Friday, September 28, 2007

Those Were The Days

Here it is, mostly for Little Wing, but I thought the rest of you might enjoy it, too. It's Shirley and Al on Al's "putt-putt". A late 1940's Harley...... in yellow.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Amazing A Maize Maze

Wednesday morning we headed out at around 9:30. Our first stop was Building 19 so that Mom could be sure that there wasn't an oriental rug there that she preferred to the one from Pelletier. We flipped stacks of rugs for about 45 minutes and then headed for Skip's for lunch. Since we had some time I decided to drive the less used (by us) side of the river. So instead of crossing from Haverhill to Groveland, we stayed on the Haverhill side. I had the camera with me and I wanted to stop and take pictures of the llamas at a local farm.

Just before we got to the llama hang out we came across a corn field maze. Guess there's more money in amusing folks than feeding them! It's a small maze but the first that I have seen in person. Since it was 90°F we didn't get "amazed". Maybe another day.

The llamas didn't cooperate for photo shooting but here are a couple that were the closest. There were half a dozen roaming around outside and a couple in the barn. Just managed to catch this one peeking around the corner. Too hot for them, too!

From the maze and the llamas, it was only a 10 minute drive to Skip's. Lori Matthews is in charge. Her mom and dad, Dot and Dave, the owners have semi retired. Lori was working the window and we told her how much we would miss our cheeseburger specials until Spring. I posted a photo of the Skip's sign on my post"Nummmba Foewha" when they opened for the season, so here's a picture of the front of the building. In the days I worked there, the front was "open air" and everyone ate in their car or at picnic tables. Now there is a dining room where people can eat in air conditioned comfort. We don't.

We decided that we needed to head directly home. Amanda had to be to work for 3 p.m. so there would be no stopping along the way.

We thought.

Some things you just have no control over.

Like bridges opening.
This is the Rocks Village bridge across the Merrimack River between the Rocks Village section of Haverhill and West Newbury. Since the river has been cleaned up there is a lot more boat traffic. This time of year people are moving their boats up river to be hauled for the winter. The Rocks Village bridge is a center swing, manpowered turnstile. Four men, two on each arm of the capstan. In the picture you can see the opening. When I took this they had just started to crank it closed.

And here we are waiting for the "stop arm" to be swung back and traffic to move. I took the picture from the driver's seat. Amanda did make it to work on time.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Hey, Hay guys!

On Tuesday we made our trek to Marini's Farm in Ipswich. Not far to drive compared to our normal excursions. There is not much to set Marini's apart from other country farms with roadside stores other than.......Hay People.Yes, we make the half hour (one way) journey each year to see these. And we buy a couple pumpkins. This year we bought some yummy tomatoes, too. Here are some more of the hay family.And the fourth.Here's a picture of Amanda and my Mom being pumpkin heads on the shoulders of one guy. Aside from being the "organizer" of pumpkins so Amanda and Mom could look them over from a distance and then being the carrier of the chosen pumpkins, it was a fun visit. I will say that Amanda and Mom weren't too bad about it. They only chose six to be lined up for judging and then picked two.

After the farm stop, we headed for the Northshore Mall so that I could shop for some dressy slacks and top for the 80th Gala of the Rockport Historical Society. I hate to say it, but it took far too long. TWO HOURS. I despise shopping when I HAVE to find something. And I spent more than I wanted, as well. Amanda bought some jeans and Mom bought socks. On the way home we stopped at Pelletier Rugs. My Mom picked out a nice 5 X 8 oriental for in the den.

We got home around 6 p.m. exhausted. I went down to the workshop for about an hours worth of work and then quit for the day.

Today it'll be work in the morning before leaving for Skip's for lunch. Our last cheeseburger specials for the season. Skip's closes this week and then opens again in late April. I wish we could avoid winter!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Poor Plumbing(er)

I am soooo #%#!!&%# irritated at the plumber that did our addition. If I were a violent person, well..........thankfully we'll never find out.

About a year ago our bathroom sink started draining slowly. Amanda has the bad habit of brushing her long hair over it, doing her makeup over it, and that adds up. No problem, I thought. I'll just pull the trap and clean it out.


