Sunday, March 1, 2015

Oh ye of little faith...

TEAM MOLESLEY!!!

Nearly right off the bat, Carson says "more's the pity," which is absolutely one of my very favorite things to say.  It is indeed a good omen, peeps.
This is the episode I have been waiting my whole life all season for...the episode where the old folks rule!  There are so many awesome characters on this show who are not twenty-something, and it was time for them to have a great eppy and this one did not disappoint. But more about those later.
Thomas the Sneaky (and Snarky) is back when he informs Bates that he shouldn't cut his arm off to help Anna, as they "can't have him wobbly at both ends..."   All this in the first five minutes!  I am in heaven, I tell you!! (This post is going to be chock-full of exclamation marks.  Brace yourselves.)
The whole fam damily is going to a castle that Lord Sinderby has rented for grouse shooting.  There is so much going on, and all of it engaging. (And a disengagement.  And then...)
Is there anything cooler than Maggie Smith's laugh??  Or her inimitable faces? Just asking.
Okay, now to the nitty-gritty.  First, there is some mystery with Robert.  Cora keeps asking him if he's okay, and he is evasive.  You are a middle-aged man with a paunch and a granddaughter you can't acknowledge and a formerly-neglected wife and three kids--one of whom is a bee-otch, one an unwed mother, and the other is dead. You have a huge enormous estate to run, and not enough in liquid assets.   Your right-hand man is leaving for a completely different CONTINENT, and now you're feeling ill? Hello?  Anybody home?  At last he admits to seeing a doctor who thinks it may be angina, but it turns out to be an ulcer.  So no dramatic death in this episode.  But we are having DRAMA.
The Sinderby's have a butler who is, shall we say....a douchebag  jerk?  Somehow, he suits Lord Sinderby, who has a little bit of the bagginess himself.  Apparently, the butler (is it Stowe? Stowell? Sowell?   Everyone pronounces it differently) can give formerly evil Thomas a run for his money.  Shenanigans ensue. One thing leads to another, and it comes to pass that Lord S couldn't keep his trousers zipped and has a secret love child!  But sweet Rose saves the day for him, and he is forever in her debt.
Two new men are joining the shooting party--Charlie Rogers (perfect name, right?  You have to marry a guy whose nickname is "Jolly," which is what DL thought they said) and Henry Tolbert.  (Maybe?  With these accents, it's hard to tell.) Anyway, when Mary heard his name, her face be like:
Oh geeze.  Is he one of those guys I slept with?
And then she's partnered with him for the bird shooting. (But his real sport is cars. His sponsors are Quaker State, Budweiser, and Xanax--that last one being for Mary.)
Shooting looks to be quite involved. Here are the steps:
1. Make sure you have your guns.  You need more than one because there is a lot of gun swapping going on.  They are long guns with red things you put in them, and you only have one shot. So make sure you bring plenty of guns, as if you are part of some weird Edwardian terrorist group.
2.  Climb into a wagon with all of your people.  This is a horse-drawn stagecoachy thing and it will be bumpy.  Make sure you potty before you get in, as there won't be anywhere to go later.
3.  When you reach your shooting destination, you will be assigned to a shooter.  This may or may not be someone you know.  You will also have your gun helper with you.  All three of you will stand behind a tiny rock wall, approximately chest high.  This is so you don't get shot by your friends, presumably.  Although if your friends really WANT to shoot you, there are plenty of other opportunities.
4.  Once they unleash the birds, or whatever it is they do, you can start shooting.  You shoot one time, hand your gun to your gun helper and he hands you a different gun, loaded.  Your helper then reloads the gun you just gave him, and so on. Back and forth with the guns.  This seems extremely unsafe to me, but maybe it's designed to give the birds a fighting chance.
5.  The shooting guy gets a little bit of a chance to hold a conversation with whomever he has been partnered.  That's how one gets cold disdain from Mary or warm happiness from Edith.  Looks like somebody drew the short straw, and it wasn't the land agent!  (Team Edith!)
he's a cutie-patootie!
Meanwhile, back at the Abbey, the Dowager has made a small party for the Princess (whom I just watched on an episode of Midsomer Murders, but she wasn't a Princess on that one) to reconnect with the Prince. (Because "The presence of strangers is our only guarantee of good behavior.")  Despite the Dowager's generosity in finding the Princess, playing hostess to her, and giving her a great dress, the Princess is frosty. AND THIS IS WHY: Back in the day, The Countess was ELOPING with the Prince!  They were in the carriage on the way to the boat and they were RUNNING AWAY TOGETHER!!!  And the Princess found out and got in a faster carriage and caught up and stopped the Prince's carriage and PULLED MAGGIE OUT!! SHE BEAT THE HELL OUT OF HER sent her back to her Lord husband, and yeah.  Like she says, she's sad because she never again will receive an immoral proposition from a man.  PREACH, Sistah! None of us is getting any younger.
BROTHGATE:  Spratt challenges Denker to make a "restorative broth."  Denker is culinarily-challenged.  Therefore, she enlists the help of Daisy and Mrs. Patmore. But Spratt finds out and she has to make the broth on her own. It is obviously horrible, but the Dowager puts Spratt in his place and lets him know what he's doing isn't cool. She doesn't like dissention.
Not a fan of Spratt, who is slightly cross-eyed here, but I LOVE that plate rack!!
Mrs. Crawley makes what I like to call a 'Deal With Dickie.' She will marry him if he can get his sons to accept the relationship and welcome her into the family.  Because they are "little dickies," they cannot.  She has no choice but to break it off.  She tells the Dowager while they are enjoying the hydrangeas. The Dowager tells her that the Dr. will be happy, while Dickie tells her she should have spat in his face or something.  As if.
Will we ever see summer again, peeps?
 Anna is still in jail, and Bates is still trying to save her.  Unfortunately, she cut her stepfather when he tried to rape her when she was younger, and so her lawyer thinks it could be a problem. So Bates does the Batesy thing and confesses, which gets Anna released, then takes off for parts unknown. Okay, Robert knows--he's in Ireland.  Luckily, Molesley has the great idea of showing his photo around at different pubs and finds a publican who remembers Bates quite clearly!  He is free! (Until they come back to get Anna again, presumably.)
By Christmas, Andy (of the wedding episode) has been hired as a new footman.  I have a prediction (see next season's prediction at the bottom of this post).
Speaking of Christmas...this is Tom Branson's last Christmas at Downton.  He and Mary and Edith take a moment to think of Sybil. (And her stalled career. The lesson here: don't leave a show in its prime!  *cough* Shelley Long *cough* David Caruso *cough* Delta Burke.  You may never be heard from again.)


