Alone in the middle of the night

I spent several (okay 3 but it felt like more) months alone last summer because my husband had back to back out of town jobs with his father’s drilling company. And as soon as the men left, my MIL would follow with all the kids in tow except J10 and J11 because 10 had to work and 11 had to take care of the animals. I kept them at our house as often as possible since neither had a drivers license and really who leaves teens alone even when they’re responsible like 11 or not so much like 10. But the true reason I kept them close was I did not want to rattle about in this big home that is only a dwelling without my other half. At the beginning of all of this The Princess (J5) was still living here because that was the agreement when we bought the house from him. He spent a great deal of his time making my life a living hell for reasons known only to him but that was not the worst part.

J5 has been involved in some shall we say unsavory situations in his relatively short time on this earth. Unfortunately these unsavory situations have the tendency to make enemies for him and those enemies would always start as friends who would be invited to his house. The house that I now live in. So needless to say we lock up at night. He had just finished making a fairly volatile and dangerous person angry right before Jarell and I got married by hooking up with his former friend and roommate’s girlfriend/baby’s mother and lying about it to all and sundry including his live in girlfriend who I liked very much. I have to assume that the reason he hates me so much is that I told her the truth when asked about his activities as far as I knew while she was out of town. Again not relevant to alone in the middle of the night per se, but rather back story that makes things more understandable.

By the time that Jarell went out of town the first of July TP had taken to staying elsewhere most nights but he would show up in the middle of the night out of the blue. This made me nervous because I would not know about it till the next morning and its a bit unnerving to know someone can come into your house and sit in the living room next to your bedroom without you ever knowing it. Especially unnerving if you have lived in a place where someone tried repeatedly to break into your house in a drunken fit because they had mistaken your trailer for theirs. (another story for another day) I decided to take matters into my own hands and did the unthinkable according to TP. I put a locking doorknob on our interior basement/garage door. Unbeknownst to me it did not install properly and when you turned the door knob sometimes it would lock of its own volition. I took the key with me the day after installation to get copies made for TP (because the house was still technically his at the time- we were renting to own) and for Jarell. I wanted two locked doors between me and any possible intruders, but what I got was a royally pissed off brother in law and a messed up door. When I left to get copies that day the door locked behind me without my knowledge and TP tried to go upstairs. When he found the door locked and assumed it was on purpose he pried it open and left me and Jarell rude messages. He told Jarell to get his wife under control (oh yes…. he did go there) and told me to quit effing up his house. As amazing as this may sound, I am now thankful that he messed the doorknob up.

One night for whatever reason I was alone in my house. Neither of the girls were here having taken a rare night to stay at home with J4. The house was not locked up for the night, but the inside door was shut all the way and that meant that there was no doorknob on the outside for anyone to grab making a prybar or large screwdriver necessary to open it and light to see by a good thing.  

I was sitting on my couch reading a book at 9:30 or so when I heard a rattling at the bottom of the stairs. I assumed it was TP so I gave it no further thought. It kept going and I knew he would have gotten it by now because he was the one that broke it in the first place. I called Jarell quietly and asked him to check and see if it was J5 downstairs I also went in my room and locked the door as a precaution. Jarell called me back saying no J5 was in KC, why? Because theres someone in the basement trying to get upstairs. I could still hear the muted rattling of the door. Jarell debated about who to call while I cried softly and then decided to call J3 who lives only about 5 miles away. I grabbed a gun and snuck quietly out of my bedroom glad now to hear that the noise had stopped but nervous about what that might mean.

J3 came tearing down the driveway in his big duelly Dodge with its diesel engine hammering. He came to the seldom used front door and rang the bell. I was on the phone with his wife so I knew it was him. He came in with his shirt unbuttoned looking like he’d dressed quickly with his .45 drawn (this is rural America folks – even grannies gots guns) and checked the bedrooms, closets, bathroom, and the basement. Whoever had been there was now gone.

We locked all the doors and I drove to my inlaw’s house to stay with the girls because my house was no longer the safe haven it had been 3 hours earlier. It was a scary place 1/4 mile back from the road that no one even knew was there. Well almost no one and that was the problem. The wrong people knew and the right ones to call in an emergency might take too long getting lost with confusing directions given by the omniscient GPS that has somehow misplaced our location. After that I was not willing to stay alone in the house and the few short trips where Jarell has been gone overnight since then have been girls nights in because when it comes down to it, I am more capable of acting when there is someone else to protect besides myself.

