Anniversaries

28 Feb

It’s been awhile since my last posting so I thought it was time to surface again. We just celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary and 29th year together. I have to admit, however, neither of us remembered the date until a relative sent us their good wishes. Fortunately we had memorialized the date on the sidewalk outside our house when new cement was poured. So a quick walk out the front door confirmed the timing. Yep we definitely were married the first time on February 27, 2004 after 19 years of being engaged.

WOW! 10 years! Soon a feeling of panic wells up into my stomach. What’s a good Butch Wife supposed to do for a 10th anniversary? There must be some kind of rule here. I am pretty sure straight people know about such things but I’m still a little fuzzy in this area. I did remember reading somewhere that the types of anniversary gifts one should purchase has already been defined! Just think. Someone actually sat down one day and decided on what materials a wedding gift should be made of for every year of a marriage. I wonder how that came to pass. Was it just some random guy sitting around thinking, “Now I will make a list of what type of gift to give my spouse for the rest of my life so I don’t have to think about it every year!” Really? Or was there a major discovery made way back when whose contents included a scroll from heaven noting “Only these items will confirm one’s love to another.” Somehow I doubt that but who knows. Who am I to argue. Oh joy, oh rapture….there’s a list. I love lists.

So off to the internet I go to find out what kind of gift to buy my lovely wife for our 10th anniversary. To my horror I found it was diamonds! Yep, diamonds. Couldn’t be quartz, painted rocks or chocolates. Noooo!!! It has to be diamonds. God save me please.

Now I’m usually quite generous with those I love and normally have no qualms about spending money. But are diamonds REALLY necessary to prove my worth as a truly extraordinary Butch Wife? This is my quandary. Ya, they’re pretty, come in all shapes and sizes, and my wife is certainly worth all things wonderful. But lets just take a moment here. Consider the following: In one jewelry store I looked at a basic diamond necklace – rather plane, with a diamond you could at least see on the end of a silver chain. Nice, simple, and I was sure it would look great around her neck so I ask in a rather excited tone, “How much for this one?” I was astonished to hear a sweet little voice from the store clerk say, “Oh, that one’s on sale….just $2000 plus tax.” WHAT?? No, that wasn’t going to happen. I can be generous but there’s a limit….right?

After much hemming and hawing I ended up getting some beautiful multi-colored roses from South America in a gorgeous arrangement, and found a local jewelry artisan on our hill who had made a stunning gold tear drop shaped necklace that could worn everyday of her life. When I gave them both to her she was thrilled. And to me those ‘non-traditional’ anniversary gifts were more ‘my girl’ than diamonds. Not that she isn’t WORTH diamonds, of course, but knowing her the way I do, she would worry about wearing them for fear of losing them, so they would just sit in her jewelry box, unworn, for safety’s sake. At least with these gifts she can enjoy them for weeks and years to come, and they were both things she loves anyway.

Butch Wife Tip #31

I love my wife. I really do and I have pledged my life to her for all time. I will never, ever waiver on that score. But diamonds in a box do not always a Butch Wife Extraordinaire make in my book. I don’t think my intent to show her that love can be defined by someone else’s pre-defined list. When choosing an anniversary gift for your wife, think of her and what she might like, not what someone else tells you ‘should’ be the right thing to give to her. To me, an expression of love and commitment doesn’t have to come in a box. It’s a daily reaffirmation, and can be as simple as a kiss and a hug. Of course chocolates work a lot of times as well. I’m just sayin…..!

Julie

Butch Wife Extraordinaire-in-Training

#30 To Roll or Not to Roll, That is the Question…..

20 Jul

On sunny days in San Francisco I sit and watch the bay during the morning hours after the fog lifts from its nightly crawl over the coastal range hills. Today there’s some foggy wisps interspersed with low clouds making sight lines of the east bay from our deck a bit vague, but the outlines of the hills are at least visibly implied. We are getting ready for our next international journey and are putting the final touches on the house for our guests who will be staying here while we are gone. With every trip comes the inevitable need to pack just the right amount of stuff so one isn’t carrying heavy loads across miles of walking often required overseas. So I thought I would share some of my experiences in this area with you.

