it that she keeps coming over and asking me to check everything. Not a problem per se. Problem is that she just interrupts whatever I'm doing. I've tried explaining that we need to work out a time to do it but she gets all irritated with me. Another thing is teaching her how to balance the checkbook. I've gone over it for three months now. She still can't do it. Then she says, "No one I know has to balance their own checkbook".

I am getting very frustrated with the whole thing. The "I can'ts" and the "do for me's".

I won't get into the non pay customers. Well, just a bit! What is wrong with people? I had a customer that owed me $14. She put $7 in an envelope for me. Now she's back up to owing $10.50. Come on folks. You would think that at the holidays they *might* think to pay.


Then there are the little things that made my week, put a smile on my face, made me feel good.

Amanda got a Christmas card/tip that was fantastic. She opened the envelope and looked at the card and commented on its plain appearance. Then she opened the card and we were so pleasantly struck. The card....everything about it....was perfect. When opened, white doves spread their was a pop-up. (Insert oooohs and ahhhhs) We have it on display.

One of my customers, (she owns P-Kay and Taz. P-Kay is an English Staffordshire Terrier that loves me. It's reciprocal!) didn't get home in time to leave me a Christmas card and tip today. She drove to my house to drop it off!

I received a Christmas kit gift this week. Well, that's what I'm calling it. My best friend (from FL) sent it. I was told that although well-packaged, it was not gift wrapped inside the shipping box. I got to wrap it in my favorite paper! Nice bow and a tag, too. I have been promised that I will be amazed by the contents. I like to be amazed. I'll let you all know but you'll have to wait until after Santa has been to our house.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Don't You Just Hate It When.....

You're all set to watch a show and they change the programming. GRRRRRRRRR.

I *really* wanted to see the Storm Stories about the "Can Do". Really, really, really.

Went out for dinner, did an errand, folded laundry, sat down to tune in and they changed it. I couldn't believe it. I checked the Channel Line-up. Yep, 7:30, Weather Channel, Coast Guard Storm Stories. Nope.

Last minute change evidently. Even the Weather Channel, just before 7:30, had an advert on for the show (that preempted Storm Stories) saying that it would be on at 8. Then 7:30 rolls around and they say "welcome to a two hour special showing of (whatever it was)". apologies to any of you who were also looking forward to watching. Yeah, I know, it's not my fault they changed it, but I still feel bad having made the announcement here.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Read All About It!

Ho, Ho, Ho.....I just checked my (very limited) profile and found that it had been viewed 24 times. 11 of those in the last month. So.....I've changed it! Originally, I was being very cautious as to how much info was there because of "you know who". Then I got smart and thought, gee, it really wouldn't matter. So...for all of you curious types, I've actually put some info in the profile! Some of you know this stuff already, most of you don't.

So go ahead and view my COMPLETE PROFILE

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Storm Stories

Thought I'd add a couple of pictures for background info. These are pics of our 36 foot, 10.5 ton, ferro-cement sailboat. It is a ketch rig, Sampson Marine design, built by my father. (Yes, from scratch) It's documented name is "Minoan". After my family sold it in 1985, it was used as a day sail charter out of Rockport. At some point it was sold once more and became a "live aboard" in Boston Harbor. These photos show the "Minoan" when it dragged it's mooring during a northeaster in September 1977. It spent a week on the beach. Then with a great deal of effort, many pounds of Crisco, a front end loader, and the "Can Do", the "Minoan" was successfully towed off the beach and sustained no damage.

Monday, December 18, 2006

A Must Watch

This is a photo Christmas card that we received from Frank Quirk December 1977.
For all of you in the USA...This Thursday (21st) night at 7:30 EST, watch the Weather Channel's program, Storm Stories. This story is about the Gloucester pilot boat "Can Do" and it's captain, Frank Quirk, and crew. The "Can Do" went down with all aboard during the February Blizzard of '78, while responding to a mayday call from the ship "Global Hope".

Captain Quirk (with the "Can Do") pulled our 36 ft. sailboat off Front Beach in Rockport after it had washed ashore during a northeaster, Sept. 1977. He was a true gentleman, knew his job well, and never flinched when someone was in need of assistance. The "Can Do" was his pride and it was evident when we visited aboard. A magnificently maintained vessel.

Last February, I went to a lecture and book signing by Michael Tougias, author of "Ten Hours Until Dawn", The True Story of Heroism and Tragedy Aboard the Can Do. A riveting account of that fateful night without resorting to sensationalism. During the lecture, the tapes of the actual communications from the Can Do were played. It was tough to listen to that again. Most of us were listening to our scanners the night the Can Do and crew were lost. Many calls were about the whereabouts and condition of the Can Do and crew. Actual one on one communications were limited to just a couple radio operators onshore, but messages were being relayed from those people to others and to the Coast Guard in Gloucester.
Remember to watch....Thursday, Dec 21 at 7:30 on the Weather Channel's Storm Stories.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Short Seasonal Snit

Yes, I'm in a bit of a snit. I just checked on two "canceled for non-payment" customers. Together they owe me $64. Makes me really mad that the houses where these people live are decorated to the hilt for Christmas. People can afford all that "show" but can't seem to pay for their newspaper!

BAH, HUMBUG to them......................

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Lefts and More

It seems alot of my friends are left-handed. I wonder why? I'm right-handed.

It's a good thing, too. The left of my left is troublesome. Arthritis. And it's all on my left side. And of the locations, it is the left side. The left side of my left ankle, the left side of my left wrist. The wrist has been the most trouble lately and sometimes makes it hard to work. My left index finger, my left thumb. It is, however, the worst on the right side of my left thumb because that's the spot I mashed last spring.


I tuned the Steinway M at the Art Association this afternoon. There was an office party tonight. Remarkably the piano wasn't toooooo bad. This piano needs TONS of work. Anyway, it is sort of a pleasant place to work. Lots to look at in the big gallery while listening to the piano. The big room does make the tuning tiresome. The top three octaves reverberate noisily. The room "grabs" the sound of the hammer impact louder than the tone produced by the strings. This is very annoying to listen "through". Ginny came by and we talked for a little bit. It was a nice break during some of the above mentioned octaves.

I timed the tuning perfectly, by accident. I got there around 1 pm and was just finishing up as the caterers began setting up tables. Glad I missed working around all their noise.

On the way out I stopped by the shop. I bought a couple notecards that are repros of paintings of Rockport in the winter and at night. I've been writing to a friend's mom-in-law every couple of weeks. She recently lost her husband to cancer and then her son died. She has been very lonely and hasn't many social opportunities as she doesn't drive. I had been writing to both her and her husband during the time he was ill and now it just seems right to keep in touch with her. Anyway, it gives her a little something different in the mail every once in awhile. The cards are real pretty.


Dad went to his primary care doctor this morning. He is doing okay. His doctor was a bit surprised and told my dad that he was doing much better than he expected him to be. Does that translate to, "I'm surprised, you should be worse considering...."? Oh well, we'll take the good news for now!


It's been profitable walking. In the past two weeks I've found: 3 pennies (one very mutilated), 2 nickels, 4 dimes, and 7 quarters. And....3 screws, one bungee cord, and a car key (yeah, I picked it up and I don't know what I'll ever do with it).

