Monthly Archives: August 2010

There’s nothing like clean, sweet smelling dogs

 

     Gavin has a vet appointment today so yesterday was bath day.  There’s no way I was taking Mr. Stinky in without a bath first.  Patty’s appointment is the second so she’s clean too.  I don’t bathe them as often as I should because they don’t make it easy.

     DH was taking a nap when I hauled Patty up the stairs first.  She wasn’t happy about going up there because she’d seen me take the dog towels up earlier.  She knew what I had on my mind.  A little coaxing and a cookie tossed in the tub soothed her for a bit.  Then I turned on the water.  Patty froze.  Actually, I’m glad she did, bathing the brindle statue was easy.  A soap and rinse later she was out of the tub and covered in towels loving the rubbing.  She bounded down the stairs never once thinking of anything but another cookie and some drying time in her crate.

     I took a short break.

     Oh, boy it was Gavin’s turn.  Getting him upstairs and into the tub, no problem, he jumped in right after the cookie I tossed onto the mat.  Water on.  

     “Oh, no you don’t, Mom.”  He backed into the far corner.

     The tub is six feet long, the doors, the way I had them set, block four feet, and I was straining to reach him.  I got him wet, soaped, rinsed.  He kept shaking and got me wet, soaped, wet, and a ring on his bath collar hit me in the knuckle breaking a vein.  Out of the tub, covered in towels, he managed to shake once more, soaking the entire bathroom and me again.

     I took a long break before I went back up and cleaned the bathroom.

     Nope, there’s never a dull moment around here.

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Description, when is enough, enough?

 

     I admit it I under-describe things and have to go back later to pump it up.  However, I’d rather do that than do what the author (who will remain anonymous) of the mystery, (the title too shall remain anonymous) that I’m reading has done.

     He has bored me with paragraph after paragraph of tedious description.  Admittedly, the book was published in 1978.  Had I read it then I would have said the same thing.  The book is a trudge.

     Nothing gets past him without a description.  He describes minor characters in minute detail.  He hands to you, in microscopic illustration, every location in the book.  He’s boring me to tears.  What bothers the crap out of me is that according to the book jacket, from 1978, he wrote sixteen novels.  Geez, I wonder how many he’s had published since then.  I’ll have to look for his books when I go to the bookstore again.  Then I’ll ignore them.

     I think I’ll hang on to the book as an example of what not to write.  No, I didn’t buy the book. 

     G lent me a stack of new books I hadn’t read and I spotted this old one in a pile of books she was taking to a used bookstore.  The title intrigued me.  Sigh, I should’ve left it in the reject pile.

I don’t need to go far to enjoy nature’s beauty

 

     About and hour before cooking dinner was a perfect time to take a break from writing and chores.  I went out to relax on the hammock.  The temperature was perfect and there was a gentle breeze blowing.  Pure heaven.

     The yard hummed with activity.  I watched several monarch and swallowtail butterflies visit the flowers.  Wouldn’t you know that as soon as I thought ‘camera,’ they disappeared.  The cardinal family fluttered about in the tree above me and then bravely came down to the feeders.  House sparrows and purple finches hopped around under the feeders cleaning up what the cardinals dropped to them.  Then Momma Downy woodpecker hung upside down on the suet feeder directly above me, I almost held my breath so as not to frighten her.  

     I always allow my Echinacea to go to seed for the small flock of American goldfinches that we have around here.  They came to nibble them and again I wished I’d brought my camera out with me.  They  made a colorful picture among the purple flowers.

     The best of all was when I spied two ruby throated hummingbirds darting around the Cannas.  I do wish they’d find the feeder. 

 

We live in a funhouse

 

     Old houses have oddities like crooked walls and strangely sized doors.  I’ve been sort of shopping around for four interior doors.  Of course, all four are different widths and they are all taller by more than an inch or two than any I can find.  We’re so blessed to have an old house….  Sometimes it’s like living in a carnival funhouse.

