Sunday, December 27, 2015

52 weeks

I'm sitting on my couch, by the Christmas tree that has a few more days before it's packed away for another year, watching the grey blustery weather out the window, and browsing through the postings of friends on Facebook. Now that the hubbub of Christmas is over, the usual postings about resolutions and hopes for the coming year are revisiting. There's something almost reassuring about seeing the same things year after year, and the knowledge that the people who share them won't follow through on them. Resolutions are a promise that we're human and want to better ourselves, but accept that we probably won't.

I saw a post this morning, though, that is easy enough to do. We've all seen it- week 1 you deposit a dollar, week 2 deposit 2 dollars, and so on until week 52 you deposit 52 dollars. Well, our savings account has taken quite a hit this year with the new house, and it makes me nervous not having resources to fall back on in times of emergency. So, this is going to happen. Except I'm reversing it so that week 1 I'm depositing 52 dollars because I know that as we get back around to the holidays it will be hard to deposit 50, but easier to deposit single digit numbers.

To make sure that I do this, I created a weekly event on my Outlook. I've just been right through 2016. And as I worked my way through the year, I couldn't help but wonder what's in store for us.

My family has always had a Christmas tradition that each year we buy a new ornament for the tree representing something big that happened in the year. Looking at our tree now, I see my son's birth, mine and Steve's first Christmas together, the year we moved to the States, the year we moved to Texas, and this year- the year we bought Whanau Farm.

2015 was good to us. We have our forever home, we're all healthy, we have chickens clucking away in their awesome coop. Business wise, our website has had a major face lift and we can now easily sell online.

What surprises does 2016 have in store? There will be good and bad, there always are, but we always hope the good outweighs the bad. I have hopes for the year; things I really really want to happen. But I just have to wait along with everyone else to find out. And there's a comfort in that, too. There's a comfort in knowing that some things are out of our control, so we really can't worry about them.

And next year, we'll be seeing the same resolutions posts, the same hopes and dreams for the new year, and we'll be another year older and wiser.

Today, we're painting the lounge- getting away from plain beige and putting color back in! So, I'll sign off by wishing everyone a happy and safe New Year!


PS Steve just told me about the tornado in the Dallas area. Scary stuff! Stay safe out there, y'all. And to those who have lost loved ones, my heart goes out to you.

Friday, December 18, 2015

I got bitch slapped by a chick this morning

The baby chickens are getting so big! It takes both hands to pick them up now! Ack! We're still working to finish the chicken coop, but they're quickly outgrowing the tub. This was unforeseen.

Also, a bunch of them have discovered the joy of flying out of the brooder every time I open it. Replace their water. FLAP FLAP FLAP! Refill their food. FLAP FLAP FLAP! Bring them a tasty treat. FLAP FLAP FLAP!

Most are actually flying up in order to be cuddled. They perch close to me and wait to be picked up. It's kind of endearing, actually.

This morning, I was sprinkling grit on their food, and FLAP FLAP FLAP! She didn't aim right though, she wound up on the other side of the brooder from me. So, FLAP FLAP FLAP! Across the opening she came, smacking me in the face with a wing during the journey. Then acted all huffy, ruffling her feathers up. Crazy chicken.

I picked her up, gave her a cuddle, and put her back. Just in time for another to come out to say hi. They're really started to develop personalities!

Now if they could just slow down the growth until we can get the coop done!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

I want to destroy the ugly- Updated

There is so much beauty in this world. You know? There’s so much to look at and wonder at all the amazing things that had to happen in just the right order to make that happen. Sometimes it’s enduring, other times it’s for a fleeting moment that is gone if you do not take that moment to appreciate it, make it part of your memory, and cherish that moment for the moment it was.

But there is so much ugliness, too.

I made a challenge on my Facebook page earlier in the week. The challenge is that you find something beautiful in everyone you see; even just strangers passing on the street. Their outfit is cute, their hair is perfect, they have beautiful eyes, a great smile, they walk with confidence… seriously anything! You don’t even have to say it out loud, just think it silently to yourself.

The second step is to actually say it to them. “Wow! That shirt really brings out the color of your eyes.” “I love your hair!” “That is such a cute purse!”

Of course, that’s just to strangers. When you get to know someone you might find out that they have a great smile, they’re a listener, they are someone you feel you can really rely on. Again, the first step is to acknowledge it to yourself, then start telling those people.

It’s surprisingly hard to do. The more you do it, though, the easier it becomes. The great thing is, as it becomes easier to compliment others, the easier it becomes to look in the mirror and find something beautiful about yourself.

I had one friend who responded. One who’s been doing the same thing for years and has felt the amazing impact that it has on your life. To everyone else, it’s invisible.

Are we really so ugly that we can’t even entertain the notion that we can get better without tearing each other apart?

There were two posts by “friends” today that made me want to give up.

The first was a political cartoon, that, try as I might, I cannot find to prove that it ever existed. It was a minority woman standing in front of a Christmas tree holding a big bag labeled “pay rise” facing a starving child. The text was along the lines of, “I understand your situation and we are meeting to discuss how to fix it. Now hush up and move out of the way, I have Christmas shopping to do.”

This is fairly simple. Women demanding equal pay is not causing children to starve, nor are we blind to it. Women are, by nature quite empathetic. Given a decent wage, we’d be among the most charitable to those in need. Demanding to be paid the same amount as our male counterparts for doing the same work is not unreasonable. There was a UN study that just came out stating that they were horrified at the level of discrimination against women in the US. The pay gap in the US is in excess of 20%! That is disgusting! So don’t sit over there all high and mighty and tell me that women are being callous to the suffering of others because we want to have equality.

The second was a family’s holiday photo that is going viral, so you’ve probably seen it. The wife and two daughters are tied up and gagged, and the husband and son are giving a thumbs up and smiling with the quote, “Peace on Earth.”

I’m disturbed that people really don’t get how wrong this is. And I hesitate to share my views on this because there are demons in my closet that even my closest friends have no idea about. After 12 years, it’s still a terrifying place that I don’t like visiting. But here we go because I’m tired of pretending it’s fine when it so obviously isn’t.

Girls, you are shit. When you open your mouth, all you do is whine and nag.

Boys, it’s totally ok to tie and gag girls and make them do what you want because they are stupid and you are perfect.

Yeah, that’s a great lesson to teach your kids.

People who are sharing it say it’s “funny” and people need to “lighten up.”

You’re right. It’s funny that he hit me because I mouthed off. It’s funny that he told his friends they could have me any time they wanted because I needed to know my place. It’s funny that he made me feel so scared and alone that I was unable to ask for help. It’s funny that he made me feel so worthless and unlovable that I couldn’t fathom leaving.

