Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Run in With a Deer, Almost Literally.

So I was out taking the dog for a walk. He was trailing along behind me, possibly feeling like going for a walk in the heat was pure madness. Or maybe he just didn't give a fuck where we went today. I dunno. Whatever. It's hard to tell with dogs. I however was engaged with that lovely and important human occupation of thinking about all the things I could have been doing today but totally was not doing. We were just tooling along, when we got to the part where our path runs through a little grove of hemlock trees. You know that kind of patch were everything looks all Grimm's Fairy Tales.

So I glance up and realize there is a deer like maybe twenty feet in front of us. Naturally I freeze as not to scare her. But I only get a bare second of that weird exhilarated feeling you get when you see animals in the wild and then we both hear a twig snap somewhere in the deep green beyond her.

And then she starts running.

Right at us.

And when I say running I really mean that thing where they shove their white tails in the air and briefly defy gravity by leaping along in great bounds. It was about that point I start getting a hint that maybe this isn't such a good super magical thing to have happening right now.

Then she looks up and our eyes meet and her eyes are as wide as saucers and my eyes are as wide as saucers and then it seems like time has stopped for a brief second where she is all ears and eyes and I am all bug spray and dog and floppy summer hat.

Then she does a fairly smooth ninety degree turn and runs off aways into the forest where she does that thing where she shakes her tail a whole bunch and looks irritated. As though I had caught her at home in the shower or something.

Then I look at the dog and he looks and me and we are both like “did that really happen?” And then he smiled sheepishly and then I smiled sheepishly and then we got the fuck out of the forest.

Of course all this really made me realize that oh-shit-WTF is a pretty universal expression.

So is holy-shit-did-that-really-happen?

So I suppose this is where I should close with how lucky I am to have my farm where I can get to see wildlife up close and personal and how I never would have had the wonders and beauty of nature available to me if I still lived in the city, but really all I can think of is her face.

You know, that time when me and a 200 pound female doe briefly shared the same facial expression.

At least I won't need any caffeine this afternoon, though.

So there's that.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

My Dog Smells like Pina Colada now.

So this whole thing started when I got home after being gone for like a week and a half working at that job thing I do in the big city. I got home fed the pets that I knew the farm sitter had already fed that were lying lie faces because lets just face it I do whatever they want me to do and then I took the dog out. Which is when I noticed that he looked a little well, bare.

As in his hair was coming off.

And then I freaked out because I knew he was scratching himself but it hadn't been that bad until I left and apparently that was the trigger for him to go to town on himself.

Itchy town, apparently.

So then I freaked out because instead of stopping to scratch two or three times a walk he was now stopping to scratch every ten feet. So then I made Scott come outside so we could stare at the dog who had these scabs all over his head and was missing hair all over his legs and looked like he had been through some sort of crazy adventure while we were gone. I briefly considered that he had been on some sort of National Treasure style hunt and these were just marks from his narrow escape and that he had secretly buried the ancient golden artifacts in the lawn but then I realized that was probably not the case. Mostly because he was gnawing at his own forelegs, but also because he is kinda dumb.

Then I told Scott that we should call the vet and then we figured out who was going to pay for this round and we decided it was going to be Scott.

And by “we” I mean “I.”

Of course it was like after the vet was closed because that's how life works so then I had to call the vet the next morning and try to get a same day appointment before Jack scratched one of his own limbs off or something. Or got like, mange. I dunno. Bad skin ju-ju. Okay the Internet was down so I was hazy on the details and Jack was fucking itchy as fuck all and I felt really, really bad for him.

Luckily the next morning at 9 O' 5 because waiting is for suckers they asked if I can make 11 and I am all like, yeah that would be great sure fantastic and then I rounded up the pet crate and a towel and some paper towels for the inevitable vomit and Jack's leash and the husband and then Scott was all like hold on I have to put the bullets in the car and I'm all like WTF and he's all like I am taking these to the gun store and then I was all like that is not how gun stores work and we have to get going because Jack could have mange and he could have been getting mange germs all over our bed for weeks and Scott was like that is not how mange works and I sold the gun that takes these rounds and the gun store is out so they offered to buy these boxes and then I look and see that not only does he have two cardboard boxes of bullets but that they are beer boxes and then I wondered if there was any way we could make this more suspicious and then I just decided to get in the damn car and then we were off.

So then we get to the vets and they do their stuff and then I tell them he doesn't have fleas and they act really skeptical and then the vet lady recommends the mites and mange test thing and Jack is looking more and more like he was having a day where he never should have got out of bed and then we tell her to do the test and then she disappears. Then the other vet lady person takes a flea comb to Jack like maybe I am super lying to her but then she doesn't find any fleas and I am all that's right motherfucker. We are flea free up in this bitch.

But I didn't say that part out loud.

So then the real vet lady comes back in and says Jack has no mites or mange so the problem is most likely allergy related and gives up some steroid pills and some antibiotics and then I also ask if bathing him will help because his coat was like super really greasy and he is a hound dog so he kinda smelled like a minotaurs butt hole. And then she recommends some of there fancy dry skin vet shampoo they have out in the lobby and on the way out I grab some of it and then do that married people thing where we ask questions with our minds and Scott gives me this look like well if you have to and then we bought the damn soap.

