If you have an affinity for cats, dogs, guinea fowl, or mold spores, you probably want to quit reading now. (Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)

You know how you wake up every single morning and wonder how in the world you ended up getting a cat? Because the only explanation is drugs and the last time you took any was that time you were taking the Grey Hound home from Chicago and you got off in Minneapolis with a complete stranger who was really cute, but could easily have been a serial killer, but turned out to be a nice guy with mommy issues. And the party lasted for three days until you were like WTF, I have to get home. And that was more than thirty years ago, so it can’t have been drugs.

So—yeah—cat. This morning it’s warm, but overcast and drizzly, and I’ve taken at least three days off my onerous task of reformatting my manuscript, and I think, this is a great day to plant my ass and get back at it. Then the Hubby wonders if I’m going to do laundry today, because he only has one pair of jeans that fit him. (A whole different story.) So I reluctantly throw in a load, which means now I have to stay in the house until it’s done because if I leave it in the washing machine longer than four nano-seconds after it finishes, it will start smelling of mildew. This would be a great time for me to pull out my book and read, I think.

So I start to water my plants…then the cat yowls.

Because of course she does. Typically this can mean a variety of things, but the Force is strong in me and has given me vast powers of reasoning, I figure she wants water. Nope, her bowl is full. But, OMG, it’s gross! Grumbling like a teenager asked to clear out the dishwasher; I pick up the water bowl to clean it. And, OMG! The area around the dish is grosser…even more gross? I briefly consider pretending I don’t see it, but as I am the only person in a ten kilometer radius who will actually clean it, well….

My book is still sitting there looking pathetic and lonely, I glance at it and then away before it can suck me in, but instead, I grudgingly trudge away to get a pail and a cleaning rag and, on the way back, I accidently sit down and pick up Stephen King (because he’s been so patient.) But before I open it, I get up and go to the sink and fill the pail with water and some bleach, and start cleaning the mold growing in the cracks of the sliding glass door.

Hubby: So, what exactly are you doing?

Me: Bleaching the mold out of the cracks. If I just wipe it up, it grows back within days, this way it’ll take a few weeks.

Hubby: Yeah, but didn’t you just sit down?

Me: What’s your point?

Hubby: I’m going out into the garage, I have to firbratron the crankmeister.

That leaves me and the cat to finish killing a few trillion mold spores. I bleach, she watches. It’s going along swimmingly until she makes that noise. You know the one, it’s where it sounds like a demon is trying to dig its way out of her ass, but in reality is just a giant hairball.

Cat: Yarwl…yrrl…hork…hack…YARWL! Blech.

Me: Oh, for fuck sakes!

Cat: Urk…urk…URK!

Me: Do you want me to puke, is that it? Can’t you do that somewhere else?

Cat: Meow?

How I actually stop myself from hurling, I do not know. This yowling thing is about four pounds of actual cat and twenty pounds of fur. She should actually be a hundred and twenty pounds of fur, but ninety-nine pounds are currently sitting on every available surface in the house and one pound is on the floor in front of me, looking like a big black turd in a puddle of spit. I briefly consider grabbing a gunny sack, after all, the lake isn’t frozen yet. The hardest part would be stuffing her into the bag, but I could plant treats inside.

Just as I’m bending over to pick up this latest gift, the fucking dog comes up behind me and gooses me. Holy crap on a cracker! I am on my last nerve when it comes to animals. I lose my shit. I heave the dog (101 pounds) out the door, pick up the spray bottle and point it at the cat, she opts for the flight response (lucky her.) Then I kill another trillion spores before tossing the dirty water off the balcony. Yup you guessed it, bleached guinea fowl.

That’s it, I think while I’m scrubbing the floor around the water bowl. I’m donating the dog to science. I’m giving the cat a close-up look at the bottom of the lake, and I’ll be serving guinea fowl for dinner. Then I stop and smile when I remember that, very soon, pot will be legal in Canada.


Magic and Sheets (not that kind of magic, get your mind out of the gutter)

Recently I’ve been called a witch. Not because of my nose, that’s too straight and regal. Not because of my unique laugh, that’s too melodious and angelic. And not because of my broom, it has pink flowers and kittens stenciled on it and is quite inappropriate for flitting to coven meetings. No, my witch-like attributes are all due to my ability to fold fitted sheets. Apparently having perfectly folded sheets, instead of rolled up balls of wrinkled fabric, is a magical talent. Well pish-posh on that. Folding sheets properly is just good old fashioned spit and polish. (Minus the icky spit part.)

