A space to post my thoughts and musings about anything. This includes but is not limited to community, politics, current events, dating, GLBTQ issues, favorite things, and stuff that would make your dead relatives blush. I am not afraid to go there, as some can attest.

October 30, 2007

Visiting Connecticut Part 2

Saturday morning I was up bright and early, and after breakfast it was on to working. The first task was to fix one of the windows in the house. It is one of those old fashioned slide windows that has a rope fixed to the bottom window, the rope goes over the pulley and there's a weight inside, this holds up the window when you lift it. Anyway, one of these ropes was fraying and my grandmother had put some duct tape over it, but it kept snagging on the pulley. So I took a look to see if the rope could be replaced. It would have taken ripping out half of the frame to get to it, so I said forget it, and instead cut off the old tape and replaced it with a new piece of tape that was a single layer so that it would not snag.

A light bulb had burned out on the stairs leading to the upstairs, and so it was impossible to see going up there the night before. We set up a scaffold to get to the bulb, however, the first board that was used is great for my grandmother to stand on, but not for me because I could feel it sag a bit under my weight. We found a stronger board and I was able to stand on it and change the bulb. I replaced it with a fluorescent, so it won't have to be changed again for years. I also took down a curtain for my grandmother to wash.

By 10 AM my aunts arrived and we got started by first sealing one of the front doors with plastic for the winter since it was not going to be used. After that it was hours of scraping the porch ceiling, floor, railings and pillars for both front and back porch. We were able to finish the scraping by about 3, so I got out the primer and we laid down a coat of primer on the ceiling and around the door. We also laid down the first coat of paint on the porch railings and posts as well. To reward the hard work, it was a night of pizza and ice cream. Afterward it was the movie Tea with Mussolini, and then after a few phone calls, bed time.

Sunday morning was spent painting over the ceiling, basically anywhere there was white to be painted. I also put down layers of green paint on the posts and railings as well. By the time I was done in the early afternoon the only thing left to be painted was the gray on the floor and steps of the porch, which was planned for Monday. The paint can lied to me though, it said that it could be cleaned up with some detergent and water...all that did was spread paint completely over my hand. I ended up using turpentine to take care of everything.

By the time all was said and done, we headed over to my aunt's place in Bristol, I did the driving over there of course. First we made a stop at the library book sale. For the record, you should really keep me away from book sales, especially when it's really cheap. It was $1 per bag of books, and yes, I walked out with a full bag. They had moved into a new apartment in a 55+ community a few months ago, so I got to take a tour of the place while they prepared tea. We had tea, and then I got down to doing some computer fixing. They had recently been moved over to PeoplePC for Internet and they wanted to see if they could still use Outlook Express for E-mail because they hated the web interface. They had heard they could, but the tech support guy claimed they couldn't. However, one look through the online help, and I had the POP3 settings I needed to get them all hooked up. I got that done and sent a few test E-mails to make sure all was working.

We talked while dinner cooked, and then enjoyed a pork roast with potatoes and peas. Dessert was a spice cake with pears. Eventually it was time to head home and while there, I had run across this serving dish in the cellar and I asked my grandmother about it, she wasn't sure where it had come from, but she said I could take it. So with a bit of bubble wrap, that made its way back to Maryland. Along with that, I also packed up a "Christmas Plant" as my grandmother calls it. It was originally given to her by my late aunt Emily thirty years ago, and this is one of it's descendants as whenever the plant got too big, my grandmother would cut it back and split some of it off to other pots. So since she had a few around, she encouraged me to take one of those as well. So there's a bit of family history sitting in my house now.

Actually, there will be other family history coming along in the future. There's a set of small lasagna pans that have been used for at least 50 years in that house that have been promised to me, along with the US Flag that was on my grandfather's coffin. So I will have something to remember her by when she is gone, and something to remember my grandfather by. Besides that, the pans will be very useful because it's a way for me to make lasagna and have a week's worth instead of three weeks worth.

Monday Morning was painting the floor of the porch, which was the easiest part, that was done within a few hours, and not a moment too soon apparently because since I have left, it has been rainy and cold up there. I also got to go over to a local deli where I got some Cappicola, Proscuittini, and dry olives to take back with me. I tried stopping by the library to get my reservation number for my flight, but when I got there, there was a line for the computers. Thankfully I was able to call a friend that I had left my itinerary with and got the number, so no worries there. When the paint was dry enough, I got pictures of the porch, along with pictures of us standing in front of the porch as well. One last thing I did was also paint the house numbers to be more prominent. I didn't want to admit this out loud to my grandmother, but it was to make sure that if she has an emergency, an ambulance or police can find the house from the street. Then it was time to pack up and make my way to Hartford. I was dropped off at the airport and since there was no line to check in, I was through there and security in 15 minutes again so I had to sit and wait, and wait, and wait. Thank god for an airport bar with beer on tap.

I got back to Baltimore without a problem, got home, unpacked, and crashed out. So that was my trip to Hartford, which was by no means a vacation, and when you see the pictures of the porch, you'll see why.