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Monday, July 25, 2011

Granny, Spiders, and Wash Hangin' on the Line

Mother used to tell stories about Granny - her mother. Like how she was the one who killed the pests around the house, not Pop. Pop was a violinist and conductor, and somehow too fine for the baser chores of life with 4 kids in Bethesda, Maryland. So Granny killed mice with her bare hands and eradicated any spiders. I don't think Granny was a particularly nice person. Mother always said that she and her siblings were more or less raised by Emma, a black woman who had come North at age 13 with Granny to keep house when Granny married Pop. I thought of Granny this weekend. ( I think a lot more about Emma.)

Wash hanging on the fence to dry. My first time hanging things out like this. Am I a sheltered city kid, or what?
We ran a load of sheets in our new-to-us stackable washer/dryer, and hung them out on the fence to dry. Took all of about 20 minutes in that heat, and they were dry as a bone.

We brought the dry sheets in and started to make the beds, when I noticed a small black spider crawling out of the corner of the sheet. Then I saw a daddy longlegs on the adjacent side. Then we ripped the sheets off and took them to the front porch for a good shaking. Funny, in all the books and articles extolling the virtues of drying your laundry outside, not once did I read about have to shake the s*** out of said laundry to make sure no hitchhikers come in with it. I would have appreciated a heads up.

Carpet Tiles in the "Master" Bedroom

This house is such a POS that I cannot bring myself to leave off the quotation marks  of the word "master" as in master bedroom. It is so NOT a master bedroom. It is a tiny bit bigger than the other bedrooms, and it has a bathroom attached to it, but it is not in any way, shape or form a "master" bedroom. I think I may start calling it the slave bedroom, since we are certainly slaving away to make it habitable.

This weekend, we finished the big jobs of this room. The carpet tiles look great, even if I didn't get the intersections to line up very well. It went down so fast - I bet it only took 15 minutes to do the majority of the room. It probably took Mikey longer to cut the 2 heater register holes and trim the partials along the wall than it did me to do the whole rest of the room. I love carpet tiles! And Mike got all the baseboards attached, even if I didn't get a photo. They look great!

Because the next big project is to remove the popcorn ceiling in the living room/kitchen, we moved the beds into the slave room. Add a TV and you've practically got The Ritz!


AFTER! Kindly note the lovely baseboard trim.
Now that we've gotten out feet wet, the real fun begins.

A Lizard in the Septic Tank

Fluffy clouds growing in the warm air.

This weekend was punctuated by several new and interesting, but somewhat yucky things. The septic tank guy came out because I had some questions about whether one leg of the leach field was clogged. Because the woman who scheduled the appointment was on her way out the door on a Friday, she didn't ask me why exactly I wanted him there, so when he came out, he assumed it was to pump out the tank. So that's what he did. My, wasn't that educational. No photos - sorry. Mercifully, scratch-and-sniff technology has not progressed to the point that I can fully share the experience with you.

Rick, the septic guy (how'd you like to be known as that?) found a live lizard in the tank, and somehow managed to help him out. The poor thing had fallen into the sludge. I frankly don't know how he was still alive. After I ran to get a bowl of water, Rick eased him into it for a tiny bath. Then we tipped the bowl to one side, and lizard and water both slid over the edge onto the ground under a bush. There was no movement after that, but he did appear alive. We left him to his fate.

Western Fence Lizard - we have many that look like this, most of whom have NOT fallen into the septic tank, but instead sun themselves on the back porch and startle us with their quickness and blue armpits.

I can only unhappily assume that these poor fellows are dead, since they are willing to hold still for this indignity. The one on the left is the Western Fence Lizard; the one on the right is the Sagebrush Lizard. Note that the Western Fence has yellow thighs, something we felt was too personal to find out about the guy who fell in the tank since he had suffered enough already, so I suppose he could have been either variety.

I sincerely hope this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all of us.