I used to pack enough clothes so I could wear a different thing every day I was gone. For example, a ten day trip used to require ten pair of underwear, ten pair of socks, 4 or 5 pair of pants, many shirts depending on the possible occasions you will have to wear one, and of course EVERYTHING in your bathroom drawer HAD to be added in just in case you might need something. I was once of the belief no other place in the world would sell Tums if I got heartburn or aspirin if I got a headache, so of course one would take any and all preventive discomfort solutions in one’s suitcase just in case. I never worried about carrying makeup……..it’s just not part of who I am.

I should also add I believed each shirt needed to be ironed before carefully folding them into neat little squares of cotton in my suitcase. I believed as well the whole effort of putting clothes IN a suitcase required strategic thinking and precise tactical planning. After all, I would be living out of my suitcase so to keep my things from exploding all over my hotel room the proper placement of daily items in ones suitcase would be required as I saw it.

Given the enormity of the task of packing, I assumed ONLY known project management principles used in business could prepare one to travel long distances and be ready for ANY contingency. And therefore I would deploy the full strength of my business project experience to approach packing in preparation of world exploration. Each item was identified, checked for proper operation (no tears or missing buttons), color coordinated and carefully folded to be as flat as possible. Pants went in first with a half fold and then placed as flat as possible on the bottom of the case. Next shirts would be set in rows of two across the pants, and then socks and underwear. Finally bathroom items were appropriately bagged, labeled, and strategically placed in shoes stuffed on each side of the case so if anything broke open at least the liquid stuff would not get onto any clothes in the case. My logic was my feet might have a new odor but other than that I would be fine.

I have since learned a few tricks after hundreds of thousands of miles of travel and the first big lesson is generally the people you see on one day you probably won’t see the next day, so who cares if you wear the same thing more than once. And if you are going to a beach area, absolutely no one seems to care that you are wearing the same shorts every day. Trust me, they really don’t. Next, other countries do indeed sell bathroom items like toothpaste, aspirin, band-aids or Tums, and in many cases, if you forgot something their local pharmacists can help you help for pretty much half the cost of the same items in the USA.

Finally when it comes to packing I have settled on the ‘roll method.’ No matter how often I carefully ironed, folded and smoothed items into a suitcase, they ALWAYS came out wrinkled. I found out if you roll your pants and shirts rather than fold them into cotton squares, they actually stay less wrinkled, and you have more space for stuff in your bag. Really. So now it takes me about 20 minutes to pack for a month long trip and the anxiety of making sure I have everything I will need no longer hounds me. Just make sure you have enough clothes packed so you have something to wear to the washing up place and are not sitting around half or fully naked waiting for your pants to dry.

Butch Wife Tip #30

Travelling with my partner to new places foreign to our normal way of life has given us a chance to see that people are the same no matter where we go or what language they speak. Outside of the states, I found those we met on the road cared less about what we wore than who we are. And the times we spent getting to know each other were always special because we are so alike in so many ways. So take a trip with your wife to places you’ve never seen before and where they don’t speak your language. I guarantee you will fall in love with being human again. And forget about taking a big bag of stuff with you. Put the iron back on the shelf, take a spinning carry-on bag, hit the road, and send pictures when you get there!

Butch Wife Extraordinaire-in-Training

#29 Married…..Again!

2 Jul

It’s official………and so are we. After marrying twice before and having it taken away from us, once again we find we are legally married in the state of California. When the DOMA decision from the Supreme Court came down I have to admit we weren’t surprised since that particular piece of conservative legislation was so obviously filled with hate from the get go. But when our friends called us to say the court refused to agree with the Prop 8 folks we jumped from bed and started singing and dancing all over the house. What a wonderful feeling! We actually went down to City Hall in San Francisco to greet those in line to get married and handed out yogurts to make their wait a little less burdensome. When we got married the first time we stood in line for 12 hours only to come up short at the end of the day. But what was so amazing was people from all over the world sent flowers to City Hall to all those standing in line (ours were from Moscow’s Boris and Ivan) and we wanted to return the favor. Wrapped in a home made listing of our rights we walked the halls and congratulated those in line. What a wonderful day!