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Amanda and I went shopping together, yesterday. I guess it was more like I did the driving and she did the shopping. A couple DVDs, a couple CDs, and she finally broke down and bought a DVD recorder. It's one that can also be used to copy VHS to DVD. This is good. She is techno smart and will figure out how to use it in no time. However, she is hardware slow so it becomes my job to "hook it up". I read the instructions. Yikes! I feel like NASA should be a training ground for this project. Okay, the actual hook up seems simple enough. I'm not sure about a few of the tech terms that will be in questions that this thing will ask. I feel stupid but, I'm sorry, I don't know what type of TV she has. I know its 3:4 or was that 4:3? That part, which ever, I know because the only other choices come under wide screen. It's *not* that. But is it the one that is 3 digits with an "i" at the end or 3 digits with a "p"? I haven't a clue. She has the day off on Friday so I will be making the hook up attempt then.

How do you like the title to this post? I thought it labeled me perfectly.

I created another word awhile back. It was when that senator or congressman or someone was caught and photographed with his "girlfriend" on a sailboat down around the Dade County area. I probably have all those details wrong. As I remember, he was considering running for Pres. maybe? Hmmm...I'm not to good at remembering political specifics. Anyway, my word for what he did...politicide. Killed his career in politics.

Guess what? Give up? Okay, I'll tell. All my Christmas shopping is done. It's all wrapped (minus bows as I have to be able to stack all the boxes in my closet, out of sight), all my cards are sent, and all the customer cards have been handed out! I took my mom on a little shopping trip to a Home Goods store, today. Just for fun, just to browse. I like doing this at this time of year. I get to watch everyone else madly trying to get caught up with their shopping! I did buy a couple things. I bought another roll of wrapping paper. I bought it because - alot on the roll for very little $$$, I liked it, and I didn't need it but will use it eventually. I also bought a box of "antique look" glass ornaments, little snowmen, santas, stockings, and mittens. They are miniature size and perfect additions to my artificial Victorian feather tree.

Good stuff came in the mail today....three checks!!! Payments for keywork. Now I'm only waiting on one more BIG one. Since the week between Christmas and New Year is generally slow work-wise, I'll be getting all my tax paperwork ready for that enormous chore. Oh yeah, New Year's. Rockport has a celebration. This will be the 10th year they have done it so it should be real good. I'm really hoping a friend will come and join me for the evening.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Reading Review

Well, I just got finished reading John Grisham's new book, "The Innocent Man". And I am a bit speechless. It was an intriguing look at the injustice done Ron Williamson (and others) and his death penalty sentence, years on death row in Oklahoma, and his subsequent exoneration. The story, in and of itself, as far as the single focus of "justice" in only "solving" and sentencing *someone* was unfortunately not surprising to me. Grisham's writing of the story, however, was lacking punch. I do want to say that I *love* Grisham's fiction books and I was very excited when after a couple years of no new book from him "Innocent Man" was published. As soon as it hit the bookstores I bought a copy. Sad to say, it was a struggle to read. I felt nothing towards any of the real people in this book. It was soooo dry and matter of fact that I could have been reading the actual court documentation and Grisham's interview notes first hand. I felt that while reading I should have cared about Williamson and his family, I should have cared about the victim (meaning Williamson as well as Debbie Carter), I should have been angry with the blatant lies, irresponsibility, and failure of the system and those who perpetuated that failure. NADA. Grisham could have given so much more. I guess he may need to stay with fiction so that he feels free to give the "characters" life.

Last night I started reading "Dear John" by Nicholas Sparks. This is easy reading. Totally different from anything that I normally read. I say that having read all his books LOL. It's his style of writing rather than the subject matter that hooked me. Nice stories, friendly prose, a delight for the "act" of reading. I'll write about this latest from Sparks once I'm finished.

After that I may reread "Cruel Doubt" by Joe McGinniss. I read this to keep my mind occupied during the divorce proceedings from RC. At the time, I found it riveting. The jacket has this to say...."In Cruel Doubt, Joe McGinness probes the dark heart of family life and brilliantly weaves together the tangled strands of this fascinating and terrifying story-at once murder mystery, courtroom drama, and a heartbreaking account of a mother's love and courage. This is his strongest book to date."

Friday, December 08, 2006

Let It Snow

Oh yes, it did! And ccccccold, brrrrrr. And WINDY, too. The good news is that it's going to warm up into the 40's and maybe near 50 again next week!

Ferd sent me this today and I just *loved* it. I have to share. Take a look at this and make sure the volume is turned up...Ho, Ho, Ho.

Thank you, Ferd!
I hope you don't mind me sharing.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

In the Dumps

No, not the transfer station. Just a lousy day. Although I can think of lots of okay things from today - like it was actually warm and I only wore a sweatshirt and jeans out coat, no hat - I still feel yucky. I've had a headache on and off for a couple days. Stress, I think. Mom and Dad had company today. Some friends came for a visit and brought some other friends from way back. The other friends came mostly because they know my Dad is not well. That is depressing. Although he is managing quite well, obviously he has aged and changed considerably. That's hard enough without the "visits" starting. My folks haven't seen these people for longer than I can remember. Now because my dad has cancer, they come. Makes *them* feel better, I guess.

Work has piled up again, too. I'm appreciative of the work, don't misunderstand. It's just that time of year everyone wants it NOW. Like they are the only ones needing a piano tuned or keys recovered. I had a call from a couple in Boxford. Their player piano quit working. They want to know if I can get it fixed for their annual Player Piano Party right after Christmas. I'm 99.999999% sure it won't happen. It's an odd-ball unit made mostly of pot metal rather than wood. For those of you reading that know this stuff - it's a National Air - O - Player. No way to fix or get replacements for the old metal stuff. I'm going to take a look at it on Saturday afternoon, anyway. At the least maybe I can take some pics. Right after I drop off some finished keys to a tech in Georgetown. Yeah, he wanted them by the end of the week. I only got them Wednesday afternoon. Rush, rush, rush. He offered to come and pick them up. I'm not here tomorrow and I'm not going to change my plans. I've got to go finish shopping or I'll go nuts. So, either I drop the keys off on Sat while I'm up that way or they will have to be shipped back on Monday.

I tune at the Rockport Art Association for two different functions before the end of the month. The piano needs PILES of major work. I'm referring them to a rebuild shop in Lowell to get that done as I can't get a piano into my shop :-(. There is another message on the machine for a tuning. I'll have to call them in the morning. And still I *have* to get in touch with some local folks (around the corner) for player work. I'm only 6 months behind on that contact. I could scream. Then there are some people that want me to take their player piano off their hands. Another tech gave them my name. I want a player, probably not the one that they have, and I just don't feel like thinking about it right now. I'll call them tomorrow, too.

Maybe I'm just feeling tired and isolated. (Truly living on an island) Nothing seems to be going quite right lately. I miss technical talks with "the guys" in Florida. I miss having Guild Chapter meetings to go to each month. It puts me sooo out of touch with what is happening in the piano world. I feel like I'm working hard, like crazy, at everything and either getting nowhere or more just gets added on. Never ending. Blech.

I'm going to bed early. Maybe tomorrow will be better. All I can say is it better not snow. I did hear mention of it.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

My Favorite Writer

Tis shopping time! I'd like to take some time to encourage all of you to purchase "Net Crimes & Misdemeanors, 2nd edition" by J. A. Hitchcock. It is a *must read* for anyone who is online. I'm copying below a portion of a review that I wrote for and for B& about Jayne's book.

