LLMs, Burlap, Oil, Cooking

Nice Saturday afternoon.

I’d attended a CompSci lecture on LLMs on Friday evening, so it was easy to park. Ron drove me to a follow-on by the same visiting professor on Saturday. Afterwards, we went to Spoon for frozen yogurt and almond croissants.

I’ve been nervous about running out of oil. Left a message for Preite and found they’d switched tanks by the time we got home. Outstanding!

At some point, I cleared leaves off the deck with the blower – much better than attempting to sweep.

I’d baked a lemon poppyseed loaf earlier in the week and made a pot of lentil curry soup.

Decorated a Pepperidge Farm chocolate cake to celebrate the little boys’ good reports from school.

Ordered burlap and stakes from Tractor Supply to protect the bushes back and front.

In a lot of shoulder pain earlier this week. Felt like I’d been stretched on the rack. Ron thinks it was from moving the credenza in the living room.

Williams College students continue to amaze me with their kindness. Same with the facilities: meticulous, first rate. It’s like living in a dream.

Pro-choice referenda passed overwhelmingly across the country this past Tuesday. So, of course, the right wing misogynists are plotting to overturn them.

Meanwhile, the new House speaker has posted a Christian nationalist flag outside his office.

Third Bedroom

The experts wanted to demolish it so we could have a code-compliant stairway and possibly save on labor costs as an additional benefit.

I figured having storage and possibly a guest room was more important.

This weekend I’ve been sanding the big baseboard. For some reason, James caulked it, which is going to make painting a little tricky.

I think I’ve got covering the cost of the new oil tank figured out.

Feeling guilty about not going out at all today.

Yesterday we got to the transfer station to dump the compost just as the train smashboards were closing. We were able to drive on around 2:57, but the attendant was locking the gate. Mercifully, he let us through.

After wandering around South Williamstown, we stopped at the A-Frame bakery for cheesecake (Ron) and crumb cakes (both of us).

I’ve been curious about the so-called beach at Margaret Lindley park across the street from the bakery, but the “beach” is only a very small, shallow cement bowl. The park itself looks nice, though.

Well, there had to be at least one way Mashpee has it over Williamstown.


I’ve done a little organizing in the living room. Ron is figuring out where to hang a couple of his decorative items.

View of the mountains and sky today is especially nice now that the leaves are down.

My left shoulder is hurting. Ron suggested it’s because of the work we did yesterday, in particular moving the hutch back in place.

Painted the two formerly unfinished pieces of baseboard; hallway is done.

I Should Be Cooking

The thing about cooking is the mess it creates, even with the use of a dishwasher. I hate it.

Ron’s medical person refilled his prescription but only for nine days. He is not happy. I called a couple of other providers, but they are not taking new patients.

On the plus side, I finished painting the living room front windows and trim. It’s good to have it done.

Went to the food pantry in North Adams but seeing the enormous line of cars, thought better of it. Stopped by the Food Project for a tomato soup and salad lunch and filled a bag with bread, rolls and bagels. Did a shop at Stop & Shop for cheese, “used” produce, eggs, relish and peanut butter.

Read a summary of the last two chapters of “Little Bird”. Relieved to learn that the mother Bezhig seeks is her real mother, not the self-centered adoptoraptor who vehemently denies the truth of Bezhig’s upbringing and kidnapping.

The writer and producer have depicted the trauma lived by many adopted people with uncanny accuracy. Bezhig is a heroic figure with a universal story that rings true for adopted people of all backgrounds.

Snow; Ron’s Appointment

It snowed all morning, stopped before noon, and warmer weather tomorrow.

Sleet this afternoon but didn’t last long.

After multiple cancellations, Ron kept his appointment with his medical provider.

Quiet Halloween, no visitors except for the boys next door and their Dad. Ron and I devoured a bag of candy in lieu of supper.

It occurred to me that our window treatments are done!

I made progress priming and painting the front windows and trim in the living room. The ledge, which is a feature I really like, is so badly stained, even a couple of coats of Zinsser didn’t fully cover it.

Ron is trying to put back the railing, which he took off for no good reason. Its absence has been a safety hazard.

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.