Home again

There was a good chunk of time when I felt like an intruder in my own home. There were caregivers living in my house who were less than happy with me. My husband wasn't speaking to me. I felt pretty out of control of my situation. 

I wanted desperately to retreat from the house to anywhere else. I also had Ian to consider. It meant spending time at the house until Ian went to sleep and then running away until late that night or the next morning before dawn. It was toxic in the house, and not just because of all the bowel fluid. There was a dark cloud hanging over the property, as far as I was concerned. 

And then Rich died. And the caregivers left. And we got past the funeral and the drama of my scandalous actions the last two years. And the world continued to turn on its axis and birds built nests and flowers bloomed. 

I had my lawn mowed, trimmed, and edged by Lil Don and his uncle. They hacked away all the bamboo that had taken over the last 10 feet of my property. My azaleas are now lower than the front windows. 

I brought Lil Don and his uncle back last week to pressure wash the house and garage. My buildings are white again! I opened the pool and the water is actually clear. It's completely clean and running great. Children laugh and splash for hours while I nap in the hammock. I ordered a retractable awning for the back deck so I can chill out there without bursting into flames. 

I put new artwork up in the living room. I ordered three canvases to put up in my bedroom. I open the windows every morning to let sunlight into the whole house. I have called for bulk pick ups almost every week to take away moldy hockey gear, piles of junk from the garage, and the broken bits of the trampoline net. I threw away countless numbers of DVDs and books.

I sold a pavilion. I will soon get my other pavilion back home. (Many thanks to Rob for storing it for like 700 days.) I gave away three of the four camp beds. (Why did we have four camp beds?!) I hacked up the recliner in the back yard. I threw away lovely handmade gifts from hateful people. I did save all the sappy love letters from Beatrice, though, because they're an amazing and amusing testament to crazy.

I put all my motorcycle equipment in the cubbies that once held medical supplies. I have a ridiculous set of cat stairs for Kitterson to get into my bed and it delights me to see her use them every night before she curls up with me. I gave away the coffee machine and replaced it with a burr grinder and French press for my Death Wish coffee. The second fridge is full of organic veggies from my CSA instead of bags of TPN. 

I walk around my house in little to no clothes because there are no guests sleeping on my couch. I listen to music in the kitchen every day. 

I've made appointments with my witch doctor, my therapist, my hair dresser, my photographer, my endocrinologist, my massage therapist, and my trigger release therapist and they're all helping me get back to me. I had the opportunity to go out of town this weekend and chose to stay home simply because it's so nice here. 

I am home.

Hammock time

Hammock time

Call George!

Who's ready for a post that's not about cancer? So there I was, finishing Rich's dressing change (we can only get but so far away from cancer topics), when there was a panicked knocking at our front door. Our new neighbor Rachel was in her PJs yelling, "The dog's stuck in the fence and he bit me!"

I yell back to Rich (who is pantsless but with his wound covered at least) that I'll be right back and go running out the door. I thought their dog was a girl but she said "he" so I was confused.

Neighbor's dog inverted

When I come around the corner of her house, it was her next door neighbor's akita stuck in the chain link fence. She had tried to lift him but he was terrified so he'd nipped at her. Thankfully, it didn't break the skin, though she will have a huge "domestic abuse" bruise on her jaw that will be awesome to explain at work.

I ran back to our house to get towels and my phone. Rachel called animal control and I called my dad.

Whenever my parents' next door neighbor would have issues, they would call my dad for help. She was in her late 70s with young grandkids so there were always issues. It got to the point that when something went wrong (like when one of the kids locked herself in the bathroom), the youngest would yell, "Call George!"

I called the house number but no one answered. I called his cell phone but it rang and rang. That's strange because it's always on his belt and he always answers it. Eventually my mother answered it. I blurted out, "I need Daddy immediately!"

I heard my father on the other phone line say, "I gotta go." and they just hung up on me. Dad came racing down the street in his 1985 (actually, 1984 maybe?) Vanagon which is like a toolbox on wheels. I ran over to tell him it was the neighbor and not Rich that needed help. He went back to his van for nippers, jumped the fence and clipped it to free the dog. I threw my arms in the air and shouted, "Hooray Daddy!"

We got the dog fresh food and water and set him up in his laundry room out of the storm. Animal control came about 15 minutes later and assessed that he could walk fine. They'll leave a note for the owner and I left one as well. But he was smiling and wagging his tail when we left.

I thought working from home would be more relaxing.

Letting the sun shine in

Dad said he was going to come by yesterday evening and trim a few limbs off the tree in the back so the garden got more sun. When we left for dinner, he was on a step ladder with a set of loppers. When we came home he was on an extension ladder with an electric saw.

Daddy taking down limbs

Those few limbs were about as much as a medium sized tree all over our yard.

Trimming a few limbs

We went from bundling a few limbs to him calling for a special trash pick up this week. But those last two tomato plants (two of 24, remember) will get more sun this summer.