When ,in the middle of the afternoon one day J11 and I heard a noise in the basement that was not made by someone who was supposed to be here, I grabbed the gun again and made my way down the stairs to check every nook and cranny because someone was there to call 911 if need be. I was shaking for an hour afterwards from the excess adrenaline leaving my body but at the time all I cared about was making sure we were both safe. This is my nature- to protect my home and those in it less strong than I.

Where does all of this come from you might ask. Why talk about it now? Well it just so happens that on or around the 15th Jarell will make a trip that should last only about 2 weeks to Oregon for his job. I will not go because 1) I hate flying with a passion and 2) My dogs are here and I don’t need to go but I do need to take care of them and my fish and my home. The thought of his upcoming trip makes me nervous. I cringe a little more as each day passes knowing that his imminent departure draws nigh. I curl up inside thinking of the long nights alone where things go bump in the night and it makes me afraid. The standard excuse of having the kids around because there are no parents at home may or may not be valid because it is unlikely that my MIL will follow for this short trip. The fact that J5 has been gone from this residence for almost a year now seems to have made a difference in the last 2 months but thats not that long and we’ve gone longer between incidents before this.

This is what weighs on my mind in the wee sma’s of the night so much so that I have dragged out my most persuasive words and writing for you dear reader. Show instead of tell. I was always good at that in school assignments but I’m out of practice now. Persuasion in my life is done with food and verbal incentive rather than passioned proes, adjectives, illiteration, and good punctuation. I lay my daily life open for all to see as if I were writing notes to a good friend replete with smileys and slang rather than as if I were trying to make the grade. I hope it does not dissapoint because I feel inadequate next to those of you who speak so eloquently of things as simple as chickens, yard work, and visits to the grocery store.

As a conclusion, I want to say this was always the weakest point of my papers, letters and even emails. I never knew just how to end and countless teachers and peers told me this as did my own eyes. How does one conclude a piece about your fear of the dark and lonely night when it is at odds with your love of shadows and moons and all things nocturnal. I suppose you say that you will soldier on and that there is (usually) nothing to fear but fear itself. As for me? I bid you adieu for the night mes chers amis.

Bonne Nuit

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My little gun

I was browsing around the web today when I came across this blog and I was grinning my way through her pages when all of a sudden I burst out laughing out loud. And then I yelled, “Thats my gun!” You see at the top of her second or third page is a post that starts with a picture of a pink rifle and if you look close you can see the special equipment added to a children’s gun that makes it safer for their use. Now I am no novice shooter- I’ve actually been shooting some sort of guns (mostly BB) since I was 5 years old. My daddy taught me how to shoot when I was fairly young and there is nothing wrong with that despite what some people out there might imply. I firmly uphold the second ammendment that guarantees my right to arm bears err yeah. I am proud of my country and my ability to defend myself and my home if necessary. And a word to all the would be burglars out there- you don’t want to cross a woman who’s pissed off and has a gun.

Anywho back to my gun(s).

My gun

My gun

The one in question is a children’s .22 made by Cricket and is equipped with certain special features to make it safer for a kid to use. It has a built in lock so that parents can lock it when they’re not there to supervise, is a single shot, and requires you to pull back on a special pin after loading it in order to cock it. It is the favored gun around this house by all the guys. Why? I dunno cuz its pink? I enjoy shooting it, but prefer my .22 magnum that Jarell bought me because its got a mag(azine) so that I don’t have to put a bullet in for each shot I take. Sadly the ammo is much more expensive for this gun so I have only shot it on one occasion in the 2 years that I’ve owned it.

This is not a household lacking in firearms so I have also shot my husband’s .357 magnum (think cowboy guns), his police issue Berretta 96, and my dad’s double barrel shotgun (oooffff!) This is another part of my life that I don’t mention as often because I just take it for granted, but there it is in black (and pink) and white. What is something you love that may seem odd to the average woman?

The picture I promised

Newly painted sewing machine

Newly painted sewing machine

See this is the sewing machine table. I’m going to attach a shelf just underneath the hole where the old sewing machines would go so that my modern singer can still use the vintage Sears and Roebuck sewing machine cabinet.

