This cartoon by Nick Galifianakis for The Washington Post pretty much sums up where I am right now. It’s nice inside my house, or my fort as my therapist calls it. I have computers, my iPad, a phone (that I keep losing), three dogs, comfy chairs, TVs with Netflix and Amazon Prime, a kitchen with every tool I could possibly need plus plenty of Diet Coke and bok choy, three dogs (did I mention them?), and enough yarn to crochet a cosy for the country.

Which would probably be a good idea at this point.

So one of my intentions (not resolutions) is to get out more in 2020. That gives me two more days plus the holiday to snuggle down and pretend the outside world is JUST FINE, THANKS. But after that, I’m going to proceed with caution back to the real world, back to writing Nita and getting a contractor to look at my collapsing foundation and getting the dogs shots and finishing a hellacious amount of laundry (the laundromat is a good place to do hellacious amounts of laundry, so many machines), yes in 2020, I am going to gad about like . . . something that gads. (I was going to use the Ancient Mariner, but that grabbing one of three bit would probably get me committed.). Yessiree, 2020 will be different.

Until it gets here, I’ll be in my fort.

35 thoughts on “Fort-itude

  1. Well, at least that lets you put off the new year for about 4 weeks, yes? A couple of fort-nights. Ba-dum tish.

    If one must act the silly goose, the Sixth Day of Christmas fits right in. Ba-dum tish.

    I’ll let myself out.

  2. I got out today. Slipped and nearly fell on some ice, but made it into the yarn store unharmed, where I learned how to read a crochet chart.

  3. Back in 2010 and ’11 I decided to try to say yes to everything that I was invited to. As a result I went for a few things I never thought I’d care for and some of those inviters have become good friends.

    To this day, I try to go for things that are free, cheap, and unusual and have really expanded my understanding of people. Saying yes to a weekend trauma release workshop even though I was supposed to be staying over at camp may actually have changed my life. I stayed home and went for the workshop. When camp started on the Monday and I just pitched up at 5am to prepare.

    I’d never have thought I’d care for a cannabis expo, but I learned a few things!

  4. Younger son and I are fort people. Husband and older son are “let’s go out” people. Finding the happy medium is sometimes a challenge. We often split up and do our own things.

    For me, the good type of getting out is either a casual hangout with a few friends or a walk/run by myself, preferably earlier in the day when I’m fresh.

    Shopping? No. Crowded places? No. I will go to parties and I will have a good time so long as it’s on my terms and I don’t feel trapped. But my friends and I are all in the busy, busy mid part of life where there a re lot of work/life/small children responsibilities so parties are pretty few and far in between.

  5. Everything is still on fire here. We’re hoping for some rain, some relief for the fire fighters and for the Prime Minister to actually do something other than offer thoughts and prayers.

    I’m lucky. I’ve been able to spend the day inside with air con while it has been a scorching 43 degrees outside. It’s 11pm. I’m ready for my bed.

    I’m glad I chose to stay in tonight.

    I hope that the arc of the moral universe does indeed bend toward justice.

    I hope the new year brings you kindness, compassion, joy, courage and positive action.

    I hope I find the chocolate raisin I dropped before I walk it into the carpet.

    Happy New Year all.

      1. You mean a reason to find the raisin is because of the dogs, Jenny?

        Hope so because raisins are poison to dogs and can actually cause death. Little known thing but scary. Add in the chocolate, also dangerous for dogs, and bad combo. If you’ve got dogs, I too hope you find that chocolate raisin Fi Mac. And hope rain comes your way and brings relief soon.

        1. Did not know that. Knew about Xylitol and chocolate, although Bernie ate a whole bag of chocolate chips once and didn’t die.

          Also one raisin does not kill a dog. I looked it up; it takes 17 to take out a ten-pound dog. So don’t feed your dog raisins, but don’t freak if you lose one and he eats it.

