Posts filed under 'Vermont'

The Luckiest

For the most part, I think Adam and I are pretty well matched. He’s an incredible husband and I, for the most part, am a decent wife and generally think we deserve each other. Yay, us!

Unless, of course, you’re talking about this pregnancy, in which case I downright PITY HIM, because my God, the amount of pain and misery he’s endured is at times equal to that of refugees in war-ravaged countries. Crazymaking in the form of endless circular arguments! Unchecked anxiety about things that are entirely unrealistic and, at times, COMPLETELY IMPOSSIBLE! Excessive toilet paper usage! Non-stop complaining! Moodiness! THE LIST GOES ON AND ON.

And then there’s last night, in which I woke him from a dead medicated sleep to let him know that our condo was surrounded by gunmen and we were UNDER ATTACK. LIKE MUMBAI. Yeah, I’m not even kidding or exaggerating there, as he (or any of his coworkers who spent the day laughing about it) will tell you.

I had JUST fallen asleep, when I awoke to the sounds of … well, gunmen, I’m sorry, it sounded like GUNMEN. And they were EVERYWHERE. Banging on the back door! Rappelling down the building like a SWAT team! I swear, I even heard them at the front door, which is INSIDE the building, and in my mind, meant they had infiltrated beyond the locked entryway. I made the executive decision not to leave the bedroom, where at least the shades were drawn, because if I went out into the rest of the house, they would see me. AND KILL ME.

I … I got down on the floor and did that military crawl thing for a second, which is no small feat while sporting a large bump. This did not last long, however, but I was seriously SO UPSET and also, it would seem, half asleep and pregnant and uh, not rational. But whatever!

I’d like to interject here to say that once again, I am not exaggerating. I waffled on whether to call 911 or wake Adam and in that moment, I remember thinking quite distinctly, “Now is the time to call 911,” but for some reason, I opted to wake Adam first. Which, um, THANK GOD.

Waking him, however, was no easy task, mind you, as he was heavily medicated from pain meds as he awaits oral surgery, and I had to grab both of his knees and bang them together like those knocker ball thingies. When he finally awoke, I said something like, “PEOPLE OUTSIDE. EVERYWHERE,” followed by, “GET THE KNIFE,” which was in reference to this giant military-grade Man Knife I got him for his birthday last year, at the recommendation of Sundry‘s husband, JB. I … I didn’t mention other weapons, including the axe I mysteriously got him at the same time, and I don’t know why. Also, let us remember that if there is an entire terrorist MILITIA outside, not even the manliest of man knives can hold a candle to, say, an AK-47. It was suicide no matter what.

I believe it was somewhere in the range of FIVE SECONDS after becoming coherent that Adam realized that the sound of militants was actually a) high winds, which the helpful newspeople warned us about; and b) the sound of large swaths of ice sliding off the roof as temperatures climbed into the 40s. Of course, he barely realized this over the sound of me whisper-screaming to get his PANTS ON FASTER AND FOR THE LOVE OF GOD GRAB THE KNIFE, PEOPLE ARE HERE. He did both, at my screeching behest, but again, all in vain.

This makes a lot more sense than a group of terrorists taking over a tiny building in one of America’s tiniest towns IN RURAL VERMONT where the ROI would be … I don’t know, a random dude, a pregnant lady and a pug. Not exactly large-scale collateral damage.

And with that, my gratitude for the day is that I did not, indeed, call 911 before waking my husband, as I was THISCLOSE to doing, because again, I REALLY BELIEVED WE WERE UNDER SIEGE. Actually, today in general was one of gratitude, mostly for things that seem small, but were actually HUGE GIGUNDO STRESSORS, and frankly, with all the general ankle-grabbing going on in the world, I am taking happy news wherever I can find it. Which, in this case, turns out to be the following:

– I do not owe a cent in mileage overages when I turn in my vehicle, because Honda failed to take into account TWO WHOLE YEARS of my lease, meaning I have MILES TO SPARE. (See also: NEVER LEASING A CAR AGAIN, DO NOT GET ME STARTED.) (It was an unavoidable situation oh those many years ago, however. Long story.) Savings: $4000. No SERIOUSLY.

