I returned home from my Christmas trip1 to a note from my housesitter. I had left out sheets for her to cover my tomatoes if we got a freeze. She apologized as it didn’t help with the temps down to 25°. I should have put Xmas lights on them. I cut off the two dozen green tomatoes and am trying to ripen them indoors. The freeze continued for the next four days and the foothills got snow.
We’ve had a few good rains since then and my carrots, peas, and spinach are doing fine. Plus I have way too much arugula and mizuna. My next-door neighbor says they’re too bitter for him, but I have three friends who welcome bags full.
My housesitter also mentioned that she had vacuumed up the million ants around the house2, as the poison that I had ordered on the internet hadn’t come in yet, saying that I could get the next million. But I found few ants alive. They lay in tiny piles in the corner of rooms, and wafted up along the baseboards. I think the freeze got them. There were a couple left in the kitchen, and dozens around the guest bathroom tub, which has a large window over it facing south, so the room is warm. And hundreds left scurrying about the edge of the outdoor spa. The poison had come, so I put it in the plastic traps in the kitchen, bath, and two along the spa. Wow! Worked great. ‘Cept now I have dozens of tiny dead ants in and around the tub each day, a couple around other house corners, and maybe only two hundred left by the spa. Almost success!
The price of gas has been less than $2/ gallon since my return!
Went to the downtown library last week, just as they were closing at 1:20 because they had no heat! Got home and realized that the book that I had ordered and picked up (The Round House) I’d already read, and the DVD (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close) I had already seen. Well, at least I remember that I’ve already read and seen them (both good). Other movies requested are in the range of 67 of 98 holds on 13 copies or 300 of 374 holds on 50 copies! So I finished the last of my New Yorker magazines from the 2011 subscription and went through and tossed out many old Architectural Digests and Sierra Club and Desert Museum magazines. Went back to the library and got Steven King’s Revival, which I read in two days – not one of his best, but had picked it up from the library’s Recommendation shelf. Now have his Salem’s Lot, which is much better. Thought his Under the Dome, which I had read a couple of years ago, and 11/22/63 (about an English teacher trying to go back in time to prevent JFK’s assassination), which I read last year, were pretty good.
Back to school next week and still don’t have my schedule. Will no doubt be impossible to schedule my physical therapy at the last minute.
Am having all of my doctor’s appointments in the two weeks before school. A week ago the dermatologist burned off three “pre-cancers” and my face still has huge red blotches. Blond people should never live in the desert.
My real estate guy had another Open House on Sunday. A dozen couples plus a few curious neighbors. But unfortunately no offers. Since I had to be out of the house, friend R and I saw The Imitation Game. Had studied the Turing Machine, one of the first computers, in computer science, but knew nothing of Turing. What a great movie! Benedict Cumberbatch (who you may know as TV’s Sherlock) did a great job as Alan Turing. By cracking the German enigma code, it is supposed that he code shortened the war by two to four years and saved an estimated 14 to 21 million lives, but afterwards (spoiler alert) he gets arrested for being homosexual and undergoes chemical castration! In 1954 he committed suicide at age 41. How horrible these laws were.
Before the holidays had seen The Theory of Everything with friend N, the story of Stephen Hawking, with Eddie Redmayne playing Hawking, before and after he gets Lou Gehrig’s disease. He won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama for it, and Hawking himself approved, but one review called it mawkish. You decide.