Sunday, August 30, 2009

Habitat House

Yesterday I had the wonderful opportunity to spend several hours working at the Habitat for Humanity house in our town.  My sis (you all know her as Bambi) is on the board.  

We started at 8:00 and I was given the job of installing hurricane tie-downs onto the rafters.  Now, I'm guessing Otin knows what a hurricane tie-down is, but I had no idea.  It's a piece of metal that is attached to the rafter and then to the outside wall.  That way, if a big wind comes along and tries to take off the roof, the whole house will be taken instead!

Sounds easy enough, right?  But actually, those things were a booger to install.  Attaching them to the wall, was no problem.  It was attaching them to the rafter, through that metal plate thing you see, using a special nail that was thicker than the "8 penny" nails I used to attach it to the wall.  So it was kind of slow going and I got a blood blister where I hit my finger with the hammer (see Bambi's for a visual, mine popped and all the cool red stuff oozed out before I could get a picture of it). (But isn't that cute we both got blood blisters).

My next job was sealing windows.  It was a 2-person job so I got Bambi to do it with me.  It was a straight forward job.

What'd I learn during my Habitat Day?
  • Hold the nail with a pair of pliers.  That way you can hit it hard without worrying about your finger.
  • What hurricane tie-downs are and how to install them.
  • That building a house is fun.
  • That it's a small world - one of the guys in charge is a really good friend of our former neighbors.  It was our former neighbors who recommended a real-estate agent when we sold our house and that agent is the wife of the guy who was in charge.
  • That Habitat for Humanity used to get a lot of stuff donated but the big stores that used to donate won't even give them contractor's prices anymore.
  • That people of all skill levels can make a difference helping someone into a decent home.
  • That it feels good to work on a Habitat house.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Indignity of it All

Hello blogosphere friends.  Sassy here.  You will not believe what happened to me today.  I was minding my own business when Barb got home and offered to take us for a walk.  We were so excited.  All 3 of us got our leashes on and set out on one of our normal walk routes through the neighborhood.  But then Barb took a new direction.  The direction that leads out of the neighborhood.  Well, that's fine.  It's fun to go to new places, smell new smells, see new sights.  We walked happily along for not too long a stretch when we came to the big road.  We had to wait for the light to cross, and I got really spooked when a big, loud truck went by.  After we crossed the street, we went into a wonderful smelling place.

I realized right away that this place smelled familiar.  I'd been there before, but it had been quite awhile.  We walked past some amazing smelling treats and toys, for we were in a pet store!  They've got cool beds, and silly-looking coats.  All kinds of stuff for me to check out.  They even have dried pig esophagus chews!  Really.  They keep them right next to the pig ears.  Just as I was starting to get really happy about where we were, we went into the back room.  You won't believe what they have in the back room!  Bathtubs!!!!!  Oh, the horror!!

See, Happy Gilmore, my foster-brother, had a bit of an accident in his kennel.  Barb thinks he's doing it on purpose.  Anyway, he needed a bath.  So I got my leash tied (can you believe it! Tied!) to a bathtub.  This place is a "bathe-your-own-dog" place.  So Barb put Happy into the tub.  He didn't seem to mind too much.  I thought we'd leave when Happy was done.  But no. Barb put Ginger into the tub.  It was pretty funny watching Barb struggle to get Ginger in there when she obviously didn't want to.  But Barb won and Ginger got her bath.   Then, well, you guessed it, Barb put me, Queen Sassy, into that tub.  I was not a happy camper.  

Of course, I'm a lady, so I let her do it.  And I guess I'd have to admit that my coat is nice and silky looking.  And I haven't had a bath in quite a while.  I don't smell bad, mind you.  But I guess I can use a bath once or twice a year.  The nice lady there gave Barb some doggy cannoli treats since we were all so good for our baths.   So, all in all, it wasn't that bad.  But I'm still unhappy about the bath.
Thanks for stopping by today.  

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Rhyming Wednesday

It's rhyming Wednesday.  I'm not a poet, and I know it.  But I wrote a little rhyme based on the current positions and occupations of my dogs.  It's a dog's life!

Ginger's laying on the floor
Sassy's on the chair
Happy's sleeping on the couch
None has a care to spare

These sweet dogs are the lucky ones
they run, they lounge, they play
They've been out already for a walk
And they've been fed good food today

Well, that's it.  It doesn't seem finished.  And I know it's terrible.  But I can't just sit here all day and wait for the muse to show up.  I've got dishes to do (the dish washer is doing them).  I've got laundry to do (the washer and dryer are both hard at work).  The floor needs sweeping and vacuuming (well, I've got Roomba working on that).  I guess I'll just go eat lunch!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

House Full of Boys

How can one tell that I have a house full of boys?  There are several clues.  This is one of them.  I found it in the landscaping by the front door.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

First Day of School

I was starting to feel guilty about being happy about school starting.  Several of my facebook "friends"  had been lamenting the end of summer.  They hated the idea of sending the kids back for another year.
I, on the other hand, could not wait for school to start!  

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Rhyming Wednesday

Rhyming Wednesday! 
I was inspired by Otin's poem.  So I thought I'd do a quick one.

