Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Birthday Dilemma

My niece, Leana, turned eight on Wednesday and I've been wracking my brain all week about what kind of gift she'd like.

I offered Oscar the cat to her, but she was wise to that and turned him down flat. She asked me if I would buy her a mini-laptop, but I was wise to that and turned her down flat.

I perused the books at Target for a while, but that seemed dull, she's not into action figures or baby dolls - so they were out too. I didn't know which DS or Wii game to buy, so I skipped electronics.

Eventually I wandered over to sporting goods and debated the merits of a small tent, thinking back to my childhood and how much I would have enjoyed that.

But then I called my Mom and asked her opinion about a gift option that I'd really had in the back of my mind all week - and she enthusiastically endorsed it:

That's right people - Post-It notes. Over $40 worth.

Leana loves her some Post-It notes!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Seventh Grade

Rea is starting seventh grade tomorrow; I’ve spent a good bit of the morning thinking about my seventh grade year. It was a time of many changes for my small family.

We had moved out to the county during my third grade year and although it was a fifteen minute drive into town each way, my parents refused to allow me to attend the elementary school that all of the kids that lived nearby attended. Oh, how I wanted to ride that big, yellow school bus that spit out my cousins and the neighbor kids each afternoon. But, my parents felt that the buildings were in poor condition (and they were) and that the quality of the education was inferior.

But by August of 1974, the county had begun a consolidation of its elementary schools; construction of three state-of-the-art schools was underway and the current schools would become obsolete.

The arrival of my brother was also imminent…so it just didn’t seem feasible anymore to make that drive twice a day with a tiny a baby.

As the beginning of the school year rolled around, it became apparent that the new schools weren’t going to be ready and that school would have to start in their old locations.

So, I was going to get my wish. I was going to spend the first six weeks of my seventh grade year at Lynn Grove Elementary, the school that both my parents had attended for twelve years.

So, on a blazing hot August day I found myself standing in the doorway of a classroom of that old school. I knew a handful of students – some were childhood friends – and that helped tremendously, but this group of kids had been together since first grade, they had never been separated and I was truly worried about fitting in and how they would accept me.

Let me just say that kids today could learn a thing or two from those seventh graders in that dilapidated building, receiving their “inferior” education.

I was openly welcomed by those kids.

After seven years, they were a family…there’s no other way to put it. They played together, ate together, fought together and were friends together – I’m still friends with many of them today.

They were the best six weeks my entire school career.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

We Are Kitty Door Dependent.

I know some of you are wondering HOW.IN.THE.WORLD that snake got in our house. Weeelll, I can tell you he didn't walk up the steps, open the door and let himself in - he had a little bit of help.

We have three cats -and a kitty door, because...we are a litter box free operation. That's right, everybody does their business in the great outdoors. We haven't had an indoor litter box since the late '80s and don't plan to ever have one again.

Now, from time to time, the kitty doors pose a problem. Cats are born predators and they are prone to bring things through the doors, and certain cats are worse offenders than others. Sadly, we've had baby bunnies and baby birds, chipmunks, squirrels, moles, skinks, shrews, lizards, frogs, toads and Oscar's favorites...snakes.

For about three years, Eldridge, a ratty feral stray would slip in through the kitty door every night and eat. I did my best to befriend him, but he would have no part of me. I still see him lurking about the neighborhood occasionally, but he doesn't come in the house anymore, I think Oscar beat him up one too many times and he's afraid to come back.

And Nelson - let's not forget Nelson in this equation, he fits through the kitty door too. Open access to the Great Outdoors! We can leave him home and he can let himself in and out, he also goes out at night on his own (but unfortunately barks to come back in, go figure).

Until Oscar came along the kitty door issues were always worth the trade-off of not having to deal with a litter box . Because, who enjoys scooping poop? Not me.

However, in summers past we've had to close the kitty doors until frost and do "mouth checks" for entry into the house. We may have to do that again, but then we have to do cat headcount every time we leave for any length of time.

Is it too much to hope that Oscar discovers an Anaconda in the woods?

Monday, July 20, 2009

And it smelled like...

When I went to put the vacuum cleaner away last night I noticed a small, hard, dark suspicious pile in the corner of the coat closet...I was all great, there's a rodent in the closet. I was on my hands and knees, shifting stuff and this is what I found.

The Great White Snake Hunters

Danny with his catch...(love my Orka mitts and the steak tongs?)

He dropped him three times before he got out of the house with it...
I didn't used to have much of a snake issue - but I must say that I'm becoming more paranoid about them as time passes, especially in my own home.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Woo Hoo! Don't you need a gross?!?

You’d think after taking delivery of ten pounds of gunpowder in the blazing heat of July; wrestling 40 pounds of buckshot out of the mailbox and recovering from heart failure after opening a stuffed pheasant, that I would cease to be surprised by any package that arrives at my home.

But, I must say I'm still wallowing this recent arrival over in my mind.

Behold: 40 USED Shotgun Shell BOXES.

According to the recipient, these boxes were an awesome deal! They were only $11 (WOW!), had only been "used once" and were "in excellent condition"!!!

Who knew?!?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Guess I have that Petty Criminal look...

