Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Good Morning Children! How was your weekend?

Mine was good. Mine was busy but good. I got my lawn mowed. I got to watched baby nephew join the Church and I got to watch Dogger take her first post-operative steps. All in all, a good time was had by all bipeds. Dogger, I would be willing to bet has had better weekends. She's more of a tri-ped at present.

I don't usually post pictures of children, especially those that are not mine but how often does a young man get baptised?  A Catholic young man, I mean, protestant people have their own traditions.

A nice Catholic boy

I think he is quite the handsome guy.

While all this was going on it was raining. It rains all the time, pretty much every weekend now and during the week and at night. It's a thing. I'm giving up hope that I am ever going to get my garden in. Once upon a time I joked about the wetlands in my backyard but now its not really a joking matter. I'm reasonably sure that I saw school of minnows darting around in the puddle where the garden is supposed to be.

The  mail order plants are going to arrive at the latest the last week of April - Wait you say, The last week of April is weeks away! You  are such a worry wart! Chill out. . But, the garden is a weekend activity and three of the weekends are all ready spoken for so I was kind of hoping to have the damn thing done by now. It's not just the tilling - Which is important, sure and it has to be done before everything else gets done but the longer it take it to get the first step taken care the longer it takes me to get the lay out of the garden nailed down, my soaker hoses arranged and the two different kinds of plastic mulch put in place and then the plantings still have to be completed.

There is a lot to do and not much time to get it all done and nothing can be done until it gets started. I want it started.

Did I mention that I mowed the lawn? I did! And this time I did not utilize Mr. Weed Whacker. I mowed the lawn with a real live mower! Not an electric one, that purchase is back burner-ed post Dogger operation, I don't really need one in reality and I'm going to have to just deal with the push mower for the next while. I need to start saving for Doggers other knee more than I need a power mower.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Post Operative Dog Blogging


I have to keep telling myself she's going to be okay, she's going to be okay, she's going to be okay.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

HAPPY   SUNDAY   !!!!!!

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday Kitten Blogging

Watching and Waiting
Friday Surgery Blogging


Well, so far I've dropped her off and the seemed nice enough and the office was clean and well appointed. It smelled all right. They didn't immediately fall in love with her which was a little worrisome to me a little.

Edited to add : She came through the surgery just fine and the surgeon found significant damage to not just the Cruciate but also the Meniscus  - both are now corrected. They think she is a very sweet dog! She's a very sweet dog who will be wearing a Elizabethan collar for the two weeks she is on bed rest.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Giving Thanks

Well that was exciting. I came in to work and there was no message from the vet and I was very sad. Just as I was leaving for lunch the vet called to tell me he was going to do it and he's only going to charge me $500! I was so happy I could hardly speak; first I find out that Dogger is actually going to get the surgery right away and then I find out I can afford it! I pulled it together enough to set up her appointment and thank him profusely. I think it was the first time I've taken a deep breath since Sunday afternoon.

I told Dogger that it was almost over and she was going to walk again and everything was going to be all right, but she just looked at me and sighed. Its hard to get excited about things when your crate-fast and hurting. She doesn't see any end to this and it makes her sad. I have to be strict though, because the other knee is not strong and it can't be asked to be doing 100% of the job. Dogger has only been locked up for two days and she's all ready working me. She knows when she whines that I take her out and we go outside to pee. Okay, what Dogger now understands is how to get free. Her plan is to whine, get out of the box, lay down and then refuse to get up again. She doesn't want to be in that box and she's saying Look! I'm laying down very obediently and I am outside the crate! See how good I am? I don't have to be in the box! I can be good right here! Which is total bull shit.

I think she learned all this last summer when she was also crate bound, but last summer she was much cooler with it. She really didn't complain about it at all but I also think she walked out of the box the last time muttering Never Again. This time she wants to wander around the yard when I take her out to pee and she didn't do that last summer. Last summer she would first refuse to come out of the box and then after finally agreeing to go outside, she would lay down and refuse to go back inside. Subsequently, I became a doggy drill sergeant/cheer leader. This time I'm more drill sergeant.

I looked around online to see what her recovery period was going to look like and it looks pretty much like her pre-surgical routine. Crate bound for a week then slowly doing more walking and I'll be doing range of motion exercises with her to help her with her mobility. The article says 8 weeks out she should be back to where she was. Remarkable. Now I'm dreaming about saving money and depending on how she does with this procedure, hopefully taking care of the other knee too. I would love to have her strong and whole again and be able to do fun doggy things again that she hasn't been able to do since last summer. I want her to run again.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Dogger gets her surgery Friday morning and it's not going to bankrupt me! Woo-Hoo! Its' going to run half of what I was quoted before!! Yay!!!!!

I'm all alone in the office. Dogger is in her crate in the livingroom on mandatory total bed rest, Tiny, twenty four hour post-operative, is upstairs "resting" and "taking it easy". Neither is happy. I'm not really happy either. I want my  healthy, happy babies back.

Tiny has to be upstairs because he wants to run all over the house and jump and leap from every surface. My instructions for him were that I was to keep him quite and calm and to forbid licking. Have you ever tried to tell a five month old kitten to sit quietly and rest? Forget telling him to not lick himself! I'm having a hard time delineating "grooming" from "wound licking". He is still taking two different pain meds but they end today. Oh, he now weighs in at 6.5 pounds.

