Coffee heat rising

Whinge, Continued…

😀 It got even better this afternoon, in the bizarro department.

Along about mid-day, I decide I need more of the generic Albertson’s dextromethorphan (DXM) cough syrup, having discovered that the Mucinex I’d bought at AJ’s in hope of avoiding any more driving around and standing in line than absolutely necessary was too vile to gag down. So I stumble in and grab two bottles of generic cough goop off the shelf.

After a not very good snack passing for lunch, I decided I really need to go to bed. I need to go to sleep. If I can get two or three hours of sleep in, maybe I’ll feel better.


Oh, sure.

Just about then, up comes Gerardo. He blocks my driveway with his gigantic truck and sets his dudes to work, blowering and raking and cleaning and, oh yeah: while he’s at it, he decides to repair the broken plumbing in front.

So they bang around and bang around. Eventually it becomes clear that I’m not going to get any sleep. So go to open one of the bottles of cough medicine and find, lo! It’s not DXM 30%. The goddamn stuff is generic Mucinex!

Ohhhhh ugh!

There’s about one dose of DXM 30% left.

So I wait and wait while Gerardo and the boys throw themselves around. They are, as usual, working like horses. But… I. Need. That. Cough. Medicine.

Finally ask him to please move the truck, which he kindly does.

Traipse back down to Albertson’s. Return the Mucinex knockoff. Find a bottle of the plain DXM 30%, but not in the generic, so one bottle costs about 12 bucks. Get one (1) bottle. This requires standing in line and standing in line and then standing in line again.

Dodge a bum going into the store. Dodge the same bum going out. Evade a panhandling pounce — I”m getting good at this.

Return to the Funny Farm. By now the men have the entire front flowerbed dug up. They’ve succeeded in getting one watering zone to run, but the one that serves that flowerbed — with the brand-new bougainvillea planted in it — ain’t working.

Back in the house: I remember that I set the parts of the steamer (“humidifier”) to soaking in vinegar, in hopes of getting the thing to work again. These are sitting in the garage sink.

Scrub this stuff down with a brush and run water through all the parts.

Fill the contraption up with water, drag it back to the bedroom, and plug it back in… And LO! It works!


Meanwhile, I’m still awake. Gerardo and crew are still banging around. The boss has to go buy a cable to repair a break, which he does while his guys are heaving around.

I cook an artichoke and eat most of it. Not as delicious as expected. Stomach is upset. But at least now I have the cough medicine.

By the time the repair project is done — the guys get the system working better than it has in a couple of years — it’s way too late for napping.

They leave. I climb on the bed with the dog and waste some time playing with the computer.

Phone rings: church friend. A lengthy chat ensues. That’s very nice and cheering. And it passes time.

Dog demands to get down. I get off the phone, levitate the hound off the mattress, let her outside.

Forthwith a cop helicopter starts to buzz the ‘Hood. Naturally.

Hie the (unhappy!!) dog back in the house. Feed her dinner as a bribe. Cook up some pasta for myself…also tasteless. Food in general seems to have lost all flavor.

By now I’ve come out on the other side of so-tired-I-can’t-hold-my head-up.

Watch Mike Pence try to bully Judy Woodruff on PBS News, going on about how the American people don’t care about the impeachment proceedings.

Great distraction, this al-Baghdadi coup, isn’t it? Are we really supposed to ignore the extraordinary timing? Oh, God. Rome burns and the fiddles play.

We’ve fallen through a wormhole and crawled out on some other planet. I’m sure of it.

Report from the Hubs of Hades

Five in the morning. It’s 90 degrees on the back porch. Windy. The sun is trying, unsuccessfully, to dawn through muddy yellow-orange haze. Off in the distance: dull thunder. Let the dogs out to do their thing. Decide against the usual a.m. doggy-walk.

Discover I’ve gained almost two pounds since the day before yesterday. Xergis is fattening?????? WTF.

The human and the dogs go back to bed. Actually, the human takes the laptop to the bed, perches there, and fiddles with social media. Dogs go back to sleep.

Cassie starts to hork.

Lift her off the bed before she succeeds in upchucking. Thank God for small mercies.

