Saturday, December 16, 2017

fuse satisfaction

I went to Auto Zone.  I walked to the fuses aisle.  I found 10 amp ATC fuses and I bought a packet of four of them.  Then I came home and opened up my camper and Ziggy rushed in to investigate (she ran first to the red light of the bad fuse, little smarty pants) and then I changed out the fuse and immediately the radio lights came back on (and hopefully I can figure out how to make them go away because I really hate sleeping in a room with any kind of phantom light - when I'm at a hotel I cover them all up).

It's satisfying.  Little challenges like this are fun.  Now I now the layout of the Autozone and what to expect.  I can't remember ever changing a fuse again but that could be age because surely I have at some point, and how could I know how it goes unless I've done it before?

Ah, age.  I can never remember my sources of information anymore.  I can remember the actual information, but not who told me.  And I'm talking about something the next day.  It's kind of crazy.  Is this a normal thing?

And it's recent because today I saw a man I met almost two years ago and I recalled a conversation we'd had and he said, "Wow you have a great memory," but the truth is (a) I remember because we spent quite a bit of time talking and I found him interesting and attractive, and (b) he remembered even more about me.  He remembered Ziggy and where I live and all sorts of things.  So he apparently also found me interesting and I wish he'd found me attractive and we would be happily ever after even though I don't really believe in that.  But I did quite like him. He seemed older today.  I mean, of course he is older because that was two years ago, but for men there is a change in virility at a certain age and I think he's there.

Not HNIC.  IT was his birthday this week and I'm at the stage of grief of being really pissed off at him.  He'd once really pissed me off on his birthday and that came up.  But he died before his virility could fade.  He was feeling less virile but that's not how the world saw him.

Anyway, even if that man did find me attractive, he'll never act on it.  In this political climate, it'll never happen.  And so it goes.  He's just the kind of man I imagine hours of pillow talk with - I really enjoy chatting with him.  He's a good conversationalist. And at our age, that's something.

I have drastically changed in many ways.  I have stayed at a job for three years, something I've done only once before in the past 32 years.  This will soon be the longest job I've ever had - and soon it will be the longest job by a long amount.  While I still have no real interest in a long-term relationship, I also no longer have interest in short-term ones.  Just all of that doesn't really interest me.  The only reason I would want a partner is to share chores and resources.  I would love another person chipping in on household expenses and projects.  But most people want more than that.

It's Saturday and my pelvis aches.  It's felt "full" for weeks now and I just want it to go away.  I'm assuming it could well be some big fibroid growth - that's what I had before, nearly ten years ago when they removed a fibroid the size of a football from me (which I never complained about but they thought it could be cancerous so insisted).  And apparently quite bad endometriosis which was scraped out while I was cut open and they were waiting for biopsy results. 

The thing is: I REALLY REALLY REALLY do not want that surgery again.  The recovery process was AWFUL.  My brain didn't work right for two years.  AND the other thing is that menopause will change the hormones to stop contributing to the growth of such things, so I just need to hang on for that.  I'm nearing 50 so the waiting game doesn't seem so bad.  But I'm also a bit concerned about the feeling.  It did get worse after my trip, and I ate large meals there, so maybe it's a weight gain thing amplifying whatever else is going on.  So, trimming ten pounds wouldn't hurt me for sure. 

I had that last post about a good reason to lose weight but I don't want to be slim. I like being a woman of physical substance. I like that it makes it possible for me to push a 2,000 pound trailer around.  Where I worked in West Africa, women of my body type were taken more seriously than slim women.  It's not just a beauty standard, though is in part.  It's also a gravity standard - a woman of strength and conviction is not a size 0, according to that culture.  And it resonated with me.  I like taking up space.  NOt more than my space, but to not give up my space to others without permission.
And another big piece of this is that my indicators are all very healthy.  Good blood pressure, cholesterol, all that.  Were my weight any kind of health problem, I would view it differently. 

But yeah, I should shed the trip pounds and not indulge too heavily in holiday festivities. 

