Taking care of business 4:13 p.m. 2003-11-14

Current Listening: Crazy in Alabama by Mark Childress - just finished!
Current Reading: The Devil's Cup by Stewart Lee Allen
Recipe of the Day: Croque Monsieur/Madame, Galettes Parisiennes, Crepes, Peach Melba, Poires Belle-Helene

I am taking a couple of days off to see to some pressing matters around the house. Our neighborhood association sent out flyers a couple of months ago decreeing that all members needed to perform "exterior maintenance" on our units. This includes painting trim, staining and repairing decks, and possibly pressure washing and repainting the Perma siding. Having just purchased our abode, we were not ready for this unexpected expense. I have put in a call to the Neighborhood Management company to ask about how often we would be expected to do this sort of thing. I was uneasy, because our nextdoor neighbor had done the deed a month ago, and she paid approximately $1400 for repainting and deck staining.

Now, luckily for us, we did not buy the first house we were looking at - it is completely made of siding! Our house is in the middle of the unit, and has a brick front. So, we really only have to worry about repainting the garage, the trim on the upstairs windows (the middle floor windows were taken care of at our request by the former owner.). The deck was a big concern - it needs to be shored up and stained.

Yesterday morning, I noticed two men working on the vacated house across from ours. One of the men was black, with dreadlocks pulled back off of his face. His assistant was Mexican. I watched as the black guy carefully scaled the ladder, and the Mexican guy applied paint to the long-handled roller and handed it up to his partner. It was very windy and cold, but they were being careful.

On impulse, I went out and asked if they would be interested in working on our place. Antonio, the black guy, said that he could, and that it would not be too big of a job. I spied The Secret Language of Birthdays book in his truck, and said, "That's a good book." We got into a lively conversation about astrology. I also made an effort to speak some Spanish with Miguel, his helper. He was very excited and promised that he would be back the next day. I looked puzzled, then realized that, perhaps Miguel was not Antonio's "permanent" assistant. I left that up to them to work out. The price he has quoted seems very reasonable. I need to go out and clean off the deck, because he may start on that tomorrow.

I have not done much writing her, because I am busy with household stuff, and, of course, NaNoWriMo. This link is to my NaNoWriMo profile. I am at 22,983 words! After starting at a deficit yesterday (I conked out Wednesday night without writing), I am now only 817 words behind! Yay!

If I really think about it, the 1700 words a day are designed to make me finish at 51,000 words on November 30. So, in theory, I could just forget about those 817 words and say that I am on track. YAY! I am determined to make it past December by this weekend. I like some of my chapters better than others, of course, but the writing is what's important. My chapters are posted at A Year in Angers on Blogspot. Check it out!

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Tiedyefor 2003