Saturday, Feb. 21, 2004
Dear Diary:

The spousal unit has been a mass of nerves all day.

I've started to move back into my home office even though it's not quite finished. There are little bits of trim to be installed and doors to be built for the closet, but after nearly a year of being squished into our living room I've had enough. A woman needs a room of her own.

I'd been in my old, tiny cell of an office for over 20 years so when I was boxing stuff up to move out of it for the renovation, I ended up throwing away quite a bit of stuff. Oh, I may come to regret pitching that DOS 2.1 manual one day, but, well, what's done is done.

Today as I unboxed stuff I realized that I hadn't been as ruthless in my culling as I should have been. I saw that I hadn't needed a fair bit of the stuff I'd held on to so out it went, too.

Oh yes, now the DOS 5.0 diskettes and manual are gone as well. I know. Ruthless.

You cannot begin to imagine how twitchy all this makes my packrat of a spousal unit. Even though none of this is his stuff, just seeing anything headed for the recycling bin is stressful for him. Plus, he knows that once I begin a clean-up binge it's just a matter of time before I begin eyeing his junk valuable treasures and inquiring whether or not he actually needs oh, I don't know, 451 carpentry planes.

Oh, There Have Been Battles, many battles, over the issue of stuff.

Sadly, despite nearly 30 years of marriage, the spousal unit has managed to hold on to amazing amounts of free will. Yes, despite my best efforts to break him of this nasty habit, the man still has a mind of his own about this stuff business. Fear may have curbed his packrat tendencies slightly, but the man has a serious need to accumulate things.

Unfortunately, I have something of an Achilles heel when it comes to this issue.

I collect cat figurines.

Supah CatNow, obviously, a cat figurine collection is a wonderfully whimsical expression of the person I am and not "a dust catching bunch of crap", a term which has been applied to my precious collection by an Insensitive Brute Who Will Remain Nameless. I mean, honestly, can it be called a home if it does not include a flying cat figurine?

My thoughts, exactly.

I had a lot of fun today opening boxes and unwrapping the feline doo dads I had to pack away last year. I had this fun despite the fact I was forced to studiously ignore the comments of an Insensitive Brute Who Will Remain Nameless who wondered out loud just how many cat figurines one woman might need.

As if such a thing could ever be quantified. I mean, really, can anyone ever have enough cat figurines?

My thoughts, exactly.

Frankly, I think the sniping of an Insensitive Brute Who Will Remain Nameless was just a pre-emptive strike to keep me from rifling through his crap collections and making a few pointed remarks about how we're being buried under his need to keep things. I sweartogawd that if they ever examine his DNA they're going to find squirrel genes mixed in there somewhere.

Looking left.My office is small, only about 10 x 18 and we've divided the room into three groupings. It still looks a bit sterile because I haven't unwrapped all my cat figurines, nor have I hung all the photographs I've stored away. This bit to the left is the bit where I work, the west portion of the room.

Almost all the north wall is open, except for a corner where I keep my writing desk. This is the place I go to compose personal letters. In front of that desk is a three panel window that's 9 feet long and overlooks the mountains on the other side of the valley. It's a lovely, ever changing view. My favourite times right now are dawn when the snow is streaked with peach by the rising sun and dusk when the snow turns the most amazing blue.

There should always be a corner where you use a pen and ink.

What a gift to have somewhere where you can retreat with your thoughts and a book.Finally to the right, or eastern portion of the room is a beat up sofa with big fluffy pillows. It's a place to lounge and read, with a broad windowsill to hold a nice cup of tea. That window looks down on my beloved gardens. Well, right now it looks down on about a bazillion feet of snow, but eventually there will be gardens. You know, when the current ice age ends.

It's been a long, tiring wait to get back into this room. Since we don't have a lot of money, the spousal unit and I have to do almost everything ourselves and buy materials as we can afford them. Our home is tiny by anyone's standards and having all the furniture and boxes o' stuff that used to live in my office scattered throughout our home during the reno left me feeling terrifically cranky and claustrophobic.

The spousal unit works full time as a carpenter so you can well imagine his joy at working all week at building things for other folks and then spending many of his weekends, uh, relaxing building things here. There were more than a few meltdowns on both sides, but fortunately even after all these years we still can make each other laugh. I think that's what has kept us together over the bumpy bits in the ice.

My next project is to start a little spring cleaning, to get him to let go of even a little of his stuff.

Without, of course, giving up a single one of my cat figurines.

--Marn

Mileage on the Marnometer: 160.32 miles. Ten percent there rubber duck.
Oh man. This is going to be hard
Goal for 2004: 1,000 miles - 1609 kilometers

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