I have a chore coat. It is the old coat I wear when I work outside. It is an old green coat with a brown collar and cuffs lined with green and brown plaid.
I’ve told EJ several times that I love my old chore coat, and I love that I really need to have a chore coat here in Northern Michigan. Of course, I wore this coat at our old house downstate when I had to do yard work or stack wood but somehow it seems more necessary and authentic in our Enchanted Forest, where I’m cleaning out chicken coops, spreading out straw, and lugging water buckets–and other such stuff.
Chore boots are also necessary because I don’t want to go to the store wearing boots that I walked through the messy chicken/duck coops in. In the summer, I have two pair of shoes that I wear when I’m outside. One is a pair of backless sneaker shoes that I can quickly slip my feet in and out of. The other is an old pair of New Balance athletic shoes. They are very beat up, have holes in them, the laces are broke and tied together, but they are so comfortable that I’m not ready to discard them. I wear them when I walk down the driveway for the mail or when I have to do hard work and don’t want my feet slipping out of my shoes. I have good shoes that I wear when I have to be out among people.
My chore shoes are great in the summer, but inadequate in the winter. Last summer I told EJ that I would need a pair of old chore boots and he found me a pair at Goodwill. When it snowed this last weekend, I started looking for my chore boots because I didn’t want to be slipping on the ice or walking in snow deeper than my shoes. And I didn’t want my regular boots to get all yucky. I only vaguely remember what the chore boots look like and I couldn’t find any that looked like what I somewhat remembered the boots looked like. But I found a pair of JJ’s old worn out hiking boots so I wore those out to do my chores.
Yesterday I said to JJ, “Can I have your old hiking boots to use as chore boots?”
JJ: “Which ones?”
Me: “The ones you don’t wear anymore because you bought new ones.”
JJ: “Sure. You can have them.”
Me: “Good. Because I already wore them yesterday when I did my chores and they have chicken and duck poop on them.”
JJ: “You know, you really should have asked BEFORE you wore them and got poop on them.”
Me: “True. It would have been really crappy if you had wanted to wear them. I mean, seriously, they have crap all over them.”
JJ’s old hiking boots are adequate as chore boots but they are hard to get on and off–I like to be able to easily slip my feet in and out of shoes/boots. Also, they have deep treads and the poop sticks to them and gets tracked in, even though I use Vladimir to wipe my boots on before I come into the house. Vladimir is our raccoon with a brush in his back for wiping dirty shoes on. Downstate we used him as a door stop and we occasionally stubbed our toes on him when we walked past him, which hurt so badly that we accused him of leaping out and attacking us. Since we moved to our new house, he has been in the garage. He hasn’t attacked me since I began wiping my dirty shoes on him. I think he’s much happier fulfilling his intended purpose. It was beneath his dignity to be used as a door stop.
Anyway…Since JJ’s boots were not totally adequate, I went searching for the boots EJ had bought me. I finally found them yesterday! At least, I was almost sure these were my chore boots. So I wore them out to do my chores in the afternoon. They were easy to slip my feet into and out of. They got covered in straw and poultry poop.
When EJ came home from work, I told him that I had found my chore boots! Later, he said to me, “Uh, those aren’t your chore boots. They are boots I bought for me to wear. Not for doing chores.” Oops. An hour or so later, Danny wanted out, so I asked EJ if I could wear the boots. He said yup–and please wipe them off in the snow. So EJ, Danny, and I went outside and while EJ waited near the door, I shuffled my feet in the snow to clean the boots as I walked with Danny. Then I clicked my booted feet together to knock off the debris and as I did, I quoted Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, “There’s no place like home; there’s no place like home; there’s no place like home.”
EJ said, “It didn’t work.”
Me: “What didn’t work?”
EJ: “Clicking your shoes together and saying “There’s no place like home.”
Me: “It did work.”
EJ: “No, you are still here.”
EJ: “Clicking your shoes together and saying ‘There’s no place like home’ is supposed to send you home.”
Me: “And here I am. At home. It so totally worked!!!”
There’s no refuting fairy tale logic.
We have learned that life can be difficult and that it’s very important to laugh, so we laugh whenever we can.
Like…JJ is a night owl and gets up much later than we do. He was still sleeping last weekend when I texted him:
“Dad and I are going to the farm store to get some straw…so we can build a house that hopefully the wolf can’t blow down. If that doesn’t work, we will get sticks…and then we will try bricks. We might also get a snow fence to keep the wolf off our property.”
JJ texted back: “Uh…what?” Then he came out of his bedroom and asked, “What was that text all about?” I replied that I had started out attempting to inform him that we were going to the farm store to get straw and somehow the story took on a life of its own and got away from me. Oops.
Last year I discovered that you can specify how to pronounce your name in your FB profile and–at least in the settings–you can hear it vocalized. Mischievously, I found a website listing a bunch of elvish-type names and inserted two names on my profile as the proper pronunciation of my first and last name. Zy-lee-uh AH-dhul-win has absolutely no similarity with my actual name. EJ also changed his pronunciation–I think he put down “Count Renfrew.” EJ has been wanting to change his pronunciation again so last night he changed it to UN-klnukklz CHUKL-BUNGK-ker. I kept mine the way it was. We kept playing the audio for our names and then laughing so much that we almost went into convulsions. JJ came out to see why we were laughing. We told him and he rolled his eyes and said “You guys are abusing technology” and then went into his bedroom. (He is not without his sense of humor. He was trying not to laugh.)
Just for the record, JJ often teases us as well. For example, on Election Day I drove JJ to the township hall so he could vote. I had voted earlier in the morning so I waited for him in the Buggy. After several minutes, JJ walked out with a very distressed look on his face. “What’s wrong?” I asked in concern. He said, “I thought I had registered to vote when we moved up here but it turns out that I messed up and I accidentally registered to vote in Nigeria.” Since this was his first time voting, I said, “Seriously? Oh, JJ, I’m so sorry…” Then my eyes narrowed in suspicion, “Hey! Wait a minute! There is absolutely no way you could ever register to vote in Nigeria for a United States election!” He started laughing, and so did I. In my defense for halfway believing such a ridiculous thing, I hadn’t slept well the night before and had been very busy all that day. I was tired and susceptible.
Yup. Sometimes we’ve just gotta laugh.