Aches and Pains (or I’m just getting old)


Oh boy, I have extra days this week up at the homestead.  After all the schlepping of art supplies up to the house I’m really feeling the need to organize.  I have the third bedroom stuffed with boxes and the shed looks like that now too.  I am starting to have stuff everywhere so it’s time.  My body is rejecting me from schlepping and carrying stuff for the last four weeks so I can take it somewhat easy this weekend (did I say that last weekend too?).

I found out about the annual antique, craft and bake sale last week and signed up for a table so I get off work and head home to grab my blank journals and books.  I’m not sure what I’m going to show but if I have it all up there I can decide later.  I load up the car and head on up in the dark.  Since the time change it seems to be 9:00 now when it’s only 5:00.

Wow, there are kittens in the back yard everywhere it seems.  There’s not really that many but they are running all over and playing.  These are the kittens that live in the garage on the other side of the alley.  I see Sandy and she says she thinks raccoons have moved into the garage and that’s why the kittens are over here.  They keep huddling against the corner of the cold cement walls of the house and the cellar.  Sandy brings over a blanket and lays it down so at least they are not laying on the cold cement.  I look out later and they are all huddled and it’s really cold outside tonight so I look around and find the box that my wet vac came in and I turn it long ways and cut a slit in the bottom.  It’s just about the same width as the blanket so I shove the blanket in as far as I can get it so at least they have some cover.  There’s more than enough room for all of them in the box.  I’m not sure it’s much warmer but at least I feel better.  I’m sure huddled together they will be warmer inside the box than where the cold wind can get them.


Sometime this weekend I want to go back to the Junk and Joe in Ault to pick up some wooden TV tray tables I saw.  Last week I shoved the limit into my car and didn’t have room.  I don’t really want them to use as TV trays but they are really nice solid wood ones and would make nice little work tables.

Next morning I call Denise and she needs to go to Ault to the chiropractor.  I offer to take her as I want to go in anyway.  No use spending money on gas if not needed.  She was splitting wood and must have twisted something (maybe).  She can barely sit so she thinks John will take her in.

I get busy about my organizing.  I start with the big shed.  I have already cleaned the shelves and I have the contact paper so I go out and put down a layer of something I know is clean and covers some of the rusty spots.  I load up the shelves with planting trays and old pots and other things lying around on the floor.  Wow, it looks better and I feel better.  One task down.  I go to the small shed and I don’t have shelves yet but I go through the boxes and take some stuff out and put the rest underneath the tables so I can at least turn around in the space.  I put the hooks on my peg board and arrange all my tools.  Another task done.

I need to get out my jewelry and clean it for the show Saturday.  Oh good grief.  I remember putting it all in a plastic bag and it has to be here somewhere.  The floor was sort of empty but now I’ve strewn every box and everything all over digging around trying to find the bag.  The phone rings and Denise asks if I can still take her to Ault.  John is working on the door and it’s always something so he needs to finish it before dark.  I go grab Denise and we head off to Ault.

We’re a few minutes early and there is a little store that I saw a card for called Twisted Stitchery.  I’m thinking it may be a sewing store.  Denise and I go in and there is a really nice couple who own the shop.  They mostly sew patches on clothes.  The wall is full of embroidered patches made by a veteran in the area.  He does beautiful embroidery work.  They do commercial sewing.  She takes us in the back room and she’s got a really nice serger and a quilting machine.  She does really nice work.  While we are there a guy comes in to have a suit jacket adjusted.  While she is helping the guy her husband shows us some cool stuff he has collected and gives us the low down on some good eating places.  He recommends the Full Moon Saloon.  He says it’s more restaurant than saloon and tells us all the weekly specials.  It sounds great.  It’s in Pierce the next town up the road.  Denise and I decide we’ll have to try it soon.  She is repairing a fireman’s uniform when we leave.  The people up here are so nice.  It only takes Denise fifteen minutes for her appointment and we head over to Junk and Joe and I grab the tables and then we have to try the ice cream at the pizza place because we’ve been told it’s the best so we go in and get a cone.  We both agree it’s better ice cream than Kersey Pizza.  We head off to Poulsen’s Hardware and then off to home.

I need to start cleaning jewelry for the show.  Now, if I can just find it.  I dig around some more in the boxes and finally over an hour later I find it.  It’s really too late now so tomorrow is another day.

