Saturday, October 30, 2010

Another Anniversary of Sorts: Cohabitation

I made you wait over 2 years before moving in together. You were ready within a few months.  Looking back, I think we're both glad I won out on this one.

Today is the anniversary of our closing on this house. You moved from your apartment, I moved from mine and we merged here. We slept here that first night together. We just threw the mattress on the floor too exhausted to assemble the bed. We've rarely spent a night apart since. This house is not large or elaborate but it is filled with good things like love, laughter and friendship and most importantly, it is home. This is the first place I've truly felt was home since childhood and I know you feel the same.

I remember how concerned you were trying to make sure my things had a place here too.  You told me multiple times to hang up my pictures, put my books on the shelves, add my furniture in the mix. You were so sweet and concerned that I had doubts. Really, after 2 years? You would have thought I would have it figured out by then.

We've survived multiple home improvements and even an addition. When we moved in we thought we would wait awhile to paint. The walls looked okay but when we took down that horrible border (remember that terrible one with deer in the crosshairs) that surrounded the entire living, dining room and kitchen the cigarette smoke on the walls was disgusting. You let me pick out paint and tolerated swatches hanging on walls for weeks while I decided on one of the shades you thought all looked the same. The one thing we didn't wait for was taking down those horrendous metallic green/black lace valences that were left hanging or cleaning the buckshot out of the kitchen drawers. The previous owners were "outdoorsy" folk I guess. There was the week we both took vacation and re-finished all the kitchen cabinets and replaced the counter. Our kitchen sink sat in the dining room for 2 weeks. Another "vacation" we spent a week removing and replacing all the flooring in the living/dining/kitchen AND gutted 2 bathrooms. That's when we learned that basic plumbing is fine but we should not be involved in soldering of copper pipes. We were both frustrated and snappy and I had to leave before I hit you in the head with a wrench. I didn't appreciate your tone of voice when you spoke to me. I'm still amazed that week didn't lead to divorce. We've hauled a ton of paving stones and sand. Your back went out because you were too impatient to wait for me to help. We put in that privacy fence and wrestled with that earth auger that required both of us to handle. The older neighbors gathered to watch "those gals" put up a fence. They watched as that auger got away on us; I thought my arm was broken and the frame of your glasses snapped. Damn fence is still standing though.

Our home has evolved just like us and all those happenings are trivial when we consider all the wonderful things we've gained by moving into this home together. Nothing compares to waking up beside you everyday, sharing popcorn on the couch at night, Saturday morning breakfast on the patio, Sunday mornings sleeping in and cuddling. It's comforting to know that no matter where I go in this world and no matter what happens throughout my day, I have this home with you to return to and that makes everything in my life okay again.  I'm thankful we've made this our home together. I know how lucky and truly blessed I am to have found you. Welcome home babe.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

There's a Mouse in the House

This little puff of fur has A all wound up. I'm not fond of having our little houseguest but it's just one tiny mouse. A's been wandering around the house telling the cats to get down there, catch it and earn their keep. She's threatening not to feed them until they produce a corpse. Then she coaches the dogs with toy mice and reminds them that they can kill vermin too. In my opinion, I think our oldest cat Stink may be responsible. She has a history of catching critters and bringing them in to show us. The only problem is that she doesn't kill them first and then they get loose in the house and we are the one's to have to make the catch. I've captured several mice, a gopher, and a couple birds too. Ah, that old half-bald cat sure does cause trouble.

Sunday A was in our bedroom making the bed and I was folding laundry down the hall when she let out a scream (She strongly maintains that she does not scream, she let out a great bellow). I dropped what I was doing and went running in to see her jumping between the floor and bed. In the corner sat a quivering little brown mouse, the size of a jumbo cotton ball. I'm not sure which one of them was more scared but A definitely made the biggest show of it. I know if I were not around she would have taken a broom to the little thing. With me no De Con is allowed (toxic to the dog/cats) and I hate those terrible snap or glue traps. She used one of those snap traps years ago and I've never let her live it down. So Monday night I set the little live-trap cube and hopefully I'll catch the little bugger before the cat does.

Finally, thank you to everyone for your kind supportive comments to my last angry post. My family is something that has the ability to suck me into the chaos if I allow it. For the most part, I'm able to stay clear but last week the planets must have aligned or something since I got a massive dose from all of them at once. Uggh! That post was a great vent and when I woke up Thursday morning I felt good again. And another thing...I didn't feel guilty at all and still don't!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Now I remember why I don't call...

...or answer your calls or even listen to the whole message you left on my voicemail.

