Saturday, September 09, 2006

I'll Have the Egg Salad

This morning, we went to a Koi pond store to figure out just what in the heck we're supposed to do to take care of the fishies and the ponds. We spent quite some time there, with me talking to the guy working there and getting all the maintenance directions and chemicals and whatnot, and The Mrs. talking to the lady there and buying all new pond plants because the ones we had were not quite spectacular enough.

Oddly, she mostly just bought more of what we already had, because there are like 4 plants you can buy that will survive the winter without you having to bring them inside.

The Childrens hollered a lot, and then they discovered Fred, a 9-yr old tortoise, who lived in the back of the store. HannieC really liked Fred. MaxieC liked Fred for a while, then he wanted to look at all the pump equipment they had on their Koi holding tanks.

That's my boy.

When we got home, The Mrs. immediately set about some pond maintenance. She needed to play with her new plants. So, since it was already 12:40, I went inside and cooked up lunch. We had had Frenchie toast and bacon for breakfast, and The Mrs. had left the griddle attachment on our indoor BBQ range (a GE Jenn-Air knockoff). She hadn't even cleaned the bacon grease off. I spent some time wondering if I should fry something up on the bacon grease, but instead I cleaned it off.

I like to fry in butter.

For the kids, I made cheese quesadilla, and for The Mrs. and Me, CherkyB, I made grilled turkey, ham, and Swiss. I had it almost done when The Mrs. came in from the pond. She looked at the griddle and said, "Oh, you made lunch. We have egg salad. I'll have the egg salad."

I won't be making lunch again any time soon.

After lunch, The Mrs. puddled around (literally) quite a bit more in all three ponds. Then, she eventually came inside (where I had very patiently been watching The Childrens so that she could enjoy her puddling without screaming brats climbing all over her) and announced, "OK. I did my thing and had a good time. Now you can go do your thing."

So I went to mow the lawn. I got about 10 feet, and HannieC showed up all indignant that I hadn't told her I was mowing the lawn. So I shut down and waited for her to put on shoes and her hearing protection. Then she climbed up on the lawn tractor and we began to mow again. I got, quite literally - not exaggerating, about another 25 feet when MaxieC showed up all by himself. Now, he's only 2.5 years old, so I can't mow the lawn with him wandering around unsupervised, so again I shut down. I wander over to MaxieC just as The Mrs. shows up. I expect she'll whisk MaxieC away so that I can "do my thing", but instead she starts lecturing HannieC about going out front without telling her. Then MaxieC wants to ride the tractor, and The Mrs. tells him to climb up on it.

At this point, HannieC has a fit because she's only gone about 25 feet, and it's her turn. She and MaxieC start battling over the hearing protection. I'm thinking about how this fits into me "doing my thing."

I separate The Childrens, and The Mrs. distracts MaxieC and tricks him into going into the back yard. HannieC and I start up mowing again. It takes a long time, since she insists on driving much of the time, and she only drives in loopy-loops and tries very hard to only go over places she's already been.

I was sitting there today, working the pedals while she drove, and I realized I had the exact same feeling that I used to have when I owned a swimming pool. Those of you with pools may know what I'm talking about here. You get yourself a pool, and you pretty quickly realize that hiring a pool guy to take care of it is for suckers. It's a much, much worse deal than paying someone to mow your lawn, since it costs more and there's a lot less work involved. So, instead, you get yourself one of those "random path" robot vacuums.

Then, you spend half of every Saturday sitting in the backyard with a beer, watching the robot go around. It starts out as pure entertainment, but then you find you start to notice the spots it has missed, and you start to hope for it to hit those spots. Slowly, you get more and more emotionally involved in the spots it missed. You start getting excited when it heads for one. Then, at the last second, it veers off randomly to the side and just misses it. At first, you feel disappointment. Then, as it happens again and again and again, you start to get angry. Eventually, you're fishing the thing out and messing with the directional jet on the back to see if you can get it to hit that spot.

It starts out as fun and ends in frustration. That's what it's like to work the pedals for HannieC as she mows the lawn. She seems to get great pleasure of heading straight for a big patch of unmown lawn, and then veering off at the last second to completely miss it. Eventually, you take over the wheel. Then she gets bored and starts to fidget. Finally, she gives up in disgust and goes inside. Then the fun really starts.

Except you're left with mostly edging to do, which is not all that much fun.

Today, for instance, I managed to pick up a landscape border stake with the blade while going around the edge of the pumpkin patch. It stalled the engine. I got the stake out and restated, but something wasn't right. Upon investigation, I noted that the end of the blade was bent down at a 90 degree angle. Shoot.

I took the blade off. I think I could have bent it back, but the blade edge was pretty badly mangled. So I took HannieC off to Lowes and picked up a new set. $28. I only replaced the one, so now I have a spare.

I didn't take a picture of it.

I have some nice pictures taken by my former neighbors, C&D. Well, probably only one of them took the photos; probably D, as C appears in one of them that I have not posted. They're wonderful shots of my old house and what the flipper's crew has been up to.

Here, you can see how they've torn much of the wood trim off the front, removed all the windows, and cut a new window hole in what used to be HannieC's room in the front, left above the garage.

Oh, and they managed to set their dumpster on fire in the driveway, too.

By an incredible coincidence, the fire started right when the dumpster truck came to haul it away, so he was able to pull it into the street and save the house. Since he was there, the fire department had him dump the contents of the dumpster all over the driveway and street so they could extinguish the fire more easily.

I hope things go more smoothly in the future. Many thanks to C&D for the pictures and narrative.



What a riot! ucusr

wife said...

I didn't buy all new plants! I repotted the old ones!!! And I threw away the two putrid festering ones. I spent a long time trying to figure out how to use the floating barley straw planters in an attempt to naturally control the algae. I don't think I'll use those again, but we'll see. And Max is the one who made the giant mess of pea gravel and dirt, after he and HannieC spent about 30 minutes flinging algae at me with their nets. You are getting really lax in your commentary. And I said I would eat up the egg salad because I saw only one sandwich on the griddle. I'm sorry if I offended your delicate sensibilities.

And I notice how you are still in bed, same as yesterday, as per usual on weekend mornings.

wife said...

It looks like they cut a hole in the compooter room closet, where another bathroom will go. The living room window was boarded up in one of thepictures after the firetrucks had left.

I like the fire extinguisher on the sidewalk.

wife said...

It's boarded up in this pic.

Anonymous said...

How the heck did the garbage catch on fire? Flipper profits fading fast...