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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Whose Life Is It, Anyway?

I looked up at the clock and it had gone from 9:08 to 10:39, and I had barely noticed. Sometimes I feel as though I could spend all day, every day, reading other people's blogs. Who wants to read about other people's lives instead of living their own? Apparently, I do.

This realization begs the question - why? Well, obviously because I am supremely dissatisfied with my own. Surely this is not good for my mental health. But what to do about it?

I recognized my dissatisfaction a few weeks ago, and resolved to move to the Canon land, if for no other reason that to quench my city created thirst with that wondrous view, and to cut some of the numerous dead trees we will burn for heat. I knew I would miss the boys, but maybe they would come down with Mikey. I had hope.

Meaningful work - maybe that's what I miss. Housekeeping is necessary, but repetitive and boring. Alas, that plan has come to a screeching halt by our slip-sliding adventure in the truck after Christmas. It is just not safe, especially for me by myself with an increasingly variable set of palpitations. And so I sit and read other people's blogs and dream of pit greenhouse and swales collecting snow melt and ponds and ducks and fruit trees and hazelnut bushes.

I was raised in various suburbs as an Army brat. For years after reaching adulthood, I would get "itchy suitcase syndrome" if I lived too long in one place. Then After Kids, I craved to be home, which was wherever my dad was. And he was in Colorado Springs. So home I went.

Life was stressful as a single parent, but doable only because of his existence next door. And then, when I was 36 going on 8, he died. Nothing has ever been the same since - well, how could it be? It is different now without him - but I have been surprised at how the pain of his absence and the one  rock solid love I could count on have become things I have learned to do without. I think, if you let it, time can heal a lot of wounds.

I think that having to get up each morning for the boys lent a stability to my life that I desperately needed. Thanks, fellas. You also helped me force myself to be a better person, because I couldn't just continue on being that big selfish jerk. I loved you too much - more than I knew was possible. I'm profoundly, sincerely sorry it took so long.

The older I get, the weirder I get. I don't know if this is true with most other people. I wish I did know. It might make me feel better. In my youth, it was much easier to "act". I was an actor, after all. Amateur theater, but none the less, theater, and lots of it. I could be in large groups of people and be OK. Now, I just get tired. Like they are stealing my precious energy. And for what? What do I gain? Unless the group is a choir, nothing. I have about 12 people in my life - that's it. And if you put them all together in the same room, even though I love them all, I don't know how long I could stay, comfortably.

I spent as much of my youth as my dad's Army career allowed in the company of horses. They were never frightening to me - just gentle giants. I loved the crappy little ranch where I learned to ride at age 3. My parents loved to tell the story of how we all went WAY out to Black Forest to look at a horse they were thinking of buying for me because I was so horse crazy. (So was Daddy.) The small black mare stood quietly while I was lifted up on to her bare back. Then I gave a good kick and off we went, at a full gallop, through the pine trees. My folks were scared to death - what had they done? But Trixie and I just went for a lope in the forest, and everything was fine. Up until her wretched death, everything between us was fine.

Some part of that kid is desperate to get back to the land where the houses are widely spaced and you can stop and look at the native grasses at your feet and look up and see the birds cruising and feel free.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Slip-Slidin' Away (with appologies to Paul Simon)

In our last trek to Canon after Christmas, we decided to go into town for something after it had snowed about 2".  I said I wanted the practice of driving the dually in snow up the driveway. Michael Francis only lifted his eyebrows. His mouth remained wisely closed. Off we went!

Isn't it gorgeous? Now if we could only get there and then out again without risking our lives...

We were not very far up the driveway, heading into the section with a moderate slope, but a nasty drop off, when the truck started to slide toward the edge of the abyss. (I love that word. How many times does a person get to use that word?) Because I have a profound fear of heights, my first instinct was to take my foot off the gas. This only allowed us to come to a rather panicky stop, but didn't actually stop the sliding much. I crookedly backed down the driveway, all the while wondering how long it would be before my heart stopped pounding it's jungle message. (Dum, dum, dum. Get the f*** away from the edge, you dum, dum, dum, idiot!)

Needless to say, all driveway driving was done by Mikey after that, and he was NOT at all happy about it. We even left early to come back to the Springs when another snow was predicted. We have decided that the driveway is just not safe, and have asked the two northwesterly neighbors for permission to drive across their land, so as to lessen the risk of dying by pickup. Nobody'd even find us right away unless they knew where to look. Arg.

 In addition to our driving fun, someone failed to negotiate the turn from Hwy 50 on to Hwy 9 on the previous snowy eve. The driver hit the upright to which the gate was attached, shearing the old telephone post off at the ground and taking out 30' of board fencing. Good thing we don't have animals to contain. The rotten bottom of that post saved that driver from serious injury or death. Surprisingly, he didn't leave us his insurance information.

And now, some fun! Bubba's feet got very dirty somewhere in the yard and he pranced into the house like nothing whatsoever was wrong! And then he got a foot bath. He was very agreeable after he understood that it was just the feet.

Another great, if imperfect, ReStore sink.

LOVE that face!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Nuestro baño se completa! ¡Casi! (Love that Google translator)

Two days past Christmas 2013 found us in Canon once again, attempting to finish the smaller bathroom. We (that's the royal 'we' of mostly Mike and Don, and a little bit of me) had successfully (not in this order) installed a new tub and toilet, scraped off the popcorn ceiling, painted all flat surfaces, and installed the ReStore procured vanity and faucet, along with  the garage sale travertine tile and grout. Now some small shelving on the wall above the vanity, hang the curtain I stole from the Colorado Springs' house's upstairs bathroom, and Voila! A relatively non-gross place to get clean! Hooray!

This is not the actual vanity, but rather a near clone. I dreamt of this exact model, and then found it at the ReStore store. And it fit in the space. Math people, give me some odds, here!

The stolen curtain's colors work well with the paint and tile. Thanks, Better Homes and Gardens, for your relentless emails.

The faucet, even at ReStore, cost more than the vanity and the tile for the countertop.

 It is no accident that there is no close up of the sink. I fell in love with this large, navy blue, unusual (to me) shaped sink, knowing that it had come from a bar, not a bath. I bought it because it is large enough to wash a giant's undies or bathe a baby or even a small dog who likes to jump out of the bath water.

The shelves haven't been painted yet, but they still hold stuff very nicely.

What I failed to notice was that the white edged lines in the bowl were chemical etching, not water marks as I had blissfully assumed. (I'd never heard of chemical etching, but it turns out to be a big deal with enamel sinks. Use no acids or abrasives of any kind. Not even Magic Eraser.) And then there is the visual weirdness of looking down into your new bathroom sink to see a kitchen "basket" instead of the ubiquitous bathroom stopper thingy. You wouldn't think that would be a big thing, but it turns out it is as weird as looking down and noticing that you are wearing shoes of two different colors. (I dyed some sneakers once. Don't ask.)

But what is does beat, in all it's non-standardness and over-looky-loos, is a tobacco chew stained plastic sink. Yes, Miss Perfection Pants, it beats the crap out of that.