Some have talked about this equality fight as one in which our only interests were to gain benefits from the Federal government. And I have to admit knowing my wife can visit me in the hospital, or obtain some small amount of financial security after I die through receipt of Social Security benefits, or that friends with partners who are non-citizens can now ensure their families are not broken apart by being deported….those are things that matter certainly. But for me, this new civil right is less about what we can ‘get’ from the government and more about being able to publicly affirm my love and commitment to my wife without fear of reprisal or attack like any other citizen of this nation.

I have spent the last 45 years of my life working for causes that made it illegal to dismiss a gay person from their jobs because of who they loved; fighting against discrimination in housing against persons refusing to rent to gay people, or standing up for our rights to dance in a gay bar without fear the police would come in with billy clubs and physically demand everyone stop dancing. Stop dancing? Really? Yep, really that happened. “Back in my day” when we went out to the gay bars, there always had to be a look out posted at doors to alert us if the police were on their way in so we could stop hugging, kissing or dancing with each other while they were there. And if there was no trouble from those police that did come in, it was usually because the owner of the bar had a little something under the table to share with them so no one got hurt. Bad times. Bad days back then.

But these days the sun is shining, we have won our legal rights. I know there are still loads of people who hate us for being born with different genes then they, but today we can talk about our differences in the open without being thrown in jail. I’m not asking anyone to accept me on face value, but I have no fear of demanding respect for my rights as a citizen and I AM just as much a full citizen as anyone else in this country.

So thank you Supreme Court justices, and thank you to all the folks who took the fight for civil equality to heart and kept the drums beating for all of us. And to all those conservative citizens who still believe me and my wife to be an abomination against God, bless you for your beliefs. They just aren’t mine.

Butch Wife Tip #29
Perseverance – don’t give up, don’t give in, and don’t give out. Your right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” in this country is undeniable and worth the fight no matter how long it takes.

Butch Wife Extraordinaire-in-Training

#28 Getting Out of Myself

2 Jul

Hello again. My life has been taking a variety of roads over the past few months which resulted in me being away from the blog for a while but I’m back now. And, I am proud to report our iRobot Rosie continues to control the dust bunnies around our house. Since that major irritant in my life has been dealt a lethal blow, I decided to branch out from chores and volunteer for something. I think other Baby Boomer types like me are doing the same thing during this early retirement age and I wonder at us. I look at us and believe our generation explored our inner most selves without fear, stopped a war, brought down a President, explored mind altering states of being, railed against greed and bigotry, and are still making ‘bucket lists’ of adventures to be completed before we die. I am amazed at reaching this last portion of my life still alive (sometimes that wasn’t always a certainty) and still relatively sound of mind. So doing something for others just seemed like a good idea.

To get started on my new ‘altruistic’ persona I decided to look for who needs some help on the internet of course. After all it is THE place to find anything, right? I logged onto the web and put in ‘volunteer, San Francisco, CA’ and to my astonishment I g0t over 12,000,000 hits of potential volunteering opportunities – OMG! I knew there were a lot of non-profits out there and tons of groups who meet in church basements, but 12 million in SF alone? We don’t even have that many PEOPLE living here!

It became glaringly obvious this was not going to be a ‘point and click’ type of thing so I decided to sit back and take conscious stock of the type of things I would actually like to do. In my mind, one shouldn’t start something like this only to find you hate what you’re doing. I had way too much of that type of situation while working for a living.

So I put the lid of my laptop down, went into the living room and sat down in front of our windows staring at the bay around us. What do I like to do with others? Ummmm, well, having dinner out, going to the movies, laughing about the world and, of course, there’s golf. So it hit me…..I have played golf my whole life. My father taught me when I was 5 and it has stayed with me. I love the game, the locations, and the challenge. I was watching a tournament on TV and an ad came on about The First Tee association. This is a group that helps disadvantaged youth learn the game and some of the life lessons its play demands, like respect, courtesy, integrity, perspective, responsibility, confidence, sportsmanship and judgment. Sounded like my kinda of thing so I sent it my application to volunteer before the tournament was over.

