Friday, August 23, 2002

From Pain...

I can not unclog,
therefore I Blog.

...from pain, comes poetry.

My Nemisis

Plugged. Clogged. Backed Up.

Somehow I endeavor to be brave in the face of black widow spiders. I manage to find some joy, in spite of wars, famines, child abduction, and mosquito borne illnesses. There is much to fear, and yet I go on trying to make a difference that is good. But, why can't I plunge the toilet effectively? Why do I have overflowing toilet nightmares? Why is my plunging technique futile? And why does a clogged toilet send me in to a tailspin of hapless despair and frustration?

Our plunger is not the wimpy 'decorator' variety; it's built for business. I have had training; Geoff has a method that does the job in a 'one-two and clear!' fashion. He has tried, in vain, to pass his gift on to me. I am writing this after two failed sessions. I began with a confident deep plunge and flush, then I tried the up-down, up-down, up-down jack hammer approach. Nothing. By the second round I stood tearfully over the toilet and begged it not to overflow. "Please. OH! Please, don't overflow." It doesn't always help to say 'please,' but thank God it worked this time. We reached the high water mark, but we have total containment. But, the thing is still plugged and I am distraught.

Clearing a toilet is never pleasant, in fact it is a rather humiliating, private issue. I have certainly never brought the topic in to any public conversations, nor have I written on the subject. I am bolstered by the pointless fact that I 'didn't do it.' It makes a difference whether you are plunging your own or if you are covering for someone else. In the case of clearing a clog for someone else, I think the indignity is profoundly magnified and infuriating. So, when one of the boys cautiously approaches me and asks "What are you doing, mommy?" I answer bitterly and with a wincing, sarcastic snarl "One of you boys has been using too MUCH PAPER!" My rising voice conveys criticism, frustration and a lack of sleep.

Outside the bathroom window is a perfect view of the almost done pool, the green lawn, the three shade trees in front of the playset. A lovely breeze is coming in. The house is nearly clean. Birds are singing. I try to remind myself of the perils and circumstances I am not facing. But clogged toilets are my undoing; I lose all perspective. Next house will have a very deep hole in a corner of the yard.

Thursday, August 22, 2002

Settling In

The chicas are doing a 'high wire act.' When we initially designed the fence around the chicken coop, Geoff felt that 5' high would be sufficient. I pushed for 6'. He argued that chickens can't fly, but I insisted that they make a good try of it. Earlier this week we watched in awed amusement as Gracie walked the perimeter of the yard, 6' above the ground; Sunshine watched enviously from below. Then we found both Luna and Gracie cruising around, outside of their yard. They must have been out for quite some time, because they were very cooperative about returning to their coop. This morning Gracie was taking her morning walk alone. Luna was sitting in her nest box. And Sunshine was pacing anxiously, puffing his feathers and clucking like a leaky balloon. Sunshine is likely too muscle-heavy to get off the ground. Rosie seems uninterested; she's a bit of a homebody.

Today has been quiet. The landscapers poured concrete to build the bar-b-que, and they'll return Monday to finish it. They're practically done; may be just a few touches here and there, and of course settling bills. I thought today would be too quiet. I have grown accustomed to activity and voices. It wasn't too quiet. We filled the void with our activities and our voices and it was pleasant. I am looking forward to claiming our space. Now that the inside is our paint, furniture, pictures and toys, and the outside is finally alive and tended, I am feeling at home.

Alex and I bought pansies and marigolds and he is very eager to plant them. Max insists he wants to plant a fig tree "...and it will be just for me. Do I have to share my fig tree? I want it only to be Max's fig tree, alwight?"

Yesterday we planted a climbing rose. I have been looking for several months for a 'Cecile Brunner;' it will be full of tiny, soft pink roses, that are mildly fragrant and very charming. Max was diligently patting the earth down around the newly planted roses and remarking, "Isn't she so beautiful?"

Have I mentioned the second apple tree I brought home? It is another Fuji apple, but this one is espaliered (pruned for growing against a wall or fence) and we planted it along the corral fence, across from the chicken coop. I warned Geoff that I might just buy some stakes and a roll of chicken wire and somehow create a vegetable garden. He begged me to wait for him; 1/2 out of fear of what I am likely to 'build,' and 1/2 out of not wanting to miss out on the fun. I will wait for him, but it's torture.

Monday, August 19, 2002

Make It Right

Why is it that when I start to feel as though I may be getting ripped off, I get a creeped out, sunken feeling, and I find it difficult to immediately speak my mind? That was sort of a long question. Brevity: What makes me such a wuss!? We paid for 1800 s.f. of concrete, and they poured 1500s.f. They brought 4,000 s.f. of sod to lay in the back yard, of which at least 500s.f. was 'extra;' conveniently a 'friend' came by and hauled the 'extra' away. I'm sitting here, counting on my fingers, trying to sum it all up. I don't want to believe they are actually going to try and rip us off, but it ain't looking too favorable. Do I wait and see how everything comes out on the final bill; act trusting, cool and keen. Or do I say '¿Que pasa? ¿Can't you guys calcular area?' Chispas, I do not like confrontation, especially not in Espanglish.

This must be really getting me down; I can't quite muster the poetry of praise for the last of the lawn that was put in today. It is beautiful. I can't wait to run across it, do somersaults with Max, or read books in the shade. It's going to be really nice.

Note to self: Don't get in a funk over the miscalculations; call them on it, and make it right.

Nota buena: I found an apple tree with maturing fruit, and Solandra maxima-'Cup of Gold' vine. The vine will make most excellent shade for the hot, hot back patio.