Dogger, at 78 pounds,  will be on pain meds for a while. Dogger is in real pain. I am in real pain. The time for surgery is now, ASAP. There is no more waiting and seeing because the new injury is not going to heal itself with bed rest. This time we can't just put our faith in time and prayer, we have to put our faith in a surgeon and we have to do this sooner rather than later. My vet cheated a little and gave me the name of a vet surgeon she worked with out of school and he might be able to help me out, if he can't, I still have a line of credit with another surgeon that I set up the last time Dogger was injured, that surgeon wanted $1500 last July.

And the insurance  I got so I could protect myself and to assure Dogger would get the care she needs isn't going to pay a dime. BASTARDS. I'm on the hook for it all, fortunately, I have my tax refund, unfortunately, I normally use that all year as padding in my checking account for unexpected expenses and bits of whimsy.  No whimsy makes me sad but the thought of losing my dog makes me even sadder.

 I'm putting in cost cutting procedures. I've all ready changed out my pricey cable, if I can't come to a meaningful dialogue with the insurance people I'll be saving that money every month too! I want them to understand that  if they don't pay for at least part of the procedure then they are a luxury item and I can't afford luxury items like them any longer, like all those Stein Mart and Target commercials are saying "Times are hard" , and there is no sense to pay for nothing - which seems to be my insurance company is positioning themselves to be. Are there any "magic words" to use when talking with an insurance company about their failure to pay out? I am also talking about a refi with a mortgage person, the last time I spoke with her the rates hadn't fallen enough to make a real difference to me but at this point any savings would be welcomed.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

IRON RIVER - Sheriff's deputies in Iron County continue to investigate an altercation at a remote camp that sent two Upper Peninsula men to the hospital, one with stab wounds.

A sheriff's department snowmobile rescue sled was used to transport both of the injured men. Iron County EMS workers took the Munising man to Iron County Community Hospital, where the Iron River man was taken by deputies.

The Mining Journal

If it requires a snowmobile rescue sled to get you out? You are too far away.  Why were they in need of rescue? They stabbed each other.
Long Day's Journey into another long day

Very early Monday morning, after blithely barreling past the No through traffic sign, which obviously did not pertain to me. I approached my darkened office building, just like old times I thought and noticed that no one else was at work either. Good for us and the only car in my lot was a immorally parked survey van, they can park in that lot, but they shouldn't and they know better . I did not stop at my building though and instead made a left and meandered of campus.  I had an appointment to keep.

I was headed to the SPCA to get Tiny snipped. I thought that if they were there at 7am they would surely be there at 6:30 and maybe I could get him checked in and dropped off and go get some coffee before leisurely going into work. Very civilized, I thought.  There were not there at 6:30 or 6:45 or 6:55. They were there at 7am. Not one minute sooner and then I stood in line. I did not get coffee before work and I did not  get to take my leisure going in.  I had to wait to spring the news on my boss that Dogger hurt herself again and I needed to take some unscheduled time again to rush her to the vet again. Fortunately, she was fine about it. Again.

I went home at lunch and picked up a limping Dogger for her appointment. Dogger is actually in really good spirits this time around, even though she must feel how familiar this all is. I took her out first thing in the morning to go pee and then carefully brought her back into eat in her room and then tucked her in and left her to sleep it all off. Much to my shock she wanted to go  hobbling out again a little later. We got outside and she wanted to go in the car. I  had told her that were were going to the vet, but I hadn't been specific enough. It was kind of funny in a lame dog limps to a car door and whines for her veterinarian kind of way. I guess you had to be there.

Later on we did go to the vet and she did a manual exam of her knee and felt some swelling. Not as much as she expected to find and not nearly as much as she would have found on an acutely blown knee. That's swell, I thought.

We go back today for an x ray, to know for sure. I all ready know for sure, its her knee and its as bad as it was before. We couldn't do it Monday because I had to go get Tiny at five and I can't be in two places at once.  I felt at the time if her knee was bad that with the assistance of my handy dandy insurance that I would just get the surgery done...Until I spoke with my insurance... BASTARDS. Now, I'm just hoping to repeat our miserable, depressing, exhausting experience from the first time the happened to the other leg. If we're lucky.

How many fully functional knees does a dog need anyway?

Monday, March 23, 2009

IF its not one thing its another.

Doggers knee surgery may not be covered under her insurance because the insurance company sees such injuries as bilateral and she is on record as injuring the other knee. Damn it. Damn it. Damn it. She can't have two bad knees!

I was going to talk about all I got done this weekend. Because I got a lot done, I was proud of me. I went to the St. Patrick Dayish Parade, I did my laundry, I got my tomato braces, I did the manual labor for my dirt, and I mowed my lawn and edged for the first time this season. I also learned that you can mow your yard with your weed wacker.

Monday, Tiny is scheduled for his surgery. I’ll drop him off at the Garner SPCA at 7am and then I go to work. I can pick him up at 5pm. I was really looking forward to getting this done and I know it’s a good thing but now I can't stop thinking about the kitten of a woman I used to work with, she dropped her kitten off for her surgery and then the kitten died on the table! What if something happens to Tiny?

I took Dogger in for her surgery and I didn’t give the whole thing a second thought. I dropped her off, I picked her up. Now... Oh, speaking of Dogger. I think she hurt her other knee, the good knee. She was chasing Tiny around the living room and she leaped over the hassock and started yelping. I yelped. I went to her and she was limping around. I took her back to her room and fed and pilled her. She’s sleeping now.

I was going to talk about what a good weekend I had.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday Kitten and Dogger Blogging


I'm expecting my tax refund today. The feds will probably pay up but I may have to put a lean on the state. In years past I've used my refund for a new computer and another year I used to it pay for a doggy health emergency.  I know people with big plans for their refunds, home improvements, paying down bills. I am dreaming of something smaller and cheaper.

