Sunday, May 14, 2017

Hopscotch Anyone

Well's been awhile since I posted anything.  I was literally hopscotching across the country.  We went to California to visit my Aunt who is 84 y.o. and can't come this way to see us.  We traveled from Sacramento, CA up the coast through the Avenue of the Giants so hubby could see the redwoods (on his bucket list) and then to Grant's Pass, OR to the Rogue River (another bucket list item for Mike).  From there it was straight down Route 5 to Modesto to see Auntie.  Here are just a few pics from our travels....

Then, when we get back, we go to the Post Office to collect our mail and what do I see....

some girls from the dance studio outside in front playing Hopscotch.  Not a cell phone in site.  Good for them!

I want to wish a happy Mother's Day to all the Mother's out there today.

Yes, the Azaleas are in bloom............................. finally.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Launch Sequence

Ready, set, go......

I didn't know I caught this moment until I reviewed the pictures.  Oh what fun!
Enjoy your day.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Style 5 No. 985

I found this printed inside the piano when I was removing more dust from inside the back.  My piano guy says this is the serial number and "Wow, is that an old piano!" I have been corresponding with a piano technician and store owner in Michigan who tells me this piano was definitely made before they started officially cataloging serial numbers of pianos when they were made.

How cool is that?  My grandson tested it out and said it sounds better.  I'm still not satisfied or finished with it yet though.  I need to soften the felt dampers because the notes have an after-ring.  It appears that the felts are so hardened they do not bump up against the strings adequately to mute the note.

I might have to take the action back out of the piano if I can't get at the felts with a thin metal file.
Thanks for stopping by.  I do hope your week is going well.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


I stopped into a convenience store the other day to pick up some much needed vinyl gloves on my way to a thrift store for some bargain hunting and noticed this lovely pattern made by some dampness that had frozen on the sidewalk.  One of Mother Nature's precious creations.

Then in one of the shops I visited, I found this lovely Japanese privacy screen with a Lotus blossom pattern.

Now this I would have liked to take home.  It would go real nice in the room with my piano.

What patterns have you seen lately?  
Wishing you a beautiful day.

Why I Speak Softly and Carry A Big Stick.....when I walk.

Out on my walk yesterday I found......Coyote tracks.

(L) Dog print vs (R) Coyote print

The points that tell it is a Coyote print are -

1- the print is slimmer

2 - you can make an X across the paw in the negative space

3 - the trail pattern of a Dog is zig zag as they are playful whereas 
a Coyote trail pattern is straighter as they are always on a mission

I always check the tracks I find when taking my walks.  One winter we found the tracks of a Bobcat that were really fun as they showed us that he was walking along and then began to run (the spacing between paw prints got wider and wider).

Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Yoga for Yankees

Just had to share this video.  I am from Maine and I think this is hilarious.  I showed it to my hubby after work tonight and he hasn't laughed that hard in a very long time.

I hope you enjoy it too.


What's One Year In the Grand Scheme of Things

Found signature on the last key I was replacing on the Mason & Hamlin piano. Dated 1886 not 1887 as I thought (what's 131 years vs 130 years) . Now that the keys are all replaced and operating smoothly it's on to the next step of checking all the screws in the action parts to make sure all sections move as they should and don't wiggle or flop (very technical terms).

Thanks for stopping by.  
Enjoy your day!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Sock It To Me

Ok now, I just have to share this wonderful find I made recently.  Yes, it's SOCKS!  Not just any socks but awesome soft, cuddly socks that don't hurt the toes and snuggle your entire calf right up to the knee. Real, honest to goodness, knee socks for adults.

I do not have diabetes but I do have circulatory problems such as Raynaud's, arthritis, and nerve problems of the toes.  Usually the little toe line of the socks causes me pain at the cuticle area, but not with these socks.  Also, they gently cuddly the calf and do not squeeze it or cut in at the top.

I am stepping out comfortably these days thanks to Dr. Scholl's Diabetes & Circulatory socks.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

DIY Piano Repairs - Replacing Keys

Got back to working on the piano today.  Last step with the keys is to put the PTFE powder (teflon) into the felt bushings.

Next is to burnish the powder with a metal screwdriver tip.

Then when both sections are done, replace the keys.

Almost half way done.  It's slow going and I don't know how much, if any, it will help.

