Saturday, June 20, 2009

Deck Project Update

We have steps on the deck now. I tried to show the blind dog where the new steps are located, but she refused to walk on the new deck. Instead she crouched down and dragged herself across the fresh lumber until she got to me, then she stopped and would not budge. She came back up the steps by herself, and walked right into the gas grill. I re-routed her toward the door, which was now farther from the steps than before. She thought she was jumping over the threshold of the house when she took a nosedive into a pot of geraniums. I couldn’t help but laugh at that poor dog!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Dog “Gone” Annie

Fellow Dog Lovers,

My eyes were swollen when I woke up this morning. I cried all the way home from Tullahoma. I’m not sure if it was tears of relief or grief, but we gave Annie away this weekend to a breeder. The man said we could get one of her puppies some day. I don’t think so! At least I didn’t have to pay him to take her.

Annie had chewed on most all of our furniture. We had a yard sale and sold what we could of it. We managed to sell the sofa and side chair, dining room table and chairs, a python snake, and a piccolo. I’ll have enough to replace the carpet Annie destroyed.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ah, Grasshoppa!


My Daughter is at church camp this week. I hope she gets the ‘room cleaning’ anointing. She turned 16 while riding the bus to Mississippi. That reminds me of the day she was born.

While I was pregnant with this promised child, My Husband bought a black 1950 Chevy pickup truck that we named Big Black. It was my primary source of transportation. It had a three-speed shift on the column, with reverse IF you could find it. I was so large in my waist I had to push the seat back to allow all of me and the baby belly to fit. With the seat in that position, I could hardly reach the steering wheel, which measured 2 feet across and had a lot of play. No airbag (except me), no anti-lock or power brakes, no power steering, no radio, no power windows or locks. In fact the doors wouldn’t lock, and it had no A/C; but it had a damn good heater year round because it wouldn’t turn off. Well, the shocks and suspension on those older vehicles are nothing like the ones on the newer cars so if you hit a pothole, your head would probably hit the roof of the cab. There I was nine and a half months pregnant, having contractions five minutes apart, and I’m taking my sweet time about getting dressed to go to the hospital. We packed all the gear in the family car only to find that it wouldn’t start. Plan B: My Husband drove me to the hospital in Big Black. It took twice as long to get there because we had to creep over every bump in the road. When we got to the railroad tracks, a major contraction hit me, and we had to stop until it subsided. I threatened to walk the rest of the way not because I was a sissy about the bumpy roads, but because I thought it would be faster on foot. I could have made it too. I was in great condition. I had plowed, planted, and picked a one-third acre garden with my grandmother that summer. She and I had picked and put up 2 bushels of green beans the day before I went into labor. It wasn’t a surprise to anyone when I delivered a 9 pound-1 ounce trophy with no painkiller. I must have been crazy back then. Maybe I still am.

My Daughter and I made the grasshopper cake before she left for camp. The recipe was difficult even though it had step-by-step instructions including pictures showing Betty Crocker beating egg whites, fluffing and folding egg yolks, cooling but not chilling, heating but not boiling. We never did figure out how to fold an egg yolk. I beat the whipping cream too long and it turned to butter. We successfully divided the layers horizontally with a string of sewing thread, but the icing was truly a disaster! The crème de menthe and crème de cacao had to be mixed with the whipping cream and Knox gelatin and cooled for 15 minutes. Then there was the trip to Pep Boys that took longer than expected. When we returned with a solenoid for My Son’s car, the green liquor Jello had gelled and the whipping cream was flat. We were too embarrassed to go back to the Piggly Wiggly for a fourth time so we decided to use the gelled mess anyway. When I got the third level of icing on the stack of ½ inch cake layers the whole thing started slithering off the plate. 

“Come back, grasshoppa!” I gasped. I grabbed the toothpick box and stabbed the layers together, and then slapped on the last stage of the too thin icing. The icing slid off the sides and over the edge and looked pitiful. I had some Ready-Whip in the fridge that we squirted on the empty places. I went out to the herb garden to get some fresh mint. When we came back inside the Ready-Whip had joined the rest of the icing and was in a puddle on the kitchen counter. We put on the mint, and placed it on a crystal cake stand. It was ugly, but it tasted fine. The whole ordeal took two hours and three trips to Piggly Wiggly to complete.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Now that I know Ruby Tuesdays is open on Thursdays, I’m going to try TGI Friday’s on Monday.