– The “dripping sound” my tenants were hearing in the pipes when they take a shower appears to be the noise of the PVC pipes expanding and contracting as hot water rushes through them. In other words, that’s how the plumbing WORKS. I may need a whole new shower, but I do not need to rip out the ceiling of the entire house! Hallelujah! Savings: THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS.

– The whiny neighbor who complained about my tenants’ dog(s) let me know that while yes, one of them is quite large and menacing-looking, it turns out that she is a) geriatric, which we knew, ergo we allowed her in our home in the first place (she’s ELEVEN, and her SKIN IS FALLING OFF OF HER); and b) extremely well-behaved, which we also knew, and wow, does she love our tenants! Such nice people! Hooray! Savings: MANY MONTHS OF EMOTIONAL TURMOIL.

– And finally, there was no terrorist regime taking my building hostage last night. Savings: OUR LIVES. Or at the very least, OUR LIMBS, as Adam didn’t have to cut anything off waving that thing around before he realized NO ONE WAS THERE. BECAUSE HE IS SMARTER THAN ME AT NIGHT.

You may think I’m kidding, but dude, this was one of the best days I’ve had in months. I am very, very grateful for these things. Seriously.

Happy Tuesday!

*Ben Folds. Seriously, this is how happy I am, that I am willing to use the sappiest of the sappy songs. It borders on TWEE, for God’s sake. TWEE.

32 comments December 15th, 2008

Move Away

Contributing, I believe, to the general crabbiness around here — crabbiness that even I will admit has reached HILARIOUS levels, as I swear to God, sometimes I stop being pissy to just laugh at what a Crabby McCrabpants I’m being — is a head cold. A relatively minor head cold by non-pregnant standards, but I never realized what sweet relief it was to be able to pop some Dayquil and carry on with life as though nothing had happened. Sure, you might have medicine head, but it beats the pants off of dealing with unmitigated green snot and, your friend and mine, The Herp Lip.

Ah, Herp Lip. How nice of you not to forget about me during pregnancy. It’s a pleasure to be able to play host to not one, but TWO parasitic entities, one lovable, one … not.

Tomorrow, by the way, I’m taking the day off from all work-related responsibilities to attend an OB appointment, wherein I sincerely hope they can find this kid’s heartbeat, because I’m reading all about how I should be feeling kicks and whatnot down there and I DO NOT FEEL A BLESSED THING EXCEPT THE URGE TO PEE AND MAYBE THROW UP. I will also be looking at houses — five, to be specific — and am both dreading and looking forward to it.

I know this is irrational, but there’s something about renting at this stage of life that makes me feel wholly inadequate, like I’ve FAILED somewhere. This is made all the more ridiculous by the fact that a) I am a home owner, just not where I live, thanks to the wonders of the economy (with strong fundamentals!) and a pillow-soft housing market; b) Even if I WANTED to buy a second home, I wouldn’t buy one in Vermont, because while we like it here, this is not a permanent solution, so I’d be renting regardless; and c) at least the home I own is rented to someone and not in foreclosure like so many others, my God, Jonna, SHUT UP.

Anyway, in many ways, renting should make me feel like a colossal success, because I’ve been amazed at the amount of people drooling over us, simply by the fact that we’re two clean-cut, professional people with good jobs who can not only afford the rent (a novel concept), but don’t plan on throwing parties with elephants and camels on the weekends. Now, I would have assumed in this bleak housing economy where no one is buying anything that there are many people like us, but apparently I was wrong, for when I hung up with a prospective landlord this evening, the desperation of his “I SINCERELY HOPE YOU LIKE THE HOUSE” was nearly palpable, and it’s been much the same with as many others.

So we’ll, uh, see. Sunny is causing a small kink in our plans, as though we are drool-worthy tenants, we do come with an mini-beast who really does drool and occasionally sheds.

And now! Onto my latest pregnancy obsession: soup. I know! How BORING. Pie and apples have hit the road, my friends. They were wonderful while they lasted, but all good things must come to an end. And seeing as I already have the recipes for my other obsession (BROWNIES) thanks to Swistle, I find that soups and stews really are the next frontier in pregnancy foods, along with English muffins. Something about the nooks and crannies.

The problems with commercial soups are several-fold, and include: a) the meat in them is so gross even to a non-pregnant me, but add a total intolerance for anything gristly (HALP) or off-color (HOLD ME) and we have the Return of the Vomit Monster; and b) the only commercial soups that have any complexity at all and/or lack the Icky Meat factor are tomato broth-based, which OH MY GOD, NO NO. THE HEARTBURN. NO.

