Monday, August 31, 2009

Dogs, dogs, dogs!

Sadly, Layla was not the dog for us. Although a dream dog in many respects, she was extremely aggressive with the cats. But now Grand Companions knows that she needs a very active home that's cat-free, AND we sponsored her entire adoption fee, so she's way more likely to get a good home now!

When we called to say we couldn't keep her and described what we needed, we were surprised to hear that they had just the dog for us. He was described as a chihuahua-Jack Russell mix who needed some help with socialization, but he was very calm and barely noticed cats. They called him Max--we call him Bors:
Oh, perhaps you'd like a clearer shot:

Bors (named after one of the Knights of the Round Table and one of only three knights to see the Grail--the others being Perceval and Galahad) is a very laid-back little pooch. That's not to say he isn't playful and curious (see the top picture), but he's definitely got a personality we can handle. Grand Companions Humane Society is treating this week as foster care, then he'll go back to the shelter while we're out of town. Assuming all goes well, once we get back to Marfa we'll adopt him!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

New dog audition

Meet Layla, pug-Boston terrier mix extraordinaire. Layla is what happens when you go to the farmers' market for some homemade tamales and get suckered by the local humane society booth. Grand Companions Humane Society is smart enough to let you have an audition weekend, so she walked home with us. We'll see how things turn out!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The grand adventure begins

I'm much less practical than I was in high school (ie, 8 years ago). I couldn't understand why anyone wouldn't go straight to college, I had full intentions of getting my career on path, and I set any interest in a romantic relationship aside until my education was over. Nowadays, in my dotage, I'm all for taking a gap year, I like calling my career "professional lazybones", and I got married at 21. Yup, I've learned a thing or two about what really matters in life over the years, and that's probably what made dropping everything in Dallas and setting up life in a town smaller than my high school such a damn fine idea.

I only had one "Oh no, what the hell have I done?" moment when we first got into the apartment and nothing was quite as we remembered. As things were set up, however, I began to feel much better. A week-and-a-half later, I'm quite comfortable in our pint-sized apartment. Once we get a mattress on our guest bed/makeshift couch, it'll be just about perfect.

So what have we learned thus far?

1. This place is happenin'. There was supposed to be a concert tonight from a Pulitzer Prize nominee composer, but he's somehow injured himself in such a way that he cannot play his bass. Try not to think too hard about that. Jazz festival this weekend, Marfa Lights Festival next weekend (which we will be fleeing from), Andy Warhol paintings in galleries downtown--not too shabby.

2. There is no "international section" in the grocery store. When the population is majority Hispanic, there's no need to have a special aisle with masa, special canned produce, and tortillas. Yes, this isn't White Land anymore--nopales and green beans sit naturally together on the shelf. And they have bins of pinto beans in the produce section; jicama, which I probably couldn't even have found at specialty stores in Carrollton; and 30 lbs bags of Hatch green chiles for $16. Heaven.

3. People are scary friendly. I'm not used to this. Everyone waves whether they know you or not. I live two houses down from the mayor. You can know someone's life story within 5 minutes of meeting them. I've gone from Dallas apathetic to small town ultra-friendly. That will take some adjusting.

Anyhoo, when Mom was here helping us move in we took a day off and drove the River Road down by the border. Pictures are up at Backcountry Peripatetic.

We has the internets!

No longer will we be confined to the 800 wifi hotspots in this town and our tiny laptop. No, we can now sit in the comfort of our new home and use the big screen TV that is the Mac. Hooray for the internets!
The landlady sent us two modems, one wireless, one not. The wireless connection does not work, so we are still unable to use the Wii to full advantage (read: we still can't download more games to the Wii) but that's a minor problem that we can work around.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Go west, young Chandler

Clambering into the truck/car tomorrow to drive to Marfa with all our crap! I'm sure the internet at the apartment will find a way not to work, so don't be surprised if it's a while before you hear from us. And wish us luck stuffing sedatives down the kitties' throats tomorrow morning.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Aw Man!!!

Baby got adopted out from under us!! We're on the search for a different dog now. Such a shame--we liked her tons and bunches.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Moving quick hits

I appear to be a firm practitioner as well as a firm believer in the siesta: I only seem to get work done in the mornings and after the sun goes down. And I have been feeling a mite bad about how little work I get done on the move over the course of the day even though I can accomplish a lot well into the evening. Anyway, tonight after 11:30 we began the big duty of moving furniture we no longer want to the garage. Two sofas and a coffee table later, I'd say we did damn good work for the day. Think I'll take another evening nap tomorrow!

We've had a constant supply of Gatorade running through the house. Hits the spot after something strenuous. As of today, the only things in the refrigerator are Gatorade, some jelly, a tub of margarine, and some strange juice from a long-forgotten green leafy. My favorite flavor is blue--Chris prefers red.

Highs and lows for Tuesday, August 11: Dallas - 100, 77; Marfa - 90, 62. Make of that what you will.

Whenever a break from packing and purging is in order, I sit and knit and Chris breaks out The Godfather: Blackhand Edition for our beloved Wii. When Chris isn't around, I often take over his character and go on a reckless driving and shooting spree. This often ends with the character going down in a ball of fire. I'm not allowed to save over the game when I do that.

