For Your Amusement

I reached my writing goal today, and the day before, and the day before that. Surely I’m close to an ending, right? I’ve written right at 94,546 words. That seemed unthinkable just a month ago.

For my blog post today I took the easy way out. If you don’t giggle, snort, or guffaw over this one I’ll be amazed.

Peace, people!

We Have Air; Still No Hot Water

On the home front here at Doright Manor we have air conditioning once again. The service man was quick, courteous, and properly covered for the times in which we live. Face mask and gloves, no-contact payment. I was impressed.

A pair of plumbers came all the way from Gainesville, FL, a two and a half hour drive, to map out the layout of our water pipes in order to locate the source of the leak and write up a plan to address the situation. They, too, wore masks and gloves. Their fix isn’t going to be as clean and quick as the air conditioning repair work was, but at least we’re moving in the right direction.

I’ve become rather adept at washing my hair over the kitchen sink with water heated in my tea kettle, but I’m tired of giving myself sponge baths. Our temperature high for the day is supposed to be 89°. I might stretch the water hose out along the driveway to soak up the sun, so this afternoon I could have a warm shower outside. For the neighbors’ sake, I will wear a bathing suit. Still contemplating the logistics.

Wish me luck, y’all.

Peace, people.

For Jim

Oh, Jim,

When I close my eyes, I see your face,

I hear your voice, those words of wry wisdom and gentle humor.

For months I’ve known this day would come, still the news of your passing caught me off guard,

Hit me right in the heart.

Knocked me off my feet.

You were our leader. The one who made the exaggerated gesture—feet off the pegs, legs askew—while riding your motorcycle, making me laugh,

Even as I negotiated the curves on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

You never pushed me to ride over my head, simply let me ride my own pace.

Oh, how I’ll miss you.

Dear Jim,

I hope you’ll sing karaoke in heaven.

Under the Heading, “WTF?!”

Not only are we dealing with an absence of hot water due to a leaky pipe, now our air conditioner has gone on the fritz. Oh, and for those of you in northern states, the thermometer shows we’re “enjoying” 90° F weather today in north Florida. That’s 32.22222 in Celsius in case you wondered.

C’mon, man.

Peace, people.

Day Two of No Hot Water

We had a water leak in a pipe underneath the sink in one of our guest bathrooms here at Doright Manor. The water seeped into the carpet in an adjacent room—Studly Doright’s office. Fortunately we caught it before too many days went by. Studly Doright turned off our hot water, so at least I have access to cold water that can be heated for various uses.

I heated water for a “bath” in the sink on Saturday morning. My hair is still fairly short, so it wasn’t too difficult to clean. And I gave myself a sponge bath. I don’t feel as clean as I would following a shower, though. Today, I bought some dry shampoo. I hope it will yield good results.

Washing dishes was labor intensive, but not awful. Finding the right ratio of hot to cold water was a trial and error affair. I’m strongly encouraging the use of plastic cups and paper plates for the time being,

Some good news—the damages will be covered by our insurance. We’ll be responsible for paying a deductible, but will gladly do so rather than be stuck with a four or five thousand dollar repair bill.

The bad news? It might take awhile for Doright Manor to get back to normal. The insurance company will provide us with a list of plumbers, but the leak is in pipes running through the foundation of the house. Not an easy fix.

I’m so ready for normality. I just hope I recognize it when it arrives.

The Spider Identity

After I posted “Spider Dude” yesterday I heard from folks who hate spiders and others who adore them. What I needed, though, was someone who could identify them. I turned to Twitter for an answer.

I follow the sci-fi author, Adrian Tchaikovsky, on Twitter. Tchaikovsky penned one of my favorite books, Children of Time, in which spiders play major roles. He happens to be well versed in spider-ology. Okay, that’s not really a word, but I like it.

After I posted the picture I tagged Adrian Tchaikovsky and asked if he knew what it was. He didn’t, because he lives in the U.K. and the above spider is American, but one of his other followers did.

Say hello to Anasaitas Canosa, also known as a Twin-flagged Jumping Spider. I’m going to call him Ana for short. He is non-venomous and is good at controlling pests. I’m so glad I didn’t allow Studly to smush him.

Peace, people.

When it Rains, You Get Wet

You know the old saying, “When it rains, it pours”? Here at Doright Manor it might not be pouring, but it’s certainly dribbling at a pretty good clip.

A week or so ago I noticed that the water for my morning shower was getting hot more quickly and staying hot much longer than normal. I like my showers hot, but not near boiling. Then today, there was zero hot water. Hmmm.

Also today, we noticed the carpet in Studly Doright’s home office was wet. Now that his company has called employees back to work at their regular office we are seldom in that room. Had I not been sorting through some craft materials, I might not have noticed the dampness until it began to smell like mildew.

Studly’s pretty certain the two events are connected and that the job calls for more plumbing expertise than he has. He’s called plumber after plumber, but no one he’s talked to will come into homes right now thanks to the Coronavirus.

Current status: No hot water, so no shower, no washing machine, no dishwasher. We’re going to start stinking before long.

Peace, people.

Monday’s All Write

Usually I take Saturday and Sunday off from writing. I’m trying to adhere to a daily schedule just as if writing this novel was a paying gig. Then on Monday mornings I have to get back into the groove. I’ll go back and reread the last chapter or so and make any changes on the manuscript as a whole that occurred to me over the weekend.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve awakened in the middle of the night with a thought such as, “That tshirt couldn’t have matched her green eyes. Her eyes are blue, idiot.”

One would think my copious character notes would be all I need, yet sometimes in the heat of writing I get details confused.

Anyway, this past weekend I wrote a little bit on both days, just to hedge against the Monday morning “what the hell happened to my characters on Friday” confusion. I wish my brain could keep it all straight, but I’m like a freshly hatched chick every Monday.

My strategy didn’t seem to help all that much at first. On Monday morning I still had to spend some time reviewing what I’d written and where I needed to take the story. But as the day went on the words came more easily and when I reached a good stopping place I was pleased with the way everything had come together.

Will I still feel that way on Tuesday morning? Who knows?

But at least I did the best I could. Right?

Peace, people!