Friday, January 29, 2016

Duck Soop

Photoshopped because I didn't bring my camera with me.

Chandler has found a new friend. It's a Muscovy Duck that moved down the street from the end of the cul-de-sac because there's some heavy construction down there. Now we get to walk past it at least three times a day. The first day Chandler saw it, he wanted to kill it. With a running start and a snarling bark he hit the end of the leash, just short of the startled duck. My arm still hurts. Since then things have calmed down. Now the duck and Chandler just kind of hang out. There is no drama, unless the duck actually moves away from Chandler. Then he thinks that it's a game and the duck goes running away, its feet slapping on the pavement. I'm not sure if these kind of ducks fly. This one hasn't yet.

There is one problem with the duck and it does not involve Chandler at all. It's Bette. Bette likes to chase the duck, but that isn't the problem either. What Bette really likes about the duck is the duck poop. There is duck poop everywhere. It's on neighbor's driveways, on the street, and in the yards. It's the poop in the yards that Bette likes the most and she loves to get all into it. I have learned to recognize the tell tale signs. I can tell when Bette is going to squat and pee, I can tell when Bette is going to crouch and poop, and I can now tell just about when Bette is going to flip over and roll around in duck shit. It took a few times before I figured old stinky out, but now that I've caught on I can usually pull her away before she dives in. Usually.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Dead Pool

I spent four weeks working on our swimming pool. Because of all the rain it took much longer than expected. Mark did not like the job that I did. He told me that I should order another can of paint ($50) and do a third coat. I did not agree and suggested that Mark do the third coat of paint himself. Mark said "I'll pay for the paint and you do the work."  I laughed. Mark did not find it funny. I screamed at Mark and told him to go back into the house and shut the fuck up. That did not go over too well. Mark lost his temper, and in return I lost my temper. It was not very pretty. Anyway, it turned out that we did not kill each other.... although, it could have gone either way. Here is the video of the last day of pool repairs, not including the big fight.  


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Bitch's Bitch

How did I become that little bitch's, bitch? I'm talking about Bette. As Mark says, she has me wrapped around her little finger, if she had fingers. Bette has figured out how to get me out of my big fluffy chair and take her for a walk with eye contact alone. It's very similar to the eye contact she gives me that says "I have to Pee." The difference is subtle, but I've caught on. She does that one about ten times a day. My problem is that I obey Bette, she does not obey me. I did take her to training classes. I spent time with her, teaching her to sit, come, and stay, as best I could. That was two years ago and at the time she did learn those things. Now, I say come and she just stares at me. I might as well be a monkey, or Sarah Palin talking gibberish. I give Bette the command, "Sit!" and Chandler sits. Bette just stands there, again, staring at me. About the only thing Bette reacts to is "Cookie?" I say cookie and Bette immediately runs into the bedroom and stands next to the dresser where the treats are kept. So why don't I discipline her, why don't I re-train her to obey? Seizures, that's why. I am terrified that the stress of me forcing her to do my bidding will send her into a seizure. It's happened before, and it is horrible. So Bette gets away with murder. Cute and cuddly murder, but murder just the same. My biggest problem now is Chandler. He has been studying Miss Bette and has caught on. A couple of weeks ago Chandler chased a rat our of our kitchen and into the dog run where he caught up with it. I did not know that rats could scream so loud. Anyway, I made Chandler drop the rat and go into the house. This all happened around six in the morning. Now each and every morning I am awakened by Chandler's giant face staring at me from next to the bed. He gives a little whimper. A few second later he gives another whimper. If I still don't pay attention the whimpers get louder and louder until I get up and open the back door for him so he can check the last spot that he saw the rat as it limped away. He does not look for it at any other time of day, only early in the morning. I think I know where these dogs learned their tricks, but excuse me. I have to leave now. Mark is calling for me.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Snot and Ice

Philco Transitone Radio
Did you know that there were supposed to be elections in Haiti but they were called off? The Haiti Provisional Electoral Council decided to postpone Sunday's vote because there is "too much violence throughout the country." Not a huge news story, but one that means something around here where Haitian people wash up on our shores daily. Anyway, you wouldn't know about that if you were watching CNN or MSNBC over the weekend. What they were obsessed with was snow. How much snow there was going to be. How you must not leave your home once it starts snowing. How much water and canned tuna you should buy to sustain yourself through the snow. How Chris Christie trundling back to New Jersey will make it all better. Snow, snow, snow, from morning until...  well, until maybe we have another mass shooting... in the snow. The news networks were obsessed.

