Free Birds

Today was the first day since December 10th, that I’ve been free to walk out of my house on two feet, sans crutches, sans male nurse disguised as husband, and just dooooooooooooo!

Whatever I wanted.

Whatever struck my fancy.

Just Do It!

So…what did I do?

I grabbed my camera and took her out on a date.

In Mini, who I’ve not driven since then either.

We’ve shared not one single moment of exploration time since moving to Virginia…and I must admit, that’s been worse than the broken leg!

Trouble is…the eastern seaboard is either getting hammered or getting ready to be hammered my Winter Storm PAX.

I am in the latter group…getting prepared.

Normally this would not bother me in the least.  I mean, I’m a Yankee for God’s sake!  I have ice in my veins.

(No..not THAT kind of ice…the pretty kind  🙂  )

But one must remember that I now live in the land of “OMG OMG OMG…THEY ARE CALLING FOR SNOW” people and that made for a poor ‘Mini, take me away’ day.

It was more a “Mini, get me the hell home because the people on the roads (and I swear…they are ALL on the roads) are LUNATICS and it hasn’t even started yet!”

I made it as far as Wal-Mart, a mere 6 miles from here, because I had some photos I wanted printed.  I am supposed to return, but frankly, I don’t think it would be worth it.  After all, I’m not collecting hazard pay and having just tasted freedom for the first time in more than two months…NO accidents for me, thank you very much!

So…I returned good ol’ friend Mini to the garage, took CC with me to the backyard, and having left the world outside my little acre to go crazy nuts…I spent a few moments with my VISITOR.

hawk collage

Besides…the skies are dreary, the colors dull, the vibrancy of spring not yet peaking around the corner…I think I found the best the winter has to offer today, right here in my back yard.

Tomorrow is another day.

If there’s snow on the ground, all the better for me and CC.

If not, then we’ll see what we will see when we see it.

In the meantime, my VISITOR and I shall be, for today, FREE BIRDS!

Life is good!

Just ask Lynyrd

Caveat Emptor Sucka

For those of you that followed my soap opera, tragic, comedy of drama  “As the Shade Turns” you’ll know of what I speak.

The “moving” company at the center of my little serial has DENIED any and all claims from my husband and me regarding our recent relocation from Vermont to Virginia.

Yes folks, Caveat Emptor has never been more glaring than in our case!

The trouble is…when a company decides to CHANGE its name to hide the fact that the negative star, negative reviews are the norm…what is a consumer to do?

The only thing I can think to do is this

Company A (as we hired them)

Colonial Van Lines Relocation Division

2000 N State Road 7, Suite 300

Margate, FL 33063

Is non-other than Company B

All State Van Lines Relocation, Inc.

2000 N State Road 7, Suite 101

Margate, FL  33063

Had we been aware (had we been Caveat Emptor), we would have read the reviews of Company B…where the MEAT of it is.  The majority of their clients wanted to give NEGATIVE stars, whether it be Yelp or the company’s own website!

Oh to have known…Oh to have CAVEATED OUR EMPTOR!

Oh to have moved our own friggin selves!

Are we done?

Not likely…

Next round…lawyers and banks!

THIS should be fun.

Whoo Hoo!

Meantime?  Don’t you DARE even think about hiring these thuggish bozos!

You hear?

(ps) they are BOTH on FACEBOOK.  OH GOODIE!

Ebb and Flow?

need a paddle

While the recent trauma-drama had not yet completely ‘drained’ from my brain, it had, at least, ‘trickled’ to a minor, albeit steady, unresolved, ‘drip’.

Something akin to Chinese water torture.

However, that said, I was surprised that I was surprised when I found myself, yet again, ‘wading through a ‘puddle of shit’ left behind by another supposed professional’s incompetence!

This time, a new washing machine installation gone horrendously wrong…to the tune of 9,000 bucks (and counting)!!!

[Not to worry though.  The insurance companies are duking it out…and if ours wins, we hope to recover the 3 grand over what the insurance has paid so far to re-build my laundry room and replace 1,296sf of carpet and pad upstairs, along with all the molding, as well as damaged drywall and insulation!  Which of course means I still have basically NO furniture up there and everything still dumped into boxes!  43 Days People!]

To say I was disappointed would be an understatement, I left disappointed in the frozen north about a month and a half ago.

But, surprised?

Yeah, I was.  Surprisingly surprised.  HA

IMG_0043

Are. You. Shitting. Me ???

Because truthfully?  I thought I was on ‘dry land’ once the move was finally over.  Even though I was still having to deal with those numbskulls at Colonial Van Lines Relocation, Inc. out of Margate Florida on a daily basis

(oops, did I just reveal the goon squad’s company?)

…I still felt I’d made strides away from the mind-numb “knuckle-dragger pulling me by the hair” chief cave-cook and horn washer, not to mention head buffalo hide pee-er on-er…

Ugh

…to the “upright walking, slightly behind and to the left of the Neanderthal” can you take me out for a bison burger instead of hacking it off the carcus and throwing it to me to cook cave-slave .

don’t get used to it

In other words, almost human!

