Saturday, August 31, 2013

Itsy Bitsy

The other night I pulled in the driveway after a looooooong day at Tiny Town. I'm talking LONG. So long, it was dark by the time I pulled into the driveway. 

And guess what I saw? 

You'll never guess. So I'll just tell you.

My headlights from my car lit up the garage door. 

And I saw the Tarzan of Spiders rappelling down the door. 

He was the size of a grapefruit. Well, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration. Because if I have grapefruit-sized spiders here that's not going to end well for either of us. I'll be Agent Orange-ing the entire ravine. 

Tarzan was B.I.G. He had a giant leg span, and a round, thick black body, like if plums had legs. Small plums, like that kind that might grow on your backyard tree (if you had a plum tree), and didn't take care of the tree, so you had a tree full of stunted growth plums. 

He was about that size. 

Swinging down the face of the garage, back and forth, in a very considered pattern. 

He did not look frightened at all, he had no fear that anyone, including the person with the bright lights shining on him, was going to oh, say, squash his guts out. Nope. He was the John McClain of spiders, Yippee ki-yay, Motherfuckers. 

I, however, looked frightened, and so I just sat in my car. 

And waited. For what, I'm not sure. Because once he disappeared from sight, then I was still too frightened to get out of the car, because NOW THE JACK BAUER OF SPIDERS WAS ON THE GROUND. 

If there's one thing that's more threatening than a Die Harder spider on the garage, it's a Jack Bauer spider on the ground. 

Near my feet. 

In my open-toed sandals.  

So I just sat out in my driveway for a good long while, until it started to get a little weird and I figured ol' Mr. Tarzan-John-Jack Spider had made his way down to the ravine to catch a deer or a zombie for his dinner and wouldn't be interested in my smelly feet with unpolished toenails. 

Then I opened the door and ran into the house as fast as I could. Like a boss. Only the opposite, more like a frightened sissy afraid of spiders. 

So yeah, I'm still afraid of my house. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Night Moves

So what else is new with you, Reader?? I wish ya'll would start some blogs, too, so I'd have other things to spend my time on instead of Candy Crush and unpacking. Do it for me, Reader.  Think of how close we could be if we were able to read each other's words. Our relationship is at stake here, so really, just do it, and then send me the links so I can be entertained. 

Aren't you sort of tired of this one-sided convo by now?? Well, since I'm all we have (except for you and you), here is my latest.

Be prepared. This is a massive revelation.

I'm fairly certain - no, I'm almost positive - that we have Zombies prowling around in the Ravine at night.  I mean, is this the perfect Zombie Spot, or what? 

Thanks to our friend Pete - who insisted we start up on Walking Dead back in July - I can recognize the sounds pretty well. 

At night, as we lie in bed listening to the sounds of nature, we hear a lot of snorting and twig-snapping. I mean, A LOT of it. 

My Mister is under the deluded and really homespun belief that it's just deer. 

I'm not that naive. 

Last night, he was in the living room watching t.v. while I went to bed to read my really boring, it feels like homework, it's the best substitute ever for sleeping pills because I nod right off after about two paragraphs inspiring book by Deepok Chopra, Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul, and I heard a lot of those snorts and branch-crackings. 

It totally freaks my shit when the cats hear it, too, and go on point, glaring out the window and into the darkness. 

I yelled for The Man of the House. "Um, can you come in here??"

MOTH: "Whyyyyyy??? What noooooow??" It was really a tich on the whiny side for him being the man of the house and all that. 

Not to mention (well, really, I'm going to mention it right now), I had to be The Man and fix the garbage disposal yesterday, something metal was in it and it was not a good sound. He said he'd love to help fix it, but sticking his hand in the garbage disposal was a little too Final Destination for his liking, so I had the honors. I got it fixed. Apparently a couple of nickels had fallen down into it. They were not going to grind up and go away on their own, no matter how much water My Mister told me to run (that was his fix for the problem, by the way - "run a lot of water down there, flush it out." 

Anyway, back to the story at hand. The one about the zombies living in our backyard.

Me: "Can you come back here?? I'm scared."

After a delay, he pops into the doorway. 