It’s hilarious that when I said no, he didn’t stop. And I ended up a terrified single mother.

It’s funny that he enjoyed showing me videos of him cheating on me. It’s funny that when he attacked me, the only people I could think to call for help were his parents and they told me, “He’s your problem now.” It’s hilarious that when, at 8 months pregnant, he choked me and told me he would kill me and my unborn son, and when I called 911 they said help was unavailable.

Yeah, it’s fucking hilarious.

So don’t tell me that it’s a joke. I get the joke. There’s a lot of people- women, children, and men- that get the joke. I’m one of the lucky ones that I found the courage to get out. I lived. A lot of people don’t get that chance.

When you teach your son that it’s funny to tie up and gag the women in his life, you’re teaching abuse. When you teach your daughters that it’s funny to be tied up and gagged, you’re teaching abuse. When you show your daughters that they are just annoying and will get what they deserve, you’re teaching abuse. And maybe the rest of the year you teach them to be strong and independent and demand equality. How sad then that one picture can destroy all of that.

So when your daughter is in tears because the boy wouldn’t stop even when she said no. Tell me how funny it is.

When your son is in jail because he wouldn’t stop. Tell me how funny it is.


Don’t wait until it touches your life to get the joke. 


Update: So, obviously this is a subject that is hard for me to talk about, and I don't want to spend anymore time on it. However, I was reminded, and feel I need to add, that I did have the support of my parents to survive. When I finally realized the danger the relationship was putting my son in (and me, but by then I really didn't feel like I mattered at all), I knew the road was going to be tough. My dad drove me to the Court to file a restraining order, both my parents sat by my side in Court hearings, and they supported and were a massive help when my son was born. He was an extremely difficult baby, and if I had been totally on my own, I don't think I could've done it.

There have been a few stories I've read recently of people who's parents have closed the door to them and their children because they don't agree with their choices. If one person changes their mind, lets their offspring  back into their lives despite disagreeing with them, then this little addendum is worth the time. I have two step-kids in addition to my son, and all three seem to have their moments when they like nothing more than to drive me completely insane! I think it's called being a kid, more accurately a teen. There have been times when I just wanted to send them to a hotel because I was at my wit's end! But, if they need support, they know (I hope) the door is always open. We can't always help in the ways they want, but they will always be welcome here, and we will always do all we can for them. It's called being a parent. Sometimes it's a thankless job, sometimes it's a wonderful one. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

First big job- CHECK!

We've finished the front porch rebuild! (Almost.) Yes, there's a tiny bit left to do, well, quite a bit actually, but the worst of it is done and the house looks radically different!

Realtor photo, I can't find the ones I took. 
A little bit of a face lift! 
The living room window. Is there an outside world? I don't know. 
Living room window. There is a beautiful outside world! (Forgive the mobiles. Work in progress.)
Son's room. Dark and dreary. 
Son's room now- it's actually a lot brighter. It's just really hard to get a photo of it. 
Work room, eventual guest room. No view. 

Work room/guest room- check out the pecan tree! Birds love it!
Our room. I couldn't find the before photo, but trust me, it's much better now. 
So open! Again, I can't find the "before" photos that I took. 
What will we do with so much usable space?
Where we've been having morning coffee. 
Yeah, we have a lovely sitting area out the back, but with the nightly frosts, it rains on us as soon as the sun comes out (bare iron roofing over the back porch). The sun shines on this particular spot in the mornings, though, and it's wonderful. So nice to have a choice of where to sit.

Looks much more like a ranch house now. 
There's still plenty of work to do, but it's a relief to have this job finished.

Even Zack is happy. Actually, he's just happy that the lawn prickles are gone so he can run around like a maniac and chase the ball. And the rabbits. And the deer. And anything else that moves. 
Toby's happy just to sit. Although, he's declared war on the gopher. 
Daddy leg spider. Did I mention everything's bigger in Texas?
Next job? The chicken coop! Those chicks are quickly outgrowing the bathtub!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Chickens!

It's starting to feel like a real farm house now!



PEEP PEEP!
Boom! Tiny chickies!

Yeah...
So our bathroom right now is... ummm... unconventional. The tub is basically unusable anyway, and it's super frosty outside, so it really only made sense to turn the tub into a brood box.

They're so adorable!
We ordered 12 Australorp chicks. Basically, we're aiming for 8 chickens. It's sort of expected that not all 12 are going to make it. We also ordered all female because we're not sure we want to deal with a rooster just yet. When we picked them up, the guy said they added some males just for extra warmth, no extra charge. As I pulled them out of the box, I counted.

Oh, my. 
21.

We have 21 peeping chickies. That was a bit more than we had planned.

I think we're going to need a bigger coop.

Not sure if he wants to protect them, or eat them. 
We also have the world's hairiest nanny. Toby is fascinated by the new additions.

Although they are protected by the top of the "brood box," we'll be keeping the bathroom door closed when we're not in there.

CHICKENS!

Monday, November 23, 2015

One of those rare perfect moments

We’ve had frosts for the last two nights, which has been wonderful because it’s killed off the biting bugs, but not so wonderful because it may have killed off some of my plants, but ok because I was prepared for it to kill off some of the plants, and wonderful because it’s encouraged the beasties to come for cuddles which I love.

Last night, it also led to a rare perfect moment.

We’ve been going in the spa well before the sun goes down to avoid the biting bugs, but since they’re all gone now, we decided to have a soak after the boy went to bed. So, by 9pm, we were outside, in the spa, with a candle and moonlight, stars, and a glass of wine. Sitting in warm water, under that big Texas sky, absolute silence, it was humbling and empowering at the same time.


Life sometimes gets crazy hectic. Like now, we’re rushing headlong into the holidays, frantically trying to finish some things to sell at the market coming up this weekend, bumbling through creating an ad campaign, and staying on top of all of life’s other requirements. Sometimes it all feels like it’s spiraling out of control. Last night I gained some perspective, and a little bit of peace. This morning, I started thinking of everything we have to get done this week and was getting overwhelmed, but I thought about the feeling of sitting out under the Texas sky, and slowed right down. I may not get everything done, but I’ll get enough done. And that’s all I can ask.

I also have a cat that needs extra cuddles. I just wish she'd leave the turtle's light alone.  

Friday, November 20, 2015

I have a rich fantasy life

Tonight, I gave an interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Just for the record, I have never given an interview to any show, let alone Ellen, probably never will. This is part of the amazing world inside of my head where I actually make a difference in people’s lives.

So anyway, I was on Ellen for doing amazing things that in real life no one actually notices. And whilst we were laughing and talking about how amazing we were I said:

“No, really! My life could be made into a sit-com. But it would be one of those tediously boring sit-coms where something good only happens often enough to keep it going for a season or two. You know, like that one from a few years back… what was it called… oh yeah! Ellen! Do you remember that show?”

