Sunday, September 13, 2009

My Personal Trainer

Murphy would like to let you know that he is feeling fully recovered, and has resumed his duty as my demanding little personal trainer. This morning he dragged me away from coffee and a Facebook chat for a walk - and I foolishly thought we would take one of the short strolls we've been doing for weeks, and put on my jeans.

Bad wardrobe choice on my part. The four-legged personal trainer decided that today was the opening of Boot Camp. He was a Dog on a Mission. We headed up the street to the lake, and took me around it at a brisk trot! It's still very hot here, of course, and humid as all get out. I was melted into a sweaty puddle by halfway through, but so thrilled to see my little bossy drill sergeant trotting along, head up, alert, loving life again. It made me realize how insidious his illness had been all summer - how he'd gradually just lost that sparkle, as well as weight, and by mid-August had become a little old man. At first he had bursts of feeling good and symptoms of illness came and went, stumping me and the vets, too, so it was easy to chalk his droopiness up to heat, boredom, normal things. It wasn't until mid-August that the changes became obvious. He has responded SO well to his new diet - I know this is TMI, but I know his followers are all dog people - even his poop has returned to normal! Now, we shall work on maintaining this new regime.

Now that Murphy is under control, Mama can get back to dealing with Other Things. This summer has been long, hot and miserable, and I cannot ignore the many signs that it is time to Get the Hell Out of Florida. There is nothing for me here anymore, and moving back to MD makes a lot of sense - a much better job market, and friends and family in the area.

I lost 2008 to my mother's illness and put my own plans aside, and then the months after her death were spent on estate stuff - all squeezed in to my "ample spare time" left after the long commute to the dead end job, and the normal chores of life. It was only this summer that I could get my nose above the water and start looking around at my own situation. Yeah, that was a depressing exercise. The list of things gone wrong is far, far longer than the things going right. Time to get a move on and get the hell out of this place.

Yesterday I put in a full three hours working on the garage carpet project, in the stifling heat and high humidity, and it left me too wiped out to do much else the rest of the day. Thanks to the pay cut I took on this job and the high cost of the commute (filling the gas tank every 4 days instead of every 10 really hurts), I can't afford to pay anybody to do this crap. I have to slog through it little by little, in my "ample spare time." So yesterday was the garage, but today's work will be conducted in the air conditioning. Room by room, things will be assessed, lists of things that need attention will be developed, and this place will be put in order.

I look at this place with a critical buyer's eye, and just sigh - despite the tens of thousands of dollars I've poured into the house in the last decade, it's still basically a fixer-upper. Major things remain undone, and of course, I am sitting in one of the worst real estate markets in the country (possibly on the planet), where there is fierce competition from foreclosure properties that are much newer and more luxurious. I DO have a great location in a nice neighborhood, and that will help. And I'm not expecting to make a dime at the end of the day - just getting out, after the insane hell of the last decade, will be a win. So, my goal is to get every inch of the house as clean and neat and spiffy as I can make it, and price it to Get the Hell Out. As I have such ample spare time, even this will take weeks of weekends.

My little drill sergeant feels fulfilled, and will spend the rest of the day like this:

Oh, and I am still knitting - here's the little feather and fan baby afghan I made for a co-worker, who is expecting a girl next month. It's Berroco Comfort; a machine washable microfiber blend that is oh, so soft. I liked the way it turned out, and the yarn was a pleasure to knit - very springy and easy on the hands.

And now I will get off my ass and get to work on Getting the Hell Out.


k said...

I take pride in being one of many people who understand the true value of normal poop. Yay! And yay for the bossy one making you sweat.

Anonymous said...

bossy one seems to be proud of his job well done. I cant even contemplate what its going to take to downsize us. Maybe reading you will inspire me.


Ginnie said...

Glad Murphy is improving. And, for what it is worth, when I was looking to buy, I would never buy a new house. I like older ones that need a little help. So I hope you can find someone like me, who will look at it and see home.

besshaile said...

onward and upward - up north anyway. Glad you got a day in the a/c out of the weekend. Yea Murphy! Keep that girl on her toes.

Anonymous said...

Glad that Murphy is doing so well! I just downsized & moved, once you get over looking at every item and wondering if you should keep it the process becomes very therapeutic. Best of luck and I hope you can sell the house for a reasonable amount - be glad you aren't in LasVegas trying to sell.

nurseknitsalot said...

Glad Murphy is doing so well and best of luck in selling your home. Keep us up to date.

Catherine said...

Las Vegas and Orlando are around the same by most analysts' opinions - way overbuilt, and all at once, and financed on flaky mortgages. My house has lost (most conservative estimate) $70K in value in the last two years.

zippiknits said...

Yay! Normal poop is a big accomplishment for a little dog who was terrifically ill! Congrats to you, Murphy!