23 September 2015

The Code Is More Of What You’d Call a Guideline Than Actual Rules

You know what makes me completely bonkers? . . . besides the fact that humidity is already oxidizing the copper. Okay, silly question, and I left myself wide open with that one. Just leave the sarcasm to me. What makes me bonkers is that one of the best-ever pirate lines contains poor grammar. I know, I know . . . I’m still on that pirate-thing. In pirate-speak one may simply use be in any conjugation of the to be verb (ye be, she be, he be, they be, we be). This should make me crazy; but I’m totally okay with it and find myself using it year-round, especially with Jill The Pill.

So it is, in fact, the piratey phrase, Keep a weather eye out that makes me com-plete-ly crazy. Keep a weather eye out. Really?! Don’t end a sentence in a preposition! Avast yer poor grammar.

Clearly, when it comes to pirates, proper grammar is more of a guideline, and not at all a rule.

Now keep a weather eye on the horizon works, but face it, we scurvy dogs be not solely watchin’ fer t’ horizon. Anyway, since it’s pirate-speak, I must accept the sentence ending in a preposition. After all, ye’d ne’r say Keep out a weather eye. It’s just not the same, right? Still . . . make me walk the plank or keel-haul me, please. It’s difficult for me. I'm just sayin'. 

Don’t I have anything better with which to concern myself than pirate grammar? In fact, I do. 

I encountered my first snake on the property . . . right by the pool slithering up from the Moai head that Rusty carved, body partially suspended in air, with its head and proximal 3/5ths of its body right on my pricey planter holding a croton. 

I could have simply said that I saw a snake, but then ye’d not get the full image. And there I was with my arms full of something (one forgets exactly what in times of snake crises), needing to round that very corner of the pool. The snake's place. I called for Rusty but failed to call for Rusty and the camera.  
Rusty says, oh, I think it’s just one of those little racers. 

Oh, is that all?! Those racers?! Like the black mamba? Like the fer-de-lance? Like one of those it-bites-you-and-you-have-minutes-to-live racers? Like that kind of little racer, honey? I was assured that the snake had no interest in me. Sure, that's what you're told right before the trip to the emergency room . . . and us without a photo to aid the physician in identification of the serpent. Truth be told, it was a small-in-diameter snake, but it was plenty long; and any animal with teeth can bite.  

I believe it was a parrot snake, but we'll never really know. Still, if it quacks like a duck . . . .

Brave gal that I am, I rounded the corner of the pool within inches of its tiny head and made my way down toward the tee box . . . while trying to recall how far a willful snake can lunge. Is it a third of its body length? A quarter? So this isn’t him, but it could have been his brother.

We’re back from San Jose and I find that I’m again slipping into Martha Stewart/Sandra Lee mode. There must be a pill for that. Maybe there is a pill for that, and Rusty’s sneaking ‘em into my coffee.

Yesterday I clipped by hand over 35 meters of shrubberies, braving ant attacks that had me stripping and plunging into the pool. And I’m certain that there were snakes lurking unseen, probably beside their large scorpion pals. Then I power washed the area rug from the terrace, then I attacked the pool deck (guess who got a new pressure washer in San Jose?).

It takes a great deal of work to keep up a house in the tropics. Plants grow several inches while we sleep. Down near Nicoya new corn has sprouted. They probably planted it from seed on Sunday. Anyway, we've previously discussed the quantity of work involved living less than 10 degrees above the equator. Rusty does his share; no doubt about it . . . though his greatest responsibility is earning a living that will keep Jill in dog biscuits and me in baking essentials, Modge Podge, and colored markers. 

I made a To-Do list Monday evening. Rusty reminds me that it is my To-Do list, not his; and I quite agree. Still, it’s endless . . . and yet I find myriad important tasks that didn’t even make the must-be-done To-Do list. Clearly, the official To-Do list is more of a guideline. 

San Jose means Wal-Mart. In Texas, you couldn’t pay me to go to Wal-Mart. Not that I’m a Wal-Mart snob, nor that I refuse to abide their oft-questionable ethics involving employees. Belay that nonsense . . . I simply don’t want to tolerate the parking lot and the Wal-Mart crowds. But in Costa Rica, Wal-Mart is the new Neiman Marcus . . . okay, perhaps not . . . maybe the new food halls of Harrods. Lo que hay.

