Essays. Meanderings and mutterings. Lots of photos of our cat. Counting coup on fifty years existence.
We really were only joking when we came to the first open house, saw this, and said well, now we will have to have this house.
It was a Joke.
The universe responds with dry, deadpan, sarcasm.
A productive, but largely restorative day. Early out to laundry and groceries. Ate reheated Chinese for lunch, then got the books away. That's the last of the unpacking. No more boxes with crap in 'em. Still more sorting, figuring out where things are, but no un-emptied boxes. No wonder House the Home wanted us, so much space for books, built in. There is still room, and one of our bookshelves stands without even shelves in (can't find the nubbins to hold them up) but not needed.
D took down the damn ceiling fan in the bedroom yesterday, and, after we went out for a taller ladder, put up a plain light. Poor guy, arms kept going into complete muscle failure, me not tall enough to be of much more than a supporting role. After the ladder, I was able to do the final screwing-in, and then the cleaning-up, which I was glad to do. One more fan to remove, then the damn halogen fixtures in the back hall - a job for another week.
Spent some time clearing the ivy from the house. Not done, need gloves and a mask, eye protection, to do the rest. Very irritated with all the dust. But it is better, a few more sessions, and I think I can get it clear. A process.
Moby crashed in his bed, Fortress of Solitude, beside a window. He's been a busy cat. Supervised the shifting of the books closely.
Labels: House the Home
A red velvet rose from some (post-Valentine) chocolates, that I'd kept because I thought it pretty. Nearly tossed it in the clean up, it was tied to a door pull in the old kitchen, but threw it in at the last minute. It's been on the floor, dropped in the unboxing, until Moby found it last evening, we could hear the tapitytap of the twist tie in it on the wood. This afternoon, he played with it all afternoon and into the evening. Carries it in his mouth to the next place he decides to bat it about. We keep thinking he'll get tired, and we hear him thmping about and chasing it again.
He's eaten an entire can of his food, that for the past year he's only eaten about half of each day, with a bit of kibble. And some kibble, and two chunks of the roast chicken - that he would normally have eaten one of. Has sat on both our laps today at different times, and had to be picked up by each of us. Normally one good hug a day is his limit.
Yeah, we figure he's happier. And, in his cat way, he loves us.
Had quite a game going around the curtains as well. Round and round, under and around. The bright curtain is new, much needed to counteract all the brown (dark brown) curtains in the front. Hideous brown, brown shades as well in the rest of the place. Dreary. Needed some bright color, warm and welcoming.
The most joyous aspect is, as so often, Moby. He's a much happier cat. He chases, and jumps and explores. He sleeps on us at night, sits on laps during the day, and when picked up, he snuggles in and refuses to be put down - purring like mad at every moment. He eats better than we've seen him do in years, especially the last few months - when we began to rather worry. He sleeps sound, and quietly, unlike the increasing snoring at the apartment.
In short, he seems a much happier cat, glad for more space, more stimulation.
My own sinuses are more comfortable.
The plumbers came yesterday, and the hook-ups are all done. Apparently, the latter owners had a washer - but all kludged, and the drain-sewer connection had broken, so the water simply pooled in the clay beneath the concrete. Not too bad at this point, but if we'd left it, there would have been damage to the foundation. Yes, I think House wanted us, certainly needed us. Quite the mess down there, damp rubble, but that's just fine. D cleaned all the mud from the floor today.
Getting locks next week, since the back door can't be opened from outside, and the front is another bit of botch that also turns the wrong way. Hopefully, that will be the end of the larger expenses for a while.
Tomorrow, we shelve the books and sort the rest of the clothes - figure out what exactly we will need to take to the laundromat before the appliances come on Saturday next.
So tired, but underneath, gladness.
When we walk through doors, odd disruptions happen to our memories. This House has many doors. We are learning to understand each other.
Long ago, I found some sari material at a second hand shop. Some used to dance in. Most still packed in the backs and bottoms of boxes and bags, forgotten and hidden. Now adorning the window.
My tea making area, came with a little LED battery light under the cabinet. We can leave the toaster out, now. Oh, and Hi! This fluffy white robe is not as photogenic as it is warm and cozy.
The shower is tiny, but the tile rather pretty. Shallow bath, but now that we are paying for our own water, perhaps for the best.
Found the cat.
No idea why they put up so much dark paint and dark brown shades (most of which don't work properly.) But something better than nothing, and replacing them is on the list, but not urgent.
Cat doesn't care. He's snuggled in and warm. "Leave the bed nicely rumpled, go away."
Labels: House the Home
My sinuses much happier since the move. Far less dust. But we knew, there was less dust in the basement than we got in the apartment in a few days. The Neverending List is part of our lives, and that's fine. Good for the brain, a new challenge. Difficult building the reserve again, happening slowly.
