Thursday, January 23, 2014

My Not So Haunted House, Oilfield Time, And Wedding Dress Ruffles

The curse of Miriam continued on to the end of my hitch. My flights home were both delayed and I was starting to consider human sacrifice to appease the gods of the oilfield. However, I made it safely home even with the drunk and disorderly conduct of the man sitting in front of me who made in flight phone calls yet somehow was still served more alcohol and never had his phone confiscated. He was amusing when he couldn't tell that the plane was still in the air and he kept emphatically yelling about how smooth the landing had been. Other than that, my flights were uneventful. I was just saying a few days ago that I'd never had my credit card or account number stolen. Ironically, my account had been stolen a few days previously. Which racked me up well over a thousand dollars dollars in charges and fees. I discovered this fun fact the same day I discovered there was an issue with my paycheck and I had only about half of it in my account. It was the perfect ending to this cursed hitch.  Luckily it's over, I managed to not get sick, and now I'm enjoying some off time.

I planned on grabbing lunch with some of the guys in Anchorage during my layover there on my way from the slope to Washington . It was at this point that I was nearly tricked into going to the strip club. If not for the fact it was not open that early in the day, I wouldn't have seen it coming. Earlier in the week, I sent out a group text to a few friends about meeting up for lunch, asking for suggestions. And since I don't know Anchorage well, they sent back a few strip club names. Me being the sometimes gullible and oblivious person that I am, didn't catch on that they were joking with me. Instead I just agreed that, "Sure, the Bush Company sounds fine." No one confessed the fact this was a strip club until I had already been picked up from the airport. These are the perils of working in the oil field, you meet such nice people. But I have to give it to them, they flawlessly pulled off the trick without so much as a smile to give themselves away.

Sadly, the new house is likely not haunted. If any house would be haunted it would be this one; 100 years old with the funeral home in the backyard and the black cat that appears often on the property. We even have a creepy attic door in the office that I have yet to venture towards. But generally the deer are the only visitors.

Roxi was very concerned about these intruders. They were not impressed with her ferocity. Also note, the building in the back right corner behind the car, that's the funeral home. 

Travis's new theory to explain the lack of haunting is that the townsfolk are immortal. Apparently no one has been at the funeral home the entire time we have lived here. And he claims statistically speaking, we should have about one death a month. But maybe the immortality will wear off on us. While the non haunted house has been a disappointment for me, I have made one exciting discovery. I found Bigfoot hair. It was on display in the local secondhand shop and apparently found nearby in 2012. The one disappointment; it is not for sale. I'll have to keep looking for my own.

Speaks for itself.

Other than immortality, the people here have been very friendly.  I only met one odd man who seemed to think we were all turning into cyborgs because of smart phones and we were being spied on by the government through our contact lenses. We have attended a "new grass" (apparently the genre for newer blue grass music) concert at the local brewery already, Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys, a band from Michigan.  They were really good and entertaining, I was totally impressed. We bought several of their CD's and found a song we might use in our wedding.

Now that I'm home, I have unpacked the rest of our stuff in the new house and discovered the movers did an impressive job. Impressively odd that is. Somehow they did the packing in the most random/disorganized order I have ever seen. They packed everything, including all the things we thought they would refuse. The one last bottle of unfinished bottle of alcohol was packed with the spices. I found my shotgun ammo in a box with my Harry Potter books. The kitchen magnets ended up with the bathroom things. The legs to our couch disappeared entirely but we somehow ended up with the legs to a chair owned by our previous land lady. The couch thing is almost an improvement at least. So last year we bought our first couch.  I fell for the sale couch trick, it was incredibly cheap since there was a three inch barely noticeable rip on the back. We decided we could overlook the fact it didn't have any arms. Lesson learned. By the time we got it home (the memorable six hour drive from Anchorage where we managed to fit the couch, six chairs, and a dining room table into the Trailblazer), it had a noticeable tilt from the snapped board on the underside that must have happened in transit. It is the most uncomfortable couch in existence. Which was weird because it was wonderfully comfortable for about a month. But now without its legs, it sits flat and almost feels like it provides more back support, I do thank the movers for that one.

The couch I detest, its lack of arms and legs makes it rather useless as a couch. 
The scariest thing I found was the propane tank we had next to the garbage in the arctic entry (luckily it was empty) that ended up in a box of office supplies. I found an empty tissue box, thank goodness we didn't forget that. And the coffee grounds were still in the coffee machine. But the house is coming together well now and we are getting all the life essentials together finally. Like I said, it was impressive. I finally have my coffee table and end tables. They are made out of old barrels and the we put a chalkboard top on the coffee table. The chalk paint works splendidly.

Painting the coffee table with chalkboard paint. An end table is in the back right corner, we put gold pans on the tops.
The chalkboard table works great! The spiral in the middle will soon become a cribbage board.

A new nerdy buy, a 200 mL flask.
I filled it with gold and silver colored gravel and sand.
Now it is a nerdy vase for dead flowers. Totally my style.

We also have an ancient washing machine named Thor who stands guard on the front porch. He came with the house, the owners were hoping not to have to move him, as they aren't sure its possible. The landlord used to repair washing machines. But luckily we think he's pretty cool. We do have a working newer washer and dryer inside though.

Thor, the beastly ancient guardian of the house.
Thor's handle, hence his name.

This weekend I'm getting my wedding dress!!! I'm starting to experience the weird health condition (mental condition?) caused by wedding planning. The condition that makes you irrationally worried about weird things and causes odd dreams. I dreamed the other night about having to develop wedding pictures with my mud lab rheometer. A combination of work and wedding nightmares. Travis dreamed about finding all the wedding invitations returned to our mailbox. He's always the practical one. As of now, I am the only one who has fallen prey to irrational fears. Like this one about my dress. My wedding dress has layers of overlapping organza (it is a sheer fabric) ruffles, one layer is pleated, one layer is straight, and they repeat back and forth like that. During my initial dress fitting, I was told to steam the dress before I wear it, but to be careful not to straighten out the pleats. So I started to worry obsessively that sometime either in transit to Michigan for the wedding, or during the steaming process right before hand, the pleats in the ruffles were going to come out. My rational mind says, "Miriam, why are you even thinking about the pleats in the ruffle on your dress? It shipped from Colorado just fine. This is a little much in the worrying department, you sound kind of like a crazy person.What kind of strange sounding word is pleats anyway?" My irrational mind says, "The pleats are of utmost importance and your dress with 100% not work if you mess up those pleats, and everyone will notice and then mock your lack of ruffle pleats."  But we only have two months to go! Real time months, less than one month of off time. So I feel justified in getting a little crazy as time moves differently for me.

To explain, working in the oilfield is sometimes like working in a different dimension or a different suspended timezone. I have started calling it oilfield time. Since half of my months are spent on the slope, working most of the time, I don't get a lot of time during those two weeks to get home/wedding things done. Often, Travis and I can't talk much because we sleep and work opposite schedules. The same goes for friends and family. So my personal life and tasks get condensed into the two weeks I'm home. It makes my time fly by in odd chunks. And it means I have only four more weeks off until I am married. Just three before I fly to Michigan for the wedding. So really it stretches out the "Just two weeks!" type excitement out for twice as long. So I really should stop talking and get back to business. Three weeks to go!!!

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