emergence (and Thanksgiving 2018)

The pit was dreary, my friends, and deep.

For 22 days, I moved. For 22 days, I unloaded, unpacked, organized, painted, culled unnecessary old things, bought necessary new things, spent hours at Home Depot and Target, went back to Home Depot again for one more thing, went back to Home Depot again for one more thing, threw a slightly subdued Thanksgiving party, gave up on Christmas shopping and just ordered a bunch of toys off Amazon, handmade 40 Christmas cards, and decorated, decorated, decorated.

For 22 days, I didn’t write! At all!! D: D: D:

I haven’t had a writing gap longer than a couple of days since the dark month after my second child was born. That was about a year and a half ago. I always stumble in November because of holiday commitments, but the move really kicked things into high gear.

I know that once I start a project, it’s painful as hell to bounce in and out of project mode, so I decided to buckle down and finish my New House To Do List as quickly as possible, rather than spend months of weekends doing one piece at a time.

Anyway, it took 22 days.

But I’m back, baby! In approximately two hours one hour, naptime will begin, and I shall finish reducing the word count on a synopsis I wrote a month ago, and then I shall very grimly contemplate how to next prioritize my time.

Knock out some short stories, because I have lamentably little on submission? Or dive into research for 2019 Book in order to fill in the outline? Or dive into the outline in order to suss out what I need to research?

Wish me luck!

And finally, a couple of subdued pics from subdued Itsa Me, Thanksgiving!

mario thanksgiving

Itsa me, Italian stereotype!

thanksgiving dinner

Itsa me, Thanksgiving lasagna!

We had already planned a lasagna regardless of the theme. I know what you’re thinking: it’s supposed to be a Christmas lasagna! To which I say: nah, nah, Christmas is for fish.

Now, away! I have naptimes to exploit!

papa lindsey

Welp, my house is haunted.

When we first moved in, I mentioned that our home had some serious DIY flare. The prior owner clearly had a tendency to declare, “Yeah I can fix that,” regardless of whether this was, in fact, true.

The light bulbs in any given room don’t match. The doorjambs have been painted over so many times the doors barely close. The bathroom door is ragged because somebody inexplicably (and shittily) sawed an inch off the bottom?

bathroom door


The dude was obsessed with power outlets, so the house has outlets all over the place, even on the ceiling (which, hey, was actually useful for Christmas decorating). It’s a scavenger hunt to figure out which outlet connects to which switch. A year-and-a-half in, I still have mystery switches.

At this point, we have mentally constructed a vision of this man: a middle-aged, gruff, white, Dad-type marching around with a tool belt, or else rummaging in a messy tool box and bellowing about things being missing even though he was definitely the last one to use it. And due to misreading some documents regarding prior owners, we thought the family was named Lindsey and therefore dubbed this paragon of self-sufficiency Papa Lindsey.

But Papa Lindsey is real, guys. And he’s a ghost.

Papa Lindsey sneaks around at night adding outlets to the baseboards. He tries to fix the wiring in the dining room, but it only makes the lights flicker even more unpredictably. He lives in the gaping hell-hole attic space of our converted garage, but slinks into the main house at night for further tinkering.

And apparently he is not pleased with our lackluster upkeep, because he’s turning poltergeist. Let’s document the incidents in chronological order.

FIRST. My husband witnessed our son’s motorized car jolting back and forth against the dining room table leg, despite neither child nor cat being anywhere near the remote controller. I later heard a similar incident in the kitchen, though the car stopped moving as soon as I whipped my head around to look.

SECOND. Our 2-year-old son ran out of his room in distress, insisting, “I don’t like that kid!” Do we have a secondary ghost on our hands? Is this child-ghost trying to warn us about his mad papa?

THIRD. Our cat has, on multiple occasions, bolted onto the dining room table, gone stock still, and stared at the ceiling in hunter-cat readiness. This cat is no hunter. He’s a useless marshmallow. What does he think he’s keeping his eye on?

FOURTH. The most alarming incident of all. Like, really alarming and not comedy-for-my-blog alarming:

A few days ago, my husband and I were woken up by a persistent click-click-clicking noise that invaded our dreams. I rolled over in disoriented annoyance. He realized what it was and bolted out of the room.

One of the burners on our stove was on. Like, propane flame a-flaming. Luckily (??) the knob was still on the igniter, so the clicking sound woke us up. As opposed to not being on the igniter, and either leaking gas or burning till we went in the kitchen. It was about 5:30 a.m., so it could have gone 1-2 hours unnoticed if not for the noise.

Papa Lindsey, whyyyy?? Is it our lack of appreciation of power outlets? Our determination to slowly replace or patch your bizarre handyman fixes? The terrible state of the backyard?

And per my move-in blog, remember this vaguely unsettling grave marker by the shed?



Yeahhhh, I’m really starting to doubt whether Max was the dog. Are we dealing with the alcoholic handyman known as Max Lindsey, electrocuted by his own wiring? Or is Max the tortured child-ghost trying to warn us before it’s too late?

Time to start looking for a new house.

more pros and cons of home ownership

You can now paint any room in your house any color you want because it’s YOURS bitches, so off you run to Home Depot.

On the downside, you are now shopping a lot at Home Depot, which means playing the time-honored game of “Who actually works here, and who is actually certified to discuss the aisle I’m trying to shop in?”

You come away with avocado green and a bloody red you assume will dry darker (much like blood), blithely laughing off the paint clerk’s raised eyebrow because it’s not like these are both for the same room!

But then it’s time to tape off the walls you’re painting, which is certifiably the worst, and also you have to keep the door to the baby’s room shut because his window doesn’t have a screen and even though you bought no-VOC paint you would still like to have an open window while you work.

Avocado green was an EXCELLENT choice and now you and your husband are brainstorming elaborate ways to turn the baby’s room into the set of Jurassic Park, and no you are not joking.

One of the cats barges in anyway because he’s 17 pounds and he can open unlatched doors with his head, so you waste a few minutes chasing him away from the open window and then holding him down so your husband can clean his feet with baby wipes–even though he didn’t walk on the walls so why are they damp??

Also your baby doesn’t want to take a nap because “HOLY MOLY WHY ARE MY WALLS GREEN??” so your husband puts him down in the living room and inadvertently you come one step closer to the adorable cat-baby friendship you’ve always wanted but couldn’t see happening due to all the unfortunate tail-pulling.


Almost friends??

Since you’re a bit of a project-a-holic you decide to paint the kitchen accent wall that same afternoon, and hope against hope that the cats won’t do something foolish in the middle of the night and run bloody footprints all over the house.

You finally go to bed content in the knowledge that your baby can’t get overexcited by the walls due to it being so dark, though he wakes you up at 4 am anyway because that’s just how he rolls.

He falls back asleep and you decide to take advantage of the following 2-hour reprieve to quietly go about your morning routine, which includes relighting the water heater because there’s a piece of glass missing over the pilot light and you no longer have a landlord to fix such things–and you definitely need a hot shower because your arms and shoulders are hella sore from paint roller-ing.

Also it’s been raining and it is crazy dark outside because there are no lights on your street and it’s overcast to boot, so you need to use a camping lantern to get to the water heater. It is pretty hard to find the camping lantern and what you really need is a flashlight to help you find a bigger flashlight.

But when all is said and done: the water is warming up for your physical therapy shower, the baby is sleeping in his dino-green bedroom, and you get to enjoy a hot cup of coffee and admire your kitchen accent wall because damn, that is a nice shade of red.