Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Contact with an Extraterriestrial

Transcript from a conversation I had while washing my hands in the bathroom (my thoughts in italics).

ET-I noticed you were using a cane so I asked HR about you. I hear you are having surgery, I hope everything goes ok

Me Oh, thank you (why didn't you just ask me)

I try to walk out the door-ahh, I'm too slow

ET I just want you to know people like you make me realize how lucky I am.

Me Huh?

ET You know, people with canes and disabilities, I had a real bad drive in to work today, and then I saw you and realized I don't have it so bad after all.

Me Oh (Ok, I know she means well so I will just react to her intent and not what she's saying and get out of here) Well, we do take things for granted

ET Yes we do, and because of you limping around with that cane, I will have a better drive in from now on. Thank you.

Me Oh no, thank YOU. Have a great day, gotta run to lunch now.......

(Oh god, is she going to hug me? You know, giving her a better drive in to work makes all this pain and limping and stuff so much more meaningful. I was quite silly to keep my foot problems to myself when so many deserving people could have benefited by my sharing with them that I am in excruciating pain much of the time, my leg is withered and atrophied and I can't walk straight on one foot. It will make THEIR day better if they only knew.)

But, after chuckling about it, I got to thinking-this person is also skinny. So would it have been rude to ask "Well, when you saw me WITHOUT the cane, weren't you grateful you didn't have a big old fat ass?"

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Raising Cane

Well, I used the cane for a day. Then I pulled my back out dragging in a freezer for the unspeakable things I feed my snakes-and the cane seemed like a bad idea. Now that I can no longer take aspirin or ibuprofen in preparation for my upcoming surgery, the cane seems like a better idea. Isn't it amazing how ones perception shifts depending on the circumstances?

I haven't given it a lot of thought, and perhaps I should have, but I really can't see a lot of Scotty related activity being harmful to my gimpy leg. It's not like I'm going to hitch myself to the trailer and walk down the street with it. Of course, I thought the same thing about dog agility and look at how I'm limping now.....ah well.

I'm over the red rubber floor too. Wheeling the actual vehicle into the driveway made me realize that color with that much punch in that little space would be less than soothing. But it was fun to think about for awhile. I'm also over the built in kennels (ala the chicken coop trailer).

But I am thinking about the poop shute. Something like one of those wire things that people let their cats walk outside in. The other alternative would be to simply get up and walk the dogs in the morning, but that would NEVER do. I could just slide them out the poop shoot, let them relieve themselves...Of course then I would have to get back up to let them back in the trailer. And, they would take issue with pooping right next to the "house", being civilized creatures they prefer going off a distance.

I guess we'll just do what we do now-when I need to go, we all get up, walk to the loo (or the backyard if you are a dog) and go. We do things in committee a lot at my house.

Monday, January 29, 2007

ANOTHER One

Ok, I got an e-mail from someone in Canada who has a mint, I mean garage kept, condition 1972 Scotty. And I want it. But that is contrary to my less is more stance.

Somehow I think that is the crux of my problem-wanting the mint condition vehicle right off the bat rather than appreciating the old crusader. I know that's the case with me and dieting. Dieting is kind of weird if you stop and think about it-because it is never enough. Oprah in her size 10 jeans, that made such a splash a few years ago, would be a before picture by today's standards. (Happy Birthday Oprah)

I am going to mangle a line from AB Fab-Edina (discussing skinny celebs) "there must be a time, about two weeks after death, when they finally achieve the figure they desire. Nothing but bones and bumps."

I've been reading/watching the YOU series and I am hooked, hook line and sinker. One, I like measuring my waist, noting that it is smaller but not really knowing how to line that progress up on a chart. So, my brain grabs the one thing it can comprehend, the waist is smaller, and it goes happily about its day. Two, I really like the autospies where they show you a healthy dead heart vs. a sick dead heart. Awesome stuff. www.realage.com Dr. Oz rocks.

So, I am grappling with the progress towards the new, healthier body type concept, but like the trailer, I really want the new shiny one that's all there, right NOW. And the truth is, if I could just go right out and BUY a new healthy body, I would, so why not get the new/old shiny trailer?