Mrs. Crawley and the Dowager sneak off for a moment.  I am SO glad that neither of them are giving their lives up to men....because it seems disingenuous.  At my age, if something happened to my sweet DL---well, do I really want to share my Al Jolson imitation with just anyone?  No.  
Carson and Mrs. Hughes look at various houses where they will run a bed-and-breakfast when they retire.  (DL and I have thought about doing that, if we could find the right location.) After Carson makes the announcement that he has chosen one, Mrs. Hughes comes clean and tells him that she is, in fact, without any savings.  She will be working forever in order to pay to have someone care for her infirm sister.  Mrs. Hughes tells Carson she's sorry, but it was fun looking with him, and now life must go on.  But wait!  Carson buys a house and has Mrs. Hughes' name put on the deed!  What? 
She is "celebrating the fact that (she) can still get a proposal at (her) age."  YAY!!!!!!!  I told you last season they should get a room...well now they're getting a HOUSE!!
PS: I love this dress.  If I was 5'7" and weighed 100 pounds, I would wear it EVERY DAY!!


My predictions for next (the final) season are:

*The "agent" that Edith was partnered with at the shooting comes to Downton to take Tom's place.  He is interested in both Mary and Edith, and while he is not 100% on board with the whole Gregson/Marigold deal, he chooses Edith.  They will live at Downton and he will manage the estate.

*Mary ends up with the guy who races cars, even though Matthew died in an automobile accident.  They move to London and live a fancy life.

*Mrs. Patmore and Daisy BOTH go to Mr. Mason's farm when Mr. Mason marries Mrs. Patmore. Daisy keeps the books for him and she and Mrs. Patmore-Mason write a cookbook.

*Tom the sneaky butler (who will be Lord G's valet) ends up with Andy the new guy, even though Daisy barks (momentarily) up that tree. (Brokeback). They are much loved at the Abbey.

*Baxter and Molesley end up buying Mrs. Patmore's property from her.  They continue at Downton, but only until they have saved enough to retire. (Molesley ends up being the butler, which is what he wanted in the first place.)

*Bates and Anna are tired of the cops always giving them the side-eye.  They move to London to work for Lady Mary and her new car guy.

*Rose and Atticus are in New York for the duration.

*Tom and Sybbie are in Boston.

*Mrs. Crawley moves into the Dower House when Violet becomes infirm. It remains hilarious until Violet dies in her sleep, at which point Isobel gets married to the doctor.  Or the Lord.  Someone.

*The Carsons are still taking care of the Grantham family, but we also see them getting ready to move into the next phase of their lives.  They will be the heart of the series next year, I hope.  Carson will go down kicking and screaming, but he will see that in order to move forward, one must embrace change.









Tuesday, February 24, 2015

So I Married a Creative Blankety-Blank.






Kirby here: My friends Bliss and Cassie asked if my sweet DL would like to join in their group post: So I Married a Creative _________.  I'm not sure if he's supposed to fill in that blank or not, but I am afraid of what he'd say.  So I didn't let him.  Let's pretend he would write "Genius," shall we?

1.  What is your favorite project Kirby has done, and why? (Cassie & Bliss are asking the questions in bold.  Dennis is answering in regular type, and I am in italics

DL: Kirb made a really cool garden in our last house.  We had a boring, flat front yard when we moved in, and by the time we moved out, we had a garden that our neighbors envied. (Kirby: he is saying this because he did some stuff to get some stuff and I can't talk about it here, but suffice it to say it was a beautiful rock-lined garden.)

2.  What is your least favorite, and why? We tried blue paint on shutters once and instead of navy it was more royal. We stopped after the first shutter and went back to black. (Kirby: I thought for sure he'd say the mauve sponge-painted bedroom.  At the time? Quite romantic.  In retrospect? Looked like a bad case of the hives.)

3.  What is the one creative item or tool that Kirby cannot live without? A Sawzall. (Kirby: this is bull$hit.  I have never used a Sawzall in my life. I use paintbrushes and a sewing machine and a compound miter saw and a nail gun and a battery-powered screwdriver, but NEVER a Sawzall.  My favorite creative tool is DL. *just kidding*.)

4.  What is your biggest pet peeve about Kirby in the real world or the project and decorating realm? She talks when I'm watching TV. (Okay, this is true.  I feel like there's stuff he needs to know, and if I don't say it immediately, I will forget what it is.  But sometimes I just talk AT the TV, and that doesn't really count, does it? *shakes fist at Lord Merton's nasty son.*)

5.  If you could take Kirby on a vacation anywhere, where would she want to go? Europe.  Probably Austria and Switzerland. (He is correct. Maybe because for the past thirty years I've been saying I'd love to go to Austria or Switzerland.)

6.  Kirby finds $100.  What does she do with it? Sticks it in her bra. (Ha! There's no room in there! You can even read about it!)

7.  What is YOUR favorite room in your house and why? I've never thought about it.  I guess the old lady room, because it's the only one finished. (*sigh* It is NOT an old lady room.  It is a quaint cottage bedroom. Hay-SEUSS, people!  Does every room need to look like it's been plucked from a Pottery Barn catalog?  NO!  It is perfectly acceptable to own some nice antiques and a needlepoint rug.)

 


 
8.  Creativity is messy, but for the most part blogs show the pretty picture.  Can you tell us how Kirby is a secret slob? Secret?  (He's right.  It's no secret.)