I wanted to take Ziggy to the forest today but the forest is too far.  She's in one of her moods, so very naughty.  And I know lack of walks and training is fueling that, but I just haven't felt up to it all. She's bored and she's being an asshole.  Yesterday a man was talking about friends who go boar hunting very primitive - the dogs chase the boar until it's exhausted and then the people jump on it and kill it with a knife, etc.  I gave him a funny look and he said: "Yeah, it's pretty gruesome."  "No, I'm just thinking how my dog would LOVE THAT LIFE." 

But I will take her out today.  Before she has a nervous breakdown.  And I'll gird my loins to deal with her attitude about it all.  And we'll work on training.  Really it's counter conditioning that we need to work on.  Well, and how to remember her training when facing a strong stressor.  She gets so flooded with emotion she's unable to think. 

I finished reading The Education of Will by Dr. Patricia McConnell, a dog behaviorist whom I respect.  And she got a puppy when eight weeks old and she's an expert, and that dog STILL turned out to be as messed up as Ziggy.  She managed it and got through it - but sheesh, I can't do all that she could.  I don't have the skills or resources - like time.  She works with dog issues full-time.  She has a ton of friends and colleagues with dogs to help her dog.  She says she's not sure what made the difference but she took him regularly to things like acupuncture and other (expensive, time-consuming) treatments.  There is an holistic vet here who can do acupuncture but it would take so much effort to get Ziggy to accept somebody other than me putting needles into her.  I'm sure they're experts but Ziggy is SO INTENSE.  I've never known a dog like her.  And we tried so many herbal remedies and nothing worked except the CBD oil which I'm keeping her on.

What I can do is T-touch, a type of massage almost that has evidence supporting that it works to calm animals.  I have a book on that so need to pick it up and focus on that. 

I've just been so tired - finishing classes was rough and then immediately two trips and some big work projects, and I'm just totally exhausted.  And the camper has a steep learning curve so I'm spending so much time reading up on that and ordering and installing things.  Things that will be easy after I've done them a couple of times are pretty hard the first time, as this is something I've never done before. 

I'm so grateful for upcoming time off for the holidays.  I need to rest.  I'm so glad I'm not taking exams in April because then I'd have to start studying and I just want to rest.  Time off for me is "just" working a full-time job and training an insane dog and doing a ton of house chores.  And not giving in to pressure to socialize if I don't want to - I keep not showing up to parties, canceling plans.  I soooo appreciate my friends reaching out at the end of the term trying to see me, but I'm just finding it exhausting and I want to not go places or do things.  I'm tired.

All right, there's about 20 items on my to-do list so I need to get to it.  Starting with feeding the chickens, who are patiently waiting (some morning they scream at me, but today they're just scratching around).  Then walking the dog to take the edge off her nerves.  She's just sitting and staring at me, judging me for my laziness.  I sure do wish my old tenant and her puppy were still here, and they could all frolic in the backyard.  Sigh. 

So yeah I want to take the trailer out for one night next weekend, maybe for Christmas.  So I have a lot to prepare for that. 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

well I finally figured out a reason I should work on being thinner

I don't make a big deal about fat pride or any of that, but I am fat and unashamed of it.  Between genetics and thyroid dysfunction, it would be an incredible amount of work to be in even "normal" range.  I've lost weight before and then it always plateaus.  That whole calorie-in, calorie-out bullshit.  I was on Weight Watchers and being very "good" and nothing worked to nudge downward.  I could starve myself I guess, literally starve.  In Vienna at the turn of the century there were Hungerkunstler who starved themselves nearly to death as a form of entertainment. That's how it would feel to me to try to be thin. And I would fail. And it would be so much energy to focus on it. 

So, I don't. 

But tonight I realized I may have to reconsider my position.  My trailer fits in my carport, but to have enough room on one side to pass by and with a bike or other objects, means that the other side is very close to the wall.  And tonight when I was trying to inflate tires and recharge batteries and all that, I couldn't really fit well. 

And bless her team-player heart, Ziggy was right there and would have been so happy to handle all the work for me in that tight space, and if she had an opposable thumb I'd have handed it all off to her.  But, she does not. 

(By the way, after over two years, I finally have my staff doing things on their own to mButy standards and it is GLORIOUS.  Just in time for somebody else to enjoy all my work.  Grrrrr.) 

