Kamis, 29 Oktober 2009

Safe House

We went to a party.

It's not often we say that anymore. But this party was made for people like us as we didn't need new clothes to go, it started early, had lots of food and many happy people, included games and activities, and we all departed at a "sensible" hour.

Our friends who hosted it are truly just that, friends. So what if they also have beautified our landscaping, taking our ideas and making them real? They were friends first and will be friends last.

The next day I thought. Sundays are often good thinking days for many reasons. I focused on the success of the party. Guests were varied in about every description. It was that observation which led me to realizing how safe they make us all feel.

Remember when you were a kid there was always one house that kids went to to play because, well, you could be a kid there? Each of us has our own reason why we liked that house. Really we liked the people in it. We could cut loose, be ourselves, play hard at tag, get glue on the table, sing along to Conway Twitty at the top of our lungs, holler at cars out the upstairs window, sneak a fresh-from-the-oven cookie. Or two.

That's how I felt about our friends and their house. Safe. Being comfortable. Welcomed. Thankful.

Gosh, I hope they do it again.

There's water standing on water

This October just set a record for the rainiest October since rain recordkeeping started in IL. A moment of silence is in order, perhaps? Not. Going outside tonight, accompanying the pansy dogs who suddenly don't want to get their tootsies wet and their hair messed, I notice that our former moat has returned temporarily. There is so much water it has nowhere to go. Really.
As if water outside wasn't enough we had an, ah-hem, ordeal, with our indoor water purifying system. It was simple, at first. Our "technician" arrived last Friday. Gee, haven't we known him for a lifetime? Well, he tackled the drip, aka leak, with gusto and a tool or two. I think Ed mentioned the servicable paperclip. Frankly, who can argue against that? Certainly not anyone who has had to pop open a CD or DVD slot on a computer. I digress.
In an effort to address customer service, "D" decided to check the tank component, which he found to be in need of attention. We were reminded there was nothing we should be doing. So he went about cleaning it up. That included jamming another tool through the membrane of the tank. He left. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt...he had no clue.
Alas, our little 15 year old Abner, long-term foster dog, residing in the usual quiet of the utility room, was gathering laundry lint and plastic bags to build a floation device for he-of-short-stature had a sense of pending doom. Water, water, everywhere. We mopped, wiped, soaked up, and won the water fight. Abner was grateful.
Inbetween squeezing the towels out we were calling the establishment. We got the owner's ph # at 10:41 p.m. Sat. A little late to call.
But we thought about it. Instead, civility reigned and we called the next day. Ed was hoping he'd actually spoken to someone other than the owner. In other words, he was not impressed.
Monday arrived. The tech returned, replacement tank in tow. It's almost snap-in so it didn't take long and he was on his way after checking the sink for the thumping sound that had emerged since Friday. He shook things around. The sound disappeared. So did he.
Tuesday we decided to have a life. That is, in spite of, yes, water under the sink. Without a soul to be found at the place of business there was a slim chance that anyone would be servicing the system that day so the poor admin asst had to take a message that we expected someone to be at our home pronto on Wednesday.
Are you keeping track? We anticpated visit #3. "D" came and went all within fifteen minutes. He was filled with, oh, generously speaking, explanations.
It's Thursday night. Inside we are dry. Those aforementioned pansy dogs are glad for that and glad that they can return to concentrating on developing strong cases of cabin fever.
As is so often said when there is this much rain, thank God it's not snow.

Sabtu, 24 Oktober 2009

Fall In Place

We're building up for an annual celebration in our neck of the woods. Next week will be Halloween but this year its significance extends beyond the edible treat. We change the clocks; we fall back. For me it means my car clock will once again be set on the right time.

It's not that I can't change the time. I can change it to show 24 hours or two sets of 12 hours. In other words sometimes 3 p.m. is 15:00 and other times it is 3 p.m. What I can't do is change it minute to minute or hour to hour. Even using the book I can't do it. Watching the technicians do it makes it seem easy. Once I took the car in for a check-up and asked that they "re-set" the time while they were doing whatever it was, since it was time to gain or lose an hour. I always tell myself I'll remember what they did. Months later, not so true.

I adjust. It's really pretty easy for me to get along with the wrong hour showing part of the year. I make allowances.

Perhaps the engineer/designer knew about people like me. They allow a simple button push to hide the time and show something more vital, such as the outside temp or how many miles you have left in the gas tank, at the rate being driven.

We shouldn't be so obsessed with time anyway.

Sabtu, 17 Oktober 2009

Cheers to You Today!

A couple of days ago - was it only that - I b_t_h_d about, well, attitude and moods, and just the way "we" are these days.

