Friday, December 28, 2012

My Shed is Filling me with Hatred.

Today was super productive. Oh wait, I'm sorry, I should have said that the first half of today was super productive. The first half of the day, we went around and collected all the firewood we had cut. Then Scott chopped when it needed it and we stacked it and tarped it. It took two hours. That part was fine.

Then Scott was all like, oh I need to change oil on the truck. So we started that and that's when everything went to hell in a poop basket.

It turns out that we needed this tool, this tool that I still don't know the name for that Scott had to draw me a picture of. Which meant that we had to search the shed for it.

Cue that sound of a record being stopped.

The shed in an unholy pit made out of lack of organization and never throwing anything away. Let me explain. It was first my dad's shed and he as far as I can tell, kept everything. Every bolt, every screw, every washer, every nut, every strap and every bit of anything he ever took apart. After about half an hour we came to conclusion that we were never going to find it.

First off none of the drawers in any of the big rolling tool boxes had labels, which for me meant repeatedly opening drawers only to realize that I had already searched them. Or when I would find a tool out in the open, being unable to locate where it should go. At this point I realize that we are going to have to clean the shed.

About that point Scott left for town.

And I discovered a very important thing. I cannot clean and reorganize an area if I have no idea what the things I am looking at are. I found things. Things I had no name for. Things that did not exist to me before now. And of course being home alone, I had no one to ask. So after awhile I kept coming up at dead ends. Here's how it would go. I would put all extension cords together, only to discover that there were three or four more hiding around the place. Then I would have to pull out the others I had stored because now they won't all fit. Then I have to find another place for all them and I end up throwing them all out into the driveway. Same thing with the rope.

I found a bunch of random ass shit, but I had no idea if I should throw it away like: three arrows with no tips. Two nozzles? I think they were nozzles. About a billion little things that go into making electrical work. Or circuit boards. Not too sure on that one. About ten chains in various states of rusting. Fishing stuff in a cloth sack. Something that looked like a lighter before people knew how to make lighters. A bunch of padlocks and a coffee can that was fill of binder clips.

About this point I started to feel the grim icy grip of defeat on me. Oh, did I mention that the shed was freezing cold despite it being warm today? So cold that my hands ached the whole time I was working in there? Yeah, that shed was as cold as a witches tit.

Do you also recall Holly's theory that all the buildings with no foundations are sinking into the earth like Miss Brisby's house in the Rat's of NIMH? Yeah. This is after I had to take a shovel to get both shed doors open to ninety degrees.

So after a while I realized that the sun was going down. Which meant that project time was over for the day. So I shoved all the shit I had piled up outside into any cardboard box within reach and then shoved it back into the shed just as Scott was pulling up. Even now, I can feel that laughter of that shed, secure in it's knowledge that I will never come back for it. It knows that cleaning it out will take precious time from other projects, it know of my deep inability to organize things that I have no knowledge of, it knows if it's own icy depths. Oh it knows. It thinks it's above my caring. It thinks this token attempt is all it will see.

It thinks it has won.

But it has not. Tomorrow I will summon my army of trash bags and I will fight. DO YOU HEAR THAT SHED! THIS ISN'T OVER YOU BASTARD MOTHERFUCKER!

I'll get that shed, if it's the last thing I ever do.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Marry Christmahannakwazica

Well, my most beloved readers, I formally wish you a Merry Christmahannahkwazica. I was going to write more here, today, but I ended up going out with my family to look at Christmas lights last night then we also stopped by McDonald's and got their eggnog milkshake and then went back to grandma's house and liquored them up and now I feel like going back to bed.

Also, McDonald's eggnog milkshakes plus peppermint schnapps tastes like toothpaste.

Alcoholic toothpaste.

Anyway I hope your traditional holiday whatever it is you do goes well. And...

 I think that about sums it up, don't you? 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

It Was an Immortal Vampire Possum

Okay so apparently it was an immortal vampire possum. I got up extra early the next morning, hoping to find my two missing chickens. Luckily they both standing in the yard waiting for me to open the coup and feed them. So I go in and feed them and then I look over the cage containing the dead possum. Then, because I am not stupid, I grab the pitchfork and poke the possum.

It was not dead.

After I stabbed it like six times with the pitchfork and Scott shot it in the head last night, it was not dead. After laying in freezing cold chicken coup all night it was not dead. I mean like, how in the fuck is it not dead? It was bleeding from it's skull. Let me repeat that. It was bleeding from the skull. My theory is that it is that it is an immortal vampire possum. See, this was why all of the chickens made it without being injured. Because immortal vampire possums only drink the blood of there own kind.

It all makes perfect sense!

I bet he was on the run from a gang of rival vampire possums. Or maybe a gang of vampire possum vigilantes set on returning the monster to it's grave, this time for good. You never really know with vampire possums. Although I suppose if I had gotten there later I might have seen the roving gang of possums fight the vampire possum. Possibly with kung foo. I wonder if they would need to stab the vampire possum with a stake. Does that even work when you don't have thumbs?

Well at this point even Scott was a little weirded out. Although he was talking about how they have really thick hides and that a wild animals will to survive is so strong.

Poor man just can't cope with the truth I guess. The vampire truth.

Although I think he secretly believed because he drug the unholy thing out of the coup and then shot it like eight times with a rifle because we don't want that thing getting back up now do we? This also makes me think that I need to keep holy water on hand, but I'm not sure that is something churches just give you. Although the church I went to as a kid had like a, I dunno, a small pool of it that you would bless yourself with. I guess I could just take some. Wait, will it work if I steal the holy water? Will a priest make me some holy water if I tell that I need to use it make sure a vampire possum stays dead?

You know, for all of my religious education as a child, it never really covered the important things.

Hopefully that was only vampire possum in the area. I would hate to have to set fire to the forest to kill them all. The fire department would probably hate that too. And the other people on my road. And the guy with the cattle farm. And my husband.

So yeah.

I think maybe I'll draw little crosses on my bullets in sharpie and pray that terrible vampire possum's rein of terror is over.

For now.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

I Just Killed A Possum With a Pitchfork

Ha ha ha. I'm not kidding. This actually happened. So you know how you go and see family when they are in the area and it's the holidays and all and then you have a better time then you thought and then end up staying later then you planned and then your all like crap it's late I'd better go? An you don't for like another hour because there was pie?