You know who really is magical? The hubby, that’s who. Yesterday, I told him that I was about to attempt to vacuum my house. Probably for the last time, because my vacuum cleaner is FUBARed! It does this thing where when I turn it on, it works for approximately seventeen seconds, then it turns itself off. However, if I hold the handle and the hose at precisely the perfect angle, then it works for thirty seconds before turning itself off. Perfect angle–yeah right—it may explain the screaming you heard.

So, while I’m sitting with my coffee and reading the latest Stephen King book, hubby retrieves his big ole bag-o-tools and the vacuum, and begins to tinker. I explain the issue to him and tell him I think it’s one of two things: 1. Because of the holding and angles, and the whole turning on and off business, it’s a short inside the plastic hose. Or, 2. The dammed thing is possessed and we need an exorcist. Either way it’s screwed. He grunts, pulls out his cyclops-ratchet and barnswallow indicator and goes to work. I hear clipping sounds as he snips wires, ripping sounds as he pulls things apart, and gnawing sounds as he chews through the cover. Soon, the table is filled with bits and pieces, handles and hoses, clamps and buttons, harbingers and banshees. I sigh. It looks like I won’t be getting another clean out of this vacuum.

Twenty minutes later the vacuum cleaner is together, looking suspiciously like it had never been dismantled by rabid fairies. And when the switch is engaged, it works, and sucks away like some kind of loud sucky thing. And here’s the rub—it doesn’t matter what kind of angle the hose is at, it keeps right on working. Hubby is a friggin warlock!

Now if he knew anything at all about formatting, I might consider promoting him to Gandalf status.

Word, my ass!

I do all my writing, and have always done all of my writing, in Microsoft Word. I like it. It’s easy, mainly because I have a hundred and seventy-two years of experience using it.

Typically it does what I want it to without question: copy and pastes, capitalizes, indents, spellchecks (God, where would I be without spellcheck), pretty colours, exploding ravens, no wait, that’s Angry Birds.

All this checking and spelling and capitalizing and indenting stuff means that I have approximately four hundred thousand stories, partial stories, essays, novels, partial novels, and pictures of muskrats saved in separate documents. All good, right?

On occasion I am organized. Yes, on occasion, However, if you ask the hubby he would say that I’m slightly anal retentive when it comes to organization, but seriously, what the hell does he know. I mean really.

Take, for example, yesterday. I tell hubby that I am heading out to the Wookie Cave (my studio) and he says he is going to bring wood up from the basement to restock the rack in the living room. (All fine, except as a normal human being I would have taken the trailer out to the wood pile and hauled it to the back door, then I would have used a wheelbarrow to bring it in. Thus saving a million steps up and down the stairs, and saving my arms from getting scratched to shit by tree trolls.) So he heads to the basement and I start to get my crap together (coffee) to go out into my studio. However, on my way out, I notice that the pathway to the rack is blocked by a rocking chair, a coffee table, and a lounger. I can picture the entire scenario unfolding before my eyes. On trip number four, with an armful of wood, hubby stubs his toe on the rocking chair, falls over the coffee table and the entire load ends up on the furniture, denting chunks out of the hardwood floor, and possibly smashing the front window. So I clear a path; move the rocking chair, shuffle the coffee table and push the lounger…it literally takes 15 seconds. Later on, hubby is filled with the miracle of it. “Like that was a great idea. When I saw the room, I thought, sweet. It sure made the job easier.”

No shit.

So, organization—yeah, that’s me, Ms. Organized. So here’s the thing. I’m done my book, all 115,000 words, one prologue, thirty-seven chapters and an epilogue, all saved under one file name, but on thirty-nine different documents. All written in Word, using Times New Roman, font size 12. All the exact same format. Indent for new paragraph and 1.5 line spacing. It has been written, rewritten, alpha read, edited, rewritten, beta read, edited, added to, edited, deleted from, edited and edited some more. So, basically I have spent the majority of my adult life on the fucking thing. I am ready to send it out, but I need to do a query letter and synopsis… I spend the second half of my adult life working on the query and synopsis and become a sniffling, wet pile of goo in the corner, drooling, crying, snotting, and agonizing…oh and I can’t forget, procrastinating. (I’m now an expert player of Spider Solitaire.)

