Wall Check

This afternoon I was doing my weekly wall check for slobber bombs and there were a lot as usual, there were even a couple way up high on the wall. I thought to myself, “what does Orso do, stand on his back legs put his front paws on the wall and sling his head around to whip a slobber bomb as high on the wall as he can?” Is this a game with him that he keeps score with Charlie over, “I can shoot a slobber bomb higher than you?” I sprayed the Fantastic antibacterial cleaner over each dried gross blob and scrubbed them off the wall.

I stood back and surveyed my handiwork and noticed the walls now have clean spots where the slobber bombs were, standing out starkly against the rest of the walls. This means that in order to not have lighter colored spots dotted around the room I need to wash all of the walls and clean off a year’s worth of pipe tobacco smoke, dust and god knows what else. I filled a bucket of water and cleaner, grabbed the step ladder and washed all of the walls in the living room. I stood back to admire my work again, and decided that no amount of soap and water were going to improve the look of the walls.

That means only one thing, time to paint the walls. Since I have to paint the walls, I might as well freshen up the room with a new color, a new look. If I’m going to go with a new color on the walls I need to spend some quality time at Lowes and Home Depot staring at paint chips for hours, searching through the myriad of colors and hues in my quest for the perfect shade. For some this may seem to be a chore, but to me this is one of my most fun things to do. Every time we go to Lowes or Home Depot I wander off to the paint department and load up on scads of paint chips. Even if I have no painting project planned I can stand there for hours, just looking at all of colors, thinking about which room I would paint with the different shades. It makes Mitch crazy, when I come home with an armload of paint chips and paint books. Mitch’s idea of painting a room any color other than white is off white. He’s very adventurous don’t you think?

In order to spare Mitch the agony of living through another painting project, I just won’t tell him. I’ll go to Lowes early when he’s at work, stock up on paint chips and stick them all over the wall in the living room to see which one I like best. Then I’ll head back over and buy my paint and paint the room before he gets off work. It will be a surprise and I can guarantee you it won’t be white.

What a Couple of Fair Weather Sissies!

My chair has been bashed for the third time now and I have almost been knocked out of it twice, all because these two hooligans have decided it’s game on. When Charlie and Orso go at it, furniture gets moved whether it’s occupied or not. It is eighty-five degrees outside and these two sissies think the only place that they can play and wrestle is in the house. At almost nine years old, Charlie is a tad on the cranky side most of the time and won’t play with Orso. Orso who is the perennial puppy is always up for a free for all, so when Charlie is in the mood Orso will take advantage of every moment of neck chewing he can get.

Normally the wrestling only lasts for five or ten minutes tops, but tonight this has been going on now for twenty minutes. There is lots of heavy panting, but no one is giving an inch of ground. Barking, snarling and bodies leaping on and off the bed, means a good time is being had by all. Mitch has been trying fruitlessly to stay out of the line of fire, but it’s not working. He’s been bowled over twice now. I call a time out when one of them grabs the edge of my rug in his teeth and wants to play tug of war. Nothing is safe from the jaws of death around here.

After twenty five minutes Charlie has finally called a truce and both have tongues hanging all the way to the floor. A quick drink and both collapsed on the floor to cool off. Now I just have to cross my fingers that maybe they will both sleep all night long and not come nudge me in the middle of the night to see if I’m awake.

Mitch is a Saint

The true test of any relationship comes when one member, in this case me, becomes disabled albeit short term and has to rely pretty much on the other for just about everything.  Poor Mitch, good thing he has the patience of Job.  I am stubborn, willful and very independent.  So now being dependent upon another is a tough pill to swallow, even though I am truly grateful he is here.

Yesterday I had foot surgery to remove a bunion and have two toes shortened.  Sounds like fun, huh?  There is even a name for it, a bunionectomy.  There were bones removed and bones shaved off, and because of that I can’t put any weight on my left foot for three months.  Compliments of wearing cute shoes years ago.  I guess we won’t be going dancing anytime soon.

