una otra gata por mas loco en casa

We Hogabooms have, shall we say, less than self-serving instincts.  Like the fact I am trying to convince my husband to buy this kind of dive-y (yet very affordable) house a block or so away.  Can we shift our life to include (the albatross of) a house that needs constant maintenance and work?  Do we want the responsibility of repair and the commitment to this geographic locale?  I’m not really sure. Yet the house we currently live in is as bland as a hotel in its wall treatments and bathroom and kitchen furnishings (two rooms I seem to care much about), and I’m bored of cleaning without being able to paint or commission from my mother a large, sci-fi octopus-inspired mural for the walls.  Right, I want to live in a place half-torn up with walls that need sheet rock and constant repairs that jockey for clothes for the kids or a vacation maybe once every five years.  This is how I grew up and how I grew up is one of the reasons I want to live a little differently.  And yet, We Shall See.

Secondly, my husband is currently in the midst of adopting a stray kitty, a little black number with long hair and a curious yet cautious demeanor (we’re calling her Snoop based on her proclivities for curious examination).  He “accidentally” fed her from our back porch and he casually has been leaving the back door open for her to come in and look about.  She (I’m not even sure she’s a female, but she seems to be one) looks about and ducks and makes these adorable sounds.  She reminds me of my little Blackstone, not three months gone, because she is black with white (secret!) bellypatch, and she is timid and lovely.  As I type this she ducks through my house making tiny interrogation-meows.  I suppose the next step is to put up some neighborhood flyers and a “Found” classified in the paper to make sure she’s not really someone else’s cat who is researching a perhaps sweeter deal.

Tonight my children were scheduled to stay over at my mother’s house.  Today our son beat the game “Plants vs. Zombies” and has been the manifestation of sheer joy over this accomplishment; yet his festive mood did not extend to staying away from the home.  Fifteen minutes ago he called and requested transport back to his own (our own) bed. I am glad for his company, for his husky voice and the way his hair smells and busying my morning while he sleeps in the bed, which is as Right as anything else feels.

Oh and if you read this, PLEASE GIVE MY HUSBAND a good deal of teasing over the cat thing. You can find him on Facebook or Twitter.

grim little fun

Today the four of us went out in our daily search for rentals in Hoquiam.  Our criteria include factors like monthly lease amount, typical utility bills in residence, type of heating for the domicile, and number of cats fornicating in the yard upon our arrival (seriously, we almost didn’t get out of the car at that place on Wheeler for fear of being overrun – East Wheeler naturellement –  our asses won’t be affording anything on W. Wheeler).

Our house list included a batch from a rental agency we hadn’t worked with previously.  My husband and I noticed a sort of …  je ne sais quoi about today’s options.  Mostly, lots of broken glass in the yards and very thin,  threadbare and sad-looking carpeting in the empty rooms we peered in.  I so fiercely love shopping for anything with my kids – because have I mentioned how practical and smart they are?  At the Wheeler site Sophie said, “This place looks like it has rats!” and then, a few minutes later, “I’m not sure if this would be safe for Blackie and Mable …  there are lots of male cats around.”  What was kind of cool is we looked at places with standing basement water and creepy, Silence of the Lambs labrynthian basements (complete with decaying corpses) and at every moment the kids were quite measured and thoughtful about the qualities or lack of in any particular house.  Let me tell you, not one iota of snobbery exists within those kids.  Times like these I’m glad we have no television and are forgoing public school.

We looked at a total of five properties.  The kids preferred this little run-down four bedroom on the highway – they enjoyed the semi-fenced yard, a “tree house” (oh dear Lord if we do rent it, I cannot wait to post photos of this pathetic structure), and a covered bus stop directly in front of the house (Hogakids = public transit FTW!).  I peeked in and saw what was the ugliest kitchen I’ve (not yet but let’s face it, I’m going to be forced to live there) ever contemplated cooking in.  I figure we’ll do a walkthrough tomorrow.  And in the meantime, if anyone knows a very classy, chic way to cover up a cement-and-plywood sealed fireplace – let me know.

How to Get a House

too bad property managers don’t accept a bunch of assy bent pipecleaners and plastic “jewels” for payment, bro

Squatting, something Hogabooms could get used to.

Squatting, something Hogabooms could get used to.

Today the kids helped Ralph and I shop for a house.  To rent, not buy.  For now.

My kids are awesome at house-shopping.  They read the map in the car and once at the property freely give startlingly relevant opinions.  “I don’t like that the basement is damp,” and “This can be your sewing room, Mama.”  Today, in a sun-dappled empty living room (ahh… the thought of a non-cluttered space again!) Nels plies the realtor with his resources: “I have enough money,” he says, smiling at her, his arms hugging his long belly.  “I have a whole treasure box I can give to you.” It makes me want to cry – with gladness.  They are awesome kids.  Ultimately today’s viewing didn’t have enough chicken-room and yes – the damp basement was a turn-off.  We’re back to the drawing board tomorrow.

Nels and Ralph are currently out delivering bread and Sophie and I are about to start the film Frankenfish (2004), which I’m sure will be… fish-tastic.