“As the Shade Spins Some More Still”

As we get ready to join our already-in-progress play of numb-nuts and dumb-bells. I invite you to refill your bowls.  There’s a surprisingly large quantity left (what? you don’t like it?) so I’ve kept it warming on the stove. It may be a tad thicker than it should be, but you could always add a drop or two of that Canadian almost beer…the little dirt eaters could probably use it.  And please, let me know if you are in a part of the world where the sun is just rising, I can fry up an egg to top your stew…I believe I can retrieve one or two from the face of our leading man…the driver.

We’ll pick up with our little ensemble right where we left them…in the freezing dark…at the end of day one. To refresh your mind, and get you in the mood, here is where we stand:

Husband  😯

Wife  👿

Driver  😥

And now we return to…As the Shade Spins, Part II

Before the crew left that first night, we tried to find out where they were staying the night and what the plan was for the following day.  Not as easy as one would imagine…owing to the fact that the driver’s particular Haitian dialect was out of our scope and our particular English one was gibberish to him.  Apparently.

We did manage to conclude this though…he was planning on returning to Massachusetts (260 miles one way) because his cousin (cough…I mean, one of his crew) needed to be home in the morning for something ‘important’.

Now, maybe we are just too finicky, or too demanding, or just too damned too too…but if I were to say to you we were more than a little pissed off to find out our stuff was being schlepped an added 520 miles, for something that has absolutely nothing to do with our job, adding an inordinate amount of unnecessary liability…would we be wrong?  PLUS…would you have believed him when he said not to worry because he’d be back by 8am?  Even if he fervently and repeatedly stated he’d be back by 8am no matter HOW much sleep he got?

No, we didn’t either.

And because we lost almost an entire day the first day, we were then in the position of HAVING to finish (finish? shit…start the bloody job) the packing, loading of the house, packing and loading of our storage unit (no electric there either), cleaning and closing both, and making the 800 mile trip to Virginia in one day and not two because we had to be present for our final walk through on the new house in two days time!

Pissed?  Just a little.

So…day two dawns just as cold as the day before and they were just as late.  Yes, it seems our driver has a ‘waking up’ problem. They managed to roll in somewhere around 11:30am, a mere 3 and a half hours past his feverish and fervently promised 8am.  I won’t bother with the emoticons…you can just imagine!  Nor will I mention the many, rather colorful, telephone conversations with ‘corporate’.  And remember my mentioning in Part I the little detail about daylight being at a premium up there (12 miles from the Canadian border)?  Right.  We now have about 4 hours ’til dark, and I mean DARK, and they’ve only just arrived and the entire job still to do!

No. Fucking. Way.  KISS MY ASS AND CALL ME FRED (Now you know why I dubbed this my 50th Shade – what the hell next?)

Well, I’ll tell you what next…Mayhem!  I couldn’t believe it when I went out to the porch to have a smoke, and saw through the gaping mouth that was the open doors of that truck, what could only be considered CHAOS inside!  It looked like a couple of drunks had gotten in and started throwing things hither and yon looking for another bottle!

U N B E L I E V A B L E!

I had to leave; had to get out before I killed someone.  My husband had been so busy doing their job (dismantling furniture because they had no tools, packing boxes using packing paper they didn’t seem to be using, trying to MARK boxes they had packed because they didn’t realize they had to) and I was trying to keep an eye on how things were being wrapped, etc…that we’d not had a chance to see what was going on until then.

Other than telling them to stop, unload the truck, and get the hell out, there was nothing to be done in the time we had left.  So, I had to leave.  I drove down to the house periodically to check on my husband, who was working harder than all three of the others, and each time it became more and more evident that my husband had been right…there was NO way this truck was big enough. Especially with the way it was being packed, if you can even call it that.  Not for what was in the house and certainly not what was in storage.

O. M. G.  Kill me now!

(I’m so sure you all need a potty break by now, or perhaps more stew?  But let’s see if we can at least get out of Vermont before we have a commercial. Trust me though, I need one too!)

