Monday, January 26, 2009

You're just like a wife

This is a riddle and I bet you don't know what the answer is.

What does Holly do on a Saturday afternoon when she's alone in her house and has exhausted LOST, Friends and any other form of television entertainment?

Brace yourselves.

She sorts her hang-up clothes and she counts the money in her Mexican piggy bank.

I bet you that you would not have guessed that.

But yes, it's true. Though I'm a generally laid back person, there are some pet peeves I do have. One of them is that the clothes hanging up in my closet need to be organized according to sleeve length. So we start out with sleeveless, moving onto short sleeve, 3/4 sleeve, long sleeve and finally, jackets. Oh, and I don't like empty hangers scattered throughout my clothes. And since pants don't have sleeves, they go in front of the shirts and scarves are hung up before pants.

Once I conquered the sleeves, I was bored again.

So I wondered from the laundry room, through the office and into the living room, where my eyes lit upon my Mexican piggy fully of glorious change.

I want to count it.

No, you can't count it - that defeats the purpose of a piggy bank.

But you know you wanna.

Yeah, I do. What the hell. I will.

After sorting the quarters into piles of four, the dimes in piles of ten, nickels in piles of five and counting the pennies by two, I reached the end.

Fifty bucks.

Fifty bucks in my Mexican piggy!

I put the piggy back on the shelf, saving the loose change for the day when I might, just might need to feed myself out of it. My piggy bank has fed me in the past so I'm a firm believer in keeping one around.

And this one's all colorful from Mexico.

Then I sat on the couch and thought (really thought) about what I'd just done. The fact that my Saturday life has come to sorting clothes in the closet and counting loose change.

I told Mom yesterday about it and her reaction was, as follows:

"You're just like a wife!"
ME: "Yeah, except NOT."
MOM: "No, that was a very wife-like thing to do."
ME: (laughing) "Okay, mom, thanks for trying to make me feel better."
MOM: "Well, you're not the only one who counts change. It's a very homemaker-ish thing to do and you have a home that you're making and it's really not weird. The weird thing is blogging about it the next day." (how well does this woman know me?!)
ME: (still laughing) "You're right, mom, because god only knows how long I'll be alone on Saturdays."
MOM: "Okay, now you're pissing me off."

Mom is so sweet, right?

No, she really is. She just doesn't like my (sometimes) negative attitude on being alone.

So there you have it, folks. If you believe in learning something new everyday, you just reached your quota for the day.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A lot about a little

This week was progress, progress I tell you!

(And here's the part where you say, "Oh, do tell!")

What started off as a week in complete misery with the flu, which does seem so far away, the week is ending on an up swing - at least so far as I can tell at 12:48 p.m. on a Saturday.

Our supplemental magazine is complete, as of yesterday. It will come out in all its publication glory on Friday, the 30th.

I'm currently composing the introduction to a series of mine that's suffered delay after delay but finally will see the light of day tomorrow. Yes, that's right. It's escaping the cobwebbed corners of my brain and actually seeing print. Don't act too surprised.

In the process, I have secured a lunch date with the marketing specialist for the New Mexico Department of Agriculture next Friday in a town 100 miles from me. I have also received an enormous amount of sources, more stories that need telling. Exciting, really, when you consider I've been here for a mere five months - and an out-of-stater, nonetheless.

I also had the exhilirating privilege yesterday of showing off my new German Shepherd at the sheriff's department. I do love this dog. And, of course, they loved her as well. I could tell they secretly wanted her.

The reason I was at the SO was not to show off Skye, although that did turn out to be a bonus. In fact, I was interviewing a lt. (I don't know how to spell the whole damn word) for a series I'm working on about violence.

So that goes down in the list of Things Holly Accomplished on a Friday.

Go me!

Oh, oh, and I also got a story for our education page Monday. And a picture. Now you can totally join me in the Holly Rocks Fridays dance. :)

But the productivity did not end there. No, no it did not.

Because when I went home, I cleaned my car. And picked up trash the dogs/puppies scattered in the yard. And wrote in my journal. And took a couple pictures. I sat on the porch and loved on the New Mexico weather. I played with the puppies. I fixed myself some dinner, watched 3 episodes of Lost Season 3 and some Friends, just for the comedy factor. They do make me laugh out loud...alone, in my living room, which could possibly be creepy but no one's there to care so away I laugh.