I discovered what our plumber had done. The primary reason for a trap is that it traps water thereby preventing sewer gases from entering the house. The secondary purpose is to trap the stuff and gunk that you eventually need to clean out. For that reason traps are simple to remove. Loosen two large "nuts" that hold it in place and voila'.

So why would our plumber "hard plumb" one end of the trap? Yep, glued the joint. No nut. I resorted to chemicals down the drain.

Today I decided it was about time to find out why our shower merely drizzles water. It's possible that the shower head is somewhat obstructed with sediment and needs cleaning. Or maybe we just need a different type. This is a simple job for a homeowner. They sell shower heads of all varieties at home improvement stores. Just unscrew the old head, peel off the used teflon tape on the threads, put on new tape, install new shower head (or cleaned old one).

Unless you've had the plumber from hell.

The idiot screwed the shower head on sooooo far and sooooo tightly that I can't get it to budge. The entire angled pipe coming from the wall wants to unscrew first. I've used every possible tool and clamping device for the pipe that I can come up with. The shower head will NOT unscrew.

Now while it is possible that I may be able to safely unscrew the entire pipe and replace the lot, I was not going to try that a half hour before our local hardware store closed for the day!

This is not supposed to be this difficult! I replaced both shower heads at our house in Florida. One of those had been there since 1949 and even it unscrewed with no problem.

Idiot plumber.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Ability and Lacking

A day or two ago, while my Mom was out working in her front garden, a lady from a ways down the street stopped to say hello and ask how we all were doing. My Mom proceeded to fill her in on our activities including my recent "job" of installing Pergo flooring in her den and hallway. The neighbor looked at my Mom incredulously and rhetorically questioned, "Is there anything that Deb *can't* do?"

Well, there obviously is a lot that I can't do. Especially little things like...


Flying a jet, walking in space, underwater welding, climbing Everest, bronco riding, and bull fighting come to mind.

Yeah, weird list.

So, here are some pictures of the Pergo job at my Mom's house. At the end of the hallway there is a door that joins to my house. And here is a view looking towards the deck where Squirt visits. He still comes a few days each week and several times those days to get peanuts. One more shot of the back wall of the den, next to the hallway and opposite the deck side.

Comments like the one the neighbor, Mrs. F., made and comments from Mary have prompted me to sit down and write my Ten Can't List. Aside from the biggies and the outlandish here are some things I just can't do or having to do keeps me awake at night and sickish.

Public speaking
Playing the piano for an audience (of one or more)
Highway driving in extreme weather conditions or in anticipation thereof
Driving into or through Boston (guess that could be any major city...Tampa doesn't bother me, though)
Heights (I'm good for about one story, then it's iffy. But I love ferris wheels)
Taking tests


Copper plumbing (my soldering would need loads of practice)
Major electrical (I can do minor things like new plugs and lamp wiring)
Automotive work (add to that lawn mowers, they're yucky and greasy and gasoline can go boom)
Operating a chainsaw

No need to remind me of the multitude of other can'ts.

Some of these things I really wish I could do. All right, most I wish I could do. I have decided that I shall not learn or unnecessarily force any of the above upon myself.

I'll add that in order to do the Pergo job for my Mom, I had to use a table saw. This is one of my least favorite power tools but I can make myself use one.

P.S. See that little oak bench used as a coffee table in front of the sofa? I made that, too! My Mom asked for one for Christmas a few years ago.

Just had to include this for the fun of it. Credit to D. Fandrich for the photo.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Nothing Fancy :-(

Just felt the need to "report in". Been busy. Really busy. Work, work, work. On keys (two sets shipped out yesterday), on the reed organ (working on some veneer repairs), and yep folks, working for my Mom (volunteer work).

Would someone please buy me a roll of duct tape for my mouth?

That way I would quit volunteering to do stuff.

On and off over the past week I've ripped up the wall-to-wall carpeting and the padding and the tack strips in her den and hallway. I had to remove all the baseboards to do this. I'm installing the Pergo flooring. It's now mostly done with only one last intricate corner board that also spans three doorways! Oh yeah, she wants the linen closet floor done, too, but that will be a cinch.