So I was wedged between wall and camper, trying to fit things into other things, and it was frustrating.  And if I were 50 pounds smaller, my frame would fit more easily in the gap, and I would be less frustrated, which would worry my dog less.  (She is such a good dog.  Seriously.  Any time I have chores to do, she is right there to help.)

And no, I can't expand my carport.  Which is already probably beyond the property line.

Speaking of, I'm annoyed that the water company left me a notice that I have to clear off my water meter.  They have automatic readers - they don't need to access my meter, they can read it as they drive past.  Unless that system broke, which is likely.  Shit breaks here like crazy.  NOw I look back at past statements and it looks like they have been estimating since May.  Oh, good grief.  So what this means is that it's likely that when I get a water bill it will be for $7,000.  I wish I were exaggerating but that's what neighbors have received.  I wondered why I haven't had such problems, and now I know.  HOnestly I was kind of distracted because I had to deal with my tenant's water situation because it took her over almost two years to get the water switched to her name.  Grrrr.

So I need to spend this weekend clearing part of my front yard garden.  Honestly the area where I need to clear, nothing's growing there anyway now so oh well.  It's weird, I cannot get anything to grow in that section.  I've planted so much, for no results.  Guess I'm grateful for that now. 

Also I can't take out the camper this weekend because I blew a goddamn fuse.  Sheesh.  So, more project there.

And I have to go to work early tomorrow and I keep forgetting. 


Oh, it's time to make checklists of things to do and take camping!

First, I want to buy 100 acres to roam.  That won't happen soon if ever.

I got a new trailer ball mount today and it's adjustable and I was able to find the right height for the trailer.  Yay.  Now I need to figure out how to tighten it correctly.  I need a wrench larger than what I have.  Probably my neighbor has one.  I also need to crawl under my truck and check for anything that's come loose on the hitch.  I installed that myself years go and it's likely not as tight as it should be.  I've asked the mechanic to check but I'm not entirely sure of them.  I need to find the hitch lock that I think I got - if not, then I need to order one. 

I got the portable tire inflator and converter to electricity so I can give that a go and get the tires to the right pressure.

Time to think about the little things too to take. Things like soap and dishsoap and coffee and sheets.  

I got grease for the ball hitch so it doesn't stick on me.  I got a power adapter to use the 50 amp power with my 30 amp trailer.  That wasn't super necessary right now but it will be once we hit campsites with power, so I went ahead and got it. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

open spaces

Yesterday at work, there was cake for THREE people retiring.  A lot of change. 

So this morning I'm acting like I'm retired.  It's almost time for me to be at work and instead I'm on the couch with my coffee and my hound.  No walk yet, haven't fed the chickens.  Just slowly moving. 

I stayed up too late watching the Alabama Senate race, because - wowza.

I dream of land.  Big piece of land, away from the beaten path, where my Catahooligan and trailer and I can go for her to run free and me to feel less urban.  When I bought this house where I am now, it was so open with vacant lots all around.  Now it's getting built up.  It doesn't help that the builders are assholes.  I feel hemmed in.  I still have one of the biggest lots I know in New Orleans, a very big back and front yard, and very nice neighbors.  But I want land and space to be free. 

I want to be retired on a ranch, and I want it next week.  I want this kind of view from my front door (taken from the show Longmire and in reality the Valles Caldera in Jemez):


I'm entirely unreasonable, I know.  But a girl can dream.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

power move

I made kind of a power move today, expressing interest in another position.  The person I said it to was surprised but interested. 

There is way more to say but none of it can I say here unfortunately. 

I just wonder if anything could come of it.  The timing might work in my favor because they need somebody quickly and it's pretty high stakes. 

The upside would be fewer personalities to please.  The downside would be more travel. 

They would want somebody they can manipulate more than me, and they may already have somebody in mind.

But, it could be a possible good move for me.  Time will tell.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Advil was made for weekend warriors like me

I try very hard to not take any medications, but I may need a NSAID today.  I have spent the past two and a half hours hauling pieces of carport to the other side of my house (out of the carport and driveway, so I can put the trailer there) and shoveling heavy wet sand (from the sinkhole explosions that have spewed a ton of sand all over my driveway and make it dangerous and messy). 

