The Time That Keeps Passing

Words fail me today, or maybe I just fail the words. I had the chance to go back to my grandparents’ farm yesterday along with my mom and we visited my aunt and grandmother. They always give us a ton of stuff to take home – some of it, I just accept to oblige. Then I come home with the weight of it, the things and the memories and the hot sun, and I’m pretty worn out. So I share these photos with much love and I’m sorry if you don’t understand why it all means so much.

ImageAbandoned sheds have had new doors put on and locked, to preserve what is left standing.

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Moved to the center front yard, it’s still there but more as a memory.

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A door knob I was born to late too ever open, is stored in the barn. A world was here.

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View from the inside, the new door is better but somehow lacking the large, dark opening that was always there.

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Always a bowl of dry food for wild cats. When I was younger I struggled with the concept of a kitten that didn’t want to be pet.

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These are some of many official thingy-mo-bobbers that no one will recognize.

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Lower level, lots of holes in the hay where things have burrowed.

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I climbed the steps to the loft and it’s a tall, dark space I’m never able to fully conceive.

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More hay, piles of it, and you can hear creatures moving. Some steps send your foot down too far into the unknown. Birds clang against the aluminum roofing, flying back and forth in protest of you.

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The old wood I remember and the new siding makes a peculiar hybrid structure.

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They’ve let a farmer rent some of the land that used to look out to blueberry patches.

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The garden is still there, but without the flowers.

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We like our old swings, don’t we?

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“In the pines, in the pines, where the sun don’t ever shine…”

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The pond water level is lower, and hasn’t been swam in. We used to throw hot dog chunks to fat bass fish.

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When I saw this in the untended rock garden, I thought, “The only good bear!” When this was a new feature my mom said I could get married here. I still might.

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Back at my parents’ house before heading home.

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I asked my brother’s portal to bring him here. Perhaps it takes a while. I haven’t said anything since uprooting and changing blog servers, but Christopher has gone away.

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Some birthday money for my journey back.

Red Is the New Orange

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Greetings from a cold and rainy day in Michigan. I’ve been spending my day off listening to the new music that arrived via snail mail: Charli XCX, MS MR, Jessie Ware and the Cranberries. In this digital age I feel like I don’t really own an album unless I’ve thumbed through the CD pamphlet and tried to find space for another jewel case.

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Above: a honeysuckle shrub that has been flourishing since the pine trees above it were removed.

Does anyone live in a state that still has the orangish-colored lady bug? Here, the red Asian beetle seems to have wiped them out. I thought these new bugs bit (cause I’ve had to slap them off my arm before) but when I did a little research today I learned that it’s actually just the feeling they produce when scanning your skin for nutrients; they don’t actually bite. Maybe I’ll remember that before I bitch-slap the next one to death.

My birthday is this Sunday and I have the weekend off from work! My Extended Birthday Celebration begins now!

* cue visions of fireworks, grandiose banners carried across the sky by pretty birds and trumpets being blown*

In Which ‘Cut and Dry’ Isn’t Always Palatable

Sometimes an event at work is pretty cut and dry. I wish that I could say I watched silently, until something harmlessly illegal happened resulting in actual prosecution, but yesterday never made it that far. And it’s actually how my company prefers it.

A guy came in around noon, looking fifty, wearing a backpack on a Sunday. Initially I thought he was either a walker (no ride/inability to drive suggesting invalidity), the product of an odd Bible school, about to take his lumpy ass hiking, or (and this is what I was really thinking) a Stupid who was entirely capable of doing something dumb.

I got the faintest, most disregarding “hi” from him –  it wasn’t the kind where someone brings me their crabby mood – the word was barely mumbled as in “OH HAI I HAVE SEVERE PROBLEMS DON’T LOOK AT MY GIANT BACKPACK”. In all honesty, I wish I could forget these impressions the moment they make them, with all of their awkwardness and unfortunate implications to boot. But I can’t.

There are some real losers out there. It’s the tragic byproduct of our societal curve.

Lumpydumpyfrownybackpackman knew right where we keep our computer memory. I may or may not have made an unfair, sarcastic and/or private page to everyone’s ear set about how ‘completely normal’ my observations were. The team told me that they were getting the same dismissive treatment when attempting to talk to him.

WWLDFBPMD? (What would LumpyDumpyFrownyBackPackMan Do?) Apparently, he’d proceed to grab a few hard drives and hike his butt on back to an area where it’s entirely dark and vacant.

No one was around him when he did this; that’s what I’m for. I paged what was obvious to me, explaining the would-be near future, and coworkers responded. The guy dumped the product when he was approached and then casually strolled up to the exit doors and left. I wanted to scream obscenities, the whole attempt having insulted my own intelligence, but I continued to monitor via CCTV and caught the guy pulling over on a side street to slap on his magnetic license plate.

And that was it. I took extra measures to involve local authorities and alert surrounding businesses, but it felt like it wasn’t enough. It still felt like he got away with something even though he didn’t get to take anything.

I want to hand him his ass.

Of Flowers, Silence and Lots Of Trying

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There was a frost advisory last night so I ran out and cut these lilacs in case the cold weather destroyed them. Now I have a massive vase indoors and the lilac shrubs seem to be okay, too.

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My mom bought me this decorative egg a few years back when we were walking through an antique store together. <3

Speaking of flowers, I made sure to order a big display of roses for my mom last week and decided to have it delivered early to beat any Mother’s Day confusion. I thought it was odd that she had never thanked me – in fact, the following few days of silence slowly drove me crazy –  so I called the florist a few days later and low and behold – they had taken my money and lost my order. !!! I was so upset.

The florist was all, “Well you specified not to substitute anything and we couldn’t find [some random thing here] so we shelved your order, didn’t call and forgot about it.” Wow. At least they owned up to the fault.

They made up for their asshattery by upgrading the flowers and the manager delivered them herself along with an apology to my mom. Oh yeah – and I got a discount. So my mom was with her lovely arrangement by Mother’s Day, I could afford to put gas in my car and it was as happy of an ending as I can muster at this time. Of course it would have been better had I been able to get away and visit her.

I’ve been so busy that I just hope the flowers will help speak for the good I’m trying to do.

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Gross Is the New Flattered

The other day a woman walked by me, stopped in her tracks and started to frown in her designer clothing.

“Ugh,” she said, like she was revolted and pretending to throw up a little bit, “your skin is flawless.”

Then with utmost disgust on her face, she brought her Coach bag up closer to her waist and proceeded out the exit door. Our eyes never met because the moment I heard her gagging, she’d already started looking away.

And I thought: You know what? Just like you, I pay a lot of attention to things like that. Only unlike you, I do it from a stance where I’m just trying to be acceptable so as not to offended others, while washing my face with acidic foaming cleanser every day for over ten years, sleeping in cystic acne treatment so that you’ll never know I have it, trying to find a way to balance when the other layers of my skin want to flake from being too dry. And I have to wear oil-controlling foundation that costs a lot just to cover up the fact that I blush brightly so if it happens to be working you should be fucking happy for us all.

I noted the compliment, even if it was poorly executed.