Thanks for the birthday wishes

Thanks to everyone who sent me birthday wishes. An intersecting set is all the people who send me interesting pictures of serpents – thanks to all of them, too.

A quiet celebration

We celebrated my birthday a week early. My sister did an organ concert on Friday, February 19 and invited Anne Kazlauskas to come narrate an introduction to the organ stops. Anne has been part of our pod since the beginning of the shutdown, when she was staying over at my house a couple of nights a week to use my computer.

So we had a celebratory lunch, with kale soup (made the previous day, since you don’t run home after a concert and cook lunch) and a good bottle of wine. The Fall River supermarket hadn’t had a cake that looked good to Judy, so she bought frozen cream puffs and put candles in some of them.

The memorable part of this celebration was the exploding candle. It was supposed to turn around and gradually unfold lotus petals, which it did, but it also hissed and threw off sparks and eventually turned into a small bonfire which ended up destroying the glass plate the cream puffs were sitting on. We felt like we should have been wearing protective eyeware, and one person did in fact have an eye problem although it didn’t start until several hours later, so it might have been unrelated.

I’m sorry I didn’t get a picture of the candle exploding. Someone told me when I first started posting on facebook that nobody would read my posts unless they had a picture, so I looked at my recent pictures and this one of Maia and Orion snuggling was the best. I took it because, while they’re quite friendly, they don’t usually snuggle like this.

House status

Unfortunately, no good news on the housing front. For those who don’t follow me regularly, there was a fire last July 14. My apartment wasn’t damaged much by the fire, but did have smoke and water damage, and is missing both a bathroom and a kitchen, so since then I’ve been living with my sister in Fall River.

The insurance company will pay for all or most of it, but because of waiting around for the insurance company to give us money, we weren’t able to hire a contractor until Christmas. When we hired him, the first thing he did was some more demolition, which turned up structural problems that are unrelated to the fire but have to be addressed.

In addition, the insurance company decided to hire an expert to advise on fire mitigation and detection, so even if our architect and structural engineer had figured out what to do about the structural problems, they still couldn’t apply for a building permit until they get the expert’s report.

I still believe things will move very fast once the actual work starts getting done, but I don’t have even an educated guess about when that will be.

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