Minding my M's and Finding Alice...

In our family, when someone is in trouble, we say BT. 
That means, Big Trouble. 
It is serious stuff when those two letters are used and I am ready 
to scream them from the rooftop.

 It is what I am feeling at the moment...but I am not sure who or what
 to direct my frustration towards. I could direct it toward myself for saying yes, 
I could direct it towards Mr. H for agreeing with me or I could direct it 
towards the company that shipped these crates to us 
as they have rendered them impossible to open! 

Ok..a hammer, pliers and garden clippers may not be the wisest of tools to
open these monsters but it is all I have and I am desperate to get inside of them.

I guess I should mention that together they way 220 kgs (484lbs).

 They have travelled a long way...from India...bringing back memories
of an October afternoon at the Taj Mahal
where Mr. H and I celebrated 25 years of marriage.

We were under the spell of.... 

...when we happened upon a shop with a collection of charming 
marble elephants inspired by the designs of the Taj Mahal. 
We fell in love..or perhaps I did.

We had a choice of sizes and from there a scene from 
Little Red Riding Hood ensued. One was too small (left), 
one was too big, but the middle sized one (right) was perfect.
We bought two and had them made to our specifications.
His and Hers.

Where will they go?  Mr. H will choose his spot. 
My elephant is going next to my favourite reading chair, 
with a stack of books upon her, where I imagine, if I get it just right, 
a cup of tea will sit within my reach. I have decided to call her Alice.
We are like to name objects in our family.  :)

My only problem...is that I can't find her..as I 

Where is Mr. H when you need him?? 
He seems to always be travelling when these
sort of situations occur. My children know better
than to get mixed up with Mom and her master plans. 

So here I sit, having left my pitiful hammer
sitting on top of a crate..with barely one nail pried open.

I have lost count of how many nails have been placed on the lid to secure it.
I am now thinking crowbar, ax...and wondering if any of you handy, 
thrifty sorts have any ideas?? 

Of course, then I have to get it out of the box.
As Charlie Brown would say...


I am having an M moment and my Muse has left the house!

So..any hoo.. how is your day going?


  1. These will be perfect (if you ever get them open) for your new home in Viet Nam.


  2. I'd love to see your elephant when you set it beside your chair.
    Those crates do look formidable!
    I hope that you were not injured trying to pry them open.

  3. Glenda and Leslie...I agree! Yes, I think Alice will enjoy her day under the sun in Vietnan and Leslie..I will be sure to keep you posted on her final resting spot. :)

  4. I hope the elephants are soon let out of the crates. They are lovely.

  5. Jeanne, my friend you and I lead very similiar lives. I too have the problem of my husband being away when there is some sort of crisis.

    Last year an 18 wheel semi showed up in front of the house with a 1500lb crate from Africa, that apparently I was supposed to lift off. After careful negotiations with the driver he agreed to lower the crate and help me push it up the driveway. Many explatives were used by both the driver and myself but we managed to get it up the drive.

    Thankfully my husband is the one that removed 800 screws from the crate.

    I cannot wait to see these beautiful elephants! They are stunning! What a beautiful way to remember you anniversary and you beautiful trip!

    Take care and be well and persevere, I know you will get the elephants out of their boxes! How will you carry them into the house?


  6. I feel much better now. I was having my own little break down and my husband too, is out of town. Not that I would ask him to help me with computer issues. That is why he bought me a Mac, so I could bother the Apple guys instead of him.
    I did receive a huge crate when he was in Africa last month. I didn't even know he bought something. But the truck driver maneuvered it into the garage after I removed my car.
    Good luck with the crates. Don't break any nails if you have any left! The elephants look fabulous!

  7. But how lovely Jeanne to have boxes arrive from so far away - it's so exotic, we look forward to seeing the pics of the elephants.
    Have you tried a crowbar?

  8. Don't you need one of those battery powered twirly things that attach to the nail and undo it? I've seen The Songwriter use one, but can't think of the name of it. Like you, I'm such a girl.

    But I do love Alice and cannot wait to see her!! Wonderful find.

  9. I'm going to use BT, like it! Hope you get the crates open soon.

  10. Have a glass of wine or a creamy hot chocolate and the grief will slowly falls away though the cranes remain unopened.