Usually, I think big, for instance it's getting clearer every year that I need a new shed but since it still standing I'm going to wait until next year. I've also been thinking about lap tops, but this year I'm not feeling secure enough to spend a big wad.  I'm going for Tomato Cages! The sad thing is, I'm really excited about this. I can not wait to go and pick them up!

I'm not talking about three or four, I've got three or four. I'm looking at nine or ten! I'm dreaming of a fully caged garden. After last years fiasco, I'm caging everything from the get-go. As gawd is my witness : I'll never chop my plants heads off again! . Its better for the plants and it keeps things tidier. Last year my tomatoes climbed my fence but it made them leggy and they didn't produce the way I think they should have.
I know, I know, I could make my own. I thought about that. I even found a really good web site that gave illustrated, step by step instructions. Which is great, if I had any intention of making them myself. I do not see myself cutting hog fencing and then affixing it together again. I;m just not into metal work or blood loss and it all looks so time consuming  and  potentially bloody. There is a very good reason they invented Wal-Mart and it was not to exploit the masses and program them to have low expectations and to blindly support political ideologies that are harmful to them. It was to supply the masses with low priced, mid range quality garden supplies.

I've been to visit "my" cages a couple of times and they are gorgeous and I can tell that they are going to do such a good job and seem to be really well made.  They also seem to have them in great quantities so I'm not really concerned about them selling out before I have a chance to get mine. The Wal-Mart ones are also lot nicer than the sad version they sell at Poverty Barn, I think those are made of coat hangers.

I'm a little concerned about all the "Recession Gardens" stories that I've been reading and I saw another one that reported that the White House is putting in a garden as well! No one is allowed to plant anything until I get my cages  damn it!

Thursday, March 19, 2009


In penance for a burger n' fries lunch  and in celebration of the gorgeous late afternoon, I took Dogger for a walk. It turned into a longer than therapeutic walk for Dogger but I'm going with that she needed it.  She really did need a good walk as she has been driving me crazy around the house because she's had serious cabin fever issues. We were going for a long walk today rain or shine damn-the-consequences because if I had to spend another evening with her bouncing off Tiny and turning my bills into chew toys she was going to transition to a new position as yard dawg.

We were walking, walk, walk, walk or really walk, sniff,  pee, walk, sniff, pee and I looked up and  saw another white girl walking a big red dog! OMG! She came right over, probably thinking that she was the neighborhood white girl who walks the big red dog. I had to disabuse her of this, there can only be one and I am it. She is a white girl with red dog.

I was a little nervous before Dogger met her dog because I never know if Dogger is going to be her sweet self or if she's going to embarrass us both, but she was fine and the other dog was great.  I have met two Bloodhounds and neither had jobs. I thought they were all McGruff The Crime Dog but it seems that some of of them are just McGruff The Pet Dog. It's been explained to me that while these unemployable hounds still have a much, much better sense of smell than an average dog they aren't quite up to Search and Rescue. The dog I met today isn't going to find any missing babies but will leave no couch cushion unturned  while searching for a lost McNugget.

On our way home, I ran across my Precinct Chair. I was happy to shame him about missing the mass precinct meeting and he told me about his desire to have a precinct meeting for just our precinct Saturday morning.  I told him okay, but my Saturday is all ready crowded. I have to get dirt, I want to go to the parade, my Mom is in town and there will be girl bonding opportunities  with her and Alphagal and her Mom and Tiny E. As much as I hate the prospect of an 8am Saturday meeting, it may be the only time I can make it. I'm also curious to see if we get a better turn out Saturday morning at 8am then we get  at 7pm on a Tuesday.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Getting cold thumbs

I'm pleased to announce that last years  garden hubris  (scroll down) survived the winter just fine and is greening up and is ready to get moved from its winter quarters in the yard  up to its summer place on the deck. It didn't do a whole lot last year other than to not die but I have high hopes for this year. I'm hoping for actual raspberries. Keep a good thought.

The backyard garden got bigger again. Its not hugely bigger, just a little really but still, its bordering on garden hubris 2009. Sigh. I didn't mean for it to happen but we had some sun today  finally, and I noticed that there was more sun on the one side and less on the other and if I utilized a little bit more of the unprepared space on the sunny side, well, more space on the sunny side!  I mean the less sunny side is hardly the dark side of the moon but still... and there is a tree over there and the tree does not exactly hide extra sunshine under its limbs. I learned last year that while you can  plant things in the shade you can't always make them grow.

But still. It's not even planted yet and it's starting to seem  like a really big  garden; Can I deal with that much garden? Last years garden was very tiny and manageable and didn't take a whole lot of time or energy. What if I'm not good at a larger garden? What if I get over whelmed? What if its too much?

Okay. Deep breaths. I've ordered a total of twelve plants and that's hardly constitutes a  truck farm . I'm also looking to pick up some green bean bushes and I'm  thinking about trying out  companion planting        so that would add more plants, but this time flowers! nasturtiums and French marigolds planted in between the tomatoes and peppers. It will keep the plants healthy and hold down the pests and draw in badly needed bees. Also,  flowers are pretty.

 How much room is all that going to take? I mean what if I don't have enough space? I have prepped a 10x 12 space ahead of the real prepping - The space is supposed to be 8x12, so I'm going to lose some of it, but if I lose space on the shady side of the space it won't break my heart and I'll be able to use the space more efficiently. Forget the room, what about the time and effort? Will I have time for all this? I mean I have a full time job all ready and the summer is going to be hot and hot and I know I'm going to want to get away some weekends not to mention getting away for vacation in August. Am I going to be up for the all the extra work and effort? I really want to be, but what if I'm not?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The budget is in

...And its not as bad as it could be. Sucks to be a a prison employee -535 jobs, a smoker +$1 tax per pack, or a math student -$35 Mill for new math text books.

