Realtor standard time

When a real estate agent calls and wants to show your house “at 3”, he means some time starting at 2:30 or so. To make sure the house is ready to be shown, get the agent to agree explicitly on the time. Otherwise a coffee cup is on the dining room table, and socks are on the floor by the bathtub.
On a related note, one of the annoying things about having a house for sale is needing to break down perfectly functional household organization. The media laptop lives in the bedroom; the comfortable office chair lives by the dining table; the telephone and headset live on a movable side table. But for house-showing purposes, the media laptop and the office chair go in the office, and the phone set up gets tucked away in the bedroom, and the headphones are hidden away in the backpack.

Zen and the art of home maintenance

So, I decided to call a plumber for the leaky faucet after all. I looked up the instructions to fix the faucet and realized that, despite the fact that it’s a simple repair — in theory, within my modest capabilities — a typical kitchen faucet disassembles into separate 18 parts, several of which might be worn out. The repair requires a few tools and supplies I don’t have, including a larger wrench, a seat-grinding tool, and plumber’s grease.
The most likely scenario is that it’s straightforward — disassemble, replace the top washer and re-assemble. A less likely but dreaded scenario — I take the thing apart, need to buy 3 tools, replace multiple parts, and it’s still dripping when I put it back together.
Instead, I got a 150-foot hose and hosed the exterior of my house, weeded the gravel walk, snipped dead leaves from the cast iron plants, and drained the rarely-used hot tub (to refill tonight). Now I can call the plumber, as a reward for being a responsible homeowner.
I love the Small Hands blog, where Our Heroine gardens every week, cooks every day, and tells beautiful stories about flowers and meals. You need to put time every week to experience the feeling and reality that you’re making something beautiful, rather than the feeling that you’re just barely fending off the forces of entropy and decay.
Billie Holliday’s singing “Stars fell on Alabama”. People are playing chess in on the back deck. The Green Muse sandwiches are not optimal for dinner but the place is just perfect for reflection.

Compost Bin

Took a major life step today. I set up a green, 3 cubic yard coated-wire mesh compost bin, behind the wood fence that separates the gravel driveway from the side garden and deck. Many of the remaining leaf bags went into the compost bin. The rest of the leaf bags are out for pickup.
It seemed completely absurd to me to put the bags of leaves and clippings at the curb for recycling, and then head off to Home Depot to purchase a similar number of bags of mulch for the garden beds. Hence compost.
I still have no idea how long I will be in Austin. The compost bin might make it harder to sell the house. Might attract bugs and vermin. I might not be here long enough to use the resulting compost.
If worse comes to worse, I can hire a garden person to cart the pile of compost away, and put down a new layer of gravel. $100 max. Non fatal. Reversible.
I bought the house in part because I was tired of avoiding commitments because I don’t know what the future holds.