Monthly Archives: March 2010

Ark too Brutus?


     Gavin and Patty requested the use of a raft to go out today.  It might have worked except they have no thumbs and can’t hold paddles.  We’ve had so much rain that I heard the stock prices on gopher wood jumped through the roof.  I’ve seen pairs of animals strolling past all day.  Ba dum dum.

     The neighbor’s bulldogs Diamond and Brutus ordered snorkel gear although Brutus really wanted a boat.  Cleo, the standard poodle across the street, rented herself out as a squirrel canoe.  The two toy dogs next door stepped off their porch and almost drowned so Gavin lent them the raft.

     The Koi are touring the neighborhood and the bullfrogs are using in the magnolia tree as a diving board.  The daffodils want water wings.  Did I mention that we’ve had a lot of rain?

Is she crazy?


     My mother in law is 83.  She lives with her Border terrier in a nice home.  This woman pays all her bills and even pays her cable and fuel oil ahead for the year.  When she needs something done around the house that DH or I can’t do she hires someone to do it.  She takes care of her dog.

     Now, because she fell, banged her head, and had the good sense to call 911 she’s in a rehab hospital.  They have dosed her daily with laxatives and now claim she can’t hold her bowels.  (Could you if someone gave you Colace every day?)  She fell because she had an infection, which is now under control.

     She wants to go home.  She’s told them numerous times that she wants to go home.  Personally, I think she’d be better off in an assisted living place but that’s not my call.

      She’s not highly educated; she quit school in the eighth grade.  Nor is she the brightest light in the harbor, but she does do well in her own home.  Over the years, I have come to realize that she’s mildly agoraphobic.  Being in a hospital situation frightens her.  She’s easily intimidated. 

     Today they told DH she could go home on Saturday.  A few hours later, they decided that they should have a psychologist check her to see if she’s competent.  My problem with this is that most questions they will ask her are not relevant to her.

     She doesn’t read books and she stopped her paper when the delivery guy started leaving her paper where she couldn’t get to it even after numerous complaints.  She knows what year it is; she’s a bit fuzzy on the day, but heck, so am I most of the time.  When you don’t work at a job outside the home, the ‘day’ isn’t that important.  She watches the six o’clock news and her soap operas and is content.

     She wants to go home where she’s comfortable.  She wants to be with her dog.  She wants to sleep in her own bed.  Is she crazy?

Two dogs on a rainy day


     Gavin rings the sleigh bells on the back porch door.  “Wanna go out, NOW.”

     “Hold on let me get a jacket.”  I snag one off the hooks by the door.  The bells are still ringing.  “I’m right here.  Stop with the bells already.”

     We get outside and it’s raining. 

     Gavin runs for the door.  “Wanna go in, NOW.”

     We go in.  Gavin doesn’t tell Patty it is raining.  Patty wants out.  I take her.

     A raindrop hits her on the head she tucks her tail and reverses gears.  “In.  I wanna go in.  Oh, please let’s go in.”

     We go in.

     Both dogs dance around in front of the cupboard.  “Cookies!  Don’t forget the cookies!”  Gavin yells.

     Patty sits and throws her front paws high in the air.  “Stick ‘em up, I’m doing stick ‘em up!  Give me a cookie.”

     I give them their cookies, settle down in front of the computer and begin writing. 

     Five minutes later Gavin is ringing the bells to go out.  “I’m bored.  Wanna go out, NOW.”

     Patty runs to join him.  “If he’s going, I am too.”

     “It’s still raining.”  I tell them as I grab my jacket.  Reread.

Unpredictable March nights


     My poor magnolia tree had some frost damage to its almost open buds.  I think some over the pond got hit the worst.  We might have some bloomage but nothing near what it would’ve been had the temperature stayed above freezing.  The last two years the tree escaped the frost so I guess it was about due to happen again.

     DH was surprised that it was cold enough to need a jacket when he went over to the hospital to see his mother in the morning.  I told him to be ready for a repeat of it today since as I write this at 2 a.m. the temperature has already dropped to 33 degrees.

     However, by Thursday it is supposed to be in the seventies again.  I’m glad because I do have some new flowers that need planting.  I also need to bring my black elephant ears up from the basement to get them acclimated and ready to plant too.  They will stay on the back porch until mid April.

     I just took the pups for their last out of the night and it is chilly.  I needed my jacket.

When a chapter doesn’t work


     I’ve been writing the same chapter for a couple of weeks now.  It is not working.  The scene sucks big time.  The dialogue is mediocre, and the tension is flat.  So now what do I do?  First, I won’t completely scrap the darned thing because there might be something useful there.  (I seriously doubt it but you never know.)  I’ll cut it from the manuscript and paste it into a snippet file.  Then I’ll start over.

     Why do I have to begin again?  Because, in what I wrote there’s nothing that I find acceptable.  Yes, I hold myself to high standards.  I refuse to send it off in such poor condition.  Is there a doctor in the house?  Chapter twelve  is an ugly tumor that needs swift, skillful, surgical removal. 

     This is not a case of my little editor telling me to fix it.  No, my little editor read it and puked.  My muse even told me it was total crap and I know they are right…this time.

     I have no excuse.  I wrote the crap and now I am getting out the pooper scooper and clearing it off the pages.

Are they there yet?


     I’d give my eye teeth for a week without the construction going on across the street.  Seriously, this has gone on for a year now, and I am truly suffering from sleepus interruptus.  Going to bed around 5 or 6 a.m. and having the noise start at 7 has worn thin.  I might’ve become used to the construction noise had it not been accompanied by one of the workers with a desire to be a singer.  The man has a tin ear and a voice that could grate coconut.

