Monday, August 23, 2010

t-minus less than 6 weeks

This past weekend was reportedly the hottest of the year, thus far. We were out on the lovely, rebuilt front porch just after sunrise on Saturday and Sunday. Sawhorses and scrapers and sanders. Glue and clamps and wood putty. Taking the trim we'd removed from the front room and removing decades of paint globs and caulking and whatnot.

We made damn good progress and in spite of the heat, got into a fairly productive rhythm of preparing the trim for painting. There is something soothing and contemplative about scraping off old paint and caulk, filling in the holes and sanding the whole thing smooth.

My daughter returned to Houston one week ago. I will admit to some apprehension about her arrival, no matter how happy I was that she was coming home. So I am pleased to report that the week has been delightful. It is so wonderful to see her, talk with her and laugh with her. She spent hours helping us on the porch. The three of us just working hard together in the steamy Houston heat.

Monday, August 16, 2010


From yesterday's Writer's Almanac:

It was on this day in 1969 that Woodstock began. This music festival on a 600-acre dairy farm in Bethel, in upstate New York, was originally advertised as “An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music.”

The Bethel town board of supervisors refused to grant the permit to legally hold the event, arguing that the proposed porta-potties didn't meet the town health and safety codes. But the organizers went ahead with the concert anyway.

The lineup included Jimi Hendrix, Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez, The Grateful Dead, The Who, Janis Joplin, Santana, Ravi Shanker, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jefferson Airplane, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Melanie, and others — a total of 32 acts, all outdoors, sometimes in the rain.

They predicted that 50,000 people would show up. Instead half a million people came. [emphasis mine]
I suspect they were a few hundred unacceptable porta-potties short as well.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

t-minus 2 months

Two months ago my dad was talking to me about what he and mom were thinking about doing for their 55th wedding anniversary. That, in itself, is a little odd for the non-celebrating, unsentimental couple they usually are. They considered Puerto Rico (where he was born and has relatives), Portugal (a great idea but I doubted they'd spend the money/travel that far) and something else I can't remember. And then, he said, but we've decided to spend our anniversary with you. In October. (4 months from the phone call, 2 months from today.)
  • I am tickled.
  • I am horrified.
  • I am honored.
  • I am terrified.
My parents haven't been here in ten years. You know all this DIY I've been referring to lately? That's the connection. So, to recap. I am thrilled that my parents are coming to visit but I'm bouncing between high anxiety and...less anxiety...
  • My parents (mom-driven, family-wide) are 100% house-perfect crazy. Their house always looks like a model home. I am not shitting you.
  • I love that we'll be celebrating their 55th anniversary here.
  • My mother's standard is insane. But I am an adult! I choose how I live! BUT this is hard-wired. I can't escape how my fairly normal looking house will look to my folks.
  • My house is in dire need of fixing up and this is probably just the impetus I needed.
  • I can in no way get it up to the acceptable standard I was raised to expect but I'm going to die trying.
Stay tuned.