          1. Yeah, think the amount of raisins varies how sick dog gets but having seen what just 2 can do to a 17 pound dog, I lean to caution. May also depend on age & health of dog. But funny that I went decades with dogs and never knew there was even an issue. When I think now of all the preschoolers I’ve had in the house over the years, weaving around, carrying their boxes of raisins with pups trailing after them hoping for a spill, I feel so lucky nothing bad happened. But the older I get, the more I feel that way about lots of things so there’s that.

          2. After my dog ate (stole) half a bunch of grapes, I looked up “dogs and grapes” and discovered she could die from it. Predictions of gastric issues, vomiting, diarrhea, kidney failure… I was horrified, in particular because she swiped them out of my lunch bag for work and I had to leave. Came home at lunch to a happy, bouncy dog, not a sick one, so went back to work instead of going to the vet. Came home in the evening, again to a happy, bouncy dog. On the evening walk, no diarrhea, everything normal. Next morning, same. She never showed one single symptom, although she probably cleaned up a quarter to a half a pound of those suckers. Which according to doggy WebMD-type sites, should have killed her.

            She managed to snag a smaller batch later, in spite of my diligence in watching out. Also, we have grape vines in the pergola in the garden. I am quite certain she’s managed to snag some grapes (raisins) that the birds have missed on the ground.

            Apparently, not all dogs are (equally) sensitive to this stuff. Some dogs will snarf chocolate and have no problems while others get sick or die (my understanding is that milk chocolate is not too worrisome, it’s the cacao content that makes the difference). I suspect Lizzy could gobble the contents of one of those Sunmaid snack boxes and not be bothered.

            The only thing that has ever affected her is when she gets (rarely) the bone from Parma prosciutto (which some smart person now packages and sells). She loves it but the high fat content (which makes Parma ham so damned tasty) greases up her insides and for a day or two everything just slides out…! She got one for Christmas and the next two days she got a lot of walkies!

      2. Regrettably, yes. What is up with all these awful people being elected?

        ‘Thoughts and prayers’ is the universal signal for ‘we won’t do anything concrete to improve this situation’.

        A dog would be handy.

  6. We’ve had sloppy snow, we have a couple of house guests that i hope will leave today, in all loving kindness, it’s just not that big a house. But, family.
    Last night we did get out despite the slush, and saw the Star Wars movie. Since I’d read up just a bit, I didn’t spend a lot a time being indignant about the total under use of Rose Tico, but just stuffed my ears with tissues (really) and enjoyed it.
    I love me a good fort, what I could use is some solitude.

  7. If I can get myself out of the house I do fine but once I return I really don’t want to go out. I love my friends but going to visit them practically takes an act of Congress, i.e., it’s probably not going to happen.

    However, we accepted a Christmas Eve dinner invitation, followed by a Christmas Day dinner invitation (3 hour drive to get to), followed by a 3 day visit with the friends we had dinner with. I met new people, I went to a movie, I played two new boardgames (Wingspan is easy but has a LOT going on that you need to keep track of, great game. Azul is similar but has more strategizing to it) and topped it off by going out shopping yesterday. This is more outside activity that I do in a month usually. So if I can keep it up, I may become an extrovert again.

  8. I am supposed to go visit a friend today, but I really don’t want to leave the house. It’s noon, and I just barely got dressed. I get the whole house as fort thing. If I didn’t have to work I’d probably never leave at all. I can get edible things delivered from Amazon, although no really fresh food. Luckily I must pay off my car so I will get out into the world for a few more years – if only into our little town.

  9. I like my fort. Actually I love most all of my fort. A new fort is in our future, hopefully one to suit our lives now. I will take my draperies which I love. The fabrics spoke to me. So peaceful and cosy and full of stuff…that must go. I do tend to burrow in.

    2020 may prove to be a taunting year. So much to do.

  10. I like spending time in my fort but I’m always in a better frame of mind with regular exercise. Being sick and mostly housebound for 3 weeks reinforced for me how much I like being outside. Fortunately, my 18 week old puppy is happy to go out – the more often the better, especially now that we have several inches of snow. Puppy play is the best!