My Husband and I worked all weekend on the deck in triple digit weather. It was so hot that I melted, and had to be scooped up, and carried inside to the freezer to re-solidify. We still have no railing or steps, but at least the floor is on. We hammered half of a 25-pound box of nails into the flooring, and my neck and back is killing me. Indy, the blind dog is terribly confused. The steps are gone, and so is the edge of the world, as she knew it. In fact she walked right over to where the steps used to be, and fell off without her Super-dog cape. I heard a thud, which had to have knocked the breath out of her. I ran to the edge and stopped abruptly realizing I had no way to get down there to see if she was all right. She was walking around in circles as I ran from through the dining room and out the front door, and around the house. Talk about scaring the poop out her; she had already assumed the drop-a-load position when I got to her. I can’t believe she wasn’t injured.

I watered the flowers at the mailbox today. I was looking down and was in deep thought when I turned and started walking toward the house. Whatever I was thinking about was knocked out of my head when I walked straight into the Bradford Pear tree and got my head stuck between the branches. I’m not kidding. I couldn’t get my head out without tearing my earrings off my ears. I stood there with a bug on my nose and a bee buzzing around my eyes while I tried to figure out which branches I needed to move in order to free my head. My hands were scratched and jammed into the lower branches, which explains the blood on my shorts. I stood there singing “George, George, George of the Jungle” and laughed so hard that I forgot I had someone coming any minute to look at the dining room table we are selling. I got the leaves out of my hair and walked to the house as she drove up the driveway. I do hope my neighbors are satisfied with the free entertainment I provide them.

I really didn’t want to sell the table so cheaply, but the lady had a string of tattered children with her. She said she was 42, and it looked like she had earned those numbers. It was probably a set up, but I practically gave the table and chairs to her.

I’m going to see Ben Gay. I need a rub.

Spressy, the Great!


Friday, June 5, 2009

Time Warp 1999

I feel like I’m living in a time warp or in suspended animation. My yard is tore up, the garage is a mess, cars parts are decorating our dead lawn, the house is being redecorated, I have a dog with no brain, and my daughter NEEDS her eyebrow pierced. I would like to schedule my nervous breakdown now.

The garage is so messy; it’s starting to look like the upstairs. My Son took the engine and transmission out of the Blazer. There’s grease, oil and colored fluids on the floor so naturally the carpet and walls upstairs have been decorated with a variety of hand and footprints. The Blazer is in a thousand pieces in the garage, and My Son is spending his time doing bodywork on his Camaro. He’s in no hurry to finish since he bought a $400 Ford Festiva to drive while he works on the other cars. I called to make sure our homeowner’s policy covers injuries related to tripping over car parts.

The blind dog has an earache, probably due to where Annie bit her. My Daughter got up puking this morning, but she went on to work. I told her that if she stayed home, she’d have to clean her room. If she doesn’t clean it soon, the Better Homes and Garages Police could arrest us. There are things growing in the kid’s rooms that can’t be talked about online. Nothing is growing outside though. We had a salad lawn, but we put weed killer on it. Now that the dandelions, wild onions, and poke salad died, we don’t have a lawn. It wouldn’t matter anyway, since tractor man rearranged it. Which reminds me; our subdivision is having a yard sale. I doubt anyone would want to buy my yard, but I’d like to sell my neighbor and my dog! Annie has torn up almost everything, so I do have a lot of junk in the house that I need to get rid of. On second thought, perhaps I should keep the old furniture; it matches the messed up carpet.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Dog Came Back

We’re Back

Dear Fruit and Serial Lovers (as in series or cereal) Get it? All puns intended.

When we got Annie back from the kennel she was so well behaved that we thought we had the wrong dog for the first 24 hours. Then she ate the corner of the windowsill, slobbered on the daughter’s tennis shoes, drank from the toilet, and tore out the wastebaskets. Things are back to normal.

Indy got a buzz job (a haircut, for Pete’s sake!), and she’s not half the dog she used to be. There was enough hair in that pile to make another dog.

I’m sore in my back and have shin splints from being dragged down the street when I took Annie for a walk yesterday. I pulled with all my might to keep her from running. I was zigzagging from one side of the street to the other, jumping over drainage grates and tripping over curbs yelling, “Whoa, Annie, whoa!” It’s a wonder we didn’t both get run over by a car.