Yeah that's pretty much what happened to me.

So I get home and take the dog out with me to lock up the chickens. Except there is a chicken in the yard. Just sitting there. So I put the dog back in the house and go pick up the chicken. Besides giving me a token sqauk of protest she doesn't struggle, so I shove her under my arm like a football and bring her back down to the coup. Where I see my rooster Rusty is hiding in the ditch under the bridge.


So I take miss chicken in and set her down on top the food barrels. I sweep the flashlight around. Most of the chickens are on their perches, and appear to be asleep. Then I catch a flash of white. There in the far most corner, is a possum.

Well fuck. Fuck fuckity fuck fuck.

Of course I didn't have the gun, because I am a motherfucking idiot. So I do the only thing I can think of to do. I grab the pitch fork off the wall and stab that fucker in the face. He hissed. I stabbed him again in the torso. He freaked out and tried to make a run for it. I retaliated by stabbing him in the gut.

You might think that at this point that I would be cursing at him, but I made a surprising discovery. Apparently, I can curse in possum. Which sounds a whole lot like hissing and snarling.

Which is what I was doing.

Okay. You know how in Harry Potter he can speak to snakes but isn't aware that he is doing it so he is surprised as anyone else to hear that weird hissing coming out of his mouth when he talks to a snake? Yeah it was like that. Only with possums. Who knew?

So he makes a run, and by that I mean the slow waddle of a possum, to the other corner where I stab him three more times. He refuses to die. He is however in pain and highly confused. Here he had been shopping for a nice chicken dinner at the chicken store (which was finally open) and now he was being impaled by a pitch fork while being cursed at.

So then he got really freaked but can't run by me to get out the open door so he panics and runs right into the cage where I was keeping the younger peeps and had not bothered to remove because I am lazy. So I just kicked the door shut and locked it behind him. Then I went back to get the damn gun like I should have done in the first goddamn place.

Then I meet Scott who has come looking for me and he shoots the possum in head with snake shot because solid bullets might ricochet and I don't want to end up in the ER with a possum blood covered bullet lodged in my thigh. We decide the best thing to do is leave the possum in the cage to make sure it's dead using the let's-not-find-out-the-hard-way plan.

Also at this juncture you might think that the chickens would be raising holy hell and that we would be standing in a snow globe made out of chicken feathers and avian screams, but they were fine. As far as I can tell they just slept right through it. Self preservation is not there strong point apparently.

Of course then I had to get the other chickens back. Unfortunately I did not have my head lamp which meant that once I located a chicken I had to switch my flashlight off and make a grab in the dark. I knew I needed both hands and that if I put the flashlight in my teeth they would get a wing loose and start flapping which would send the flashlight spinning off into the darkness where no one could have it.

You know, I think that's what I love about the country, really. You learn so many things. Things like, don't pick up a frighted chicken with a flashlight in your teeth. Which is probably why West Virginians don't have that many teeth.

Anywho I was lucky in that the chickens were either so petrified with either cold or terror that they just laid there while a grabbed them. Although finding chickens in the dead of a winters night with a flashlight was not the best most fun activity ever. I was also doing this in my going out to see other people clothes.

Which is probably why I don't have any nice clothes.

Then me and Scott gave up and went back inside even though we were still down two chickens and I was all like, yuppers I just killed a possum with a pitchfork.

An Scott was all like, yes, yes you did.

And then I was all like I really need to sharpen that pitch fork.

And then Scott told me I would never survive the peasant revolts without a sharp pitchfork.

I also noticed that I keep using words like 'yuppers' and 'honken' and I think it has something to do with moving to WV and OH GOD WHAT AM I BECOMING? THIS IS JUST LIKE FLOWERS FOR ALGERNON!

Ahem. Now I need to eat pie. To mitigate the horror.

Yep, to mitigate that horror.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Flowers For Algernon Gave me an Existential Crisis.

WARNING this post contains spoilers. Like Holly lays out the entire plot of this book on the table for you. This won't take away your enjoyment of the book however, since it makes no bones about how it is going to end, but y'know SPOILER ALERT.

You know what book you shouldn't read whole in one evening and finish right before you go to bed?

Flowers for Algernon.

Yeah. Everyone who's ever read this just winced a little. For everyone who hasn't well, let me sum up.

Scientist take a willing retarded (mentally challenged whatever you want to call him) man and using science make him smart. Like really really smart. High level genius of the whole world smart. The world is his oyster smart. Everything is going according to plan smart. But then he starts to regress and everything he's studied and learned and fought so hard to understand leaves him. Of course it does this slowly enough that he has time to morn all that he has lost.

I shouldn't have to explain to you why this is terrifying.

This all led to the following conversation where I ambushed my husband coming out of the bathroom.

ME: “Scott, promise me you'll shoot me if I ever start loosing all my knowledge!”

SCOTT: “Um... why can't you just shoot yourself?”

ME: “Because I won't remember.”

SCOTT: You won't remember how a gun works?”

ME: “Flowers for Algernon Scott. Of course I won't remember. Promise me you'll shoot me in the face.”

SCOTT: “Did you finish it? Did you like it?”

ME: “Yeah, it was thought provoking. I'll never sleep again. It was a book I could never have written.”

SCOTT:“Why's that?”

ME: “Because as soon as he stole the hyper intelligent lab mouse from the scientists when he realized they were just using him I would have had him and the mouse team up to fight crime!”

SCOTT: “Ah.”

ME: “Look. I need to go look at cat pictures on the internet to mitigate the horror.”

SCOTT: “I didn't find the book that horrific.”

ME: “How could you not? Can you picture being able to read and then just...just loosing that? I think I need to eat another dessert, to mitigate the horror.”

SCOTT: “Uh huh.”

Now I feel horrified and fat. Also, every time I misspell something my brain is all 'we're regressing JUST LIKE CHARLIE AND ALGERNON!

You know what? I think I need to go look at some cat pictures on the internet.

Lot's of cat pictures.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Going Outside At Night Not for the Faint of Heart.

