A Show and a Nice Day

Garrison Keillor was in town today. Tina, M’hito, and I bought tickets to the late afternoon show, which we prefaced with a splendid meal at our favorite fancy restaurant in Tempe. The recent cold snap has done snapped and gone, so we were able to sit outside in the restaurant’s pretty garden.

While we were there, Tina spotted her favorite Suns player. :-) On the way out she had to stop and tell him how much she admired him, and to our amazement he agreed to let M’hijito take a picture of the two of them together. LOL!

So that was a high point.

GarrisonKeillorGKpressWe all enjoyed the show. It was a good thing we got out there three hours early and loafed around the restaurant after lunch. The place was packed. Gammage Auditorium, a sort of a wedding cake created by Frank Lloyd Wright in his dotage, holds more than 3,000 people, and every seat was sold.

The weather is back to its balmy self: 70ish during the day and mid-40s at night. Too late to save our plants: M’hijito says his lemon tree got the coup de grâce, another icing too much for it after the freeze we had two years ago. All of my citrus are also freezer-burned; to what extent they’ll be permanently damaged remains to be seen, but I’m pretty sure the lime will lose about a third of its canopy.

Several years late and many dollars short, I finally had a little insight that will remove a great deal of hassle from the potted plant freeze protection frenzy.

Usually I drag all the outdoor potted plants inside, which gets them out of the deep-freeze but makes a mess in the house and also makes it difficult or impossible to water them. Usually we get rain when temps drop into the 30s and 20s, but the drought continues — not a drop of precip for weeks. The freezing nights lasted a week this time, so by the time the plants could be safely dragged back outside, they were pretty parched.

You’ll recall my white-trash scheme to protect the potted ficus from last summer’s broiling dawn sun, which came pouring onto the back patio after the Devil-Pod Tree was cut down? Looked tacky but worked.

curtainoutdoorWell, it struck me that with the addition of just a few more cuphooks screwed into the beams holding up the back patio roof and the westside deck roofs, I could simply hang a few of the 87 gerjillion old sheets and defunct curtains (never throw away a piece of fabric!) to enclose those two spots. Many of the plants are already on tho patio or the deck; the others aren’t far from them. So with the help of the dolly, it would be easy to tuck all the potted plants inside a curtained space. Then get a few halogen shoplights, set them inside the “tents” — making sure they’re a good long way from anything flammable — and plug ’em in.

This would almost certainly protect the plants from the kind of light freezes we get around here; and since no fabric would be directly in contact with their foliage, they should escape the kind of freezer-burn they get where frost touches their covering.

Brillyant, eh?

When the weather’s better, strings of lights could be draped along the hooks, creating some nice decorative lighting.

Coming home to a sparkling clean house was also mighty nice, for a change. The scheme to break up the tiresome and tiring housecleaning project into small, once-a-day tasks is working in a big way. It’s so much easier. This morning the bathrooms were clean before I was even out of my nightshirt.

In addition to allowing you to keep the house clean without having to dedicate a half to a full day each week to unpleasant work, it can also let you devote more time to a given task to do a job more completely and better. Yesterday was “clean-the-kitchen” day. After the routine sink, stove, and countertop polishing, I cleaned the oven manually, something that’s been pending since the discovery that the self-cleaning function is unusable.

So that leaves me with a clean warming oven that can’t be used for much else. Anything that might splatter grease or drip juices will have to be cooked in the grill. Pisses me off, but at least if I ever put the house on the market, I won’t have to stick my head in a metal box full of Easy-Off fumes.

The furniture that got oiled earlier in the week still looked great, so I decided to take the English oil to the kitchen cabinets, too. That was a big job. Though there aren’t very many of them, rubbing oil into woodwork that goes all the way to the ceiling and then polishing it off isn’t much fun. But it worked. The damn kitchen practically glows in the dark!

What an incredible sensation, to walk into a kitchen in the morning and find it completely, totally clean!

All this cleaning and gallivanting and wrestling with yardwork has kept me away from the computer, not an unwelcome development.

Lately I’ve come to feel mighty sick of sitting in front of a computer monitor. It’s no wonder my back hurts — who knows how many of this year’s little ailments have been brought on by spending hour after hour sitting at a desk? When scrubbing toxic oils into cabinetry and furniture feels like a welcome break, you know you’ve been sitting on your tush way too long!

This morning I walked away from 104 unread e-mails, several of them from clients and from FaM’s ad agent. Just couldn’t bring myself to deal with them.

This afternoon I deleted every blat from Twitter and Facebook and routed future messages from those sites into the trash. Deleted every blat from Google Calendar, figured out how to make it quit sending “notices” saying “you have nothing doing today,” a constant annoyance. This cut the urgent e-mail chores to only 30. And they will have to wait until tomorrow. I’m not workin’ on that stuff on a Saturday night.

Really. E-mail has morphed from a convenience to a nuisance. No wonder the young people decline to use it in favor of texting.

Image: Garrison Keillor. Jonathunder. GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation.

 

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frugalscholar January 20, 2013 at 9:07 am

So glad to hear that you had FUN. Restaurant sounds wonderful.

Evan January 21, 2013 at 8:09 pm

That restaurant looks fantastic! I have no idea who the guy is though lol

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