Now Mitch has to do double duty.  Walking the dogs, laundry, cooking and all the yard work.  Granted, he already does all of the laundry and all of the ironing woohoo!  Walking the dogs has been a joint effort on our part but now it’s all his.  Cooking and yard work are my domains.  I have to rely on Mitch to not mow down everything in his path.  God grant me patience.

Not only does he have to take up my slack, but he has to take care of me.  Following me on my crutches and righting me before I crash and burn.  Grace is my middle name, even with two good feet.  Poor man, he is going to be very busy.

I had been planning this surgery for months, and trying to get prepared as best as we could.  I have been practicing going up and down stairs on my crutches loaded with a heavy backpack, getting in and out of the car.  It’s my left foot so driving should be good. Practice is good but the real thing is going to be scary at best.  My plan is to go back to work next week and bonus – I work on the second floor.  No elevators, yea!  Just lots and lots of stairs.  I will be the crutch queen by the end of the upcoming three months.

Please pray for Mitch.

More Evidence that Spring is Finally Here

This morning as I walked out the front door to get the morning paper, I startled a Robin nearby.  Nothing new about that, we have tons of Robins here.  But as the bird flew away I noticed a bird’s nest in our hibiscus bush.  Curious, I walked up to it there in the bottom of the nest lay three blue Robin’s eggs.  I had disturbed Mom as she was keeping the eggs warm.

I couldn’t help myself, even though I know to stay away so that the parents don’t abandon the nest, I grabbed my camera and quickly took some photos of the nest and Mom sitting there.  Until the eggs hatch the front door will be off limits.  Good thing we have three others to choose from.


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Mama Robin keeping her eggs warm

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Another shot of the Mama Robin

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The three Robin eggs.  The reason for color “Robin’s Egg Blue”

Photos taken with my Canon Rebel.

The Calm Before the Storm

It’s too quiet here.  It’s been almost two months since Mitch finished installing the dishwasher.  He has been busy with work and local city demands and hasn’t had a chance to cut the cabinet that will install next to the dishwasher filling the gaping hole left when we removed the existing cabinet to install the dishwasher.  I have not bugged him about filling the space because I know how busy he has been

I think part of his reticence to start the project is that there will be multiple “Mitch Fit” watches that can quickly go to “Mitch Fit” warnings and even “Mitch Fit” imminent crises.   Cutting down a thirty-six inch cabinet to a twelve inch cabinet is probably a bit of a challenge, especially shrinking the cabinet door, but I have faith that Mitch will figure it out.  (If not, I know where I can buy a twelve inch cabinet brand new in the box.)  That’s what scares him the most.  If I buy a new cabinet, I will have to re-stain or paint all of the cabinets so all will match and look the same.   Painting wood is sacrilege to him.  Wood only comes in stained colors if you ask him.

Finally this afternoon after a consultation with a seasoned cabinetmaker Mitch is finally de-constructing the cabinet and preparing it to become a third of its’ original size.  WooHoo.  What’s the worst that can happen?  It looks really sad and we go buy a new one.  Mitch doesn’t look at it that way, though.  He thinks it has to be perfect.

The de-constructing is the easy part; it’s the reconstructing part that will be tricky.  But it’s okay, I have my ear plugs.  I am definitely a glutton for punishment.

One Day Two Countertops and Only Three Meltdowns

One more project down and only a gazillion to go.  I gave Mitch two weeks off from home improvement projects and threw in a weekend hunting trip to boot to relax him before tackling the latest project, new kitchen countertops.  Should have been a cakewalk right, especially since both countertops were only six feet long and no corners.  Wrong, never is in this house. 

First surprise of the day was when I just pulled the one side off by myself, shocking Mitch that the old countertop was not anchored to the cabinets.  Not surprising to me, by now nothing surprises me about this house.  We switched out the old countertop for the new one, done easy peasy.  I thought that the second would be almost as quick, unhook the drains, garbage disposal and faucet, and lift off.  That part went fairly fast so things were looking hopeful. 

