This morning, bright and early, as threatened, the contractor showed up to rip out the shower in my utility room and replace it. It will be so good to have a shower in the house again. I hate bathtubs, (unless they are huge and have company in them), and that is the only way I can wash my hair now. The shower in the utility room has been a joke since the day it was built. The landlady had built a shower in a utility closet. She just put drywall inside the cabinetry and then tile and grout over that. Before I realized that she hadn't waterproofed any better than she did, the darned thing had leaked and the drywall crumbled, the floor started falling apart, and the linoleum started coming up. The contractor ripped out the closet and about half the floor in the eight by eight room and replaced the wood under the floor and replaced the closet with a real fiberglass shower. I am beside myself with joy. The only problem is, the job is not finished, and I could really use a hot shower after spending the entire afternoon taming the jungle which is my yard.
I was working in the yard from around 1:00 to 5:00 this afternoon. I raked and leaf-blowered until my arms are threatening to fall off and my back is threatening to go on strike, not to mention my legs. I'll bet you didn't know that you could get a blister even through thick leather gloves. Take it from my thumb: you can. At any rate, it was a good day for yard work. The sun came out and all I needed was my sweatshirt over my regular oxford shirt. The yard really needed the work. The landlady gave me grief for the way I have maintained the numerous flower beds and trees on the property. I'm bad. I wish I had better luck/more knowledge about plants. Crystal was the horticulturalist in the family, and even she neglected the plants. It's kind of ironic: I'm still living here while she was the one so enamored of all of the growing things to take care of here. At least none of the rosebushes or the citrus trees have yet died. I'm working on it. I just learned this year that you have to apply special fertilizer for the citrus trees to keep them healthy in this soil. My bitter lemon tree (Meyer lemons?) is doing okay, but the fruit is not tasty for anything but lemonade or cooking. They're too bitter to eat straight, and I like lemons straight, sometimes. The dwarf tangerine tree has one little fruit on it and some dead branches. The apricot tree made fruit this year, but it has some kind of blight and parts of it are dead. The orange tree produced no fruit at all this year, despite blossoming like mad and scenting the entire neighborhood with orange blossom smell. Next year, if I'm still living here, I'm going to be more proactive with the citrus trees and the damned botanical cornucopia which is my yard.
One of the neighbors saw me out in the yard and had to stop to chat for nearly half an hour. She's nice enough, and one of the oldest three people living in the neighborhood. She was looking for the cat belonging to my next door neighbor. Since Mrs. Wolfe, the next door neighbor, who is also very elderly, has moved into an "extended care facility," the lady down the street has been caring for her cat. I hope she finds him as it sounds like she has become quite attached to him even though she doesn't know his name. I haven't seen the critter around today or yesterday, for that matter, although I have seen Horace (Horus?) a fat orange tabby cat who likes to hang out around here, even though he belongs to someone else and I don't feed him or anything.
This evening, some plumbers came by the house wanting to know where the water mains were in this neighborhood. Apparently, they live in a different town, where the water is metered, and so they were unused to seeing the main shutoff valve for the property under nothing more a little tiny cover bolted over what is pretty much just a pipe in the ground leading to the valve. Mrs. Wolfe's family, who were over at her house doing some home improvements today, must have had a plumbing accident because when I took the guy out to the back yard to show him what the water main in my yard looked like, I could hear spraying water coming from next door. Oops.
I think it is time for my last bath for a good while now. It's showers forever after tomorrow -- YES! I really need to clean up. I smell like yard. After that, I'm going to get dressed, and go rent the movie "Fight Club" at Blockbuster, just down the block. Everybody and their brother, from ingenuemuse to the guys at work keep telling me what a great picture this is. Well, my mother sent me a TV yesterday, for Christmas, after sending me a DVD/VCR and finding out that I didn't have a one, so I'm going to hook them up, call up a pizza from Pizza Hut, and enjoy the first movie I've been able to watch at home since the AGP slot on my computer's motherboard decided to immolate itself. Maybe someday, I'll actually make it to the store for groceries.
Before I go dive into the tub, I think I shall leave anyone reading this a clever letter-jumble and an anagram. The trick is to make a word, or a different word out of the scrambled letters or the word that follows. Use all the letters and make a real word. Here is the jumble and the anagram: