Monday, September 14, 2015

Monday morning ramble.....

Exeter Cathedral in South Devon, England


I am putting my Monday Food Post in hiatus for a while, for how long I don't know, not too long I don't think.  I haven't been trying any new dishes of late, making old tried and true favorites, or simple but nourishing ones that we can just throw together. 

 We will also be busy with the family as Gregg's Dad is coming up to his 95th birthday and family are flying in to help him celebrate.  It will indeed be a wonderful celebration this year, it is an extra blessing for everyone. 

We have been very busy at home as we are starting a long list of projects/improvements, and we are up to our ears in pots of paint.  We do a little here and a little there, and we figured by using our tortoise and the hare method, we will get things done eventually, and probably get it more neatly done. At least we are moving in the right direction, and I couldn't be happier we have at least made a start.  We just won't be doing any entertaining at home until the downstairs is once again presentable.

 I have already mentioned the plumber visits and another man came to measure the area where our new stove top is going to be placed.  I will be able to put the portable two-ring burner away soon, fingers crossed.  It will be brought out when we have large gatherings and I need the extra cooking elements.  

In the meantime the stove top.  Oh boy, I thought it would be an easier project than it is turning out to be.  The standard measurements for kitchen appliances of a 30 year old house has changed, and a new standard stove top today doesn't match the hole in our countertop.  It is too small a hole, which means we are going to have to find a carpenter to make that hole bigger.  I wish we had those kind of skills.  My dad was an excellent hobbyist carpenter but did not pass those genes down to his daughter.  One day we will redo the entire kitchen but that's not in the cards for a while.  

Another man came by and power-washed the siding on our house last week.  The house is looking pretty spiffy on the outside.   He did a great job and we asked him if he could please come back next year.  He put us on his call list.

The hall closet is almost finished I am happy to say, and we have considered this a practice session for larger painting projects.  The last time we did any major painting ourselves was when we sold our house in California twenty-five years ago.  I could actually stand on a stool without getting dizzy, or bend my body without a groan, the kind of sound effects I use more and more when I try to touch my toes.  I can still actually touch them, but you know, sound effects.  

Now we are retired we figured we can paint the house ourselves.  The spirit is certainly willing.  We have a tandem technique.  Gregg paints the top part and the lowest part, and I do the middle part as far as my arms will stretch, no over-stretching, no groans.  It works out pretty good that way.  I have also been watching YouTube techniques from professional painters.  I have learned a lot doing that.  So, onward and upward and don't forget to paint in a 'W' Denise.  None of this straight up and down malarkey.  Any other tips out there please pass them on, and no we're not going to hire a professional until we absolutely have to.

This has been another busy month for visiting with family and friends, and we even managed a trip up to Skyline Drive in the Shenandoahs, fitted in between the many trips to the hardware store.

In our downtime we have been having fun with genealogy.  Gregg has discovered this wonderful new hobby, investigating not only his family tree but mine too.  Much to my surprise, and delight, I find that I have relatives in America, tracing back to some of the first immigrants to Jamestown in Virginia, and one who fought on the Colonial side during the War of Independence. 

Yes, I'm afraid being related to Princess Catherine of Denmark didn't pan out.  At that time there was no Catherine of Denmark, and no she didn't marry a relative of mine because she didn't exist. Gregg did have fun calling me Your Royal Highness for a while but thankfully that went away the next time he discovered another relative.  "Hey, did you know you were related to......"   It truly has been a hoot at times.  There were relatives who came here and settled in Pennsylvania in the 1800's, other in Indiana.  Some went to Australia.  There is Welsh, Irish and French blood coursing through my veins. Who would ever have thought.  

An old friend told me years ago that once we started doing this it would become addictive.  I can say now that he was right.  You just want to find out more. Gregg has gotten my roots going back as far as the 1100's and he is amazed at how great the records are allowing us to go back that far.  There have been a few misleads and we have had to backtrack here and there, but with lots of cross-referencing we have managed to stay on the right branch leading to another branch, and so on and so on and so on. 

I didn't realize how much fun it would be finding out about my relatives going back hundreds of years.  The names have been fun, like Bathsheba which was mentioned two or three times, a few Hannah's, there was an Armel married to Awelthy, Enoch, Samuel, literally thousands of names.  My grandmother, my mum's mother, had a brother called Bertie who at 18 years of age was on a ship that was sunk during WWI, and he was lost at sea.  His name is on the memorial in Plymouth which we visited on holiday.  We did not know about this as I have only just found out about Great-Uncle Bertie. I don't even remember my mum mentioning him but am so glad I know of him now.  Definitely another reason to go back.  Well, I know those of you who have been invested in genealogy know how wonderful a time we are having discovering new branches on our family tree.

Enough of the rambling.  At the top I put three photos together from our visit to Exeter Cathedral, and will do a main post soon.  All the times I visited Exeter in my youth I never once went to the Cathedral. I doubt I would have appreciated it then as much as I did this time.  It is an amazing place and full of beauty and history.

In the meantime, Her Royal Highness, not related to the Danish Royal Family, is going back to painting the closet.  

28 comments:

  1. Hi Denise, I fully comprehend and respect your decision. I have been doing much of the same in the way of cooking. I hope everything goes well for you and I absolutely love your photos here. :)

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  2. Good luck with all your projects. I hear you on the groaning (and moaning) front.

