Keith & the House
Sunday, Jul. 14, 2002 – 12:25 a.m.
Happy Birthday, Bro!
Looking at the calendar shows that today is July 14. That’s Bastille Day in France but it has always meant something else to me. Today would have been my brother’s 41st birthday. Unfortunately, Keith died in April 1985, 4 weeks before I graduated from college. Yes, I miss him. So I sit here and listen to the Indigo Girls and think about him. He was a year and half older than me and we fought like dogs growing up. Once we were no longer under the same roof, we did a lot better. He was an adventurous guy and I always envied that. I was better in school and I guess he envied that in me. Out of highschool, he worked as a commerial fisherman, radio DJ, EMT/ambulance driver, bar doorman/bouncer, and a mate on an 80′ schooner, with interspersed periods of college. He turned me on to lots of music, including folk like Jimmy Buffett, Kansas, YES, and Styx. He loved the sea and always wanted to be a sailor. I have long associated Buffett’s A Pirate Looks at Forty with the guy.So I toast you, bro! Wish you were here!
This week has been consumed with working on the house. I have a long list of stuff I need to do and I have procrastinated too long. I need to refinance the mortgage and it finally dawned on me that I need to fix a number of things (and clean things up too) before the appraiser come in. So! I have been browsing at Lowes and building lists of stuff I need to make the repairs. Of course, some of the things don’t actually need new stuff. Earlier this week, I removed the wood railing from the back stoop. It was rotten and had come loose from the bricks so needed to come off. This stoop goes to a door in the back of the house that I never use and as it is, didn’t need the railing anyway. Now I just need to hawl the wood down to the dump; I don’t thing the city will pick it up if I put it out on the street.
The big issue, however, is I seem to have a problem with my foundation. I have some cracks around one of the windows in the living room. I took a look a the bricks in the foundation and noticed that in one spot, the mortar is loose and one of the bricks is even broken. I crawled under the house and took pictures with my digital camera. That was useful. This is not something that I can deal with myself. I have several calls into foundation repair companies so next week will be meeting with them and getting estimates. Oh Joy. I have no idea what this is going to cost but it has to be done. We will see what they say.
This morning was spent mowing the lawn. With the drought we have been having, the grass was not growing so I have not needed to mow for a number of weeks. However, the area around the roses has been well watered so the grass arround the beds was WAY too tall. In fact, there were several places where the wild flowers had escapped from the bed and started growing and blooming in the grass areas. Given how long it was around the rose beds and the fact that in other places in the yard, there were seed heads on the weeds, I chose to use the grass catcher. I managed to fill up the compost bid and dumped the rest in the behind the back fence. I still need to get the trimmer out and trim (I was going to do that but I managed to “flood” the little engine. It was getting on toward noon anyway so I deccided to try again tomorrow morning when it would be cooler. I also deadheaded the roses (more about the roses in a minute) and pruned the ivy off the front porch.
The afternoon was a trip to Lowes to actually BUY the stuff I need to do the repairs I CAN accomplish. I got a pry bar, a 14′ board from the deck, fire ant crystals (I found a small mound in the front yard), a new water splayer (the last one got a crack in it’s head and sprayed water everywhere.), mortar mix, a cold chisel, and a trowel (so that I can repair a loose brick in the back stoop I pulled the railing off of.) and primer and a “popcorn” sprayer so I can fix the ceiling in the spare bedroom upstairs.
This week the beetles have not been as bad as last week. Oh, they are still here but I was, at least, able to cut a few blooms for vases in the house. Currently, the best performing rose is the Caesa Chaves that Nikulai gave me. For some reason, the beetles don’t seem as interested it ihtat one. I pick about 5 blooms off the bush! I was also able to harvest a Voodoo blossom before the beetles got to it.
Looking around, I think the much is really helping. At this point, I think almost all the roses have gotten at least one bud on them (with the exception of the single blooming OGR plants.) of the new roses, I think that St. Patrick is the only one that has not grown. The Dolly Parton and Europeana have both had blossomes before and the Glowing Peace has one blossom that is in the process of unfolding.
Ok, the words are staring to blur together so I think it is time for BED.