Williams Jazz Festival; Violets

We enjoyed performances by two Williams College jazz combos and the Terri Lyne Carrington Quartet. Ron was very impressed.

We went to Pownal to pick up the truck. I dropped by the Mini Market at the Mountain Goat and brought home Two Bear Bakery pastries.

After hemming and hawing about emptying the gas tank (we didn’t), dropped off the lawn mower to South Side Sales in North Adams. Nice people!

Schlepped the little vacuum to the Williamstown Rural Lands Repair Cafe. Turns out it was just clogged, duh. Wish I’d thought to bring a sweater that needs mending; maybe in October. Yet more nice people….

I planted 11 mail-ordered violets today.


Great band, Ron loved it, fine set at Goodrich Hall last night.

New person from Modern Pest, said there was only a slight evidence of feeding – good news.

PeterM did a bunch of work in the attic and cellar and didn’t need to run wire for the front light to get it to work. So we have illumination at both doors. He was back early this morning to fix a minor problem with the upstairs hall light.

I couldn’t get out of my own way yesterday, stayed in pajamas all day even when the visitors were here. I did hard boil some eggs and made matzo ball soup from a mix. The Joy of Cooking days are long-gone for me.

Bissons will fix the truck: front brakes, caliper, pinion seal, transmission line. Getting a price for tires. They are open tomorrow: who ever heard of an auto repair shop that works on Saturday?!

We really are on the other side of the rainbow.

Ron still having problems with his right shoulder. This morning, it was riding higher than his left. He made a batch of French toast with stale white bread: good!

Ron transferred $4,500 to my Greylock savings account as partial compensation for the grief he put me through around moving.

I dropped him off at the theater department pizza lunch. He walked home and enjoyed taking pictures on the way!

I stuffed two more bags with leaves, swept out the vestibule, closed the coal closet doors and put the little bench back in place. Evened out the mulch. Hollytoned the rhodie and the hollies. Turns out we have dozens of wood or wild forget-me-nots in the garden and the lawn!

After paying GEM and budgeting for the driveway, oil tank and truck repair, we have some left for the second floor work but probably not enough. I did catch up with Ryan on the road, hope he can send me a proposal for the ceiling soon.

Meanwhile, a new company is looking for work. Made an appointment for the owner to visit on Wednesday.

Brass Concert

I enjoyed the Williams College Brass Ensemble end of year concert last night. Their performance of Mussorgsky’s “Great Gate of Kiev” was a particularly moving finale.

We had a hard freeze last night and the poor pansies were limp this morning. Fortunately, by noon they’d recovered. Tough little guys!

I finally put all but a handful of mulch on the garden that abuts the deck. Ron was too busy composing Great Thoughts to help until the very end. His “help” was minimal and accompanied by a lot of bitching and complaining.

The gentleman from GEM continued work. He pointed out that some of the wiring looks like it’s been chewed. Oh joy.

Electricians from Mass Save tried to inspect the wiring but were unable to get to the attic because of the toxic spraying – bad timing. One of the electricians came back today. As expected, they didn’t find knob and tube but did recommend other work that I passed on to PeterM.

The architect and two contractors discussed our second floor challenges this morning. Another two never showed up.

I was able to fit in a fine Stats colloquium on Shrinkage: Stein’s Paradox.

The plumber, who is also the Plumbing Inspector for two towns, finished up most of the sewer pipe venting. He needs a part for the rest and hopes to come back next week.

We went to Walmart for Ron’s meds and a few groceries.

We dropped the truck off in Pownal for servicing tomorrow.

Ron was a train wreck tonight, in terrible pain from a mysterious neck and shoulder injury. We both collapsed early.

Yet Another FUBAR; COVID Bivalent

GEM kicked off the project today. They found to their horror that the negative pressure machine they use pulled sewer gasses through the house.

The head of GEM’s plumping affiliate, who happens to be the Plumbing Inspector for Adams and Clarksburg, will return tomorrow to vent or otherwise make legal the not one, not two but three sewerage pipes in the attic. And by the way, he found that the roof rafters in the front of the house should be replaced. He will take a closer look tomorrow.

We got our Moderna Bivalent COVID shots today at Walgreens. We picked up lunches at the Senior Center: good today, baked meat substitute, corn and roasted potatoes.

Ron picked up his raincoat at the tailor shop and was well pleased and dropped off a couple of my articles of clothing for zipper repairs.

We think we straightened out a fitness membership he doesn’t remember taking out and hope to get at least a partial refund of two months’ charges.

We are also hopeful that his Tramadol prescription has been corrected. He stopped by his primary’s office to do that, and we confirmed with Walmart that they have the correct dosage and time period.

I got an increase in my credit limit.

We had a couple of conversations yesterday about how to knock down Ron’s balance at USE.

Productive But At Cost

Ron was hurting last night. Much to his credit and my admiration, he still made coffee.

He’d loaded the truck with heavy bags of leaves and did another transfer station run.

Then we pruned the big rhodie next to the driveway. He cut up the branches; figured it was about seven pounds worth.

Ron picked up his meds at Walmart. I brought compost-ables to Wild Soul River. We split a Subway sandwich for lunch.

Quiet one ahead: looks like rain all day.

We drove to Bennington for donuts.

Great Day

Ron had a fine lunch with the Williams Theater Department, got to talk with a retired professor.

He also did a transfer station run.

I finished mulching the area next to the driveway.

We attended the Berkshire Symphony’s last program of the season and were blown away by the orchestra, the solos and the music selection.


Spent a little time removing years of gooey cobwebs from the cellar.

Ron and I tore up as much landscape cloth as we could. Piles of weeds came with it which says something about how well it worked.

I attended a support group at the senior center and enjoyed meeting the other women.

Dropped off a check for our taxes to town hall. Had a good conversation with the Assessor about affordable housing and our progress on home improvements.

Fake It Till You Hurt Someone

I’ve been taken in by two fakers this year, the second of whom I asked to stop work, pack up his stuff and leave.

Before he could load up on supplies at rkMILES for another disaster, I stopped him by sheer dumb luck.

The bulkhead door is secure but it’s unworkable. The bottom hinge is distorted and attached in a weird, incorrect way.

Ron and I were able to fold up the big tarp that had been hanging in the bulkhead doorway. Later we swept and shoveled piles of insulation, dirt, cement, mousetraps and other detritus from the basement floor. Who knows, maybe we can make it into a rec room after all, ha ha.

We also temporarily repositioned the heat ducts next to the door that had been knocked askew.

Meanwhile, last night, attended a fine meeting at Wild Soul River and got to ask a lot of questions of the Select Board, School District Board, Planning Board and FinCom representatives. Learned a lot about the budget process in particular, and not just about Williamstown.

Our new town has quirks because of the Fire District and Regional Schools. Also has only one Town Meeting a year. Budgets are voted on by department and line item holds are not allowed.

Potted the last flat and cut some forsythia to accompany the pussy willows from Wild Soul River.

My young son asks me

My young son asks me… by Bertolt Brecht

My young son asks me: Must I learn mathematics?
What is the use, I feel like saying. That two pieces
Of bread are more than one’s about all you’ll end up with.
My young son asks me: Must I learn French?
What is the use, I feel like saying. This State’s collapsing.
And if you just rub your belly with your hand and
Groan, you’ll be understood with little trouble.
My young son asks me: Must I learn history?
What is the use, I feel like saying. Learn to stick
Your head in the earth, and maybe you’ll still survive.

Yes, learn mathematics, I tell him.
Learn your French, learn your history!

Cellar Door

We both fell asleep early last night, around quarter of nine.

Could have been because we didn’t get outside at all, it was raining all day.

I potted all but one flat today.

Took pictures of the attic. Gathered up the required documents and photos and sent them off to the ZAI Trust.

Ron is back from dropping off clothing at the tailor shop in North Adams.

Joe brought his son with him today and they were able to finish the cement work, install a new jamb and reattach the cellar door to its old hinges. It is very secure.

Looks like Dominion caved. Too bad.