Well, err, I think it's because I am also supposed to be learning to love and nurture the old beat up body and the old beat up trailer. Hmmm, did the DEVIL send the trailer to tempt me, or was it a lesson from GOD? And what is the difference? That's a lot of heavy stuff from one e-mail from a stranger.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

STOP

I'd like to curl up and sleep for a year.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Isn't this about a Serro Scotty?

Well, yes, it is. But the Scotty is also a metaphor for many things, my life journey, returning to my roots, simplicity and just perhaps boredom and utter contempt for my self indulgent middle class lifestyle.

There it sits in the driveway, a symbol of "this is where I started my adult life" and here I sit in my living room actually living my current life.

I'm really good at starting things and sort of so so on finishing them. But progress is key. Today I bought a lock for the Scotty so that vagabonds cannot take residence. I have contemplated crocheting curtains (yes, I really can crochet) but am conflicted with the hair attraction properties of crochet items. I myself am not excessively hairy, but my dogs are quite hairy, being your typical furry dog and not a Chinese crested or subject to hypothyroidism resulting in alopecia like my mother's chihuahua, the late and much beloved, Millie.

Being able to take ALL the dogs with me was one of the appeals of the Scotty.

I had a visit with my orthopedic surgeon today and he suggested that my cane might work better if I take it out of the box and use it. So, Scotty dreams have been interrupted by my own looming physical decrepit-sy (I think I just invented a word) and my own self conscious desire to appear "normal". If I don't carry that cane, maybe no one will notice I am having trouble walking. But I want to do things differently-last time I walked and walked on my poor old foot until it was so swollen and the cartilage so bad that the doctor had trouble performing the surgery. So, on Thursday I will set forth with my cane AND I will use my cane every day until I have surgery. Hopefully there will be some foot left to operate on.

Now, I DO have a kick ass cane. It is a red birch wooden thing that is truly lovely-I just happen to not want to walk with a cane. Of course, if I refuse to use the cane I could end up not walking at all. Oi-the decisions we are faced with.

WWSD? What Would Scotty Do? Probably carve a cane out of a handy tree limb and walk through the woods with a feather in his cap. Actually, I bought a really cool walking stick in California but I gave it to my father who does not use it. See, it runs in he family.

So, the red cane is sitting in the corner and quite green with cammo curtains Scotty is sitting in the driveway and I have to fix my leg before I can take off in the Scotty (my self imposed rule). So, I will use the cane and maybe I'll get lucky and someone will really piss me off and I'll get to brandish it.

I really think I just need to go to bed now.

Those were the days

I was discussing wedding gifts with a friend, and suddenly, boom, out of the blue I remembered scraping together the 50 bucks to buy two stems of crystal for the bosses daughter (I worked at a small jewelery store at that time). I mean SCRAPE was the word for it, I made 200 a week and was single parent.

I could kick myself in the metaphorical ass for that stunt now. WHY did I do that? Why did it matter so much to me that my gift be on par with all the rich kids? And we can't demonize the hapless bride, she was surprised at the gift and in no way expected it from me-she knew how much I made.

No, it was all me, wanting to keep up with the Joneses, or in my case, the Blacks. Because, I suppose, I am clever, I always end up making my living in a world where I really don't fit in-however I CAN do the work quite well. And dang it, I LIKE to be able to pay the bills.

So, even though I get a big kick out of Aerosmith's Eat the Rich, it's us, the wanna be's who bring much of our angst on ourselves. We base our needs on what other people have rather than what we really want.

I, personally, have had a dining room table since the 80's when my daughter, in a fit of teenage anxiety wailed "We're not normal, we don't have a dining room table.....", so, I got one, a big black laquer octagon (shudder) and some black and gold laquer chairs....Chinese Food anyone?"

Many tables later I have an antique Oak dropleaf that is currently sitting out in my sunroom. I had that table for 2 years before I ever unwrapped it and I've probably sat at it 4 times...but by the GODS I have a dining room table. Truly, I spent more time recovering the seats than I have ever spent sitting on them.