  11. Take another look at those crates.....they in themselves are beautiful. Look at the writing on the outside of the crate. Rub your hands slowly across the wood. Sit on them. Thank them for their strength.

    OR get a young neighbour with big strong muscles who's good with an axe to break those elephants free!

  12. Hello Jeanne, thanks for your visit to my blog.
    I suppose it's reassuring that your elephants are so well packaged, but it must be so frustrating.

  13. Oh what a dilemma!! Any young muscular males in sight? Then maybe you can yell 'help' and they will rush in and smash up the boxes (hopefully not the elephants too).

  14. After reading that I think the Oxford dictionary needs to amend its definition of 'frustration'. Hope you release those beauties soon.

  15. I am finding this all very encouraging! Muscles, crow bar and if all else fails, a friend suggested a chainsaw...
    this is going to be intersting. Before I get stuck into it tomorrow, I will take Carole up on her suggestion and give thanks. :)

  16. Well my day is going very well, thank you! AND thank you again for visiting! It is always wonderful to meet new people. Do come back again!!! Anita

  17. Are you in yet? The elephants look wonderful and I don't think I could have resisted either. Looking forward to the unveiling of your two sometime in the future!

  18. Very exciting to have them arrive, but ARE YOU THERE YET!!

    Have you managed to get those crates open? I would be useless and would have taken to them with a crowbar by now..

    Looking forward to seeing them on display

  19. Hi Jeanne

    How frustrating for you. Perhaps you should wait till Mr returns. A crowbar might smash through the lid and we do not want elephant wounds.

    Helen xx

  20. I almost forgot-That's one of the most beautiful picture of Taj Mahal I have seen.

    Maybe one day I can visit India and see Taj Mahal.

  21. Uuum. Could you NOT open the crates and have them shipped directly to Viet Nam? Silly question huh ;-) Just kidding. Oh dear. This sort of thing is my specialty. NExt time just have them shipped here. I would make you a cup of tea while you waited. Bisous

  22. Jeanne, today I have a question that has nothing to do with crates nor elephants. So excuse me please for going off topic.

    I wonder what kind of teapot you use?
    I am searching for the right pot for black tea. It should not be smaller than 0.8 litres and not too big, because it would be "my" teapot in the evening, no company to join me drinnking tea.

    For ages I have been making my tea in stainless steel pots from IKEA with a lid on top. But I feel as if I am missing something.

    Vienna is not really a tea-drinking city, the only teapots I find around here are from the same few companies (mono, bodum and some cheapo cherry blossom prints made in china ...).

    I would be very grateful if you could recommend some companies that produce lovely teapots.

    And another question: do you use a simple teabag or do you sieve the tea after a few minutes and transfer it to another pot?

    You once wrote how you enjoy your cup of tea. This is where this request comes from!


  23. The elephants look beautiful ... and would be so frustrated not to get the boxes open!

  24. Hi Paula

    Thanks so much for your question, it is a very good one! Whilst I love a good cup of tea, I admit that coffee is my preferred choice. Saying that, when it comes to tea, I put all my confidence in Fortnum and Mason in London. One of my favourite stores, it is definitely worth a visit if you are in London. Everything you could possibly want to know about tea can be learned at the store and on the website. This link will answer many of your questions....

    Bone china is the preferred cup to drink tea from. If I can, I brew tea leaves, it is a simple luxury and a delicious one. I admit it takes several attempts to get the hang of it getting the right amount of tea to the pot, but once you do, it is such an accomplishment! Scones, jam and devonshire cream are just delicious with a good cup of tea. I would be happy to send recipes to you. You can write to me jeannecollageoflife@gmail.com

    Best wishes Paula and thanks again for stopping by!

  25. How frustrating! But what a lovely love story those two boxes represent. Yes, I'm thinking a small crowbar would do it...they make them small enough for us to handle...they're about 15 inches long...best of luck. Or, wait to Mr. H. returns :)

  26. Thank you Jeanne, I would not have thought of Fortnum and Mason.
    I really should visit London again including Afternoon Tea in a traditional Restaurant/Hotel Lobby/tea-room.


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Can I just say....that I so enjoy what YOU have to say. If you would like to write to me directly, I would love to hear from you... jeannecollageoflife@gmail.com

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