Hello New World

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I have a valid excuse this time. My entire world has been just turned upside down. And while you think that may be an exaggeration, consider this: my beautiful ’88 Toyota 4Runner has problems so epic that an engine, wiring, and computer change didn’t fix them and have been ordered to give up on the ‘ol girl as a daily driver. I don’t want any other vehicle, nor can I afford a decently new and reliable one. Uncertainty nags at my sanity.  My professional editing software, Final Cut Pro, has been consumerized. Though I can still edit on it for now, I will soon need to convert to something else – and I am unsatisfied with prosumer choices and stodgy old-fart industry standards. My professional tool of choice is gone. My Tuesday night Zum-Belly dance class has as of last night, disbanded. The fitness club where it was held is going out of business. My weekly dose of fun, stress relief is gone. Work has been chaotic in a way that I can’t even describe. I continue to bust my butt. Meanwhile, life with one or one and one borrowed vehicle is no fun. Mike is sick of the breakdowns and the diagnosis. He’s sick of working late nights weeks on end, months on end, now close to a year on the complex MG project. He bought a new motorcycle and I can’t deny he deserves it for all the hard work. His old one has yet to be officially sold, though promises are asserted weekly. I stress about money while at the same time continue to move forward. We took a trip to Chicago and forgot about the world for a weekend – spent a boatload – came back to the same problems and minus money. It was infamously worth it. I feel like we hadn’t spent more then a half hour together watching the weather channel. I barely see my friends. I barely have time for things like Halloween party invites and piano practice. I barely have time for sleep. I’ve probably gained some weight, what with my hand in the candy dish three times a day. This all started with Hurricane Irene. That devil knocked out more then our power, I think. It’s all been a swift downhill since then.

We had a second hurricane scare not a week after Irene. Mike was so petrified of losing the garage that he took down the giant tree on the hill above it. It was more then a little scary. He tied it off with a tree and a rope and chain hooked into the truck, then began cutting in. The wind was against him. One wrong gust and the massive trunk would obliterate the garage and its contents. Mike frantically signalled to our neighbor, who was in the truck’s driver’s seat, and he hit the gas. A lucky break with a gust of wind in the right direction – the tree fell to the back, safely. We lost one beam on the playset, which Mike replaced within the same week. In the same time, he brought home a chipper and ate through all the branches. We still have the trunk laying down there today and Mike hopes to fashion a bench from it. (I have my doubts, he’s no woodworker. No hurt to try though.) The rest of the wood, (from the other tree that came down in the storm) was packed up and delivered to a friend of ours with a fireplace. He was very appreciative.

Tree Chain
Truck hooked up, Tree ready to fall

Tree Falling

Tree Down

Top of Tree in Playset

Truck of Tree

Log Mess

Branch Mess

Truck o Logs

Hill looking weird without the tree there
The weekend after that we lost ourselves in more yard work. I had a 50% off a tree coupon at Morrisons, so this time we picked out a Fuji apple tree for the backyard and a flowering shrub. (25% off the shrub.) The tree, the shrub, and soil for both totalled up under $100 and we were both extremely satisfied. We planted both that afternoon. After that, I went crazy pulling out vines and weeds both dead and alive in the area where we took down the tree the previous week. (We’ll need to do something about the stump, maybe a chair or something?) That area is looking so much better, but will still need more help with additional plantings and… dare I say it, grass?
While I was weeding away, Mike used up the rest of our porch stain on Mikey’s playset. It will need another coat, but for now, looking great. We ordered the canopy and new swing brackets, which should be in soon.

New Apple Tree, Shrub behind to left

Newly Fixed and now Red Playset
 And speaking of ordering, we finally ordered a new shed for our trash cans. You may recall that we’ve been having nightly run-ins with a giant racoon, who freqents our busted trash hut and chows down on our delicious garbage. This thing is huge. At my first encounter, I thought it was a sweatshirt. The door to our current, homemade trash hut has long since fallen off its hinges, and this big boy (or girl) has been eating like a king (or queen) ever since. The new shed is a simple, modest Rubbermaid model big enough to hold a couple of trash cans. I’ll miss all the extra cardboard box storage of the old trash hut, but it’s a small price to pay to keep out the coons. I can’t wait until it arrives so we can take the old one to the dump – along with a bunch of other items that have been awaiting a big dump run.

So, with another week coming to an end I have to reflect on everything as a whole. On the one hand, things are just terrible. The 4Runner, the FCP, the Zum-belly, the work, the money, the MG, the late nights, the sleeplessness and timelessness… And on the other hand, new plantings, new stain, new trash hut.... weekends ignoring and procrastinating the inevitable…. Yeah, things still kinda suck.