I finally suck it up, pull on my big girl panties and finish them, which means I am finished IT. Holy crap on a cracker! I. Am. Finished!

Time to start shopping it around. No, wait. Let me just bask in the glory of having finished this thing for a little while longer. I’m picturing white sand beaches, massages, rum and pepsi, a bunch of sleep and weeping with joy. Ahhh…so sweet. Okay, back to reality.

So, guess what? There are some publishers out there who want you to send them the whole damned thing, not just the first three chapters. No problem, I knew that eventually that would have to happen. I’ll just copy and paste it all into one document, after all, each chapter is exactly the same formatting. Well, fuck me! And fuck me some more!!!

Word has different plans. Word wants to be a big dick. Word wants me to spend my senior years on this thing. Word is an asshole. Don’t be like Word.

Here’s what Word does, every time I copy a new paragraph, it goes back into the previous chapters and randomly reformats shit. And not in a way where I can do a Select All and change it back to what I want. No, it decides to un-fucking-do the indents, for no reason, in no particular order, and JUST BECAUSE!

Hubby: So, why don’t cha just look it up on line? I’m sure you can google something and it will give you the instructions on how to fix it.

Me: Google it? Now why didn’t I think of that?



Hubby: So, you already tried that?


Hubby: I gotta go get some more wood.

So, yeah. My life has been hijacked by a fucking word processor. (Son-of-a-bitching-Microsoft…I hope Bill Gates decides to haul a bunch of computer parts up from the basement to restock his work room…and I hope his wife is gone shopping.)

Thirty-one Steps on How to go for a Walk at the Ranch

Your back and ass are sore from sitting in front of your laptop too long. It’s time to go for a walk!

  1. Almost touch the power button when a great story idea pops into your head. Spend the next two hours working on that idea until you realize it sucks.
  2. Now it’s really time to go for that walk. Go pee.
  3. Write down the mileage registered on your Fitbit (0.02 kilometers).
  4. Grab your shoes and try to put them on. Get pelted in the face by your dog’s tail  half a dozen times. Haha, she is such a supportive, enthusiastic dog who only wants to help.
  5. Get licked in the face while trying to tie the first shoe.
  6. Kick the dog outside.
  7. Put your shoes on, sans canine interference…I mean help.
  8. Realize your sunglasses are in the other room, take shoes off, retrieve sunglasses, put shoes back on.
  9. Now you have to pee—again—take shoes off, go pee, put shoes back on.
  10. Walk out the door. The dog, who just knew she would never, ever, ever see you again, leaps up and licks your sunglasses.
  11. Make dog sit while you clean off your glasses. “Haha, yes I know you are excited. So am I. It’s not like we don’t do this every single day.”
  12. Walk down the driveway, remember that you didn’t check for eggs yet, go back and check the coop.
  13. Discover that the chickens have no food or water, fill feeder and clean out the water trough.
  14. Walk down the road for 300 meters, then turn around and go back and check for eggs.
  15. Take eggs into the house, fuck it, you aren’t taking your shoes off again. Leave chicken shit on the floor.
  16. Take shoes off and wash the floor, put shoes back on.
  17. Walk out the door. Dog who was absolutely positively sure this time that she would never, ever see you, ever again, leaps up and licks your sunglasses. Try to kick the dog in the ass. She is now double, triple, quadruple excited because we are playing a new game, and oh boy, isn’t this fun.
  18. Clean sunglasses as you try not to have an aneurysm while yelling at the dog.
  19. Walk down to the end of your driveway and meet someone who is, just dropping in to say hi for a couple of minutes.
  20. Smile and invite them in. Seethe as you try to keep the screaming hordes inside your head from making a public appearance.
  21. Cause sparks to fly from your heels as you march back to the house.
  22. Take your shoes off and make tea.
  23. “Oh my, we’ve been here two hours, I hope we didn’t keep you too long, we really must go.”
  24. “No problem, I was just going to go for a walk, no big deal.” Don’t grind your teeth. Don’t grind your teeth.
  25. Put your shoes back on, get smacked in the face by the dog’s tail.
  26. Don’t look at the knife block. Don’t look at the knife block. Don’t look at the knife block. Calmly throw dog outside.
  27. Phone rings. Charge out of the house, forgetting sunglasses and leaving shoelaces untied, don’t stop running until you are 500 meters away.
  28. Discover that, with all the tea and running, you really have to go to the bathroom. Realize you forgot to bring Kleenex. Turn around and run back to the house. Don’t pee your pants, don’t pee your pants.
  29. Look at your shoes, look at the shining dipshit expression on the dog’s face, look back at your shoes. Say, “fuck it.”
  30. Resist the urge to throw your Fitbit across the room.
  31. Plant your ass in front of the laptop and stare at the black screen until the red around your vision clears. Press power button then spend the next two hours watching YouTube clips of bunnies and puppies until your breathing returns to normal.