"In general, the new information and new stories were woven amid the 1st edition information so well that there was no way to make any assumptions and skip along through. Just for the heck of it I tried! Then went back and thoroughly read the particular section and found that there was new stuff I'd missed. I did this intentionally a couple times to check. Gave up on the game and just kept reading! New stuff I *really* liked - the chapter on blogs, journals, etc. and the Nigerian Chapter. Even the Afterword was perfect. Just rightly written. Can't explain it other than it seemed to encompass the entirety of the book for you.One (of many) of my favorite line(s). Intro, page 2, para.4, sentences 1 and 2. Buy the book and find out!
This book is excellent."

And at

"J. A. Hitchcock's insight and expertise will enlighten each reader. This book should be mandatory reading before anyone ventures online. Hitchcock knowledgeably steps beyond sensationalism to present real life stories illustrating the pitfalls and dangers lurking online, followed with straightforward preventative solutions. The author's expertise, intertwined with victim accounts, and even occasional humor, make this book engaging reading in addition to being an indispensable resource."

So...all of you...either click on the link above or go to and order a copy for yourself and some extras for gifts for your family and friends who are online. This book will never stay in your'll be next to your computer giving you *all* the resources you need to be safe in every aspect of your online activities.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Mainly Miserable Monday

Let's hurry up and get today over with, please. First, I woke up to snow this morning. Not one of my favorite things. Yes, it looks pretty and all, but I hate *having* to be out in it. Thankfully it didn't last long and most of it has now disappeared with a bit warmer temp and sunshine.

Then it happened....

I was exiting the end of our street driving my truck (had made the stop and waited for traffic to clear) to cross over Main Street to High Street. All was clear. I started across and had nearly made it when a women pulled out of High Street to turn "out of town". She never looked to her left (where I was). As she pulled out she continued looking to her right. She ran right into me. Pushed the rear end of my truck sideways for quite a bit. Fortunately, even with her lack of "vision" she didn't damage my truck (nothing apparent). I couldn't believe it! I looked and looked at the rear quarter of the truck and NOTHING. She had minor bumper damage to the driver's side front of her car. Huh??? and nothing on mine?

Well, Officer Roger and Officer "I Like Mike" showed up. We kept looking at my truck and then I saw it. There is a large black scrape across the tire/wheel/rim. Anyway, pertinent info was exchanged, no injuries, report filed.... So far my tire seems okay and the truck seems to handle fine considering the substantial sideways trip it took! As we were getting ready to leave, the woman apologized (don't ever do this at an accident as it shows an acknowledgement of blame) and said that she would let me pull out first. Officer Mike laughed at that comment.

I hope the rest of today is calm.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Tis the Season

Thought that I would have some fun with Christmas color! Oh yeah, I think I'll post a picture of our tree this year. It's a shame that the ornaments don't show up very well. It is covered with around 400 glass ornaments. Some were my grandparent's. I'll try another picture sometime with a different camera.

Today was the Sandy Bay Historical Society's Christmas Open House. My Mom and I went for about an hour. We aren't members but I had an invitation from the curator. She wanted to be sure I was there to hear the Manning organ being played. I restored the organ for them last winter and this was sort of it's debut! I just found the picture of it. With this organ I removed only the inner workings and took them to my shop. The case of the organ stayed at the Historical Society.
"The Bells of Harvey Park" also performed at the open house. Four members of our church play the handbells. It was a fantastic concert. Thanks Jim, Ellie, Ruth, and Sheryl for such beautiful "ringing"!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

If You're Going to Lie to Me....

then you have to do better at it. I reported several customers to the "Times" for non-payment of their bills. For about 5 customers, I am owed over $100 total. I'm tired of buying their papers for them and not getting reimbursed. They are notified, in writing, each week as to how much they owe. So I call the office to get them to take action. And....the area person calls this morning asking if anyone has paid yet. (Nope) She says she tried to phone me late yesterday and my phone was busy, busy, busy. Okay, when I'm online that's true as I have dial-up service. But, yesterday I was out shopping with my Mom and Amanda from 12:30 until 5 p.m.. Then when we got home we went out to eat, then came home and watched a movie. I was online for about 15 minutes around 9 pm. That's it. Good try but you didn't try to call me, lady. I take that back. It wasn't even a good try.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Happy Ho, Ho, Ho Happening

Well, what a relief! My aunt and uncle and cousin are coming for a visit tomorrow. Guess what? My mom was dashing around to get all the Christmas decorating done! You see, they haven't been to this house for a visit during the holidays, so my mom wants to make sure everything is finished. And better yet, I was out on tuning jobs all afternoon!!!!!!

I got home to the news around 5 pm. Since I had to get *something* to eat, I decided to go to Ellen's Harborside. When I got there, some friends, Ed and Margaret, invited me to join them at their table and we had a nice chat over dinner. I got back home and went to Mom and Dad's. Mom had all the boxes of ornaments out of storage and had started a bit of decorating. I worked on it for about 45 minutes and then went to pick Amanda up at work. Got home and did some more ornament hanging. Then since I had already taken my Christmas decorations "out of storage" earlier in the day, I made a mad dash and got my living room done.

So.....HO, HO, HO, once again. What normally takes my mom a few days got done in less than two hours. FANTASTIC!!!!

All that's left to do for Christmas decorating is to put the candles in the windows and run the extension cords outside.........THEN I AM DONE!!!!!!!!!

Oh yeah....shhhhhhh, I found the perfect gift today.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

You Asked and Here They Are!

I have no idea how all this will work on the page so please be tolerant! Hmmm, weird layout and I don't know how to rearrange it! Oh well...commentary.... First off is a really lousy picture of the latest reed organ job. I guess I'll have to move it for the final picture when the job is done to see if I can get some better detail definition through better lighting. This is a good sized "Bridgeport" organ (built in Bridgeport, CT in approx. 1889). Written on the key wood (covered over inside when assembled) are two handwritten notations. The first I found says "repaired by Ed Jacobson, January 2005". Sorry Ed, the organ is in rough shape and the only recent repairI could find were new straps for the pedals. So although the pedals *were* repaired, I'm *very* dubious that the organ played - maybe a few squeals if you pumped frantically! The second notation I just loved finding. It says, "tuned by H. S. Thomas, Jan. 22nd /89". It has a really neat personal "logo" under the writing. I'm going to try to imitate the "logo" for my rebuild records.
Now the keybushing photos - the top one shows the tiny red wool cloth bushings at the front underside of each key. When the key is depressed when playing the piano it travels on a metal pin, this mortise combined with the pin it rides on keeps the key from slopping side to side. The key will travel absolutely (perceptively) vertically. The second key photo shows the mortise and bushings where the "center" (not really) of the key pivots on another metal pin. So when the front of the key goes down, the back goes up like a seesaw. In this photo the old keytops have been removed and the surface prepped for new tops. Now, in both pics you can see the cauls used as clamps for the new bushings during the time it takes for the hot animal hide glue to dry. The caul size varies depending on what make piano the keys came from. The key pins can range from .087" (old Chickering and others) to .162" (some Steinways). When finished the bushed mortise needs to have approximately .002 - .003 clearance on the pin. So, first I have to remove the old worn out bushings that are allowing the keys to be sloppy and sometimes click against each other and glue in new ones. Don't ask me to try to explain the process for either! LOL I'll just leave it with "precision counts"!
Yes, Ferd, I know it is an over simplified explanation. I'm better at showing how it works than just describing it!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

'Tis the Season

For too much to do.