My little Happy boy
He's cute as he can be.
So why, I ask myself
Does he still live with me?

We finally got some meds
So his poop's no longer loose.
He usually pees outside
And he hardly ever pukes.

So if you need a lover
One who walks on all fours
Call or come on over
Happy Gilmore is all yours

Monday, August 17, 2009

To Market

"To market, to market, to buy a fat pig.  Home again, home again, jiggety jig.  To market, to market, to buy a fat hog.  Home again, home again, jiggety jog."
I love market day.  In our little town there is a farmer's market every saturday from May through October.  You can find all kinds of veggies, fruits, meats (both fresh frozen and dried varieties), baked goods, etc.  It's not only food, though.  It's also an artisans' market.  
Lots of jewelry, painted stuff, hand-made cards, bags, etc.
What did we come home with?  Well, we did not buy a fat pig or a fat hog.  
We did, however, get some bacon from a guy who raises his own pigs and cows.  
We picked up some round steak and summer sausage from him too.  We got a baker's dozen of David's favorite sweet corn.  

David was the guy selling it.  And those bakers can't count!  My 6-year-old had a great time shucking, anyway.  
And I got some beautiful sunflowers from a lady whose farm is two hours away.  She gets up at 4:00 to get to market on time.  We shared the cherry pie we bought with Bambi's family.  We ate the sun-dried tomato and basil bread with the sweet corn.  We got some eggs and okra, too. 
As a starving artist myself (well, I've never actually tried to sell any of my art.  With the exception of some really cute cards at a sale to benefit Hope Rescues.  None of them sold), I had to check out some of the artisans' booths as well.  I couldn't resist the cute rocks painted to look like cheese and mice.  
And I was lured into a ceramics artist's tent.  He told me not to stand on ceremony.  Or the street.  So I stepped into his world and came out with this adorable fox whistle. 
He also had banks with a plug in the bottom so one could "take a loan without breaking the bank" and some interesting vases made to look like a pair of hands are holding the flowers.  He said they'd come in rather handy.
My 13-year-old was fascinated by the leather worker's craft.  He bought this cobra phone
 holder and a matching one for his dad.  (Bless Dad's heart, he said he'd even use it!).

Wonder what we'll find next week.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Happy Fostering 3

Poor Happy.
Since he's was still having the pudding poops, I called Hope Rescues and got instructions to take him to the vet.  He's got worms.  (I can't remember which.  Either whip or hook).  So he's got some meds to take.  I hope this clears up our intestinal issues.  It's getting old.  And I'm sure it's uncomfortable for him too.
Short post.  Sorry.  But I've got kids that think I should get them some lunch.  Who do they think I am?  Their mother?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

1, 2, 3, 4, and 5

My youngest son just said he had to go to the bathroom.
His brother asked him if he had to go number 1 or number 2.
He said, "I am going 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5!"

I didn't ask.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Happy Fostering 2

We've now had Happy Gilmore for about 48 hours.  The "no accidents" phase didn't last.  But I don't think either "accident" was his fault.  The first one was yesterday morning.  I wanted to give him a bath, so I decided to bathe him, then take a quick shower afterwards.  I planned to take him outside before his bath, but my neighbor was on the sidewalk chatting with someone I didn't know.  I was in my jammies and I didn't want to have to deal with Ginger barking at someone while I was holding onto Happy with one hand and my pajama pants with the other (they are too big.  I have to hold them).  So we went up for a bath.  Then while I was in the shower I heard screams from downstairs - "MOM!  HAPPY PISSED ON THE FLOOR!!!  Accident #1 - totally my fault.
Then I had to go to my workout (the one Bambi skipped).  So I put Happy in his kennel.  When I got home there was an overwhelming stench wafting out the door.  See, my 13-yr-old had gotten home and taken Happy out of his kennel.  He did take him out, but then left him unattended while he went to the bathroom.  He didn't even realize (he must have no sense of smell) what Happy had done.  He pooped (several pudding-like piles) on the living room carpet.  Accident #2, not really DS's fault, but not Happy's fault either.
Today we've had no accidents!
And Happy seems to be settling in.  
Since it's Tuesday, I thought I'd do a few random thoughts like Bambi does, but will make them "Happy" thoughts
  • He can curl himself into the smallest little ball when he is sleeping
  • He seems to have some separation anxiety - he cries when I leave the room
  • Sassy doesn't like him too much, she's given him several warning growls
  • He sounds like a hound dog but he's pretty quiet all in all
  • Someone saw him yesterday at the pet store and asked me for the website address
  • He's a chewer
  • I'm trying not to fall in love with him