Our friend Loretta is back on the mountain, just in time for the arrival of several pandemonia of parrots. Now believe me when I tell you: this wonderful woman can bake. Cynthia, too, ranks among the best bakers whom I’ve ever encountered. It’s scary. And where either of these two women find time to bake remains a mystery to me. I don’t have time to shower, much less make pineapple strudel and passion fruit cheesecake. Do you see that little calorie-intake counter rolling higher and higher? Yeah, me too. I could pretend that my target weight is more of a guideline than a rule . . . but I’d be lying. I’m not buying new shorts, so something’s got to give . . . perhaps that left-over pineapple juice and rum. No . . . let’s not go overboard. 

We did have a few left-overs from the pirate gig . . . not a great deal, but some (we hosted many a hearty eater). Yesterday I placed three large servings of Cynthia’s famous rice pudding in bowls for Javier, Jose Antonio, and Melvie . . . just in time for breakfast. This isn’t your ordinary rice pudding, believe you me.

Outdoors I went with the three large bowls and spoons. Quickly I was met with three pair of very skeptical eyes. But all in Spanish I said, It’s okay, it’s okay . . . Cynthia made it. You could see the wild delight on three faces. And it’s not that the guys don’t enjoy my sweets. They’re still eating the few remaining cake pops (yes, perfectly decorated as cannon balls, a la Martha Stewart). Anyway, my point is that Cynthia can cook, as can Loretta; the entire mountain knows it; and Rusty has made it clear to Loretta, Cynthia, and finally to me that the gauntlet is down. This is Rusty’s covert method to elicit more baked goods not only from me but from Loretta and Cynthia. He’s tricky that way. 

Cynthia and I share our shopping treasures. She brings me phyllo dough from Coco, I bring her laminated dough from San Jose. And all I can think of is baklava and strawberry turnovers. Must be something in the water. I've become one of those women. You know what I mean. How did this ever happen? What a good little wife I’ve become (though not so little these days). And it’s not the first time in the past four months that I’ve experienced this good-wife phase. This is so not me. It goes against everything for which I’ve ever stood. And it’s not merely the baking. I sew things. I install shower shampoo/soap dispensers. I invent new salad recipes. I sweep and mop. I organize and then reorganize cabinets. Dear God, I’m about to make curtains. 

 Roy and Peter dropped by yesterday: they needed cornstarch but left with that and with whole cardamon. Gee, doesn’t everyone in Samara keep on hand whole cardamon, and whole star anise, and whole French black cumin seed . . . and a spice grinder? I bet that Loretta and Cynthia do. Anyway, Roy and Peter spied the heavy gauge wire I selected in San Jose at EPA (think IKEA meets Lowe's). They asked what I had planned. Curtains/draperies, of course, to create shade on the terrace. Peter noted that if I needed any help, they had friends who had assisted with their shading draperies. Without having to think, I replied: I’m armed with a sewing machine and I know how to use it. But I’ll go further. I have not one but two grommet hole punches and loads of grommets . . . all for these draperies. I know, I know . . . who am I to tease Rusty about the number of power tools?

So today, after some additional coloring (yes, I color . . . like a school girl), and possibly after some white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, I’ll make draperies. And then I’ll probably bathe Jill, whose muzzle seems permanently stained from rooting around this red earth for the after-breakfast leftovers cast down the hill by Javier and Tonio. I have scrubbed that muzzle repeatedly, yet the rust-colored fur remains. 

When did I become little Suzy Homemaker? Obviously my I’m-totally-off-leash-and-like-it-that-way lifestyle has become more of a guideline than the rule. Clearly, steps must be taken. Did I mention that I’m over 1000 pages into War And Peace? Perhaps that explains the shower-time issue.

Esta muchacha es muy loca! I know that Janet agrees . . . she caught me washing windows yesterday. My Spanish lessons begin Thursday, and I've almost completed my homework before my first class. And somewhere in the next week or so I must work in another fused glass class. I've become Patti Davis, with a sewing machine and crayons and glass. God help us all. Lo que hay.