I informed him of the potential zombies in the backyard.

He said it's deer. 

"Go turn on the patio light so I can see for myself."

He obliged, I think to shut me the fuck up about it. 

But I still couldn't see anything back there. Because zombies are stealthy. They're like Ninja Zombies. 

So I proceeded to listen to the snap-crackle-and-pop. I was not doing so good at resurrecting my soul. 

My Mister proceeded to offer an explanation. "You know how you've been tossing old bread and chips and cereal over the porch for the birds?? And I've told you I don't think that's a very good idea? Well, you've probably attracted a lot of other vermin  - raccoons, rats, and I heard there was a fox running around the neighborhood, too." 

Me: "Fox?? Do you think that a fox could see the cats in the windows, and leap up and bust out the screens and snatch the cats right out of the house??!!" 

My Mister: Slowly shakes head "no," and goes back to the living room to watch t.v., intent on ignoring me for the remainder of the night. 

Well, the happy ending, Reader, is that no one got snatched out of the bedroom last night by a rogue fox, and the zombies must have been full of the biscuits I threw over the porch yesterday because they didn't try to eat us, either. Win-win. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Neighborhood Watch

Okay, so I know you're sick of my House Love, but Holy Mother, does this house ever make me happy!!  

Parts I love on the weekend are leisurely waking up with cats all over the bed and the sounds of the crickets, birds and other trill-y things squawking in the back yard. 

And doing dishes. 

Because right now, while I type this? I'm doing dishes. 

Because I have a dishwasher. 

Ah, the simple things I've missed. 

This weekend is the big push to get all unpacked and put away. Mostly put away. There will be things in the garage and basement that won't quite make it to "away" satus, but I mean the main living areas. 

The kitchen is mostly done. More boxes are hiding somewhere, I shall find them today. 

This weekend is closets and bathrooms and living room. 

It's going to be great.

And maybe we'll have pictures to post by tomorrow. 

And you'll get to see our ginormous telly in the living room. The same telly that the neighbors can see. From their living room. They've asked us to put some speakers outside so they can hear it, too.

I think I need to buy better curtains this weekend.

Not that I mind them watching the telly. 

But I'm still of the mindset of living in an upstairs where no one can see you naked. And so the neighbors might be getting a peep show, and at some point they're going to complain. 

Or I'll make them feel better about themselves, so really I'm doing the neighborhood a favor when I'm in my own house naked. 

It's my community service. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Wash, Rinse, Repeat.

So this blog is turning into a Baby Blog, only substitute "Baby" for "House." I'm a proud new mother and I can't stop talking about it. 

You, Stranger, driving down the street? Well, pull on in and let me give you a tour.  

I've "entertained" twice now since we've been here the last week. Entertained in the loosest sense of the word, as I can barely find suitable entertaining necessities like glasses and snacks. 

But no one has complained about drinking wine and sangria out of margarita glasses. They seem to be an acceptable vessel for any alcoholic beverage. 

And my friend J showed me that the only real snack needed to make it a party is some Pace salsa and tortilla chips, which I am now keeping stocked for visitors. I do have the most darling salsa dishes, some hand-painted little beauties that I picked up in Tuscany. They've been in storage for 8 years, and I'm so excited to finally #1/ be able to find them and #2/ be able to use them.

One of my favorite parts of the house - not counting the deck, because it just wins on all levels, even though it's in need of a cleaning and staining - is the first-floor laundry room.  

I. Love. That. So. Hard. 

We had to get a plumber out here to get it hooked up, so we've only been up & running (or washing, as the case may be) for 5 days, but it is so nice to just be la-de-dahing to go pee, and oh, wait, since I'm walking past the washing machine, I'll throw in some blankets. 

Or change the bedding.

Or wash a load of towels.

Or clean a load of blue jeans.

We've never been so clean.  We've never been on a wash-the-sheets-once-a-week plan because it was a pain in the ass, and frankly I hated going to our messy basement to do laundry so it was a catch-as-catch-can situation. Usually dire-need inspired.

But now?  Clean. No more need to sniff laundry to find something that's the least offensive (finger points at you, My Mister).  

