The Chicken House

A strange thing has happened at our old house. First, the landlord put new siding on. This is a miracle. Trust me. We had that house painted several times over the past 30 years and it never stuck. We had professionals come and look at it and make sure the painter had taken off the old paint right, prepped correctly, and used the best paint a large name-brand company can sell. No go. Within a few months, large chunks of paint would literally fall off the side. The landlord kept bemoaning the fact it needed painting and would procrastinate so years would pass and our house would look like some dump, on it’s last legs. It didn’t matter that we planted trees and flower beds and kept the large (5 acre) lawn mowed to perfection, because when the house has big chunks of paint missing, it just loses the effect somehow.

Several months ago, one of the landlords’ passed away and the family decided to hire a farm manager. For the most part, farmers will tell you those words “farm manager” are something that leaves a bad taste in the mouth. I don’t know how we got so lucky, but this one actually has a brain in his head and some logic in his bones. Since he’s taken over, things have run much more smoothly and things, such as the siding, are getting done – instead of just being talked about.

Now, phase two has taken place. The old chicken house and out-house are history, burned, buried, and covered with dirt… no longer a fixture of this farm. If buildings can hold memories, these two held a few…

The innumerable spoons and bowls that were carried and left on the hay bales in the chicken house by two little girls who were cat-crazy and who would take their treats out to share with the herd of farm cats that nested there.

The old tires that seemed to breed there… from things like old tractors, cars that drag-raced on the road to cars that raced on an oval track. Four-wheeler tires, odyssey tires. Each tire has a story, if only you could hear it.

The boxes of books relegated to sitting in dusty boxes, turning slowly to misshapen, mildewed blobs when windows blew out in a storm and the rains came in.

The boxes filled with old cooking pans, dishes, and household items that moved home once (or twice) with returning children who then decided they didn’t need or want those items after all.

The great spools of rope that lived out their last years in the old out-house. (Long-since unused.) A crack in the door allowing a home for wasps and an occasional lost kitten.

The little red plastic chair that sat in the bushes between the two… Almost hidden by the overgrowth, the ghost of a child whispering secrets to another in their shadows.

The pets that were buried between them in the flowerbed. May they rest in peace wherever they are now, buried far below where a saddened heart could dig with a measly spade.

I am a product of memory. I tie that house, those buildings to my life with my family. It’s where my children were raised – two of them born there, the other two since the eldest was four. It’s where my husband lived since he was seven. It’s where I’d lived the longest of my whole entire life after having moved several times as a child and young adult. As much as I love (like a lot) my new house, a big piece of my heart lives in that little old house. I’m not sure how I would have reacted if we’d had to move and our son had not been living there… if I’d had to leave it to strangers. I think houses imprint with the people who live there, and a shadow of me lives there today.

I miss seeing the chicken house, the out-house. Just as I missed the barn for years when they took it down, many years ago. In many ways it looks better, but in my heart there will always be a little hole where they, and the memories they invoke, live.

Monday Mutterings

As promised, here is my friend Michael’s blog site. Unfortunately, it’s on MSN, so you have to log into their system to comment, but if you just want to read all his good stuff go on over to Recipes for Life. He used to be a chef, and has lots of good recipes, as well as some great writing and cute kitty pics.

Saturday wasn’t the best night for racing. Jon made it two laps in the heat race and … wait for it… blew up his motor. Yup. Again. The good news is, he’s found a buyer for his stock car and is now, officially, going to be getting his own modified. Will be nice to see him go ’round and ’round with his own colors and number.

The mornings are actually cool now… can fall be far? The fields are starting to turn and it won’t be too long and the combines will be in them and life will get even more hectic.

The new guy at work started. He said a whole four words to me today. I didn’t realize I was so scary. He left early. He better enjoy – he won’t get that opportunity very often.

Odds and Ends

I gotta come up with a better name for these snippets. Open to suggestions! I know, we could have a contest… the winner gets… okay, nevermind.

  • I should have posted earlier that my ankle is just fine. I wrapped it up in Ace bandages (not the Wile E. Coyote brand) that my lovely DIL2B brought me (the nurse) and after a couple of days it was just ducky.
  • The roof was fixed in record time. It only took one guy one afternoon and he did it before the last round of rains came. Yes, it’s covered by insurance. So far, we can’t find anything else wrong. Amazing, no fire! We can find no problems with anything electrical. The ceiling of the shower will need to be painted with a stain killer and paint, but it appears the drywall is just fine. Now, who wants to go up into the crawlspace and fluff the insulation? Not me…
  • Eldest son is starting a new job on the 28th in the “big city” closeby. Will be a great opportunity for him to use his degree and he’ll have less driving time. Bonus: his office building is right next door to his girlfriends’ office building. Congrats, Honey!
  • Eldest daughter is starting a new job on the 5th! She just accepted today! YES! She can finally escape from her “BL” (boss lady) who drives her nuts. Moving to a small office where at the moment she’ll be the only woman (welcome to MY world!). Have I mentioned I really do like working with men better… sorry, ladies. A lot less cattiness going on… At any rate, the company is small and they tell her they are pretty laid back, but it sounds like a great opportunity for her to blossom. Congrats to you, too, Sweetie!
  • The new guy at work starts Monday. I’m not sure what to expect. It’s going to be hard to replace Chris. Okay, it won’t be a replacement. It will be different. Hope he works out okay… I would hate to have to build that wall between our desks. (In-office joke. I’ve threatened that if I don’t like the person I have to share my office space with I’m going to make my own “cubicle” out of whatever is handy.) He is huge! He has to be 6’7″ at least, and giant. Looks like a football player. Or an enforcer.
  • A friend of mine (from WoW) has joined the blogworld. I’ll give you his address when he posts something. So far, he’s just come up with the site. He’s really worrying about how he’s going to present himself. I keep telling him he worries too much. He’s a terrific writer and very intelligent and has cats! What can go wrong with cats?!? Will pass the site link along when he’s ready… (btw, he’s the one who did the shoelace poster.)
  • Just found out a friend is expecting a baby the first week in January. I tease him it might be the New Years’ baby! They know it’s a boy, and because his wife is 35, they’ve done some doppler ultra-sound and everything looks fine. He said he could even see the baby blink it’s eyelids! My gosh! The technology just blows me away. When I had my last ultra sound you could barely make out it had a head or fingers!
  • I am hoping this weekend brings some much-needed self-positive reinforcement. I need to get the house cleaned, laundry caught up, print some reports for the tax-man to deliver on Monday, possibly work on my craft room and/or office, as well as some current crafting and WoW-ing. (I swear, I’m suffering from withdrawal!) I always feel better when I get some things accomplished. Don’t you? Then again, deep in my heart I crave a jammie day