Thinking a lot about my childhood fear of the dark. The shadows, the inexplicable noises, the unknown. I remember the fears in House, so many dim greys in the darkness, creaks and cat thumps. I feel the impulse to panic, without urgency or insistence, just a distant understanding. The fear is far away, I am comfortable with uncomfortable silences and the unknowableness of existence. I am at ease with strangeness, contented to face unspeakable terrors around the corners. I'll take the katana and iron frying pan, and defend my realm, my home, my territory. Or not, as the case may be.
How very strange this all is, to finally have a House AND home. There is a qualitative difference. I don't think a condo would have been the same, really. My plot of earth. My garden-to-be. My problems, plumbing, projects. My responsibility, my realm to defend and protect. My cat, my beloved.
The most important last, and first.
*I usually don't mind the cold at work -far from it, I'm usually warm, today it felt icy all day.
Labels: House the Home
A home full of patient love,
Good cat for it's god.
Yesterday we got the lumber to build the wall for the laundry hook-ups. The plumbing cost is a huge chunk of what we put aside for the extras, but is non-negotiable. Then we took the laundry out to the laundromat, a stressful experience for both of us. We knew we'd have to do it for a wash or two, but it will be longer than that. We've done laundromats, most of our lives, or if we were lucky - apartment laundry rooms. We planned for not having to do that again, which is why this felt worse than it should have. I'm blaming January, it's like moving at 0200, no one is at their best.
That, and the rain of the morning mixed in with snow, making a slushfall that reached into the night. As we were about to start dinner, the power went out, taking our phone - or at least the internet component it fried - with it. Gas stove, so we ate a hot meal, and waited in ignorance. Forced idleness probably what we needed, really. Walked over to a local bookstore that just opened. A wet, cold walk, but rather nice anyway. Sat with candles and cat, D finally used the cell phone to the power company, ETA for electricity about 1030. We went to bed, hoping most of the lights were off. D woke when it came back on, I was barely aware.
Took it slowly this morning, then shopped for groceries and a list of hardware and supplies. I want to not spend a dime in February. Making my stomach hurt. Spendthrift is not a word appropriate to describe me.
So, I decided to clean and shine, not because it's the most important, but to keep me going and free up some space. Cleared the fireplace, an impressive amount of ash removed. Cannot find the flue, just a bit of twisted metal that doesn't seem to do anything, and a lot of soot. Call me Cind-er-ella!
Lots of mess, but gradually getting through, shining the glass, making the wood smell better. Found a diary, just a handful of the first pages filled in, 2007 - nothing historical.
We are both not in the best of shape, but not as bad as yesterday at this time. Call it progress. Call us Ishmael.
Cat still loving the sun, very engaged and energetic. Sat on my lap again today. Much love.
Labels: House the Home
My tiredness wore on me after seven hours, my attentiveness flagged. Came across an unfamiliar set, and after a long time of getting nowhere on it, I begged off to the pros, apologetically, and with admiration for their skills. I think I held my own most of the way, was of use.
Thinking about when I came home from Gulf War I, and struggled, for no apparent reason. Guilty that I was being thanked for doing so little, when the real combat vets were treated so badly. Finally talked, for several hours, with a Vet Center counselor. He told me that the worst pain he'd ever had was the shrapnel that got him sent home from Vietnam. Then he added, that when he gets a paper cut, at that moment it's the worst pain ever. Pain cannot be compared.
This move felt like the worst one ever, so much to do and for so long I couldn't do any of it. But really, every move pushes one past one's endurance and strength. Past that, it's only the recovery time that changes, anything past one's 20's leaves a mark. There is no worse, past a certain point. This is a part of why we knew we needed to make this a permanent shift, we didn't have many more in us. This is a bone weariness, a soul's exhaustion. Will take us a while to recover our bounce.
Labels: House the Home
The overhead lights in there are, well, odd. More appropriate for a gallery, meant to light a spot instead of a room. I experimented with them, they turn. So I lit the counters and stove, to good effect. One less thing we have to replace, can be made to work just fine. Likewise in the living room, turned them up toward the white ceiling, brightening the room quite adequately. Subverting the design.
We added a red panel to the dull brown curtains, making them at least more interesting. And plastic insulation to the windows instead of cellular blinds. The last was the idea, really. Until the plumber explained what needed to be done. And what must be done must be done. Nothing cosmetic until the nuts and bolts and guts are in good working order. First things first. The blinds were more than that, a way to insulate summer and winter without replacing windows, or covers for them, to save on heating and cooling costs. But to have a washer & dryer means plumbing, that was supposed to be in place if inadequate. Once doing all that, there are other, connected issues that need definitive correction. Priorities. Taking care of our home. We have to build a wall this weekend.
