Sunday, January 30, 2011

Political Discussion is a Mindfield in This House

As you all know my partner, Sweetie and I generally get along and share many of the same goals. We're both frugal folks who spend most of our time at home. We garden and share an interest in prepping. We hail from similar dysfunctional family upbringings though I'm the oldest of four siblings while he's the youngest. We've both had prior marriages and lost count of the times we've moved.

Notice please, that I said we share common goals - not common perspectives. Politics is one of them.

So Egypt is all over the news lately and I've bit my lip until now. He sat here a couple nights ago and said, "Good, those ass holes not having Internet will make it more difficult for the terrorists and those idiot Muslims to take over the country."

As reports about Egypt continued I expected his comment. But when it came I looked at him and thought, "How the hell do I love a man who thinks this?"

He's a "wipe them off the face of the earth" kind of guy. To him there's one solution for political unrest. He HATES rioters but fails to see that they are always present in situations like this. And he has little distinction between rioters and looters.

He thinks he knows history and by golly no one's going to question his opinions. He blabbered on and on and on about the stupidity of Egyptians and said their electric should be turned off too

He's also one of these, "We're the big guys with a stick and you better see things our way," kind of people.

He thinks the TSA searches are warranted yet Walmart asking people to report suspicious behavior is not.

When a newscaster said most Egyptians live on $2 a day he said, "So tell me, how do those bastards afford cell phone and Internet?" And then the best comment of all, "That stupid president of theirs must be giving them this stuff and now it's kicking him in the ass."

Try as I might (which isn't often anymore), he cannot see that his rage/anger clouds his thinking process.

Yesterday he got online to check his bank balance. Soon expletives were flying through the air as he cursed the Internet being down. Naturally, I saw this as a possible "teaching moment" and said, "How would you feel if it never came back up?"

THAT calmed him down because he didn't want to THINK about it. He turned to me and said, "People got along without it before it was here."

There are days when he reminds me of Archie Bunker and I'd like to kick his behind.
But most times I think, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. And trying to discuss something with a mule is wasted effort.

So, as he watches his beloved Fox News - while wearing his headset - I mute the remote and have some peace.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Drive in the Country

You'd have thought is was the first day of summer by the number of cars on the road today. And most seemed to be doing just as we were" wandering country roads; stopping a river access sites; standing in groups in parks and along the road, chatting with friends while drinking steaming coffee and hot cocoa.

We had four stops to make in Ionia today and heading home Sweetie said, "Want to drive over to St. Johns?" Good thing I was sitting in the car because the surprise at his suggestion would have pushed me over. I told him if he was willing to unload the car first and let me grab something to eat then the idea sounded great.

We had Lady in the back seat while in Ionia and let her out when we got home. She actually seemed to prance around the yard for a bit before returning to the back seat. The recycling center is located five miles off our route to St. Johns so we filled the truck with cans, plastic and glass.

Spent time admiring farms and cruised a few car lots eyeing Ford trucks. Someday we'll buy another one. Someday.

When Lady came in the door this after noon she ate then plopped down in front of the propane wall heater. The smell of barbecued country style ribs fills the house while we anticipate a great supper. It's still 31 degrees here. A heatwave!

Enjoy the week folks. Less than eight weeks until Spring. Treesong

Monday, January 24, 2011

Our Beloved Lady

This is Lady and George. Normally she turns away from anyone holding a camera. We have no idea why! But, as she's not feeling well, we were able to get a picture of her and Sweetie together.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Colder Than Ice Doesn't Stop Stupidity

Minus 10 degrees here last night and probably the same tonight. The sun warmed things up nicely by afternoon so we opened our front door and let the solar gain from the new storm door give us free heat. Neither the furnace nor the propane wall heater came on for over three hours. Will try this again as every savings helps the bottom line.
Our peaceful Sunday morning was rudely interrupted by snowmobiles using the road as their race track. For a second weekend they've zig-zagged between the old fence posts across our front yard and gone airborne over three hills within 4/10ths of a mile before spinning donuts within feet of the highway. Crazy, daredevils who have no regard for oncoming traffic or pedestrians. No wonder the neighbor told me I wouldn't be walking on this road in the winter. Their antics are illegal but the sun baked glaze on the gravel road is irresistible.

Talking to a friend later, I wondered aloud why they weren't tearing up the corn fields around here. "Because they have furrows with rocks and the road is smoother," she said. In other words, better to chance hitting a pedestrian or another snowmobile or car than a rock.

Being from the Upper Peninsula it looks silly to see snowmobiles on 6 inches of snow but then there are worse things going on. Every day on the news the violence seems to increase and I find myself thankful that I spend most of my time at home away from the craziness.

Our dear dog Lady is still with us but slowly declining. I realized today that Sweetie's been walking into our spare bathroom so I wouldn't see him cry. Lady's been his constant companions for 11 years through thick and thin and the thought of being without her haunts him. Tonight, when he had to carry Lady inside, he said it reminds him of the death of his youngest son over 18 years ago.

