Monday, January 11, 2016

Living in your comfort zone. . . . . . .

Well I thought I was happy here, but every now and then, especially with
 the cottage showing its age, somewhat like its owners, there are things needing
 assistance and some TLC. 

Of course (and Bob won't mind me telling you because it's become a 
family joke of sorts), I did what my mother told me not to do, married a 
man who is not handy around the house! 
Yes, I love him for many things, but repairing, renewing, renovating, restoring
 are not words he enjoys hearing, letting alone trying!
I blame our late dear fathers, both of whom grew up without ever being
 property owners and therefore never needed to fix much around their homes
 themselves. . . . . .although they never had to Call The Midwife, I think both
 probably called the plumber often, never teaching their respective sons or
 daughters even basic home repair.
I learned domestic things from my mother, but they didn't include fixing
 the plumbing, or remodeling the kitchen, more like sewing up a fashionable
 Vogue dress pattern, or baking a scrumptious lemon spongecake.

In my teens I tried to date boys who came to our house with a toolbox, and who
were being educated by English dads who loved fixing up their homes.
Special was John, (lovely, long time boyfriend to whom I became engaged,
 then left him for what was to be one year working in America and turned into
 fifty three - more on that another time if you're really interested!). He not only
 fixed cars and minor things about the house, but also did fabulous painting and
 wallpapering, and helped us in the garden, planting and tending our vegetables,
 shrubs and flowers.  

I may be here in my 'comfort zone' but I'm not a very happy camper today! 
What is it with many men in the home repair service industry?  
Even the guy who seemed to be the perfect one when estimating your home project.
 He has the greatest reviews, is not the cheapest, but you don't mind paying
 for good work and reliability. . . . . . what do you do, how do you feel when not
 only doesn't he show up on the very first day, he doesn't call or answer your
 calls/texts as to where he might be. Did he oversleep (almost 5 hours right now!),
 or God forbid - was he in an accident on his way here, has something
 horrific happened in his family, is he still breathing. 
What, why, where. . . . . . . the heck are you?
I'm worried about you!
Will you appear tomorrow?  I hope so.

Edited following day:
Thank you dear Calvert for coming this morning and starting our job!
Blog friends, just know there really are nice home repair people - 
sometimes you have to wait for them because they get
their busy days muddled up!
We actually have a gem of a gentleman working here today and
the next two - I think it will be fun!

Meanwhile, playing the waiting game has allowed me to complete some after
 holiday cleaning and rearranging in the dining room. My friend Julie informed me
that the newest term is "curating your home". 
The meaning of 'to curate' is to select, organize and look after a collection.
 I do have stuff. . . . . . . .and there I was recently thinking I would try to
 become a minimalist.
How silly was that.
 I just know you're laughing!

BTW - if you haven't watched the PBS series Call The Midwife you have missed 
a truly amazing show. Series 1-4 is now available on Netflix - season 5 will
 run later this year, and I'll be ready and eager to watch it.

How's your Monday working out?


  1. I've seen all of the ' Call The Midwife ' series Mary and loved all of them.
    I love EVERYTHING in your home and if your getting rid of any of it, get rid of it my way !!!! haha .... and, you have a caged Santos doll .... I LOVE them. I have one but it's not a nice as yours. I see you have a chandelier Mary ..... my post tomorrow is all about chandeliers ! Dried hydrangeas, white china, old leather books, chandelier droplets ...... I have all of those things !!!! You are a girl after my own heart ! XXXX

  2. It was comforting and reassuring to read this post. You, the composed Mary, seem to have it all and then you suddenly suffer a little set back. Oh, brother, my Monday was a shocker. I thought I was the only one. Now I feel that someone else had Monster Monday with me. Not as good as winning a Nobel Prize but still a comfort. If something can go wrong for Mary, bad enough to express her feelings aloud, then I am reassured that such disappointment and annoyance could happen to anyone. Tuesday has to be better for both of us. (Possibly your repair man was sick and turned off his phone.)