I don't really know why this year seems to be rushing by. Maybe because we have had unseasonably warm weather this fall. Does it seem like Christmas is going to be real, real, soon to you? This year I can echo the sentiments of a friend's email. I'd like to just take the week off and go away. No anything other than relaxation.

Of course this won't happen. We did it once, over 20 years ago. We left for over a month and spent a week in Florida and three weeks on St. Thomas. Oh to do that again! A couple pre-Christmas gifts, no tree, minimal decorating outdoors (just to look like someone was home).

Instead....we prep the house for the holidays. Mom and Dad's place gets the attention first, naturally. After delivering 4 miles of newspapers at 5:30 a.m. and having breakfast, I spent a couple hours working on WHOA paperwork - well, Jayne PR stuff! I enjoy doing that. Then I went down downstairs and worked on the keys from ALASKA. In between the key work I hauled the 7.5 foot artificial tree up the bulkhead and into my folks livingroom. It is prelit and in two sections but still VERY heavy. Then the trash got thrown up the bulkhead so that my mom could go to the dump. Phew....back to keywork. Oh, did I mention the hallstand that had to go down the bulkhead after I moved the desk to make room for the tree? Mom finished the Christmas window boxes and, you guessed right.....up the bulkhead with those.

And we're (read I'm) not done yet. Tomorrow I have to assemble the tree and make it look real! I'll help my mom with some of the decorations. Then I've got the bulkhead to tackle once again, this time with the lit reindeer. Personally, I think they are a bit tacky, but mom likes them. I can't understand this from her. Then maybe I can start in my house. Thankfully my house is so tiny I can't fit much. I'll get mine done in a couple hours. Then it will be back to keywork. I've got to ship these back to Alaska on Monday. I'll probably work on the reed organ, too. Next week I've got three more sets of keys. Ferd's should arrive Monday. Danny's are waiting on "off" white keytops that I ordered, and I've got a new customer in NH sending some. Later this my spare time.....I may post some pics of keywork (for you, Mary) and of the latest organ rebuild.

HO, HO, HO (and sometimes BAH HUMBUG) However, most of my Christmas cards are written and some of my shopping done. I've still got to do about 60 cards for my newspaper customers (and Amanda has to do hers). Then the shopping, too. Mine, and with mom, and with Amanda, and get Dad's done for him. I'm tired just thinking about it!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Some Quick News

I hate when I've been away from the house and return to find that I have missed a call. Okay usually this isn't a problem because most people know to leave me a message. I've made a point to emphasize this cuz it just drives me nuts when they don't. I have caller ID. It's frustrating sometimes but the benefit of ignoring 800 number calls is great. I have it for some other reasons, too. Anyway, my mom and I went out for a quick bite tonight and when I got home the caller ID was flashing. I looked at the answering machine. No message. I checked to see who the call was from. PRIVATE. (see? frustrating) Now this really drives me crazy! There is absolutely nothing I can do, and really, there is no need to think that there should be. About an hour later the phone rings. I dashed in from the other room to look at the ID....PRIVATE. Twice??? In a row??? I grabbed the phone before the machine picked up. Yeah, yeah, I probably should at least screen the call considering "the other" reason I have the machine, but what if there is no message again. And besides, twice in a row and I "want" to know who's calling.

Guess What?!!!

I've got a key bushing job coming from Alaska! :-D

For Christmas, I've asked for a US map that I can put on the bulletin board in my shop. I want to start putting push pins in to show all the different places that I get work from. This was an idea that my mom had and will be interesting for customers and techs that stop by. If Santa doesn't bring one I'm going to buy my own....I've just got to be "good" and wait.

WOW, all the way from Alaska.

Friday, November 17, 2006

I Hate Change (sometimes)

Well, I finally broke down and converted this blog to their "new" system. I hope this works as well as the old or I am really going to be irritated. Actually, I got tired of the messages coming up requesting politely that I do it's done. I get used to something...teach myself a system...and just as I am comfortable with it, someone changes the system. I hate it.

On the other hand I could really use a pleasant change. It's been a rough week or so. Topping it off is that it seems some family members have decided that my purpose in life is to wait on, run to get for, interrupt, whine at, and CONSTANTLY complain from morning to night. I could scream. It's driving me nuts. I want to run away from home :-( (maybe just for a little while?)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

For Friends

"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart." - Helen Keller

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Tired and Swamped

Well...things I didn't mention about yesterday. When I got home there were 3 boxes of keys waiting for me (One set is a rush job that has to be overnighted on Monday). I'm already working on a set. Oh my, 4 total! Then this morning the owner of the next reed organ job phoned to say that he would be arriving just after 10 with the organ. Tomorrow morning I have to be at a restaurant to pick up some piano action work that has to be done and returned before Friday. Monday, I'm catching up with the tunings from yesterday that I rescheduled. I made a couple phone calls. One was to schedule another player piano rebuild - to start in April, whew. I've got another for over the winter already on the books.

And the other call.........................The tech that I'm not too happy working for (remember?).
Seems he has decided that they want to have a reed organ job done. He remembered that I had looked at it MANY months ago. Remembered the quote a bit low, though. Anyway, he left a message that made the assumption that I could start working on it right away. Like I couldn't possibly have any other jobs keeping me busy. HUH???

Well, I called back and got the machine. I left a message with the correct price, a clarification on the condition of the organ that may make a rebuild a bad decision economically. Then I said that I couldn't even consider starting the work until late summer because of so many major jobs scheduled ahead of it. I'm sure it will be thought that I have intentionally ditched them.....NOPE, I don't work that way at all. But sometimes I *do* love coincidence!

Friday, November 10, 2006

and continued...

Okay, to finish this...
I did forget to mention that I called M (she used to live in the town where I would be heading). She's so good to me. A super lady who knows just what to say to me! She gives excellent directions, too! And I emailed a couple friends. Yeah, I was real nervous. I did get an email first thing this morning that R was thinking of me. What a boost that was to keep that thought with me.

Then there were *all* the things that I wanted to say to my friend. The comfort and care to offer. Knowing that I would have but a few moments to hug and hold her. Amid tears for her, the thoughts just wouldn't stop repeating in my head.

Since I couldn't get back to sleep (I did sleep from about 1 - 2 am) I finally got up at six. I had some light breakfast (I eat dry bread just to fill the stomach void when I'm a "mess") and a half cup of coffee. Thankfully the newspapers arrived extra early, all 105 of them! A got up and dressed while I counted out the routes, then we folded and bagged and dashed out the door. We were done by 8:15. The early exercise did my head some good and by the time we were leaving for our drive, I was much more at ease.....not perfect, mind you!

Everything went fine drivewise. We arrived earlier than we anticipated which is always my preference! Yeah, those are other thoughts....what if's....flat tire, traffic jam, lost, car trouble. Of course, none of those happened. But I was still worried that something would prevent me from being there as promised. A was a huge help. A pleasure on a sorrowful day. Good with signs and tolls, too. She's hired as navigator!

She lost it a bit with the discomfort of waiting at the funeral home amid strangers. We were waiting outside to head for the cemetery as the service would be graveside. I assured her that I knew no one else other than my friend, that yes, it could be a little uncomfortable, but friendship was the reason I was there. I was there to give my support to my friend, A was there to support me. That worked.

I'm not going to talk about the funeral other than to say it was "just right".

I met my friend's mom for the first time. She is a doll. She is soooo proud of her daughter. As a matter of fact, of her other children, too. She was radiant when she talked about them and made sure that she found her other children and introduced each to me. I told her that she had certainly done a good job! That I have one of the best friends in the world-her daughter.

