Tuesday, July 31, 2012
I went to the mortgage broker's office wearing my closing dress, signed a ton of paperwork, wrote a couple of gigantic-ass checks, and walked out with the keys to my home.
Before I started house hunting, I had heard that home-buying was one of the most stressful things a person can do, and I laughed. I laughed. Because this was gonna be FUN!
By the day of the closing, I wasn't laughing anymore.
By that time, I had:
Looked at more shitholes than you can even imagine. (I was shopping at the lower end of the price scale.) ("You're looking for the best of the worst!", my realtor cheerfully told me.)
Put in an offer on one house, only to find out that it had catastrophic mold issues.
Found out, a few days after that deal collapsed, that the apartment building I lived in was being sold, and I had eight weeks to find a new house, put in an offer, have the offer accepted, and go through closing.
Found another house, only to find out it was in a flood plain and would need massive amounts of flood insurance. "The best of the worst!" I then spent several frantic days researching FEMA flood insurance technical info, having flood vents installed, and wrangling with my useless insurance agent to get the flood insurance premiums down to a reasonable level. (The house has never flooded.) (By "reasonable", I mean that my flood insurance costs substantially more than my homeowner's insurance and covers the structure only and not the contents, but costs "only" five hundred bucks a year. By the time my mortgage is paid off, I will have paid FIFTEEN GRAND in flood insurance. Yeah.)
Almost ended up sneaking to the house with a can of paint in the middle of the night when peeling paint on a garage door threatened to hold up the home loan.
Spent an untold amount of time on the phone trying to convince various professionals to just do their jobs, for the love of Christ, so I can close on this house already.
Did I mention that I quit smoking in the middle of this? Oh yeah.
But! In the end, it all worked out, and in the words of the Pistol Annies:
"Some fine day I'll be drinkin a beer
in a big backyard
I own free and clear"
A-men, ladies. A-men.
"i have 3 kittens about half growed dunno how old they are one is a female calico the other 2 are boys one is a lighter tigger stripped the other one is pure black they all like to play and very cuddly when they wanna be TEX OR E MAIL ONLY no calls dont want the kids to over hear me tlkiung about the kittens 607 279 9901 they are FREEEEEEEE"
Okay, so she has THREE cats whom she has decided she no longer wants. No reason ... evidently she's just sick of them. Even though they are her cats, she doesn't know how old they are, other than they're "half growed" ... and she doesn't want her kids to find out she's getting rid of them. You, madam, are a real sweetheart. That's why I included your phone number when I copied your ad. *cough*
"I own a 3 year old spayed female grey calico named Daisy who is very affectionate, sweet, loving, and good with children. She is used to living with one other cat and has lived with dogs in the past, however we recently brought in a new female cat and she is reacting badly. She won't eat and won't come downstairs to use the litter. We decided it would be best for her to find a new, calmer home. She is indoors and up to date with shots. We aren't asking a rehoming fee, but will reserve the right to say no, as we really want her to go to a good home. She would be fine with one male cat or one dog, or one of each, I'm sure. Please email with interest."
I don't even know where to start with that one. Suffice it to say, it drew the attention of some of the local rescue groups, and there is quite a lively conversation going on right now on both Craigslist and Facebook about this particular shining example of humanity, mainly speculating on whether she has kids, and if she got rid of the older ones when she had a baby.
Oh, Craigslist. *sigh*
Oh! And on another note, a local rescue group is trying to find a home for a nineteen-year-old cat. She is in good health. Her owner is elderly and can no longer care for her. If you know of anyone in the upstate New York area who has a quiet home for a cat to live out her years, please let me know.
Sunday, July 29, 2012
Sorry for the bluriosity - you know how it is with kittens.
Friday, July 27, 2012
I beat the storm home by about two minutes, no lie, and the cats and I all kind of freaked as the wind blew and the lightening cracked and the rain came down like crazy, and the guy on TV said "shut off the TV and get in the basement!" as I sat in my living room in front of the picture window and watched him. Look, I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed, okay? I DID at least shut the pet door in the morning before I left for work so the cats couldn't get outside and get swept away in a tornado. Give me a little credit, here.
After things calmed down a little, I went out into the garage to find this:
Ignore the Mountain Dew and the five-thousand-year-old jug of bottled water and the rusty old washboard and the plant stands and the leaves all over the floor and just focus on the water on the floor, okay? Water. on the floor. Not good.
