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The last New Year’s Resolution I ever made was to stop making New Years Resolution. A few years ago, I broke that one, but the incident served as a reminder about why I gave up on the whole idea of the NYR in the first place: the best way to doom a goal to failure is to actually resolve to get it done, and to make this decision while I still have the remnants of the previous night’s champagne coursing through my veins.

I do, however, have goals from time to time that I set in January. Goals involve less of a commitment than a resolution. This year my main goal is to get the huge rotting corpse out of my front yard, because the neighbors have stopped making eye contact with us and this makes me sad.

A Creepy Feng Shui )
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I have a huge yard, front and back. It has a lot of things growing in it, including trees. I have at least a half dozen varieties of oak, two varieties of pine, a red maple, lots of yaupons, some sweet gums, an ash, peach trees, a pear tree, some Chinese tallow, some creep myrtles, and several things I can’t identify but I’m always willing to learn. On Saturday I saw a new comer growing beside the fence and I wanted to know if it was friend (something pretty that will add to the ambiance of my yard) or foe (something weedy and undesirable), so I did what I always do: I plucked off some leaves and took them in the house so I could research their origin on the computer.

At least now, I know. )
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"Look!" my husband exclaimed when I came home yesterday, "We have baseboards!"

He has recently started the start-and-stop process of paining the dining room again. It's been ongoing for about 2 years now.

"Neat," I said. The baseboards still need painting. Maybe in a couple more years, that will happen.

"And you know what?"

I didn't.

Big Bugaboo )
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It seems lately that I can't escape the long arm of Murphy's Law.

Houston is in the midst of the worst heat wave in 30 years, so of course our air conditioner self destructed last night. We did manage to make it to Lowe's hardware store to grab a window unit 15 minutes before they closed last night. Air conditioning is not a luxury in Houston. Yesterday's high of over 100 degrees F (38° C) would be considered pretty hot in a dry climate. Houston is a humid climate, though, and 100 degrees feels more like 150, because your sweat does not evaporate and cool you off, it just runs down your skin and makes your clothes stick to you.

If you are the kind of macabre person who would wonder if it would be worst to be baked alive verses steamed alive, I can tell you since I live in the world's largest natural sauna, a.k.a. Houston, Texas, the answer is "steamed." I've been in the New Mexico desert on a day that was 110 degrees, and it didn't feel so bad. Houston at 98 degrees is much, much worse.

The insurance company is sending a technician within the next 24 hours to see if the central AC needs to be replaced or repaired. Considering that the air conditioner is as old as the house (circa 1976), I'm betting it should be replaced.

In the meanwhile, my email at work has not played anymore fanciful tricks on me, but I know it's just a matter of time before it happens again. I think it's waiting for me to let down my guard so that I will someday soon try to type out a message to my boss along the lines of, "I assume you want me to correct this report for office-wide distribution…?," which Outlook, with the help of our wonky network, will interpret as "Ass, you f off."

That should go over good.


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In the past I have railed against the deer that are constantly invading my back yard and munching on whatever sort of vegetation I am trying to cultivate back there. Now they have really crossed the line, though. When they ate my passion vine, I was annoyed. When they ate my rose bush, I was irate. But now that one of them has slipped into by back yard and given birth to twins, I am filled with something that can only be described as "Awwwwwww."

Damn it. They are just too cute.

Bambi and Bambette )
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When I picked up my son from his daycare center the other day, I had an interesting conversation about deer hunting with one of his little classmates who is also 4 years old. It got me thinking about how different parents approach things. I don't like letting my son watch cartoons that are too violent. Heaven forbid he drop hit someone over the head with a heavy object because he saw Sponge Bob do it. Other people take their 4 year olds out to kill things. I'm not saying this is wrong. I'm just saying it's not how I spend a Saturday with my son, who believes that reindeer can fly if Santa asks them to. Then again, I'm not a redneck

Bambi has it Coming )
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So we got a little damage in the storm; it's no big deal in the large scheme of things, I guess. The generator helps with the power, but I'm a little irate that the water is still out. Jeff and I drove into to town to see what was opened (one grocery store running on auxiliary power, but we decided there was nothing we needed bad enough to stand in the 2 hour checkout line), and noticed a sign from our utility district saying to boil our water.

"Give me something to boil, and I'd be happy to do it," I said.

I haven't had a shower since Friday morning. You would be surprised at how well deodorant works when you keep putting it on for several days straight. At this point, by the time I do get to take a shower, I will need a putty knife to scrape off the layers of deodorant from beneath my arms. To avoid injury at a time when emergency services in my area are strained, I will use a plastic and not a metal putty knife.

Yesterday I took a drive though my little subdivision of about 200 households, to see how the neighbors faired. Some were better off than me, and some were worse. One house also had its front door blocked off by a tree, just like mine is.

Wow, it looks like a hurricane blew threw here! )
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Today on my drive into work, I was thinking about my husband's birthday present to me this year. I am notoriously hard to shop for, or so I am told. There are two reasons for this: the first is that I don't know what I want unless I am looking right at it, and the second is that if I don't want a gift I have just received, I have no talent for hiding my feelings.

After 19 years by my side, Jeff is used to this, because a man can get used to almost anything. Being used to a situation doesn’t mean you are happy with it. Gift-giving occasions are an emotional minefield around our house.

Boom! )
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Today on my drive into work, I was wondering if the recessed lighting that Jeff has installed in my kitchen is reason enough for me not to burn my house down on New Year's Day. Back in January, I made a New Year's Resolution of sorts to my husband that if our fixer-upper house didn't look any better or more livable in one year, I was going to burn it down. I meant it.

Dry is good and wind is better... )
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Today on my drive into work, I was thinking about my husband's penchant for loving damaged goods, and the greater implications of this trait in him.

The Talking Heads had the right idea )
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Today on my drive into work, I was thinking about my house and the resolution I inadvertently made this year in regard to it.

A Burning Desire for change )
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Today on my drive into work, I was thinking about my left knee and my right foot, which both hurt from the face-town tumble I took off of my front porch this morning. The knee is skinned, the foot is twisted. Both of these injuries are annoying, but survivable.

Face down in the Dirt )

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