Opening a box to pull out a butcher block in pieces

Unpacking the butcher block.

Cool, but not freezing and no ice on the bird bath or crunchy footings.

We started earlier by a few minutes: 5:45 am. Arlene heard the delivery fellow before seven drop of a large package, a very heavy one. He couldn’t make it up the stairs. It was a butcher block, and the thing must weigh at least 150 pounds. We could lift the box, but it took the old dolly from the garage to get it up the stairs and into the kitchen. Assembly was a snap with my heavy rubber mallet, and the thing was oiled and soaking it all up in short order. We won’t use it today, but it’ll be ready for action tomorrow.

I finished up the cushion foam and batting on the chair, though I still have to fetch some more tacks to do the job right. We’ll need them for the upholstery cloth in any case. I am not excited to get back in the car and throw myself into the virus pit of Lowes or any other retail place again. There is a draw to do these purchases online, of course, but that requires patience, something that I don’t have for this kind of project. Arlene, too, wants to see progress, and so there is a synergy of impatience around the place. In matters like these, I fail the marshmallow test.

I went over to the barn to see what Arlene was up to. She had already taken the horses out by the time I pulled up. She moved Jack (her horse) to Maud’s place about two months ago from a much fancier though much unhappier “boarding facility.” Maud’s place is joyous in many ways, even though it is quite simple, not fancy. The barn itself is a metal Morton building, like many farm buildings around the area and, for that matter, across the nation. When I was looking into constructing the Garage Mahal, I considered a Morton building myself. The barn has had many, many horses live in it, and I had the chance to look more carefully at the collection of stall name plates that are up on one of the walls. There are a couple dozen of them, and I wish they had been dated. Many are for the horses owned by members of the Eno family (Maud’s surname), and Arlene told me that they had been painted by Maud’s mother. All but maybe a couple have an elaborate marginal illustration on the left side of the name plate, and the image relates directly to the name of the horse. Maud’s mother was a talented illustrator, though at this point I don’t have any knowledge of what she did with her talent or how she acquired it. But it is evident and whimsical.

It was a happy opportunity to get photographs of the old name plates, marred as they all are by bird droppings. Barn swallows love Maud’s barn, too. It’s open at both ends, so they can swoop through. We’ve not lived a spring or summer at Maud’s barn yet, but evidently the swallows are a regular bird infestation that the handful of women and their horses tolerate, poop and all.