When I was a kid we didn't have all the pre-storm hysteria. There would be a prediction of snow the day before by the weatherman, and the next morning we might wake up to snow, or not. What we looked forward to as kids was waking up to a lot of snow. So much snow falling out of the sky that we hoped for the best outcome, school closings. I still remember sitting at the table in that little kitchen with the turquoise colored walls, listening to WGN on the Philco radio.
"...All District 146 schools in Tinley Park, closed. Lincolnway High School, New Lenox, closed. Trinity Lutheran School in Tinley Park, closed. Bremen High School, Midlothian, closed..."
The suspense of waiting for our school to be called was unbearable. We continued to prepare for school as if it was going to happen, right on up until that blessed announcement.
"... Saint George School in Tinley Park, closed..."
Whatever was said after that didn't matter. We were free for the day. I could hear my mother's faint moan when the radio guy announced that we had a snow day. We would rush up to our bedrooms and dig out the snow suits, boots, mufflers, gloves, and hats. 

I was hearing the very serious news people on CNN Saturday morning, warning people to stay indoors, that to go outside in the snow meant certain death. Ha! Idiots. Snow means snow men, snowball fights, sledding, snow forts, soaking wet clothing and snot running down your upper lip. We defied death when I was a kid. Snow was made for fun and a reprieve from that homework that I almost never did. One thing though, I don't remember my dad ever taking a snow day. He seemed to always leave for work no matter what the weather and come home again in the evening. It just never seemed to keep him from leaving for his job. Unless, he was more like me than I have ever thought. Because if I knew I would be stuck in a house with a bunch of screaming, fighting kids, that smelled like wet wool, I'd leave for work too and drive directly to Funk's Tavern.
My Little Sister, Sue

Friday, January 22, 2016

City Wok

I'll be shopping with Mark and I'll see something that I need. I toss it into the  shopping cart and Mark lets out a gasp, "I can get that much cheaper. Put it back on the shelf and I'll get it for you later."  I don't know where he goes to get these cheaper things, but one thing I do know, it isn't Macy's. What he usually brings home is some kind of knock off of the product that I would have purchased for full price. A few weeks ago Mark brought home some doggy poop bags. They weren't the ones I usually buy, but they will still do the job even though he bought them at one of his off brand stores. Yesterday I was walking with Chandler, we were exactly one half way around the block when he decided to drop a load in somebody's yard. Two nice, torpedo shaped turds, solid and easy to pick up. I slipped one of the doggy poop bags over my hand and bent over to retrieve the pile of poo. As I grabbed at the turd I felt something warm and moist on my middle finger. I had poo bag break through. My finger was up to the first knuckle in dog shit. I let out a small scream and shudder as I looked around for something to wipe my finger on. The best I could do was the grass, which isn't all that effective. So for the rest of the walk I held Chandler's leash in one hand and held my other hand with the middle finger extended, out and away from my body. It's funny how you don't realize how many times you use that finger during the course of a walk around the block. My first near miss was a sneeze that I instinctively tried to shield with my right hand, the shit hand. I looked down at the smear of brown on my finger and stopped before there was any damage. Later on during the walk I developed an itch on the side of my head. Again, instinct took over and I reached up to scratch. Again, I caught myself. All this activity along with Chandler pulling me over so that he could smell the duck poop in the neighbor's yard got me confused. Had I touched any part of my body with that finger? By the time we got home I was not sure if I had dog poop on my middle finger alone, or if it had spread to my hair, to my nose, to my shirt, or to the dog leash. In my mind I was covered from head to toe in dog shit. It was quite the shitty walk.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Things Are Going Swimmingly

Before                                                                                          After

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. My little one month job of sprucing up the place that I started back in October, is almost finished. Thanks to a three day dry period I was able to put a coat of paint on the swimming pool, or as it is better known around here, money hole. It's supposed to rain again on Friday, but by then the paint will be nice and dry. On Saturday I'll give it one more coat of paint and by Wednesday I'll be pumping some very expensive water back into the pool. That is unless Mother Nature would like to help and turn the rain spigot back on. Water is water, I don't care where it comes from. Way back in October I looked at this house and the swimming pool, and I thought "How hard could it be to paint it all?"  I think the fact that it took me four months to do what I thought would take one month, says it all. My legs hurt, my back hurts, and my right arm and hand will never be the same. Physical labor is just not my thing. I will say this, when Mark and I move to Chicago and buy our new home, it will not need to be painted because it will be brick. In the back yard, there will be no swimming pool. I never, ever want to do this much work again. Oh, and all that snow when we move to Chicago? That will be shoveled by some kid who I'll slip a twenty. Or Mark, I may send Mark out there to shovel.