Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Fractured Knuckle

In other news, I managed to fracture my left index knuckle. It's a small "avulsion fracture." When it happened Saturday evening, I went to the First Care Clinic and got it x-rayed. They taped it up and got me an appointment with an orthopedist this afternoon. 

After he looks at the x-ray, I will find out what, if anything, he wants to do. I really hope he says I can take off this stupid finger splint and stop the buddy taping to the middle finger. If it's supposed to limit my use of my left hand, it is really working well. I blame all typos on this.

I was working at our daughter and son-in-law's new house. I had removed a storm window, and when I was trying to put it back, the prop for the inside window was getting in my way. So I removed the prop and jammed the window all the way to the top. (What could possibly go wrong?!) It seemed like it was going to stay there just fine -- right up to the moment when it came down at warp speed and dealt a sledge hammer blow to my hands. The knuckle got the worst of it.

Honestly, it doesn't hurt at all unless I try to bend the finger. And then it's the finger that hurts, not the knuckle. (Experiments done while rewrapping.)  But I suspect he will want me to continue with the splint a little longer to avoid re-injury. 

Update: I don't have to wear the splint any more, but have to keep the fingers "buddy-wrapped" for a few weeks.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Obion County Courthouse in Union City, Tennessee
Obion County Courthouse

The Obion County courthouse is an imposing structure that sits on its own city block in Union City, Tennessee. Like many courthouses, it was built during the Great Depression by PWA workers. It has a limestone veneer, and it probably provided a lot of jobs for local men both at the quarry and on the construction site.

I know that scholars disagree about the success of New Deal projects in ending the Depression. Many say that the Depression only came to an end because of World War II. But one fact that can't be argued is that we are still using many of the public buildings, bridges, roads, and state/national park improvements that were public works projects in  the 1930s. Isn't that a success in itself?

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The New Old House

Hydrangeas outside a 1930s house
Hydrangeas on the north side of the house

Our daughter and son-in-law have recently bought a home. They were looking for an old house, and I am glad they finally found one. Their house has many of the things that they had hoped to find -- a brick exterior, high ceilings, a formal dining room, a pantry, beautiful woodwork, hardwood floors, several bathrooms, lots of space.

The house was built in 1933, when workmanship and materials were still good. A home inspector checked the entire building thoroughly. The wiring was fine; the plumbing had some leaks. But structurally, it was sound.

Keely and Taurus made a bold offer, far below the appraised value of the house, and  the seller accepted it. Completing the sale took a long time because the financing included a State of Kentucky first-time homeowner program. In late October, the last bit of red tape was finally cut, and Keely and Taurus got the keys to their house.

Vintage Eskimo fan found in 1930s house
Vintage fan in the basement

Since then, they have been working in the house getting it ready to move in. One of the first items on the agenda was the plumbing.  Our son-in-law has worked hard on it day after day when he arrives home from work, and he has installed two commodes and several faucets and various pieces of plumbing connected to those fixtures.

Meanwhile, Keely removed the old wall-to-wall carpet, with the help of a friend. She has spent her evenings working very hard on the floors. She pulled up the nails and tacks left from the carpet and put down a fresh coat of shellac, and finally, a coat of paste wax. The hallway, which had a double layer of old carpet, has been a challenge. There, she is still scraping up the foam backing of the bottom layer of carpet.

Keely has also been fixing cracks in the plaster and getting the walls ready to paint. And she has painted the pantry shelves. I have been helping as much as I can with thorough cleaning. No heavy cleaning had been done in the house for a very long time, even before it sat empty for two years.

Old wallpaper in a 1930s house
Old wallpapers in a closet corner

They will be moving in a few more days. It would be lovely to have enough time to paint every room in advance and solve every little problem, but that isn't possible. We are thankful for what we have accomplished  The rest will be done in its own good time. The house already looks 100 times better. It's a jewel, and it's beginning to shine.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Harvest Before the Rain

As we drove home from Hopkinsville last night on our little blacktop highway, we came to a pickup truck parked crosswise, blocking the way. The farmer explained that he had a couple of big combines coming down the road, and there wasn't enough room for them to meet any other vehicles.

