Lurch

Sometimes, I feel like Lurch out here. As in, we seem to constantly lurch from crisis to crisis. Sometimes, a crisis leaves a permanent reminder, like the hip issues I was left with after the great septic system debacle.

This week’s crisis de jour is The Fucking Internet Fiasco. Mr B decided, less than a month ago, that he was going to cancel both internet accounts and install one new one for everybody to use.

Side note: nevermind the fact that we had two separate accounts because one account left everybody fighting each other for bandwidth (which isn’t exactly a community building experience), and we’re also going to ignore the fact that he did thus without consulting anybody but the voices inside his own head. That’s all ranting best reserved for some other day.

So there we were, about a week and a half into this demolition derby experience of fighting each other for bandwidth, when Mr B decides to order up another internet provider. Without consulting anybody but the voices in his own head.

Here I am, one day later, with no fucking internet service except the one tiny little bar of 4G mobile service that my smartphone is clinging to for dear life, praying to the internet gods that it’s enough to get this post out. I have almost reached a point of complete and total insanity that involves ending my Netflix and Hulu subscriptions and not paying any internet at all, leaving Mr B to pay for this shit all by himself.

I’m starting to give up hope of ever having steady reliable internet service, and can only hope that getting my own account in my own name prevents this from ever happening again.

When I found out about this latest move by our great leader the dictator Mr B, the top of my head exploded. I still haven’t found it. I’m pretty sure it’s somewhere between here and Jupiter, so if you see a strange glowing object in the sky–don’t panic, it’s not an alien invasion, it’s just my still-smoldering head making its way home to the rest of my body.

I can’t wait to see what man-made crisis we lurch to next.

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Confession time

This past week, I had to fill out a form for the registration on my new refrigerator. The company has a service where you text a picture of the completed form to a special number, so I got ready to get it done.

Except I had a brain fart midway through the process and couldn’t remember my own zip code.

So I poked the block where I was supposed to fill in my zip code.

Nothing happened, so I poked it again because I needed to see the autofill options to remember my zip code.

Y’all, I poked that fucking piece of paper four damned times before I realized what I was doing.

Somebody get me some professional help.

Me and my bright ideas

Yesterday, when I got ready to do some yogas and shit, I decided I’d put on some music. Music can be so calming. They say it even tames the Savage beast.

I busted out my laptop and an external speaker and opened up iTunes. 

What do you good folks think I picked to listen to? Maybe some classical, or new age; or even some Mercan December, who is global traveller DJ known for his Sufi inspired music?

Nope.

Metallica. The “Load” CD.

What can I say? Metallica has so many songs that haunt me. Their S&M cd set was fucking brilliant; they pimped out an entire symphony orchestra FFS. I chose “Load” because there’s some good shit on there that somehow haunts me just as much as the S&M experiment, perhaps because it’s just so raw without all those strings and woodwinds added in: The Outlaw Torn, Mama Said, Until it Sleeps…

Side note: it’s actually pretty brilliant, that whole idea of yoga to Metallica.  It’s a great use of conflicting styles, rather like a very violent scene in a movie being played out to soothing classical music. It’s also very unexpected, kind of like that flower toilet brush I ordered recently. 

So there is was, on my yoga mat in my living room floor, stretching my way into a few simple yoga poses. Before too long, I had decided I was enjoying the music so much that I’d just yoga my way through the entire CD. Because I’m smart like that.

I got up this morning feeling achy in muscles I forgot I fucking had. Turns out, Metallica might be better suited for workouts once I’m in better shape, rather than as motivation to push to far in the beginning stages of getting fit and healthy. Somebody please find me some professional help, because I obviously need something to save me from myself.

Final note: the upside of this whole bizarre experiment that ended in so much muscle ache? I decided it would be a great idea to ask Santa for a Samsung gear fit 2 or a fitbit to help me stay motivated. In my book, that makes the entire Metallica-yoga experiment a smashing success.

It’s been a day

I woke up to puppy yarf on the comforter and in the bedroom floor. The comforter doesn’t fit in the washer, so I had to clean it by hand outside. 

I thought my day couldn’t get any worse.

Then I saw the storm cellar was open and I knew I was facing the seventh circle of hell. Several months ago,  I mentioned to Sunshine that he needed to have someone go down there and get the crates of rotting onions out of there. Do you think he did it?

Fuck no, he didn’t do it.

So I had to start dealing with it. I was in such a rush to get that crate of rot out that I banged my head on the roof of the fucking storm cellar. I sill have a headache, and it’s keeping me angry about this colossal failure to follow directions and I’m planning my revenge on Sunshine as I type. It’s probably going to involve something expensive.

I digress…

The off gassing from the rotting onions had caused the potatoes to rot.

Nothing smells worse than rotting potatoes. Nothing.

I used a face mask and some mentholated rub and still almost yarfed from the stench. It got worse, though. 

I almost came undone when I realized what the sound was that I was hearing. I could hear the fucking maggots writhing in their piles after I removed the crates from the storm cellar. It was a horrifically squishy, wet sound and I cannot unhear it. That sound will give me nightmares, and I’ll probably have PTSD from it to add to my tornado PTSD and my wildfire PTSD.

