This past Saturday morning the Wife and I took an exciting city-wide tour of three different Home Depot garden departments (don’t ask, it will just open a big ole’ can ‘o’ worms). After weeks of chilly weather, it was Springy enough in our Texas hood to dip our blackish thumbs into green paint and pretended to know something about plants and landscaping. Six hours of backbreaking digging, pruning, climbing, chopping, hacking, soaking and scrubbing later, the front of the house from the street looked… well… almost the exact same. Now parts of the backyard looked, well… kinda tidier. I mean, we know the improvements, there is just a lot that has to be done to make the new place feel like ours.
Unfortunately, even planting the smallest shrub turned into an arduous arborous task since the previous owners of the house did not remove the thick tangled roots to some long ago removed holly bushes. You want more visual bang for the buck when you do that much work but it’s like when you clean out a closet or alphabetize books on a shelf, it might not be obvious to all but at least you know you did it. I guess the big noticeable change is the rather massive pile of sawed tree branches that will likely live in our back alley annoying all that drive by until the next bulk trash pick-up day.
We assumed Sunday would be calmer as we passed around the Advil before breakfast and wondering aloud how long it would be until we could again stand-up or raise our arms without shooting pains. My wife (our kitchen’s mad scientist) intended on spending the day cooking (experimenting) a Peruvian feast (dishes my wife ate in Peru, not cannibalistically eating an Incan) for some invited friends (victims) that evening. That wave of calmness never came… and still hasn’t.
Daylight savings time stole an hour of our morning and started us off a little behind in tidying the house and prepping the meal. The unplanned trip to Whole Foods slowed us down as did finding a stray dog wandering the neighborhood. Although I’m happy to report we eventually caught the dog and thanks to a photo posted on the Neighborhood lost and found website, Bella was reunited with her worried owner, but not till another hour of the day slipped away.
The delays made things in the kitchen more chaotic but it did not turn downright ugly till an hour or so before dinner was to be ready, when a pipe burst spewing a cascading river onto the kitchen floor rendering our sink as useful as a Tuba Trio at a sleep apnea clinic. Hoping to find a clog, I quickly disconnected every piece of pipe under the sink but my process of elimination only proved that the problem would require a real plumber to deal with some scary issue under and outside the house. Like the kid with his finger in the dam, I temporarily stopped the water from flowing but did not actually fix anything. We sopped up the lake and cleaned up the mess before company arrived but the afternoon really was a hectic rush instead of the originally planned easy fun day of cooking.
Although I could not pronounce a lot of it, dinner was delicious. The only thing not well received were the slices of Chirimoya fruit that were served alongside the appetizer. Although tastier then a Durian fruit, which I have previously described as smelling like a rotting piece of meat shoved in an old shoe that stepped in dog poop and was left in the summer sun by a sulfur factory, everybody agreed it was a kinda funky unflavorful fruit. To avoid any consumption by guilt, my wife chose not to announce that it was the most expensive singular piece of fruit she had ever purchased in her life, actually costing more than most of the main dishes’ ingredients combined.
My wife knows me too well and she could see as the evening turned to night I was internally obsessing about how we would get the giant stack of dishes cleaned. I know the water is the same no matter what faucet it comes out of, but there is an inherent creepiness to cleaning dishes we will eat off of, inches away from a toilet. But it was either the bathroom or the backyard hose, so as soon as our friends left we commenced with the parade of pots, pans, platters and various other dinnerware back and forth across the house for not so relaxing shower and bath that finally ended close to midnight..
Monday mornings are not normally looked at with such optimism but I was hoping the new workweek would bring a wave of calm normalcy to my world. It didn’t. After spending the morning putting out a handful of stressful figurative fires, I slipped out of the office to quietly nibble my power bar for lunch. Only then did I discover it was forgotten at home amid the morning mess of dealing with a waterless kitchen. Instead I picked up a can of pop to drink but as I pulled out of the parking lot I had to make a quick stop to avoid getting hit and the soda rolled off the seat of my car at just the right angle to puncture and start spewing like a geyser all over the the floor, the dashboard, the seats and me.
The day continued on that same chaotic course culminating with a discovery that my credit score took a huge ding from a false charge that will takes weeks of stressful phone calls to angrily dispute. I guess I should have expected things to go this way. I mean, I did cause it all to happen. Last Friday night the wife and I went out for dinner and we were commenting how things were really progressing nicely at the new house. We should have known better. It might not be Murphy’s but there has got to be some goofy law that won’t allow that to be said without dooming yourself.