Wait for It…

I’ve done a great deal of waiting the past few weeks. I’ve waited for hurricanes to choose a path, for a generator to arrive, for someone to come measure one of our spare bedrooms for carpet after our water heater went kaput and leaked water all over said bedroom.

I’ve waited for a new hot water heater to be installed, and for the trash collection crew to come pick up the soggy carpeting and old water heater and the box the new one came in. I’m still waiting on the trash guys–they’d promised that all of the unsightly detritus would be picked up no later than last Saturday. We’re now officially closer to next Saturday than to last Saturday.

Yesterday I waited in vain for the guy we hired to paint the spare bedroom before the new carpet arrives. He was supposed to come first thing this morning, but he still hadn’t arrived by 4:30 pm, so I’m still waiting.

I can check some of the things off my list, though:

  • Generator arrived today 10/9/17. It was supposed to have been here no later than 9/24/17.
  • The carpet measurer came on time and gave me an estimate that Studly can live with.
  • The new water heater is installed and working like a charm, thanks to Studly Doright.

That just leaves the painter and the trash pick up and then maybe we’ll be back to normal. Oh, wait, then I’ll be at the mercy of the carpet layers.

This post might sound like one long complaint. Honestly, it’s just a recitation. I don’t mind waiting too much, and when I think of all those folks in coastal Texas, Puerto Rico, south Florida, and now California, having to wait on vital survival type services I know just how fortunate I am. I have electricity and hot water, plenty of food, and a place to rest my head. No waiting necessary.

What are you waiting on?

Peace, people!

A Certainty

One thing I know for sure: Doright Manor won’t win the “Curb Appeal” award this week.

Debris from our recent water heater failure along with branches that littered the yard after Hurricane Irma have rendered the front of our property an unsightly mess. I’ve called the trash removal service three times now. The neighbors are beginning to circle the house with pitchforks. I’m beginning to wonder if we can hang black crepe paper on the mess and pretend we’ve decorated for Halloween.

Meanwhile, across the street, all is well.

I hope you all have a wonderful, debris-free weekend.

Peace, people.

Two Wrongs; One Write

I generally have a blog post in the queue and ready to publish at 7:05 a.m. This morning, Wednesday, October 4, 2017, I had nothing. Oh, there were a few words typed into a draft: “milk, cat litter,” but only because I’d accidentally written my shopping list on a blank page in WordPress.

For a moment I wondered what I could do with those words. A poem combining the two concepts of homogenized liquids and cat hygiene, perhaps? Hmmm. Not today, but the topic has possibilities.

As I pondered what to write I heard one of my cats in the throes of dislodging a hairball, so I rolled out of bed to clean up the mess. With a box of baby wipes in one hand and a paper towel in the other I went in search of cat puke. Scout was sitting like a lady in the dining room admiring her artwork which she’d deposited on the carpeting literally two inches from the tiled hallway.

“Dammit, Scout, couldn’t you have turned your head to the right just a fraction and avoided the rug?” I asked, knowing that was a rhetorical question. She never pukes on the tile.

As I bent over to attend to the mushy hair ball mess my nose began to run. I swiped one of the baby wipes under my nose and continued cleaning. Not to be outdone, my nose continued leaking like a faulty faucet. I swiped at it again, only then noticing that my nose wasn’t dripping snot, but blood. So now I was dealing with two icky bodily emissions. Two wrongs, if you will, giving me something to write.

As I finish typing this the time is 6:55 a.m. Looks like I’ll make my self-imposed deadline after all.

Fun Times at Doright Manor

Thanks to a corroded hot water heater this is what my house looks like at the moment. Enjoy.

We pulled out the carpet and padding and rented a couple of fans to dry out the walls.

But we had to move all of the furniture out first.

The marble tops weigh a ton and have to be moved separately. They’re somewhere in my dining room at present.

Ah! Home sweet home.

I’m going to the carpet store today to find new floor coverings for the bedroom, and we’ve got a painter coming sometime this week. In the meantime we’re dodging bedroom furniture in almost every room of the house.

I insisted on pizza at Momo’s in Tallahassee for dinner last night.

A Resourceful Man

Studly Doright is a resourceful man. In fact, if I hadn’t been inspired to call him Studly Doright I’d have dubbed him “Macgyver” or “Mr. Fixit.”

There were many lean years during which his ingenuity and ability to solve problems of a mechanical nature kept us out of the proverbial poorhouse.

Nowadays we don’t have to rely on Studly’s resourcefulness to keep life flowing smoothly. If something breaks and needs fixing we can call a repairman. If that something cannot be fixed we can replace it. Being poor was exhausting. Those who’ve never been there can’t even fathom the energy it takes just to keep afloat.

However, just because we can afford to hire a repairman doesn’t necessarily mean we will. Yesterday I posted about a water leak that manifested itself as soggy carpet and moldy baseboards in one of our guest bedrooms at Doright Manor. Knowing there was a leak was easy. Finding the source of the leak was a bit trickier, but we finally traced it to the water heater in our garage. We were relieved. A water heater is easy to replace.

When Studly was able to get away from work yesterday afternoon he turned off the water to the house, shut off the electricity to the water heater, and began the process of draining it. The folks who’d built our home had installed a massive 80 gallon water heater, so while we waited for it to drain Studly drove into Tallahassee to purchase a new one.

He’d done his research and learned all about high efficiency water heaters. The only thing he hadn’t foreseen was that the existing water heater was wider than the door of the closet in which it had been installed.

So, here we were on a Friday night with no hot water and no energy remaining to take apart the framing of the door. Did Studly give up? No way.