Clean up the mess. Let Cassie back out. It’s starting to sprinkle. Sort of. Hard to tell what it’s doing: it’s so hot, and the light wind is rustling the leaves, so the sound could be that rather than rain. If it is raining, it’s evaporating before it hits the ground. Cassie goes back in. Decide she’s probably done barfing. Lift her back on the bed. Climb back on behind her. Dogs conker out.

Storm continues to move in. Thunder surrounds us, rumbling in from all directions. Still have power, though. And 70% battery power remains on the Macbook — meaning the thing will run about another 30 minutes.

The pool will be a mess to clean up, with that much dust hanging in the air. The water is bathtub warm. Even though the mustard algae has almost disappeared, these conditions will invite it back.

Arranged to have the pool resurfaced in October. Earlier, if a miracle happens and the water gets too cool to swim sometime in September. I doubt this will happen: global warming is real, folks…and we’ve had it here for some time now.

Decided against the white PebbleSheen. The guy — a genuine charmer, definitely born about 30 years too late, dammit — brought some samples. We put them in the water, because the stuff changes color as it gets really wet. Chose a kind of medium-light blue with little stones engineered to show. I think it will be very pretty.

They’re going to try to save the tile. But if they can’t — it’s been through two replasterings that we know of, and there is a limit, after all — he left a brochure showing a local pool tile company’s offerings. Now I’m thinking I should just spring for the cost of installing new tile. Mine is pretty out of date…think this pool was installed shortly after the first buyers moved in, and the house was built in 19-and-ought-71. It has that 1970s look to it.

At any rate, the stuff is going to look amazingly pretty.

Looking at it in the water, I was reminded of Lebanon.

When I was a little girl, my father would occasionally take his short leave in Beirut. (Aramco gave employees two “leaves”: a two-week short leave midway through a two-year contract, and a three-month long leave between contracts. Sometimes we would go to Beirut; sometimes to Bahrain.)

Lebanon had been largely dominated by the French, following the demise of the Ottoman Empire. Before the civil war (followed, a few years later, by attacks from the Israelis)  reduced the city to rubble, Beirut hosted rows of beautiful, French-operated hotels that served up luxury accommodations and French food on the shore of the Mediterranean. It was a gorgeous place.

So we stayed in this hotel on the most amazing beach. It wasn’t sand, like the hot white sand where we lived, on the Persian Gulf. It was tiny, colorful, surf-polished pebbles. Each little stone was maybe an eighth of an inch in diameter and  they came in every color you can imagine. When I first saw them, I thought they were gemstones. A whole beach covered with jewelry!

When they were wet, they did look like highly polished gemstones. Let them dry out: not so much. But underwater, they were a spectacular thing to see.

Well, this PebbleSheen stuff is like that. Its little stones are about the size of the beach gemstones of Beirut. And underwater, they shine like they were polished.

So I’m pretty excited about doing this project. I think it’s going to make the backyard look really gorgeous.

The cat’s claw, which was suffering from the near demise of the irrigation system along the back wall, is reviving in response to being watered from the top with drip hosing. That stuff won’t last long — if you ever want soaker hose, do not buy the Miracle-Gro brand, which is true junk. But for the nonce, the scheme is working well. The idea of hooking the double hose bib on that back faucet was definitely one of those why didn’t i think of it before??? things. Now instead of having to climb under the shrubbery to hook up the soakers to the hose, all that’s needed is a flip of a switch and a turn of a faucet handle. It’s starting to blossom and will soon be covered with bright yellow trumpet flowers.

Ugh. I cannot stand to read the news these days. When is that orange-haired buffoon going to resign or be impeached?

Dollars to donuts, he won’t make it to the end of this term. But that may not be a good thing. Because then we will get Pence, who is an effective politician, and who hides his viciousness under a smoothly polished veneer of pious respectability. Frankly, a “Christian” who wouldn’t recognize Christ if the Spirit Himself came up and bit him on the tuchus may be worse than a clown whose corruption is obvious.

This country is in deep, deep trouble. As in End-Times trouble, at least for our democratic republic. Hellish hot rain, I suppose, is to be expected.

Update: Rainshowers barrel through to the south. By 8:00 a.m.: 80 degrees on the back porch, under a gentle sprinkle. Arizona is weird.