Several weeks ago I just felt like everything was imploding. I was dealing with dad, mom, brothers, dad's siblings, hospitals, doctors, social workers, insurance companies, and that list goes on and on and on. That of course is on top of MY everyday normal life, relationship and work. For months my phone rang non-stop, taking calls, dealing with issues. It is always" I need help with.." or "You've gotta take care of...".

I don't mind helping but when the bitching and back-stabbing starts, I'm finished. It turned into dad calling from Ohio over and over to tell me to take care of some things that I had no power to handle. Then when I suggested he legally designate someone as power of attorney (a suggestion my older brother was on board with) dad gets crazy paranoid and starts accusing me of trying to get power to put him in a nursing home. When the shit hit the fan, guess which brother backed out; it wasn't HIS idea. Fucking asshole!! I threw up my hands and told them all if they could do it so well, then go for it.

I went to the hills with my love and my family. I surrounded myself with things that make me happy. I re-focused on enjoying my life. I stopped calling and stopped accepting a lot of calls. I had some peace and quiet.

So why the fucking hell did I return that phone call to my mom tonight?  Her message sounded okay but by the time I called the sobbing and self-pity had started. There's just so much anger in her and she just keeps holding onto it. I can hear her starting to spiral down again. There comes a point when you can't help those who don't help themselves. Then I have my older brother bitching about dad's will and how unfair it is.  I explained that I agreed to execute his will as he wanted it and I have no power over anything. Plus, get this asshole, DAD'S NOT DEAD!!! Greedy fucker!  The final phone call was from my younger brother. Usually these are pretty safe but I should have known better tonight. He started bitching (again) about the small bill he has paid for my mom the last 4 months. Well, as you can imagine I was not in the mood and told him how I felt. Over the last 10+ years mom (primarily) and dad have given them so much money, paid utility bills and rent, bought clothing and food all because of the grandkids. I told him I was sick of hearing him complain about it after all the money mom has given to him and his family through the years. There were crickets on the line and before I lost control I said good-bye and hung up.

Even with all the bullshit, tomorrow when the anger dies down I will feel guilty; guilty for not calling, not accepting calls and guilty for not doing more. This girl can't fucking win!!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

All Tucked Away

This past weekend we put the RV away for the winter. "Nipples to the Wind" (that's her official name) was tucked away in our friend's storage barn. A winterized it and covered every surface with dryer sheets to keep the mice away. Who knew mice didn't like the smell of Bounce. We were skeptical but other RVer's we know swear by it and anything is better that mothballs...YUCK! Our friend, the Elvis impersonator, gave us one hell of a deal for storage...2 cases of Michelob Golden light. A wrinkled her nose at the idea of Michelob (she's a home-brewer and beer snob) but said that was too good of a deal to pass up and Michelob is so cheap that she will throw in a couple more cases through the winter. It won't come out until at least March and then it goes for a new of shoes. Seems the tire size we need is discontinued so Winnebago suggested a full change over. These things always involve maintenance.

A hanging with her pride and joy.
It's strange to turn the corner onto my street and not see it parked in the driveway. Actually it's funny just to see the front of the house again. It makes the needed retaining wall repair and over-grown flower bed really visible. Guess I know what I'll be working on this weekend. 

This past Saturday I drove nearly 600 miles to deliver a little chin dog to his new adoptive mom. He was a great guy and barely moved most of the trip. He only raised his head once to look at me when I stopped for gas. It was such a long trip that A stayed home. I really don't mind the time all to myself and it was such beautiful weather that I would have felt bad if my crew at home would have spent the whole day indoors.
When driving across southern Minnesota there isn't much to see at all; just cornfields and wind turbines for miles. Gives a girl lots of time to just think.
I was supposed to only drive a few miles across the Wisconsin border to meet Ping's new family but about an hour outside of La Crosse, WI, I received a call they had car trouble and were at a truck stop. It was only an extra 40 miles so I went to meet them as they waited for help to come. No a big deal but I REALLY hate driving in Wisconsin. See I have a little affliction known as "lead-foot". It serves me well   here in MN but when I cross that border to WI, the state hwy patrol are just gunning for my MN license plates. Plus Wisconsin has those ridiculously low speed limits--my car just doesn't want to go that slow. I made it in and out of the state without getting busted but on the way home I floored it as soon as I hit the bridge crossing the Mississippi from WI to MN. It's all about making good time.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I Love the Sentiment But the Choice of Stationary Could Be Improved

A leaves for work while I'm still asleep. Every morning she tip-toes to my side of the bed to kiss and nuzzle my neck, tell me goodbye and "love you" and wish me a good day. I seldom remember since I'm such a sound sleeper. She says I sometimes smile and make happy noises, sometimes I barely move and other times I may grumble or swat at her for interrupting my sleep. Nice, huh? I feel bad but I truly don't have any memory of it. Since I seldom remember her good-byes, she usually leaves a little note for me too.
A few days ago I woke to find this on the mirror in my bathroom.

