The Gnome and I – Adventures in First Time Home Ownership
Episode 11 – The Throne
To read from the beginning click here: The Gnome and I
One day Henri looked critically at the parlour and remarked, “Tu es une reine. Où est votre trône?” (“You are a Queen. Where is your throne?”)
Strange how he always overlooks the fact that I am Queen when there was work to be done! But Henri had a point. I longed for a comfortable chair for reading. I searched online but could not find the type of chair I wanted at an affordable price. I remembered seeing a second-hand shop in town. Maybe I could find something there. The people in the shop stared at my beret; apparently I’m the only one in town to wear one. They somehow missed seeing Henri’s red hat. There was a nice-looking chair for sale but the fabric did not match the rest of my decor. (I now worried about such things as matching decor!) The price was right with free delivery so I decided to give upholstering a try. What could go wrong?
Apparently quite a lot, I realised after viewing upholstery videos online. I did not have the skill level or proper tools to take the entire chair apart. There was nothing wrong with the stuffing so I elected to recover the chair instead.
After searching for hours online I finally found the perfect dark red velvet and matching fringe. But I was so petrified of ruining the velvet that the chair remained untouched for a few months. I painted the feet ebony black. I finally got up the courage to make the pattern pieces out of parchment paper and cut the fabric. Working very methodically, I hand-sewed and glued the velvet to the chair and then hand-sewed the fringe around the bottom edge. It took a week to recover the chair and at last I had a proper throne!
Now Henri repeatedly made fun of the plastic tray I ate upon and purchased an appropriate vintage silver-plated tray on ebay. (Who gknew he had an account on ebay?!)
All I was missing now was a tiara and a prince. I could buy myself the tiara easily enough. Finding a Prince Charming would be considerably more difficult (and cannot be ordered from ebay).
The Gnome and I – Adventures in First Time Home Ownership – Episode 10
Rearranging the furniture (again) and a Visitor
To read from the beginning click here: The Gnome and I
[Another phrase to watch out for when looking for a home is ‘location, location, location’. The real estate agent repeated over and over about how great the location was. Yes, the house is within walking distance to several shops and I do not own a car. But the house is located on what appeared to me to be a two-lane country road. It turned out to be one of the busiest roads in the county of which I am sure she was aware. I was envisioning bucolic peace and quiet. Instead, vehicles of every size and description drive by my house 24/7. I have yet to see an army tank but would not be surprised if one passed by.]
November was cold and rainy; perfect for staying indoors. So I had no excuse for not finishing the seemingly never-ending unpacking. The house has two bedrooms; one of which I planned to be my studio/craft room. I thought I had things arranged. (Famous last words!) Necessity made me switch bedrooms. I had originally chosen the bedroom on the west side of the house as it was a bit larger. However, the one on the east side was slightly more quiet; farther away from the barking dogs and traffic.
This meant moving all the furniture and unpacked boxes from one room to the other through the narrow hallway by myself. I moved my solid oak Edwardian bedroom set which included a very tall armoire from one side of the house to the other. Henri was suitably impressed. Of course, he supervised but moved nothing.
(Translation: Henri: “A bit to the right, please!”)
My new sofa and rug had finally arrived for the parlour.
(Translation: Henri: “Get rid of those ugly planters, please!”)
(Me: “Been reading Better Gnomes and Gardens again?”)
One evening as I was watching television I saw something move next to the computer armoire. I got up to investigate and was greeted by a mouse. A tiny black and brown mouse which froze in its tracks. We stared at each other and then it ran back behind the armoire. As there had been mice in the city rental, I was not too surprised to find them in the country. I expect it took a wrong turn and ended up in the house.
This gave me an idea in the event the mouse returned!
I didn’t see the mouse again until the spring. It had grown four times in size and ran through the kitchen to the basement. How it squeezed itself under the basement door was astonishing!
Here are my answers to Cee’s Share Your World 22nd May 2017 edition:
What one thing have you not done that you really want to do?
Walk on the Great Wall of China.
How often do you get a haircut?
Never! I do trim the ends every so often.
In regards to puzzle what’s your choice: jigsaw, crossword, word search or numeric puzzles?
I used to like jigsaw puzzles when I was a child.
How many cities have you lived? You can share the number of physical residences and/or the number of cities.