Writing about it here helped; receiving validation for my outrage here helped.

Not quite in charge, but gaining power.

Or so I thought.

This is not where I thought I’d be 43 days in

…without a you know what

Ya know?

While you were reading about the moving shade spinning out of control, I was ‘immersed’ in that new ‘flood’ of bad karma.

I know some who’d say that this is just the way things are sometimes, and that I should just ‘ride the wave’.

Others I know might say I should not let this stress me because all things eventually come out clean in the ‘wash’.

And more still who might believe that at some liquid point between the amniotic fluid and the tidal wave that is my life, I did something mighty wrong and am paying for it now.

Am I?

Are these the waters “come to cleanse my soul”?

Maybe.

But then, if that’s true, I’m not sure how happy it makes me to think that my salvation lies in the gushing effluent of semi-rural, semi-agricultural Virginia.

How cleansing could they be having traveled the length and breadth, in 200 year old plumbing, before snaking its way through the plastic portals of my laundry room; sent to bathe me in their healing, mystical, all forgiving, powers?

eeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwww-ah
(that’s a two syllable eew for those that don’t know)

I mean…Noah got rain.  Fresh, pure, clean from the pristine clouds of the pre-industrialized world, never heard of acid rain, sky.  And he only had to deal for 40 days!  I’m already at 43 and I’m NOT done yet!

And I dare say, even HE had a paddle!

anyone seen my paddle?

 I get rusty, fertilizer tainted, used to be filled with poop but now we use chlorine, WASTEWATER!

When is it going to be MY turn?

“Who’s saying ugh now huh?”

Oh nevermind me…a girl can dream can’t she?

(ps…thank you to my grandsons Kyle and Alex for giving me the means to express the faces of surprise and eeeeew)

“As the Shade Spins…When the Door Opens”

The opening of this, the last episode of As the Shade Spins, was inspired by my good friend Mimi, when she commented on the last installment “Why do I feel like this is movie material for the Griswold’s?”  Damn if that ain’t the truth!

Now, without further commercial interruption…on with the show…

As the Shade Spins – Part IV

Last we saw our driver, he was stomping out the door following heated discussions about his practice of hiring thugs and lying to his clients and/or boss.

Well, he huffed and puffed and drove the truck off.

Yes folks, we were officially victims of furniture-napping.  And the ransom was the ‘balance due’

“Pay up or we’ll kill the recliner!”   😈

Since we had signed on the dotted line, and we wanted this nightmare to end, we decided it best to pay up and fight later. So when ‘he with fork-ed tongue’ returned, without a single word, he took the card, processed the payment over the phone, and headed outside. The passenger side door opened and the accomplice disembarked while the napper opened the main door.

“Ahhhhh, free at last” came whispering out of the blackness (I think it was the recliner…it must have overheard the two goons plotting its demise!)

It was already dark outside, but here, at least, we had outside lights. I was a little concerned that we didn’t have overhead lights in the bedrooms on the second floor, nor did we have lamps (they were all packed neatly in a red truck 800 hundred miles north of us), but with the 3 hall lights and a ginormous foyer light on, I didn’t think it would be too difficult a task with the little that needed to go up there.

Of the 3 bedrooms, we had suites for 2 and a small 3-part sectional and the ‘rescued recliner’ were to go into the bonus room over the garage.  Other than that, there was only a kitchen sized dining set and a few accent pieces going on the first floor.  Since the majority of the boxes had not been marked from whence they came nor where they were going, I decided that all the boxes would be put in the first floor living and dining rooms since there was very little furniture to put in either.

Sound like a plan?  Simple enough right?  More work for me later, but hey, I was happy with it.

Uh Huh…you know it’s coming. Now it’s my turn.  Please watch your step, but follow me into the next black hole of our own little Twilight Zone…the one I call:

BREAKING BAD

Once the plan had been relayed to the fearless leader, things began well enough.  I mean, with just two guys, we knew it was going to go slow (oh, and by the way, ZERO sign of any back trouble from ol’ huff-n-puff).  It was mainly boxes coming off for the first half hour or so.  I didn’t say a word when they brought in each box and plopped it in the middle of the room where they’d continually have to go around it to plop the next one down.  I didn’t ask them whether they thought it might be better to stack them against the walls, to open space to move freely.  No, I just did it myself and kept quiet. Until…

I made the mistake of asking the accomplice (in my mind referred to as ‘I swear he’d move faster if he was walking backwards!) to actually place one of the boxes he was lugging in, as I could see it was too heavy for me to do alone.  Well, jumping Jesus, you’d have thought I’d asked him to carry ME up the stairs (no small feat I can tell ya) instead of just putting that box somewhere other than the middle of the dining room!