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  3. sounds like a very big project. Wish you luck on that. As always, my project always end up not what i imagine it to be. LOL

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  4. Enjoyed reading your ramblings this morning, Your Highness! Exeter Cathedralis very beautiful. Glad Greg is enjoying the family research.

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  5. Exeter and its cathedral is a wonderful place, I like your decorating system too!

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  6. Genealogy is fun. Gregg's done VERY well getting back to the 12th century - HRH or not, you must be pretty-well connected because most of us are peasants and no one bothered to keep records of peasants. Mind you, I delight in telling people that we're all related anyway: go back just a few hundred years and the number of ancestors a person has is greater than the population of Britain. Fab shots, by the way!

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  7. Nice pictures - my brother went to University in Exeter - so I recognise the cathedral from a few visits.

    Life can get busy at time!

    cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  8. I DO enjoy this kind of post, Denise. You know what interested me ... it was the 'W'. I never knew about brush strokes but I do now. Pity I don't do decorating anymore, but I can pass it on to Big Son who right now thinks he knows it all. I have something to tell him... smiles. I once tried to trace ancestors and came to a dead end.... it's interesting so perhaps I'll blog about it.

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  9. I thinks genealogy is an amazing subject, a way to discover more and know better about our roots, so cool! Good luck!Paws up!
    Hey...you busy girl, lots of things going on there! I hope everything is fine with the works at your place!Enjoy the preparations for the celebration with your family!
    Big hugs
    Léia

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  10. Well you do have a rich family history....and I like the tortoise and hare method too...now I need to get back to the projects now that I am more healed.

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  11. Hello Denise, I love the beautiful cathedral and images. You sound very busy with all the projects. I hope all goes smoothly. Planning your FIl's 95th birthday party sounds like fun, a great celebration. Have a happy day and new week ahead!


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  12. I know several people who are addicted to finding ancestors. i tried it for the free trial and it drove me nuts..i have mine back to about 5 generations from our bible, that is all i need.. i have addictions but mine is food and camera and reading.. sounds like you are going to be busy for along time. hope you find a good person to do the hole cutout. our house needs paint in and out, last painted in 1997 when bob retired. he painted all of it while i was at work, which was my kind of painting. but now neither of us is up to painting. he is outside witha a chain saw and i am inside praying

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  13. What will I fix for dinner without your food post? Just kidding. Thanks for the update and for the beautiful photos.

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  14. Interesting family history. I cannot do the same, because I have relatives in North Korea and South Korea. How could I ever penetrate North Korea?

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  15. That's a lot of work to get done around the house!

    I do recommend a Dutch recipe- hotspot, it's a simple stew of potatoes, carrots, beef, onions, easy to find a recipe online. A good winter meal to try.

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  16. Interesting read. Sorry to hear you are no longer a Royal Highness but I am sure you still are in your own home, which I am very impressed you are renovating!

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  17. i will miss your food posts, as you know, i am a big foodie!!! this is a good time of the year for projects but the to-do-list always seems never ending!!! the hubs just finished the garage and it looks awesome!!!!

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  18. Denise, I have really enjoyed your ramble...these are some of my favorite types of posts. Where people just talk about what is going on in their life...what they are doing, etc. Good luck with the painting...oh, those grunts and groans...I am all the time laughing about us cause anything I go to do I am grunting or groaning.

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  19. You are some busy. I also found that stove tops and wall ovens and fridges are different sizes. I would have to get a new set of cupboards to change this stuff. Good luck and great that you are doing this yourself.

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  20. Researching my family tree is something I want to do too. Lovely photos.

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  21. Wow, what a wonderful post.
    My dear dad celebrated his 90th birthday this year ... and your FIL is 95 a very good age indeed. Hope all the family can enjoy this very special time.

    You seem to have quite a good plan with your decorating and home projects - hope all continues to go well. Taking time is so important and who needs to rush things anyway!

    Enjoy your week.

    All the best Jan

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  22. We've remodeled three kitchens in our married life and I Know exactly how you feel. The first two times we ate the simple kind of meals you describe ( we had four kids then, so there was no choice) ... The last time, in Florida , fairly recently, we ate out mostly...I am pretty sure that was the last one. I do want to do more with genealogy! (so much fun stuff to do, so little time, sigh!)

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  23. Whew, I was exhausted reading this! ;) I admire your resolve to paint the house yourselves. I've painted a room here and there through the years. The painting part I love, but the prepping, taping and clean up are no fun. How exciting about your family tree. Let us know if you find any more interesting ancestors in your lineage.

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  24. You're going to paint the house on your own? Wow! That is fantastic and .... ambitious! I hate to paint. Sigh...

    95? That is too wonderful! Gregg is carrying strong genes.

    Have a terrific week, Denise!!

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  25. I like the tortoise approach to getting things done, personally! As long as there are no big messes that last for eons. ;) I'm sure the end results will be wonderful!

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  26. We did all the painting and many other projects when renovating our VA home and doing the work ourselves made it more our home and, of course, saved some $ and we were able to work on our schedule. Good luck to you and Gregg on all your projects. How wonderful to be planning Gully's 95th birthday too!

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