I've decided to slow down for a moment and take the time to relate why I have been remiss, not only in writing here, but in reading other's blogs.
The main reason........
Seems I haven't had more than a couple minutes to sit and relax!
So here goes........
Having finished up the installation of the player piano, a week ago last Monday I finished the Dr.'s reed organ. This is the organ that will be going to Thacher Island come next summer. Not much was needed to get the job completed and by noontime it was done. The afternoon was spent on a totally different kind of project...
Reading the volumes of information for my mother's pending health insurance change!
She doesn't understand it, so it has become my job to find a plan that is best for her. Don't get me going on the disgusting state of health coverage in the US. I could write volumes! So far, in requesting information on only 5 options offered by two companies she has received three large cartons, packed with hundreds of pages each, in the mail. While I started this process over a week ago, it is still ongoing.
The next day a set of keys arrived for new keytops. I had been anxiously awaiting their arrival. This was to be a fun job. The keys were from a child's grand piano. Only 26 keys to cover! A mini-set. It was cute to see them lined up. All right, maybe only in a weird piano tech's mind. Here's what they looked like lined up for packing to be shipped back. I had worked on them all day, after their arrival on Tuesday, as on Wednesday I would be out for the day. Before my Tuesday could be called finished, I did some work for WHOA-KTD. I'm in the process of emailing all the New England high schools about booking Jayne for school presentations. I'm about halfway through the state of Maine schools.
Wednesday was my big day off. Haha. The girls headed out to go shopping. First stop was L.L. Bean for some winter clothes. Amanda found a beautiful blue, down parka. She desperately needed a new winter jacket. I bought a fine wale corduroy shirt. Mom was BAD and spent a lot of money. Well, compared to Amanda and me. She bought a couple pairs of corduroy pants and three new tops, I think. After L.L. Bean it was off to a gift shop in Danvers. I was looking for a birthday gift and hadn't been having much luck finding anything. I had never been to this particular shop, and while it was nice and had piles of cool stuff, I found nothing suitable. Our last stop was Lowe's, a home improvement store for some odds and ends we needed. I can't remember exactly what we went for or whether we bought anything there! Then it was a quick dash home as the Trick-or-Treaters would start arriving.
Greeting kids dressed in costume is not my thing. My Mom kept insisting I come to the door to see how cute or scary each kid was. Amanda hid at our house watching scary movies. Smart move!
Thursday was a challenging day and I, of course, did not have my camera! My Mom and I headed down to the church to put heavy duty dollies on the spinet piano. This would make it possible to roll the piano from room to room. To do this job I would have to stand the piano on end. No problem, I thought, I've done this before, I've moved spinets around and even loaded them in my mini-van. I got everything ready and started to lift. Mom was there to dial 911 if needed (grin). This was a heavy spinet. I got it part way up and decided it just might be a bit heavy for me. I let it back down to the floor. While considering my options, a really fortuitous thing happened...Mr. B appeared. With me lifting and Mr. B adding a bit of weight relief, we got the piano on end. Mr. B. left his phone number (it's written on the bottom of the piano!) to call when I was ready to reverse the process. Mom helped hold each dolly in place as I secured them with screws and bolts. Twenty minutes later, I called Mr. B and we lowered the piano back down, dollies in place.
Only four days along and it felt like four weeks.
Friday I did more work on insurance reading, shipped the little key set, and started working on my own piano. I hope to get the piano in good shape before the Christmas holidays. In the afternoon, the Dr. and his Thacher Island groupies (chuckle) showed up to take the reed organ away. They were fascinated with the piano work I was doing so I showed them a few details and also what the lower workings of the player piano portion looked like. It was at that moment that I was asked to be a member of the groupies! Next summer I get to volunteer on Thacher Island each Wednesday. For starters I'll be shingling the new work shed!
The weekend began with a nor'easter. Yucky, windy and rainy weather. I spent most of the day working on insurance reading. Mom and I went to a local store and I finally found that gift I needed. Later in the evening, at high tide, I took Mom for a ride out Bearskin Neck. It was dark and spooky with the wind howling and the waves crashing. My little truck would shake with each blast from the northeast and surf would crash on the rocks unexpectedly and suddenly visible from the dark. As we drove back Mom noticed something in a shop window. The perfect birthday gift that I had been looking for. But I had all ready bought something else.
What a difference a day makes and Sunday certainly fit the bill. Sunny and bright. After church I walked out the Neck to that little shop where Mom had seen the perfect gift. I bought it. Christmas shopping had begun! Sunday afternoon I finalized my decision on the best insurance for Mom and tried to explain it to her. Now all that is left is the paperwork. I think. I asked that I take a couple days off from thinking about it. She has plenty of time before the paperwork is due.
Is it Monday again so soon? Amanda got called in to work extra hours so this gave extra time to go out on errands for Mom and me. We did some Christmas shopping and picked out upholstery fabric for Mom's rocking chair (the one that came from A's house in NH).
Tuesday rolled around and work continued on my piano. With lots of little things to do, I wrapped the birthday gift and wrote the card, baked peanut butter cookies, cleaned the house, and cleaned up the workshop. I also did some more sorting of Dad's stuff. The keeps, the throw aways, and the sell at garage sale things. What on earth would I ever do with 35 augers? 53 drills the smallest of which is half inch and the largest well over two inches? And the large masonry bits? Sigh...
And finally Wednesday. More of Tuesday's sorting and cleaning, shipped the gift, worked on woodwork for my Mom. Amanda, Mom and I went out for pizza for dinner. After dinner I went out for another exciting evening in town. Remember the gala? Wednesday night the library was hosting a memoir reading. Since I know one of the participants, I decided to attend. The content will be saved for a post all it's own!
Sidebar changes this morning with a new recommended read. I actually read A Thousand Splendid Suns last summer. It deserves a spot in my recommendations. I loved Khaled Hosseini's first book The Kite Runner and was hoping I wouldn't be let down with his second book. Not a chance, far better than the excellence of the first. Look here for details.