I’m back(ed up)

The move went fine, as far as moves go. Of course, the moving truck and assorted details were a mess, our former landlord is MIA, and Ben has at least three new gray hairs in his beard, but moving is always crappy and it’s a healthy strategy to move on quickly.

I’ve moved on to the fact that we don’t have a toilet right now. Two weeks into the new place and we have a major plumbing issue that has left us without a toilet or shower for five days so far. Things are getting funky indeed.

My temptation is to wow you with the gory details, but I’ll keep this professional.

Our house has a solid waste grinder, a mechanical contraption I’ve referred to exclusively as the “poop grinder.” It takes the solid waste from our house (not just poop), grinds it up with water, and pumps it into the city sewage lines. I have no idea why we need a mechanical middleman, but it’s a gruesome mechanism I have only limited desire to understand at this point.

The key is that our poop grinder is broken.

So, we’ve been shuttling back and forth to my office and Safeway for bathroom trips, washing our dishes in the yard, and taking sponge baths. It’s like we’re camping, except that it’s the most expensive camping trip ever. And there have been no s’mores.

I’m hopeful the poop grinder will be replaced Wednesday, but it’s giving me panic attacks to think this might drag on and on. Landlords and plumbers seem amazing unconcerned about our situation when they personally have fully functioning toilets and showers at home. They seem to be downplaying how ridiculous it is to be without a bathroom for days on end. They’ve giggled at me and it’s quite annoying. If I have to outline my years of complicated gastrointestinal issues, I will.

Shit’s gotta get done, man. I’ll keep you posted.

Let the moving begin!

Hank is not happy about the move.

Hank is not happy about the move.

A mere nine days before we were set to move 600-some miles, we found a rental home. I’d love to say we’d been dragging our feet and waiting until the last minute, but the truth is that we are rental rejects, No one wants to rent a home to a couple with four dogs. I suspect we’d have had better luck if we told potential landlords we were on parole for arson.

Of course, I understand why landlords don’t like dogs. If I were a landlord, I’d probably be a bit cranky about it, too. But, come on! We’re awesome tenants! We just couldn’t get anyone to take our bait.

Until Saturday, when an exceptionally nice (and unbelievably fit) woman decided she’d risk it and let us move into one of her rental homes. I couldn’t be more relieved. I was at the point of searching campsites in the area, and that was a very depressing backup plan.

So, now that we know where we’re moving and when, we just have to move. Easy peasy, right? Our house is chaos now as we pack, sort, and make decisions on our belongings. Thankfully, we don’t have a ton of stuff. By next week, we’ll have even less.

In the meantime, the dogs are getting increasingly uneasy. Hank is having the hardest time. He’s usually hiding, either in the kitchen, where he thinks I can’t see him, or inside one of the nightstands. Sometimes I find him burrowed under the covers on the bed. The poor guy doesn’t quite know what to do with himself.

When I call him out of one of his hiding spots and lure him onto the couch for snuggles, he trembles and puts his head against my neck or chest. He just seems so darn worried. I think he needs a stiff drink or a Xanax, something to take the edge off. I mean, we’re all stressed, but it’s a desperate situation that forces a 50-pound dog into a nightstand.

It will probably get even hairier around here for the next week or so. Please feel free to send us Positive Moving JuJu. Goodness knows I can use all the good vibes I can get. Happy moving!

Confessions of a hoarder

Now, before you start imagining narrow tunnels through stacks of unread newspapers and a bathtub overflowing with my own poo (actual things I’ve seen on Hoarders), know that I’m a hoarder in only two specific areas: magazines and clothes. Even as I’m facing a move of hundreds of miles, I’m having trouble dwindling my stacks of each. I want to keep every magazine I’ve tucked away and every stitch of old clothing I have, even the ugly stuff.

It’s a psychological conundrum.

Magazines There are stacks of magazines underneath my bathroom cabinets, in my nightstands and side tables, and in my coffee table. I have cooking magazines with flagged pages of recipes, and yoga and workout magazines with flagged routines. They all represent foods I’m going to cook, workouts I’m going to do, and lives I’m going to live. Someday, I’ll be that slim, all-natural woman who makes Quinoa a l’Orange and does a Tranquility Sequence of complicated yoga poses (with only a subtle glow) after the latest Butt-Blasting Cardio routine.

Each new magazine represents the hope of finding that life-changing thing that will transform me from the mostly lazy, chubby woman I am into the perfect woman I want to be. Throwing the magazines away is like throwing out those hopes. How will I ever learn the “six secrets to lifelong weight loss” or the “recipes that will change your health future?” I’ll just be boring old me, sitting in my pajamas eating watermelon out of a tub (what I did last night instead of pack).

Clothes If you’ve seen me, you know I dress poorly. I find something that fits and I wear it until it dies a violent death. Then,  I replace it with an exact replica. For me, stepping out of my style rut means buying something new in more than one color. Everything I own is boring.

So, why would I cling to my closet of boring, inexpensive clothes? It’s a size thing. I have clothes of so many different sizes! It’s embarrassing to admit I’ve been all those sizes, but the clothes represent more than what they are. I keep the clothes because I had good times in them or I felt good wearing them. I’m not happy with the size I am, so I keep a closet full of smaller sizes because there’s hope I’ll someday fit into them again. Nevermind that the clothes themselves are probably not very fashionable or appropriate anymore. It’s the joy I’ll feel in my heart if I’m able to wear them again.

So, are these good enough reasons to keep my hoards? Absolutely not. I know how pathetic it is to cling to these relics, but I’m still having a hell of a time cutting loose. Ben is already nudging me pretty hard on both issues. I think he’s offered to “help me” sort my magazines at least a half-dozen times already, and I lost count of how many times he’s asked when I was going to tackle my closet problem. But, psychological hangups take time and I still have…well…at least a week before the issue becomes critical.

Plenty of time.

A sad milestone

One year ago today, at nearly this moment, I lost the love of my life. My sweet dog Barley passed away and life hasn’t been the same since. Not a moment goes by when I don’t miss him. I’d give anything to see him again. That life has proceeded on without him is both comfort and curse. How can life go on without my sweet boy? And, yet it has. Days and days, an entire year. It feels like forever and nothing.

This song is for him. I have no words today.

Catch the Wind

In the chilly hours and minutes
Of uncertainty, I want to be
In the warm hold of your loving mind

To feel you all around me
And to take your hand along the sand
Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind

When sundown pales the sky
I want to hide a while behind your smile
And everywhere I’d look your eyes I’d find

For me to love you now
Would be the sweetest thing ‘twould make me sing
Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind

When rain has hung the leaves with tears
I want you near to kill my fears
To help me to leave all my blues behind

For standin’ in your heart
Is where I want to be and long to be
Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind