Yes, the weather broke. And, yes, I am broke too. And again yes, I say yes yes I won't buy a black refrigerator. Instead I bought a stainless-looking one. I was swayed by those who thought a black one would look like a server or an amp at a Grateful Dead concert or a portal into the netherworld. So hopefully it will reflect the aqua floor. Downside: Not delivered to Sears in West Plains til Monday, which leaves me with the cooler til then.
  In other news, Judge David has returned from my apt in NY, bearing mail and a towel I hope I'll need and a Rhode Island sales tax report I definitely do.
  Also, I am a bad person, but this is my favorite story from the Quill since the Gainsville fire station burned down.
  And a very sad posting from Russell after his K2 expedition failed to reach the summit.


bad dreams

Bear's house before the flood. And after, when the new neighbors moved in. Same truck.
Bear in happier days before he 't decided I was bad medicine.
I don't know who the people who now live in the trailer across the street from me may be. Some relatives of Bear's. But the one night I spent there, they set up chairs on the concrete pad that used to be Bear's house and stared cross the highway and into my place. (Note to self: shades.) Then I painted myself out the door and had to leave the door cracked open for two days and nights.
 And then I had the first bad dream. When I showed up to look at the new floor, it was covered in layers of dirt and dust. Dave was working. And then I saw that the entire side of the Goose was stove in. It looked like someone had crashed a semi into it. And I realized that the floor was the least of my problems, that the Goose was totaled. That all the work Dave and I had put into it was wasted.
  And I suspected my new neighbors, who breezed into my dazed state. "Oh, Honey, said the woman. "I'm so sorry. Come over to our trailer." I went over. The man, whose name was Douglas Walker (Walker is Bear's last name) loomed over me, and I backed out of the door as I heard him say, "city people, Yankees, homos."
   I woke up and realized that it was a dream. And then I went back to sleep, and back into a continuation of the dream.
   I was at a town meeting of Thomasville with about five people and the governor. At the end I felt I should introduce myself. "My name is Claudia, and I'm from New York City, but I grew up in the Ozarks until the age of eight." I had a plan. I was going to shore up support from townsfolk and Bear's other relatives (he is one of a family with 12 kids) to fight Douglas Walker.
   I woke up again and hauled out to Thomasville. Everything was fine. Dave was working away and the floor looked great.

But that was not the end of nightmares. The night before last, I dreamt that my mother had fallen in San Miguel and slid down a slope. I couldn't catch her, and she hurt herself. Managed to get her back to her house and tried to settle her on cold packs.
   Last night we found out she had fallen in the night while trying to let the dog out and was in the hospital with broken finger and cracked pelvis.
  I have never had predictive dreams or true ones. Before.


partial reveal

Well, here  we are again. Back in the 16 x 22 foot first floor of the Goose. With a new water cooler, a new sink, a new table and an old chair that survived the flood. CBA please note that your beautiful fan was above high water, upstairs, and also survived! As well as drinking water, we now have hot and cold running water in kitchen sink and bathroom sink. Within days: tub and shower. Which is fortunate for my friends, as I move in Saturday.
   The new (black?) refrigerator will go in the niche left of the stairs where the old one was. The new white stove to the right of the sink. Taking advice on what color to paint the newly revealed stairs. And maybe the space underneath.


coming soon: the reveal

Spent my first night at the Goose on Saturday, which proved to be, at 96 degrees, the hottest day (and night) since I've been here. Fixing the AC had been the last thing on my mind until then. It has  become more pressing. Anyway, I was moppin' and sweatin' and sweatin' and moppin'. Then letting it "dry" and painting. Even with headband the sweat kept dripping in the paint. So I know there will be some patching up to be done, because some paint is already peeling up. But I don't think I will do it right away unless I get AC.
   And I have a question. Why am I always painting floors? Unless I'm misrecollecting, I think I did the pink one last year, and two downstairs floors in Block Island this spring. Am I trying to stay grounded?


the electric goose!