To complicate things, I actually like the little table-it's well made, well behaved, I had to go buy a pick up truck in order to haul it down from Sherman, Tx. after I bought it.....we have history, that table and I. But, does it serve a functional purpose in my home? Not really. And do I sit around and thing "gee, what a nice table?"- rarely. I would be better served buying some sturdier TV trays.

And it's not a matter of "it's to nice to use" because I am really not like that. It's just not convenient and it doesn't fit in my life. But, if I get rid of it, people will know I don't have a dining room table kind of life.

And who are these "people" anyway? Sadly, in Dallas people really do sit around and discuss their furniture with co-workers, as well as their new cars, current address and how much their house has appreciated even in a lukewarm market. But is it really appropriate? I try to avoid those conversations, because I think they are in part how people end up head over heels in debt.

So, if I don't talk the talk, why do I still keep the table?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Let's do the time Warp Again

Today's blog has nothing to do with the Rocky Horror picture show other than that is the soundtrack for my day. I am having one of those generically sad moments that comes from elderly relatives, an aging body and a pile of work to do. Go figure.

So, I pull out a proven cure-my IPOD and thumb through the selections at hand. Ah, there it is, Dr. Hook's Cover of the Rolling Stone. Earphones, check. Volume, up. Breathe, deep. And for a few seconds I am 16 and with my good running buddy Patty and we are driving around in my bright orange Hondamatic smoking something that we hadn't ought to be smoking. And we are laughing because somehow we understand the song-"we keep getting richer but we CAN'T get our picture on the Cover of the Rolling Stone......" got everything we need but not what we want, but it's not sad, its funny. Ironic is what they call it. And irony is funny.

Irony can also be sad if you take it to dark place-boiling over into angst. But I think it was more than just the moment and the smoke that made it funny-I believe there is something in me that wants desperately to laugh and not to cry.

So, for a moment I played at what that 16 year old girl would say if she could see me now....and she cracked up laughing...quietly of course because my boss just walked up on me blogging when I should have been editing a attestation letter for the field. Hey, we all need to take a break from editing an attestation letter for the field-in this case its called lunch.

Anyway, NONE of us are probably where we imagined we'd be at 16. My 16 year old self couldn't imagine me being this old for one thing. What a hoot. I'm 46. And work, despite lunch time, is interfering with my reverie. Damn duty. What ever happened to good honest navel gazing?

Well, the field must have its attestation letter, mustn't it? Oooh, let's do another warp, where some VP is sitting in his office looking at the letter going "Oh hell, how did I end up having to sign THIS?" Muwahhhahhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa over and out.

Monday, January 22, 2007

My midlife crisis has been co-opted

www.smallhousesociety.org

Other's have begun to question the need for more.

A touchstone

I was quite comforted by the sight of the little Scotty sitting in the driveway this morning. It is waiting patiently for me to figure out who I am and what it is going to be. It has the zen shape of a VW Bug.

I have to re-examine some of my grandiose plans-am I trying to lay down the "shoulds" upon this poor, hapless trailer? It's not a mansion, and that's ok. This is going to be harder than I thought. Self discovery always is.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Today is the DAY

The Scotty is going to be here the Scotty is going to be here.

Gotta go get cash,,,,,,crap, there's always THAT.

BTW-I am trading Foster the Kingsnake for a Ball Python today too-I overscheduled again.

Friday, January 19, 2007

What was THAT about?

Ok, I growled about not having and office and was brought up short with surprise. The world is my office-I've traded the corner real estate for the ability to pretty much come and go as I please.....I don't WANT that. But, sometimes I still have these little vestigal greedy urges.

And then there is this huge house I pass on the way home-kind of a wrecked old estate and I think it's really the wrecked part that draws me too it, not the estate thing.

I'm slowly divesting myself of things I can live without. That sad part is, when I moved in October I bet I kept 45% of what I owned and tossed out a lot of really good stuff (to the movers). And I STILL have too much.

I'm on a a bit of a crusade you see. I helped clean out my Uncle's condo when he moved, and it held exactly 20 years of accumulation. I don't want that to be me. He suffers from Parkinsons and it's essential that his surrounding remain neat and simple. Let's just say they were not at the condo and keep it at that. Let's also just say that my house was headed for the same fate, and keep it at that.

