AUGUST 2006: “I'm gonna need a hacksaw . . .”

    That's my response nowadays whenever TC asks me to do something difficult, which means anything necessitating rising from a seated position. The line comes by way of 24, that suspenseful series with Keifer Sutherland. Of course, he needed a hacksaw to cut off a bad guy's head, whereas I need some impetus to get off my derriére—cut myself loose from my chair, as it were. Nonetheless, the phrase has entered our lexicon, for better or for worse.

Lately, preparing these pictures and captions, and writing what you're reading has called for me to apply said same virtual hacksaw...huh? (Have you ever notice that I write weird sometimes? Yeah, yeah, I hear ya: "What do you mean 'sometimes'?") Okay, I realize I don't have to get off my ass to work on this, but finding the wherewithal has become more difficult.

(By the way, if you click on that scary picture up above, it will take you to this month's first group of photos: "Us," as in TC and me. I'm trying something new this time, in that you will be forced back here at the end of the slideshow. "Eh, eh, eh...")

Anyhow, it's hard to explain why this once pleasurable pastime has become a chore, other than the fact our lives have settled down, the birthing pains of construction over—creation is born of pain; no pain, no need for soporifics. Initially, putting up the pictures and spouting out my inane comments was most likely an outlet, a way to vent my anxiety and disgust with the horrible building process. I don't know, but I'm so glad it's over! Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy the pictures and trying to make you laugh, just not the hours I spend preparing everything for uploading. Hm, maybe I should work on streamlining the process, you think? Nothing ever gets past me...

Anyway, let's see, what's next? Oh, ANIMALS!!! Yes, Dennis, I'm afraid I have more cutesy photos of our precious pets to display—you're allowed to skip them. And, I'm also afraid we've become one of those pathetic couples that treasures their critters more than themselves. "I love 'em!" There it is, in black and white, the gawd's awful truth. I am a sucker for them, and they bring so much joy into life at Casa Ingaso, I can't imagine it without them. What a state of affairs! No more mister tough guy.

Well, since in those pet pictures I offered you an obstructed peek at TC's latest talent discovery, I might as well make it our next photo gallery: "Broken-tile Designs." TC's been talking about, saving ceramic artifacts for, and planning on doing tile designs at Ingaso ever since before we sold the Ventura house. But, the thing about TC is, as opposed to myself, she always gets around to her plans and schemes and nascent dreams, which is the case here.

To begin, she bought some heavy screen material, some tubes of Liquid Nails, then made a design on her computer, printed it out large, laid the screen over the design, and glued tile shards to the screen in the pattern of the design lying underneath. Simple. I was pleasantly surprised, as I think she was, too, at how well it turned out. She's amazing! At the same time, these smaller "learning" designs will prepare her for the much larger ones needed for the walls of the outdoor shower. (Click the picture to begin.)

Oh, while I'm on the subject of home improvement projects, let's not forget our infamous gazebo. As you'll no doubt remember, the last time we visited it was after a small twister had lifted it up and over the wall, leaving it lying on our hillside of mani. Well, it's a tough nut, and it's back, and it's up, up with enough guy wires and bolts to hold down the Hindenburg. Our fingers are crossed. Of course, the dry season, which is when the winds are strongest, is still months away, but we've had some stiff winds lately, and the gazebo came through with, non-flying colors. So, one less thing to worry about?

Okay, okay, relax, we know the canvas on the gazebo won't last. So, with that in mind, TC has planted vines which she is training to grow up the guy wires and, eventually, create a natural sunshade. (As long as I have some place from which to heckle the people out in the noon day sun playing lawn games. Can you imagine?)

For the more adventurous among you, here is a link to a video of the cats at "play?" You'll have to judge for yourself. As for me, I title it "Cats Gone Bad!"

[click here to continue...]