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Monday, July 21, 2014

The Sofa and Other Great Plans

This Summer will go down in history as the Sofa Summer. Back in April when my brother was here, we thought, "Well, it'd be smarter to get a sleeper sofa than keep paying hotels." And so the hunt began in May. What an easy solution! No problem, I thought. 

It's now the 3rd week of July. No sofa. My futon sits alone, all accoutrements piled on the other side of the sitting room, waiting. The Sofa That Will Be Mine sits elsewhere, waiting. This is what happens when there are 11 people, 4 households, 2 trucks, a wedding, a business, and 3 sofas involved. It's the Chinese puzzle that is my life, on steroids. How did it get so complicated? Take a furniture business run entirely by 2 guys, from sales to delivery. Take a handful of friends who want to trade off their furniture to each other. Throw in a wedding that's just a bit smaller than Chuck and Di's. Add one disorganized, not-very-highly-functioning person who wants to ringmaster the circus, and voila! Chaos and stagnation.

However emblematic of the season, the sofa is the least problem of this Summer's roller coaster. Every plan laid for the last 3 months has gone awry due to awful things. The big reunion on Long Island was cancelled due to a death in the host's family. Emily was going to visit here with her family but now her 9 year-old son who has CP is having surgery on both legs. My cousin won't be coming north anytime soon due to a (thankfully small) stroke. Another old family friend who was coming up was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer out of the blue and just had a radical hysterectomy (she's just leaving the hospital as I type- and so far, so good). There is frightening sickness everywhere and nobody gets a break. Even Strider hasn't been able to get away from her responsibilities and I haven't seen her since last November. Life is full of complications for us all.

But that's not to say other things haven't been great.
1) I sold an article about living in the Sawyer mansion and that'll be published next month. I've made a resolution to not write for free anymore. And so the Vermont Views deal went by the wayside, as well as writing for several other websites. I don't mind the work, but I do mind manipulation and disrespect. If you want to play with my head, and even moreso my words, you have to pay me.

2) In the wee hours I've been writing up a storm. My WIP book has been a joy to write in the quiet hours I've adopted since springing forward. This one may actually get finished!

3) I've reconnected to many people that were lost along the years via Fecebook. And I know how I railed about FB, but these days nobody emails anymore, it's all FB messaging. It's time-consuming but it's wonderful to have so many old friends and cohorts back in my life.

4) Billy has been so much better since getting insulin. I had no idea that a lot of what was going on with him- the shaking sweats, the memory loss, the mood swings and general depression- all came from his diabetic issues. That's over, hallelujah. Whether or not he'll move to Florida is still up in the air.

5) Food glorious food! Ever since I took probiotics for 8 weeks, my digestive troubles have gone away. I can drink coffee again! This Summer the produce has been delicious. This humid heat has done wonders for fruits and herbs. I can't wait for the veggie harvest. I can eat peppers again!

6) We have at least another year and a half in The Shire. Many things can happen in that time span, so I'm not even thinking about it.

7) Television is out of my life, and good riddance to the huge bill and crappy service. I don't miss it.

8) My greatniece is a married woman now. They are moving back to BC next week, her hub has completed his studies and the next chapter of their life is about to begin. Her parents (Niecely, Queen of Pirates and #1 Nephew) are still trying to sell their house and move to the beach. It's a tough market these days but I have faith it'll happen when it's supposed to happen. #4 Nephew is engaged, and back in school to go into computers, on the west coast. All my sis-in-laws are hanging in there and well.

9) Beest is happy and healthy, and has become a sweet companion cat. A far cry from the cranky, hissy, bitey Beest she was 2 1/2 years ago. Gal Friday takes her on walks outside with a harness now. Beest hates the harness but it's a riot to see her walk in it. You have to get your kicks where you can.

Yes, the world is a mess. I can't believe my eyes when I read the news these days. I stay abreast of what's going on and do what I can, but there's so much out of control that we can't do anything about. At least for now, watching and keeping an eye out for an opportunity to change things is the best we can do.

Even with the scares and troubles, life is as peaceful as I make it. We get by the best that we can.

Now I have to go do some things, but I hope to catch up with all my non-FB blogging pals later. As Ringo says, "Peace and love!"

Wednesday, April 30, 2014


My birthday was last week. With a lot of effort, my brother came to town and we had a blast. Here we are, all these years later, the same people from the early 70s, hanging out. Only now we're both single, both hauling around broken down bodies. We're good. We even would have been sugar-free if  Special K hadn't brought a bag of Mi-Dels by. And of all things, the hair on top of his head is growing back. He's been shiny top for 14 years! I still can't believe he's using stevia herb. 3 packets in one cup of coffee, but he's not using sugar! Woohoo!!!!!!!!!!!!

