Monday, August 30, 2010

Here I am in

a motel. I'm not telling where.

Anyway, I gave up thinking about traveling to the ideal place and just got in the car and went to the place that was available for free. Sort of free. Nothing is really free, but hanging out on a trip that my husband has to go on anyway is a lot cheaper than taking a trip on our own. Most of the gas is paid for, the room is paid for, etc....

What is not paid for is the food and any tourist stuff we might do. And, of course, we would have to eat something anyway, even if we weren't out of town, so eating shouldn't be that much of an expense.

Except that we aren't eating the cheapest food. We spent two or three times as much on yesterday's lunch than I thought we would. And then for dinner we went out again. And we spent an extra eight dollars to get weird sodas. Okay, one of the sodas will be a gift for someone when we get back home, but the other three were just us being tourists.

I am sleepy. To be expected I suppose, but it's been a while since this was part of my regular routine, and I forget what to do if I don't want to spend the week being sick and tired.

Today we went to lunch at a Chinese buffet, which we should not have done, as we plan to go to a special buffet later in the week. We didn't need two buffets in the same week, it was just the only thing that I could think of to feel better.

And of course after the buffet, there is sleeping, or at least really wanting to sleep.

Trying not to sleep, or I won't sleep enough tonight.

Anyway, I have a pool, which is outdoor and not that great, but at least there is a pool and I'm going to get in it for a bit after a feel better.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Tomorrow I will pay for being lazy

I didn't start out intending to be lazy. I had planned to work. I had imagined getting a lot of work done. The week before I had done a lot of work and put things aside to give away to people, and I had imagined two more weeks that would be about the same, though I was coming to the point where I'm running out of things that I really want to get rid of and still having too much stuff.

Okay, so I had imagined having two weeks to myself (later the trip was extended to three weeks), and I usually get more work done when I have the place to myself, and I pictured a lot of the stuff either being more organized or just somehow magically going away.

And then the maintenance guys were supposed to come and fix the wall that first Monday, and I did a lot of work trying to move stuff around so that they would have room to work. And while the stove and the cabinet were moved, I thought that I should scrub the floor, cause floors under appliances and cabinets get really dirty, and unless you feel like doing the work of moving these things on a regular basis to clean you have to take the opportunities when they occur. So I did some work that Sunday evening and a lot of work that Monday morning, and then the guys didn't even show up until Tuesday.

And I did no work that Monday. Having moved everything, including the microwave, I couldn't even cook, so I ended up going out to eat twice. When they did not show by five on Monday I moved things around a bit so that I could get the microwave, which I put on top of the washing machine. I still couldn't cook anything proper, but at least I could reheat things that were already cooked.

Later I would move the microwave and put a fan on the washing machine for the repair guys. The repairs that should have taken about four hours were stretched to four days. I kept moving the fan and the microwave back and forth from the washing machine. On Thursday it was all done, and I have done no work to speak of, other than washing a few dishes and moving the fan and the microwave. I know that I could have found some work to do, but I couldn't cook and I couldn't do laundry, and with the way things were moved around I couldn't do anything about the dining area. I finally just decided to relax and be lazy. I found something to watch on TV and started to enjoy it a bit.

By Thursday I was starting to not feel so good. Friday I was just a little bit sick, so I decided to keep being lazy for a bit. Saturday I had social things to do and decided there was not much point in doing any work Saturday morning that didn't have to be done just right then (like cooking something for the social thing). Being lazy continued.

Sunday, I was recovering from the social thing, cause I stayed out late and didn't get enough sleep. More time being lazy.

Monday, I had no excuse. I just enjoyed being in bed doing nothing.

Tuesday morning I had to watch just a few more DVDs before I got up to run some errands. The errands were near the dollar theater, so I watched a movie.

Wednesday, I bought the wrong thing, and had to go back to the store. While I'm in the area, I might as well watch another movie.

Yesterday I found something else that I needed to take back to the store, but three days in a row of this just seemed a really dumb thing to do. I stayed home. I didn't get a lot of work done, but some. Mainly I just didn't want to drive back to the same place, especially since today I want to watch two more movies that I've been waiting to come to the dollar theater. I can take stuff back to the store then.

So now it is Friday, and I've done very little with the two weeks. My husband has decided to come home for a day, so that he can do laundry and cut the grass, and then I can go back with him on Sunday.

And I haven't done any of my laundry, or packed, or even washed dishes in a bit. And I'm not planning to skip anything that I'd planned to do today (watch movies, go to the store, go to my brother's place, etc...), so that leaves a lot of work for me to do tomorrow.

But it was so nice to stay in bed and watch TV.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thinking about traveling

I would like to find a Woodrow Wilson dime, buy a train ticket for something leaving from the third level, and end up in some alternate dimension where I spend some of my time here but live most of the summer in Pennsylvania. Not actually in Pittsburgh, but near there, so that I can visit Kennywood and Idlewild whenever I feel like going.

