Dawn called me yesterday at 6:30am my time to report there were three wasps between her and the door, and she couldn’t go to work. As we talked, she managed to dispatch them with a full can of Armor-all, and now the carpet is very shiny. (She has since switched to Dow scrubbing bubbles, so she is at least cleaning while she kills.)

Several years ago, Los Angeles got the bright idea of spraying malathion from helicopters to ward off fruit flies, and incidentally wiped out every other insect as well, including bees and wasps. So I’ve never had to worry about them, never been stung, and never thought they would impact our schedule because nobody will go into the fields! Nowhere on my project plan does it say “wait for wasps” and I’m a little frustrated.

They did, however, gut the Summer Kitchen. What was once three very small rooms on each floor is now one large room, and Dawn is quite pleased. Not enough to send me pictures, of course, but we can’t have everything.

She is not pleased with the painter, who decided to prime everything before it had been sanded down. She doesn’t know what he was thinking. Fortunately, he only got to one room before she did her full-body tackle thing. She wants to throw him off the job, but I pointed out that the next cheapest painter was $14,000 more. Even over the telephone I could tell I was getting “The Eye.”

Dawn bought a car today from a dealer in Delaware. It was the first time she haggled over a car in 13 years, and she negotiated the price down by $110. Go Dawn! (Thank goodness she doesn’t read this.) They have to fix a small dent and then they will deliver the car to her, even though they are over an hour away. Not sure how she got them to agree to that.

And finally, I entered Dawn into a remodeling sweepstakes, pointing out that while she is spending everything we have on the mansion, she is living in a green house, eating out of a microwave, sleeping on a lumpy futon, watching TV on an 8″ portable and DVDs on her laptop. I couldn’t bear to tell them about the velvet wolf pictures which, I think, glow in the dark. (I tried to take one down on my last visit, but Dawn said, “You better have something to replace that with; it’s blocking the air vent,” so I put it back.) Hopefully they will take pity on her and she can buy some drapes, get an air conditioner, and maybe even fix the toilet upstairs so it doesn’t steam when you flush it. (The water lines were switched, so it gets filled with hot water.)