     I like to sleep with my window opened, but it’s been a year since I could do that.  Each day I hope that they’re finished.  Each day I am disappointed.  I feel like the kid in the car, ‘are we there yet?’ 

     The contractor never seems to finish one project before he starts another.  The problem with that is he has had to rip up work he’s already done on many occasions.  I have a feeling he’s a relative of the home owner. 

     He does lovely work.  However, I would’ve fired him by now.  A couple of days ago I got my hopes up because the front porch looked finished only to have them dashed this morning when I saw they were doing yet another project. 

     “Oh, to sleep, perchance to dream…”

Two weeks in the garden


Yeah, it was worth the wait…

The vacuum from hell


     I seldom vacuum my house.  My reason is simple.  My vacuum has the decibel level of a jack hammer.  The dogs hide in their crates when I start it.  I’ve taken to wearing ear protection when running it.  Yes, I vacuum the house with my gun range head set on.  Have you ever answered a door while wearing those things?  I have.  It is somewhat disconcerting to people.

     Yesterday I ordered a new vacuum.  I want a clean house without having to go deaf in the process.  I didn’t want another bag less vacuum.  I’m tired of choking on dust, dog hair, and dander when I empty it.  It also takes filters that cost an arm and a leg if you can find them.  I don’t think I can spare the body parts.  My vacuum is heavy and awkward.  It’s like wrestling with an elephant on wheels with flat tires.    

     Another thing, it takes forever to suck up dirt and it never gets it all.  A work out on wheels that sucks, or rather, doesn’t suck enough isn’t my idea of fun.  

     The vacuum I ordered is lightweight.  I hope it’s quieter than my old one although that should be easy since a 747 landing in my yard would be quieter than the old vacuum.

Grab a bucket


     I could tell we had rain before I looked out a window, water was drip, drip, dripping in the upstairs hall.  I strategically placed a bucket under the leak and dried the floor.  I hate this house.  We’ve had a constant parade of roofers up on that flat roof during the thirty seven years we’ve owned this house.  I couldn’t believe it when we actually had two years without the leak after the last roofer was up there.  I guess we’ll call him again.

     One of these days, we might even get the leak in the basement to go away.  We’re close, it only leaks a little now when we have a considerable amount of rain, like today. 

     There’s another reason why I hate this house.  We bought the house from DH’s parents.  No matter how much I change it, it will always be his parent’s house.  (Not to mention the leaky roof and basement.) 

     Never buy a house from an in law or an out law for that matter.  The first week after we moved in, we found we had a major termite infestation that WE had to take care of because they wouldn’t.  That winter the furnace went out in a blaze of glory and smoked the basement on the coldest day of the year and it was a Sunday.  I dare you to try to get that fixed quickly.  Then the water heater died.  No one mentioned the leaks before we bought the place.  Did I mention that I hate this house?

Going postal over online banking


     My bank is driving me crazy.  For the longest time I had set it up so I could pay certain bills online.  I’ve been doing it for a long time.  Now suddenly when I went to do this tonight, they said I didn’t have those accounts set up.  When did they change it?  Why wasn’t I told about it?

     Frustrated, I jumped through their hoops and tried to set it up again.  After wasting a couple of hours—yes I said hours.  I still was unable to pay the bill I wanted to pay.  Every time I tried, they gave me a present—an error message.  Grrrr.

     Well for cripes sake in the time it took me to jump through all those hoops I could’ve written out dozens of checks.  Which I did anyway for the bill I wanted to pay because the stupid system wasn’t letting me make the payment online. 

     Of course, it’s the wee hours of Monday morning so I can’t ask them why.  Nor can I ask them what happened to what I’d had set up and been using.  Maybe the postal service complained to the banks and they decided to glitch everything so we’d have to mail our payments in.

Update on MIL’s latest hospital stay


     DH’s mother is out of the hospital and in another rehab hospital.  This one has a ranking of five stars in all categories.  They tell us she should be able to go home in less than two weeks.  She will be happy to be home, her dog will be happy she’s home, and we will be happy too. 

     She only suffered a minor bump on her head when she fell, and she fell because of an infection.  The infection made her dizzy.  They are treating her infection and keeping her until her strength returns.  DH goes to see her every morning and talks to her on the phone in the evening.

Goliath wanted squab for dinner.


     Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while know all about Goliath.  For those of you who haven’t, Goliath is one of the four bullfrogs who live in our pond.  You can tell which one he is because he makes the other three look tiny.  There are a couple of pictures of him on ‘our garden and pond’ page.

     Goliath spent last summer begging worms off me.  (Actually, he stalked me for the worms that I dug up for the Koi.)  Like a fool, I spoiled him by giving them to him.  For the past week, we’ve had some nice weather but not too many insects around which means the frogs are ravenous.

     I was sitting out on the back steps enjoying the birdsongs and the sounds of the fountains and waterfall.  Two mourning doves sat on a wire above the yard.  A robin was busy taking a bath in the little pool at the top of the waterfall.  When he finished the two doves flew down to stroll around the pond.  They patrolled once around, a second time, and on the third lap, I heard a loud splash.  The doves flew up from the far side of the pond both were in a panic.

     Curious I walked over to the edge of the pond and there sat Goliath on top of a lily pad pot.  A couple tan tail feathers protruded from his mouth.  If ever a frog could, he had a ‘rats, foiled again’ look on his face.