Monday, June 3, 2013

It is Always Balanced

It is always balanced, the good and the bad.  Just when I get a bit of good news, there is bad news. 

I was so excited, I have real and actual garlic scapes! These are the lovely heirloom garlics from Melanie and they have shot out the scapes - or the thing that could turn into flowers. Now, these are just as yummy as anything garlic and make the absolute BEST pesto.  I've gotten two bunches in my farm share already, but now with my own, heirloom organic scapes I can make garlic-scape pesto to my heart's content! I just ate my last frozen batch two weeks ago. Perfect timing! 
I was so excited to see the scapes, I went running back into the house to grab the camera -  only to find.... 
a flood. 
My washing machine overflowed. I'm not sure what happened, I soaked the towels - maybe there was too much water in the machine? I recently cleaned the trap - maybe I didn't screw it back on correctly? But somehow that doesn't seem right, there was too much water. So much I have a lake in the basement. 
The shop vac is not happy either. Seems I need a new filter. In the mean time, the dehumidifier (I just fixed (touch wood)), will have to take  care of this. I hope this is just a one-time problem, but that would be too good to be true. 
Because... earlier today I had some very good news indeed (so of course the balance must be equally bad - right?). I got a second opinion on the structure of my house. I don't know why it takes 7 different phone calls, and several unpleasant interactions in between, to finally get someone competent to assess my house. I've have some scary cracks and have been worried that the house is falling down. The third engineer of the lot was, well, how does one explain this, he was "creatively" honest. He was right about many things and many problems, but he exaggerated the problem and consequently the urgency. The written report was rinky-dink to put it mildly, and therefore I wanted a second opinion. The engineer who came today was completely different:  quiet, asked many questions, calmed my fears, didn't try to impress me with how smart he was, and told me mostly he felt that I needed to check out what was going on with the plumbing in the back. He thought the problem was there and that if I could solve that problem, that would help a lot. I'll get a written report from him in about a week.
So the crack that is detailed above is not as scary as it looks. What I need to do now is find someone to send a video camera down the pipe to see:
a) where does the pipe go? i.e. where does it drain to...
b) is it ruptured? or 
c) are there obstructions? 
This is my homework. Then we can decide what happens next. Probably I will need a landscaper or something like that to bring in a ton (literally) of dirt and regrade the ground on the back of the house. Ugh. I hate to think what that means. Does that mean I lose my garden? Forever? or just a year? I guess it has to be one step at a time.  Bottom line, always get a second opinion. I feel much better already. Not because he said what I wanted to hear but because he said the same things the other guy did without exaggerating the urgency. 

Back to the flood... I decided to ignore it. It has been so bloomin' hot the last few days that I'm sure it is going to dry up in no time. Instead I decided I wanted to get started on my dream bookshelf. Just look at this mess:

I spent most of the semester standing in front of that mess, saying to myself, 'I know that book is in here somewhere!' Fifty percent of the time I found it, the other fifty I left frustrated. So! I am going to build an appropriate shelving system and organize the books by subject. YES! I have plans. The only problem is I can't decide on all the subjects. Some are very clear:
Art Catalogues
Books about art
How-to books
Photo albums
Books about Printing
Design Books
Typography books
But then there are the others; the non-fiction, and the fiction and the books my Dad and Ann have written, (although Ann's fits nicely into the Art Catalogues section), then just books for general reference - do I subdivide those? Oceans, religion, patterns, drawing, costumes etc.? So much to think about. And then the bigger question - should I think about re-arranging ALL of my books? There are some children's books - don't those belong upstairs? with the rest? What about book-binding books?
Where does the list end?!

 Well at least my roses are finally blooming. They are quite lovely this year. 
 And I had a really wonderful visit with cousins from my dad's side of the family:
Sharon and Carol are my dad's first cousins, and Sharon brought her granddaughter Emily for a visit. Emily is studying Art History, the Impressionists, so of course she needed to visit the Barnes! What a great Grandma! They are spending most of the vacation in Washington D.C. with Carol visiting all of the fabulous museums there, but came up Friday and Saturday. It was so nice to visit with them, show them some of the Philadelphia I love, and just generally catch up on family history. 

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