Yeah. A bit of back story on this one. My dad (second from left) had two older brothers and a younger brother, KG (far left and below). In the inscrutable way of families, he was closer to his younger brother than he was to his older brothers. When WWII broke out, my dad joined the Marines, and KG joined the Navy, so they had ships in common. After the war, KG joined the Merchant Marine and eventually became chief engineer on an oil tanker. KG married and they had two girls, CLK and ELG. My dad always doted on KG’s girls and our families always stayed involved and in touch over the years, especially after KG died.
ELG, the younger, married later in life after her father had been dead for several years, and she wanted my dad to give her away at her wedding. The picture below right is one of my favorite pictures of both of them.
KG knew how my dad loved woodworking, and one year as a gift, he sent dad a kit to make a grandfather clock — precut wood, fittings, “internal workings”and hardware — everything you needed. My dad had such fun putting the clock together, staining it, finishing it, and assembling it, and it had pride of place in our den plonging the hours for many years — until yesterday.
For a number of years, the clock had been promised to CLK, to be passed down with the grandfather clock KG had made for his family from the same kit, to their two daughters. Thursday, she and her husband MK drove over from where they live in the Dallas Metromess, with the mission of taking it back with them. My mom imagined they’d just unhook the weights and the pendulum, put it flat in the bed of MK’s pickup, cover it with a quilt, and boogie on back. Guess again. Nothing is ever simple.
Yes, you have to detach the weights and the pendulum, but no, since it is an older clock (about 50+ years old or thereabouts) you cannot transport it flat. The vibrations generated by driving it over roads will discombobulate the machinery and disarrange the internal workings. It has to be transported upright. CLK had done her homework, though. She consulted the interwebs, that fount of universal wisdom, and found reliable instructions for how to transport it. By the time they had it all wrapped up ready to travel, it had been christened “The Mummy.”
It would have to be strapped to the back wall of the cab of the pickup, and MK got one of their adjustable ladders that could adjust to just the right length to brace it at the bottom and halfway up. I didn’t get a picture of it ready to go, but CLK did. The Mummy Goes East!
Anyway, bright and early this morning (Saturday), the clock along with several other items my mom wanted CLK and MK to have for the girls (like the silver tray her daddy gave my mom and dad when they got married) began wending their way back.
Unfortunately, while we were eating lunch Friday, CLK’s eldest daughter called to say she had just fished three dead koi out of their koi pond in the back yard. Then it was four. Then it was five. Then it was eight (they only had 13 total, including 3 new ones). Their waterfall is controlled by a GFI plug which is turned off by throwing the breaker. (The pond and circuitry came with the house.)
Apparently what happened is that during the warm weather, the pond stratifies by temperature with the water with the least oxygen ending up as the layer on the bottom. They had torrential rains there Wednesday and somehow the extreme moisture tripped the GFI breaker. They left to come visit us early Thursday morning and no one had noticed that the breaker on the waterfall had been tripped and that it was not running. The big influx of cold rainwater sank to the bottom and displaced the anoxic layer upwards. Because the waterfall was off for almost 36 hours, the water was not being mixed and aerated and the biggest fish (15+ inches), the ones they’d had for over 10 years (of course they all had names!), were the first to perish from lack of oxygen. They were lucky the girls happened to discover there was a problem or they would have lost them all. Hopefully, the ones that are left will be OK. Three of them were new fingerlings. So very sad. Koi are not cheap to replace. Even the fingerlings, but koi the size of the big ones they lost are around $500 apiece.
In the knitting news, I finished my avocado “washcloth”, but that’s about it. Too busy visiting with rellies to do much of anything knitting wise. Here it is all finished and on my toaster with the toast rack on top.
I’ve had that toast rack for so long I’ve forgotten when I got it. I do remember where I got it, though, from the Williams and Sonoma catalog. It is very difficult to find toast racks in America. I got one because I like my toast crisp. You take a piece of toast hot out of the toaster, butter it, and lay it down on a plate and the steam makes the underside soggy — which defeats the whole purpose of toasting the bread in the first place. You might be able to tell, the toast rack consists of five letters T-O-A-S-T made from wire which are affixed to the bottom and form the slots where you place the toast (it holds 4 pieces). The “A” sticks up higher than the rest to act as the handle. I think its a very clever design, myself. Of course, I store the toast rack on top of the toaster, but because of the electricity and metal involved, I like to have something cloth or cloth-like in between. I was using a blue knitted washcloth, which clashed horribly with my AVOCADO-GREEN! kitchen, whence the need for one knitted from avocado green cotton yarn. Voilà.