the RATS of moose

The Random Access ThoughtS of a mid-west, approaching-middle-age, nurse starting the next phase of life.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


comes in all forms... physical... driving from the far north suburbs to Iowa and back in one evening for the visitation of a friend... after getting up at 5 am for work. Emotional... one of my kitties has been sick sick sick.... most likely with something that can't be cured, but maybe not. She is in hospital tonight getting rehydrated in the hopes she will feel good enough to eat and come home tomorrow. Mental... my house sold this weekend... 15 days after it went on market for a thousand over my minimum asking price... I have 30 days to pack and get out. I feel like I have nothing done, yet the storage unit is half full. At least I have an apartment already rented. I need to hire a mover for the 18th.... unless any of you are free that weekend with strong backs and big vehicles... Or, you can come over and we can sit around and watch the movers move. And then there is work......

Ain't stress wonderful? Wonder what my cortisol level is today?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

For my friend, Warren aka da Hammer

Warren W. Welke
Warren W. Welke
Dear Warren,

Well, this is a fine mess you've gotten yourself into. I suppose it means you're going to be a no-show for dinner at Lawry's after the auto show next year (like someone else we know!). I'll have to start calling you David, Jr.

I know I haven't been the best friend to you over the years, breezing in and out of your life like the wind. Dropping in unexpectedly. Disappearing for years at a time. But you were always there for me. Always ready with a shoulder when I need to cry. Always ready with a joke when I needed a laugh. Always there.... remember the year I needed surgery down in Miami over Christmas and I wasn't sure if we would be able to get Mom a plane ticket so she could be with me? You said not to worry... that if Mom couldn't get there, I wouldn't be alone... you wouldn't let me go through it alone. You were always there for me. (By the way... a belated thanks for the phone call right after I got back from the recovery room... I don't remember any of the conversation, but Mom says my side of the chat was the most hysterical thing she had ever heard! You really shouldn't be chatting up people under the influence of drugs.... oh, wait... that was your job, Mr. Officer Vice Lord !!! Silly me!) You were always there for me.

And you are still here for me. Monday morning I sat at my desk in tears after talking to Jayne, all the while, flipping through the yellow pages looking for a plumber. (There is a tiny little problem with the basement drain pipe which leaves a tiny little sewer smell which is not conducive to selling the house, which I am doing.. there is so much to catch you up on.) Anyway, I digress.... I was looking for a plumber. I don't know anyone out in my area so I was doing a random search... and I turned the page and there was Dhamer Plumbers. Named for you, they must have been. I hired them. They will be at the house Saturday (just about the time you take one last ride around town. I'll be thinking of you).

Do you remember the night we met? Two in the morning or so... Crazy Mary, the paramedic, had been down at the station taking blood pressures and yours was so high she dragged you to the ER at Mercy and we took it again and, yup, it was high. I can still see you sitting on the bed shaking your head, not believing you let yourself get talked into a check-up. It was the start of a great friendship for us. Almost 20 years now. Hard to believe, isn't it?

I can't imagine what you are experiencing now.... or what greeted you on arrival.... I can hear Crazy Mary's screams of joy from here..... "Waaaaaaaaaren!!!!!!! OH MY GAWD!!!!!!!!!!" She must be beside herself... and you must be running in the opposite direction!!! She was such a nut. She's had several years head start on you up there... you have some catching up to do. Have fun!

Life here isn't the same old-same old anymore. I didn't get the chance to tell you... I gave up nursing (at least the hospital/sick people part) a couple months ago and took a new job in the computer department at a hospital way north of here. I love it!! I get to teach computers to the new hire nurses. I think I've found my calling. The only down side is the drive.... 40 miles due north on I-294 in rush hour twice a day. It's driving me (haha-get it? driving me?) crazy! Last Friday it was almost 2 hours to get home... that's why I'm selling the house. And why I need a plumber. Must fix the boo-boos before closing. (Which I'm not anywhere near yet, but there's hope.... I met a really nice couple tonight who are very interested and want to come back for another look-see... are you helping me still? Of all the people who have been over to see it, they are the only people to express interest. Thanks, dude! I needed this today.)

I miss you, Warren. It won't be the same... going back to the Quad-Cities and knowing you aren't there. You didn't even say good-bye.

I guess I'll just have to wait until my time comes and then you and Mary can greet me when I cross over. It will be just like old times. (David will probably be a no-show up there too.... wanna bet?)

Take care of yourself and watch over us still here.

We'll see you soon.

Your friend always,


Thursday, October 19, 2006

In the toilet

Common courtesy has gone down the toilet... or not.... what is it with people who don't flush? This is the third day in a row I've found an unflushed loo greeting me. And it wasn't me.... I'm in the Oprah mode.... gotta turn and look at what what you left... make sure it's normal and all.