I don't know how this would have come about, with me spending summers in Pennsylvania. I can see other paths that I might have taken and ended up with a certain career or married to someone else, but I can't quite picture the path that leads to me being a snow bird. Other than a winning lottery ticket, I see no way of it happening now either.

Maybe there was a winning lottery ticket in the alternate dimension, I don't know.

Anyway, I do tend to spend a lot of time wishing I could get away somewhere. And because of my husband's job, there are often little opportunities to go someplace, just usually not anyplace that great, and even then I usually end up not going because of something going on here. And then of course in the summer I have to stay home and water the plants anyway.

And so I have wasted a lot of time here when I could have been someplace else, though not anyplace as far away as Pennsylvania. And I would not have done anything grand, not visited Kennywood or anything like that anyway. Mostly I would have stayed in a motel room watching cable and maybe knitting. So far the only things I have missed out on were swimming pools (and sometimes a hot tub), having lunch at a famous restaurant, visiting the Cadillac ranch, and a few odd small town museums. And I've had to miss those things, because I wanted to do something else here, or I wanted to watch while the termites were taken care of, or make sure that repairs were done, or I had some work to do.

I always have some work to do, it just doesn't always get done.

So my husband is going someplace for the third time in two months, and I haven't gone, because of this stuff and because I have to water the plants. Only now I've about given up on most of the plants, they either aren't doing what they are supposed to do, or they have been doing what they are supposed to do and are about to die now. The main things not done or dying are the pepper plants, and the luffa, and the sweet potatoes. All of those things are in containers. The sweet potatoes and the luffa are in very large containers, but the peppers could be moved, and I'm wondering if I moved the pepper plants to the fence if my neighbor might water them for me.

There's even the possibility that the other plants might be okay on their own next week, cause it is supposed to rain some of the time, though not as much as I would like.

So I could go out of town next week, though it is not to anyplace special, it would just be nice to get out of the house.

And then the week after that I would really like to go away. There's one place I've never been, to take a silly tour, and another place that I used to go to often but now I haven't been there in four or five years. Or at least, I can't remember being there for a while.

Unfortunately, the time we would get to go there would be a holiday weekend, and we try to avoid such places on holiday weekends. But right now we are thinking that we will go anyway, even with the crowds and the extra expenses. Cause that isn't very far away, but it is not in my husband's usual area, and they probably won't assign him to work there again soon. And it is very near a beach, and I haven't been to a beach in a long time.

So that is it. Nothing really interesting, just the possibility of going away for a bit. And I am thinking that I will go.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday Morons--What kind of paint is this?

Okay, if you've been reading, the kitchen wall that was half removed years ago to deal with a plumbing problem and never replaced was reported again about a month ago, was supposed to be repaired last Monday, no one came until Tuesday, a four hour break was taken to go do repairs at someone else's house, repairs at my place were not finished Tuesday and not resumed until after three on Wednesday, and then it still wasn't painted and so someone came to do that on Thursday.

Okay, so the paint he used was white. I think the can said pure white. But I'm pretty sure that the old paint was not pure white. It doesn't exactly match.

Besides the old paint not exactly matching the new paint, I have been here a while, and there are places that need touch-up paint. Or maybe it is just time to paint again.

Where I live, when you leave you have to paint the place either white or off-white, so that the place is all nice and new looking for the new person. If the new person doesn't like white, they can paint it again, as long as when they leave they paint it white again. If you use expensive paint, it probably doesn't matter what color you paint over, but usually it is easier to paint white over white than white over a darker color.

Anyway, I'm guessing that the people in the small apartments probably aren't planning to stay long, and they probably keep the white. The people in the houses stay longer, or at least probably plan to stay longer, and I'm guessing that more of them paint over the white with different colors or add wallpaper and such.

I just kept the white both times. I like white.

Okay, but trying to match a white or off-white paint is hard to do, unless maybe someone was nice and left you a bit of the paint in the can, or left you a note saying which white paint you used. If I remember correctly, I left almost a gallon of some sort of off-white paint for the apartment's new renters. It wasn't going to do me any good anyway, since the paint I used in the apartment was a few shades darker than what was used in the new place.

No one left me any paint at the new place, or the name of the paint, or anything. But I didn't think that getting the name of the paint would be a problem, since this place was not painted by the person leaving, but by the maintenance guys. I just thought that whenever I needed to know, I'd just ask the guys what paint they used when they had to paint a place themselves.

Well, I don't seem to have made myself understood. I don't think that the old paint was pure white, and the guy won't tell me the name of the old paint.

I've thought of four possible reasons that I am not being told specifically what kind of paint was used on my house six years ago.

Possibility #1--They are deliberately being annoying.