9.  Name a project or decorating adventure that you thought would be a flop but was fabulous? On Ashlyn Drive, when she wanted to paint the shutters dark green and I thought she was crazy.  But they looked great. (And he has been doing my bidding ever since. Except for those "navy" shutters. One fail in 30 years.)

10.  Blogging takes a lot of time.  Do you ever pass by Kirby while she is on the computer and secretly feel neglected? Sometimes. (I try to limit it now, but if I'm up against a deadline, I'm sure he does feel neglected.)

11.  Before, during, and after photos are an important part of blogging, do you remember to do that while working on projects for Kirby? We're getting better at remembering. (Let's be honest--it's easier to remember when you have the fancy camera sitting on the coffee table.)

12.  How often do you read Kirby's blog and do you have a favorite post? Sometimes when I travel. I don't have a favorite post. (He reads it on long trips, which are twice a year.  His dad reads it more frequently.  Hi, Mr. C!)

13.  Before changing a piece of furniture, hanging new curtains, or planning a whole room redo, does Kirby consult you or do you come home and it's done? Sometimes she needs help, but usually she does it herself. (And then he comes home and complains about how I did it. Many times it gets re-done. Sheesh. Some people have a little trouble with control.)

14.  Does Kirby discuss her blog with you,  stories from other blogs or friendships with other bloggers? Yes. (I think at first he thought I was making people up.  And then he met some of them and realized that they weren't just imaginary friends.  He's still not sure about Bliss, though. I think he thinks that Bliss is a figment of my imagination. Or my alter-ego.)

15. Where do you think Kirby gets most of her creative inspiration; tv, magazines, online, you, or was she just born that way? Probably her parents. (Like Lady Gaga, I was born this way.)

16.  Do you know what Pantone's color of the year is and how do you feel about so called "girly" colors for your walls? Nope. And they are fine, but not for a man cave. (Define "girly color." Does mauve sponge-paint count?)

17.  If you could change one room or area of your home with no decorating advice from Kirby, what area would you choose and why? The man cave. (And it will look like the wreck of the Hesperus. Maybe a little sponge-painting?)

18.  Are you ever worried Kirby will share too much personal information or that blogging might invade your private life? Not really. (I don't even use his name, fercryin' outloud.  Just his initials.  It's funny, though...now my real-life friends are calling him DL, though they have known him by his real name for 25 years.)

19. Have you ever helped Kirby style photos for her blog or offer input on how you think a vignette should look? Not really.  And what's a vignette? Isn't that where the saturation fades? Not sure what you mean.  (If he starts offering vignette advice?  I will start looking into placing him in a long-term care facility. Because something is definitely wrong.)

20.  There is a saying "If walls could talk...", what would yours say about the decorating in your bedroom? The floors need to be refinished. (I think that about sums it up, both literally AND metaphorically.)


Read what others' husbands have said...


Bliss Ranch

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Another Downton wedding!

Everyone is abuzz with the preparations for Rose's wedding to Atticus Aldridge.  The cake is lovely, the outfits are lovely, London is lovely...


Atticus' dad?  Not so much.  (Though he does resemble the late, great Yul Brynner.) 





 

And I must say...as sweet and bubbly as Rose is...are we sure she wasn't adopted?  Her mother is...well, not sweet and bubbly.




Not only is Rose's mom mean...she is also deceitful.  And as nasty as she is, Atticus' mom is kind and gracious, as is Shrimpie.  I'm thinking a little trade is in order, but this is not the Swingin' Sixties.



(Anyone else think that this settee would look great at the end of my bed?  EXACTLY!!)

Anna's appalled to be in a line-up....at least the hat is perfection.



And Rose sees evidence of Atticus' "infidelity" (fake, of course, because how can he not love Rose?) while wearing this beauty...



I am in LOVE with the hats in this episode.

Daisy gets a wild hair that she will leave Downton and work and study in London.  Mrs. Patmore is dejected.  Mrs. Patmore cries a lot in this episode, which is sad.  Fortunately, she is happy crying at the end. (And Daisy isn't going to London after all, at least until after exams.)

