Chilly Chicagoland

Garden log, house log, reading log, etc.

Came back to find it still a little chilly here in Chicagoland — apparently it snowed much of the time we were gone! But the pansies I planted just before leaving have held on strong; pansies are tough. Going to put some more in planters today, I think, if I have time before heading into campus. Huzzah, pansies!

So far this morning, mostly working on house stuff of various sorts. We’ve been TRYING to get a new roof on this place for a year now, but it’s been super-difficult to schedule roofers this past year.

I think we finally have one contracted, so I’m hoping he can come by and pick up the signed contract and check for half the work ($10,500 now, $10,500 when the job is done, oof, roofs are expensive, but we did know this was coming and budget for it, so we’re okay, no worries) today or tomorrow, and start work soon. Hopefully pulling permits won’t take weeks or months to process the way it did when we first started construction!

The roof really is urgent — we’ve had a worsening leak all winter; you can see some water damage on the first floor in the entry hallway, the guest room ceiling has been bad (buckets of dirty water collecting the leaky water live there now, sigh), last week a chunk of ceiling finally just fell off, and worst of all, while we were out of town, a kitchen outlet sparked and shorted, so Kevin turned off the fuse to be safe, and now we have no working stove or dishwasher. SIGH.

We can manage — among other things, the outdoor grill is plumbed-in gas, so we can cook outside pretty well, esp. if it continues to warm up a bit. But I have a call in to an electrician, and hopefully we can get someone to come out today or tomorrow to repair things and make sure it’s safe to continue using the kitchen. Thankfully, the fridge is on a separate circuit.


Coincidentally, I’ve been catching up on Diane Duane‘s young wizards series, which I’ve always loved — I picked up her Interim Errantry volumes of short stories / novellas that I think she indie-published, so nice that authors have that option today for books that might not be seen as commercially viable by big publishers. It was a pleasure reading through those (“Lifeboats” in particular made me want to cry, Diane, so lovely, thank you!) before going on to the new novel, Games Wizards Play. (More on the series here, highly recommended, hope to hook my kids on it soon:

They’ve been a nice relaxing treat for me this weekend, but I did rather feel, coming home to all these house issues, that I was suddenly being thrust into a battle with the forces of entropy, which is a central theme of these books —

— yes, everything tends towards disorder and chaos, I know, it’s baked into the design of the universe as we know it, and I’m willing to play my part to preserve life and fight chaos, but maybe not quite so much chaos, quite so fast, please? I’d much rather be puttering in my garden. Thank you.

I leave you all with one of my favorite sonnets on this subject. Happy National Poetry Month!


Against Entropy

The worm drives helically through the wood
And does not know the dust left in the bore
Once made the table integral and good;
And suddenly the crystal hits the floor.
Electrons find their paths in subtle ways,
A massless eddy in a trail of smoke;
The names of lovers, light of other days
Perhaps you will not miss them. That’s the joke.
The universe winds down. That’s how it’s made.
But memory is everything to lose;
Although some of the colors have to fade,
Do not believe you’ll get the chance to choose.
Regret, by definition, comes too late;
Say what you mean. Bear witness. Iterate.

– John M. Ford

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