Of course it’s a temporary fix, but allowed for the taking of showers and a good night’s rest so he can tackle the door frame after golf today. I insisted on the golf–better he hit a ball than a wall.

Could Studly have called a repairman to tackle this whole job? Could he have saved himself a lot of aggravation and labor? Yes and yes. But that’s not how men like Studly get things done.

When it comes to replacing the carpeting and repainting the guest bedroom, though, I’m going to insist on a professional.

Peace, people.

Just for the Record

I was searching for something; although, I can no longer remember what that was. I’d looked in my closet, and I’d searched the master bedroom. I looked in the Texas bedroom (so called because I’ve got lots of kitschy Texas stuff displayed there). I searched the office with its multitude of drawers and cabinets.

Having failed to find whatever the heck it was I was searching for in any of the places mentioned above, I opened the door to the antique bedroom. It’s a rather small room and crowded with antique furnishings, so I don’t have much room to store things in there. Surely whatever the heck I’d been searching for wasn’t in there, but I should at least check before ruling it out.

As soon as I entered the room a horrible smell akin to that of a bundle of athletic socks that had been worn through eighteen consecutive sweaty workouts and then stuffed into a green duffel bag and stored in a musty locker greeted me.

I found the problem immediately. Just for the record the carpet in the antique bedroom is not supposed to look like this.

Mold shouldn’t be growing on the baseboard, and the carpet really shouldn’t make “squish, squish” sounds when one walks from point A to point B. I’m not a plumber, but I know a problem when I step in it.

Studly Doright arrived home soon after my discovery. With little fanfare I led him to the room where he immediately did what guys like Studly do:

After much cutting and cursing, grunting and grumbling, Studly determined absolutely nothing beyond the need to call a plumber.

Now there are two boxes of family keepsakes that had been stored on the floor in the closet of the antique bedroom drying on various surfaces in the kitchen.

Fortunately I don’t think anything important was ruined, but it was a near thing. So even though I never found whatever the hell it was I’d been searching for, my search did prevent a catastrophe. As my friend Hunny says, “I’m a lucky, lucky girl.”

Peace, people.

Accidental Beer

I like beer, but I normally don’t have one with my lunch. Yesterday I did, but it was an accident.

Studly Doright has me confined to the house as we await the delivery of a generator.

“When it arrives,” Studly said, referring to the generator. “Have them put it in the garage.”

“When do you expect this generator to be delivered?” I inquired.

“Oh, sometime this week.”

I waited all day Monday, finding ways to keep busy around Doright Manor. Tuesday went the same way. Wednesday came and went with no generator in sight.

I’m a restless soul. I drive into Tallahassee or Havana on most days just to explore or shop or mingle with strangers in coffee shops and caf├ęs. So to be stuck at Doright Manor, as lovely as it is, for three straight days has been like a weird purgatory. I’m comfortable and well fed, but I’m going slightly crazy.

Yesterday at noon while awaiting the generator’s arrival I decided to eat one of the tuna salad kits I’d purchased as part of my Hurricane Irma supplies. Since the salad only had 200 calories I figured I could have a Virgil’s brand root beer to accompany my meal.

I opened the bottle and took my lunch into the den where I settled into my favorite chair to enjoy Rachael Ray’s television program as I dined. The tuna was decent; although, not up to my own homemade tuna salad, but the root beer tasted off. I thought perhaps that tuna and root beer might not be compatible tastes, but I kept eating and drinking.

It was only when I thought to check the caloric content of the root beer that I realized I was drinking an actual beer (Smithwick’s) and not a Virgil’s. Boy, did I feel like a complete idiot!

Much is written these days about a mindful approach to living. Maybe I should start paying attention.

In my defense, both drinks were packaged in bottles….

Sunday Post-Irma

Okay, I promised no more posts about Hurricane Irma, but that was before I had to go help Studly Doright clean up after her. Don’t you just detest having guests who wreck the place?

She sheared off one of our smaller oak trees, so Studly set off with his trusty chain saw to cut the tree into pieces small enough to suit our trash pickup guys.

We loaded everything into our little trailer and I delivered the branches to the curb area. We don’t actually have curbs out here, but if we did that’s where the processed branches would be.

We left the small stump. It looks like a potential home for fairies to me.

We really are fortunate that more trees weren’t lost during Irma’s visit. She wasn’t a great houseguest, but she could’ve been much worse.

Peace, people.

Bucolic Wonderings

I had to get some extra keys made for Doright Manor yesterday, so I drove over to Home Depot in Tallahassee. After paying for the keys I wandered in the direction of the garden section to dream about plants I could buy and eventually kill. I don’t exactly murder plants, but those in my care don’t have much of a chance at longevity.

Before I made it to the plants, though, I found this beauty.

It’s a double decker chicken coop, and the moment I saw it I fell in love with the idea of having a couple of chickens.

I’d name them Laverne and Shirley and I’d watch the pair strut around their little coop, clucking contentedly. I’d read to them excerpts from The Little Red Hen, and Chicken Little. I’d sing “The Farmer in the Dell,” and make up other songs featuring chickens. “Oh Chicken, My Chicken” comes to mind as a possible title. We’d be so happy in our bucolic paradise.

But reality set in and I knew I’d end up resenting Lavern and Shirley. They’d be dependent on me, insisting that I stay home and clean the coop when I wanted to go to a movie or for a spa day. Their once charming clucking would soon seem strident and accusatory.

“You never take us anywhere!” They’d complain. And they’d be right. Chickens just aren’t good shopping companions.

So I shook off the idea of chicken ownership and went on back to the plants. So, do I want to eventually kill a ficus or a rose bush? Decisions, decisions.