Sunday, December 4, 2016

Porch rocker project is complete (at least half of it is!)

The blue chair on the left is the earlier version—orange one is the same chair, just finished. I took the first photo on October 2, so I guess the painting and caning process took exactly 2 months. It seemed like much longer.

I bought 2 of these rockers in 1992 to celebrate my purchase of the NJ house with a front porch. My previous post has more rocking chair history: Porch rocker paint project postponed

Now that there are helpful videos on YouTube (this one comes with baby chicks chirping in the background) it is much easier to do the caning. I tried reading the book again this time, but ended up playing the video over and over until I got the hang of it. Definitely not like riding a bike—it doesn't come back to you.

I ordered the cane from HH Perkins both times. They also sell plastic cane, but I asked if it lasted any longer than the real thing and they said no. The natural just looks so much better than anything plastic. But I will definitely try sealing the cane this time to see if I can make them last longer than 20 years in the hopes that I will rock on longer too. I don't think I will have the energy or inspiration to cane these a third time at age 80.

Now how long before I am inspired to start the second chair? Months at least. I have no fingernails left.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Sneak preview

I might (just might) have a buyer for the Civic. I have been calling it the Ivic because the C fell off.

I might even have 2 different buyers, but it is hard to tell these days when people are sincere about purchasing something that is advertised online, or even with signs all over the car out on the street.

One guy was supposed to show up this afternoon. One young lady is saving up her money until she has enough.

Only time will tell.

I will get a goodbye pic of the Ivic before it leaves.

This pic is a little preview of the Christmas cards you all will be receiving this year—two boys misbehaving. If you are not on my list, please send me a snail-mail address so that I can include you lestersflat @ g mail . com.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Not ever easy...

Two new vehicles in the driveway and I still don't get to drive one to work!

To all the folks I work with who have been giving me a hard time (you know who you are!)—this isn't easy you know. Nothing is ever easy.

We picked up the Tacoma on Wednesday. They had trouble changing over our insurance on the day before Thanksgiving when people tend to leave work early, or not come in at all. They finally succeeded in tracking down our agent and getting the Tacoma insured, only to find out that they hadn't finished the rust-proofing. Probably would not have even mentioned it if The Husband didn't ask.

Come on guys! I was supposed to pick up the pick-up on Monday. You had 2 extra days to get everything in order. You could have at least called, or told me when I called in the morning before we left.

So today they drive an hour to bring us a loaner to replace the Tacoma while they take it back to finish the rust-proofing. They are supposed to return
it this afternoon. We'll see...

We went through the same nonsense when we bought the Kia. "We couldn't track down your insurance agent on Saturday, so you can't get the car until Monday...bla bla bla...

Monkey and Willie are not amused. Me either.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Lake effect

I went up to Oneida to purchase yet another new vehicle on Saturday. Beautiful day for an hour-long drive—60°, sunny—had the sunroof open and didn't even need a jacket. I was supposed to come back on Monday morning to pick up new vehicle number 2, but weather intervened.

Lake effect snow. Started Saturday night, did not stop until yesterday afternoon...yesterday being Tuesday. I think we got about 12".

It all worked out for the best. I was able to get a better price on the rust-proofing through some e-mailing back and forth with the dealer. I am a better negotiator hiding behind my keyboard. And, vehicle number 2 is supposed to be for The Husband, so he was able to take the day off to come north with me to pick it up today.

Will follow with some very white photos in the next post. Brand new white Toyota Tacoma in the snowy landscape.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends and family out there! We are staying home by the woodstove and keeping all new vehicles in the garage where they belong. Maybe I could cook the turkey over the fire like they used to do... Or not!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

New car, (almost) new house

Poor little Kia got all frosty this morning before I could get a good picture of it. I think it looks pretty smart parked in front of our pretty smart house, don't you? (The creepy black shadows on it are just a leftover from Halloween.)

Call it an early Christmas present... I was kind of surprised that The Husband decided it was time to trade in his favorite little red Civic for a new Kia Soul+, you know the one that comes with the dancing hamsters?

Unfortunately they were not included, but I think they should have given us one of the cardboard cut-outs that they have at the dealer to make up for the fact that they didn't want our precious Civic as a trade-in. We should have no trouble selling it, especially since we have a captive audience with the bridge construction still going on just at the end of our driveway. They are supposed to be finishing up the paving this week, and probably will be out soon after, so The Little Red Civic That Could needs to get decked out with For Sale signs but quick.

Distracted from my rocking chair painting/caning project so 1 rocking chair still missing from the porch. And you can see that now all of the fall color is gone and most of the leaves as well. This is just the beginning of the brown season...more frost and other white stuff to follow, I am very sure.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Fall color is mostly gone

I took all of these photos on October 15, same day as the last post. Autumn colors at their peak, except for a few trees which were holding out. I was walking Cyrus on our normal route, across the highway and down Tunnicliff Road, past our mechanic on one side, and the Quartier Horse Farm on the other. That is Panther Mountain behind the horses, still with a swath of green trees. I was starting to think they might be all evergreens, but today walking by, they have color and the rest of the mountain is looking brown.

