What is up Weather?

The 5:00AM emergency alert was not a welcome sound this morning. I was aware that a storm was brewing. I could see the lightning flashes dart across my closed eyelids, hear the distant rumble of bowling angels and the soft tippity taps of raindrops on the sky light. I have always rather enjoyed thunderstorms and in the snuggly comfort of my bed with the harshness of reality held at bay by the closed door of my conscience, this storm was particularly pleasing. But then a significantly brighter flash of light followed by a much louder, closer clap of thunder startled me awake and left me feeling discombobulated with a twinge of fright jolting up my spine.

And then my iPhone started screaming at me with an emergency alert. Tornado warning in this area. Take shelter now. Check local media.

I continued to sit on the edge of the bed, trying to breathe and calm my nerves. The rain started picking up but there was no wind and the thunder still seemed pretty far off. I decided to lie back down and try to go back to sleep. But my brain would not turn off. I thought about how to wake Shelby and gently convince him to sleep in the tub downstairs for the next 30 minutes or so. I watched the lightning through the newly hung curtains. I stroked the cat which was clutching my leg as if she knew something was brewing and did not want to be separated at any cost. I have little puncture wounds in my thigh.

I got out of bed and paced around the window for a while. I feared I was being overly dramatic but still couldn’t convince my imagination to simmer so I took my pacing to the much larger window downstairs. Admittedly not the ideal location for sheltering from a storm, but given that the bathroom was 15 feet away at most, I rationalized that it would be fine. And then I felt guilty for thinking of how to protect myself if I saw the funnel coming rather than how to be with and protect my peacefully slumbering family upstairs.

Seeing nothing in the sky but the hint of daybreak and a few streaks of lightning, I gave the whole going back to sleep thing another shot. I snuggled in and grabbed my phone just to check the time really quickly. It had only been 15 minutes. I still had so much time before the warning was lifted. That was all I needed to start the mild panic once again. Was that daybreak? Or was that the green tinge I’ve always heard is the precursor to a tornado? Isn’t it supposed to sound like a train when it gets close? Is that the sound of a train? Or is that the fan? What about the curtains, are they moving because of the wind through the open window? Or is that also the fan?

The rain was really heavy now. And just then, the screen door fell over in the backyard with a loud clang. Images from the Wizard of Oz started flooding through. This is when I decided to check the weather online, my local media. Biggest mistake of the night. I was directed to pictures of destroyed houses, headlines of multiple deaths, abandoned animals that survived what their owners could not. The rain started subsiding, the wind started picking up, and the thunder went from loud claps nearly simultaneous with the lightning to several seconds off (if thunder ever rumbled at all) back to dangerously close to the bright flashes with no rhyme or reason, the rain picked up again. I surmised that my tiny house was on the very edge of the tornado and that within minutes it would tear through my neighborhood. I laid quietly but tense in every muscle. I stroked the Huz’s back and the cat’s belly, whispered my “I love you”s and then “I’m just a little scared”. And then, after what felt like an eternity, I looked at the clock. The time frame for the Tornado Warning had passed. Fear poured out of me, fatigue set in, and I let the purring cat, the pitter patter of rain on the sky light, and the echo of the fan all around me lull me back to sleep.

There are times when the iPhone is a handy thing. It’s nice to get a text message with an address and be able to click that address and immediately get driving directions to that location. It’s nice to be able to include my whole family in group messaging and riff off each other as if we were all in the same room. It’s nice to have something to play when you’re bored or something to take videos with. But there are large portions of time when I regret ever making the upgrade. Is it really better that Shelby and I can sit next to each other on the couch and never say a word to each other each night? That we spend hours absorbed in Words with Friends, Tetris, Simpsons Tapped Out and a variety of other games which we play against each other, but hardly look away from? Having an iAlert and weather updates at the swipe of my finger didn’t change the path of the storm, didn’t provide helpful information on the path of the storm, didn’t change my husband’s approach to the storm, and did nothing but rob me of an hour of peace and sleep. I would have been happier not knowing.