An hour later his sole surviving son called here. When Sweetie told him he didn't think Lady would be here much longer he said, "Get over it. She's a dog."

The phone being slammed down scared Lady, me and Kitty Kitty from our comfortable positions on the sofa. Soon the phone was flung across the room and Sweetie stomped out to the deck - coatless and swearing. Within two minutes the temperature had cooled him off enough that he came in and apologized.

"None needed," I said. "Now call your son back and tell him how much his stupid remark hurts."

He refused, of course but three hours later his son called here. I answered and his first remark was: "Is that dog dead yet?"

At first I was speechless. Rare for me but once I recovered my vocal chords I cut loose.

I told him he was a mid 40's lazy, self centered, complaining jerk who had no clue about most of what he claims to "know and understand" - his famous retort to nearly anything his father says.

I know my outburst shocked him but it's been a long time coming. Calmly and clearly I said, "Call back when you've grown up and have some empathy."

We've had a quiet, peaceful day since.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

One Week Later

Yesterday we took a friend and her husband out for Chinese to celebrate her birthday. I was our first trip out the door since Jan. 12.

It's been a week of organizing, cleaning drawers, purging paper files and sewing. Along the way I found my quart jar of taco seasoning!!! After tearing through boxes and asking myself if I only imagined that I had such a jar, I found it - sitting behind a 2-quart jar next to my other spices!!!

As I am the household "secretary" I purged paper files and found paperwork that a certain man insisted I had thrown away. This is what generally happens when he sticks his nose in the files. Enough said.

Our local library is having a Valentine's Day sale so I gathered all my pink-ish fabric scraps for the quilted hearts I'm known for making.

The process has been a pleasant break from the usual routine but I had to move the project into the kitchen. While gathering fabric and organizing the spare bedroom I discovered the ceiling leaks!!! An hour later, after moving boxes and covering some things in plastic I shut the door, turned around to walk into the laundry room and tripped right into the bathtub!

Again, a certain man was there to help me out and I calmly said, "Do you think maybe you could put screws in that register now?"

Procrastination does have its downsides - like bruised arms and knees and a pissed off companion.

But, being female, I knew there would be an upside to the situation. He went through each room, checking the other floor registers and then said, "Why don't you take it easy for awhile? You're always working."

I took him up on his advice and have not poured a cup of coffee for myself, made a bed, nor cooked a meal in three days. Thank God for leftovers and a microwave!

Tomorrow is writing group. It will be therapeutic to see other faces, breathe fresh air, and have a few laughs. I've decided to write about cabin fever. Wonder where I got that bit of inspiration from.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

He's Home

Just as I dialed his cell phone I heard a truck. Lady started prancing around and whining and headed for the front door. Soon, headlights illuminated the driveway and I saw the boat go by the windows.

Lady followed Sweetie in and out as he unloaded the front seat of the truck. After having a bowl of homemade soup, we talked awhile and he started to nod off. He slept until 10 a.m. this morning.

According to him, the only rough part of the trip was south of Mt. Pleasant. By the time he turned east onto 21 at St. Johns, the highway was a "rough two track."

Today we headed into Ionia for a few groceries and picked up our special order storm door at Menards. His Medicare prescription drug plan has changed (still a higher cost than what he had) so he switched pharmacies. "May as well have better service and easier access if I'm going to spend more money," he said.

When we came home I made a huge pan of lasagna and laid one the sofa awhile. Leg cramps again.

Sweetie moved the boat into position next to the motor home and backed the truck up to the pole barn door. After shoveling the front deck and steps he came in and said,"First time shoveling this winter. It can melt now." Yeah, right.

Thanks for all your prayers and kind words. We're both relieved to be done with everything concerning the Upper Peninsula property.

The weather forecast here this week has been modified - less snow and a bit warmer during the day. Fine with me.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

He's On His Way!

Closure went smoothly for Sweetie and he called at 10 a.m. saying he was heading home.

I called him at 5 p.m. and he had just arrived in St. Ignace. He had stopped to fix the boat trailer lights twice and had wheel bearings go on one tire on the boat trailer - just as he pulled into a rest area. Thankfully, he had spare parts and tires with him.

I expect him here sometime between 11 p.m. and midnight. According to the weather map, there is snow falling across most of the state. Heavier accumulations east and south of us but freezing rain mixed with snow in some areas to the north.

Lady knows he's on his way home. She has been on the front deck twice this afternoon whining for him and looking south.

I'll be glad when he's home. I know he's talented and resourceful but he's driving a 97 Ford F150 truck with well over 250,000 miles and lots of strange noises. The truck bed is loaded and his topper attached. The 22' Carver sits on a heavy duty trailer and towers over the truck. Thank God, thus far there are no high winds along his route.

Well, going to watch the news and call my Dad with a progress report.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The LAST Trip

Sweetie left here about 12:30 p.m. Saturday bound for our old place in Michigan's UP. As he was going by himself, he procrastinated, pacing the floor and heaving great sighs at the thought of what awaited him.