This Writer in a Crowd

The hubby and I just returned from a long road trip, 7652 kilometers to be exact. I’m as tired as if I walked the whole way. My bed feels like heaven. I’ve been home for three days and my brain is still in a fugue. (Oh, I seriously like the word fugue.) The best part is that I’m back on the ranch where there aren’t any people.

You may not know this Dear Reader, but I’m not much of a people person. When I’m around crowds, I have to make a concerted effort not to chew off a leg to get out of the small-talk trap. Usually when I’m standing around eating Cheetos and failing to look like I belong, I’m doing math in my head. Trying to figure out how long I have to wait before I can tunnel out, like in the Great Escape, leaving behind a trail of glowing orange crumbs.

Me: I’ve consumed four pounds of fake, greasy, radioactive cancer causing edible oil products, bared my teeth in what I hope will pass for a smile, said hi to three people and a stuffed dog, stared at a plastic petunia for seven minutes, plus I’ve shuffled my feet in the only line-dance pattern I know for at least four additional minutes, that must equal enough time where I can legitimately skulk away into a quiet corner, pull out my book and try to look like I’m working on the squirrel homelessness problem. Now how did my, Pondering Deep Philosophical Thoughts Please Do Not Disturb, pose look? Oh no! I think someone recognized me. Where’s the bathroom? 

Lucky for me, the hubby is our equivalent of Julie the Cruise Director. He can move around groups of people with ease. Look like he is smiling and laughing instead of contemplating ripping out throats. And he doesn’t seem to be overcome with giant waves of exhaustion while trying to maintain small-talk. Nor does he blurt out inappropriate conversational faux pas.

Me: You and your husband look like you’re madly in love. Oh, he’s the plumber.

Me: That’s an interesting dog. What breed is it? Your daughter, Trixie? Her tail is what fooled me.

Me: Did you know that the Tunga Flea will lay eggs inside the human body?

Did I mention that I’m happy to be home? Now I can be my usual scintillating social butterfly self, as long as it doesn’t involve, you know, real live human people.

Telemarketers…I guess they still have those things.

Telemarketer: Hello, can I speak with Gabraveda, please?

Me: There’s no one of that name here.

Telemarketer: Are you the lady of the house?

Me: Some people might call me a lady, some may not.

Telemarketer: Um…does that mean you’re the lady of the house?

Me: Sure, why not. What do you want?

Telemarketer: It looks like your household has recently purchased a breast pump…

Me: You have the wrong number.

Telemarketer: …from Ameda…

Me: Listen, I can promise you that no one in this house has purchased a breast pump, recently, or in the distant passages of time.

Telemarketer: But, Mrs…my records indicate…

Me: Hang on. Hubby? Have you recently purchased a breast pump?

Hubby: What’s a breast pump? (He wiggles his eyebrows.) It sounds interesting.

Me: It’s this suction thing a woman sticks onto her nipples and milks herself so she can sometimes sleep more than fifteen seconds at a stretch.

Hubby: Seriously? (Makes a, EWWWW face, then puts his hands protectively over his nipples.) That doesn’t sound even a little bit interesting.

Me: I have taken an extensive survey of all household humans and can without a doubt tell you that no one here has ever purchased a breast pump. Recently or otherwise.

Telemarketer: I see. Would you be interested in information about a Bugaboo Chameleon Canvas baby carrier?

Me: Can it carry a lot of wood?

Telemarketer: Um…it’s for babies.

Me: Babies who can pack wood?


Me: I’d also be open to babies who can clean chicken coops. Or better yet, a baby that can help me with the hard chapter I’m stuck on. Someone I can bounce ideas off who won’t shit their pants or barf Pablum onto my laptop.

