Slowly I turn. Step by step, inch by painfully slow inch…


Mornin’ all.


Sorry. My back still wants to be in bed today. I’m hoping that this coffee will do for me what the oil can does for the Tin Man. Or at the very least, let me walk faster than a snail.

Do snails “walk”?

It took me quite some time to navigate the stairs. Fourteen stairs didn’t sound like many stairs before I set off on my lengthy journey. On the way down, I had some extra time to think about my day, ponder the meaning of life, develop an equation that definitively proves the Riemann hypothesis…

*fist bump to mathies*

…okay, maybe that last one didn’t actually happen. Hey, because of me, literally tens of people will google “Riemann hypothesis”. I have injected a short burst of interest into an oft-ignored subject. THE FIST BUMP STANDS.

We had another yard sale yesterday. We got a lot of tire kickers, but I noticed the junk/antique/crap shop across the street was having the same problem. They are an extremely popular little shop, and usually people walk out of there with their arms stuffed full of treasures. However, we saw more people than not driving away empty handed. There just wasn’t a buyer’s mood in the air.

I wonder if it was because of the cold? It started off legitimately chilly yesterday, and I know I couldn’t have been the only one thinking about winter being right around the corner. Perhaps the cold sparked some old, subconscious cue for people to hold onto their resources and not spend money, to save for the lean times ahead.

“Bethie, maybe people just didn’t want to buy your crap.”

…Or that.

It was a dribs and drabs and nickel and dime day. And everyone was looking for a much better deal than the smokin’ hot prices we already set. One lady actually tried to dicker the price down on a $2 item that was already dropped to $1 for her. Directly after being told she could have it for $1, she said, “Would you take fifty cents?” It was just that kind of day.

Still, made a few bucks, and every drop in the bucket helps. Stuff that didn’t sell that we just couldn’t bring ourselves to drag back in was put in a “free” pile. I tell you what. You want to get the attention of hundreds of people? Stick anything on your lawn with a “free” sign. It was like some weird zombie movie. They Came for the Free Pile. Within minutes, the mob swarmed, coming from nowhere and everywhere all at once. They attacked that crap as if it was their very life’s blood, pawing and pushing and throwing and gnawing. It was too creepy to watch out the front window, and we drew the curtains and sat staring at the door, rifles clutched at the ready, our terrified heartbeats matching the painfully slow ticking of the clock as we prayed that the horde would lose interest and just…move…on…

The rest of the afternoon passed without incident, but I tell you what, I hugged my kids just a bit tighter before bed, knowing all that could have happened.

Today we’re going to attack one of the garages and create another free pile. This time, though, we’ll be prepared. I think I’ll set up an electrified fence all around it. A zombie-be-good perimeter to protect our home just in case one of them can’t handle the surge of adrenaline at finding a pile of free junk and decides to see what other treasure may lie within the fortress.

KIDDING. Sheesh. You think I want to waste that much electricity? I’ll just put razor wire out and that should be enough.

That garage has some of everything you’d expect in a garage. There’s an old fish tank, an 80s tv stand, some random weed whackers in various states of functionality. There’s a huge pile of recycling we haven’t gotten around to actually taking to the transfer station, a sketchy bird with a nest in the rafters who, without fail, flies into the closed window instead of the open door when we go inside, tools, dead appliances…pretty much what you’d expect in a catch-all garage.

Well, everything but a car.

It’s a huge undertaking, but I have help today. Hopefully we’ll weed it out enough to where I can get the rest by myself when the dump is open.

**Drawback #843 of living in a small town: the dump is only open three days a week.**

Gut the garage, that’s the goal. I figure if we can at least get it sorted into sell, free, and dump, we’ll be doing well for the day. Then tomorrow I can focus more on inside the house. Ya know, I can only think of one other time in my life where I wished for a real genie lamp. But that time turned out okay, and it was a far more dire situation. If that turned out fine, this will, too. It’s just the getting there part I can’t stand.

One plus, though, is that cleaning up a hoard is one helluva good workout. Ignore the sore back. That I did because I twisted funny with a large bag of books I knew damn well I should have broken down into at least two bags. I was stubborn, and that was my own fault. But the rest has been some really great weight training. Old school. No fancy machines, no drill sergeant personal trainers. Rocky in Russia style. Blast a little Eye of the Tiger, strap a box of trash bags on your belt, and get to it.

I used to lift weights. Back in the day, I was on the school’s weightlifting team, actually. Two years, and I liked it. That came to a screeching halt when a friend and I had the brilliant idea of playing tackle basketball, with my ankle being the victim and ending up in a cast. That was that for the weightlifting, but I still have the medals to prove I was actually pretty good at it.

See, I like feeling strong. I’m a very large person. No matter what, I’ll never have abs of steel. I aspire to more of abs of slightly stale marshmallow peeps. That’s about the best I think I could hope for. I do, however, have very strong legs and arms that build muscle easily. I’d much rather be able to pick stuff up and haul it around than do 1,000 crunches in the morning. I’d rather my strength be a usable force, rather than one for vanity or bragging rights.

If I had a spirit animal, it would be a mule, and I say that with pride. Sure, a thoroughbred horse is prettier, but a mule can work hard all day long. I’m from sturdy, eastern European stock. My ancestors worked the cabbage fields by day and drank vodka all night. No thoroughbred could live through that.

I hurt my knee a few years back. I did it in the dumbest way possible, too: I dared to walk from the living room to the bathroom.

“Hey, if you’re going to live life on the edge, Bethie, you get what’s coming to you.”

I know. I fully cop to it. I blew it out good, too. One minute it worked, the next it honestly felt like there was absolutely nothing there. That one took a good two years to heal. In that time, I couldn’t do much in the way of yard work or winter shoveling or home repairs. As you can imagine, things kind of went to pot.

I tell you what. It feels very, very good that it’s only my back that’s kinked up this morning after all of this work, and NOT my knee. I even caught myself brazenly tempting fate by walking directly from the living room to the bathroom WITHOUT HOLDING THE WALL.


Save the lecture, and stop looking at me like that. Everyone has to get back up on the horse at some point. I made it without incident and I think I took a crucial step forward (pun ALWAYS intended). Though I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready to attempt tackle basketball again, at least I’ve put one demon to rest.

*roll neck most of the way*

Hm, well the combo of coffee, mindless babbling, and Bayer extra strength back ache pills seems to have oiled up the gears. I can almost turn and stare out the window now. I think that’s a sign that it’s time to get working. At least I have a helper today. If things get too sore, I can always grab a whistle and be the overseer.

Ya know, that’s not a bad idea.

…oh…the power…

Thus concludes the Morning Musing for Sunday, August 17, 2014. I’ve got to remember where I put that whistle. I’ve got an egg timer that I can set for my worker’s breaks. Hey, you think a clipboard would make me look more official, or would that just be too douchey?


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