Sunday, September 20, 2009

View from Above

Oh, I was so virtuous! I researched egg-intensive recipes to use up the overabundance of eggs from our CSA! (Lemon-basil popovers--good--and--not so good--"Floating Islands"--alarming poached foam blobs bobbing in a sea of yellow custard. Along with brains in aspic and Jello salad with marshmallows, Floating Islands is one of the food textures I ardently hope to avoid for the rest of my days.) I biked to HEB instead of driving! (Better for the environment! Better for my health!) And I risked life and limb to apply more roofing goo to the garage roof. From which sticky and tar-encrusted perch I took this picture.

The Rose Garden Grows Up
Doesn't the rose garden look pretty? (The bit that isn't blocked by my car, at any rate.) It makes me so happy these days. Things are blooming all over the place. Matt's been weed-whacking the property aggressively, so much of the summertime shaggy brownness has been replaced by a trimmer greenness. The roses are putting on size and filling in nicely. The passionflower keeps blooming away with its big extravagant purple flowers. That particular cultivar is our only answer to the gorgeous, jewel-colored, luncheon-plate-sized clematis that people grow in England (those jammy bastards!) Our "Maggie " propagule (earlier known as "Mystery Red Cabbagey Rose"--propagated at the 11th hour from a hand-me-down shrub with a terminal case of Horrid Fungus--is small, but its three or four little limbs bloom constantly. The trellis, up which two '4th of July' roses are slowly climbing, gives the pleasant illusion of a modicum of privacy, as we had hoped.

And we sit out in this newly temperate weather, watching hummingbirds and herons and painting buntings (well, technically, just the one painted bunting), eating the sometimes tasty and sometimes foamy and disasterous products of our recent adventures in local food, and admiring all the blooming things. And life seems good.

Roofing Goo
Our shack/garage has always leaked, so for ages now we've been meaning to seal up all the seams in the metal roof with roofing goo. Hooo-wee! that's a messy project! Roofing goo is this thick, rubbery sticky mass, like a cross between melted mozzarella and tar. It's so cohesive and springy that it doesn't want to stick to the places you smear it, but it does make ineradicable and self-propagating messes on any other surface that comes near it. My clothes were full of it, my arms were coated in it, and I had to cut some out of my hair.

You may have wondered, how much roofing goo (technically, "roof patch") do you need to seal the seams of a battered old metal garage roof? Well, it took me three cans to seal up one side (i.e. one-quarter) of the part of the roof over the original 1-car garage-shack. Mind you, I was also applying seriously copious quantities to the valley where the old shack's roof and the new(er) 2-car shack's roof meet, so without the valley, it probably would have taken 2-1/3 (1-gal.) cans of goo.

Extrapolate that over the entire garage minus the ~2 cans Matt had already applied, and it comes to about 16 cans of goo for the rest of the project. Leapin' lizards, Daddy Warbucks! That is going to take a very long time to complete. And at ~$15/can, it going to cost around $240.

And, depressingly, when we're done, our garage is going to look like a monochrome Mondrian. Which means we'll need to paint it silver with some sort of metal roof paint.

Oh, sigh....

Or maybe we should just paint on some red and blue and yellow squares and do the thing properly. Why be bourgeois?

Biking Around Elgin
I've meant to do more biking now that we live in a small town and can actually run errands on our bikes--and without getting run over, either. I need a new bike (mine is a boy bike hand-me-down with one of those awful bars right where one's most delicate parts are. It is also 2-3 inches too tall for me, which makes stopping at intersections a real production), but I first need to ride my old one enough to justify the purchase. (I'm going to get one of those endearingly dorky-looking 1950s-style cruising bikes with a big metal basket. My current model is a torture-machine of a mountain bike.) On top of that, now that it's actually pleasant outside, I find, to my amazement, that I actually want to go biking. It's kind of fun.

So I bought a new, extra-cushy granny-seat, a new set of lights, and, to Matt's infinite amusement, a pair of padded fingerless biking gloves. Oh, yeah.

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