Life in the Sticks, Part 85024

Post OfficeSo Mojo hasn't bragged lately about the idyllic life she leads out here in the sticks, far away from the likes of you. Recently she has had to leave her mold-infested hovel and interact with people, since taxes are due and in the three states she is financially involved in (yes, THREE, count 'em!) she owes money to two. And while Mojo demands her refunds as soon as humanly possible, when SHE has to pay rest assured she waits until almost the Very Last Minute.

For some reason that was not adequately explained to me but Heck, It's Too Late Now, the new accountant e-filed everything, but set it up so I have to MAIL PAPER CHECKS in to those I owe. I don't know why this is, so please remind me next tax season to ask why it can't be e-filed, which is how the OLD guy did it. In fact while we were going over my finances I made the charming observation that, back when I had to mail paper checks, my taxes to one state was all of TWO BUCKS, yet to send my check registered return receipt mail cost me WAY MORE than the taxes did. We both chuckled warmly over this, and then I was given my packet of tax papers which I did not bother looking at until nearly a month later. Which was when I discovered I had to MAIL IN MY PAPER CHECKS LIKE AN ANIMAL. But I digress.

Anyway, so Mojo being the charming lass she is, guess who shows up at the post office window about TWO MINUTES before they wish to close? Yeppers, it's our old pal Mojo.

This Is Why You Wouldn't Like Mojo in College

Model employeeFor some reason I thought of this a few nights ago. I woke up in the middle of the night and all of a sudden I remembered this amusing little anecdote, which I now share, regarding Mojo’s illustrious college career.

Throughout college I was a work/study student, as they call it. I started my first year in the library. My second year I earned most of my munnies editing the school’s weekly newspaper during the second semester. And the last two years I primarily worked in the school’s Media Center, where I passed out cameras and darkroom equipment to worthy photography students, video cameras and decks to worthy video students, and scheduled time for them at the video editing stations and/or the sound studio. (I was also a sound engineer, so I was one of the few with keys to the sound studio, where we had a one-inch eight-track recorder, and a couple of quarter-inch half-tracks. In my glory days I could edit and splice quarter-inch tape like a pro, taking individual measures out of music, breaths and paper rattles out of narrations, and--if the need arose--constructing words out of outtakes and isolated sounds. Literally; we’re talking razor blades and tape. Amusingly, all of these various skill sets--along with pasting up mechanicals for print production--have been made completely obsolete by computers and even, to some extent, smart phones. So college could be considered a complete financial bust, unless society collapses and people once again wish to have their mix tapes compiled entirely by hand, or their newspapers printed once more on paper. But I digress.)

This Is The Age of Miracles and Wonder

So we've had this big ol' kitchen wood-fired cookstove for the past ten or twelve years. It's one of those many large things we acquired when the Favorite Husband wound up going to a party without me. But I digress. My point is, we have this big ol' cast iron cookstove, and about a week into owning it a latch-hooky part (it holds the pivot bar of a door) came apart. Which is the tendency of cast iron; it is awfully brittle. It broke at the natural stress point, clean through the bolt hole.

Meanwhile, on Mary Worth....

AdviceWhen people ask why Mojo continues to follow such an obvious, lame dinosaur such as Mary Worth, all I can say is, THIS.

First, the long and involved backstory, which by my guess has been going on for the past six or eight tedious months. Elderly neighbor Hanna has been terrorizing the entire Charterstone complex due to her failing eyesight, which causes her to become an absolute menace behind the wheel. Mary Worth, at her most meddlesome, intervenes, visits Hanna and suggests she move to an assisted living facility (to keep her off the road, don'tcha know). She arranges a visit to some convenient-to-the-plot facility (I forget the name offhand), where they are squired about by an elderly widower (read AVAILABLE) named Sean, who falls madly in wuv with mousy Hanna, who over the course of the story changes fairly dramatically from frail, whiny incompetent to the take-charge newlywed biddy we admire today. (There is also a great deal of unintentional off-color mirth about Hanna's apparent ability to play the flute, but Mojo will ignore that part. You're welcome.)

One of the subplots of this magical tale of wuv involves Hanna's equally incompetent and whiny daughter, Amy, and her blob of a son, Gordon. Gordon only exists in this storyline so Amy can foist him on his Grandma whenever Amy has a hot date--which seems to happen far too often for such an obviously nasty and unpleasant person, if you ask me--and woe betide Hanna should she ever not be home to babysit at the last minute.

 

Gordon

IN WHICH Mojo's Saintlike Qualities Are Obvious To All

So Mojo lives where there's snow. Not huge SCADS of it, like they get in Buffalo, or this year in Boston. But enough. It can be cold, too, although sustained subzero temperatures only happen a handful of times a year. It's cold enough for snow, but when the sun comes out and it warms to the late twenties or early thirties it can be downright pleasant.

The Calm Before the Storm

Firewood

We've had a lot of snow lately, with another foot promised between now and Monday night. I've been bringing firewood into the house in preparation for this latest bout. I have reached that point every year in the woodshed, when I have burned through all the wood we have purchased from the Wood Guy (as everyone calls the guy who cuts, splits and delivers multiple cords of firewood every fall) and I am now burning wood I have cut, split and stacked all by myself. And every year I get that same gasp of recognition when I realize I am now burning through my own wood, from this very property, instead of that purchased from and delivered by a stranger.

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