That's all I have time for, I've got an entire house to unpack, and believe me, it's a lot because everyone who does stop over insists I let them know when they can come over and help me because I look like I'm in over my head here. And I may well be. But I'm going to keep plugging away, one box at a time, and it'll get done. In between washing clothes.

If you're in the neighborhood, stop over and see the baby. Er, house. Pull up a chair on the deck and drink a beer out of a margarita glass with me. I think this could be the start of a new trend, it does turn every beverage into a party. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

House Cats

Moving with pets requires a bit of fore-thought. Because pets don't really understand that moving will be better, no matter how much you whisper about it in their ear. So when moving day officially arrives, it's all hell breaking loose for cats. Six cats, to be exact.

A bunch of moving men stomping around the house did not encourage them that everything was going to be all right.

Toby, my big grey tabby, was howling like he was being prison ass-raped when we shoved him in a carrier, and released him in the new house master bathroom.

He promptly knocked over the bowl of water and proceeded to wedge himself into the smallest possible space under the counter by the kickplate, with his tail curled up underneath his belly.

If you look up the phrase "'Fraidy Cat", you'll see his mugshot. 

The others weren't too keen on the move, either. 

A week later, and everyone has found their spot. 

They absolutely love all the windows and the wooded lot. 

Moving wasn't without incident, however.

On the first night, we decided to bring the cats out slowly and get them introduced to the house. 

DJ-the-favored-baby was the first to come out and he proceeded to walk with caution for the first 20 minutes or so.

And then we didn't see him for a bit.

Call it Mother's Intuition, but something prompted me to inquire, "Hey, do you think the moving men left the screen open in the basement?? I haven't seen the baby." 

My Mister hot-footed it downstairs and yelled up, "Yep! They left the fucking screen door wide open!" 

A bird was squawking like crazy, alerting the neighborhood to Cat on the Loose. 

So we were heading outside in search of Curious Cat, who surely had gone exploring. 

I called, "Kitty Kitty" a few times, and then saw a cat head and paw pop up on the top step leading from the ravine. 

We were afraid to go after him, we didn't want to start a game of Chase back down to the ravine, but the kitty was pretty scared out there in the wild, and my calling him prompted him to scoot his cat ass back into the house. 

Where he left a trail of muddy paw prints across the Berber carpet in the basement, but I was happy to have his cat ass back in the house, so no worries. One more thing to clean up. 

That was Incident 1.

Incident 2 was the next morning, when Girlie didn't come for breakfast. 

Girlie never misses a meal. It's her second favorite part of the day, only behind napping in bed with a view out of the window. 

I knew something was awry, and that Mother's Intuition again made me move a stack of boxes and look back into the ungrated cold air return in the living room. 

Ungrated because we are going to paint the grate to match the newly installed floor. But we hadn't gotten to that part yet, so it was just a hole. 

Who would want to scurry into a vent hole?? 

Girlie. And her fat (we don't want to give her a complex) self was trapped. 

After a call to Reinforcements, My Mister and Reinforcement was in the basement, in the process of peeling down the vent when the commotion startled her enough that she put two paws up and I was able to hoist her out of the hole. 

We've since covered up the hole. Unpainted. 

Incident 3, well, that didn't have a happy ending.  Our Guest Cat, Mystery, made the move just fine, and even enjoyed several nights in bed in the new house. But on Tuesday morning, I got up and she was sitting on the rug in my bathroom, and wouldn't move much. When she did get up to walk, she couldn't support her back end. And this is a cat who had just jumped into bed two nights earlier. 

She had kidney failure, and I'm not sure if it was the stress of three moves in just as many months, but it finally caught up with her and she was not able to recover. 

I won't go into the details, you can read about it here if you are so inclined, but our babysitting phase ended on Wednesday, and we are back to a 5-cat household.  Which is still a lot of cats.

No, I do not want a kitten. No, I will not take your cat. I don't care that you found a pregnant cat who is having a litter of kittens, who may or may not come out covered in spun gold instead of fur. I'm cat-ted out. Finito. 