The first thing you have to understand, is that where I live it gets dark. Like Grimm's fairy tales dark. Like really, really in the middle of the countryside in the mountains dark. Like, you can't just swing this bitch without a flashlight dark.

Now, I never used to be afraid of the dark, until I moved here. And it's not inside dark that bothers me, because I am not going to find a bear in my living room.*

Here is my brain, whenever I have to step outside at night.

ME: Alright let's go. Should we take a gun?

BRAIN: Nah, were just going to the car, everything will be fine, what's the worst that could happen.

ME: Okay, here we go. *Scans yard with flashlight*


ME: That's the reflector on the backhoe.

BRAIN: Oh. Right. Good, good. Carry on.

ME: Let's just get this over with. *Scans again*


ME: Yup eyes. Forward eyes, maybe? Can't tell. It's probably a deer. It's not moving.

BRAIN: It's a coyote. It's going to maul us and then we are going to die.

ME: You think? *Animal bobs head.* Oh god maybe you're right, Why didn't we bring the gun!?

BRAIN: Oh god oh god, it's moving! It's circling behind us! WE ARE GOING TO DIE!

ME: Oh shit, oh fuck, where is it? Where is it? *Scans with flashlight again.* Oh wait, I can see it now. It's a deer.

BRAIN: I think I'll just shut off the adrenaline, then shall I?

ME: Yeah, that would be good. Say, you think we should just forget whatever it was we came out here to get? Whatever it was?

BRAIN: It was a bag of gummy bears you left in the car, and yes, yes we should.

Okay, lets look at the same thing again, only this time Holly brings the damn gun like she should have in the first damn place.
Me: Alright. I'm just gonna stick this here revolver in my pocket. **

BRAIN: Word.

ME: Here we go. *Scans yard with flashlight*

BRAIN: Ohhh look at the stars. Hey is that a- nope just a reflector. Say what's that over there?

ME: I dunno, a deer or some shit.

BRAIN: Let's have a look.

ME: I dunno. Huh. Coyote maybe. *Puts hand on pistol grip.* “Hey animal, move! Hey you, get outta here.”

BRAIN: It ran off, it was a deer.

ME: There white tails are sooo cute. They are like scarves for their butts.

BRAIN: I know right!? Ohhh gummy bears.

ME: Yeah I bought the good kind, not those waxy one's.

BRAIN: Nice.

This is pretty much how it goes down. You would think that I would have learned my lesson by now, and just taken the damn gun, but nope. I still occasionally make a dash to the car, or something without it.

Considering Scott saw a bear, in the motherfucking FRONT LAWN you think I would stop doing that shit. But nope. Because learning from past experiences is for smart people pussies.

So I am writing this, not only to illustrate a point about guns have a place (a very important one) in my life, but also as a reminder.



Sincerely, your brain.

*Let all hope this never happens. Okay?

** I'm putting whole holster into my pocket, not just the gun, in case you were wondering.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Brush Clearing and the Fence of Thorns.

After spending, oh about a week in denial of all the branches and trees down around our place, we finally loaded up the chainsaw and went out to tackle it.

It wasn't that bad.

No really.

Scott would cut up the main trunk with the chainsaw and I would drag the smaller branches away. Except that I didn't really have anywhere to put them. Then Scott was all like, why don't we make a brush fence. Since we still have a row of old fence posts up along the road, this was a good idea. It got the brush out of the woods, and also made a nice barrier.

And it was fun as hell. I quickly became obsessed with it, to the point that Scott stopped helping me entirely because I kept redoing his sections and just went to load firewood and rail fence logs into the truck.

I entered a zone that day.

I was in brush fence zen. It did not matter how far I had to drag those limbs. All that mattered was the fence. The perfect loose crazy branches were held up away from my side of the fence by the posts. That way I could weave them into sturdy impassible barriers. That fact that I was taking something that most people were just piling up and burning and getting to play adult fort time. Really.

It was like when I was a kid making little buildings and forts out of sticks, except that now I am an adult and I can lift a shit ton more and have access to power tools and axes and shit. It was like stick fort time plus a thousand.

While Scott quietly did the real work, gradually moving away from me as he went, an idea hit me. An idea so pure, and so wonderful that I had to pause just to revel in it's sheer magnificence.

Imagine the scene. There I am standing in the forest on a cool winters day, with sticks in my hair, looking for things to go in my brush fence. And then I see it. All those multiflora rose plants I cut but never removed.

Oh no, your thinking. She didn't.

I did.

It was a process. Each branch had to be carefully removed from it's thorny, spiky fellows and then walked up along the fence and interwoven into the branches. Oh, you could get through my fence. You could force your way through it, but I wasn't going to make it easy for you.

About the time I was adding in the additional vertical supports Scott suggested we stop for the day. So we put the firewood away and laid out the rails for out split rail fence and put the tools away. Cause you know, stop for the day doesn't mean you stop working. It just means you stop working for the most part. Or you go work inside.

Look language is kinda tricky like that okay?

The important thing here is that for a whole day I got to play super brush fence fort time like I was motherfucking twelve. Even though I but the road trimming maintenance guy is gonna hate me so hard. So very, very hard.

Eh. Worth it.

So very, very worth it.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Moving Cinder Blocks and Why I Hate Them.

Today, today we moved all our random ass piles of cinder blocks, bricks, fire brinks and chimney blocks.

Everything is pain now.

First off I couldn't find my gloves. No wait that's not right. I could only find right hand gloves. I found three right hand gloves. I finally gave up and wore one of Scott's gloves on my left hand. It's like some one handed person broke into my mobile home and stole all my left hand gloves. Or all the left hand gloves joined a cult somewhere. Somewhere that understands them. Somewhere they won't be made fun of for being the non dominate hand. Right hand gloves are such stuck up assholes.

So one glove was a little loose is what I am saying.

Then we get out there, in the woods, next to these piles. I dunno where these piles came from. I assume that my dad put them there, but who knows. Maybe they are like cinder block fairy mounds. Any who, we back up the truck and start loading.

Doesn't that sound so tidy? We started loading. That conveys nothing of the excitement of hauling cinder blocks down an embankment and sloshing through a ditch. Luckily, I only ended up soaking my left foot through once! And I only twisted my ankle once too!

