Holy crap! It’s been two years since we closed on this house. I can’t believe it’s been ours for that long! I love it even more now than I did back then! + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +   Liz’s flight … Continue reading “9-29-08”

Holy crap! It’s been two years since we closed on this house. I can’t believe it’s been ours for that long!

I love it even more now than I did back then!

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Liz’s flight landed a little early on Wednesday and so when she texted me to let me know she’d landed (but was still on the plane), I was still a few minutes away from the airport, and I sat at a stop sign a little too long to text her back that I’d be there in a few minutes, and the guy in the big-ass bubba truck behind me got so irate I thought he was going to go Nicholson on my ass. Swear to god, I maybe sat there ten seconds longer than I ordinarily would have. Fucker.

I picked her up, we got her luggage, and we went directly to Captain D’s. Liz is addicted to hushpuppies and they apparently don’t have them anywhere in the Northeast, so we went to get her her fix. The employees at Captain D’s (at least the one near the airport in Madison) are super-extra friendly. It’s kind of nice.

Wednesday night we watched an episode of The Office, Season 4 and the most recent episode of The Shield, then Fred went to bed and Liz and I watched an episode of Footballers’ Wives. Since I had to get up early Thursday morning to do my stint at the pet store, I gave Liz instructions on how to turn the TV off and went to bed.

Thursday morning I felt like every step I took in the house was extra loud, but Liz told me later she didn’t hear a thing. I went to the pet store, ran by Target, and got home a little after 9:00. We’d planned to go to Cracker Barrel for breakfast, but just as we were about to leave, I realized I hadn’t seen Kara at all in the half an hour or so since I’d gotten home, and thus began the search for the damn cat.

“What does she look like?” Liz asked.

“She’s a brown tabby,” I said.

Liz grinned. “I don’t know what a tabby is.”

“Kind of tiger stripe-y” I said.

“Is that her?” Liz asked.

“No, that’s Mister Boogers,” I said.

“Oh, there’s one. Is that her?”

“No, that’s Tommy.”

And so on. I went outside and called for her in that special cat-calling voice (oh, don’t look at me, you do it too, you freak) and walked all over the property, and came back inside the house and looked in every nook and cranny, and finally I decided we should just go ahead and go have breakfast, I’d leave the back door open, and if she showed back up, she’d be able to get inside.

So we went and had breakfast at Cracker Barrel, ran by the movie store, and then went to the new Nestle Tollhouse store that opened up at some point in the past few months. I’d been eyeballing it and Liz was willing to go in with me, so stop we did. We ended up getting a big frosted cookie, and it was gooooooood.

Thursday afternoon we watched the Sex and the City movie (just as good the second time around!) and hung out and we were sitting on the couch talking and I was trying to decide if I smelled cat pee when I glanced over at the fireplace at the other end of the front room. Just in time to see Kara.


“Holy shit!” I said, getting up and running to the fireplace. “Holy shit! She went up the chimney! SHE WENT UP THE CHIMNEY!”

“Should I get Fred?” Liz asked.

“Um… yeah!” I said. Liz ran to the back of the house to call Fred, and I pulled the pillows out of the chimney.

The chimney that belongs to that fireplace had, at one point, a cap over the top of it to prevent birds from building nests inside the chimney and from crapping down the chimney into the front room, but the cap blew off at some point and calls to the chimney sweep company who’d done the work were fruitless, since the number had been disconnected. So to stop all that stuff from ending up in the front room, I stuffed a couple of pillows up there, and so far it’d been working pretty well.

When I grabbed the first pillow, a cloud of dust and soot came out. When I grabbed and pulled the second pillow, a bigger cloud of dust and soot came out, along with Kara, who hauled ass across the room and hid behind the couch.

So it appears that while I’d been frantically calling for Kara that morning, she’d been hanging out up inside the chimney (there’s a ledge inside the chimney right over the fireplace, but then it smooths out, so I don’t think she could have climbed up the chimney, at least not very far). I guess she wanted a little alone time.

We ended up keeping the pillows out of the chimney and just sealing off the hole with brown paper and duct tape, which I believe you’ll agree adds an elegant and classy finish to the front room.