I looked up, and while there was no water pouring through the ceiling (good!), that damn water had to have come from someplace (bad!) Because I am Einstein (hahahahaHAAAAAA), I was assuming it had come down the chimney, visible behind the rusty washboard.
I went up into the attic (the garage is attached to the house, so the attic is all of a piece), and while there was a little dampness in the plywood around the chimney, there wasn't, like, a flood up there, or any mold, which would indicate a long-standing problem. Whew!
So then I went outside and looked up at the chimney, and ...
... yeah. Looks like there's a little work to do. Damn it.
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Okay, so I've been reading this blogger (no, it's not one of you) who has been going through some difficult situations lately, and struggling, and wondering why she can't be more like some of her friends, who are all zen and new-agey and "everything happens for a reason" and "accept that you don't control the universe" and blah blah blah.
And, like everyone else these days, she brought up Aurora. The Batman movie slaughter. The funerals are this week. And I can practically HEAR the ministers, all, "We cannot begin to make sense of this tragedy. But we can use this opportunity to remember to appreciate each other more, to hug our children tighter, to take more time to look at the stars ..."
I don't wanna die in some senseless bizarre tragedy so that somebody else remembers to stop and smell the roses. Frankly, I don't want to die AT ALL. Death is never fine. Death is death. I can't say I learned a damn thing from the passing of a loved one, other than that while time heals and blahblahblah, loss itself never dies.
And if I died, and some asshole said it happened for a reason? To teach others some f*cking life lesson? Screw that shit. Screw that. Death is never for a reason. Death is death. There is nothing redemptive about death. Nothing. It just is.
I mean, we all have to die, just to make room for the next generation. If we all lived forever, there'd be a hell of an overpopulation problem. Just don't make my death some weird kind of life lesson, please. I will come back from beyond the grave and haunt the SHIT out of anybody who tries that. I mean it.
Ah. I feel better now.
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
"Your current safe boundaries were once unknown frontiers"
I ... what the hell? I guess it's supposed to be inspirational, like, dream big or something, but instead it just sounds like something Jerry Sandusky would have had printed on t-shirts.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Which is no big deal. He was kind of a dopey douchebag anyway, so no big loss.
But. As with every single employee who has ever left this company EVER, he came to me and wanted to know how much vacation time he was owed.
Ummm ... how about "none"? How does that sound to ya?
Here's the thing. The first year you work here, you get no paid vaca. The boss wants to make sure you're going to stick around before he starts handing out benefits. But. You ARE accruing hours TOWARD paid vacation, so the SECOND year you work here, you get one week's paid vacation, based on how many hours you averaged the previous year.
The THIRD year you work here, you get one week plus one day. FOURTH year? One week plus two days, etc. etc. etc. until you're up to two weeks paid vaca. If you want more than two weeks? Negotiate it with the boss the next time you're up for review.
Simple, right? Easy-peasy?
NO ONE GETS THIS. NO ONE.
And because I do payroll, they all come to me when they're getting ready to leave. And they want to know how much vaca they have coming. And they have always, ALWAYS, overestimated in their own minds how much time they've got coming. And then they can't understand why they don't have more time due. And then I have to SIT THEM DOWN, with SPREADSHEETS, and explain how basic math works. And then they walk away with this look on their faces that tells me that they STILL don't understand what I just explained to them.
This last dude? Was actually eleven hours in the hole. He hadn't worked here long enough to accrue much time, and he taken some "in advance" (which is bullshit but the boss allowed it), and then he decided to quit, so sorry buddy, you're outta luck. Actually, he owed US money. I graciously told him that I would not tell the boss that little factoid. Did he appreciate it? NO. Because he thought he had more time coming.
Jeezus Christ. I need a f*cking raise. And more vacation time.
Friday, July 20, 2012
Yeah, I've finally gotten around to watching Deadwood.
And I just want to say, Nexflix is REALLY cheaping out by only putting two episodes on a disc. It's TV, Netflix! Come ON!
and right now I am listening to a newscaster say, "It could have happened anywhere." Yes, yes, it could. It happened here, three years ago. It just keeps happening, doesn't it? My thoughts are with the people in Colorado tonight.
