That phrase sounded so familiar to me while I was sitting in my car in the garage this morning with the garage door open and spying on the weird old guy across the street from my rear view mirror. And it sounded familiar because back in the days when I was a child, and that was a very long time ago, my grandfather would send us letters via snail mail and he always prefaced his missive with that howdy doo.
Back to spying on the neighbor. Now that we are home owners (receiving applauds and whistles...thank you) it seems that we should be a little more observant to the comings and goings of our new neighbors. To whit the weird old guy across the street. He spends an unusual amount of time on his roof. He has many many solar panels up there, they are large and hard to miss, so I doubt he's verifying that they have not been stolen in the night or gone away in some other nefarious manner. He wanders up there back and forth across the roof, sometimes he has a little rag in his back pocket in case something needs a little sprucing up I imagine. He had a little vacuum cleaner/shop vac up there for a while so that makes me think he's very tidy. The vacuum looked like a robot, but not that interesting. It was yellow, but in any case it is gone now so the mystery remains unsolved. He also has a ladder/antennae on the side of the house which he uses to gain access to the roof, so he must be clever and possibly receiving messages from Mars or something. Oh wait, I already knew he was clever because the guy we bought our manse from told me that weird old guy had reconfigured his cars and his bicycle to be electric, like he is an electrical genius or something. He also spends too much time staring at his utility meter, if you're that smart and everything is run on electricity shouldn't your meter be spinning madly? And if so, can you count the revolutions or whatever happens on meters? What in the world is he staring at? He usually is in his pajamas for this event. But hold on, the solar panels. What devious plan are they providing power for? As yet I have not approached him and demanded clarification of his oddities. Unlike the other neighbors, he did not come over to meet and greet. Steve thinks he's planning bad stuff, but he may be projecting. In the meantime, I will continue my covert observance of him from my car's rear view mirror or my bedroom window. Rest assured.
I am very happy being a homeowner again. I wish ownership did not involve hemorrhaging money on plumbers and hardware and lawn mower repair and other non shoe items. Alas, such is life. Plumbing. I have decided not to be a plumber. What started as a simple do it yourself project turned in to a night mare of talking to the guys at Ace and Home Depot far too many times. In fact I traveled back and forth four times to our local Ace yesterday and had a most unpleasant encounter with an older gremlin with long nasty finger nails who talked over me way too many times until I provided him with pictures that verified I knew what I was talking about and more importantly, that I also knew what I needed. Sadly this all culminated in an emergency plumbing repair call at 6:00pm on a Wednesday night. Much soaking of the vanity, the bathroom floor and the carpet of the bedroom ensued from badly joined hoses and valves and unplanned breakage of 40 year old water lines etc. About two shop vacs worth of water if you're wondering. So I sat huddled in the corner of a darkened room in the fetal position and sucked my thumb while all the mayhem went on around me. I so alarmed the plumber emergency guy that he called me a couple times to see how I was doing. Did I forget to mention that I could not turn off the main water supply to the house? Right, I couldn't. That was bad and if you have any weird ideas that I'm incompetent, the plumber who came out to take $400 from me couldn't turn it off either. He recommended that that be repaired too in case I ever needed to turn the water off like if I was doing some repairs under the sink. I just stared at him and said, you mean like now and why you're here? A laugh a minute.
All good sport I assure you. In any case the proud puppy
The spouse and I were able to finish a project together recently that did not involve much screaming or threatening gestures. We built a tasteful fence and gate on the walkway to our front door which has the sole purpose of keeping the ancient terriers from excaping and causing major reductions in the cat population of our 'hood. Ta Dah. We are genius, no? Did I tell you that we painted our front door lime green? Well we did that too. I have more projects and a grand honey do list. But for now, with the debacle of the plumbing, I shall, as they say, give it a rest. Instead, the middle daughter has decided that the front yard at her house must be landscaped so I have found an outlet for my creativity with that project. That the yard is big enough to farm is of no consequence. It isn't, after all, my money. And in truth, is there any money that is better spent than someone else's? It's so much cheaper that way. Sonny in law luvs that logic. So the plan involves many many many yards of stamped concrete patios, 20 some odd redwoods, about an acre of lawn and more decorative trees and shrubs than even I can conceive and the tasteful placement of architectural fences and such like. This has to be done by May sometime. No problem, right?
I'll leave you with that. Bon jour!