His hip actually caulked cocked (? LOL) to one side, his head lowered, and he fucking sighed….like a TEENAGER.  Then he looked at me without raising his head (you know, the ol’ eyes rolling up thing?) and said “I really can’t, I’m busy” then plopped the box right where he stood!

Yup. The line in the wood floor was drawn.  The white flag of truce had been lowered and hoisted instead was this:

3189589-617527-vector-cartoon-illustration-of-a-grinning-devil-character-with-heavy-metal-rock-and-roll-devil-horns-hand-signs

Okay, I get it. I’m on board. I left the room and left him to deal with putting the boxes wherever he wanted to.  Let him have to walk around them, who gives a shit. Not thinking that, of course, he wouldn’t be walking around them, he’d just be plopping them closer and closer to the door.  Atta girl Rhonda, you sure showed him!

I’d decided to check on the fearless leader’s progress, he being the one in the truck, passing the boxes forward.  I saw they were close to off-loading some of the furniture pieces, so I mentioned again ‘the plan’…which bed and dresser in which room, the bonus room furniture, etc.  No problem.

I went inside to try to make some inroads in the kitchen while the muscle started bringing in furniture.  Kitchen table, chairs, hutch in the kitchen…check.  Secretary, computer desk in the living room…check. Twin beds, dresser, nightstand in the back bedroom…check.  Double bed, dresser, chifferobe in the front bedroom…check.  Beds assembled? Yes, sure, absolutely, no problem.  Awesome.

No surprise that by this time, the Hubs had decided to dig in for the obvious reason; at the current rate of progress, we’d be there ’til their place of birth froze over if he didn’t help with something!  He was assembling the table in the kitchen while the other two were bringing in the other pieces that had already been designated, so no need to direct this part of the opera.

Yeah, so we thought.

When the time came to bring in the pieces for the bonus room, we ran into some pushback.  Hmmm, ran into some pushback…sounds a tad mild to my mind, but what it boiled down to was this:

They didn’t care to bring those pieces upstairs.  The living room was closer, on the first floor, empty of furniture, and it certainly LOOKED like living room furniture, so they figured that’s where it belonged.  THEY figured that’s where it belonged!  I’ll say it again…okay…I won’t. But REALLY?

Initiate melt down…three, two, one…..BLAST OFF!

Hubs and Me:

(Best guess would be around a decibel level of 95 (somewhere between a lawnmower and a car horn, all the while the two devil-goons are carrying on like we were not even there)

What do you mean they won’t bring it upstairs?
God Rhonda, let’s just get this over with.
But who the hell IS gonna take it upstairs?
We’ll deal with it later.
What do you mean WE? You are always at work and I can’t lug this shit upstairs alone.
They said it wouldn’t fit through the door up there anyway.
What the fuck are you talking about?  It fit through the door at home and it’s NO BIGGER than this one!
They said the legs don’t come off that chair and there’s no way it’ll fit.
BULLSHIT…the legs DO come off, they came off when it was delivered to the OTHER house!
I don’t want to argue about it, let’s just get DONE!
Fuck that…I want this furniture upstairs because it BELONGS upstairs!
I mean it…just LET IT GO!
Bull…tell them to take it upstairs or I’ll leave!  I’ve had ENOUGH!
Rhonda…wait,  wait damn it….where are you going?
OUT…AWAY…I’ll walk and keep on walking or I’m gonna KILL something!
FINE…have it your way, act like a child, LEAVE.

So I did (act like a child).  Grabbed my coat, my purse, and my cell phone (thank God) and walked off into the night.  No violins, no crescendo of dramatic music…just me, in the dark, in the rain (had I mentioned it was raining?), and in a huff.  I’d only known two things about this neighborhood prior to move-in day; how to get to my house, and how to get to the main road.  That’s it.

So, I did what I knew I could…I walked to the main road and took a right.  I knew there was a convenience store somewhere up there at a major intersection…I’d make my way there, get a coffee, and wait.  For what?  I didn’t know.  I just knew I had to get out and I had to have a place to go.

I trekked like a mad woman on a mission, tears mixing with the rain, continuing the idiotic conversation with the Hubs, OUT LOUD and to NO ONE, all the while walking that street like a hooker on speed.  I kept my eyes on the white line, avoided looking up at cars that were flying by lest they see the eyes of an insane person!

I continued on that way for about 20 minutes, and only when the white line disappeared, did I look up to see that the concrete drainage ditch that ran beside all the roads around here was inches away from me, where before then, it had been feet away.  In the noticing, I must have startled myself, for my left foot slipped on the slippery slope (ha!) and rather than go with the flow and land on my ass in the running drain water…I tried to jump the gully.  Tried being the operative word. As soon as my foot landed on the other side…I heard it.  SNAP.  Funny, I did hear it before I felt it too.