I also set up a lunch date with a friend on Wednesday and realized how thankful I should be that I know someone in Silver City to make a lunch date with. Oh, and the fact that I received another lunch invitation from one of the assistant principals. I am fortunate, I really am.

Later, I took a bath, read a little bit, got sleepy with Friends and turned in at 9:30. Yeah, 9:30.

And now, it's back to the ranching story. My creative juices are primed - I'm ready.

For your viewing pleasure, here are the "couple pictures" I took last night. You think there's a reason they call it the Black Range?



Friday, January 23, 2009

Violation

Skye violated my cardinal rule of dogs sleeping in the bed last night when she brought her bone with her...and proceeded to chew it while I was trying to sleep.

Generally speaking, I've got a pretty rule-free dog house. I mean, don't shit and piss in the house and I'd really appreciate it if you didn't get in the trash or jump on the counters. But otherwise, it's pretty much fair game. You can run, wrestle, get on the couch and bed.

But never, NEVER, bring your bone to bed and chew it.

So last night, after working wonderfully for me, I gave Skye some sort of elk bone that'd ridden on top of my car from mom's house. When bedtime ruled around, she jumped up on the bed with the bone, which I promptly removed from her mouth and put on my nightstand, which she later retrieved about 3 a.m.

There's just something about the sound of their teeth on the bone...grating...while I'm trying to sleep.

Oh, and last night was the first night Walto wanted in the bed with the grownups. I think that means he thinks he's mine.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

23.5

You have all heard about the various and sundry things I do for myself by myself on a near-daily basis. Well, here's a new one.

Being sick by myself.

To all of you who have spouses or neighbors or moms or sisters or mailmen who bring you warm tea and cozy socks for you while you're sick, I want you to turn to that person and say "thank you." Do it for me.

There are many things that run through your head when you're laying on the couch in complete and udder misery...alone.

"If I die, who will find me?"

"I want to die so who will talk me out of it?"

So from about 11 p.m. Sunday to about 6 a.m. Monday, I talked to myself. I have no idea what I said but apparently, it worked.

You know how when you're sick and the night just seems to drag on and on and on. Yeah, pretty much sucks. I kept getting hot and going to the couch - then I'd get cold and go back to my room. I kept puking every hour and a half.

Then there was the matter of the 6 dogs who I absolutely (most of the time) love. The puppies kept hearing me get up and down so they were crying incessantly at the door. Finally, in my stupor, I let them in. And they have made a mess of my house - at that point, I did not care.

So all night long, it was puke, sleep on the couch, move to the bed, puke while two dogs watched me and four puppies fell asleep on the bathroom rug, sleep on the couch, let the dogs out, puke, let the dogs in, sleep on the bed, spread paper towels over the puppy pee in the kitchen, go back to bed....and on it went.

Finally, for the sake of everything merciful and holy, morning came. And I thought I felt better. So I completely overdid it and then laid on the couch in a shivering pile of muscle and joint pain extravaganza. Most of you know my issues with Lyme Disease - flu and LD don't mix, let's just say.

After sleeping off and on, I was needing sprite and some sleeping meds.

So I mustered up courage and embarked (bra-less and layered with sweatpants, two long-sleeved shirts, a jacket and a scarf) to the nearest gas station, about 3 miles down the road.

LONGEST.TRIP.OF.MY.LIFE.

I made mom talk to me on the phone the whole time to help me not pass out. When I went to check out, the guy was having a hard time with my debit card, at which point I asked to sit down.

"Are you okay?" he asked.
"Yeah," I said. "I just need to get home."

The people behind me in line were some health nuts who were making fun of my $9 tylenol pm. But when I stood to get my stuff, they cleared the way for me and said, "Apparently she needs it."

"Are you okay to drive?" the gas station man asked.
"Yeah, I just live down the road."

As I'm walking to my car, I'm looking for the nearest place to puke. I almost did but refrained.

I made it home and dumped myself on the couch again.

Okay, so, skipping forward to now - Wednesday. I came to work yesterday and today. I feel much better.

The flu I had was supposed to last 24 hours. I made it through 23.5 hours and the flu part was over. Now I'm just weak and icky and tired and I have this weird ear thing going on and I can't hear. And I'm congested.

Whatever.

