Thursday, August 18, 2011

Hopped Up, Worn Down, but Environmentally Safe (or soon to be)

We met Murphy the dog.  He is a good looking dog, and he's happy to see you and jumps on you with his big paws and untrimmed nails, which isn't so pleasant if you have bandages all up and down your arms in an attempt to cover your gross rash compliments of a mystery allergen.  He's barking because he wants to play with you, with the dog playing fetch across the park, with the joggers, with the bird that flew overhead that he thought was a ball.  And it is a piercing bark.  Yes sir, it is. 

And he dashes back and forth and back and forth and back and forth, bounding with somewhat more energy than I'd have expected given the description "likes to pace."  He has a black spot on his tongue, like he has a giraffe in his parentage.  He's cute.  I'm nervous about him.  There's a lot of energy, he is not trained, and I'm concerned he'll bowl the cats right over.  Maybe he just hadn't had his walkies that day.  But it made me lean toward Bob the Prison Dog.  Of course maybe he's ADHD too.  You just don't know a dog until you meet the dog.  But I have to admit it.  I left the meeting with, dare I say it, doggie disappointment. 

As we ponder a home visit with Murphy the dog, we have been trying to empty out the basement in preparation for the great Asbestos Abatement.  Something D has finally come around to.  After all this time, we still had many boxes to go through, full of stuff from my childhood (thanks parents) and unbelievably, even more books.  Which makes no sense.  Somehow they all fit in our shelves in the apartment. (didn't they?)  Yet, even those same shelves made the journey with us, and even though we have made like 4 trips to Half-Price Books, and each time we went laden with like 40lbs of stuff we weren't likely to re-read, the books still overpower the shelves and have cascaded into small piles like prarie dog-sized monuments growing up from the floor.  Not that you can see them at present.  Oh no, they are buried. 

Because emptying out the basement was like bailing a sinking boat.  You bring up that chair, you heft up that rickety shelf, and there's always more.  The old trumpet.  The cat boxes.  Still more.  More and more and more in a tidal wave that has finally settled into every corner and space available for it to lurk passive aggressively at me. Boxes and plastic bins have filled up the guest room, the living room, the dining room, and the kitchen.  These formerly tidy spaces are now warehouses of stuff and nonsense.  Again.  Yes we've been paring down.  Dejunking.  Love the feeling.  Love it.  And yes, I'd like to throw this stuff out the front door too, but those are for christmas.  And those are for thanksgiving.  And those are winter clothes.  And that's the humidifier which we might need this winter.  And those over there were gifted to me by any of an assortment of now dead relatives.  So they stay in our brand new obstacle course until we can hide it all in the basement again.  The sheer volume of crap in front of my face is maddening. 

The walls of the basement need to be washed with TSP, to get rid of the mineral deposits and other unsavory things before we drylock it.  And now that its empty, I don't ever want to face doing this again if I don't have to.  So even though I was going to drylock over the winter, maybe its better to get all that nonsense out of the way in one fell swoop.  Opinions? 

I had asked a friend to fill in for me to teach a class last night, which got me down. Wednesdays are normally the highlight of my week.  But the asbestos crew was showing up at 8am this morning (they did turn up at 8, yes).  I wandered over to a garden center on my lunch break to cheer myself up.  Garden centers are all closed at 5pm here, and I work until 6, so I cannot even window shop after work.  I found a flat of heuchera for $20 bucks, which I thought was just wonderful.  This was the bright spot of my day, these silver scroll heuchera.  I love love love coral bells.  I've wanted to plant flowers, I have so wanted a garden.  I've email bombed D so many times with the kinds of plants I wanted.  I have had plans within plans.  But my desires to cultivate have been thwarted by groundhogs (ninja groundhogs, no less), vine orgies, and unhappy buried concrete surprises.  Now at last, I thought, I'd get some color and texture (in perennial form!) in my yard. 

D didn't feel like helping me work outside last night, and I didn't really have much time to spare (because the basement hadn't yet been unclogged).  So I had two pots to plant some heuchera in, which I did, excitedly.  And then there were no more pots, but that's ok because I knew where I wanted to plant the heuchera, by the deck which would shelter them from too much sun but would still give them a dose of rays without allowing them to scorch. 

But tree roots.  There are big tree roots.  Almost as thick as my pinky.  Foiled, but not defeated I dug elsewhere, in the far part of the sidebed.  Tree roots. Big ones.  And orange-colored ants.  But mostly big tree roots.  So I dug elsewhere, a little further away.  Tree roots.  I dug four holes in four different places and was presented with thick tree roots from the gdarn tree that his its limbs splayed like a big old yard whore.  And I fear damaging the roots this tree is massive and old, and could crush our house for vengeance. 

I have no idea what to do with the heuchera I bought.  Tonight I'll try to buy a planter for the front porch or something.  On the side of the house they'll get too much shade.  And be invisible.  On the front of the house I'm afraid they'll get too much strong sun.  So I threw my arms in the air, mad at myself for trying despite the trail of dead plants in my wake and all my ill-conceived plant plans.  I feel at a loss but I have to do something with them.  The planter is my only idea.  The tragedy is that they're perennials.  Most of them won't survive overwintering in a planter, I bet.  I wanted them in the ground to come back and play next year.  That's why you buy perennials in the first place.  But I've got to make do, and try to do right by the plants I purchased.   

I consoled myself last night with manual labor and medium lifting, breaking open the sores on my arms.  The basement looks like a yawning chasm once more, with asbestos tile in 70's colors.  Soon it'll look totally different, but clean and environmentally sound, and not prone to giving any of us mesothelioma.  I'm not real eager to repeat the process when we put it all back, but hopefully I'll be normal again by then (dermatologically speaking).  And I have tomorrow to look forward to, wherein I'll be cutting a check for asbestos and mastic removal to the tune of $Unholy Amount of Dollars because I am made of money, tra-la-la.  The steroids are giving me vicious moodswings, as I now recall not so fondly from the last time I was on them for about a month.  That was an epic red disaster there.  My heart races at random times during the day, and also when I try to sleep, and I have strange jitters.  My rash isn't gone, and though yesterday it got worse, today its not worse (nor is it better).  So I just have to be patient.  Patience.  ha haha hahahaaa.  omg I'm going insane.

Photos tomorrow.  Maybe. 


Coral Bells photo from The Primrose Path

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