Next thing you know, I’ve face planted in the ditch, soaking and covered in mud, crawling my way back up to the road, crying like a baby.  I’d managed to hang onto my cell phone, though I honestly cannot say how.  I had forgotten one thing though…in my haste to escape.  My glasses!  I was blind as a bat.  Traffic was whizzing by, the rain on the road making that sound so much worse.  But, through my tears and over the traffic noise and the sobs, I saw the familiar silhouette light up the screen and heard the ringtone of my husband.

hugh?
Where are you?
i don’t knoooooow laying on the side of the road
WHAT?
i’m laying on the side of the roooooad
Where?
I don’t knoooooooow on the MAIN road just take a riiiiight i can’t waaaaaalk i thththink I bbbbroke my leeeeg
Oh Jesus Christ, stay there, I’m coming
iiiiiiii wiiiiiiiil wahhhhhhhhhhh (imagine Lucielle Ball…yeah, like that, exactly like that!)

A few minutes later, his car pulls up on the side of the road, me in the headlights.  No one else had stopped, and I’ve wondered since if I was even visible in my black coat, on that rainy night.  I think I’m lucky I wasn’t roadkill!

Anyway, Hubs grabs me under the arms, and together, we manage to get me on my one foot…the other one won’t work…and settled into the car.  I instinctively put the seat back as far as it will go and put my right let up on the dash to elevate it.  As there were still two goons at the house, he was obviously torn between taking me to the ER and going back to get them done and get them GONE!

So, for the next two hours, I sat in that same spot while Hubs ran through the rest of that truck like a madman.  And being the kind, compassionate, professional ASSMONKEYS those two were, they watched him.  One stood there folding blankets, the other may have taken in two boxes during that entire period.

After I’d left, they had emptied the truck of the rest of the furniture pieces and a few more of the boxes.  And yes, they placed everything within 10 feet of the front door.  Not another second wasted on talking to them, not another fraction of a second did he spend doing anything but getting that truck empty and those devil-dogs out.  Once that was over, he didn’t even stop to breathe…he ran to the car and to the ER we went.

While waiting for the Ortho to come tell us what the x-ray had revealed, we received a visitor.  Yup, not in town but a few hours and already had visitors!  It was a Virginia State Trooper.  A Captain no less.  Apparently, he’d been in one of those whizzing by vehicles, when his daughter shouted “Daddy, there’s a woman on a cell phone laying on the side of the road!”  Yup, that were me!

The good Captain continued on his way taking his daughter home after a basketball game then returned to “the scene of the grime” only to find I’d gone.  He used his amazing intuitive skill to surmise I’d likely been taken to the hospital and upon further investigation, found me and the Hubs in the ER.  He introduced himself, asked for the scoop, then stayed and chatted for a quarter-hour or so, before wishing us well and taking his leave. What a nice guy (cute too I might add).

Once diagnosed with the broken tibia, wrapped, booted, drugged, and given our appointment for a couple of days hence, we were sent on our way.  Drowsed from the meds, I recall just one thing…walking into a house that looked like a cardboard A-bomb had exploded and left its residue all over the first floor!  I didn’t care.  The Hubs walked me tenderly to the (now thankful it’s downstairs) recliner, propped my adorned leg up (toes to nose you know) and let me sleep.  What he did then, I’m not sure, but I pray it was just fall asleep on the (again, thankful it’s downstairs) sectional, for had he gone upstairs that night…well, let’s just say we may NOT have survived to see today.

This is not the end of what we’ve had to deal with…but it’s the end of this traji-comedy for now.  Perhaps a sequel down the road…one detailing just WHAT we found upstairs and just how incompetent these people were and what steps we’ve taken with this company, and maybe even what has happened SINCE in our new home…I’ll think on it.  I’m not entirely sure I’m up to it (you either for that matter)!’

All I will say, about what’s gone on since, is there is water involved….lots and lots and lots of water!  If you saw the photos from “As Promised – The Opening Line” you won’t be surprised.

Thanks for joining me, sharing it with me, hopefully laughing with me too…hindsight is a funny thing!

R

“As the Shade Spins…the Hubby Loses it!”

I can’t speak to your usual customs during intermission…but I hope you’ve refreshed your spirits, refilled your bowls, settled in the comfy chair, and are anxiously awaiting the next chapter of our little drama.  If so with your permission, here we go…

As the Shade Spins, Part III

We left our cast at the end of a very long, very cold, very anxious, and extremely infuriating day 2…to sleep the sleep of the damned!  The next morning was the coldest yet, frigid is just a word we use because we can think of no other.  Dang it was cold.  But no time to dottle   We stuffed our luggage up, down, in, around, and under anything we could in our two cars and hit the road.  We needed to be in Virginia by 10am the following day for our walk through and our closing was at 2pm that same day!

Yeah buddy.

(Oh, and by the way, the fully loaded F-150 of my father’s?  Yeah, still in Vermont.  We are now 31 days in, and it’s still there loaded with MY stuff.  No help for it though.  What with health issues, weather issues, lack of finding someone able to drive it down here issues, it is what it is.  A truck ready for anything that could possibly occur if the need should arise, as it’s full of lamps, Christmas decorations, books, movies, bookcases, garden tools, trash cans, bedding, ladders, and even a small charcoal grill and a lantern!  So don’t worry Dad, if you get caught out in the weather and need a place to stay?  Climb in the back…you’re good to go.)

I’m sure there’s a post in me somewhere for detailing the wonders and the beauty of the drive down, and you know me, I’ll add some photos…but for the sake of this little drama, I’ll just say good thing it was pretty.  That’s all I have to say about that!  It was a looooooooooong day and my ass hurt, and I get ugly when my ass hurts.  We landed in Virginia late, tired, hungry, and thirsty as hell for something that didn’t need a straw or a cover on the cup!

W I N E…give me wine!

We made our walk through (we’d managed to put it off until noon), found the water heater had mysteriously shit the bed, the work under the crawl space that had been contracted per our professional home inspection was not done as directed, and the gas fireplace wouldn’t work, so closing was delayed a couple hours while the seller/realtor/and powers that be got it all straight that these things would be corrected ASAP at no cost to us.  Great, fine, good to go.

Meanwhile, the movers, who had given me a delivery window of 7 days (yes..7 days) had called no less than 3 times while we were at the attorney’s office, wanting to know when we would be at the house so they could unload.  They were sitting there, parked in front of the house, pretty as you please!!!

Really?

It was already late afternoon.

Really?

What happened to the 7 days and we’ll call you with the exact date?

Are we really going to be doing this IN THE DARK?

AGAIN?

Foreboding.  You knew the feeling was coming yeah?

Forefuckingboding hit me like a brick.

So…no post-closing celebratory dinner for us (or any for that matter).  No moment to walk the empty house, placing furniture (what there was of it) in my head, no looking forward to the first chance at a decent night’s sleep in days.  No, for us…it was ‘same shit different day’ time.

F I N E—BRING IT!

We got to the house after 4:00 and sure enough, there they were.  The moving crew from hell!  Did I say they were from Haiti?  I should have said they were from Hades!

First things first…the driver gets out alone, says he can’t open the doors until we pay him the balance due (50% paid up front).

Not “I’ll get my guys started while we settle the paperwork.”  Nope, plain and simple, he cannot open the doors until we give him a credit card.

Oooooh, I saw the look on the Hub’s face and it was not pretty.  Worse…it was eerily murderous.  He was in the driver’s face in a flash, and I mean Silver Bullet type fast.  The driver never had a chance.  Next thing you know the three of us were in the house, there were three different phones being put to use at the same time…and while we were all waiting our respective call backs (you didn’t think we could actually get anyone on the phone did ya?) this is what the driver had to say…paraphrased in English of course…and my inner most thoughts in parenthesis, per usual:

Driver says:

“Sir, I need to tell you that I hurt my back off-loading a piano from that other load that was on the truck with yours (what? there was a piano in there somewhere? and when the hell did you have time?  oh, those poor other customers) and I can’t lift anything (WTF?) and I only have one of my cousins (you mean crew member right?) with me ’cause I had to drop the other one off back in Massachusetts (you went to Massachusetts AGAIN? and it’s just you and ONE guy? and you can’t LIFT? Wait, WHAT?)”

He continues…

“So, if you’ll just pay me, I’ll go to a truck stop I saw about 20 miles back up the road and hire a couple of guys. (huh? what did you just say?  truck stop? hire? wait, WHAT?)”

Okay…here is where it goes out of control.  Well, at least where my husband goes out of control (mine comes later.  oh and same thing applies here…my inner thinking in parenthesis).

Husband says:

“Are you kidding me?  You expect me to hand over my credit card so you can go hire some fucking random, thugs you picked up at some truck stop?  You are out of your mind! (you go honey)  I hired a MOVING COMPANY…I did NOT hire three thugs and a fucking truck!  (whoo hoo) I want what I paid for!  (that’s telling him babe) You get on the phone to your dispatcher and have him make arrangements to have qualified help here tomorrow. (that did it hon, we’ve got him now)”

Driver says:

“Sir, I do this all the time. I hire people off Craigslist too (did he really say that out loud?)”

Husband replies:

“You what? (yeah that’s what I said) Don’t you work for CVLRD? (good point honey) And isn’t that a CVLRD truck you are driving? (yup) And just whose name is on this paperwork? (it ain’t three thugs and a fucking truck I can tell ya that much) Are you telling me you routinely go out and hire random people, of your own volition, to finish jobs your company was hired to do?  (you’re in trouble now buddy)”

Driver says:

😯

The Hubster:

“I’m telling you right now, you will NOT get one red cent from me for that, or for anything else for that matter, until you get your dispatcher on the phone…RIGHT NOW! (whoa babe, you’re even scaring me!)  You get on the phone, tell him what you told me about being hurt and what you want to do about getting this job done!”