Sorrow and Caring

It was a very long day that started in the wee hours. I could only sleep about an hour last night. All that was on my mind was the promise that I had made for today. I tossed and turned and many, many thoughts kept running through my mind. I had to keep trying to *make* myself relax. I knew today would be a tough one and I really needed to rest.

This week, one of my friends, so dear to my heart, lost her husband. I worried because I didn't have any way to get in touch with her. She wasn't at home, I knew that. But I didn't know if she had gone to stay with her mom or her dad. I didn't know how to contact them. So I waited, I cried. I tried to keep busy but I couldn't keep my thoughts from returning to my concern for her.

Finally, she emailed with a phone number to reach her. And I did. If phones could only transmit hugs. I hurt so much for her. Today was her husband's funeral and that's why I got no sleep. I promised that I would be there and I meant it. I would do anything for her.

I absolutely hate driving on BIG highways. You know the type. 5-6 lanes with cars flying at over 65 mph. Then add to the mix not having a clue as to where to get on, off. And getting in the correct lane (3 choices, I discovered) for how you intend to pay at toll plazas. I know that this sounds stupid. I can't help the panicked thoughts it gives me.

I knew when I promised to be there, I was also committing myself to those roads.

There was absolutely no way that I was not going to be at the funeral. I had to do this, for her. There was nothing more important. Certainly not my fears.

So I suffered my stupid anxiety all night and into the morning. I begged A to make the trip with me (about an hour and a half each way, but I wasn't sure). "You can watch signs for me, hand me toll money. I need you", I said. She agreed at around 7 a.m. We left at 9:30.

Having A with me also kept me levelheaded. I was afraid that by myself, I would cry all the way there. I can't explain why I feel this connection with this friend. It has been similar with others but not at this level. My friend and I have joked around with some ideas. Okay we've "serious-ed" around with some, too. I'll quit being a bit strange now and get off that!

Now, I'm teary again. I'll finish this later.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Ohhh, The Nerve of Some People

A tech came to pick up keys this morning. He writes out the check for payment asking me for today's date. I tell him and get, "well, I think it is the 7th, but okay". Why then did he ask?

Then he proceeds to say that he wasn't happy with the last key job that I did for him. I asked why and he went into a rather vague description. I got him to narrow in on what the problem was and it is not on any set of keys that I did for him. He insists that it is. I explained why it couldn't be and he still insists. Then he takes the check that he has just written for the work I just did and puts it in his wallet.

I'm *really* *#!XYZ'd* by this time and said, "Excuse me, but I believe that's MY check you are putting in YOUR wallet!" With an oh, yeah he hands it to me. He takes the bundle of keys and leaves.

So I'm really...........I know that he is "inventing", maybe intentionally, maybe not. I check my records and I didn't even do the set he is talking about. I am soooooo fed up with him. I'm fed up with dealing with his company. They are pains. They either want discounts or have a rush job. On big jobs they take forever to pay. Actually I have given up on payment on a job for them and will not consider "bailing them out" when the time comes they want help with it. They are rarely on time and very often are "no-shows". I no longer want to do ANYTHING for them.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Big Gripe

My dad woke up this morning and had some pain in his lower chest area. Not his heart, probably some pressure against his lung, either from the cancer or from fluid which he sometimes develops. My mom was worried but my dad didn't want to go to the hospital. By the time he had breakfast, he was feeling much better. After lunch the pain was just about gone and he had to really inhale deeply to feel any discomfort. My mom felt better about the situation and went out on a few errands. A and I had gone to Marblehead where I had a player job estimate and then we stopped at two malls to do a bit of Christmas shopping.

My mom got home in time to meet the physical therapist for my dad. This was the therapist's second visit.

I got home around 6 p.m. to find my mom very upset and near tears. PT lady had really acted grim. She had insisted on calling my dad's Primary Dr and requested that he have a nurse several times a week and that a social worker should visit. Her comment was that they really needed help, that my dad was on a downhill slide, and on and on.

I am sooooo angry. First of all, of course he is on a downhill slide. He has cancer in both lungs and emphysema. The doctor said he has a year or two at best. This is not news. She acted like death was eminent. Huh?????? He was out in town for dinner last night! For right now it is a long slope, not a downhill race.

And REALLY NEEDING HELP. Excuse me? With what? My mom told her if she was needing any help it would be nice to have a cleaning lady :-) LOL Good for you mom! Mom keeps track of dad's meds and makes sure he's doing what he is supposed to - like not reclining in his chair because of his eye surgery. She makes sure he eats well, etc. She gets tired sometimes, but she is handling it quite well and gives herself breaks. She is far from incompetent. I fill in as often as I can so that she can get out for awhile without worrying what he'll be up to (or not). He is up and washed and dressed every day with no help. He's not just sitting around oblivious. We chat, he goes out to eat (and to the doctor's), he goes out for rides, he watches tv, listens to music and reads (right now it's audio books because of the eye surgery). If this PT lady is thinking that help is needed caring for dad, well, it's not that time yet. Yes it may come, and then it will be asked for, we're not stupid! Why rush it when he is still quite capable?

She had the nerve to ask my mom if my dad had said whether he wanted to be "kept" alive. You know, machines and the like. And, in front of my dad, how long he had been given to live? Why harp on this, and in front of him. Does she think it's a good idea to remind him of the answer? This is ignorance.

IT IS NONE OF HER BUSINESS!!!! She is a physical therapist, not his wife, daughter, guardian, lawyer, or physician. You are out of line lady.

This is hard enough without you, PT, making it sound worse.

All I can say is it is a very good thing I wasn't there to hear this first hand.

Friday, November 03, 2006

T.G.I.F. (again)

Thoughts while walking today....why do so many people think only of themselves? What a shame. My life has been so enriched by so many people, how could I not care about others? I've mentioned before about the "privileged", the line cutters, me, me, me folks. I read in Dear Abby, not long ago, about a mother who had the nerve to tell a neighbor to hand out *her* daughter's favorite candy for Halloween. Huh???? I'm sorry, I don't get it. Just think how much better things would be if everyone just put even *one* other person first for a day. Or just thought of someone besides themself for a moment.

Try to be thankful for who is around you, not how much more you can get.

So you know, those of you I invited to read my blog are thought of each day. Each of you.


WWW ....... world wide web - no. Wacky Work Week! Keys are coming in like crazy. Two sets local, two sets from San Francisco, one set from Florida (can I ship myself back with those?) Hey, the guy that forgot to include a return address with his keys finally noticed he had a piano with no keys and he called with an address LOL. It took 4 phone calls and 3 emails before the guys from SF CA settled on what they wanted!

The next reed organ will be arriving in a couple weeks. I'm looking forward to starting on that. Next week I hope to call the player piano customer who has been patiently waiting for me to get started on his piano. Busy, busy, busy.

Loads of tuning calls, too. I'm glad things have picked up. Not only holiday shopping coming up but RE taxes and PTG dues. I just spent nearly $400 on advertising by paying for my PTG Journal ad for the upcoming year and contributing to the Chamber of Commerce Christmas program. That gets me a listing in the holiday calendar. Yikes doubled!


I'm starting my Christmas shopping tomorrow. I like to have most of the big stuff done by Thanksgiving. I'm hoping to have my cards all written by then, too. Then, of course, there are the 105 Christmas cards to sign to give to newspaper customers. Like I said's about other people....