And i'm not done.  Maybe 2/3 of the way done.  And I hurt.  Oh boy do I hurt.  I am taking a little break to unknot my muscles and eat something.  I forgot to eat first.  And then I will finish and I will scour the street and driveway and carport for any sharp object that may puncture a trailer tire.  And I will put cones to help me back it in and I will try my best.  I have to leave to get the trailer in about three hours so I need to rally.  Because I will be having to be strong to haul that thing around, too.  Good times. 

My tenant is gone for a couple of days and a friend of hers is staying here to avoid bad roommates.  Sometimes I am reminded that I am a landlord for the community service of it - I provide a good product for what it is, affordable.  I am so delighted to now have three tenants who all pay their rent on time or even early.  Anyway, the friend arrived as I was returning from walking the dog, and Ziggy was all over her.  "Do you like dogs?"  "I love dogs."  "Well, just open the back door and she'll come running in to hang out with you."  And then we went in the house out my backdoor to start the hauling tasks, and Ziggy ran straight to the apartment backdoor, as though to fulfill the promise.  She knew exactly who was in the apartment even though it kind of doesn't make sense how she can figure it out.  Like how she could figure out that this person needs her comfort and understanding, and Ziggy is extremely good at those things.  She loves to make people happy and she loves friends. 

OK.  Some more water (it's cold but I'm still sweating - this shit is heavy) and then back to it.  And I will hurt.  And it's ok. 

Friday, December 8, 2017

almost to trailer life

Last year I became quite ... something about a man I met professionally.  First email and phone, with lots of long communication.  Quite intense.  And then we met in person and we went to another country together and his unwillingness to accept what I consider to be basic responsibility just really grated my nerves.

But we are still bonded.  He said once that it takes him a long time to become friends but then he is loyal to the end, unlike me who quickly befriends.  He was wrong.  I'm not really quick, but I know what I know.  And we are friends.  We now go months without talking but then immediately jump back into all of it.

When I last saw him the other night, I saw him watching the room playing host and I waited for his eyes to light on me.  I gave him a "deuces" as I was ready to go, but part of our dance is that I will not make first gesture ever.  He must always take the initiative, or fate does.  And he came to me and long hugged and kissed me, and I turned to go and he held my hand to keep me a little longer.  My new boss was there and may have seen it and I realize that anybody who saw it would think something. Not that I care. 

We just really like each other.  I thought he was buddies with everyone among his pals there, but I know him so much better than any of them, even about silly things like his age.  I know it, nobody else does.  One of our things was that we spent many hours walking around together, telling each other secrets.  We know each others' indiscretions and fears and priorities.  I know his salary and custody agreement terms.  Seriously, we know things. 

So he texted today to ask if it's true that there's snow here.  (There maybe was a little but I was inside.)  I responded and then: "And you miss me."  "Of course I do."  And I said what I'd been waiting for.  A mutual friend had invited me to join her at their lakehouse this summer but then I looked at a map and it would be FOUR DAYS of driving.  Good god.  Who lives closer?  This man.  And he loves dogs.  And I want to travel with dog.  So I invited myself.  I'm a little concerned about his young daughters and the hound but we'll work it out.  I think maybe we go to a park to camp, visit him for a few hours the next day, camp again, and come home. 

Tomorrow I am to take possession of my little camper.  I'm pretty damn excited, though I have to haul a bunch of shit first - things with nails and sharp edges, remnants of my former carport.  And then I have to pick up every sharp object and sweep, to make a good place for my trailer.  And then I somehow have to figure out how to back up.  Into a new carport.  Yikes. 

Last time I was moving debris from the carport construction I fell really hard.  The scabs are nearly healed (the sweet little boy I visited in Savannah saw and wanted to kiss to make them better), but my left elbow just keeps popping.  I hope I heal from that.  I'm so lucky I didn't break my arm because I fell damn hard, even though it was like in slow mo so I could shift my body for fat to take the brunt of the fall.

Let's be honest though - I'm past the age of a lot of things healing.  I'm just breaking down.  Though, my knee was killing me the past few days and that passed.  I think it was the barometric joints I now have.  See, age is helpful.

Thinking of things for my little camper.  Ordering a power cord to convert 50 to 30 amps.  I'll want a rug.  And an awning. What else?  I'll have to see.