Meanwhile, we’d finally gotten our coördinator on the line, and she passed us to the dispatcher, who as it turned out, is just as knuckleheaded as his driver.  He said no, they were not in the habit of hiring from truck stops or Craigslist; yes, the driver works for them; yes, the truck belongs to them; yes, he understands why we’d react to being told such a thing; no, he had not been informed that the driver was hurt or missing a crew member; no, he’s more than sorry, but there was no way to get him qualified help in time to finish this job because this job HAD to be done that day as the truck and crew were already booked for another job the next day; (wait for it….) and finally yes, we needed to give the driver our credit card before he could open the doors!  Oh, but could he please speak with the driver to find out about this ‘injury’ as he wouldn’t expect him to work hurt.

Remember that clip from Poltergeist?

W H A T  I S  H A P P E N I N G ????

Are we even still on EARTH?

Long story short (hahaha, now THAT’S funny), the driver lied through his pearly whites, told his dispatcher he was NOT hurt and could finish this job no problem, all he wanted was to tell us he needed to be paid first, and we reacted irrationally.  Now, understand, we could HEAR him (amazingly clear English I might add).  Did he not get that?  My husband didn’t let him finish his conversation before getting back on the phone and telling the dispatcher he’d just been lied to.  Either that or WE’D been lied to.  When the driver heard my husband say that, he huffed out the door saying this exact thing (in English and everything):

“I don’t need this shit.  This isn’t even my REAL job!”

Ummmmmmmm…what’s that word?  Gobsmacked?  Yeah, that’s it!  Gobsmacked.  And not because we didn’t believe it (no one would mistake this clown for a professional) but to say it?  In front of us while on the phone with HIS boss?

omgomgomgomgomgomg…can this day get any worse?

Seems it can…join me next time for “When the Door Opens” on the next installment of “As the Shade Spins”

“As the Shade Spins Some More”

Grab a bowl of warm can o’ worm stew off the stove, and please make sure you only take what you can eat…there is plenty, but we want everyone to get their fair share.  Yum!  Oh, and there’s some (Canadian) almost-beer in the cooler to choke it down with. (You’re welcome NB) Then pull up your favorite soap-opera-watching-tv-chair ’cause we’re ready to go.

As we return to our saga…we are about to enter the Final Act, which, you’ll recall, has been referred to as the “then shit REALLY got interesting” act. This is an act of more than one part…so we’ll begin with part I:

After months of searching and a dozen or more unanswered emails and phone calls, as well as the same amount saying they’d love to help but they don’t service our area, I finally found a moving company to pack us, load us, and deliver us from evil….I mean from the north.

I did my due diligence, checked BBB (a couple of issues, but nothing unresolved), checked previous client testimonials (no red flags there), did a background check on the owner, who seemed a long-standing professional in her field. Though I’d never heard of them, they were a national mover, based in Florida, but serviced more than their fair share of relocations from the northeast.

Cool.  And.  Phew.

I mean, we were right down to the wire and I was so thrilled to have the worst of the moving process settled..someone to pack the stuff, load the stuff, and deliver the stuff.  Not cheap, but not out of line with the current industry rates either.

Happy      😆

Moving day is here!  YAY

Zero degrees outside and I know once they are here the heat will go off because the door will be open, but so what?  I am so excited it’s finally happening that I don’t care.  Coats, scarves, gloves inside?  Psshaw…nothing to it.

I’d spent the previous two days making sure all was ready for them.  Nothing on the walls, soft goods tucked neatly in drawers, like items all in one place, kitchen gadgets and little bits placed in baggies for easy packing, all important papers and cables, etc. boxed and in my car, bottled water aplenty, toilet paper left on the holder for those special moments…what more could I ask for.  I was breathing easy and actually looking forward to the crew’s arrival…

Promptly at 9am

No – slightly late at 11am

Whoops – damned late at 1:30pm

Shit – you’re so damned late why bother showing up at all friggin’ late at 2:30pm. (And they show up in a truck too small by half and already half full!)

Says the husband:

“No fucking way will our stuff fit in THAT!”

Says the wife:

“Now, now Dear (teehee, not really), let’s give them the benefit of the doubt.  You know how movers are…they can fit 50 pounds of shit in a 5 pound bag.  It’s an art!”

Says the diver: (at least this is what we think he said)

“Slept late, so sorry.  Phone didn’t work, please excuse.  Needed to stop and buy work boots, so glad we passed a Wal-Mart on the way here.”

Husband  😡

Wife  🙄

Driver  😯

Uh Huh.  Okay then, daylight’s at a premium up here in the Northeast Kingdom this time of year, so they best get cracking if anything was to be done with what was left of the day (which, as it turned out for them, was about 4 hours, the last 3 of which were in the dark!  More on this in Part II).

Time to get rolling on the process, the paperwork, and to get the crew working on bringing in boxes and packing material.

We get the process explanation (sorta); no sign of the crew.

We get the paperwork and the explanation of that (sorta); no sign of the crew.

We get frustrated with the back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, due to a language/communication problem (sorta); still no sign of the crew.