Thankfully, he had bearable weather on the 10 hour drive north. Arrived in Hancock hungry and wasn't happy about "no place" having his favorite donuts. Oh well, at least he was safe. After resting awhile and admiring the town's 10 inches of snowfall, he pushed on the last 20 miles. The soon-to-be new owner had arranged for the drive to be plowed and once inside he discovered the place was "Warm at 60 degrees" as opposed to "cold at 80 degrees" down here where there's higher humidity.

Today, he called about 10 a.m. I asked if he'd been outside to the pole barn. "Yeah, and then I came back inside." In other words, the job that awaited him seemed overwhelming so he'd think on it over another cup of coffee.

This evening he phoned again. All the scrap/landfill stuff was loaded in the truck & the topper (which he left there last trip) was secure on the truck bed. His only complaint was there was NOT a coffee can in the box on the counter as I thought. So he drove to the nearest town (9 miles) this morning; treated himself to some breakfast and picked up lunch at the deli and a can of coffee and another box of donuts. He's roughing it on two chair cushions on the floor with a quilt and his pillows to remind him of home. Won't spend the money for a motel.

Today, Monday, he dumps stuff at the transfer station, has breakfast with my Dad and returns to load the truck with the last of his stuff. Said he tried to pull the 22' Carver boat out of its resting place in the yard but the tires are froze to the ground. He'll try again tomorrow by either pouring buckets of warm water on them or jacking it up to dislodge the tires. He intends to tow the boat back here which scares the you know what out of me. It is winter and the roads are slick and snow covered for most of the UP.

Closing is set for 11 a.m. Tuesday & he'd intends to arrive with truck packed, boat in tow. After wards he'll close out our checking account up there, ask for a cashier's check for the mortgage here and mail it off.

These are his plans and thus far he's on schedule. I pray and hope things continue to go well.

Lady, Kitty Kitty and I have missed him terribly. Both critters stick close to me and Lady whines when she hears a truck go by, thinking it's Sweetie.

I asked him if he missed being around all the snow. He said, "It is pretty." According to the forecast we'll soon see how "pretty" it is. The temps here have plummeted and the wind is filtering in through a few cracks.

A surprising bit of news arrived in the mail - our second electric bill. The total: $20.96. I checked the meter, re-read the bill and scratched my head. It was an "actual" reading so Hooray!!!!! Ms. El Cheapo's efforts have paid off.

After an evening nap, I'm wide awake so think I'll read awhile. Have a great day folks.

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year, New Door, New Discoveries

Sweetie just couldn't rest until we bought a new front entry door on New Year's Eve. $387 later (including an insulated storm door with a Hide-a-Way Screen) we bring it home.

Then the shocker comes. He does NOT sit down to drink coffee or smoke. No, he removes the interior trim from the old front door and part of the paneling as the new door is wider than the old one.

I had not recovered from his sudden burst of energy before I noticed bugs crawling into the living room. Hundreds of bugs!

Around here they're called Box Alder bugs. I haven't bothered to look up a correct spelling or any entomological information. All I know is they plaster any warm surface; drop from trees and eaves and land on your shoulders and hitch a ride inside where they seek other warm surfaces. Ovens, lamps and overhead lights come to mind.

I don't recall them ever being around here 30 years ago but, things do change...

So my task New Year's Eve was to kill the pests. I asphyxiated the buggers with log shots from a can of Wasp & Hornet spray, mopped the floor, vacuumed the carpeting, and removed the sofa pillows and slipcover.

Meanwhile, Sweetie, who had created the whole mess, had his headset on listening to TV. I sought the comfort of my wing chair to read awhile. About 15 minutes later I decide to refresh my cold coffee. Imagine my surprise when I place my feet on the floor, take a step and then realize the entire living room carpet is again covered in bugs!!!!

Thinking back, I had the lead role in a movie called "Attack of the Bugs." After waving my arms, kicking, screaming, jumping, stomping and swearing a blue streak at least I had some exercise.

Mr. Recliner just sat there and said, "Could you move out of the way? You're blocking my view. The bugs are all dead anyway."

I looked around and sure enough they were.

"Those are just the ones that crawled out of the door casing and wall after you sprayed," he announced.

After looking the fool, I was determined (as is my female privilege) to score a point.

I stood there looking at Mr. Recliner, slightly to the left so he could see his blessed TV, and said, "Guess one got away. It's crawling on your shoulder."

"No it's not," he pronounced. "You're just pissed."

And then the bug dropped into his bowl of potato chips. I sat down and prayed for the inevitable.

He eats automatically while watching the tube. A few minutes later he's spitting and cursing.

Still being of the female persuasion I couldn't resist: "Told you!"


And the door? It was installed New Year's Day when we had warm weather and green grass and bare corn fields. No snow anywhere. Later that evening the winds picked up, the temp dropped 32 degrees and the bugs haven't made another appearance.