Now I need to clean my house, scrub it free of germs with what energy I have left when I get home from work. I already started washing the bedding, clothes, towels, etc. - another part of being sick alone that completely sucks. Cleaning my house is the absolute LAST thing I want to do right now.

But, anyway, there you have it. Thankfully this only lasted 24 hours. The last time I had the flu, it lasted 3 days. But that time I had Katie with me. And trust me, just having someone there makes all the difference in the world.

Monday, January 12, 2009

I believe in two things...if I can remember them

I was sitting at Ihop Saturday night with my mom and sister. It was nearing 11 p.m., I'd worked a solid eight hours and driven 2.5 to get to them, I had pent-up things to share so talk I did.

And I made perfect sense, I do believe.

"I believe in two things," I said, holding up two fingers to exagerate my point. "Two things."

They're looking at me, waiting for me to spill the beans.

A long pause.

"I can't remember them."

In-between me playing with a creamer container, breaking it open and spraying it all over mom, the walls, the art and the table, I managed to get it out.

"I believe that everything happens for a reason and I believe that something good will come out of everything."

Two very stout statements, I'm aware.

But when I look back at my eventful, sometimes disasterous life, it's true. The situations and circumstances that left me completely devestated resulted in bringing about the sweetest results.

I learned this lesson about nine years and when I learned it, I was able to turn back to my childhood and actually say, "I wouldn't be the person I am today if it hadn't been for those events." Good, bad or indifferent, I am a product of my upbringing and I have allowed the good to circumvent the bad.

It was a lesson learned in the simplest of ways. I was 16 and was hired a job in the emergency room of our local hospital working as a registration clerk. In the final days leading up to my first day at work, it was discovered that I couldn't work that job because of my age. I bitterly said it was the day I was "hired and fired in the same day."

But the woman who hired/fired me felt bad for what had happened and said there was a job opening in the dietary department. I ended up getting that job and worked there for two years. It was the best job, best people, perfect situation and I learned that the most devestating situations do have good results.

So there you have it. Milk-bath notwithstanding, mom and my sister heard my story once I gained control over my temporary short-term memory loss and they helped me. Mostly because they listened.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Sidenote:

My house is really dirty and I'm having a hard time caring.

I just thought you should know that.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Monkey One

On our determined mission to find the lions (see post below), we happened upon the Rainforest exhibit, which is in a building.

I don't know who's idea it was to combine walls, humidity and animal crap but it was a bad idea.

As soon as we opened the door, the smell hit us full in the face. Daniel and Micah were ahead and Daniel yelled back to Elsie and I something about plugging our noses and then they were gone. Elsie and I were behind them.

But Elsie, dear Elsie, got distracted by a tamarin, the little orange monkeys. So she stopped. And, of course, I stopped too - hand over nose.

She reached out her hand and pointed to the little thing and it reached out to grab her hand! In true girl fashion, she jumped back (giggling.)

"Do it again, Elsie!" I had my camera ready. "It wants to touch you; that's so cool!"

She reached out her hand and again, the little creature gently reached to grab hers. And I got this picture:

Okay, so whether or not the little tamarin actually touched Elsie, I don't know. But from out of nowhere, this man appears next to Elsie.

"Don't touch the animals," he said.

"Okay," I replied. I had no idea who this guy was or where he came from.

"You know that touching mammals can give the animals our germs?" he continued.

"Well, at least we got the picture, Elsie," I said cheerily. I thought this guy was a tamarin-enthusiast schooling us in zoology.

I put my hand on Elsie's shoulder and turned to walk away.

"Is everything okay here or do I need to call security?"

"What!" I said, calmly.

"Do I need to call security?" he repeated

"No, oh no," I said, barely able to keep from busting up laughing. Elsie was already long gone in the laughing department.

The Zoo Man disappeared to his hole in the smelly Rainforest and I realized that the whole time we had been talking, I had my nose covered with my hand. I'm sure that went over really well with him.

The Lion One

Finding the lions at the ABQ Zoo was an issue Saturday afternoon. We were given a map at the entrance and when I tried to stop at the flamingos to devise our route, Daniel made fun of me (something along the lines of "Oh, okay Mom!") so I said, "To hell with the map - let's just wing it."

Somehow the map ended up in Micah's hands and we carried on. Gorillas, elephants, giraffes, monkeys, birds, etc.