My dad got a good report from his eye surgeon. Everything is progressing as it should. He goes to his lung specialist in a few weeks and I imagine that he will send him for a CT scan. I hope that his cancer has not gotten much worse. This scan will probably indicate how fast (or slowly) the cancer is growing.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Whoops, Forgotten Nuts and Bolts

Yep, forgot to mention the nuts and bolts that I found today. Two nuts, one of which was partnered with it's appropriate bolt. And, three pennies, all head's up. Yippee! And there's more....just to be in the Halloween spirit (pun intended), I found one LARGE ORANGE velvet bow. It was just waiting for me on the sidewalk, across from the entrance to the dump aka transfer station. It was in perfect condition. My first thought was of attaching it to someone's fence or something as a surprise "gift". Then I decided to take it home for our porch railing.


A Seasonal Tale


A Halloween story from last year! Preface...this year I've been totally too busy to think much about it. Although since I'm running around like a chicken with it's head cut off, maybe things *are* a bit ghoulish.

Last year, this time, A and I decided to do up Halloween with the Castle of the Damned tour at Hammond Castle, in Gloucester. I'm not big on the "made up to scare" stuff. I prefer things about real ghosts, haunted houses, and such. A likes anything that's horror. We both were scared with this night event. You have to know that it was pouring rain by the bucket fulls. Just like the summer downpours in Florida, but add to it cold temps, driving wind, and having to wait in a dark parking lot on a hilltop next to the ocean with several hundred others....waiting for the school bus that would transport us all to the castle. For this event you can not park on the grounds as there are too many cars for the lot.

In a timely manner...everyone had time to be soaked by the rain...the bus arrived. We had been waiting about 45 minutes and I was determined that we would be on the first bus. Since we had been among the first dozen or so to arrive in the parking lot, I was not going to wait for the next bus in a half an hour. Maybe we should have!

A and I got on board and sat in the first seats, opposite the driver and just behind the doors. The rest of the bus fills up with soggy and cold people and the driver shuts the doors. Off we go, yay, finally! As we make the turn on to the main road and pick up speed, I looked ahead. Nothing. Really.....nothing!

The driver had the heater blasting and combined with the door being open for boarding and all the wet people, ALL the windows were steamed up. The windshield, too! It was still pouring outside, pitch black, and totally fogged inside. The windshield wipers were slamming back and forth for the rain outside, but nothing was clearing the steam inside. We are speeding along a winding road and I can't see a thing. How can the driver? I could see this as footage in a Hollywood horror movie. What would jump out in front of this careening bus? When we crashed to a stop on rock walls and against trees, what would be waiting to board the bus? Oh my gosh, just let us get to the castle.....please.

Just as my nerves had had enough, we slowed down and pull into the Hammond Castle parking lot. I felt soooooo much better just knowing that nothing was going to terrify me in the tour as much as the ride getting there! The tour was very well done, but, after that ride, and due to the fact that we had some really funny preteen boys just in front of us, we actually thought it was hilarious. Met up with the curator of the castle/museum outside. He was trying really hard to be scary. Nope. Hard to believe, yeeeeaaaaars ago we dated. Got back on a bus - no steamy ride this time, and made it back to the safety of our own truck.

Sunday, October 29, 2006


.......and some new readers?

Well, I have survived! My first presentation on Online Safety.

My thoughts and criticisms (of me)....

My presentation should have been *more* topic specific. We tried to appeal to a broad range of the congregation, and in doing so, there really was insufficient time. It definitely needs to be only ONE topic. We tried for two with a "my story" intro and it was too much. I'm glad that I had prepared a comprehensive hand-out (each in a cadet blue pocket folder)! So...I ran out of time to sum things up and to do a little PR for Jayne's book. It is recommended in the handout as are the resources available through WHOA and WHOA-KTD. It would have helped to have published not only a start time but also an end time. For a first try at it, not too bad. *I* learned alot about what to say or not, how to time it, and most importantly...I can do it better if there should be a next time!

One last was hard to talk about what could not be shown as an example. In other words, no way to show visuals to the group.

Anyway, what a test run! My thanks to everyone who came and participated (and tolerated my inexperience). My biggest surprise was grandparent interest in the social networking segment. It's super to see grandparents concerned. More parents should be like these folks!

Oh yeah, welcome to any new readers to my blog....feel free to comment any time. Click on "comments" (below) and write your comment. You may submit it by choosing "anonymous", "other"(you use your name - first only, initials, or something creative), or if you have a blogger account- "blogger".

Thursday, October 26, 2006

A Little Here and There

It seems I've been running in all directions this week. I've been trying to get a lot of work done around the house ready for winter. I got the screen door at the bottom of the bulkhead insulated against the cold. It helps alot for keeping my workshop warm. I still haven't gotten the storm windows down, maybe tomorrow. I think I need to start a list to check off. I keep forgetting things and other things come up that also eventually get forgotten! Of course, all that stuff is done at my parent's. Their house is neat and clean, too. I still need to get vacuuming and dusting done at home.

My mom wanted one of the sewing machines stored in the cellar, so I did get that done. Then she needed to have her cell phone changed. She still had one from six years ago - AT&T - and the analog service is being phased out. So I took her to the mall (did a bit of clothes shopping) to get a new phone. I ended up adding her to my plan as that will be less expensive for her each month. I never use all my minutes, they rollover, and I accumulate even more that I don't use! Tomorrow I have to cancel her old account. I tried to do it while waiting at the mall kiosk for the new hookup, but I didn't have the info that was had to wait until at home. The next step will be teaching her how to use her new phone. Oh, boy......

Yesterday, my dad managed to disconnect a light bulb from it's own screw-in base when he tried to turn on the lamp next to his chair. I had already bought a new socket for the lamp as they were complaining that the old one was getting too hot. The new one has a pull chain so he won't be reaching up from the bottom, past the hot bulb, to switch the light on and off. I took the floor lamp down to the workshop to "operate" on it. Managed to get everything apart only to find out that the insulation on the wiring was pretty brittle. Okay, one more thing to do. Headed out to Ace for new wire and a new plug. Got back home and finished that project. Shipped out some keys and had others picked up at the shop. Then carried the deck furniture down to the cellar for mom.

There has been an increase in calls for tunings and service this week. I've tried to schedule them out over a few weeks so I don't get too swamped in any particular day. A set of keys arrived from Michigan. Thank goodness the guy's name was included on the MBE return address. He didn't put any contact info or return shipping info (or check :-( ) in the box. I got his contact info from the PTG Membership Directory and I've emailed him. No response yet. I'll call over the weekend if I hear nothing in the meantime.

Mom decided, out of the blue, that she thought I could have a player piano in their house. My house doesn't have a spot large enough to fit a normal size piano (really, I'm not kidding). Now this is great news. I would love to have a player piano of my own once again. I wish she had considered it when I owned one! I'm on the look-out for something that needs rebuilding but has a decent cabinet as I have no facility to do refinishing. This would have been so much easier had I been able to move one from FL when I moved up here. I guess better late than never.

My friend's dad-in-law is not doing well. She will be spending some time with him tomorrow and I hope that, just maybe, he is a bit improved. I know it is a very difficult time for her family and my heart hurts for them.