Right now I'm fighting the internal battle of the second bedroom. I don't have that many guests, but it is nice to have a bed for them....which means I have a room that gathers STUFF. My office, remember, is the world, so I don't need a room dedicated to it-I actually carry my laptop around to whereever I want to be. But, by the time my lease is up in October, I want a better sense of what I want on a permanent basis.

The other thing that requires more space is my four chihuahuas, cat and four snakes. I don't think we'd be happy with just one room, although we pretty much all stay in the same room all the time anyway.

I think the thing is, as we go through life, we mindlessly expect more as we make more money-but do we really NEED it? Is it worth it? I just don't know, but it is a lot of fun to try to figure out.

I'm hoping the Scotty's simplicity will inspire me and remind me of a time when I literally didn't have a pot to piss in. Maybe that will clear some things up for me.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Where did I GET all that stuff?

I am getting rid of some of my extra "stuff". Some of it, well most of it, is quite nice, it just doesn't work any more. I started posting on Freecycle, and some of the responses are unbelievable.

Call me about your free couch..xxx-2222-2222

NO buddy, you tell ME why you want the couch. What ever happened to courtesy? Fortunately, someone who is well spoken always comes along and that's who gets the item. Fair? Well, what's fair. Someone who can take a few minutes to type a nice note explaining (not begging) in a nice manner why they want whatever it is, that's a person I can give something to.

Honestly, I change furniture more frequently than some people change coats. I love that skit from Ab Fab where Edina is trying to decorate and she flips through the magazine and says "I want ALL of these things-I want to BE all these people....."

I, like many people. tend to define myself with my things.....but quite often they reflect who I wish I was (expensive mountainbike) not who I am (current bike, Trek Soul Rider-a cruiser).

I can't tell you how many sets of dishes I have had-some quite nice. Right now I have a set of melmac dishes from Target, not because that's all I can afford, it's just what I wanted at the moment. I think my mother still has her set of Corelle she got when I was a little girl-wow, it's antique now!

My generation didn't have to struggle so hard to aquire things, but we have no idea what to do with them once we get them.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Dissention in Scottyland

Lots of dissention about the big Scotty Rally. I really feel for the "leader" because I remember what it was like in DORBA www.dorba.org . Nicest group of people, but sometimes we forget that volunteers are just that, volunteers with jobs and other obligations. I'm sure it will all blow over. Apparently the big National Rally originally was just a camp out someone wanted to have, and it grew beyond itself....Been there, done that too, though mostly at work.

Sometimes things just take on a life of their own, particulary with people involved.

I've been daydreaming about themes and enhancements and customizations. I love love the red carpet, err, the red rubber carpet and I got wild and though about neoprene seats but I think it would be a bad thing with the dog hair.

I think it's OK to want to make a statement about who you are. In fact, I think more people should make statements about who THEY are instead of collecting a bunch of stuff that they are supposed to have.

The Scotty is really neat because it's a decoration/arts crafts project. I don't have to know about tappet covers or pistons or a zillion other things before it's road worthy. Just tires and whether or not the roof leaks. I did order some plans though, I do like to see how things are put together. I also ordered some laminate samples for the table. And I'm trying to think of something to do with the stove space-double points if I can leave the stove in-I like the way it looks and I love the yellow color of it.

I also put bids out on some vintage tupperware. In my former Scotty days tupperware was IT-the bees knees as it were. I even have gone melmac/acrylic in my kitchen at home, but the Scotty wants tupperware, and it shall have it.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Rubber Room



Ok-I am trying to get some of this for the Scotty from a local guy-wouldn't that rock for the floor? I'd actually like to do my sunroom in that, but my landlady would probably have a coronary.

If I end up with red floors, I will probably have to paint the green outside. I'm ambivalent about the green right now. I really wanted turquoise.

I decided last night to go custom and to heck with restore. I've always wanted a custom something, camaro, van, whatever. Well, here's my chance. I'm going for it.

Goin to Graceland.....err, Scottyland

So the fellow that dreamed up these little Scotty trailers was quite the visionary. He even built a trailer park as a destination spot for Scotty 0wners-aka Scottyland. www.scottylandrvresort.com

And, unlike the factory, Scottyland still exists. There is an annual gathering in August. My midlife crisis now has a pilgrimage and a destination. We are going to Scottyland. Not everyone gets to climb Mt. Everest or swim with the Great White Shark-although don't count me out of the last one just yet.

