Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Rain and Shine

A double post.

The first.

A Questionable Decision............

'A' has lost so much weight that she really needed a new winter jacket. She tried on her jacket, new last year, to discover that I could fit in it with her! It looked a bit silly (even without me in it with her) and she decided that no matter what the weather brought she would not be wearing it. Of course with the temps hovering around 30°F, wearing a lightweight jacket instead wasn't a good thing. She didn't have many days off work that coincided with my time off, so I promised that we would go to the mall on Tuesday morning before she had to be at work.

Rain, wind, and localized flooding had been predicted, but the weather reported to expect the worst of it in the afternoon. I thought we would be fine with a thirty minute one way, trip to the mall. I should have known better as we left the island. No sooner had we crossed the 'big' bridge than I spotted flashing blue lights ahead. A car had spun out of control and was resting against the right side guard rail, facing the wrong direction. We had to edge out in the passing lane to get around the scene.

Still I drove on. Idiot, but driving wasn't bad at that point. We were taking it easy. Staying very close to or just a hair below the speed limit. Most drivers were doing the same, yet there were the occasional fools that came flying by. I would think hydroplaning at 65 mph+. No mind, I was being cautious. About twenty minutes down the road and our world got very dark. I was hoping that it was a momentary downpour. The rain was blowing horizontally driven by the predicted 35 mph gusts of wind. Traffic slowed to 40 mph. I told 'A' that if things didn't improve shortly I'd be using the next exit to turn around and go back home.

The Grapevine Road exit came and went. The rain had subsided a little and I could deal with the gusty winds. On we drove to the Northshore Mall. I parked as close as possible to the Sears door and 'A' and I made a drenching dash for the door. Once inside, we checked out the winter jackets. The Land's End jackets were on sale for 30% off and we each bought one. After Sears we headed for the Liberty Tree Mall down the street. 'A' had seen a shirt she liked on a previous visit to Kohls and she had decided to go back and try it on.

The dash from our parking space to Kohls was a repeat of the previous soaking. Once inside 'A' checked out the handbag department (her's is on it's last legs) and then gathered an armful of jerseys to try on.

Just as there was a thunderous boom from overhead. Then another. Then quiet.

A couple minutes passed and the raucous started again. Sounded like giants tossing 55 gallon drums around on the roof. No one else seemed to notice. Spooky. I told 'A' to hurry up with her choices. I wanted out of there. I couldn't tell what the weather was like outside, but it must have gotten far worse and possibly loosened or damaged some of the heating/cooling/ventilation system on the roof. I was dreading the half hour drive back home.

After another soaking getting back to my truck and a quick phone call home to tell my mom we were on our way, we headed out of the parking lot wondering what would lie between Danvers and Rockport. The first item came a short 5 minutes into our trip. A large tree limb was across our lane of two lane Conant Street. We were halfway up a hill, behind a 'lead' car, when that car swerved into the oncoming lane to avoid the limb. I had to stop because of oncoming traffic. While I was waiting for a break in traffic, the guy driving the first car pulled in to a driveway and headed back to move the limb. A couple miles further and we were driving a slalom course around trash cans and recycle bins scooting and rolling back and forth across the road. That morning had been trash pick up in Danvers.

What a relief I thought it would be once we could get on the highway and drive a steady, but cautious, 55 mph! That is until I found it necessary to keep and eye to the edge of the road and overhanging trees. Fortunately a Mass Highway Department truck had stopped with it's lights flashing to warn motorists of the overhead danger at one spot. But what about the rest of those trees?

Once we arrived home safely from our shopping adventure, I turned on the weather report. They had changed their story! The worst had been in the morning hours and it would taper off in the afternoon. Nearby Marblehead had recorded winds of 65 mph and there were numerous trees uprooted. A home in Salisbury, to our north, had lost a portion of it's roof. Not just the shingles, the rafters and all! On Plum Island, again north, an older home teetered on the brink of a sand dune, it's foundation undermined by the relentless high surf. Today it was declared a total loss and demolished. Winds had been sustained around 70 mph in the area.