My favorite lately came from TwoBusy around this time last year — no, wait, oh my God, it was TWO WHOLE YEARS AGO — and I would be remiss in not paying it forward. I finished up the last in the freezer today and plan to make more tomorrow. (By the way, I usually freeze it, so I don’t use the pasta.) (Also, I know it’s got tomatoes, but there is a difference between tomato PUREE and chunks of tomatoes, you know? Or maybe you don’t.)

This is a long way of saying I welcome soup recipes that do not involve sauteed onions and peppers (GAH GAH GAH).

Happy Thursday! Wish me luck in my long, dark Day of Househunting and OB-GYNing.

*The Killers, who I love so very much still. Especially Brandon Flowers, who is rather tasty, despite the eyeliner and odd behavior.

30 comments September 24th, 2008

She Drives Me Crazy

First, I have to tell you all that I received a care package today from Swistle and it involved TWO KINDS OF BROWNIES. I know we’ve all read her recipes on occasion and thought, gee, that sounds good! I should try that sometime! But I have to tell you, you would be horribly mistaken if you didn’t make “sometime” turn into “this weekend.” They might be the best brownies I’ve ever tasted. Ever. In my life, and that’s not an exaggeration. They’re dense and fudgy and chewy without being TOO dense and chewy, and they’re just the right amount of sweet and chocolatey, and if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to get another one right this minute. Also included? Ginger snaps. These ginger snaps, and they’re even better than she says they are and I DO NOT EVEN USUALLY LIKE GINGER SNAPS. My beef with them is that they’re usually too gingery and a little too crispy/snappy, but these are PERFECT. LIKE, NO KIDDING.

Things around here are … a little nuts. In the last 24 hours, I’ve put together three new freelance proposals, two of which at the ball-ass last minute; uncovered a horrendously unethical scheme by the person who is buying our house and the Realtor selling our house designed to manipulate us into staying here until June, but only under certain, hilariously inconvenient and unethical circumstances; looked at three houses, none of which I liked; called on approximately 9,879,600 houses, flagged 1,098 inappropriate posts on Craigslist and yelled at the aforementioned Realtor who tried to have an electrician come to my home at 7 a.m. that I would, in fact, not hesitate to call the police if I saw their truck here before 9 a.m. and if she thought I was kidding that perhaps she should go ahead and try. I also think I used the words “over my limp, dead, pregnant body, no SERIOUSLY.”

Before I go on to state my next point which is, not surprisingly, that pregnancy makes you crazy, I will say that in this particular case I believe pregnancy insanity has worked in my favor. That is, I am more assertive than I would normally be (because really, 7 a.m. for a non-emergency electrician visit that has even NOTHING TO DO WITH ME is totally unreasonable), and paranoia, in this case, has led me to figure out that in at least one instance, people really were plotting to fuck me over in grand fashion.

However, this does not account for the level of crazy that takes over your body and mind in pregnancy that really, I don’t feel that anyone adequately warned me about. I knew enough about morning sickness to know that it can happen the way it’s happening to me (and who hasn’t read Jessica’s ordeal?), and all the body/boob changes haven’t really fazed me.

However, NO ONE prepared me for the insanity that are pregnancy hormones. Hormones that made me cry HYSTERICALLY for several hours (SEVERAL HOURS) because I’m afraid I’ll have to spend the rest of my family vacations at Disney World (uh, I won’t); hormones that made me absolutely lose my shit on poor Adam because he HAD to stop playing XBox THAT VERY MINUTE or the world would completely end and OH MY GOD WHY ARE YOU STILL PLAYING? IT IS BECAUSE YOU HATE ME, DON’T YOU? Seriously, I harped on him for a good 20 minutes, with no discernible logic or reasoning — I didn’t want to watch TV, it wasn’t too late at night and I WAS NOT EVEN IN THE ROOM. It simply HAD TO BE DONE OR ELSE.