Moby is not a lap cat, but he does, on rare occasions, decide to sit on a lap for a while. He circled me, jumped on other things, came back, to see if there was a place to sit beside me, no luck, so, well, he jumped up on me. Settled down, snuggled in, nearly slept, for a good half hour. D got me the tea I'd been preparing, since apparently I wasn't going anywhere. Eventually allowed to get up and have dinner. Such a rare occurrence, had to accept the blessing.
Labels: House the Home
"You enjoy roses your way, I'll enjoy them mine." He chomped every decorative grass frond, but that's fine.
Snowed Monday morning, glad indeed not to be out on the roads. Got a shovel, doesn't hurt my back. Put up my static sticker on the front window.
A sidelong view, to avoid the bins. Next door is nice, then an apartment. The other side are a couple of duplexes, further a few abandoned properties and one of those sortakinda dead end side streets seen in this area. Across the way more houses, a couple of some kind of half-way house, and another apartment building. It's an odd little neighborhood.
Sun on wood.
Our treasures out and on view, which is lovely.
D played his Martin today, and I had tears in my eyes. Music room, indeed.
Labels: House the Home
D in the process of de-Ikea-ing the place. The drawers are fine, but the poles fixing them ceiling and floor make it a. ugly, and b. immovable. Leaving the other one up for the moment, on probation. There was more of this crap in the living room, with two shelves instead of drawers. They are in the basement, the components will be used elsewhere. Eventually.
Listened to our structural engineer friend, who claimed that asking him for a simple solution causes his brain to overheat. But he offered the idea of the stiff foam, that doesn't go to little pea shreds. Insulation panels. Pink, in this case. We will in time make a pull for it, a kind of hinge - and paint it or cover it with tape. For now, it seals off the basement, and keeps the cat from down there.
Used some of the extra to block the grate in the back room, it didn't have one of those flaps. And some of the rest to block the chimney, held up by an ancient knife left here - looks to have been used to poke the fire.
Failed to get everything here. Not a lot still there, but no more room in the car. Both of us exhausted, past exhausted, a fair bit of emotional crumbling.
They've brought those papery hard things with the nice edges, so, yeah, I knew that Thing was going to happen again. Now, this is fine by me. Although, I did catch a bird here, did I ever told you I caught a bird? I caught a bird. Anyway. No good places to chase, and no birds at all for a long time.
Looked like they were Going, so, I glued myself near the door, to go Out with them.
"I'm going with you."
Talk, talk, Moby, something, in human of course. "Yes, Moby, always, later."*
"Nope, nope, you're not leaving me."
More blah, Moby, blah. Over and over, until they looked at me and started talking with each other. Lots more time and activity, me holding out by the door. Then, they put me in the bag! Out, but not like I wanted! Then into that Huge Horrible Moving Thing, with all the weird smells, for, like, ever. No matter how many times I ask them if we are there yet, and tell them how much this sucks, they never listen. †
Then they put me in this huge echoey room, it all smells of dogs, and other people, and no sufficient Under, so I stay in my bag, since it's open now. Just like at that place with the nice firm people who stick something up my butt, good humans, but weird. Anyway, I sing out my complaint, and, well, it all still sucks, but I'm in rather good voice. This place is BIG.
All day, I hunker down, in case they want to make me go in another flying, roaring thing that made my ears hurt. My mouth is dry, and I'm so scared. My tail wouldn't go up if some mean human pulled it up. The bed from the Fortress of Solitude appeared, as well as other familiar things that I know are mine appeared. Loud footsteps all over, every time I venture out a little to see how bad it is, but it's slowly smelling better. Food Dude and Other Food Dude reach in and massage me, I'm in the bed under the sheepy thing, and staying there.
Later, a woman who whiffs a bit of dog, but mostly of kindness, reaches out to me, and I can't resist. She gives a good scritch, and I walk around a bit. Maybe this won't be so bad. Another guy, younger than my Dudes, smells of other cat, but also kindness, also adores me properly, but I am still in no mood, and stay put. ¥
Other Food Dude picked me up, and walked with me around the place, terrifying, then puts me back in my bed. I don't remember a bit there, must've slept a while. Then began to find alternate hiding places. Wooden boxes had appeared, and provided pretty good cover. Bunch of times, one of my humans would come in, and not see me at all, even calling out to me. That was fun, then I'd appear, as if from nowhere. I had food, and my litter box, water that tasted funny, a place to hide. I found the Dude's bed, and sat under that for a while, one of them put my wool blanket on the floor under there with me, which was nice.
Time to figure this place out, since whatever threat there was seemed over.
Found my folks on the blue sofa, they invited me up, like I need that, and I Explored there, and around. It's cold and hard here, but there are soft places for a smart cat like me, I found them. Found an interesting Down‡, but then couldn't find a way back Out, and one of my dudes grabbed me and brought me back up. More scary, as the other dude thumped and meowed a bit. I say meowed, more like barked, but I like him, so...