Lucky me!

Not only are cinder blocks as ugly as a chicken's butt hole, they are also heavy as hell. These particular blocks also had remnants of paint on them. Hideous paint. Sky blue and red. Like red red. Like fire engine red. Super red. The kind of red that makes me think of the Shining. That red.

After we had a truck full we took then over to where we are planning on putting that house and used them to hold the damn sand pile in. I don't know if you are aware of this, but if you put sand in a big pile it acts like a liquid, in that it will start to ooze itself flat. Until your four foot hight sand pile is a light dusting of sand all over your lawn. We were previously aware of this fact, but had only placed support on one side of the pile because being prepared for crap takes like time and energy and shit.

Which of course meant that we were shoveling the sand back into the pile while lining it with blocks. Also I noticed that the tarp was loose and the cats had been pooping in it.


I was standing in the truck, passing the blocks and bricks out to Scott who was stacking them. First off, you might think that this is the easier of the two jobs, but ha, ha ha ha haaaaaaa ha. The thing is, you really don't get to like, straighten up so your back is feeling that weird tense thing that is not quite a pain but really close to it sensation. What I did not anticipate however, is that once we were done and I hopped down to suck more caffeine into my face like a hummingbird, was my knees.

You know how as you get older you start having denial about your own health problems? Yeah. I kinda knew for a while that I was having knee problems. Like I'd be sitting in my chair an then I'd go to pull one leg up under me an my knee would get halfway and then I'd have to stop because it didn't want to go anymore. Yeah. That shit.

Somehow I don't think that today made them any better. I pretty much feel like I was playing that Head Shoulder Knees and Toes game but instead of pointing to the body part in question, I just mentally checked it off in my head as hurting.

Yeah. So I think it's video game time. Because nothing makes me feel better like swinging a sword into a monster's face. And then setting it on fire.

Skyrim is so awesome.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Alternator Belt is not a Team Player.

Picture the scene. It's 1am. We have to go to work for a job that starts way too damn early. It's 25 degree's outside. I have already fed and watered the ungrateful hungry mouths. We grab our thermoses and some healthy fruit snacks and pile in the car. We scrape the frost off the windows, hop in, turn up the heat and drive off into the cold morning, on our way to work.

Except we never even made it to the main road because our alternator belt blew.

Do you know what it looks like when you loose an alternator belt?

The first clue is when the battery light comes on. The second clue is when the headlights start to dim. The third clue is when the care stops running.

Well, the first clue hit and we immediately turned around chanting our war chant. Which goes something like “oh, shit oh fuck oh shit oh fuck...” Then the second clue kicked in. Do you know what it's like to be traveling in a car, in the middle of goddamn nowhere, all the while the headlights are getting progressively dimmer and dimmer?

Basically it's like every horror movie ever.

Just thought I'd clear that up.

Luckily we made it home before the third clue hit us. Then it was excitement of calling people to inform work people that it didn't appear that we would be making worky work time. Then came the super fun time of searching the sheds in the hope that we had a spare belt. It was kinda of a useless act, because our car takes a very specific belt.

Let me put it this way. We didn't think to buy two belts the last time this happened and my late father did not own a compatible vehicle. So unless the dog had purchased a belt for our car, and put it somewhere that we could be able to find it in the shed, we didn't have one.

There wasn't much to be done at this point. I drank a cup of tea and ate a banana. I went and confirmed that the not being very helpful at this point dog was still sleeping peacefully in the bed. Under the covers. Asshole non parts buying dog.

Finally we just gave up and went back to bed to wait for an auto parts store to be open. Only to be woken up like three hours later when everyone started calling us back.


Well after making a few calls later we found a local auto parts store that had the belt. Of which we only bought one because learning from our mistakes is stupid.

Installing the belt however, was a whole new level of awful. Like, okay, you know how Greek mythology has a lot of stories where the hero has to pass a bunch of really unpleasant and hard tasks to get whatever it is he wants? Yeah this was pretty much just like that. Except I think I would have rather had to face down a minotaur rather then change this belt again.

First off, it was 34 degrees outside. Which gets points for being 2 degrees above freezing, but you know what? My hands can't tell the difference. First off we had to take off the other belt, the one that was working fine, to get to the broken belt. Then we had to loosen the bolt that keeps tension on the belt. In a kind world that is all you would need to do to slip the new belt in place.

This is not a kind world.

We had to loosen almost every bolt going to the alternator. Loosen but not remove, otherwise the whole thing would have just fallen out of the car. Also, since our car is tiny and poorly designed, this involved me laying underneath the car. Under the alternator. Now I'm not really claustrophobic, but I do not like lying under a car when it is jacked up. For one, when you jack it up it always makes weird moaning sounds like the car itself hates this but can't move away because you won't let it. Two, every little bit of dirt and metal crap and filth is falling into your face. Pro tip: Keep your mouth shut. Oh and you know what's really cold in the middle of November? It's the ground. The ground I was laying on.

It seemed to take forever to wriggle, pry, curse, loosen and cajole the alternator forward, wrestle the damn belt on, and then put the second belt back on. While tiny, tiny metal bits hit me in that face and every so often a socket would fall into the car, just to spice things up. It was one of those times that you can't even be bothered to notice your hands hurt from the cold, you just pray that they keep working because you kind of need them.

Okay really a lot need them.

Anyway, before we got like, I dunno, hand frostbite or some shit we reassembled the car, tested the belts, and felt the sweet, sweet relief of everything working again. I am pretty sure that when the car started and the belts went around smoothly a beam of the purest sunshine shot down from the heavens upon us.

Or at least that's how I remember it.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Storm Tales The Final Installment

This was, I'm sad to say, the last entry in the my written by hand storm dairy.

Loosing the will to go on. No lights. No internet, no Skyrim. Upon waking I turned to Scott and told him that I had lost the will to go on and the should go, and live for both of us. Then he tickled me until I got up.

He fights dirty, that man.

Deprived of my usual pursuits of struggling to survive, I drifted from activity to activity -doing the dishes taking the dog for a walk and reading a few books while the terrible sense that life was futile kept drifting through my head.

I pretty much drug myself though the day.