  11. Fab “fort” word play:)

    Funny to read this because I recently watched a presentation with Nancy Meyers where the subject of getting out and socializing came up. She talked about how it’s good for you but seems harder to do sometimes because of all the effort (dressing for outside, makeup, etc.) whereas staying in and watching TV or something is so easy. It struck me because it’s so true for many of us, especially if we work from home.

    Maybe what folks like us could use is a big fort where we could gather on occasion to catch up and hang out only without the need of presenting ourselves to the world at large, ergo looking the same as we would at home (sans makeup, relaxed clothes, etc.). A kind of “come as you are” place where everyone could feel like Bridget Jones when Colin Firth says he likes her just the way she is. Not exactly the same as getting out & about to many places, but possibly a good start on a community annex fort:)

    1. This is why my oldest brother likes to live near a cafe where he can sit over his morning coffee and chat with his neighbors before hunkering down in front of his computer for the day. His wife is content to have her morning tea at home.

  12. One of the criteria for my new fort (the one I’m working to make happen in the next year or two) is that I won’t ever have to leave it (and its yard) for more than an hour at a time.

  13. I’m hunkered down in my fort. (Trigger warning for Kate.)
    Unfortunately, my foster dog Jazzy crossed the rainbow bridge. He went to the vet for his dental and did not survive the procedure. Everything looked good but he was more fragile than we realized. The dental was unavoidable.
    I’m calling down karma on the woman who abused him and 5 other dogs and trying to remember I gave him the best life possible for the past 2 months. He really was a sweet boy.
    Anyway, I’ll be barricaded here until next week when the meetings begin again.
    I’m always extra annoyed when Xmas/New Year falls on Wednesday, the 2 weeks seem like 4.

    1. Oh, Audrey, I’m so sorry. The two months he had with you were just an early heaven.
      So, so sorry.

      1. You had to send me there.
        I’m looking at three spoiled rotten rescues right now. They’re snoozing on the bed with me, their heads on pillows because they don’t know they’re dogs.
        Please rescue dogs, people. It’ll be the best thing you ever did for yourself.

    2. I’m always nervous when my cats need a procedure, even though I know they’re necessary. I spend the whole time anticipating the worst. I’m so sorry the worst happened for you.

      1. Thank you all.
        Vet said we were between a rock and a hard place. He needed his teeth done (at least 2 infected) before we could address his kidney issues. Really wanted to get him healthy and to his forever home.
        The other dogs rescued with him seem ok; karma on the women who housed them in a mold infested house.

  14. Last night I made a wrong move when I tried to put my boots on – and since then, I can hardly move at all which means I’m confined to the fort which is our house. I like to be home but if I’m forced to as I am now, I suddenly don’t anymore. I guess my New Year’s Resolution is to exercise more so that these acute lumbago events won’t happen again.

  15. My son & daughter-in-law visited for 10 days which was fantastic except that they stayed in my office (AKA the guest room). (We actually have another bedroom which my daughter uses when she visits — she’s visiting now. But she has a cat, and most of our friends who stay overnight are allergic to cats. So I’m deprived of my space/library/room/office when someone visits.) My office is my fort. I am extremely relieved to have it back again.

    Other thoughts — we moved to this small hill town in 2015 and were instantly included. I was hoping to disappear into the woods, but it’s much nicer to be known in a general way.

    I worry about the fires in Australia. I would love to visit that continent — it seems to exemplify the future.

    I very much miss the dogs and cats I have lost. It’s a heartbreaking experience.

    Finally, as I have no pets, if I find a chocolate-covered raisin, even on the floor, I’m tempted to eat it.

  16. I have been loving my time away from work, even though I’m still working. So much nicer at home.

    We are planning on getting out. Last year as a gift we received tickets for dinner and a show at the local movie theater. We’re actually going to use them on Saturday. Luckily, they haven’t expired. I think we both would probably prefer to hunker down at home instead, but hoping it will be fun. Has anyone seen Knives Out?

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