Wednesday, August 27, 2008


So, I got a phone call at the church office. (Which smells a little funny... I'm upping the dehumidifier! I guess one of the drawbacks of moving out of a moldy house is that as you recover, you regain your sense of smell. Mold is stinky!)

Anyway, I got a phone call today from this place that is having a "lock up" for Muscular Dystrophy, and they let me know that my name had been put in, but the person who nominated me opted to be in the "witness protection program", so they can't tell me who nominated me to put me in prison.

Thankfully, I wasn't available for the lock-up, but I would hope this program might find a way to tell people about in a different way than just "You've been nominated for a lock-up! You get breakfast or lunch! Oh, you aren't available? Just send a donation!" It sounds just a little on that side of slightly creepy. Of course, I am a rather paranoid person. It's all the hanging out with police officers, I think...

It makes me a little sad, though, that whoever nominated me didn't tell me in person. I'd like to know who that person is and if this is a cause that's particularly close to her/his heart...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Big Hints and Barbie-Doll Wrappings

So, I got home after the Vestry Meeting last night, and saw a small pile of brand new grilling tools sitting on our stoop, with a pile of charcoal.

Back when I was in my single girl apartment in Arlington, I did not have a coffeemaker. Why did I need one, I reasoned, when Rappahannocks was just down the street? Houseguests glared at me. Several refused to come stay until I got a coffeemaker. With much eye rolling, I gave in and bought a french press. The rest has been coffee history. (And let's just say, it was a pretty nifty thing to have when I started dating a coffee-making hunk like M...)

So when we moved in to our place in Southbury, we did not have a grill. We had a grill pan, we reasoned. It was a wedding present. Along comes the 4th of July. We invite everyone over for a picnic. People RSVP that they'll come. People started figuring out that we really had no idea what we were doing when we started calling people and casually asking them if they wouldn't mind bringing their grills with them.

"Hey, dad, we'll provide the burgers. Why don't you bring your grill? What do you mean, it's a problem? You have a pickup, don't you?" Apparently, there are some things you can't do even with a pickup and a firefighter for a son.

They showed up instead with a little charcoal grill shaped like a red egg. It worked quite well and we've been experimenting ever since. Of course, we were using regular kitchen tools. Seriously. I'd take my metal tongs and a big potholder out. I'd bring my grill grate inside and wash it with dish soap in the sink, just like a grill pan.

Last night, the Grill Tools showed up. They have wooden handles that are very long... you know, things that'll keep your hands out of the fire. I did have to laugh since they came wrapped in so much plastic and twisty ties that I told M I felt like I was unwrapping a Barbie Doll. You know how they twisty-tie Barbie's everything and tape her to the box and it takes about 15 minutes to unwrap Barbie and her shoes and her hair? Same deal, only with tools.

I'm being educated. Anyone want to come over for a cookout? You bring the burgers this time... I'll try and figure out this "chimney" thing.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

New House! (not mine)

It happened! It finally actually happened! They’d been talking about it for years. They dithered for ages about other places, other states, other ways to live, and managed to always reason themselves out of it.

Two of their friends had been kicking them in the collective butts for a while, helping them move forward in a half-hearted attempt at making it reality. They started cleaning out. They started looking at other places. Then a close friend died, and they suddenly realized that the life they wanted to live was somewhere else.

The family home I grew up in got a serious cleaning and a fabu, mod new paint job. They found a community they liked and the builder went nuts to help them design a custom dream home. Finally, with much hemming, hawing, and many, many predictions of doom, they put their home of 33 years on market.

It sold in 2 weeks. It is honestly in a great neighborhood safe enough to play in the streets. (Who remembers the “CAR COMING!” shouts?) They bribed their kids with chocolate cake (they still know the way to our hearts) to come over, and spread out the blueprints of their tony new place with the hardwood floors, tile bathrooms, a real study for my pop, and a passive solar layout to make Francis Moore Lappe herself want to come over and stay.

I think my mom is in shock. My dad hasn’t mentioned “mortgage” or "doom" in 48 hours, but he babbles happily about the new stainless steel and glass stove hood, the cabinetry, and work orders. If all goes well, they will move for the last time in November and Christmas will be in their new house. In the ever-cheery mode, my brother and I (both emergency workers) informed them that they’ll never move again until we carry them out feet first.

I don’t think they really appreciated that part.

The “Family House” has sold. It was a good place to raise a family. I mean, none of us turned out to be axe murderers or bank swindlers, though K might still have a chance… ;-D Now it’s time for their own house, the sort of place that is THEIRS.

Very cool. And it even has comes with their choice of Yard Boulders.

Coffeeshop Writing (aug 15)

I would have included a few photos of Box City where we currently live, but my camera is packed up and I do not know where it is.

