I Miss My Things

I miss my things.

Missing: My Things

Missing: My Things

It’s been 2 weeks and 2 days since the moving company arrived at my house and ushered all of my most prized personal possessions into their big truck. When they were done, I received a copy of the packing list and they drove off, promising to reunite me and my things within a week.

It didn’t happen.

I’ve called my relocation specialist several times and received vague promises of a delivery soon. “I’ll call you back in a few days to firm it up,” he assures me. But no call comes.

It’s amazing how empty a house is with only two beds, a dining room set, and two folding tables. It echoes.

In Fight Club, Tyler Durden claims “The things you own end up owning you,” and I wish I could be more zen-like and unattached about not having my things, but that would be a lie. I miss my things. My desk, mostly, and my comfortable desk chair. The asthma medication I ran out of several days ago that I can’t refill because there’s a three-month supply on the truck. A cookie sheet. My spice collection. Extra vacuum cleaner bags. The whiteboard for my refrigerator. Even though it seems like a random collection of stuff, it’s the stuff that makes a house a home and grounds me. I need it.

Okay. I don’t need it. I want it.

The things I need are already here. The love of my family. My dogs. Good health. A creative mind. A sense of peace and rightness in my world. The truck didn’t take any of that, I did.

Having a desk to put it on doesn’t seem that big a deal after all.

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Sarah Collins, Will You Please Go Home!

I moved into a cul-de-sac recently and discovered that one of my neighbors has no sense of boundaries. Not only does she think the entire cul-de-sac is her property, but everyone finds her wandering ways endearing and sweet. “That’s Sarah Collins,” they say with soft drawls and smiles. “She just does whatever she wants.”

What the blond bitch wants, as far as I can figure out,  is to prowl around my yard, follow me when I take my dogs for a walk, and crap on my lawn.  I’ve always wanted an incontinent stalker.

Sarah Collins stopping by to drop off a little something something.

Sarah Collins stopping by to drop off a little something something.

Now, I’m trying to be a good neighbor. I want to get along.  But can’t I walk out the front door without Sarah Collins strolling by to check on me? And isn’t it enough I have two dogs to clean up after already? Must I add Sarah Collins to the mix? When I walk by her owner’s house,  I notice his lawn is pristine and green. Mine is marked by urine spots. Coincidence? I think not.

I don’t have any options at this point either. Sarah Collins has been ruling the neighborhood for the last ten years. As I speak, she has entered my yard for the tenth time tonight. No longer happy with the view from the ground, she’s walked up the steps to my second story deck and is standing at the gate, waiting to be let in.

I refrain from yelling at her. I want to be neighborly. Still, I previously lived in the land of leash laws and picking up your own dog’s poop. Down here, that’s not the way things work. In fact, my neighbor’s are entertained by the sight of me parading my leashed dogs around the circle,  leaning down occasionally with one baggie covered hand. “Oh, we just leave it,” they say. “It’s what dogs do.”

Perhaps, with time, I will become as mellow as the people I live among. For now, though, I wish Sarah Collins would go home, and stay there.

Ever had a neighbor’s dog drive you insane? How did you deal with it? Suggestions wanted in the comments.

Cats: Not to be Trusted

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Please note: No cats were hurt in the writing of this blog post.

My daughter’s dog has a cat. He loves his cat. Yes, that’s his picture above. He’s grooming his cat. He enjoys it. The cat appears to enjoy it too.

There are many things I love about sharing a house with my daughter. I love how she accentuates the positive. I love how she tells my inner mean girl to shut up. I love that she pay attention to what I have to say. I even love her dogs.

I just hate her dog’s cat.

Cat

Cat (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

It’s bad enough that cats cause depression, use litter boxes, and indiscriminately kill birds and rodents, but her cat sneaks into my office late at night when I’m asleep and messes with my stuff.

At first I blamed the dogs (cats are expert at shifting blame), until I realized if one of the big dogs leapt onto my desk it would collapse and the mini beagle can’t jump that high. No way dogs were dancing on my desk at night and leaving my papers in a disarray. My suspicions were confirmed the morning I opened my office door to find the cat guiltily looking up from a pile of papers. He fled through a secret entrance back into his bedroom before I could react. After I picked up the papers and straightened out my desk,  I found the cat pee.

Luckily he missed the laptop, kindle and ipad. His watery destructiveness was limited to the desktop calendar, my favorite Grammar Girl book, and a few pages of miscellaneous  notes. Enough to tick me off, but not enough to ruin my day.

Kattenbak

Kattenbak (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And it certainly didn’t ruin the cat’s day, mainly because cat’s are hard to discipline.

A dog will drop into a submissive pose and look guilty even if he isn’t. A cat won’t.

A dog will understand he’s done something wrong and attempt to worm his way back into your good graces. A cat doesn’t.

Cats are resistant to having their nose rubbed in something, their snouts lightly tapped, or hearing the words “bad cat.” Almost like their egos are so large they can’t conceive of doing wrong. Cats are very egocentric, possibly sociopathic.

Which is why, in spite of the cat’s bad behavior, I’ll take no further action than to block his secret tunnel. As the bad boys of domesticated animals, I can’t spend the rest of my life looking over my shoulder and wondering how he plans to take his revenge. You know, like entwining himself in my feet as I descend the stairs or pinning me under the blankets and smothering me. And that’s only the cat tricks I know about. Imagine how many devious little feline machinations remain secret.

On second thought, don’t imagine that. If you do and there’s a cat in your house, you’ll never sleep well again. And if there is a cat in the house, sleep with one eye open. Cats aren’t to be trusted.

(Evil) cat

(Evil) cat (Photo credit: zven-ug)

Yes. It’s My Yappy Dog.

Yes, it’s my yappy dog. The one who barks and barks for no good reason in a tone guaranteed to disintegrate ear wax. I know it’s annoying.  But, he’s really cute.

nate sleeping

I try to be considerate. When I let him out in the morning, I wait in my pajamas at the patio door, ready to force him inside the second he lets out his first annoying bark of the day. That loud clunking sound you hear is a cardboard box full of zombie dice being vigorously shaken while I hiss “zombie dice” at my dog. Don’t ask me why. Sometimes it works.

After breakfast he likes to go out again. His quiet dog brother (oh, you didn’t realize I had two dogs? Of course not. The yappy one’s noise drowns out the pitter patter of my other dog’s silent feet) doesn’t appreciate the incessant barking any more than the rest of us. Every once in a while, when you hear a snarl, it’s him saying “shut the hell up” in dog language.

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Coming home for lunch means more barking. Barking as I pull into the driveway. Barking as I come up the walk way. More barking as I unlock the door and enter the kitchen. Luckily it’s inside barking, which, while annoying, I hope is not as loud as outside barking. Then it’s back outside again until the inevitable yapping returns and we’re back to zombie dice and treats.

Yes. I give him treats to come inside so I can shut him up. Remember when you didn’t want to screech at your children like a nut when they drove you crazy in the grocery store? That’s how I feel about my dog every single day, multiple times no less.

I’ve tried everything I can think of. Water bottles sprayed in his face temporarily stop him, but not for long. Shaking loud, noisy things in his face have the same brief effect. Bark collars? I’ve been through three of them.  They stop the barking for a while, but then it returns. My family says I should have his vocal cords removed.

If I didn’t love this dog so much, I’d probably contemplate foisting him off on some unsuspecting sucker. He’s good looking, friendly, and has a great personality. Until he opens his mouth.

nate and brady

Any ideas for how to make the perfect dog shut up (short of physically harming my precious)? Let me know in the comments. My neighbors will thank you.