"Need I say more? I love you!"
Of all the note pads and post-its we have lying around, she just had to choose the Do-It-Yourself Pest Control ones. :)

Other mornings she gets creative and leaves little notes like this one.
"Oh Miss Melissa, you make me go completely mental I must say!"
We've always laughed at Ed Grimley. When we were in the friends and flirting stage of our relationship, she used to stand at one end of the hall at work and wait for me to come around the corner. She would be standing there with her pants pulled up to her armpits and do the Ed Grimley dance for me. I still wonder how we managed to not get fired. I've included a short video of the dance. What can I say, this geek is a sucker for dorks. :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tuesday Night Ramblings and Monkey Love

I can't believe it's Tuesday night...where did the weekend go?...and I totally missed Monday. Maybe it's for the best. Nothing fun usually happens Monday anyway.

It was a nice weekend; warm and sunny and it actually hit 90 degrees. The last week has been un-seasonably warm but I'm not complaining; just soaking up all the warm sunshine I can. Last year we already had 1/2 inch of snow at this time. A and I spent a lot of time outside getting the yard, house and RV ready for winter. This included loading up the piece of shit truck for trips to the landfill and compost pile. I'm always amazed when that beast of truck manages to make one more trip.

The fall colors peaked this weekend and the bluffs along the Minnesota river were incredible. Last year the trees didn't get to change. It froze and snowed and the green leaves just fell off the trees. Unfortunately I didn't get pictures this year and I could kick myself. Saturday it was perfect but we were rushing around I told A that I planned to take a Sunday drive and get some pictures.  Sunday came and it was overcast and hazy. In the river valley someone was burning something big and the smoke stretched for miles adding to the already hazy conditions. See it isn't even close to decent.

What's that old saying, "Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today." A and I were on our way to a different location when she received a phone call that she was needed to work night-shift. That meant we had to turn around and come home so she could take a nap. I REALLY FUCKING HATE on-call weekend. As I drove to work Monday afternoon, I noticed the trees have crossed over into the brown and bare stage. The window is closed; I missed my opportunity. Better luck next year.

I probably missed most of Monday since I was still recovering from my Saturday night out with the girls. A graciously offered to be my driver. In my hurry to get out the door (late as usual) I forgot to grab my camera so there is no evidence of the too many drinks, shots and extreme ass-shaking I participated in that night. I so seldom drink that much or cut loose and Sunday morning I woke up feeling the pain in my head and body. The kind of pain where even the soles of your feet hurt. Dancing is aerobic exercise so I think it would be more fitting to wear a pair of Nike running shoes rather than heels or sandals. I'll consider that next time.

As I've been writing all this I've been watching my little foster dog, Nifty, and her "special friend". Several weeks ago she formed a special friendship with one of the sock monkey dog beds and every night they have their special time together; it's dinner, potty, playtime and then monkey love.

I felt kind of perverse taking these pictures but she was really into her monkey tonight. She must have finally satisfied herself and now she's lying on her back on the sofa snoring away. I'm sure she's just over-excited from playtime but it's times like these I'm really glad I don't have kids in the house to explain things to. :) When she gets adopted I'll have to send the monkey with her. I can't be responsible for breaking up the happy couple.

Friday, October 8, 2010


Our oven is not working properly. I discovered this a few weeks ago when I tried to bake a cake at 11pm. No big deal, I figured; put it in at 11pm and 30-40 minutes later I'll pull it out and go to bed. No that's not how it works-1.5 hours later it's finally baked (and burned on the top) and I'm up WAY past my bedtime. A just grumbled that we will take care of it when we come home from vacation and rolled over in bed.

Earlier this week I finally scheduled and appointment for repair. It's one of those appointments where they come either between 8am-12pm or 12pm-4pm. Yeah, real convenient for the customer. I took half the day off, ran around all morning doing a full day's work in 4 hours and rushed home (speeding excessively). I pull in the driveway and sigh with relief that the repairman has not arrived. Then I'm running to take care of dogs, straighten the house, finish a few dishes, sweep the kitchen floor...just OCD stuff.

