More Oddly Missing Items

After Ms. MiniD went back to college, we decided to resume our regular schedule of crazy living. My husband went about refilling his “wine cellar” (since he’s finished painting it and putting in new moulding). The “cellar” is not a room, per se. It’s actually the closet under the stairs. However, it’s now a very nice closet under the stairs.

For the last year, the bottles have been stacked in a haphazard fashion right at the cellar door. This is because our basement flooded from above (toilet that kept running, and ran for two hours before anyone noticed it) and we moved everything out. This was when Mr. D. got the bright idea of urban renewal for the wine cellar.

We keep the really good stuff in the “cellar.” Sunday, Mr. D began to put the bottles back. He’s actually been working on it for the last few weekends. He’s very particular. He has a computer program and a scanner where he logs the bottles in, and also a notebook where he writes the new bottles in and crosses off any we decide to drink.

He came upstairs later in the day asking me had I taken any bottles out? Hell no. We have plenty of house wine upstairs. Not that I would open a bottle myself. I rarely drink alone, and if he’s out of town, I might have a glass if the bottle is open.

I asked Mr. D why. “I think I’m missing 20 bottles of wine!” he says.

20 bottles! That’s a lot.

We thought it might be our daughter, but no, Ms. MiniD’s alcohol of choice is the hard stuff, and that’s upstairs. Anyway, she wouldn’t know how to use a corkscrew if her life depended on it. She can’t even hide her dirty shot glasses without getting caught.

This morning, he decided to come to work a little later and play the piano for a few minutes. When he got to work, he asked me, did I do anything with his music books? No… I have my own music books, for violin. I ask why. He says, “My two Neil Young books are gone!”

Who would take those? My son made off with all of the Beethoven books, and also Chopin, but he can’t stand Neil Young.

As some might remember, my mother-in-law’s ashes have mysteriously disappeared, as have one of my paintings and my husband’s old sword collection.

We have a lot of keys out, to cleaners, exterminators. One exterminator left his employ with our key, but we were told that everything was just hunky dory. The contractor who remodeled our bathroom had a key. We’ve sometimes let workmen in and left, trusting them to lock up and not rob us blind. I even let the piano tuner tune by himself, but not any more.

I hate to think anyone I know and have known for ten years or more would be guilty of the five-finger discount, but these items didn’t walk out of the house on their own.

I decided to get all of the locks changed, and I did. From now on, with my diligence, we should not be missing anything of consequence (or not).

I’m keeping my fingers crossed anyway.

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Back to General Silliness…

My husband, the Dear Mr. Demonic, went out of town yesterday. I think he’ll be back today. He’d better be back before the symphony tonight, as we have a date.

I use the opportunity for an empty house to do things I don’t usually do. You know what they say… “when the cat’s away, the mice will play…” Well, I’m guilty as charged.

I used to do crazy stuff while he was away, like paint the bathroom or buy unfinished furniture and finish it. I don’t mind painting small bathrooms, and I really needed that little cupboard that I stained cherry to match my kitchen table. Ah, but that was years ago. My current take on the painting situation is that they have professionals that can do that, and much quicker too. As I get older, I find that I “need” less junk. I used that cupboard to store linens, and now I have decided to give my tablecloths and place mats to the Goodwill. The cupboard followed suit.

My initial plan last night was to knock off a couple thousand words on my novel. I really want to get to the end so I can start editing in earnest. Oh, but how plans can get waylaid…

First, my daughter, the Ms. MiniD, called from California. This call was nice; bubbly, full of news. She was positive, for a change. Of course, she was positive that she needed money, which was one of the purposes of the call. (The major purpose, if you want my opinion.) But it was not all “Mommmmeeeee, I love you Mommy!” which is normally how a call begins if she wants something. (Oh, she wanted banana bread too. I guess that chocolate zucchini cake didn’t sit well with her, although her roommates chowed it down.)

Ms. MiniD also thanked me profusely for sending her David Beckham poster. It’s a monster of a poster from Pottery Barn Teens, and she loves the Becks (or whatever they call him). Then she went into a long launching of how she needs to get a job, and how she hasn’t filled up the gas tank in her car since I left there three weeks ago. I was amazed at her resolve to let her tank go down to fumes before filling up again. Luckily, in California, there is no hint of hurricanes, so their gas prices will stay the same – high. Ours has already gone up 30 cents in anticipation of a storm that hasn’t arrived yet, and we live in the freakin’ Tundra!

I didn’t want to cut my daughter short. After all, I don’t get many happy phone calls from her, so I let her talk about her roommates, her classes, the food at the school, etc. This was a nice bonding experience, but the call cut into my precious computer time.

After the phone call, I got up to stretch my legs and get a glass of wine, when POW! the muscle in my neck (on the right side) spasmed. I had been fearing this happening for a while. It’s happened before, and I can tell when it will happen again. I have to blame my current condition on carrying a huge purse. My doctor says I should stay away from heavy purses, and usually I do. I started carrying this massive tote on my trip to the Left Coast four weeks ago, you know, to have everything handy just in case. After I got home, I neglected to change purses.

Wine and Advil go great together, but the pain was too intense for a long sit-down with the computer. I managed to write a book review that I needed to get out, and that was it. The situation called for another glass of wine, a ThermaCare wrap, and digging the heating pad out of the junk drawer. After a night of sleeping with a rolled up hand towel under my neck, I feel a little better. Not much, but a little.

As for the general silliness, my internet ex-boyfriend (MIB) and still-friend and I participated in some real whacko nuttiness on the instant message the other day. Our conversation took a turn to the weird and funky. We decided to collaborate on a sci-fi fantasy novel set in space. As he is the bona fide scientist, he will provide expertise on the technical aspects, and I will concentrate on the interpersonal. The funny thing is that we live thousands of miles apart and have never met. We plan on never meeting until after the book is published. Maybe not even then.

California Dreaming

It’s 8 degrees today, and I’m not going to complain about the cold. Take my word for it, it is.

Today I’m going to dream about California.

I’m going to dream about the wonderful food. All of the unique dishes and the fresh fruits and vegetables. I’m going to remember the velvety smoothness of the wines, with their hint of blackberry, raspberry, earth and tannin. I’m going to recall the “kid in a candy store” feeling of being overwhelmed by so many lovely choices.

I’m going to dream about long walks on the beach. I never care if it’s foggy or raining. I encourage the wind to greet me with its salty blast. I’m going to imagine the shells and sand dollars I’ll find to join the ones I have on my kitchen counter.

I’m going to dream about leaving the window open when I go to sleep at night. It will be many, many nights before I’ll feel comfortable enough to open the window here. Sure, I’ll hear the garbage collector when he comes by at 4 a.m., but I’ll also be able to feel mist.

I’m going to dream about the mariner-style houses, and the Spanish influenced architecture, the neat and tidy little yards, the unusual trees trimmed like popcorn balls. I’m going to think about the fact that there’s no grass, instead, there are stands of bamboo, enormous jade plants, rosemary and calla lilies.

I’m going to remember the majesty of the Golden Gate Bridge. I’m going to think about the stands of eucalyptus trees, and the giant redwoods at Muir Woods. I love the rolling brown hills that remind me of the commercials on “happy cows” and the cliffs along Highway 1.

Next week, I’m going to go there. It won’t be a dream then.