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The deed has been done.

My house is full. Crazy D., L’il Sis, and The Pig (L’il Sis’ beagle) are all in.

The Pig is now The Head Bitch in charge…and just to prove her point, she ransacked a bag of cookies on the kitchen table when she was left unsupervised for mere minutes — thus destroying months of weight loss efforts. There is a distinctive bulge around her midsection. She looks not unlike a small snake that just swallowed a large raccoon. We made it through Night #1 without a stinky offering on the carpet, but the day is young. We will be walking many times today, a box of poop bags in hand.

But not to be outdone, L’il Sis’ ‘pocket’ parrot  has asserted his authority over Mrs. Beeton, my pink parakeet. The parrot is all of  two inches high to Mrs. Beeton’s  more imposing  5  inches plus tail. She fell madly in love with him the first time they met and now follows him around like a groupie stalking a rock band. He horns his way into her cage, helps himself to her food, and sits on her perches. She sidles up next to him, hoping for a cuddle. Most often, he tolerates her advances but when he’s ‘not in the mood’, he swipes at her with his beak, letting her know new management is in town. And yet she gazes adoringly at him. Mrs. Beeton, it is clear, did not ride the new wave of feminism into this world.

Crazy D and L’il Sis are re-establishing their relationship as the younger siblings living with Mom. Hierarchies are being set in place. We are all trying to adapt to this new world order of sharing the kitchen, the cooking, the laundry, the booze supply. I suspect, as matriarch and founding member of the Retirment Interruptus Group for Seniors, I have used the lion’s share of the in-house alcohol. It’s okay. I’m allowed. Besides, I probably bought most of it.

I laughed (some would say hysterically) when L’il Sis brought her mounds of stuff in. “Oh, well”, I commented to nobody in particular, “All of this chaos will be great material for the blog.”

L’il Sis threw up her hands with pride and relief. She said, “Be honest, Mom! That’s what you love about us. We’re givers. You’re more than welcome! Glad we can help.” (Sidenote to any publishers out there: Now is the time to get in on the ground floor for a book deal. We will have so much uproarious material in the upcoming weeks and months that heads will spin. Certainly mine is.)

I recall that, when Gill moved back home, there was a period of adjustment for both of us. But may I say now that it was child’s play compared to the upheaval now occurring. Gill stayed pretty much cocooned in her bedroom with all her books, computer, and china collection of owls. Oh, the swimming gear, mound of Birkenstocks, and medications did overflow a bit, but had I known what lay ahead, I would have been much less critical. Hear that, Gill? You’re looking like The Good Child!

Now my garage is filled with furniture, Crazy D’s bike and biking equipment, and the garden hose strung haphazardly ready to trip me on my way to the birdseed supply or wash the inches of mud off same bike. The mudroom with buckets of boots, shoes, helmets, gloves, hats, as well as rain gear, snow gear, somewhat water repellant jackets,  ponchos, and of course Crazy D’s pile of duffel bags full of sound equipment. I don’t dare open the door from the mudroom too quickly since, on the other side will be piled drawers from bedroom chests, boxes of clothing, a lamp, …and these could have been repositioned since the last time I passed this way. If I go too quickly, I could bash my leg into these obstructions. Midnight and all is quiet? I don’t think so. Someone is on a mission in the kitchen. “Holy Sh**! My leg! What idiot put that box there?”

The kitchen table is strewn with medications, piled high — so Crazy D will be ready to take on the various pernicious and exotic diseases available in Africa where he is headed for a job. Now I’m not a sensitive person, but having a stack of Immodium on my table could scare away any potential visitors…no matter, the general overflowing nature of my house right now with boxes, clothes and bits of furniture in every crevasse, pretty much ensures that nobody other than family would be foolish enough to venture inside, let alone eat.

The Pig is now my constant companion and BFF, especially at meal time. She knows I’m the lady with the key to the salmon cupboard and the source of all forbidden treats. I was feeling sorry for the poor dog, being on a diet as she has been, but the cookie incident fixed that. My job, as I understood this new arrangement as Grandma In Charge, was to fatten her up. But The Pig, without thinking out future consequences, has quickly made me redundant herself. Smart move, Cookie Monster!

At the moment, we are a two-car family. But damned if I can figure out when my turn is to use either of them. At this stage in my life, I can barely remember where I put the car keys (possibly in the fridge), let alone co-ordinate everyone’s work/social/ errands schedule.

Tops on my Christmas List this year is to have the fridge, closets, and excess furniture organized. Santa, are you listening? This means YOU!! Currently, we just stack and stack and stack until something falls down. I’m just waiting until L’il Sis’ giant green chair lands in the family room(again) with the ottoman piled, upended, on top with cushions to complete my Jenga ‘statue’. No matter — The Pig is right there to climb on top for a siesta. Don’t ask HOW she gets to the top. It shouldn’t be within the realm of possibility…and yet…

At last count, Crazy D had 11 pairs of shoes/boots strewn about the laundry room, L’il Sis had10, I have 6. (Not to worry–my auxiliary stash is in the front hall closet and my bedroom. So, despite the laundry room disruption, I am still ‘winning’, to quote Charlie Sheen. Winning in the messy, complicated game of life.

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