1pm-no repairman and no call
2pm-no repairman and no call
2:30pm-no repairman and no call

Now I'm starting to get inpatient (I really hate this waiting thing) and decide I'm going to check my confirmation email. Well shit! I scheduled the appointment for NEXT Friday the 15th!!!

*Big Sigh* Well I guess if I was going to take a day off I couldn't have asked for a better one. It's 85 degrees, the sun is shining, the fall color is peaking and I now have the rest of this afternoon to enjoy.
Have a great weekend all!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

What's in your bag?

Kym posted a blog Sunday asking this question. Really, for me the question should be what's not in your bag? A swears that if she were ever stranded on a deserted island, she wants my purse. Notice, she wants my purse, not me. :)  This is actually the down-sized version that contains only the necessities. I cleaned it out last week because it was causing me such shoulder pain when we were on vacation. 

I'm still carrying my very large and summery turquoise purse. I'm just not ready to switch to a darker, wintery one. Inside you will find:
  • wallet 
  • mp3 player & earbuds
  • cell phone
  • water bottle
  • a wide variety of keys, plus extra keys, plus RV keys, etc.
  • retainer, toothbrush, paste, floss and floss picks (can't live without those floss picks)
  • makeup, brush, eyeliner and mascara
  • Excedrin (my addiction)
  • hand lotion, hand sanitizer & Badger Balm (it heals my sore hands)
  • tampons
  • variety of lip glosses & lip balms (5-6 varieties/flavors)
  • a million ink pens-I wonder how many still work?
  • 1, 2, 3 packs of Stride gum
  • change purse
  • notebook
  • sunglasses
  • kleenex-with A's allergies I'm always stuffing some in her hand followed with a squirt of hand sanitizer
  • small pocket knife (thanks to my hillbilly relatives who believe I should be armed)
  • package containing a plastic fork, spoon, knife, napkin, salt and pepper---don't have any idea how that ended up there
  • my "lucky" buckeye
  • *not pictured* When we are out and about I usually end up with A's wallet too. And for some reason I was carrying around my last SIX pay check stubs along with numerous scraps of paper containing the phone numbers of who knows who and directions to who knows where. WTF!
This purse habit of mine is what keeps my chiropractor in business but damn, I just hate to be some where and not have what I need. :)

Friday, October 1, 2010

"You don't want sex tonight because I'm too tired."

That is a direct quote from my beloved and probably the most memorable quote of our trip last weekend. We were driving home (all night) and all I said was how much I was looking forward to cuddling up with her in our comfy bed and that was the response I received. "Are you sure you said that right?" I asked. She swears she meant it exactly that way. Despite the fact that sleeping in the RV means separate beds, we had an absolutely fabulous time together; laughed and giggled and flirted and held hands like a couple of new lovers. Exactly what I needed to pull me from my funk and help me re-focus on my own life with my great love and our little family.

The "kids" (all seven of the little buggers) were wonderfully well behaved and travelled like old pros. As usual we attract a lot of attention wherever we travel with them. Not only are they kindda cute, but their numbers alone are enough to make people stop to stare. I imagine we resemble a clown car as we pass them out the RV door and place them in the pen. I have actually read the lips of observers; "just how many more dogs can they fit in that little RV?" People from all over the campground stopped by to check them out, what are they, are they related, etc. Always the same questions. After telling one elderly gentleman 3 times they were Japanese Chin and he continued to call them Shih-tzus, I gave up. Whatever.

I really do love fall camping and it was a wonderful escape from all the cold and rain we've been experiencing around here. We drove out to the Black Hills in western South Dakota and met up with A's aunt and uncles. See what wild and crazy chicks we are...we hang out with retirees. We packed expecting cold weather but found out where the sun has been hiding. It's been over 8 years since A and I travelled out that way and now I wonder why we waited so long. The landscape is so beautiful and there is so much history along with a few tourist traps to fall into. :) In the hills I found peace while watching the deer and antelope play (no really, I watched them) along with the not so wild herd of donkeys who come stick their heads in your car looking for a treat. We watched as they rounded up the bison; driving them in on horseback and with trucks.

One of the biggest tourist traps but a must see. We stopped for breakfast and 5 cent coffee.
A has a great conversation with one of the ladies of the night. Look at her trying to pick someone up right in front of me.
Poker Alice. We definitely look like we've been up all night driving!

The wild donkeys are not so wild...unless you have nothing to offer.

Close enough?

All that stood between us and a herd of charging bison.
Riding out to find the herd.
There were such crowds that the 45 minute drive to the round up site took over 2 hours.  We got up at 4 am to make it on time. 

Every where you look there were antelope. This group of females were in the middle of a dispute between rival males.