About the best time of day now, and I'm all over this place. It's very cool, with a lot of great corners and very interesting places to poke my nose in. Getting used to the new smells, and most of it is Mine now. I will call it Home, and I will be it's god, and it will be another one of my people.
Today is a much better day. Have to take care of a much bigger territory now, I can do this.
*Translated by Zhoen. Note: tenses in Cat are all over the place.
† We do, but he still keeps telling us. This was a ride of two blocks.
‡ The basement. Really can't have him freely roaming there, and we haven't gotten the cover for it yet. Will do that today, first thing. Got it sort of blocked for the night.
¥ Our agent L showed up, with a roll of toilet paper, since I'd related my theory of the karmic need to leave toilet paper for the next tenant, which the renter did not do. She thought this amazingly funny, and wanted to assure us she would continue to help us as we settled in. Then E from work who helped us move. More about them when it's my turn to post again.
Thoroughly thrashed, triumphant.
At 13 hours from starting, we are well and truly done in, although not entirely done. But close enough for the time available. Very much close enough. Feels like how I feel after a hard twelve hour shift.
The two guys from work, scrub techs, each with amazing lives and skills. Both young and strong and uninjured, unlike D and I. But we are persistent. I knew they were going to be a blessing. Insisted on paying them as we finished the furniture, both refused, claimed I offered too much. Dave* nearly recoiled. "I won't force it but hear me out. This is what I'm paid per hour. It's fair. More than fair." Managed to have both see that their work meant so much to us, they deserved it, and I wouldn't have asked them if I'd not been able to compensate them for their time and effort on Saturday morning.
D's brother arrived with his FIL's truck, and pitched in with energy. Gave him gas money. D's parents guarded Stuff in the lobby, took what they could manage. Once we hit our wall, we called it quits, ordered Chinese for lunch, and sat with D's brother and parents, at the table. In our Dining Room. We are both pleased and daunted by our responsibility.
Both of us pushed to our limits, mostly by ourselves.
*Different Dave. Daves don't get initials or pseudonyms, because, well, why bother?
Watching Morse, then to bed. Gearing up for morning.
Labels: moving rant
Today, I had to outsmart the bedframe. It looked to be winning for quite a while, but eventually I cornered it and put it on the mat. It's now in the car, awaiting the magic words from the agent that we can greet HousetheHome officially into our family. Trying to be patient. The beginning of every journey of a thousand miles starts with - waiting, then leaving, then going right back to pick up the thing you forgot, before finally heading out, and realizing you've still forgotten something, but you can do without it so you keep going. Single step my ass.
Labels: house rant
Rest & recuperation
A roundabout route.
I have smothered my worried, spinning, packing mind with sufficient beer. Not pretty, but in this case, beats me screaming at anyone, particularly D or Moby. Or simply exploding. I am a smidge over buzzed, a half step into drunk. Have had sufficient water to cushion the impact. Seems to be short circuiting the spinning feedback loops. I can't defend this, save that it works. I don't get in the kind of anxiety knots that I once did.
Oh, and I stepped off a curb today, and realized it didn't hurt, didn't even twinge a bit. My back is, slowly, sorting itself out. Better than a year ago, noticeably. Not quite pain free, but more stable. Still have to be aware, careful, but oh, my, I can tell it's better. Subtle, but measurable.
Awaiting the call that says our key (what key?) magically (poof!) works, starting tomorrow. When I will pack up the car with the first load.
We have our First Foot (sort of), welcoming items gathered. (Actually, I am trying to convince D to lift (hold my waist while I hop) over the threshold.) For me, a box with tea, incense, cat toys and a small hammer, D his guitar. Got House the Home a tree branch motif welcome mat. Want to love it, not be in love with House the Home. Want to see it as part of our family, to care for and do what is necessary, not take for granted, and not mind. Anthropomorphizing as usual. But it's a century old, deserves some respect and accommodation. Seems only fair to me. After reading about how going through doors is an Event, as far as the brain is concerned, and interferes with memory, and relating that to how often doors and portals show up in legends - as changes of reality, I figures doors are important. If only to human psychology. Probably spirituality.
Trusting my instincts has served me well over the decades. I've never been in serious trouble, skirting it, being close to it, but never quite in the midst. Awareness is not a guarantee, as I well know, but it does skew the odds significantly. Really does.
Do I sound, which is to say read, drunk? Difficult for me to tell now. Lots of typing errors corrected. I took a long time to get Anthropomorphizing to the point where spell check would even give it a go.
Want to sleep. Oh, gods, I want to sleep the way I used to, just a couple of months ago.