When Mr B and Sunshine pulled up in the yard as I was working, I promptly went and apologized to Mr B or whoever was the unlucky soul that discovered that hell and left the storm cellar open.

Mr B, being the gracious individual he is, actually went down in the storm cellar with a water hose and shop vac and cleaned out what I hadn’t gotten to yet. Biff (AKA Goldilocks) helped lift crates out too.

Once that ordeal in the seventh circle of hell was over, I thought my day had gotten as bad as it could get. I showered and went to town to get my truck registered.

My first mistake was thinking.

When I returned home and walked into my magic bus, I spotted a bloody mess in my living room floor. Apparently, Mollie found someone’s fresh kill and brought its guts inside and dropped them in the floor. She then proceed to track the blood all over the living room. 

I spared you the actual picture of the guts, because it was actually a grayish brown glob of gross. I didn’t even get a picture of the bloody little Mollie prints because I was to busy rage cleaning.

I’m probably going to go order myself some shoes or something to make me feel better after such a horrible day.

Waiting game

Some time ago, when the garden was in full swing, producing lots of food, Mr B asked when he would be able to plow it all under so he could level the area to prevent standing water. I told him that December & January  would be perfect,  since nothing would be growing, producing, or planted during that time.

Side note: we’re ignoring the fact that the garden only held water because Mr B extended the distance between rows and therefore had to extend the length of the rows which led to the garden covering a low spot that held water which means that now Mr B is having to solve a problem that he created that isn’t going to be a problem in the future since the garden won’t be extending through that low spot anymore… when you’re a carpenter with a hammer, all problems look like nails to you. Mr B is a Tasmanian devil with a fleet of tractors so all problems look like dirt that needs to be moved. I digress…

By the end of July, the entire garden full of plants that were producing food had been destroyed so he could move dirt. He then made some rows and commenced working on something else. 

So here I sit today, staring at rows made by Mr B that he says need to be tilled.

I’m not sure why I need all these tilled rows, since we are doing are significant portion of this fall garden with the four sisters. The four sisters (corn, squash, beans, and Rocky Mountain bee flower) get planted in mounds that are 2′ in diameter and 18″ tall.

It’s like he can’t stand NOT micro-managing every aspect of all the things. All. The. Things. It would be endearing if it didn’t cause so much chaos. It would be cute if it didn’t mean that projects that he doesn’t prioritize get left undone. It would be funny if it weren’t so frustrating. I digress.

Ultimately,  I wind up in a place where Sunshine is actually ready and willing to help me with gardening,  and we’re on hold because a carpenter with a hammer sees only nails.

Final note: this afternoon,  my garden is being planted, whether Mr B has moved to dirt he thinks need to be moved or hasn’t gotten to it.

The realities of living tiny, part 2

Yesterday we went over how tiny and impractical an RV is. Today, I’ll talk about what I’ve learned from it.

When we first took possession of this magic bus, we started moving stuff into it from the rental house we were living in. We sifted through all of our things, making decisions about what needed to be put into the RV and what could go into storage. We thought we understood what would be useful whilst living tiny. Boy were we wrong.

After six months in the RV, we realized that we had not touched half of the stuff we packed into it, so we went through all of those cabinets we had never opened and we got rid of a lot of shit. We also went to storage and got some stuff that we thought would be useful. We kept at this until we realized that most of that stuff we had in storage was never going to be useful to a couple living in a tiny living situation. We started giving away and selling furniture and tchotchkies and shit.

We built an outdoor kitchen while we were living at the RV park on Caddo lake, and this space got used to store a lot of Sunshine’s hunting stuff, because I got sick of having his hunting stuff take over my living room. For all of the storage compartments that are built into an RV, there is a stunning lack of practical storage in an RV. It is mind boggling, honestly. I suppose it might make sense to people who are just using the RV as a vacation thing rather than living in it full time, but I just can’t see how.

As we settled into our tiny living lifestyle and purged possessions, we started realizing what was really important to us. We learned that it wasn’t “stuff” that spoke of a successful life. It was experiences and connections. Our experiences were what we treasured, and we began to make deep and meaningful connections with people.  We started to care about the planet, and started doing our part to leave it in habitable condition for Sunshine’s grandchildren.

We started realizing that we don’t need multiple rooms that serve the same function. We don’t need a living room and a den and a media room and a sitting room and an office. We don’t need a kitchen with bar stools at the counter in the island and a breakfast nook AND a separate dining room. We started realizing that we don’t need a set of pots for stovetop cooking AND a crock pot AND a rice cooker AND a crock pot with three pots and three separate temperature controls. We realized we didn’t need a toaster and a toaster oven and a microwave and a conventional oven and a george formeman grill and a panini maker and a waffle maker AND a set of skillets to do stuff on the stovetop.

side note: not saying there’s anything wrong with any of that stuff. I’m just saying that we don’t see the need to have multiple things that duplicate the functions of multiple other things we have AND require a lot of time and energy to keep them clean and organized and stored properly.

