Day 190, early bird gobbles worms left, right

Monday, 6/10/2019

This is the first day of the week leading up to my move to Channing House. Also the second day of a heatwave. Yesterday the A/C started up for the first time this year. I was pleased it seems to be working fine. I worry about something expensive breaking before I can get the place transferred to its new owner.

Due to the promised heat I started my run at 7:30, and was back in the house about 8:40, which is the hour when I usually set out, in cooler weather. Showered and shaved I started into a to-do list. Item one was to plant out the Bathroom Plant. Long boring story here. For decades we’ve had some kind of green plant in a nice pot behind the basin in the bathroom. There’s a triangular space just right for one. For the last, oh, decade? it has been a single plant, some kind of a thing that grew up in a single stem putting out radial shoots with pretty finger leaves, kind of like a miniature cannabis. Every couple of years it would get too big. Marian would ruthlessly whack off the top six inches, throw out the bottom, stick the cut-off top in fresh potting mix, and it would grow up again, a single stalk with pretty leaves. Last time she did this, I took the bottom with its root ball and planted it out in the back garden.

OK, I’m moving out, the new owner will likely demolish and rebuild the bathroom (at least, that’s what Chuck would have done as part of “staging” the house, had we got to that), so the plant needs to go. I took it out of its pretty pot; put that with the other pretty pots to be sold for two bits each, if that, in The Sale; dug a wee hole next to its previous incarnation, which is thriving in the back yard, and stuck it in. Good luck, little plant.

IMG_3784Next up, the wax plants. These are sentimental favorites of mine. They started from a single cutting that Marian’s long-time friend Lolly gave her. They’ve been hanging in two windows for at least a decade, surviving on a single, weekly watering, putting out copious blooms of their tiny amethyst and white flowers a couple times a year. I want to take them with me to CH, just for nostalgia’s sake, but how? It is possible to have pot hangers put up but it requires scheduling a facilities person, and also knowing where you want the bracket to go. No way to set that up prior to the move.  So I bought the wrought-iron hangars in the picture on Amazon. They aren’t tall enough to handle the existing pots, which were suspended by two-foot-long wires. So I bought the nice hanging pots shown, also on Amazon (although I did shop three local nurseries first). Now it was time to transplant them.

The one in the kitchen window was growing in a round pot smaller than a tennis ball. I knew that inside that pot would be a solid sphere of roots and I would have to break the pot to get it out. I did, and it was. I cut it back quite a bit first, then broke the pot and moved it, pulling and tucking the branches to pass through the strings. And soaked it good.

The one from the dining room window was easier to get at, sitting in a 5-inch plastic dish. Again a solid root ball, actually a disk, which just fit the mouth of the new pot. This one I didn’t cut back, but that meant I had to do a lot of violence to the limbs to get them between the strings of the pot. Yeah, I could have untied the strings and re-tied them. But I didn’t. Anyway there they are, and if they don’t just wither up and die from the abuse, they’ll do nicely on the deck of my apartment.

About now I called Chuck to get a status on the sale. He had talked to the agent, who hadn’t heard anything from her client, but thought they would want to bring a building inspector and perhaps an architect, sometime this week. The appraiser is scheduled to visit on Wednesday. I don’t need an appraisal for the sale, but I do need it to document the value “as of” December, so Katie the Tax can properly calculate the value of Marian’s estate. If by chance the appraiser comes in with a number higher than we’ve settled on with the buyer, I could possibly claim a tax loss on the sale. (Hmmm — if by chance he came in lower than the sale price, I would by the same logic have to pay for a capital gain!) I don’t care about either; I will only emphasize to the appraiser that I want a number that will be bulletproof under the gaze of an IRS agent.

To-do items continued to fall: I mopped the kitchen floor, which needed it; I swept the wood floors in the bedroom and living room; I got out a copy of my Health Care Directive (aka “living will”) and my Power of Attorney and set them aside to drop off at CH next time I’m there, which I should have done two weeks ago.

Then I did something I only conceived of in the middle of the night last night. I was imagining showing the new owner around, giving her the benefit of years of experience with the house. I’d like to do that IRL, although it probably won’t happen. But, in the depths of the night, I imagined she would want to see the attic, and I remembered that in the attic there were several rat traps I had placed the last time we had unwanted roof-rat tenants. And very possibly there would be a mummified dead rat in one of them. Not cool! So I got out the ladder and climbed up into the attic and cleaned out the rat traps. There was one mummified rat, but it was out on the floor, not in a trap. Odd. Then I climbed under the house, just far enough into the crawl space to grab the three rat traps that I had put under there two years back (no dead rats). All into the trash. Now, if Lawyer Lady wants to see the attic or crawl space, she won’t be shocked.

(I am assuming that a thirty-something partner in a law firm is not a handy-person, rather one whose only acquaintance with screwdrivers involves orange juice and vodka, and  who’ll have only a remote intellectual interest in things like attics, drains, or irrigation. That might be totally unfair! It would be pleasant surprise to find she really was into home maintenance topics.)

Next item on the list was to order my Channing House TV service and DVR from Comcast. I called the number Craig game me and got an odd message, “the service you request is not available at this time, try again later.” (I did try later and got to a helpful customer service rep who set me up. I’m getting the fancy DVR that Craig recommended, and an upgraded channel selection, for a total of $25/month. Which is about $115 less than my current DirecTV subscription runs.)

And then I wrote all the above, and it is just 11:05. Let’s hear it for early starts! Next scheduled event is the 12-2pm window when my last two bits of furniture from West Elm are due. I think I’ll have a nap.

The furniture delivery arrived about 1pm, two very courteous guys unboxed and brought in my new settee and my media console. I am very pleased with the settee; it looks like quality, and the color and style of the woodwork exactly matches that of my 50 year old coffee table (it’s actual mid-century modern).

The media console looks good and its color and style coordinates well with the other items. There’s a bit of a problem in that my sound bar doesn’t fit very comfortably in it. From the web catalog page I had hoped it would. Actually, it might fit; if rotated up on its front edge it could tuck into the back, but I’d need to hold it in place with duct tape or something. Or it would fit nicely if I took a jig saw and cut out two, 4×6 rectangles from some uprights, heh. To be determined. Also the subwoofer box doesn’t go into it. I may look for a smaller subwoofer.

Once the delivery guys left, I went out into the heat (over 90 in the shade) and went down to FOPAL. On this day-after-sale weekend it is time to look at every book in the section. Ones that have been around for 3 months go the bargain room. Ones with prices over $4 get repriced lower. Then I culled the 5 boxes from the sorting room. These had a very high proportion of books over 10 (many over 20) years old. If they don’t cover some relatively timeless subject, they go. I ended up pricing and shelving only about 20 books from the five boxes.

I grabbed some bottles of soda from the grocery next door, and on impulse some Indian food from the deli counter, and headed home to relax in the glow of a day of accomplishments. Yay, me.



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