And by 'we' I mean 'Scott.'

So we get home and decide to give him his first round of pills and the container says “give with food” and I am all like IT'S A DOG HOW THE HELL ELSE ARE YOU GONNA GET PILLS IN IT'S FACE and then Scott is like quit shouting and help me so we shoved both pills into his face and did that thing that parents do when you make your hands into cups to catch spit up and in the end we had to hold his mouth shut until he swallowed and then we fed him like a crap ton of pepperoni.

And then I was all like, whelp time to give him a bath. So I start the water and get out the two towels, one for him and one for me and I drag him in there and put him in the tub and grab some of the super fancy as shit vet soap and lather him up and then I realize it smells really freakin weird. And then I was all like WTF and I read the label while Jack shoved his soapy head into my torso and discover that it's pina colada scented.


So he pretty much spent the rest of the day smelling like a Caribbean party. He was less then thrilled. And of course it would be the greatest shampoo ever and make his coat feel like clouds made out of softness and his dry red skin would be all like smooth and the redness would go away because now I know someone somewhere is going to be all like, “why does your dog smell like booze?”

And I'm gonna be like “you don't get to judge him he's sick!”

And then they will probably call PETA.

Anyway, the good news is that after the evening dose of meds I discovered that the steroid bottle says that the pills increase appetite so then I started sticking those damn ginormas pills into hot dogs because Jack has suddenly become a treat hound like whoa.

In a way it's like the problem almost fixes itself.

But it is all worth it to see Jack not scratching himself down to nothing. Even if it means controlling my drinking problem is a tad bit harder when my dog smells like a girls night out.

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Water Heater, the Aftermath.

After I slept in to the sweet bliss of eight thirty I drug myself out of bed with one goal in mind. My aunt was having a family picnic at 4pm and come hell or high water I was going to take a shower and finish that floor and then go eat BBQ chicken until I couldn't breather and/or walk.

There are worse goals.

So the first order of business after the morning chores was to cut the plywood and paint it and to start treating the furniture for mold. So while Scott drug himself up into the driveway to cut and paint I started cleaning all the furniture. Which was like one of those find the hidden object games except that the hidden object was mold and it was sneaky and fucking everywhere.

Bitch ass mold.

So I got a bucket and some Pine-sol and tried to convince my knees to bend. Normally when I talk about knee pain I mean on the surface of the knee caps from kneeling on a hard or uncomfortable surface too long. This however was new in that there was shooting pains in the knee itself. Like my bodies own special way of telling me to go fuck myself.

Also special was that when I was done treating all the big stuff, was the super awesome not shitty at all discovery that I had to check every damn drawer from both chests of drawers because some of them had mold on them too. Which meant that I had to empty them out into the ever growing pile of laundry and then wash out the whole fucking drawer.

However that was the easy part. Or at least easier then going through all the clothes from our closet that had mold on them or had become filthy from contact with the floor, or had been stepped on. Then of course I had to add the rejects to Mt. Laundry and consign the others to the depths of the closet. Of course the only bright spot in all this was I knew that I had mold problems in the closet of the other mobile home I had lived in so most of the shit on floor level was in plastic bins.

Which as far as I am concerned are magic mold repelling devices from the future.

All I had to do was wipe down one or two of them and shove them back into the closet so I could return to trying to remember what drawers went in what order and I can't mix them up because they will stick shut and then I will have to fight them open because old furniture is picky.

Basically it was like playing the worst memory match game ever.

Then the plywood was done and I got to lay down the tiles and I felt really, really good about this floor because the cheap shitty tiles didn't look half bad and I really, really hate carpeting. Plus the carpet had been a deep blue and these were much lighter and made the room look, you know, bright for once. Then I finished the closet and we put everything back and then we took the hot water heater for a test drive and it fucking WORKED.

So then I took the greatest shower in the history of mankind ever.


Astronauts showering in space for the first time? Not even close.

So them we got cleaned up and I gave the finger to Mt. Laundry and then we went and bought some pies from the fucking Walmart and then went and ate BQQ chicken and my relatives laughed at our story and I ate pie and potato chips until it hurt and then I shoved some brownies in my face because I was trying to pack in calories before I was back to eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch every day. And then all too soon it was time to go home and I got to take home a pie because apparently nobody likes apple and then I was all like, score.

Then we got back and I put medication in the cats eyeballs and we decided to let the Jack the dog back into the bedroom because he had been super ridiculous unhappy that he couldn't hide under the bed anymore and then he was thrilled up until he saw that we had put down tile and he played like three rounds of the floor is lava and then he tried to get under the bed twice while his feet went in every direction and then I felt kinda bad for him and then he got the hang of it.

And then I made a mental note to buy him a rug and then I realized that was probably not going to happen because I had just spent like, all the money.

All of it.

And then I figured he would get used to it and then I went to take him outside and he couldn't get back out from under the bed and I had to pull him out because his legs no longer legged.

At least in his mind.

And then he said fuck it and came to bed with me and curled up right by my side and I put one arm around him and looked up the ceiling and thought about how the past three days had been so fucking insane and that when people told me that building a house was the hardest thing I would probably ever do I thought about how what they really meant was that it would take everything out of you that you had and more, and that it would run you down and down and down until you felt like you had nothing but that somehow you would keep getting back up and doing it again for the love of the dreams that you held deep in your heart.