Once I was screened and oriented to the First Tee program, I began working with kids 6-12. During the last few weeks teaching golf skills and talking about how to interact with each other around the game. I have to admit, it’s the most wonderful time of my week. I look forward to going and am sorry to leave when my time is up. Most of my kids come from the ghettos. One was shot in the leg “when he was little” (he’s 7 now) and has a tricky gate to his walk, but he can swing a club like a pro and loves being on the course whenever he can. Another kid is about 5’10’, 160 lbs and is 11 years old. He’s just not at all sure how his body moves and often not in the ways he intends, but he hits a golf ball a country mile with a huge grin every time he connects. My five 11-year-old Asian girls, who would normally rather text than anything else in life, are now chipping and putting like some on the LPGA tour. All in all there’s about 50 or 60 kids per three hour session that are bused in or whose parents drop them off, and all are learning to play golf. But more than that, they are ghetto kids who have learned through The First Tee program to take their hats off, look you in the eye, greet you and inquire about your life with confidence and good humor. Wow — just wow! It’s definitely worth being a part of if you like golf.

Butch Wife Tip #28

As a bona fide member of the ‘me generation’ and gay to boot, one thing I am learning about being a good Butch Wife is to bring things to a relationship rather than just expecting it to be provided just because you are there. For me, I found volunteering with young ones is a very rewarding way to get out of myself for a time and be able to bring back to my wife stories of challenge, loss, triumph and love. It’s a wonderful thing and takes so little to give these people a little time out for fun and reaffirmation of self worth. And being able to bring those stories of triumph (and sometimes sorrow) back to my relationship makes me feel we are part of a world in which we can make a positive difference in someone else’s life. Ummm….seems like a good Butch Wife thing to do to me.

Butch Wife Extraordinaire-in-Training

#27 – You’re Going Down, Dust Bunny!!!

30 Jan

I have won the battle over the dust bunnies in my home!!!  Oh yes, this Butch Wife has once again demonstrated her superiority over all things chores she surveys and God said, “It is good!” My friends, family, and devoted strangers…………..the answer to eliminating dust bunnies from your rooms, halls and noses lies with a little robot we call “Rosie.”  Ah yes, she is compact, clever, somewhat shy when pit against large objects and she is ours!!!  Lest you feel in want Rosie is an iRobot Roomba 595 Pet Series robotic vacuum cleaner and she loves us.

We picked her up at Costco this past weekend and spent the first day waiting with anxiety while she charged, not knowing if the $300 investment would really live up to its hype.  On day two, I looked at her docking station, noted the green light around the “Clean” button and decided it was now or never and so hit the button.  With a little musical awake song, slowly she began to roll away from the docking station, spun in a few circles to get her bearings and then off she headed moving at a steady pace across the floors and carpets spinning her little brushes as she went.  Dust bunnies melted away under her belly never to be seen again, and items she was unable to roll over she moved around.  Testing each wall gently to ensure there were no bump marks left, she crossed the floors upstairs in a steady, albeit somewhat strange pattern and within an hour all visages of bunnies, dust or otherwise, had disappeared.  OMG!!!

Now you may wonder how she does with steps.  Well, our little Rosie has ‘eyes’ for those and avoids them like the plague.  She also doesn’t eat up rug fringe as she just spins away from it so as not to tangle the brushes and wheels underneath.  If she does get tangled in some stringy thing left on the floor she starts sending a knocking noise to let you know to come untangle her.  Not extremely loud but just enough to ensure you hear her, after all, our Rosie is too polite to interrupt abruptly!