You heard it here first! Now with power, phone (417-764-3086) and Internet!
 And water! When I saw Dave digging up the pipe from well to pump yesterday, I was terrified. Everything we have done so far was predicated on having water. But the new pump is functioning and all is well. Fingers crossed. I am planning to sleep here tonight so I can paint floor first thing in the ayem. Also so I don't have to drive a hundred more miles with a screwed tire. Literally. Mr. Fixit used his compressor to put more air in yesterday, and so far has held (who knows how long that screw had been in there before the low pressure light came on?), but the tire places are closed today and tomorrow.


back and forth

There has been motion. I figured out that Dave likes to get everything going and then move from one task to the next in a round rather than completing one task and moving to another. I believe he is trying to calculate it so that everything will be finalized at the same time. Thus, he is rocking out and plumbing and doing electricals and carpentry all at the same time. However, today we suffered a setback. The tolet is in, the tub and kitchen sink are in process, but then it proved that something was wrong with the pump. We don't know what yet. Maybe tomorrow.


the junk

My stuff—bathtub, sink, cabinets, hot water heater—fetched up in Randy's Garden of Earthly Delights. That's it under the tarp. Alas, the crucified, green Chatty Cathy sculpture is there too, the one I'd hidden from the neighbors in the deep recesses of my closet. One of the Christian Aid Ministries people told Randy, "I don't know what that there is, but I ain't touching it!" Retreived an Eames chair, a stepladder (I had just bought another) and a couple more things. But still plenty left. I wasn't willing to crawl through the chiggers and under the tarp any longer to find out what.


to the rescue

This is Dave. He is a carpenter, plumber, electrician, mason, ac tech and all round fixit guy. He put the windows and doors in, repaired the deck, hooked up the power and the well, rewired and plumbed the house—all in two weeks. He charged me $800. Cash. Doesn't have a bank account. He is going to try to install a kitchen sink today and turn on the water in the house.  We have both been sweating a lot. It approaches 100 degrees lately (in the Walmart parking lot I'm sure it's more). So I gave him some coconut water.



 Frank and Dianne's yellow table was a win. When I picked it up (thank goodness I have a truck!) they had it nicely set for two en plein air. The yellow fridge was a reject, however, as is the corner booth below. Just can't cope with the upholstery, however sixties.
  I am taking today off from lumber yards and driving. I have been driving more than 100 miles a day. Today I will only drive 50—to West Plains and back to do some laundry. Also I will never ever eat at MacDonald's again. So sick last night.


white out

 Don't even talk to my sister about my painting skills. Or my daughter. Or anyone else. But it seemed wise to throw something on the back wall before all kind of pipe was laid there. (It also seemed wise to paint the floor, but that didn't happen.) (Also my sister wants me to mop the floor many times before painting it.) (Very hard to paint with people traipsing in and out with lumber and pipe glue.) (Or even mop.) (So I let other projects move forward.) Anyway, I scraped the back wall and wire brushed it and vacuumed, but as I rolled the paint on, old layers of paint rolled off onto the roller. I went through a couple, but still had to scrape paint chips off. The result was a lot of paint on me as well as the wall, the floor and etc.



See that line about a foot from the ceiling? That's where the floodwater got to.
Flushed with enthusiasm about the well water yesterday, I bought a stepstool, paint brushes, three bitter melons, a pair of flipflops for Caylee, a parsley plant and a toilet (called a "stool" here), to add to the thousands of dollars of other shit I had already bought.
 Then I got out to the Goose and found no one there. It was too late in the day to begin painting out those watermarks. I am hopeful that if no one else gets anything done today, at least I will. I'm sick of shopping.
Postscript: The cows got out, and by the time Carpenter/Plumber/Electrician Dave had rounded them up in the woods it was too hot to do anything but sit in front of the ac.


water water everywhere

Cydnee splashes in the water being pumped out of my well. Mud came out at first, but then the water ran clear. They pumped for an hour or so, then dumped in chlorine and pumped again. Looks like I'll be able to mop, paint and install a pot to piss in. The plan is to paint this weekend, and I believe I have settled on the swimming-pool color "Turtle," which I'm pointing to. My selection is influenced by the fact that Dianne has offered me a yellow formica table and chairs. And now Bill informs me that there is a yellow refrigerator for sale at the flea market. Might be destiny.


