No, folks, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. Since our trials at the beginning of the month with snow, it's been nice--warm weather, or cold but without show or ice. So I've been busy...catching up on hours at work mostly, and doing some urgent freelance work.
This morning is finally relatively quiet. M and Maurey are still asleep in the bedroom while I sit here on the sofa and George is in the picture window, watching the traffic and talking to the few song birds that have come out of hiding. (Either that, or he's complaining to the sun that he can see it, so a direct ray of light should be falling on him, damn it!)
"So why is she writing?" you ask. Because of the wind.
Yes, the wind.
We had some lovely warm weather late last week and early this week, up in the high 40s and low 50s. It was fantastic. And on Wednesday, that warm front met up with a cold front, and boy, howdy! We had straightline winds measuring at 60-70 mph. Luckily, the trees withstood this time (probably because there were no leaves to act as sails and pull the trees surfing through the soil). But our roof didn't. Yep, right there, every place our roof had been injured in June, shingles were blown off or up, sticking up like the feathers of a bird that has been handled very roughly and then hit back and forth a couple of times by kids with badminton rackets.
M was pissed. He had taken pictures. So I sent the pictures to the contractor who had repaired our roof (still waiting for good-enough weather so he can fix our soffit, gutter, and siding over there) and explained that we wanted him to repair the damage and we didn't feel that we should pay, despite the abnormally high winds, because those shingles have been on for less than 4 months. He responded the next day by saying that the shingles we had were simply not rated for such high winds and that we would probably want to consider, when we have our roof replaced in a few years, using a higher-rated shingle.
But he is an upstanding member of the community, and he fixed them for us. Later that evening, when I got home, it was to find him climbing his ladder onto our roof. Turns out, he told M, that the problem wasn't that the shingles weren't rated highly enough but that they had been put on so late in the year that there hadn't been enough heat to activate the adhesive on them to make them stick to the roof. (Okay, I'll admit, I thought There's ADHESIVE on shingles? Who knew?)
* Stringham high: We had a good Valentine's Day. We slept in, partook of some nookie, went to the roller derby [at halftime, they were auctioning away busts--no, not heads, plaster casts of the players' BUSTS--so we saw some art (boobs)], had some junk food (mmm, fat-, crack-, and sodium-based fries and burgers!) on the way home from roller derby, and shared a bottle of wine while playing Rayman's Raving Rabbids (BWAAAAAAAAAA!) until 2 AM.
* Stringham low: We had a real winner of a genius sitting behind us. Real smart in very stupid way. And he had to anounce every thought that stumbled through his head (and directly to his mouth) VERY loudly--and one of his daughters (the one sitting just at my left ear) was turning out to be exactly like him...my hearing will never be the same again. (But he was a great dad to the three young daughters he had with him.)
* Stringham super-high: M feels he had found his place in this world last night. We got to the derby and picked our seats in the stands, and within a few minutes, he had a redhead sitting directly behind him, one just on his right, and another (me) on his left. He even got some brushes on his arm from the sizeable bust of the redhead on his right (when they're that large and the stands are as crowded as they were, it was unavoidable). He was one happy man. I think a redhead in front of him (plenty walked by, but none sat down and stayed) would have simply made him...explode...from happiness.