And Ellen would try to keep her cool, but she’d be laughing so hard internally at her own expense, but the audience wouldn’t really know if they should laugh or not, and I’d be worried that I crossed the line but it was too late to turn back now…

“I mean, don’t get me wrong! I actually quite enjoyed the reruns of Ellen. I was too young to watch it when it came out, but after I had my son, I watched it on day time tv when I was on maternity leave.”

That’s about when my shower interview ended.


I think the weird thing about depression is sometimes it’s much more terrifying in my head than the outside world, and sometimes it’s much better. In my head, there are times we all get along splendidly! 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

So, apparently I have become complacent in the apparent lack of evil invasions lately.

Autumn has been a long time in coming to Central Texas. The nights are slowly getting cooler, but not cold enough (yet) to knock off the flying vampires who swarm in the early evenings threatening to turn every inch of exposed flesh into an itchy, swollen, anemic wasteland. Also, my son has discovered a show called Monsters Inside Me. They talk about parasites and all the joys that mosquitoes and the like heap onto people, so not only is there now physical discomfort from bites, there’s also the psychological certainty that you’re about to die.

Still, it’s been a while since I saw an Overlord of Evil (scorpion) in the house.

That is until yesterday morning.

Every morning, Steve and I sit on our back porch and drink our coffee/have breakfast while talking and watching the birds and wild life. There’s a buck that has graced us with his presence a few times now, which is pretty freakin’ magical. So yesterday, I opened the back door to go out, when an Overlord of Evil made a mad dash towards me! He was running at full steam letting out a war cry of “AAAAIIIIIEEEEE!!!!” Of course, you couldn’t really hear it because they’re tiny and scream at a frequency that humans can’t really hear, but trust me, it was there!

Did I mention it’s been getting colder? Well, like many females, I have a condition that my husband refers to as ice cube foot. Actually, he doesn’t say it out loud, but I know he’s thinking it in the middle of the night when my feet turn into heat seeking missiles and find him. The point is, I’m now wearing slippers in the morning. Slippers with soles. Slippers that had a squelched Overlord of Evil on the bottom of them because it’s just not ok to run into a person’s house before they’ve had a sip of coffee screaming, “AAAIIIIEEEEEE!!!” This is not a polite thing to do!

Honestly, etiquette is not dead. Manners matter people!

I don’t care the particular brand of evil anymore; I’ve had enough of it. If evil comes tearing into my personal space, be it an Overlord, a minion, ISIS, the IRA, the MLB, whatever! It will become a squelch on my slipper that will subsequently be ground into the grass because I don’t even want that shit touching my foot covering of blissful warmth. Unless it’s a flying harpy of blood sucking demons, and then that’s getting squelched on my hand and washed off ‘cause that’s personal!


As an aside, it was 4 degrees Celsius last night. There is hope spreading throughout the land that it’s getting cold enough to stop the flight of the harpy blood sucking demons. Possibly even the Overlords of Evil will be forced to their winter retreats in, I assume, the Caribbean. Although, I’m not sure because I’ve never seen them having a swash with which to buckle. (If you get that joke, congratulations. You’re as crazy as I am.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Tale of Jade and the Curse of 3:30am

I almost slept through 3:30am this morning. I was dreaming, though I can’t remember what, when the dream took a sudden dark turn with what sounded like a gun shot that jolted me awake! I lay there for a minute trying to decide if the sound had been real, or just in my dream. Slowly, I realized both the dogs were still happily asleep. Just as I decided it was just a dream, my son knocked on my door and asked what that loud noise was. Hmmm… ok, not a dream.

I told him it was probably nothing, since the dogs couldn’t care less about whatever it was, but he was still freaked out. Maybe it was something outside, still no help. So, I made a patrol of the house. I came into to the lounge to find the cat sitting next to the couch. She looked at me and meowed, which would be normal except she didn’t stand up. Normally when I wander into the lounge at some ungodly time of the night, she gets all excited that she might get a scratch. So I looked beyond her, to where the turtle’s heat lamp was on the floor.

Damn cat.

I got him a new lamp last week because we were going through bulbs faster than… something you go through really fast. I’m tired and my metaphors are suffering for it! I thought maybe the old lamp had a short in it, or something. The only issue is that this new lamp doesn’t have a clamp. The old one clamped onto his box, but this one just rests on the mesh cover.

The cover we put on to discourage the cat from stealing the turtle’s chicken, and using his bark as a litter box!

Damn cat.

Apparently, the mesh is not working. She managed to get caught stealing his chicken because her fat ass knocked the lamp off! At 3:30 in the morning! And yes, all the chicken was gone.

Damn cat.

And then, she had the nerve to follow me back to the bedroom, curl up on my slippers, and go to sleep. Well, yeah, because she had a lovely 3:30am snack!

The night before last, she woke me up running up and down the hall like a herd of wildebeest chasing a lizard. I don’t know if wildebeest actually chase lizards, probably not, but the cat sure does. And she was imitating a whole herd of wildebeest while she did it. Heck, I don’t even know if she was chasing a lizard. I’m sort of giving her the benefit of the doubt here, because if it was for anything less… well, actually I’d probably react the same way. She’s an annoying little beastie, but she’s still my annoying little beastie.


Damn cat. 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Musings of an (ex) dancer

I hate saying I used to dance. I still dance all the freakin’ time, it’s just the only ones who see it are the dogs. Occasionally the cat, but she usually sleeps through my impromptu performances.

And occasionally Steve when he sneaks up on me.

Anyway, back when I was performing, my stage name was Amaya (ah-MY-uh). Not that it got used very often because the only places I ever seemed to get a gig at always seemed confused when I submitted my stage name. Heck, half the time they’d forget and just introduce me as Jade. 

I read somewhere years and years ago that the meaning behind Amaya was "Night Rain." I love the sound of rain at night. Even here in Texas where it is usually accompanied by thunder and lightning, branches, parts of the roof lifting up... For a while I thought Nyte Reign could be a cool stage name, but I like Amaya. It's simple. And besides, I practiced the autograph so that the "A" kind of looks like a star! 

I haven’t performed in over 3 years. So, it’s possibly a bit weird that yesterday, relaxing in the spa, I finished my stage name.

Introducing Amaya Lone!


This is what happens when Steve’s out of town. I have way too much flitting around in my head. 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Oh Deer!

This morning, I had to take Steve to the airport. He’s going away for a few days on a business trip. I hate when he goes away. I hate it even more when we have to be at the airport at 5-something am. Yep, we were out of the house at 3:45am! I am not a morning person, so it takes a small miracle to make that happen.