Possibility #2--I suppose that they might have used a different color back then, and then there was some financial gain for switching to a different color or a different brand, and they just don't remember the name of the paint they used before. I don't think this is really what happened, just wanted to show that I was smart enough to figure out that it might have happened. And even if there were some financial reason for switching paints, you would think that they'd still have records of what the old paint was and when they switched paints and such.

Possibility #3--They had to switch paints because the old paint either isn't made anymore, or isn't sold at the local store. Again, they should have records of this and should be able to tell me about it.

Possibility #4--They are just stupid. They use different color paints whenever they have to paint something. The paint is selected on a whim. They have a little bit of paint left over from several projects, and it goes to waste, because the next time they need paint they buy yet a different color.

I am thinking that if it isn't just the first explanation then it is the fourth one, cause the other two make sense, and they should have no trouble telling someone an explanation if it made sense like that. They are annoying and/or just stupid.

Okay, so now that I've had that problem with the paint from the people who supposedly work for me, I have more fun at Home Depot.

I'm thinking that the guys just went to Home Depot and bought whatever paint was cheapest. I seem to recall doing that myself (though I might have gone to Lowe's instead). If you just want white or off-white, and you aren't trying to match something, there are a few that don't cost too much that come in 5 gallon buckets. So probably, if I find the cheapest 5 gallon bucket, the lightest color that isn't pure white is probably the one that they used.

So I see at the end there's 5 gallon buckets for about fifty dollars, and they say something like professional grade. And I think that one of those would be it, if they were the same kind of paint sold six years ago. But I can't find any paint chips or a color chart or anything for them. I see that they come in at least three colors--white, aspen white, and antique white.

Aspen white sounds nice, but I don't want to buy any without at least a paint chip (and I would prefer an actual sample of paint to take home and try before buying five gallons of the stuff). I ask someone for help, but they don't have either samples or paint chips or a color chart or anything. And I can't get help from anyone else who knows anything about the paint. I can complain to this girl's boss, but that doesn't help me with the paint. She keeps saying that the paint is mostly used by professionals, so that they don't have samples and paint chips.

I don't see how being professional equals not needing to know what color paint is in the bucket.

Are the professionals psychic or something? Is there some secret handshake you have to know before being shown what color paint is in the container?

Another girl comes and wants to color match the paint for me. The first girl had wanted to do that too, but I didn't want to. Having the color matched doesn't tell me what color is in the 5 gallon container. It is a different kind of paint from a different company that can be color matched. But somehow I'm talking to this second girl, and she's doing the color match thing and telling me it will be eight dollars for a quart. I'm agreeing to it (I don't know why), but then she says the paint is ten dollars a quart, not eight.

Okay, I went thinking that I was going to spend two dollars on a paint sample for something that I could later buy in a gallon can and a five gallon bucket. Then it goes up to eight dollars for a quart, and then it turns out that the paint is ten dollars for a quart. And that still doesn't tell me what color paint is in the 5 gallon bucket for fifty dollars, so if I use a lot of the color matched paint instead of whatever is in the 5 gallon bucket, I will be spending thirty dollars a gallon. That's about three times what I had planned to spend.

At that point I leave and decide to go to Lowe's the next day.

I find some paint in five gallon buckets for sixty dollars, and there is at least a color chart for that. There are no samples, but by now I'm ready to give up and start with a new color paint if necessary to avoid spending thirty dollars a gallon on color matching.

I end up spending fourteen dollars on a gallon of plain white paint. Maybe it will match, and maybe it won't. If it doesn't, well, it's probably time to repaint anyway, and I will repaint it something that doesn't need color matching. I'm testing a bit of it right now. In an hour it will either dry too light or a shade darker and be exactly what I want, but I think I'm okay with it either way. I'm ready to just start painting and be done with it.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Repairs still aren't done

Okay, they were supposed to come and fix the wall on Monday. They didn't come at all on Monday. Tuesday, they came before nine, so I had to send them away for a bit. They came back at about ten, did some work, said they were going to get some supplies, didn't come back for a bit so I assumed that they were on lunch break.

After being gone about four hours, I called and complained. They'd been sent to fix another problem somewhere else, without finishing at my house.

That's what caused the problem in the first place, but here they're doing it again.

They came back a bit after four, but having less than an hour to work, they didn't finish.

Wednesday, they didn't show up until after three. It doesn't look too bad, considering what crap they were given to work with. The new paneling doesn't match up with the old, but half of that will be hidden once the stove is put back in place, and I'm planning to do something with the rest of the wall, either magnets or hooks or something, so that I can store cookie sheets there.

But even if I don't do anything, and just have mismatched panelling, it is nice to have a solid wall again.

Now it is Thursday, and the wall still needs to be painted. And they don't know when or if they might get to that today or tomorrow.

You just would not believe the junk they used to fix this wall. And there's no order to it at all. No real plan. The studs are not evenly spaced. It all looks good from the outside, but inside it's all crap.

I could do crap by myself.

