Tomorrow I will be driving into Richmond for Thanksgiving with my mother, my sister, and my niece and her boyfriend. My late sister's husband will not be coming this year, since he made plans to go to spend Thanksgiving with some old friends of his. Everyone is secretly happy that he won't be there.
Yesterday I went on line, to find an appropriate holiday centerpiece for mom's table. I settled on a wicker cornucopia filled with colorful autumn flowers and leaves. It always amazes me how much it costs to send flowers theses days. A simple arrangement that list's for $39.99, will end up costing you over $60.00 after shipping, handling, rush delivery, and taxes are added in. Mom always tells me not to bother, because of the cost, but I always send her centerpieces for Thanksgiving and Christmas anyway, because I know how much she enjoys displaying them on her table. She kept last Christmas's evergreen centerpiece on her table for several months after Christmas. It was so dry by then, that it would have burst into flames, if a lit match came within an inch of it. I finally told her, she should either throw it away, or have it encased in a block of plastic!
Yesterday I also finally got around to installing the cover over the opening to my crawl space. After 21 years of exposure to the elements, the existing wooden framing and cover had almost completely rotted away. When I started to pull it out, two pieces of cinder block, supported by the top piece of framing fell out, and I was worried that I wouldn't be able to completely seal the hole. Fortunately I had the piece of 1/2" pressure treated plywood that I got last week, cut large enough to cover the additional space that those two pieces of block took up. I drilled three holes on each side of the cover, then used a masonry bit to drill three corresponding wholes in the cinderblock on each side of the opening. Then it was just a matter of simply fastening the cover to the block with self-tapping masonry screws. It was a bit hard drilling into the block, because I couldn't find my relatively new DeWalt 3/4" drill motor, and I had to use a 35 year old Black & Decker 1/2" drill motor, that sounded like an old hand held electric mixer, and had about the same power. It did the job, but took some time, and I worked up a pretty good sweat keeping enough pressure on it to get the drill to penetrate the block. Once the holes were drilled, putting the screws in was a breeze using a nut driver to start them, and a socket and ratchet to tighten them down. The cover fit good and tight, and it won't be going anywhere, without using a wrench to take it loose. Hopefully it will help keep the mice out too, but I won't count on that. Eventually they always seem to find a way to get in. It was wet and muddy under the deck, so you can imagine what I looked like after crawling under there on my hands an knees, and spending 45 minutes sitting in front of the opening. When I was done, I was covered in mud, and wet all the way through my underwear. I'm thankful that's all over with!
I got the bill last week for the well pump, well pipe, and pressure tank replacement. It was just $126 short of $2000! If I had hired a carpenter to reframe the opening and install a new cover, I probably woud have had to add another $300-$400. My fix cost me just $45 in materials, and about an hour of sweat.
The following is a video on the history of Thanksgiving. I hope yours is a happy one!