Tuesday, May 8, 2018

80 Pounds

Of Kitty Litter.

It involved The Bearded One, his Corvette, and 10.5 quarts of Oil.

Our usual mechanic sold his business and within a year the new owner had driven the place out of business.  Maybe he was just a poor business man.  (What auto shop is closed on  Saturday?)  Maybe he needed a business loss.  Whatever.  Not being able to find a new shop that we felt that we could trust, The Bearded One decided to change the oil himself.  First we had to buy jacks that would work with the Corvette. (Ground clearance?  What ground clearance)

It all started so innocently:

He bought the oil, the filter, and a plastic thingie to collect the used oil.  The Corvette was jacked up providing needed work room.  The plastic thingie was placed appropriately.  Then he commenced to begin the oil change,  And the oil began draining.  Unfortunately the plastic thingie's cap was not open.  10.5 quarts of oil poured onto the garage floor.  To say that The Bearded One was upset is an understatement.

80 pounds of kitty litter and several scrubs with Dawn dish detergent later, the damage was rectified.

After much extra work the new oil and filter were in place and we went for a "soothing" drive.

But we still had to dispose of the 80 pounds of oil soaked kitty litter...

Lesson learned.

Friday, May 5, 2017


Thanks for finally letting me in.  Why didn't you answer me when I asked for help?

Except they did.  And it is all my fault.

So.  My writing time is early in the morning. Like 5 AM. In general, I write at Starbucks.   My old tiny laptop that fit in my purse (OK, shoulder bag) was no longer up to new technology.  I had gotten it in 2010 and it just couldn't handle the new windows programs.  Windows XP - fine.  Windows 10- unh uh.

My new laptop is powerful.  I had planned on a tablet, but the amount of RAM wasn't large enough to handle Photoshop.  So the new Dell arrived and we started loading things.

When I got to Starbucks I couldn't get into my blog.  Blogger kept telling me that I didn't HAVE a blog.  I kept requesting help.  I "never got help".

So I kept sending emails and requests for help. Which never arrived. I  must have changed my password 10 times until I didn't even remember what it was anymore.

Except that help was arriving.  It was going to a Gmail account that  didn't remember I had.  It was all there when finally, the prompt asked me if I could possibly have another email account...I figured that since I had tried everything else, I might as well say "yes" to the question.

Gee Whiz.  There  WAS another Gmail account.  That I hadn't remembered.  It was listed as my recovery account.  I hadn't remembered that either..

Trying to sign in, I STILL couldn't manage it.  I couldn't seem to get my refound email to work .Google kept using my remembered Gmail.  Did I see the little downward carrot that asked for a secondary email?  No.  I did not.  I was ticked off and it just didn't register...
But  finally I noticed the downward carrot.  And I was able to enter the Gmail associated with my blog.  And my password worked.  And I have author access.

I'm getting old.  That must be it.  Although I would like to think that  it is just that I am very busy and I'm preoccupied with other, weightier matters.   But I have to be realistic.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Ain't No Sunshine

You are absolutely NOT going to be able to convince me that weather patterns are not changing. 
We are in the middle of what should be sunny May.  Solar panels producing like crazy, warm but not too hot weather perfect for working in the garden...
Today I had to turn the heat on again.  Just too dang chilly in the house.
Even though the weather forecast says that we are having sun even as we speak, we are NOT and have not for the last 4 days.

That paragraph was written nearly one year ago.

It is now mid-April, 2016. We are in the middle of what should be a mostly sunny month.  Warm but not too hot weather perfect for working in the garden...an occasional early morning sprinkle.
Last night it was raining so hard that the swimming pool was overflowing into its emergency drain.  We had a firelog burning.  We had to turn the heat on....  The dog refused to go outside to "do her thing" before being crated...

Monday, May 25, 2015

Jingle Tags

When the Bearded One travels I let the dog sleep with me because...
I feel more comfortable with another living thing beside me.  The dog snores.  'Nuff said.

At 3 AM I woke to the sound of dog tags as they moved from window to window.  Pearl was sniffing loudly.  I checked the windows and doors and listened carefully.  Nothing.  Not even a coyote.

At 4 AM I woke to the sound of dog tags as they moved from window to window.  Pearl was sniffing loudly.  I checked the windows and doors and listened carefully.  Nothing.  Not even a coyote.  But the dog was dancing this time.  This is the dog who can stay in her crate from 8:30 PM until 8:30 AM without a problem.

I decided that she must be "on to something".  I let her out.  She tore down the grass like a big ol' black missile.   She didn't growl or bark.  She just ran.  Urgently.

I finally got her back inside by bribing her with treats.

5:00 AM I woke to the sound of dog tags....

I took her downstairs and crated her.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Change Is Good, Right?

Mergers are a bitch.
I am finally able to write this without tears falling on the keyboard after spending the afternoon on the deck with Pearl, Ms. Flipper's dog.