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
So when the FC recently gave me the email address of the woman who originally rescued Tinks, I contacted her, letting her know how the Tinkster was doing. And she emailed me back, including some photos of him when she first rescued him, along with his story.
Here is what she said (unedited):
"I feel so good about Tink having a great life. He is the first cat I even came close to taming. He was sitting in my lap for morsels of chicken before he left me. What a great teacher he was for me. Of course, you know that I originally named him Tinkerbelle thinking he was a she. He is a Pine/Henry St cat. 1 of 4 feral kittens living in the back of a woodshed that butted up to a feeding station. Another woman, named Maureen who traps for the humane soc. , I think, or maybe acc, was sent out to nab a mom and kittens. In searching for them we found Tink and siblings. She wanted to trap them so badly but things got messy with another trapper and the humane society or whomever said no. Cat bodies were starting to turn up. Myself and the other trapper did some investigating to find out that 2 places were setting out antifreeze. One was where the wood shed was. The other trapper actually caught them. I took 3 kittens including Tink and she took one and who she thought was the mom. Having absolutely no knowledge of feral cats, just a feeding station of my own because I enjoyed the cats that were there and I was trying to befriend a couple of kittens that were regulars I was panicked by this entire poisoning situation. I ended up bringing in a multitude of cats for the fall and winter. I still have about 10 odd little adult misfits I assume will be with me forever. They were all housed in one spare bedroom and then the pregnant ones gave birth, it was a kitty Explosion. Tink loved the kittens and would come out to play during playtime but wouldn't let me touch him. The FC told me about CNY Snap and took many of the kittens for me. When I decided to switch the cat room in my house to another room Tink snuck out and refused to go into a kittenless room. We then became friends over chicken. He finally decided he could come on my lap to get the chicken and my world was altered. I continue to use SNAP as I am learning the art of trapping on my own now. I never realized that feral cats were wild animals before Tink. His siblings were much easier and trusting. I now am uncertain if they actually were siblings or just a bunch of kittens that stayed warm together. They were all so different. I am fairly certain I met his father the other night when I was trapping. He is stunning and regal, he reminded me of Bambi's father. He refused to enter the trap, but looked a lot like Tink. The other trapper said he has been around for years and refuses to be trapped. I will keep trying to get him to SNAP. I assumed all cats were just naturally tame and loving humans. Tink was my teacher. I couldn't believe how stubborn he was about trusting me.
Thank you, Thank you Thank you for giving him a chance at a great secure life. I am still not good at giving cats away, but honestly, I know he has a better life and it really, really helps. "
So! The story of Tinks, the woodshed cat.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Now! World War III is about to go down in my yard.
Because the deer are eating my about-to-bloom hibiscuses. (Hibisci?)
This. Will. Not. Stand.
I KNOW there's been some talk lately about the deer coming to tell me something, and I'm totally down with that, BUT THEY CANNOT EAT MY HIBISCUSES WHILE THEY'RE HERE.
I put up with the deer this spring, when they ate half my damn (deer-resistant) (my ass) daylilies down to the ground. I put up with their gigantic poop piles in my backyard.
But they cannot have the hibiscuses.
I worked HARD to carve that hibiscus garden out of the sloping side yard last year. I CELEBRATED when the plants popped out of the ground this spring. I MULCHED and I WATERED and I delighted when the first buds started to appear.
The first buds. WHICH THE DEER ARE NOW EATING.
So I'm arming myself with knowledge. I've looked up deer-repellent spray recipes, and I've learned that hanging aluminum pie pans in the garden, while cultivating the hillbilly look, may also help keep the deer away. I've heard the whole Irish-Spring theory.* I will sit out there with a f*cking FLAMETHROWER if I have to, to keep the deer away from those hibiscuses.
You're crossed the line, deer. You've been warned. It is ON.
*am I the only one old enough here to remember the old "Manly, yes! But *I* like it, too!" commercials?
Monday, July 16, 2012
First off, yes, I am back to work, as of today. (insert raspberry-blowing sound here.) But last week, when I was off, I had some visitors.
You know, I was raised Presbyterian, a religion which is kind of against proselytizing, but now that I'm an atheist, hell, if some wack-ass religion wants to send people to my door, I'll talk to 'em.