I can’t even go into the number of times I’ve snapped on him for some invisible transgression and at one point earlier in the day, I threatened to leave the ENTIRE STATE OF VERMONT because I didn’t want to be in the same state as someone I so vehemently dislike (the effing Realtor). I was, sadly, entirely serious, and spent a good 20 minutes plotting (WITH GOOGLE MAPS) how Adam could commute two hours to and from work from our cabin in the Adirondacks, because GOOD GODDAMN, I am NOT living in the same state as that fire-breathing ASS OF A WOMAN, DO YOU HEAR ME? VERMONT IS DEAD TO ME.

I know this all sounds so clearly insane, but at the time, I could not be stopped under any circumstances. And what’s worse, I can’t promise I won’t revisit each and every one of these issues again before this pregnancy is out.

Anyway! Let us end this ranty moment of insanity with an odd moment of zen thanks to Vermont’s quirky apartment and housing listings from various sources, shall we? Perhaps these tidbits will give you a little insight into why I AM SO INSANELY INSANE AND CRAZY.

— 7 room house with 3 bedrooms and 1 1/2 baths available for someone willing to milk in exchange for the rent. Yes, that would be MILKING THE COWS. They need about 30 milkings a month to cover the rent, and while they would prefer an “experienced milker” they’re not afraid to train.

— If milking isn’t your thing, perhaps you’d like to take a peek at this little “fixer upper” that has had a “run of bad luck” (photo of dilapidated house with crazily crooked, not-intentionally detached porch and sloping roof included for detail) for $350/month. There isn’t any heat, per se, but a “stack of wood out back, if burned correctly, can heat a family of two for quite some time. Let us know soon!”

Seriously. I did not make up a single word of either of those listings. Lake George and a two-hour commute don’t seem that bad now, do they?

Edited to add in this delightful little postscript: Remember when I had a dream that my cream cheese was made with breast milk? No? Anyone? Well, if PETA has it their way, Ben & Jerry’s will be made with breast milk. To which I say heartily: Uh, NO? How about a HELL NO? How about a “No way, no how, no McCain, no Palin, no BREAST MILK in my ice cream?” Again, I’m all “Yay, breastfeeding!” but my God, I don’t want to CONSUME IT MYSELF.

Happy Wednesday!

*Fine Young Cannibals. I … I love them still. Because I’m stuck in 1989.

25 comments September 23rd, 2008

Must I Paint You a Picture?

Oh I love your wedding stories, and admittedly, was full of envy at some of them (Jenny, you were right! That IS my perfect wedding!), but I mean that in the most loving way possible.

I don’t mean to linger on this topic, but there was something about this weekend’s affair I wanted to mention. What are your feelings on cake smooshing? Adam and I didn’t cut the cake in front of people, mostly because I don’t get why cutting a cake is a spectator sport, and we fed each other pieces (again, why? WHY?), but there was no smooshing. NO SMOOSHING. However, there was smooshing at the wedding this weekend, and through some strange stroke of misfortune, the groom accidentally toppled the bride over with the act of smooshing. She hit the floor, taking an entire tray of plates with her, shutting down the dance floor for a full fifteen minutes while throngs of vested employees ran to clean up the floor. She was fine, but her parents were so upset that my nephew (the groom) had to apologize to them, and oh dear, it was an accident, but still. SHE FELL OVER, INTO A PILE OF CAKE AND PLATES.

In awkward transitions, I am the world’s worst grocery shopper. I can NEVER, not once, get everything I need in one trip. NEVER. It’s like I’m incapable of making a list that encompasses everything we need before I leave, and end up wandering aimlessly until I EXIT THE STORE and realize I forgot something pivotal, like chicken or toilet paper (we were thisclose to using napkins. THISCLOSE, PEOPLE) As a result of my incompetence, I went to three separate grocery stores today, and still didn’t get everything I needed. I think I need efficiency training.

And now onto the garden. I’m afraid I have a snake problem, which is hindering my ability to weed or spend any time out there at all. SNAKES. SNAAAAKES. Garter snakes, but still, they’re in there, lurking beneath the bolted lettuce plants and hiding among the beets, and every time I see a little slithering tail, I run away, and the weeds live another day.

Also, I may take photos tomorrow, but I have more than two hundred tomatoes from the thirteen plants that are out there thriving right now and … well, those are the only ones I could COUNT. TWO HUNDRED GREEN TOMATOES ON THE VINE. AND TWELVE CUCUMBERS WITH AT LEAST TWENTY MORE FLOWERS. Someone told me that August is the month that you lock your car doors, lest you come out of the video store to find a pile of unwanted zucchini in your back seat. I never once considered that I’d be the one making stealthy deposits of tomatoes. Next up: Jonna’s Roadside Organic Produce, coming to a rural highway near you.

