Tuesday, January 15, 2019


A bright and beautiful day at Gilbert

When I left off on Saturday, the new sofa was loaded onto the long bed of the old Silverado. On Monday (Jan. 14), Mike, Bess, and I set off for the farmhouse, leaving Nellie in the comfort of her heated doghouse. It would be a workday for us. I packed a lunch.

Ordinarily, we don’t visit the farmhouse this time of year except to check on things, and those brief visits are carefully planned according to the weather. It’s cold now, you know, and the grade and country roads are not well maintained – if at all. We had no problems with yesterday’s trip, but the upper grade was icy. So is the farm yard, especially near at the kitchen porch where vehicles have packed the snow.
New sofa in place

Two accommodating crew members were waiting for us when we arrived. With our direction, they replaced remaining furniture. They off-loaded the new sofa and seemed to enjoy setting it up. They also loaded the old sofa onto the Silverado.

Finally, right after lunch, we were ready to tackle the sunporch, which was packed full of stuff, including the tv set and the piano. (Yes – it remains to be seen if those even survived.) First, we moved the clay pigeon thrower outside, and Bess whined beside it for half an hour, begging Mike to shoot targets. They couldn’t budge the cabinet my dad built for music storage, so we removed the music, moved the cabinet into the den closet, and I put the music back. Finally, we arrived at the piano, and the two guys weren’t enough to safely move it. One of them called Big Mike the Contractor, and an hour and a half later he and another worker arrived. It took four men and three piano dollies to move that little piano over two thresholds to its corner in the living room. Of course, the goal was to protect the floor.

Bess takes a nap
When it was nearly 3:00, Mike and I decided we should leave, but the contractor had questions, and so we remained. In fact, we were the last to depart the farmyard. It was after 4:00, which meant we were traveling in the old pick-up after dark at a peak travel time. It felt stressful. We agreed we would avoid doing that again.

Unfortunately, the project to renovate the farmhouse became embroiled in insurance issues, which has delayed the finishing into winter. The contractor wants to finish up this week, and that’s fine. However, he’s concerned for the “contents,” our household and personal items which were packed into boxes – or even stuffed into other rooms. The company would unpack the boxes and put things away as a part of the contract, but I prefer to do it myself. The contractor would like me to do it now, but I prefer to wait until spring when it’s warmer and we have water. So – we’ll see what happens. KW

Saturday, January 12, 2019


“What’s up next on the blog,” asked brother Chuck after the advent program. And I couldn’t say.

But – things are happening at the farmhouse. The contractor called Friday morning (yesterday) to say that the house has been cleaned, and he was sending a crew up to unpack the container. I had hoped to be there, but it wasn’t possible for us to go. Short notice or not, Mike is sick. He said they could work from the 200 photos he took and that they would leave boxes in the dining room for me to unpack. In a later call, we agreed to meet the crew there on Monday for further unpacking. We have also arranged to have the new sofa loaded onto the old Silverado this afternoon. We’ll carry it to the farmhouse ourselves, and the work crew will unload it.

Meanwhile, from the sewing room:
The dolls are still getting ready for Christmas -- their favorite pastime. They could get ready for Christmas until next Christmas -- and the next -- and the next . . . but they would hate to miss Halloween.


Note that Shirley Anne is wearing a special shirt, a modified onesie that "Grandma" found at Walmart.


And in this photo, Shirley Anne is wearing a sweater made from a pair of socks. Such a fun project! I love the way it turned out. 


“Those socks don’t look like something you’d wear,” said Mike as I tossed that pair of metallic gold and black knee socks into the cart. I explained that they weren’t socks but a doll sweater.

But – my next project is to shorten Mike’s new lined jeans, which seems to be a “buffalo.” KW

[P.S. -- For more doll sweater inspiration, see the sweater Chris knitted at Miller’s Last Resort (see link in right hand column near top of page under "interesting sites").]

Thursday, January 10, 2019


It is so beautiful! A picture wherever you look! – Ina (February, 1936)

Of course, Grandma Ina was speaking about the exterior winter views. Hallie mentioned that she would have liked more photos of our trip to the farm last Friday, and I think she meant interior photos. It was not possible, though, because the truth of the matter is that the house was a mess. When I took this picture of the dining room, I was standing in the midst of cans. The kitchen counters were covered with "what have you," and all the floors are covered with heavy paper to protect them as the work continues. Also, five people were working intently at their assigned tasks. I was in the way and eventually sat in the pick-up to wait for Mike.

Ina' view -- 1934
During this process of remodel, it’s been difficult to visit the farm. In the beginning, the contractor cautioned us not to enter the house due to the mold. I could have done a much better job of organizing the storage effort had I been there. The contents of affected rooms were just stacked precariously into unaffected rooms, burying anything I might want. We really couldn’t go there for more than an hour or two, and I’ve felt badly about that, but the contractor was good to check with us frequently.

. . . and the same view today
As the homeowner, though, I’ve felt like an outsider. The workers are polite and respectful, but they are responsible to the contractor, not to us. Well, 2019 will see the end of this process, and we’ll be able to make ourselves at home, welcome family and friends, and make a sandwich in the kitchen. KW