Friday, August 26, 2016

It May Have Been a Bird, a Bat, or a Rat.

Things are going well between Chandler and Scout. Scout has a new friend to play with and Chandler now has a new little sister he has to put up with. And who doesn't want a small dog constantly barking at you and biting your ears and ankles, which she does do to Chandler for much of the day. She has made Chandler her bitch. At least they walk on their leashes together quite well. They're like a team, barking madly at passing pedestrians and bicyclists. They both find the best stink to roll in together, and seem to have the poop thing down. Meaning, they poop in the exact same place every time. One problem I have when walking them, is that they are excellent hunters. When the two of them see a squirrel or a bunny rabbit they nearly knock me over when the chase ensues. While their hunting styles do differ, Chandler more of a stealthy, sneaker type and Scout the chaser type, they both end up barking up the same tree. This morning they really caught me by surprise. We were walking nicely along when Chandler lunged and came up with some shrieking animal in his mouth. This energized Scout who frantically tried to get in on the action. I am not sure just what he caught, it was small, gray, furry, and it screamed like hell as I yelled for Chandler to drop it. Which he eventually did. So like I said, they are good hunters. Except for that day last week when they came upon a skunk one street over. I don't know if it was instinct or luck, but they did not chase that one. Instead we all stood about four feet away from it and stared in horror as the skunk stared back.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

It's Few Tile

I hate shopping. I hate going into stores, wandering around in those stores, and dealing with the people in those stores. They always put what I want to buy at the very opposite end of the store from the entrance, and when I find what I need it will be sold out. As much as I hate shopping, shopping with Mark is like living through the Inquisition. It is a hundred times worse than if I went by myself. He takes forever to make up his mind. Yesterday we bought tile for the kitchen. Mark has been looking at tile now for three months and still hadn't made up his mind on what he wanted.
"Okay, this tile is the perfect color but cost too much. Now that tile at the store on Irving Park Road was cheaper, and the color was right, but it was just a bit too big. Lowes had a nice tile, but no longer carry it. Ahhh... if only I had known I would need some. So Alan, let's go back to that other tile store in Morton Grove so I can compare...   "
"AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH............." I responded. "I need a drink."
"Don't be silly. It's too early for that. Now if I get this tile what color grout should I get?"
Mark then proceeded to vacillate between five different colors on the grout color chart.
"We should get some samples and take them home...  "
"Why? Why the fuck do you need to take samples home? It grout for krissakes, grout! It will look the same here or at home."
So yesterday, when we went shopping for tile, I explained to Mark that we are going shopping with the contractor. The contractor does not want to stand there while you compare colors, prices, and sizes. To the contractor time is money. Our money. So to my surprise, we went to the tile store and Mark quickly settled on the tile that will go into our kitchen. I need to bring that contractor shopping with us more often.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

No More Cinco in the Kitchen

"How long do you think it will take?"
"Umm... dos, tres horas."
My twenty seven years in South Florida was paying off. I understood the guy who was going to demo our kitchen perfectly. However, he looked at me and realized his mistake, Gringo, and so he repeated it in English. Fine, except it actually took siete horas to do the demo, and they still weren't done. They will be back today to remove the soffits. The thing that took so long was the floor. It took them forever to peel the layers of vinyl tile and linoleum. When they were about halfway done with the floor there was a discussion. You see, we hoped that there would be old hardwood flooring under all that crap, and there is! Once again the discussion was in Espanol about refinishing the floor, and once again I understood what they were talking about.
"I don't care if it is a different patina than the rest of the house. We'll sand it down and refinish it." I told them in English.
So we are on our way to the fantastic kitchen that I promised Mark. Right now it looks like hell, but I'm sure it will all come together. One person who is beside herself about the destruction of the kitchen is Scout. That's her bedroom. It's where she sleeps all night until six thirty in the morning, when she demands to go walkies. I think if she has some patience and lets the men do their work, she will be rewarded with Mark's dream kitchen and her dream dog bedroom.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Ten Lanes of Camelot

Took a trip out to see Mom yesterday. Brought her a box of Culver's chicken tenders, French fries, and a small vanilla shake. She ate all of it, which is pretty good considering she always tells me she isn't hungry and couldn't eat a bite when I call her. So we had a nice visit. My sister Sue was there and we talked about birds, raccoons, and possums. In other words, a typical conversation with Mom. One topic we did not discuss were her feet. For the first time since I returned to Chicago Mom did not complain about her feet, and best of all she did not pull up her pant leg, pop off her shoe, and show me her swollen and sore feet. I was very happy that she was feeling good, and happy to not see her little foot that usually looks like a loaf of yeasty bread that has risen a bit too far in the bread pan.

The trip out to Tinley Park was quite an event. I brought one of the dogs along, Scout. Through all the traffic jams and highway travel, Scout was very quiet. Which I took as a good thing. It wasn't. Turned out that the stop and go on the Kennedy Expressway had got her sick and she puked in the back seat. Yes, the Kennedy Expressway. For thirty minutes, from Western Avenue to the Jane Byrne Bad Idea Interchange, we crept along at an average speed of -5mph. At least I got to see part of the air show over on the lake front as I sat there in traffic. As I was sitting there I thought about the fact that they named that expressway after President John F. Kennedy shortly after he was murdered. What kind of honor is that, naming that highway after him considering that the words "Kennedy Expressway" are usually preceded by the words "the fucking"? And then it dawned on me. That is the perfect name for that expressway. 
...Mr. President...

Friday, August 19, 2016


For seven weeks Mark, Chandler, Bette, and I stayed at my sister Lisa's house. Lisa treated my dogs like royalty. She spoiled them. Unfortunately Bette did not live to see our new home, but Chandler did, and upon our departure my sister bestowed a bounty of toys upon him. Never in his life has Chandler kept a toy for more than a month without gutting it and tearing it to shreds. He'll keep a toy for weeks and then suddenly go berserk and kill his favorite squeaky toy, leaving the house looking like the set of Dexter. Except, instead of blood and guts, the place is covered in white fluff. This bunch of toys is different. Chandler hasn't pulled one stitch, not one fiber out any of the toys. He loves his Lisa toys. One of the toys my sister gave Chandler was a blue squeaky toy dog. Unfortunately for Chandler, Scout, our new dog, has decided that Blue is her toy. She protects it ferociously, biting whoever dare touches it. One squeak of pain from Blue and Scout is all over the offender. So if you ever come to visit, do not touch Blue, do not step on Blue. Especially if you don't have some good leather between you and Scout.