And then I said “you know Jack, I think we are going to be okay.” And then he licked my hand and heaved a deep sigh that is his way of telling me he has settled and that it is time to go to sleep and I stopped petting him and closed my eyes and thought one last time I think it's gonna be okay.

Once I get over this sinus infection and knee pain, that is.

Oh and the back pain.

And my hands stop smelling like Pine-sol.

So maybe a few more days.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Septic Instillation and the Water Heater Aftermath.

Despite the day before being god awful and my sinus infection and the fact I was sleeping in a fucking tent I awoke the next morning at six forty five and crawled out of the tent flap like a zombie coming out of the grave so I could take care of all the pets before 8am when the septic guys were coming to install the septic system for the house that I haven't started building yet.

You know, that house.

And of course check on the sub floor in the bedroom and see if it is dry so I can lay vapor barrier down. So I get up and take care of the pets and try to reassure the dog that we are not trying to kill him with all these changes and then I fantasize about washing my face and then I throw caffeine in my mouth and eat food and then have more caffeine and then I find real clothes and start assembling the tools I am going to need. I also notice that the stress plus upcoming time of month plus not being to wash my face has left me with so much acne that my pimples have pimples. Fantastic.

So then I slap on my respirator and then I realize that that vapor barrier I want to lay down is in the pick up under all the plywood we just bought because of course it is. And also that I needed to take that other Benadryl from the Clinton administration because my bee stings were itching like crazy.

So I pop that in my face and switch into plywood unloading gloves and then the septic guy is here and we watch him unload the backhoe and I talk with his wife who was driving the utility pickup while I clutch yet another mug of tea and then we follow them over and then I want to get back to work but they keep asking us questions about this and that and the electrical box and the best way to get the backhoe in and then me and Scott tag team off and he goes to cut plywood and then the truck with the tanks shows up and stares at our mud pit of a field and then I catch the driver looking at me weird for a moment and then I remember that I am a big pimply mess with three deep grooves in my face from the respirator that all the people I am about to pay money to today have been ignoring except for the backhoe drivers wife who keeps shooting me looks that are half pitying and half scared like I am lying about the water heater and have actually been hacking up alien bodies in the bedroom. But she laughed at my jokes so I decided to forgive her. Mostly.

Giving up on dignity, I stayed to watch them lower in the tank which Scott showed back up for and took pictures of the damn thing with his phone for me because there was no way I was walking all the way back up to the mobile home to get the damn camera.

 Pictured, my hopes and dreams and a concrete poop tank.

The tank came in two sections and they sealed them together and then they had to work out how to get the giant ass truck out of my muddy ass field. Let me put it this way, the guy putting in the tanks first words when he saw the hole for it was “no wonder you needed this set up, your water line is like, eight inches below the top soil.”

Then he went on to say that he thought they should have bought in the dozer to pull the truck out and I saw the bill ratcheting up another thousand dollars and my blood pressure shot through the roof and then the backhoe operator said he could probably pull him out with the boom arm no problem and then I felt kinda bad about threatening them with the shot gun accidentally last night. And then the driver just nodded and said he would try to act like he knew what he was doing and then he hopped in the cab and then the backhoe and him danced the beautiful and ancient dance of their peoples and he slowly made his way to the road and then I felt myself take a breath.

That was until we had to find a way to turn him around. You guys remember that electrical line going to the mobile home? The one that was damaged during super storm Sandy? The one where the pole is leaning sadly uphill towards the main pole like it had too much to drink?

Well it hasn't improved very much since then.

So he kept having to make like, a thirty point turn and he kept hitting and hooking that damn line and we were all dispatched to find a board to hold it up with and then the backhoe guy got tired of waiting and used the boom arm to lift the line up in what I am sure was the safest move ever and then the truck got turned around and Scott went to make sure that he got out of our driveway okay and then my heart started again.

Then tank installer guy did some other stuff and then I decided that the part they needed me for was over and then Scott came back and I went up and unloaded the truck and had more caffeine to hide the fact that I was sick as shit and then I picked up the vapor barrier, got the tools I was going to need and got back into that bedroom to kick that floors ass.

The plan was to stick the plastic down with spray adhesive and then staple it to the floor and walls, because I'll be damned if I just sticking it to the floor after all this. So after fucking around with the first sheet trying to get a good system and not get my rubber kitchen gloves stuck to everything because spray adhesive is a motherfucker I got into a groove. Scott would periodically show up and take measurements and inform me of how the septic thing was going, but otherwise I was on my own.

We had also decided to paint the underside of all the plywood pieces with mold resistant pain because we are not playing this damn game again so Scott was frantically trying to get the pieces cut so that he could paint them and they would dry sometime this century.

Also at some point I staggered back outside to breathe some air and found that the county health inspector had arrived at some point and passed us and then I went back inside, got back down on my aching knees and began to glue some more vapor barrier to the floor and try to ignore the fact it was like 1pm and I was hungry. Then Scott came back in to tell me that they were done and tank guy had left a while ago and backhoe guy was starting to load and then I got unto a groove in the middle of the room where I didn't have to make any weird cuts along the walls and I was about to tell Scott he could start to bring in plywood now when he burst through the door and told me the firewood guy was here and that we had to get everything out of the driveway so he could pull in even though there was still a semi with a backhoe still out there.