My life lately has been odd. I sent a series of e-mails to Sue last summer entitled "Greetings from the Rabbit Hole" and that was a pretty accurate statement. To summarize a long and complicated story-I was suddenly pulled back from an aimless if not carefree existence into the realm of family and responsibility (only without the small children). And it's been a good thing for me, I'm not complaining. But suddenly I am cooking pot roasts for relatives and having Christmas at my house and for me, that's a big change.

Jay watched the girls and Sue and I flew to California in October to pick up a car and drive it back to Texas. As a child I made that drive yearly, but as an adult I tend to just fly everywhere. I loved it. I loved the little Italian place in Tehachapi with live Saturday night entertainment. I loved Albuquerque and I loved the strange little roadside store built to resemble a meteor. We detoured slightly (a l0t) and went to Monterrey and drove down to big Sur. (AND I got to SEE the GREAT WHITE SHARK). I loved all that. I am ready for more.

Of course, the Scotty must be made ready and I hereby vow not to make any trips until I am healed enough to walk without....ewww, that's a tough one. Because it's actually EASIER to walk in the orthopedic boot than it is to walk once it's taken off. OK, any trips towing the Scotty until I am able to walk pretty well in the orthopedic boot. OH OH, I have a better one-any trips towing the Scotty until I am able to practice hooking, unhooking and parking. THERE. Why not let skill rather than physicality dictate?

The great gathering at Scottyland isn't until August-I calculate full use of all my limbs no later than May-plenty of time for some practice runs before hitting the road for real.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Even BETTER and SAFER

I need a ball mount and a ball, and apparently there are plethora of them available.
For $75 the soon to be former owner will deliver the trailer, and I'm going for it! Sometimes it's better to pay someone to do it than to do it yourself.

I WANT this Scotty (and more importantly I want to buy one when it's cold and the prices are a bit lower) but tomorrow I take Greta to the orthopedic surgeon to learn the fate of her leg and on February 9th I am having my own ankle rebuilt. In between now and then I am coordinating Greta's surgery, moving some of my furniture to the old folk's home (where Greta and I will be staying while we recover). www.poidogz.blogspot.com

Now here is an interesting dilemma. Stay with me now-it's about to get a little rough. I haven't told my parents about the Scotty because they are so concerned about the surgery-but my mom is a great seamstress. If I go ahead and fess up, I can tap into that by getting her to work on the curtains (and maybe the cushions) when I take the two little spotted dogs up for dogsitting.

But, she's already a bit worried about the surgery, and even more worried about me checking into the old folks home with a three legged dog that I just picked up a couple of weeks ago. Now don't YOU worry-the "old folks home" sits right on my favorite in town lake (Whiterock Lake) and it's where my Uncle John lives-if it's good enough for Uncle John it's good enough for me and Greta.

The current plan is to stay there until I am steady on crutches/wheelchair and then go home and finish recovering and thus avoid being "taken care of". It' s not just a matter of independence, it's a matter of practicality-if someone is in my house "taking care of me" I will have to play hostess/visit and I need to work as much as possible in order to pay for all these things.

So now, in order to be most efficient with time, I need to unveil the Scotty *before* the surgery as opposed to dealing with it the next time my parents came to visit. As a matter of timing, it probably wouldn't be that long *after* the surgery anyway. But I just got a well meaning lecture about taking on too much, although frankly, the Scotty is a lot less of a chore/expense than the chihuahua (s).

Now mind you, I AM and adult and I don't need to justify purchasing one small trailer-but I must be sensitive to the worries and concerns of my elders. Oh well, I have a couple of weeks before the doggy-drop, so I can probably come up with something diplomatic and benign and completely stress free to tell them.

It was much easier the first go round, I just packed my clothes and left. Things get complicated as you get older, don't they?

Better Safe than Sorry

I found out that my trailer liability is covered by my truck insurance, and that the trailer is not worth insuring on it's own for damage. But, just to be sure, I upped my liability limits-that doesn't apply to when I'm pulling the trailer, but I had already planned on paying a little more for insurance. Seems like a good use of a few bucks.