Molesley is....WTF? It's like.....who is this guy?  Do I like him?  Is he completely different from the sad sack of last season?  I am not entirely sure how to take the new and improved Molesley. It's as if my whole paradigm has shifted. And Thomas the evil butler?  What??? He's TAKING CARE of people instead of setting them up to be DOOMED??? And Lord Grantham is turning into an old softy.  What's next?  Mary and Tom the Chauffer get married? Is this Downton Abbey, the Twilight Zone episode?? That is all.

Tony Gillingham and Mabel Lane Fox show up at the blessing of Rose and Atticus, and Mary tries to make amends with Tony.  We get a glimpse of what her life will be like as a spinster, unless she changes her disdainful ways.



...at least she has a fabulous hat.

We end the episode with Anna being hauled off in handcuffs, and the unveiling of the memorial.  As an English teacher, I feel the WWI poetry is the best of all the poetry I teach.

Best line of the night?  Mrs. Crawley: Do you really think I should put up a fight for Dickie?  Not gonna touch that one, folks.

Has the season left you satisfied?  Do you know there is a "Christmas Special" in England?  Because I have connections (they of the Starbucks giftcard), I can watch it.  I think I will, just because enquiring minds want to know.

And I leave all my faithful readers with little Carson...

 
 
who has found a new home at Marty's Musings.  Isn't he the sweetest?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Magic Marshmallow Puffs!


I don't know which year these won, but once upon a time these won the Pillsbury Bake-off....and I know it had to have been a LOOOONG time ago. (Just looked it up; it was 1969. I was young and the earth was still cooling.  It also explains why my sister has no recollection of these; she was a toddler.)


In 1969, I would have been the perfect age to make these.  (If you know my twitter handle, you can do the math and figure out exactly how old I was.)  They are easy and messy and fun!  They are also magic, as the name implies.

One of the keys to these muffins is to have everything ready before you start.  Granulated sugar and cinnamon mixed in a bowl, marshmallows, melted butter (I use the good stuff) and crescent rolls, split apart and flattened. (Making them flat is important.) I also have the oven preheated to 350 degrees, as my oven tends to take the better part of the millennium to preheat.





There are just a few simple steps to making these.
1.  Dip the marshmallow into the butter and completely cover it.






 

2. Roll it in the sugar/cinnamon mixture. 







3. Roll the marshmallow up in the crescent roll triangle.  Pinch it together, making sure the marshmallow is entirely covered.  (This is why you want to flatten that dough as much as possible.)







It should look like this, if possible.





4. Roll the dough-covered marshmallow in butter, and then again in the sugar/cinnamon mixture.




5. Place in a buttered muffin tin.












6.  Bake for as long as the crescent roll package says.  (Use your best judgment.  I tend to look every few minutes, and then forget while I run to turn off the coffee pot or something, and then freak out and catch them just before they burn. You could set your oven timer, which would probably make more sense, but it wouldn't be as dramatic.)

 


7. One of the things about this recipe that I used to think was so cool is the fact that sometimes, no matter how completely you pinch them into their cocoons, the marshmallows explode and ooze out all over.  I think this is one of the reasons they are fun to make with kids.  I no longer am as obsessed with the idea of exploding pastries as I once was, but it's still kinda cool.  Make sure you leave them in the pan for five minutes or so before you take them out of the tin.  They are incredibly hot and that oozy stuff is like hot glue and it might kill you.  Or at least smart a little.   
(Hint: I use a knife to go around the edges of the tin before I pry these suckers out.)






And here's the magic part--the marshmallow disappears!!




Enjoy your puff with some coffee or tea!! (They are not too tasty with beer.  Sorry.)


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

What I'm NOT giving up for Lent

**Disclaimer: This post is about religion.  It is a silly story, mainly because I am silly.  I do not intend to offend anyone, nor do I wish to get into a situation where I have to defend writing silly stories.  It is meant as an anecdote from my childhood, when I was silly.  I do not want to appear disrespectful, nor do I want to be called names.  It's just a silly story.**


This photo is courtesy of Catholics in the UK, which is another story entirely.


