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Archive for the ‘Home Sweet Home’ Category

Dear Kate,

Thanks for telling me about the World Naked Bike Ride.

I would never have known about it. That’s what neighbors are for, I guess.

I had no idea that hundreds of naked people would be riding along the street that is perpendicular to mine: tits and bits mere steps from my front door.

Naturally, we pulled out the chairs to watch the procession.

I had a moment of concern as I had Gideon, 16, with me. But I’m not prudish, and he has access to PLENTY through his phone.

Here they come!

I needn’t have been worried at all. It was not, IN ANY WAY, a sexualized, deviant event.

In fact, the ride might have put all of us off sex for a very long time. 😉😂

There they go.

Good for all the riders for promoting body positivity and the reduction of our carbon footprint.

And thanks, neighbor, for making sure I know about crucial local events. This one was (as you well know) right up my alley.

See you Tuesday for game night!
Beth

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Dear Gladys,

I need to report that I got a lemon of a cat.

I love Leo, I do. And that is the only reason I can justify the THOUSANDS of dollars needed to fix him.

First, it was an ingrown dewclaw. The person you hired did not do it correctly.

What the vet removed.

Then he suddenly had a lump on his back end.

Plus another swollen toe.

Seriously, lady: Who did this surgery? He/she should never be able to do it again.

The lump: A sarcoma that needed to be removed immediately.

A day/night in the hospital plus nearly $3K later, and he’s home looking like a football (according to my mom).

But he’s alive. And has all four limbs. (There was some concern from the vet that he’d have to lop off the leg to get all of the mass.)

I’m sure you didn’t realize he would go through any of this. (Except maybe the dewclaw surgery. You knew the antibiotics weren’t working.)

Anyway, he’ll be fine in 10-14 days. Not sure when my bank account will recover if the pet insurance claim is denied.

Send thoughts and prayers*,
Leo Richardson’s new mom

* ‘Cause those ALWAYS work.

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COVID, Day 7 (Maybe? Could be Day 4 depending on when I displayed symptoms from ‘Rona and not the booster.)

Captain’s Log

I’m feeling fine, but still testing positive.

I’ve managed not to drink away my sorrows every day, but isolation is difficult for an extrovert.

I’m not an indoor cat.

And even my indoor cat has gone loopy.

His tongue is stuck.
He went to sleep with his mouth open.

I’m SO BORED.

I’m sick of TV. I’m tired of social media. I’ve had enough of lonely walks around the neighborhood.

I’ve even cleaned out the freezer.

That’s how bad it is.

But I’ve eaten well. That’s positive. Haven’t lost taste or smell.

I’ve been FaceTiming people because I need human contact. (Petra knows. She got a surprise.)

Maybe tomorrow I’ll test negative, and I can rejoin society. Carefully, of course.

The good news is that I don’t appear to have infected anyone else.

Small victories.

Sigh.

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Dear Coronavirus:

Why are you still here? I hate you so much. I’ve managed to avoid you for more than two years (safety first!), but you finally got me.

How? I don’t know. You tell me!

Having an incubation period of 2-14 days makes tracking source difficult.

All I know is that I got my second booster Friday. By Sunday, I had a sore throat. I took two tests from two different companies. Both negative.

See? Negative.

On Monday, I felt like crap: headache, body pain. I was already scheduled to go to a new doctor to establish care.

Me: I got the second booster Friday and feel terrible today.
Her: That’s the booster. I wouldn’t have recommended you get the second one so soon.
Me: They recommended after six months.
Her: Yeah, but you don’t have comorbidities.
Me: Right.

The cough started Tuesday.

The runny nose started yesterday.

I decided to take another test.

Uh oh.

And then another from a different brand.

I was furious and mortified.

I spent my weekend living my best life as the infection vector I apparently am: garden tour and antiques fair with neighbors, dinner with a colleague, handyman direction on wall patches, “Stranger Things” with my sister, card games with neighbors.

So I had to issue various and sundry mea culpas.

It’s possible I was exposed to you on my flight home from Savannah: Two hours on the runway (weather delay), an hour at the gate (more fuel), an hour in the air. I was one of only three people wearing a mask (because, of course, you no longer exist 🙄).

I don’t know.

I do know that I had another busy week/weekend planned, including lunch for about 15 family members at my place. But now, thanks to you, I will spend the next 5-10 days on my own with just Leo Richardson to keep me company.

Leo, who also is not feeling well.

Leo, the cat who (likely) got COVID.

Gee, I wonder how he could have caught COVID. (Note: I am not kissing the cat. He was sleeping on my shoulder, and I turned my head for the pic.)

So thanks SO MUCH for your continued presence in all of our lives.

(Sarcasm is my love language.)

Your new BFF,
Typhoid Mary
‘Rona Beth

*Manic Street Preachers’ ninth studio album. Worth a listen.

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Dear Gladys,

I enjoyed meeting you for five minutes outside the Greenville, S.C., airport as I adopted your cat son Leo. Thank you for posting him on a rescue site and choosing me as his new parent.

He’s not happy. At all.

You may have saved my sanity. Seriously.

As I mentioned, I’ve been living alone for a few months — visiting family when I can.