Husband  👿

Wife  😕

Driver  😯

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, seems the driver had told his two-man-crew to stay put while he got the paperwork done (one hour and one translator later).  We are now at 3 dark thirty, which is fine for packing inside, but shit for loading a truck with overhead lights blocked by the previously loaded job.  By damn-ass-dark thirty, an hour later still, all that had been accomplished was bringing boxes and ‘some’ packing material inside rendering what little floor space left, utterly useless.

Hmmm, where to find room to tape these boxes together.  Hmmm, I know, let’s not worry about that now.  Let’s start wrapping some furniture and taking it out to the truck.  Yes…let’s do that.  Let’s fill the nooks and crannies usually filled in nicely with boxes with MY FURNITURE instead because you can’t get to your job on time, can’t get your crew working without your paperwork being done, you can’t speak English, and can’t get your head out of your ass long enough to see it’s FUCKING PITCH BLACK OUT THERE!

Husband  😯

Wife  👿

Driver  😥

More in part II…I’ll save some stew  🙂

“As the Shade Spins” A traji-com-edy of dysfunction and disillusion

once upon a time

long ago and far far away, in the beginning of a dark and stormy night, it was love at first sight…then shit REALLY got interesting!

2014
The new year’s babe came roaring into existence
dragging what was left of her meaner older brother
2013
by the roots of his dead gray short hairs

I had hoped to see the end of The Year That Almost Totally Sucked Ass (T.Y.T.A.T.S.A.) around the same time I saw Massachusetts in the rear view mirror

Seems Ol’ 13 had other ideas.
Seems Ol’ 13 wasn’t quite ready to belt out Auld Lang Syne
And it’s obvious good Ol’ 13 conned his newborn kid sister into taking him along to continue the never-ending days of madness and mayhem

No way was he going out like a lamb
If he was anything at all, he was a wolf in sheep’s clothing
And determined to stick around for the final act he called

 “Wanna see the crazy old crow lose her mind?”

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WHAT’S HAPPENING?
(shades of poltergeist…at the 2.08 mark to be exact!)

My enthusiastic and optimistic return to enthusiastic and optimistic blogging in March of T.Y.T.A.T.S.A., has not gone quite as I had planned.  Then again, how does one plan life anyway.

I won’t recount the entire war, as I have already shared a few of the bloodier battles here already.

Those days were the “Once Upon a Time” and “In the Beginning” days.

And, I’ll leave it to you to decide whether to visit the “”Long Ago and Far Far Away” tales and wade through those deep and scoured trenches.

For now, if you choose, a quick peak at what optimism looks like (On the Road Again), then maybe a bit of “Love at First Sight“…

For soon, we’ll pick up where the shit REALLY gets interesting!”

Somewhere between Moving Day and Moving Day II

The can of worms is in the pan and on the stove, so join me for dinner and a show…

Next time on “As The Shade Spins

😳

Why I Still Read the Newspaper…with RELISH!

For those of you who take advantage of digital technology to keep up with current affairs in your communities, states, country, or the world, you don’t know what you are missing.

Perhaps it’s because you are too young to remember what it was like to open a newspaper. The sound, the smell, and the ink on your fingers.  Or maybe you don’t have the leisure time every day to sit and peruse your local rag.

Whatever the reason, it’s too bad, you are missing out on a truly satisfying and, sometimes, very entertaining past time.

This is my Ode To Print…with sincere thanks for all the years of joy.

Hope you enjoy as much as I do…

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WhyIstil

 

Give up the rag?

NEVER!

🙂

Wait Just One Bone-Pickin’ Minute…

I’ve got a bone to pick and I’m gonna pick it clean.

Then I’m gonna give it to my DOG to finish off.

Yes.

My DOG.

The same one that shared this day with me eating mini ice cream sandwiches and snuggling together in the rear-end of a Jeep

In the Vet’s parking lot…

Staring death in the face with a face full of vanilla and teeth full of chocolate cookie crust (his too.)…

Yeah, that one…Ripken, my beloved 10 year old B’Lab

The subject of my last post celebrating his life and mourning his demise.

Why?

Because my Vet is a douche…that’s why.

Okay, maybe not a douche.

How about insensitive, callous, money-grubbing, gotta pull in the bucks to justify my position as the newest Vet in this practice, A’hole?

Yeah, that’s better.

  • Here’s how it went down almost a month ago (I feel like I should put this to music like Harper Valley PTA or something):

Yearly check-up; three-year rabies shot; lyme vaccine; snap test

Vet says he looks good except…

I’m concerned about this growth, this tumor, in his right armpit

I’ve looked at his records, and I see he was here 6 months ago (for an intestinal problem) and this mass was not there

The fact that it grew so large, so fast, and seems tender to the touch tells me it’s something we need to be concerned with.