Anyway, if they do not come and finish the work today, I will have to put everything back the way it was Friday. I have to bake cookies or something for a social thing Saturday, and I can't do that with the stove out from the wall and my only counter space in another room. They will have to make an appointment for next week and do all the moving and such themselves when they get here to do the painting.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

More repairmen

The day after I posted about how I did not like people in my house, the temporary manager and one of the maintenance guys came by to see the hole in the wall, or rather, the half of the wall that is there and the half that is not there. The half of the wall that is not there was cut away so that the maintenance guys could make some repairs. They were supposed to come back the next day and fix the wall.

That was a few years back that they were supposed to fix the wall. It might have been back before I started writing this blog.

Anyway, I waited for them to fix the wall, and for about a month they gave me excuses about needing to buy something to make it look nice, or that my repairs had been pushed back a bit so that they could go and deal with something else, some emergency at a neighbor's house.

After about two months had gone by with no repair and no word as to when the repair would be made, I called the office to ask about it. I was told that they didn't know anything about it. There was no work order.

I didn't know that you needed a second work order to come and finish the first one. You just should know that you aren't finished and come and do the work.

But whatever. There's a second work order, but now I would have to wait my turn like everyone else. It was just a cosmetic thing, not an emergency.

They still didn't come and fix the thing.

I got tired of trying to clean around the cut off part of the wall that was just there in my kitchen, so I took all the pieces and put them outside. I have covered parking, so I thought that as long as it was right there in the front it would not get rained on or anything.

After a while I got a notice to get rid of trash that was on my front porch. I did have several things on my front porch that I am not really supposed to store there, but I don't have any other good place to put them. None of that stuff was trash, it was all building materials and stuff for either the garden or art class. I moved the garden and art class stuff and left the kitchen wall.

Some time went by, and I got another notice about trash on the porch, this time with a picture of the offending items.

I moved them to the back porch. I'm afraid a lot of time went by and I didn't give much thought to the half missing kitchen wall. I had more important things to deal with--homewrecking sluts, floods, health problems, etc....

At some point I got another notice to get rid of the "trash", and then I got an actual warning from the city in the spring.

At that point, thought it didn't look too bad, I did think that maybe the wall had been out in the elements too long, and it might be trash, or close enough to it that I should just have new materials. So I put the "trash" out on the curb, and it was taken away on the next garbage pick-up day.

So now, this temporary manager is asking where the other piece of the wall is, and I told him after getting three notices to throw it away that is what I did.

And he just talks some more, like I don't know that he is the one who had the city come out and order the "trash" removed, like none of this is his doing, like it is all someone else's fault, like it isn't the same maintenance guy that started the whole problem in the first place still being in charge (though the guy that came to fix the other problems had nothing to do with it, he was just confirming that there was still this big hole in the wall).

The manager told the maintenance guy that he needed to do some other thing while the wall was still open like that. I don't really get what that was about, just some other thing having to do with the hot water heater.

They were supposed to do the repair yesterday.

I cleaned up the kitchen a bit and moved things around so that the guys could do the repairs. So I had to push the cabinet out of the way and clean behind it, so that they could move the stove away from the wall, and I cleaned behind where the stove was. And then my husband was about to leave for another trip, so we went to Denny's before he left. And I expected the maintenance guys to be there when we got back, but they weren't. But they don't open the office til nine, and it was only about ten, so I thought they'd be by soon.

Having a frig full of leftovers, but no way to heat them up in the microwave with the rearranged kitchen, I went to get gas and a drink and bought a hotdog at RaceTrac.

They did not come by all day.

This morning I slept late, but I wasn't in a hurry, since I was still up by eight and they didn't open the office til nine. I was just about to get a bath when one of the maintenance guys showed up ready to work.

I told him to come back in an hour, as I had not yet washed my hair or the dishes.

He didn't argue.

Well, I can't shower with a stranger in the house, and I can't wash dishes while he works on the wall, cause there isn't room for us both to be next to the sink at the same time.

He came back about ten, and did whatever it was with the pipe from the hot water heater, and now he's gone to lunch and to get some materials for actually fixing the wall.

I wonder if it might actually get all done today.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I have created a monster

Okay, so as I go through my little routine of looking at the stuff and trying to decide what goes where, or what I should get rid of, or whatever, I am now trying to find stuff that I would like to give to someone. Like, I paid good money for this, and it is still in good shape, and even if I'm not using it right now I still don't want to throw it away or give it to Goodwill. But giving some of this stuff to specific people is somehow different, and it makes me feel better, sometimes.

Like, I thought at one time I would get into beads, but then I didn't really. D was into beads. Apparently, D is still into beads. So, I picked out just a few that I just really like and might still make something with someday, and I divided the rest into already made stuff that only a kid would like, and stuff still in the packages that D would want. I gave D most of it, and some necklaces that were already put together (not by me) were given to a little girl that one of my neighbors babysits.

D was just thrilled with the beads and has promised to give me something in return. I really like the promised thing, but I don't need it. I was just wanting the beads to go to someone who would appreciate them. Anyway, D tends to be a bit forgetful. I'll be happy if she gives me what she said that she would, but I won't be mad if she doesn't.

The little girl got a few more things. Basically, if I don't need it anymore, and it's something a kid would want, she probably got it. Except that I'm putting a few things away for someone else, and I'm thinking that some things should go to the club for when we have kid parties or do something in public that involves kids. Like, I have a bunch of little things that were toys from Happy Meals. We could just give those away to random kids if we are out in costume.

So the last thing that I decided to part with was my VHS tape of Watership Down. Watership Down is just the best animated movie, based on a very long novel of the same name. It is about rabbits. I love this movie, but, I am getting rid of most of my VHS tapes, and, my brother has the DVD, which I can borrow any time that I want. So, I saw my neighbor, asked if she still had a VHS player, and said either she or the little girl could have the tape. She asked to make sure that I meant to give it away for keeps, and then she said thank you and all of that.

A few days later, I asked the little girl if she had watched the rabbit movie, and she said not yet. And then she asked if I was still cleaning out my closets, and if I still had any toys, and if I had any play food. (I'm not sure why I should have any play food, but she asks me that a lot.) I told her that I might have a few more toys, but that they were for someone else.

And then she asks me if she can have a toy.

No, I already gave you one. (By now she has been given a VHS tape, jewelry, a plastic tiara, and a stuffed bunny, plus the neighbor has been given microwave bakeware in case she ever wants to try that or to use them as Jello molds.)

Again, she asks me if she can have a toy. Again, I say no.

I move to the other side of the yard to talk to someone else, and she asks again. She just keeps yelling.

Can I have a toy. Can I please have a toy. Can I have just one.

This goes on for a bit, until the neighbor hears her and comes outside to see what all the yelling is about.

We both shake our heads and go back into our houses.

I've created a monster.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I don't like people in my house

Okay, I had grand dreams of being a normal person and occasionally having people over to my home. That happened a bit when I had the apartment. I felt normal, and people came by once in a while, just that they couldn't really stay long, cause I didn't have a couch and such.

Then I got this place about a year or two before I was ready to move, and I thought, now I have space, and we'll get stuff. We'll buy a couch. Not that I want a lot of people over to my house, just that I would have a normal place where people could come by and I wouldn't be embarrassed to let them in.

Six years later, the situation just got worse. And of course, still no couch.

Since I have been in this house, I've had like four storage units. One of those was just to help with the moving, and we didn't keep it for long. Two were mostly for business stuff, and we had those forever but no more. And then I had one that was just my junk. And I didn't have the money to keep paying to store my junk. I thought that it would help me clean the house. I thought that it would allow me to slowly make everything the way I wanted, and once the house was clean and furniture bought and such, I would bring in the stuff from storage (after making periodic trips to storage and getting rid of some of it), and then everything would go in it's proper place and everything would be neat and tidy, mostly. I do too many projects for everything to stay neat and tidy for long.

As it turns out, making periodic trips to the storage unit mostly did not happen, and when they did happen they did not last long or result in accomplishing much work. First, you have to go when the weather is nice, and of course when the weather is nice you probably have something else planned. Then, when the weather is nice so that you can tolerate being in this big metal container, you don't stay long, maybe twenty or thirty minutes, unless one of the things you are storing there is a nice comfortable chair. And then to stay much more than an hour and get real work done I'd need a ladies room, and to really spend the afternoon or the whole day working I'd need a kitchen to get cold drinks and snacks and lunch.

So I never actually did any work at the storage unit like I imagined, and while it helped having a bit of empty space so that I could clean, eventually this did not work out either, as I filled in the empty space with more stuff.

So, the storage stuff came home, and during the week I emptied the space I threw out a few things. I figured that I would sort out the rest a few boxes at a time, and that it would all be dealt with at a rate of about a box per day over a month or two, and then everything would be good, and I would maybe get a couch.

That didn't happen either.

Five years after moving here, I think that it is time for some major stuff and some touch up paint here and there, and maybe some places where the whole wall needs to be repainted. But of course that didn't happen, cause I still had so much stuff.

Recently, I have done some cleaning in areas that I have not seen in about five years. I am trying to empty all of the closets so that I can sweep and clean (and look for termites) and such. I have found damaged stuff that I threw away, and stuff that I mean to give away, and stuff that I don't even know what it is and my husband will have to look through it. And this is a lot of work that takes me a lot of time, and it will all be for nothing if I just put everything back the way that it was.

So I am trying to pull everything out of the closets, which puts stuff either in the hall or the back room, and so the stuff that was already in the hall and back room gets put into the living room or the dining area. And it's going to stay there until I am happy with the closets being sufficiently cleaned.

