Thursday, September 30, 2010

That's Jo-Incidence, with a C!

The series of coincidences in my life this past week has been enough to send me back to church. Except, in another strange twist, just last night, a scheduling conflict between my dance class and an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting ended with my sister and I teaching Irish Ceilis on an actual alter. So don't go calling me born again yet.

This morning I had the incredible opportunity to sit down and talk with one of the two girls who spent their childhood living in my barn. Among a slew of coincidences throughout our chance meeting, came one that struck me as particularly funny:

My name is Bridget Mary, and I live in this girl's former home.

Her current home is a duplex, of which she and her husband rent out half.

Her tenant's name?

Mary Bridget.

I am not even kidding.

Now if only I could have coincidentally mowed my lawn and weeded my gardens before her arrival!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Squirrels in my pants!

Ok. I know I often rant about the creatures who co-habitate my barn, but bear with me while I broach the subject one more time.

For those not familiar, I live in a property that one might call "unconventional". Actually, that's not what one might call it, it is exactly what it is called, according to the paperwork that denies me homeowners insurance.

But you can always get insurance! You might insist.

Sure I can. I just don't happen to have the luck of sneezing gold, and I'm not quite willing to sign over my first born.


"Unconventional" properties sometimes come with "unconventional" residents. And true to form, I share my barn home with one brother, one cat, some bats, a few chipmunks, some persistent squirrels, and about a bajillion mice.

Which is fine.

I mean, it's really not fine.

But ever since last year's fiasco when the squirrels invaded and broke the heating system and I retaliated by KILLING THEM ALL, me and the wildlife seem to have reached a truce. They stay in their part of the house, and I stay in mine. They leave my wiring alone, and I don't call back the pest guy to, in his terms, "get them buggers".

At least until now.

Kids, someone's gone rogue.

Lately, around 9 PM, and then again at 5 AM, the rodent racket in my closets is ridiculously hard to deny.

I have the best bedroom ever. It is huge. And the only room in the house in which the ceiling was build ABOVE the beams. When means I have this neat, sort of... gambrel ceiling, that slopes up from the wall behind my bed, and then back down to the three closets that face my sleeping area.

[Yes, three! THREE! Mmm, closets.]

[And yeah, I totally just whipped out "gambrel". Whattup.]

Anyway. The slope is mimicked in the attic above me, with lots of nooks and crannies for the creatures to explore. And lately, one such creature, seems to have taken a liking to riding the slope right down into the closets. Then, the rodent scratches around for a while, trying to figure out how to get back out. In truth, the animal might not be going rogue so much as he might just be stupid.

But in any case.

I know my rodents... and the volume of the scratching has lead me to believe the animal to be a squirrel. But, with no long visible scratches on any of the closet walls, I'm thinking it is probably more likely a chipmunk. Whatever it is, it is much too loud to be a mouse. And frankly, has too big an appetite.

Because when I opened the closet this afternoon, this is what I found:

One of my favorite scarves ever - and a cashmere JCrew one that has matching gloves no less - has been destroyed!

Oh, rogue chipmunk. You think you're so clever? Game on, buddy. GAME ON.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Uncle Bud on Lawn Care

My lawn is... well, as my mother says, lush.

Uncle Bud has a solution.

"I've been driving by this guy in Limerick that sells riding lawn mowers out of his front yard. As soon as I start making mad cash, I'm buying you one. Vintage. And I'll paint it matte black, and install a cooler. Obviously."

It would beat that $30 push mower...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Income Barn.

I don't know if any of you have ever watched "Income Property" but it, along with just about every other show on HGTV, is one of my favorite programs. If you ever see a curly-haired girl sneaking into a near-vacant beach property armed with a bag full of snacks, don't worry. It's just me breaking into Mom and Dad's place to watch endless hours of home improvement shows.

Man, I need my own cable.


The show has inspired me to work on my own home, with the ultimate goal of being able to rent it out. We live in a summer community, which means year-round residents like myself have the unique option of leaving our own homes for a few months of the year, in exchange for a pretty healthy chunk of change. Mom says she likes every part of this plan except for the inevitable truth where I move in with them. I guess I'll have to explore some other options.

Unfortunately, right now I don't so much have an "Income Property" as I have a "Money-Sucking-Soul-Crushing-Barn".

So there is some work to be done.

I am excited to announce that the work begins TODAY. Although "work" is a relative term as all that is happening today is the arrival of a new dishwasher. "New" is also a relative term, as the dishwasher is actually the one that was in Mom and Dad's beach house when they bought it back in 1994.

Still, a functioning dishwasher is better than the one I have now. Because as convinced as I may be that my existing dishwasher will heal itself after just two more months rest, Uncle Bud likes to remind me that when the issue is not filling with water, and the appliance includes a heating element, my self-healing philosophies need to be set aside.

And now, in a celebration of irony, I will excuse myself to go wash the existing pile of dishes so everything is clean for the arrival of my new appliance.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Life with Uncle Bud

You know how part of being in your twenties is having unfortunate roommates?

Well, I don't have that problem.

I mean, sure I've had my share of terrible tenants. The guy who drove his car up onto my front lawn and left it running all night was a real winner. But right now, and for the past four months, I have been lucky enough to live with my little brother.

Because said brother works in the public school system, and because not everyone prefers to have their real identity repeatedly written about in a public setting, I will not be calling him by his real name in this blog. But I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you all to "Uncle Bud". In addition to regularly grilling me up some mean hot dogs, he's a pretty funny guy. And since my daily life is now peppered with his thoughts on things, it seems only fair to share his wisdom and advice with you all.

Like this little bit, on cooking.

"Preheat to 350? That means 400. Set it and forget it."

Learn it. Know it. Live it.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Turn and face the strain, ch-ch-changes!

No, I am not referring to some future David Bowie tribute at karaoke night. Nor am I referring to this most wonderful season of fall.

I am referring to this page! The one you're on right now. Take a good look around, kids. Things done gone and got all kinds of spruced up.

Cute, right?

My "non-traditional student" friend Amanda likes to tell people that her major at the University of Southern Maine is "not sucking at life". Taking some inspiration from her blunt way of putting things, I decided that right now is as good a time as any to get my own butt in gear, life-not-sucking wise.

And so, welcome, to an old blog with a new facelift, both visual, and in content.

While, for the past year, this space has served a productive purpose in showcasing links to my news articles, it has seriously lacked in creativity. Realizing that a writer, like any artist, needs a venue, I've decided to repurpose this blog as a place to showcase my projects. I will still post links as I am published, but I am also resolved to make a greater effort to write. Purely for the sake of writing.

Ha! Hahahahaha! Oh, man I almost believed myself there.

Always the multi-tasker, I admit that I will not actually be writing purely for the sake of writing. I will be writing as a way of motivating myself through other life-not-sucking projects about to get underway.

That's right, kids. Join me as I remake my wardrobe with help of fashionista friend Mariah. Come along for the ride as I finish building my in-home dance studio. Live the day-to-day life of the roommate of a Manimal. Watch as I recruit builder, electrician, and plumber friends to remake this barn into a rentable property.

I probably should have titled the blog So You Think You Can-Wear-Property-Wars. A crazy mash up of the best of prime time HGTV, TLC, and... well... Fox.

Instead I titled it The Small Town Adventures of Vicky Fajita. Because this is the epitome of a small town. I have what one could call... adventures. And to the shock and horror of my mother and father, the townies continue to call me Vicky.

Oh, look out you rock n rollers