I have been involved with an (unnamed) animal rescue organization for about a year now.  I love it.  Two of my brightest days of the week are when I go to spend time exercising and socializing the animals.  The organization has provided excellent training so that I can do whatever is needed to make the animal a good candidate for adoption.

There was a sudden announcement of a "potential" merger - apparently it was already a done deal.  It is actually a good move for the organization. I don't quibble with that.  What I do mind is the constant changes that are occurring as the organizations involved with the merger "align their procedures".  This alignment apparently consists of "my" organization completely revising it's procedures to mirror the other organization - also not a bad idea.

The way that it is being done is painful in the extreme - because of new rules limiting volunteer hours, "revising" volunteer procedures, and animal handling protocols. There are rules, rules, rules and more rules that appear to be a moving target.  There are no real explanations for the rule and protocol changes, just a "this is how we are doing it now" no matter how nicely you ask.  Many popular senior volunteers have "moved on" - some leaving on their own and others asked to leave.  Many volunteers who have become my friends have given up in disgust and left the organization.

I am a little bit angry and a lot sad.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Frankie and Annette get Summer Jobs

The summer Idyll is over.  Sigh.  Stubble got a job at a Nationally Known Pizza Chain and Ms. Flippers is working at a Nationally Recognized Zoological Park.  This means that they are finding out what it means to have a job that does not wrap itself around your college class schedule and is onlly 5 - 10 hours per week on average.  Just enough to buy gas and a movie (if you don't purchase from the concession counter).  Their friends are distraught.  No more fire pit!  No more marshmallows!  At least not every night.
We have yet to get used to Frankie and Annette's schedules.  They writhe like snakes.  My understanding was that Ms. Flippers was working Thursday - Saturday and Monday - Tuesday from 11 - 3.  She now closes.which means that she doesn't get home until 8 PM.  She is regularly called in on Sunday when she has stayed up late on Saturday anticipating a day off.  Luckily they have only called her in for afternoon shifts.  Stubble started working Thursdays and Fridays and Sundays (I think).  His schedule (I think) is now Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.  Except that he got called in on Saturday AND Sunday.  And as for the TIME of the shifts.  Oh, sometimes it is 11 - 2.  Sometimes 3 - 6.  Sometimes (for Stubble) 11 AM to 11 PM).
On Sunday, Stubble had made plans to "play in the pool" with The Bearded One.  Literally a "date" to get into the pool together to play basketball and/or volleyball.  When Stubble was called in, the date had to be cancelled.  The Bearded One was sad, "He won't be here much longer and we used to play in the pool all the time.  Is that silly to be sad because we can't do it today?"
I assurred him that it wasn't silly.  I am sad when one or the other of them is not home for dinner.  I am doubly sad when both of them are not home for dinner.
They won't be home much longer.  It has begun.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Frankie and Annette Embrace the Summer

You know summer is here when the "children" arrive.  Other peoples children.  Released from the repression of school (college) and unable to find a summer job, they descent on our house like a swarm of yellow jackets at a picnic.  Except that they are no longer children.  They are turning 21 at a rate that continues to astonish.  Just yesterday they were excited munchkins headed for kindergarten in their new clothes with their new little backpacks holding their pencils and paper.  Yes, they were anxious, but now they were "grown up" and didn't have to just play school anymore.  They were there.  They were BIG kids now.

Fast forward to this summer.  They no longer arrive in their parent's car.  They no longer carry a note with their parent's cell phone number.  They no longer run back to the car to hand their parent a note with our cell phone number on it.  No.  Now they arrive with a 6 pack of Schmirnoff Ice and a foot long sub sandwichThe rule at our house is if you have been drinking, you do not leave the house unless you have a designated driver.  More than once I have had to break that news to gigantic hulking young men - who, gratefully, have always said "Yes Ma'm, Stubble already let me know that."  God Bless Stubble.

Now that it is summer they do not continually congregate in the game room like lumps on a couch with a controler and a headset (which allows them to be international lumps).  They head to the backyard.   To the pool and the hot tub.  I would be appreciative if someone would explain to me why they did not want to use the hot tub when it was 50 degrees outside but now that it is above 90 they want to get in.

And then there is the firepit.  Thoughtful previous owners left us a gift.  A fire pit on the deck area near the pool  The kids (I mean young adults) now have a huge wood habit (they prefer leaping flames to glowing embers) and are going through a bag of marshmallows a day.  I did thoughtfully provide the fixings for s'mores, but they are into "just plain burned" marshmallows.  Of course after their pilfering of every skewer in the kitchen, we went on an extended search for our camping toasting forks.  Could we find them?  You already know the answer.  A quick trip to a National Sporting Goods Store solved that probloem.

It is really nice and I do mean that sincerely, to fall asleep on a Friday or Saturday night listening to the crackle of logs, the sound of young voices, and music played over someone's smart phone.