The next day I went out and bought a bunch of high powered battery operated work lights to stave off the terrible darkness. The day after that, I realized that staving off the terrible darkness was not enough, and I went to Walmart and bought a bunch of cat puzzles.

Look the selection was kinda shitty. Okay?

Although the tiger puzzle glowed in the dark, so there was that.

So after a brief argument we finally decided on cat-with-miracle-whip-on-it's-nose-in-kitchen puzzle, turned on our super LED work lights and started in. And we were terrible at this. I think the last time I had sat down to work a puzzle was oh- middle school. So then we were all like border pieces first, but then we got confused about whose side what colors went on and then we were all like “Wait my side is like, super long here” and I'm all “If the top is here then I don't have enough pieces.” Plus the back ground was out of focus on the adorable kitten picture so I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out if the round blurs in the back ground were strawberries or tangerines.

About that point the power came back on.

So then I had to run around like a crazy person while Scott tried to find that one piece that went to the can of whipped cream that didn't have any writing on it, and I threw on shoes and ran around the yard screaming.

Oh, and I think they were tangerines.

Then I got to do all of those things that I had been wanting to do for a week. Those things that had been slowly fading out of my memories as things that Holly gets to take for granted every day. Those things.

Which is why I would like to sit out the zombie apocalypse thank you very much.

Then I got to take a shower and microwave things and there was much rejoicing.

Much, much rejoicing.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Storm Journeys and the Refusal of Acceptance.

Authors note:

To remind you, my most beloved readers, this is still excerpts from the on going dairy I kept (by hand) during the terrible snow storm that knocked out power to my house for a week and fucked up New Jersey but they aren't really important because they are not me and that's not what you read this blog for.

And now back to your regularly scheduled programing.

After the past few days of panic followed by swearing and breaking shit we decided it was time for a little socialization time. Or as I call it, going to interact with others in a non work setting so that I don't loose all sense of dignity and social relations. It's an uphill battle really.

So, we headed on down to my grandmas where we hung out with my aunt and uncle and bitched about the fact that none of us had power.

It's sort of weird to be at another persons  house who also does not have power since you would think that ingrained habit of flipping on light switches wouldn't happen at others peoples houses, but let me assure you it totally does.

We also used our car time to recharge our cell phones and then had to answer a bunch of calls and assure people that we were not, in fact, dead.

I also need to point out that coming home to a pitch black house is not fun. Also I have no idea how old timey people did things by candle light.

At all.

I mean shit. Candles don't illuminate worth a crap. I started going to bed at like nine thirty at night because the alternative was walking around with a headlamp strapped to my head looking at all the appliances that no longer worked.

Mocking me with their blank screens.



I'm fine

Want more sadness Storm Tales? Here's The Final Installment.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Storm, and Hangover Aftermath.

You know what sucks? Wrestling propane tanks into the back of a truck. You know what really sucks? Wrestling propane tanks into the back of a truck with a hangover.

So we had figured we had better, you know, refill our propane tanks before they run out, so we can continue to enjoy things like, heat and the ability to cook. Using a handcart we wheeled the tanks to the truck which would have gone better had the wheels not been deflating. Which of course we couldn't fix because we didn't have any power.

Ha ha. Fun.

After heaving the tanks into the truck and swearing and strapping them down we loaded up our empty gas cans and headed for town. Of course town, being in the valley had no snow and all the power ever. Assholes. So we get the feed store which also sells propane because small town here people and tell them we need to fill our tanks.

And then they are all, those tanks look old. And then I'm all yeah they probably are. And they are all like, well if they are over twelve years old we can't fill legally fill them. And then they're all like, have you checked the date on the tanks? An I'm all like there's a date on it? And then he went ahead and climbed up in the back of our truck and was all yes they do. An I'm all like okay what does it say?

An he's all 1954. And 1975.

Well, fuck.

So then I ended up buying new tanks. Let's just say for what that cost I could have bought another PS3. And some games. So me and Scott wouldn't have to share even though he doesn't play video games at all. So I could have hypothetically bought the dog a PS3.


Anywho, we get them filled up. And I'm standing around listening to the filler guy talk about how he's not feeling well while my brain is trying to dry up and crawl out of my skull because hangovers suck and there should be a limit on how many vodka coco's I should be allowed to drink in one night. But there's not.

Unfortunately I also felt kinda bad for Mr. Propane Filler Guy because he had been outside all of yesterday too, which meant that I helped load the tanks into the my truck while my gray matter yelled stuff like “FUCK YOU MOTHERFUCKER” at me.

Then we had to drive the four tanks home and unload them and sled them to where they were going because the hand truck had given up on life and was laying face down in the bed of truck. Which is really what I felt like doing at the time. Except replace 'truck bed' with 'floor.'

Then we went inside and moped around for the rest of the day while while wishing the power would come back on. Which it didn't because that would have made my life easier and life is dick like that.

Motherfucking life ass motherfuckers.

Want more sadness Storm Tales? Here's Day 5.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Storm Time, the Reckoning

Just so we're clear, sleeping on the floor was the worst idea I ever had. Even worse then the time I drank all that Southern Comfort and then thought it would be cool to get on the bus.*

By the time morning had reared it's grim head we both looked like clockwork zombies** that had just recently risen from the grave. Scott was yelling shit about how his legs felt broken and he might never walk again and I felt like somebody had just punched me between the shoulder blades and then tried to sever my right arm. Possibly also by punching.

I mean, it's not like we had anything to do that day, like oh I don't know, take the propane tanks off my other mobile home cut more of the trees blocking the drive and desperately try to replace the blower motor on the wood stove before the propane runs out and we were fucked. I mean, it's not like we had that to do or anything.

Well the first order of the day was to dig out the cars and replace the blower motor on the wood stove. So while Scott went to replace the motor I went to shovel out the car and the truck. I will say right now that shoveling wet snow that weighs a shit ton after sleeping on the floor all night in the cold was the most painful thing ever, or at least it was until chunks of ice started falling off the trees and hitting me.

You ever been hit with a chunk of ice in the boob? Wouldn't recommend it.

After I had removed most of the snow Scott comes around and tells me he needs a hand with the stove. Now what you have to understand is that my dad built the surround for the current blower motor. A surround which, as we learned, was impossible to remove. Or at least it was before I got the motherfucking tin snips. The good news is I only cut myself five times!