Dealing with my exhaustion and stressed irritability, snapping (not badly) at D. Resolving not to do that again. We've ordered Chinese as amelioration. D's idea, and he has good ideas.
When we moved from our traveler nurse provided housing to our first rented apartment in Boston, we had movers shift the stuff. I had to work that day, and D was there for them. When I got home, I ran the roomba and cleaned, he showed up with meatball sandwiches from Uptown Cafe (best ever.) We ate and were cheerful. Then I opened the front closet door. It was full of boxes. I rather lost my shit, blaming D for not checking, pissed off and not containing it at all well. Even told him not to apologize to me but to Moby for the delay and stressing him out. Downright mean.
Movers long gone, with other appointments. We wound up making several trips with a van taxi - the driver was very helpful. Finally took Moby by the train, me still seething It was all a thorough mess, and my behavior so unkind. Unfair as well, D had not packed that closet, and there was no malice - the only justification for anger (although still not a helpful response.) To this day, still a regret for me. A pain to remember, like" that fire is hot, don't touch." I wasn't that bad today, but I dipped my toe in those waters, and knew immediately, recoiled from myself.
Moby has been a velcro cat the last few days, while I've packed. Quite underfoot. I do tell him he always have a home with us, but he relies on proof, as do I. He is going to love having room to run around, a larger territory, but the change as it happens - not so much. He will be walked over in the bag. Sometime on Saturday.
Labels: moving rant
Quietly a quarrelsome.
Quorum of quizzes.
Better. Crashed at 730 last night. Woke, thinking, It'll be 0300. It was 11 PM. Sighed, laid back. Again, woke, thought, Oh, please, it's got to be about 0300.... 1245. Poop. Resolved to stay down, woke again and thought, Nope, not playing that game again, it's rigged. 0230. Bugger. Next time, didn't even look at the clock, but staggered to the bathroom, back, tucked in. Cat walked on my abdomen, good thing bladder was empty. D sat up a time later, cat in front of him, purring madly. Finally, 0450 or so, we got up in exasperation. Figure I did get sufficient, if not constant, sleep.
Doing the whirlwind today, every damn thing tidied away in a box or bag, fold up the dhurri rug, start cleaning what I can reach. Hadn't planned on this day off, but immensely glad of it. Every plan has a fall back position if the first one fails. Have a dolly available, and at least one handtruck, and borrowed furniture moving straps.
Time to turn on music, and start the dance.
He's got my back, I have his. Seems to work pretty well.
Been this tired before. Not a surface, one-day tired, that's more sharp. This is a kind of long weary in my bones, knowing it's not over. A low, dull tone. I know this tired, it's an old and difficult friend. On top, I'm not really that worn, but there are sinkholes underneath. That I can't seem to sleep dumps a bit more weight. Up at 0330, could not drop off after, finally gave up got up. Having beer, hopefully will nap. Work offered to let me stay home tomorrow, and I agreed that it would be helpful. If only to keep me from bringing my chaos to work. That is my real concern, I can certainly get the last of the packing and cleaning done in good time. But my patients deserve a nurse with a fully functional brain, which I cannot quite provide right now.
Signing at 1000, went remarkably well. We'd been warned about the mass of paperwork to sign, and there was a considerable pile, but I've signed my name more times on the paper charting, per shift, when I worked long term care/hospice - admittedly many years ago. It took a little over an hour, everyone calm and attentive and professional, including us. The mortgage guy laughed that at our first meeting, we needed valium. I replied that a beer would have done. That's it, really, we worry at a problem until we get it solved, so when the time for action comes, we are over the fear and act properly. Agent L gave us a lovely little book with copies of all the paperwork so far, with a place for every other imaginable document for House the Home. I am inordinately pleased with that unexpected gift.
Agent L and Mortgage Guy laughing at our credit, it's ridiculously good, they claim they've never seen such high scores. Made the loan go through rather smoothly. We tried to be good clients, which is what they thanked us for. Treating people well does tend to bring out the best in already decent folk, mutual in this case. Still a few last steps, have to get the tax assessment changed when the state allows that, and get the key.*
Guys from work set to meet us here and move our problematic items. D's in-laws to bring truck, and hands. Beginning of a new phase of our lives.
I think Moby will love being able to really run around. Lots of windows. There may be birds.
*Being honorable and trustworthy, L let us hold it, but we are not to ever admit this to anyone. It is a hypothetical key, not to be acknowledged until all is Official. So, don't tell anybody.
Labels: house rant
Best news of the week, the giant Galapagos Tortoises are still alive. This cheers me more than I can say. A bright ray of goodness.
Oh, and I don't get into Boing Boing much, just scan their front page every few days, in case. To occasional good effect, as this week they are doing a series on Robert Anton Wilson, fnord. It's a common interest for D and I since jump street, and I love that he likes to rattle everyone's cages without distinction.
