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Gnome-loving neighbors

We moved over the fourth of July weekend, and now live in a little rental house with a fenced backyard for Dixie Doodle dog.  One of the greatest things about our little rental house is it two doors down from a house with a MILLION gnomes in the front yard.  Seriously, hundreds of gnomes.  It is epic.

So, a couple weeks ago, I left a card and a little bag containing two pair of socks (with gnomes on them, of course) at the gnome-loving neighbors’ door saying I loved their gnomes.

Then a couple days later, I got a card left in my mailbox thanking me and saying they would like to get to know me better… maybe over dinner? They gave me their phone number (not knowing that I am horrible and will never get around to calling them, ever.)

Around that time, a black shoe appeared mysteriously at my front door.  (I also have started my own mini gnome collection with a passed-out gnome and a flipping-the-bird gnome.

Which all leads to today’s BREAKING NEWS! I was INSIDE the gnome house! On the INSIDE!!!!! I feel this story is best told by the gnome-lovers, but since you are likely not friends with them, I shall pretend to be them.
We, the gnome-loving family, are home on a Sunday morning, still dressed in our Sunday best from church… Mr. Gnome-lover in a suit jacket, Mrs. Gnome-lover in a pretty dress and bolero, Young-adult-gnome-lover in slacks or whatever, enjoying homemade noms…
*knock knock*
Open door. See very disheveled unshowered woman carrying an old black shoe. Is she homeless? A panderer? :-\
Woman says: “Hi, I’m Lynette…. from two doors down?… that left you socks?”
“Oh, yes! please, please come in!!!!”
Woman: “Um, I’m sorry, I’m a mess… I was just going to leave this shoe and this note… is this your shoe?”
“Whut? Shoe?”
Woman: “I’m trying to find out whose shoe this is… it appeared in my driveway around the time you left your nice card”
Entire gnome-loving family gathers to look at shoe.  Um… no, this shoe does not look familiar to us… and how very… interesting… that this woman is trying to solve the mystery of this black shoe.
Woman exclaims again about the wonderful collection of gnomes in the front yard.
Gnome-loving neighbors also collect clocks!  Would you like to see the clocks?  Show woman two rooms full of clocks.  She stares in amazement.
Show woman back yard, woman stares in awe and wonder at the back yard complete with little pond and water feature and little log cabin and statues and…. O-O
Chat a bit, get a sweaty hug from odd neighbor woman (me) and … well, we can probably guess there was considerable conversation after I left.
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The “I” in bigotry

This is a difficult post to write, but one I feel I should.

I’ve generally prided myself on not being a bigot. I’ve had coworkers, friends, and boyfriends of varying religions, races, and sexual preferences. I’d like to think I try to see the various points of view, whether or not they agree with my own, and reserve judgement until I’ve heard more than one side of the story.

There are times I’ve called others out for what I’ve viewed as bigotry. Not as many times as I should have, I readily admit, but I’ve hurt people’s feelings and alienated people when I’ve pointed out that something they’ve said or some or posted seemed offensive. I’ve left online groups after letting them know the reason I was doing so was because I objected to some of the language used there, and dealt with the backlash – and reported the group for violating codes of conduct.

I grew up in a time and a place where certain actions or words weren’t viewed as harshly as they are today, and I’ve tried to unlearn patterns of speech and action. I’ve watched old movies or shows I once enjoyed and been upset at scenes that didn’t bother me years back, but now… I view them differently and wish I always had recognized what I see now.

I hope I can put more good in the world than bad… at least, leave the world no worse off for having been here. Aim for better.

Yet there are times where I fail.  Fail abysmally. I’m ashamed, and I vow to try harder, do better.

Recently was another of those times.

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I’ve wanted to live in the Pacific Northwest since I was a child.  We went to Washington to visit my father’s brother and his family, and I fell in love with the area.  Moving there was always my plan, but there’s always been some reason (excuse) not to follow my dream: a house, a job, a relationship, etc.  Last summer I decided it was time to STOP making excuses and make my dream happen.  I created some “job alerts” that emailed me when careers opened up in my areas of skill located in the Pacific Northwest or Colorado.

In April, I threw my “hat in the ring” (submitted my resume) for yet another opening.  One thing led to another, and the company flew me out for interviews and a weekend of exploring the area.  I was offered a job in July, and decided to accept it.  I gave notice with my current employer July 9.

I drew this map of where we are moving.  I have mad map-drawing skills.

I drew this map of where we are moving. I have mad map-drawing skills.

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All washed up

I moved into this house in 2004, and not surprisingly, it came with a washing machine.  That washing machine died a watery death in 2006 when it stopped draining water from the tub, making it pretty nonfunctional as a washing machine.  I purchased a new washing machine.  This is all a really boring story so far, right?

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Introducing… Little old neighbor lady!

The doorbell rings this morning – I ignore it. It rings again.  (Dixie is, of course, barking like crazy because INTRUDER ALERT! SOMEONE ON OUR FRONT PORCH! DANGER!) I run to door, frazzled as I was trying to finish up a few things before running errands.

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When I was considering Dixie (and other dogs) for adoption, I’d read as much as I could about them on the shelter’s website (Chicago Canine Rescue), PetFinder, and Petango.  One thing I found a bit surprising is it listed Dixie as not spayed.  The subject obviously came up during the adoption process.  Dixie was originally relinquished to the city “pound” (Chicago Animal Care and Control).  Chicago Canine Rescue transferred her to their shelter when her time was coming to an end, on February 14.  Dixie had I adopted her on March 14.

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When I met Dixie, I thought she loved everyone and everything.  She seemed very easy going.  She was one of the VERY few dogs at the shelter that wasn’t barking.  (I don’t blame them, it’s a stressful environment no matter how wonderful the facilities and volunteers are.  One dog barks, others join in.)  She didn’t react to any of the people, dogs, or other things we encountered on our walks from the shelter around that neighborhood.  In fact, the first time I met her was when a volunteer carried her out and put her into my arms.  I saw Dixie make a couple half-hearted “woofs” one time when all the other dogs were barking and I was part of a “walk through” of the shelter.  The day I adopted her, she did bark at a woman entering the shelter as we were “checking out”.  All in all, though, she seemed pretty relaxed.

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