Let me just say that it was an adventure.

Once I had vanquished the evil duct work surround monster it was merely a game of wrestling the new one in place and wiring it up.

Luckily while we were busy getting cut the fuck up our neighbors had taken a tractor our and were busy clearing the rest of the trees off the road. They were then followed by the road crew who got all the ones we couldn't get, including part of that fucker at the end of the drive. They were in turn followed by the plow.

At the end of the day the road looked like this:

 WV at it's finest.

However, instead of revealing in our new found road we had to immediately turn about and prepare to drag the propane tanks over. The propane tanks that hate us. Deeply. First off each one had to be disconnected and hauled onto a sled. Then I would pull the sled and and Scott would fight to keep the bastard upright as we fought our way up and down slopes and over ditches. I did learn something by the second one though. Namely that my arms would never forgive me. At last we hooked up the tanks to our backup propane heater, fired up the wood stove and proceeded to make it 75 inside.

We promptly rewarded ourselves by melting snow over the stove and taking sponge baths while joking about making Little House on the Prairie style Ma Ingall porn. We're not right, really. Then I drank like five vodka cocos (possibly to wash the aforementioned image out of my mind) and started making all kinds of weird statements like “In soviet Russia, vodka coco drink you” and “In old country it used to snow, all the time, but we were never sad, for we had vodka. And coco. Together.”

And then I went to bed and slept like the dead and woke up with a motherfucking hangover. There is a lesson in here somewhere.

And I think that lesson is, don't sleep in the floor.

*Yeah. Never do that by the way.

**Best band name ever.

Want more sadness Storm Tales? Here's Day 4.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Premature Digging Out

Also known as the day where Holly's optimism about being prepared is shattered like a cheap china mug on a tile floor. Upon waking from what I can only describe as terror sleep we staggard outside when we heard the generator die out to discover two things.

1. We had almost two feet of heavy ass snow that was as wet as the goddamn ocean.

2. Every branch ever had fallen down. There were two large branches on top of one of our sheds, a branch on the deck, and our yard looked like what I would picture happening if the trees had a world war against each other and forgot to tell us it was happening.

However the real fun began when we hiked to the end of the driveway and saw this.

 Pictured: The end of our driveway and the death of optimism about life.
Also we discovered that the road, you know, the road that we live on that takes us to work and town and stuff was completely blocked by trees. Here is what it is supposed to look like:


And here is the horrible aftermath.


Super Fuck.

It was about then that we discovered that the road was sort of a moot point anyway because the cell tower was down and no one was coming to help in an emergency anyway. At this point we may have become a little concerned. Just a smidgen. A tad.

Well the first point of business was to start clearing the road. Except that we needed to save every last bit of gas for the generator, so that meant using hand tools. Specifically, an ax, clippers and the two man saw. I would like to sum up that experience with the following picture.

Yeah. Never again.

But we goddamned did it. We hacked and cut and drug the branches to the side of the road and cursed and struggled to pull them out of the deep heavy snow while the snow soaked into our clothes and made us wet and cold and raw until at last the road before our own place was clear and we could at least have gotten the truck out of the damn driveway. Flushed with victory we returned home only to discover that the blowers on the wood stove had stopped working.

Oh shit.

Which meant we had to shut down the wood stove RIGHT NOW or it would overheat and possibly set fire to all of our shit. Our only other option other then freezing to death was to turn on backup propane heater in the living room. You know, the heater that we may not have had enough propane for that we had never quite figured out how to work. Yeah. That heater. Let's just say that we figured it out right quick. With the propane heater going and the trailer at a balmy 55 degrees it was time to make some food, drink Holly's traditional winter drink (vodka coco) and sleep the sleep of the bitter and tired.

Did I say sleep?

Ha ha. What I really meant was to lie awake on the floor in front of the propane heater in our sleeping bags and pray we had enough propane to last the night. The fun. It just never stops.

At this junction I have to point out that I thoroughly believe that mankind was never meant to sleep on the floor because oh my god sweet Jesus. It felt like someone was trying to disassemble my body with gravity.

It was terrible is what I am trying to say.

On the plus side, we didn't die, so there's that.

There is at least that.



Want more sadness Storm Tales? Here's Day 3.

Confused? Here's Day 1 of Power OutageFun Time.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Frankinstorm Day 1

So I had pretty much just returned home from spending the entire month of October traveling for work. I had just gotten home Sunday morning at 9am after working all damn night. I had just done all the laundry ever, and spent most of my time prepping for the monster storm that was headed our way. Finally I got to end of the day. The rain had turned to snow and we had built a fire in the wood stove and were settling in for the night. Foolishly I had decided to listen to my favorite music and screw around on the Internet. Waves of contentment must have been seeping out from my office, because after almost on hour of enjoyment time the power went out.


Of course it was after dark. Immediately I went ahead and called the power company because somehow I have faith in that system. Outside heavy, heavy ass wet snow was coming down like gangbusters. This was not good. Fortunately I did not have long to dwell on this because I had to help Scott get the generator.

Stepping outside was like entering another world. What the happy sounds of appliances and the radio had masked was the creepy sound of the wind and the stomach dropping sound of branches being ripped off trees and flung into the dark.

Let me tell you something right now.

There is nothing quite like walking through a bad snow storm in the complete darkness with only the beam of a cheap Wal mart headlamp cutting a path through the snow, while tree branches are breaking around you like splintery gunshots that you can't see because the mesmerizing flakes of snow are coming down too damn hard.

It was at that point that I realized that we were fucked. And not just regular fucked.

After fighting with the generator we retreated back inside where I came to conclusion that we weren't any safer really. You know, since mobile homes are so good at stopping trees from crushing the people inside of them. I had though naively that getting back inside would be better, but that's only because I am a moron. Since the power was out and mobile home walls are as think as cardboard I could still hear the branches falling. Except now every once in while one would hit the trailer and scrap down the side like the hand of death himself. For variety a branch would hit the propane tanks with a musical ping that would have been quite cherry if it wasn't so damn terrifying.

It was at this point the thunder and lighting started.