Thanks for checking in.  I hope by next week I can have all the keys completed and the action put back in to test it out.

Enjoy your day.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Table For One, No Waiting

In the midst of a blizzard, this little one sat clinging to the feeder, and picked a few seeds to sustain him through the night.

Shortly after this photo was taken he was blown off the feeder by a gust of wind.  I finally found him clinging to a nearby tree.

He eventually fell to the ground as the wind grew stronger, then made his way to a small pine tree with close-cropped branches.  I hope he's safe for the night.

Still snowing really hard here.  We have 3-4 ft. drifts all around my house.  Can't even open the back door.  Fortunately I had the forethought to place a board across the front door at an angle to keep the snow from pressing up against it.   Winter storm Stella sure is giving us a pounding.

Hopefully there will be some beautiful pictures tomorrow.
Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

No It's Not Halloween

No, it's not Halloween......the mask is to keep the dust out of my lungs.  This was quite a messy job. After brushing out all the dust and rodent material I used the steel wool to clean the pins, polished them, and then lubricated them all.  It was an all day project with many bathroom breaks and coffee breaks. Still, by the end of the day I was walking like the Tin Man from Oz.

I knew these bioterrorism masks would come in handy someday. 
 I have these from my days as a nurse.  

Old paint brushes sure come in handy.

Polishing.....used red pipe cleaners for polish.

Lubricating......used yellow pipe cleaners for oil.

Used copper wire brush to clean the back felt. 

The end results.
It was a lot of work but it's worth it.

I have the keys sitting on top of the piano. I had to glue some of the ivory tops.

After they dry completely I need to start putting the teflon powder into the felt bushings and burnish.  Then I can start replacing the keys.

That'll have to wait a day or two until I can recover.  Both thumbs feel right now, which I know is a flare up of tendinitis, which will go away shortly.  Then it's back to work on this project. 

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you are having a wonderful day.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Mason & Hamlin Screw Stringer Upright Piano DIY Repairs by Carol - Video #6

It was a long day dusting.  I'll post some pictures tomorrow of my polishing, and lubricating the pins.  The majority of the work is done.  The next step is to put the teflon powder in the felt bushings and burnish it before replacing the keys.  I also found some loose ivories that I glued with the PVC-E glue and those are drying.

Needless to say, I am exhausted.  The vacuum cleaner finally arrived and I did a quick once over to get any residual dust.

Thanks for stopping by.


Mason & Hamlin Screw Stringer Upright DIY Repairs by Carol Video #5

Waiting for my new vacuum cleaner to arrive so I can suck out all this dust and bits of seed that some critter left inside the piano.  I had decided to line the keys up on top of the piano because I had previously removed several of them and laid them across the other keys and guess what happened, yes.....I knocked them over and mixed them up.   Sorry the shot of those polished pins isn't clearer.  They really do look nice and slippery.

Thanks for stopping by.

Enjoy your weekend.


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Mason & Hamlin Screw Stringer Upright DIY Repairs by Carol Video #4

Thanks for stopping by.  I have a lot of work ahead of me.  I've been a little "under the weather" today so not up to tackling this just yet.  Instead I did our taxes................yea, I really did.  Nice surprise was we didn't owe as much as I thought it would be.

See you soon.



Sunday, March 5, 2017

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Ebony and Ivory

Today's project was cleaning the ivories (and ebonies).  I thought they came out very nice and this is the easy part of my DIY piano repair project.


And, here's a little stroll down memory lane from Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder.......

"Ebony and Ivory" 2012

Thanks for stopping by.
Have a blessed and joyous weekend everyone.

Friday, March 3, 2017

DIY Mason & Hamlin Screw Stringer Upright Piano Repairs by Carol - Video #3

Moving along slowly.  I've reglued the piece and check all the others.  No others are loose, so it's a thumbs up.  Now I can reinstall this section after it dries, which I found is at least 24 hours.

I hope you are having a wonderful day.

Thanks for stopping by.


Saturday, February 25, 2017

Making Magic

Woke up this morning and my hair was sticking up. "I'm a Unicorn," I said, staring in the mirror at the unruly crop of hair in the middle of my head.  Ok, so Unicorns are magical, aren't they.  Let's make some magic.............

I got out my trusty hair cutting scissors, texturizing shears, and comb and went to work.  I must be in a DIY mode.  After all, how many times have I gone to the hair dresser's only to come home and have to fix things myself.  Not today!

This (old photo but pretty close to what my hair looked like this morning) - minus the Unicorn horn....

Of course I forgot to take a real "before" photo.  That would have been nice.

And about 20 minutes later, this -

I feel like a new woman.................... And, it's always fun to see how long it takes my husband to notice that I've cut my hair, when he gets home from work tonight.  It's nice to know I've still got the touch.

Thanks for stopping by.
I hope your day is as special as you are.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Mason & Hamlin Screw Stringer Upright Piano DIY Repairs by Carol Video #2

Here's video #2 - Mike has had me post these to Facebook.  I think he's hoping someone will see them and take pity on me and offer to help.  LOL  He just doesn't realize how much fun I am having.  Learning something new gets me pumped.  And, like I've said......"I don't give up easily."

Thanks for stopping in. I have to get back to work.  Those springs won't fix themselves. Darn!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

DIY - Mason & Hamlin screw stringer piano repairs by Carol Video #1

Well hello.........thanks for stopping by to see the first of my videos that are to come while I repair my upright piano.  Since I can't find a piano technician to come and even give me an appraisal for repairing this piano I will do it myself.  I do not give up easily.  I can't really hurt anything because what I am working on is already broken.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Guess What Carol's Doing Today - Piano Tuning & Repair - Diagnosing the Sticking Piano Key

So here I am watching piano repair videos....................... I'll get those keys unstuck myself if I have to.

Enjoy your day..........I am.


Gotcha! (at the right place, at the right time)

Full, was I in the right place at the right time, or what!  I love it when this happens.

Enjoy your day!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Feeding Friendsy (Frenzy)

Beautiful sunny day here in Maine.  Got lots of activity at the new bird feeder.  I hope you enjoy the video.

Feeding Friendsy (Frenzy) 

Making a quick escape.

Nothing goes to waste. 

Thanks for visiting with me today.  
I hope your day is a special as you are.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

10 Months Later - "Stairway to Heaven" Progress

So it has been 10 months since I bought this old upright piano at an auction and here is how my playing "Stairway to Heaven" sounds today.

I tried to get another piano tuner/technician to come by and give me a quote on refurbishing the action of this piano and he didn't even bother to show up for his appointment or call me to cancel.  When I called his home, his wife said he wasn't interested.  I don't know what I'm going to do to get some of my stuck keys working again.  I really need that "E".............

Hope you enjoyed my video.  Meanwhile, I'll keep practicing as best I can.
Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Hydrangeas in Winter White

(one from the archives, I can't even find them right now out there)

Stay safe everyone!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Midnight Skulking

Skulk - to lurk about, sneak, to move in a stealthy or furtive manner.

I guess this applied to both the subjects of this photograph and myself.

I have been trying all winter to catch a glimpse of these illusive creatures.
I wish I had been more skilled with the camera.   Unfortunately I haven't been using it much and have lost what little skill I had with the night photography.

Thanks for visiting.  Enjoy your day.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Liar, liar.......

This Acu-rite outdoor thermometer is  really "acu-wrong"............the real temperature is 39 degrees fahrenheit.  Gettin' our hopes up!

You'd think it was April Fool's Day or something!
Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Owl's Head Transportation Museum in Owl's Head, Maine

Spent the day out on the coast yesterday and visited the Owl's Head Transportation Museum.  Great place, and can't wait to go back during the summer season for one of their outdoor auctions or shows.
I hope you enjoy this photos.

Leonardo's Flying Machine

Seats 9

an Indian

cool ride.......

adding one of these to my wish list

 and this Piper Cub................

Wow, didn't know I wanted so much until today.  We had a fabulous time at the museum.  Met lots of nice folk then stopped for a wonderful meal at Moody's Diner on Route 1 in Waldoboro, ME.   Lots of wonderful food, the waitstaff was pleasant and Mike was impressed with the cleanliness of the old fashion style restroom.    

Here's what I want to travel around the country in when Mike retires.

The inside is sooooooooo pretty and lots of storage space too. 

I think I can still climb up into that loft-style bed.

Aren't tiny houses all the rage these days???

Thanks for visiting my blog today.  I hope you are having a wonderful one.