February already?!?

Please consider this my State of La Casa Address.

For the past several weeks months, I have thought of post-worthy topics. Then I’d become enthralled by whatever calamity struck, whether it was at work or en casa, or regarding…. politics.

Hoo boy! Whenever I speak or write of the presidential election, I shall refer to it as The Meltdown of ’16. Jill Stein’s recall attempt was bad, but I had no idea how many of my friends and family are lunatics.  I felt terribly stressed not by the election itself (I slept through the tallying), but by the subsequent denouncing, crying, gloating, and apocalyptic fantasizing.*

As luck would have it, I was distracted by work-related concerns. The latest is that the Young Human Factory is approaching a critical moment. After regular work hours, we front-line employees sat down to discuss our very limited options. Older co-workers can consider early retirement. Me? I’m less concerned with an exit-strategy than a re-enter-the-workforce strategy. I hear that there’s a program to train drone pilots for delivery services…

But on happier news, today I delivered my latest sculpture to its unsuspecting recipient. She exclaimed, “I’ve never gotten anything so beautiful from anyone!” (And to answer the question my readers will be thinking: No, I can’t sell my sculpture. I tried. Even at a gallery, interested parties balked at paying $75 – a price just covered my cost in materials and studio time.)

Meanwhile in La Casa de Tontería, I had a falling out with my Internet provider. I don’t want to name names, but its initials are A, T, and T. When I called about a loss in service (possibly due to an ice storm), the representative immediately declared my modem was bad and I could now rent a newer one for $7 plus tax per month.

Ha ha! Try pulling the other one! I called my pal the Attorney General (well, his office) and found out that the FCC doesn’t regulate providers. Drat.

When the technician came, he reinforced my belief that there’s a strange philosophy at work in that company. Customer service reps are paid evil-doers, while their co-workers work for the good of their customers. Thus is the balance maintained and the Universe doesn’t implode.

Anyway, the tech informed me that my modem was fine (although a refurbished model – what?!?) and he moved my connection to a closer box down the street (rather than in the neighboring town – WHAT?!?)  He also let me know that I still had DSL, not high-speed. I told him what I was paying, and he told me that newer customers had better rates. He suggested I cancel my service for two weeks and then offer to return for a better price.

Unfortunately, I can’t be without service that long. In the summer, I’m going to do it! In the meantime, I talked the price down $35. And that’s not even the deal that the neighbors get.


*Honestly, I laughed  at those who viewed Canada as a sort of bunker to outlive the new administration. First, Canadian immigration guidelines are much stricter regarding marketable skills and sponsorship. Second, there are less than 35 million Canadians, the minority population tends to be Asian immigrants, and pretty much no one speaks Spanish. The last time I took a long trip in Canada, the joke was “We brought our own diversity.”

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The Heat Has Gone To My Head!

“It’s so hot and humid today,” I thought to myself after I mowed and ran errands. “I better take it easy.”

I didn’t iron – too hot. I didn’t cook – far too hot by lunch! I couldn’t focus on my self-assigned book. I turned on the fan and sat, surfing the ‘net and trying to stay cool.

“Oh, I know!” I thought suddenly.

And that’s how I came up with the bright idea of removing the shower doors by myself.* I’d like to report that it wasn’t as hard as I expected, but that would be a lie. Jerkface MacGuyver, the builder of La Casa de Tontería, employed excellent installers; too bad the doors were cheap garbage. Although the rust-encrusted caulk crumbled under a double-dose of elbow grease, the wall anchors will NOT budge.

However, I was pleasantly surprised that my klutziness didn’t interfere. Even gravity was my friend!  Once the doors fell off the wall into the tub, taking the entire top metal strip with them, it was MUCH easier to tear them individually from the lower strip.

I admit I grazed my right index and ring fingers on metal, but there’s no bleeding. So I put away the first aid kit unused.

I was quite pleased. Until I realized I desperately need a shower but there’s no curtain. Oops.


*My friend Daniel offered to help in exchange for homemade chocolate mocha cookies, but his work schedule is definitely hospitalish. Readers employed in the medical field will understand!

La Casa’s Notice of Eviction

I was sitting on the end of the sofa, reading the news and enjoying a cup of iced coffee (black, of course). Then I noticed a spider dangling in midair. Did the usual sweep of the hand to break its thread – and it wavered.

When I moved forward to look closer, I realized it had begun a web encompassing the windowsill over my head, the lamp at my side, and the floor. I was in its web.

No, no, no, arañita. This is MY web, and you’re just taking up space rent-free. It’s time to join your enemy – a spider of a different species – that I confronted yesterday. And the squishable one before that. And the cloud of teeny-tiny hatchlings that were clinging to the siding near the kitchen window.

I don’t like this trend of friendly neighborhood spiders moving in. So as of today, every living thing that’s not me is hereby evicted. (Not you, plants. You can stay. Maybe.)

The Book Project continues…

Have you ever noticed that when you decide on a course of action, serendipity comes into play? Something similar happened when I started the Book Project.

First, the library started taking donations for its March book sale. It’s hard to give up books, knowing may never see them again.  But our librarians are thrifty. If my donated book is particularly interesting or in better shape than a book in their collection, it will end up on the shelf.

I started bagging books that someone else might enjoy. I filled three bags!

Second, I got a free copy of Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  I can’t say it was on my reading list. In fact, so many people were discussing it, I felt as if I’d already read the Cliff Notes and listened to the audio commentary!* Continue reading

Closet shelf fix

Below is how a real man affixes a shelf. Behold! Two solid, even boards affixed to the wall after locating the studs.

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This is my father’s handiwork. I asked him to help me after the catastrophic failure in the  guestroom closet. Why, you may ask? Because this is  what Jerkface MacGuyver used to support the shelf: Continue reading

Seven Continents Book Challenge

As part of the reading for my DIY Writer’s Summer Camp, I’ve been setting some time aside for reading. (And cheating a bit – I’ve been listening to an audiobook while excavating La Casa de Tontería). One of the exercises this week is to think about favourite books, and voila! here’s a questionnaire courtesy of Julie at Happy Catholic (and co-host of my favorite podcast “A Good Book Is Hard to Find”). Continue reading