On the way into the airport, I was on deer watch duty. We live in the Deer Capitol of Texas. There are more deer per capita here than anywhere else in the state. There are a LOT of deer here. Hunting season just started, so all the deer are still out and about, running amuck because they haven’t gotten the memo yet that the guns have arrived. Which reminds me, we really need to post our “No Hunting” signs. We don't have any "Deer Welcome Here" or "Deer Safety area" signs because deer can't read. Obviously.

Eighteen deer. That’s how many I spotted this morning. Steve only saw one or two, which just goes to show that having a deer spotter in the car is a good idea.  On the way home, I spotted 12 live deer, and 4 dead ones. The scary thing is that I didn’t see any dead ones on the way in! This proves a few things: 1. Given more light (the sun was coming up), a paranoid driver can still see lots of deer, 2. Dogs do not make good deer spotters because they never even reacted, or if they did see them, they suck at counting, 3. my new glasses really do help me see, and 4. I know I had a fourth point, but I’m too tired to remember what it was.


There was actually more than 12 deer on the way home. I spotted six (one, then another, then another, then two more, then another), then I spotted a whole group! I think there was probably around 10 deer all milling around together, but it’s incredibly difficult to run a head count of wild deer hanging out while doing 70mph. And calling roll never works with deer. They just aren’t very good at following directions. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Spooky good fun

The day before yesterday, I killed a scorpion. By myself. With my jandal (flip flop) that was still on my foot. And I didn’t even scream! The Evil Overlord of Pain and Death was attempting to sneak up on us in the spa and attack us while we were relaxing and vulnerable. I discovered its plan after we got out and I was replacing the cover. It was all, “Oh damn! I almost had you! So close! Where are my minions?” And I was all, “Tell it to the bottom of my foot, asshole.”

This might sound like a small thing, but it turns out I’m ever so slightly phobic about the evil beasties. This was a huge thing for me.

It got me to thinking, though. Our son was stung once, Steve was stung twice, and I was stung thrice (oh yeah, rockin’ the thrice!) and all at 3am-ish in bed. Since moving in, I can count on one hand how many nights I have NOT been awake at 3-something in the morning. It’s kind of weird.

And ‘tis the season for freaky stuff, so I started thinking that in The Amityville Horror, George woke up every night at 3:15am because that’s when the murders happened! We’ve also had a lot of flies on the back porch. Coincidence?

Yeah, probably.

Anyway, not long after we moved in, one of our neighbors came over and talked to Steve. “See that tree over there?” he said at one point of the conversation, pointing to one of the mesquites on our property, “That’s where the previous owner is buried with his dog.” Ummm….what? “Yeah, he wanted to stay on his farm, so after she buried him she moved away,” referring to the wife.

A few weeks later, another neighbor came by and we happened to mention this little tidbit of information, and she said, “Nah, he ain’t buried there! She took him with her.” No mention about the dog.

So, now I’m left wondering if he died at 3-something in the morning and wanted to stay on the property, but she took his remains with her when he moved so now he’s a restless spirit?

Last night, like clockwork (literally), I was awake at 3-something in the morning. Got up, used the restroom, got back in bed, like usual. Normally I fall right back to sleep and all is good, but last night, despite being ridiculously tired, I just couldn’t seem to get back to sleep. Four a.m. came and I was still lying there wondering why I couldn’t get back to sleep.

And then the scream began.

Down the hallway, the most chilling scream started. I threw off the covers, about to run down the hall thinking it was my son. But then I realized what it was…

That damned water heater is going to be the death of me! Stupid thing is so burned out; we just hope it lasts a little bit longer until we can afford an on demand system.


If we do have a restless spirit in the house, at least he seems pretty mellow. Not like the last house we were at. That one has something very dark living there. Luckily, it seems to have stayed put. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Pretending to be an adult

We've got furniture, y'all! Actual adult type furniture! Ahh... it's nice to really settle in.

John Travolta looks suitably impressed. 
Please excuse the weird wall coloring. We're still in the painting process.

It's an electric fire place! That fire is a figment of our collective imaginations! It's made of light and magic.

Ooo....ahhhh!
It's at night you can really see the magic.

Of course, this photos are two weeks old (I know, but things happen), so the mantle is now looking much more deadly and haunted. Halloween is pretty big in our house.

More big news, though, we've destroyed another arch in the front and put in the new post. It was a busy weekend!

Steve, cutting through the metal mesh on the ceiling. 

More cutting. 
I'm a little addicted to the sparks. 

See that look on Steve's face in the last photo? That's because he really should have had his sleeves down for this process. He kept most of the hair on his arms.

I don't have a photo yet of the porch after this weekend. It was long and tiring, and after hitting the house with a hammer for a few hours, I didn't have the strength to lift the camera. Even lifting my wine glass was a challenge. Don't worry, though, I managed.

And look!
Little Yellow Mixer
Steve's currently out picking up cement. Soon, the sounds of concrete mixing will fill the farm, followed by the sound of pouring the floor in the new chicken coop. They are going to be the most spoiled chickens of all time!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Just a quick one

I don't have a lot of time because it's late and I need to start on dinner, but this is important enough to say and I have a platform. So there.

This morning, as I was perusing Facebook, I came across a little comic of two... I dunno, cats? Anyway, one was holding a jar that said "Happiness." The other one said, "Where did you get that? I've been looking for it everywhere!" And the one holding the jar replies, "I made it myself."

A few weeks ago there was another meme that said something along the lines of "If you don't have anything positive to say, then stay silent. We're all tired of your shit."

Now, as someone who suffers quite literally from depression and anxiety, those types of statuses feel like an attack. Sometimes I don't have anything positive to say. Why? Because pretending to be happy takes energy and sometimes I'm using all of my energy to not harm myself.

Yeah, go back and read that last sentence again.

And I've tried to make my own happiness, but that's really hard when you feel each failure as a physical blow. It doesn't even have to be a big failure, or even a "failure" by most people's standards.

True story: a few weeks ago, Steve and I went to an art do in town. While we were there and rubbing elbows with the locals, Steve let out that I'm a trained, and fairly talented if I do say so myself, barista (that's someone who makes coffee). Well! That was just the most amazing thing ever, because, according to this particular group, the local cafe was in serious need of talented help. And it just so happened that they meet there every morning and talk and whatnot, and I should come on Monday and talk and make coffee because that would be awesome. That was a Saturday, so I had all day Sunday to stress about it and overthink EVERYTHING. And believe me, I did. I didn't actually sleep very well Sunday because I was so freaked out about the entire thing. In fact, Monday morning, I almost didn't go. But I did. I spent the last bit of my energy dragging my butt out of the house and into town. Then I sat in my car in front of the cafe mentally admonishing myself for being a complete losery mess. Somehow, I don't know how, I managed to drag myself out of the car and into the cafe with a smile on my face ready to play nice. Except there was no one there. And the people behind the counter were not the ones from Saturday. I went to the counter and ordered a Chai Latte, and mentioned that the people on Saturday had told me to come in since I was a barista, an artist, and new to the area. "Oh, that's cool," the girl said, thoroughly uninterested. No, they're not looking for help. No idea when they meet there, or even if. This, to me, counts as yet another failure.

