Twenty-one Lemon Cucumbers from my garden. And there are more to come. I thought zucchini multiplied like rabbits. I'll be pickling my brains out.
A terrible week. My desktop computer died and I gave it to a repair man who makes house calls but doesn't bother to respond to phone messages and e-mails. Kyle and I went to his office/home when he didn't respond to any communication sent to him for four days. We got into a "police incident" with this jerk and they had to broker a deal for the return of my computer. The SOB wanted more money than I had already given him. I had completely lost confidence in him and wanted my computer back. He was supposed to give to me on Sunday and I was unable to reach him before I had to leave for an engagement. I was looking forward to going out on Sunday to attend a fund raiser at the Blue Hour, a popular restaurant here celebrating its 10th anniversary. Kyle called me just after I left the house to say the SOB had called and I wouldn't be getting the computer back until the morning. It's by now a joke. I waited all day on Monday and finally he showed up just after 5:00 PM with my computer. Worse, he wouldn't accept my money. As he was walking to his car, I said to him, "I just don't get you. What was all that about?" He said he would send me an e-mail. He hasn't sent it yet and I hope I never hear from him.
My friend, Tom Masic died at age 82 a week ago Wednesday. Tom and I go back to my days as a publicist with New American Library. Tom was a close friend of Richard Nelson, a cookbook writer, Oregonian columnist, and who in the early 80s was riding high as president of the International Association of Cooking Professionals. Tom and Richard were the best of friends. Two weeks into Richard's publicity tour, which I coordinated, Richard was discovered to have plagiarized at least one third of the book. It ruined his career. I still liked Richard very much and we stayed in close touch until he died in the late 90s. When I moved to Portland, Tom Masic was on my list of people to contact. We picked up right off where we left off. This kind, gentle giant of a man and his partner had one of the most magical gardens in their back yard. I will write about it after a celebration of his life ceremony in the garden next Sunday. But Tom's unexpected death was the beginning of a whole slew of weirdly bad news this week.
A delivery man from Lowe's delivered 23 sheets of drywall for my basement last Sunday. He was told to set it down in the inside gate of my inner driveway. Instead he rammed it through the inner driveway towards the door of my garage, and in the process ripped holes in a a 14-foot privacy hedge on the border of my property. I spent a good chunk of the week trying to reach a settlement with Lowe's. We did and it will benefit my garden.
One of several chunks cut out of my laurel hedge by a renegade Lowe's delivery man. The 14-foot high hedge provides me and my neighbors with privacy from one another.
Then on Wednesday, I got the news that Dyanne, one of my closest New York friends, was devastated to hear the news that her mother had suffered a stroke and fallen down a flight of stairs (she was on the cusp of 90 years old). She went into an irreversible coma and died one hour after life support was turned off the next day. It's been a particularly rough period for my friend whose partner is suffering from cancer and dementia.
So all in all--a terrible week of bad news.
Fireproofing, vapor barrier, insulation. Construction on the fourth bedroom continues apace.
On a more positive note, Kyle is making great progress in the basement. Once the framers left, he was able to install the fire protection, vapor barrier, and other necessary steps before finishing the installation of insulation. He full expects to have the drywall up this week. So we're making headway on the new guest room/guest bath. And stovetopreadings.com is now on Facebook, as I move closer towards an understanding of social media. Already readership is up.