Telemarketer: Is there someone else there I can speak with?

Me: Sure, would you like to speak to the Mr. of the house?

Telemarketer: Does he need a baby carrier?

Me: Only if it’ll help him change tires.

Telemarketer: Well, thank you for your time, Mrs.

Me: No problem. Call back when you’ve invented something that can make babies really good copy editors. Or even if your company has invented a telemarketing machine that doesn’t refer to the lady of the house as Mrs.

How to get rid of five hundred unwanted pounds

We live deep in the dark boreal forests of the Canadian wilderness. We are surrounded by lions and tigers and bears, oh my. Or at least, raccoons, porcupines, and muskrats. It requires vast effort on our part to make it back to civilization, there are canoes, portages, and the ability to avoid hostiles involved in the process. Also, there are potholes.

The worst part of all, our internet blows chunks. It is a hard, arduous life. Almost like being a pioneer. We have no TV, no cable, no satellite dish and can’t even stream Netflix. When I tell this to people they often shake their heads and cluck as they back away slowly, just in case it’s catching. So our entertainment is extremely limited, reading books, painting, shooting things (the hubby) writing stories (me), reading posts by Jim Wright at Stone Kettle Station (he rocks…he really does…you have to go check him out at http://www.stonekettle.com/, I recommend starting with his flying car post from years ago.) Also reading Jenny Lawson at the Bloggess. If you haven’t peed your pants since your last potty training session, I suggest you go read her. She’s funnier than hell, despite the fact that she’s a Texan.

Today, just for shits and giggles, and before breakfast, we sold our old furnace. Yay, us. It adds a few bucks toward our new high-efficiency furnace and it gets rid of a half-ton of scrap iron, tin, and motors. The morning is gorgeous. I’m not kidding, go look up the definition in the dictionary and there is a picture of today in there. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the chickens are clucking and the guineas are assholes.

Several hands are required to load said furnace into the back of the truck. No problem. I’m there like white on rice. The hubby mentions something about black flies. Now, I’m a pioneer woman and fully aware of the ramifications. So, I put on my black-fly regalia: long pants, long-sleeved shirt, hat, gloves and bug-screen shield. I stroll up, looking like the biggest dweeb on the planet and the ‘extra hands’ who are there to help us move the monstrosity, give me a look. The look says something like this, (mind you, I’m paraphrasing here) “Holy cow! I can’t believe that anyone would leave their house looking like an escapee from a mental asylum. Look at her! It’s a thousand degrees out here and sunny, and she’s covered head to toe. Seriously, someone should call someone to do something about her. And, what’s that smell? Did she bathe in bug dope?”

I saunter over in my head-to-toe Canadian version of a burqa and greet all the sardonic glances with a nod and a smile. “Howdy, folks,” I say. (Yes, we speak like Texans in the backwoods of Canada.) “Nice mornin’, ain’t it.” They chuckle behind their hands and back away, just a bit.

Approximately five seconds later, I am covered, five centimeters deep, in black bodies. I stand there, unconcernedly and watch. It’s interesting to see grown men and women leap about, flap their arms, whack at faces and eat large quantities of insects. Hey guys, who looks like an escapee now? It’s also interesting to see who runs to get protection first. (Hint, they don’t have penises.) About five minutes later I hear some serious expletives come from the hubby’s mouth as he tries to see through a blanket of bugs. His face has bloody streaks running down it and he has a wild, trapped animal appearance. “You want I should get you a bug net?” I ask.

“Yes, please!!!!!!” Note, there was a please in there. Things must be desperate.

The truck drives off, loaded to the nines, and we head for the house and breakfast.

Hubby: Holy snapping arseholes, Hannah! (Normally that is my favourite saying, but I understand why he’s conscripted it.) I couldn’t believe the fucking bugs out there.

Me: Really?

Hubby: My gawd, but they were bad!!!!


Hubby: Shuddup.

And that, ladies and gentleman, is how you get rid of five hundred extra pounds and about a liter of blood before breakfast.

Kids and Mothers

The other day my kid said something that warmed the black, icy cockles of my heart. And really, who couldn’t use more heated heart cockles?

She said, “Yup, that’s us, we put the ass into class.”

