Friday, June 1.

May 31st winded down to a melancholy ending. There were a million things happening that day and the kids and I were scrambling like mad to get to my step daughter’s play that evening. Clayton had made reservations at a nice restaurant afterward to celebrate the end of school and our families merging with homeownership the following day.

Earlier in the week the anger of the gods unleashed all manner of hailstones on Oklahoma City. In the wee hours one morning I awoke to hail and listened to it land, off and on, for over 2 hours. The longest stretch of time the ping pong balls of frozen water fell was about 30 sickening minutes. I miraculously maintained all of my windows, but my roof wasn’t so lucky.

Last Thursday I raced home to meet a repair man on a honey-do item I wanted fixed before closing on Friday then raced to get my kids from their summer program. Then raced to get a green smoothie and we picniced a late afternoon snack in Classen Curve while I phoned in my hail claim. I promptly called my real estate agent to let him know I’d done my due diligence on the house I was about to sell the next day and he said, “Have you checked your email?”

“No.”

“Well…” he said. Then Peter went into the details as he knew them and it was becoming clear that someone was about to rob me of my third close date. Prime Lending was jacking with my buyer for the umpteenth time in the last few weeks and it was derailing my plans.

I broke it to Clayton then sat down to watch his daughter’s play. We made it through dinner without trying to explain the confusion to the kids but there was no hiding the less-than-celebratory ambiance at the table. I told my stepson later that they must’ve noticed that us adults seemed like we were sitting at a funeral a lot of the time that night.

The house ups and downs had worn us out and this latest news was just about more than we could stand. I was emotionally blown out and I really wanted to give up on the whole thing because I knew that surrender would bring Peace and Certainty, things I hadn’t seen much of lately.

We left dinner, went to our two homes, chatted briefly on the phone, then went to bed. I couldn’t think much more that night. I needed a new day.

I awoke the next morning and after a half of cup of coffee, I wrote a blog post.

Then I opened my email program and went through all my records. I made notes of every soul involved in these transactions, where they worked, their role in that company and their phone numbers. I didn’t write down emails because I was fucking done being passive. I wanted a house, dammit, and I needed real people to talk with me on how to Make Shit Happen.

After I had a list of 8 or so people to call, I started at the top of the food chain: the closing officer at my title company. I was nice, but clear and agressive about my plight. About 9:30 am I learned that I *might* be closing at 3 pm. That’s all the wiggle room I needed. I stayed in constant contact with my realtor, my new house’s realtor, the  lender and the title company. Ran around and signed papers. Ran home to meet the movers. Begged a friend to come sit with the movers while I ran to close. Begged Clayton to stop the packing of his moving truck to come relieve my friend who had an appointment to attend. Screeched into the Bank of Oklahoma and picked up a cashier’s check. Sauntered in to the title company and drank a real coke. Ate a Otis Spunkmeyer cookie. Bought a house. Ran to the new house to direct my movers. Ran to the ATM so I could pay them and to Conoco for twenty bucks worth of bottled water and granola bars while we unloaded Clayton’s U-Haul. Ran to dinner with family.

Stumbled home in a carby stupor to fall asleep on bare mattresses on the floor of our new home.

Our. New. Home. ❤

Hey @winedr....

Austin City Limits Music Festival

You didn't get to Heaven but you made it close

We arrived for this Life List item on Thursday and have been putting in 16 hour days ever since. I’ve overloaded my iPhone’s battery for two days in a row attempting to tweet, Instagram and FB all my experiences and thoughts. Austin City Limits Music Festival is an overwhelming experience, as most music festivals probably are. 70,000 people a day, about 7 stages rotating from 11 am to 10 pm, mostly half simultaneously at any given moment. I’ve never seen what 70,000 people look like and I’m not convinced I ever want to again… There. Are. People. Everywhere. But I’m glad I’m here.

I’ve discovered some excellent music and gotten to hear some old favorites live and in person.

Highlights from Friday were:

Brandi Carlile! #aclcase @CaseMate Ray.

 

 

 

 

 

(Brandi Carlile and Ray LaMontagne)

And after my phone died: The Cave Singers, Santigold, Bright Eyes and Coldplay.

Highlights from Saturday will have to wait. Sleep becons.

Cucumber Plague

I have this boyfriend and he has this garden. In Spring I helped him plant a few peppers, much basil, three tomatoes and a variety of misc herbs. And a single cucumber plant that got eaten by birds within 12 hours. He replanted with another cucumber plant and after water and sunlight, here’s what happened:

IMG_3232

IMG_3237

That’s one plant that overtook most of this part of the world. We’ve gotten lots of basil out of that garden and a few chiles and peppers, but mostly it’s been cucumbers. We had a long, hot (Over 100 for over 2 months) summer and the only production we got was cucumbers. Lots and lots of cucumbers. That vine is producing about 4 Armenian Cucumbers a day and has for 2 months. ::sigh::

He’s mostly been giving them away to local restaurants, friends and unsuspecting strangers. At his part time job one day he set a big sack of them by the cash register with a sign that said, “Free.” It may as well have been a white flag.

IMG_3234 Though, occasionally they’re cute.

This weekend I decided that I would can cucmbers into pickles, just as generations of women before me had done. I borrowed a processing pot, bought a 12-pack of quart jars and got to canning.

I mean “canning.”

I intended to document and blog it but was glad things didn’t work out that way. I don’t need record of any more failure in my life. Still, I gave it a whirl…

Don't think this will work. Sad panda.3 of the 7 have sealed!

On the left you have me discovering that the giant pot I borrowed was suited for pints and not quarts. On the right you have me placing the jars up on a shelf where they’ll likely only be able to sit until sundown. Then into the fridge they go because they didn’t process correctly. Again, I’d like to remind you of The Video.