Today, I thought I would tell you an Ash Wednesday story, because one doesn't hear those very often. 

I grew up in the northeast...central New York.  (We used to call this 'upstate,' but then Albany decided THEY were upstate, so we are now central.) We were located on the banks of Lake Ontario, roughly halfway between Rochester and Syracuse.  My village was very small and everyone knew one another. (We were all village people.) This is both a blessing and a curse; a blessing because your neighbors were there in times of trouble, and a curse because your neighbors were there to report you if you were causing trouble.

My mother is a dyed-in-the-wool Protestant. Her parents were very "old school" (her mom was a war bride from Scotland, where everyone is supposed to be Presbyterian, even if they're not). As a child, she was not allowed to be friends with Catholic kids. (Where do you people think you are...Northern Ireland?)  She is an elder in the Presbyterian Church and has been on a hundred different committees, which is pretty amazing, since there are only about 30 members of said church.  She intends to leave them all her money, which is fine because it's her money.  I was brought up in the Presbyterian Church and went to a Presbyterian college, where I was supposed to meet a nice Presbyterian boy and get married in the Presbyterian church.

(The fact that I ONLY DATED CATHOLIC BOYS is another story for another day.)

So all of this Presbyterianism was fine, except the kids in the neighborhood were Catholic.  And every Tuesday and Wednesday before school, they would go to confirmation class and then come to the bus stop.  They would arrive laughing and joking (and from this, I formed the idea that the Catholic religion was a lot more fun than mine), and I always felt a little left out. And on Ash Wednesday?  They had ASHES.

And I didn't.

(You are seeing where this is going, right?)

Now, my dad smoked a pipe forever (which is what killed him, but that's also another story for another day) and the ashtray was always full.  I caught on to this Ash Wednesday thing after a couple of years, and I decided I wasn't going to be the only kid at the bus stop without a smudge.  It was a no-brainer to put a few ashes in a Baggie (because they were all Baggies then), walk halfway to the bus stop, and smear some on my forehead.  When everyone else arrived with their smudges, I fit right in. (I hadn't read The Star-Bellied Sneetches for nothing.) We got on the bus and headed off to school, where I proudly displayed my forehead...and was busted.

My teacher, Mrs. Crane, sat on many of the same Presbyterian committees as my mother.  Her husband was somehow loosely related to my dad.  By the time I got home from school (carefully washing off any remnants of ash), my mother had heard all about my "conversion."  I'm not sure what the punishment was (maybe "I will not pretend to be Catholic" 100 times?), but I'm sure I got the message. 

It didn't stop me from dating the Catholic boys.



Sunday, February 15, 2015

What language was that?

He's a man...men don't have rights.

...and that pretty much sums it up.  Lord Gillingham tells Blake that he has to marry Mary, even though it's not what she wants. Blake's like WTF, bruh?  But Blake has a plan to kiss Mary in front of Tony and Mabel so that Tony knows it's over, and then Blake runs off to Poland.  Where he undoubtedly will be eating pierogies and hiding from Germans.

Rosamund and Violet look like 14 year-olds who've been caught smoking in the 3rd floor bathroom when they tell Cora the truth about Edith and Marigold.  BUSTED!!  Saint Cora does the good mom thing and says they'll find Edith and ask her what SHE wants to do, for once.
 

There's talk at the dinner table of being Jewish.  Everyone seems to be concerned about "mixed" marriages and converting and whatnot.  I want to yell "GET OUT OF EUROPE, nice Jewish folks!" but then I remember they are England and can evacuate themselves to the countryside like in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

There's a LOT of talk of marriage at the dinner table.  Rose and Atticus are cute, Mable Lane Fox and Gillingham are honest, and Mrs. Crawley is announcing her marriage to Lord Merton.  Everyone is excited, but the Dowager is bummed.  Who will she cut to the bone with her tongue, now?  I am afraid it's all downhill from here, folks. It stinks, getting old.

Daisy is giving up on her studies.  She doesn't see the point.  (And, while we're at it: why do I have two Master's degrees when I will never make fifty thousand a year?  What's the point? But I digress.)