Cutting the new hole and fitting the sink was a bit more challenging.  Many measurements with the tape measure were taken, just to be sure that the hole wasn’t cut too big.  You can always make a hole bigger, but you can’t make a hole smaller.  I walked into the kitchen to find Mitch drawing the outline of the sink in permanent marker on the top of the new countertop.  I rubbed the center line he had drawn to the edge of the countertop that would be exposed, it didn’t come off.  I looked at him and said that this will not work having a black line across my new countertop, oh no.  He turned and left to find something that would remove the marker and thus would get to reside on the planet another day.  Luckily, Windex worked like a champ.  Mitch is off the endangered species list for now.

The jigsaw wouldn’t get quite close enough to the back splash to make the back side cut, so that took different blades, cutting angles and eventually a different saw to get a close cut.  Next came the fitting of the sink into the new hole.  It didn’t, surprise.  How can you measure, measure and measure again and then it doesn’t fit?  That caused Meltdown number one.  Out came the rubber mallet, at least it wasn’t the sledgehammer.  Two new dents to the stainless steel sink and it fit.  Woo hoo. 

The container of plumbers putty was dried up and hard, so Mitch had to add water to soften it up.  Meltdown number two came when he asked for my help holding the sink in the hole so he could attach the fasteners that clamp onto the underside of the sink and secure it to the countertop.  I walked to the backside of the countertop which was sitting on blocks in the dining room and waited for direction.  Evidently I had turned off my mental telepathy switch and didn’t know that I was to immediately grab the countertop and sink in a death grip to hold it in place.  Mitch bent down and flipped up the front side causing the sink to slip.  Huge meltdown.  I told him he needed to use his words.  Not very smart on my part, using sarcasm in the face of unmitigated rage.  At least he didn’t toss me across the room, just sent the dust brush flying.  Second attempt and this time I grabbed the sink but it slipped again, causing Mitch to say that he would just secure the sink to the countertop on his back in the kitchen with the countertop supported by the cabinets, among other more colorful words.

We carried the countertop sans sink to the kitchen and placed it on the cabinets.  He set the sink in the hole in the countertop and I thought that maybe it wouldn’t be very long before this would be finished.  Wrong again, I should be used to being wrong a lot.  I made myself scarce when I heard the comment, “If one more thing goes wrong, I’m lighting a match.”

The third meltdown was almost anticlimactic compared to meltdown number two, sort of like an aftershock.  Mitch decided there weren’t enough sink clips to secure the sink to the countertop.  That set off a string of ranting and raving about why nothing is ever simple and easy about the house.  I wisely chose not to remind him that the house was in his family long before I came into the picture.

Ten o’clock at night and the new countertop project was finally finished.  It only took fourteen hours and three meltdowns, a new record somewhere I’m sure.

An Unproductive Day

It’s just a rainy Saturday, a perfect day to get caught up on cleaning the house, the closet or some other productive household chore.  But I’m just not in the mood.  This is something I’ll regret tomorrow or the next day, but not today.  Today, I just want to relax and do nothing productive.  The dogs aren’t even any fun.  They’re lying curled up on the bed snoozing, enjoying the rainy day too. 

The only one who is getting anything accomplished is Mitch.  He is diligently working on the re-construction of the guest bathroom.   He’s mudding and sanding and re-mudding and re-sanding the sheetrock seams, giving it his best shot, even though applying mud and sanding is not his forte.  Of course this is adding to my guilt level, knowing that I’m being a slug and he’s slaving away. 

I feel like painting something, maybe the kitchen.  Painting is therapeutic for me.  One small problem, I have no paint and haven’t even picked out a color yet.  But that doesn’t stop me from thinking about painting the kitchen; it just adds to the mental guilt list of one more thing I could be doing if I had been more proactive in deciding on a color and buying the paint.  I could run to Lowes and hurriedly pick out a color and just start painting.  Of course we all know how well my painting projects go. 

Good thing it’s a small kitchen.

