July 18, 2007

Here's My Sign

Bill Engvall has made millions with a comedy routine which ends in the statement: "Here's Your Sign." I won't make a dime but I've got plenty of signs. Collecting them daily, as a matter of fact.

The first sign of the day came when I went to put on my new plate. Not a mistake. TN only carries one--in the rear. DC is not letting go; hanging on for dear life. Okaaay. Phillips screwdriver. Not. Pliers (to get a grip and turn). Not. Give me a break. I remember seeing some tool with a similar head that should remove the screws. I'll deal with it when I get back from picking up the lawn mower. Throw all the apparatus in the front seat and roll out.

They're waiting for me. Comment on the depth of the trunk. I tell them to not put it all the way in; I'm the one that has to get it out. Self: Ask them if they have something to take off the plate. Yep! An Allen Wrench. Duuh. Now, why didn't I think of that? Because I haven't had to put on plates in a few years. We just keep attaching stickers. And guess who forgot to get the front plate removed? Thankfully, I've got plenty of those wrenches. Here's Your Sign.

And, of course, here's a familiar question: "What made you choose Ripley?" Moving to Memphis, yada yada. And, the warnings, "Stay clear of Frayser; lock your doors; murders every day; don't take Rte. 51 to the airport. Cut through Mason to the interstate." Yes, yes, and yes. One of the fellows is from Chicago. He had never heard of Ripley, either, before moving here ten years ago. Says it has been very good to him. Told me where to go to get my car window fixed (it has needed a motor for decades) and also that Marvin Windows is hiring. Both men want to know how I got water in the gas tank. Good question.

Drop off bills for the gas/water and lights. I can get into this. Drive two blocks and no postage. Just drop it in the outside box or go inside. Pull into the gas lot and can't find the box. I know there is one but where? Here comes my friend, Mr. Durham, son of the police chief. "How's everything going over there?" Coming along. He offers to take the check inside. Silly city girl. Here's Your Sign.

Back to the house. It is cool outside. Let's get this party started. Knock out the rest of the lawn. R-I-G-H-T. Start, stop. Start, stop. Take a few spins. Stop. I've been in the house so often this morning until I just need to stay. Either the Lord is telling me it is too hot to be doing this or I need to pay somebody. What is wrong with this silly machine? It is too damned hot for this foolishness. In all truthfulness, the yard is not that difficult to mow. When the silly machine is running, that is. My shoulder is killing me from pulling the cord. Yes, the same shoulder that has received the cortisone shots and gives me so much trouble. Why didn't I get a riding mower like I started to? Bet I'll have one this time next year. Here's your sign!!!

Take a few aspirins--knees hurt, shoulder is screaming. No point, Mr. Shoulder; we've some patching and painting to do. It is now 11:48 a.m. I'm back inside, dripping sweat, the mower has decided to take yet another rest. At the rate I'm going I'll be lucky if I can get one side done before 5 p.m. I have to pick up another bundle of shingles from my favorite home center. Mike Shaw, not to be confused with the good deacon's Mike, is redoing the roofing on the little overhang by the kitchen. His brother took a shortcut. Wonder where else he cut corners? Oh, and another cartridge for the string trimmer. Lordy, lordy. Hold onto things long enough and they do become useful. Yep, another thing I brought from up north. Hasn't been used since I lived in Bowie.

While the lawn mower runs smoothly, I say grateful prayers to the Almighty for all of His blessings. Because I have been truly and magnificently blessed. Reflect on where I've been, what I've done, and where He has led me. Giving thanks for my family, all my friends, and the phone calls I've received. Thankful, whether I had time to talk or not. Also praying for a job and a working lawn mower.

Time to try it again. I figure two more stops and I should be finished with the east 40. Not happening today. First, I run out of gas. Go figure. Refill, make a few more laps, stop. That does it. It is hot and bothered. So am I. Dripping water; totally overheated. Can wring water from my slicked back hair. What was the purpose of perming it? Because it was tee-totally out of control.

Can't cool down. Water going into the body is exiting through the pores quicker than I can say 1-2-3. Here's my friend Maurine, the realtor, with a sack (sack=bag) of Ripley tomatoes. We laugh over her decision to use the front door instead of the back. About time I have a visitor at the front door. I'm mopping sweat; she is cool and collected. Ask her opinion on the placement of the living room furniture. She likes it; looks cramped to me. Tells me that Mr. Floyd, another realtor, has had a defibrilator inserted and is back home and doing fine. I like Mr. Floyd and wish him well. Understand he has serious health problems, including losing toes to diabetes. Understand Mr. Jack has to have a knee replacement, as well. She also tells me that she and her husband, Paul, no longer use the good deacon. Ah, I should have talked to her first. Well, I can't fault the "quantity" of his work. After she leaves, I decide that a cabinet needs to be moved and an end table put in its place. Works better. I sure wanted that cabinet in that space, though.

Shower and off to get the shingles I forgot yesterday. Looky here, WalMart has humongous ferns on sale for $5.00 and the hibiscus plants have been slashed in half. Only $7. Had to exercise tremendous restraint here. One fern, one hibiscus, two hosta (to replace the ones that didn't make it).

Back to the house. There are vehicles everywhere. What the? I can't get into my space? The truck is larger than the entrance to the barn, shed, garage. Mikey's wife's car is here. Good grief, this is a job; not recreation for the family. Mikey's truck. And the chairs under the trees are filled. I can feel a James White coming on. For the uniformed, that is my father--not my brother--noted for his nasty ways. Methinks I'm moving my damned chairs. How's that for a sign?

Turns out the gargantuan truck belongs to the electrician Mike has asked to look at my problems. Mikey can do simple electrical things but this problem is out of his league. I.e., why isn't there power at the switches to two light fixtures? Danny Cannon is the electrician. Lord, please send me a job soon. His prices are immensely reasonable for what I want and need done but still a drain on the resources. To make a comparison: In DC, I had a hall light installed and an outside receptacle placed on the front porch. The hall light was a replacement fixture and a switch installed; the receptacle was coming off the motion light. Cost: $600. Here: Activating two dead switches, installing a ceiling fan, moving switches and wiring from one room to another (the switches for the kitchen lights and fan are in the dining room), installing a separate line for the freezer, fixing the outside lights on the obelisks (if possible), and putting the microwave on its own line--$600.

Gutter work starts tomorrow. I'll plant my flowers AFTER they are finished. I'd be very unhappy if they damaged the hibiscus. I've waited all summer to get one.

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