I was so proud. What mother wouldn’t be? Well, perhaps mine. In fact, there’s a pretty good chance when those words were leaving her granddaughter’s lips, Mom’s ashes began to spin so fast that if anyone was watching, they’d have thought…tornado?

I can see it now.

“What the hell? How in the world did a tornado form on the side of a mountain?”

“That’s just Gab’s mom.”

“Oh, that makes sense.”

The hubby says that you can take the girl out of the trailer, but you can’t take the trailer out of the girl. It’s a good thing too. Otherwise my kid may have had too much influence from her grandmother. Wash your hands. Sit up straight. Use a fork. Act like a lady. Don’t let the dog lick your ear.

That there is some messed up stuff.

You know what else is messed up? The whole getting presentable thing. Back in my day, all that was required to get ready to go out on the town was a clean pair of jeans and new shoelaces for your hiking boots. Now, holy crap on a cracker, there is some weird assed shit the kids are doing. For example, my daughter has long, straight, blonde hair. First, she blow dries it, for approximately seventy-two hours…upside down. Then she takes this boogity-clamp thing, which heats up to approximately the sun, and straightens her hair. Did I mention that she has straight hair? Then she takes another implement that looks like a medieval torture device, twists her hair and locks it in, then she immediately undoes it and shakes it out. Apparently you have to do this four thousand times before there is even a slim possibility of it turning out right. (To me, it looks exactly the same every…single…time.)

Once the hair is complete, the outfit has to be assembled. This consists of taking every single thing out of your closet, including old Halloween costumes and your wedding dress, then trying it all on…in multiple combinations. This step can take anywhere from seven to seven thousand hours. And for some reason, you must tilt your head to the side while you pirouette in front of a full length mirror. Checking out your hind quarters way more than the front. Personally, I don’t care what my ass looks like, I can’t see it.

Then there is the makeup. Apparently, it has to be applied in such a way that it looks like you aren’t wearing any. (For those of you who are wondering, I have that look down pat. And it requires zero actual makeup.)

Hubby: Good gawd! Can we just go already!!!

Me: ZZZzzzzzz

Daughter: I think I like that other shirt better, it goes with these pants. Mom, your dog is licking my ear.

I blame my mom. I’m sure this might come as a surprise to many people, but you see, I was never what you would call, feminine. My poor mother, she really did give it the good ole college try. She used to pick out the frilliest, puffiest, most floatiest ensembles, then hold them high while advancing toward me in a menacing way. “Look—look honey,” she would say. “Isn’t it pretty? Everyone’s wearing one.”

“What the hell is it?”

“You don’t know what this is? Oh, it’s just a casual mini with a sheath underlay, Peter Pan collar and flounce sleeves. You’ll look stunning in it.”

“More like stunned. I’m not putting that on. MOM…step away from the change room.!”

This scenario occurred in many, many different variations through the years.

“What about a…”


So you can imagine my surprise when I ended up with a kid who would not only try these outfits on, but like them. And buy them.

And sometimes I can see a familiar menacing look on her face.

“Mom, you’d look really good in a high-waisted, chemise, cummerbund with a kilt.”

“No. Don’t you have your own house now?”

“Look! That woman has a Birken Bag.”

“What the hell…never mind…I don’t want to know.”

Magic Fingers

Anyone who knows me (that’s approximately four people) knows that I used to be a fidgeter. I say used to be, because although I still on occasion twitch around a bit, I am WAY better than I was in the olden days. So the other day when the leg fell off the kitchen chair I’ve been using when I write, I was a tad bit surprised.

Hubby: Well if you wouldn’t hop around like you were jacked up on caffeine and meth, then this wouldn’t happen.

Me: Pardon? I do NOT hop around. I sit still. Demure. Almost ladylike to a fault.


Me: What? I do. I’ve given up my fidgety ways.


Me: Are you seriously trying to tell me that you think I still fidget?

Hubby: Let’s start by saying that legs don’t normally just fall off chairs. Then I want you to take a look at these wear marks on the wood. See, that don’t happen from no ladylike demure kinda shit. And lastly, we’ve never purchased furniture from Magic Fingers Inc., yet anytime you plant your ass on anything, the entire fucking house vibrates.

Me: I believe you’re exaggerating.

Hubby: Look, look at this leg! It looks like it’s been chewed on by muskrats.