So there I stand half in-half out of the stall wondering if I should flush and sit, flush and get a new stall, sit and then flush, or just leave it the way I found it in the vain hope that the person who did this will return to the scene of the crime?

The count so far is one leave it, one sit and flush and one flush and find new toidy. Although, now that I think about it... the sit and flush is just a tad disgusting. Even if the only difference between sit and flush and flush and sit is a little yellow color.

No... I don't think I would have made the same decision had there been a little brown floater.. or sinker... that's just too disgusting.

Which makes me think of other weird bathroom things.. .like the courtesy flush. It's something you hear very rarely now days. I hear it used to be quite popular... the flush before the sit so as to not force the sound of your bodily functions on the delicate sensibilities residing in the other stalls. Waste of water.

Today we are conserving water... keeping it to one flush per... except for the lincoln log days. Then there isn't enough toilet paper or water to suit. (And why don't they put sinks in the stalls with soap and paper towels for the REALLY bad days??) When the bathroom is busy it's a free-for-all. Farting and flushing and peeing and all manner of noise. But when there are only two of you, especially when there are only 2 stalls, there does seem to be a lingering desire to protect delicate sensabilities... Today people will sit and keep absolutely still until they think you have left the room. And if they misjudge your timing?? .....WHOO-HEE... the sounds you can be exposed to!!!

Normal, natural, bodily functions. We all have them. Some days worse than others. What's the big deal? Why are we so embarrassed by the sounds we make? Or the smells we exude? Better to let it rip in the loo than at the desk. Or in a meeting? Or the car???

Yeah, okay... true confessions... I've been guilty of the silent-hold routine... but less and less often. Most often, I don't give a rip.

I let them loose.....

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Clean house, cluttered car....

For those of you that think my house has already been sold and the new owners have moved in (based on how clean and UNCLUTTERED it is), I have a little reassurance.....

The mess has moved...
The garbage heap has just moved to the truck...... ;-)

to the truck!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Sleepless at the Stoner

Why does wrapping paper, of any kind, make more noise at night? I'm eating a granola bar because the bag of chips was too loud to tolerate.

Why do landscapers insist on using the giant gas-powered reverse vacuum cleaners to blow the leaves around MORE?

Why am I up at one in the morning?

Um... Signed the contract Thursday night. Put the house on the market Friday morning. Got a call Friday evening while I was still a good 30 minutes from home asking if it could be shown. Ummmm.... the bed's not made, the place is a fucking pigsty, oh-my-gawd-you-can't-even-get-into-the-basement...... Sure, why not? I called everyone I knew to swear that I was stroking out while driving. Everybody fell off the other end of the phone laughing hysterically.... and then my mother made fun of me all night long at her quilt retreat.

Panic mode is great for cleaning. By Saturday afternoon the place looked not-lived-in... much.... Well, let's say, it's much better.I couldn't possibly live here... Anyone who knows me knows that I can't POSSIBLY live in a house this sterile... no bookcases, no piles of stuph, no over-abundance of clutter..... I may have to move the catz out to the truck and live in there just to get the clutter-feel back. The bedroom is even worse....It's not my room,,, really... I feel like I am living in someone elses house.... it's very weird.

I got the place looking so good that I was a tiny bit disappointed that no one called on Saturday. But someone came today around 5. Keep your fingers crossed.

My fondest wish is also my worst nightmare... it will sell in a week and I'll have to throw the entire basement into a box and find a place to live in 30 days.


Sunday, October 01, 2006

No more brussel sprouts....

Another week, another few gallons of paint.... I finally put the paintbrushes away tonight. I need to focus on cleaning and moving more things to storage and getting the house on the market before the snow flies. The realtor will be here tomorrow for a look around.

But enough about paint....

The other day at work I tried eggplant Parmesan for the first time. Tasted like bread crumbs and cheese covered with tomato sauce. Oh, well... but... it lead to interesting conversation about likes and dislikes in food..... which evolved into... "As an adult, what is the one dish/food you were VERY GLAD to leave at your mothers house?"

For me, it was brussel sprouts.... they are the most vile, bitter green things known to man. And woman. And child. Especially child. No one should be forced to eat them things. YUCK. Never. They will never appear in my house. One of the other instructors agreed with me.... we both shuddered at the thought....

Other loser dishes were 'my mothers meatloaf... I like meatloaf, just not my mothers' and something made with sauerkraut and beans (and one other thing that I can't remember-sheesh). He likes all the ingredients, just not touching each other....

What were you happy to leave behind?