Dogger had a quite an evening. She got dinner, as she gets every day but still which always seems to come as a complete surprise to her, and then as an after dinner treat she she experenced the joy of completely destroyed a toy necessating I vacuum the living room at length - another point for the evening for her as she knows Tiny doesn't like the vacuum. Dogger has a good wide streak of passive aggression in her. She may not want to bite off Tinys head but she takes great pleasure in messing with it.

Then Dogger had a nice walk - in the rain. It hadn't rained all day and I thought I was safe but as soon as we hit the corner it began to rain. Little known fact,  walks in the rain aren't nearly as romantic as TV and movies and pop songs make them out to be! You never see any of the movie people walking around with fogged up glasses or soaked pants and wet shoes or frizzy hair .  I think having a gooey song playing over the scene and a well edited montage helps and  I left my Ipod at home. My bad, because perhaps with the right song playing it would have been dreamy.

Then Dogger got a bath and all her bedding laundered and a whole bunch of cookies for being a good girl in the bath. Dogger had a nice night.

Dinner for me involved re-learning that canned crab bought from a dollar store is in no way analogous to canned tuna and is not good with mac and cheese as it has the same consistency as dryer lint. Add it too cheese and it becomes cheesy lint. Nummy. Post nummy dinner, I  had to vacuum up the remains  of a stridently messy dog toy, take Dogger for a walk in the rain, give the dog a bath, clean up after said bath, launder all her bedding and then replace the bedding. My futon is a bitch to get back in the the upright position.

Same evening, same activities, same players, different versions. Gawd, it was like Roshashanan!

Monday, March 16, 2009


I hate the rain. I mean, I don't hate it hate it, I mean we friends and everything and its great to see rain every once in a while but dayum, this is just way too much togetherness. A real friend would have let me and my Dad get my garden together this weekend and rain didn't let that happen instead  I spent the weekend damp and  playing tourist at a "foreign" Wal-Mart. I got word Friday at work that they had built a new one and I wanted to go check it out.

The newby was nice, well lit and it was bigger than my Wal-Mart. It was a heady experience. I didn't like it that I couldn't find anything and they didn't try very hard to separate the various departments. I was uncomfortable that the cake mix was so close to the rat poison. I was so alarmed that I couldn't find the chips that I almost left without buying anything! I got it together though and left with a pair of slacks and two pints of blueberries.

This Wal-Mart is so new that it was still fully staffed up and they even opened new lines when they saw too may customers waiting. I was shocked, you don't see that level of customer service at Wal-Mart. This of course will change, no Wal-Mart manager worth his salt will ever let the convenience of his customers get in the way of his bottom line. An adequate number of employees  and satisfied customers are bad habits to get into.  It's better to have surly, miserable staff providing sub-standard service to angry, inconvenienced customers - they all hate Wal-Mart and it brings them together. Someday, somewhere, that togetherness is going to burn a Wal-Mart  down.

On Sunday though, Sunday I became part of the Dish TV Family! Woo-Hoo! Its going to run me for the next six months half of what I was being charged, at the end it'll go up, but it's still less then what I was paying which rawks. I am getting fewer channels, which does not rawk. I  had thought when the sales guy reeled me in  that he told me I would be getting more not fewer channels  but, I now have DVR  and I have service for the first time on all four TVs. I can now watch House Hunter's all over my house.

The fewer channels isn't that big a problem, really. I hardly watched about 85% of what I had anyway but I'm going to miss FX and National Geographic, Bravo and a few of the Discovery's and DIY and Fine Living. The $40 a month I'm saving will help sooth me, but I'm going to call Dish TV anyway to see about my channels.

I called Direct TV to tell them the good news and the ass wipe who answered the phone gave me all kinds of grief and genuine rudeness. Really. I mean, Wow. He told me if I was having problems I should have called then and they would have taken $10 off my bill and gave me the DVR upgrade and blah blah blah and then more rudeness and more run around. I kept telling the guy over and over that I just wanted to know what to do with their equipment and he kept up with the many ways I was being disrespectful to Direct TV and No, I can't speak with his supervisor. Asshole. He finally told me that after all this time I own my receivers and dish and I could keep them. Such an asshole.

He was a dick and I didn't need to hear his bull but that if they were willing to take $10 off my bill and give me DVR, why didn't they a long time ago? And why should I call them if I have a customer service issue? Shouldn't they be tending to my needs? Hey Diana, our beloved long term customer, How are things? What can we do for you? How can we do better?  or  Guess what! Surprise! We're going to upgrade you to DVR! Thanks for being such a loyal customer!

Whatever, Dish TV did better.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

HAPPY    SUNDAY    !!!!!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday Kitten Blogging


The damn rained rained out my parade! Literally. First it squished my tilling and garden reno and now it rained out my St. Patricks Day parade.  I'm feeling picked on.
Fix it

I just had the most interesting conversation with a workman next door. It seems the owners of the house next door became quite alarmed when their basement filled up with water. They became even more alarmed after they pumped it out and it came back.

They could have just asked me the neighbor twelve feet away with a basement and asked me if I had any wet basement problems. But they didn't.  See, when they were working on that house for months and months we were in the middle of a drought and they didn't run up against any flooding. When they finally finished work and had the first tour, I asked them about the basement and how they dealt with their floods and they quickly poo-pooed any flooding and claimed if they had problems they didn't have any problems now as the water had  only come in through broken window casements and bad drainage in the yard and they had replaced all the windows and leveled the yard so there wouldn't be any more of that sort of thing. I laughed. They didn't.