No wonder things had been loose on the roof of the mall!
The second part.

Today the Brain Was In Gear..........

On today's bright and sunny morning, I headed to ESP (formerly Mailboxes) to get some signage for the next craft fair display laminated. As I got to the end of our street I noticed that a neighbor was having some tree work done. After having a bit of time to think about it by the time I drove back home, I realized that the 'tree work' was actually the 'harvesting' of Rockport's Christmas tree for Dock Square. I got to the house, ran in with my signs, grabbed my camera, and headed out at a brisk pace back to the end of the street. It's amazing how they extricated this huge tree from behind a garage and then transported it down Main Street and Broadway to be erected in Dock Square. Ace (Smith) Hardware supplied the flat bed truck equipped with a crane. Of course a police escort was needed and one of our fave cops, RL, drove the cruiser. After I dropped 'A' off at work this afternoon, I drove through town to have a look at the tree. I think it is the nicest we have had for many years for our Christmas tree. Thank you, DG down the street, for donating such a stunning tree to be a focal point in our annual Christmas celebrations!

Once it is decorated, I'll share some more photos.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I Faired

I enjoyed the Rockport PTO Holiday Fair.During a slow moment - 50 vendors in the gymnasium
At last, something that has been well advertised and is well attended! I loved having the set-up the evening before. When I got up at 7 a.m. this morning knowing that it was around 22°F outside and the wind was blowing and I had a sinus headache because of the relatively low humidity (even with a humidifier running) in the house, I was verrrry glad I had done my basic set-up the night before. About half the people waited to set up this morning. As I was sitting warm and snuggled sipping my morning coffee and watching the news, I thought of them up there at the school bright and early and freezing cold. I left the house at 8 a.m. Plenty early enough for the 9:30 opening time. I had more than enough time to put out my paintings and necklaces. It was nice not to have to rush with it. My mom came around 9:30 and stayed for a couple hours. I sent her home to get her lunch and to get my camera. (Dickiebo always wants pictures) I took the pictures during a lunchtime lull. Have I mentioned that I'm just a tad worn out? Well, I sold 10 small necklaces and one large one. No mini paintings or 5 X 7s this time. So, tired or not, I came home and got back to work painting necklaces! Another sale on Dec. 13th and they take time to dry!

Tomorrow I have to open AND close the candy factory store AND work the day by myself!
Shouldn't be too busy, it's still freezing cold and blowing a gale. Tomorrow we are supposed to lose the wind but keep the cold.

Off now to make my dinner - chicken, mashed potatoes and broccoli. Yummmmmmmm.

Ed. note: An enormous thank you to 'E down the street' for telling me about this wonderful fair!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Four Feet Is Short

Four feet is short for an adult. Four feet is short for a piano. And four feet is definitely short for display area at a craft fair.

Tomorrow is the Rockport PTO Holiday Fair. I'll be there. All four foot's worth that I have been allowed. I haven't managed a refund of half my table fee yet. I mean, after all, I'm only getting half the size so I should only be paying half the fee. Actually, that is the deal. I just haven't been able to get the fee person to see the logic of keeping my check for the entire amount and giving me half back out of the pile of cash she had with her during tonight's set-up time. Sigh. Some things are too simple and logical to ever make sense to some. So I guess the plan (her plan) is to give me my original check back and then I am to pay the half fee. Okieeeee, dokieeeeee.

I'll be finishing my set-up early in the morning. My scrunched display. 24 painted necklaces, 3 ivory and ebony necklaces, 20 easel minis and some for later filling (I'm trying to be optimistic) and only two of the 5 X 7 framed paintings. I'll have all the paintings with me, just not able to put many out. The Fair runs from 9:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.

See you there.