So, if you're a positive person and things just always seem to go your way, that's great. Honestly, I would never take that away from you. Please try to understand, though, that I kind of hate you for it. I'm pretty sure that the "everything always goes my way" people are taking all the luck meaning that people like me are constantly getting shit on through no fault of our own. We work hard, harder than most, because it never goes our way and we think we just didn't do enough or the right thing and we need to do more so it doesn't happen again. But then it does happen again, and it doesn't make any sense. It takes a lot of energy to keep trying harder, but never getting anywhere. Just keep that in mind the next time you post something about being positive or shutting up.  

Friday, October 16, 2015

We have the geekiest discussions

Steve and I have a routine of getting into the spa at the end of the day prior to making dinner. Often, we have a drink (not always alcoholic) while relaxing.

Just thought I’d set the scene for our conversation.

Steve: Are you pouring a libation?

Me: Yep. Although it won’t really be a libation, I was going to have the pumpkin pie soda today.

Steve: Ok. But that’s still a libation.

Me: Really? I thought “libation” suggested alcohol. You know, referring to the liberating effects.

Steve: No, I don’t think so. I think it can refer to any refreshing drink.

Me: Huh. We’re geeks.

Steve: Yep!

And just for clarity’s sake: (According to Dictionary.com)
Libation- noun
1.       A pouring out of wine or other liquid in honor of a deity.
2.       The liquid poured out.
3.       Often facetious
a.       An intoxicating beverage; as wine, especially when drunk in ceremonial or celebrative situations.
b.      An act or instance of drinking such a beverage.

So, I guess we were both right? But mostly me.


P.S. Proof! 
Although I don't really recommend it. It was a bit sweet for my taste, not enough spice. My son liked it, though. He said it tasted like pavlova. Steve and I agree, however, that it tastes nothing like pavlova. So if you do buy a bottle, please don't judge pavlova based on this. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

This is why I don't do drugs

Today I had to go to the dentist to get a filling. That in itself is pretty boring, I’ll admit, but the issue for me is that they can’t use lidocaine. If you’re unfamiliar with numbing agents, lidocaine is one of the most common currently used because the chances of having a negative reaction to it is, I was told, one in a million. So, I could make myself a t-shirt that says “One in a million!” and it would be true! And then I could sell the t-shirts! According to google, as of 2014 there were 318.9 million people in America. If I made $5 off every t-shirt (one in a million since everyone with a lidocaine allergy will obviously want one) that’s $1,594!

Hmmm….that’s not actually very much. But if everyone in the world bought one… Google says there are 7.3 billion people in the world. That’s a lot! Of course, not everyone has internet, or medical care, or money.

Ah, fuck it, I’m doing it anyway! 

One in a million tshirts
Join your tribe of freakish lidocaine intolerant people!

Yes, I created a Zazzle Store. (It's a bit sparse at the moment, I'll work on that little by little.) But someone already used the name “Whanau Farm” so I had to use my other company name “Batty4Arts.” Which could actually work out well since I can put some of our arty stuff on stuff and sell it to fund my craziness.

I completely forgot what I was talking about.

Oh, right! The dentist!

So two weeks ago, I had to get a couple of monster fillings, which meant that we all got to see what my reaction to a different type of “caine”, I think it’s cetacaine. Anyway! Good news! I didn’t have a reaction!

In case you’re wondering why I keep using “reaction” instead of “allergy” it’s because technically I’m not allergic to lidocaine. I had to go to an asshole allergist who told me a charming story when he noticed my belly ring. It went like this: “I knew a girl once who got her belly button pierced, and then she died.” Cool story, bro, tell it again! Anyway, he got all bitchy at me because I didn’t react in the office during the test. It was several hours later when my arm swelled up so much I couldn’t move it, and it was covered in a painful red rash. He claimed it was not an allergic reaction, but rather a delayed hypersensitive reaction. Whatever. All I care about is that it’s not used on me, especially in dental procedures. You know, around my wind pipe!

But cetacaine seems to be fine. So, this morning she pumped me full of the stuff. My teeth went all numb. Then my lips. Then my nose. Then my eye! The entire right hand side of my face was dead! Luckily, it was a small filling, so it didn’t take very long. When I sat up and tried talking, though, it was rather hilarious. I couldn’t move the right hand side of my face, which makes certain sounds difficult.

After the dentist, I had to go to the grocery store to pick up a few things. I checked myself out in the mirror before I went in because my face felt puffy and drooly and twitchy and sluggish. It was twitchy and sluggish, only a little drooly, though, and not really puffy so that was good. I went into the store, however, grateful that my foot wasn’t hurting because if I was puffy (it still felt puffy) and drooly and twitchy and sluggish AND limping I would be just a little too Quasimodo. I probably would not resist the urge to climb the nearest bell tower and scream “SANCTUARY!” at the top of my lungs. I don’t think it would’ve ended in Mai Tai’s and coconut oil, if you know what I mean.

This is why I don’t do drugs. Even numbing agents make me feel queasy and headachy. Not that I have any idea if that’s how drugs make you feel since the closest I’ve ever come is taking a single puff of a tobacco cigarette when I was 19. I decided it was gross and not for me. Of course, lots of people think alcohol is a drug. In that case, yeah. Scotch and wine are my nighttime buddies.

I don’t really have a point to all this. Basically, I went into HEB, and got some things (including Pumpkin Pie soda because I’m one of those seriously annoying people who actually enjoys everything is flavored like pumpkin spice season), but they didn’t have everything I needed, so I had to go to Wal-Mart, still numb, and got other stuff (including some pumpkin spice scented wax melts because, you know), and then I had to drive all the way to the post office to pick up two packages- the one that I wanted to pick up yesterday and another that came today so it all worked out in the end.


Today is pretty special, though. It’s the 9th anniversary of mine and Steve’s first date! Proof that Friday the 13th can be lucky. Yes, I know today is Tuesday, but our first date was on Friday and it was on the 13th of October, try to keep up, sweetness. So tonight is roast chicken and bubbly.  And maybe coconut oil if I can convince Steve that a back rub is the traditional 9th anniversary of a first date gift.  

Monday, October 12, 2015

Happy Rape-Pillage-and- Murder-a-Native-but-Not-Too-Happy-Because-All-The-Plebs-Still-Have-to-Go-to-Work Day

Ugh.