Normally, I’d say it’s just a fatty deposit, but not in this case. I believe we are looking at a malignancy here

ME:  Can you give me an idea of how much I’m looking at to find out?  Financially speaking, I need to know

I can certainly give you an estimate for how much it would be to do the pathology and remove the tumor, but subsequent treatment would be expensive

ME:  OK, I’ll need that estimate before I make a decision

Of course

Estimate:  $970 – (nothing specified about what the cost would be to treat the ‘cancer’)

ME:   I hate that it comes down to money, but I can’t afford this

Oh I completely understand.  Take some time to think about it and let me know

ME:  Okay, but I know what my finances are…I can’t afford this

I completely understand, but just think about it and let me know. Take the time you need, but I don’t think you should wait too long

ME:  Okay, I’ll think about what I can do, and I’ll talk to my family, but I can’t afford this only to find out it’s a cancer I can’t afford to have treated

Stopped eating

Stopped drinking

Lethargic

Acute diarrhea (sorry, but it does sound better than the runs)

I was out of town, get a call from my parents that the dog is sick

  • Here’s where we were one week ago:

Not eating still so I boil hamburger and rice – nothing

Not eating so I notch it up to chicken and rice – not much improvement

Only think I can get him to eat are his biscuits…the dog effin’ loves those biscuits

Still not drinking

Still with the D-word adding in that straining would be an understatement

  • Here’s where I was Sunday:

This can’t go on, he’s suffering, I can’t afford to see this through, I need to call the Vet tomorrow

Appointment made for Wednesday for euthanasia based on information known at the time

  • Here’s where I was today – Wednesday – E Day

Get to Vet’s office – packed beyond belief – had to park in another county practically – no sweat, more time to sit and snuggle and eat ice cream sandwiches with the Dude

Go into office at scheduled time, 5:30 pm, alone, to complete all paperwork and pay fee without Rip having to be in there

Told they are waaaay backed up, would I mind waiting?

Ummmm, yes, in fact I WOULD mind waiting.  This is not the kind of appointment one wants to sit and ponder amonst the other four-legged beasts running around.

Told it would only be a moment then…they’d get a room ready right away.  She returns within seconds telling me to go ahead and bring him in.

I do that.  We go to the room.  The Vet comes in…

Aw, and how’s old Ripken?

{I explained the last two weeks in detail)

Oh, so he’s not eating or drinking.  Well, let’s have a look see what a treat does for him

{I watch as Ripken about tears the guy’s fingers off taking the treat.  Maybe I should have warned him about Ripken and those biscuits}

Wow…I have to tell you, this dog is not telling me he’s ready to die.  His breathing is a bit loud and labored, but that’s his age.  But he’s active and took that treat well enough

{I look at him like he’s gone mental.  Was he suggesting I was there to kill my dog for no reason?}

ME:  No…YOU told me that and based on the last two weeks, I believed it.  This is NOT the same behavior of the last two weeks {except the biscuits}

Now, really, I’m not concerned with that growth.  I feel it’s just a fatty deposit and as your dog’s advocate, I must tell you that based on what I’m seeing here today, this is a healthy dog, and in good conscience, I can’t do what you are asking me to do

What I”M ASKING? Do you realize what your comments to me during our last visit did to me? And how those comments lead to my sitting here today, in this office, having spent the last 4 days beating myself up and grieving for him?  Do you think I’m here to rid myself of a loved family member for financial reasons?

I’m only telling you that I can’t do what you came here to do in all good conscience because I feel he’s healthy and just showing his age

{By now, I’m about hysterical, but from anger…}

I am not leaving this office until you do whatever you have to do to prove this is NOT a cancerous tumor; tell me the cause of the last two weeks; and I AM NOT PAYING FOR IT.  YOU ARE.

Of course. I will aspirate the mass and I’ll take a stool sample.  If, you’ll hold him

{Just give me a biscuit dumbass}

Aspiration done, sample taken, Vet disappears, returns 15 minutes later…

I was correct.  That mass is nothing to worry about, for now, it’s just fat

And the stool sample shows he’s loaded with bacteria, which I can treat, with medication. And this bacteria is absolutely the cause of his lack of appetite and lethargy.  It’s common and treatable.

All I ask is that you give him a fair chance.  Let him take the medication for a couple days.  If there’s no improvement, we can revisit it.

What?  A fair chance? You tell me my dog has a malignant tumor, tell me to make up my mind quickly, it’s only $970 to be on the safe side, and you tell ME to give him a fair chance?  Give him pills for a couple days and then you’ll revisit killing him?

That’s all I’m asking.  I can’t stop you from going through with this, but I can’t do it.  I’ll not charge you for anything but the pills and I’ll only charge you what they cost me.

{Lord, get me away from this man before I BITE HIM}

Get me the pills, refund my prepaid murder for hire fee, and we’ll be gone.

He did and we were.

FOR FUCKING EVER!

My Dude…alive and well…despite modern medicine!  When did Vets become like all the rest?

really mom

See Ma..all I needed was some ice cream and chocolate cookie stuff. Oh, and the biscuits…don’t forget the biscuits.
🙂