Showing posts from November, 2017

Chapter 3 - Vengeance in the Bathroom

The bathroom is our friend. It's there for us in our deepest time of need. It's there for us when we're at our lowest, at times in our lives when no one else would want to be near us. So why are people so mean to their bathrooms when they're moving out of a home? Why did that poor toilet ever do to them?

The first time the property management office called me and asked if I'd be willing to "once in a while" clean a vacant home for them it was at my husband's suggestion. The place he was remodeling was in desperate need of a cleaning and they didn't have anyone at that time to take care of it. So they called me. I told them I'd be happy to do it. Happy. I actually used the word happy. 

I put on some old cut-off sweats and a grubby t-shirt. It was summer. In the south. It was about 90 degrees outside at midday. Have you ever been in a trailer in the summer? You cannot live in these things in the summer without good A/C. They're ovens!  I loo…

The Pile of Scrap Paper

Once upon a time, in a land known as East Haven, CT.... I was 42 years old and single. Then, one December day I was on Facebook and noticed a post on the wall of an old high school friend. I read the post, and then the comments and a familiar old name caught my eye. His name was Martin Petry and he was someone I'd had a fond eye on in high school, back in the early 1980s. I sent him a Friend Request, which he accepted and we started talking online, and then on the phone. He was living in Rhode Island, just two hours from where I was. He was working as a tree-climber but his passion was writing. He told me he'd written a book and self-published it. I immediately went to Amazon, found and purchased it. The minute it arrived I tore into it. It was a Tom Clancy style book, with lots of twists and turns and fully developed characters. I was hooked. The title was Hard Justice: The Violation. It was the first book in what he'd planned on being a trilogy. The other books were most…

Chapter 2 - The Adventures of Kenny the Cockroach

I'd heard of cockroaches before. I'd seen them skittering about in movies. I had never actually seen one in person. Until I started cleaning vacant rental properties. The first time I saw a cockroach it wasn't just A roach. It was a sea of them. A tenant had just been evicted - not just from the park, but from the country. As soon as he was deported we got possession of the trailer back. I was handed a key (because I hadn't yet been given a master key to all the homes, being new and all...) and asked to go take a look to see what kind of condition it was in and what kind of repairs we were likely to have to do.

I walked over to the small two bedroom, one bath trailer that the man had occupied with his wife and two small children. His wife had taken off with the kids just weeks earlier, for parts unknown.

I opened the door. I saw the bugs straight away - it was hard to miss them; crawling on the walls, dripping off the ceiling.... There was furniture in the house, a lo…

Chapter One - My Name is NOT Earl

Today started out fine. I got up a little early to spend a few minutes with my husband over coffee. Our dog, Coda split a toenail last week and it came off a day or two after I noticed it, so he's been limping his ninety pound self around and it takes a little longer to get him to go up and down the stairs from the deck to the ground. But it's all good, the toe is healing. The weather was good, a little overcast but it's November. I hate this daylight savings thing. Hate, loathe and despise it. I had to wait until it was full light out in order to get my first job related thing done, because where I was heading, there was probably no electricity. I was also pretty sure there would be roaches, so I made sure I dressed appropriately, with my pant legs tucked into my socks. Tenants had been evicted, and where there's an eviction there's always some kind of infestation. Or worse. There's worse? Oh, yeah, there's worse.

Should I back up a little? I should probab…

Dog is God Spelled Backwards

In 2006 I drove from East Haven, CT to Orange, MA (several hours of roadtime) to see a litter of puppies.  I'd heard from a co-worker that her father, who lived in MA was getting a puppy from some friends who'd just had a litter.  The father was an English Lab (they are known for a broader chest, a boxier head, etc) and the mother was an American Lab (they have a pointier face and are a little smaller in general).  I saw a picture of the large litter, fell in love and decided that since my two Shelties were getting on in their years, I was going to need a puppy.

People get puppies all the time - on a whim, at the drop of a hat, without truly thinking things all the way through.  I see this more and more as I settle into my new life down here in the South.  We live in a mobile home community (a trailer park, but no one's name is Earl here) and it seems like everywhere I look there's a dog that someone is having a problem with.  Bad choices ruin good dogs.  So I thought…

Ghost of Thanksgivings Past

The holidays are almost upon us. Heck, it wasn't even Halloween yet and there were Christmas items showing up on the shelves in stores. Earlier and earlier every year this new holiday, Hallowthanksmas arrives. How differently do you celebrate the holidays now than you did when you were growing up? Are there traditions from childhood that you cling to and continue and pass on to your own kids?

Marty and I don't really have a whole lot of tradition here. Some years we've celebrated holidays at home alone, some years we've had people over, some years we haven't been at home at all but have gone to the homes of friends or family. This year, all I want to do is stay home together, eat a load of good food and watch football. I don't even want to get out of my jammies. The whole day. That's all I want. And that's what we're going to do. Our old turkey fryer bit the dust year before last and I just ran out and purchased another for $37 (we paid $75 for the …