It has nothing to do with taking on an additional cat for a temporary time. It has everything to do with the disgusting amount of cat hair and puke stains and occasional poops that we cleaned out of the old house because we have a hoarders-amount of cats. 

Cats are messy. And a little disgusting, when they're not being all snuggly and cute. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Conversations at Chez Bang Bang

Some conversations that have happened at our house over the past week. I'll share them here, so it's almost like you're living with us, only you don't have to enjoy the excessive cat hair and occasional projectile vomiting. From the cats, not from me, although at times during this moving phase I did feel like a little projectile vomiting could be called for. 

Remember in that previous post how I mentioned my nephew's girlie came and stayed with us for several nights, and NO, she was not kidnapped or coerced, other than the only persuasion she needed was the opportunity to enjoy a whole lot of me for the week?? Well, she also enjoyed walking around and exploring our neighborhood, because she currently lives in a rural area which only has cornfields within walking distance. She thought she was a real City Slicker here. 

She walked down to the pawn shop one day.  

The following conversation ensued. 

H: "Guess what I got for $20 today?!!" 

My Mister: "Herpes? If you paid $20 for that, you paid too much. You should get that for free." 


After another 11 hour day at Tiny Town last week, when I dragged in ready to drop, I lamented, "I had a bad day!"

My Mister: "What happened? Did you get cancer?"

H: "Herpes??" 

Me: " Not that bad....I guess I had a pretty good day." 

Now Comes The Fun Part

We mostly moved yesterday, Reader - finally! In fact, I'm sitting out on my deck enjoying my cuppa coffee and getting back into recapping some of the nonsense that's my life. 

For some reason, The Heaven's seem to like me, and delivered a little angel into my lap last week, in the form of a 20-year old energetic girl who proclaimed she was moving in with us for four days and packing my house for me while I went to work. 

And that's exactly what she did. 

No, she was not a kidnap victim. She happens to be my nephew's girlie-friendie. 

It was a major undertaking, but she tackled a lot of the hard parts and made a serious dent in the tasks for us. Not to mention, she and my nephew made umpteen (or is it upteem??) trips up and down our steps carrying and hauling the endless boxes of shit that make up our lives.

And then we hired movers to do the rest, which just so happened to be relatives of my home economics teacher from high school. 

She would be very disappointed in me if she had seen the condition of that house. 

It had gotten B.A.D. 

So much cat hair. 

So little time. 

This time it's all going to be better. 

Sidebar: I'm getting quite a bit of hot afternoon sun out here, and I do believe I'll be able to work on my tan from this porch. I wonder if it's obscured enough to warrant naked tanning?? Hm. We have a lot of trees, but it is still in the city. I guess I'll have to try it and see if the neighbors take up a petition to get me to put clothes on. 

We still have a good weekend's worth of work to do at the other place, getting out the last of the stuff that didn't make the move. Still some stuff in the basement, and the bathroom and then some misc. crap in the other rooms, but for the most part we are out. 

We still have stuff to do and get out, but apparently people are coming in on Monday and replacing the windows. It's pretty frustrating, to say the least. So I guess we'll go get over there and do another sweep through and load up the car again today. 

Anyway, I won't end on a Negative Nelly Note.   

I love my new Tree House. The cats are safe-ish, despite a few cat-tastrophies we narrowly avoided turning tragic. The space is incredible. We are happy.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Hard Night's Sleep

Chez Bang Bang is really taking a toll on us, Reader. 

It's hard having a house, Reader! What were we thinking?? 

It's even harder having a house that we don't even live in yet. 

We tried to spend a night there, last Saturday. My Mister suggested we get a bunch of blankets and sleep on the floor in the upstairs bedrooms. 

We lasted until about 4 a.m. 

Floors are hard

Floors are even harder when you're ... ahem, well, let's just say not in our twenties. Or early thirties.  That's as far as we'll go with that line of reasoning. 

After much uncomfortable floinking about, we hauled our stiff asses up off the floor and headed the one mile back to our current abode. 

Where we ever-so-gleefully climbed onto the pillowtop mattress, breathed out a happy sigh of relief and nodded off to blissful slumber.

First sleepover attempt at Chez Bang Bang = Fail.