Tag Archives: honey do lists

Hame, Sweet Hame…

Jack’s back! And so is his weekly Wednesday blog post.

East, West, hame’s best! (That’s “home” fer those amang ye wha’ cannae speak Scots.)

Ah, but which hame?

Avid readers will know that I take a group of Scotophiles over to the old country every June. This year was the sixth such trip and it was as enjoyable as ever – a lovely group of seven folk (should have been eight but one had to call off at the last minute for health reasons). We were carried all round Scotland and the North East corner of Ireland in the trusty seventeen seat bus driven by our equally trusty driver and co-guide Colin Stuart, meeting such talented and interesting people as Liz Weir, Pete Clark, Jock Duncan, Doli McLennan, Robin Morton and Alison Kinnaird. (Look ’em up; you’ll be glad you did!)

I always go a few days early to stay with Colin just outside my hometown, Dunfermline, but every year when I drive through the place I find they’ve added another roundabout and another couple of traffic lights – it’s a complete nightmare. Buildings that were much loved landmarks have disappeared. In other words, it’s not my home any more.

Meanwhile, back in Big Stone Gap, Wendy waits quietly until I depart before organizing all our friends into a work-crew and completely re-organizing the bookstore. I get hints via email and blog posts, but it never really prepares me. I may not come back to new roundabouts and traffic lights, but shelves have danced ’round about to new positions, she does a lot of traffic with yard sales, chairs have descended the stairs, and half our furniture is waiting patiently in the basement until I complete the work down there.

In other words, it’s not my home any more….

But you see what I said there? I mentioned friends – on both sides of the Atlantic. Ah – now friends are a lot more important than roundabouts, traffic lights, buildings and furniture. So I still have two hames, in the East and the West, and will have as long as I have friends there.

Then there’s that special friend who waits ’til I’ve gone before re-organizing the bookstore. Wherever she is, is truly hame!

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Filed under Big Stone Gap, bookstore management, humor, Life reflections, Scotland

Tutankhamen’s Tomb/Palace

Jack’s Wednesday guest blog

Many folks have been asking for pictures of the refurbished basement, but I’ve been waiting until it was finished (can it ever be truly finished, he said?). Anyway – last night it was finished enough for the Needlework Gang to get a guided tour, so –

How it was at the beginning.

How it was at the beginning.

The 1903 rotted windows.

The 1903 rotted windows.

The ceiling as it was.

The ceiling as it was.

a new wall takes shape

A new wall takes shape

New windows.

New windows.

New ceiling.

New ceiling.

Hardwood floor starts to go down.

Hardwood floor starts to go down.

The entrance to the tomb gets a makeover.

The entrance to the tomb gets a makeover.

An antique mantlepiece and not so antique fire.

An antique mantlepiece and not so antique fire.

Approval!(I think!!)

Approval!
(I think!!)

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My Poor Husband

Those who read this blog regularly know that my husband and I live above the used bookstore we own and operate in Big Stone Gap, VA. This living arrangement leads to some fun handyman projects around the house-cum-bookshop: like painting the titles of novels on our porch steps, so they look like books lying sideways. Or putting up one of those lighted reindeer at Christmas, the one with his head down like he’s grazing, and adding a pair of glasses and a copy of Night Before Christmas.

Jack is a naturally gifted handyman who built all the shelves in our bookstore–including a set of floating shelves upstairs that the customers don’t see. Floating shelves look cool, but they are not space efficient for a shop that is climbing rapidly past 38,000 used books. So we go with the simpler model downstairs.

The project we are most looking forward to currently is the arc de books, copied from a bookshop in Lyon, France. Jack’s been studying on how to build the thing, and I’ve been squirreling away the books we can no longer sell-1990 computer manuals, damaged classics, and those Reader’s Digest Condensed Books. (These are the pigeons of the bookselling world; they leave their crap everywhere.)

Unfortunately for Jack, the interest of friends and fellow bookshop operators in this plan has been piqued. People are sending photos and websites of cool book projects–and I am dreaming big. (Thanks Carolyn Jourdan and Jim Mentink for the photos that appear today.) Jack is keeping his head down and drinking the good whiskey.

Don’t you think these would look nice in our shop, downstairs or up?

I could see myself luxuriating in this tub…

and we could totally use the piano shelf upstairs.

Since Jack is in Scotland right now, leading his annual tour of folkies through Scotland and Ireland, I think I could get a few new projects into his “honey do” jar without too much of a fuss, don’t you? After all, he’s a very handy guy around the house.

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Filed under Big Stone Gap, book repair, book reviews, folklore and ethnography, humor, small town USA, Uncategorized