Of course the dog had to freak out at this point so to comfort him I took him off to bed with me and put him under the covers. This would have been a great plan except all we did was end of freaking each other out and ended up clutching each other for dear life. I am fairly sure we both thought it was the end of the world, just for different reasons.

It was one of those nights where you greet the morning with grim puffy eyes because you haven't slept a wink and both you and the dog kept shaking each other awake during the worst of the storm convinced you were both about to die.

So it was a fun night.

So. Much. Fucking. Fun.

Want more sadness Storm Tales? Here's Day 2. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Our Power has Been Out.

So you guys remember that hurricane/storm/thing that hit us on Monday? You know that storm that hit the east coast and dumped crap shit tons of moisture on us? Yeah that hit us hard.

Ballshit hard.

Some of you may have noticed that I haven't been online, responding to your posts, reading your blogs, or doing any of those internet things. Because my power has been out since Monday. Last Monday. The 29th.

It's the 5th now.

Ha ha.

I have actually written you blog entries during this time. On a note pad with a pencil. You know analog style. And it sucked. It really really sucked. So as soon as I get pictures into my computer and type these up I will be posting them on my regular schedule and keeping you, as always my most beloved readers, up to date on cleaning all the trees and shit that have fallen down on my property cause this storm was a goddamn bitch.

Damn it feels really weird to type now. It's like I just think and words appear on the screen, no writing and having my hand cramp up or anything. 

Never doubt that I love you, dear readers.

Now I am going to take a motherfucking shower. And use my microwave. Because I can.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Why Yes, my Dead Father Would Love a Free Trunk Organizer.

An open letter to people and organizations that are still mailing things to my deceased parent.

Why yes, my dead father would love a free trunk organizer. I could put his ashes in it and drive him around in the back seat while I do my shopping. That would be a totally sane thing to do. Oh and I'm sure he would love a pool cleaning robot for the pool that he didn't own too. While were at it, I'm sure he would to resubscribe to your organization in exchange for some free stickers, although I'm not sure about the appropriateness of placing an 'I love the NRA' bumper sticker on his urn.

While we are on the subject I'm sure he would love to support you, politician that won't stop calling and or mailing things. I am sure he would just love to vote for you in the up and coming election, but unfortunately I believe that West Virgina has laws against that sort of thing. Unless the political figure in question is also dead, in which I think that this is okay. I'm not very sure though, you might want to check your local laws on the subject. I just don't keep up with these things seeing as though I am, last time I checked, still living.

Also I think that my father would be very insulted by your offer of a 'free' hover round mobility scooter. Plus, I am fairly sure that he will not be needing to 'talk to his doctor about the increased risk of stroke or heart attack' anytime soon. I am fairly sure that he will, in fact, never need to see a doctor again. Nor will he ever need to get a 'discount MRI'. I am also vaguely appalled by your implied suggestion that he would, if given the chance, use a discount MRI service.

You have yet to mail him anything he could actually use, such as a knitted urn sweater, (for those cold nights) a pedestal, or perhaps some googly urn eyes. So far I am disappointed in your wild presumptions about my beloved father. I can only hope that things will improve from this point out, and we can all get on with our respective lives (or deaths).


Queen Holly the Magnificent

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Dear Celestial Seasonings...

Dear Celestial seasonings I understand and approve of your desire to send me little promo items with my purchases. I enjoyed and used your dollar off coupons. What I did not enjoy, however was this.

You read that right. LaxaTea. I do not know why you thought this was a good idea. I have no idea why you would assume this was something I need. I also understand that you cannot be blamed for coincidence and happenstance, but it rather a painful blow when I opened a new tea box on the week that my dog has explosive diarrhea all over my office to discover a LaxaTea sampler. I would like to think that I took the high road on this one by not burning the packet on the stove.

Also, it seemed that I received way more LaxaTeas then dollar off coupons. I am assuming this is because it costs less then a dollar to put one tea bag into a plastic sleeve. Possibly because LaxaTea is made from lawn clippings with flavoring sprayed on them. Despite my complaining, though, I cannot actually convince myself to try any. Because I am terribly frighten it would actually work too well.

In conclusion, please do not send out free tea samples that have a very narrow range of buyers to all and sundry. What it somebody drank one without reading the package? What if they only own one pair of pants. WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!?


Queen Holly The Magnificent.

Friday, October 19, 2012

A Letter From the Morrow Jungle.

So a while ago I got the idea to send my friend a letter detailing my (fake) adventures in some place called the Morrow Jungle. I wrote the letter late one night, sat back and thought hey, that's pretty good. Of course most people would have stopped there. Or maybe sent the letter via email or posted it to their blogs with a brief explanation.

I am not most people.

This is the letter my friend received.


It reads:

Dearest Lorien,

I am writing to inform you of my safe arrival in the Morrow Jungle. We had set down about a week ago, but this is my first chance of finding a place to post a letter. The locals assure me that this letter will indeed reach you. I hope you are well and that the weather back home is much better then this terrible tropical heat.

So far I have only had one encounter with the dreaded Peruvian Fire Weasels. Luckily most of our tents and equipment were spared, with only one porter suffering serious burns. I was able to save most of my notes as well. I have enclosed a drawing of the Lesser Fire Weasel for your consideration. Less fortunate was our encounter with the Giant Vampire Mosquitoes. I had been assured that the clubs the men brought along were sufficient to destroy the insecticidal menace, but sadly they fell regrettably short in that regard. However, do not fear for my safety or comfort, I have found through a delightful local shaman that the sap from the Morrow tree, yes indeed, the very tree from with this jungle was named, has a marvelous effect on the bites.

Professor Wirthington had ventured a guess that the sap must contain some sort of morphine or codeine. He has cautioned us to use the sap in moderation only, and to maintain records of it's use on ourselves for future study and reference. Nevertheless, I am not worried about overuse, as I am presently not worried about much of anything. I am hoping to bottle some of this wonderful substance to take back -purely in the name of science.

I am afraid that I cannot say more at this juncture as night is falling and a think that I will soon not have light enough to see by. In the morning I will venture further downriver in my search for the Pip Piper Vulture and the elusive Singing Waddle Bird of Paradise.