And these were two lovely older women, very polite, who just wanted to talk to me for a minute on the doorstep and didn't ask to come in and were very pleased to meet Ponyboy, who was curious as to who was at the door.
So I accepted the July issue of The Watchtower and also the July issue of Awake! and also an invitation to the next local big Jehovah's Witness come-to-Jesus camp meeting, which I was amused to find was being held at one of the local casinos. Ha.
So I got started thinking about religions, and who's the wackiest of them all.
Is it the Jehovah's Witnesses? I don't know.
The Catholics? Nah, they're more evil-wacky than woo-woo wacky. Want to know why the Catholics are against birth control? It has nothing to do with that whole life-is-sacred stuff. It dates back a couple of centuries, when Catholics were vastly outnumbered, religion-wise, and they started encouraging big families to have more soldiers in the religion wars.
And that whole priests-have-to-be celibate thing? Well, priests used to be allowed to marry, but they had a nasty little habit of leaving their estates to their wives and kids when they passed away, and the higher-ups in the church didn't like losing out on all that money, so they insisted that priests be celibate, so that they would leave their money to the church when they died.
Hey, you can look it up.
Okay, let's talk about the Mormons. Holy underwear? Yeah right. The Scientologists? Well, with the whole Tom Cruise-Katie Holmes breakup in the news, we all know about those wacky-ass Scientologists. Thetans, SPs, lalalala okay if it makes you happy.
So who's the craziest religion of them all? Ya got me. But if they want to come to my door and be polite and leave me some reading material, I'm down with that. Just don't expect to see me at the local airport, wearing a white robe and beating a tambourine.
Saturday, July 14, 2012
Friday, July 13, 2012
This was one of the three sets of falls to be climbed:
Thursday, July 12, 2012
And I'll tell you what, the fawns, like the one the other day, will often come quite close, and even the does will occasionally, but to have a buck come that close?
I don't know what's going on here. I am by no means a "woo-woo-supernatural" kind of person, but I had another dream last night about the house I grew up in, and now here comes another deer.
Shit. I'll laugh about this tomorrow.
And as usual, "just a couple of hours" turned into most of the damn day. But hey, that's six hours of work that won't be waiting for me on Monday morning.
And I met the Mayor, who is considerably better-looking and more amiable than he is on TV.
So it wasn't a total wash.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
But it was still a fine day.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
It was calm today.
Look who came across the creek to check me out:
He kept coming closer, and closer:
Until I finally clapped my hands to shoo him away. I think he thought I was his mama.
There were tadpoles:
And a heron, and kingfishers, and pileated woodpeckers, and a hawk who circled above me and voiced her displeasure at my presence:
And when I looked down after snapping pics of the hawk, there were minnows looking to snack on my sneaks:
And there was a deer jawbone:
I'm tellin' ya, the deer always find me. I wish I knew why.
Monday, July 09, 2012
I started off meandering through the camping area, where I discovered this:
Sunday, July 08, 2012
And then LAST night, I'm out in the front garden, digging a hole for some daisies, when I heard the screeeeeeeeech of metal on metal, and my neighbor L. yelling, "Oh my God! What did I hit? What did I hit?!"
Well, what she hit was the fire hydrant at the end of her driveway. I ran over to make sure she was alright, and she got out of the car, crying and yelling, "I can't believe I did it AGAIN!"
She was a school bus driver for over thirty years. That's all I'm gonna say about THAT.
And! In other, almost unbelievable news, I messed up ANOTHER toe last night. Motherf*cker. On the opposite foot this time. You know what? I think it's time to start wearing shoes. ALL THE TIME.
Saturday, July 07, 2012
Friday, July 06, 2012
Wednesday, July 04, 2012
There's a family about a half-mile away from here that does a great fireworks display. And it's kind of awesome, 'cause I can watch it right from my living room, due to neighborhood geographics.
I was kind of wondering how the cats would react. So I made sure they were inside, and shut the pet door, about a half an hour ago, just in case they got freaked out. The verdict?
Sodapop? "Meh. Noise? What noise? Let's play!"
Ponyboy? "The firecrackers were okay. I can deal with THAT noise. but wait ... this BIG NOISE? Holy shit where's the underside of the bed oh wait I'm okay let me come out hahaha I was just kidding OH MY GOD here comes the noise again WHAT THE F*CK where can I hide?"
