In which we move ahead

Me: I’m really enjoying my book. It’s funny writing and it’s interesting to me the way they went about their boycott. <shifts A Year Without Made in China across the table>
The husband: Hmm.
Me: Actually, the husband in the book reminds me of you. But it’s annoying me that instead of going without stuff and clearing out their house, they find other ways to buy stuff they don’t need.
The husband: Hmmm.
Me: But anyway, it’s really interesting. A very entertaining read.
The husband: Hmm.
Me: Oh my gosh you’re afraid I’m going to make you do it, aren’t you?
The husband: <avoids eye contact>

* * *

There’s a Google commercial going around right now that ends with a little girl asking into the phone, while lying on the floor next to her sleeping dog, “OK, Google, do dogs dream?”

Google’s response is, “Dogs dream like humans and about similar things.” The little girl smiles and pats her sleeping dog on the head.

Dietrich is sleeping right now and isn’t available to do a final dogblog before we move ahead. I don’t know what he’s dreaming about but maybe it’s all the new puppies in the neighborhood that we meet on our walks these days; he loves them, so the husband and I try not to talk too loud about getting a second dog when Dietrich is within earshot. We wouldn’t get a second dog here in the green-ceiling condo anyway, but the time will come, before Dietrich is too much older, that we’ll add to the pack in four-legged format. Dietrich is too great a dog to not pass on his wisdom to a younger pup.

And the oyster would love a second dog, too. After she took a nose-dive off a friend’s porch last week, skinning her cheek and her nose and developing a purple knot the size of her fist, she cried for a minute and then asked for crackers and puppies. The girl bounces back pretty quick.

And speaking of kids, today was my last monthly blood draw at the ob, provided the numbers come back normal. They have been normal since March so I trust that September will be no different! That means we have the blessing of Western medicine to add to the pack in two-legged format. When I asked the husband the other week if we should go ahead when we get the go ahead or if we should wait for, hmm, I don’t know, something or…another time…or…I don’t know. His response? “I’m always up for another kid.” Good man.

When we talked about having kids before the oyster, one thing I wanted was to be debt-free. That didn’t happen before the oyster came into our lives but it happened in June and delayed though our milestone was, it was an excellent 29th birthday gift to me. Then again we weren’t actually debt-free until August when I remembered a library fine of $4.50, packed up the oyster, drove to our old neighborhood, and forked over the quarters I was saving for the library book sale at the end of the week. All in the name of financial freedom.

Dietrich is awake now and he is looking at me with his cartoon eyes, which suggests that he thinks I’m leaving something out. Oh, I think he wants me to mention his gray chin hairs. All gray. Very distinguished and handsome. He also wants me to mention that we signed up for dog food delivery from Amazon so he gets a package every month and he feels very sophisticated and urbane.

But back to the conversation with the husband at the beginning of this post. This week I finished the book A Year Without Made in China: One Family’s True Life Adventure in the Global Economy by Sara Bongiorni. It’s my kind of book–a personal social experiment conducted purely to see if it’s possible? Yeah, that’s me. And no, I’m not going to make the husband do it. But it fits well with the moves we’ve been making toward a more minimalist lifestyle in the last few months and the fact that I borrowed it from the library instead of buying it from Amazon is proof positive of that. Dedicating ourselves to the frugal oyster budget was a great foundation for this minimalist thing and I like making less-is-just-less-and-that’s-the-goal a permanent thing for us. 

Anyway. Dietrich thinks we should keep the Red white and new Facebook page when we close up blog-shop tomorrow and I agree. That will be helpful in staying connected while we also spend less time in front of the computer, talking on behalf of the dog. Who has his own dreams of published books and perfectly broiled salmon, if Google is to be believed. 

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It’s a slow bleed

Dietrich and I have been going for wogs in the afternoons. Neither one of us is a runner and both of us are barely joggers, so we wog. He stalls often to “poop” which he suddenly realizes he doesn’t have to do once he catches his breath. He trails behind me the entire time but steps up the pace ever so slightly when I look back at him and tell him he’s doing a great job, his boat sail ears catching a little more wind as he leans into it with new resolve. Yesterday we planned to wog down to one of the blue mailboxes and drop our next pile of Christmas cards but I must have read the map wrong because there was definitely no box at 16th and Joyce, so we made the best of it, envelopes in hand, and ended up at the box I knew for sure was at 23rd and Hayes.

Lesson: Exercise with a low-energy animal and you’ll feel better about your fitness level. Also, the post office website lies like a rug.

He likes to pretend he just finished a marathon and needs one of those body heat capes.

Yesterday I scrubbed the shoebox from floor to lid and invited the husband to comment on how clean everything was and how festive the Christmas gifts for our families look, wrapped and artfully displayed on the bookshelf near our stockings, which are hanging from a pipe. Upon his return from work, he did so, and we were both happy.

Lesson: Sometimes communicating effectively means telling your spouse exactly what you expect or want to hear, so neither one of you is frustrated or disappointed.

Festive Christmas cheer, filling the whole place. I stood in the bathroom to take this.

We continue to hemorrhage things. In my focused scour of the shoebox yesterday, I reassigned three boxes that had yet to be unpacked. One of them is holding an array of things we will use again when we have more than six square feet of living space. It is now underneath one of our clothes baskets in the corner of the bedroom, on the husband’s side of the bed (muahahaha). Another is flat and in the recycling bin outside. The third is collecting Christmas gifts to mail to the home state. And a bag I found in one of the boxes is now hiding under one of the dining room chairs–which is in the bedroom–and storing things for Goodwill.

Lesson: Becoming a minimalist is a slow bleed.

The staircase that leads into the main house has found a secondary purpose as storage. Winter boots, our tool box, the handheld vacuum, all are poised to come or go. The ironing board is hanging from the towel rack on the back of the bathroom door.

Lesson: Necessity truly is the mother of invention. Also, I dislike having things on display for no purpose, but I’m coming to grips with the abbreviated flow of chi in our shoebox.

The boss emailed today asking if I’m willing and available to stay on through the first week of January. I am both.

Lesson: This job has been a blessing from day one. Also, this is why one shouldn’t burn bridges when leaving a job, despite how lame one finds one’s coworker’s donning of Vibram footwear in the office.

Thanks to some gift cards I had and a free Saturday, the husband and I went to Georgetown over the weekend and I finally have the ideal set up for desk items. I saw this idea a long time ago in some magazine or other, and when I found these ceramic produce crates at Anthropologie and the bright lacquer trays at West Elm, I knew it was time.

Lesson: Drawers? I don’t need no stinkin’ drawers.