So then we frantically brought in plywood and cleared the sawhorses while backhoe guy finished loading and then we moved the cars and then firewood guy backed in at the same time as I got the bill for the septic which was mercifully about what I thought it would be which was wonderful and good and fantastic and then I went and wrote that man a check right then and there which involved half leaping and climbing over all the bedroom shit that was shoved into my office and then I walked back up the drive and put it in his hand and he smiled like I had just given him exactly what he had always wanted for Christmas and then him and his wife gave me a look like they were seeing me clearly for the first time, pimples, respirator lines, floor clothes and all and then they walked back to their respective vehicles and I went and put my head on the firewood guys truck and told him I was sorry but my life had exploded.

And then he calmly told me he could see that and asked if I wanted another load and I said sure what the heck and he left and then I wrote out a check for him for his return because I firmly believe in paying people the instance the job is done because these people have worked damn hard for me and the best way to show them that is with money.

Sweet, sweet money.

Then I gave the check to Scott and went back into the room to discover that it didn't really smell like Pine-sol and death anymore and then I allowed myself to feel the tinyist glimmer of hope that maybe things would get better, traded in my respirator for a dust mask and then started putting in the rest of the vapor barrier while pretending my bee stings didn't itch like a motherfucker.

So then I finished stapling plastic to the walls and ate a peanut butter sandwich that somehow still tasted bland and awful even though I was hungry as fuck and then I started to screw plywood to the floor to make it look like a room again.

Of course some of the plywood couldn't be cut until the main sections were down to see how they fit so it seemed like we had hit a halt while paint was drying and then Scott was all like, we have most of one side of the room, why don't you start laying down tile. So then I started to lay down the peel and stick tiles, which was like the easiest thing in the world except they were sticky as fuck the the room wasn't straight. So then it became like a race with me trying to get tiles down as the plywood was coming in and then I looked out the window and saw the sun slip behind our ridge and looked at the spot the water heater was going to go and said let's do that next so we can have like, water again. And Scott was like okay.

But of course it wasn't that easy because we had also removed the toilet. Which we now had to put back on. Which meant fucking with the plumbing because with the plywood down we now had to raise up that little seal thing that the other sealing ring whatchamadozit hooks to. The things the toilet bolts to. That thing. It had to hook up with the floor thing, which was now half an inch too low because I bought the thick plywood.

Foresight I has it.

So then we tried several things that failed until we used two multitools to lever the thing up and then we tried to figure out how to keep it up there and then in the end Scott cut tiny chunks of plywood and we hammered them down under it and boom done.

Like the professionals do it. I'm sure. Pretty sure.

Then we put the ring on and argued about how it went and then we hit problem number two. Which was that we didn't have any of that grease that goes around that ring thing so then I girded my loins. Took off my gloves, because I had more faith in this stuff coming off my hands then the work gloves I paid money for and then I scooped that fucking stuff out from under the toilet and shoved it back onto the sealing ring and smoothed it into the correct shape and tried to pretend that it didn't look like there was bits of turd stuck in it while the tank dripped rust water on me.

I probably should have warned you before hand not to eat while reading this.


So then I went and washed my hands outside at the spigot like fifty million times and then we were ready to bring the water heater in. Which of course was so huge compared to the last one that it barely fit and I got my hand squished in not one but two places until we at last got it into the room and Scott gave it a manly bear hug of solidity in order to pick it up and put it in place and he worked on the plumbing while I tiled most of the room like a motherfucker and my knees screamed obstinacies at me until Scott gave me his knee pads which almost kinda helped because at this point my joints were just kinda fucked anyway.

So then at last I finished the main part of the room then I had the joy of joys of cleaning the entire bed and bringing it back in piece by piece while my body was like WTF are you DOING to me? And I was all IF YOU WANT TO SLEEP IN A BED AND NOT ON SOME LUMPY ASS GROUND YOU WILL DO THIS.

Then I got the bed in and we made it and then Scott revealed that the epoxy on the water heater needed to set but he was going to turn the water back on and then the tank had to fill so we would probably have hot water in the morning. So then he turned the water back on and we ate food and I washed my hands while the sink spit and threw water out in chunks because there was air in the line and then the toilet started in too and it sounded like the bathroom was like, constantly farting.

Of course now it was like ten at night and I was trying to figure out how to bathe. Since it was too dark to go to the creek, I figured I could just wet a wash cloth and do what Scott calls a whores bath because he watched Unforgiven too many times. So then I got my shit and some reasonably clean clothes and went into the bathroom and turned on the cold water faucet in the bathrub and was all like, I might take a bath.

And the the tub was all like “WHAT!? DID YOU SAY LAY DOWN THE BEATS?”

And I was all like no. And then it was all like “RAP WITH ME BRO.”

And then I was all like, no.