We had long instructive and constructive talks about pain management. OfficerBillySir's still on narcotics and wants off. He's at the end of the road where they don't do anything good. So we talked over what I do now, what he will and won't do and there was no hairy deal about anything. A couple of weeks ago the dtug store didn't have his opiates in stock for 5 days and he went thru cold turkey. I called him every day and he held it together well. He's pretty much done with the whole mess. So we talked a lot about our old druggie days and all that went with that. Which led to me finally telling him about going cold turkey three years back, and how much fun it was for me but not so much for anyone around me.

We filled in gaps of family history. We were stunned and amazed at the same things that happened in our past. So many lies and such downright craziness in our family. We talked about Mac's death, how her family has forgotten him, how he'll build a new life and what I did getting thru Ian's death. And we laughed our asses off. 

He left this morning. I cried.

And yes there were birthday visits, cards and gifts galore. Even a Facebook birthday inundation, and special made-for-me greetings on a Greg site. It's not even over. There are packages in the mail and yet to be sent. I have good people in my life and am a lucky woman.

On Sunday, Lord Paul of Highgarden and ActivistDora joined us for a mini Throne-A-Thon (thanks to someone I'll just call Queen of the Pirates). Dora was new to it all so we took parts filling her in on who was who and what was going on. Now she's hooked. We feasted and there was much enthusiasm. I love when that happens.

Monday we made plans.
Chiefy, Chiefy's wife and OfficerBillySir are going to scout for a retirement community to move to in Florida for the whole month of July. Before then he wants to have the house well on its way to getting ready for sale. So he's starting with the bedroom. I thought he'd gotten some headway but apparently it was just the overstock- Mac's stacked boxes of QVC purchases that were never used- that were cleaned out by her family, not the rest of it. When she had wetbrain she went crazy and was spending 2 grand a month on QVC alone. Now he wants to find her jewelry (she hid it in her hallucinatory state) and I'll help him list it all on ebay. He gave her tens of thousands of dollars in jewelry, and it'll be the down payment on the new house, just in case this one doesn't sell by the time he buys into Florida. He has decent savings but selling that stuff is the smartest thing to do in many ways. He told me to harp on him to get it done so I will.

This was the third time he stayed in a hotel here, and he's spent $1800 thus far. So he gave me a check to buy a sleeper sofa so he can just stay here in the future. He can't sleep on a futon. I'm in shopping mode. Did I tell you he's a great brother?

We're also shopping for a concert to go to together and trying to drag Strider into it. We're looking at the Ringo concert in June right near him, and the Eagles in Newark in September. She hasn't committed one way or the other so far.

It's been raining. Not scary downpours but enough to make me think of how saturated the ground is, and if there'll be another flood before we move outta here. I guess that'll never go away until I leave the Shire. It's painy, but I don't think about that much anymore.

At 5:30 a.m. on a Wednesday I'm sitting in my chair eating dark chocolate, a birthday present from Gal Friday. I have a wonderful life.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

These Dreams, Part Deux

Protest dreams! (Kick that's your fault.) Waking up with a pointless political rant isn't all it's cracked up to be. And this because a woman came up to me at that protest in Kick's photo and bitched at me because my sign said, "Rat Bastards" with a drawing of a rat that Chris Grotke had drawn for me. I'd added blood to the mouth for a bit of vampire chic.

 Her argument was that it was disrespectful. I switched focus and said, "That's why we're here. So you can say what you think and I can carry this sign." Pure deflection. She huffed and flounced off and I didn't have to tell her she was insane. People actually think there can be a revolution without offending anyone. It gives me the WTF face. And I'd called the protest; I felt proprietary about it. Well, all this helps the Left Wing get nowhere.

At one point during that protest, a guy in a car pulled over and yelled at me, "Who are the Rat Bastards?" and I yelled back, "All of them!" He whooped and beeped his horn, taking off (you never know what drivers will do. I've gotten the finger for holding a sign that said, "Vote Today"). That was in one dream that wandered into something about Dora organizing a sandwich run.

And then there was the episode of "This Week in the Police State"... Kick's dog barked, a neighbor called the cops and 5 patrol cars pulled up at her house. Much insanity and a "Where are your papers??" scene later, all I can do is wonder at what subtle moment did we go from giving the cops your name to having to provide state-issued identification.

I'm keeping the sign over the peephole in my door. It says, "Don't answer the door because it might be The Man. " Thank you, Sherman Hemsley.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

ho ho ho

Maybe I've lost my mind (always possible) but I swear this was the fastest Thanksgiving-Christmas slide ever in my lifetime. This Yuletide I was struck with an enormous amount of appreciation for all I have and all my memories. I've had some amazing people and things in my life. I also got to thank someone whose thank you has been 18 years owing. Friends and family gave me beautiful and meaningful tokens of love and I cried a lot And today is Christmas Day, all is calm, all is bright.

