Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hurricane scale note

Isaac is still in the Gulf headed for the Mississippi/Louisianna border.  It's hours from landfall.   We live on the opposite side of the state, on the Mississippi/Alabama border.  We're already getting bands of rainfall from the storm.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Last Night I Dreamed of Frankensteins

Three madmen labored in adjacent cubicles to assemble giant monsters out of piles of rotting garbage that had long ago outlived their usefullness.  When they were satisfied with their work, each zapped them with fire, trying to bring the worn-out dead parts into some semblance of wholeness and life.  All they accomplished was to scorch their stack.  The garbage piles weren't dangerous, unless they fell on you or set fire to you.  But the madmen who believed they could breathe new life into these dead things were very dangerous as they sought more extreme ways to reanimate what should have been allowed to decay in peace, cannabalizing anything they could find for their project.

I woke up and decided I was watching way too much Republican election coverage.

House Update, A New TV, and An Anniversary August 27, 2011

We finished the ceiling trim and the middle ribs, the latter a necessity in a room that has walls made of tongue-and-groove paneling, bead board, sheetrock, and plywood.  That's one of the reasons we chose a rustic "Western" theme for the room, that and the need to find something playfull enough for the children and palatable for grownups.

We've installed 22 shelves, including a video game case, a Doctor Who book-and-DVD case, and extra wide top shelves for puppets and stuffed animals.  There's also another 16 shelves in the pantry we built.  There's another DVD case to come, but it's far enough away from where the TV will sit that we shouldn't have to worry about the TV being damaged.

We tried to buy some linoleum at Lowe's but even though they've previously delivered the next day for free, now they want $79 to deliver in two weeks -- maybe.  We found an indie hardware store that sold us a better product $80 cheaper and was willing to deliver the next day for $15.  Guess who got our money?  But with all the extra running around it won't be installed until this week.

The TV arrived Saturday, our first new one since 1996, which means the first new one the children have ever seen, and our first flatscreen.  It's a mid-size LG, according to the reviews not considered good enough for those used to high quality HGTV, but we're not and our jaws dropped just fine.  It's currently screwed into the carpet in the living room, waiting for us to build it a proper base in the den.

My husband was concerned about the fragility of the screen, and had me prop it up under the edges with hardcovers.  "Now make a barricade of books around it to keep the children from getting close."

I raised an eyebrow.  "If I build a book fort, they're going to play in it."

"Oh, right.  That's out.  Can we put up an electrified fence?"

We got out our old DVD player and hooked up it.  It had a Clannad CD in it, the same one I'd been playing the day before the worst of the burgularies, when we realized the best locks we could buy would no longer work.  I flashed back to that night when we packed up the children and what little a theif might value, and fled the house right before the predawn light.

Clannad began to play.  My husband looked up.  "It's working!"

I grinned.  "You bought me a really big tape deck."

He grinned back.  "And a really expensive one, too!"

We got out My Neighbor Totoro.  The first break-in had been a few days before Owl's second birthday.  Here we were, a few days before Owl's fourth birthday.  It was the first time in two years that we had had the opportunity to sit down in our own house to watch our own TV and feel safe while doing in.  As we oohed and aahed over the picture, I may have shed a few tears.

Later, as Owl lined up flowers from the back yard on the table and we installed yet another shelf, my husband asked.  "Was that nice?"

"Uh, no.  Not exactly."

"Hmm?  Was it fun?"

"No.  It was -- cathartic."

He was silent for a while, then said, "Yeah, me too."

Sunday, August 26, 2012

August Weather

Southern summers are always hot, but August heat is in a class by itself.  In theory after the summer solstice the heat of the sun begins to diminish, but no one notices because there's a hot new player on the scene.  After months of constant heating, the Earth itself has begun to radiate heat.  Now instead of heat just raining down on us from above, it boils up from the ground at the same time, catching us in a fiery pincer.  The air is stifling.  Air conditioners strain.  Breathing is difficult.  Sleep is impossible.  The short reprieve granted by a rare rainstorm turns into a hot, humid sauna as soon as the rain ends.

But now a gentle breeze blows, dispelling the stale heat.  Mild rains break up the heat, and afterwards the gentle breeze still blows, keeping the air from heating unbearably.  It can only mean one thing.

There's a hurricane in the Gulf headed right for us.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sunday, August 12, 2012

House Update August 12, 2012

The den is starting to look less like a jumble of other people's abandoned projects and more cohesive.  The pantry is functional and stocked, which means the canned food is no longer in banana boxes scattered over the den floor.  It needs the door installed and some touch-up work, but it will do for now.

The insides of the cabinets and the counter-tops are painted, and the counter-tops are installed.  We're almost finished with the ceiling trim.  We've begun putting up the side trim and the shelf brackets, including some curlicue brackets my husband cut out of scrap.

To-finish:  the trim, and the shelves.

To-do:  clean up, paint, and install the recycled cabinet doors and drawers; install linoleum; and decide how to install the TV.

Most Important Job:  get some sleep!