June 8th, 2007

Zanthan Gardens summer house
2007-06-08. The columns begin to go up. The reflecting pool reflects.

The concrete foundation was poured on May 22 and for almost three weeks nothing much has happened onsite while the concrete was setting up. Offsite the special joints were being welded. There was a flurry of activity last Saturday when the concrete block wall was erected. Then on Monday after they’d put a coat of stucco on it, the workmen had to cover it with tarps and leave in a hurry because a big storm hit north Austin. Apparently it poured and hailed up north, but down here south of the river it remained sunny and we didn’t get a drop of rain. However, the pond still has a lot of water in it from the rain the night before and on Memorial Day.

Today work recommenced. More stucco was applied. And the support columns are going up. From the kitchen it looks like some Greek ruin…well, a modern rendition of a Greek ruin.

I find it a bit wearing to try to garden around the piles of boards and wire and rebar and lumps of cement and cinder blocks. It’s hard to be very enthusiastic about gardening this week anyway as summer is really weighing on us. We decided it was finally time to turn on the AC last night and…it’s broken. It was 80 in the house this morning before 8AM. So my enthusiasm for everything right now is rather low.

When the garden house is finished I’ll just lie out in the screened porch on days like this. Really! That’s my plan. Lay about and drink iced drinks. Austin is the slacker capital of the world and it’s time I participated in maintaining our reputation a bit.

by M Sinclair Stevens

6 Responses to post “Upstanding”

  1. From Pam/Digging (Austin):

    I’d been wondering what was happening with the garden house. I tried to sit on my screened porch this afternoon, but the heat and humidity drove me back inside after about 30 minutes. Blech. But you obviously have a greater tolerance for warm weather than I do if you’ve only just now tried to turn on the A/C.

    I have some tolerance for heat, growing up in both jungles and deserts. However, I can’t stand the humidity. What bothers me most about this time of year is that, unlike the desert, Austin doesn’t cool off at night. As for the A/C, it’s a combination of things: I can’t afford it; I hate consuming the energy, and I don’t like conditioned air (the heater in the winter either) blowing on me. I need fresh air! Today was our most miserable day yet. I agree. Blech! — mss

  2. From Angelina (Oregon):

    I have very little tolerance for heat. It isn’t very humid here in the summer but it never cools down at night once the heat has set in for a couple of days. We have no air conditioning so I just hang around with my heat rashes and try to think about how to pretend I have a good attitude about it.

    When is the estimated time of completion for the garden shed? I would probably get tired of all that building activity and the resulting piles of materials too.

  3. From M2 (Seattle):

    It does kinda look like a roman ruin, especially with the reflecting pool. Oh, it’s gonna be SO nice! And with iced tea and a book … twilight & a few candles …


  4. From Gloria:

    I have been eagerly watching the progress of your garden house.I am so envious! Surely early mornings and late evenings will be comfortable there in what looks rather a shady area.

    I have been to Texas in August and I must say it was too much for me. Texas and Louisiana are winter destinations only.

    Agreed! This is the time of year I start questioning what I’m doing here. I’m looking forward to getting away. — mss

  5. From Steve Mudge (Fort Worth):

    We’ve been leaving the AC off too as long as we can here in Fort Worth–we have extra incentive–my wife wants to use Green Mountain renewable energy but it costs more. Actually she was the first to cave into using the AC–working outside as a landscaper I’m getting acclimated…believe it or not 80 degs in the house feels pretty nice when you’ve been out in that heat and humidity all day!

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