     Most of our doorways are out of square, which makes for more interesting problems.  Floors tilt and bow.  The stairs are all narrow and steep.  The attic stairs do a lovely eighty degree turn, twice. 

     The cellar steps are another test of balance and agility.  Although they don’t have turns they aren’t level and the bottom step is only an inch high, just enough to sprain an ankle if you hit it right.  Or rather, if I hit it right I’ll sprain an ankle, which I’ve done many times over the years.

     The entire house, except the attic and back porch, is heated by radiators.  This makes the placement of furniture a challenge.  There are two radiators in the living room under the master bedroom and one in the master bedroom.  The room is very hot in the winter.  I have to sleep with the window opened even when it’s below freezing outside or I’ll die of heat stroke.

On leaky pond

 

 

     How does one find a leak in a pond?  I know we are losing water somewhere but I have no idea where.  It could be around the hose connected to the waterfall, the waterfall itself, or maybe in the liner.  Yikes! 

     We need to find it before winter.  This is going to be one of those (not) fun projects.  What I wouldn’t give to have a strong-backed weak-minded helper.  Nope, don’t have one of those—DH doesn’t count.  His back is weak, his balance sucks, and he’s sharp as a tack.

     It wouldn’t be so bad if the pond were spring fed but mine is hose fed and I have to pay the water bill.  Yikes!  Therefore, while we sit beside our lovely pond and enjoy its serene atmosphere I wonder how much water I’ll have to add by the end of each week.

     We have a month or two left to locate and fix the leak.  This means muscling big rocks and lifting a heavy pond liner always mindful of the fish, moving a cement and fiberglass waterfall to look beneath it, checking hoses…any volunteers?  I didn’t think so.

Dog days don’t mean hot days around here

 

     Today Both Gavin and Patty were acting as though they’d regressed to their childhoods.  Bully runs and wrestling matches dominated the day, all day.  Insanity was the word of the day.  When they weren’t busy being silly dogs they zonked out on the furniture. 

     Due to cooler weather and low humidity, they were feeling good.  I can relate to it too because I certainly enjoyed not having the house closed up and the AC on.

     Knowing the two of them tomorrow will be more of the same.  At least they tire themselves out and sleep well.  The cooler weather has also had an effect on their appetites.  They can’t wait for us to feed them.

     When we get their food ready, Gavin wags his tail and scolds while Patty prances about.  DH said that in the morning they almost ran him over to get to their dishes. 

Sudden stink sends rat terrier scurrying

 

     I’d smelled a skunk a few hours ago.  I had to close up the house the odor was so strong so the skunk had to have been nearby.  After the stink dissipated, I reopened the windows and inside doors.  The breeze from front to back was glorious.  It’s so nice to have seasonal weather back.

     It was about then when I heard my next-door neighbor come home.  I hailed her from my door and we talked for a few minutes.

      As she went inside, I warned her not to let her dog out without looking in the yard first but…  The next thing I knew I heard the dog bark, bark, YIPE!  I closed my windows and doors again. 

     The skunk didn’t get the little dog.  She is quite fast, but from what I understand it was a narrow escape.  I am surprised she had the good sense to retreat.  Had it been either one of mine they wouldn’t have backed off or I’d be bathing them about now… 

Dryers, the inter-dimensional sock gateway?

 

     Sorting socks on laundry day is a dull, life-sucking task.  I hate sorting socks and would love it if they did it all by themselves.  However, there are some days where you feel as though you’ve stepped into the ‘inter-dimensional sock gateway zone’ when you find strange socks and miss some you swore you’d put in the wash.

     Does anyone else have a dryer that is an inter-dimensional sock gateway?  A few E-mails back and forth with Elena made me realize that I am not the only person who has one of these.  She told me that she had a pair of socks come out of her dryer that she didn’t recognize.  I often have that problem, as well as having socks periodically disappear into the IDSG void.  Most of them are DH’s since during the warm weather I seldom wear socks.

     Some people ask why it is that only socks do this.  The easy answer is because a dryer is an inter-dimensional sock gateway not an inter-dimensional clothes gateway.  Has anyone seen a super soft sage green sock?  I can’t find one of mine.  Check your dryer it might have beamed over there. 

