Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sometimes They Just Won't Stay Away

Many years ago, when we lived in Groveland, my parents built our own inground swimming pool. It was the big project before the boat! Anyway, the pool was a great summer gathering spot for friends. Come autumn, my dad would cover it all so that the leaves would not accumulate and make a huge mess to clean up in the Spring.

One Spring, when I was about 10 years old, I watched as my dad uncovered the pool to clean it, 'shock' it with a heavy duty chlorine treatment, and otherwise get it ready for summer fun. That's when we discovered the turtle that had wintered under the cover! He was happily swimming about and it became a challenge to net him and remove him from the water before adding all that chlorine. My dad finally captured him, put him in a cardboard carton, and traipsed out back through the woods to a little stream to let him go. Then Dad finished his work on the pool cleaning.

Three days later my mom called out from her spot at the kitchen window. "Come see who's back!" We ran to the window to watch as our turtle dragged himself across the cement-work surrounding the pool, teetered on the edge, and then plopped himself head first back in the pool.
We knew that the chlorinated water was not good for him and too much would probably kill him, so out came the net and another rescue! This time, just to be sure, we took him far in to the woods to a clearing with a swampy area. Upon release, he swam happily away.

Until...a few days later...we watched as he plopped in to our pool!

This silliness just had to end. My dad netted him for the third time and we boxed him up and put him in our car. This time we drove to the other side of town and released him at a very large pond. That was the last we saw of him!

A couple of days ago I was struck be the similarity of the turtle tale to some news I received. Seems my former husband/cyberstalker/harasser has moved to New Zealand (with some family help). Hmmmmm, first from the UK to the States and he returned home. Now halfway around the world! Sometimes you've just got to take them further and further away or they keep coming back.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


This will most likely be the last egg pic and I'll be back to other stories (a good one coming up) until hatching!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Friday, April 24, 2009

For 'A's Birthday

Checked on our newest 'tenant' this morning and found this.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

At Last

Signs of Spring! The garden is greening with plants peeking out and beginning to bloom. We've got squirrels, chipmunks, and birds visiting at all times of day. So far we have only managed to train Bubba II to peanut eating, but give us time. A couple days ago we watched a robin build this gorgeous nest.And tomorrow it is to be over 70°F (and 'A's 27th birthday). Saturday through Tuesday in the 80°'s.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Wow, A Night Out!

It is very hard for me to motivate myself to go out in the evening. Out of town, on my own. It's just not much fun being alone sometimes. So, if it's something that I really should enjoy, I force myself. On Saturday night I took myself to Manchester to a free (donations at the door and yes I did) concert. A ragtime concert with Bob Milne. I case you haven't noticed, I L-O-V-E Ragtime. I'd never heard Bob Milne. The advertising, and his website, made the concert sound like it would be spectacular.

The concert was a fundraiser celebrating the 200th anniversary of the First Parish Church in Manchester. Considering the notoriety of Mr. Milne and assuming that seating would be at a premium in a moderately sized New England church, I made a point of arriving early. I watched as two people entered the church, about 45 minutes before performance time and decided that it would be a good time to go in and get a front pew seat.

Wrong. The first 6 or so rows of pews had been reserved. I picked the seventh row center aisle and found that I'd been beaten, evidenced by a coat left on that pew. I took a seat at the center aisle, next pew back. Within 15 minutes the church was full! I stared at the diminutive, 1930's Cable-Conover grand 'on stage'. What a poor little piano expected to fill the church with top of the line ragtime.
Bob Milne (self imposed etiquette of no flash)

I feel like a ragtime traitor to say that I didn't enjoy the music. Mr. Milne is touted as one of the best, a musical ambassador, a Library of Congress treasure. I can't argue that his performance was spectacular. But, to me, it was just that. Performance. I missed the nuances and heart when ragtime is played as expressive music. Mr. Milne played like the old time competitions of oneupmanship. More than competent, way too showy. Not at all what I expected. At first, I enjoyed seeing and hearing how fast he could play, how he could emulate a player piano roll with it's octave 'dubbing' and innumerable trills, how his fingers blurred. But after a while I tired of the rush, the struggle to recognize familiar pieces as they flew from the piano at top speed.

It was a two hour concert and I was ready for it to end. The drive home in the rain was refreshingly quiet. My brain didn't settle until early morning hours.