Maybe duct tape should be my decorating statement piece.

For dinner, Liz and I went to the BBQ restaurant we always go to when she comes to visit, and she tried catfish. She said it wasn’t bad, but I don’t think it’s destined to become one of her favorites.

We watched another episode of The Office, Season 4 and then both hours of Survivor (don’t know how much I’m going to like this season, I found everyone very annoying) and then Fred went off to bed and Liz and I started watching Son of Sam, because we like to rent cheesy movies about serial killers (we’ve done John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahmer in the past). We made it about 7 minutes in before we decided “FUCK THIS” because it was so bad, and put The Footballers’ Wives in instead.

I intended to stay up late, but I was so tired from getting up at 5 am that I was honkshu* through most of the show. Liz was pretty tired, too, so it was lights out.

Friday morning around 7:30, I was sitting in front of my computer sending an email when there was a terrific crash and the whole house shook. I thought for sure that there’d been a car crash in front of the house, and I stood up to look out the side door.

Standing in the yard, right in front of the stoop, was a deer. It gave me a panicked look, shook its head, then wheeled and ran toward the chicken yard, jumped over the fence, ran across the chicken yard, paused in confusion, and jumped over the other fence before bounding across the back forty and disappearing into the woods.

Given that I am horrific in an emergency and given to freezing and gaping in horror, I’m rather proud of myself that – as I was gasping “Holy shit! HOLY SHIT!” – I grabbed the camera and ran out into the back yard to snap a few pictures. (I later second-guessed myself; I could have simple stepped out on the side stoop and shot pictures. Although now that I type that, I remember that it was my thought that I could open the back gate to allow the deer to get out, because I mistook his confused pause as an inability to jump the back fence.)


After I’d snapped a few pictures, I turned to look toward the side yard to see if there might be any more deer coming along, and I saw that the fence between the side gate and the house was bent quite a bit, and the gate was hanging open. What I think happened is that the deer tried to jump that fence, didn’t leap high enough, and thus bounced off the fence.


I was shaky for a good ten or fifteen minutes after that little experience, just because the sound had startled me so badly.

Liz got up eventually, and we hung out and talked for a few hours and watched TV, and then we headed out for Cracker Barrel for lunch. We ate pretty quickly and got out of there, headed for the movie theater in Huntsville to see The Women. Being that it was a school day, there were only two other people in the theater.

I thought the movie was kind of ehhh, mildly funny in some parts, very distracting every time Meg Ryan’s face was in close-up (I’m considering suing her plastic surgeon for emotional distress or possibly damage to a national institution), Debra Messing wasn’t the slightest bit funny, and why is it that in EVERY GODDAMN MOVIE that contains a pregnant woman, there is ALWAYS going to be a scene where her water breaks and she has to be rushed to the hospital? To me, the only real standout in that movie was Debi Mazar and that kid who played Meg Ryan’s daughter was a knockout.

Let me take a moment here to confess that despite the fact that I am assuredly not a Nicholas Sparks fan, I am finding myself compelled to go see Nights in Rodanthe. Anyone see it yet? Is it worth my time?

Liz wasn’t feeling well – kind of dizzy and nauseous – so we headed home and she went off to take a nap while I hung out in front of my computer. After a few hours she felt a bit better and we were both hungry, so we went off to Bojangles to get dinner. I’d never been there before, but I remembered Liz mentioning it favorably many times back when she lived in the South.

It wasn’t bad food, but I don’t know that I’ll necessarily go out of my way to go back there. The fried chicken was okay, but what I really liked was the dirty rice.

We spent the evening watching the season premiere of The Office (I think I squealed when you-know-what happened; I don’t want to ruin it for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet) and then an episode of The Office from last season (I got the first three DVDs from Netflix) and then Fred went to bed and Liz and I watched a couple of episodes of Footballers’ Wives. I was alert for the first one but honkshu** through most of the second, but Liz woke me up at a crucial plot point, so I don’t think I missed anything too important.