At the end of her task for the day, and when her battery runs down, she begins to look for the docking station again.  There’s a little beacon at the top of it that sends out “I am here” light beams to Rosie’s little beacon on top and off she goes to reconnect with the station.  She heads for it, turns herself around to the right position and then gently crawls back up to her place and quietly goes to sleep while the docking station feeds her the power she needs to start again when we wake her up.  It’s a wonder and I love her, and we have decided to adopt her forever.

Butch Wife Tip #27

I have battled these dust bunnies for months and had given up hope of ever conquering them.  My old asthmatic lungs were resigned to coughing and sneezing for the rest of my life.  But then along came Rosie.  Who knew a little round disk with wheels, brushes and a suction tube could make so much difference in one’s life.  It doesn’t hug you but I bet if it could it would.

So I say, iRobot rocks!  When there’s a house chore needing attention and you just can’t seem to ever get it done, let a robot do it.  They will do it until they drop and never complain.  They will stay loyal as long as you give them power, and they will never ask for time off.  And if you are really, really nice to them, and start talking to them like real people, call a therapist as you might have gone too far!

Butch-Wife-Extraordinaire-In-Training

#26 – Bow Wow, Mom

17 Jan

I haven’t written recently because we have been ‘on the road’ for the holidays, and house chores took a definite back seat to life.  Now I find they once again have crept up on my conscience and I have to admit my first response is to run screaming from the house.  I rrrrreeeeaaaallllyyy hate chores.  And my ongoing nemesis, those pesky little dust bunnies, are now climbing up the walls in the closet.  Have I mentioned how much I hate these guys?

I wanted to write however about my dog.  Besides the reality of needing to do house chores slamming into my brain this week, when we returned from England I noted our dog Buster was losing what seemed to be an inordinate amount of weight even though he was eating well.  His coat looked bad and his hair was adding to my ‘dust bunny problem’ more than usual.  He still ran around and played to some extent, but when I had him on my lap and was petting him his hair felt stiff and brittle, and his skin was dry and flaky.  His eyes, always seeming to be pleading for something, were telling me he didn’t feel right inside.  I don’t know about you guys, but when my dog is sick my heart feels like it’s really breaking in two because they can’t tell you where it hurts and you just know they do hurt and yet feel helpless to fix it.  God, I hate that feeling.

My experience with vets tends to normally cost me thousands of dollars every time I walk into their offices, so I decided this time to get some information before going to see one.  Of course I don’t have any dog medical books so I did what any 21st century human does these days, I Googled my dog’s symptoms on the internet.  Come to find out most of the web sites I visited all said Buster’s symptoms seemed to indicate he might have some type of worm.  Ughhh! When I called a vet to confirm my diagnosis and determine costs for correcting this problem I found out it would take hundreds of dollars to examine him, do the lab work, and then more to get whatever medicine might be warranted.

Now, I don’t want to bad mouth vets, but this type of condition for my dog is pretty common, and hundreds of dollars to fix it seemed extraordinary.  So I decided to keep looking and found a web site for beagles that talked about worms for dogs.  Who knew there was a web site just for beagle owners?  But of course, you might say, the internet has a web site for ANY THING.  I respond – of course it does-my bad.  I even found web sites for mutts.  Go figure.

Anyway, I digress…..the guy who writes for beagles seemed to have a good sense of dogs and lots of free  information and he noted worms in dogs can be treated easily and cheaply.  The author identified the 4 types of worms a dog can get, and some are pretty awful, even ending in death in rare cases.  Reading the descriptions provided I came to the conclusion Buster looked like he had a less potent type of worm which eased my mind, and the cure was simple.

ValleyVet.com is the site and SAFEGUARD DEWORMER-DOGS is the stuff.  For about $20 total they will send you this medicine in a couple of days. It’s called fenbendazole and it treats roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and tapeworms in dogs and puppies.   After three days of this stuff in Buster’s food he is a new dog.  His skin is looking great, his hair has stopped falling out, he’s starting to gain some weight back and he’s back to his normal joyful self.  (I have also added some fish oil to his food for skin purposes and he’s doing just fine.)