So while this is going on, I also decide to tile under the kitchen sink (which is still not finished because I have the wrong tools for cutting those last few tiles), and after months of being promised a visit from the exterminator they finally pay him to do the job.

So while I do not normally like to have people in my house and the place isn't clean and neat and tidy, now it is even less neat and tidy than usual, but the exterminator is nice and says that he understands and tries to work around the junk anyway. I did at least know what day he was coming (they told us on a Monday afternoon that he was coming sometime on Wednesday), so I at least was able to clear the hall and the bedroom, cause I needed him to look at that thing growing out of the wall and ceiling. But other than that, there was still junk everywhere.

And then while he was there, he took a picture of the hole in my kitchen wall. A hole in my kitchen wall doesn't really describe the problem. Half of my wall is missing. They cut it away to do a repair and then never fixed it, though they have been ordered to do so twice before. So a picture was taken to remind them of it, and they were ordered to fix it again, though it took them more than two weeks to acknowledge they were supposed to do something about it.

So, I got a phone message, and I thought that they might be coming out on Monday. The drains in the bathroom are slow, and I thought that they should check those before working on the wall, in case it was a serious plumbing problem that would again require them to remove half of the wall. So I called about that, and about a light switch that didn't work, and they said that they did have an order to fix the wall, but that it would be a few days (I'm thinking a week or two when they say that), because other people have broken water heaters and such that have to be repaired first. I mention the bathroom drains and the light switch, and they make a note of it.

So I'm thinking the end of the week or next week. But they come the next day to check the bathroom. Since they didn't say that they were coming, I did not clear the hall or put away some things in the bathroom. In fact, I was halfway into cleaning the tub when my husband suggested I watch some TV cable thing he had downloaded on the computer, and so when the repair guys come they have to push cleansing powder and other such chemicals out of the way in addition to stuff that you normally move out of the way to check for bathroom plumbing problems.

Well, I don't like having these guys around, but after having the exterminator in twice I guess that I'm getting used to having repair people in my house stepping around the junk. But really, I would have cleared those areas first if they would just tell me when they are coming.

They did not fix the wall, cause that would take more of their time than they can spare right now with the neighbors having broken water heaters and such, and they did not say when they might return to fix it, or if there will be repairs to the bedroom wall, which I imagine the inside was all eaten by termites.

So I guess that they will be back at the end of the week, or maybe next week. Or maybe they will again pretend the work is finished and not come back at all.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

The end of the two weeks

Okay, my husband has been out of town a bit. First, it was two or three days here and there, and I couldn't go with him because a.) it's hot here and the plants need to be watered everyday except when it rains, and it doesn't rain much, and they still might need to be watered even on a day that it rains, b.) I knew that the exterminator was coming at some point, and I wanted to be here when he came to my place so that I could ask him some questions, and c.) I can't justify little get-aways when there is still so much work to do. And then sometimes he goes out of town for a whole week, which I just can't do at all when I have plants to look after, unless maybe it is very early in the spring and there is a lot of rain, or maybe in the fall when there's rain or just the plants don't need to be watered anymore. The main time that I would go out of town for a whole week would be after first freeze in the fall and before spring planting.

This is August. I usually don't go out of town for a whole week in August, unless maybe the plants have all died or I've just given up on them. And I certainly am ready to give up on a lot of them. I have seven squash plants, and I've yet to get even one squash. They are probably going to die now. I don't know why they didn't have any squash, since they had plenty of flowers, both male and female. I have yet to see any beans, though I'm seeing flowers there too. The popcorn seems to be producing, though maybe not as much as I would like, and it won't be time to harvest that for a while yet. The sweet potatoes seem to be doing fine, but I won't really know until I dig them up in the fall. The cucumbers were really going at it, but now seem to be taking a bit of a break. But I think that the cucumbers are sending out new vines and will get back to work soon. The chayote died when it was about four foot tall. Most of the tomatoes look dead, but they aren't, so they still might recover in the fall. One of the luffa vines has really taken over, while the second one is still quite small, and there are no flowers on either vine yet. I think that I planted the pumpkins too late and nothing will come from them, even if they don't die.

And that leaves the peppers, which are taking a break in the heat, but the plants look good so long as they are watered everyday, and I expect to get a lot from them in the fall if I can keep them alive a bit longer in the hundred degree heat.

So, I am not ready to abandon the plants, since several are still working at producing something. So no week long trips for me.

And, while my husband was out for a week, we found out he was scheduled to work another week in a place that was closer to where he was than here, and he only had the one day off, so he might as well drive to the next place for the next week instead of coming home.

So that was two weeks away. And I had plenty of work to do here, and I usually get more done while he's away, and I try to do all the other things that are best done while I have the place to myself for a bit. But after awhile, two weeks by yourself is two weeks by yourself. It seems a long time to be by yourself when you aren't used to it.