My dad is still hanging in after his eye surgery. The gas bubble "clamp" in his eye has started to "sink", which it is supposed to do. Dad says that he can now see a some things that are above shoulder height. As the bubble descends the vision returns from top to bottom. This happens over a period of 6-8 weeks. As my mom said today, with limited time left to live because of the cancer, it just wouldn't be right for him not to be able to read...the only thing that he *really* has enjoyed since his emphysema and cancer has limited him physically.

Well, a tuning tomorrow, phone calls too. Saturday will be a shopwork day and I've also got one more handout to write and print out for Sunday.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

And the Buck Stops............

By the side of the road, thank goodness!

This was a first for me and quite a shock. At about 7:45 p.m. I left the house to go and pick up my daughter at work. I was looking forward to the drive now that I have a new "feature" in my truck. While I was sorting out some cabinets in the workshop, I found an adapter that allows playing of a portable CD through the auto speakers. Don't ask me how my dad ended up with one of these....but there it was. No more recording my CDs on to cassette tapes! Unfortunately the power adapter doesn't work with my CD player, so I have to use the batteries.

So....anyway....I had decided to listen to The 5 Brown's playing Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue". ".....Blue" is a favorite of mine and one of those pieces that I like to feel as well as hear! I get everything set and going at a decent ;-) volume as I head out of town. Up Great Hill past the police station and then down the other side to Nugent Stretch.

Wait a second. What's that? Is someone walking along side the road in the brush? Oh noooooo. A deer! Actually a rather large buck. BIG antlers. Now what??? I don't have time to stop. I'm going about 40 mph as I'm just approaching the 45 mph sign. "Rhapsody in Blue" is blaring and I hold my breath. I think my heart has stopped for a second, too. Phew, a smart buck! He's standing just on the edge of the road looking straight across in front of me. He looks like he's waiting for a "walk" signal. Yes, I know about the headlights blinding and stopping them. And then I'm past him.

I managed not running over anyone during tourist season and now I've got deer season. No rest.

Friday, October 20, 2006

A Problem to Fix

This is just a post to see if it will fix a viewing problem. Help! I hate it when things go wrong for no apparent reason.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Deb, Bath, and Beyond...

Yeah, yeah, really lousy play on words. I'm tired. Anyway, here's weird pictures to post on a blog. Tah, dah! An almost finished bathroom. I still have a bit of border to hang in the area of the sink. You can't see that part here. If you look in the second photo it would be to your left. This wasn't an easy spot to take a photo. Small area to work in! The beadboard and trim work is actually ALOT lighter than it appears in the photos. The color is more like the darkest brown in the border. I'll call it dark caramel.

*****Flu blue!*****

Tuesday was flu shot day. We have gotten flu shots every year, except one, since Doc and I divorced. Being the only support for the two of us, I couldn't afford to get that sick. If my daughter got sick, I couldn't afford to take the time off work! So....some preventative medicine. We did get through the one "shortage" year with what were just nasty colds. Close to flu but not as bad! Shot time was 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. and they were given at a local pharmacy. We arrived at 9:30 knowing that there are senior apartments just across the road and, well, they tend to be early. Even with our early arrival I was about twentieth in line. There were two nurses giving the shots. It was just about my turn and an older lady a couple places ahead of me felt like she was going to faint. Now we were down to one nurse. All in all it took about 45 minutes total time. Not too bad. They called the ambulance for the older lady. We managed to be leaving the parking lot just as the ambulance was arriving.


Keys in and keys out this week. So far I have completed and shipped two sets. I'm working on a third for a local tech.


Dad is doing a little better at last. He isn't nearly as confused. He does have moments every once in awhile that he forgets that he had his eye operated on. He totally forgets and starts doing stuff he's not supposed to do. Then when my mom gets after him about it he argues with her. Eventually things get settled and all is okay for a couple days.


Tomorrow I head back to the police station. Officer L. got in touch and asked that I document the phone calls and get back to him. I've made a tape recording of the message that was from R on my parent's answering machine, and listed all the other suspicious calls. I also copied a tape from my answering machine from February 2005 that has calls resulting from some of R's online activities where he posted information about me.


Just noticed some things in the bath photos that some of you might recognize (if the photos were better!). On top of the wall cabinet is a wooden basket from "Ernie's Market"! In the basket is a piece of "monkey puzzle" (it's real name is Bunga-Bunga) tree from our property in Florida along with a nice box that Joan sent (her note is still in the box). Joan sent the monkey puzzle "branch", also. In the "palm tree" box there is a pod from a flamboyant tree in St. Thomas, USVI. Yes, customs *did* think we were a bit odd. And, yes, we had been to the Agriculture Office on the island to get permission to take some flamboyant tree pods home! Also, in the close-up photo you will see a print of a white heron. I have four prints by the same artist. I purchased them when Trinity College had a big yard sale. The prints were from the 1920's and had been in the building since it had been the "Fenway Hotel". I paid $5 each. When we were moving back here from Florida, I considered selling them at the HUGE moving sale that I had. I think that I had them priced at around $20 each, believing I would make a good profit. Now, I'm not totally dumb. A couple days before the sale I decided that I better check out what, if anything, they were really worth. Online I went, to find a gallery in California selling a similar print by the same artist for $650. They came with me!

******AND FINALLY******

Saw Mary walking in town. Wave, Mary, Wave!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

What a Week(end)

So, it's been a full seven days of weirdness. It's time for it to quit.

Good news, the owners LOVED the Kawai organ. Mrs. L sat down and played it for a long time. I didn't think I would be able to get her to leave. She played and played then looked it all over carefully and played some more! Mr. L said that, years ago, when Y had sent him a tape of her playing and singing he just knew that he would marry her. I guess that they had corresponded for some time between the states (him) and Japan (her). She had the organ shipped from Japan when she moved here.

The movers arrived on time on Saturday. Of course they stopped at the wrong house first. The usual problem....stopped at number 5. We are number 5, but west. Same street but three houses apart. They were told "it's the second number 5", but as always no one listens. I had to do a bit of on-the-spot repair when they set the organ down near their truck. They caught an edge of veneer on clothing or something and chipped a piece off. I hate show off-y, know it all movers. Thankfully, I found the piece and repaired the damage with some instant glue.


Oh yeah, more about being one of two number fives! A preface....I know "the other" number fives. They are a wonderful family and are one of the reasons for me attending the church that I do. (More about that later).

I was at the church a couple weeks ago (gee, has it been that long?) tuning the pianos. I was just finishing up when Jim (one of the other number 5s) arrived to set up for the bell quartet rehearsal. I stayed a few minutes to give him a hand. Jim told me that earlier in the week he was driving his daughter to school, and being a tad late, was driving a little faster than he should. Being a volunteer fireman, Jim had his "radio" with him and heard a policeman calling in his license plate number. Then he saw blue flashing lights so he pulled over. The officer walked up to the car and said, "Mr. Legg, don't you think you are going a little fast?" Jim never corrected the officer! GEE, THANKS JIM!
So Jim wonders how that could happen..........

Two number fives!!!! Too little reading!!!! Two too many assumptions!!!!

I'm quite sure that the officer in charge of my harassment case was the officer at the desk when the plates were being run. He sees the address, 5 XXXXX XXXX show up on the computer. He knows that I live at number 5, but has forgotten about the West. He doesn't bother to read the name figuring he knows who lives there....and.....voila'.....officer sees man in car rather than woman and just assumes......


Out to dinner, again! This time it was just mom and me. Ellen's of course. Just as we were finishing and getting ready to head out the door, Dan came in. Yippee! I have missed Dan so much. Usually I see him alot, particularly in the summer. We quickly caught up on the major news. I got a BIG bear-hug from Dan. Boy, did I need that. Dan is good with hugs. You know that he means it - cuz sometimes it's hard to breathe! I always feel much better after seeing Dan.


Today, at church, there was some surprising (yet not) news. Our pastor, Bob, will be retiring this summer. I say "yet not", because it has been in the back of my mind that it would be coming up soon. I remember exactly how I first met Bob.

Doc and I had decided to get married. My mom had always wanted to see me "walk down a big staircase" for the wedding. We decided to have a small ceremony and reception at the Rocky Shores Inn, just down the road from my parent's house. Neither Doc nor I had been recently attending any church and we commented on this to the owner of the inn, Mrs. G. She told us of a new, young minister at her church, claiming that we would really like him. of Bob's upcoming retirement in summer of 2007, it will be 30 years since he married us. And now, since moving back here, I have, in a way, come full circle. I'm happy for Bob and Roberta and I'm sure they will thoroughly enjoy retirement. I'm not sure whether they will stay in this area and, if they should leave, I will miss the comfort of knowing that they are nearby. Some things there is never a best time for so you just have to keep moving forward.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Not Complaining

But the full moon hasn't given up, yet!

So, did I say that incoming work was picking up a bit? Very shortly the Kawai owners will be at the door to see (and hear) the finished organ and pay the balance due. This is great as I can now get the next organ in the works.

Keywork has also picked up. But here's the full moon bit...the work is not from tech's. I have been sent the customers directly by their piano technicians. Now, keywork is keywork, and it *is* the majority of my income, but I have never done sooooo much "direct" work and I really prefer to deal with the tech. It should be the piano techs sending their customer's stuff. I can't figure out why this is happening all of a sudden. Weird. I've got four "non trade" jobs in less than one week. I can't remember ever having one in the previous ten years! Just strange.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Well, just sometimes things are soooo messed up and out of wack. Sometimes coincidence seems to work in all the wrong ways. And sometimes everything seems to get thrown together all at once so that the world is spinning.

It has been that way this week.

My dad's eye surgery went very well and his doctor is very pleased so far. However, things are just messed up for my Dad. He hasn't been "right" since Monday evening. He has fallen twice, but we understand that risk because of what the "bubble clamp" inside his eye can do to depth perception and balance. But, also, he has been getting very edgy and jittery in the evenings. Then he starts making comments and talking about stuff that doesn't make any sense to the situation. Last night he wanted to know if I had returned the nickel that I borrowed to go shopping. He was looking high and low for a pen he didn't drop. The night before, he woke my mother up about every half hour with some strange comment or request. One time he wanted sugar for his cereal and insisted he had a bowl of cereal next to him in bed. This was in the wee hours of the morning. His eye surgeon changed one of the drops he has to use, hoping that was what was causing the problem. Not yet.

It is very difficult to watch his condition deteriorate so rapidly. My mom gets desperate and turns to me. She woke me up at 5 a.m. the other morning because of how he was behaving. I wish that there was a way I *could* fix it, as she wants. I made some suggestions including calling his doctor, if they could wait the few hours, or if not, calling the ambulance. I just got told I was of no help. So then I was awake and upset.

And to top it off......Monday night there was a message on my parents machine that I am 99% sure was "the" problem person. Those of you who don't know who I mean will have to email me privately as I won't mention that name here. I have traced the number that the call was made from. It is a "spoofed" number. It is a number that is no longer in service, and at one time belonged to a global software corp that has since met it's demise due to massive, multi-million dollars of fraud. Some other phone calls have been happening, too.

Sooo...on top of everything else. On top of being awakened at 5 a.m., of spending the next few hours upset and in tears off and on. On top of all that, I had to truck on up to the police station once again. I was really on edge emotionally, so took a lot of deep breaths and got myself calm enough to go in. I kept my fingers crossed that the officer handling my harassment case would be there and I could get it all done with quickly.

No such luck. He was out on patrol according to the officer at the desk.

Well, how about the court officer? He knows the case and I've talked to him many times before.

No, he's working on an investigation.

Sooooo, my guy is supposed to call or find me while I'm delivering papers. I head out to my truck. After I got in and ready to leave, I started crying again. Why couldn't *anything* go right? Well, I didn't want to be sitting in my truck in front of the station and "in view", in case anyone inside started wondering why I hadn't left yet. So, calming myself again, I wiped off my wet face and I saw "my guy" walking out of the station towards my truck.

I managed to keep calm and we went in to the interview room while I described the phone call and gave him a copy of the tracing and research that I had done. I know that there probably isn't much that can be done. But telling me that at least the phone calls weren't as bad as the emails I had gotten in the past stunned me. Haven't they learned anything?! Don't they understand how it feels to have an unstable person repeatedly harassing and threatening?

Sooo....back to my truck and a few more very brief tears. A big inhale and I have to get on with the day. I am so thankful for Jayne and her friendship, assistance, and support. She is truly the "good" that has come from this mess.

Another totally different upside. The owners of the Kawai organ are coming to pay the balance on Thursday evening and the movers will be here Saturday to take it. Some keywork has started up again and the "questionable" customer from FL has turned out to be legit. Phewww.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Too Much, Today

And I thought today might be a good one. Hah.

First, and the easiest, my daughter was in a snit. I haven't a clue why. She has been super lazy lately and that's one thing that has been driving me crazy. She hasn't been lifting a finger to help out around the house. This is particularly needed now as I try to help with my folks more than normal. I'll be blunt - she's pissing me off. Yes, I know that's not a nice thing to say but, there it is. She isn't even doing her "normal" share of things and I'm really mad about it. Then she wants me to fix her earring for her. Tough, not happening. I don't have the time because I'm having to do everything else while she sits. So now she's mad at me.

My dad evidently had a bad night. First thing out of my mom's mouth this morning. He became confused and disoriented during the night (and a bit just before bedtime when she was putting his eyedrops in for him). Now he is having an even harder time walking. His legs just seem too weak. They had friends visit for the afternoon and everyone wanted to go to "Ellen's" for lunch.
My mom didn't want to have to get my dad into the restaurant and then leave and find a parking spot, so I had the duty of chauffeur. My dad could hardly manage getting into Ellen's with a walker. He had been doing somewhat well with just a cane.....up until the eye surgery. I thought maybe it was his limited vision through his bad eye, but it's more than that.

After company left, my mom and dad had a bout with impatience with each other. Neither listen very well. Dad's a bit deaf and Mom makes assumptions without really listening. Next thing I know, my mom is at my door yelling at me that she can't "handle" him anymore. She gives up. She can't be helping him up and down all the time, etc. Then she leaves my house. Now she's mad at me. I know what she wants me to say. I won't say it.

Yes, this is hard on all of us. *Everyone* needs to help out instead of dumping it all on me.

Soooooooo, always the optimist...........maybe tomorrow will be piles better.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

He, He, He, Happy

It just made me grin and chuckle.

I'm a member of a mailing list for piano technicians. Without getting into the depths of piano repair related detail, a nifty idea was posted about an trick for a repair on spinet pianos. For those of you who aren't familiar with these, they are a pain to have to do repairs on.

Anyway, I replied with a big "Fantastic idea!" and that believe it or not, I was looking forward to the opportunity to try it out.

And I get the response, "You must be one of those RTT's ;-) Really Twisted Tuner. "

(RTT used to stand for Registered Tuner - Technician)

Yep, that's me!