gently prying the fingers off my psyche


My life, in boxes. Here my entire love of sewing is represented, compartmentalized. Two of my sewing machines await Moving Day, on the top of my other (main love) machine (tucked away in cabinet).

We moved into this house five-plus years ago. One of the first things we did – I massively pregnant – was to repaint the room for our baby on the way. A couple months ago for the first time we changed the purpose of the room – from my children’s bedroom (Nels had arrived in 2004) – to my sewing room. Today I swept cobwebs out for the last time; took down my homesewn curtains. Tried to feel a “fuck yes!” instead of sadness. Our first home as a family.


Ralph, gleefully removing the expensive, low-energy compact bulbs to take with us, while replacing them with cheap ones. My husband is very sweet. He moves about two-hundred percent of my speed. He accepts that for me, packing one box is emotionally draining. He says things like, “That’s a very good idea!” at any suggestion I have. He gets on chairs to change bulbs and I take a picture of his ass, which I think you’ll agree is most excellent.

After today’s work, the good news: 1 out of 3 of our bedrooms is entirely clean, entirely packed, ready to go. The bad news: I will be having minor panic attacks as I drift in that purgatory for nesters – unable yet to make a new home, dismantling the old.


Nels, on the kitchen counter as Ralph cooks breakfast (photograph by Sophie). He likes robots. He likes bacon and eggs even more. He waits patiently for them.

wait, don’t go… i… i… i don’t know how to love!

I wonder if every day until we leave I will have to carefully craft how I handle my life. Last night I worked hard to get a peaceful sleep; I achieved it. One victory in a series of perilous days to come. It seems like my world, for the next four weeks (and probably more), is going to be one of pacing myself. A skill that is not my strongest.

It is harder to leave a place that loves you than a place that doesn’t, and people who love you than people who don’t (go to Waterfront Pizza – on the “bad checks” public-shame list I believe our names are up there with a “x2” or “x3” after them. I can’t quite tell, I have to squint to see and I worry they’ll think I’m being nosy although I’m really only checking out my own self). The verdicts are coming in and frankly, people – in the most loveliest of ways – are making this hard on us. Today I am stopped by a mother of one of Sophie’s preschool peers and her very sweet, very gracious and genuine sadness makes it difficult for me to fly my very brief, very matter-of-fact, very surface-level rehearsed lines. God, of course we are so sad to leave. Do I have to go through a heartbreaking conversation once or twice or more a day? Thusly I adopt cheer and a deep breath and perhaps it comes off as flippancy, which is of course not how I feel about this measured decision.

My husband reports his officemates keep stopping in to ask him why he’s going, to clasp his hand, to report they will miss him. The proprietor at our most-frequented Mexican restaurant gives Ralph a double-armed hug. A very close friend tells me yesterday she’s planning on being mean to me so she gets to leave me, instead of the other way around (nervous laughter… I hope she’s joking). Today Ralph runs into to a man I worked with for years at the paper mill, accompanied by his wife who I worked with at the Farm this summer. Ralph IMs me:

Ralph: She said you were an amazing person, and that summer at the farm getting to know you was special to her. Her husband says, said ‘Hey, it’s flatter there [Grays Harbor]! You could get really into mountain biking. Quinault, and some other places north of Monte …’

“.. oh, and there’s Olympia! You guys would love it there. We used to live at the beach, and we’d drive once a month to shop at the coop up there.”

The supportive, excited, forward-thinking comments are great. The give pause, a template for positive yearnings to come, instead of sad thoughts of what we leave behind.

"Let the games begin! Hi-oh!"

“I’m very aroused.”

Well, that’s it. We did it. Come mid-February, we are getting the hell out of this shit-hole. Oh, did I say “shit-hole”? I meant, “the town that I love and will cry and cry and cry upon leaving.”

Yeah, my husband took a job. In another town. It’s a better job, but his current job was a good one too; it wasn’t an easy choice. It was a difficult choice, in fact. The poor man has been in tears for the last 24 hours (note to Ralph: SEE A PSYCHIATRIST).

If you live anywhere near me, please know I will be calm for a couple weeks, then things will get really bad, and there is going to be drama. No, no. Positive self-talk. This will go well and easily. I won’t end up crying randomly in an undignified fashion, nor going hysterical on my husband for any reason whatsover. I think I can I think I can.

How do you move a family of four? Last time I moved it was across town, it was me and my man, and it took three trips in a pickup truck.

I am so fucked.

7 for 07

OR: an annoying clipshow of my last year.

So guess what? I may never get around to New Year’s Grats. But I worked this entry up. I encourage you, dear reader, to fill one of your own out and send it to me!

Seven things I am proud of over the last year:
1. I biked up 19th. Once.
2. The Farm (one of many entries). I did it. I hated and loved it; I did it though.
3. Ralph’s home gardening efforts – yes, including his mint.
4. I weaned myself off paid help in the house. Oh wait, file that under “regrets”.
5. I rode the bus a lot this year. And really enjoyed it!
6. My kitchen is tight. I worked on it all year.
7. My husband and I made great strides in respectful communication. I tried to find a cooler way to word this, but I couldn’t. I am really proud of this, though.

Seven things I regret over the last year:
1. Not getting more alone time with Ralph.
2. Not eating the World’s Biggest Sandwich.
3. The times I’ve pissed people off by being too salty on my blog. It’s only been a couple instances that I know of; it saddens me, though.
4. Not resting more.
5. The times I flaked or did not RSVP to invitations. I hate this when I do it.
6. Not having our camera fixed; most especially for Sophie’s photography.
7. Not taking more G&T afternoon playdates.

Seven ways I’ve changed:
1. I no longer nurse babies. Very bittersweet.
2. I am nicer in a fight.
3. I no longer over-bake! Yes, this matters.
4. I can knit right or left-handed. Yes, this matters. No wait, it doesn’t.
5. My iPod ownership status has changed for the better; my life is complete again.
6. I am less crazy (“She’s still funny, but not ha-ha funny!”).
7. My hair! In many ways, and all of them awesome:

Seven ways I haven’t:
1. I am still married, pro-Ralph, and I vote!
2. “Swayze!”
3. I still find my Mama friends are still the best ones to be around.
4. I am a dork.
5. I drink, cuss, smoke, and have a vitriolic streak I choose to air publicly.
6. I continue to love (and overly quote) Will Ferrell movies (see #4).
7. I really enjoy being a housewife, more than most anything else I’ve done.

Seven eats and drinks:
1. Jalapenos, yes.
2. Sushi (BISH and Sentosa, I miss you!), yes
3. PT Brewery growlers, yes. “Mmmm…. beer…”
4. Mayo, blarf.
5. Bell peppers, no.
6. Shellfish, no.
7. Macadoo’s deep-fried pickle, yes.

Seven glorious moments in ’06:
1. Talledega Nights with Ralph. We laughed until we choked.
2. “In the face”.
3. I have pregnancy-radar, and totally knew Becca was going to get knocked up.
4. Summer at the beach:

5. Snakes on a Mother Fucken Birthday Cake
6. Billy’s visit.
7. My weekend to myself at home. Fucking heaven.

Seven moments of “let us never speak of this again”:
1. The Chicken Pox Hoga-Scourge of February (one blog entry, there are many).

2. This particular party-assout by my husband.
3. Kelly + Nels + “Foot in Mouth Disease” funkins.
4. Whatever dream I’m describing in this first paragraph, I’m glad I don’t remember it!
5. Nels’ head injury.
6. Sophie’s toe injury.
7. Being sick twice at the end of the year. Thanks a lot.