Those after-dinner hours (7-9 p.m.) are really quiet/lonely. I can only watch just so much “Ozark” and “Great British Baking Show.” And my house is VERY clean.

Isolation has breathed life into my workaholic side, for sure. Plus, I took on a freelance project and am taking courses online toward various credentials.

Still.

I found myself talking to — and responding to — myself. Out loud. Uh oh.

And I missed taking care of critters (i.e., Dominic and Gideon).

I haven’t had a pet in 11 years. It’s been 16 since I’ve had a cat. That’s weird in itself, as I had a cat or cats my whole life. At one point, Eddie and I had four dogs and four cats.

We had a temporary cat at the time of this Christmas card photo, and Maggie the Boxer hadn’t joined us yet. The photo gives you an idea of the craziness, though.

I’ve been wanting a Sphynx for more than five years — haunting rescue sites because I wasn’t about to spend more than $2K on a damn cat.

Luckily, you started to travel more and felt guilty about boarding him all the time.

So now he’s mine. Traumatized, but mine.

Things are going great.

He is aggressively cuddly. He gets right in my face. Breathing in my mouth to steal my soul.

And has to be ON ME at all times.

I mean. LOOK AT HIM.

Look at this FOOT!

I don’t know how you were able to give him up, but I’m so glad you did.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Beth, Leo’s new mom

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Dear Neighbor Lady,

We did not start off on the right foot. And then I didn’t actually meet you for weeks after I moved in. When I did, it consisted of you hollering “Hello, I’m your neighbor!” from your car.

That was fine. I had resigned myself to not really having a relationship with you. Plus, Kate on the other side has been PLENTY of neighbor for me.

But then I happened to come in the front door with some groceries, as opposed to the back. And you appeared on your front porch at the same time. You wanted to warn me about porch pirates, and let me know you put a package of mine in the side yard.

Me: Thank you for that. This move has been hard enough without people stealing packages too.

We looked at each other for a few beats. Blinked.

You: For what it’s worth, I’m sorry about that.

And that’s all it took. All I needed for everything to be OK.

As it turns out, we had both asked our real-estate agents if we could have a conversation just ourselves. We were denied. By your agent.

You: I really think we could have worked it out if we could have just talked to each other.

We ended up spending about 30 minutes on our porches chatting. And then set up brunch, where we talked for nearly two hours.

You are a badass bitch, and I’m a fan.

All the trouble is water under the bridge.

Looking forward to getting to know you better!

Your Friend at 1415,
Beth

*I miss Fred Rogers.

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Dear Snow,

I love you. I do. I just don’t know what to do with you yet.

I got home from Costa Rica to plenty of you.

There’s a snowdrift in my backyard!
At least two toasted raviolis deep.

I didn’t even own a snow shovel until yesterday.

Lime green, no less!

Interestingly, I apparently wasn’t alone in that: St. Louis was all sold out. I had to go to Illinois to find one.

I waited too long, though. You had morphed to ice in many places.

This was the best I could do.

Now I know why people have heart attacks shoveling snow.

Anyway, I’m better prepared for next time.

Hope to see you again soon!

Your friend,
Beth

*Yes, that’s a Foreigner nod.

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Dear Santa,

Hey there! It’s been quite a year, amirite? Here I thought this year would be better. You brought us all vaccines, after all.

But no. Different year, same pandemic, different variants. Same stupid people prolonging the bullshit for everyone.

Sigh.

When I saw you recently, I asked for an end to the pandemic. I’d like one other thing, if you don’t mind:

Better customer service in the greater St. Louis area.

So far, I’ve had trouble with the following entities:

  • Spectrum (It took three visits from three technicians plus six phone calls to get my Internet/cable service installed. And my bill still isn’t right.)
  • All-Appliance Repair (Three visits — one from a COVID-positive tech no less — to get my ice maker working.)
  • The Chimney Sweepers (Brittany was great, but the fact remains that someone was supposed to come last week and didn’t. Brittany was a reschedule.)
  • St. Louis Towing (I waited 3.5 hours for a tow truck when my car stopped running on Olive Street. It was supposed to take 30 minutes.)
  • Suntrup Volkswagen (A return call telling me they received said car would be great.)

Everyone is very nice, but I’m bothered by the inefficiency. And that I have to stay on top of things.

So it would be great if you could give a little Kringle kick in the keister to service-oriented businesses.

Thank you, and I hope you have a merry COVID-free Christmas. Maybe you should just throw the presents down chimneys to minimize contact.

Love,
Beth

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Dear Brittany the Chimney Sweep,

You are an impressive young woman. I was shocked and tickled when you called me this morning to clarify my address before heading over. No, I don’t live in a condemned house on Coleman Street, so it’s a good thing you double-checked.

I like that you are Type A like I am.

And I like that you are a woman who is a chimney sweep.

That’s rare. And very cool.

Then this conversation blew my mind:

Me: “You probably get this all the time, but you are giving me a Scarlett Johansson vibe.”
You: “I do get that all the time. And I also model.”

Whaaaat?

A female chimney sweep and part-time model? You are FANTASTIC!

THEN we had a very girly conversation about spa services, and you gave me the name of your aesthetician.

I’m sure it was just another day for you, but it was a GREAT day for me.

And my fireplace is so clean.

Thank you!

Your fan,
Beth

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