Can you see the fnords?
Yes, we are moving two blocks away. This does make it somewhat easier.
We're both pretty stressed. Not as bad as before the move to Boston. But all the paperwork and financial stuff is hitting us in a new spot. Ow, ow, ow... ow. But this really is not, as a whole thing, as bad as many of the issues we've dealt with before. D's shattered elbow, for one. Just very different. So many times we say ".... um, dunno." Like about what kind of outlet we need for the dryer, or who to hire for the chimney, or how to close the doorless garage. Puzzles for the brain, suggestions gladly accepted. Got a reference for a good plumber. He had shaky phone skills, but that's alright. That's not what he's being hired for. Wanted to go to the house tomorrow, but that isn't possible. Next week, at earliest.
Closing tomorrow. Funds are wired to the Title Co. Getting my signing hand warmed up, the opposite to the one with the dicky thumb. (Dicky thumb doing well, still using the brace at work to prevent re-injury.) Another day at work, then, well, we're off. Oh, best news so far, there are people in line for our apartment, so we might not have to pay lease breaking penalties nor an additional month of rent. Which means a comfy chair! Whoo-hoo!
We'll be fine. 'Don't worry, 'bout a thing. Cuz every little thing, gonna be alright.' P (really need better pseudonyms, like Writing as Jo(e) uses) at work sang this along with me as it played in the core on Monday. She related a story of a couple moving, a boatload of people showed up to help them move, and wife had a come-apart about too many hands not in her control. Full on panic attack, apparently. I assured P that if 30 people appeared to help us move, and everything got dumped in the living room, I'd be a happy pig in shit, indeed. Wow, wouldn't I be. I know how to deal with a pile of crap. As long as it's all in the right house. P is lending us the furniture moving straps, hopefully. If she forgets them Thursday, I may call her and insist she just come and help us move. Could really use her energy. My gods, the woman is a top, she cannot stop.
Drove by House twice in our last errands today, it really is a nice place. Made me smile just to look at. When D first saw it, on our way past to another Open House that day, it caught his eye. I have proposed that we take a few meaningful items for the first time. Not to be magical, but for the psychological comfort of seeing this as our home, and telling House that it will be our Home, so that we always look on the difficulties as our Careful and Compassionate honor to perform, not a hateful burden. House will be our Home. D plans to take in a guitar first, me, my tea and kettle. Maybe some incense, and a moment of asking permission, and entering gently. Respectfully, kindly. Some cat toys, ask it to be kind to it's new guardian and god. House needs to know it's loved, for what it is. As we all do.
Three out of the four ingredients in Simon and Garfunkel's third album make this Belgian-style farmhouse ale a perfect golden beverage with festive herbal notes.
Mousy, mouthy, muddled mind.
My manners mingle.
Finding that writing is a great comfort to me, as I get to various stopping points, where I can pack little else, or must rest awhile. For a very long time, I have wanted a household altar, a retablo, folk art display of our journey, expression of gratitude. A corner set aside for the sacred. There will be space for that soon. I have no idea what form it will take, but it feels important, not just a vague idea, eventually. Soon, this time.
Got out the tarot cards. No, I don't believe they have any future cognition, bits of paper. But they are human events, archetypes, that come up randomly, to ask one's own mind to look at one's thoughts differently - like art, or a good book at the right moment. And I'm not entirely convinced that synchronicity is entirely happenstance. As is often the case, I found it useful.
Much more packing today, corners cleared. There is always more. Rolled up the one rug, packed away clothes we won't need for this week, folded up some shelves. D looking at a very difficult day, and nothing I can do to help.
Oh, and Happy Static Electricity Day!
January 9th: National Static Electricity Day
Grab your balloons and sweaters! It’s time to uild up your static charge and conduct some electrons. This is the perfect holiday to occur in the dead of winter, when the air is extra dry – the optimal conditions for storing up those negative charges that shock you at the most unexpected times. (As suggested by Mental Floss.)
SIL offered to bring her father's pick-up on Saturday. I humbly answered, "Yes, please." She and BIL (both much younger than us) will be helping shift the load of crap, along with D's parents (only light items for them), for which we are very grateful. Will have to order Chinese for lunch, since none of us is big on pizza, and being LDS, they don't drink beer - no matter how good. Must remember on Saturday morning, to get that planned.
Have to keep in mind that we have time to move everything, and focus on A. The heavy stuff we need help with, and B. The stuff we need to use immediately. Everything else transferred with help is a bonus. Four days not at work, even with just the two of us, should get most of it done, really. Simply worried about re-injuring my back, and I really don't want to do too much and wind up on the floor weeping. Again. That's my nightmare, as my back, although stiff and recalcitrant about some movements, has been pretty reasonable about the whole pain thing recently. I want to stay on good terms with it. It really is, very, very slowly and incrementally, getting better. I can't tell you how much this means to me.