It has been an odd weather year—beautiful fall, nice enough summer, mostly dry spring, calm winter. Just now we are getting some serious rain which is filling the pig pen with mud and causing John and Mary to try to dig out to cleaner quarters. They like the mud when it is hot, but prefer the grass on the other side of the fence when the weather turns colder. Every day The Husband has to replace the cinder blocks and fencing where they are trying to escape. It may be an early trip to Larry's this year...preferable to having them run over on Rte 28.

Our 6 red hens have not accepted their new home easily. Two of them were not easily coaxed into the coop every night until a few weeks ago. I got stung on the face (wasp) picking them out of the trees one night. The other 4 have spent almost every night up a whole lot higher in the same tree. Finally, last night we got some serious rain all day, and cooler temperatures which convinced them the coop was a better place to spend the night. That, and 1 of them was just carried off and killed by something. Tonight is only the second night they have all willingly gone in the coop.

Winter is actually welcome this year. Frozen ground will keep the pigs from digging out. Chickens are closing themselves up...finally! And Mr P has stopped milking goats in preparation for kids on the way. Dogs are behaving better as well.

More time for us to sit around the woodstove and enjoy life inside.

This truck has been parked at the mechanic's for a few weeks. Since The Hub has been wanting a truck, don't you think this is it? I love it, but am guessing it is not healthy or would not have been here so long...

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Fall color and some frost

The bright blue sky really shows off some of the color on the mountain behind the boys. (Still have to find out the name of that mountain...) Panther Mountain, across the street behind the horse farm, has better color, but I can't get the boys to pose so nicely on the edge of the State highway.

It is interesting how some trees turn at different times, not based on type of tree so much as location and reaction to the sun and wind. The redbud tree behind Woody and most of the other trees on our lower level have not really turned color yet. The sugar maples we planted a few years ago are just starting to get red.

I also love the way that the sun and shadows make a clear dividing line between frost and no frost. While the sun is shining, the grass is still green and the leaves are still on the trees, frost just looks out of place.

And the final photo shows that the boys can actually respect the sofa (compared to the previous post). This is their usual routine, at least in the morning. Cyrus, ever watchful for deer or other moving objects which need to be barked at, Woody only reacting when Cyrus barks, sometimes not even then.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Working at Home on a Rainy Day

It has been awhile since I have had a working day at home and there was no break in the weather to take the dogs out for a walk. Normally I can get away with working until about 3 pm, at which time they decide they need my constant attention.

They were pretty good today until about 4 pm, when all hell broke loose.

Since neither of them likes walking in the rain, kind of difficult to keep us all happy.

At least, as you can see in the background, my job was pretty much finished when they decided to tear the house apart. Thanks, boys.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Porch rocker paint project postponed

The visitors are here for the weekend so the painting of the rocking chairs must wait. We do have some nice fall color for them (you can see the leaves are turning up on Don's hill in the background) but unfortunately today is rainy and gray, unlike yesterday when I took these photos.

Lots of house cleaning and dinner prep needs to happen today, and the red rocker that I started on has a broken spindle where the cane will be wrapped. Don on the Hill has been conscripted to come up with a solution for repairing the wood. I tried gluing it once with wood glue, once with epoxy, and neither held. I think between the 2 of us we have a better fix, but it will have to wait until he can get around to it.

I bought these 2 chairs shortly after I purchased the NJ house in 1992. They were white, and the caning was in bad shape. So I painted them a lovely Gumby green and got some assistance from Mark's grandmother in Riverton in figuring out how to do the caning. It's a lot like basket weaving, simple tedious work, but the getting started part is hard to figure out.

I caned the second one all by myself in preparation for The Husband moving in (1997) so that we could both spend some quality time rocking away on the front porch. Of course we spent very little time in the rocking chairs together, but at least they looked nice on the porch.

Some years after that I painted them the turquoise color you see here. It was a good color for the dark cedar house in NJ, but not so great with our blue-gray siding up here. Painting them is something I have been meaning to do for awhile, but had to muster the energy to re-cane them at the same time because they are again in pretty bad shape.

Even though I did not seal the seats and backs like you are supposed to, they survived 20 years of occasional snow cover and rain. We'll both be 80 years old in another 20 years, and I think that will be just long enough. Maybe I'll do a few coats of sealer to extend their life since we might just make it past 80—I wish it were that easy to extend our life. I expect we'll have more time for rocking by then.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Beautiful Fall Day

It has been a comfortable Fall so far, warm during the day and only a few nights where I was inspired to fire up the woodstove. The leaves are just beginning to change color, so it should be a nice time for Sue and Joe to come up for a visit for the weekend. I hope to get some good leafy color photos as soon as we hit peak color.

Don and I were up on the hill today surveying the leafy landscape with the dogs. We had another discussion about Woody's history, and whether or not he is a purebred coonhound. I did yet another Google search and came up with a photo of Woody's twin sister, Anna. Except for having a few pounds on the WoodMan, I think it would be hard to tell them apart.

Perhaps you can tell the difference because Woody would not sit so calmly with a live racoon on the sofa.

Anna is a purebred Bluetick Coonhound, so I am thinking he is too. When we got him from the Burlington County Animal Alliance (who had gotten him from a shelter in Virginia) they were guessing either Bluetick or English Coonhound.

I have always wondered what he looked like as a pup, and this last photo is a purebred English Bluetick Coonhound.

Guess that all were correct in their guesses...