Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Why don't we make a mess? The Aftermath continues

Unintended consequences ( see November blog) keep right on rolling in. If it hadn't been for that darned screen door I wanted so I could take a nap with the door open, we would never have become so aware of the condition of the roof after Ike or the tilt of the slab by the back door (not related to Ike, but probably related to the Texas drought).

The roofer said level the house before the new roof, not after. So, in February, we had the slab levelers come in. That is such profound joy. Dig up all the landscape, put big piles of mud on the drive, jackhammer the tile on the patio, and dig, baby dig. Three weeks later the crew came back to "level" the house. The walls groaned and popped when they jacked it. But now the patio door closes without a daily sanding, and someday I will replant all the shrubs, and maybe they will live. By Christmas I will have chiseled out the remaining broken tiles and retiled the patio. By then maybe the holes where the piers were poured will quit sinking in and I can put back the rest of the landscaping. Shouldn't take more than a year.

Now that the slab was leveled, the new Ike roof could be installed. That required taking off two layers of roof, which translates to a really big mess. Roof dust was coming through every house orifice....down through the light fixtures, the vents, the attic stairwell. We were lucky though. Our neighbors had a roof put on the same time we did. The guy who went through their ceiling in the closet (picture that mess on your clothes and in your shoes) restrained himself and only went through the ceiling in our garage. It had much less impact on me than a closet hole. Want to know the best part about a new roof? Aside from the fact that it was insured, nothing, really, except the claim that it will withstand 115 mph winds. With a $4,000 windstorm deductible, it wasn't cheap, and it looks about the same as the old one. I liked the old one just fine.

Just in case there was not enough fun going on with the slab and the roof, we replaced the three windows that have had water in between the double panes ever since Ike blew through. They gave the impression of rain on a daily basis. Carl wanted to do the labor himself, so it has also been a bonding experience for the two of us. He does the carpenter stuff, and I am the painter/caulker. The layers of dust all over the house from the project won't last more than a month, maybe two.

We are doing our part to stimulate the economy. The taco truck came by every day for a while during our construction. They left a business card. Think I'll order some. That will make me ready for that nap with the screen door open.

Oh, I forgot. No nap for me. Landscaping, tiling, dusting, and soon to come, fixing the plumbing leak under the kitchen that we discovered when the slab was leveled. Carl says he wants to DIY. Eyaiee!!! We're not done with mud yet!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

March is for Music

Life List number something, accomplished! I got to see Elton John and Billy Joel in concert this month. Wow! Those old dudes my age still have the punch. Something about dueling pianos just takes me where I love to be. Billy Joel attacks the keyboard. And I've always been a sucker for a saxophone. Sometimes there were three saxophones at once, including one played by Crystal Taliaferro, a really rocking chick who lit up the stage. When the combined bands were on stage together, there was double everything. I think the count was 15 musicians.

I paid big time scalper prices for the upper back corner, but it was worth ten times the price. 35 numbers, 3 and 1/2 hours. Next time the tour comes, I am thinking of re-mortgaging the house to sit on the front row with Elton's good friend Lynn Wyatt.

Today I am slightly deafer and definitely younger. That describes my entire birthday month. Thank goodness for the passing of the January blues, which I cannot explain but got nevertheless, I'm enjoying lots of music this month. With the rodeo in town, I've been four times. Clay Walker was my favorite, a surprise since I have never even considered his music before. Clint Black was a little staid, but I found myself liking Keith Urban, aka Mr. Nicole Kidman. ZZ Top is still to come, and I might bring my earplugs this time.

AND my symphony buddy Mary and I went to see, er, make that hear, Bach vs Vivaldi one night, and some Rachmananoff another.

To top it off, I chose as my birthday present to see Les Miserables for the third time. It will be Carl's first. Can't wait. That's next week!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


It's important to practice driving and living in the RV. After all, summer is only two months away, that time when I become a full time RV blogger. My writing has definitely been slower when I am not on the road, so I am looking forward to getting back into both pastimes.

The photo is from an overnight chick trip to Buescher State Park, a tranquil little spot at the southern end of the Lost Pines near Bastrop. While in the park, my former co-leaders in scouting enjoyed the fine life of the RV. It was quite a bit bigger than any backpacking tent we ever shared, and even bigger than the hostels we frequented in Europe.

While in the park, we birded from three perspectives. Mz. Becker, who enrolled in a bird watching class on a lark, was spotting them with binoculars. Terry was photographing them. She has a more recent model of my camera with an 18 x zoom (I am jealous). And I was drawing them. I would post my drawings, but I let Mz. Becker take them to class for show and tell.

But drawing class is coming right along. Check this out, baby! I think everyone will want one for Christmas.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 12, 2009

You say it's your birthday!

I have had so much birthday cake! I cannot remember the last time I had three different cakes. My friend, photo'd above (the one with the halo) made me dinner and cake. Then I had cake with a neighbor, and then another cake a week later with another neighbor.

This photo is taken a few days later at my birthday lunch. Except for the friend with the halo whose friendship dates back to the 80's (I know she doesn't look that old and neither do I), I know these ladies because we met at Luby's. It is amazing how much we have in common for such a chance event. We've been having lunch for several years now. Seredipity!