Just Odds and Ends

“This is how post-apocalyptic movies begin”, says my friend at work, “It stops raining and then never rains again.”

After complaining so much about our soggy fall and winter I almost feel bad complaining about dry, dry, dry summer. It’s like the Northwest has suddenly gone bi-polar. After the wettest season on record we’ve now broken the record for the longest dry spell. 58 days I think it was without rain, and when it did rain we got perhaps 3/10 of an inch. No rain since. The grass is crunchy. A walk through the yard sounds like you’re walking on paper.

The late heavy snow that we had earlier in the year pretty much wiped out our pears and plums.

We have two plums and four pears. Now I understand the drive to preserve as much of each crop as possible. Luckily we don’t have to rely solely on our own results to feed us. I do now have an inkling of what a failed crop must feel like to a subsistence farmer. Just an inkling though.

On a lighter note I sent the picture below to another nearby hobby farmer who has a Dexter bull we’re talking about using for, um, passionate stuff.


In my defense, the person I’ve been talking to sent me a picture of her bull first. Still, it feels a little like a bovine match.com. Swipe right. (I don’t really know what that means but I hear the kids say it all the time!)

I have no segue for the next paragraph.

I just finished listening to Never Caught, a book about Oney Judge. Oney Judge was a slave owned by George Washington. Well actually she was owned by Martha Washington. Except actually she was one of Martha’s dower slaves which means she actually belonged to Martha’s first husband, Daniel Parke Custis, and Martha was given use of her along with 1/3 of Daniel’s estate until Martha’s death at which time ownership would pass to Martha and Daniel’s offspring. Just surreal.

Daniel Parke Custis is a distant ancestor of mine. My mother discovered this many years ago during a genealogy jag. Up until listening to this book the admittedly indirect link we share with the first president of the United States was not something I thought about much. It’s made no difference in my life – other than perhaps a chuckle every once in a while at a party or in conversation. But it was downright jarring to listen to this narrative of slavery and escape from slavery and pursuit of human property where every other character’s name was Custis. It’s disturbing to think that I share even a little blood with people who owned other people… and worse, pursued them after they escaped that awful institution.

Sometimes life gives you information you have no idea what to do with.

Oney Judge escaped slavery in her early twenties and although she was always property in the eyes of the law, she lived as a free woman until her death in her 80’s. She gave a couple of interviews towards the end of her life and was asked if she regretted running away seeing as how she actually had to work so much harder outside of Mount Vernon. She replied that she would rather die than return to slavery. I think I would rather have had Oney Judge as an ancestor.


Where I Admit I’m Not Perfect

So yeah.

The other day Don found this really great sectional on Craigslist for this really great price. Unfortunately, in order to get it we had meet the people at 6pm on a Sunday. Some of you may not know this but 6pm on a Sunday is when those of us on the West Coast can watch the East Coast broadcast of Game of Thrones. AND this particular Sunday was the season premiere. I was inappropriately peeved by this – I limit my t.v. time, not because I believe t.v. is bad for you and sucks away your intellect and generally drives culture down the drain (which I do mostly believe) but because I have to be up at the buttcrack of dawn in order to be at my desk at work by 5:45 a.m. each morning. And no, there is no legitimate reason for me to be a work that early, it’s just a rule, a stupid rule.


Because of my inappropriate peevishness and my desire to return to my comfy couch as soon as possible I might not have secured certain parts of the sectional as well as I should have. “Surely that won’t blow out” were my exact words.



This is what the corner piece looked like when we got home. Dammit.

Was all hope lost? The manwife certainly thought so. AND the worst part about the whole thing was he was upset because he upset me. It’s just not fair loving someone because you can’t be a jerk when they’re sorry you’re being a jerk and some such and so on. Long story short, I HAD to make this right. I told him to look and see if he could find a replacement piece online and I would see what I could do with this disaster.

Well, turns out I’m not a total loser. Because…


I dug through my scrap wood pile, put on my creative cap and FIXED IT! It took me three days of doing nothing else after work but I don’t think there are many sets of three other days in my past that were spent so well. There are things you can gloss over in a marriage and this might’ve been one of them but I think I was skirting pretty close to the line. Did I mention that the amount of peevishness I expressed was inappropriate?


I was really surprised there was such a small amount of damage to the leather itself because this baby was literally rolling down the highway at 45 miles per hour. Those scuffs you can see plus a few right at the top of the back are all there were. Currently they are hidden pretty well just by putting the whole thing together. We are looking at leather repair kits online to actually fix them. And a good thing we are too because…


Not only is it real leather and a stunning piece of furniture, when we actually looked at the tag we were kinda flabbergasted. This sofa was made in Italy in 2005 – literally the tag says made in Italy in 2005 – and when we looked up comparable pieces on the manufacturer’s website they ranged from $5k to $10k. We picked it up for $300.

I try not to be too much of a putz because every time I do it just bites me in the ass.