Bates and Anna's cottage?  SALIVATING OVER HERE!!!  Oh, lawd it's PERFECTION!!!



MMS!!

Mary and Mrs. Hughes discuss the train ticket that could have saved Bates from hanging.  Mary burned it, more's the pity. Baxter overhears, and goes to apologize to Bates and Anna, who don't want to hear it.  I feel awful about this, because I like all three of them and I think they could be friends. I don't want them to be hateful towards each other. 

On another note: Do they have that poor dog DRUGGED?

OH SHITE!!! Who's your daddy?  Remember when I said in my imagination Edith would go to America and pretend to be a widow?  SNAP!  The writers had her say this!  I want to say they read my blog and liked my idea and now are going to invite me to come watch them film because I am giving them ideas, but then I remembered that this was filmed before I wrote it. Dangit.  Go, Edith!  Work it, girl!  You show them how you are a 20th century woman and you are RUNNING a COMPANY!  (Yes, I am jealous. I have a company, but it consists of making furniture out of factory carts and owning 2 condos.) Anyway, Cora and Rosamund find Edith being all CEO and convince her to come back to Downton.  They arrange to meet the Pigman at the train station in order to set their plan into action.  The only problem is that Mary and Anna are on the platform, waiting for a train to London.  Edith, all CEO-like, is quick to devise a plan, but Anna sees something unusual--Edith had been travelling with Marigold.  When she mentions it to Mrs. Hughes, she is told that the child has a home and is loved, and that's all that really matters.  I agree.

Oh. Em. Gee. These doors in Mason's farmhouse.  Please.




Is there such a thing as door envy?


The episode has its last hurrah at the dining table only instead of Miss Bunting, this time it's Larry...Lord Merton's a-holy son.  Tom calls him a "bastard," and the Dowager is impressed that the chauffer can speak another language.


And so the evening comes to an end, with Rose and Atticus' engagement and Mrs. Crawley's defeat at the hands of rotten kids.  Isis is receiving hospice, with Lord and Lady Grantham on either side of her, holding hands.  'Til next time, then.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Bathroom reno

The ongoing saga of our hallway/guest bath is just exactly that...ongoing.

I wrote about the myriad issues with that bathroom here, and the weirdness continues.

First, it was a HUGE step for DL to admit he didn't have time to tackle this on his own.  So we called in a contractor who is also a neighbor around the corner, and we had had him take a look at the space.  Things I knew I wanted:

                                *a bathtub deeper than 12 inches.
                                *a great sink
                                *appropriate (1940s) materials
                                 *sensible storage

We had already stolen space from the guest room for an alcove in which to put the tub, so our floor plan was pretty open.  We did not want to move the toilet, because it would have been a huge hassle and expense.  The contractor came over, I told him what I wanted, and we secured the loan.

And the contractor never contacted us again.

Never.

I e-mailed twice; the first time (after two weeks) he said he needed a few more days to put together the bid package; the second time he said he was looking forward to working with me and he'd get right back to me. ('Okay,' I thought to myself. 'It's Thanksgiving and he's busy.') But we were on a schedule to get this sucker done before March 1 and I couldn't diddle around. DL finally gave him one last call, but we never heard back.

This is not the way to do business, folks.


 
 
So DL took matters into his own hands and decided to begin the job himself.  He hired a tile guy and a plumber and ripped the whole room out when I was gone.  (Honestly, it was a darn good think I was gone because I probably would have killed him.  I would have been completely exonerated because my lawyer would have gotten an all-female jury of my peers, 'peers' meaning women who have lived through their husbands' never-ending DIY, like the world's smallest bathroom that should have taken 3 months but it took him OVER A YEAR. Murder?  No.  A little something I like to call justifiable homicide.)
 
Anyway, we have some great tile picked out, we have a crazy cool sink, and the tub is deep enough for DL to soak in, and he displaces a lot more water than I.  Our fixtures are beautiful.
 
But I'm placing bets on how long this sucker is going to drag out.  Any takers?