We’ve also come to the realization that, while we do want to live smaller and more mindfully, we are not cut out for living in an 85 square foot tiny house on wheels with less than 100 possessions each. I like to crochet, and Sunshine likes to hunt. Both of these hobbies require a lot of stuff. A lot of stuff takes up some kind of space, no matter how efficiently it is organized.

Basic things like eating are complicated in a magic bus. Even for someone who doesn’t kitchen well, I don’t have enough kitchen. When we factor in our need for a proper space to process meat when Sunshine kills wild game, well, we’re fairly screwed.

In short, we’ve been doing this tiny living thing long enough that we have a fairly good idea of what will truly be practical and useful to us, and what we definitely don’t want. Good thing, too, since it’s time to start thinking about floor plans, features, and finishes for our small house that we plan to build here.

We’ve spent a lot of time sacrificing and compromising (usually me, since Sunshine has no patience for minutiae like digging through 6 separate compartments in six distinct places in order to get dressed). We’ve spent six and a half years playing a never ending game of Tetris with all of the things that regular families need that can’t really be accommodated in a tiny house or an RV. It’s time to start transitioning to the next phase of our mindful/intentional/simple living journey. It’s time to plan a small house.

final note: living tiny has also been a great thing for our relationship. See, we can’t go to opposite ends of the house to escape each other. We’re always in close proximity to each other in the magic bus. It’s a good thing we actually like each other, and living tiny has somehow made us like each other more. There’s a lot of togetherness in a tiny living situation. Some might not survive it; so if you’re thinking of living tiny, make sure you actually like the person(s) you are considering going tiny with.

 

It’s not a good omen when the day begins with an emergency

I woke up to some north wind causing a ruckus outside. I could hear the shade sails popping each time a gust blew. Annoying, but not anything I’m not used to hearing. I could tell by the motion of the magic bus that the wind had shifted around and was now blowing from the north; the pink house was no longer shielding us from it and I could feel it causing the RV to sway lightly. Again, annoying, but nothing I’m not used to feeling.

As I sat on the couch sipping my morning coffee, I heard creaking. The wind was hitting the slide-out and causing it to creak as it torqued against the side of the bus. Annoying, but not anything that actually caused me concern. It’s an RV, after all; and RVs are designed to travel down the highway at highway speeds, so a little 15-20 mile an hour wind? Is a lot of ain’t shitness to my magic bus.

I hadn’t had near enough coffee to be ready for  a normal day when I realized that “Houston, we have a problem”. I could hear the corner of the shade sail sliding across the roof of the bus. I ran outside to look and see what I could see…

And both shade sails had torn at the corners on the north side. It gets better. Sunshine was at the clinic in Ada for some regularly scheduled appointment for his pedicure in the diabetic foot care clinic or something, so I was on my own. I was going to just let the shade sails flop around until Sunshine returned; then I noticed that the power line that feeds the pink house and the internet cable that provides service to the family B were both in danger of being smacked loose from their moorings by the flopping shade sails.

The contractor that is doing some work inside the pink house was nice enough to come out and look at it for me, and grabbed a ladder so we could fix the problem somehow. But Sunshine was telling us we could not do the one thing that needed to be done to prevent any serious damage to critical services (specifically, take the shade sails down altogether). The nice contractor did the only thing he could do at that point–he went back inside and went back to work.

I grabbed the one thing that I know to solve many problems, gaffer’s tape, and proceeded to start climbing up to the roof. Apparently, Sunshine had alerted Mr B to the nature of the emergency (I didn’t even know Mr B was home or I would have begged for help my damn self).

Mr B and I actually agreed on the best course of action and proceeded to take the shade sails down completely. Sorry Sunshine, but it really did need to be done. They were just going to keep ripping and flopping around and fucking shit up until somebody did take them down, so we did it sooner rather than later. We kind of like having modern conveniences like electricity and internet.

It’s never a good omen when the day starts off with an emergency. With any luck, there won’t be any escalation and it will just be cleaning up messes caused by this wind. I guess we’re going to have to file the shade sails under the “things that didn’t work” tag. Now we have to find somebody who does repairs to tarps/sails/heavy duty fabrics, and get them to reinforce the shade sails for us so this doesn’t happen as often in the future. Or find a new solution altogether.

Back to the drawing board, I guess.

At least this time, the grommets and other hardware didn’t smash the shit out of any of the windows. Which reminds me, I need to find a solution for that cracked-to-hell windshield from the last time this shit happened.

Yeah, file the shade sails under #thingsthatdidntwork.

final note: not a good time for me to be having to climb on top of the magic bus and fight to take these shade sails down in a steady north wind. My sinuses have been congested, and it is starting to affect my ears, giving me an increased likelihood of experiencing vertigo. It doesn’t end there, though. My TMJ has been acting up, which inevitably causes an earache. All of this means that the last place for me to be this morning was on top of the magic bus in a steady wind and I damn sure shouldn’t have been trying to hold down giant sails while I was up there.

All’s well that ends well, I guess.

Now, I’m going to go see if I can get this vertigo and dizziness to settle down.