I’ve washed the same windows every day for two weeks. Except for today. Fool me 13 times, shame on you; fool me 14…
I keep thinking the work is done and I can clean up and call it good. Construction makes a lot of mess and every morning I’ve gotten up and said to myself, “Okay, I’m going to mop these floors and wash those doors one more time..” and then somebody shows up with a power saw to cut deck boards. Then the movers show up and shuffle in and out, in and out. Yesterday, while I tangled with Wachovia some more (yeesh! I’m trying to help Abby pay back an educational loan! They’re playing way too hard to get to complain about people who default) the paver guys came. This was to reset the original pavers that got moved out of the way of construction in the first place. Since there is now a surplus from where the new porch is I asked them to make a small circle for a little bird feeder/fountain area and then a walkway out of the extras. Hannibal, the Coopers Hawk, is looking on with keen interest and thinking this is timely good fortune as he gets ready to raise his family in our tree again this year. And I’m starting to think this was not the best combination of form and function.
Anyway, the Snarl was the one who pulled the pavers up in the first place. This was hard labor but she did it fast and efficiently and stacked them all neatly by the fence where they’ve been for the past five months. When these guys started to unstack them there were a few Palmetto bugs, aka giant cockroaches. I think these are the Florida state bug. In three years I haven’t seen one in the house; I think they prefer to be outdoors. You’ll be glad to know that, back at the Lincoln Park Zoo, where all creatures are designated, in part, by their survival status ranging from near extinction (‘EW’) to least concern (‘LC’), these sprightly insects have no need to worry. I don’t like them but as long as they are not in my space I’m not particularly anxious about them.
So these four big strong tan guys are here working away and I’m trying to get a blog post up and I hear this high pitched shrieking. I looked out and all four of them are hopping about in a circle and squealing. I went out to look for myself and it was this: a little Southern Ringneck Snake (Diadophis punctatus punctatus). Little.
About 8 inches long and really pretty with a reddish-orange necklace and a red underbelly. She was fast moving and not pleased that her sanctuary was being disturbed. I snatched her up for a closer look and there was more squealing. Rich was happy to pose her for me. She is harmless, a friend to humans as she is perfectly willing to dine on roaches and quite a lovely addition to the natural order of things.
Not ten minutes later, I look out and see these girlie men engaged in this activity.
They have the biggest, loudest, sharpest masonry saw and one of them is using it to file the edges on a paver that another is holding in midair. Between his legs. Plus they are breathing in this fine brick dust without any face masks and they have no eye protection. (Those of us with just one that works are particularly concerned about eye protection. And sun hats to protect us from dangerous UV rays. Thanks to Bonnie and her remarks about knitting myself a bike helmet cover, my brother, the expert biker, called to suggest I wear a helmet over my wide brimmed hat. There’s a vision of aging gracefully.)
If I do ever get the windows washed one last time and the plants in the ground and the porch together, I’ll take a picture of the done deal. Right now I’m going to wander about the neighborhood.
(I wrote this last night. Despite Ol’ Horsetail’s ceaseless efforts to eradicate butt crack, there’s way too much of it around here at the moment. This morning we have 4 paver guys, 2 crushed shell shoveling guys to work on the issue of grading away from the garage and the Irritation Man and his crew. That’s what we have started to call the guy who is correcting the irrigation system. Remember that I am trying very hard to have minimal irrigation here with xeriscape and native plants. The two lines that we are running will provide for some slightly more lush growth right by the house and water to our feeble fruit trees. The trees cost 29.00 each, the fruit they produce would cost 8.00 total to buy at the market and the irrigation work to run lines to water them is going to cost, oh, about 300.00. What’s wrong with this picture? Although now might be the time to start Tilapia farming…
Rich is leaving for Chicago this afternoon for a few days and here is my plan: for the next 48 hours there will be no testosterone in sight here in Florida. None. I will clean up this dust one last time and plant my plants and hang my feeders- and then I have to race up to Chicago for a couple days to do zoo. So I will be posting from there come Sunday.)