Posse. Let’s talk about Some Changes. What is it about human nature that causes us to be more interested in negative changes than positive (or neutral)? We (the ubiquitous ‘we’) love to know about divorces/fights/arrests/dramadamaDramaLlamaMama Drama/etc… but rarely (okay EVER) do we get a zzzing! from hearing about ‘X went to the grocery store today and bought stuff for lunch’
Welp! Today we’re going to do just that. I’m going to take you on a recap of some recent journeys into the heart of one of the more boring parts of the Boring Winter Season : Musette’s Musings on her local scene.
- My ROOF! Could it be any more boring? Newp! And I am here for it! However, this is actually a bit more emotional than just a normal re-roof. This is the last piece of the Great El O Debacle. El O. Sigh. Such skill, totally destroyed by bloodymindedness. That man, who could probably build the Taj Mahal, put this absurd ‘addition’ atop his pretty much perfect first floor addition. Whyyy? Even worse? he never closed it in. A year after, it was Bird Condo and I was unhappy. 3 years later he left. The ‘addition’ remained and became the symbol for every Bad Decision I’ve ever made. This late Autumn my beloved, cranky contractor tackled the removal and rework of the roof – and it’s perfect. Local cheapskates say his work is perfect (it is) but he’s ‘too expensive’ (he’s not) – ha! You will pry this man out of my cold, dead hands; when he’s done it’s done to perfection. And you could walk out of your house with $1000 on the dining room table and when you returned it would still be there, along with a lecture about the foolishness of leaving $1000 on the dining room table. Cold,dead hands, people. Cold. Dead. Hands. Don’t Test Me.
- Once completed I smudged the living daylights out of the space and finally feel safe – and totally free of El O’s miasma. And my insurance company won’t come after me, blessed be. Back Porch! Lookin’ at you, next! Then? Then Paris, while Missy March and I still have teeth! But Back Porch, first. It’s gonna blister, that invoice, but omg. My Back Porch! Happy Musette! Paris can wait a bit.
- I live at the Back of Beyond and it’s a bit grim – people shop at Walmart (and elsewhere) in pajamas and slippers!!! or shorts and socks and slippers!!! (I kid you not. It’s terrifying to behold). Deer Season is the Big Hairy Deal around here – and most men are bearded up to match, covered in camo and deer blood. Women, too, minus the beard (mostly). People look at me, in my glam boots and lipstick, as if a TRex just walked in from a black-tie event aboard a spaceship. I was lonely. And sad. But now I’m not because I am Making Friends. Some really faaaabulous women live around here, blessed be! Funny, smart, interesting. Different from me in a lot/most ways – but fabulous! Y’all know I love me some men (some men) – but they are for very specific situations. Women? Women are a daily gift and the developing sorority here is so very heartening. And I am finding new (and fabulous) places in the area that cater to ME! TMI: I am an afficionado of The Wax – my ‘erm’ ladybits are curly, which means if I depil or (omg!) shave……yikes! In Chicago/LA/etc a Brazilian is just Tuesday. Here? um. No. I had to go down to Peoria, which isn’t that big a deal but just served to reinforce my ‘otherness’. Not anymore. This charming little spa just opened up in Kewanee – Prudence Rose Botanical Spa – and it’s as if it was made Just For Me. One of the owners has even created smudging sprays, for those who do not want the smoke (they have an Etsy store but those aren’t yet on there). Jenn is my wonderful new waxer and if you don’t think that’s a Big Hairy Deal, think again. She’s elegant, charming – and very good! I think I’m in love. We may do color on my hair (head hair, you fiends. HEAD HAIR)… but that is for another day. And they seem to like me, which is more of a crapshoot than you might think. With the spaceship, the glam boots and the jaws I am definitely an Aquired Taste.
- Beginner’s Mind. A lot of this is a matter of my own personal growth, born of having been here awhile now, sans El O. Understanding that this local mindset is way different from my urban one, where people are usually Not From where they currently are. Work relationships are different, as well – those friendships that develop because you’re together 12hrs/day. Those can happen – but around here it’s still mostly family because when you leave work (even if you work in Peoria) you come home to 235 people with a claim on your time. It’s just…different. People don’t have parties where they invite Not Family. Again…just different. But as I’m starting to understand it, I’m finding workarounds. Expecting people to remember to include you is heartbreak . Luckily I am a TRex and have NO problem respectfully inviting myself. However… it’s still….different.
- I can do this. Changing my mindset, embracing what I’ve previously disregarded, finding delight in quotidian experiences …who’dathunkit!!??
- AND! I’m painting again! AND! (BIG ‘AND!!!‘) I’ve got 3 models for my ongoing series, entitled ‘The Graces’. Squeeeee! MODELS! From HERE! Ooooh, yay! Gorgeous women, each of whom have various compelling qualities that intrigue me. And they are DOWN with this! YESH!
- Last Thing: Apparently Floyd sez ‘This Is Good’ because he rewarded my travails with: DRAG BINGO!!! Now. You’re probably thinking ‘yeah? annnnd?’ but remember: this is an even smaller version of the town in ‘Priscilla’ where they give that magnificent performance…. only to be met with mute incomprehension (with a side of mute horror). However! For some reason most of the folks of this 1400 person town in the midst of Red Country have decided that Satan is NOT wearing false eyelashes and a sequined gown! As with the first Drag Show this was held in the old gymnasium and it was a hoot!!! Alas, I did not win Bingo. Nor did I win any of the Silent Auctions. I did, however, get thrown by one drunk farmer (literally – I was THROWN!!!) into the arms of another, bigger, (MUCH) younger, just-as-drunk farmer… who, thank Floyd, caught me. Any of you who have met me know I am not a teeny gal – 5’8″ tall, size 8. Not teeny. But if you’ve spent your life baling hay and hefting calves I guess it’s just Tuesday for you to pick up and THROW! a full-grown human female. He wanted me to smell the younger farmer (he smells so gooood!) I did smell him. He did smell good. Or perhaps that was the smell of my intense gratitude at him catching me. Whatever! Small price to pay for a great, fun night with a bunch of bingophiles and drag queens.
