Saturday, October 22, 2011

Thanks, Dad!

Last weekend my family came to visit and hear my band's concert, and luckily Dad made it a working visit! Thanks for the Man Job help!

The hole in the ceiling is gone!

I have baseboards on either side of the fireplace now!

The "squirrels, be gone!" hole in my closet is patched after 2 1/2 years!

The rotten baseboard in the bathroom is replaced. 

AND, the molding is up in my toilet room! 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Holy Raindrops, Batman!

After 9 months of virtually no precipitation, I am happy to report that I got wet, my rain barrel is full, my yard is muddy, and my dogs peed in the house in protest. :) 

I don't remember a time in my life (early childhood doesn't count) when I was beyond excited to see rain. It had absolutely nothing to do with the drought either... I mean, yes, my plants are happier with rain and the dirt less difficult to maneuver, but I don't believe that is what elicited my response. 

The last time it really rained in my corner of the Austin metro was the night we went to see the King's Speech. We decided kinda last minute to drive down to Regal Arbor. I had wanted to see it for a long time. Colin Firth has been an open crush of mine for nearly a decade, and mixing his nerdy sexiness with the British monarchy is a recipe for awesomeness in my book. Roger also wanted to see the movie, but I couldn't get him to move quick enough that day. We left later than planned in a downpour. Traffic was moving too slowly for my taste, and I was outwardly frustrated. I cursed the rain, damning it for choosing that moment to flood the streets when we were obviously in a rush. When we got to the theater, there was no parking... We had to park a couple of streets away and walk through the rain to buy our tickets. I stepped in a huge, invisible puddle that soaked my shoe and pant leg. I was angry. Roger was frustrated that I was being vocal about being angry. Our date night was off to a bad start. 

Once we got our tickets I went into the theater to get our seats. 98% of the audience was over the age of 65, and there were no seats left together. I was even more frustrated... I finally found a sweet couple that moved over so I could get a seat for Roger and I. Most of the previews were over by the time Roger got out of the concessions line. The previews were "the best part", and he had missed them. 

We started the movie in silence, not really acknowledging one another's presence except to share the cherry coke Roger bought. There is one really great scene in which Colin Firth lets loose an amazing string of profanities that had the whole audience doubled over laughing, us included. Despite being late, wet, and frustrated, we were having a good time. I reached over and squeezed his hand as a sort of silent apology for being a high-strung turd. 

As we left the theater, we didn't talk about our previous state of pissy-ness but excitedly discussed what a wonderful movie that was and that it should definitely win the Oscar for best picture... Surely it could beat a movie about Facebook... The rain had ceased (thank god), but there was a beautiful glow everywhere from the lights of the city reflected in the streets. Roger took me to Michael's to buy some new yarn, and we made a Chick-Fil-A run before going back home. What started as an unnecessarily stressful date night ended pleasantly and appreciated, as it should have started. Of course, everything is more pleasant and appreciated in retrospect, rain included. 

Droughts extend beyond the literal weather. Rain is a good place to start. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Waiting for Sprinkles

I am emotionally driven by the idea of rain. 

It's been a lazy Saturday morning (thank god), which I've needed more than anything. I woke up late-ish: 8:30. The girls spent about 30 minutes nuzzling me, convincing me to get up with little kisses. A bowl of cereal and cup of coffee with gingerbread cocoa mixed in helped me to muster up some energy while browsing the day's news online. But despite riveting stories of how I'm losing more money in my investments, how our politicians are still too damn proud to frickin work together, and a few video clips of Steve Jobs's commencement speech, I found myself compulsively checking weather radars. 

This drought is taking a serious toll on my project therapy. Another coral honeysuckle meets it's end.

One of my most impressive specimens, one of two 6 foot+ butterfly bushes, hasn't died and is actually  sending out new leaflets in the "cooler" temperatures but is draped in wrinkled, burned leaves from the summer. Several of the branches have died, but I'll prune those when when fall actually shows its face.

 My raspberry salvia greggi has chosen to bloom for the first time since maybe March, but it's neighbor - a dwarf silver sage that used to produce the most beautiful bright blue flowers - shriveled up despite being watered.

My red bud's foliage is taking on interesting stress patterns. I have babied this tree for 3 years now, and strangely enough, even with the horrible drought, my constant attention has allowed the tree to keep leaves all the way into October! Both previous summers the leaves turned black by July and fell off well before fall ever arrived. 

I AM A GARDENER!!!!!! But I can't bring myself to garden when I know my efforts are futile.

For about 2 minutes, it rained hard at my house. When I heard those first few drops on my chimney, my eyes actually welled up a bit I was so excited. I literally ran out to the back porch so I could feel the drops in my hair, on my face, through my shirt. A few seconds of standing in the rain and I got to see something I haven't in almost a year: water shooting out of the gutter spout! When we bought the house it was gutterless. $800 later our house was equipped for the torrential flooding we will apparently never see. My rain barrel stands without purpose. Does anyone else have fingers crossed for category 5 hurricane? How is it possible that virtually the entire state of Texas is seeing rain or has seen rain in the last month or so, and Austin is still being savagely punished? 

I'm going to continue with my lazy Saturday but with the TV muted and the music stopped in case I am so lucky to hear a few more sprinkles.