D's parents asked us what we needed at dinner last evening, and we both demurred. We hardly need a shower/housewarming at this stage of life. We always have done it backwards. Now, the idea of Free Stuff is appealing, until we think about it. I gave her a list, today, of lower-cost items that we really could use. I wrote her,
"You both asked us what we needed, and neither of us knew what to answer. A gift certificate to Home Despot? Or would you prefer something more fun to give? Um, gardening tools, seeds, guitar hooks (to go in a wall) an ergonomic snow shovel, a small bench for people to sit on while removing shoes, dust mop, colorful foam floor tiles (for the basement, the kind they use for kid's play areas) - is that better?
Not that we are asking for any of this, mind. But, yes, we would be grateful for your generosity. Please, though, your presence, your kindness, that truly is enough. D and I talked later about showers and housewarmings, and really, all gifts are a bit of an embarrassment for both of us. Help, company, advice, those are the best gifts, in the long run. "
Theme of the week, staying on good terms. I can do this. D has my back, we will be fine.
Labels: house rant
Liminal lavender lines
Entering into all the legalities is daunting, to both of us. We keep reminding each other we are just renting a house from the bank.
We've never been all that impressed with titles, rejected rigid roles. Called my mother the other day, mentioned that D and I have been together over 20 years. "Oh, you've been married that long!" Not what I said, but I didn't correct her. The legal marriage has been useful, no regrets, but it's not like we ever call each other "husband" nor "wife," I only use husband when referring to D, speaking to someone else who doesn't know him. If my mother's head wouldn't explode, I'd be fine calling her Mary, not mom.
Which is part of why I objected to my long estranged brother insisting on calling me sister, and himself brother, instead of just using our names. Not interested in playing a role, like me for who I am, or not at all. I'll get to know you, without the labels and boxes. Lots of little red flags kept popping up, that was one. Since the last email, when he informed me that our father was not stupid nor ignorant, and I replied with my view, citing proof, there has been silence. I'm just surprized it didn't happen earlier. Ah, well, I'll take a hard truth over a soft lie anytime.
"Faith is an island in the setting sun, but proof is the bottom line for everyone."
Went to dinner last night with two of D's brothers with spouses, and parents. Actually a very nice evening. D was leaning toward just staying home, but since one brother & wife were in from out of town, I nudged us to go. Neither of us really in the mood, but were glad we did. Took a moment to remind D that talk of sports, football in this case, beat religion and politics hands down, and no one expected us to contribute, so this is Good.
Just wish I could sleep past 5AM.
It snowed last night, it snows still. We picked up boxes from D's work. On the way out of the parking ramp, I hit the snow covered curb. Hard. We drove around the corner, on icy rough surfaces, but as soon as we hit smooth, and it wasn't, we knew we had a problem. Blew out the right front tire. Limped to a tire shop two blocks away, took a bit of work to get the car up over the snow into the bay, help which they gave with some ineptitude. Difficult to move out of snow with a blown out front tire, but after the two guys (at much prompting) gave me a push, I got the car in place. I really do know how to drive in the stuff, but this was different, and I knew it. They had plenty of advice, when what I knew I needed was a shove. Still, can't tell anyone anything.
They had us over the proverbial barrel, tried to sell us into a longer relationship, which we declined. Guy asked us, filling out the invoice "Where are you living this week?" We both laughed. No kidding. It was not cheap, but we have all our tires on, aligned and checked. Missing our hubcap.
Given that in the time we walked back to the library to wait, then back, we saw several people driving badly, especially for the conditions, and one person tried to go through a red light, and honk at the car turning on the protected left, then stopped well into the intersection, it could have been worse. When these sort of things happen, I figure it's the first time offer, discount karmic payment, that if deferred will come back with a much higher cost.
Really, we learn this in kindergarten, Red means STOP, Green means GO. Our anesthesia head was hit last week by idiots going 65 MPH through a red light, hit the front quarter of his truck. He's more or less ok, but only worked a couple of days this work, obviously in pain. Nothing like a collision to shake one down to the cellular level. A hard bump with the curb, and a busted tire, easily if not cheaply fixed, and back home safe, then all is well.
Must pack, going to wait another hour or so, take a nap.
Kneeling on knives, keenly knit.
Kicking out the kings.
So, everything is speeding up. We did want to move during the holiday weekend, especially since I have Friday the 13th off as well as the Monday. Thought it might happen, when the seller wanted us to close on an earlier date, but were told no. As of yesterday, that changed to a "Well, fine then." We'd accepted it, stopped asking, planned for the next week. Instead, D had to have all the utilities switched over earlier. We are glad of the time. But this has completely thrown my schedule into disarray. Oh, I can do it, no problem, but I've been working to this plan in my head, and now it all has to be readjusted. Or we just wing it.