Happy Tuesday!

*Billy Bragg

47 comments July 21st, 2008

Everyday is Like Sunday

I genuinely fear for the future of our collective food supply should I ever become pregnant (which, if recent developments are any indication, will be approximately the twelfth day of never), because my pre-menstrual self sure knows how to pack it away. It’s not that I’m all that hungry, necessarily, it’s that I’m searching desperately for the RIGHT thing, and nothing quite meets my mind’s expectations. Ergo, instead of merely accepting that I am full from a less-than-perfect meal or snack, I somehow feel that I am entitled to perfection, which may or may not include a bowl of cereal (nope, that’s not it) and half of a chocolate Easter bunny. A HOLLOW Easter bunny, which infuriated me at the time, and left me digging around our cabinets for something else more satisfactory. Something with some HEFT. Like, perhaps, my thighs.

In other news, it’s rained every. single. day. for more than a week — not the whole day, mind you, but right in the middle part, when you’re trying to figure out if you can go to the lake and read books between dips and grahmothereffingGRAH we didn’t make it there this weekend. Which is a shame, given that it looks like this, even on a rainy day, yes?

I'd like to be here.
Oh sure. My house is a totally comparable substitute. TOTALLY.

We did an ungodly amount of lounging and movie-watching, since it was thunderstorming most of the outdoor-able times. This was just as well, given that Adam bought a television that is approximately the size of a football stadium — it was the TV he’d been coveting, on sale for a ridiculously low price, albeit in a size that is, well, a little embarrassing. I honestly tried to take photos to demonstrate its hugeness, with Diet Coke cans for scale and everything, but it just wasn’t translating, although I did get some nice shots of Amy Poehler as Hillary Clinton. Which, you know, will be a nice keepsake for her someday.

Because of space issues downstairs, the TV ended up in our bedroom, and my God. it’s as though we’re in the front row of a movie theater. A FEEL-AROUND movie theater, with my neck craned up and the surround sound on eleven. I came out of the shower in hysterics, because look! BRIAN WILLIAMS IS IN OUR BEDROOM WITH A VERY LARGE HEAD. I’d prefer him naked and in the flesh, but this was the next best thing, I suppose. And while I like Tom Brokaw — except for the fact that it feels like he’s FORCING! EVERY! WORD! OUT! OF! HIS! MOUTH! WITH! GREAT! EFFORT! — the smallest of consolations for Tim Russert’s death would have been that Brian Williams did the broadcast shirtless.

And in other photographic news, Sunny would like the world to know that she has an extraordinarily difficult life and has been tricked into a life of never-ending lounging, sleeping and enforced relaxation:

Refugee pug
My life blows.

Not that I frequented the theater that often anyway, but living in a town where there … well, there is a theater, but it runs ONE MOVIE AT A TIME, and it’s usually not first-run, our lives revolve around rentals, Showtime and HBO. Consequently, this weekend’s movies included Eastern Promises, which I made it through approximately three seconds of — despite the promise of Viggo naked — due to an unfortunately graphic throat-slitting two minutes in. This led to The Golden Compass (Shut up. Have thing for kid’s fantasy books and movies), which lead to Ocean’s Thirteen and can we say DUD DUD DUD and that this is all because my tiny-ass town didn’t have Dexter season one on DVD anywhere?

And with that, we’re going to abandon this bundle of an exciting recap because an ominous sounding text-to-speech automaton informed us via the teevee that penny-sized hail and cloud-to-ground lightning is headed our way. And for added measure, he reminded us that lightning is one of nature’s biggest killers. Yes, that’s what he said, just like that. NATURE’S BIGGEST KILLERS. And besides, Cold Case is on, and it’s time to analyze Lily Rush’s hair.

It’s a thrill a minute around here.

Happy Monday!

*Morrissey. Also, this bothers me, because grammatically it should be “every day” — two words, not one — unless it’s an adjective, which it isn’t. And yet I think he says everyday. I don’t have the album jacket or physical CD anymore, so I can’t tell you for sure. And iTunes isn’t usually RIGHT about these things.

29 comments June 22nd, 2008

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