Check

Bedroom painted. Trim painted. Doors painted and hardware replaced. Curtain rod and curtains hung.

Well, I say bedroom painted which is mostly correct. There is about a foot of one wall near the highest point in the ceiling that hasn’t been reached yet. Our friend Beth was supposed to come over Monday with her ladder, but she got her days confused and realized it is this COMING Monday and not this PAST Monday that she has off from work. So, we still have the one wall to complete and until that happens, the room is still in a bit of disarray.

It makes me feel a little like a crazy person. Or like the grandparents from the Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory movie.

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Everything has been pushed into the center of the room which means that everything is closely packed around the bed. I can get just about anything out of the dresser or off the shelves without ever leaving the warmth of my covers. I have a tiny escape nook on my side which makes trying to get out of bed every morning quite the acrobatic event.

But the room is painted which is another huge step in Operation: Get the Heck Out of This Tiny House. And that makes me happy.

Timing Stinks

This week is not only National Medical Laboratory Professionals week (basically a week of employee appreciation events and meal planning and prize giving that HR has to coordinate and that virtually no employee appreciates) but is also Tech week (the week leading into the opening of a show when everyone’s tempers are short, frustration is high, and all of the equipment breaks at least once sending everyone into a panic).

I have got to stop doing shows in the Spring!

Rich People Problems

I fully recognize that the gripe fest I am about to have about my totally wretched Saturday may be construed as completely shallow and so not worth complaining about, but it impacted me quite negatively and I feel the need to remind everyone why I hate everything.

I had to work on Saturday. It was my own stupid suggestion, and I will get comp time off without having to take vacation, but I still had to be in my office at 8:30am on the weekend.

On my way to work, I saw a dead cat in the road. In my pre-dawn/pre-coffee confused brain, while unnecessarily staring a little too long at a black cat making sure it wasn’t my calico kitty, I hit the curb.

And got a flat tire.

Of the tires I JUST BOUGHT LIKE A MONTH AGO!

So on my way to work on a Saturday, I pull into the municipal gas station (IE where the cops fill up) to change my flat tire. My husband was too far away to make it worth the effort to help me and with this being where the cops frequently are, you’d think one of them would offer their assistance. But despite having at least 4 cops roll through, not one of them even stopped by to question what this unauthorized vehicle was doing in their gas station.

I hauled my jack and crowbar thingie and full size spare out of the trunk and while cranking the jack, almost immediately scraped off half my pinkie on the ground.

I twisted my ankle standing and jumping on the crowbar thingie trying to use my entire body weight to loosen the freakin lug nuts.

When I got the flat off and rolled the new tire into place, I nearly had a meltdown. I tried heaving, lifting propping, but I could not find a way to use my strength to make the tire fit. I had seriously convinced myself that they gave me the wrong wheel and that the tire would not be going onto my car. But I walked away, took a few deep breaths, wiped away the one sad tear that had managed to escape, and using the force of the Hulk, got the thing lifted and angled correctly so that I could slide two of the bolts into place which made it so much easier to get the other three aligned.

Once I got the lug nuts back on and everything back into the trunk, I wiped my hands on a Kleenex I had in the car, wrapped my pinkie, used the water bottle to dab the blood out of my skirt, and continued the very slow drive to work. I did not have much confidence at the end of all things that I had put the lug nuts on tight enough so that my wheel wouldn’t just fall off if I hit a bump.

I am woman, hear me roar! I don’t need no stinkin help from you mister policeman. Get back in your fancy car and protect and serve by pulling over some busy person that rolled through a stop sign. Cuz that is a much more valuable contribution to society than helping some skirted female change her tire in your front yard! Heaven forbid you get your dark blue uniform dirty. Nevermind me in my white and yellow skirt. Jerks.

