Up at 8:00 a.m. to watch my fave TV programs: CBS Sunday Morning and DIY, while planning my day. My ambition is oftentimes stronger than my desire, but I will not let heat nor complacency stand in my way of having an awesome, productive day.
Inside chores done (cleaning, food prep, accounting/bookkeeping, etc.) The outdoors beckon, as they did last night, but last night the stars were out, along with the fireflies, the crickets and the cicadas, and I had to ask myself, again, why I want to leave this place. If I had a tent (barely even necessary) and an air mattress, I would set up an outdoor bedroom (and kitchen), live outdoors and camp out every night.
Today it’s hot again, but I refuse to let that impede my progress, so it’s back into my swimsuit, in and out of the pool all day, with hours more of tossing, cleaning, and organizing in and out of the barn. Austin came and visited for awhile (my 18-year old next door neighbor, grandson of the neighbor who I am thinking of offering my house up for sale to). His first question was, “So did you finally get rid of ‘them’? (them being Frank and Melissa, of course). It turned into a conversation about why Frank was here in the first place, and when I told Austin of my plans for the house (first, renovation) he was thrilled to offer his expertise. He’s only 18, but his parents (both in prison) had a roofing and renovation business for years and he claims to know his stuff, foundation repair and electrical included (really at age 18?). I told him to “bid” against Frank, who’s supposed to come over Wednesday after a meeting with his probation officer. I have such mixed feelings about this…even if Frank doesn’t really know me, he knows my house, he will work for cheap, but damn it I really don’t even want to look at him.
Then I told Austin that I was (second, after renovation) thinking of selling the place and moving, and he almost cried. Honestly, he was completely crestfallen, his face melted in front of my eyes, and then he said, “Well, I’m not going to help you fix it if you’re going to leave.” So I spent the next 30 minutes trying to explain to an 18-year-old-boy-man the concept of self-actualization, especially from the perspective of a 56-year old woman. He went so far as to offer his designated-driver services to me if I really feel the need to go to Springfield and “get my city on” once in awhile, all while trying not to look me anywhere but in the eyes as I stood in front of him in my swimsuit.
It was enough of an interruption for me to move on to my next, and nearly last, big project for the day: grill up a pile of food for the days and weeks to come, including a semi-homemade pizza, complete with garden-fresh veggies. The anticipation has been killing me for days and I spent a couple hours the other day with my grill-owner’s manual attempting to figure out why the igniter doesn’t work, why only one side of the grill wants to produce a flame, and why the right-side “venturi” underneath always wants to start on fire, melting the knob on that side. I dismantled the entire grill, discovered a lot of stuff that I really didn’t want to discover but was willing to accept, given the fact that the grill is nearly as old as I am. I put it back together, satisfied that I could make it work. And it did, for about three minutes.
After several failed attempts to keep a fire from burning underneath the grill box, right above the propane tank, I finally decided to wrap the mal-functioning venturi in aluminum foil. That worked just long enough to get the meat finished (which actually took a fair amount of time; I grilled enough meat to feed at least 2 dozen semi-vegetarians for weeks!). The big experiment was going to be the pizza (and garlic bread, yum-oh!). The foil started on fire, more than once, and I finally gave up. So, with the pizza all prepped and ready-to-go, I had no choice but to fire up the oven in my already 110+ degree kitchen.
I don’t think so. I think I will put the pizza on hold in the freezer and have a glass of wine, wait until night fall. Maybe later I will eat my pizza under the stars, with the fireflies, the crickets and the cicadas for company. Oh, yeah, and the occasional shooting star.