And then it got water everywhere because there was still like a bitch ton of air in that line. In the end I sort of just ended up wiping myself down like the wash cloth was the worlds most ineffective moist towellet and then I looked at myself in the mirror for a minute which was a fucking mistake and I realized that I needed to go to bed because it was like ten thirty at night and I had had two of the worst days ever and I was convinced the tub wanted to have a rap battle with me.

Mostly that last one though.

I mean I don't even know how to rap.

That tub was trippin is what I am getting at.

Or maybe I should have worn that respirator for a little longer then I did.


Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Water Heater was my Watery Judas.

I believe I may have mentioned that our water heater was on it's way out. This first started awhile ago when I noticed that the floor around the tank was a little damp. Unfortunately my plan of ignoring it until it went away was less then effective, so after paying for the guys to install the house electrical box on the pole and then paying for the inspection I then went to town to buy a hot water heater because it's not like I need money to live or anything.

Ha ha no.

So we get the water heater and take it home in the car like the efficient cheap bastards we are. Now the septic guys weren't due to show up for another day, so I figured that we could take a day and install the water heater before they showed up.

I have never been so wrong about anything ever at all in the history of ever.

So along with the heater I had also bought a box of those cheapo peel and stick tiles to put under the new water heater instead of the shittastic plywood and carpet that was under it. Oh and we also thought this would be a good time to tile around that toilet that is inexplicably in the bedroom for no reason at all ever. Mobile homes man, mobile fucking homes.

So we start by shutting the water off and shutting off power to the heater, which was a fucking adventure because nothing on the box was labeled right but hey no one got electrocuted. Our plan was to basically take everything out of the left hand side and the bathroom portion of the bedroom, cut up the carpet, put the tiles down, shove the new water heater in and be done in time to take a shower that evening so we can be clean and fresh for the septic install the next day.

And of course that plan went to hell in a poop basket.

So we cheerfully took the drawers out of the dresser and moved it and took the things off the bed and pulled all of the crap that had migrated in around the toilet back out and proceed to cut up some carpet.

Which is when we discovered the horror.

And by the horror I mean we discovered that the carpet looked moldy. Because the plywood under the carpet was wet. And also moldy. And smelled like all the demons of stink town. So then we were all like, Oh shit fuck. And then we exchanged a look like two people in a slasher flick who have just heard that noise outside and Scott went to find my ass a respirator. Did I mention I had woken up with a sinus infection that morning?

I had woken up with a sinus infection that morning. Ha ha of course.

What followed was us cutting out more and more carpet. And finding more water damage. And then following the water lines across the room like the worst adventure trail ever. This also meant that as we slowly and unwillingly became aware of the sheer scale of our previous laziness the problem we began to remove all our shit from the room. Our clothes. The nightstands. And for everything we took out we saw more mold. On our furniture. On the walls. On our clothes.

Which is when I lost my shit.

I felt hot and cold and nauseated and I couldn't stop pacing around like a caged animal even though I was sick and wanted nothing more then to curl up into a ball and rest. Of course that would have accomplished nothing and unfortunately when you are an adult there is no one to solve your problems but you. And possibly your spouse. I kept texting my Super Best Friend things like 'I am having a nervous break down right now.' And she was all like 'you just have to power through it' and then I was all like, 'we are going to die here' and then she was all like 'mold is something you can fix, just one step at a time' and then I was all like 'the bedroom is a motherfucking lie.'

They say you go through the seven stages of grief when something like this happens. And right then I was in shock. I was in even more shock when we realized that just taking up the carpet wasn't enough and that the plywood under it was shot too. Black mold, the worst kind for me, was growing all over that shit like a minuscule forest.

Right then I thought about every article I had ever read about fungal sinus infections and realized that I was in some deep fucking shit right here. There was nothing to do but rinse my respirator out with mouthwash so I couldn't smell the corpses floor and get back in there. So we began to take up the plywood. Which is when we discovered that the previous owners had left us a surprise. And by surprise I mean basketball sized holes in the floor in two corners of the room.

About that time I also realized that having a nervous breakdown meant feeling really disconnected from my body. Or maybe that was just because I was trying to suck in oxygen through inch think filters.


So I did the only thing I could do. The only thing I know how to do when asking more of my body then it should ever have to give. I got angry. I got plumb mad dog Clint Eastwood angry. I thought about everything that had ever pissed me off. I thought how fucking unfair life was and that the only way to fight it was to seize life by the fucking throat until that bitch cries uncle.

Which is what I had to do, because getting the plywood out the back door and onto the deck sucked balls. See the back door doesn't open fully because of the washing machine. So in order to get a full sheet of that stinking rotting moldy wet plywood out the door we had to bend it. Which involved me standing on the inside of the door and putting my entire body weight on the damn thing while lifting it up over the sill.

Which was fucking fun.

Also we had filled the deck with all of our shit and found myself kicking a path through trash bags and chairs and nightstands and tables until we could stand the plywood up against the stairs and I could try to take a deep breath through my respirator.

Which is when I got attacked by bees.

Apparently the nest of hornets living in our siding did not appreciate my Clint Eastwood anger and had taken to the air in protest. So after freaking out and slapping one angry motherfucker off my arm I looked up to see the air was full of angry black wasps doing some sort of wasp military maneuvers in front of me and I ran back in the door yelling that there were bees and Scott should get back in the motherfucking house. Then we shut the door and I ripped off my respirator so I could fucking breathe in some sweet, sweet mold laden air and then I saw that I was stung on the arm like four fucking times and they were swelling up like motherfuckers and Scott freaked out and tore the house even more apart trying to find Benadryl and then he finally found two pills in the bottom of the first aid kit that looked like they had been there since the Clinton administration and I took one of them and then I texted my friend and told her I was just attacked by bees and she was all like oh shit you really are having the worst day ever and then I told her to kill me.

Of course there was nothing to do but get back at it while I watched my whole forearm get red as shit and send pains into my wrist and elbow because my day wasn't fucked up enough already.

Which is when we discovered the insects. I don't know what they were, other then small black and eating our fucking floor. So Scott mixed Pine-sol and bleach and I rolled up my kitchen glove so it wouldn't even think about touching my arm and then we started to treat the exposed parts of the subfloor. Which is when I came to conclusion there was no way in the history of ever we were getting this in today. The sub floor had to dry and we had to get and cut more plywood. And if we wanted to fix this right we would also need to lay down vapor barrier.

Which is when I slid straight into denial and made Scott pull out some more ruined plywood through the kitchen and out the front door because the deck was dead to me and then we went to buy more plywood and floor tiles.

Of course we had taken everything out of the room at this point so finding some clothes to go to town in was a motherfucking adventure. Since our solution to finding a place for the hanging clothes was to dump them on the floor in the living room and my office it was probably a miracle I found any clothes that weren't moldy or stepped on at all.

Basically it was like the worst scavenger hunt ever.

So we drove out to the lumber store and I paid way too much for four sheets of plywood. It's like plywood is made from the golden tears of virginal unicorns or someshit. Then of course it kinda dawned on me that we had to get this shit home, rip out the rest of the plywood, treat the sub floor and then get it to dry before tomorrow so we could put the new plywood in. Also I came to the conclusion there was no where to sleep in the mobile home except for a four by four chunk of the floor in my office, the bathtub, or the dog crate with the dog.

So I said we are buying some hot dogs and we are going motherfucking camping.

In the backyard.

So when we got back I refreshed the mouthwash in my respirator and then Scott helped me to remove the last of the plywood and I washed down the room with the solution and then I aimed every fan we fucking owned at the worst part of the floor and we drug our water heatery Judas out and threw him face down on the lawn where he could think about what he did.

Then we were all like fuck. The other rooms look like the bedroom has exploded all over them and the house smelled like mold, Pine-sol and bleach and the kitchen was a mess and I was thirsty as fuck and would liked to have a drink other then the case of knock off brand Gatorade we bought and maybe have a shower but ha ha the water is off and our bedroom is a biohazard.

So Scott goes to set up the tent and I carefully creep back out unto the deck and carefully remove the furniture like I am stealing sacred tokens of wasp society like some interspecies Indiana Jones.

Then I stopped and just stared at nothing and tried to both acknowledge that I was tired and also not give into it because we still had to make camp and treat the cats eyeballs and maybe if we were lucky eat something. Before me lay the shattered remains of my day with the water heater on one side and a bunch of rotting plywood on the other with the metal frame to the bed laying half disassembled in the middle. It looked like the there had been an awful battle between the noble Plywoodians and the warlike Water Heater clan and these were the casualties. It was about them I considered throwing up on the lawn but decided I was too damn hungry. And filthy. Which is what led to my next decision.

Bathing in the creek.

I fished out my travel kit and put the soap in a Ziplock bag, got my travel shampoo, and some clean clothes and went out to get Scott and see if he wanted to go with me.

He also suggested we bring towels.

We also took our pistols and a shot gun because it was dusk and we have bears here. So we get down to the creek which is gorgeous as always and I, an old hand at bathing in the creek, found a good spot and set up our stuff and then we get in and it's like the coldest fucking thing ever. Like when you want to find a drink in a cooler at a party so you put your hand in and can't find what you want so you keep your hand in even though it's so cold it hurts because you really want a Mountain Dew. Like that.

And it felt AWESOME.

I was getting clean. The rushing stream slid past me and I watched as the water cascaded over the rocks and everything began to fade to blue and gray as the sun slid away from us and the creek became dark and I could hear the water in my ears and smell the sharp fresh smell of the water and the deep tickly smell of the forest floor and the good green smell of the forest and could feel the cold air moving up from the rushing stream past me into the meadows and I laughed for the sheer joy and impossibly of being chased out of my home and into someplace out of a fairy tale and then Scott laughed too even though he didn't know why I was so happy but we both felt lighter like this was the magic stream from the elvish country from Middle Earth and then I looked and saw the first lightning bugs in the meadow and felt glad that this whole big impossible mess was my life.

Which is when we heard the engine.

My first thought was that someone was stealing my fucking furniture. Scott's was that they were stealing our backhoe. So we toweled off at light speed and Scott shoved his legs in his pants and grabbed the shotgun and I crammed everything back into the bags and we ran. As we moved away from the noise of the water we could hear it clearly. Someone was in our driveway with a big ass truck.