This is all before I even get to the office. And we all know how I feel about work. But we are expecting a huge number of positions any time now, and we have a fantastic group of upcoming grads that we need to nab before someone else does. What better way than to conduct back to back interviews on a Saturday? 24 interviews conducted with 21 possible hires. Not bad for a half day’s work, even if it was exhausting.

But then I started running late to rehearsal (after my boss just HAD to touch base for 20 minutes). And I hadn’t thought to bring any lunch. So I start flying out the door and head on auto pilot to the wrong theatre. Instead of being 3 minutes late to a rehearsal that I, as the stage manager, should be to 30 minutes early, I am going to be 23 minutes late.

And of course, the weather was nice. So every hippie in Durham is out with their 14 dogs and 12 babies attached to them in sarongs and other highly unstable baby carrying devices and for some reason when the weather is nice, downtown Durham becomes one huge block party and cars are not recognized as the enormous people running over machines that they are so everyone with their 14 dogs and babies are walking in the streets and they are only walking at all because they have already parked their cars in every available spot within a 4 mile radius! So once I finally find a spot, I have to run to rehearsal.

And when I got to rehearsal, I wasn’t late at all because the director had something else he wanted to do and so he did it and was only just about to get us going which meant that all that road rage and stress was completely useless and stupid which just made me feel even better.

But I kept it all together. I remained level headed and professional. I did not let my frustration show. I went on with rehearsal like a good little girl.

And then I stubbed my toe.

Floodgates opened, I threw my script across the room, screamed how I hated my life on that day, and crying, bolted into the lobby of the theatre to shake and shudder and feel the complete embarrassment wash over me. All while I can hear my husband in the background apologizing for his actress wife who can sometimes be overly dramatic.

THBTHBTHBTHBTHBTHTHTHB

The world of course did not end. I did survive the weekend. And though Shelby invited everyone to ours for the day on Sunday, wrecking my plans for total and complete vegetation on a blanket under the sun in the backyard, I still kept it together and managed to carve out some sunshine for myself by planting some vegetables in pots.

But my pinkie still hurts. And I still have no respect for the police. At least not in Durham County.

Spoilt

The bloom may wear off the rose eventually, but for now, I am a spoiled rotten princess and I am loving every minute of it.

You may recall that the Huz mislocated his job at the end of Feb. I am not sure if he is feeling guilty or has truly found his calling, but he is a top-notch stay at home husband. My house has never been so clean and organized. The turnaround time on my underwear alone is enough to give me whiplash. He’s cleaned cracks, crevices, the baseboards behind the toilets, the cobwebs in the corners of the ceiling, the junk drawers, the closets, the fridge…I could go on but you get the idea. We still need to paint and stage but on the whole, the house is getting pretty close to list worthy. He even bought the part we needed to replace in the fridge door!

Every night when I come home dinner is either waiting for me or about to be. On the occasions it is still being prepared, my wine is poured, my efforts to help are thwarted and I am directed to change, put my feet up and play my iPad until dinner is ready. Every night, the dishes are loaded into the dishwasher and the kitchen is cleaned. By the time I wake up every day, my abandoned work clothes from the day before have been hung or folded (or in some cases even washed!), my water bottle has been refilled, and my travel coffee mug has been rinsed and set by the K-Cup machine for me. Sometimes I have a lunch packed.

Household tasks went from a divide and hope to conquer situation to totally taken care of without another thought. The plants are watered, the laundry is handled, the recycling and trash are emptied into the big bins periodically (as in before they are massively overflowing) and the bins are taken down to the curb. The cat is either well fed or isn’t concerned about it and it’s hard to tell because I haven’t had to empty her litter box in over a month. Even the mail is collected routinely.

The plants have been moved outside and the spare bedroom has been staged. Now that the plants are out, we can also stage the front room. The kitchen cupboards have been cleaned out and are ready for new liners. The walls are washed and doors painted downstairs. There’s still some work to do, but at the rate he’s going, I won’t have to do any of it. 😉