caylee has lunch

I was concerned when Caylee blew out her flipfop, because while Katie is picking raspberries, I am picking window glass from the yard, and there was the 4-year-old running around shoeless. She helped me scrape dead leaves from the porch and broke for a can of ravioli and a Pepsi for lunch.
   And here is the news from T'ville. Is it becoming a ghost town? What happened to families who lost everything? Where did all the money go?  Here is something getting done. And why do the rich get richer in disaster areas, according to Scientific American?


one week in

 As far as the view from the street goes, much progress has been made. Thanks to carpenter Dave and a window sash from Bill Dugan, the Goose is enclosed. All it lacks to be sewed up tight is the door hardware and some trim going on now. And there's power! Lights! Action!
    Nonetheless, I sat inside yesterday there feeling depressed. Without knowing what's up with the water and septic tank, it's hard to proceed. I can't even clean. Today due to make a plumbing run with Randy Marlow and then maybe we'll see.


the portrait chair

 This chair sits in the best light I have at the Goose. Yesterday a stream of visitors posed for me. Virginia and Randy Marlow are the two people who have made it possible for me to contemplate rebuilding. And today should decide it: If the well and pump are functional I may be in business. And the first thing I will do is repaint the floor. I loved the papaya pink I put down last year. But this is a new era. Swimming pool aqua? What do you think? Vote quick!


got the power

They came, they put in a new pole, they connected. They asked me whether I wanted an outlet on the pole, and I dithered and then said yes, thinking that maybe my Airstream pals, Texas Kate and Dennis, might want to hook up someday. So I hauled off to the closest hardware store and bought $80 worth of parts, which power dudes installed for me. Then, later in the day, I heard from Kate, saying they might come through for a couple days end of this month. So there you go!
   Plus, after ordering a new keyboard, my computer keyboard started working again. Apparently either baking in the truck or sitting in air conditioning suited it. So got the power to type again. My fingers seem to think better than my mouth. Hmm.


peacock and pick up

 And a lot of rain. Not the ideal weather for outdoor activity like carpentry. Nonetheless progress has been made. The power company is due to show up today. We'll see. In addition, I have learned how to use the dictation function on my computer so that I can post a few words. Right now the M key, the j, u, and P keys are nonfunctional. I dislike writing out loud however. The sound of my own voice speaking in solitude gives me the willies.


let there be lights

Half of the windows are in—two. I gotta get back to the great door h-nt. Pardon -y typing, b-t the keyboard is f-cked -p on -y co-p-ter and I cant type those letters. Not s-re what to do abo-t it so I ordered another keyboard. Pix til it arrives.
Wal-art parking lot, lest we forget where we are.


my ozark retreat

 Happy 4th! Om! For those of you who find my presence on a yoga retreat risible, well—  It is true that doing anything in unison is not my bag, whether it be marching, meditating, chanting. But I am not really a participant here, more like a ghost, sneaking in and out of my cabin without drawing much attention—other than from the chiggers, who appear to be delighted by my presence.
   It's a perfect little cabin for my needs—kitchen, jacuzzi tub, table, bedside reading (Baba's Grace), breeze, birds outside the windows. I have not explored the large compound, though perhaps I will once the rest of the New York sector has departed. The license plates hightailing it out of the parking lot come from Illinois, Arkansas, Maryland, North Carolina, and, yes, New York. Om.


hit it!

 On Friday, two teams showed up to vie for work. Randy Marlow (on chair) had already jumped into action, clearing out the muddied but salvageable items (bathtub, water pump)  and storing them in his barn up on the hill while he oversaw power washing. He brought along his sidekick, Dave, who brought along his sidekick, Kaley. Randy's shell of a rent house next door has power. "You can steal electricity from the next door neighbor," he said. "I won't tell him." Then came Drew (who finished the job of hooking up the well that Randy had started a couple years ago) with his sidekick Shannon Clay, apparently named for a couple of nearby counties.
   Oh, and Randy is one of quite a few Randys I know of in T'ville (Bear is another). The next most popular man's name locally appears to be Stacey. I know a couple Rodneys. I also know a Kim and a Kym. And a Kaley.