Time passed. They didn't have any more tours. It rained a couple of times but nothing that would cause their basement to flood to any extent - it got a little wet but nothing too alarming. They aren't there very often so they may not have even been aware that the problem had not been solved by windows and grass seed.

And then it rained. A Lot. But before that, it snowed. Which is just water made solid. it's still wet and its still a problem. My sump pumps worked overtime. Loud as all hell but my basement never got more than damp. Their basement was a duck pond for days.

Today I ran into Mr. Workman. It seems that the lady who owns the house is going to do something about the flooding. The solution is to put in a french drain along both sides of the house going down to the pilings. The workman offered to do the same for me for a mere $20,000! I told him the past owners had all ready thrown a lot of money at the problem and I simply learned to avoid the basement during and after heavy rains.

The workman was also there to work on the upstairs fireplace. It seems it leaks. A Lot. And has for a while. To think they wanted $226,000 for that place! Flooding basement and leaking fireplace. The last time there had literature out they wanted $190,900.  They aren't going to get it not when they over looked the fireplace and pretended the basement wasn't a problem and never replaced the elderly roof. The workman said the house wasn't worth more than $165,000 and they weren't going to get that either.

Mr. Workman also had some very interesting gossip about the past owner of my house. Did you know that students in 1956 made up dirty stories about their Principals? Who knew?

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Deep Sigh. My power mower died. It was a family heirloom I inherited from my Grandmother. I'm sad now. I didn't use it very often because I also have the very fabulous and friendly to the environment rotary mower and I use that one all the time, most of the time, just about every time I have to mow the lawn but there are times when the lawn needs to be disciplined and the push mower is kind of  um, push-over sometimes.

I need power because there is always a weed or a patch of weeds that laugh at the manual mower! I can mow over them three or four times during a mowing and nothing, the weeds are all Did someone tap us on the shoulder? Did I feel a breeze? and I'm all like  Don't Push Me Asshole and the weeds are all like Push? Did you say push? Try to push us over lamo! And then I end up having to pull them manually and I think that just makes me look bad in front of the other weeds. And so the next week I pull out the power mower and I'm all like Say hello to my little friend!

But. My little friend is a twenty-five year old mower and its forcing gawd only knows what into the environment and I am officially against doing things like that - Which is why I use the Leo Dicaprio approved push mower - But, the push mower is so friendly to the environment  the yard has no respect for it. Yards need to feel fear of the mower, they need to respect the blade and they do not respect the push mower at all, the sharpness of the blade non-withstanding. It just doesn't have the huevos that the other mower has. It has little, non-antibiotic  free range, 100% organic huevos while the power mowers' huevos are steel belted with  a gas powered engine and spark plugs. It's Roar vs. Meow.

But.  Its moot now. My power mower is dead and I need a new one. Yes. "Need". I need a new one. So, armed with  the words "Briggs Stratton Engine", I set off to shop for a lawn mower. Se-xy. I went to the likely sources, first Wally-World because cheap is good. Wally-World had their mowers up on a shelf where I couldn't read the tags. Thank you Wally-World for being so customer-centric.  Assholes.

I didn't need to see the literature to see that Lawn Mowers  are expensive. The lowest end version which was essentially a goat you don't feed ran $124 and was plastic. I don't feel plastic lawn mowers. I feel steel. I want something that is more butch than my sandals. I want a thug in steel toed boots out there kicking my lawns ass, not some hippy in flip flops talking to it about it's feelings  If you want a thug you have to pay for the muscle. I want Vin Diesel not the cast of The Pineapple Express.

I got mad at Wally-World and I moved onto Home Depot. Do you know how much money you can spend on a push mower? OMG. And not  hard-core professional strength mowers either. Lawn mowers just for Joe Homeowner to use once a week on his yard. I'm discovering my grandmother had very good taste in lawn mowers. Very, very good taste. I would be surprised if her mower didn't come in a blue box, I'll have to check its leaf bag because I think it's a Pendelton. It is going to be a damn hard show to follow. Today if I bought that same mower would be almost my mortgage payment.

There can only be one mortgage payment.

I moved to a different section of lawn mowers and found essentially what I wanted. Self propelled, Brigs and Stratton, mulching, 20 inches wide, $179. Problem solved. I left and made a note to come back once my refund checks come in. But then I went  home to play with the computer and a thought came to me : Electric Lawn Mower. I did a search and Target sells them for $20 less than my pick!  although the electric is a little narrower and it's not self propelled. The non-mulching was an issue until I read a review that offered a ap to fix that. Ah ha!


Kind of awesome. But there was another mower, the dream mower, the mower to end all mowers.
The Mowmba! a total steal at $1,999

I'm now  going to excuse myself to go daydream about  it tooling around my yard.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Food issues

I went to Burger Yucky for lunch. I call it Burger Yucky for a reason, because their food is yucky. I don't like the food. Much, or I wouldn't have ended up there. But I was there. I was standing in line and looking at the menu, why? I knew what I wanted, a number nine meal plain and dry, onion rings instead of fries and a coke. Very simple.

On the menu was something called The Angry Whopper

Available for a limited time only, the new Angry WHOPPER(r) sandwich features a flame-broiled burger patty topped with sizzling Angry onions, jalapenos, pepper jack cheese, bacon, tomatoes, lettuce and mayonnaise topped with Angry sauce on a sesame seed bun.