We end the day at 10:30pm, in the pitch black, bitterly cold, frozen north…steaming mad.  When all was said and done this day, in addition to the truck, we now have our two cars, my father’s pick-up truck filled to bursting (where to put our luggage? yeah, like that) (how the hell are two people going to drive three vehicles?  yeah, like that) and STILL, items tucked in his barn that won’t fit into either of those three additional transports.

The parting of the driver, crew, and truck wasn’t without a sigh of relief all the same.  They even left us a present.  Yes ladies and gents, never let it be said that these folks don’t respect their customers.  No sir.  They lavished us with two plastic carry bags full of garbage, three empty work boot boxes, a broken Styrofoam cooler, and a sundry of packing material trash…strewn carefully and cleverly in the middle of our driveway!  And as an encore, they even managed to hit the retaining wall on the way out, knocking the railroad ties flat.  Yes indeed…consummate professionals right to the bitter end!

After a few hours of what is sure to be nightmare filled sleep…we hit the road in the morning.  It can’t get much worse, so we’ll see what happens on the other end next time on…

As the Shade Spins, Part III

How about a tease for what’s to come?  Okay…have a look-see below…oh boy!

THIS IS MY LIFE! Toilet Brush and Tooth Brushes? Together? Unprotected in the same box? (yeah, like that)

THIS IS MY LIFE!
Toilet Brush and Tooth Brushes?
Together?
Unprotected in the same box?
(yeah, like that)

(God, I need a drink! I’m just writing it, it already happened, and it’s only 10am…but I NEED it!)

“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  🙂

Number 3 – RAPE: Rise Against Punishable Eccentricity

The third and final post in the RAPE:  Rise Against Punishable Eccentricity challenge to join the movement to raise our voices in the fight again Rape and Sexual Assault, as well as lift our voices in unison toward helping women feel empowered to take charge and take action.

I particularly love this one because it’s quintessential Susan (the Green Thumb Goddess).  She can always pack a wallop in her poetry but I think she especially nailed this one.  The seed planted here is powerful, visual, and easy to relate to.

I would also like to thank my daughter-in-law Lindsay for allowing me to use her beautiful face in this image.  While she’s not a victim of sexual abuse…she absolutely ‘gets’ it!

A side note:

Women do not have to be victims of abuse to feel like and see that ‘stranger’ in the mirror…sometimes lost, sometimes less than, too often unrecognizable.  Because I know that feeling all too well, not just as a survivor, but as a woman in general, there’s an added incentive to lead by example; to show that we must not be silent; we must not become part of the backdrop of someone else’s life; we must not lose sight of who and what we are…special, unique, and empowered to change the world by virtue of our voices, our minds, and not the least, raising our children.

We must step up and out of the supporting role and take the lead when we need to; show our sons and daughters that just because we plant and tend the garden, it does NOT make us gardeners.

And our choice to be housewives, does NOT mean we are ignorant of the world outside our four walls.

If our choice is to be stay-at-home mothers, it is just that – a choice.  NOT an open door to disrespect, condescension, or a sign that we feel ourselves unworthy.  If anything…it’s the complete opposite. 

Here then, for her, you, me, us….WE 

Stranger by Susan Daniels and Rhonda

Stranger

Number 1 – Rape Hurts     Number 2 – She

Thank you Susan, it was an absolute pleasure to be part of this with you.

And, thank you all for reading.

Number 2 – RAPE: Rise Against Punishable Eccentricity

The second in this 3 part series by Susan Daniels and myself for RAPE: Rise Against Punishable Eccentricity.

If you missed the first one – Rape Hurts – I hope you view it now.  As well as taking a few moments to read the other powerful messages through the links on the KnowYourStar.com‘s page.

Thank you KnowYourStar.com for giving us a safe place to shout…for some, it’s all we have.