Okay, so he's home now, though probably not for long. Tomorrow, he has jury duty. If he doesn't get picked he'll work two days in Dallas and three days out of town. The three days he is out of town will be 103 degrees here, and no more rain expected (we got some Friday), so I won't be going with him. And then he'll come home for a day or two before heading out again, for a week, and I won't be going then either even though he would have liked for us to head out someplace new as long as he was already nearly out of the state. But I can't leave the plants, and my friends are having a party a week from Saturday.

A week after that, it will be nearly the end of August. Maybe in September we will get a lot of rain.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Halfway done

Well, I have my new glasses now, but I'm not sure I like them. I could write a whole post on I'm not sure that I like them, but it's been a while since I've posted anything, so I should probably write a catch-up post instead and write about the glasses later.

Okay, so the stuff on my bedroom wall did turn out to be some termite thing. So I guess that the place either had termites before I moved in, or else they showed up about the first year or two, but I just didn't know what they were. I didn't see anything when we moved in, but later there was this brown stuff coming out of a few spots where the wall and the ceiling meet. It wasn't any big deal, but I'd heard that several of the places had serious roof damage, and I figured that's what it was, and that I'd probably make it worse if I didn't leave it alone. The roof repair guys were coming, and I'd just have to wait my turn like everyone else. There was once a few drips that came down in a really bad storm on another spot in the room, but it never happened again, and when the brown stuff did not get worse I thought that was the end of it. The roof guys said that my roof did not need repairs yet. (We have sort of a rotation repair plan, and it wasn't my turn, and I wasn't having any problems to ask to have my roof replaced early.) So I just sort of forgot about the spots.

And then this spring, there was more of the brown stuff, only this time it seemed to have a pattern to it, and my husband is sure it's termites. I am not so sure. I try to find a picture of something like it online, but I only find pictures of holes, not stuff coming out of the wall. And again, this stuff is where the wall meets the ceiling, and I had thought that termites start at the ground and work their way up, not the other way around. But whatever it was, it did seem to me that it was insect related, even though I did not see any insects.

I thought for a while that it might be mold or fungus instead. It did rather look more like the type of mushroom that grows on the side of a tree. Only that wasn't quite it either. It also sort of resembles cauliflower, only not quite. It most looks like brown coral, which it can't be, since we're not underwater.

Okay, so it might be a fungus (which would explain why it seemed to just appear out of nothing overnight), or it might somehow be termites even though we did not find any "tubes" going up to the ceiling, or it might be ants or some other kind of bug damage.

After a while I got over being afraid. If it was somehow termites that got to the ceiling without any "tubes", that's not so bad. Termites don't eat people, they just make a mess. Ants, on the other hand, might attack me or do any number of things, as there are all kinds of problems with ants, depending on what kinds of ants you might have, and I just haven't kept up (except that I know there's a "new" ant that eats electronics). Termites have been around for a long time. There are people who know what to do about the termites. That might be better to have than some sort of fungus that makes people sick.

Anyway, I had to clear all this stuff out of the way to make room for the exterminator to come in and have a look around. He was very nice, and didn't seem to mind that I had two or three storage units worth of junk in my house. He just sprayed around the stuff. And then he looked at the bedroom, and he said it was definitely termites. He didn't even have to think about it. Termites. End of story.

But it was odd that the damage was up on the ceiling and that there were no "tubes". He said the tubes must either be outside (which there were not) or inside the walls. If the tubes were inside the walls, then my neighbor must have termites as well, even though he didn't see any. But he's only being paid to deal with termites that he can see, so my side of the duplex is getting treated and the other side is not.

Okay, so the brown stuff on the walls is apparently made of bug vomit. Which is not quite as bad as I thought it might be, as I imagined that it was bug shit. The stuff was vacuumed away, insecticide foam sprayed into the walls, a little trench dug around the house and holes drilled in the driveway. I'm told the stuff is more like a virus than regular bug spray, so it didn't smell bad. The other insecticide he used didn't smell bad either. So it wasn't near as bad as I feared. And it's supposed to keep the termites away for the next two years, but I wonder if that will work, since apparently there are termites all over the area, and he's only been paid to deal with the ones that we can see. So that was my place, plus the house two doors on my left and three doors down on the right, and that is also a duplex, so there's probably termites on the other side of those too.

Anyway, the office was offered two options, one was to treat only the houses where termites were visible and get a two-year warranty on that, or pay more and treat all the houses even where no termites were seen or even suspected, and we'd get a five-year warranty on that. The office chose the cheaper option, so the termites will probably come back. But at least I'll know what to look for now.

While most of this was going on, my husband was out of town. He was gone for a few days the week before last, and then he went out of town for a week, and then after looking at the schedule it seemed like a serious detour to come home for one night before heading out again, so he'll be gone for the whole two weeks this time. I got a lot done Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday I didn't do much except wait for the exterminator and watch him work. Thursday I did some work, but not much, as I had convinced myself that I had nearly finished with the kitchen and there was no need to hurry when I had the place to myself for so long. Friday I mostly ran errands and watched Jonah Hex. Saturday I did some more work in the kitchen.

