Saturday, January 22, 2011

What's new at Azooza Zoo? or, Stuff an' Nonsense

I need to start taking new pictures of life in the All-New, All-Different DuckHaus. I was looking for a shot of the quats, but all I have were taken in the old place, and looking at those pictures makes me sick.

Strange things are happening in the new house. For instance, Patches and Honey are co-existing. Honey used to be very territorial, and would chase others (especially Patches) out of her upstairs domain with the forcefulness of an angry cop. She's not doing that anymore. Patches even slept on our bed with us all last night, and Honey didn't trouble herself over it at all.

Whitey has found the studio bedroom, and goes in there at night by himself to sleep happily on the comforter. Pandy Bear likes it, too, but he prefers the sofa in front of the gas fire. Pooky will sit anywhere that's soft. She's not going upstairs as much, and I'm just as happy with that, although I still cover my bed with newspapers every day, just in case.

I still have no telephone or internet service. The third deadline came and passed yesterday with no change. When I tried to call Fairpoint from work today, I jumped through all the hurdles they put you through and finally got the message that the office was closed. I went to their website and found a way to contact them by email. I did not hold back in my wording. I tore them a new one. I'll follow up with a call on Monday. Fairpoint is very much living up to their reputation. Their confirmation email arrived with a list of "helpful" links at the bottom. When I clicked on a link I was taken to a webpage that had nothing to do with the subject I'd selected.

Unpacking is proving troublesome. Nothing that comes out of a box that I packed in one room of the old house is actually going into a corresponding room in the new one. For every single thing I unpack, I have to stop and think about where I want it to go. Even the books: it suddenly dawned on me that there was no reason at all why all of "my" books had to go upstairs, in and around "my" room. I could put some in the dining room if I wanted. I could put them anywhere. It's all my room. So now, every single book has a decision attached to it. Which shelf, in which room, does it belong on? Is this book good enough for the dining room? Is that one good enough for what I'm calling the Library, where I am keeping all the vintage Oz books and the Poppy Otts? This is a reference book -- all reference books are now going in the study, except for my mother's books on art, antiques and collectibles, which are going in the library. All scary books are now going in the Halloween room. Children's books -- where in hell do I put them? Probably the studio.

I get long, rambling emails from my father containing paragraphs like this one:

"I really am sorry to give you this long lecture, probably for the eighth time, but Claudia has me very worried; I do not think she can be trusted; I think she can become irrational, and all that just makes my heart break and weep, but has to be faced as a possibility. In a nice way I have said much of this to J____, but she is so close to her Brother that she cannot conceive how virtually all of your Mom's estate could be eaten up (Claudia's lawyers taking the case on spec, ie fee to be paid by estate) once things really blow up. YOU MUST BE VERY CAREFUL AND NOT LEAVE ONE CRACK FOR "THEM" TO EXPLOIT. These are the real vampires of our age. They will start by asking for an accounting and will get a court order if it is not forthcoming, or that accounting is not creditable on its face. To the extent they have to use time or money to get that accounting, their fees for doing so will be paid by the estate. NOW are you starting to understand? I considered making J____ a copy of this e-mail, but decided that you should decide the extent you want me involved with her."

I got this (and two even longer, more rambling paragraphs) in response to the question "should I keep the family silver? Is it an heirloom? I don't really need it for myself." I also don't need the answer that I got!

He wrote, in a separate email:

"I used to read cases involving family estate disputes; so glad I am not Executor because Claudia would be ready to eliminate me."

 Talk like that does not help me!

Yesterday's storm left eight or nine inches of fresh snow on the ground. It's beginning to pile up. My plow guy hadn't come yesterday afternoon when I got home from work; the only reason I made it up the driveway was because it was such light and fluffy stuff.

I shoveled off the front and back steps; tonight I need to do the garage door and a path to the oil and gas tanks for the delivery person. Tomorrow I will have to shovel out the old house, yet again. I so want to get done with that phase of the move. The new house desperately wants cleaning after a month of my occupancy and the assault from the movers, but there's no time for all the other work that needs to be done.

I'm getting used to the gas stove. At first it was touch-and-go; I actually burned one of my skillets because I wasn't expecting the burner to heat up so fast. I put the skillet on the burner, turned the burner on, turned away to fix myself a drink. I thought I had time for that simple action. I'm used to a burner taking, maybe, days to heat up. The next thing I knew, I was hearing "Pop! Fizzle! Ping! Pang! Pop!" The pan was smoking.

I've learned to be very careful with the "HIGH" setting!

I see Tigers Grumpyface and Whitestockings every night. I still don't know where they go by day, but I see pussycat footprints in the snow going around behind the barn and over to the neighbor's yard. Whitestockings, at least, seems content.

-- Freder.

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