SHE by Susan Daniels, Image by RhondaShe

RAPE: Rise Against Punishable Eccentricity

RAPE: Rise Against Punishable Eccentricity

The link above will take you to their page…but here is what they ask:

  • 1. Write an article/poem related to Women & Women Empowerment and post in your blog.
  • 2. Link back to this article of KnowYourStar.com with a hyperlink so your readers and friends can join us if they are interested.
  • 3. Enter your name and link into the Linky widget. (It should be the post link, and not your blog link in general. In your blog, click on the post title. The URL in the address bar would be the post link.).
  • 4. Read and enjoy as many of the other writers as well. When you read more, most of them return to read yours.
  • 5. Don’t miss this golden chance to impact the society! Let’s change it for better!

In collaboration with my dear friend and fellow blogger, Susan Daniels and her amazing ability to put what we feel into poetry…the following is our response to the challenge!

We did a series of three poems/images.  The poetry is classic Daniels and the images are composites of photos of my own that I’ve manipulated to show what her words mean to me.

Please join the challenge is you feel you can, but if not, Join in the Conversation, visit KnowYourStar.com and read some of the other powerful entries in the effort to get RAPE out of the closet.

Thank you, and thank you Susan.

Number 1 – RAPE HURTS by Susan and Rhonda

Women need simple things
for safety.
To walk alone at night
I want fishhooks and barbed wire
for clothing; vaginal teeth
and a smile that neutralizes acid.

Number 2 – She will post Wednesday August 7th

Number 3 – Stranger will post Thursday August 8th

 

Bridges

A twist on the twister lovingly known as crazytraintotinkytown. Dallas and I have collaborated twice before this one…her stories, my photos. This time…my photos first, and she wrote the story around them. I love it and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do…it’s one of my favorites so far.

I hope you notice the header on Tink’s page as THAT was the original challenge photo.  A series of photos of Bridges.  The photos in the story were inspired by Tink’s writing.

If you’ve not picked up the gauntlet and collaborated yet….do it! It’s G R E A T! So, without further adieu, “Bridges” by Dallas Dyson at Crazytraintotinkytown.

Crazy Train To Tinky Town

This is another of my collaborations with the stylish and very elegant Rhonda over at 50 Shades of Gray Hair. This one was more of a challenge for me as Rhonda supplied the pictures and I wrote the story around them. I have loved working with her and not only is she a great photographer and a perfectionist but a generous spirited soul too. So on behalf of myself and my team-mate we hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed putting it together.

I opened the letter with trembling hands; the one that I had been waiting weeks for. It had arrived in the morning post but I had crumpled it into my pocket and delayed reading it until my Mum had left for work. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to share it with her but I just didn’t want to feel guilty either.

Mum and…

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The Nanny

I promised another tantalizing tale from Deb at Tinky Town…and here it is. Our second writer/photog collaboration! I highly recommend working with another blogger in this way – whether it’s choosing photos for a story or writing a story from a photo…it’s a fun and creative challenge. Here is “The Nanny”…

Crazy Train To Tinky Town

This is the second of my collaborations and my second with the lovely Rhonda over at Fifty Shades of Gray Hair and I think she’s possibly outdone herself this time! It has been a joy working with her on both projects and I have loved how each time I have given her a story she just creates these amazing pictures. So thank you Rhonda, you’re an inspiration!

Jen smiled indulgently across the breakfast table, over the heads of 6-year-old Jake and his sister 4-year-old Emily, at a bemused Richard, and mouthed “I love you”. Their secret smile that they saved for one another, and said that all was right with the world. Jen quickly set about clearing up the breakfast debris when Anna joined them – no matter how hard Jen tried, she just couldn’t warm to this woman. There was an air of detachment and aloofness about her that…

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The Homecoming

Ever thought of collaborating with a fellow blogger? No? You should…it’s fun and gets those creative juices flowing in a whole new direction. This is the first collaboration for me, with the talented and wonderful writer Deb at crazytraintotinkytown, a favorite of mine since the beginning. She’s a twister. Want to know what that means? Read her…you’ll get it. Hope you enjoy, but better yet…hope you try this for yourselves. Deb and I are working on another piece together, so stay tuned for that…it’s another wonderful tale.

🙂