You might have guessed that I'm still working on the kitchen.

Well, I just don't know what else to do about it. I just don't have places to put things. I realize that I just buy too much stuff, and that is what is wrong with the rest of the house. But in the kitchen I just really do not have places to put the things that people normally have to cook with. I have some storage space under the sink (which I think people usually just keep cleaning supplies), where I try to keep the stock pots and the cookie sheets and the larger things that just don't fit anywhere else. I have four doors of cabinets on the wall over the stove where I mostly keep canned goods and such. I have two more doors on the other wall over the sink and the washing machine, and that is where I keep most of the dishes. I have one cabinet door on the ground, which holds a few small appliances, and above that is my one and only kitchen drawer, which will hold a few small things or the silverware tray, but not both.

So, I have no place for things like serving spoons and cheese graters and spatulas. And there's no place for stuff like plastic bags and aluminum foil. And these are things that a person needs to have in the kitchen. This is not stuff that I should just give up and throw away or give to Goodwill. People need spatulas and such.

I've thrown away a lot of food. I still have more things to throw away, but I did not think it fair to the trash guys to put so much heavy stuff out all at once. But I have all these canned things that either have gone out of date or I just can't find a date, so I'm throwing it out. So now everything is clean (except maybe I should still clean off the top of the cabinets, but I'd rather wait til I'm not the only one here in case I fall off of the ladder), but I still have all this stuff that I don't know what to do with, so that it just clutters up the tiny counter space I have or the top of the washing machine (which then prevents me from doing the laundry until I find someplace else to put the stuff). I also have no place for tall things such as bottles of oil or boxes of cereal, so those go on top of the fridge, and then I forget they are there and they go out of date.

So except for the boxes of stuff I don't know what to do with, I have a clean kitchen. Not that I have a clean dining area. There's still more there, and the laundry is there, and some of the photography stuff is there.

Okay, it isn't normal to have all this photography stuff, but I still think the kitchen just doesn't work for a normal person. Normal people need aluminum foil and spatulas.

I did manage to clean out the back closet, which I haven't done since I moved here. And I threw away a shelf unit that was too rusty. I've wanted to get rid of it for about two years, but there was too much other stuff in the way for me to move it. So, shelf unit gone, and closet mostly cleaned out, except that there's a few things that I don't want to put back in but I don't know where else they should go. So, half of a clean bedroom, a clear hallway, a mostly clean kitchen with a couple of boxes of stuff that I don't know where to put, and a mostly cleaned out back closet, with the rest of the house in it's usual state of chaos.

Oh, and there's still this hole in my kitchen wall. The exterminator took a picture of it while he was taking pictures of termite stuff/damage, cause the maintenance guys might have to come but later and do repairs. So he took a picture of my wall to remind them that they were supposed to do that too. I've been trying to remember when they did this to my wall and did not come back to finish. I was thinking it was a year or two, but now that I'm thinking of who was manager when that happened, and now I'm thinking it's been four years or more. And it isn't like a little hole in the wall. They removed half of the wall to do repairs and just left to work on something else and never came back. So I thought that maybe it was somehow an honest mistake, and with this little reminder they would rush right over and fix it, but no. They haven't even called to apologize or anything.

I am back to thinking that I should just fix it myself, and "upgrade" it somehow. At first I was looking at the pictures where there are little sections of wall cut out to make space for things like spice racks. I have a saw now, so I could do that, but there's so much plumbing and stuff on that wall I couldn't do much with that, and I'd worry about hitting a pipe or cutting a wire or something. And then I was thinking pegboard, and then I could have just hooks and such wherever I wanted. But then I'd be left with a zillion holes to fill in or cover up somehow. Now I'm thinking a few removable hooks at the upper part, and attaching a bunch of magnets on the lower part that I'd have to replace. Then maybe the magnets could hold things like cookie sheets.

Anyway, I'm still thinking.

I have run out of money. I have decided that I should probably buy a three dollar saw blade in an attempt to hand cut a few bathroom tiles. (The tiles are not going in the bathroom, but under the kitchen sink.) Anyway, I had a bit of a splurge on Chinese food Monday. Not a really bad splurge, just about eight dollars, and I got four meals out of it by cooking noodles and rice to go with the leftovers. Then I bought the major expenses, pills, twenty bucks of gas, lottery tickets, etc.... I spent another eight dollars or so on fast food for the week. And then Friday I had money left over and bought a few things that I needed, and a few things that I didn't need, like three dollars for nachos and an extra box of cookies.

And then I realized that I only had ten dollars left, and I have another week by myself, so now I can't decide if I want to spend three dollars on a saw blade.

Okay, I've found Jeremiah on Hulu, and I'm going to go back to watching that while I try to figure out a better place to put the spatulas and such.