Posted tagged ‘factotum’

“I’ve buried a lot of my laundry in the back yard.”

July 27, 2017

My quiet mornings ended this morning. I heard a dog barking, a little girl yelling from down the street, two mowers from different directions and voices from the next door deck. Gracie even barked out the front door. I didn’t bother to get up to see why. I was hoping to fall back to sleep, but then it got quiet and the silence was as loud as the noise.

Today I have people. Skip, my factotum, is completing the deck decorating. He has connected the umbrella light, gotten the fountain working and put down the deck rug. The barbecue has been cleaned, and the squirrel nest on the tray underneath the burners has been cleared. My shower has a new board replacing the mushy one. New lights are on the rails just waiting for the spawns to eat. Lee and Rosanna, my cleaning couple, are due here in the afternoon. Peapod is coming Saturday morning with all my groceries. My job is to write checks, worthwhile checks, as a recent study has shown that if you hire people to do household jobs you are far happier. That would be me sitting here with a grin on my face.

It was sunny when I woke up, but clouds have taken over the sky, and the breeze makes the air feel a bit chilly. Last night I woke up cold and added a light blanket. How silly this weather is for late July.

My menu is set, my movie chosen and the deck is ready for movie night. The only issue is the weather. It may rain on Saturday night at the movies so we’ll have Sunday night at the movies.

I’m getting the urge to cook again. I used to love making new recipes and inviting people to dinner. I’ve been mulling an international dinner with dishes from a variety of countries, each identified by a tiny flag. It would be fun.

When I worked, I had a schedule for weekdays and another for weekends. I got everything done: the cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry and garden and lawn work. Now I have people. The only thing left for me is the laundry, and I admit I procrastinate. The laundry bag sits in front of the cellar door for a few days and sometimes even a week. I don’t even care. If I could hire a laundress I would. I have no pride!

But you can’t plead with autumn. No. The midnight wind stalked through the woods, hooted to frighten you, swept everything away for the approaching winter, whirled the leaves.

November 2, 2015

Skip, my factotum, is here, and the deck furniture and decorations are disappearing, some being covered and others being stored in plastic bins. I was outside for a while just chatting but I got chilly so I came inside. Skip doesn’t need any instructions from me. He does this every year. For him it’s a job, but for me it is the sad ending of movie nights, barbecues, sitting by myself under the stars watching fireflies flit through the backyard and listening to cicadas which always remind me of maracas.

The sun taunted us a bit earlier. It came and went quickly. It’s getting chillier and the sky is cloudy. The breeze comes and goes. Right now everything is still, not even a leaf is moving. I think I’ll read today. I’m thinking cozy under the covers. If I nap, it’s all good.

I’m wearing what I think of as my winter uniform: flannel pants, socks and slippers and a sweatshirt with a pouch to keep my hands warm. When I was a kid, I had pairs of flannel pajamas. When I got home from school and wasn’t going out, I’d change into pajamas because they were comfy and warm. I always wore slipper socks. They and the pajamas were traditional Christmas gifts. My pajamas had snowmen or elves, Christmas trees or even Santa on them. My slippers were usually red. They had a sort of knitted top and leather soles. I liked the scuffing sounds the soles made on the wooden floor. My mother didn’t.

My mother wore slippers, sort of slippers. The toes were open, and they had no backs. I always thought they were useless because to me slippers are meant to keep your feet warm, but my mother said her feet never got cold. The rest of her did as she always had the thermostat up high. We’d complain. She’d get feisty.

I know why the heat was up so high. I’ve learned the older I get the less tolerant I am of cold. My mother’s house would be perfect now.

“The power of finding beauty in the humblest things makes home happy and life lovely.”

August 5, 2013

Today has already been busy and it really just started. First it was Sunday breakfast, changed to Mondays until after Labor Day, then Skip, my factotum, came over and we went through the list of stuff needing to be done. He measured then off we went to the paint store then the lumber yard. He is replacing a board and two steps in the original part of the deck, sanding and painting a small table, filling in Gracie holes which are half-way to China, repainting parts of the deck chairs, painting both bathrooms and repairing an antique small cabinet which just needs gluing. I wait until I can keep him busy for most of a week before I get him over to work. Right now he is working on the Gracie holes. She’ll be thrilled. Tomorrow she can dig them all again!

My friend Clare has had spawns of Satan chewing the back webbing of her deck chairs, similar chairs to the ones I have where the spawn gnawed off the paint a couple of years back. Her spawns have eaten one chair so much the back is no longer attached to the frame. This morning I noticed one of my chairs has been gnawed a bit on both sides at the top, same spots as hers. I’m thinking her spawn has ranged about and found my deck. I sprayed the chairs with a red pepper spray the spawns don’t like and put chairs one on top of the other so the spawn has no access to the tops. I’ll check tomorrow to find out whether or not my efforts have thwarted those offsprings of Satan.

I have new neighbors. I think they are weekenders as they were here from Friday until this morning. The house they bought was in some obvious disrepair, needing paint and landscaping, but it seems the worst couldn’t be seen from the street as the backyard was filled with trash bags and hadn’t been touched by a mower or trimmer. My new neighbors did exactly what I would have done. They hired Sebastian, my neighbor and landscaper, to do all the back clean-up.

Today is an absolutely perfect day, sunny and cool. It was only 68˚ earlier this morning and has since warmed up but only to the low 70’s. The sun is brilliant and beautifully framed by the bluest of skies. Not a cloud mars the beauty. It’s a day to be on the deck with a cold drink and a good book. That’s it: my entire plan for the day. My work is done.

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