Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The New Normal

I love this front porch
Home is starting to feel like home again.  I wake up and know where I am. This is a good thing, since I usually am awakened between midnight and 3 a.m. by a thirsty little kitty who just can't wait for me to go down the stairs, lift her up to the sink and turn on the water for her because she doesn't like the water in her water bowl.  Seriously.  Four times a day and sometimes in the middle of the night if she can get me to get up.  I really don't mind.  OK, I guess I mind a little more now that I don't have a master bedroom with a bathroom attached to it.  Ah well. It is a little more chilly lately too, sometimes dipping into freezing overnight.  We have wall heaters and most of them don't have a temperature gauge, so we usually turn them off when we are not in the room.  Only the downstairs kitchen and living room have temperature gauges. 

So there I am, half naked and pulled from my warm bed and sleeping husband to creep down the creaky, rickety staircase in my bare feet. Eleanor leads, stopping halfway down the staircase to check on me and meow if I haven't made sufficient progress.  Once I hit the linoleum in the kitchen my toes curl and I turn on the light in the bathroom, give Eleanor her water and lean against the wall by the heater for five to then minutes while fuzz for brains gets her drink.  She sometimes stops in the middle to contemplate running water and the meaning of life.  I sigh deeply.  I'm glad she is still around to bother me in the middle of the night.  This idiosyncrasy is a small part of the price I pay for the privilege of an aging, ancient feline friend.  On the upside, I carry her upstairs and we snuggle back into bed and everything is right in the world.  The other night, I was trying to get to sleep and El kept trying to get me to snuggle.  Grey said "do I hear purring from under the covers?"
"OK, I'm lying."
Damn cat always gets her way.

Like I said, good thing that home is starting to feel like home again. 
The kitchen looks like a kitchen now
I'm getting used to the morning commute as well. I have thankfully traded my car for a walk.  I live on 5th Avenue. and the university is located between 8th and 11th streets.  My office is closer to 11th street.  It's about a 15 minute walk.  For this purpose, and keeping in mind that the temperatures will only continue to cool, I have some interesting challenges.  The biggest is wardrobe and footwear.  Apparently, I will need something called "Yaktrax" to help me keep traction on the snow/ice. They are little thingies that slip over your shoes so that you won't slip.  Since it's getting chillier, I can't wear all those pretty summer dresses, but I have a woeful amount of sweaters and had brought no actual coats with me from Oklahoma.  That last part was an oversight on my part- I wasn't paying attention when we loaded up the Uhaul. So far, I have acquired a couple of sweaters, a jacket and a winter coat.  Next, I think I will go look for some corduroy-type trousers.  I can't just wear jeans every day that it's cold (like I am today).  I would feel like a total bum. However, there is no way I am wearing skirts or dresses when it's under 40 degrees during the day.  If it's up above that- no problem.  Grey and I even scouted around and got me a little ceramic heater for my office.  It's lovely and warm and makes me a little sleepy at work.
..and my hair looks like hair again.

My hair has been crazy lately.  Moving from a really humid environment to a really dry one has wrought havoc on my hair. I have been alternately frizzy, fuzzy and limp-headed.  I'm frizzy if I blow dry my hair, fuzzy if I leave it to dry naturally and limp-headed if I put in the serum my hair stylist recommended I start using.  It's good stuff, but it's a heavy oil that is hard to wash out.  My color-treatment shampoo doesn't do a good job of getting the serum out so I get all limp-haired on day two after washing. After a month of struggling, I figured out that once a week, I have to deeply condition my hair.  The other days I can just use cheap old Pantene for color treated hair and I'm back to being golden again.  I just want predictable hair days again. 

Also, I am not sure if everyone does this, but I tend to cut my hair off in the fall and grow it the rest of the year.  Something about the advent of school that makes me want to do new and cool things.  So it's just trims for the next year, and then we'll see.  I do love it short, but I love even more the things I can do with longer hair.

Highline Community College in Kent
It was supposed to rain last Saturday....and it almost did.  I had to go to a conference on the West side, in Kent.  Kent is on the Puget Sound and the college there overlooks the water.  Pretty swanky, but with an interesting and highly diverse student population.  Good conference too.  It rained all day, which I loved but which my hair did not, and the rain followed us as we drove over Snoqualmie Pass.  I thought it might be raining in Ellensburg too, but it died off abruptly five minutes before we hit town.  And it stayed like that; ominous clouds, the smell of dampness and humidity hanging in the air, and tantalizing breezes filled with the promise of cloudbursts.  Finally, yesterday afternoon, the rain began to fall and we enjoyed an afternoon and evening of mild euphoria while the world was turned wet. 

Eleanor has lately been on a kick where she insists she is an indoor/outdoor cat.  This is a little perplexing since she has never been an indoor/outdoor cat. At. All. But when I go by the door, she will sit and meow, sometimes stretching up towards the handle.  Grey sometimes will take pity on her and let her outside with him while he reads on the porch.  But she can't handle staying in his lap and always tries to get away so she can roam free and be "feral". The idea of Eleanor being feral is just as ridiculous as expecting a full-grown mountain lion to politely wake me up at 3 a.m. for a drink of water and to use a covered litter box. Ain't happening.  Anyway, to make a long story short, he wouldn't let her go and she hissed at him.  That was the end of Grey's benevolence.
Yay for RAIN!
Since it was raining, I decided to let Eleanor go outside.  I swung wide the door and pronounced her free. Go, kitty! Explore nature! Catch your own dinner! Her ebullience quickly melted to reluctance as she realized the entire out-of-doors was wet.  Eleanor doesn't "do" wet.  Or snow. Or really anything but sunshine and rainbows.  She stood on the threshold.  Grey gently used his toes to urge her forward.  Suddenly, Eleanor spun and raced back in the house, took a corner at 90 miles and hour and disappeared upstairs to hide from the imperfections of nature.

Like I said, we are all feeling more comfortable here.

I can't wait for it to snow.


  1. "Home" is such a good feeling.
    So glad Queen E is doing well and is keeping you and Grey entertained.