Fun at the Fair II

Random Observations

Those shorts don’t do you justice. They are so short that your pockets hang out the bottom.

You are wearing that lovely straw cowboy hat with the red, white, and blue boa feathers wrapped around as a headband and stringing down the back. It would look adorable on … okay, it looks adorable on no one, but especially a 30-year-old male.

The airbrushed t-shirt and matching airbrushed ballcap make quite the fashion statement.

Can that shirt / shorts / tank top / get any tighter?

Do I have to see your belly? If you had a nice, tight, six-pack that would be different. You, honey, don’t.

I’m sure you are very proud of that tattoo. So is your mother.

Get a room.

Please keep your boob inside at all times. Unless you are breastfeeding. You. Are. Not.

Yep. You needed that turkey leg / corn dog / funnel cake / ice cream / fried twinkie / saltwater taffy / giant cinnamon roll / something-on-a-stick / pork chop / roast beef dinner / gyro / pizza / fried chicken / deep fried oreo. I could see you were gonna starve without it. (Disclaimer: I did not have ALL of these… only some…. and many options were left off the list.)

Carnies are hot. NOT.

Camping Fun #203

I have made breakfast. A lovely breakfast of bacon, toast, scrambled eggs. I have served it to my Hubs, my MIL, my son’s future father-in-law, and some of my sons’ friends who have camped in their tent next to our RV this night. Son and his girlfriend had to leave before breakfast, as she had to go to work and he had to work on the ‘other’ car for tonights’ race.

I am now cleaning up. I use paper plates, but still have silverware, cups, and pans to wash. I have a very tiny kitchen in the RV, but I’m used to doing things in the kitchen myself. In our old house, I didn’t want anyone else in my small kitchen because they would just get in the way. In the new house, my kitchen is huge and I can have people sit at the bar and watch me, but I prefer to just do the actual cooking myself. I know where things are, I know how to do it, and please just get the fcuk out of my way. The RV is the same way. Has a galley kitchen and is made for ONE person.

MIL keeps walking behind me in the RV as I am starting to organize the dishes. She heads for the garbage waste can. No, no, please don’t take it out. I still need it. I’m clearing dishes. The RV doesn’t have a garbage disposal, I need to scrape the waste into the bag. She walks back behind me going the other way. Heading for the door. This is good. This is a very good sign. She stops next to my elbow (within “oops!” slamming range). Being a good daughter-in-law, I keep my elbow tucked tightly to my side. Not easy to do when trying to handle an electric skillet and several utensils at once. She stands and watches. I scrape scraps from a bowl into the trash.

MIL: “Is it ready to go now?”
Me: “um… no… I still have dishes. I’ll let you know when I’m done”
MIL: “I was just going to take it up to the dumpster”
Me:” yes, and that’s terrific. I’ll bring it outside when I’m done”
MIL: “there is a box out there with a couple of cans, too. I sent the rest of the cans with Jon. I don’t want that money to go to waste” (we have a 5 cent can deposit here that is refundable when you recycle your cans).
MIL:” I’ll just take that trash out and run it up to the dumpster”

She starts heading for the trash can again.

Me: “Give me a minute to finish, then you can take it up”

She hovers, watching me scrape lose scraps into the bag.

MIL: “Now? It it ready to go now?”
Me: “not quite yet”

I’m starting to feel like I’m dealing with a three-year-old who wants to go out and play with their friends. “Can I go now? How about now? Now? NOW?” I thought I was through with that about 20 years go. (No, she’s not senile. This is how she is. Oh, have I mentioned the whole pot of coffee she has just had to drink. By herself. Caffinated, of course.)

I get out the scraper and scratch off some crusted on food. I don’t want any to go down the sink and clog it up. I’m not normally this meticulate, but for some reason this morning, I just gotta get every crumb. Probably because I’m being passive-aggressive, or some such shit.

MIL:” Ready?”
Me: oh, what the fuck. “Sure, you can take it now”.

I end up putting a clean sack in the garbage can after she leaves.