Calls, Shelves, Brackets

Spoke with three HVAC companies yesterday about installing a new return and heat pumps. We’ll see who actually gives us a proposal.

Started putting together the shelves and crashed them after doing something really dumb.

Painted more baseboard in the living room.

Ron put up the curtain rod brackets so he now has curtains in his “office”. They actually look surprisingly good with the green rug.

We attended a fine recitation of ghost stories at the Senior Center, preceded by a pizza lunch. Sat with two women who’d come from New Jersey just to attend the performance!

I just realized that I don’t have to pick up produce this week; winter CSA is every other week. Thankful; my legs hurt today.

Last Sunday in October

The roads to Mount Greylock summit will be shut down tomorrow, a sure sign that Winter isn’t far off.

Snow was predicted for Wednesday earlier this week, but that’s been pushed off to the week after.

The second bedroom curtains arrived today so I picked up brackets which Ron is trying to install.

I finished painting the baseboard trim on the long living room wall. It’s been rainy and my legs are not happy, although here in the third bedroom, I’m pretty comfortable right now. Beech leaves are a gorgeous orange and yellow.

We changed the sheets.

More struggling with SendGrid.

History of 71 Henderson

Picked up lunch at the Senior Center yesterday and met a neighbor who is related to our friends next door. He filled me in on some of the history of our house.

It’s a good deal older than we thought, 120 years or more: the neighbor’s father was born in this house in 1914!

We figure the little boys are at least fifth generation Williamstown residents.

Brought the old gutters and parts to the transfer station yesterday afternoon.

Stopped by Preite to drop off a check but no answer on the furnace return duct size question. From my research, it’s not magic: depends on the tonnage. Ours is 3.5.

I found another filter, a small one absolutely packed with detritus, in the furnace and replaced it. Picked up a better filter for the top of the box, will use it when it’s time for a new one.

On the way back, I bought muffins and biscotti from a lady who had a pop-up next to Wild Soul River.

Landscaper came by today to go over pruning the forsythia and reinforcing the back. The back of the yard is fine in his view and he’s got us on his list for the forsythia and maybe the rhodie, too. Very likely not until after they bloom.

Another plumbing company called. Long, rambling conversation that probably won’t go anywhere.

Ron got to the redemption center and brought home some great Sam Adams. He doesn’t like it; more for me!

I continued going through old paperwork. Found a giant bag of items to be shredded and a pile of recyclables. Didn’t accomplish much of anything else today, Saturday.

We May Have Made a Mistake

Yesterday we unearthed a truckload of gutter parts from the left corner of the back yard, figuring it was more junk the former owner had buried rather than recycling it. Alas, it occurred to me this morning that they were a low-rent alternative to landscape timbers to keep the soil from eroding and the shed in place.

Ron found his hearing aids! They were in the downstairs shower. Great, don’t have to listen to excuses why he can’t do X, Y or Z because he was staring at a $1,500 expense.

I screwed up, big time, wrote a check for our property taxes from the Greylock account instead of Rockland and overdrew both checking and savings as a result. Made a withdrawal from Rockland and a deposit to Greylock at the ATM and managed to crash the machine. Worse, they put a two-day hold on part of my deposit because it was in an envelope. Won’t do that again.

Jim the plumber dropped by to evaluate a problem with the upstairs shower. He says it needs to be vented. Guess Norman missed it. He suggested a “make do” for now – adding water to the trap after flushing the toilet – and will let us know when they can do the work. Jim was upset because we didn’t ask them to do the work after they gave us their proposal.

The better news is that they are interested in installing heat pumps for us. Checked with MassSave this morning, we are eligible.

Checked out Medicare offerings through Cal today, keeping things the same. Updated list of providers. Updated banking info with Bankers Life.

It’s been warm this week.

Woke up at quarter of three this morning, couldn’t get back to sleep.

Mischief, Yet More Painting, Ron Loses His Hearing Aids (Again)

Busy yesterday. I finished the second coat on the living room wall and painted around the front windows. Much left to do: trim.

We had a light lunch at the Senior Center and listened to a not very good presentation about composting at the Transfer Station. Incomplete and, worse, inaccurate information was provided.

What do these bureaucrats do with their time anyway?

We went to Walmart for our meds and brought home groceries as well.

Ron misplaced or lost his hearing aids. He has replacement insurance and can get another pair for $1,500 instead of $6,000.

I couldn’t get my project to run, sent it to Jim. He sent some code back which works. He thinks there is something environmental going on with my setup and I think he’s right, have a feeling that SendGrid is blocking my IP address. He’ll write an API for me.

The imps next door had a tiny snake and brought it over to show me. The garage door was open and they raced in, decided to give the snake a “ride” in the Corolla’s wiffle ball marker.

Bell was intrigued with the satchel of produce and wanted a carrot, but his Dad said they had some at home so, no. “But we don’t have GIANT carrots!”