I'm already tired and I haven't started!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Another Gone Forever

What a waste. The old Haskin's Block has been torn down to make room for the new performance center. Rockport Chamber Music Festival, which is now named just Rockport Music, I believe. The only folks that seem to be totally pleased with this 'progress' are those directly benefiting - Rockport Music. The neighbors have been unhappy about the newest proposed, enlarged version from the onset. I had opportunity to speak with some residents of Portsmouth, NH who were aghast with the idea of little Rockport having a large performance venue. They said that bigger Portsmouth had tried the same thing a few years back and had seen it's failure. More use specific buildings left vacate.

So we have been told that this is progress. That it will be wonderful for Rockport. Established local businesses will thrive because of it. Rockport will become a year-round destination.

It wasn't too long ago that we heard the same promises about another major change for the town.
That didn't happen, why should this?

Anyway, progress.Better known as: it's too late now.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Having All My Santas In a Row

Hand-poured chocolate Santas at Tuck's Candy Factory

While busy working as a piano technician and keeping up with my two days working at Tuck's Candy Factory, I have also made time to keep up with painting necklaces. As you know, I had tried to reserve a table at the PTO (school) Holiday Fair only to be put on a waiting list. Just in case that fell through, I reserved a table at the Rockport United Methodist Church Holiday Bazaar. So, I made sure that I had enough inventory and good displays anticipating (hoping for) a good turnout and good sales at the church fair.

The time has rapidly approached for the PTO Fair (this upcoming Saturday) and I resolved myself to saying that I would call the woman in charge today and inquire about my status. I was particularly peeved when reading the newspaper this past week and had discovered that another vendor had purchased a table at the PTO Fair well after I had requested one and been denied. I stewed about it for a couple hours and decided that I would make the call today, remain pleasant, and accept that living in a small town meant having the correct last name to be included in some things. Preferential treatment goes with name and with degree of native-ness. My ancestors aren't from Rockport. I wasn't even born here. There's no changing that and thus I shall never 'be one' with Rockport.

At 8:40 p.m. last night my phone rang. I went to check the caller i.d. Who on earth would be calling me that late on a Sunday evening?

The women in charge of the PTO Holiday Fair!

I grabbed the phone. She was calling to ask if I would be interested in renting half a table. She was trying to get as many people included as possible. She had heard wonderful things about my work. (Well, she DID say that. Of course she probably is saying that to everyone. I'm choosing to believe that she actually has heard it about my stuff! [grin])

So I'll be at the PTO Fair! A scrunched version of my total display that I'll have to sort out at set-up time on Friday evening. This week I'll be working on a rush order of key bushings and painting more ivories. Just in case the necklaces sell well I'll need more for the church fair.

I'm tired already. I need a chocolate army's worth of help!
The big guys - Tuck's hand-poured chocolate Santas

Friday, November 14, 2008

Art Update

Just letting y'all know that there is a new painting. You can see it as it cycles through the Cellar Studio grouping in the sidebar or go to my flickr page. "Motif in Autumn"

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thoughts on the Approaching Days

Handmade candy canes at Tuck's Candy Factory

Yeah. The holidays. Used to be my favorite time of year. When we lived in Florida, I would take the entire week from Thanksgiving Thursday until the next to decorate our house. Inside and out. The weather was usually fair enough that decorating outside was a pleasure. I'd light up everything I could. The house was trimmed including windows and doors. The shrubbery was lit and the front walk illuminated. Even the two Canary Island palms in our front yard had spirals of lights up their trunks and three layers of palm fronds delicately sported multi-colored mini-lights. One year I made two huge flamingos that wore wreath necklaces and held a 'Happy Holidays' banner between them. Inside was our 7 foot Christmas tree, a handmade creche, antique decorations, and sparkly table pieces.

Here it's different. It's too cold to do much outside. We usually decorate the two window boxes with greens and berries. The door gets a wreath. We have our big tree in my mom's living room and a small feather tree in mine. There are some special decorations that get displayed but most of mine stay stored in an old steamer trunk. My mom insists that the cold and snow makes it seem more like Christmas. I find the anticipation of a long, white winter depressing.