Big night out exhausted me!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Of Turkeys and Tuning

The same day that K-D commented about having wild turkeys, this picture was in the GDTimes on the Rockport page.The South End has been a turkey haven for a number of years. Nowadays, I'm quite aware of them when I have a tuning job in that neck of the woods. A few years ago, being somewhat new to the area after an 18 year absence, I wasn't quite so knowledgeable.

As I recall the tuning was booked for a weekday afternoon in November. A local physician needed a small, old grand tuned. Neither he nor his wife would be home he informed me over the phone, but one of their teenagers would let me in. The check would be waiting for me at the piano. Normally, I don't enter a client's home without an adult present. Especially on a first time job. But this is Rockport and as much as I hate to acknowledge the fact...some things are just different here. I found the address and parked my truck in front of the home, alongside a stone wall. There were several granite steps bisecting the wall and connecting to the front walk leading to the house. As promised, the teen aged daughter let me in and showed me to the piano. The tuning was uneventful and after about an hour's work I was finished. I called out, to the daughter somewhere in the house, that everything was set with the piano, thank you, and if there were any problems or questions her folks could give me a call. I let myself out the front door, my heavy tool kit in hand and my lunch box sized chemical kit (glues and such) over my shoulder. I struggled down the granite steps while fumbling to get my keys out of my pocket, rounded the back of the truck and saw more than a dozen turkeys waiting for me! They had control over the driver's side of my truck!

They looked mean. And territorial. And far too interested in me.

I inched myself back. Around the rear of the truck and then looked to see that the passenger side was still turkey free. It was and I quickly unlocked the door and threw myself in along with my tool kit and glue kit. Once inside, with the passenger door secured behind me, I sorted out myself and my kits. Then I counted turkeys.

Well, as best as one can count that many as they milled about my truck! I used to know how many, now years later, I can merely say A LOT. Yep, more than a dozen, less than two dozen.

I started the engine but they refused to move. A quick toot of the horn and they jumped the wall and sauntered off across my customer's front lawn.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Now y'all know the recurring problem with the PRIVATE Way that runs along the edge of our property. Well, in agreement with the "appurtenant" property (the people who are entitled to use the way), I put up two, small, 'Private Way' signs. One on each end of the fence that runs parallel to the way. I very nicely explained to a particular neighbor that it is private and it does connect to the neighboring driveway, not a road, and that we did not mind if the neighbors used OUR portion reasonably (like if the road is blocked for some reason). However, I also added that I could not give permission for anyone (including ourselves) to use the connected driveway. (ed. note: this makes the use, well, useless, as the private way legally just ends, with nowhere to continue except on to the neighbor's driveway, which would be trespassing)

Anyway, the particular neighbor that I was conversing with seems to have taken offense. Now her adult son, who doesn't even live in the neighborhood, has decided to make it his 'out of his way' route of choice. Traveling past his parent's road and drive so that he can use the neighbor's driveway and the private way...long way around. Spite. As far as he knows, I'm ignoring him.

This morning, as I was having breakfast, I spotted one of our darling neighborhood brats riding his bike to school. Same brat that was told umpteen times last year to stay off our private way. So guess what he does.
He just had to make that turn up our neighbor's driveway.
I got up and waited by my window. Knuckles at the ready. Around the corner he sped on to our private way. As he careened past, down the hill, I rapped VERY loudly on the window pane. Wow, what a shocked look on that brats face!

I headed out and put up larger signs. If the brat continues, I'll be speaking to his mom.

At least this turkey knew how to read the signs! This morning he walked across our next door neighbor's lawn and sauntered across the street, through that neighbor's yard, and down to the woods. He stayed clear of our private way even if he did trespass on some lawns!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Out of Sorts

Yep, I sure am.

Umpteen amounts of work finished yet not paid for. Hey folks, don't you think I have bills to pay? One guy has left a set of keys here for over 2.5 weeks. Doesn't even bother to reply to two voice mail messages I have left him. What am I to assume, deceased?

Driveway work continues next door. What a mess. I hope, for their sake, they are paying very little as I don't think the guy has much of a clue as to what he's doing. With any luck, it should last a year. After that...mud hole...I would think. I've been moving my truck out on to the street in front of the house as they have been parking their machinery all over the place, blocking my drive, on the private way (yep), even blocking the right of way nearby! Today, when the guy arrived with his big truck, I went out to move mine. "You don't need to move it. It won't be in our way, " he says. HIS WAY! More like HE'LL be in MY way. So I didn't. Guess what.

You got it.

I'm blocked in. One of his trucks, and then the homeowner arrived and parked at the other end of the PRIVATE way. They are going to have to move 'cause I need to go to the bank.

