Daily highs in the 90’s and 100’s give way today to a max temperature of 79 degrees, and I love it! The school year has already begun but it doesn’t feel like the end of summer, regardless of the calendar, until we feel a chill in the air. Autumn is my favorite time of year.
In addition to a bite of cold, there is change in the air. My mother-in-law moved in Tuesday night. I’ve been quite sick with fibro. Last night I was awake every hour and today I’m in worse shape. My mood has improved but my physical situation is quite awful. It hurts to breathe. It’s not lost on me that terrible symptoms are troubling me during this transition.
The most exciting change is introducing a new dog into our home. I was concerned my dog, a blue heeler named Bloo, would be upset at an intrusion into her domain. She is definitely asserting her dominance. The first evening, Bloo sniffed Shiloh’s butt excessively. When Shiloh gave a little rumble to say, “Quit that!” Bloo made it clear this is her house and she doesn’t take kindly to a guest telling her what to do. It was a dog kerfuffle with no biting, just a disagreement. Then, Wednesday afternoon, Karin, my mother-in-law, was petting Bloo, and Shiloh once more gave her a rumble. Again, Bloo told her not to go there. Karin thinks Shiloh was concerned that Bloo was doing something to Karin, but I think it was just Shiloh telling Bloo to back off her person.
The relationship between the dogs is very concerning to Karin. She’s trying to keep them apart, requiring Shiloh to stay at her side. I’m not troubled by it in the least. I think having them outside together is the key. Whatever.
Voices of my husband and Karin carry, so I’ve heard her saying things like, “Why don’t you guys…” and “What’s that?” I’m happy to report I’m not making an effort to hear what’s said. I really don’t care. This comes easier for me than I thought it would.
One exchange was very interesting, as reported to me by Wolf, my husband. Quite some time ago, I ordered pulls for the drawers and doors in the downstairs bathroom. I love them and there are enough that I may put them on my new vanity if it ever gets situated in my new bathroom. Showing Karin the newly redone lavatory, Wolf opened the box of not-yet-installed pulls. He mentioned they had short screws, so he’d probably switch those out for longer. His mom said, “Or you could just get simple pulls.” My husband said he’d definitely be working with the pulls we’d already purchased but if they couldn’t be applied, he’d let me know. He says, “I’ll tell Sara if we need different ones. She’s picked out everything.” His mom, “For my bathroom?” Wolf said, “No, for the basement bathroom,” explaining that anyone who needs to can use that bathroom. Her response, “Well, who would need to?”
Not wanting to use our Keurig, because she’s not familiar, she asked my husband in which box she could find her coffeemaker. My immediate thought was, “Where’s that going to sit? I don’t want it on my counter.” She hasn’t come upstairs with it so I’m thinking she may be using water from the bathroom tap or the laundry room to use it downstairs.
The only kind of pizza she will eat is pepperoni without any other toppings. Wolf picked up Papa Murphy’s on his way home from dropping off the rental moving truck and bought two pizzas. Hers had to cook first because she needed to eat, having “not eaten anything all day,” except, that is, the eggs and bacon breakfast Wolf cooked for her mid morning. I’m certainly not going to make sure she’s offered something for breakfast or lunch. She lives here; she’s an adult who can figure out what and when to have food.
A neighbor in California they met, Jose, visited garage sales held by Karin with my husband’s assistance as they sorted through her belongings of a lifetime. Jose is a great guy and he helped Wolf pack up the moving truck. He asked them to let him know when they got here. So, Wednesday afternoon, while he was unloading her belongings from the truck, she says to her son, “Jose said for you to quit being mean to me.”
“When was I mean to you?”
“At the convenience store.”
She’d asked Wolf before they embarked on the trek how to pay for gas with the cash she’d saved from the garage sales, because she’d only ever used her card. When he told her she’d pay inside, she needed more info. How would she do that? He told her, detail by detail, how one completes a fuel transaction with cash. Later, when they stopped at a convenience store for just such a purchase, my husband said he was going to get a soda. She wanted one, too, but said she didn’t know how to use the soda fountain. (Hasn’t she eaten at fast food restaurants where one gets their own drink? Me thinks so.) After she filled her drink, she asked my husband, “How do I pay for it?” It was at this point Wolf lost his patience and told her to pay at the cash register.
This is the incident to which Karin referred when reporting that Wolf had been “mean.” Reporting is the appropriate word because she literally reported to Jose that Wolf had been mean. While she probably didn’t go into detail about this incident with Jose, it is the situation where she felt her son had been “mean.” Give me a fucking break. She calls her friendly, helpful neighbor to tell him they’ve arrived safely and she somehow interjects that she was mistreated or slighted. I imagine this exchange:
Jose: Good you made it. How was the trip?
Mother-in-law: Yeah, it was fine. Except when Wolf was mean to me.
Jose: Tell him I said not to be mean.
Mother-in-law to Wolf: Jose says don’t be mean to me.
So, at this point, we have hypervigilance over the dogs adjusting, thinly veiled dislike of my decor style, and tattling on Wolf for hurting her feelings. Yep, we’re off to a start very much in line with what I’d imagined. Staying on the sideline, paying no mind to any queries about why we do things our way or discomfort expressed because of how we live, I’m doing fine. Today is the first day with my husband going to work, just the two of us home. She’s downstairs with her animals and I’m upstairs with mine. So far, so good.
p.s. I get bathroom walls tomorrow! I’ve never been so excited for wall board.