"Angry" onions?  I've been  through all my seed catalogues and I have yet to see any varity of onions named or described as "angry".  I've been up and down the condiment aisle at my Kroger and have not seen  a sauce that was labled as "angry"or tht was giving off any "angry" vibes to me. Sure, colors not found in nature, but not angry. I don't think I would want to eat an angry sauce. It sounds like something that would give you food poisoning on purpose.  I don't like mean food but I've also never attributed emotional states to my food. I never asked my broccoli how it was feeling or my chicken how it felt about the rice. I didn't know foods had inner lives.

I went online to see if I had really seen a sign for a  Whopper called "Angry" and shockingly, I did! They were serious about this. A Google search turned up a press release in a magazine aimed at franchise owners.

In conjunction with the new burger, BKC will also launch www.angry-gram.com, a humorous Web site that allows visitors to use the burger to deliver Angry-Gram e-mails to those who may be getting on their last nerve. Upon opening, the Angry WHOPPER(r) animates and humorously rebukes the recipient with a message recorded by the sender.

Okay. Are you angry? Do you want to get even more angry?! Eat  something Angry!  Make other people angry! How great! So I went to the site and looked at the Angry Grams.

"The Angry-Gram is the perfect way to let someone know they annoy the hell outta you. Tell us who they are and what they do to that drives you up the wall. We'll send over a screaming Angry WHOPPER Sandwich that'll really let them have it. Angry-Grams are intended to be humours and should not be used with the intent to harass".

When someone is "annoying the hell outta me", I kind of  want to harass them and I'm not interested in being "humorous" about it. Angered, I'm thinking that harassing them is a good idea and I am all about "intent", You are pissing me off! STOP IT! Before I do more than send you a vaguely threatening email" .  If I'm sending you an Angry-Gram, chances are I'm angry, and if I wasn't before ingesting the angry onions and the angry sauce, I am most certainly angry now.

Whatever. I read the directions, time to get the angry.

Dear __________,

I can't take it anymore.

Aaaaarrrggghhh! Your _________________ makes my blood boil. And your __________ is
soooooooo annoying. I want to throttle you when you___________________. I've never met anyone
as incredibly irritating.

Yours angrily,


I have to wonder what's going on in their marketing department. Did Burger King suffer some lay offs? Are there corporate mores issues? I don't want to go to Burger King to work out my emotional problems and I don't want them made worse by their food. I knew there was a reason that I don't eat there very often. I'm just not angry enough.

Time passed.

I went home and started on Job 3 of the garden's make over. To get the garden ready, I have to prepare the "soil". I was pleasantly surprised to actaully find soil in my yard! I knew my decision to hold off removing the leaves from my yard for the last few years was a good idea.  I wasn't being lazy,  I was composting.

The job was hard.  I did manual labor with the wrong tools! I discovered the task was a lot harder then it looked! I forgot to wear gloves! But it was worth it:

It doesn't look it, but its about 12 feet by 10 feet of cleared ground. I didn't do the detail work because I was concentrating on clearing the ground. I did pull some green weeds and grass by thye roots but I left behind the dead stuff. I was heartened to find many soil ariated worms and no crop destroying grubs.
 There is still a lot to do but I think I've made a good start. Today after work I'm going to see if I can get the dead plants out, but if it's too hard I'll just till them in over the weekend, but if I can get them out I would like that better. I don't really want to till weeds back into the ground so they can come back. I didn't have weeds last go around and I liked it that way.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Jobs well done

I had two projects for Monday and I got both of them done. Job one was to line up a tiller. You can choose from a tiller with "back tines" or with "front times". With back tines you are looking at needing a two inch tow ball on your truck and with front times you are looking at hefting the tiller onto your truck. The back tiller doesn't care how hard the ground is and does most of the work for you while the front tiller can "bounce" in response to packed earth and requires that you do some of the work. I have reserved a "front tine" tiller for Saturday morning.

 My second job. It turns out that the angry carrots are not actually carrots or angry or evil. It turns out that in reality they are  a harmless form of plant life called rhizomes and they are not bent on world domination. I did not have to lock the basement door because they weren't going to kill me in my sleep.

Good to know. They are very ugly though and I wouldn't want the, cross breeding with the spider crickets that live in the basement so I got the rhizomes safely into the ground as quickly as possible. Its hard to tell how successful that will be because I discovered very soon after I stared Operation Get Those Ugly Carrots In The Ground that the ground available for digging up in the front of the house is not even as nice as the available ground for digging up in the back yard.

I spoke with my garden guru at work and she told me not to plant my rhizomes too deeply because this would kill them. "Too deep" is not a problem in the front yard because there isn't soil to plant anything "too deep". I did not ask her what would happen if they were planted "too shallow" in fact I'm a little afraid that if it were to rain there are  some rhizomes who would not be buried at all. I'm imagining that I'm going to be spending my lunch hour buying some dirt to hide them from the squirrels. My guru also told me not to expect any joy this year from the new plantings. But next year, if even some of my replanted little friends actually bloom next year, I'm going to have a really nice looking front yard. Hopefully...

Because something malignant lives in my front yard and it did something bad to my azalea bush  and whatever it is, it may be hungry. The rhizomes and their iris offspring might not stand a chance. My azalea was a very nice azalia until last year when it failed to develop buds at all. This year I'm not seeing any buds either. What do you call an azalea that does not bloom for two years? A cab.

Some good news? The kitty snipping people finally got back with me and Tiny is going to lose those big brass ones on the 23rd. Whoop!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Clang, Clang, Clang goes the engine...

