15 July 2015

If I Fake It, Then I Don't Have It

It must be contagious, because after 20-plus years I do believe that I’ve caught a case of Patti-osis. Doctor, Rusty returns from work and I’m compelled to tell him each thing I accomplished during his eight-hour work day. No one cares how many times I washed the same dishes after making a batch of soap. No one cares about how many weeds I pulled. But I’m feeling compelled to share my day because it was fun . . . or was it? The weeds around the mashugana trees are overwhelming. That’s not the tree’s real name, but believe me, it’s very close to that; and they bloom like crazy, laden with blooms so heavy that they tip the branches. Anyway, about those weeds: something’s got to give.

Last night Becky and I chatted via Internet for a few minutes. Not for hours. We actually ran out of things to say, and luckily we’re close enough to know when to call it quits. But one of the things I mentioned to Becky was our dinner plans: chicken Marsala, oven-roasted rosemary potatoes, and these ultra-slender little green beans that I found at a market . . . to be lightly steamed and tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette. I see your eyes rolling back in your head; and I understand that no one cares. But I mention this because I told Rusty that I was really diggin’ this homemaker scene. I mean, really . . . how domestic is it to make a batch of hand-crafted soap (not just the melt-n-pour junk), tidy the garden, fold laundry, and then prepare a lovely dinner . . . with a cocktail waiting for Rusty as he walked in the door. Truly, I’ve gone over the edge. Sombody shake me.

I am the greatest home-body that I know. My friend Sally, who professes to stay home for days, can’t hold a candle to me. No, Sally, you know that you can’t. And Becky is the most goingest person I know. Now this is an odd facet of my personality, because I won’t think twice about booking a ticket from Dallas, through London and Johannesburg, on to Capetown . . . alone, and without a map. I’ll take an apartment in Paris for a month, but I really don’t want to go see the live band playing right around the corner. So I suppose it could be said that I’m a go-big-or-stay-at-home kind of gal. Well life at Mil Colinas is still just life, so what did anyone expect? Homebody in Dallas or Pô, homebody at Mil Colinas. I could nest here for days. I enjoy an occasional car ride around the coast, but I’d better be in the passenger seat; and I’m always ready to return home after only a few hours. 

Today is Tuesday, aka Janet day. Janet lives about a third of the way down the mountain . . . or at least that’s where she leaves her children while she cleans our home. The walk up the mountain is likely the most difficult part of her morning duties . . . so after she cleans, why I feel obligated to drive her down the mountain remains a mystery. Nevertheless, in order for me to drive Janet home, I need the car. This means that on Tuesdays I take Rusty to work, aka the beach bar. This means that I have to leave the house. Now depending on what I need to do in town, and depending on Janet’s arrival time, I might be gone 35 minutes, or up to an hour and a half . . . God forbid.

Today I returned from Samara in less than 45 minutes, and Janet still had over an hour of housework remaining. Now what am I gonna do? Sit outside and eat bon-bons while Janet cleans Rusty’s bathroom? I think not. So I worked in the flower beds. This is hard work, make no mistake; but I must put a stop to those weeds . . . somehow.

Janet and I are improving our communication skills. Today she asked if I wanted someone to help in the garden. No, me gustan el trababjo. She doesn’t understand how I prefer to melt into a hot dripping mass of mud, toting buckets of heavy gravel, when I could pay to have it done. She doesn’t understand why I pay her to do something as relatively easy as cleaning bath tile and mopping floors. Quite frankly, I don’t understand this either. Rusty and I remarked this morning that after Janet’s initial cleaning of our floors, we could get by using Janet just once a month. But in this culture, if I’ve hired her weekly, she expects weekly . . . and there’s just no getting around it.

Anyway, I continued working in the garden . . . all day. I toted 40-plus buckets of gravel to what I call the triangle bed. I could have waited for Rusty to tote these hundreds of pounds of gravel, but that would have involved Rusty’s input in my weed reduction scheme. So is it easier if Rusty accomplishes a four-day feat of over-engineering the weed reduction scheme . . . or should I just tackle it, willy-nilly? Should I ask Rusty's advice about the best way to place a rectangular roll of fabric into a large triangular space? I was a good geometry student, and I own scissors . . . so what do you think?

Somehow on our five pallets arrived an unopened roll of weed barrier. You know: that stuff you put down on the earth that allows water to penetrate and discourages weeds. In a perfect world, one would cover this fabric with mulch. I have no mulch. I have gravel. Heavy gravel. So piece by piece, like a jigsaw puzzle, I covered the area around the mashugana trees, the flowers, the palms, and the new plumeria that we rescued from eroding mountainsides near a beach.

Happily, Rusty will never see the patchwork of fabric that I destroyed – it’s hidden under gravel. As always, there’s the right way, the wrong way, the Rusty way, and the Kathy way. And somewhere in between . . . we make it work. Guess who isn’t preparing dinner tonight? Oh, wait: it's me, again. Lo que hay.