Speaking of Annie, she just unrolled the toilet paper and ran with it down the hall. I thought this was over when my kids were potty trained.

Many of you may not know (or care) that the Weimaraner is a German bred dog sometimes called the gray ghost, or in Annie’s case, the gray goat. I am awaiting AKC papers to find out which side of the family the Billy goat was on. I call her Aaaannnnnie but she doesn’t pay attention to me. She’s a chewer all right. She ate a plug-in air freshener off the wall. She shredded the Sunday edition of the Tennessean newspaper in 30 seconds flat. All the doorstops in the house are missing their tips. Perhaps she is called a gray ghost because she follows me around the house like a shadow, but that is a good thing since she needs constant attention. She also chewed the corner of the coffee table while I was watching. It happened so fast; I couldn’t get to her before her teeth made marks. I locked her in the bathroom with me so I could get dressed. While I was applying mascara she reached the sink counter and stole the towel I was using.

Annie and Indy have had quite a few quarrels. Indy may be blind, but she will not tolerate Annie sneaking up from behind her and biting her on the butt. However, no matter how many times Indy growls or snaps at Annie, she will not stop pestering her. The two girls just walked by looking like a choo-choo train. Annie’s nose was connected to Indy’s butt again.

Pass Pets made us sign a contract stating that we could not return the puppy once we left the store with her. I thought that was a stupid thing to even think of at the time. I could imagine a customer walking into the pet store and saying, “I’d like to return this puppy, it’s the wrong color, or I already have one like it.” The store clerk would say, “Sorry sir, but we can’t accept used dogs!” Customer, “I’ll pay you to take her back!”

I’ve got to get the phone cord out of Annie’s mouth. I’ll write later.

Love and puddles,


Monday, June 1, 2009

Vacation Explanation


Hey Folks,

You’ll never believe what happened while we were on vacation, but I’ll tell you anyway. First of all our teenaged son didn’t go with us. He was supposed to be housesitting. Instead, he had gone to Ohio and back – twice. That’s why we couldn’t get him on the phone when we called from Florida to check on him. When we drove into the driveway we noticed that something had torn up our lawn. Figuring there was some logical explanation, we went inside with the first load of luggage.

Imagine our shock as we discovered that our son had leased the house to some of his friends while we were away. Nothing like a little entrepreneurship, huh? The windows were sweating and so were we when we first walked in. Our sweat quickly froze, and so did our blood. We gasped in horror at the mess. Someone had been partying, but forgot to clean up. They were probably Eskimos since the A/C was turned as low as it would go, and it was 50° on the indoor thermometer. We opened the doors to let the house warm up. That’s when we noticed the trash on the back porch. The partiers had left bags and bags of garbage, and the neighbor’s dogs had torn it out all over the deck.

That’s not all….
There were spots all over the living room carpet and we still can’t figure out what produced them. I felt like mama of the Three Bears when I said, “Somebody’s been using my shower. And somebody’s been sleeping in my bed, and somebody’s left their shoes.” Later we found out that one of our son’s friends, who was dating a married woman, had got into a fight with her husband (probably at our house). My Son brought him to our house to recuperate after taking him to the hospital for stitches.

That’s not all…
Sometime during our week away, our next-door neighbor went nuts. He cranked up a bulldozer about midnight one night and crashed through his own fence, taking his kids swing set with him. He proceeded to tear up our lawn as he drove through the neighborhood creating mud dunes and pushing over trees. The next day he tried to run over the Town Hall employees who came out to issue a cease and desist order. The poor guy ended up in a mental institution and was reported as having said, “None of this would have happened if Expressy had been here!” What the hell did he mean by that? I hardly knew the guy!

Well about our vacation: my sister-in-law instructed her children not to touch the emergency pull chain in the bathroom at the condo because the police would be there in a flash. She said that a lot of elderly people stayed there, and the chain was to help anyone who had fallen in the tub get medical assistance. I bet the kids were wondering how an injured, naked old woman would get up and pull the chain, then lie down again to wait for help to arrive. Well, I hung my wet swimsuit on the emergency cord the next day. It made a nice retractable clothes line. Never a dull moment!