I have (had) all kinds of exciting things to tell you about today. I am (was) feeling productive! And accomplishment-y! And like a worthwhile member of society, and I couldn’t wait to tell y’all that I’d stopped wallowing long enough to get stuff done. My weekend was FULL OF WIN!
But then I saw that Osama Bin Laden was killed, and because I don’t want to get into anything political and I’m also uncomfortable with the notion of being happy about murder (even of someone who certainly appears to meet all objective criteria for “pure evil”), all I can say is this:
Hey, thanks, President Obama, for upstaging MY weekend! Sheesh.
Naturally, I’m going to tell you about my weekend, anyway, it just seems a lot less impressive, now, somehow. Maybe I will seamlessly embellish part of it to try to bring it up to a similar excitement level. Probably you won’t even notice.
Anyway. I can’t remember if I ever shared the Story Of The Fence. It goes something like this: The original owners of this house decided to put in a pool, and of course when you put in a pool you are required by law to put a fence around it, because it turns out that having small children wander onto your property and drown in your pool can be a real downer. Being the sort of people who routinely did everything they could to make sure that any project they undertook was done as completely half-assed as possible, the fence these people erected is a testament to what can be accomplished through sheer force of will and a lot of alcohol.
The fence line is… interesting. It encloses the pool, yes. It’s also a bizarre shape for no discernable reason. The fencing is a few different heights and even what appears to be at least two different types of fence panels. We have several fence posts not attached to anything at all, suggesting that parts of the fence line were moved, at some point. Also, the fencing is more “picket”-y than privacy, which means it’s ugly AND our neighbors and everything can see right into the pool area with no difficulty. And to top it all off, the entire thing was done in wood that was never stained or sealed or painted in any way.
Fast forward twenty-something years: We now own this lovely home and very much enjoy having a pool. Too bad our fence is quite literally falling into chunks around it, huh? Otto is a whiz with screws and brackets and general patching-up abilities, but we have reached the portion of our program where the original fence wood is starting to just disintegrate whenever he tries to reattach anything. Clearly it was Time To Replace The Fence.
We have been going back and forth with contractors and getting estimates for a couple of months. We need the fence; it’s not really optional, because it’s becoming a safety issue. But as long as we’re replacing it, we may as well get what we want, right? Well. I would like an eight foot privacy fence, because I am a hermit. Also, I would like it in vinyl composite because I would like to spend my summers painting/staining said fence NEVER. I am just being REASONABLE, you see.
Otto would like wood because he likes the way wood looks. But then he seems to get a little miffed when I tell him that if we get wood it’s all him when it’s time to seal it. He’s willing to get vinyl if it’s not too ugly. He’s not sure we need a fence that’s eight feet high, though, because maybe if we straighten out the fence and all of the panels are the same height, six feet will be fine.
After tense negotiations, it turns out that Otto is ABSOLUTELY RIGHT that we don’t need an eight foot fence, because it seems that—while vinyl is close to twice as expensive as wood, which we knew—the people who make vinyl fencing are really bad at math. To wit: Eight foot vinyl fencing costs twice as much as six foot vinyl fencing. (Something about eight foot being special order. And them being BAD AT MATH.) But six foot we could maybe afford. Except then it turned out that most vinyl fencing comes in white, off white, another whitish color, and puke, and we had to start all over again to see if our contractor could find something the color of actual wood.
But HEY, this weekend we finally signed a contract, sold one of the kids for the deposit, did a bit of test digging, discovered Jimmy Hoffa’s body, and our new fence has been ordered. We’re even putting in a chain link run off to the side for Licorice, because after all of the fence negotiations of footprint and material and height and gate type and color and ALL OF THAT, adding a small dog run off the side was kind of “Sure, why not?” in the grand scheme.
And because we still had a few bucks left over after that, we went and ordered the kit to convert our pool to salt water, too. We’re hoping that this year Chickadee and her mutant skin will be able to swim more often if the pool isn’t so chlorine-y, though of course “salt water pools” still have chlorine in them, so it’s possible this is the dumbest thing we’ve ever decided to do. Regardless, in a couple of weeks we’ll have a salt water pool surrounded by an actual privacy fence, which will allow me to float around in there, imagining all of the wonderful things I could’ve spent that money on, instead, like a new kitchen or a semester of college for the remaining child, or something.
Once all of our money was spent, I finished planting this year’s garden, yesterday. I was feeling all productive, and stuff, plus it still always makes me laugh when I plant new herbs and remember the very first year I planted and how everyone was all worried about my mint taking over. I’ve learned a few things in the intervening years of gardening, and I still like mint. I’m sorry. I know it evokes strong feelings in many of you. I shall make it up to you by sharing that this year I opted to skip green beans altogether and go for an entire section of snap peas, instead. SCANDALOUS!
And then, of course, this morning I had dinner in the crock pot before I even had breakfast. See? Put all this stuff together, and I was feeling SUPER PRODUCTIVE. But it’s no bringing-an-international-terrorist-to-justice, I suppose.
Though I very much doubt that Obama is making veggie chili for dinner tonight, y’know? JUST SAYIN’.