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Gift from Hil Part 2 - 2014-12-30
A Gift from Hil - 2014-12-28
There was A LOT of turkey. - 2014-12-04
Can we just jump to January please? - 2014-11-14
A (don't kick the) Bucket List - 2014-10-28

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3:48 p.m. - 2013-03-30
Spring = Change

The guys have been on spring break all week and there was much rejoicing. I'd like to point out it took until yesterday before Mick got on my last nerve. 6 days! Used to be I was biting the inside of my cheeks bloody and raw within 48 hours. That's how much our relationship has grown and improved. As well it should, Thursday was the 6th anniversary of our first date. A tally I find easier to remember than our actual wedding anniversary and not just because I got gypped out of a real wedding. Our relationship was a done deal from the get-go. Never went on another date again. I did have coffee with two of the other guys I was seeing at the time, but only to tell them in person that it was over, go and be well, and thanks for all the fish. I owed Red and Dish that much. The rest of the hovering satellites got a concise email to bugger off. Something I took a mean sort of pleasure in, as I did when Crazy Tad showed up at my house four months later and I introduced him to Mick my fiancÚ. You snooze, you lose, buddy-roo.

Our first date anniversary celebration was nice. Since the diner where we had that fateful first date is defunct, Mick and I with Wolf in tow went to the local hibachi steakhouse. Mick's idea, something that made us giggle because while now he's quite the connoisseur of Asian cuisine on our third date we'd gone to a rather upscale Japanese place and he'd ordered veal parmigiana. I kid you not. Mr Meat and Potatoes wasn't about to put any nasty sushi in his mouth. Nor any of that other weird stuff in my box dinner #4. (Gyoza, tempura, soba, etc.) Hell, back then he wouldn't even eat rice. Anyway, we had a hilarious good time. Our chef was a hoot. Flashy knife and spatula tricks, corny jokes, the whole Benihanna shtick. Even Wolf laughed, and that's as rare as unicorns these days.

Mick insisted I pick out a new charm for my Pandora. I chose a crown. Because over the last six years I've gone from wannabe princess to feeling like a queen. I told Mick that my worst day with him is still better than my best day back in my old life. It's true! The happiness, peace and security I have these days is so far removed from the sad beaten down lonely wreck I used to be I sometimes wonder if I'm not really an electro-shocked zombie in a state hospital somewhere tucked into the corner of a padded room drooling down my chin and only imagining this good life I have now. Whether I am a catatonic thorazine fried zombie or whether I am truly at the center of Mick's heart and this is my actual for real life I am so happy I put that crown bead on my bracelet of fortune with pleasure. Truly, every single day I feel like a queen.

We made a spree at Old Navy for the guys. Wolf is outgrowing his clothes every other week lately and needed crazy stuff like jeans that came down past mid-shin and t-shirts that covered his navel. (If he were a girl he'd be fine. He could pretend he's wearing capris and belly shirts.) And Mick, oy, poor Mick! In the wake of the latest school massacres the administration in all its wisdom decided the best deterrent to gun violence would be to make the security staff all wear black shirts and khaki bottoms. I know, right? The very sight of security wearing black and beige instead of green shirts and denim is so awesome it'll stop any and all malefactors in their tracks. Impressed, ain'tcha? I know I am. And Mick who spends 80% of his work day outdoors is simply delighted by the uniform change. There's nothing like being a fair-skinned Irishman out in the full sun wearing a thick BLACK polyester shirt and heavy twill chinos. Can't do much about the punishing black shirts, but we did find some lightweight khaki shorts at Old Navy that'll help my poor mannie from exploding like a toad under a magnifying glass. I told Mick that once the temperature goes above 75 degrees that he should wear his white cotton shirts like always and call his union rep if the bosses in their air-conditioned offices have a beef about it. Goddamn, the admins at Uber-Sports School must be taking lessons from the TSA. A killing rampage can be prevented by a color scheme???? Gimme a fricken break.

This week has been a lovely mix of sloth, chores, and treats. We ate out a lot. At first I was bunchy in the panties about the expense, but Mick rightly pointed out that we hadn't gone traveling on our vacation so having a few restaurant meals was hardly a wicked indulgence. No plane tickets, no hotel, no admissions to theme parks and museums, so relax already, Baby.

I am cooking tomorrow, of course. Nothing complicated. A roast beef and the usual side dishes. The Bunny is coming to our house with a new trash bin/Easter basket for the child. A difficult thing filling an Easter basket for a teenager. Wolf's too old for bubble juice and sidewalk chalk. Instead he'll get a video game he's been gagging for and some chocolate. Not completely devoid of toys, there's a can of tennis balls, some sludge that makes rude noises when you poke it and a parachute army guy. The last is a holdover from my own Easter baskets as a kid. Our Christmas stockings always had paddleballs (that paddle with a bouncy ball on an elastic string) and our Easter baskets always had parachuting army guys. Why? Not a clue. But it's traditional. Even later on when my mother declared we weren't allowed to have candy and would give us such 'fun' things as new clothes hangers and cleaning supplies we'd still get those dopey army guys at Easter. Alex never got the deal with the army guys and I'd end up leaning over the gallery railing, dropping the army guys and watching them float down to the first floor landing on my own. Then again the only way to get him to participate in an egg hunt was to assure him the eggs had money in them. My elder son was never a big fan of holidays or fun, but he did like money. Wolf, the sweetie, understands his mother is a big old dork about stuff like this and nicely pretends he's having a good time while we drop army guys down the stairwell.