Okay, so I can’t explain the whole, leg falling off the chair thing, and it does appear that the wood has a bit of wear, it’s probably a factory defect. But for sure I can say that the hubby is wrong. To begin with, he’s a guy, and as we are all aware, guys are usually wrong. And second, he’s always blaming me for everything. Unjustly, I might add. It’s my fault that his chainsaw is broken. It’s my fault that the battery on his impact is buggered. It’s my fault that the garage door fell onto the top of his truck and left a huge ding and a scratch. (Well, he might be onto something with that last one.)

The other day he came into the house raving that I had broken his buzzflitter. “What’s a buzzflitter,” I asked.

He huffed air from his nose like he was Smaug and had discovered that his mountain had a dwarf infestation. “It’s the tool I need to fix the barn-weevil on the tractor’s axel grinder,” he bellowed.

“Those words don’t even make sense. Why does the tractor’s axel grinder need a barn-weevil?”

Sometimes it’s amusing when he gets all red in the face and stomps his feet like a three year old. Although now that I think about it, I wonder if that has any correlation to the doctor putting a twenty-four hour blood pressure monitor on him?

The Achilles of Concerts

I’m not big into technology, mainly because I live in the bush and unless it can help split and stack wood, I don’t have a huge need for it. But, I am starting to get several different types of electronics, like a cell phone for one. Although, typically I keep it in my purse and turned off. But as is the case with these things, I have been edging into the twenty first century without planning it. For example, the other day my Fitbit informed me that I had walked 10.5 kilometers while mowing my lawn. I pushed that mower up and down banks, side stepped steep hills, and was chewed on by those little bastard black-flies that make this time of the year a living hell. To top it off, every step felt as if someone was stabbing the back of my heel with a burning knife. It was my Achilles tendon’s way of saying, “Fuck you’re stupid.” It took two long agonizing hours.

The only reason I mention the above is because today I went to a school concert, it lasted two hours. Two grueling, excruciating, torturous hours. The second I sat down on the most uncomfortable chair on the planet, old forgotten memories resurfaced. Oh yes, the butt remembers! But by then, it was too late. Too late to recognize that I’d sooner volunteer to cut 20.5 kilometers of grass on the side of a mountain than to sit through an elementary school concert, ever again. Fading affect bias is a real bitch.

It not that I don’t like children, it’s just that I don’t like to be around them. I don’t want to be touched by their sticky little selves, see their jam stained little faces, listen to their banshee screeching little singing, or spend the next two weeks recovering from whatever illness the little plague-infested miscreants have infected me with. Because they will infect you, no matter how much antiseptic lotion you bathe in. Now don’t get me wrong, I like, even love, the scabby-kneed, snotty-nosed short people who happen to be directly related to me, but the others...oy vey.

So there I was, squirming on a wooden plank designed by a sadist. My back ached, haunted by distant memories. My butt see-sawed between numbness and torment.  And my brain, without conscious effort on my part, began to survey the room, planning my escape. Then the singing started. Here’s a question, why do music teachers hate everyone? Are they driven to homicidal thoughts while sitting in their classrooms, day after day, listening to out-of-tune instruments being played as if they were being thrown against a wall? Or did they have to sign a pledge in order to graduate from Teacher School? I solemnly promise to use only the following books: Songs Written by Muskrats, Horrifying Songs Made Even More Ghastly by Children in Groups and Songs That Cause Brain Hemorrhaging.

For a while, I took my queues from the hubby. He seemed to know when to smile, when to say, “aw, how cute,” and when to clap. It’s like there’s this whole secret language I know nothing about. Eventually, I began to resent him for it and started to feel stabby.  On top of this, I hadn’t eaten breakfast. Good thing I didn’t have access to the nuclear codes.

Then I was saved, in the most unbelievable fashion ever! I pulled my phone out of my purse and turned it on to take a picture (cause that’s what the hubby was doing) and lo and behold, I had a message.

Lisa saved me. I love you, Lisa. Suddenly, I had me and ally. Someone to share the misery with. I didn’t even have to tell her about the chair from hell, she already knew. Then she sent me a picture of Arnold Schwarzenegger doing a voice over of Blue Oyster Cult’s, Burnin for You, and all was right with the world. I’m beginning to understand the world’s obsession with technology, and am beginning to grasp its usefulness, even without a cord of wood in the vicinity.