Friday, December 19, 2008

My House's Secrets

Have you gleaned from my postings yet that I am incredibly spoiled? That I am accustomed (rightfully so) to being the queen in my house, with a small but active cadre of servants to do my every bidding? Okay, there's only one--Mr. Pug.

And he's sort of out of the picture, service-wise, these days. He's very much in the picture annoyance-wise, but that's another story.

But I am nothing if not resilient. I've lived alone several times in my life and have really enjoyed it--I think I'm really well-suited to be a hermit, emerging from my hovel only on rare occasions to forage for food and yarn. My point is that I am fully capable of caring for myself, handling my own affairs, and taking care of my own hovel--er, abode.

So I'm puttering around my house and realizing I really don't know much about where I live. For instance:

  • Flashlight. Where does the darned thing live? Why can't I find it? Where are the batteries for it, because when you DO find it, it's dead?
  • Buddy's hiding places. The other morning, while Mr. Pug was still in the hospital hooked up to God only knows how many good (legal) drugs, Buddy disappeared. Completely disappeared. At 5 in the freaking morning. And I couldn't find him--this isn't a big yard--it's the back yard of a half-acre lot--where the heck could he be? I walked the whole damned yard, in the dark, without a flashlight (see bullet above), checked all the gates--three if it matters--called his name with increasing shrillness, offered treats and kisses and every other desirable doggy option I could think of. Did I find him? No. Did I call Mr. Pug and ask him to come home--right now, dragging an IV pole if necessary--and find the darned dog? No, but it was very close.
  • What does he do when he's hiding? Fifteen minutes later, he strolled through the doggy door. I swear his breath smelled like squirrel poo but I could be wrong.
  • Bird Feeder. What idiot put it on top of a pole that is 3 feet taller than any of our ladders? Where IS the ladder? Okay, we seem to have six ladders. Which one is the appropriate one for the job? Are ladders like knitting needles--do you somehow have to get gauge? How are you supposed to carry a tub of seed and two suet cakes to the top of a ladder, assuming you're not scared to death of heights, which I am, and somehow pull open a rusted suet holder to slip in the suet cake while simultaneously grabbing the suet, clutching the large tub of seed, trying not to lose your hold on the ladder which is shaking and quivering? Then do it again, because there are two suet holders, each one more rusted than the other. That is definitely a four-hand task and I somehow have only been issued two.
  • Gutters. Who is shaking these trees and filling up those stupid gutters? And who knew that when they fill up, water oozes in through the fake stones in the fireplace? Is it going to require finding the 12 foot ladder to fix this problem? If so, we're all going to be wearing raincoats and carrying umbrellas.
  • Christmas wrapping paper. Yes, I know I said this was the year of Grinchification, but I still needed to send off presents to the grands in NC. I know we HAVE wrapping paper, because every year I buy 10 or 12 rolls and use small scraps from 6 or 8 of them. That should leave a lifetime supply of partial rolls of wrapping paper, SOMEWHERE in that garage. (Not in the red-topped Christmas Wrapping Paper tub because somehow we always forget to buy one before the Home Depot runs out of them.) So, yesterday I went to the store and bought 5 more rolls (because it's such a lean Christmas), the remains of which will disappear into the vast Black Hole of the garage by next year.
  • Once-a-year-kitchen equipment. What do I mean? You know--the roasting pan you only use for a Thanksgiving turkey or to make Chex Mix, the KitchenAid stand mixer you only use for Christmas cookies, the over-the-burner griddle you use for Christmas breakfast, that big white oval platter, the extra ...that stuff. Where is it? Where could it be? It's big, for God's sake. Do you have any idea how big a KitchenAid stand mixer is? It's like having the Tower of London on your counter without the Crown Jewels--which is why it's stored SOMEWHERE.
  • The pantry. Actually we have two pantries, which is good because both of them are approximately the size of a smallish diaper bag. I suppose if we'd bought a full-size house instead of the midget variety, but we didn't.... One holds canned goods, some of which have been there since the Jurassic age and have the expiration dates to prove it. The other holds (a) whatever won't fit onto the kitchen counters, which were built for the Oompa Loompa family, (b) anything Mr. Pug thinks we won't need any time soon (see bullet above), and (c) his wallet, his keys, his extra shoes, coins from his pockets, old receipts from Publix, recipes that aren't good enough to save and we don't even like the ingredients but are too good to throw away, etc. It's like a giant junk drawer which we would have one of if we hadn't bought the dollhouse-size house.

Finally, there's the yarn problem. Yeah, yeah, I know that's sort of a me-problem that can't be blamed on him. Well, the fact is ... there's rather a lot of it. But I'm one of those people who are frightfully disorganized but still know where everything is. You know--the person who can look at a 3 foot tall quivering stack of papers on a desk and pull out the 1996 state tax return because she knows at which geological level it resides? That's me.

And that's the way my yarn is ... organized. Yes, let's call it an organization system. That's so much better than the reality, which is that it comes home in bags or mailing pouches, sometimes after months of ripening in the car trunk. Said bags/pouches get stuffed into various crevices where they can remain in relative hiding. Sometimes the yarn gets placed into one of the dozens of decorative baskets I've bought to hide ... er, store ... it. These baskets, bags, etc. supplement the nice storage shelves that Mr. Pug built to hold the wall-o-yarn in the office which were filled up within a week of their erection.

So anyway, when my kids were coming for Thanksgiving, I had to shovel out the bedroom. I probably should have done it over a period of time, keeping good records on where various things went. But I didn't. I got to the day before the arrival and started shoving, pushing, hiding yarn and projects everywhere. In closets in the office. In closets in Jake's old room. In my own two closets, under things. (The one place I didn't use was the garage--I knew I'd never see any of it ever again if it went in there. Abandon all hope, and all that.)

You know what's happened, don't you? I can't find any of my projects--those UFOs that I'm really going to finish someday. Or that yarn that I brought home and am really, really going to make something out of any day now. Well, the day is here--I'm home and ready to knit. Where the heck is the yarn?

In the distance I hear a grinding noise. I'm terribly afraid it's the sound of a KitchenAid stand mixer filled with Socks That Rock yarn and with the dough hook going. Oh, no!

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