Dead Batteries

The batteries died in the indoor shock collars the dogs wear when left alone in the house.  Why do the dogs wear shock collars in the house and how did we find out that the batteries were dead you ask?  Well let me tell you.  First off we discovered the indoor shock collars when AJ and Charlie discovered the pantry while being left to their own devices during the work week.  After eating their way through the well stocked pantry, we had to find something to keep them out of the kitchen.  Kennels didn’t work, AJ would either destroy the metal ones or chew through the plastic airline crates.  Quite by accident I found these really nifty indoor collars that emit a high pitched squeal then a mild shock if the dog gets too close to the transmitter you place wherever you don’t want the dog(s) to be.  Works like a champ with good batteries, not so much with dead batteries, as we discovered today.

Today we came home from work for lunch as usual, but there was no barking dogs waiting for me to open the door.  That should have been my first clue.  I opened the door and two of the dogs, AJ and Orso came running.  Charlie was a little bit further behind.  That should have been my second clue.  After the dogs rushed out the door toward Mitch to go pee, I walked inside.  As I rounded the corner from the entry hall to the living room two things caught my eye.  A can of whole cashews standing upright with the lid pulled off  and the empty meat tray I had washed this morning and had placed in the recycle bin.  The lid to the can of cashews sporting chew marks was lying on the rug next to the can of cashews sans cashews.  Somehow one or more dogs had stuck his muzzle into the can and scooped out all of the cashews.  They didn’t knock the can over just sucked out all of the cashews.  My dogs have true talent.  The can had been on the counter in the kitchen and was almost full.  The plastic meat tray had housed the boneless beef ribs that I was cooking in the crockpot.  I had washed the tray to remove all meaty traces before putting it in the recycle bin.  Obviously someone was paying attention this morning and watched me put it in the bin. 

I almost picked up the evidence but decided to leave the crime scene intact so Mitch could experience the scene as I had.  I walked into the kitchen expecting the worst.  Luckily the crockpot was still cooking away on the counter unmolested.  I couldn’t say the same for the recycle bin.  It had been pulled out to the middle of the kitchen with the lid pulled off.  For dogs without thumbs, these three are extremely adept at getting container lids off.

Thinking this wasn’t as bad as I imagined it could be, I turned around and saw the trash can lying on its side with the contents strewn all around.  Oh joy, what a way to spend my lunch hour, cleaning up after heathens had gone shopping.  I see a trip to the store for more batteries in my future.

My Birthday

Today is my birthday.  I’m not announcing this to get birthday wishes, even though birthday wishes are always on my top ten list of good things.  I’m just always a bit amazed at the people I know, my sons included, who pooh pooh birthdays as they get older.  Do they think that by denying a birthday is denying age.  Not me, I love birthdays, the more the better.  I would celebrate my birthday twice a year if I could.  Birthdays are not about getting older, but getting better.  Getting another chance to do something special.  A chance to make a difference in your life and other lives that you touch.  Birthdays are not just the day to celebrate the day you were born (even though it’s a great excuse for cake)  but a chance to begin a re-birth of sorts. 

Birthdays are like New Year’s Resolutions, they are great way to make changes in ourselves.  Opportunities to grow, to be more, to never stop learning and loving life.  I recently found a ring that says it all.  “Love Life” is inscribed on the outside and on the inside the words “Be Brave”.  I wear it on my left thumb and every time I look at it, I smile.  It reminds me that if the day is not going to way I want, I still love life and every minute in it counts.  I would also add “Be Bold”.   I want to go through each day strong facing every challenge and opportunity with my chin stuck out.

There are so many things I want to do, places to go and people to meet.  There are not enough birthdays out there for me to accomplish all that I want with the years that I have left.  There is no way I going pass up a birthday just because a number changes and gets higher. 

I am not going pass up a birthday for vanity’s sake.  The important milestones in age are old enough to start going to school, getting your driver’s license, getting to vote and old enough to know better.  I don’t think some people ever learn the last part.  I’m sure some would add old enough to drink, but after getting old enough to know better, drinking is for taste and not drinking to get drunk. Besides the longer I’m around the longer I get to really annoy certain people. 

So Happy Birthday to me, it’s going to be great.