In Need of Iron and Fizz

Really, all appearances to the contrary...I'm not...

Really, honest, I don’t try to be a Drama Queen. It just happens.

A friend just posted an appropriate passage from Tom Robbins’s novel Jitterbug Perfume. A young Indian woman, Kudra, has developed a passion for scents (and the mixing thereof) only to find herself arranged to marry a rope maker. Robbins writes the following which resonates loudly with me:

Rope. The Gods have a great sense of humor, don’t they? If you lack the iron and the fizz to take control of your own life, if you insist on leaving your fate to the gods, then the gods will repay your weakness by having a grin or two at your expense. Should you fail to pilot you own ship, don’t be surprised at what inappropriate port you find yourself docked. The dull and prosaic will be granted adventures that will dice their central nervous systems like an onion, romantic dreamers will end up in the rope yard. You may protest that it is too much to ask of an uneducated fifteen-year-old girl that she defy her family, her society, her weighty cultural and religious heritage in order to pursue a dream that she doesn’t really understand. Of course it is asking too much. The price of self-destiny is never cheap, and in certain situations it is unthinkable. But to achieve the marvelous, it is precisely the unthinkable that must be thought.

Clearly, I’m not piloting my ship correctly.

While I don’t think I’m “dull and prosaic”, my adventures have been such that my central nervous system feels minced and not just chopped. Perhaps if my adventures had meaning.

I wrote a blog post yesterday morning while waiting on the electrician. He’d rigged things so I had heat throughout the house, but only power in the kitchen – no internet, phone, hot water, or whirlpool baths. I’ll upload that post tomorrow, maybe[There’s newly developed laptop drama.] In it, I lamented having as my goal wanting to be bored. Finally, I was well and truly bored. I’d been stuck in my house, more or less, for a week without power and/or heat.

When did we have to start paying Knights in Shining Armor?

This morning, while waiting on the electrician to come and finish the replacement of my circuit box, I tripped over the cat in the dark and spilled my cup of coffee on the laptop. Guess what won’t work? My entire life is in that thing. Oh, sure, I can get the stuff off the hard drive by taking it to a shop, but if trying to dry it out doesn’t work, I’m going to be living without a laptop. I’ve really gotten attached to that thing.

I read somewhere that in such instances one should immediately remove the battery, dry everything off with a towel as much as possible, turn upside down and wait 24 to 48 hours. This is what I’m doing. I also chant, “please oh please oh please oh please” a lot. We’ll see.

I arrived home to power, heat, a working dishwasher, and a closet bi-fold door that will now shut. I was rather disgruntled at not to be able to curl up on the sofa with the laptop and proclaim my joy to the world. More importantly, I’ve got a boatload of photos and emails that I HAVE TO HAVE. I have a week’s worth of work on there. This laptop thing is a disaster. I’m not even done with one disaster. . . And so I lament the drama of my life.

Wall O'Art

Fortunately, my blue room makes me smile and I used the traditional laptop time to hang the “art” that just arrived in the mail. Yes, Virginia, you can buy prints of fine art for $4.99. The hanging went reasonably well. I bought these new-fangled hanger thingies that made it a breeze. No more wall anchors for this chickie.

For a better balance of color, I had to move things around on the top of the desk. The arrangement still needs work. The Moss West Virginia poster needs to relocate to another room, the one Georgia O’Keefe needs to move to the to-be vacated-wall and another Georgia (Morning Glories, perhaps) needs to be procured to complete that section of the room.

This Matisse *really* knocks me out - Decorative Figure. . .

Over the desk is now the perfect spot for Matisse’s Decorative Figure on an Ornamental Ground – one of his odalisques. I’ve been looking for this thing FOREVER and finally found the print at a reasonable price – next paycheck maybe.

 I have a thing for Matisse –he just knocks me out. I like Georgia, but she’s no Matisse. The two of them together are a yin/yang that please me. Tom Robbins also rocks my world and one of his novels features Matisse’s Blue Nude – I love how the circles of my affections intersect.

[Oh yes, I can hear you art snobs rolling your eyes. Yes, I chose prints to go with the room. But please remember the room was painted the color it is to go with the objets d’art that were already in the room. And besides, I bought prints that I had always liked – I didn’t just go shopping for blues. So there. As for my pedestrian taste – sue me.]

The print I haven't found yet.

So, yes, back to Tom Robbins – I’m lamenting the meaning of all this chaos. The big stuff I can handle – bone marrow transplants, etc. – it’s all this little crap that’s getting to me. I well and truly feel as if I’m being nibbled to death by ducks – the mundane is going to do me in if I don’t find the oars of my metaphorical boat and start rowing in a different direction. Ah. . .but what direction might that be?

Hell if I know. 

I do know I need fizz that doesn’t fizzle and iron that doesn’t rust.  And adventures that are  little less prosaic (and expensive).

A symphony in praise of central heat.

Hah! Would my furnace room be so clean!


I have heat.

If I had the know-how and the talent, I’d write a symphony in praise of central heat. With parts for a chorus. Perhaps a movement involving nothing but percussion to celebrate the sound of a furnace kicking on.

Central heat must be on the list of all-time greatest inventions. If the discovery of fire and how to make it was monumental, isn’t it just as monumental to discover how to heat our caves without fear of catching our furs on fire?

I’ve been three days without central heat. The kerosene heater scares me to death, so I only run it if I can be in this room to watch it like a daddy watches that boy who shows up to take his sweet, baby girl out on her first date. Like that dad, I know what’s going on in the head of that flame swain.

No. No. And No. Maybe for a week with good friends and champagne. Some lobster boiling over those open flames, but otherwise no.

I don’t ‘need any furs at W. Va. Fur and Root smoldering, singeing or smoking much less flaming like a Drag Queen at the pinnacle of her career.

All the electrical work is not done – in fact, it’s barely started, but with consideration of this weekend’s forecast (snow storm and bitter cold temperatures), Electric Dude figured out a way to get the furnace to work until the job can be completed.

Connie and the Electrician Dude

I’ve stuffed financial prudence under the door to help with drafts and cranked the furnace to 80. I’m up to 65.3 degrees now. I started the day at 38.1. At least for a few months, I will not complain about how I have to keep my house at 60 degrees so as to insure Appalachian Electric Power doesn’t get all of my money. 60 feels right balmy about now. At 80, I may run through the house naked just because I can.

[I’m talking about degrees. At the age of 80, I may well run through the house naked, but it will be for different reasons. Of course, it’s more likely that I’ll traverse the house naked with a walker rather than run, but at 80 it may seem like a sprint.]

Yeah, right.

My hands are still cold. I’m pretty sure washing dishes in lukewarm water I heated on top of the kerosene heater has something to do with that. I’ll be heating water for a bit longer. I don’t mind washing dishes by hand, but I certainly mind doing so without hot water. The water heater is another of those truly great inventions.

And the washing machine. The washer works fine and I’m going to celebrate heat by tackling the mountain of laundry and celebrate that I’m not beating it against rocks.

The (predicted) snowstorm is due in later tonight. I’d wear a poncho made of old blankets before I’d go beat laundry by the side of the creek at the bottom of the hill in a snowstorm. I will go out in it though. Tomorrow.

Accumulation is supposed to be pretty big and I’m kind of excited about it now that I know I won’t die of hypothermia. With any luck, I’ll find the fortitude to go out in it tomorrow and take some photos. From everything I’ve heard, dawn will show us Ma Nature being especially photogenic.

Happy snowstorm, y’all.