This morning I got up at the crack of 9:30 and set to work squaring the door to Beth’s bedroom. Shortly after we moved into this house (i.e., right after it was built), her door was unable to close. In the past, I would have whipped out a plane and a chisel. I’d have planed the top of the door, and I’d have moved the strike plate. Then the door would have closed and latched.

But these days I know better. The door is already square, and the strike plate was mounted in the jamb at the factory. It is already in the right place. What is not in the right place though, is the door frame itself. So I carefully pried off the facing, both inside and out. I had bought some shims yesterday, so I wedged them in at the top of the door, and tapped them in while checking the frame with a square. Once it was square, I quit tapping. I tested the door. It closed. It latched.

Then I went to the basement to scrounge up some finishing nails, but the only ones I could find were the wrong size. I needed little ones to attach the facing to the jamb, and larger ones to attach the facing to the wall. Plus I wanted a mondo finishing nail to spike through the door frame into the stud. It looked like a trip to the hardware store was in order.

Va and Beth came along too, and we pretty much made an afternoon of it. The first order of business was lunch at Pizza Hut. We saw our friend Sharon there with her daughter Sarah (who teaches fourth grade). In fact, we waited in line with them and had a nice chat. Va asked Sharon if she would run a booth during Camp In next month, and Sharon agreed (she’ll run the basketry booth). Sarah was interested too. She’ll either hang out with Sharon, or she’ll run the pottery booth, but she wants to check her schedule before committing (always a good idea).

Then we went Shaws, Home Depot (got some nails!), and Michael’s, where we bought a bird feeder for Beth. The other day Beth told me that she wanted to become an expert at birds, just like I’m and expert (her words!) in wild flowers. She wanted a book, and I told her we already had one. This morning she went outside with the book and my binoculars, but she came in disappointed after 15 minutes. No birds. I suggested a bird feeder, and she was delighted with that idea. So we picked one up for $2.50 (using a 50% off coupon).

Then we went to Walmart so I could get a new pair of glasses. I almost bought some a while back, but they were all so expensive, and my prescription hadn’t changed. However, I have a tax-free medical expense account that expires at the end of the year – if I don’t spend the money in it, it’s gone forever. So glasses sounded like a good idea.

My brother has been making fun of my glasses for about the past five years (which is about how long I’ve had this pair). “The lenses are HUGE! You look like a relic from the 70’s!” etc. Well Mike – maybe you’ll like these better. I put aside my own preferences in favor of yours. I hope you approve! I won’t get them until after the new year, but luckily, I got to pay for them today (before my money turns into a pumpkin!)

After Walmart, we went downtown, and I made the mistake of driving on Main Street. That’s usually dicey, and today, it was a particularly bad choice. They had torn out a lane and had a hydrant opened up, so traffic was a tad on the sluggish side. I parked at my office and dashed in for the Fedora DVD, but I couldn’t find Dennis. I figured he might be back in a few minutes, so I hustled down the street to the bank and made a deposit. Then high-tailed it back to the office. Still no Dennis. I checked my office on the odd chance that he might have left the DVD on my desk (I had Skyped him earlier and told him I might drop by). It was there! I went back to the car, and then we drove home again. My errand to buy some nails (I also bought some drill bits) only took three hours!

I finished Beth’s door to my satisfaction (it now closes and latches), but it will need to be repainted now. Nail holes.

Then I took Beth’s bird feeder to the basement and slapped a coat of varnish on it. While I had the can open, I also applied a coat to a dining room chair. That’s been on my to do list ever since we moved in here in 2004. I didn’t have any paint thinner or mineral spirits though, so the brush will be a lost cause. Maybe tomorrow I can run in and get some thinner and a new brush. With any luck, I might even get it all done in under three hours!

Black and Blueberry Dewberry Pie Update

Judgement is now unreserved, and it is delicious! It’s a bit too runny though. If I could do it over again, I’d add some cornstarch to thicken up the filling. But it sure tastes good. A dollop of ice cream is the perfect topping.