Good humor makes all things possible.
-Charles Schultz-

With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.
-Shakespeare-The Merchant of Venice-

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Let nothing you dismay

I was making soup out of the turkey's  corpse today when Lottie suddenly started digging at the closed door of the blue bedroom.  She doesn't usually give a fig about doors, in contrast to Joey, who frets about closed off rooms.  Then Chase also started scratching at the door.  What is it, Lassie, Timmy down the well? In light of our recent adventures with wild things, I was a little nervous, but I opened the door, fearing another spider or even a lizard who had grown tired of having a tail and was searching out Lottie's Mobile Tail Reduction Service,  generally headquartered on our porch.  Both cats barged into the room and Lottie dove headfirst under the desk, and  pulled out --what else?--a writhing SNAKE.

I snapped a photo as evidence, although we both look more imposing here.

Why me?  Come on, Fate, you took my stinking job.  Is turning even a tiny SNAKE loose in a small bedroom crowded with furniture, boxes, yet another sorry television and the Christmas bins your belated Christmas gift?  But I was bred with a steely Scottish gene (depicted above).  I am not a screamer or a fainter.  I snatched up the nearest plastic cup and a calendar and scooped up the serpent and flung him out the front door onto the lawn.  I didn't see him land or slither away in the grass, which was a little disconcerting, but the cats turned over everything under twenty pounds in that bedroom and we are all fairly sure I dispatched him. I mean really really sure.

But here's what I want to know: how did an eight inch snake the diameter of a pencil get INTO my house? The windows are all closed  and the doors weatherstripped.  It's a six inch step UP from the garage, although perhaps there might be a tiny gap where a scaly intruder with strong resolve and a wee stepladder could squeeze in. Possibly.  But why?  Is this the same varmint I hosed out of the garage  weeks ago?  Why would a snake  want to visit my garage or, more troubling, my house?  Neither venue represents what I imagine to be a desirable habitat for snakes.

Do spider gangs use snakes as protection? Is my foundation hosting a nest of vipers? [Will I ever have another chance to use the phrase 'a nest of vipers'?]  Will I have to drink myself to sleep forever?

Always something to keep me from my rest.  But anyway, back to the soup.  It turned out yummy because the original turkey was delicious.  A was determined to fix a full Christmas feast and since nobody was getting any gifts from me this year, I felt like I should step up to the stove (the one in my kitchen, a critical element). I brined the turkey (the only way, in my opinion), made sourdough-mushroom-artichoke dressing, pumpkin cheesecake with caramel sauce, potatoes and sweet potatoes, fried onions and pan gravy.  A roasted asparagus and the turkey.  His kids, one kid's boyfriend, and his dad attended and, if you threw out the top and bottom scores, the meal was a solid winner. It was a high point in this rather uneasy holiday.
Here we are serving a delicious Christmas dinner.

I haven't yet put away the Christmas decorations or dismantled the tree.  In a few days I'll go see my grandsons and give them their presents.  When I get back I should probably give some thought to my future, like, can I live on even less money than unemployment insurance? (Hint:  when pigs fly.) I'll go back to worrying about Joey, whose digestive/social problems plague our household.  I may even get better at blogging, like making the caption stop and the text start where I want it to, not like this. Things will return to what passes for everyday life here at the wild animal park.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Tis the season

After Thanksgiving we took a quick trip to San Francisco; here's me finding my heart in Union Square.  

We reassembled the shelves in the "library" and I put as many books as I could fit on the shelves, along with the pictures I like best.  One of the raggedy plaid chairs is in the corner by the window, the ideal spot to watch tv, blog, read, and look out the window.  I LOVE THIS ROOM.  It is perfect.  We put two recently acquired slate leather chairs (from a defunct office lobby) in the window bay in my room; although we had to remove two interior doors to get them in there.  Office chairs are not scaled to fit into residential buildings!  Which is funny because my sofa and loveseat are very stout and they came right in.

So remember when I said there was a light at the end of the tunnel?  Well, there was, it was an oncoming train.  I lost [clarification--they took back] my job the week before Thanksgiving.  Aaaack!  But you know what?  Aside from that gruesome  sensation of the floor collapsing under my feet, another sparkly, sunshiny feeling of relief flooded in like the tide.  As the grim reaper HR Manager was explaining why they stopped loving me and were kicking me to the curb, I wanted to shout Yippee! and jump up and dance around.  I suddenly realized how stressful the previous year had been.  Nobody just quits, in this economy, but now I didn't have to.
When life gives you lemons, make thanksgiving dinner

I'm no dope.  I know I face terrible odds and an uncertain job market.  I am unlikely to find the very good wage I earned during eight years as a phlebotomist.   And I seriously miss my coworkers, with whom I spent so much of my life.  But I can't change that.  Somewhere out there, a better job is waiting for me.

This weekend we (actually A.; I kept both feet on the ground near the cellphone so I could shout encouraging things up towards the roof and call the ambulance if he fell off) did two important things.  Saturday, he cleaned out the rain gutters at both houses which was necessary but invisible.  It rained.  Sunday we hung Christmas lights at both houses which was also necessary but -bonus!- beautiful.  It rained.  But it went a long way towards making me feel better about it being Christmastime even though I am unemployed and feeling rather dreary about the future.

As they say; keep calm and carry on.  I'll try!