Something else has been annoying about THE holiday for a couple years now. We have always written lists for 'Santa'. No one gets everything on their list, but it gives the others ideas for gifts. For the past couple years my mom has dominated the lists. No consultation. She chooses items to buy and give, generally leaving 'the dregs' for the rest of us to pick through to find something. I think that's why she starts her shopping sooooo early. This year I suggested that we limit our purchasing. There's not much any of us 'girls' need. Maybe just a few items apiece. Everyone has had a difficult time writing meaningful lists. 'A' is always last to write hers, so I did a little thinking and came up with a couple items. I made the mistake of mentioning them to my mom. The other evening I found out she had bought both gifts. It's a good thing she asked me what I was planning on buying 'A'! When I told her what my major gift would be she informed me that she had already bought it. She hadn't planned on telling me! Well, that would have been quite a surprise Christmas morning. 'A' went shopping with her the other day and came home complaining about the same situation.

Next year there will be two different lists. One from each for mom/grandma and we'll exchange different lists between 'A' and me.

I've also been running an unofficial experiment. Mom is frequently at us about leaving stuff around. If I forget my coffee mug in her den after breakfast she is sure to remark on my negligence. Well, two days ago one of mom's jackets appeared hanging over the back of my kitchen chair. She walks past it each time she heads for the cellar...laundry, trash, recycling, or to talk to me while I'm working. I'm determined not to move it. We'll see how long it stays there......out of place!

Today, I went down to Cracker Jacks (boasts being Rockport's little department store - somewhat an exaggeration - but it is quite amazing what you can find there) to buy a gift box. I saw some really nice Christmas cards so I bought them, too. I'd already finished writing out all my cards for this year. Finished that two nights ago. I already had enough cards for next year, but I liked these I saw today. So, now I'm all set for the next two years! I've done some shopping, more to go. I know what we need to buy for my mom and yes, 'A' is now the problem. I'll have to start nagging her for a list for me since mom, well, you know.

Plans for the other holiday, Thanksgiving, are all made. No cooking for me! After last year's dining out disaster, we are trying for dining out success. This year we are going to a buffet at the Village Green. At least we'll be able to pick and choose our meals rather than the' eat what's on your plate whether you like it or not because it cost a small fortune' approach.

I think this Christmas dinner will be a quiet one. I've promised to make 'Cito's Special" for dinner since last Christmas and 'A' has patiently waited. Looks like she'll get it for Christmas dinner this year. I'll teach her how to make it at the same time! 'Cito's Special' is named after the manager of the Toronto Blue Jays. Actually, it was his wife that made it for my mom and dad when my mom was recuperating from back surgery. It's a chicken, mushroom and poppyseed casserole. It takes all afternoon to make it.

Hopefully after a little work in the morning, 'A' and I will go do some Christmas shopping before she has to go to work. That is, IF she goes to work. She's got a sore throat.

What next?

Monday, November 10, 2008

SOY, PRO, EOD, and now HH

Since we moved back to Rockport in the summer of 2002, we have occasionally seen the signs around town. The first was during near blizzard conditions. Why are there signs that say SOY all around town we wondered? Ohhhhhhh, we finally got it. They were filming the movie "Stuck On You"!

Not a big hit but we went to see it and we have the movie posters. Two of them.

Then, of course, came PRO, "The Proposal". Might be a good one as it has some big name stars. "The Love Letter", that was filmed before we moved back had some big stars, too. Again, not a box office biggie. Nor was "Home for the Holidays" (I think that was the name). Nor "The Good Son" with Elijah Wood.

The last one was "Edge of Darkness", EOD, starring Mel Gibson. Now that might do well and I think we'll actually pay to see that on the big screen.

Our most recent is being filmed in town over the next few weeks. It's called "Hatteras Hotel" and stars Wade Williams. Evidently Mr. Williams is best know for his role on the TV show "Prison Break". I haven't seen it. They'll be filming tomorrow at the (new) police station and in town at the old station. T-Wharf will be featured and a lot of the movie is being shot at the Emerson Inn.