Today we hauled all the carpet and stuff to the dump and had to buy a $5 coupon at the DPW office to get rid of the debris.

My workshop looks like it snowed beige dust from all the sawing! What a mess to clean up.

I ache. My back, my wrists, my ankles, my legs, even the palms of my hands. My right elbow is the worst. I've had a lot of tunings mixed in between hammering and prying and driving "snap" joints together.

The floor is looking good, though!

I'll take pics when I have the energy.

More blogging to come later this week...even a Lanesville post!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Charity Case

I hate asking anyone for a favor. I have to be in dire need. I have learned over the past 15 years of being single (and only parent 24/7) that sometimes I just have to grit my teeth and ask for help with something. I pay back the favor, in turn, as soon as I can...or if it is someone that will accept nothing in return, I try to do an extra for another person. Passing along the good stuff about caring for one another (how sappy).

The past week's mail has been quite charitable. Oh yes, the normal bills and junk mail but... this arrived on Saturday while we were on our northern excursion. Enclosed with the invite was this note from the president. I guess they are appreciative of the reed organ rebuild that I donated to the historical society!

If I had received only the invitation, I would have probably paid the $20 and called it "advertising" by keeping my presence "out there" visible. I called and graciously accepted the special invite...thank you very much Sandy Bay Historical Society!

Monday's mail came as an enormous mound of envelopes. Oh drat, I thought, more bills. Amazingly there was not one bill. The bank statements (two for each of us), some catalogs, junk mail, and this... My mom got one, too. Ellen's has frequent diner cards. After filling them in (several meals to fill them) you gain points earning an amount off your following meal. Then you turn in the card (plural if you eat there a lot) and there is a drawing in the Fall. Biggest prize is $100 gift certificate. Several other lesser amounts are awarded ($50, $25). Seems we didn't win at all this year but they know we eat there a lot and were generous.

I'm feeling like a charity case!

Now, anyone feel like paying off a mortgage? No? How about a little Toyota Tacoma with only 14 payments left?

Guess no takers (giggle).

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Well, well, I must truly be a glutton for punishment. Ya see, I hate highway driving and I hate it even more when downpours are expected. No, make that absolutely dread the downpours. So what did I offer? Why to travel back to Intervale for a day trip on Saturday.

The initial weather forecast was for a sunny day with a chance of showers in the evening. This would be all right as I was planning on getting home before dark anyway. By the night before our departure the forecast had changed. Huge thunderstorms a possibility between 4 and 7 p.m. They would be moving in from the north northwest. Oh splendid. Now I need to get back home before all that. Or at least to familiar territory.

I didn't sleep well Friday night and was awake before the alarm went off at 5 a.m. We were leaving at 6 for the three hour drive. Yes, I was a wreck about the weather.

And just why were we making the trip? Remember that A sold his house in Intervale? He hurt his back last week and is trying to recuperate before his trip to Germany at the end of the month. He has ALL his stuff still in the Intervale house. We asked how he was arranging to get it back to Rockport. A didn't want to have to worry about it. He said that the new owners had told him he could just leave everything there if he wanted to. They'd take care of it, use it, whatever.

Uh huh.

No way. These people got an extremely good deal on the house and now they offer to take his stuff "off his hands". This means the paintings, furniture, china, silver, tools, grand piano, and more.

Sooooooo, I offered to make the trip, load as much of his personal belongings as possible and get them back to Rockport. Mostly the paintings (his, his deceased wife's, his father's, grandfather's, and his wife's father's) and a bit of small furnishings, tools, the silver, china, some linens, personal papers and photos, and a gorgeous ship model.

A was thrilled that we would do this and told us to bring back anything that we wanted for ourselves! Well, that would be impossible as we would need to add on to our house to have enough space for all the things we admired!