I have a doctor’s appointment I can’t change so I head off down the road about 6:30 the next morning.  I do my doctor’s appointment and then I head back up.  I start cleaning all of my jewelry and it takes a couple of hours.  This ended up being the right day to do it.  It’s really windy and cold today.  That task is finally finished.  YAY.  Now I need to decide what else I’m going to take to the show.  Setup for the show is 4:00 today or 9:00 tomorrow.  I head over to the gym to check it out all wrapped up in my hooded sweatshirt.  That’s one thing about up here; when the wind blows it’s not gentle.  I find the lady who is in charge and she shows me my table.  I pay my fee and make a beeline back to my warm little house.  The rest of the evening I relabel some of my prices and decide what else I’m taking and redo some of the tags. I’m all ready for the show.

It’s a beautiful morning.  Someone mentioned it might get cold so I check the weather and ye gads, it’s supposed to drop 50 degrees on Monday and be frigid cold for days.  I knew I needed to get that cellar ready in October.  The plumbing pipes are all down there and it gets cold.  Now I have to scramble after the show is over and go get some insulation, new pipe heat tape and a ceramic heater.  That is what is down there now and I don’t want anything to freeze so I guess I’ll set it up the same.  It too expensive to run a ceramic heater so I’ll have to see what else will work but for now it’ll do.  I go to the craft show and I set up my table and people start to come.  I meet some new people in the community and I sell enough to make the cost of my table.  Lunch is great, the homemade pie is delicious.

Ok, that is over and I need to run.  I go to Poulsen’s Hardware and they have pipe tape but the guy says it doesn’t have a thermostat and is on all the time.  No, that’s not what I want.  I get insulation and a ceramic heater there but I’ll have to run into Greeley to find the heat tape.  I go to Home Depot and I read the package and it doesn’t say there is a thermostat.  On to Lowe’s and I find the same package that Poulsen’s had and it does have a thermostat.  I grab it and some electrical tape (good for 187 degrees) and some insulation  to wrap around it.  Grrrr, that’s another hour and a half spent dinking around wasting gas driving in the dark that I didn’t need to do since it’s the same thing that Poulsen’s has.  Oh well, I have everything I need now so off I go back home.

Ugggg, all the art stuff is in the middle of the floor but it’s late and tomorrow is another day.  I get up and attack the cellar.  I take a utility knife and get through all the tape holding the heat tape on and take off the old heat tape.  The thermostat was in the back corner and I couldn’t see it and I did a test but couldn’t tell if the tape is working or not.  After I take it off I plug it in and the light comes on.  That means it must still be good.  I get a bag of ice and put it on the thermostat but the tape doesn’t seem to warm up.  I start reading about the new tape.  It’s different from the tape that was on there.  It goes straight down the pipe instead of wrapping around.  It’s a little longer than I need.  I don’t know if I’m supposed to bend it around a corner or not.  It doesn’t really say.  Sandy stops by to check the cats and we chat.  Today is the appreciation BBQ put on by the volunteer fire department.  Denise calls and says they are on their way so I walk up to the fire station.  There are lots of people there already.  We get our food and my phone rings and it’s Sandy saying they are getting ready to go.  I told here we were just starting so in a few minutes they show up.  I met Sandy’s brother who lives in town and her Mom who lives in town.  I see a couple of people I met at the library benefit.  I hang around for about an hour and decide the cellar awaits.  I get back and I think I might put the old tape back on but I’ve accidentally cut it with the utility knife so on with the new.  I put on the new tape wrapping electrical tape around it, then I wrap insulation around it and then some plastic covering although I don’t think I probably need it.  It’s not the best looking thing I’ve ever seen but it will work.  I set up the ceramic heater and put some insulation down there.  It takes me the rest of the afternoon and it’s early enough I think I’ll hit the road.  The pipes should be all set for the cold.

I leave the temperature in the kitchen at 60 and leave the propane heater around 65 – 68.  I put out the warming base for the chicken waterer so the cats will have water.  Sandy insulates some crates so the critters will be have a warm place.  I think we’re all set for the frigid temperatures this week.  Jerry doesn’t think I’ll need the tape, heater and the heat lamp but this week it may be overkill but I’ll leave them on just for my comfort level.  He thinks unless it’s below zero with being in the cellar that I don’t have to worry about them freezing unless it’s like -20 to -40.  That would be good because the ceramic heater is expensive to run.

All the art stuff is still in the middle of the floor but next week is another week.  Not much relaxation this week.  No rest for the wicked I guess.  I’m tired and my head hurts so ….Ok, big sigh, I’m glad that’s done and I’m ready to go and head off down the road.





About pbodwell

Master Gardener; Nat'l Award Winning Photographer; Garden Writer; Artist - art books, print maker, hot glass, wire jewelry designer; sometime quilter; new homesteader; bee keeper; very crafty; Baseball fan, enthusiast, and researcher; all things vintage
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