As for sloth, sleeping in was the name of the game. On some days poor Princess had to pee something wicked by the time one of us stumbled downstairs at the crack of noon.

Chores? All kinds of stuff got crossed off the list this week. Laundry Mountain was reduced to a few random socks and some weird linens. Mick the Vacuum Meister took after the floors and got rid of the dust mountain lions and the oriental carpet in the living room is navy and jewel-toned again. I cleaned the fridge inside and out. (It was time to get rid of some of those yellowed comic strips, not to mention the expired coupons and the report cards from 2009.) Wolf sorted his clothing and got rid of three trash bags worth of outgrown stuff.

Yesterday a guy from the garage door company came to give us an estimate. Our wee freestanding one-car garage's door is toast. A spring in the lifting track went kerflooey a couple years ago and now to raise the door takes ALL of Mick's prodigious muscle and some good timing to wedge a wooden plank along the side to prop the door open. My combined anniversary/Father's Day/birthday gift to Mick this year is a brand-new garage door. If this sounds boring and prosaic let me tell you my guy is thrilled with his gift. His vintage Beetle lives in that garage. His treasure. Mick's owned that Beetle for 34 years. It's been restored and with the exception of the back headliner is like factory new. He's waxed it, curried it, taken it to many, many classic cars shows and always come home with a 1st place trophy. I'm pretty sure he'd rescue me first should there be a fire, but Mick's '57 would come a close second. Getting it out of our chancy garage with its broken door is always a nerve-wracking thing for my guy. The wedged board might slip and let the heavy untethered door come crashing down on his beloved Beetle. So. Mick gets a brand-new garage door.

Some weeks back I bought a new bookcase for my office. My stuff it doth overwhelm me. The stinking snow had prevented me from assembling my new bookcase (no room inside the house) and yesterday since Mick had pulled and parked his Beetle out back so the garage door guy could see what's what we took advantage of all that empty floor space in the garage to try to put together my new junk holder.


Fortunately it wasn't me. Mick, my admiring helper, stood by awestruck while I laid out all the pieces and hardware and thoroughly read the assembly instructions (twice!). I counted out the nails and screws and shelf pegs and fasteners. I lined up my tools. (And I blush to tell you how horny it made my husband to watch me wield my rechargeable drill. Women using power tools is an especial kink with him.) I mean it when I say I had this thing knocked! However the cheap-asses who'd farmed this particular shelving unit out to the Chinese neglected to give them the proper specs. The joiners that were meant to sister the long sides of the bookcase planks together weren't long enough. Crap. We tried and tried. I assembled and bolted and torqued this thing twelve ways to Sunday and still the joiners wouldn't catch the locking bolts!

At first I was ashamed. In many ways Mick is the stereotypical Prince Charming on his white charger rescuing me from a life of betrayal and drudgery, but when it comes to budgeting, banking, engineering, car repairs (or purchase of new vehicles), building things, home maintenance, problems with the furnace, central a/c, appliances, or assembling and installing anything, well, I am the expert. It's all good this way, really. But those damn bookcase joiners were giving me cats. I was furious! When I finally figured out where the problem was I was relieved. I could deal with too-short joiners. At least it wasn't me being an inept doofus. However this wasn't solving my storage problem. My office was/is a MESS! The overflow of books, manuscripts, dvds, souvenirs, and other ephemera had not only glommed onto all the seating area of the Couch of Infinite Time-Suck, the stacks were all over the floor, covered every flat surface and made it necessary for me to edge my way from behind my desk, across the floor and out the door crab-wise. Not an easy feat even in broad daylight, at night when I was finally sleepy enough to go to bed it was nigh on imposs. I felt like a hoarder. I felt like a sister to the Collyer brothers. I am NOT a hoarder! Stuff of no use gets junked all the time. It's just that I like having my favorite books and movies close to hand, sue me.

Goddamnit! I needed a new bookcase!

TA-DAH! I remembered there was an old bookcase from my former bookstore downstairs in the cellar. Tucked up next to the end of the folding table this press-wood and contact paper wonder was at least 25 years old. Downstairs it had been subject to more than a couple of floods. Washing machine malfunctions, leaks in the stone foundation, that horrible year when it never stopped raining, nevertheless, it was still standing. Crapped up with the lees of the ex's shit, but that was easily remedied. I'd already cleaned out the space for it in my office- the sewing machine cabinet that had been there, the junk in its hold, the detritus on top. All gone. And that corner of my office had been de-cobwebbed, vacuumed, and otherwise made ready for a more functional piece of furniture.

Yesterday I helped Mick move the damn bookcase out of the cellar and after knocking off the mold and killing the mildew crusted on its bottom we installed it in here. It required shoving the existing furniture into new places, the rug is still bulgy and misaligned, but the new bookcase is in here. This morning I washed the new/old bookcase down and now it's waiting for me to load the shelves. I had to move and find new wall space for the faboo piece by Juni Moon and a corner of my silk Buddha is tucked behind it, but mostly the big new bookcase hasn't made a terrible dent in the looks and feng shui of my most personal of places.

Spring breaking and spring cleaning in my own peculiar way, ~LA

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