Artist Unknown

Yes I AM still alive, thank you.

It’s been a busy week. I didn’t work till Thursday afternoon and yesterday, as Inez arrived Sunday evening and left Thursday morning. I didn’t work, I said, but I was still busy keeping Inez busy. She cannot relax for long; she has to find something to do before she gets bored. I see the wisdom in this, as I’m much that way myself; I can’t sit around all day, and to accomplish even a small thing satisfies me.

The difference between me and Inez is that I’m happy if the kitchen is clean, a good supper is made, and I’ve gone for my medicine walk. For her these things are not enough. She requires a major project.

This week, it was cleaning out and organizing our large porch, which was stuffed to the brim with a mattress, foam, and base for a small double bed, along with the usual: my two old trunks, Fella’s tools and sundry, the recycling system of containers, and so on and so forth. But what drove Inez crazy — apparently it bothered her last summer when she was here, too— was that “It stinks in there.” She was certain there would be a bag of garbage somewhere in behind something. Such was never found; I think what she was smelling is what the previous owner left behind after years of using the porch to separate cream (she had a Jersey cow) and make butter. I think a few drops of milk must have gotten into the indoor-outdoor carpet, resulting in a slightly sour smell that won’t disappear without a shampoo. We intend to tear out the carpet when Fella finishes renovating the porch, so we just live with the smell— particularly since we don’t notice it anymore.

We spent three hours one afternoon, slogging out that porch, hauling some of Fella’s stuff out to the quonset that he has filled with tools and construction materials, some things to the garbage, and so on. It’s looking spacious and tidy. I love it.

Fella gets nervous when Inez comes, because he doesn’t know what change she will instigate. She’s not afraid to tackle any job, no matter the size of it. Me, I see a big job, think of the time it will take, and prefer not to start.

The next night he came home and asked somewhat gruffly where a paintbrush was, and she retorted “Don’t complain! You should be grateful we spent all that time cleaning! Now your paintbrushes are all in one box instead of spread around in seven different places!” He grumbled again and she added, “Keep it up and next time all your stuff will be out in the quonset!”

I think, you know what? I need to take a page out of Inez’s book and stop pussyfooting around Fella’s desires as I do, all patience and respect for his reasons for leaving things where they are. “If you want me to work on the house I need all those tools handy,” he has said when I’ve asked him to take his tools out of the porch and put them away. That was two years ago and he still hasn’t done any of that promised work on the house. And it isn’t like he doesn’t have a very large building out there to put them in.

Oh, I will be berated and criticized in future when he can’t find something, whether we moved it or not. But I’m not going to play nice anymore. Fuck that. I am going to start acting like The Lady of the House: take your goddamn boots off at the door, pick up your friggin’ socks, and bring my all-fridge fridge over here NOW, dammit!

Heh, wonder how far I’ll get with that.

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