Just, ugh.

Apparently I’m not really cut out for small town life. Don’t get me wrong, despite all the scorpions, wasps, invading crickets, crazy neighbors, and driving for hours to get to absolutely anywhere, I do like living out in the middle of nowhere. It’s quiet here. We don’t have constant road noise (including a fire truck every 15 minutes) like we did in Temecula. We don’t have the constant hum of neighboring air conditioners year round and zero privacy that we did in Leander. It’s nice. I just wish our local little town wasn’t steeped in… honestly, I don’t know if it is the town or just me. I’m apparently not cut out for whatever it is, though.

I can’t deal with big cities because they’re too loud and crowded and big crowds make me screamy and stabby.

I really don’t like the suburbs because having people live that close to me feels crowded and it always turns into a Stepford Wives nightmare and that makes me screamy and stabby.

As it turns out, I can’t deal with small town slowness, everyone knows everyone so they don’t take the time to introduce anyone and directions are by way of Jim’s. You know Jim! Everyone knows Jim. You don’t know Jim? Oh, well, heck. Anyway, turn left at Jim’s place, but not his current one, the one he lived in before. <Sigh>

I’m a woman without a country. Apparently, I’m just not cut out for human interaction.
One of the things about living out here in the middle of nowhere that is rather irritating is the postal service. And I know, the postal service is always irritating, but our local takes it to a whole new level. Since we’re on the “rural” delivery, anytime we get anything delivered that’s bigger than a postage stamp, we have to go into town to collect it. So Friday we get one of those all too familiar orange pick up cards. It says we can pick up our item on Saturday between 10am and 12pm. Well, thanks for the ultimate convenient hours! Unfortunately, we already had plans and couldn’t get there, even with that huge window of opportunity. And of course, they’re closed on Sunday.

No biggie, I had to go into town to deal with prescriptions that got messed up, too (but that’s a different rant). So I stopped by the post office. No one there, it’s all locked up. No sign about why or when they’d be open. I stood there for a moment wondering if I should hang out for a few minutes or just go. I decided to just go. It wasn’t until I was about halfway home that I realized today is Rape, Pillage, and Murder a Native Day! Some people call it Columbus Day, but I think that’s a misnomer. I mean, why would we celebrate an asshole Italian working for Spaniards who never set foot on US soil?  And it’s understandable that I would forget that it’s a Federal Holiday since all us plebs are still expected to work. Heck, I haven’t even seen a single Rape, Pillage, and Murder a Native Sale this year. I guess it wasn’t selling mattresses as effectively as it had in the past.

Ugh. But this means I have to go back into town tomorrow. I don’t want to go back into town tomorrow! Nobody seems to understand the concept of a car, and driving, and not being annoying. Actually, even worse, I have to go into Fredericksburg as well since our super market doesn’t have most of the things I need. Every time I drive through Fredericksburg, I almost die because people are just the worst and that makes me very screamy and stabby.


So on this festive Rape, Pillage, and Murder a Native Day, be a bad pleb and take the afternoon off. And when you’re out driving, use your signals, check your blindspot, and do the speed limit. And remember, if you can’t do the speed limit because driving faster than a butterfly on downers is too scary, safely pull to the side of the road and allow other vehicles to pass. It will make for a significantly less screamy stabby world. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Let it begin!

We've got the first two posts up on the front porch! We have a long way to go, but now we're sure it's totally worth it!

Destruction, the mother of all construction?
It was starting to look hopeless.

Just eeww!
The rot we're finding is not only disgusting, it's a little disheartening. Not really sure why we spent so much money for an inspection before buying this place when it misses stuff like this!

The beam!
It took all three of us to get that beam up and braced. It wasn't easy, and I was fairly certain about three times I was about to die as the ladder wobbled. But we did it!
Watch out! I'm armed!
I've never really used power tools before. They're a bit intimidating! But I used the skill saw...

Chip chip chip.
...and chipped away! Steve did most of the work, but at least I'm helping.
Woo hoo!
Finally! We could see some real progress!
Put your feet up and stay awhile. 
Time for some rest...
Bubbly to mark the occasion.
...and celebration!

It's made a huge difference to the house. Not only getting rid of the areas the bugs love to invade, and the rot, it's seriously lightened up inside the house and revealed the spectacular view! I have to admit, it's a bit of a relief that the results are so enormous. It's a big, difficult job; at times it feels impossible. So it really helps that it's worth all the hard work!

Friday, October 2, 2015

The house that keeps on giving

A few months ago, my son came us with a lot of little red bumps that we initially thought were some sort of bug bites. Steve and I were not getting bitten, though, and when we checked in his room, we couldn't find anything. We thought maybe they were fleas, since we knew we had had them in our room, and they're pretty hard little buggers to spot, so we set off a flea bomb in his room. This led to a stressful afternoon, because, unknown to us, the silly cat had sneaked into his room before we set off the fogger. She was ok. But the red bumps did not go away. In fact, they got worse.

I made an appointment with the doctor who made his diagnosis: rash. He prescribed steroids, said to call back if it didn't clear up, and sent us on our way. I kind of miss when doctors would offer a lolly pop to good patients, but oh well.

The steroids weren't working. I was almost to the point of calling and scheduling another exam because the rash wasn't going away!

This morning, at some unholy hour of before sunrise, because my son is a morning person, oh yay, he comes in our room saying something about bugs. My son is a morning person, we are not. It was a while before I was awake enough to actually look at his bed. And oh sweet mother, no.

Cue the dramatic music, dim the lights, the squeamish should exit the building: bed bugs. A huge infestation of bed bugs. Hundreds of the freaking things!

Steve set to work bagging up everything, and vacuuming. I had a dentist appointment. (Two huge fillings and I go back week after next for the third. I hurt a bit at the moment. Be sure to take good care of your teeth, kids!)

On my way home from the dentist I stopped by Wal-Mart and got battle ready: mattress cover, box spring cover, new pillow, bed bug spray... I wanted to get some sticky traps that you put at the corner of the bed to stop them from spreading and to be able to gauge if they've gone away. I wanted to put some of them all over the house to make sure they haven't infiltrated the rest of the house, but the store didn't have any. I might wind up going into town sometime to one of the bigger home stores and hopefully find some.

I am a little glad that we found them and can start treating them. My son was really starting to drive me crazy talking about the bumps: "Maybe we could get my DNA tested to see if that's why I have them." Honestly, there are times I have no idea what is going through that head of his. DNA?

