the smell of my desperation has become a stench

The usual bumps in the road

We’ve been in the house for about a week, and of course like any other move this one has not been without its total mind-blowing freak-outs, starting the second day we were here. A day that coincided with the start of my period. BAD BAD PLANNING. I do not suggest this kind of scheduling at all, especially when you’ve packed the tampons in a box that is somewhere now in a basement full of boxes that all look the same, and instead of doing the logical thing, like, you know, going out and buying another box of tampons, you call your mom in a hysterical fit of tears screaming WE’VE RUINED OUR LIVES!

She said all of the right things, like, it’s going to be okay, Heather. And not, oh would you please just shut up and take some ibuprofen already.

We hadn’t slept in several days at that point, what with the packing and the moving and the unloading and then the unpacking. And now I don’t know where anything is. That for me is the hardest part about moving, the seemingly endless years it takes to finally locate the most simple things: pens, wooden spoons, bowls, salt. Remember, I was on my period, and so the first meal we cooked in the kitchen really really really needed salt. And we couldn’t find it. So I sat there, tears welling in my eyes, and Jon was all, dude, what is wrong with you? And I couldn’t believe he didn’t understand! We were never going to find the salt. My period said so!

Contributing to the sleeplessness are the noises, specifically the critters that are living in the soffit of our roof. Like, animals. Woodland creatures. I’m guessing that since the previous owner had kept a bobcat as a pet that she didn’t particularly care what else took up residence in the other corners of the home, but when I step out of the shower and it sounds like two bears are wrestling in the ceiling above my head, I cannot be blamed for screeching obscenities and hopping on top of the vanity in the nude (just in case the bears were about to scuttle across the floor, naturally).

We’d had a team of strangers in the home already: electricians, cable people, two sets of boiler people, Internet people, the Mormon up the street who saw the open door and invited us to church on Sunday. So why not invite the critter catcher over? And I tell you what, those critter catchers are completely in love with their jobs. Because when this dude saw the number of different species of birds and how many different nests they had built, the octave of his voice jumped twenty decibels and he literally skipped inside the house to give us the news. Critter Catcher, The Musical!

And he kept repeating the word PICKLE. We’re in a bit of a pickle. It’s a pickle, I tell you. Well, I told you it was a pickle! And he had such a thick Utah accent that it sounded like this: pyeh-kul. I started to think maybe the bears could stay.

Because he could remove all the birds, well… he thought it was just birds, but he couldn’t be sure. Could be mice. Could be a raccoon or two. But the real way to solve this problem? Replace the whole roof. IT WOULD COST THE SAME ANYWAY. This after one of the boiler people quoted us $12,000 to fix “some problems.”

So Jon and I discussed this quite thoroughly, and have decided we can live without hot water, and if anything crawls out from the vents in the ceiling we will name it Susan.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

read more

SaveSave