     Once beamed into the IDSG do the socks turn into evil sock puppets that return here bent on taking over the earth? 

     Beware of strange sock puppets.

Do you back up everything?

 

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     After losing several precious to me pictures and some book chapters a few years back when my computer crashed I’ve become rather anal retentive about saving things to CDs and memory drives.

     I have a 2.0G SanDisk that I’ve been using for a few years and it drives me crazy because it has some junk programs that came installed on it.  Thanks but no thanks I only wanted storage for my books.

     With it now back to school season, I found an on-sale-super-cheap 4.0G USB memory drive put out by Dane-Elec.  I’m in love with it.  It is all storage and no junk programs.  At the price I paid for it I’m going back to buy more, many more.

     I’ll use some strictly for pictures and keep others for my writing.  I might even back up my entire computer again although there are a few programs I won’t bother with since I have them on disk.  Heck, if get a couple of the 8G ones I can back up things to my heart’s content.

A simple summer meal

 

     I’m always looking for quick and tasty summer meals.  (Especially things that I can make with leftovers.)  One of my favorites is my curry chicken salad.  It’s simple because I use left over store-bought rotisserie chicken to make it.  I buy those once in while when I know I’ll be too tired to cook when I get home from grocery shopping.  With only two of us, we have at least a half a chicken leftover when we’re done.

     You have to understand that I seldom measure things when I cook.  I can give you the ingredients but you’ll have to make it to your own taste.

     Leftover chicken cut up into bite-sized pieces, golden raisins (a handful), chopped celery one or two stalks, 1 small chopped onion, one sweet cherry pepper seeded and chopped, enough Miracle Whip to moisten everything, curry powder to taste (I use approximately 1 ½ to 2 teaspoons.)  Mix thoroughly and chill for at least two hours.

     Serve on a bed of lettuce with tomato wedges.  DH loves this.  It’s also good as a sandwich filling.

Never cross your muse

 

     My muse avoids making eye contact.  I dust off my keyboard, clean the monitor, and straighten my desk.  Then I take some time to dust the living room and vacuum the rugs.

     “You ready to help me yet?”  I ask as I sit in front of the computer again.

     Silence.

     “Did I do something to upset you?”

     No answer.

     “This is about the ad I put in The Mystical Weekly isn’t it?”

     “You were looking for applicants for a muse!”  She began to sob and scrub her face with a lace handkerchief.

     “Yeah, and a unicorn, a troll, and an elf applied.  I turned them all down flat.  I don’t write fantasy I write mysteries.”

     “But, but why the ad?  Are you firing me?”  A huge tear dripped off her nose.  Not attractive.

     “I thought about it.  You haven’t been around much lately.”

     “I have too but you weren’t listening to me.  You were too busy.”

     “Okay, I admit it.  I have been run ragged lately but when I sit down to write you aren’t here.  Maybe we need to synchronize our watches.”

     “I don’t own a watch.  I’m a freaking muse.”

     “I was being rhetorical.  Would it help if I apologize?”

     “It’s a start.”

     “I’m sorry.”

Ampyra week two

 

     DH is walking better but as a result is pushing himself harder.  It must be a man thing.  Is it?  Can anyone explain to me why he pushes himself beyond his limits all the time?

     Today he mowed the grass.  He uses a riding mower or couldn’t do it.  The mower decided to up the ante on his energy expenditure by getting a flat tire.  I came outside to find him trying to tip the gigantic mower on its side and slide a couple of bricks under it so he could fill the tire.  Whoa, whoa there sir just ask me and I’d be glad to help, which I did.

     Stubborn man.  Heaven knows I love him with all my heart.  However, some days ya just wanna kill them don’t ya gals?  Sorry guys but it is true.  I’m sure you feel the same way about us.

     At least he is walking better and so far, (knock on wood) he has no side effects.  We hope that continues.  I can’t wait to see what his neurologist has to say at his next appointment.