Tuesday morning I went grocery shopping at my friendly neighborhood Kroger. They’ve had some pretty decent plants this summer and since I’ve failed to procure and plant my usual Kimberly ferns in the bed by my driveway, I decided to buy five salvia plants.

The salvias were in gallon pots; and since I was there to buy some MAJOR provisions, I really didn’t think I wanted to wrestle all those plants into the store and manage my groceries too. I was alone – as usual – don’t know if any of you have tried it lately – but maneuvering two grocery carts is a bitch. Trust me I’ve tried. So, I peeled the UPC sticker off the pots and stuck it to my shopping list and when I paid at the register I asked the cashier to include five salvias at $7.99 each.

I knew that I needed to load the plants into my Tahoe first, so when I left the store, I PARKED my cart full of groceries at the front by the doors, walked out and got my Tahoe and pulled around to the loading area. As I got out, I noticed Randy, a very mentally handicapped gentleman who comes to our Wednesday Night Fellowship Dinner at church.

I’ve enjoyed getting to know Randy the past three years or so; I only see him on Wednesday nights when I cook and occasionally around town. I think Randy is in his early fifties, I’m not sure where he lives (though he tried to tell me once, but I never understood him), he doesn’t have car and a another gentleman in our church is teaching him to read. But, Randy has an eye for faces – and I spoke to him and he recognized me immediately and offered to get my cart and help load my groceries and my blue salvia.

Just as my buddy Randy and I were nearly finished with our task; two Kroger employees approached me.

Now, I wasn’t that surprised when they asked to see my receipt for the plants –I’m sure people steal their blue salvia all the time. But enough with the verbal tongue lashing.

Dear. Sweet. Slow. Kroger cart pusher. Don’t you think if I’m going to steal your blue salvia, I’m most likely NOT going to steal it at high noon on a Tuesday? And, you can bet your sweet ass, when I DO decide to steal your blue salvia, that I won’t put the $150 worth of groceries that I JUST PAID FOR at risk by leaving them at the front of the store while I saunter out the back forty of the parking lot and get my hot rod SUV getaway vehicle.

And another thing, sweet Cart Pusher, when I DO steal your blue salvia, the accomplice that I pick will most assuredly NOT be my church buddy Randy…

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

We have a GE Profile Side-by-Side Refrigerator in our kitchen - I'm not sure how long ago we bought it, but it's been several years. In all that time, I've fought an on going battle with the shelves in the freezer side, they keep on FALLING DOWN.

I've rearranged food, changed the positions of the shelves, done everything imaginable. And so, yesterday in a fit of frustration and maybe, just a tad of inspiration, I went to the Internet to "research" my problem.

I didn't find anything about my shelves on GE's list of FAQ questions, so, on a whim I called Customer Support. And do you know what? As I write, a retrofit kit is winging it's way toward my home - free of charge!

Oh, Maytag...Maytag. You should be taking some serious notes here.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Nelson's Mama - MIA

I've been leaving you a little high and dry lately - lots of summer things going on, besides the fact that my computer has developed a serious tic. We're talking a snafu of epic proportion that's had me rebooting, Googling the issue, downloading drivers from the Dell home page and reloading drivers. Nothing has helped and it is frustrating beyond belief.

Neptune received his FOURTH new pump last week - he ought to be pretty pleased with himself. Maytag Man put his thinking cap on though and thinks he has outsmarted Neptune and devised a screen to stop money and other flotsam and jetsam from getting into the pump. One would think, you know, that the washing machine MANUFACTURER would put it's thinking cap and come up with a something like that and not leave it to a bean counter in Tennessee to invent such a thing. Gotta love my Maytag Man.

Six or so years ago we had our dark stained cabinets painted white - they have been long over-due repainting. I decided to tackle that job late last week, I'm STILL working on those damn things. Wish I had turned a blind eye to that chipped paint and waited 'til cold weather!

I have a kitty to tell you about, but need to get pictures of her. Have several stories to write for you, but need to get my computer straightened out.

Till then...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

You Go Girl!!

Methinks Ms. Thomas may be old, but a whole lot sharper and gutsier than Chip Reid expected.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Neptune, Neptune...

This eating money thing is getting OLD. So very, very old.

Neptune started clacking a week or so ago, then on Tuesday night he started whining and dinging that he couldn't DRAIN. So,our Maytag Man drug his innards out and sure enough he'd tried to digest an Oklahoma Commemorative Quarter.

Yesterday, as we were trying to get ready to go to Fourth of July festivities, I threw a load of jeans into Neptune. In light of all of Neptune's recent issues, I diligently checked the pockets of all the jean shorts of everyone - except Maytag Man. Maytag Man NEVER leaves money in his jeans or shorts - in fact, he lectures me constantly because the change from my pockets is the main reason that Neptune suffers from digestive discomfort.

Anyhoo, as the load was trying to finish, Neptune started whining and dinging about SUDS and DRAINING - you could plainly hear MONEY in the pump. So once again, Maytag Man takes apart Neptune and what does he find?

An Oklahoma Commemorative Quarter that a lonely repairman had dropped in his pocket...