Friday, November 28, 2008


Updates, delicious leftover updates... with gravy

Its been a long, wild trip these past few months. And by long, I mean about 5 miles from the old house to the new house. Let's review:

First we lived in this house. We had the only, most lovely tree on the street that bloomed for one precious week a year (seen here) in all out vibrant pink and then spent the rest of April pooping pink petals all over the 'hood. And it was charming and cozy and we didn't have to get to know our neighbors because not only did we not speak their language (or do decent charades..), but knowing what dialect that was added more chaos to our would-be neighborly good will. Ahh, the melting pot of Northern Virginia.Then we did a little bit of this "SOLD" action. With a great deal of thanks to my Catholic superstition, clever staging, adorably irresistible cat and savvy real estate agent, we unloaded the place onto a lovely young couple (which, by referring to them thusly, makes us as a couple sound terrifically aged.) who were about to join hearts and hands in blessed (and sometimes not-so-blessed, can I get an "AMEN!"?) matrimony.

And have now found ourselves the proud owner of this little beaut. That front porch is going to the future home of an honest-to-God porch swing come spring. We just need to figure out if the original builders intended for such a thing to be affixed to the porch roof. Say "adios" to visitor spots, parking passes and street parking and a great big "hello, lover" to that driveway, seen here in half of it's driveway glory (Snow shoveling? Not it.). And although we do live in Virginia and it would be most appropriate to have one, we live in Northern Virginia, so no, that truck ain't ours. Ladder, neither. We have a backyard with grass now and not dirt because the shade of the townhouse row behind us inhibits the growth of vegetation.

And then there was the matter of the actual move. For some reason, as many of you know, moving boxes are insanely expensive. It's cardboard. What on earth makes it ok to charge so got-damned much for these things? No matter. As I thankfully learned, I work at a veritable cardboard FACTORY. That's right, you guessed it: A hospital. Whilist I slave away on the 10th floor, glamoursly ankle deep in body fluids and doling out immeasureable amounts of comfort and kindness, the real dirty work is happening in the bowels of the place (ha, hospital joke! bowels.. ha!). Endless shifts of doozers unload hospital stock and leave mounds of totally decent, large, strong boxes in their wake. I spent the better part of a month bringing home as many boxes as I could each shift. Which was great -- free boxes. Which ended up being bad when the movers arrived and turned out to be literate. Our movers, mercifully, didn't judge us long. When their faces said: "Where in the hell did you get these boxes, crazy?" I jumped in with a longer-than-needed explanation on where exactly I procured them.

My boxes:
Don't worry, Mr. Mover. We practice safe-moving -- we use latex.

Wow, nothing is creepier than a box full of isolation gowns (which, incidentally, are remarkably warm to wear when on the night shift and you didn't bring a hoodie). You might ask: What requires isolation and what makes it so black-tie that it requires a gown? And I'd answer: Most of my MRSA ridden patients and hey, we're just fancy like that.
Enviornmentally unfriendly, perhaps -- but more importantly, nurse-sanity-ensuring friendly. They are underpads, and they are disposable.

Water that can't have babies. It's sterile.

The ever-popular: BEDPAN. OOO, and it's "pontoon style". (Remind me to regale you sometime about how I personally invented -- and might soon patent -- a technique involving hospital-issue maxi pads to keep these particular bedpans from sticking to the tender backsides of the elderly who like to sit for prolonged periods of time.)

I find personal cleansing better than impersonal cleansing. And I like personal cleansing so much I often times find myself striking a similar pose.

So then we moved.

And we celebrated our first wedding anniversary. (I hear that statistically if we can make it to 7 years that our chances of splitsville go way down.. 6 years to go! Unless it isn't working out, then .. 5 years to go! Oh, how I jest. Catholics don't divorce. We just live in tight lipped silent treatments until our 50th wedding anniversaries!) Now someone, and I really must find out who, decided that you must somehow preserve the top of your wedding cake and then eat it on your first anniversary -- regardless of whatever other bacterium are also eating your cake a year later due to your poor storage methods. Luckily for us, someone gifted us with a FoodSaver for our wedding. The top of our delicious cake was its first victim and has made the move then from its site of origin in Pittsburgh, Pa for the wedding to our house in Virginia. And then again moved in a cooler to the new house (see our new little beaut way above) this past month. So you can imagine my reluctance and perhaps my overactive professional healthcare experience about consuming any portion of year-old cake. Compounded with the fact that, as mentioned before, cake happens to be the most blessed substance on earth to me. Year old cake, however, does not elicit from me the same inner fuzziness. And I really hate to have any personal problems with any member of the cake family.

As indicated by the enthusiastic thumbs-up from my mostly-better-half, the cake (precious, precious Red Velvet..) ended up not being all that terrible. It wasn't so great that I went on the house the rest of the cake, but it also wasn't so bad that I ate it for good measure and posterity and then drove myself to the E.R. to have my stomach pumped before I suffered food poisoning. So that was positive.

And then before you knew it, it was time to playfully hack images into unsupecting vegetables. My older sister has an annual pumpkin carving party at her house -- her young girls invite school pals to come in costume and paint pumpkins and bring their adult parents to drink beer and fuss about having to carve a child-selected pattern. Every year my Mister chooses a pumpkin pattern, conceals it, carves in near solitude and then has a big unveil when everyone says : Holy crap, who did THAT one?

His first year it was Yoda. The party had already moved off the driveway and into the house for dinner, the sun had set and my then Boyfriend was out in the dark carving in the dim beams of the porch light.

His Homer Simpson was so delicate that by the next morning, the fine lines of Homer's face had all nearly caved in. But it had one glorious night of jack-o-lanterning.

This year, I believe the Mister truly outdid himself. While I don't intend to open a political forum here, the choice was clear this year. And the pumpkin said it all:
Yeah, that Count von Count from Sesame Street was mine. It was pretty awesome. Sadly, no one fought over the Count like they fought over Barack. Because my sister lives a distance greater than the Mister felt comfortable transporting Barack over, a bit of a row broke out between mother and sister about whose front porch Barack would grace come All Hallows Eve. Again, no one fought over the Count. Bastards.

And at last we find ourselves celebrating that gorge fest that is Thanksgiving. Remembering, of course, of all the wonderful memories we've had to be thankful about. All the little and big things, blessings and things that may not have seemed like blessings at the time but probably were, and for all the good things that the future holds.

I hosted Thanksgiving for the first time in my own home, on my own dishes. And damnit, I cooked a turkey. (Really, they kind of cook themselves.. it seems a lot harder than it is..) My real pleasure, actually, was getting to use my wedding china -- which I had not even unpacked and in some cases even un-gift wrapped. I got to really fance it up with fancy china, silver and crystal. And who enjoyed it most out of my Mister and I and my inlaws?

The cat.

In the next 7 days I will be 30. Feel free to leave all your well wishes here or in gift form. I'm not sure how I feel about it. I think I'm pretty glad to be out of my 20s, and yet I always thought 30 was so grown up and I don't feel that way yet. You 30 year olds will have to weigh in on sorting through the emotions of my 4th decade of life (yeah, the fourth. Count it out.)

And because we're still that childless-couple, we take pictures with our cats. (The Mister vetoed any sort of holiday decoration for the cats, who would have been decidedly more pissed off looking festooned with Santa hats..) Besides, do you have any idea how hard it is to make two cats look in the same direction for the duration of a shutter snap?

In case I resort to my slacker ways and not blog until I have a litany of things and pictures to share, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Feliz Snow!

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