We left at 6 a.m. and made a pit stop in Newburyport 45 minutes later. Coffee from Dunkin' Donuts! Then it was on the road north with me keeping an eye on the sky. Things were looking good. Very little traffic and only patchy high clouds and some blue sky. Until we got to the Tamworth area and the sun went away. I noticed that the clouds were getting a bit of cumulus build-up. Oh yuck. It stayed cloudy all the way to Intervale (we take West Side Road to avoid traffic near the outlet shops). This map shows a big X where A's house is located. You can also find other interesting places including "Scarecrows" where we ate dinner last time and "Glen Junction" our favorite breakfast and lunch spot. Click on the maps to enlarge them. Amanda requested lunch at the Junction, this trip, so we called it her Choo Choo Chow.

We arrived at A's just before 9 a.m. and immediately got to work. We started upstairs before the day got too hot. Temperature's were supposed to be in the 90'sF. I hauled most of the paintings down the stairs and a rocker and two old footstools while my mother and Amanda packed up some linens, clothing, books, and glassware. We started stacking everything in the middle of the living room floor. Next we walked around downstairs selecting the best of the artwork from those rooms and packed up the ship model, china, silver, and more linens. I found an accordion A had mentioned and a recorder. He had also mentioned bringing back two small tables. Amanda and I climbed the steep stairs to the studio loft and found art portfolios and a nice oak straight chair. We had quite a "pile" and decided that it was the end of the "first choices". Time to load everything in the van and see if we had any room for "second choices".

First I loaded the furniture. The rocker, the straight chair, two stools and two little tables. On table is a very small gate-leg, the other a drop leaf. Then came the boxes with linens, the accordion, and the china. After the big and heavy things were loaded, I started standing the art work, one after the other across the back end of the van. On top of the heavy boxes I stacked a carton of smaller paintings and the carton with personal photos and the ship model. There was only a bit of room left. Just enough for a few hand tools, a couple more paintings, and a hall mirror that I really liked. We decided to check the cellar to see if there were any more tools to bring to A. Nothing much was left down there other than an enormous table saw. Impossible for us to transport!

We were loaded up and ready to roll! It was only 11:30 a.m.

Off to Glen Junction for Choo Choo Chow!

We were done with our lunch around 12:15 and hit the road for home. It felt good to be heading back. Still no rain in sight but I had this feeling that it wasn't far away. The sky had THAT look and the leaves on the trees were blowing showing their silvery undersides. I said that we would drive until we reached Newburyport and then we could get out to stretch legs and straighten aching backs. I could handle driving the back roads from Newburyport to home in the rain. The van could probably do the trip without me steering....yep, it's made it many, many times.

Then we changed plans. Instead of continuing on Rte 16/Spaulding Turnpike we decided to get off on Rte 125 in Rochester, NH. It made for a more interesting drive. It was so much nicer being on a two lane road rather than highway. The downside was that it added an extra half hour to the already long trip. Then we couldn't agree on a suitable"stretch stop". Since I was doing all the driving, I made the choice of NO STOPPING.

A very poor choice.

My butt really hurt. I'd been stuck in the same position for 3.5 hours in a van seat that is too deep for my legs. By the last half hour every bump in the road hurt.

We pulled in the driveway at about 4 p.m. I could barely straighten up when I got out of the van. We walked around for a bit and decided that we needed dinner, so guess what? Back in the van to drive to Friendly's. By the time we finished eating, it had started to sprinkle. By the time we got back in the house it was pouring, thundering and lightening. I was very glad to be home.

footnote: A was thrilled that we had manged to bring back so much of his stuff. Along with the furniture and other stuff, we brought over 50 paintings, numerous unframed watercolors, and several sketchbooks. From that Mom chose the rocker and a footstool and four paintings (two by A, two by A's father-in-law), Amanda wanted the "gothic"style straight backed chair, and I chose the gate-legged table, the hall mirror, and 3 paintings (by A's father-in-law, A's wife, and A's grandfather) and a signed lithograph. And we all ready own several of A's and his wife's paintings.

A kept wanting us to take more.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

New Toys

Well, I went to Sears and picked up my new sander. Like any new toy I had to get it out of the box and set up. Some assembly required. I'm not as pleased with it as I am my older bench sander. They just don't make them like they used to. Literally. It will, however, suffice as a back-up and if needed to become the primary machine, will function well with a couple easy modifications.

