Saturday, April 26, 2014

To Oz? To OZ!

How could the ground be covered in a sparkling white blanket two short weeks ago ...

... and today be an emerald green carpet?

Oh, right.  I forgot.  I live in Wyoming where if we don't like the weather we just gnaw on some antelope jerky and wait a few minutes.  In Wyoming I can drive to work in a blizzard, struggle to push my car door open as 40 mph winds slam it back into me, fight my way across the parking lot with mascara dripping down my cheeks from the pelting snow, and finally reach the office door where I sometimes even get completely inside before the wind slams it closed on my arm.  A few short hours later, I can walk outside, upright, sun shining, carrying my coat. 

I’m tired of winter.  I’m glad winter is over and the bir...................... ohhhhhhhhhh, nooooooooo….…..did I say that out loud?   Knock on wood, knock on wood, knock on wood, knock on wood, knock on wood, knock on wood.   

Angus, though?   I think Angus is going to miss winter.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Wasn't That A Dainty Dish To Set Before The Queen?

Casper is boring me.  Or to be more precise, sitting in front of a computer ten hours a day and then coming home to, as Dean likes to call it, our hotel room, bores me.  After work we take Angus for a walk, eat dinner, clean up, watch TV, go to bed, get up the next day and do it again.  Consequently when we come to Sheridan, where we are this weekend, I’m always looking for something to do.  SOMEthing to do besides watch TV in a half-empty house. That’s why a few weeks ago I decided we should pull off the paneling, get the walls textured and then paint them. I really needed something to DO that didn't involve a remote control or a computer.

We've torn off the paneling.  It's been textured and we've been doing a bit of painting.
I really hope soon I will be able to show you the finished project.

We’ve spent the last three weekends up here priming and painting ceilings and walls.  Gosh, I’m beginning to hate painting.  But I hate being bored more.   

Last weekend when we were up here Dean said, I need to tell you something.  My heart sank.  Oh, no, he found out I threw away the dog fur the last time I brushed Angus I thought. But no.  It was much less traumatic.  He just told me that once we’ve finished with this living-dining room redo, I need to find a project that doesn’t involve him. 

This weekend, as much as I wanted to finish the last bit of painting, I told Dean he could do whatever he wanted to all day long on Friday.  Anything he wanted.  All day.  Because I knew Saturday it was supposed to rain and THEN we could finish painting.  I thought he would spend this gift from me organizing his garage/workshop so he could frame the windows and put on the baseboards in the house so he’d be able to 

create some kind of uniquely Dean object d’art.  But he surprised me by spending about five hours watching You Tube videos to help him figure out how to put together the special fancy chainsaw sharpener he’d purchased last fall.  Too bad he discovered he needs to order a different grinder wheel to fit his baby electric chainsaw but I’m sure those cottonwood branches hanging over the house aren’t going anywhere.

Since it was a warm and gorgeous day I decided to keep myself busy by trimming the potentilla.  By time I’d finished clipping and hauling 15 branch and dead-leaf filled tarps my body hurt so much Dean had to help

me get up off the couch where I had dropped after stumbling in from the yard.  My hand might have been a bit less claw-like if he would have realized the big 2-handle hedge shears didn’t work because the screw that was loose was in the clippers, not my head, and not because I was “probably clipping at an angle instead of straight on.”  But on the bright side, after using the smaller hand-held pruning shears my fingers were curled in the exact position I would need to hold a paintbrush later, and the scabs and scratches on my forehead and arms shouldn’t leave a scar. 

Later, in the wee hours of the night as I was fumbling for the Ibuprophen, a family hike in the Tongue River Canyon sounded like a much better plan for Saturday than more painting or yard work. 

Dean managed to contain his disappointment that we wouldn’t be painting.   

Where's Myra?!

Where's Angus?!
 Pierce and Emerson asked him geology questions and even listened when he answered which was a totally new experience for him. 

 We headed home just before the rain started

and on the drive I saw three bald eagles.  Every time I saw one perched high on a tree I thought about asking Dean to stop so I could take a picture but then I'd think it would just be a waste of time since all I have is a little point and shoot camera.  I finally decided that was just stupid so when I saw a Golden in a tree I decided just because I didn’t have a fancy camera with a telephoto lens it wasn’t a good not reason to try.   

 I should have had a fancy camera with a telephoto lens.

This morning we woke up to winter. I knew it was too early to think we wouldn’t get any more snow but, like dying, even though I know it’s inevitable, it’s hard to truly believe it’s really going to happen to me.  There was no yard work today.  There was no hiking today.  Dean wishes there had been no painting today.  But I wasn’t bored.  


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Pepé Le Pew Smells Better Than You

Let’s talk about smells.  Or rather, I’m going to talk about smells and you can listen……I mean I’m going to write about smells and you can read about them.  I’m thinking specifically of the variety and potency of smells we are surrounded with in our daily lives.   I’m not concerned with smells that accompany sounds, although God knows I smell plenty of those on a regular basis.  No, I’m going to write about free-range smells.  

There are loads of smells and lots of synonyms for the word smell and each synonym can evoke a different emotion or memory.   Fragrance.  That’s a synonym for smell.  I hardly ever wear a fragrance anymore but I used to – way back in college.  So when I hear the word fragrance I remember the time Dean didn’t believe me when I told him I could identify my seven different cheap “perfumes” until I proved it to him by closing my eyes, taking seven different whiffs and correctly naming each and every one.

One day at work a girl about three cubicles down from me caught a whiff of burning rubber.  I was so busy earning your tax dollars I didn’t catch that whiff myself, or know it was coming from the strip my desk heater was plugged into, until I saw her with her nose down under my counter, sniffing. 

Some smells are so faint you have to purposely put your nose close and sniff.  A sniff can bring out the subtle perfume of a bunch of flowers or the rich bouquet of a great big glass of red wine at the end of a long day.  Or a short day.   Or any day.  Or all days actually. 

But some smells are just stinks.  Here’s the thing.  Today, as I was working, I began to catch a whiff of something unpleasant but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.   Pretty soon my head began to hurt.  And then I began to feel a little queasy.   I really wanted to open a window but none of the windows in our office open so I was forced to continue to inhale this smell which got sweeter and stronger by the moment.  It smelled like somebody had taken a hunk of warm, pink cotton candy, a bag of Brach’s butterscotch candies and just a touch of coconut flakes, thrown them in a saucepan, melted them together, stirred until it was nice and warm and sticky, formed the gooey mess into a wad, stuck it into their mouth, stood right in front of me and chewed with their mouth open, breathing right into my face.     

I suppose whoever let loose the stench from what I can only assume was a flameless candle or fragrance sphere, felt it soothed them and made it easier to survive eight hours sitting in an ugly windowless cubicle.  It did not soothe me.   I wonder if they felt as pleasantly lulled after they caught a whiff of the scent wafting out of my cubicle after I vomited in my wastebasket. 

Don't worry.  I refrained.  Barely.