Friday, September 24, 2010

Poopy Puppy and the Door From Hell - On Our Land Day 13

I should probably start by telling you about the door on our trailer. Since we got this trailer (a 1982 Layton and in pitiful shape) we've been having trouble with the door. The door latch refused to work, so CK installed a new deadbolt on it. At first the deadbolt was so hard to turn that having gone over to the storage unit to do some work on the trailer, I had to call CK and Quantum back at the condo to drive over and let me in. "You have to lift the door," CK told me, "and push it like this." Yeah right. I'm not a weakling, but it was beyond what I could push and lift. Eventually CK reamed out the bolt hole and it was slightly easier.

Since we've been on the road, the door has been disintegrating, getting worse every time it was opened and closed. A couple weeks ago the front panel aluminum popped open and a metal rod poked out of it. I've no idea whether the rod was part of the original locking mechanism or is part of what held the door together. Either way, there was no way of shoving it back into the door, so it stuck 2 feet out, a nasty prong with a rotted piece of wood stuck to the bottom. Every time I took the puppy in and out, I'd have to make sure he didn't get stabbed with it.

Because of this, the door became even harder to lift and close. Challenging when you were outside, next to impossible when you were inside the trailer. Quantum has scars on his hands from getting his fingers caught in the damn thing. Whoever designed this door should be shot.

So due to the rain, and because of the challenge of dealing with the door, I didn't walk the puppy last night before I went to bed. And oddly enough, the puppy didn't remind me of this. He hadn't been well housebroken while we were in Florida because of dealing with the Bitch Downstairs, not to mention the challenge of taking a bucking puppy down a steep flight of stairs. However when he moved into the trailer, he became instantly housebroken and very good at telling us when he needed a walk. Well except for last night.

I climb into bed and the puppy climbs in with me. Zen immediately starts attacking the quilt. Its an old quilt, and he did a good job ripping it up when he was a baby. Maybe he remembers it as his old nemesis. I still hadn't gotten around to finding new stuffing and patching up the tears in some parts. Then out of nowhere he starts peeing all over it. I scream for Quantum to do something, and we spend the next half hour or more getting the dog out of the way, pulling off the quilt, wiping down the mattress and finding a towel to spread over it. We roll the quilt up to take to the laundromat in the morning.

An hour or two before dawn, I need to get up to go to the bathroom, and Zen needs to piddle too. He starts bouncing off the walls and I fight the door open, put him on the chain and stand in the doorway, holding him to do his business. It's still raining, so I don't much feel like going outside. Meanwhile I'm also fending off the cat, who's fascinated with the idea of going out. Despite the ruckus, Zen doesn't appear to do anything. 

I can't get the door closed, so Quantum gets out of bed (understandably cranky at being woken up) and battles it closed. 

I sit in the candlelight, reading, wondering if I'm in the mood to go back to bed, and wait for the rain to slack and the sky to lighten, so I can go outside and make coffee. Suddenly Zen starts wigging out and attacking the rolled up quilt. Before I can do anything about it, he's squatting over the quilt and pooping his brains out. Poor baby has diarrhea. No wonder he was so miserable. It might be the stew I made last night (he had some of the meat from it) since my stomach is flipping around as well.

When morning comes, we send CK out to do the laundry (though we give up on the quilt - it's now not only shredded and peed on, but pooped on as well and now even more shredded, and salvaging it just isn't worth the trouble) and some other chores. Yesterday we'd also contacted the Direct TV people and arranged service, but we needed to talk to the driver so that we can know when he's coming, and meet him in town so he could follow us up to the land. We explain that it's a 20 minute drive for us to get cellphone service, and we don't HAVE an address, so they can't just mapquest it. AND the driver needs a 4WD vehicle. We were told the driver would contact us while we were in town, but of course he didn't.  So today CK is instructed to call them and wait around in town for them to call back. Eventually someone contacts him and says the driver will send us an email.

I soak some beans and decide to make a barley and bean miso stew with zucchini tonight. I also do some shoveling under the tires of the trailer, with the hopes of curing some of the listing to the side. Quantum works on the posts for the corral. The beans are taking forever to cook, and by the time I deem it's right to put the barley on, it's getting dark. This is accomplished with much bickering, as the door is getting worse and worse. Quantum doesn't want me using it, but I have to check on the food. I wait...about three minutes too long to save the barley, which burns badly, with no hope of a save.

There's no more barley, and the beans aren't done. I find some rice and start that and tell CK that he's going to have to come out about every 5 minutes and check on it. He decides he's going to sit outside and watch it in the now very chilly night.

CK comes to the door and insists on me tasting the rice, and pulls the door open. The damn thing sags badly, the metal sliding down off the crappy wooden frame. The rice needs a little while longer (doesn't the man know how to tell if rice is done?) and I tell CK not to open the door again until it's ready.

A while later CK bangs on the window, saying "I think the rice is done." I tell him to shut it down and I'll be out in a minute.

Zen takes that moment to decide he's got diarrhea again, and poops all over the floor. I get that cleaned up, and as I open the door the metal takes another drastic slide and the wood framing at the top rips free.

I grab the zucchini and the sauce I've made and go out to deal with it. The rice isn't just done, it's overdone. It's absolute spluck! (I later find out that instead of just watching the flame height and adding water so it doesn't burn, CK has been stirring the stuff.) It's no longer rice, it's rice porrige. ACK. 

The beans are about perfect, and I saute the zucs and sauce, but there's no salvaging the rice. Despite that, I dish up a plate for CK and take the rest back to the trailer.

Quantum is furious. "You can't be cooking after dark! I told you this would happen!" (During the day, we just use the screen door, which is less problematic.) There is absolutely no hope of salvaging the door now. We can't get the frame back in shape. After much lifting and barking of fingers, Quantum manages to shut it, but a slight breeze comes along and swings it open again.  "If a bear or a cougar comes by tonight, we won't even hear them before they're inside."

Finally we use one of Zen's leashes to tie the door shut. I stuff paper towels into the gaps around the door to keep the wind out. We place a bag full of aluminum cans near the door to act as an alarm in case it gets pulled open and sleep with the gun near at hand.

In the middle of the night I wake up and have to go to the bathroom again. I climb over the puppy, the cat and Quantum, over the pile of boxes where the step-down belongs. (I removed it while replacing the rug in the bedroom and it hasn't been put back yet, so the boxes are there to keep the kitty from crawling into the underside of the trailer.) Just outside the bathroom my foot lands in something wet and squishy. ACK! I shriek for Quantum to get me a flashlight. Yes, I've stepped in more puppy poop!

He crawls out to get me paper towels to wipe and wash my feet. Meanwhile I have to pee desperately, and having landed my left foot in poop, have to figure out how to swivel around and reach the bowl without stepping in or dragging more poop. After I pee, Quantum is desperate to do so also. I still have poop on my foot, and can't move out of his way, so I have to lean back into the shower while he goes. As I do so, the poor excuse for a shower enclosure front gives way and is falling down around me.

We finally get my foot wiped down and I crawl back into bed to wait for morning.

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