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April 9, 2007

Tidbits, a little Dim Sum of Diary-ing

I only mind Mondays in the way that I mind being interrupted while telling a good story: you just start gaining steam on one thing and then it's time to change tracks.

But I did finally get the house (partly) cleaned over the weekend, vaccuuming even in the corners and now the guestroom/office is almost habitable for felines and humans. I cannot believe how much stuff I have de-cluttered! My goal is to have a manageable, functional little house with just the few well-appointed and well-loved items I need. And cats, of course.

It takes less energy and time to clean and organize less junk ... and let's face it, no one sits on their deathbed wishing they had spent more time dusting the damn clutter. Lord, please free me of my need to surround myself with the safety of junk. Amen.

1) But Am I Re-Cluttering?
The shopping moratorium ended on April 1st and it's certainly been evident around Chez Furball that the re-cluttering commenced, a little. Mostly buying garden stuff... but I did collect a few little things I probably didn't NEED. I have tried to be careful about not re-collecting more crap, but it's hard. It's a constant fight with the instict to surround myself. I have found that if I place a paper grocery bag in a corner of each room I will fill it up as the weeks go by, just everytime I run across a thing (T-shirt, vase, cookie sheet) I haven't used in years and years, or if it's something I don't absolutely love, I put it in the bag. This past Saturday I dropped six bags of stuff of at Goodwill (!!!). I could exhale, then. Saved from re-cluttering this time, at least.

2) The Shopping Moratorium goes back into effect...

... soon. First I need a trip to DSW Shoe Warehouse. A girl can not live on plus-size clothing frustration alone, you know.

When I wrote of the horrors of woman-sized women clothes, I did not expect to hear from (many) size 2 and 4 and 6 women who find it equally hard to find good-fitting, awesome clothes.

This made me profoundly sad because I was disavowed of my long-held notions that if I somehow miraculously managed to ever starve down into a six or four (hah) I would find perfect clothing. I cannot believe that a woman with a size-six or four or two figure has to search for goodness! How is this possible! This ruins all my ideas and dreams and fantasies! Yet, at the same time, I am comforted. It makes me feel like we are all women in this together, Us vs. The Fashion World. WE HAVE ASSES, PEOPLE. Yes, some are size 18 asses and some are size 4 asses. But we got 'em. REPRESENT. Make clothes for US.

4) Easter?
Last year and the year before I would sit on my patio late at night, maybe it was Christmas or maybe Easter, Thanksgiving, and I could hear the sounds of my neighbors through the fence. Music, the barbecue, lots of family chattering away in lyrical Spanish. I used to feel like an eavesdropper on their togetherness, listening. Last night I sat outdside with a glass of wine and lit a candle, set my laptop on the long, wooden patio table to do some work, admired my marigolds and tomato plants. The neighbors were talking all at once, an old love song in Spanish in the background, two kids arguing over a toy. I didn't feel anything except pleased and slightly hungry. Wondering if I should fire up my own barbecue grill, make dinner. And I didn't feel empty hearing them next door laughing and hugging hello, I just felt glad to have my whole Sunday to myself and be finished with my chores, cleaning house, laundry, and aren't my marigolds looking pretty!

5) Making A Space

I guess another thing about not feeling sad and broken is that you have to wonder if you are leaving a space for someone to come into. I want to do that. I want love in my life. I want to keep a space open for it.

6) The test box has given us a winner!

Since our tried-and-true harmonious pooping surface is no longer sold in California, the felines and I have been searching for a good cat litter. Most of that responsibility has rested on my shoulders since I assume they will poop anywhere they damn please. Plus, as far as I know I am the only one of us who can drive.

I tried many litters in the test box since my old fave, Clump 'n Flush, was discontinued. I tried Feline Pine scoopable, and let me tell you what, I am still vaccuuming sawdust from my house. I put it in the test box and the very next morning I had to empty it, the cats were sneezing and there was sawdust covering the floor. I found a Dust-Free litter, it was good but not scoopable. On my way out of Tams last week, the nice guy who owns the shop (and knows of my Clump 'n Flush madness) suggested Dr. Elsey's Cat Attract.

"We have another customer who swears by it," he said. "Petco stopped stocking it, so I order it for him."