Maybe I'll be in the movie! Yesterday afternoon a guy was taking some major photos with some major high-end equipment down in Dock Square. He was shooting the front of the candy factory and some of the window display that we have there. Sooooo.....if you see the lady behind the counter wearing the black zippered sweatshirt with the tartan plaid turtleneck jersey's ME!!!.

Or maybe it was just some rich, touristy type taking photographs.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Cemetery Days

On Friday we headed down to Cape Cod. We wanted to go to the cemetery in Bourne, to my aunt and my dad's graves, and to visit with my 92 year old uncle. We always stay at my cousin's house in Mattapoisett (remember the mascot squirrel that had 'fried' itself on the power lines above their driveway?).

We left Rockport at about 9:15 in the morning, stopping to fill up the car's gas tank and to buy flowers for the graves before leaving the island. We had a relatively easy drive down with little traffic and made it to the Bourne Bridge in less than two hours. The Bourne Bridge is one of the nightmares of the drive, for me. It bugs me to actually be the driver on high bridges when there is no breakdown lane. Sort of a claustrophobic kind of thing, I guess. Anyway, it was a dull, misty day with some fog creeping in now and then. Not a breeze and in the low 60's F. As we turned in to the main drive of the National Cemetery we were greeted with a reminder that this is Veteran's Day weekend. Veteran's Day (or Remembrance Day in Canada) is on Tuesday but the National Cemetery is having a special program on Sunday. Even though all the flags were limp with moisture and no wind, the drive in was still impressive. You really need to click on the photo below to get the full impact of all the flags.We went first up to my aunt's grave and clipped the grass all around her stone and put a bouquet of flowers in one of the metal stake-able vases that the cemetery provides. Then we drove back to my dad's grave and did the same. When we finished we parked near the entrance and took the picture of the flag lined boulevard.

Then we headed back towards the bridge and on to Rte. 6 to eat at a Friendly's. We got to my cousin's in the mid afternoon and visited for awhile (one of my other cousins stopped by, as well) and then we went to visit my uncle. After our visit with him, we drove out to Acushnet to find the cemetery where my great grandparents are buried. By the time we got there it was dark. We drove around in the cemetery but could find the markers.

Off we headed just around the corner in Acushnet to a little restaurant that has been in business since 1937. All sorts of good food and scrumptious desserts. Then back to the cousin's for the night.

This morning we got up early for breakfast and packed up our overnight stuff. By 9 a.m. we were on the road again. This time to the Rural Cemetery in New Bedford where my maternal grandparents and another uncle are buried. First though we did a drive-by of the house where my aunt and uncle used to live and a stop at the Sunrise Bakery to buy meat pies to bring home. At the Rural Cemetery we staked flowers at the graves. From there we got back on the highway and headed home. 'A' had to be at work this afternoon.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Crafty News

Well, I finally got a phone call from the woman in charge of table rentals for the holiday fair at the school. Since I requested information back on September whatever, she has moved my name to first on the waiting list. So....

who knows.

I am, however, participating in the Rockport United Methodist Church's Craft Bazaar, on Saturday, December 13th from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.I got out my stuff today and I also built a display surface for more necklaces. The photograph shows a trial set-up. Not precisely how it will be, but a general "it'll work this way". The actual display table will be bigger and there will be a couple things I'll be adding. Since it is for the holiday shopping season, I want to sparkle it up a little. I'm going to sprinkle shiny, silver 'confetti' snowflakes around on the cloth and maybe, just maybe, find some reasonably priced, battery-powered, mini, white Christmas lights to intertwine in the display.

As of writing this, everything is packed away again and I'm doing some packing for a trip to the other Cape tomorrow. See ya when I get back!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Fisk Organs

So many have been checking for the concert schedule that I'll copy the Open House info at the end of this post. Anything else about Fisk and about concerts on their organs, worldwide, can be found by visiting their website. A link is provided in the sidebar of this blog.

Location: C. B. Fisk, Inc. Workshop
Gloucester, MA

Date & Time: November 08, 2008
2-6 pm

Opus Number: 134

C.B. Fisk, Inc. cordially invites you to our shop in Gloucester to view
Opus 134, A three-manual, 48-voice organ
for Covenant Presbyterian Church, Nashville, Tennessee

Rte. 128 to Rte. 133, East 1 mile
Right on Magnolia Avenue, 1 mile
Right on Kondelin Rd., 1/2 mile

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Tuesday Tunings

I had two tunings scheduled for this afternoon. The first was to tune the Yamaha G1 (grand) on stage in the auditorium at the high school. There are several performances coming up, the first on Wednesday night. I thought that the Yamaha would be it's usual breeze. It always really needs tuning after it's summer neglect, but generally it's not a disaster.

Until today.


First, since it was to be a focal instrument in part of Wednesday night's concert, I decided to give it a little spiff-up. It was thick with dust on the pedal lyre and the legs. The main body of the piano remains covered with a fitted quilt when the piano is not in use, so that was okay. As I was dusting off the back leg, I was dismayed to also notice an abundance of mildew growing on the beams and the belly rail (these are structural supports under the piano). Evidence of that much moisture is not a good thing. I opened the lid to it's highest to have a look inside. I expected to see rust forming. Fortunately there was none.

Unfortunately, there was a large, previously migratory stain on the soundboard traveling down the length of the treble bridge and pooling at the tail end of the piano. Ooooh, how on earth had liquid accumulated in there? I pointed it out to the woman in charge. She shared my dismay and remarked that the roof had been leaking, a portion of the stage had flooded during the summer, and no one had been around to notice. That didn't explain the inside stain, but certainly the exterior mildew.

Well, still no rust, so I felt they had been quite lucky. I sat down to begin tuning. What a mess! The entire midrange had become incredibly too sharp and I had to lower pitch on the majority of the piano. Only the high treble and low bass were near correct pitch. So, extra work, extra time and at a low pay rate. I had gotten this piano to be a nice stable instrument requiring only ordinary maintenance tuning even through seasonal humidity and temperature changes. A summer semi-flooded stage had been too much for it!

It has just been announced that Barack Obama has earned more than enough electoral votes for the presidency!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Yippeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!


Okay, back to piano number two for today. The piano is an old upright that I've tuned once before. I thought it was to be just a straightforward tuning. When I arrived the owner pointed out a 'broken' sharp (black key). Well, it wasn't actually broken as one would define a break. It was a wood (under) sharp that had a plastic 'cap' adhered to it. The plastic had bowed and delaminated from the sides of the sharp and it was catching the adjacent keys. I removed the key and glued (instant type) and held it clamped tight with a sanding stick that I had in my tool kit. I counted to 30 and let the stick loosen from the side of the sharp. It held! With the key back in place in the piano, I got ready to tune...just as the customer said he would be working outside.

Splitting firewood with a gasoline powered hydraulic log splitter.

Don't worry, I can tune over all that noise! (truly, it wasn't a problem). The problem was that I had to use my elongated tuning tip because the lid of the piano overhung the tuning pin area too much. The first time I tuned this piano I had tried to remove the lid. Looked simple. Five screws and it should have come off. Should have. I tried again today. I removed the screws and tried to budge the lid. Nope. Won't lift, won't slide left. Won't slide right, backwards or forward. I hate tuning with that long tip, but it's done.

Election Day

We arrived at the polls at 10:10 a.m. and had a line to wait in. This is unusual for Rockport. We only had to wait about 5 minutes, check in, get a ballot, vote, check out and insert the ballot in Rockport's nifty, old, oak ballot box. As you insert your ballot, a poll worker cranks a well worn, brass handle to grab your ballot and deposit it in the box with a pronounced "ding". On the front of the box is the counter. I was number 570. I don't know exactly the voting population of Rockport. Residentially we have about 7,000 people. Not all are voters, of course. We have three voting precincts. Someone in line made a comment that the count number was rather high for that time of the day. The poll worker commented, "That's high for late afternoon, normally!"