At the same time, I'm very disturbed that the doctor didn't catch it. Looking at photos online of what bed bug bites look like, it's pretty obvious that's what this is. This is just further proof that you're so much better off taking charge of your health rather than trusting doctors.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Fighting through the bog

I'm in a very dark spot right at the moment. This happens a lot, and it never gets any easier to deal with. Basically, it feels like I'm waist deep in a bog, still sinking, but trying to fight for each and every step. I know there's other people around me, but right now I'm as alone as ever. No one can take the steps for me, I have to do it myself, but right now I'm tired. I just want to lay down in the bog and let the mud take me.

I'm surrounded by successful people, and I'm really tired of that, too. All around me are people with great jobs, great kids, a great house, great friends- all the things I wish I had but don't. I've struggled for years to find a way to teach, I'm pretty much resigned to giving that up as an unfulfilled dream. I used to feel truly at peace when I danced, but even that has been thrown away. I thought I'd finally found a way to make some money, but it's wound up costing a fortune because no one wants what I make. No one wants me around, and I really can't blame them. If I could get away from myself, I would.

I read a blog called The Bloggess. Sometimes it helps me feel a little better, sometimes not. One thing she says is that "depression lies." I don't think I agree. I think for some people, yes, depression lies. And when you come out of your funk and realize that things are not all bad, you know that you're one of those people that depression lies to. I'm not. When I come out of my funk, everything is still the same and I'm as useless as ever. The only thing that changes is that I can ignore that fact a bit easier. So, for me, depression doesn't lie, it just puts reality into sharp focus.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Surrounded by wilderness

Obviously the weather has started to cool off, which has resulted in an increase in the scorpion population coming inside and making themselves at home. Thankfully, they're not the only ones who are celebrating cooler nights!

We managed to take the dogs for a walk this morning, much to their utter joy and delight. When we lived in the suburbs, they got a 5k walk almost every day. Last summer, there were days we had to walk before 7am, but we did it! This year, on the farm, a few things have gotten in the way. There's a lot of work that needs to be done, so most of those before 7am starts have be dedicated to that. Also, we have to drive several miles to get to a walk-able area since our neighbors don't seem to understand that they need to fence in their attack dogs. They even attack the car as we drive down the road! Trying to walk our dogs on our own road is not just frustrating, it's actually dangerous. But that's a problem for another day.

So today, it was 20C (I got used to metric measurements and Celsius temperatures in New Zealand, and switching back has proven to be hopeless) at 7:45am- positively chilly! We decided to drive to the next road, where we tend to take the dogs because it's a quiet farm road. The people who live on the road are actual farmers who have free roaming cattle, which means their dogs are safely fenced in close to their homes. The only thing we have to be vigilant for are snakes, but that goes without saying anywhere around here.

We were chatting as we walked, and I noticed the vulture sitting on the power pole. We like the vultures. They're hilarious when they hobble around on the ground, stunning when they play on the breezes, and let's face it, if it weren't for them there'd be a lot of dead things around.

Almost to the place where we turn around and head back to the car, there were several cows hanging out on the road. Cows are funny animals that I really haven't been able to make my mind up about. On one hand they're freaking huge! On the other, they run away as soon as you look at them. I'm not sure if I should be wary of them or not.

We turned back and headed to the car. The one vulture on the power line had three buddies now. I was gazing up at them, thinking how quintessentially Texas they are, and when I returned looking ahead on the road I was a little startled by the... Well, that's one of the issues of having poor distance eye sight. There was something in the road, but I couldn't tell what. Steve, on the other hand, has excellent distance eye sight, but he hadn't spotted it yet. "Deer!" he spotted it.

Sure enough, a doe standing in the middle of the road, fairly far in front, watching us. She obviously decided we weren't too much of a threat, because she continued across the road, followed by a very small fawn, a slightly larger juvenile, and another doe.  I'm afraid I made the "Awe!" sound.

We made it back to the car, and started home. Running across the street were six wild turkeys! TURKEYS! I have no idea why this strikes me as so amazing, but TURKEYS! And a few more deer. There are lots of deer. And now apparently, TURKEYS!

It was a nice change of wildness from scorpions to deer and turkeys. I much prefer deer and turkeys to scorpions.

Tomorrow, the dogs will have to suffer the lack of walk again. The plan is to knock down the old worn out chicken coop to prepare for the new one. Whatever has been pooping in there will get quite the surprise!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Hidden Talents

I've been stung by a scorpion a total of 3 times, and had the stuffing scared out of me by...well, I've lost count of how many times, but it's a lot.

Steve's been stung twice, but they don't freak him out so he hasn't had that gut wrenching, all over body shiver of ultimate fear when face to face with evil spawn.

Last night, at 2:38am, there was a knock on our bedroom door and my son announced that there was a scorpion in his bed. This has been a point of pride for him that he'd never had a scorpion in his room. It appeared, however, that his second point of pride was still intact: he'd never been stung. So, I sent Steve the Slayer of Evil to go send the demon beast back to the oozy black pit it came from. Except when he went to kill it, it was already dead. Belly up in the middle of the bed, dead. Ceased to be! It's metabolic processes were history! Kicked the bucket! An ex scorpion!

We couldn't quite figure out how it had gotten in the bed if it was dead. Reanimation? Zombie scorpion? My son thought it was hilarious that the one scorpion that found it's way into his room was dead. Slowly I woke up enough to form questions, "How did you know it was in your bed? What woke you up?"

Him: "It was crawling on my leg and brushed it with my foot. I thought it was a prickle."

Me: "A prickle? Did it sting you?"

Him: "No. Well, my knee kind of hurts where it was crawling."

I looked, and sure enough, there was the red mark where he got stung. So I got him a bag of ice, told him to hold it on for a bit, and go back to sleep. This morning, you wouldn't even be able to tell he'd gotten stung.

Apparently, most people have fairly severe swelling, aches, and feel like they have the flu for days following a sting. My family? A few hours of minor discomfort. My panic attacks are the worst part of the ordeal for us! Not only that, my son kills the damned things in his sleep!

I'm not entirely sure what the implications of this are. Possibly the scorpions need to send out the word that this is no longer a good place for their late night parties. There's a new force to be reckoned with, and we're deadly to evil arachnids! It'd be nice if they'd spread the news of the change of tides of power to their minions: spiders. There's plenty of space that they can use away from the house. Just don't bring your raves here!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Everything's bigger in Texas... especially the bed bugs!

I am so tired. I didn't sleep very well last night, and this morning it feels like someone smeared oatmeal over my eyes. I don't even like oatmeal!

Last night was like any other night, and we went through the same routine we've kept for months since moving to the farm. I brush my teeth, wash my face, take my nightly medicine, then while Steve's brushing his teeth (our bathroom is so small that when we both try to fit in there we are both pressed against opposite walls, someone has a toilet jammed in their knees, and the other has a towel rail in their back- I can't wait until we can redo the bathrooms) I get the black light flash light and check all the nooks and crannies for scorpions. Oddly enough, the weird colors that glow from the dog bed (it's actually a bean bag with blue flames that glows awesomely), the random neon dog toys strewn about the floor (starting to notice a pattern here), my crystal skull on my night stand, and our favorite- toenails! If you ever get a chance to observe your toenails in the light of a black light flash light, totally do it! They look alien.