Then to top it all off...Our wonderful state of Massachusetts has passed it's transportation legislation. Which includes a clause that permits the Department of Motor Vehicles to license ILLEGAL aliens. Excuse me but WTF? They are in our country illegally and Massachusetts is going to give them a driver's license????

I'm trying to get some stuff accomplished today. No work, so it's probably a good time to get to the to-do list. I changed all the batteries in our smoke/fire detectors. Except the one in my mom's family room. By code, it is installed about 1.5 feet down from the peak of the cathedral ceiling. I'm guessing about 15 feet up there. It's a two hand job to disconnect it from the electric portion and do the battery replacement and get it plugged back in and up there. I don't do heights. I'm okay if I can hold on, but can't with this. I think the code enforcement guy from the fire department should have to come out and help. So, the 10 foot step ladder is up from the cellar, in place, and ready for use. Now I've just got to find someone who actually knows how to do it.

Looking towards an improved afternoon but I think I'm overly optimistic.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

And I'm Shaking My Head

Spring has sprung. Mr. Revlon is ba-ack! For you non-locals, Mr. Revlon is actually a member of the cosmetic family. Unfortunately, he apparently suffers from something at least resembling schizophrenia. He used to live here all the time. Then he disappeared and I heard that he had been relocated to a group home near Hamilton. He has made several appearances back in town over the last couple years. Our first sighting, this year, at Five Corners, revealed him as more bedraggled than ever. Slighlty heavier, but still with wild man hair and bushy beard and sporting the same turquoise and white jacket from our last year's sightings. Two different shoes. I think he sometimes hires a taxi to come back 'home'.

A couple days ago, I decided that it was time to take the 4 tubes of sand out of the back of my truck. They are in there to increase driving traction in the snow. Each tube of sand weighs 70 lbs. As I slid the first one out off the tailgate aiming to lower the end on to the two wheeled dolly, I dropped it. On my foot. A direct hit on my all ready aching arthritic knuckle just topside of the ball of my right foot. I tried to ignore the pain, the sick to my stomach feeling, and just keep it moving. It succeeded until I got out of bed the next morning! Ouch! I took a look and found a decently ugly bruise. It sort of screams when I put my shoe on even two days later. Tomorrow I get to be on my feet at work for 6 hours. Should be a screaming good time!

Our neighbors have decided to have a large tree removed and their driveway redone. Hurray to both things. But, that, combined with warmer weather and with the neighborhood kiddies on their motorized bikes, scooters, and mini 'cars', we decided to re-declare our ownership of the 'back drive' with PRIVATE WAY signs. Non-offensively small, they are meant only as a reminder to the adult neighbors and a legal deterrent to the kiddies. We don't want any liability for injuries of those who decide to trespass! BTW, I've never seen such a bizarre and involved method of tree removal! Couldn't have made it harder on themselves!

I was gazing out our door yesterday and spotted what appeared to be a large bubble on the lawn. I looked and looked. Could it really be a bubble? It was a clear orb, about 6 inches in diameter. It had a slightly reflective quality. Puzzled, I got my camera and headed out on a discovery mission. As I got closer, I could see a multitude of bright blue fragments 'through' the bottom of the orb. I took a picture, then gave it a nudge with my foot. It is a liquid filled ball with trillions of bits of blue glitter inside. Okay, maybe just thousands. Heck, for a toy, it is wonderful to watch the swirling glitter catch the light in waves and cascades. I brought it inside. It's a 'keeper'. I haven't a clue where it came from, no one had been around between when I had arrived home a mere 5 minutes prior to discovering the ball. Maybe, it was like the flying turkey breast, of years ago, that landed on our deck with a thump. Just dropped out of the sky...
fully cooked.
I'm not lying.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

The Grand Design

Here's the display for the ivory earrings. The only addition that I have made since taking the photo has been adding a full size, real ivory key top in the blank spot on the upper left. Printed on that ivory is, 'Ivory Earrings $10.00'. It's a bit challenging to construct semi-decent displays without monetary outlay! Just stuff around the workshop. Anyway, with this new display I will, at least temporarily, quit using the mooring piling display for the necklaces and continue with the piano theme. The large miniature grand piano that I used at the Christmas Fair worked well so I'll stick with that. I've gotten together black & white photos (still needing to be mounted) depicting the process of removing the ivory from the piano keys and making the blanks for the jewelry, that will be displayed as a backdrop. Now I've got to construct a reasonably stable, yet lightweight and easily transportable, backdrop! It never ends.