Tinks? Okay, I kind of figured that Tinks might be okay with this shit, seeing as how he spent his kittenhood last summer, before he came into rescue care, about two blocks from the local AAA baseball stadium, meaning he heard fireworks about three times a week last year.
Aw, Tinks. He tried valiantly to hold it together at first, all, "Oh yeah, I remember this stuff from last year, when I was a kitten, it's all okay, no big deal, HOLY MARY MOTHER OF CHRIST I NEED TO HIDE RIGHT NOW." So he is holding down the fort underneath the bed in spare bedroom right now.
Don't worry, kitties. You're safe and sound.
Okay, so an acquaintance of mine posts little sayings her vitamin store sends her on facebook all the time. And today's was, "The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has it's limits."
And at FIRST I was all, it's a joke, right? It's gotta be a joke, writing about genius and putting that apostrophe in the "its".
But it just sat there, and sat there, and I couldn't resist myself, so I commented, "I don't think genius would've put that apostrophe in the "its", though ... "
and some chick who I don't know from Adam commented, "Wow, Rocky ... bitter person much?"
Whaaaaaaat? This is why I've gotta stay the f*ck off facebook.
Now scroll down, for lots of random stuff. Yippee!
I accidentally ate a piece of dry cat food the other day. Don't ask. It tastes just about how it looks.
I set the kiddie pool up in the backyard and when it gets hot enough, I wear my bikini and sit in the pool. It's all about comfort. I hope none of the neighbors sees me and, like, turns into a pillar of salt or something.
But! My kiddie pool sprung a leak last night! Oh no! I've gotta buy a new one, TODAY. Priorities, peeps.
I'm taking a break from fostering. I'll still be volunteering for the local rescue groups; I just won't have any fosters in my house for a little bit. I'm really, really close to burning out at this point, and I need a rest. Kittens are exHAUSTing, guys. For me, anyway. If I had a couple of little kids who could play with them and burn off some of their energy, it'd be a different story. My fosters went back to the FC's house, where they've got plenty of other kittens to keep them busy.
I always feel guilty when I have to renew library materials, and I don't know why. It's not like there's a line of people waiting to take out that three-month-old copy of GQ.
Yeah, I read men's magazines. I'll read just about anything.
I kept finding pieces of grilled food (chicken, sausage) by my back door. I was kind of dismayed, because I was afraid my cats were filching it from my neighbor L.'s grill, but when I went over to apologize and pay for what they'd taken, she told me that no, no, she'd been feeding the cats little tidbits left over from when she was done grilling. I'm glad she likes my cats, but I kind of wish she wouldn't feed them, but I'd be a total asshole if I asked her to stop ("Stop being nice to my cats!"), so I guess my cats will continue to feast on her leftovers. I wish she'd give some to me, actually. She used to bring me over dinner quite often, but then that whole pizza-allergy thing blew up on me, and now I don't get any more neighbor-food.
Oh, except for T., across the street. When the local supermarket has one of their buy-one-get-TWO-free deals, (usually on potato chips) sometimes she brings me over something. Thanks, T.!
I didn't put out any flags for the Fourth. For one thing, I'm working today and didn't have the time to do it last night, and for another ... well, I'm lame.
I saw a deer and a cat having a playdate in my yard the other morning. True story! I'll tell you about it soon ...
Tuesday, July 03, 2012
Dudes, it's a wonder I can walk and talk at the same time. I'm actually kind of ashamed of myself at this point.
Monday, July 02, 2012
I see a lot of stone walls when I'm out hiking. (These photos were taken early this spring; thus the lack of foliage.)
And all I can think of when I see one is, "Maaaan, that must've been a LOT of work."
And I wonder. I mean, I know that farmers had to clear their fields of stones, so they had a ready supply of rocks for the walls.
But wouldn't it have been easier to just heave the stones out of the fields, and then cut down some trees and make wooden fences? Or wait, were farms close enough together back then so that if you heaved a rock out of your field, it'd end up in your neighbor's field? Or did they figure that the rock walls would last a lot longer, making all of the work in the beginning pay off?
All I know is, long after the farms are gone and the forest has reclaimed the land, the walls are still here. And it makes me tired just looking at 'em, thinking of all that work.