Scott tore up through the field behind the mobile home, shot gun held up high like this was an old western, but I was in sandals so I just jogged up the lower road with my bags cutting a hole in my fucking hands. So then I came around the blackberry patch and got a jolt of adrenaline after a whole day of caffeine and adrenaline and starting running in earnest because there was a truck with a big ass Case Backhoe on the back of it.


I threw my bags down by the tent and hauled ass up the last and steepest part of the hill just in time to see Scott accidentally scaring the ever loving shit our of the septic installing guy who was dropping of his Case Backhoe for tomorrows installation.

With his wife.


Luckily this is the country and he understood and then Scott helped him back in while I got blankets for the tent and my sinus cavities were all like 'you are kidding me with this right?” Then I put medication in the cats eyeballs and then the septic guy left and we made a campfire and ate crappy and possibly undercooked hot dogs and then I crawled into the tent and told myself that tomorrow would be better.

Which was probably a bad assumption.

So what was supposed to take about a day where we pulled the old water heater out, tiled and put in a new one, instead involved taking everything out of the room, ripping out the entire floor down to the bottom sub floor, treating the sub floor with chemicals, spending even more money on plywood and tile, getting stung by bees, bathing in the creek, scaring the shit out of septic guy and then sleeping in a tent that smelled like shower curtain.

So all in all not one of my better days.

Kill me. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Clearing the Septic Site.

So in our ongoing quest to get septic installed THIS year before the snow shows up and fucks us all we decided we should, you know, clear the tank site before the septic guys show up. Also because this is a class two system we can't have a drain field so we had to clear a line to the creek for the discharge pipe.

Which was an adventure.

First off my body was all like, I'm hungry and I was like okay. And then I ate a sandwich and then my body was all like, WTF why did you feed me I hate you blllllaarrrrggghhh. And then I was all like, really stomach? And it was all like really. So I just drank caffeine and gave it the finger and then we grabbed the chainsaw and some clippers and an axe and then we went outside to do some fucking damage.


Now I have to explain that our woods looks like it has never been cleared. If you are wondering what exactly the difference between a cleared forest and a non-cleared forest looks like I'll tell you. A cleared forest looks like every pretty forest wallpaper you can download for your desktop. It looks like every fantasy forest ever conceived by man. It is the one with the great huge trees devoid of underbrush where all you can see between the trees is the dark bare earth from under a perfect layer of leaves that looks like someone was paid to rake it.

An uncleared forest looks like someones raw vacation footage of the jungle.

I know what you're thinking. It can't be that hard. I mean, all those movies, surely they didn't go and rake every bit of forest for all those shots, did they?

Yes. Yes they did. Narnia was made by putting freaking potted ferns on the forest floor, Lord of the Rings built fake trees, and Where the Wild Things Are was actually shot in a burned out forest because it was clear of undergrowth.

Those forest are lies is what I am saying.

Filthy filthy lies.

So guess which one my woods looks like? (Hint I haven't bought like, a thousand potted ferns.)

So Scott took the chain saw to every tree that was under like seven inches thick and I thought that things were going pretty well until I got close enough to see that these were the spiky trees of doom that hated our fucking guts. I would cut a limb off and then be all like, pffft I can carry more then one I'm not a fucking pussy which is how I got cut the shit up. Cause of course the spikes would lock the damn branches together like Satan's velcro and then I would go to drag them to the pile we were making that I had named Fire Danger #1 and Scott had named Free Hunting Blind and then the branches would snap free from whatever they were hooked on and cut me up or rip my hat off and fling it into the woods.

Basically it was like being challenged to a duel by a very pissed off Ent.

But finally we got the branches clear and then began looking at the tree trunks and decided which ones we should keep for that house thing we are building and then we went to cut up the sections we wanted and then the fucking chainsaw died.

So then we flipped it off and cut the motherfucking tree trucks apart with a hand saw and an axe like sweaty pissed off bad asses.

Then we cleared a bit more of the forest because it looks damn fine when you clean it up a little and we were like, right there, and we had to call it a day and then we went back inside and ate the bland pasta with cheese and garden tomatoes of poverty victory like the tree slaying champions we were.

So now I am dead tired and I look like I fell into a sarlacc pit before they went all CGI and added a beak to that motherfucker, but whatever I won.

And that's the important thing.

Well that and the lack of sarlaccs around these parts.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Getting Electrical and that Septic System.

So you all remember my various subtle hints that getting the septic system in place this year was the most important thing ever in the history of ever? You know that if we didn't get it installed that the permit would run out and we would have to reapply and that there is a new law going into effect in 2014 that would make the your-place-is-super-wet-so-you-need-a-class-two-system-but-we-don't-want-to-give-you-a-permit-because-with-that-many-acres-you-should-be-able-to-put-in-a-drain-field saga that involved two separate people spending like an hour on the phone with the state fiasco look like fucking child's play.

So we called the septic guys. And then we called them again. And then we called them again. And by 'we' I mean 'Scott.' And then my stress levels shot up to 100 and things started to hurt when I ate them and then the motherfucking septic people called us back and told us they would be out next week. However they also told us that we needed to have a permanent power drop for them and that temporary power wasn't going to work.

Well fuck.

