Monthly Archives: April 2009

MIL’s home evaluation. We named the ducks.


     Well, we put in the six hours of work de-cluttering and cleaning at my MIL’s on Monday.  On Tuesday, Dear Hubby had to pick her up at the rehab and lead two of the pain in the ass ladies physical therapists over to the house.  Whereupon they proceeded to make the poor woman jump through their hoops demonstrate that she can do her day to day things in her own home.  By the time they finished their circus act compressing an entire day’s worth of activities into two freaking hours, she was beyond exhausted but had performed very well for them.  DH on the other hand was stumbling about and ready to fall down.  The heat had his MS giving him fits.

     At least today, after he came home from the rehab hospital he had the pleasure of watching the ducks play in the pond.  Yes, they came back again.  We sat out in the yard and enjoyed the floor show for a couple of hours.  Then they took their bows.  Gertrude stood at the top of the waterfalls, stretched her wings, and took off.  Gaspar quickly followed.

The return of the ducks


     I guess the ducks enjoyed their afternoon tea at our pond yesterday, because promptly at five today, they returned.  One good thing about their visits is that they seem to have a taste for the string algae.  It has bloomed with all the heat we’ve had the last three days and I was ready to go buy an algaecide, which I do hate to use.  However, since the pond is in full sun it does become necessary from time to time.  The female in particular seems to relish the flavor.  Yesterday she climbed to the top of the waterfall and cleaned most of it out of there.  If they keep to this daily schedule, I think we can accommodate them without any problems from the pups.

     Neither one of the dogs has spotted the ducks yet.  Moreover, since I know they are there I take the pups out into the yard on leashes and direct them to the front of the yard.  There’s no sense in tempting fate.

     I can picture Patty having an encounter with those big birds.  She’s used to robins, cardinals, finches, and mourning doves, and ignores them, but ducks?  She’s never met one.  She’d likely take a flying leap into the pond after them.  Gavin would probably bark at them while backing up to get closer to me, just in case.

MIL is a hoarder and garden news


     Tomorrow the physical therapist that has been very pushy about Dear Hubby’s mother going into a nursing home and someone else from the damned place are both going to follow DH over to his mother’s house.  He’ll be driving his mother over there so she can attempt to get around her house in front of them.

     Yesterday, my doctor medicated the hell out of me and told me to rest.  So what did we do today?  My best friend G, DH, and I went over to his mother’s to clear the decks and make the house presentable.  To say my MIL is a hoarder is putting it mildly.  We worked for over six hours removing clutter, crap of the junk sort, a ton of trash, and cleaned as best we could.  I cleared out the one bedroom where her stackable washer and dryer reside.  There was a pathway to them from the door.  The crap was piled at least waist high.  Now you can see the entire floor and what I left in the room is neatly stacked on shelves. 

     G and DH worked on the living room and MIL’s bedroom and it took them six hours to make the rooms presentable.  We barely had time to work on the kitchen but did make a dent in the clutter there. 

     The woman is going to kill us.  I can hear her screaming now, “where’s all my stuff?” 

     We did not work on the third bedroom.  That room will be another whole project one of these days.  Hell, we took one look in there and shut the door.  The crap is almost to the ceiling.  We were exhausted. 

     My garden news:  When we finally arrived home, we saw ducks in our pond!  The pair of mallards hung around for several hours.  Like a kid, I went out and fed them some bread, which they ever so eagerly accepted.  I was hoping they’d stay but right at sunset, they took off.  Maybe they’ll come back for more bread one day.

Mommy is sick

Patty here, Mom is under the weather tonight so I said I’d let everyone know that she’ll post tomorrow night.
Hugs to all!

Wow, my 200th post


     I wasn’t sure if I was going to write about anything tonight. 

     My head feels as though it’s been stuffed with wet insulation and my chest sounds like that blank spot on the end of a record album.  Oh, wait.   That would be difficult for many people (under a certain age) to understand.  How about this, my chest sounds like it’s full of pop rocks and I’ve been coughing up pieces of my lungs.  EW, nasty sounding isn’t it?

     The pups snuggled with me every time I managed to sit for a few minutes today.

     I can’t be sick.   I have too much to do.

I stimulated the economy today


     Boy did I ever.  There are two things I can’t resist buying, books and plants for my gardens.  Today my friend, her husband, and I went to a garden shop.  I couldn’t help myself.  I was like an addict pulling out plants and putting them on the wagon.  Someone should put me on the wagon.

     I’m sure I drove my friend crazy because right now I have a cold and can’t smell a thing—this place carries herbs by the tons and I love growing herbs.  Every time I found something, I thought I might like to add to my garden, I’d call her over to smell it for me.

     “Hey, G.  Come here and smell this for me, please.  How does it smell?”  I would wave her over from one end of the shop to another.

     She would then rub her hand over the leaves and waft the scent to her nose.  “Oh, that one’s nice.”

     “What about this one?”  I’d shove another plant under her nose. 

     One particular one almost made her gag—wish I could remember the name of it now.  She took a sniff, gasped and said.  “Ew, you wouldn’t like it.”

     It’s a good thing I trust her judgment and our tastes run the same.  I can imagine what a stench I’d have in my garden if that were someone else.

     Our next stop was the pond garden shop.  Yep, blew some bucks there too.

The pen is mightier than Dear Hubby’s daily complaints


     Dear Hubby’s temper finally hit the boiling point last week and although he created quite a bit of commotion, he didn’t get a response from the rehab’s management.  He came home fuming.  After listening to him rant for hours, I decided to put my computer research and writing skills to work. 

