Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Monsters are Due on Maple Street

Power went out this morning. Big transformer half a block away blew -- sounded like a giant frying pan heated red hot then stuck into cold water -- sizzle, pop! -- and the fans went off and the lights blinked out.

It was a warm night, and we are entering what is supposed to be a stretch of five or six days wherein the highs will be ninety-degrees-plus, possibly as high as 103 F. Probably won't be the last transformer to give up the ghost.

We do get to a hundred here now and then; the end of July, first of August is usually our hottest time of the year, but it's fairly unusual, and the space is short enough so that most houses still don't have air conditioning. I have a window unit -- it's in the storeroom at the moment -- because over ninety in my office, the computer sometimes does funny things, but I didn't put it in last year at all, and only for a few days year before last. When we moved up here, maybe one house in ten had central AC. Now, it's probably four or five in ten.

So, while the power was out -- about an hour and a half -- I elected to clean the silk tree. We are moving some furniture about, my wife is painting her office, and the silk tree had gotten pretty dusty. Seven feet tall, it is.

You can't just hose the sucker down. And the feather duster only takes the top layer off. The only practical way to clean it, using a damp microfiber cloth, is one leaf at a time.

Lot of leaves on a silk tree, and not the most interesting job in the world, but you can develop a kind of rhythm.

The thing looks real enough, and it's probably good for another ten years. (We have a silk potted plant -- see picture above --that looks so real, that I watered the damn thing for six months before my wife stopped me and asked what I was doing ...)

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