I was in bed by midnight and slept like a rock until 7 Saturday morning, when Fred came up to report that Mister Boogers had escaped the back yard but had returned. I got up a little while later and did a few morning chores, then Liz got up and we left mid-morning to go to the flea market. Liz was especially interested in the purses for sale at the flea market; the Gucci and Coach knockoffs, to be exact. There were actually two booths selling purses, and she ended up buying three of them. They were such a good price that I ended up buying a couple of purses myself, but because I liked the purses, not necessarily because of the brand name (one was a Coach knockoff; I don’t think the other one was any particular brand, just a leather purse I liked).

We left the flea market and went to Cracker Barrel for lunch, then browsed the store, returned a movie, and came home. We watched The Other Boleyn Girl (pretty good movie, and makes me want to read the book, though I understand the book is different from the movie, according to the special feature we watched about it). We hung out for a while longer, then ran into town to return the movie, stop by Wal-Mart, pick up dinner, and swing by the Dollar store.

Liz snoozed on the couch for a while, while Fred and I watched an episode of The Office, one of Arrested Development, and one of My Name is Earl. She woke up when Fred and I went upstairs, and after Fred went to bed and I came back downstairs, she made a few calls, checking with her brother and friends in Maine. All day Saturday the news channels were reporting that Hurricane Kyle was supposed to hit Maine mid-day Sunday, and Liz was worried that she’d fly to Detroit and then get stuck there if the hurricane hit Maine and the airport closed.

We finally decided that if they told her at the airport that the weather in Maine was iffy (as far as whether her flight would be able to land), she’d just reschedule for the next day and come back home with me.

We watched an episode of Footballers’ Wives, and I wanted to stay up for another episode, but I was very tired, so I apologized for pooping out on her (she said it was no problem, she’d just flip channels and text) and went to bed.

Sunday morning we got to the airport in plenty of time for her flight and it turned out that Kyle was now supposed to hit further north, so her flight shouldn’t have any problems. She checked her bag and paid for it (which shocked the hell out of me – I had no idea you have to pay to check a bag these days! $15 for the first, $25 for the second, $100 for the third. !!!!) and then we went up, checked out the gift shop, said our goodbyes, and she went through Security, waved to me, and was gone.

She got home with no problems at all, but in the meantime I went and got groceries, and when I got home Fred suggested that we go to the flea market in Tennessee “just to look around”, and I was up for that, so off we went.

And came home with nine new chickens, about the size of the ones currently in the brooder in the garage.

Yes, it’s an illness. I offer to you that, um, what’s the word I’m looking for, here? Oh, right. SHADDUP. We justify it to ourselves this way: several of the chicks we hatched from the eggs we bought in Amish country died so we needed to replace them, right?

Did I mention SHADDUP, YOU?


I love the way this one looks like a Buff Orpington wearing a Rhode Island Red coat.

Besides, the odds of averages dictate (according to Fred, who minored in Math and claims to know this sort of thing) of the 27 small chicks we now have, 13 or so should turn out to be roosters, and you can only have a limited number of roosters in your flock, thus designating the extra roosters for, as they say, freezer camp.

When we got home, I stripped the bed in the guest bedroom and tossed the sheets in the washer, then remade the bed with waterproof mattress covers so the cats can go in there, did some cleaning around the house, and just generally hung out.

Due to my stern warning to Liz to keep the door to the bedroom closed at all times and not to allow cats in there, none of her stuff got peed on.

I consider it a victory of sorts.

By the way, despite the fact that Liz is not a cat person at ALL, Mister Boogers fell COMPLETELY in love with her. Any time Liz was in a reclining position on the couch, Mister Boogers climbed up on her and purred so loud I could hear him from two rooms away. I’d say that now she’s gone he’s prostrate with grief, but he seems to be none the worse for wear.


*Stolen from Kinzie’s daughter.

** I giggle every time I type it.

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2007: No entry.
2006: No need to send out the announcement that we’re freaks just yet, I suppose.
2005: What a fucking day, I tells ya.
2004: Which makes me think he’s out there talking shit about me, of course.
2003: He’s an awfully cute little kitty.
2002: No entry.
2001: I swear, my work is NEVER done.
2000: No entry.