     It didn’t take me long to find the corporate headquarters E-mail address.  I Then wrote the CEO a caustic letter about the lack of proper care DH’s mother has received at their local facility.  I listed every single problem from her cold meals to her not getting her medication for over a month and a half.  The list was long and I incorporated the words negligent and incompetent into my letter.

     I didn’t get a reply.

     However, the day after I wrote that letter, management and staff members here have been bending over backwards to keep DH from complaining about his mother’s care.  I’m guessing a ton of sh** rolled downhill and more than one person was presented with the gift of a freshly reamed A$$. 

Malcolm’s Mayhem 14


(Someone asked me if I was ever going to do more Malcolm’s Mayhem stories.  So I thought I’d post another one tonight.)

     There is no such thing as an indestructible toy.  It’s true, I speak from experience, Bull Terrier ownership, and I have the vet bills to prove it.  There is no toy made that a BT can’t destroy in minutes. 

     Dear hubby came home with a large rubber toy one day.  The labeling on the box claimed it to be made of indestructible English rubber.  He was excited to have found a toy that Malcolm couldn’t destroy.  Me, well I was skeptical about the whole deal.  I’d seen him pop a professional basketball in two seconds.  This dog thought a bowling ball was a chew toy.

     Therefore, I made a bet with DH.  If Malcolm didn’t destroy the toy, I’d wash his truck.  If he did destroy it, DH owed me a dinner out at the restaurant of my choice.  He pulled the toy from its box with a flourish.  Malcolm danced around him giving him gimme, gimme barks.  DH tossed the toy into the air.  Malcolm caught it, and took off like a shot.

     Five minutes later, I was getting dressed to go out dinner.  DH was cleaning up little pieces of indestructible English rubber.  Dang, I loved that dog!

Patty’s trip to the vet–always an adventure


     Unlike Gavin, Patty seems to enjoy going to the vet’s office.  Granted, there was a minute or two where she shook a tiny bit, but I think that business started when we once brought her along with the great and cowering Gavin.  We won’t do that again.  This time she was only there for her rabies shot and check up.  She was a very good girl and ended her visit with a demonstration of her favorite ‘stick ‘em up’ trick, lots of treats, tail wags, and plenty of pets.  She knows how to get treats out them even after her vet tells her she needs to cut down on her snacks.

     In the waiting room, she was a little ready to scuffle with two of the dogs she saw, but I kept her under strict control.  She hasn’t been good with other dogs since the year a neighbor’s pit-bull came through our fence and tried to chew her up.  Patty never quite got over that incident and became dog aggressive after that with all dogs except Gavin.  We’ve been working on having her ignore other dogs and she’s getting the idea.  However, I wouldn’t trust her without supervision. 

     That dog was the reason we tore down the old fencing and hedges and installed the new fencing.  The owners were too lazy to keep the dog under control and in their own yard.  I blame them for the entire problem, not the dog.

Rain, rain, and more rain


     I hope tonight’s rain is the end of it for a while.  The gardens and yard are well watered.  The magnolia blossoms have covered the ground in pink and white, and the poor pups are dying to get out into the yard and stretch their legs.  With all this rain neither one stays outside for long.

     The advantage of all this rain is my grass is quite green and thick.  The gardens are blooming like crazy.  My bleeding hearts are already over two feet tall and covered with flowers.  The daffodils and the tulips are almost finished, a shame because they were gorgeous this year.  I wish they bloomed longer. 

     My blueberry bushes are budding.  The tulip poplar and the sweet gum are beginning to show their leaves.  The sweet almond is almost fully leaved and blooming, while the miniature lilacs are ready to send forth fragrant blooms.  The large lilac bush will also be in bloom in the next few days.  I’ll have to send some clippings with Dear Hubby when he sees his mom. 

     Soon I’ll be harvesting some of the rhubarb.  I can’t wait to make rhubarb custard pie, one of DH’s favorites.

Get thee to a writers’ conference


     I’m a night person.  I hate getting up in the morning.  In fact, it’s usually early in the morning when I’m finally crawling into bed.  However, there is one long weekend a year where you’ll find me up early and eager to go.  That’s when I’m at my annual writers’ conference.  It doesn’t matter how late I’m up each night, I’m downstairs and having breakfast with the early birds for three days.

     This, of course means that after I get home I crash land and sleep for about sixteen hours straight.  It’s worth it.  If you are a writer and you’ve never attended a conference, you have to go to one at least once.  Spending two or three days with other writers is something you shouldn’t pass by.  There are all sorts of writers’ conferences out there.  Some are genre specific and others, like the one I go to, are for all writers.

     Over the years, I’ve made wonderful friends.  Found some great contacts.  Moreover, I found my agent at a conference, or should I say, she found me? 

     This year’s conference date is approaching fast and I can’t wait to see all my old friends and meet new ones.

Yippee for lots of sun and warm weather


       Wow, two days of glorious warm weather!  We had plenty of sun and temperatures in the mid seventies.  I managed to plant the flowers left over from the planters on the front porch.  I worked on the pond—the magnolia is dropping petals like crazy now so I’m skimming the pond every time I turn around.  I would stay out in the yard all day if I could.  It smells wonderful out there with the tree in full bloom. 

     The birds are fun to watch right now, they are arriving by the dozens to take baths in the waterfall.  The robins are real clowns in the water.  Each one has a unique personality and method of bathing.

     The pups collapsed into a deep slumber after romping in the yard all day.  Maybe it’s a good thing that tomorrow is supposed to be cloudy with possible rain.  Gavin is sore after two days of tons of activity.  Poor baby, it was a long winter and he spent most of it as a couch potato.

     Then, didn’t we all?  I know I paid for it later after I spent a few days weeding the gardens back when we had our first hint of spring weather.