We could have gone around by a different road, but we weren't in a hurry, so we waited. In about five minutes, the combines arrived. They did indeed need the entire road for their extremely wide heads. The drivers carefully maneuvered the combines across the little bridge, and moments later, they were harvesting soybeans.

I hope the farmer got all his beans in before the rain began to fall late last night. It's supposed to be rainy off and on for several days.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

A Busy Time

Ornamental grass seed heads in October
Plumes of ornamental grass
I want to let my readers know that I am in a busy time.  My husband had outpatient surgery earlier this week. Nothing terribly serious -- the doctor straightened my husband's deviated septum (the between-the-nostrils divider in his nose) and opened several blocked sinus cavities. And he took a lump (probably a fatty tumor) out of Dennis's neck.

Dennis is doing all right, but he needs care and supervision, and he's on a pill schedule that lets me get, at most, four hours of sleep at a time. It's sort of like having a newborn.

Also, my daughter and her husband have recently purchased a home and are in the process of moving. And my son and his wife are moving as well. So, as soon as I am able to leave my husband for a few hours, I am likely to be involved in those endeavors.

I have not forgotten about the blog or abandoned it. I just haven't had much time to write in it lately, and that may continue for a few weeks until things settle down.

These photos were taken near the outpatient entrance of the Caldwell Medical Center in Princeton, Kentucky. It was a beautiful fall day when we drove over there last week to find the hospital, see where to park, and locate the check-in desk. The sun was bright, the skies were blue, and the leaves were glowing with their colors, all along the way .

Ornamental grass in hospital landscaping
Tall grass outside Caldwell Medical Center

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Creeks Remembered

Ford and shallow creek in Tood County, KY
Shallow water at a ford in Todd County, KY
One of the interesting things about this part of Kentucky (probably most of Kentucky) is that small country roads sometimes have creek fords instead of bridges.

I can't imagine driving a vehicle across either of the little creeks I knew as a child -- the Skull and the Bloody, of southwestern Rock County, Nebraska. Those creeks are bordered with wetlands (we called them swamps) that were up to 1/4 mile wide from one side to the other. The water table is very close to the surface in the swamps and hay meadows that adjoin those creeks.

We owned land on both creeks. My dad (and every other rancher who owned a chunk of either creek) had several "flowing wells" at the edges of both swamps. Those artesian wells were simply pipes set in the ground fifteen or twenty feet, or less. Usually, the pipe was inside a cattle tank that collected the water that poured out year round.

To cross either Skull Creek or Bloody Creek and its associated swamp, you needed a built-up roadbed and a bridge. Otherwise you'd sink in deep mud well before you even reached the creek.

You had to be careful when you were cutting hay along the edge of the swamp. If the tractor wheels started dripping with water and the ground began to quiver, you were in dire danger of getting stuck. I've seen a tractor buried nearly to its belly in mud because someone ignored the warning signs. Spinning the wheels only made them sink farther. The only way to remove a stuck tractor like that is to winch it out from solid ground.

Creeks in our part of Kentucky have rocky, gravelly streambeds. Sometimes they even have a bed of solid rock. If the water's not deep and the road leads to the water's edge, you can drive right across them. Amazing!

Gray Rag Rug -- Completed!

Crocheted rag rug in grays and black
Crocheted rag rug in grays and black
I'm done with the gray rag rug. It's not a perfect rug, but it is a finished rug. As my daughter sometimes reminds me, "Perfection is the enemy of completion." Or, to say it in a longer way, finished with imperfections is better than never finished because it isn't perfect..

This rag rug is 23" x 40", crocheted in single stitch with a size N hook and 2-1/2" strips. The fabrics are cottons and cotton blends, mostly recycled bed sheets that I've collected at thrift stores.

I am glad to be done with this one because the oval shape gave me trouble. I try to make an oval rug every now and then so I can get better at it, but round rugs are so much easier for me.

Now I can move on to my next big project which is a set of three new kitchen rugs for my daughter who will be moving soon.

About the making of this rug:
Gray Rag Rug in Progress

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