  3. There is something worse than being married to a man that doesn't know how to repair things...Being married to one who does and you can't get him to do a thing. haha! He doesn't mind me saying cause it's the same running joke in our family. Like trying to move a mountain. He does work long hours so that may be part of the reason. ;)
    Hubby and I are 3-summers in trying to get someone out here to build brick post on the front porch. 3-summers! We've hired one contractor after another and not one has yet to show or call. This summer we hired 2-contractors to repair a broken window and not one has shown up yet. We will try again come spring. I wish just once one would just show up when they said they would.

  4. Your dishes are so lovely, Mary. And you know how I feel about that cupboard. *be still my jealous heart*. I adore the little bird creamer. :)) I did marry a handy-man but since he's not reading this I can tell you...he takes tooooo loooong at everything. He's a bit of a perfectionist so ..I wait. I would love to call in help sometimes. ;-) Anyway, he has a major project coming up and he'll have to speed it up for that one. I have never watched that show. I will have to do that. Have a nice evening, Mary.

  5. What a beautiful collection of white china you have. I love white china. It has such a classic look.

  6. Dear Mary - I hate having repair men etc around the house, but needs must from time to time. I grew up with a father who did absolutely everything even flushed our mahogany doors when it was all the rage. The new owners of the house loved what they discovered when they removed my fathers handywork.
    My dear husband does nothing on the domestic front - he does the garden and sometimes cleans the car, but heigh ho as long as he continues to pay for the jobs to be done then that is fine by me.

  7. Mary, the contractors who built my deck and re-roofed my house in 2013 have fallen off the face of the earth, apparently. I had other work for them to do, but they never call me back. Ever. I have given up on them. I know at least one of them is alive, LOL, and still in business, because he is a nephew of my next-door neighbor.

  8. Oh boy, so many things to comment on this post. You will have to let us know what transpired re: the repair man!!

    Yes, I am the same as both you and Bob-- my father was/is an intellectual and certainly not the least bit handy but then again, it would have made little difference as I grew up far away from him in another country. My mother's father was too upper class to do handy man work so no help there either. Then I married my wife and she, like you, hoped for someone who could fix things but was out of luck there.

    Whenever anything breaks here, we are forced to live without or call someone.

    You a minimalist? Hahahaha. Ok, ok, sorry, Mary, but yes that did make me chuckle rather. Must admit!

    How eventful that decision ws to go to America! Who knows how life would have turned out if you stayed in UK. I often ask myself that too almost 30 years later. Yes, it would make a for a good blog post for you. WE would all enjoy reading that, I'm sure!

    Good luck with the repairs! You need another neighbour boy who can come over easily with tool box in hand!

  9. Let me just tell you this. The carpenters, plumbers, etc. have all aged out and retired and the younger generations only wanted to go into careers that made a lot more money. At least that's what they thought.

  10. I am very lucky that Mr. Comforts is very handy and I myself can do many repairs. We have had contractors not show up, or show up even a week late. Crazy! I hope your guy shows up tomorrow, and give him and earful when he does :-). Your home looks beautiful Mary. I have not seen Call the Midwife. I will check it out!

  11. All of Call The Midwife is now in my Netflix Queue! I will watch them soon.

  12. I'm one of the lucky ones, my husband can just about fix anything and what he can't do he and our friend Mike can. Hate waiting for people who don't keep their appointments. Hope he shows up soon.

  13. First - your photos, as always, are so elegant and delightful. Second - I have a very different story than you - I grew up in a house with a dad who could - and would fix, repair, remodel, paint, build everything and anything. He didn't attend church with my mom and us children and often when we came home after two hours he had torn out walls and moved rooms all over the house. My bedroom was in every spot in the house except where the bathroom and kitchen were - and if he could have moved those and put bedrooms in I'm sure he would have. I always had lovely finished bedrooms - he did finish his projects - but I'd just fallen in love with one bedroom and he'd be busy ripping it apart and building me another one. I just wanted to stay where I was. His friends used to tease him that he should put zippers in the walls to make it easier.