I picked up the OH MY GOD HEAVY bag and carted it home, it's clay so I was expecting dust and sadness. BUT. LET ME TELL YOU. Within one day the cats had stopped using the other three boxes and all four felines were using the teensy test box... EVEN SOBAKOWA. Now, ya'll know I do love my Soba, but if the box smells like anything less than roses and spring breezes she will perhaps leave a Royal Poo right on the mat beside the box. But even La Soba was lining up to use the test box. I keeled under feline pressure and stocked all boxes with Cat Attract. If it will make the Soba love box-time, I am for it. And Roy seems okay, what with his delicate asthsma and all, and the whole damn house is happy.

Also, OH MY GOD is it expensive. Never let it be said my animals don't have excellent taste.

7) Still no answers on the CACTUS book.

Two other readers remembered this book, so I know now that I did not hallucinate it in lieu of teevee in a fit of po' kid imagination. I posted the query at AbeBooks "book sleuth" forum, but as of now not a single soul has responded. It is perhaps the greatest mystery since Stonehenge, people.

*** This Just IN *** A reader on The Abe Books forum gave me a shining beacon of light! I do believe the book I was looking for is The Plant People by Dale Bick Carson, which was published in a Scholastic (yeah) edition of short stories in 1977, making me a six-year-old reading lunatic. It is also available in a paperback, which ya'll know I ordered, and I plan to tell you IN DETAIL how this very paperback made my childhood complete and I no longer need therapy, etc. YAY, internet!

8) But oh, how I love you for loving books.
When I was little, I was always the oddest child, my reality lived more inside Laura Ingalls or Betsy-Tacy or Mrs. Frisby than in bicycling or talking to kids my age, and I knew I was probably more like Elizabeth Wakefield in public but I sure wished I could be bad like Jessica! And even though you might think my parents were unfit after I tell you this, I read "Rage Of Angels" by Sidney Sheldon and I swear to you my teenage heart melted when Jennifer Parker got back to her law office after having Joshua and found out Michael Moretti kept calling every day, he was that obsessed with her.

Ya'll, I lived in a trailer out in the middle of NOWHERE. But by age twelve I could tell you about New York City from books, smell the salty air of Chincoteague island, and I knew all about "Forever." I am so glad you loved books, too. Makes me feel less like a weirdo.

9) Roy
He is doing so much better than anyone expected! He wasn't supposed to make it, you know. But he is hanging in there, and he's eating and drinking and pooping (see #6, above) and even though he is skinny and has a dern brain tumor, that little guy is just not ready to leave the lovin' and pettin' available on earth yet.


People are forever and always being mad about someone advertising on their stupid webpage about a product. Well, I hereby do declare I do not care !! I love to share good products when I find them, I do this in real life with all my friends ("Oh My God, DREW! You MUST buy a magic eraser today or you will die of stains!") and Magic Eraser continues to be the greatest thing since sliced bread and DSW Shoe Warehouse. I got scuff marks off the kitchen/patio door, a wine ring off the counter and mystery goo off the pantry door with my magic eraser this weekend. I love you, Mr. Clean. Please come have sex with me.

Hah hah!! Just checkin' if ya'll were still reading!

11) Come Early Morning
This is a movie starring Ashley Judd and some other people, and it takes place in a little town in Arkansas and seriously, this movie made me cry a million tears. Had I not moved to L.A. and got married, you would be looking at my life in that movie. It has some not-exactly-great acting moments and it is an indie film and all, but I cried and cried in the scene where Cal runs his fingers down Lucy's shoulders and stomach and back, and she is just cringing the whole time ... even though she is skinny and pretty. The thing is that you can be all kinds of uncomfortable, can't you? in no matter what skin you got. It's a Southern movie. Could have been set out at the Little Brown Jug bar off the highway outside Murfreesboro. Yeah, me and Stefanie used to hang out at the Little Brown Jug. One Thanksgiving after about six pitchers (there were lots of folks there, surprisingly) and five rounds of darts, me and Stefanie somehow up and joined the Jaycees since they were the ones buying the drinks. Luckily when they sobered up themselves, they ignored our little membership applications. I remember calling her the next morning and thanking the Good Lord we didn't meet up with a bunch of Marines or something at the Little Brown Jug because wouldn't it have been hard explaining how we joined them. And even harder getting the application back. We got a good laugh over it.

* * *

So that is Monday Diary Dim Sum. Least I got me a Top 11 List this time.

And I am in no danger of up and joining the Jaycees out of lonely and no-good, in case you were wondering. I got my marigiods and Magic Erasers and my books and my Roy. And everyone is happily pooping. And I will have a cactus people book soon, and am making room in my life for real love, and basically everything is great except for the weird smell in the back yard.

But that ... that is for another day.

Posted by laurie at April 9, 2007 11:18 AM