When moving, I really like having a clear plan, however full of "ifs." I'd given up the idea of this IF because it was the easy option, unavailable.
I'm trying not to notice that the home mortgage rates are down from when we locked in, and still dropping. We had to take the boat at the dock when we were there, can't worry that the next one along was cheaper. Our boat is still as good as it was, and the fare is still fair.
So, when I found this, my writin' fingers itched. Contradictory adages, in a neat little list. I shall add commentary. Most are not so much contradictions as setting bounds from one extreme or the other.
Look before you leap.
-Take measurements, know how far you can leap, that there is a place to leap to, or you'll wind up a long way down.
He who hesitates is lost.
-Once you've made your plans, don't balk at the last moment, half jumping, or you'll wind up a long way down.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
-We miss what we don't have, glorifying it in our minds when we don't have to do any work on it.
Out of sight, out of mind.
-But we also don't take care of what we don't see, neglecting the work.
You’re never too old to learn.
-Quite true. It's all a matter of the attitude of the learner. We learn differently as adults than we did as children.
You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
-A defensive laziness, but it is harder to change long held habits. If the old dog refuses to learn, then you can't.
A word to the wise is sufficient.
-If someone is paying attention, open to hints, all they need is a suggestion.
Talk is cheap.
-Some very charming people can say exactly the right things. - doesn't cost them anything. But you have to judge them by their follow-through.
Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
-Fools don't even bother to check for the bottomless pit on the other side of the door. They don't think ahead or consider consequences.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
-Once you have taken a good look, know the risks, have a good idea of what you'll gain, then - go for it, be brave.
Actions speak louder than words.
-What you actually do will either reinforce your words, or undercut them, exposing your integrity or lack thereof.
The pen is mightier than the sword.
-Ideas are more enduring than violence, although not so powerful in the short run. Unless your pen is actually a little gun.
Many hands make light work.
-Enough people lifting together makes heavy work possible, even easy. Especially when moving.
Too many cooks spoil the broth.
-But too many people who all think they are in charge bossing each other around makes a mess.
Seek and ye shall find.
-Ask all the weird questions, gather data, formulate theory, test, test, test, ask again. This is the heart of science.
Curiosity killed the cat.
-Know when to curb, or at least conceal your nosiness into other people's lives. Let people have some privacy, know when not to ask too much.
Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.
-If it's free, be gracious and make of it what you will, don't complain that it's not perfect.
Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.
-Understand that every gift has a price, and know the giver's intentions.
The best things in life are free.
-You can't buy a soul, or love, those have to be grown and earned and shared freely.
There’s no such thing as a free lunch.
-Everything is a trade, everything comes at a cost. Ignoring that, not paying upfront, will leave you in debts and troubles.
It's worth really thinking about the sayings that pervade our thoughts, understanding how context changes them, when they are true, and when misapplied.
Hula honest hopefulness,
It's not a good photo, must've been Granny, she always did have more sky and ceilings than people. (This is the cropped version.) Mum had a real eye, her Brownies of us as kids were always rather beautiful, well framed and composed.
Frankensense and fir,
Next year, in House. A Yule promised, deferred until next year. Patience tested, and found able, if strained. The waiting is wearing, more than anything. D dealing with frustration, me with thin patience with his frustration. We keep readjusting our good will, knowing our limitations. I pack, he deals with utilities, internet, gas, water, electric - water we've never had to do before as renters. Two weeks,less, a walk-through, and we will Measure All The Things! For the basement stairwell cover, curtain for the garage (no door present) where the sofa will go, etc. etc. etc. We have the tape measure. We have shears for the removal of the mortar eating ivy.
Enchanted elephant ears,
Earnest and empty.
Keep going back to variations on Hyperbole's Clean All The Things! as in, Move All The Things! Pack All The Things! Unlike Hyperbole, I've never had much of an issue with adulthood. Not after my first apartment. Maybe because I understood that childhood sucked, and autonomy and responsibility are linked, I never minded, much, the work involved. Nothing in my life was ever as difficult and miserable as being under my father's authority, not the military, not poverty, not even spousal abuse. Although my tolerances varied.
Dragons behind the dark door,
Crashed at the usual time last night, woke - somewhat - to loud pops. I thought, gunfire? Then realized, no, fireworks, near enough downtown to hear that, as they multiplied and sounded more like a firework display, although very loud and echoey. Thought to say "Happy New Year" to D, but he sounded like he was deep asleep. I didn't want to wake him, and I was not quite awake enough to talk, anyway. Then I fell back asleep, best I've slept for a month.
Must practice writing 2012, 2012, 2012. Ah, 11 was so easy. 2006 had a Bunny.
Will dance more, and sing more. With all that wood, how could I not?