A book comes to our rescue! How often does that happen? Probably more than we realize if we are readers. If we are not (we being you) then don't answer the question.

But if you are a reader or want to be, try THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY. You can't have any pre-conceived notion as to what it is about from the title. That's part of it's beauty. The rest lies between the covers (oooh, tempting, huh?). You will meet the people you want as neighbors. Perhaps your best friend steps out of these pages. Maybe you know one or several of these people.

There's reassurance.
There's gladness.
There's sacrifice.
There's strength.
There's the stuff we should all be made of.

If reading can make it so, then I am better.

small wonder

Meet Abner, our "long term" foster. In other words, he's 15, has 4 teeth, yaps, and can see much. Sure, it could be me in a few years! But, it was Ed who couldn't go home w/o him!!! Now I blog with a dog on my lap. It's that or everyone else has a case of bad nerves from listening to him.

Not far from home these fungi grow, every year, by the same tree. I just deleted the photos from last year. These are much prettier; there's more color. As Abner would tell you if he could see much, there's plenty to see down low.

Is there anything with an uglier label than a slug? And, usually they are just plain, well, ugly and sluggish. This one, amidst what I call "drink umbrella mushrooms" just fit in the photo and doesn't look half bad.
All right, someone has a fixation with fungi. Call them mushrooms if you wish. But, you must admit, by whatever label you give them, you have to give them credit for being beautiful and unique.

It's October and what would a blog be if not a place to post the pumpkin selection process and an obvious victory. Mom and Dad were probably thrilled to see the arms go up with the results!
Not too long ago we pooch sat for some former fosters who bring their own toys. Our own Harmony Victoria was worn out after a long day of play and chose to take temporary possession of their Clifford. This one made the papers so I thought it should go universal!

Nuts for everyone. My treat.

Kamis, 15 Oktober 2009

Closing Arguments

Isn't it sad when situations dissolve (versus evolve) so much that pettiness is all that anyone will ever remember once the end has arrived?

Such is the case with so much these days. People seem to be edgier than ever - I'm no exception. In bed last night, listening to the all night radio talk show, I got to thinking about how it seems as if fuses are shorter these days. We all want what is best, what is right, what works - or at least I hope we do. Yet, far too much time is spent spinning the story, making excuses, telling a lie often enough people forget there was a truth.

I'm perplexed. More than ever we need to be upbeat, successful at relationships, and forward thinking. It doesn't seem to happen. I don't even know where to go looking for it. I should say "church". Having said that I must admit I hear the same sound bites there, just different topics.

Where is peace? Where is satisfaction? Where is a sense of contentment?

In learning to be a teacher and in learning to be a parent and in learning to be a boss I learned "Say 3 good things for every 1 corrective thing." or words to that effect. I wish I could say I hear that in discussions. I wish I could say I do it.

Selasa, 13 Oktober 2009

Appreciating Where I Am

It pays to take the shutterbox along on even the shortest walks. This time all I did was go out the front door, down the steps, along the driveway and up the road. How hard this little guy must have worked, without knowing the beauty he was spinning and what it would capture. Right outside the door and waiting, enjoying a bit of nourishment - one last fling for this winged beauty.
We've had rain. Before we had all this rain we had mulch put down (months ago) and now when the moisture comes it's a true adventure in mini-land to see what pops up.

What's a house without a busy spider hard at work each evening? Gives us something to walk into later, when it's dark, or early the next morning. Just watching the process boggles the mind.

Kamis, 01 Oktober 2009

Nothing Fair About Puppy Mills

We all love cute little puppies.

Some of us have even raised a few so they can be adopted happily.

Other people love the profits and have arranged for births, separation, sales, and repetition.

In other words: puppy mills.

Don't go there. Just don't go to one. I don't care if it is in the middle of Missouri or Carlinville, IL or Arthur, IL or PA or CA - nowhere.

If you BUY a puppy from a puppy mill it allows the mill owner to continue. It reinforces the perverted thinking that there's a market / demand.

Puppy mills are not the good breeders. Those folks open the doors and let you see their facilities. They manage blood lines to avoid in-breeding or defects.

We have a connection who is adamant about a puppy mill in Carlinville, IL being disreputable. I've not been there, don't know the person so what I have is heresay. But hearing that the owner (DS) won't let people inside and that the place is a mess is discouraging.

What a dilemma - One should not go but out all his dogs; he'll just go get more and keep the process going. At the same time, what can be done. There's only one Dept of Ag person to inspect throughout the state. How many dogs will be abused, mis-used, undernourished, overbred, tossed out, ignored?

Life's not fair. We grow up hearing that. We can do some things about trying to make it fair for ourselves. What can a puppy do?