Yours forever, your esteemed friend,


 This letter was accompanied by these.


I am going to assume that stunned silence is due to awe. Yes, I spent all this time dying the paper, doing the drawings, scanning it in, finding a font and printing it out and mailing to my friend for no real reason at all other then I thought it was fucking funny.

It's possible I might a little crazy.

A little awesome crazy.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Scott's a Skyrim Widow Now.

After the many terrible adventures we have been having lately, with the car accident and dog being lost and the being poor and having to work like crazy pants to make up for it, I was beginning to feel a little rubbed raw by life. You know, that feeling where you feel like someone has taken your soul and rubbed it on some asphalt for a few hours? That feeling? Yeah, I had that.

So I got me some Skyrim.

Of course I got it home and said, you know what, I'll just pop the disc in to make sure it works, which is gamer speak for I am going to be up until midnight playing this sweet ass game. I was a little worried since this is a sequel next step up whateverthefuck you wanna call it from Oblivion. And we all know what I thought about Oblivion.

My fears were laid to rest however, because Skyrim is fucking sweet.

It's so detailed that after playing it for two nights straight that was beginning to feel like that dude from Avatar where near the end he doesn't know whether the real world or the avatar world is more real to him. You know, like that, but with Skyrim.

I also learned something about myself. Namely I learned that if your game lets me make my own armor and potions that I will spend almost all my time doing that. Main story line? Fuck that shit, I got elk to kill. It also doesn't help that once I have made the armor, then I can also enchant it.

Except that none of these things are exactly easy.

So to make my own leather armor, I have to kill an animal and then take it's pelt to the tanning rack and turn it into leather or leather strips. Then I have to use the blacksmiths to make the armor, and then use the crafting table thing to improve the armor, which also takes more leather. Also, to enchant the armor I have to have a item that already has the spell I want on it, which I will then disenchant to learn the spell. Then I have to get a soul gem, fill it with a soul (which involves killing things, and the right things at that) then go back to the enchanting table (which is across town from the fucking blacksmiths) and then add the enchantment to the item.

And then it's like 1am and I'm all like WTF happened to my evening? I haven't even gone on a quest yet.

Also my inventory weighs like a billion pounds and my bodyguard/companion keeps getting pissed that I want her to carry back like 200 pounds of steel armor from the bandit camps because I can sell that shit later.

So I keep playing and playing and then like, three nights later I'm all like, wait, I haven't even got on a real quest yet. I have no idea what the storyline is and yet I obsessed with making my own health potions.

So now I am trying to save money (in game) to get a house (in game) so I can store my crafting supplies and books and things I have no way of storing right now. Which is, well, exactly what I am trying to do in real life.

Wait. What?


Your hitting a little too close to home here Skyrim.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Removing the Water Pump.

So, in order not to have to heat the second mobile home we are using for storage- because holy hell sweet Jesus motherfuckers have you seen the price of fuel oil this year- we had to cut the water off to it. Now considering the sewage is busted and the sinks don't drain this was an easy decision to make, except for one thing.

We were going to have to remove the water pump.

Which is located under the trailer.

You know. The like three foot crawl space under the place that is covered mold, ripped up fiberglass insulation (for all your itching needs), and seems to be permanently damp. That place. Yeah. We prepared to crawl under there the way some people prepare to detox crime scenes. We had head lamps and dust masks and flashlights and long sleeved shirts and pliers and mallets and safety glasses.So we carefully dressed ourselves and put on our masks and shared a look of grim determination. We looked like tacky space aliens that had come to earth to explore the hu-man things called tourist traps.

Which is of course when the UPS guy would show up.

Dignity, we has it.*

So with our proverbial loins girded, we gathered our tools and removed the skirting and stared into the gaping black maw of the beast. Now to make things even more fun, I had shut off the main water valve some time ago, except that we weren't completely sure that it had worked. Fully. So we were hoping that we wouldn't be hammering on the cut off valve while water spewed at us.

Crawling under the thing was an adventure. First off it's a damn good thing I don't appear to have a problem with tight spaces or haunted houses, because this was a combination of both.

And not in a good way.

First off you had to crawl. There was enough space between the floor beams that you could kneel in some spots, but for the most part, you had to crawl. Ripped up bright pink insulation hung down across out path like itchy spider webs and all of the other stuff we had covered the pump with like bubble wrap and insulated wrap was laying around in heaps. It also didn't help that the metal beams under the trailer kept grabbing my hair and pulling it. And everything was damp and covered in mold and it didn't pay to think about what you were laying on.

In short, it was the worst environment possible.

Anyway, we got under there and unwrapped the pump and unhooked the electric and then began to unhook the pipes leading to the tank. Except that we failed to realized that a pressurized tank has pressure and so when Scott loosened the top pipe water came shooting out motherfucking everywhere.


Somehow I managed to back myself out of the crawlspace fast enough not to get wet, and then I started running because my brain apparently thought that the water monster was coming to kill us all. Of course Scott was soaked and had to go change his shirt while I went back under there and wrestled with the other connections on the pump. I would get a grip in the plastic pipe with the pliers and then hit them with the mallet trying to drive the pipe loose, except that everything was now soaking wet and dripping and I was laying in water, in the near darkness while my dust mask kept fogging up my glasses.

It was like all the worst bits of a horror movie, really.

So after cursing and swearing and grunting and having the pipe go absolutely nowhere Scott got pissed and hacksawed the damn pipe in two, shoved the valve into the hole by beating it in with a mallet. Meanwhile I grabbed the pump and began to pull that fucker out.

The last time we had done this, when we put in the new pump, I had remembered it being extremely difficult to pull the old pump out. But not this time. This time I flipped it onto it's side and drug it out of there before the pumping monster could show up and eat my fucking brains.

It seemed like no time at all before it was sitting calmly in the grass. The sky was as blue as I had ever remembered seeing it and the colors of the trees seemed so alive and fresh and wonderful. It was glorious. It was like being reborn after what seemed like years of being trapped in the wet darkness.

Then Scott followed me out and we resealed the hole so the pumping monster was once again contained in it's lair.

So now I have a spare water pump.

And it only cost me the memories of a life without terror!

I'll call that a win.

*Kill me.