So what followed was Scott going out and buying a book about not fucking the ever loving shit out of residential power. Then we went to the local electrical stuff store, got a lot of advice from a guy named Arnold or Alex or Adam or fuck it I can't remember and then I spent like 200$ on stuff that I had no idea what it did and then I fantasized about when I used to be able to buy fruit and not have scurvy, and then we got in the truck and drove home.

And by drove home I mean that we made it halfway up the mountain before a piece of the damn conduit blew out the back and I had to chase it down and shove it back in the truck before I got ran over by a coal truck or someshit and then we went home and I curled up in the fetal position and played Skyrim until the world seemed like a better place.

Cause you know, dragons and thieves and stabbing and shit totally make the world a better place. Oh and fire hands. Can't forget those fire hands.

So then we get it all home and Scott does things I don't understand while I stack firewood because of course I would be ordering and stacking firewood during all this, and then Scott confesses that he doesn't understand how the grounds are supposed to work and that this is nothing that he really understands and that he is going to have to call someone to fix it up for him and I said okay whatever you need while I mentally saw the new water heater I needed to buy flying away on adorable little feathered wings.

I mean, like, I am sure that having hot water is optional right? I mean it's not like I have to bathe every day. Or do the dishes. Or wash clothes. Nope. Not me. That never happens.


Anywho, Scott calls the electric guy he picked out and the electric guy is all like, I can't come today, I have a major job, and I am kinda backed up, but I might be able to do tomorrow but it will be like early and then Scott was all like okay.

So then they show up and reveal that they have like, 50 fucking people who need work done and the only reason they were able to get us in was that they had a meeting to go to and we were along the way.

And then I felt really lucky and also a little bit like an asshole but whatever those other people who are not me are just going to have to suck it. And then we made conversation for a bit and then I had to go do morning things like eating food and putting medication in my cats eyeballs and then they finished and left and then I went over to admire our new electrical box thing. And then that's when Scott said that they had hooked him up with all the numbers to call for the inspection and also that actually getting the power hooked up might be a motherfucking adventure.

And also that the power company should have given us a free box which they totally did not do and now I hate there fucking guts but unfortunately I still need there asses.

And then it turned out that we hit another piece of luck in that the inspector lived like twenty minutes away, so he came that evening and passed us with flying colors and then we did a happy dance and I paid the guy like 70$ and this morning I got the bill for the electric guy and it was like 500$ and then I decided that it's a good thing I have like a job and stuff.

Even if it means I'm going to be living off toast, eggs, spaghetti, powered lemonade and tea for the foreseeable future.

There are worse things.

Things like not having a house.

Or a place to poop that is inside said house.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Solar Kiln, Putting it all Together.

So this morning I woke up feeling like I had been working from 7am until 10pm every day. Which coincidentally I had. So I drug myself outside to feed the ungrateful hungry mouths and take the dog out so I could watch him sniff the same clump of grass for like, five minutes before I went into the house and latched onto the tea maker like some sort of remora.

A caffeine remora.

Once I felt like a person again we gathered our shit together and trooped on outside to put this damn thing together. At first it went pretty well. We took the back and the top, which I was calling the roof piece and hinged them together by laying them down on the sawhorses we had made and getting all crazy with it. Other then having to allow for some warping on the frames themselves, it was pretty easy.

Then we took the back with the top still folded all neatly in and I held it up while Scott hinged it to a board which he then bolted to the deck. So basically I just stood there and held the thing upright and thought about lunch while he did most of the work. Which of course left me totally unprepared for round two, putting the big front door on. Because this whole thing hinges together. So when you take the back, which pivots, and the top which pivots, and try to hold them at the correct angle for the front attachment by yourself with no end cap pieces on, everything goes straight down the pooper.

For one thing, plastic on plastic is slippery as shit. And of course we hadn't thought to, you know, maybe, put a stop on the front to keep the plastic door piece from just sliding off the front like the worlds worst carpentry based Slip N Slide. So I had to stand in front of the whole thing, keeping the front piece in place with my knees, which by the way were super happy about that, while holding the angle on the side with my hands, while the plastic slid everywhere and I pictured setting fire to the whole world with my mind.

So then we had to do a complicated dance because Scott needed to get where I was and I had to move which meant that I had to control everything by only holding the damn thing at one end and that was how I ended up injuring my shoulder bursting into tears, and then yelling about how I couldn't hold this thing anymore and Scott ran around slapping temporary bracing on the fucking thing until I could let go of it. Then I went inside and sobbed into a cup of shitty black tea from the Walmart while Scott looked stricken and tried to come up with a way to avoid this problem the next time.

He did not like my suggestion of burning it to the fucking ground.

 Burn it. Burn it all.

Now however, we could see the angles and could cut the end pieces out so that, you know, it would finally have some support that didn't involve my right arm. Then we made the end pieces and the bracing for the center, and slapped a coat of paint on those motherfuckers so that when we came back the next day all we had to do was bolt that bitch together and call it good.

 This thing had better fucking work.

 So after tweaking a few things, and obviously attaching the last front door we were all like yay we can move it now! And then it rained like a mofo. Because life that's why. So there are still a few things we will need to do on site, like attach the end doors, and replace a few bolts and argue about where to put it, but other then that it's good to go. It will probably be set up and ready you know, a week before we have to take it down, but whatever. Let's roll with them punches.

The plastic shoulder punches.