Butch Wife Tip #26

This whole event brought up some things for me.  When it comes to pets, I don’t think anyone can deny these cuddly little guys tug at your heart strings in ways you can’t ignore even if you are a strong Butch Wife.  I think sometimes I love my pets more than some people I know.  Especially dogs.  They seem to have a special empathy with humans other animals just don’t.  When they get sick an incredible feeling of helplessness comes up in me and all the seeming strength of character and confidence in myself will quickly disappear into fear and uncertainty.

Fortunately in my experience your dog will tell you in his way when he doesn’t feel good.  I found you just need to pay attention and look.  Those pleading eyes of theirs will delve into your soul at your very first glance and by some miracle convey their very deepest thoughts and feelings directly to your heart.  Don’t look away, as a stronger love connection cannot be found than that of your dog for you and vice versa.  Don’t look away, as your dog will eagerly share with you every ounce of their loyalty even if you don’t ask for it.  Don’t look away, your dog will love you unconditionally, healthy or not, for as long as he or she lives which is hard to find anywhere.  Don’t look away, as you will never regret experiencing the joy of having a dog in your life.  Don’t look away, I’m just sayin’.

 

Butchwife-Extraordinaire-in-TrainingMartinique 2011 156-Julie at Ti Sable

 

 

#25 – There IS a pony under there somewhere!!!

22 Nov

I experienced some unusual moments in Canada this week and somehow felt uplifted.  For example, a couple of nights ago I went to a local hamburger/sports bar near my hotel for dinner to watch a football game.  Next to my table in the bar a small group of 20-something’s were talking and laughing while playing the card game Go Fish.  Think of it…..young adults not really drinking heavily in a bar and enjoying playing Go Fish!

After a big smile flashes across my face and a chuckle slips out of my mouth, I turn to eat my dinner.  When I looked across the room between bites I saw an 80-something couple laughing and talking during their dinner with a look of true interest for the other in their eyes.  No vacant stares into space from either husband or wife, no angry sounding talk, no long, silent lulls in their conversation –  just a couple truly enjoying each other’s company.   Think of it……old adults who still love each other.

As I sat in this unfamiliar place watching the people around me I wondered if I would ever feel too old to do young things or too bored with life to forget that I can love and be loved.  Can a Butch Wife Extraordinaire remain a true Butch Wife if she still likes to play with pickup sticks and skip along the street?  I whistle and I like to whistle even if I’m off key.  Does a real butch wife do that?

What makes someone lose interest in life?  Does it happen when life throws loss our way, as it inevitably does, and lets our dreams fade and our hearts harden?  Or does it occur when we only act as humans doing rather than humans being?  Can you lose interest in life because things become more important than people? Does a Butch Wife have to be serious and responsible to the point that laughter becomes quiet and seldom heard?  God I hope not.

I remember growing up in the hills of West Virginia knowing we didn’t have a lot of money, but relishing in the laughter and kidding we did together as a family.  My father had a terrific sense of humor and my mother became a constant target for all of us to tease.  It was fun to watch and participate in, and the whole time there was no question of whether life was interesting or not.  Of course it was and always would be.  I remember the sheer happiness I felt as a 6 year old when meeting up with friends down by the river.  We would sit on the banks watching the water flow, continually tossing and retrieving a homemade fishing line with its safety pin hook hoping someday to catch something.  We never did catch a fish, but we shared our world and sang songs together thinking it would coax the fish ever closer to our un-baited hooks.  God I loved those days.

I am now an officially older person and wondered recently if I might lose interest in life.  I don’t think I will.  I still haven’t jumped out of an airplane and glided to earth under a parachute.  Also there are thousands of places yet to experience on this earth, even though I’ve travelled around it several times.  And I am still be amazed at the number of ways I can show my wife that I love her and always will.  I hope I never forget that.  Please God.

Butch Wife Tip #25

Does getting older really mean one has to leave those un-baited fish hooks behind or assume all that could be said or done with your loved one has already been said or done?  I don’t think so.  I think a Butch Wife Extraordinaire still whistles with abandon and sings off key as loud as she can to the one she loves.  Try it.  You’ll feel good doing it.  I’m just sayin’……………

Butch Wife Extraordinaire-in-Training

#24 – All that smells sweet are not always roses!!