    So I decided at a very young age that I would NOT date boys who were handy with tools - and I certainly would not marry one. I've accomplished my intended goal - Don is not handy about the house (well he can fix a door hinge or rehang a cupboard door - fix a few things on the deck, small stuff like that - and he's a very good painter) but he is not the least interested in major repairs or remodeling - my dream man. We have established our favorite plumber, electrician, handyman, etc and are both more than happy to call them in when needed. Although I do understand your being upset over a no-show - that is just rude if there is no disastrous reason for it (let's hope there is not). It is funny how we travel different paths and learn contentment on those paths - I'd never be happy with a man that would always be starting a new project - I'd rather have one to sit and read to me in the evenings and have great conversations with instead of one hammering and banging about in the house. Hope your repair troubles are all soon over.

    1. Oh thank God for people like you JoAnn! Ha. :)

  14. This post gave me a chuckle! Well, not the part about the contractor not showing up. Yikes! Does he have any online reviews, perhaps on Yelp or Angie's List? He'd better have a darn good excuse for not showing up. I don't know if I'd trust him after that unless he had an emergency.

    I also married a non-handy man. Intelligent, sweet, loving, caring, thoughtful - yes. Good at fixing or building things - no. Oh well, we can't have everything in a good husband, right? :-)

    Your house and decor are so beautiful - you need to show more of it!

  15. Owning a house sure means work and repairs, updates etc. and it's nice to have a handy hubby to help...which I am blessed with. I'm sorry your repairman didn't show up when he should. That is terrible and I bet he'll have a really good excuse when he does come. They aren't very reliable at all! The story of your first love sounds very interesting. I have watched Call the Midwife on Netflix and loved it so much. I thought it was all done when I saw the last episode and had no idea there is a 5th season. Yippee!! That's good news. I hope your repairman shows up tomorrow. Have a wonderful week.

  16. Oh dear, Mary! Well, as you probably know, I married my carpenter so I can not imagine his ever not showing up when he said he was going to. That has to be unsettling. I'd move on to the next one on the list if you don't hear from him tomorrow. If he had an accident, he won't be able to do the work anyway. If he didn't have an accident, he's not very trustworthy. All the best!

  17. Ah.... my monday was much less productive than I thought, but Tuesday is looking wide open. After going away to the bahamas for a week after Christmas (and all of the holiday hub bub) I am definitely paying the price and feeling a bit behind on putting everything away. Once that is taken care of I am planning a major purge & org session.

  18. I need to start watching Midwife on Netflix, as I always miss it on TV. Love the word to curate your home. You have a collection to drool over and to care for. Oh yes, my Jim think he can do most things around the house and sometimes waiting months or years is frustrating, plus he doesn't always know how to do it. We are having some discussions along that line right now on my oven and he doesn't see the problem. Hurmph! But Smiling!

  19. I got the first season of Call the Midwife from the library and enjoyed it. I haven't watched the other seasons. Glad he showed up to start your project.
    My husband is pretty handy, but he's a procrastinator, so things don't always get done very quickly.

  20. First, I'm back! Whew, and it feels great. I'm so terribly behind on reading your posts, so I'll try to be good and read a few per day to catch up.

    I've loved Call the Midwife! Didn't know that it was returning with more episodes! Such a fun show -- but also quite intimidating, as I'm now almost 26 weeks pregnant! Let's just say that I am SOOO thankful for modern medicine!

    Richard is working a bit from home today, so I'm getting much-needed laundry and tidying done. We may pop out to lunch later, as we're going to look at some bedroom furniture at Southpoint. I hope you and Grandpa are doing well, and that your home repairs are now doing quite well!

    xo Cassie

  21. I love Call the Midwife so much, we named our Soft Coated Wheaton…Chummy!


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