Anyway, the routine was the same, right up to looking for but not finding any scorpions. So, we climb in bed and read on our e-readers for a while. And yes, we've read the same articles you have about how awful it is to read on an e-reader before sleeping, and we've decided it's a load of piffle. Our sleep has never suffered for reading on an e-reader before bed. Besides, mine's not back lit, so I have to keep the light on whilst reading.

I finished my chapter, turned off the light, and settled in for a lovely night of peaceful, restful, renewing sleep. It had not been a great day because I had to go grocery shopping and it was the first day of my "lady's week," so I was feeling a bit out of sorts. Just as we settled in, Steve says, "Ouch! Something poked me! No, wait..." He then thrashed around for a bit trying to reach his bedside light, froze, and said, "Turn on the light," in that super serious "there is evil among us" way.

I turned on the light and sure enough! Giant scorpion in bed going, "I had a bad dream, can sleep with you guys tonight?" Well, he's sleeping with the fishes now. Not really. He's actually flat and in the garbage. Poor Steve; even after being stung on the foot, he's the one that had to get rid of the demon pest because I'm physically incapable of getting that close to the damned things. I did get him a bag of ice, though. I'm a good wifey. (Fuck you spell check, "wifey" is totally a word.)

The damage was done, though. Every shift of the bed sheets, every gust of wind or slightest noise sent me into a panic that the scorpions were taking over and were coming to take me away for some nefarious purpose. Every dream was laced with pain and horror. Then, sometime around 2am, I started having lady cramps which made sleep even more difficult and the dreams even worse. I sat up several times during the night, grabbed the black light, and scanned the entire room. Steve's pretty groggy this morning, too. Not only dealing with a sore foot, but a bat shit crazy wife. Honestly, I think his boss needs to meet me to see just how much crazy he gets to deal with on a daily basis.

That, and the scorpion overlords that have apparently made our bed their fortress.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Evil creeps in

So, last night I wondered down to our bedroom for something and when I came out I noticed something laying on the floor that was roughly scorpion-ish. I'm paranoid about scorpions after 3 stings and multiple close encounters, and have decided that I hate them with the fiery passion of a thousand suns. I turned on the light bent down for a close look, and was confronted with a feather. It was a feather on the floor. This is how deep my paranoia runs.

So I flicked the light switch again. When I did so, however, two things happened simultaneously: movement and pain.

I experienced a sharp stinging sensation on my middle finger. This is not unusual. A previous owner, in their impeccable interior decorating taste (that's sarcasm by the way, it's sometimes hard to tell in writing) stuccoed the interior walls of the bedrooms. The outside of the house is covered in stucco several inches thick, the interior is coated in stucco; I'm afraid when we finally remove it, the house will be so light it will blow away!

But the movement. It wasn't that I saw movement exactly, more like I felt the presence of evil.

I turned the light back on, and AAAAHHHHHH! THE FUCKING SCORPION WAS ON THE LIGHT SWITCH! It was swinging it's tail around and flexing it's claws like, "HI THERE, FRIEND!"
I truly loathe them.

I screamed, as denoted by the "AAAAHHHHHH!" above. Steve came down the hall with a jandal (flip flop) to squish the offending beast since we've discovered that the scorpion "kills on contact" sprays do not, in fact, kill on contact and the demon bugs can remain fully capable of world domination for several minutes. Steve squashed the demon beast, but then held the shoe there for and extended moment. It was that moment that he realized it was positioned over his desk and that if it dropped, it would land under his desk and he would have to crawl around to fetch it since there's not chance of me doing it. He found a bit of paper and positioned it under the jandal (flip flop) to catch the remains of tiny monster. This is when we found out that deep treads on scorpion crushers (aka shoes) and thickly stuccoed walls result in a pissed off, but otherwise undamaged, scorpion. The damn thing was still waving it's tail and flexing it's claws singing, "SURPRISE MOTHER FUCKERS!" Steve squashed it again, but the only change was that the scorpion sang out, "Try that again, Mo Fo, and I will take that flipper (scorpions have no clue) and beat you with it!" Third time was the charm, though, probably because Steve leaned all his weight on it and wiggled it around. I'm pretty sure I heard a crunch, but I'm still not sure if it was the scorpion or Steve's shoulder.

In the end, the body of the Overlord of Evil did fall behind Steve's desk, and he did have to crawl under to retrieve it because that's just how evil they are. Even in death they have to get the last evil word in. No wonder the spiders look at them in evil awe.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Demolition

We have begun the demolition of the arches in front of the house!


So excited!

 We thought we'd start on them because we needed a job that had a small price tag after spending $7k on mini split units (so worth it by the way! Not only are they more efficient, quiet, and we have  unit in each room, but they do heat as well as cool so we won't freeze to death this winter). Unfortunately, the dry rot and insect damage inside the arches is so bad, we'll need to fix them sooner rather than later. Bum.
These posts aren't really giving much support.
Wasps nests, termite damage, and dry rot. Oh my!
Yeah, you really don't want it to look like that. 
The good news is that the condition improves the further up you go. When the guys installed the split units, they had to knock some pretty big holes in the ceiling of the porch to feed the pipes through, so we've got a pretty clear picture of the state the house is in. There's a lot of wasps nests, but no rot. That's something at least!
It's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it!

 That's me, tired and dirty. It's exhausting work, but there's something oddly satisfying about slamming the side of the your house with a sledgehammer!

It's still getting too hot to work for very long outside, though. So, we also decided to test some paint colors in the lounge/kitchen.

Purple in the kitchen makes it feel regal. 


Green, grey, and black in the lounge. Believe it or not,
the black ceiling makes the room seem bigger!
We still need to get the actual paint and do the full job, but I'm looking forward to having color in my world again. We've been stuck in beige rental properties for so long, and it's always driven me slightly insane.

Mentally/emotionally, I'm not doing very well. I'm very angry (possibly why the sledgehammer is so appealing!) and I just can't seem to get motivated to do much of anything. It's highly frustrating. There's lots I should be doing, I'm sure, but I just can't bring myself to do it. Instead, I've been taking naps again. I'm fully intending to get my blood work done, and then drop my medication level again. I've also cancelled the appointment I had with a new endocrinologist. I found out he was in the same office as the last one, and I just cannot face that fight. Just thinking about it makes me tired. So, I'll just keep powering through and hope that something shifts soon.