18 August, 2012

Pipe dreams

The house was sold and my parents are homeless until the house is built. But the good news is that the builders started site prep this week. Excitement abounds.

I did a dog transport today.  It was a little black male who was drastically underweight at 17 pounds. He also had huge matts and scaly skin and needs to be neutered. I am SO glad he got into rescue; whoever had him before should be shot.

I am currently watching the BBC movie of My Family and Other Animals and it's making me want to run away to Corfu. Wonder if Greek real estate is less dear than it used to be?  Perhaps I could get some while it's cheap. A little white villa, like a sugar cube, overlooking the sea somewhere.

12 August, 2012

This Old House

I have been in Clemson, SC since last Thursday night. I have been helping my parents pack up their house and move their belongings into storage. They are selling the "family home" and building a new house in Patrick Square, a newish development just a short drive from Clemson Gardens, the old neighborhood. The new house is called "the York" and has 3 bedrooms and 2 baths, all on one level, and a two car garage. Since it will all be new, there should not be too much upkeep needed, and they will not have to do any outdoor work. The grass is mowed by the HOA, there is a pool and community center. Mom and Dad go out there to swim now and drive around; even though they don't have their house yet, they feel like part of the community.

We have worked hard the last three days. We've packed many boxes and moved them to storage. All their clothes and things they need to live daily have been moved to the cabin where they'll be staying until January 13. The cabin belongs to their friends Debbie and Gene and has been empty for the last 18 months, and Mom and Dad will be there until the house in PS is ready. It's near Table Rock state park, and is about 45 minutes from Clemson. It's a very cute log cabin with three br and two baths. They'll be comfortable there, although it sounds like they plan to drive down every day to watch the progress on Chez Graham.

I am full of mixed feelings. I am thrilled that they have made this decision and are excited about the next chapter of their lives. I think their new house will be comfortable and I'm glad they've sorted through their belongings and gotten rid of a bunch of junk. It is also bittersweet to say goodbye to the house we moved into when I was almost 4 years old and lived in until I moved to Maryland at age 22. A part of my history is passing out of family hands. It is really okay, I'm not sad, just a bit wistful.

We ate breakfast on Saturday at Grits and Groceries, in Belton, SC. Oh my goodness, the food was divine. We had apple fritters, praline bacon, tomato pie, shrimp and grits, and steak and eggs. The couple that owns the restaurant is interesting. She's the chef and he's the baker. He was from SC and she was from NC and they lived for years in New Orleans. When they had a kid they decided to move back to this area of the country so the boy would grow up where his people were. They bought an old house, gutted it, and created a restaurant where they serve gourmet Southern food with as much locally sourced food as they can. The decor was casual and fun and they don't let patrons talk on cell phones (yay!) while in the restaurant. If you ever get near Belton/Due West, SC, you should definitely try Grits and Groceries!

I head back to MD tomorrow. I wish I could stay until the moving company comes to pick up the furniture, but I've got to get back to Thomas and the puppers and my work.

07 August, 2012

Stormy Seas and Black Dog Books

Storm at Sea in (mostly) Fairy Frost fabrics.

This is a detail of the Storm at Sea quilt I sent to my friend Stephanie. She and her husband spent several years living on board a boat, but they are now living back on dry land. I thought a Storm at Sea in these particular colors (some of her faves) would remind them of good times on the Brine.

The cool thing about this pattern is that there is not a curved line in it, it is all straight seams, but the eye sees curves. It's a beautiful pattern and these Fairy Frosts are very nice.

Last Saturday Thomas and I went by the library, and I found four books. It was not until I was in the car looking at them that I realized that three of the four had a picture that included a black dog on the cover. Here are two of the covers. I wasn't aware that I was choosing Black Dog Books, but I was!

Product Details

Product Details

I have also been reading a lot of books on Project Gutenberg lately. I read Dear Enemy this week. It is a sort of follow up to Daddy Long-Legs and is charming. The main character is Sallie McBride, Judy Abbott's college chum, who has been coerced into working as the Matron of The John Grier Home, the orphanage where Judy grew up. Sallie is going to drag the orphanage, kicking and screaming, into the 20th century. It's told in the form of letters from Sallie to everyone she knows, and it's really funny.

Something I've noticed though in all these old books, is that I am (stupidly) shocked by the casual racism. I shouldn't be, I know that it was a different time, and what seems just ignorant and unbelievable to me was ordinary.

05 August, 2012

Couple of pictures

This was our houseguest last week. Her name is Maggie. I called her Lady Maggielotta Busypants!

This was our potato harvest this year:

Fun to eat our own potato harvest. Look at the size of some of the tiniest of potatoes. There are also some tomatoes and Thai peppers from our garden.