When Tex wanted you to feed him from your plate, he very politely sat on the floor next to your chair and tapped you leg oh-so-gently with his paw. It was very difficult to say no to such a request. When Tiny wants you to feed him from the table he just jumps right up and takes what he wants from your plate.  I'm hoping once he's fixed he won't have be so ballsy anymore because son has big brass ones. I swear to gawd, when he walks around he clangs.

Speaking of clanging. I was awake at 7:15 Saturday morning and the house wasn't even on fire. I was up at 7:15 in the morning on a Saturday so we could go out and eat breakfast ! I was awake at a gawd awful hour on a Saturday morning and this was my idea! later, at a reasonable hour, after the stores opened, I got a nice new-to-me skirt from the Junior League store.

And that was pretty much it, oh, and I pulled out a whole bunch of iris bulbs . I pulled out my iris because next weekend my Dad is going to come up and we're going to turn my garden from a sad,  puny "before" picture to a much larger, happy  "after" picture. It's going to be a garden on steroids , it is going to be pumped up! I have a lot of prep work to do before all that gets under way - First I have to rent a tiller and then I need to get those iris bulbs back in the ground.  I thought when I pulled them up they were going to be bulb shaped, I was looking for bulbs. I found angry carrots!  Huge, angry, malformed carrots! These bulbs don't look like the bulbs they sell at the store at all! Store bought bulbs are happy, bulby shaped bulbs! The bulbs they sell in those mesh bags at the store are bulbous, hence the word "bulb"! My bulbs, if that's what they are, are not bulbous,  they are angry, distended carrot shaped things.  I'm scared now. I put them in my basement and made sure I locked the door behind me. Angry Carrots!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

HAPPY    SUNDAY   !!!!!!!

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Friday, March 6, 2009


President Obama on Monday will overturn a policy limiting federal funds for embryonic stem cell research, officials say.
Friday Kitten Blogging

U.S. unemployment rate jumps to 8.1 percent in February, the worst since December 1983.

from CNN.com

My parents are coming this weekend and I had very ambitious cleaning plan in place. There was going to be bathroom scrubbing, kitchen polishing, living room vacuuming and hallway sweeping. There was going to be a lot work done. My house was going to look  good. It was, it was going to look good.

Was. There was going to be a lot of work done. Then I started this cold thing and that really took the wind out of my sails and replaced it with phelm. Suddenly my sails were slack and my boat was becalmed. You are not going to win the Americas' Cup if you are trying to get there against a tide of phlem. A flood of phelm does not raise all boats. It sinks them. In phelm. I just didn't have the energy to both do what needed to be done and  continue to stand up right.

I don't feel all that bad but everything just takes me so much longer. I need naps. I vacuumed the hallway and I wanted a nap. And a trophy. And a pulmonologist.  I was not excited about doing more of this work. Fortunately, I did the bathroom and the bedroom all ready and those were the two really large projects that  really had to get done, if nothing else got done, those two spaces had to be taken care of and I am really glad that I got those jobs taken care of before I started to get sick.

Once I got real about what I was going to get done I got a little more relaxed about what was enough.  I got most of thiery four throw rugs taken care of and I even put a fresh table cloth on the dining room table. And then I took a nap.

I  also started to figure out how much time exactly my parents were going to be in my house, once I started running the numbers they weren't going to be there very much at all! In Friday night after dinner, out Sunday after Church. This went a long way to helping me reevaluate my plan.. They weren't actually going to be here to cook anything so I took a fairly involved cleaning of the kitchen off the books,  I went from having to think about  steam cleaning the cabinets and ended up only have to think about cleaning off the countertops and vacuuming the floor.

It does not help that my Girl Scout cookies arrived today and by the time I woke up from cookie coma, I didn't have a huge amount of time left open to get the remaining work done so I had to make some cuts. I decided to go with a big statement. That statement being : Air Freshener.

And then I took a nap.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Happy Medium

I'm not doing very well with my Lenten "Suck It Up So I don't have to Suck It In I'm-Going-To-Ride-My-Bike-Everyday-Twice-A-Day pledge. In my defense though, I failed to take into account temperatures that started at alarming and then hovered around offensive and I totally discounted the probability of snow.

Even worse?  I've eaten fast food! . Horrors, I know, but it's not my fault! It's too damn cold to sit in my car. One day,  I went to Subway where I don't feel that bad about eating. I went there because I had been freezing all day in my office and the idea of sitting in the cold car left me cold.  I walked in the store and it was freezing! I mean really!  It sucked. I got my cold sandwich and my cold drink and tried to read my book in the cold. I left as soon as I could and went and parked my car in the sun and it was the warmest I was all day.

To make up for me being such a slug, I've started to cautiously walk Dogger after work. I think its important for her to get her strength back and try to start working on regaining muscle tone, its  real challenge to do this without going overboard and risking re-injury. She of course just wants to go, go go! and I'm not sure how much of a grasp of therapeutic exercise verses harmful running around she has. She's all about If It Feels Good, Do It!! Yesterday for example, I think we over did it with a longer than called for walk because it was the first pretty day we've had and she's been getting stir crazy and making me crazy too.

We walked to the rec center and did a tour of the grounds and then walked back to the house. It was a long walk for us. I should have been a little more forceful about demanding that we not wander around the grounds as much as we did - but she was doing well and was so happy it was hard to get all  buzz kill on her and make her go home.