10 cities, 18 residences
The Gnome and I- Episode 9 – Halloween
Episode 1 Episode 2 Episode 3 Episode 4 Episode 5 Episode 6 Episode 7 Episode 8
Having taken care of the outside of the house it was time to continue the organisation inside. It was getting cold and I had planned to change out the old oil furnace for a natural gas one. A very expensive addition to the house but necessary. The house came with a used glass top electric stove complete with alien gadgetry that I would never use. I donated it and purchased a new gas one; no bells, whistles, timers, clock or other features that fall apart the day after the warranty expires. Although the electric had a self-cleaning oven (I hate to clean the oven!) everything I cooked on it looked like it had been blow-torched. I like crispy food but this was ridiculous.
It was quite a circus one morning with the plumbers, gas company, fire chief and delivery men all arriving simultaneously to do the replacements and inspections. Thankfully everything was installed by lunch time. And I was able to enjoy a meal that was not charred beyond recognition.
It was almost Halloween. I unpacked my decorations and set them up in the Curiosity Room. My bat, Fledermaus, chose a front row spot on the table so he could get a good look at all the children’s costumes.
In the past month Henri asked to take time off from guard duty for a few evenings. I wondered if he was on another gninja assignment (episode 7). He explained he was at the library. A show of hands, please. How many of us used that excuse on our parents when we were clearly up to something of which they would not approve?
Turns out he was really at the library. On a romantic rendezvous! What most folk didn’t know, there was a branch of the Gnomic Public Library located on the side of the town library. It was invisible to all but those who believe in the possibility of the magickal. Henri had met Miss Rita Booke, the head librarian. After a few dates, he had asked her to the Halloween Ball.
Rita cooked up some treats in her cauldron that we all enjoyed. Henri invited his friend, Jack, to the festivities. And insisted I take their photos. I turn into a vampire on Halloween. So naturally there is no photo of me as the camera could not see my reflection. Needless to say, we all got stomach aches from too many Halloween sweets. 🙂
Druid Tree Lore – Celtic Lunar Astrology
13th May to 9th June
Above is my new design for the 11 inch x 14 inch Zodiac signs! They can be personalised with your name or the recipient’s name. Below is the 8 inch x 10 inch Zodiac sign.
All of the designs can be seen on my website magickmermaid.com
About Druid Tree Lore and Celtic Lunar Astrology
People have been marking the passage of time by the phases of the moon for millennia. Although it is impossible to say for certain because the lore and traditions were not written, many historians believe that both the Celts and Druids used a 13 month lunar calendar. The months and symbols differ from the solar calendar with which most of us are familiar. Druidic horoscopes are often mentioned in legends.
Trees have long been a source of sacred folklore with each chosen to represent the months and having its own magickal properties. The Ogham symbols may have been devised by ancient Druids. As several of the symbols refer to trees, the ogham alphabet is often called the Tree Alphabet. These symbols are included next to the tree names which are shown in both English and Old Irish. The animal symbols are my interpretation based on various sources. The ruling planets of each sign are also noted. The information provided here is an introduction to the wealth of knowledge concerning Druid teachings and Celtic lore.
See the entire collection of zodiac signs at MagickMermaid (Studio tab at the top of the page).
The Gnome and I – Episode 8
Leaves Me Alone
Episode 1 Episode 2 Episode 3 Episode 4 Episode 5 Episode 6 Episode 7
I was a bit disappointed that my property had no trees; only three tree stumps. However, as Autumn arrived I had masses of leaves. Leaves from the noisy-dogs-neighbours’ trees blanketed my entire property. If the situation was reversed I would have offered to rid their property of my leaves. Instead, they watched me raking their leaves, yet offered no assistance or bags. Henri was appalled. ‘Comportement grossier!’ (Churlish behaviour!)
Henri suggested I bag the leaves and place them on their doorstep with a note “Merci vous êtes les feuilles de vos arbres. Je suis retourner à vous.” (Thank you for your tree leaves. I am returning them.) It was difficult to restrain myself but I refrained from leaving a leafy present; i.e. choose your battles with neighbours wisely.
Mid-October arrived. There was just enough time to plant bulbs and Dan supervised. Henri looked on with approval as I dug holes, inserted the bulbs and then covered the beds with hay. Contrary to popular belief not all gnomes all partial to gardening. Henri preferred to watch me do all the work.