Monday, August 31, 2009

dead things in the trash can this week: 3 (again)

we are so in iowa.

in new mexico, we had wildlife that stayed pleasantly out of and away from the house itself (with the exception of those extremely ill-mannered squirrels that moved into our attic) and just poked their heads out from time to time to let us oooh and aaah over their otherness. here, not so much. last week rich discovered three petrified field mice in the basement, which thoroughly freaked him out. he got out the shop vac, sucked them up, dumped them into the trash, washed out the shop vac, and vowed never to go to that part of the basement again. he doesn't do critters. he barely does people, so he definitely doesn't do critters.

imagine his surprise yesterday when he went to put his muck boots on, ones he had left on the front porch for about a week, and dumped out a very surprised field mouse, her nest, and her two newborn babies. she got away but the babies and their nest got tossed out (by me) with, not surprisingly, the muck boots. rich will probably never attempt going into the "yard" again. and paco has spent the last 24 hours trying to flush out the mama mouse from under the house.

thus, it wasn't terribly surprising this afternoon when i put paco on a leash to give him his afternoon walk that he bolted after something moving in the "yard." what was surprising was realizing rather forcibly that i hadn't connected the leash to his collar but rather just to his tags...which he broke with ease and was then gone. two, maybe three seconds later i had a bloody, twitching chipmunk at my feet and a wagging, smiling paco looking up at me. gus and his friend were in the front watching this whole thing unfold and learning a host of new curse words they never knew existed. i'm fairly certain gus' friend's mom will never let him visit again. anyway, i debated leaving the chipmunk on the driveway to discompose rich but decided his delicate nature would be too rattled by such a sight, thought better of it, and tossed it out as well. nature and rich don't get along.

mercifully, trash comes tomorrow. and no pictures today.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

back when we used to live where the sun doth shine...

all of us atop sandia peak

still no sun here; too much rain instead. i can't get the humidity out of the house, therefore am having a "whole house" (also known as a "big ass") dehumidifier installed tomorrow. am beginning to suspect the sun no longer shines on iowa and this is all a cruel plot to give me permanent depression-induced insomnia. and a touch of paranoia. and a dollop of self-centeredness, thinking the weather is happening just for me... on the bright side the swampland out front is thriving--must post pictures.

but today i would rather look at images from when we used to live in the desert and could see the mountaintop from our valley home's front window. we hiked sandia peak (aforementioned mountaintop) right before we moved. lovely. i miss it very much.

getting ready to hike at two miles up

rich loves hiking on top of the mountain

rocky mountain penstemons litter the path

as do beautiful aspens

sophie runs to keep up with her big brother, which is impressive considering the altitude

the stone house! of course, not content to just hike to it rich and gus must also climb on top of it...

...and then drag sophie up there as well (it is quite a sheer cliff under them)

like the clovis man, meet paco the sandia dog

sophie and rich fueling up for the hike back down

butterflies fueling up for their flights wherever--this is one of very few plants they were interested in, and who would have thought there'd be so many butterflies on the peak?

more flowers

pretty, pretty flowers

it was a beautiful hike--i love sophie's found object: walking stick

sophie's face is just screaming "SUCKA!" daddy is so wrapped.

pleasantly hiked-out kids and puppy

the wheels are turning and rich is thinking he hasn't hiked he continues his hike, alone, down the mountain (we drove)

rich is somewhere out there hiking down from the peak...

...but gus and sophie missed this view.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


i'm trying, i really am trying, to make iowa work for me. i swear i am. but i have seen the sun twice in the three fucking weeks i've lived here and it is seriously wreaking havoc on my neurochemistry. all of my shit is perpetually wet inside, much less outside; the air is thick, wet, heavy, pregnant with organic material that makes me cough, sneeze, wheeze, have headaches...and obviously turn me into an enormous whiner.

i have great affection for my friends who live here--i truly do--and i am sorry for slamming their hometown but HELL seeing the sun is critical for proper mental health (at least my proper mental health). i think at the very least i am going to get a dehumidifier installed with the air conditioning system and replace all the lights with full-spectrum bulbs. but the scary part is that it is only mid-august and i'm having these issues--these are wintertime problems here! that and i needed a jacket a couple of days ago and it is still summer.

my coping mechanisms are in overdrive: i've spent a day eating chocolate, a day drinking coffee for every meal (and stayed awake overnight and into the next day), a day up in the crapids (cedar rapids--if you've been there, you understand), a day shopping online for clothes, a day shopping online for books, a day searching for information about master gardener's programs (which i still haven't been accepted to, damnit), a couple of days playing with the kids downtown (we got rained on)...and the rest of my time has been spent unpacking boxes and clearing the swampland outside. the swampland is a saga in itself that i'm not going to get into now. anyway, now the kids are in school and happy to be away from their hypo-depressive mother and rich is at work being happy because rich is at work.

i know i'm going to be fine in the end but, seriously, this sucks.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

diving in head first

in the two weeks i have been here, i have:

1. unpacked at least 100 boxes, which would be more impressive if i didn't still have about 200 to go;
2. gotten the kitchen, sophie's room, gus' room and our room moved in and functional;
3. arranged to have the city correct a 16-year old problem with our drainage that would have cost us thousands of dollars to fix;
4. identified about a dozen invasive species in our yard (is it a yard?) and tried to remove as many as possible--the highlight being smilax tamnoides, which will have its own post soon;
5. enrolled in a master gardener's class (which i still haven't been approved to attend, but it is something i have long wanted to do);
6. found and enrolled sophie in an excellent little preschool;
7. became room mother for sophie's class in said excellent little preschool;
8. got gus enrolled in his excellent little elementary (no thanks to his old school--manzano day school, which inexplicably refused to forward his new school his records);
9. became room mother for gus' class in said excellent little elementary.

i think i can officially be said to be trying. either that or it is time to cut the dose.

Friday, August 14, 2009

when oculoplastic surgeons get bored...

...they do things like this. rich is forever testing the best way to use botox (we used to keep vials of it in our fridge, next to sophie's baby food) and this is what it looks like. it ain't pretty. i was downloading images from our trip out here and was amazed and thoroughly entertained to find THIRTY of these pictures from right before we left...not really sure what else to say, except that today his forehead (fivehead?) is 100% frozen. life with rich is never boring.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

oh yes. we're in iowa.

and it feels like a goddamned swamp. how could i have possibly forgotten how miserable it is to be in a humid environment during the summer? i did grow up in houston, after all. we all have a bevy of molds and lichens growing on us that none of us realized were possible; gus is perpetually sweaty, even if he's just walking from his room to the kitchen. however, there is something to be said for such glorious herbaceousness such as that which sprouts whether wanted or not on every square inch of this property. it is just so green.

anyway we're here, we're getting unpacked, i'm lonely but gus and sophie are ecstatic to be here. rich will be working too much sooner than you can say "go hawkeyes!" or "i bleed black and gold!" or something of that sentiment. wondrous pictures from the road trip here to come...