While I was downstairs with the camera I decided to take some shots of the workshop. It all looks so confusing in these photos. Not really. It's also not as cleaned up as it was a couple days ago. I've been working on the upstairs woodwork, and the player, and the reed organ, and now two more sets of keys. This shot is of the "front" side of the shop where I do most of the key work. You can see the stairs that lead down from my kitchen in the back. This next one is the "back" side where I do most of the player piano and reed organ work. This last photo came out very strangely color-wise. There is no good explanation for this. This end of the shop is still getting organized. This was part of my Dad's half. Still to come is "his" other half where at present we are storing all the stuff for a late Spring yard sale.


Another new toy. This time for you. As part of the upgraded Blogger, it's easy to add new page elements. So over time I'll be doing that. For now the new toy in the sidebar is a short list of blogs that I regularly read. If you haven't seen some of them, check them out. I'll be adding more eventually, but for now I listed the ones that I have been reading for quite some time.

Also, as promised for those of you that do not have an email address for me already on file. If you go to my profile page you will see a link for email. This address is checked only a couple times per week and is only for folks who have no other way to get in touch with me. It's just part of the anonymity of the Internet!


Speaking of email, Internet, and just weird stuff. Some of you who have been reading here since the beginning will know how much I hate coincidence, yet have a fascination with it. Well, here I go again.

First thing yesterday morning I received a "junk" email on my business email account. Not spam. One of those fwd, fwd,fwd, sorts from someone I know. A piano tech that I do business with. The subject line was something to do with "as seen on a couple morning TV shows". I simply deleted the message, never bothering to open it. The reasoning was, first this tech would only be getting in touch about key work - nothing else, secondly multi-forwarded stuff is usually junk urban legend stuff. Okay so far. I finished reading my other email, digests, and checked in on a couple bloggers, then went downstairs for coffee. About a half hour after I got downstairs the phone rang. I have caller I.D. (so don't mess with me!) It was the same tech that the junk email had just come from. Weird. I picked up the phone expecting to hear him apologize for having inadvertently sent the message, or that some mass email address harvesting bug had gotten to his email account address book or the like.

Nope. Never a mention. He needed key work done.

Very weird.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Off, Running, and I Must Be Nuts

Is it still Wednesday? Yikes. Well, today was supposed to be sort of a day off. Amanda didn't work, of course Mom is retired, and that leaves me. I'll work any day. I like to work. this morning, shocker of shockers, Amanda decided to walk with me down to the Whistlestop Mall for the newspaper. After that I went to work frantically on a set of keys, to get them to a drying time so that I didn't feel so bad about taking the rest of the day off. Once I reached that point, I got changed and got the gang headed for the car.

Our first stop was at the "big" Home Depot. My Mom has decided to remove all the wall-to-wall carpeting in the den and the hallway and replace it with Pergo flooring to match the rest of the house. The "little" Home Depot near the mall didn't have any in stock (we had checked on the weekend). "Big" HD had it but we had to wait for the forklift guy to get back from lunch to get a new pallet-full down from the top rack. We needed 17 cases. And underlayment. My time off just created more work for me. Installing flooring for my Mom. This stuff is heavy by the case. Fortunately, my Mom's van has an automatic load weight compensator! Really! I loaded 13 cases in the back of the van and another 4 at Amanda's feet, mid van. On my way back from returning the big, flat cart, I took a look at the van. Sorta low in the back and we had a pile more miles and errands to do. I started up the engine to leave and heard the compensator purring away.

An easy couple of miles down Rte. 114 and we made our next stop. Lowes. A Home Depot competitor. Mom had purchased an area rug for the den a couple days ago. She really liked it. It did look nice. Only problem was it was too big. So back it went to exchange it for a smaller size. She had bought a 5 X 8 and needed something along the size of 4 X 6.

They don't make it that size.

Looked once again at the van as we headed out of the store. Gotta love that compensator. Didn't look like there was anything weighty at all in the van. On to the next stop.

Target. For Amanda. As I was looking down to put the keys in my purse, I noticed a dark spot on my gray shirt. Hmmm, not too noticeable. I mentioned it to Amanda and then she said, "You've got a lot more down near the bottom in the middle." I looked. Oh crap. Grease marks all over my shirt. Must of come off of the handle of the big, flat cart. While Amanda was looking at CD's I went and bought a new shirt. A reasonable purchase at $7.99! I headed for the restroom to change. Off to the next stop, skipping the store I needed to go to, sort of, maybe. And that's why we didn't make the stop.

On Saturday I had gone to Sears and ordered a new bench sander. 2 X 42 belt and 8 inch disk combo. The one that I use for keytop work still runs fine, but this is the only machine that I do not have at least one duplicate of. Since keytop work is the major income generating part of my business, I like to be prepared and equipped with a secondary machine if the primary should fail for any reason. Anyway, the new sander was supposed to be in today. They would call and let me know. We left the house around 11:30 and I had not heard anything, so I decided not to waste time waiting in line only to find out that it was not there yet.

So we hauled our lightweight selves with our packed heavy van up the highway from Danvers to the Newburyport exit and then hit the back roads to Merrimac and Skip's for a late lunch. I kidded my Mom about going across the Rock's Village bridge with such a heavy load. It's a steel, swing bridge but the "pavement" is wood covered with macadam. Every here and there the macadam is missing and you get to bump down on to the wood planking.

It truly is safe. I think.

The cheeseburger specials were as good as always, but the news was disappointing at Skip's. They are closing for the season on September 30th. Two weeks earlier than usual. Drat. I was planning on taking a friend there when he visits in October. Maybe we'll have to just do a drive-by. I am NOT happy they are closing early. NOT. Screws up my plans.

Well, headed home the non-highway way. I'll be doing enough highway driving again this Saturday. Got home and had the not so pleasant chore of carrying the 17 cases of Pergo up the front walk, up the front steps, and making three piles of them in the house. Amanda helped with the hauling which was great.

Tired as I was, I still had to go work on the keys. Got the new tops glued on and quit for the evening at 7 p.m. Returned a couple phone calls to customers and crashed in front of the TV. Oh yeah, there was a message waiting form Sears. The sander is in! The phone rang three more times and the people left messages but they'll wait until morning. All job stuff. Even one from a lady in Montana wanting to know if I could refer her to someone to rebuild their reed organ!

Back to Sears tomorrow.

Now I just have to survive Saturday's excursion.

Back to Intervale!

For the day!

To play household mover.

Remember A's house had sold? Well, the new folks said that if he didn't want to bother moving his stuff out, that he could leave it. NO WAY. There are things that he shouldn't just give to them. To strangers. Family paintings and such. They were (are) all artists. Anyway, A isn't feeling well and can't get up there so we volunteered to haul as much of his stuff as we can fit in the van back to Rockport for him. The paintings, some small furniture, linens and clothing, some dishes, and few odds and ends.

3 hours driving there, pack the van, quick lunch, pack some more, leave by 4 p.m. or so, 3 hours driving back and home before dark.

I'll take the camera!

If I'm not nuts now, I'll be crazy by Saturday night.

And one final update. Ronnie's mascot finally fell. I got the word a few days ago.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Fingers Crossed see you soon!

I'm going to update my blogger account. I've been postponing this for weeks. I hate sending major changes drifting through cyberspace hoping that they will survive the trip and be recognizable at the end of the journey.

Sometimes I'm so in the fog about this stuff....

Crossing my fingers!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Morning, Noon and Night

When I woke up this morning I really felt as if I was coming down with something serious. I felt lousy. As tired as when I went to bed last night, headache-y, run down, yucky, cold sweat, shaky, you name it. BLAH. I kept it to myself. What's the worst that could have happened? I could have felt even worse, in which case I'd have had to 'fess-up and gone to take a nap, or I'd eventually feel better.

Ate my usual two slices of toast, but without the apple jelly. I was saving my sweet intake for later. Downed a cup of coffee, black. Squirt showed up for walnuts so I fed him. He takes the half shells up on to a lounger to eat. Squirt is not nearly as pushy as Squeaky. He just looks in the window pleadingly. Yah, I know.

I walked to Rite-Aid (formerly Brooks - formerly Sandy Bay Apothecary, anybody else remember those days?) and bought the morning paper. A waste of 50 cents.

Got home and took the recyclables to the dump. Amanda went with me for the ride. We checked out the Swap Shop but there weren't any good finds. Rummaging in the scrap metal pile is no longer allowed. NOT FAIR. What if I see something that I can use? Ran into a former newspaper customer of Amanda's and he asked "how's my sweetheart?" I think he and his wife would adopt her! Where were they 10 years ago when that would have sounded ideal?

After the dump Amanda had to tackle a massive bedroom cleanup. It's amazing how she can accumulate so much crud. Oh sorry, I guess the stuff is valuable to her. I went downstairs to the workshop to pick up and clean there. I was interrupted only three times by my Mom who wanted to stain the front of the house. She has "her" projects but they require the assistance of others, namely me. So got the ladder up for her, found the gallon of stain she bought, trimmed the shrub that was in the way of the ladder (it has died and needs to be dug out....another day.....sigh).

The workshop is looking really good. I should get around to posting some pictures of it!

Oh yeah, while I was hauling stuff up the bulkhead stairs for my Mom, I decided I might as well get some other heavy work done, just to make myself feel really rotten. I carried up the pump unit to the Smith American reed organ and got it installed. Phew.

By then it was lunchtime. Amanda had decided to sit out on the deck in the sun. The end of summer comes around and she panics about looking too pale. I made a peanut butter sandwich and grabbed a handful of potato chips (crisps far east) and joined her on the deck. I sat under the umbrella. Sunshine and peanut butter aren't a favorite combo. After finishing lunch, it sounded soothing to have the hot sun on my aching back and shoulders so I sprawled on the lounger for about 15 minutes. Break time was over too soon. Back to work.

I was hoping to get Amanda's room primed and painted before putting up all the stained trimwork. No such luck. I've been storing all the finished trimwork down in the workshop and worrying that extended storage in the work area would result in it getting damaged. I made a goal of each time that I went upstairs, I would measure for at least one section of trim in Amanda's room. This afternoon I made a huge dent in the job and have cut and installed about half the trim. When it comes to time to prime and paint I'll have to mask all the woodwork, but, oh well.

So there I was at 3 p.m. feeling much better. I don't know why. Maybe it was the peanut butter LOL. It's a good thing I felt better as I had made a big promise to my Mom and Amanda about what I'd cook for dinner.

When I was growing up, my Dad always called them English Pancakes. Now that they are popular, most of the world refers to them as Crepes. Sometimes my Dad called them Crepes Suzettes, but I think he was just trying to be fancy. When I was a kid, all my friends wanted to have dinner at our house if my Dad was making English Pancakes. What kid wouldn't want paper-thin pancakes rolled up with butter and sugar inside for dinner??

This was Dad's specialty and he had learned to make them from his mother. He said that they never rolled them up when he was a kid. His mother would layer them on a plate, with butter and sugar, and keep the stack warm in the oven until she had made enough. Then she would cut the stack into servings like you would a cake. Anyway, my Mom NEVER tried to make them. It was only my Dad at the skillet.

But I watched. And every once in a while I'd ask a question. My Dad asked if I wanted him to teach me how to do it. I declined his offer. As an adult, the only time my Dad would make them is if I asked. And later, as he got older and less patient, he'd only make them for my birthday.

Little did he know.....

I had learned.

About 10 years ago I started trying to make them. There is a definite knack to it. It took me a few tries before I had a method down. First the batter has to be just right. It has to flow through fork tines at the correct rate and with the correct look. Then there's the skillet temperature - fairly hot. And finally the quick swirl of the batter in the skillet and the "pour-off" to achieve the perfect round shape and the exact thinness.

So, tonight, after a 5 year lapse in practice, I made English Pancakes. Yummy.

But after 3 or 4 you feel like you've swallowed a cannonball.