I've printed out a Texas from for Bill of Sale and something called a Travel Trailer or Park Model verification. Apparently things that are towed aren't really subject to a lot of regulations. I like this.

FOUND


I have my Scotty. It isn't identical to my first one. This one is a 72-73 model, and I believe that my first one was actually a bit older than I am. But the price was right. There is the inevitable water damage, but someone has actually been using the trailer so there won't be the mouse damage, etc. and we know it can be towed.

So, my first task is to go buy a trailer hitch and hopefully figure out how to actually tow the trailer home. I've never pulled a trailer before, at least not a travel trailer. I imagine backing it into the driveway is going to be a real treat for the neighbors. I'll need some tarp, some cinder blocks....this is so cool.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

In the beginnng

I have the rare opportunity to chronicle a midlife crisis from inception. I label it midlife only because I happen to be in midlife-I'm 46. Maybe a little beyond the median actually-but let's not split hairs.

The other day, burdened with the weight of the world, various recent events and some upcoming surgery looming, I suddenly thought of my first home as an "adult". My Serro Scotty trailer. To be precise, I was thinking of running away from it all, how bogged down we all are with THINGS, how nice it would be to run away in style, the price of an airstream...THEN I thought of my first adult home-A Serro Scotty trailer.

Suddenly, nothing else would do. I began a feverish net search, found other enthusiasts, joined the yahoo list and began my search.

Now here's where the midlife part comes in. I am not willing to chuck it all (because, it "all" is a little bit more valuable that it "all" was at 18) but I do want to explore the whole simplicity, less stuff, thing. And the Scotty will be the flagship of the fleet. Hmmmm, fleet evokes images of aquiring....not in keeping with simplicity.

COULD I pare my life down to fit into a 12 foot trailer and still keep my job? Well, the job part is really only dependant on having clean clothes-if I were living in a 12 foot trailer I'd just have my laundry done for me. But, if I am tethered to a job, I am also tethered to several small furry and scaley animals, as well as a few nice old people who I cherish.

Then the benefit of midlife hit me-I don't HAVE to choose. I can have a comfie bed and a backyard for the doglets, AND my own washer and dryer AND...the Scotty too. And I can experiment with both sides of life-the nomad and the settled and see which one suits me.

I've always been precocious. I had the little red sportscar (remember the Fiat X1-9) at 17, and a child shortly thereafter (resulting in the sale of the sportscar). Now that both are gone, I'm ready to play and lo and behold, all my friends are having BABIES. By the way, I've always worked and paid for all my own STUFF, no silver spoons for this gal.

The Scotty project is suitable for family fare, so it is something I can pursue parallel to my buds and their babies. My friends Jay and Sue are always supportive of my passions, but Jay is not likely to agree to watch the kids while Sue and I go dive with the Great White Shark....one of MY dreams. With kids in the equation for them, and old folks in my personal equation, I really can't zoom around willy nilly. Yet, I find myself looking for a great adventure.

Like Lucy Jordan, I realize I'll never ride through Paris, in a sports car, with the warm wind in my hair.....Actually, Jay and Sue and I once road through Paris (TX) in an S-10 Blazer with the warm wind in our hair....(the A/C died on Bess during a camping trip).

The "new Bess" sits out in the driveway. (All SUV's are named Bess). And, in a miracle of miracles, she CAME equipped with a trailer hitch, something I have always wanted but never had. And yes, I have a driveway, something I haven't always had. It is just waiting to become a Scotty launchpad.

So, all the basics are there. Just gotta get the Scotty. And there IS that bit about surgery next month, involving cast and 8 weeks on crutches/wheelchair. But I think the Scotty is going to be my "something to look forward to". Formerly that was occupied by trips to Mexico, however 1. Those have become neccesities and 2. they are harder to work into my schedule.

There is a potential candidate in Fort Worth-it has been used on a deer lease so I am prepared for the "green" to be that that most often resembles what appears in diapers. There are a couple of others on the horizon as well, I just have to sit patiently and wait for my Scotty to appear.