It was warm today, 60 degrees, so I scraped and spray-painted the left side garage door today. It’s not a great job but at least the wood is protected with primer and paint.

Ron is very depressed about the hearing aids, had a long nap late morning to early afternoon. Got up to do a redemption run but got there too late. He’s continuing to work on the fence now.

I moved my computer setup into the second bedroom and looking out the window, am enjoying the gorgeous beech leaves. Soon I’ll have a view of mountains.

Put off the contract for the driveway. With the new oil tank and a possible big plumbing project in the works, we just don’t have the cash right now. I’ve cratered my credit rating with all my borrowing to get the house in order.

I downloaded an Excel spreadsheet, clumsily edited it and came up a list of heat pump providers from Mass Save; will start calling.

Made a topping for penne pasta today: onion, garlic, a little sweet pepper, spinach, sliced “giant” carrots, mixed greens, tomatoes. We ate it all.

Baked Pillsbury biscuits the other day for lunch with soup but they were gone by the time we went to bed.

Theocracy has arrived in America, a far right election denier was elected Speaker of the House. Well, it’s just for 14 months.

More Painting

I worked on the South living room wall today, put on a second coat past the windows and a first coat on the rest, including the new support column which as it turned out is a nice architectural feature.

James and Jake stopped by to figure out where they could install a return. Great to see them! From the photos, looks like they’ve been doing fantastic work up the street.

As if this was not enough joy, I was warmly received by my professor friend at Williams College who asked where I’ve been and invited me to come back on Monday. Brought candy to his seminar. Met some very nice students, too.

Stopped in to Dollar General yesterday for cookies, crackers and mixed nuts. Exactly $10.

It’s pouring rain today.

I set up the metal pumpkin buckets with a string of lights in the front windows.

Ron is off to the transfer station with a full pail of compost and about half a bag of trash, left with 15 minutes to get there, in and out.

Foliage peaked overnight, it was gorgeous in Williamstown yesterday.

Workplace Psychological Safety Act, H1882

I’m writing to ask you to co-sponsor the Workplace Psychological Safety Act, H1882, to give employees the right to a psychologically safe work environment.‚Äč

Unfortunately, we live in a society, even in Massachusetts, “where getting along with others” too often means subordinating oneself to MAGA-type bullying and abuse. I am sure as an office-holder you know exactly what I mean.

Managers and supervisors generally don’t have the skills to deal effectively with this behavior. They will put up with hits on productivity and morale to avoid confrontations with psychological abusers. Same is true for Human Resources professionals.

Having worked in Human Resources for decades, I can assure you that employers respond to threats of legal action more than any other incentive to change. For this reason, I think it’s necessary to provide workers and employers with legal recourse when psychological abusers run rampant. Such recourse does not exist now, which is why I’m writing to you today.

The Workplace Psychological Safety Act (WPSA) provides a cause of action for employees who suffer from workplace psychological abuse.

No doubt you’ve received other correspondence that details the reasons why many of us are supporting this legislation.

Sparing you a recap, I simply ask as your constituent: will you please co-sponsor the Workplace Psychological Safety Act?

Oil Tank, Modern Pest, Deer

The oil company owner and his son installed the new oil tank. It was more difficult and took longer than they’d figured, about par for the course for this old house. Ron griped that it was a disaster; I chewed him out for being so spoiled that he didn’t appreciate that a real disaster is when you don’t have people to help you. I reminded him that he had no idea what work his parents and grandparents did to keep their Rindge house intact.

I saw a squirrel take off with one of our tulip bulbs, so installed a piece of chicken wire that was behind one of the sheds and anchored it with rocks.

Got a not great photo of a deer in the corner garden eating tree leaves. There were three in all; two stayed behind the fence.

Modern Pest was here for a quarterly inspection and feeder refills.

Ron was not feeling well all day and finally remembered that he’d skipped his meds twice.

I’d forgotten to pick up the produce on Tuesday; fortunately, the box was still there yesterday morning.

Have been reading the CARES project report.

Roasted a pile of vegetables today, made enough to freeze half: squash, turnips, beets, Brussels sprouts.

Blinds, Bulbs, Building Department

Planted the tulip bulbs today. Measured and weeded about a 15 square foot area in front of the corner garden, dug out two boulders, arranged the bulbs in groups of six or so.

We got both living room blinds up. Ron did one and gave me an assist on the other.

Ryan and Travis from the Town Building Department came today, liked the third bedroom and living room renovations. Compliments to James and Jake. Travis will sign off on the project.

Great Night of Jazz at the Clark

Last night, I was delighted to hear three members of the Jazz Messengers plus three younger musicians perform a tribute to Art Blakey, and it was a stunner: elegant, classy. Ron, who had a problem with one of his feet, stayed home.

We’d gone to the Repair Cafe earlier, dropped off a blanket that needed its ribbon binding reattached. We did a trip to Stop & Shop for groceries and foot supplies for Ron, then back to Sheep Hill to pick up the blanket.