Sleep, Santa, Sleep.

I'm so completely exhausted that I can't care much about anything. It's been 4 days of get-togethers. I'm thinking it's much more tiring to have 2 or 3 peep in a day for several days than to have a dozen at once, and I think that's coming. Also, this was the last year I cook for any holiday. It's go out or takeaway from now on. I'd like to enjoy the holidays. Being too tired and too much in pain to do that is just stupid.

And it's not over. I'm the appointed caretaker of everyone in our crew's gifts for each other. So there's a new pile of presents under the tree that I must make sure get to their rightful boys and girls. A "This is the day we'll all see each other- be there or not, no leaving gifts behind" party may be called for going forward. Don't know if that'll be in my house, either. I'm getting too broken down for all this happy horseshit.
Methinks it's time to pass the orb and sceptre.

The magic of the season to me is expressing that we care for each other. I don't get on here nearly enough to tell you all that I do care. It may be weeks between posts, but you all cross my mind through the days. I hope everyone has had a lovely holiday time and that your hearts' desires become your realities in 2014. Love to you. xo

And p.s. Blogger won't let me post a comment anywhere, even on my own blog. It's always something.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Avec La Bete

Life is dense these days. Lotsa stuff, mostly good and happy to my eyes, but dense. And tiring. Whatever is actually going on physically is, in the end, really friggin tiring. I can go and go for so many hours and then there's nothing left to push. Maybe I should be hibernating. More sleep is called for, methinks. And this morning I realized that maybe I'm just sick. It's weird living alone. You don't realize things like not eating for a day or getting sick. There aren't other eyes on you. I have the Beest's eyes on me, of course. But you know how she is.

The cheesecake-like meeting of Strider and my brother Billy in the extremely dense Thanksgiving week he was here. Amazing. Family and strangers all at once, and our new addition, Strider's Beau. I think I'll call him Beau, cuz it means beautifulnicewonderfulgood, and he is. The Dog Formerly Known as Maisy, Olive, is a big puppy, longlegged and goofy. She looks more Dobie than Shepherd now, and maybe even some Rottie or BullTerrier. She's still joy.

Beest bit Billy. No blood, but it really upset him, hahahahah! Otherwise she spent every day hanging off him and the first morning he was gone she came out of the bedroom and walked right to the sofa, looking around for him. A little sad, that.

Family is good.

And so are friends. Stevil hosted Billy on his radio show. Paul stopped in, and Wendy and Glenn came by. We had a nice Thanksgiving with Special and Stevil, but everyone was too exhausted to do Pie Night. Billy was surprised at all the people in my life, which strikes me as silly because I feel like I'm a recluse, but it brought to my mind how very alone he really is. Or at least feels. I'd like him to move here but I don't think he will, at least for a while. A few years. I know how this place operates. You come up here to see someone you know. Then you come up for weeks at a time. Then you move here. It sucks you in, and you never get over it. The only ones to leave for good are those who were born here. I've seen it happen many times, including to me. He's fated now. He likes it here, he told me he's happy here. I get a kick out of him being among my friends, and he socialized with everyone and they were all so nice to him. Lotsa chattering for several days around here.

Writing? Well that dried up when my computer caught a virus and for over a week I did whatever I could to just keep it operating until I called Steve West to come rescue me. He ran scans and came by twice to clean it up. At one point everything came up in Swedish. I could at least function in my emails because the content wasn't translated and the basics were easy to figure out. Thanks Rita Larsen for that trimester of Norwegian in 1974. So I gave up on NaNoWriMo. It hadn't been going well anyway. I lost steam, interest, energy. Apathy set in. I've generally felt like I have nothing to say lately, so unlike me. Then I realized it was apathy and smacked my own damn face. You have to guard against these things or you end up miserable and unaware.

And with the computer scary-bizarreness, I haven't hooked up the camera. I think the computer is okay now, and I finally gave up IE for a better browser. Why am I so stubborn about such stupid things? Shit doesn't matter anymore. Everyone is spying and selling your info! It's like I live life in shock.

As for Beest... ass on desk, front paws on windowsill, she's focused. Tail tip tapping she watches it intently, barely breathing. It moves and her eyes follow it across the front garden, sun shining off her own yellow orbs. I follow her line of sight. There is nothing there.

And now here come The Big Holidays. With hope and a slight taste of sickness in my mouth, we move forward. I want to get the tree started this weekend. We had a landslide in the pantry (thanks Obama) and I'm afraid to look in the ornaments box.

So. I'm sneezing and coughing, things hurt (different things than usual) and foods all taste strange and give me indigestion. Yes, sick I'd say if someone described that to me. And now I'm talking to myself in print. Going to bed.