I'm afraid of putting too much stress on her knee. Its hard because its not like she can tell me that she's feeling a little stiff or she's hurting. I watch her though and she's not limping or guarding and she's putting more weight on that foot but still not as much as I would like her too. She's uses all four feet but I think she doesn't put enough weight on the bad knee. I want her to be careful but I don't want her to get out of the habit of utilizing that leg. I just don't want to put too much stress her but while at the same time, she needs the rehab. There must be a happy medium there somewhere, I mean its been since July...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Lenten Sacrifices

Forget fish on Friday and pesky fasting requirements,  the Italians are going hardcore this year no texting!

I was making dinner, an oh-so-food-like hamburger helper variety. The upside being that I now know what beige tastes like and who hasn't spent a lifetime wanting to know what beige tastes like... Answer? beige tastes like Hamburger Helper Stroganoff. In the stroganoffs defence I used ground chicken instead of ground beef and maybe that would have taken it up a notch or two from beige to say, violet? I'm kind of thinking though that I could have dumped all the curry powder in the world into the pot and it still would have stayed resolutely in the earth-tones.

While I was slaving over the stove, I noticed that I was swallowing. Hmm. I just swallowed. There, I did it again. Oh. And there I got again and it hurts. How often do you think about swallowing? You don't. You don't think about it. You could swallow all day and never think about it once. Until it hurt and then you can't really think about anything else. So now I'm like swallowing all the time! I keep thinking maybe if I just do this a lot, eventually it will magically not hurt, it just needs to be lubricated.Yeah right. I  hunted down a working flashlight and went spelunking, Yep, just as I feared and expected. Bright red and inflamed. Little spotty things? Hard too tell and maybe too early. The good news is that despite the fact I just finished a tome on the killer flu of 1918, I'm pretty sure I'm not going to die.

I took a helping of the Helper and decided that maybe I wasn't as hungry as I thought I was. I decided what I really wanted was warm tea. Lots and lots of tea. But tea wasn't enough. I needed honey - Which I had, as a solid because my kitchen is completely uninsulated. Solid honey is not a good thing. But, like Martha, I did not panic in the face of unpleasantness, I filled a measuring cup with hot water and gave my honey a soothing bath. I soothed it so that it would soothe me. That was the plan

And it was a good plan... For about as long as it took me to drink my tea. This was nice but I can't spend the evening nipping away on tea. So, I shifted to warm water and honey. Num. Num. Not. Which is why Gawd created  Chloraseptic, even closer to the Not then the Num, but at 3am taste is the last thing I'm thinking about when all I can think about is how much my throat hurts. The good thing as that this too shall pass, and in a couple of days I'll develop a full blown cold and probably start to re-read  the more lurid sections of my flu tome and I'll wish my only problem was a Chloraseptic dependency.


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Night Owl

All my little facebook friends are checking out hot new bands and going to screenings. I on the other hand, made 108 bright green dog treats and uploaded pictures of  today's snowfall . These pictures are posted on facebook, but they swear up and down that the pictures can be seen by people who are not members of FB. Ya'll have to let me know if 1) you can see them and 2) the format works.

Monday, March 2, 2009


I got more done this weekend than I had thought I was going to accomplish. It didn't help that I slept in Saturday to a thoroughly unacceptable hour. Sleeping all day is great in theory but the reality is that you slept all day. Great for the sleep debt not so great for the to-do list.

Saturday it rained and was cold. Sunday it rained and was colder. In theory this was a boon to my need to get some housework done but it was so nasty I didn't want to do anything but curl up in front of the TV.  It was so nasty outside I didn't even want to go out in it to go shopping and I just got paid! Do you know how wrong that is?!

Since I was housebound I thought I might get some chores done that I have been neglecting because I didn't want to do them.  My big victory was to reclaim my downstairs bedroom from the forces of storage. I had been using the room as Santa's workshop  since before Thanksgiving and it was  past time to send Santa back to the North Pole. I got the ball rolling by removing the wrapping paper and evicting the tree box. I moved the tree box from the middle of the bedroom to the middle of the living room.

Not everything gave me such a feeling of accomplishment. I also had been storing Tex's' litter box, his foam box house where he spent his last hours, his old kitty bed and last but not least, his beloved Baby. I couldn't just shift Baby to the living room so I made room for it and the foam box in one of the closets, his litter box now lives in the basement along with a huge space hogging plastic box that held a pair of shorts and a flannel shirt that had been sharing space in the middle of the floor with the tree box.

After putting away months clothes in search of hangers, disposing of  two weeks worth of Sunday papers dating from last spring and re-homing some other random items that apparently grew in place while I was pretending that room wasn't there.. I  also remade the bed, vacuumed the floor and proudly introduced Tiny to the new room. I didn't do this purely out of desire to reclaim some square footage from the forces of clutter, my parents are coming next weekend and I didn't think they wanted to share the futon with Dogger.

All these home improvement made me look at my dining room and wonder what it would be like to actually use my dinning room table as a table and not as a closet. The weather has sucked a different way almost every day and after eight years here, I have a coat for every  sucky weather situation and they were all stacked on my dinning room table. No more! I put a fresh new table cloth on it and decided against a centerpiece and now I have a dinning room table in my dinning room! It's kind of exciting.My next project in the dinning room is to find where Dogger is mining all the paper she's finding to shred. She shows no interest whatsoever in my junk mail, she;s not just a retriever, boxer, rotty mix she's also part blood hound with a specialization in first-class-mail.

Things  I did not get done: The attic is still out-of-control, dog cookies did not get made, the kitchen and bathrooms did not get cleaned, the tree box is still sitting in the middle of the floor and my laundry is still in baskets in the living room.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

HAPPY    SUNDAY   !!!!!!