Monday, August 10, 2009

Happy Fostering 1

This is Happy Gilmore.  He is our new foster dog.  He comes to us from Hope Rescues in Alton, IL.  First of all, yes, we are crazy!  We have 2 dogs already (Ginger and Sassy) as well as a cat (Spooky).  So why do we have a foster dog?  Because we are crazy!! I just said that!
But, seriously, we wanted to be able to do something constructive for one of the best organizations we know.  And they always need more space to rescue more dogs (and cats).  If dogs are in foster, there is more space.
We are hoping he'll find his own home soon.  He's cute as a bug's ear and a full-blooded beagle.  In 24 hours we've had no potty accidents, so I'm thinking he's house-broken.   I'm optimistic he'll have a home to call his own soon.
Until then, I thought I'd share the chaos.
Sassy's not too sure this is such a good idea.  She has spent some time sulking in the corner of the kitchen and she's given Happy a warning growl or two.  Ginger, on the other hand, just goes with the flow.
First thing we have to do is change his food.  The food he's been eating produces some pretty rude smells.  The first of which happened in the car on the way home.  It was a crazy scene of boys blaming each other, screams of disgust, uncontrollable giggles, enthusiastic congratulations, and windows rolled down to let in the 97 degree heat.  Then later the deposit he made in the yard was not one that can be easily picked up.  Besides, he likes Ginger and Sassy's food.  It's herring and sweet potato.  Gourmet!
Day one ended with some complaints about having to sleep in his kennel.  But he soon settled down for the night and there was brief respite from the chaos.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Holes and Skeletons

You may have plenty of skeletons in your closet.  We, however, have a skeleton on our ceiling.  See him over in the corner of the picture.  My dear sister threw him up there weeks ago and he's still there.
As for the holes, they are there because we are trying to figure out why our shower continues to leak into the kitchen.  It's a frustrating problem 'cause we can't seem to find the source of the leak.  I guess that makes it a ghost leak?

Saturday, August 8, 2009


OK, I really thought that other water slide was scary.  Then I did it and it was all fine.  This one, the yellow one, on the other hand, was really scary.  And it was not fine.
My 13-yr-old and my husband (for now, anyway) "forced" me to go on this slide.  We climbed up four flights of steps.  My heart was pounding, my palms were sweating, and I was really, really panicking.  I looked at the life guard and asked him how bad it was.  He took my hand.  He told me, "it's only 3 seconds.  You'll be fine."
As you sit at the top, it is STRAIGHT down.  I can't believe I did it.  I sat at the top, crossed my ankles and arms, and plunged straight down.  I was so scared I couldn't even scream.  I'm not sure how long it will take me to forgive myself for getting talked into that one.  I guess I am too old.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I Guess I'm Not Too Old Yet!

No, this is not me.  It's my middle child coming off one of the water slides at our resort.  But I also found myself flying down this water slide.

 When we planned this vacation with the boys, I have to admit that I had a certain amount of dread deep down inside somewhere.  A resort with 2 water parks?  What are we thinking?  But I figured since DH and I got our trip to France and Scotland (sans kids), we could take the kids someplace that they'd really enjoy.  We even signed up for the Family Fun Package that comes with up to 5 (yeah, 5) free pizzas, 5 vouchers for 100 tokens each for use at the arcade, free bowling, etc.  

When we got here we headed straight for the indoor water park.  It has an impressive number of slides and rides as well as the other water park stuff.  After spending some time in the hot tub, the boys really wanted me to experience some of the other stuff with them.  So we headed up a flight of stairs.  Then we went up another flight of stairs, turned on a landing, and went up another flight of stairs.  We were at the python plunge.  The huge black and orange body flume has a closed section that winds around for a story or so, then an open section that shoots straight down for about 2 stories and ends in a section full of water similar to the one in the picture above.

As my turn approached I started to panic.  I could feel my heart pounding.  I was thinking "I'm too old for this".  I was wondering if Liam and Rowan would believe any excuse I could come up with not to go down this slide.  I was sure that I'd somehow make a fool of myself.  But their smiling encouragement was too much for me.  I couldn't disappoint them.  
I stood at the top of the slide waiting for the life guard to give me the nod.  When he did, I got myself into position (on my back, ankles crossed, arms across my chest) and let go.  I was plunged into darkness.  As I slid through the darkness I told myself "You're fine, Barb.  This is nothing.  The kids can do it."  Then I couldn't help but scream as I plunged through the near vertical section to waiting boys.  It was awesome!  I loved it.  I'd forgotten what that adrenaline rush was like.  So I'm 43.  But I'm not too old to enjoy a day at the water park with my kids.  Five days, I'm not sure.  But since I've survived two of them so far, I'm optimistic.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

"I'm Busted!"

Sassy here.  I got busted in the living room.  I know I'm not supposed to go in there.  Something about there needing to be a room in the house that non-dog people can go and not be molested by Ginger and me.  But I'm a firm believer that there is no such thing as a non-dog person!  And look at the white couch!  My tiny black hairs look great on that couch.  
I've only gotten busted once before.  Barb and the boys brought home freshly dried starfish from their trip to Oregon.  They figured they could leave them in the living room since Ginger and I know not to go in there.  But they smelled so good.  We couldn't help ourselves.  We gobbled them up in 3 seconds flat.  When the family got home they found regurgitated starfish in several places and were smart enough to figure out who'd done it.  Man, those humans are smart!
Well, I better get this post wrapped up and get off this couch!  Ginger and I have snoozing and yard watching to do.  Thanks for stopping by!