The original metal tag

The original metal tag

As this is my second post of the day, I’m going to keep it short and sweet, but I wanted to take a moment to send my thoughts out to KathiD who suffered the loss of one of her doggy companions. Being a lover of all things dog I understand what this is like and I still get choked up thinking about my former companions over the years. Stop by and cheer on one of the funniest women in this blogosphere because its our turn to make her smile today.

Things that make me smile

Someone found my blog by looking up “pee on” Well yes there is a post here about the time I got stung by a jellyfish and my sister in law said “Just let him pee on your leg- that will make it feel better.” Oddly enough this is not the first time someone has found me by looking up something about peeing on someone’s leg.

The song the Hampster Dance. When I was about 12 or so and the internet at home was still a relative novelty my dad called me into his office one night “Melissa c’mere you gotta see this” and there on the screen were dozens of dancing hampsters and my dad was smiling like a little kid. How can that not be a happy memory?

My dogs especially Pepper are sweet and crazy funny animals. Pepper has this look I call the “Hush Puppy” look because her lips curl up on her teeth when she closes her mouth so that she looks like the puppet from Lambchops Playalong. I don’t have a picture because she only does it when I don’t have a camera on me. She along with Tinkerbell, Lily, Pugsly, and Missy are the current doggie owners of my heart.

Pepper my sweet dog- about a 4 month old picture so she's more grown up now

Pepper my sweet dog- about a 4 month old picture so she

Comments and links from my wonderful readers. Check em out guys cuz they’re awesome!

My husband. He just makes me smile in general. Last night he went to bed before I could get the clean sheets on the bed and was a bit disgruntled when I woke him up to put them on until he felt the new 400 thread count sateen cotton sheet that was under him. He was a much less grumpy bear after that and I had to laugh at him because sometimes you just do.

My inlaws current laundry set up.

Warm weather washer

Warm weather washer

Its amazing how sometimes you don’t miss it till its gone. In this case its a washer. Ours was out for a long time and we finally got it back as my inlaws started a remodel thats been in the works and needed for 4 years now. My MIL needed to do laundry and laundry for 6 is hard to do at a laundry mat so this was their solution and it made me grin. See their house is like a 400 thousand plus dollar home and this is like the icing on the cake. She and I laughed about how it made us feel like we were back in Mexico where if they have electric washers, they go outside. Or at least they do in the small town we were in. And forget about electric OR gas dryers.

Having a washer again. Nuff said, right?

My fishies. I can watch them for great lengths of time because they are just so soothing and sweet. Seriously. My angelfish, Toi is especially friendly and it follows me around.

How not to make croissants

Or Wow you really ARE dumber than you look

Step 1: gather 6 or 7 different recipes from the internet to go through for the easiest one to make. Paste them all to a word document and print. Mix the pages up a bit so that no two are in the right order. Insure before printing that each recipe is long enough to require space on more than one page so as to make the mix up even better.

Step 2: Attempt to sort pages into correct order. Begin making a recipe. Realize that you don’t have evaporated milk. Resort pages into correct order. Look for another recipe that calls for similar ingredients. Decide that you’re going to mix and match as you go.

Step 3: Add only half the amount of butter called for because really, who needs 1 1/4 cups of butter in their diet even if its only light margarine. Start adding ingredients at random and then read the recipe. Realize you’ve royally screwed up and decide to have fun with it. Mix everything in and stick bowl in the fridge according to half of the recipes.

Step 4: Ignore the part where the recipes say to leave the dough in the fridge for 4 hours to overnight- you  want these now not next Tuesday. Make nifty triangle shapes on the cookie sheet from the gooey dough mess and heat the oven to the recommended temperature. Cook for the minimum time suggested. Check and see that they’re still gooey. Add 10 minutes. Add 5 more minutes. Remove from oven and taste test. Definitely not croissants. More like a dough-ey biscuit or scone.

Say to yourself, “Oh well- they’ll still taste good with that gravy”

Recipe for I can’t believe their not croissants

  • 5 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 packet yeast
  • 4 tbsp powdered milk
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 egg beaten with 2 tsp water

Mix the yeast into the warm water. Mix everything else except the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast and water mixture. Heat the butter till soft and add. Mix well. Put in the fridge for an hour or so. Make triangles the size of the palm of your hand and bake at 350 till golden brown on top about 25 minutes. They’re on the sweeter side, but not horribly so.