I had me a little meltdown yesterday. I think every girl needs to have them once in a while. At some point during the day, with my “to do” list stretching out to an endless “too much to do” list, I sat down and blubbered. M, unfortunately, was on the phone at the time. He came home to attempt to figure out what had happened to his normally cheerful lady love, and got a little… er… socked with accusations that I was not a Stepford wife and couldn’t work full-time, organize the house, reset all the addresses, and clean the kitchen too. Poor guy.

He suggested (wisely) that I take this morning and spend it working somewhere out of the house. Now Starbucks’ wireless access stinks (yes, I have AT&T and yes, the technical problems are still being worked out, but yes, I would have expected Starbucks could have done what Rappahannocks and St. Elmos did years ago and have free wifi, already, and a jazz band on Thursdays, and coffee roasting in house…). So I’m sitting at Starbucks writing away, getting quite a lot done, and have made a list of things that I must do when I return to an internet connection.

I do freely admit that I love walking to the coffeshop and the drugstore and the bank again. I had that in Arlington, and I loved it. I missed the walking world when I lived in lovely-but-isolated Country Land. The drawback of rolling green country is that no one walks. I really, really wish they did. Country Land would have been the perfect town if our sidewalks had been more prevalent. As it is, we just realized that the lack of sidewalks was a non-starter for us.

I'm back home now... on my own two feet.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ah-HA! I know you are out there!

Okay, parishoners, you are OUTED! I have heard of a few of you quoting quotes from this blog! Come on, out with it now! The coolest thing about blogs is the ability to start a conversation in the comments. Do you agree, disagree, or get inspired by any posting? Then comment on it! I'll comment back and we will have a direct conversation. Com'on, it's no fun when you only complain to your pew neighbor! Tell me too! Let me kvetch with ya!

And yes, our Rectory IS totally "oldy and moldy". It does need some serious love and work to bring it back up to date. It's not been properly cared for in about, oh, 7 years at least. The current renters look like they are awesome, though, and they FILL that place up! Which is cool. And they share peppers and tomatoes. Which is even cooler.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Moving Tips

So... we moved this past weekend. We gave up the oldy, moldy Rectory and its 3,000 square feet of sprawling, oddly arranged (but somewhat charming historically) space for a nice, compact, UN-moldy apartment here in West Hartford. It's much more our size, and we are totally digging the walkable neighborhood. Sure, we drove to Starbucks tonight, but that's only because my whole body is SO SORE from moving.


Here's a few moving tips.

When your moving company is three hours late showing up to the job, that's a good time to use your internet connection to call their competitors and hire a different company. A very nice company called DHK Movers totally saved my skin on Saturday. Sure, I got moved in a day late, but they rocked my rental truck!

When your moving company (the first one) shows up in a tiny car with HANDICAP plates, you might be screwed. I'm just saying.

When you get to the new house, if you walk in and say, "Hm, something doesn't seem quite right", start putting things away in the kitchen. It's the fastest way to discover that you lack the dishwasher you thought you had, and thus the best inspiration to start measuring your rooms and to discover that you are, in fact, in the wrong apartment. Whoops.

When the very nice apartment manager saves your dickens by moving you into a larger unit with a dishwasher, you send a shout-out and say, "Thank you, new landlords!" So we are now unpacking our Big Mess, but we have plenty of space and it feels like the place we are supposed to be.

Amen to small spaces.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Paris Hilton For President!

Ohmygod, this has my vote right now for, like, totally the BEST political ad of this election.

Paris Hilton, you have heretofore never occupied a cell of my brain, but now, honey, you are golden to me. Whenever you show up somewhere in whacked-out looking clothes, I will defend it by pointing out your involvement in this ad. Whenever you get arrested and sent to a day or so in jail, I will send good karma your way just because you did this ad. Whenever anyone has the nerve to call you a dumb blonde, I will totally point out that even if the Funnyordie people wrote it, you had the brains to be IN it.

For that, my dear, you are my hero.

Readers, you must click on this link right now. And don't sip any liquids for a few minutes.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

New Toy for Cats

So, I think I gave my cat the BEST TOY EVER!

We are packing for our move to West Hartford. We are very excited to be moving to a space about a third of the size of our current sprawling place. 3,000 square feet is just not our thing at this time in our lives. We are so thrilled to be moving, in fact, that we are smiling and laughing when family torments us that it's only a matter of time before we start illegally parking our Lexus SUV or calling our new hometown-to-be "Wey-Ha!"

In the meantime, our house is becoming box city. Our cats think it's the best thing I've ever done for them. They are the Homer Simpsons of cats. First, they survey the box with the disinterested demeanor of Homer answering the phone... "Y'ello?" followed by the high-energy hyperactivity of the yellow one's discovery of a donut... "Ohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygod." It's a BOX!

Origami just spent the last half hour napping in the box I was planning to pack my desk items into. He thinks I'm the coolest person EVER.