- So that’s it for me. And here’s my question: have any of you ever been picked up and THROWN! in your adult life, just on a whim? And here’s my OTHER question: what’s going on with your lives?? And very last question (I promise): is it Spring yet?
bye, for now. xoxoxo
Glad you’ve found your girl people. We all need some Steel Magnolias to play with. Sadly, mine disappeared up their own hoohaas when DH got ill. Their loss but I’m gonna find me some to get me through til I’m 90!
Talking of Hoohaas good you found your local equivalent of Dolly’s salon. My hairdresser has had to postpone going back to work, she birth a boy who’s a screamer (I still have nightmares about my screamer so no shade on her). Has left me needing urgent remedials though. I got grey patch & have patches that have fallen out! Think it’s stress but could be just a shade too much sympathy for DH after chemo.
I live in a mining town, men think they’re hard as nails & ultra macho. We’ve had a Drag Club over 20 years. Even 40 years ago the town had a gay pub but even then gay men were pretty safe here. Women rule the roost in mining towns here & mum/wife/gf would give any man who abuse her friend a proper dressing down & when his shiner had gone down & he could eat again he’d have learnt his lesson!
I think I love your mining town.
I think I hate your missing ‘friends’ (though it’s good to know how triflin’ they are NOW, rather than later, I guess)
Hang in there! xoxoxo
A lot to unpack. Wow. Very pleased you are feeling more on even keel (getting rid of the detritus of bad partners a very good thing; magical women a great thing). And a good builder is a joy. Change … I used to know someone who hated change. He messed up a lot of friendships with his pig-headedness. By the way, how did you end up in this little back-of-beyond place where you live?
A confluence of Heinous F#ckery is how I ended up here (mostly business and my own hubris) but it’s okay! I’m glad I’m in a safe place, with a gorgeous garden.
And I agree – a good builder is a joy!
All this makes me so happy — your new roof, your art, the new friends in your life! It still boggles my mind that you’ve had drag bingo there– would not have been my first guess! I’m having fun picturing that porch when it’s done!
Welp! It’s a curious story – a local gay man came back when his sister bought the bowling alley, found some acceptance, decided to test it – got even more acceptance! and is the reason we’re blessed with some great entertainment!!!
It’s not on the regular – this is only the 2nd appearance of the Queens – but it was a lot of fun!!!
It’s so very, VERY appropriate that you, a gardener, are learning to Bloom Where You Are Planted! Love hearing about how even in the dead of winter you are being creative, doing self care, finding our people, loving life, fixing up your house…just so much goodness. You inspire me! Your “Graces” painting reminds me of Louise Penny’s Clara. Is that what inspired you? Did you watch the “Three Pines” adaptation thingy on Amazon Prime? They are new stories, not the ones in the books, as far as I can tell. Well casted, great setting, but of course not as good as the books.
First off, thank you for the kind words and support! It did take awhile – I was VERY resistant to the notion of this place – but I’m now wondering if it was just my resistance to El O, manifesting thus.
Re Three Graces: I’ve been doing ‘Graces’ paintings on and off for decades – they’re so iconic. And I’d forgotten all about my beloved Mme. Penny’s Graces! Though I have been watching the series – love Alfred Molina as Gamache. I am seeing lots of the book references in the storylines, though this one weaves a lot of stuff in inconcurrent ways. Interesting that Clara, who factors so heavily in Mme Penny’s books, isn’t forefront here. At least, not yet.
Actually several times. It’s not fun while it’s happening but everything in life is adjustment, isn’t it? And I have found that, for the most part, the back of beyond is weirdly accepting. They might not vote the way I would prefer but in person and personally they seem to be okay with people. Which is the opposite of what I found in my small New England town- they pride themselves on being liberal as heck and give to the “right” candidates, but wear an off-brand polo shirt to the club on a Sunday and you. Are. Done. And you will find things like Drag Bingo and the perfect waxer and the best, most authentic Oaxacan food or whatever. Heck we’re all being priced out of the cities- you may end up with a commune at your place of displaced perfumistas.
Did I mention I cook?
Oh, and love the new roof- I’ve been watching “This Old House” since Bob Vila had black hair and no ego so I love seeing this stuff.
Oh, and I’ve never been thrown, but I did have a BF who in the throes of,, something tossed me over his shoulder in a fireman’s carry in order to.. I am well over 6 feet and while slimmer then was still the better part of 200lbs so it was interesting to say the least.
And I ordered some stuff from your waxers Etsy store, because they deserve to exist. I don’t think that my whopping purchase will pay the rent for the month but every little bit helps.
OMG! Tom! THANK YOU! They will be SO thrilled!!!
And you can come here any time!
WOO HOO! You have DRAG BINGO!
That makes me so happy Musette.
Welp! It’s not Sydney Opera House level, P, but it’s good fun – the Queens are a hoot, raunchyAF. The biggest problem is the venue – it’s an old gymnasium and… well, it’s cold, shitty lighting and …but it’s fun!