Currently the schedule is to have everything packed up by the end of the day Wednesday. On Thursday, a thrift store will come pick up our furniture we're donating, and we'll do any work around the house that needs done (like plugging nail holes, vacuuming, mopping, etc). After the donatable furniture is gone, we can move our movables into the garage. We'll load the truck Saturday, brace ourselves Sunday, and go west (young man) Monday. Scary.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

August 12 ...

... is Adopt-A-Less-Adoptable-Pet Day! To your left you will spy Baby, a shih tzu mix who currently lives in Alpine, TX. While Chris and I were in Maine, I was piddling around on the computer, looking for senior dogs out west (thank you, Petfinder). The nearest elderly dog was in El Paso, which is quite a ways to go, so I finally just searched for shelters near Marfa. I ended up clicking on Baby (classified as an adult) and saw the words, "This dog needs a home soon. She is too old to be living in the shelter." Prior to this, we'd just been looking at dogs for grins; after seeing Baby, I thought, "I just found our dog."

Why a senior dog (or an adult dog bordering on senior)? Chris and I haven't had a dog in ages--the last thing we need is a puppy trying to eat the cats, peeing everywhere, jumping on everything, pulling us down the street, etc. Inexperienced dog owners need a dog experienced being a dog. Also, it just doesn't seem right to me that old, lovable dogs get put down in shelters because everyone would rather have a healthy puppy. Worse still, how many of those puppies end up back in the shelter as old dogs because their lousy families decide they want a younger dog? It's my intention to make Baby's last years happy as can be.

We got to meet Baby on our last trip to Marfa. Miss Lemon got to meet her too, and we learned that Lemmy will tolerate dogs much better than she will cats (she actively seeks to destroy cats, but she just wanted Baby to stay on her side of the room). The Animal Control officer in charge of her case seems to be thrilled--methinks she thought Baby would never find a home, but she was so sweet and well-behaved that it just wasn't fair. Currently, Baby is in a foster home until we can get set up in our new apartment, then we'll make it official and bring her home for non-stop lovins!

So if you're like us and have a pet-shaped hole in your life, consider the so-called unadoptables.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Good news

For those who weren't paying close attention (and why would you?), our computer's hard drive died. Everything was lost, including pictures of west Texas and Maine. Fortunately, I'd uploaded all those pictures to Shutterfly before the computer completely broke down. So for those who want to see all the Maine pictures I was unable to post as well as the entire mess of pictures from out west, you only have to click here and view the pictures on Backcountry Peripatetic. It's easier this way--otherwise I'd have to download them all again just so I could post them here, and that's just too much work.

Closer and closer

I did something last night that's really made the house seem naked: I've stripped the walls of all art and icons and most of the calendars. Now everywhere I go it looks weird. Nothing says "moving out" more succinctly than bare walls.

The trash can is filled to the brim and has been since last Friday (I think). Junk has emerged that we forgot existed (it's like having new pajamas!). Unused items that got stuffed into corners of closets and cabinets are now seeing the light of day. Piles of stuff have been sent off to find new homes at the thrift store, mounds of books are to be sold at the library's book sale, and that giant hunk of metal we knew as the old car has been donated to charity.

What awaits us in Marfa is a tiny apartment with no dishwasher, no washing machine and dryer, no central heat or air conditioning (window units and a heat pump). What also awaits us is a town without Walmart, no big box stores, no fast food places save the Dairy Queen. I've never been so happy to move anywhere.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Good morning, gentle readers

I don't often get on here and talk about religion (my Orthodox Christian faith in particular) because, frankly, I have no clue what I'm talking about. Nonetheless, I read this this morning and wanted to pass it along so that others might benefit by it. It's from the Sermon on Charity by St. Basil the Great.

Imitate the earth: bear fruit as it does, and do not be inferior to what is less than human. The earth bears fruit not for itself but for you. But when you do good, you gather for yourselves, since good works reward their doers. Give to the hungry; what you give becomes yours and returns to you with interest. As wheat thrown to the ground profits the sower, so bread given to the poor yields you a reward. "Sow uprightness for yourselves."

Like it or not, you must leave wealth behind you, but the glory derived from good works you take with you to the Lord. Before our common Judge, the multitude you have fed will call you their benefactor and praise you for humaneness and kindness. Just look at how people throw fortunes away on sports and on the theater in order to win the ephemeral praise and applause of the mob! Are you going to be stingy, then, when such genuine glory is your reward?

God will approve of you, the angels will praise you, and people will declare you blessed. You will receive eternal glory, the crown of justice, and the kingdom of heaven, all for giving away in proper fashion the corruptible things of earth. You need have no anxiety about the blessings in store for those who refuse to set their hearts on temporal possessions. Therefore, be generous and free-handed to the poor. Let it be said of you: "He has distributed his goods to the poor; his goodness shall remain forever."

How thankful you should be to your gracious benefactor, and what a cheerful, joyous face you should wear, seeing that you are not seeking another's good but letting others take yours. In fact, you are gloomy and touchy; you avoid meeting people lest they coax some bit of money from you! You have a stock answer: "I neither have nor give, for I am poor." Indeed, you are! Poor in love, poor in human feeling, poor in faith in God, poor in eternal life!