But where were the lions, right? I mean, how can you go to a zoo and not see the lions?

"If we go through Cottonwood Cave, the lions are just right there," said Micah, our map-man. So we walked to the ends of the zoo but no Cottonwood Cave. And no lions.

We ended up back at the beginning of the zoo. Daniel borrowed the map from Micah and discovered our error.

"We're looking for Cottonwood CAFE, not cave," he said. We'd already walked through Cottonwood Cafe, um, three times and subsequently passed the lions three times.

But we finally made it and when we walked up to the lion exhibit, there was nothing there. People were passing us saying the lions must not be there; they couldn't see them.

The exhibit was the kind where you walked right up to the bushes and looked down, divided by a how-ever-many-foot deep ditch that you can't see but the lions can. Daniel noticed some steps at the far corner and decided that the lion must have taken the steps down to...where ever.

He stood at that corner, leaning over, calling "here, kitty kitty."

That got her attention. She-Lion bolted up the stairs and turned to face Daniel, all the while snarling and batting her paws at him. According to Daniel, she made perfect eye contact with him and he clearly read in her eyes that she wanted him...for lunch. And not to call her Kitty again.

He, of course, jumped back and looked at me.

"Did you, did you get a video of that?"
Of course not.

I turned the video on, though, and caught some of him calling her and her still growling, batting and full open mouth lion growling at him. I've never seen a lion so pissed off in real life. If there had been no barrier, I would have ran and Daniel would probably have been lunch.

As a result of our experience at the lion exhibit, the rest of our zoo conversation involved detailed strategy of what we would do in the case of a lion escape. I'm sure all the children and parents who overheard us (because we're NOT quiet) were actually glad to get some clever ideas.

Daniel said he'd throw Micah into the middle of this pond area and then swim out to rescue him before he drowned. The idea being that lions won't chase you and kill you in water. Elsie and I were not included in that rescue scenario.

I said I'd probably find a hole somewhere and be really still despite my instinct to RUN.

But who knows what you'd really do in a situation like that. I'm going to go with PANIC.

Unfortunately, I did not capture any still photos of the lion arguing with Daniel but I did get this little video. Mostly, you can just hear Daniel but if you listen close enough, you can hear the lion. This was after her major explosion but she was still pissed.


video

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Road One

Daniel, Elsie and Micah (hereafter known as The Kids) and I set out for Albuquerque Saturday morning for our fun weekend together. The trip was multi-multi-multi purpose.

Purpose #1 - sell puppies, which we did - we sold one
Purpose #2 - tour UNM's campus for Daniel, which we did...and loved
Purpose #3 - have fun, which we totally did!

I have lots of stories for you but I figured I'd start at the beginning with The Road (hereafter known as Satan.) I'm kidding...its real name is 152 so we'll go with that.

Now, I live off of 152 but I'd never been on the portion past my house. So I was slightly excited to explore new territory and have company with me to boot - driving alone all the time does get old.

Anyway, you remember the story in the Bible...about how Lucifer got jealous of God and God kicked him out of heaven. Okay.

Well, Lucifer came to earth in the form of 152. Not even joking.

According to Mapquest, we had to stay on 152 for 50 miles before getting on the interstate. So the first three or four miles of 152, we were all looking at the scenery, commenting on how beautiful it was, etc. After that, 152 sucked balls.

Maximum speed limit on 152: 25 mph. And that was on a "straight" stretch. Otherwise, it was more like, um, ten. And five.

I mean, who creates a road so twisted and so horrendous that it makes the driver (me) say, "There are so many opportunities to die on this road"?!

And there were!

We're talking no guardrails, torn up pavement, loose rocks, switchback after switchback and snow.

After five miles of twisting the steering left to right, left to right, just to stay on the road, I wanted to be anywhere then 152.

At moments like that, I'm convinced that New Mexico roads have this hidden agenda, this animosity and hatred to its travelers that they make you want to pull over and slit your wrists. Or beg for mercy. And ask them to STOP.

But they don't stop. They drag on and on and on and on in a seemingly unending pattern of sadistic driver-torture.

Put me out of my misery!

Here's how bad the road is: 50 miles. Two hours. It takes four hours to get from my house to Albuquerque. HALF of that is on 152.

To end my rant, here's a few pictures for you to bask in the wilderness beauty 152 takes you through and then dumps you in: