Saturday, January 29, 2011

Scissors and Thieves

Add to the list of random things my husband has at the moment I need them: a cardboard mailing tube, a pitchfork, thick brown wrapping paper, and a long metal ruler. He can also fix pretty much everything. A few weeks ago when I was visiting my parents' house, my mom sent me home with a round-bottomed copper bowl, used for chilling and whipping cream. It had a good-sized dent in it, and she wanted to know if my husband could fix it. Dents are tricky, but using a cushion of towels, an old softball, and a wooden mallet, C massaged the dent away until it was all but gone. He enjoys doing stuff like that, and is always looking for a new project. Unfortunately, I think I reached the limit of his skills this week, when I knocked my prized Gingher scissors off the sewing table, causing them to land hard on the wood floor and form a little burr on the blade. "You're going to have to take them to a professional sharpener," he said to me. I was already practically in tears because they are my best (and most expensive) scissors, still practically new, and I felt so bad for being careless. Then, surprised that my husband wasn't able to fix them, I was forced to confront the fact that he can't do everything. He's spoiled me up until now! But where do you get scissors sharpened?

Meanwhile, C has had problems of his own, trying to secure the yard from scrap-metal thieves, who snuck into our yard and took a few things last week, while we were in the house. Our neighborhood is full of empty houses, easy targets for thieves who steal and sell metal wires, pipes, and whatever else they can get their hands on. They were probably running out of houses to loot and thought our yard looked like easy pickings, with C's collection of old drainpipes, bales of wire, and metal roof sheeting, there for the taking. My dad said, "Oh, you got rid of some stuff!" which is true, but I would rather sell it myself and get the $2.50 (seriously, why not get a job instead?--scrap metal foraging does NOT seem worth it to me) than have strangers sneak into my yard (and possibly my house!) to get it.

So we've been thinking of ways to secure our little homestead, and this was the list I made of possible solutions:

1. Get a mean guard dog
2. Put up better fences
3. Set booby traps
4. Put all our metal items in one pile and electrify them
5. Put up motion/infrared detecting alarms
6. Put up video cameras, or signs saying we have them
7. Spend a lot of time doing target practice in the backyard so everyone knows we have guns

I like the booby-trap idea (covered pits, bear-traps, etc.), but apparently they are against the law. So are pellet guns in Durham, as it turns out. In fact, I don't think you can really do anything to hurt a trespasser these days, because they can sue you, even if it is their fault for trespassing. But this whole incident has made me think that it might not be a bad idea to brush up on my shooting skills and get licensed to carry a weapon, in case anyone were to break into the house. Meanwhile, I think the motion/infrared detecting alarms are the best solution. C's idea? He cut down the brush in the woods behind our house, put up No Trespassing signs where the men came onto our property. Then, underneath one of the signs, he hung a dead squirrel. So far, the thieves haven't come back.

Friday, January 14, 2011

New Year!!!

Well, I'm a little late, because I've been so bad about blog writing lately, but anyway, I just want to write down my New Year resolutions because they always say that if you write stuff down then you are more likely to do it. So...

1. Do my visiting teaching. I'm assigned to visit one woman in my church--just one! And yet for six months I have not visited her. I have no excuses. I resolve to visit her every month this year. (And actually, I'm off to a good start on this one, because I visited her last night.)

2. Do family history. I'm really excited about genealogy, and always have been, but with a really bad internet connection, it's pretty impossible to work online at home, and I'm too lazy to drive to the family history center, so for Christmas I bought C a new computer (well, it's for both of us) and we are going to sign up for our very own internet connection so we no longer have to steal the neighbor's, and then I'll be all set to go online and research both my family tree and his. I'm excited about doing his! Also, we have afternoon church now, so what better way to spend my Sunday mornings than doing family history, or indexing so that others can do theirs?

3. Go to the temple. This is a personal goal that I won't really talk much about here, but it's something I want to do and plan to do soon. I think it will make a big difference in my life.

So those are my goals, and I don't think they are overwhelming or anything, so I should have no problems, as long as I remember them and stay focused.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Meet Me At the Met

Even if you don't live in New York City, I encourage you to become a member of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Not only will your contribution help care for an immense collection of the world's finest treasures, but you will receive the quarterly Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. Catching up on my periodicals, I've been reading mine from Fall 2010, devoted to highlights from among the museum's recent acquisitions. With gorgeous photos and captions written by the Met's experts, I feel like I've spent an afternoon strolling through the museum itself, though I haven't had to leave my comfortable chair.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Auld Lang Syne

The turn of the new year is always magical. For some reason, we as people like to mark days, record time's passage, and celebrate the closing of another chapter and the opening of a vast, unwritten page. It's also amazing to look back at a past year and remember everything that happened in that space of 365 days.

For me, this time of year now holds even more significance, as I look back at last New Year's Day, and remember that it was the day that I acted on a most incredible feeling. Home from New York City for the holidays, I had suddenly and unexpectedly been struck by the knowledge that I was going to marry my longtime friend, C. I explained it to him on New Year's Day, as we sat together on a desperately cold winter night, warmed by the fireplace inside the art gallery where he worked. The gallery was closed for the night, dark and still, but comfortingly full of beautiful artwork, made more intriguing by the firelight. However, C and I had our minds only on the future, and then-unknown possibilities. Could it work? How? Was it crazy?

Nothing was settled, but when I arrived back in New York the next day, I couldn't keep it from my roommates. "The strangest thing has happened, and I think I'm going to get married soon!" Nevermind the fact that C and I had never dated. I just knew, as certain as I knew my name, that it was going to happen. And it did. Six months ago we were married, and each day since then has been a treasure. It's hard to explain spiritual gifts, but this year I feel I have been inundated with them. My husband is a blessing, a wonder to me, an incredible gift, as well as a challenge. This year I was reminded that God knows me, has a plan for me, and has more blessings and miracles for me, if I will only look to Him.

Last night C built a fire in the backyard, and we sat together in its light, with warm hands and warm hearts, amazed at everything. Sometimes we feel like children, led along by a great Father, who we trust. Childlike, we listened to all the fireworks going off in the neighborhoods around us, the sirens, the lights, the loud booms and crashes, and we were thankful to be there together.