Outside our precinct is the town parking lot. There were several volunteers with Obama signs.
None for McCain.

I had a tuning at the high school at 1 p.m. The elementary school is part of the school complex and is also the voting place for the 3rd precinct. As I drove by the entrance, I waved to more Obama supporters.
None were there for McCain.

Something positive to be said for Rockport.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Rolling Rocks On

An update.

After breakfast this morning I took a bit of time gazing out the front window at my mom's front garden. Smack in the middle was a large piece of granite. Now, this garden is a mixture of rock garden plantings and perennials, but that rock looked wrong. I called my mother to have a look.

"Is that piece of granite supposed to be there?"

It didn't look right to her either, so I bundled myself up against the cold and went to check it out.

Someone had pushed another boulder off the wall. This time in the opposite direction and it landed on top of some plantings. I rolled and shoved and twisted it back in to place on the wall.

This is getting ridiculous.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

The Rolling Stones

Do you all remember when I wrote about the mud hole that had been created in front of our house by trucks turning their large wheels and tearing up the grass on the road side of our stone wall? I think that I mentioned that I had gone out and raked everything smooth and then placed a few large hunks of granite along the front so that my leveling work wouldn't be undone.

I think, about the same time, I may have mentioned that the streetlight at the corner of our lot had finally given up and gone out. We had called the power company and had been surprised when the truck showed up the next night. We had also been surprised the next morning when we found that the power company had removed the entire lamp and left just the arm with a couple wires hanging out up there on the pole.

This week marked week six of no streetlight so I called the power company once again. The representative that I spoke with said that the records showed that the lamp had been reinstalled. The job had been 'signed off'! Not so, I said, so she filed a new work order. We were tired of being 'kept in the dark' literally. Especially with Halloween just a couple days away. So I took the time to rig a spotlight for the front area where my mom parks her car...her brand new car...with Halloween approaching...with some neighborhood kids who, quite frankly, are more than unhappy with us. Thursday night we tried out the spotlight. We temporarily plugged the extension inside the house rather than fumbling in the dark to find the outside receptacle. We headed for the front window to take a look.

Lo and behold the streetlight was fixed!

National Grid must have come while we were out for the afternoon!


Friday morning came around and I noticed that a very large piece of granite was dislocated from the wall on the same side of the driveway as the utility pole. I went over to take a look thinking that the utility truck may have caught the corner of the wall dislodging the boulder. I wasn't really convinced once I had a good look. Seems more damage would have had to have been done if a truck had accidentally caught that boulder. Oh well, it was too large for me to move back into place.

Friday night's trick-or-treaters crammed our little dead end lane. Being a dead end seems to encourage 'drop offs'. Carloads of kids are let loose on our street rather than trick-or-treating in their own neighborhoods. We had our front light and walk lights turned on and my mom handed out piles of candy. They started around five p.m. and things were quiet by eight.

Saturday morning I decided to catch up on some winterizing chores like draining all the garden hoses and putting them away, taking down the temporarily rigged spotlight, and putting garden ornaments in the shed. I took a moment to take a walk around the property to see that all was undamaged and unmarred from the previous night. As I walked around the front, something just didn't seem right. It looked like someone had parked in front and left indentations in the slowly healing former mud hole. Then it dawned on me. What I was seeing were the imprints left from the granite that I had edged with a couple months ago. Someone had moved eight large pieces of granite during the night. They had been rolled through the grass and left nearer the wall.

Adding to my irritation was the enormous pile of dog mess in front of one of the boulders.

Off I went to get the shovel from out of the shed. I scooped up that pile and deposited it in the middle of the road. What else was I to do with it? If anyone would like to claim it they are welcome to dispose of it. It's not mine and it doesn't belong on my property nor in my garbage can. I rolled the boulders back to their indentations.

Now I'm determined to catch whoever is rolling my stones.