5 Nov

Did you ever wonder how that mouse in the kitchen actually got there?  We did and once we found out it haunted our dreams for many nights!!  I am convinced the mice from the hills by our house maintain a steady, vigilant lookout from their perch waiting to invade like a tsunami at the slightest opportunity.  When they see a possibility of entry to our home I am sure they probably send out some major signal to their mice buddies, “Hey, we got a live one here…….this way!!!”  And when we started looking for access points to our house, OMG!!!  Did you know mice can get into your house through a hole no bigger than a quarter?

So we had to figure out what to do to protect against infestation since these long tailed little critters can become ubiquitous overnight.  First stop then for me was to look on the internet and see what others did who have had the same experience.  I had no idea there were so many different companies dealing with mice, nor was I aware of how many different ways people have to suggest getting rid of them.    Some say just get another cat.  That’s fine if they come out of the walls one at a time, but even our current little ‘Cujo’ cat can’t get them all.  She’s really good at capturing them, which we really do admire.  But she also has a propensity to capture mice on the hill and then bring them into the house for viewing before she eviscerates them on our stairwell landing.  Now I love the thought of sharing but adding to our infestation problem was not what I had in mind while praising her tenacity.

Then there’s the ‘set traps all over your house’ idea.   That’s fine too if you want to go around picking up dead or dying mice every few days.  Gotta admit this was not my best solution.  We tried some of those chemical traps since I kept snapping my fingers with those other kind of traps trying to set them. When I saw one of those little mice still grasping for air while stuck in the trap it broke my heart and made me feel like a murderer!  All I could think of when looking at the trapped mouse was that song from a kids movie, “Somewhere out there, above the pale blue sky…..”  You know the movie, about the little mouse far from home lamenting his family?  I just couldn’t continue using those traps with that vision in my mind, and I know I should probably consider relinquishing my Butch Wife card because of it.

Another suggestion from my internet research was to spray your house with all sorts of poisons to just kill the mice outright.  Okay, but doesn’t that somehow rearrange your chromosomes or something once the stuff permeates your walls?  The thought of spraying my house with such stuff made e worry about waking up one morning with the possibility of a new third eye growing on my forehead.  It just didn’t seem a good look so we didn’t pursue this option.

Finally we decided the only way to really clean out the muck and get rid of the awful smell was to actually take the ceiling down.   I don’t have any issues with knocking stuff down, but when it comes to demolishing the walls of our home it did seem to be more of a job than I actually wanted to tackle on my own.  Not that I couldn’t of course knock holes in our ceiling all over the place but it just seemed wiser to ask for help on this effort.  So we found a guy that does that kind of thing and proceeded to deal with the mess for about two weeks until the ceilings were all cleaned out, re-insulated, sanitized, and sealed back up.  Now that the dust has settled and our floors and ceilings are back together, I can sit in my house with absolute assurance there is nothing rotting away under my floors … at least for now, or until my obliging pet cat brings in yet another major midnight capture for us to view and praise, and loses sight of it under the stairs!

Butch Wife Tip #24

If you begin to smell a sweet rotten smell in your walls something has died there.  In our efforts we found a rather large sized roof rat had expired in the wall above the doorway to our bathroom.  From the looks of him, he just died and collapse around the studs in our ceiling.   My suggestion to you guys is don’t put it off.  This stuff can affect your health.  Get in there and deal with it sooner rather than later with some professional help.  There are guys out there that actually do this for a living!  Who knew?

Aside

#23 It Stops with Us!

14 Sep

I recently wrote a posting related to bullying.   My regular Followers all received this posting in their emails, and I thank you for letting me talk with you.  I have, however, since taken the posting down for personal reasons but wanted to offer a brief tip here related to this ugly part of life should you, or a friend, or another family member ever encounter a bully.

