The problem with not writing about stuff immediately is that more stuff inevitably happens and then the stuff of the first part gets trumped by the stuff of the second part.

This holiday has, in the words of the immortal Big Chris, “been emotional”. Lots of highs and lows.

While thundering down the highway at millions of miles per hour this past week, half starved to make room for turkey and lots of stuffing (and the apple turnovers, which I somehow didn’t end up getting any of…) I saw in the far off distance what looked to be a runty deer trotting down the middle of the highway. Cars slammed on their brakes and scattered towards the fringes of their lanes, spraying gravel but…not stopping…a failure I found especially appalling when the deer turned out to be a pathetic long-legged scrawny doggy doodles. His little ribs were like xylophone keys and his out-of-control toenails were adding an inch to his height. He would have come home with me if the sheriff hadn’t materialized out of thin air moments after I caught the little guy. After glancing at the dogs collar, the sheriff explained that this was top form for a hunting dog and he’s known the owners for years. ‘They were good ol’ boys.’  When the sheriff said it, there was no irony in the “good” part.

My two little idiots have no idea how different their lives could be. The hunting dog (his name wasn’t on his collar) wagged pretty hard when his dad showed up so I guess it’s ok. And it’s not like I could throw him in the back of the car and make a break for it with the sheriff right there. He had guns strapped all over himself and his SUV looked like a v12.

So the high was rescuing that little dog from getting smeared across the highway. This probably deserves it’s own blog post but…meh.

The low was giving said animal back to his owner. There. Best effort.

Another high was delivering tactical death blows to a fence with a sledgehammer. So deftly was every whallop placed, that I was sending fully intact boards careening from their moorings with one single blow. It should also be stated that the boards and moorings were rotted and this wasn’t an incredibly difficult job, but I was still impressed with myself and would like it if you were, too.

A definite low was when, in cleaning up these boards, I got a tree-sized slice of lumber driven into the delicate flesh of that crevice between my thumb and pointer finger. I saved the splinter for those who thought I was being a big baby. That stake is going to look great mounted over a fireplace someday.

This also could have been an entire post of its own. With illustrations seeing as how my thumb is still swollen and the stake I pulled out of it, with my bare hand like Rambo, was saved for posterity and would probably photograph well.

Dinner was delicious, another high. Traffic coming back home wasn’t too terrible, another high and, I think I clocked about 11 hours of sleep last night. Definitely a lofty high.

I drove home on Friday night because the house I’d been fantasizing about and had all but physically moved into, as far as mental preparedness was concerned, was being inspected this morning. At 9 bells, a little savage for a Saturday morning, but I managed to only be 15 minutes late.

When I arrived, the inspector had just finished a preliminary stroll around the grounds and approached me with an unreadable look in his eye. There was an immediate connection with the guy and I suspect that he has no daughters of his own to freak out about. He shook my hand but instead of exchanging niceties, told me that it wasn’t too late to back out and not pay for an inspection. Because it would cost more than the house is worth. “Oh, and say ‘hi’ to your new neighbor” at which point an ill-timed stoner staggered past, moaning like a brain-starved zombie.

The inspection kind of went downhill from there. He had a great time showing us how the roof had nothing to offer society, where a supporting wall had once stood and the ensuing damage caused by its absence, explaining how having the electrical panels directly behind the water tank and sharing a crowded corner with profound amounts of water damage and a droopy ceiling was going to cause the house to explode in an atomic firebomb of total destruction someday (he took a picture of this, to “show his friends”). He then in a very dad-like way asked what I intended to do with this house.

“Die in it, evidently.” I was kidding, but he gave me a pained look that hinted at a deep desire to make me sit in a corner until I could be normal.

“Jen.” He fingered the metal bars installed across the kitchen windows to keep vagrants from breaking in. “This is a buyers market. You can buy something that won’t kill you in a neighborhood that doesn’t have tripped out drug addicts wandering all over the place for a great price if you’re patient.”

I stopped taking notes of super-scary stuff that needed immediate attention after the second page. The inspector began and ended just about every sentence with “serious safety hazard”.

Eg: This is a serious safety hazard, do you see this? This is asbestos that is now friable. That can kill you and it’s expensive as crap to remove. This is a serious safety hazard.”

“This is a serious safety hazard. Do you see how this electrical outlet has three prongs? That gives it the impression of being grounded, except that it isn’t. None of these plugs are grounded. There is a grounding rod outside attached to nothing. You could sneeze in this room and die of electric shock from this mess. This is a serious safety hazard.”

While shaking my hand goodbye, instead of actually saying goodbye, he said “run away run away run away!”

So… there it is. What will tomorrow bring…

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7 thoughts on “Adventures

  1. Grammapat says:

    Big lol in many places. There MUST be some print mag that could use a dose of this blog. You didn’t say whether you thought the inspector was a screwball. I spent Thanksgiving in my home office with a peanut butter sandwich (on homemade bread). Not bad!

    • Jen says:

      The inspector was a great guy, I promised to torture him and him alone with my next prospect – if I find one that I love as much!

      And home-made bread – mmmboy!

  2. Grammapat says:

    I should add that you (perhaps unthinkingly) used a word in your blog that is highly popular in the Korean language. meh. Means a thoughtful “yes”. There’s also “yeh, yeh” that also means yes, even though it’s said in a tone that sounds like the English we use when we can’t wait to get someone off our backs. And there’s also “neh”, an ordinary, everyday “yes”.

    I’ve never heard anything used for “no” except “aniyo”. Pretty straightforward, but it takes awhile to spit it out.

  3. Jen says:


    There is no one word in the English language to express “my heart isn’t in it” crossed with “I don’t feel like it” and “probably should”.

    “Meh” is as good as it gets. And a very wise person once told me that “sometimes good enough is perfect.” So it’s perfect.

  4. Anonymous says:

    It’s really unusual for an inspector to be this blunt. Please listen to what he said and RUN AWAY from this house. There is a better house somewhere just waiting to nurture you and your dogs. pPPPPpleeeaze. xo

  5. Zeldon says:

    Inspector Tracey was a Daddy Steve stand-in for the day and he earned every penny of his fee. Watching Tracey interact with Jen (who has never purchased a home before), reminded me of sitting with Steve in a mall in Richmond and meeting Melissa’s first potential boyfriend, a sleazy kid we’d never met before. Daddy Steve didn’t waste anytime in small talk. His first words were, “what are your intentions with my daughter?” SleazeBoy slunk away with his tail between his legs. Melissa blew up in a rage and didn’t talk to her daddy for days. But it was disaster averted for both kids.

    Inspector Tracey was hell-bent on making sure Jen wouldn’t consider buying this house for another minute – at any price. He’s probably writing a blog as we speak about “saving” someone over the Thanksgiving weekend from buying a disaster of a home – just like Jen saved that skinny hunting dog on Highway 24.

    Cudos to all of the Inspector Traceys of the world and great dads everywhere!

  6. Christy kimbro says:

    Inspector Tracey laid down the “Law”, huh? He’s the best inspector/policeman in the Triangle and if he say’s this property should be put under “house arrest”…PLEASE trust him!

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