Butch Wife Tip #23

It is a “hostile environment” when verbal abuse from either co-workers or friends or family is directed toward you.  Should you be attacked in this way call it out and make it public.  Name the actions as “bullying” and don’t back down from the perpetrator(s).  Stand your ground or find someone that has your back to stand with you.  We MUST stop this kind of intimidation of each other, and send a message that bullying has no place in our society no matter who you are.  That’s not what our nation was founded on or what we condone as a people.   And if you feel you can’t stand your ground alone, call me.  I will stand with you.

It Stops with Us!…………..please.

Butch Wife Extraordinaire-in-Training

#22 – Beware the Invasion of the Alien Chore Spores!!!!

21 Aug

Today I did something I have never done before in my life without some forethought and planning – I unconsciously took all my tee shirts out of my drawer, refolded each, and carefully stacked them back into the drawer in categories of type.  OMG!! Something has come over me and it’s insidious.  I didn’t even realize I was doing it until it was done and I sat on the bed staring at a perfectly organized clothes drawer!  The only thing I could think of that made me do this was I must be sick, but I felt fine.  I checked my head for a fever and everything seemed cool.  No obvious aches or pains were surfacing from inside my gut.   I hadn’t ruled out a nervous disorder but I didn’t experience any twitches or shakes.  No matter where I checked everything in my physical life seemed fine.

Then I started thinking I was perhaps having a nervous breakdown.   I have to admit this was a hard diagnosis to accept since I have been extremely relaxed over these past few days with life seemingly good on most fronts. But one never knows when dark thoughts and feelings will come creeping in on their own and take over your consciousness with not so much as a ‘bye your leave!’  This possibility started to make some sense to me.  After all I just reached into that drawer for a tee shirt and without any hesitation whatsoever refolded it neatly.  I’ve heard such unconscious actions could even be indicative of a body-snatching entity lurking in your blood stream, taking control of your mind, and making a person do things they would never have done in the past.   I gotta say it seemed to fit the circumstances at first glance.

So I decided if indeed I had become possessed by alien spores, at least they were neat freaks, so how bad could that be?  Until I thought, would a true Butch Wife allow herself to be overwhelmed by some alien, wind surfin’ bacteria blowing up her nose to infect the left side of her brain and incite it to do chores?  Of course not!

But then there’s the physical evidence that something in my Butch Wife mode was out of sync……my tee shirt drawer was perfectly organized and I had done it totally out of the blue.  It wasn’t a planned chore for the day; it wasn’t just straightening the shirts out a bit because it included organizing them by type as well.   Something was definitely odd about my behavior.

I have come to accept the fact that semi-retirement from corporate life can make one susceptible to what I like to call ‘the unconscious chore syndrome.’  It impacts your ability to lounge without a care in the world.  All of a sudden you are washing that dish before putting it in the dishwasher, or you start dusting the table while you are sitting watching TV.  It definitely takes away your sense of control once you realize you did an unplanned chore just for the heck of it.  And it can last for several hours or even days if you don’t take steps to block its progress as soon as you can.

Butch Wife Tip #22

I would suggest a strong verbal rebuttal to shake your brain loose from the grip of this alien chore spore disease.  Perhaps a loud, forceful “NO!” every time the very thought of doing a chore.  At least by yelling “NO!” you might  begin to feel these alien chore spores start to retreat and mind control start to return to you.  If that doesn’t work, avoid eye contact with anything out of place, askew, or needing washing for at least 48 hours.  I suggest lots of outdoor activities to keep you away from any cleaning materials in your house.  Or try going to the movies where your mind can get caught up in the adventures of the show and thus, not give rise to stronger alien chore spore enticements.  Sleep during the day and play loud music at night while keeping the lights down low.  This will help to avoid eye contact with any chore lurking in the corners trying to gain your attention and eventually your soul!

Or if none of that helps and you still find yourself unconsciously doing house chores ‘just because,’ call me.  I have lots of chores that could be done in my house and am willing to give you all the time you want to complete them for me.   In particular if you have a craving for dust bunny cleanup ANYTIME, just let me know.

Julie

Butch Wife Extraordinaire-in-Training

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